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Alenia Aeronautica

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Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A.
Company typePrivate Subsidiary
IndustryAerospace and defence
DefunctJanuary 2012
SuccessorAlenia Aermacchi
Number of locations
Pomigliano, Turin, Venice, Varese, Grottaglie, Casoria, Nola, Foggia
ProductsCombat and Defense Aircraft
Trainer Aircraft (Alenia Aermacchi)
Military Air Lifters
Patrol Aircraft
Regional Turboprop (ATR)
Regional Turbofan (Superjet-100)
ServicesAero structures
Overhaul and Modifications (Alenia Aeronavali)
RevenueIncrease 2.53 billion (FY2008)
Increase €250 million
OwnerLeonardo S.p.A.
Number of employees
ParentLeonardo S.p.A.
DivisionsAlenia Aermacchi
Alenia Aeronavali
Alenia Composite
Alenia SIA
SubsidiariesAlenia North America
Superjet 100

Alenia Aeronautica was an Italian aerospace company. Its subsidiaries included Alenia Aermacchi and Alenia Aeronavali.

Alenia Aeronautica was also the part-owner of ATR, a joint venture with European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

During January 2012, the company was reorganized as Alenia Aermacchi.[1] Three years later, it was fully merged into Finmeccanica, which has since reorganised itself as a more integrated business, adopting the Leonardo name for the group



Alenia Aeronautica was created during 1990 by merger of IRI's Aeritalia and Selenia subsidiaries.[2]

The new company was associated with several ongoing aircraft programmes and partnerships, including the multinational Eurofighter Typhoon fighter programme, the Panavia Tornado fighter-bomber. As a partner in Panavia Aircraft GmbH, Aeritalia manufactured the Tornado's wings while the other partners (British Aerospace and MBB/DASA) manufactured the rest of the airframe.[3] It also held a 20 per cent stake in Turbo-Union, a separate company formed to develop and build the RB199 engines for the aircraft.[4][5] Production of the Tornado ended in 1998; the final batch of aircraft being produced was delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force.[6]

RAF Typhoon FGR4 ZK356 shows off its delta wing, July 2016

Alenia had 19.5% a workshare stake in the Eurofighter Typhoon programme.[7] On 27 March 1994, the maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place in Bavaria.[8] In September 1998, contracts were signed for production of 148 Tranche 1 aircraft and procurement of long lead-time items for Tranche 2 aircraft.[9]

Yak-130 development

M-346 prototype 002 at Le Bourget airshow, 2005

During 1992, Aermacchi signed a cooperation agreement with Russian aircraft company Yakovlev to support a new trainer that the firm was developing for the Russian Air Force. Aermacchi secured the right to modify and market the aircraft for the Western market.[10] The resulting aircraft first flew in 1996 and by this point, the aircraft was being marketed as the Yak/AEM-130.[11]

In October 1998, it was reported that the venture was increasingly becoming an Italian-led effort due to a lack of Russian financial support.[12]

In mid-2000, it was announced that differences between the two firms and a lack of backing from the Russian participants had ended the partnership. Instead, each company would pursue independent development. Yakovlev received a final payment of US$77 million for technical documents.[13][14] Yakovlev would be able to sell the Yak-130 to countries such as those in the Commonwealth of Independent States, India, Slovakia and Algeria, while Aermacchi had the right to sell the M-346 to NATO nations and others.[13] The M-346 is a highly modified version of the aircraft that developed under the joint venture, using equipment exclusively from Western manufacturers.[14][15][16] The first M-346 prototype rolled out on 7 June 2003, and conducted its maiden flight on 15 July 2004.[17]

In January 2005, the Greek Ministry of Defense signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to become a partner in the programme and an industrial cooperation agreement between Alenia and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry was signed the following year.[18]

In March 2008, the Chilean ENAER signed an MOU with Alenia at the FIDAE air show.[19] During May 2008, Boeing signed an MOU to cooperate on the marketing, sales, training and support of two Aermacchi trainers, the M-346 and the M-311.[20] On 18 December 2008, Aermacchi announced that the M-346 had attained a maximum speed of Mach 1.15 (1,255 km/h, 678 knots, 780 mph), claiming the occasion to be the first in which an all-Italian built aircraft had broken the sound barrier in 50 years.[21]

On 20 June 2011, a Military Type Certification was granted to Alenia Aermacchi for the M-346 Master by the General Directorate for Aeronautical Armaments of the Italian Ministry of Defence in Rome.[22]



