Dáil Éireann - Volume 509 - 13 October, 1999
Written Answers. - Defence Forces Equipment.
Mr. Power Mr. Power
81. Mr. Power asked the Minister for Defence the plans, if any, he has to re-equip the Army, Navy and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20028/99]
Mr. M. Smith Mr. M. Smith
Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): In recent years considerable sums have been expended under the Defence Vote in updating military equipment for the Defence Forces. It is my intention to continue, and expand where possible, with the modernisation programme to ensure that the Defence Forces are equipped to the highest standards appropriate to their roles.
It is estimated that more than £60 million will be spent this year on weapons, ammunition, transport and clothing for the Defence Forces generally and on equipment specifically for the Air Corps and Naval Service and will include the following major items: a new fishery patrol vessel, due for delivery later this month; a half life refit of L.E. Eithne completed earlier this year and a similar refurbishment programme for L.E. Orla currently under way; L.E. Ciara will be refurbished next year; the supply of 16 new turrets and 16 fire directing systems for fitting to existing Panhard armoured cars. The first two turrets and  two fire directing systems were delivered earlier this year and the balance is expected to be delivered towards the end of this year; the delivery of approximately 70 troop-carrying vehicles, such as four by fours and three quarter ton trucks, and a number of special transportation vehicles for use with KFOR; a contract for the supply of up to 40 armoured personnel carriers. It is expected that a contract will be in place later this year and the first APCs should be delivered next year.
The longer term development, including the question of future equipment requirements, of the Air Corps and the Naval Service will be dealt with in the context of the White Paper on Defence, which I plan to have available by the end of this year. However, in the meantime, I asked the Chief of Staff to prepare, in conjunction with the General Officer Commanding the Air Corps and the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, draft implementation plans for my consideration, to implement the effectiveness and efficiency recommendations made by the consultants Price Waterhouse in its review of the two services. I have just received a draft plan relating to the Naval Service which is now being considered and I understand that a draft plan from the Air Corps is due very shortly.
Dáil Éireann 509 Written Answers. Defence Forces Equipment.