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View Poll Results: What is the future for Naval Aircraft In Ireland?

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  • Continue Naval Air Ops with a new Air Corps heli

    19 15.45%
  • Continue Naval Air Ops with New Naval services operated Helis

    66 53.66%
  • Continue with Helideck only on certain ships

    17 13.82%
  • Give up on the whole idea..the CASA does the job fine!

    21 17.07%
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  1. #26
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Helicopters on patrol vessels is something which was rendered obsolete with the introduction of the Casa. However having vessels which are able to at least land a medium size heli can only be an advantage when dealing with the Secondary naval role of Search And Rescue.


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  2. #27
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    There is also the question of troop support and CASEVAC if deployed. For that, using helicopters is a prerequisite, so were a blue/green vessel to be ordered, then in that case, yes.

    For small patrol vessels like those currently in service or likely to enter service, turning over the amount of deck space required for landing and operating helicopters in the coastal patrol (ie fisheries control) role seems a little excessive. HIFR should probably be standard, but not a heli deck. If the NS was to turn to an ASW role, that would be a different story, but that doesn't seem likely.

  3. #28
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The NS don't just patrol the coast, the Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) extends 200 miles from the coast. NS vessels have also patrolled off Canada.

    The CASA can't do ASW work or pick up survivors / transport people to or from a ship.

  4. #29
    Vague
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    having vessels which are able to at least land a medium size heli can only be an advantage
    Sort of a forward base to receive casualties or extend the range of the helicopter by refueling or even providing it with a lift home? Sounds sensible.DeV mentions Canada.Being able to land a Cormorant or USCG A139 might be benefical

    The CASA are fantastic aircraft and fill the void of those disasterous Dauphins, but they can't always provide the flexibility of a shipboard helicopter.
    The benefits of having shipboard helicopters?Well I can think of a few,most being that they provide the ship with an extension of its current capabilities such as extending detection range, responding to emergencies or certain threats faster and a few other bits and peices

    The problems caused by having shipboard helicopters.Well those are a much longer list.You need a bigger ship to start with.Then you need the facilities to house and maintain it, then you need to have sailors trained to maintain it, then you need the helicopter, then you have to have the capability to launch and recover it, then you need fuel stores for it and equipment to fight fires when it has an accident and sets fire to your ship.Basically its a complete bugger to deal with.

    Planes are much simpler to deal with though. You only need a radar and radio to work with one, unless you are on an aircraft carrier you don't have to care about maintaining them. They can fly further and for long etc. The only thing is, a plane cant pick people up or drop them off and you can't always be sure you are going to have a plane on call due to where you are.

    Its a difficult choice but I don't have to make it
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  5. #30
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The Eithne has fire monitors overlooking its heli deck, these are VERY useful for fighting fires on other vessels, oil rigs, etc too.

    As to aircraft crew / technicians, many navies (including Ireland, New Zealand & Norway) deploy AC / air force personnel to fly & maintain there helicopters while at sea.

  6. #31
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Oh christ the experts are giving lessons on naval aviation .......
    Time for another break I think......

  7. #32
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    I would be reluctant to send Eithne to Fight fires on Oil or gas rigs. She has monitors,but rig fires have other nasty issues,which are better attended to by purpose built vessels.
    The fact that she has pyrotechnics stored on deck probably wouldnt be great either...


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  8. #33
    Vague
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    Oh christ the experts are giving lessons on naval aviation .......
    I'm just pointing out the fact its difficult and expensive.I'm actually coming down on the side of not bothering with helicopters and saying the CASAs are sufficient, which is unusual for me since I'm normally the one in favour of spending lots of cash on things that will never be used.
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  9. #34
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    And i'm coming down on the side that I've given two years disscussing this point from the point of view of someone who gave most of his service on board the ship that was supposed to be carrying the helo and can count on two hands the amount of times it was there.

    I know the failings from both sides...but I am sick tired of people posting on a thread that has been flogged to death in the past an if peolpe read past threads they also would be well aware of what went wrong rather than coming here wth half cocked ideas and trying to enlighten the bewildered on the subject!!!!!!! :
    Time for another break I think......

  10. #35
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    So are you for or againist?

  11. #36
    Soft-spoken Engineer Slacker's Avatar
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    I'm for the idea myself, and I've one Q to ask. Can Eithne stow a Blackhawk on the hangar deck?

