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3 octobre 2015 6 03 /10 /octobre /2015 14:55
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

3 oct. 2015 par Armée de l'Air


Grâce à sa capacité d'être ravitaillé en vol, l'E-3F est capable de réaliser des missions pouvant atteindre 17 heures de vol. Engagé dans toutes les opérations extérieures majeures, l'AWACS est tout simplement incontournable. Un dossier complet à retrouver dans le prochain numéro d'Air actualités.

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30 avril 2015 4 30 /04 /avril /2015 10:50
European air-to-air refuelling training delivers results


Eindhoven - 27 April, 2015 by European Defence Agency


The 2015 edition of the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART), which was hosted by the Netherlands from 13 to 24 April in Eindhoven airbase, has allowed tanker crews from four European nations to benefit from a dedicated training event in a realistic environment.


Initiated by the European Defence Agency and run by the European Air Transport Command (EATC), EART15 gathered air-to-air refuelling (AAR) aircraft from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Over the course of the event, 56 sorties were flown by the tankers which conducted over 240 contacts with receiver aircraft. These included F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15Cs and Eurofighters – all involved in the multinational fighter exercise “Frisian Flag” on the back of which EART15 had been set up.

This exercise is about increasing interoperability by working together”, Peter Round, EDA Capabilities, Armament and Technology Director, stressed during a Distinguished Visitors (DV) Day organised on 23 April in Eindhoven. “AAR is a critical enabler for all operations, and only through cooperation will we be able to increase European capabilities in this domain”, he added.


Fruitful cooperation

Brigadier General Pascal Chiffoleau, EATC Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander, also provided comments on the successful event: “EART15 is the result of a fruitful cooperation between EDA and EATC working together to develop common knowledge”, he said. “We must continue staging exercises such as this one to further develop AAR but also air transport capabilities in Europe”, he added.

Other activities are ongoing to increase European AAR capabilities, such as the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) initiative led by the Netherlands and supported by the EDA and EATC. Late last year, the Netherlands, Poland and Norway agreed to enter negotiations with Airbus for the purchase of four A330 MRTT multirole tanker/transport aircraft which will be commonly owned, operated and supported. “This initiative will provide access to a cost-effective MRTT capability in support of EU, NATO and national operations”, Johan Van Soest, Eindhoven airbase commander and Chairman of the MMF Steering Group, explained during the DV Day. 


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28 avril 2015 2 28 /04 /avril /2015 11:20
photo US Navy

photo US Navy

23 avr. 2015 by US Navy


PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (April 22, 2015) The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) of an unmanned aircraft April 22, completing the final test objective under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

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30 mars 2015 1 30 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
credits Recreate - ZHAW

credits Recreate - ZHAW


30.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)


Faire le plein des avions de ligne en vol, peu après le décollage, permettrait d'économiser jusqu'à 20% de carburant, affirme un groupe de recherche avec participation zurichoise. Les conditions de sécurité et de navigabilité actuelles ne seraient pas affectées.

Le réservoir plein au décollage est un gros handicap, a indiqué dans un communiqué la Haute école zurichoise des sciences appliquées (ZHAW). Les réserves de kérosène représentent en effet un tiers du poids total. Ravitailler l'avion lorsqu'il a atteint 10'000 mètres, son altitude de croisière, paraît donc sensé.

Cette procédure n'est utilisée que dans l'aviation militaire. Dans le cadre du projet RECREATE (Research for a CRuiser Enabled Air Transport Environment), des chercheurs de la ZHAW, associés à neuf institutions de cinq pays européens, ont étudié pendant trois ans la faisabilité d'un tel concept pour le trafic civil.

Des avions ravitailleurs emportant de quoi faire le plein de trois à cinq avions de ligne tourneraient en boucle à des endroits bien précis.


Stations-service volantes

Selon Leonardo Manfriani, responsable du projet à la ZHAW, ces stations-service volantes devront être d'une part suffisamment loin des zones habitées, d'autre part à proximité immédiate des principaux couloirs aériens. Par exemple au large du Canada, au sud du Groenland, pour les vols transatlantiques, indique-t-il, cité dans le communiqué.

Selon les calculs des chercheurs, l'économie de carburant possible est de 20%. L'étude montre que les exigences actuelles de navigabilité et de sécurité peuvent être remplies. Avec de surcroît un supplément de confort: des vols intercontinentaux sans escale deviendraient également possibles pour des avions plus petits.

En outre, cela réduirait les émissions sonores autour des aéroports: plus l'avion est lourd au décollage, plus le bruit est important, note Leonardo Manfriani.

Le projet est techniquement faisable, selon les chercheurs. Des pilotes ont testé sur simulateur le ravitaillement en vol, qui devrait être entièrement informatisé.

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25 mars 2015 3 25 /03 /mars /2015 17:52
French C135FR

French C135FR


25 March – by EATC


The need for a highly professional training

While the fighter community has trained to operate together for years (e.g. Tactical Leadership Program (TLP), Flag exercises, large NATO exercises in European airspace, etc.), the same cannot be stated for Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR), without which a lot of fighter operations would not be possible. The lessons learned from Unified Protector over Libya in 2011 showed  that for a smooth multinational operation we need to train together in advance.


Moreover, the United States Forces are planning to deploy major parts of their AAR fleet out of Europe towards South East Asia, thus taking away a potential resource on AAR capacity on which the European Nations could always lean in the past. At the same time only 30 % of the EU member states (MSs) operate tanker aircraft (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK,).

To minimise this capability gap, EDA has implemented an AAR project team to deal with outcomes of four different institutions on AAR matters. One of those four pillars represents the Multi Role Transport Tanker/Air-to-Air Refuelling Operational Employment Working Group (OEWG) – led by the EATC. The OEWG’s general objective is to harmonize and - where necessary - to develop procedures and related processes to employ existing and future multi-role platforms in their dual AAR- and AT-role.


But what would a tanker be good for, without a well trained crew? This is where the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART) comes in, one important outcome of the cooperation between EDA and the EATC.


