View Full Version : Jets/Light Fighters

19th April 2003, 20:25
While I realise that this is purely academic, what fighter aircraft currently available or in final development would be an acceptable option for Ireland to operate, on cost and maintenance grounds I'm asking you to restrict it to lightweight types, (this is jus tone of those threads to help me argue my pro defence spending arguments a little better. and because I'm bored)

What comes to mind for me is the following selection:
F-5S/T Showing their age but at least as capable and durable as the Mig-21BIS, going at around E9m at the moment, this would be my choice if we suddenly turned into a nation non cowards overnight and needed something in the next 3 years.
In the slightly more realistic (slightly) case of fighters being considered at the end of a 7-10 year regeneration project at Baldonnel, I'd look at the F-5s likely successor the M-346 and the two seat/trainer MB-346,
other options that spring to mind are the KAI T-50 (more expensive) MAKO about which I know nothing and Hawk 200, which is awfully expensive for a converted trainer with a bunch of extra avionics stuffed in the back seat and nose.

Go nuts

19th April 2003, 20:41
Can we look at traditional non-suppliers? (China et al.) Also, can we consider cast offs?

19th April 2003, 20:57
For a "real world" fighter/intercept capability we should go for refurbished F-5 's.
I used to be a avid supporter of the L-159 for the AC but I think the F-5 would be the better of the two.

What life expectancy could we expect from refurbished F-5's (20yrs plus - as with the Fougas) ?

19th April 2003, 21:14
What is our hypothetical budget?????

I think that F-5's are on the way out at this point. I would rather not supply the Air Corps with something designed in the 50s!

19th April 2003, 21:18
I'd have to stick in the the KIA/Lockheed-Martin Talon T-50. Apart from that, the independent fighter from R.O.C. looks too heavy and they have had a lot of problems with it.
I heard from somewhere that Casa were looking into a new improved Aviojet, but that was a while ago, don't know if there is anything happening with that, anyway it would not be much of an improvment on the PC-9M.
There is a lot of merit in the F-5E option but the possablity of 20 years plus sounds a bit dodgey, even if upgrades were contracted [unlikely-the ******* we get for politicans are not known for foresight]
IMO, there would be little possablity in anything from China being considerd.

19th April 2003, 21:23
Yooklid,could you get hold of the AMARC inventory,without getting into trouble,it's been removed from their website for security reasons.
If there is any posablity of getting F-5E's thats where, more than likely,they would be got from.
If you can't get the inventory, a list of available F-5E's would be worth looking at:flagwave: .

19th April 2003, 21:24
I am a big fan of westernised ex-soviet hardware. Plenty of options, especially with IAI out there doing all these upgrades. Any takers?

19th April 2003, 21:29
Daft as it may seem, one of the things that has to be considerd for a future jet aircraft is the phyical size of the aircraft, in relation to the infrastructure at Bal'.
This alone kills off several ex-USSR types.
Of course when it comes to facilities for bertie's air taxie's; well that's a whole other matter!!!!

19th April 2003, 22:06
Maybe... Got to love those MiG 29s though.....


20th April 2003, 00:17
No you don't, they suck ...

Before asking the question C-Q, lets hear your mission for these aircraft. Are they to be deployable? What level of force are they expected to provide defence against? From what direction? A2A or A2G? Out to what range? Alone or 'with a little help from our friends'?

Once we have that, then we really start to exercise our imaginations ...

20th April 2003, 15:30
FFS, try and make a bit of small talk, I think most people would accept that a minimal intercept capability and CAS/SA training would be the extent of our realistic air defence.
You'll note that the F-5 is the largest aircraft I've mentioned (except possibly for the T-50 which might be around the same dimensions), The M-346 is athe result of a joint development between Aermaachi and Yakolev.
Furthermore the M-346, F-5, adn Mako offer excellent performance at low operating costs (I don't know about the Hawk 200, T-50 is currenty being pushed for single seat development but the two seater is apparently quit e the performer.)

Aidan: All we could really hope for in air defence is to be able to scramble and challenge intruders I think I'd question the sanity of any pilot who sought to take on a threat on his own when there are Tornados/Typhoons nearby and willing to help.
Although I've always been taken with the image of Irish F-5s flying alongside RAF Tornados kind of Symbolic...would give Tornado's a much better close in protection than hawks ( Tornado is pretty fkd if anything of an F-16 class gets in close) would make for good joint training.

Turkey: Bahrain took the last ever new build F-5 deliveries in 1985 and have all but retired them, the tried to sell them to another GCC country a few years ago but they asked too high a price.

20th April 2003, 16:37
Funny you should mention joint Air Corps/RAF jet operations, I have thought of the same thing in the past.
Would be a great sight all the same !

Currently, the nearest we get to that is joint (?) SAR training with RAF/RN helis.

What F-5's are currently available that you know of ?
Swiss examples ? AMARC examples only ? Other ? Prices ?

20th April 2003, 17:13
"All we could really hope for in air defence is to be able to scramble and challenge intruders I think I'd question the sanity of any pilot who sought to take on a threat on his own when there are Tornados/Typhoons nearby and willing to help."

Y'see, right there, I think you've answered your own question.

While, for a bundle of reasons, I'd like to see jet aircraft in IAC colours, I really don't think we can justify the purchase of 'light fighters' on any grounds other than national pride. The simple fact of the matter is that they offer very little military ability. They are simply too slow and lack the avionics fit to be of any practical use for 'territorial defence' in and of itself. And they are not deployable.

Again, the baseline has to be a supersonic fighter (even dash only) with BVR radar and missiles, and pgm ability for strike. So 16blk40, F/A18C, Gripen, is where the game begins now. Light fighters are not fighters. They are what third world countries buy when they can't afford the real thing.

Other European states of a comparable size to us tend to have legacy forces of fighter aircraft which they are now struggling to justify when its becoming clear that bringing 10-20 F-16s to the fight is nowhere near as important as bringing a Infantry/Mech Brigade, and the ability to support it with airlift. Particularly in the context of the RRF.

If we were having this discussion twenty years ago, I've a funny feeling I'd be making a strong argument for F/A-18s, with Hawks for LIFT (like the Finns eventually did). In this alternative universe, we could well have ended up with Sepcat Jaguars, Mirage F-1 or Vought A-7s as low cost strikers with an emphasis on the antiship role, but what the hey. Then there was a clear and present threat to this states territorial integrity. Now there really isn't, not in any realistic timeframe.

So my answer to your question would be not to bite, but to invest instead in building the army up to the point where it could deploy a number of battalions, or perhaps even a full brigade (with C4i, arty, armour, ADA and medium lift heli) for a short time. And sustain them while away with our own transport assets, air and naval.

(Now, hands up, who's surprised at my position? :D)

Although, stepping into the realms of fantasy for a moment ...

Were we to find ourselves in a position where we felt the pressing need to defend our sacred neutrality by force all by ourselves (what a mad idea!), and that we needed our own multirole strike fighters to do so, I'd go with a Northrop design alright, just not the F-5. In the early 1970s, when it became clear that the lightweight fighter competition for the USAF was where the next major batch of NATO sales was going to come from, Northrops designers stood back from the F-5 and its big brother, the F-20 Tigershark, and realised they needed to do better. They came up with the YF-17. After that lost the USAF end of the comp to the YF-16, the USN came calling and between them they redesigned it to the F/A-18. Its got two engines (!), a serious radar, BVR missiles, the C model can carry more or less all the ordnance types in the US inventory and plenty that isn't. The Finns, Australians and Swiss have all found it to be an excellent land based fighter. That'd be my suggestion.*

*There are about 30 old 18A models at Amarc available for upgrade

20th April 2003, 19:46
True enough, but while Ireland could never hope to defend its airspace against an aggressive well equipped threat. That scenario is hardly likely. There's nobody waiting offshore getting ready to invade Ireland. A bit like there's nobody waiting to invade Denmark or Belgium etc.

However, the Irish Air Corps should have some form of CAP capability. The ability to patrol and enforce air exclusion zones from the smallest of threats. Say, pranksters who want to buzz a Euro summit in a Cessna. Right now, we can't do that. Though PC9ms may fulfill that most basic of roles. And even were no clear and present exists, the basic capability should be there. The gardai will put a security cordon - does anyone say "ah sure who'e going to bother attacking the summit?"

Aircraft capable of escorting a civlilian airliner. Before anyone goes on about airliners belting along at 500mph - yes that would be the case at full pelt. The 9/11 hijackers were certainly giving them the welly and scrambled F-16 could not intercept. But at normal crusing speed, or even reduced speed, a captain could call on us for visual inspections of what he suspects is a damaged aircraft.

OK, VIP flypasts. Why not? We can't even do that right now. Look at the Bremen flypast. Embarrassing.

Army co-op. Training infantry on working with overhead jets.

And then there are the obvious domestic targets. - We all know what they are. Important foreign diplomatic and industrial targets. One in particular stands out. Stand by light combat aircraft at Baldonnel would get there a lot quicker than any supersonic aircraft from the UK.

The anti €1m Aero L-39ZA people should remember, the Czech airforce currently has them deployed protecting an air exclusion zone around that country's nuclear power plants.:)

21st April 2003, 00:23
The whole point about air-defence is that we cannot, without massive expenditure,[we are talking 50-60 billion€ here] defend this country against air-born attack.
But we do not have to!
In the event of a massive slide in world conditions to a world war suitation, we would have ample warning to start running off and buying F/A- 18's and get them operational, but only if the basic requirment is there, the foundation of a fighter based defence system, such as existed with the Vampires and to a far less extent with those flyin' abortions, the Fougas.
What a token force of say 12-16 F-5E's provide is the building blocks to a war-time defence force; the culture of air-defence, without which we could find ourselves with a very short future as a nation in the event of things going down the tubes.
But fighters, even light ones such as F-5's/T-50's/ Mako ect. provide this and also something more. They also provide an essential peace-time security,without which we do leave ourselves open to aggression, no matter which country is next door, who will after all be concerned with their own security first, and will not be thanked by over-burdened tax-payers for provideing a charitable form of air-defence to a quite well off country, that is too lazy and pig-ignorant to supply it's own

21st April 2003, 15:48
It goes back to the issue of why have the army if akk it does is clean up after (or hopefully during) other peoples wars, when there is no domestic threat to security for the last 7 years I've had to listen to people arguing that the army should be disbanded and we could never defend oursleves since we were neutral (never understood how that logic worked), the simple answer I give most of the time is this try disbanding the army/ DF and see how fast the threats rack up. (incidentally there should be a special forum set up to arm people like us for these arguments on ICUN's board in the near future).
Aidan I'd expect yoou of all people to understand the importance of a symbolic air defence, it means simply that Ireland is willing to defend it's airspace and to restrict it's use by others...it puts a very firm stop to people who might wish to manipulate loopholes to their advantage (and thats more than just military threats you're heading off), also the question of heading off an air campaign against the state, think of how few countries could muster that sort of force projection, a squadron of reasonably capable fighter types that are enough to stand a chane against improvised or low capability aircraft (such as might be made stolen in the event of a NI meltdown scenario) or tackle on any stragglers who got through other countries air defences would be of practical value.

21st April 2003, 16:25
HAWK 200

The Hawk 200 is a single-seat, lightweight multi-role combat aircraft for air defence and ground attack missions. On air defence missions, the Hawk 200 can attain two hours on patrol 100nm from base when fitted with underwing fuel tanks. In a close air support role, the Hawk 200 has a radius of action of over 100nm. For the interdiction role, Hawk 200 can deliver 2,000lb of ordnance at a range of nearly 300nm when fitted with external fuel tanks. The range can be extended by air-to-air refueling.


The Hawk 200 has eleven external store points with four underwing pylons, an under-fuselage pylon, and wingtip air-to-air missile stations. The range of external stores includes air-to-air missiles, a gunpod, rocket launchers, reconnaissance pod, retarded and free-fall bombs up to 1,000lb, runway cratering, anti-personnel and light armour bombs, cluster bombs, practice bomb and rocket carriers and external fuel tanks.

The electronic warfare systems include a radar warning receiver and automatic or manually operated chaff and flare dispensers.


The Hawk 200 is equipped with a Northrop Grumman APG-66H multi-mode radar, LINS 300 ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system, air data sensor, display processor and mission computer. The systems are interconnected by dual redundant digital bus. The radar has ten air-to-surface and ten air-to-ground modes for navigation fixing and weapon aiming.


The pilot has a Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) control system and a wide-field-of-view Head Up Display (HUD). The pilot can select the weapons and release mode prior to initiating an attack by using the weapon control panel, which controls the stores management system.

The cockpit has a colour display, with a dedicated processor and 15-colour graphics symbology generator. 27 display formats provide flight and aircraft data.


The Hawk 200 is powered by an Adour 871 twin-spool, low bypass ratio turbofan engine from Rolls-Royce. The flexible fuel tanks are installed in the fuselage and compartmented integral tanks are located in the wings. External tanks can also be carried on the inboard underwing pylons.

Click here for printable version

The Hawk has accumulated more than 750,000 flying hours.

The current export trainer version of the Hawk, the 60 series, is a development of the earlier export 50 series.

The Hawk 100 is an advanced two-seat weapons systems trainer with enhanced ground attack capability.

The single-seat Hawk 200 is a highly capable lightweight fighter aircraft.

Hawk activating its rocket launchers.

The Hawk 100 avionic system, including laser Inertial Navigation Unit, Head-up Display/Weapon Aiming Computer and Air Data Sensor.

A fully automatic Martin-Baker Mk. 10 LH rocket-assisted ejection seat allows escape at all altitudes and speeds within the aircraft's flight envelope.

The Hawk 200 is powered by an Adour 871 twin-spool, low bypass ratio turbofan engine from Rolls-Royce.

Advanced Technologies & Engineering Co. (PTY) Ltd - Avionics and Weapon Systems for Military Aircraft (Aircraft, Upgrades and Completions)
Airtechnology Group - Fans, Fan Heaters, Motors and Generators and Switches and Sensors (HVAC, Fans and Blowers)
Aviation Spares International Ltd - Military Aircraft and Helicopter Spares (Aircraft Maintenance, Spares and Ground Support)
AVITRONICS - EW Self Protection Systems for Airborne Platforms (Countermeasures, Electronic Warfare and Decoys)
CAE - Military Training Systems and Services (Training and Simulation)
eNGENUITY Technologies Inc - Software Tools for Simulation (Training and Simulation)
Filtronics Components Ltd - Microwave Subsystems (Countermeasures, Electronic Warfare and Decoys)
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited - Integrated Avionic and Defense Computing Systems (IT, Computing and Software)
Goodrich Hella Aerospace Lighting Systems - Aircraft Lighting Systems (Landing Aids, Guidance and Lighting)
Heim Systems GmbH - Data Acquisition Hardware (Electronics, Subsystems and Components)
Horizon - Ground Training by the Royal Air Force (Training and Simulation)
Mercury Computer Systems - High Performance Real Time MultiComputers (IT, Computing and Software)
Oxley Avionics - Night Vision Lighting Equipment (Cockpit, Head-up and Helmet Displays)
Reutech Defence Industries (RDI) - Aircraft Bombs and Fuzes (Air-Launched Weapons, Launchers and Mountings)
Reutech Defence Industries (RDI) - Airborne and Ground Communications (Communications, Navigation and Identification)

21st April 2003, 16:28
Country of Origin: South Korea Current Status: In Development

