Finmeccanica Rebuilds Selex For Global Markets

By Bill Sweetman
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

The company also chose LAAD for the announcement of its light intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, comprising a compact version of the Atos mission system, Gabbiano radar and other sensors integrated on the Italian-developed Omasud Skycar light twin-engine aircraft. This “cross-division” project is seen as a solution for countries requiring surveillance over long coastlines or borders on a limited budget—the small, simple platform makes it possible to distribute the fleet around multiple bases. It is the company's second air system announcement this year, following the disclosure of the Hammerhead project for an unmanned version of the Piaggio P180.

Other strategic markets are India and Saudi Arabia, where the foundation of the company's presence is via the Tornado F3 and Typhoon, “We have €14 million on board each Typhoon,” Giulianini notes, including the radar, IRST and electronic warfare system, and Selex is supporting Typhoon campaigns in the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Kuwait.

The Selex CEO now sees the Captor-E active, electronically scanned array radar as a near-certainty for the Typhoon, and like some other Eurofighter participants detects a renewed ambition and determination among the partner governments to push the program forward. However, his view of the fighter's chances in South Korea, an upcoming decision, is that “I would have been more optimistic a few weeks ago,” with the confrontation in the region now pointing to a U.S. order.

The new “security and smart systems” unit combines elements from the former Systemi Integrati and Elsag units, Giulianini says. Significant recent wins in this area include NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability and a technology partner arrangement with Expo 2015 in Milan—the latter, a world fair focused on sustainable technology, will be set up as a small “smart city” with Selex providing security and information systems. The new Selex division is bidding for the event security role in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games in Scotland.

Some of this work could flow back into aviation, Giulianini says, through the emerging idea of an “integrated airport” in which ground and air surveillance radar, air traffic management, ground movement control, baggage handling and security would be combined.

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