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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
Benoît Neel, président du Simtec

Benoît Neel, président du Simtec


24/4/2013 Pascal Coutance, ElectroniqueS


Les chiffres du Simtec, le syndicat français de la profession, montrent que derrière une croissance de 5,1% des chiffres d'affaires cumulés de ses membres en 2012, se cachent des disparités.


Lors d'une conférence de presse donnée hier 23 avril, le Simtec (Syndicat de l'instrumentation de mesure, du test et de la conversion d'énergie) a indiqué que le marché français du test et de la mesure a connu une croissance de 5,1% en 2012, pour atteindre 333,1 millions d'euros. C'est la 3è année consécutive de hausse après celles de 9,4% en 2011 et de 7,2% en 2010. Rappelons ici que ces chiffres correspondent aux ventes annuelles cumulées des adhérents du Simtec qui ont bien voulu répondre à l'enquête du syndicat et qui représentent environ 80 % du marché français du test et de la mesure.


"Ce résultat globalement positif tient au fait que l'activité de nos membres s'exerce principalement sur trois segments de marchés qui continuent à être bien orientés en France, à savoir l'aéronautique et la défense, les radiocommunications et le haut débit et enfin la recherche", précise Benoît Neel, président du Simtec (photo).


En revanche, la contribution du secteur automobile au marché du test et de la mesure a baissé en 2012. Toutefois, la baisse a été moins importante que l'on aurait pu croire, les équipementiers automobiles continuant à avoir une activité soutenue, notamment grâce à leurs exportations.


Enfin, dans le domaine des équipements industriels, des disparités se font jour entre les orientations positives constatées du côté de l'industriel ou du nucléaire, la stabilité de la contribution du ferroviaire et les difficultés rencontrées dans les domaines des énergies renouvelables et des semi-conducteurs.


Pour 2013, même si certains secteurs d'activités comme les radiocommunications vont continuer à tirer le marché avec le déploiement de la 4G/LTE notamment, le Simtec se contente d'"espérer une stabilité du marché compte tenu du manque de visibilité actuel", selon les termes de M. Neel. Le point positif reste que le secteur du test et de la mesure est transversal et se comporte généralement mieux que la moyenne du marché de l'industrie électronique dans son ensemble.

Nous reviendrons plus en détails sur les résultats du Simtec dans le numéro de mai de notre revue ElectroniqueS.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
UK MoD Confirms A400M, UAV Cost Overruns

April 23, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: House of commons; posted April 23, 2013)


The House of Commons Hansard (official bulletin) has published the following ministerial answer:


Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which projects being delivered for his Department by (a) Babcock, (b) Boeing, (c) Cobham, (d) the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, (e) Finmeccanica, (f) General Dynamics, (g) Kelloggs-Brown-Root, (h) Lockheed Martin (i) Marshall Aerospace, (j) Northrup Grumman, (k) Rolls-Royce, (l) Thales and (m) Ultra Electronics are running over budget; and by how much in each case. [128063]


Substantive answer from Mr Dunne to Angus Robertson:


I am writing in full response to the answer I gave on 26 November 2012, Official Report, column 22W, regarding the question you asked about Ministry of Defence (MOD) projects being delivered by a list of named companies that are running over budget.


The following table details the three projects being delivered by those named contractors that are currently assessed as running over budget.


Contractor/Project name/Cost variation as at March 2013 (£ million)

-- Airbus Ltd (EADS): A400M: +£770 million

-- Northrop Grumman: Sentry Mode S Identification Friend or Foe: +£6 million

-- Thales UK Ltd: Watchkeeper: +£57 million


For the purpose of answering this question, my officials have examined all Category A-D equipment acquisition projects, but limited to those showing a variance of more than £1 million against their approval costs, 50% confidence figure. It is also limited to those projects where the named company is listed as the prime contractor or where projects are being delivered by subsidiaries of the named companies. It does not include support projects. This was necessary to avoid significantly exceeding the disproportionate cost threshold limit for answering parliamentary questions.


This approach means that there are some differences between the above table and the list provided to you in my answer of 6 November 2012, Official Report, column 519W, for example the inclusion of the A400M supplied by Airbus Ltd. as a subsidiary of EADS. The differences are due to the filters placed upon the data as explained above, as well as the passage of time.


It should be noted that the cost variation quoted is assessed against MOD project approval figures, which represent the total MOD costs for any particular project. They therefore do not necessarily reflect contractual obligations. Project performance can be affected by a number of reasons, not all of which are in the contractor's control.


I apologise for the time it has taken to get this information to you but its compilation has involved a significant amount of work and there was also a need to consult the companies concerned.



(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above figures are the same as those reported in January by the UK National Audit Office, i.e. a cost overrun of £770 million on the A400M, despite the number of aircraft having been reduced from 25 to 22, and a slippage of 73 months compared to the original schedule. The first A400M is due to be delivered (to France) in May 2013, and the first Royal Air Force aircraft is due in 2015.

As for Watchkeeper UAV, MoD was quoted by Flightglobal as having acknowledged that one-third of the planned 54-aircraft fleet had been delivered, plus 9 of 15 planned ground stations. It said MoD declined to state where the aircraft are being held, while “prime contractor Thales UK didn't respond to requests to comment.”)

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011

RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011


April 24, 2013 By Think Defence


So we know the RAF Puma helicopters are currently being upgraded (and you can argue the value for money of that endlessly) but at some point, they will have to be withdrawn.


Depending on what life extension we can expect from the makeover they are currently getting (planned out to 2025) a replacement is eventually required.


The cynic would suggest at the end of the Puma era the UK will have Wildcat, Merlin and Chinook as the three main rotary wing platforms and we will be lucky at that so first question is, do we actually need a Puma replacement?


