Terrorism: November 6, 2001

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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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