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andy
13th June 2004, 16:33
cut from the orignal article I posted in the news section .....




................Critics claim that leasing and outsourcing aircraft doubles the cost to the taxpayer, deprives the exchequer of its own assets and reduces the Aer Corps' SAR training. The total cost of private outsourcing and maintenance is €45 million a year.

The contract to acquire three medium-lift Sikorsky helicopters for €70 million, which was controversially abandoned two years ago on cost grounds, is still under review, said a spokesman for the Department of Defence.

This is my arguement about the tender for those S-92's being cancelled. It was a botched decision by the government, it was made in light of "green flu", not fully understanding the arms industry with its offsets and thinking that the private sector can perform the job cheaper.:confused:

Yet even if the contract is given out to the private sector the DF will still have to cover this service with the threat of strikes. "Renting out" SAR for €45 million when you can buy 3 helis for €70million is a joke and a foolish decision by the government.

I havent read the tender for the ulititly heli tender but Im sure there is a mention of winches (or someone posted something about it)

Within 1 and a 1/2 years you can purchase 3 helicopters with an expected life time of 20 years. The deal included numerous spare parts and the DF, most importantly the wing, would have the use of 3 medium lift helis.

Those 3 S-92's should have been purchased (with 2 at a later date) along with 8 blackhawks and a trainer helicopter.

Cuchulain
13th June 2004, 17:34
The reason that the military are losing out to commercial operators is due to cost. The cost of purchasing 3 brand new types (never a good idea) that you refer to is just that - the purchase of 3 helicopters. The contract with commercial operators covers EVERYTHING. If you really believe that the IAC can operate 4 large, IFR, 24 hour, fully crewed SAR helicopters at all you are living in dreamland - let alone do it cheaper than a commercial operator. And do you really think that the IAC could just stop providing a SAR service to use the helicopters for other military tasks? For Gods sake wake up man or confine your comments to something that you know about:mad:

yooklid
13th June 2004, 17:40
Originally posted by Cuchulain
The reason that the military are losing out to commercial operators is due to cost. The cost of purchasing 3 brand new types (never a good idea) that you refer to is just that - the purchase of 3 helicopters. The contract with commercial operators covers EVERYTHING. If you really believe that the IAC can operate 4 large, IFR, 24 hour, fully crewed SAR helicopters at all you are living in dreamland - let alone do it cheaper than a commercial operator. And do you really think that the IAC could just stop providing a SAR service to use the helicopters for other military tasks? For Gods sake wake up man or confine your comments to something that you know about:mad:

Are you Hpt in disguise?

andy
13th June 2004, 18:53
For Gods sake wake up man or confine your comments to something that you know about

Im fully awake and know what Im talking about. I wont confine my comments since this is a discussion board;)


The cost of purchasing 3 brand new types (never a good idea) that you refer to is just that - the purchase of 3 helicopters.

go and re read that S-92 bid, it included spare parts etc...

buying new helicopters a bad idea ? I did note, the DF should purchase the extra 2, bringing the total to 5.

you cant stick your head in the sand and run away for this issue

Cuchulain
14th June 2004, 10:40
If I have my head in the sand Andy then you have yours very firmly up your ar*se. You obviously know nothing about SAR operations.

Turkey
14th June 2004, 11:36
Cuchulain, as a matter of intrest, what evidence can you present that you know anything about SAR ops
All you have presented, so far is a sh***Y attuide.



If you really believe that the IAC can operate 4 large, IFR, 24 hour, fully crewed SAR helicopters at all you are living in dreamland

Intresting comment; total bo**ox, but an intresting comment all the same.

mavman
14th June 2004, 14:21
45mil a year x 20 years, thats 900 milion and I would well believe the figure as not only do they charge to have the service in place they also charge per call out, I believe this can be checked by looking into Dept of Marine info.

Anyway if the figure was even half this figure there is no way in hell that one unit of the DF would be allocated this much money, even considering wages, and remember if the helis are bought for the air corps they become a state asset, like any other state asset, and be far more flexible than sole use.

Goldie fish
14th June 2004, 14:26
Last time I heard,there is still a requirment for at least two MLH. The new Light utility helis will pave the way to the successful operation of this type,given the required financial commitment. Whether or not these will be used to compete in at least one of the SAR tenders around the country remains to be seen,though it may be retained as a standby asset in case of major emergencies.
The new tender,mentioned elsewhere,suggests aircraft fitted with rescue hoists,and capable of being fitted out as air ambulances,but no mention of Dedicated Over water SAR is mentioned.

Aidan
14th June 2004, 14:58
45million pa? Where is that figure coming from? Even Lorna Siggin's book mentions €30 Million as the payment. Figures are probably in previous PQs.

Ok, some facts. That figure is for 3 aircraft on station. To provide a similar level of cover, the Air Corps would need to have at least 5 aircraft, and these would all have to be dedicated SAR assets, which means no deployment and no army co-op.

On costs, the figures mentioned (be it 45 or 30m) covers everything included in running the service; fuel, insurance, salaries, pensions, aircraft maintenance, crew training, depreciation, everything. To have the AC do this would cost the state a lot more, but the costs would be buried in the DoD budget, or more likely, wouldn't be properly found and spent, so that the service would be half assed and underfunded, and the AC would get the blame for any 'accidents' that ensued.

The only thing that matters here is the service provided, sailors and fishermen need a dedicated, professional, day, night and foul weather capable air sea rescue service. Who provides it is completely irrelevant. To have the Air Corps running this service means that the heli wing is entirely organised around the SAR tasking, its too small to do this and another job at the same time.

The re-orientation of the AC to more military roles is a welcome thing, and something that they couldn't expect to do while providing SAR at the same time. They are better off without SAR, and SAR is better off without them.

The AC needs to be able to provide a contingent capacity, both in IR situations and in the case of a major disaster, but I can't see any reason why they should have to be asked to do what is a civilian function. Are there any real reasons or is this purely an emotional response from our younger posters?

andy
14th June 2004, 15:14
well I still remain unconvienced. I dont think the decision to privatise SAR was taken in the cold light of day, it was a reactive decision more than anything to do with "planning".

I dont know much about the private company operating this service or its track record, it remains to be seen if they can actually deliver on service and price.

After around a year of operation it will be come apparent the real finanical costs and the actual service. That medium lift deal had major offsets,it had spare parts and a option for 2 more helis. It was pretty cheap and good value in my eyes and finanically I think the Aircorps do the job for cheaper offering a better service.

Were still going to have to cover SAR and some of the air corps assests will be tied up in that.

