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8 mai 2011 7 08 /05 /mai /2011 06:00

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May 7 2011 By David Pugliese -  Defence Watch

 

The Bloomberg news agency reporting that the Black Hawk helicopter carrying U.S. Navy SEALs to Osama Bin Laden’s hideout was “downed by an air vortex caused by unexpectedly warm air and the effect of a high wall surrounding the compound, not mechanical failure or gunfire. That is based on information being provided by U.S. officials and a lawmaker.

 

From Bloomberg: “According to two U.S. officials, who praised the skill of the pilot, the chopper lost the lift necessary to hover because it entered a “vortex” condition. At least two factors were at play -- hotter than expected air temperature and the compound’s 18-foot-high walls, they said.

 

The wall blocked rotor blade downwash from moving down and away as it normally would. This caused disturbed airflow to move in a circular, upward and then downward path back through the top of the rotor, causing insufficient lift for the aircraft.

 

The pilot, realizing he had lost lift, landed quickly in a maneuver practiced by pilots to deal with helicopter flight conditions known as “settling with power,” one official said.”

 

Meanwhile, others are focusing on the “stealth aspects” of the helicopter. Those indicate the main “stealth” aspects was noise reduction. Jeff Eldredge, a aerospace engineering professor and acoustics expert at UCLA, told the LA Times, that helicopter noise is extremely complex and requires many approaches to controlling it. "The idea of a stealth helicopter is something of a misnomer," he said. "It is very unlikely this is a helicopter you wouldn't hear coming." But any reduction in noise could provide some tactical benefit, the newspaper noted.

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7 mai 2011 6 07 /05 /mai /2011 22:00

 

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7 mai 2011 6 07 /05 /mai /2011 18:30

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source danger room

 

May 7, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

Demonstrating admirable persistence, the U.S. Air Force has again put its new camera system, Gorgon Stare into service in Afghanistan, and reports indicate that it works this time. That has not been the case until quite recently. Gorgon Stare is a new UAV mounted multi-camera system. It was sent to Afghanistan late last year, where air force users quickly found that the equipment was too unreliable and poorly thought out to do what it was supposed to do in a combat zone. Air force and manufacturer personnel went to work and fixed the problems over the next few months. By March, the multi-camera system was ready for another try.

 

Gorgon Stare consists of two (quarter ton each) pods carried on one of the wing hard points of MQ-9 Reaper UAVs. Current versions of Gorgon Stare contain nine cameras (five day and four night/infrared). Aside from enabling several camera operators to work from one UAV, the camera system also has software to enable covering a larger area, by having the cameras cover adjacent areas. The cameras can also look at the same area, from slightly different angles, and produce 3-D images. Two or more cameras can be used over the same area, at different resolution to, for example, search for a specific individual (who is on the Hellfire hit list), and have another camera focus in on suspect individuals to get a positive identification. The system software also allows for rapidly shifting from one area to another, in response to requests from the ground. Since the RQ-9 operates at higher altitudes (7,000 meters or more), the cameras can zero in on particular patches of ground, over a wide area.

 

The complaints last year included cameras providing poor quality images, and camera movement hardware and software that was unable to stick with people or places operators were trying to keep an eye on. This doesn't mean Gorgon Stare was a failure, it did mean that whoever was responsible for testing the system back in the United States, screwed up. Or maybe someone further up the food chain decided to send Gorgon Stare to a combat zone and test it there (without telling the troops that they were testers, not users). But someone in the air force leaked the unflattering initial user reports, and the media was soon demanding blood (and getting some very profitable attention as a result.) The real story of what was actually going on here will not be nearly as headline-worthy. It might be something as mundane as a clash of personalities, or no one willing to pay for perform adequate testing back in the United States. Reality is rarely as exciting as speculation. But now, Gorgon Stare has been in action for over a month, and users are content with performance.

 

Systems like Gorgon Stare will keep coming, and will be made to work, as they are a way of addressing the UAV shortage. It's always been obvious that method for addressing the shortage is to equip a small aircraft (manned or not) with more powerful cameras, and multiple ones at that, so that the one aircraft can monitor several different ground operations at once. Another method is to install more powerful cameras in smaller UAVs. This has been an ongoing effort, with smaller UAVs having gone through several generations of sensor packages in the last six years. But Gorgon Stare has not gone unnoticed. The army recently developed a three-camera system for their Grey Eagle UAV (an aircraft about the same size as a Predator). Multiple systems are the future, no matter what happened to Gorgon Stare.

