FARNBOROUGH, England — Thales and Italian electronic warfare specialist Elettronica have pooled a wide range of their aircraft self-protection for use in one system, dubbed Cybele, that they claim will cut the costs of saving aircraft from numerous hostile threats.

Launched at the Farnborough International Airshow on Monday, the system for rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft will integrate the two firm's existing survivability lineups, which will be controlled through one, integrated suite.

The initiative was announced as the two firms signed a memorandum of understanding at the show for tighter collaboration, following 20 years of team-ups. Thales, a French firm, owns a 33 percent stake in Elettronica, in which Italy's Leonardo-Finmeccanica owns 32 percent.

Managers said Thales and Elettronica now have a road map for another decade of collaboration.

"We are reducing costs, which are the enemy," said Elettronica CEO Enzo Benigni. "Costs are worse than the competition."

The Cybele system will pull together products already offered by both Thales and Elettronica and will be jointly marketed by both firms.

"In our catalogs it will be the same product," Benigni said.

From Thales comes a missile warning system and radar warning receiver, as well as a chaff and flare system.

Elettronica will provide the electronic support measures, directional-infrared countermeasures system, active decoys and electronic countermeasures.

A laser warning system will be acquired by the firms for use in the system.

To complete the system, Elettronica is working on an expendable active decoy, which will be called Sparc, and will be ready in one year, according to Daniela Pistoia, chief scientist at the Italian firm.

Elettronica has previously teamed with Thales on electronic warfare products for the Italo-French Horizon and FREMM frigates and recently won €100 million (US $110 million) worth of business providing electronic warfare systems for corvettes ordered by Qatar from Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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