”A Reliable and Valuable Partner for the Federal Armed Forces…”
Elettronica GmbH, led by Managing Director Marcello Mariucci, celebrated its 40th anniversary on 20 September.
Created as a local logistic and maintenance facility to support the mother company, Elettronica S.p.A, when it gained its first contract with the German Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the provision of electronic warfare (EW) countermeasures for the F104 STARFIGHTER, the company has subsequently participated in a wide variety of international defence programmes, such as the Eurofighter TYPHOON and NH90 helicopter.
During the last decade, Elettronica GmbH has successfully entered the new market segments of Homeland Security and EW simulation, acquiring new capabilities and skills, enlarging its customer portfolio in Germany and abroad and evolving from a logistics company to an engineering and systems integration house able to cope with the most demanding requirements of the aerospace and defence market.
The company is effectively an EW center of excellence for the German MoD and a leading company in supplying law enforcement authorities with vehicles fully equipped for the surveillance and intelligence roles.
As a part of the European defence industry, the company has felt it appropriate to contribute to the debate on current strategic issues involving the Common European Defence Policy and the potential opportunities that could develop for the EW and Homeland Security industries. This debate, at Meckenheim on 20 September, attracted representatives from German and Italian military institutions and industries as well as politicians, including such outstanding personalities as speakers as Maj.-Gen. Axel Binder, Commander of the German Strategic Reconnaissance Command; Rear-Adm. (UH) Giuseppe Abbamonte, Director of the General Directorate for Telecommunications, IT and Advanced Technologies (TELEDIFE) – Italian Ministry of Defence; Mr Marcus Faber, Member of Parliament and of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag, and Mr Volker Paltzo, CEO of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH.
“This anniversary represents the opportunity to underline the importance of the intuition – 40 years ago – to open the EW gateway to Europe, pursuing an innovation-oriented business concept, with solid Italian roots, but looking to the future with a strong German footprint. At the same time, the leading idea aimed at implementing a deeper collaboration between industries able to foster the cooperation and integration of the European defence industry, which could represent the base for the creation of an effective European defence strategy among the member states” commented Elettronica Group President and CEO, Enzo Benigni, in his welcome address.
Elettronica’s German footprint was highlighted by Gen. Binder, in his welcome address: “Elettronica has proven to be a reliable and valuable partner for the Federal Armed Forces and Strategic Reconnaissance Command,” he told the audience.
The event was also the stage for an intense debate, chaired by Dr Dennis Merklinghaus, Editorial Director of Mönch Publishing Group, on how to pursue a common industrial and institutional strategic approach towards a European defence strategy.
“European defence integration process is continuing. Initiatives such as PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) are really fruitful to this purpose for their contribution to fulfilling the EU’s level of ambition and facilitating member states’ involvement in multinational procurement projects, together with PADR and EDF which, for sure, will have a big impact in improving the coordination and the scope of member states defence spending,” observed Adm. Abbamonte.
Mr Faber underlined how European nations should work together to build a common and effective European trade compliance and armaments export policy in order “to be more and more competitive in comparison with non-EU defence industries [….] It is really interesting to observe how a successful Italian company has been able develop a similar successful business with a German mindset in our [own] country, creating highly qualified jobs for the North Rhine-Westphalia region.”
The round table had a specific focus on the relevance of closer cooperation within the defence and security sector from both institutional and industrial perspectives, in order to enhance the level of integration, increase investments in defence R&D and strengthen interoperability within the military organisations of member states.
“ELT is a reliable supplier within the Eurofighter Programme,” commented Eurofighter CEO Volker Paltzo. “Surely electronic warfare will be in the future one of the main areas for the upgrade of Eurofighter capabilities. Eurofighter will be the central pillar of European air defence and a stepping-stone into the Future Combat Air Systems.”
The real opportunities created by European industry integration were underlined by Marcello Mariucci, stated “Our company and the European projects such as Eurofighter and NH90 that involve our systems and capabilities are the concrete proof of the virtuous cycle generated by collaboration. We really hope to go ahead in that direction. Elt GmbH is ready for this challenge!”