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19 mars 2014 3 19 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
LM Delivers 1st KC-130J Super Hercules Tanker To US Marine Corps Reserve

 

 

Mar 18, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

The first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve squadron was ferried today from the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] facility located here. This KC-130J is assigned to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) stationed at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.

 

The aircraft will be welcomed with a formal ceremony on March 18, in Texas, where it is the first KC-130J tanker to be stationed in the state. NAS Fort Worth JRB shares a runway with Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics headquarters location in Fort Worth.

 

“Since the early 1960s, U.S. Marine Corps teams have operated the KC-130 and showcased the Hercules’ unparalleled capabilities as both a flexible tactical airlifter and vital tanker resource. This new KC-130J provides VMGR-234 crews with added power, strength and flexibility to support the highly critical missions they are depended upon to perform,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, C-130 Programs. “The arrival of the KC-130J Super Hercules in Fort Worth represents the start of a new era of Hercules history and we are honored to extend this tradition of Hercules flight with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.”

 

VMGR-234 is a part of Marine Aircraft Group 41 (MAG-41), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW). Its crew and aircraft provide aerial refueling capabilities and air transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. The squadron, known as the “Rangers,” has operated KC-130s for more than 30 years, using the aircraft for missions during the Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom in addition to providing humanitarian support around the world. The squadron previously operated KC-130Fs and most recently, KC-130Ts.

 

The KC-130J is the global leader in aerial refueling for both tactical aircraft and helicopters, and it is also capable of conducting rapid ground refueling. The battle-tested KC-130J aerial refueling tanker is the latest in a long lineage of C-130 Hercules tanker technology. The new KC-130J builds on proven tanker designs while taking full advantage of tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the basic C-130J aircraft. KC-130Js operated by U.S. Marine Corps active duty crews contributed to the worldwide C-130 fleet’s initial 1 million flight hours.

 

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
IAF transforming into strategic power: Chief

 

Mar 15, 2014 brahmand.com

 

KOLKATA (PTI): Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Friday said that the IAF was poised to transform into a strategic aerospace power with the ongoing modernisation.

 

"IAF (Indian Air Force) is on a trajectory of modernisation and is transforming into a strategic aerospace power with full spectrum capability," said ACM Raha in his address to the personnel at Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal.

 

He also urged all personnel to display exemplary leadership in pursuit of excellence.

 

Accompanied by wife Lily, Raha is on a four-day official visit in West Bengal to various defence establishments since Thursday.

 

At Kalaikunda, the air force chief also reviewed various measures being undertaken by the station towards operational commitments.

 

He also visited No 18 squadron and flew in a MiG-27 trainer aircraft with Gp Capt Ashish Rana, Commanding Officer of the squadron.

 

Earlier upon arrival at Kolkata he had called on Governor M K Narayanan at Raj Bhavan. He was scheduled to visit the Eastern Command's headquarter in Kolkata Saturday.

 

Raha also kept his promised date with his alma mater, Sainik School in Purulia, where he had studied from 1965 to 1970.

 

Addressing cadets of the school, he said it was a special pleasure to revisit it within three months since taking over as the Air Chief.

 

Talking to media-persons at Purulia, he described Sainik Schools as being among the best public schools that are building foundations for future leaders of our country.

 

"The Air Chief's visit has certainly overwhelmed the cadets who see him as their role model. This will not only motivate the cadets to aspire for a career in the Defence but will also boost the parents to encourage their children to become officers in the Armed Forces of the country," Principal Col B S Ghorpade said.

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 14:50
F-35 : l'Italie envisage de réduire à nouveau sa commande

L'Italie prévoit de réduire son budget de la défense de trois milliards d'euros sur les trois prochaines années, un plan d'économies qui pourrait passer par la révision de programmes d'envergure comme l'acquisition de F-35

 

17/03/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Rome pourrait revoir à la baisse sa commande de 90 avions de chasse F-35. Elle avait déjà été réduite de 131 à 90 appareils.

 

L'Italie pourrait revoir à la baisse sa commande de 90 avions de chasse F-35, fabriqués par le groupe américain Lockheed Martin, dans le cadre d'un vaste programme de réduction de sa dépense publique, a déclaré le président du Conseil Matteo Renzi. L'Italie prévoit de réduire son budget de la défense de trois milliards d'euros sur les trois prochaines années, un plan d'économies qui se traduira par la fermeture de casernes mais aussi par la révision de programmes d'envergure comme l'acquisition de F-35, dont le coût du programme a explosé.

"Nous maintiendrons nos programmes internationaux et nous continuerons à avoir une force aérienne solide mais ce programme sera révisé", a annoncé dimanche le nouveau chef du gouvernement italien sur la chaîne de télévision Canale 5.

 

11,8 milliards d'euros sur 45 ans

La commande de F-35, d'un coût initialement estimée à 11,8 milliards d'euros sur 45 ans à partir de 2015, fait l'objet d'une incertitude prolongée, les gouvernements successifs étant tous confrontés à la nécessité de remettre de l'ordre dans les finances publiques. Pour exemple, ce programme coûtera au contribuable américain au moins 1.500 milliards de dollars (1.160 milliards d'euros) sur un cycle de vie d'un demi-siècle, a dû reconnaître en 2012 le Pentagone.

La commande a déjà été réduite de 131 à 90 appareils mais nombreux sont ceux, au sein du Parti démocrate de Matteo Renzi comme dans l'opposition, qui souhaitent aller plus loin, voire renoncer carrément au programme.

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 13:20
T-6C Texan II. (Beechcraft)

T-6C Texan II. (Beechcraft)

 

Mar 14, 2014 ASDNews Source : Textron Inc

 

    Integrates Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker Aircraft Brands Into New ''Textron Aviation'' Business Segment

 

Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) today announced it has closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corporation, and that it will bring together its Cessna business and Beechcraft to form a new segment called Textron Aviation. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6 billion in revenues during 2013.

 

The acquisition brings together three iconic brands, each pioneering many of general aviation’s most notable advances in the past century. Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker bring 200-plus years of combined aviation experience to the market and an installed customer base of more than 250,000 airplanes worldwide. Going forward, Textron Aviation intends to share and leverage best practices across all operations to further its position as an aviation authority. Scott Ernest, who has served as Cessna’s President and CEO since 2011, will lead the Textron Aviation segment as CEO.

 

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 11:40
Ukraine: répercussions sur le secteur aéronautique russe (Iliouchine)

 

 

MOSCOU, 17 mars - RIA Novosti

 

Suite aux événements en Ukraine, le constructeur d'avions russe Iliouchine sera obligé de rechercher des alternatives pour obtenir une partie des équipements destinés à l'avion-cargo militaire Il-476, a annoncé lundi le directeur-général du groupe Iliouchine, Viktor Livanov.

 

"J'attire votre attention sur les risques: 35 équipements préfabriqués nous sont livrés par l'Ukraine. Si la situation ne change pas dans ce pays, nous serons obligés de rechercher des alternatives pour ces équipements", a indiqué le responsable lors d'un entretien avec le vice-premier ministre russe Dmitri Rogozine.

 

Le Il-476 (appellation officielle Il-76MD-90A) créé sur la base de l'avion IL-76MD est destiné à transporter des soldats, des véhicules militaires, des cargaisons, du combustible et des containers.

 

Le cargo a volé pour la première fois en septembre 2012.

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 22:50
Gripen:Blocher s'inquiète des intrigues de l'industrie aéronautique

 

16.03.2014 Romandie.com (ats)

 

Christoph Blocher met en garde afin que la bataille pour l'achat de Gripen ne dégénère pas en un combat entre constructeurs aéronautiques. Le conseiller national UDC n'exclut pas que la campagne des opposants soit financée par les concurrents du groupe suédois Saab.

 

"Les opposants au Gripen ont bien plus d'argent. Demandez-leur où ils ont trouvé les fonds? Pour combien ont secrètement contribué les grands concurrents du Gripen?", lance Christoph Blocher dans une interview diffusée dimanche par la "Zentralschweiz am Sonntag" et l'"Ostschweiz am Sonntag"..

 

Les concurrents de l'avion de combat suédois espéraient qu'il soit recalé. Il y a d'énormes intérêts commerciaux, selon le tribun zurichois. "Je suis depuis suffisamment longtemps en affaires et en politique pour savoir ce qui se passe". Ils sont "plus rusés que les Suédois" et n'envoient "pas de fax", ajoute-t-il.

 

L'ancien conseiller fédéral s'est mis à disposition des partisans du Gripen pour intervenir dans les prochaines semaines. Il refuse toutefois d'indiquer s'il participera financièrement à la campagne. "Si je dis 'oui', c'est un vote contre Blocher. Si je dis 'non', cela signifie que le vote nous importe peu", justifie-t-il.

 

Les Suisses sont appelés le 18 mai à se prononcer sur l'achat de 22 avions de combat suédois Gripen pour 3,126 milliards de francs.

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
Suisse : A l'unanimité, les officiers disent oui au Gripen

 

15.03.2014 arcinfo.ch (ATS)

 

Les officiers de l'armée suisse se sont exprimés en faveur de l'achat de Gripen. Ils ont également demandé un budget défense de 5 milliards de francs.

 

Les délégués de la Société Suisse des Officiers (SSO) ont voté samedi unanimement en faveur de la loi sur le fonds d'acquisition des Gripen. "Le peuple aura la possibilité le 18 mai de choisir le niveau de sécurité qu'il souhaite", indique le communiqué de la SSO.

 

"Depuis le début, la SSO a soutenu le remplacement de la flotte obsolète des Tiger, car une armée crédible est un système global qui doit disposer de moyens et d'équipements adaptés pour mener à bien sa mission constitutionnelle que lui a confiée le peuple", a déclaré le président de la SSO Denis Froidevaux.

