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  • Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Back in the day, the aircraft made less money than any other part of the Aer Lingus operation. In fact, the hotels and associated touriat operation the original Group used to own, made more money than the aircraft did. Aircraft maintenance, the training schools for pilots and mechs and the hire of our pilots and mechs abroad made a pile of money, as did the Irish Helis and Aer Turas operations. The aircraft themselves made more money from cargo than from fares, despite it being a near monopoly at the time. My point is that the State always found money for new airframes, even through recessions, for Lingus and IH, and they were not operated at anything near a commercial return (or rather, to the level aircraft are operated these days) and they cost multiples of the cost of the aircraft bought for the Don. My point is that the State, even in poorer times, always found the money for it's non-military aviation (AC pilots used to drool about the Bell UH-1N and the B0-105 operated by IH) and always kept the AC (and the wider DF) budget on a very tight leash, despite the constant demand to wring as much as possible out of each airframe. At least, the AC has found that leasing works and makes operating for State third parties (Gardai, DFA) easier. Even Beech, as the competitor to the PC-9, made an offer to run the entire cadet syllabus and further PC-9 type operations with four Beech T-6s. In fact, I'd say that the State, in time, will commercialise as much of the AC's operation as is possible and farm it out to third parties. If you look at the RAF, for example, virtually all operations not directly involved with combat or war operations are privatised and the organisation is a shadow of it's Cold War size. Apart from that, going back to the original topic about defence of the airspace, Ireland could easily lease a squadron or sub unit of a squadron of combat aircraft from the manufacturer. If you went to Saab and the Swedish Govt for the rolling lease of a dozen Gripens (four on station at all times), they'd bite your hand off for the work. It would probaly cost no more to the State than leasing an A330 for Lingus. Cheaper than owning them, by a long shot.....The thing about the Irish State is that it has a continued habit of moaning about money, yet it has always found it when it really needs it. and when it suits it to find it.

    MOD: GttC. Much as we all enjoy reading your posts is there any chance,for the sake of our eyes,that you could start using paragraphs!!!???Pretty please.
    "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

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    • ok, no problem..

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      • Originally posted by DeV View Post
        The point I’m making is that commercial operations and some public service operations can easily do a cost benefit analysis and find that it will be generate more income than it costs or be cost neutral.

        You can’t (properly) cost having a safe and secure (militarily) environment.... and successive DoD, DPER/DoF and Governments see it that way. We have a safe and secure environment due to our location (close to the U.K. (ie if there is an issue they will have to deal with it as it will be an issue for them as well due to our proximity)) and our remoteness from mainland Europe and some other less stable parts of the world.

        I’m not saying it’s right - especially with our geographic position on the edge of the strategic sea lanes and airways of the eastern Atlantic, our massed MNCs, our dependence on imports & exports and our small open economy.... but that’s the way it is.

        To a degree they are right as well but politically we say we are non-aligned and neutral (can we say that as members of the EU?), while if there is a major war we would more than likely see our “allies” occupy at least some of our facilities.

        We claim to be an independent neutral country but we aren’t (not have we ever been). If we want to make that claim then we have to be capable of defending ourselves against all comers (including superpowers).

        If we aren’t then we should just join NATO .... which of course will also mean spending more and being more capable.

        But ..... we do our own thing
        Our economy relies on the continued peace and rule of law, therefore it is possible to do a cost benefit analysis. Once something goes belly-up it costs a lot more to fix. The location thing no longer works in the world of today, we are no longer remote! The world has become very small since 1945. We rely on others protecting that stability on which we rely. Take the EU naval operations against pirates in the Gulf of Aden, we did not take part. Yet all the Japanese, Korean car we drive have to pass through those waters, all the cheap tech we love from China passes through those waters and the oil we rely upon also. So saying we are a remote island well away from mainland Europe just is reinforcing a myth, a myth used to justify sticking our collective heads in the sand.

        If anyone was ever to do a proper cost benefit analysis for the majority of semi-states over the life of the state it would be hard to find one that comes out positive. Aer Fungus swallowed tons of money on aircraft that where just prestige projects, B747 for example.

        But you do hit the nail on the head that the attitude to defence leaves a lot to be desired in a modern world. If we were an independent neutral country with the history we have with our big neighbour we would be spending tons on defence, we would have conscription so we had enough troops to deter that neighbour being militarily aggressive. (I am not proposing that in any way or form). But that is what an independent neutral country looks like.

