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26 avril 2011 2 26 /04 /avril /2011 12:30



Apr 26, 2011 ASDNews - Source : US Air Force


Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan - Many people might not think of the Air Force if they look out onto the rows of helicopters that stretch across the ramps of Kandahar Airfield. Most of them belong to the U.S. Army. A handful, however, belong to the helicopter crew chiefs of the 451st Expeditionary Air Maintenance Squadron. Many of the HH-60G Pave Hawks, the same helicopters that rescued victims from Hurricane Gustav in 2008, now pull people from disaster in Afghanistan, said 1st Lt. James Guthrie, 55th Expeditionary Helicopter Maintenance Unit officer in charge. Many of the helicopters in the Air Force are used for search and recovery missions, or in the case of those at Kandahar Airfield, personnel recovery. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Morabito, a sheet metal and avionics mechanic, mentioned that he sees much more extraordinary wear and tear on Air Force helicopters because there aren't as many of them. More work is demanded of each aircraft. Inevitably, when a helicopter develops issues beyond what the Air Force maintainers can fix at the airfield, it must be fixed at depot, a stage of maintenance where the aircraft can be pulled apart for heavy maintenance, beams cut out and welded back together. If the helicopter is flown back to the United States it may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take several months which would handicap squadron personnel as they work with fewer helicopters. Instead, due to an excellent working relationship, Airmen simply move it across the street. "They do helicopter repair. Deep, depot-level fixes," said Lieutenant Guthrie as he described the Army's Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot, or AVCRAD, a large clamshell tent sitting just off the helicopter ramp. The most common problem is a crack in what the maintainers refer to as the 308 beam, which stretches over the roof of the helicopter and bears the brunt of the 20,000 pounds the HH-60 often carries. A severe enough crack could ground the aircraft and engineers would have the option of authorizing a one-time flight to repair. The Air Force maintainers' relationship with the Army's AVCRAD troops at Kandahar Airfield dates back to 2006, although it evolved as different groups of deployers trickled through. Master Sgt. Douglas Roser, the production superintendent, listed five 308 beam repairs since late 2010, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars saved. "It's a more ideal solution," Lieutenant Guthrie said. "They sat down and did the math for us." He and the superintendents recalled an estimate of $8,000 per 308 beam repair. Each one took about two weeks to twenty days to complete. Their relationship with the Army maintainers across the street has made the repair process much more efficient. "And when we have a cook out, we'll invite them over," Sergeant Morabito said about the friendship the Army and Air Force crew chiefs share. "We're all in this together. We have a good working relationship." And the faster the aircraft are repaired, the sooner they can get back to the pararescue team to help to save lives and fly people to the hospital at Kandahar Airfield. "What the guys do here, rescue crew chiefs, they have a whole different set of stressors," said Lieutenant Guthrie, describing how the HH-60 maintainers work differently. The nature of the pararescue helicopters demand that they be ready to fly at any time, prepared to takeoff within fifteen minutes. The maintainers may have to drop what they are doing at a moment's notice to go the helicopter before it launches. The U.S. Army helicopters may have a different mission from the helicopters across the street, but the airframes are similar enough that they can pool resources to keep them flying. "The only way we'll be successful is if we work together," said Chief Warrant Officer Four Lisa Niner, the AVCRAD production control officer.

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22 avril 2011 5 22 /04 /avril /2011 12:30


Source crossed-flag-pins.com


BELGRADE, 22 avril –RIA Novosti


Les autorités croates ont décidé de livrer 15.000 fusils d'assaut et 300 armes légères d'infanterie aux forces de sécurité afghanes, annonce vendredi un communiqué du gouvernement. Cette décision a été prise "afin de soutenir les efforts de la communauté internationale pour établir et renforcer la paix et la stabilité en Afghanistan". Les détails de la livraison d'armes sont restés confidentiels. Le ministère des Affaires étrangères et le ministère de la Défense croates sont chargés de réaliser cette tâche. La Croatie coordonne plusieurs projets en Afghanistan, dans le cadre du Programme du développement de l'Onu (UNDP) et de façon indépendante. Les deux pays développent activement leurs relations. En février, le président croate Ivo Josipović a effectué une visite officielle à Kaboul. Plusieurs sociétés croates avaient auparavant été mandatées pour la construction d'infrastructures. Près de 350 militaires croates font également partie de la Force internationale d'assistance et de sécurité (ISAF).

