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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 17:40
Unmanned aircraft Skat

Unmanned aircraft Skat

MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti)


Russia’s Defense Minister has urged defense firms to speed up work to develop combat drones, a senior industry official said Tuesday.

Oleg Bochkarev, deputy head of the government Military-Industrial Commission, told RIA Novosti that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had issued instructions to this effect in July.

Several defense companies, including Sukhoi, Sokol and Tranzas, are currently working on unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), Bochkarev said. He indicated that the commission would like to see Tranzas’ one ton combat drone start tests by 2014.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Berkut VL helicopter developer said that defense firms in the United Arab Emirates and Russia would develop drones based on the Berkut VL – a superlight two-seat helicopter equipped with a Conver VAZ or Lycoming engine and a range of up to 600 kilometers.

Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the holding that unites the Russian aerospace industry, said last November that Sukhoi would focus on creating reconnaissance and strike UAVs in the near future.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 17:30
Roaring Back

25.09.2013 Lior Estline --.iaf.org.il


It is almost 40 years old, but it is perfectly fit and though many years have passed since it started its service in the IAF, the IAI "Kfir" is one of the most surprising exports of the IAI. From outside it looks almost the same, but on the inside, technology from the second decade of the 21st century is installed, making it a fighter that can do anything on the modern battlefield



"It was the evening of Israel's Independence Day and high above Ben Gurion Airport a triangular winged fighter plane rolled in and performed maneuvers with grace and precision. What made the inaugural flight noteworthy is the fact that after years of relying on French and American fighter planes, Israelis now manufacture a plane with their own hands".


IAF Magazine opened its August 1975 edition with these very words. Four months prior, on the eve of Independence Day, two Kfir planes were delivered to the IAF and the vision of the "Israeli fighter plane" became a reality with the inaugural flight described in IAF Magazine.


While it is fixed in the national consciousness as the first Israeli fighter plane, few people know that today, almost 40 years after that evening in Ben Gurion Airport, the Kfir ('Lion" in Hebrew) has leapt into the 21st century, a leap that has brought with it the best of technology and armaments of 2013 and has made it a plane with diverse and attractive capabilities.


New, Brand New


"In the critical area of 'see first - shoot first', the Kfir has capabilities that are no less powerful than the capabilities of any western or eastern fighter plane of the fourth generation (F-16, F-15, Eurofighter, Rafal, MiG-29, Sukhoi-30) and is a first class competitor with planes that are not equipped with stealth technology produced in recent decades", says Oren Aviram, Director of Marketing and Business Development in the "Lahav" factory of the IAI. "If we take into account the technology and the computer systems installed in the newer fourth generation planes, it's around a decade old; in the 'Block 60' Kfir, the latest technology that is produced here these days is installed and that is where the advantage lies".


This situation is made possible because of the unique configuration of the aircraft system. According to Yossi Melamed, director of "Lahav":

"We work with open architecture, which allows us to continue to install innovations in the field of computing and avionics in the planes and actually to upgrade them all the time, unlike other fighter planes".


The "Block 60" which is the 2013 model of the Kfir, is an upgraded fighter plane that undergoes "stripping" before the beginning of the upgrading process. "Whether it's a Kfir that has arrived from a foreign customer or whether it's a local Kfir, we remove everything down to what we call the 'pipes', i.e. the central cylinder which constitutes the fuselage. Afterwards, we install everything new and if need be we produce parts that are needed", explains Melamed. "Of course, the equipment that is installed in the whole plane is new: wiring, avionics, computer systems, radar and various types of armaments and plane systems with zero hour flight".


During the stripping process, the body of the plane is checked down to the smallest screw. "After the process the plane undergoes in the 'Lahav' factory, it leaves with the ability to fly 8,000 hours with the manufacturer's warranty, meaning the plane can fly for decades", explains Aviram.


After the stripping process, the next step is the installation of the systems. One of the main systems is the version of the Data Link system that is installed in the Kfir planes produced by "Lahav" and also in all of the IAF fighter planes connecting the planes, control and command systems, and the armaments. The systems turns the Kfir into a plane that is suited for the battlefield of the 21st century, a battlefield that is based on a multitude of data, constantly connected and mainly data processing at record speeds in order to take necessary actions against targets with short exposure lengths and low signatures.


The Colombian Challenge


One of the main customers of the Kfir is the Colombian Air Force. "Colombia is a country that engaged in a battle", explains Oren. "The Kfir planes there work and attack; they have been engaged in continuous and intense operational activity for years".


Up until a few years ago the Colombians operated around a dozen Kfir fighters of the third generation configuration. "We faced some significant challenges on the Colombian project", adds Oren. "We had to upgrade the planes they own from third generation to fourth generation as well as double the number of Kfir planes of Colombia and finally, we were supposed to complete the project with in a period of three years".


All the Colombian planes underwent the upgrade process and became new planes within the same period of time that was assigned to the project. Consequently, on Colombian Independence Day which was set as the deadline, an impressive flying formation of 24 upgraded Kfir fighters flew across the sky.


"One of the main things in the project we put emphasis on was a high level of usability", said Melamed and not long before the level of usability was put to the test. The Colombian Air Force received an exclusive invitation to take part in the famous "Red Flag" week in USA. The Colombian Kfir planes flew over 2000 miles to the Nellis airbase in Nevada, using the new aerial refueling capabilities that constitute part of the upgrade and they all arrived safely, but the long flight was just a prelude to what happened at the "Red Flag" week.


"At some points in the flights during the week, the advanced fourth generation fighters of different countries took off in a partial composition following usability problems, while the Kfir planes demonstrated full usability in the air and yielded excellent results", explains Oren. "They did their job, scored hits and even surprised with their offensive abilities in aerial combat: the updated Kfir with advanced radar, electronic warfare, long range air-to-air armaments and advanced avionics managed to shot down fourth generation American fighters that flew against them as simulated enemy plane. The American participants thought very highly of the Colombian pilots and their Kfir planes, the many indications of which can be found on the internet".


Fire in the Sky


The people in "Lahav" put an emphasis on the Cost-Benefit characteristic of the 2013 "Block 60" model of the Kfir. "The Kfir is in line with fourth generation planes and brings with it between 80-120 percent of their capabilities in terms of avionics, armaments, payload and pods such as the 'Lightning' for nighttime attacks and laser designation capability for a precise attack, radar capabilities that include high resolution ground mapping, SAR capability that allows for information gathering and attacks in all weather conditions, all of this at a third of the price of fourth generation planes and with a flight hour at a fourth of the price of fourth generation Western planes with single engine", explains Aviram and Melamed adds that: "the customer receives a plane with radar capabilities, computer systems and advanced armaments at a significantly lower price than similar planes on the market".


The result is that more countries are already expressing interest in the Kfir planes, among them countries in Europe. The "Block 60" version for NATO countries will include connectivity, advanced radar of the AESA kind that allows activities in more than one mode simultaneously and more very advanced capabilities. Beyond that, aerial refueling capabilities were also added giving the plane a much broader scope and there were significant changes in the cockpit.


