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View Poll Results: What type of transport aircraft does the Air Corps need?

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  • Military transport aircraft such as C130J/A400M

    23 79.31%
  • Civilian airliner capable of carrying freight

    6 20.69%
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  1. #1
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    Military transport aircraft

    Just a poll. What is best for the Air Corps? What are we most likely to get? (if anything)



    Last edited by na grohmiti; 18th May 2020 at 14:03.
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    Ireland needs something like C-130 or A400M - the intelligent way into that is with a joint purchace and operating/training/servicing pool with other European states. the expensive, wheels-will-come-off way into that is to buy one out of the bargain bin, then discover that it costs a fortune in cash and people to keep it in the air, and you'll probably find after you've bought it that some bedrock piece of equipment won't fit in it.

    i wouldn't be that surprised if Ireland leases a stripped out C-295, and then quietly gives it back when its discovered quite how limited such an aircraft is in airlift terms, but the DOD will blame the Army for not using it - ignoring the fact that the Army told the DOD that it would be a waste of money because it its so small no one would be able to use it.

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    Have the 10 withdrawn RAF C130J standard length aircraft all found homes yet?

  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    Have the 10 withdrawn RAF C130J standard length aircraft all found homes yet?
    Didn’t the ones that Bangladesh buy need significant money due to the wear the RAF has put on them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    Have the 10 withdrawn RAF C130J standard length aircraft all found homes yet?
    The are keeping 2 for themselves due to losses of C130J-30's; 1 has gone to the USN to replace the old Fat Albert with the Blue Angels, 2 have gone to Bahrain and the remaining 5 are on their way to Bangladesh.
    Last edited by EUFighter; 18th May 2020 at 16:10.

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  11. #7
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    What you dont see after the beach landing is the lads spending hours checking the (very expensive, handed )props for sand erosion, as well as for erosion to the undercarriage,belly, leading edges, pitot tubes, antennae and radome. You might as well take a wire brush to the aircraft. Apart from that, the aircraft has to be washed entirely with fresh water to get the salt off it. You mix aircraft with salt and sand at your peril.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    What you dont see after the beach landing is the lads spending hours checking the (very expensive, handed )props for sand erosion, as well as for erosion to the undercarriage,belly, leading edges, pitot tubes, antennae and radome. You might as well take a wire brush to the aircraft. Apart from that, the aircraft has to be washed entirely with fresh water to get the salt off it. You mix aircraft with salt and sand at your peril.
    The point was not about doing a beach landing but if the aircraft is capable of being put on a beach then getting to use a de-activated runway is a lot easier.

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    You would also have to factor in access to a simulator, if you bought a share in operating a "grouped" C-130, for example. I'll bet there aren't that many C-130 sims around. You would probably have to rotate a body of pilots/techs/support personnel to gain realtime operational experience with an existing operator, such as the RAF. As for operating a "cargo" or Combi 737, or any other non-ramp airliner, you'd have to have all the support kit, such as pallet lifters/conveyors/pallets,etc and be prepared to fly or ship them out to wherever your forces go,or else be dependent on other peoples' kit to helpyou unload.

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    I keep coming back to trying to have a joint purchase & operation with some other EU countries. Buy a single type, have a single main base with all that it needs like sims etc and deploy as needed for training to participating nations.

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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    The point was not about doing a beach landing but if the aircraft is capable of being put on a beach then getting to use a de-activated runway is a lot easier.
    I know; a pure military transporter would have to be able to operate off grass/hardcore/sand/tarmac/dirt runways safely and crews trained for such. The 737 could operate off hard packed gravel with appropriate modifications to older models or a third-rate regional airport if the runway was long enough.

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    I have no doubt that if a C-130 or a C-390 were purchased a suitable friendly nation would be happy to train the initial cadre or personnel.

    This should not be considered a barrier, our nearest neighbor has a huge fleet of C-130's and a training system on type to match.

    Many other European Air forces operate C-130 aircraft and many would have the capacity and willingness to provide training and guidance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie252 View Post
    I have no doubt that if a C-130 or a C-390 were purchased a suitable friendly nation would be happy to train the initial cadre or personnel.

    This should not be considered a barrier, our nearest neighbor has a huge fleet of C-130's and a training system on type to match.

