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17 novembre 2014 1 17 /11 /novembre /2014 08:50
NATO Industry Forum Highlights Capability Divide


Nov. 16, 2014 - By PIERRE TRAN – Defense News


PARIS — During last week’s NATO Industry Forum, a sharp contrast emerged between a wish for simple allied access to command-and-control (C2) information, and the high-tech capabilities in the pipeline for US forces.

The Nov. 13 forum — hosted by French Air Force Gen. Jean-Paul Palomeros, head of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, and Patrick Auroy, NATO assistant secretary general in charge of defense investment — aimed to increase cooperation with industry to improve alliance readiness and capabilities.

“I am a strong believer that industry can also contribute for a great part to the answer [of readiness],” Palomeros told the audience. “Indeed, you are experts in achieving readiness as it is a daily business for you. Your DNA, if I may use this expression, compels you to constantly adapt, prepare, posture for emerging or changing markets and to keep a sufficient leading edge against competitors.”

During remarks at the forum, held in Split, Croatia, a European admiral clearly stated the difficulties of the small allied nations such as Portugal to get C2 information in the 28-strong alliance.

“We know inside NATO we have big countries with big industries behind them,” said Vice Adm. Fernando Pires da Cunha, joint operational commander for Portugal.

Separately, NATO has completed system testing of the Air Command and Control System (ACCS), showing the capability to run a network with bases in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy, ThalesRaytheonSystems said in a statement. The tests showed ACCS “is ready to provide NATO with essential interoperability,” said the prime contractor, a joint venture between Thales and Raytheon.

The ACCS is NATO’s large-scale attempt to boost allied interoperability in C2 in the skies over Europe.

Interoperability is a “ground rule” among the small nations on the various national command-and-control systems, Pires da Cunha said. The lack of interoperability is compounded by the various national and NATO secrecy classifications that limit access, he said.

“If you have a guy working with one computer, most of these systems, they are not compatible, you cannot have them working together,” he said. “And to get a common picture is very hard.”

A key allied objective is to arrive at a “compatible and affordable” solution that merges the information, he said.

There is no need for a cyber attack, he said. “We jam ourselves with all these incompatible systems. Cooperation is needed among the 28 to deliver a common picture and common information.”

Common training would mitigate the lack of compatibility, and the Supreme Allied Command for Transformation is pushing to move a training school to Portugal, he said.


High-Tech Vision


Pires da Cunha’s remarks contrasted with the soaring ambitions of a senior US officer’s presentation, devoted to high technology.

The US sees growth in unmanned systems in all domains, and demand for cyber security and directed-energy weapons, said US Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander of Allied Joint Force Command at Naples, Italy.

Electricity generation for lasers would replace powder and ammunition, and force commanders must consider the importance of intelligence from data mining, as hybrid warfare uses social media to attack governments and society, Ferguson said.

There will be greater demand for “information operation,” with conflicts fought through the media and online, he said.

On the ground, investment should be made in infrastructure such as railway stations, airports and seaports, needed to transport personnel, he said. The forces need to respond quickly to new threats, he said.

The Trident Juncture exercise is intended to show a high level of “connectedness” between bases in France, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany for command and control of air, sea and land forces, he said.

That showed the importance of C2 in the high end of warfare, and a reliance on the electromagnetic spectrum, cyber, satellite communications and high data links, he said.

In major NATO moves, the first site against ballistic missiles will go operational in Romania next year, and a second base will go “online” in Poland in 2018, he said. These bases would work on 10-12 minutes of reaction time, he said.


Better Communication


What the military needs and what industry can offer sparked debate along the lines of which came first: the chicken or the egg?

An executive attendee at the conference said much of the morning session focused on operational aspects while missing the industry issues. Companies need dialogue to know available funding and requirements so they can decide on technology, skills and target countries over five, 10 or 20 years, the executive said.

It is difficult to predict 20 years ahead, said Brig. Gen. Manuel Gimeno, logistic division chief on Spain’s Joint Defense Staff.

