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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
F-16C Fighting Falcons conducting flight over Kunsan air base in Korea. Photo US Air Force

F-16C Fighting Falcons conducting flight over Kunsan air base in Korea. Photo US Air Force


November 27th, 2013 By US Defense Security Cooperation Agency - defencetalk.com


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea for Phase 1 upgrades of 134 KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $200 million.


The Republic of Korea has requested a possible sale for Phase 1 of an upgrade of 134 KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft to be completed in a potential two-phased approach. Phase 1 entails the sale of U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services to support the initial design and development for the overall upgrade program.


This phase will furnish detailed design requirements to include computers, displays, sensors and weapons, system design and pilot-vehicle interface efforts; initiate software design and development; engineering installation design (Group A); construction of an avionics systems integration facility and test stations; define support and training requirements; develop long-lead items; and prepare reports, analyses, and presentations to support system requirements and preliminary design reviews.


Phase 2, if implemented, relates to the KF-16C/D aircraft upgrade with advanced radar and updated avionics. In the event of such a sale, a subsequent notification will be prepared.


This notice relates only to Phase 1. The estimated cost is $200 million.


This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation. The ROK continues to be an important force for peace, political stability, and economic progress in North East Asia.


This proposed sale will provide the ROK with a design and development plan to improve the capabilities of its KF-16 fleet in order to continue to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense. If Phase 2 of the upgrade program is implemented, the upgraded KF-16 will contribute to the ROK’s goal to develop a more capable defense force and enhance interoperability with U.S. forces.


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


The principal contractor will be BAE Systems Technology Solution & Services, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this proposed sale will require one additional contractor representative to ROK to facilitate communications with the FMS customer to clarify requirements in support of development activities.


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


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

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
India Pushes Russia For Greater Inclusion In Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft Development


November 27, 2013 By Ankit Panda - thediplomat.com


India wants a greater stake in the development of a Sukhoi T-50-variant Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft.


India and Russia have been long-term collaborators on defense technology. The two countries together produced the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile — the fastest cruise missile in production. The relationship hasn’t always been balanced in India’s favor, however, and this has come to light recently with India’s stake in the development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA).

According to Defense NewsIndia has conveyed its displeasure to Russia over its “low level of participation in the joint development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), despite being an equal financial partner in the project and placing an order of more than US $30 billion for the new planes.” The joint effort is a major component of India’s continued air force modernization. According to RIA Novosti, India currently bears 50 percent of the costs of development.

In a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony pushed Russia to increase India’s share of the development work to 50 percent, in line with its financial equity in the project. Antony, speaking at the 13th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation, stressed the necessity for the two longterm partners to cooperative equally in “all the phases — design, development and production — in the execution” of the FGFA project.

New Delhi’s push for equitable inclusion in military technical cooperation with Russia is related to its long-unachieved strategic goal of developing self-sufficiency in indigenous military production. India is the world’s largest importer of weapons technology. Indeed, Defense News cited a Russian diplomat in New Delhi as saying that part of the reason that the Russians limited India’s share in the FGFA project is due to “India’s capabilities in military aircraft research and industrial infrastructure.”

The agreement to jointly develop the FGFA was signed between the Indian and Russia Air Forces in 2007, with the final design, research, and joint development contract expected to exceed more than $10 billion. Although that contract is yet to be signed, Defense News reports that “In December 2010, Rosoboronexport, India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics and Russian aircraft-maker Sukhoi signed a preliminary design development contract worth $295 million.”

The Indian Air Force is likely to order around 200 units of the single-seat, twin-engine fighters. The Sukhoi T-50 possesses a supersonic cruising ability which, combined with its ultra-manuverability, makes it a potent addition to the Indian Air Force. The jet is expected to increase the versatility of the Indian Air Force. As part of India’s stake in the development of the aircraft, it is expected to be able to specifically tune the units it purchases to the specific needs of its air force.

Antony’s visit to Moscow came just a couple days after India inducted the INS Vikramaditya — formerly the Russian Admiral Gorshkov. India’s naval modernization, which has reached new heights in recent years, has largely been dependent on its cooperation with Russia as well. In his recent visit, Antony also addressed a prospective nuclear submarine lease from Russia to India.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
How China Plans to Use the Su-35


November 27, 2013 By Peter Wood- thediplomat.com


Acquisition of the advanced Su-35 fighter would give China some significant new capabilities.


A senior executive at Russia’s state arms export company, Rosoboronexport, has said that Russia will sign a contract to sell the advanced Su-35 jet to China in 2014, while confirming that the deal is not on track to be finished in 2013. This is unlikely to be the last word on the matter – the negotiations have dragged on since 2010, and have been the subject of premature and contradictory announcements before – but it is a strong indication that Russia remains interested in the sale. For the time being, China’s interest in the new-generation fighter is worth examining for what it reveals about the progress of homegrown military technology and China’s strategy for managing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. If successful, the acquisition could have an immediate impact on these disputes. In addition to strengthening China’s hand in a hypothetical conflict, the Su-35’s range and fuel capacity would allow the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) to undertake extended patrols of the disputed areas, following the model it has used to pressure Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.

The Su-35 is not the first Sukoi to pique the interest of the Chinese military. As previously reported in The Diplomat, the Sukoi-30MKK, and the Chinese version, the J-16, have been touted by the Chinese military as allowing it to project power into the South China Sea.

Previous reports in Chinese and Russian media in June of this year pointed toward a deal having been reached over a sale of Su-35 multi-role jets, but were not viewed as official, given more than a year’s worth of contradictory reports in Chinese and Russian media. At one point, Russian sources claimed that the sale had gone through, only to be categorically refuted by the Chinese Ministry of Defense. Nevertheless, in January both governments paved the way for an eventual sale by signing an agreement in principle that Russia would provide the Su-35 to China.

A big question remaining is the number of aircraft that China will purchase. China’s Global Times reported this summer that a group of Chinese representatives were in Moscow evaluating the Su-35, and would begin acquiring a “considerable number” of the advanced jets. Whether that means that China will purchase more than 48, as mentioned in press statements a year ago, is unclear. Evidence of continued negotiation for the jets indicates a strong desire within the Chinese military to acquire the Sukhoi fighters.

Chinese aviation is still reliant in many ways on Russia. Media attention has focused on China’s domestic development programs, including stealth fighter-bombers and helicopters. The advance of Chinese aviation capabilities is by now a common theme, with every month seeming to bring new revelations about its programs. While the ability to manufacture and perform design work on these projects represents significant progress, “under the hood” these aircraft often feature Russian engines. China continues to try to copy or steal Russian engine technology because of a strong preference for building systems itself. In fact, purchasing the Su-35 does not reflect a shift in the preferences of the Chinese military leadership. Buying the Su-35 reflects the delicate position China now finds itself in, as both a large purchaser and producer of primarily Russian-style weapons. Though self-reliance has always been important to China, it has been superseded by the strategic need to acquire cutting-edge weapons systems quickly. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), beginning in 1991, China began purchasing the Su-27 long-range fighter jet (an older relative of the Su-35). The data is searchable here.

