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: Active
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]

The current commanding officer of the ship is Lieutenant Commander Anthony Geraghty and the vessel is "twinned" with Cork city.[9]


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[10]) and Aoife (scheduled to be decommissioned September 2014).[2]

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][11]

In July 2013, the name of the vessel, the LÉ Samuel Beckett was announced by the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter in Dáil Eireann.[12]

The ship was completed and floated out of the shipyard in November 2013,[6][13][14] delivered in April 2014 and commissioned for service in May 2014.[7]


Like the similar Róisín-class OPV, Samuel Beckett was designed by Vard Marine.[11]

Although similar to the Róisín-class OPV, LÉ Samuel Beckett is over 10 meters longer, intended to increase both its capabilities and abilities 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. The ship's published cruising speed is 15 knots, with a top speed of 23 knots.[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 for the first time.[15]

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 €50m ship to twin with Cork". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Navy’s retired LE Emer sells for €320,000 to businessman". The Irish Times. 23 October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Vard Marine - News Headlines". Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Houses of the Oireachtas - Naval Service Vessels". Oireachtas (Hansard). 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "New life as luxury liner or research ship awaits navy's oldest vessel". 28 August 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Sean O'Riordan (2012-05-24). "Navy ships to carry deep sea robot subs". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2012-08-03.