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  • #61
    Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
    I can't see this, I'm just brought to the default twitter page.
    Think of a Junior Minister flying on the door of an AW139



    Paywall, can you quote the important bits?
    Basically they are looking at rotating out the 2 officers currently with MONUSCO and sending out their 3 replacements.

    Quoting Irish Times:

    The Defence Forces has ordered officers to prepare to deploy to a troubled region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at short notice, raising further concerns about troop safety.

    Two Irish officers are currently assigned to the city of Goma in the east of the country as part of the Monusco UN mission.

    The security situation in the region has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks due to political instability and the coronavirus pandemic, leading to other EU countries to pull their peacekeepers out of the area.

    Earlier this month, the Defence Forces General Staff advised the Government about concerns for the officers’ safety and has recommended they be evacuated as a matter of urgency. The Government agreed but declined to send the Ministerial Air Transport Service, commonly known as the Government jet, to the DRC due to concerns about its range.

    Other options which explored were chartering an aircraft or having the officers fly home commercially.

    Confusion

    This week the Defence Forces issued an order that the officers originally assigned to replace those in the DRC should be ready to deploy at minimum notice, leading to confusion about plans to drawdown the mission due to the security situation.

    “It is increasingly looking like they want to rotate the Irish contingent, not evacuate it,” a military source said.

    The order states that the replacement officers must be ready to spend 14 days in quarantine at a military training installation in Ireland before flying out, as per UN guidelines.

    Related
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    If a rotation does go ahead, three officers will fly out and the two officers, a captain and a lieutenant colonel, will fly home, most likely on a commercial flight after leaving their weapons behind.

    “Instead of having two officers in harm’s way, we will now have three. As usual none of it makes any sense,” the source said.


    The Irish contingent live in a private apartment in Goma rather than in a secure compound, raising concerns for their safety.

    Ireland is campaigning for a seat on the UN security council, with the vote scheduled for June 17th. Some senior officers and retired personnel have expressed the view the Government is reluctant to draw down the mission in case it damages Ireland’s chances of a seat.

    “PR is now the driving factor,” said Independent TD and former Army Ranger Wing deputy commander Cathal Berry. “And that’s a very dangerous place to be.”

    A Defence Forces spokesman said there is “no change” to Ireland’s commitment to the DRC mission but that any deployment must be guided by UN protocols, access to the mission area and the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Transport options

    The dilemma has highlighted the Defence Forces’ lack of aircraft capable of repatriating troops at short notice. More than 300 troops serving on the Unifil mission in Lebanon are not able to rotate home until the end of June in part due to a lack of long-range transport options.

    The Department of Defence said there is a requirement to extract the officers for a medical assessment as they are now past their initial six month deployment period.

    It did not mention concerns about the security situation.

    “Both the Department and the Defence Forces are considering all available options to secure the return of these personnel at the earliest possible opportunity. However, there are a number of complexities that remain to be worked through, such as the transport of their weapons and ammunition.”

    Returning the officers safely and quickly “takes precedence over any other secondary issue,” it said.

    The subject was discussed at a online seminar organised by the Slándáil National Security Summit on Tuesday.

    Slovakian ambassador to Ireland Igor Pokojny described how his country’s airlift programme was vital, not just for moving troops but for evacuating civilians from disaster areas. Other speakers suggested Ireland could take part in a pooled air transport programme with other European countries to reduce cost.

    Comment


    • #62


      The Webinar in full. That's the evening viewing sorted.
      German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
      German 2: Private? I am a general!
      German 1: That is the bad news.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
        I can't see this, I'm just brought to the default twitter page.

        Try this

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EY2GBetXYAE3kc2.jpg

        Looks a little bit Spidey to me ....
        Last edited by Orion; 27 May 2020, 17:55.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Orion View Post
          Try this

          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EY2GBetXYAE3kc2.jpg

          Looks a little bit Spidey to me ....
          Not guilty
          'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
            I can't see this, I'm just brought to the default twitter page.



            Paywall, can you quote the important bits?

