Babcock International, the aerospace, defence and security company, has been awarded a contract to deliver the installation of a variable speed drive system for the central cooling system on board the Irish Navy’s Samuel Beckett Class. The variable speed drive system was first installed on the central cooling system of the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel, LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64), at time of build, enabling the vessel to use a variety of power outputs depending on the conditions and requirements.
Captain Roberts, Officer Commanding Naval Support Command, said: “The installation of the variable speed drive upgrades on the Samuel Beckett Class demonstrates our climate change objectives, following the Government’s Climate Action Plan, in action. Babcock International have proven know-how to deliver this project, having already installed the system on LÉ George Bernard Shaw, and we look forward to working alongside them.”
Gary Simpson, Managing Director, Babcock’s Marine Support business, said: “We’re pleased to continue our close working relationship with the Irish Naval Service and particularly to support this environmentally efficient system. We are immensely proud of the work we carried out to build the P60 Samuel Beckett Class and welcome the opportunity to continue supporting these fantastic Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Irish Naval Service. Our ability to support global navies is founded on collaboration with a real focus on our customers’ operational success.”
The system has proven to be very successful, with the Irish Naval Service requesting it to be installed across the class to save power, fuel and cost, whilst providing a more environmentally friendly running option across the class. The contract will see Babcock working alongside a range of suppliers to complete the work package for the Irish Naval Service, which will include all aspects of the project from design to engineering assurance. Work will commence later this year in Ireland at Haulbowline, Co. Cork.
The Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel is a class of offshore patrol vessels (OPV) ordered by the Irish Naval Service from October 2010. The first vessel is named Samuel Beckett and was commissioned in May 2014. Construction on this first vessel commenced in November 2011, A further three vessels were named James Joyce, William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, and delivered in 2015, 2016 and 2018 respectively. The Samuel Beckett-class ships are designed to carry remotely operated submersibles and a decompression chamber for divers.
The 90-metre (300 ft) OPV vessels are designated PV90 by Babcock Marine and approximately 10 metres (33 ft) longer with an additional 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in) in depth to the existing Róisín-class PV80 vessels. This was intended to increase both its capabilities and abilities in the rough waters of the North Atlantic. The PV90 ship is designed carry a crew of 44 and have space for up to 10 trainees. The ships’ published cruising speed is 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph), with a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph).