Naviris, the 50/50 joint venture company between Fincantieri and Naval Group in charge of development of cooperation programs, and Navantia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enlarging the industrial cooperation for the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) program, the most important naval initiative within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project. On the industrial side, Naviris and Navantia will act in a fully coordinated way with Fincantieri and Naval Group for the EPC program.
The ambition of the project, which has been joined so far by four Countries at PESCO level, (Italy as coordinator, France, Spain and Greece), is to include other European partners to integrate technological bricks, which correspond to innovation streams matching with national EPC requirements and European Commission strategy and guidelines. The studies could potentially benefit from European Union and national funds and will include a large part of R&D leading to innovative solutions for making easier the co-development and interoperability, the efficiency of the vessels in operations and the digital data management.
The EPC will be a smart, innovative, affordable, sustainable, interoperable and flexible vessel to meet the future missions in the evolved world context of mid-21st century. It will be about 100 meters and 3.000 tons, able to replace in the near future (from 2027 onward) several classes of ships, from patrol vessels to light frigates. The design requirements for these vessels, with a clear objective of commonality of solutions and modularity for adaptation to national requirements, are expected from the Navies in 2021.
The collaborative project was launched in November 2019 by the European Council under the PESCO scheme. Italy and France started the project (12 November 2019) and were joined by Greece (12 January 2020) and Spain (2 April 2020). The EPC will be a fully ready surface combatant to carry-out diversified missions, primarily aimed at enhancing maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection, particularly in the context of governmental peacetime actions, such as those aimed at counteracting piracy and smuggling, as well as those actions dedicated to humanitarian assistance, migration control and aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation.