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Thread: OPV Replacement

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    OPV Replacement

    At the moment the P50 class is undergoing a mid-life refit, while this will given some more years of service by the end of this decade they will be 30yrs old and needing a replacement. One of the PESCO projects which is growing in size is the European Patrol Corvette which now included Italy, France, Greece and Spain with Portugal and Bulgaria have also expressed interest in joining. It looks likely that this program could involve building 20+ similar vessels with up to 30 being easily in reach. At present the EPC is thought to be around 3000t with a length of 110-115m. The vessel design will be modular to give it the flexibility to undertake a large varity of missions with different systems and payloads.

    The suggested configurations of the EPC are:
    • A limited warship optimized for surface warfare and able to counter airborne attacks as well as undertake anti-submarine missions.
    • A limited warship for lengthy missions (10,000 nautical miles at 14 knots) that can conduct surface warfare missions.
    • An offshore patrol vessel in various configurations.


    It is expected that the first version, the Italian would enter service in 2027 and the first French vessel in 2030. This would put the building program right in the timeframe for the P50 replacement. While many may contend that we can wait and see what designs finally emerge I would caution. The designs will be driven by those who were involved at the early design stages when many of the key decisions are taken. So if the EPC could be a potential replacement for the P50s we would need to get involved early/now. Being involved does not mean that we have committed to buying the final result, but gives a chance to influence the final design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    At the moment the P50 class is undergoing a mid-life refit, while this will given some more years of service by the end of this decade they will be 30yrs old and needing a replacement. One of the PESCO projects which is growing in size is the European Patrol Corvette which now included Italy, France, Greece and Spain with Portugal and Bulgaria have also expressed interest in joining. It looks likely that this program could involve building 20+ similar vessels with up to 30 being easily in reach. At present the EPC is thought to be around 3000t with a length of 110-115m. The vessel design will be modular to give it the flexibility to undertake a large varity of missions with different systems and payloads.

    The suggested configurations of the EPC are:
    • A limited warship optimized for surface warfare and able to counter airborne attacks as well as undertake anti-submarine missions.
    • A limited warship for lengthy missions (10,000 nautical miles at 14 knots) that can conduct surface warfare missions.
    • An offshore patrol vessel in various configurations.


    It is expected that the first version, the Italian would enter service in 2027 and the first French vessel in 2030. This would put the building program right in the timeframe for the P50 replacement. While many may contend that we can wait and see what designs finally emerge I would caution. The designs will be driven by those who were involved at the early design stages when many of the key decisions are taken. So if the EPC could be a potential replacement for the P50s we would need to get involved early/now. Being involved does not mean that we have committed to buying the final result, but gives a chance to influence the final design.
    We are members of the PESCO cooperation Group but our problem seems to be about getting involved mean-fully. I agree that at least two replacement vessels should meet EPC standards. PESCO have a training and certification Agency with which we should already be involved. Globally Defence and Security is based on joint enterprise and interflow of information and common SOP's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    We are members of the PESCO cooperation Group but our problem seems to be about getting involved mean-fully. I agree that at least two replacement vessels should meet EPC standards. PESCO have a training and certification Agency with which we should already be involved. Globally Defence and Security is based on joint enterprise and interflow of information and common SOP's.
    It is not just PESCO but also our engagement in the EDA is lacking apart from photo-ops for politicians! While it is good to be a member of a club there comes a time when the other members will start to question just why are we there? It is like being a member of a golf club, you never take part in competitions, you never go golfing with other members and yet we turn up to the AGM and always have something to say! We want to be seen to be part of the club but in reality we don't own a single golf club and have only every played "crazy golf".

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    At the moment the P50 class is undergoing a mid-life refit, while this will given some more years of service by the end of this decade they will be 30yrs old and needing a replacement.
    We're there...the P60s are the next in class and will be in service 10 - 15 years after the P50s so reaiistically its that class we need to look at replacing.

    The P 60s despite outward looks are a huge step up from the P50s....bit like comparing Deirdre to Aisling
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    We're there...the P60s are the next in class and will be in service 10 - 15 years after the P50s so reaiistically its that class we need to look at replacing.

