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One Company “Leonardo” A Conduit for Greater Efficiency, Effectiveness and Operational Flexibility

Mr. Lorenzo Mariani, Land & Naval Defense Electronics Managing Director, talks with Defence Turkey

Issue 68

Leonardo is here.  If you haven’t already heard, Leonardo is the new name to know.  The winds of change and opportunity have already given rise to the new name of Italian genius. Italy’s leading manufacturer in the high technology sector, Leonardo-Finmeccanica (formerly Finmeccanica) has officially started using their new name, as of May 1, 2016.  The process to immediately familiarize the world with the new brand name and to begin name change acclimatization will ensure that adequate time is given toward enabling continuity, specifically for relationships with foreign countries.  The name Leonardo-Finmeccanica will be used until December 31, 2016, and with full rebranding as of January 1, 2017, it will then change to Leonardo.

Following the ‘One Company’ launch, January 1, 2016, Finmeccanica became a single company operating in aerospace, defense and security, and it is now organized into four sectors and seven divisions.  

Sectors: Aeronautics, Electronics, Defense & Security Systems, Space, Helicopters.  

Divisions:  Aircraft, Security & Information Systems, Airborne & Space Systems, Defense Systems, Aerostructures, Land & Naval Defense Electronics, Helicopters.  With the new governance and operating model, Leonardo-Finmeccanica has replaced the previous model of being a holding company of separately controlled businesses and consolidated its competitive position in the ever-increasing complexity of the global aerospace, defense and security market.   

Mr. Lorenzo Mariani, Land & Naval Defense Electronics Managing Director, Leonardo-Finmeccanica,  (formerly part of Selex ES S.p.A., a Finmeccanica Company) recently met face to face with Defence Turkey Magazine: “We are One Company now, with very delegated authority – in my view, it has given a lot of capability to the divisions and now we have to deliver.” 

Mr. Mariani discussed the new integrated and customer oriented approach, pointing out how leadership in technology and products is strengthened by being part of a single large international industrial group.  

End to end capability – Land and Naval Defense Electronics

Mr. Lorenzo Mariani’s Land and Naval division includes all systems for all land applications, typical command and control radars for armies and navies, and they are proudly capable of delivering entire combat systems for ships – integrating their radars, electronics, communications and systems of third parties such as MBDA, for example.

Crucial Legacy in Turkey

Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s position in Turkey is based on an important legacy.   This is one case where the one company approach is very beneficial for the company, as they have an important historical presence in the country as provider partners of helicopters, communication equipment, electronics and radars.  Previously, Finmeccanica under different divisions has been able to establish partnerships in the past and provide products for the full spectrum of the systems in their portfolio.  Mr. Mariani said, “I think it is helping us a lot now that we have a one company approach.  Let me give you an example.  We have a company, Selex Turkey, which is well established in the country, and through Selex Turkey we provide software radio capabilities and components (HF transmitter radio components) that are then sold to Aselsan.  We are able to integrate with a unique approach benefiting the reference company in Turkey and the final customer, with the key technologies, to be delivered to a system integrator that is a local system integrator in Turkey.”

Gradual Spin-off of Technology and Logistic Support to Reinforce Position of Subsidiaries

When asked about any plans to improve their position, to strengthen the presence in Turkey, perhaps through a reinvestment or plans for expansion, Mr. Mariani replied that “the key aspect is that first we have a key role in the subsidiary in terms of technologies, we are gradually making the company capable of providing a real interface on key technologies that are originally developed in Italy but then will be transferred completely to Turkish industry.  This is the case with the HF transmitter, software radio components.   We are going to do that acting through two different lines, one is the gradual spin-off of the technology to Turkey.  The second is via logistic support, because it is also that through logistic support that we will reinforce the position of our subsidiary in the country. With Aselsan, for example, a primary partner for Land and Naval and other divisions, we can have a direct relationship, a partnership in Turkey and abroad.  Any products that we develop together with Turkish industry we also want to sell abroad first of all.  Not just Turkey and Italy. We have some key products and systems targeting an integrated solution for third countries.  We are trying to build on the solutions that have already been experienced and tested by Turkish industry, such as with ADIK shipyard – the SAS infrared search system, and also to build wider systems that can be proposed together with third countries.  Currently there are some third countries with which we are cooperating.”

Turkish Factory as a Point of Interface – not necessarily a hub for exports  

Mr. Mariani clarified that he does not think the Turkish factory will be designed as an export hub “we want to create a hub capability, a point to interface.  I think when we deal together with third countries, it’s not so important for the model to have operations in Turkey, the important thing is that we agree with the Turkish partner regarding what we do and what they do and how we commercially interface with the customer.”

Cooperative Relationships in Turkey - Ready to Collaborate for 3rd Markets 

“We decided to concentrate on 3 – 4 key technologies.   The infrared search system SASS has been successfully accepted and now could be the basis for other opportunities.  In the communication field, software radio, HF, is a key technology where Italy has invested a lot and we are eager to share some of these capabilities with Turkish industry and then use them in the Turkish market or export.   We are ready to collaborate for third markets.”  Leonardo-Finmeccanica is developing a full set of new products, as a result of new investments made by their domestic customer, namely the Navy. Mr. Mariani elaborated, “the entire fleet is being completely renewed and we are providing them with new communication systems, new radar technology, new infrared search and track, and a new combat management system.   We know that with many of these elements there is already a capability in Turkey and we know that there are many third countries that are looking to us to meet their needs.  What we offer is to study joint solutions, joint approaches to markets based on what we are doing in Italy.”

Air Traffic Control – Strengthening ATC capabilities across Turkish airspace

Leonardo - Finmeccanica, through its Security & Information Systems Division, has delivered a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) system for Turkey and it has been brought into fully operational service. The system strengthens ATC capabilities across the entire national airspace.  The ATC system’s introduction into service is a key milestone in Turkey’s SMART project (Systematic Modernization of ATM Resources Turkey), which is aimed at enhancing the country’s ATC infrastructure and services.   This is the world’s first system to provide seamless air traffic control backup, transferring operations between the main center in Ankara and an auxiliary facility in Istanbul.   Advanced functions are available in line with the European SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) project.  Mr. Mariani said on the topic of Air Traffic Control “Turkey has always been a target partner for us.  This system, when we sold it in the last decade, has been a visionary approach, with a completely different architecture, that is fully compliant with new air traffic control rules; it was challenging to develop but now that it is in service we trust that it will be the best for Turkey, for all the people who fly and the best for us.  We are pleased to be able to mention such an important reference.”

The new name, Leonardo is Recognizable – Emulating the Venerable Leonardo da Vinci - Reflecting Innovation, Creativity and Technology 

Mr. Mariani provided some insight regarding the company name change that has now been approved by the board of directors and shareholders.  He said that the previous name Finmeccanica was derived from the meaning in Italian of Financial and Mechanical, which are two aspects that are not currently at the company’s core.  “Leonardo is technology, products, Italian genius, that’s the message that we would like to convey, and to this the name Leonardo is taken from Leonardo da Vinci, which reminds us of the importance of technology, invention, the inventing of new products and systems.”

Capitalizing on the Turkish Market 

Leonardo - Finmeccanica is poised and positioned to maintain its efforts in 2016 to keep its business healthy, in order to ensure the continued development of its core activities and related performance. Mr. Mariani candidly shared with Defence Turkey Magazine that “it is always good to exploit collaborations where an important legacy exists. It is really important to continue to be present together in this market and in the related markets in Italy and Turkey.  I think we will continue on this track.”