LÉ Niamh (P52)
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Niamh moored in Dublin in February 2008
|Name:||LÉ Niamh (P52)|
|Namesake:||Niamh, an Irish mythological character|
|Builder:||Appledore Shipbuilders, North Devon|
|Commissioned:||18 September 2001|
|Homeport:||Haulbowline Naval Base|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class & type:||Róisín-class offshore patrol vessel|
|Displacement:||1,500 tonnes standard|
|Length:||78.84 m (258.7 ft) overall|
|Beam:||14 m (46 ft)|
|Draught:||3.8 m (12 ft)|
|Speed:||42.6 km/h (23.0 kn) maximum|
|Boats & landing
|2 Delta 6.5m and 1 Avon5.4m RHIBs|
|Complement:||44 (6 Officers and 38 Ratings)|
|Armament:||1x76 mm OTO Melara Cannon
2x20mm Rheinmetall Rh202 Canon
2x12.7 mm HMG
4x7.62 mm GPMG
The second of class Róisín-class offshore patrol vessel, Niamh was built by Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon, entered service with the Irish Naval Service in July 2001, and is based at the Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour Headquarters and Dockyard. Niamh's adopted home port is Limerick City. 
The ship was designed by STX Canada Marine (formerly Kvaerner Masa Marine) and has an all-steel hull based on the Mauritian Vigilant patrol vessel launched in 1995, but without the helicopter deck and hangar facilities. The high level of automation incorporated into the ship's systems allows the ship to be operated with just 44 crew including six officers. The crew is provided with comfortable accommodation. The vessel is designed for winter North Atlantic operations.
The ship is armed with an OTO Melara 76 mm dual purpose gun installed on the bow gun deck. The gun fires 6 kg shells and is capable of firing up to 85 rounds per minute to a range of over 15 km. It also has two 12.7 mm (.50 inch) machine guns and two 20mm Rheinmetall Rh202 Canon for Anti-Aircraft defence.
The main gun is controlled by an Ultra Electronics Command and Control Systems, Radamec 1500 optronic director with a daylight TV camera, thermal imaging camera and eyesafe laser rangefinder. System 1500 functions in automatic or manual mode. The system provides fire control for surface engagement with spotting corrections in both line and range and has an effective secondary self-defence anti-air capability. System 1500 can detect a small patrol boat at ranges in excess of 12 km, night or day. The ship's Kelvin Hughes surface search radar, operating at E, F and I bands, is installed high on the main mast over the bridge. The Kelvin Hughes navigation radar operates at I-band.
Command and control
The communications package includes VHF, HF, Inmarsat Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) and Differential Global Positioning System (DFPS) and secure communications. Three inflatable boats are deployed from each ship; two 6.5 m Delta rigid inflatable boats (RIB) launched with Caley davits, and a single Avon 5.4 m RIB.
The ship is powered by two Wärtsilä 16V26 diesel engines each developing 5,000 kW continuous power. The engines drive two shafts with Lips inboard turning controllable pitch propellers via single reduction gearboxes. Each propeller is 2,500 mm in diameter and functions at 300 rpm.
The engines provide a maximum speed of 41 km/h (22 knots) with a range of 11,100 km (6,000 nautical miles) at a cruising speed of 28 km/h (15 knots).
A Brunvoll FU45 CPP bow thrusters, rated at 340 kW with 5.6 t (55 kN) thrust, is fitted for precision manoeuvring and station keeping. A pair of non-retractable anti-roll fin stabilisers is also fitted.
Three Caterpillar 3412D1-T generators each deliver 405 kWe at 1,500 rpm. One Caterpillar 3406D1-T emergency generator delivers 205 kWe at 1,500 rpm.
- Niamh was involved in the rescue of the Canadian Navy submarine Chicoutimi off the northwestern coast of Ireland on October 5, 2004.
- The Niamh played an important role in the seizure of €750 million of cocaine off the Irish coast in November 2008, as part of Operation Seabight. It was used by authorities to approach and board the yacht Dances with Waves, which contained 75 bales of the controlled substance.
- Sharrock, David (2008-11-08). "British criminals believed to be behind Ireland cocaine seizure worth £500m". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- Defence Forces Ireland LÉ Niamh webpage
- Web page from the naval architecture firm that designed IDF LÉ Niamh.
- Appledore's page on Niamh