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2 juillet 2013 2 02 /07 /juillet /2013 11:55
Caïman (NH90 TTH) – photo GAMSTAT P.Gillis

Caïman (NH90 TTH) – photo GAMSTAT P.Gillis

July 1, 2013: Strategy Page

 

France has ordered another 34 NH90 helicopters, for about $48 million each. This completes a 2007 commitment to buy 68, to replace their aging force of older helicopters. Choppers like the NH90 are desperately needed for peacekeeping operations. The ten ton NH90 can carry 21 troops or twelve casualties on stretchers, plus the crew of two. The NH90 has had a hard time competing with the American Blackhawk. It first flew in 1995. The manufacturer, NH Industries, is a consortium of French, German, Dutch and Italian firms. The competing Blackhawk design is twenty years older than the NH90. Although the latest version of the Blackhawk is up to date technically, it is slightly smaller and lighter than the NH90, and can only carry eleven troops. Blackhawk max speed is 285 kilometers an hour and endurance is 2.1 hours. The NH90 has more powerful engines and larger fuel capacity. The big difference is in cost, with new NH90s more than twice as expensive as a new Blackhawk.

 

The NH90 is making some progress in the export market against American made Blackhawk transport helicopters. So far 529 NH90s have been ordered, and often they beat out Blackhawks for sales. American armed forces currently use some 2,000 Blackhawks, and hundreds more have been sold to overseas customers. The NH90 had the usual teething problems, and this led to some cancelled orders. At one point France was not going order the second half of the 68 aircraft commitment, but eventually went ahead.

 

For many bargain conscious nations, Russia is having continued success with its Huey era Mi8 (export versions are called Mi17). This chopper is about twice the size and weight of the UH-1, but only hauls about 50 percent more cargo. However, the Mi-8 has a larger interior, and can carry 24 troops, versus a dozen in the UH-1. The UH-1 was replaced by the UH-60 in the 1980s, while the Mi-8 just kept adding better engines and electronics to the basic Mi-8 frame. But the UH-60, while weighing as much as the UH-1 (4.8 tons), could carry as much as the 12 ton Mi-8. But the Mi-8 costs about half as much as a UH-60 Blackhawk, and the larger interior is popular with many users. Nearly 3,000 Mi17s have been exported. If you want the best, you get the NH90, if you want mobility for the least cost you get the Mi17. If you want something in between, you get the UH-60. Many peacekeeping and humanitarian operations go for the Mi-17, which can be leased by East European firms.

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2 juillet 2013 2 02 /07 /juillet /2013 11:45
Vietnam did not Buy 18 Su-30K Aircraft from Russia?

tu01.07.2013 defense-studies

(DVO) - 18 Su-30K fighter jets that India returned to Russia, probably will not be sold to Vietnam, but instead is Ethiopia.

Deputy Group Director arms exporter Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev said that Russia is negotiating supply 18 Su-30K fighters to Ethiopia.

Number 18 multipurpose fighters were returned to India to replace the Russian fighter Su-30MKI is newer.

"We are in consultation with Ethiopia for the supply of the fighter. They have proposed a variant to modernize, enhance combat capability as well as the specification and provide additional tactics the rocket - to - land / sea more advanced, "said Mikheyev said.

The Rosoboronexport officials also stressed that, at present, four Su-30K first being repaired at a local aircraft factory.

"Just got the proposal from customers and financial resources, we are ready to upgrade and modernize all 18 Su-30K aircraft within 4-6 months," he said Mikheyev.

Complete 18 Su-30K aircraft the IAF was not used in 10 years time, then returned to Russia. This aircraft was delivered to some 558 factories in Belarus to repair and upgrade, before being sold to 3rd party without giving back to Russia to avoid import taxes.

Each has been much speculation about the fate of 18 Su-30K and its destination. There has been news that Belarus wants to buy the whole lot and that Russian planes do not extend credit to them (Belarus) to purchase the Group's Irkut aircraft, then, a few other sources revealed that customer Nan is Vietnam after Vietnam military mission sent to check out a few planes.

Since then, no further information about the fate of this 18 Su-30K. However, the recent disclosure of personally Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General that Vietnam will not be a customer of 18 Su-30K aircraft, may be negotiated by the two parties, but does not meet requirements of each other, or maybe, Vietnam will not buy old planes instead is buying new aircraft Su-30 at a point!

(DatViet)

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1 juillet 2013 1 01 /07 /juillet /2013 17:50
photo Saab

photo Saab

01.07.2013 Helen Chachaty -- journal-aviation.com

 

Saab annonce la réussite de sa campagne de tirs d’un missile air-air Meteor embarqué par les Gripen. La campagne a duré une semaine et s’est déroulée fin juin, le Gripen ayant eu l’occasion de tirer deux missiles sur des cibles factices.

 

Il s’agissait notamment de valider la séparation du missile de l’avion et de vérifier le bon fonctionnement du système de transmission des données entre les deux plateformes. Les essais ont été réalisés avec succès et préfigurent une nouvelle étape dans l’intégration du Meteor de MBDA aux Gripen C/D.

 

Meteor missile Swedish Air Force Gripen. Photo Kristofer Sjöström, FMV Vidsel Test Range

Meteor missile Swedish Air Force Gripen. Photo Kristofer Sjöström, FMV Vidsel Test Range

D’autres tests vont suivre à l’automne 2013, afin de préparer les livraisons des missiles opérationnelles au cours de l’année 2014, indique Saab, qui précise également que le Gripen sera le premier avion à bénéficier de ce nouvel armement.

Gripen equipped with the Meteor missile taking off from Vidsel for a test firing. Photo Kristofer Sjöström, FMV Vidsel Test Range

Gripen equipped with the Meteor missile taking off from Vidsel for a test firing. Photo Kristofer Sjöström, FMV Vidsel Test Range

Le missile air-air Meteor est produit par MBDA. Lancé en 2003, le programme est le fruit d’une coopération européenne, comprenant l’Allemagne, l’Espagne, la France, la Grande-Bretagne, l’Italie et la Suède. Le contrat a été notifié à MBDA UK en 2010 par la DGA britannique. Le Meteor est destiné à équiper les Gripen, les Rafale et les Eurofighter. Ces derniers ont d’ailleurs déjà effectué des essais de tir, en octobre pour le Rafale, en décembre pour l’Eurofighter.

