Originally Posted by goldie fish
We need neither frigate nor transport ship.
We have really no need for a dedicated sea lift capability.
Anything we need transported we can send on commercial shipping rather than have a white elephant waiting for a once in 10 years mission.
The container spots on this vessel will most likely be used for palletised mission systems meaning cost savings in the long run as rather than permanently install equipment on 1 vessel, the equipment containers can be shared amongst the fleet on an as required basis.
As for frigates, again it would be a nice capability to have some SSM's and ASW and SAM capability in our navy, but there is absolutely no need given the mission of our Navy.
The Irish navy is tasked with patrolling and policing our terretorial waters rather than having an active defence posture against a perceived threat.
It is important that our vessels have a good sensor suite to detect small boats in the often high seas of the N.A....
It is not important that the vessel is armed with Harpoon/exocet or similar to sink those same boats when inspection and policing is the mission.
It is important to have the capability to place accurate and effective ordnance on target or more usually in the policing role, across the bow.
An electro/optically layed gun does this a hell of a lot cheaper than any missile system ever developed.
If there is one thing I would like to see an increase in for the navy it would be ship based helicopters and vessels capable of operating them.
The added sensor range, rescue capability and even attack capability this would add to vessels while not vastly increasing the price of the vessel itself(Although a suitable helicopter fleet would not be cheap!) It could and would be a worthwhile investment.
OPV90 sized vessels with a heli deck and a good sensor suite are perfectly suited to the Navy's current and future missions.
And if the projected EPV goes ahead too the transport capability will be somewhat available too.
Personally I think something akin to the Austal MRV 80
could offer the Irish navy some fantastic capability for the price, including even the transport role.
Although given Austal's propensity for building immediate rust buckets we would need some penalty clauses in that contract! haha