C-27J, Training Systems, Helicopters and Space Systems
Leonardo is using LAAD 2019 in Rio de Janeiro this week to emphasise just how wide its product and solutions range is and to ensure visitors and delegations recognise how much the company has to offer the region.
According to Placido De Malo, president of Leonardo do Brasil, the main focus is on the C-27J SPARTAN, a tactical transport already in service in Peru and Mexico, where they have already been used in humanitarian relief operations. He highlighted the robust nature of the aircraft and its capacity to operate from unprepared airstrips and in ‘hot and high’ conditions, while carrying a significant payload. There are several potential customers in the region seeking tactical aircraft of this size, he confirmed.
He also highlighted the M346 advanced training aircraft which, in its FA variant, offers operators a flexible platform capable of conducting light attack missions in addition to its training role. The aircraft is simple and robust yet provides a state-of-the-art training system, from advanced jet training to operational conversion, providing levels of realism very close to actual combat situations while making it possible to conduct a variety of combat missions more cost-effectively than using comparable airframes.
The M345 is also a company focus for the Latin American market. Considered as the successor of the MB-326 and -339, but now including a ground-based training system, in similar fashion to the M346 but based on a smaller aircraft, with the same life-cycle costs as a turboprop but with the performance of a jet.
One of the most interesting projects for Latin American forces is the AW249 scout and light attack helicopter, currently under development for the Italian Army to replace the A129. Both the army and the manufacturer are open to adding other potential customers and have expressed a willingness to consider technology transfer, according to the company. to include their requirements and also for technology transfer.
In the electronics arena, Leonardo aims not simply to integrate the system with the customer’s equipment, but to adapt it to their specific needs, thus establishing long-term relationships. This is also the case in space systems, including satellites and components, for which De Malo highlighted the agreement between the Argentine and Italian space organisations for the use of the Leonardo COSMOS and Invap SAOCOM satellite systems, resulting in increased coverage and more types of information derived, since the systems are complementary.