"The cockpit of the Kfir fighters has undergone a big change", explains Oren. "There is a colored radar screen, a moving map, a new multi-strength mission computer and HOTAS capabilities that allow control of many activities without removing your hands from the stick".


The Kfir can now lock on 64 targets, share them with other planes and get an indication of who is locked on whom. "The ability of the radar to separate targets and categorize together with the network sharing allows for a full picture of the battlefield", says Oren. "The Kfir has cross-section radar that is very low and coupled with the capabilities of its radar it 'sees first and shoots first' better than most of the other fighter planes of the fourth generation".


Even with respect to armaments, the Kfir planes are at the forefront. "You can hang on the Kfir any kind of armament on the nine stations", Melamed emphasizes. "We combined laser-guided munitions that are assisted by the designation pod with autonomous guided bombs and advanced air-to-air missiles, like the Python-5 and BVR missiles equivalent to AMRAAM".


It turns out that these capabilities also have evidence in reality. As stated, Colombia is very active with the upgraded Kfir planes in the air-to-ground area, precise attacks in inclement weather and at night. As a result, the Kfir planes remain operational and in use at all hours of the day.


Melamed is looking forward with optimism. "In a few years, the intention is to sell between two to three squadrons".


Kfir in action


The 27th of June, 1979 was a good day for world records and indeed two were actually set. It was a day in which for the first time, an F-15 fighter shot down an enemy plane but more interestingly, it was the first time the Kfir won a "Dog fight".


Captain S', who holds the world record, said in the August 1979 edition of IAF Magazine: "I got cold feet, but when you're inside, everything work out", and today when Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Shai Eshel looks back at that battle, he says that, in retrospect, it was possible to down even more Syrian MiGs. "The flight that same day was intended to intercept the Syrian MiGs that harassed the aerial photographing flights of the IAF that followed the placement of Syrian missile batteries in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon", he adds.


The pair of Phantom F-4 jets that took photographs was accompanied by eight intercepting planes. "Four of the planes consisting of Falcon (F-15) jets were visible. They talked on the two way radio and flew above Beirut, while our other four planes consisting of two Falcon (F-15) jets and two Kfir fighters, where I was number 4, went silent and flew at a low altitude outside of the area".


The Phantom planes began to go north from the Dead Sea area and ascended to reach an altitude of 60,000 feet from which the photographs can be taken. The Syrians that located the flight deployed eight MiGs from the Damascus area towards the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. Crossing the northern line of the photographers getting ready to intercept them, the MiGs accelerated and gained height.


"Immediately afterwards, the F-15 jets start to make radar contact with the MiGs, while the photographing planes turn their tails towards the Syrian planes that were

flying towards them without knowing that they are arriving at a trap", explains Eshel. "Then, the controller tuned to the F-15 planes and gave the approval to open fire".


That is how the historic aerial battle began. While Eshel's silent aerial formation of four planes started to gain height towards the battle, the aerial formation of four F-15 planes opened fire. "We dropped extra fuel tanks, but my fuel tank got stuck because of a technical malfunction. As I was gaining height, the missiles launched by the F-15 fighters passed over our heads. We also entered the battle and I noticed a MiG spinning that I assumed was going to crash, so I didn't exert any effort on downing him. In retrospect, he landed safely and I missed an easy downing opportunity".


The radio network was filled with a lot of yelling and the air with missiles that were launched one after another. "I noticed two MiGs turning east and I went after them. From a range of 1500 meters I launched a missile towards the leader that exploded 2-3 meters behind it. It started to emit smoke, but the pilot continued to fly it. I approached it at a short distance in order to finish the job with canons, but he abandoned the plane and, in retrospect, it turned out that this moment was captured by the camera lens of the canon".


Eshel also tried to hit the second MiG. "The two of us were at low speed and so I tried to gain speed and raise the nose of the plane. I got into the missile launching position and I launched the second missile, but to my disappointment, it didn't hit the target. I reduced the distance between us in order to down him with a canon but he rolled over, entered a cloud and that is how lost the opportunity".


At the end of the massive battle that lasted a very short time, it became clear that five MiGs were shot down. Landed at the base, it became clear to Eshel that the real battle had just begun.


"The F-15 pilots claimed that all the shoot-downs belong to them", recalls Eshel. "Together with the Commander of the Base, I traveled to the debrief in which it was determined that the downing belonged to me".

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
UK MoD Responds to River Joint Paint Furore

September 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 23, 2013)


Rivet Joint Aircraft


The Sunday Times reported that the RAF's new Rivet Joint 'spy planes' will be painted in US Air Force colours as part of a money-saving scheme MOD has agreed with the US. The paper also flags up concerns about the UK's 'reliance' on the US for such 'a sensitive capability'.


Rivet Joint provides the UK with a greatly advanced capability and it is nonsense to suggest that in joining with the US on this capability and adhering to a common standard the UK will be at a disadvantage. In fact, this close co-operation enhances our shared intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability.


MOD decided to configure our Rivet Joint aircraft to as close a common standard with the US Air Force as is possible; this has significant support cost benefits through the life of the aircraft.


Major servicing will be conducted in the US at a facility that has the appropriate protection to handle the security classification of the aircraft. Day-to-day maintenance will be done by RAF personnel in the UK supported by contractors provided as part of the US/UK cooperative agreement.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
USAF Says Global Hawk Is Safest Aircraft

September 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force; issued Sept. 23, 2013)


100K & Going: Global Hawk Makes Mark As Safest Platform


GRAND FORKS AFB, N.D. --- Although the days of the bombers and tankers are long gone, Airmen at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., are still finding ways to make Air Force history thanks to the Global Hawk mission.


The Northrop Grumman Corporation recently announced that its high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems achieved 100,000 flight hours Sept. 5.


News of the milestone was well-received by the leadership and members of the 69th Reconnaissance Group, the unit at Grand Forks AFB directly in charge of conducting Global Hawk missions.


"This milestone is something in which those of us involved in the Global Hawk mission take great pride," said Col. Lawrence Spinetta, 69th RG commander.


According to the Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M., approximately 85 percent of the 100,000 flight hours for this aircraft were logged by U.S. Air Force Global Hawks. Credit for the remaining flight hours was split among the NASA, German and U.S. Navy versions of the aircraft.


The Global Hawk also has the safest record of any fighter, bomber or reconnaissance aircraft in the Air Force's active inventory.


"The safety record of the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk fleet is remarkable, especially given the fact that the system was rushed to combat and flew 75 percent of its first 100,000 hours supporting our warfighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere," Spinetta said. "These figures prove the reliability of unmanned aircraft technology. More importantly, it's testament to the professionalism of our Airmen and the pride they take in accomplishing our mission."


The Global Hawk is aptly named. Every day, RQ-4s circle the globe, providing critical strategic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to six combatant commands.


"The jet's long endurance is a significant combat force multiplier," Spinetta said.


The RQ-4, which can fly for upwards of 30 hours nonstop, has the ability to cover almost half the circumference of the world without refueling. That capability makes it a key contributor to the global vigilance, global reach, and global power of the U.S. Air Force.


