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  • Originally posted by Tyronesteve View Post
    what is the navy suposed to do do between now and 2014
    1. Remove weakened hull panels
    2. Insert new panel
    3. Paint
    4. see 1.


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

    Comment


    • funding will go a head if not we have a major problem

      Comment


      • More from the Dail Committee.

        Deputy Jimmy Deenihan:
        I am strongly in favour of vessel replacement as required. Three of our main vessels are past their term of useful service. The war we are fighting in this country is the war on drugs. We have had different wars over the years, an economic war and a terrorist war, but we are now fighting a war on drugs. The role of the navy will be critical to this fight in the years ahead. Much of its activity is intelligence driven but unless the navy has a continuous presence along our coastline and in the seas under our jurisdiction there will not be a deterrent to people importing drugs into this country. They are prepared to take any chance, even at the risk of being arrested and imprisoned, to import drugs into this country.

        We have a very long coastline - the coastline of Kerry alone is 300 miles. Unless the navy has a presence along our coastline, there will not be a deterrent to people bringing in drugs into this country. Intelligence gathering is important in tackling the major international movement of drugs. With such intelligence, the movement of drugs that originate in, say, Colombia can be tracked across the world. I am sure we could look on screen at such drugs in Haulbowline. We need a naval presence to detect the small movement of drugs up and down our coastline when consignments of drugs are broken drown and moved by smaller vessels into little coves around the country. That is where the problem arises. It is important that the navy would be properly equipped, including the replacement of existing vessels, where necessary. Consideration should also be given to increasing the number of naval vessels. We especially need offshore patrol vessels and for them to be continuously at sea.

        The navy lost 200 days at sea this year. Is it planned to reverse that decision and give the navy back those 200 days, as it were? One of the reasons for the loss of those days was a cut in expenses but the navy has a problem in terms of manning its vessels having regard to its numbers. I welcome the fact that the Minister is recruiting 40 personnel to the Naval Service, and this will be an important addition.

        The Reserve Defence Force could play a greater role in supporting the numbers and activities of the Naval Service. Its role should be examined because some members of the Reserve Defence Force have expertise in sailing and other maritime activities. The members of the reserve could play a useful role if numbers in the Permanent Defence Force segment of the Naval Service have been reduced or cannot be replaced immediately. I would like the Minister to respond to that point.



        Deputy Tony Killeen:
        On vessel replacement, I strongly agree with the points made by Deputy Deenihan on drugs. He made the point that 200 days are lost at sea, as he would describe it. Frankly, that arises from the financial situation and we will try to minimise the impact of that. We are working hard on the vessel replacement programme. We debated previously the relative importance of the Naval Service patrols as opposed to the other systems, including information etc., that is available. It is important to state they all interact positively with each other and I am happy we are doing that effectively at present.

        He also raised the potential role for the RDF in support of the Naval Service, and that may have some significance. My strong view is that the recruitment to the Permanent Naval Service will successfully deal with any shortcomings there have been in terms of staffing in that area in any event, but there is an important role for the RDF across all sectors and we will be charting that in the White Paper.

        Deputy Brian O’Shea:
        On naval vessels, the Minister stated that delivery could possibly start by 2014. What exactly may happen in 2014? On this issue of vessels, there has been a proposal in the past that the Reserve Defence Force Naval Service could be involved with smaller vessels for patrolling purposes around the coast. I understood that the vessels might cost in the order of €1 million. Was that proposal ever seriously looked at, is it still current and does the Minister see merit in that proposal? On the point made previously by Deputy Deenihan, we have a vast coastline. Many of our patrols are very much intelligence led and that has brought good results. In terms of random patrolling, however, has the Department or the Naval Service any new ideas as to how this could be enhanced because there are vast stretches of the coast, particularly in the west, that are not properly patrolled?


        Deputy Tony Killeen:
        On the question of naval vessels, a case has been made for the operation of smaller vessels inshore, perhaps with the involvement of the RDF or Naval Service personnel. There are a number of difficulties in this regard, the most major of which revolves around the fact that it appears that the seas off the west coast are becoming much more difficult to negotiate. It is difficult, therefore, to chart the future of inshore vessels, particularly in the context of the role of the Irish Coast Guard. Even if we were to decide that, from a strategic point of view, this would be the best route to take, the age profile of the fleet is such that proceeding with the replacement programme is an absolute first step. There are steps we could consider taking if the vessels in the fleet were not so old. In the current circumstances priority must be given to the replacement programme before we proceed to consider other possible developments.

        Last edited by Goldie fish; 22 June 2010, 14:41.


