Leonardo’s naval systems have been put through their paces in a recent NATO exercise, demonstrating their advanced technology and operational effectiveness. The range of systems, which included detection, tracking, communication, command and control capabilities, were on show between the 15th and 30th May at the MOD Hebrides Range in Scotland, UK as part of At Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 2021 (ASD / FS21), NATO’s main air defence and anti-missile exercise.
The realistic scenario saw live and simulated engagements against subsonic, supersonic and ballistic missiles in the skies. Naval vessels, aircraft and land vehicles from 10 nations tested their information exchange and interoperability capabilities as part of a simulated coalition-level response. At the trial, the frigate also made use of its MDLP-EVO (Multi Data Link Processor) communication system to exchange tactical data, while its IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, updated to the NATO Mode-5 standard, helped distinguish between allies and potential threats.
A number of Leonardo technologies were on-board the Italian Navy’s Antonio Marceglia, the eighth frigate to be delivered under the FREMM (European multi-purpose frigate) programme. This included the Kronos MFRA (Multi-Function Radar Active) 3D radar that can locate, classify and track targets within a 250 km radius. The Kronos MFRA was able to locate ballistic missiles in flight as they reached speeds of over 1,800m/s and accelerated at over 6G, and continued tracking the missiles over 200km.
The brain of the ship, its Combat Management System (CMS), coordinated the frigate’s air defence and anti-missile operations, processing data from the ship’s various sensors and presenting a real-time tactical picture of the scenario to the frigate crew and other units, supporting decisions and interventions at a coalition level. Leonardo’s weapon systems also saw positive results during the trial. The Super Rapido naval gun with 76mm DART guided ammunition demonstrated its ability to protected its host ship from even the most sophisticated threats. Meanwhile, the Aster 30 missile from MBDA, a European joint venture in which Leonardo has a 25% share, proved its ability to intercept incoming missiles.