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Displaying items by tag: LE George Bernard Shaw

#NavalService - Afloat has tracked the Irish Naval Service's latest offshore patrol vessel carry out sea-trials which involved the €67m newbuild in the Bristol Channel while off the north Devon coast from where the ship was built, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The newbuild George Bernard Shaw is the fourth sister of the P60 class built in the UK yard of Babcock Marine & Technology in Appledore from where the OPV90 ship yesterday evening departed for sea-trials. The shipyard (see previous report) is located close to Bideford on the River Torridge. The facility is also where a previous generation belonging to a pair of P50 class were completed. These smaller OPV80 sisters (the figure referring to the hull length) were built at the same site of the Babcock shipyard albeit then run by Appledore Shipbuilders. 

The sea-trial saw the 23-knot capable P60 newbuild head as far west offshore of Hartland Point and later to the east but approach much closer to the shore off Illfracombe. Following these manouveres the 90m newbuild headed further west involving a figure of eight loop when off Lundy Island, before returning to the Bristol Channel.

At 2,250 tonnes the P60 class newbuild, likewise of sisters form the largest in tonnage terms in the navel fleet. The newbuild comes equipped with a comprehensive command, control and communications package while the main weapon consists of a 76mm bow-mounted gun. Installation of the gun as previously reported will be fitted later this year at the Irish Naval Service base located in Cork Harbour.

As for a delivery date to the Naval Service, this is subject to the completion of successful sea trails before a voyage can be made to the Naval Base on Haulbowline Island opposite Cobh.

The OPV by then in Irish waters will be formally named 'L.E. George Bernard Shaw' and commissioned into the Irish Naval Service. 

Published in Navy

#Navy - The latest Irish Naval Service newbuild, LÉ George Bernard Shaw was floated-out for the first time from a UK shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

LÉ George Bernard Shaw costing €67m, is the fourth of the offshore patrol vessel (OPV90 / 'Samuel Beckett') class sisters to be built by Babcock Marine & Technology shipyard in Appledore, north Devon. The shipyard group which has several facilities throughout the UK won the contract to build the vessel last year. 

The OPV was towed by the stern from the building hall in Bidna on the Torridge Estuary near Bideford. The operation which took place last Friday involved the 90 metre newbuild to be towed to the yard's fitting-out quay which was completed as daylight appeared.

Following sea trials the 2,256 tonnes LÉ George Bernard Shaw which will have a crew of 44, is due to be handed over to the INS later this summer.

The Naval Base on Haubowline Island in lower Cork Harbour is where LÉ George Bernard Shaw will join fleetmates, among them LÉ William Butler Yeats. This is the last sister completed by Babcock and Afloat has drone footage capturing the carefull berthing of the OPV at her homeport with the aid of a tug.

A pennant number of (P64) adorns the bows of the sleek looking LÉ George Bernard Shaw which was named in honour of the Irish playright at a keel-laying ceremony last year.

The newbuild follows sisters all named after fellow literary giants: the leadship LÉ Samuel Beckett delivered in 2014, LÉ James Joyce in 2015 and the last to enter service the aforementioned LÉ William Butler Yeats which was commissioned in 2016.

The new patrol vessel will have a comprehensive command, control and communications package along with a main weapon of a bow-mounted 76mm gun. At the time of the float-out this armament had yet to be fitted in addition the mainmast (lying on the fit-out quayside) had yet to be installed. 

As for speed the twin-screw OPV will reach 23 knots and a 6,000 miles range is based on a cruising speed of 15 knots. Accommodation for the 44 crew will also cater for an additional 10 trainee berths.

A suite of three rigid inflatable boats on board will serve a variety of tasks for the LÉ George Bernard Shaw which will be able to act as a mother ship.

When LÉ George Bernard Shaw is commissioned into service, the OPV will become the sixth OPV built ship for the current INS fleet. The introduction of the 'Playrights' is part of a vessel replacement /modernisation programme that has seen all of the ageing 'Emer' class OPV's disposed in recent years. 

The rest of the fleet comprises of a pair OPV80 class offshore patrol vessels, two coastal patrol vessels and a single helicopter patrol vessel.

Published in Navy

#GBShaw/QE – The shipyard currently constructing an Irish Naval Service OPV, also contributed in building the UK’s Royal Navy’s largest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, an aircraft carrier that is to be commissioned into service at 12 noon today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Naval Service's fourth OPV90 class newbuild to be named LÉ George Bernard Shaw costing €67m is been built at Babcock Marine & Technology’s yard in Appledore, north Devon. The OPV is scheduled to enter service in 2019. The same shipyard also constructed modular sections as part of six UK shipyards involved in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) that were assembled in Babcock's yard in Rosyth, Scotland where the giant 65,000 tonnes flagship aircraft carrier was completed earlier this year. The vessel is the largest ever surface warship in the Royal Navy's history. 

In Portsmouth Naval Dockyard Base today is where the commissioning ceremony will be attended by Queen Elizabeth II. A live televised broadcast begins at 12 noon today on BBC Newsroom Live (BBC News Channel and BBC2). 

Last month Afloat monitored the HMS Queen Elizabeth that has a crew of 700, conduct trials in the Bristol Channel while off the north Devon coast. The overall crew complement total will more than double when aircraft personnel join from fighter jets and helicopters. 

The leadship is the first of a pair of QEII class aircraft carriers in which the second newbuild, HMS Prince of Wales is under construction also in Rosyth. There has been criticism of the £6.2 billion cost overruns for both carriers and in the delay of F-35 aircraft jets from US manufacturers. The HMS Queen Elizabeth due to training reasons will not be fully operational until 2021 and as for the sistership this will be in 2023.

Another connection with Scottish shipbuilding but not on the Fife was the launch last month on the Clyde of the Glen Sannox, the first of a pair of ‘Green’ hybrid sister car-ferries for operator CalMac. They are the world’s first liquified gas duel (LNG) marine diesel fuelled ferries. Glen Sannox was scheduled to enter service on the busy Ardrossan-Brodrick, Isle of Arran route (see voyage report) in summer 2018. 

The second sister is due to run on the Skye to Harris route, however last month according to The Herald, the newbuilds are experiencing technical issues at Fergusan Marine Engineering Ltd and are now not expected to enter service until 2019 or even 2020.

The FMEL shipyard at Port Glasgow, which was saved from closing in recent years is undergoing a £12m redevelopment on the banks of the Clyde.

Published in Navy
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