Finmeccanica at the Dubai Airshow 2009: high-tech partnership with the UAE aeronautics and defence industry

Published November 16th, 2009 - 03:31 GMT

Finmeccanica will take part at the Dubai Airshow to be held from 15 to 19 November. The Italian group, world leader in the aeronautics sector, will be present through its companies Alenia Aeronautica (aircraft, aerostructures), Alenia Aermacchi (trainer aircraft), AgustaWestland (helicopters), SELEX Communications (secure communications solutions) and SELEX Galileo (avionics, radar, UAV), which will display their capabilities in the aeronautics sector.

Finmeccanica’s presence at the Dubai Airshow is particularly significant in light of the partnership agreement in the hi-tech aeronautics sector signed in October 2008 between Finmeccanica and the Mubadala Development Company to manufacture structural components in composite materials at a plant in Al Ain, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The ceremony to officially open the plant took place on 14 November 2009.

Furthermore, the selection by the UAE government of 48 Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master lead-in fighter trainer aircraft, the most cutting-edge solution for current advanced training needs for military pilots, was a source of great satisfaction for Finmeccanica. The selection confirmed the excellence of these new generation trainer aircraft, recently purchased by the Italian government, and represented a significant success for Italy’s aeronautics industry.

The UAE also offers opportunities for Alenia Aeronautica’s C-27J tactical transport aircraft, which is generating considerable interest throughout the Gulf region. Its special features (multifunctionality and take-off and landing capability on short and semi-prepared runways under 500 metres in length) make it particularly suitable for the region. Alenia Aeronautica, the world leader in regional turboprop aircraft, also plans to promote the special versions of the ATR series: the ATR 42MP and ATR 72MP (for maritime patrol) and the ATR 72ASW (for anti-submarine warfare).

The United Arab Emirates represent a strategic country for Finmeccanica, and for this reason, it opened an office in Abu Dhabi last year. Group companies have had a presence in the UAE for years and have numerous partnerships with Emirate companies. 

In 2005, in association with Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), SELEX Sistemi Integrati set up the joint venture Abu Dhabi Systems Integration - ADSI (of which SELEX Sistemi Integrati owns 43% and Abu Dhabi Ship Building 57%), which is active in the defence and homeland security sector. The joint venture ADSI is currently involved in manufacturing and integrating the combat system of the six BAYNUNAH corvettes for the UAE Navy, from which it also secured a contract, as part of the Ghannatha programme, to supply command and control systems to be fitted to the new high-speed patrol boats for the UAE armed forces.

Finmeccanica was also selected by the UAE Navy to supply – through its companies SELEX Sistemi Integrati, Oto Melara and Wass - naval and underwater systems for a new Abu Dhabi class ship of the UAE Navy.

Alenia Aeronautica is Italy’s largest aeronautics company and one of the largest in the world. It designs, develops and produces civil and military aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. The models exhibited include: the C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft, which boasts great operational flexibility, the possibility of carrying out night/day operations in any weather conditions, as well as an excellent cost-efficiency ratio; the C-27J Spartan will also take part in flight demonstrations. The Eurofighter Typhoon, the most advanced next-generation multi-role aircraft for air defence available today; the ATR 72 ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), a highly efficient aircraft for anti-submarine warfare with competitive operating and acquisition costs; the turboprop regional transport aircraft ATR 72 600 series, which offers greater power and performance, lower maintenance costs and fuel consumption, a next-generation avionics suite, more comfortable cabins and reduced CO2 emissions per passenger; the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the new-generation regional aircraft with between 75 and 110 seats, designed, developed and produced by Russian company SCAC, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, in which Alenia Aeronautica holds a stake of 25% plus one share; the unmanned platform SKY-Y, developed specifically to demonstrate the innovative techniques and technologies for MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class aircraft for use in territorial surveillance missions.

Alenia Aermacchi is European leader in the design, development and production of integrated training systems. The models exhibited include: M-346 Master and M-311 trainers, the new solution for the basic/advanced fast jet phase of the pilot training programme; the MB-339 PAN, a personalised version of the advanced MB-339 trainer used by the aerobatic team of the Italian Air Force, the Frecce Tricolori; the SF260, the most popular basic trainer in the world. An M-346 Master will also be exhibited in Finmeccanica’s static display area, and the first pre-series aircraft will take part in flight demonstrations.

AgustaWestland is leader on the global helicopters market, offering the most complete range of products able to meet the demands of commercial and military clients. The company has already sold more than 50 helicopters of various types and for various applications in the UAE, and has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Aviation to supply support services for its helicopters. The models exhibited include: the AW139 VIP, the AW139 Coast Guard, the AW139 Offshore, the Grand VIP and the AW101 VIP. The AW139 is the best selling medium twin-engined multi-role helicopter in the world, and has achieved extraordinary success in the Gulf Region in various missions, including VIP transport, offshore transport and search and rescue, as well as government missions. The Grand is a light twin-engined model helicopter, which has set a new standard in its category, offering the performance and cabin space of helicopters in superior classes. The AW101 is a modern three-engined helicopter in the 16 ton class, which can satisfy multiple operational requirements in land and naval operations.  

SELEX Communications is leader in cutting-edge solutions for secure communications, including transportable satellite systems, tactical and broadband Data Links, identification systems, SDR platforms and equipment able to inhibit improvised remote-controlled explosives, ensuring inter-force protection and the inter-connection of systems in operational scenarios. The products exhibited include: the M426, the latest-generation IFF interrogator; the airborne V/UHF SRT-651 radio system; the airborne HF SRT 470 transceiver system; the airborne SP 1450/N-E ICS system for intercommunications; the MIU, the MIDS interface unit, the only interface between the main HOST and MIDS LVT; next-generation scalable Software Defined Radios: the SWave Vehicular and the SWave handheld; the airborne HF Data Link SP-2310 system; and the ADS-B product range for civil air transport: the ADS-B 1090 receiver, the ADS-B 1090 light receiver and the ADS-B 1090 ground station.

SELEX Galileo is a leading player in mission critical, airborne, electronic warfare and electro-optical systems for the main fixed and rotary wing platforms, such as the Tornado, Eurofighter, M-346 Master, AW101 and Apache. The company also offers next generation situational awareness and protection solutions for a wide range of land systems. At the Dubai Airshow, SELEX Galileo will present its surveillance capability, which includes tactical UAS, airborne mission systems for border monitoring and control applications, AESA radar and integrated E/O turrets. The products exhibited include: the PicoSAR, compact and light AESA radar designed to be integrated into small platforms such as UAVs and helicopters; the PicoSTAR, new payload which integrates data from optical and radar sensors; the Seaspray 7000E,  the AESA surveillance radar leader in the international markets; the unmanned tactical system FALCO, an ideal solution for both military applications and border and critical infrastructure surveillance. As part of its offer for military applications, SELEX Galileo will present the VIXEN 1000E, the latest development in fire-control radar integrated with an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor for stealth operations, and the GRIFO radar, which has sold more than 450 units in recent years; VigilX, an innovative system for enhanced  situational awareness; and SEER RWR, the digital radar warning receiver for next-generation fighters.

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