With a highly-skilled workforce of more than 7,000 employees across United States, Leonardo US Holding Inc. and its subsidiaries are heavily focused on providing cutting-edge products and services to every branch of the US military, as well as to a wide range of government agencies.
At the Navy League Sea Air & Space 2023 exposition, which took place at National Harbour in Maryland from the April 3 – 5, Leonardo showcased high technology products and services for a wide range of operational needs in the maritime domain. It is also took the opportunity to highlight its key core competencies and its competitive positioning for US defence requirements.
In the lead up to the exhibition, Thomas D. Smitham, Chief of Leonardo’s US Business Development unit, said: “Leonardo is well-positioned in the United States market and we want to grow significantly here, including continuing to develop our presence in the maritime domain. Our programmes in the domain are already performing strongly and our solutions have the potential to satisfy a range of US requirements.”
Leonardo DRS is the world’s foremost provider of naval propulsion and electrical power conversion technology onboard US Navy vessels, with major systems onboard Columbia-class ballistic submarines and a growing list of international customers. The company’s naval computing systems bring trusted and resilient communications and computational resources to US and allied navies – allowing them to more rapidly share data and improve situational understanding. The company is a leading naval computing integrator for infrastructure, network and data distribution, radar and control systems on all US Navy surface combatants and submarines.
Leonardo, through its manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, is prime contractor for the TH-73A Thrasher helicopter being supplied to the US Department of Defense. The Thrasher will be used to train the next generation of student aviators from the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was declared by the US Navy in January this year.
The US Coast Guard already operates 14 Leonardo HC-27J aircraft for medium-range maritime surveillance. These platforms continue to deliver high performance and reliability across a range of Coast Guard missions. Very recently the US Special Operations Command has awarded Leonardo SpA a contract to design, modify, integrate and install an avionics upgrade package on the C-27J aircraft operated by the Special Forces and Coast Guard.
The M-346 aircraft is Leonardo’s solution to meet the US Navy’s training requirements: both UJTS (Undergraduate Jet Training Systems) and TSA (Tactical Surrogate Aircraft). The M-346 is a proven, integrated training system with a fully operational Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) environment, able to expose student pilots to the most complex and challenging operational scenarios.
As a leading point of reference for international naval forces, Leonardo is currently one of the few companies worldwide to offer a complete range of technologies for naval use, from its Combat Management System (CMS) to kinetic (naval artillery, torpedoes) systems as well as sensors, communications and mission systems. The company’s Athena CMS is recognised as one of the world’s best combat management systems: its MK.2 update is designed to be integrated with a complete range of radar including Kronos Dual Band and Power Shield, as well as with other sensors and weapon systems in the company’s portfolio. Athena stands out for its modularity and flexibility in situational awareness acquisition, interoperability and data recording and analysis.
In the weapons systems domain, in addition to 76/62 and 127/64 – a state of the art in medium and large naval calibres – Leonardo continues to innovate in small calibres, from the Lionfish 12.7 to the Marlin 30 and 40, available in different solutions with their own FCS (Fire Control System).
In the electronic warfare domain, Leonardo exhibited its BriteCloud expendable active decoy for aircraft, a life-saving countermeasure that provides high-tech protection from radar-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. Fired like a flare, BriteCloud contains a powerful miniature jammer that sends out convincing ‘electronic ghost’ signals that seduce incoming missiles towards the decoy as it falls away from the aircraft. As a world-first technology, BriteCloud has been undergoing evaluation for potential service with US Armed Forces. The US Air National Guard (ANG) recently issued a ‘fielding recommendation’ for Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 variant, tested on US F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.
The company also promoted SAGE, a digital ESM / ELINT for RF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. SAGE is suitable for a range of aircraft from tactical UAS and light helicopters to larger reconnaissance and maritime patrol aircraft.
Also on show at Navy League Sea Air & Space 2023 was Leonardo’s Osprey radar system, used by international customers for missions including defence, security, civil protection and environmental monitoring, as well as search and rescue. — l/adj/mgm/mhi (pix: Leonardo)