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by Curtis Hand from Press Release – images courtesy Fincantieri and Italian Navy 

Elettronica announced it will supply the Electronic Warfare  (EW) suite to Italy’s Navy for new submarines (U212 NFS Programme), built by Fincantieri and managed by OCCAR. This includes two suites for the first batch and two additional systems as an option for future batches.
Elettronica supplies EW within the FREMM and PPA programme frameworks also managed by OCCAR. It aims to extend cooperation to EU co-funded projects.

The U212 NFS crew will have benefit of the latest EW technologies – image Fincantieri

Electronic supremacy of any battlefield means dominance and prior knowledge of the electronic Order of Battle is mission critical. Electro-Magnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO) are a key enabler for many diversified operations.
EMSO management and superiority support the submarine’s ability to operate without influencing the scenario directly. A submarine cannot perform typical stealth mission without effective self-protection capabilities necessary to survive high-risk areas.

Whether  crisis and in peace-keeping operations, the specific role of Surveillance and Reconnaissance requires also SIGINT activities (COMINT, ELINT)

The new Italian Navy’s U212 NFS Submarine EW suite from Elettronica is a technologically advanced and innovative solution to its underwater domain requirements.

Italian Navy’s U212 NFS Submarine – image Fincantieri

Elettronica designed the EW suite to perform self-protection, surveillance and intelligence tasks on the whole electromagnetic spectrum through a high-level of functional integration, from communication to radar bands, integrating its experience gained from previous Italian Navy programmes and regulations. The EW suite has an integrated RESM/CESM antenna – that might be the most advanced, compact and stealthy of its kind as the result of more than two years’ R&D. The system includes two additonal antennas the first for surveillance / detection tasks, the second as a warning antenna.

An artist’s impression of one of the four U212 NFS being built by Fincantieri at its Muggiano shipyard

The U212 NFS’ EW suite allows greater digitalisation and performances within a dense, complex electromagnetic environment, few EW suites can handle. Its software-defined architecture, significantly improves operations and allows easier maintenance and faster updates.

The EW suite has an EW management unit that is able to collect and manage the information coming from both Radar and Communications EW Sensors in an integrated way.  This enables an enhanced tactical and strategic awareness of the EW scenario that is mandatory to support Self-Protection, Surveillance and Intelligence operations.