A submission from an expert group to the government says it must bolster the Naval Service to protect the country's maritime security.
The submission, seen by the Irish Examiner, was made by the Irish Maritime Forum, an independent and non-political collegiate of professionals who have a wide range of experience across the maritime domain.
It was sent to the government as part of the public consultation on a new National Security Strategy which will lead how the State protects its national security and vital interests from current and emerging threats over the period 2020-2025.
The maritime forum members said the balance between the elements of the Defence Forces should reflect the fact that we are an island nation, with a sea area of control eight times our landmass.
To this end, the forum says the Naval Service should be upgraded to reflect international norms and its strengths and capabilities be enhanced.
More on this story by clicking here.