MAY 29, 2012—A keel-laying ceremony was recently held for the first of two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Irish Naval Service (INS). The keel was laid by Commodore Mellet, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, on May 18 at Babcock Marine’s shipyard in Appledore, North Devon. The ceremony was attended by senior representatives of the Department of Defence, the Naval Service and the designer of the vessels, STX Marine (STXM), which has offices in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and Houston, TX.
The new OPVs (PV90) are based on the STXM PV80 design and designed in cooperation with Babcock UK. The new OPVs will be similar to two vessels delivered to INS in 2000 and 2001, with an increased length (10m) and depth (0.60m).
In addition, the vessels will have an increased speed to 23 knots. These design changes will improve INS’s operational capability in rough waters in the Atlantic. The vessels will be delivered in early 2014 and 2015.