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  • Goldie fish
    Sadly the only future for the naval service is based on EXTERNAL funding. Prior to the need for policing the EEZ fisheries,the Naval service had reached the situation of having NO seagoing ships,the Corvettes,buld during WW2 having been retired,mothballed and scrapped before they fell apart.
    All of the current fleet were either partly or totally funded by the EU. The Newest vessels were funded by the EU apart from their weaponry which was purchased second hand,as the EU will not fund weaponry.
    The only possible option is if the EURRF was to fund our equipment,but I imagine this would only be appropriate if NATO took over the running,and our so called Neutrality was once and for all put to sleep.

    The current state of the Air Corps displays clearly how the Naval service could look without EU funding. The only aircraft in any way modern (apart from government jets) are the EU funded CASA aircraft.
    Everything else has been allowed to deteriorate to a stage only the bare minimum can put to the air. The introduction of Coastguard SAR and GASU provided by outside contractors will soon provide the end for the air corps in all but a government transport service role.

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  • Goldie fish
    Its not a question of tonnage,rather Hull Design. At present we have 2 designs in service that were originally concieved for operating in the Indian Ocean/south China Seas,with their associated typhoons,and the P20 hull design is based loosely on that of the Flower Class,which itself was based around the Whaling ships that operated in the Icy waters of the North atlantic. To me the theory seems to be,if she can operate safely in the worst weather Nimrod can throw at her,then she will be just fine in the best of weather also.
    So stay away from anything designed around either the mediterranian,carribean,or arabian sea. Nations that operate ships in the pacific rim or atlantic north or south,usually have the idea.Keep in mind though that the aussies operate inthe waters around indonesia,so some of their craft too are unsuitable.
    Our role,whether we like it or not,is more akin to the US Coast Guard rather than any other Naval force.Indeed ships like Gallatin are remarkably similar to Eithne.
    With The smaller boats you have to decide what their purpose is. Currently the NSR MTLs are little more than Half deckers,useful for going a few miles off the coast if the weather is good,a lot like the boats used for shark fishing or deep sea angling,but smaller than Trawlers. A larger vessel would need to be operated more often if value for money was to be achieved,and the small size of the NSR restricts this ability,along with the reluctance of Naval authorities to allow NSR Officers to hold naval watchkeeping qualifications. Many are qualified as yachtmasters,but this isfor the most part,I believe Optional. I would be happy to be corrected on this.
    I have mentioned in the past the Bird class in use by the University units of the RN Reserve,these have made it accross the irish sea,but I doubt they would venture much further than the Old Head..
    Keep thinking.(Not as easy as ye thought,is it?):-patriot:

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  • Come-quickly
    I actually brought that list up you may recall, I'm sorry I didn't notice your comments on the Cyclone but I am just researching for a more prudent list, is it essentially a case of Ships needing a certain tonnage to get by or is the design that counts...........I removed the bow launch comment, it seems the source I was using got it wrong.
    Once again apologies if I seemed ignorant, I'm afraid I was doing quantiity not quality yesterday.

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  • Goldie fish
    I am giving up on this list....
    What is a bow launched rib?You mentioned it elsewhere..
    Why do you continue to propose vessels which are unsuitable for use outside either Dublin bay,the shannon estuary or Cork harbour?

    Forget about the Cyclone..It wouldnt last a season in irish waters. And totally impractical for the reasons I already mentioned but you obviously didnt bother reading.

    Forget also about a dedicated fefuelling ship. Not practical when you consider the range our vessels have,and the smaller types you mention cannot refuel at sea in any case.

    Take your list now and reconsider it based on the role of the Naval service,now and in the future,and the fact that most of our operations are in the North Atlantic,where the sea is usually a bit choppy..

    We done this list some time ago,based on an actual Naval requirment,I am sure if you look back the few pages you should find it.

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  • Come-quickly

    The SF300 Multi-role warship:

    And the Smaller SF100 which would be operated by the Slua coy's or used as part of the SF300s mine countermeasures configuration (for which it is remotely controlled)

    For OPVs its between the more capable SF3000 (crew of 60, combat upgrade would be relatively simple)

    Or the Cheaper more Specialised River Class

    The Endeavour Class AOR:

    Support Vessels
    Endeavour Class (AOR) Fleet Replenishment Ship
    Displacement (tons): 12,300 Full Load
    Dimensions (feet): 453 x 60 x 23.5 (138 x 18.4 x 7.2 metres)
    Propulsion: 1 x Mann Burmeister & Wain diesel,
    5,300 hp, single shaft
    Max. Speed (knots): 14
    Armament: none
    Aircraft: Aft Helicopter flight deck.
    Complement: 49

    No. Name Commissioned Notes/Fate

    A11 Endeavour(III) 6/4/88 Recently completed peace keeping
    duties off East Timor. Active.

