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  • Naval Service Vessels

    305. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding the procurement of new naval vessels for the Naval Service. [30680/10]

    319. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which all materials and equipment, including sea going vessels used by the Naval Service is upgraded, updated or replaced as necessary; the extent to which this has happened over the past three years and is likely to be provided for in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30761/10]

    Minister for Defence (Deputy Tony Killeen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 319 together.

    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. Following tender evaluation, a preferred bidder was selected last year and detailed and extensive contract negotiations are now very close to conclusion. The decision to proceed with the final award of the contract to purchase the OPV’s 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 combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair of existing vessels and equipment will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained at a satisfactory level.


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

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    • http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...274739752.html

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      • ...

        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...274739752.html

        Minister to signal purchase of ships

        Minister for Defence Tony Killeen is expected to signal that the Government will buy two new Naval Service patrol ships during a visit to Cork today.

        The announcement is expected to be made when Mr Killeen welcomes the LE Niamh home from a voyage to Latin America. Mr Killeen will be in Haulbowline naval base for the ship’s arrival this afternoon, along with Defence Forces chief of staff Lieut-Gen Sean McCann and Naval Service Flag officer Commodore Frank Lynch.

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        • thank God for that!

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          • this is so awesome people/numbers I don't know are texting me about it.
            "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

            "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

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            • Press release from the DOD

              Minister Killeen announces Government approval to finalise negotiations for the purchase of Two New Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs)

              The Minister for Defence, Mr. Tony Killeen, TD, with his cabinet colleague the Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan, TD, were today (Thursday 15th July 2010), at the Naval Service Base in Haulbowline, Cork to welcome home the Naval Service vessel the L.E. Niamh from her ten week mission to Latin America. This deployment was in support of the strong cultural and heritage links between Ireland and South America, to mark the celebration of the bicentenaries of independence by Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and to promote Ireland and Irish trade links in these countries. The Captain of the LE Niamh is Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Minehane, a native of Bantry, Co. Cork, and there were 46 crew on the mission.

              Speaking on the LE Niamh in Cork Minister Killeen said “The trade and diplomatic mission to Latin America, which was undertaken by the LE Niamh, was a significant initiative from Ireland’s perspective and is an example of the continued effective inter-departmental cooperation, particularly in the area of trade. The Captain and crew of the ship have carried out excellent work on behalf of the State in furthering our national interests in the region. I would like to commend them on their achievements and thank them for their service.”

              Minister Killeen continued “I am delighted to be able to announce today that following discussions with my cabinet colleague Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D., Government approval has been received for the Department of Defence and the Naval Service to enter into discussions with UK based shipbuilder Babcock Marine, with a view to finalising negotiations for the purchase of two new Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

              The decision to proceed with the final award of the contract to purchase the OPV’s is subject to these negotiations reaching a satisfactory outcome. I hope to be in a position to make a formal announcement regarding the award of the contract for the new OPV’s by November 2010. However, as you can appreciate, as negotiations are ongoing it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on them at this time except to wish the officials in the Department of Defence and the Naval Service well in these negotiations”.

              Minister Lenihan said “I am also pleased to be here in Haulbowline this afternoon with Minister Killeen for this major announcement. I am especially pleased that in agreeing the Defence Estimates for 2011 it has been possible to provide for this key defence priority.”

              The older naval ships have a nominal lifespan of 30 years. By 2015, all but two of the current flotilla of eight Naval vessels will be at least 30 years old (which is the normal maximum lifespan of such vessels). The continued use of older vessels is expensive in terms of both maintenance and, more importantly, loss of days on patrol. Notwithstanding increased inspections, maintenance and repair, it is not recommended that any vessel should remain in service beyond 35 years.

              The three oldest vessels, LE Emer commissioned in 1978, LE Aoife commissioned in 1979 and LE Aisling commissioned in 1980, remain in service through a programme of continuous planned and preventative maintenance and inspections. These inspections have recently resulted in extensive repairs being carried out to all three vessels with holes in the hull plating of each being detected and repaired in the course of dry docking. All three vessels were out of service for approximately 6 weeks.

              Minister Killeen added “The acquisition of two new modern vessels will ensure that the Naval 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. I am acutely aware of the difficulties for Irish fishermen arising from the damage inflicted by over fishing of some key stocks off our coast. The Naval Service plays a significant role in helping to return these stocks to sustainability.” ENDS

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              • Excellent news!!!

                No sign of Estimates on the net yet so we don't know if anything else will suffer.

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                • Thats a while off Dev.

                  Next question, what are these ships going to be like. Slightly stretched P-50 class?

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                  • Fantastic news.

                    Refreshing to hear an Irish Finance Minister using a phrase like "key defence priority".

