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3 décembre 2013 2 03 /12 /décembre /2013 17:45
Nigeria interested in buying Super Tucanos

A Mauritanian Super Tucano


29 November 2013 by Guy Martin – defenceWeb


The Nigerian Air Force is considering buying Super Tucano trainer and light attack aircraft from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.


Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo expressed interest in purchasing the Super Tucano during a meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer earlier this week.


Sambo and Temer held talks on bilateral relations between Nigeria and Brazil, and announced the creation of working groups on security and defence, amongst other areas, reports Xinhua. An agreement on intelligence sharing, particularly regarding drug-related crimes, will be signed soon. The two parties also discussed the possibility of repatriating 377 Nigerian prisoners in Brazil.


Brazil and Nigeria also discussed other possibilities for cooperation in fields such as trade, agriculture, mining, culture and energy. Trade between Nigeria and Brazil has grown from $1.6 billion in 2002 to $9.1 billion last year, Temer said.


Brazil and Nigeria have enjoyed warm defence relations – for example, in September 2012 the Brazilian Navy offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Amazonas (P120) visited Nigeria and conducted training with Nigerian personnel and vessels. Earlier this year Brazil’s new OPV Araguari (P122) visited Nigeria on its way home from the United Kingdom. Apart from Nigeria, it also visited Cape Verde, Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe and Equatorial Guinea.


Nigeria has a strong requirement for an aircraft like the Super Tucano as it battles the domestic Boko Haram insurgency and also deploys combat aircraft to foreign countries on peacekeeping operations. The country is expected to vastly increase its defence spending over the coming years, and according to a recent Strategic Defence Intelligence report, the Nigerian defence market will go from $2.3 billion this year to $4.4 billion by 2018.


Piracy and oil smuggling in the Gulf of Guinea and a contribution to peacekeeping operations are expected to drive the country's military expenditure to register a growth rate of 13.62% over the next five years. The domestic Boko Haram insurgency is also expected to drive Nigeria’s security needs. The country’s growth in military expenditure will be assisted by the country's stable economic growth over the forecast period, which will a see rise in defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP from 0.8% in 2013 to 1.1% in 2018, according to the report.


“The growing threat from Boko Haram and other extremist groups in northeastern states, and drug trafficking are expected to drive the Nigerian government's investments in homeland security over the forecast period. Police modernization and homeland security infrastructure developments are expected to be primary areas for investment by the government,” the report noted.


Nigeria can be expected to buy military hardware such as naval helicopters, fighters, patrol vessels, and armoured personnel carriers over the next five years, mainly from foreign suppliers.


African Super Tucanos


Embraer has recorded a number of orders for its Super Tucano from African countries, which see it as a low cost light attack aircraft that can also be used as a trainer. On the continent, the Super Tucano has been ordered by Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal. Embraer is highly optimistic about future orders for the type from Africa.


Angola officially received its first three of six Super Tucanos in July this year and is using them for border surveillance, attack and pilot training. Burkina Faso was the first African country to take delivery of a Super Tucano, receiving three aircraft in September 2011 for border patrol missions. In October last year Mauritania received their first aircraft, featuring sensor turrets for surveillance duties, although they will also be used for counter-insurgency missions.


In April Senegal bought three A-29 Super Tucanos as well as a training system for pilots and mechanics. It will use the aircraft for border surveillance and internal security duties.


Over a dozen global customers have purchased the A-29 Super Tucano. The fleet has surpassed 180 000 flight hours and 28 000 combat hours, according to Embraer.


The A-29 Super Tucano is capable of performing a broad range of missions that include light attack, aerial surveillance and interception, and counter-insurgency.


The Super Tucano is equipped with a variety of sensors and equipment, including an electo-optical/infrared system with laser designator, night vision goggles, secure communications and data-link package.


Armament comprises one .50-caliber machinegun in each wing. Five hardpoints can carry a maximum external load of 1 550 kilograms (3 420 lb). Weapons options include gun pods, bombs, rocket pods, and (on the two outboard stations) air-to-air missiles.

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3 décembre 2013 2 03 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50
EADS to expand in Poland


PARIS, Dec. 2 (UPI)


EADS, the European aerospace and defense conglomerate, says it plans to significantly grow its presence in Poland through links with local companies.


Two major business and investment events, called EADS Aerospace Meetings Poland, are being held in Warsaw and Lodz this month at which EADS executives will meet with some 200 Polish industry representatives over opportunities in the areas of procurement, industrial cooperation, research and development and supply chain management.


"We believe the time has come for a strategic move to be made between the Polish defense industry and European industry through stronger links with EADS, a true symbol of global success in Europe's aerospace and defense sector," said Jean-Pierre Talamoni, corporate vice president for International (business) at EADS.


"We think there is room today for Poland to play a much bigger role in Europe's wider defense industry. Our aim is to open all EADS divisions to Polish companies in a structured and lasting industrial relationship."


EADS major subsidiaries include Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter.

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3 décembre 2013 2 03 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
BAE Systems to build hundreds of fiber-optic decoys to protect combat jets from missiles


December 1, 2013 By John Keller - militaryaerospace.com


PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 1 Dec. 2013. Electronic warfare (EW) experts at the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Nashua, N.H., will build 262 AN/ALE-55 fiber optic towed decoys (FOTDs) and 70 electronic frequency converters (EFC) under terms of a $28.2 million U.S. Navy contract announced last week.


The AN/ALE-55 is an RF airborne countermeasure designed to protect the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-based jet fighter-bomber from radar-guided missiles. BAE Systems began full-rate production of the AN/ALE-55 in late 2011.


The AN/ALE-55 FOTDs and EFCs are components of the integrated defensive electronic counter measures suite. The AN/ALE-55 transmits complex electronic countermeasures signals from a transmitter that trails behind its combat jet to spoof incoming radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles.


The aircraft-towed decoy with onboard electronics works together with the Super Hornet's electronic warfare system to jam radar seekers in air-to-air missiles. The system also can lure incoming missiles away from their actual targets.


The ALE-55 detects a threat radar in its acquisition mode and uses radar jamming to prevent it from locking to a target. The ALE-55's electronic warfare package analyzes the threat, and the towed decoy emits the jamming signals to confuse the incoming missile's tracking radar. If an incoming missile locks on with radar, the ALE-55 analyzes the signal to determine the best jamming technique to break radar lock.


The ALE-55 system consists of an onboard electronic frequency converter and a fiber-optic towed decoy. The EFC converts radio frequency signals sent from the plane’s electronic warfare system into data coded and transmitted via light to the fiber optic towed decoy.


Although the ALE-55 now is in use with the F/A-18E/F Super hornet, it can be adapted to a wide variety of combat aircraft with minimal modifications, BAE Systems officials say.


On this contract BAE Systems will do the work in Nashua, N.H.; Mountain View, Calif.; and Chelmsford, England, and should be finished in November 2015. Awarding the contract were officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.

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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 17:50
F-35B Lightning II Impresses RAF Pilot as Training continues in USA


December 2nd, 2013 By UK Ministry of Defence - defencetalk.com


As training with the new F-35B Lightning II stealth aircraft continues in Florida, USA, a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot has described how impressed he is with the ‘game-changing’ jet.


