Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Equipment
145. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the detail of the sale of all military equipment in each of the past five years; the type of equipment sold; the amount received; the date the sale occurred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15965/18]
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure the operational capability of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service to carry out their roles as assigned by Government. In this regard defensive equipment requirements for the Defence Forces are kept under constant review. As part of the equipment planning process a number of major equipment platforms were identified for disposal in the last few years.
In 2013 the Naval Service Ship Offshore Patrol Vessel the former LÉ Emer was sold to Uniglobe Industrial Services Limited of Nigeria for a sum of €380,965.20.
There were no disposals of defensive equipment in 2014.
In 2015 the Gulfstream GIV fixed wing aircraft was sold to Journey Aviation LLC of the United States for a sum of €418,055.20. Spare parts for the Gulfstream were also sold that year to the same buyer for a sum of €52,858.78.
Also in 2015, the Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessel the former LÉ Aoife was donated to the Ministry of Home Affairs & National Security, Malta to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the region. A nominal sum of €30,000.00 was received for the transfer of ownership of the vessel.
In 2015 Nineteen (19) Panhard Armoured Vehicles, including accessories and spare parts, were sold to Sofema S.A., of France for a sum of €130,000.00.
There were no disposals of equipment in 2016.
Finally, in 2017 the former Naval Service Vessel the LÉ Aisling was sold by way of public auction to Mr Dick Van Der Kamp, a Dutch Shipbroker for a sum of €110,000.00.
There have been no disposals in 2018 to date.
Future equipment priorities for the Defence Forces are being considered in the context of the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment planning process. The principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements both at home and overseas.
146. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the detail of the purchase of military equipment in each of the past five years; the type of equipment purchased; the amount received; the date the purchase occurred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15966/18]
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.
In terms of suppliers of military equipment, the principle of competitive tendering is used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment for the Defence Forces. Central to those procedures is the requirement to allow fair competition on the e-tenders website and on the Official Journal of the European Union, where appropriate, in line with the European Union procurement Directives, including the Directive 2009/81/EC on the award of contracts in the fields of defence and security. Details of tender competitions can be accessed on the Government's e-tenders website www.etenders.ie. In addition, the Department routinely publishes details of purchase orders for goods and services valued over €20,000 on its website www.defence.ie which provides details of supplies.
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. This programme has seen the delivery of three new Naval Service vessels since 2014. The LÉ Samuel Beckett was commissioned in May 2014, LÉ James Joyce was commissioned in September 2015 and LÉ William Butler Yeats was commissioned into service in October 2016.
In June 2016, a contract for an additional sister ship was agreed, bringing investment in the new ships programme to some €250 million since 2010. The fourth ship, to be named LÉ George Bernard Shaw is scheduled for delivery later this year.
In relation to major equipment projects for the Army a maintenance and upgrade programme has commenced for the current fleet of 80 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) which will seek to ensure viability of the fleet out to 2030. The Mowag APC is a key operational vehicle for overseas service. A contract was agreed in December 2016 with General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag, the original manufacturer of the fleet based in Switzerland, for a maintenance and upgrade programme. The value of the contract is €55m exclusive of VAT. The programme of work is being carried out on a phased basis over 5-6 years to ensure the availability of vehicles for operational service during that period.
In addition, a contract for the supply of a small number of armoured logistical vehicles has been awarded to Westward Scania Ireland, due for delivery in 2018 and a number of armoured utility vehicles (24) have recently been procured from Centigon, France. These armoured vehicles, acquired at a combined cost of approx. €11m, will complement the force protection fleet for operational service overseas. Both contracts were awarded on foot of public tender competitions.
In relation to the Air Corps, the White Paper sets out that the Cessna fleet will be replaced with three larger aircraft suitable equipped for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance tasks. In December 2017, following an open tender competition advertised on the eTenders website and on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in accordance with national and EU procurement regulations, a contract was placed with Pilatus Aircraft Ltd at a cost of some €32m for the provision of three PC-12 fixed wing utility aircraft suitable equipped for ISTAR tasks which will replace the Cessna fleet.
Also, a decision was made in 2016 to replace a PC-9M aircraft and this aircraft was delivered from Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland in July 2017 at a cost of €5m exclusive of VAT. The new aircraft brings the fleet up to 8 and will assist in a required increase in pilot training in the Air Corps.
The acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me, and the White Paper on Defence recognises that there are several new and or enhanced platforms to be procured. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are being considered in the context of the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment planning process.
The National Development Plan provides for a Capital allocation of €541m for Defence for the five year period 2018-2022. This allocation will facilitate the investment necessary to ensure that the Defence Forces have the equipment and infrastructure to deliver on all their roles as set out in the White Paper.