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

        Comment


        • The war we are fighting in this country is the war on drugs. We have had different wars over the years, an economic war and a terrorist war, but we are now fighting a war on drugs
          he forgot the salmon wars of 82,83.84...fought by vessels well past their prime.


          There are steps we could consider taking if the vessels in the fleet were not so old. In the current circumstances priority must be given to the replacement programme before we proceed to consider other possible developments.

          Have to say that one sentence gives me some hope. Quite bluntly he tells O'Shea that he is clueless regarding Naval matters and that at least they know the direction they need to take and that trying stop gap measures is not on the agenda.
          Last edited by hptmurphy; 22 June 2010, 14:50.
          Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

          Comment


          • Whatever about drugs, as Te Kaha pointed out, the economic losses from illegal fishing provided weight to the NZ Navy to get ships and air assets
            "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

            Comment


            • The fact that Port of Cork are in the process of negotiating a direct ferry link to spain shows just how valuable the shipping of our fish stocks to europe is to the local economy.
              I spoke to a trucker once, who used to pick up fish landed in Castletownbere, and return from Bilbao 2 days later with empty fishboxes. He went via Rosslare to the UK and from the UK to Santander by Brittany ferries, Returning on the same ferry.

              Just because we don't eat fish here does not mean other states can't see its value.


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

              Comment


              • Interesting statement by the Minister for Defence:

                It is difficult, therefore, to chart the future of inshore vessels, particularly in the context of the role of the Irish Coast Guard.

                Comment


                • I was wondering about that too. Does he see the CG being able to provide their own small craft for inshore work in future?


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

                  Comment


                  • Who is deputy Brian O'Shea? His sources are pretty good.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sluggie View Post
                      Who is deputy Brian O'Shea? His sources are pretty good.
                      Labour TD, Waterford, Labour's Defence spokesperson

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                        I was wondering about that too. Does he see the CG being able to provide their own small craft for inshore work in future?
                        Or maybe bringing the revenue and garda assets under the naval service ?
                        Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier - Samuel Johnson

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by knocker View Post
                          Or maybe bringing the revenue and garda assets under the naval service ?
                          That would require joined up thinking and co-operation.


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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                            That would require joined up thinking and co-operation.
                            Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier - Samuel Johnson

                            Comment


                            • Lots of PQs for the minister today regarding the ship replacement etc.
                              Answers will follow when available.


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

                              Comment


                              • Naval Service

                                25. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Defence if he expects the replacement of vessels in Naval flotilla to happen line with original proposed schedule; Department Finance has given any indication as whether replacements will be made that contingency plans his replace one should safety concerns require immediate retirement a current ship view importance war against drugs and piracy small size flotilla; make statement on matter. [30265/10]

                                Deputy Tony Killeen: A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service offshore patrol vessels, OPVs, is currently in progress following the commencement of a tender competition in 2007. The competition sought tenders for the purchase of two OPVs with an option for a third. The process comprised two stages – stage 1, a request for proposals and stage 2, an invitation to tender.

                                During 2008, stage 1 of the tender process was completed and tenders were received in response to stage 2. Following tender evaluation, a preferred bidder was selected last year and detailed and extensive contract negotiations are now close to conclusion. The decision to proceed with the final award of the contract to purchase the OPVs is subject to these negotiations reaching a satisfactory outcome and Government approval of the 2011 Estimates. Subject to a satisfactory conclusion of the contract negotiations, delivery of the new vessels would be expected to commence on a phased basis from 2014. This strategy, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair, will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained at a satisfactory level.

                                The acquisition of modern new vessels will ensure that the service continues to be fully equipped to carry out its day to day roles in enforcing the State’s sovereign rights over our waters and our fisheries and meeting Ireland’s obligations in the area of maritime safety and security and fisheries protection.


                                Deputy David Stanton: Is the Minister optimistic that the purchase of those two vessels will go ahead? Will he inform the House as to the size of the vessels that are being considered, bearing in mind that the it appears the seas are getting rougher and some of the ships we have find it difficult to negotiate some high seas? Will he also say what his views are with respect to at least two of the offshore patrol vessels, whose normal replacement date has passed at this stage?


                                Deputy Tony Killeen: I am not a great expert on the dimensions of ships and descriptions of them but it is true that new ships, should they be acquired, will be at the larger end of the scale because of the maritime conditions, as outlined by Deputy Stanton. The decision on whether to proceed this year or next, will depend on two factors. First, there is some work to be done on the conclusion of negotiations and following that, approval by the Government. While two of the ships, as the Deputy says, are reaching the notional age at which it is perhaps not wise to have them in service for much longer, the fact is that they are in very good shape. The engineers in the Naval Service have done wonderful work. I was on board LE Aoife on Saturday and it is in very good shape. I was taken down to the engine room where I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of a young engineer.