Spinetta reflected on the recent aviation milestone and contemplated what it means for the history of the Air Force.


He told members of the 69th RG that their hard work is "the realization of an Air Force prophecy" by Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. As the commanding general for the U.S. Army Air Force in 1945, Arnold said, "We have just won a war with a lot of heroes flying around in planes. The next war may be fought by airplanes with no men in them at all...Take everything you've learned about aviation in war, throw it out the window, and let's go to work on tomorrow's aviation."


Members of the 69th RG will receive patches from Northrop Grumman commemorating the milestone.


"Some people might refer to the patch as badge of honor, however, we know the real honor is knowing we are doing an excellent job protecting our warriors and our nation," Spinetta said. "That's exactly what we will continue to do."

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
The Hawk in Flight

September 24, 2013 by Think Defence


BAE are making their pitch for the USAF trainer programme



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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Boeing QF-16 Aerial Target Completes 1st Pilotless Flight

Sep 24, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


    Provides next generation of combat training for US Air Force


Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force have completed the first unmanned QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target flight, demonstrating the next generation of combat training and testing.


Two U.S. Air Force test pilots in a ground control station remotely flew the QF-16, which is a retired F-16 jet modified to be an aerial target. The QF-16 mission profile included auto takeoff, a series of simulated maneuvers, supersonic flight, and an auto land, all without a pilot in the cockpit.


Read morehttp://www.asdnews.com/news-51259/Boeing_QF-16_Aerial_Target_Completes_1st_Pilotless_Flight.htm

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Raytheon, Boeing Win $114M for F-18E Retrofits

September 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued September 23, 2013)


Pentagon Contract Announcement


Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded $39,000,000 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0048 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-10-G-0006) for the procurement of 15 AN/APG-79 AESA radar systems for the F/A-18 E/F aircraft.

Work will be performed in Forest, Miss. (80 percent), and El Segundo, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2015.

Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement, Navy contract funds in the amount of $39,000,000 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


-- The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded $38,197,820 for fixed-price, incentive-fee delivery order 0073 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-11-G-0001) for the procurement of retrofit kits in support of the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G trailing edge flap engineering change proposal redesign, including 48 trailing edge flap redesign kits, 48 left hand units and 48 right hand units.

Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in July 2017.

Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement contract funds in the amount $38,197,820 will be obligated at time of award; none of which expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


-- The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded $24,575,433 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0161 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-11-G-0001) for the procurement of B kits, bulk data cartridge units and mass storage units in support of the F/A-18 E/F Full Rate Production I aircraft Distributed Targeting System engineering change proposal.

Work will be performed in Melbourne, Fla. (75 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (21 percent); North Reading, Mass. (1.6 percent); and various other locations in the United States (2.4 percent); is expected to be completed in August 2015.

This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($17,750,379, 72 percent) and the Government of Australia ($6,825,054, 28 percent) under the foreign military sales (FMS) program.

Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement, Navy and FMS contract funds in the amount $24,575,433 will be obligated at the time of award; none of which expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


-- The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded $12,871,280 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0164 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-11-G-0001) for the procurement of 114 advanced navigation system retrofit kits for F/A-18E and F/A-18F aircraft.

Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in May 2017.

Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement contract funds in the amount $2,752,243 will be obligated at the time of award; none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Pratt Wins $215M for F-35 Engine Spares

September 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued September 23, 2013)


Pentagon Contract Announcement


United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $214,843,107 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Lot VI low rate initial production advance acquisition contract (N00019-12-C-0090).


This modification provides for initial spare modules, initial spare parts, replenishment spare parts, and production non-recurring efforts, including tooling, for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, the United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway.


Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn. (67 percent); Bristol, United Kingdom (16.5 percent); and Indianapolis, Ind. (16.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2016.


Fiscal 2011 and 2012 procurement, Air Force, fiscal 2011and 2012 procurement, Navy, and international partner funding in the amount of $214,843,107 will be obligated at time of award, $33,328,898 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.



This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps ($111,245,364; 51 percent); U.S. Air Force ($72,711,358; 34 percent); and the Governments of Italy ($8,850,625; 4 percent), the United Kingdom ($6,824,288; 3 percent), Australia ($6,245,484; 3 percent), The Netherlands ($2,350,434; 1 percent), Turkey ($2,722,643; 1 percent), Canada ($1,769,504; 1 percent), Denmark ($816,366; 1 percent) and Norway ($1,307,041; 1 percent).


The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
More weapons payload capability for B-52s



 The U.S. Air Force says planned Boeing upgrades for the B-52 Stratofortress will significantly increase the bomber's overall weapons payload by 67 percent.


The upgrade – the 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade – involves rewiring the existing B-52 bomb launcher into a Common Rotary Launcher, which carries the munitions and is housed in the B-52's bomb bay.


The rewiring, which allows the B-52 to communicate with the newest weapons in the Air Force's arsenal, will enable the bomber to carry eight advanced, precisions-guided Joint Direct Attack munition (JDAMs) in its internal weapons bay. A dozen JDAM bombs are carried on the bomber's external weapons pylons.


"Military Standard 1760 is the technical name," said Alan Williams, the B-52 Deputy Program element monitor at Air Force Global Strike Command said. "It determines how the wiring will be laid out and what signals will go through them.


"It's similar to your home's Internet connection; you need a specific type of wiring to access the signal and a software agreement as to what those signals will be.


"The system uses a digital interface," Williams said. "Then there's a software piece called a storage management overlay, or SMO. We currently have the SMO that can talk to the weapons on the wing. With the new wiring in place, we're now going to be able to change the software to also allow for communication with those weapons in the bomb bay."


Boeing is developing the upgrade, which will be installed and tested on six bombers. The target date is 2016. A new contract for 38 additional upgrade units would follow.

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24 septembre 2013 2 24 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Le premier vol du premier F-35 hollandais a eu lieu le 6 août 2012

Le premier vol du premier F-35 hollandais a eu lieu le 6 août 2012

23 septembre 2013 par Pierre Sparaco – Aerobuzz.fr


Les Pays-Bas vont commander trente-sept F-35A Lightning II, alias Joint Strike Fighter. La Belgique en fera autant l’année prochaine, deux commandes qui confirmeront les grandes ambitions mondiales de l’avion de combat de Lockheed Martin.


C’est au terme d’une longue valse-hésitation que les autorités de La Haye ont décidé de consacrer 4,5 milliards d’euros au F-35A pour assurer le remplacement d’une partie de leurs F-16. Une commande complémentaire de plusieurs dizaines d’exemplaires est envisagée en un deuxième temps, pour autant que le budget de la Défense le permette.

Ce choix ne constitue en aucun cas une surprise, les Hollandais ayant de la suite dans les idées et ne résistant jamais à l’appel du grand large : ils ont en effet successivement commandé le Lockheed F-104G Starfighter, le Northrop F-5 puis le F-16, écartant systématiquement les propositions françaises qui leur étaient soumises. Les Belges ont été très influencés par cette manière de faire, aux dépens de l’Europe de la Défense, au point de multiplier les occasions manquées, à commencer par la possibilité qui leur avait été offerte par Dassault Aviation de prendre une participation de 10 % dans le développement et la production du Rafale.

