Irish naval procurements

The Irish government has issued a new White Paper that aims to modernise the Irish Naval Service (ISN) to include acquiring a multi-role vessel (MRV) and two new coastal patrol vessels (CPV).

The paper on defence covers the next 10 years and encourages the use of the new ships for maintaining an eight-ship INS fleet as Ireland looks to play an increasing role on the international stage.

The new vessels will replace Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), Eithne, and two CPVs, acquired from the Royal Navy in 1988 and used primarily for inshore work.

“This will provide an enhanced capability for the Naval Service in meeting a broad range of ongoing requirements and contingencies, including the protection of Ireland’s vital sea lanes of communication,” said the Paper.

While the MRV replacement will not carry a helicopter, it will be enabled for such operations and will also be able to carry freight. Although not specified in the Paper, this could include container modules that would increase the ship’s operational versatility for roles such as disaster relief and search and rescue.

It is the Government’s intent that this new vessel will provide a flexible and adaptive capability for a wide range of maritime tasks, both at home and overseas,” added the Paper.

The two existing CPVs, LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla, will be replaced in the coming years with similar vessels, equipped with countermine and counter-IED capabilities.

By Rachael Doyle

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