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European Patrol Corvette: The Future of Naval Warfare?

European Patrol Corvette
Image: Industry Handout.

Several European countries have come together and are developing a new warship that promises to be cheap, versatile, and effective.

France, Italy, Spain, and Greece are working on the European Patrol Corvette program that seeks to produce a warship for every flavor.

The European Corvette 

According to the European Union, the objective of the program is to design and develop a prototype vessel for a new class of warship that will be named European Patrol Corvette.

Their intention is to manufacture a versatile vessel that will be able to host several different weapon systems and payloads, “in order to accomplish, with a modular and flexible approach, a large number of tasks and missions.” Such a modular approach makes perfect sense in a multinational collaborative program as the different participants need different things out of their warships.

Currently, the participants are considering two primary versions of the ship.

The Full Combat Multipurpose version will be more heavily armed and have sufficient anti-ship and anti-air defensive systems. The Long Range Multipurpose version will have better autonomy and the ability to conduct expeditionary operations and project force. Both vessels will be approximately 330 feet long and weigh 3,000 tonnes.

Italy, leading the European Corvette Program, has committed to buying eight vessels, while France and Spain have six warships each. Greece, which is on the market for a versatile corvette that can be outfitted with its choice of weapons, hasn’t committed to a number of vessels, with current talks mentioning between two and four. (The Hellenic Navy is also in discussions with the French Naval Group and Italian Fincantieri, respectively, for their Gowind and Doha corvettes.)

The four countries will have to agree on the specification and details and submit their proposal to the European Defense Fund by early December. The participants expect the project to cost about $7 billion, with each ship currently having a price tag of between $250 and 300 million.

Portugal and Denmark have also expressed an interest in the European Corvette but haven’t committed to anything yet.


The project falls under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), an initiative for closer cooperation among European Union members and a structured step to a common EU defense.

Created in 2018, PESCO aims to develop joint capabilities, enhance operational readiness, and invest in shared projects—essentially a step towards a unified defense policy. In addition to the European Corvette Program, there are several other ongoing PESCO projects, including the European Military Space Surveillance Awareness Network (EU-SSA-N), Maritime Unmanned Anti-Submarine System (MUSAS), European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – MALE RPAS (Eurodrone), and Indirect Fire Support Capability (EuroArtillery).

The European Corvette Program comes at the backdrop of the controversial deal among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. about nuclear submarines. The AUKUS pact announced in September saw Australia canceling a deal with the French state-owned Naval Group for diesel submarines worth upwards of $60 billion and opting instead to buy nuclear submarine technology from the U.S.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.