One of our regular commenters (thanks Paul G) reminded me about the Agusta Westland AW 189 (it coming into service on the new SAR contract) and wondered if the MoD would be able to leverage the support arrangements from that sizeable fleet.


With the contractual framework I am sure it would be complex but with a bit of joined up thinking, who knows.


By the time the Puma goes out of service the competitive landscape will be very different today, the US search for a Blackhawk replacement may well have concluded, the various X designs on both sides of the Atlantic might have matured, the NH90 will have limped into service and the strategic, political and economic picture might be equally different.


All the UK Chinooks will have been upgraded by then by JULIUS, Wildcat will have been in service some time, the Merlin HM2 upgrade will have been completed and maybe by then, the Merlin HC3′s will have been fully marinised and transferred to the CHF.


Loads of what ifs but the first question is, do we need to be looking for a Puma replacement now, something in the 8-9 tonne category, 12-16 seats and about 4 or 5 tonne lift?


This is an off the cuff post, apologies for not thinking through any answers but instead, just asking a question.


Have a few nice videos to oil the discussion wheels!

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
Russia ready to negotiate with India on MiG-35 fighters


April 23, 2013, zeenews.india.com


New Delhi: Russia is keen that India buys its MiG-35 fighter aircraft, a top Russian official said.


The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) has proposed to India to consider the possibility of concluding a contract on the supply of the MiG-35 multipurpose fighter jet, RAC MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov told Itar-Tass in an interview.


"Despite the fact that we lost the tender for the supply of 126 multipurpose fighters to the Indian Air Force, the RAC MiG fulfilled all the requirements set the tender committee," Korotkov said. "The aircraft has demonstrated good results, sometimes even exceeding expectations."


According to him, the corporation hopes that "India will consider the possibility of concluding a contract on the supply of the MiG-35 fighters."


"And we will have the opportunity to implement it," he said. "Within this bundle of knowledge that India received during this tender, I would like the MiG-35 issue to be continued against the background of our common history and 50 years of partnership."


According to preliminary information, the winner of the tender for the supply of fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force was the French Dassault Rafale. However, neither party has announced the official timeframe of the contract conclusion.


"This year the next batch of four aircraft will be delivered," said the head of the MiG Aircraft Corporation.


He also took part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Soviet MiG-21 fighters' deliveries to the Indian Air Force.


The agreement on the supply of the MiG-21 planes to India was signed in 1962, and the deliveries began a year later. In 1967, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over to the Indian Air Force the first MiG-21 fighter that was built here under the USSR license.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
Russia to train Indian fighter pilots


April 23, 2013 Indo-Asian News Service - ndtv.com


New Delhi: Russia will train Indian fighter pilots for carrier-based operations, a top Russian official said.


The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) has signed a contract with India's defence ministry on the training of Indian pilots on operating carrier-based aircraft, RAC MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov told Itar-Tass in an interview.


"On April 20, the contract was signed between the ministry of defence and the RAC MiG, under which we will train Indian pilots on the MiG-29K/KUB planes," said Korotkov.


"The training comprises two stages. The first will start in Russia two and a half months before the departure of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Russian cruiser Admiral Gorshkov) that our country is to hand over to the Indian Navy this year."


According to him, the continuation of the training, "which meets all the modern requirements" will be held in India.


"In addition, the RAC MiG provides assistance to the construction in India of a range for the training of pilots of carrier-based aircraft," Korotkov added.


"The training course is (for) two and a half months."


Russia supplied to India 16 MiG-29K/KUB planes under the main contract and four under a second contract.


"This year the next batch of four aircraft will be delivered," said the head of the MiG Aircraft Corporation.


He also took part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Soviet MiG-21 fighters' deliveries to the Indian Air Force.


The agreement on the supply of the MiG-21 planes to India was signed in 1962, and the deliveries began a year later. In 1967, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over to the Indian Air Force the first MiG-21 fighter that was built here under the USSR license.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
The Russian air force will begin flight-testing the Sukhoi T-50 fighter in 2014, after it completes preliminary flight testing by the end of this year. (UAC photo)

The Russian air force will begin flight-testing the Sukhoi T-50 fighter in 2014, after it completes preliminary flight testing by the end of this year. (UAC photo)


April 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: RIA Novosti; published April 23, 2013)


MOSCOW --- Russia will start state flight tests of its fifth-generation T-50 fighter jet in 2014, United Aircraft Corporation's President Mikhail Pogosyan told reporters on Tuesday.


“In 2013 we are expected to wrap up its preliminary tests and start operational testing. In 2014, we are planning to start official state tests,” Pogosyan said on Tuesday, adding "the first stage of the state trials should be complete by 2015."


The test program involves six prototype airframes, including four flying, one static and one systems test airframe. Another flying prototype will join the tests this year, Pogosyan said. "Flight testing this year will go ahead with five aircraft," he said.


The T-50, also known as PAK-FA (future tactical fighter aircraft), first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.


The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring elements of "stealth" technology," super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar.


India will also buy a fighter aircraft based on the T-50, known as the FGFA (fifth-generation fighter aircraft).


United Aircraft Corporation is the state holding company uniting Russia's aircraft building industry including Sukhoi, a military and civil aircraft manufacturer.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
India's MoD Says No to Joint Heron Development With Israel


Apr. 24, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI  - Defense News


NEW DELHI — India has shot down an Israeli proposal to jointly develop an advanced version of the Heron UAV in India, a rarity for projects between the two nations.


This month, India’s Ministry of Defence rejected the codevelopment and coproduction proposal by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), MoD sources said.


During a meeting this month, senior MoD officials said DRDO should concentrate more on the Indo-Israeli Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) program, which is behind schedule and has technical problems.