        Once we all move on after the Brexit Disaster and the troubles it causes there might be a more toward a more collective EU defence. We will properly get two options, a passive option or an active option. The passive is we will pay into a common defence budget so the EU reaches what most countries target, the 2% of GDP, but we do not provide any forces. Or the active role where we stand-up and start to take the question of defence seriously. This latter would mean providing troops and resources for EU actions but also allowing us to independently support UN missions when we see fit to do so.

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        • Lockheed Martin awarded $800M for Slovak Republic F-16 jets

          https://defence-blog.com/news/lockhe...f-16-jets.html

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          • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
            Lockheed Martin awarded $800M for Slovak Republic F-16 jets

            https://defence-blog.com/news/lockhe...f-16-jets.html
            And to think that $800m is just the MDE cost of the 14 aircraft. Nevertheless $57m MDE for a Viper 70 is pretty reasonable.

            Sounds as though the Slovakians got some discounting since the original State Department notification.

            https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/sl...ation-aircraft

            It may pay the Bulgarians to do the same. I believe they have been startled by the telephone book numbers coming back to them after their request for just 8.

            https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/bu...rcraft-support

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            • Originally posted by Anzac View Post
              And to think that $800m is just the MDE cost of the 14 aircraft. Nevertheless $57m MDE for a Viper 70 is pretty reasonable.

              Sounds as though the Slovakians got some discounting since the original State Department notification.

              https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/sl...ation-aircraft

              It may pay the Bulgarians to do the same. I believe they have been startled by the telephone book numbers coming back to them after their request for just 8.

              https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/bu...rcraft-support
              I think the Bulgarian President is happy he vetoed the purchase of the F16's, Lockheed are taking the p*ss with some of their pricing. There should be no way an F16 should cost anywhere near an F35 or more if you look at some recent deals.

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              • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
                I think the Bulgarian President is happy he vetoed the purchase of the F16's, Lockheed are taking the p*ss with some of their pricing. There should be no way an F16 should cost anywhere near an F35 or more if you look at some recent deals.
                It is not all LM's doing, the MDE cost of the proposed Bulgarian airframes are possibly not dramatically different to the Slovakian deal. A lot has to do with the steep prices from other suppliers of the capability - namely in munitions, ECM/EW and other avionics plus training and support over a number of years. That is where the fiscal pain really is and why a basic rule of thumb is whatever is the MDE / GWS cost of the airframe one must at least double it to get the operative capability cost.

                Once KAI is cleared by LM their development partners (whom are withholding AESA permission to protect the F-16 market) to allow the Elta's ELM/2052 AESA radar instead of the current ELM/2032 on the proposed FA-50 Block 20 (with conformal tank, A2AR, Sniper, the F-414 engine upgrade option, Link 16 and BVR) then the F-16V will come under real costing pressure in the market from a much cheaper but capable modern competitor in a number of markets such as South East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and South America, whom will possibly decide that it is better to have a full squadron capability from FA-50 B20's or a short Squadron of F-16V's for the same kind of capability outlay - and the flexibility to incorporate Israeli tech and munitions instead of US. The Koreans are aiming for under 50B won (€38m) for the Block 20 with AESA in the market. LM are trying to have their cake and eat it.

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                • Originally posted by Anzac View Post
                  It is not all LM's doing, the MDE cost of the proposed Bulgarian airframes are possibly not dramatically different to the Slovakian deal. A lot has to do with the steep prices from other suppliers of the capability - namely in munitions, ECM/EW and other avionics plus training and support over a number of years. That is where the fiscal pain really is and why a basic rule of thumb is whatever is the MDE / GWS cost of the airframe one must at least double it to get the operative capability cost.

