Airplane | Company | Electronics | Helicopters | Leonardo Unmanned Systems at MSPO: The European Multi-Domain Partner of Polish Defense

Global player in the fields of Aeronautics, Defense and Security, providing advanced solutions for the national defense sectors, Leonardo is a strategic partner of the Polish Ministry of Defence. During its 30 years of presence in Poland, the company has made significant investments in the Polish defense industry, mainly through the Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-Świdnik. Now one of Leonardo’s four Polish national markets, the company continues to invest, as highlighted by the recent creation of Leonardo Poland and partnerships with local businesses. Leonardo aims to strengthen its growing commitment to the country, providing solutions to military, government and civilian customers. The aim is to provide both cutting-edge products and added value for the Polish economy while meeting superior defense requirements.

Leonardo will present technological and product innovations related to the aeronautical sector, with particular emphasis on the Eurofighter Typhoon program, the general-purpose army AW149 helicopter, which was recently selected by the Polish MoD, unscrewed systems for the “Gryf” program of the Polish MoD, its ammunition Vulcano, and other solutions for a variety of requirements.

MSPO visitors will be able to see the real AW149 helicopter that will be built in Poland. The Polish variant of AW149 multirole helicopter will be produced in the local Leonardo factory, PZL-Świdnik, which will deliver 32 aircraft in 2023-2029. Leonardo will therefore undertake new investments in its Polish factory in addition to the approximately 1 billion euros already invested since 2010, which has considerably strengthened the competitiveness and industrial capacities of PZL-Świdnik. This makes an important contribution to the Polish aerospace and defense industry, which will enable domestic production, the establishment of a logistics base and extensive technical support for the AW149s of the Polish Ministry of Defense, in accordance with the commitment of Leonardo and PZL-Świdnik to bring industrial benefits to Poland. .

AW149 – © Polish MoD

The new helicopters will carry out troop transport and air support missions. Equipping the helicopters will also allow them to be used for casualty evacuation, search and rescue in combat operations, and for transporting cargo and supplies. The configuration of the helicopters, fully meeting the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, will also include, among others, observation systems, small arms, rockets and guided/unguided missiles and self-defense systems.

PZL-Świdnik in response to the Polish army is ready to modernize the W-3 helicopter fleet – the helicopters originally designed and produced at the PZL-Świdnik factories. The local company is a strategic partner of the Polish Ministry of Defense which has delivered 80% of its helicopter fleet to the Polish army during its history.

In the aeronautics sector, MSPO’s spotlight is on Eurofighter Typhoon, the best Air Superiority fighter available on the market today also for export customers. Its state-of-the-art evolution is constant, solid, proven and represents the basis of 6th generation hunters. Its ESCAN MK2 radar is the most powerful and efficient E-SCAN radar ever designed. Large area display and Striker 2 headset are available for enhanced situational awareness. Leonardo is a Eurofighter consortium partner company producing approximately 36% of the total program value, playing a key role in aircraft and electronic components, and supplying over 60% of the aircraft’s on-board avionics. Combined with the most powerful engines in its category and outstanding aerodynamics, its sensors make the Typhoon the only “4.5th generation” fighter, to now evolve in the programs of the future generation. The combination of new integrated sensors, new computer processing capabilities coupled with Artificial Intelligence, the “Digital Stealth” concept, without compromising on performance, allows the hunter to fly twice the speed of sound, to fly above of 50k feet and with its high rate of climb placing the Typhoon at the highest scale of Aerial dominance.

ITAF Eurofighter Typhoon

Poland is invited to join the program of this extraordinary partnership which is now working towards what it is – and will be for the next decade – the most effective platform to bridge the gap with next generation fighters. A partnership that can grant Poland full access to aeronautical capabilities, full national sovereignty and qualified Polish industrial qualitative and quantitative involvement. The advantages of the Eurofighter Typhoon are its extraordinary aerodynamic capabilities combined with a smaller airframe, digital stealth thanks to next-generation E-scan radar and DASS, last but not least, the widest armament capability thanks to solutions EU/US combos (such as Meteor, Spear3, Spear EW, Storm Shadow, etc.). In the meantime, the Italian Air Force Typhoon will ensure the safety of Polish skies thanks to the Quick reaction alert (QRA) which has just started up at the Polish airbase in Malbork.

