Leonardo: a global high-tech player promoting advanced capabilities for Chile

The opening of its Santiago office underlines Chile as fundamental for Leonardo’s strategy in the Latin America area, an attractive and sustainable-growth market.

Leonardo company Chile
Fuerza Aérea del Perú C-27J Spartan.

Leonardo’s industrial capabilities, longstanding expertise and strong commitment to innovation and customers, make the Company one of the top ten players in the world in Aerospace, Defence and Security. Partner of choice for governments, institutions and Armed Forces, as well as for private customers and entities, Leonardo delivers to its customers products and integrated solutions based on cutting-edge technologies with dual-use applications, that strengthen the global security of any country and support and protect their people, while also supporting private business. 

And, speaking about “dual-use, this is an aspect where COVID-19 pandemic emergency dramatically highlighted governments’ need for reliable and flexible assets, able to redirect capabilities in support of the Country and operate in “disaster relief” situations. Not by chance the Italian Government considers Leonardo a “strategic company” whose continued operations are key to face the pandemic emergency. Leonardo’s efforts have supported the population, with its helicopters and aircraft flying continuously transferring materials and medical teams in the most hit areas, performing MEDEVAC operations even in bio-containment mode. Its cybersecurity technologies helped public as well as private entities to protect their data and communications in a particularly dangerous situation as well as securing several businesses and sectors helping them to carrying on their operations and working activities remotely.

Leonardo has a longstanding presence in Chile with a range of products and services in the government and civil domains. One of the main Company’s offices in Latin America has been opened in Chile in 2018, taking into account the importance of the nation and the many requirements Leonardo has been able to meet so far and wants to sustain serving its customers while pursuing new opportunities, including industrial partnerships. Furthermore, under the ongoing Covid-19 emergency, Leonardo products in Chile like Carabineros’ helicopters have been used to support patients transport across the nation.

Francesco Moliterni, SVP Marketing and Sales, LATAM of Leonardo said: “Chile shows a highly diversified range of needs in the aerospace and defence sector and considers industrial partnering opportunities key to maximize the benefits from economic investments in these areas. We believe therefore that the integrated products and services capabilities in all main aerospace, defence and security domains of Leonardo perfectly match this national attitude. This is why we’re open to much more than merely deliver our solutions, and we’re ready for stable and long-term collaborations to support the further development of national economy. On the Chilean naval multirole training helicopter programme (designated ‘Gaviota’) contract award not embracing the relevant Leonardo’s offer, Moliterni went on to say “In Chile as well as in the global market we may or may not be selected as a preferred bidder for specific requirements, which is perfectly normal in a competitive environment. There’s much our products have done in the country in years with full customer satisfaction and we’re proud of our Chilean customers’ confidence in our solutions. We look forward to continuing and further expanding our contribution to Chile in the aerospace, defence and security sectors in the future for several other requirements.”

Over 20 Leonardo helicopters of various models are flying in Chile today including the AW119, AW109, AW139, Sokol types carrying out a range of missions including law enforcement, medevac, rescue, disaster relief, firefighting and passenger transport. These are supported onsite by service centers ensuring mission effectiveness and safety. High performance and safety standards have been some of the key factors leading national operators to choose Leonardo products. Key customers include, among others, the Carabineros who may further expand their fleet in the future to enhance their security, surveillance and public service capabilities across the country.

The AW109 Trekker is ideally positioned to offer high performance, roomy cabin, advanced avionics and highly competitive price. Furthermore, the Air Force has a requirement for up to 2 medium/heavy helicopter to support Antarctic operations. The Leonardo AW101 is the perfect fit for the task: it is the most advanced helicopter in its category for maritime operations in demanding environmental and weather conditions. AW101s have been saving lives for years in extreme/low temperature conditions having been chosen in Canada, Denmark, UK and Norway while they have also already been supporting Antarctic operations operated by the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force in a customized configuration designated CH-101.

In the space domain, furthermore, Leonardo through e-Geos (Joint venture between its subsidiary Telespazio 80% and Italian Space Agency ASI 20%) recently developed “Geo Covid-19”, a new platform able to provide solutions able to trace and several impacts of Covid-19. Through the analysis and processing of data received from satellite images from the COSMO-SkyMed constellation (owned by the Italian Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense) and other technologies, e-GEOS is able to obtain useful information regarding, for example the economic impact due to the distancing limits imposed by the coronavirus. The service not only helps to monitor areas where crowd gatherings could occur, but allows also to analyze impacts on spots significant for the economy such as ports, borders or industrial sites.

Leonardo has been a long-established partner to military and paramilitary operators in Chile for many years. Armada de Chile is one of the strategic partners with a range of systems including, among others, Black Shark torpedoes, a concrete perspective for further testimony to the important collaboration in the country, as well as the 76mm cannons.

Leonardo is also supporting the Army (Ejercito) to identify the best solution for a lifecycle extension programme of the M109 and the Blanco communication system used by III División de Montaña.

With the intention to further strengthen its strategic partnering role in the country Leonardo has already opened talks with several industrial players locally to support the lifecycle of the 76mm cannons installed onto the Navy’s vessels and for the modernization of the FuerzaAérea. The Company is then a higly effective candidate for supplying solutions for the Public Security: integrated platforms for communication security and territory monitoring in the frames of “Carabineiros Trunking” and “Sicote Like” tenders.

While most of the land, naval and electronics programmes are potentially subject to upgrade or to move to the next generation of systems, in the aircraft sector Leonardo sees, among others, significant opportunities for the C-27J Spartan tactical transport airplane.

Multiple capabilities and performance characteristics have made the Spartan the perfect aircraft for LATAM operational scenario, operating in hot Equatorial conditions as well as in the Antarctic environments, and from the high altitudes of the cordillera of the Andes to short unpaved runways in the forests or in the remote rural areas. Already operated by Peru and Mexico, C-27J Spartan could be for Chile an impressive force multiplier, really effective also in Firefighting, and the only aircraft of its class with mission range to fly the route and back from Chile coast to Easter Island without refueling. An already stable monitoring of potential industrial cooperation exists between Leonardo and ENAER able to promptly establish the most extensive industrial synergy, should an interest for Leonardo’s programs flourish in the near future.

The dual-role M-345 moreover, recently certified new generation basic advanced trainer and in development also in its light attack version, is introducing a new concept of cost-effectiveness, “jet aircraft at cost of a high performance turboprop trainer”, and could represent an optimal field of industrial cooperation in satisfying the requirements of Chilean Armed Forces, highly beneficial for Chilean aerospace industry in terms of technology level.

Italian Country system, its national institutions, armed forces, defence industry are ideally positioned to make the best integrated offer for Chile’s defence development. And Leonardo represents a unique and effective partner for the satisfaction of a wide range of Nation’s needs, providing the best and most cost/effective technologies, operational flexibility of the defence system, return on the investments, and – last but not least - opportunities of industrial cooperation. The opening of Leonardo’s Office in Santiago shows the Company’s commitment to have a representative office connecting directly the Company strategy with Chilean stakeholders to understand the evolution of Nation’s needs and develop the potential of industrial synergies. A new and reinforced relationship with Chile starts and a new chapter of a long lasting story is beginning to get on paper.

Source, Images: Leonardo

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