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1 juillet 2013 1 01 /07 /juillet /2013 16:55
Matthieu Louvot nommé Directeur du Support et des Services du Groupe Eurocopter

1er juillet Aerobuzz.fr

 

Après avoir occupé le poste de Directeur de la Stratégie et du Développement d’Eurocopter, Matthieu Louvot vient d’être nommé Directeur du Support et des Services du Groupe. Il rapporte à Dominique Maudet, Directeur Commercial et des Services et du développement International.

 

Matthieu Louvot (38 ans) a débuté à l’Inspection Générale des Finances. Il a occupé différents postes de conseillers ministériels avant de rejoindre le Groupe Eurocopter en avril 2010. Matthieu Louvot est diplômé de l’Ecole Polytechnique et de l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration.

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1 juillet 2013 1 01 /07 /juillet /2013 16:30
Rafael announces organizational re-structuring, establishes two new Divisions
 
01 July 2013 | Source: RAFAEL
 
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., designer, developer, and manufacturer of leading naval, air and land systems, is announcing a series of organizational changes and re-structuring.
These changes include the establishment of a Land & Naval Division. This division will also be responsible for the Systems Integrated Security (SIS) solutions for Critical Asset and Infrastructure on land and at sea.
Rafael's substantial investment in R&D is being bolstered with the establishment of an R&D and Engineering Division. The new division will amalgamate Rafael's entire R&D activity.
Rafael has established a new Sector, called Air & C4ISR Systems Sector. This new Sector will include Air-To-Ground Systems (SPICE), Electro-Optical Systems (Litening, Reccelite, etc.), Communications and Intelligence.
Rafael's Air Defense Directorate has been transformed into Air superiority Systems Sector, and will be responsible for Air & Missiles Defense systems along with the Air- to-Air product line.
 
Rafael's President and CEO, VADM (ret.) Yedidia Yaari, noted: "These changes were made in keeping with our vision to serve as a significant pillar in Israel's security, in addition to serving as its National Laboratory, while maintaining our robust financial performance, with sales of over 1.7 Billion Dollars in 2012, and an order backlog covering more than two years.
We pride ourselves in our superb scientists and engineers, who since Rafael's establishment have developed some of the world's most ground-breaking systems, such as Iron dome, TROPHY, Protector, and many others. I am happy to say that we are continuing to constantly and consistently recruit more such excellent personnel to our ranks. I am convinced that these changes will serve us in achieving our plans and goals and in meeting our future challenges."
 
Further to these organizational changes, Rafael announces the following appointments:
Mr. David Stemer, Deputy CEO & COO (in addition to his current role as the General Manager of Rafael's Missile and NCW Division).
Mr. Giora Katz, Executive VP and Head of the Land & Naval Division
Dr. Tuvia Ronen, Executive VP and Head of the R&D and Engineering Division
Mr. Yossi Druker, VP and Head of the Air Superiority Systems Sector

Mr. Yuval Miller, VP and Head of the Air and C4ISR Systems Sector

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1 juillet 2013 1 01 /07 /juillet /2013 16:20
B-52s to Receive Communications Upgrade

Jul 1, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Air Force

 

Installation of a communications system upgrade earmarked for the venerable U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleet is scheduled to start here in July.

 

The Combat Network Communications Technology system will enable aircrews to send and receive information via satellite links, allowing them to change mission plans and retarget weapons while in flight. In addition, pilots will be able to interact better with other aircraft and with ground forces. Currently, mission information must be uploaded to a B-52 before each flight.

 

Other improvements will include a state-of-the-art computing network with workstations at each crew position and an integrated digital interphone with increased capacity that will allow crew members to talk with each other over headsets equipped with noise-canceling technology.

 

The $76 million CONECT upgrade will be performed by Boeing and covers a low-rate initial production of the first CONECT kits, along with spare parts, maintenance and service at Tinker AFB here.

 

Low-rate initial production is the first effort in the production phase of the program. The first eight CONECT kits in lot 1 will establish an initial production base for the system and will permit an orderly increase in the production rate for the CONECT system that is sufficient to lead to full-rate production upon successful completion of operational testing.

 

The contract for lot 2 is projected to be awarded in May 2014, for 10 CONECT kits. Then the full-rate production contract, projected for award in January 2015, will be for 10 CONECT kits.

 

Ultimately, CONECT is expected to be installed on all B-52H in the fleet.

 

The first B-52H to receive a CONECT kit will enter programmed depot maintenance at Tinker AFB in July and is scheduled to depart PDM next April. Each upgrade will take an estimated nine months to complete.

 

A CONECT kit was installed in a modified B-52 at Edwards AFB, Calif., and has been field tested for several years, Boeing spokesperson Jennifer Hogan said.

 

The B-52H was delivered to the Air Force in 1961-62. The aircraft have been kept aloft through regular maintenance and periodic upgrades. For example, GPS capabilities were incorporated into their navigation systems in the late 1980s.

 

"We are bringing this amazing workhorse of a bomber into the digital age and giving our customer the infrastructure necessary for continued future improvements," said Scot Oathout, Boeing's B-52 program director.

 

Citing engineering studies, Air Force officials said the heavy bombers could keep flying for at least another quarter-century.

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29 juin 2013 6 29 /06 /juin /2013 11:35
Afghan_MI-17_helicopters photo US DoD

Afghan_MI-17_helicopters photo US DoD

Jun. 28, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The government’s watchdog in Afghanistan feels the Pentagon made an “imprudent” decision to purchase 30 rotorcraft for an Afghan special unit, despite Pentagon officials having seen a draft report warning of major risks in doing so.

Earlier this week, Defense News reported on a draft version of a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) that called for the Pentagon to freeze plans to purchase 30 Mi-17 helicopters, designed by Russian firm Rosoboronexport, in order to equip a special anti-narcotics/counterterrorism unit known as the Afghan Special Mission Wing (SMW).

