LE Samuel Beckett Class OPVs
Successful delivery of a fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service is now complete. The first ship, LÉ Samuel Beckett, is well into active patrols and has attracted international attention for excellence, capability and performance.
With work on the latest OPV in the same class, LÉ George Bernard Shaw completed, incremental benefits accrued through the build strategy means that production of each vessel has become more efficient and more cost effective than its predecessor.
Joining LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ William Butler Yeats and LÉ James Joyce, the quartet will provide the backbone of the Irish Naval Service fleet.
The four vessels have been designed to provide many years of service, primarily in the North Atlantic, undertaking a range of duties including fishery protection, search and rescue, anti-pollution and maritime security.
The 90 metre long, 2256 tonne OPVs have autonomous engine rooms and are capable of a top speed of 23 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles at a cruise speed of 15 knots on a single engine.
The vessels propulsion system uses a diesel electric drive system providing a slow speed loiter function of up to 10 knots. A comprehensive command, control and communications package is coupled to the main weapon; a 76mm gun, as well as two 20mm cannons and four general purpose machine guns. The vessels are also equipped with configurable, serviced mission modules, with deck space to operate mission specific equipment and to act as a mother ship for two fully independent fast pursuit Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). A crew of 44, plus ten trainee berths, is accommodated to very high comfort and habitability standards.