 

Le financement choisi permet de réaffirmer les compétences de l'armée de l'air. De plus le recours à un fonds offre l'avantage de financer les Gripen par le budget ordinaire de l'armée sans devoir chercher un financement spécial qui obligerait à réaliser des économies dans d'autres départements, a ajouté M. Froidevaux.

 

L'assemblée, qui s'est déroulée en présence du ministre de la Défense, Ueli Maurer, et de son homologue suédoise, Karin Enström, a également réitéré son exigence de voir le budget militaire fixé à 5 milliards de francs dès 2016.

 

Le brigadier Froidevaux a rappelé les quatre critères non négociables pour la réforme de l'armée. Ce sont un effectif minimal de 100'000 hommes, un budget de 5 milliards, le principe d'une armée de milice et le respect de la mission de l'armée dans ses trois dimensions, terre-air-cyberspace.

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 12:20
The Rafale As Canada’s Next Fighter – Part 2

 

March 5, 2014. By Yves Pagot - Defence Watch Guest Writer

 

Editor’s note: As part of its ongoing coverage of the CF-18 fighter aircraft replacement, Defence Watch has published a number of articles from authors supporting various aircraft. This week Defence Watch will be running a three-part series that looks at the Rafale filling the role as Canada’s next fighter jet. It is written by Yves Pagot, PhD
ParisTech Institute, and a
reservist in Armée de l’Air. (i.e. reservist with the French Air Force, he is in a parachute unit). Pagot notes that he does not have any connection to Dassault or the firms involved in the Rafale production.

 

Factor 3 : Compatibility and Weapons Capacity.

As stated above, Rafale can carry any NATO standardized weapon (although some are not integrated yet for the French air force, there is no technical difficulty to it). Considering its “French ecosystem” as a requisite is a false opinion as stated above. It would be much more interesting to evaluate which original weapons Rafale would bring to CAF.

First, the Meteor missile is a Ramjet missile and the most modern, lethal, air-to-air weapon in the NATO arsenal. The upcoming AMRAAM missile latest version will have a near similar range (above 100 Kms), but with a much smaller No Escape Zone (NEZ). Missile manufacturer MBDA is also working on integrating the Meteor on the F-35 so there can be no incompatibility argument. The Rafale is one of the earliest adopters and will have it deployed ahead of the F-35 or Eurofighter Typhoon, which is only beginning testing this year.

Second, the MICA missile (Missile d’Interception et de Combat Aérien or interception and aerial combat missile). This missile has both IR and EM capabilities, and a unique IR Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities which the Sidewinder 9X Blk2 is only trying to match. Its relatively small size and thrust vectoring make it a very agile missile, with a range of 500m to 65+ Km. It is a “fire and forget” missile with LOAL (Lock After Launch) and can be shot “over the shoulder” (rearwards). In 2010, MBDA stated a remarkable 93% successful shots out of 240 trials11. An over the shoulder fire of MICA on a target illuminated by a second Rafale (third party targeting) was demonstrated in 200724. MBDA is presently developing a Mica “NG” missile which, using the same body, that will offer more range, a dual boost engine dramatically increasing NEZ and even more precise seekers25. It should also bring a new datalink capability allowing a buddy plane to guide the missile independently from the shooting plane (presently it is needed to guide the missile via the shooting plane datalink)

Third, the AASM SBU38 (Smart Bomb Unit) “HAMMER.” Probably (although expensive) the most advanced NATO Air-to-Ground weapon-so much so, that it’s amazing capabilities saw NATO dub it “The Magic Weapon” during the Libyan conflict. The HAMMER is a kit added to Mk 82 250 Kg bombs consisting in a rocket propeller and a guiding system. The guidance system comprises INS/GPS, INS/GPS Laser or INS/GPS Infrared options. It has off-boresight capabilities (it can be shot at 50 Km from the target at medium altitude and 15 Km of the target during very low penetration flight). Using it, a Rafale is able to destroy six different ground targets across a wide area simultaneously. The HAMMER is advertised by its manufacturer in 125, 250, 500 and 1,000 Kg versions36.

Fourth, the SCALP/Storm Shadow Long Range Stand Off Munition (LRSOM) “cruise” missile. France’s Rafale is the first of the latest generation fighter jets to qualify and use this long-range cruise missile in combat. It was successfully deployed during the French Air Force’s “first-in” missions in Libya, taking out critical targets. The Typhoon is only commencing initial tests this year and from an interoperability perspective, it is also to be incorporated into the F-35 a number of years from now.51

Rafale can also come with Reco NG dual band reconnaissance pod (known as AEROS for export), allowing extremely sharp images to be transmitted in real time via a highly directional broadband datalink. It is capable of blending images from near IR and visible bands to create very high resolution 3D images, even from very long distances35.

Several other European weapons are qualified for the Rafale: Exocet antiship missile, ASMP-A nuclear ramjet missile (although this won’t be available for export, it demonstrates the capability of the plane to resist nuclear electromagnetic flash). The nuclear mission of the Rafale is a testimony to penetrate heavily defended enemy areas.

Finally, Rafale can be refueled using the “probe and drogue” method already used by RCAF, avoiding a costly adaptation of the CC150 Polaris refuellers. This technique was quoted in a US report to congress as more efficient for fighter refueling as it allows to refuel two planes simultaneously19. It is of note that the Rafale also has a “buddy-to-buddy” refueling capability, allowing it to perform even longer range missions in the absence of a refueller.

 

Factor 4 : Sensors and Situational Awareness

Apart from stealth (to be discussed further), the sensor suite and data fusion is described by Lockheed as one of the main features of the so called “5th Gen.” aircraft. And they are right – in a US context. Amongst “4th Gen.” US aircrafts, only the future (if ordered, otherwise the production line will shut down in 2016) FA/18 “Advanced” Super Hornet will feature a sensor fused display, as this is more or less a common feature to “Eurocanards”.

Aboard Rafale, data from all sensors, Radar, Front sector optronics (FSO), Electronic Warfare suite (SPECTRA), IFF (identify friend or foe), IR MICA missiles and datalinks are merged into a clear unified visual symbolism on situational awareness display9. This capability was highly praised in a recent test evaluation by Vianney Riller Jr, who has also flown latest versions of F-18 E/F and SAAB Gripen9. Besides all subsystems are virtualized and independent, the heart of the system is the MDPU (Modular Data Processing Unit), composed of 19 LRUs (line replacement units), each of them 50 times more powerful than previous generation aircraft computers. The architecture of the system allows flawless upgrade of processors, and a second bay is provisioned to receive another MDPU. This type of architecture also eases maintenance and upgrades of the whole combat system. The system is able to “create” tracks using fragmented data from several sensors.

Visualization can be integrated into the tactical head level display, an original feature with its screen collimated to infinite in order to prevent vision accommodation delays between the screen and the HUD/pilot outer vision. Virtually every sensor including “plugged ones” like a reconnaissance pod or Data sent from JTACs (Joint Tactical Air Controllers) will be fused in the tactical presentation given to the pilot.

 

On the subject of displays, Rafale is available with a fully-integrated helmet-mounted display developed by Thales, although the French forces have not ordered it as yet.53

 

Rafale’s sensor suite includes:
· RBE2 AA radar. It is a state-of-the-art AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar composed of roughly 1,000 GaAs modules 12. It incorporates an original “cloud concept” architecture allowing future GaN made modules and conformal antennas to be added without changing the overall architecture of the radar14. With an average input power of 10 kW, it s described as very similar to F-18 E/F AN/APG 79 radar in terms of technology and maturity22. Although its exact range is classified, the “Centre d’Expériences Aériennes Militaires” (CEAM, the unit qualifying new materials), stated several times that the range was “doubled” as compared to the previous PESA radar. Dassault’s CEO, Eric Trappier, once stated “more than 200 Km.” It is able to track 40 planes or other targets and engage eight of them simultaneously within a 140° angular domain15. It features a “non cooperative” identification system and can generate high resolution Synthetic Aperture maps40 and comes with an automated supplementary follow-ground terrain mode.

· OSF-IT Front sensor optronics. The OSF posseses a powerful TV channel allowing the pilot to identify a target at more than 50 Km. This function is particularly useful, with very restrictive engagement rules. The system also features a laser telemeter.

· IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) the proposed version of Rafale (F3R) features latest IFF (mode 5/S);

· Three Laser Warning Receivers covering 360° around the plane, with angular location of laser emitter capabilities;

· Infrared Search and Track (IRST). This is accomplished through a combination of systems. Détecteur de Départ de Missiles Nouvelle Génération (“DDM NG” or new generation missile departure detector) comprises two “fish eye” passive imaging infrared detectors. These are more than just a missile approach warning system (MAWS). Their high level of accuracy for IR threat detection contributes to comprehensive situation awareness in a similar manner to F-35 EODAS9,16 with a 360-degree spherical coverage. In fact they are precise enough to be compatible with the future use of DIRCMs (Direct Infrared Counter Measures). The infrared versions of the MICA missiles are also integrated into the situational awareness picture providing a far IR channel together with or independent of the targeting pod. The MICA IR sensors provide full IR capability throughout the duration of the mission as the sensors do not rely on short-duration nitrogen canisters for cooling, as do most U.S. infrared missiles.

· Three Radar Warning Receivers. These three antennas (120° coverage each) are located on the tail fin base and canard roots. These systems use interferometry calculation methods in order to locate threats allowing a less than 1° accuracy and over a 200 Km range 15,17. This precision allows them to passively (without using active sensors) give firing solutions. During ATLC 2009, they were able to locate radars that had stayed unnoticed to a specialized aircraft configuration, F16 CJ20.

