Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Defence
Naval Service Vessels
99. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the timeline of the maintenance period for each ship in the Naval Service in each of the years 2013 and 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30823/19]
101. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the timeline of each period each ship of the Naval Service was in dry dock in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30825/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 98, 99 and 101 together.
Naval Service ships are required to complete drydock maintenance, survey and inspection, twice during each ship five (5) year cycle. An intermediate drydock is carried out between two and a half (2.5) and three (3) years. A full drydock is carried out at five (5) years.
Naval Service ships which are beyond their originally projected 30 year asset life, are drydocked for inspection every year, in order to manage ageing hull risk.
In addition to the planned maintenance (drydocking and refits) carried out on all vessels, there is a requirement to upgrade and refurbish vessels having regard to emerging operational requirements and changes in technology. This is referred to as a Mid-Life Extension Programme and these works aim to extend the life of a vessel and address obsolescence. The Mid-Life Extension Programme of LÉ Róisín commenced in March 2019, with an initial dry-docking phase, followed by an extended period of equipment upgrade and refit works. LÉ Niamh’s extension programme is due to commence in 2020.
Notwithstanding this capital maintenance programme, Naval Service Ships are required to undertake planned routine and non-routine maintenance on plant and machinery every day, 365 days a year, regardless of whether the ship is on patrol, undertaking Maritime Defence and Security Operations or alongside the Naval Base off patrol.
These works are carried out to ensure the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so that they can carry out their roles as assigned by Government.
Detailed maintenance and drydocking schedules have not been provided for operational defence and security reasons.