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  1. #1
    Brigadier General
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    Tri-Service Exercise

    Irish Air Corps Live Firing Exercise

    During the last week of June the Irish Defence Forces conducted a joint tri-service live fire exercise involving the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps, using targets in the sea in the Delta 13 danger area off Dunowen, Co Cork.



    Units from Collins Barracks, Cork brought 105mm howitzers and MOWAG armoured troop carriers with their heavy machine guns. Early in the week Naval cover was provided by LÉ Eithne, P31 which installed the large, inflatable floating targets. Shooters aimed to hit close to but not on the target to maintain its availability for the duration.


    LÉ Orla P41 with orange inflatable target on after deck

    An Air Corps detachment from Baldonnel to Waterford Airport saw Pilatus PC-9Ms fitted with heavy machine gun and rocket wing pods make numerous runs at Dunowen over three days. For each mission aircraft were armed at Waterford and based there. Their inboard 0.5 heavy machine gun pods hold 250 rounds per gun or 500 in total. Two outboard rocket pods are each capable of holding seven high explosive rocket heads. These 2.75in folding frame rockets are used in the air to ground attack role.


    PC-9M fitted with gun pods inboard and rocket pods outboard


    PC-9Ms firing rockets at target. They make quite a splash and bang!


    Naval Service LÉ Orla and Air Corps AW139 intercepting a yacht that had entered the firing range exclusion zone

    An AW139 helicopter operating daily to Dunowen provided airborne range security and logistic functions. This was needed on the Thursday when a yacht sailed into the designated temporary exclusion zone of the firing range, causing a halt to firing. It was quickly intercepted by the AW139 and then by the Naval Service’s LÉ Orla, P41.

    Such exercises provided a useful tool for all crews to keep current with their firing proficiency and also for support and ground crews to deploy away from base to maintain their operational capability.

    https://flyinginireland.com/2018/07/...ring-exercise/
    Last edited by Rhodes; 14th July 2018 at 20:11. Reason: fix pics

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  3. #2
    Captain Truck Driver's Avatar
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    Ha.... wonder if anyone put a round through the targets ...
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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  5. #3
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    Instructions NOT to hit the target would be quite easy to follow, I would have thought. Brings a new meaning to the old "Sure that'll do"!

    Was there a prize for whoever missed it by the widest margin?
    Last edited by Flamingo; 14th July 2018 at 14:36.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

  6. #4
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Killer tomatoes don’t grow on trees you know

  7. #5
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Were the 105's firing out to sea?
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

  8. #6
    Lt General
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    Don't think there is anywhere else they can fire at max range.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

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  10. #7
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Were the 105's firing out to sea?
    yes

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  12. #8
    gunner at heart Archimedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Instructions NOT to hit the target would be quite easy to follow, I would have thought.
    That would only have applied to the Aer Corps who needed their target for 3 days while they made a foray outside the fence of Baldonnel to Waterford airport.
    The Cav had a smaller killer tomato about 2km out which was sank.
    Arty had danbuoy type targets at 4km and 8km which were also hit but don't sink very easily.
    Virtual radar controlled targets were engaged out to 12km. (16km on last years shoot)

    Towards the end of the day when the 2km target was gone, the cav did make a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to engage the aer corp's tomato with barrels pointed up into the air.
    It was like little boys at the men's urinals.
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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  14. #9
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    bout time they started investing in drones and using the RBS70
    Should be safe enough.

    MOD EDIT: OPSEC. As has been said before don't discuss the specific capabilities of weapons such as these.These weapons are used in live ATCP OPS,often to protect some very important people.Let's not do a potential aggressors homework for them.OK.
    Last edited by apod; 23rd July 2018 at 19:01.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  15. #10
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    bout time they started investing in drones and using the RBS70
    Should be safe enough, it has 8 km (5.0 mi) range and can reach an altitude of 5 km - no?

    Live fire RBS70 is done in Sweden

  16. #11
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    My point exactly, no reason to not have a range here, jaysus we own more EEZ than most of the rest of europe in which to test such systems.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  17. #12
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    While the range may be limited, we have a busy airspace and there is deemed to be an outside risk that the missile could latch on to something outside of that so the required danger zone would be too big.

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    While the range may be limited, we have a busy airspace and there is deemed to be an outside risk that the missile could latch on to something outside of that so the required danger zone would be too big.
    The RBS 70 has to be aimed at a target and guided to the target, it is not fire and forget so would be unlikely to hit anything it was not directly aimed at.

    The maximum range for the 40mm bofors according to Wiki is L/60: 7,160 m
    and the L70: 12,500 m .

    Both were fired at Gormanstown until relatively recently. The reasons it is not being fired in Ireland may be because the Swedish have all the back up gear and experience needed to facilitate a shoot.

  20. #14
    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    While the range may be limited, we have a busy airspace and there is deemed to be an outside risk that the missile could latch on to something outside of that so the required danger zone would be too big.
    The RBS-70 is a laser beam riding missile, it goes where the laser is pointing so unless some eejit is pointing the designator at an airline the risk is low, it does not have the ability to "latch on to something". This would not be the same with an IR guided missile.
    As for a GA aircraft wandering into the firing range the risk is no greater than when the PC-9 boys fire their rockets, small and manageable.