    Note: Purpose built in South Korea.

    And our Sealifter:

    Military Sealift Ship
    Displacement (tons): 7,200 Full Load
    Dimensions (feet): 430 x 66 x 20 (131 x 20 x 6 metres)
    Propulsion: 1 x MaK 12 cylinder diesel,
    ???? hp, single shaft, bow thruster
    Max. Speed (knots): 14
    Armament: 4 x 12.7mm MGs
    Capacity: 150 troops, APCs, Trucks, 105mm guns.
    Complement: 29

    No. Name Commissioned Notes/Fate

    A02 Charles Upham 1995 Ex-Merchandian Queen II built 1984.
    On lease to a Spanish company as
    MV Don Carlos until Sept 2000.
    Future refit for role as Military
    Sealift ship is currently pending
    on a Naval Force study

    This isn't an ideal but it shows the kind of relatively cheap compromise ship thats available.

    The more cpable option would be the RN LSL sir Galahad (since Ireland is unlikely to take part in any Amphibious assaults)

    The SF3000 might be considered as an Eithne replacement with the River class providing some capability militarily in non combatant roles
    Background on RFA Sir Galahad

    Falklands Loss still Recalled

    The present RFA Sir Galahad is the second Landing Ship Logistic (LSL) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary to bear the name.

    This year the current vessel took part in the RFA Remembrance Ceremony at Marchwood, particularly remembering the two RFAs Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram lost in the bombing at Fitzroy Cove twenty years earlier during the Falklands Conflict.

    RFA Sir Galahad spent the early part of this year employed on freighting runs for the British Army, moving vehicles and equipment between continental ports and Marchwood, with a gap in March and April when she underwent a refit at Liverpool.

    September saw the Landing Ship set off in company with HMS Ark Royal and others as part of the Amphibious Task Group, operating with the HNLMS Rotterdam in the Mediterranean in Exercise Destined Glory and the French Exercise Abelia.

    With the return of the Argonaut deployment, Sir Galahad returned to her ferrying role between the ports of Europe and Marchwood.

    At the end of November, the RFA vessel visited Dartmouth, an event scheduled to coincide with the first RFA Officers Training Course taking place at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

    Described as part-landing craft, part 'roll-on roll-off' ferry, the operational role of LSLs is in support of amphibious operations. They are constructed to land troops, tanks, vehicles and other heavy equipment in port or any suitable shore.

    Specific design features include bow and stern doors for rapid loading and unloading and a shallow draft so that the entire ship can be beached if necessary.

    She also provides an air capability, able to operate helicopters from her two flight decks.

    The RFA Sir Galahad that was lost in the Falklands was a 3,270 ton LSL that came onto the scene in 1966. On June 8, 1982, she was fatally attacked by Argentinean bombs in the waters off the Falkland Islands.

    The original Sir Galahad was an Admiralty minesweeper trawler of the Round Table class.

    Built in 1941 by Hall Russell, after the war she was sold into the merchant service and renamed the Star of Freedom in 1946 and then became the Robert Limrick briefly in 1956 before being lost one year later.

    Facts and Figures

    Class: Landing Ship Logistic

    Pennant Number: L3005

    Builder: Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd

    Entered Service: 1988

    Lloyds classification: + 100 A1 +LMC Class 1 RO-RO

    Port of registry: London

    Displacement: 8,751 tonnes

    Length: 141 metres

    Breadth: 19.5 metres

    Draught: 4.5 metres

    Speed: 14 knots (normal), 17 knots (max)

    Complement: 51

    Propulsion: Two Mirrless Blackstone Blackstone diesels; plus one 400hp bow thruster

    Designed power: 6,600hp per engine

    Landing platforms: Aft: one spot for Sea King or Lynx; vehicle deck: one spot for Chinook, Sea King or Lynx

    Flight deck letters: GD


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  • Come-quickly
    It's been popular on operations with the USN and USCG
    Anyway I'd envisage the Cyclones co-operating with one of the larger ships for Boardings the point of it is to allow the Squadrons to operate in "Shifts" spread over a larger area but in constant communication and closing togetrher for boardings etc.