IAI executives here were not available for comment.


This rejection illustrates the new thinking among India’s MoD, which is concentrating more on sustaining existing DRDO programs than on paying for new projects, the source said. In 2009, India and Israel agreed to jointly develop the MRSAM for use by both militaries. One prototype failed in December, the source said.


DRDO signed the codevelopment contract with IAI after the MoD failed in its efforts to procure the MRSAM through competition. No vendor was prepared to transfer technology for the system.


The Indian Air Force’s requirement is for 18 MRSAMs, estimated to cost around US $1.2 billion. The MRSAM would be a low- and medium-level, quick-reaction missile system capable of moving with mechanized forces. The system would be able to engage manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles and all types of airborne targets.


The MRSAM will have a range of more than 50 kilometers, and its warhead will have self-destruct capabilities to avoid unwanted collateral damage on the ground. The system will have an active seeker with the option of a passive seeker and an electro-optical system will be provided, which would enable the system to track targets in hostile electronic countermeasures environments.


As for the Heron, the Indian MoD has around 60 and requires more, although it hasn’t said how many.


In its proposal for the joint development of Herons, DRDO claimed it has developed a broad spectrum of knowledge on UAV subsystem technologies, including aerodynamic design, composite materials, telemetry and propulsion. The advanced Heron would have featured greater range and endurance.


The Indian Army plans to procure a variety of UAVs, including micro and nano UAVs. The Army also plans to acquire weaponized UAVs, which can be armed with precision missiles.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
IAI to produce F-35 wings


TEL AVIV, Israel, April 24 (UPI)


Wings for Lockheed Martin's F-35 joint strike fighter are to be supplied by Israel Aerospace Industries under a contract with a potential value of $2.5 billion.


IAI said the length of the contract is 10-15 years. Initial deliveries of wings will begin in 2015.


"This agreement represents an important milestone for IAI and ensures its involvement in the world's most advanced fighter aircraft," said Joseph Weiss, president and chief executive officer of IAI. "I welcome the strengthening relationship with Lockheed Martin, a leading manufacturer of aircraft."


Lockheed Martin and IAI recently started construction of a production line for F-35 JSF Lightning II wings following IAI's investment in required technologies and systems. The company produces wings for Lockheed's F-16s and T-38s used by the U.S. Air Force.


IAI is Israel's largest aerospace and defense company. It has headquarters at Tel Aviv's David Ben Gurion International Airport.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Hagel: Defense Partnership Anchors US-Saudi Relationship


April 25th, 2013 By US Department of Defense - defencetalk.com


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: On his inaugural trip to the Middle East since taking office, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met here today with Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement.


During their talks, Hagel and his Saudi counterpart reiterated the longstanding, steadfast relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and emphasized the strong defense partnership that anchors the two nations, Little added.


They also discussed the release of standoff weapons to Saudi Arabia that will provide strategic precision defensive capabilities to the Saudi F-15 fleet, Little said. Such smart weapons can navigate to their targets and are more precise and can be fired at further distances.


“Both agreed the release reflected the close bilateral partnership and would enable long-term cooperation in the pursuit of common security policy aims of a peaceful and stable region,” Little said. The two defense leaders also consulted on regional issues, including the need for Iran to abide to international commitments on its nuclear program, the situation in Syria, and the political transition in Yemen, he added.


Hagel’s trip to the Middle East, which began April 20 and will end April 26, began in Israel and Jordan and tomorrow will take the secretary to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to discuss common threats and interests in the region.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD


24/04/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


United States defence officials have made clear their intention to offer the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey to Israel. Should the deal go ahead, Israel would therefore be this unique tiltrotor design's first export customer.


Confirmation of the proposed Israeli V-22 Osprey sale was supplied by Chuck Hagel - US Defence Secretary - at a media event staged on 22 April in Tel Aviv. Alongside the Ospreys, Israel is also in line to be supplied with other advanced US-origin military technologies including radars and weapons.


"The new radar and anti-radiation missiles, along with Israel's participation in the Joint Strike Fighter programme, ensures that Israel will maintain air superiority for the next generation", explained Hagel. "The introduction of the V-22 into the Israeli Air Force will give the Israeli Air Force long-range, high-speed, maritime search-and-rescue capabilities to deal with a number of threats and contingencies."


Israeli Osprey Sale


Since it's not yet been formally agreed, no value's so far been place on the potential Israeli Osprey sale. However, Israeli Air Force pilots have already experienced the V-22 Osprey's flight characteristics. In December 2011, two of them got the chance to fly it and, subsequently, the Israeli Air Force's official website published their thoughts.


"We realised that the plane will absolutely change the name of the game", one reportedly said. "It will be able to carry out operations that we never imagined that one of our planes could execute. If we purchase the plane, our ranges of activity will dramatically change and we'll be able to reach points we've never even dreamed of."


V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor


The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor is unique in modern military service as a design combining the vertical takeoff and landing qualities of a helicopter with the forward flight characteristics of a conventional transport aircraft.


It can accommodate a maximum of 32 troops or up to 20,000 pounds of cargo and cruises at 277 miles per hour, with a maximum speed of 316 miles per hour. Maximum range is 1,011 miles, while the Osprey climbs at up to 4,000 feet a minute and its armament includes an M240 machine gun.


The V-22 Osprey's operational debut occurred in 2007, when ten USMC MV-22B versions were sent to Iraq.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
A US Air National Guard's F-16C aircraft carrying MALD under its wings

A US Air National Guard's F-16C aircraft carrying MALD under its wings


24 April 2013 airforce-technology.com


Raytheon has been awarded a contract to produce and deliver additional Miniature Air Launched Decoy-J (MALD-J) jammers to the US Air Force (USAF).


