Re: Irish Warships
Hi everyone, I'm a new poster but this caught my eye and thought I might be able to add some info.
In regards to the the Shaw (P64) there seems to be some confusion as to what the plan is, with the Med deployments there has been talk about enlarging the fleet to 9 hulls, however there's been no increase in establishment numbers so that doesn't seem likely in the short term. Some rumours I've heard is that one of the Peacocks will be retired for Shaw, they have limitations in sea states and the old style berthing makes them an unpopular choice, however with Brexit and the potential issues regarding fishing areas/policing who knows if that will stay or not.
In terms of the future, the Eithne is to be replaced by an "EPV", and nobody knows what exactly that means, the rumours back before the Crash was that we were looking at a "FFBNW" Absalon class but now they aren't in production and the penciled in budget is about €150 million. One of the main drivers at the time was "buying" support from the Army for the project but how much of a driver that is now is another question (also any new ship is limited by the Cobh Graving Dock width). The Peacocks are meant under the 2015 WP to be replaced with 2 similar hulls/specs but with "counter-IED" capability as well, but don't know if there's anything currently that meets that.
In the larger question of the DF, there's some issues with the volume of equipment coming due for replacement, with the Eithne replacement, and the Casa 235's coming along at roughly the same time (suggestions that it will be 2 295 MPA's and maybe a third as a general cargo version) and then the Peacock's as well with the MOWAG's and the Scorpion replacement needing to be looked at as well.
In terms of funding, I think something is going to have to give due to the replacements as there's only so long they can be pushed out (the 235's are the oldest of their design with the highest flying hours (having been reset twice now)), however that's all politics, 20 years ago the budget was about 1.2% of GDP (now only .6%), had we even stuck a 1% in those 20 years the DF would be a much different animal.
The sad thing is that the DF actually had plans back in the 80's for upscaling Eithne for example was meant to have two sister ships but the Recession of the time killed that (and hence the 2 Peacocks got bought as fillers), and the debacle of the Dauphin's pretty much poisoned the AC/NS relationship as evidenced by the Dead Writer class. It's sad because according to Eithne's designer the design was well regarded by the US Coastguard compared to their own similar design at the time...
Hope some of this added to the thread.