The Juan Carlos I, Spain's amphibious aircraft carrier launched on September 30, 2010, is undergoing year-long sea trials and last week started the process of gaining its air-naval certification. The first helicopter landed aboard on February 8 at 10:51. Other helicopters from the 6th Squadron (Hughes 500) and the 3rd Squadron (AB-212) then followed.
Commander Emilio Aceña Medina brings his helicopter in to land on the Juan Carlos I. Photo credit: Spanish Navy
The next phase will involve landing and take-off of Harrier AV-8B Plus of the 9th Squadron.
The Juan Carlos I can handle up to 30 medium or heavy helicopters when configured as an amphibious helicopter carrier or between 10 to 12 Harriers and a similar number of medium helicopters when configured as an aircraft carrier.
The Juan Carlos I. Photo credits: Spanish Navy