In 1995, Alenia and Lockheed Martin began discussions to improve Alenia's G.222 utility transport aircraft using C-130J's glass cockpit and a more powerful version of the G.222's T64G engine and four-blade propellers. This became the C-27J and in 1997, Alenia and Lockheed Martin formed Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS) to develop the C-27J. The design changed to use the C-130J's AE 2100 engine and six-blade propeller.[23] Other changes include a fully digital MIL-STD-1553 systems and avionics architecture, and an updated cargo compartment for increased commonality.[24] The C-27J has a 35% increase in range and a 15% faster cruise speed than the G.222.[23] Alenia Aeronautica paired with American defense specialist L-3 Communications to form the Global Military Aircraft Systems (GMAS) joint venture to market the C-27J;[25] Boeing also joined GMAS.[26] During 2007, it was announced that the C-27J had been selected by the US Defense Department for its Joint Cargo Aircraft programme;[27] the C-27J team was awarded an initial contract worth US$2.04 billion for 78 C-27Js in June 2007.[28]

Transition to Leonardo


During 2002, Alenia Aeronautica was incorporated when Finmeccanica restructured itself, spinning off its various divisions as independent companies. Finmeccanica has since reorganised itself into a more closely integrated business, adopting the Leonardo name for the group.[29]





Unmanned aerial vehicles






See also





  1. ^ "Anni 1961 – 1972 Il boom economico e l'Aeritalia – Finmeccanica". www.finmeccanica.com. Retrieved 19 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Lane, David (11 June 1991). "Alenia's disappointing debut". Financial Times.
  3. ^ Segell 1997, p. 125.
  4. ^ Segell 1997, p. 124.
  5. ^ Long, Wellington. "Swing-Wing Wonder Weapon Is Going Into Production." Ludington Daily News,24 August 1976.
  6. ^ Jackson et al. 1998, p. 241.
  7. ^ Haertl, Ronald. "Eurofighter—A Milestone Report". Archived 26 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine European Security and Defence. Retrieved: 3 July 2011.
  8. ^ "1994: Maiden flight for future fighter jet." BBC News, 27 February 1994. Retrieved: 19 March 2008.
  9. ^ Chuter, Andy. "EF2000 deal firms up first batch order." Flight International, 23 September 1998.
  10. ^ Moxon, Julian. "Aermacchi proves Yak-130/AEM performance." Flight International, 7 August 1996.
  11. ^ "Yak/Aermacchi trainer funds released; Russia will buy up to 200." Aviation Week, 27 February 1996.
  12. ^ "Italy studies the Yak/AEM-130 as Russia falters." Flight International, 21 October 1998.
  13. ^ a b Butowski, Piotr (1 May 2002). "Russian military trainer strategy falls into place; the selection of the Yak-130 marks an important step towards replacing the country's aging fleet of L-39Cs". Interavia Business & Technology. Aerospace Media Publishing. ISSN 1423-3215. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  14. ^ a b "Aermacchi assembles M-346 trainer team to replace Russians." Flight International, 1 August 2000.
  15. ^ "F124 engine turns Yak-130 into the Aermacchi 346." Flight International, 25 July 2000.
  16. ^ Doyle, Andrew. "Aermacchi may seek new engine for Yak-130." Flight International, 1 February 2000.
  17. ^ CAE wins contract for the development and supply of Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 simulator (press release), 2004, archived from the original on 24 March 2006.
  18. ^ Peruzzi, Luca. "Greece’s HAI snatches stake in M346 trainer programme." Flight International, 24 January 2006.
  19. ^ "Alenia Aermacchi e Lacilena Enaer siglano MOU per M.346 e M.311" [ENAER signed a Memorandum of Understanding], Dedalo news, IT, March 2008, archived from the original on 3 March 2009.
  20. ^ "Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding", Defense News[dead link].
  21. ^ "The Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer breaks the sound barrier. After 50 years an all-Italian aircraft flies at Mach 1" (PDF) (Press release). Alenia Aermacchi. 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "M-346 Master Gains Military Certification" Air Forces Monthly (Key Publishing), Issue 282, September 2011, pp. 10. ISSN 0955-7091. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  23. ^ a b Frawley, Gerald. "LMATTS C-27J Spartan". The International Directory of Military Aircraft, 2002/2003. Fishwyck, ACT: Aerospace Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-875671-55-2.
  24. ^ "Enhancing Tactical Transport Capabilities" (PDF). Paper presented at the RTO SCI Symposium. Alenia Aerospazia and Lockheed Martin. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  25. ^ "C-27J Team." Archived 2 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine "C-27J Spartan." Retrieved: 11 June 2011.
  26. ^ "Boeing Jumps on JCA Competition." Archived 30 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine Air Force magazine, 2 May 2006.
  27. ^ "C-27J tapped for Joint Cargo Aircraft" Archived 14 August 2007 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, Air Force Times, 14 June 2007.
  28. ^ C-27J Spartan named as Joint Cargo Aircraft
  29. ^ "LEONARDO: FILING OF ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION". www.leonardocompany.com. Retrieved 10 January 2017.