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Le Pentagone et Lockheed Martin conduisent des négociations avec d’autres acheteurs potentiels, notamment le Canada, où le dossier est à l’origine d’une violente polémique politique. photo Lockheed-Martin

En Belgique, la situation est plus complexe qu’aux Pays-Bas. Sans indiquer le nombre d’exemplaires qui seraient commandés, Pieter De Crem, ministre de la Défense, a exprimé une préférence pour le F-35A, toute autre possibilité semblant écartée, Super Hornet, Rafale, Eurofighter ou Gripen NG. Mais il va se heurter à l’opposition du parti socialiste et, explique notre confrère Patrick Anspach, aux réticences de la Flandre. Ce qui revient à dire que l’inextricable fracture politico-linguistique qui mine la Belgique n’épargnera pas ce dossier.

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Le Pentagone prévoit de commander environ 2 400 F-35, dans ses trois versions, dans le cadre d’une opération d’une durée d’une cinquantaine d’années. photo Lockheed-Martin

Sabca, première entreprise aéronautique du royaume, va logiquement défendre les couleurs du Rafale, Dassault étant son actionnaire. Mais Asco, très influente, bénéficie de commandes de sous-traitance de Lockheed Martin et fera évidemment le choix contraire. D’où la perspective d’un affrontement violent qui, dans une certaine mesure, pourrait rappeler l’épique marché du siècle de 1975 : les Pays-Bas, la Belgique, le Danemark et la Norvège, après avoir renoncé au Tornado trop coûteux, avaient décidé de commander conjointement 348 avions pour tenter d’obtenir des conditions favorables et, notamment, des compensations économiques généreuses. Avec l’appui de Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics l’avait emporté avec le F-16, qui n’était alors qu’un démonstrateur technologique, une défaite cuisante pour l’Europe.

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Ce mois-ci, Lockheed Martin a célébré le début de l’assemblage du 100e avion à Fort Worth, jadis siège de General Dynamics, créateur du F-111 puis du F-16. photo Lockheed-Martin

Le F-35, programme d’une ampleur considérable, a déjà été retenu par le Royaume-Uni, l’Australie, l’Italie, la Norvège, Israël et le Japon, le Pentagone prévoyant pour sa part d’y consacrer 857 milliards de dollars. En retard, hors budget, mais bénéficiant d’efforts de redressement impressionnants, le prix catalogue du F-35 serait descendu, semble-t-il, à environ 85 millions de dollars. Trois versions sont mises au point, F-35A « classique », F-35B à décollage vertical, F-35C destiné à être embarqué sur porte-avions.

La production est lancée, le centième exemplaire est actuellement visible sur la chaîne d’assemblage final de Fort Worth, dans le Texas, dans le grand hall de 1 600 mètres de longueur d’une usine propriété de l’Etat fédéral, vestige de l’effort de guerre de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Une chaîne d’assemblage sera mise en place par Alenia Aermacchi, consacrant l’ancrage européen de l’opération.


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24 septembre 2013 2 24 /09 /septembre /2013 07:40
Su-25 Attack Aircraft Crashes in Russia, Pilot Ejects Safely

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)


A Soviet-era Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft crashed during a routine training flight in Russia’s Krasnodar region on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.


The statement said contact with the pilot was lost at 8:17 p.m. Moscow time (16:17 GMT). The plane crashed 49 kilometers from the Primorsko-Akhtarsk airfield.


“The pilot was able to steer the falling aircraft away from populated areas and eject safely,” the statement said.


The ministry confirmed that there were no injuries or damages to structures on the ground.


A Ka-27 search-and-rescue helicopter has been dispatched to the crash site, the ministry reported, adding that all flights of Su-25 aircraft in the Southern Military Districts had been suspended while an investigation into the incident was under way.


The Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to provide close air support for ground troops.


The aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force for more than 25 years. It has also been exported to dozens of countries

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 23:46
Dassault Aviation : le contrat de modernisation des Atlantique 2 bientôt notifié

La direction générale de l'armement devrait notifier à Dassault aviation et Thales un contrat pour moderniser la flotte d'Atlantique 2 de la Marine nationale


23/09/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Le contrat portant sur la modernisation de quinze Atlantique 2 doit être notifié de façon imminente par la direction générale de l'armement à Dassault Aviation et Thales. Il est évalué à près de 400 millions d'euros. Le ministre de la défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian pourrait l'annoncer dans les prochains jours.


C'est une bonne nouvelle pour la marine et… pour les industriels (Dassault Aviation et Thales), qui vont enfin signer le contrat très attendu portant sur la modernisation de quinze avions de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 (ATL 2) sur les 27 exemplaires livrés entre 1989 et 1997. Une opération qui permettra de maintenir cette capacité dans la marine jusqu'à 2032… faute de pouvoir acquérir actuellement un autre avion "sur étagère" plus performant. La cible de 15 avions rénovée sera atteinte post 2019 alors que la marine souhaitait en moderniser 22 exemplaires. Au total, le contrat est évalué à près de 400 millions d'euros à partager à trois : Dassault Aviation, Thales et le service industriel de l'aéronautique (SIAé).


Les Atlantique 2 appuient entre autre discrètement la force océanique stratégique française (dissuasion). Selon des sources concordantes, la direction générale de l'armement (DGA) doit rapidement notifier - vraisemblablement dans la première quinzaine du mois d'octobre - le contrat à Dassault Aviation (autour de 200 millions d'euros), le concepteur de l'avion et responsable de sa navigabilité, et Thales (130 millions) comme principal équipementier ainsi que DCNS, en tant que sous-traitant de l'avionneur, et le SIAé. Le ministre de la défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian pourrait l'annoncer dans les prochains jours.


Fourchette financière basse retenue


C'est donc la fourchette basse de l'évaluation de la modernisation, qui a été retenue par la DGA. Cette dernière avait estimé cette première phase entre 330 et 700 millions d'euros. La seconde reste encore à déterminer et devra  être engagée à partir de 2016. « Une rénovation de l'ATL 2 était aujourd'hui indispensable, mais présente des difficultés, notamment dans la définition des travaux souhaitables au vu des ressources financières disponibles », expliquait récemment un rapport du ministère de la Défense.


La modernisation concerne le traitement des obsolescences et la mise en place d'un nouveau système de mission et de nouveaux équipements. Ce qui permettra à ces appareils de s'adapter à l'évolution de la menace avec la prolifération de sous-marins classiques performants et discrets, mis en opération dans les pays émergents, notamment.


Un programme à 12 milliards d'euros sur 40 ans


Le retrait du service de l'ATL 2 est prévu à partir de 2032 après plus de 40 ans d'activité au cours desquels les cellules et les moteurs auront été constamment maintenus, tandis que le système de combat faisait l'objet de nombreuses modifications. Le coût annuel du maintien en condition opérationnelle (MCO) de ces appareils est estimé à près de 140 millions d'euros et le coût d'utilisation à près de 30 millions d'euros.