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22 avril 2011 5 22 /04 /avril /2011 11:50
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22 avril 2011 5 22 /04 /avril /2011 06:00
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19 avril 2011 2 19 /04 /avril /2011 08:00
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Le véhicule blindé hautement protégé Aravis en Afghanistan. Crédits : ECPAD


18/04/2011 ARMEE DE TERRE


Les militaires du 13e  régiment du génie (13e  RG) du Valdahon armant le détachement d’ouverture d’itinéraire piégé (DOIP) sont rentrés d’Afghanistan le 12 avril 2011.


Le 13e  RG  a été mandaté pour déployer et perfectionner le DOIP en Afghanistan  d’octobre 2010 à octobre 2011. Projeté en Afghanistan depuis octobre 2010, le DOIP est de retour au régiment depuis le 12 avril 2011. 2 autres sections du 13e  RG en assurent la relève. Le DOIP est composé de 2 sections : une section sur Buffalo et une section protection dépollution  (SPD) sur véhicules blindés hautement protégés (VBHP) Aravis . Elles œuvrent de concert sur le théâtre et constituent une capacité unique de l'armée de Terre. Sa mission principale : ouvrir les axes  au profit de groupements ou sous-groupements tactiques interarmes et de convois logistiques. Il s’agit de recherche et de lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés  (IED pour « improvised explosive device ») puis de reconnaissance d’axes pour le désengagement des unités. Au total, près de 5 000 km ont été ouverts ou reconnus en 6 mois sans explosion d’IED après le passage du DOIP.

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18 avril 2011 1 18 /04 /avril /2011 17:30


source lockheedmartin.com


April 18, 2011 - defense-aerospace.com


(Source: Forecast International; issued April 14, 2011)


ARLINGTON, Va. --- The United States will soon send a new type of robotic vehicle to Afghanistan. The unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) will accompany infantry units on patrol in that nation. The U.S. Army began a new initiative in April 2010 called Project Workhorse. This project is spearheaded by the Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF). The new UGV is designed to carry the gear of squads of 9 to 13 soldiers. The REF says it hopes to award a contract for the UGV before the end of April. Testing could begin in the United States during June. This UGV could be in Afghanistan by October. The UGV will demonstrate several modes of operation, including teleoperation, and certain levels of supervised autonomy (follow me, come to me). Lockheed Martin's Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) UGV could meet this need, as could perhaps John Deere's R-Gator.

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18 avril 2011 1 18 /04 /avril /2011 17:00


source army.mil.nz


ASDNews: Apr 18, 2011


The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to Bamyan Province in Afghanistan to support the Provincial Reconstruction Team. "The vehicles bring us the capability we need to keep our personnel safer and operate more effectively in the north eastern area of Bamyan where the security threat is higher," says Commander of Joint Forces, Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell. "While the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team has been able to successfully provide security to the province for eight years now, the north east is the most demanding part of our area of operations and requires a higher level of capability," says AVM Stockwell. "This area of the province was where Lt Tim O'Donnell was killed last year, and it is where we have most often come into contact with armed insurgents." The LAVs that have been deployed have undergone an upgrade programme based on recent allied developments for the vehicle. The upgrade affords a higher level of protection that has now enabled its deployment to the mission in Bamyan. Also, following a successful mobility trial last year in the area and with ongoing improvements to the main roads in Bamyan, the NZ Defence Force has assessed that the LAV is now the best vehicle to provide the optimum mix of protected mobility, firepower and surveillance to meet the mission requirements. "The deployed LAVs offer more protection than the present vehicles we are operating, they have a very effective range of weapons and an excellent optical system for surveillance. We have considered other types of vehicles, but the upgraded LAV provides the optimum protected mobility, combined with other capabilities, for our troops as they go about their tasks of providing security for the civilian population. "The LAVs that we have deployed are state of the art and up there with the most modern derivative of the LAV operated by other defence forces. I am confident that they will do a great job for us in this difficult area, and provide the best protected mobility for our troops to enable them to succeed in their mission."


