US maneuvers for Drs, Leonardo’s American subsidiary. Yesterday, the company announced the acquisition of Ascendant Engineering Solutions (Aes), a company based in Austin, Texas, a former Pentagon supplier and one of the leaders in the United States in the design and manufacture of advanced “gimbal” systems. These are cardan joints (and joint systems) that allow the stabilization of objects and sensors on several axes, obviously very useful for mounting systems on defense platforms, especially overhead. They are integrated with the offer of Drs, specialized in sensors and systems for military applications, with an eye on the growing market of remote piloted systems, in particular of small dimensions.
The operation, explained the Leonardo subsidiary, “will allow us to integrate our state-of-the-art electro-optical and infrared components and systems with Aes’ advanced gimbals, so as to offer integrated solutions capable of facing the market in rapid growth of light military platforms, including UAS, small unmanned aerial systems “.
“The need for smaller and lighter detection systems is one of the most important priorities of defense forces around the world,” explained Jerry Hathaway ., senior vice president and general manager of the “Electro-Optic and Infrared Systems business” division of Drs. The company, he added, “is well positioned to address the rapidly growing gimbals market with the new lightweight capabilities Aes offers on a wide range of military platforms, from aircraft to naval and land assets, as well as security platforms. to the ground”.
The Aes systems are already on board various assets supplied to the American Armed Forces, on board unmanned aircraft systems Groups 1, 2 and 3 according to the definitions of the Pentagon, i.e. on platforms weighing up to 600 kilograms and capable of reach altitudes below 5,500 meters, categories that cover multiple assets used above all for tactical support to operations, for surveillance and identification of targets.
The acquisition demonstrates the growth ambitions of Leonardo Drs, well integrated in the US Defense market. In July, the US Army contract for “Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS)”, install on land combat vehicles to support maneuverability and logistics. Previously, again from the US Army, the “Im-Shorad” order had come for the initial supply of a package of equipment to be integrated on heavy vehicles aimed at combating low-altitude aerial threats, including drones.
Last March the One Company led by Alessandro Profumohad formalized the listing plan of 22% of Drs, with an option for a further 3.3%. The remaining 78% (up to 74.7% in the case of an option) would remain in the hands of Leonardo, in order to maintain a “significant presence” in a “highly strategic” market like the American one, explained the CEO. The plan was then stopped in April due to “adverse market conditions”, and postponed until “it will be possible to obtain a successful IPO with an appropriate evaluation of this strategic business”, the company reiterated in the half-yearly report. released last week. The objective remains, with the intention of guaranteeing Leonardo further strength for the “European consolidation” launched several months ago (remember the acquisition of 25.1% of Hensoldt,
For the subsidiary it would be a return to Wall Street, where it was already stationed before the purchase, in 2008, by the then Finmeccanica. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the company is headed today by CEO William J. Lynn III. It boasts more than fifty years of experience in the American defense market, with specialization in electronics, sensors, communication and integration systems. Thirteen years ago, the objective of the acquisition of Piazza Monte Grappa was linked to the intention to improve the positioning overseas. The goal seems to have been achieved. In 2020, Drs recorded orders for 2.7 billion (+ 2.4%) and revenues for 2.4 billion, substantially in line with 2019. In the first six months, revenues grew by 0.4%, up to 1 , 1 billion. Orders fell by 1.2 billion (-17.6%), while the EBITA profitability index grew by 50%.
Beyond the numbers, the subsidiary Drs has contributed in recent years to Leonardo’s positioning in the United States, which went well beyond the perimeter of the subsidiary: at the beginning of 2020, the US Navy order for its new training helicopters arrived; in 2018 the other victory (with Boeing) for the US Air Force helicopter race. Now, with “transformational” programs starting in the United States and an administration that has established more dialogue with Europe, the positioning can improve further.

Previous articleWhat does it mean to dream of praying?
Next articleUkraine: raid on the theater, 130 re-emerged alive from the rubble