Babcock to supply fourth OPV to Ireland
Babcock International Group has received a contract extension from Ireland’s Department of Defence to provide a new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service (INS), it was announced in June.
The vessel will be built at Babcock’s Appledore shipbuilding facility in North Devon. It will be the fourth OPV that Ireland will buy from Babcock, after the launch of LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce, as well as the LÉ William Butler Yeats, which is under construction and expected to enter sea trials in July. The fourth OPV is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.
The vessel weighs 2,256 tonnes, is 90m long, has a range of 6,000 nautical miles, top speed of 23 knots and cruise speed of 15 knots. It can accommodate 44 crew members and has ten trainee berths. It will act as a mother ship for three fully-independent, rigid-hulled inflatable boats.
John Howie, divisional CEO of marine and technology businesses at Babcock, said: ‘We are really delighted to continue to support the Irish Naval Service with these important vessels. Our firm role is to safely provide cost-effective, value for money naval platforms that underpin our customer’s increasing requirements to protect their coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone, further enhancing border control capability and maritime security.’
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