                                Deputy David Stanton: Will the Minister agree these ships’ normal lifespans are 30 years and that two them are older than that? While waiting for the new vessels to come on-stream, are there contingency plans in the event of one or either of the older ships becoming non-operational?


                                Deputy Tony Killeen: We have been fortunate that the vessels in question have not indicated major difficulties and have been very well cared for. While 30 years is the normal lifespan for one of these ships, I do not anticipate any difficulties. Some maintenance issues requiring dry-docking have been attended to more than competently. I accept Deputy Stanton’s concern that even if I were in a position to sign the contracts next November, there will still be a considerable lead-in time.

                                26. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Defence if contract negotiations in respect of the purchase new ships for Naval Service have been completed; and he will make a statement on matter. [29924/10]

                                38. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Defence the progress made regarding commitment given in Renewed Programme for Government that Naval Service Vessel replacement programme will be advanced within resources available by [30169/10]

                                Deputy Tony Killeen: Os rud é go bhfuil an freagra ar Ceisteanna Uimh. 26 agus 38 díreach mar an gcéanna leis an freagra ar an gceist atá díreach déanta againn, ní gá dom an freagra a léamh amach arís.


                                An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Since the answer is identical to the preceding one, we will proceed to supplementary questions. Is that agreed? Agreed.


                                Deputy David Stanton: Will the Minister outline the demands and stresses on the eight Naval Service vessels? Will he agree this small flotilla is under much pressure in dealing with fisheries protection, illegal drug interception and other duties?

                                Has the Minister considered any contingency plans to replace any of these vessels, either by leasing or otherwise, to keep the flotilla up to strength in the event of one of them becoming non-operational?


                                Deputy Tony Killeen: I do not want to give the impression that a flotilla of eight is comfortable. The job is, however, being well done within existing resources. LE Aoife was off the west coast of Clare recently and LE Aisling will be in Galway docks next year celebrating 30 years. LE Niamh is returning from a long and positive trip to South America in which it was part of the celebrations of the Irish connection to the historical freedom movements in Argentina and Chile. It also visited US east coast areas which have strong Irish maritime links.

                                The addition of the Casa aircraft to fisheries protection and drug enforcement has given additional capabilities. New equipment has also made these jobs somewhat easier and more professional.


                                Deputy Brian O’Shea: The Minister was dealing recently with the naval section of the Reserve Defence Forces. It was proposed it could become involved in some of the patrol work already done by the Naval Service through the purchase of a specific craft which would cost €1 million. When I last raised it, the Minister indicated to me that the craft in question may not be suitable for the adverse waters off the west coast, where most patrols are done.

                                I understand the total number of out-of-operation days for all vessels in the flotilla last year came to 200. Will this increase this year, now that they are coming to the end of their lifespan? Is it better value for money to acquire new and speedier vessels, rather than just repairing the existing ones? Is the 2014 delivery date for the three new vessels just a notional date?


                                Deputy Tony Killeen: The issue of the date will only arise sometime in the second half of this year if I get the approval I referred to earlier. The further out that date goes, the further out the delivery date in 2014 goes.

                                It is possible to accommodate comfortably dry-dock repairs to the flotilla within the amount of patrolling days available. I have had no indication that this position is likely to change.


                                Deputy David Stanton: What proportion of EU waters are patrolled by the Naval Service? Has it increased recently? Has there been any discussion with our EU partners on our assisting patrols in these waters by providing extra naval capabilities?


                                An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Some of those questions extend the range of the original question, as well as the range of our marine capacity.


                                Deputy Tony Killeen: Historically, there have been four extensions to the exclusion area for which we are responsible from three to six to 12 to 200 miles with some additional shelf areas added. Relative to Ireland’s size it is a very large proportion of EU waters for fisheries protection.

                                With regard to patrols against drug shipments, the equipment available in both the vessels and their supporting aircraft has assisted enormously. We frequently forget to acknowledge that Irish fishermen have been extraordinarily helpful in drawing the authorities’ attention to certain vessels. There are two surveillance systems in use and I am happy as to how well-equipped they are. Deputy Stanton may have seen the live picture at the Haulbowline naval headquarters and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority headquarters in Clonakilty which shows the location of every vessel in Irish territorial waters. Of course, one still needs the vessels to make the interceptions.


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

                                Comment

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