Leonardo Investing To Enhance Production Processes

Credit: Leonardo

Italian defense conglomerate Leonardo is planning to invest around €300 million ($328.6 million) annually over the next five years to modernize its production processes and develop new products and technology. 

The company is hoping the five-year plan, announced on March 14, will result in “significant growth as a result of greater competitiveness.”  

Leonardo says there will be a “strong focus on product innovation,” activities supported by its open innovation network, that include public-private agreements with universities, research centers and Italian state-run technical and industrial institutions. 

The investments form part of a company reorganization to optimize production processes, adjust logistics operations and create so-called centers of advanced technology, in which the company will work with scientific institutes and academic organizations. The aim is to deliver a “strong emphasis on innovation, digital production and sustainability as well as optimized logistics, production processes and supply chains,” the company said in a March 14 press release.  

Among the changes: 

—The company’s production facility in Cisterna di Latina near Rome will become its main site for the development and production of communication systems and avionics computers, and related customer support. 

—Operations at the company’s Pisa-based Electronics division site that carries out specialized software production will be integrated into the company’s Pisa-based Helicopters division site.  

—The Leonardo’s Aircraft division site at Grottaglie near Taranto in the south of Italy will also incorporate the company’s experimental work on command-and-control systems for ships, currently carried out at its site in Taranto. 

—Leonardo’s site in Fusaro, Naples, will become the company’s center for the production and support of radar systems, including the printed circuit boards that are currently produced and fitted in Giugliano near Naples.

Key to the company’s plans for better optimizing production will be the introduction of so-called Factory of the Future technologies being developed in the UK. The company says the introduction of these technologies “will ensure more efficient and sustainable production.” The systems will also allow “greater traceability of production flows, process automation and production plants.” 

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.