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Thales-Elettronica joint venture SIGEN to upgrade Horizon class' EW systems.

| 2023

According to a PR published by Thales on November 27, 2023, SIGEN, a consortium between Thales and Elettronica, has been contracted to modernize the Electronic Warfare (EW) systems of the Horizon-class frigates.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Horizon class destroyer Andrea Doria. (Picture source: Italian MoD)

This development follows the agreement between OCCAR and Naviris, a joint venture of Fincantieri and Naval Group, for the Mid-Life Upgrade of four Horizon-class units utilized by the Italian and French navies. The contract was finalized in August 2023.

This project is a continuation of the collaborative efforts between Thales and Elettronica, previously seen in the Horizon and FREMM programs. The contract involves both companies contributing to the supply of advanced EW systems, designed to address both current and future operational requirements.

The scope of the modernization includes integrating new EW system components developed by both companies in their respective national naval programs. The French Navy's FDI (Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention) program's full digital Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) component will be merged with the Radar Electronic Counter Measures component from the Italian Navy's PPA (Patrol Multipurpose Offshore Units) program.

The Communication Electronic Support Measures and Electronic Warfare Management Unit subsystems will be provided as national variants by each company for their respective navies.

About the Horizon class

The vessels' sensor and processing systems are state-of-the-art, featuring the Selex ES EMPAR Phased array G band multi-purpose radar, BAE/Thales Group S1850M long-range radar, and Thales Group UMS 4110 CL sonar. The Italian units are further equipped with a Selex surface search radar in E/F band, among other advanced systems.

For electronic warfare and decoy capabilities, these ships utilize Elettronica Spa 4100 Nettuno, SIGEN EW systems, OTO Melara ODLS-H decoy launching systems, and SLAT anti-torpedo systems.

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