Russia understandably became upset when its star export appeared as an indigenously produced J-11 in China – without a licensing agreement. Russian media was previously reporting that Russia had chosen not to sell the jet over fears that it would be copied in turn and become yet another export item for China, further undercutting Russia’s own economically vital arms business. It appears that now Russia is trying to balance its fear of being undercut by Chinese copying with its desire (or need) to sell weapons.

Viewing the purchase of the Su-35 through the lens of China’s strategic needs and events, like the recent territorial spats with its neighbors, provides a useful perspective on just why China is so eager to acquire the Sukhoi jet.

Simply put, the Su-35 is the best non-stealth fighter in the world today. Though stealth has come to dominate Western aircraft design, in terms of China’s needs, other factors take precedence. Even more surprisingly, superiority in air-to-air combat is not the Su-35’s key selling point. while the Su-35 gives the Chinese military a leg up versus the F-15s and other aircraft fielded by neighbors like Japan, the advanced Russian jet does not add significant new capabilities to conflict areas like the Taiwan Strait. Large numbers of interceptors and multi-role jets like the J-10 could easily be deployed over the Strait, or to areas near Japan like the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The advantage of the Su-35 rather lies in its speed and ample fuel tanks. Like the Su-27, the Su-35 was created to patrol Russia’s enormous airspace and to be able to meet incoming threats far away from Russia’s main urban areas. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) faces similar problems.

The South China Sea is just such a problem. A vast area of 1.4 million square miles (2.25 million square kilometers), China’s claims, as demarcated by the famous “nine-dashed line,” pose challenges for the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) current fighters. Currently, land-based PLANAF fighters, can conduct limited patrols of the sea’s southern areas, but their fuel capacity severely restricts the time they can spend on patrol. Enforcing claims far from the mainland in times of crisis requires the type of range and speed that the Su-35 possesses. The Su-35 is likely meant to help enforce China’s territorial claims, further deter regional claimants, and provide additional layers of protection in the case of escalation. The key to this is fuel.

One important improvement of the Su-35 over the Su-27/J-11B is the ability to carry external fuel tanks, be a major factor limiting the Su-27, which does not have aerial refueling capability. This is in addition to a 20 percent increase in fuel capacity over the Su-27 and air refueling capability. This later capability is another important part of China’s strategy of increasing loiter times and distances. “Loiter time” is the time an aircraft can spend in the vicinity of a target, as opposed to reaching the area and returning to base. Generally there are three ways to increase loiter time. Smaller, slower aircraft like the U.S. Predator or global hawk drones can stay aloft for many hours at a time because of their long wings and lack of a pilot. The other two options are larger fuel tanks or refueling capability. China’s nascent aerial refueling program is not yet fully proven and does not currently involve any naval planes, and is estimated at becoming operationally effective between 2015-2020 in Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles.

The Su-35, even on internal fuel only, offers significant advantages over the Su-27, which is limited to only quick fly-overs of trouble spots such as the Reed Bank (lile tan) or Scarborough Shoal (huangyan dao). The extra time the Su-35 can spend on station is essential to China’s desire to deter action by the Philippines or other regional actors. Such long-range aircraft would be able to “show the flag” for longer, or quickly intercept Philippine aircraft in the region. In the case of the Su-35, it would likely be able to outfly and outshoot any Philippine or Vietnamese aircraft (or surface vessel for that matter) largely rendering competing territorial claims irrelevant.

This is the sort of fait accompli situation that China has sought to create, for example with the “eviction” of the Philippine presence from the Scarborough Shoal and repeated fly-bys of the disputed area in the East China Sea: an overwhelming Chinese presence around territorial claims, leaving the contender with the options of significantly ratcheting up tensions and likely losing any skirmish or accepting a regular Chinese military presence. With the ability to make extended flights over a larger portion of the South China Sea, the PLANAF is likely to increase air patrols. This could lead to more frequent encounters in more places, creating more opportunities for minor crises and allowing China to create new “facts on the ground,” which may serve as the starting point for negotiations in a peaceful settlement. This capability, combined with China’s already significant ballistic missile forces and other anti-access weapons, provides China with a significant trump card and thus acts as a deterrent to military challenges. This gives China the ability to project military power over a larger portion of Southeast Asia and indeed, most of the ASEAN nations.

Beyond deterrence, a jet with a longer-range purchases more than just loiter time. Areas like Hainan are more vulnerable to attack by cruise missile or carrier-borne elements than those behind the prickly hedge of China’s air defense systems. Overlapping radars, shorter ranged interceptors and powerful surface-to-air missile systems make deploying aircraft to the mainland an attractive option. With its extended range however, the Su-35 should have little trouble flying from behind coastal areas to a large portion of the South China Sea.

Land-based, long-range patrolling Su-35s are one of the best ways to ensure that China retains the ability to restrict other contestant nations’ access to these areas. This has become even more urgent now that the U.S. has announced plans to deploy the F-35 into the region, likely to important bases in Korea and Japan.

In the meantime, while the U.S. and its allies face a potential gap in capabilities between aging airframes and delivery of the F-35, China is rapidly phasing out older platforms, upgrading legacy systems and trying to acquire newer aircraft. The Su-35 is a major step in this direction.

While not on par with the U.S. F-22, the small numbers of that platform and risks of deployment make the Su-35 likely superior to anything readily deployed in the region for some time. Moreover, though the Su-35 is much more agile than the Su-27, similarity between the Su-35 and earlier Sukhoi platforms should mean less effort expended building a new logistics tail and retraining, leading to faster operational status and deployment. There are no clear indications whether the PLAAF or PLANAF would use the Su-35s, but deployment to the PLAAF Air Base in Suixi, Guangdong (Yuexi Airport) part of the 2nd Division in Zhanjiang, Guangdong (Unit 95357) would complement the other Su-27s already stationed there. The PLA Naval Aviation base at Lingshui, Hainan province (famous for being the airport where a U.S. EP-3 surveillance plane performed an emergency landing in 2001) is another useful option for basing. The Su-35s could replace the rapidly aging J-8Bs and Ds currently based there.

While the Su-35’s technologies will benefit Chinese aviation, its larger contribution lies in enforcement and deterrence in the South China Sea. China’s currently deployed forces in the South China Sea and contested areas could already do significant damage to possible adversaries like the Philippines. Without a combat-capable air force and naval forces largely comprising aging 1960s-era former U.S. Coast Guard cutters, the Philippines cannot effectively challenge China’s territorial claims. The Sukhoi jets’ larger fuel capacity and in-flight refueling capability mean that Chinese jets could remain on station for longer, enforcing their claims by conducting patrols and interceptions in a more consistent way. Going forward, the combination of the Su-35, China’s extant shorter-range fighters, advanced surface-to-air missiles, and long-range ballistic and cruise missiles could provide strength-in-depth, multi-layered capabilities to protect China’s claims and make others less eager to intervene if China chose to pursue conflict with its neighbors.

