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  1. #1126
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    Yeah, the single engine thing isn't really a thing any more - you only need two if one goes bang, and if one goes bang the other one will be destroyed by all the flying bits from the first.

    The Norwegians and Danes operate their F-16's a long way out into the North Atlantic - like out to Iceland - without a problem.

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  3. #1127
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    This is true but we’re hypothetically talking about 30 odd year old freebies
    here with high hours on the airframe and engines.
    In any case I think it’s a total fantasy and will never happen unless the EU forced our hand.

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  7. #1129
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Do you have actual figures to back the fog claim? I have tried to find data but could not and IMHO most airports in Ireland are limited by cross-wind more than by fog. In fog an airport can be equipped up to CAT-IIIC which would allow landing even in the most severe fog conditions (not nice for the pilot but allowed - see JAS-OPS). However as most airports have only a single runway they will be subjected to crosswind limitations more than to fog.

    Delays due to fog are usually down to the increased traffic separation rather than landing requirements which is why fog in London, which has CAT-IIIC airports causes so many delays. There the capacity of the system is at its limit so when ATC increases separation that removes capacity leading to delays and cancellations. Apart from Dublin Airport none of our other airports have capacity limits.

    As for the conditions at Knock Airport I would expect most of its low visibility would come from low cloud rather than from fog. They might look similar but are different meteorological conditions with totally different formation criteria.
    I'll let others look for the statistics but I can speak from first hand experience of operating into Knock. Knock implements LVPs more frequently than other Irish airports with the exception of Cork.

    It suffers from a poor location, on a hill where the difference between hill fog and low cloud is an irrelevant distinction. They both have the same impact on RVR. Below 300m at Knock and you're off to Shannon or Dublin.

    The westerly runway has an ILS (CAT II) with a non precision approach on the other end. With CAT II, autolands are possible but will also come aircraft specific cross/tailwind limitations below normal limits. All the more relevant at the top of a hill in the west of Ireland.

    Now as this discussion relates to the basing of theoretical fighter jets, would you really advocate landing with live ordinance on a fog/low cloud(who cares?) prone windy hill just because the incoming US president is a Mayo supporter? Any potential base must tick a lot more meteorological boxes than Knock given the implications of diverting with a pair of Sidewinders to Shannon or elsewhere.


    In reference to CAT IIIc, there are few CAT IIIc airports globally. Would be interested if you could point me to a list for London. CAT IIIa/b certainly LGW, STN and LHR. Great in theory that you can land in flat out zero visibility if you have an aircraft capable of doing so but unless it can also taxi you to your parking position you are stopping where you land. CAT IIIa will get you down 99 times out of 100.

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  9. #1130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    I'll let others look for the statistics but I can speak from first hand experience of operating into Knock. Knock implements LVPs more frequently than other Irish airports with the exception of Cork.

    It suffers from a poor location, on a hill where the difference between hill fog and low cloud is an irrelevant distinction. They both have the same impact on RVR. Below 300m at Knock and you're off to Shannon or Dublin.

    The westerly runway has an ILS (CAT II) with a non precision approach on the other end. With CAT II, autolands are possible but will also come aircraft specific cross/tailwind limitations below normal limits. All the more relevant at the top of a hill in the west of Ireland.

    Now as this discussion relates to the basing of theoretical fighter jets, would you really advocate landing with live ordinance on a fog/low cloud(who cares?) prone windy hill just because the incoming US president is a Mayo supporter? Any potential base must tick a lot more meteorological boxes than Knock given the implications of diverting with a pair of Sidewinders to Shannon or elsewhere.


    In reference to CAT IIIc, there are few CAT IIIc airports globally. Would be interested if you could point me to a list for London. CAT IIIa/b certainly LGW, STN and LHR. Great in theory that you can land in flat out zero visibility if you have an aircraft capable of doing so but unless it can also taxi you to your parking position you are stopping where you land. CAT IIIa will get you down 99 times out of 100.
    I've never seen CAT 3c, Airbus and Boeing Are Max Cat 3b.
    AFAIK there is no practical application for CAT 3c at the moment, it would require full guidance from the Runway Centerline to the gate.

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  11. #1131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie252 View Post
    I've never seen CAT 3c, Airbus and Boeing Are Max Cat 3b.
    AFAIK there is no practical application for CAT 3c at the moment, it would require full guidance from the Runway Centerline to the gate.
    True the Cat 3C is more about the ground operations rather than the landing or take-off.

  12. #1132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    I'll let others look for the statistics but I can speak from first hand experience of operating into Knock. Knock implements LVPs more frequently than other Irish airports with the exception of Cork.

    It suffers from a poor location, on a hill where the difference between hill fog and low cloud is an irrelevant distinction. They both have the same impact on RVR. Below 300m at Knock and you're off to Shannon or Dublin.