“The Afghans lack the capacity — in both personnel numbers and expertise — to operate and maintain the existing and planned fleets,” SIGAR auditors warned in the draft report. “Without an effective support structure, US funded SMW aircraft could be left sitting on runways in Afghanistan, rather than supporting critical missions, resulting in waste of US funds.”

The final report, released today, still warns against the Pentagon purchasing the equipment. But in the time between when the draft was written and the final report released, DoD announced the purchase — something SIGAR auditors lament in their final report.

“SIGAR maintains that moving forward with the acquisition of these aircraft is highly imprudent until an agreement between the ministries is reached,” auditors wrote, noting that the draft was sent to DoD officials June 3. “SIGAR also notes that, prior to awarding the contract for the 30 Mi-17s on June 16, 2013, DOD received a draft of this report containing a recommendation to suspend plans to purchase new aircraft for the SMW.”

“Despite our recommendations, the Department awarded a $553,759,240 contract modification to Rosoboronexport, a Russian government agency, on June 16, 2013, for 30 Mi-17 helicopters, spare parts, test equipment, and engineering support services,” auditors continued. “We maintain that moving forward with the acquisition of these aircraft is imprudent.”

In addition to the inclusion of Pentagon comment and SIGAR’s response, the final report lowers the estimated cost of the program from $908 million to $771.8. That total includes the purchase of the Mi-17s, as well as the purchase of 18 PC-12s, which have already been purchased. The contract for the Swiss-made transport planes was announced on Oct. 16 with a price of $218 million.

As with the draft report, the final report warns that the SMW faces serious recruiting and training challenges.

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29 juin 2013 6 29 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

28.06.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’industriel américain General Atomics a annoncé le 26 juin qu’il allait développer – sur fonds propres – une variante de son drone MALE MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B), afin de pouvoir en offrir une version pleinement compatible avec les exigences de navigabilité de l’US Air Force, mais surtout de futurs potentiels acheteurs membres de l’OTAN.

 

Il s’agit principalement pour General Atomics de travailler sur des capacités accrues d’intégration dans l’espace aérien du pays acheteur, pour offrir une configuration permettant au drone d’obtenir facilement ses certificats de navigabilité. Une initiative calculée de General Atomics, au vu des récentes polémiques ayant eu trait à la certification de navigabilité des drones dans l’espace aérien européen – l’EuroHawk pour ne pas le nommer.

 

Le drone MALE MQ-9 Reaper est destiné aux missions ISR ainsi qu’au ciblage d’objectifs précis. Motorisé par un TPE331-10 d’Honneywell, il peut voler jusqu’à une altitude de 50 000 pieds et rester un maximum de 27 heures dans les airs. Il est actuellement utilisé par l’US Air Force, la Royal Air Force et l’Italie. La France attend elle le feu vert du congrès américain pour pouvoir en acquérir deux d’ici la fin de l’année 2013.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 20:20
F-35 test aircraft photo Lockheed Martin

F-35 test aircraft photo Lockheed Martin

28/06/13 bourse.lesechos.fr (Dow Jones)

 

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Le Pentagone étudie la possibilité de retarder l'un des ses programmes d'armement les plus coûteux et les plus controversés, celui de l'avion de chasse F-35, dans le cadre de mesures d'économies, selon des responsables de la défense.

 

Le secrétaire américain à la Défense, Chuck Hagel, a envisagé cette option dans le cadre d'un plan présenté par un groupe de travail sur la réduction des dépenses du Pentagone entre 2015 et 2020. Mais des responsables ont insisté sur le fait qu'aucune décision n'avait été prise et que des conseillers de Chuck Hagel avaient recommandé d'écarter cette option en soulignant que les économies potentiellement engendrées n'étaient pas suffisantes pour justifier une telle mesure.

 

Selon des analystes du secteur de la défense, retarder la production de l'appareil pourrait permettre au gouvernement américain d'économiser entre 1 et 2,5 milliards de dollars par an entre 2015 et 2019. Tout retard dans le programme pourrait cependant constituer un coup dur pour l'appareil et pour son fabricant, le groupe Lockheed Martin.

 

Des responsables de la défense américaine ont refusé de dire de combien de temps pourrait être repoussée la production du F-35, ni le montant des économies qui pourraient être réalisées par le Pentagone.

 

Selon les derniers rapports militaires du Congrés, l'avion F-35B destiné à la marine américaine (Navy) doit entrer en service en 2015. Une autre version de l'appareil prévue pour la Navy, le F-35C, doit entamer ses opérations en 2019.

 

-Julian E.Barnes, DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

 

(Version française Jérôme Batteau)

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
The UK's third F-35 Lightning II aircraft takes off from Lockheed Martin's facility near Fort Worth in Texas [Picture: Master Sergeant Randy A Crites USMC (Retd)]

The UK's third F-35 Lightning II aircraft takes off from Lockheed Martin's facility near Fort Worth in Texas [Picture: Master Sergeant Randy A Crites USMC (Retd)]

27 June 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

The third of the UK's F-35 short take-off and vertical landing Lightning II aircraft has arrived at Eglin US Air Force Base in Florida.

 

The aircraft will be used for pilot and maintainer training for the UK team currently based in the USA. At Eglin, pilots from the Royal Navy and RAF and ground crew are working alongside their US Marine Corps colleagues learning all they can about maintaining the aircraft and how to fly the platforms to get the best out of them.

Group Captain Harv Smyth, the UK’s Joint Strike Fighter National Deputy, said:

Today’s arrival of ‘BK-3’ is the latest step in delivering the F-35’s unprecedented capability to UK Defence.

With each passing day our Lightning II programme is maturing. In less than a year we have taken ownership of our first 3 aircraft and begun both pilot and engineer training.

The Lightning II truly represents a turning point for the UK’s combat air capability and will dramatically increase our ability to defend national sovereignty interests and ensure security around the globe.

The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility. More than 500 British suppliers will build 15% of each F-35 produced.

UK industry is responsible for numerous F-35 components including the aft fuselage, fuel system and crew escape system.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
The BAE Systems Typhoon multi-role jet aircraft (library image) [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Ben Stevenson, Crown copyright]

The BAE Systems Typhoon multi-role jet aircraft (library image) [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Ben Stevenson, Crown copyright]

20 June 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

British defence exports rose by 62% in 2012 – the largest increase for 5 years.