This could all back fire on the government and turn into another rail track. But if it genuinely works out cheaper for the tax payer and its better for the DF then im all for it.

just found out its the same company thats operating at the moment...

andy
14th June 2004, 15:21
45million pa? Where is that figure coming from? Even Lorna Siggin's book mentions €30 Million as the payment. Figures are probably in previous PQs.

Currently the cost is €30 million and thats only for Dublin Shannon and Waterford. Add the north west on to that and the figure easily goes to €45 million P.A.

Aidan, this was taken out of the Sunday Business Post. The comments regarding SAR where from a business point of view.. i.e finanically is privatisation cheaper or better?

Aidan
14th June 2004, 16:22
Currently the cost is €30 million and thats only for Dublin Shannon and Waterford. Add the north west on to that and the figure easily goes to €45 million P.A.

No it doesn't, if its €30mill for three, then surely it should be €40m for 4.

The company involved has many years of experience, in fact it has significantly more experience with long range SAR than the Air Corps.

That medium lift deal had major offsets,it had spare parts and a option for 2 more helis. It was pretty cheap and good value in my eyes

To accept the offsets would have meant a legal challenge to the deal which would have prevented a purchase in the first place. And it was not cheap, or good value. The S-92 has yet to enter military service anywhere, and is still an unknown quantity.

and finanically I think the Aircorps do the job for cheaper offering a better service.

Unless you have some figures to back that up, its just an opinion with no basis in fact. The better service piece is debatable, particularly given the recent issues in Sligo (or in your magical world, would all that just dissapear?).

still going to have to cover SAR and some of the air corps assests will be tied up in that.

No they won't, and certainly not to the same extent as having 4 MLH on call and ready 24/7. Under the new arrangements, all that will be required is to have the aircraft capable of SAR in an emergency, no having aircraft on call and that that implies for servicing and maintenance.

andy
14th June 2004, 17:37
No it doesn't, if its €30mill for three, then surely it should be €40m for 4.


The North West is a bigger area to cover. Its not going to stop at €40 P.A.



To accept the offsets would have meant a legal challenge to the deal which would have prevented a purchase in the first place. And it was not cheap, or good value. The S-92 has yet to enter military service anywhere, and is still an unknown quantity.


The tender was a botched tender. Another example of the government making a mess of it. How they didnt factor in offsets is unknown to me. Perhaps the S-92 is unproven but its still won. Nothing is cheap, but the deal on offer taking in the offsets and capabilities of the helicopter was value for money. If they government did go ahead with the S-92, it would have met all the needs of SAR. The issue would have been closed.



and finanically I think the Aircorps do the job for cheaper offering a better service.


Unless you have some figures to back that up, its just an opinion with no basis in fact. The better service piece is debatable, particularly given the recent issues in Sligo (or in your magical world, would all that just dissapear?).



The fact that the medium lift heli tender is going under review, demonstrates that there are draw backs to a private company providing the serivce. Its a fudge, they didnt go ahead with the tender because they made a mess of it, poor economic conditions and short sightedness of Smith. Privatisation still doesnt entirely solve the issue since the air corps has still not been fully released from SAR.

It also flags up that the government has not a well thought out policy regarding SAR and they are simply responding to incidents without any long term strategy.

Incidents with the Air Corps shown that the government failed to provide them with the necessary equipment to do their job. They were offering a great service with the sh1te equipment they had to fly in. Instead of simply addressing the problems with equipment they went down this route of privatisation and the problems and cost associated with it.




still going to have to cover SAR and some of the air corps assests will be tied up in that.

No they won't, and certainly not to the same extent as having 4 MLH on call and ready 24/7. Under the new arrangements, all that will be required is to have the aircraft capable of SAR in an emergency, no having aircraft on call and that that implies for servicing and maintenance.

:confused: So they will have to provide SAR back up and provide some the helis and training for it. When else do you need a heli for SAR except for an emergency? The aircorps were providing this 24/7 in some areas but lacked the helis to cover the 4 areas. Its not a huge demand on the A.C. its the lack of modern helicopters that was the problem.

The question im putting forward is this:-

Under the new arrangements the government is paying out €45million a year for a private company to operate the service.

This sums up to €900million (in todays money, but the actual cost will be a lot more with inflation) while the contract for the 4 s-92's was something in the region of €70million (with offsets,total cost is €70m,subtract the intrest savings).

However the new arrangement doesnt even completly solve the SAR service. The DF is still providing some of its resources as a back up. It is interferring with the new tender for the utility helis.

From experience the DF can provide this service as cheap and as good. This service by its nature is best suited to the military, there is no overtime,strikes etc. There has been no "freeing up"of air corps assets since they hadnt any medium lift helis assets in the first place.

Its clear as day, the government have made a balls of this whole thing.

Aidan
14th June 2004, 18:21
Perhaps the S-92 is unproven but its still won

No it didn't, the EC-725 did. The decsion was changed for political reasons after the tender committee reported, as was reported in the press at the time. And if offsets had been included in the deal, who's to know that either of the other two contenders wouldn't have been in a position to offer a better deal?

From experience the DF can provide this service as cheap and as good. This service by its nature is best suited to the military, there is no overtime,strikes etc

What experience? Like you said yourself, the AC has never really operated MLH in the SAR role (Apart from about a year in 1982 with an SA330 and a few months with an S.61), and it couldn't even keep the S.61 operational without, wait for it, a strike! Nice one Andy.

And anyway, what else is there about SAR that means it /has/ to be provided by the military? Driving buses in parts of Dublin is dangerous, should the army do that? Firemen get stones thrown at them in some areas, should that be military also? Lets have one good, logical reason why SAR has to be a military function.

There has been no "freeing up"of air corps assets since they hadnt any medium lift helis assets in the first place.

There is more to the AC than just helicopters, there are also things like staff time, fuel, maintenance time and available flight hours. Also, see the reports that the Dauphin and Alouette's are both already seeing a lot more military training.

It also flags up that the government has not a well thought out policy regarding SAR and they are simply responding to incidents without any long term strategy

Again, you don't know that. Looks to me that, if you take the last 10 years, things have evolved along a fairly predicable path with an increasing input by private contractors into SAR.

This sums up to €900million (in todays money, but the actual cost will be a lot more with inflation) while the contract for the 4 s-92's was something in the region of €70million (with offsets,total cost is €70m,subtract the intrest savings).

The order was for three aircraft with an option for two more. The three were SAR, the two potential were for TTH duties. The costs would have been spent over 3 years. Now, three helis are not enough to keep 4 on station, you'd need 5 or (to be even nearly safe) 6. So, in short, you'd need a capital investment of at least 120mill to deliver the same level of service as the private contracts do now.