    The westerly runway has an ILS (CAT II) with a non precision approach on the other end. With CAT II, autolands are possible but will also come aircraft specific cross/tailwind limitations below normal limits. All the more relevant at the top of a hill in the west of Ireland.

    Now as this discussion relates to the basing of theoretical fighter jets, would you really advocate landing with live ordinance on a fog/low cloud(who cares?) prone windy hill just because the incoming US president is a Mayo supporter? Any potential base must tick a lot more meteorological boxes than Knock given the implications of diverting with a pair of Sidewinders to Shannon or elsewhere.


    In reference to CAT IIIc, there are few CAT IIIc airports globally. Would be interested if you could point me to a list for London. CAT IIIa/b certainly LGW, STN and LHR. Great in theory that you can land in flat out zero visibility if you have an aircraft capable of doing so but unless it can also taxi you to your parking position you are stopping where you land. CAT IIIa will get you down 99 times out of 100.
    Thanks for the interesting discussion, the proposal of Knock was meant as a joke.
    For proper all weather operations I would prefer Shannon but with at least one other of its runways as an active for fighter ops.

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  14. #1133
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Another interesting webinar with main key issues from the first webinar.

    It was interesting that mention was made several times that on the civil side we want to be a "good neighbor" and "global" partner but what was glosses over a bit was that on the military side we want to maintain "defence neutrality". Remember back to the first webinar of the series what the comment that the smaller nations in the EU cannot afford to have all the defence capability on their own, that sharing will be needed. This is just limited to air defence or air transport but to many of the challenges.

    The idea of keeping Baldonnel as a strategic state asset but at the same time opening it up a bit is interesting. Perhaps it could not only gain a "business jet" apron but become a centre for Air Ambulance and/or other secure transport such as prisoner transfer.

    The other interesting idea would be to merge the aviation hub idea for Shannon with an Irish ENAC. A place where we could train pilots, technicians, engineers etc all in co-operation with UL. If we could find a way to have pilots on say 10 year contracts for the PDF and somehow the another in reserve that would be interesting. Here it might be interesting how the US manages this with their ANG and USAF Reserve.

  15. #1134
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    No problem and I completely agree about Shannon.

    The former 13/31 in Shannon could be a candidate for resurfacing and restoration as a crosswind runway. It was listed as available until about 7 years ago on airfield plates with a caution of uneven surfacing below normal standards. It hadn't been used in donkeys years but the illusion was maintained for a long time. When taxying out the Delta taxiway, ATC clearance was required to cross the long inactive runway. In cockpit procedures were maintained as if crossing any runway ie. Verbal verification between pilots of a clearance to cross and the switching on of strobe lights.

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  17. #1135
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    As stated already we have a lot of airports suitable in Ireland including 3 that are currently closed to commercial traffic: Sligo, Waterford and Galway. If the AC did have the jets (24-32 needed for 24/7/365) and did want to train deploying to an austere base it is not just a matter of flying the jets there. It would also mean transporting ground support crew and equipment, stores, fuel and a security detail. Thus having a training "austere" airport on the island of Ireland would be a lot easier that going off-island. Remember we have never deployed an AC oversea yet and to get up to speed will take a lot of training.

    Dublin Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe hence why they are getting the second runway. To try and integrate a jet fighter deployment training into DA would be a nightmare and would likely be a non-starter.
    This is a small island; transporting men and equipment anywhere on the island takes a few hours at most. The AC (and every oil company in the country) routinely move fuel around the country to remote locations. The Casas and PC-12s and helicopters can operate from most runways (you'd be surprised how many 400-500 metre plus runways are in this country). You could easily practise with a deployment to Carrickfin/Sligo/Galway/Inishbofin/Clifden, all of which are underused or not used at all.

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  19. #1136
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Another interesting webinar with main key issues from the first webinar.

    It was interesting that mention was made several times that on the civil side we want to be a "good neighbor" and "global" partner but what was glosses over a bit was that on the military side we want to maintain "defence neutrality". Remember back to the first webinar of the series what the comment that the smaller nations in the EU cannot afford to have all the defence capability on their own, that sharing will be needed. This is just limited to air defence or air transport but to many of the challenges.

    The idea of keeping Baldonnel as a strategic state asset but at the same time opening it up a bit is interesting. Perhaps it could not only gain a "business jet" apron but become a centre for Air Ambulance and/or other secure transport such as prisoner transfer.

    The other interesting idea would be to merge the aviation hub idea for Shannon with an Irish ENAC. A place where we could train pilots, technicians, engineers etc all in co-operation with UL. If we could find a way to have pilots on say 10 year contracts for the PDF and somehow the another in reserve that would be interesting. Here it might be interesting how the US manages this with their ANG and USAF Reserve.
    Your ideas for Baldonnel are similar to the current use of RAF Northolt.

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  21. #1137
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    We need to tell the Greens and other tree huggers that the Gripen can fly with bio-fuel (well so can most modern jets if we are honest).

    https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ar...en-engine.html

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  23. #1138
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    We need to tell the Greens and other tree huggers that the Gripen can fly with bio-fuel (well so can most modern jets if we are honest).

    https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ar...en-engine.html
    Not just the Greens

  24. #1139
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    This should put an end to the suggestion a LIFT aircraft could do the job as well as a proper fighter.



    Last edited by na grohmiti; 6th December 2020 at 14:38.
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  26. #1140
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    Interesting take from IDFOC. If you don't want a 2nd squadron of fighters, you need a tanker(or 2).
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  28. #1141
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Interesting take from IDFOC. If you don't want a 2nd squadron of fighters, you need a tanker(or 2).
    It is an interesting take but I have some doubts if QRA should be used to justify a MRTT like a KC130J, KC390 or even a A400M tanker. An Airbus A330 MRTT or Boeing KC-46 would be overkill. Having said that MRTT aircraft do allow operational flexibility and if I had the magical 2% budget I would see them in the AC, however the QRA argument is not so clear cut.

    Just to touch base on just what would be the minimum number of fighters required, 8. That is 4 on QRA duty, 2 for training and 2 in maintenance. And in order to have 24/& QRA cover you need a minimum of around 32 pilots each needing around 200 hrs p.a. so that the aircraft are worn out after 10 years. What the aircraft for longer multiply the numbers.

    So how many MRTT aircraft would be needed? Well 1 for QRA plus 1 back-up, 1 in maintenance and because it is being sold as a tanker/transport at least 1 for transport duties. Even if the tankers are individually more expensive than the fighters (JAS-39s) the total cost is still less, so far so good. But the tankers need two pilot and a loadmaster each, and given that the requirements on pilots will be similar to what is needed on the fighters we need 24-32 pilots. These will also need a minimum number of flight hours p.a even if a lot can be done with simulators and this is where the higher cost per flight hour will begin to eat away at the potential cost benefit.

    And then I do doubt the need, a QRA set-up will need a ready pair with aback-up pair should there be any issue with the first aircraft. So while the first pair are off on the intercept the second can be made ready for launch. This means that if fuel becomes an issue replacement aircraft can be sent up. True the RAF launch a tanker when they scamble their QRA fighters but the UK Air Defence Zone is a great deal larger than what we have so fuel is more an issue. Launching from Lossie, flying north to take over from the Norwegians between the Faroes and Shetland Islands, then down the west coast of Ireland before handing off to French or the QRA South from Coningsby requires a lot of juice.

    IMHO it would be better investing is more than the minimum number of fighters not only to extend the service life of the system but to increase the robustness also.

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  30. #1142
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    It is an interesting take but I have some doubts if QRA should be used to justify a MRTT like a KC130J, KC390 or even a A400M tanker. An Airbus A330 MRTT or Boeing KC-46 would be overkill. Having said that MRTT aircraft do allow operational flexibility and if I had the magical 2% budget I would see them in the AC, however the QRA argument is not so clear cut.

    Just to touch base on just what would be the minimum number of fighters required, 8. That is 4 on QRA duty, 2 for training and 2 in maintenance. And in order to have 24/& QRA cover you need a minimum of around 32 pilots each needing around 200 hrs p.a. so that the aircraft are worn out after 10 years. What the aircraft for longer multiply the numbers.

    So how many MRTT aircraft would be needed? Well 1 for QRA plus 1 back-up, 1 in maintenance and because it is being sold as a tanker/transport at least 1 for transport duties. Even if the tankers are individually more expensive than the fighters (JAS-39s) the total cost is still less, so far so good. But the tankers need two pilot and a loadmaster each, and given that the requirements on pilots will be similar to what is needed on the fighters we need 24-32 pilots. These will also need a minimum number of flight hours p.a even if a lot can be done with simulators and this is where the higher cost per flight hour will begin to eat away at the potential cost benefit.

    And then I do doubt the need, a QRA set-up will need a ready pair with aback-up pair should there be any issue with the first aircraft. So while the first pair are off on the intercept the second can be made ready for launch. This means that if fuel becomes an issue replacement aircraft can be sent up. True the RAF launch a tanker when they scamble their QRA fighters but the UK Air Defence Zone is a great deal larger than what we have so fuel is more an issue. Launching from Lossie, flying north to take over from the Norwegians between the Faroes and Shetland Islands, then down the west coast of Ireland before handing off to French or the QRA South from Coningsby requires a lot of juice.

