ROME — Italy’s Avio and MTU Aero Engine of Germany will team on engines for medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), the two companies announced March 15.
A letter of intent signed by the companies states they will “jointly explore and identify opportunities” related to the propulsion systems of MALE UAVs and UCAVs.
The deal is a direct consequence of the memorandum of understanding signed in December by the defense industry associations of Italy and Germany to ramp up cooperation, as well as a letter of intent on cooperation signed in November between the defense ministers of the two countries.
Those two deals, in turn, were a reaction to the closer defense cooperation between the U.K. and France, which irked Rome and Berlin.
“Avio and MTU are aiming to combine their technological knowledge and in doing so, establish a leadership position in the UAS sector,” the statement said.
Thanks to the deal, both Avio and MTU “will be well placed to work in partnership to meet the needs of their Governments related to UAS,” the statement added.