To modernise naval capabilities, the joint venture between Thales and Elettronica, known as SIGEN, secures a contract for the electronic warfare system’s mid-life upgrade on the Horizon-class frigates

This collaboration strengthens the bond between two industry leaders.

Following the recent contract signing between OCCAR and Naviris for the mid-life upgrade of Horizon-class frigates used by the Italian and French navies, SIGEN has now changed the electronic warfare (EW) system.

This collaboration builds upon the success achieved in previous Horizon and FREMM programmes, solidifying a partnership to meet current and future operational needs. The joint effort between Thales and Elettronica offers a well-balanced contribution from both companies.

In July 2016, Thales and Electronica entered into a collaborative agreement which aims to focus on industrial and commercial operations in the electronic warfare (EW) domain in France and Italy, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Electronic Warfare Market 2020-2030” report.

The heart of this advancement lies in integrating components developed in national naval programmes. The radar electronic support measures (RESM) component, born out of the Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) programme for the French Navy, will merge with the radar electronic countermeasures component developed for the Patrol Multipurpose Offshore Units (PPA) for the Italian Navy. 

The communication electronic support measures and electronic warfare management unit subsystems will also feature national variants tailored for each navy.

Domitilla Benigni, CEO and COO of Elettronica emphasised the dual significance of the contract, stating, “The Horizon Units’ Electronic Warfare System Mid-Life Upgrade solidifies our excellence in naval EW for both the Italian and French Navies. Furthermore, it strengthens our longstanding collaboration with Thales, reinforcing ELT Group’s dedicated contribution to European Defense.”

Philippe Duhamel, executive vice-president of defence mission systems, Thales, expressed pride in the partnership, stating, “We are very proud to reinforce our collaboration and partnership with ELT Group by providing our unique Electronic Warfare system for the Italian and French Navies. This considers the new and modern stakes and threats of the electromagnetic spectrum, ensuring heightened defence capabilities in an evolving landscape.”