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7 mai 2011 6 07 /05 /mai /2011 17:30

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LONDON, May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire

 

Ahead of the annual Counter IED conference in London this June, the ISAF Counter-IED (improvised explosive device) Chief of Staff has stated that he is confident that Afghan forces will be both trained and equipped to a sufficient standard to take on the role of defeating the insurgent devices when coalition forces are eventually withdrawn from Afghanistan. In a recent Defence IQ podcast interview, Lt. Col. Martin Gliniecki of the British Armed Forces and head of the strategy at HQ ISAF to counter the ever-present threat of IEDs, forecast the readiness of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by 2014. "The start of the training is overseen by NTMA (NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan), setting the standards required, so only then will we allow either soldiers or a contractor to train against that requirement, and therefore we are pretty confident that they are trained and assessed to the right competencies," he said. "Certainly no EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) Afghan will be going out without the right equipment if, we as ISAF, as mentors, are doing our jobs properly. "In the timeframe of 2014, we should be able to develop, with our current strategy, the right number of EOD teams with the right capabilities and equipment in time. That's certainly the plan." Gliniecki went on to point out that a decrease in casualties will be an encouragement to Afghan forces when the hand-over takes place. He will be running a live video stream session from Afghanistan at the 5th Annual Counter IED conference to cover these issues in detail. The 2011 event, hosted by Defence IQ, is set to present focused sessions that include analysis by the U.K. MoD on staying ahead of the evolving IED capabilities, U.S. Army insight into the use of forensics to trace networks more effectively, and multinational approaches to training and coordination in order to meet national objectives.

 

The full audio interview can be listened to at http://bit.ly/iS1HC9.

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7 mai 2011 6 07 /05 /mai /2011 12:30

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photo lockheedmartin.com

 

May 06, 2011 SHEPARD GROUP - Source: Lockheed Martin

 

Lockheed Martin recently delivered its 2,000th Symphony jamming system to help protect allied convoys and soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq from the threat of remotely-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

 

Able to simultaneously jam select or multiple electronic signals used to trigger a radio-controlled (RC) IED, the Symphony RC-IED Defeat system is the only jammer of its kind approved by the US government for foreign military sale to allied, coalition and partner nations.

 

The small, vehicle-mounted system is easily installed on and operated from nearly any security force mobile platform to help protect troops in settings ranging from heavy urban neighborhoods to rugged rural terrain. Programmable and easily updateable, Symphony can quickly shift operation to address changes in electronic signal attacks. It also does not interfere with active coalition communications and electronic systems. Symphony is interoperable with other jamming devices used by the coalition in theater.

 

"Our allied warfighters in theater face threats from hidden explosive devices on a daily basis and the Symphony RC-IED Defeat system has proven itself as a significant electronic force protection asset," said Lee Lilly, Lockheed Martin's Symphony business development manager. "Furthermore, by protecting convoy vehicles from RC-IEDs, Symphony actually frees up allied, coalition and partner nation troops to focus more on their counter-terrorism and counter insurgency missions."

 

In March 2010, the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a sole source indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity contract for Symphony RC-IED Defeat jammer systems. The contract award specified an initial task order valued at $40.8 million with a ceiling of $940 million through September 2014.

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6 mai 2011 5 06 /05 /mai /2011 21:00

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source globalsecurity.org

 

May 6, 2011 – defense-aerospace.com

 

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued May 5, 2011)

 

Contrack International, Inc., McLean, Va., was awarded on April 29 a $34,109,701 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the design and construction of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance complex in Shindand, Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Shindand, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of March 12, 2012. Forty-one bids were solicited, with 11 bids received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, Winchester, Va., is the contracting activity (W912ER-11-C-0038).

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6 mai 2011 5 06 /05 /mai /2011 17:30

USMC

 

May 6, 2011 defpro.com

 

WASHINGTON | There’s a peculiar sight on Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The base is one of several in southern Afghanistan where the Marine Corps has set up solar panels and uses solar blankets as sources of renewable energy.

 

Col. Robert “Brutus” Charette Jr., director of expeditionary energy for the Marine Corps, is working to ensure that deploying such sources of renewable energy become standard procedure. But he admits it hasn’t come easy.

 

When 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, received orders last year to deploy to Afghanistan, experiments in environmentalism did not come to mind.

 

“When we told them they’d be taking renewables to the battlefield, they were not amused,” Charette told an audience at an energy, environment, defense and security conference here yesterday.

 

That was before they trained in renewable energy at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- before they’d proven the Corps’ new position that resource efficiency equals combat effectiveness.

 

At first, the Marines grudgingly accepted the solar panels and other renewable energy sources, saying they could go on “a slow boat to Afghanistan,” Charette said. After they trained with the equipment and experienced the efficiency of lighter packs and less reliance on resupplies, they said to put all of it on the planes, he said.

