NAVIRIS and NAVANTIA have signed an MoU to further strengthen industrial cooperation on the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) programme, the companies announced on 10 February.
NAVIRIS (a Fincantieri/Naval Group 50/50 joint venture) is tasked with development of cooperation programmes and is focusing significant effort on EPC, the single most important naval initiative within the European Permanent Structured Cooperation project (PESCO).
A smart, affordable, sustainable and interoperable vessel embodying considerable innovation, the EPC aims to meet evolving naval mission requirements for mid-century. Primarily aimed at enhancing maritime situational awareness, it will conduct a wide variety of mission sets, from power projection to anti-piracy and from freedom of navigation exercises to controlling migration. In the 100m/3,000t range, it should be capable of replacing several current classes of vessel, from patrol vessels to light frigates, from 2027 onwards. Design requirements and specifications are expected to be issued during 2021.
The two companies – and NAVIRIS’ parent entities, will coordinate their efforts for the EPC programme, which could benefit from EU and national funding. Initial goals will likely include R&D that will benefit co-development and interoperability, particularly in efficient performance and digital data management.
The programme has so far attracted membership from four nations at the PESCO level: France, Greece, Italy (coordinating nation) and Spain. The programme aims to include further nations, with the goal of spreading innovation and technology sharing across the widest possible community.