Unmanned Vehicles

Leonardo's M-40 UAS sees first action

22nd February 2019 - 14:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Leonardo’s new M-40 target UAS recently flew its first missions during an Italian Navy exercise involving ITS Cavour aircraft carrier and ITS Francesco Mimbelli destroyer, the company announced on 18 February.

The exercise saw the aircraft carrier and its complement of AV8B+ fighter aircraft training alongside the destroyer against M-40 UAS which were simulating a range of incoming threats.

During the exercise, the M-40 played the part of a missile to simulate an attack against the Italian naval vessels and separately acted as a hostile enemy fighter in air-to-air combat scenarios. During these missions, the navy personnel were able to ‘shoot down’ the reusable M-40 in realistic scenarios, allowing them to train with weapon systems including Aspide missiles.

The exercise was the first set of missions to make use of the M-40, which is able to represent a full spectrum of radar, infrared and visual threats. 

Leonardo operates the M-40 on behalf of the Italian armed forces under a managed service arrangement with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.   

Leonardo also offers the Mirach 100/5, which shares the same ground control station as the new M-40. During the Italian Navy exercise, the Mirach 100/5 was employed to simulate a missile attack against the naval vessels, allowing the crew to train with SM1 and Aster 15 missiles.

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