Peter Wood is an independent researcher focusing on the Chinese military. A longer version of this article appeared in the October 10, 2013 issue of the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief.

Aircraft Ranges
Aircraft Estimated Range (mi, km)
Su-27/J-11B Internal fuel: 1,700/2,800
Su-35 Internal fuel: 2,237/3,600With two drop tanks: 2,800/4,500
Example Distances between key Chinese airbases and areas of interest
Chinese Base Target Area Approximate Distance (mi/km)All distance estimates from Google Earth
Lingshui PLA Naval Aviation base, Hainan province Reed Bank, South China Sea 660/1,070
  Scarborough Shoal, South China Sea 560/900
  Basa Philippine Air Force Air Defense Wing Base, Luzon, Philippines 730/1,180
Suixi PLAAF base, Guangdong province Reed Bank, South China Sea 815/1,312
  Scarborough Shoal, South China Sea 650/1,050
  Basa Philippine Air Force Air Defense Wing Base [Note 1] 800/1,300


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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 20:55
A French Air Force Mirage 2000N during Exercise Capable Eagle.


The exercise was the latest in a series designed to further improve the interoperability and effectiveness of Anglo-French military co-operation.


As well as Typhoons of 1(F) Sqn the exercise included Mirage 2000N aircraft of the Escadron de Chasse 2/4 "La Fayette".

Photographer: Sgt Ralph Merry ABIPP RAF
Image 45156245.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk

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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
EADS chief warns jobs cuts coming in defence unit


November 26th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)


A reduction in defence orders will have an impact on jobs in EADS’s defence unit, the head of the European aerospace giant said in an interview published Monday.


Tom Enders told vbw-Unternehmenmagazin, the magazine of the Bavarian economic federation, that “if defence orders are cancelled or reduced as has happened in Germany in recent years, an impact on production and employment cannot be avoided.”


Enders’s comments follow a report by the German news agency DPA last week that EADS is considering cutting the workforce by 20 percent, or 8,000 employees. The group will be renamed Airbus Defence and Space next year as it reorganises.


EADS said no numbers have been decided, but Enders has previously said drastic measures were needed to secure the future of the division.


The restructuring is seen as unavoidable after the failed plan to merge with Britain’s defence firm BAE Systems last year.


That was shelved after objections from government stakeholders, notably Germany, which worried it would cause considerable layoffs.


Enders said the outlook is not rosy for defence manufacturers due to the high value of the euro and the eurozone debt crisis pushing countries to cut back on acquisitions of new equipment.


Enders told the Bavarian magazine that EADS had lost over the past few years orders worth several billion euros just in Germany that the company had thought were certain.


He said EADS cannot absorb that without making changes at the affected sites. He did not go into details.


The German newspaper Suedeutsche Zeitung reported Monday that a defence factory of EADS’s Cassidian unit located north of Munich would be closed with activities shifted to another facility in Bavaria, where EADS employs some 16,000 people.


An EADS spokesman declined to comment on the report, telling AFP that it would not make detailed announcements on its plans before informing its European works council, which meets in Munich on December 9.

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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
Chinese made Z-9 helicopter. (photo K.L. Yim)

Chinese made Z-9 helicopter. (photo K.L. Yim)


Nov. 25, 2013 by Greg Waldron – FG


Singapore - The Cambodian air force has taken delivery of 12 Harbin Z-9 utility helicopters.


Aside from serving in a general utility role, the aircraft will also be used to provide relief during natural disasters, according to a report the China Daily, Beijing’s official newspaper.


The 12 helicopters were financed with a $195 million intergovernmental loan Beijing made to Phnom Penh in 2011, says the report. The deal was brokered by the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC).


The Z-9 is based on Eurocopter’s AS365 Dauphin.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 18:25
Le Pérou commande deux C-27J


25.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com


C-27J, Spartan ,Alenia Aermacchi, Pérou,


Le ministère péruvien de la Défense a commandé deux avions de transport tactique C-27J Spartan à Alenia Aermacchi.


Le contrat d’une valeur d’environ 100 millions d’euros devrait être signé prochainement, selon l’industriel italien.


La filiale de Finmeccanica indique que le processus de sélection a duré quasiment trois ans.


Les exigences demandées faisaient état de capacités de transport de troupes, de personnels civils, de matériel, de MEDEVAC, d’opérations de largage, de missions de SAR ou encore d’assistance humanitaire, le tout dans des conditions de climat et de terrain comparables à celles de la Cordillère des Andes.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
Une triplette d’espions américains au service de sa Majesté


22 novembre 2013 Aerobuzz.fr


Deux ans après avoir mis au rencard ses vénérables quadrimoteurs « Nimrod R1 » spécialisés dans le renseignement aéroporté, Londres met en service son premier avion espion « RC 135 Rivet joint ». Un avion au nom aussi énigmatique que ses missions, et qui a le mauvais gout d’être de conception 100% américaine. Shocking or not shocking ? Telle est la question. !


N’en déplaise à Mr Snowden, grand pourfendeur des Big Brother en tous genres, le business du renseignement se porte plutôt bien. Dernier épisode en date, l’arrivée le 12 novembre dernier sur la base anglaise de Waddington du premier des trois RC-135 commandés par sa très gracieuse majesté au terme d’un contrat de 1 Md$ au moins désigné « Airseeker » .


Cet appareil fraichement arrivé dans la Royal Air force n’est pourtant pas vraiment de première jeunesse. C’est un lointain dérivé du ravitailleur KC-135, lui même dérivé du Boeing 707… en 1964 ! Mais ne vous y trompez pas, malgré son âge supérieur à celui de votre serviteur, la cellule, la voilure et les moteurs ont totalement été revisités aux USA pour donner à ce joyeux papy des airs, trente années supplémentaires de service au moins !


Extérieurement l’appareil se différencie d’un ravitailleur KC-135 par ses nombreuses antennes, ses « joues » sur les côtés du fuselage et son nez allongé façon Pinocchio.

Apparue à la fin des années 60 aux USA, la famille des avions de renseignement « Rivet joint » était initialement destinée à surveiller les forces armées de l’union soviétique et de ses pays satellites. Ses missions d’espionnage classées « Top Secret », de 10 et 20 heures, étaient poliment appelées SIGINT « Signal Intelligence ». Ennuyeuses parfois, passionnantes souvent et généralement dangereuses, elles sont toujours payantes au bout du compte ! La preuve ? Depuis la fin de la guerre froide, les USA n’ont cessé de moderniser leurs 14 appareils de ce type au gré des évolutions des systèmes électroniques et des systèmes d’arme.


