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Purchase of military plane could cost country €10m

The Government is considering buying a military aircraft.

Ireland is the only country within the European Union (EU) that does not own a military cargo plane and relies on deals with other countries when one is needed.

It is reported it will cost in the region of €10m.

However, defence expert Declan Power believes it could be cheaper.

"You don't have to get one that's brand new," Mr Power said.

"There are other partner nations that have these aircraft that we could purchase from. There's a variety of ways of being able to get equipment like that. It doesn't have to fleece the nation and it would pay back."

Mr Power also believes that the aircraft would prove its value in versatility.

He said: "Your standard airliner need to land in a proper airport. They need proper standard commercial airliner air traffic control facilities and runway standards.

"The Hercules does not need that, you can have a military tactical air traffic control team in situ beforehand if they need to land and it gives you lots of options to be able do things in difficult circumstances."