            Comment


            • #66
              Having watched the SAC presentation, I don’t think it would serve our purposes unfortunately

              It is NATO supported (not commanded), we could be associated with ops that aren’t in are interests (the biggest user is the USA, also legally .... triple lock?), it’s a big aircraft that we would have limited requirements for, a long mission planning horizon (1-3 months but 72 hours possible in emergencies), as a junior partner even with a high priority mission your mission isn’t guaranteed (given that it’s a 30 year MOU we possibly couldn’t even join at this stage but is being reviewed in next few years), also wouldn’t imagine its cheap to buy in (although it is a fixed not a variable cost).

              Having said that if we had a requirement it could be requested of say Sweden/Finland for them to support us with a C17 for x, y and z via the Steering Group (without having to buy in as a partner nation). There are unassigned hours available

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by DeV View Post
                Having watched the SAC presentation, I don’t think it would serve our purposes unfortunately

                It is NATO supported (not commanded), we could be associated with ops that aren’t in are interests (the biggest user is the USA, also legally .... triple lock?), it’s a big aircraft that we would have limited requirements for, a long mission planning horizon (1-3 months but 72 hours possible in emergencies), as a junior partner even with a high priority mission your mission isn’t guaranteed (given that it’s a 30 year MOU we possibly couldn’t even join at this stage but is being reviewed in next few years), also wouldn’t imagine its cheap to buy in (although it is a fixed not a variable cost).

                Having said that if we had a requirement it could be requested of say Sweden/Finland for them to support us with a C17 for x, y and z via the Steering Group (without having to buy in as a partner nation). There are unassigned hours available
                Given that there are 335hr/year not utilized it could still be possible to join, it is like a wet lease with benefits. Asking one of the current partners can we use some of their hours does not improve the situation over that of today. Being a partner nation also us to have our voice heard directly rather than having to rely on someone else.

                The biggest user may be the USA with 1/3 (they did contribute a C-17 on their own), but the USAF has 222 other C-17 aircraft which they can use. The chances that the priority would be such that the US was always blocking would be low. Yes it is a large aircraft and that is one of the primary advantages of the C-17, it gives a flexibility beyond what can be achieved with other aircraft. It can lift 170,000Lb, but do not try flying that long distances without refueling, Lebanon is even a little beyond the range at full payload.

                Looking at the hours Finland has reserved, it would be pretty much what we would need for 2 rotations per year to UNIFIL & UNDOF with a bit of training/resupply thrown in. And these missions should be planned 1-3 months in advance. Also try getting an AN-124 at less than 72hr notice, large aircraft are booked out well in advance or they are on the wrong side of the world. And if we see a need to be able to support HADR then maybe 100hr would not be enough.

                As for legal; there would need to be some safeguards but it would not be a show stopper.

                Comment


                • #68
                  What I got out of the webinar was :

                  - that we need to decide and provide that capability. We could focus on strategic (airliner) or tactical or do both (those are all valid options)

                  - if we want to fly into dangerous areas (including covid) leasing isn’t an option

                  - There is utility (or be in small) In the PC12s

                  - don’t be the launch customer or pick an aircraft where there are limited numbers of type

                  - whatever we buy we need to have absolutely min 2 for transport. Ideally for me commonality with others



                  For me, it’s a Tactical transport capability with C295s (min 1 if the MPAs can be also stripped out to do the job otherwise probably 2) or 2 second hand Upgraded C130s could be an option.

                  If we want a strategic (Airliner) they have to be multi-role and there has to be min 100 seats and at least 2 of them.