 

New figures published today by UK Trade & Investment’s Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) show that UK defence exports totalled £8.8 billion over the past year, a rise of 62% from 2011 in a global market that grew by 45%.

These results mean the UK maintains its position as the second most successful defence exporter after the United States. As in 2011, the UK continues to benefit from a strong defence supply chain, which contributed to the success in 2012.

Orders contributing to the strong results included Typhoon and Hawk aircraft. The Typhoon programme alone supports an estimated 8,600 jobs in the UK, across companies including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and SELEX Galileo and their supply chains – with an estimated further 1,500 jobs dependent on export opportunities.

BAE Systems stand at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition 2013 [Picture: © Geoffrey Lee]

BAE Systems stand at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition 2013 [Picture: © Geoffrey Lee]

Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence, Equipment Support and Technology said:

This is welcome news for the UK Defence Industry, and demonstrates that they remain world leaders in an increasingly competitive global market place.

The Ministry of Defence has continued to play a key supporting role in the promotion of defence equipment and services, recognising that defence exports make a significant contribution to the government’s growth agenda.

These results also demonstrate the high regard in which our Armed Forces, and the equipment they use, are held by our allies and partner nations overseas.

Hawk manufacture (library image) [Picture: Copyright © 2013 BAE Systems. All rights reserved]

Hawk manufacture (library image) [Picture: Copyright © 2013 BAE Systems. All rights reserved]

The UK continues to capture 20% of the global defence export market. Maintaining this level and growing security exports to 5% by 2015 are the key targets for UKTI Defence & Security Organisation. Last year’s expansion in the defence sector was supported by UK export growth of 4% to £2.7 billion in the security sector, in a global market that grew by 3%.

Combined defence and security exports rose to £11.5 billion in 2012, up from £8 billion in 2011.

Typhoon replica at Malaysia exhibition 2012 (library image) [Picture: Copyright © 2013 BAE Systems. All rights reserved]

Typhoon replica at Malaysia exhibition 2012 (library image) [Picture: Copyright © 2013 BAE Systems. All rights reserved]

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

Defence exports are helping to safeguard much needed high quality jobs in UK industry at a difficult time for the economy and these robust figures demonstrate Britain’s ability to successfully compete in the global race.

The UK government has pledged its support to the defence industry which has an outstanding record of export success. We have a proven ability to help UK exporters to win business overseas and achieve their international business potential.

These export results reflect the importance of the high technology sector and its contribution to advanced manufacturing trade. The UK’s defence industrial base is rich in innovation, largely thanks to the vital contribution of smaller firms.

The increase in the security sector reinforces a consistent picture of year on year growth in a highly competitive market. Growth is particularly strong in the cyber security sector which is critical to the UK’s national security.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 11:55
DCI et Chalair Aviation prennent le contrôle de Vigie Aviation

27 juin Aerobuzz.fr

 

DCI, entreprise de services (dont l’Etat est actionnaire de référence) qui intervient sur tout le spectre de la défense et de la sécurité nationale, et Chalair Aviation, compagnie aérienne française, annoncent avoir pris une participation majoritaire dans la société Vigie Aviation. Ce rapprochement vient renforcer le lien entre DCI et Vigie Aviation. Les deux entreprises avaient signé un partenariat de coopération il y a 2 ans afin de développer des formations de personnels navigants dans le domaine de la patrouille maritime et d’exécuter des prestations de surveillance aérienne à des coûts réduits. Avec l’arrivée de Chalair Aviation, le partenariat permettra à l’entreprise de disposer d’une gamme élargie d’avions (Beechcraft série KingAir, 1900 C/D et ATR) pour ses missions de surveillance des espaces maritimes et terrestres.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 11:35
Affordable and Ready for Export: The Aviation Industry Corporation of China-built Wing Loong may be the first effort by a Chinese company to break the West's grip on the international UAV market.

Affordable and Ready for Export: The Aviation Industry Corporation of China-built Wing Loong may be the first effort by a Chinese company to break the West's grip on the international UAV market.

Jun. 25, 2013 -By WENDELL MINNICK  - Defense News

 

TAIPEI — Folks wandering past the model of the Pterodactyl UAV at the Paris Air Show last week were probably unaware that this was China’s first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) on display at an international defense exhibition.

 

The model, also known as the Wing Loong, could be the first step by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to break the West’s grip on the UAV market by providing affordable and reliable alternatives that also bypass US embargoes, sanctions and regulations. This is particularly the case for African and Middle Eastern countries to which the US is legally constrained from selling arms, or in the case of Israel, refuses to do so.

 

A report issued by Kimberly Hsu, policy analyst for military and security affairs at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “China’s Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Industry,” warns China’s inexpensive and multifunctional unmanned aerial systems are poised to steal the international UAV market away from the US and Israel.

 

Hsu’s report said that the US and Israel are “the top two UAV exporters worldwide and the only two countries confirmed to have exported strategic-level UAVs, are members of the two principal multilateral regimes that address UAV exports — the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement.” China is not a member of either and “in the absence of competition from more sophisticated US or Israeli alternatives, China could become a key proliferator to non-members of the MTCR or Wassenaar.”

 

Ian Easton, research fellow at the Washington-based Project 2049 Institute, said that if one looks forward, “technology trends suggest that the line between UAVs and long-range missiles [is] going to be increasingly blurred.” This raises concerns that China’s large-scale build-up of UAVs as a “major aspect of its reconnaissance-strike complex is going to further threaten already vulnerable air bases and other critical facilities in the region.”

 

Added to this concern is China’s history of “irresponsible export behavior,” particularly to some of the “most odious international actors on the planet,” including countries that threaten US security interests.

 

In the past, China has successfully produced and fielded a wide variety of tactical UAVs that operate at low to medium altitudes and in short to medium ranges. According to Hsu, tactical UAV systems constitute about 93 percent of Chinese UAV projects. The rest are devoted to strategic-level systems and UCAVs. However, this is expected to change.

 

“In the long term, China’s continued interest and progression in strategic-level UAVs appear poised to position China as a leader in the high-end UAV market,” Hsu wrote.

