Aoife (P22)

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LE Aoife.jpg
Aoife at Haulbowline in March 2008
Career (Ireland) Irish Naval Jack
Name: Aoife (P22)
Namesake: Aoife, step-mother to the children of Lir
Laid down: 3 July 1978
Launched: 12 April 1979
Commissioned: 29 November 1979
Decommissioned: 31 January 2015 - FLAGS DOWN 26 June 2015
In service: No
Out of service: 31 January 2015
Renamed: Aoife
Homeport: Haulbowline Naval Base
Identification: P22
Fate: Donated to Malta, 2015
Career (Malta)
Name: P62
Commissioned: 26 June 2015
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class & type: Emer class OPV
Type: Offshore Patrol Vessel
Displacement: 1019.5 tonnes Standard
Length: 65.2 m (214 ft) overall
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft)
Draught: 4.4 m (14 ft)
Speed: 31.5 km/h (17.0 kn) maximum
Complement: 46 (5 Officers and 41 Ratings )
  • 1 × Bofors 40mm
  • 2 × Rheinmetall Rh202 20mm Cannons (removed before transfer to Malta)
  • 7.62mm L7 GPMGs

Aoife (P22) was an offshore patrol vessel in the Irish Naval Service. The ship was named after Aoife, step-mother to the children of Lir, whom she turned into swans. It is the sister ship of the Deirdre (decommissioned in 2001), the Emer (decommissioned in 2013) and the Aisling (in active service).

Aoife was decommissioned from the Irish Naval Service in 2015, and was donated to the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta. It was commissioned as the patrol boat P62 on 28 June 2015. It is currently Malta's largest naval vessel.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Ireland service[edit]

Aoife was commissioned after funding became available from the European Union (then known as the EEC) when the Irish Exclusive Fisheries Zone was extended from 12 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles in 1976.[2]

Aoife operated primarily as a fisheries protection vessel but had assisted in emergency rescue operations as well as other naval support roles.L.E. Aoife was the refueling vessel used in Richard Bransons 'Virgin Challenger' record attempt Atlantic crossing in 1986. In October 2004, Aoife assisted in the rescue of the Canadian Navy submarine Chicoutimi off the north-western coast of Ireland. In July 2007, Aoife assisted in the rescue of over 100 children taking part in a sailing regatta off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.[3]

Despite the ship's home port being Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, it had a close relationship with the city of Waterford and its crew regularly fund-raised for the children's ward of Waterford Regional Hospital.[4]

Aoife was decommissioned in Waterford on 31 January 2015 and later donated to Malta.[5][6]

Malta service[edit]

Aoife was commissioned into the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta on 28 June 2015, being given the pennant number P62. It is the largest vessel in the Maritime Squadron, being larger than the flagship, the Diciotti class offshore patrol boat P61.[1]

Irish naval jack flying from bow of LÉ Aoife while at port in Dublin

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Malta flag raised on former Irish patrol vessel". Times of Malta. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "A History of the Naval Service". National Maritime College of Ireland. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "News and Events". 62 Reserve Artillery Regiment. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Mary O’Halloran, accompanied by Lt.Cdr. Brian Dempsey, inspects a guard of honour at the Naval Vessel L.E. AOIFE whilst docked in Waterford.". Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Brophy, Daragh (19 February 2015). "We’ve just given Malta a naval ship, instead of selling it". Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ireland and Malta to explore further defence co-operation in the context of European security, peacekeeping and crisis management operations". Department of Defence. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.