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  1. #1
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    No Role for the Air Corps says Minister for Defence in SAR

    Crazy when we have such modern aircraft and new Casas on the way.

    https://afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/...-for-air-corps

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian McGrath View Post
    Crazy when we have such modern aircraft and new Casas on the way.

    https://afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/...-for-air-corps
    The two CASA's coming are likely to be high demand post Brexit given even if we get a deal we're likely to see increase in foreign boats in our waters (not even including any long term suggestion of using them outside our EEZ), unless the Government is willing to increase the purchase of the CASAs then yeah it's better for something dedicated to Top Cover be in the spec imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian McGrath View Post
    Crazy when we have such modern aircraft and new Casas on the way.

    https://afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/...-for-air-corps
    Completely crazy, not only should the Air Corp be fully integrated but the Naval Service also. The UK has fitted the Batch 2 Rivers with a large heli deck which means they can refuel SAR helicopters extending their range or time on station searching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Completely crazy, not only should the Air Corp be fully integrated but the Naval Service also. The UK has fitted the Batch 2 Rivers with a large heli deck which means they can refuel SAR helicopters extending their range or time on station searching.
    The Batch 2s aren't even meant for home water duties like SAR though, they've all been "forward" deployed.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Completely crazy, not only should the Air Corp be fully integrated but the Naval Service also. The UK has fitted the Batch 2 Rivers with a large heli deck which means they can refuel SAR helicopters extending their range or time on station searching.
    That only works if you have SAR helis capable of hot refuelling, and/or HIFR. Common enough on a military heli, not so much on a civvy SAR heli. S92 is pretty long range as is.

    I have mixed feelings about this.
    On one hand the money spent on Civvy SAR would go a long way towards equipping the Air Corps with modern Medium Lift helis. On the other hand When the Air Corps did SAR, its heli fleet did almost nothing else. (apart from the finner border bunny). All training becomes focused around providing SAR.
    When we handed over SAR to the civvys, for a moment the Air Corps had lots of helis available for other military tasks. There was even suggestion of deploying AIII overseas to end their days with UNIFIL or similar. They would have been well recieved.
    The Top cover thing also is an issue. Everyone is talking about committing an aircraft with top of the range surveillance radar and electro-optics in the top cover role. Top cover for the most part is nothing more than Retrans. It can be done with a more basic aircraft, such as a Lear or SKA350. Or maybe even a C130J military transport aircraft!

    Great to say "give us the tools and we will do the job" but specify, "in addition to the other jobs we also do, and also give us the tools for the jobs we should have been doing all along".
    SAR can become a cul-de-sac. It isn't a primary military role. It is done my military air wings who already require the capacity in CSAR, to rescue downed combat pilots. Military air Arms around europe are moving away from being the sole SAR provider. Those who do, have similar aircraft committed to pure military roles.
    Portugal as an example of another Atlantic facing state. Like us, neither it's army nor Navy has it's own aircraft.12 EH101 operated by the Air Force for SAR and transport. 5 C295 and 4 P3C for MARPAT/SAR/ASW but at the same time 7 more C295 for pure military transport, along with 4 C130H (soon to be replaced with C390).
    If we go down this road then we should do so only with 5 Medium Lift helis to cover the 4 current SAR bases, MINIMUM. We should also be provided with dedicated top cover SAR aircraft in addition to the 2 C295. If it's a declared SAR asset, then it should be treated as such, and have no secondary role.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    The Batch 2s aren't even meant for home water duties like SAR though, they've all been "forward" deployed.
    HMS Forth is deployed to the Falklands were she replace HMS Clyde which throughout its service did provide support to SAR missions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    HMS Forth is deployed to the Falklands were she replace HMS Clyde which throughout its service did provide support to SAR missions.
    Fair point, but that speaks more of the unique aspect of the Falklands more than anything else.

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    Unless the Government is willing to fund min 5 long range helis, with proper wages, proper 24/7 support (tech, aircrew, etc etc) it’s pointless! They would have very limited availability for other tasks due to required availability for 24/7 SAR taskings at 15/45 mins notice.

    Much more doable should be the SAR top cover, pollution control etc role. We have/will have the aircraft. The personnel are already trained in the roles and able to do it. The U.K. standard was/is to have Nimrod at 2 hours notice. It would require an uplift in personnel (and wages) and aircraft availability (see personnel).

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    Yet people complain about the Air Corp doing Air Ambulance and piloting the Garda helicopter, strange

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    Quote Originally Posted by apc View Post
    Yet people complain about the Air Corp doing Air Ambulance and piloting the Garda helicopter, strange
    They do it so nobody else needs to. Must bug the Bejaysus out of the GASU pilots knowing their talking freight earn about the same per hour than them. (5039p/a plus garda pay, 10 years service @ $48754 (plus all the other garda unsocial hours allowances)
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    That only works if you have SAR helis capable of hot refuelling, and/or HIFR. Common enough on a military heli, not so much on a civvy SAR heli. S92 is pretty long range as is.

