First we get the jet interceptors… And then? February 5, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Flicking idly through P.ie recently I happened across this, a discussion on whether Ireland should have a military air interception capability. I’d love that. Imagine them over Dublin at parades, sweeping across the city. Loud. Fast.
Kind of useless though.
Problem is that it’s near impossible to offer a reasonable use case given the expense. Reading through comments apparently although Switzerland has fast-jets it doesn’t have 24 hour coverage of its own airspace. Why so?
“Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend,” spokesman Laurent Savary told AFP. “It’s a question of budget and staffing.”
But there’s more. This is sort of familiar…
In peacetime the Swiss Air Force does not maintain 24/7 operational readiness status, due to the limited budget and staff available. However air-defence radar coverage is maintained 24/7. One major problem in defending Swiss airspace is the small size of the country; the maximum extension of Switzerland is 348 km, a distance that commercial aircraft can fly in little over 20 minutes and military jets even more quickly. Noise-abatement issues have traditionally caused problems for the Air Force because of the tourist industry. Due to these reasons, the Swiss Air Force participates increasingly in air-defence training exercises with their Austrian,Italian, French or German counterparts. In recent years,[which?] this has included operations for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, the Euro 2008 football championships and the annual World Economic Forum.
Ireland is ‘longer’ north/south, but they’re not dissimilar in size.
But regardless the point still stands. There’s no case at all for this. Air defence? If they’re coming we’re screwed – though I guess some surface to air capability mightn’t be the worst idea in the world. Now, beefing up our fishery protection/coastguard service is a different matter.