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  • Originally posted by DeV View Post
    Can’t comment regarding reliability of the reports but there is talk of a Finnish press conference this afternoon regarding damage to a gas interconnector between the Baltic states and Finland

    https://gasgrid.fi/en/2023/10/10/bal...ion-has-begun/
    Report from Reuters
    "It is likely that damage to both the gas pipeline and the communication cable is the result of outside activity. The cause of the damage is not yet clear, the investigation continues in cooperation between Finland and Estonia," Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Comment


    • Comment


      • Thing is, the only thing changed for entry into service witht he RFA was its colour. NZ did the same a few years back, bought off the shelf seabed support ship, painted it grey.
        For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

        Comment


        • Irish Marine Spatial Planning seminar series 1 of 8, starting in a few minutes. 1 a week. States open to members and Non-members. Might be of interest:
          Marine Spatial Planning CPD Series - Irish Planning Institute (ipi.ie)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post

            Thing is, the only thing changed for entry into service witht he RFA was its colour. NZ did the same a few years back, bought off the shelf seabed support ship, painted it grey.
            I'd say one could be picked up of the shelf with the closing out and clean up off kinsale
            "Why am I using a new putter? Because the last one didn't float too well." -Craig Stadler

            Comment


            • Originally posted by gaff85 View Post

              I'd say one could be picked up of the shelf with the closing out and clean up off kinsale
              There was never a vessel of that type associated with Kinsale, there was just a varying range of Support ships, basically floating flatbed trucks.
              There is however quite a surplus of them on the market, as the offshore industry moves to renewables, where a seabed support ship is no longer a necessity.
              You want the moonpool, you want the other kit aboard to support a diving team, and you want the big crane.
              70-90 million is about the going rate for the type, off the shelf.
              We just need to find someone to crew it. Civvy rates for a ship of this type are double what the NS would offer, so civvy contract crew is not an option.
              For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by gaff85 View Post

                I'd say one could be picked up of the shelf with the closing out and clean up off kinsale
                We don't need more hulls, what is needed are the crews for them. The 4 P50s have the space aft to be able to have containerized survey equipment but we do not have the crew to operate them.

                Comment


                • Just to note; Session 8 on 1st December, for Irish Marine Spatial Planning seminar series
                  Marine Spatial Planning CPD Series - Irish Planning Institute (ipi.ie)
                  is regards the 'Celtic Interconnector' - a proposed subsea electricity cable to France (and also via UK waters) that enabling works for are about to start it seems.

                  Today's lunchtime online session is about 'seabed characterisation', and the 7th session on 20th Nov. generally about Off-shore wind.

                  I may have badly misheard, but i think they said during the 1st session last week, that just over 500 people were online attending, so might show a bit of interest - also the 'Sea-blindness' term was mentioned!​

                  Comment


                  • Russians are active in North Sea

                    Comment


                    • Here is my 'out there!' bank holiday weekend suggestion for a possible interim solution for various issues - a 3 year lease of 2 x Japanese Shinmaywa US-2 Seaplanes that can land and take-off on both on sea and land, but re-configured (for Ireland) for fire-fighting - and leased primarily as a Climate Adaption Measure and possibly under Climate Adaption budgets (re: fire fighting and sea rescue).

                      It seems they are 4-5 times more expensive to purchase than the CL-415 or newest CL-415/DHC-515 - but the latter seems to have a circa 5 year order waiting list.

                      The US-2 has almost 2.5 times the water carrying capacity of C-415, just over 2x the CL-515, and seems to have circa 10 times the capacity of the Air-corps heli carrying a bambi bucket.

                      While there would also be the extra travel time for any seaplane from water body to fire - vs. potential for helis to rewater much nearer the fire - there may be more immediate positive impact on fires of large single dousings compared more re-ignitions etc. from mulitple, smaller dousings from bambi-buckets (the large numbers of buckets dropped referred to in the above articles indicates the numbers of flights/ drops involved).

                      When not fire-fighting in Ireland in the summer (how many wet summers will we get away with) or in Europe (i dont see the problem in helping other countries with larger budgets when they are in desperate need - and great for Ireland Inc. PR at least), they could be used for some supplemental SAR around winter (one Japanese article indicates circa 40 rescues a year for their US-2 - so less than one a week).

                      It seems the US-2 can deal with 3m waves vs. up to 2m waves for CL-415, and can carry c.28 passengers (replacing some of large crew) vs. CL-415 c.18 passengers.

                      The US-2 also seems to have a notably lower stall speed than the CL-415, and notably higher top speed, and higher cruise speed, though the fire-fighting version has a lower range (?) of c.2,300km (ferry range) vs. 2,400km (ferry range) of CL-415 as the fire-fighting version of the US-2 uses one of the (hull) fuel-tanks for fire-fighting water/ retardant (the normal US-2 has a range of c. 4,700km ).

