Leonardo’s Aircraft Division is engaged in the design, development, production, logistics support for trainer aircraft, and the relevant integrated systems for crew (air and ground operators) training, military and tactical transport aircraft, special missions multi-role aircraft, regional twin-engine turboprop aircraft, unmanned systems and moreover the manufacturing of nacelles.
From 1 January 1 2016, the Aircraft Division has absorbed part of the activities of Alenia Aermacchi.
INTEGRATED TRAINING SYSTEMS
As world leader in the training sector, the Aircraft Division designs, develops and produces a range of aircraft that cover the entire pilot training syllabus, from basic training on the new M-345 into the basic-advanced phase with the M-346. This unique range allows the training syllabus to be tailored to the requirements of pilots assigned to flying with any Air Force.
A complete Ground Based Training System (GBTS), perfectly integrated with the platforms and able to ensure both high quality training and strong operating efficiency, complements the aerial platforms. Platforms and systems offers customers worldwide a "turnkey" training solution that can guarantee the highest quality standards at every training stage.
TACTICAL TRANSPORT AND SPECIAL MISSIONS
An industrial presence established in the field of defence aircraft, has enabled the Aircraft Division to produce increasingly advanced products, leader in their class, such as the tactical airlifter C-27J with its special mission variants including the latest MC-27J , the SAR variant and the ATR 42/72 MP (Maritime Patrol).
The Division has more than half a century of experience in the field of tactical airlifters, with multi-mission platforms that combine operational flexibility with the strength needed to accomplish military missions. No aircraft originating from projects and civil criteria can offer the same features as the C-27J Spartan, a multi-mission aircraft for roles covering battlefield support, cargo and troop transport, humanitarian and civil protection roles, surveillance, patrol, rescue and support for Special Forces. All versions have the ability to operate from short, unpaved runways and in difficult environmental conditions. The Division offers a wide range of supporting services and training for the C-27J, including simulators.
The MC-27J Praetorian is the multi-mission version, capable of carrying out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and tactical support for Special Forces, covering a wide range of specific tasks without sacrificing its tactical transport capabilities, thanks to roll-on, roll-off pallets for the mission that allow boarding and disembarking from the plane in a few hours. All sensors, communications and weapons systems are off-the-shelf, thus reducing risks and development costs.
For many years, aircraft equipped with systems for special missions, have been part of the Division’s portfolio, dedicated to surveillance, maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. In particular, the ATR 42/72 MP (Maritime Patrol) are highly cost-effective, obtained through combining the ATR 42 and 72 family platform with the ATOS operating system, made by the Airborne & Space Systems Division, and a wide range of specific sensors for maritime patrol missions.
In the international sector, having participated since the Seventies in the main European military and civilian aircraft programmes has certainly helped build a wealth of technology and expertise of great value. It is a tradition that includes aircraft such as the Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon, two-nation programmes such as the AMX and, more recently, the nEUROn - the European technology demonstrator for an unmanned aircraft - and the US F-35 Lightning II programme, in which the Division manages a final assembly line and builds complete wing sections.
The Eurofighter Typhoon the most advanced multi-role fighter available on the global market today (produced in collaboration with BAE Systems and Airbus Group), is a collaboration between Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. The Company holds a 36% share of the programme’s value if including avionics and systems. The final assembly line of the Italian Air Force Eurofighters and those exported by the Division are based at the Caselle site (Turin). In addition to the four partner countries that have so far ordered 472 units, international customers include Saudi Arabia, Austria, Oman and Kuwait, bringing to 599 the total number of Eurofighter Typhoon ordered.
The Italian Navy and Air Force selected the F-35 programme to modernise its tactical lines; the Division runs the Final Assembly and Check-Out facility in Cameri (Novara), from which the Italian aircraft and part of those ordered by The Netherlands will be assembled. In a second stage, Cameri will become the support centre for the F-35s based in Europe and the Mediterranean.
With over 1,500 aircraft sold and more than 200 operators in nearly 100 countries worldwide, the ATR family (developed by a joint partnership with Airbus Group) is the most successful in the global market for regional twin-engine turboprop aircraft.
The latest version in production, known as the -600 series, features digital avionics, new, comfortable interiors, and reduced operational costs. The aircraft is now available in the 50-seat version (ATR 42) and 70-seat version (ATR 72).
The Division also plays an important role in the nEUROn programme, where Italy is the second largest participant in the project, with a 22% share. Our Company, in particular, is the national prime contractor, responsible for the automated weapon bay, electrical systems and subsystems.
In the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) sector, the Aircraft Division has developed expertise and technology through the implementation of its technology demonstrators, such as the Sky-X and Sky-Y.
Through the latter, the Division participates in national (SMAT) and European (such as MIDCAS) research programmes, where the Sky-Y is used as a flight demonstrator of the Sense & Avoid automatic separation system, through which unmanned aircraft may fly in the non-segregated airspaces together with piloted aircraft.
For many years, the Aircraft Division has been a major manufacturer of nacelles for the major Airbus and Boeing airliners; the Embraer, the Sukhoi Superjet 100,the ARJ regional aircraft and the Dassault Falcon business jets.