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European Commission advances Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette programme to next phase.

According to a PR published by OCCAR on June 5, 2024, the European Defence Fund (EDF) Programme Committee approved the continuation of the Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette (MMPC) Programme into its second phase.
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Artist rendering of the Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette. (Picture source: Naviris)

This project, listed under the call topic “EDF-2023-DA-NAVAL-MMPC,” will be executed through indirect management by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR-EA), following the guidelines of the EDF Work Programme 2023.

The proposal for this phase was submitted on November 22, 2023, by a consortium comprising three major European shipyards: Navantia (Spain), Fincantieri (Italy), and Naval Group (France), alongside their joint venture Naviris and Hydrus from Greece. This phase builds upon the foundations laid by the initial contracts signed on October 24, 2023, under the EDF Work Programme 2021.

Managed by OCCAR-EA under the authority delegated by the European Commission (EC), this phase will span four years (2025-2029) with a maximum budget of €154.5 million. The aim is to complete the Critical Design Review (CDR) and further the development of at least two prototypes, each representing different versions of the corvette: the Full Combat Multipurpose and Long Range Multipurpose models. This project reflects the shared commitment to the EU's security and defense objectives as outlined by the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework.

The next steps include integrating phase two with an eye towards signing new contracts by 2025. These agreements, co-financed by the EC and the four participating nations (Italy, France, Spain, and Greece), will focus on completing the design and integrating innovative technologies that enable the corvettes to perform a wide range of missions. The production of the two prototypes aims to set the standard for future national fleets, enhancing modularity, interoperability, and flexibility.

This phase aims to consolidate the development of advanced technologies within the European industry, reduce dependency on external entities, and establish a robust transnational EU supply chain. The project also seeks to lower unit costs and position European shipyards as competitive alternatives to non-European counterparts.

Technical data

The EPC is designed to be modular and flexible, allowing for various configurations to suit different mission profiles. Initially, two main versions are planned: the Long Range Multipurpose and the Full Combat Multipurpose variants.

The EPC will be approximately 110 meters in length and displace around 3,000 tons. Depending on specific national requirements, these vessels will be equipped with various systems, including 3D radar, combat management systems, and short to medium-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).

Looking ahead, the construction phase of the EPC is expected to begin around 2025, with the first vessels potentially being delivered by 2030. This timeline aligns with the goal of replacing several older classes of ships across the participating navies​​.

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