 

“That’s when I knew we had something,” he added.

 

Today, at least two forward operating bases in Afghanistan are powered entirely by solar energy, and several others get at least 90 percent of their energy from the sun. Marine Corps leaders are so pleased with the outcome that they’ve written renewable energy into training plans and doctrine -- something Charette said he hopes will become joint practice with other services.

 

“Today on the battlefield, we treat energy and water like it’s air, like it will always be there,” Charette said. “Logistics guys do such a tremendous job supplying warfighters that we don’t pay attention.”

 

The colonel added there still “are a lot of gaps to fill” to create an environment where the services have a steady supply of renewable resources from industry, and a system in place for fielding, training and using them.

 

“We need a methodical approach to doing it,” he said.

 

The results on the battlefield, though, are good enough to be an incentive. Six solar panels at Forward Operating Base Jackson can keep at least 17 computers and 15 lighting units running throughout the night. A Marine company on a three-day foot patrol uses solar blankets in place of radio batteries, savings hundreds of pounds from packs and thousands of dollars, Charette said.

 

When Marines in Helmand were given a solar refrigerator that kept water at 40 degrees on a 130-degree day, he said, the unit ordered 10 of them.

 

As an enduring example of the Marines’ energy initiatives in Helmand, they have shared their findings -- and equipment -- with local Afghans. “Without energy, they’re never going to be able to stand on their own,” Charette noted.

 

While Helmand residents “showed no interest in biofuels,” he said, they like the solar panels and blankets, which are providing much-needed energy.

 

By 2025, the Marine Corps plans to cut in half the amount of energy each Marine consumes on the battlefield. By writing alternative energy uses into service policies and procedures, Charette said, “it ensures we truly do change the way we do business.”

 

 

----

Lisa Daniel

American Forces Press Service

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 17:00

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May 5th, 2011 By USArmy – DEFENCE TALK

 

Afghanistan: They call it "Tiger University" - a set of classrooms in Kandahar where Soldiers can take a radio crash course before returning to their posts. In groups of no more than 16, they receive training on the AN/PRC-117G, a wireless multimedia radio allowing troops to exchange large chunks of tactical data, such as video and biometrics. "It's got some new capabilities that Soldiers are unaware of, or not quite sure how to leverage to better use the radio," said Zaphir Shamma, who leads the 117G training in Afghanistan's Regional Command South. "It's our job to educate them on the new bells and whistles." When the Army sends sophisticated equipment to the battlefield on an accelerated schedule to meet urgent operational needs, troops and their trainers often improvise with solutions like "Tiger U." The "university" was set up by the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, or ESB, and teaches classes on the 117G and other cutting-edge tactical communications technology. Soldiers also receive over-the-shoulder training in their vehicles when Shamma's team, from the Army's Project Manager Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, or FBCB2, travels to forward operating bases to install the radios. The FBCB2 team is nearing completion of fielding approximately 2,000 AN/PRC-117G radios to Afghanistan in response to multiple Operational Needs Statements, known as ONS, all of which document where the 117G's capabilities fill current mission capability gaps.

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 08:00

 

05 .05.2011 by DEFENSETECH

 

Here you have it; the artists’ renderings of what the secret helicopter that crased during the raid to kill Osama bin Laden might look like have begun to surface. Since the only photos of the beast to emerge so far show only the tail section, the drawings are pretty much based on imagination and educated guesswork, but they’re still entertaining.

 

The first one, found on David Cenciotti’s blog, shows a chopper (we’ll call it the Stealth Hawk) that’s so souped up it’s pretty much a brand new helo save for the size and general shape. It makes the tricked out Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk look primitive in comparison.

 

Here’s another image found on the militaryphotos forum. It’s a bit more conservative, sticking the stealthy-looking tail found at bin Laden’s mansion onto a fairly standard H-60 airframe.

 

Enjoy and please send any other renderings you can find our way.

 

 

Here’s yet another take on what the bird could look like via the secretprojects forum:

 

And here’s the first Chinese take I’ve seen:

 

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4 mai 2011 3 04 /05 /mai /2011 18:00

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04 May, 2011 defense-aerospace.com

 

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued May 3, 2011)

 

Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Ellicott City, Md., was awarded on May 2 a $49,107,559 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The award will provide for the operational support services for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va.; Afghanistan; and Iraq, with an estimated completion date of May 10, 2013. Four bids were solicited with three bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-08-D-0024).

