Leonardo supporting the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group

20 October 2020

Leonardo is on board the 65,000 tonne HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH (QE) in Portsmouth, England. The aircraft carrier has returned to its home port after the debut assembly of the UK Carrier Strike Group; QE is at the centre of the group, which is the start of joint carrier operations between the Royal Navy and its NATO allies. The QE has just completed a range of training exercises and missions with the US Navy, US Marine Corps and the Royal Netherlands Navy, with a number of these missions employing Leonardo’s world-leading technologies and capabilities.

The AW159, an advanced military maritime helicopter, combined with other technology designed, developed and manufactured by Leonardo in the UK, will help protect the Carrier Strike Group during operations with long-term ally, the United States of America.

Leonardo’s AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin Mk2 helicopters keep watch over the carrier group and the surrounding seas, ensuring the ships and their crews are well protected from enemy submarines, surface ships, aircraft and missiles. The AW101 Merlin Mk4 also provides intra-theatre lift and amphibious air manoeuvre for littoral operations, if required.

These helicopters, which are built by Leonardo in Somerset and help protect the Royal Navy’s 65,000-tonne carriers, will embark on Carrier Strike Group missions with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH on its maiden operational deployment in 2021.

The Wildcat and Merlin are designed and built to operate in hostile and extreme conditions, providing class-leading defensive and offensive capability at sea, utilising state-of-the-art mission systems for long-range detection such as Leonardo’s radars and Electronic Warfare equipment.

Furthermore, the UK’s carrier strike capability is backed by Leonardo secure communications and thermal imaging sensors for flight approach monitoring and high-fidelity situational awareness.

Leonardo also provides the Sentinel advanced integrated communications system to the Escorts and Support Shipping in the Carrier Task Group. This gives these ships everything from emergency communications, through simple administrative telephony for day-to-day internal operations, to complex secure voice and data transmission, and military radio systems for tactical purposes. The Company also provides high grade secure messaging to over 90% of the Royal Navy fleet. This system enables the ships and submarines in the Carrier Strike Group to communicate securely with NATO and other strategic partners.

To date, Leonardo has supplied more than 800 advanced targeting lasers for the F-35 Lightning II’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The laser, integrated into the EOTS, allows fighter aircraft crews to perform precision ranging and targeting functions.

Atlantic Future Forum 2020

Atlantic Future Forum 2020

Leonardo participated in the Atlantic Future Forum 2020 (20-21 October) on-board the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, for the annual defence, security, technology and trade summit between the UK and USA.

Military Helicopters – ready for any mission

Leonardo UK's aeronautics engineering excellence has underpinned the design and manufacture of military helicopters for armed forces around the world throughout the history of flight.

Military Helicopters – ready for any mission

Radar

Radar

Leonardo is the European leader in radar technology, with our Edinburgh Centre of Excellence building upon a 75-year heritage in this area. We design and manufacture fire control and surveillance radars that are exported around the world. We lead the consortium developing the Eurofighter Typhoon Captor radar, with our Raven ES05 AESA equipping Saab’s next-generation Gripen jets and our Osprey and Seaspray radars helping the UK and US Coastguards, and aircrews worldwide to save lives .

Lasers

Leonardo’s Edinburgh site is home to our world-leading laser capability, with our engineers meeting around 80% of the global demand for high-energy military lasers. The targeting laser on the new F-35 stealth fighter is one of the applications developed by our UK engineering team, as is the beam director for the UK MOD’s defensive Laser Directed Energy Weapon capability demonstrator being developed by the UK Dragonfire consortium.

Lasers

Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare

Leonardo has a rich heritage delivering Electronic Warfare (EW) technologies, equipment and training to combat airborne threats across the Electromagnetic spectrum. Systems developed at Luton and sites throughout the country, help protect UK and allied Armed Forces when they fly into combat. Tornado, Harrier, Apache, Wildcat, and Typhoon are just some of the aircraft our technology helped keep safe.