2021 will be the year in which the future of the Tempest is decided, the program for the sixth generation aircraft, but also the year of a “further relaunch of domestic programs and important export campaigns”. Word of Lorenzo Mariani , managing director of MBDA Italy, as well as executive director for “Sales & business development” of the European missile group, in which Leonardo holds a 25% interest. The manager held a press conference today at the company’s Roman headquarters, a useful opportunity to take stock of 2020 (the year of “resilience”) and to illustrate future activities. A 2020 OF “RESILIENCE”
The pandemic was the host in 2020. “The year – recalled Mariani – started with great difficulty, but then revealed the great resilience of the company, the country and the group”. And so, the year was “positive on all parameters” for the Group, as well as for MBDA Italy, which “achieved a very important economic result, far exceeding the budget we had set before the pandemic”. This, explained Mariani, made it possible “to contribute for the first time to the overall result of the Group in terms of return for shareholders”. THE TOP PROGRAMS
The numbers were driven above all by three programs: Teseo Mk2-E anti-ship system, with the agreement signed in November for supply to the Italian Navy; the Storm Shadow missile, with the first tranche signed in 2020 and becoming operational in the last few months; the program for the two Fremm in Egypt, for which MBDA “has an important component of the Aster and Theseus based systems”. Among other things, this program could expand, given that Cairo has declared a requirement that covers additional frigates. “I think there will be a sequel – said Mariani – but not immediately”. DEVELOPMENT
The consolidation of the domestic market (which has six European countries for MBDA), has made it possible to compensate for the “delay in the export component”, accumulated due to the restrictions imposed all over the world for Covid-19. Yet, the orders postponed last year have “already been recovered for 90% in the first quarter of 2021”, demonstrating that they were “delays and not cancellations”. Also for this reason, explained Mariani, 2021 is a “year that started well”. On the development front, the company is proceeding mainly on two programs: the Mars ER anti-ship missile, and the Camm ER for the next generation medium-range surface-to-air defense system. Both recorded “important” results in 2020, with launches respectively at the beginning and end of the year.AIR DEFENSE
The fact that 2021 has a “good start” is shown above all by the joint Italy-France contract to proceed with the new generation of the Samp / T air defense system against short and medium range threats. “It represents the new chapter of a collaboration that has lasted since the end of the 1980s, which was one of the pillars on which MBDA was created”. As recently confirmed by the Chief of Defense Staff Enzo Vecciarelli , the system will also be used by the Air Force, as well as by the Army and Navy. EMPLOYMENT AND ESTABLISHMENTS
All this feeds the growth prospects for the year, including an increase of approximately 110 units for MBDA Italy expected for 2021, after the growth of 80 units recorded last year (“net of a significant number of retirements” ). On the other hand, Mariani noted, “the plant modernization plan continues: activities are currently underway at the Fusaro plant, after a slowdown due to the pandemic and related safety measures”. During the year, “other qualitative and quantitative standardization activities for the Rome and La Spezia offices should start, driven by the anti-Covid legislation and by the increase in workloads that have increased”. THE HYPERSONIC DEFENSE
In the context of the European common defense, in the medium-long term the attention is all to the Twister program, a Pesco project led by France (and also on board Italy) for a surveillance system from Space for alerting and interception of threats from heaven, especially the more sophisticated ones, namely hypersonic threats. A project of this kind, Mariani said, “cannot be done without the United Kingdom”, a requirement that requires a review of London’s ability to access the various EU defense initiatives, in particular the EDF fund. THE YEAR OF THE TEMPEST
But 2021 will also be the year “in which we decide what the Tempest will be”, the program launched by the United Kingdom for a sixth generation aircraft, to which Italy and Sweden have joined. For now, it remains an alternative to the Franco-German FCAS (with Spain), but there is room for convergence. With its national entities, MBDA is involved in both programs. For now, explained Mariani, the various studies on the requirements are all proceeding according to the logic of the “Chinese wall”, that is a rigid separation of the contributions to the two programs. “On Tempest – said the manager – we expect to start with a feasibility study, as previously communicated by the United Kingdom; I think we have to leave this year, because if we aim to get the aircraft into service in 2035, 2038 or 2040, times are tight, ”he said. And then,THE TURKISH CASE
Finally, Mariani spoke on the “Turkey case”, after the definition of “dictator” offered by Mario Draghi for Recep Erdogan and the news of Ankara’s stop to purchase Italian products. Yesterday, the president of Aiad Guido Crosetto explained to LaPresse that “no formal communication” has arrived about the stop to Leonardo for the order of ten training helicopters. As for MBDA, Mariani said, “we don’t have a lot of relations with Turkey”. There is some “collaboration with local industries; more than anything else they are the ones who sell to us; the interest is mutual, very economic, and not very strategic “.

Previous articleFour looks for women over 60 that mature influencers wear better than anyone
Next articleIs the Lidl ironing mannequin sold out? It doesn’t matter, Phillips lowers yours on Amazon