· The three latter sensors are part of the famous “SPECTRA” EW suite, which is also capable of self learning (and real time deeding its own threat databank) and ELINT/SIGINT tasks using recorders.

Factor 5 : Stealth and SPECTRA.

In the early’80 s, the DGA (French procurement agency) and Armée de l’Air started studied the self protection system of the future combat aircraft.

Future threat analysis as well as cost considerations (acquisition and maintenance) led to a compromise between high kinematic abilities and the different parries to theses threats.

· Preventive avoidance led to full spectrum signature reduction features, automatic very low altitude and very high-speed terrain following ground system and adaptation of pathways using a sophisticated mission preparation system.

· In-flight detection of threats and adapted course change, allowing real time adaptation of preventive avoidance.

· Avoidance by neutralization – jamming, decoying and ultimately destroying threats.

Whole Spectrum Signature reduction measures are obtained by several means, mostly classified, some documented. In the IR spectrum for example (heat detection), there is a supplementary cool air channel around the engine exhaust. In the radar spectrum, extensive use of composites (1/3rd of the plane mass, 70% of the wet surface (that is roughly to the same extent as the future Pak-Fa Russian fighter)), and RAM coatings, presence of serrated “saw-tooth” patterns on canards and wing trailing edges, as well as inside air intakes. Instead of deflecting incoming radar waves to an angle away from the emitter, they are channeled towards “spike” points heavily treated against reflection. Dassault engineers do not claim their plane to be “stealthy”, but very discreet or “sneaky.” All in all, the Rafale has a radar cross section reduction by 20 times compared to the Mirage 200015.

Avoidance of known threats is obtained either by mission planning (and the data will appear on the tactical display) or in real time, via Link 16 or detection by any of the plane sensors. In the latter cases, SPECTRA is able to propose actions vs. emerging threat, be it bypassing via recommending a new route to the pilot in order to avoid lethal areas (sophisticated enough to take into account the characteristics of the threat and topography), jamming, decoying or destroying the threat.

Here lies the origin of the SPECTRA concept, which most modern EW suites are only now emulating. Far from being a simple “situation Awareness” suite, SPECTRA is capable of offensive actions. It has 3 AESA highly directional jamming antennas allowing deception jamming. The possible types of jamming involved have been extensively discussed on the net and are highly classified. We know it uses a DRFM (Digital Radio Frequency Memory) chain and “intelligent” jamming instead of “brutal jamming”. False range targets, velocity gate pull-off, and narrow band Doppler noise created by using digital RF memory (DRFM) are the common coherent EA techniques which can be used effectively against LPI radars23. Simply put, it is able to feed enemy radar with wrong data about presence, location and number of planes. It acts as an illusionist instead of using noisy, blinding “projectors” (“broadband white noise jammers”). Furthermore, depending on conditions, SPECTRA is able to detect and localize potential threats accurately enough to allow a shooting without using active (detectable) sensors. Some interesting results nevertheless leaked to specialized press, here are some:

· While flying over Libyan air defenses (before the Libyan air defense system was suppressed by tomahawk salvo), Rafales planes “poofed” from enemy radars31.

· During NATO Mace XIII exercise in Slovakia, a Rafale B flew unmolested over a S300 radar (and was the only type engaged in the exercise able to do it)21

· During Joint warrior 2013-1 exercise, rumours say SPECTRA literally gave headaches to Eurofighter’s Captor M radar, preventing it from tracking visible and detectable Rafales.

· During his test flights in 2012, DefesaNet test pilot Vianney Riller Jr. could shoot, entirely relying on aircraft passive sensors, a plane attacking him in his 6 o’clock position from way over 10 NM. At the moment, as far as I know, Rafale is the only operational plane able to perform such a shot.

· In a 2011 technical presentation brochure at Le Bourget, “virtual stealth technology” is stated27.

SPECTRA is completely integrated to the airplane (and will react differently according to the plane configuration). This is a very important feature as the suite wasn’t added to the plane like a jamming pod would, but was designed for the plane as a coherent system (with exact radar behavious, IR signatures and loads in mind).

This advanced, integrated EW capability is another area where the Americans are actually playing catch-up. The Rafale is the only aircraft delivering this advanced combat capability on the market today. The Boeing EA-18G Growler, the electronic warfare variant of the F-18 Super Hornet, will only be getting this capability in a next generation external jamming pod from Raytheon on 2020. In order to have the air-to-air, air-to-ground AND EW capabilities at once, you need to fly both the SuperHornet and Growlers – two jets compared to one Rafale.48

In conclusion, instead of relying completely on a stealthy shape, Rafale relies on a smart avoidance system and highly sophisticated sensor suite, real time mission planning and top end AESA jammers. It is noticeable that in 2014, a Rafale demonstrator will fly with gallium-nitride (GaN) made SPECTRA antennas, a world first, demonstration the involvement of French state in constantly upgrading the aircraft. Again, this will be six years ahead of the Growler getting that capability and only promised on the F-35.48


Part 3 runs Friday morning.

1- http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/questevalfin-finquesteval-eng.html
2- http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-to-finalise-rafale-deal-this-fiscal-year-air-force-official-433663
3- http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the-saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter/
4- http://www.senat.fr/rap/a13-158-8/a13-158-814.html
5- http://vanguardcanada.com/mission-satisfaction-rafale-offers-proven-capability/
6- http://www.rafalesolodisplay.com/la-demo-2013/
7- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/combat-ready-53125/
8- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/flight-test-dassault-rafale-rampant-rafale-334383/
9- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10893/Shooting-Down-an-Aggressor-on-My-Six–Vive-la-difference-/
10- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioTTnjxNc7o
11- http://www.ffaa.net/weapons/mica/mica_fr.htm
12- http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/sponsors/sponsor_rafale/img/fox3_11.pdf
13- http://wayback.archive.org/web/20071122095016/http://www.dassault-aviation.com/fileadmin/user_upload/redacteur/AUTRES_DOCS/Fox_three/Fox_Three_nr_8.pdf
14- http://www.textbooks.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416132257&o=int&prev=si
15- AWST 7/5/1999 ; Vol 151 issue 1 p48
16- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/ddm_ng_ds.pdf
17- https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/content/spectra
18- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/le-rafale-f3r-sur-les-rails.html
19- http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32910.pdf
20- http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/defense/2009/12/carton-plein-pour-le-rafale-lors-dexercices-aux-emirats.html
21- http://ultimaratio-blog.org/fr/archives/5749
22- Air&Cosmos 2150, Dec 5th , 2008
23- http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA456960
24- http://www.cesa.air.defense.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=309
25- Air et Cosmos 2355, April 19th , 2013 p. 28
26- http://www.marianne.net/blogsecretdefense/Libye-quand-un-Rafale-fait-les-35-heures_a296.html
27- https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9s7kezdf51vaij/specs%20rafale.jpg
28- http://theflyingmen.over-blog.com/t%C3%A9moignage-un-pilote-de-rafale-au-dessus-du-mali
29- http://theaviationist.com/2014/01/15/rafale-operate-uss-truman/
30- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
31- http://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/08/FoxThree_Fox15.pdf p.9.
32- https://www.dropbox.com/s/or11ml8j6ckyu5l/AvionJSFAnalysMd-Nrc080909-copie-1.jpg
33- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10379/Rafale-avanca-na-conquista-de-sucesso-comercial/
34- http://www.journal-aviation.com/actualites/25635-le-rafale-sort-l-artillerie-lourde#
35- http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/8652/recoq.jpg
36- http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/defense/defense-aeronautique/systemes-d-armes/aasm/
37- AWST Jan 20th, 2014, p29
38- http://www.air-cosmos.com/defexpo-2014-uk/rafale-looks-to-the-future.html
39- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/visite-de-le-drian-au-merignac-des.html
40- https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfeyRsCIUAAkADx.jpg
41- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
42- https://www.dropbox.com/s/v22glx28nisgvt6/DutchAirForceAssociation_Gripen_2009.pdf
43- http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,186349,00.html
44- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/pentagon-downgrades-jet-specs/
45- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F11%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-1.html&langpair=fr|en
46- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F12%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-2.html&langpair=fr|en
47- http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140202/NEWS04/302020005/Air-Combat-Command-s-challenge-Buy-new-modernize-older-aircraft
48- AWST February 17, 2014, p42 « Fast and Furious : Pivot to Pacific propels the need for upgraded and agile electronic-warfare systems »
49- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=2
50- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=1
51- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/Storm-Shadow_ds.pdf
52- http://theaviationist.com/2014/02/04/f-35-needs-f-22-acc-says/
53- https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/default/files/asset/document/G00974_TopSight_v3web.pdf

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 12:19
The Rafale As Canada’s Next Fighter – Part 1


March 5, 2014 By Yves Pagot Defence Watch Guest Writer

 

Editor’s note: As part of its ongoing coverage of the CF-18 fighter aircraft replacement, Defence Watch has published a number of articles from authors supporting various aircraft. This week Defence Watch will be running a three-part series that looks at the Rafale filling the role as Canada’s next fighter jet. It is written by Yves Pagot, PhD
ParisTech Institute, and a
reservist in Armée de l’Air. (i.e. reservist with the French Air Force, he is in a parachute unit). Pagot notes that he does not have any connection to Dassault or the firms involved in the Rafale production.