 

The UCAV model on display at Paris follows the static display of an operational platform at the 2012 China Airshow in Zhuhai. Defense News attended the show and acquired AVIC brochures that indicated it had air-to-ground attack configurations, including “ground target designation” and “ground moving target indication” capabilities.

 

Maximum payload was only 440 pounds. The Pterodactyl at Zhuhai was exhibited along with four weapons: BA-7 air-to-ground missile, YZ-212 laser-guided bomb, YZ-102A anti-personnel bomb and 50-kilogram LS-6 miniature guided bomb.

 

One aerospace expert cautions not to be fooled by many of the UAV and UCAV programs China displays at air shows. The Pterodactyl is an impressive platform, “but the extent of Beijing’s overall progress remains unclear, as does the level of sophistication and integration,” said Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

He argues that in the UAV arena, the airframe can often be the least challenging element of the overall system, and often times, due to transparency problems with Chinese authorities, photographs and models of China’s UAVs are often the only information available to outside experts.

 

However, Easton is convinced that China is poised to become a major proliferator of UAVs. “China is developing advanced unmanned systems, including UAVs for strategic ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and precision-strike miss­ions, under conditions that virtually guarantee that they will have an export advantage over other nations.”

 

As Hsu points out in her report, one reason China’s UAVs are cheap is that many are developed not by industry but by academic institutions. The multirole, medium-altitude, long-endurance BZK-005, now in service with the Chinese military, was developed by Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The Northwest Polytechnical University, also known as Xi’an ASN Technology Group, is the “most prominent and prolific organization focusing on domestic UAV research and development” and holds about 90 percent of the domestic Chinese UAV market.

 

“Thus far, it has delivered over 1,500 UAVs” to the Chinese military, Hsu’s report said.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 11:30
A KC-130J load master watches a refueling of an MV-22B Osprey during a training mission in 2012. (Cpl. Michael Petersheim/US Marine Corps)

A KC-130J load master watches a refueling of an MV-22B Osprey during a training mission in 2012. (Cpl. Michael Petersheim/US Marine Corps)

Jun. 27, 2013 - By OREN DORELL USA Today  - Defense News

 

The United States plans to give Israel weapons that would enable it to send ground forces against Iranian nuclear facilities that it can’t penetrate from the air.

 

The deal includes air-refueling aircraft, advanced radars for F-15 fighter jets, and up to eight V-22 Ospreys, an aircraft that can land like a helicopter and carry two dozen special operations forces with their gear over long distances at aircraft speeds.

 

The Osprey “is the ideal platform for sending Israeli special forces into Iran,” says Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst now at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

 

The aircraft could help solve Israel’s inability to breach Iran’s uranium enrichment facility buried under a granite mountain at Fordow. It might be impregnable to even the heaviest conventional bunker-busting munitions in the U.S. arsenal, Pollack said. Israeli military planners have been brainstorming how to conduct an effective operation, Pollack said, citing conversations with senior Israeli military officers.

 

“One of the possibilities is (Israel) would use special forces to assault the Fordow facility and blow it up,” Pollack said.

 

The weapons deal would be part of a military aid package for Israel that includes $1 billion for up to eight V-22 tilt-rotors; $500 million to retrofit radars into F-15 fighters and another $1 billion for a variety of air-to-ground weapons. Additional details about the U.S.-financed deal were revealed during a visit to Washington by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on June 15.

 

The State Department said discussions of the arms deal are ongoing.

 

Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday had a working dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and will visit with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials through Saturday, discussing broad regional issues and the peace process.

 

Jonathan Schanzer, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said the arms package was part of an Israeli wish list including some items that were not discussed publicly to help it keep amilitary edge over other nations in the region and for possible operations against Iran.

 

Israel’s air force would be hard-pressed to cause lasting damage to the Iranian nuclear program because it cannot sustain long-term bombardment and has limited bunker-busting capabilities and limited air-refueling capabilities, said Kenneth Katzman, who co-wrote the 2012 report “Israel: Possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities” for the Congressional Research Service.

 

When he first announced the deal during a visit to Israel in April, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Ospreys would provide Israel with high-speed maritime search-and rescue-capabilities.

 

Yaalon said the arms sale would send a message to Israel’s chief adversary in the region.

 

“Without a credible military option, there’s no chance the Iranian regime will realize it has to stop the militarynuclear project,” Yaalon said.

 

Other parts of the arms package include Boeing’s KC-135 “Stratotanker,” which can refuel Ospreys and other aircraft while airborne and extend the tilt-rotor aircraft’s 426-mile range almost indefinitely. The deal also includes anti-radiation missiles that are used to target air defense systems, and advanced radars for Israel’s fleet of F-15 fighter jets, according to a Defense Department press release.

 

That equipment would increase Israel’s capabilities against Iran, said Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

 

The refueling equipment would extend the reach of Israeli special forces, which could be used against Iran as they were in Israel’s attack on a Syrian nuclear facility under construction in 2007, Karmon said.

 

In the 2007 attack, at least one Israeli team was on the ground to provide laser targeting of sophisticated airmunitions, Karmon said. “The same would be done for Iranian sites.”

 

The Osprey also could be used for search-and-rescue operations if Israeli aircraft involved in a complex airoperation are shot down and pilots endangered, Karmon said.

 

Michael Rubin, an analyst for the American Enterprise Institute, said senior U.S. and Israeli bombers would do significant damage to Iran’s hardened sites by targeting the entrances, and Israel could use the Ospreys for missions other than Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel may want the ability to send troops to secure chemical facilities in remote regions of Syria or to block Iranian shipments bound for terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula or Lebanon, Rubin said.

 

“Sudan and Eritrea are floating the idea of building an Iranian naval base or shipping Iranian missiles to the Gaza Strip,” Rubin said, referring to the Palestinian territory controlled by the terrorist group Hamas. “If you wanted to disrupt such missiles in a convoy, you’d do it with an Osprey.”

 

The arms deal also sends a message to Iran and reassurance to Israel that the United States is serious about standing by the Jewish state, Karmon said.