Although increasingly well known for it's ships, cars and consumer electronics goods, South Korea also possesses a thriving aerospace industry. An industry which cut its teeth on component manufacture and licenced production has now produced its second Korean-designed aircraft, the T-50 Golden Eagle. That this aircraft should be a supersonic combat aircraft demonstrates the breadth of South Korea's capability and the extent of its ambition.
Korean Air Lines (KAL) was the first company in South Korea to be involved in aerospace, establishing facilities in 1979 to carry out depot level maintenance of USAF aircraft based in South Korea and the Pacific. Daewoo, Hyundai and Samsung established similar capabilities soon afterwards. In 1981, KAL was contracted to assemble the Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs ordered by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). Korean industry subsequently won contracts to produce a wide range of components and sub-assemblies for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Lockheed Martin - amongst others - and won praise for the high quality of workmanship evident in the delivered items. In 1988, development of South Korea's first locally-designed aircraft, the Daewoo KT-1 Woong-Bee was initiated. This PC-9 look-alike turboprop trainer first flew in 1991 and entered service with the RoKAF in 2000. In the meantime, Samsung was awarded prime contractor status in the Korean Fighter Programme, under which 108 F-16s were licenced-built for the RoKAF. The contract specified extensive technology transfer to Korean industry, resulting in the last 72 aircraft being wholly built in South Korea.
In 1992, initial design studies were launched by South Korea's Defence Development Agency and Samsung into the development of an indigenous jet trainer/light attack aircraft to replace the T-38, Hawk and F-5 in RoKAF service. The designation KTX-2 (Korean Trainer, Experimental 2) was assigned to the project. Substantial input into the design was made by General Dynamics (later taken over by Lockheed Martin) under the offset agreement negotiated for the F-16 contract.
In mid 1995 the basic external layout was agreed, but the project stalled at the end of the year as the gathering Asian Financial Crisis mean that available government funding could not now cover the remainder of the project - a foreign partner was essential to carry on. Several major aerospace companies showed interest, but none proved willing to invest their own money. Eventually, Lockheed Martin took the decision to upgrade its existing involvement from that of design consultant to full partner. On 3 July 1997, the South Korean government approved continuation of the project. Later in July, Lockheed Martin signed a formal agreement with Samsung under which it took responsibility for the Fly-By-Wire flight control system, avionics integration, wing design and supply of the APG-167 radar.
In October 1997, the contract to build and test six prototypes was received - including two static test airframes. Detailed design was now able to proceed rapidly and in August 1999 the external shape of the KTX-2 was frozen, allowing manufacturing drawings to start being released.
As part of the country's economic reforms, Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) was formed in October 1999 from the amalgamation of the aerospace divisions of Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai. The other major South Korean aerospace manufacturer, Korean Air Lines remained outside of the main industry grouping.
In February 2000 it was announced that the KTX-2 had been renamed the T-50/A-50 Golden Eagle. The T-50 Golden Eagle designation being applied to an Advanced Jet Training variant, and A-50 Golden Eagle to an armed Light Attack/Fighter Lead In Trainer variant. Final assembly of the first T-50 prototype began on 15 January 2001, and it was formally rolled out on 31 October 2001. The maiden flight was achieved on 20 August 2002, with flight testing continuing until mid 2005.
The Golden Eagle bears a close resemblance to the F-16 - not really surprising when you consider its origins and the intended role of training RoKAF pilots to fly the F-16 - although it is actually about 80% the size of an F-16. Several design features are shared with its bigger brother, the most noticeable of which is the blended mid-set wing, complete with leading edge root extensions (LERX) and rear 'shelf' fairings ending in F-16-style split airbrakes. Sweepback is only applied to the wing leading edge, and missile launch rails are located at the wing tips. In a departure from F-16 influence, the engine air intakes are located at the fuselage sides, just below the wing LERX in a similar manner to those on the F/A-18.
The two crew sit in a tandem stepped cockpit equipped with two large Multi-Function Displays (MFDs), a modern wide-angle Head-Up Display (HUD) and full hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS) controls. The Lead In Fighter Trainer and Attack variants will be equipped with a Lockheed Martin APG-167 radar in the nose and a M61 20 mm cannon in the port wing root. The incorporation of many of the latest-technology but 'off the shelf' components and systems within the design is intended to deliver a capable but efficient, reliable and easy to maintain aircraft.
The Golden Eagle already has a production order for 50 T-50 trainers and 44 A-50 Fighter Lead In trainers from the RoKAF. Further domestic orders may follow, to allow replacement of the F-5 and F-4 in RoKAF service. The type also has obvious export potential - particularly among the ever growing number of F-16 operators. It's manoeuvrability and advanced systems are designed to prepare future pilots to fly the next generation fighters such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Lockheed Martin F-35, while its combat capability allows dual-role adaptability. Potential rivals, such as the EADS Mako and Aermacchi M-346 have yet to secure any orders, while the class-leading but slow-selling BAE SYSTEMS Hawk may have reached the limit of its development potential. With the marketing clout of Lockheed Martin behind it, the future of the Golden Eagle is sure to be bright.


21st April 2003, 16:31
Aermacchi M-346
Type (Muster)
Advanced and lead-in fighter trainer and light combat aircraft (Fortgeschrittenen-Jettrainer und leichtes Kampfflugzeug)
Country (Land)
Italy (Italien)

Manufacturer (Hersteller)
Via Ing. P. Foresio 1
21040 Venegono

Phone: 0039-331/813-111
Fax: 0039-331/813-152


General (Allgemeine Angaben)
Crew (Besatzung): 2
Weapons (Bewaffnung): The M-346 will feature four underwing hardpoint under auch wing and one under the fuselage, carrying items like

580 litre auxiliary tank (3)
Mk.82, Mk.83, Mk.84 bombs
GBU-12, GBU-16 laser guided bombs
Mk. 20 Rockeye cluster bomb
BL-755 cluster bomb
Durandal anti-runway bomb
rocket launchers
AIM-9 Sidewinder (4)
AGM-65 Maverick (4)
Brimstone anit-armour missile (4)
30 mm Defa gun pod
Vicon 18 photo recce pod
ELT 555 ECM pod
Power plant (Antrieb): 2 x ITEC (Honeywell) F124-GA-200 turbofan with FADEC
Thrust (Schub): 2 x 2385 kp (6250 lbs)
Specific fuel consumption (spezifischer Krafstoffvervrauch): 0,81 kg/h/kp


Dimensions (Abmessungen)
Length (Länge): 11,49 m
Height (Höhe): 4,76 m
Span (Spannweite): 9,72 m
Wing area (Flügelfläche): 23,52 sq m


Weights (Massen)
Empty weight (Leermasse): 4625 kg
Max. weapons load (max. Waffenlast): 3000 kg
Max. fuel (Max. Kraftstoff): 1950 kg
Normal take-off weight, training (Normale Startmasse, Trainer): 6700 kg
Max. take-off weight, with weapons (max. Startmasse, bewaffnet): 9500 kg


Performance (Flugleistungen)
Max. level speed (max. Horizontalgeschwindigkeit): 1983 km/h (585 KTAS) at 5000 ft
Stall speed (Überziehgeschwindigkeit): 167 km/h (90 KCAS)
Max climb rate (max. Steigrate): 20000 ft/min
Service ceiling (Dienstgipfelhöhe): 13715 m (45000 ft)
Take-off ground run (Startrollstrecke): 280 m
Landing ground roll (Landerollstrecke): 590 m
Range (Reichweite): 1890 km (1020 NM)
Ferry range (Überführungsreichweite): 2540 km (1370 NM) with two drop tanks
Max. sustained turn rate (Wenderate): 14,2 deg/sec
g-limits: + 8 / - 3 g
Service life (Lebensdauer): 10000 flight hours


Costs (Kosten)
In mid-2001, Aermacchi was talking of a price below 15 million US-Dollars.


Customers (Kunden)
None yet. A potential candidate is the Italian Air Force.
Aermacchi sees a market for 600 new tainers in the next 30 years, as the majority of advanced trainers like Hawk and Alpha Jet grow older.


Competitors (Konkurrenz)
Yakovlev Yak-130


Remarks (Bemerkungen)
The M-346 is promoted as a new generation advanced and lead-in fighter trainer, designed to be superior to all existing products in its class and to specifically meet the training requirements for the transition to the new generation high performance combat aircraft. It is a fully westernized development fo the Yak/AEM-130, which functioned as a proof of concept flight demonstrator. Changes include not only the equipment, but the new aircraft is smaller as well and many details are simpler.
The M-346 will offer a high manoeuvrability with AoA over 40 deg. The modern cockpit environment will feature colour displays. Low maintenance costs are also offered, claims Aermacchi.
Aermacchi has selected a number of risk sharing partners/suppliers, like:
ITEC (Honeywell): F124 engine
Alenia Difesa: avionics core system /HuD and three LCDs in each cockpit, mission processor)
Teleavio/Marconi Italiana / BAE Systems: fly-by-wire system
Dowty/Microtecnica: control surfaces actuation
Honeywell: INS (laser/GPS)
Microtecnica: hydraulic system
Microturbo: secondary power system
Martin Baker/SICAMB: Mk.16 ejection seat
ASE: electrical generators
Liebherr: nose landing gear
Secondo Mona: fuel system


History (Geschichte)
For many years, Aermacchi collaborated with Yakovlev in tests of the Yak/AEM-130, but due to funding constraints and different priorities in Russia decided to go it alone and rework the design to western standards. This "commitment" was announced at the Farnborough air show in July 2000, where the designation M-346 was introduced and the engine selection made public. At that time Aermacchi said it wants to push ahead at the fastest pace possible. A first flight in mid-2002 and deliveries in 2005 were foreseen.
A full scale mock-up was shown at the Paris Air Show in June 2001, revealing details like the rounded nose and in-flight refuelling probe. At that time, jigs for the wing were in place and fuselage jigs were expected to follow in a few months.
Funding is provided by the company plus some research money from the Italian government.
It will be interesting to see how the programme progresses if Alenia and thus Aermacchi enter into an EMAC joint company with EADS, which is promoting its Mako.
For now, the first M-346 is scheduled to fly by June 2003. The Italian Air Force will be in charge for certification. Deliveries are possible from 2006, it was said at the Paris Air Show in June 2001.

21st April 2003, 16:33
EADS (Dasa) Mako
Type (Muster)
Supersonic jet-trainer and lightweight fighter (überschallschneller Strahltrainer und leichter Jäger/Jagdbomber)
Country (Land)
Germany (Deutschland)

Manufacturer (Hersteller)
EADS Military Aircraft
Postfach 801160
81663 München

Phone: 0049-89/607-23912
Fax: 0049-89/607-22452


General (Allgemeine Angaben)
Crew (Besatzung): 2 in tandem or 1
Weapons (Bewaffnung): As a light combat aircraft, Mako could have an internally-mounted 27 mm gun. It features seven external stations (wingtips, fuselage, two under each wing) for a wide variety of weapons, like:

4 x AMRAAM, FMRAAM or Mica
12 x Mk.82 bombs
8 x Mk.83 bombs
4 x GBU 16
3 x GBU 24
5 x AGM-65 Maverick
2 x anti-ship missile
4 x rocket pods
1 x recce pod
2 x standoff missiles (Taurus class)
3 x 1250 litre external tanks
Power plant (Antrieb): 1 x turbofan engine (possibly Eurojet EJ200 variant or General Electric F404 or Snecma M88)
Thrust (Schub): 1 x 75 kN (17000 lbs) in trainer variant or 90 kN (20200 lbs) in light combat aircraft version


Dimensions (Abmessungen)
Length (Länge): 13,75 m
Heigth (Höhe): 4,5 m
Span (Spannweite): 8,25 m (without wingtip missiles)
Wing area (Flügelfläche): 25 sq m


Weights (Massen)
Empty weight (Leermasse): 5800 kg for the trainer and 6200 kg for the light combat variant (earlier figures were around 5400 kg or 5900 kg as light combat aircraft)
Weapons load (Waffenzuladung): 4500 kg
Fuel (Krafstoff): 3000 kg in trainer, 3300 kg in LCA
Design take-off weight (Startmasse): maybe 8100 kg in trainer configuration (was 7630 kg earlier), and 9400 to a maximum of 13000 kg as LCA (the latter was earlier said to be 9170 kg)


Performance (Flugleistungen)
Max. speed (max. Fluggeschwindigkeit): Mach 1.5
Ceiling (Dienstgipfelhöhe): 15250 m
Take-off distance (Startstrecke): less than 450 m
Landing distance (Landestreck): 750 m
Range (Reichweite): over 2000 NM (3700 km)
g-Limits: +9/-3
Maintenance man-hours/flight hour (Wartungs-Mannstunden pro Flugstunde): 3,1


Costs (Kosten)
Development and flight test with three prototpyes was estimated at 2 billion DM in mid-1999. Price should be 22 to 25 million US-Dollars.
Earlier, in the autumn of 1997, development costs were estimated at 1,35 billion US-Dollars and a target unit price of 16 to 20 million US-Dollars was mentioned.


Customers (Kunden)
None yet.
Since late 1999, EADS has a Memorandum of Understanding with the air force of the United Arab Emirates for joint studies on the Mako. This was extended in February 2001.
Earlier EADS (formerly Dasa) had tried to interest South Africa as well as the German Luftwaffe, which at the moment has no requirement. It was also active in South Korea, together with Hyundai.


Competition (Konkurrenten)
Aermacchi M-346
Korean Aerospace T-50 Golden Eagle (Samsung KTX-2)
Yakovlev Yak-130


Remarks (Bemerkungen)
EADS (formerly Dasa) is currently studying an advanced trainer/light fighter, for which type of aircraft it sees a world market of 2500 aircraft over 25 yeras, starting in 2005.
The Mako concept (until mid-1998 known as AT-2000) includes extensive use of composite materials, fly-by-wire controls, modular avionics and cockpits with state-of-the art colour multifunction displays. Also, the aircraft would possess a degree of stealth, due to its shaping. Life-cylce costs would be minimised.
A whole family of Makos could be developed, spanning the spectrum from a trainer without radar to one- or two-seat recce versions to a single-seat lightweight fighter.
EADS and the UAE Air Force and Air Defence are actively seeking partners and suppliers for the Mako, which for the time being are not getting exclusive deals. Among the companies signed up by June 2001 are:
APPH Precision Hydraulics (Landing gear and hydraulic system)
BAE Systems Controls (flight control computers, utility control system, flight control actuation)
BGT/Diehl (flight control computers, mission computers, self-defence systems, training aids)
Computing Devices (mission computer, displays and controls, stores control system)
Eurojet/MTU (EJ200 engine)
FHL (flight control system actuation)
General Electric (GE414 engine)
Honeywell (environmetal control system, lighting, life-support system, navigation, hydraulics, secondary power system)
Snecma group (M88-2 engine, landing gear, gearbox, APU, brakes, wheels, filters)


History (Geschichte)
The original concept for the Mako (previously known as AT-2000) stretches back to 1989 and a joint Dornier/Aermacchi study into future trainer requirements. These contacts later dissolved and Dasa was working on advanced trainer concepts alone. News of the programme first broke at the Seoul Airshow in October 1996. At that time, it was even said that work on a prototype could begin in 1997 for a first flight in 2000.
At the beginning of 1998, Dasa (now EADS) did a fair amount of analytical and wind-tunnel work concerning the new supersonic trainer. Radar cross-section tests were also conducted, with very good results (1 sq m at 45 km).
Dasa did cooperate with Hyundai of South Korea and Denel Aviation of South Africa, two countries in which it saw a requirement for a total of 150 new trainers and perhaps 100 more lead-in fighters. First deliveries were then envisaged for 2005.
Denel built a full-scale mock-up, first shown at the Airshow Africa in April/Mai 1998 to push the AT-2000 for South Africas advanced light fighter competition. This was eventually won in November 1998 by the Saab JAS 39 Gripen.
In South Korea, Dasa had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai in October 1998, but there was always the problem that Samsungs KTX-2, in which Lockheed Martin cooperates, did have firm government backing. Also, the merger of nearly all aerospace companies of the country did go ahead.
Further complications did arise late in 1998 with the planned but cancelled BAe/Dasa merger, with British Aerospace less than eager to have competition for the Gripen and Hawk.
This led Dasa to go to a so called "consolidation phase", but with studies continuing and new efforts to interest potential customers and win partners both among prime contractors and systems comapanies to supply avionics, engines etc. The full-scale mock-up was shown at Paris in June 1999.
Late in 1999, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the air force of the United Arab Emirates concerning a possible co-operation on the programme. This was renewed in February 2001 at the IDEX show. At that time, there were also some MoUs with potential suppliers, like Computing Devices, GE Aircraft Engines, Honeywell and MTU.
At the Paris Air Show in June 2001, EADS did show a fully functioning Mako Cockpit Demonstrator to acquaint interested parties in its modern avionic philosophies. The rear cockpit was a Virtual Reality design with helmet mounted display and data glove to try out alternative layouts. Also at Paris, five more MoUs with potential suppliers were signed (APPH Precision Hydraulics, BAE Systems, BGT/Diehl, FHL, Snecma).
The launch of the prototype development is now envisaged for the Dubai Air Show in November 2001, with the aim to fly a first Mako prototype in 2005. Production aircraft could then be available in 2008/2009, over a year later than previously thought.

21st April 2003, 16:41
Before the upgrade After the upgrade
Flight performance data

Read through the numerous dials and switches from the control panel. Read through the Heads Up Display (HUD), allowing pilot to keep his focus to the front.
Position determination

Use of printed maps, compass and ground control information. Inertial Navigation System automatically computes the position with error margin of 0.8 nautical miles per hour.
Weapons selection

Involves taking hands off the controls and flipping the switches. Selection through buttons located on control and throttle sticks. Buttons also used for selection of screen displays.
Weapons accuracy

Dependant on pilot's judgement and experience. Computer calculations ensure greater accuracy.
Mission plans

Scribbled on note pads and changes had to be done manually by pilots in mid-air. Done on computer and fed into the aircraft's computer through a cartridge.
Digitised maps can be downloaded and displayed on the screens making mid-flight changes easier.
Back-up instruments

No back-ups. Two computers and one serving as back-up due to larger space for back-up instruments and fuel level gauges. Ensure fail-safe reliability and higher mission success rate.

Goldie fish
21st April 2003, 16:48
wha? We are doing what now?

Gunner Al
21st April 2003, 17:08
no way im reading all that!!!!

21st April 2003, 17:26

What are the unit costs?

21st April 2003, 22:09
Originally posted by Turkey
Yooklid,could you get hold of the AMARC inventory,

Give me a half decent laptop and broadband and I can do anything


[without getting into trouble


Of course only if I am caught (hahahah) - Pure bullshit of course. I have trouble getting around the internet most times

this link may satiate you sir


21st April 2003, 22:39
I wrote a very detailed answer to all your questions earlier but as usual the bloody board logged me out while I was doing it and then sent me flying across cyberspace so I couldn't retrieve my text.

