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If Ireland spent half the EU average of defence...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭donvito99


    My own Mitty attempt for the Air Corps, but firmly within reason:

    (Excl. the issue of intercepting a/c at home. This is mainly an exercise in thinking about more ambitious UN deployments where the AC play a decisive role)

    Fixed wing
    - x1 C130j-30 (the stretch)
    - x3 C27j (transport, modular MPA as well as a modular Light Gunship role that might reinforce an expanded peacekeeping role)
    [The C130 and C27 share the same engine and cockpit. I think it's appropriate to abandon the CASA in order to step up to some airlift capability (again, this strengthens an expanded peacekeeping role, as would an MPV)].
    - x8-10 EMB314 Super Tucano (replace the useless PC9Ms with something with teeth that can also act as a pre-fast jet trainer. Also a good platform for COIN and ISR)
    - Retain the Lear, don't bother replacing the Gulf. Give NetJets, Ryanair and Aer Lingus a call in advance of Paddy's Day.

    Rotary wing
    - Send the GASU the same way as the Coastguard contract
    - The AW139 seem to be pretty fragile from what I've heard. I would agree that a more appropriate replacement would be something like the UH-60M (x6-8) instead of the NH90. The Naval Service ought to have a dedicated air wing.
    - Hang on to the EC235s for utility or VIP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    donvito99 wrote: »
    My own Mitty attempt for the Air Corps, but firmly within reason:

    (Excl. the issue of intercepting a/c at home. This is mainly an exercise in thinking about more ambitious UN deployments where the AC play a decisive role)

    Fixed wing
    - x1 C130j-30 (the stretch)
    - x3 C27j (transport, modular MPA as well as a modular Light Gunship role that might reinforce an expanded peacekeeping role)
    [The C130 and C27 share the same engine and cockpit. I think it's appropriate to abandon the CASA in order to step up to some airlift capability (again, this strengthens an expanded peacekeeping role, as would an MPV)].
    - x8-10 EMB314 Super Tucano (replace the useless PC9Ms with something with teeth that can also act as a pre-fast jet trainer. Also a good platform for COIN and ISR)
    - Retain the Lear, don't bother replacing the Gulf. Give NetJets, Ryanair and Aer Lingus a call in advance of Paddy's Day.

    Rotary wing
    - Send the GASU the same way as the Coastguard contract
    - The AW139 seem to be pretty fragile from what I've heard. I would agree that a more appropriate replacement would be something like the UH-60M (x6-8) instead of the NH90. The Naval Service ought to have a dedicated air wing.
    - Hang on to the EC235s for utility or VIP.

    I'd disagree with the C27, it's at least twice the price of the 295, and doesn't doesn't have a dedicated MPA variant (looking at the Wiki, they are only "looking" at developing a MPA variant (ie want somebody to fund such a program)). While the 295 has options including a "gunship" configuration if we wanted to fund it. For 3 C27's, we could buy 5/6 295's to put it into perspective.

    The NH 90 or something along those lines buys more troop transport capability than the 60's (double the medevac capability)


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,313 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    sparky42 wrote: »
    Also 125 million for a Gripen? Unless there's major inflation for the NG variant that price tag is double what the C variant goes for in 2014
    Headline cost, total cost and life-time cost can be very different.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭donvito99


    sparky42 wrote: »
    I'd disagree with the C27, it's at least twice the price of the 295, and doesn't doesn't have a dedicated MPA variant (looking at the Wiki, they are only "looking" at developing a MPA variant (ie want somebody to fund such a program)). While the 295 has options including a "gunship" configuration if we wanted to fund it. For 3 C27's, we could buy 5/6 295's to put it into perspective.

    While it certainly is more expensive, we really don;t need that many CASAs in any case. The C27J means that we can more efficiently step up to the C130J, which is the most reasonable medium lift aircraft the AC can absorb. It's about the platform, which the CASAs don't have. A modular MPA package is more easily done than the cost associated with an alien airlift craft. It's the package element to the 27/130 that I'm getting at -- pilot commonalities meaning flexibility and identical engines and almost identical flight controls.

