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European Defence Fund awards further funding to European Patrol Corvette project

The EPC is expected to replace the Cassiopea, Sirio, and Comandanti classes in Italian Navy service alongside the 95 m Offshore patrol vessel class (pictured). (Fincantieri)

The European Patrol Corvette (EPC) project has been awarded funding under the European Commission's European Defence Fund (EDF) 2023.

In the announcement of results of the EDF's 2023 calls for proposals on 16 May 2024, the EPC2 project is to receive a maximum European Union (EU) contribution of EUR154.5 million (USD167.9 million) in funding. The project, selected under the ‘Development actions focused on naval combat' EDF call, has a 48-month duration with activities to include studies, design, system prototyping, testing, qualification, and certification.

The EPC2 project builds on the initial design funding received under the EDF 2021 call for a Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette (MMPC), announced in July 2022. EPC2 is intended to move the EPC project on to a certified design, with two platform prototypes produced, one for each version of the EPC envisaged. These two prototypes will be tested in harbour and at a land-based test facility aimed at reducing risk and proving systems and technology. In its 2023 annual report, the European Defence Agency (EDA) said that a first prototype of the ship is expected in 2027.

The EPC2 consortium comprises Naviris (a Naval Group and Fincantieri joint venture) as co-ordinator, Fincantieri (Italy), Naval Group (France), Navantia (Spain), and Hydrus Anotati Synektiki Michaniki Etaireia Symvoulon Anonymi Etaireia (Greece). The EDF 2023 award also follows the contract for the first phase of the EPC programme, signed between the Naviris-led consortium and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), in October 2023. In November 2023 the consortium submitted EPC2 as its bid for the next phase of the ship development under EDF 2023.

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