Now, Yooklid as Aidan will tell you it's very hard to get a reliable flyaway price for anything but as my memory serves the cheapest options (and the only really worhtwhile purchase yet in service) is the F-5 at around USD10.1m, the Trainer/fighters cost between 12-15m, I don't know how much the T-50 costs but I suspect it may be the most expensive option here, realistically the Hawk and L-159 are something of a placebo for airforces that want to augment their "real" fighters with something cheaper, the benefit of commonality with trainer fleets is a definite selling point as various countries try and sort out their polyglot ORBATTs.
The F-5 and M-346 are particularyl attractive for our purposes because of their ftwin engine configuration.
The F-20 never went into production as the F-16 had its security status reduced allowing more countires to buy it.
Aidan I'd expect you of all people to recognise the political importance of saying (Which entails a degree of doing) "This is our territory and you CAN'T use it without our say so" this is neccessary for deflecting non military threats as well, and the more capable types mentioned here could easily defend against stragglers from battles with our more powerful neighbours as well as defend against improvise dor low quality aircraft that might be used in unconventional or outright crackpot operations against the state, it's interests or it's guests.

22nd April 2003, 10:16
Shit, I write a response while hungover, and theres this many responses?



First of all, lets be clear about definition. We are effectively talking about two (or three if we include the F/A-18) classes of aircraft. Theres the converted trainers like the L-39za which have the combat ability of a rabid gnat. And theres the growing ranks of the budget fighter, which stretches from the M-346 up to the MAKO and Hawk 200. Only the upper reaches of the latter market have any real ability, but even then this is very limited. Do a graph. Time to height with two AAMs, a drop tank and full internal fuel. Again, to be clear, not fighters.

“Stand by light combat aircraft at Baldonnel would get there a lot quicker than any supersonic aircraft from the UK”

Really? Are you sure? First of all, wheres ‘there’? Secondly, are we to expect to have an aircraft ready on the ramp all the time? Good luck with only 10-12 fighters, probably of 1970s vintage. Say you managed it though, you have one plane sitting at Baldonnell 24/7? Oh wait, that won’t work. What if its dark, or raining? And our lightweight ‘hotrod’ fighter can’t even fly? I’d much rather put my faith in a pair of Typhoons, screaming out of the East at M1.5, carrying 4 AMRAAMS and a pair of AIM132s EACH, with IFF, AESA and FLIR running. Unpatriotic, I know. But might works.

In the event of a massive slide in world conditions to a world war suitation, we would have ample warning to start running off and buying F/A- 18's and get them operational

I love this argument. It slides in the face of experience every time. Lets go back for a moment to the last major European war. People were queuing up to sell us military gear, weren’t they? No, they were not. We’d ‘ample warning’ in the late 1930s as well, didn’t do us a whole hell of a lot of good. We couldn’t beg borrow or steal stuff. We got a few MTBs from the UK, some Landsverk gear and some other miscellaneous pieces. And that’s it. Try O’ Halpins ‘Defending Ireland, Duggans ‘A History of The Irish Army’ or even JJ Lee’s work for details. We’ve been down this road before. The only way we’d have access to hardware, support and training is if we formed an alliance with a major power in the run up to such a conflict. Or if we’d already purchased it.

The argument about Culture thing is true though, very true. Probably the single best argument for the purchase of light fighters there is. It’d take somewhere in the region of 5 years (my estimate) for the AC to work up to being able to sustain combat operations with fast jet aircraft.

(C-Q, I broke up and slightly rearranged two of your posts to make replying easier, I trust you’ll agree it hasn’t affected the thrust of your argument)

Aidan I'd expect yoou of all people to understand the importance of a symbolic air defence, it means simply that Ireland is willing to defend it's airspace and to restrict it's use by others...

Aidan I'd expect you of all people to recognise the political importance of saying (Which entails a degree of doing) "This is our territory and you CAN'T use it without our say so" this is neccessary for deflecting non military threats as well, and the more capable types mentioned here could easily defend against stragglers from battles with our more powerful neighbours

The problem is that, even with 12-16 fighters, that defence remains entirely symbolic. Right now, we can still say “This is our territory and you CAN'T use it”, a dozen wannabe fighters sitting on the ramp at BD won’t make a damn bit of difference. Most of the aircraft we’re talking about here don’t have the capability to effect even the most rudimentary of air intercepts at any speed or altitude. Do you think we can keep that knowledge from any potential aggressor/transgressor? The MAKO, if it ever flies AND finds a buyer, will be as expensive as a comparable F-16 (16-20million USD in 1997?!?-have a look at any comparable project and see what that looks like in 2003 money), without the outright speed. The Hawk 200 is crippled by range (the airframe is too damn /small/ for a worthwhile fuel fraction) and it plain does not have the speed. The M346 will, no doubt, prove to be a fine trainer, but it has NO radar and no BVR missiles. True, it has a good pwr to weight ratio, but again, range is an Achilles heel. As for the F-5, somehow I fail to see the point of spending millions of Euro putting even quasi modern systems into these small airframes which can’t deliver that gear to where it needs to be to do its job. Or carry it far enough, fast enough or high enough.

Purchasing any of these aircraft for Air Defence would be a symbol almost entirely for domestic consumption. Barring the MAKO (which doesn’t exist yet), and perhaps the Hawk 200, none of them could hope to find, track and intercept anything other than a light plane, travelling at medium altitude and speed ON A FINE DAY!

capable fighter types that are enough to stand a chane against improvised or low capability aircraft (such as might be made stolen in the event of a NI meltdown scenario) or tackle o

as well as defend against improvised or low quality aircraft that might be used in unconventional or outright crackpot operations against the state, it's interests or it's guests.

If that’s the only threat we want to be able to stop then a Pc-9 with a .50 cal gun pod will be just as effective. More so in fact, cos it’s a more stable firing platform, with better endurance. And because the maintenance requirements are less, there is a better chance it’ll be available for use on the day.

And the money we might have spent purchasing and sustaining an illusory combat capable force of ‘fighter planes’, could be spent on APCs, helicopters, artillery and training instead.

Just to clarify, I’ve nothing against the idea of the AC operating jet aircraft in principle, but spending money on a capability which is illusory (at best) serves no one. If we intent on providing ourselves with a air defence capability, we’d have to take a structured, long term approach with a firm commitment for substantial spending. Theres no cheap way of doing this. And we’d end up with a force of approximately 20 medium weight fighters, interoperable with our European allies, with AEW support (perhaps not even our own). Like, say, Austria have plans for.

Again though, all of this would require a see change in political attitudes to security and foreign policy in this country. Not impossible, but at least highly unlikely.

22nd April 2003, 18:34
Ok, I am out of my depth, but I think what Aidan is saying is making sense...

Aidan, I will pm you my own thoughts when I am not at work... :o

22nd April 2003, 23:43
Aidan, you are corect, perphaps I was being a bit OTT in my statement about ample time required to gain the assets needed to survive a major world conflict.
I was thinking in terms about the Munich agreement and how a British politican threw his career away to gain another year, to re-equip the RAF to survive the early part of WW2 and give Hitler his first defeat,[one interpetation, there are loads of others].
The essential point comes back to the 'culture of air-defence'and the need to develope same, which does not require a full air-defence force, like say some European countries with 180 F-16's in their inventory, but a much more modest force budgeted to do day-to-day defence tasks, but able to train pilots and other crew, both air and ground, to do the same tasks, then head off to the better paid world of private enterprise, but able [and in some cases willing] to be hauled back when the s**t hits the fan.
The thing is without this 'core-element' of such a force, all our defence force remain a total and utter waste of time, money, and in the event of a direct attack to this country: the lives of some of our finest young men and women.

23rd April 2003, 13:10
Actually the T-50 has been fitted with radar and M-346 is hoped to carry one also, especially since there is a running battle to outperform the Yak-130 which is currently test firing PGMs

paul g
23rd April 2003, 14:02

A, pre-1940, nobody expected the germans to reach the french coast, Ireland was caught completly by surprise, as was everybody else.

B. When the merde did hit the fan, and we scrabled around to buy things, the British couldn't sell us anything because they were desperate for supplies themselves.

C) the british didn't give a shit about the Czechs, that why they sold them our, while it did give the brits an extra year to prepare, it also gave Hitler valuable time to prepare as well, with Czech Skoda tanks

D. Talking about light fighters is like wondering what would happen if Cameron Diaz walked into my bedroom tonight and told me she wanted to have my babies, it ain't going to happen in my life time.

23rd April 2003, 14:06
You'd be surprised, (not about the fighters though) I really just started this topic in order to have a nice nerding section about these aircraft, maybe with a few pretty pictures; So please if you want to make serious points do it in the think tank at you know where

23rd April 2003, 15:12
Ooops, sorry C-Q. Couldn't resist. I wuz bored ...

Sorry to hear about the lack of Cameron Diaz in your life Paul, she just won't stay away from me. She just keeps ringing, calling round, begging ... :mad:

She just won't take a hint, dammit!

Drifting back to reality for a moment, regarding the 1930s thing, well, there was a war a comin' anyway, forecastable Blitzkrieg or not, and no one here was doing anything to prepare until it was much too late(not that we could have afforded all that much anyway). The point stands. In a modern war you 'run what you brung'.

And C-Q, if you want to nerd about airplanes, try this as a source;


When it works, of course

23rd April 2003, 18:05
Yikes, I never want to be that much of a nerd

23rd April 2003, 18:06
Saying that while saving the link of course:confused:

paul g
23rd April 2003, 18:58
Ah Aidan, used to have that problem when I was younger, but were Cameron to walk in i think Stefania might object.

Irish defence planning pre-ww2 should be taken in the context of the time, nobody expected the french army to colapse so quickly, and compared to countries like Denemark and Holland the D.F were actually in quite a good shape taking into account the economic war etc.

As for light fighters, there is an obsession with air defence on this board that really isn't waranted. Dublin isn't on the wider scheme a target for Osama bin laiden, we face no conventional threat from a a soverign state with an air force, and there are far more pressing needs. It would be nice to have some, especially for ground forces training, but having had the chance to look through the thread in more detail, (was away for Easter), the point aidan raises about EU-RRF support is apt. Basically ireland should be capable of deploying two battalion groups overseas, supporting at least one of them with helicopters. And when the AC can't move an infantry platoon or support realistic training exercises, talking about fighters is about the same as me wondering what would happen if Cameron was joined by Sarah Michelle Gellar, I'd love it to happen, I even think and hope for it, but then again.

Anyway, something to ponder, Columbia has an airforce, and Spain recently offered them 8/10 Mirage F-1 that they acquired from Qutar and upgraded but hardly used, all for free, but Columbia didn't want them because the cost of operating them would be too much for the capability they offered.

Anyway from the top of my head, this is the air corps I'd like to see in 2010

8 PC-9
3 Cn-235MPA
1 C-295
6 Cessna Caravans
1 Gulfstream IV
1 Citation III
10 S-92IU ( 6 SAR, 4 S-92IU)
8 Utility helicopters

Now that is achievable and minimalist, and we all know deep down that the A.C is not going to be anyway that good.

edited in case the wife ever reads

23rd April 2003, 22:34
Aidan: "Really? Are you sure? First of all, wheres ‘there’? Secondly, are we to expect to have an aircraft ready on the ramp all the time?".

Well, 'there' might be a vital global plant Leixlip.

Secondly, why should Typoons suddenly come swooping in from the east. (Apart from them not being in service) Would they be on patrol in the UK in case Ireland is attacked so they could come swiftly to our aid? - would they F...... so, yes a jet from Baldonnel would get there quicker. Jeez.

Thirdly - there's zero chance of us getting anything even remotely more able than an L-159. There's isn't even the sniff of such a plan in the Department of Defence.

One jet on stand-by in Ireland shouldn't be too big a deal. Though Norad had just 4 along the entire US eastern seaboard on 9/11.

As I said there's no big super power off the coast ready to attack with all of its advanced military might. So, light combat jets would be adequate for Ireland. As, actual combat is highly unlikely. In its entire history, the Irish Air Corps has never intercepted a single aircraft.

24th April 2003, 11:15
Don't worry C-Q, I won't tell anyone. And anyway, you're in good company.

Tucco ...

Well, 'there' might be a vital global plant Leixlip

It might, but tell me, what terrorist is going to want to waste their time (and their life, most likely) attacking a boring old factory? The 9/11 attacks (which unsurprisingly haven't led to a spate of similar incidents) were predicated on they're being very very public. The physical damage and loss of life was a mere side effect of the real intent, to drive the point home that America is vulnerable, and to do it on national television, and then to force a response. And if your goal was to cause maximum economic disruption, there are many targets which would cause much more damage. Simply put, we have no targets worthy of similar attention. I'm sure you could find some on mainland Europe and in the UK, but there really are none here.

"Secondly, why should Typoons suddenly come swooping in from the east. (Apart from them not being in service) Would they be on patrol in the UK in case Ireland is attacked so they could come swiftly to our aid? - would they F...... so, yes a jet from Baldonnel would get there quicker. Jeez. "

Not necessarily, as of now we know that the RAF have F3s on a ready ramp to defend London. Also, our friendly suicide bomber would have to 'come from' somewhere. Either West or East (If its a domestic flight, then no plane is going to catch it in time anyway). Presuming that theres some form of warning (cos if there isn't, its academic) our engagement radius might extend over most of the UK and several hundred klicks out into the Atlantic. In terms of flight time for a modern jet airliner, we're talking very little time and relatively long distances. That means any interceptor will need to be fast. Fast enough to spool up, launch, locate, track, engage, positively ID, and, in the worst case, open fire. If you've got a 'light-fighter, 'turning the corner' on a airliner or biz-jet coming at you is going to be a nightmare (mainly because your going to need all the energy you've got just to keep up once you do get the nose around). These engagements have to be set up over a long distance, otherwise they just don't work. If our putative suicide bomber come from the East, and theres a warning, he'll have a pair of grey shadows, bearing Skyflashes, who /will/ do him. If the threat is from the West, the same applies. They can be 200km off the west coast at 35,000 feet, waiting for a plane to arrive, a lot faster than anything wheezing off from Baldonnell.

Don't have precise figures (obviously) but outside of a fairly small ring around Baldonnell, they can get there faster. Its as simple as that. And once they get 'there', they have the weapons and radar to do something about it ...

And the Typhoon is entering service this year. The first production models are flying now.

*Edited to remove possibly obscene material about Cameron Diaz, Alyson Hannigan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Liv Tyler, Elize Dushku and this girl I used to know.

24th April 2003, 11:55
Ooh Eliza Dushku...

As I said I wanted this to be purely about aircraft, so lets just forget about Irelands case and talk about the aircraft themselves.
Tucco an F-5 costs about the same as an L-159 and is a much more respectable aircraft...why buy an untested unwanted converted trainer which is based on technology older than the F-5, which is a battle proven aircraft with many satisfied customers.

24th April 2003, 12:09
Agreed, but as I said the chances of getting anything much fancier than a PC-9 are almost non existant anyway.

Also, as Aidan has so accurately pointed out the fact that we're the only country in the entire world that has no need of defence makes it even more unlikely that we'll ever get interceptors.

However, I think I'm accurate in my presumption that if one were to simply look at likely targets ,purely from an Irish point of view, the plant in Lexilip would quite likely be on it. But then Aidan says I'm wrong, so I must be.

So the likely requirement of airbourne defence needs only to be light and effective enough to fly CAP around air exlcusion zones.

So that's it then, Aidan is absolutely correct in everything he says and is beyond reproach. In fact his arguments and points are so well made that he is simply fabulous.

Now, back to the discussion on the types of aircraft that would be nice.

(taking account of the fact that the RAF have a whole section of their on order Typhoons set aside for the defence of Ireland, at least that's what Aidan thinks, so it must be true):D

24th April 2003, 12:27
No need to get catty, as I said there is a thread for the discussion of these things elsewhere.
I also feel uncomfortable with the fact that we are reliant on the RAF without any formal arrangement for our defence, and just because I'm not arguing alernatives now it doesn't mean that I won't come back with new arguments at a later stage.

24th April 2003, 12:41
Aahhh, finally the respect I deserve :D

Somebody give the man a map and a clue.

C-Q, if its gotta be anything, some F-5Es in the short term leading up to a netcentric setup with MAKO (and AMRAAMS) in the medium term. In our climate, anything without a proper radar is a toy.

Your completely right when you say the F-5 is battle proven, the real story of its use in IPGW (Iran-Iraq) is only coming out now, but it's main use has been in CAS, with a little A-A on the side. Weather is the key, the basic radar fitted (Emerson AN/APQ-153) doesn't really allow for proper detection and tracking, something like 10 miles (IIRC), there was a later radar (AN/APQ-159?) which was better but I can't remember by how much. So most operators have upgraded the radar (some have used the Griffo, others an Elta unit), so, in this hypothetical situation, we'd probably have to do something similar, or buy already upgraded aircraft. Which might be tough for obvious reasons.

Bud Fox
24th April 2003, 13:05
I think it's a shame we have to rely on the Brits.... Me thinks if Adolf rolled into Dublin our Government(s) would have taken "Defence" a bit more seriously!!

I am amazed we havent got out the begging bowl & asked the US for some free gear..... GW ya can drop it off in Shannon on the way to Iraq!!

24th April 2003, 14:52
At one stage someone tried fitting aan APG-66, but I think it cost more than the rest of the aircraft put together.

