Piaggio Aerospace turns to Italian government with request to be put into receivership

Owing to “the state of insolvency of the company,” Italy’s Piaggio Aerospace has turned to the Italian government with a request to be put into receivership. This comes despite a current firm order for eight P.1HH unmanned aircraft (a variant of the P-180 business aircraft) from the United Arab Emirates with deliveries expected to commence by year end.

The recent change in government in Italy in March, which saw the country’s incumbent center-left government defeated before a populist coalition, has resulted in a catastrophic delay in confirmation of an order from the Italian Ministry of Defence for 20 P2.HH variants, valued at US$874 million, which have greater endurance.

Prior to March’s election, the program received launch funding in this year’s defense budget with the head of the commission, Francesco Saverio Garofani, confirming that the order would procee without a commission vote. However, since then the program has stalled, with the new parliament failing to vote on the order as it is under pressure by the coalition government to make cuts in defense spending. Italian officials are also worried that the P2.HH will overlap with the Euromale drone that European partners, including Italy, are currently developing.

Italian union FIM-CISL blamed Piaggio Aerospace’s problems on the government’s delay in firming up on the drone order, asking the government to find new investors to save the firm, while also pushing the drone order through. The Democratic Party, which was voted out of government in March, accused the new government of “being unable to take a decision in all these months on the €766 million (US$874 million) acquisition of the P2.HH.”

Piaggio Aerospace is owned by Mubadala Development Company, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment and development company.

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