KC-767A AAR workstation


The first EART was conducted in 2014. AAR assets from different EATC nations were already involved in the fighter exercise Frisian Flag (FF) in the years prior, but purely in a supporting role. In 2013 the question was brought up if the framework of the existing exercise could not be used to also train tanker needs. This led to two major changes in the tanker participation to FF: Firstly, all assets would be deployed to Eindhoven, thus simulating an operation in a location that cannot be supported from the respective home base; secondly, the tankers would not return to base as soon as the fighter did not require there support anymore, but stay in the area and train manoeuvres and procedures of their own.


Aim and objectives

The overall aim of EART is to train the participants (air and ground crews) to be able to run a tanker operation from a deployed operating base (DOB). This also includes training elements like multi tanker formation or different rendezvous procedures, which is not possible in day to day operations. During EART, the crews have the unique possibility to gain or regain their qualifications in a short amount of time and within a realistic scenario.


The 2015 edition

The 2015 edition of the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training will again take place at Eindhoven Airbase for two weeks in April and support Frisian Flag. The emphasis will again be on working from a DOB in a multinational environment. This will be even more prominent in this year’s training since additionally to last year’s nations (Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) France will participate and other nations are planning to send observers to assess a future participation.


Participation in 2015

- France with C-135FR

- Germany with Airbus A310 MRTT

- Italy with Boeing KC-767A

- The Netherlands with KDC-10


Way ahead

The intent is that, in the future, EART can be hosted by different nations multiple times a year to support different national and international fighter exercises, thus increasing the training opportunities for AAR units and, at the same time, providing a standardised support for the European and NATO fighter community. In case of future operations, the AAR community will be better prepared.

Another outcome of the EDA AAR Project is the recognition that in NATO there was no dedicated multinational training for AAR Planners. In 2014, the NATO Command and Control Centres (CAOC), together with AIRCOM and JAPCC, developed the Specialized Heavy Air Refuelling Course (SHARC). The first official course was held in February 2015. The course incorporates challenges replicating scenarios that the student will see in a large scale exercise or operation. It ensures standardization and continuous improvement within the NATO AAR community.

In 2015, EART will integrate “hands on” training for graduates of SHARC, which can be considered as a logical follow-up of this course as it will keep them proficient and prepare them for “real world” operations. This will be the first time that SHARC graduates participate in a live flying exercise.


Pictures: German, Dutch, Italian and French Air Force Media

Countdown to EART 2015
Countdown to EART 2015
Countdown to EART 2015
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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
B-2 Spirit Aerial Refuel

12 mars 2015 US Air Force


A Utah Air National Guard aircrew from the 151st Air Refueling Wing, Salt Lake City, Utah, man a KC-135 Stratotanker during an aerial refueling mission on February 18, 2015 in the skies over Montana.

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24 décembre 2014 3 24 /12 /décembre /2014 12:30
Chammal : un ravitailleur C-135 FR est de retour de mission

23.12.2014 Crédits : EMA / armée de l’Air

25 novembre 2014 à 18h00, un ravitailleur C-135 FR est de retour dans le golfe arabo-persique après avoir réalisé sa mission de ravitaillement au profit de la coalition.

Lancée le 19 septembre 2014, l’opération Chammal vise, à la demande du gouvernement irakien et en coordination avec les alliés de la France présents dans la région, à assurer un soutien aérien aux forces armées irakiennes dans leur lutte contre le groupe terroriste autoproclamé Daech. Le dispositif complet est dorénavant structuré autour de neuf avions Rafale, six avions Mirage 2000D, un ravitailleur C-135 FR, un avion de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 et la frégate anti-aérienne Jean Bart, intégrée dans le groupe aéronaval américain constitué autour du porte-avions USS Carl Vinson.


Reportage photos

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10 décembre 2014 3 10 /12 /décembre /2014 17:20
X-47B May Begin Automated Aerial Refueling Demonstrations Next Year


08.12.2014 By Valerie Insinna - nationaldefensemagazine.org


The Navy’s carrier-based unmanned aircraft demonstrator is undergoing preparations for automated aerial refueling testing next year, including a possible flight demonstration using the aircraft itself, said officials from the service and X-47B manufacturer Northrop Grumman.

Thusfar, the Navy had used a surrogate aircraft for AAR testing.

The service in June 2014 awarded a contract modification to Northrop Grumman for aerial refueling research, development, test and evaluation efforts at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy’s X-47B program manager, wrote in an emailed statement.


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20 novembre 2014 4 20 /11 /novembre /2014 06:50
Defence Ministers assess EDA progress during the Agency's Steering Board


Brussels - 18 November, 2014 European Defence Agency


The Steering Board of 18 November was chaired for the first time by Federica Mogherini, the new Head of the European Defence Agency. It was an important opportunity for Defence Ministers to assess the progress achieved since December 2013. It was also an ideal forum for the new High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission to discuss cooperation on military capabilities with European ministers and to prepare for the June 2015 European Council.


Progress on the four key programmes


Four projects have been endorsed by the 2013 European Council: Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR), Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom) and Cyber Defence. In line with their respective roadmaps, the progress made in each of these four key capability areas has been welcomed by Defence Ministers during the Steering Board:


  • Air-to-Air Refuelling: under the lead of the Netherlands, work is progressing towards the establishment of a European strategic tanker capability by 2020. A contract for new air-to-air refuelling aircraft is expected to be placed by the end of 2015.

  • RPAS: EDA supports the development of a European Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS through a number of projects focusing on certification, air traffic insertion, airworthiness and harmonisation of flight crew training. The Agency is facilitating efforts to develop a new MALE RPAS capability for the next decade by supporting Member States willing to join such an initiative. EDA is also backing a “European MALE RPAS community” for systems that are already in service.

  • GovSatcom: the requirements of European military users (Common Staff Target) for the next generation of Governmental Satellite Communications have been formally endorsed by Member States. This paves the way to the preparation phase of a future cooperative programme, to be completed by the end of 2016 under Spanish lead.

  • Cyber Defence: in line with the EU Cyber Security Strategy, EDA is working on specific projects to increase its Member States’ capabilities in this domain. The Agency has already supported the operational headquarters of Operation EUFOR RCA by providing cyber awareness training. Work is underway to develop deployable “Cyber Defence situational awareness kits” by 2015.