NATO is entering a new cycle, investing in the planning process, and is seeking reform, Palomeros said. The alliance is working on a minimum military requirement, which will go to the high level military committee and set a plan for the next five years. That will open doors for the future, he said.

Defining the main strategic needs would be the best tool for industry, Palomeros said. Industry has research and development (R&D), which could interest the services.

Ferguson spoke of Apple R&D engineers talking in the mid-1980s of a live tactile screen, voice control and other technology features that are now available.

“Your best minds and our young operators” could get together and that could “change the way we operate,” he said.


FMS Restrictions?


The issue of US sale of equipment into the European Union through the foreign military sales (FMS) system was a topic of discussion, with the EU’s executive commission said to be working on draft legislation against the FMS regime.

Auroy said there is no single NATO market, as each of the member nations and the European Union handles regulatory control. There may be regret, but that was the way the alliance was built, he said.

The absence of a single defense market makes it hard for industry to invest, as there are three markets — EU, NATO and national — said Christina Balis from consultancy Avascent.

One of the panel speakers, Domingo Ureña Raso, head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said the US has a good export tool, namely International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which is wielded as a “hammer” against the competition. In Europe, there are different sets of rules for export, procurement and configuration, and some countries set export restrictions on arms that are built in common, he said.

The US and Europe are fierce competitors, but in defense “we have common rather than divergent issues,” notably a common set of regulations on export, procurement and requirements. On his wish list is an “open border” approach in which European firms could offer equipment in the US, as the US sells in Europe, Ureña Raso said.

Caroline Vandedrinck, vice president for Europe and Central Asia at Sikorsky Aircraft, said FMS is a contracting deal and does not distort competition.

Said a French analyst: “It [FMS] is an asymmetrical feature in the export market. There is a case to be made for putting the US and Europe on equal terms in arms exports, particularly for sales into the European market. This is not protectionist.”

An attendee said there is some “very robust talking to the commission” as it is seen to be constraining EU and NATO nations and moving to adopt a measure harmful to the armed forces. A guidance note is being drafted by the commission for the EU. “They [the commission] are listening,” the attendee said.

An EU directive on defense markets went into effect in 2011, aimed at boosting competition, with the exclusion of government-to-government deals, a French executive said.

That opt out was intended to simplify acquisition of second-hand equipment, but European industry lobbied the commission for clearer legislation. One of the factors was Portugal’s sale of its F-16 fighters to Romania without a competition, the executive said. The commission agreed to draw up a guidance note.

Comment from the commission was not immediately available.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement on July 24, 2013: “The EU has the ambition to act as a security provider, in its neighborhood and globally, both to protect its own interests and contribute to international peace and security. To be able to do so, we need capabilities.

“And to have capabilities, a sound industrial base is vital.”

Palomeros, in his closing remarks, said he saw an eventual replacement of the NATO fleet of airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft as a means of fostering cooperation between Europe and the US.

“For instance, our nations will have to replace major equipment such as the AWACS fleet within 20 years,” he said. “I definitely call for such a project becoming the spearhead of the trans-Atlantic industrial cooperation, a next milestone in success endeavors similar to ACCS.”

The alliance is keen to tighten relations with industry.

“A closer and more open NATO-industry relationship will benefit us both. We have already made some good progress these past few years in building such a mutually beneficial relationship,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said in opening remarks.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
An integrated vision: Nato's Air Command and Control System

23 September 2013 Grant Turnbull - airforce-technology.com


Nato is on the brink of fielding an integrated air command and control system in four member countries. The system will soon be rolled out to at least another ten nations, but the programme's complexity means significant challenges have to be overcome.


ACCS features common core software, open architecture and system-wide human-machine interface


The goal of having an integrated air command and control (AirC2) capability among the Nato alliance has long been a desire for military commanders.


The way Air C2 has been accomplished in the last 60 years - through a variety of Nato and national systems - is now seen as inadequate in meeting future requirements. Militaries want a single, integrated air defence system, which will provide the capability to plan, task and execute tactical air operations in, and outside, the Nato area.