    Having said that, the Wiki does state that the C27 would have to be "heavily modified" for the MPA role as you said. What is the expected end of life for the current 235s? The C27 has, I feel, the 295 beat even though it carries about 12% less personnel because cabin width enables it to carry more than a few non standard pallets. The CASA has it beat on the MPA. Horses/courses, etc.

    If we are to spend EU averages on defence, then we could take the hit on multiple aircraft variants.
    The NH 90 or something along those lines buys more troop transport capability than the 60's (double the medevac capability)

    The NH90 is about twice as expensive as the Sikorsky, similarly to the chasm between the 295 and the C27. It think to have more helos than, say, more transport fixed wings (295s) would be more useful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Victor wrote: »
    Headline cost, total cost and life-time cost can be very different.

    And the price tag for Drones aren't cheap either if you are factoring units above small scale units. I mean something like the Predator needs plenty of extra supports as well.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Victor wrote: »
    Headline cost, total cost and life-time cost can be very different.

    The Gripen is an interesting one these days....

    The 'all in cost' that both the Brazilian & Swedish governments signed put the new Gripen-NG at $150m a unit... including many years of training & support.
    The 'fly away' cost, is around $100-$110m.

    It's no longer the cheap & cheerful alternative it once was & probably why it has struggled to get foreign sales.

    Seemingly the cost-per-hour is up around f-16 territory now too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    donvito99 wrote: »
    While it certainly is more expensive, we really don;t need that many CASAs in any case. The C27J means that we can more efficiently step up to the C130J, which is the most reasonable medium lift aircraft the AC can absorb. It's about the platform, which the CASAs don't have. A modular MPA package is more easily done than the cost associated with an alien airlift craft. It's the package element to the 27/130 that I'm getting at -- pilot commonalities meaning flexibility and identical engines and almost identical flight controls.

    Having said that, the Wiki does state that the C27 would have to be "heavily modified" for the MPA role as you said. What is the expected end of life for the current 235s? The C27 has, I feel, the 295 beat even though it carries about 12% less personnel because cabin width enables it to carry more than a few non standard pallets. The CASA has it beat on the MPA. Horses/courses, etc.

    If we are to spend EU averages on defence, then we could take the hit on multiple aircraft variants. The C27 does

    I get the advantage of the common core, but I'm still not sure about the 27. In terms of the price/units and your thought of that many 295's being too much, consider this, ideally I'd argue we need 3 MPA's for current domestic usage (and I'd go this time with the full MPA, weapon pylons and all instead of our modified 235's), and if we want to contribute to International operations (say Med patrolling/Anti Piracy) I'd say 4 would be needed to provide operational cover.

    In terms of the view that it's commonality helps it I suppose it comes down to the trade off of lifetime costs for the combined 27/130 fleet with a higher purchase price and maybe a development contract for an MPA suit for it, versus a 295/130 cost.

    The NH90 is about twice as expensive as the Sikorsky, similarly to the chasm between the 295 and the C27. It think to have more helos than, say, more transport fixed wings (295s) would be more useful.

    In terms of the costings for the 60, what price tag are you going with? Again cause this is Walter Mitty I'm just using Wiki, but the price tag there is for US Military, generally an international sale is a higher cost. Given that even in the best cases we are never going to have "heavy" lift like Chinooks/Merlins, I think whatever we'd be looking at in such a situation should look to give us the most life for a reasonable price, though again that varies from person to person.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    The Gripen is an interesting one these days....

    The 'all in cost' that both the Brazilian & Swedish governments signed put the new Gripen-NG at $150m a unit... including many years of training & support.
    The 'fly away' cost, is around $100-$110m.

    It's no longer the cheap & cheerful alternative it once was & probably why it has struggled to get foreign sales.

