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  • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
    The smaller Enforces have a beam of 24.8m, even the Canterbury has a beam of 23.4m so vessels of this size will not fit in any Graving dock in the state at present. But is this a real issue? If so then that is something the state would have to provide as there is no commercial justification at present. While good for a navy to have such a facility at its main base we are small and so must determine if this for us makes sense or we use a dock outside the state?
    There is evidence that many maritime aspirant nations see strategic difficulties in not having sufficient drydock capacity within their states. In some cases a 12 month delay for service is not uncommon. We are an island nation trying to encourage ships of large tonnages to use our ports in 100 ship evolutions per year. Commercial justification requires only one incident to trigger a consequential loss of service, due to lack of facilities. We need a Review of Port Development , Management , Capability , and Services. There are companies in Netherlands skilled in the environmental and cost effectiveness of providing port installations , including drydocks. Perhaps our increasing Naval tonnage warrants a new look at the OLD drydock in haulbowline.

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    • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
      There is evidence that many maritime aspirant nations see strategic difficulties in not having sufficient drydock capacity within their states. In some cases a 12 month delay for service is not uncommon. We are an island nation trying to encourage ships of large tonnages to use our ports in 100 ship evolutions per year. Commercial justification requires only one incident to trigger a consequential loss of service, due to lack of facilities. We need a Review of Port Development , Management , Capability , and Services. There are companies in Netherlands skilled in the environmental and cost effectiveness of providing port installations , including drydocks. Perhaps our increasing Naval tonnage warrants a new look at the OLD drydock in haulbowline.
      I agree that it is a worthy aspiration but is it justified? It is not just about having a facility but the people to work in it and maintain it. If we did get a drydock which was lets say 200m x 30m in order to be able to handle the 9000t EPV/MRV then we would also need a workforce capable of performing the required work on the ship while in drydock. These people need to be maintained so that the dock could provide the immediate service needed otherwise it makes no sense. It is similar to the argument across the water about maintaining a warship building industry!

      Even if we ignore drydocks in the UK there is not too far away in the Brest naval yard 3 drydocks #8, #9 (250m x 36m) & #10 (300m x 46m) which could handle the EPV/MRV.

      If we were to decide that this is a strategic need then there are more than a number of large floating drydocks on the second hand market; cost point $10-20m.
      Last edited by EUFighter; 23 August 2018, 06:33.

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      • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
        I do like the Enforce family especially as they are based upon a proven design which so far has produced 4 different variants in service today. I would tend to the Enforcer 10000 as a big more ship at little more cost would be good and the larger welldeck is useful. The only two complaints I would have are;
        1. The Hanger/LCVP module is a bit out-dated. I am surprised that Damen have not changed this to a modular mission bay combining their Cross-deck concept with the hanger and moving the stacks outboard. This would give much more mission flexibility.
        2. The lower troop deck is not something we need in that size, we are not in the business of doing invasions (amphib assault). Most of our troops would be flown out to an AoO and not sea-lifted. Some capacity is needed but more of the 150-200 range rather than the 400-600 range currently offered as we would most likely be deploying a company sized force and need to transport all its equipment and initial stores to cover the first weeks of operation. The space would be better utilized in our case for more TEU storage including reefers.
        I believe in the Multirole Logistics type ship for the Naval Service but within the parameters of being serviced and maintained within the island of Ireland. When the state took over Haulbowline all systems and staffs were in place to operate the Dockyard including the Drydock. Clever micro budgetting soon saw that being redacted and the gates sold off for scrap. Drydocks are operated by multirole staff within the engineering shipwrights departments who also operate the slips for smaller craft.
        I also think that at this time ships of over 150m and 24m beam will have a draft that may give berthage problems. We should stay within the concepts of the current preparations for tender and be as definite with our specifications as possible, particularly on the dimensional and sealift aspects.

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        • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
          I believe in the Multirole Logistics type ship for the Naval Service but within the parameters of being serviced and maintained within the island of Ireland. When the state took over Haulbowline all systems and staffs were in place to operate the Dockyard including the Drydock. Clever micro budgetting soon saw that being redacted and the gates sold off for scrap. Drydocks are operated by multirole staff within the engineering shipwrights departments who also operate the slips for smaller craft.
          I also think that at this time ships of over 150m and 24m beam will have a draft that may give berthage problems. We should stay within the concepts of the current preparations for tender and be as definite with our specifications as possible, particularly on the dimensional and sealift aspects.
          My understanding was that when Haulbowline was handed over to the state in 1923 (seems it was not part of the treaty ports) The dockyard went into private hands, with ship conversion work taking place. The Depression that followed soon put an end to this. Though shipbreaking continued for some time, with former warships being broken up for their valuable steel plate. A steel mill opened alongside the mostly unused Basin in 1938. The Irish Naval presence in the dockyard was minimal, at best during this time, with the predecessor of the Naval service only operating from 1936 onwards, the Naval service itself only coming into being 10 years later.
          However as for the drydock gates, last time I looked, the same caisson is still floating at the southern end of the graving dock as always has been. Getting it operable has been investigated and is not as costly as expected. The pumphouse also remains, though most of the machinery is now encased in concrete.
          Daire Brunicardi (Lt Cdr, retiired) has recently written in great detail on the history of the Island. I would recommend his book. It is an overdue update on the book written by his father Niall in the mid 70s. There has been others too, but not as easy to read as DB.

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          • Originally posted by na grohmit� View Post
            .
            However as for the drydock gates, last time I looked, the same caisson is still floating at the southern end of the graving dock as always has been. Getting it operable has been investigated and is not as costly as expected. The pumphouse also remains, though most of the machinery is now encased in concrete..
            Except the plan for the Dock is allow it to be used to tie up OPVs
            Last edited by DeV; 23 August 2018, 23:08.