Ainsi, pour les quarante ans de vie de ces avions, dont la fabrication a débuté à Toulouse (usine Bréguet), le coût global de possession serait de l'ordre de 12 milliards d'euros (5,6 milliards pour l'acquisition : 5,6 milliards et 6,4 milliards pour l'utilisation). Soit plus de 50 % consacrés à l'entretien, au fonctionnement et au soutien. « Celui-ci est particulièrement élevé, car pour préserver le capital opérationnel irremplaçable représenté par ces avions, de multiples ajouts d'équipements ou améliorations ont été nécessaires », ont expliqué les auteurs de ce rapport.


Un coût unitaire en hausse de 35 %


Par rapport aux évaluations initiales, le coût unitaire moyen d'un appareil a augmenté de près de 35 %, pour des causes techniques ou technico-opérationnelles et industrielles, souligne le rapport du ministère de la Défense. Le développement (930 millions d'euros), sous-estimé au lancement de l'opération - la définition très rapide avait ensuite nécessité de revenir sur certains choix initiaux  - a grimpé de 55 %, tandis que la production a diminué de près de 20 %, notamment du fait de la réduction de la cible d'appareils.


Il faut également ajouter l'ensemble des opérations complémentaires, qui ont, entre autres, permis l'installation de la liaison 11, une liaison de données tactiques autorisant des échanges automatiques de données entre des unités de surface, aériennes ou sous marine (norme Otan) et, enfin, l'adaptation de la torpille MU 90. Leur développement et leur production ont coûté 380 millions d'euros.


A quoi sert l'ATL 2 ?


L'ATL2 assure son activité principale de combat au profit de la force océanique stratégique (FOS). Ils sont prioritairement destinés à la lutte contre les sous-marins et les navires de surface. Ils servent également pour des missions de surveillance des côtes pour lutter contre les narco-trafiquants, la pêche illicite, les navires pratiquant le déballastage. Faute de pouvoir utiliser des drones de surveillance au Sahel, les Atlantique 2 ont également été déployés pour localiser les otages. Facilement déployables hors du territoire métropolitain, ces appareils disposent d'une grande autonomie de vol à basse altitude et nécessitent une grande cohésion de l'équipage, qui exige une formation et une régénération permanente.


C'est un programme ancien, étudié à partir de 1977 et dont l'entrée en service opérationnel a eu lieu en 1991. Il a connu des réductions de cibles successives, passant de 42 à 28, puis 22 appareils. Sa clôture a été prononcée en janvier 1998, soit plus de vingt ans après la phase de définition. La dernière modernisation est prévue à l'horizon 2016.

Dassault Aviation : le contrat de modernisation des Atlantique 2 bientôt notifié
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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 18:55
Le premier A400M baptisé à Séville et Orléans le 30 septembre

23.09.2013 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord - Défense globale


La cérémonie officielle d'accueil du nouvel avion de transport militaire A400M Atlas au sein de l'armée de l'air française se déroulera le lundi 30 septembre sur la base aérienne 123 d'Orléans-Bricy.


Un peu plus tôt ce même jour, la cérémonie pour la livraison des premiers A400M se sera déroulée à l'usine d'Airbus Military à Séville. Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, fera d'ailleurs le voyage de Séville à Orléans à son bord...


L'arrivée de l'avion stratégique et tactique multi-rôles dans les forces aériennes françaises est l'aboutissement de l'un des plus grands programmes de défense en Europe (sept pays partenaires). L'un des plus coûteux aussi avec des surcoûts de plus de 7 milliards, 10 % du coût total...


La France a commandé 50 exemplaires (trois en 2013) pour un budget de 8,7 milliards d'euros. Il reste à observer le décalage précis des livraisons dans la prochaine Loi de programmation militaire 2014-2019. L'objectif est de quinze avions livrés en 2019.


Le premier A400M Atlas, arrivé réellement sur la base du Loiret en juin, se nommera " Ville d'Orléans " (comme on avait pu le lire ici). La DGA ne l'a réceptionné officiellement que le 1er août, avec trois ans de retard donc... Le programme A400M a connu des retards techniques moteurs. Il touche enfin au but.


A l'occasion de cette cérémonie sur la base 123, le général Denis Mercier, chef d'état-major de l'armée de l'air, et le général Karl Müllner, son homologue de la Luftwaffe, signeront un partenariat franco-allemand de formation A400Mson h

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 18:30
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

23/09/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Selon des sources concordantes, la direction du groupe britannique est très récemment venue à Abu Dhabi pour présenter son offre financière pour le remplacement des 60 Mirage 2000-9 émiratis.


BAE Systems ne lâche pas l'affaire et tente d'imposer le Typhoon Eurofighter dans le ciel des Emirats Arabes Unis face au Rafale de Dassault Aviation. Selon des sources concordantes, la direction du groupe britannique est très récemment venue à Abu Dhabi pour présenter son offre financière pour le remplacement des 60 Mirage 2000-9 émiratis. La direction financière du groupe britannique, avec l'aide d'un pool bancaire tentait de répondre à des demandes émiraties portant sur des cofinancements d'équipements, dont ne dispose pas encore l'Eurofighter Typhoon (radar à antenne active, systèmes de guerre électronique, armements...) 

Pour autant, Londres devra aussi convaincre Paris de lui accorder une licence de réexportation des Mirages 2000-9, dont les Emirats veulent se débarrasser. Car c'est au vendeur de racheter ces avions de combat, dont certains sont encore très performants, et de les revendre sur le marché de l'occasion.


Trois pays du Golfe ont choisi le Typhoon

Au-delà des seuls Emirats Arabes Unis, le groupe britannique a pour objectif de tuer le Rafale dans l'ensemble des pays du Golfe (CCG). BAE Systems rêve d'imposer l'Eurofighter Typhoon comme le seul avion de combat complémentaire des flottes américaines (Boeing et Lockheed Martin), qui équipent les six pays membres du CCG. C'est déjà le cas en Arabie Saoudite, où BAE Systems se partage le marché du Royaume avec Boeing (F-15SA) depuis les années 80  d'abord avec les Tornado puis les Typhoon. L'Arabie saoudite avait signé en 2007 avec le Royaume-Uni un contrat pour l'achat de 72 Eurofighter Typhoon. Mais les deux parties négocient actuellement une augmentation du prix des appareils restant à livrer dans le cadre de ce programme nommé "Salam".

BAE Systems a également gagné son pari au sultanat d'Oman, qui va s'équiper de 12 Typhoon qui voleront aux côtés des F-16C/D de Lockheed Martin. C'est aussi en très bonne voie à Bahreïn, qui envisage de s'offrir des Typhoon en complément des F-16C/D.