                      The US-2 (or CL-415/515 if available) could possibly also be used for general patrols as supplement to the CASAs, and lack of patrol boats.

                      Lastly, US-2s (or CLs) could potentially be used for future landings for dipping radars, small ROVs (re undersea cables, wind turbines and subs) and maned inspections of off-shore wind turbines, noting they have a relatively large cargo side door (and could probably carry wing, and rear or front/ nose fuselage equipment, etc.). Some vertical fins might have to be added to main and tail wings for fire-fighting turns though.

                      The engines of the US-2 are also the same as those for C-130s transport planes, if the Defence forces went that way for a future medium military transport plane, engine experience/ commonality wise.

                      Large fire-fighting (etc.) sea-planes could (while very unusual looking) serve a number of purposes, and while very expensive (but could be leased - e.g. Japan probably interested in advertising theirs), could have many purposes - with less crewing/ staff numbers issues overall versus naval ships - and a big insurance buffer against forest and gorse fires (in Ireland and EU), and potentially for some storm (or other type!) rescues, and off-shore patrol - and inspections/ monitoring (surface and sub-sea)...

                      This is also noting that if Ireland is having big forest fires, other countries will be too, so less likely to be able to send us any help.

                      I see here now that there is a You-Tube recent article about it, so i'll have a look now and see if it is rubbish news item!

                      US Testing Japan's Super Expensive $160 Million Seaplane: ShinMaywa US-2 - YouTube
                      Last edited by WhingeNot; 30 October 2023, 11:14.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by WhingeNot View Post
                        Here is my 'out there!' bank holiday weekend suggestion for a possible interim solution for various issues - a 3 year lease of 2 x Japanese Shinmaywa US-2 Seaplanes that can land and take-off on both on sea and land, but re-configured (for Ireland) for fire-fighting - and leased primarily as a Climate Adaption Measure and possibly under Climate Adaption budgets (re: fire fighting and sea rescue).

                        It seems they are 4-5 times more expensive to purchase than the CL-415 or newest CL-415/DHC-515 - but the latter seems to have a circa 5 year order waiting list.

                        The US-2 has almost 2.5 times the water carrying capacity of C-415, just over 2x the CL-515, and seems to have circa 10 times the capacity of the Air-corps heli carrying a bambi bucket.

                        While there would also be the extra travel time for any seaplane from water body to fire - vs. potential for helis to rewater much nearer the fire - there may be more immediate positive impact on fires of large single dousings compared more re-ignitions etc. from mulitple, smaller dousings from bambi-buckets (the large numbers of buckets dropped referred to in the above articles indicates the numbers of flights/ drops involved).

                        When not fire-fighting in Ireland in the summer (how many wet summers will we get away with) or in Europe (i dont see the problem in helping other countries with larger budgets when they are in desperate need - and great for Ireland Inc. PR at least), they could be used for some supplemental SAR around winter (one Japanese article indicates circa 40 rescues a year for their US-2 - so less than one a week).

                        It seems the US-2 can deal with 3m waves vs. up to 2m waves for CL-415, and can carry c.28 passengers (replacing some of large crew) vs. CL-415 c.18 passengers.

                        The US-2 also seems to have a notably lower stall speed than the CL-415, and notably higher top speed, and higher cruise speed, though the fire-fighting version has a lower range (?) of c.2,300km (ferry range) vs. 2,400km (ferry range) of CL-415 as the fire-fighting version of the US-2 uses one of the (hull) fuel-tanks for fire-fighting water/ retardant (the normal US-2 has a range of c. 4,700km ).

                        The US-2 (or CL-415/515 if available) could possibly also be used for general patrols as supplement to the CASAs, and lack of patrol boats.

                        Lastly, US-2s (or CLs) could potentially be used for future landings for dipping radars, small ROVs (re undersea cables, wind turbines and subs) and maned inspections of off-shore wind turbines, noting they have a relatively large cargo side door (and could probably carry wing, and rear or front/ nose fuselage equipment, etc.). Some vertical fins might have to be added to main and tail wings for fire-fighting turns though.

                        The engines of the US-2 are also the same as those for C-130s transport planes, if the Defence forces went that way for a future medium military transport plane, engine experience/ commonality wise.

                        Large fire-fighting (etc.) sea-planes could (while very unusual looking) serve a number of purposes, and while very expensive (but could be leased - e.g. Japan probably interested in advertising theirs), could have many purposes - with less crewing/ staff numbers issues overall versus naval ships - and a big insurance buffer against forest and gorse fires (in Ireland and EU), and potentially for some storm (or other type!) rescues, and off-shore patrol - and inspections/ monitoring (surface and sub-sea)...

                        This is also noting that if Ireland is having big forest fires, other countries will be too, so less likely to be able to send us any help.

