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Thread: irish air defence and the sovereignty of the republic

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    Default irish air defence and the sovereignty of the republic

    ireland has no effective means of controlling - or knowing - what happens in its sovereign airspace.

    it has no air-search radar network nor any air-defence aircraft.

    any air-interception required by the Irish Government could only be completed by RAF typhoon or Tornado jets.

    long-range helibourne rescue operations to the west of Ireland are carried out by RAF Sea Kings operating out of Shannon and search operations by RAF Nimrods from Scotland.

    is it acceptable for a sovereign government to be unable to control its own airspace?

    (this isn't a slagging or a troll, i'm just interested in peoples understanding of soveriegnty and neutrality)

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    Totally unacceptable. Too tight to spend a few quid on defence equip that would help with the things you mentioned.

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    well clearly we need a proper coast guard/search and rescuce service, and I think the Irish Navy should be re-equipped for that role. However, I really don't see any point in the Irish Aer Corps being equipped with modern fighter jets. Ireland faces no aerial threat of any kind - spending hundreds of millions of euro to combat a non-existent threat, for the sake of national pride, just seems stupid.

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    Can anyone think of an airbourne threat to Ireland?

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    Ireland does control its sovereign airspace - controlled airspace in Ireland is controlled by the Air Navigation Services Office of the Irish Aviation Authority. Also, control of airspace 200 miles south and west of the Irish coast is delegated to us, due to an agreement we have with the Brits. Long range search and rescue off the west coast is in international waters, and as such it doesn't matter who provides search and rescue, as long as someone does. For years the Brits have done it, because initially we couldn't afford it, and because now its simply impractical and incredibly inefficient to have us do it, as rescuers from Plymouth or Kinloss would get to a scene in virtually the same time. And the stuff costs a bloody fortune to have, maintain and staff adequately. As for air defence, well there's a big difference between controlling your airspace and defending it - and the first question is obviously "who would be launching an air attack on us?" Because if they were coming from the east, they'd have to get through incredibly well defended NATO airspace in Europe, and if they were coming from the west they'd have to get past the USAF before they got to attack little old Ireland. And I think we can assume that we're not going to be attacked by either the Yanks or our EU partners in the foreseeable future, so its best that we dont spend squillions and squillions planning for it.
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    In fact if THEY were coming from any direction we'd be living in a parralell universe.

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    certainly no conventional military threat currently exists, and any future threat would effectively have to get through british controlled airspace - but the 9/11 attacks and the always present instability of northern ireland could suggest that some naiscent air-defence capability might be warrented.

    the control issue has two seperate issues, one technical and one philosophical: Air Traffic Control radars don't detect aircraft, they send out a pulse which is detected by a transponder on the aircraft which then replies with course, speed and height. switch the transponder off and no 'detection' is possible - an aircraft with its transpnder swithched off could circle dublin for two hours and not be detected by ATC. secondly the definition of control: with ATC radars you can't detect the presence of an aircraft unless the pilot wants you to and without any air-defence assets you can't prevent him from doing what he likes. you might well 'deny' him permission to your airspace, but you can't stop him entering and despite 'ordering' him to do X you can't force him to do anything (like land at a particular airfield or divert from a particular area) while he's in your airspace. i would therefore suggest that while you have responsibility, you don't have control.

    while a relatively cheap system like patriot could 'make dublin safe' it would have no effect on anywhere in the republic that didn't have a patriot system within 10 miles. it also doesn't allow a proper interception of unknown or potentially hostile aircraft, just a shoot/don't shoot option.

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    Politics.ie Member Rocky's Avatar
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    In this day and age a threat doesn't have to come from a foreign country it could very easily come from terrorists. If a group of terrorist hijacked a plane they could very easily fly it in something. Now I know there isn't any targets like the twin towers, but they could still fly it in to a large building and kill a lot of people.

    It is very unlikely that we will be attacked, however it could happen. We are seen as being very close to the Americans and hence we would be seen as a very easy way to hurt the US. There should be something done to protect Ireland's airspace and help us defend our country from terrorist. However we shouldn’t spend millions on it or anything because it is very unlikely.
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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    Politics.ie Member edifice.'s Avatar
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    Risteard and one of these would do the job....



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    Politics.ie Member rockofcashel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega_Dublin
    Can anyone think of an airbourne threat to Ireland?
    Bees - the big african ones

    Ebola virus

    Avian flu


    Of course none of those would necessitate the buying of millions of euros of military hardware.

    Then again why not widen the whole question. Ireland is hardly likely to be ever invaded again at all by anyone other than Britain (keeping in mind the part already under invasion, just to keep Risteard off my back).

    In any case Britain may invade to

    a. act agressively or,

    b. to secure its western flank from attack by a bigger more agressive invader.

    Now, I think our own set army would be incapable of taking on the British army for long, so why not scrap the most of it.

    We can prepare for defence by stockpiling weapons in secret bunkers, to be distributed to the guerilla forces that will arise to tackle the invader as has happened before.

    Tool up the boys, and let them at it
    1,197 people agree with me.. how many agree with you ?

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