View Full Version : Some prices

4th February 2003, 16:13
Here are some relevant aircraft prices (USD 1998) for whom it may concern.

CN-235= 12m (i.e 1x Boeing blow job= 5x tactical transport or MPA a/c)
Hawk-eye 2000= 200m (see air defence would not be cheap)
AlphaJet2= 12m (attack optimised with self defence capability)
Hawk100/208=19.3m (100 series= trainer, 208 single seat light multirole fighter [point defecne + ground attack]).
MB339FD=55.7m (this is the one that allegedly flew out to the Don, yes it/was is more expensive than an F-16)
C-101DD=7m ( an apparently very capable trainer/light attack aircraft, probably equivalent to an L-59)
L-159B=8.9m (2002 price USD, we've all heard about this one before.)

Any more prices available for things?
Let you local wishlister know.

4th February 2003, 17:08
Just let me get my cheque book:D

4th February 2003, 17:09

4th February 2003, 17:42
Problem with prices like these is that they don't take into account the price of spares/support and the maintainability (ie MTBF) of the gear. Running costs are at least as important as the outright capital cost of equipment when striking a deal.

Still, its fun ...

On the CN 235, I'd expect the MPA version to be considerably more expensive (between 30-50% more) than the basic airlifter. For comparative purposes, a C-27J is expected to be in the region of $27.5 mill, with a CN-295 about 30% less. A C130J was about $55 mill in FY95.

The price for a MB-339FD has to be wrong, £55 mill should get you a F/A-18E/F or an F-15E, 15mill more should get you an F/A-22 ... (yeah right).

And they're pricing an Eads MAKO at $22-25 mill, probably more now due to the fact that the programme has stalled.

Flug revue (at http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRTypen/FRL-159.htm) has the following for the price of an L-159A or ALCA,

"On the export market, the L159A is likely to cost 14 to 16 million US-Dollars, it was stated in mid-1999."

Doesn't contravene what you say C-Q, but a handy figure all the same.

For that kind of money I'd be looking at a refurbed F-16 block 15-25. Hell, the USAF list an A-10A at $9.8 mill in 1998 figures ...

4th February 2003, 21:48
Thats the price I have for the MB-339....
The L-159 price was actually from an advertisement in an industry rag...
It's all a moot point anyway, the 200-250m of a decent radar network or AEW craft would kill whatever political will another emergency could put behind an AD fighter program...critiscising a lack of capabilities is what one does in opposition, not in government.

On the other hand 5 tactical transports could do some good, for relatively cheap...just imagine trying to call aid deliveries or disaster relief war mongering, even Irish people would think twice about it (well 1.5 times anyway.).

And doesn't the F/A-18 cost around US$80m?

5th February 2003, 12:46
Agreed on the Tac Transport issue. And while Aid/Disaster relief are only the start of the potential roles for such a/c, they'd undoubtedly be the ones that'd garner the greatest amount of public support. Would take years to build up a serviceable fleet, so 1 in 04, 1 in 05 and 2 in 06. Now theres a wishlist!

C-295 seems to be the best value for money ...

The cost of a proper AD system means that a major initiative would be needed - meaning serious political support - meaning a see change in our foreign policy. Its not something to enter into lightly or on the cheap. Better to walk before you can run, build capacity cheaply in those areas you actually /need/ now. SAR, Heli ops, MPA and tac trans.

Costs of US warplanes are notoriously difficult to pin down, mainly cos of the politics involved and the fact that development costs have to be factored in ... as order numbers get changed so too does the unit cost. the figure of $55 mill I had came from Flug-Revue and is probably out of date, the US Navy list the price per unit at $57 mill. I'd heard figures up to and over the $80mill cost you posted as well.


5th February 2003, 15:19
And lets not forget the price of the radar installation. The RHAF have just signed for 12 C-27Js for E297m, delivered 2,2,2,2,4 I think. It's slightly more expensive than the CASA, plus we already have contacts with CASA, something we don't have with Alenia/Lockheed Martin.

Methinks that 3 CN-295s would go a long way to saving the army and the Aircorps....Self deploy a battalion to the balkans in three refueled flights, take more to bring the heavy equipment but it would mean that we could theoretically do more than wave a finger next time someone decides to pick on an Irish unit overseas( even if it would mean staffing every Bks in two commands with reservists).

For the moment I'm focused on the TT fixed wing and rotary TT fleet needs, with a similar concern for rotary utility needs.

But if they nearly got away with 540m for a football field, who knows what might tip favour in the way of an AD network.....ask me in the next boom

5th February 2003, 16:15
Yup, three would do it, with one as a spare.

Competitive tender, Alenia, EADS/Casa and Antonov would probably apply, pick the best and then phase them in over three years. a/c.

Well, we seem to have the fixed wing TT sorted out.

All we need is about €90 million and then we can start work on the helicopter problem.

5th February 2003, 16:50
I just asked my mate he says he shasn't got that much handy, hang on and I'll check my other trousers

5th February 2003, 17:09
Yeah, I'll empty out the pint glass of change and have a root down the back of the sofa when I get home. Should cover it with enough left over for a few pints.

Actually, in Government terms, its not a /lot/ of money. If it became a priority, I'm sure the money could be found in very short order. Given that there are some very important practical reasons why the state should have this capacity, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we saw some movement on this front over the next few years.

Then again, I am an optimist.

paul g
5th February 2003, 21:00
True its not a lot in government terms, and transports would be a good investments, but may I query to the L-159 as a possible fighter,

Firstly its only a bastardised trainer.

Secondly, it was only developed and bought by the CZAF to keep Aero afloat,

Thirdly,- its a small single engined fighter, not really sutiable for operating over our vast territorial waters, where the real military threat comes from realistically.

Fourthly- Turkey once accused me of not wanting figghters because I was afraid of the noise, which I untrue, I wouldn't, but I'm fairly sure the wife and the neighbours would, there is a need for an training area for low flying aircraft, and that would cause problems with NIMBY.

The real problem with irish air defence is that we would need a big two engined sophisticated fighter in the Eurofighter/F-15/F-14 class to defend our airspace,

then again, this is like wondering what life would be like if Mrs G liked the idea of me going out with other women.

6th February 2003, 10:55
Its what I've been saying for years, it all comes back to geography*. Unless we were willing to allow another country take care of the long range CAP/BARCAP or intercept stuff, we'd have to invest in a big, heavy BVRAAM shooter to have any real hope.

The L-159 can only be considered a fighter if your adversaries were flying 1950s era A/c. Badly.

*Except for the bit about Paul and his missus, thats not particularly geographical.

6th February 2003, 17:18
I didn't ay anything about the L-159 as a fighter I just gave some prices for things that usually show up on peoples wishlists

6th February 2003, 20:33
Paul G makes a good point about noise, but I find that strange as he has stated repeatedly that he is against us having a DF anyway 'cause he is under the illusion that we will never be attacked, even citing my mapreading ability as being faulty. Hey dude I was reading maps in the sixties, Irelevent, just like noise, it's just a problem to be overcome.
The L-159 is not the ideal choice of interceptor, but it may be our best choice, for all it's shortcomings, it's quite a potent aircraft, not my opinion, I'm only going by what I've been told by a friend formally in the air-defence busness,BUT it's more likely going by yarns I have heard that our 'government' is presently engaged in purchasing L-39za aircraft,[personally I am not convinced].
All these aircraft will provide is a veneer of air-defence, better then nothing, but not much.
No, we need the L-159, but as an advanced trainer/wepons trainer/ground strike aircraft, we need Gripens or F-16's for the air-defence requirment.
Some chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

paul g
6th February 2003, 21:07
Have never said that ireland shouldn't have a defence forces,. I have argued that it should have a defence forces capable of carrying out realistic missions (which it doesn't), it should have a properly trained defence force,( it doesn't, before anybody jumps down my throat read December's an cosantoir, which bluntly admits that while the 2002 exercises were exceptional and unique for the DF, they are routine in armies, Slag him if you want, but if Smith has achieved a situation where a battalion from every brigade undertakes a major exercise every year, then he is ireland's best ever minister of defence), have the ability to send units overseas on training exercises with the basic equipment to carry out its bread and butter day to day business in Ireland ( still needs more APCs, ATGW a 5.56mm LMG, Night capable utility helicopters, and offshore patrol vessles, they don't even have enough bullets for f£&ks sake). And until that point is reached, fantasing about supersonic fighters is a bit silly.

paul g
6th February 2003, 21:43

most people on this board's wishlists are just random numbers picked out of the air with selections taken from my big book of aircraft and ships that they got from Santa, or the magazine they flicked through in Easons, the legionaire is the worst example, but lots of others, apart from idiots like Gunthar on Frank's board, or that moron Jock from Austrailia who used to contribute before your time.

