Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (135)

Seán Haughey

Question:

135. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the amount spent on replacing or purchasing specialist fire service vehicles for the Air Corps fire services in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14083/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.

The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process. The principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements, including response to security risks and other emergencies, both at home and overseas.

Details of the contracts awarded from 2017 to date for the provision of specialist fire service vehicles for the Air Corps are set out in tabular form below:

Tabular Statement: Specialist Fire Service Vehicles for the Air Corps 2017 to 2019

Year

Item

Company

Value Exclusive of VAT

2017

Nil

N/A

Nil

2018

1 Rapid Intervention Foam Tender Vehicle

High Precision Motor Products Limited

€352k

2019

Nil

N/A

Nil

In 2018 following an open tender competition a contract was awarded to High Precision Motor Products Ltd, an Irish company, for the supply of one Rapid Intervention Foam Tender (RIFT) for the Air Corps Fire Service at a value of €352,000 excluding VAT. The vehicle is due to be delivered into service in June 2020. The delivery into service of the RIFT vehicle will augment the existing capability of the Air Corps Fire and Rescue Service at Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel.

In accordance with the National Development Plan (NDP), the capital allocation for Defence has been increased to €106 million for 2019, an increase of €29 million. The NDP provides for a total of €541 million over the period 2018 to 2022. This level of capital funding will allow the Defence Organisation to undertake a programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructural development across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service as identified and prioritised in the Defence White Paper and builds on the significant investment programme over recent years.

The Government is currently investing in updating the Air Corps fleet of aircraft with the replacement of the existing five Cessna aircraft with three larger and more capable fixed wing utility Pilatus PC 12 aircraft which are being equipped for ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance). It is expected that the three aircraft will be delivered by 2020. Planning is also in progress to replace the CASA Maritime Patrol aircraft and a tender competition is currently underway in this regard.