Leonardo: Guardia di Finanza opens Air-Naval Operations Simulation Centre in Italy

Rome,  02 February 2023 12:39

The first and one-of-a-kind training centre in Europe headquartered at Pratica di Mari Air Base (Rome) is built on strong synergies between Guardia di Finanza’s operational expertise and Leonardo’s technological and service excellence 

A single virtual reality environment, which integrates aircraft and mission systems, delivering effective and safe crew training for interoperability in complex scenarios 


Guardia di Finanza (Italy’s Police Force, with general capability in economic and financial matters, is the only maritime Police Force in Italy) opened its Air-Naval Operations Simulation Centre today, during an official ceremony in the presence of institutional and Leonardo representatives. The new centre was developed by the company starting in 2020. Based on customer’s requirements it leverages the most advanced and innovative technologies in the simulation field, and is aimed at training Guardia di Finanza’s crews carrying out air-naval operations.  

The new centre, a one-of-a-kind in Europe, integrates advanced network simulation systems in a single environment. The simulators fully mirror Leonardo’s helicopters and airplanes, which have recently been acquired by Guardia di Finanza and used for a range of operational roles. In addition to the company’s on-board mission systems used for surveillance and identification, among others. These add to a scenario simulator, developed by Leonardo, which is able to virtually generate the environment where platforms and personnel collaborate on a single mission, a vessel instrument panel simulator which also introduces ships in a maritime environment – developed in collaboration with Cetena (Fincantieri) – and a ground-based command centre that coordinates the operations. 

The AW169/AW139 helicopters and P-72B aircraft all-new ‘mini motion’ simulators, designated Enhanced Training Device (ETD e-Motion), reproduce performance, avionics and cockpits with high fidelity, and are able to deliver an adequate physical feedback to the crews, thanks to the platform integrated actuators. Pilot training is complemented by rear crew training for those using the Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system for the AW139 and P-72B as well as cabin hoist operations thanks to a highly immersive virtual reality for search and rescue missions. 

Thanks to these simulation capabilities, Guardia di Finanza’s personnel will be trained in an environment able to reflect with extreme realism the interoperability typically required in the current and future multi-domain scenarios, exactly those where Guardia di Finanza performs its missions such as security, surveillance, patrol, and rescue.  

The centre is an EASA-Approved Training Organization and obtained an ENAC (Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Training Certificate. The centre is located at the hangar ‘L’ at the Air Base, adapted with Leonardo’s support and is fully integrated into the Leonardo helicopter Training Academy’s global network. The Leonardo Training Academy coordinated the initiative, allowing the combination of the highest international standard for flight and mission training delivered by the various business areas of the company.  

This initiative is the result of Guardia di Finanza’s strong support for training simulation use and the relevant Leonardo’s industrial and technological capabilities. These integrate fixed- and rotary-wing, electronics and sensor, training and ‘digital twin’ development/use expertise. 

Guardia di Finanza becomes a benchmark for other national and international players with a strong focus on interoperability in complex scenarios. Leonardo confirms its commitment to the development and supply of technological advanced training solutions for security organisations across the world.