Incentives for cooperation

As tasked by the European Council, the Agency has developed proposals to incentivise cooperation, mainly through non-market distorting fiscal measures and pooled procurement. During the Steering Board, Defence ministers welcomed this progress as a basis for further work.

  • Fiscal measures: in March 2014, the Belgian Ministry of Finance granted VAT exemption to EDA’s ad hoc projects and activities. Three projects have already benefitted from that exemption: JDEAL, C-IED Manual Neutralisation Techniques and EU Satcom Market. This VAT exemption gives a real bonus to defence cooperation among Member States.

  • Pooled procurement: Proposals were discussed for the establishment of a pooled procurement mechanism to facilitate cooperative acquisition and support of defence equipment, while improving interoperability. This mechanism, whose creation still requires deeper discussion among Member States, would address priorities defined by them.


Strategic outlook

As requested by the December 2013 European Council, Defence Ministers have adopted a Policy Framework to foster more systematic and long-term defence cooperation. This document aims to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, from priority setting through to in-service support, disposal and decommissioning. It offers tangible support to national defence reviews and provides a platform for greater convergence in defence planning.

Complementing this Policy Framework, the revised Capability Development Plan (CDP) endorsed by Member States earlier this year will be an essential element for the setting of cooperative capability development priorities. It provides a list of priority actions based on lessons learned from European operations, future security scenarios and long-term trends. It addresses the Member States’ priorities for their armed forces and, as such, will form the basis of future European collaborative programmes.


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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 12:55
Au cœur de l'équipage du C135 FR lors d'une mission de ravitaillement en vol de deux Rafale

29 sept. 2014 Crédit : EMA / armée de l'Air

Au cœur de l'équipage du C135 FR lors d'une mission de ravitaillement en vol de deux Rafale au dessus de l'Irak, le 21 septembre 2014.

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2 septembre 2014 2 02 /09 /septembre /2014 08:50
A400M refuels F/A-18 fighter for the first time


2 sept. 2014 Airbus DS


August 2014, Seville. A400M refuels F/A-18 fighter for the first time

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17 juillet 2014 4 17 /07 /juillet /2014 12:50
Airbus A330 MRTT tanker aircraft refuels Airbus A400M


16/7/2014 Airbus DS


First “wet contacts” conducted in latest trials.


Airbus Defence and Space has performed the first air-to-air refuelling of the Airbus A400M new generation airlifter from the A330 MRTT Multi Role Transport Tanker. In the course of four flights, by day and night, in southern Spain, the A400M received more than 80 tons of fuel in 100 “wet contacts” from a Royal Air Force Voyager version of the A330 MRTT using the tanker´s Fuselage Refuelling Unit. The trials follow dry contacts conducted in an earlier test-phase and support the A400M´s capability to conduct extremely long-range non-stop deployments. The photo shows the two aircraft framed by the wing of an F-18 chase aircraft.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Avion ravitailleur : le KC-46 de Boeing devrait coûter plus cher


15 juillet 2014 Usinenouvelle.com


Boeing pourrait devoir assumer des coûts de développement nettement supérieurs à ses prévisions pour le KC-46, le futur avion ravitailleur de l'armée de l'air américaine, même si le contrat prévoit que le constructeur assume seul ces dépassements, a déclaré le responsables des achats du Pentagone.


Frank Kendall, secrétaire adjoint à la Défense des Etats-Unis, a déclaré à des journalistes dimanche soir que le programme évoluait convenablement mais que plusieurs événements imprévus se traduisaient par une augmentation de son coût.


Boeing et le Pentagone sont en désaccord sur le montant du dépassement potentiel, notamment parce que le constructeur estime que les coûts des essais en vol seront inférieurs aux prévisions de l'administration.


"Nous nous attendons bien à un dépassement que Boeing devra assumer", a dit Frank Kendall. "C'est simplement une question d'amplitude du dépassement. Nous considérons que le chiffre sera nettement plus élevé qu'ils ne l'ont admis jusqu'à présent."


Boeing n'a pas fait de commentaire dans l'immédiat sur le montant du dépassement.

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6 juin 2014 5 06 /06 /juin /2014 12:55
L'E-3F du 36ème EDCA "Berry" de la base aérienne d'Avord

L'E-3F du 36ème EDCA "Berry" de la base aérienne d'Avord



02/06/2014 Alice Le Flamanc, Sirpa air


Lundi 26 mai 2014, un avion radar E-3F du 36ème escadron de détection et de contrôle aéroportés (EDCA) «Berry» situé sur la base aérienne (BA) 702 d’Avord a effectué pour la première fois un ravitaillement en vol sur un KDC-10 néerlandais.


Opération réussie pour l’Awacs : «c’est une première» souligne le lieutenant-colonel Étienne Ruellan, commandant en second de l’EDCA. «Habituellement nous ravitaillons auprès des KC135 ou C135. Ce vol nous a permis de transformer l’essai. Le ravitaillement en vol reste une opération délicate. Derrière un avion aussi gros, c’était d’autant plus intéressant». D’une durée de quatre heures, le vol a permis de qualifier pilotes, navigateurs et mécaniciens navigants avec succès.Au-delà de l’instruction des équipages, cette mission permet d’augmenter l’élongation de l’E-3F et la possibilité de ravitailler sur un plus grand type d’avion. «La réalisation de ce vol va permettre plus de souplesse opérationnelle dans la conduite de nos missions mais aussi dans leur planification par nos partenaires otanien», conclut le lieutenant-colonel Ruellan.



Le KDC-10 de la Royal Netherlands Air Force sur la base aérienne d'Avord

Le KDC-10 de la Royal Netherlands Air Force sur la base aérienne d'Avord

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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Peter Round: European Council prioritises EDA capability development initiatives


Brussels - 15 May, 2014 European Defence Agency


The European Council meeting in December 2013 provided a clear set of tasks for the EDA, with four areas of capability development identified as being particularly urgent. Peter Round, the EDA’s Capability Director, explains what this means for the Agency.

Air-to-air refuelling (AAR), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), governmental satellite communications and cyber defence are the key issues which the European Council has identified as areas in which the EDA should work to fill in immediate capability gaps.