I served for two years in another army and a bloody good one though unfortunatedly it isn't anymore. I served in a battalion group that honestly, would have massacred all six brigades of the entire Irish army in a battle, and that's not a false boast. I know that the defence forces has a lot of problems and that equipment is only half of it. More important is training and structure. The army's collective training is appauling, not point in having an army unless its able to fight. And while Smith takes a lot of flack from people on this board, he has been a good manager which at the end of the day is his job. He managed army deafness, which made the D.F into a national joke in a very effective manner, he has sold off unwanted assets despite political pressure to keep them open; the situation was shit before he took over and despite his mistakes, things regarding equipment, training and infrastructure have improved. He has done lots of small things which although nobody noticed, will be a billion time more useful to the D.F. as a military organisation in then years time than prestige projects; the recruiting campaign, for example, new buildings. And he does it in a situation, I assume, at the cabinet table, where he has to fight for every last cent he gets.

paul g
6th February 2003, 21:45
Have never said that ireland shouldn't have a defence forces,. I have argued that it should have a defence forces capable of carrying out realistic missions (which it doesn't), it should have a properly trained defence force,( it doesn't, before anybody jumps down my throat read December's an cosantoir, which bluntly admits that while the 2002 exercises were exceptional and unique for the DF, they are routine in armies, Slag him if you want, but if Smith has achieved a situation where a battalion from every brigade undertakes a major exercise every year, then he is ireland's best ever minister of defence), have the ability to send units overseas on training exercises with the basic equipment to carry out its bread and butter day to day business in Ireland ( still needs more APCs, ATGW a 5.56mm LMG, Night capable utility helicopters, and offshore patrol vessles, they don't even have enough bullets for f£&ks sake). And until that point is reached, fantasing about supersonic fighters is a bit silly.

7th February 2003, 13:50
Hope I get this right, I'm typing this offline.
First off, Paul, you have on several occasions in the past said that you do not want us to have a Defence Force, you have stated repeatedly that we do not need air-defence.Since about Sept 1939 any defence force without an a serious air element is just so much scrap,[no doubt, you will ignore this fact once again, as you have in the past]
The fact that you served in an army who you reckon fell apart after you left it is irrelevent, as is the somewhat lofty claim that your battalion group could have wiped out the entire Irish Army.
However you are right about Smith, well some of it is correct anyway, however he could have done better with the resources he got and there were other ways the deafness claims could have been sorted, without involving the legal profession.
What has this got to do with the Air Corps: almost nothing!
Right now as I type a friend of mine is most likely up in a 39 year old helicopter,that is relevent, mister G, that's what this is all about.
What the Air Corps needs is a huge boost in spending, recruitment, training and huge investment in time and money establishing it as a publicly recognised orgnisation put here for the common good.
You state, that you belive that people lift aircraft type numbers randomly from mags flicked through in Easons, or whatever. I, for some reason, find that assement most insulting. You sound like a bad school teacher!
Anyway, enough of this rubbish,investment in equipment, infrastructure and training is what's needed, and we ain't going to get it here,
The Air Corps needs to be restructured and re-equipped across the board, so that may as well include an air-defence element, which I belive should include L-159/Hawk[thou sufficent PC-9's, about 20, might work here but I'm not sure about the transfeer into even the relatively easy-to-operate jets which I would select] and either the F-16d [latest production block,65 I think] or the Gripen[can't remember the varient number, my notes not to hand].
There are many things need to be done first, before equipment like this arrives, even down to finding and establishing permitted low-flying areas,[got some in mind:D, certain people I know deserve a midnight visit by a high-powerd jet :D].
In fact[a] the only support we presently have for fighter operation is SAR and the powers-that-be are doing their damnest to take that away.
Another thing you are right about is that it is silly to be looking for supersonic jets at the moment, it is, they should have been here decades ago, but what with incompetent and currupt politicans, and a population who want everything but do not want to pay for it, this is the suitation we find ourselves in.
Yours,from a deep trench, which is not in Easons.

An irratating b/stard, [and proud of it]

This message was edited before posting to remove the really nasty bits.:cool: :D :D :D

7th February 2003, 14:49
I'm not trying to jump in between the two of you, but I will point out, for the sake of fairness, that I've never once seen Paul G say anything about not wanting 'us' to have a DF.

And I've been an (irregular) visitor to these boards for what, three years? Probably more.

What he has said, and he's not alone in saying it, is that there are far more pressing concerns for the DF than a few tarted up trainers, the only use for which would be for vanity purposes. Its a matter of practicality. There are no pressing threats to the territorial integrity of the state which could be addressed by a few underpowered trainers. The army will almost certainly be deployed abroad in the near future, a job for which they are not sufficiently well trained, organised, equipped or manned for. Which would you rather spend money on? Y'know, in a real world situation where resources are finite?

And the latest version of the 16 is the Block 60, which is almost exclusively for the UAE. The latest the USAF has is the Block 50+.

7th February 2003, 16:23
I have to cast my vote with Paul G as well, as frustrating as the Defence process still is Smith has made pretty good out of a very bad situation including the routine use of things like deafness claims as a PR weapon against the DF, frankly I have had to step back from earlier suggestions i have made...not all but many, some were made in Ignorance of the real figures or were just grand strategy that was pretty much just there for discussion.
THink about it Turkey, the AC was in boom time in the 1960's and as a result the Army went to the Congo with .303s, and Bullswool uniforms, after Niemba the Army sent Ford MK Vs, fkn civvy cars with armour plates and a pre ww1 main armament...all the while the AC sat at home unused...the army got FNs and Panhards out of the COngo experience, and the AC got what? Four Fougas.....because the public at least saw the army in a war fighting situation.
The general public understand little or nothing about military matters in general and this is especially true in the case of the DF.
Tactical transports, and helicopters are a relatively cheap way of building up a real and visible MILITARY role for the AC (You may know that SAR is a military task but most people don't) on top of this we need an army for the AC to support...a TD suggested in world war 2 that we diband the army and concentrate our finances on a fighter defence, is this not what you are pretty much suggesting?

If another Congo type scenario arose, and an Irish unit was to stay there after the cars went from white to green, the Army would need to have not only that unit well equipped and trained but it would need a significant domestic reserve (not to be confused with RDF) of personnel and equipment as well as a means of delivering them...if people like you who are no longer subject to the restraint of military service focused your demands on a workable AC that could for relatively little investment provide transport to from and within a foreign theatre of ops as part of multinational missions then you'd be doing a lot more to build the IAC up to other roles including AD and CAP.

As I've said before I'd probably just cry with joy if I ever saw an IAC Gripen but it won't happen if we follow the path you advocate.

paul g
7th February 2003, 19:15

There is more to the defence forces than fighter jets. I've said that we need to concentrate other things, Ireland should build up. As for my old army I was probably its worst soldier, but it gets a different sort of recruit these days.

As for the L-159, its cheap, so are Skoda cars, but you wouldn't race against a Ferrari in one. PC-9 aren't air defence aircraft, so its pretty pointless buying 20 of them for that task. As for having fighter jets long ago without being insulting, don't you remember the 1980's. Have you been to a hospital lately? Cause trust me, if you ever go to A&E and on to an acute care ward, no matter what VHI plan you're in, you'll find out how bad things are in the health service.

paul g
7th February 2003, 21:15
Not sure if i'd agree that the A/C had a good 1960's, they only had three alouettes until the mid 1970s. The alouette isn't a death trap, they are very well maintained, lots of other military forces still use it and it will be hard to get a machine as robust as it iis to replace it. The six Vampires were really bought to train pilots for Aer Lingus. And while the old story about going to the Congo in Bullswoll is true, it must be remembered that we had no colonies and the army had never been overseas before; having tropical uniforms in store would have actually been rather silly. If you're intrested in life in the defence forces during this time, look out for a book called "tough at the bottom" by Mick O'Farrell, which was published in 2000, and might be in your local library. Very funny, and it goes a long way towards explaining why they look for sporting achievements and team sports in the cadetship interview.

