The Italian defense ministry has awarded Piaggio Aerospace a 171 million euro contract for the delivery of six new P.180 Avanti EVO for the Italian Armed Forces.
Approved on October 1, the contract also finances the supply of a P.180 full flight simulator and the extension of the maintenance contract for the “Viper” engines, which are also fitted on the aircraft of the National Aerobatic Team, the “Frecce Tricolori”.
“Fulfilling the government’s commitment to supporting Piaggio Aerospace’s turnaround, this remarkable order further enhances the value of the company, which is now close to finding a new owner,” commented Piaggio Aerospace’s extraordinary commissioner, Vincenzo Nicastro. “Notably, these six new aircraft bring the total order portfolio of the P.180, including private customers, to 20 units.”
Italian defense minister Lorenzo Guerini said the contract continued the commitment of the defense department and the Italian government to support the company and its wealth of human and technological skills.
According to the defense ministry, the amount of the support measures for Piaggio Aerospace, which filed for insolvency in 2018, reached a value of over 700 million euros.
Starting in 2019, the Italian government awarded Piaggio several contracts relating to the maintenance and supply of components for Viper engines, engines for CH47 helicopters, maintenance of engines on the A129 Mangusta helicopters. The previous orders also included the delivery of nine new Avanti Evo, as well as an upgrade of the 19 aircraft already in service.
“Although the business problems do not fall within the competence of the department of defense, the department is still aware of and carefully follows the actions taken by the commissioner for the enhancement of the company and the finalization of the process of sale,” defense minister Guerini added.
“The new ownership, regardless of the industrial plan it intends to pursue, will be called upon to guarantee the enhancement of the site, its employment level, as well as the maintenance of technical-engineering support for the aircraft and engines of the armed forces aircraft.”