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The second major participant in Italy's defense industrial base is the Fiat Group. Fiat has about 8,800 employees with orders of approximately $1.7 billion in its aerospace and defense business sectors. Fiat accounts for about 30 percent of Italy's defense industrial sector. Fiat's strategy is to act as developer and producer of major defense subsystems using technologies already developed for other applications to keep costs down. Because of the magnitude of the required investment, Fiat does not intend to develop complete defense systems that will have to compete in a shrinking market, but rather to remain a specialist in niche areas that can be supplied to everyone. Thus Fiat does not even have a dedicated defense division. Fiat's defense business accounts for 3.9 percent of the revenues of the Fiat Group. Even though this is a small percentage, Fiat views this to be an important element to be maintained and supported in the future.

Fiat's defense and aerospace business is organized into several major product lines. Fiat Avio is Italy's largest aircraft engine industry. It is involved in designing, developing and producing engines and transmissions for military and commercial fixed and rotary winged aircraft. Avio also produces solid rocket fuel motors, fire control systems, ammunition and warheads for missiles and rockets, and vehicle training simulators. Fiat's Iveco Military Vehicles Division develops and builds tactical and logistics vehicles and is partnered with OTO Melara to develop and produce wheeled and tracked armored fighting vehicles.

Turin is home to the country's largest manufacturing company, the multinational auto maker Fiat SpA, and like all big companies, Fiat is a sort of state within a state. Though it is undoubtedly a factory town, Turin is also elegant and perbene, or well-mannered. It was a Roman army garrison town, and the stone streets of its city center follow the square pattern of the Roman military settlement. Turin's Baroque squares were created as military parade grounds for the Savoy royalty to review their troops. In the Middle Ages, it was the center of an armaments industry, where craftsman beat sheets of metal into suits of armor. In later days, those artisanal skills were turned to carriage making. (Queen Elizabeth II rides in a carriage made in Turin.) That military rigor has infused Fiat since it was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli and a group of Turin's elite. Mr. Agnelli served as a military officer, and his military training helped give him the authority to deal with workers - his troops - on the factory floor, solving labor disputes and improving productivity.

IVECO D.v.D., a Fiat Company, designs, develops and manufactures wheeled vehicles, special trucks and armoured units that have been sold all over the world. The headquarter is located in Bolzano (Italy), with production plants also spread in Germany and Spain. IVECO D.V.D. has decades of experience and practice in the development of specifically designed military vehicles capable to meet the challenging demands of present and future operational theaters worldwide.

IVECO is an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation. IVECO Defence Vehicles is a benchmark for technology, development, construction and sale of vehicles designed to ensure protection and safety in a military context: trucks, protected vehicles and multirole vehicles. Situated in Bolzano, IVECO Defence Vehicles boasts an industrial facility that was once the prestigious Lancia factory. With an international sales force and a widespread network of service centres, the company benefits from a world-scale technical and commercial presence. The Bolzano facility concentrates all the skills that contribute in synergy to the success of IVECO Defence Vehicles: a research centre dedicated to defence and civil protection vehicles with the specialist IVECO know-how in the various product segments, a sales and marketing department, an after-sales service and the production site, specialising in protected and multirole vehicles. A second factory situated in Vittorio Veneto, which specialises in ballistic sheet metal welding and protection systems, supports the activities of IVECO Defence Vehicles. The vehicles produced by Iveco Defence Vehicle are used in many countries throughout the world, including Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Pakistanand Egypt. The jewel in the crown of production in Bolzano lies in the multirole vehicles, of which the LMV is the latest expression in terms of technology.

Oto Melara, a Finmeccanica company, was established through the merging of Oto Melara and Breda Meccanica Bresciana, two world leaders in the fields of medium and small calibre naval guns and national leaders in the production of weapon systems for the Italian Army. Oto Melara was founded in 1905 for the production of guns and weapon systems for the Italian Navy and has become a world leader in the naval field, while Breda Meccanica Bresciana was established in 1925 for the production of small calibre guns which have been systematically updated and are still in service with the Italian and other Armed Forces. The Company, whose naval and land system products have been sold in more than 50 countries around the world, is organized in product lines with research and development capabilities ranging from naval guns to ammunition, from artillery guns and armored vehicles to anti-aircraft systems.

The Consortium Iveco Fiat-Oto Melara was established in 1985, on equal 50/50 participation, to design, develop and manufacture the new generation of MBTs and AFVs. During the year 2005 the Consortium changed its name in Iveco Fiat - Oto Melara Societa Consortile a r.l. Within the Consortium, Oto Melara has full responsibility for tracked vehicles and Iveco Fiat for the wheeled ones. In all vehicles, Oto Melara designs and produces the weapon systems while Iveco designs and produces the hull and all the automotive components. Both companies have excellent skills in the field of protection against direct fire mines and IEDs. Presently the AFVs produced by the Consortium are obtaining important international successes.

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Page last modified: 16-02-2013 18:52:44 ZULU