Leonardo technology for sustainable airport modernisation

21 July 2021

The Italian Air Force, Teledife and Leonardo are joining forces with Enel X and EnershareHub in the first public/private partnership between defence and industry for technological upgrading of the military airport in Pisa. This will be accompanied by energy efficiency improvements of all the systems connected with the Air Navigation Service.

The agreement will support the Italian Armed Forces’ surveillance performance, as well as improve infrastructure and services in a sustainable way, cutting energy consumption and environmental impact. The innovative contract has been signed by the Advanced Information and Communication Technology Directorate (Teledife) of Italy’s Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate, in agreement with the Italian Air Force Staff and Temporary Grouping of Companies (Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa) including Leonardo, Enel X and EnershareHub set up to undertake the “green” modernisation of the military airport of Pisa, home to the 46th Brigade of the Italian Air Force.

A truly new development in defence

The 17-year contract represents a new development in the military, as the first such public/private partnership. In addition to upgrading Pisa’s military airport, all systems connected with the facility’s Air Navigation Service will see improved energy efficiency. The agreement is one of the innovative defence projects in which Leonardo is involved, and will begin with upgrading the Italian Air Force’s radar surveillance system and improving the energy efficiency of its infrastructure, buildings and technological installations to guarantee extremely high levels of efficiency under a strict Service Level Agreement.

Economic and operative benefits for the environment

Use of advanced energy supply technologies will lead to reduction of environmental impact, a significant reduction of consumption and therefore economic savings which will then be invested, through a self-financing scheme, in renovating of the Air Base facilities to meet current safety standards. The benefits will be economic, reducing the overall cost of construction and operation of the infrastructure and systems, and practical, increasing the efficiency, efficacy and quality of the services provided.

Leonardo’s role

In this innovative project, drawing on experience in the development of complete solutions for air traffic control (ATC), including unmanned craft, Leonardo will be entrusted with modernising the airport approach radar used by the Aviation Brigade, in line with the highest military and civilian standards. The system consists of primary and secondary radar, Multi Radar Tracking (MRT), Wide Area Multilateration (WAM), tower and operations rooms, and includes maintenance of these facilities for the next 15 years.