Samuel Beckett (P61)

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LÉ Samuel Beckett.jpg
Samuel Beckett on naval exercise maneuvers in 2014.
Career (Ireland) Irish Naval Jack
Name: Samuel Beckett (P61)
Namesake: Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright and author[1]
Ordered: October 2010[2]
Builder: Babcock Marine, North Devon[2][3]
Cost: €54m[4]
Laid down: 19 May 2012[5]
Launched: November 2013[6]
Acquired: (Scheduled) January 2014[1]
Commissioned: 17 May 2014[7]
In service: 2014 -
Status: In active service
General characteristics
Class & type: Samuel Beckett-class
Type: offshore patrol vessel
Displacement: 1,933 tonnes Standard[3]
Length: 90.00 m (295.28 ft)[3]
Beam: 14.00 m (45.93 ft)[6]
Speed: 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) cruise
23 kn (43 km/h; 26 mph) maximum[3]
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi)[3]
Complement: 54 (44 crew + 10 trainees)[8]
Armament: 1xOTO Melara 76 mm cannon
2x20mm Rheinmetall Rh202 cannon
2x12.7 mm HMG
4x7.62 mm GPMG[2][3]
Aviation facilities: UAV capable

Samuel Beckett (P61) is a Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of the Irish Naval Service. The ship was launched in November 2013 and commissioned in May 2014.[7] She is named after renowned Irish playwright and author Samuel Beckett.[1]

Like other OPVs in the Irish Naval Service, the ship's primary mission is fisheries protection, search and rescue, and maritime protection operations, including vessel boardings.[3]

Design and construction[edit]

In October 2010, the Irish Naval Service ordered a number of new offshore patrol vessels from Babcock Marine, a UK-based shipbuilder operating out of Appledore, North Devon. The first two vessels were named LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce respectively, and planned to replace Emer (decommissioned September 2013; sold October 2013[9]) and Aoife (scheduled to be decommissioned September 2014).[2] Like the similar Róisín-class OPV, Samuel Beckett was designed by Vard Marine.[10]

Although the ship was built using modern modular construction techniques, the keel was deemed to have been "laid down" during a keel-laying ceremony held at the Appledore Shipbuilding Yard on 19 May 2012 after the first two major components were connected together.[5][10]

In July 2013, the name of the vessel, the LÉ Samuel Beckett was announced by the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter in Dáil Eireann.[11]

Operational History[edit]

The ship was completed and floated out of the shipyard in November 2013,[6][12][13] delivered in April 2014 and commissioned for service in May 2014.[7] The vessel was "twinned" with Cork city in a ceremony held on 7 June 2014.[14]


Although similar to the Róisín-class OPV, LÉ Samuel Beckett is over 10 meters longer, intended to increase its capabilities in the rough waters of the North Atlantic. The ship is designed to carry a crew of 44 and have space for up to 10 trainees.[3]

Additionally, LÉ Samuel Beckett is designed to carry remotely operated submersibles and a decompression chamber for divers. The expanded deck area would allow the ship to deploy unmanned surveillance planes.[15]


The ship is powered by two a pair of 6 cylinder Wärtsilä diesel motors driving twin shafts that propel a top speed of 23 knots.[16] The ship is also equipped with dynamic positioning systems and a power take-in (PTI) drive, to enable fuel savings as the main engines can be shut down and switched to alternative power sources such as stored battery power or a smaller more economical engine.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Barry, Aoife (11 July 2013). "Goodbye LÉ Emer and LÉ Aoife… hello James Joyce and Samuel Beckett". Journal Media. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Unnamed Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, Republic Of Ireland". Association of Retired Commissioned Officers. Autumn 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Irish OPV build makes progress". IHS Jane's. IHS Jane's. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Cost of two new naval vessels jumps by €9m". 21 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Department of Defence - Press Releases". 2012-05-18. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Irish vessel launched from Appledore shipyard". North Devon Gazette. Archant Community Media Ltd. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c ""Pride and anticipation" as LÉ Samuel Beckett vessel commissoned". 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Babcock displays Irish OPV at DSEI". ADS Advance. ADS Group. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Navy’s retired LE Emer sells for €320,000 to businessman". The Irish Times. 23 October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Vard Marine - News Headlines". Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Houses of the Oireachtas - Naval Service Vessels". Oireachtas (Hansard). 
  12. ^ "Naval Service OPV Newbuild L.E. Samuel Beckett ‘Floated-Out’ from Devon Shipyard". Afloat Magazine. Baily Publications Ltd. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "New life as luxury liner or research ship awaits navy's oldest vessel". 28 August 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Navy’s €50m ship to twin with Cork". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Sean O'Riordan (2012-05-24). "Navy ships to carry deep sea robot subs". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  16. ^ "Naval Service Showcase L.E. Samuel Beckett at OPV Conference". Retrieved 30 September 2014.