In 1998, the Irish Air Corps withdrew from service its Fouga Magister jet training aircraft, bought second-hand in France in 1975, signing the end of jet combat aviation for the Irish Air Body. In fact, however, these Fouga Magisters, like the DeHavilland Vampire T.55 before them, were not real fighters, but simply training aircraft capable of carrying out some striking operations on the ground. Even today, the Irish Air Corps operates only around twenty aircraft, planes and helicopters combined , mainly dedicated to reconnaissance and rescue missions. Its only armed planes are therefore eight PC-9 purchased in Switzerland, propeller training planes capable of carrying light machine guns and rockets.
For more than five years already, Irish parliamentarians are however discussing the possibility of reconstructing combat aviation capable of protecting national airspace against possible incursions by Russian bombers and reconnaissance planes. And the hypothesis was once again raised officially within the framework of the Project Ireland 2040 revealed by the Irish Ministry of Defense. As in 2016, the main argument put forward is therefore the resurgence of Russian activities. Indeed, Russian long-range aviation patrols generally bypass the North of Scotland and Ireland before veering south towards the Bay of Biscay, and risk invading airspace at any time. Ireland, which remains a neutral country.
The rest of this article is for subscribers only
News articles are accessible 24 hours, and Magazine articles are accessible 48 hours. Beyond that, they can only be viewed by subscribers to the Meta-Defense service. Articles dealing with sensitive subjects are reserved for subscribers as soon as they are published.
Personal subscription at € 4,95 per month or € 49,5 per year - Professional subscription at € 18,00 per month or € 180 per year - Student subscription at € 2,5 per month or € 25 per year - Excluding promotional code -
Download theMobile Meta-Defense app for IOS or Android to be informed of new publications by notification.