Dans un monde multipolaire plein d’incertitudes, l’information est la clé du pouvoir ou de la survie. Il s’agit donc de connaître, par exemple, l’état de préparation des forces du pays surveillé, la structure de ses réseaux de commandement, les fréquences de ses moyens de défense, ou encore les types de matériels en service. Les espions ont un jargon pour cela : ils parlent de reconstitution de l’ordre de bataille électronique. Avec ces données, les stratèges peuvent notamment déterminer les failles dans les systèmes de défense adverses ou encore mettre au point des contremesures efficaces pour leurs avions de combat. Des données stratégiques indispensables pour tout chef militaire qui se respecte.


Pour ce faire, le RC 135 est bourré de récepteurs en tous genres pour intercepter, démoduler, localiser, analyser et enregistrer les signaux radio et radar à 400 KM aux alentours. Il dispose de deux antennes HF (10KHz-30MHZ), une filaire de plusieurs centaines de mètres qu’il déploie pendant son vol, et une fixe sur la dérive. A cela s’ajoutent des antennes V/UHF tout le long du fuselage au dessus et en dessous, ainsi qu’une antenne satellite près de la base de la dérive. Les joues abritent des antennes et des récepteurs ELINT spécialisés dans le traitement des signaux radars. Ainsi équipé l’appareil peut écouter tous les signaux entre 0 et 40 GHZ. En clair et sans décodeur : oui ! Même votre téléphone portable ne peut échapper aux grandes oreilles du RC-135 !


A bord de l’appareil en plus des pilotes, se trouve une quinzaine d’opérateurs aux fonctions variées, attablés derrière leurs consoles multifonctions. Certains gèrent le système, mais la grande majorité est composée d’opérateurs linguistes, chargés d’écouter et de traduire les conversations dans plusieurs langues alors que d’autres sont des « pros » des signaux radars. Pour compléter la distribution, un ou deux analystes consolident les données collectées et dressent ainsi le tableau des forces en présence. Véritables atouts dans la manche des militaires, ces avions sont plus souples d’emploi que les satellites et plus performants que les drones. Ils peuvent détecter les menaces les mieux dissimulées et alerter en temps réel les avions radar Awacs ou les forces alliées présentes dans le secteur.


Est-t-il utile de préciser qu’à ce prix (1Md$ pour trois avions), Boeing a installé des toilettes et une cuisine équipée ? En revanche aucune hôtesse n’est prévue dans le service. Avec cette commande, la RAF dispose des mêmes avions espions que l’oncle Sam. Mieux : les avions de la Royal Air Force seront remis à niveau tous les deux ans avec les moyens les plus modernes pour garantir leur crédibilité technique. Pendant ce temps, les équipages anglais seront formés aux côtés de leurs homologues américains issus de la NSA et de l’US Air Force. On se dirige là vers une parfaite interopérabilité en matière de renseignement. Mais à quel prix ? Londres, qui est membre du réseau d’espionnage américain mondial Echelon, dénoncé par Mr Snowden, renonce de fait à son indépendance en matière de développement de moyens de renseignement nationaux au profit d’une énième dépendance technique et militaire envers Washington.


Quant à la France, elle ne dispose plus de cette capacité de renseignement stratégique depuis le retrait du bon vieux DC8 Sarigue et du fiasco lié à son remplacement. La France compte sur deux vénérables Transall Gabriel et son bon vieux système D. Mais jusqu’à quand cela suffira t-il ?

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
EADS fermerait le siège allemand de sa division Cassidian


25-11-2013 Challenges.fr (Reuters)


FRANCFORT - Le groupe européen d'aérospatiale et de défense EADS prévoit de fermer le siège de sa division Cassidian à Unterschleissheim, près de Munich, dans le cadre de sa réorganisation, rapporte lundi le journal Süddeutsche Zeitung en citant des sources proches du groupe.


En annonçant fin juillet sa réorganisation autour de trois divisions - Airbus pour les avions civils, et qui donnera son nom à l'ensemble du groupe, Airbus Defence & Space et Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopters) -, EADS avait fait savoir qu'il passerait en revue ses activités de défense et d'espace et n'avaient pas exclu des suppressions de postes dans ce pôle qui emploie quelque 40.000 personnes dans le monde.


Selon l'article du Süddeutsche Zeitung, les divisions d'espace et de défense seront regroupées au site d'Ottobrunn, également près de Munich.


Le site d'Unterschleissheim emploie 1.400 personnes et autant travaillent à Ottobrunn, soit pour EADS soit pour sa filiale Astrium, ajoute le journal sans être en mesure d'indiquer si et combien de postes seraient menacés.


L'agence de presse allemande DPA avait rapporté mercredi qu'EADS réduirait les effectifs de sa nouvelle division Airbus Defense & Space d'environ 20%, soit à peu près 8.000 suppressions de postes. Deux sources industrielles citées par Reuters ont de leur côté parlé de plusieurs milliers de départs mais moins que les 8.000 évoqués par DPA.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
An-140-100 military transport plane

An-140-100 military transport plane



2013-11-25 cri


L'armée algérienne cherche à renouveler sa flotte aérienne en acquérant un total de 26 avions de transport auprès d'avionneurs russe et américain, a indiqué dimanche à Xinhua une source algérienne sous couvert d'anonymat. 


Ce sujet a été abordé, selon la même source, entre Russes et Algériens lors de la visite fin octobre à Moscou du vice-ministre de la Défense nationale, chef d'état-major de l'Armée nationale populaire (ANP), le général de corps d'Armée, Ahmed Gaïd Salah.


Quant au type d'appareils recherchés, il varie entre long et court courriers, même si les avions cargos de types Antonov An-70 et Antonov An-140 sont ceux qui répondraient le mieux aux caractéristiques requises par la partie algérienne.


Pour ce qui est des avions américains, le géant de l'aéronautique Boeing pourrait bien figurer parmi les fournisseurs de l'ANP, révèle la même source qui ajoute que des contacts sont en cours entre le ministère algérien de la Défense et des représentants des firmes concernées dans le but de conclure d'éventuelles transactions.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 14:35
Premier vol d'un drone furtif de combat chinois



22 novembre 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)


PEKIN - L'armée chinoise a fait voler son premier drone de combat furtif, ce bond technologique confirmant que Pékin rattrape son retard sur les Etats-Unis en matière de technologie militaire, a rapporté vendredi la presse officielle.


Le drone au fuselage profilé a effectué un vol d'une vingtaine de minutes jeudi avant de se poser sans problème apparent, selon des témoins cités dans les journaux.


Ressemblant au drone militaire américain Northrop Grumman X-47B, avec son aile delta, il est baptisé Lijian (Epée effilée). Il pourra conduire des missions de surveillance et de frappe à distance.


De façon classique en Chine, ce baptême de l'air a d'abord été rapporté par des photographies et des vidéos mises en ligne par des amateurs sur des blogs d'initiés, une telle publication ayant forcément obtenu un feu vert au moins tacite des autorités.


