Selex ES was formed on
In addition to an environment in which budgets are shrinking, orders are taking longer to secure. As
However, the restructure of the business has given it some coping strategies, not least its bigger global footprint through the combined operations of the three companies and increased capabilities.
Another strategy, says Boggiani, is to focus on delivering comprehensive solutions for customers rather than stand-alone products. He points to the recent contract with the UN, which will see the deployment of its
However, Selex has not sold the UAV and ground station to the UN; the company is supplying it, alongside pilots, on a contract basis. This turnkey approach could well become Â€śmore frequent than in the pastÂ€ suggests Boggiani, potentially outstripping the normal procurement route.
Â€śMaybe this is because the requirement is not permanent or that the budget will not allow the entity to buy the system,Â€ he says. Â€śThe need is there, but on the other hand there is not enough money in the short term.Â€
Selex has a growing interest in the unmanned sector, manufacturing everything from micro UAVs to tactical types. Although theoretically it can produce anything up to a weight limit of 1,000kg (2,200lb) Â€“ beyond that it strays into the territory of sister company
As you might expect, it sees an opportunity to push these unmanned systems into the civil sector. It is already engaged with the EU to secure access for UAVs to civil airspace via its Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Programme initiative. Boggiani says it is Â€śwell positionedÂ€ to benefit from any relaxation in the regulations. Additionally, he sees an opportunity to provide systems for parapublic operators, citing police or coastguard services as particularly suitable.
Â€śWe are already talking to [civil] customers and organisations with a need to perform missions with mini or micro UAVs,Â€ he adds.
Moreover, faced with the burgeoning use of unmanned systems, Selex sees a growing requirement to provide systems capable of coping with the Â€śabsolutely hugeÂ€ amounts of data produced.
Â€śA UAV flying for 14 hours can rally send to the control station a huge quantity of data. It is important then to exploit that data and transform it into information to be used by another operator,Â€ says Boggiani.
Systems such as its platform-agnostic SkyISTAR are key to this activity, adds Boggiani.
Efforts to integrate different payloads on to its existing products and the development of increasingly sophisticated datalinks are, says Boggiani, more important than adding another UAV to its portfolio.
Â€śBefore starting a new programme it is important to reinforce the products and business presence we already have,Â€ he says. Â€śIn our definition UAVs are sensor carriers and information providers.Â€
Relationships with its sister companies are also key. It supplies around 60% of the avionics on the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, and has a substantial presence on most AgustaWestland programmes, adds Boggiani. It also benefits from sales above and beyond the baseline aircraft Â€“ it recently secured a contract with the
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