Bud Fox, the US and the "Brits" have offered us very capable aircraft for delivery price before....several times in fact, the fact is that the government can't or won't make the infrastructural investment or pay for the running costs, where as an F-5E costs very little to run and is one of the lowest maintenance aircraft going.

24th April 2003, 16:01
... It is low maintenance, but parts for those J-85s are not going to be around forever, unless you want to see yourself depending on such luminaries as the Iranian government and their 'unofficial' copies. Unless you could lay your hands on a stockpile of parts along with a 'buy'.

Think Taiwan wanted to put an APG-67 into their Tiger IIs as part of an upgrade (same radar as the Ching-Kuo?), worked too except they didn't have the cash to update the fleet.

Interesting piece of data, Chilian F-5 Tiger III (!) have the ability to launch R-Darter and Derby AAM (including a HMS)-radar is the Elta E/L-2032. And a datalink, which is nice. Singapores (the S/Ts you mentioned earlier in the thread) have AMRAAM launch ability, even if they don't have missiles yet. Nice.

Was at home over the weekend, found a picture I drew of a Tiger II wearing IAC markings ... in about 1988. Very scary.

paul g
24th April 2003, 18:27
Surely you're missing the point, focusing entirely on the air defence aspect of these jets.

what makes the F-5E type attractive for the air corps is its CAS capability. Given the changes in peace support missions, the whole fact is that the training regime of the army has to change, and the air corps inventory should reflect that( something the PC-9 can't do), In any modern combat operation the use of air support is vital, if troops aren't trained in calling in air support or indeed defending against attack, then no matter how good their individual training is, then they're not properly trained. And while possibly overseas exercises might assist the army develop its expertise, the training regime needed over the next ten years would suggest that the investment in a small force of 12 light fighters would be worth it, and the fact that they'ld have a limited air defence capability wld be a bonus. As the person who may have put this idea into C-Qs head, I never really thought that we'ld have two jets permantly available to scramble in case the isle of man invaded our air space,only on certain high risk occassions. Its actually quite hard to hit a building with a commercial aeroplane, the twin towers were massive buildings, impossible to miss.

paul g
24th April 2003, 18:28

the T-45 uses the j-85, doesn't it, the USAF are going to keep that in service till 2040, spare parts are not a problem.

24th April 2003, 18:52
Having analysed Irish air defence needs, I recomend the purchase of at least 6 USS Defiant class starships.

Class: Defiant (prototype)
Armaments: Pulse Phasers, Phaser Arrays, Photon Torpedoes, Quantum Torpedoes, Tri-Cobalt Torpedoes, Self-Replicating Mines, Shields, Cloaking Device, Ablative Armour
Max. Speed: Warp 9.982
Type: MK E Starship Escort
Crew: ~47


:D :D :D

24th April 2003, 19:18
Hey cool it with the putting "ideas into C-Q's head" bit there pal, believe it or not I am capable of independent thought, christ! agree with someone a few times and you get co-opted into their fanclub?
Aidan all are very good points but this is still off topic, what are the comparative merits of these types in absolute terms first (if everyone does their homework then they can play)

24th April 2003, 19:58
IMHO, the F-5 is the best option at present for the AC.

In the current Air Forces Monthly, an article states that the US have purchased 32 "low hours" F-5's from the Swiss (I think it said c.$18 million ! ? )

Interesting to see an (Israeli ?) L-39ZA photo (nice grey camo scheme - actually looks bigger in the photo than in real-life), at the rear of the mag, which can be equipped with Sidewinders ! - and is being used as a "lead-in fighter trainer" !

25th April 2003, 10:11
Oh yeah, sorry, got a little caught up in the whole "we need fighters to defend our skies against the foreign aggressor" argument (or lack thereof).

Worth pointing out C-Q that a lot of the stuff we've talking about with the F-5, regarding upgrades and such, can be equally applied to other aircraft. Its just that the F-5 has been around for so long and in the hands of so many customers ...

And the idea of using it as a CAS trainer is all very well and good, but CAS has changed very dramatically. If Irish forces (Army that is) are ever going to be calling in airpower while deployed, chances are it'll be either European or USAF. That means, most likely, PGMS. In most cases, all you'll need are GPS coordinates, even for LGBS (you call the location, seeker head on PIII finds it, and pilot/WSO releases with or without visual contact). So while a fast mover carrying slick Mk-82s, rockets and cannon is all very well and good, it is a little too 1980s to be considered realistic anymore.

So there are other ways of achieving the same ends. Sending FACs on foreign training courses is one way, embedding (!) other FACs in our forces while deployed or just plain old fashioned inviting those forces who would provide aircover to train here ...

But if we want the ability to (a) train our pilots/aircrew (b) provide worthwhile simulation to ground troops and (c) actually have a vestige of strike ability in our own right, then there are a number of options I s'pose.

-The first, and cheapest would be the 6-10 cheap and trashy jet trainers. With no upgrades. L-39ZA, Alpha, S-211, C-101, base hawk. Rocketsd and guns only, like the PC-9.

-The second would be an updated older light aircraft. Like F-5E/Fs, updated to the point where it could used to launch PGMS (not big deal and does not need a radar). If you were really fancy, you could try using something like the Litening or Sniper pods. Rafael are doing a lot of business with these. Even the AGM-65 is easy to set up ...

-Another weird one would be in resurrecting some OV-10s from AMARC using the same engines as the Pc-9. Can carry enough ordnance to simulate support, and even optical or FLIR pods.

-Another would be something new and shiny designed to take PGMS from the outset, like the M-346, MAKO, A-50, HAWK 200, L-159 or even the AMX.

-And the last would be the obligatory strange one. Try getting your hands on worn out actual strike aircraft, and perform an interim overhaul. A-4s, Jaguars, AMXs, A-10s, or even A-7s. Very expensive to maintain, but most are already wired for PGMs, and there are spares around.


Paul, the T-45 uses a single Adour Mk 871 (Navalised version of the Hawk engine). Presume you mean the T-38? Under 'Pacer Classic', its being upgraded (and structurally strenghtened) to last till either 2010 or 2020 (depends on who you believe). Had heard that it was to be replaced by a Hawk/Goshawk type trainer, but obviously my info was way the hell out of date ... Different version of the J-85, but its probably a matter of company designation for different customer than any substantive mechanical issue.

25th April 2003, 12:05
I'm not sure I'd trust the maintenance records of the remaining A-7 operator's (Greece (retiring them), and Venezuela I think), I forgot about the AMX, it certainly has merit as a trainer/CAS platform, and could carry the symbolic pair of AIM-9s to make our point on air defence for special occasions etc.
Mnay of the world's most experienced airforces (I'm thinking mainly Israel here) still regard dropping unguided munitions in a high angle diive as more consistently accurate than GPS guided weapons, but I think this is probably of more relevance to strike missions, so Ill go with you on the PGMs.
Embedded foreign personnel raises continuity issues, directing 500 or a 1000lbs of HE onto the ground in front of you is a delicate business and you'd want the people doing it to be fairly well integrated into the units they're with, rotations and language barriers are jus ttwo of the probelms that might arise there.
Jaguars are rather uncommon and following their RAF retirement (Which I presume is where you are looking to acquire them) parts supplies could be increasingly problematic, I suggested the latest upgrade for the skyhawk for the air corps some thime ago, but that ws back when New Zealand appeared to thinkthe cost worthwhile.
A-10s, certainly have the low purchasing cos that the state likes (above anything else usually), but apart from high running costs they carry a lot of nasty symbolic baggage with the "they won't shoot me I'm neutral" crowd.
Finally the Bronco's characteristics in terms of speed and approach differ to greatly from the fast moving aircraft that carry out the majority of CAS for our likely allies.

25th April 2003, 12:50
The worn out frontline fighters suggestion is a wild one, mainly because the costs of sustaining operations with these would be damn high, and they are of declining relevance for deployment. But of all of the suggestion I made, these are the only ones that you could actually ever hope to deploy at all though. And since we're dealing with the improbable, we might as well have fun ...

Should be loads of former USAF (and USN, but you don't want to go there) A-7s at AMARC also, but they are very old.

The RAF Jags are getting a major upgrade now, and given that they have RR Adour engines spares for them shouldn't be a problem for quite a while. Have all the databus and wiring you'd need, and the upgraded ones can use ASRAAM. And they're really LOUD!

Have just realised that I didn't list any Russian/WARPAC aircraft in my original, so add the MiG-23BN, the MiG 27, the Su-25 and possibly the -MiG-21 if you're so inclined (I'm not ...).

Bud Fox
25th April 2003, 12:58
Sombody should tell Bertie that he'll need some jets to "Escort" him around the country on Air Corps One!! ....Then I sure he'll splash out....there's loads of old F16's on that AMARC web page.

25th April 2003, 16:38
Hmm Mig-21, I'd rather take it's improved western clone anyday....I doon't thik we're looking at combat deployments of these aircraft anyway.
The AMX is a nice idea though, or even low hour Alpha jets

26th April 2003, 17:45
> Another weird one would be in resurrecting some OV-10s from AMARC using the
> same engines as the Pc-9. Can carry enough ordnance to simulate support, and
> even optical or FLIR pods.

Hey, the Bronco! I'd forgotten about those. My buddy was a mechanic in the Marine Corps and worked on them. He said that they were a great piece of kit and that they could even do Spec Forces troop insersions with some guys in the back.

As for the MiG 21 the IAI (Israelis again) have created the Mig 21 2000. It seems impressive in it's adoption of western Tech and may see service for some time yet. Romania have retired their 29's (A bete noir of Aidan) and gone for Israeli upgrades of their 21 fleet.

Remember lads, I have said it before, and I will say through all of you bitch slapping me. Systems engineering. You have to maintain a platform that can deliver the ordanance. Maintain and upgradability are the key. I am really interested in the massive rebuilds conducted by Israeli firms of western and ex sov tech. They have turned out some very impressive pieces of kit. Maybe thats what we should look at to get bang for the buck?

27th April 2003, 11:31
I don't buy the Bronco CAS trainer idea but they'd make an interesting King air replacement:D

John P Hannon
15th May 2003, 07:50
We gave the New Zealand Air Force some good A-4s,they are now out of the system as they are passed their date but they did manage to shoot down many of our F/A18s (by gun camera).I don't think that they are an option any more,however,the Singapore have updated A-4s with F-16 avionics and are nearly as good as an F-16.China used to have a lot of older type Migs that were not suitable as an 'all weather' fighter,not good for Ireland but I do not know what they have now.The Sea Harrier is good in the strike roll and can be used well as a fighter.I would not have a clue about costs.Malaysia has some Mig 29s,they didn't buy off their usual supplier,england.

John P Hannon
26th May 2003, 13:06
There must be some Jet Fighters on the cheap from Russia,Mig-29 etc,plenty in Iraq ATM.The A-7s were used in Viet Nam as a strike aircraft,there days of being a fighter were gone by then,how many years ago was that?

26th May 2003, 16:03
Russian fighters while cheap to buy are not cheap to run, and usually aren't much good without serious upgrade work, name a respectable airforce operating factory standard Russian fighters.
Then there's the issue of compatibility with our allies and availability of parts and support on short notice.
And most importantly we need M/L helicopters Light twins and fixed wing transports a lot more.

27th May 2003, 01:27
There is an L29 Delfin sitting in a hangar in cork at the moment,because it will not be passed airworthy by IAA.Its avionics do not come up to the standards required in the west.

Bud Fox
27th May 2003, 08:47
The Pilot; Seamus O'Ceallaigh worked for 15 years at IBM and then moved to Memorex, leaving in 1991 to form his own company. LSS has grown from a £150,000 turnover in 1991 to £4.5 million today. Seamus predicts that Wiztec will hit the £1 million mark this year.
Seamus works 10-hour days, Monday to Saturday and on Sundays he enjoys flying for a couple of hours. "I currently am flying an L29 fighter jet, which is mainly for aerobatics, but the beauty of flying is that its total concentration permits nothing else into your mind. When I'm finished flying, I go back to work," said O'Ceallaigh.
Wingspan 33 ft 9 in
Length 35 ft 5 in
Height 10 ft 3 in
Fuel capacity, internal 1,030 l
In tow external tanks 300 l
Mtow 3,539kg

Max load factor +8/-4g
Vmo 0.7 Mach
Vmo 800 kph
Take-off, s/1 1,805 ft
Landing distance 1,444 ft
Rate of climb, s/1 2,300 fpm

Stall, landing config, 30 flap, light 125 kph
heavy 155 kph
Max speed at s/1, 97% 575 kph
100% 620 kph
Ceiling 36,000 ft

Engine: Moorlet M-701, rated at 1,960 lb thrust

19th June 2003, 23:28
For the sake of debate, let's assume the government are serious about the purchase of interceptors, what looks like the best deal for the taxpayers?
My money is on the T-50 from K.A.I./Lockheed Martin, as it's the only one of the current crop that has made it into the air without embarresing it's builders.
The 'free' China model is overweight, the Mako is good in theory, the Yak 140 is Russian, the Mig A-T is a non starter, as is the F-20[3 examples built, 2 crashed], the F-5 is old, as is the A-4,and no matter what they do to the A-4 it will still be old.
We still need interceptors, and as yet I have heard no reasonable arguement that says we do not, just a lot of defeatest left-wing orientated crap.
So, failing the 12 F-16's[C's andD's] that should have been purchased years ago, what should we have?

Try to remember this is an unofficial board and not the Holy Grail, Turkey does not don fire proof clothing and dive in slit-trench but stands defiently up raising Stinger system to shoulder!!!

19th June 2003, 23:43
eugh.... Come on Turk. Why don't you just post to the thread that existed a couple of months ago... it should be still there...


Gunner Al
20th June 2003, 00:35
Yeah Turkey, this debate has been had so many times before..............!!

I have merged it with the most recient one so just ignore the previous 3 pages of posts if you want to discuss it again! :D

Oh, and try not to have so many 2000 word posts on this one, no copying and pasting entire reports from other websites. I know much of it is relavent, but repeated essays like that are off putting on threads.
So keep it (relatively) short and sweet this time ;) !!

20th June 2003, 12:29
"We still need interceptors, and as yet I have heard no reasonable arguement that says we do not, just a lot of defeatest left-wing orientated crap"


There are none so blind ...

20th June 2003, 12:39
I'll give you one good reason:

Remember Abbeyshrule! We were incapable of preventing USAF transport aircraft from using our airbases with impunity. If we had F16s or F5s we could have shot them all down, and shown we have control of our airspace.

:D :D :D :D :D :rolleyes:

Bud Fox
20th June 2003, 12:48
bit off the subject... but shows that there is a limited need!

Yesterday on the Radio (Newstalk 106fm) they were talking about the EU's "fear" about Ireland being a soft touch for when we hold the Euro Presidency.

Greece has mounted an unprecedented land, air and sea operation to keep the summit venue secure.

About 15,000 police and armed forces have descended on the northern coast, while anti-aircraft missiles, naval ships, air force and even frogmen in nearby coves have been deployed to protect EU leaders.

Could we mount an operation of this scale... if so I guess a lot of PDF guys will be needed.

The interviewer (David McWilliams) asked this defence analyst if we could repel a 9/11 type air attack... short answer No. Mentioned the RBS 70's being replaced / supplemented with RBS 90's. Said the P 9's of no use & we would be totally reliant on the UK etc for CAP.

McWilliams, i am sure like the rest of the country seemed a bit supprised... me thinks that most Irish prople thought that our fouga's were somthing like a French F-14... and still in service...

20th June 2003, 12:53
It's worth pointing out (Once Again!!) that if the US air defence system couldn't repel a 9/11 type attack, any arrangements Ireland comes up with won't either.

Bud Fox
20th June 2003, 12:58
totally correct. the guy said that any attack would most likely be car / truck bomb. Anyway how long would it take to get the OK to shoot down a civilian airliner. I guess by the time Bertie was "informed" it would be too late. Plane hi-jacked leaving Dub / Ldn.... gives you 20 mins tops!! and thats if you had everthing set up to deal with it.

21st June 2003, 10:42
Aidan, sorta' works both ways, that, does it not?

21st June 2003, 11:58
"It's worth pointing out (Once Again!!) that if the US air defence system couldn't repel a 9/11 type attack, any arrangements Ireland comes up with won't either."

I don't think anyone is suggesting stopping a 9/11 style, no warning attack, they are talking about CAPs during an EU summit. I live in a city that hosted such a summit, post 9/11, and that's exactly what they did, had their F-?? providing CAPs all day.

Furthermore, could another 9/11 style attack happen again, in a country with proper AD that is, now that we are aware that someone would actually perform such an act?


paul g
21st June 2003, 16:58

Given the widespread use of bribes to secure the sale of fighter aircradt, BAe is under investigation this week for the use of bribes to secure the sale of Gripens to the Czech repuiblic, and the use of bribes to sell Gripen to South Africa (tho its what one expects from the ANC), I would have thought that the fighter sold to ireland would be the one produced by the manufacturer that "donated" the most to the government in power at the time.

However, is still like me wondering what life would be like if Mrs G looked like Cameron DIaz and wanted us to have an open relationship involving only Sarah Michelle Gellar and Monica Belluci.