Trois pays incertains

La bataille fait rage dans deux pays. Aux Emirats Arabes Unis, où le Rafale, équipé de son nouveau radar à antenne active ou radar AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array), est revenu en tout début d'année dans la course après une période après une période glaciale entre Paris et Abu Dhabi, qui entretient une flotte de F-16E/F (Lockheed Martin) et de Mirage 2000-9. BAE Systems rêve d'éliminer Dassault Aviation dans ce pays. "Nous faisons de bons progrès et nous avons le plein soutien du gouvernement britannique" dans ce dossier, avait assuré le directeur général de BAE Systems, Ian King, lors de la présentation des résultats semestriels du groupe début août. C'est aussi le cas au Qatar, qui a douze Mirage 2000-5. Cet émirat souhaiterait acheter 72 avions de combats en deux tranches. Il a envoyé à trois constructeurs des demandes d'information (BAE Systems, Dassault Aviation et Lockheed Martin).

Enfin, le Koweït, qui a déjà des F/A-18C/D (Boeing), pourrait commander de nouveaux avions de combat (18 à 22). Ce pays aurait aimé avoir des Rafale mais la pression américaine l'a jusqu'ici interdit. Ce qui pourrait relancer le Typhoon, dont la campagne de promotion est assurée non par BAE Systems mais par la société italienne Alenia Aermacchi.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
Indian Navy receives first Hawk Trainer Jet

Dr R.K. Tyagi – Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited hands over Indian Navy's first Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to Deputy Chief of Naval Staff - Vice Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee (AVSM NM)


23 September 2013 baesystems.com


The Indian Navy has received the first of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, becoming the third naval operator of the Hawk along with the US Navy and the Royal Navy.


The 17 Hawk aircraft ordered by the Indian Navy form part of a contract for 57 aircraft signed in 2010 of which 40 are for the Indian Air Force.  Among its 18 customers worldwide, India is the largest operator of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 70 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force. Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian Air Force are performing well.


Adding to the Indian Navy’s fleet of aircraft, the Hawk provides the ideal platform for pilots to transition smoothly to the Navy’s frontline aircraft.  Hawk effectively integrates air and ground based elements offering the most efficient and cost-effective method of training pilots.


We have worked closely with the Indian MOD and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to establish a production line in India where the Hawk aircraft are assembled.  Guy Griffiths, Our Group Managing Director—International said, “The introduction of the Hawk to a new user is a momentous occasion, and further testimony to the aircraft’s global success. This marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with HAL which has established a track record operating a world-class Hawk production capability. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with HAL and exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally.”


Looking forward, Griffiths added:  “We have also submitted our response to HAL’s Request for Proposal for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 additional Hawk aircraft to the IAF, and are now looking forward to partnering with HAL in providing the Indian Air Force’s display team this fantastic aircraft.”


Our Sea Harrier aircraft, which pioneered the short take off and vertical landing for jet aircraft, was bought by the Indian Navy in 1980 and the company continues to support them.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
SOCOM Hustles InstaGunship Into Service

September 23, 2013: Strategy page


U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) has equipped and deployed 14 MC-130W "Dragon Spear" gunships in the last three years. The first MC-130W arrived in Afghanistan in late 2010 and a month later it had fired one of its weapons (a Hellfire missile) for the first time (killing five Taliban). Getting 14 new gunships into action so quickly was only possible because SOCOM adopted an idea developed by the U.S. Marine Corps; the "instant gunship." Called "Harvest Hawk," the marine instant gunship system works using weapons and sensors that can be quickly rolled into a C-130 transport and hooked up. This takes a few hours, and turns the C-130 into a gunship (similar in capabilities existing AC-130 gunships). The sensor package consists of day/night vidcams with magnification capability. The weapons currently consist of ten Griffin missiles and four Hellfires. A 30mm autocannon is optional.


The 15.6 kg (34.5 pound) Griffin had earlier entered service in Afghanistan aboard UAVs. The older Hellfire II weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds), carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. The Griffin has a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by the heavier Hellfire. Griffin has pop-out wings, allowing it to glide, and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire.


This use of missiles instead of cannon has allowed for a major change in how gunships are used. As a result in 2011 SOCOM, for the first time since the Vietnam War, allowed its MC-130 gunships to operate in daytime. For the last four decades it was believed too dangerous for these low, slow flying, heavily aircraft to operate when the sun was up. The key to this change is the use of missiles by gunships. The new, small, missiles enable the slow, large, MC-130s to operate above the range of ground fire and still hit their targets.


Dragon Spear is based on the earlier Harvest Hawk system which enabled marine KC-130J tankers to be transformed into a gunship with the addition of the portable weapons and sensors. The marines had long noted the success of the U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunships that SOCOM (Special Operations Command) uses. But they couldn't afford them, as an AC-130 costs more than three times as much as a marine KC-130J aerial refueling aircraft. But the marines developed a solution. This is something the marines often do.


The KC-130J is the latest, and largest, USMC version of the C-130 transport used for aerial refueling. The KC-130J can also carry cargo, and weapons (bombs and missiles) hung from the wings. Thus the Harvest Hawk version of the KC-130J adds a targeting pod, with the data going to a special cargo container containing control equipment (computers, commo and displays) enabling operators use of the day/night sensors of the targeting pod, to fire missiles hung from the wings. The SOCOM version is the MC-130W.


The original plan was to have a 30mm Bushmaster cannon fired out the door, so that there would be gunfire support as well. But this was made optional, as the 14 missiles seemed to provide sufficient firepower. It also means less for Harvest Hawk to carry. The Mk44 30mm Bushmaster cannon weighs 157 kg (344 pounds) and fires at 200 or 400 rounds per minute (up to 7 per second). The cannon has 160 rounds available, before needing a reload. That means the gunner has 25-50 seconds worth of ammo, depending on rate of fire used. Each 30mm round weighs about 714 g (25 ounces, depending on type.) Explosive anti-personnel rounds are fired when used in gunships. The fire control system, and night vision sensors, enable the 30mm gunners to accurately hit targets with high explosive shells. Existing SOCOM AC-130 gunships are armed with a 105mm howitzer, a 25mm and 40mm automatic cannon. But the two smaller caliber guns are being phased out of military service. The air force is considering equipping its gunships just with smart bombs and missiles.


The big thing with gunships is their sensors, not their weapons. Operating at night, the gunships can see what is going on below, in great detail. Using onboard weapons, gunships can immediately engage targets. But with the appearance of smart bombs (GPS and laser guided), aerial weapons are more available to hit any target that is found. So Harvest Hawk would be able to hit targets that were "time sensitive" (had to be hit before they got away), but could also call on smart bombs or laser guided missiles for targets that weren't going anywhere right away. Most of what Harvest Hawk does in Afghanistan is look for roadside bombs, or the guys who plant them. These the marines want to track back to their base, and then take out an entire roadside bomb operation.