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4 mai 2011 3 04 /05 /mai /2011 06:00

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May 3rd, 2011 DEFENSETECH

 

Britain’s The Daily Mail newspaper may have found a very, very significant clue as to how those MH-60s managed to penetrate Pakistani airspace during sunday’s mission to kill Osama bin Laden. The answer; the weren’t MH-60s, at least not regular MH-60s. The picture above shows what’s alledgedly the wreckage of that U.S. chopper that crashed in Osama’s compound due to mechanical problems. It sure doesn’t look like any variant of the Black Hawk that I’ve seen. Maybe it’s a new stealth variant of the bird or maybe it’s an entirely new class of chopper. It could be both stealthy and fast enough to evade Pakistani air defenses that were apparently scrambled during the operation. (See our earlier post on how the RQ-170 Beast of Kandahar may have helped jam Pakistani air defense networks.)

 

Yesterday, I posted the photo below of the tail section of the craft draped over a wall in Bin Laden’s compound. While it looked pretty much like a Black Hawk tail, I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what the weird, flat piece of wreckage emerging from the tarp was. I just assumed that the airframe had been mangled badly enough that it looked weird. It could very well be some sort of shield designed to reduce the radar signature of the tail rotor. The possibility of a stealthy chopper being used in the raid explains why the Pakistani troops where in such a hurry to cover up all of the wreckage with blankets and cart if off so quickly. Who knows if this is the Pakistani cooperation White House officials said they received for the mission? or maybe the PAF just scored a major tech boost. Good on Steve Trimble for spotting this.

 

http://images.defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/black-hawk-bin-ladenraid1.jpg

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 18:30

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May 3rd, 2011 DEFENSETECH

 

Here’s a question many readers have been asking; how did four helicopters, likely from the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, make their way inside Pakistan’s air defense intercept zone and carry out a 40-minute raid before the Pakistani military could react?

 

The answers are myriad. One theory in circulation is that the Predator drone reported to have been involved in the attacks wasn’t a Predator at all. Instead, it was the Air Force’s secret, stealthy-looking RQ-170 Sentinel better known as The Beast of Kandahar. The Sentinel famously earned its nickname after being spotted numerous times operating out of Kandahar International Airport in southern Afghanistan. When the Air Force finally acknowledged its existence, all it would say was that the drone was that is supports “combatant commander needs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to locate targets.” Still, many wondered why the air force was using such an advanced drone for this mission in a country where the U.S. enjoyed total air superiority. Can’t regular drones handle ISR missions in Afghanistan? Theories abound that the stealthy-looking plane is actually being used to snoop on neighboring Iran or Pakistan. Some have even postulated that the numerous humps found along the airframe house a variety of electronic warfare gear, the type of gear that could be used to confuse Pakistani air defenses during a raid like the one on Sunday. As Steve Trimble at the DEW Line notes, it may have also been used to provide the White House and other mission planners with real time video of the raid.

 

Or maybe, the plane is just in Afghanistan to be field tested in more realistic conditions than those found over the Nevada Test and Training Range, as some say.  This leaves other possibilities as to how the U.S. snuck up to 80 men into a garrison town a little more than 30-miles from Pakistan’s capitol.  Could it be, the “cooperation” that White house officials say Pakistan provided on the mission included turning a blind eye to the four helos and one drone? Still, the New York Times is reporting that Pakistani troops were scrambled upon literally hearing the commotion going on in Abbottabad. ABC news also reports that Pakistani fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the American choppers. They obviously didn’t arrive in time to do anything about the mission.

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 16:45
team 6.jpg
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A découvrir sur le site du Washington Post, un sujet intitulé "Closing in on Bin Laden" qui relate les préparatifs et le déroulement de l'attaque lancée dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi sur la villa (voir la vue 3D ci-dessus) qui abritait le fondateur d'Al Qaida.

Une attaque menée, selon le quotidien, par des éléments de l'US Navy Special Warfare Development Group (ex Seal Team 6), une "black unit" basée à Damn Neck, près de Virginia Beach (Virginie) et qui appartient à l'USSOCOM. Mais cette unité, l'US Navy Special Warfare Development Group, s'occupe avant tout du développement des techniques d'assaut et l'évaluation des tactiques et matériels. C'est donc plutôt des hommes des groupes 1, 2, 3, 4 ou 11 (NSW Group) qui ont opéré au Pakistan.

Cette unité qui se serait entraînée pendant le mois d'avril à Bagram, la base aérienne au nord de Kaboul, a lancé l'assaut aéroporté qui a conduit à la mort d'OBL.

 

Pour en savoir (un peu) plus sur cette unité, consulter :

-le site de l'USSOCOM: http://www.socom.mil/SOCOMHome/Pages/NAVSPECWARCOM.aspx 

- et celui du Naval Special Warfare Command: http://www.navsoc.navy.mil/index.html.

 

 

nswc.jpgLe site du Naval Special Warfare Command donne un organigramme de l'unité dont les membres reçoivent des primes de 490$ par mois selon un recruiting brief officiel.

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2 mai 2011 1 02 /05 /mai /2011 11:30

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May 2, 2011 By Tamir Eshel DEFENSE UPDATE

 

The ten years long chase after al Qaeda leader is over. Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by U.S. operatives. The number one international terrorist was located in a new (five year old) compound located at the town of Abottabad in Pakistan, about 50 km north of the capital Islamabad. The raid, conducted by U.S. operatives took under 40 minutes. The forces arrived at the scene by helicopters, one was lost in the fight. Bin Laden and his guards resisted the assault force; a woman was used as a human shield but doesn’t appear to have died in the firefight. Bin Laden’s adult sons and two couriers were killed in the raid. The body was recovered by the US military and is in its custody. Bin Laden’s  identity was confirmed by DNA samples taken from the body, compared with DNA samples on record from his dead sister. The operation was the result of eight months of intelligence work, with Obama giving the order to carry out the operation last week. It is assumed that the operation was CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command. After failing to capture Bin Laden in Tora Bora, in South-Eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. launched a massive campaign lead by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launching attacks against suspected al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. To support the campaign the CIA has established its own intelligence network inside Pakistan’s tribal areas, ‘assisted’ by unenthusiastic support from the Pakistani intelligence service. Obama said that the operation couldn’t have happened without Pakistani cooperation. But the senior administration official says that the Pakistanis didn’t know about the raid until after it occurred, citing the need for the “utmost operational security.”

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2 mai 2011 1 02 /05 /mai /2011 11:30

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May 2, 2011 ASDNews Source : MoD Australia

 

The fourth rotation (ROT 4) of Australia's Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Detachment in Kandahar, Afghanistan, has set a unit record for monthly flying hours. Commanding Officer Heron RPA Detachment - ROT 4 Wing Commander Greg Wells said his personnel had achieved 475 hours during April. "This exceeds the efforts of previous Heron rotations and means we have reached a point where we are able to achieve a significant amount of time on station providing an all-important 'eye in the sky' for our troops," Wing Commander Wells said. "One of the advantages of Heron is it can stay airborne for a very long time. We deliver enhanced situational awareness to our soldiers, which is vital in helping them achieve their mission on the ground." "The success of Heron is a combination of both smart technology and people. A typical Heron mission involves a lot of work from a very small team of specialists, ranging from engineers to intelligence officers, imagery analysts and pilots." The Heron team comprises 28 Australian and New Zealand Defence Force personnel. The tri-service unit has logged more than 4600 total flight hours since beginning operations in January last year. Dubbed 'Bluey' by the Australians, the Heron can fly for up to 24 hours and is a key asset in the conduct of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in the Afghanistan theatre of operations. It helps to protect Australian and Coalition forces, as well as Afghan civilians, from insurgent activity, including the laying of improvised explosive devices. Information collected by the Heron is analysed and processed in real time. This means the commander has the benefit of having eyes on a target to build a more accurate picture of the battlespace. Heron are operated from a ground base, controlled by trained pilots and can withstand a range of weather conditions. "Every suspicious activity we investigate and every improvised explosive device activity we identify is potentially a life saved," Wing Commander Wells said. "We are very proud of the record-breaking milestone the team has achieved this month, and we will continue to push our performance to exceed this in the future." Heron ROT 4 currently operates three airframes forming part of a larger International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) RPA capability in Afghanistan. The Australian Heron RPAs are unarmed.

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2 mai 2011 1 02 /05 /mai /2011 08:00

Australia DoD

 

29 Apr 2011 MECC 163/11 Australia Minister for Defence

 

The Afghan National Army (ANA) Artillery Training School in Kabul has reached an important milestone with its first graduates joining Afghan and ISAF combat elements in Kandahar Province. Commanding Officer of the International Artillery Training Team – Kabul (ATT-K), Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Kane Mangin said that the school’s first intake had been a success. “This is an important month for the school because our first group of graduates has been formed into the first of the newest batteries of the ANA artillery,” LTCOL Mangin said. “The graduates deployed to Kandahar in early April and with a bit of extra training they will be into the fight later this year.” The school, mentored by the Australian led ATT-K, prepares Afghan soldiers to become skilled artillerymen and is an important step towards Afghan security forces taking full responsibility for security in the coming years. “The ATT-K comprises six member nations and our collective task is to implement and develop the school of artillery for the ANA,” LTCOL Mangin said. “Our mission is to spread the capability of the ANA Artillery Branch across Afghanistan.” Australia currently has 20 artillery trainers mentoring Afghan instructors at the school, which officially opened in October 2010. Although training includes live firing of the ANA’s D-30 Howitzer guns and rigorous gun drills, an important aspect of the school curriculum is to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills. The national literacy rate in Afghanistan is around 28% but for recruits it is only 14%. Therefore, these skills are key to professionalising the Afghan National Security Forces, and are highly valued by the students. The ANA Artillery Training School was the first military school in Afghanistan to develop and run a literacy program for its students. “Most of the soldiers we receive come straight off the street and cannot read or write,” LTCOL Mangin said. “Artillery is a technical trade requiring literacy and numeracy skills so we implemented a literacy program which gives our trainees basic fundamentals to do the job.” At any one time, the school typically has 440 students attending one of nine different courses. The goal for the school is to provide artillery training to approximately 2100 officers and soldiers over the next twelve months, which translates to approximately 23 artillery batteries for the ANA. The creation of these newest batteries indicates progress is being made and the future for the ANA Artillery branch is looking positive.”