7th February 2003, 23:23
Yeah, but I'd still tend to view it as a better decade....I'd like to get my hands on a thorough account of the whole ONUC mission, especially the Irish element seperate fact from fiction and all that

7th February 2003, 23:23
Yeah, but I'd still tend to view it as a better decade....I'd like to get my hands on a thorough account of the whole ONUC mission, especially the Irish element seperate fact from fiction and all that
Any way we're agreed on the tactical transport, you never told me how many ML helicopters you thought would be enough though

8th February 2003, 01:09
Ones own fault; talks too much, has to sort out replys.
There is more to the Air Corps then fighter jets, I'v said that many times, I just belive the whole service should be treated as a package, not a bit here, a bit there.
Comparing the L-159 to the Skoda is a bit unfair, Skoda's are now a quality car, it might be more reasonable to compare the thing to a Fiat coupe, I might be tempted to challange a Ferrari in one of them, while it would have the advantage I'm a very good driver.:D
I agree that PC-9's are not air-defence aircraft, but they could be good mud-movers and we probally should have some of them available to train troops to operate with such assets. I was wondering if they could be used as a transition aircraft to FJ's. My usual sources are inconclusive in this regard.
Block numbers, Aiden,must confess am not sure, thought UAE orders complete and an attrition order for the USAF was in progress.
Ishma; the 60's a boom time for the Air Corps, mayby but not much of a boom, was it?
The AC got 6 Fougas in the 70's, for 1.4 million, that would have coverd 2 Hawks, more airtime, belive it or not, then the 6 Fougas, another staggering waste of money by an Irish government, what a suprise?:D
Used to think reduceing the size of the army would be a good idea, spending more to make it more mobile with more money spent on the air and sea services, don't any more, I just belive it should all be increased.
I do not understand your last paragraph, I did'ent advocate any path to getting these assets, would not know how.
As for helis everybody, we fell on our feet with the A111's, probally the best purchase this country has ever made, probally should have bought more but a bit late now, still a few in use around the world to-day.
BTW, spent last two weekends in hospital with youngest lad, can't really comment on health service, it's personall, he's recovering fine, well he's as bold as usual anyway. Another reason I won't comment on the health service is this is a military board, now if it was a health service moan board that might be different, mayby.
Anyway Paul, how many M/L heli's do you think we should get?????
I am not prepared to put a number on it myself yet.

paul g
8th February 2003, 17:22
Right how many medium life helicopters we should have? Assuming it’s a choice between the EC725/S92 as was the ML contract where the Eh-101 didn’t feature, I’d go for twelve ML and 9 utility helicopters. Six for SAR, one Shannon, one Sligo, I Waterford, 1 Dublin, 2 in reserve and maintenance and reserve.

A second batch of 6 for the army-co-op sqn, this would, allowing for the ratio of having one down for every two operational, give you a force of four, three of which you could count on to be available. Tie this in with the EU-RRF on peace support operations, then three ML helis would give a battalion commadner the ability to move two platoons of infantry carry out case vac missions and provide logistical support, etc, on operations. In fact you could have a Battalion overseas on peace support missions with

1 Ban Hq with 5 Piranha III command and 4 Eagle III FOV
1 Patrol Coy with 25 Eagle II Patrol Vehicles
2 Rifle Companies with 14 Piranhas III
1 Combat Support Company with
1 Mortar Ptl with 8 Eagle II Artillery Tractors and 6 120mm mortars
1 Engineer Platoon with 4 Piranha III
1 Armoured Car Troop with 8 Piranha III with 40/60mm high velocity cannons
1 Ranger troop of 40 men

With an air corps detachment of 4 ML helicopters in support, that’s not a bad force, which you could convert to war fighting by adding a 105mm battery, an armed cav sqn, and a few other bits and bobs.

Utility, no point in having a separate training helicopter, or buying a military helicopter for on island tasks, like air ambulance. A force of nine in the EC-135 Class would give you an adequate capability to carry out your bread and butter tasks, and there is no need to stick cannons or anything like that on them, though would be for the army co-op ML.

Therefore you’d have a No 3 Wing that looked something like

301 Sqn with 6 ML Helis
302 Sqn with 6 ML Helis for Army Co-operation. Four available for overseas service
303 Sqn with 9 Utility helicopters.

A No. One wing with
101 Sqn with 3 Cn-235m
102 Sqn with 2 C-27J Spartans, 1 Gulfstrem IV, 1 Citation III for transport missions.
104 Sqn with 4/6 Utility aircraft like the Cessna Caravan or Defender

Along with 8 PC-9M in the air corps training college, you’d not have a bad little force.

If this was in place you could start thinking about no 2 Wing. But what to buy? the L-159 is a piece of crap, the Typhoon, Rafale and F-18E/F, etc are too expensive, the F-16/Grippen are fighter-bombers and the money isn’t there for the 24 needed to provide 12 fighters for overseas service unless you’re going to decimate the Army/NS, while getting advanced trainers like the Hawk 60 is money wasted. But there is a market gap, small countries in South America, Asia and Europe need fighters, but are unable to buy the latest generation of fighters to replace their F-5E/F, Mirage III, and Kfirs. Look at the next generation of training aircraft, the manufacturers are going to develop light fighter versions to meet this market. A force of 12 MAKO/ Light Fighter Version of the M-346 would provide some capability

Therefore you could have a No Wing with
201 Sqn
A) Flight with 4 M-346 single seat
B) Flight with 4 M-346 single seat
C) Flight with 4 M-346 twin seaters for operational conversion training.

202 Sqn for air base security, basically an infantry company with 7 Eagle II.

203 sqn to operate the air defence radar system

Now I know it wouldn’t deter any realistic threat, but it would provide the ability to monitor our air space if there was an unauthoritised intrustion we could send up two fighters to see what it was at least see what it was, you could provide a force for army training and patrol the air space over certain targets if there was a need, e, an EU conferance. But I can’t see this happening

By the way, if I got this force in place, get rid of the name air corps and call it the military air service, since in my experience, re-branding goes a long way.

8th February 2003, 19:58
I bow to you sir

8th February 2003, 20:31
Excellent post mister G , can't argue with most of that,
Do you think, however that their might be a case for more then 8 PC-9's.
Actually, I think your final force would deterr a very real threat, a lot of the idea of air-defence is mind games, that backed up by the defensive advantage.
Agree with you about the 'rebranding' but not the title you picked ; sounds like something from the Balkan's in the 30's.
I'm glad that someone is factoring in availablity, lot of people seem to assume that if it's there it's available.
Sorry, can't support any case for G IV, or citation, better to buy more of the root aircraft, C-27 in this case, a country this size, politicans should use public transport, or, in only extreamly inportant issues an aircraft diverted from other duties.

9th February 2003, 00:18
The M-346 is a pretty bird as well as capable (going on specs only here) so that should keep all the Walter Mitties happy.

But in fairness, what are the odds?


9th February 2003, 00:30
Eh, zero :(

9th February 2003, 22:16
These are the rounded up prices for Paul Gs list, from various internet sources, currency conversion by the Universal currency converter..can't remember the address...but I can find ir in my history, duh www.XE.com.
301 Sqn with 6 ML Helis (S-92 x 6 at 12m ea/ Cougar x 6 at 13m ea)
302 Sqn with 6 ML Helis for Army Co-operation. Four available for overseas service (S-92 x 6 at 12m ea/ Cougar x 6 at 13m ea)
303 Sqn with 9 Utility helicopters. (A109 x 9 at 2.9m ea/EC-135 x9 at 2.2m ea/ Ecuereil[Squirrel] x9 at 1.1m)

A No. One wing with
101 Sqn with 3 Cn-235m (17m ea)
102 Sqn with 2 C-27J Spartans (25m ea), 1 Gulfstrem IV (23m), 1 Citation III (62m) for transport missions.
104 Sqn with 4/6 Utility aircraft like the Cessna Caravan or Defender (4/6 x Caravan at 1.3m ea)
201 Sqn
A) Flight with 4 M-346 single seat (15m ea manufacturers estimate)
B) Flight with 4 M-346 single seat (15m ea manufacturers estimate)
C) Flight with 4 M-346 twin seaters for operational conversion training. (13m ea manufacturers estimate) ( US$22m+ for mako)

Thats a grand total of not including the two non flight squadrons.
E 6.1bn....It's your taxpayers money:-patriot:

10th February 2003, 09:30
Somthing is not quite right about those figures CQ, not quite sure but you look to be out about 3 billion euro.

10th February 2003, 10:03
Hmmm well maths was never my strongpoint....I'll leave it to someone with a better right hemisphere

FIXED, there you go forgot to carry the 1 :D
Actually totted it up on paper this time so If I'm wrong again it's stupidity not laziness

10th February 2003, 13:34

My maths ain't great either, but I can't help feeling you're over estimating the cost involved?

You'd also have to add in the massive amount of spending on personnel, training and facilities in order to use these new aircraft. Each order would have to be accompanied by a contract for spares supply, training and upgrades. Then it gets expensive.

And this re-equipment would take years, so the cap-ex would be spread out over that time, inflation means that it would actually end up more exspensive than the ...


Buying in numbers means that economies of scale start to come into effect, and familiarity with companies would undoubtedly help with follow on contracts.

Taken over (say) 7-10 years, with the fighters left till the very end, this would require only a minor increase in the level of defence spending ... Something in the order of .3 or .4% would make this achieveable over a period of time.

