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Defending the Irish airspace

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  • The Vampire was useful as a trainer in its day. My lot flew both the T.11 trainer and single seater FB.5 between 1951 and 1972 before being replaced by the BAC Strikemaster a trainer / attack variant of the Provost MkV. As a combat aircraft the single seater Vamps were dated by the mid 1950s and the policy was to only fly the Vamp's at home and to lease the more punchy DH.122 Venoms abroad on operations such as in Malaya as they were very easy to convert across to. Until the Venoms also became too dated.

    The IAC buying the Fouga's in the mid 1970's seemed a curious selection as they were also getting long in the tooth. Does anyone remember how that came about?
    Last edited by Anzac; 11 July 2021, 03:27.

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    • When you consider the Fouga was also a 1st gen jet trainer, we actually took a step backwards with its purchase. Vampires had ejector seats, Fouga...well they did well gliding when you lost all power. The fact that ours were already 2nd hand by then also, causes much head scratching.
      The main point of concern though is the fact Irish soldiers had actually been subject to strafing by one of the type, operated by a Belgian mercenary, in the Congo during the Seige of Jadotville.
      Imagine if the RN had chosen Mirage or Skyhawks in the wake of the Falklands, or the US after seeing the type's usefulness at Pearl Harbor, decided to go with Mitsubishi A6M Zero as its carrier based fighter.

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      • The Fougas were captured in their crates in the Congo and were taken by the UN as booty, in effect and we bought them from Aerospatiale and had them fitted with VOR/ILS instruments in Aer Lingus. Two were bought from Austria. They all had very few hours on them and were overhauled and upgraded to near new condition. For what they were, they were good aircraft and our pilots and mechs loved them. Also,the AC has constantly test-flown dozens of aircraft but invariably has to bow to the DoD.

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        • More info on the Croatian deal.
          Rafale Fighter Jet Acquisition: A Major Leap Forward for the Croatian Air Force – Defense Security Monitor (forecastinternational.com)

          F3-R B and C versions are the French Air Force types (as opposed to the French Navy M version), Meanwhile France continues to upgrade or replace all their type with the F4 version.

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          • Here is an excellent run down on what it takes to run and man a fast jet squadron, an eye opener I think https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/...adron-manning/

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            • Excellent but a couple of caveats for Irish service; the AC doesnt "export" it's aircraft for operational duty so that part of the story doesn't apply. The AC has little or no means to fly support equipment anywhere , except on a short-range and very limited basis. In the case of the narration above,you'd wonder why the RAF can still retain it's personnel. I assume it's having the same retention issues as everyone else. Sometimes, the RAF shoots itself in the foot by rigidly applying the posting rules and ends up going around in a circle of constantly running to stand still.This is not new for them or other Arms.

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              • Of course the RAF have the advantage of having a large cadre of Regiment to do all the base admin and security duties. Interesting to see they accept most of the major work will be done now by civvy contracors.

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                • Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                  Yes. Purely because they can't politically justify a G. IV and the King Air is gone. Ryanair has four Learjets; maybe the Don could borrow one off him if this one goes tech.
                  Ryanair has Learjets because they are owned by the top senior executives who sell their services, ie, the provision of a jet aircraft, to Ryanair and they charge the pilots for a Type rating. Ryanair is an object lesson in cynicism.

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                  • Regarding the idea that you can use a petrol aircraft for air policing work - how exactly is that supposed to work? Commercial jets fly at ~Mach .85. A patrol aircraft at best has the same speed, slower if turboprop. In order the effect an intercept you need to be a lot faster. That means supersonic. And a supersonic jet will not have the endurance to be a patrol aircraft.

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                    • Some very good submissions to the Codf by Individuals, but two good ones relating to this topic were 199 and 201. 199 contains alot of info from an IDFOC Twitter post some months back.

                      I've no connection with them, just wanted to post here as they're well put together

                      * 199 - https://assets.gov.ie/194374/be78e91...8ea5ddc2fe.pdf

                      * 201 - https://assets.gov.ie/194376/e7b8b88...cfec9f3e42.pdf

                      I would prefer 201 put their case towards Gripen, but a very well put together presentation.

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                      • Long term QRA with 8 aircraft will be tough to maintain

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                        • Originally posted by apc View Post
                          Long term QRA with 8 aircraft will be tough to maintain
                          A good start point for leasing though, proof of concept etc.

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                          • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post

                            A good start point for leasing though, proof of concept etc.
                            The customers who have leased Gripen C for the purpose lease 12 Charly and 2 Delta. That seems to be a sustainable minimum. I'd a go with that.

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                            • I had a look at the FA-50. 30 M$ a pop? Now that is cheap. And the KF-21 at 60 M$ is downright sexy. And there is of course the C-295 AEW ...

                              Limited to Sidewinder and AMRAAM though. One would want the EU combinations of IRIS-T and Meteor. IRIS-T on the FA-50 should suffice for QRA in the beginning maybe?
                              Last edited by Graylion; 3 September 2021, 09:46.

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                              • Originally posted by Graylion View Post
                                I had a look at the FA-50. 30 M$ a pop? Now that is cheap. And the KF-21 at 60 M$ is downright sexy. And there is of course the C-295 AEW ...

                                Limited to Sidewinder and AMRAAM though. One would want the EU combinations of IRIS-T and Meteor. IRIS-T on the FA-50 should suffice for QRA in the beginning maybe?
                                Read 199 on Meridians Post. Explains well why an aircraft of this type cannot do that job.

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