During the last months, three interesting articles were released on this blog about incoming replacement of Canada’s CF-18. One was touting Gripen as the right choice for Canada, the other questioning the value of the F-35 as a candidate for Canada’s new fighter and the third, waves the F-35 flag. Interestingly, all dismiss Dassault’s Rafale for the wrong reasons:

Firstly they said that Rafale is not compliant with many US weapons and operations; secondly that there is only one operator, and third, they continue to lump the Rafale into the “legacy” or “4th Gen.” arena. I would like to debunk these urban legends.

Rafale already use several several air-to-ground US-made weapons (GBU 12, 24, 49, as well as unguided weapons). More importantly, its weapon bus is fully compliant with NATO Stanag 3910/1553.

Therefore, there is no technical hurdle to integrate any NATO weaponry. Furthermore, during operation “Harmattan” in Libya (Canada called it Operation Mobile – later Operation Enduring Freedom under NATO), French armed forces used the Raytheon wireless system to integrate GBU 49s on their Rafale.

France isn’t involved in the F-35 program, therefore the French armed forces have no plan “B”. Considering the strategic willingness of France as a permanent member of UN Security Council (and the inclusion of the Rafale as a nuclear vector is this scheme), it will be maintained as a high-end aircraft.

Recently, many positive signs emerged indicating a probable quick conclusion to the long and complex MMRCA contract negotiations, in which India will buy 126 (+63 options) Rafales2. Already 1 billion euros has been provisioned in the French budget to implement the next F3R standard incoming in 2018 (contract announced the 10th January), and a fifth production tranche was announced18. All in all, the Rafale’s future looks quite bright.

What are Canadian operational requirements? They are detailed in the Request for Information document issued by the government1.

Although this document is way too long to be fully addressed here, six main missions are cited: Defensive Counter Air (DCA), Offensive Counter Air (OCA), Strategic Attack, Close Air Support, Land Strike, Tactical Support to Maritime operations (TASMO) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

Two main strategic situations emerge:

· Defense of sovereignty, be it in Air, -Land or Sea. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll include a strategic “hit back” (deep penetration) strategic capability here.

· Participation in offensive missions within a coalition.

Canada’s specific geography (huge size, remote areas and cold environment) dictates some of the plane characteristics:

· It must have a long range, persistence and reliability;

· In flight refueling is mandatory and buddy-to-buddy refueling desirable;

· Time-to-target considerations above long distances make supercruise capability very important;

· Dual engines for reliability offer resistance to the “goose factor” (ingestion of a bird by an engine) and resilience against combat damages;

· Due to the possible duration of missions, a twin-seater version is preferable.

I’ll use the very same order as was already used about Gripen aircraft at the previous Defence Watch postings3. I will emphasize Rafale advantages as pro and cons of other planes have already been extensively discussed already.

Factor 1 : Cost

Many incorrect price figures have been seen in press (including French press), but recently, the actual fly away official cost was released on the French Senate site4. These prices include VAT. For export, the fly away cost is 57.5M euros ($83M CAD) for the C variant and 61.9 Meuros for the B variant (twin-seater).

The Cost of Flight Per Hour (CFPH) was $19,000 CAD during war operations in Mali and should be lower during peace time5.

Dassault is ready to fully open the technology to Canada, even source codes, letting thus Canada to modify the plane as for their will. They stated that Canada would be able to fully produce the aircraft, and even that some of the Falcon production line could be moved to Canada5. This is an important point for sovereignty as Canada would be fully independent (if it wishes to) from French upgrades and decide by itself for the evolution of its planes.

Factor 2 : Performance:

Kinematics :

Rafale is operationally limited to Mach 1.8 (although it reached mach 2+ during qualification tests15) and 55,000 feet which is as good or more than most considered types. Its sunning agility demonstrated during air shows is due to its engines power and its ability to sustain 9g turns, and regularly hit more than 10g during display flights6. Furthermore, a Rafale, fully loaded with 6,000 liters of external fuel in three tanks, four air-to-air mica missiles and two SCALPs (1,300 kg heavy cruise missile) is able to maintain 5.5/6g sustained turn rate7,15.

Interestingly, Rafale was flown by several independent test pilots: Chris Yeo7, David M. North15, Pete Collins8 and Vianney Riller Jr. 9. All of them highly praised its kinematic capabilities and flawless FCS (Flight Control System), but to a common reader, the most convincing proof about the aircraft kinematic capabilities is certainly a recently leaked dogfight picture where one can see a Rafale chasing a F-22 in Basic Flight Manoeuvers10.

Powered by two Snecma M88 engines with 7.5T thrust (with afterburner) each, the Rafale is capable to climb up to 40,000ft. in under two minutes and power the aircraft with an incredible payload (see below). Pete Collins, Flight International test pilot, quoted its acceleration as “brutal,” giving a value of 30 Kts. -2 with one 1250L centerline tank. M88-4E, the last iteration of the engine, is composed of 21 inline replaceable modules for ease of maintenance. The high number of Tactical Air Cycles (4,000) between inspections results in excellent availability. This modularity and ability to do so much front line maintenance without the need for a test bench essentially means there is no concept of Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) with the M88, so engines are basically never sent back for time-consuming depot level overhauls, further increasing availability.
 

Moreover, Rafale has a unique capability to automatically follow the ground using both numeric maps and SAR radar capabilities, limited at 100 feet, 540 Kts (and 5.5g)8.

Range and Supercruise:

Both are crucial capabilities for Canada considering the large size of Canadian territory. Range for obvious reason, supercruise in order to allow aircraft to reach operational zone quickly without using too much fuel. Rafale has a huge combat radius of 1,850 kms (+ loitering/fighting time) in air superiority configuration33 without refueling. Supercruise was achieved with six MICA air-to-air missiles at 1.4 Mach13.

Payload :

Rafale, with a 10 ton empty weight, can carry up to 24.5 tons fully-loaded (a world record rate for a fighter), on 14 hardpoints. Among these, five are wet/heavy weight points. This means that it is able to perform a variety of missions during a single flight from sea attack to ground attack, reconnaissance and air defense. Indeed, during the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course (ATLC) exercise in 2009, a “Red” Rafale shot six AASM “HAMMER” (air-to-ground ammunition) and three mica missiles on “Green” aircrafts in less than one minute. Recently Dassault aviation unveiled a configuration under test, with 3x2000L subsonic drop tanks, 6×250 Kg stand-off AASM bombs, 2 Meteor and 4 MICA missiles34. The FCS system is so sophisticated that it will automatically recognize loadings and adapt flight rules and limitations. This is a very important feature as the plane do not need to be reconfigured according to the mission.

1- http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/questevalfin-finquesteval-eng.html
2- http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-to-finalise-rafale-deal-this-fiscal-year-air-force-official-433663
3- http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the-saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter/
4- http://www.senat.fr/rap/a13-158-8/a13-158-814.html
5- http://vanguardcanada.com/mission-satisfaction-rafale-offers-proven-capability/
6- http://www.rafalesolodisplay.com/la-demo-2013/
7- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/combat-ready-53125/
8- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/flight-test-dassault-rafale-rampant-rafale-334383/
9- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10893/Shooting-Down-an-Aggressor-on-My-Six–Vive-la-difference-/
10- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioTTnjxNc7o
11- http://www.ffaa.net/weapons/mica/mica_fr.htm
12- http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/sponsors/sponsor_rafale/img/fox3_11.pdf
13- http://wayback.archive.org/web/20071122095016/http://www.dassault-aviation.com/fileadmin/user_upload/redacteur/AUTRES_DOCS/Fox_three/Fox_Three_nr_8.pdf
14- http://www.textbooks.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416132257&o=int&prev=si
15- AWST 7/5/1999 ; Vol 151 issue 1 p48
16- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/ddm_ng_ds.pdf
17- https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/content/spectra
18- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/le-rafale-f3r-sur-les-rails.html
19- http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32910.pdf
20- http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/defense/2009/12/carton-plein-pour-le-rafale-lors-dexercices-aux-emirats.html
21- http://ultimaratio-blog.org/fr/archives/5749
22- Air&Cosmos 2150, Dec 5th , 2008
23- http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA456960
24- http://www.cesa.air.defense.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=309
25- Air et Cosmos 2355, April 19th , 2013 p. 28
26- http://www.marianne.net/blogsecretdefense/Libye-quand-un-Rafale-fait-les-35-heures_a296.html
27- https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9s7kezdf51vaij/specs%20rafale.jpg
28- http://theflyingmen.over-blog.com/t%C3%A9moignage-un-pilote-de-rafale-au-dessus-du-mali
29- http://theaviationist.com/2014/01/15/rafale-operate-uss-truman/
30- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
31- http://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/08/FoxThree_Fox15.pdf p.9.
32- https://www.dropbox.com/s/or11ml8j6ckyu5l/AvionJSFAnalysMd-Nrc080909-copie-1.jpg
33- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10379/Rafale-avanca-na-conquista-de-sucesso-comercial/
34- http://www.journal-aviation.com/actualites/25635-le-rafale-sort-l-artillerie-lourde#
35- http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/8652/recoq.jpg
36- http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/defense/defense-aeronautique/systemes-d-armes/aasm/
37- AWST Jan 20th, 2014, p29
38- http://www.air-cosmos.com/defexpo-2014-uk/rafale-looks-to-the-future.html
39- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/visite-de-le-drian-au-merignac-des.html
40- https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfeyRsCIUAAkADx.jpg
41- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
42- https://www.dropbox.com/s/v22glx28nisgvt6/DutchAirForceAssociation_Gripen_2009.pdf
43- http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,186349,00.html
44- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/pentagon-downgrades-jet-specs/
45- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F11%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-1.html&langpair=fr|en
46- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F12%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-2.html&langpair=fr|en
47- http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140202/NEWS04/302020005/Air-Combat-Command-s-challenge-Buy-new-modernize-older-aircraft
48- AWST February 17, 2014, p42 « Fast and Furious : Pivot to Pacific propels the need for upgraded and agile electronic-warfare systems »
49- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=2
50- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=1
51- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/Storm-Shadow_ds.pdf
52- http://theaviationist.com/2014/02/04/f-35-needs-f-22-acc-says/
53- https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/default/files/asset/document/G00974_TopSight_v3web.pdf

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15 mars 2014 6 15 /03 /mars /2014 22:35
Airbus strengthens R&T cooperation with China

 

 

Mar 14, 2014 ASDNews Source : Airbus, an EADS N.V. company

 

    Airbus and NPU of China to identify new applications for 3D printing in commercial aviation

 

Airbus and China’s North Western Polytechnical University (NPU) have signed a cooperation agreement on exploring ways to further apply 3D printing technology in the commercial aviation sector.Under this new agreement, NPU will manufacture test specimens of titanium alloy parts for Airbus using its Laser Solid Forming technology. The specimens will be manufactured according to Airbus specifications and will be measured and assessed by Airbus.