10th February 2003, 16:22
Yes I thought it would be best to over estimate, as I was pricing the fly away cost of the aircraft alone, a 10 year timeframe would be preferable.
Unfortunately at the rate we're going the Mako will be obsolete before year one.

paul g
10th February 2003, 20:31
Talking about cost, well the PC-9 are already on order, the money is/was there for half the number of the helis i suggested acquring, the utility helicopters are unlikely to cost more than 30 million over five to six years, the department of defence have finally realised that offsets of up to 100% are routine in defence acquisition projects. Its not a massive investment package, if you're going to pay 900 airmen you might as well give them a role and something to do it with . The only really expensive item are the fighters, since not only are we talking about the acquisition/maintenance cost, but also about the 500 or so men needed to maintain and protect them, their wages and pension plans, since there is no NO.2 wing at the moment. The two transport are bound up with EURRF duties, and i think that eventual pressure will result in Irish particitation, or at least pressure to provide funding to the level to the extent that it might be better to contribut an asset, then pay for somebody elses running costs.

But ultimatedly, I don't think I picked anything too pricey or anything too unaffordable or unrealistic. The fighters are the big item. And also relalistically the least vital to the defence forces at the moment. And no 2 wing is what I feel most uncomfortable with and I am available to eat my words if anybody considers it rubbish, since I approach aviation from an artilllery/intelligence background and am not an expert in the field. In fact, since this list was written, and if money was no object, I think that I'd stick a force of 9 or so UAV's on to it for reconnaissance and attack duties overseas .

No, don't think that there should be more than 8 PC-9M, there aren't that many cadets. The only weapins if can really carry are machine gun pods and 127mm rockets.

As for the Citation Gulfstream , like it or not, Bertie is the Taoiseach because he won an election to represent the nation; we do have a President, i think it would reflect badly on us as a nation if we expected our head of state and commander in Chief to travel by Ryanair, or Aer lingus. Many of us might remember that when Brian keenan was released from being a hostage in the lebanon he was picked up by the Gulfstream, it was good that there was a jet to pick him up from Damascus. And as for the citation, ireland is a reasonably big country, and there is the need for a smaller jet for governmet purposes. And there is also the air ambulance role. I know from experience that it is quite common for irish children to be sent fairly routinely to Great Ormond Street for example, for specialist care that is simply unavailable elsewhere. Having a jet that can undertake air ambulance missions is surely something missing from the present air corps inventory?

paul g
10th February 2003, 20:44
C-Q do something about your maths, and realise that some of the things I suggested are already in place, and more importantly, so is trhe expertise and infrastructure, therefore they wouldn't have to be acquired.

Anyway, may be if I'm bored or challenged, I'll produce my fantasy army, naval service, and we can start a wishlist board. Criticism of ideas is something that i firmly believe in.

10th February 2003, 21:19
Don't worry I'm not here to kiss your ass, I just happen to agree enthusiasticly with your proposal.
Well I only counted the new aircraft nothing else...

paul g
10th February 2003, 21:31
Don't worry, have plenty of people to kiss my ass at work, come here to be abused.

10th February 2003, 21:37
I don't know If I'd be too pushed about the M-346/Mako I'd rather invest in something with more operational uses, but until Lockheed Martin or Saab decide that profit is for losers....
There feel all chided now?;)

paul g
10th February 2003, 21:40
What pray tell would you invest in that had more operational uses?

11th February 2003, 13:13
As I thought I'd made clear I haven't the faintest idea, the only thing I can think of is the KAI T-50 /A-50, but thats got so many shared components with the F-16 that I can't see it being very affordable, also development of the A version is only in the design stage.

Frank of http://www.Irishairpics.com has suggested that indigineous aircraft industries in Asia might be worth watching, but once again the aircraft he suggested (AIDC Chung Kuo) is of dubious economy and use.

I'm just waiting for something better to come along, do you reckon that a sell off of out of service aircraft might be an option or does the cost of running high performance aircraft disqualify them regardless of purchasing cost.

Actually I've been meaning to ask this for a while, would a fighter (a real one) equipped for recconaisance have any useful role in MPA work, I realise a Gripen is a bit pricier to operate then a CN-235 but just as an anciliary role to CAPs?

11th February 2003, 14:58
Well, if we're going to examine Pauls idea for a No-2 Wing, we might as well start at the start ... define requirements before we start shopping for hardware.

Why do we need them?

We all seem to be agreed that there is no extant or foreseeable threat that would require armed military jets to counter them. Also, were such a threat to present itself, it would have to be (for reasons of geography as much as politics per se) of a level serious enough to be able to hold its own against the forces of our neighbours, our allies and their allies (France, the UK, USA).

Thus ruling out any 'intermediate'(trainer-dressed-as-fighter) solution as a waste of money, either way. The simple problem outlined above leaves us with two solutions in our wishlisting world. (All of this to take place 10 years after the investment in facilities, training and other aircraft-theres no mad rush with this) .

We toddle off and purchase a number (would have to be above 20) of large (probably twin engined) fighters, with a big, heavy and expensive radar set in the nose and carrying multiple BVRAAMs (AIM-120C-5 thru Meteor). And a number of long range surveillance radar sets, and SAMs to protect any bases. Ohh yeah, and bases themselves.

Or we ally with our neighbours and establish a common defence arrangement. Carry our share of the load in maintaining regional security.

I'm for the second one.

If we have access to European military flight schools for training, other air arms to build experience of modern jet ops, then we can go a long way towards reducing our overheads. If we commit to an enthusiastic short range AD regime, and allow (acknowledge the fact that) others to do the long range work with their F3s, EF2000s, Rafale, M2K etc then we can start to see a role for our 'MAS'. So all we have to do is defend our locale ...

There are a number of states to take as a model, with Sweden (and FRY and Taiwan) being the obvious one. Leaving aside the dispersed pattern of air bases for the minute, Sweden has never invested in big heavy fighters, concentrating instead on short ranged 'light' fighters with a good degree of capability in their own right, backed up by a comprehensive data network. The MB-346 and T-50 are quite capable, but if we were in the business of investing, we might as well spend a little more and get something worthwhile ... The minimum we should consider would be the MAKO, with the Grippen and possibly (gak) second hand F-16s coming in as optimum solutions. All we would require would be a platform, capable of supersonic intercept, with a decent avionics fit (RWR, PD/LDSD radar, Link32) that could use the AIM-120 or successor. Don't care about long range hi-lo-hi profile, don't care about massive payload range requirements. Just 'time to height' with 4 AAM, and a reasonable time on station at FL25 with two (or three) drop tanks.

This is a vision of the Grippen as F-20 for the noughties ... not heavy or all that expensive to run, but easily maintained, and INTEROPERABLE

Working with AWACs, it would be entirely possible to surge 4-6 (out of say 18) for RRF work. Working with French, UK or NATO AWACS. Or even Swedish Eyrie. And A-A only for deployment.

If the force were to come online in 2012, they'd be useful for at least 20 years before UCAVs and DE weapons render manned combat aircraft obsolete ...

And one more thing, C-Q, any chance you could change your moniker back to the Arabic? Cos every time I see your new one, the unfortunate word association leads me away from thoughts military ... ;)

11th February 2003, 16:25
No-one answered my question on Recce fighters doing MPA, too ridiculous I guess, I don't think Vbulletin lets you change your user name.
Definitely I'd see Swedens network-centric (it's liek such a buzz word) approach as the best possible model for Territorial air defence but I'd nonetheless like to investigate the possibility of an expeditionary strike/Recce aircraft, something which the Gripen is capable of...of course this would still require the use other nations command, radar and refueling facilities; Which would make it a political token more than a military contribution, however it would also create opportunities for pilots to gain combat (as opposed to operational experience) and show the public that there taxes are doing something (just hope we don't hop in on an unpopular war).

I'd be more interested in heavier tactical SAMs that would free the RBS 70s up for their battlefield air defence role, while any modern stand off weapon can outrange a Crotale or Roland, 2 0r 3 containerised launchers could fulfill the same role currently being assigned to the RBS system more effectively for less than the annual Ministerial Stylists bill.

11th February 2003, 17:02
Theres only me so far, so don't lose hope!

Actually, I think Paul answered the question before you asked it.

UAVs are ideal for much of the MPA work we have to do, they could be used by themselves or in conjunction with manned a/c. The sheer costs of ownership would rule out any role for fighter aircraft. The lack of range and the lack of facilities for the pilot would also be minor problems. Oh yeah, and the fact that most of the aircraft we've discussed are single engined ...

The reason I was suggesting that any fighter would be for A-A alone in RRF terms is that its a role that can be easily explained as being purely defensive to a sceptical public. Cuts down on the possibility of being caught up in an unpopular 'expeditionary' war, or bombing 'the wrong wedding'.

