Defense News quotes Transatlantic Security Initiative Assistant Director Robbie Gramer on the challenges facing European navies as they scramble to address a growing migration crisis:
“There are about 10 times the number of deaths at sea this year versus last year,” said Robert Gramer, Assistant Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative with the Atlantic Council. “Those numbers will climb as the temperature climbs.
“This isn’t going to go away,” he added. “I would see the number of migrants coming over to Europe increasing exponentially.
Italy is building the Pattugliatore Polivalente D’Altura (PPA), or Offshore Polyvalent Patrol ship, a 4,500-ton, frigate-sized vessel with a modular design that can be enhanced for relief and humanitarian missions.
The ships will have a central zone that will be able to host vehicles or cargo containers, while space under the flight deck is designed to host a temporary hospital facility, anti-pollution equipment or special operations equipment. The vessel will be able to supply power and water for 6,000 people ashore.
“But the PPA program was in the works before the migrant crisis erupted, so those requirements were already there” observed Gramer. “But they’re great for modularity, and can be fitted for rescue or fighting.”