FARNBOROUGH: Interview with Selex Gailileo CEO Fabrizio Giulianini

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Already at the forefront of the growing electronic warfare market, Selex Galileo is attempting to become a major player in unmanned air systems of all sizes by leveraging its expertise in airborne active electronically-scanned array radars, electro-optics, lasers and integrated mission systems, according to the Finmeccanica company's CEO, Fabrizio Giulianini.

Q: Which specific markets is Selex Galileo targeting with EW systems such as integrated defensive aids, EW operational support solutions and next-generation directed infrared countermeasures?

A: Electronic warfare is a growing market, it is evolving quickly and its boundaries are broadening to include not only the traditional combat scenario, but also more generic defence and security domains. For companies like Selex Galileo who are willing to be at the forefront of technology and at the heart of sovereign capabilities, this means a relentless effort to develop innovative new ways to counter evolving and unknown threats. Our centre of excellence for EW is at Luton in the UK, where some of the most advanced products currently present on the market have been developed. The DAS [Defensive Aids Suite] of the Eurofighter Typhoon is the main example and is widely regarded as the most complex, complete and effective suite on the market. We are also investing in new products such as Sage and Seer, state-of-the-art systems focused on superior performance paired with scalability, ease of integration and at an affordable cost. We've worked hard to enhance commonality to offer solutions that can be used across a number of platforms, significantly reducing overhead costs and through life-cycle management.Because electronic warfare is not only about protection, but very much about delivering vital information and supporting total situation awareness, customers can build and gain a lot from equipment and data commonality and exploitation. We have a positive track record in proving how we can 'export' this capability to those countries that want to develop their independent threat awareness, understanding and countering capabilities.

Q: The operationally proven Falco unmanned air system family is being adapted to meet new requirements, in parallel to new command, control and exploitation tools, and mini and micro UAS developments. What is Selex Galileo's vision for the sector, and its market forecast?

A: Selex Galileo is the only European company to truly master the UAS domain from the single system to a fully integrated architecture, with our Falco UAS that has recently secured a fourth international customer. We offer payloads, platforms and ground control stations from mini/micro up to high-level tactical solutions along with the understanding of the operational scenario in which this equipment will be deployed. Our simulation capabilities support the definition of conops and help customers to train effectively, reducing costs and time spent. The company is continuing to invest to further grow its UAS capability offer by developing the mission management platform agnostic system skyISTAR, which will have the potential to be fitted onto any MALE [medium altitude long endurance] platform to deliver enhanced sensor exploitation and data integration. We have been working with a number of UAS platform providers and have integrated our sensors onto 10 different aircraft, such as the recently demonstrated Seaspray 7500E radar on board the General Atomics Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, within a joint effort to deliver to customers the full flexibility to integrate their own sensors and benefit from sovereign control over the missions they fly. The development of the Falco EVO is continuing on track and we are currently testing the equipment and systems integration with a view to the first flight campaign. Falco EVO operational flexibility grants endurance comparable to that of a medium altitude long-endurance UAS while providing outstanding payload features. We are now looking at expanding our service solutions activities to deliver output-based surveillance services. We recently completed the first year of service with our Falco for an international customer, and are seeking opportunities in the disaster relief field with our mini UAS.

Q: Selex Galileo is developing a range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance RF and EO/IR systems. How is this work progressing?

A: Selex Galileo has a unique customer portfolio. Our surveillance AESA radars have secured 20 new customers, while our mechanically scanned Gabbiano has seen success on 10 different platforms. Customers include countries such as the USA, UK and Italy but also countries where a strong technology transfer package is required, such as Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia. In these countries, activities are progressing successfully at pace and we expect further interesting news very soon. Our flagship Atos airborne surveillance mission system has become a benchmark in the sector, being installed on more than 10 different fixed and rotary-wing platforms. Atos will be at the heart of some interesting news during the show, with regards to overland applications. Further demonstrating our capabilities in airborne ISR, Selex Galileo has also been awarded a contract worth €140 million [$175 million] by Northrop Grumman to contribute to NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance programme.

Our family of fire control radars will also be at the forefront this year, with the Gripen NG equipped with our Raven ES-05 on static display, demonstrating our product's maturity. The Gripen NG also integrates the Skyward infrared search and track system, also by Selex Galileo.We are also progressing with bringing to market our exportable DIRCM system, while our latest generation EO/IR sensors packages based on Selex Galileo's breakthrough proprietary technology recently won another contract with the UK ministry of defence.

Q: The Eurofighter Typhoon sensor suite has proved itself during operations in Libya, and together with other European partners Selex Galileo is working on an AESA Captor upgrade to add to the family of modular scalable E-Scan radars. What is the status of this project?

A: Selex Galileo is a key contributor and proud partner of the Eurofighter Typhoon programme, leading the consortia for each of the main sensors - the radar, the DAS and the IRST - and delivering mission critical avionics as well as simulation. We support Typhoon in our home nations, delivering support and availability, as recently demonstrated during the Unified Protector operation, as well as taking on the risk of innovative capability contracting models like the CMA contract with the Italian air force. Here, Selex Galileo has full responsibility for over 45 pieces of equipment, both company produced and third party. Selex Galileo is also committed to supporting the Typhoon export campaigns, ensuring continuous technology and capability development and insertion for the aircraft paired with capability tailoring and technology transfer to meet specific export customer needs. Captor E represents a major enhancement for the aircraft's capability and, although independently developed within the framework of the Euroradar Consortium, it will benefit from the experience that Selex Galileo has gained in the application of AESA technology.

Q: Finmeccanica group provides a range of capabilities in the defence electronics and security sectors. How is Selex Galileo contributing to the integration, development and marketing efforts in this field?

A: The defence electronics sector represents close to 34% of the revenues of Finmeccanica and Selex Galileo contributes to this result with a business worth €1.8 billion, a solid backlog and profitability ranking in the European defence electronics sector.

Selex Galileo is the centre of excellence for airborne radar, IR, RF and UAS, and is also the electro-optic centre of excellence in Europe. We own discriminating technologies and capabilities in airborne AESA, lasers, EW, UAS and integrated mission systems to name just a few. We are fully committed to consolidating our leadership in these areas in our home markets and we are investing in our strategic international markets such as Brazil, India and the Gulf countries, where we are increasing our footprint through partnering and joint development initiatives. In India, our recently incorporated company is paving the way forward with a joint venture with Data Patterns that will focus on a broad range of defence electronic products and state-of-the-art technology development. The most recent achievement is in Kuwait, where Selex Galileo has entered into a joint venture with Al Safwa Security and Defence Systems, a registered Kuwaiti company with broad capabilities in defence and security services. The JV will provide defence services to the Kuwait armed forces, initially in the field of electronic warfare.Selex Galileo's approach to its strategic markets focuses on long-term commitments and collaboration, allowing us to work with local industries to develop tailored, sovereign defence and security electronics capabilities that enhance our customers' independence and know how.