Since the end of the Cold War, Nato has conducted several campaigns predominantly using air assets from multiple member states. These have varied in intensity on the spectrum of conflict, from humanitarian missions to armed interventions, seen most recently in the 2011 Libya campaign and the on-going operations in Afghanistan.


To support this broad-spectrum of operations, Nato has looked to equipment that will enhance Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.


Nato is meeting this challenge with the Air Command and Control System (ACCS) programme. The history of ACCS dates back to the early 1990s, when Nato began a number of programmes aimed at improving the interoperability of alliance members and in-turn improving C4ISR capabilities.


This 'smart defence' approach also focused on the importance of affordability and cost-effectiveness.


Nato's 1998 Kosovo air campaign highlighted shortfalls in the alliance's ability to coordinate combined air attack and support, which further drove development of a new ACCS capability.


Engineering and developing ACCS


The ACCS system is being built by ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS), a consortium of Thales and Raytheon. It was formed in 2001 from Air Command System International (ACSI), the legal entity of the first Thales and Raytheon consortium, which won the ACCS contract in 1999. Since then, TRS has been performing systems development and engineering and - in the later stages - a comprehensive integration, validation and verification phase.


"ACCS will be a highly interoperable, highly integrated air command and control system," explains vice president of Nato C4I business line within TRS, Stephen Dumont. "When Nato carries out its important air missions it can be done in a highly coordinated fashion. It's a very important thing for Nato going forward."


"It is probably one of the biggest and most important projects within Nato because of the relevance to Nato's mission. One only needs to turn on the news today and look at what's going on around the world, a multinational response is always considered. In order for that to be effective, you need a system like ACCS to be in place," Dumont adds.


ACCS features common core software, open architecture and a system-wide human-machine interface. In addition to providing these necessary capabilities to support critical missions, Dumont says the system will save money by using a common support approach and more opportunity for sharing resources, including Nato personnel as well as spares and maintenance costs. It is hoped that a ACCS operator in, for instance, Turkey would be able to operate the same system in France or any other Nato country - and vice versa.


Role and functions


The main customer for ACCS is the Nato Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), which was formed from three other agencies in July 2012.


"The system is not introducing something new in terms of capacity of detection, because all that information will come from already existing systems," says NCIA ACCS programme director Enzo Montalti. "What is new is the ability to manage a large number of capabilities remotely and provide the operator on a single workstation with an entire world of information and possibility."


"In the air domain - where time is a very important factor - the capability to elaborate in a few seconds essential information and enable the operator to make a decision is essential," Montalti adds.


ACCS is split into two main entities which are closely integrated: the real-time mission execution component known as ARS (air control centres, RAP production centres and sensor fusion posts) and CAOCs, (Combined Air Operations Centre) which deal with non-real-time critical planning and tasking of Nato air assets, will execute missions. Both ARS and COACs share a common database which means seemless transitions from real-time to non-real-time planning.


To support Nato's critical task of out-of-area missions there will also be deployable COACs and ARSs which are transportable and provide operational planning and tasking capability. Deployable ARS gives Nato operators the functionality for sensor management, surveillance data links, identification and aircraft and SAM control.


In April 2013, TRS reached a significant milestone when it validated ACCS during eight weeks of extensive testing at the NCIA's System Test and Verification Facility (STVF) in Glons, Belgium. As of September 2013, TRS are preparing to transition ACCS from the test programme into a series of Initial Operational Test and Evaluations (IOT&Es) so the end-users can start to work with the system and prepare for operations.


Validating, integrating and expanding ACCS


France, Germany, Belgium and Italy are validation nations where TRS is in the process of testing the ACCS system and the unique interfaces in each country.


The ACCS systems in Belgium and Germany have already been successfully tested and dry-run tests are being carried out in France and Italy.


This phase of testing is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The last phase of testing will link together all four sites with the STVF and is likely to be complete early next year.


The next phase will be to roll out ACCS entities across Nato and 'replicate' the system, but it remains to be seen how many countries will eventually introduce ACCS, especially as political and economic factors influence its integration.


It is estimated that at least another ten Nato countries will begin to integrate ACCS into their air command and control systems in the future.


