The Irish Air Corps - Aer Chór na hÉireann

The Air Corps is the air component of the Irish Permanent Defence Forces, based at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, a short distance from the Irish Capital of Dublin. Currently around 850 men and women serve in the Air Corps and the major fleet upgrade programme is progressing well. The Air Corps may be smaller than some of its European neighbours, however with 20 twenty fixed wing aircraft and nine rotary wing aircraft currently in service, the Air Corps operates some of the most modern and capable aircraft currently in service.

A history of the Irish Air Corps can be found HERE


In service are: 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266 & 267

On 18th March 18 2004 the first of eight Swiss built Pilatus PC-9M trainers were officially accepted by the Air Corps. The turboprop PC-9M is the first Air Corps aircraft to have ejector seats since the DH Vampire and replaced the ageing SF-260E Warrior in the training/light attack role.



Two new Eurocopter EC-135P-2 Light Utility Helicopters (270 & 271) were delivered to the IAC during November 2005. An additional pair of EC-135T-2 helicopters (256 & 272) are flown by IAC crews on behalf of the Garda Siochana (Irish Police).


In Service are: 274, 275, 276 & 277

The first of four Agusta Westland AW-139 Utility Helicopters were handed over to the IAC at Agusta's facility in Milan during November 2006. The AW-139 marks another first for the IAC as they are delivered with the capability to carry door mounted 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns. Another two of these extremely capabable helicopters are due for delivery during the summer of 2008.


In Service are: 203, 205, 206, 208 & 210

Five Reims Cessna FR-172H Rockets are in service, flying in the Army Co-Operation Role.  Other roles include parachute training and drogue towing during ground-to-air live firing training. Government agencies also utilise this versatile aircraft for the monitoring of forestry, fishery and wildlife.

Gulfstream IV & Learjet 45

One Gulfstream IV (254) and one Learjet 45 (258) currently serve in the Ministerial Air Transport (MATS) Role with 102 (Training & Transport) Sqn.


The two CASA CN-235-100MP Persuaders (252 & 253) operate in the demanding Maritime Patrol Role with 101 (Maritime) Sqn.  Both aircraft are being upgraded by EADS to the 'FITS' standard – increasing the aircraft’s capability with enhanced radars, forward looking infra red and a new electronic & avionics suite.

Super King Air 200

One Super King Air (240) serves in the Ministerial Air Transport role with the 102 (Training & Transport) Sqn. The aircraft was originally used for Maritime Patrolling, but now operates within Ireland and Europe as part of the Ministerial Air Transport Service. Additional tasks include multi-engine pilot training, Air Ambulance missions and Military transportation.

BN-2T-4S Defender

A single Defender (254) serves in the Law Enforcement Role with the Garda Air Support Unit (GASU), alongside two EC-135T helicopters and a single AS-355N helicopter.



The On Target Aviation Group would like to thank our host for the day, Sgt Jack Kilbride, and Comandant Eamonn Murphy of the IAC Press Office for his kind assistance with the visit arrangements.


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