Spudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 294 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2754 times:
Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
I don't mean to be flippant, but what does Ireland need an Air Force for?
Ha Ha, you wouldn't be the first to question that!!
Its often been said that it appears our Air Corp's primary mission is training pilots for Aer Lingus and Ryanair.
But thats unfair. We have incredibly variable weather conditions which can change from clear blue sky to pea soup fog in a matter of miles or minutes. Scotalnd is very similar which is one reason the RAF train so much up there. With weather conditions like that our pilots, particularily the AW139 guys have to be trained to a high standard.
Search & rescue/air ambulance is a big issue for Ireland as is maritime patrol. Our police helicopters are operated and flown by Air Corp pilots. After that our helicopters and government jet seem to spend their time ferrying around politicians.
Quoting GST (Reply 3): Though their learjet is rigged with missiles when they want it to be, dont have more specifics though.
The only missiles its capable of firing would be whatever the pilot can throw out the window or hot air the VIP politician in back can expel.
Irish251 From Ireland, joined Nov 2004, 950 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2514 times:
Quoting N328KF (Reply 1): I don't mean to be flippant, but what does Ireland need an Air Force for?
You could ask this question nowadays about the air arms of all countries which don't face any clearly identifiable external or internal threat. However when you have a military force in being, it is highly unlikely, I think, that a Government would propose its complete disbandment. I can only think of handful of countries which do not maintain military forces of some sort.
As mentioned, the Irish Air Corps operates in support of the army and police, and on fisheries patrol/SAR and air ambulance work as well as the transport of senior State personnel such as the President, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and other Government Ministers. It is a well-trained and professional organisation and has a very modern fleet of aircraft, following a lot of re-equipping over the last decade.
This is the PC-9 lost in last week's accident, seen in May 2009: