The Defence Systems Division's products are the heirs of a 100-year old legacy of historic Italian factories that still today design, develop and produce artillery, weapons and torpedoes.
The continuous technological evolution that the Division has consistently applied to these systems over the years, allows Leonardo to offer a highly innovative, technologically advanced portfolio of products and systems able to respond effectively to the new operational land, naval and underwater warfare scenarios.
From 1 January 1 2016, the Defence Systems Division has absorbed the activities of OTO Melara and WASS.
LAND AND NAVAL WEAPON SYSTEMS
The Defence Systems Division is among the largest industrial partners of Armed Forces around the world and is among the global leaders in the design, development and manufacture of small, medium and large calibre (12.7 to 127mm) naval guns that have been successful worldwide, especially the 76mm gun, sold in its various versions, to 58 foreign Navies.
The Division offers a whole range of land artillery ranging from small calibre (7.62 and 12.7 mm) to the larger ones currently on the market (105 and 120mm); the innovative naval and land guided munition (DART ammunition and the Vulcano family); small unmanned land vehicles and aircraft (TRP2 and Horus); and armaments for helicopters and military aircraft (TM197B tower, Pintle Mount and the new Gunship).
In the land defence sector, the Division, through a joint consortium with Iveco, contributes to the design, development and manufacture of new generation tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles (VBM Freccia and Centauro). Following a programme of continuous upgrades, all production is realised with the aim of offering products that allow the uniformity of human-machine interfacing, the same design concepts and, if possible, the same logistics.
The Defence Systems Division also holds a niche position in the field of underwater defence systems: the design, production and integration of heavy and light torpedoes, anti-torpedo countermeasure systems for submarines and surface ships, sonar systems for underwater surveillance. Heavy torpedo construction includes the new generation Black Shark torpedo, designed to counter any type of surface or underwater threat. Further to the A244, of which more than 1,200 units have been sold in their various versions, and the MU90, produced and marketed through the international partnership with Eurotorp, the Division is designing new technologically advanced light torpedoes.
The Division also develops both surface and underwater protection systems for naval platforms that could be subject to potential attacks by torpedoes; furthermore, it is also active in the field of underwater surveillance systems for ports, coastal areas and strategic sites thanks to the experience gained in the field of sonar. Selected and employed by various Navies around the world, the underwater systems produced by the Division are present in over 30 countries
The Defence Systems Division’s research and development is also aimed at the design of robotic systems capable of carrying out surveillance and tactical patrolling. Some UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) products are already a reality: tracked and wheeled vehicles characterised by high mobility, capable of offering excellent performances in terms of load capacity, speed, accuracy, and controllability. Built around a specific modular architecture, these vehicles can be equipped with a wide range of actuators and sensors that enable them to carry out various missions, such as reconnaissance and target acquisition, bomb disposal and contrast functions in the presence of biological, radiological, chemical and nuclear agents.
Currently, the UGV family made by the Division is composed of a complete set of robotic platforms of different weights and sizes (from the smallest TRP 3 - Frog to the largest TRP HD) all in support of the land bound military forces. HORUS is a small robot aircraft that can be fired from a 120mm gun and is capable of providing immediately, effectively and continuously, a streaming video in real time relative to the area of tactical interest, performing patrol functions, search and target acquisition. Thanks to the lengthy experience in the field of remote control of weapons systems, all vehicles can use the same ground control station.
An innovation in the unmanned field is a naval platform, called SWAD (Sea Watch Dog), destined for intelligence and long lasting periods of reconnaissance and surveillance tasks. The SWAD can carry out amphibious and anti-piracy missions, both for the control at distance from the mother ships and to ensure the safety of vessels. Also in the field of underwater systems, the know-how acquired allows the Division to apply their solutions even to the civilian market, in particular areas that relate to the protection of the environment, marine fauna and flora and underwater exploration and research.
An example is the V-Fides project, which thanks to high-energy independence guaranteed by a rechargeable Lithium Polymer rechargeable modular battery, can operate both in remote control or in standalone mode. Both the SWAD and V-Fides have important dual-use characteristics.