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Leonardo Is Back at the Farnborough Airshow, Leading the Way in Digitizing the Aerospace and Defence Sector

Leonardo will return to the Farnborough Airshow (London, 18-22 July, exhibition area B010) with a wholly redefined strategic position based on the ‘Be Tomorrow 2030’ Strategic Plan. The Company aspires to play a leading role in the digital transformation of the Aerospace, Defence, and Security sector.

July 18, 2022

In an approach based on coexistence and mutual synergy between legacy business and the development of innovative solutions and markets, Leonardo’s focus at the airshow will be on the next-generation FCAS (Future Combat Air System). This system consists of individual ‘nodes’ interconnected by powerful communication technologies, artificial intelligence, and the cloud. These represent the key to the future operating environment common to all domains. In the UK, Leonardo has been involved in FCAS as a member of Team Tempest since the program’s inception and internationally as part of a trilateral partnership with top defence industry firms from Italy, the UK, and Sweden.

In helicopters, the focus is on the ability to handle the entire vertical dimension of flight with digitally integrated dual platforms in multi-domain operational contexts. The latest generation AW149 multi-mission helicopter is on display at Farnborough, building on its recent international success in Poland with a contract for thirty-two units. It is currently on offer to the UK Ministry of Defence, which needs an NMH – New Medium Helicopter. An AW159 optimized for sea use will also go on the show. The AWHero remote-piloted system confirms Leonardo’s excellence in this domain, with some of the Company’s most impressive surveillance equipment and sensors, including the Gabbiano Ultra-Light.

In the exhibition area, Leonardo, a leader in the trainer sector with over 2,000 units sold in forty countries, will also show off the M-346, a latest-generation jet aircraft for pre-operational training. Its operating specifications are similar to combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35. It is currently in service with Italian, Singaporean, Israeli, Polish, and Qatari air forces and has recently also been chosen by Greece. The M-346 is the star of the new International Flight Training School (IFTS), the fruit of a partnership between Leonardo and the Italian Air Force, whose customers already include countries such as Qatar, Singapore, Germany, and Japan. The light attack version of the new M-345, which can perform operational roles and train student pilots, will also be on display.

Among the next-generation technologies for the onboard digitization of aircraft and helicopters, there are a wide range of CNI (Communication, Navigation, Identification) self-protection and avionics systems. These include the new LOAM, optimized for dual-use, to alert crews to the presence of tiny and barely visible obstacles in low-altitude helicopter flights. In addition to the ULISSES acoustic anti-submarine system, Leonardo will present its state-of-the-art radars. These include the Grifo E and ECRS Mk0 E-scan fire control radars, Osprey 30 and Seaspray 7500 E-scan surveillance radars, and long- and medium-range air defence sensors such as the recently launched TMMR (Tactical Multi-Mission Radar), which can also be used for anti-drone applications. With this portfolio and recent strategic deals with RADA Electronic Industries and Hensoldt, Leonardo aims to strengthen its positioning and leadership in the Defence and Security Electronics sector.

 

The Company will also showcase state-of-the-art human-machine interface technologies and capabilities based on simulated environments, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality for training and education purposes for land, air, sea, and space missions and cyber-attack protection. Leonardo meets fifth domain threats with a technology suite for Cyber Information Superiority - for analysis, intelligence, prevention, and defence - and with the Cyber Range and Cyber Trainer platforms for the immersive simulation of complex scenarios through the creation of ‘digital twins’ of networks, systems, and applications to be protected. Artificial intelligence and simulation, along with the cloud, supercomputing, deep learning, and video analytics, also form the heart of X-2030. This solution correlates massive amounts of data from disparate sources in real time, providing a synoptic picture of the situation to support decision-making and action in the field.

At Farnborough, Leonardo will also present its vision for innovative and sustainable aviation mobility based on disruptive technologies, platforms, control systems, infrastructures, and new business models. These include the AW609 multi-role tiltrotor simulator, the world’s first for civil certification, as well as the enabling technologies that will make the helicopter of the future increasingly smart and connected, the Skydweller solar drone, and satellite navigation and communication services.

There will also be space for multinational programs in which Leonardo plays a leading role. These include the Eurofighter aircraft and the Eurodrone – the latter a medium-altitude, long-range remotely piloted aircraft, and both resulting from major European defence partnerships – as well as European-funded initiatives such as Clean Sky and SESAR 3, which look to future air transport in an increasingly sustainable key.

Finally, the space dimension is integral to defence and security operations and a driver of innovation, sustainability, and development. Also on display will be technologies and services for Earth observation and Earth orbit monitoring (Space Situational Awareness) and intervention (In-orbit servicing) to mitigate the problem of overcrowding. Leonardo will also look at the planetary exploration and the main international Moon (Artemis and Moonlight) and Mars (Mars Sample Return) programs and at the technological contribution that the Company provides to these, also through the Space Alliance, consisting of the Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space joint ventures.