283. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the details of the circumstances surrounding the docking of a US warship (details supplied) at Cobh Harbour on 21 March 2017; the reason it was docked; the purpose of its journey; the permissions that were granted and by whom for the docking of the warship and for military and navy personnel to patrol the quay; if the vessel has been searched to ensure there are no nuclear weapons on board; the steps that have been taken to ensure no military exercises were or will be carried out in Irish waters; the consultation that took place with An Garda Síochána prior to the docking of the vessel; if this is the same warship that fired the first tomahawk cruise missiles into Baghdad almost 14 years ago on 20 March 2003 resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15342/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Foreign Naval Vessels)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): In response to a request from the US Embassy, my Department granted permission for a visit by the US naval vessel, USS Donald Cook, to visit the port of Cobh from 21-25 March 2017. The purpose of the visit to Ireland was crew rest and relaxation.
As is the case, for all requests for ships to pay routine calls to Irish ports, my Department seeks the views of other agencies including An Garda Síochána and the Naval Service prior to...

1371. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the age of each naval vessel; when they are due to be retired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45798/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Naval Service currently operates an eight ship flotilla. The following ships make up the fleet, from oldest to new: 
LÉ Eithne – Commissioned 1984 
LÉ Ciara – Built in 1984 (Commissioned in 1989) 
LÉ Orla – Built in 1985 (Commissioned in 1989) 
LÉ Roisin – Commissioned 1999 
LÉ Niamh – Commissioned 2001 
LÉ Samuel Beckett – Commissioned 2014 
LÉ James Joyce – Commissioned 2015 ...

17. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Defence the consideration that has been given by his Department to additional replacements and further modernisation of the naval fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25609/14 asked on 18 Jun 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

The Taoiseach: A Defence Forces vessel replacement strategy has been in progress since 2007. This investment strategy was underscored by the commitment in the 2000 White Paper on Defence to ensure an eight ship flotilla. As the Deputy may be aware, the first of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels was commissioned last month, as the L.E. Samuel Beckett, and has been deployed and is now on its maiden patrol in Irish waters. 
A second purpose built Off Shore Patrol Vessel, the L.E. James Joyce, is s...

130. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Defence if his Department has investigated the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for patrolling Irish territorial waters rather than capital and labour intensive ships; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30409/14 asked on 10 Jul 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

The Taoiseach: The Defence Forces currently operate an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System, (UAV) as an information-gathering asset which has no offensive capability. The UAV systems were acquired to enhance the capability of the Defence Forces to provide a low cost and low risk means to increase surveillance capabilities and intelligence gathering.
A Defence Forces naval vessel replacement strategy has been in progress since 2007. This investment strategy was underscored by the commitment in the 2...

302. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he is satisfied that all equipment available to the Navy, including seagoing vessels and communications technology, is adequately upgraded and updated in accordance with international best practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41781/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 299 and 301 to 303, inclusive, together.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, including aircraft, ships, military hardware and technology which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assig...

53. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the business case put forward in favour of the purchase by the Naval Service of three new ships, with a fourth ship on order at a cost of approximately €500,000,000 as against the refurbishment of LÉ Emer, LÉ Deirdre and LÉ Aisling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52905/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence underpins the ongoing replacement of the Naval Service fleet. In this regard, in the absence of a mid-life upgrade, naval vessels have a planned life expectancy of 20 to 25 years. The three ships most recently decommissioned by the Naval Service were LÉ Emer, commissioned in 1978, LÉ Aoife, commissioned in 1979 and LÉ Aisling, commissioned in 1980. Extensive engineering surveys and analyses were carr...

171. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if he is satisfied regarding the degree to which funding remains available to the navy with particular reference to the upgrading of equipment, training and the use of modern technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55029/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter)(Deputy Alan Shatter): A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock Marine in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair on the other vessels in the fleet, will ensure that the operational capability of the Nava...

954. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 216 of 22 May 2013, if he will outline in tabular form the qualified persons who will be assisting his Department and the Irish Naval Service in the sale of the LE Emer and LE Aoife vessels, including the methodology for the sale process, when the vessels are decommissioned in both September 2013 and September 2014 respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35103/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 953 to 955, inclusive, together.
A contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service. The cost of the two new ships is €108 million, exclusive of VAT. In addition, the cost of providing a weapons system for the ships, similar to the systems on LE Roisin and LE Niamh, ...

955. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 439 of 9 July 2013, if he will provide the names of persons and their rank or position that assisted both his Department and the Irish Naval Service in the naming of the two replacement vessels to be commissioned in early 2014 and 2015, the LE Samuel Beckett and LE James Joyce; the reasons for a policy shift in the naming of Irish vessels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35104/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 953 to 955, inclusive, together.
A contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service. The cost of the two new ships is €108 million, exclusive of VAT. In addition, the cost of providing a weapons system for the ships, similar to the systems on LE Roisin and LE Niamh, ...

286. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason existing Naval Service ships were not refurbished for a fraction of the purchase cost of new ships, including multi-role vessels, the utility of which to the Naval Service is unclear in view of the almost €0.5 billion expenditure on new ships for the Naval Service over recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45237/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out in the White Paper on Defence. Equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are being considered in the context of the lifetime ...

819. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if there is currently a plan, involving costs and a timetable, on future acquisitions of other vessels or upgrading for the Irish Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 58199/12 asked on 16 Jan 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock Marine in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s). The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair on the other vessels in the fleet, will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is mainta...

603. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Defence the maximum number of years in service a Defence Forces Naval Service vessel should serve before it should be replaced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7903/14 asked on 18 Feb 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): There is a fleet of eight ships assigned to the Naval Service. I am advised that the nominal life span for a naval service vessel is in the region of 30 years. However, a continuous process of husbandry, refurbishment and repair by the Naval Service on vessels in the fleet ensures that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained at a satisfactory level beyond the nominal life. In order to maintain maximum availability and serviceabili...

953. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence in view of the decommissioning of LE Emer in September 2013 and the LE Aoife in September 2014, if he will provide further details of the two replacement ships that are currently being built to replace them that are scheduled for delivery in early 2014 and early 2015, respectively; the persons building the new vessels and where they are being constructed; the length of time it will take for the crews to be fully trained in on the new vessels on delivery to Ireland; if the delivery of the two vessels is still on schedule to ensure the Irish Naval Service is not left for an extended period of time without use of replacement ships; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35098/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 953 to 955, inclusive, together.
A contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service. The cost of the two new ships is €108 million, exclusive of VAT. In addition, the cost of providing a weapons system for the ships, similar to the systems on LE Roisin and LE Niamh, ...

308. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Defence his plans to replace vessels in the naval fleet over the coming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21431/13 asked on 07 May 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock Marine in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s). The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair on the other vessels in the fleet, will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintai...

590. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide, in tabular form, the date and name of the vessel of the Irish Naval Service, of their patrols and visits to Rockall Island over the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36144/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Naval Service ships, when conducting fishery protection patrols, may pass the Rockall rock whilst transiting to and from concentrations of fishing vessels operating in the general area. For operational reasons, it is not possible to give precise information on Naval Service patrols.
 ...

675. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to increase investment in naval surveillance to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by foreign vessels, including having inspectors on board with access to all areas of these vessels in territorial waters. (Question 21429/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 establishes the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) as the competent Authority for securing efficient and effective enforcement of sea fisheries protection legislation and the sustainable exploitation of marine fish resources from the waters around Ireland. To this end, the SFPA has a Service Level Agreement with the Department of Defence to secure efficient enforcement...

289. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 815 of 20 September 2017, the cost of the trip, including fuel, pay and allowances for the crew of the ship in view of the fact the ship was not available to carry out its duties here, for example, fishery protection while it was on this trip to London. (Question 41155/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Naval Service Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I outlined to the Deputy in my response to Parliamentary Question Number 815 of 20 September 2017, the Naval Service vessel LÉ Samuel Beckett attended the biannual Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London earlier this month. The attendance of LÉ Samuel Beckett at the event, which ran from Tuesday 12 September 2017 to Friday 15 September 2017, was an opportunity to portray, to a wide audience, ...

26. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Defence are the Defence Forces aid to civil powers activity in relation to the monitoring of and the arresting of those who are importing illicit drugs to the State; if he is satisfied that the Defence Forces, by way of the Irish Navy, the Air Corps and Defence Force Patrols, are adequately equipped to assist the Gardaí in dealing with this activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48454/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Drugs Smuggling)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 26 together.
The Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners has primary responsibility for the prevention of drug smuggling into the country and responsibility for the prevention of crime rests primarily with An Garda Síochána. However, the White Paper on Defence (2000) provides for a security role for the Naval Service and the Air Corps to support the civil authorities in this area and assistance in the preve...

24. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Defence are the Defence Forces aid to civil powers activity in relation to the monitoring of and the arresting of those who are importing illicit drugs to the State; if he is satisfied that the Defence Forces, by way of the Irish Navy, the Air Corps and Defence Force patrols, are adequately equipped to assist the Gardaí in dealing with this activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48455/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Drugs Smuggling)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 26 together.
The Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners has primary responsibility for the prevention of drug smuggling into the country and responsibility for the prevention of crime rests primarily with An Garda Síochána. However, the White Paper on Defence (2000) provides for a security role for the Naval Service and the Air Corps to support the civil authorities in this area and assistance in the preve...

34. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the procurement of new ships for the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54704/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): There is a fleet of eight ships available to the Naval Service, seven of which are currently in operational service. In order to maintain maximum availability and serviceability, major maintenance for each vessel is planned in advance and is incorporated into an annual patrol plan for the Naval Fleet. LE Niamh is undergoing scheduled maintenance at present and will be back in service later this month. A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Of...

336. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the number of seagoing vessels currently available and seaworthy to the Naval Service at any given time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40136/12 asked on 25 Sep 2012 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am advised that there is a fleet of eight ships available to the Naval Service, six of which are currently in operational service. Both LE Eithne and LE Orla are undergoing scheduled maintenance at present. In order to maintain maximum availability and serviceability, major maintenance for each vessel is planned well in advance and is incorporated into an annual patrol plan for the Naval Fleet. A ships replacement programme is in train and in that c...

685. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the former Naval Service vessel, the LE Aisling, was sold too cheaply at €110,000 in view of its current resale price of €750,000. (Question 24064/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

686. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the sale of the former Naval Service vessel, the LE Aisling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24189/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

672. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the proposed programme for the purchase of new naval vessels; and the role it is expected that they will undertake. (Question 40173/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The most significant investment of recent years by the Defence Organisation has been on the procurement of the new Off-Shore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Service. The third ship in the programme, LÉ William Butler Yeats was commissioned in to service in October 2016. A contract for an additional sister ship was placed with Babcock International in June 2016 at a cost of €54.3m, bringing investment in the new ships programme to...

692. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the market research carried out in advance of the sale of the LE Aisling; the number of officials engaged in the market research element of the sale; the way in which the price the ship was sold for was reached; if his attention was drawn to the market research before the sale commenced; the number of officials engaged in the sale process and the expertise of each for such a sale; and his views on whether value for money was secured. (Question 24332/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

114. Deputy John Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to outline his views on the sightings of super trawlers fishing off the western seaboard; the effect this is having on Irish fish stocks in Irish territorial waters; if such vessels have been inspected by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority or by the Navy; if such activity is in breach of Irish and European Union fishing regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43223/15 asked on 03 Dec 2015 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Control of the vessel within Ireland’s Exclusive Fisheries Zone is a matter for the Irish control authorities who monitor fishing activity of all vessels operating the area.  The Control authorities have on-going information in relation to the vessels operating in the Irish Exclusive Fisheries zone including their activities and characteristics.
Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006, all operational issue...

687. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the cost to decommission the LE Aisling in order to prepare it for sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24192/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

688. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the person or body that valued the LE Aisling prior to its sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24193/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

689. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the cost of maintaining the LE Aisling from when it was decommissioned to the date of its sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24196/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 685 to 689, inclusive, and 692 together. 
I welcome the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the sale of the decommissioned Naval Service vessel LE Aisling following various media reports and speculation with regard to the resale price. This ship, which had a life expectancy of between 20 to 25 years of age, was withdrawn from service in June 2016 after thirty six years of service. It...

266. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if he will update, upgrade or replace equipment in the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3268/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment as required to fulfil all roles that are assigned to them by Government. 
Going forward, the equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and the Naval Service will be considered in the context of the lifetime of the recently published Wh...

837. Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan asked the Minister for Defence if he will consider purchasing an aircraft carrier to protect Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13857/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Naval Service conducts routine maritime surveillance patrols on a daily basis throughout Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The primary day-to-day tasking of the Naval Service is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State’s fishery protection legislation and our obligations as a member of the European Union. A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was ...

25. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Defence the role of the Naval Service in fishery protection operations in the past year; and if there are any plans to increase same. (Question 29121/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Naval Service Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The primary day-to-day tasking of the Naval Service, as provided in the White Paper on Defence (2000), is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with national legislation and the State’s obligations as a member of the European Union. In its fishery protection role, the Naval Service is committed to having at least three vessels on patrol within the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone at any one time. Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Juris...

414. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he and his Department continues to monitor the extent to which the strength and capability of the Naval Service remains intact, notwithstanding the economic exigencies within which he is forced to operate arising from commitments previously entered into with the troika; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29311/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Naval Service Strength)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The first ship is scheduled for delivery early in 2014. The second ship will follow one year later. The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair on the ...

176. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the purpose of British Royal Navy submarine activities off the west coast; and if there was engagement with authorities here regarding recent reports of a British Royal Navy submarine operating near Achill Island, County Mayo. (Question 23516/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Foreign Naval Vessels)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 9 May last, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was contacted by the British Embassy in Dublin in relation to an emergency medical evacuation of a crew member of a UK Royal Navy submarine, located outside of Ireland’s territorial seas.
Following a request from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, an Irish Coast Guard helicopter carried out an evacuation and the injured party was transferred to hospital for treatment.
...

812. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the LÉ Samuel Beckett has embarked on a trip to London to attend an arms fair (details supplied); if so, the purpose of this trip; the body funding it; the name of the person that proposed and approved the Naval Service’s attendance at this event; his views on whether it is appropriate that a navy ship from a neutral country attend an international arms fair; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39322/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Defence Forces)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 812 to 815, inclusive, together.
A Naval Service vessel, LÉ Samuel Beckett, attended the bi-annual Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London last week. The event ran from Tuesday 12th September 2017 to Friday 15th September 2017. The visit of the ship followed a request from Babcock International, the company responsible for the build of LÉ Samuel Beckett and her si...

35. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the proposed schedule for the retirement of existing naval vessels, the purchase of new vessels and the capabilities of such new vessels. (Question 27141/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence 2015 contains a commitment to on-going investment in the replacement of Naval Service vessels.
The current Naval Service ship replacement programme has seen the delivery of three new Naval Service vessels in the past three years. Following a tender competition, a contract was placed in October 2010 with Babcock Marine, UK, for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Servic...

25. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding a replacement programme for the older vessels in the Naval Services fleet. (Question 46632/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A vessel replacement strategy for the Naval Service is currently in progress. In that regard, a contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service. The cost of the two new ships is €108m, exclusive of VAT. In addition, the cost of providing a weapons system for the ships, similar to the systems on L....

77. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Defence the reason the Navy Service turned down a request from An Garda Síochána to assist in a search operation (details supplied) in County Mayo; the reason the Naval Service is not automatically involved in every search mission at sea; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32450/15 asked on 23 Sep 2015 - Naval Service Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 to 81, inclusive, together.
It should be noted that the primary responder for search and rescue in the State is the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG). The primary role of the Naval Service Diving Section is to support Naval and other Defence Forces operations. However, the Naval Service makes every effort to deploy to assist in maritime search operations following a request from the IRCG or from An Garda Síochána. 
On the ...

815. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence the plans in place for the commissioning of the LE Samuel Beckett as the newest vessel in the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13186/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock International in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s) for the Naval Service. The first of the two ships to be called LE Samuel Beckett is a replacement for LE Emer. LE Emer was decommissioned and sold late last year. The Sea Trials for LE Samuel Beckett are now scheduled to take place in the UK at the end of this month. All going well with the Sea Trials t...

48. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the basis on which permission was granted to a US warship (details supplied) to dock in Cobh in March 2017; and if Defence Forces personnel were involved in supplying security to the warship. (Question 15483/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Foreign Naval Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Visits from foreign naval vessels are a long-standing and common practice in Ireland and worldwide. Foreign naval vessels are granted permission by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to visit Irish ports on condition that they meet the necessary policy stipulations. This requires that visiting naval vessels do not carry nuclear weapons and do not engage in military exercises. The vessel in question was in Ireland as p...

2080. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding the efforts to procure a multi-role vessel for the Naval Service; the projected cost of acquiring this vessel; and when this vessel is due to come into service. (Question 36890/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The most significant investment of recent years by the Defence Organisation has been on the procurement of the new Off-Shore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Service. The third ship in the programme, LÉ William Butler Yeats was commissioned in October 2016, joining LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce in operational service. A contract for an additional sister ship was placed with Babcock International in June 2016 at a cost of €54...

129. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Defence if the €54 million price for a new ship, as recently announced, is included in his Department’s capital budget up to 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30408/14 asked on 10 Jul 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

The Taoiseach: I recently announced that an order has been placed with Babcock Marine for the 3rd Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Naval Service. By taking up this option under the existing contract, the Department ensured that the third ship will be bought at 2012 prices and will not be index linked. This means that the vessel replacement programme is conducted in the most cost effective manner. As with the purchase of the L.É. Samuel Beckett and the L.É. James Joyce, the purchase of the third...

82. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces continue to be upgraded, in terms of military equipment, transport including aircraft, sea-going vessels and road and land vehicles; if such equipment remains in line with best practice internationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41161/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assigned to them by Government. Going forward, the equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and the Naval Service will be considered in the...

293. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which adequate technology remains available throughout the Defence Forces to meet any requirements arising from international security issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41772/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 299 and 301 to 303, inclusive, together.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, including aircraft, ships, military hardware and technology which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assig...

299. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he is satisfied that the availability of equipment, such as military hardware, throughout the Defence Forces meets the needs arising from modern challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41778/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 299 and 301 to 303, inclusive, together.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, including aircraft, ships, military hardware and technology which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assig...

301. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which is satisfied that all equipment available to the Air Corps, including aircraft and communications technology, is adequately upgraded and updated in accordance with international best practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41780/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 299 and 301 to 303, inclusive, together.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, including aircraft, ships, military hardware and technology which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assig...

303. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he is satisfied that all equipment available to the Army, including communications technology, is adequately upgraded and updated in accordance with international best practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41782/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 299 and 301 to 303, inclusive, together.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence, and I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have a modern and effective range of equipment, including aircraft, ships, military hardware and technology which is in line with best international standards, as required to fulfil all roles that are assig...

147. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the commissioning of the new vessels for the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13469/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock International in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s) for the Naval Service. The first of the two ships to be called LE Samuel Beckett is a replacement for LE Emer which was decommissioned and sold late last year.The Sea Trials for LE Samuel Beckett are scheduled to take place in the UK shortly. Subject to the successful outcome of the Trials, the ship will b...

419. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department has received reports of US Navy personnel berthed in Cobh, County Cork, bearing arms onshore in March 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18203/17 asked on 11 Apr 2017 - Foreign Naval Vessels)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): In response to a request from the US Embassy, my Department granted permission for the visit of US naval vessel, USS Donald Cook, to the port of Cobh from 21-25 March 2017. The purpose of the visit to Ireland was crew rest and relaxation.
Security arrangements for visits by ships paying routine calls to Irish ports, such as this visit, are a matter for An Garda Síochána with whom my Department consults before granting permission ...

81. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the capital allocation across his Department in each of the years 2018 to 2022. (Question 20447/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 to 83, inclusive, together.
The National Development Plan (NDP) sets out Departmental Capital Allocations for the period 2018 – 2022. A total of €541 million has been allocated to the Defence Vote for these years, as follows:
Defence Capital Allocations 2018-2022
 Year  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022  Total  €Million  77 106 113   120 125  541 

This level of capital funding wi...