A consortium led by Naviris, a 50-50 joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group, has signed a preliminary consortium agreement with Navantia for the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) programme.

The deal was signed between the CEOs of the four companies during the Euronaval 2022 exhibition in France on 18 October.

The agreement involves the initial design development of the vessel. This two-year work will lay the foundation for common technological requirements, methodologies and standards for EPC development.

The EPC’s proposal was submitted by the consortium in December last year, in response to the European Defence Fund’s Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette call.

The proposal aimed to establish maximum collaboration between the shipbuilding industry across Europe to support the development of an EPC vessel.

In July, this consortium’s proposal was selected by the European Commission.

Apart from Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia, the EPC development will also involve the participation of 40 other industry partners from across 12 EU nations, to supply required maritime systems and equipment.

The EPC programme falls under the Permanent Structured Cooperation project, which comprises four naval countries’ forces – Italy, France, Spain and Greece.

Norway and Denmark’s national industry partners have also joined this project.

EPC is being constructed to address the joint requirement of a 110m-long second-rank surface combatant that can replace various patrol vessels and frigates currently in use with the four countries’ navies.  

According to Naval Group, EPC is an innovative, smart, sustainable, flexible and interoperable ship that is being designed to fulfil modern mission requirements.

This cost-effective vessel is based on disruptive technologies and is expected to strengthen the naval domain capabilities.