Now lets consider the other costs involved. The AC would have to train pilots, pay them and provide a state pension. The AC would have to train maintenance crew, pay them and provide pensions. The AC would have to invest heavily in facilities and machinery. And the AC would have to pay for fuel, parts and repairs. For 20 years! Do you think these things are free just because its the government? Trust me, your 900m figure would look very small next to that lot.

I'd have no problem justifying spending that amount of money on the aircorps if it granted an appreciable increase in the usefulness of the AC to the state, as it stands the SAR role can be better dealt with by the private sector, let them off, the AC have other things to be doing.


Oh, and as for;

When else do you need a heli for SAR except for an emergency?...

The emergency referred to is generally considered to be a ferry in trouble in the Irish sea or something of that magnitude; its a scenario that has been long planned for and has little implications for having aircraft ready on the ramp at all times because there would be enough warning to stand-to and get aircraft in the air.

Its not a huge demand on the A.C.

Um, yes, it is. Have you being paying attention over the last 20 years?

andy
14th June 2004, 19:32
what a load of complete rubbish Aidan

Aidan
14th June 2004, 19:58
what a load of complete rubbish

Perhaps, but if you don't have the arguments to dispute what I say ...

DeV
14th June 2004, 22:28
There is an international requirement to have SAR helicopters airborne within 15 minutes of a call during the day & 45 minutes at night (the extra time to allow the crew to wake from sleep).

There are also requirements as to a helicopter being a certain distance from base within a specific time.

Cuchulain
17th June 2004, 17:30
Aidan - you are on a very frustrating path with this Andy character. He really doesn't have any idea of how government procurement works or how SAR operations are run. Logical, informed and reasoned arguments have no effect on him.

Andy - I have 25 years SAR experience as a pilot including 12 years in the military and 13 years as a civilian SAR pilot (not with CHC). Having operated in both environments I can assure you that both are equally professional (a large number of crews are ex-military). The difference lies in the efficiency - a comparable civilian operation is run much leaner and therefore at a lower cost base.

Having some experience of government procurement as well I can tell you that any Government working to a budget needs to have a firm projection of costs. A civilian operator gives this in the contract. Any unserviceablities, spares, consumables, accidents, training costs must be covered. Therefore if a SAR aircraft has an accident for instance, or the rear crew decide to all go sick - then the commercial operator must be in a position to still provide a 24 hour service. Not so the IAC. Add to that the cost of purchasing unproven new helicopters, training for 40+ pilots (who may then leave for Aer Lingus), crew, engineers, spares, fuel, simulator recurrency training etc, etc, etc and that may add up to more than your wildly inacurrate 900 million.

Moderator - I apologise for telling Andy that he has his head stuck up his ar*se and promise not to do so again.

:rolleyes:

andy
17th June 2004, 21:41
Cuchulain,


Having some experience of government procurement as well I can tell you that any Government working to a budget needs to have a firm projection of costs.

A government needs firm projection of cost? Well that’s new isn’t it. Most of the infrastructure projects in this country from the port tunnel, luas, motorways, hospitals etc have been built by many private companies after a tender stage and submitted their overall completion price.

Numerous infrastructure projects up and down the country haven’t met any “firm projection of cost”. Many have cost and time overruns. It’s not the private company which takes the increased cost, it’s the state.

If you take a look at some of the public bodies, such as some of the county councils, or even I.E delivering on (conventional) rail they have actually delivered on their initial cost.

The private sector does not guarantee better value for money, if you look back a few years ago, the government rented out 1 helicopter at the same cost as actually buying it.

The private sector will provide SAR including training, the actual helicopters, repairs etc for the given price as long as there is no unforeseen problems. Should anything happen like there is a strike by pilots or increased operational cost, the state will have to pick up the pieces.

The air corps will be involved in SAR, in case of any contingency, resulting in the private company not fulfilling its part of the contract. The air corps will have to provide some form of back up to the company. If the government was completely sure that the company would provide the service and this issue was done and dusted, it would have probably not included the winch in the utility tender. Nor would the government be currently revisiting the medium lift tender.

The argument to privatise SAR for economic reasons is idiotic. The company said it will provide the service for €45 million a year, totalling €900million for 20 years.

The state could purchase 4 S-92’s for €70 million which will last for 20 years. The operational costs for the state to operate 4 medium lift helicopters is modest. Wages in the Defence Forces are fixed, without the massive overtime associated with the like of the Gardai or the private sector.

Included in that same €70 million were spare parts and training. Even without these items it is a long way from the €900 million. The operational costs for those medium lift helicopters wouldn’t exceed several million each year; while the government would have access to them should any emergency arise. This massive gap between what the air corps can provide at a given price and what the private sector can provide is too large to simply sweep it under the carpet. It’s an example of poor government.

The only problem in that tender for the state was the fact that the S-92 was unproven. Its the governments mistake for not taking this factor into account.

It’s widely accepted within the Defence Forces and government circles, the reason why Air Corps pilots were leaving was because they had no new aircraft for many years, moral was low and its role was ignored by the government. Since then, the government has addressed this issue and retention rates are very high. It should also be noted that there is expected to be a large surplus of pilots in the private sector in the coming years. Supply will exceed demand. The days of the Air Corps being a training school for the likes of Air Lingus are long gone.

Aidan
17th June 2004, 22:04
Seems like there is a simple conclusion to this.

Andy, you have been presented with two seperate posters, each with some experience of the practicalities of these things, outlining extensively the many holes, flaws, mistaken assumptions and factual inaccuracies in your position; you've now gone and added another massive non-sequiteur in your last post which, to be honest and more out of pity than anything else, I won't go into.

When this is broken down, it seems like you just want the Air Corps to have big shiny helicopters with tricolours on them, and are willing to construct any argument you can to sustain that dream. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but you really ought to take a more careful look at the facts. The "I know I'm right and no amount of facts can convince me otherwise" argument will only get you so far.

andy
17th June 2004, 22:35
When this is broken down, it seems like you just want the Air Corps to have big shiny helicopters with tricolours on them, and are willing to construct any argument you can to sustain that dream.

Aidan, please take the time to re-read my posts. I neither care if SAR is carried out by the Aircorps or the private sector. I was simply pointing out that the Aircorps is the better option.

** withdrew remark regarding Cuchulain**

FMolloy
17th June 2004, 22:42
Andy, unless you've got good reason to suspect Cuchulain of misrepresentation you should apologise.

