JED - October 2010 - (Page 36)

interview DOMITILL A BENIGNI Chief O perating O f f icer Elet tronic S.p. A . By Luca Peruzzi to quickly adjust and respond to newer market needs. In addition to our subsidiary in Germany and participation in LNX (a high-tech company in the US), we have established joint-ventures in the UAE and India to adapt to the technology transfer and offset package requests. More agreements are to come, according to market opportunities. E 36 The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2010 lettronica S.p.A. (ELT) has established itself as a leading EW company serving the Italian military, European customers and, more recently, the Middle East and AsiaPacific markets. Over the past few years, it has established partnerships that have enabled the company to branch out from RF EW into the IR countermeasures and COMINT markets. Earlier this year, the company announced that it was also pursuing Cyberrelated opportunities. JED recently sat down with ELT’s new Chief Operating Officer, Domitilla Benigni, who provided an insightful look into the company’s strategy and market prospects. How is Elettronica coping with new systems design, development, integration and production requirements as well as export needs? We are focusing and strengthening our R&D laboratory capabilities, providing adequate funding, as well as implementing new development methodologies. In addition to a roughly constant € 10 million R&D yearly funding flow, we are already implementing risk-reduction development methodologies in order to have new products ready for the market in three years time. In parallel, LNX is providing fast prototyping and hi-tech components for surveillance and acquisition, while our subsidiary in Germany is focusing on homeland security R&D in order to strengthen its position in this specific market sector. Elettronica has grown and is still strongly involved in important European programs, such as the Eurofighter, the FREMM multi-purpose frigates, the ESM equipment for the NH90 helicopter and derived programs. Today, however, and mainly due to military budget reductions and newer asymmetrical threats, we observe that except for specific areas, the global market is focusing on smaller-size procurements, where solutions that can be quickly and easily adapted to new requirements are becoming paramount. Elettronica (ELT) has earned a position among the EW market’s leaders based on its Radio Frequency (RF) EW product line. What are the company’s strategies to strengthen its worldwide presence and to cope with demanding customer requirements? ELT has six decades of EW specialization in this sector, and it is enlarging its production portfolio to cope with new threats and address customer requirements. In 2011, ELT will celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary. In addition to the RF EW core business, ELT is introducing new IR countermeasures and communications intelligence capability solutions, and is approaching the new frontier of technologies in the Cyber warfare domain. In the last decade, our company’s labor force has dropped from around 2,000 personnel to almost 800, while in the meantime we have established a strong relationship with our subcontractors, outsourcing most of the component production. We decided to concentrate on design, development and integration activities, in addition to very specific components and subassembly production, such as solid-state amplifier technology. In the last decade company revenues have doubled, reaching €193 million in 2009 with a constant growth in the last five years; we are forecasting similar results for 2010. With a healthy backlog of around €1 billion, mostly coming from domestic, European programs, and their spin offs, it is important El-Op of Israel and ELT co-developed the ELT/572 or MUSIC directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system, which uses fiber laser technology. The ELT/572 is completing development testing and performance validation ahead of initial deliveries in 2012. Can you give some insight about anticipated contracts? Elettronica has very recently been informed by the Italian Ministry of Defense (MOD) that it has been selected to receive a contract for ELT/572 installation design, test and validation activities on board the Italian Air Force’s C-27J and C-130J continued on page 38

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2010

JED - October 2010
The View From Here
From the Presidents
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
What’s Next in IED Jammers?
Electronic Warfare in Today’s Surface Navy
ELINT Receivers Tackle Dense Signal Environments
A Structural View of EM Spectrum Warfare
AOC News
Book Review
EW 101
Roost Profiles
AOC 2010 Award Winners
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - October 2010