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Leonardo is a global defence and security company, which launched a high-technology research and engineering facility in Newcastle in February 2023, committing to employ at least 200 people in the city.

Italian-owned Leonardo is one of the world’s largest defence companies, employing around 50,000 people globally and 8,500 people across 8 sites in the UK. Best known for its onshore production of UK military helicopters and the cutting-edge electronics on-board Royal Air Force aircraft, Leonardo is one of the biggest suppliers to the UK Ministry of Defence.

The new research site in Newcastle will employ at least 200 people and is expected to generate over £185 million of economic benefit to the North East region over the next ten years.

Leonardo Newcastle focuses on the research, development and prototyping of Leonardo’s next generation sensing, security and vertical lift products, many of which will incorporate emerging digital and data technologies. It also connects to Leonardo’s other scientific research and manufacturing sites around the UK via the secure cloud, linking into the company’s nationwide network of data-driven engineering projects.

The company plans to get involved with regional SMEs, charities, social mobility programmes, schools and academia, and has already helped set up the North East Regional Defence and Security Cluster (NERDSC), which aims to position the region as a national driving force of the UK’s digital defence technology revolution.

Leonardo is part of a growing cluster of defence and security businesses investing in the North East and seeks to maximise the potential to generate valuable intellectual property and boost regional productivity.

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