 

“We are pleased to have been selected by Airbus, the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, as a partner to carry out the pilot project to explore ways of applying 3D printing technology in commercial aviation,” says NPU President Weng Zhiqian. “This project is a test for our 3D research capability and we are confident we will deliver satisfactory results on quality and on time that will establish a solid foundation for further cooperation in this field.”

 

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15 mars 2014 6 15 /03 /mars /2014 22:20
The Rafale As Canada’s Next Fighter – Part 3

 

March 7, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

Editor’s note: As part of its ongoing coverage of the CF-18 fighter aircraft replacement, Defence Watch has published a number of articles from authors supporting various aircraft. This week Defence Watch has been running a three-part series that looks at the Rafale filling the role as Canada’s next fighter jet. Below is the third and final part. It is written by Yves Pagot, PhD
ParisTech Institute, and a
 reservist in Armée de l’Air. (i.e. reservist with the French Air Force, he is in a parachute unit). Pagot notes that he does not have any connection to Dassault or the firms involved in the Rafale production.

 

By Yves Pagot
Defence Watch Guest Writer


Factor 6 Battle Proven
Quite understandably, Air Force operators tend to prefer aircraft that have shown their capabilities during war operations.

The Rafale was engaged in three main war theaters: Afghanistan, Libya and Mali. During Afghanistan, it operated numerous Reconnaissance or CAS (Close Air Support) missions within the coalition, demonstrating its excellent capability to co-operate with other NATO nations.

During the Libyan conflict, it was the “first in” plane, several days before suppression of Libyan defenses using massive tomahawk strikes, and used a large array of ammunition. During the first three months, Rafales accumulated 700 sorties for 3,800 flight hours, shot 182 AASM, 116 GBU and 10 SCALP. Some planes reached 35 hours of flight per week. The average availability during the conflict was 95%, with only three mechanics per plane26. In Libya, the Rafale demonstrated its versatility performing a whole range of missions – air interdiction, strike, reconnaissance, air dominance within a single mission.

Mali demonstrated another capability of the Rafale very relevant to Canada: Its capability to perform extremely long missions. The first mission (four Rafales) flew no less than 9h41mins over more than 6,000 km. Twenty Four bombs were delivered. There’s a very interesting report (in French) of this mission described by one of the pilots 28. The planes took off from St Dizier (North of France), bypassed Algeria, flew over Morocco and Mauritania, delivered their weapons over Mali and finally landed in Chad.

During these three operations, the Rafale demonstrated an excellent reliability in war operations, its versatility during a single mission (reconnaissance, air-to-air and air-to-ground) and full interoperability with other NATO nation aircrafts. It is noticeable that the Rafale is the only foreign fighter qualified to operate from US carriers29.

Another critical importance is understanding Canada’s needs which include, both an all-altitude air-to-air superiority aircraft and a very flexible air-to-ground fighter, with a complete EW, IRST and C4ISR capability in a networked environment. What is not mentioned in Canada is most of other nations looking at the F-35 are not buying it as their sole aircraft – why? They have determined the F-35 is not one-size fits all and they are maintaining a mixed fleet, mostly to ensure they have air-superiority because this was not an intended role for the F-35 as its name implies. It is a Joint Strike Fighter – a ground attack fighter. The U.S. has the F-22 as its air superiority aircraft and without it, “the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” said Gen. Michael Hostage, Chief of U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command.52 Both the UK Royal Air Force and Italian Air Force while acknowledging the air to ground capabilities of the F-35, are still keeping their Typhoons for the foreseeable future. “The JSF does not have a high-end air-to-air capability,” according to Col. Vito Cracas, commander of the air force’s 36th Fighter Wing We need to have both aircraft.” 49 Canada obviously doesn’t have another aircraft to complement the F-35, so the question remains as to why would we want to buy an expensive aircraft that can only do half the job, when a Rafale, with its advanced sensor and EW technology, agility and outstanding weapons capability can do all the missions?

Factor 7 : Growth Factor

The Rafale is a constantly evolving weapon system. Since the induction of the purely air-to-air first software standard F1 (a pre-series aimed at filling the gap caused by Marine Nationale retirement of antiquated Crusaders) in 2001 (operational in 2004), the program was much developed, and in a fully retrofitable way. The French air force received its F2 Rafales, with air to ground capabilities. The induction of F3 standard in 2009 brought nuclear and anti-ship capabilities.

The present standard is F3.3′, with some minor updates to come in 2015 for a F3.4 standard (terrain-following system improvement, crash-avoidance system, emergency-braking power management, MICA release)37. The contract for the next standard F3R was officially awarded the Jan 10th buy French MoD Jean-Yves Le Drian. F3R standard will see in 2018 the induction of METEOR missile and the full integration of laser guided HAMMER version, developments of the AESA radar, of the SPECTRA suite as well as a new designation pod, IFF mode 5/S and a new buddy-to-buddy refueling device. Again, the coherence of the evolutions should be noted, for example the AESA radar, with an extended range allowing the use of the METEOR missile full capabilities was inducted in a compatible time frame with the development of the missile38.

Several studies, known as “Plan d’ Etude Amont” are currently underway to further improve the Rafale capabilities in a F4 standard scheduled around 2023. Although the exact contour of this future evolution isn’t defined, known PEAs give a good idea of how the Rafale will evolve, ranging from enhancing radar and sensor performance even further, advancing the SPECTRA EW system ahead of new anticipated threats, and continued efforts to ensure the lowest possible RCS of the Rafale.

Hardly a futureless fighter as some tried to describe it. In fact, only now is the U.S. waking up to the fact that the evolutionary nature of the Rafale is a far better route than the lock-in path of physical stealth, according to Raytheon executive Michael Garcia, who recently said much of the U.S. defense community “has lost sight of reality” as to what stealth means. The “essence of stealth is that the Blue circles [for detection and weapon range] impact Red before Red can detect,” and that jamming, sensors and weapons affect that calculation … The level of RCS has not been improving … It is time-stamped with whatever date it came out of the factory.” 50

The most important lesson for prospective buyers of the Rafale, is in the ability of Rafale International (Dassault-Aviation, Thales and Snecma) to deliver these new capabilities throughout the aircraft’s life. Through the first three tranches (or blocks), all promised capabilities have been delivered on time and on budget, from the date of contracting by the French government. That is a record unmatched by any other fighter jet manufacturer.

Conclusion

All odds are that Canada may choose the Lockheed F-35 in a near future. However, cost escalation led the Canadian government to set up for a new, fair competition. The competitors are the F-35, a new advanced version of the F-18, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the SAAB Gripen (presently resigned) and the Dassault Rafale.

Canada needs on one side, a fighter able to defend its sovereignty in Air, Land and Sea. On the other hand, as recent history showed it, the chosen aircraft must be able to perform Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground missions within a coalition.

In other words, the variety of missions the plane will have to perform point at a truly multirole airplane.

The huge size of the country and the limited number of aircrafts to be procured point at a long range and fast fighter, with a good payload and able to perform in cold conditions.

The possible crisis theaters point at good Air-to-Ground capabilities and ability to operate in hot environment, with a limited logistic footprint.

In every cases, it must be able to operate in a highly networked environment (be it NORAD or a coalition).

The aircraft is supposed to be used for 40 years, so it must have a good evolution potential. It must be affordable, with reasonable acquisition cost and furthermore controlled ownership costs. It is preferable for Canada to select an operational and combat proven aircraft.

In my sincere opinion, only the Rafale complies with all of these requirements.