    IMHO it would be better investing is more than the minimum number of fighters not only to extend the service life of the system but to increase the robustness also.
    the previous GOC has stated that a true QRA would require 16 airframes- a near doubling in the size of the IAC- it's not happening in my lifetime!
    (unless the EU made us, in which case there would be uproar with the public)

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  32. #1143
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    The twitter thread seems to suggest, once you go down the Military air transport route, have at least one airframe capable of being used as a tanker. KC130 Seems the obvious choice.

    All these discussions are dependent on the realisation that Ireland needs to start investing in defence, immediately, accepting that the initial cost of gaining capability either lost or as yet not held will be high, but maintaining that capability is far cheaper. Ireland needs to make adult decisions about the future of defence, this is one of them. The other option is to suggest funding a flight of RAF Typhoons in Aldergrove, to look after our airspace, and to do so publicly, explaining the reasons why we can't do it ourselves.
    Or should we wait for the inevitable mid air collision west of Shannon?
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  34. #1144
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    I would agree that if we were to go down the military transporter route it would be wise to have some of them as dual rolled. And I would stick a probe on the C-295s to extend their loiter times.

  35. #1145
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    The other option is to suggest funding a flight of RAF Typhoons in Aldergrove, to look after our airspace, and to do so publicly, explaining the reasons why we can't do it ourselves.
    The HSE would never cope. There aren't enough Stroke facilities in the country....
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    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
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  37. #1146
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    you'd need to fund a fleet of outrage buses....

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  39. #1147
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    I would wonder how useful/applicable/useable a tanking capability on the C-295 - akin to that on the A400M - would be...

    Lets say you have the two MPA C-295's, and have an additional two cargo C-295's (I've written before about how I think they are a completely unsuitable airframe, but we'll ignore that for the moment...), put hose pods on all four, and it's a reasonable probability that you'll have one of those aircraft available for tanking duties should you need it...

    It's not the perfect answer by any stretch of the imagination - I've no idea of the fuel figures, it may be that filling up two Gripens 100 miles west of Donegal would empty the thing - but looking at a usable capability is better than looking for a perfect capability that you can't afford.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by ropebag; 13th December 2020 at 10:18.

  40. #1148
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    I would wonder how useful/applicable/useable a tanking capability on the C-295 - akin to that on the A400M - would be...

    Lets you have to the two MPA C-295's, and have an additional two cargo C-295's (I've written before about how I think they are a completely unsuitable airframe, but we'll ignore that for the moment...), put hose pods on all four, and it's a reasonable probability that you'll have one of those aircraft available for tanking duties should you need it...

    It's not the perfect answer by any stretch of the imagination - I've no idea of the fuel figures, it may be that filling up two Gripens 100 miles west of Donegal would empty the thing - but looking at a usable capability is better than looking for a perfect capability that you can't afford.

    Thoughts?
    This is exactly why I was suggesting buddy tankers earlier on. USN have been doing so for years since they lost the dedicated Carrier based tanker in the KA6D and KA3B. Much less plumbing involved too.
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  42. #1149
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    I would wonder how useful/applicable/useable a tanking capability on the C-295 - akin to that on the A400M - would be...

    Lets say you have the two MPA C-295's, and have an additional two cargo C-295's (I've written before about how I think they are a completely unsuitable airframe, but we'll ignore that for the moment...), put hose pods on all four, and it's a reasonable probability that you'll have one of those aircraft available for tanking duties should you need it...

    It's not the perfect answer by any stretch of the imagination - I've no idea of the fuel figures, it may be that filling up two Gripens 100 miles west of Donegal would empty the thing - but looking at a usable capability is better than looking for a perfect capability that you can't afford.

    Thoughts?
    Airbus does have a modification to turn the C-295 into a tanker. It workd for refueling other C295 or helicopters although tanking a fighter jet such as the Gripen is a challenge. While we do see fighter jets performing at low speeds these are usually piloted by test pilots and require a great deal of skill. Also how would it work on F-16s?

    https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/pres...-a-tanker.html

    This would be of more use in extending the endurance of the C-295 MPA aircraft especially when they are acting in support of a very long range SAR mission.

  43. #1150
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    This is exactly why I was suggesting buddy tankers earlier on. USN have been doing so for years since they lost the dedicated Carrier based tanker in the KA6D and KA3B. Much less plumbing involved too.
    Buddy tanking was popular at one time with many air forces but has fallen out of fashion. The USN do still have the capability with their Rhinos but they are about the only ones and even they want to get rid of it hence the MQ-25. It relies on the aircraft being equipped and qualified to act as a tanker. It is a bit more then just sticking a pod under the tanker aircraft which usually has to be a 2 seater, the back seater being responsible for the tanking operation. And of course it can only be done on probe equipped aircraft which is one reason why it is not as popular as it once was.

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