                  We also have to develop those capabilities to allow them to serve overseas and not necessarily on PKOs

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Interesting to hear the option of a second hand C130H being put forward as an option to get us in the game while we decide what to do. All new aircraft options are min 2 years away. You could have a C130H (or 2) flying by the end of the year.
                    Nobody rated the Embraer Option.
                    What struck me though was the insistence, by many that one aircraft, of either type was not enough. If you send your single Mil Trans aircraft to location x to collect your embassy staff and it goes U/S on the ramp overseas, you need options to get (a) techies (and/or security if necessary) to location, (b) evac those you went to evac in the first place.
                    I also liked th einsistence that the PC12 when delivered, should not spend their days in the Don. They should be deployed too. The example's of both Romania, and Ghana was put forward as nations who deploy peacekeeping forces, like we do, that have relatively small air arms,like we do, but who managed to deploy their own rotary wing assets overseas. No reason we can't do likewise. Our small size should not be a factor if we have anything to bring to the table. (not just 3 staff deployed to Rome to support the med mission).
                    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                    German 2: Private? I am a general!
                    German 1: That is the bad news.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Even with the unprecedented times that we're living in, I actually can't wrap my head around the revolution in thinking that would be required for the Air Corps to be equipped with 2xC130s.

                      So not a novel idea but, instead of one or the other - could something else be done:

                      Could Airbus give the CN235's another 10 years meaningful life as airlifters once the C295's arrive, for a reasonable price? Even if they could and the Air Corps wanted to do it, would they be allowed?

                      How plausible would a part-lease of 2xA320/B737 be? In other words, they would normally be operated in a civilian capacity by an airline (I can think of two right now...) but the state would have guaranteed access to them within 12 hours, and guaranteed minimum hours per month for training etc..

                      Given the well known pilot retention issues - the idea of having a cadre of A320/B737 rated pilots long term, is an obvious issue - how plausible would a reserve Air Corps roster be? e.g. A320/B737 rated pilots/ground crew, perhaps currently serving with said airline.... I imagine there are a quite a few of those with Air Corps service in their past.

                      This isn't a billion miles away from a specialist reserve which would be useful to the DF for IT, comms and a whole range of other things. But that's another discussion...

                      With the current crisis, perhaps airlines would be approachable for a two year trial in return for some cash?

                      Joining a wider European military airlift grouping seems a logical thing anyway - and to limit the politics etc. around it - as with the airline lease idea - sign up for an initial 2 year period and then use the absolute f##k out of it, demonstrating the need, the utility and the purpose.

                      Not terribly ambitious I guess, but then seeing the absolute mileage the usual heads get from a door falling off a helicopter or the faux outrage generated by spending €5m on a PC-12 = I'm not exactly optimistic anything substantive will actually happen.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Watch the webinar, some of your questions are answered. (put 5 hours aside over the weekend).
                        The leasing/part lease option, with civvy pilots is a non runner. If you have to go to a hot spot to evac citizens, all of a sudden the Lessor tells you your military registered airliner is still a civilian one, and their insurance doesn't permit flying into scary places, no matter how eager the civvy pilots are.
                        It also rules out using reservist pilots, saying most airlines are getting every spare hour out of their pilots as it is, and pilots cannot exceed their max hours, no matter what.
                        As for the negative ninnys, it's how you sell it to the public. For 50 years the people of ireland have been told to be proud of our Peacekeepers overseas. And for the most part they are. This is just another step. Sell the idea.
                        German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                        German 2: Private? I am a general!
                        German 1: That is the bad news.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Have a Special Reserve and legislation protecting employees when called up for duty (and requiring employers to give X amount of time off per year to reserve members). Job done.
                          'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                          'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                          Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                          He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
                          http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Time off is not the issue. Flight hours are.
                            German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                            German 2: Private? I am a general!
                            German 1: That is the bad news.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                              Time off is not the issue. Flight hours are.
                              How do the USAF and RAF do it, with commercial pilots in the Reserve? Could their model be copied?
                              'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                              'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                              Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                              He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
                              http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Years ago Michael O'Leary offered the government a chance to piggyback on a order he was about to make with Boeing for aircraft.
                                Next time he or Aer Lingus are putting in a order the government could buy two, let the airline use and maintain them but DF have first call on them if needed. More then likely their will be Ex Aer Corp type rated pilots resting off or not yet used up their flight hours in one or more of the Irish airlines. ??????????????????

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