 

1- http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/questevalfin-finquesteval-eng.html
2- http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-to-finalise-rafale-deal-this-fiscal-year-air-force-official-433663
3- http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/01/07/why-canada-should-buy-the-saab-jas39-gripen-e-next-generation-fighter/
4- http://www.senat.fr/rap/a13-158-8/a13-158-814.html
5- http://vanguardcanada.com/mission-satisfaction-rafale-offers-proven-capability/
6- http://www.rafalesolodisplay.com/la-demo-2013/
7- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/combat-ready-53125/
8- http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/flight-test-dassault-rafale-rampant-rafale-334383/
9- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10893/Shooting-Down-an-Aggressor-on-My-Six–Vive-la-difference-/
10- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioTTnjxNc7o
11- http://www.ffaa.net/weapons/mica/mica_fr.htm
12- http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/sponsors/sponsor_rafale/img/fox3_11.pdf
13- http://wayback.archive.org/web/20071122095016/http://www.dassault-aviation.com/fileadmin/user_upload/redacteur/AUTRES_DOCS/Fox_three/Fox_Three_nr_8.pdf
14- http://www.textbooks.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416132257&o=int&prev=si
15- AWST 7/5/1999 ; Vol 151 issue 1 p48
16- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/ddm_ng_ds.pdf
17- https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/content/spectra
18- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/le-rafale-f3r-sur-les-rails.html
19- http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32910.pdf
20- http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/defense/2009/12/carton-plein-pour-le-rafale-lors-dexercices-aux-emirats.html
21- http://ultimaratio-blog.org/fr/archives/5749
22- Air&Cosmos 2150, Dec 5th , 2008
23- http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA456960
24- http://www.cesa.air.defense.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=309
25- Air et Cosmos 2355, April 19th , 2013 p. 28
26- http://www.marianne.net/blogsecretdefense/Libye-quand-un-Rafale-fait-les-35-heures_a296.html
27- https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9s7kezdf51vaij/specs%20rafale.jpg
28- http://theflyingmen.over-blog.com/t%C3%A9moignage-un-pilote-de-rafale-au-dessus-du-mali
29- http://theaviationist.com/2014/01/15/rafale-operate-uss-truman/
30- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
31- http://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/08/FoxThree_Fox15.pdf p.9.
32- https://www.dropbox.com/s/or11ml8j6ckyu5l/AvionJSFAnalysMd-Nrc080909-copie-1.jpg
33- http://www.defesanet.com.br/rafale/noticia/10379/Rafale-avanca-na-conquista-de-sucesso-comercial/
34- http://www.journal-aviation.com/actualites/25635-le-rafale-sort-l-artillerie-lourde#
35- http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/8652/recoq.jpg
36- http://www.safran-group.com/site-safran/defense/defense-aeronautique/systemes-d-armes/aasm/
37- AWST Jan 20th, 2014, p29
38- http://www.air-cosmos.com/defexpo-2014-uk/rafale-looks-to-the-future.html
39- http://portail-aviation.blogspot.fr/2014/01/visite-de-le-drian-au-merignac-des.html
40- https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfeyRsCIUAAkADx.jpg
41- http://www.letemps.ch/rw/Le_Temps/Quotidien/2012/02/13/Suisse/Textes/gripen.pdf
42- https://www.dropbox.com/s/v22glx28nisgvt6/DutchAirForceAssociation_Gripen_2009.pdf
43- http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,186349,00.html
44- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/pentagon-downgrades-jet-specs/
45- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F11%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-1.html&langpair=fr|en
46- http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fportail-aviation.blogspot.fr%2F2013%2F12%2Ffurtif-vous-avez-dit-furtif-partie-2.html&langpair=fr|en
47- http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140202/NEWS04/302020005/Air-Combat-Command-s-challenge-Buy-new-modernize-older-aircraft
48- AWST February 17, 2014, p42 « Fast and Furious : Pivot to Pacific propels the need for upgraded and agile electronic-warfare systems »
49- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=2
50- http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p41-638956.xml&p=1
51- http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/files/Storm-Shadow_ds.pdf
52- http://theaviationist.com/2014/02/04/f-35-needs-f-22-acc-says/
53- https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/default/files/asset/document/G00974_TopSight_v3web.pdf

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15 mars 2014 6 15 /03 /mars /2014 21:50
La stratégie de Tom Enders, président d'Airbus Group, récompensée

 

15 mars 2014 par  Jacques Marouani - electroniques.biz

 

Michel Pébereau, président d’honneur de BNP Paribas, président du Jury du prix du stratège organisé chaque année par notre confrère "Les Echos", a remis ce prix à Tom Enders, président d’Airbus Group.

 

Le prix du stratège récompense chaque année la stratégie industrielle et financière jugée la plus pertinente de l’année écoulée. Suite aux conséquences de la non fusion avec le groupe britannique BAE et du changement de gouvernance d’EADS, Tom Enders, lauréat de l'année 2013, a entrepris une revue de sa stratégie, qui s’est traduite par deux décisions importantes. D’une part, le groupe a regroupé Airbus Military, Astrium et Cassidian au sein d’une même division « défense et espace ». D'autre part, il a décidé pour optimiser son intégration et sa cohésion de changer son nom et celui de ses divisions et d’adopter la marque Airbus, mondialement reconnue.

 

Pour la branche défense et espace, les choix stratégiques sont la réponse à l’évolution du marché qui se caractérise par une stabilisation et, même une réduction des budgets défense et espace dans les pays occidentaux. Airbus Group pense que cette restructuration permettra d’optimiser l’accès au marché, de réduire les coûts et globalement d’améliorer la compétitivité du groupe. Elle donnera également une meilleure visibilité du leader européen de l’espace et de la défense.

 

Autre fait marquant, Tom Enders a localisé le nouveau siège social à Toulouse, bastion de l’industrie aéronautique européenne et des sites du groupe, dans l’optique d’une meilleure intégration des équipes.

 

L’innovation est également l’une des clés de son succès. Elle mobilise un budget substantiel de 3 milliards d’euros par an, s’appuie sur des équipements ultra modernes, fait appel aux technologies les plus avancées et demeure résolument orientée vers l’excellence scientifique et la protection environnementale (éco-efficience). L’internationalisation est l’autre moteur de sa réussite. Elle repose sur de solides implantations dans les pays occidentaux, aux Etats Unis et en Chine et porte de plus en plus sur les marchés émergents, à l’image de l’Asie, du Moyen-Orient et de l’Amérique Latine.

 

Airbus Group aujourd’hui est l’un des tout premiers acteurs au monde de l’industrie aéronautique et spatiale. Ses positions sont particulièrement fortes dans les domaines de l’aviation commerciale, avec Airbus (co-leader mondial), de la défense et l’espace, avec Airbus Defence and Space (leader européen), et dans les hélicoptères, avec Airbus Helicopters (leader mondial).

 

Le groupe a enregistré en 2013 un chiffre d’affaires de 59,256 milliards d’euros (+5%), et dégagé un résultat opérationnel de 2,661 milliards d’euros (+24%) et un bénéfice net de 1,465 milliard d’euros (+22%).

 

La hausse de ses ventes atteste à la fois du dynamisme de son principal marché (essor de l’aviation commerciale), de l’attractivité et la richesse de son offre et de l’efficacité de son outil industriel (adaptation des cadences de production, …). Elle s’appuie sur un niveau record du carnet de commandes et s’inscrit par là même dans la durée.

 

Airbus Group (ex EADS), né du rapprochement, en 2000, de l’allemand Dasa, du français Aerospatiale-Matra et de l’espagnol Casa, demeure un modèle de coopération technologique et de construction industrielle à l’échelle européenne. Nellie Kroes, la vice-présidente de la Commission européenne en charge de l'innovation en parle-t-elle pas d'un "Airbus des chips" en souhaitant et en encourageant une réussite analogue pour l'industrie de la micro- et nanoélectronique ?

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 10:55
Première transatlantique pour l’A400M Atlas

 

14/03/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Le 10 mars 2014, un Atlas de la MEST (Multinational Entry into Service Team – équipe multinationale de mise en service) A400M a décollé de la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans pour sa première traversée de l’océan Atlantique.

 

À destination de l’Amérique du Sud et des Antilles, l’avion de transport tactique à allonge stratégique poursuit ainsi ses expérimentations sur des étapes longue durée, après celles menées vers Bamako fin 2013 ou sur le territoire djiboutien mi-février. L’occasion de valider son accessibilité à plusieurs terrains d’aviation. Après six heures de vol, l’A400M a en effet fait escale sur le tarmac de Sal (Cap Vert) avant de rejoindre Cayenne (Guyane) puis Fort-de-France (Martinique).

 

Cette première transatlantique, d’une durée de 5h30, a également bénéficié aux opérations menées en Guyane. L’Atlas a ainsi emporté dans sa soute deux tonnes de fret et un hélicoptère Fennec dont la mission sera de protéger le site de Kourou dans le cadre de la posture permanente de sûreté.

Première transatlantique pour l’A400M Atlas
Première transatlantique pour l’A400M Atlas
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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 08:55
 photo S. Fort - Dassault Aviation

photo S. Fort - Dassault Aviation

 

13 mars 2014 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca

 

Le Rafale serait en mesure de rivaliser avec le F-35 et Dassault aviation prêt à offrir encore plus de retombée économiques au Canada, selon ce qu’a indiqué le vice-président principal de Dassault aviation, Yves Robins, au cours d’une interview donnée à Radio-Canada.

 

Présent récemment à la Conférence sur la défense et la sécurité à Ottawa, Dassault aviation a présenté un nouveau visage à l’industrie canadienne, mais également aux décideurs politiques et aux militaires.

Ainsi, dans une brochure que 45eNord.ca s’est procuré, Dassault rappelle que les capacités du «Rafale pour le Canada» répondent et souvent dépassent, les exigences aériennes de six missions définies dans la Stratégie de Défense Le Canada d’Abord, et notamment en ce qui concerne les exigences dans le cadre du NORAD.

Le bi-moteur français, que l’on a pu voir en action en Afghanistan, en Libye ou plus récemment au Mali, serait bon pour effectuer tous les types de missions: reconnaissance et police aérienne, combats air-air, air-mer et air-sol, appui feu rapproché en pénétration à basse altitude et destruction des défenses aérienne de l’ennemi.

Plus d’un an après que le compteur soit reparti à zéro, Ottawa n’a toujours pas pris de décision sur le modèle d’avion de chasse désiré pour remplacer sa flotte actuelle de CF-18.

«Non seulement nous sommes prêts à transférer l’assemblage final de l’avion ici au Canada, mais nous sommes également prêts à associer l’industrie aéronautique canadienne à la production de certains éléments de cet avion», a déclaré Yves Robins à Radio-Canada.