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29 avril 2011 5 29 /04 /avril /2011 11:30

DefenseNews

 

28 Apr 2011 By GERARD O'DWYER DefenseNews

 

HELSINKI - Sweden's Armed Forces (SAF), in collaboration with the state defense materials procurement organization FMV, has begun installing new Friendly Force Tracking Command and Control Systems (FFT-CCS) for Swedish forces in Afghanistan that incorporate a single network linking all SAF units attached to the Afghan operation. The FFT-CCS includes a shortwave radio and IP-based telecommunications systems that improve situational awareness and give the CCS a complete picture of the location and movement of not just Swedish forces, but other troops attached to the U.N. contingent and also hostile forces. The FFT-CCS' operating platform comprises a computer to display location information, a satellite terminal and satellite antenna to transmit location and other military data, a GPS receiver, command-and-control software, and mapping software. The FFT-CCS also supports the dissemination of information and secure voice communications over long distances. "It is also possible to access and share information in real time between the different units in Afghanistan. It becomes a shared network rather than a network where each unit was an island, which was the case previously," said FMV's project leader, Jonas Gräf. The initial installations are being deployed with the SAF's mechanized battalion based in Mazar-e-Sharif, the SAF's Forward Operating Base in Camp Shibirghan and the Army Helicopter Unit stationed at the German base in Marmal outside Mazar-e-Sharif. Sweden launched a battle labs cooperation the NATO C3 Agency (NC3A) in March 2010, which included a task order from FMV under the NATO-Sweden C4I memorandum of understanding that centered on improved integration of FMV's battle laboratory into NATO's federated battle laboratories framework. The first phase of the cooperation involved NATO's Battle Laboratory Services Team instructing FMV about the Distributed Networked Battle Labs framework and the potential to develop options to support friendly force tracking and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance testing in cooperation with the NC3A.

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28 avril 2011 4 28 /04 /avril /2011 18:00
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http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8E66CDD2-F4F4-467F-8791-F65972CE0312/0/110322A1999018.jpg

 

28 Apr 11 UK MoD - A Defence Policy and Business news article

 

A team from the MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has recently deployed to Afghanistan to help shape future NATO operations there.

Afghanistan stabilisation study meeting International teams gather at HQ ISAF Joint Command in Kabul to conduct a stabilisation study using a programme devised by Dstl scientists

[Picture: Sergeant Chris Hargreaves, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011] The Dstl team helped facilitate the planners of HQ ISAF Joint Command by using the Peace Support Operations Model (PSOM) to support the decision-making and military training required for future operations. The PSOM had previously been used in support of HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Exercise Arcade Fusion in 2009. Colin Marston, team leader and a senior analyst for a stabilisation study working for Dstl, describes the PSOM as a computer programme designed to bring together different human elements and inputs and return various outcomes that planners can then use to further sync plans and operations. The team from Dstl, which were all volunteers, delivered the PSOM during a week-long conference held in Kabul's International Airport. It brought together over 150 key personnel from across Afghanistan to discuss and plan for operations there from now through the next winter.

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28 avril 2011 4 28 /04 /avril /2011 12:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Afghan_Air_Corps_Mi-35_helicopters.jpg/800px-Afghan_Air_Corps_Mi-35_helicopters.jpg

photo Angelita Lawrence, U.S. Air Force

 

April 28, 2011 defpro.com

 

Thanks to the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund, the Afghan Air Force is receiving the tools to operate its helicopter fleet more efficiently.

 

Launched on 2 March 2011, the NRC Trust Fund is managed in accordance with established policy and under the overall supervision of the NRC Preparatory Committee, with Germany acting as the Lead Nation. The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), as Executing Agent, is responsible for all aspects of executive management. Russia, Denmark, Luxemburg and Turkey have already contributed to the project, which amounts to a total of 5 million USD.

