Thales supplies sonar system

Thales has signed a contract with Intermarine to supply its Sonar 2093 system to the Italian Navy’s Gaeta-class mine-hunting fleet.

The contract, signed on 18 November and said to be worth around £100m, follows on from a main contract agreed in August 2009 between Intermarine and the Italian Navy to refit eight Gaeta-class mine hunters 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 take place at Thales UK’s site in Templecombe, Somerset.

According to Thales, Sonar 2093 is a variable-depth sonar system designed to detect and classify bottom and moored mines in littoral and open-ocean waters.

The system is already in service with the UK Royal Navy’s Sandown-class mine hunters.

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.

Ed Lowe, managing director of Thales UK’s naval business, said: ‘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.’