Lockheed Martin, est particulièrement visé par Dassault, et rappelle que plus de 70 entreprises canadiennes participent déjà à sa conception et à sa construction, dont plusieurs se situent dans la grande région de Montréal. Le constructeur américain se garde toutefois un droit sur l’entretien et les propriétés intellectuelles de son appareil.

C’est pourquoi Dassault propose également de transférer au Canada tout l’entretien, la maintenance et la modernisation de l’avion, incluant les droits de propriétés intellectuelles et «tous les transferts de technologie pour lesquels nous avons l’autorisation du gouvernement français, sans aucune restriction», précise Yves Robins.

Le mois dernier, en réponse aux dérapages de ses projets d’acquisitions militaires, dont celui du F-35, le gouvernement fédéral annonçait une nouvelle stratégie d’approvisionnement et insistait sur la nécessité d’optimiser les retombées économiques des futurs achats.

Le groupe français Dassault, qui veut forcer le jeu, maintient que son avion multirôle répond aux attentes actuelles et à venir du Canada. «Nous pensons qu’il est indispensable d’ouvrir cette compétition de manière à ce que chacun des concurrents puisse faire la meilleure proposition, la plus compétitive et la plus avantageuse pour le Canada», estime Yves Robins.

Dernier avantage, et non des moindres, selon Dassault, avec tous les différents transferts, dont celle de la propriété intellectuelle, «le Canada pourrait même mettre au point une version authentiquement canadienne du Rafale». Un Rafale made in Canada?

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 08:50
Airbus A400M successfully completes first airdrop trials

 

 

Mar 13, 2014 ASDNews Source : Airbus Defence and Space

 

The A400M new generation airlifter has successfully completed one of the most important elements of its continuing military flight-test programme – the first phase of airdrop trials. Flying over the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse, an A400M development aircraft dropped a range of different loads by parachute during 11 flights over a two-week period. In total it dropped 26 platforms and containers weighing from 255kg to 4 tonnes using the ramp aerial-delivery system (RAS-wedge), and 11 bundles weighing from 15kg to 320kg using the paratrooper doors.

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 08:35
Tony Abbott to approve Australia’s biggest ever military purchase of stealth fighter jets


14.03.2014 Pacific Sentinel
 

THE Abbott Government is set to give the green light to the nation’s biggest ever military purchase allowing Defence to order up to 86 American made stealth fighter jets for the RAAF.
 
The planes will cost about $90 million each when they roll off the assembly line between 2018 and 2020 and the overall project will cost some $14 billion during the 30-year life of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
 
It is understood that a submission to buy will be presented to Cabinet’s National Security Committee for approval within weeks.
 
The head of the Pentagon’s largest ever defence project to buy 2400 of the “fifth generation’’ fighters has assured Australia that the controversial project was “back on track’’ and that Australian jets would be delivered on time and on cost.
 
US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan told News Corp Australia in Sydney that apart from some “trust and credibility’’ issues with the prime contractor Lockheed Martin and engine maker Pratt and Whitney, the JSF program was hitting all of its milestones.
 
Read the full story at NT News
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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 20:55
Dassault franchit une étape décisive en Inde

 

13/03/2014 Par Véronique Guillermard – leFigaro.fr

 

L'avionneur français et l'indien HAL ont trouvé un accord sur l'organisation industrielle de l'assemblage du Rafale.

 

À trois semaines du coup d'envoi des élections législatives en Inde (du 7 avril au 12 mai), Dassault Aviation* a franchi une étape décisive dans la perspective de la signature du contrat d'acquisition de 126 Rafale par l'armée de l'air indienne. «Oui, nous avons un accord avec HAL. Oui, nous avons un “work share” (répartition du travail, NDLR) avec la partie indienne», a déclaré Éric Trappier, PDG de l'avionneur, jeudi 13 mars, lors de la présentation des résultats annuels. Il confirme ainsi une information de la chaîne de télévision locale NDTV. «C'est une belle étape de franchie», a-t-il apprécié.

Cet accord est crucial car il est au cœur de la vente du Rafale en Inde. En janvier 2012, New Delhi avait choisi le chasseur français pour moderniser sa flotte d'avions de combat. L'Inde était entrée en négociations exclusives avec Paris afin de transposer en termes contractuels les différents volets de l'offre française. Il est prévu que les 18 premiers Rafale soient fabriqués en France et les 108 suivants assemblés en Inde, dans le cadre d'un transfert de technologie inédit.

 

Partage des responsabilités

Le géant indien de l'aéronautique HAL sera «leader de la fabrication du Rafale en Inde», a rappelé Éric Trappier. «HAL a défini sa supply chain puis les partenaires français et indiens ont trouvé un accord pour travailler ensemble dans le cadre d'une organisation industrielle clairement définie», a-t-il poursuivi. Le partage des responsabilités a également été acté. «Nous avons un partage du travail et un partage des responsabilités. HAL est responsable du travail qu'il fait», souligne le PDG de l'avionneur. Dès lors s'engage la dernière phase des négociations. Éric Trappier espère signer le contrat cette année. Le résultat des élections législatives pourrait-il avoir un impact? «L'Inde a des besoins opérationnels et industriels. Ces besoins restent, quel que soit le résultat des élections», souligne le PDG de Dassault Aviation.

Outre l'Inde, le groupe travaille sur quatre autres marchés où le Rafale a ses chances: le Canada, qui pourrait remettre en cause l'achat de l'avion de combat américain F-35, la Malaisie, le Qatar ainsi que les Émirats arabes unis.

Sur le front de l'aviation d'affaires qui a représenté 69% des ventes consolidées (4,59 milliards d'euros) en 2013, le marché est encore convalescent. Cela, en l'absence d'une reprise franche aux États-Unis, le plus important marché pour l'aviation d'affaires. Le groupe a livré 77 Falcon en 2013 (contre 66 en 2012) et prévoit 70 livraisons cette année. Sur le terrain commercial, l'avionneur a engrangé 64 commandes en 2013 (58 contrats en 2012). Pour cette année, le groupe espère «un “book-to-bill” (ratio entre les prises de commandes et les livraisons, NDLR) supérieur à 1 grâce au Falcon 5X», son nouveau jet présenté cet automne au salon de Las Vegas. «Nous avons pris beaucoup de commandes pour un début de programme. Nous sommes satisfaits de l'accueil réservé au 5X par le marché», a souligné Éric Trappier. L'avionneur qui vient d'enrichir sa gamme, va encore la renforcer en présentant un nouvel appareil - nom de code M1000 - au salon européen de l'aviation d'affaires qui se tient à Genève en mai.

*Le Groupe Dassault est propriétaire du «Figaro»


Les profits partagés entre salariés, actionnaires et investissements

À 334 millions d'euros, le résultat net ajusté (hors Thales) de Dassault Aviation a baissé par rapport aux 366 millions de 2012. Cela tient au recul du résultat opérationnel, qui a été obéré par une augmentation de la R & D autofinancée à 482 millions (387 millions en 2012). Elle est surtout «destinée à financer la montée en puissance du Falcon 5X. Cela continuera dans les deux ans à venir», a précisé Éric Trappier, PDG du groupe. Compte tenu de la nécessité de poursuivre cet effort et des incertitudes du marché, le dividende proposé aux actionnaires au titre de 2013 est de 90 millions d'euros (94 millions en 2012). De leur côté, les 8000 salariés de Dassault Aviation (hors filiales) se partageront 109 millions sous forme d'intéressement et de participation. Le solde sera réinvesti. Le groupe continue à appliquer la règle des «trois tiers» en matière de partage des bénéfices. «Les bénéfices ne reviennent pas de façon massive chez les actionnaires. Serge Dassault et sa famille continuent à soutenir la société et à préparer son avenir», a insisté Éric Trappier.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 14:55
Dassault et HAL ont arrêté l'organisation industrielle du Rafale en Inde

"Nous avons effectivement un accord avec HAL", le conglomérat public indien, qui doit assurer l'assemblage des appareils qui seront fabriqués en Inde. (DR)

 

13/03/2014 latribune.fr 

 

Dassault Aviation et le groupe aéronautique indien Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) ont réussi à s'entendre sur l'organisation de la production du Rafale en Inde.


 

A quand un accord définitif avec l'Inde sur l'achat du Rafale de Dassault Aviation ? L'avionneur a confirmé un pas supplémentaire dans cette direction jeudi, en indiquant être parvenu à s'entendre avec les industriels indiens sur l'organisation de la production de l'avion de combat dans ce pays (workshare). Ce qui n'a pas été simple d'autant qu'avec cet accord les deux industriels ont défini les responsabilités de chacun.

"Oui, je confirme que nous avons franchi une étape" dans la finalisation du contrat, a indiqué Eric Trappier, PDG de Dassault Aviation lors de la présentation des résultats de Dassault Aviation rencontre avec la presse. "Nous avons maintenant un +work share+" (une répartition des tâches) avec la partie indienne". Selon le responsable, "les parties française et indienne se sont entendues pour travailler ensemble selon une organisation clairement définie".

 

Lenteur de la prise de décision

"Nous avons effectivement un accord avec HAL", le conglomérat public indien, qui doit assurer l'assemblage des appareils qui seront fabriqués en Inde, a-t-il encore dit lors de la présentation des résultats annuels de l'entreprise. "C'est une belle étape de franchie", s'est-il félicité.

Les négociations avec l'Inde, souvent critiquée pour sa bureaucratie et sa lenteur de prise de décision, sont complexes. Et elles ne sont pas encore terminées. Il reste le contrat à négocier.