    I have mixed feelings about this.
    On one hand the money spent on Civvy SAR would go a long way towards equipping the Air Corps with modern Medium Lift helis. On the other hand When the Air Corps did SAR, its heli fleet did almost nothing else. (apart from the finner border bunny). All training becomes focused around providing SAR.
    When we handed over SAR to the civvys, for a moment the Air Corps had lots of helis available for other military tasks. There was even suggestion of deploying AIII overseas to end their days with UNIFIL or similar. They would have been well recieved.
    The Top cover thing also is an issue. Everyone is talking about committing an aircraft with top of the range surveillance radar and electro-optics in the top cover role. Top cover for the most part is nothing more than Retrans. It can be done with a more basic aircraft, such as a Lear or SKA350. Or maybe even a C130J military transport aircraft!

    Great to say "give us the tools and we will do the job" but specify, "in addition to the other jobs we also do, and also give us the tools for the jobs we should have been doing all along".
    SAR can become a cul-de-sac. It isn't a primary military role. It is done my military air wings who already require the capacity in CSAR, to rescue downed combat pilots. Military air Arms around europe are moving away from being the sole SAR provider. Those who do, have similar aircraft committed to pure military roles.
    Portugal as an example of another Atlantic facing state. Like us, neither it's army nor Navy has it's own aircraft.12 EH101 operated by the Air Force for SAR and transport. 5 C295 and 4 P3C for MARPAT/SAR/ASW but at the same time 7 more C295 for pure military transport, along with 4 C130H (soon to be replaced with C390).
    If we go down this road then we should do so only with 5 Medium Lift helis to cover the 4 current SAR bases, MINIMUM. We should also be provided with dedicated top cover SAR aircraft in addition to the 2 C295. If it's a declared SAR asset, then it should be treated as such, and have no secondary role.
    I'd repur[ose 5 of the AW 139 to Air Ambulance, buy some Cougars/EHI-01/S-92 for maritime SAR and then some choppers (NH90?) for the role the 139s are currently fulfilling, but with plans and option for forward deployment in UN missions

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    I'd repur[ose 5 of the AW 139 to Air Ambulance, buy some Cougars/EHI-01/S-92 for maritime SAR and then some choppers (NH90?) for the role the 139s are currently fulfilling, but with plans and option for forward deployment in UN missions
    It would be better to go for a single solution for both SAR and medium lift. The Danes and Portuguese went with the AW-101 while Spain is going with the NH-90 both are true military helicopters. The Cougar is an old design and has had considerable gearbox issues while the S-92 has only attracted one real military user Canada and the amount of issues they had getting it into service is extremely long. Also the Canadians only use it as a ship-borne ASW and neither in the SAR or medium lift roles.

    Both the AW-101 and the NH-90 are comparable in terms of performance, they both have an endurance of 5hrs and speed is about the same. The NH-90 is lighter but does hold a record for an unrefulled SAR mission and with two large side doors and an aft ramp is IMHO more felxible.

    The whole reasoning is not to just to have the AC take the role but to establish a state owned and operated pool of helicopters.

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    I'm not sure if anyone remembers the absolute shit show the last time we tried to buy medium lift helis. While the Russians wanted to Lease us refurbished Mil Mi-18 with western avionics provided by israel, the final battle came down to the EHI01, S92 and Eurocopter Cougar.
    Eurocopter played silly buggers from the outset, providing no evaluation aircraft, instead bringing a AS332 super Puma, and suggesting how the EC225 Cougar would be different. It didn't make it's first flight till after the Tender competition closed.
    The EHI01 was good, but needed the third engine to maintain the Hover, and had huge downwash, making cliff rescue even more complicated.
    The S92 won the day. I't built on a similar powertrain as the combat proven Blackhawk. We were to get 5, with 3 dedicated for SAR.

    Then Eurocopter discovered Sikorsky had included offsets as part of the deal. "If only we had known!" said the people with no flying type on offer. "Same here" said EHI. The only option was to cancel the contract and re-tender.
    "Not Likely" said the man from Templemore. And gave the money to the Cavalry Corps instead, who quickly spent it on more Mowags before someone changed their mind.
    The EC225 has never been successful in winning a contract where SAR was required. EASA grounded the type completely in 2016, due to faulty construction of Rotor Head assemblies. Most Operators have used S92 to replace them in service.
    Canada use the EHI01 for SAR as the CH-149 Cormorant. Denmark, Portugal, Italy and Norway all use the type for SAR. The type has been grounded in Canada numerous times due to Hub cracking.
    The S92 has taken over worldwide from the S61N and R as the SAR heli of choice. the CHC aircraft used here have served us very well, in spite of the loss of one aircraft and crew, the true cause of which is still subject to an open investigation.
    Thing is, The Coast Guard S92 winchman is a paramedic first. Can the air Corps offer the same?
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    They do it so nobody else needs to. Must bug the Bejaysus out of the GASU pilots knowing their talking freight earn about the same per hour than them. (5039p/a plus garda pay, 10 years service @ $48754 (plus all the other garda unsocial hours allowances)
    They do it because it was a lot less hassle from an IR point of view for the Gardai to train, pay and maintain their own Pilots, plus it gave the Air Corp an opportunity to build hours. Pay is Pay, as you know the Garda pay was negotiated over the years, Blue Flu included hence why they did not want to go down the Road of having a Pilot Role considering the issues it would have created with Rank and Pay.

