Piaggio Aerospace has delivered its first P180 twin-turboprop to have been brought to an enhanced Avanti II+ standard for the Italian air force.
Announcing the development on 30 November, the Italian airframer said it had completed upgrade, flight-test and certification activities on the new standard, which will be applied to another 12 Avanti Is for the same customer.
An image released by the company identifies the aircraft – which is shown with a temporary civilian registration – as MSN1053. Cirium fleets data records this as in-service MM66201: a 19 year-old airframe ordinarily employed as a training asset at Pratica di Mare, near Rome.
“The delivery represents a significant milestone in the Italian armed forces’ long-term modernisation programme,” Piaggio notes.
In a related development, the company says its first of 15 new-build Avanti Evo+ aircraft on order for Rome’s military departed its Villanova d’Albenga production facility in late November, for painting and testing at its Genoa site.
Common equipment used on the II+ and Evo+ standards include “updated avionics, a landing gear with enhanced steering and anti-skid systems, and new, more efficient brakes”, Piaggio says.