Valued at $81.7m, the firm-fixed-price option covers Lot 6 on the Lot 5 contract for supply of an additional 200 MALD-J jammers and containers, along with a ten-year warranty to the air force.


Raytheon Missile Systems Air Warfare Systems vice president Harry Schulte said: "MALD-J adds a jamming capability to the current decoy function of the MALD that disrupts enemy integrated air defence systems using jamming and radar signature technology.


He added: "This weapon will provide unprecedented capability and flexibility to the US Air Force and improve the survivability of our Airmen and their aircraft."


Weighing less than 300lb, the MALD-J is an expendable, close-in jammer designed to degrade and prevent an early warning or acquisition radar from establishing a track on a strike aircraft, while also maintaining the ability to fulfil the basic decoy mission.


Employed from the F-16 C/D Fighting Falcon and B-52 bomber, the unmanned MALD-J is capable of navigating and operating closer to hostile radars compared to the conventional electronic warfare (EW) systems, thus keeping aviators and aircraft away from enemy's path.


Designed to work with and use other EW platforms, the device can function either as a stand-alone system or in pairs, and is also able to loiter in the target area for an extended period of time, ensuring mission completion.


The ADM-160 MALD is an advanced, air-launched and programmable flight vehicle designed to confuse enemy integrated air defence systems, by accurately duplicating all combat flight profiles and radar signatures of the US and allied aircraft in the battlefield.


Manufacturing work will be primarily carried out at the company's facility in Tucson, Arizona, US, however the delivery schedule has remained undisclosed.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
GA-ASI, OMX Team for Canadian RPA Program


April 23, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: General Atomics Aeronautical; issued April 23, 2013)


GA-ASI and OMX Partner to Identify Suppliers for Canada's JUSTAS Program


SAN DIEGO and TORONTO, CANADA --- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. and OMX today announced that the companies have signed a two-year agreement to support GA-ASI’s Industrial Regional Benefit (IRB) efforts to identify and work with Canadian suppliers.


The partnership will strengthen GA-ASI’s and its teammate CAE’s commitment to offer the Predator B and/or Predator C Avenger RPA to meet the Canadian Government’s Joint Unmanned Surveillance and Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) requirements. GA-ASI and CAE, the Montreal-based leader in simulation/modeling technologies and in-service support solutions, formalized their teaming arrangement in May 2011 to meet Canada’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) needs.


“GA-ASI is committed to integrating Canadian suppliers of all sizes into its long-term global supply chain, ensuring real, long-term, high-value, economic benefit to Canada,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI.


Over the past year, OMX has developed the largest, amalgamated structured database in the Canadian defence, aerospace, and security industry. OMX’s database system uses information that is actively gathered, collected, and managed from existing information available on the Internet by a series of proprietary algorithms. The searchable database has been live since December 2012, with nearly 50,000 companies indexed.


The effort to identify, review, validate, and track potential suppliers across Canada, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), is substantial to GA-ASI as entering large acquisition programs can be confusing and expensive for many Canadian suppliers.


“We want every Canadian supplier to have the opportunity to determine its own fate,” added Pace. “Suppliers should be able to manage their own data and its availability to our company and other primes without the need to rely on others.”


Not only does the database allow suppliers to manage their own data, but it also actively searches the Web to bring forward new opportunities for GA-ASI to partner with Canadian suppliers that otherwise might be missed through traditional channels.


“There is a constant “push/pull” relationship between suppliers and GA-ASI,” said Nicole Verkindt, founder of OMX. “The best way for Canadian companies to be noticed, particularly SMEs, is to claim their company profile, update their information, including CCVs, and message GA-ASI directly on the site.”


The database will provide GA-ASI with a centralized location for managing data regarding potential suppliers from anyplace in the world. As a result, data regarding potential Canadian suppliers will no longer be lost within stovepiped organizations. GA-ASI will be able to sort and manage data for potential suppliers by type, size (e.g. can view “SMEs only”), location, services provided, certifications/standards, experience, capacity, CCV percentage, and many other factors.


GA-ASI and OMX are working together to develop a back-end to the supplier-managed database that will enable GA-ASI to have a single location to submit and annotate its own data fields, including contact histories, validation comments, and internal reviews, for companies that are coupled with it. In addition, the future OMX IRB tracking platform will be used to monitor GA-ASI’s successful efforts to create jobs and opportunities in Canada.



General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray Eagle, and the new Predator C Avenger and Predator XP.


OMX is a secure software application for government contractors to manage their offset obligations in the defence, aerospace and security industries. The OMX marketplace provides access to tens of thousands of potential Canadian recipients—including suppliers, investment opportunities and R&D projects—by region, classification and capability.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
General Atomics Demonstrates Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station’s Capability to Fly Predator C

April 24, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


News release from General Atomics:


SAN DIEGO – 24 April 2013 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced that it has successfully demonstrated its Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station’s (GCS’) capability to fly Predator C Avenger®. The flight occurred November 15, 2012 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.


“This flight paired our most advanced GCS with our most advanced aircraft”, said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. “Since 1994, our GCS have amassed over twomillion flight hours. The Advanced Cockpit is the next logical step in GCS progression. Our objective with this GCS is to fully satisfy customer interoperability requirements, enabling any GA-ASI RPA to be flown from the system.”


The goal of this Congressionally-directed, U.S. Air Force (USAF)-supported demonstration was to show that the Advanced Cockpit’s open systems software architecture adapts rapidly for other RPA operations. More than two years ago, the system successfully flew the MQ-1 Predator over a three-month period. In April 2012, the Advanced Cockpit flew the SARC-1 UAS under a jointly funded company effort with Strategic Simulation Solutions. This effort demonstrated the system’s ability to control third party RPA. This summer, the Advanced Cockpit is scheduled to fly Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper.


