The Tuirlingeoir-class Landing Boat, Tank, or Tuirlingeoir-class LBT for short, is a landing craft doubling as a minelayer designed and produced by Silverport Dockyards Limited as the answer to the request for a small tank-landing and vehicle-landing ship by the SDF-Navy. It is designed specifically for short-range operations, in support of own operations close to shores and to transport own vehicles and equipment, not as a tool for expeditionary warfare.
Tuirlingeoir means lander, which is an appropriate name for a landing boat.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT is a design of difficult proportions, as the vessel itself is a monohull, but the bow is blunt and therefore increases the drag of the vessel in the water when, for example, compared to a vessel with a sharper bow. This, however, also allows for two core capabilities of the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT, namely the capability to approach and deliver its load directly onto the shore via beaching and for that to be done with a large ramp on the bow in a relatively simple and classical design.
From the bow up, the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT has five decks, namely the Hold, with the engine room and storages, as well as ballast, two troop decks (Third and Second Deck), the Main Deck with the deckhouse and the bridge.
The Third Deck, also known as the Vehicle Deck, has major store rooms for troop supplied and a workshop for maintaining the vehicles parked there. Several storerooms provide enough space for the provisions in question. The Second Deck houses the soldiers themselves, albeit not in much comfort, has the mess and a sickbay, which can double as a small field hospital.
The Main Deck has the large cargo hold doors, which can be opened to allow access to the Vehicle Deck, as well as the lower story of the deckhouse, where the crew is housed, together with an own galley and a small recreational room for the crew. On top of that is the brain of the ship, the bridge, with access to all functions of the vessel.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT can carry either up to eight Main Battle Tanks or sixteen loaded trucks or 130 fully equipped soldiers or a combination of those and deliver them safely onto shore.
Additionally, the vehicle deck can be modified partially or completely to act as an enlarged vehicle repair workshop, as a field hospital or in a multitude of other functions directly at the shore, circumventing the need for the establishment of other such facilities immediately.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT can be either loaded by driving the vehicles in question onto the vehicle deck via the ramp or by lowering the vehicles in question onto the vehicle deck by crane, thanks to large cargo hold doors on the maindeck.
The Tuirlingeoir-class Landing Boat, Tank is also equipped with an ECM-system, a Multi-Ammunition Softkill System and a small navigation radar, both placed on top of the bridge.
The vessel itself is lightly armoured, capable of stopping 14.5 mm bullets head on.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT is powered by a 5 Megawatt diesel generator, much akin to the ones used onboard of the Port Hackburry-class Fleet Oilers, only singular. The principle is the same: The Integrated Electric Propulsion allows for a generator to produce the power necessary to operate the ship's systems, transferring them to the different systems, like to the radars or the engines, via cable, where the major advantage of IEP comes in, namely, that the need for maintenance-costly gearboxes is completely eliminated, space itself saved and acquisition costs are lowered.
The power of the generator and the corresponding engine allows the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT to travel with a speed of seventeen knots maximum and over a distance of 800 nautical miles at full load.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT is only lightly armed, mostly for self-defence and to support the landing troops.
Core of the weapons suite is the CIWS, a singular Ceantar C-84 Mark II, housed on the forecastle, where it is capable of providing cover against incoming larger missiles, as in missiles larger then an RPG, from nearly all angles with a traverse range of 140 degrees to either side (theoretically, it is capable of turning the whole 360 degrees, but the superstructure limits the effectiveness of this capability due to clearance issues). It can either be controlled manually or set on automatic fire, which we would recommend since the C-84 is equipped with its own targeting radar and fire control mechanisms.
Together with the two smoke rocket launchers, basically enlarged versions of the smoke grenade launchers mounted on modern Main Battle Tanks, the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT can provide smoke cover for its own approach and unloading. These launchers can also be fitted with decoys to confuse enemy radar or infrared homing missiles. Alternatively, the smoke rocket launchers could be replaced by normal smoke generators or similar systems. For the support of ground troops, the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT carries one Feadán Fe-21 Mark III MRLS, the weapon system on the back of Gabha Blacksmith's Saighdeoir-MRLS, a launcher for dumbfire missiles, capable of firing thirty 122mm artillery rockets at a given target, providing they are shorter then 3.1 metres. This is meant to support operations close to shore with artillery rocket fire.
The Tuirlingeoir-class LBT has two so-called balconies as well, positions on the superstructure designed for mounting heavy weapons or remote weapons stations, which then can be used as additional weapons positions for fire support.
In addition to all of that, the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT has the provisions to carry and deploy 135 naval mines of different types at the aft of the vessel to act as an auxiliary minelayer. The minelaying equipment can be removed and the space made free by that can be used for other purposes.
Ever since the first contingent of troops was moved to a distant shore there was one question plaguing naval engineers, strategists and generals: How do I move my troops onto shore quickly, without much loss in operative capability and safely?
Ever since that first contingent, the ways to actually do so evolved.
In 2012, after the fateful Battle of Marley Bay, part of the Halfblakistani Intervention, the SDF-Navy began to search for a new Landing Boat to replace the ageing fleet of freighters used as part of the Auxiliary Freighter Group with something more practical.
One of the result of that request for proposals was the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT, a vessel for relatively short-ranged operations, like in archipelagos or mediterranean seas. It's capabilities can not be overstated: As an easy and cheap way to bring vehicles to shore, the Tuirlingeoir-class LBT adds bang to any invading force with ease and support.
The vessels already had their baptism by fire: Tuirlingeoir, a vessel of SDY's Yard Fleet at the time, was provided by SDY to the relief efforts to Bolcán Island after it was hit by a severe winter storm in late 2016, shortly before the end of the year, transporting equipment and material to the island and wounded from the island to Wembury in order to be treated. This aid proved valuable to the relief effort, an official later said.
The SDF-Navy showed interest and plans to acquire several of these vessels, as do a few civilian contractors, who plan to use these vessels as vehicle ferries – a demilitarized version for them is in the works.