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            • Originally posted by DeV View Post
              Except the plan for the Dock is allow it to be used to tie up OPVs
              One of the plans...

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              • Originally posted by na grohmit� View Post
                One of the plans...
                Current plan

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                • Originally posted by DeV View Post
                  Current plan
                  Current Plan-yes. Caisson, floating or otherwise-gone to the furnaces!!

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                  • Caisson was still floating in the dock last time I looked.

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                    • Plan is to dredge it, remove the “stone buttress type structures” from the west side, regularise the face of the wall, remove the floating marina, provide facilities on both walls in order to provide simultaneous berthing for 2 x P60 class on opposite walls offset fore and aft.

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                      • Even if we went with a 9K EPV, I'd still be highly doubtful of any suggestion of trying to set up a "naval" yard, to me even in such case we don't have the hulls to sustain such a yard with a continuous workload either to make economic sense or to sustain the skillsets of the workforce, mainly because unlike Cobh if it was in the Base we wouldn't have commercial usage of it and regular work on 9 or so hulls doesn't seem enough based on their usage of Cobh on a yearly basis. To me it would make more sense to go the OPV mooring route and if we did go larger than Cobh can handle then see about sourcing a larger dock.

                        As to the argument that commercially we need such a larger dock for the current and planned increase in hulls, given the lack of such facilities hasn't stopped commercial activities so far I don't see that as an issue, neither Irish Ferries or Brittany Ferries raised any issues about it when both of them suffered mechanical failures over the last couple of years for example.

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                        • Purely speculation on my part...but I'd guess H&W would rip whoever arm off to get drydocking the Irish Naval Service fleet on an annual basis..,
                          'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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                          • Originally posted by spider View Post
                            Purely speculation on my part...but I'd guess H&W would rip whoever arm off to get drydocking the Irish Naval Service fleet on an annual basis..,
                            Not just them, within the EU there is currently a lot of over capacity for ship repair/overhaul with a lot of yards looking for work. It is a buyers market and while we might have some sentimental attachment to H&W it does not mean they would be a preferred bidder. Earlier I mention the Brest Naval Yard, well it is actually closer than Belfast Lough.

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                            • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
                              Not just them, within the EU there is currently a lot of over capacity for ship repair/overhaul with a lot of yards looking for work. It is a buyers market and while we might have some sentimental attachment to H&W it does not mean they would be a preferred bidder. Earlier I mention the Brest Naval Yard, well it is actually closer than Belfast Lough.
                              At this time-- ship building , ship repair, and marine equipment manufacture is operating in a global market. The European share of that on an all ships basis is diminishing with over 70% of marine equipments and new build being on Asian order books. Drydocks tend to follow the business and despite Globalisation European yards have most of the cruise liner, and off shore vessel business in the order of 80/90%. Drydocks tend to be very large for Cruise liners and Offshore structure units and small for Offshore ships. Our wishes need to be met in co-operation with our European Naval Yards rather than the open market to allow for access and care of crews. It is certainly not a buyers market in a Naval sense.
                              Lack of foresight, and planning will lead to multi-ship problems not least maintenance but also crewing and filling technical slots both ashore and afloat.

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                              • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                                At this time-- ship building , ship repair, and marine equipment manufacture is operating in a global market. The European share of that on an all ships basis is diminishing with over 70% of marine equipments and new build being on Asian order books. Drydocks tend to follow the business and despite Globalisation European yards have most of the cruise liner, and off shore vessel business in the order of 80/90%. Drydocks tend to be very large for Cruise liners and Offshore structure units and small for Offshore ships. Our wishes need to be met in co-operation with our European Naval Yards rather than the open market to allow for access and care of crews. It is certainly not a buyers market in a Naval sense.
                                Lack of foresight, and planning will lead to multi-ship problems not least maintenance but also crewing and filling technical slots both ashore and afloat.
                                If we look at Europe very few navies now have there own drydocking facilities, looking at the medium sized navies:
                                • The Danish base at Korsør Base which is home to their Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates and Absalon-class support ships has no drydock facility.
                                • The Dutch base at Den Helder has only drydocking available for their frigates. The larger Rotterdam LPDs and Karel Doorman JSS cannot fit into the covered drydock.
                                • The Norwegian base at Haakonsvern has a drydock inside a mountain! It could at a pinch fit their old Oslo class frigates (11m beam) but hasn't a chance of taking a Fridtjof Nansen class frigate.
                                • The Portuguese base in Lisabon has no drydock what so ever. There was a shipyard next to the base but this has long since closed and the facilities dismantled.


                                I agree we should do a co-operation with a close European Naval yard and is why I proposed the facilities in Brest. There is the extensive naval yard as well as commercial yards. Given the on-going debate about the new connection to the mainland EU, while nearby Roscoff has a ro-ro facility it is limited while Brest has a container terminal and an airport. The latter is handy to fly a few NS boys out to from Cork in the new PC12s. So thinking strategically it would be maybe a good idea to think about a strategic partnership between Cork and Brest. The French will get EU development fund to develop the harbour (Roscoff has limited expansion room) and the links to it. We get a good deal on the use of the naval yard and maybe even Stobart Air could switch from Cork Rennes to Cork Brest!(Save on the AC boys having to fly single engine over water!!!!).

                                So coming back to the arguement we cannot get a 9000t EPV/MRV as we have no local drydock, I would think that it should not be a deciding factor.

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