Flight Lieutenant Hugh Nichols completed his first sortie in the next-generation stealth fighter at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, United States earlier this month.


The Lightning II aircraft, together with the Typhoon FGR4, will provide the RAF combat air component essential to UK defence.


Flt Lt Nichols,the first RAF Number 1 Group pilot to fly the aircraft, said: “This is a notable step in the Lightning II story and one that marks a real shift in emphasis from development to employment.


“We’re also just starting to train the first No. 1 Group engineers here at Eglin, which is another important milestone in the development of the UK aspect of the programme.


“Lightning II’s advanced mission system sensors have done nothing but impress me so far and I have no doubt that this aircraft will deliver strategic, game-changing capabilities in future defence scenarios.


“To be the first No. 1 Group operational pilot is both an honour and a privilege and I look forward to helping stand up No. 617 (The Dambusters) Sqn in 2016 and bringing the jet back to the UK in 2018.”


Three UK pilots and 13 engineers from the RAF and Royal Navy are learning to operate the aircraft at Eglin under a partnering agreement with the United States Marine Corps, as part of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 501.Another 12 engineers recently arrived at Eglin for five months of trade training at the Lightning Academic Training Centre prior to being posted to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, South Carolina, and Edwards Air Force Base, California, in mid-2014.


Lightning II will be the UK’s 5th generation short take-off and vertical landing Joint Strike Asset. The multi-role supersonic stealth aircraft is planned to achieve initial operating capability in a land-based role from RAF Marham in 2018 and, alongside the Royal Navy, aboard the future HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2020.


Flt Lt Nichols, who is 35 and was born in Epsom, Surrey, joined the RAF in April 2000 and has flown the Hawk and Harrier GR9 aircraft, as well as flying the F-16CJ on exchange with the U.S. Air Force.


He will go on to qualify as an F35B Instructor Pilot and will remain on VMFAT-501 Sqn until the UK stands up its first squadron at MCAS Beaufort in 2016.

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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50



Nov 29, 2013 eurofighter.com


Eurofighter Partner Company Alenia Aermacchi has confirmed that the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon has now taken place.


Initial flight trials to demonstrate that the missile can be safely carried have been successfully started.  The trials began on 27th November, by the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Centre at Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy, with the support of the Eurofighter Partner Companies, BAE Systems and Cassidian.


The intensive flight test programme  began with flutter tests and an air data system large store interference assessment, using Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard.


The Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “The successful start of the flight tests is good news for our programme. This is one of a number of enhancements that are coming on stream and there are many more to come. Storm Shadow is a major step forward significantly increasing the air-to-ground capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon.”


The Storm Shadow, already in service with the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornados, is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralise high value targets. The new weapons systems will add the capability to strike in day or night in all-weather conditions, well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions. This is a new addition to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s potent simultaneous multi-/swing-role capabilities.


Powered by a turbo-jet engine, with a range in excess of 250 km, the Storm Shadow missile weighs approximately 1.300kg and is just over 5 metres long. It will be available to operators from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements become operational.


Storm Shadow will provide a significant leap in the Eurofighter Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the platform to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range well clear of danger from air defences.


Background information:


Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 719 aircraft under contract and 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market. The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Cassidian in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe with a turnover of about 126 billion euro (2012).


Since the first Typhoon entered service in 2003 , more than 390 Eurofighter have been delivered to six countries: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. The seventh customer, Oman ordered a total of 12 aircraft in December 2012. Until now, the combined Eurofighter fleet has completed more than 210,000 flying hours.



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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
Boeing mise sur la furtivité de ses chasseurs pour neutraliser ses concurrents


30 novembre 2013 Aerobuzz.fr


Même si la volte-face de la Corée qui renonce finalement à ses 60 F-15 Silent Eagle, Boeing qui a (aussi) raté le marché des avions de combat de cinquième génération reste convaincu que les F-15 Eagle et F/A 18 E/F Super Hornet demeurent des atouts pour damer le pion à ses concurrents.


C’est ce qu’on appelle un retour gagnant. L’avionneur américain Boeing a bien failli sortir du marché des avions de combat. Tout simplement parce que son plus dangereux rival, l’insolent Lockheed Martin qui possède le record de ventes d’avions de combat avec son F-16 (plus de 4500 exemplaires), s’est adjugé le marché des avions de cinquième génération avec son F22 Raptor et son F35 Lightning II, plus connu sous le nom de JSF.

Faute de nouveaux appels d’offres de la part du Pentagone à l’horizon, Boeing était donc condamné à envisager la fermeture des chaines de sa gamme actuelle, composée de F/A 18 Super Hornet et de F-15 Eagle à moyen terme. Mais c’était sans compter sur les déboires de Lockheed Martin.

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F-15 Silent Eagle de Boeing photo Boeing

Après des années de développement, l’avion de supériorité aérienne et d’attaque F22 Raptor est au mieux une demi réussite du faite de son prix supérieur à 250 M$ et de son haut niveau technologique le rendent inexportable. Et quand bien même, ce bijou de technologie qui n’est toujours pas guéri de ses maladies de jeunesse commence à accumuler des problèmes d’obsolescence. Et que dire du développement de son petit frère furtif le F35 qu’on nous annonçait dans les années 90 comme le nec plus ultra des avions d’arme à prix discount ?

Force est de constater aujourd’hui que les années de développement laborieux, jalonnées de soucis techniques, de retards et de surcoûts importants commencent à faire réfléchir plus d’un client potentiel. Certains mettent même en doute les performances de l’appareil face à des systèmes de défense modernes. Bref le crédo du « tout furtif » à tout prix ne fait plus recette.

Une tendance bien comprise ailleurs dans le monde. Ainsi l’Eurofighter, le Gripen et le Rafale conçus sur le vieux continent, qui ne sont peut être pas aussi furtifs que les avions de Lockheed Martin, mais qui revendiquent un juste compromis prix/performances. Autrement dit, le meilleur avion de combat, c’est encore celui qu’on peut se payer…

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F-15 Silent Eagle de Boeing photo Boeing

Et ce n’est pas tout. Les Russes qu’on disait finis dans les années 90, reviennent sur le devant de la scène avec le MIG-35 et des évolutions toujours plus performantes des SU-30 et SU-35. Des appareils à la signature radar diminuée et dont les systèmes d’arme seraient capables, dans certaines conditions, de détecter les avions furtifs. Pour couronner le tout, Sukhoi promet une version d’exportation du prometteur T-50 Pak FA sous peu… enfin dès que son radar et ses moteurs seront prêts.

Au sol, la perspective de la dissémination systèmes de détection et de défense sol-air toujours plus performants tels que les S-300 et 400 russes relèguent au rang de cibles tous les avions produits dans les années 80 et 90.

Fort de ce constat morose, Boeing, qu’on croyait condamné avec sa gamme vieillissante ne s’avoue pas vaincu pour autant. L’avionneur américain estime qu’il y a un marché dans les pays qui veulent un avion de combat qui serait à la fois moderne, furtif, éprouvé et performant. Ce mouton à cinq pattes destiné à damer le pion à tous ses concurrents américains, russes et européens serait en quelque sorte un JSF « Made in Boeing », le prix indécent et les maladies de jeunesse en moins. A défaut de pouvoir financer sur ses fonds propres un nouvel appareil, l’avionneur américain parie sur ses deux produits phares, dont la conception initiale remonte aux années 70, à savoir le F15 et le F/A 18. A chaque fois la recette est la même : on modernise le système d’arme et on réduit la signature radar.

