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Alenia to Upgrade 15 Italian Air Force Tornados

ROME --- Alenia Aeronautica has signed a new four-year contract worth EUR 48.5 millions for upgrading 15 Panavia Tornado multi-role aircraft, currently in service with Italian Air Force. The delivery of the first modified aircraft is planned by the end of 2009, with the completion of the whole order by the end of 2011.

The retrofit work, to be implemented at Alenia Aeronautica’s facilities in Turin-Caselle, envisage operational capabilities improvement and avionics updating based on the standard basic Full MLU Mid Life Upgrading configuration, which introduces, among other things, a new NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) and new cockpit displays, for both pilot and the weapon systems operator, able to improve at best the flight parameters presentation, thus reducing the crew’s work load.

A contract for a first batch of upgraded Tornados had been signed in July 2002 and had envisaged retrofit activities on 18 aircraft, with the introduction of new communication and navigation systems and with the introduction of advanced defence systems. The works on this first batch have been concluded in the first months of 2007.

The upgrading programme of the Tornado schedules a third and last phase that will involve 35 other aircraft. These will be provided with a improved configuration thanks to new electronic countermeasures systems, new displays and secure data link (Link 16), able to assure Italian Tornado’s operational life at least until 2025.

Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica Company, is the largest Italian aeronautic player which operates world-wide in the commercial and military aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. Alenia Aeronautica also coordinates the activities of Alenia Aermacchi and Alenia Aeronavali - wholly owned companies – respectively active in the design and manufacturing of military trainer aircraft and in the overhaul, maintenance and modification of military and civil aircraft. With its joint venture ATR, Alenia Aeronautica is the world leader in the regional turboprop market. Over 2006 Alenia Aeronautica reported revenues of 1.908 million Euro, backlog for 7,538 million Euro and orders for 2,634 million Euro. The total workforce is 12,135.

Alenia Aeronautica: EUR48.5 Million Contract for the Upgrading of the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Aircraft