 

Operations in remote, hard-to-reach areas of Afghanistan rely heavily on helicopter support for the safe movement of troops and supplies. Created in 2008, the Afghan Air Force currently numbers more than 4,000 personnel and 56 aircraft, including 35 Mi-17 and 9 Mi-35 helicopters. It is on its way to becoming a professional, operationally capable and sustainable force of 140 aircraft and more than 8,000 personnel by 2016. Now, that goal looks closer than ever thanks to the Trust Fund. The Fund provides a vitally-needed maintenance and repair capacity, including the provision of spare parts and technician training, to the Afghan Air Force helicopter fleet.

 

Airlift and air power are essential elements of the Afghan counterinsurgency. Combined helicopter gunship and light fixed attack capability allows Afghan security forces to launch largely independent operations. The Afghan Air Force has also established an airborne medical evacuation capability, providing specialised emergency medical care in remote areas. In addition, search and rescue operations allow life-saving help to reach victims of natural disasters, such as following the Salang Pass avalanche and during recent floods in Kandahar. Meanwhile, the airlift of government leaders into remote provinces provides a valuable link to rural communities while giving the population a chance to have their voices heard.

 

The NRC Trust Fund on Helicopter Maintenance is not only another important step towards expanding Afghan ownership of security responsibility; it is also a clear sign of Russia and NATO’s joint commitment to increased stability in Afghanistan.

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 19:30

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Photo : armée de terre

 

27 Avril 2011 par Jean-Dominique Merchet

 

Le nouveau missile sol-sol de l'armée de terre, le Javelin américain, arrive en Afghanistan, nous apprend le ministère de la Défense. Il y équipera les deux GTIA, armés par le 152ème régiment d'infanterie et par le 1er régiment de chasseurs parachutistes. L'essentiel du parc commandé (76 postes de tir et 260 missiles) sera déployé en Afghanistan, le restant servant  à l'instruction à Canjuers, au sein du 1er régiment de chasseurs d'Afrique, et à l'Ecole de l'infanterie de Draguignan.

 

Le Javelin est un missile antichar, mais sera utilisé en Afghanistan pour l'attaque de cibles terrestres comme l'est déjà le Milan. Le Javelin est un missile tir et oublie, qui permet au tireur de se camoufler dès qu'il a ouvert le feu, contrairement au Milan qui doit être guidé tout au long du vol. La portée d'un Javelin est de l'ordre de deux kilomètres. Il peut être tiré selon deux modes : soit par une attaque directe, soit par une attaque par le haut. Le missile est équipé d'une charge tandem, permettant de traverser les blindages.

 

La décision d'acheter ce missile américain sur étagères a fait l'objet de nombreux débats dont nous nous étions fait l'écho sur ce blog, ici, là et encore là. Il y a d'abord eu un bras de fer entre la Défense et l'industriel MBDA qui souhaitait placer une nouvelle version de son Milan. Puis l'armée de terre, qui préferait le Spike ER de l'israélien Rafael a du s'incliner devant la décision d'acheter américain, auprès de Raytheon/Lockheed-Martin.

 

A l'automne 2009, le chef d'état-major de l'armée de terre annonçait l'acquisition de 380 missiles, alors que le ministère de la Défense ne parle plus aujourd'hui que de 260. Ce qui fait moins de quatre missiles par poste de tir...

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 18:00

http://www.atk.com/CorporateOverview/images/armament_nonstandard.jpg

source atk.com

 

MINNEAPOLIS, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire

 

ATK has received more than $16 million in non-standard (non-NATO) ammunition orders through a multi-year contract with the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Rock Island, Ill.  Orders on the multi-year contract have totaled more than $177 million since it was awarded to ATK in December, 2008.

 

The ATK-provided supplies are critical for Afghan and coalition security forces to respond to internal and external threats. Under this contract, ATK provides technical oversight, quality assurance and supply chain management necessary to deliver non-standard small, medium, and large-caliber ammunition; aviation rockets; grenades; and mortars to Kabul, Afghanistan.  In the two years ATK has been supplying non-standard ammunition and weapons to Afghanistan, deliveries have been consistently ahead of schedule.

 

"International growth is a key part of ATK's strategy," said ATK Armament Systems President Karen Davies, "and our ability to win this business and perform above expectations supports that effort."

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 17:00

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April 27, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

The U.S. Navy has sent three of its RQ-8A Fire Scout helicopter UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) to Afghanistan, to provide aerial reconnaissance. This is an interesting development, as the American military has not had a lot of success with helicopter UAVs. Two years ago, the U.S. Army cancelled its RQ-8B Fire Scout UAV project. It just didn't work out.

