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Location: Tacoma WA

Private Air Force

Tue 19 Apr 2022, 10:52

Just a modern news story that might spark some interest on the aircraft front.
If there is somebody doing this, imagine what would happen if someone found a way to get some old functioning museum aircraft to fly? I live in near-ish to a private museum that has a Mig-29, for one example!

An Australian by name of Don Kirlin has bought the ENTIRE RAAF stock of F/A-18 Strike Hornets with the intention of operating them as paramilitary contractor. [Story link below] Now, this goes way beyond Air America of the Vietnam era or the Executive Outcomes COIN operations... those were mostly government funded and had a lot of grease applied on both the legal and diplomatic fronts to allow them to operate. Kirlin, OTOH, intends to operate as a purely private for-profit venture.
There's a lot of weaknesses in his plan. For one thing, unless the customer provides tanker support he can only operate in one-third the world without taking incredible risks with his aircraft. Just packaging his aircraft for sea shipment would be a hugely expensive undertaking and any ship transporting the aircraft [capable of flight or no] would legally be a 'combatant vessel' according to the 'Lusitania rule' of common Admiralty law. It would be bait for any opponent who can get a launch platform in the sea lanes... and there's an important detail; all merchant ship by law must transmit a transponder signal both over radio and to a GPS tracking service that is open information. All you have to do is have the name of vessel and it's maritime tracking number and load ShipTrack on your phone.
So how the Hell does Kirlin plan on getting his private air force to his conflict sites? Rent-a-Carrier?

[link to story article] ... 18-hornets

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