The most important showcase for defence, the Armed Forces (Navy, Army and Air Force) and the aerospace industry in South America was held in Rio de Janeiro from 14 to 17 April. The event saw the participation of 700 exhibitors operating in the defence, aerospace and aeronautical sectors from around 45 different countries and attracted more than 140 delegations led by defence ministers, vice ministers, senior officials and civil servants from 71 countries interested in the Latin American market. Held every two years, the latest edition of LAAD was attended by around 30,000 visitors and for the first time featured a Helitech pavilion entirely devoted to helicopters and related technologies.
The South American market is expanding rapidly in the Service (overhaul, maintenance and repair) sector, as evidenced by the fact that the show has tripled in size in recent years. However, the Brazilian economy is current going through a period of limited growth and this is naturally affecting the defence sector.
An Avio Aero team consisting of Pierfederico Scarpa, Corrado Crotti and Salvatore Sisinni was present at the GE Aviation stand, enabling the company to explore the opportunities offered by the local market and to maintain commercial relations in this sector. In particular they focused on Italian customers attending the show.
At the GE Aviation stand our colleagues met Gioacchino Alfano (Undersecretary to the Italian Ministry of Defence) as well as Guido Crosetto (President of AIAD), the Italian Ambassador to Brazil Raffaele Trombetta, General Baptista Junior (Director of DIRMAB, Aeronautical and War Materials Board, Brazilian Air Force), General Rossato (Commander of the Brazilian Air Force) and Admiral Bisceglia (Director of NAVARM, Naval Armaments Board). These meetings enabled our sales team to pursue business initiatives with the Italian Ministry of Defence, especially for the LM2500 and LM6000 engines installed on the Italian Navy’s new multi-purpose units, and with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) on medium and long-term strategies for supporting their AM-X fleets powered by the Spey Mk807 engine. The strong cooperation between the Italian and Brazilian armed forces makes our long-term support particularly important.
Avio Aero has long been operating in Brazil through the Petropolis factory located near Rio de Janeiro, where it conducts MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) activities for the J85 engines mounted on the Brazilian Air Force’s F5 fighters (around 35 technical operations a year) and on Spey MK807 engines. On these latter engines in particular, some of the operations are conducted at the Brindisi facility and our experts are currently providing dedicated training to enable the Petropolis facility to perform full overhauls of these engines. Readers wishing to find out more about this are invited to watch the special episode of Avio Aero news Storytelling in Brindisi with Massimo Saponaro, at the bottom of this page.
An integration project was recently launched with GE Celma with the aim of maximising synergies in Brazil. The main focus of interest of the local armed forces is the purchase of Gripen fighters produced by Saab, a total of 36 of which have been ordered to date with deliveries expected to begin in 2019. These aircraft are equipped with GE Aviation’s F414 turbofan