A cooperative made up of defence firms has been selected to deliver sustainment services for the Italian Air Force’s C-130J Super Hercules fleet.
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Italy’s Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness Directorate (DAAA) has approved the award of a five-year contract to the Temporary Business Grouping (RTI) – a cooperative formed by Leonardo, Avio Aero and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
As part of the contract, worth €380 million (AU$586 million), the firms have been tasked with providing technical and logistics support for the Italian Air Force’s C-130J Super Hercules airlifter fleet.
This is expected to involve the implementation of a technical-logistical model designed to provide integrated logistical support (ILS), in-house engineering support and on-site support through operational technical representatives at the 46th Air Brigade in Pisa.
Aircraft maintenance activities are also set to be performed at Leonardo plant in Tessera near Venice and Avio Aero plant in Brindisi.
These facilities are also expected to host repairs, spare parts, material logistics, inspection activities, software, and technical publications maintenance and updates.
"The finalisation of this important agreement confirms the validity of our customer support model which [allows] us to provide our customers with dedicated technical-logistical support services, guaranteeing operational continuity to the fleets and, for operators, the readiness to carry out any type of mission, as in the case of the C-130J operated by the Italian Air Force,” Dario Marfè, SVP of marketing, sales, customer support and services at Leonardo’s Aircraft Division said.
Pierfederico Scarpa, VP of strategy, marketing and sales at Avio Aero said the contract represents a further consolidation of the company’s partnership with the Italian Air Force.
“The C-130J fleet is indeed one of the most strategic of the whole armed force. Furthermore, under this agreement, Avio Aero will provide a “performance-based logistics” service to support the AE 2100D3 engines,” Scarpa said.
“This is an innovative and increasingly used model, that in this case, will allow Avio Aero not only to optimise performance, but also to implement ever more effective and functional solutions in response to the needs of the Italian Air Force.”
Trish Pagan, vice-president of international programs at Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business welcomed the opportunity to work alongside Leonardo and Avio Aero.
“Aeronautica Militare C-130J crews continually exemplify the C-130J’s unmatched and proven airlift and refuelling capabilities,” Pagan said.
“This partnership allows Lockheed Martin to pair our Original Equipment Manufacturer insights with our trusted partners at Leonardo and Avio Aero to ensure Italy’s C-130J Super Hercules fleet is ready to support any mission – anytime, anywhere.”