Ultimately, the air force and SOCOM see the potential for the Harvest Hawk/Dragon Spear approach replacing custom built AC-130 gunships. There would still be a need for specially trained gunship crews. But they, and the several cargo containers of Harvest Hawk gear, could be held ready to go wherever they are most needed. SOCOM used their version of Harvest Hawk (the Precision Strike Package) in their MC-130 transports (which are already equipped for all-weather operations.) Meanwhile, SOCOM is expanding its existing AC-130 gunship fleet to 33, with the acquisition of 16 new AC-130J models. But the big change for gunships is the switch from automatic cannon (20mm, 30mm and 40mm) to missiles. The cannon require the gunships to fly low, within range of heavy machine-guns and portable anti-aircraft missiles. Missiles can be fired from much higher and new sensors still enable the gunship crew to get an up-close view of what is down there.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
A Beechcraft's AT-6 aircraft launches a weapon. Photo Beechcraft Corporation.

A Beechcraft's AT-6 aircraft launches a weapon. Photo Beechcraft Corporation.

23 September 2013 airforce-technology.com


The US Air Force Air National Guard, with Georgia Tech Research Institute, has completed the assessment and demonstration of the single channel ground and airborne radio system situational awareness (SINCGARS SA) waveform capability on Beechcraft's AT-6 light attack aircraft.


As part of the demonstration, the dual ARC-210 Warrior Radios of the AT-6 were configured, allowing the aircraft to securely and directly communicate with three different joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC) at a time, who were positioned to perform several, realistic combat situations.


The technology is a software-controlled high-frequency radio and is expected to play a key role in military armed reconnaissance by providing digital communication and global positioning services (GPS) in both fixed and mobile configurations.


Encouraged by the successful demonstration of the SINCGARS SA Waveform, US military is now expected to further develop tactics in its close air support (CAS), combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) and combat search-and-rescue task force (CSARTF) missions going forward.


AT-6 became the first aircraft to use the new technology capability; it has reportedly transmitted and received tactical audio and dynamic position locations with fielded combat ground radios successfully during assessment.


Beechcraft Defense Company president Russ Bartlett said: "Beechcraft's AT-6 was selected as the first fixed-wing aircraft to perform this demonstration due to its advanced communications and data transfer capabilities, which enables it to perform complex close air support and combat search-and-rescue missions."


At the time of demonstration, the ground forces were carrying PRC-148, PRC-152 and PRC-117 radios, said Beechcraft.


Designed for light attack missions in the most demanding scenarios, AT-6 is equipped with Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68D engine, CMC Esterline's mission modified Cockpit 4000, Lockheed Martin's A-10C-based mission system and L-3 WESCAM's MX-15Di sensor suite, the company said.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 16:55
Tapis rouge pour l'avion prodigue!

23.09.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


La cérémonie officielle d'accueil du nouvel avion de transport militaire A400M Atlas au sein de l'armée de l'air française aura lieu le lundi 30 septembre. L'avion arrivera de Séville et se posera à Orléans à 14h (ou plus tard, l'A400 nous ayant habitué à des retards).


Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui présidera la cérémonie militaire, fera le vol Séville-Orléans à bord de l'appareil.


Comme le dit si bien le communiqué de la DICOD,

"l'arrivée de l'avion stratégique et tactique multi-rôles dans les forces aériennes françaises est l'aboutissement de l'un des plus grands programmes de défense en Europe. De nombreuses autorités, civiles et militaires, françaises et étrangères, assisteront à cette cérémonie, qui s'inscrira dans le prolongement de la cérémonie officielle de livraison organisée le matin même sur le site industriel d'Airbus Military à Séville, en Espagne."

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:30
Israeli F-16I Fighters Resume Training

18/9/2013 IsraelDefense


Training resumes two months after the F-16I "Sufa" aircraft were grounded due to a malfunction that forced two air crewmembers to abandon their aircraft off the coast of Gaza


The Israeli Air Force's F-16I "Sufa" squadron has resumed training after being grounded for two weeks to an aircraft crashing near the coast of Gaza in July, when two air crewmembers were forced to abandon the aircraft and were rescued by IDF rescue unit 669.


The first training took place at the Ramon base and included practice of air-to-air combat basics, combat in complex scenarios while using smart armaments and practicing aerial refueling.


The technical branch of the Sufa squadrons is additionally striving to prepare the aircraft for sorties in a short period of time after a two month recess.


In the past few months, there has been an investigation into the events of the accident, during which the engine of the aircraft shut down during flight, resulting in the air crew abandoning the aircraft according to procedure and their subsequent rescue. According to the results of the investigation, a technical malfunction in the aircraft engine is what apparently led to the engine shutting down.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

Sep 23, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


The U.S. Air Force’s  Air Logistics Complex (ALC) at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, hosted a ceremony today marking the arrival of the first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]  F-35 Lightning II aircraft to a depot facility.


The aircraft ferried from Nellis AFB, Nev., and will be the first Air Force F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant used in the Block 2B Operational Testing & Evaluation (OT&E) program in 2015. The aircraft will receive a series of structural and systems modifications at Ogden to enhance critical capabilities needed during OT&E testing. This marks the second depot opened this year. In July, the U.S. Marines welcomed the first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant at Cherry Point, N.C.


Read more

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
Tunisia Requests F-5 Avionics Upgrade

September 23rd, 2013 By US Defense Security Cooperation Agency - defencetalk.com


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on September 18 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Tunisia of F-5 avionics upgrades and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $60 million.


The Government of Tunisia has requested a possible sale of Block 1 Avionics Upgrades on Tunisia’s fleet of 12 F-5 aircraft. The upgrade includes 12 LN-260 Standard Positioning System Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS), Control Display Unit, Electrical Power, and Environmental Control System, repairs, Material Condition Inspection, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $60 million.


This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country in North Africa.


The proposed sale will improve Tunisia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense, as well as support counter-terrorism operations. These systems will bolster Tunisia’s ability to continue supporting its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism and border security operations. Tunisia, which already has F-5 aircraft in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing this service and support into its armed forces.


The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.


The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman of St. Augustine, Florida. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of up to 23 U.S. contractor representatives to Tunisia for approximately two years.


There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.


This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Taiwan Develops 'Smart' Munitions Against China: Report

Sep. 21, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


TAIPEI — Taiwan’s air force will be armed with “smart” munitions before the year’s end that could be used against any Chinese invasion by striking airfields and harbors on the mainland, media reported Saturday.


The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousand Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets.


The island nation began developing its own smart weapons after the United States — Taiwan’s main arms supplier — refused to sell it guided bombs.


Taiwan’s air force plans to upgrade 60 fighters before the year’s end, with the last six being refitted and scheduled to be completed in December, the Taipei-based China Times reported.


The defense ministry declined to comment on the report.


The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say.


The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbors, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.


Each kit carries more than 100 warheads capable of blowing dozens of small craters in airport runways, making them impossible to use, they say.


The China Times said the refusal to sell JDAMs to Taiwan by United States had prompted the island to develop the offensive weapon on its own.


Ties between Taiwan and its giant neighbor have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government took power in Taipei in 2008. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.


But China still considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, prompting Taipei to seek more advanced defense weaponry, mainly from the United States.


