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Agusta Westland AB139 for Irish Air Corps

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  • #16
    Just wondering what type of weapon's will/ could be installed on the AB139's?

    Also will all 4 utility choppers be equipped with these weapons?

    Finally the paint job will they be white or will they be camoflaged?

    I have an idea we'll only have 3 new military chopper's( mabye less) the other(s) will be kitted out for VIP transport.

    Can't really see the taoiseach flying around the country in a camoflaged chopper with guns sticking out the side's.
    It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.


    • #17
      Maybe it will be like the US military, which has Hueys and Blackhawks in VIP configuration for the big boys in Washington...
      "Everyone's for a free Tibet, but no one's for freeing Tibet." -Mark Steyn. What an IMO-centric quote, eh?


      • #18
        It takes seconds to remove a door gun. Minutes to remove its mounting.
        The tender mentioned(not that anyone bothers reading it before asking questions) a General Purpose Machine Gun of 7.62mm calibre,on either side.

        The seating arrangement can be altered to suit the role. It remains to be seen if Diamond Bertie will look for the VIP fit(which is a kit,which can be removed by ground crew in a couple of hours).This seats 5 VIPs(of nominal weight 90kg) In the past,most VIPs being transported by Helicopter were happy with/tolerated the standard Passenger seating arrangment. The AB139 seats 15 in high density seating or 12 in normal confuguration.

        The advantage, If there is one, is that the Current Minister detests flying and has publicly stated he has no intention of travelling in them. With this in mind,it is doubtful he will pay much heed to the comfort of the seating his colleagues will be travelling in.

        Another option is that the LUH has sufficient space to do the job of ferrying VIPs,and carry out the training role, without needing to remove seating,allowing the Air Corps to leave the UH in the Utility or Air Ambulance configuration.
        Consider also that these aircraft probably will not be delivered till the end of the term of this government. Unless they are in a total world of fantasy,they should know that they will not be in government to enjoy the luxury of travel(They will probably decide to flog the Lear about the same time).They may not care about their successors comfort either.
        That said,the VIP seating fit has been specified in the tender,but not as a permanent fixture.

        On a slightly connected note, Namibia recently recieved the first of their 2 AB139s.
        the timescale for them was:
        Date: 18/09/2002
        Namibian Government Orders Two AB139 Helicopters

        Date: 16/09/2004
        Handover Of The First Namibian AB139 Helicopter
        This is pretty quick,when you consider that when the order was placed,this aircraft was still in prototype stage. Their model is the eighth model off the production line.

        I predict delivery in early to Mid 2006 of the AB139. The EC135 should be here sooner,as there are plenty in production. I think the GASU model left the factory within the year of the order being placed,but spent the remainder of its time sitting in McAlpines factory,being fitted out with its specialised equipment,and waiting for the AC/GS to sort out their internal disputes...

        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


        • #19
          If your going to put any weaponry on a helicopter if should be the GE minigun, the air corps could practise using by vapourising the cows around the country and this would also help prevent the greenhouse effect!!!!
          The trick to pet names is a combination of affectionate nouns. Honeybun. Sugarpie. Kittentits.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Goldie fish
            A129....AB139....whats the difference really?
            I understand the 139 has a bit more legroom, shouldn't we have got an MLH for VIP work considering whose in government.
            "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


            • #21
              From AgustaWestland Website

              Date: 03/12/2004
              Irish Air Corps Selects AB139

              AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that, after the full evaluation programme, the Irish Department of Defence has selected the AB139 helicopter for their utility helicopter requirement including troop transport duties, air ambulance, inland search and rescue and VIP transport. Four AB139 helicopters will be delivered to the Air Corps. It is expected that negotiations will be completed later this month and a firm order for the delivery of the AB139’s agreed.

              In addition to the selection by the Irish Department of Defence, a number of government agencies around the world are showing a keen interest in the AB139 helicopter, whose modern design and certification standards, combined with its exceptional power-to-weight ratio and high-speed capability, make it ideally suited for law enforcement.

