From February 19 to 23, Leonardo is taking part in IDEX and NAVDEX at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates. Leonardo is exhibiting in the region for the first time under its new, unified brand identity inspired by the renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. However, while the name is new, the company’s history in the UAE dates back to the seventies in the fields of military pilot training and defense systems.
Today, the Emirati Armed Forces continue to make use of Leonardo’s advanced technologies, which contribute to the security of the country. The UAE has chosen the MB.339 trainer jet for their national aerobatic team Al Fursan (photo), with Emirati pilots were trained in Italy, using Leonardo aircraft and teaching systems, and the UAE has since selected the company’s M-346 trainer.
Leonardo has also provided integrated naval systems for combat management, naval radars, fire control systems, missile electronics, and military radios and is currently working on supplying and integrating combat management systems for naval programs including Ghannatha, Baynunah, Falaj 2 and Abu Dhabi-class corvettes.
The Middle East is a strategic market for Leonardo and its countries are looking long-term partners for the development of innovative security technology. This approach is behind the recent contract to supply the Eurofighter Typhoon to Kuwait, the largest contract ever taken by the company, as well as the choice of Leonardo to supply a system for the surveillance of Qatar’s airspace.
Qatar has also selected the company to deliver and integrate combat systems on-board seven new vessels for their Naval Forces. Leonardo has also had notable success in the region providing helicopters, with 230 of the company’s AgustaWestland aircraft having been ordered by various Middle Eastern customers.
Some of these technologies are featured on Leonardo’s stands at IDEX and NAVDEX, with some on display for the first time in the region, such as a scale model of a multi-role ship bridge and the innovative ‘naval cockpit’.
Also in the naval domain, Leonardo is exhibiting its DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time-of-flight) guided ammunition, and highlighting technologies that it is supplying for Italy’s new fleet of PPA (Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship) vessels.
In the avionics, Leonardo is also promoting its Miysis DIRCM (Directed Infrared Countermeasure), an advanced protective measure for aircraft against heat-seeking missiles, fully exportable to the Middle East. Also in the electronics, Leonardo will be marketing its advanced technologies including AESA surveillance radars Seaspray and PicoSAR and a family of Unmanned Aerial Systems called Falco. For land forces, visitors will be able to find out about the latest technology for secure communications including handheld software-defined radios.
In the aeronautics field, the exhibition is a key opportunity for Leonardo to draw attention to the new M-345, a basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft also answering to multi-role requirements. Leonardo is also highlighting the new version of its M-346, called the Fighter Trainer (FT).
In the helicopter sector, Leonardo is exhibiting its range of products for civil and military applications, including the AW101 medium-lift helicopter in combat, search and rescue (CSAR) configuration, the AW159 for naval operations and a full-scale mock-up of a VIP-configured cabin for the AW609 tiltrotor.
In Space, Leonardo provides technologies for observation programs such as KhalifaSat Earth, in collaboration with the Mohammed-bin-Rashid Space Centre in Dubai and Falcon Eye (through the joint venture Thales Alenia Space - Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) as well as satellite services through Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%). Telespazio, which has a major role in the European Galileo satellite navigation system, recently signed an agreement with UAE Space Company Yahsat, which will see the two companies cooperate in the fields of satellite navigation, telecommunications and geo-information.
Finally, Leonardo is offering its advanced knowledge in the management of new challenges related to cyber security and the protection of major events.