“Advanced Cockpit’s wrap-around visual display and multi-dimensional moving map dramatically increases situational awareness, while the integrated digital checklist decreases pilot workload,” said Jason McDermott, the test pilot who successfully handed off control of Avenger from GA-ASI’s legacy GCS to the Advanced Cockpit and controlled the flight during a 3-hour mission. “The combination of these unique features greatly increases the ease and simplicity of mission planning, reduces pilot workload, thereby increasing flight safety.”


GA-ASI’s Advanced Cockpit GCS is being designed in accordance with the U.S. Air Force’s Unmanned Aircraft System Command and Control Initiative to enable interoperability with all USAF RPA and the U.S. Department of Defense’s vision for GCS interoperability and commonality as outlined by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Unmanned Control Segment Working Group.


The Advanced Cockpit GCS features intuitive interfaces designed to make hazardous situations easier to identify, enhancing safety and improving the pilot’s reaction time and decision-making processes. Its ergonomic human-machine interface significantly improves situational awareness and reduces workload so the pilot can more effectively and efficiently accomplish his or her mission.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
USAF's first of two F-35A JSF fighters arrives for operational testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, US. Photo: US Air Force photo by Laura Mowry.

USAF's first of two F-35A JSF fighters arrives for operational testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, US. Photo: US Air Force photo by Laura Mowry.

24 April 2013 airforce-technology.com


Northrop Grumman-built multifunction advanced data link (MADL) waveform has successfully demonstrated its ability to advance communication among the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft during flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California, US.


During testing, the MADL joined the communications, navigation and identification (CNI) Link-16 and variable message format network present on an F-35 aircraft, and the data passed was correlated with information from other F-35 sensors by a fusion system to form a simplified situational awareness picture on the cockpit displays.


The testing forms an important element of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Block 2 software release that is designed to offer an advanced mission systems capability at Edwards AFB.


Northrop Grumman Information Systems Defense Systems division vice president and general manager Mike Twyman said the MADL performed reliably and displayed an excellent range at multiples of required specifications, while demonstrating ability to connect fifth-generation fighters during flight tests.


"This success is a significant achievement for the F-35 program and enabling joint aerial concept of operations," Twyman added.


A critical capability of the F-35 CNI avionics, the MADL is a high-data-rate, directional communications link designed to enable coordinated tactics and engagement to help bring significant operational advantages to fifth-generation aircraft operating in high-threat environments.


The CNI system provides F-35 pilots with an equivalent capability of over 27 avionics subsystems, including identification friend or foe (IFF), automatic acquisition of fly-to points, and various voice and data communications, while lowering size, weight and power demands on the aircraft.


Northrop also manufactures F-35's centre fuselage, radar and electro-optical subsystem, mission systems and mission planning software, pilot and maintenance training system courseware, apart from managing the F-35 industry team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.


Currently under production by Lockheed, the F-35 JSF is designed to conduct ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions with stealth capability.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
F-16s Step Up For Tardy F-35


April 24, 2013: Strategy Page


The U.S. Air Force has increased the number of F-16s it wants to refurbish to 1,018. Last year the plan was to refurbish a few hundred of its 22 ton F-16 fighters because their replacement, the 31 ton F-35 was not arriving in time. So far 11 F-35s have been built and another 19 are to be built this year. That’s too slow to deal with number of F-16s that are growing too old to fly. The air force is doing a similar refurb on 175 F-15C interceptors. It may take a decade or more for F-35 production to get to the point where most F-16s can be replaced. Until then the F-16s must be ready to get the jobs done.


This is one of several reasons why many nations upgrade their F-16s. Some of these nations are holding off on ordering F-35s (or cancelling existing orders), either because of the high price or doubts about how good it will be. Aircraft manufacturing and maintenance companies see a huge market for such upgrades. Half or more of the 3,000 F-16s currently in service could be refurbished and upgraded to one degree or another. That’s over $25 billion in business over the next decade or so.


The F-35 began development in the 1990s, and was supposed to enter service in 2011. That has since slipped to 2017, or the end of the decade, depending on who you believe. Whichever date proves accurate, many F-16 users have a problem. Their F-16s are old and year by year more of them become too old to operate.


No matter how late the F-35 is, the U.S. Air Force now plans to refurbish at least a thousand Block 40 and 50 F-16s. The work will concentrate on extending the life of the airframe, plus some electronics upgrades. The air force does this sort of thing frequently to all aircraft models. It's called SLEP (Service Life Extension Program), and this one is special only because it concentrates on very old aircraft and is intended to keep these birds viable for another 8-10 years.


Many air forces are finding that it’s more cost-effective to upgrade via new electronics and missiles and, as needed, refurbishing engines and airframes on elderly existing fighters, rather than buying new aircraft. This is especially the case if the new electronics enable the use of smart bombs or more capable air-to-air missiles. One of the more frequently upgraded older fighters is the American F-16. Even the U.S. Air Force, the first and still largest user of F-16s had always planned to do this with some of its F-16s.


The F-16C was originally designed for a service life of 4,000 hours in the air. But advances in engineering, materials, and maintenance techniques have extended that to over 8,000 hours. Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, F-16s sent to those areas have flown over a thousand hours a year more than what they would in peacetime. The current planned SLEP will extend F-16C flight hours to 10,000 or more.


The F-16 has proved to be remarkably adaptable and is one of the most modified jet fighters in service. The most numerous F-16 is the C model. The first version of this, the F-16C Block 25, entered service in 1984. The original F-16, as the F-16A Block 1, entered service in 1978. While most F-16s still in service are the F-16C, there are actually six major mods, identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60) plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52. Another special version (the Block 60) for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is called the F-16E. The F-16D is a two seat trainer version of F-16Cs. The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars, and many other mechanical, software, cockpit, and electrical mods).


