A special anniversary in Cameri

The 1st Aircraft Maintenance Department, a benchmark in excellence for the Air Force and Italy as a whole, has celebrated its 40-year anniversary together with Avio Aero.

Sep 2021

The relationship between Avio Aero and the 1st Aircraft Maintenance Department in Cameri (Novara) is based on a historical and fruitful collaboration, which sees the company committed first and foremost to providing maintenance and logistics support for operations. This collaboration was also celebrated as part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the 1st Aircraft Maintenance Department (1st RMV). A celebration was held in the spacious hangars of the Cameri base on September 10, in which Avio Aero joined as a long-standing partner.

Set up in 1981 as the 1st Main Maintenance Center with the task of supporting the flying groups engaged with the Panavia Tornado, in 1985 Cameri’s 1st RMV took on its current name. A continually evolving department, in 1991 it was chosen as the technical and logistics support center for the Tornado fleet involved in Operation Locust, during the First Gulf War. In 1998, with the Eurofighter Typhoon about to come into service, the 1st RMV was once again chosen to maintain the famous European fighter.

Colonel Danilo Figà, Director of 1°RMV, speaking from the stage inside the Cameri military airport hangar.

The industrial sector is like “a faithful companion with whom we travel a road of technology and success, with whom we stop and plan and write the future together

Over the years, thanks to the professionalism of the Air Force crews and the companies involved in supporting the Armed Forces, the 1st RMV has become a sort of “Eurofighter University”. A point of reference and hub of excellence not only for the Air Force, but also for the entire country system. The evolution of the 1st RMV, as Colonel Danilo Figà, Director of the Department, explained during his speech, has not stopped and it has even become part of the support team for the entire Lockheed Martin F-35 fleet.

“We have become a benchmark for the Air Force’s combat wings,” Figà stressed, “thanks in part to the industries that have worked and sweated alongside us, becoming partners of excellence and forming an integral part of this success”. The industrial sector is like “a faithful companion with whom we travel a road of technology and success, with whom we stop and plan and write the future together”.

A special sectioned mockup of the EJ200 displayed for the 40° anniversary with a Typhoon jet.

The evolution of the 1st RMV in its first 40 years of history has been impetuous and shows no signs of slowing down, indeed, as Colonel Figà said, “we have gone from analog to hybrid maintenance systems, but the next step will be the total digitalization of maintenance activities”. The guiding spirit is the same one that has led previous directors, who have had the opportunity to meet again during the 40th anniversary celebrations; the next step is to “think, plan, and start writing another 40 years of history and success for the 1st RMV”.

As Brigadier General Cristiano Bandini, commander of the 2nd Division of the Logistics Command, stated, “the combination of passion, patience, and technologies have made the 1st RMV an anchor for the Air Force”. This thought was also expressed by Major General Giuseppe Lupoli, Director of the Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness (ARMAEREO) at the Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate, who, as former director of the Cameri Department, reiterated: “The 1st RMV is the pride of the Air Force and the entire country”.

Colonel Figà and General Fantuzzi holding the special commemorative book realized for the anniversary.

Along with digitalization we could use additive manufacturing to build or repair an engine component... and the Avio Aero Cameri additive factory is very close to this base

For Italy as a country, Cameri “has written history and will continue to do so”, assured Air Force General Giovanni Fantuzzi, Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command. In his speech, which closed the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the 1st RMV, he emphasized the future challenges that will engage the Air Force, the Armed Forces, and Italy as a whole: “Work from a multidomain perspective will have to increase in relation to the challenges posed by aerospace and the cyber world. Meanwhile, where logistics is concerned, intensive use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be required”.

An increasingly real prospect that will generate not only efficiency, but above all better management of resources and maintenance time, especially if the maintenance activities of the Air Force are supported by the industries present near the Cameri base. “We could use additive manufacturing to build a component that artificial intelligence has identified as worn in a short space of time,” said General Fantuzzi, recalling that a short distance from the 1st RMV sits Avio Aero’s hub of technological excellence, where additive manufacturing is used to make turbine blades for the largest commercial engine, the GE9X.

Massimiliano Corsi, Military Business Leader at Avio Aero.

in the near future, the main challenge will be to innovate maintenance through artificial intelligence and modern production technologies

“The support to the Air Force, the maintenance and logistics support we offer, together with support for the planning of spare parts arrivals and for certifications, is the core of our activities,” explains Massimiliano Corsi, Business Leader of Avio Aero’s military division. The company is engaged in Cameri in active maintenance support through several test benches for the engines with which the Tornado and Typhoon are equipped.

“We feel part of the country system, demonstrated by the fact that during the pandemic we’ve continued to work day in day out alongside the Air Force to support maintenance and logistics efforts,” Corsi continued.  According to Corsi, in the near future, the main challenge will be to innovate maintenance through artificial intelligence and modern production technologies: “these will be complex and demanding challenges, and we’ll be ready for them”.

The Avio Aero team based at Cameri Military airport posing with the leaders and the CEO Riccardo Procacci.

Eurofighter Typhoon images are courtesy of Aeronautica Militare, all pictures were taken complying with WHO sanitary recommendations.