Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (428)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

428. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if a tender will be put out before year end to replace the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Orla; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26822/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The White Paper on Defence sets out an ambitious programme of capital investment including mid-life refit and upgrade of the P50 class vessels, LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh, as well as, in due course, the replacement of LÉ Eithne. The P50 mid-life upgrade programme is well underway. The replacement of the flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) is the next scheduled component of the White Paper fleet investment programme. Projects for other vessel replacement such as LÉ Orla will be considered over the life-time of the White Paper in the context of overall capability development and funding and the Equipment Development Plan (EDP) process. The EDP outlines that the MRV project is in planning ongoing stage within the indicative timeframe of 2020 to 2024.

Naturally, concurrent progression of all projects included in the White Paper is not possible within the capital funding envelope available to Defence, and as a result, some projects such as the replacement of LÉ Eithne are planned to commence later in the ten-year life-span of the White Paper. This complex project is being managed by a civil-military project team and work is ongoing on the pre-tender concept of operations stage and on preparing a detailed specification of capability requirements for a tender competition.