11th February 2003, 17:26
True, it has to be said that it fits more with our current policy to take an Anciliary role, the MPA question was really meant to suggest that a secondary role might be assigned to air defence fighters in order to maximise the utility of flying CAPs. (UAVs for MPA would be a very good idea though)
I think that the advent of conformal fueltanks and and the new generation of more efficient turbofans will greatly increase the ferry range of single engined fighters.
As for the political sensibiliteis of the Public I think that eliminating any strike capability from a fighter fleet could do more damage if we were unable to act at the right time, every state that provides peace enforcers/keepers runs the risk of being stuck at the next Srebenica...better to have the capability and use it very selectively than to be left helpless in the face of disaster.

That said I'd rather have more MLs, Troop transports or maybe armed helicopters than light fighters that can't be used in the situations we are most likely to need them in.

paul g
11th February 2003, 20:47
Firstly, I'm not going to answer the question of Maratime patrol fighters , cause it is, as my daughter is fond of saying, silly. As for buying Crotale or Roland, or even RBS-23 have you ever seen them? I've seen Crotale, (Cactus) in service, and its fine for defending air bases bases against massed air assault, but once you've fired a missile, you can't stop it, and you fire it at a blob on the radar screen. Any threat to a target in ireland is not going to come from a sophisticated fighter that flew over western Europe undetected to launch stand off weapons. If we were to face an unidentified aircraft that appears to be hostile, it is much better to send a man up in aeroplane so that he can visually identify what is going on and make a rational judgement, something you can't do by computer; think AEGIS/Iran air shootdown in 1987. Ship bourne UAV's ( ala Seamos/Fire Scout providing coverage for boarding parties) and Satellites also will also become more important in monitoring our territorial waters over the next 20 years.

Secondly, if Ireland was to invest in Fighters, they would have to be twin engined, that is beyond debate, there are safety questions: you couldn't ask a pilot to fly fifty miles out into the Atlantic on a single engine no matter how good your SAR equipment is. If you want to know why, look at Norway's F-16 fleet where 20% have been lost at sea, often with the pilot. Secondly, the F-16, Grippen, et al, are fighter bombers, if we were to have fighter bombers we'ld need 24 to have 12 available, which is very expensive, and it is a massive drain on resources, when the army is only capable of deploying a battalion overseas, and if we did that, our air space would be left uncovered, since of the 24, six would be in the workshop, and six would have to be devoted simply to training pilots, flying fighters being an extremly demanding task even for experienced pilots; to do both we'd need 36. While we might talk about Srebrenica, we must realise that Ireland will take part on missions with the U.N or NATO, and talking about an independent strike capability is overkill, we can rely on overseas missions on air support from those taking part in the mission with us, as happened in the Congo and there is the question of bases. Indeed, apart from strategic strike, aircraft are being usurped on the battlefield unless conditions are ideal (ala kosovo), thanks to the genius of Gerald Bull, artillery can now fire 39 kms with base bleed rounds, precision guided munitions will mean increased accuracy, and attack helicopters and armed UAV's will take over much of battlefield support mission provided by aeroplanes for the past 90 years. Thinking ten years into the future, Attack helicopters and UAV's offer more for then fighter bombers which are vunerable in the close air support role, especially as helicopters can also hover and monitor forces on peace support missions, without being noticed.

Therfore, we do need a twin engined light fighter to monitor our airspace, but no more than that. Were we to look for a fighter today, we should be looking at the F-5E, which amazingly few people consider; it would be ideal for irish requirements (twin engined, not too sophisticated, thousands made and still in service). My suggestion of the M-346, was based on the realisation that the manufacturers will eventually develop a light fighter version of it, a la Hawk 200 and L-159 ( Korea has proposed a F-50 based on the T-50 to replace its F-5 fleet), it would be a useful tool in training ground forces, it would need sidewinders and training munitions for ground attack duties, and would have an adequate radar, but it doesn't exist, while the F-5E does. Indeed, were Ireland to acquire and re-furbish/rebuild some F-5E/F, they would probably last until 2025/2030 and provide an adequate defence against concievable threats (T-38s are going to last till 2040).

Therefore, were I be given the chance to revise my No 2 Wing (target date 2015) in a situation were money was subject to a relatively modest combat forces development plan nad ireland would be taking part in/ integrated into a common common security structure, it would be:

201 Sqn (12 M-346 or F-5E/F Tiger 2), Role to provide a force capable of carrying out territorial airspace surveillance missions)

202 Sqn (unchanged) base security

203 Sqn (Unchanged) radar network

204 Sqn (Battle Field support and reconnaissance) total 9 AH-64D or Tiger 2, from which a force of six would be made available for overseas servive on high intensity operations, four of which would be operational, useful in both the peacesupport and battlefield role. Given that the EU-RRF will be tied into a mutli-national brigade structure, then I'd rely on UAVs from somebody else. But a force of four apaches would give a battalion commander extra firepower/long range reconnnaissance in lots of situations.

Therefore, in a warfighting high intensity peace support operation situation, you could give an army battalion task force commander an aviation company with 4 ML helicopters and 6 Attack/reconnaissance helicopters to support him, not a bad little force.

11th February 2003, 21:15
It's funny I'd always meant to mention the the F-5E, well at least since I actually read a bit more into the Airpower end of things...by then I'd stopped entering the controversial topic of fighters for Ireland.

The Iran air incident had a lot to do with lax precautions, the Ship's Crew only checked their civil flight schedule after the aircraft had appeared on their radar and began it's apparent descent, proper procedure could have made a big difference.

The Cactus batteies were delivered to south Africa in 1971, I'd expect Crotale 2 (with TV guidance) to be a bit better, my real concern is freeing the RBS-70 up for tactical air cover of non static military targets, either that or we cough up for Starstreak, allied airdominance or not I'd rather not have to rely on F-15s to deal with Hips and Hooks (Although Buzzing them is a remarkably economical way of taking down a helicopter).
I'd definitely agree with you on the artillery issue, buying a battery of light guns and training a crew will cost you about the same as a single CAS mission from a supersonic fighter, the cost of training the pilot alone will buy you an M-109A5.

All in all, I'd have to admit that there isn't much to support a fixed wing expeditionary combat force, the MPA question was just one that I'd meant to ask a long time ago...probably while trying to justify an extensive and immediate fighter purchase.

Just one other question why C-27J over Cn-295, (I'd prefer the C-27J but until the cost reduction program is concluded , it's still a third cheaper for the EADS option.

paul g
11th February 2003, 21:45
C-Q re- aegis iran air, irish people can be as prone to making mistakes as anybody else.

Battlefield air defence is marginal, given the toal air superiority of NATO/Western Bloc air power.

C-27J over Cn-295, a question of interoperability.

the M-109A5 is not a Gerald Bull designed weapon, God creats very few geniuses, especially with his attitude towards technology transfers. Wait till Denel's G-7 105mm is in production, then you'll see artillery as it should be

11th February 2003, 22:16
Once again just because I give a price for something it doesn't mean I want it purchased.
If we were looking at a 155mm system I'd tend to think of the French Caesar (which is truck mounted, and thats all I really know about it) or the G6, to which there is absolutely no point in me arguing with you over.
I certainly don't believe that Irish personnel are less prone to making mistakes but I'd point out that precedent for avoiding that situation is already set, the missile technology itself has improved, oh and it was a russian fighter that shot down a Korean airliner...no system is foolproof.

I don't see anyone else leaving their SHORADS behind, better safe than sorry

11th February 2003, 22:25
I know this is off-topic Paul, but why did you go with towed 120mm mortars as opposed to ones mounted on an apc?

paul g
12th February 2003, 20:01
Ah question of philosphy , mortars are indirect fire weapons, mounting them in APC's are fine if you're going to take part in a mechanised battle against an armoured force the least likely option, but if you're using them to provide fire support on a Peace support mission its a bit pointless mounting them on an APC. Given their range, and the ease of displacement of modern pieces, I'd leave them as towed weapons, but give the crews an armoured vehicle to tow their weapons in .

paul g
12th February 2003, 20:33
The G-6 is a big heavy piece of kit, no way will ireland ever operate it. Caesar is a different philosophy, first of its type, but unlikely to be the only one, again a question best left for a discussion of future army requirements.

Thanks to Gerald Bull, artillery has in the past twenty years undergone a trasformation unseen since the design of the breach loader; its lighter, able to shoot further and precision guided shells will make it the supreme weapons on the battlefield; if you ever want to see how a genius was mistreated by the establishment, read an account of his life; however, I personally think that the Irish army couldn't acquire better artillery for its size and requirements than the L-118 and RBS-70/CONDS. Nor would I necessarily go to 155mm, since 105mm shells are improving all the time.

However, wrong thread.

17th February 2003, 15:39
Somebody was talking about F-5s...

