Avio's leadership in the space sector has its foundations in BPD Defence and Space (Colleferro, Rome), a company operating in the field of military and space propulsion acquired in 1994. BDP began operating in the early 1900s by producing explosives and propellants for military applications.
BPD’s experience and expertise acquired over the years has enabled us to set up a very successful line of activities and products in the field of solid, liquid and cryogenic propulsion.
Today, Avio has a strategic role in the space sector globally: as part of the Ariane 5 programme, the largest European satellite launcher, we are responsible for the powerful solid propellant lateral motors (boosters), which allow the launcher to lift-off from the surface up to 65 kilometres from the ground, as well as the liquid oxygen turbopump. Avio holds a total 14% of the launcher’s value.
Through our subsidiary ELV (70% Avio-owned, 30% Italian Space Agency-owned), Avio is the prime contractor and systems analyst for the European launcher Vega, a launcher for light satellites weighing up to 1,500 kg in LEO (Low Earth Orbit). This includes three solid propellant stages and a final liquid propellant stage.