Airborne & Space Systems
The Airborne & Space Systems Division designs, develops and produces a wide range of products and solutions for aircraft platforms that include integrated mission systems, airborne radars and sensors, electronic warfare systems, on-board avionics, aerial target systems and simulation systems. The Division also develops and produces Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) which are also offered through full life-cycle service contracts. The Division's offer is completed by space systems that, in addition to the sensors and mission payloads, include advanced robotic systems.
The Division provides the customer with solutions for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and recognition ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), based on integrated and agnostic architectures, i.e., capable of operating on any platform and with any on-board equipment to ensure a constant situational awareness at the tactical level and interoperability with any other operational environment.
From 1 January 2016, the Airborne & Space Systems Division has absorbed part of the activities of Selex ES.
AVIONICS AND COMMUNICATIONS
European leader for over 40 years in the military avionics industry, the Division produces and integrates systems for Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI), as well as developing technologies of man-machine interface for use on fixed and rotary wing platforms.
The offer includes a wide range of avionic equipment. All the systems provide scalable and modular operating solutions. The offer is completed by control panels and displays, produced by the subsidiary Sirio Panel. The avionic capabilities are also available for the commercial aircraft industry.
AIRBORNE RADARS AND SENSORS
Airborne radars are among the leading products of the Division that develops and manufactures them for both surveillance and for fire control.
In the field of airborne radars, advanced surveillance features are guaranteed by the range of multimode Seaspray radars, based on AESA technology (Active Electronically Scanned Array) and by the range of Gabbiano radars family which relies on an advanced mechanically scanning array antenna. Remarkably effective in all weather conditions for land, sea and coastal monitoring, the divisional radars are highly flexible and modular and can be integrated in both fixed and rotary wing piloted aircraft, and in remotely piloted ones. The Picosar radar, a compact and lightweight AESA-based technology system, can offer the necessary capability for ground mapping and guarantee high resolution images.
The range of fire control radar systems of the Division includes traditional mechanical scanning radar, such as the Grifo, which exceeded 400 units sold throughout the world, and those of new generation scanning electron beam, created with AESA technology which includes the Captor-E, the new radar for the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Division is also the supplier of more than 60% of on-board avionics of the European fighter aircraft.
Thanks to the consolidated competencies in electro-optical and infrared technologies for which the Division boasts a global leadership in the sector with innovative and cost-effective solutions. Long range systems for search and track such as the IRST (Infra-red Search and Track) that has been in production for over 40 years and which equips the Eurofighter Typhoon, and rangefinders and laser pointers are designed to reinforce each aerial platform, providing pilots with a complete operating scenario and the ability to accurately locate and identify targets.
Advanced technologies are used to develop and produce electronic countermeasures and self-protection. The product lines include the DAS (Defensive Aid Systems) designed for use in operational situations featuring many different threats and a wide range of active and passive electronic warfare devices.
REMOTELY PILOTED AERIAL SYSTEMS
The Division is a unique player in Europe to provide unmanned solutions for complete tactical ISTAR use: from the platform to sensors, from mission systems to training and ground control.
The Falco represents the top-of-the-range system of the offer. The unmanned platform, used by five different international customers including the UN to monitor the territory, guarantees an airborne permanence for up to 14 hours and is capable of transmitting data to a range of up to 200 kilometres.
Thanks to radar integrated into Falco, mainly Gabbiano and Picosar, the system is able to ensure missions related to surveillance, security, monitoring of the territory and borders, as well as those for the prevention of environmental risks in case of natural disasters.
A further contribution to monitoring and surveillance requirements is provided by the Division through mission systems that contribute to a complete situational awareness.
These systems combine data and images collected by different sensors, linking them with the flight data and digital maps to detect, locate, classify and track maritime and land targets, as in the case of the airborne mission system ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) for piloted platforms.
The system equips 12 different types of aircrafts, including the ATR42/72, Beechcraft350 and Dash 8. The same operational features are provided for unmanned platforms for which the Division developed the skyISTAR mission management system that includes a ground station and a system installed on-board unmanned aircraft allowing for an effective control and surveillance of widespread or targeted areas. SkyISTAR is in use with the unmanned Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH aircraft.
The Division’s offer is completed with the design and development of simulators and mission trainers that help instruct operators in environments that replicate the most complex and demanding aerial threats.
The Airborne & Space Systems Division is among the leading European and international operators in the space industry, thanks to its wide range of instruments, subsystems, sensors and high-tech products for Earth observation, planetary exploration, navigation and telecommunication missions.
With the first equipment provided in the Sixties, the Division holds a primary position in the space market. Since then, it has designed and produced qualified instrumentation for space activities implementing optical systems, star trackers, radio frequency devices, photovoltaic assembly, distribution and power control systems and robotic devices.
At present, the products are used on-board the most important European space missions such as Rosetta, ExoMars, Galileo, Copernicus, COSMO-SkyMed, METOP, MeteoSat Third Generation, within other European Space Agency and NASA missions as well as for other international customers.