Goldie fish
21st June 2003, 17:13
Not sure if I mentioned the recent resignation of the US ambassador to Ireland,Mr EMC. It is believed he used his "influence" to get the Sikorsky contract for the Med Lift helis.
Sadly in most cases such as those above,the inquiries serve no purpose but to increase the wallet of the barrister asking the questions.

Goldie fish
8th July 2003, 13:47
Will PM buy Britsh jets?
Deputy Political Editor
TONY Blair will this week make a decision on buying new RAF jets - and it could wreck part of Britain’s defence industry.

The UK’s biggest defence firm BAe Systems has offered to supply 30 Hawk trainers for £3.5billion.
But the PM is to tell bosses their price is £1billion too high - and that he will hand the contract to an Italian rival unless they slash their estimate.

If the deal does go abroad, about 2,500 jobs will be axed at BAe’s Brough factory near Hull.
The wrangle over replacing the RAF’s existing Hawk jets has triggered a bloody Cabinet battle.
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and Trade supremo Patricia Hewitt want BAe to provide them.
But Mr Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown both insist the price must come down.
One government figure said: “The BAe offer is way too high and it doesn’t represent value for money. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are absolutely united that they want this to go to a British firm.

“But they’re also determined to get the best on offer for the taxpayer.”
Yet a defence industry insider said: “If BAe is rejected, thousands of jobs will go.
“It will be a disaster for the UK defence industry.”

MoD chiefs are furious with the Treasury for refusing to rubber-stamp BAe’s contract.
They say the Italian alternative Aer-macchi M346 is only at the prototype stage and has no proven track record.
Critics believe handing the deal to its makers Finmeccanica would mean subsidising an Italian defence firm with British taxpayers’ cash.

It will also shut down a major wing of the British defence industry and give the Italians a global monopoly on training jets.

The move will show the rest of the world the British Government has no faith in its own defence firms.
Meanwhile, union chiefs are desperate for BAe to win the deal, which would safeguard the company’s Brough plant for at least the next ten years.

The replacement Hawk will be fitted with the very latest electronics and avionics - all housed in a more modern airframe.

But the Prime Minister remains adamant and will make it clear he wants the £1billion BAe price cut during a crunch showdown later this week.

He is expected to make his final decision over who will make the jets by the weekend.
India wants to place a deal for 100 new Hawks - but won’t act until it knows which way Mr Blair plans to go

John P Hannon
8th July 2003, 14:23
CRIKEY!!!!!!!!!If they don't buy their own and buy Italys it will cost them more in the long run.People out of work is one problem.No other british company will try for any type of government contract.It is only britain after all,no worries but we have bought the hawk as well.

Bud Fox
8th July 2003, 14:43
Rover of FIAT!!!!!! either way we need CJ to do a deal with the Brits and relieve them of some of their older Hawks.... a bit like the deal he did with HMS Swift & Swallow!!

Bud Fox
8th July 2003, 14:44
Should be...

Rover OR FIAT!!!!!! either way we need CJ to do a deal with the Brits and relieve them of some of their older Hawks.... a bit like the deal he did with HMS Swift & Swallow!!

8th July 2003, 15:32
"TONY Blair will this week make a decision on buying new RAF jets - and it could wreck part of Britain’s defence industry."

Where on earth did this article come from? Impartial journalism it is not. In fact its so bad, its like BAe's own press team wrote it. All thats happening here is another part of the long struggle between the British Govt (not just Blairs admin either) and BAe. Just cos they're the only major British defence firm left, BAe think they have the government over a barrel regarding cost cos they reckon the British government will always buy British.

After fluffing the decision on the new carriers (they split the contract between BAe and Thales), the MOD have to come down hard on BAe in some way and send them a serious message. And here it is. Its a bluff on the part of the MOD, but they might well be serious because everyone knows the commonly held view within some circles that if Italian jets were bought, it just might shake BAe up a bit. So its just a matter of seeing who crumbles first really.

And theres no way on earth we should go near any of the RAF's older Hawks. They've all been bounced and flown so much that all of them are on at least their second set of wings. Apparently Valley has a very impressive airframe graveyard which is a regular source of parts. No thanks.

10th July 2003, 06:07
http://www.military.cz/usa/air/post_war/f5/f5_en.htm Some F-5 info

12th July 2003, 13:14
from defence-aerospace.com

Britain to award BAE Systems multi-billion Hawk jet contract: paper

LONDON, July 12 (AFP) - 11:25 GMT - The British government will next week announce it is awarding a multi-billion-pound contract for 30 Hawk trainer jets to British aeronautics and defence company BAE Systems, the Guardian newspaper said on Saturday.
BAE Systems won the contract over Italian rival Aermacchi M346, the paper said.

It did not give the value of the contract.

The British defence ministry told AFP the report was "speculative".

"The decision has yet to be taken. It's still under consideration," a ministry spokesman said.

The choice of the Hawk, which is already used by the Royal Air Force, was recommended by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt and other key ministers "who argued that the credibility ofthe government's defence industry policy was at stake", the paper said.

"The policy makes manufacturing capability and jobs crucial criteria for awarding military contracts and would be seen as worthless if the jet trainer contract went overseas," the paper said, adding that awarding the contract to BAE Systems would save up to 2,000 jobs at the company's Brough plant in northern England.

It said the two-seater Hawk was to be used to train pilots who will fly the Eurofighter Typoon, a fighter jet developed by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

BAE Systems made an initial bid for the contract in March that was one billion pounds (1.5 billion euros, 1.6 billion dollars) higher than the estimate made by the Treasury, the British finance ministry. It subsequently agreed to accept a lower price, the Guardian said.

paul g
15th July 2003, 17:19
Completly unrelated, but, according to this morning's F.T, Bae are saying that they are unable to build the two carriers to specification for the agreed price, 2.8 billion, and instead are suggesting four as a more realistic price. Perhaps Balir will order M-346 to scare them? .

Little Legionnare
16th July 2003, 00:42
Yeah the use Thales techolgy, and the brits cover some of their rish on the project and now they want an extra 1.2 billion, what bullshit

16th July 2003, 11:59
Jesus tapdancing Christ! they have some neck, even that combat 18 loving twit Littlejohn couldn't justify that.

paul g
17th July 2003, 14:31
The simple fact is that defence expenditure in real terms is non-productive, therefore governments, where practible, tend to spend defence money within their own countries to boost their own economies, and secondly, to keep things ticking over in case they are needed again, hence why arms is an export based business and why competition is so cut troat and the use of bribes is normal. Arms producers know this and they all have their own governments over a barrell. Bae and Dassault are the most obvious examples. Read Anthony Sampson's "the Arms bazzar", its dated but very intresting, especially when he cmes to the macinations behind the sale of F-16 to Europe in the late 1970's and the arming of the Shah of Iran, not to mention the F-104 Starfighter saga in European service.

littlejohn, with whom you have a curious facination, would hate it if the U.K carriers were built by those cheese munching surrender money's the frogs, or it british pilots were trained by planes built by the wops, even if they were 25% cheeper than the British bid. Indeed the british don't call the FN MAG a MAG, rather they pretend that its one of their own weapons by calling it an L-7 and in all those british fire arms books, the SLR gets its own entry, suggesting that is was radically different, when it was merely a slightly modified FN-FAL.

national pride is an important part of arms deals. You could ask whether or not britain even needs these carriers, I for one think that rationally the money would be far better spent on other areas. These carriers will carry 40 aircraft, but they'll also need 2 subs and 4 escorts along with a fleet train, and in a situation where precision guides weapons, air to air refuling, etc are long established, and UAV are evolving, not really that necessary, and a carrier is a vunerable target for a well trained diesel sub crew, a la Falkland islands. But its about Britain having two carriers. Same with Rafale, its no better or different than Eurofighter, would have been a lot cheeper to join that project, France could even have developed a navalised version in conjunction with the British and Italians and the Spanish, both of whom may have opted for larger hulls for their next generation of carriers, but then french pilots would not fly French planes.

Same applies to those who suggest that we should have fighters.

17th July 2003, 16:20
My personal dislike for Littlejohn is focused on the time he described the bloody sunday enquiry as a waste of taxpayers money to appease the IRA.
I guess its quite like the Italians and Der Spiegel.
In an england where the only parties that push defence as an issue are irrelevant I can't imagine it being too much for Tony to wield a kind of skewed Thatcherite axe on Bae.

paul g
17th July 2003, 16:31
In an england where the only parties that push defence as an issue are irrelevant I can't imagine it being too much for Tony to wield a kind of skewed Thatcherite axe on Bae. [/B][/QUOTE]

Are you serious or just badly informed.

17th July 2003, 16:40
"The simple fact is that defence expenditure in real terms is non-productive, therefore governments, where practible, tend to spend defence money within their own countries to boost their own economies"

Funny how successive Irish Governments never got this message 120+ French, Finish, Swiss built APCs, 13 Irish built APCs!


18th July 2003, 22:40
Well apart from the non labour like part of labour, I don't see the conservatives as much of a threat I reakise that thr Tabloids would have a field day, and nationalist sentiment would swell, but all he'd really be doing is moving defense industry jobs into offset investments, making John J Foreigners equipment in dear old Blighty, the difference apart from Bae's losing influence is realistically negligible.

paul g
19th July 2003, 13:13
the only thing is that defence contractors tend to only build their factories in marginal constituties. Large scale job losses as visible, whilst offset money tends to be invisible, and is mostly going to be spent in the economy anyway. national pride is a major thing, those who propose jets never listen to the rational larguements about why they are not a real priority, they want jets for the sake of having jets.

As for the political dimensions does anybody believe that Bliar can survive after murdering Dr kelly ? if the tories can get rid of Iain Duncan Smith and get Clarke, Portillo or Michael Howard in, they've got a really goood chance at the next election.

John P Hannon
20th July 2003, 11:54
Does Ireland need state of the art jet fighters?Who is likely to got to war with the republic?Hawks seem to be the flavour of the month and england is just across the water.

20th July 2003, 20:50
I think I finally understand you now Paul G. You do want a defence force for Ireland, 'trouble is, you are not keen on having one that could survive a conflict, never mind win it!!
Jets are not a priority, re-equiping the whole Air Corps,including the purchase of combat jets, is a priority, and has nothing to do with 'nation pride'. I have listened to the arguments against the purchase of jets for the Air Corps, like most other 'peace' protester arguments, they are nonsense!
As for your comment about Tony B/liar, it is OTT, inaccurate, and in my opinion, has nothing to do with this tread, and should not be on this board.
Say hello to that tree your hugging!!! :D

20th July 2003, 20:54
JP, Hawks seem to be a capable enough aircraft but there appear to be newer and better aircraft going into production in the forseeable future.
We probally should have bought Hawks, or Alphajets instead of the Fougas, which were a waste of money.

Joey D
20th July 2003, 22:59
Its grand saying Englands across the water, but say for argument sake, England has a situation and is on high alert. I doubt help would be forthcoming if Ireland asked for assistance with another matter. They'd want to protect their own country first and we'd be up sh*t creek without a paddle.

John P Hannon
20th July 2003, 23:30
Joey D,I am afraid I have to agree,England was going to let the Japanese take Australia and wanted all our forces to fight in Europe.We did have a Labor Government at the time,the conservatives would have gone englands way.

21st July 2003, 09:24
"I have listened to the arguments against the purchase of jets for the Air Corps, like most other 'peace' protester arguments, they are nonsense! "

Oi, you, outside, now!

paul g
21st July 2003, 10:22
the only thing is that Austrailia is thousands of miles away from Britain, Ireland is next door, so they're more likely to defend us out of their own self interest.


you've yet to provide a rational arguement for getting jets before solving the air corps other major problems, and you've had months if not years to do it. So apart from saying we should have them, why not put up or shut up.

I used to be in the South African army, you're the first person to ever accuse me of being a tree hugger, ( most suggest racist or facist when they hear that). I do think that the war in Iraq was wrong, that Blair lied to get a war, that the man is a hypocrite, and that Dr kelly was hounded to death because Blair doesn't want to admit the truth, that Saddam hussein wasn't a threat to world peace and had no meaningful WMD programme. I believe the war has created massive problems in the middle east, done more to inflame third world opionin against the west then any other event since the 1960's and that the only real winners will be Al Quaida. if that makes me a tree hugger in your view then yep i am.

And for the last time, for the dull boy at the back of the class, I believe that ireland should have an effective air corps, and anybody whose rationally looked at my contributions to the board, including the air corps would find the suggestion that I am anti the defence forces or air corps laughable. But I believe that buying jets, for the sake of having jets is not the way to go about solving the A/C or wider d/f problems

John P Hannon
21st July 2003, 13:11
HHHMMmmm.I don't know if I would admit to serving in the South African Army.They didn't have a good record with the locals.

Joey D
21st July 2003, 13:42
Paul, say if its not in their interest to protect Ireland (i.e. Britain mightn't want to get involved for some reason or another) what does Ireland do then?

21st July 2003, 14:30
"Paul, say if its not in their interest to protect Ireland (i.e. Britain mightn't want to get involved for some reason or another) what does Ireland do then?"

Joey, have a look at a map. It'll always be in the UKs interest to protect Ireland for the simple reason that, at least since the 15th century, Ireland has been regarded as a strategic backdoor to the UK. We're too close for comfort, anyone that could use this country as a base of operations against the UK would be too much of a threat. Not an excuse for an underfunded DF, but a fact nonetheless.

Leads to another problem, lets call it one of scale. Any attacker that could seriously hope to take Ireland would have to be in a position to do so while fighting off the combined forces of the UK, France and, most likely, the US. If such a power were to materialise out of thin air, and defeat those forces, what precisely do you think we'd be capable of doing?

Same story with Light fighters. They give feck all combat capacity. They are, arguably /worse/ than having nothing. Both because they give the illusion of capacity and because they divert funding from other, much more productive ways of waging war.

The solution lies, as ever, in greater co-operation with our EU allies, we might not be in a position to contribute front line air or naval elements (yet), but we should be able to contribute supported, and mobile mechanised infantry. Trained and equipped to operate with other EU forces. Our defence lies in the security of Europe. As it always has and always will, simple question of geography. These harebrained schemes to rush off and buy toy fighters 'cuz we need them' adds nothing to that goal. Toys for little boys.

And anyway, who do you have in mind as a potential agressor? I'd love to know.

21st July 2003, 14:33

They're not in the EU & they might get all riled up eating fermented sharkmeat some day and decide to resume the habits of their viking ancestors....

Bud Fox
21st July 2003, 14:54
The CIA say that we have "disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and the UK over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM" I dont know if these are being sexed up.... We have 1,013,739 military manpower available... lets go to war to boost the economy. Lets hit Iceland before they get us, Naval attack we have the LE Jonathan Swift (Theatre Logistics Vessel), LE Isle of Inishmore LE Normandy and the LE Ulysses. Air cover provided by our new fleet of B-737 Spectre Gunships!!! We could also role out the Vampires

paul g
21st July 2003, 16:22

I served with pride,


Given that the Icelanders are ethnically half irish, don't have an army, and the guns on their coastguard vessels are dated to 1908, even we don't have much to worry about.

However, I recognise your fears; the head of the icelandic coastguard was the silver medalist at the 1964 Olympics in the Javelin, perhaps we should worry about him throwing spears at the naval service? or even worse, throwing something at the budgie clubs cessna?

Joey D
21st July 2003, 18:00
Its not Iceland im worried about. Its the Aran Islanders. They could outrun the Navy in their curraghs & hookers and they have a fleet of Aer Arann Express planes at their disposal to rival the Air Corps!!

22nd July 2003, 23:41
Paul, the reference to 'treehugger' was meant to be tonque-in-cheek, however re-reading the post, I can see that the context probally does not bear this out, apoligies!
I must admit the whole war in Iraq thing did not sit well with me either, and I agree that it does seem to have caused more problems then it may have solved. There again;you may have noticed I do not, as a rule appear on the 'politics' forum as I do not consider myself qualified to.
I can't say I am thrilled with the 'dull' reference,espically as reality does not support it,even if I say so myself.[mind you, it probally would not upset me if I did not respect your veiws on things, even if I do not agree with them] I am entitled to my opinion, if you agree or disagree is not high on my list of priorities.
I belive that combat-capable interceptors should be purchased as an ongoing revamp of the Air Corps, I have never, except possably in jest, stated that they should be #1 priority, definitly not when people I know personally are required to go out in equipment that is well past it's sell-by date. Apart from that there is considerable infrastructure problems to be overcome first.
Just a quick note on light fighters, however, which was what this tread was originaly about, depending on your,mine, everybodies definition of the class of machine, 8 very fine examples of them will be arriving at Bal' beginning in April 2004, the PC-9 is a very capable peice of equipment whose preformance in, speed, load carrying, and range, exceeds aircraft popularly thought to be in this catagory.
Personally, as I said, on the old board concerning the m/l helicopters, I will belive it when I see them crossing over the blue fence in Irish Air Corps livery.[and if it happens, I will be there]
Perhaps we are all taking this board, just a little to seriously, it is, after all, little more, then a pub with no beer.[ before you start, no insult intended to the people who have put this playground in place for us] :flagwave:

Little Legionnare
23rd July 2003, 19:23
The rafle is a speriour aircrafft compared to the Eurofighter, which is over priced and sized, and the basic eurofighter desgin is not for carrier desgin, and the redesgin would cost so much and be different, ad the reaming silmlerites so expesive, and meaningless a whole new fighter is needed, and I dout the other govertments have the poltical will to spend the money on either soulutions.

