BIAS: Leonardo sees Bahrain surveillance success

Among the top ten defence and security companies worldwide, the Italy-headquartered global company Leonardo – with main industrial presence also in the UK, the US, Poland and Germany – is very much in action at this year’s Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS).

Marco Buratti - focus on surveillance radar.

“Leonardo has a history of significant partnerships in Bahrain” said Marco Buratti, Leonardo’s SVP International Marketing & Strategic Campaigns. “We supplied surveillance radars for Bahrain’s Civil Aviation organisation and Royal Bahraini Air Force, which enhance the safety and efficiency of national airspace management.”

Leonardo is back at BIAS with some technologies part of its wide portfolio, which covers from fixed and rotary winged crewed and uncrewed platform, defence electronics for underwater, naval, land and airborne applications, cyber and security solutions and space application.

“Air defence will be one of the focus of our attendance to this edition, with the RAT 31DL three-dimensional surveillance radar and the multi-domain and dual use TMMR (Tactical Multi Mission Radar) sensor, for the detection, classification, and tracking of small- and fast-moving aerial threats, such as mini and micro tactical uncrewed systems,” said Buratti.Leonardo has a very broad experience both in the radar and sensors development and in the uncrewed technology, being the only European company able to deliver a complete uncrewed aerial system, from the platform – fixed and rotary-winged – and sensors to the ground control station and mission system.”

Leonardo is among key players in providing state of the art training for advanced fighter pilots, helicopter pilots, cyber security and naval operators. These includes physical platforms, virtual reality and digital assets and proprietary software, but also training services to be provided to customers’ facility or company’s facilities.

“In the fixed-winged pilot training, Leonardo may count over 2,000 units sold across 40 countries. In BIAS we showcase our solutions centred on the M-345 and M-346 aircraft, by which we and our customers are able to cover the entire training syllabus: the M-345 jet trainer is a next-generation training aircraft that offers the training effectiveness typical of a jet aircraft at costs comparable to those of high-powered turboprop trainers, while the M-346, a jet aircraft for pre-operational training, has operational characteristics similar to those of combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35”, he said.

The M-346 is the main platform at the International Flight Training School (IFTS), a collaboration between Leonardo and the Italian Air Force, which already counts countries such as Qatar, Singapore, Germany and Japan among its customers.

“The IFTS makes use of the "Live Virtual Constructive capability" (LVC), capable of integrating the aircraft in flight, the ground simulators and virtual elements, so as to reproduce the most complex operational scenarios and enhance the effectiveness in training pilots of the new generation,” Buratti said. The M-345 can be also delivered in the light attack version, also capable of performing operational roles, while the operational version of the M-346, called Fighter Attack, was already delivered to the first international customer. It retains all the training features of the trainer and, through the integration of latest generation equipment and sensors such as Leonardo's Grifo, becomes an effective light attack operational aircraft.”

Its offer for national security also includes new generation naval electronics and defence systems, coastal radar for advanced air defence, Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft and multirole helicopters.

“Taking into consideration the latest helicopter models including the AW139, AW169, AW189, NH90 among others – continued Buratti –, over 300 Leonardo helicopters are flying in the region. The AW139 has proven extremely successful in the Middle East with over 150 units in service across the region for the widest scope of missions including corporate transport, emergency medical service, search and rescue, law enforcement, offshore transport, and government duties”, Buratti said.