Bagota, Colombia. 30 November 2021. Leonardo is attending EXPODEFENSA, one of the main defence and security exhibitions in Bagota, Columbia, Latin America. The company is presenting innovative products and technologies developed to support the needs of governmental, armed forces and private customers in the region. Drawing on its substantial presence in South America, Leonardo is highlighting solutions in the aeronautics, electronics, helicopters and space sectors which can strengthen safety and support economic growth in the region.
Latin America, where many countries are looking to equip themselves with technology that can boost safety and civil protection efforts, is a strategic market for Leonardo. The company has an established presence in many countries in the region with around 400 Leonardo helicopters operating today and 70 naval systems in use, as well as aircraft, primary and secondary radars for air traffic control and space solutions.
A key exhibit at Leonardo’s stand at EXPODEFENSA is M-346 Fighter Attack (FA) aircraft. Already delivered to its first international customer, the M-346 FA is designed to carry out a wide range of missions at lower cost than front-line fighters. With features including Leonardo’s integrated Grifo M-346 multi-mode fire control radar, the M-346FA can be employed as a tactical aircraft while maintaining its advanced trainer characteristics. Its multirole nature represents an ideal solution for the needs of many armed forces in the region.
Also on show is the C-27J Spartan multi-mission aircraft. The aircraft has already been chosen in the region by the air forces of Mexico and Peru, where the aircraft is performing strongly thanks to its ability to land on dirt and semi-prepared runways. The C-27J is considered a real asset in boosting social inclusion as it can reach the populations of remote areas. Already recognized as the most effective multi-role military transport aircraft in its class, the C-27J Next Generation adds new avionics and aerodynamic elements that deliver greater operational efficiency and improved performance. With operational experience accumulated across geographical regions by a variety of users, the Spartan is employed in a wide range of challenging operational contexts from the altitudes of the Andes to Afghanistan. Its missions include military transport, paratroopers and materials, support troop tactics, special forces operations, humanitarian assistance and delivering support in the event of an environmental disaster.
Alongside its tactical aircraft, Leonardo is exhibiting the ATR-72MP (Maritime Patrol), which combines the reliability and low operating costs of the ATR 72-600 passenger aircraft with a state-of-the-art mission system. The ATR 72MP is equipped with Leonardo’s ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) system which manages all of the aircraft’s on-board sensors, combining the information received in real time into an overall tactical situation. This modular avionics system, which can also be integrated on-board other fixed-wing, rotary wing and uncrewed aircraft, is highly effective for border surveillance, from monitoring traffic corridors, fisheries protection and search and rescue (SAR) operations to fighting smuggling and patrolling exclusive economic zones. To date, over 60 ATOS systems have been installed worldwide on 10 different aircraft types.
Leonardo’s portfolio of surveillance solutions includes tactical ground communications, radars for air traffic control (ATC) and defence, C-UAS systems to combat hostile drones (even those not easily detected by conventional air surveillance equipment) and uncrewed systems. EXPODEFENSA will provide Leonardo with a chance to highlight the innovative features of its FALCO EVO, an uncrewed ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) system. The drone is capable of flying for over 20 consecutive hours while carrying up to 100 kg of payload, including electro-optical sensors, radar and communication systems. Its endurance, connectivity and ability to carry multiple sensors make it an effective solution for monitoring large portions of land and sea.
As a strategic partner of the Italian Navy, Leonardo is a reference supplier for naval forces around the world. Eight navies in the Latin American region have chosen the company’s defence systems to protect their vessels, including for their latest-generation ships. On display in Bogotà will be Leonardo’s guided DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of flight) ammunition, effective against manoeuvring missiles and small targets, as well as its Vulcano 76mm ammunition, which has a range of more than 40 km. In addition to weapon systems, Leonardo’s naval portfolio includes command and control, radar, underwater, optronic and maritime communications systems, including tactical links. The company can provide state-of-the-art solutions for combat management, such as its Combat Management System, which can integrate and coordinate information from sensors in real time, providing full maritime situational awareness to the crew.
Leonardo also offers SEonSE (Smart Eyes on the SEas), a geospatial platform for maritime safety created by e-GEOS (a joint venture between Telespazio (80%) and the Italian Space Agency (20%)). Employing cloud computing and big data analysis models, SEonSE allows users to access real-time, personalised information on what is happening at sea, even from a tablet or smartphone. The solution, which integrates data from multiple sources, enables dual-use services for maritime security and surveillance, control of illicit trafficking, environmental monitoring and the fight against piracy. The platform processes information acquired from satellites and coastal radars and uses proprietary algorithms to merge that data with position information from boats (AIS, VMS, LRIT), naval registers and various databases, as well as meteorological and oceanographic data. Also present is the e-GEOS braINT platform which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to provide intelligence analysis based on data drawn from a range of sources including drones and satellites.
At EXPODEFENSA Leonardo is also highlighting its AW139 helicopter, the VVIP configuration of which has been chosen in Colombia as the personal transport for the President of the Republic. This helicopter has also been chosen by customers in Columbia for civil transport operations in support of the oil and gas industry, with five helicopters entering service with the operator Helistar in recent years. Having secured orders for over 1,200 units from more than 290 customers in over 70 countries, the AW139 is a market leader for multiple roles including offshore transport, search and rescue, land security, firefighting, VIP / passenger transport and military duties. Leonardo has a presence in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru and intends to further expand and strengthen its presence in Latin America.