“Although these four tasks certainly occupy pole position in the Directorate’s thinking, they are not our only concerns. We need to examine these priorities in the context of our work as a whole. However, each of these four areas is on the priority list for a reason and they are worth examining in some detail,” said Round.


There can be no doubt there is a fundamental shortfall in European AAR capability. In operations over Libya, over 80% of all AAR missions were flown by US aircraft. One of the first challenges to be overcome, according to Round, is that the requirement for AAR is very different in peacetime to that in time of crisis – and that leads to all sorts of priority setting issues. “The obvious issue is that more capacity is required, but the background is complex and varies from nation to nation, so some strategic thinking has been necessary,” he said.

The first issue, therefore, has been to determine the best method of exploiting the existing fleet and satisfying short term demand. One solution has been to improve the efficiency of allocating various national assets and – in a move that mirrors some of the initiatives undertaken for the European Air Transport Command (EATC) – to improve and accelerate the process for gaining diplomatic clearance for AAR missions over foreign territories.

A parallel and potentially difficult issue to resolve is the two types of AAR technologies available – “booms” and “reels/hoses and drogues”.  Not all aircraft can accept fuel from both systems. The Royal Air Force, for example, currently has no indigenous refuelling capacity for the Rivet Joint signals intelligence platforms it is currently bringing into service and must depend on other nations assets if AAR is required.

Increased efficiency also comes from assuring adequate (and regular) training and the EDA is organising a number of what Round describes as “practical flying events,” the most recent of which took place at Decimomannu in Sardinia in late 2013. The next such event will focus on the use of Italian Boeing B767 tankers later this year.

Apart from improving the efficiency of current assets, the EDA is also working on initiatives including one looking at exploiting excess national capacity (with the UK’s Voyager fleet being a prime example.  A key piece of work is support to a Dutch and Norwegian led initiative to acquire a fleet of Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft which will make a significant contribution to European Capability through Pooling and Sharing, this aircraft will not only be a tanker but a very significant air transport asset as well.


The issues in the further evolution of RPAS are no less complex, but are significantly different. With the overwhelming majority of current requirements coming from the military – most of which, as Round said, have a provenance in the world of Urgent Operational Requirements – there is a tendency to forget that RPAS are most effective in an environment in which air supremacy is assured. Extending the RPAS capability from the military to the civil environment – in which the size of the market will be infinitely larger in the not-too-distant future – requires that attention be paid to a host of issues surrounding safety and public perception. “We absolutely have got to make RPAS acceptable ,” said Round.

The issue is one of the Agency’s Pioneer Projects, and aims at harnessing synergies in both military and civil domains, maximising dual-use technologies and overcoming the limitations of greater RPAS-use imposed by the lack of a harmonised framework allowing them to operate in civil airspace. Some of the problems associated with overcoming these limitations centre on the regulatory and certification domains.

In an important milestone, the MIDCAS (Midair Collision Avoidance System) project showed the capability of RPAS to operate safely beyond line of sight in a flight test in April 2013. “MIDCAS showed we are progressing towards ‘sense and avoid ;’ we have flown the airplane – it’s not pie in the sky,” said Round. He said “it has taken a long time – and great expense – to get to this stage but we have now reached the stepping-off point for the next generation: we’ve done it once, now we need to stop talking, and deliver a usable capability.” he said.

The DeSIRE programme (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS in Europe) has been a joint EDA/European Space Agency (ESA) initiative since 2010 and in spring 2013 achieved a significant progress during flight tests in Spain. Building on the capabilities the programme demonstrated, a joint investment programme, which was launched in 2012, will focus attention on solving the individual components of the issue – including sense and avoid, air traffic management interfaces and decision architecture - from this year. “There is cooperation in a host of disciplines – technological, training and maintenance among them” , said Round.

Most importantly we now have a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) community of users established through which we will continue work to move from our current Common Staff Requirement towards a Common Staff Target to define the next generation of RPAS for Europe.  “This is a very exciting development and clearly demonstrates the support within Europe for this type of Capability” said Round. 


A similar approach is being applied to the EDA’s work in the cyber domain, where the Agency provides “the defence element of a cross-Brussels cyber effort,” said Round. It is a domain that is sensitive, relatively new and not yet fully understood, though there have been no end of discussions trying to scope and size the credibility of the threat and therefore the appropriate nature of the response. “There is a lot of knowledge already in place, so the questions becomes where can we add value,” said Round.

The issue in cyber seems to revolve more around people than technology. Some observers estimate there is a requirement for fully trained cyber specialists is a hundred times the number in existence. This may seem like a scaremongering statistic  – but it is difficult to refute given current knowledge available in the public domain. As a result of the recognition of this and the picture revealed by the Agency stocktaking study, an unclassified version of which was presented in May last year, it is readily apparent that while there are strengths across Europe in leadership, personnel and interoperability work has to be done on doctrine, organisation and training.

So the EDA has conducted  a detailed Training Needs Analysis and currently works on building a comprehensive cyber defence curriculum. It is working closely with the US-led Multinational Capability Development Campaign to develop cyber defence operational planning and deploy situational awareness toolkits at headquarters level, thereby integrating consideration of cyber tasks into daily routines in missions and operations. It is working to promote its recently established Cyber Defence Research Agenda, the end result of which will be an R&T roadmap stretching out for the next ten years. It has already launched a project addressing the requirements for timely detection of advanced persistent threats – an area in which industrial espionage is as great a threat as military security. It has begun consultations under the umbrella of European Framework Cooperation to determine how to exploit the wealth of academic expertise in cryptology and information protection, turning it into practical solutions for timely implementation.

“We have done a lot of work in quite a short period and are confident we are heading towards early implementation of some effective solutions for Member States’ requirements in this critical domain,” said Round.


In terms of satellite communications (satcom) Round said this is “the ultimate Pooling & Sharing example.” The requirements for governmental satcom are very different in peacetime than in a period of crisis which, coupled with the high levels of capital expenditure involved in launching and maintaining satellites, means the incidence of capability is limited to a few nations – and even in those cases, despite the fact that satellites are ‘living longer,’ these capabilities will require replacement in the medium term future.