Nearing completion of the fleet delivery is the Master M-346 (“Bielik” for the Polish Air Force) advanced jet trainers. The first eight aircraft were ordered by Poland in 2014, followed by two more batches ordered for a total of 16 training platforms. This number makes Poland the second largest export customer of the M-346.

M-346 of the Polish Air Force – ©R. Niccoli


The M-346 is a next-generation tandem-seat twin-engine light combat aircraft and jet trainer. The wide flight envelope, high thrust-to-weight ratio and “worry-free” maneuverability at high angles of attack make the M-346 similar to that of the latest generation combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon or the F-35. This maximizes training efficiency and reduces flight hours on front line aircraft.

The aircraft is the centerpiece of an integrated training system comprised of simulators and ground instructional devices, including a “live, virtual and constructive (LVC)” operational environment, designed to enable students- pilots develop the knowledge, skills and practices necessary for effective operation of modern combat aircraft. It is currently the most advanced training system on the market designed for training pilots destined to fly 4e+ / 5e generation fighters.

Compared to its training version (M-346 AJT), the M-346FA (Fighter Attack) adopts an optimized version of multi-mode Griffin radar, a high-end network-centric communications suite with tactical datalink, 7 external hardpoints and an air-to-air refueling system, while retaining all of its training capabilities, including on-board simulation (ETTS) and a fully integrated training suite. The M-346 Fighter Attack is well suited for complex air-to-ground missions and can guarantee high commonality with its training version.

The exhibition is an excellent opportunity for Leonardo to present its most innovative products and systems in the field of remotely piloted aircraft. Poland leads the “Griffin” and Leonardo will present his state-of-the-art solution Falcon, which is the complete package for unmanned aerial surveillance. The company highlights its expertise in remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) to support surveillance and security missions around the world.

Falco EVO


Leonardo’s Falco family of remotely piloted aircraft systems currently include mature and proven Falco Evo for heavy tactical surveillance missions and the new Falco Xplorer, a larger system designed to provide persistent, multi-sensor strategic surveillance. The company has extensive experience operating Falco family aircraft in a range of environments, including the harsh climate of equatorial Africa, where Leonardo has flown more than 10,000 hours of unmanned surveillance flights. A recent highlight saw the Falco family supporting missions in the Mediterranean as part of the European agency Frontex’s maritime surveillance project in 2018 and today unmanned aircraft are flying to support border surveillance for another Italian initiative. Currently, more than 60 Falco family aircraft are in operation worldwide.

The Falco Evo is designed for tactical ISR roles and has a number of features that make it an ideal tool for such missions: monitoring large areas of land and sea and enabling targeted interventions in a timely manner. These include its ability to fly in all weather conditions, at any time, day or night, its more than 16 hours of flight autonomy, its capacity of 100 kg of sensors and its communication capabilities, which allow the aircraft to transmit quality images in real time. The data.

State-of-the-art ammunition featured on the Leonardo stand are the Vulcano 155mm, a family of sub-caliber ammunition for 155 mm land artillery systems consisting of an unguided projectile called BER (Ballistic Extended Range) and a guided projectile called GLR (Guided Long Range). The ammunition represents the most advanced technology currently available for accurate land artillery fire. The Vulcano projectile is specifically designed to improve the performance of other ammunition of the same caliber, both in range and accuracy, while maintaining compatibility with in-service propellant charges and 155mm guns. The contour of the ammunition is almost identical to that of conventional cartridges, which allows it to be handled without additional logistical burden.

The primary application of the Vulcano 155 GLR is long-range, high-precision fire support against stationary and moving point targets with extremely reduced likelihood of collateral damage. Exceptional aerodynamics, combined with GPS guidance and course-shaping capabilities, allow the Vulcano 155 GLR to reach a maximum range of 70 km while maintaining pinpoint accuracy of less than 5 m in all operational ranges.

Leonard DRS also participating in the show with its own stand in the USA pavilion, highlighting a range of technologies including combat management and electronic warfare systems, and mounted EO/IR products among a range of others products.