The F-16 is the most numerous post-Cold War jet fighter, with over 4,200 built and still in production. During The Cold War Russia built over 10,000 MiG-21s and the U.S over 5,000 F-4s, but since 1991 warplane production has plummeted about 90 percent. Since the end of the Cold War the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going.


The F-16 can also function as a bomber and ground attack aircraft (although not as effectively as the air force experts would have you believe, especially compared to the A-10). It can carry four tons of bombs and has been very effective using smart bombs. In air-to-air combat F-16s have shot down 69 aircraft so far, without losing anything to enemy warplanes. Not bad for an aircraft that was originally designed as a cheaper alternative to the heavier and more expensive F-15.


Although the F-35 is designed to replace the F-16, many current users will probably keep their F-16s in service for a decade or more. The F-16 gets the job done, reliably and inexpensively. Why pay more for new F-35s if your potential enemies can be deterred with F-16s. This becomes even more likely as the F-35 is delayed again and again. Finally, the upgrade is a lot cheaper, costing less than $20 million per aircraft, compared to over $100 million for a new F-35. If your potential enemies aren’t upgrading to something like that, a refurbed F-16 will do.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 21:35
BAE Australia LHD training center

BAE Australia LHD training center

CANBERRA, Australia, April 24 (UPI)


The Australian navy, in collaboration with BAE Systems, has opened a training facility for Landing Helicopter Dock ships.


The facility, in New South Wales, was officially opened by Minister for Defense Materiel Mike Kelly.


"The opening of this training facility is another example of the effective collaboration between the Defense Materiel Organization, Royal Australian Navy and BAE Systems Australia," he said.


"This facility will train over 700 ADF (Australian Defense Force) personnel to safely operate and maintain the LHDs in anticipation of acceptance by (the) navy of Australia's first LHD NUSHIP Canberra in early 2014 and the acceptance of NUSHIP Adelaide the following year."


The training facility will feature simulated training suites, LHD ship fitted equipment and classrooms.


Redevelopment of an existing government site for the training facility took six months and cost about $5.1 million.


"The facility has the potential for follow-on training and through-life support training and to manage and conduct other future training for the ADF," the Department of Defense said.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 20:40
source Almaz-Anteï

source Almaz-Anteï

MOSCOU, 24 avril - RIA Novosti


Le nouveau système russe de défense antiaérienne de courte portée Morfeï sera adopté par les forces armées du pays en 2015, a annoncé mercredi aux journalistes à Moscou le vice-ministre russe de la Défense, le général Oleg Ostapenko. 


"Le Morfeï n'a pas d'analogue. Je crois que les premiers prototypes de ce système équiperont l'armée russe en 2015", a indiqué le vice-ministre.


En août 2011, le co-président du conseil d'experts pour la défense aérospatiale de l'époque Igor Achourbeïli avait déclaré que le nouveau système serait déployé en 2013.


Le système Morfeï est développé depuis 2007 par le Bureau d'études du groupe russe Almaz-Anteï. D'une portée maximale de 5 km, ce système est destiné à protéger des sites militaires.


La caractéristique unique du Morfeï, qui le distingue des systèmes similaires, réside dans la configuration de son radar. Réalisé en forme de dôme, ce dernier est capable de détecter les cibles dans toutes les directions sans devoir pivoter, indiquent ses concepteurs.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 18:40
Drone Altius - SOURCE humanoides.fr

Drone Altius - SOURCE humanoides.fr

MOSCOU, 23 avril - RIA Novosti


L'Armée de l'air russe créera des unités de drones d'ici trois à cinq ans, a annoncé mercredi son commandant Vladimir Chamanov dans une interview exclusive à RIA Novosti.


"A mon avis, nous accomplirons cette tâche d'ici trois ou cinq ans", a indiqué le général Chamanov.

Orlan-10 UAV

Orlan-10 UAV

"Nos artilleurs, sapeurs et notre défense antiaérienne ont déjà des unités de drones. Des équipes dotées de petits drones portatifs seront ensuite mises en place au sein des unités d'assaut vertical et de l'infanterie de l'air", a ajouté le général.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 17:25
Brazil's Embraer, AgustaWestland drop helicopter plans

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


SAO PAULO — Top Brazilian plane maker Embraer and Italy’s AgustaWestland have dropped joint-venture talks to produce the Anglo-Italian company’s helicopters in the South American country.


A brief Embraer statement on Wednesday said the two companies jointly decided “to terminate negotiations without reaching an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture in Brazil.”


It gave no explanation for why the talks collapsed.


Last January, Embraer said it signed a memorandum of understanding with AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica, to create a joint venture “which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.”


The companies then said preliminary studies had shown strong market potential for helicopters to serve Brazil’s growing offshore oil and gas sector, as well as for executive transport and military craft.


Embraer is the world’s third largest commercial aircraft maker while AgustaWestland is a leader in a number of helicopter markets

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 17:20
MH-60R TOFT cockpit

MH-60R TOFT cockpit

April 24, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


News release from CAE:


TAMPA, FLORIDA–(Marketwired – April 24, 2013) – (NYSE:CAE)(TSX:CAE) – CAE USA today announced that the United States Navy has declared an updated MH-60S “Sierra” operational flight trainer (OFT) as ready-for-training at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island near San Diego, California.


This MH-60S OFT, originally manufactured by Lockheed Martin, was completely upgraded by CAE to add new technologies and ensure concurrency with other MH-60S training devices as well as the operational MH-60S helicopters.