“Space is not a military domain – the requirements for exploitation of this type of capability stretch right across government. There is a real opportunity here to share capability,” said Round. The establishment of the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell has enabled Member States with or without such capability to supplement or procure capability on an ad hoc basis. The French military, for example, bought capability through the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC) to support their operations in Mali at extremely short notice.



While these four work strands dominate EDA capability development activity at the moment, they are not the be all and end all of this genre of effort. “One of the effects of recession is the need to work together – not the aspiration, the need. The longer Member States are involved in working together, the greater the level of trust that develops and therefore the clearer and swifter the path to success. Which leads to the likelihood of continued cooperation,” said Round. “We have significant experience of collaborative projects – and we have real, concrete, demonstrable success stories.”


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16 avril 2014 3 16 /04 /avril /2014 09:50
EDA Steering Board: Progress on the Implementation of Council Conclusions


Luxembourg - 15 April, 2014 European Defency Agency


At the EDA Steering Board of 15 April, the Agency updated Defence Ministers on the progress made in implementing the tasks set at December’s European Council. The main elements of the Agency’s report were on the four capability programmes, standardisation and certification, dual-use research, and the initial elements for a policy framework for long-term cooperation.

Claude-France Arnould Chief Executive of the European Defency Agency commented :

“this Steering Board has come only some four months after the European Council on Defence in December, which set a wide range of tasks for EDA. This meeting was an intermediate step, providing us with the first opportunity to update Defence Ministers collectively on the progress made before the first deliverables are due to be presented in June 2014. It also gave us the opportunity to get their views on the initial proposals for the policy framework for long term cooperation.”


The Four Key Capability Programmes

The European Council in December gave EDA responsibility for four key capability programmes.


Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR)

In AAR the EDA has taken a global approach, focusing on improving the refuelling capabilities in Europe in the short, medium, and long-term. Regarding the optimisation and pooling of existing assets, the first collective AAR clearance trial was successfully completed in Italy in September 2013 with a second one scheduled for September this year. The first multinational European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART) was completed in Eindhoven in April 2014. Regarding longer term capabilities, work has progressed on the pooling of national requirements for new multi-role aircraft. A Request for Information was sent to industry in February on behalf of five participating countries -BE, ES, NL, PL and NO. A decision on the best-value option will be made by the end of 2014.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

Work continues to support the development of RPAS capabilities in Europe and exploit possible civil-military synergies. EDA is developing the requirements and business cases for a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) capability. During the Steering Board, France confirmed that it would take the lead within this work strand. This is being supported by the EDA’s other activities on air traffic insertion, airworthiness, and operational support.


Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM)

The Common Staff Target is being prepared for submission to the Steering Board in autumn 2014, with a view to proposing a comprehensive programme by early 2016. During the Steering Board, Spain offered to take the lead on GOVSATCOM.


Cyber Defence

Activities are continuing in the area of Cyber Defence, including education, training, and technologies. Ad hoc projects are also under way for Cyber Ranges and deployable Cyber Defence kits for headquarters.



The European Council tasked the EDA to further stimulate dual-use research. At the Steering Board, an initial roadmap with actions to stimulate synergies between civil and military research was presented. EDA is conducting this work in close cooperation with the European Commission in support of Member States.


Standardisation and Certification

EDA is active in the field of military airworthiness with an initial set of European Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) already published. Building on this experience, EDA is exploring the potential benefits of a harmonised approach to certification in other areas with Member States and the Commission. Work is on track for developing a roadmap for future hybrid and defence standards by mid-2014 in cooperation with the Commission.


Long term cooperation

The European Council Conclusions asked for a policy framework on long-term cooperation by the end of 2014. The objectives are to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, with appropriate mechanisms to support policy-review. Defence Ministers discussed the initial elements of this framework at the Steering Board.


More Information

​Watch the Video of the Steering Board Press Conference 

European Council Conclusions

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
The soldiers of EART at their daily workstation


Date: 9 April 2014 EATC


It is the people who finally make this pioneering training a success. Have a look at their working place and share a few moments at Eindhoven Air Base with the multinational EART-team out of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.


All pictures HERE



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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
The future of European AAR


Thursday 10 April EATC


At the 10th of April 2014 the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training - the first of its kind - celebrated its Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD). VIPs out of whole Europe found its way to Eindhoven Air Base in order to find out more about this EDA initiative, orchestrated with EATC assets and planning, conducted by the Eindhoven Air Base.

It was first Base Commander and Colonel von Soest to welcome his guests and to “prepare the floor” for the following speakers by introducing the VIPs and further guests into the programme.

Dutch Air Commodore Luyt took over and welcomed the audience on behalf of the Dutch Air Chief. In his welcome words he congratulated Eindhoven Air Base for its success within EART 2014 and remarked that the Netherlands - as a small country - have a comparably wide experience in Air-to-Air Refuelling matters.


EDA takes the floor

The future belongs to multirole capable aircraft


Giampaolo Lillo, EDA Director of Cooperation, Planning and Support, took the words to emphasize the necessity to overcome the EU Tanker shortfall. While the US - as a comparison - operate with more than 500 tankers, the EU works with rather than 50. Therefore EDA recommended to the nations four initiatives under one EDA umbrella that aims to remain Europes capabilitiy to assist worldwide remote airborne operations and deployments: with MRTT AAR solutions.

Major General Valentin, Commander of the EATC, described the European Air Transport Command as the heart and engine of the military Air Transport as well as Air-to-Air Refuelling within Europe. Though EATC runs actually just a dozen of tankers, this number will rise definitely with Spains accession this year and the potential accession of Italy the years after. With regard to the number of new MRTT aircraft, that France plans to introduce as well as the 29 AAR-kits for the A400M - while this aircraft will anyway been driven by the EATC under operational command - the amount of available tankers/MRTT can rise to more than fifty aircraft by the end of the decade - solely within EATC Participating Nations.

