Following a long 16-month maintenance and modernization project, the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour finally returned to sea on May 6. Main novelty of this modernization: the aircraft carrier is now compatible with the Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter plane.
The only problem for the Marina Militare, the increase in the price of the F-35 forced Rome to reduce its endowment in new stealth fighter planes. Of the 131 aircraft planned for 2008, only 90 should be ordered. And only 15 F-35Bs will be reserved for the Marina Militare, compared to 22 originally planned. This drop in capacity is a big question for the Italian political class and the media, but also the international press, and awakens certain latent tensions between the Marina Militare and the Aeronautica Militare, the Italian Air Force.
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