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Displaying items by tag: Newest P60 class

#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

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