Pentagon Contract Announcement

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Feb. 14, 2003)

The government of Switzerland is being awarded an estimated $18,557,950 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of up to 32 low-flight-time F-5E Tiger aircraft.

The base award of $570,950 is for the initial requirement of one aircraft. The contract consists of a basic award and five options.

These F-5E Tiger aircraft will provide for a one-on-one replacement of current U.S. Navy Reserve F-5E aircraft. Revised fatigue life extended calculations necessitated restructuring of the previous overhaul program to provide for the cost-effective procurement of these replacement aircraft to achieve the CNO directed operational requirements through FY 2015.

Work will be performed in Switzerland and is to be completed in August 2003.

If all options are exercised, the work will be completed in September 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured.

The Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity


17th February 2003, 16:03
The Air Corps is said to have enquired as to the possibility of acquiring F-5E Tiger IIs in the late 1980s, when they were going for really cheap.

And thats on fairly good authority.

paul g
17th February 2003, 20:00
how good is your authority Aidan?

18th February 2003, 10:18
He'd know.

18th February 2003, 18:28
Just saw it mentioned on another board that FN-Herstal were being contracted by Pilatus for arming the Pc-9s ...

Their products include a .50cal gun pod and a 2.75' rocket pod ...


Sounds about right.

21st February 2003, 00:54
1986 market price $11.1m ea. With inflation thats around 12 or 13m million first hand, while we of course would be looking at refitted second hand models...still it's a very capable fighter for the price and ample for our limited ADF needs...also ample to fight off those pesky MiG-21s on PFP exercises.







F-5A Freedom Figher F-5E Tiger II
Engines Two General Electric J85-GE-13 turbojets,
rated at 2720 lb.s.t., 4080 lb.s.t. with afterburning. Two General Electric J85-GE-21A turbojets, 5000 lb.s.t. with afterburning.
Maximum speed 925 mph (Mach 1.4) at 36,000 feet.
Maximum cruising speed: 640 mph (Mach 0.97) at 36,000 feet Maximum cruising speed without afterburning: Mach 0.98 at 36,000 feet.
Service ceiling 50,500 feet. 51,800 feet
Range with maximum fuel -- 1387 miles.
Combat radius with maximum payload -- 195 miles
Combat radius with maximum fuel and two 530-pound bombs 558 miles. with maximum fuel -- 1543 miles
Combat radius with maximum fuel and 2 Sidewinder missiles -- 656 miles.
wingspan 25 feet 3 inches, 26 feet 8 inches
length 47 feet 2 inches, 48 feet 2 inches
height 13 feet 2 inches, 13 feet 4 inches
wing area 170 square feet. 186 square feet
Weights: 8085 pounds empty,
11,477 pounds combat,
13,433 pounds gross,
20,677 pounds maximum takeoff 9683 pounds empty, 13,350 pounds combat, 15,745 pounds gross, 24,676 pounds maximum takeoff.
Armament two 20-mm cannon
in the fuselage nose. Two AIM-9 Sidewinderat the wingtips
Five pylons carry up to 6200 pounds of ordinance or fuel tanks
loads can include four air-to-air missiles, Bullpup air-to-surface missiles, bombs, up to 20 unguided rockets, or external fuel tanks. two 20-mm M39A2 cannon with 280 rpg
two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles at wingtips
Five pylons can carry up to 7000 pounds of ordnance or fuel

You might wonder why I did this, the answer is simple...I've got a blocked nose a temperature and I can't sleep.

Waaaay we're all priests

21st February 2003, 12:40
Does it have a radar?

21st February 2003, 12:56
Chile's were fitted with Elta M-20320 radar by IAI, the Tigershark had an APG-66.
The baseline Radar on the F-5E/F was the AN/APQ-159 lightweight air to air search and tracking radar: Northrop, IAI, EMBRAER and a few other companies offer upgrade packages.

21st February 2003, 15:06
The OEM also offers an upgrade:

Northrop Grumman (http://www.iss.northropgrumman.com/new_fact_sheets/Northrop/Digital_press_kit/AFA/docs/F-5_Modernization_2.doc)

In 1994, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force formed a partnership to upgrade the avionics and cockpit of an F-5E. The program is designed to demonstrate, through flight evaluation, how modern digital avionics can be incorporated in an F-5 aircraft to increase its combat capability and mission effectiveness, and also to provide a suitable lead-in trainer capability for advanced fighters such as the F-16 and F/A-18.

Northrop Grumman and its avionics manufacturing team is offering a complete upgrade program to modernize F-5 aircraft, in stages or all at once, at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft. The modernized aircraft is called the Tiger IV. Avionics enhancements include a multimode radar (such as Northrop Grumman's APG- 66); mission computer; multifunctional cockpit displays; head-up display; navigation system; on-board oxygen generating system; ejection seat; weapons management system; and hands-on throttle and stick controls.

The company has defined four levels of avionics upgrades and made them modular, tied together with a Mil-standard 1553B data bus and Northrop Grumman's operational flight program mission software from the F-20 fighter.

Northrop Grumman has successfully flight-tested its Tiger IV digital avionics suite upgrade, and that test program provided the Air Force with data to help the Technical Coordination Group at Kelly AFB, Texas, to formulate decisions and recommendations to user countries about technology updates to the F-5 series.

21st February 2003, 16:21
All good news but how long before obsolescence especially in the context of putting it on the end of a 10 year shopping list...I mean if you want to have a whip around and buy it now by all means but I fear that unless ADFs are prioritised F-5s will have built in obsolescence for us.

21st February 2003, 16:39
Truth be told, its aircraft that saw its best years in the 1980s, its a light simple hot rod of a fighter built for use in countries that couldn't afford much else and which might buy MiG-21s at some stage otherwise. In its basic format it is definitely a day/clear weather aircraft only. And any upgrades will only serve to add considerable expense ...

21st February 2003, 17:27
Ah well another bright idea bites the dust

21st February 2003, 17:35
Ok, so we're looking for a realtively cheap two-engined fighter that will last at least 10 years. Any other suggestions?

21st February 2003, 17:38
here's one the Dept of Finance will approve of (twin turbojet)

Doesn't matter really, official line now is that if we need air defence in a hurry, we'll ask the neighbours.

21st February 2003, 18:31
How about the Dassault Mirage. I hear Franch have given Egypt the option of buying them for € 13 a piece. Don't know much about this aircraft, but im sure its as good as the F5.

21st February 2003, 18:38
That only has one engine doesn't it?

21st February 2003, 18:45
Yes its only a single engine. I did some checking around of prices and my previous price seem very cheap. Maybe they are offering 2nd hand or reconditioned aircraft for that price.

21st February 2003, 19:07
Would you even consider a Mig-29, or would this be unsuitable. I hear they are more battle rugged and less technical then the western aircraft. But are very relieable and it can even land with its undercarraige in the up position and survive. They go for about €17-20m in batches of 10+

21st February 2003, 21:32
There's always a question mark over the quality of former soviet aircraft...although I did hear talk of a westernised Fulcrum at an airshow somewhere.......probably just an RSK demonstrator.

There's also the question of maintainability and cost efficiency, someone recently retired their Fulcrum's in favour of their much more sustainable if lower performing fishbeds.

I reckon our energies would be better spent on acquiring the rest of Paul G's spiffy fleet....we can look for a suitable interceptor when the next boom materialises.

Remember folks when arguing for aircorps spending it's 3-4% extra a year for ten years we want, not to empty the health budget into shiny boys toys...especially since the poulation rationalises that fighters are evil ergo it serves the british taxpayer right to foot our ADF bill because they are bad people for having such nasty machines in the first place.

Thats Sinn Feins view as well ICUN.

paul g
22nd February 2003, 13:57
The F-5E type, small, simple, cheap to operate, there for counties that
can't afford expensive fighters, who face a low/marginal threat, is the ideal fighter for Ireland. My point is that when people talk about fighters they talk about planes, without thinking about how they would be deployed, suggesting ones that are too expensive (EuroFighter), intended for a different role, (Grippen), or inexpensive but not very capable (L-159). I'd be very surprised if somebody doesn't come up with sucessor to this plane in the next ten years, the M-346 being the most likely candidate

22nd February 2003, 22:12
I agree with the F-5E, but I went into a big post on the other board about what the air corps would have to think about when buying jets for air defence.

It is very difficult to justify the purchase of expensive jets to the public when our healthcare system is in the shits and our countrys economy seems to be in limbo. They come back with the sensible question: what do we need them for?

1- they could intercept fast jets flying an occasional recce mission over ireland

2- they could shoot down aircraft feared to maliciously or otherwise fall on heavily populated land

3- act as a deterrent to routine infringements of our airspace

4- pc-9's may be able to deter some drug runners landing in this country, but if any drug runner is willing to take on a radar equipped supersonic fighter with air to air missiles... let them come :)

5- allow us to look after ourselves in so far as its possible and give us some clout conscerning our sovereignty.