Source : New Zealand Defence Force

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18 avril 2011 1 18 /04 /avril /2011 13:00



April 18, 2011 defpro.com


IRVING, Texas & LONDON | Fluor Corporation announced that the company and Turner Facilities Management Ltd of Scotland have formed a joint venture to execute current work and pursue additional contracts in infrastructure support and other contingency logistic opportunities that support the United Kingdom’s (UK) armed forces operating in Afghanistan.


The joint venture known as Fluor Turner will support the Ministry of Defence (MOD) by providing infrastructure support services including project management, property services and facility operations and maintenance expertise. By building on Turner Facilities Management’s 25 years of experience supporting the MOD in operational theatres and Fluor’s global U.S. military support in Afghanistan and Iraq, the MOD can expect excellent performance matched with unique field experience.


“We believe a combined Fluor Turner team can more fully support MOD’s objectives and the forces on the ground in Afghanistan,” said Ken Smith, senior vice president of Fluor’s Government Group. “Fluor’s proven track record of delivering key service to more than 65 forward operating bases in Afghanistan demonstrates we are a world class leader in the field. Combining our efforts with Turner will provide the combat forces on the ground with the best range of services each of us has to offer.”


Fluor has already joined Turner Facilities Management working in Afghanistan to support UK forces there.


“We are proud of our work supporting the military in Afghanistan and are already seeing the positive results of working together with Fluor,” said John Laverty, managing director of Turner Facilities Management. “There are many benefits to working more closely together. Fluor Turner is already demonstrating that its combined expertise can assist the MOD by managing its assets in support of the UK’s forces in theatre.”


Turner Facilities Management has extensive experience in operational theatres with important contracts with the MOD including a contract to provide design and project management services in Afghanistan, the regional prime contract in Scotland, the provision of power to Royal Air Force (RAF) Flyingdales and the infrastructure support contract for six RAF stations across the UK.


Fluor has a long history of successful operations in Afghanistan, where it has more than 18,000 personnel working at some 65 forward operating bases under the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP IV). Fluor’s work includes providing multi-functional base life support and combat services support to the U.S. and Coalition Forces and constructing and managing the expansion of forward operating bases in Northern Afghanistan.

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18 avril 2011 1 18 /04 /avril /2011 08:00
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17 avril 2011 7 17 /04 /avril /2011 06:00



Apr 16 2011 By Dave Pugliese Defence Watch


Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, is reporting that NATO and Russia have agreed to establish a Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund for Afghan troops, with Germany as the lead country. The details of the fund came from officials after the two-day NATO foreign minister meeting on Friday. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the fund project will "provide training, spare parts and tool kits for three squadrons of Afghan helicopters."


More from the news agency:

Some diplomatic sources told German Press Agency dpa that Russia is to contribute 3.5 million dollars for the new fund, and Germany will inject 3 million dollars. Turkey, Luxembourg and Denmark also promised small amounts. Rasmussen did not mention detailed contribution of nations in the press conference. Before the meeting, it was reported that the trust fund is for the supply and maintenance of Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, and Russia would receive 367.5 million U.S. dollars from the helicopter supply contract. However, officials did not highlight the supply issue after Friday's meeting, and the fund seemed to be confined to works of maintenance and repair.

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16 avril 2011 6 16 /04 /avril /2011 21:30


source army.mod.uk


Apr 15, 2011 ASDNews


British soldiers battling the Taliban in Afghanistan will get better protection from attacks by insurgents thanks in part to the teamwork shown by the RAF and the Australian Defence Force. Troops in Helmand province have now taken early delivery of the new 20-foot-long (6m) Wolfhound variant of the Cougar armoured fighting vehicle thanks to close co-operation between coalition allies. The RAF's strategic air transport hub in the Middle East is currently a hive of activity due to the Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade taking over from the soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade in Afghanistan who have completed their six-month tour of duty. But an offer of help from the Australian Defence Force to use one of its massive C-17 Globemaster aircraft meant that much-needed specialist vehicles, two Wolfhounds and an armoured repair vehicle were flown in too. Squadron Leader Mark Clulo, Officer Commanding B Flight, 901 Expeditionary Air Wing, said: "The sheer size and weight of each Wolfhound vehicle means the only aircraft capable of moving them is the Royal Air Force's, or in this case, the Royal Australian Air Force's C-17. "This generous offer of assistance from the Australian Government gave us a fantastic opportunity to push these vehicles onto the front line ahead of schedule. The close working relationships we have forged with our Australian counterparts has brought real benefits to this project and future missions." Although both Air Forces operate the same C-17 aircraft, it is not just as simple as driving the vehicle onto the aircraft and then strapping it down. Meticulous planning is required to ensure that the load is evenly distributed to keep the aircraft in balance. This required close liaison between the UK and Australian load teams to ensure that proven UK procedures could apply to the Australian aircraft. Major Lara Bullpitt-Troy, Officer Commanding the Joint Movements Coordination Centre - Middle East Area of Operations, from the Australian Joint Task Force 633, commented: "The opportunity to increase our interoperability has enabled us to enhance the positive relationship we have with the Royal Air Force." Squadron Leader Clulo added: "The support we have received from both the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force throughout this period has been fantastic. Working together, we have overcome some significant obstacles to hopefully provide tangible benefits for troops on the ground in Afghanistan. We have also shared perspectives, along with some merciless sports banter, and paved the way for closer integration in the future."

