Babcock International has been awarded a contract to deliver the installation of a variable speed drive system for the central cooling system on board the Irish Navy’s Samuel Beckett Class ships. 

The firm said in a news release recieved by the UK Defence Journal today that the variable speed drive system was first installed on the central cooling system of the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel, LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64), at time of build, enabling the  vessel to use a variety of power outputs depending on the conditions and requirements.

“The system has proven to be very successful, with the Irish Naval Service requesting it to be  installed across the class to save power, fuel and cost, whilst providing a more  environmentally friendly running option across the class.”

The contract will see Babcock working alongside a range of suppliers to complete the work  package for the Irish Naval Service, which will include all aspects of the project from design  to engineering assurance.  

Gary Simpson, Managing Director, Babcock’s Marine Support business, was quoted as saying:

“We’re  pleased to continue our close working relationship with the Irish Naval Service and  particularly to support this environmentally efficient system. We are immensely proud of the work we carried out to build the P60 Samuel Beckett Class  and welcome the opportunity to continue supporting these fantastic Offshore Patrol Vessels  and the Irish Naval Service. Our ability to support global navies is founded on collaboration with a real focus on our  customers’ operational success.”

Captain Roberts, Officer Commanding Naval Support Command, was quoted as saying:

“The installation of  the variable speed drive upgrades on the P60 Samuel Beckett Class demonstrates our  climate change objectives, following the Government’s Climate Action Plan, in action.  Babcock International have proven know-how to deliver this project, having already installed  the system on LÉ George Bernard Shaw, and we look forward to working alongside them.” 

Work will commence later this year in Ireland at Haulbowline, Co.

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Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago

I mean there Babcock’s product, they built them in Appeldore. SO there was a pretty good chance they’d win the contract. Not that there’s much of an Irish Navy, hear their having problems with manpower.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Same the world over. The Irish Naval branch just isn’t very attractive to yougsters as a career.

Bobbing about in a patrol boat in the savage Atlantic swell, with no chance of going anywhere interesting isn’t most people’s idea of fun…..

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

If the Irish could bring themselves to draw a line perhaps they might be able to join NATO get some ships (and aircraft) and join perhaps the French, Americans or even the British sailing the world and protecting the islands and populations of the free world.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Never happen Mark, I’ll wager there are far more Irish passport holders (or at least people entitled to an Irish passport) serving in the Royal Navy, than in the Irish Naval branch.

As I said, how on earth do you persuade yougsters that bobbing about in a patrol boat in the Atlantic makes for a great job ….

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Given that even at max size there’s only 1k that makes sense, the DOD has been refusing to enlarge the strength for over two decades.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

There where Irish passport holders in the RN. I knew one guy back in the mid 90s who had lived in the UK since he was 1 years old. He was as a Chief OPS (S), was a Passive spec so was all over towed array ops and material. The issue then arose of him viewing UK Eyes only and 5 Eyes material. His UK passport was arranged and issued in a couple of days! The same security issues affects Commonwealth Staff serving in the RN. They are not allowed to work in WE or OPS branch so are now… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The non national ‘thing’ came about on the back of 9/11. I don’t think the Yanks realised how many non UK nationals were in the UK forces. It became an issue on a boat I was on as 4 of us out of the Comms department (of about 9) were some form of dual nat or non UK nat. We were all DV’d etc and there were various ‘suggestions’ and threats to do with relinquishing passports etc and I ended up contacting a Military lawyer about it all but it all got brushed under the carpet in the end. I’ve… Read more »

Patrick Murtagh
Patrick Murtagh
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

The problem would arise if, for example, you were a Dutchman. They are not permitted to hold dual nationality. So if they wanted to become British they would have to give up their Dutch passport. Many countries do not allow dual nationality. On the other extreme I am told by my sister who is a naturalized Australian that many people there hold a selection of passports which they can do because of their varied ancestry. Some, following Brexit, who are Australian, but also hold an EU passport applied and got acceptance under the UK’s EU Citizens Settlement scheme!

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Swedes and Finns join NATO exercises… so why not?

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  David

They don’t have the Irish DOD.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

We had ships in the Med under the EU operation, and the Navy has been trying to get attached to the Africa piracy mission for a decade, but the DOD won’t have it.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The Irish navy does seem to be expanding outwards. They’ve been very active in the med for some time assisting in the refuge crisis, and it been well reported that officials have recently been to New Zealand to study the HMNZS Canterbury. Plus the occasional rummer of a type 31 order, makes me think Dublin is look at expanding its navy in both capabilities and taskings.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Blimey Harry, a T31 would take their entire naval budget!