 

But the navy kept theirs. The U.S. Navy remains interested in Fire Scout, and they have developed, and put into use, their own RQ-8A version. The RQ-8B died because the army already had plenty of UAVs that got the job done. The navy kept Fire Scout because helicopters are more practical on most navy ships (for landings and takeoffs.) Navy Fire Scouts has been successfully used on frigates (in both the Atlantic and Pacific). There is a huge demand for UAVs in Afghanistan, so the navy sent what it could.

 

The 1.5 ton Fire Scout is based upon the Schweitzer 333 unmanned helicopter, which in turn is derived from the Schweitzer 330 commercial lightweight manned helicopter. Fire Scout has a payload of 272 kg (600 pounds), a cruising speed of 200 kilometers, max altitude of 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) and endurance of eight hours. The U.S. Navy currently has eight RQ-8Bs and plans to acquire another 160 of them. The three in Afghanistan are being operated by contractors.

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 06:00

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CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 26(UPI)

 

Skydex Technologies of Colorado has opened an office in Kabul, Afghanistan, to supply its blast-mitigation products. The office comes with a partnership with Parks Global Solutions LLC, a management consultancy, in Kabul to be the regional marketing and sales office to supply its products more swiftly and efficiently to U.S. and Afghan forces on the ground. "International shipping takes time and trouble," said Skydex Chief Executive Officer Mike Buchen. "Having our products on the ground near the troops allows us to get them the protective gear they need almost immediately."

 

Skydex products in use in Afghanistan include helmet pads, body armor, seat cushions and blast-mitigating convoy floor decking that has been installed on thousands of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. "We are excited about this partnership between PGS and Skydex. Now U.S. and Afghan national army forces throughout Afghanistan will have quick and easy access to Skydex's life-saving products and technology," said PGS President Gerald Parks. "With our extensive marketing and sales expertise within the region, and our commitment to promoting Skydex products, we will expand their presence within the marketplace and streamline the sales and delivery processes."

 

Skydex said independent testing done to NATO protection standards demonstrates that Skydex convoy decking greatly reduces the threat of lower leg injuries by diminishing the force of an improvised explosive device blast reaching personnel aboard an armored vehicle. The testing indicates that at a typical blast force of 13 yards per second, personnel aboard an armored vehicle without Skydex convoy deck face a 100 percent chance of injury. Adding Skydex decking reduces the chance of injury to about 10 percent.

 

Skydex is a privately held technology company with headquarters in Centennial, Colo.

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26 avril 2011 2 26 /04 /avril /2011 17:00

 

Royal Artillery Regiment Focuses on Afghanistan Surveillance - video

 

26 April 2011  UK MoD

 

A Royal Artillery regiment has introduced a radical series of measures to help it train and operate in its surveillance role in Afghanistan.

 

The existing 3 Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) batteries of 26 Regiment Royal Artillery have been boosted by a fourth battery to allow troops to rest and train between frequent tours on Operation HERRICK.

 

And a new high tech STA training facility is putting soldiers through their paces as they come together in deployable teams.

 

The rebalancing of the regiment has allowed it to focus on its important and immediate job on contemporary operations, rather than maintaining its conventional war-fighting role.

 

The regiment sends a different battery to Afghanistan every 6 months. Before, troops had only 12 months between tours, which placed strain on them and their families. The regiment has now been augmented by soldiers from other units.

 

The rapid operational cycle also meant the regiment could not fully integrate with the Brigades and battle groups that supports. Now they are able to train together 9 months before deployment, a massive improvement.

 

The STA training facility is another big step forward. Introduced just 6 months ago, it has been used extensively to train soldiers not just in the operation of the surveillance cameras, but in how best to use the information they find.

 

Meanwhile, equipment training courses have been expanded, and more kit is available for use as maintenance turn-around-times have improved.

 

It's all part of Operation ENTIRETY, a series of measures aiming to focus resources on training for missions in Afghanistan.

 

Bombardier Eugene Delande believes the improved equipment courses are really making a difference: "Previously, you struggled. You really just got out there and had to crack on," he said. "But now we run courses of up to 3 weeks so the guys are getting a lot of practice and information."

 

The commanding officer of 5 Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hayhurst is impressed with they way his soldiers have responded: "What we're asking a Bombardier or Lance Bombardier to do, 5 years ago would have been done by a Staff Sergeant. They find it challenging, but they can do it," he said.

 

"What Op ENTIRETY has given us is the opportunity to better train and support them," he added. "And I think there is no doubt about it, some of the surveillance systems that are out in Afghanistan are now saving lives on a daily basis."

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