Source : Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT)

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15 avril 2011 5 15 /04 /avril /2011 21:00


Dans les montagnes d'Uzbin, un membre du 4e régiment de chasseurs de Gap forme un soldat afghan.

Crédits photo : SGC DUPONT Sébastien/ECPAD/DUPONT Sébastien


15/04/2011 Par Vincent VULIN – LeFigaro.fr


REPORTAGE - Sur le terrain, les forces occidentales se retirent peu à peu de certaines régions, ne laissant qu'une poignée d'hommes pour conseiller et encadrer les unités locales.


De notre envoyé spécial dans la vallée d'Uzbin (Afghanistan)


Le lieutenant-colonel Alim expose méthodiquement les termes de la mission: «Dans le village de Chenar, à 3 km d'ici, nous allons effectuer demain une fouille. Attention, la population locale soutient l'ennemi à 80%. C'est aussi une zone de montagnes où les insurgés ont l'avantage. Dans les caches d'armes, nous devrions trouver des AK 47, des RPG et des grenades…» Devant lui est représentée en trois dimensions, dans un bac à sable, la zone d'intervention. Avec une baguette, le militaire pointe les positions qu'occuperont les unités déployées autour du village. Auprès d'Alim, des officiers français, silencieux, prennent des notes. Le kandak 2, le régiment afghan basé dans la vallée d'Uzbin, dirige depuis trois mois les opérations.


Après sa formation de six mois à ­Kaboul, il a été jugé bon pour le service puis affecté en octobre dernier au camp Rocco, où il a vocation à remplacer les soldats français. Il y a peu, le 4e régiment de chasseurs de Gap comptait encore 450 hommes dans la base; aujourd'hui, il n'en reste plus qu'une soixantaine. Leur mission consiste désormais à accompagner le nouveau régiment.

«Présence insurgés»


Malgré le calme apparent, il reste des foyers hostiles en Uzbin, notamment dans la partie nord de la vallée où avait eu lieu en 2008 l'embuscade de Sper Kunday, qui avait coûté la vie à dix Français. Cette contrée montagneuse, culminant à plus de 2500 mètres d'altitude, représente une zone de transit pour les chefs de guerre et les trafiquants d'armes venant du Pakistan et du Meterlam, à l'est. L'activité insurrectionnelle nécessite encore, lors des sorties, l'ensemble des moyens du régiment et l'appui aérien de la coalition.


Au matin, cinq cents hommes, à bord de blindés, prennent position sur les collines de Chenar. Devant ce déploiement de forces, des femmes et des enfants se dressent, un à un, sur les toits plats de leur maison en terre sèche, comme pour indiquer à l'armée les risques qu'aurait une attaque sur les civils.


Sans plus attendre, une section afghane accompagnée de Français descend vers les habitations. Les soldats entament leur progression dans un dédale de ruelles. Rapidement le «radio» reçoit un message: «Présence insurgés, je répète présence insurgés.» Les hommes s'arrêtent. Réfugié derrière un muret, le capitaine français demande des précisions. Sans réponse claire, le groupe reprend sa course. Arrivé au centre de la bourgade, il parvient à rejoindre sans encombre les policiers afghans, appuyés par des gendarmes français.


Des hommes du village, vêtus de chawar kamis et coiffés de turbans, sont venus à leur rencontre. «Nous n'avons rien à voir avec les insurgés, nous n'avons aucune objection contre les forces de la coalition, ni contre l'armée afghane», assure l'un d'eux.