    I was just amazed to see the swing towards SAR and Air Ambulance especially when on other threads before people (and some of the same people) were much in the arena of Military Helicopters for Military use, they shouldn't be used for Air Ambulance.
    Personally I think the more roles the Defences forces take on the better, future proof and indispensable. They should do SAR, Air Ambulance etc.

  21. #15
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    The S92 didn’t have FAA type certification until after the tender had been decided.

    The AC would have been the launch customer.

    With 3 for SAR, that was 2 bases and 1 spare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by apc View Post
    They do it because it was a lot less hassle from an IR point of view for the Gardai to train, pay and maintain their own Pilots, plus it gave the Air Corp an opportunity to build hours. Pay is Pay, as you know the Garda pay was negotiated over the years, Blue Flu included hence why they did not want to go down the Road of having a Pilot Role considering the issues it would have created with Rank and Pay.

    I was just amazed to see the swing towards SAR and Air Ambulance especially when on other threads before people (and some of the same people) were much in the arena of Military Helicopters for Military use, they shouldn't be used for Air Ambulance.
    Personally I think the more roles the Defences forces take on the better, future proof and indispensable. They should do SAR, Air Ambulance etc.
    Ger Craughwell has taken up the torch now, and is currently debating with Chris Reynolds abut why he thinks the Air Corps could do it as good in at least 1 location with current equipment.
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    Ger Craughwell has taken up the torch now
    he's a clown

    It must be remembered that on two occasions where lives were lost in the past decades inability to provide top cover and air corps mismanagement were considered as potential contributory factors to the losses.

    By including the Aer Corps in any future prime supplier of Coast Guard assets their prime role as support to the army is removed. It won't matter what machines are supplied as the DF are haemorraging qualified people and will in time have difficulty putting machines in the air just as the NS have putting ships to sea. This fact featured in both events mentioned above.

    Until the AC can operate in their current role unhindered by manning difficulties ,despite the best of intentions they are not suitable to be considered for any SAR role.
    Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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    The military system is too inefficient to be successful at civilian SAR because it consumes too much manpower, just to run itself; is too tied to a rank/promotion/career system, moves personnel on/about needlessly, is tied to an inefficient, bureaucratically stifled stores and supply system and the retention of trained staff is abysmal.
    Civilian SAR is characterised by the longevity of service of its personnel,especially in the UK, when you had people quit the military to join civil SAR after get fed up with being constantly moved around.Military SAR worked in the UK because it was essentially allowed to run itself, with minimal interference from the mainstream RAF and a lot of the RAF hierarchy wanted to chop it in favour of combat programmes, but it still needed a huge manpower base and the infrastructural demand on the system was huge. Quite how Mr Craughwell thinks a small air arm with too few helicopters, a constant drain of skilled people, tied to one air base, is capable of national SAR, especially over the huge maritime zone, is beyond me. Just throwing money at it isn't solution enough.

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    I see Chris Reynolds explain that when the Dublin S92 crashed, CHC were able to replace it soon after with one of their own aircraft that came from Australia.
    Dh248 was never replaced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    I see Chris Reynolds explain that when the Dublin S92 crashed, CHC were able to replace it soon after with one of their own aircraft that came from Australia.
    Dh248 was never replaced.
    There is that issue as well, I mean how long was it before the lost PC9 was replaced?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    There is that issue as well, I mean how long was it before the lost PC9 was replaced?
    7 years.
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    well, given that they had seven left, which was easily more than enough for the tasks in hand, sorting a replacement probably wasn't a huge priority.

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    Flying in Ireland 25/10/20: Full Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    I'd repur[ose 5 of the AW 139 to Air Ambulance, buy some Cougars/EHI-01/S-92 for maritime SAR and then some choppers (NH90?) for the role the 139s are currently fulfilling, but with plans and option for forward deployment in UN missions
    Would think the minimum change scenario the Air Corps and DoD should have been interested in would be 6/7 S-92s for SAR, leaving 2 available for HADR/Peace Support deployment with/without the Navy's new EPV. Would be suprised if this concept was not at least broached, given current alignment between Defence & Foreign Affairs. We can debate the finer detail, but surely if synergies between DFA and DoD are not to be seized and driven now, then when?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Usual Suspect View Post


    Flying in Ireland 25/10/20: Full Article



    Would think the minimum change scenario the Air Corps and DoD should have been interested in would be 6/7 S-92s for SAR, leaving 2 available for HADR/Peace Support deployment with/without the Navy's new EPV. Would be suprised if this concept was not at least broached, given current alignment between Defence & Foreign Affairs. We can debate the finer detail, but surely if synergies between DFA and DoD are not to be seized and driven now, then when?
    There isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that the DOD would ever even consider such a program, the AC was taken out of the SAR role years ago and isn’t going back, not too mention other nations are doing the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    not too mention other nations are doing the same.
    Just how many other EU nations have contracted their SAR to private companies?

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