Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (118)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

118. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding the mid-life refit of LÉ Róisín; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24119/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The P50 class of vessels in the Naval Service ship flotilla were built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK. LÉ Róisín (P51) was commissioned in 1999, with LÉ Niamh (P52) commissioned in 2001. The service life of an Irish Naval Service ship is determined by the level of operational activity, but usually is around 30 years. It is, however, normal practice in a ship’s life to carry out a mid-life refurbishment / extension programme so as to extend the useful life of a ship to thirty (or more) years.

The P50 class vessels, 20 and 18 years old this year, now fall into the category of ship requiring a mid-life refurbishment / extension programme. Due to their age profile, much of the auxiliary equipment onboard is coming to the end of its useful life or is becoming obsolete and requires to be replaced in a structured manner.

The Mid-Life Extension Programme of LÉ Róisín commenced in March 2019, with an initial dry-docking phase to be followed by an extended period of equipment upgrade and refit works. Works are progressing as planned. LÉ Niamh’s extension programme is due to commence in 2020. Over the course of their extension programmes, LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh will be out of operation for a period of some twelve months each.

The addition of LÉ George Bernard Shaw to the fleet ensures that the Naval Service continue to have eight seagoing ships operational for the medium term. Future Naval Service capabilities are planned as part of the White Paper on Defence project planning process which will determine the Defence Forces maritime capabilities.