    Many other European Air forces operate C-130 aircraft and many would have the capacity and willingness to provide training and guidance.
    You may need to check but the RAF no longer has a "huge" fleet of C-130's, they are down to 14 after losing 3 and selling 8. They actually have more A400M's in service with 22 aircraft.

    Currently the biggest operator of C-130J's in Europe is the Italian Air Force with 20 aircraft.
    France has 4x C130J's and has 17x A400M's with 33 more on order. They have 12x C160 and 14x C130H which will be replaced by the A400M in due course.
    German has ordered 6x C130J's and has 32x A400M's with 21 more on order. They have 18x C160 which will be replaced by the A400M in due course.
    Spain has 8x A400M's with 19 more on order. They have 10x C160 which will be replaced by the A400M in due course.
    Belgium 7x A400M's on order which will replace 8x C130H's.

    Finally Portugal has ordered 5x C-390's to replace their 4x C130H's.

    Now I am not say we should go for a C-390, no more than I would say now we should go for a A400M, but if we ever did get the chance then I would give the C-390 just as much opportunity as the C130J. When nations like Norway, Denmark etc bought their C130J's there was no other option on the market, no there is and potentially it could be the aircraft of the future. Remember the C-390 entered service in 2019, the C130J in 1999 and the original C-130 in 1956. While the J model has introduced new engines and systems it is still at heart a 1950's aircraft. Perhaps that is why when the USAF submitted the yearly costs per aircraft the C130J was more expensive to operate than a C17.

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    The KC-390 has a huge speed advantage, in a days flying the Productivity increase would be significant.
    Whatever the various quoted Ferry ranges, the speed advantage is particularly marked in this regard.

    I have a suspicion that the hourly fuel burn for the C-130J and KC-390 would be very similar, hence the speed advantage has a direct impact on Operating cost, particularly Seat KM/Ton KM metrics.

    The reality is buying one of anything is going to be very limiting operationaly.
    Given the costs involved in any of the likely options, I am not confident that the Government will make the leap of faith.
    Last edited by Charlie252; 19th May 2020 at 09:00.

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  25. #15
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    I take the view that buying one of anything, particularly with the constrained nature of the Irish operating budget, ,is a disaster waiting to happen - crew training and currency, and the tech support and training pipeline, is just going to burn money and hours. It'll look great on day one, but a year later it'll be on bricks and dripping in rust.

    The speed of the 390 is only a thing if you're doing really long trips - like Dublin to Beirut, and how many of those are you going to do in a day - if you're using it as a tactical airlifter working from a hub, like Malta to Benghazi, or Cyprus to Beirut then it has little impact on the overall number of sorties in a day - simply because loading and unloading takes the same amount of time, regardless of whether it's a 390, a 130, a 400M or a 17.

  26. #16
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    Yeah but you can ferry to Malta and get some rotations in on day one.

  27. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Perhaps that is why when the USAF submitted the yearly costs per aircraft the C130J was more expensive to operate than a C17.
    It was only the MC-130H operated by the United States Air Force Special Operations Command and the HC-130P Combat King CSAR variant that was marginally costing more than the C-17. Both pretty elderly platforms.

    You might find this document dated Nov 2017 interesting as it gives CPFH rates for all US military aircraft in service with the DoD, other Federal Agencies, FMS users and other users who may have acquired aircraft via direct commercial sale.

    https://comptroller.defense.gov/Port...8/2018_b_c.pdf
    Last edited by Anzac; 19th May 2020 at 09:44.

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  29. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    I keep coming back to trying to have a joint purchase & operation with some other EU countries. Buy a single type, have a single main base with all that it needs like sims etc and deploy as needed for training to participating nations.
    Great plan, the other EU country just can't be in NATO.
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  31. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Great plan, the other EU country just can't be in NATO.
    Austria
    Finland
    Sweden

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    Sweden is already part of the Heavy Air Lift wing in Hungary. Their 1960s version C130H will soon no longer be permitted to fly in civilian airspace. They are on the lookout for a replacement.
    Austria uses 3 C130K. These are ex RAF models which were purchased in 2003 due to the demand in UN Peacekeeping missions.
    Finland use (check notes) 2x C295, 3x Lear 35, and 6 Pilatus PC12.

