Leonardo at FIA 2022
The Aerospace, Defence & Security (AD&S) sector is currently undergoing a structural transformation with increasingly complex security risks and hybrid operational scenarios forcing a redefinition of traditional technology platforms and the adoption of new emerging digital technologies.
Digitalisation is sweeping across all industries, bringing far-reaching implications to the AD&S sector. Leonardo's approach towards digitalisation is based on the synergy between skills and infrastructure; the HPC davinci-1 is the backbone of the activities of the 11 Leonardo Labs, hubs dedicated to the research and development of leading edge and breakthrough technologies. They are supported by an investment strategy focused on those technologies which are transforming the world of manufacturing and beyond.
HPC, Cloud, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are among the main enabling technologies that Leonardo is implementing for the digital transformation of its production systems, with data the key to increasing efficiency, reducing development costs and offering end-users new secure, game changing services.
Through the increasing use of Digital Twin technology – using data from the real world and data produced by simulating operative scenarios in all domains to model the behaviour of products – Leonardo is transforming the way it develops its products. Improvements are all being achieved across the product lifecycle, from initial design, through maintenance, waste reduction and material minimisation, bringing benefits that the company can share with its customers.
Leonardo’s Pavilion at the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow will showcase this digital transformation, featuring an exhibition hall that is the manifestation of the following thematic areas, and delivering visitors into immersive experience of the company’s vision.
To create the conditions to trigger and drive innovation, the aerospace industry must be dynamic and flexible, in order to evolve its approach to research and development, production processes, its working methods, and its relationship with its partners. To this end, Leonardo is taking a leading role in major international programmes and investing in ideas and resources that contribute to the technological advancement of national and international ecosystems.
Strategic aerospace technology
Digitalisation is the key factor in transforming the defence world, traditionally an early adopter of new technologies. It is an enabler of multi-domain integration – championing new domains (space, cyber) to develop solutions that guarantee the interoperability of systems and protect against asymmetric threats. This is an opportunity that Leonardo pursues through peer-to-peer partnerships.
A clear example is the Future Generation Combat Air System, Tempest is where Leonardo is leading the development of sixth generation sensor capability. This approach will provide a level of data processing with a speed and accuracy that has never before been achieved, capturing a much more holistic picture for the pilot ahead of their adversaries.
Joint all domain integration
Governments, institutions, armed forces and civil operators in the aeronautic, electronics, helicopter, cyber & security and space sectors rely on technologies focused on multi-domain interoperability. In ISTAR missions, platforms and sensors collect a huge amount of data that must be processed, analysed and then synchronised with all the systems in the operative scenario. Leonardo is leading the challenge to provide information advantage to all operators.
Integrated virtual environments
The capabilities offered by digital technologies find innovative fields of application in pilot education and training solutions. Flight simulators increasingly project a new dimension of virtual and augmented reality, Company Internal that are secure by design. Leonardo's Integrated Training System offers state-of-the-art in-flight and on the ground simulation systems. The advantages created by an optimised use of sensors and data also enables design and testing phases to be carried out digitally and generate predictive maintenance, even remotely.
Urban and regional transportation is rapidly changing, taking on a sustainability perspective that the aviation industry is looking to achieve in order to meet the needs of the next generation of passengers. Decarbonisation, congested airspace, smart mobility, platform and infrastructure safety are becoming more and more relevant. Leonardo is at the forefront, thanks to an intrinsic understanding of the core technologies in vertical flight – from the largest and most modern product range of helicopters suitable for all missions including unmanned systems, up to the AW609, the world's first tiltrotor aircraft to obtain civil certification, and the development of a new generation of light helicopters with hybrid/electric propulsion.
People and sustainability
Underpinning it all are the people that make up Leonardo.
Highly specialised skills and knowledge are crucial in driving business transformation, together with a long-term vision capable of combining development and sustainability. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030, along with an ongoing commitment to social values, Leonardo continues to invest in the development of its people and the prosperity of its local communities. The company adopts a data-driven approach to sustainability, equal opportunities, reducing economic inequality, combating climate change, post-pandemic recovery and wellbeing.
The UK requirement for a New Medium Helicopter is an excellent demonstration of social value in action. Leonardo is putting forward the AW149 that perfectly meets the capability requirement and has social value as a cornerstone of its programme. This will see Leonardo:
- Building the aircraft in Yeovil – further increasing our investment in the area, jobs and skills
- Employing a truly national supply chain from southwest England to Scotland
- Demonstrating the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)