10 Apr 2018

Babcock floats-up fourth Irish offshore patrol vessel

Babcock has marked a key milestone in the build programme for the delivery of a fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Irish Naval Service as it successfully floated the 90 metre vessel currently under construction at its Appledore facility, North Devon.

The ship when completed will be formally named and commissioned into the Irish Naval Service as LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

The 90-metre long and 2256 tonnes vessel will have a top speed of 23 knots and a range of 6,000 miles at its cruise speed of 15 knots. With accommodation for 44 crew and an additional 10 trainee berths the patrol vessel will have a comprehensive command, control and communications package along with a 76mm gun as its main weapon. The vessel will also be able to act as a mother ship for up to three fully independent rigid inflatables.

The float-out, a significant moment in the build of a new ship, was attended by representatives from the Irish Naval Service and Babcock’s workforce.

Craig Lockhart, Managing Director, Babcock Naval Marine said: “This event marks a great moment as it once again showcases our workforce’s commitment and craftsmanship to designing and building first class highly capable and flexible ships.  We are proud of our work with the Irish Naval Service and the Department of Defence and look forward to delivering another cost effective and “state of the art” vessel that will support both protection and humanitarian activities long into the future.”    

LÉ George Bernard Shaw is due to complete in July 2018.

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