The Irish Navy’s has decommissioned one of its Offshore Patrol Vessels after 35 years of service.
LÉ Aoife (P22) was retired by the Irish Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe in Waterford, Ireland. This longest serving vessel in the Naval Service fleet traveled more than 600,000 nautical miles during its service, its crews boarded over 4,700 vessels at sea and detained over 440 fishing vessels, as reported by The Irish Times.
The vessel engaged in many successful operations; she played a role of the fishery protection vessel and took part in search and rescue operations.
As a part of the decommissioning ceremony, Minister Kehoe spoke about Ireland’s Ship Replacement Programme. The first vessel from the programme was delivered in April 2014, and the vessel that will replace LÉ Aoife is expected to be delivered in the coming months. According to RTE News, last year the department ordered a third Offshore Patrol Vessel which is expected to enter service in 2016.
Naval Today Staff, Image: Flickr