The vehicle will be equipped with multiple mission modules, such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), naval mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Development of the M-SASV platform will be crewed when necessary and uncrewed where possible.

This is aimed at providing increased operational flexibility and improving crew protection.

The M-SASV design will focus on littoral operations. The platform will also be designed to be deployed for naval task groups.

The ‘Initial Capability Requirements’ for the project are already drafted.

Industry partners are currently working towards forming a consortium.

The M-SASV project is one of the 14 new joint projects recently adopted by the European Council within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework.

The new projects cover land, maritime, air, cyber, C4ISR and space military domains.

EDA chief executive Jiří Šedivý said: “The launch of the fourth wave of PESCO projects is an important milestone for European defence cooperation.

“These new 14 projects invigorate the PESCO process which along with the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and the European Defence Fund (EDF) are now beginning to create indispensable synergies for Member States to develop effective and cost-efficient capabilities together.

“The EDA has already provided support to eight PESCO projects and stands ready to support its member states going forward.”

The 14 new projects will be added to the list of 46 existing ones that have been developed as part of PESCO since 2017.

Earlier this year, EDA’s Steering Board agreed to support the development of a ‘European Patrol Corvette’ (EPC) under the PESCO programme.