Through its Companies Alenia Aeronautica, Alenia Aermacchi, AgustaWestland and SELEX Sistemi Integrati, Finmeccanica is taking part at the ongoing Dubai Airshow (13 to 17 November).
In 2008 Finmeccanica opened its Representative Office in Abu Dhabi. In October 2008, Finmeccanica signed an agreement with Mubadala Development Company to manufacture structural components in composite materials in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, SELEX Sistemi Integrati - which is active in the defense and homeland security sector - established Abu Dhabi Systems Integration (ADSI) in joint venture with Abu Dhabi Ship Building. ADSI is currently involved in manufacturing and integrating the combat systems of the six BAYNUNAH corvettes for the UAE Navy, and has also secured a contract to supply command and control systems in the new high-speed Ghannatha patrol boats for the UAE Armed Forces.
The rapid economic growth and rising population in the UAE requires upgrading the local mobility and transport infrastructure, as well as the technological infrastructure for communications and satellite services.
Finmeccanica companies, such as Ansaldo STS, AnsaldoBreda, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space are already active in these sectors and willing to support the UAE’s requirements.
Likewise, new requirements for ground, coastal and port surveillance are also very promising: the capabilities in complex systems integration of SELEX Sistemi Integrati, and the special expertise of Finmeccanica companies such as DRS Technologies, SELEX Galileo, SELEX Elsag, Oto Melara and WASS, place these companies in an excellent position to meet emerging demands in this sector.
In aeronautics, Finmeccanica Group companies are present at Dubai Airshow with the M-346 Lead-In fighter trainer, the C-27J tactical transport aircraft and the multi-role combat aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon in flight display. In the Finmeccanica stand models of the M-346, the MB-339 in the configuration of the National Aerobatic Team (NAT) “Al Fursan”, the C-27J, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the ATR 72 ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) are also displayed.
In February 2009, at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), the UAE Government announced the selection of the M-346 lead-in fighter trainer aircraft produced by Alenia Aermacchi and purchased by the Italian and Singaporean Governments. The M-346 is conceived as the most Lead-In fighter trainer/ affordable advanced defense aircraft currently on the market. The advanced design solutions, twin engine, fly by wire and advanced aerodynamic, provide high safety standards and reduced acquisition and operational costs.
Alenia Aermacchi has also provided the United Arab Emirates with ten MB-339A aircraft, in aerobatic configuration for the National Aerobatic Team (NAT) “Al Fursan”. Thanks to its performance, excellent handling and sophisticated systems it is one of the most successful members of the Alenia Aermacchi family trainers. The MB-339 is in service with nine different nations.
Also in the aeronautics sector, the C-27J tactical transport aircraft produced by Alenia Aeronautica, whose special features (multifunctionality and take-off and landing capability on short and semi prepared runways under 500 meters in length) make it particularly fit for special operations purposes, is being proposed as valid alternative for the Armed Forces in Middle East region.
Alenia Aeronautica also intends to promote the special versions of its ATR series aircraft for civil and military applications
In addition, Finmeccanica companies are also involved in the Eurofighter program. The Eurofighter Typhoon is the result of a four-nation collaboration of governments and industries (Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain) to produce the most advanced new generation combat aircraft. The Eurofighter Typhoon is a supersonic twin-engine multi-role aircraft for air defense and superiority, interdiction and air to ground. With a production agreement for more than 700 aircraft, it is the largest new generation combat aircraft program.
In the helicopter sector, AgustaWestland is exhibiting a range of commercial, government and military helicopter types including scale models of the GrandNew light twin, the AW139 medium twin, the AW149 8 ton class military helicopter and the AW101.
AgustaWestland has seen an increasingly strong presence in the United Arab Emirates covering a range of commercial and government applications with many of its helicopter models. Leading operator Abu Dhabi Aviation operates approximately 20 AW139s mainly for offshore transport purposes. The company, an AgustaWestland authorized Service Centre since 2005, agreed in 2009 to set up a joint venture which will operate in the field of maintenance including spare parts and accessories, repair and overhaul, customization, modification and upgrading.
AgustaWestland boasts a long-standing, well established and growing presence in the Middle East: approximately 130 helicopters of various types including the AW109 Power and Grand/GrandNew light twins, the AW139 medium twin, the
Super Lynx 300 and the NH90 are currently in service in the region, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The success achieved by the AW139 in the Middle East with half of the aircraft sold in the region now based in UAE has seen the type covering all main applications, also including military duties with two out of three world military customers based in the area. The GrandNew light twin, thanks to its outstanding performance, cabin space and advanced flight and mission avionics, is suited to meet VIP transport requirements in the regional market.
AgustaWestland is also offering the recently launched latest generation AW169 light intermediate and AW189 8 ton class twin engine helicopters which share a same design philosophy with the AW139, complementing this model in the AgustaWestland product range and providing the market with a family of state-of-the-art products for a range of applications.
SELEX Sistemi Integrati is displaying a video of its KRONOS multifunctional C band radar system, the Blueshield C4I system for air surveillance and defense, the consoles for a Turnkey airport solution, the Mission Planning system and the Masterzone surveillance system.
In 2009, SELEX Sistemi Integrati was selected to equip the Abu Dhabi Class Corvette, and in 2010 was awarded a contract to supply naval systems to be fitted into the two new stealth patrol vessels known as “Falaj 2” for the UAE Navy. Both the supplies also include the KRONOS radar system. The company is also delivering 6 Medusa MK4/B electro optical fire control systems intended for the UAE Coast Guard fast patrol boats.
SELEX Sistemi Integrati is also leading the creation of the new NDIA international airport in Doha, Qatar. The futuristic airport will be equipped with radars for air and surface traffic control, a complex control centre consisting of 36 operator working stations enabled for radar data processing and flight plans management, an automated system for departures and arrivals, a complete meteorological system, plus a computerized system for ground movements, navaids and ground sensors management. SELEX Sistemi Integrati will supply a system for data transfer of all airport communications with the installation of an optical fibre ring surrounding the entire airport area.
In early 2010 SELEX Sistemi Integrati also signed a contract with the Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) for the supply of a primary surveillance radar and two Mode-S secondary surveillance radars at the Bahrain International Airport.