Over 60 years, the Navy has evolved to become a multi-tasked, multi-disciplinary force. From state security to drug interdiction, fisheries protection to underwater search and recovery, the service plays a vital role in protecting this state, its citizens and its interests.
But because most of this activity takes place at sea, over the horizon, the Irish Naval Service is rarely given the recognition it deserves.
These pages on Afloat.ie will give a unique insight into that world and Naval patrols of Irish men and women voyage deep into the Atlantic.
Today there are advances in technology, new modern ships engine systems, bridgework, highly skilled technicians and highly technical pieces of apparatus, below and above deck.
These pages will show how the Naval Service has adapted to meet the changing security conditions of the 21st Century, how it copes with a patrol zone of 132,000 square miles ˆ four times the size of the island of Ireland - and how it is training the next generation of officers.
And the pages often look at what life is like for the 1,100 officers, men and women employed in the Irish Naval Service.
The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communication’s and navigation systems.
The fleet keeps the tradition of naming its vessels after famous women from Celtic mythology. Currently the Naval Service operates eight ships. The Flagship of the Irish Naval Service is the L.É. Eithne which a HPV.
The L.É. before the ships names means Long Éireannach or Irish Ship.