Wednesday 17 October 2018

Radar guns tested at Gormanston air facility

Guns like this are to be tested this week.
Guns like this are to be tested this week.

By Jimmy Cunningham The Irish Army will, in the coming days, test a plethora of new weapons aimed at preventing a 9/11-style attack.

The exercises will take place at Gormanston, Co Meath, and the public has been advised to stay clear.

The weapons include the new L70/40mm automatic anti-aircraft guns and Flycatcher radar, all bought from the Netherlands Army.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence confirmed the purchases of the weapons and admitted they will be tested at Gormanston in the coming days. The exact cost of the weaponry, however, is a matter for the Army, the spokesperson revealed.

The Airs Corps has issued a warning to the public that firing exercises will commence in the coming days.

The danger area comprises of Gormanston Aerodrome and the air and sea area contained within a circle having a radius of three nautical miles centred on the airbase. The danger area extends from sea level to a height of 40,000 ft, the cruising altitude of a modern airliner.

The Air Corps said it is dangerous for persons, shipping, or aircraft to be within the danger area for the commencement of the firing exercises.

The army acquired the weaponry after the Dutch switched to an all-missile defence system.

However, the Drogheda Independent has learned that the weapons will be tested to combat a possible terrorist attack from the skies.

And with Ireland set to assume the European Presidency next year, the exercises are seen by many as an ideal opportunity to rehearse anti-terrorism measures.

The Flycatcher Radar controls three guns and picks up targets at a range of 20 kilometers.

The radar predicts the flight path and speed of the on-coming plane and aims the three L70 guns.

The Department of Defence has revealed a planning committee was set up post 9/11 to consider all threats to Ireland.