Babcock inks contract to support Irish Navy’s Samuel Beckett-class OPV

British aerospace, defence and security company Babcock International has won a contract to install a variable speed drive system for the central cooling onboard the Irish Navy’s P60 Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

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.

The variable speed drive system was first installed on the central cooling system of the fourth OPV, LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64), at time of build, enabling the ship to use a variety of power outputs depending on the conditions and requirements.

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, while providing a more environmentally friendly running option across the class, the company noted.

“The installation of the variable speed drive upgrades on the P60 Samuel Beckett Class demonstrates our climate change objectives, following the Government’s Climate Action Plan, in action,” Captain Roberts, Officer Commanding Naval Support Command, said.

Work will commence later this year in Ireland at Haulbowline, Co. Cork.

The four Samuel Beckett-class vessels have been designed to provide many years of service, primarily in the North Atlantic, undertaking a range of duties including fishery protection, search and rescue, anti-pollution and maritime security.  

The 90-meter long, 2256-tonne OPVs have autonomous engine rooms and are capable of a top speed of 23 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles at a cruise speed of 15 knots on a single-engine.

The vessels are also equipped with configurable, serviced mission modules, with deck space to operate mission-specific equipment.

The firm recently landed a two-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the continuation of in-service support to the Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS).

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