Terrorism: November 6, 2001


Ireland has responded to the increased terrorist threat by doubling the size of its Army Ranger Wing, which originally had 100 personnel. This is Ireland's only special forces or counter-terrorist unit. The increase will at first be achieved by recalling former unit members now serving elsewhere; training will be increased to keep the unit at a strength of 200. The Irish Air Corps has no combat aircraft that could stop a hijacked plane from entering or leaving Irish airspace. The only Irish anti-aircraft unit has ancient 40mm guns, plus seven RBS70 missile launchers and two modern radar-controlled 40mm guns. Ireland is looking with interest at an offer by Aero Vodochody to sell them and handful of refurbished L39 trainers made during the Cold War.--Stephen V Cole


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