EMBATTLED Italian aerospace manufacturer Piaggio is in last-ditch talks with Rolls-Royce in an attempt to try and retain its licence to maintain the latter's Viper engines for the Italian air force.

Piaggio is effectively bankrupt, operating under the Italian equivalent of the US Chapter 11 legislation. R-R says that it is in discussions with the company over the future of its licensing agreement, which allows Piaggio to maintain the Viper for the Aermacchi MB.339.

Given the parlous state of Piaggio, R-R is concerned to protect its own financial and technical interests while attempting to ensure that it continues to support the Italian defence ministry.

Source: Flight International