Italian electronic warfare specialist Elettronica will team with two Australian companies to supply electronic warfare systems to the SEA 5000 Future Frigate program.
Thales Australia and South Australian systems integrator Daronmont Technologies signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Italian company as part of a co-operation deal that would see them team to deliver Elettronica's Minerva electronic warfare communications capabilities if Fincantieri is selected to deliver the SEA 5000 project.
Minerva offers electronic warfare support measures (ESM), electronic counter measures (ECM), electronic warfare management (EWM) and communications intelligence.
Italy's Fincantieri is competing against the UK's BAE Systems and Spain’s Navantia to supply nine frigates for the Australian Navy, with a decision expected next month.
Fincantieri has offered its FREMM frigates which is already in service with the Italian, French, Royal Moroccan and Egyptian navies. The FREMM is also a finalist for the US Navy's FFG (X) program.
The MoUs were signed during a visit of an Australian delegation to Elettronica's headquarters in Rome, Italy.
Elettronica chairman Enzo Benini said it was an easy and logical decision to team with Daronmont and Thales Australia.
"We have developed forefront technologies in the EW naval sector. For this reason, we are willing to support the Australian Navy with our solutions," Benini said.
"We are also teaming with the most valuable partners. I think we have reason for optimism."
Elettronica has previously worked in the Australian market when it installed its ESM on the Royal Australian Navy River Class destroyer escorts in the 1980s.
Elettronica currently supplies its electronic warfare technologies to the governments and armed forces of 28 nations.
Amelia McMahon travelled to Rome as a guest of the Italian Trade Agency.