 

Accord à l'horizon 2015

En novembre, La Tribune révélait que les industriels du Team Rafale (Dassault Aviation, Thales et Safran) ne tablaient pas sur la signature d'un contrat pour la fourniture de 126 Rafale à l'armée de l'air indienne avant 2015. "Il reste entre 12 et 18 mois de travail" pour signer un contrat en bonne et due forme, expliquait alors un bon connaisseur du dossier.

>> Lire : Rafale en Inde : les industriels visent un contrat signé... en 2015

HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) fabrique sous licence des avions d'entraînement britanniques Hawk, des chasseurs-bombardiers russes SU-30, des hélicoptères européens et développe un avion furtif avec la Russie. C'était déjà le partenaire de Dassault Aviation lors de la modernisation des Mirage-2000 de l'armée de l'air indienne.

 

126 avions de combat

L'Inde avait choisi d'entrer en négociations exclusives avec Dassault Aviation en janvier 2012 pour l'achat de 126 avions de combat Rafale, dont 108 à assembler sur place. Le montant du contrat est estimé à environ 12 milliards de dollars.

En février dernier, le ministre de la Défense indien avait indiqué que "les grands contrats d'équipement militaire devront attendre le prochain exercice qui commence en avril". La masse incroyable de détails qui ont été négociés et qui restent encore à négocier, est à l'origine de la difficulté de conclure rapidement un contrat hors norme baptisé "Mother of all deals" (la mère de tous les contrats).

 

>> Lire : Pourquoi l'Inde fait patienter le Rafale sur la piste d'envol

 

Quatre contrats à l'export

Dassault Aviation est en lice pour au moins quatre contrats à l'export pour le Rafale, en plus de celui espéré en Inde. L'avionneur français, qui n'a pas encore exporté le Rafale, compte sur un contrat potentiel d'une soixantaine d'avions au Canada, répond aux demandes d'informations de la Malaisie pour 18 avions et estime avoir ses chances au Qatar sur la base des liens historiques du pays avec la France et Dassault Aviation, a-t-il expliqué à des journalistes.

Eric Trappier a précisé continuer à travailler avec les Emirats arabes unis, avec lesquels les discussions avaient connu un accroc majeur fin 2010, laissant une occasion de revenir dans la course à l'Eurofighter (coentreprise entre BAE Systems , Airbus Group et Finmeccanica ), qui est depuis hors course.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 13:55
Rafale en Inde : un petit pas de plus pour Dassault avec le transfert de technologies



13.04.2013 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord

Lors de sa conférence sur les résultats annuels, ce jeudi 13 mars, le PDG de Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, a indiqué que les négociations pour le transfert de technologies du Rafale était achevées avec l'Inde. Une nouvelle étape importante avant la possible signature du contrat gigantesque de 126 avions de chasse pour 8,6 milliards d'euros. 

Dassault Aviation est probablement passé maître dans l'art de la patience et de la ténacité après les divers échecs à l'exportation du Rafale, dont le dernier au Brésil au profit du Gripen de Saab. En plus du feuilleton indien, il reste en lice au Canada (60 avions), en Malaisie (18), au Qatar mais l'Inde concentre un enjeu formidable.

En attendant, Dassault et l'entreprise publique indienne HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) ont défini clairement, selon Eric Trappier, le transfert de technologies et le plan de charge industrielle. Concrètement, " le transfert sera progressif. Les dix-huit premiers Rafale seront faits en France puis progressivement en Inde jusqu'au 126e ", décrit le PDG de Dassault Aviation.

Mais une incertitude pèse sur le résultat des élections indiennes en mai et la tendance du futur gouvernement...

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 08:55
L’Airbus A400M réalise ses premiers essais de largage

 

 

12.03.2014 Emilie Drab journal-aviation.com

 

Airbus Defence and Space a annoncé le 12 mars que l’A400M avait réalisé sa première campagne d’essais de largage. Ceux-ci ont été réalisés au-dessus de la zone de Fonsorbes, près de Toulouse.

 

Les essais ont compté onze vols sur deux semaines durant lesquelles l’A400M a parachuté différentes charges. Les 26 plus lourdes (de 255kg à 4 tonnes) ont été larguées par la rampe arrière (RAS-wedge) et les onze autres (pesant entre 15 et 320kg) par les portes prévues pour les parachutistes.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 08:40
ODK has presented its best designs to a British delegation


07.03.2014 Rostec

 

Hosted by representatives of the corporation ODK and held on the premises of SPC Gas Turbine Salute, an aerospace conference has taken place with the participation of British aviation companies.

The conference began with a tour of the Salute museum, which shows the entire history of the plant since its inception to the present day.

The British delegation was shown models of the best examples from the domestic motor industry, including PD-14, AL-31FN, AI-222-25, and others. The PD-14 engine is a civil turbofan engine project developed by several ODK enterprises. The Yak-130 aircraft uses the AI-222-25 engine series. To date, several engine modifications have been developed as well, including an engine with an afterburner and thrust vector control system. The AL-31FN engine is designed for the Su -27 airplane and related models.

Alexander Korshunov, director of marketing, sales and international industrial cooperation, discussed the enterprises and products of ODK. In his speech he also talked about future areas of cooperation with the UK aerospace industry.

Sergei Pavlinich, deputy general director of ODK, stressed the importance of partnerships between Russia and Britain in high-tech industries.
The British delegation was made up of representatives from companies specializing in high-tech manufacturing components, the design and development of advanced materials, equipment, and production technology. They also made a presentation about their products.

Among the British delegates visiting Salute were Barbara Habberjam, the Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs, Trade, and Investment at the British Embassy, as well as David Scotter, the head of ADS GROUP LTD. They expressed their hope and willingness for further cooperation between Great Britain and Russia in the field of aerospace manufacturing.

The United Engine Corporation (ODK) has a integrated structure that produces engines for military and civil aircraft and also installs various capacities for the production of electricity and thermal energy, gas-compressor and gas turbine units for ships. ODK is part of the state corporation Rostec.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft's First Flight

 

 

06/03/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

US aerospace/defence firm Boeing's MSA (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft) demonstrator has made its first flight, with highly successful results. According to Boeing officials, all mission requirements were met and the aircrews' experience was positive throughout the flight, which lasted four hours.

 

The first MSA flight preceded further planned sorties, aimed at establishing the aircraft as the stepping stone toward a future effective, low-cost maritime surveillance platform capable of engaging in border security, anti-piracy, search and rescue and more.

 

The MSA resulted from a tie-up between Boeing and Field Aviation. The demonstrator aircraft is essentially an adapted Bombadier CL-604 Challenger business jet, with systems enhancements integrated to modify it for the naval arena.

 

First MSA Flight

 

"We accomplished everything we set out to achieve", Field Aviation's Craig Tylski explained in Boeing's first MSA flight press release. "The aerodynamic performance was right on the money and even with the additional aerodynamic shapes, such as the radome, the demonstrator performed like a normal aircraft. The control and handling were excellent."

 

Off the back of this flight and future test sorties, Boeing will now move forward to the final MSA design, which will be based on the CL-605 aircraft. Included will be an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) multi-mode radar, Electronic Support Measures and various sensors. The same technologies also feature in the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance platform, which made its first flight in April 2009.

 

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

 

In essence, the whole Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft concept involves a type that's smaller and cheaper than the Poseidon but possesses many of its capabilities.

 

The CL-604 Challenger is a variant of the civilian Challenger 600 series originally developed by Canadair. Several nations' air arms operate it as a multirole transport aircraft including those of Denmark, Canada and Germany. First flown in 1978, the Challenger has a top speed of 529 miles per hour and a maximum range of 3,959 miles.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 07:50
Prague Extends Lease of 14 Swedish Gripen Fighters

 

Mar. 12, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)

 

PRAGUE — The Czech government on Wednesday renewed its lease on 14 Swedish fighter jets until 2027, its defense minister said.

 

The Czech army has been using the Gripen one- and two-seaters since 2005 under a 10-year contract worth around 20 billion koruna (€730 million, $1 billion).

 

“From now on Prague will pay an annual 1.7 billion koruna,” Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said of the lease that kicks in next year.

 

He added that the aircraft would be upgraded under the contract. Sweden would also train 25 Czech pilots and 90 technicians.

 

A total of 166 Gripen fighters are used around the world, including 100 in Sweden, according to data from Swedish manufacturer Saab.

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12 mars 2014 3 12 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
Airbus A400M Successfully Completes First Airdrop Trials

An A400M test aircraft drops a range of different loads over a drop zone near Toulouse, France, as part of its ongoing military flight-test programme. (Airbus photo)

 

March 12, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Airbus Defense & Space; issued March 12, 2014)

 

The A400M new generation airlifter has successfully completed one of the most important elements of its continuing military flight-test programme – the first phase of airdrop trials.

 

Flying over the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse, an A400M development aircraft dropped a range of different loads by parachute during 11 flights over a two-week period.

 

In total it dropped 26 platforms and containers weighing from 255kg to 4 tonnes using the ramp aerial-delivery system (RAS-wedge), and 11 bundles weighing from 15kg to 320kg using the paratrooper doors.

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12 mars 2014 3 12 /03 /mars /2014 17:20
1st F-35 Lightning II arrives at Luke AFB

 

 

Mar 11, 2014 ASDNews Source : US Air Force

 

Escorted by two F-16 fighting Falcons, Luke Air Force Base's first F-35 Lightning II arrived a little after 11 a.m. March 10, from the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

"This is a day that has been a long time coming," Col. John Hanna, the 56th Operations Group commander, said at a press conference after the jet landed. "It's the result of many years of hard work by countless people in the military and in the community."

 

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