    Seemingly the cost-per-hour is up around f-16 territory now too.

    That's an interesting climb alright, on the other hand I'd expect some of the D's to be going cheap to offset Swedes upgrading to the NG...

    In terms of the Gripens, an interesting article in regards to the current leases:
    In a bid to boost regional defense cooperation, the Czech government is considering setting up a joint air squadron with Hungary that would comprise Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets operated by the two countries’ air forces, local news agency CTK reported.

    The Czech Armed Forces operate 14 Gripens, and the country’s government had been planning to establish a joint squadron with neighboring Slovakia. However, Bratislava decided to extend the servicing deal for its Russian-built Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft and postpone its planned lease of the Gripen fighters.

    Prague pays some 1.3 billion krona (US $54 million) annually to operate its Gripens, which are enabled with 2,200 flight hours per year. The Hungarian Air Force also leased 14 Swedish-made fighter jets, but only 12 aircraft are currently operable.
    50 million a year isn't half bad...


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Fair point....
    I dismissed the JSS simply because of it's behemoth size & opted for a smaller LPD instead.... if also because the LPDs have better troop carrying capability, something the JSS lacks.

    Damen also do smaller logistics ships that perform a somewhat similar job to the JSS, just smaller.... especially wrt aviation.

    Also, when I was 'mittying', it never crossed my mind for Ireland to be a water carrier for bigger nations unwilling to build their own capability.

    In regards to what should be looked at, even at "Mitty" I don't think that it's fair to dismiss either building a Logistics ship, or to dismiss the value of working with others.

    At some stage the European Nations are going to have to stop duplicating capabilities while leaving gaps in others. Since at least the Cold War the US has been complaining continuously that Europe lacks the strategic logistics to enable it to operate without US support, and that has continued. Even with the reduced budgets we currently see the "spearpoint" has got the funding rather than the "tail" (this varies of course, with Germany currently being unable to do pretty much anything due to budget cuts). So I think it's at least worth a though as to investing in units/hardware that offer strategic value to EU operations rather than just a small duplication of what is already there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    In regards to what should be looked at, even at "Mitty" I don't think that it's fair to dismiss either building a Logistics ship, or to dismiss the value of working with others.

    At some stage the European Nations are going to have to stop duplicating capabilities while leaving gaps in others. Since at least the Cold War the US has been complaining continuously that Europe lacks the strategic logistics to enable it to operate without US support, and that has continued. Even with the reduced budgets we currently see the "spearpoint" has got the funding rather than the "tail" (this varies of course, with Germany currently being unable to do pretty much anything due to budget cuts). So I think it's at least worth a though as to investing in units/hardware that offer strategic value to EU operations rather than just a small duplication of what is already there.

    I want to conquer the world though....
    It's sexier than being the logistics donkey for the big guy! :D

    Plus, Europe is never going to get it's sh*t together.... it would need for the US to leave NATO for that to happen... and even then it's a slim chance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    I want to conquer the world though....
    It's sexier than being the logistics donkey for the big guy! :D

    Plus, Europe is never going to get it's sh*t together.... it would need for the US to leave NATO for that to happen... and even then it's a slim chance.

    Except there's always going to be a bigger guy than us sadly.

    As for Europe getting it's sh*t together there's a bit of hope, when even the French admit the next gen fighter is going to have to be a joint development then maybe sanity is slowly breaking out. The UK and France for example are looking at more joint weapons programs. But certainly it's slow and most likely going to be tied to the US finally getting fed up of carrying NATO.

    I just feel for future operations your suggestion of Valours, or any light Frigate is going to far less than something either Amphib or Replenishment based. It's not sexy, it's not :eek:, but it may be of more value.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,432 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    Weren't the french on board with the eurofighter early on before they split to do the rafalle.. same for the tornado..
    No guarantees that sort of split wont just happen again...
    On the leased grippen thing, how many pilots do the Czechs have if they only fly 2200 hours a year for 12 planes.. cos if they had just 24 grippen pilots they'd fly less than 100 hours a year..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    French admit the next gen fighter is going to have to be a joint development then maybe sanity is slowly breaking out. The UK and France for example are looking at more joint weapons programs.

    France can admit that if they are the ones that will benefit most from it... like always.

    The UK & France had a meeting last month and announced they will throw some money at yet another UAV project... like the previous ones that withered and died, so o one will hold their breath
    Then there is the Refale / Eurofighter... and then there is the PAAMS project.

    When it comes down to it, the French get antsy about kicking in real money & demand that Thales or DCNS lead the project & it usually falls apart.

    I don't see the future changing from the oft-repeated past.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Markcheese wrote: »
    Weren't the french on board with the eurofighter early on before they split to do the rafalle.. same for the tornado..
    No guarantees that sort of split wont just happen again...
    On the leased grippen thing, how many pilots do the Czechs have if they only fly 2200 hours a year for 12 planes.. cos if they had just 24 grippen pilots they'd fly less than 100 hours a year..

    Saab trained 21 pilots initially along with 69 technicians.
    I think more have subsequently been trained in small batches as the deal is over a decade old now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭4068ac1elhodqr


    Plus, Europe is never going to get it's sh*t together.... it would need for the US to leave NATO for that to happen... and even then it's a slim chance.

    That is one of Trump's (currently 2nd fav to win) primary objectives, to slash US contributions to the now outdated NATO, and to let the EU more or less fend for itself.

    As long as there is a shield over the greater EU Continent, all Ire may need is a focus on self preservation, most likely from through natural disasters and civil unrest.

    Isn't there a bunch of very bad folks up in the mountains of the far-middle east that managed to shrug off the efforts of a few superpowers with very minimal spend and equipment?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,271 ✭✭✭Elemonator


    prinzeugen wrote: »
    The IOM is unusual as its a independent country (uses the oldest system of government in the world, pointless info but comes in handy for pub quizzes!), is not a member of the EU or UN.

    There was talk of Ireland leasing ex Dutch F-16's once they get F-35's. (Was disscussed in the Dail).

    Ireland would only pay for them while they are actually flying (think it was 12,000 Eur per flight hour, per plane and that includes maintenance).

    It would mean Ireland could intercept Russians or highjacked planes comning in from the Atlantic without relying on the RAF.

    Have you got a link for this? I would definitely be interested to read up on it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Markcheese wrote: »
    Weren't the french on board with the eurofighter early on before they split to do the rafalle.. same for the tornado..
    No guarantees that sort of split wont just happen again...
    On the leased grippen thing, how many pilots do the Czechs have if they only fly 2200 hours a year for 12 planes.. cos if they had just 24 grippen pilots they'd fly less than 100 hours a year..

    Don't think that they were invovled with the Tornado, thought that was an Anglo/German/Italian project, given the costs of Rafale and Typhoon and the fact they have spent the entire time fighting each other for orders and the costs of a 5th/6th generation aircraft no European nation alone is going to be able to fund it domestically. Either it's going to be buy and build US, or get their crap together.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    France can admit that if they are the ones that will benefit most from it... like always.

    The UK & France had a meeting last month and announced they will throw some money at yet another UAV project... like the previous ones that withered and died, so o one will hold their breath
    Then there is the Refale / Eurofighter... and then there is the PAAMS project.

    When it comes down to it, the French get antsy about kicking in real money & demand that Thales or DCNS lead the project & it usually falls apart.

    I don't see the future changing from the oft-repeated past.

    And yet the Jaguar worked out, the Aster family was adopted and talks are now on for the BMD upgrade, the ASuW missile families are moving ahead as a joint buy.

    The costs of a 5/6th generation the European nations will face either getting their crap together and run an actual joint development, or just buy and build down graded American hardware.


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