Leonardo to Maintain British Military’s Flight Mission Data Toolkits

UK Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) has awarded Leonardo a contract to maintain flight mission data toolkits for British military pilots.

Mission data is one metric used by an aircraft to maneuver over the battlefield. It provides situational awareness of enemy assets in the sky and suggests steps to neutralize them.

Under the 10-million-pound ($12.6 million) deal, the Italian company will provide upkeep for the Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Center’s Horus data generation and analysis solution at Royal Air Force Base Waddington.

Work for the agreement includes continued support and upgrades for the survivability equipment, sustaining “up-to-date” information “in response to the growing demands of modern combat missions.”

Through the project, the military aircraft will receive rapid mission data refresh to improve security in the airspace.

Leonardo will provide the maintenance for 10 years at its Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities hub in Lincoln.

“This has been a continuing collaborative effort between DE&S…and industry to harness technology and build a competitive edge for our UK Armed Forces by ensuring they have access to a mission system that can be rapidly updated to counter emerging threats,” DE&S Branch Head Kyle Thompson said.

F-35 B
F-35 B fighter jet. Image:: Senior aircraftman Tim Laurence/ UK Crown Copyright

Supporting Sixth-Gen Combat Aircraft Development

Leonardo wrote that this latest award serves as preparation for the Global Combat Air Programme to produce a unified sixth-generation fighter jet for the UK and its international allies.

Once operational in 2035, the aircraft will utilize new Integrated Communications System and Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects devices that will both leverage modernized mission data tools to consolidate and process larger quantities of flight information.

“The ability to rapidly update mission data is a vital sovereign capability that ensures our Armed Forces are able to operate effectively in a contested and congested battlespace,” Leonardo UK Electronic Warfare SVP Iain Bancroft stated.

“By working collaboratively with DE&S and our Armed Forces end-users, we are able to maximize our combat air fleet’s survivability and help ensure operational independence.”

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