Ces clichés ont vraisemblablement été pris à Chengdu (sud-ouest) où sont fabriqués les avions de combat nouvelle génération de l'armée de l'air chinoise.


Puis les médias ayant pignon sur rue --agence Chine nouvelle, télévision CCTV, Quotidien du peuple-- ont repris la nouvelle, en insistant sur le fait que les capacités militaires chinoises se rapprochaient de celles des grandes nations occidentales.


Avec ce premier vol réussi, la Chine rejoint les rangs des Etats-Unis et de l'Europe qui travaillent sur la prochaine génération d'avions de combat sans pilote, a expliqué à l'AFP Rick Fisher, de l'International Assessment and Strategy Center.


Ce drone illustre l'investissement massif que la Chine est en train de réaliser pour se doter d'une puissance militaire de classe mondiale, a-t-il commenté.


En développant des drones, Pékin va nettement compliquer la défense de pays comme le Japon et (de territoire) comme Taïwan, ainsi que la tâche pour les forces militaires américaines en Asie, a ajouté l'expert.


Début octobre, Tokyo et Washington ont annoncé que les Etats-Unis allaient pour la première fois déployer des drones d'observation Global Hawks au Japon.


Le drone Lijian sera selon M. Fisher vraisemblablement décliné en une version pour porte-avions et une autre version, à l'envergure élargie, pour des missions de surveillance de longue portée.


Pékin avait dévoilé son premier prototype de chasseur-bombardier furtif début 2011, plus tôt qu'attendu par les experts, confirmant ainsi la rapide modernisation de ses forces armées.


La Chine, dotée de la plus grande armée de la planète (Armée populaire de libération) et d'un arsenal nucléaire, a le deuxième budget de défense du monde après les Etats-Unis, ce qui suscite des craintes chez ses voisins et à Washington.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 13:30
Jean-Yves Le Drian a assisté à l’inauguration du Dubaï Air Show



22/11/2013 Camille Martin International


Le ministre de la Défense s’est rendu le 17 novembre aux Emirats Arabes Unis (EAU) pour assister à l’inauguration du 13e salon aéronautique Dubaï Air Show. A cette occasion, Jean-Yves Le Drian s’est entretenu avec les principaux responsables des pays du Golfe, partenaires de la France.


Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, accompagné du chef d’état-major de l’armée de l’Air, le général Denis Mercier, a participé le 17 novembre à l’inauguration du Dubaï Air Show 2013, au nouvel aéroport international Al Maktoum de Dubaï. Le ministre de la Défense a visité les stands de quelques-unes des 57 entreprises françaises présentes au salon.


A cette occasion, Jean-Yves Le Drian a développé ses relations de confiance avec des responsables des pays du Golfe. Il a rencontré l’émir de Dubaï, Cheikh Mohammed ben Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-président et Premier ministre des Emirats Arabes Unis (EAU) et, puis s’est longuement entretenu avec le Prince héritier des EAU et commandant suprême adjoint des Forces armées, Cheikh Mohamed ben Zayed Al Nahyan, ainsi que le chef d’état-major des forces armées des EAU, le général Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi. Ce dernier a notamment évoqué avec le ministre français de la Défense ses préoccupations quant au développement du dossier nucléaire iranien.


Jean-Yves Le Drian a aussi pu aborder les dossiers d’actualité et le partenariat franco-saoudien lors d’une réunion de travail avec le Prince Salman ben Sultan, vice-ministre de la Défense du Royaume d’Arabie Saoudite.


Il a enfin rencontré, en marge du salon, le ministre de la défense qatari, général Hamad ben Ali Al Attiyah pour discuter des perspectives de coopération entre les deux pays dans le domaine de la défense.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
La Corée du Sud décide d'acheter 40 chasseurs F35 à partir de 2018


2013-11-22 xinhua


La Corée du Sud a décidé d'acheter 40 avions de chasse F-35A du groupe américain Lockheed Martin pour un déploiement de quatre ans à partir de 2018 pour mieux répondre à d'éventuelles attaques nucléaires de la République populaire démocratique de Corée (RPDC), a indiqué vendredi le Comité des chefs d'état-major (JCS).


Le président du JCS, Choi Yun-hee, s'est entretenu avec les hauts commandants de l'armée de terre, de la marine et de l'armée de l'air pour décider du nombre et des caractéristiques techniques requises pour les nouveaux chasseurs dans le cadre du programme d'acquisition de chasseurs nouvelle génération.


"Les capacités opérationnelles nécessaires (COR) pour des avions de chasse de la prochaine génération ont été révisées pour se préparer à l'éventuelle concrétisation des menaces nucléaires et balistiques émanant de la RPDC. Le système de frappe 'Kill Chain' requiert un avion pouvant s'infiltrer discrètement pour frapper la cible", a indiqué aux journalistes le porte-parole du JCS, le colonel Eom Hyo-sik, lors d'un point de presse.


Il a également déclaré que des avions de chasse avec des fonctions furtives de pointe et des capacités avioniques poussées pour les offensives aériennes seraient nécessaires pour dissuader de futures provocations de la RPDC.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
AR4 Light Ray unmanned air system  - photo Tekever Group

AR4 Light Ray unmanned air system - photo Tekever Group


Nov. 21, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG


Dubai - Multinational collaboration was the key to Tekever’s pitch at the Dubai air show, with the Portuguese company’s new UK unit inviting discussion with Gulf-based industry.


“We’re looking for a local partner for production and support,” says business development director Robert Whitehouse, who showcased the firm’s AR4 Light Ray unmanned air system on the UK Trade & Investment stand.


Now used by the Portuguese police, the hand-launched design has a 2h flight endurance and an operating range of 10.8nm (20km). “It’s a very intuitive system, and can be controlled from an iPad, PC laptop or Android phone,” says Whitehouse. Applications range from traffic and infrastructure monitoring to supporting disaster relief activities, with its 5kg (11lb) maximum take-off weight including a payload of 2kg.


"Attendance at the Dubai air show is central to Tekever's strategy in developing its presence and partnerships in the United Arab Emirates and Middle East," the company says. "The engagement opportunity will allow new relationships to be formed between Tekever and local partners."


Whitehouse says this ambition has been met, with strong local interest having been shown in the Evolution-version AR4 Light Ray UAS positioned on the stand. “People have asked us to come back and fly,” he says, identifying one potential customer as being in the UAE.


Should it reach a local agreement, Whitehouse says Tekever would seek to maintain responsibility for the system's datalink and flight control software, with an in-country partner to produce the air vehicles and deliver in-service support.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
A400M photo Airbus Military

A400M photo Airbus Military


21 novembre 2013 Par Olivier James - Usinenouvelle.com


En raison de la baisse des effectifs au sein de l’Agence européenne pour la sécurité aérienne (AESA), certains grands programmes pourraient voir leurs certifications retardées. C’est le patron de l’AESA lui-même qui tire la sonnette d’alarme.