    The P 60s despite outward looks are a huge step up from the P50s....bit like comparing Deirdre to Aisling
    If our policy is to maintain at all times an 8 /9 ship navy then we should immediately plan to replace 1 Flagship (MRV?) and 2 CPV's (MCMetc.?) within three years. Then by 2035 we should be planning to replace 2 P50's. Then in 2035-2039 we should carry out half life refits, and upgrades on dated equipments. on 4 P60's. All would be much easier to achieve if we had our own dock operational. If we had space P31 could also be maintained as a training unit given the possibility of the return to flight decks on the MRV. At all costs we must avoid reactive planning winding up with vessels that impose unhelpful role changes for the Navy and personnel.

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    Normally our vessels are design for an active service life of 30 years, but as we all know that when "push comes to shove" they can last longer. But if we have planned properly and funded the fleet adequately then 30 years should be the target life. So the interval between the P50 and P60 fleet replacement could vary from 10 year to as much as 20 years.

    But if we do in future stick to the 30 year limit then building a replacement for LÉ Róisín should start in 2027 which would mean a design start around 2025 if not earlier.

    Vessel Commisioned Refit 30 Year Service 35 Year Service
    LÉ Róisín (P51) 1999 2019 2029 2034
    LÉ Niamh (P52) 2001 2020 2031 2036
    LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) 2014 2034 2044 2049
    LÉ James Joyce (P62) 2015 2035 2045 2050
    LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) 2016 2036 2046 2051
    LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) 2019 2039 2049 2054
    Last edited by EUFighter; 15th August 2020 at 14:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Normally our vessels are design for an active service life of 30 years, but as we all know that when "push comes to shove" they can last longer. But if we have planned properly and funded the fleet adequately then 30 years should be the target life. So the interval between the P50 and P60 fleet replacement could vary from 10 year to as much as 20 years.

    But if we do in future stick to the 30 year limit then building a replacement for LÉ Róisín should start in 2027 which would mean a design start around 2025 if not earlier.

    Vessel Commisioned Refit 30 Year Service 35 Year Service
    LÉ Róisín (P51) 1999 2019 2029 2034
    LÉ Niamh (P52) 2001 2020 2031 2036
    LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) 2014 2034 2044 2049
    LÉ James Joyce (P62) 2015 2035 2045 2050
    LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) 2016 2036 2046 2051
    LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) 2019 2039 2049 2054
    Admire the IT skills. Those are the dates but we should strive to get a minimum of 35years to get value out of a well executed half-life refit. Because of that looming workload, planning for prolonged use of Ireland's only operational Graving Dock needs to be booked and maybe augmented?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Normally our vessels are design for an active service life of 30 years, but as we all know that when "push comes to shove" they can last longer. But if we have planned properly and funded the fleet adequately then 30 years should be the target life. So the interval between the P50 and P60 fleet replacement could vary from 10 year to as much as 20 years.

    But if we do in future stick to the 30 year limit then building a replacement for LÉ Róisín should start in 2027 which would mean a design start around 2025 if not earlier.

    Vessel Commisioned Refit 30 Year Service 35 Year Service
    LÉ Róisín (P51) 1999 2019 2029 2034
    LÉ Niamh (P52) 2001 2020 2031 2036
    LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) 2014 2034 2044 2049
    LÉ James Joyce (P62) 2015 2035 2045 2050
    LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) 2016 2036 2046 2051
    LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) 2019 2039 2049 2054
    Fcuk me... given your figures I'll be dead and buried by the time the last of the replacements come about
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    I wonder if, in 35 years time we will still be looking at a fleet that expands by 1 ship every 20 years?

    1947-1969- 3 ships.
    (1969- 1971- 1 ship)
    1971- 1975- 4 ships
    1975- 1982 - 6 ships
    1982- 1999- 7 ships
    1999- 2017- 8 ships
    2017- date 9 ships.

    Using this rule of thumb by 2054 the fleet might be as large as 15 ships...
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    Fcuk me... given your figures I'll be dead and buried by the time the last of the replacements come about
    Well if there was ever a reason to speed up the replacement program there it is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    I wonder if, in 35 years time we will still be looking at a fleet that expands by 1 ship every 20 years?

