Modular, multirole patrol corvette proposal submitted to European Defence Fund
Warship Technology January 2022
A new class of corvette with a high level of commonality and modularity has been proposed to meet the needs of European navies.
On 9 December 2021, an industry consortium comprising Fincantieri in Italy, France’s Naval Group, their 50-50 joint-venture Naviris and Spanish shipbuilding group Navantia submitted a proposal to the European Defence Fund (EDF) for a Modular Multirole Patrol Corvette (MMPC).
At the same time it was also confirmed that Denmark and Norway have joined France, Greece, Italy and Spain in contributing funding for the project, the need for which was first identified in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) ‘European Patrol Corvette’ (EPC), the aim of which is to enable the development of a European corvette platform able to host a range of systems and payloads, using a modular, flexible approach, to undertake a number of tasks and missions. Portugal has also participated in the programme as an observer.
Based on the use of unified standards and using collaborative engineering, the EPC will be developed in a cooperative framework from conceptual studies through to initial design. The aim is to develop a corvette design that is more flexible and modular than existing designs and one that is ‘greener’ and more energy-efficient to operate, safer, more interoperable, and more cyber-secure. It will carry-out a range of missions including enhancing situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection along with peacetime missions including counteracting piracy and smuggling; humanitarian assistance; migration control; and ensuring freedom of navigation.
The objective is to develop a new class of modular vessels displacing not more than 3,500tonnes that will enhance the capabilities of member states’ navies. Restricting the size of the vessels will enable them to operate from minor harbours, with a draught of less than 5.5m. The length of the corvettes, which will have diesel and/or electric propulsion, is not expected to exceed 110m. The new ships will have an open, ‘plug-and-play’ architecture and provide European navies with a quick reaction capability across a range of scenarios.