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                    • Aker Yards are the ship building subsiday of Babcok Marine I believe .So most likely the new ships will be of the same design as the new NZ Navy Patrol Vessels
                      Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

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                      • Did anyone read the fine print? Delivery in 2014 and 2015 with payments phased to 2017. It's in the Notes for Editors section at end of DoD press release.

                        It seems McCarthy's recommendation in An Bord Snip Nua about stretching out the programme by a few years has been taken aboard.

                        http://www.defence.ie/WebSite.nsf/Re...C?OpenDocument

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                        • Originally posted by trellheim View Post
                          this is so awesome people/numbers I don't know are texting me about it.
                          That was me, most likely. You gave me your number, I have not had cause to delete it.

                          The layout is still subject to details, that in reality won't be finalised until the day of completion, but the important detail is it is 15m longer than the Current OPV, with a rearrangement aft to accomodate extra TEU containers, as specified. The NS have finalised the design though, I am told. Otherwise it will be similar in layout to the P50.

                          There may be some change to the bow also but this would be structural, rather than physical. While not suggesting that the Bows of the P50 class are weak, it is believed that it does take the brunt of the heaviest of seas, so why not future proof.

                          The important thing to me though is the assurance that no current vessel would serve beyond 35 years. It remains to follow whether replacement will be immediate.
                          The people in charge in Haulbowline are delighted with events. They have been working hard on this project since 2005, if not before. The end result is exactly what was required.

                          Oh Happy Day.


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

                          Comment


                          • Is there any word on options for further ships being included in the contract?

                            Three are currently due for replacement. Eithne will join the ranks of the over 30's in 2015, as will the CPV's.

                            Does EU law allow further purchases of in class vessels without a retendering process?

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                            • Yes, there is an option for a third OPV, but this would not normally be exercised until at least one vessel has already been accepted into service.
                              Also, once the OPV contract is signed, the DoD will commence negotiating the EPV tender(see EPV thread). This would potentially see a further 2 larger vessels being ordered.

                              So in fairness, with 6 vessels approaching their 30s, the DoD has already planned for the building of at least 3, at most 5 replacements.


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

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by jacknoble View Post
                                Did anyone read the fine print? Delivery in 2014 and 2015 with payments phased to 2017. It's in the Notes for Editors section at end of DoD press release.

                                It seems McCarthy's recommendation in An Bord Snip Nua about stretching out the programme by a few years has been taken aboard.
                                Will that not push up the total price?

                                Originally posted by Laners View Post
                                Aker Yards are the ship building subsiday of Babcok Marine I believe .So most likely the new ships will be of the same design as the new NZ Navy Patrol Vessels
                                "The majority of the work on the Naval Service vessels will be completed at Appledore where the LE Roisin and Niamh were built in 1999 and 2001 respectively."


                                Originally posted by Jetjock View Post
                                Refreshing to hear an Irish Finance Minister using a phrase like "key defence priority".
                                Ie it is the key priority within the defence vote.... not that defence is a key priority of the Government

                                Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                                There may be some change to the bow also but this would be structural, rather than physical. While not suggesting that the Bows of the P50 class are weak, it is believed that it does take the brunt of the heaviest of seas, so why not future proof.
                                One of them suffered damage to the bow on the way to rescue the Canadian submarine did it.

                                The important thing to me though is the assurance that no current vessel would serve beyond 35 years. It remains to follow whether replacement will be immediate.
                                The end of the press release says the first ship to be replaced will be at least 36 years old before it is replaced.


                                The people in charge in Haulbowline are delighted with events. They have been working hard on this project since 2005, if not before. The end result is exactly what was required.

                                Oh Happy Day.
                                And so they should hopefully in the end they will get all they need.


                                Originally posted by Jetjock View Post
                                Is there any word on options for further ships being included in the contract?

                                Three are currently due for replacement. Eithne will join the ranks of the over 30's in 2015, as will the CPV's.

                                Does EU law allow further purchases of in class vessels without a retendering process?


                                Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                                Yes, there is an option for a third OPV, but this would not normally be exercised until at least one vessel has already been accepted into service.
                                Also, once the OPV contract is signed, the DoD will commence negotiating the EPV tender(see EPV thread). This would potentially see a further 2 larger vessels being ordered.

                                So in fairness, with 6 vessels approaching their 30s, the DoD has already planned for the building of at least 3, at most 5 replacements.
                                If the Government still wants an 8 vessel NS, they will have to buy 3 OPVs (by exercising the option) and 2 EPVs (by exercising the option) - and dare I say it subject to Department of Finance and Government approval. And then put another vessel out to tender (as required by EU law).

                                or maybe replacing 2 x CPVs with 1 x OPV/EPV (ie a much more capable vessel)?

                                Hopefully it won't take too long
                                Last edited by DeV; 15 July 2010, 19:02.

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