    1947-1969- 3 ships.
    (1969- 1971- 1 ship)
    1971- 1975- 4 ships
    1975- 1982 - 6 ships
    1982- 1999- 7 ships
    1999- 2017- 8 ships
    2017- date 9 ships.

    Using this rule of thumb by 2054 the fleet might be as large as 15 ships...
    Or maybe it’s hit the top of the Bell Curve?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Or maybe it’s hit the top of the Bell Curve?
    The exercise is to show the sustained financial , technical, and support measures necessary to maintain an indate operational fleet. Due to paucity in numbers back in 1961 we could only manage one ship on permanent commission out of three. We could bring another out for a show piece period as all ships could be brought to short notice, as layed up ships had CO, Eng. Coxn, CERA, and CSTO. on board. I remember 02 was painted stem to stern internally by the Coxn (Flor) on his own when we joined to take her out.
    As the Fleet grows, and needs replacements, needs crews, training, technical skill sets, it must not be beset by tardy decisions as in the 70's. Capabilities and trades lost are grindingly difficult to get back . We have a long way to go to recover lost ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Or maybe it’s hit the top of the Bell Curve?
    There is no bell curve, but the picture is quite different.

    50Yr Irish Naval Service.png
    (I have removed those in refit or "operational reserve")
    We had a period of expansion just after we joined the EEC and then the fleet size remained fairly constant for the most of 40 years, now we have a steep decline. Once the two P50 class complete their refits we will be back to a fleet of 6.
    The remaining 3 vessels: LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla & LÉ Ciara all reached 35yrs in 2019 and should be allowed to retire. It is not as it the two Peacocks have received anywhere near the refits that their sister boats have in Philippine service!

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    You included Setanta as an active vessel? I don't remember her leaving the basin much after 1980.
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    You included Setanta as an active vessel? I don't remember her leaving the basin much after 1980.
    I take your point and I was hesitant putting a lighthouse tender in anyway.
    50Yr Irish Naval Service.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Or maybe it’s hit the top of the Bell Curve?
    Given that the Naval Service is suffering a net loss of about 50 personnel per year and two ships had to be tied up to crew the last ridiculous acquisition with a third ship going to go that way too shortly, its well over the top of the curve .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodes View Post
    Given that the Naval Service is suffering a net loss of about 50 personnel per year and two ships had to be tied up to crew the last ridiculous acquisition with a third ship going to go that way too shortly, its well over the top of the curve .
    I should be disagreeing with you. I'm not. It appears the only reason we got such good terms on P64 was to keep Babcock Appledore alive long enough to complete HMSPWLS. Now that's done, they were set adrift. Even Babcock involvement in the Type 31 frigate wasn't enough to keep them open.
    There was never an intention to buy 4 OPVs. It was always 2 OPV with option for 3rd, and 1 EPV with an option for 2nd. The structure was never put in place for a 4th OPV, there isn't even space for one to tie up in Haulbowline. At least 1 P60 has to tie up in Cobh most of the time, with 3 ships out of service at all times due to manning issues or extended refit, there just isn't room for the remaining ships not on patrol to park up in the basin or on the Oil wharf.
    And to think the Air Corps were refused a 2nd PC12NG because they had nowhere to park it..
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    There is no bell curve, but the picture is quite different.

