View Full Version : Queries about future NS transport and training vessels

11th May 2003, 16:34
I read with great interest Goldie Fish's comments (Question about OTO Melara) about the Cill Airne. Does anyone know when the Nautical College will open and when the Naval Service will get a training vessel ? And were the money to be made available, would the Naval Service require a vessel as large as LE Emer, as Goldie suggested, or would a much smaller craft, i.e. similar to those in service with the RN's Training Squadron, suffice ?

Also, can anyone tell me if Ireland, as part of its commitment to provide up to 850 troops to the European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF), is required to provide sea transport for such a force ? If yes, when will the Irish Government make a decision on chartering or even procuring such a vessel ? I have seen no mention of the need for such a vessel on any Irish Government website.

If there is no requirement for Ireland to provide for a naval transport vessel, then you can be assured that no such ship will be chartered or bought.

I'd be grateful for any clarification on the above queries.

Many thanks.


Goldie fish
11th May 2003, 20:07
Welcome Andy..good start.
A combined vessel would undoubtedly be ideal.A ship that could be used for training and resupply already sits idle in Cork dockyard,a fully equipped cargo ship,purchased after the vessel was detained for non payment of fees..But it would involve the department spending more than 50c.
The only "requirement" if you could call it such, is the DCMNR requires an ocean going tug on standby for salvage operations. However while the Oil and gas exploration continues there is no shortage of such vessels just hanging about,ready to be used if required.

14th May 2003, 16:16
The Jeanne D'Arc that name sounds very familiar can anybody fill me in?

14th May 2003, 16:26
"Helicopter Carrier" (Not dismissive, just don't know the exact description) of the French. Now used as a training vessel for Cadets. Can be made wartime operational in a couple of months I believe.


14th May 2003, 16:59
I think that goldie was referring to something more like the ATS Argus though.

Little Legionnare
15th May 2003, 17:39
due to decommission in 2005-10

Goldie fish
15th May 2003, 17:56
I never mentioned anything like that?! What I speak of is a general cargo ship,with dry holds and derricks,suitable for loading cargo or vehicles through a deck hatch....
Whats the point of a heli capable ship if we have no helis? A bit of open deck space is all you need for vertrep.
It could/would be used for training cadets and seamen in navigation,seamanship engine room operations etc,and also serve as a vessel capable of resupplying UN or EC peacekeeping missions. Jeanne D'arc is a feckin aircraft carrier,would never fit in haulbowline...

BG knows the ship I am talking about,I forget her name,she is about 10000 tonnes displacement....ah forget it....russia is selling off an old boomer..lets buy it for fishery protection...


Goldie fish
15th May 2003, 17:57
this thread had such potential....

15th May 2003, 21:58
What about eh argus? thats just a converted Ro-ro containership

Goldie fish
19th May 2003, 00:03
Contender Bezant was never Ro-Ro. I have deleted some of the less useful posts here,in an attempt to get back on track.
We have no use for a helicopter carrier..we have nothing to put on one. However,as our troops do regularly go overseas on operations that usually require logistics support,if not actually providing logs themselves,then some vessel capable of carrying cargo should be considered.
A need has been identified since the days of Kowloon Bridge for an Ocean going tug on standby around our coasts should another Flag of convenience second hand tanker decide to loose power off our coast.
A training vessel for civilian and naval crews is also a consideration as the best place to learn is hands on,not in the classroom.

22nd May 2003, 22:39
Something along the lines of the vessel Kanimbla currently in use by Australia couldnt go wrong. Amphibious capability can be adapted for sea control. It could provide an asset to any EURRF naval operation,as our NS have some of the best experience in boardings at sea in rough weather. Fearless ,intrepid etc would be ok too if they were not so old and oil fired.
I think some arab country was using a RO-RO for a long time. The UK is also currently leasing ships like this for operations..
Remember this ship was probably bought dirt cheap from the USN reserve fleet. I am sure there are plenty more just like it anchored somewhere waiting for some US friendly nation(like bertieland) to make a ridiculous offer on them.And with a crew of 180,sure they wouldnt empty the base either..the big helis should be arriving at some stage(hopefully) and wouldnt it be nice if they had somewhere decent to land?

22nd May 2003, 22:47
It doesn't matter how cheap we could get it. Here's what's important:

1) What's the crew req?
2) How much does it cost to run?
3) Does it fit within the current mission parameters of the NS

The answer to 1 and 2 is probably a lot. The answer to 3 is definitly no. The US would probably GIVE it to us, along with training.