Aidan
17th June 2004, 22:48
You're assertion that the Air Corps is the better option is based on such delicate (and often duplicitous) arguments however, and the weight of all the objective evidence points so heavily in the other direction, that an emotional motive seems the only rational explanation.

For example, you assert that the 4 base*(as in 4 helis on call) service would cost €45m per annum, totalling 900mill in 2004 prices over 20 years. However, the director of the Irish Coastguard, Mr Liam Kirwan, is quoted as saying in the Marine Times that '"the estimated cost of operating 3 Search and Rescue bases by a civilian operator will cost €19 million per year, that's for everything - for six helicopters, all training, flying hours, fuel and VAT at 21%." . So in effect, your headline figure of 900m is completely wrong.

Also, note the six helis? You want to do the job with 4. Note the fact that the tender was for 3, and now you reckon Sikorsky will throw in another for free? And the fact that the S-92 didn't actually win?

?

Come-quickly
17th June 2004, 23:21
Em hate to break up this really productive debate, but if the medium lift contract is genuinely under review, for what purpose in the light of recent noises from the DOD is this related to a possible future SAR requirement or for purely military usage?

andy
18th June 2004, 00:14
sorry Cuchulain,


You're assertion that the Air Corps is the better option is based on .....evidence points so heavily in the other direction, that an emotional motive seems the only rational explanation.

Yes the air corps is a better option for SAR, primarily because of economic reasons, its dependable, etc

The director of the Irish Coastguard, Mr Liam Kirwan estimates are clearly wrong. He should consult the actual government figures of €30million for 3 or €45 for 4 helicopter.

I am in fact completly correct.

No Aiden, I dont expect Sikorsky to throw in free helicopters. And I did note that the only major problem with that tender was the fact that the S-92 is unproven.

yellowjacket
18th June 2004, 00:20
Dependable? Sligo?

Andy, what are you basing this stuff on, other than your own certainties?

Aidan
18th June 2004, 01:01
Mr Liam Kirwan estimates are clearly wrong

Mr Liam Kirwan signed the fecking contract for the 3 bases. He is not just the source, he is the head of the contracting authority. The figures you have (of 30mill) came from an unattributed source in a newspaper.

Your posts are riddled with errors, correcting you on all of them will take more time than I have. Lets just go with one more for the road.

The S-92 did not win the tender, the three types tested were all judged to have met the technical criteria (EH-101, S-92 and EC-725). On the basis of the tender criteria, the tender committee reported to the Minister for Defence that the EC-725 was the most suitable aircraft for the Air Corps. After this, Sikorsky pitched in with an offer to send business the way of FLS aerospace, and following pressure being applied to the Minister by North Dublin FF TDs, he overturned the decision of the Ctte and chose the S-92. This was on very dodgy legal ground, and left himself and the Dept open to legal action, which ensued. The tender then had to be cancelled, and is still under review to this day.

I am in fact completly correct.

That would be a first.

To answer C-Qs question, if this is indeed under review, the line I've heard (rumour) is that these are to be the two TTH helis from the original contract. Ties in with the Naval rumour de jure of a LPD type vessel.

Vmax
18th June 2004, 01:39
Andy,
It's Captain Liam Kirwan, and after reading your threads it looks like you have lost the plot .The private contractor is heavily penalised for the likes of aircraft or aircrew going off line.This is the reason it doesnt happen very often.The Aer corp have been losing SAR in Ireland since the early nineties when Irish heli's won the contract in Shannon.SAR coverage have never been as good as it is now and alot of lives have been saved because of it .That's what it is all about.You are going to find that SAR in Europe is going to go the civie route.Why,it doesn't take a rocket scienctist to work that one out.Your argumemt about civie's striking is very weak considering what happened in Sligo.As for value for tax payers money would YOU like to hazard a guess as to how much was spent trying to get Sligo off the ground.Maybe you could tell me a tax payer what we have to show for it.

andy
18th June 2004, 02:29
I havent lost any plot, nor or any of my posts "riddled with errors"

The main point im outining in this thread is the high economic cost this service is costing the tax payer, by privatising it out.

Also taking issue with the lack of a coherent government policy regarding helicopters and the Defence Forces.

yellowjacket
18th June 2004, 02:34
Andy you haven't backed up your contention that the a/c provides a more cost effective SAR service, so it would be a great assistance to your case if you could provide the facts and figures.

Come-quickly
18th June 2004, 02:35
Andy defence policy is fully coherent and it could not be said to be otherwise, you're confusing incoherence with ridiculous, absurdist and short sighted.

SAR is more of a burden than an organisation the size of the IAC could take without excluding "green" taskings, I know which I'd rather have.

Goldie fish
18th June 2004, 02:44
Since the Loss of SAR,the air Corps have been able to concentrate their efforts on the military tasks that for so long went ignored,and aircraft availability is at an all time high.

yellowjacket
18th June 2004, 02:53
This increased availability for military use hasn't just meant training benefits, in several cases in the last year, a/c helis have been available for casevac taskings for both injured DF and members of the public.

Turkey
20th June 2004, 03:03
Apoligies to Cuchulain, for my earlier remarks, he is clearly more qualified to post FACT on this subject then many others, [myself included], but I think, after several re-readings I can see a point to some of this.
In theory, it is cheaper to have the Air Corps run SAR in this country, but in practice it is not, partly because of politics, and partly because of some fairly damning phyical constraints.
The theory bit runs like this,; we will be owning the assets and they will be available for other taskings as required.
The reality bit however says; we will have to look after these assets at ever increasing costs, and the only other task that they will be available for is very self-important people transport, there is no way anyone is going to transport troops into any kind of harm in a heli' painted snow white and harlot red.

They way I see it is that a country has 4 choices with regard to SAR.
[1] Use the forces: we tried that, it presents an unacceptable drain on Defence dosh, and before you know it our military air arm has been seriously compromised by an unsuitable mission. Perhaps if the service was a lot larger, and I do mean a lot.
[2] The Darwinist approch: Let them all drown, I think mcgreedy would like that......'cause you are never going to catch him out on a fishing boat doing anything remotely resembling work anyway.
[3] Set up a seperate operation: There are historical preceedents for this , eg. the RNLI, but a surface rescue unit is easier to operate and has a huge volenteer element, and they do a wonderful job, and have done for a very long time. Helicopter operations are a bit trickier and to set one up, to the standard required, would be very difficult, remember the RNLI has grown and evolved with the increase of shipping , fishing and the relatively recent intrest in leisure boating.
[4] Hire a company:This company has already done the evolving and the development for you, and hire local people including those who have learned their trade withen the military and now find that they should move on from this vocation into 'normal' life whatever that is...................................... Ehhh, it's working.

