Leonardo, one of the top ten global players in Aerospace, Defense and Security and Italy’s main industrial company in this sector, will market its counter-drone capabilities for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, at the International Defense Exhibition, IDEX, 2019, with a view towards addressing security opportunities in the region.
“Leonardo has significant experience in the homeland security, including providing physical and cyber protection for critical infrastructures to border control, major event security and supporting police forces with communications, transport and analysis tools,” Lorenzo Mariani, Leonardo Chief Commercial Officer, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, ahead of the region’s premier security event starting Sunday.
“Leonardo’s latest technologies featured every edition of IDEX since it was established in 1993. At this year’s event, we will be exhibiting an exciting slice of Leonardo’s broad portfolio which ranges from military training platforms such as aircraft and helicopters as well as naval and cyber security capabilities to avionics and space sensors, advanced naval defense technologies, target drones and more. Most notably, for the first time in MENA and outside Europe, we will present our Counter Unmanned Aerial System, C-UAS, technology which we think will be a game-changer for airspace security in the UAE.”
Commenting on the news related to the temporary closure of a runway at Heathrow airport in early January, Leonardo indicated that one of its counter-drone systems was used by the RAF to confirm the absence of drones so that air operations could continue unhindered. This ‘Falcon Shield’ counter-drone system – manufactured by Leonardo – was also taken to Gatwick, where it was deployed and operated by the RAF in December 2018, when a drone alarm caused the stoppage of flights for 33 hours, costing airlines an estimated $64.5 million (source Forbes).
“The Italian Armed Forces also use Leonardo’s Integrated Counter-UAS solutions, drawing upon the company’s capabilities in sensors, communications and systems integration, in particular our expertise in radar, Electro-Optics, EO, and Electronic Warfare, EW,” said Mariani.
“Based on an ‘open systems’ architecture, our C-UAS systems allow for the selection and integration of an appropriate sensor and effect or mix for the specific scenario, operator and phase of engagement. These capabilities are also available to be quickly and easily deployed in a civilian context, to protect not just airports but also major events, for instance like Expo Dubai 2020.”
In 2017, Leonardo announced the partnership with the UAE-based MVP Group (a leading security systems integrator) to provide integrated cyber security solutions in UAE. The two companies have agreed to offer customized services including risk management, analysis and prevention and systems design, implementation and certification, aiming to market joint offers at Emirati enterprises of all sizes and in all sectors, including to governmental organisations.
“We partnered with MVP also to submit a joint offer for the main Security Control Room for Dubai Expo 2020, the hub where information will be collected and monitored by Police and emergency services. We’ll also be bidding to provide critical infrastructure and physical security systems and sensors,” Mariani revealed to WAM.
Leonardo also has extensive experience in providing physical and cyber security for critical infrastructure and major events such as Expos or Olympic Games.
“In 2015, Leonardo was the Official Global Partner for the Milan Expo, providing the Main Operations Center and more than 20 local operations centers for the expo’s Clusters and Pavilions, including the UAE’s, as well as around 15 operations centers for the service areas. We also provided over 300 TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) communications terminals and more than 700 cameras around the perimeter, in the main thoroughfares and in the Pavilions.”
“We see huge potential for our business in the UAE, and we are the right partner to bet on,” concluded Mariani.