The US Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) has started the installation of two landing systems aboard Italian Navy ship ITS Cavour, despite restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The installation comes after PMA-213 concluded the precision approach and landing system (PALS) certification on the USS Essex (LHD 2).

The first flight day confirmations were achieved by three USS Essex PALS systems including the AN/SPN-35 Precision Approach Landing System (PALS), the AN/SPN-41 Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS), and the AN/USN-3 Joint Precision and Approach Landing Systems (JPALS).

Following this, teams from Naval Air Warfare Center Webster Outlying Field (NAWCAD WOLF) Atlantic Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (ATC&ls), Naval Test Wing ATC&LS Test, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 aligned the systems to support the vessel.

PMA-213 International Landing System (ILS) and NAWCAD WOLF teams have also worked on a compressed schedule to install and facilitate full capability of AN/USN-3 and AN/SPN-41 systems on ITS Cavour.

PMA-213 International Programmes deputy programme manager Casey Edinger said: “The programme schedule was threatened when Covid-19 travel restrictions were enacted.

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“US personnel typically provide onsite technical assistance and oversight for the installation of both systems. Since Italy was the European hotspot for the outbreak, the team was already preparing contingency plans when the DOD suspended all travel.”

Due to the current situation, the teams are set to provide remote technical assistance.

A Virtual Install Technical Assistance Guide for the AN/USN-3 and the AN/SPN-41 was created by PMA-213, NAWCAD WOLF, and contract support service personnel.

The guide aims to serve as a checklist for US and Foreign Military Sales shipyard installers.

Daily communications are underway to monitor progress and mitigate technical issues.