                  Once KAI is cleared by LM their development partners (whom are withholding AESA permission to protect the F-16 market) to allow the Elta's ELM/2052 AESA radar instead of the current ELM/2032 on the proposed FA-50 Block 20 (with conformal tank, A2AR, Sniper, the F-414 engine upgrade option, Link 16 and BVR) then the F-16V will come under real costing pressure in the market from a much cheaper but capable modern competitor in a number of markets such as South East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and South America, whom will possibly decide that it is better to have a full squadron capability from FA-50 B20's or a short Squadron of F-16V's for the same kind of capability outlay - and the flexibility to incorporate Israeli tech and munitions instead of US. The Koreans are aiming for under 50B won (€38m) for the Block 20 with AESA in the market. LM are trying to have their cake and eat it.
                  KAI have a product that really could be the F5 of today, the Golden Eagle family even as they stand today offer a cheaper alternative for air policing etc than full war fighting fighters. One could have 3-4 FA-50s for the price of a Eurofighter et al. Can't wait to see if and when they get to offer the Block 20.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
                    KAI have a product that really could be the F5 of today, the Golden Eagle family even as they stand today offer a cheaper alternative for air policing etc than full war fighting fighters. One could have 3-4 FA-50s for the price of a Eurofighter et al. Can't wait to see if and when they get to offer the Block 20.
                    In fact it is the modern take of A-4 Skyhawk as well as the F-5 because it has great A2G capabilities and will soon integrate the Taurus KEPD-350 K2 for Block 20 in the maritime strike role. KAI-LM did a lot of development work on the FA-50 Fighting Eagle in preparation for the USAF T-X competition such as the DART hump and A2A probe, AN/USQ-140 (V) Link 16 Data Link Terminal and AN/AAQ-33 Sniper. Unfortunately for KAI, the Boeing-Saab T-X offering was less capable but significantly cheaper and therefore won the T-38 replacement contract. Of course all that work will now translate over to the Block 20, with the Block 10 essentially being the Block 0 FA-50 with AN/AAQ-33 Sniper.

                    The RoKAF report low maintenance man-hours per flight hour (MMH/FH) of 5.2 with their current FA-50 fleet and a US$5500 operational cost per flight hour (OCP/FH) which is a third of the KF-16 in RoKAF service. The other interesting fact is that the aircraft was designed for an annual flight utilization rate of up to 360 hours per annum over a 25 year period with an airframe lifespan of 8500 hours. This higher annual utilization rate is well in excess of other combat aircraft such as the F-16 or F-18 in which 250 hours p.a is regarded as heavy utilization. Note though if the airframe was used in a strictly combat role its real world annual utilisation rate would be 1/3 less due to likely greater wing loadings.

                    As for range. Originally this was where the T-50/FA-50 range was poor. However, with both 2 x 150 gallon drop tanks and the 152 gallon DART hump tank would provide for an increase in operational range, increase in endurance and an increase in CAP mission time. I don't have the combat range figures but the ferry range with drop tanks and DART gets out to a respectable 3750km. And of course the DART tank can take boom refuelling and from the T-X has come the probe and drouge capability.

                    The other issue that the Block 20 hopes to resolve was essentially the underwhelming climb and turn retardation using the standard F-404-102 of the FA-50 with just 17,000 lb of thrust. The option that KAI will offer to customers an upgraded to the more powerful yet efficient F-414-KI which produces 22,000 lb of thrust will solve that considerably.

                    But to really be a contender / survivor in the air combat space it does need the AESA radar at the sharp end.

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                    • The T-50 family is very similar to the T38/F5 family both of which were developed from the N156. Trainer, ground attack and low cost fighter. Also the FA-50 could be seen as a cheaper version of the JAS39, not as capable but a lot cheaper to buy and similar running costs. Both are roughly the same dimensions and share engines. It would have been interesting if KAI had continued to develop the single seater... but the KF-X takes all their effort. Will be interesting to see that when it is finished.

                      The 12 a/c that the PAF got cost $420m, so $35m a copy is a hard price to beat, let's see what an armed version of the Boeing/Saab TX will cost.

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                      • NATO’s interception process
                        https://twitter.com/nato/status/719491986252636161?s=21

                        Estonia’s new air ops control centre
                        https://news.err.ee/1022955/gallery-...ter-in-tallinn

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                        • Something from a former AC commander on providing Air Defence for Ireland:
                          https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...says-1.4184846

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                          • https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...ld-983986.html

                            Similar report from the same event from a different source. Must be embarrassing to be a minister for defence at this event and have experts from all over on stage telling how we are doing Defence wrong.
                            For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

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                            • To be fair, everyone has known the area of air security has always been an utter disaster long before FG get into power.

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                              • Ever since we replaced the sea fires with vampires we have been downgrading our air defence capability. We went from the equivalent of the F16 of its day to a 1st gen jet trainer, which we replaced with.... a 1st gen jet trainer that didnt have ejector seats. More recently replacing that with a turbo prop trainer with ejector seats. It's like we have maintained vigorously our 1950s level of capability.
                                It is great to see the discussion is being had by experts in the field. The required investment is scary though.
                                It would take at least a billion, today to get us in the game, including primary radar operated by Air Corps.
                                That's before you consider where the staff will come from. Consider the logs trail, and the extra staff this capability growth would require.
                                How do Finland manage?
                                For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

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