23rd July 2003, 19:25

1. What are you talking about, and why?
2. Please bear in mind, the board common language is English.

23rd July 2003, 19:33
... and I thought a 'rafle' wa something you had a table quiz or summat?

paul g
24th July 2003, 14:50
Turkey, the PC-9 ain't a fighter, light or otherwise, its only a training aircraft. However, its the sort of aircraft that is needed to properly train pilots.

LL watch your spelling, you're going to be doing SATS soon.

Still its summer, although off topic, what are peoples opinions about the three teams picked to prepare designs for the USN littoral combat ship. Now that is a vessel well worth looking at for the naval service. along with the proposals for New Zealand's navy's Multi-role vessel.

24th July 2003, 17:15
Paul, that last question looks a whole lot like a Naval Service question...

paul g
25th July 2003, 13:45

true, apologies.

26th July 2003, 05:28
'Funny thing is, Paul, I agree with you about the PC-9, but if we all wait around untill [if] these aircraft arrive, I reckon we are going to hear some very wild discriptions of them by politicans and civil servants.
Legionnare, I can't really answer your comments, but while I may not agree with a lot of what Paul or Aiden have to say, at least I can understand them.[Honestly, no offence intended]
Paul, that navy bit sounds intresting, could you start a post on the NS forum, and if you could ad a link that would be a great help, I will have to study up a bit, hav'ent looked at a copy of Ships Monthly, or similiar, since my Dad died.
But, more out of curosity then anything else, I seen something there a few days back about some all-weather Jags some country had, had built as interceptors [could it have been the UAE?]. Remerbering that this is only a subject for discussion, not the Holy Grail, if someone does find something before me, could they post a link please?

John P Hannon
26th July 2003, 12:10
I figure it is simple,let the C.I.A. know that if they give Ireland 100 F/A18E's and the Irish wont support some crack pot terrorist group in the middle east.

paul g
26th July 2003, 14:36
Turkey you're thinking of Oman's jaguars., which are about to be replaced by F-16

the PC-9 order is firm in a way the medium heli contract wasn't ( no legal challenge), and should be delivered. And they are important, given that they'll provide proper training aircraft for pilots. Its pointless buying fighter jets at the moment, simply because there are no trained fighter pilots in the irish air corps, not to mention techies, etc ( and no the fouga wasn't a proper jet, and no air corps pilot is trained in fighter tactics, or anything more than pretty rudimentary CAS, that is a fact. The PC-9 will provide a stepping stone and a valuable stepping stone to something else.

26th July 2003, 20:32
I hear Uruguay's getting rowdy

14th May 2004, 12:50
Why didn't the air corps get a few of these instead of the PC-9's??
they are a jet trainer....look pretty cool eh?




for civil and military purposes

Yak-133 Fighter, Yak-133IB Fighter-bomber, Yak-133R reconnaissance aircraft, Yak-133PP Jammer, Trainer Yak-133 shipborne trainer, Yak-133 unmanned reconnaissance attack fighter.


The YAK-130 aircraft is a middle-swept-wing monoplane of classic configuration with two-seat tandem cockpit equipped with two turbojet bypass engines.

The aerodynamic configuration as well as powerplant and aircraft system performance allow the aircraft to operate at all modes typical for modern and advanced combat aircraft.

The developed leading-edge extensions and air intakes arrangement ensure the possibility to perform the steady controllable flight at the angles of attack up to 40 . The high thrust-to-weight ratio (two engines AÈ-222-25 with the thrust of 2x2500 kg) provides the aircraft with the high sustained maneuver g-load, excellent takeoff performance and climbing ability.

Nine stores (six under wing points, two wingtips points and one under fuselage point) allow the aircraft to carry up to 3000 kg of payload (arm, external fuel tanks, pods containing the arm guidance system, surveillance equipment and radio electronic and IR countermeasure aids).
The air intakes closed with the doors when the aircraft running on the ground, landing gear with the mud flap on the nose wheel allowing to operate on the grass runway and high takeoff and landing performance ensure the possibility to use the aircraft from small unprepared airfields.

The aircraft is equipped with integrated fly-by-wire control system allowing, for the training purposes, to change the stability and controllability characteristics depending on the simulated aircraft and perform the automatic control system and active flight safety system functions.

Each aircraft cabin has the electronic indication based on three multifunctional liquid crystal displays 6x8 ins without electro-mechanical instruments.

flight performance allowing to fulfill the basic maneuvers peculiar to combat aircraft of 4-th and 5-th generations;
effective pupils training in piloting the modern and advanced aircraft with simulation of different combat missions;
possibility to reprogram aircraft characteristics to simulate the behavior of different aircraft types;
aircraft service life not less than 10 000 flying hours (20 000 landings) and calendar period of 30 years;
high operating maintainability;
competitiveness of the technical products having the wide export possibilities at international market;
aircraft aptitude for various modifications;
minimum aircraft cost;


14th May 2004, 12:56
They cost US$10 million to US$12 million, what dia the PC-9's cost??

Goldie fish
14th May 2004, 13:00
There is a search function you know..it doesnt bite...

14th May 2004, 13:05
These cost $10-$12 million, the PC-9's were around 8 million euro. these seem a lot more adapable to different roles, plus there a jet plane!!!its nice to dream isn't it!!!

14th May 2004, 13:08
A cockpit view

http://mages.google.ie/imgres?imgurl=www.airforce-technology.com/projects/yak_130/images/Yak130_4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/yak_130/yak_1304.html&h=465&w=620&sz=45&tbnid=RgdF4xRCLyAJ:&tbnh=100&tbnw=133&start=7&prev=/images%3Fq%3DYak%2B130%2Bcockpit%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D %26ie%3DUTF-8

14th May 2004, 13:09
Sorry bout that, heres the pichttp://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/yak_130/images/Yak130_4.jpg

14th May 2004, 13:12
And one more pic!!!


Goldie fish
14th May 2004, 13:16
We were over this ground already...
again and again and again and again.......

14th May 2004, 13:21
the "if only ground"??

14th May 2004, 14:51

Here's the rules for posting in this thread:

Post only if you've further info on previous suggested aircraft or if you want to suggest new types. Any new types must be backed by valid reasons, not because they 'look cool'

Otherwise shut up.

14th May 2004, 22:00
Appoligies, i just thought this plane would be an excennent jet trainer/fighter that would be affordable with a long service life. It could fulfil all possible roles the IAC would have for it. Just my opinion

14th May 2004, 22:33
Odin_ie, those Yaks are pretty damn ugly/and russia written all over them!! Im not sure if they can work alongside NATO equipment? $12 million for 1 ?? Waste of money!

I still reckon the government will purchase some type of fighter in the coming years, other wise it would have bought something like the (dare i say it) L-159 instead of the PC-9's. I.E. an airframe that could do both, trainer/light fighter.

Going by the speeches given by both ministers and DF top brass, it looks like whatever we do get (although in seemingly in extremely pathetic low numbers )is aimed at EU/NATO compatibility, and our ability to integrate in overseas missions.

I would wait till after the completion of the heli deal to start speculating on fighters.

14th May 2004, 22:40
Andy, i can only hope your right. i have a friend or two in the air corps and a great pride in this countrys defence forces. i only want us to have good and reliable equipment that can stand up to the requirements set down

14th May 2004, 22:45
If you are going to buy a jet get a proper one, not a glorified trainer.Theres no point.It doesn't have the speed, range, weapons load or capability to safely operate against anything that can shoot back.Most importantly it probably wouldn't be able to operate in the crappy weather conditions here.You need all weather/ 24 hrs a day capability otherwise its a waste of money and time.If you really want air defence capability the best choice you can realistically and worthwhile make is the Gripen.The Czechs have just done it by leasing 12 Gripen solely for internal air policing over a 10 years period or so.They have western equipment, come form another neutral country and are about as cheap as you can get for a new, 3 and half to 4th gen fighter.

14th May 2004, 22:48
Gripens???do you have a link i can look at them on??

14th May 2004, 22:52
You don't know what a Saab Gripen is?!!! Why the hell are you posting on an aircraft thread?????!!!!


Sorry to promote Gripens people but it not worth it buying anything less than a proper combat jet despite the fact you'll never see the things.

14th May 2004, 22:53
Sorry...i have a limited knowledge....i'm an infantry man at heart...

14th May 2004, 22:55
wait this is used in sweden??has a really short take off range??

14th May 2004, 22:58
ok, i 've seen them before. but do you really see the Gevernment splashing out for these??

14th May 2004, 23:09
No I don't see the government splashing out on anything and this is just an academic exercise.But anyway, the basics of the Gripen is that its a collabrative aircraft between Saab and BAe.Its been chosen so far by the Hungarians, South Africa, Sweden and the Czech Republic to be they're next generation fighter.It doesn't quite have the capabilities if the Rafale of Eurofighter but it isn't a kick in the ass of them and is a fair cheap in relative term.Its NATO interoperable and will be fitted for as many western weapons as is feasible.It is designed to operate from relatively sparse bases and to be as maintainence unintensive as is reasonbly possible.It fits in between 3 1/2 and 4th generation fighters.Competition- Russian and Chinese planes mean manitainence problem, Rafael and Eurofighter are too expensive, F16s have reached the end of their development potential, Superhornets are far to expensive for the capability and the JSF might not even make it into service (not that its an A2A fighter anyway and is going to cost a lot more than the 30mill originally envisaged).So back to Gripens.

14th May 2004, 23:13
Just in case any one dosn't know what a gripen is.

As for the Government splashing out on these.

14th May 2004, 23:13
ForkTailedDevil, i've read the specs and learned a valubale lesson....always research a topic before you mouth off about it....the gripen seems lik a likely choice.whats the prive tag and whats the likelihood of the Air Corps getting them

14th May 2004, 23:28
IF the Air Corp got a chance to buy a jet, it would be this.BUT the IAC won't be given the chance to get a proper combat jet so it won't be this or anything else.Price tag? Well, thats not something easily available in todays world.Depends on quite a few thing.Could be anywhere from 30-50 million each before training, maintaince is factored in.The IAC doesn't have fast jet pilot to convert to the type unlike the other nations mentioned.It needs to train pilots from the ground up so it needs, the PC9s, LIFTs then Gripens.It would take several years to get pilots trained plus mechanics, ground facilities, hangars, comms equipment etc.Total package for a single squadron of fighters with support kit, weapons, groundcrew and pilots oh about $500million or so plus 10 years to get it in place.
Still feel like buying them?

15th May 2004, 01:30
i only want us to have good and reliable equipment that can stand up to the requirements set down

who doesnt ??

On a side note FTD, fighter jets were mentioned recently either before the EU summit or when the PC-9s arrived and the military authorites said that even if they got them for free in the morning it would take one year to get all the structures in place. Thats not a long time, and not the real issue. Its all about money!

However, another side of the arguement is the huge number of Eurofighters that the U.K are getting. Its over 200 I belive.

The Government could just be holding out until they come on stream. Brand new aircraft, limited threats for the UK, (Eurofighter numbers were built for cold war), our aircover would be guaranteed at zero cost.

The Gripen is an excellent aircraft and I would prefer it to the Eurofighter or Rafael (I wish the french stayed on board with the EF) however in 2010 the JSF will be the cheapest, most capable,reliable, aircraft in the skies.. the smart money is on it.

15th May 2004, 15:27
Ahhh, the topic that never dies ...

FTD, you are correct about the Gripen being the logical choice were Ireland ever in the market for combat aircraft; however, it and the two other 'Euro-canards' are generally considered Gen 4.5 with the F/A-22 as the only flying Gen 5 aircraft.

And your analysis of the potential costs of purchasing fighters is spot on, if a little shy of what it would actually be. The AC would also have to recruit, train and support technicians in a whole range of new fields from radar to weapons to the advanced hydraulics found on modern fighters. As you pointed out, it would be a 10 year project, which would mean that it would be ongoing through the lifespan of at least 3 governments, so politically it would be almost impossible to complete.

in 2010 the JSF will be the cheapest, most capable,reliable, aircraft in the skies

Andy, I thought we had this discussion? The JSF has yet to fly, will cost at least twice its originally projected costs, and is more or less a dedicated strike aircraft. They are still having severe problems getting it below project weight and some of the industrial partners are having second thoughts (Norway look like they'll withdraw from the project). On top of all of that, the project costs are looking larger and larger in the face of a mounting US deficit, and the plane is already looking obsolete when compared with the X-45. The only logical reasons to keep the project alive are;

1) To give the USAF fighter pilots something to do, and

2) To keep industry happy.

A new president in the US in November (Ok, December) would be forced to look very carefully at the project. I hope you don't have any money on it. Heres just one of many articles on the subject;

(From Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 24, 2004-Acig.org)

"FORT WORTH - Rising costs and development delays have undermined congressional support for the F-35 joint strike fighter program, Navy Secretary Gordon England said Friday.

Plans for the $240 billion, 2,600-plane program, being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., are "being debated by the Congress," England said. "It is a serious issue on the Hill right now."

England, who was a top executive of General Dynamics when it operated what is now Lockheed's west Fort Worth plant, was in town to receive the Goodwill Industries Citizen of the Year award.

The Navy is working closely with key members of Congress, particularly from Texas, to maintain support for the F-35, England said. "We support it strongly. We continue to work the program as hard as we can."

The F-35 program has come under sharp scrutiny in recent months, on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon.

Cost increases, a year's delay in the development schedule to solve weight issues and growing concern over federal budget deficits have led to increased attention.

Lockheed President Robert Stevens said Thursday that the company will spend the next six to nine months examining the F-35 design to try to cut out weight that would limit the aircraft's ability to perform required missions.

There is especially strong concern about the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version, or F-35B, to be produced for the Marine Corps, the British Royal Navy and perhaps even the U.S. Air Force.

That design is now estimated to be more than 3,000 pounds above the target weight. Both the Air Force and Navy versions are estimated about 1,500 pounds over target.

Just a few hundreds pounds can mean the planes would have to carry less fuel or fewer weapons and hamper their ability to conduct combat missions.

The Defense Department said in January that it was adding $5 billion to the development budget and adding a year to the timetable so Lockheed and its partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, could work on the design.

Congress is asking legitimate questions, England said. "Does the program need to be slowed down further? Are we spending the money wisely?

"We need them to support the revised program," England said. "We don't want to delay it any further and drive up the costs. We need the airplane. The Navy needs the airplane. The Marines need the airplane."

Military officials overseeing the program recently spent two days in Fort Worth meeting with Lockheed and its partners."

And a link to another;


John P Hannon
15th May 2004, 15:52
Does Ireland need a NATO class fighter jet?
What Is Irelands role in the future?
I believe it would be better to buy a number of cheaper and not so technical aircraft as it would be 2 world class (for this year) aircraft.
Just stay away from world politics is an easy thing to say but Ireland may have to put up aircraft not to fight, but to be able to fight, in the world as it becomes more unstable....
thanks gee dubya.

John P Hannon
15th May 2004, 15:54
If there was peace to break out in the world,a lot of companies would be outta work......
Just a thought.

John P Hannon
15th May 2004, 15:56
No matter what you are flying...remember it was supplied by the cheapest contender.

15th May 2004, 16:06
(this must be the most posted about topic on the board)

Well I would go for the Gripen. However I still reckon the JSF is going to be one of the cheapest most capable fighters on the market. It is after all going to replace a large amount of those F-16 countries and no other nation has the expertese of Lockeed Martin and the US in developing Jets. However thats another thread !!

Does Ireland need a NATO class fighter jet?

Well no we dont, but the government and DoD did point out that they have to interoperate with all of the other EU and western nations. There is nothing to stop us buying russian equipment but i cant see it ever happening. Maybe back in the 1970's.

The AC would also have to recruit, train and support technicians in a whole range of new fields from radar to weapons to the advanced hydraulics found on modern fighters. As you pointed out, it would be a 10 year project, which would mean that it would be ongoing through the lifespan of at least 3 governments, so politically it would be almost impossible to complet

I dont agree at all. Firstly any aircraft purchased are brand new and are unlikely to break down. Training technicans is just that, technicans not PhD students. Train all the pilots and technicans and new hangers - 2 years max.

The only real question is money ;)

Goldie fish
15th May 2004, 16:54
(never thought i would be posting here)

Apart from the obvious arguments of not needing or affording them,there is also a matter of manpower.
The DF is not considered the prime career it was in the past,and the Dept have had difficulties filling the vacancies. We are in a minority on this and other military boards in that we see the DF as a good career. How many here however know people who always weanted to be an aircraft technician? How many have their only ambition to be ground crew at the don,fuelling and marshalling aircraft on the odd day they are in flying condition? Combine with this the reluctance of the average scally to take any form of instruction without a smartass reply,and you again reduce your pool of available,suitable staff.
If the government of this isle has seen fit to reduce the number of rotary wing aircraft by more than half,what kind of motivation would be required to not only expand the "force" but to engage in a type of operation never before carried out by the Air Corps?
The problem which is being conveniently ignored by everyone who engages in this ever revolving discussion is not what aircraft,or why but how,and by who?
Getting the funding and justifying is the easy part. Getting the practical support of the public to operate these expensive toys is the hardest battle.
The irish public has never had the mindset that we need to defend ourselves.