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Advanced Super Hornet de Boeing photo Boeing

Après avoir dévoilé dans un premier temps une version bodybuildée du légendaire F15 Eagle désignée « Silent Eagle », c’est au tour du F/A 18 E de subir une cure de jouvence.
L’ « Advanced Super Hornet » en cours de tests par Boeing est un FA/18 E « Super Hornet » de base sur lequel des matériaux absorbant les ondes radar ont été apposés. Les interstices entre les différents éléments du fuselage et de la voilure ont été réduits au minimum. L’autre point noir en termes de furtivité se situe au niveau des points d’emport. Sur un avion de combat classique, Les missiles et les réservoirs de carburant externes avec les fixations associées sont autant de points brillants pour les radars de défense aérienne adverse.

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Advanced Super Hornet de Boeing photo Boeing

A défaut de disposer de réservoirs de carburant internes conséquents et d’une soute interne comme le F22 Raptor et le JSF, la partie dorsale du fuselage de l’ « Advanced Super Hornet » se voit dotée de réservoirs additionnels conformes tandis que les missiles prennent place dans un container ventral profilé et furtif. Ainsi équipé, le bon vieux Hornet ne sera pas plus rapide que ses devanciers, avec une vitesse maximale voisine de Mach 1.6. Il conservera cependant ce qui fait sa force, à savoir une robustesse, une maniabilité et une polyvalence air-air et air-sol de très bon niveau. Il y gagnera même un peu en rayon d’action.

En revanche sa signature radar en secteur avant sera réduite de moitié ! Pour les pilotes cela se traduit par des chances de survie accrues lors de missions d’attaque au sol où il est important de ne pas être détecté par les défenses adverses. Pour l’Oncle Sam, ce gain de performances se traduit par un surcoût de 10% par rapport au Super Hornet de base. Et ce n’est pas tout, bientôt Boeing le promet, le Super Hornet furtif sera doté d’un capteur infrarouge IRST afin d’acquérir ses cibles sans utiliser son radar à antenne active. Un peu à la manière des MiG-29 et SU-30.

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Advanced Super Hornet de Boeing - photo Boeing

Il sera ainsi possible de détecter et d’identifier une cible en l’air ou au sol à 50 km de distance environ et ce, en toute discrétion. Dans le cockpit les écrans multifonctions actuels seront remplacés par un unique écran tactile. Le moteur fera lui aussi l’objet d’améliorations pour augmenter sa poussée et réduire sa consommation. Boeing vise principalement le marché de la modernisation et la prolongation des centaines de Super Hornet de l’US Navy et des appareils australiens.

Avec cette stratégie intelligente de remise à jour des F-15 et F/A 18, Boeing espère tenir ses concurrents à distance en espérant cette fois-ci gagner la compétition finale, celle de l’avion de combat de sixième génération.

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30 novembre 2013 6 30 /11 /novembre /2013 21:50
Aeromedical Evacuation

source EATC

The tactical capability of the A400M (powerful engines, short runways, steep take off) enables fast evacuations from austere deployed sites.  Besides, with its range capacity of max. 8.700km the aircraft offers the appropriate range, speed, operating altitude and comfort to optimally serve for Strategic MEDEVAC purposes.
The A400M is equipped with eight stretchers (with medical oxygen supply) as standard, which are permanently stored on board. The aircraft can furthermore accommodate as many as 66 standard NATO stretchers and 25 medical personnel seated on troop seats, with a quick access to all stretchers.  The stretcher bearing system enables a quick configuration change between MEDEVAC and passenger and/or troop or paratroop transport roles.
EATC nations are planning to install their intensive care units on pallets to ensure a quick configuration change.
Electrical power outlets - equally located over the cargo hold length - allow to easily connect medical devices. Moreover, 6 litter boxes and a medical assistant station comprising a cabinet with a foldable board are available.
To ensure proper patient care, cabin pressure can be maintained at sea-level altitude up to a flight level of 19 400 ft.


A400M equipped with AE kit pictured by Royal Air Force

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29 novembre 2013 5 29 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
Joint Strike Missile (JSM) on to a FA-18F Super Hornet Photo Boeing

Joint Strike Missile (JSM) on to a FA-18F Super Hornet Photo Boeing



Nov. 29, 2013 by Dominic Perry – FG


London - Kongsberg and Boeing have completed a successful fit check of the Norwegian manufacturer's developmental Joint Strike Missile (JSM) on to a F/A-18F Super Hornet.


Performed at the US airframer's St Louis facility, the JSM was successfully installed on the fighter's external hardpoints, says Kongsberg. The two companies will early next year conduct a wind-tunnel test of the long-range munition fitted to a Block II Super Hornet.


"The completion of the fit-check on the F/A-18 F further validates the JSM's compatibility with the existing fleet of aircraft and provides a near-term strong capability against advanced threats," says Harald Ånnestad, president of Kongsberg Defence Systems.


Integration work is also under way to allow the stealthy munition to be utilised on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


Designed to take on both land and sea targets, the JSM features a low-observable radar signature and autonomous target recognition.


Additionally Kongsberg has signed a deal with New Zealand for an undisclosed number of its Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 anti-ship missiles and associated equipment. These will be deployed on the eight new Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters to be acquired by the Royal New Zealand Navy.


Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records the service as fielding five examples of the Kaman rotorcraft, but has indicated it will acquire eight new aircraft from 2014-16, with the older models to be retired.

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29 novembre 2013 5 29 /11 /novembre /2013 12:20
A-10 Close Support



11/28/2013 Strategy Page


An A-10C Thunderbolt II conducts close-air support training near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10C is with the 188th Fighter Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)

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29 novembre 2013 5 29 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
BAE Wins Top Award from UK MoD



Nov 28, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC


BAE Systems has today been awarded one of the highest accolades from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its part in the conversion of two BAe 146-200QC (Quick Change) aircraft that were converted from commercial to military aircraft configuration for use by the Royal Air Force.


Known as the Minister (DEST) Acquisition Award 2013, it is the highest accolade within the MoD that an individual or team can receive for acquisition excellence. This award was given to both the industrial team, led by BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, and its principal sub- contractor Marshall Aviation Services, and the teams within the MoD that masterminded the procurement, military certification, operational aspects and entry into service of the aircraft.


Mark Taylor, Business Director Engineering of BAE Systems Regional Aircraft at Prestwick, and Jason Davies, General Manager of Marshall Aviation Services received their awards from Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Min DEST) at a ceremony in the MoD Main Building Memorial Courtyard.


Mark Taylor said:” The success of this extensive conversion programme, which was carried out on time and on budget, is due to the excellent teamwork from all parties which meant the aircraft entered service on the due date. It is now on active duty in Afghanistan and is proving to be reliable, efficient, flexible and popular.”


Known in RAF service as the BAe 146 C Mk.3, the two aircraft were converted under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) contract awarded to BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for use in the extraction phase of the current Afghanistan campaign – Operation Herrick.


