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Paul's suggested helicopter list

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  • Paul's suggested helicopter list

    OK , this is unashamed stealing of Paul's helicopter wing ideas:
    301 squadron, 6 ML helicopters for SAR.
    302 squadron, 6 ML helicopters for army co-op.
    303 squadron, 9 utility helicopters for training and all the rest.

    I've put this up as a seperate topic as I belive the subject is worthy of futher discussion, and because I belive any possable re-birth of the Air Corps will begin with the rotary wing fleet. We would all love flashey fighters, but it's heli's that are what we are going to see most of as they go about their work.

    I am going to stick my neck out here : I belive that the service's choice of helicopters would be the Cougar for the ML, and the EC-135 for the light. Despite being a twin, FADEC makes the EC-135 suitable for training, so no third type is needed, so I've been told by people who know a lot more about helicopters then me.

    Ok the ball is in your court, tear it apart, if you must.
    "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

  • #2
    I totally agree with the idea of building up a helo aercorps, and other stuff comes later.
    As for types EH101 seems to be the best available SAR/Transport type.
    Sikhorsky might offer a better price but I think it was a new type, better to go with an established European version.
    Reasons behind this are simple
    Proven, used by Canada, UK, Italy, Japan as far as I know.
    Training, our aircorps could train and develop with the Tri service helo training unit run by the RAF, its nearby and some maintainence could be done there as well so cut costs.

    12 medium lift, could work as SAR, medivac, VIP transport, troop transport, etc. I believe they should be able to refuel inflight to extend range

    I do think the NS should have its own air wing of four Helos of the same type as the Aircorps.
    This unit would serve on 2 or 3 Helicoptor patrol vessels (next generation Eithne, Thetis would be my choice)
    Having the same type means large maintainence, training and support would be standardised.
    The Air Corps have not worked well at sea and it is an important role, so the Naval service should have their own flight crews and technicians at sea.
    Also, for command and control, the Maritime patrol aircraft would be flown by NS


    • #3

      My 301 sqn was for SAR and remains at six Medium lift, that remains unchanged.

      My 302 Sqn was for army support, and that is where the most flexibility would take place. Basically there are be three options IMHO.

      Option A = 4 ML helicopters,

      Option B =6ML helicopters

      Option C =9 ML helicopters

      It all depends on what you want to do.

      A) allowing for repairs and training would give you 2 available for operations, that means you could move about 40 soldiers and/or an infantry platoon, that would allow the army to undertake realistic training operations, such as inserting a ranger troop on an exercise and would give an on island support capability for army operations, and is a capability that is lacking and that is realistically needed.

      B) would give you more breathing space, and would also give the A/C the ability to send some overseas on disaster relief operations, such as moving food supplies, but only on emergencies, not on a permant basis. More importantly, you could develop the sort of training the army undertook in air mobile operations, to a more realistic pitch.

      C) would be changing things , you would be able to develop air mobile training at battalion level, which for a light infantry force is vital. More importantly, you could also develop your overseas deployment capability. Finally, if there was a case where the defence forces had to go to war overseas, it could deploy a light infantry battalion battle group and support it with six medium life helicopters. That gives the ability to deploy a re-inforced infantry company into combat, which ain't bad.

      303 Sqn 8 utility helicopters for Medevac training, air ambulance, VIP, , ATCP etc is a realistic number and no more, and yep, i'd go with the Civilian EC-135, large cabin for streatchers at the back to air life victims from car crashes, etc.

      Turkey missed out my 202 Sqn, which was a major omission. That was for 9 dedicated attack helicopters. Now the army lacks fire power. Fighter bombers/ and or bastersdised training aircraft, F-16s and Grippens L-159 are not sutiable for Irish defence requirements for lots of different reasons, that I won't go into. But a battalion commander, the level we should be thinking at, deployed on combat operations, which includes peace support missions, needs fire support from the air. Four/Six attack helicopters in the AH-64/Tiger/AH-1W class would be a valuable addition, is what a USMC battalion has attached to it, and the Dutch deployed Apaches to Eriteria, did they not. Think of the advantages to the battalion commander on any sort of operation.

      Naval aviation. Talking about an Eithne replacement is a bit premature, since its a decade away. The 3 Ships this decade are the priority, the roisin is the design that will be adapted, not anything else. Therefore, I'd look at the possibility of buying six Eagle Eye UAV, and fitting out the three P-21 replacements to operate one each, and also putting them on board the Eithne. Now the Sea Eagle is under development for the US coast guard, which performs similar missions to the Naval service, would reduce the necessity for AC/NS co-operation, and would be a masive force multiplier for the NS in the performance of its duties. its smaller than a helicopter, would provide coverage for boarding parties, could be operated by NS people from the ships control room. Simon forget about the Thetis and or HPV, look at Deepwater, that is the future.

      As for what will happen, option A is fairly realistic and achievable by 2010, and I'd be happy with it. Favoured option would be B, but then again would not be too dissappointed if A was chosen; B doesn't really offer that much more capability. Option C is not pure fantasy and not pie in the sky, nor is my suggested 201 Sqn and 9 attack helicopters, which I'd buy before I'd buy any sort of jet, which I know will piss many people off. Basically , it is called an air corps, not an air force, and i want a military air service. Its not a question of names, its a question of what you want your organisation to be and do. I don't want an air force, i want a multi-role organisation that can also carry out air defence, which complements and doesn't compete with the army and Naval service. In this case I think having a blanced combat force with ground forces co-operating with helicopter based air support, is a necessity for the D.F to develop, even before air defence.
      Last edited by paul g; 21 March 2003, 22:31.