At a ceremony on Friday 14 September 2018, Air Marshal Philip Osborn, the UK’s Chief of Defense Intelligence, officially opened a brand new training facility where defense and security company Leonardo will educate the technical specialists within the Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) domain.
Leonardo, who has invested more than £2M in the new Lincoln facility, is responding to the growing market demand for training in the skills needed to operate in today’s electronics-driven battlespace. The new facility more than triples the Company’s training capacity in Lincoln to allow 150 students to train at any one time.
Leonardo has had a base in Lincoln since 2009, training and supporting UK Armed Forces based at the nearby Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington as well as visiting delegates from allied nations. Training at the new Leonardo Academy facility will initially be an extension of existing activities, focusing on ‘electronic warfare’. This is the term used to describe when parts of the invisible electro-magnetic spectrum, such as radio waves, are used in combat. For example, the Academy will train UK MoD personnel to protect platforms against the high-tech threat radar systems that they may face in operational theatres such as Syria. The Academy will deliver a range of domain knowledge modules that provides users with a structured course of education from overview to expert across the CEMA environment, some of which will form part of a Master of Science (MSc) program.
In addition to UK Forces, the Leonardo Academy in Lincoln is already under contract to host delegates from international allies including Brazil and South Korea, exporting the Company’s expertise around the world. Around 70% of training delivered is expected to be to international customers, boosting Leonardo’s exports from the UK.
Leonardo is well equipped to deliver this training because it employs the UK’s most established community of experts in CEMA and is one of the main suppliers of such technology to the UK Armed Forces. For example, the Company provides more than 60% of the avionics on-board the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft operated by the RAF and its allies and also provides the protective equipment and support for the UK’s helicopter fleet, including for the Wildcat, Merlin, Chinook, Puma and Apache helicopters operated by the Army and Navy. Because Leonardo designs and manufactures the equipment, it can not only teach about current equipment and current threats, but also trends in technology and the future of the domain, keeping students at the forefront of future capability.
The Leonardo Academy in Lincoln is part of Leonardo’s wider provision of training services throughout the UK and internationally. As the UK’s only end-to-end designer and manufacturer of helicopters, Leonardo is able to offer a comprehensive range of helicopter training for pilots and support crew at the Leonardo Academy in Yeovil. In addition, as NATO's cyber defense mission partner, Leonardo is able to offer cyber-security training at its Academy in Bristol.
Leonardo also recently announced its entry into the fighter pilot training service business via a new collaboration with the Italian Air Force to establish an “International Flight Training School” (IFTS) in Italy. The IFTS will support the training of international pilots learning to fly the latest-generation combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35.