A Royal Navy ship, HMS Enterprise is due in the port of Cork tomorrow morning (Wednesday) where she will tie up at the city's North Custom House Quay.
While HMS Enterprise is primarily a hydrographic survey ship and does not carry any major armaments, she is what is decriped as a multi-role vessel and has been used as a support vessel in British Royal Navy operations and NATO naval exercises.
According to the Royal Navy, "Enterprise sailed again in September 2005 to conduct a comprehensive Oceanographic survey in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin as well as a collaborative Hydrographic survey with the Saudi Military off the coast of Saudi Arabia, in support of UK government foreign policy". One can take it that this was related to oil and its sidekick, war.
More from the Royal Navy, "HMS Enterprise represents a major improvement to the Royal Navy’s surveying and general environmental data gathering ability. She is able to collect information on all aspects of the environment (from the seabed to the upper atmosphere), process and send this information to Warfare Commanders in real time. This information allows the Navy to use weapons systems to the best advantage, therefore enhancing war-fighting ability".
So while it isn't a frigate or destroyer it is a vital part of the Royal Navy / NATO military muscle and while its decks aren't bristling with big guns or rocket launchers HMS Enterprise is certainly not completely without weaponry.
All of this is part of the increasing "ordinariness" of foreign military vessels to our ports which goes hand in hand with the military use of our airports, particularly Shannon.
HMS Enterprise is due in Cork around 6.00am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and is expected to stay at the city quays for several days.