Thales has signed a significant contract with Intermarine to supply its highly successful Sonar 2093 system to the Italian Navy’s (Marina Militare Italiana) Gaeta-class minehunting fleet.
The contract, signed on 18 November, follows on from a main contract agreed in August this year between Intermarine and the Italian Navy to refit eight Gaeta-class minehunters as part of a major mid-life technology upgrade.
Under the terms of the latest contract, Thales UK will supply eight Sonar 2093 systems. The majority of the manufacturing work will be undertaken at Thales UK’s site in Templecombe, Somerset.
Sonar 2093 is a variable-depth sonar system and is designed for the detection and classification of bottom and moored mines. It is optimised for littoral (coastal) and open-ocean waters and is effective against all known mine types.
The system is already in service with the UK Royal Navy’s Sandown-class mine countermeasures fleet and is a proven asset on UK minehunting operations.
Under the main refit contract, signed in Rome in August 2009, Intermarine will engineer, install and integrate the new equipment and systems for the Gaeta’s combat system. Thales will play a central role in the integration and acceptance trials of the Sonar 2093 systems.
The Gaeta-class minehunters were originally built by Intermarine and delivered to the Italian Navy between 1992-96. The refit will upgrade the technology used by the eight ships in line with existing and future operating scenarios.
Ed Lowe, managing director of Thales UK’s naval business, says: “This is a major contract for Thales UK’s underwater systems business and for the mine warfare business in particular.
“The new contract is the culmination of nearly 10 years of patient effort and is a major boost in our drive to achieve more export business. It will bring the number of these systems we have delivered worldwide to 50.
- Thales’s innovative and deployed mine countermeasure solutions have won all major mine countermeasure contracts over the past two years (India, Norway, Lithuania, Singapore).
- Intermarine is a company in the Rodriquez Cantieri Navali Group, controlled by Immsi S.p.A.
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace and Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2008, the company generated revenues of £10.2 billion (12.7 billion euros) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries.
Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40 locations. In 2008 Thales UK’s revenues were over £1.4 bn.