              Looking back on the Recent History of the Air Corps, I am trying to see where we go from here. The tender stipulated that interim aircraft could be provided,if the delivery time was expected to be particularly long. In the past this has been done with:
              CASA CN235. Leased s/n250 in 1991, s/n252 and 253 delivered in 1994
              Gulfstream G3. Leased 249 in 1990, delivered G4 251 in 1991
              Bae HS125. Leased 236 in 1979, delivered 238 in 1980

              In all three cases above,the original leased aircraft was different to the final purchased aircraft. Agusta have a number of production examples flying about,which though may not be equipped in the same manner as that finally delivered to the Air Corps,would still provide a useful training example to crews while they await the delivery of the ordered aircraft.(259????)

              All things considered,I still say two years from now,if all goes well,we should see all six aircraft flying with the roundel from Baldonnel.
              Another precedent which has been mentioned is the initial small quantity ordered,4. No mention is made in the above quote of the further options for an additional 2 aircraft. However the Allouette 3 fleet,so long the backbone of the Air Corps Helicopter fleet initially consisted of only 3 aircraft, s/n 195,196,197 delivered in 1963, followed in 1972 by 202, and in 1973 with 211,212, 213,culminating in the delivery of 214 in 1974.
              It is then possible that after the delivery of these aircraft and the recognition of their usefulness,that the FG majority Government will order a further 6... :tri:

              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


              • #22

                The sign says "Limit 05t" meaning the pad is limited to a 5 tonne heli. The AB139 is a six tonne heli.

                So who can tel me what other helipad is designed for 5 tonne helis?

                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Goldie Fish
                  The sign says "Limit 05t" meaning the pad is limited to a 5 tonne heli. The AB139 is a six tonne heli.
                  Is that not an N and not an M.


                  • #24
                    At a guess would it be the deck on Eithne??
                    There is no problem that cannot be fixed with high explosive.


                    • #25
                      Looking at the structure and it's position in Goldies photo I'd say that it is a lot more susceptible to weight problems than any Irish landing pads.


                      • #26
                        What's more susceptible? The heli or the pad?
                        "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


                        • #27
                          The pad.


                          • #28
                            Found these pics on franks site of the seating layout for the AB139(Isn't it odd how we are ignoring the EC135 purchase )

                            Attached Files

                            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                            • #29
                              Wasn't it the rangers that asked for the new heli's, after op's in east timor?
                              How do you think the new AB139 will suit them?
                              Who knows the aoluettes may form a reserve air corp. < (sarcastic)
                              It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.


                              • #30
                                AB139 as Air Ambulance eh? what a load of sh!te. now that REALLY does make me sick...

                                [RANT MODE ENGAGED]
                                So, im probably wrong here but does that mean that if some day, 1 is being used for air ambulance, 2 are available to the military and VIP transport and probably 1 will be in maintenance (at any one time???)

                                Thats 2 helis to cover the country? On my word im not a swearing man, but Painted F*****g RED AND WHITE OF ALL COLOURS!!

                                Why cant they do something sensible like give 1 or 2 of the dauphins or allouettes (if they ARE actually to be removed from service) to the dept of health and let them refurbish and kit them out as full Dept Of Health air ambulance choppers??

                                Now we leave the AB139s free to do what they should be doing and remove the air ambulance role completely (except in an ATCP situ)? oh yeah... that would be "sensible"...

                                God knows, the dept of health swallow so much money up from the budget that they now represent the governments equivelant of a black hole in the Dail. No one there would miss the money required to update the aircraft, theyd probably forget they'd spent it.

                                In fact one of my theorys is that Ireland is under attack from aliens, the PC9s are really a cover up for UFO's and a localised singularity has been opened by them inside the Bank vault containing the budget, the cash just gets sucked in and spewed out into space somewhere seventy two light-years from earth and pays for the as yet undiscovered alien species health service.

                                The DOD to the rescue.... DOD chould "loan" them a few of its number crunching civil servants to "tighten" belts and "recommend" a few "whitepapers" be drawn up, while explaining how a 2 foot long square peg really DOES go into a round hole 4 inches deep. Simple, you "make the peg round, and then shorten it to 2 inches" [/RANT MODED DISENGAGED]
                                "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
                                "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."