I honestly can’t see the Irish government spending a single euro more on defense and a frigate would be ‘far’ too warlike for the Irish to consider in my opinion…

I didn’t know the Irish had been active in the med with the EU, that’s good.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Neither. But as they say, no smoke without fire.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The Navy was involved for two years on the Med mission, but withdrew a couple of years ago. However it took the then Enda Kenny ordering the DOD to shut up after they got caught trying to stop it.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Not a chance in hell of a 31, not sure why U.K. posters have got that idea, it doesn’t fit anything of the planned navy. The MRV is still going through procurement hell but maybe a type of “baby amphib” there was a Vard design that seems close to our needs (Vard worked on the 50s and 60s design). The Peacocks are now being replaced with the NZ Lake class hulls. That’s it.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

It was mentioned by a Badcook sales representative that Ireland was being looked at as a possible customer for the type 31. Again I doudt it would ever happen but still.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

That’s them talking to themselves then to try and promote the design, it’s not coming from the Irish side. The MRV is the major capital project for the NS and the 31 doesn’t come close to fitting it. Given the Peacocks are now being replaced second hand, it’s unlikely that there’s going to be any other naval procurement for another decade or so.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark
Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Eh, while technically ‘expanding’, visiting New Zealand to learn lessons barely counts. New Zealand have been shirking their responsibilities, underinvesting and having problems for years now. They have one fully operational frigate I believe?

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Isn’t the other frigate finishing her mid life upgrades? Besides the trip had nothing to do with the frigates but a lessons learned about Canterbury for the upcoming MRV, wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where the idea of buying the two spare Lake Class IPVs came from as well.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not just the NS, the entire DF suffers from the fact that they have no representation at the national pay talks and a Department that actively despises the military, give or take they are still earning less on average than pre 08 crash while every other Public sector worker has seen pay growth. Private sector will snap up any trained personnel for far more than what they get in service. In particular for the NS is the fact that they have been limited to an establishment for circa 7 ships and have a navy of 9, this led to burnout… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

It’s a shame Mark, the defence force is so terribly undervalued in Ireland….

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yep but it’s been that way since the founding of the state and the civil war…

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

It’s something I’ve never understood, considering the fight the Irish had to become an independent nation and the trauma of the civil war, as well as the constant issue of the six counties you would think defence would be an overwhelming national passion ?

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s a long and complicated story mostly filled with civil servants and politicians. At the founding of the state you had issues like the U.K. basically forbidding a navy (hence why it’s still a “naval service” old habits die hard) and a finance department (along with the rest of the new civil service) that was very connected to Whitehall. From that along with the Civil War and the later issues with the unrest in the Army post Civil War meant that the DOD was always acting to limit the DF. Overtime that institutional resistance from both finance and defence shaped… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

I can understand why there is retention issues then Mark. I don’t know how widespread it is but I’ve worked with a few guys from ROI in the UK Forces. I can see the temptation, better pay, better deployments etc.

I hope it can be resolved but from what you say its unlikely any time soon.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

You have to make these things attractive Andy, that’s for sure.

A friend’s neice has just been given her first posting, HMS Prince of Wales, how exciting!

I’m chuffed for her mate, she’s going to have a great time. I think the Carriers coming on line and the chance of Worldwide deployments now higher than ever, have been the catalyst for the reversal in the RN’s recruitment issues.

Youngsters still want adventure, give them that, decent pay and advancement opportunities and they will sign up….

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Morning John, yeah, I don’t know anyone who joins up for ‘Queen and Country’, its generally much more selfish reasons (not a criticism) like pay, adventure, travel/jollies etc. Its as good a reason as any. I hope she has a great time and comes back with plenty dits.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

In terms of the NS, up until relatively recently the only deployment (as opposed to trade mission) they could do was attached to UN deployments mainly as comms. It’s only in the last decade that DOD was forced to accept out of EEZ missions for them but by then the retention issue was starting to burn through and that has killed off missions since then.

In the larger terms, for the Army they have to get UN missions or they can’t get promoted.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The navy now is more like the navy my dad joined, he spent a good 15-20 years wandering around the world on carriers. In fact he left when when the last fixed wing carrier went and all he could see was a move to rotor and frigate deployments.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Even if (and it’s a big if) there were changes in the pay issues, given the small size of the total DF numbers there’s always going to be those that join other forces.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

That’s really interesting thankyou, it will give me something to read up on. I never thought of the impact of the civil war on trust of the armed forces and I suppose if you think about it logically for many people in the republic in the early 20c mistrust of uniform services must have been an ingrained response.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It played a significant role as can be seen by the decision that the replacement for the RIC and DMP had to be unarmed, the Gardaí. Added into that the huge costs in the 20s/30s between repairing the damage of the two wars and major capital projects like the Shannon hydropower scheme, matters of defence got pushed down the list until it became “normal” for them to be so restricted. Not that GHQ didn’t try to stop it, there were plenty of plans for much more forces and equipment but politics and the departments always got in the way, hence… Read more »

Patrick Murtagh
Patrick Murtagh
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

But isn’t it the case that in the 20s ROI was a very much poorer country than it is today, add to that there must have been the calculation that had Britain ever wanted to re-invade ireland they would have had the USA to contend with! Not just for sentimental reason but for hard self-interest because they wanted to destroy the imperial preference system governing trade within the British Empire – which they eventually imposed on Britain (and France) following the end of the second world war.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Without question we were god awful poor for most of the 20th century for a host of reasons, but in terms of defence there were always “missed opportunities” that would have given us a radically different set up to what we have had choices been made and Finance told to shut up. However please don’t read so much into the US angle, that’s really only in the back half of the 20th century, FDR for example was very hostile to Ireland and most likely would have taken the hit in the Irish American lobby if the U.K. had retaken the… Read more »

hogstable@hotmail.com
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Be independent and be neutral seems to be the Irish defence policy.

