Press releases

Avio and MTU agree on unmanned aerial system cooperation


DISCLAIMER: Press releases in the present section refer to the period before the purchase by Nuovo Pignone Holding S.p.A. (General Electric Group) of the Company business unit relative to the aeronautical activities of Avio S.p.A., which took place on 1 August 2013, following the stipulation on 21 December 2012 of the contract of sale with regard to this Company business unit. Starting from this date, all activities regarding the design, development and manufacture of accessory drive trains and power transmissions, low-pressure turbines, combustors, afterburners, subsystems and MRO and CRO activities for civil and military aeronautical engines were transferred to Nuovo Pignone Holding S.p.A. and became an integral part of the business of GE Aviation.

Rivalta di Torino (Italy), 15th March 2012 – Avio Group and MTU Aero Engine GmbH have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to jointly explore and identify opportunities related to the propulsion system of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV).

The LoI follows the cooperation MoU of the defense industry associations of Italy and Germany (AIAD, Italian Industries Federation for Aerospace, Defence and Security, and BDSV, the Federal Association of the German Security and Defence Industry) signed a December 16 2011, and the Letter of Intent signed on November 29 between the Italian and German Defense Ministers in Berlin.

Avio and MTU are aiming to combine their technological knowledge and in doing so, establish a leadership position in the UAS sector. With the agreement in place, both Avio S,p.A. and MTU Aero Engine GmbH will be well placed to work in partnership to meet the needs of their Governments related to UAS.

Francesco Caio , Chief Executive Officer of Avio commented: "The signing of this agreement is important for Avio, as it allows the company to collaborate with an outstanding player in the innovative sector of propulsion specifically intended for UAS. In doing so, we have an opportunity to further enhance our ability to design, build, and support innovative propulsion systems for both civil and military market. The UAS sector has a strategic importance for the future of Avio's programmes and we are confident that this agreement will allow us to become even more competitive in the field."

Egon Behle , Chief Executive Officer of MTU Aero Engines, said: "This LoI marks a significant step forward towards our goal of keeping our military sector competitive in the face of sharply declining defense budgets and changing requirements regarding the future equipment of the armed forces. UAS will play an increasingly significant role moving forwards, and we want to have an equitable share in this market segment.”



Avio is an international group, leader in the aerospace sector, headquartered in Turin (Italy). Founded in 1908, it is present on four continents with commercial offices and 12 industrial sites. It has 5,200 employees, of which approximately 4,400 work in Italy. The Group operates in following business areas: Jet engine modules; Space; MRO and Services; Aeroderivative Gas Turbines for Marine and Industrial use; Control and Automation Systems, and Electrical Systems. It is active in the field of technological R&D through a network of laboratories located on Italian University campuses, and collaborates with 24 Italian and international universities and research centres.


MTU Aero Engines is not only Germany’s leading – and only independent – engine manufacturer, but a major player in the industry. Together with its affiliates, MTU maintains a presence in all key markets and regions. In the commercial engine sector, the company has close working ties with the world’s major aero engine manufacturers. In the military sector, MTU is the lead industrial partner for almost every type of engine operated by the German armed forces, and an important partner in all major military aero engine programs in Europe. MTU Maintenance is the world’s biggest independent provider of Maintenance services for commercial aircraft engines. The company is a technological leader in low-pressure turbines, high-pressure compressors, manufacturing processes, and repair techniques.