(Finally) the deck of the Cavour is crowded

The Mare Aperto 2024 exercise, the main exercise of the Italian Navy, has concluded this year with the participation of the French Navy’s entire Carrier Strike Group (CSG) of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. On the Italian side, the exercise featured the participation of its principal units, including the aircraft carrier Cavour.

Although many images of the exercise have circulated, photos and videos of the Cavour have been scarce. However, in the last few hours, some very interesting images have surfaced. These images show the Cavour’s flight deck with numerous aircraft (a relatively rare sight). Specifically, there are nine aircraft: five F-35Bs and four AV-8B+ Harriers.

This is particularly noteworthy as it is the first time we have seen so many operational F-35Bs simultaneously on the Cavour. These aircraft belong to both the Italian Navy and the Italian Air Force, operating together in a unified task force. It is believed that two of these aircraft are from the Air Force and three from the Navy.

We should also note that on June 1st, the Cavour’s CSG will depart for the Far East. It will be interesting to see how many F-35Bs will accompany the Italian aircraft carrier on this deployment.

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