The Avio Group is an aerospace company coperating in the space launcher and spacecraft propulsion sector.
- design, development, production and integration of space launchers (Vega in it’s base and empowered C and E versions)
- solid and liquid fuel propulsion systems for space launchers (Ariane 5 and Ariane 6, Vega family)
- solid fuel propulsion systems for tactical missiles (Aster 30, Aspide, Marte and scam-ER)
- liquid fuel propulsion systems for satellites
- research and development
Avio’s directly employed workforce in and outside Italy consists of more than 800 highly qualified employees, 15 % of whom work in Research and Development.
In Italy, Avio has its operational headquarters in Colleferro (Rome) and other sites in the Regions of Campania and Piedmont, with a total workforce of more than 700 employees. Avio also has operational plants outside Italy, located in France and French Guiana.
Vega is a space launcher designed and produced for positioning satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Through its subsidiary ELV (70% Avio, 30% ASI, the Italian Space Agency), Avio has performed the design and development activities for the Vega launch vehicle with funds provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), and is currently the Prime Contractor of Arianespace for the production and integration of the Vega launcher. As part of a Supply Chain involving 7 European nations, Avio builds both the solid fuel engines of the launcher’s first 3 stages, P80, Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9, and the liquid fuel propulsion module of the fourth stage.
Still through ELV, Avio is also the Prime Contractor for the next-generation launchers:
- Vega Consolidated (Vega-C) whose qualifying launch is scheduled for mid 2019;
- Vega Evolution, for which preliminary study activities have begun.
For these launchers, ELV is responsible for the development and subsequent production of the entire launch system, while Avio, as the sub-contractor, is responsible for the development of the solid fuel engines P120C for the first stage (with its partner ASL) and Z40 for the second stage; for the upper stage of Vega-E, ELV and Avio will be responsible for the Mira liquid oxygen-methane powered cryogenic engine.
Ariane 5 is a space launcher designed and produced for positioning satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit, (GTO), for which Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) is the Prime Contractor. Avio is the sub-contractor for the production of the launcher, specifically for the construction of the P230 solid propellant booster and the liquid oxygen turbopump (LOX) for the Vulcain 2 engine.
Avio is also the sub-contractor for the next-generation launcher Ariane-6 whose qualifying flight is scheduled for 2020; for this launcher Avio is developing – and will subsequently build – both the solid propellant P120C engine (also used for the first stage of Vega C), and the liquid oxygen turbopump (LOX) for the Vinci engine, and will also continue to produce the liquid oxygen turbopump (LOX) for the Vulcain 2 engine.
Avio is the sub-contractor of MBDA for the design, development and production of solid propellant engines, cruise engines (so-called sustainers) and guidance sensors/systems for Aster 30, a surface-to-air defence missile system. In addition, Avio develops and produces the propulsion for smaller missile systems such as Aspide and Marte, and has recently started to develop the engine for the Camm-ER extended range anti-aircraft missile system that will equip Europe’s future air, land and sea defence systems.
Liquid propellant propulsion systems for satellites
Since 1984, Avio has developed and produce more than 15 liquid propellant propulsion systems for satellites. Currently two new ESA satellites with Avio liquid propulsion systems are being prepared for launch.
Since ever Avio considers research and development essential for competitiveness, efficiency ad sustainability over time of its business model and its products.
It therefore invest significantly in basic research and pre-competitive development of materials, innovative technologies, new products and applications. Like, for instance, high performance composite materials and structures, new green propellants, orbital applications.