by Paolo Valpolini
The facility in Bolzano that nowadays hosts Iveco Defence Vehicles HQ and main plant was inaugurated on 6 July 1937 by Mrs. Adele Lancia, as it was raised by Lancia which main plant were located in Turin. Initially a foundry, it soon became a comprehensive production facility, especially after WW II when beside the Lancia plant Officine Viberti created nearby a bodywork production plant.
DCI celebrates 100,000 EC120 flight hours and the creation of the CIF-H
By Joseph Roukoz
DCI, created 43 years ago, is a company which puts at the disposal of France’s friendly countries, the know-how of the French army and that of the Direction Générale de l’Armement, whether in the fields of education, training and operational readiness, as well as in advising for procurement of equipment or even more for the overhaul and operational readiness preparation of military equipment.
Helidax, a subsidiary of DCI and INAER Helicopter France, altogether with the EALAT Dax Army Aviation school celebrated today a major event as the school logged its 100,000 hours of flight on the Airbus Helicopter EC120 Colibri, in their Calliope configuration. This outstanding performance was carried out in only five years of operations, and thanks to the support of the Helidax company which has been able to ensure a high availability of its rotorcraft fleet.
Out of a 36 helicopter fleet, Helidax puts on hand immediately, every morning, 32 machines available simultaneously for students of the EALAT, with a 100 percent of the means requested by the school regularly. Since May 2010, Helidax participated in the training of more than 500 student pilots and instructors, all hailing from various branches of the French and Belgian Armies, as well as from Niger.
In a press conference at the DCI headquarters, President and CEO of DCI and president of Hélidax Jean-Michel Palagos stated: « As the first public-private partnership launched by the Ministry of defence in 2008, Helidax has shown all its relevance, moreover we today respond perfectly to the French State’s expectations ». In total harmony and collaboration with the French Army, Air Force and Navy “our fleet of helicopters, equipped with a digital cockpit, allows students to prepare for the interfaces of modern helicopters. We are very pleased with this success and we now can glimpse at the future with optimism. “
Among the various news given by Mr. Palagos during his press conference is the setting up of the Centre international de formation hélicoptères (CIF-H) which called for the procurement of three additional helicopters.
The mission of this new centre, located on the sites of the EALAT in Dax and in le Luc-en-Provence — even if the central database remains clearly in Dax — is to transfer all of the French EALAT’s know-how to friendly countries of France. The CIF-H curricula are taught either in English or French and in partnership with the Army Aviation (ALAT) and Helidax.
Helidax is today contractually committed, under the public-private partnership signed with the Ministry of Defence, to provide priority for the French Armed Forces the flying hours necessary for their training. As the needs of the CIF-H only could be honoured up to two-thirds of the requirements (approximately 2000 hours of flight for 2016). DCI decided to acquire three additional EC120 aircraft, and to upgrade them to then the same standard as those of Helidax, « for the sake of homogenization », the President and CEO said.