Seeks New Partnerships to Build on Strong Presence
Leonardo will be focusing on the prospect of building on its current strength in the Middle East market during IDEX 2019 (and NAVDEX) in Abu Dhabi, 17-21 February. The company has a long history of supporting the UAE’s armed forces – for example, supplying the SF-260 and MB-339 training aircraft to the UAE Air Force. The MB-339 continues to equip the UAE’s Al Fursan national aerobatic team as well as its Italian counterpart, the Frecce Tricolori.
Leonardo will be promoting its new-generation pilot training systems, covering the entire flight training syllabus: from basic training, with the new M-345 – which will replace Italian Air Force MB-339s starting from 2020; to advanced and lead-in fighter training with the M-346, which will be presented in its Fighter Attack version.
For the first time in the Middle East, the company will present its Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) capabilities based on an ‘open systems’ architecture, which enables selection and integration of an appropriate sensor and effector mix for the specific combination of scenario, operator and phase of engagement. Leonardo C-UAS capabilities are already operational with the Italian and British armed forces and are available to be quickly and easily deployed in a civilian context, at airports or major events, all over the world.
The company will be showcasing defence systems for both land and naval applications at IDEX and NAVDEX. These will include the HITFACT MkII lightweight, modular turret, which can be configured with either a 105/52 mm rifled gun or a 120/45 mm smoothbore low-recoil-force gun. Also on display will be a selection of guided ammunition, including the 76mm DART, used for engaging fast-moving targets, the VULCANO family for 76mm and 127mm naval guns, and 155mm artillery systems, which can deliver effects at extreme range with surgical precision.
Leonardo is a technological leader in the field of airborne sensors and protection technology and will be showcasing its high-performance OSPREY active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which features ultra-high levels of reliability and attractive cost of ownership. Protective capabilities such as the BriteCloud expendable active decoy and MIYSIS directed infrared counter-measure (DIRCM) will also be on display. These systems are readily exportable to the Middle East region, where MIYSIS has already been ordered.
For land and naval applications, Leonardo has its multi-functional, multi-mission radar family called KRONOS, which can simultaneously and independently perform surveillance and tracking as a result of the AESA technology developed within the company. KRONOS, in its several versions, is well known in the area: for example, integrated on the UAE’s ABU DHABI-class corvettes and the FALAJ 2-class patrol vessels.
At NAVDEX, an interactive display of a ship’s bridge will be on show supported by Leonardo’s innovative ‘naval cockpit’, showing the capabilities of a fully-integrated naval operations and combat system. Additionally, Leonardo’s naval equipment will be present on board the Italian Navy’s ITS CARLO MARGOTTINI, a European Multimission Frigate (FREMM) which is visiting NAVDEX. The vessel is an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) unit and is equipped with systems designed, produced and integrated by Leonardo. In the UAE, more than 20 vessels are equipped with Leonardo naval systems. In the Middle East region, the company also provides refit and upgrade solutions for existing fleets, such as the Royal Bahrain Naval Force’s six AL MANAMA-class vessels, for which new weapon control systems, training services and logistics are being provided.
The company will also be marketing its AW139M, AW149 and AW109M TREKKER military helicopters, designed to perform a wide range of law enforcement, search and rescue, security, utility, and troop transport missions and border and coastal surveillance, day or night, in all conditions. The AW159 multi-role ASW and anti-surface warfare helicopter will be presented at NAVDEX: the helicopter offers significant maritime capabilities and can be operated from small vessels. The NH90 NFH naval helicopter will also be on display aboard the ITS MARGOTTINI.
Leonardo’s helicopters are recognised in the UAE for their high performance, advanced technology and safety. Approximately 90% of the UAE VVIP rotorcraft fleet is made up of the company’s helicopters and more than 100 Leonardo helicopters are currently operating in the UAE in various roles. Across the Middle East region, over 280 of the company’s new-generation helicopters are in service or on order.
Leonardo’s space technologies, security services for major events and critical infrastructure physical and cyber security protection are capabilities that are well known in the UAE. The company seeks to expand its business in the UAE and has already offered solutions for the UAE’s space programmes, security, communication and automation services for transport, as well as integrated and secure
communication networks for the police service and armed forces.