NAVIRIS, the 50/50 joint venture between Fincantieri and Naval Group which is responsible for the development of cooperation programs, and NAVANTIA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at expanding industrial cooperation for the program of the European Patrol Corvette (EPC), the most important naval initiative within the European project Permanent Structured Cooperation (PEACH).
The EPC will be a ship smart, innovative, affordable, sustainable, interoperable and flexible to meet the requirements dictated by the evolved global context of the 21st century. The EPC will be a surface unit ready to carry out diversified missions, mainly aimed at improving knowledge of the maritime scenario, surface superiority and power projection. In particular, the reference is to government initiatives in peacetime, such as those aimed at combating piracy and smuggling, in addition to actions dedicated to humanitarian assistance, the control of migratory flows and freedom of navigation.
The ship will have a length of about 100 meters and a tonnage of 3.000 tons, and will be able to replace in the near future (starting from 2027) different classes of ships, from patrol boats to frigates. The design requirements, with a clear objective of convergence of solutions and modularity to adapt to national needs, are expected by the various Marinas in 2021.
On the industrial side, NAVIRIS and NAVANTIA will act in a fully coordinated manner with Fincantieri and Naval Group for the EPC program.
Studies could potentially benefit from EU and national funding and will include much of the R&D, which will lead to innovative solutions to make co-development and interoperability, efficiency and digital management easier.
The ambition of the project, to which four countries at PESCO level have joined so far (Italy as coordinator, France, Spain and Greece), is to include other European partners to integrate the technological base, which is determined by the EPC requirements of the individual nations as well as the strategy and guidelines of the European Commission.