    I can't see any reason why the DoD would wish to work with any of these countries, which we have nothing in common with.......
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  35. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    I take the view that buying one of anything, particularly with the constrained nature of the Irish operating budget, ,is a disaster waiting to happen - crew training and currency, and the tech support and training pipeline, is just going to burn money and hours. It'll look great on day one, but a year later it'll be on bricks and dripping in rust.
    Which is why the answer could be C295.

    We have done it with the PC12NG Spectres and PC12NG.

    It doesn’t have the range or payload of A400M or C130 but it is what we are getting for the MPAs so there will be commonality. And that was the plan for it to act as a transporter as well any way.

    It could transport a lot of spares, stores etc but not vehicles.

    It’s not ideal but imho what is most likely

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    It was only the MC-130H operated by the United States Air Force Special Operations Command and the HC-130P Combat King CSAR variant that was marginally costing more than the C-17. Both pretty elderly platforms.

    You might find this document dated Nov 2017 interesting as it gives CPFH rates for all US military aircraft in service with the DoD, other Federal Agencies, FMS users and other users who may have acquired aircraft via direct commercial sale.

    https://comptroller.defense.gov/Port...8/2018_b_c.pdf
    I was surprised by the CPFH for the C-130H as the figures they gave in the C-130J SAR for both aircraft were around the same value, the C-130H being a little lower.

    But that is only the CPFH, a C17 lifts more and flies faster.
    Thus on a 5.5hr mission a C-17 will lift 71,214kg a distance of 2420nm, a C-130J will lift 15,422kg a distance of 1800nm. So looking at kg/nm the C-17 has a massive advantage over the C-130J. But as we both know, the mix will be different, it will not always be flying such load, there will be training fights without cargo, flight with troops etc. But I was surprised how cheap the C-17 was to operate, and if you want medium/long distance cargo then it seems a great fit.

  38. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Which is why the answer could be C295.

    We have done it with the PC12NG Spectres and PC12NG.

    It doesn’t have the range or payload of A400M or C130 but it is what we are getting for the MPAs so there will be commonality. And that was the plan for it to act as a transporter as well any way.

    It could transport a lot of spares, stores etc but not vehicles.

    It’s not ideal but imho what is most likely
    I have to agree with you. I cant fathom peoples need to transport vehicles. We will never have the capacity to transport adequate volumes to make any sort of difference in any situation. Its far easier to add a couple of extra cover vehicles in the initial sea transportation. As you say we need an aircraft that we can use for spares and stores.

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  40. #24
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    So.. why don't we embrace what we have, hang on to the CN235s, strip out the sensor suite, and use them as pure transports? Meanwhile pick up one of the many surplus 737s as MATS? The combined Transport profile of a civiian airliner type, medium range exec type, and short range passenger type would fulfil all our passenger needs without upsetting too many of the twitching curtain brigade. Then a quick repaint of the 235s to something less watery and more honkey.. maybe a nice green?
    Better yet, swap them for a single standard 295? Do EADS do trade ins?
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  42. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by apc View Post
    I have to agree with you. I cant fathom peoples need to transport vehicles. We will never have the capacity to transport adequate volumes to make any sort of difference in any situation. Its far easier to add a couple of extra cover vehicles in the initial sea transportation. As you say we need an aircraft that we can use for spares and stores.
    To quote the RFP:
    k. The aircraft must be fully interoperable within a multinational environment (both EU and NATO/PfP). This must include the handling of cargo, fuelling, refuelling, communications, airborne operations and medical.
    l. The aircraft, in the logistic configuration, must be capable of airlifting at least six (6) tonnes of cargo, or at least twenty (20) fully equipped soldiers.

    m. The aircraft must be capable of co-ordinated airdropping (personnel and supplies) to marked or unmarked drop zones as well as conducting precision air delivery, including static line and freefall (HALO/HAHO) airdrop (by using a supplemental oxygen system where required).
    n. The aircraft must be capable of conducting CASEVAC and MEDEVAC missions, with aeromedical aircrew. The aircraft must be capable of being equipped with medical and general equipment, and supplies adequate for the care of the number and types of patients transported.


    From the questions submitted:
    The primary tasking of the aircraft will be in the maritime surveillance role.



    The usage percentile across all tasks are as follows:-
    Maritime Patrol Activity (including SAR Top Cover (70%)
    Logistical & Army/SOF Support, including Medivac and Air Ambulance (20%)
    Training, Pilot/Army including parachute (8%)
    Contingency, including VIP (2%)

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