ITP Aero announced at FEINDEF 2019 in Madrid on 29 May that its Albacete plant has become the second company worldwide to be certified for maintenance, repir and overhaul (MRO) of the MTR390-E engine, which powers the TIGER combat helicopter. The plant Will service all TIGERs in Spanish armed forces service.
The MTR390-E engine is an enhanced version of the engine, providing 14% additional thrust. The MTRI consortium, which includes ITP Aero, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce and Safran Helicopter Engines, is responsible for development, production and maintenance of the engine. Since the beginning of the programme, a total of 194 MTR390-E engines have been ordered, 40 of which belong to the Spanish armed forces. ITP Aero is responsible for the design of the power turbine and the structure between turbines, as well as production of other engine components.
The certification of the Albacete facility as the world’s second MTR390-E engine MRO shop follows a 4-year project for setting up two service centres; the AIA Bordeaux (Atelier Industriel de L’Aéronautique de Bordeaux) announced in August 2018 and now the Albacete plant. The certification of Albacete includes some inspection activities and cleaning processes, as well as bench testing of the engines, which will be carried out at ITP Aero’s facility in Ajalvir (Madrid).
The Albacete facility opened in 2009 and will henceforth be servicing the TIGER helicopter engines operated by the Spanish Army. An investment plan has therefore been put in place, covering several technological areas, such as automation of the process of inspection by induced currents.
“Over the years, ITP Aero has serviced thousands of engines for the Spanish armed forces, and this milestone reinforces the company's commitment with national security, consolidating technological capabilities that are key for the Spanish Defence competitiveness,” commented ITP Exeecutive Director, In-Service Support Business, José Luis Zubeldia.