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    Over the last couple of days, there has been a number of commercial flights that have requested military escorts. Only today a BA flight requested Dutch military escort after the flight was diverted to Schipol.

    We can not honestly say that the current PC9's can be asked to over this if it was requested by a commercial airliner. As Shannon is the last stop from Europe to the US, we need to get some serious "Fast Jet" cover.

    We may have to get something that was rumoured a couple of months ago, regarding Dutch or Belgian jets based in Ireland.

    Just my couple of cence worth.
    "Why am I using a new putter? Because the last one didn't float too well." -Craig Stadler

  • #2
    There's a point, that Olympic Airlines airbus that diverted to Stansted last week got a Tornado escort over the UK, did the very same plane get any form of escort when it diverted to Shannon with another bomb scare this week?


    • #3
      To be fair aside from the psychological boost it gives to the passengers and crew what difference would a fighter escort make to an airliner with a suspected bomb on board? There is no way the fighters can diffuse the bomb or do anything to help the passengers on board, neither can it assist in hurrying the airliner to the nearest airport because the airliner is more than likely at this stage moving at best speed in that direction. Furthermore having an fighters escorting such an aircraft holds the potential of making an already tragic situation into an even worse one should the bomb go off and the escorts get fragged by schrapnel and wreckage, or ingest bits of wreckage into the engine intake.

      This is my uninformed opinion anyway.:confused:
      There is no problem that cannot be fixed with high explosive.


      • #4
        It depends on the intent, Stinger. If someone wants to blow up a plane they usually just hit the switch before anyone knows what hit em. The purpose of fighter escort is to prevent another 9/11 type scenario, and if that's the hijacker's intent then a bomb would only be used as last resort should pax try to overtake them.
        "Everyone's for a free Tibet, but no one's for freeing Tibet." -Mark Steyn. What an IMO-centric quote, eh?


        • #5
          I have to ask the question why did the British and Dutch provide the escort if it was not needed? Are we really so big headed to think we have got it right and the rest of Europe/the World wrong? While I hope that we are right, I find it hard to believe that other countries have spent millions just to have fast jets perform in airshows, logic would tell you there must be a need.

          I should say I don't think we need a large fleet of F-22s, a small number (8 - 16) of F-5s/F-16ADFs/Grippens would suffice (even a deal like the Austrians did with the Swiss).

          Rant over,



          • #6
            24 is the only realistic fleet because a fleet is bad value for money if you cant deploy it overseas to blow people up.
            "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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Come-quickly
              24 is the only realistic fleet because a fleet is bad value for money if you cant deploy it overseas to blow people up.
              How on earth is that a necessary consideration for a territorial air defence asset?


              • #8
                one thing i have noticed about the board in the last few months is that since the heli tender there has been far fewer posts about "why we don't have fighters".

                And my opinion is unchanged, in an ideal world yes it would be useful to have fighters. but not vitally important.. The fact is that the defence forces don't have things they need for real day to day missions, so talking about spending billions on dealing with potential threats is a waste of timeAs for the outlined senario, these things happen, but the simple fact is that the RAF have fighters, and we don't and they'll provide the escort if one of these things do turn out to be real.

                If anybody thinks i'm being cynical consider the following. while the heli-tender is welcome, it must be seen in its proper context; at best, if you account for maintenance, training and other requirements such as ATCP, an army of 8500 will have the ability to move around a platoon of infantry by helicopter on a training exercise, and that's the best case situation. Talking about lack of fighters in that situation is pityful
                Last edited by paul g; 1 October 2004, 22:58.


                • #9
                  2 sections Paul, not even a platoon, and not even that if they do not increase the manpower available within the IAC to maintain whatever they buy.
                  I agree that fighters are not vitally important, but they are important in the context of a totally re-equipped Air Corps, which should be either being aquired or be in the precess of being planned for as we speak, this is not happening.
                  The RAF will provide an escort...... no they will not, why should they? why should the British taxpayer agree to providing a service, risking it's servicemen and equipment for the wasters next door who will not do it for themselves?
                  Billions, that favorite phrase of crusties everywhere when dealing with this suitation, whe are not talkin about billions , we never were. We might be talkin about a billion or so for a complete and necessary re-equip of the entire IAC, and it would be worth every cent of it too.
                  CQ , old pal, we do not need 24 , perhaps in 50-60 years if the world continues on it's present crooked path, we might need to deploy over seas with such assets. We could provide credible air-defence with far fewer airframes, we are not here to save the whole world, only our own bit.
                  We should be thinking of a sensible all-weather Jet-fighter withen a reasonable period, in the context of a revamped IAC, which should include a realistic number of troop heli', maritime patrol assets[prefferable armed or armable] and tactical transport aircrafts, all to be put in place first or 'as well as' , but definitely not after jets.
                  But the whole thing should be done soon, no longer then the next 6-10 years.
                  But there is also the NS and ground-pounders needs to be considerd, Does anyone know where we can find a large and profitable oilfield???
                  "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                  Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                  Illegitimi non carborundum