Colonel Lokman, as chairman of one EDA initiated important pillar to overcome the EU tanker shortfall, took now the floor and explained several strategies to fulfill the “Optimisation of existing assets and organizations”, answered afterwards the journalists questions, why and how the EART training was created for. He emphasized the need of a concept of better use of current and future TT assets and focused also on the establishment of a European AAR planners course. As a direct result, representatives of the JAPCC within the delegation announced, that this course will take place in the near future.

The long term search for the ultimate future MRTT aircraft was again Colonel van Soests responsibility. “His” project - also an EDA pillar - combines the need of not less than ten European nations to enhance their AAR-capabilities. Nations signed in 2012 already a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire a new MRTT aircraft by end of this decade/ beginning next decade.


Two multirole capable aircraft

EART in theory and praxis

Finally it was Major Frölichs turn on the stage, Exercise Director of EART and surely also the focal person between EART and Frisian Flag. He introduced the audience into the training objectives and mentioned the advantages to merge both training and exercise. As both locations (Air Base Leeuwarden and Eindhoven Air Base) are not far away from each other, the tanker formations of the Dutch, German and Italian AAR-fleet were able to operate two missions a day within the exercise, making the whole sequence of AAR-actions very efficient. No wonder, that he recommends to repeat EART next year – again with connection to Frisian Flag.

After this marathon of speakers and speeches the event turned over to the practical part: Meanwhile all tankers were back from their first (morning) missions – and presented each a static display for the audience out on the tanker platform.
As final part of the DVD the guests took part in an AAR-mission within the Dutch KDC-10, where the astonished audience watched several F-16 aircraft approaching to be supplied. Moreover the German and Italian Tanker performed several formation maneuvers along the KDC-10, making the scenario the first of its kind within European skies.


FInd out more about EART here


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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Air-to-Air Refuelling photo Luftwaffe

Air-to-Air Refuelling photo Luftwaffe


Eindhoven - 10 April, 2014 European Defence Agency

A Distinguished Visitors (DV) Day is held as part of the first European Air-to-Air Refuelling training (EART14) at Eindhoven Air Base on 10 April 2014. The day brings together high-level military figures to witness and learn about the ongoing training.


EART14 runs from 31 March to 11 April, with German and Dutch aircraft and crews present for the entire period and Italy joining for the second week. The training was developed by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in close cooperation with the European Air Transport Command (EATC) and Dutch armed forces. It runs alongside the highly recognised Dutch fighter exercise Frisian Flag, to provide crews with the opportunity to take part in dedicated Air-to-Air (AAR) scenarios embedded in realistic combat situations.


Experiences so far

In the first week the Dutch KDC-10 and German A-310 flew 15 sorties  between them, off-loading more than 135,000 Kilos of fuel. The training has allowed tanker and logistic crews to enhance their skills in realistic AAR scenarios, helping ensure that crews remain proficient in areas outside of their daily AAR tasks. Crews have built up knowledge of the characteristics of aircraft used by other EU countries, while flying sorties in the morning and afternoon has allowed them to practice their quick turnaround procedures.


Multinational cooperation

Speaking about the training, Giampaolo Lillo, EDA Director for Cooperation Planning & Support, commented “this first European Air-to-Air Refuelling training is a prime example of how Europe can optimise the use of its existing assets through multinational cooperation. The EDA has a role to play as an enabler, however the success of the training is thanks to the Netherlands as host nation, EATC, and the participating Member States.”



The EDA has a comprehensive plan to improve the AAR capabilities in Europe. Mandated by Defence Ministers, EDA is engaged in four work strands in this domain: short-term gap filling; optimisation of existing assets; optimisation of AAR capacity offered by the future A400M fleet and enhancement of Europe’s strategic tanker capability by creating a multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) capability.

As part of this global approach, the EDA, Italy and the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) jointly organised the first collective European Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) clearance trial on the Italian KC767 in September 2013. This enhanced AAR capabilities, as technical and operational clearances are mandatory to provide or receive fuel and they are thus a prerequisite to interoperability in multinational operations. Aircraft from France and Sweden participated in the campaign to obtain technical and operational AAR clearances against the Italian strategic airlift tanker. 


More information:

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
German Eurofighters approaching Picture by Maurice Hendriks

German Eurofighters approaching Picture by Maurice Hendriks


Wednesday 9 April - EATC


More than sixty aircraft take part at Frisian Flag and EART in different roles: Interdiction, Close Air Support, AWACS, Air-to-Air Refuelling - and many more roles that fit together in different Combined Air Operations (COMAO) scenarios. Find a few pics around Air-to-Air Refuelling shot at Eindhoven Air Base as well as few airborne impressions of aircraft being refueled to immediately turn back into FF action.


Gallery to be found here

More information to be found at our EART website here


Pictures by Bjoern Trotzki, Joris van Boven, Ulrich Metternich, Norbert Thomas, Maurice Hendriks, Olivier Chevalier


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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 13:50
Pictures of Air-to-Air Refuelling Training EART 2014


Sunday 6 April - EATC


EDA, EATC and the Eindhoven Air Base implemented and now conduct the first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training, EART 2014.


Find first pics from the plattform, the Air Base as well as some airborn impressions. The gallery is to be found here.


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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Most advanced to join EART

3 April 2014 by Norbert Thomas - EATC


The Boeing KC-767A derives from the commercial aircraft Boeing 767-200ER (Extended Range). By conceptual design it ensures a superior range and payload capability, as well as a superior range for air-to-air refueling (AAR) - as receiver or tanker. The Italian Air Force acquired four KC-767A aircraft as replacement for its Boeing 707T/T fleet. The first KC-767A has officially entered into service on the 17th May 2011. Upon the entry into service, the first two assets have supported NATO operations in Afghanistan (ISAF) and Libya (OUP). The other  two tankers were delivered in late 2011.
The KC-767A is one of the few aircrafts able to supply fuel to all type of receivers (hose and drogue as well as boom receivers) through wing tip air Refuelling pods and centerline hose station as well as through the aerial boom.


The different Refuelling systems are compatible with all Italian and allied aircraft:
- the boom refueling system, a rigid telescoping tube with flow capability of up to 900 gallons     (4.091 liters) per minute;
- the centerline hose and drogue system, with a flow capability of up to 600 gallons (2.727 liters) per minute;
- the wing tip AAR-system with a flow capability of up to 400 gallons (1.818 liters) per minute.