BAE Systems was responsible for the design and integration of the equipment to be fitted to the aircraft, the sourcing of the equipment and management of the supply chain and overall management of the conversion programme. The actual conversion was carried out at the Marshall Aviation Services (formerly Hawker Beechcraft Ltd) facility at Broughton in North Wales under sub-contract to BAE Systems.


Read more

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29 novembre 2013 5 29 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
The EAP at its new home at the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire

The EAP at its new home at the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire


28 November 2013 baesystems.com


The aircraft which pioneered the technology behind Typhoon has gone on show to the public for the first time


The Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) technology demonstrator airframe, built by us in the 1980s, has been donated by the company to the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire.


It remains the most advanced fighter design ever built solely by a UK manufacturer.


Military Air and Information managing director Chris Boardman said: "The EAP was fundamental in developing many of the ground breaking design characteristics and capabilities that we now see in today's Eurofighter Typhoon.


“It is only fitting that it should now reside alongside other historic aircraft including Tornado P.02, the Jaguar ACT Demonstrator and TSR2 that have all helped keep Britain at the forefront of military aviation."


Curator Nick Sturgess said the museum was “thrilled” to add the EAP among its collection of research and development aircraft.


He added: “Only one EAP was ever built and its importance in aviation cannot be understated.


“During its flying career as a proof of concept demonstrator it contributed much to computer controls, advanced aerodynamics and new methods of construction.”


The EAP was rolled out at British Aerospace at Warton in April 1986 and did its first flight in August  when test pilot Dave Eagles, the company’s then executive director of flight operations, took it to Mach 1.1, faster than the speed of sound.


Following its final flight at Warton in May 1991, the airframe was stored at the site having made 259 test sorties, totalling 195.21 flying hours, during which it had reached speeds in excess of Mach 2.0 and angles of attack of over 35 degrees in controlled flight.


In June 1996, it was taken to Loughborough University, Leicestershire, where it was used by undergraduate students to carry out design appreciation exercises, before making the move to Cosford in March 2012.


It went on display at there this month, for further details visit www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford

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29 novembre 2013 5 29 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
Deux petits nouveaux dans le monde des "adversary services" aux USA

28.11.2013 par P. Chapleau Lignes de Défense

On connaissait ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company), ATSI, Phoenix Air, L3C Flight International ou encore les Canadiens de DADS (Discovery Air Defence Services); voilà que le petit monde des Tactical Aircraft Services s'agrandit aux Etats-Unis (petite parenthèse pour rappeler qu'en France Apache Aviation et AvDef jouent dans cette catégorie). Les deux nouveaux venus ont encore peu de contrats dans leurs carnets de commande mais ils ont de l'ambition et des moyens.

air usa.jpg

Air USA (photo ci-dessus).

Cette société de l'Illinois (cliquer ici pour accéder à son site web) dispose de trois types d'appareils: des Alpha Jet, des L-59 Super Albatros et quelques Mig-29. Elle offre les prestations habituelles: simulation, plastronnage, opfor, tractage de cibles etc. Mais c'est la première et la seule société (à ma connaissance) à offrir du "JTAC training". L'USMC et l'USAF ont déjà eu recours à leurs services pour entraîner leurs JTAC. En allant sur leur page d'accueil, il est possible de voir une vidéo d'un entraînement au guidage d'Alpha Jet en mission de bombardement.


Draken International (photo ci-dessus).

Draken a été fondé en Floride en 2012 et dispose d'un impressionnant parc: 11 Skyhawk (ex-néo-zélandais), 9 MB-339CB, 25 Mig-21 (ex-polonais), 5 L-39, et un couple de bimoteurs... Soit une cinquantaine d'appareils disponibles alors que l'entreprise n'a pas encore engrangé de contrats significatifs et en est réduit à courir les meetings aériens.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 17:30
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

Paris réfléchit à lancer le Rafale dans la compétition contre le Typhoon à Bahreïn


28/11/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Cinquième volet de notre série sur la diplomatie de la France au Moyen-Orient, Bahreïn, Koweït et Oman. Trois pays complexes pour les industriels de l'armement français. Toutefois Paris mène une réflexion pour savoir si le Rafale va défier l'Eurofighter Typhoon à Bahreïn.


Et si le Rafale allait défier le Typhoon du consortium Eurofighter (BAE Systems, EADS et Finmeccanica) à Bahreïn. C'est une réflexion menée actuellement par Paris. "Pourquoi ne pas mettre sur la table le Rafale à Bahreïn", s'interroge une source proche du dossier. D'autant que les Britanniques, qui portent les campagnes commerciales de Typhoon au Moyen-Orient, ne se sont pas gênés pour rivaliser avec Dassault Aviation aux Emirats Arabes Unis et au Qatar, des marchés où les avions tricolores sont en service.

"Le Typhoon vaut plus par le dynamisme des Britanniques, qui le présentent, que par la valeur intrinsèque de l'appareil, estime-t-on. Ce serait très bien que l'on enraye le dispositif médiatique britannique autour du Typhoon". Selon nos informations, Bahreïn voudrait 12 nouveaux avions de combat.


Bahreïn, une préférence pour le Typhoon ?

Au mois d'août dernier à l'issue d'une rencontre à Londres entre le roi du Bahreïn, Hamad ben Issa Al-Khalifa, et le Premier ministre, David Cameron, le groupe britannique de défense BAE Systems avait annoncé que le royaume avait "exprimé un intérêt pour le Typhoon et le gouvernement britannique mène des discussions très préliminaires".

Une affaire à suivre mais le roi avait estimé en novembre 2009, selon un câble diplomatique diffusé sur le site internet de WikiLeaks, que le Rafale était une "technologie du passé". Peut-être s'était-il trop vite avancé car un mois plus tard le Rafale avait fait jeu égal en 2009 avec le Raptor F-22 lors de l'exercice ATLC (Advanced Tactical Leadership Course) de décembre aux Emirats Arabes Unis.


Le Koweït pourra-t-il s'offrir le Rafale ?

Au Koweït, il y a toujours un appel d'offre en cours pour l'achat de 28 avions de combat. Mais ce pays pourra-t-il résister à la pression américaine et s'offrir la technologie française ? Pas sûr. "Les Américains sont très présents au Koweït, explique-t-on à "La Tribune". Possible qu'il nous barre la route". C'est en juin 2009 que l'on commence à parler du Rafale au Koweït à l'occasion d'un passage rapide dans ce pays de Nicolas Sarkozy. L'achat éventuel de ces appareils fait l'objet de "discussions très approfondies" et "assez avancées", avait souligné l'ancien président. "On s'est mis comme échéance la fin de l'année". A ce jour, le Koweït ne s'est toujours pas décidé entre le Rafale, le Typhoon et le F/A-18E/F de Boeing.

Puis, en octobre 2009, le ministre koweïtien de la Défense et vice-Premier ministre avait indiqué lors d'une visite à Paris que son pays serait "fier" d'avoir du Rafale dans ses armées. "Nous espérons voir une offre (française) bientôt à ce sujet", avait-il expliqué, précisant qu'elle "sera étudiée très sérieusement et de façon très claire par l'armée de l'air koweïtienne". Dans l'entourage du ministre de la Défense d'alors Hervé Morin, on évoquait alors 36 appareils.

