Naval and Marine Aviation in a nutshell, from the Med to the Americas
This great shot from Neptune Shield 22 shows a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet (BuNo 169735), attached to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211– part of Carrier Air Wing One, assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) — flying alongside an Italian Marina Militare F-35B Lightning II (MM 7454) and an AV-8B II+ Harrier (MM 7200) somewhere over the Adriatic on 30 May of this year. It is a great way to see both the past and future of the USN/USMC’s front-line aviation and that of the Italian Navy.
The Italian Navy only has 14 Alenia Aeronautica-assembled Harriers left– of 18 ordered in 1990– in their Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati carrier air wing, with the type seeing combat over Libya a few years back. They are being replaced by 15 F-35Bs, with the intention to operate them from the country’s flagship carrier, the 27,000-ton Cavour.