The European Defence Agency recently approved the launch of an ah hoc EDA project contributing to the development of a European Patrol Corvette (EPC). The EDA project is part of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project led by Italy and further involves France, Spain and Greece.
As a part of the third round of PESCO projects approved in November 2019, the four countries work closely together to design and develop a new class of patrol vessel that carries a variety of multifunctional systems and payloads, suitable for a number of different tasks. Its main tasks will be maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection.
The aim is to launch the first prototype in 2026-2027. The plan is to deliver the EPC as a baseline model, that can be tailored to the specific national needs of the purchasing countries. Naval news notes that the vessel’s ‘overall displacement is expected to be no more than 3,000 tons, which will allow the ship to operate from minor harbours (draft less than 5.5 meters). The length of the ship, to be equipped with diesel and/or electrical engines, should not exceed 110 meters.’
The open plug-and-play architecture of the vessel facilitates a versatility of response matching the framework of the EU’s CSDP operations. The role of the EDA is to ‘develop and adapt a common staff EDA is launching a project that will develop and adopt common staff target (CST), common staff requirements (CSR) and a business case (BC).’ These documents are to shape the common part of the project and identify specifications and requirements that are compatible with the modular concept of the ship.