Suites for Subs

An artists’ impression of the Italian Navy’s new submarines. These are to be outfitted with an Elettronica EW suite.

Elettronica gives Armada new details on its recent contract to supply Fincantieri with electronic warfare systems.

These will equip new conventional hunter-killer submarines for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy). The navy has ordered two boats. They should commission in 2027 and 2029 respectively, according to reports.

A written statement from Elettronica says that the name and nomenclature of the submarines’ Electronic Warfare (EW) suite “will be disclosed soon”. It adds that the boats’ EW systems will cover communication and radar wavebands, but demurred from giving specifics.


The company says that the EW suite comprises its Virgilius combined Electronic Support Measure/Electronic Countermeasure (ESM/ECM) and ELT-332 systems. The ELT-332 processes Communications Intelligence (COMINT) with direction-finding and monitoring subsystems. Virgilius processes radar signals. It identifies a radar emission comparing this with parametric values in its reference library.

The suite is managed by Elettronica’s ELT-950 apparatus. This is the clearing house supervising electronic and communications intelligence collection: “All data are fused by the ELT-950 to create an overall EW picture,” the statement notes.

Elettronica told Armada that the suite has an integrated radar/communications ESM antenna: “This supports  surveillance, self-protection (and) signals intelligence gathering functions.” Data collected by the antenna are then processed digitally for tactical (warning and situation assessment) and strategic (intelligence) purposes.

The suite combines the “maturity gained by Elettronica in current submarine and naval programmes … with innovation to deliver a system able to face current, emerging and future threats.” Elettronica declined to provide details of the contract’s value.

by Dr. Thomas Withington