But this still leaves another 14 members who have yet to decide whether to integrate ACCS and the UK, in particular, is one of those.


"All the European countries will be covered by ACCS but that doesn't mean that every single country will have a specific installation, but the Nato territory can enjoy the benefits of the system," says Montalti.

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24 juillet 2013 3 24 /07 /juillet /2013 12:50
Le ciel unique européen : enjeux et défis pour l’aviation militaire.

22.07.2013 Sous-lieutenant Golfier Patricia - Chargé d’études au CESA


En 1999, la Commission européenne met en lumière dans un communiqué l’urgence d’une réforme de la gestion du trafic aérien. Les nombreux retards, de nature opérationnelle et logistique, décriés par les compagnies aériennes et les passagers menaçant de s’accentuer grandement dans les cinq prochaines années, la Commission se penche sur le sujet. En cause, une saturation de l’espace aérien liée à la nécessité d’assurer la sécurité des vols, les techniques utilisées ne pouvant garantir la sécurité que d’un nombre limité d’avions dans un espace donné « sur base parfois de méthodes artisanales » . Pour répondre à ces nouveaux besoins, la création d’un Ciel unique européen est lancée. Quels en sont les teneurs et les enjeux ? (I) Si l’espace militaire et l’entraînement des forces restent une prérogative des États, l’utilisation de l’espace aérien est une préoccupation partagée par les civils et les militaires qui doivent travailler ensemble. Mais les préoccupations et les enjeux de ces deux « mondes » semblent parfois très éloignées. Avec le développement de l’Europe de la Défense, se pose ainsi la question de la mise en place d’un ciel militaire européen tenant compte de toute la spécificité de l’aviation militaire, notamment française, à travers l’exemple du drone Harfang (II).


Télécharger l’intégralité de l’article en pdf

photo Sirpa Air

photo Sirpa Air

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 12:55
Salle ACCS, Lyon Mont-Verdun

Salle ACCS, Lyon Mont-Verdun

10/07/2013 Armée de l'air


Le programme Air Command and Control System (ACCS) est un programme OTAN initialisé en 1981, dans le cadre de la rénovation des systèmes sol de commandement et de contrôle. Aujourd’hui, la France,l’Allemagne, la Belgique et l’Italie sont chargés de la validation de ce programme, développé par Air Command System International.


L’équipe de marque ACCS, dépendant du centre d’expériences aériennes militaires (CEAM) de Mont-de-Marsan, est chargée de vérifier, pour la France, le bon fonctionnement du système avant sa mise en service à l’horizon 2015. D’autres organismes, telle que la division ACCS du centre national des opérations aériennes de Lyon Mont-Verdun, veillent à la convergence entre les capacités attendues et les exigences opérationnelles.

L'ACCS à l'horizon 2015

L'ACCS à l'horizon 2015

 Fondé sur des technologies de pointe, l’ACCS offrira aux pays européens membres de l’Alliance un système unifié de commandement et de contrôle. Il permettra le partage de données opérationnelles sur un réseau de communication à haut débit. Outre le contrôle et la surveillance, son domaine d’emploi recouvrira la programmation et la conduite des opérations aériennes qui, en ce qui concerne la France, pourront être menées depuis Lyon, au-dessus et au-delà du territoire national.

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 19:15
ThalesRaytheonSystems to upgrade Nato missile defence

9 November 2011 airforce-technology.com


ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) has been awarded a contract by the Nato Air Command and Control System Management Agency to upgrade its Interim Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Capability.


Under the contract, the company will upgrade the operational hardware and software of the missile defence as per Nato's air command and control system (ACCS) configuration.


The contract is in support of Nato active layered theatre ballistic missile defence (ALTBMD) programme, which will form the basis of an interim territorial ballistic missile defence capability.


ALTBMD programme manager Alessandro Pera and ACCS programme director Bernard Garot said the upgrade will provide the Nato commander with a new critical capability to perform ballistic missile defence missions.


Work will be implemented in the Nato command and control network within the next six months.

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3 février 2011 4 03 /02 /février /2011 20:12
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