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  • Air Lift Capability

    The Air Corps used the Learjet to carry out a resupply mission to Lebanon last week.

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  • #2
    That's great but still a bit of an embarrasment to not have a military aircraft capable of doing that job.

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    • #3
      Imagine if we had something that could do both a resupply and a troop rotation?
      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


      • #4
        Do we need to develop our own capability for is there an alternative?

        Both Sweden and Austria have rather old C-130's, the latter being ex-RAF C-130K's that they obtained on the 2000's due to the need to support UN Peace Keeping missions! The other nation that we have traditionally had joint UN operations is Finland which is limited to 2 x C-295M transports. Even if Sweden and Finland are focusing at the moment on improving their home defence they still are active partners on the international stage. All three countries are non-NATO but EU members so would it not make sense to set-up a joint capability.

        As mentioned on another thread the Germans want someone to take over operating the 13x A-400m they have bought but do not want to put into service. These aircraft could form a joint Austrian/Finnish/Irish/Swedish Airlift Wing, with a single main base and 3 detachments in the other countries. So it could be 2 aircraft detachments in Austria, Finland and Ireland with the rest in Sweden, or any other variation. Every nation pay a percentage to the costs (might actually get the airframes for free if we take the full operating costs), and in return each nation get the same percentage of annual flight hours. It need not be ex Luftwaffe A-400Ms, if there is an alternative then great.

        So if Sweden took 40%, (they use their C-130s for AAR) and each of the others 20% that would give us around 1,000hrs per year. That would be more than enough to do rotations and re-supply missions to both UNIFIL and MINUSMA. Not only that but if we need to reinforce or withdraw troops quickly then we would have the capability.

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        • #5
          @EUFighter - that's not a bad proposal by any means, but in real terms there would be one significant difference: the fleet would have to operate from one hub. You could certainly detach aircraft to support an exercise/operation for whatever period, but to have 4 hubs for an aircraft fleet of 14 (or whatever number you ended up with) would become both ruinously expensive and a training and technical nightmare.

          If you want to really cut costs and increase availability you wouldn't have Irish aircraft or Swedish aircraft, you just have a pool of aircraft and crew to which all contribute - so you could have an 'Irish' task, with none of the crew undertaking that task being Irish, or indeed a Finnish or Swedish task relating to territorial defence in the Baltic or an overseas task like Libya, with Irish service personnel taking part even if Ireland wasn't. That has political ramifications which you'd need to work through before you signed off on the idea...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ropebag View Post
            @EUFighter - that's not a bad proposal by any means, but in real terms there would be one significant difference: the fleet would have to operate from one hub. You could certainly detach aircraft to support an exercise/operation for whatever period, but to have 4 hubs for an aircraft fleet of 14 (or whatever number you ended up with) would become both ruinously expensive and a training and technical nightmare.

            If you want to really cut costs and increase availability you wouldn't have Irish aircraft or Swedish aircraft, you just have a pool of aircraft and crew to which all contribute - so you could have an 'Irish' task, with none of the crew undertaking that task being Irish, or indeed a Finnish or Swedish task relating to territorial defence in the Baltic or an overseas task like Libya, with Irish service personnel taking part even if Ireland wasn't. That has political ramifications which you'd need to work through before you signed off on the idea...
            Totally agree, as you said there would be a detachment from time to time, so that training and familiarisation can take place.
            As for the tasking a framework agreement would have to be hammer out, I think it would be more an issue for us than for the others. I could not see Sweden or Finland saying no to say a deployment task which was Irish troop being sent to an UN mission for example. The same I would say would be Irish crew supporting a Finnish/Swedish exercise/training. But if it was one of the others nations supporting a NATO led action and we did not politically support it then yes, that could be an issue. But few remember that we even had troops in Afghanistan so it might not be a show-stopper but something that would need to be covered.

            Given that over the past years polling has shown a majority in support of closer military co-operation with other EU countries this just might work. Afterall we talking transport aircraft and not "nasty" fighter or bombers. And if we show that it is the non-aligned members working together then the anti-NATO/US/UK faction would have less to attack (they still will) and if we painted a red cross on the side when they are here on detachment what could be better?
            Last edited by EUFighter; 13 May 2020, 12:37.

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            • #7
              MOD: This is a very interesting conversation but it is getting a bit off topic. I will split the thread later

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              • #8
                Would it be worth putting the entire operation under an EU flag and nations seconding personnel to it? This may be a way of overcoming the difficulties associated with approval by individual nations authorising use.

                Or would that be introducing a third layer of bureaucracy into its operating approval?

