The Irish Navy is to receive two large patrol ships that will be built under a €100m Irish defence contract at the Appledore Shipyard.

The two new 90m-long patrol ships, which will be the biggest in the fleet, are an upgrade of the Roisin / Niamh Class, and will have a displacement capacity of 2,000t, a range of 6,000 miles and a cruise speed of 23kt.

The vessels will be armed with an Oto Melara 76mm gun, two heavy machine guns and four general purpose machine guns and will also operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or robot planes in the future.

The first ship will be delivered in early 2014 and the second will be delivered a year later, according to the Independent.

The Irish Navy currently operates a fleet of eight naval service vessels, of which, six will be at least 30 years old by 2015.