 

Katzman said he doesn’t think the arms sale provides Israel with significant new capabilities that Israel did not already have. He said the overall defense package, which also includes advanced F-16 fighter jets for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief rivals in the Persian Gulf, is more “a symbolic move to show (American) resolve to Iran,” Katzman said.

 

Contributing: Barbara Opall-Rome of Defense News

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:55
Après un développement difficile, le V-22 a fait la preuve de ses capacités au combat. - photo USMC

Après un développement difficile, le V-22 a fait la preuve de ses capacités au combat. - photo USMC

26 juin 2013 par Frédéric Lert – Aerobuzz.fr

 

Une carte présentée au salon du Bourget sème le trouble : la France serait-elle intéressée par le V-22 ?

 

Après ses troubles de jeunesse et une scolarité difficile, l’appareil à rotors basculants a finalement trouvé un bon boulot au Pentagone et semble donner toute satisfaction à son employeur. 214 V-22 sont déjà en service au sein de l’US Marines Corps (USMC) et de l’Air Force et les premiers déploiements opérationnels ont semble-t-il pleinement comblé les « nuques de cuir ».

 

« Nous avons réalisé en Afghanistan des missions hors de portée pour tout autre appareils » expliquent les Marines, qui citent volontiers la récupération de 32 soldats au terme d’une mission de 800 miles (1300 km) aller-retour en quatre heures de vol non-stop. Les Marines ont exprimé un besoin total pour 360 de ces appareils et signe de la confiance qu’ils leurs accordent, deux MV-22 sont déjà en service au sein de l’escadron chargé de la logistique des déplacements présidentiels. Si le MV-22 n’est pas encore « Marine One », le rôle reste dévolu aux hélicoptères « traditionnels », on lui confie tout de même la mission de trimbaler les médias, ce qui peut être encore plus risqué…

 

L’an dernier à Farnborough, une douzaine de chefs d’état-major de différentes armées de l’air ont volé à bord de l’appareil en présentation. A ce jour, on sait qu’Israël est en négociation directe avec Washington pour l’achat du V-22.

Un C-2 Greyhound à l’appontage sur le PA Charles de Gaulle. La mise en œuvre d’un tel avion par la marine française se heurte à un obstacle financier.

Un C-2 Greyhound à l’appontage sur le PA Charles de Gaulle. La mise en œuvre d’un tel avion par la marine française se heurte à un obstacle financier.

« Une centaine de V-22 pourraient être vendus à l’international » expliquait pendant le salon du Bourget le colonel Gregory Masiello, co-directeur du programme pour l’USMC. Et c’est là que ça devient intéressant : Pour appuyer son discours, le colonel présentait pendant son briefing aux médias une carte du monde intitulée « International engagement ». Une quinzaine de pays y étaient nommés, parmi lesquels des prospects commerciaux bien connus, mais aussi la France. Paris pourrait donc être intéressé par l’appareil à rotors basculants ? C’est peu probable, mais si ce n’est pas illogique…

 

On sait que l’US Navy considère l’achat de V-22 pour remplacer ses actuels C-2 Greyhound : des avions cargo aptes au catapultage et à l’appontage, et qui servent au ravitaillement à longue distance des porte-avions. Appelés « COD » dans la nomenclature US (pour Carrier Onboard Delivery), les C-2 disposent d’une soute assez vaste pour emporter un réacteur, du fret en vrac ou encore une vingtaine de passagers. Ces C-2 (39 fabriqués au cours des années 80, en remplacement d’appareils de première génération) vieillissent et demanderont bientôt d’être remplacés. Bell Boeing verrait bien le V-22 tenir le rôle de COD. Il y a deux semaines dernière, deux convertibles ont opéré comme COD à partir de l’USS Trumman.

MV-22 Ospreys à l'appontage sur l' USS Bonhomme Richard. Le V-22 est en lice pour remplacer les Greyhound dans la mission "COD" (Carrier Onboard Delivery)

MV-22 Ospreys à l'appontage sur l' USS Bonhomme Richard. Le V-22 est en lice pour remplacer les Greyhound dans la mission "COD" (Carrier Onboard Delivery)

La France aurait elle aussi bien besoin d’un « COD » au service du Charles de Gaulle. Pendant l’opération Harmattan en 2011, la marine avait d’ailleurs « emprunté » deux Greyhound à l’US Navy pendant 16 jours, pour le ravitaillement de son porte-avions. Alors pourquoi ne pas imaginer des V-22 porteurs de la cocarde à hameçons ? Pour les mêmes raisons qui ont fait renoncer à l’achat de C-2 : l’oseille. A 70M$ pièce, le V-22 est un beau jouet un peu cher. Donc interrogé sur la place de la France sur la carte des « engagements internationaux », le colonel Masiello expliquait qu’elle se justifiait par les essais à venir du V-22 sur les BPC (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement) de la classe Mistral. Des essais qui se feront quand navire et aéronef seront disponibles simultanément. Rien que de très classique avec ces essais, le V-22 réalisant, comme tout nouvel appareil, la tournée des popotes sur les navires du monde entier pour valider sa compatibilité. Début juin, des appareils basés dans le Pacifique avaient pu pour la première fois se poser sur les porte-hélicoptères japonais Shimokita et Hyuga.

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:50
photo RP Defense PAS2013

photo RP Defense PAS2013

June 26, 2013 by Zach Rosenberg – FG

 

Washington DC - General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has announced its intent to certify the Predator B unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to European and NATO standards.

 

The Predator B, called the MQ-9 Reaper in US military service, has been sold abroad to both the United Kingdom and Italy. The aircraft is in competition for service in Germany, and rumoured to have already won a contest in France despite lack of official confirmation.

 

"It is imperative that we ensure airworthiness certification of Predator B both at home and abroad as coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan and nations transition mission focus to protection of the homeland and other civil uses," says General Atomics chairman Neal Blue.

 

UAVs are not currently allowed to fly in European airspace without significant restrictions. How European nations intend to integrate UAVs into civilian airspace remains unclear, but pressure is growing to include them for both military and civil uses. The modifications to be made are unclear, but partner RUAG will help define and implement them.

 

General Atomics did not respond to immediate questions.

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:30
C-130J Super Hercules Photo by Andrew McMurtrie

C-130J Super Hercules Photo by Andrew McMurtrie

27.06.2013 par Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’avionneur américain Lockheed Martin a livré le premier C-130J Super Hercules à Israël le 26 juin, lors d’une cérémonie qui s’est tenue à l’usine de Marietta, en Géorgie. L’avion devrait toucher le sol israélien au printemps 2014. Les trois avions que doit recevoir Israël seront surnommés « Shimshon », comme les 12 C-130E/H qu’utilise le pays depuis 1971.

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:20
L’assemblage du premier KC-46A de Boeing a débuté

27.06.2013 par Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’assemblage du premier futur ravitailleur de l’US Air Force a débuté à l’usine d’Everett de Boeing le 26 juin, avec l’intégration du premier longeron d’aile du KC-46A.

 

Selon le calendrier établi par Boeing, l’assemblage final est prévu pour le mois de novembre, avec un roll-out espéré en janvier 2014. Le mois de juin de la même année aura lieu l’installation des équipements militaires et le début des essais au sol dans la foulée. Le premier vol est lui prévu pour le début de l’année 2015, la livraison attendue en 2016. Si l’US Air Force exerce toutes ses options, Boeing devrait livrer jusqu’à 179 KC-46A d’ici à 2027. Le futur ravitailleur est basé sur les 767-200ER de l’avionneur américain et remplacera à terme les KC-135 Stratotanker de l’US Air Force.

 

Le programme KC-46A a subi quelques turbulences en 2012, notamment après la publication d’un rapport du Government of Accountability Office, qui s’alarmait d’une forte hausse des coûts de développement et d’un retard important qui mettait en danger les délais de remplacement des KC-135 fixés par l’US Air Force. En septembre 2012, l’US Air Force se montrait optimiste et espérait toujours un bilan critique de conception (« critical design review ») avant la fin de l’année fiscale 2013. L’USAF confirmait sa confiance dans le programme en avril 2013, soulagée que le séquestre n’affecte pas – du moins pour l’instant – le développement du KC-46A.

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:20
Third UK F-35B - Lockheed Martin photo by John Wilson

Third UK F-35B - Lockheed Martin photo by John Wilson

June 26, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - The UK's third Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) Joint Strike Fighter arrived at Eglin AFB, Florida, on 25 June.

 

The British aircraft was flown in from Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, plant by US Marine Corps pilot Lt Col Roger Hardy on a flight that lasted 90min.

 

"In less than a year, we have taken ownership of our first three aircraft and begun both pilot and engineer training," says Royal Air Force Group Captain Harv Smyth, the senior UK officer at Eglin AFB. "Today's arrival of BK-3 is the latest step in delivering the F-35's unprecedented capability to UK defence."

 

This particular aircraft, BK-3 (ZM137), is the last of three UK F-35Bs currently on order, but the country is expected to have a fleet of 48 aircraft in service before 2020. Those 48 jets are expected operate from both land bases and from the UK's new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers.

 

The three current UK aircraft are operating in a training capacity as part of the USMC's VMFAT-501 squadron at Eglin AFB. However, the aircraft will eventually move to Edwards AFB, California, to participate in the F-35's operational evaluations.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 16:30
Typhoon-Eurofighter-over-Abu-Dhabi

Typhoon-Eurofighter-over-Abu-Dhabi

24 Jun 2013 by Craig Hoyle –FG

 

London - Major deals involving the sale of 12 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to Oman and a combined 30 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers to the same nation and Saudi Arabia last year contributed to total UK defence exports worth £8.8 billion ($13.5 billion) in 2012, according to figures released by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

 

Representing a 62% increase from the £5.4 billion figure reported from 2011, the total maintained the UK's standing as the second-largest exporter of defence equipment after the USA, with an average 20% stake of the global market during the past decade, says UKTI's Defence and Security Organisation.

 

Combined with sales of security equipment, the year-end total of £11.5 billion was similar to the volume recorded in 2007, when the UK government agreed a Project Salam deal with Saudi Arabia for 72 Typhoons.

 

"The Ministry of Defence has continued to play a key supporting role in the promotion of defence equipment and services, recognising that defence exports make a significant contribution to the government's growth agenda," says minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne.

 

UK military equipment on display at the 17-23 June Paris air show included a Hawk T2 from the Royal Air Force's 4 Sqn and an AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
Army Ready to Upgrade AH-64E Apache Sensors

June 26th, 2013 by Matt Cox  - defensetech.org

 

The U.S. Army hopes to equip its first unit of Apache helicopters with the newest daytime sensors by this time next year.

 

The Apache Sensors Product Office recently accepted delivery of Lockheed Martin’s new Modernized Day Sensor Assembly Laser Rangefinder Designator, or LRFD, the first component to be fielded in the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly.

 

The modernized LRFD is the first phase of upgrades for the M-DSA program, and will provide enhanced performance to the MTADS/PNVS system, Army officials maintain.

 

“This laser kit, what we call M-DSA phase one, is an investment by the Army and the Program Executive Office for Aviation, and we’re looking forward to the reliability and maintainability improvements that this laser will bring to the MTADS system,” said  Lt. Col. Steven Van Riper, product manager for Apache Sensor, in an Army press release. “The maintainers will have less of a burden when it comes to keeping the system up and fully operational, while our aircrews will be able to reap the benefits of the performance improvements.”

 

The new sensors are part of a duel contract the Army awarded to Lockheed Martin in February worth $162 million.

 

The current laser features a tactical wavelength in the system, Cold War technology that’s expensive to maintain. The new laser incorporates a second EyeSafe wavelength, the newest technology available. It replaces the old flash lamp technology to a more reliable, more robust diode pump laser technology.

 

The diode pump is the primary driver of increasing the Army’s reliability and maintainability numbers, Army officials maintain. Phase one will be fielded later this year and will be fully capable by 2016, according to Matt Hoffman, director of MTADS/PNVS programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

 

The Army’s goal is to retrofit the M-DSA and equip the AH-64E Apache units first.

 

The second phase, scheduled to begin in 2016, will include all the remaining elements in the DSA such as a high definition color television, laser pointer marker, upgraded laser spot tracker, and a state-of-the-art inertia measuring unit for stability and extended range in the system.

