Elettronica signs MOUs with Thales Australia and Australia’s

Daronmont Technologies for the Royal Australian Navy’s “Future Frigate” program

Rome, 20 March 2018 — Elettronica, the Italian-based electronic warfare specialist,
has signed Memoranda of Understanding with Thales Australia and the Australian
systems house Daronmont that lay the groundwork for further collaboration in the
event of a successful outcome of the bidding process currently underway for the
construction of nine new frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. The three would work
together in equipping the ships with electronic defense systems.

Australia’s SEA 5000 “Future Frigate” program calls for construction of the new
vessels primarily to reinforce its anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The three groups
short-listed for the project are led respectively by prime contractors from Italy
(Fincantieri), the United Kingdom (BAE Systems) and Spain (Navantia).

Today’s MOUs would have effect in the event of the selection of the Fincantieri project for the
new craft. A final decision by the Australian Government is expected by early summer.
The MOUs were signed during the visit of an Australian delegation to Elettronica’s
headquarters in Rome. Collaboration on the project would mark the company’s return
to the Australian market, which began with the installation of its ESM (Electronic
warfare Support Measures) systems on Royal Australian Navy “River” class destroyer
escorts in the 1980s.

Elettronica Chairman Enzo Benigni said: “We have developed forefront technologies
in the EW naval sector. For this reason, we are willing to support the Australian Navy
with our solutions. We are also teaming with the most valuable partners. I think we
have reason for optimism.”
The total vale of the Future Frigate program is in the neighborhood of AU$35 billion.
Construction of the new warships is expected to begin in 2020 in South Australia, with
the first of the nine vessels to enter service later in the decade. The ships are intended
to replace craft in the Royal Australian Navy’s existing “Anzac” class.
The project presented by the Italian-led grouping is based on existing FREMM class
frigates in service with the Italian, French, Royal Moroccan and Egyptian navies. The
class is also a finalist for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) program. During pre-selection, the
Australian Government chose to request development of a FREMM class offer based
on the Italian variant, both because its characteristic best met Australia’s strategic
requirements and because six of the ship are already active with the Italian navy – a
factor reducing development uncertainty and overall costs for the building program.
The Elettronica/Thales Australia/Daronmont grouping would take responsibility for
equipping the new ships with electronic defensive systems present in Elettronica’s
“Minerva” package, which offers ESM, ECM (Electronic Counter Measures), EWM
(Electronic Warfare Management) and communications intelligence as well as other
Italy-based Elettronica supplies its Electronic Warfare technologies to the
Governments and Armed Forces of 28 nations. Thales Australia is a subsidiary of the
French Aerospace and Defense Group. Australia’s Daronmont Technologies is a
systems integrator and technology firm specialized in high-speed digital processing
and software engineering.



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