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AVIO AERO and KAI: contract for the development of a new transmission system for the KUH helicopter


The two companies set the ground for further industrial collaboration

SEOUL - On Thursday October 20th, Avio Aero and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to identify additional opportunities for strategic collaboration in developing new helicopter Transmission Systems. This agreement furtherly expands the horizon of the industrial cooperation already in place since the contract signed by the two companies on July 19th, 2021. Under the contract, Avio Aero is going to provide KAI with the technical support for the design, development and manufacturing of Transmission System for the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH), named Surion, which is currently in production at KAI facilities and already in service with the most important government operators of the Republic of Korea.

The new transmission system is going to retrofit the KUH already in service. The program implementation represents a fundamental goal to be pursued in the coming few years and to be subsequently accomplished in the next future, under the leadership of KAI.

The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding and the announcement of the above mentioned contract occurred during the Seoul International Defense and Aerospace Exhibition ADEX 2021, which took place at Seoul Airport.

The signed contract foresees industrial synergies on the cooperation in the design, development and manufacturing of the new Transmission System with the initial focus on the KUH helicopter’s Main Gearbox as the first step. If the development is successfully achieved, the production units are estimated in approximately 300 units in Korea and global market.

 “The signature of the contract and of the Memorandum of Understanding draw up a wide perimeter of industrial cooperation between Avio Aero and Korea Aerospace Industries with the engagement of the technological excellence from both Companies” said Sandro De Poli, President of the Board of Avio Aero. “The goal is to realize a new transmission system able to extend the performance of the KUH helicopter, for the final beneficial of the Surion’s End Users”.

“We will provide KAI with all our skills and capabilities, which have been consolidated over decades of experiences and successes not limited to the aviation segment of rotorcraft transmissions”, remarked Maurizio Faucitano, Sr Sales & Proposal Director at Avio Aero. “The contract sets off an opportunity for Avio Aero to enter into the competitive and demanding Far East aviation market, thanks to the recognition by KAI of our technological excellence, the skills of our engineering and the quality of our products. We are pleased to cooperate with KAI, proud of our expertise and with the humility deserved by the innovation capability of the Korean industries. The step we are taking today is also an opportunity to further expand our supply chain to other industrial companies in this beautiful Country”.

The agreement will bring further benefits to both companies, thanks to the exchange of skills and knowledge between Avio Aero and KAI during the execution of the transmission system program.

The consolidated experience of Avio Aero, combined with the manufacturing technologies available at its plants in Rivalta di Torino and Borgaretto and the unrivalled Korea Aerospace Industries' propensity for innovation and technological development, associated with its undisputed aviation footprint solidity, will be key factors in contributing to the success of this ambitious program.


Info about Avio Aero

Avio Aero is a GE Aviation business that designs, manufactures and maintains propulsion systems for civil and military aviation. It is the center of excellence for the entire General Electric group in the field of mechanical transmissions and low-pressure turbines. The company’s headquarter and largest production plant are in Rivalta di Torino, its other Italian main plants are located in Brindisi and Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples), where it employs more than 4,300 people. Abroad, it has a plant and a test center in Poland and a plant in Czech Republic, in which works 900 employees. Founded in 1908, the company has overcome many technological challenges in over a century of history. Continuous investments in research and development and an established network of relationships with leading universities and international research centers have enabled Avio Aero to develop technological and manufacturing excellence recognized across the globe: an achievement borne out by a range of collaborative partnerships with key operators in the global aviation industry.