Le risque est bien réel. Alors que le secteur européen de l’aéronautique engrange les commandes, il pourrait être freiné dans son élan par des problèmes de… certification. C’est Patrick Ky, le nouveau directeur exécutif de l’Agence européenne pour la sécurité aérienne (AESA), qui a pointé du doigt cette menace jeudi 28 novembre lors d’une conférence organisée par l’Association des Journalistes professionnels de l’Aéronautique (AJPAE). "L’année 2015 sera critique et si nous ne pouvons pas certifier dans les délais, les industriels risquent de livrer leurs appareils en retard et seront dans une situation difficile vis-à-vis de leurs clients", a-t-il prévenu.

Raison invoquée par le patron de l’AESA, dont l’un des rôles est de certifier les appareils : la baisse des effectifs imposée par la Commission européenne à toutes les agences européennes. A l’heure de l’austérité, la Commission souhaite en effet réduire de 5% les effectifs de l’ensemble des institutions et des agences d’ici 2018. "Aujourd’hui, cette consigne de réduction des effectifs inquiète les industriels, assure Patrick Ky. Si cet objectif est maintenu pour notre agence, ils auront du mal à faire face au pic de production que nous prévoyons en 2015".


Demande de 70 postes supplémentaires

Pour le patron de l’AESA, l’année 2015 sera particulièrement à risque en raison de nombreuses demandes de certification sur de nouveaux modèles d’appareils ou sur des programmes existants. Patrick Ky cite en particulier la certification du Falcon 5X de Dassault Aviation, celle de modifications de l’A400M, mais également de l’Airbus A380, dont une nouvelle version rallongée obligera à des modifications au niveau des issues de secours. Des industriels comme Eurocopter et l’italien Agusta Westland seraient aussi concernés.

"Nos experts sont communs à tous ces projets, précise Patrick Ky. Ils travaillent en panel sur chaque type de pièces, ce qui représentent autant de goulets d’étranglement en cas de manque de personnel". C’est le chevauchement des multiples programmes européens qui inquiète le patron de l’AESA, agence dont l’effectif est d’environ 700 personnes. Le directeur exécutif estime que l’agence pourrait effectuer correctement son travail de certification avec un effectif supérieur d’au moins 10%, soit environ 70 postes supplémentaires.


Un budget assuré par les industriels

Un autre programme, non européen celui-ci, vient encombrer un calendrier déjà bien chargé : le C919, l’avion de ligne du chinois Comac. Si sa date de certification reste incertaine, le patron de l’AESA réfléchit à un rapprochement avec la FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, l’équivalent américain de l’AESA) afin de simplifier le processus. "Un programme de ce type nécessite des ressources particulières, deux fois supérieures à un programme européen", admet Patrick Ky.

La Commission européenne argue de nécessaires économies en période d’austérité et ne prévoit pas d’exception. Réponse de Patrick Ky : le budget de l’AESA dévolu aux certifications est assuré à 100% par les industriels. Le budget total s’élève à environ 130 millions d’euros par an. "Le Parlement européen nous soutient mais pas les Etats membres en raison de la rigueur budgétaire", déplore Patrick Ky. Le nouveau directeur exécutif de l’AESA compte bien poursuivre les négociations dans les prochains mois et trouver une issue favorable.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Italian Air Force, Alenia to develop MC-27J Praetorian

The Praetorian is expected to provide 360° coverage for the Italian Forces against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield. Photo Alenia Aermacchi


21 November 2013 airforce-technology.com


Alenia Aermacchi will provide development, testing, certification, industrialisation and logistic support for the Italian Air Force's Praetorian fleet.


The Finmeccanica Company and the Italian Air Force signed the agreement at the ongoing Dubai Airshow 2013.


The Praetorian, which is a specialised version of the MC-27J, is expected to support the Italian Special Forces and Comando Operativo Forze Speciali (COFS) in their missions.


Designed to provide 360° coverage against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield, the Praetorian is an advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite, including computers, cameras and unspecified fire-support systems.


As part of the two-phased Praetorian project, Alenia Aermacchi will first develop and deliver the Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force in spring 2014, for immediate testing in the threatre.


The industrialisation of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support will form part of the phase two.


The Italian Air Force plans to convert its current three C-27Js into the Praetorian configuration throughout 2016 and will include mission systems, C3ISR equipment and palletised support / fire systems.


An additional three aircraft will also have the same mission package capabilities, according to the company.


Alenia Aermacchi will partner with US-based ATK to develop the Praetorian mission and air-to-ground support systems while Selex, a Finmeccanica Company, will coordinate with Alenia Aermacchi for communication and data link solutions.


Jointly developed by Alenia Aermacchi and ATK, the MC-27J is an advanced defence system, which is based on the C-27J, a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Boeing confirms launch deal for armed AH-6i


Nov. 20, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG


Dubai - Boeing has received the green light to start building AH-6i light attack helicopters for an undisclosed customer.


“Boeing has recently signed an FMS [Foreign Military Sales] agreement with the US Army that will lead to production of the AH-6i for a first international customer,” Leanne Caret, the company’s vice-president, vertical lift, revealed at the Dubai air show on 18 November.


Derived from the MD Helicopters AH-6 Little Bird platform, the i-model has been the subject of previous FMS requests from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. While Boeing declines to name its launch buyer, or to disclose how many aircraft will be supplied, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database suggests that Riyadh will acquire 36 examples.


The aircraft will be produced at Boeing’s Mesa plant in Arizona, under the terms of an existing agreement with MD Helicopters.


Meanwhile, Caret says Boeing sees “a number of export opportunities” for its CH-47F Chinook, and cites the success of the type’s introduction by operators including the US Army, Canada and the UK. Potential additional buyers exist “in this region, and elsewhere around the world,” she adds.


The United Arab Emirates has now received seven F-model examples from a 16-unit order, says Ascend.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)

E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)


SAN DIEGO, Nov. 21 (UPI)


Northrop Grumman reports its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node for the U.S. Air Force has been used on 5,000 combat missions and proved its worth.


BACN is a high-altitude airborne system that translates and distributes voice communications, video and other battlespace communications from various sources for enhanced situational awareness and command-and-control coordination. It is being used in Afghanistan on four E-11A manned aircraft and three unmanned aerial systems.


"Initially deployed by Northrop Grumman to satisfy a joint urgent operational need, BACN is now a key enabler of surface and airborne missions theaterwide," said Mike Twyman, sector vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "BACN's continuous mission availability, quick reaction capability and flexibility have made it a real game changer in theater."


Northrop notes the system's beyond-line-of-sight communications capability has been particularly in Afghanistan by overcoming the communications limitations posed by the country's rugged terrain.


"We constantly get feedback from theater telling us how important BACN is for their missions," said Maj. William Holl, the Air Force BACN program manager at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. "Without BACN, ground forces would have to rely on much slower satellite communications -- and a few seconds can make all the difference when you are under fire."