                Is it time the non-aligned nations in Europe formed a NATO-lite? Or is that one for another thread?
                Last edited by Flamingo; 13 May 2020, 16:01.
                '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


                • #9
                  The current POTUS is doing what he can (as per his masters instructions) to break up NATO.
                  The UN has become a pointless talking shop while the UNSC vetoes exist. Yes every nation gets a voice at the UN, but only the 5 Permanent members of the UNSC get to decide what gets done.
                  The EUBG concept is a good idea as a standalone, but while countries like ourselves insist on triple lock mechanisms that include the UNSC, nothing happes and more people die.
                  The Soviet .. er Russian invasion of Crimea should have been followed with an ecoomic blocade by anyone who was not Russia. On the flipside, no country had any business invading Afghanistan or Iraq after 9/11, (which the UNSC gave a big thumbs up to) as mr Bad guy was never in either place, but it suited the interests of the permanent UNSC members.
                  Europe could do a UN lite, but the problem is many european states still lean towards the permanent UNSC members politically and militarily. The smaller members will be easily influenced.
                  The Non-Aligned members are as such for pragmatic reasons only.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
                    As mentioned on another thread the Germans want someone to take over operating the 13x A-400m they have bought but do not want to put into service.
                    They are keeping them and putting them into service along the C-130J's they later bought like the French did. Probably need them as the serviceability rates are so poor. No one wanted them. The Spanish are getting rid of their excess ones by swapping them for FA-50's and KT-1's off the Koreans. In the recent RNZAF C-130H replacement project the A400M did not even get the bronze medal out of the four aircraft evaluated. The Swedes and Austrians will go with what works when the time comes to replace the H and K Hercs - the aircraft that has 60% commonality with their current mount and with most of the training and support systems already in place.

                    In principle a 'pooled' Irish/Austrian/ Finnish/Swede solution is a great idea. But using the C-130J-30.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                      The current POTUS is doing what he can (as per his masters instructions) to break up NATO.
                      Not quite. Vlad was a fairweather friendship attempt by Trump to draw him away from a strengthening of ties with China, the main game (It failed). Trump just wants Europe to cough up more. If Biden gets elected the push for more defence spending by other NATO members will continue, albeit in a less bombastic and insulting way.

                      Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                      Europe could do a UN lite, but the problem is many european states still lean towards the permanent UNSC members politically and militarily. The smaller members will be easily influenced.
                      The Non-Aligned members are as such for pragmatic reasons only.
                      You mean that Europe could form a Chp VIII regional security arrangement like the Biketawa Declaration in the Pacific? Maybe Ireland could be comfortable with that. Still does not solve the airlift gap. A pooling arrangement between like minded countries who need airlift capability would be better to work towards.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Germans took C-130's to meet a need for helicopter AAR, and operate them in a joint unit with the French. Like the majority of big military projects in Germany in the past 20 years the A-400M was done on the cheap in that corners were cut. Not enough spares, not enough testing, too ambitious requirements like being able to drop a pallets in a target space smaller than a tennis court. However the big advantage it has is that it has an "Made in the EU" stamp on it (even if some part come from other countries).

                        The point is if we ever did manage to get a joint airlift wing the choice of aircraft would be driven by the requirements. This whole discussion started about re-supply of our deployment with UNIFIL. The distance is around 2200nm, so that would be a key requirement, we would most likely want to be able to fly a PIIIH there, that means a payload of 18,500kg @ 2200nm. A maximum payload requirement may come from the Swedes of Finns with their AMV @ 27,000kg or the new Patria 6x6 @24,000kg. The distance the Finns have to fly is much shorter.

                        Then would come troop transport, a C-130 would take 6.5 hrs to fly out to Lebanon, that is a long time to be in the back of a C-130, even a J model. But maybe it would be fine, but troop comfort would be an issue as we would want them to arrive fresh as they would still have to travel from Beirut airport to their base. So a matrix of flight time and comfort would be a requirement. Might mean that with all that the C-2 would be the winner.

                        It is now more than 42 years since UNIFIL was set-up and we still have no reliable air or sea supply system in place. Depending on what is available we send a MPA, a business jet or an OPV. That cannot be the way to run a military deployment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                          The current POTUS is doing what he can (as per his masters instructions) to break up NATO.
                          The UN has become a pointless talking shop while the UNSC vetoes exist. Yes every nation gets a voice at the UN, but only the 5 Permanent members of the UNSC get to decide what gets done.
                          The EUBG concept is a good idea as a standalone, but while countries like ourselves insist on triple lock mechanisms that include the UNSC, nothing happes and more people die.
                          The Soviet .. er Russian invasion of Crimea should have been followed with an ecoomic blocade by anyone who was not Russia. On the flipside, no country had any business invading Afghanistan or Iraq after 9/11, (which the UNSC gave a big thumbs up to) as mr Bad guy was never in either place, but it suited the interests of the permanent UNSC members.
                          Europe could do a UN lite, but the problem is many european states still lean towards the permanent UNSC members politically and militarily. The smaller members will be easily influenced.
                          The Non-Aligned members are as such for pragmatic reasons only.
                          Afaik in the 15 years of their existence, and look at the amount of security challenges in that time there was only a suggestion once To deploy a EUBG.

                          The US blocked a UN call for a worldwide ceasefire due to COVID19

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                            Imagine if we had something that could do both a resupply and a troop rotation?
                            Imagine if the country wasn't run like it was a council of "Special Interest Groups"

                            It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
                            It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
                            It was a new age...It was the end of history.
                            It was the year everything changed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
                              Would it be worth putting the entire operation under an EU flag and nations seconding personnel to it? This may be a way of overcoming the difficulties associated with approval by individual nations authorising use.

                              Or would that be introducing a third layer of bureaucracy into its operating approval?

                              Is it time the non-aligned nations in Europe formed a NATO-lite? Or is that one for another thread?
                              The EU have an airlift organisation https://eatc-mil.com/en

                              They also have the EATF & EATC https://www.eda.europa.eu/what-we-do...t-fleet-(eatf)

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