    Wishful thinking? Yes, definitely. But considering the massive amount of experience the USN ad the USCG has with 'hawk variants, and the slight, tiny, minute possibility that we might be getting them in IAC colours, it would be worth mulling over.
    I appreciate that you're my employer, and an old man besides....

    But if you don't take your goddamn hands off me, I will cut you in half.

  12. #37
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Eithnes deck will support a 5 tonne heli. The Blackhawk is about 8 tonne I think,and the dimensions of the helideck further restrict it.


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  13. #38
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Its not acase of being for or against ...its a case4 of what is realistic. Yes u can put a helo on the eithne but be aware of its limitations...afterall that was what the ship was designed for.


    If you want to put a larger helo on a ship it has to be a bigger ship.

    If a ship is going to operate a helo it must operate all of the time.

    There must be sufficent helos that there is always one available to operate.

    the experiment failed not because of the Nvy but because of the aircorps..Wrong helo

    Wrong crews

    not enough helos...no naval trained crews........lack of willingness to stand firmly behind the descision to operate a helo.
    Time for another break I think......

  14. #39
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    Would the Operation of the dauphin have been more successful if 244 and 245 were permanently based in Haulbowline? I thought it was unusual that no facilities existed on the Island for them. Did they ever even land in the football pitch?
    Surely it would have made practical sense to be able to carry out any maintenance in Haulbowline,and Base the Air Corps crews there during deployment. That way they wouldnt have been rushing back to the don early to avoid the clondalkin traffic.
    If i remember rightly,certain members of the government were fond of using the dauphin as their personal transport,further restricting the available aircraft. I mean at the height of its service,you had one in Shannon,providing 24 hour cover,one in dublin doing the same. Then the drunken politician demands to be brought back to his nest,and you have 2 helis remaining.Presumably these 2 are undergoing maintenance to ensure their availability for SAR...
    Murf is right though. The ship must operate the heli all the time. It must be as much part of the equipment as the sea rider,because in practice it is just as important.
    Fail to prepare....prepare to FAIL!

  15. #40
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    the only place on the base that the dauphins were able to operate from was the square. I once carried out a piping party to the taoiseach on the square to the back drop of a dauphin...talk about stupidity!

    The dauphins spent more time on ministerial transport duty than any thing else and 248 was the main machine used for this being fitted with nice blue carpets for a while.

    Even the trans fer off aircorps crews to haulbowline would have been a waste of time as the machines were operated by the aircorps with a capability to operate from the ship.



    the machines should have been assigned to the NS and naval crews should have been trained in all aspects of operation thus removing control of their operation from the aircorps.
    Time for another break I think......

  16. #41
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I don't claim to be any expert in these matters that why I asked the question.

    Apart from the fact the helicopter was hardly ever on Eithne,
    What made the Dauphin / whole arrangement unsuitable?

    As an aside, The Doherty Report on SAR in 1980/90s recommended that the NS Support helicopter be based in the Cork area (Airport/NS Base) when not deployed on Eithne. The Government accepted & started to implement this report. But then again it also recommended that the AC be equipped with medium range helicopter for SAR, and ONLY in the interim should civilian SAR contractors be used. Interim obviously took the same meaning it did in Lebanon - Long-Term.

  17. #42
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    very simply... the ship was too small... the helo a heap of shit ...and the aircorps didn't want to be there in the first place!

    the question was answered two posts ago!
    Time for another break I think......

  18. #43
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    Real Orders For Real Gear Now!!!!!

    Old Huffy Face is back. Could someone from RACO please let us ordinary supporters of the TOP GUNS know how many and what types [ LUH, MUH, H/SAR H ] did Price Waterhouse recommend?

    The reason that I ask is that the Air Corps in the early eighties stated that they needed 10 LUH to replace 8 Allouettes, as well as 5 LUH for a Naval Support Squadron. With 65% EU funding,the Air Corps received 5!!!!!!! Janes put in a provisional drawing of an early design for the P-31 with a Lynx. This was susequently changed by Janes with a Dauphin and the design amended to show agreed P-31. Janes went on to state that 5 Dauphin were to be purchased and a small naval air arm established. This would be known as the IRISH NAVAL AIR SERVICE!!!!!!

    Now, call me a stick-in-the-mud but JANES don't get things wrong. So we know that the guys know what they want but some pen pushing civil servant made a b-lls of the whole thing?

    The sad reality of the history of this state is that the politicians don't give a rats ass about the defence of the nation. They slobber on about being a poor, small wee nation and that hospitals, roads & rail have priority. I am sick to death listening to the same sh-t from the 1950's.