BACN, developed by Northrop Grumman under a 2005 U.S. Air Force contract, was first deployed in 2008.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
US Navy’s X-47B unmanned aircraft completes further carrier tests

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator


21 November 2013 naval-technology.com


The US Navy's Northrop Grumman-built X-47B unmanned combat air system has successfully completed an additional round of carrier testing.


During the testing, conducted onboard fourth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the unmanned air system demonstrated its integration capability within the aircraft carrier environment.


Unmanned Carrier Aviation programme manager, captain Beau Duarte, said the X-47 demonstrated its capability in winds of higher magnitude and differing directions.


"This resulted in more stimulus provided to the aircraft's guidance and control algorithms and a more robust verification of its GPS autoland capability," Duarte said.


Tests included deck handling, carrier approaches and landings in off-nominal wind conditions, digitised ship systems interfaces and concept of operations development.


Unmanned Combat Air System deputy programme manager Barbara Weathers said the US Navy and industry team have performed productive flight operations in the CVN environment.


"The carrier systems installation and system checkouts were performed in record time, quite an amazing feat," Weathers said.

"The carrier systems installation and system checkouts were performed in record time, quite an amazing feat."


The X-47B aircraft conducted a total of 26 total deck touchdowns including 21 precise touch-and-goes and five arrested landings as well as five catapults, five commanded and two autonomous wave-offs over the flight test period.


Programme executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, rear admiral Matt Winter, said the trials demonstrated the feasibility and realistic path to achieving the manned / unmanned air wing of the future.


"The navy is committed to developing, maturing, and fielding unmanned carrier aviation capabilities into our carrier air wings and carrier environments," Winter said.


The X-47B aircraft will undergo further land and carrier based testing to mature unmanned technologies and refine concept of operations to further inform future unmanned carrier requirements for the US Navy.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
F-X : forte éventualité d’un contrat à l’amiable pour l’achat de 40 F-35A



SEOUL, 21 nov. (Yonhap)


L’appel d’offres du projet d’acquisition d’avions de chasse de la nouvelle génération de l’armée de l’air, appelé F-X, finira par un contrat à l’amiable pour l’achat d’avions furtifs de Lockheed Martin, F-35A, d’après des explications des autorités militaires ce jeudi.


Demain, l’état-major interarmées tiendra une réunion où il y aura les principaux chefs militaires afin de déterminer la capacité opérationnelle exigée, le nombre d’avions nécessaire et la date de déploiement réel. L’armée de l’air aurait déjà présenté ses souhaits pour l’achat d’un avion furtif et compétent dans le cas d’une guerre électronique.


Une source militaire a déclaré ce matin que «l’armée de l’air n’a pas clairement mentionné le taux d’évitement de détection par radar (RCS) mais une condition technique qui correspond uniquement au F-35A a été ajouté à sa demande d’acquisition».



F-X : forte éventualité d’un contrat à l’amiable pour l’achat de 40 F-35A

L’appel d’offres du projet F-X a abouti à un échec le 24 septembre dernier suite à l’examen d’un seul candidat, le F-15SE de Boeing, à cause de son manque de furtivité. Si les chefs des trois armées et de l’état-major interarmées décident d’accepter la demande de l’armée de l’air, l’unique avion qui peut satisfaire ses exigences est le F-35A de Lockheed Martin.


Dans ces conditions, un contrat à l’amiable est inévitable et l’avion F-35A est un chasseur en cours de développement. La transaction se ferait dans le cadre du programme de vente de matériel militaire des Etats-Unis à l’étranger (Foreign Military Sales, FMS). Certains affichent pourtant des craintes sur la réalisation du transfert des technologies essentielles en cas de contrat à l’amiable.


L’armée de l’air aurait demandé l’acquisition de 60 avions de chasse pour un déploiement entre 2017 et 2021 mais le budget alloué à ce projet, 8.300 milliards de wons (7,2 milliards de dollars), ne suffira pas pour le nombre demandé et ce chiffre pourrait donc être réduit à 30 ou 40.


L’accroissement du budget est théoriquement envisageable jusqu’à hauteur de 20% mais les autres armées pourraient s’y opposer en raison de leurs budgets réduits. Certains prévoient également un ajournement du déploiement d’un ou deux ans à la demande de l’armée de l’air.


Un professionnel de l’industrie de la défense a confié sur ce point que «si le contrat à l’amiable s’effectue avec une réduction du volume d’achat, le programme lié au transfert de technologies promises par le constructeur du F-35A pourrait encore être réduit».

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 12:20
Beechcraft wants to offer anti-submarine warfare capabilities with its Special Mission King Air 350ER. (Hawker Beechcraft)

Beechcraft wants to offer anti-submarine warfare capabilities with its Special Mission King Air 350ER. (Hawker Beechcraft)


Nov. 19, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News


DUBAI — Beechcraft is looking to add anti-submarine warfare (ASW) to the lengthy list of capabilities offered by its King Air 350 ER in the special missions market, according to Justin Ladner the company sales vice president.


Ladner said Beechcraft has been approached by several systems integrators for an ASW-lite concept capable of combating the increasing numbers of mini-submarines used by drug smugglers and the military.


The executive, who heads Beechcraft’s special mission aircraft sales worldwide, said ASW is an emerging market and he expected to receive several tenders in the next 12 months that an ASW-capable version of the twin-engined King Air 350ER could address.


Some of those requests would be for customers in the Arabian Gulf region he said.


Mini-submarine numbers are on the rise. United Arab Emirates Navy chief Rear Adm. Ibrahim al Musharrakh recently told the Gulf Naval Commanders Conference that Iranian midget submarines are an imminent threat they were looking to counter.


The growing potential of mini-subs was illustrated at the Defence Security Exhibition International show in London in September when British company James Fisher Defence created considerable interest with a range of small submersibles capable of transporting special forces on covert operations.


Company officials at the show reported heavy interest in the craft on the back of the recapitalization of naval special forces.


Drug smugglers are also known to use mini-subs to transport narcotics in places like Latin America.


The addition of ASW capabilities would add to already strong levels of interest for the King Air in the maritime role. Ladner said Beechcraft was increasing its list of maritime patrol aircraft operators by handing over aircraft to Argentina this week.


The growing interest in maritime surveillance opportunities in the gulf and elsewhere is not limited to Beechcraft. Boeing and Saab both emphasized their interest in the sector at the Dubai show.


Boeing chose to use the show to take the wraps off a tie-up with Bombardier and Field Aviation to offer a Challenger 605 business jet-based maritime surveillance aircraft and Saab turned up with actual hardware in the shape of the smaller, and considerably cheaper, converted 340 turboprop airliner. Neither offer ASW capabilities.


A move into the bottom end of the ASW sector could provide Beechcraft with further opportunities to build a special missions aircraft operation that already accounts for more than a third of the company’s annual business.


