The Department of Defence recommended spending over €15 million adding defensive equipment to a new aircraft order but were worried it might be seen as policy approval for use in “possible hostile scenarios”.
Internal memos – released by the department – reveal how there were high-level discussions over whether two new C295 aircraft should be fitted with a suite of equipment to protect it in the event of attack.
However, the Department were at pains to say this was not confirmation that the two maritime patrol aircraft might be used in “possible future deployments to conflict zones”.
The two airplanes are currently on order from Airbus Defence and Space manufacturing facilities in Spain with planned delivery dates of March and July 2023.
These submissions were released to Right to Know following an appeal to the Information Commissioner.
You can read the decision here; it makes some important points about public bodies over-reaching with exemptions for cabinet confidentiality.