                        I see here now that there is a You-Tube recent article about it, so i'll have a look now and see if it is rubbish news item!

                        US Testing Japan's Super Expensive $160 Million Seaplane: ShinMaywa US-2 - YouTube
                        The attachments of this are worth a read

                        Comment


                        • Well worth a listen.
                          Why are subsea cables off Ireland causing continental concerns? (rte.ie)

                          Why are subsea cables off Ireland causing continental concerns?

                          Updated / Friday, 10 Nov 2023 13:14

                          The global network of subsea cables. Source: TeleGeography By The Upfront Team Around 97 percent of the world's communications and internet traffic travels through a network of undersea fiber-optic cables. Almost ten trillion euro worth of financial transactions moves through it every day.

                          It is made up of over 550 individual cables, stretching to 1.4 million kilometers in total length. Three-quarters of all cables in the northern hemisphere pass through or near Irish waters, most of them off the southwest coast.

                          With global tension rising and disagreement growing between major geopolitical power players in the United States, China and Russia, Ireland’s oversight and security over these cables is coming in for increasing attention.

                          But who is responsible for protecting this crucial continental infrastructure and how vital is for Ireland, and wider Europe?

                          "We cannot ignore the particular vulnerabilities posed to energy and communications infrastructure, across Europe, and most especially in the waters of the North Atlantic, close to our shores," Tánaiste Micheál Martin said as recently as May.

                          Disruption to the network could have, "devastating consequences not only for Ireland but also for our partners."

                          Calls from security and defence experts - and from some politicians, including Mr Martin - to enhance our ability to protect this critical infrastructure have been growing in recent years, and have accelerated since the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline last year.

                          "Ireland is a significant financial centre now across the world," Eoin McNamara, a Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki, told Katie Hannon on Upfront: The Podcast.

                          Listen to Eoin McNamara speaking to Katie Hannon on Upfront: The Podcast


                          "If we look at the European Union and we look at the United States, that interconnection, which Ireland finds itself pretty much at the centre of, is a very significant in these global transactions."

                          Mr McNamara says Ireland's position as a hub of global tech owes much to this subsea interconnectivity.

                          "We've all these technology multinationals in Ireland, all this foreign direct investment. They rely on this infrastructure. And of course, infrastructure needs to be protected."

                          "In different tacit ways, Ireland does have primary responsibility for a lot of that undersea infrastructure which is after all economic infrastructure."

                          "There needs to be patrols on all sorts of maritime activity, fisheries and undersea infrastructure," he said.
                          About three-quarters of all cables in the northern hemisphere pass through or near Irish waters. Source: TeleGeography.
                          However, who conducts such patrols or provides such security is a contentious question.

                          The Irish Naval Service struggles currently to staff the small number vessels is has available to it for maritime patrols.

                          As a result, some experts say Ireland should enter into an agreement with other nations to cover security for the cables.

                          NATO's Critical Undersea Infrastructure Protection Cell was set up in February to map vulnerabilities, and coordinate efforts between NATO allies, partners, and the private sector.

                          Ireland has yet to join the group though there has reportedly been interest.

                          That has sparked concern from, among others, Independent Dublin MEP Clare Daly, who believes it would go against Ireland’s policy of neutrality.

                          On Monday, she told Upfront with Katie Hannon that calls for the State to join a NATO alliance focused on subsea infrastructure were a "red herring," and that an underfunded Naval service should be a bigger concern.


                          Analysts like Mr McNamara say there is an urgent need to address the security over the cables, and that expanding our naval service to the necessary scale is not realistic.

                          "NATO are proposing to facilitate engagement with industry and bring key military and civilian stakeholders together to leverage innovative technologies. It is, essentially, information sharing," Mr McNamara said.

                          He fears that infrastructure in Ireland's EEZ (exclusive economic zone) could be targeted by sabotage, which would have a continental impact.

                          EEZs are areas in which individual countries have internationally-recognised rights to conduct certain activities in the sea area, but do not give any power of access to those areas.

                          Ireland's EEZ extends 320km off the coast.

                          "In and around Ireland's EEZ we had Russian registered commercial vessels loitering around there. It only takes a couple of rusty ships with ship repair equipment to actually cut these cables. They're very, very weak and vulnerable and feeble in many ways," Mr McNamara said.
                          Eoin McNamara
                          Damage to subsea cables can result in widespread communication outages, affecting not only internet access but also emergency services, financial transactions, and international connectivity.

                          In April, the Defence Forces said the Irish Air Corps and the Irish Naval Service "had observed Russian commercial vessels in international waters off the island of Ireland."

                          Despite discussion and concern at the time, no damage to the cables was reported or discovered in the period since.

                          What are subsea cables?