Pragmatique, la France vise au Koweït des contrats plus modestes. Avec un objectif prioritaire de terminer au plus vite un contrat qualifié de "pénible" à Paris, la rénovation de huit patrouilleurs P37 par le groupe étatique DCI. Enfin, Nexter qui s'est positionné sur un programme d'achat d'une centaine de véhicules blindés, propose le VBCI et DCNS des corvettes Gowind dans deux ou trois ans.


La France tente de maintenir quelques positions à Oman

A Oman, forteresse britannique, les Français ont connu quelques succès, notamment le missilier MBDA, qui a placé ses missiles surface-air VL Mica. Malheureusement, le sultanat va acquérir le système de défense aérienne américain de Raytheon SLAMRAAM pour un montant de 2,1 milliard de dollars (1,6 milliard d'euros). Oman était pourtant sur le point de choisir le missilier européen mais a dû changer son fusil d'épaule sous la pression de l'administration américaine. "Le contrat avec Oman, que nous avons perdu, s'élevait à un milliard d'euros, soit deux années de notre chiffre d'affaire en France", avait regretté mi-septembre à l'Assemblée nationale, le PDG de MBDA, Antoine Bouvier.

DCNS est également sur les rangs pour prendre des positions commerciales à Oman mais ce marché est extrêmement compétitif. "Beaucoup de concurrence", rappelle-t-on à Paris. Pour autant, le groupe naval a répondu en mars un appel d'offre portant sur l'acquisition d'un navire océanographique et attend fin 2014 pour proposer dans le cadre d'un RFI (Request for information) ses corvettes Gowind. Enfin, Thales est en train de créer à Oman une société de droit omanais.

Lire ou relire l'ensemble de la série La France au Moyen-Orient :

La France au Moyen-Orient (1/5) : quand la diplomatie va, tout va... mieux

La France au Moyen-Orient (2/5) : Paris chasse en Arabie Saoudite le mégacontrat Sawari 3

La France au Moyen-Orient (3/5) : le Qatar premier client du Rafale ?

La France au Moyen-Orient (4/5) : Jean-Yves Le Drian, l'homme clé du retour de la France aux Emirats Arabes Unis

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
Projet F-X : les députés du Parti Saenuri demandent la renégociation du contrat


SEOUL, 27 nov. (Yonhap)


Les députés et officiels du Parti Saenuri ont appelé ce mercredi le gouvernement à renégocier l’achat de 40 F-35A du constructeur Lockheed Martin, affirmant que l’accord actuel est injuste.


Le Comité des chefs d’état-major interarmées (JCS) avait annoncé la semaine dernière l’achat de 40 F-35 Block 3 sur une période de quatre ans à compter de 2018, avec la possibilité d’acheter à une date ultérieure 20 avions additionnels, selon la situation budgétaire et sécuritaire.


«Le gouvernement a pris la bonne décision en choisissant le F-35A pour ses capacités de furtivité, mais comparé au Japon, les conditions (de l’achat) sont remarquablement injustes», a déclaré le député Rhee In-je du Parti Saenuri lors d’une réunion de parlementaires et de membres du Conseil suprême.


Le député a souligné que contrairement à la Corée du Sud, qui compte acheter les 40 avions préassemblés, le Japon ne va en acheter que quatre préassemblés et assembler lui-même les 38 avions restants. «Cela n’est pas un détail qui peut être ignoré. Nous devons tenter (d’acheter les chasseurs) sous condition de transfert de technologies, avec les mêmes conditions que le Japon, même si cela signifie faire de nouvelles négociations», a dit Rhee.


L’achat devrait se faire de gouvernement à gouvernement, sans appel d’offres. Des experts du secteur pensent que ce type d’achat offre moins de liberté pour négocier un transfert de technologies ou une coopération industrielle.


Yoo Ki-june, membre du Conseil suprême, a affirmé que le Japon a bénéficié de divers avantages car il a tenu un appel d’offres. «Je ne comprends pas pourquoi (le gouvernement) a décidé d’acheter le F-35A, qui est encore en cours de développement, par le biais d’un contrat négocié», a-t-il dit. «Nous devrions organiser un appel d’offres pour bénéficier d’un transfert de technologies.»


Le principal parti de l’opposition, le Parti démocrate, a lui aussi critiqué le gouvernement pour la façon dont il a conclu l’accord, affirmant que le manque de compétition avec d’autres fabricants le forcera à accepter le prix qu’on lui demandera, quel qu’il soit, malgré les incertitudes sur les performances du chasseur.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military

A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military


27.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com


Selon l’agence de presse coréenne Yonhap, le gouvernement coréen devrait lancer un appel d’offres pour l’acquisition de quatre avions ravitailleurs en janvier 2014. Cette décision ferait suite à un rapport de la DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) mettant en avant la nécessité pour la Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) de s’équiper de ravitailleurs. Les avions devraient être livrés entre 2017 et 2019 et le contrat se monterait à environ 1 000 milliards de wons, soit environ 940 millions de dollars.


Ce futur contrat d’acquisition permettrait à la Corée du Sud d’augmenter de manière considérable ses capacités aériennes, la ROKAF ne possédant en effet pas de capacités de ravitaillement en vol pour ses chasseurs (F-15K, F-16C, F-5E, F-4E/RF-4C). Des entraînements au ravitaillement de KF-16 avaient eu lieu au large de la base aérienne de Kusan en septembre 2011, avec le concours de l’US Air Force et de KC-135 (photo).


Cet appel d’offres va à nouveau opposer Boeing et Airbus Military, l’avionneur américain étant en position de proposer le futur KC-46A ou son KC-767, tandis que la division d’EADS tentera de positionner son A330 MRTT sur le marché.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 12:25
Armes saisies sur un cargo: 32 marins nord-coréens bientôt libérés


28.11.2013 Romandie.com (ats )


Les autorités panaméennes se préparaient mercredi à libérer 32 des 35 membres de l'équipage du bateau nord-coréen arraisonné en juillet avec des armes non déclarées en provenance de Cuba. Elles ont également décidé de laisser repartir le navire.


"Ils ont déjà été autorisés à quitter le pays, 32 des 35 détenus pourront s'en aller", a annoncé Tomas Cabral, du ministère panaméen des Affaires étrangères. "La délégation coréenne qui s'est récemment rendue dans notre pays nous a remis les documents nécessaires et nous avons décidé de relâcher le navire", a de son côté déclaré à la presse le procureur chargé du crime organisé Nahaniel Murgas.


Toutefois, a-t-il précisé, le navire "ne peut sortir de notre pays tant qu'il n'aura pas réglé la situation avec" les autorités du canal, qui ont infligé aux responsables du bateau une amende d'un million de dollars pour avoir mis en danger la sécurité de la voie maritime. M. Murgas n'a pas indiqué si les autorités laisseraient repartir le bateau avec son chargement controversé.


Armements pour avions


Le 10 juillet, le Chong Chon Gang, en provenance de Cuba, a été arraisonné à l'entrée du canal de Panama après la découverte de 25 conteneurs renfermant du matériel militaire dissimulé sous plusieurs tonnes de sacs de sucre roux.


Cuba a révélé qu'il s'agissait de "240 tonnes d'armes défensives obsolètes, toutes fabriquées au milieu du siècle passé et qui devaient être réparées" en Corée du Nord pour être réexpédiées dans l'île communiste. Mais selon les autorités panaméennes, qui ont inspecté la cargaison, il s'agissait d'armements pour des avions de type MIG-21, des lanceurs antimissiles et des véhicules militaires.


