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Jets/Light Fighters

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  • #46
    Surely you're missing the point, focusing entirely on the air defence aspect of these jets.

    what makes the F-5E type attractive for the air corps is its CAS capability. Given the changes in peace support missions, the whole fact is that the training regime of the army has to change, and the air corps inventory should reflect that( something the PC-9 can't do), In any modern combat operation the use of air support is vital, if troops aren't trained in calling in air support or indeed defending against attack, then no matter how good their individual training is, then they're not properly trained. And while possibly overseas exercises might assist the army develop its expertise, the training regime needed over the next ten years would suggest that the investment in a small force of 12 light fighters would be worth it, and the fact that they'ld have a limited air defence capability wld be a bonus. As the person who may have put this idea into C-Qs head, I never really thought that we'ld have two jets permantly available to scramble in case the isle of man invaded our air space,only on certain high risk occassions. Its actually quite hard to hit a building with a commercial aeroplane, the twin towers were massive buildings, impossible to miss.
    Last edited by paul g; 24 April 2003, 18:33.


    • #47

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


      • #48
        Having analysed Irish air defence needs, I recomend the purchase of at least 6 USS Defiant class starships.

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

        :D :D :D
        With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

        Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.


        • #49
          Hey cool it with the putting "ideas into C-Q's head" bit there pal, believe it or not I am capable of independent thought, christ! agree with someone a few times and you get co-opted into their fanclub?
          Aidan all are very good points but this is still off topic, what are the comparative merits of these types in absolute terms first (if everyone does their homework then they can play)
          "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


          • #50
            IMHO, the F-5 is the best option at present for the AC.

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

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


            • #51
              Oh yeah, sorry, got a little caught up in the whole "we need fighters to defend our skies against the foreign aggressor" argument (or lack thereof).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


              • #52
                I'm not sure I'd trust the maintenance records of the remaining A-7 operator's (Greece (retiring them), and Venezuela I think), I forgot about the AMX, it certainly has merit as a trainer/CAS platform, and could carry the symbolic pair of AIM-9s to make our point on air defence for special occasions etc.
                Mnay of the world's most experienced airforces (I'm thinking mainly Israel here) still regard dropping unguided munitions in a high angle diive as more consistently accurate than GPS guided weapons, but I think this is probably of more relevance to strike missions, so Ill go with you on the PGMs.
                Embedded foreign personnel raises continuity issues, directing 500 or a 1000lbs of HE onto the ground in front of you is a delicate business and you'd want the people doing it to be fairly well integrated into the units they're with, rotations and language barriers are jus ttwo of the probelms that might arise there.
                Jaguars are rather uncommon and following their RAF retirement (Which I presume is where you are looking to acquire them) parts supplies could be increasingly problematic, I suggested the latest upgrade for the skyhawk for the air corps some thime ago, but that ws back when New Zealand appeared to thinkthe cost worthwhile.
                A-10s, certainly have the low purchasing cos that the state likes (above anything else usually), but apart from high running costs they carry a lot of nasty symbolic baggage with the "they won't shoot me I'm neutral" crowd.
                Finally the Bronco's characteristics in terms of speed and approach differ to greatly from the fast moving aircraft that carry out the majority of CAS for our likely allies.
                "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                • #53
                  The worn out frontline fighters suggestion is a wild one, mainly because the costs of sustaining operations with these would be damn high, and they are of declining relevance for deployment. But of all of the suggestion I made, these are the only ones that you could actually ever hope to deploy at all though. And since we're dealing with the improbable, we might as well have fun ...

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

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

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


                  • #54
                    Sombody should tell Bertie that he'll need some jets to "Escort" him around the country on Air Corps One!! ....Then I sure he'll splash out....there's loads of old F16's on that AMARC web page.


                    • #55
                      Hmm Mig-21, I'd rather take it's improved western clone anyday....I doon't thik we're looking at combat deployments of these aircraft anyway.
                      The AMX is a nice idea though, or even low hour Alpha jets
                      "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                      • #56
                        > Another weird one would be in resurrecting some OV-10s from AMARC using the
                        > same engines as the Pc-9. Can carry enough ordnance to simulate support, and
                        > even optical or FLIR pods.

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

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

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


                        • #57
                          I don't buy the Bronco CAS trainer idea but they'd make an interesting King air replacement:D
                          "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                          • #58
                            We gave the New Zealand Air Force some good A-4s,they are now out of the system as they are passed their date but they did manage to shoot down many of our F/A18s (by gun camera).I don't think that they are an option any more,however,the Singapore have updated A-4s with F-16 avionics and are nearly as good as an F-16.China used to have a lot of older type Migs that were not suitable as an 'all weather' fighter,not good for Ireland but I do not know what they have now.The Sea Harrier is good in the strike roll and can be used well as a fighter.I would not have a clue about costs.Malaysia has some Mig 29s,they didn't buy off their usual supplier,england.


                            • #59
                              There must be some Jet Fighters on the cheap from Russia,Mig-29 etc,plenty in Iraq ATM.The A-7s were used in Viet Nam as a strike aircraft,there days of being a fighter were gone by then,how many years ago was that?


                              • #60
                                Russian fighters while cheap to buy are not cheap to run, and usually aren't much good without serious upgrade work, name a respectable airforce operating factory standard Russian fighters.
                                Then there's the issue of compatibility with our allies and availability of parts and support on short notice.
                                And most importantly we need M/L helicopters Light twins and fixed wing transports a lot more.
                                "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke