why dont the air force get any jets?

Anything to do with the Air Corps...

Moderator: mark

do you think the air corps should have fighter jets

Poll ended at Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:26 pm

Total votes: 8

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Post by Akerosid »

Just looking through the replies, I think the point people miss is that by the time a threat manifests itself, it'll probably be too late to do anything about it. There is a further point in that we expect, as an EU member state, to contribute to its foreign policy and other areas, but are prepared to do almost nothing to contribute to its defence. We're in ostrich mode as far as defence is concerned; it's almost a dirty word.

The reality is that of all European countries, we have among the largest areas to patrol and we simply have nothing like what we need to do this job. Defence is always an easy target for the Dept. of Finance to cut and they always get away with it. This needs to stop. We're going to need to consider our needs going forward. They're not immense, but we do need to have some kind of effective intercept capability as well as rapid reaction. We should also be able to maintain some control over our defence. Other countries - considerably poorer than us (and that means most countries in Europe, by the way) take an interest in their defence. Why can't/don't we?

Mark Dowling's suggestion about locating a small unit from a foreign air force makes a lot of sense; this is something I've been wondering about. I had the Swedes in mind; they're neutral, have a very good air force and a long term relationship could be arranged, ultimately resulting in Irish pilots being trained on Gripens under the supervision of Swedish instructors. Even if we didn't go down that path, we could look at the possibility of (as Mark suggested) EU air arms locating interceptors at BAL, SNN or ORK. Perhaps also long haul maritime surveillance aircraft, such as Orions?

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Post by Biturbo »

I think the question is identification of a valid threat. We are particularly fortunate in our geography (if not our climate) in that we sit out on the edge of Europe abutting a pretty large ocean. Invaders are therefore most likely to appear from the East. Let's face it, enough of us already work for Americans to acknowledge that they've done their colonizing commercially.

Now attackers from the East are either the British or somebody from further east again. Typically in such matters, it's the neighbours that invade. The British have previously done so reasonably successfully and appear to have gotten it out of their system. I'm not worried about Her Majesty's Armed Forces parading down Sackville Street again anytime in the next 20 years.

So the next likeliest candidates are from further afield. To be glib, let's say the Danes, since they also have previous form. To invade Ireland they would have to subjugate the British first on their way here. Frankly that's a tougher gig to consider, no matter how badly you want to pillage Naas for its extensive mineral wealth.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't see any conceivable threat requiring significant air superiority resources. Maritime patrol and some of the other functions, yes and a token ability to handle airliner intercepts fine, ditto any shared European defense commitments we may in the future decide to become involved with but I think large-scale local air superiority is a waste of money.

Incidentally, I feel ministerial transport could be more effectively outsourced as well to our burgeoning private sector air limo services. Having a harp on the tail may be nice to look at but I just want Bertie + Co. using the facility as a timesaver, not as a projection of their own vanities.

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