 

“We are meeting all of our milestones in terms of production ramp rate, moving towards maintaining our production rate of over 20 lasers per month,” Van Riper said. “We’re stepping up to that incrementally using a very deliberate production engineering process.”

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 15:50
A400M makes spectacular defensive flares test

21 Jun 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

Airbus Military has performed a spectacular test with a key defensive system for its A400M, as its first production example comes within less than one month of delivery to the French air force.

 

Perfromed using a "Grizzly" development aircraft, the mass flare release was intended to prove the ability of the A400M's self-protection equipment to counter the threat posed by shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles during tactical operations.

 

The A400M's defensive aids system equipment is due to come online from the airlifter's SOC1 software standard.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 15:50
German air force to bid 'Pharewell' to last F-4Fs

26 Jun 2013 by Craig Hoyle –FG

 

London - Germany will retire its last operational McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom IIs on 29 June, with the veteran type's duties having been assumed by Eurofighter units.

 

After almost 40 years of service, the final interceptors will be retired during a decommissioning event to be staged at the Luftwaffe's Wittmund air base.

 

The final German examples are operated by the air force's JG 71 "Richthofen" squadron, which was also the first to begin flying the type, in March 1974. Delivered in 1973, its first F-4F, 37+01, received a special livery for the occasion.

 

A total of 263 Phantoms were acquired by Germany, the air force says, including 88 in the RF-4E reconnaissance configuration, from 1971.

 

Flightglobal's MiliCAS database shows Germany's retirement of the Phantom will reduce the global frontline fleet of the type to 431 aircraft, operated by the air forces of Egypt, Greece, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The US Air Force also has more than 150 examples, which have been adapted for use as QF-4 aerial targets.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 10:20
F-35 CF-6 (Photo Lockheed Martin)

F-35 CF-6 (Photo Lockheed Martin)

June 26; 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - The US Navy received its first Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter training aircraft at Eglin AFB, Florida, on 22 June.

 

The stealth carrier-based aircraft will be assigned to the service's Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101) "Grim Reapers", and will fly alongside US Air Force and US Marine Corps F-35 training units assigned to the air force's 33rd Fighter Wing. VFA-101 will serve as a fleet replacement squadron which will train aircrew and maintenance personnel from both the USN and USMC to fly and repair the F-35C.

 

The navy is the last of the US military services to receive the F-35, and many observers say its commitment to the tri-service jet is lukewarm at best. However, the USN publicly insists that it is behind the programme.

 

"For me, the F-35C is really a key part of our future," chief of naval operation Adm Jonathan Greenert told the Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense earlier in the month. "It provides a unique and essential set of capabilities for our air wing and for our carrier strike group, effectively for the fleet."

 

The F-35C is expected to be operational with the USN in late 2018 or early 2019.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
photo Dassault

photo Dassault

25/06 Par Alain Ruello – LesEchos.fr

 

Les émergents ne cessent de muscler leur industrie militaire à coup de transferts de technologie. C’est notamment le cas de l’Inde qui, en contrepartie de l’achat des Rafale de Dassault, voudrait pouvoir produire sur place les appareils.

 

Crise ? Quelle crise ? Si l’on en juge par les chiffres du cabinet IHS, qui fait autorité en la matière, le commerce international des armements et des services associés a explosé depuis 2008 : tous pays confondus, les échanges ont progressé de 30 %, pour atteindre 73,5 milliards de dollars l’an dernier, contre 56,5 milliards quatre ans plus tôt. « A ce rythme, les échanges militaires entre pays auront plus que doublé d’ici à 2020 », estiment les analystes d’IHS, pour qui la barre des 100 milliards sera franchie en 2018.

 

Les chiffres étonnent quelque peu. Entre la loi dite « Sequestration Act » aux Etats-Unis qui porte en elle la menace d’une coupe de 500 milliards de dollars du budget du Pentagone et les réductions des dépenses militaires en Europe, le sentiment général jusqu’alors était que les investissements des pays émergents compenseraient, mais pas de beaucoup, les baisses dans les pays occidentaux. Dit autrement, l’industrie militaire s’acheminait, au pire, vers une longue période de stagnation, et au mieux de croissance molle.

 

Bouleversement structurel sans précédent

 

Au contraire, IHS prédit que le monde va continuer à s’armer : les budgets vont progresser de 9,3 % d’ici à 2021, pour atteindre 1,65 trillion de dollars. Deux courants sont à l’œuvre, selon Paul Burton, un des responsables du cabinet : les dépenses militaires se tournent vers l’Est et la concurrence s’accroît. De ce fait, le secteur est en train de vivre un bouleversement structurel sans précédent qui va se traduire par la plus forte poussée du commerce d’armement jamais connue. Et à ce jeu, tout le monde ne sera pas gagnant à l’arrivée.

 

Si ces prévisions se confirment, l’Ouest, et les Etats-Unis en particulier, ont commencé à manger leur pain noir. Au fur et à mesure qu’ils importent des équipements militaires, les pays dits émergents en profitent pour muscler leur industrie à coup de transferts de technologie. C’est par exemple le cas de l’Inde, qui négocie l’achat des Rafale de Dassault : New Delhi veut être capable de produire en grande partie les appareils sur place.

 

Du coup, les grands pays importateurs d’aujourd’hui vont prendre un poids de plus en plus important dans le classement des pays exportateurs au détriment de l’Europe. Même les Etats-Unis sont menacés. La tendance est déjà notable, comme le montre le cas de la Corée du Sud : le pays du Matin calme a fait son entrée dans le Top 20 des exportateurs grâce à une hausse de 688 % de ses ventes depuis 2008, à 753 millions de dollars. La Chine est de plus en plus agressive commercialement.

 

Dans ce contexte, les industriels occidentaux n’ont d’autre choix que d’exporter encore plus ou de couler. Et encore, cela peut s’avérer à double tranchant car en étant obligé de transférer une partie de leur savoir-faire technologique, ils scient la branche sur laquelle ils sont assis au profit de leurs clients. « Donnez une décennie à l’Asie et au Moyen-Orient, et ces pays vendront des équipements de classe mondiale » , prédit Guy Anderson, analyste senior d’IHS .

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