Taiwanese experts estimate the People’s Liberation Army has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Turkey Could Face Huge Fighter Bill

In addition to an indigenous fighter under development locally, Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35A fighter jets. (Lockheed Martin)


Sep. 22, 2013 By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense news


ANKARA — Turkish ambitions to develop and build the first ever made-in-Turkey fighter aircraft and at the same time buy a new generation, multinational combat jet may go beyond Turkey’s financing capacity, industry sources and experts said.


They said Turkey could face a US $50 billion bill in the next few decades if it decides to go ahead with now maturing plans to build an indigenous fighter jet and order scores of the US-led, multinational F-35 joint strike fighter in a parallel move.


“The [local] fighter program has not yet won the final green light from the government, but if it does, Turkish budget planners will have to sit down and find ways to finance both this ambition and the JSF program,” said one senior western aerospace official.


Procurement officials earlier said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would make the final decision on whether Turkey should skip to a next level in its pre-conceptual design work for the Turkish fighter, a program dubbed the TF-X.


Turkey’s ultimate decision-maker on procurement, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Erdogan, is expected to make a decision this year.


Industry sources took a ministerial statement on a civilian project as an indication of a positive decision on the TF-X. Transport Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Sept. 3 that a plan for the design, development and production of a Turkish civilian aircraft, with 60 to 120 seats, had been submitted to the cabinet for approval.


Defense industry officials estimate that building eight prototypes to be produced under the TF-X would cost Ankara over $10 billion. “Any figure in the range of $11-13 billion would be realistic,” an aviation official said.


His guess for the final Turkish order if the entire program succeeded is nearly 200 aircraft. “We target $100 million per aircraft,” he said. “I think 200 is a realistic figure given our aging fleet of aircraft that will phase out in the decades ahead.”


That means Turkey will have to spend $31-33 billion for the Turkish fighter it hopes to design, develop and manufacture. But independent analysts say this can be an over-optimistic calculation.


“We know that Turkey’s plans do not include developing an engine for the Turkish fighter. Moreover, I think $100 million per aircraft is too optimistic given Turkey’s technological constraints, its high-cost industry and the fact that a newcomer [into the fighter industry] like Turkey would always suffer setbacks and trials and errors during the entire process.”


Turkey has been in talks with Sweden’s Saab for pre-conceptual design work for the country’s first national fighter jet. Saab makes the JAS 39 Gripen, a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. The Gripen is powered by the Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, a derivative of the General Electric F404, and has a top speed of Mach 2.


Turkey hopes that under the TF-X program, it can fly the Turkish fighter by 2023, the centennial of the republic. Turkey’s aerospace powerhouse, TAI, has been debating three designs.


Meanwhile, Turkey, whose present fighter fleet is made up of US-made aircraft, also plans to buy the F-35.


Most of Turkey’s fleet of F-16 fighters, being modernized by Lockheed Martin, and the F-35s are open to US technological influence. Only its older F-4 aircraft, modernized by Israel, and its oldest F-16s, being modernized by Turkey, are free from this influence. But these older aircraft are expected to be decommissioned around 2020.


Turkey’s defense procurement officials have said that Ankara intends to buy around 100 F-35s. Defense analysts estimate the cost of the entire JSF program to Turkey to be around $16 billion, bringing Turkey’s fighter budget up to $50 billion together with the TF-X.

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20 septembre 2013 5 20 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
Boeing arrêtera la production du C-17 en 2015

19.09.2013 Emilie Drab.journal-aviation.com


« C’était une décision très difficile mais nécessaire que d’arrêter la production du C-17 », a déclaré Dennis Muilenburg, président et CEO de la division Defense, Space & Security de Boeing. L’avionneur a en effet annoncé le 18 septembre la fermeture de la ligne d’assemblage du C-17 Globemaster III pour 2015.


Le dernier C-17 destiné aux Etats-Unis a été remis à l’US Air Force le 12 septembre. Il reste désormais 22 de ces avions militaires de transport à produire.


Dennis Muilenburg a expliqué qu'en raison des coupes budgétaires nécessaires chez les pays clients de l’appareil, d’éventuelles commandes ne pourraient pas être passées suffisamment tôt pour maintenir la ligne d’assemblage de Long Beach (Californie) opérationnelle.


Actuellement, 3 000 personnes travaillent sur les quatre sites dédiés au programme (Long Beach, Macon en Géorgie, Mesa en Arizona et St Louis dans le Missouri). Les suppressions de postes débuteront dès 2014 et se poursuivront jusqu’à la fin de la production. Son arrêt aura également un impact sur 650 fournisseurs du programme.


Développé par McDonnell Douglas, le C-17 a effectué son premier vol en septembre 1991. Depuis, la flotte mondiale a cumulé plus de 2,6 millions d’heures de vol dans des missions diverses : transport de troupes et de matériel, largage d’aide humanitaire, missions médicales… Elle compte 257 appareils, dont 223 aux Etats-Unis. Les autres se trouvent au service de l’Australie, du Canada, de l’Inde, du Qatar, des Emirats Arabes Unis, du Royaume-Unis et de l’OTAN.

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20 septembre 2013 5 20 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
Réception du 1er avion de la tranche 4 du programme Rafale

Le premier exemplaire de la 4e tranche de production du programme Rafale


19/09/2013 DGA


La DGA a pris livraison le 12 septembre 2013 du premier exemplaire de la 4e tranche de production du programme Rafale. Les 60 avions de cette tranche de production sont tous équipés en série de capteurs nouvelle génération, à savoir du radar RBE2 AESA à antenne active, du détecteur départ missile nouvelle génération (DDM NG) et de l’optronique secteur frontal "identification et télémétrie".


Le Rafale est le premier avion de combat européen en service à bénéficier de la technologie AESA (Active ElectronicallyScannedArray), qui permet d’améliorer significativement sa portée de détection. C’est l’aboutissement de plus de 10 ans d’efforts de R&D sur les antennes actives. L’avion, qui est le 121e Rafale de série livré, est un appareil biplace immatriculé B 339 destiné à l’armée de l’air. Il rejoindra dans les prochains jours la base aérienne de Mont-de-Marsan.


Le Rafale est le premier appareil de chasse omnirôle, c'est-à-dire qu’il peut, au cours du même vol, assurer différents types de missions, par exemple l’attaque au sol et la défense aérienne. Totalement polyvalent, le Rafale assure toute la gamme de missions dévolues à un avion de chasse: supériorité et défense aérienne, attaque d’objectifs terrestres ou maritimes, appui-feu rapproché de troupes au sol, reconnaissance, frappe nucléaire. C’est aussi le premier appareil conçu dès l’origine pour opérer aussi bien à partir d’une base terrestre que depuis un porte-avions. Il est mis en œuvre par l’armée de l’air et la marine.


A ce jour, 180 avions de série ont été commandés par la DGA et 121 appareils livrés dans ses 3 versions : à savoir 38 monoplace embarqué « M » pour la Marine, 39 biplace « B » et 44 monoplace « C » pour l’armée de l’Air. Le Rafale a été déployé pour des opérations de combat en Afghanistan, en Libye et au Mali.

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