Personally I would love to see the IAC still doing SAR, I know that exers amongs the Coast guard have been known to feel a surge of pride when the IAC have pulled off a dodgy sortie, but we have to face reality. Let the Dept of the Marine handle it, and leave all the DF Air Corps budget to help the Irish Air Corps establish and carry out a new military mission, which will probally involve UN peacekeeping/enforceing operations, allowing many more lives to be saved in the worlds all to frequent trouble spots.

andy
20th June 2004, 15:20
Andy defence policy is fully coherent and it could not be said to be otherwise, you're confusing incoherence with ridiculous, absurdist and short sighted.

Some might say the above is incoherent.

Cuchulain
20th June 2004, 18:59
Only if you are absurdist and short-sighted.

hptmurphy
27th May 2005, 14:45
Reading today I see Sweden has accepted the Nh90...and that other wonderful nation that we are so often compared to...New Zealand is also accepting this machine as a repalcement for its Hueys.

Germany has accepted delivery of its first batch of EC Tigers,

The RAF has deployed its first Merlins to Iraq'

Albania is to consider the NH90.Agusta Bell AB412 and AB 212

The Bulgarians are updating their Mi17/24 with the Israelis,

Israel gets its AH64Ds,


And what happens in Ireland...we buy bloody flying sports cars for officers.

Look what other people are doing they are aquiring helos with proper military capabilities not instantly convertable ministerial transports.

The Allouettes are now 42 years old in concept and they still do the job they were designed to do in 1960....yet our Df has improved in every other way beyond this time except in the area of Air transport and mobility. :mad:

mutter nutter
27th May 2005, 15:06
not to rub more salt in, But New Zealnd is also investing an extra $3.4 billion over the next 10 year's in defence

Goldie fish
27th May 2005, 16:35
New Zealand needs it more than us. Most of that figure will go on not replacing,but creating a naval fleet,which at the moment consists of 2 Anzac frigates.(plus a plethora of assorted auxiliaries). Look at the size of the country. They need larger Helis than us.

The AB139 will fill the midrange between light utility and Medium Utility(Cancelled..for now) Lets wait till they arrive before knocking them?

mutter nutter
27th May 2005, 16:45
your still confident the medium heli will be bought GF?

Goldie fish
27th May 2005, 16:59
Not in this Governments lifetime. However,the cushion of RAF backup is diminishing when it comes to SAR,and the Coastguard Helis are operating to their limits. Sadly it will take another bad winter or loss of life at sea before the Government realise that a Redundant capacity is required when it comes to SAR,and while not engaged for this task,plenty of use will be found for them.
I believe if the Current GOC Air Corps had been in charge at the time of the MLH cancellation,it would not have been cancelled.
Like him or loath him, Cranfield was a yes man.

hptmurphy
27th May 2005, 18:44
We have the Greatest amount of coast line and sea coverage in western Europe and even Albania is taking a greater role in the procurement of helicopters.

CHC do an admirable job in the coast gurd role..and thats some that needs to be a dress in other thread.

What I'm getting at here is that we have an army that trains to deploy overseas in sizeable numbers and we fail to have an airwing to support them. we will have 4 machine capable of deploying atotal of 32 troops.....from a battalion sized force....this is ridiculous.

If you have 4 machines chances of three of them being serviceable at any on time is the best average to be expected.

Again as the Mowag syndrome sets in ..we bought the nicest thing on the shelf...but it wasn't what we needed.

Old Redeye
29th May 2005, 20:19
Yes, taking on the national SAR mission would be prestigious and good for the IAC, but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't the heart of the problem manpower, in that to fully man SAR 24/7 would require an enormous increase in IAC personnel strength, particularly pilots and SAR Tech crewmen, which may not be achievable. The IAC was wise to ditch SAR since it would be all consuming at the expense of more pertinent military capabilities, such as tactical support helicopters.

I submit that a professional, deployable military tactical support helicopter capability is the priority for the IAC over everything else - including #2 Airlift - and is attainable within realistic budgetary and manpower constraints. If the S-92 contract is indeed legally still alive and potentially binding for Ireland (doubtful),any S-92's obtained therefrom should be tactical support helicopter versions, fully deployable and committed to the EU Rapid Reaction Force (including the potential European Support Helicopter Force), or they should be committed to the national SAR role and operated entirely by a contractor on behalf of the coast guard.

Should the S-92 in fact be a dead issue, then Ireland should go with not just the two AB-139 options, but a further two for a total strength of eight, providing an international deployment capability of 4-6 aircraft for up to six months as part of a multinational air component supporting a multinational force, similar to what we see now with ISAF in Afghansitan.

SPOOKY
29th May 2005, 23:58
Look, please excuse my ignorance of AC logistical procurment costs, budgets, & operating life cycle costs, but isn't there some rather non-sourced talk here?

Namely: Who says the AC will ever have an extra-territorial role -whther it be UN peace support or otherwise?
(I have looked through all the policy documentation available to the public & can't find it anywhere -is this presumption a mental leap too far?)

Surely using logical alone, IF:
the AC cannot adequatly fund & operate a national SAR service, then how are they too attempt to do the same type of requirement (ie. 24hour call, Day/Night, AND in a potentially non-natural but man-made (MANPADS made..?) hazardous environment 100's or perhaps 1,000's of miles from base on UN missions?

NB.
Where will the money for the DEPLOYABLE maintainence, repair & servicing equipment come from?
Where will the vehicles to transport this eqiupment come from?
What about the costs involved in the logistics effort to supply the living quarters & security requirements for not just the aircrews, but the vital AC NCO& enlisted tech. support crews?
What of the costs to ship or airfreight these airframes, technical support equipment, aircrew, air mantainence, security elements & livivng quarters to far off lands - and get them back again?

then......... think all that for just a SINGLE airframe, what of the costs for 4-6?

Just how much of Irelands UN standby commitment would actually go to providing this capability, and not just in costs terms, but in MANPOWER terms..............?

Whether larger or AB-139 helicopters, isnn't this all just a tiny wee bit unrealistic given the current budgetary & fiscal environment for the AC?


ALSO............

the above relates to Irelands ability to operate a small number of C-130 type transport aircraft: e.g. what point is there is expending valuable & precious funds on a small government owned tactical aircraft fleet, when private contractors CAN & DO operate much larger aircraft
(ie. Aanatov AN-1** range of transport aircraft)
for DF charter lift requirements at present & do so effectively for less?