I rule the F-5E out now for a reason. The government at the current time really and truely want to back away from the Nato issue as much as possible and to Joe Public when he's told the F-5E is American and a fighter with all the Nato compatibility and bits and pieces.... they arent going to be too happy. Bertie likes to be popular.

So the cheapest most capable air craft capable of operating from poorly prepared runway strips and with a strong STOL capability, and not to mention, as free to links from Nato as any western combat aircraft could be?

The Saab Viggen, purchased secondhand off the Swedish Air Force. Ok its single engined, but its a very reliable unit and its an easy to service fighter. "The aircraft must be servicable very quickly by concripts with relatively short training. Re-fueling and re-arming by 7 men, of which 6 are concripts, must take less than 10 min for the JA 37 Viggen."

On my other post I said six aircraft would be enough.. and I still think its enough at least as a first batch. Two of the aircraft could be the 2 seat variant.

Stuff to reccomend it:-
like our purchases from the Swiss, these are aircraft from a neutral country free from the Nato baggage - if anyone comes along and waves the neutrality issue, its rubbished because both Sweden and Switzerland show our version of neutrality up as a bad joke.

Its a reliable, powerful and easy to service aircraft, thats been in service for years so theres a lot of experience we could draw on

It was designed for the Swedish environment, a much tougher one then our own

Anyway while i've put some thought into this post, its still inherintly flawed, its written on the assumption the air corps are willing to take on air defence aircraft and the main one - that the government seriously consider air defence as a duty for the air corps.

But if its ever put to referendum - the purchase of jets, heres one serious point the government and air corps should put accross to the public - who do you want looking after our skies, Irish aircraft or Nato's RAF jets?

22nd February 2003, 23:37
Paul G

How capable do you reckon the F-5 would have to be? All weather capability?, Would it need to have an air to ground radar, what scheme of usage would you envisage should an Figher squadron materialise overnight?

23rd February 2003, 15:59
I did leave out one other twin engined lightweight figher with a marginally sub F-16 price tag.
Ching-Kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter
(note a later article elsewhere states that development of the Ching Kuo is contiuing as insurance against future sales embargos.).http://www.fighter-planes.com/thumbn/idf_r.jpg

The Ching-Kuo is a light fighter aircraft, developed in Taiwan because of the increasing difficulties the country has in buying modern military equipment. It was developed in collaboration with General Dynamics, and has some similarities to the F-16, although it is twin-engined and has the jet intakes under the wing root (in F-18 style). The Ching-Kuo entered production, despite the new availability of the F-16A and Mirage 2000, but orders have been reduced to 130 (from 420 originally). It entered service in 1994.

Type: Ching-Kuo
Country: Taiwan
Function: fighter
Year: 1994
Crew: 1
Engines: 2 * 42.2 kN ITEC TFE 1042-70
Wing Span: 9.46 m
Length: 14.21 m
Height: 4.42 m
Wing Area: 24.2 m2
Empty Weight: 6486 kg
Max.Weight: 12247 kg
Speed: +1275km/h at 10975m
Ceiling: 16760m
Armament: 1*g 20 mm 3900 kg


Ching-Kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter
After the severance of diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in January 1979, the future supply of military equipment for Taiwan's armed forces was in question. Thanks to the enactment of the the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in early 1979, Taiwan was able to purchase advanced weapons and military equipment from the US.

Taiwan built nearly 300 Northrop F-5s under license from 1974 to 1986. From the early 1980's, Taiwan expressed an interest in purchasing US fighter aircraft to replace its obsolescent Northrop F-5 and Lockheed F-104 fighters. The United States, which was interested in improving relations with China, denied Taiwan's request to purchase the more capable F-16, and blocked a subsequnetly proposed $1 billion sale of 100 F-20 Tigersharks in July 1982. The 1982 decision by the Reagan administration to bar export of new fighters to Taiwan left technical assistance unrestricted. Taiwan decided to go it alone to build the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF).

Taiwan produced the Ching-kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter with extensive assistance by American corporations, led by General Dynamics. The project consisted of four sub-projects. They were the Ying-yang project (in cooperation with General Dynamics Corporation) which made the air-frame; the Yun-han project (in cooperation with Hughes Corporation), which designed the engine; the Tian-lei project (in cooperation with Westinghouse Company), which took care of the avionics system; and the Tian-chien project, which developed the weapons system.

The twin-engine IDF is similar to the F-16 except that it is slightly smaller and has a slightly shorter range. The IDF is a hybrid as far as its external appearance is concerned. The nose of the fighter jet is a replica of the F-20A Tigershark, while ts body, wings, and vertical tail surface are apparently lifted from the F-16, and the shape of its cockpit hood and vertical tail wing and its girth near the engine inlets have a notable French flavor.

The IDF is superior to the F-5E in airborne performance. The IDF accelerates better than the F-104 and its turning radius is smaller than that of the F-5. The aircraft, equipped with four Sidewinder missiles, but without spare fuel tanks, has a combat endurance of three minutes on afterburner and a combat radius of between 70 and 90 nautical miles. With a combat radius of 600 nautical miles while carrying out armed reconnaissance and patrol missions, the IDF is capable of conducting preemptive raids and strikes at airports along the Chinese coast. It is mainly used in combat for air control and is capable of using "Hsiung Feng"-II missiles to attack targets at sea. Most of the IDFs are expected to be armed with the indigenously-produced, BVR Tien Chien-II (Sky Sword-II) ARAAM.

It is equipped with a GD-53 radar, which evolved from the APG-67 and is essentially similar to it in performance. The APG-67 radar uses pulse Doppler technology at X-band and has 15 operational modes in all, eight air-to-air and seven air-to-ground. It can also operate at three different pulse repetition frequencies [PRF]--high, medium, and low--depending on whether the plane is looking up, looking down, or involved in a dogfight in the air, respectively. In a look-down mode, the plane has an effective scanning range of 39 kilometers; looking up, 57 kilometers. The eight air-to-air modes are as follows: searching and range finding while looking down, searching and range finding while looking up, speed searching, tracking (10 targets) and scanning simultaneously, dogfight, tracking a single target, surveying the situation, and continuous-wave indicator interfacing. The seven air-to-ground modes are as follows: real wave velocity topography, Doppler wave velocity sharpening, air-to-ground range finding, moving surface target indicating, freezing, and searching for target at sea surface. In April 1997 Litton's Applied Technology division was awarded a production contract and options totaling $116.2 million by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan, ROC, for Improved Radar Warning Receivers (IRWR) to be installed aboard the Indigenous Defense Fighter.

Despite its compact and light external design, the IDF is fitted with two large engines short on propulsive force. The fatal weakness of the IDF is inadequate engine propulsion, and its excess body weight has made the plane accident-prone. Initial versions of the IDF have a top speed of Mach 1.2, using an engine jointly produced by Taiwan and Allied Signal Garret Engine Division. The TFE1042-70 engine was designed for lightweight fighter/attack applications to provide improved aircraft performance and reduced life-cycle costs. The first production TFE1042-70 engine was delivered to Taiwan in 1992, and since then ITEC has delivered more than 300 production engines for the IDF. The International Turbine Engine Corporation (ITEC) operates through a joint venture between AlliedSignal Engines and the Aero Industrial Development Corp. of the Republic of China. The plan to replace its existing engine with a more powerful one was scrapped because of the commissioning of the F-16 and Mirage 2000. A higher thrust version of the engine would be incorporated into a more capable successor designated the Advanced Defensive Fighter.

Manufacture of the initially planned 250 IDFs was initially estimated at $4.2 billion with a unit cost between $25 and $30 million. At least $1 billion was invested in propulsion and avionics. The IDF is manufactured and assembled in Taichung, which is the manufacturing center of Taiwan's aerospace industry. The Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation is Taiwan's leading manufacturer of military aircraft, including the IDF. With a work force of 6000 employees, AIDC was established in 1969 under the Ministry of Defense as the Aero Industry Development Center (AIDC). The AT-3 advanced trainer, a twin-turbofan aircraft, was designed, developed and produced by the AIDC. In cooperation with Bell Helicopter Inc., it has produced the UH-1H helicopter. Joining forces with the Northrop Corporation, it jointly produced the F-5E/F fighter plane. The T-53 engine was built in cooperation with Textron Lycoming Inc., while both the TFE731 and TFE1042 engines were jointly manufactured with the Allied Signal Aerospace Company. The organization was renamed Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation effective 01 July 1996, when it was moved under the aegis of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The change of the overseeing agency is seen as a step in the direction of privatization by the year 2000. The Taiwan Aerospace Corporation (TAC) is a private company in which the government holds a 29 percent stake. TAC provides several parts for the IDF, including frames and bulk-heads.