    50Yr Irish Naval Service.png
    (I have removed those in refit or "operational reserve")
    We had a period of expansion just after we joined the EEC and then the fleet size remained fairly constant for the most of 40 years, now we have a steep decline. Once the two P50 class complete their refits we will be back to a fleet of 6.
    The remaining 3 vessels: LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla & LÉ Ciara all reached 35yrs in 2019 and should be allowed to retire. It is not as it the two Peacocks have received anywhere near the refits that their sister boats have in Philippine service!
    The decline is only because there is no mechanism that commits the State to replacing ships as they reach their end of service. Our steep decline, is the age of P31 and P41 and P42, plus the HR setbacks in not maintaining crew levels and trade types. We have retired ships and they are still operational with Nigerian, Lybian, and Maltese navies. It just requires realism and act in time to maintain full numbers and efficiency. Buying presents for the Forces Units leads to a bellows effect and also weakens forward planning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    I should be disagreeing with you. I'm not. It appears the only reason we got such good terms on P64 was to keep Babcock Appledore alive long enough to complete HMSPWLS. Now that's done, they were set adrift. Even Babcock involvement in the Type 31 frigate wasn't enough to keep them open.
    There was never an intention to buy 4 OPVs. It was always 2 OPV with option for 3rd, and 1 EPV with an option for 2nd. The structure was never put in place for a 4th OPV, there isn't even space for one to tie up in Haulbowline. At least 1 P60 has to tie up in Cobh most of the time, with 3 ships out of service at all times due to manning issues or extended refit, there just isn't room for the remaining ships not on patrol to park up in the basin or on the Oil wharf.
    And to think the Air Corps were refused a 2nd PC12NG because they had nowhere to park it..
    Babcock certainly didnt offer good terms for P64, they charged the same price as the other OPV's, it brought nothing militarily new to the Naval Service, it was not needed and there was no one to crew it.
    If Babcock offered it with a flight deck, hangar, air search radar and accommodation for a platoon it could have been a direct replacement for Eithne, militarily useful and a good deal.

    Whats happening in Haulbowline is a disgrace, the CoS has a lot to answer for, it was he who lobbied hard for P64 knowing full rightly there would be no one to crew it and no where to berth it, at the same time telling sailors you dont need accomadation and you should just sleep in tied up ships. The mess there can not be dumped at the door of the DoD but in Mellett's hands.

    Had a small fraction of that €70 million spent on P64 had of been used to build accommodation in Haulbowline at the time the ship was ordered and as a DF wide retention package there would not be the retention crisis that currently exists.
    If the Naval Service continues to suffer a net loss of 50 personnel per year they will loss a ship per year and will cease to exist in a decade.

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  30. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    You included Setanta as an active vessel? I don't remember her leaving the basin much after 1980.
    Only to be scrapped!
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    it was not needed
    You always need ships, even if you tie them up without crews it is always better to have them in waiting rather waiting for them to be delievered, especially when you have three nearing end of life.

    the CoS has a lot to answer for, it was he who lobbied hard for P64 knowing full rightly there would be no one to crew it and no where to berth it
    ,

    Could say the direct opposite in that he had the foresight to buy a ship just in case it would be needed, berthage since the removal of Irish Steel has never been a problem.

    at the same time telling sailors you dont need accomadation and you should just sleep in tied up ships
    Crews have been living on ships since the Corvettes and the issue predates the CoS, it having been identified on the acceptance of the minesweepers back in 1970 that shore side accommodation was required for ships crews , so it was hardly a revelation, again a modular built would cost the fraction of the cost of a ship , so someone is really penny pinching to aviod it.

    Loss of people is not a naval problem alone with the army losing hand over fist to the private sector. Personally know of a Commandant who handed in his notice to walk in to a job with double his current salary...and he won't ave to serve 6 months away from home very couple of years to further his career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    You always need ships, even if you tie them up without crews it is always better to have them in waiting rather waiting for them to be delievered, especially when you have three nearing end of life.

    ,

    Could say the direct opposite in that he had the foresight to buy a ship just in case it would be needed, berthage since the removal of Irish Steel has never been a problem.



    Crews have been living on ships since the Corvettes and the issue predates the CoS, it having been identified on the acceptance of the minesweepers back in 1970 that shore side accommodation was required for ships crews , so it was hardly a revelation, again a modular built would cost the fraction of the cost of a ship , so someone is really penny pinching to aviod it.

    Loss of people is not a naval problem alone with the army losing hand over fist to the private sector. Personally know of a Commandant who handed in his notice to walk in to a job with double his current salary...and he won't ave to serve 6 months away from home very couple of years to further his career.
    That's just ludicrous. Another ship was not needed and there was plenty of life lift in the ships that had to be tied up to crew it as well as the third one going next.
    The knock-on effect of this now is that the CPV's will not be replaced.

    Berthage is a problem, as na grohmiti has said above. The Naval Service has started to spend millions on sorting it out.