Pas au courant


Les 35 marins nord-coréens du bateau ont été incarcérés et risquaient selon les autorités jusqu'à 12 ans de prison pour trafic d'armes. Mais fin octobre, le ministre panaméen des Affaires étrangères Fernando Nuñez avait révélé que la plupart d'entre eux pourraient être libérés si le procureur retenait l'argument selon lequel ils n'étaient pas au courant de la présence d'armes à bord.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Grizzly end: First A400M flies into retirement

MSN1 - or Grizzly 1 photo Craig Hoyle FG


Nov. 28, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG


London - Airbus Military has reduced the size of its "Grizzly" development fleet of A400M tactical transports to three, after retiring its first-flight example and placing another aircraft into storage.


First flown on 11 December 2009 (above), MSN1 - or Grizzly 1 - was the first of five test aircraft to be flown in support of the eight-nation A400M programme. Registered as F-WWMT, the aircraft performed its final flight from Toulouse, France on 4 November,with the company saying the 1h sortie was intended "to validate procedures for landing with the ramp door failed in the open position". This brought the lead aircraft's total usage to 475 flights and almost 1,450h, Airbus Military says.


To mark the milestone event, the same crew which performed Grizzly 1's debut flight from Seville, Spain were brought together. This comprised test pilots Nacho Lombo and Ed Strongman, head of A400M flight test Eric Isorce and a test flight engineer team of Jean-Philippe Cottet, Gerard Leskerpit and Didier Ronceray.


MSN1 - or Grizzly 1 photo Airbus Military

MSN1 - or Grizzly 1 photo Airbus Military

“MSN1 has had a relatively short but very arduous life, and it has taken us to the extreme parts of the flight envelope where, I hope, most other A400Ms will not go," says Strongman. The aircraft will be preserved and put on public view, with Airbus's heritage department to decide on its final display location next year.


In addition to Grizzly 1's removal from use, aircraft MSN3 has also now been placed into long-term storage. "It is not intended to fly again, but could be returned to flight-test duties if required," the company says.


Airbus Military's remaining three development aircraft will be used to support the ongoing introduction of additional capabilities for the A400M. Two of the type have been delivered to the French air force, with Turkey due to receive its first example before year-end. Further customers for the type are Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain and the UK, with a total order book for 174 aircraft.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:40
Russian Navy Gets New Carrier-Based Fighters


November 26, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: RIA Novosti; published November 25, 2013)


MOSCOW --- The Russian navy has taken delivery of its first four series-produced MiG-29K/KUB carrier based fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said Monday.


“The MiG aircraft-manufacturing corporation has handed over two MiG-29K single-seat and two MiG-29KUB twin-seat carrier-based fighter aircraft,” a spokesman said.


The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with MiG in February 2012 for delivery of 20 MiG-29K and four MiG-29KUB fighters by 2015.


The aircraft will be deployed on Russia's sole serving carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, based in Murmansk with the Northern Fleet. The Admiral Kuznetsov currently operates Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighter aircraft.


The MiG-29K is a naval variant of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability thanks to its Zhuk-ME slotted array radar, MiG says.


Unlike the Su-33, which is capable of air defense missions only, the MiG-29K can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air weaponry and laser-designation systems.


The aircraft is also capable of “buddy” refueling other MiG-29Ks using the PAZ-1MK refueling pod.


So far, the aircraft has only entered service with India, for use on the refitted Russian-built carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was handed over to the Indian Navy on November 15.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
US-2i amphibious aircraft acquisition process underway


November 26, 2013 Saurabh Joshi - stratpost.com


The India-Japan Joint Working Group (JWG) have held preliminary meetings to initiate the process for acquisition of the ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft for the Indian Navy.


The Indian Navy plan to acquire the Japanese ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft faces unique challenges in terms of the process being evolved to effect the purchase.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his visit to Japan last May, had issued a joint statement along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which mandated the setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) between the two countries to explore the potential for cooperation between the defense and aviation industries between the two countries, as well as to figure out the mechanism and modalities for the acquisition of the aircraft by the Indian Navy.

The statement said, among other things:

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the expanding defense relations between the two countries based on the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between India and Japan. The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction that the first bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy (IN)and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)was held in June 2012 off the coast of Japan and decided to conduct such exercises on a regular basis with increased frequency. They decided to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore modality for the cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft.

The two sides have held preliminary meetings of the JWG recently, since the meeting between the two prime ministers – said to be the result of the priority accorded to the process by Abe.

The navy is understood to be keen on acquiring at least 15 of the aircraft. The last amphibious aircraft operated by the navy were the light transport Short SA.6 Sealand aircraft, which were inducted in the 1950s and phased out a decade later. Since then, the Indian Navy has never operated any amphibious aircraft.

A Beriev Be-200 at the Singapore Airshow in 2012 | Photo: StratPost

A Beriev Be-200 at the Singapore Airshow in 2012 | Photo: StratPost

The Indian Coast Guard, briefly, considered the acquisition of the Russian Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft as part of a process to acquire Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft (MRMR), which was subsequently cancelled in 2011.

There are two reasons why this process is significant. First of all, it represents a change in Japanese policies, traditionally informed by its pacifist constitution, in place since the end of the Second World War, which barred the export of military technologies.

While Japan barred the export of military equipment to communist countries, countries subject to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) arms embargo and countries that could be involved in international conflicts since 1967, it extended the bar on export to all countries in 1976, with the United States being the only exception.

Japan continues to ban such exports and only allows the export of dual-use equipment, under which category the US-2i falls. Even then, the Japanese allowance remains a significant relaxation on its part.

Secondly, there is no close competitor to the aircraft in terms of features and performance, and the Indian Navy and defense ministry would have to evolve a process under the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) to make sure the single vendor bar does not apply to the acquisition process for the aircraft and/or put together a government-to-government purchase process with Japan, on the lines of the mechanism with Russia and the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route with the United States.

While this process is getting underway, defense ministry sources expressed mild concern that, while the objectives of the JWG include ‘cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft’, this could end up with the long term objectives of potential industrial cooperation holding up the more immediate objective of aircraft acquisition. They pointed to the inclusion of India’s National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) as part of the JWG and said care should be taken that the objective of cooperation on civilian aircraft development should not delay the more immediate objective acquisition process.

That said, movement on this could be expected in December, with at least two meetings – a second preliminary meeting as well as defense minister-level talks on the issue.

US-2i potential

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited Japan earlier this year, expressed India’s interest in acquiring the aircraft as part of what was seen as a growing proximity between the two countries, both of whom have had territorial disputes with China.

India has been bolstering its airlift capabilities in the northern and north-eastern regions in a bid to provide better logistical support to the Indian Army, at a time when serial intrusions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China by the Chine People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have created much controversy. The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently made the Daulat Beg Oldie Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), just southeast of the Karakoram Pass, operational for its C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

Interestingly, the US-2i could also operate from Pangong Tso lake (and possibly other water bodies in the region), divided by the LAC between the two countries in the Chushul sector, should the need arise, if the Indian Navy were to acquire it.

