Irish Navy commissions third OPV LÉ William Butler Yeats

The Irish Navy has commissioned its third offshore patrol vessel, LÉ William Butler Yeats, during an October 17 ceremony in Galway, Ireland.

The vessel was officially named by Caitriona Yeats, a granddaughter of the Irish 20th-century poet the ship is named after.

LÉ William Butler Yeats was built by Appledore Shipbuilders, a subsidiary of Babcock Marine, which floated out the vessel on March 10, 2016.

The Irish Navy has contracted Babcock in 2010 to deliver three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service with the work being carried out at Babcock’s Appledore facility in Devon.

LÉ Samuel Beckett, the lead ship of the class, has already performed its first active patrols and has attracted international attention with rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. LÉ James Joyce, the second OPV, joined the Irish Navy on September 1, 2015.

In June this year, The Irish Department of Defense awarded Babcock a contract to construct the fourth vessel in the class. The fourth OPV is scheduled to be completed within the next two years. The unit price is around €54 million.

Designed for fishery protection, search and rescue, anti-pollution and maritime security duties, the 90 metre, 2256 tonne OPVs have autonomous engine rooms and are capable of a top speed of 23 knots and have a range of 6,000 nautical miles at cruise speed.