    However an air combat range even for SHORAD missiles is a lot more complex than a killer tomato. Given the likely number of missiles we have it would not be justified and as long as we give the Swedes the correct notice & paperwork they have no problem letting us use their range.

  21. #15
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    I didn't say there was any proper basis for this stance. This was just the answer I got when I asked someone of the appropriate level who should have had the appropriate knowledge.

    Financially it makes more sense to use the Swede's facilities.

  22. #16
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The Swedish ranges would be significantly bigger than anything available here and have little aviation in the area in comparison to us, they would also have all the necessary primary radar (maybe telemetry) etc to monitor the airspace, missile and target. Saab May have reps on site and the Swedes have much more experience of it than us.

    Not forgetting of course the missile could go rogue and end up in any direction.

  23. #17
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    In years gone by on Naval exercise when we fired at towed drougues for AA shoots the intention was to miss the rogue as it had sensors that relayed back to the ship the proximity of the rounds and potential hits were recorded from this telemetry.

    The ammunition in use had self destruct fuzes in that desroy the round at certain distances.

    The 57mm on Eithne had a degree effor programmed into the FCS is order to preserve targets.... but we did manage to shoot them down occassionally. Targets for surface shoots were a type of barge....made of wood which was reasonably indestructable.

    Obviously time has moved on and tech plays a greater part in these shoots, but it muts be recognised that it is hard work for all involved... but quite enjoyable.
    Time for another break I think......

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  25. #18
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    Why am I reminded of the old chestnut about the irate pilot of a drogue plane radioing to the ground "I'm towing this target, not pushing it! "
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  27. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Why am I reminded of the old chestnut about the irate pilot of a drogue plane radioing to the ground "I'm towing this target, not pushing it! "
    There must have been the largest concentration of Radio operators attached to Air defence that day, because at least hundreds will testify to say they heard that radio message.....
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  28. #20
    Commandant Jetjock's Avatar
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    The forward deployment of aircraft, aircrew, technicians and ordinance to a remote operating location is something that has long been called for here on IMO, so credit where credit is due.

    Regarding the RBS 70, it is a line of sight weapon and live firings are quite feasible here. The (widely available) missile maximum range/altitude would make the required aviation Danger Area quite small. Similar to the EL70 would be sufficient. Much busier air routes exist all around the Welsh ranges. There is a lot of experience within Air Traffic Control in the management of Danger Areas here around busy airspace at Gormanstown and aircraft inbound to Cork and Shannon regularly deviate when Kilworth is active. Why were the Swedish ranges used? I'd venture that it was simply because there was zero experience here of actually firing a live round until some near time expired examples were released from stores. The Swedes use towed drogue targets similar to what the ADR were shooting at. Nothing fancy.

    Also, firing out to sea the chances of a round going rouge are less than slim to none. The missile has no self tracking capability and relies fully on operator input. It also a fail safe self destruct mode when laser guidance is lost for a predetermined time.

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  30. #21
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Why am I reminded of the old chestnut about the irate pilot of a drogue plane radioing to the ground "I'm towing this target, not pushing it! "
    tis true..I heard it..............only kidding...but what I did here is... you've just shot down the drogue.....can you get a boat to it before it sinks!!!!
    Time for another break I think......

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  32. #22
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    Every Air Corps pilot ( and the drogue operator in the back) who flew the drogue towing Cessnas will tell you of close calls from over enthusiastic gunners, so it is not a myth. Also, when the RAF used Meteors to tow drogues for air to air gunnery, way back when, several came back with holes in them from close calls............if the DF have shown that they can fire from Galley Head, in a competent fashion, why was it necessary to bring a Navy 20mm on a platform all the way to the Glen to fire it? (as related previously in these pages)

  33. #23
    Chief Casey Ryback
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Every Air Corps pilot ( and the drogue operator in the back) who flew the drogue towing Cessnas will tell you of close calls from over enthusiastic gunners, so it is not a myth. Also, when the RAF used Meteors to tow drogues for air to air gunnery, way back when, several came back with holes in them from close calls............if the DF have shown that they can fire from Galley Head, in a competent fashion, why was it necessary to bring a Navy 20mm on a platform all the way to the Glen to fire it? (as related previously in these pages)
    Was the Navy 20mm on the back of a Toyota pick up .
    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

  34. #24
    The Auld Fella A/TEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Every Air Corps pilot ( and the drogue operator in the back) who flew the drogue towing Cessnas will tell you of close calls from over enthusiastic gunners, so it is not a myth. Also, when the RAF used Meteors to tow drogues for air to air gunnery, way back when, several came back with holes in them from close calls............if the DF have shown that they can fire from Galley Head, in a competent fashion, why was it necessary to bring a Navy 20mm on a platform all the way to the Glen to fire it? (as related previously in these pages)

    That was test firing of a weapon before it was returned to its unit after major maintainence.

    Vessel itself was in refit.

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  36. #25
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    that's fair enough, being just out of overhaul, but why drag it all the way to the Glen if Galley Head is nearby?

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