    The Eithne replacement would need to have a hangar I think, so I didn't ventrure that river class.
    Naval aviation is something I haven't touched yet but I'm wondering if apart from co-operating with land based heli's for hot refueling etc (i.e SAR Cougars) it might negate some of the unwarlikeness of the ships if they could support armed helicopters
    Last edited by Come-quickly; 7 April 2003, 12:03.

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  • Goldie fish
    The Old Sir Galahad type seems to be a nice auxiliary for our purpose. As seen at the moment it is being used to deliver stores and humanitarian aid to Iraq,but is designed as an LSL,though I doubt it was ever used in that role. Sure one of the type suffered a disasterous fire during the falklands,but that was due to the fact it was carrying troops and fuel at the same time..

    The rest do not seem too unreasonable,though I dont know about the Cyclone.(the back is the stern by the way...) I think in practice the single point launching has been found to be very successful,and the stern launching especially on a 4 screw vessel has the potential for every launch to be a disaster,and as I have said over and over..our waters are rarely calm,like the area the Cyclone is normally seen(carribean,gulf of mexico).She is designed to operate in sea states 1 to 3,her max is 5. The average calm seas in the atlantic is 5,I done my rib course in cork harbour during a 6...Also in practice I doubt that one RIB would be sufficient for boarding larger vessels..all our ships have at least 2,most have 3.

    Remember also that the River Class can land a heli only,it has no potential to operate its ever going to happen anyway..The people who designed Roisin also came up with a version that included a helideck with a hangar for a small heli. In hindsight I would say that the helideck is all we require.

    All in all though I dont think this is an unrealistic list,though the purpose of it is questionable. Eithne will be 20 years in the water in december..I doubt she could be considered in any long term plan for the Future of the NS at this stage.

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  • Come-quickly
    Right I need more input for this and some llinks to please.

    Current draft is.

    1 Sqn- 1x HPV (Eithne) 1x OPV (Roisin) 1x CPV (Cyclone)

    2 Sqn- 1x HPV (River) 1x OPV (Roisin) 1x CPV (Cyclone)

    3 Sqn- 1x HPV (River) 1x OPV (Roisin) 1x CPV (Cyclone)

    4 Sqn- 1x HPV (River) 1x OPV ( ) 1x CPV

    Combat force, 3x SF300 multirole vessels.

    Sealift force, 1x Endeavour class AOR (Small crew cheap)
    1x LPD type vehicle capable of batttalion+ lift

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  • Come-quickly
    Thats not whjat the product desigantion says

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  • paul g
    Ahem , the flyvenfisken aren't frigates though

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  • Come-quickly
    Thats why I included the three FlyVisken class multi-role frigates
    Even if you just drop the three PCFGs althogether you'd have a better MP force plus a sealift cpability with up to two escorts for SS SA or anti-mine warfare

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  • paul g
    mine warfare, look at the way that the British and Americans have had difficulties in opening Un Quasir.

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  • A/TEL

    i think the best that the ns can hope for is a 10 ship fleet comprising of
    1 hpv, eithne (till she is decommisioned, and she will be the last hpv i'd say, because of the non-integration and non-cooperation of the air corps)
    2 cpvs, orla and ciara will be around for another 10 years
    5 lopvs, another 3 along with niamh and roisin
    1 troop carrier which has been proposed already by the flag officer in his speech before his retirement. i think it will be similer to the new RN
    ships bulwark and albion. it is proposed for irelands partisipation in the PFP.
    1 aux, vessel

    but id say even this small force is beyond possibility.

    theres always hope......

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  • Come-quickly
    I appreciate the point on small boats in the atlantic but as for threat the same argument can be and is used against every item of defense spending.
    what military role would you suggest for the NS?

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  • paul g
    The whole thing about fast attack craft is that earlier Irish experiments with MBT were far from sucessful, tho i'm no sailor, the Athlantic is fairly rough for small boats, amd i got horribly sea sick on the Aran island ferry. Secondly, though they were fashionable from 1967 after the Eilat sinking, events in the Gulf in 1991 showed that fast attack craft were vunerable to helicopters armed with missiles, hence why saddam has no navy, despite Sinbad being from Basra. South Africa, Germany and israel all operated Fast attack craft in large numbers, but are replacing theirs with with large corvettes, Meko A-200, K-130, Eilat.

    Finally, thwe simple fact is that irelanmd faces no realistic naval threat, and won't as long as the British are there.

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