Leonardo showcases its technologies for new maritime challenges at SEAFUTURE

31 May 2023

As a strategic partner of the Italian Navy and one of the world’s few companies with a comprehensive naval security offering, Leonardo has cross-cutting capabilities that allow it to operate in all operational domains, including space and cyber security. This is because of its consolidated expertise and continuous investment in R&D, which in 2022 represented 14% of revenues. 

From 5 to 8 June, Leonardo will take part in the eighth SEAFUTURE, Italy’s leading event for the maritime industry, blue economy, navies and governments. In the setting of the La Spezia Naval Base, Leonardo will present solutions to answer the demands of modern navies while also protecting the maritime environment, which is increasingly strategic and vital for the economy and security of nations.

New products on display in La Spezia, where the ‘Polo Nazionale della Subacquea’ (National Diving Centre) under the aegis of the Italian Navy will shortly open, include the ATHENA Mk2/U Combat Management System (CMS) multifunctional console, developed by Leonardo in synergy with the Italian Navy. This system will be integrated onboard the Armed Forces’ new U212 NFS (Near Future Submarines). The ATHENA Mk2/U CMS’s multi-touch graphical human-machine interface will enable effective and ergonomic access to the system’s features and agile management of the operating scenario and of the information collected by the various onboard sensors, also supported by augmented reality.

The ATHENA Mk2/U CMS is a cutting-edge technology in Leonardo’s naval portfolio, built from the CMS currently used in surface assets. It benefits from the company’s 20-plus years of experience in Command and Control. By making extensive use of artificial intelligence algorithms, the new system will provide operators with comprehensive tactical picture management and situational awareness of the surrounding operational scenario, enabling rapid mission planning and performance. Leonardo also develops light and heavy torpedoes, anti-torpedo systems, countermeasures and sonar for the underwater domain to maximise the effectiveness of platforms involved in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations.

Besides the above technologies, Leonardo’s naval solutions, already chosen by over 70 navies worldwide, include artillery systems, such as the modular turrets of the LIONFISH family, on show in La Spezia, plus radars, sensors, mission and communication systems, fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, both manned and remotely piloted, security solutions able to protect and defend critical infrastructures from cyberspace threats, and missile systems (through the 25%-owned MBDA).


The KRONOS Power Shield (Advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array - AESA), designed by Leonardo for ballistic missile defence, will be a highlight of SEAFUTURE 2023. The sensor, operating in L-Band, has a detection range of up to 1,500 kilometres. With over 500 helicopters in use in almost 40 countries for maritime operations, the company boasts a wide range of models designed for multi-mission and specialised operations. These include the AW139, the best-selling twin-engine helicopter in its class, with over 1100 helicopters in service, and the 16-tonne class AW101 helicopter.

In the remotely piloted systems segment, Leonardo will exhibit the AWHERO. The platform represents the state-of-the-art for 200 kg rotary UAS, developed specifically for naval operations by synergistically exploiting Leonardo’s experience and best technologies. AWHERO’s modular architecture makes it interchangeable with a wide range of sensors, including Leonardo’s Gabbiano Ultra-Light radar, crucial in ensuring maritime surveillance superiority. AWHERO is the only UAS in its class with military certification, guaranteeing the highest reliability and mission readiness.

The C-27J tactical transport aircraft, already widely used in challenging operational contexts, is also in La Spezia. The C-27J Spartan Next Generation features new avionics with a five-screen multifunctional colour glass cockpit, radar for tactical transport missions, and advanced communication systems. With multiple, easily installed and transportable roll-on/roll-off mission kits and systems, the C-27J can be quickly configured into MPA (Maritime Patrol), ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and C3ISR (Command-Control-Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) versions. Technologies on display will also include ATR 72 MP, capable of performing a wide range of roles, including monitoring maritime traffic corridors, protecting fishing activities, combating smuggling and drug trafficking, patrolling Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. The aircraft can also perform transport, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) tasks.

Finally, Leonardo will be presenting its technology platforms to ensure the physical and cyber security of critical infrastructures. In particular, it will display solutions that can collect and correlate data from fixed and mobile sensors in the field, along with intelligence information on cyber threats and data from cybersecurity monitoring and management, for next-generation control rooms and platforms for the virtualisation and simulation of real infrastructures, for training in cyber attack and defence and for testing the resilience of cyber-physical equipment.