Look at your arguments above. Then apply the same logic to AC transport tasks.

Perhaps the AC should concentrate on building a NATIONAL effective military service before it starts going for more complicated & risky INTERNATIONAL missions, no?
A single helicopter type -twin engined for safety- for rapid reaction (whether infantry ATCP, or SOF CT) tasks is an achievable target...........
why then can the many myriad AC transport aircraft, not then be replaced by a single
-twin engined for safety & training- transport aircrfat type for whatever duties the CASA & PC-9's can't do e.g. parachute training, rapid airlift of stores, airambulance, island relief, on island VIP transport etc. ?

My suggestion is that the AC already use one rotary wing type for training and garda support - why not buy a small quantity of Nomander ISLANDER twin engined types, already in service with the garda air support unit to furfil this same goal in the fixed wing role?

Is this an achievable goal?

DeV
30th May 2005, 14:02
The special report on the AC/NS recommended that the AC WOULD NOT be deployed overseas

Bam Bam
30th May 2005, 16:42
I think that rule has been in effect since the congo mission in the 60's

Mick O'Toole
30th May 2005, 16:56
At the signing ceremony in Baldonnel for the AB139s last year, or early this year, the minister was asked if he ever saw them being used abroad. He replied: no.

Bam Bam
30th May 2005, 16:59
At the signing ceremony in Baldonnel for the AB139s last year, or early this year, the minister was asked if he ever saw them being used abroad. He replied: no.

Sure they cost a lot of money why should we use them for there intended purpose.

YA HEAR THAT RANGERS YOU CAN LOOK AT THEM BUT THATS ALL.

Goldie fish
30th May 2005, 17:09
So tell us bam-bam....what is their (note correct use of spelling) intended purpose?

FMolloy
30th May 2005, 19:16
Perhaps the AC should concentrate on building a NATIONAL effective military service before it starts going for more complicated & risky INTERNATIONAL missions, no?

That's exactly what they're doing, anything else is just speculation.



A single helicopter type -twin engined for safety- for rapid reaction (whether infantry ATCP, or SOF CT) tasks is an achievable target...........

Again, that's the plan.



why then can the many myriad AC transport aircraft, not then be replaced by a single -twin engined for safety & training- transport aircrfat type for whatever duties the CASA & PC-9's can't do e.g. parachute training, rapid airlift of stores, airambulance, island relief, on island VIP transport etc. ?

There's not 'many myriad' of AC transport craft - there's only the Cessnas and the King Air (when it's not doing MATS), the Gulfstream and the Learjet can't be classed as transport.

The Cessna's are due for replacement in the next couple of years, the theory is that they'll be replaced by a smaller number of a more capable type.



My suggestion is that the AC already use one rotary wing type for training and garda support - why not buy a small quantity of Nomander ISLANDER twin engined types, already in service with the garda air support unit to furfil this same goal in the fixed wing role?

One example of a more capable type.



Is this an achievable goal?

Yes.

hptmurphy
1st June 2005, 21:24
Given the reliability problems of the Defender/ Islander type it can hardly be judged as a good replacement for anything.

In terms of the AC doing the air sea rescue job. The role has evolved very much from what was envisaged back in the early 1960s when the Allouettes were purchased.

If the governement were prepared to finance larger machines...fine but its seems that they are ever unlikely to buy any thing of the order of the size of the machine required.

Given the increase in maritime activities and our increased responsiblities in the SAR role in our own home waters we can no longer depend on 5-6 seater helis.

So who can provide the machines required..looks like the current type of operation is the only currently viable operation.?

Should the AC return to being the primary suppliers of the SAR role?

I don't beleve so because of past expierience with the logistical nightmare associated with different helis and associated crewing problems.

I think the line has been drawn in the sand for the future requirements of SAR ops in this country for the forseeable future and this should release the AC for more of the type of training the army require to be a truly mobile deployable force.

It has been proven in Liberia that we have no requirement to deploy AC machines abroad...but again this type of operation has proved that our troops need to be airdeployable...on a larger scale and this underwrites the opinion that the current type of machine on order is practcally too small except for small force insertion or advanced crew training.

Gunner Who?
2nd June 2005, 02:33
I wonder am I alone in thinking that the AC made a dogs dinner of the rotary side of the business:-

A. In that they lost the function of providing SAR for the State over inter agency turf wars.

B. That the Dauphin was the wrong spec.

C. That the new Bell_Augusta looks like compounding the error buying what looks like a civilian
executive transport and may well be just a MATS job.

What happened to the Heli wing and who was responsible. Certainly not the guys who got it right with the Allouettes?

Aidan
2nd June 2005, 10:18
In that they lost the function of providing SAR for the State over inter agency turf wars.

Turf wars were part of the propblem, as was poor admin within the AC, but the main issue was the fact that the AC were never going to get the resources to run a service properly (not without some serious internal shakeups-to the extent of giving up almost all other rotary ops), let alone purchase the helicopters.

SAr, and the AC, are better off with the current situation. The


That the Dauphin was the wrong spec

A problem borne mainly of funding difficulties (they wanted 330s, after all) and hobsons choice when it came to being told what aircraft they were getting.


That the new Bell_Augusta looks like compounding the error buying what looks like a civilian executive transport

When painted green (or whatever) and set up to meet the tender spec, its just as 'military' as any helicopter of this size (UH-60 aside), but its a new design so is cheap to run, and has outstanding payload/range characteristics.

If the AC are going to get something larger, then that'll mean a new competition, until then, the 139 is a good place to start 'proper' military heli ops. The only question for now is how many will be purchased.

In the medium term, the NH-90 would be ideal, but thats a whole different argument.

Barry
2nd June 2005, 10:53
What happened to the Heli wing and who was responsible. Certainly not the guys who got it right with the Allouettes?
I'd say the people responsible for choosing the Allouettes currently reside in the graveyard, and have for quite some time :smile:

SPOOKY
2nd June 2005, 13:27
Given the reliability problems of the Defender/ Islander type it can hardly be judged as a good replacement for anything.

Disagree.

Reliability problems where due to equipment overload and safety certification with GS, in relation to the AC's single type. (see thread)

Islanders work well for very diverse range of roles, just ask those in the Western Isles, or off the Irish west coast.

Dash4/8 is a better aircraft, but more expensive.
What others twin engined types are light enough to furfil the role?

hptmurphy
2nd June 2005, 17:22
Same problem as the DAUPHIN THEN...OVERLOADED !

the islander / defender as used has spent more time in maintainance than it has in the air. Buying aircraft piecemeal is a waste of time. Aircraft should be bought in a minimum number of three..one used for training..one operational..one in maintaince.