Nowadays, the Boeing KC -767A is one of the most modern AAR-aircrafts in service worldwide. As strategic transport aircraft, the KC-767A can be set up in different configurations, with different loading capabilities:
-    “Passenger”: up to 200 passengers can be boarded with their respective luggage;
-    “Combi”: up to 100 passengers and 10 NATO standard military pallets;
-    “Freigther”: up to 19 NATO standard military pallets.
Moreover, the KC-767A is able to be refueled by other boom equipped tankers, in order extend its operational range.

With a loading capability of up to 25 tons (55.115 lb) and being able to be refueled in the air, the aircraft can reach nearly every point on this planet.


Pictures: Italian Air Force


The aircraft will be participant at the first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training at Eindhoven Air Base. Find out more about it here.

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31 mars 2014 1 31 /03 /mars /2014 21:50
EART 2014 has begun


31 March by Norbert Thomas – EATC


The first multinational European training on Air-to-Air refueling (AAR) began Saturday afternoon at precisely 3pm with the German tanker aircraft Airbus A310MRTT landing at Eindhoven Air Base.


The day after, Dutch and German soldiers got their first in-brief on the new created training, a coproduction of the Dutch Air Force and the European Air Transport Command, initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA). The overall briefing was introduced by Colonel JMH (Howard) Colson, Squadron Commander of the 334th Squadron which runs the Dutch KDC-10 and same time hosts this first training event. Within his welcome words he underlined the necessity to expand and exchange the experience in AAR-matters.


Having done this, he gave over to Dutch Major Fred Frohlich, Exercise Director of EART 2014, who introduced some specialists at the briefings beginning: After a short look on the weather forecast, it was a Flight Safety Officer of the Eindhoven Air Base Tower Control to introduce the delegations into the Air Base itself as well as into the complex air traffic environment at and around Eindhoven Air Base, especially with regard to the fact, that the neighbored civil Eindhoven Airport represents the second biggest airfield of the Netherlands.

Next “on stage” was the Intelligence Officer who explained the overall scenario, Frisian Flag 2014 as well as EART 2014 are acting upon, followed by the Chief Flight Safety Officer of Eindhoven Air Base who described the air space boundaries and emphasized the necessity of precise communication among the acting players.

While an in-brief was given in parallel 250 km north at Leeuwarden Air Base for the Frisian Flag participants, it was at Eindhoven Air Base again Major Frohlich who took the floor and outlined the tactical scenarios in his operational EART in-brief. After presenting the training objectives and the exercise set-up, he explained the rules of engagement (ROE) as well as the training rules to be tackled for specific scenarios or situations for a training that takes place over Dutch, German and Danish ground, though mainly operating over the North Sea.


EART 2014 started its first mission today punctually at 9.00 local with the Airbus A310 rising again...

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23 février 2014 7 23 /02 /février /2014 12:50
Againt the EU tanker shortfall

23 February 2013 EATC

During the NATO-lead operation UNIFIED PROTECOR over Libya in 2011, which was - in terms of air-to-air refuelling (AAR) - very much depending on the United States Air Force’s assets, it became evident that there is a critical capability shortfall in regard to AAR - especially within the European Union member states (MS),
To make matters even worse, the United States Air Force plans to move major parts of its AT fleet from the European towards the South East Asian theatre. This will include also AAR assets, a potential resource European Nations were always able to lean on in the past.

European AAR capability gap
Air-to-air refuelling is becoming more and more important for contemporary air operations. It is a force multiplier and ensures the effective deployment of forces as well as an efficient employment of expensive and scarce fighter aircraft within the theatre of operations. It could be argued that, today, MS are unable to contribute sufficient AAR assets to satisfy the capability goals for future operations: Only six MS contribute to the AAR capability today: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Their contribution makes up less than 30% of the agreed upon requirement of the 2010 headline goal. Some of those tankers are, for a variety of reasons, even not made available to the EU forces. Also, when taking a closer look at the current assets, it becomes apparent that the inventories of the MS feature quite a number of different aircraft types like the KC-135, KDC-10, A310 MRTT and Boeing 707. Those aircraft are equipped with different systems for fuel-delivery (boom or drogue) that are not always suitable for every receiver aircraft. In regard to interoperability not the most favourable situation, especially since the certification procedures of e.g. fighter aircraft to receive fuel from a foreign nation’s tanker are complicated and sometimes very time consuming. The situation becomes even more critical when considering that the AAR fleets of the MS are, in parts, reaching the end of their lifetime cycles. This often is accompanied by a decreasing availability rate due to their maintenance status. To sum it up: This capability shortfall could potentially have a very significant negative impact upon any EU-led operation.

German Airbus A310 MRTT

“Project Team AAR”
Step by step MS have taken first actions to overcome this capability gap: The first step was to identify and verbalise that there actually is a deficit. The European Ministers of Defence did this on 22 March 2012 by formally acknowledging that, within the MS, the domain of AAR is suffering from a critical capability shortfall, requiring a European solution. As a second step, based on this declaration and further discussions with the MS, the European Defence Agency (EDA) started in May 2012 an initiative to propose, to facilitate and to support opportunities that could mitigate this capability gap. Within this initiative, the “Project Team AAR” was established. It rests on four pillars:
-    Pillar 1 “Short Term Gap Filling” (lead by the EDA),
-    Pillar 2 “Optimisation of Existing Assets & Organisations”

     (EATC, EDA, MCCE and Italy with EATC in the chairman position),
-    Pillar 3 “A400M Tanker Kits” (lead the by EDA) and last but not least
-    Pillar 4 “Strategic Tanker Capability” with the Netherlands in the lead.

