Italy’s Leonardo has unveiled a five-year growth and development plan to strengthen its presence in the defence electronics market.

The company’s electronics division includes 18 Italian national centres of technological excellence, developing radar systems, sensor technology, and other defence systems for land-based and naval platforms, as well as aviation and space sectors.

The division employs approximately 13,000 people, of which 8,500 are based in Italy.

Under the plan, the company aims to invest a total of €1bn ($1.1bn) over five years, in Italy, and an additional €50m ($55m) annually during the first three years, to optimise the sites in the country.

Leonardo will also invest €100m ($110m) every year in its electronics business in the UK.

With this investment, the company seeks to improve production lines, logistics, and supply chains. It will also focus on product innovation in collaboration with universities, research centres, and other institutions.

In a statement, Leonardo said: “This investment will be used to create centres of specialist technology, with a strong emphasis on innovation, digital production, and sustainability, as well as optimised logistics, production processes, and supply chains.”

The company will employ the ‘Factory of the Future’ intelligent factory model to optimise production. This includes leveraging Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing systems such as robotics, and new IT systems, to achieve a more efficient and sustainable production.

A part of the plan also includes strengthening its engineering and manufacturing workforce.

Leonardo is a multinational aerospace, defence, and security company, headquartered in Rome.

The company recently announced its results for the financial year 2021. Last year, Leonardo’s revenues totalled €14.1bn, up 5% compared to €13.4bn in 2020.