    Just because something has been happening for a long time doesn't make it acceptable. The Haulbowline accommodation issue has been brought to the Mellett's attention several times since he became CoS and every time his answer was they can just sleep in tied up ships they don't need accommodation. PDFORRA and RACO, as well as the current FOCNS, have finally got some movement on this issue, but the damage is done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodes View Post
    That's just ludicrous. Another ship was not needed and there was plenty of life lift in the ships that had to be tied up to crew it as well as the third one going next.
    The knock-on effect of this now is that the CPV's will not be replaced.

    Berthage is a problem, as na grohmiti has said above. The Naval Service has started to spend millions on sorting it out.

    Just because something has been happening for a long time doesn't make it acceptable. The Haulbowline accommodation issue has been brought to the Mellett's attention several times since he became CoS and every time his answer was they can just sleep in tied up ships they don't need accommodation. PDFORRA and RACO, as well as the current FOCNS, have finally got some movement on this issue, but the damage is done.
    This displays a lack of knowledge how a Navy works. When Naval ships are operational, with an assigned crew, everybody lives on board with an assigned berth. Away from base it is also your home for the trip. When the ship returns to Base those that live out can have local leave, when not on duty, everyone else including single officers, nco's and men live on board. The difficulty is providing shore accommodation for ships tied up in dockyard hands or otherwise laid up for other reasons. The pressure to house single sailors in the base because they cannot afford to rent or buy shore accommodation was never a factor, like wise everybody going on leave went home wherever that was.
    The facilities at the Island need to grow to handle the linear length of all ships at 720m. The Dockyard also needs definite means to maintain ships at the base including dry dock facilities. It is never wrong to acquire replacement ships.In the case of any accommodation, the requirement is to house everybody in their assigned berth. There isn't a case to have double accommodation assigned i.e. berth on the ship and a standby berth ashore.
    If you are allocated a capital budget to buy anything and don't for any reason, then the money returns to the exchequer. CoS doesn't control budget spending.
    Last edited by ancientmariner; 17th August 2020 at 01:23.

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    Another way of looking at it would be that the 9th ship meant we had a class of 4 ships with the same equipment easing supply chain, training and increasing commonality in the fleet. It also forced DoD to do something about Haulbowline and meant that at least some of the Irish Steel site was required by the NS (Remember the plan for civvy apartments?). It also should have forced DoD to do something about recruitment and retention. I’m not saying that was the thought process.

    It also looked like Appledore was closing so it was a good opportunity as all new builds for the NS have only been built in Verolme or Appledore So it would be a step into the unknown at a later stage. The Government (Due To the crash) also increased the length of time that the P60s would be paid over, this increased the overall price.

    I’m surprised that they didn’t retire the CPVs (with the worst Accomodiation and being thirsty) at the same time and it is a much more capable (seakeeping wise) ship.

    Accomodiation is required alongside for those who aren’t in sea going appointments (ie the 2 years ashore) plus for any ships in refit/drydock or extended NTM.

    The Deirdre class may still be serviceable and operational (elsewhere) but the P60s are Much more capable and should be easier to maintain.

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    Anyone who thinks the P20s were serviceable when we disposed of them never had to sail on them in their final years service. P22 ploughing into a pontoon in Cobh was a warning. Recent surveys had found hull plating to be paper thin in the bow and keel, due to a major design flaw. The very same reason all japanese cars from the early 80s struggled with rust until they decided to get rid of the chrome trim.
    The people of Cobh can sleep at night again, never more to be woken the sound of a P20 class returning from patrol. They had a distinctive noise and they were loud. I used to live a mile from Whitegate Refinery, and from my kitchen I could tell if a P20 was passing.
    One of the ships would struggle to complete a patrol without the engine blowing a seal or gasket of some sort. We have the engineering branch to thank for keeping them in service for as long as they did.
    The main armament was older than the ships and the ships were older than most of the crews, and unlike similar vessels elsewhere they spent their service taking everything the atlantic winters would throw at them.
    Their time was up for our purposes. They won't be doing much heavy work in Malta, Libya or Nigeria. In time they will find they are no longer economic to maintain and they will be parked at some high profile location, with plenty of fresh coats of paint and lots of dress ship, but little in the way of operational use.
    Last edited by na grohmiti; 17th August 2020 at 03:12.
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