The IDF has faced numerous developmental and operational problems since its inception in the 1980s. Nevertheless, its technical sophistication, with its fly-by-wire controls and blended wing-body design, is believed to be superior to any aircraft produced and deployed by China to date. By 1997 some 60 had been built, and production of all 130 IDFs is scheduled to be completed by early 2000.

The ROC Air Force cut its order of 250 IDFs to 130 after September 1991, in the wake of jet-fighter deals with the United States and France. Taiwan remaining requirements were partially filled when the Bush Administration agreed to sell 150 F-16's, a decision made with an understanding that Taiwan already possessed the capability of producing advanced fighters. For the remaining shortfall Taiwan ordered 60 Mirage 2000 fighters from France. Taiwan purchased 120 single-seat F-16A models and 30 two- seat F-16B models. On-island deliveries, which began in April 1997, were scheduled for completiong by the end of 1999. These aircraft are armed with upgraded AIM-7M/SPARROW SAR and AIM-9P4 and AIM-9S SIDEWINDER IR AAMs. Deliveries of 60 French-built Mirage 2000-5s also began in April 1997 and were completed by October 1998. With its four MICA active radar (AR) and two MAGIC II infrared (IR) AAMs, the Mirage 2000-5 is Taiwan's most formidable air defense fighter.

The first squadron of IDFs joined the ROC Air Force in December 1994, with each carrying a price tag of US$24 million. As of early December 1994, 32 IDF fighter planes were stationed at Ching-chuan-kang Air Force Base. After the delivery of the 130th IDF by the end of 1999 the IDF assembly line will be shut down

paul g
24th February 2003, 19:09
Firstly regarding the Viggen, its a single engine fighter only used by Sweeden, and they are in the process of repacing it. When they do, spare parts will become scarse, so ten/15 years down the road, the Viggen might be useless, as the irish ones would be the onyl 12 still in operation.

The use of a fighter squadron would merely be to patrol our airspace. 12 would give us two available to scramble in case our airspace is violated, the planes could then go and investigate the offending target, acertain its intent, take down the relevant details, and if necessary a protest could be made to the offending nation, not much air combat. On specific occassions, it would be possible to make a force of six available for army training, i know, relatively boring stuff, but necesaary and vital.

However, what is being ignored is the question of helicopters, if the defence forces is to improve, there needs to be more stree on Combined operations. How do people feel about reading my ideas on the futere of the army, and how to integrate the air corps into its operations?

25th February 2003, 18:36
I think that the AC is dependent on the army to retain it's military structure, Oseas ops are the closest to war fighting the military can get without going to war, and no one in their right mind should support fighting a war just so they can justify using pricey toys (take note GW Bushywushypoo).
Army support helicopters are essential to us pongo types to do our job, having fighters of any description would be nice for two reasons..one so we don't feel totally defenceless anymore and two so the infrastructure and experience will be in place for any future contingencies.

What a good transport fleet means to me is that Irish troops need no longer be the last to arrive in a crisis zone, nor will the defence forces be subject to mistreatment for want of a positive public profile.
In army co-op terms I believe that nothing is more important than having the ability to get the army to a conflict zone and then get them around it.

Just one query on the MATS issue, why doesn't the govt just buy a regional turboprop airliner for on Island and short range international trips and just let the GIV operate at it's intended pace...if they are worried about idleness theres plenty of work for the GIV in the air ambulance role and in retrieving Irish nationals in distress.

28th February 2003, 17:29
From http://www.armada.ch/

Friday, 28 February 2003

Some 18 Swiss Hawk trainer aircraft might soon be available on the second-hand market. The Swiss Air Force told Armada International that the decision, which still needs to be officialised, is being motivated by two factors:
1- cut costs
2- shut down the Swiss Air Force pilot’s school next year.
So, of course, the obvious questions is: how will the Swiss Air force train its new pilots? The Swiss Air Force spokesman told Armada International that several possibilities were being worked out, like acquiring Pilatus PC-21s (it must be remembered that the Pilatus PC-21 is designed not only to mimic the cockpit of the specific aircraft it is indented to train the pilots for, but also to reproduce as faithfully as possible the behaviour of jet engined fighters). Pilots would then spend a few hours in a Tiger before moving on to the Hornet. Other possibilities being envisaged by the Swiss Air force include private ab initio training, joint training with other countries such as Austria and Germany or a combination of the above.

28th February 2003, 20:34
With this joint country training of pilots becoming more common and cost effective, it just got me thinking. Would it be encomically for as a business venture by either a civilian group or even the aircorp to buy a jet trainer and train not only their own pilots but offer out to other smaller countires the option of training their pilots. Canada, the US and the UK already provide this service. Even to just train helicopter pilots, as i'm sure we would have alot of experience in this area. Could be a good way to fund investment.

Paul B
3rd March 2003, 19:13
Something caught my eye at a while ago which sprung to mind reading this. The Luftwaffe have sold all their MiG-29's to Poland for €1 each. Now if we could get a deal like that. Check it out at
http://www.checksix-online.com/html/body_laage_2001.html Third paragraph down

3rd March 2003, 19:22
jesus, no matter what anyone says that's a great deal. Even if you just use them for target practice.

4th March 2003, 01:07
Polands Mig's: Germany got those Migs by default during reunification, and have made several attempts to sell them,back about '96 apparently an Air Corps pliot??? wrote to the papers suggesting their purchase, as the Fougas were quickly dieing,ect,ect. Incidently Poland are also getting a number of F-16's from AMARC for a nominal 1[one] dollar, as a condition for joining NATO.
Viggens, a non-starter, I'm afraid, Sweden ain't selling any of their withdrawn fleet, rather they are been dimantled[not cut up] to provide usable spares for their retained fleet until 2006. Unusually the Viggin was not sold abroad, unlike the Larsen, Draken, AK/SK-60 and of course the Gripen, which I still consider would be a sensible buy for this country despite it's fighter-bomber configuration, practically all modern jets share this designation anyway, even the Mako, Yak-140/150, and failed Mig-AT has been so described.
Someone [think it was Silver] mentioned ejector-seat training, in connection with PC-9's, after checking I have found nothing to suggest that there is an established program of such training, sit straight and hang on seems to be about it, what happens after a combat pliot hits the ground is a different matter, however, and that seems to be quite intense.

4th March 2003, 08:27
It was me that asked about the ejector seats. Would everytging be automated and who there not be a need for the pilots to be parachute trained or would they just be sticks in the wind once they have punch out of the aircraft.

Here's one, could you be nicely asked to leave the AC if your were to have the unfornate luck of writing off a new trainer or any aircraft ?

4th March 2003, 20:53
Mig 29s are a non runner pricey to run and difficult to maintain Romania has retired it's FULCRUM fleet due to servicibility and is relying on it's MIG-21BIS Lancer upgrades to provide an air defence capability.
The advantage of the F-5 is that it shares the Mig-21s economy ease of maintenance and adaptability for upgrading the only comparably priced twin engined aircraft would be the M-346 trainer which won't be available in single seater form for some years.

4th March 2003, 21:39
Just an opinion regarding air defence aircraft,what is needed is a modest,modern capability , in a short to medium time frame and one that can be maintained.Buying Mig 29 may not be the way to go(sorry) spares supply could not be guarenteed.What is needed is a type in wide spread use ,from a stable country and within our price range.A type like the F5 meets much of these criteria but is a bit long in the tooth.The Viggan as mentioned in an earlier post is almost out of service so if they were bought we would be the only user,with all the problems that means for spares support.
My vote would be for either the F16 appox 6 leased from belguim or holland 3 single and 3- 2 seaters or 6 grippen same split leased .Sabb have early batch a/c that were going to Hungary ,but Hungary ordered new build a/c I'm sure Sabb would do a good deal for them.
Sweeden trains its Grippen pilots on Sk 60 a/c ,in the same performance range as the Pc9,so a jet intermediate trainer would not be needed,leading to just 2 a/c types.The total cost of the lease deal ,over perhaps 10 years would be comparable with that of the large MATS jet a/c.
Just some points for discussion,on a subject which needs calm & informed discussion

4th March 2003, 23:06
You obviously didn't read about the need for twin engined fighters for maritime operations (i.e. the Kind conducted by small island nations)
The F-5 may not be glamourous but considering that it the Ching Kuo and the M-346 are the the only twin engined western standard fighters in our price range.
I earnestly advise that you read through the rest of the thread in order to make your contributions with the full benefit of previously established facts and figures.

4th March 2003, 23:09
Also I must point out that the timescale for bringing Gripen or F-16 squadrons online is considerably greater and also refer you to Paul G's comments on the employment of fighter bomber types.