15th May 2004, 17:01
Firstly any aircraft purchased are brand new and are unlikely to break down.


Modern aircraft break. A lot. Even something like the Gripen, which was built to have regular maintenance done by conscripts with NCO supervision needs a lot of care and attention. What do you think these things are, tractors?*

Training technicans is just that, technicans not PhD students.

How are you on modern LD/SD multi-mode pulse doppler radars? How about fly by wire systems? Missile control systems? Integrating even a working knowledge of these systems into the Air Corps would take years. It would be many many years before the knowledge of those systems would be sufficient to actually operate them in an operational context. Don't believe me? Have a look at the experiences of the UAE or Saudi Airforces with their western gear. The Indians and the Iranians learned this the hard way, they both set up technical training institutes to build the knowledge base to enable the sustainable operation of fast jets. From experience they knew that to try and deliver air power without well trained personel was a waste of time. And yes, to doctoral level.

Train all the pilots and technicans and new hangers - 2 years max

To train a group of pilots to just 'fly' the aircraft and have them qualified on even some of the weapons available would take about two years, yes. To have the pilots even remotely near trained in the tactical use of air power, in fighting the airframe in an ECM environment, in training ground controllers, in developing senior pilots to lead flight units would take many years and several iterations of training schedules. It would also require cross training and range time abroad (unless you're going to knock up a ACMI range in your garden?).

The new facilities required would be (for a start) new ordnance handling facilities with test bays for guidance packages, a new engine shop, full up avionics test facilities, new fuel system, hangars (or HAS), a complete new secure facility to base all of this in; figure, even with unlimited finances, 5 years. And only then can full up flight operations start.

It is after all going to replace a large amount of those F-16 countries

if it ever flies. Also, many of the countries have now been told that the US will not deliver a full up 'stealthy' JSF to them (everyone bar the UK basically). They are not happy. Also, to add to the list of commercially unhappy countries, Turkey also has issues. And Australia has recently unveiled its fall back plan for life without the JSF. More details on Norway's problems here;


As for I believe it would be better to buy a number of cheaper and not so technical aircraft

And what would we do with them? For the most part they offer little (or no) extra capacity over (say) the PC-9s and cost a lot more to operate.

15th May 2004, 20:09
I have to agree with Aiden on 99.99% of the above.
Modern aircrafts, particularly when new break down a lot.
We have come a long way from the Spitfire, which needed quality mechanics on the engin, the odd bit of attention to the airframe, and very little else.
It is one thing to fly an aircraft, it is a completly different thing to use it as a wepon, or even to be prepared to use it as a wepon.
I am guessing that we will need to operate the PC-9's as trainers for at least 3 years to even begin to form a pool of possable FJ pilots.
There is also no point, IMHO, in purchasing FJ's until we have trained airborn radar crews and tanker crews.
I also think that the F-35 might be the next big US defence cut, probally being replaced by a small increase in F-22 and F-18 production, and a futher development of the F-16, I would be inclined to speculate that it is even possable thou' that the AV-8 design may get revisited.
While I still belive that we should have a suitable interceptor capablity, present effords should be focused on increasing the Air Corps ablity to operate in support of the army, using helicopter based transport and wepons. and on the formation of a fixed-wing transport unit.
I still fear that there may be some plan to purchase some token light fighter, such as the L-159. withen government and defence circles, I feel that this would be a serious mistake, and such resources would be better used building up a usefully large helicopter fleet, way in excess of the[apparently] currently proposed purchase.

15th May 2004, 20:40
JSF will be dead as a viable project in 5 years time (well thats how I see it going).Its over priced, over wieght, will be downgraded for export and is a simple bomb-truck and no use in A2A.The next 20 years of manned fighter/fighterbomber aquisition will be dominated by less that a dozen aircraft.
1-Saab Gripen
4-Sukhoiu Su27 and its descendants
8-MiG-29 variants
10-The current Blk 60 F16 may be produced for a few years more when the JSF fails though development of the airframe further is nearly impossible (ever looked at a modern F16 with the new spine?)
The 9th assuming it makes it into service.The LCA should but it'll depend on how well it works but I'm sure it'll get exported.JSF will be a failure.
The F/A22 Raptor will not make it onto the approved exports list for at least 15 years and probably only the UK and Israel (if it still exists) will be authorised for purchase.
The benefits of the Gripen is that Sweden designed it to be intergrated into a ground based radar system as opposed to needing AWACs control.This still means though developing proper radar coverage of the country but it'll be cheaper than AWACs.Ireland has no need for tankers to operate Gripen.It doesnt have long legs but CFTs (i don't think they have developed them yet for the Gripen) and drop tanks will extend range and you don't need it anyway, unless you want to start fighting more that a hundred miles from the coast.You'll only be needing to carry a mixed load of half a dozen AAMs on any normal interception or patrol anyway which isn't going to drag down range appreciably anyway.
The IAC list of priorities goes something like this
1-transport helicopters
2-increased maritime patrol capability
3-transport helicopters
4-tactical trnasport aircraft

15th May 2004, 23:27
please take a look at the Fins and dont compare us to some desert dirt bowl country living in the middle east where their culture is based on the middle ages.

Fin airforce 2,000 and operating what 67 front line FA 18's

The DF is not considered the prime career it was in the past,and the Dept have had difficulties filling the vacancies

Every tom dick harry paddy and joe would be lining up to join the air corps if we had decent fighters

16th May 2004, 00:45
I wouldn't go insulting " desert dirt bowl country".A quite jovial and very intelligent gentleman who moved here from Afghanistan 5 years ago is currently one on of the few people I enjoy getting to talk to at work (people are a bit cranky currently) at the minute (he also probably speaks better English than myself despite only starting to learn when he got here :( ).
Anyway, Andy, I'm not sure where anyone compared ireland to a middle east dust bowl so could you point this out.Also I don't think we want every Tom Dick and Harry signing up to the IAC if they got fighters.Im sure the IAC would prefer to pick out who they wanted as opposed to hordes of recruits looking to play Top Gun, whether that means finding suitable students at university in subjects like physics, computer, etc that are applicable to the operation of a complex aircraft or bringing in foreigners to fly the jets.

16th May 2004, 02:55
Anyway, Andy, I'm not sure where anyone compared ireland to a middle east dust bowl so could you point this out


Don't believe me? Have a look at the experiences of the UAE or Saudi Airforces with their western gear

ForkTailedDevil, your work collegues are irrelevant (as was pointed out to me!)

.Also I don't think we want every Tom Dick and Harry signing up to the IAC if they got fighters.

Please go and re-read the context....

The DF is not considered the prime career it was in the past,and the Dept have had difficulties filling the vacancies.

I noted that IF we EVER purchased fighters a lot of people would try to join!

16th May 2004, 15:07
Andy, the comparison with the 'dust bowl'countries had a lot more to do with the fact that they have spent huge amounts of money on Western Gear in the past and found that they couldn't support it and keep it operational without massive support. Hence the use of foreign contractors to keep their equipment operational. The point stands, it would be a long term project to build the capability to operate modern fast jets.

The Finns have been operating fast jets for many, many years and thus already had a significant core of technical and operational experience. They then spent a very large amount of money training technicians and pilots on the F/A-18, and only now are they even exploring its A-G potential.

FTDs list of priorities for the AC are spot on, although I'd add some form of deployable CAS/Fire Support before interceptors. Even an attack helicopter squadron would be an improvement.*

*with the obvious disclaimer that this is all fantasy, and that the AC will probably never operate aircraft with a combat capability.

16th May 2004, 18:26
Here, im not saying we need jets 2moro, but i am pointing out that some of those dust bowl countries will never probably be able to operate modern jets.

The Finns have been operating fast jets for many, many years

With a bunch of conscripts I might add.... and the reserve soldiers I was talking to werent to impressed with the wages they were on or the level of training they recieved:O

Jets for this country are down the list of priorities, we can ask the UK and US in the mean time. However my point was that if the proper funding was made available in the morning, we could have everything in place in 2 years max.

What is clear is that the PC-9's are extremely limited and admitted so by the Minister of Defence.

16th May 2004, 18:44
While I am afraid that Aidan may be right in his statement that the IAC might never operate combat capable aircrafts, I hope that he is wrong............
Andy, I do think that ,even if we imported experts from abroad, including actual air crews, that 2 years would be optomistic to say the least.
I, more or less agree with FTD's priority order.
The PC-9s are extreamly limited, espically by being bought in such a tiny number, I still say one of the main problems with the IAC is the manner in which aircrafts are bought.
But whether we like it, or not, this debate, no matter how foolish, will go on...............

16th May 2004, 19:31
never underestimate the power of money !:D

17th May 2004, 02:23
Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster.

Anyway, just a few opinions:

Firstly I dont understand why it even needs saying that the PC-9's are limited, they are training aircraft. Simple as that. Not even the minister for defence has even attempted to disguise that fact. Taking that as a given, they are a tremendous step forward in terms of pilot training for the Air Corps. Whether jets had been bought instead, the PC-9's were always going to be needed.

With regards to this topic, there seems to be a catch 22 situation. Whether the Air Corps goes for a cheaper option, i.e. an aircraft in the Hawk or L-159 catagory, which offer a limited advantage at a higher operating cost over the PC-9.

Or whether the quantum leap is taken and something in the class of the Saab Gripen is bought. Much higher cost but much greater capability.

I have a question.. and I recognise I'm not bringing this topic any further but, what the hell, tolerate me;

does any other airforce in the world operate Fighter aircraft without using the Turboprop->LIFT->Fighter system.

i.e. is it possible, or even desirable to have fighters without something like the Hawk in between? Yes some two seater variants of the fighters could be bought for training but would that be viable economically?

17th May 2004, 03:04
That's progress.
A sort of an answer. No I don't think so, all the major airforces seem to go from a basic trainer to an advanced trainer then on to their FJ.
In my opinion the PC-9 is limited because of the number that they have purchased, I think they should have got more then 8, because despite what the minister has said, they will be used for this so-called light strike, which is one of those wonderfully meaningless discriptions of something, the kindest translation I can put on it is, ground strike training, [they appear to have limited the aircrafts stores carrying capacity to a load well below worthwhile for actual use]
They will also be used if we can belive our media, for enforceing no fly zones, :D :D :D They should be quite effective against armed microlites.
Finally some clown will no doubt attempt to reform the display team, such things, like govenment transport, are possable when you have the defence resources of someone like the UK, if not then they are a drain on equipment which may have other far more important uses.
The plus side of the story is that the PC-9m replaces more then one aircraft type, they effectively replace the Marchettie basic trainer, and they also replace the training function of the Fouga advanced jet trainer.
But the Fougas, while otherwise a useless waste of taxpayers money, did give the dangerous illusion of defence, nothing more, which strangely enough, while in many ways being a superior aircraft, the PC-9 will never do.
Because thats's how people think, jets= air power, aeroplanes with twirley things on the front=quaint and quite silly.
I do not belive that the L-159 or the Hawk offer any advantage over the PC-9 in any role to justify their purchase, but I think one of the transonic trainer/light fighters such as the F/A/T-50 are where the IAC should be heading when the busness of maritime patrol , helicopters for army air-mobility and tactical transport have been resolved.
Such an arcraft, can offer all that is forseeably required to secure the airspace of this country from all but the most determined conventional attackers, should the world ever sink back to the depths of the 1940's again.
Obviously aircrafts such as the Gripen, F-16, or F-18 would help provide a spotters paradise, but unless we were to become a nation of crusaders, bestowing the blessing of enforced peace upon the worlds warring factions, I really cannot see a suitation where such overpriced hardware would prove necessary.
Feck, where is that fireproof gear? :D

17th May 2004, 03:24
Turkey I suppose I should don similar gear seeing as I agree with you :)

The LIFT type of aircraft, particularly the Mako and T/A-50 would seem to make perfect sense.

But what do I know...

New helicopters please Mr. Smith

John P Hannon
17th May 2004, 04:49
Tell gee dubya that Ireland has no aircraft and would probably side with bin laden and you will have all the F-15s and F-16s and F-18s you want for nix.

17th May 2004, 09:13
Another article on the JSF:

BBC Article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3718567.stm)

17th May 2004, 09:43
New build GR9 Harrier as strike and reconaisance (as opposed to the GR7s that have been upgraded to GR9 staus) and those quite new Sea Harriers for A2A plus new ones makes far more sense for the British carriers.They might not have stealth or supersonic speed but they work, and work very well.

17th May 2004, 10:59
Air Forces Monthly this month features Swiss Air Force and reports that it has put up for sale 18 Hawk trainers delivered 1987-90. Since the Swiss cut their air force from 300-odd fighters in the 1980s to the 70-odd today, they no longer have need for such a training capacity. According to AFM, all the Hawks have low hours, between 650 and 1,300, are weel-maintained and in storage, ready for sale. They are all wired to car Sidewinders and 30mm Aden cannon pod for secondary air defence and light attack. Only the United Arab Emirates have expressed any interest to date. Could this be cheap way of giving the Air Corps a jet capability for limited air defence and attack duties? What ya think?

17th May 2004, 11:12
Been through this LIFT already thing already.Sadly the answer is no despite them being nice little planes.Light strike-Yes, A2A-no.Not fast enuff (even some of the large passenger aircraft can out-run them)and are restriced to fair weather and WVR attacks.Sadly this is the pretty much the last word on the subject really.Not much more to say about them.Those Hawks have been up for sale for a wee while now aswell.

17th May 2004, 13:38
In response to That'sProgress asking

"any other airforce in the world operate Fighter aircraft without using the Turboprop->LIFT->Fighter system."

well, a few try it.India itself has been missing out on a decent LIFT type for years, which accounts for a high number of crashes despite some very good pilots and excellent airplanes.Thye finally signed a contract for 66 Hawks recently.Many 3rd world countries jump straight to fighters (for reasons of pride), generally inherited from other sources and bring in mercenaries to operate them, or send pilots abroad for teaching or the final option, throw a poorly qualified pilot in and hope for the best.All 3 options have been attempted at one point or another.

17th May 2004, 14:42
Thye finally signed a contract for 66 Hawks recently

They needed to !! With one of the highest (if not highest) death rate of new pilots in the world. They just took green recruits and threw them straight away into SU-27s:D :D

Jets are 'too heavy to take off

I am a big fan of the JSF but im starting to have my doubts ... a tad expensive € 51million each:eek:

Goldie fish
17th May 2004, 15:14
I think i am sticking this in with the other topic about the same thing...

Can we give points to the next person who suggsts we buy cheap old jets to return the Air Corps to a jet capability?
The PC9M is turboprop powered.
That involves a jet turbine,which is attached to a propellor. So you could say we already have trainers that are Jet powered.


17th May 2004, 15:35
They just took green recruits and threw them straight away into SU-27s

Well, no, they took green pilots with a few hours of prop time and dropped them into MiG-21s. Thats a lot worse.

And India does not have Su-27s, it has Su-30s.

Also, Turkey, I agree, in terms of the most likely threat to Irish airspace at the moment, be it through terrorist attacks involving a helicopter or light aircraft, the Pc-9 is a perfectly acceptable counter measure. Intercepting airliners would be out of the question for most of the LIFT/Fighter Wannabees mentioned anyway.

Goldie fish
17th May 2004, 15:41
Its out of the question for most Fighter aircraft.

17th May 2004, 15:43

Would you explain that reasoning Goldiefish please.Not sure what you mean.
I assume you are talking about various sub and transonic jets out there as opposed to the supersonic fighters?

17th May 2004, 16:04
Only the F104 starfighter could ascend fast enough to scramble against a commercial jet airliner

17th May 2004, 16:23
Well, no, they took green pilots with a few hours of prop time and dropped them into MiG-21s. Thats a lot worse.

I stand corrected.

17th May 2004, 16:57
Come-Quickly? uhh, [EDIT] *SNIP* duh, i made a pretty dumb comment here, F104 starfighter is still in service, i mistook it for the F-80 Shooting Star, apologies! [EDIT]

I think what goldie refers to is that by the time you realise an airliner is straying from its predefined flightplan, its already flying in over Howth Head on its way to dubln airport.

Picture the scene...

<<< Request immediate interception of Aerlingus A320 airliner, flight EI203 on route from Manchester, veering erratically from pre determined flight plan direction will take it over central Dublin City, has also ceased comms with tower at Dublin, last communication indicated a struggle in the cockpit with an unknown individual >>>

a klaxon goes off, pilots on standby scramble to their shiney new F-18s in baldonell, two minutes pass and the pride of the IAC are thundering down the runway, rotation at 150, climb rapidly to 1000ft, air traffic has been diverted away from the city centre, they accelerate heading out over Dublin city centre.

Now your looking out over the city, 3 minutes have passed, your just in time to pick up the airliner and then watch as it goes off radar and slams into (insert any packed city centre location here)... what use were your fighters you ask yourself?

Now... back from mitty-land, the only way a squadron of super sonic fighters might provide some return would be to have Fighter aircraft on CAP over main urban areas at a time when weve had a warning of what to expect... Or we knew an inbound transatlantic had been hijacked, then we could possibly intercept it and shoot it down before it was over ireland.

