Kourou – French Guiana, July 16th 2018.

The P120C solid rocket motor was successfully tested on the bench test at the European spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana). This successful test is a major step in the development of the future European launchers, Ariane 6 and Vega-C. Avio – a leading Italian company in the aerospace industry, which is listed at the Milan stock exchange – played a fundamental role in developing the P120C, the world’s largest monolithic carbon fiber solid rocket motor, by manufacturing it at its own site in Colleferro (Rome).

Giulio Ranzo, CEO at Avio Spa stated: “The success of the P120C static firing test is a key milestone on the Vega C and Ariane 6 development programs in view of the launchers maiden flights schedule for 2019 and 2020 respectively. A great technological achievement for its unique performance, the result of radical innovation combined with over 30 years of experience in solid propulsion through cooperation between Avio and Ariane Group.”

The P120C is entirely produced in carbon fiber materials. The motor case mass is around 8 tons with a propellant mass capacity of 142 tons. Thanks to more than 2-minutes combustion time, it generates an average thrust that is comparable to 15 jet engines powering modern passenger airplanes. The P120C will equip both Ariane 6 (in both its two-booster Ariane 62 and its four-booster Ariane 64 versions) and the first stage of Vega-C. This will allow up to 35 motors to be produced every year at Avio manufacturing site in Colleferro (Rome).

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