Bam Bam
2nd June 2005, 17:34
we'll have 4 ab 139's

one in maintanence
one in MAT duty
one for the Chief of staff and his aides
one for training pilots how to fly ministers and the C.o.S around.

Goldie fish
2nd June 2005, 17:41
The MTOW of the AB139 is considerably greater than the dauphin,and it has already been designed to take its "accessories",and still do the job.

At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself

The order has been placed,the contract has been signed. Lets wait until its in service before we start criticing an aircraft that none of us has seen or flown in?

DeV
2nd June 2005, 21:51
Same problem as the DAUPHIN THEN...OVERLOADED !

the islander / defender as used has spent more time in maintainance than it has in the air. Buying aircraft piecemeal is a waste of time. Aircraft should be bought in a minimum number of three..one used for training..one operational..one in maintaince.

2001 2002 2003
Squirrel 837 flying hrs 587 flying hrs 633 flying hrs
Defender 240 flying hrs 537 flying hrs 514 flying hrs
EC-135 N/a 46 flying hrs 626 flying hrs

Source: DF Annual Report 2003

mutter nutter
2nd June 2005, 22:42
just to back up Goldie's point, the 139 is in service with several other militairies and police services, so it can't be that bad

Laners
3rd June 2005, 02:08
Well the U.S Coast Guard bought a lot of Dauphins and are having nothing but problems with them as well and several deadly crashes . So in all fairness the A.Care not the only ones that bought a bad product .

adwmaher
3rd June 2005, 02:40
here we go again with the abbreviations!!!What's MATS stand for lads?

mutter nutter
3rd June 2005, 02:55
Ministerial air transport

JAG
3rd June 2005, 15:20
Question- what would the helicopter requirement be if the DF were to be in a position to transport a light infantry battalion and (just for shits & giggles) including vehicles to any point on this island.

I'm talking dumping a force of armed men very quickly, as per "When We Were Soldiers" (Mel Gibson) and Black Hawk Down.

What other support is required to achieve this with vehicles? Is there any military unit (I'm guessing USMC if any) in the world that can achieve this, and if so at what notice (from making the call to touching the ground at target destination).

It'll never happen I know, I'm just curious as to whether it COULD happen.

GoneToTheCanner
3rd June 2005, 16:39
Hi all
You have to remember that when the Dauphin was being selected, it was percieved as an Alouette replacement and as such, it was a great leap forward. Electronic cockpit,composite airframe, higher time-between-overhaul,etc. The fact that it was equipped with almost every "option" in the book made it overweight, range-limited and the small cabin meant that it could only carry one or two prone survivors. Personally,I blame the selection committee, who touted it above all else and declined to listen to the Engineering staff, both Officers and men, who expected trouble and got it in spades. The infrastructure did not exist to transit from a 1960s aircraft to a 1980s aircraft, a huge generational leap and the Don ended up being the unofficial test bed for Aerospatiale. We could not hope to conduct deep-water SAR with such a small, short-ranged airframe,small-cabin aircraft, when what we really needed was an S-61 sized aircraft. The selectors were obsessed with the new technology and the promises made by the manufacturer and ultimately, the Dauphin has been a partial failure, because it's technology has educated a generation of pilots and technicians.Besides, the Don aren't the only branch of service to buy the "wrong" gear and then have to backpedal when criticised. Equally, you'll never get everyone to like the stuff you buy.
regards
GttC

Steamy Window
3rd June 2005, 16:53
what other aircraft were being selected at the same time as the Dauphin?

Goldie fish
3rd June 2005, 18:36
The Navy Lynx and the super Puma. Lynx for P30 class and Puma for troop transport/SAR. In 1983 the industry was pretty confident that Ireland would be ordering 2 super Pumas, as the single Puma had impressed many(except the bean counters). As often mentioned before,Eithnes hangar was designed for a Navy Lynx. Promotional drawing at the time show a far smaller P30 class with a lynx on the helideck.

hptmurphy
3rd June 2005, 19:31
GTC puts the whole thing in perspective!

BTW the USCG have just signed a comtract for another re enging package of the HH65 Dolphin fleet.

These were bought at the same time as ours but in greaters number swith far less shiny kit...and they are still going strong.
We on the other hand by the shiniet toy on the shelf in minimal batches work the shit out of it an expect it to last indefinetly....and bitch like hell when it dosent' and fail to remember how we ended up with it in the first place.

DeV
3rd June 2005, 20:36
Question- what would the helicopter requirement be if the DF were to be in a position to transport a light infantry battalion and (just for shits & giggles) including vehicles to any point on this island.


A LOT of helicopters ... Puma HC.1 (in service with RAF since 1971) which carries up to 16 fully equipped troops (20 in CEFO) requires 34 lifts to move a infantry battalion of around 625 troops. Thats 2 SERVICABLE Pumas requiring 16 return journies.

Silver
3rd June 2005, 20:51
I suspect (hope!) the plan is to purchase a total of six 139's, followed by 4 x medium lift helis within 3-5 years. :cool:

Goldie fish
3rd June 2005, 21:22
The way I see it, the helicopter force is being rebuilt from the beginning,ignoring all experience gained from the Dauphin,or rather learning from th emistakes made and rethinking how the aircraft are used.
In the past all rotary wing assets were there to provide SAR,or to support same. Military transport was a secondary task,which was largely impractical due to the SAR commitment.
So we are starting again,with the 2 EC135s,which are small enough to be suitable for training,but big enough to be available for air ambulance or MATS.
The 4 AB139s can then be retained for Military transport,training in troop transport and working with underslung loads. The intention has clearly been to not deploy them overseas, keeping them at home to allow troops training for overseas rotation to train in helicopter operations. This was an area that was largely neglected until East Timor,when things had to be learnt fast.
Using them for SAR should only be something for dire emergencies.
If the AB 139 proves successful,and I hope it does then maybe the option for another 2 can be exercised,and in time,maybe this aircraft will become the backbone of the rotary wing fleet in the same way as the ageing alouettes have been for the last 40 years. Remember we started with 3 Alouettes.

Perhaps then when the pilots have regained the skills necessary for 24 hour all weather flying,which were more or less lost as the Dauphin became obsolete and ineffective,they can consider the need for a number of larger types,if for nothing else,to get the many overseas rotations used to operating with a larger type.