Speaking at the first Naval and Maritime Expo (NAMEXPO) held in Kochi in September, Commodore Sujeet Samadar, retired from the Indian Navy, who heads the company in India, told StratPost that although the aircraft has never operated at such heights before, it is qualified for such operations. Specifically asked if the aircraft could operate from Pangong Tso lake, Commodore Samadar said he could see no reason why it could not

“The boundary layer control system has unique features and it’s been designed for a particular performance, mostly at sea level. But the extension of the systems onboard allows it to carry out high altitude operations. At the moment, I think, that is what I can say. It can carry out high altitude operations, certainly.”

The aircraft can operate in rough waters up to sea state 5 with three meter high waves. It can take off in 280 meters and land in 330 meters with a maximum take off weight of 43 tons. It has a range of 4,500 kilometers and a top speed of 560 kilometers per hour. The aircraft’s boundary layer control system generates additional lift to allow the aircraft to take off and land in short distances. Its spray strip and spray suppressor prevent splashed water from reaching its engines.

Sources in the defense ministry have also indicated a level of interest in the IAF in the capabilities of this aircraft and the possibilities it could offer for air support in the region.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 19:30
La France au Moyen-Orient (4/5) : Jean-Yves Le Drian, l'homme clé du retour de la France aux Emirats Arabes Unis

La relation de confiance entre le prince héritier d'Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, et le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a relancé les projets entre Abu Dhabi et Paris


27/11/2013 Michel Cabirol, à Dubaï – LaTribune.fr


Quatrième volet de la France au Moyen-Orient, les Emirats Arabes Unis. C'est dans ce pays que Paris a commencé à toucher les premiers dividendes de sa nouvelle politique diplomatique. En dépit du forcing britannique pour le Typhoon, Dassault Aviation est toujours en compétition dans le ciel émirati.

La France est vraiment de retour aux Emirats Arabes Unis… Il aura fallu plus d'un an pour que Paris revienne dans les petits papiers du prince héritier d'Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Un homme a été la clé dans cette réconciliation entre Paris et Abu Dhabi. Cet homme, c'est Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui a su tisser une relation personnelle avec le prince héritier, lui-même séduit par le caractère obstiné de ce pur breton de Lorient.

Jean-Yves Le Drian a notamment surpris les Emiratis par sa ténacité. Surtout quand début juillet il avait repoussé de 24 heures son retour à Paris pour tenter de signer coûte que coûte le contrat Falcon Eye, deux satellites espions construits par Astrium et Thales Alenia Space. Et même s'il n'avait pas cette fois-là emporté la décision, il avait marqué les esprits.


Une disgrâce d'un an et demi

Cette commande de plus de 700 millions d'euros sera finalement signée quelques jours plus tard fin juillet par le ministre lors d'une cérémonie très protocolaire. Ce contrat, qui était perdu en janvier par les Français et promis aux Américains, n'est pas encore notifié, selon nos informations. "En 2014", estime-t-on de source proche du dossier. Tout comme la vente par Thales de 17 radars Ground Master 200 pour un montant d'environ 250 millions d'euros. Avec ces deux commandes pour un total de 1 milliard, Paris retrouvait enfin les faveurs d'Abu Dhabi. Aujourd'hui le ministre "est dans l'approfondissement personnel de sa relation avec le prince héritier", explique-t-on dans son entourage.

Jean-Yves Le Drian est déjà allé six fois aux Emirats pour entretenir cette "vraie relation de confiance". Lors du salon aéronautique de Dubaï 2013, cela s'est encore vu. Les deux hommes ont passé du temps ensemble, visitant le stand de Dassault Aviation et de MBDA. Ils ont également participé à un déjeuner officiel. En revanche, les relations sont beaucoup moins étroites avec le ministre de la Défense des Emirats Arabes Unis et patron de l'émirat de Dubaï, l'émir Mohammed ben Rachid Al Maktoum.

Il était temps. Car les dernières commandes militaires significatives des Emirats Arabes Unis, un client fidèle de la France, remontaient déjà à 2007 avec le contrat Yahsat (deux satellites de communications civiles et militaires) et l'achat de trois avions ravitailleurs MRTT à Airbus. Soit une disgrâce d'un an et demi après la gifle retentissante de Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan en personne au salon aéronautique de Dubaï en novembre 2011. Ce dernier avait alors tancé Dassault Aviation pour ses conditions commerciales inacceptables dans le cadre de la négociation d'un contrat Rafale. Il avait lancé le Typhoon du consortium Eurofighter dans la compétition.


Lire ou relire : La saga du Rafale aux Emirats Arabes Unis (1/3) : Le temps de la réconciliation

La saga du Rafale aux Emirats Arabes Unis (2/3) : le temps des espoirs... et des concessions

La saga du Rafale aux Emirats Arabes Unis (3/3) : le temps des fâcheries


Un an encore de travail pour le Rafale
La France au Moyen-Orient (4/5) : Jean-Yves Le Drian, l'homme clé du retour de la France aux Emirats Arabes Unis


En dépit des bonnes relations entretenues entre les Emirats Arabes Unis et la France, les grands patrons de l'industrie de l'armement française, qui atterrissent à Dubaï les jours précédents l'inauguration de la douzième édition du salon aéronautique prévue le dimanche 17 novembre, sont un peu fébriles. Et pour cause. La presse britannique croit dur comme fer qu'un contrat de 7 milliards d'euros pour la vente de 60 Typhoon, voire un protocole d'accord, va être signé lors du passage à Dubaï par David Cameron. Le Premier ministre britannique a prévu de faire un stop dans cet émirat le samedi la veille de l'ouverture du salon sur le chemin du retour à l'issue du sommet du Commonwealth au Sri Lanka. Mais pour les britanniques, cela fait pschitt.

"Ils sont dans la même situation que nous il y a deux ans, se réjouit-on dans le camp français. Ils ont même peur de jouer les lièvres face au Rafale". Pour autant, pour le Rafale aux Emirats, rien n'est encore gagné. "Cela prendra encore du temps, il y a un an de travail", explique-t-on à "La Tribune". La France garde donc le cap depuis la reprise des négociations en janvier 2013 à l'issue de la visite de François Hollande à Dubaï. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan a confié à Dassault Aviation et son PDG, Eric Trappier, ont une nouvelle feuille de route en février dernier lors du salon de défense IDEX.


VBCI, Crotale et corvettes Gowind dans les starting-blocks


La France au Moyen-Orient (4/5) : Jean-Yves Le Drian, l'homme clé du retour de la France aux Emirats Arabes Unis

D'autres projets sont actuellement en négociations. Le plus avancé est l'achat de 700 véhicules blindés par Abu Dhabi. Nexter, le groupe public spécialisé dans les armements terrestres, qui comptait entrer en février dernier en négociations exclusives avec les Emirats pour placer le VBCI dans les forces émiraties - sans succès -, rencontrerait, selon nos informations, des difficultés pour finaliser le montage industriel avec le groupe local, Tawazun. "C'est un peu compliqué", indique-t-on à La Tribune. Sur ce dossier aussi, il resterait environ un an de travail. Le VBCI, qui offre un haut niveau de protection face aux différentes menaces des théâtres d'opérations, a déjà été projeté en Afghanistan et au Liban en 2010 puis au Mali en début d'année 2013.


