Inside the Irish Air Corps: CASA CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft

Comdt Donal Curran, OC 101 Squadron, talks to Key.Aero about the objectives of the unit, its use of the CN-235 and the future of procuring two more modern MPA platforms.

The genesis of what is now 101 (Maritime Surveillance and Airlift) Squadron can be traced back to the early 1970’s when membership of the European Economic Community (now the EU) placed responsibility on the country for the policing of 174,000 square miles of fishing grounds, equating to 16% of the total EU fishery area.

Away from the maritime environment, the CN-235 have become invaluable state assets for the provision of air ambulance transfers on and off island.
Away from the maritime environment, the CN-235 have become invaluable state assets for the provision of air ambulance transfers on and off island. KEY-Josef Campion

In 1977, the first of two Beechcraft Super King Air 200 aircraft was taken on task by General Purpose (GP) Flight for fishery protection and coastal surveillance. Joined by a second aircraft the following year, the unit quickly expanded roles to include search and rescue (SAR) capability.

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