Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Photo of Cormac DevlinCormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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231. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the Naval Service vessel renewal and replacement programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49275/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Naval Service have nine ships, with LÉ Eithneand LÉ Orla currently in operational reserve. The White Paper on Defence sets out an ambitious programme of capital investment in the Naval Service, including the mid-life refit and upgrade of the P50 class of vessels. This programme of works has been completed on LÉ Róisín and that ship has returned to operations, while works have commenced on LÉ Niamh.

The replacement of the flagship LÉ Eithnewith a multi-role vessel, MRV, is an important element of the Defence Equipment Development Plan and is provided for in the Government's National Development Plan as a major capital project. It is the intention that this new vessel will provide a flexible and adaptive capability for a wide range of maritime tasks.

Following a public tender competition, Marine Advisors have been appointed to support the procurement of the MRV. This work is now underway and will inform a public tender competition in due course.

Projects for other vessel replacements are being considered over the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence in the context of overall capability development and funding along with the overall Equipment Development Plan process.

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