La France au Moyen-Orient (4/5) : Jean-Yves Le Drian, l'homme clé du retour de la France aux Emirats Arabes Unis

Quant à DCNS, le groupe naval lorgne, selon nos informations, sur la vente de six corvettes polyvalentes. Le groupe propose des Gowind de 3.000 tonnes, qui seront construites localement. Enfin, Thales s'est mis sur les rangs pour moderniser le système Crotale, un système de défense aérienne de courte portée, en service dans la marine émiratie.


Lire ou relire les trois premiers volets :

La France au Moyen Orient (1/5) : quand la diplomatie va, tout va... mieux

La France au Moyen-Orient (2/5) : Paris chasse en Arabie Saoudite le mégacontrat Sawari 3

La France au Moyen-Orient (3/5) : le Qatar premier client du Rafale ?

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 18:30
Elbit Systems Mission Training Center Goes Operational, Serving the Israeli F-16 AF Fighter Pilots


Nov 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : Elbit Systems Ltd


    The center incorporates a ''Mission Training'' system that allows fighter pilots to fly operational and tactical missions


Elbit Systems announced today that the Mission Training Center (MTC) for the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) pilots of F-16C/D and F-16I fighter aircraft is now operational and currently being used by the IAF.


The MTC, operating through a PFI (Private Financing Initiative) concept, successfully completed the development phase and is now operational, with Elbit Systems performing the instruction, operation and maintenance services.


The new operational MTC marks a significant breakthrough in the operational training sector. The system enables training in various mission scenarios in different theaters with the relevant threat environment for each theater. The MTC brings an advanced training capability that was not available to the IAF in the past.


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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 13:35
Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III at Canberra Airport

Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III at Canberra Airport


BRISBANE, Australia, Nov. 26 (UPI)


Boeing Co. has delivered a full-scale C-17 Globemaster III cargo compartment trainer to the Royal Australian Air Force, the company said.


The trainer is a fully functional replica of a C-17 fuselage that can simulate day/night operating conditions for loadmasters, as well as aeromedical evacuation training for aeromedical specialists.


"The C-17 program has delivered a substantial capability to Australia; this CCT represents the final component of that program," said RAAF Group Capt. Warren Bishop. "It will add significant value to the RAAF, providing the capability to train pilots and loadmasters in Australia."


The cargo compartment trainer will be used at an RAAF facility in Amberley, where loading vehicles, simulated cargo and other training assets are located.


The Royal Australian Air Force operates six C-17s for military transport missions and disaster relief operations.


Boeing said the operational cargo compartment trainer delivered to Australia is the third it has produced. Two others are being used at a U.S Air Force base in Oklahoma.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
Saab Receives Order from FMV for Technical System Support


Nov 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : Saab AB


Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide technical system support to the Swedish Armed Forces during 2014. The order amounts to SEK 107 million.


The order is a further option under an earlier agreement signed in June 2012 with FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of the Gripen fighter (i.e. Performance-Based Logistics, PBL).


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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
photo EADS

photo EADS


Nov 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : TenCate


The new Airbus A400M features ice protection plates produced from TenCate Cetex® glass PPS semipreg. TenCate Advanced Composites in Nijverdal (NL) supplies this thermoplastic composite material for a wide range of structural and semi-structural aircraft components. Fokker Aerostructures (Hoogeveen, NL) processes the material into finished panels. The panels protect sides of the fuselage alongside the propeller tips from damage caused by chunks of ice which, under certain weather conditions, are flung from the propellers of  the military transport aircraft.


TenCate Cetex® semipreg material was selected because it provides excellent impact resistance and also a very good chemical resistance (de-icing and hydraulic / decontamination fluids). It is also used on the fixed wing leading edges of the Airbus A380.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:45
C-130J photo Frans Dely - Lockheed Martin

C-130J photo Frans Dely - Lockheed Martin


26 November 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb


Lockheed Martin’s point man for Africa has hit South Africa with the declared mission of trying to establish exactly what the SA Air Force’s (SAAF) airlift requirements are.


Dennys Plessas, Vice President Business development Initiatives at the American aerospace company, told defenceWeb his three day visit would also allow him to put forward suggestions on the boosting of airlift capacity for the hard-pressed SAAF.


“I’m here to find out exactly what the SAAF’s needs and requirements are as far as airlift, whether it be tactical or strategic, is concerned. Both myself and Lockheed Martin are concerned a hastily taken decision in this regard can lead to problems down the line with aircraft maintenance and utilisation,” he said, regarding reports of feasibility and or project studies apparently currently underway for possible acquisition of Ilyushin Il-76s.


An indicator of the importance Lockheed Martin attaches to South Africa can be gathered from Plessas’ statement that the company is ready to engage with its single largest customer – the US Air Force – to accommodate any South African requirement for the C-130J Super Hercules.


“If needs be speedy procurement can be negotiated with the USAF.”


Earlier this year the SAAF marked the 50th year of service of the C-130BZ with AFB Waterkloof-based 28 Squadron. It was also the squadron’s 70th anniversary.


An indication of the respect the C-130J has earned among the world’s air forces was that the Indian Air Force had disposed of its Il-76s in favour of the new generation Hercules, he said. The sub-continent’s air force currently has 12 C-130Js in its fleet inventory.


“It is a true multi-role aircraft handling missions such as airlift, maritime patrol and reconnaissance, border protection as well as air-to-air refuelling and others,” Plessas said adding discussions with the current and immediate past SAAF chiefs had led him to believe aerial refuelling was high on the priority list.


“This appears to have changed and that is why I’m here – to find out what the priorities are and how the C-130J can fit those needs.”


He would not elaborate on exactly who he would be seeing during his short stay in South Africa but said the local United States Embassy was also ready to offer “every assistance” if there was a decision to go the C-130J route by the SAAF.


The SAAF’s C-130 fleet will be retired in 2020, leaving only a few years to decide on a replacement. The Air Force also needs to urgently replace its Turbo Dakota maritime surveillance aircraft, under Project Saucepan. Lockheed Martin has previously suggested its Sea Hercules and C-130XJ Expandable Super Hercules could meet this requirement, and fulfil the SAAF’s airlift needs. The C-130XJ would have a substantial amount of local content fitted to meet South African requirements.


The US Air Force brought a Super Hercules to the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in Pretoria in September last year.


During a briefing last year Plessas noted that the C-130J could provide 90% of the SAAF’s airlift capability (including cargo transport, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, medevac, search and rescue etc). It could also meet 100% of the SAAF’s maritime/border patrol requirements and 100% of its tanking needs, as the KC-130J has successfully refuelled Gripen fighters.


The SAAF’s eight C-130BZs are projected to keep flying until 2020, up from the earlier date of 2015, but the Air Force has yet to issue a request for information (RFI) or request for proposals (RFP) for replacements. Lockheed Martin pointed out that the SAAF’s Boeing 707 tankers had been retired in 2007 and that its C-47TP aircraft are 1940s vintage.


Lockheed Martin ready to assist with SAAF airlift acquisition

Until the cancellation of the Airbus Military A400M in 2009, the SAAF envisaged a transport trinity with the A400M as the heavy/strategic transport, a C130-type aircraft as a medium airlifter and a third type as a light utility aircraft.

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