Its often been said here,you cannot go from basic trainer to fast fighter jet in one step,and its expensive to have interim aircraft purely for training purposes. The future rotary wing fleet will provide the lower end of the Heli ability,capable of being used for initial training,while still retaining practical usefulness.
Given the chance that it could be another 20 years before the Government decide to throw money at the Air Corps,I think the new arrangements would be much better than having,as what was to have been the case if the MLH had gone through, €100m split between 4 massive aircraft that nobody is trained to fly,because the only aircraft capable of training pilots became too old to operate safely,and the Department couldnt afford to replace them.

Turkey
4th June 2005, 00:05
I suspect (hope!) the plan is to purchase a total of six 139's, followed by 4 x medium lift helis within 3-5 years. :cool:

It would probaly make a lot more sense to just buy the first 6 and then add another 6-8 AB139's in future years, and stay out of the Medium lift helicopter busness altogether.

Goldie fish
4th June 2005, 01:13
12-14 helic capable of carrying a section each,plus gear would indeed be nice. Without SAR, is there still a need for MLH?

hptmurphy
4th June 2005, 02:25
Collective in one hand stick in the other ...how simple can it be..I think its time that some of the higher ups just fell on their own swords rather than sending the other guy out to do it for them.

DeV
4th June 2005, 14:58
The PwC report recommended that the number of barracks be reduced ... that has been done, and whether the Minister, or anyone else, likes it or not it makes sense for PDF barracks to be reduced further.

It was proposed that the transport fleet be drastically upgraded and MLHs be purchased in order to make the DF more deployable at home, while making up for closed barracks.

Gunner Who?
4th June 2005, 23:29
Bingo. right on the mark Dev.

adwmaher
5th June 2005, 00:29
Thanks for the clarification re: MATS. Recently visited the Bell-Augusta site. Saw picture of military version of 139. It had pylons for ground attack rockets. Any chance ours will have this capability also?

FMolloy
5th June 2005, 00:33
I doubt very much that the AC will put weapons other than door guns on the new helis.

I'd get used to the acronyms, militaries world-wide are very fond of them.

adwmaher
5th June 2005, 00:50
would having this capability affect ability to carry usual number of troops ,equipment etc. BTW spot the non-soldier amongst you!

Silver
5th June 2005, 01:13
The PwC report recommended that the number of barracks be reduced ... that has been done, and whether the Minister, or anyone else, likes it or not it makes sense for PDF barracks to be reduced further.

It was proposed that the transport fleet be drastically upgraded and MLHs be purchased in order to make the DF more deployable at home, while making up for closed barracks.

My point exactly!

Goldie fish
6th June 2005, 21:40
would having this capability affect ability to carry usual number of troops ,equipment etc. BTW spot the non-soldier amongst you!

Yes. All aircraft are limited by gravity. Also known as the maximum take off weight or MTOW. For every bit of extra kit,be it weapon or sensor you put in,something else must come out,be it troops,or in the case of D248, fuel.

This mistake already cost the lives of 4 good men. I doubt it'll happen again,hence we'll get aircraft fitted with equipment required to do their designed task.

We are not looking for an attack heli just yet.

Goldie fish
7th June 2005, 05:04
Disagree.

Reliability problems where due to equipment overload and safety certification with GS, in relation to the AC's single type. (see thread)

Islanders work well for very diverse range of roles, just ask those in the Western Isles, or off the Irish west coast.

Dash4/8 is a better aircraft, but more expensive.
What others twin engined types are light enough to furfil the role?

The story of the defender "problems" can be found here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=678&highlight=ireland+air+corps)

hptmurphy
7th June 2005, 14:51
As si the case with a lot of twin engined underpowered aircraft the purpose of the second engine is to make sure you arrive at the crash site!

GoneToTheCanner
8th June 2005, 10:47
Hi all
To clarify: the USCG were obliged by political pressure to fit the locally-made Lycoming engines to the Dauphin. It was not a suitable fit, to say the least. A combination of politicians and "not invented here" syndrome. Also, in the past, the Air Corps/DoD believed every word the manufacturer or their agents said and were inveigled into rigid, expensive sale/maintenance contracts that have been found, over time, to be too expensive. Thankfully, they're a bit more cynical and less naive and more inclined to argue the toss. I hope...
regards
GttC

JAG
8th June 2005, 13:19
A LOT of helicopters ... Puma HC.1 (in service with RAF since 1971) which carries up to 16 fully equipped troops (20 in CEFO) requires 34 lifts to move a infantry battalion of around 625 troops. Thats 2 SERVICABLE Pumas requiring 16 return journies.

Odds on the army buying 40-50 odd troop carrying/heavy lifters to move a light infantry battalion?

About equal to the odds on the Air Corps being transformed into an Air Force?

Lordinajamjar
9th June 2005, 04:26
As si the case with a lot of twin engined underpowered aircraft the purpose of the second engine is to make sure you arrive at the crash site!

Well at least you are guaranteed to arrive late. :biggrin:

B Inman
10th June 2005, 00:38
Interesting thread on Military photos.net about the Alouette 111.

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50751

Goldie fish
25th June 2005, 04:55
Does this have anything to do with the air corps?

FMolloy
25th June 2005, 04:59
Nope, so it goes bye bye.

Goldie fish
25th June 2005, 05:08
we have rules here....

Steamy Window
27th June 2005, 18:57
A Dauphin dropped Mary McAleese off at Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday for the Munster Hurling Final. As they are soon up for retirement, which chopper will do the job before the new ones arrive, or will there be no gap between the retirements and the new choppers arrive?

Goldie fish
27th June 2005, 19:15
The dauphins should be retired around the same time the EC135P2s arrive,so presumably,it being the newest and shinyest,this is what will be used...Hopefully they'll get comfy with them and leave the AB139s for proper military flying...

Bam Bam
27th June 2005, 22:24
Maybe they should keep the dauphin's and use them for MATS that would free up all 6 new heli's

Goldie fish
27th June 2005, 22:26
The dauphins are retiring. They are no longer useful. It would cost €1.5m each to make them useful. Not worth it for a 20 year old aircraft.

thebig C
24th April 2007, 16:28
Although it doesn't appear to have been officially confirmed yet, reports earlier this month indicate that the Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec has beaten the Bell 407 in the Indian Army's light helicopter competition. The deal is for 197 helicopters, costing just over €400 million, or approx. €2 million each.

The Fennec - the military version of the Ecureuil or Squirrel - is capable of day and night military operations and covers a mission spectrum from attack, antitank, reconnaissance and observation, to training, cargo, sling transport, medical evacuation, and SAR.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Eurocopter_Fennec.jpg