“We were able to complete this major technology refresh on the original MH-60S operational flight trainer on-schedule while working closely with the Navy to ensure minimal training downtime,” said John Lenyo, President and General Manager, CAE USA. “CAE is very proud of the partnership we have established with the Navy on both the MH-60S and MH-60R training programs, and will continue to leverage our experience and world-class simulation technologies to help the Navy lower risk, reduce costs and most importantly, prepare helicopter aircrews for mission success.”


The technology refresh and updates to the fixed-based MH-60S OFT included the addition of motion seats, upgraded image generator visual system, and a new Barco CD2260 visual display system. CAE also performed significant engineering updates to re-architect the hardware and software computing designs to bring this MH-60S OFT to a common architecture with the Navy’s suite of CAE-built MH-60S training devices.


CAE is currently the prime contractor responsible for the design and manufacture of MH-60S OFTs and weapons tactics trainers (WTTs), as well as MH-60R tactical operational flight trainers (TOFTs), for the U.S. Navy. CAE began work on the MH-60S training program in June 2004. At that time, CAE won a competitive procurement to design and manufacture MH-60S OFTs and WTTs. Prior to CAE’s involvement on the MH-60S training program, the Navy had already procured two MH-60S OFTs, including the first MH-60S OFT that CAE has now updated. Since June 2004, CAE has designed and manufactured seven additional MH-60S OFTs as well as five MH-60S WTTs for the U.S. Navy.


CAE is a global leader in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence. The company employs approximately 8,000 people at more than 100 sites and training locations in approximately 30 countries. CAE offers civil aviation, military and helicopter training services in more than 45 locations worldwide and trains approximately 100,000 crew members yearly. In addition, the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy offers training to aspiring pilot cadets in 11 CAE-operated flight schools. CAE’s business is diversified, ranging from the sale of simulation products to providing comprehensive services such as training and aviation services, integrated enterprise solutions, in-service support and crew sourcing. The company applies simulation expertise and operational experience to help customers enhance safety, improve efficiency, maintain readiness and solve challenging problems. CAE is now leveraging its simulation capabilities in new markets such as healthcare and mining. More information can be found at http://www.cae.com.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 12:55
Veillée d'armes chez les industriels de l'armement

24/04/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


C'est inéluctable, le budget de la Défense va encore baisser. Notamment le budget d'équipement, ce qui se répercutera sur l'industrie de l'armement. Toute la question est de connaître l'ampleur des coupes...


«Réduire le budget équipement dès 2014 peut être une bonne pioche pour le gouvernement, car les licenciements chez les industriels interviendront bien plus tard », explique cyniquement un industriel du secteur. « Le temps de l'industrie, qui travaille sur le moyen et le long terme, n'est pas celui du politique, qui gère le court terme », regrette-t-il. D'où les inquiétudes des grands patrons du secteur de la défense, qui ont toutefois pu passer le message, lundi 15 avril à l'Élysée, au cours d'un entretien d'une heure et quart avec François Hollande, qui a été « très à l'écoute et compétent sur les dossiers », selon un industriel. Contrairement à ce qui s'était passé le 10 avril lors du dernier conseil de défense. De quoi ouvrir à nouveau des espoirs pour les industriels de l'armement.


Car ce qu'ils redoutent le plus, c'est une politique de rupture qui changerait le modèle des armées et, donc, sacrifierait des secteurs industriels. « Je n'aimerais pas être le patron de Nexter en ce moment », explique-t-on au ministère de la Défense. Bref, entre une politique de rupture et une cuisine budgétaire habituelle avec étalements et/ou reports de programmes, certes pénible, pour les industriels, il n'y a pas photo. « Depuis plusieurs années, les armées comme les industriels ont appris à ne pas demander tout et tout de suite, analyse un industriel. Ils acceptent des lacunes quand la pensée opérationnelle ou les prio-rités industrielles ne sont pas claires, comme le report pénible du programme de drone MALE, mais sont finalement intelligentes et responsables au plan budgétaire. Peu de couples industrie/client ont su gérer ainsi ce commencement de pénurie, en évitant les désastres. »Mais, à 29 milliards d'euros de budget par an, comme le veut Bercy, la défense ne sait pas faire. « Nous sommes en cessation de paiement car dès 2014 nous aurons un problème de trésorerie immédiat », explique une source proche du dossier. Pourquoi? Parce que comme l'expliquait à l'automne le chef de l'État-major des armées, l'amiral Édouard Guillaud, « la défense est comme un grand navire lancé à 32 milliards d'euros : on ne peut pas réduire sa vitesse aussi rapidement qu'on le voudrait. »Quoi qu'il arrive, la défense ne sera pas épargnée. Déjà, l'État envisage de réduire la cible finale de l'un des programmes les plus emblématiques, le Rafale, laquelle pourrait passer de 286 à 225 appareils à l'horizon 2025. Le ministère de la Défense réfléchit également à baisser ses commandes d'hélicoptères. Récemment, la direction générale de l'armement (DGA) a obtenu un délai de deux mois avant de conclure, ou pas, une nouvelle commande d'hélicoptères de transport NH90 (Eurocopter), qui devait être passée à la fin de mars. Et les directions financières des différents états-majors planchent sur les équipements des armées selon les différentes trajectoires financières encore en cours aujourd'hui. À François Hollande, chef des armées et du combat pour l'emploi, de trancher.


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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 12:50
Fokker secures orders for additional F-35 work valued at 60 M Euros

Apr 24, 2013 ASDNews Source : Fokker Aerostructures


Fokker Aerostructures has signed two contracts for F-35 work with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, collectively valued at 60 million Euros. The two contracts are for the delivery of innovative composite structures including flaperons, outer leading edge flaps and in-flight opening doors for the next batch of 73 F-35 aircraft. This order will guarantee high quality work at the Fokker Hoogeveen site up to 2016, during challenging economic times.