The EATC’s role in pillar 2 of the “Project Team AAR” is to look into possibilities to optimise the use and the employment of existing AAR assets. To achieve this goal, a working group, the “Multi Role Transport Tanker (MRTT) and Air-to-Air Refueling Operational Employment Working Group” (MRTT/AAR OEWG), led by the EATC has been established in June 2012. EATC Participating Nations (PN), Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK are participating in the working group. Representatives of the European Air Group (EAG), the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE), the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) and the Military Staff of the European Union (EUMS) participate with an observer status. The objective of the MRTT/AAR OEWG is to harmonise and where necessary to develop procedures and related processes to efficiently and effectively employ existing and future multi-role AT-platforms in their dual AAR and AT-role. EATC focuses on the harmonisation of the current EATC AAR employment processes and will assess and recommend changes with respect to:

-  The transfer of authority over additional AAR assets,
-  Responsibilities and structure of the EATC AAR employment organisation,
-  MRTT/AAR planning and tasking procedures based on lessons identified and lessons learned with the current AAR capability and configuration change management (procedures to switch asset from AT into AAR-configuration).

In the mid- and long term the working group will focus on required and adapted employment procedures and processes with a view on the introduction of the A400M AAR-capable aircraft and other MRTTs. It will also support the EDA initiative on a pooled approach for A400M tanker-kits by investigating operational benefits. And finally, the working group will also support the EDA in the acquisition/pooled operation of a MRTT fleet by investigating the possible added operational value.


French Transall C-160 NG and its successor A400M

Preparing for future AAR requirements
As stated before, the EATC has the task to manage the employment of its assigned fleet, including AAR assets, as effectively and efficiently as possible. Currently one German Airbus A310 MRTT (in general two aircraft - not counting two further A310 MRTT right now in AirMedEvac configuration), four French C-160s and two Dutch KDC-10s are under the operational control (OPCON) of the EATC. Consequently the EATC needs to take care of the entire planning and tasking of the missions for these assets. Since the establishment of the EATC, the EATC organised more than 750 AAR missions so far, both training and ferry flights. Also, the amount of missions performed under the aegis of the EATC has increased. That is why the EATC will establish an AAR-cell, manned with dedicated specialist within the Operational Division of the EATC.

However, now and even more in the future the EATC needs to be involved as a facilitator. This includes being proactive in increasing the European interoperability of EATC Nations’ AAR assets as well as strengthening relations with the EATC Participating Nations (PN) and other military organisations dealing with AAR. As first measures the EATC will support EATC PN with the certification of their AAR assets for new aircraft types and will start a study and discussions with France regarding the possible transfer of operational control over their KC-135s to the EATC as well as increasing EATC’s interactions with the AAR-cell of the MCCE.



EART as a direct consequence
For the reason that interoperability is a prominent key factor in the EDA AAR initiative, the EATC encourages other air forces to join with their tanker capabilities to participate in this training event , as it will be an excellent opportunity within Europe to operate with dedicated AAR scenarios embedded in Frisian Flag - a highly recognized fighter exercise . At this moment the Netherlands (KDC-10), Germany (A310) and Italy (KC-767) agreed on sending their tankers to participate.
Recommending Eindhoven Air Base as ideal for tankers to participate in the exercise, the Netherlands approved to use this airfield as a Tanker Forward Operating Base (FOB) during  EART  exercise period, 31 March - 11 April 2014.
Considering the increase of AAR activity and the fact that EATC PNs will introduce new assets with an AAR-capability (A400M and A330 MRTT replacing the aging current tanker assets) into their fleets within the coming years, the EATC’s aim is to further develop its expertise and to consolidate its role in AAR in order to help EATC’s PNs in the best possible way to master the challenging employment of those new assets.


Pictures: EATC PN Photographers

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5 février 2014 3 05 /02 /février /2014 18:50
EDA Multinational Exercises in 2014


Brussels - 04 February, 2014 European Defence Agency


Multinational training exercises increase interoperability among participating Member States; they are an efficient way to prepare armed forces for CSDP operations. This year, the European Defence Agency is organising in close cooperation with the respective host nations, contributing Member States and Air Transport Organisations four training exercises in the areas of Air-to-Air Refuelling, transport aircraft and helicopters.


First European Air Refuelling Training

While the fighter community has trained to operate together for years, the same cannot be said for Air-to-Air Refuelling. From 31 March to 11 April 2014, EDA together with the European Air Transport Command and the Netherlands are organising the first multinational Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) training opportunity in support of the Dutch Frisian Flag exercise. To this date, the Netherlands (KDC-10), Germany (A310) and Italy (KC-767) have confirmed to send their tankers to the flying event which will be an excellent opportunity to train dedicated AAR scenarios embedded in a highly recognised fighter exercise. The Air-to-Air Refuelling  planning cell will be split between Eindhoven and Leeuwarden air base to foster overall air refuelling planning and tanker operations.


Third European Air Transport Training

Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway will participate in the third edition of EDA’s European Air Transport Training flying event with ten transport aircraft of four different types; Greece will  support the training with fighters and AWACS. Taking place from 16 to 27 June 2014 at the International Airport in Plovdiv in Bulgaria, the training offers participants a unique opportunity to plan and execute missions within a multinational framework and achieve flexible training objectives. The crews will be trained in a variety of airlift disciplines. The aim is to increase interoperability, to consolidate existing qualifications or to regain them in a short period of time and with dedicated assets.


European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course

The new European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) aims at achieving a higher level of interoperability between airlift crews from different nations; at increasing harmonisation of advanced tactical training that will lead to higher effectiveness and survivability in operations; at sharing knowledge and providing cost efficient airlift training in Europe. Based on an agreed syllabus Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway will participate in the first course with eight aircraft of five different types. The flying event will be hosted by Spain at Zaragoza airbase from 22 September to 03 October 2014. This permanent training event is developed in close cooperation with the European Air Transport Command and EDA Member States; it is similar in set-up to the advanced airlift tactics training course that has been offered in the US since 1987.


Hot Blade 2014

Between 16 and 30 July, the Ovar Air Base in northern Portugal will host the third sequel of the successful series of Hot Blade exercises, powered by the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP). Currently, some 30 helicopters, four fast jets, three transport aircraft and one Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform have been committed by Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom. Additional to Portuguese ground forces, 450 ground troops from the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom are scheduled to participate as well allowing for a more integrated mission planning and execution. So far, roughly 50% of participant to one of the previous helicopter exercises organised in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium have later been deployed to operations. 


More information:

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