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New ships delayed?

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  • New ships delayed?

    By Sean O'Riordan

    THE economic crisis may result in significant delays for plans to replace the
    country's aging naval vessels.

    Ships are deemed too old if they have served 30 years, and the Government had
    planned to have three of the navy's eight ships replaced by 2011.

    The LE Emer is already past her sell-by date, having been commissioned in
    January 1978.

    The LE Aoife was commissioned in November 1979 and the LE Aisling in May

    Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea hinted yesterday all three might not be
    replaced by 2011, because of the economic situation, he hoped to get new
    vessels as near to that date as possible.

    Even if tenders were agreed today it would take a minimum of two years before
    replacement vessels were built, put through their trials and brought into

    If the tendering process was cancelled the navy might have to wait between
    five and 10 years for new ships.

    The minister was speaking at Collins Barracks, Cork, yesterday where he
    reviewed a parade of soldiers who will shortly leave for peacekeeping duties
    in Kosovo.

    Mr O'Dea also commented on recent calls by the Defence Forces representative
    association, PDFORRA, for a drop in the pensions levy for servicemen.

    The minister said the Government couldn't review the levy for one group of
    public servants alone.

    He said when troops went abroad they were given "generous overseas
    allowances" and pointed out that these were tax free. "I think they are
    adequately compensated," Mr O'Dea said.

    The minister said that despite the recession he hoped to maintain Ireland's
    contribution to overseas peacekeeping at current levels.

    The army is committed to maintaining up to 10% of its force on overseas

    Mr O'Dea took the salute yesterday from 221 men and woman who, under the
    command of Lieutenant Colonel Des Bergin, will form the 40th Infantry
    Battalion in Kosovo.

  • #2
    They won't be seen for years now and there is talk of tying up one or two of the more fuel heavy vessels for a time later this year.


    • #3
      The longer they leave it, the easier it is to forget about it.
      It is vital for the future of the Naval Service that this program is allowed to continue. No sooner the replacements for the P20s are due, assuming they go ahead, then more vessels will fall for replacement. The longer it is left, the costlier the final replacement program will be.

      Also, the orders must be placed soon. Most tendered prices only hold valid for 3 months. After this has expired, you must start all over again.

      Meanwhile in the Dail, WoD continues to preach about "maintaining an 8 ship navy" and "program for government"

      With the current schedule, if a contract was signed tomorrow, it would be 2012 before the first was comissioned.

      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


      • #4
        I think rather than the aquisition of being the problem it will be the manning of the same will be the problem.

        the cut backs in recruitment will hamper crew replacement and promotion embargo makes it less impossible for some to fill vacancies left by natuarl wastage.

        I reckon the government will wait until the dust settles after the embargos to see where the NS stands manning wise to sign off on new ships.
        Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


        • #5
          The Naval Service would always be the first to suffer from cutbacks, look how long the gap was between the CM tons and the P20's !!!

          Our marine policy, naval, fisheries, shipping etc has always missed the back seat and sat in the trailer


          • #6
            Bad comparison there. The Tons all arrived 1970-1971. P20, Deirdre, arrived in 1972. Setanta in 1976, Ferdia in 1977 and Emer in 78, followed by Aoife in 79 and Aisling in 80. The 70s was actually a great time to be in the NS, comparitavely speaking, as it went from zero ships to 7 by the end of the decade.

            However it was allowing ther predecessors, which has actually served less time than any of the current fleet, to become unserviceable, was the true tragedy. When the Flowers entered service, in 1946, they were the "Meko" corvettes of the day, and while not the most advanced, definitely the best warship available to an emerging nation with a fledgeling navy. 25 years later, 2 had been taken out of service so the third could cannibalise them for parts to keep it going, until it too, was no longer capable of putting to sea.

            Then we entered a breif period when the only naval asset was a Naval officer, aboard a fisheries board launch, armed with a revolver.

            Emer recently entered her 32nd year.

            P.S. What marine policy?

            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.