Hans Büthker COO of Fokker Technologies and President of Fokker Aerostructures, adds that “after 50 F-35 aircraft have been delivered and over 80  F-35s aircraft currently in production, it’s encouraging to see that Fokker has once more been selected to deliver innovative products for the next batch of 73 aircraft. With a total estimated production of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft, this is a major opportunity for our company in the decades to come in terms of employment and participation in the most technologically advanced aircraft program,  including proven spill-over effects in our commercial aerospace activities.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
SIAé: livraison du premier fuselage de Rafale M remis au standard 

Le premier fuselage de Rafale M10 remis au standard 


23/04/2013 SIAé


Arrivé le 28 novembre 2011, le fuselage du Rafale M10 a été confié à l’atelier industriel aéronautique (AIA) de Clermont-Ferrand pour un chantier de modification de sa structure permettant une mise au standard F3 (capacité multi-rôles).


Le fuselage au standard F1 (capacité air-air uniquement) a tout d’abord été entièrement «déshabillé» de ses tuyauteries et de ses câblages, puis a subi les quelques 2200 modifications de structure qui le rendent capable de recevoir la «pieuvre» électrique et les équipements du standard F3.


La définition des travaux de modification a été réalisée en comparant les maquettes numériques standard F1 et standard F3 grâce à un outil que l’AIA a fait développer. Environ 500 documents de travail ont ainsi été rédigés.


Le 16 avril 2013, ce fuselage a quitté l’AIA pour être livré à l’usine Dassault d’Argenteuil. Il sera intégré à la chaine de production des avions neufs pour une nouvelle vie. Il est le premier d’une série de 10 devant suivre la même transformation. Deux autres chantiers sont en cours actuellement.


Les AIA sont placés sous l’autorité du service industriel de l’aéronautique (SIAé), rattaché à l’armée de l’air depuis le 1er janvier 2008. Le SIAé a été créé à partir d'actifs industriels qui étaient dispersés dans la direction générale de l’armement (DGA), l'armée de l'air, la marine nationale et l'armée de terre. Le ministère de la Défense a décidé de regrouper ces actifs dans un service unique afin de clarifier l'organisation du soutien aéronautique et de conserver la maîtrise d'une partie du soutien industriel à l'intérieur de la Défense.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
DRS Write-down Drives $1B Finmeccanica Loss

Apr. 23, 2013 - By TOM KINGTON – Defense News


ROME — Italy’s Finmeccanica announced a net loss of €786 million (US $1.02 billion) for 2012 on Feb. 23, due mainly to a write-down of the value of US electronics unit DRS.


Orders dropped 2.2 percent to €16.7 billion, while revenue rose 1 percent to €17.2 billion. The firm forecast revenue would drop in 2013 to between €16.7 billion and €17 billion as it navigates a tight defense market.


After buying DRS for $5.2 billion in 2008, the firm has suffered from a dip in orders as the US pulled out of Iraq and prepares to pull out of Afghanistan. Finmeccanica took a write-down in the value of DRS of €993 million in its 2012 results, as well as a value write-down of €155 million for its Selex EC electronic unit. The company stated that its defense electronics activities in Italy, the UK and the US would see revenue decline in 2013, “but to a large extent in the US market, also following the recent restrictive measures triggered by the sequestration.”


Without the write-downs, the company said in a statement, it would have seen a profit of €362 million in 2012.


A drop in civil transport, missile and underwater systems, energy and space orders was partly compensated for by an increase in orders of military vehicles by Italy, new AW169 and AW189 helicopters and orders related to the Eurofighter, M346 training jet and C-27J transport aircraft.


In a press conference, Finmeccanica CEO Alessandro Pansa said Finmeccanica would begin to reap the benefits of restructuring in 2013, with results already improving at aeronautics unit Alenia Aermacchi due to restructuring.


At DRS, a reduction in orders “and prospective orders” was being countered by a reduction in 3,000 jobs and a reduction in the number of sites, he said. “Profitability remains constant, even the cut in orders, thanks to vigilance,” he said.


Pansa took over Finmeccanica after the arrest of former CEO Giuseppe Orsi in February by magistrates who suspect him of involvement in alleged corruption in the 2010 sale of helicopters to India. The arrest delayed the issue of the 2012 results from March.


Orsi had planned to sell off Finmeccanica’s stake in civil unit Ansaldo Energia to drive down debt, which stood at €3.37 billion at the end of 2012. But the political uncertainty in Italy robbed the firm, which is state controlled, of the political backing it needed to push through the sale.


Pansa suggested on Tuesday he would try and proceed with the sell-off when a new government is formed, likely this week.


“When there is a government it will be the right moment to present our strategy and our economic and financial position and propose solutions and receive suggestions,” he said.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
Crédits A. Paringaux

Crédits A. Paringaux

LONDON, April 23 (UPI)


British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce is selling its interest in the RTM322 engine program for powering Apache, Merlin and NH helicopters.


The sale of its 50 percent interest will be to Turbomeca of France, a member of the Safran group, Rolls-Royce said.


Turbomeca is progressively buying Rolls-Royce shares and will eventually hold sole interest in the program. The deal is worth a total of about $382.5 million in cash.


The sale is expected to be complete before the end of this year, subject to closing conditions.


"Turbomeca will assume full responsibility for the design, production and support of the RTM322 engine, which powers the Apache, EH101 Merlin and NH90 helicopters," Rolls-Royce said. "Rolls-Royce will provide full assistance to Turbomeca during the multi-year transition period to ensure all RTM322 customers continue to receive effective support."


The RRTM Adour engine program which powers the Hawk and Jaguar aircraft, is unaffected by this agreement.

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