Tag Archives: European Defence Agency (EDA)

Patrol Corvette

EDA’s Steering Board recently approved the launch of a specific European Defence Agency (EDA) ad hoc project which will contribute to the implementation of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project aimed at developing a European Patrol Corvette. Italy, which leads a group of four PESCO participating countries involved in EPC (together with France, Spain and Greece), had requested the Agency’s support for moving this ambitious project forward.

European Patrol Corvette (EPC)
EDA to support ‘European Patrol Corvette’ PESCO project

Part of the third batch of PESCO projects approved in November 2019, the project aims at designing and developing a new class of military ship, named «European Patrol Corvette» (EPC), which will host several systems and payloads able to accomplish a large number of tasks and missions in a modular and flexible way. The EPC will provide valuable capabilities in the areas of maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The participating Member States aim to produce their first corvette prototype in 2026-2027.

The EPC is envisaged as a common platform, a shared baseline, which can be customised as needed by participating Member States according to their national needs and specifications. The overall displacement is expected to be no more than 3,000 tonnes, which will allow the ship to operate from minor harbours (draft less than 5.5 meters/18 feet). The length of the ship, to be equipped with diesel and/or electrical engines, should not exceed 110 meters/361 feet.

The ship will be based on an open plug-and-play architecture which will facilitate the versatility of response in the framework of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and will provide a quick reaction capability, applicable to a broad range of scenarios.


EDA tasks

The Agency’s new project will support the EPC PESCO project implementation through the development and adoption of Common Staff Target (CST), Common Staff Requirements (CSR) and a Business Case (BC). The objective of these documents, which are an indispensable step for a follow-on phase of the EPC PESCO project, is to shape the common core part and identify specifications and requirements that would be compatible with the modularity concept of the military ship.

The Agency will also support the governance body of the EPC project. With its expertise in project management and harmonisation of capability requirements, EDA will be able to provide valuable assistance in these domains. Industry is not participating directly in this EDA project, but may be consulted, if deemed necessary by the contributing Member States.

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: «EDA is delighted to support this ambitious and innovative PESCO project. As the European hub for collaborative capability development, the Agency has the expertise to help Member States in the implementation of their PESCO projects. The European Patrol Corvette project responds directly to an existing gap in Europe’s capability landscape acknowledged by Member States during the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) in 2018, namely that of naval manoeuvrability and the need for improved maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The future EPC will provide participating Member States with those missing capabilities, thereby further strengthening the Europe of Defence».

Italy’s Capability Director, General Giovanni Iannucci said: «The project of the European Patrol Corvette is aimed at developing a new Class of military ships in order to accomplish, with a flexible approach, a large number of tasks and missions aimed to Homeland Security and protection of European waters. More in details, the EPC will carry out Maritime Security Operations and Police of the High Seas functions, playing a key role in preserving Freedom of Navigation (FoN) and fighting against terrorism and illegal trafficking at sea. The EPC will be characterized by a multi-purpose and modular approach by design that will also allow to perform dual-use missions, such as anti-pollution activities, humanitarian assistance operations and interventions in support of populations in case of natural disasters. Italy is very proud of the coordinating role and will continue to conduct all necessary activities for the EPC’s success. Furthermore, I believe that this project constitutes an excellent opportunity for the whole European Defence and in particular the military shipyards sector to work together in order to foster industrial synergies, operational interoperability and maintain a technological advantage».


Following calls for proposals launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2019, the consortium «PILUM» (Projectiles for Increased Long-range effects Using Electro-Magnetic railgun) has been selected to lead a research project on the electromagnetic railgun.

EDA selects the «PILUM» consortium, a disruptive-technology research project for innovative electromagnetic railgun

The project will last two years and aims at proving that this type of railgun concept is capable of launching hypervelocity projectiles with precision over a distance of several hundreds of kilometres. «PILUM» will thus demonstrate that the electromagnetic railgun has the potential to provide a disruptive change in the area of long-range fire support. Indeed, when compared with the former powder railgun, this new technology is capable of reaching a hypersonic velocity, multiplying the effective reach by five.


Superior technology

The so-called «railgun» is capable of accelerating projectiles at initial velocities far superior to those obtained by existing chemical guns. It uses electromagnetic force by injection of very high currents into conducting rails. The project will also examine the possibility of integrating the railgun into terrestrial and naval platforms. In a first phase, the project will validate the gun concept using numerical simulations and experimental work. The project represents a new major step towards developing a full-scale demonstrator in the next few years. It also includes reflection on concepts for future applications. This disruptive technology offers an important operational asset since it reduces the risk exposure of vehicles, vessels and crew by increasing the firing distance.


Reinforcing European strategic autonomy

Critical to ensure capability superiority, this emergent concept will make a substantial contribution to reinforcing European strategic autonomy. It will also allow advances in many different fields of sovereign technology including aerothermodynamics, projectile technologies, material strength, energy storage and conversion as well as various electric and electromagnetic phenomena likely to produce benefits for further applications.


Consortium coordinated by the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL)

The «PILUM» project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) research programme financed by the European Commission and managed by the European Defence Agency. The consortium brings together nine partners from five European countries, each with its own industrial, technological and advanced scientific expertise:

  • ISL, the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis, European leader in
  • electromagnetic acceleration and coordinator of the project;
  • the Von Karman Research Institute (Belgium), specialised in fluid dynamics and propulsion;
  • two system integrators, Naval Group and Nexter Systems (France);
  • two ammunition suppliers, Diehl Defence (Germany) and Nexter Munitions (France);
  • Explomet (Poland), a small company specialised in the explosive cladding of metals;
  • ICAR (Italy), manufacturer of high-density electric capacitors;
  • Erdyn Consultants (France), an expert in the management of European collaborative projects.