Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Naval Service Vessels
Bernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
Question 405: To ask the Minister for Defence if he has satisfied himself that all training facilities and equipment available to and used by the Naval Service is in keeping with best modern international practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17650/11]
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
I am satisfied that Naval Services training methods and facilities are up to date in all respects. The Naval Service training plan is structured to provide the capabilities needed to execute the roles assigned to the Naval Service by Government. On the issue of equipment, a contract was awarded in October 2010 following an open tender competition to Babcock Marine in the UK for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service. Preparations for the construction of these new vessels have commenced and the first new vessel is scheduled for delivery in early 2014. The second vessel will follow one year later. The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair, will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained at a satisfactory level and that the most up to date equipment is available to Naval Service personnel.