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Newest Naval Service P60 Class, George Bernard Shaw Nears Completion - Trials In September

10th August 2018
Starboard side of the newest Naval Service P60 class newbuild George Bernard Shaw (P64) berthed at the fit-out Newquay Dock, Appledore, north Devon.  Note the absence of the main bow-mounted gun. Starboard side of the newest Naval Service P60 class newbuild George Bernard Shaw (P64) berthed at the fit-out Newquay Dock, Appledore, north Devon. Note the absence of the main bow-mounted gun. Photo: INS -facebook

#NavalService - The newest Irish Naval Service OPV vessel, George Bernard Shaw is nearing completion at the fit-out quay alongside Appledore in the UK, from where the next set of sea trials is scheduled for September, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The €67m newbuild contracted to Babcock Marine, at the shipyard in north Devon, represents the fourth of the P60 Offshore Patrol Vessels, also dubbed the 'Playwright' class. They are leadship LÉ Samuel Beckett commissioned in 2014, LÉ James Joyce in 2016 and LÉ William Butler Yeats that joined the fleet in 2016.

The delivery date of the newbuild is subject to the completion of successful sea trails before a voyage can be made to the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork Harbour. The OPV when completed will be formally named and commissioned into the Naval Service later this year.

Design origins of the P60 class newbuild is based from an enhanced version of two smaller P50 OPV80 series otherwise known as the 'Róisín' class. The predecessor class, still in service, comprises of LÉ Róisín which was commissioned into service in 1999 while sister LÉ Niamh entered in 2000. 

Unlike the George Bernard Shaw (P64) and sisters, the Róisín class were built by Appledore Shipbuilders, albeit at the same site now occupied under the name of Babcock Marine & Technology. The facility is located at the Bidna Yard on the banks of the River Torridge downriver of Bideford which has access to the open sea on the Bristol Channel.

Based at the Devon yard is a Naval Service Onsite Project Team: Lt Cian Ryan, (P64) Project Manager, S/Lt Sean Lenehan, CPO Brian Attridge,PO Paul Mullane,PO James Quigg and PO Cormac O'Sullivan. For further coverage of the newbuild and about the Irish born Nobel and Oscar Winning playwright click download: 'Maritime Dalkey' published May 2018 issue of the Dalkey Community Council Newsletter (p.19).

As Afloat previously covered, George Bernard Shaw which was given a night-time float-out in March when the OPV's hull (at just under 90m) emerged into the estuary. The longer hull differs to the Róisín pair of 78m. Among the reasons for this lengthening, likewise of all the P60 class, is to enable increased aft deck space for container storage if required and to improve shiphandling characteristics.

The new OPV of around 2,250 tonnes will have a comprehensive command, control and communications package along with a main weapon, a 76mm bow-mounted gun. According to the Department of Defence, the installation of the armanent will however not take place at the UK yard but later this year at the Irish Naval Base. 

A pair of twin screw propellers will deliver 23 knots and a 6,000 miles range is based on a cruising speed of 15 knots. Accommodation is for 44 crew and berths for an additional 10 trainees

For rescue operations and a range of tasks including ilegal fishing and pollution duties (see 'Drone' use story) , a suite of three rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) are equipped.

The RIBS will enable the OPV to act as a mother ship, as demonstrated by sisters in recent years during the Meditterranean migrant /refugee crisis. Currently, LE James Joyce is deployed in the same region as part of Operation Sophia duties involving other navies tasked in combating people smuggling. 

 

 

Published in Navy
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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The Irish Navy Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

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, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew. 

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

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