    We are supposed to be grateful when we get 8 training planes, 65 APCs, 24 second hand AA guns and 2 glorified trawlers after years of neglect. Jesus H Christ, we are going to get our asses kicked!!!!!

    This new Minister for Defenceless had better get with the programme.

    A few tips for Parkgate:

    14 F-5 E/F $8 MILLION TO MEXICO

    In future ask for like for like investment from the winning contractor, like everyone else does.

    Place substantial bloody orders and stop phaffing around.

    Where are they extra CASA mr aircraft urgently recommended by Price Waterhouse so Irish fishermen, merchant seamen etc can rely on our own government to provide 24 hour top cover?????

    THE ANGER MANAGEMENT IS NOT WORKING!!!!!

    SARSFIELD
    Sarsfield

  19. #44
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    the reason for the shortages of Dauphins was that we only ever ordered five....the rest is pure conjecture...so janes were slightly wide of the mark . yes the Eithne was primarily designed to operate sea Lynx...but as the IAC went ahead and bought the SA365fi this changed somewhat

    The P31 was originally designed to operate the Lynx and the proof of this is that a lot of the Schematics through out the ship in the early days show Lynx although the builders brouchure from 84 features SA365fi. The hanger had to be rebuilt at one stage as the mast height on the dauphin is significantly higher than the lynx.

    You won't get a reply from RACO or even a serving IAC officer because there are very few left in the service who remember the whole episode.

    Point to note ...after recent inspection I doubt if the ship has the capability to operate a helo and will probably will never operate one again. the conversion of the helipad to a carry platfform for stores containers or extra boats seems to be the most viable scenario.
    Time for another break I think......

  20. #45
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    Its a bit of a joke really. We've such a small navy and always will have, with such a large area to patrol. Helicopter carrying vessels are the only answer as the helos vastly increase the area each ship can cover.

    It also makes a laugh of the concept of our neutrality when we are so beholden to the armed forces of our neighbour for so much help on occassion.

  21. #46
    King Monkey FMolloy's Avatar
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    The operation of helis from Eithne was made redundant by the purchase of the CASA's. Rather than trying to return to seaborne heli ops, the DF would be much better off getting at least one more CASA.
    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

  22. #47
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    Can I ask a question - with regard to ordering aircraft, lets say for instance this LUH/UH helicopter order - how much does the input of the Air Corps matter? Is the final decision with the Air Corps, or the minister for defence and civil servants?

    The Air Corps have historically been woefully equipped, both in numbers and types... why the Fougas were ever bought I will never understand. I heard from one source that it was because their Light Stike role would be useful if the so-called "troubles" ever got worse - what a load of bull. In that case 6 Broncos would've been infinitely more useful.

  23. #48
    dbpackers
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMolloy
    The operation of helis from Eithne was made redundant by the purchase of the CASA's. Rather than trying to return to seaborne heli ops, the DF would be much better off getting at least one more CASA.
    For Maritime patrolling I agree, the CASA option makes sense. However shipborne Helos have abilities that the CASA cannot match. Evacuating personnel from another vessel for example. A CASA might be able to pin-point a stricken vessel, but thats about all it can do.

    Not that its strictly relevant in the current situation, but a suitably equiped shipborne Helo also gives ASW protection and potentially increased strike range.

  24. #49
    Commander-in-Chief futurepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pym
    Can I ask a question - with regard to ordering aircraft, lets say for instance this LUH/UH helicopter order - how much does the input of the Air Corps matter? Is the final decision with the Air Corps, or the minister for defence and civil servants?
    3 groups will each make their recommendation. The Air Corps itself, the ARW, and Bricken hospital(air ambulance) will each decide which heli best meets their requirements. The pilots I`ve been talking to say that the Air Corps and the ARW favour the Blackhawk and they dont know or care what Bricken thinks. Unfortunatly, these groups are only giving their opinions and it will be up to Willie to decide.
    Education isn't everything, for a start it isn't an elephant

  25. #50
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Oh god the walters are at it again...what ASW capability...what submarine threat.....

    the last ships with anti submarine capabilities were the Corvettes...the last live firing of depth charges was in the 60s and the last depth charges were disposed of in 1977

    the primary role of our Naval Service is fishery protection........

    Strike range ...for what ? beligerant trawler taken out with an exocet?????

    Yes the CASAs perform the role admirably ...except when they are being used as ministerial transports...as were the Kingairs........buy two more Casas.......
    Time for another break I think......

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