If anyone comes for them they have the UK US to look after them

Bit odd how they are no longer truly neutral with the newer EU roles.

Unlike the UN peacekeeping where they had a lot of experience

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

None of the EU missions that Ireland has opted to deploy on are any different to previous UN type missions that forces have been deployed on. There’s no difference to the Rangers operating in Mali with other EU nations than them operating in East Timor with the Australian SAS back in the day for example.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

..not much fun in Stalingrad 😂 

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Didn’t the RN have a few hulls laid up for a while due to manpower issues not a very long time ago?

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Yeah but Britain’s manpower issues was less to do with people not wanting to join, but due to poor retainment of personnel and Capita’s incompetence in handing recruitment, which saw almost 45% of new applicants drop out very early on due to capita taking forever to get those applicants further along the recruitment process.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Thats not much different to the situation the DF face, retention is the major issue (brought on in part due to the effects of a pension change back in the late 90s finally hitting that generation of service personnel), enlistment isn’t terrible but there is drop outs and even then newly trained personnel take time to train for specialist areas like the engineering section which has been hard hit in the NS.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago

I’ll just add that here in the States, with St. Patrick’s Day and all, it would come as a shock to most people that the Irish were neutral in WWII.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

It might then be a shock to them even more to learn that Roosevelt wanted to embark on a take over of Irish ports to try to reduce loses in the Battle of the Atlantic. A certain irony that it was Churchill who persuaded him not to embark on that particular controversial policy which would likely have been counter productive endangering (secretly) for example over flights of Irish territory of anti submarine and indeed fighters too for easier access to the Atlantic from Northern Ireland.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It wasn’t Churchill, he’d backed invasion in 1940/41 along with offering NI if we joined. It was mainly his cabinet and the Dominions that sat on him until he gave up the idea. The US-Irish relationship was awful throughout the war.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

the US essentially blockaded Eire prior to D-Day in order to prevent them leaking any info to the Germans.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

Not really no. It was the U.K. that stopped ships coming to Ireland earlier in the war, the US and U.K. did demand that we take away the radio transmitters from the German embassy but that was about it. Other than that things went on as normal, like the Blacksod weather report, or the numbering of the observation posts for US flights or the widespread “gaming” of the internment system.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Officially Ron, they were, but many thousands joined the British Armed forces to fight Hitler.

Oh course there were Hundreds of thousands of second generation ( and direct immigrants) Irish who fought the Japanese and Germans in the US armed forces in WW2

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

There was a hell of a lot more than just those that joined up, huge unofficial aid was given to the Allies throughout the war.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

All great points.

Alan Mcshane
Alan Mcshane
1 month ago

They don’t need a coolent system rather a backbone. At least pick a side of the fence.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Mcshane

We picked a side a long time ago but never mind.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Hi Mark. Whatever else one might say, P63 is a fine looking ship. The fact that Irish people are(understandably) divided in their relationship with Britain’ the fact is that as pointed out above by others, many Irish men and women fought on the side of the UK in WW2. I was fascinated to read that Liam Neeson used to sneak into Ian Paisleys Free Presbytarian Church of a Sunday and listen to him speak! We’re a funny old lot..

hogstable@hotmail.com
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Yup, there is always the Irish way…..😄😄

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

They are a well liked class, built on the knowledge and experience of the P50s, but sadly like the rest of the Defence Procurement plan over a decade late due to the Crash and inability of the Department to handle multiple Capital Projects at the same time.

As for the relationships, of course its an interesting one, I mean hell Paisley and the DUP were all for NI being treated differently to GB in times like Foot and Mouth and Mad Cow Disease for example.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Aye, Ian Paisley, he was a one. But on the other hand he was well known for treating all his constituents equally regardless of race, creed or colour, and his relationship with Martin McGuiness is legendary.
Cheers

Patrick Murtagh
Patrick Murtagh
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Mcshane

It seems to me that an officially neutral position suits the current Irish national interest. Respect it. It is a perfectly reasonable stance to take.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

I presume this vessel makes inceptions and nothing happens twice.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Look the minister of the Day wanted the class named after writers, god only knows why he was always a strange one, but if it got the navy what they wanted/needed they would call them anything, hence the Dead Poets class.

Mickey
Mickey
1 month ago

The Irish naval service could adopt a naval force like the Finnish. All encompassing naval warfare ability on a decent budget.

With Russian spy ships lurking off the Mayo coast recently tapping internet sea cables, one would think that this is a capability that they could/should have or let the EU do it.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/russian-spy-ship-spotted-off-west-coast-of-ireland-1.4650443