Yesterday afternoon, the Irish Air Corps stood down its remaining fleet of five Reims Rocket FR172H's after 47 years of service. Nine of these aircraft in total served with the Irish Air Corps from October 4th, 1972 - October 4th, 2019.
The aircraft were bought for a figure of £20,000 each following the outbreak of the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland in 1970 in order to provide an aerial platform for surveillance operations. Throughout their service, the fleet amassed a total of 63,578 hours engaging in reconnaissance, prisoner escorts, explosive escorts, aerial photography, ATC training, in-shore maritime surveillance patrols, parachuting, target towing, display flying, bog surveys, wildlife surveys, and general transportation flights. The modified Cessna aircraft gave consistent and reliable service to the state.
These aircraft will be replaced by three state-of-the-art multi-role 'Pilatus PC-12NG Spectre' aircraft equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment and also capable of carrying out air ambulance and logistics flights. The aircraft is specifically designed to integrate and work seamlessly with the Army, Naval service and other government agencies.
Press Release Date: 5th October 2019
For Further Information contact:
Press Officer: Comdt. James O'Hara
Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503
Mobile: 087 2482130
E-mail: Press Officer