Leonardo Invests in Skydweller to Drive Unmanned Aircraft Tech Dev’t; Alessandro Profumo Quoted

Jeff Brody
Alessandro Profumo

Leonardo has made an investment in unmanned aircraft technology startup Skydweller Aero in a move to accelerate the deployment of the latter’s solar-powered drone platform.

Skydweller aims to build a fully electric system designed to fly unlimited distances and accomodate large payloads in support of land and maritime monitoring, emergency response, precision navigation, infrastructure surveillance and telecommunication missions, Leonardo said Monday.

As part of the agreement, the Italy-based conglomerate's aircraft division will support development efforts at Skydweller's facility in Spain and serve as prime contractor for potential business opportunities within Italy, U.K. Poland and NATO member countries.

Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo said the investment is part of a push to expand the company's work on  aircraft materials, power systems, autonomous technology, aerostructures and other environmentally-friendly offerings.

Profumo added the company aims to build up its position in the aerospace market over the next two decades.

Skydweller expects to commence autonomous flights of an optionally-piloted vehicle in 2020 and complete a production model of an unmanned OPV version by 2021.

Check Also

Jon Hill Director MDA

Vice Adm. Jon Hill on MDA’s Move to Pause Defensive Hypersonic Missile Design Program

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said MDA has decided to delay the defensive hypersonic missile design effort to focus on near-term options, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Fisher Industries

Fisher Industries Lands Potential $290M CBP Laredo Sector Border Construction Contract

Fisher Industries has received a potential $289.5M contract to build an additional 17 miles of border wall infrastructure for the U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector's area of responsibility in Webb County, Texas.