                          Subsea cables, or submarine cables, are long wires laid on the ocean floor to transmit data over long distances. The key component of these cables is a fiber-optic cable that is encased by protective layers of stronger materials like Kevlar.

                          The most recent one to open in Irish waters was IRIS, it connects Iceland to the rest of northern Europe through Ireland, running from Galway Bay to Thorlakshofn, a distance of 1,700 kilometres.

                          IRIS runs from Thorlakshofn on the south coast of Iceland to Galway Bay. Source: TeleGeography
                          IRIS is owned and operated by Farice, a telecommunications company owned by the Icelandic state.

                          Subsea cables are usually owned by a consortium of owners, often entities like Farice which owns IRIS.

                          Google has invested in 16 cables; Facebook has stakes in 12 while Micrsoft and Amazon have interests in five cables each.

                          These entities are responsible for costs like maintenance. But there is an expectation that Ireland should bear at least some responsibility for protecting the cables that lie within the State's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Mr McNamara says.

                          Listen to Eoin McNamara speaking to Katie Hannon on Upfront: The Podcast here, on Apple Podcasts and on Spotify.

                          Watch Upfront with Katie Hannon on Ireland's neutrality policy on the RTÉ Player.
                          For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

                          Comment


                          • Public sees damage to subsea cables in Irish waters 'a high-level national risk'
                            Click image for larger version

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                            The leak from Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea in September 2022. Picture: Swedish Coast Guard via AP
                            WED, 06 DEC, 2023 - 20:30
                            CORMAC O’KEEFFE, SECURITY CORRESPONDENT

                            Damage to data and energy subsea cables will be listed as major national risks facing the country in a forthcoming Government threat assessment, it has emerged.

                            The move follows agreement among experts and the general public, polled in a survey, as to what national risks confront Ireland.

                            The development was revealed at a high-level seminar at the Belgian embassy, co-hosted by the Azure Forum for Contemporary Security Strategy.

                            The seminar was addressed by Lieutenant General (retired) Hans-Werner Wierman, head of the Critical Undersea Infrastructure Coordination cell at Nato.

                            The unit was set up last March in response to explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September 2022.

                            Margaret Stanley, principal officer at the Office of Emergency Planning in the Department of Defence, said for the “first time ever” the Government’s next National Risk Assessment will identify damage to undersea infrastructure as a key national level risk.

                            “I think that’s a very significant development,” she said.


                            Public survey

                            Ms Stanley said a public survey, conducted to inform the assessment, found people also see damage to underwater infrastructure as a “very high-level national risk as well”.

                            “Certainly, we are acutely aware that Ireland’s economic and geopolitical situation has led to global communications and energy infrastructure running through our waters," she said. "That makes us vulnerable to these new and emerging threats.”

                            Opening the seminar, the Belgian ambassador Karen Van Vlierberge said Ireland recently concluded an individually tailored partnership programme under Nato’s Partnership for Peace to exchange expertise and training on resilience, maritime security and cyber security.

                            Mr Wierman said his unit examines the threat to communication and data cables, energy connectors as well as gas and oil pipelines.

                            He said attacks on these cables form part of what is known as “hybrid attacks”, which cover hostile actions short of military attacks, and said they play a “very significant role” in Russia’s strategy.

                            His unit is developing its information base from 70 or so civilian and military intelligence agencies, the private sector and from analysing satellite data.

                            Mr Wierman said information exchange will be “very much in the interest of a country like Ireland, being an island, and having a huge maritime footprint”.

                            Ms Stanley said the general’s visit was a great opportunity to exchange information.

                            “I see cooperation as being critical and really the only way,” she told the seminar. “To monitor these cables requires a huge amount of resources and capability."

                            Obviously, significant investment is needed in enhancing our capacity in this country and improving our levels of resilience.”

                            Ms Stanley said her office is also working on transposing the EU Critical Entities Directive. She said they would be conducting risk assessments to identify critical entities and said these sectors would then have to carry out their own assessment and actions.

                            Brendan Flynn, assistant professor of political science at University of Galway, said Nato naval experts have “tonnes to offer” Ireland in terms of their experiences and knowledge.

                            He said it would be “absolutely crazy” to adopt a position of refusing to cooperate with the military alliance in this area.

                            He said 400 cables transit the north Atlantic, most of them through Irish controlled waters, and 200 of these cables are designated as critical.

                            To monitor, police and repair cables, he said Ireland needs to develop partnerships with countries like Belgium, France and Britain.
                            Public sees damage to subsea cables in Irish waters 'a high-level national risk' (irishexaminer.com)

                            For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

                            Comment


                            • Blue Whale autonomous submarine system - ASW and mine detection options

                              The seventh annual REPMUS* and Dynamic Messenger naval exercises, organized and led by the Portuguese Navy and NATO, were held over a three-week period in September 2023.


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