12 Jan '18, 10pm

Leonardo to head EU research program on unmanned naval systems

ROME — The first research project to be carried out by the European Union’s new defense fund will cover unmanned naval systems and be led by Italy’s Leonardo, the firm said Friday. The EU fund, launched in 2016 to build the union’s military capabilities, foresees a pooled €5 billion (U.S. $6 billion) procurement budget. Prior to procurement, the fund also covers a €90 million research phase called the Preparatory Action on Defence Research and a €500 million annual budget for prototypes and demonstrators. The work awarded to an industrial team led by Leonardo — which is worth around €35 million, an Italian industrial source said — is part of the first phase, and will be contracted in coming weeks, the firm said. The team set to work on the so-called OCEAN2020 project comprises 42 firms from 15 countries and beat off a rival bid from a team led by Airbus during the contest,...

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/01/12/leonardo-...

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