Leonardo and Italian shipyard Intermarine have signed an agreement to research and develop new technologies and pursue business opportunities in the military, as well as para-military in the naval industry.

Under the research and development agreement, the companies will renew minesweeper fleets, fast patrol boats, and hydrographic vessels.

The ten-year collaboration will generate business opportunities while focusing on the development of new generation products.

With specialisations in different areas, the industrial integration will strengthen the programmes for the renewal of fleets of hunting vessels, fast patrol boats and hydrographic vessels.

The companies’ Italian research centre and production plants will invest in robotics, unmanned technology, and naval engineering.

It will also invest in necessary aspects for the production of multirole units for both coastal and offshore vehicles.

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The developed systems will have the capability to fight to mine and control the sea, meeting all mission requirements.

The development will support defence forces on a national and international level.

Earlier this month, Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) selected Leonardo for a potential future upgrade of gun mounts.

The possible upgrade work is part of a framework agreement signed by both parties. The scope of the 20-year deal may see the upgrade of 17 lightweight 76/62 Super Rapid gun mounts.

In June last year, the Italian Navy launched the lead vessel of a new class of multipurpose offshore patrol ships (PPA) at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia, Italy.

Known as ‘Paolo Thaon di Revel’, the vessel was the first of seven vessels planned to be acquired by the country.