Our airports are so close to the main urban areas that we'd have the tiniest ammount of time to intercept, even with a few dedicated SAM sites and AA sites, do you suggest we shoot it down over swords santry or coolock??? theres not much we can do in this scenario and if the Terrorist leaves it til the last minute to hijack the aircraft, we have very little warning.

Goldie is right, im resigned to wishing we had decent fighter aircraft and knowing we never will have them, arguing that we need them to intercept airliners is not a point that will win any supporters.

If like me now, you suggested that we need them to support our troops abroad, to provide air cover and security for our own airspace as a sovereign neutral country (if we should vote to become constitutionally neutral in the future) and to supply air assets to the EURRF or for UN peacekeeping missions, then fair enough. but on the sole premise of stopping a 911 attack... its a non starter.

Also turbo props are a turbine engine with props, technically i suppose Goldie is right, but they are still not jet trainers. A jet engined aircraft will have different handling, aerodynamics and flight characteristics to a turbo propellor powered aircraft.

my 2c.

Goldie fish
17th May 2004, 17:00
Originally posted by ForkTailedDevil

Would you explain that reasoning Goldiefish please.Not sure what you mean.
I assume you are talking about various sub and transonic jets out there as opposed to the supersonic fighters?

I can't remember the details now,but given that irish airspace begins a few miles off the East coast, it would take 5 minutes before a commercial aircraft,intent on carrying out a terrorist attack would either be in, or out of our airspace,depending on the intended target. This has been gone over before.
If the USAF,with the top of the range in early warning radar and interceptor aircraft,they were unabe to prevent 9-11 happening,even while the last airliner was ploughing into a field,they were still powerless to act.
Its an academic argument in any case. Given the scenario,that an airliner intent on a terrorist type attack,the time taken for a hypothetical response from a hypothetical force,who had known the intentions of this assumed aircraft,the time to contact would still be well in excess of 5 minutes.

17th May 2004, 17:04
Are you an aviation expert now Morph? Can we take it you can compare & contrast between the climb rate of the F-104 & other aircraft?

Because if you can't, you should shut up.

Goldie fish
17th May 2004, 17:05
Yeah....what morph said...

17th May 2004, 17:59
The F104 was identified as the only aircraft capable of scrambling in sufficient time in any european airforce by AFM.

17th May 2004, 18:18
From what I remember of 911, the USAF had NO fighters on standby anywhere along the east coast of the USA that morning. They had 20 mins from the first airliner going missing until it smashed into the first tower in NY. The second followed 20 mins after that. Plenty of time to scramble F15s or F16s on quick reaction alert (QRA) at bases near NY. In the case of attack on the Pentagon, there were no fighters on QRA at Andrews, a few mins flight time from Washington DC. The nearest fighters, F16s, were at Langley in Virginia, about 15 mins away. By the time they got over DC it was too late. As regards the last plane brought down by passengers near Pittsburg, F16s were airborne to intercept and Dick Cheney (NOT George W Bush) had given the order to shoot it down. There was a rumour at the time, backed by anonymous sources, that it was in fact shot down by USAF, until the PR angle of heroic passengers tackling terrorists to prevent disaster made a much better story for the traumatised US public. The USAF could do nothing about the 911 planes because of arrogance and complacency, not a lack of capability. They just could not believe ANYONE would attack the US 'homeland', especially a few Arab terrorists in hijacked US airlines.

Hijacked airliners that go off course can be intercepted and shot down. The Israeli Air Force shot down a hijacked Libyan airliner over the Sinai Desert in 1973. It was on a flight path for Tel Aviv, a few mins flying time away, when the IAF shot it down killing everyone on board. The Israeli govt at the time said they believed the hijackers planned to crash the plane into the Kirya, the military compound in Tel Aviv containing the Ministery of Defence and IDF headquarters.

Slightly off the point here but 911 wasn't a dramatic new idea that Osama had a brainwave about in 2000/2001. It had been thought of before. The problem was the highly paid analysts in the CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA, etc hadn't the imagination or breadth of thought of the terrorists or few scriptwriters in Hollywood. Hitting massive commercial/military/political targets was not new. The IRA had done it to Britain for two decades. 911 was less an air force failure, although they can carry some blame for the final few mins, but a massive failure of intelligence analysis and interpretation. After all, the signs were there if only people in Langley and Quantico could have joined the dots.

17th May 2004, 18:31
Originally posted by jacknoble
There was a rumour at the time, backed by anonymous sources, that it was in fact shot down by USAF, until the PR angle of heroic passengers tackling terrorists to prevent disaster made a much better story for the traumatised US public.

Do you honestly believe it was shot down???? If you look at photo`s of the crash site it`s fairly damn obvious that it was still fully intact when it hit the ground. If it had been hit by a missle(s) then debris would have been spread out over a large area.

17th May 2004, 19:30
I didn't say it WAS shot down, I said that there was a rumour that it was, backed in the media by anonymous USAF sources. From the evidence we have now, we know four passengers tackled the terrorists and the plane crashed. The shot down story was put about for a while because the USAF looked so impotent on the day and failed to intercept the hijacked planes and prevent the attacks. If you watched RTE/BBC/Sky on the day they all reported at first that fourth plane had been shot down. We also now know from Dick Clarke's book Against All Enemies that authority to shoot down wayward airliners had been approved at highest level and there were a number of near misses until all airborne flights had touched down.

18th May 2004, 09:22
No need to b*tch at me all the time :)

I never implied that Come-Quickly was wrong about rates of climb etc, I was pointing out that rates of climb etc mean nothing, because by the time from when we get a message indicating that an airliner has strayed from its flightpath, to assets in the air, in my opinion it would be too late.

Dublin airport isnt even 2 minutes flying time from the city centre.

By the way, Im not an aviation buff, but ill have you know that i do know something about aircraft, I dont know rates of climb off by heart of individual aircraft, but if your interested, heres some info.

F-104 Starfighter:
Source: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/airdef/f-104.htm
Climb Rate: 50,000 feet per minute

F-16 Falcon
Source: http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/types/usa/lockheed_martin/f-16/F-16.htm
Maximum rate of climb at sea level 50,000+ ft/min (15240+ m/min);

F-18 Hornet
Source: http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/types/usa/boeing/fa-18/FA-18_Hornet.htm
Maximum rate of climb at sea level 45,000 ft/min (13715 m/min);

Airbus A320
Source: http://www.jersey-va.co.uk/Aircraft-specs/a320_spec.htm
ROC "Rate Of Climb"

Below 10,000ft
max. 3,800 fpm @ 250kts (fpm is Feet per minute)

Above 10,000ft to Cruise Flight Level FL
2000 - 2500fpm from 10,000 - 20,000ft @ 260 - 350kts
2000 - 1500fpm from 20,000 - 26,000ft
1500 - 300fpm from 26,000 - 35,000 ft depending on weight.

18th May 2004, 09:26
Morpheus, stop for a minute and look at the blindingly obvious, AFMs inference is that the F104s high altitude performance made it the only fighter that could be in position from a two minute warning.

18th May 2004, 09:43

I'm assuming you edited one of your previous posts to say that you confused the F-104 with the F-80, revealing a lack of knowledge on the subject. That in itself is fine, you're not expected to be an aviation encyclopaedia. What's not ok is the fact that you passed critical comment on someone else's post without doing any research.

Stop posting the first thing that comes into your head & do your homework first, the internet is your friend.

And I'll keep 'bitching' as long as you keep posting crap.

18th May 2004, 11:37
C-Q, Morpheus, the F-104 is judged to be the only fighter in service to be capable of making an intercept not because of its rate of climb or range (its very short ranged if on burner), but because it has a very simple avionics set up that doesn't require a long period of time for gyros to spin up or electronics to boot up and come online.

It means the aircraft has a very short spin up time, and can be airborne very shortly after an alert being called. During Operation Allied Force in 1999, the alert birds were Italian F-104s, for that very reason. CAP and BARCAP was carried out by USAF F-15Cs, RAF and Italian F.Mk3s and various F-16s (Dutch, Norwegian etc), but the only fighter judged capable of a ground launched intercept of a high subsonic attack was the F-104. The other aircraft available were just as fast once launched, but they took too long to get in the air.

The F-15s (36TFW) based at Bitburg in the 1980s and early 1990s were the NATO QRF in the case of any incursion across the IGB, they had two two ships on alert, one pair on 5 minute alert and the other on 15. That 5 minute alert was just to get the pilots to the planes, though. In reality the period was much longer. And this was the USAF at the height of the cold war.

In that regard, and particularly on the specific Irish situation, Morpheus's 2c post was spot on.

John P Hannon
20th May 2004, 05:01
There is a not so great state of art Mirage, I think it is the Mirage 2000. We had Mirage 3s as our main fighter and did more than double the airtime and most of that was an attack type aircraft where the air is thicker and the aircraft was designed to fly very high. Fortunately we did have to use them in anger but I am sure that they would have done well.

2nd December 2005, 16:19
[Mod: Thread merge. Lets keep the jet talk together eh]

Has anyone took a look at the PC-21, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilatus_PC-21.

The speed is greater than the PC-9 and its seems to have state of the art flight controls. I am not sure how far the testing has gone for weapons load. In the next few years it might make a good purchase.

If the IAC ever gets back in the fast jet game, there is the K-8, http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/attack/k8/

It seems to be a selling pretty well. It would give the IAC some type of interception role and provide fast-jet training. That would prove useful if the IAC obtains more jet transport aircraft.

2nd December 2005, 18:13
Its well and good suggesting different a/c for the AC but this is a 100% academic topic and will be for the next decade/decade and a half AT LEAST.

It will need a drastic change in Leadership and public perception of the military for any of these issues to be sorted.

For me anyway I would like to see the reinstatement of offshore SAR duties (with adequate resources) before Jets.

Possibly off thread but my 2c.

6th December 2005, 09:10
With regard to the F104s, I'm sure their gyros(60s technology) are less capable than the ring laser gyros of today's fighters. Also, their fuel burn is a joke and their potential enemies were MiG-29s, with much better radars/missiles.I'd venture to suggest that they were kept out of the way....given the prevalence of suicide bombers on foot/in road vehicles in today's terrorism, this endless talk of jet fighters is very,very academic..

6th December 2005, 09:53
Gttc, you misunderstood me. The F104 doesn't have an INS, at least not in Italian trim. Hence no spin up time. As for going head to head with Serbian MiG-29, well assuming a 29 could actually cross the Adriatic (doubtful cos of their pathetic fuel loads), I doubt if the quality of their navigation systems would be the deciding factor in any engagement ... . I'd put my faith more in the superior missiles, training and, of course, radar and C4i facilities NATO had at their disposal.

Theres also the fact that the F104s weren't exactly useful for anything else, but thats a separate story.

And agreed, any talk of jets in an Irish context is entirely academic, and has been for a long time.

Old Redeye
6th December 2005, 15:23
Look, lets consider some reality, even beyond the fact that there is absoloutely no existing or forecast requirement for jet fighters in Ireland.

Consider this - the best available estimate within the shroud of Saab proprietary secrecy is that new Gripens run about 75 million Euros a copy, including spares and other maintenance support, software, etc. Meaning a squadron of six, the minimum required to field a viable capability, would run in the area of 450 million Euros, with a price per fligt hour of about 2300 Euros.

The next best option, lease of excess, unmodernized Canadian CF-18's, would run about 35-45 million Euros a year = some 200 million Euros for a five year lease, + a price per flight hour of about 7000 Euros per hour.

All this cash for little more than sexier airshow participation and photo ops for plane spotters? Give me a break.

A new C-130J-30 runs about 55 million Euros and would satisfy one of the major outstanding capability shortfalls of the Irish Defence Forces for at least 30 years! A new 130J AND a new C-27J together would only run about 80 million Euros.

What makes more sense? Buying fighters for the IAC would be disgraceful.

The Blue Max
6th December 2005, 22:32
There is no out lying need in the IAC for the large fast jet that have been recommended previously on this thread such as Typhoons,JAS39 Gripens,F-18,F-35s etc... instead there is a requirement for an aircraft that can previde very similiar capabilities for fractions of the price that offer both Operational/Training Capabilities beyond that of the Pilatus PC-9M this aircraft would be in class of the EADS MAKO which is in the final stages of development
it would offer the IACs No.ONE Operations Wing witha modern capable aircraft that we could hope to operate in a any decent sizes squadrons and for decent price

example: EIGHT x EADS MAKO (ALAJ) PRICE 25million + backup systems,new Hangar etc.

Overall Project Cost = 225million

These Light Jets would have many uses such as.

1. To defend the state against armed agreesion and
to maintain integerity of irish soverign airspace
(Air Defence needs would be in the form of stand too
aircraft i.e QRA- Quick Reaction Aircraft)

2. Development of our pilots skills and developing base of
qualified pilots that can fly the aircraft etc..

3. Develop skills for other ground forces (develope Combat Air Support And Operating Alongside Fast Jets in battlefield situation utilizing laser designator etc..)
and alongside Naval Assets and other airborne assets

These in my opinion would be some of the main reasons the IAC could expect to operate a new fleet of such Advanced Light Attack Jats...

Old Redeye
7th December 2005, 03:21

Here we go again. Sure the MAKO promises to be a superb a/c, ....but, what existing or forseable threat to Irish airspace could possibly justify an expendite of 225 milion? None. You could buy three 130J's for that much money + first rate infrastructure and lots of overeas training (note: there is no valid requirement for more than 1x 130J + a 235-300).

What purpose is there in developing the nebulous skills gained from owning 8 MAKO's? Little or none.

The CAS training you refer to can be more economically and efficiently done by troops attending CAS FAC courses with battlegroup partners Sweden and Finland, or with Canada, the UK, etc., and routinely exercising these skills in regular joint exercises with those same EU battegoup partners and others as part of a standard unit work-up to being declared deployment capable. As for maritime ops, what is the requirement? Strafing errant fishing trawlers?

On a technical note, to be effective at QRA air defense, your MAKO would require a radar. I also doubt if a MAKO wouldhave the speed, range and endurance to effectively intercept a rapidly closing target far enough out - let's say 100nm out over the Atlantic at night - to permit the exercise of complicated target ID and rules of engagement procedures.


9th December 2005, 21:41
A country has an obligation to protect its own borders. Why did the IAC have figther aircraft from it founding? http://www.military.ie/aircorps/history1.htm Where they afraid of Britian?

After World War II they had Seafire in service for years. Politcs change and so do the roles of armed forces. But the IAC has the basic role of defending their country against any hostile threat. If a nut with a jet was flying over Dublin, who would stop him.

I am not saying the IAC should buy F-22s, but a training aircraft with a radar, a cannon or cannon pod, and possibly some AAMs.

Take the situation in the Ivory Coast. French peacekeepers where strafed by Su-25s. Say that Irish troops are overseas, should they not have an aircraft that can be used for some sort of AD/CAS/Recon.

The basic line, one of the purposes of a country's military is to defend it homeland. Ireland could easily afford some sort of aircraft that could fill that role. Its not the little poor country of yesteryear.

10th December 2005, 14:44
The difference between France & Ireland is that France can & does operate on it's own, Ireland doesn't. If/when we go into EU battlegroups it'll be someone else providing such support.

The fact is that, for better or worse, defence is not a major issue in Ireland. The public doesn't really care & therefore most politicians don't either. As a result, the defence budget is more limited than we'd like. The AC has to concentrate it's resources on what is most useful (MATS aside) & has decided, rightly in my opinion, that new helicopters fit that bill.

New helicopters will allow Irish troops to train for air-mobile operations in a more realistic manner than is currently possible. They will also give the DF a better transport capability within Ireland & may. in time, feature in overseas deployments. Compare that to fighters that may never be needed.

You could very well say that we don't know what's around the corner, that it's better to have something & not need it than to need something & not have it. You could say it's a country's duty to protect itself & that Ireland can now afford to do so. You'd be right to say those things & you'd be preaching to the converted. Unfortunately we're not in charge of defence policy & neither is GOC AC.

10th December 2005, 18:56
Look, lets consider some reality, even beyond the fact that there is absoloutely no existing or forecast requirement for jet fighters in Ireland.

Consider this - the best available estimate within the shroud of Saab proprietary secrecy is that new Gripens run about 75 million Euros a copy, including spares and other maintenance support, software, etc. Meaning a squadron of six, the minimum required to field a viable capability, would run in the area of 450 million Euros, with a price per fligt hour of about 2300 Euros.

The next best option, lease of excess, unmodernized Canadian CF-18's, would run about 35-45 million Euros a year = some 200 million Euros for a five year lease, + a price per flight hour of about 7000 Euros per hour.

All this cash for little more than sexier airshow participation and photo ops for plane spotters? Give me a break.

A new C-130J-30 runs about 55 million Euros and would satisfy one of the major outstanding capability shortfalls of the Irish Defence Forces for at least 30 years! A new 130J AND a new C-27J together would only run about 80 million Euros.

What makes more sense? Buying fighters for the IAC would be disgraceful.

I have to agree Old Redeye. Even the brits are giving out about the price of aircraft. They are expensive to buy and fly and they dont do a whole pile. Prince Charle got a lift in one to go to collect his army boots and then go to Sandhurst for his military training and the media were all over him.

Just an example, but the public here would be saying, "...do we REALLY need these?". Plus the taoiseach would be up in arms seeing that he has to fly in that clapped out Gulf Stream