We do not have the political will for this.


22nd May 2003, 22:59
1.Crew 180.
2.Diesel engines,same as the current fleet..the usage would not be much greater than for any other vessel,given that it would not spend as much of its time pounding through the north atlantic chasing fishermen
3.Yes..at a push..EURRF,Resupply,training,

22nd May 2003, 23:25
Crew 180? Isn't this, close to (and I am willing to be shot down on this one as I have no idea for sure) 10~15% of the NS personnel?


22nd May 2003, 23:31
eithne has a full crew of 85

22nd May 2003, 23:38
But how often does she sail with this amount? And what other ships will be missing crew in order to put this monster to sea? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the NS kitted out with this and other stuff, but unfortunatly there is no political will in Ireland to see the DF with this level of equip.

One of the recurrent themes you will see on this board when talking about procurement is that we must make do with very little, therefore, what is the BEST we can do with what we have.

Goldie fish
22nd May 2003, 23:54
If we waited for political will we would still be sailing the setanta and ferdia. Europe has always been the source of our fleet...The EURRF may well be the future of irish naval operations..
Did that ship used to be an lst? I remember Spartanberg County visiting Cork harbour years ago,anchored in the harbour..I remember a pair of massive booms off the bow then..odd looking things. The yanks always over complicated things crew wise..no doubt the aussies tidied it up a bit.

Welcome Farel btw.

23rd May 2003, 04:59
Well Goldie. I have a feeling that we'll be waiting. I think that what we have is the result of the bare minimum of effort on behalf of the gov. I think that hoping for something like this will leave a lot of people waiting, although it might be a good idea to aim for the stars, we may get the moon, which wouldn't be that bad at all.


According to the info on this link, crew is 180.

Welcome indeed Farel. :)


23rd May 2003, 10:42
A subject like this came up a while ago and the Catamaran being evaluated by the U.S. was mentioned.



Mine Warfare Command and Control Configuration
Proposed MCW load out would include:

60 additional staff and personnel
Four SH/MH-60S helos
Six berthing trailers (10 berths per trailer)
Two hotel services trailers (toilet/shower)

Medical Support Facility Configuration
A Single baseline HSV can be configured to carry:

Six semi-trailers with fully-equipped operating rooms
Four water tankers
Four food trailers
Four toilet/shower trailers
Eight to Twelve passenger busses
Radiological services
Medical laboratory to include; pharmacy, optometry lab, and cat scan
Mobile oxygen producing plant
Portal between twin Hulls providing a lee in order to take on patients at sea
Four Semi-Trailers hospital bed facility

Maritime Intercept Operations Configuration
HSV configured for ATFP / Maritime Intercept Operations (MIO) package:

Augments ship’s force protection capabilities and provides a full spectrum of landside/waterside security functions for ship port visits.
Force level protection is rapidly scalable and tailored to threat and host nation considerations.
Minimizes high cost airlift and local civilian contracting requirements by bringing organic mission support capabilities with the vessel (C2, berthing/messing, barriers, etc.)
44 additional personnel
Two 21' RHIBs rapidly deployed via "Moon Pool" with boarding/security party
Team of working dogs (cage area on vehicle deck 20'x20')
Mammal pool (20'x20'x4' total weight 3500 pounds) deployed through "Moon Pool"
Support USCG HH-60J JayHawk involved in SAR/Armed Recon/Drug Interdiction

Notional Homeland Security (HLS) package:

22 additional personnel
Two 21' RHIBs rapidly deployed via "Moon Pool" with boarding/security party
Two USCG HH-60J or Special Forces (MH-6) on deck (up to Six in vehicle storage area)

23rd May 2003, 14:24
I dont think such a ship is out of the question. In the 70s we had a ship "setanta" which was ideal for this purpose and was used as a training ship.It had a cargo hold too. However it powered by oil fired boilers(I think it was one of the last steamers built in ireland).
A bit of foreward planning could see something like this,though maybe not on this scale come to fruition.
As Goldie says,it was the EEZ that got us eithne,the EU paid for the P50s,and the EEC paid for the P20s. The peacocks were a master stroke by charlie,and the Brits are still annoyed we got them when they could have been used for their northern ireland or gibralter squadrons.
I dont expect that my opinions here will get us these new ships,but is there really a need to shut down all discussions of a possible future role with a "it'll never happen" mentality?

Who would have predicted the piranha APCs 10 years ago?
Who would have thought that an Irish Naval vessel could have sailed to the other side of the world 20 years ago?
Look ahead,or the future might just bite you on the ass