                  • #10
                    If anyone is interested in the price of what it would be for Ireland to purchase outright and sustain a new fighter of the class of Typhoon/Gripen/F16 Block 52 or higher, unit of 12 aircraft (a number based on the recent operational requirements of nations with similar or lower GDP that currently are interested in or in the process of a purchase of new generation planes to use solely for internal air policing) or similar it would amount to an initial outlay of around 1.5 billion Euros if the fleet, facilities, weapons and training package for 18-20 pilots involving selection and basic training on the IAC PC9s and advanced training elsewhere was made in a full one off purchase as opposed to a few years of delivery (4-5 years would be the normal time lag for that number to come into service)

                    After that 70-100 million Euros per year support costs, assuming no major accidents, updates etc, if pilots adhered to the NATO minimum standard of 160 hours per year +, trips to weapons ranges to keep currency in A2A and flight costs based on current estimates of around 10000 Euros per flight hour that a jet of this type would require.

                    What do you think of the value for money of that?

                    If anyone wants to know why I say that only an advanced fighter should be purchased I give the following arguments
                    1.Local weather.
                    2.Total life expectancy of the aircraft.
                    3.Interoperablility with other EU aircraft
                    4.Capability for enhancements to the aircraft abilities in the future
                    5.Supportability (spares production and presence of repair facilities) of the aircraft 15 years from now.

                    Value for money occurs in that one time when the unbelievable happens and the IAC has the capability to do something about it and not sit around like a sack of potatoes, waiting for the RAF to arrive to save the people its meant to protect.

                    Fighters are far down the list of aircraft the IAC really needs which starts with transport helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, and only slightly ahead of strategic bombers (note- that was sarcasm). The cost is too prohibitive, at least at current Irish military funding levels, but as with other airforces the carrying out of air policing is countries where no likely threat is present such as the Czech Republic, Austria or Switzerland, the mission is still considered important.
                    Si vis pacem para bellum


                    • #11
                      How about advanced (jet) trainer, along the lines of the BAe Hawk, then you have a jet trainer, which is also capable of Air Defence, Ground Attack and Reconnaissance. A cheaper, better value for money option?


                      • #12
                        The problem with that potential solution has been discussed here before - whether or not the BAe Hawk really offers enough over the PC-9 to justify the the additional expenditure.

                        Yes it's quicker, yes it can carry AA missiles - but whether it could even catch up with an airliner is questionable - so whats the point having something that cant really do the job? Lets get some helicopters.

                        Granted even if there ever was ever serious pressure put on the government on the question of Air Defence (i.e. lets say in the aftermath of a Sept. 11th scenario occuring in Europe) - a Hawk or Alphajet would probably be what the government would purchase.


                        • #13
                          The Hawk as Pym says offers no real advantage over the PC-9 apart from the ability to carry more stores, with a corrosponding loss of max speed.
                          No, when the time is right, assuming there is any plan to make the time right, a real jet should be bought, we do not need a F-15 or a F-22, and something like the Hawk, L-159, are at the other end of the scale, jets for jets sake, rather then any real role or ability.
                          Having said that, despite the fact that having 4 pylon positions available on the PC-9 gives us a marked increase in strike capablity,[we have gone from world war1 standard, to mid '30's ability] what ever time serving anally rententive gobsh*te who dicided we do not need the 6 pylons should be impaled on a suitable iron spear fence, alongside the b/stards who have dicided 4 [possable 6] helicopters is enough, when something like 20 would be a more realistic figure.
                          No, lets see what can be done about the helicopters first, with the amount of tasks the powers that be think they be may impose on the tiny fleet, they will be lucky to have 1 helicopter available to train troops. IMHO we need sufficent available to move at least a company in one lift, or we are only playing with the idea.
                          We could get away with having very few fighters, even if the fertiliser hits the ventilation device, but if we are going to be serious about the RRF or peace enforcement roles we need the operational amount of helicopters, not this proposed token farce[that is not a misspelling].
                          Meanwhile over on general...............
                          "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                          Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                          Illegitimi non carborundum


                          • #14
                            on the helis, i heard that a plan is there to get a max of 20, of the model that wins the tender,over the next few years. It came from a PDFORRA source
                            What are you cackling at, fatty? Too much pie, that's your problem.


                            • #15
                              There have been so many plans through the years for the army, navy and air corps... alas they all seem to fall victim to the whims of various governments.. or just plain awful planning.... Lets hope this one works out.

                              Lets say for a second that the Blackhawk wins and the plan is, over a number of years to operate up to 20 - would, a purely blackhawk fleet make more sense than a mix of LUH and ML helicopters?!