Babcock International has been contracted to install variable speed drive system upgrades on the Irish Navy’s P60 Samuel Beckett Class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

The system will be fitted on the central cooling system of three of the four OPVs in the class.

Babcock noted that the variable speed drive system was first equipped on the central cooling system of the fourth OPV, LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64), at the time of its construction.

This enabled the vessel to use different power outputs based on the conditions and needs.

The system has helped save on power and cost, as well as fuel consumption.

Babcock Marine Support business managing director Gary Simpson 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 contractual work will be carried out at the Naval Base at Haulbowline, County Cork in Ireland later this year.

The 90m-long Samuel Beckett Class OPVs were built as part of the Irish Naval Service’s fleet replacement programme.

The P60 Samuel Beckett class OPVs are primarily deployed in fishery protection, search-and-rescue (SAR) and maritime patrol missions across the 200-mile Irish Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Naval Support Command commanding officer captain Roberts said: “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.

“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.”

In June, Babcock signed a tripartite memorandum of implementation (MoI) with the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the UK Government.