It’s a sector that already spans intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, such as the King Air Shadow machines widely used by the British in the Afghanistan conflict, through to the less technically demanding training and air ambulance roles.


Special mission business was constrained last year by Beechcraft undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but having emerged from that Ladner said business in the sector was already 2.5 times higher than 2012 with the prospect of further deals to come before the year ends, including at least one in the gulf region.


“The gulf region is one of the fastest growing market sectors for special mission aircraft as customers had the needs and the budgets to acquire aircraft,” said Ladner speaking at the Dubai air show this week.


The Beechcraft executive reported high levels of interest in special mission aircraft at Dubai.


“It’s been one of the busiest shows of the year for us,” he said.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 12:20
Le Challenger 605 transformé en P-8A par Boeing

Challenger 605 de Bombardier Aéronautique transformé en P-8A par Boeing photo Boeing


20 novembre Aerobuzz.fr


Au salon de Dubaï, Boeing a annoncé qu’il avait retenu l’avion d’affaires Challenger 605 de Bombardier comme plate-forme du programme d’avions de surveillance maritime (MSA, Maritime Surveillance Aircraft). Ce programme propose au marché mondial un système de surveillance maritime performant et à faible risque basé sur la technologie éprouvée de systèmes de missions P-8A de Boeing. Les essais vont être réalisés sur un Challenger 604 qui sera présenté aux clients potentiels en 2014. Le biréacteur d’affaires sera doté des mêmes équipements de lutte anti-sous-marine et de surveillance que le Boeing 737NG également proposé en version P-8A.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
ATK, Alenia to Integrate C-27J Palletized Gun

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: ATK; issued November 19, 2013)


ATK and Alenia Aermacchi Earn Contract from the Italian Air Force for Roll-On/Roll-Off Palletized Gun and Command and Control Systems


ARLINGTON, Va. --- ATK announced that the Alenia/ATK team has been notified by the Italian Air Force they have been selected for the integration of the Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO), palletized Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2-ISR) and gun systems onto the Italian Air Force (ITAF) MC-27J multi-mission aircraft. The award represents an important contract for the partnership between ATK and Alenia Aermacchi.


The MC-27J is a modified C-27J Spartan Airlifter that allows customers to execute a wide range of missions including armed gunship, airborne C2-ISR, border surveillance, troop and vehicle transport, personnel evacuation and paratrooper deployment. The MC-27J provides quick transfer speed, long operational range and ample cargo capacity. It is also capable of taking off from and landing on short and/or unprepared strips while acting as an autonomous command and control center integrated with a ground command network.


"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."


"The MC-27J is a strategic development program for Alenia Aermacchi and our partner ATK that we believe is well matched to the current and future asymmetric warfare Air Forces' requirements," said Giuseppe Giordo, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi. "To have been selected by the Italian Air Force and committed to deploying the first aircraft in the operational theatre next spring is a clear confirmation of the MC-27J's capabilities and the industrial development completed to date."


Use of ATK's self-contained RORO mission and weapons systems allow rapid configuration change depending on mission requirements. They are designed for easy embarkation and disembarkation via the aircraft's rear ramp, permitting flexibility in the use of the unaltered aircraft. The suite of sensors and communication system coupled with multiple data links allows the Command and Control pallet to provide improved mission oversight and coordination.


The gun system incorporates ATK's GAU-23 30mm cannon in a side-firing configuration, and is designed to fire numerous types of NATO 30MM X 173 rounds, including the 30MM PGU-46/B munitions. The gun suite will use a simple, automatic feed system in order to minimize crew size and reduce overall operating costs.


ATK and Alenia Aermacchi announced their intent to jointly develop and market the MC-27J multi-mission aircraft at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show. The internally funded test and development program successfully completed its first phase in the spring of 2013. The Italian Air Force is the launch customer for the program.



ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally.


Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, is global leader in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
USAF Comments Rivet Joint Delivery to UK

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force; issued Nov. 19, 2013)


First Rivet Joint Delivered to the Royal Air Force


RAF WADDINGTON, England --- The first of three RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft was officially delivered to the U.K. during a special ceremony at Royal Air Force Waddington, England, Nov. 12.


The historic occasion is the culmination of a 2010 agreement between the Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defense for the RAF to purchase three RJs.


This first aircraft is scheduled to enter service with the 51st Squadron after it reaches full operational capability in late 2014.


"This is a fantastic day for 51st Squadron and marks the start of a new era in our long and illustrious history," said RAF Wing Commander Tom Talbot, the 51st Squadron commander.


As the sole provider of Rivet Joint initial qualification training, the 55th Wing has trained more than 140 aircrew and ground maintenance personnel from the RAF since the programs initiation in 2010.


"Following three years of training and preparation with our U.S. Air Force brethren, the Rivet Joint brings with it a step change in airborne signals intelligence capability for the U.K.," Talbot said.


Upon graduation, RAF aircrews are allowed to fly on U.S. Rivet Joints as part of a co-manning agreement. They flew their first operational mission June 21, 2011, and since then RAF crews have flown more than more than 1,800 sorties and achieved in excess of 32,000 flying hours with the 55th Wing.


"Everyone is aware of the special relationship our two countries have and it's been an absolute honor for the wing to have RAF Airmen here training with us," said Col. Gregory Guillot, the 55th Wing commander. "The end result is an increase in our ISR capabilities and we are looking forward to continuing this relationship for years to come."


Known as project AIRSEEKER, the U.K.'s procurement of three Rivet Joints will provide the U.K. with world class airborne signals intelligence capability. Once in service, the aircraft will provide real time on-scene intelligence, collection, surveillance and analysis to coalition forces in the air and on the ground.


"I am delighted that the first RJ aircraft has been delivered to the U.K., an important milestone in the procurement pathway for the future AIRSEEKER signals intelligence capability for U.K. Defence," said RAF Air Vice-Marshal Peter Ewen, the director air support at Defence Equipment & Support, who are responsible for the procurement of the aircraft.


"A testament to the ongoing and highly effective U.K. and U.S. co-operation in the procurement program, support and RAF aircrew training, this first of three aircraft, will form a vital component of the nation's future ISTAR capabilities," he added.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
DUBAI 2013 : Cassidian lance la fabrication du Sagitta



20/11/2013 Par Caroline Bruneau – Air & Cosmos


Cassidian a profité du salon de Dubai pour annoncer le début des travaux sur le Sagitta. Le Sagitta est un modèle de drone à échelle réduite qui sera fabriquée pour tester les technologies du futur.


«La voilure en carbone ultra-léger est en production», a expliqué la filiale d’EADS. Tout le travail de recherche est fait en partenariat avec le DLR, le centre de recherche aéronautique allemand. Le premier modèle devrait être fini en 2014, pour un premier vol en 2015.


Le Sagitta avait été présenté en juin dernier au salon du Bourget. Ce projet vise notamment à réaliser des travaux de recherche fondamentale pour les futurs systèmes de drones.

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