Les commandants des forces afghanes décident d'organiser un conseil avec les chefs de Chenar pour discuter de la situation. En même temps, la fouille commence. Les chiens des gendarmes se mettent à renifler en tous sens, à traquer les odeurs de poudre ou d'explosifs dans une première ferme. Puis une autre est passée au crible. Après plusieurs heures de recherches méticuleuses, l'un des bergers allemands semble enfin découvrir quelque chose. Sous la paille d'une mangeoire est dissimulé un chargeur de kalachnikov rempli de munitions. Maigre butin dans un pays où chaque homme porte une arme.


Pourtant, Mohammed, du NDS (National Directorate of Security), le service de renseignements afghan, est sûr de ses sources: «Les habitants ne sont pas tous des insurgés, mais des jeunes ont ­rejoint l'insurrection. Ils menacent d'ailleurs ceux du village qui ne sont pas d'accord de les tuer. Il y a eu jusqu'à sept habitants chez les rebelles ici, cinq d'entre eux ont été tués au combat.»

Soldats illettrés


Sur les hauteurs, au cimetière, flottent des drapeaux de couleurs vives en hommage à trois «martyrs» tombés récemment au djihad. Aux yeux des militaires afghans, c'est le signe qu'une partie des habitants soutient l'insurrection. Sans preuve formelle, les autorités ne procéderont à aucune arrestation. Mohammed, lui, déplore des fuites au sein des forces de sécurité afghanes: «Je n'ai confiance qu'en 40% d'entre eux. Lorsque nous organisons une opération comme celle-ci, seuls le commandant du régiment et le NDS doivent être au courant. Or, les villageois savaient que nous venions aujourd'hui, c'est évident.»


Malgré le peu de résultat, le lieutenant-colonel Aumônier, qui conseille le colonel du kandak, dresse un bilan positif: «Nous avons montré aux gens que l'armée afghane est capable d'aller de partout. Les soldats afghans ont correctement occupé leur poste et les officiers ont établi un bon contact avec la population, meilleur que ce que nous aurions pu faire.»


En juillet prochain, sept zones doivent être transférées à l'armée afghane. Si les hommes se montrent habiles sur le terrain, le kandak 2, comme la plupart des unités de l'armée nationale afghane, ne pourra probablement pas atteindre à temps le plus haut niveau. Beaucoup de soldats sont illettrés, trop d'officiers éprouvent encore des difficultés à planifier une manœuvre et le régiment ne bénéficiera plus de l'appui des hélicoptères. Avant leur départ, les conseillers militaires français devront adapter les schémas occidentaux aux exigences de la réalité afghane.

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14 avril 2011 4 14 /04 /avril /2011 19:30



14 Apr 2011 By MICHAEL HOFFMAN DefenseNews


The U.S. Marine Corps has failed to deliver the nonlethal weapons that coalition forces in Afghanistan need to reduce civilian casualties and protect troops, said Gen. Joseph Dunford, Marine Corps assistant commandant.


"I've been somewhat disappointed with our inability to take concepts and turn them into enduring programs," he said April 14 at the IFPA-Fletcher Conference on National Security Strategy and Policy in Washington, D.C.



The Marine Corps' Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, Va., is charged with overseeing the Defense Department's nonlethal weapons program. In 2010, the U.S. invested $120 million in nonlethal weapons.


Marine Corps officials focused too much effort developing high-end nonlethal weapons, such as nets designed to stop sea vessels, rather than at the tactical level, where troops need them most, Dunford said.


"What we see now is that our greatest need is at the tactical level with the squads and platoons acting with local people who want to take decisive action but limit the chances that the innocent would be killed or injured," he said.


Dunford said the Marine Corps now has the right team in place at Quantico to develop tactical nonlethal tools and weapons, such as portable vehicle-arresting barriers and nonblinding "dazzling lasers."


As coalition troops train the Afghan Army and police, the demand for nonlethal weapons continues to rise. U.S. leaders hope to give Afghan forces tools to avoid civilian casualties and improve relationships with local leaders.


"The demand for effective nonlethal weapons right now exceeds the inventory and we are not meeting the demand signal that's coming up from the tactical level," he said.

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14 avril 2011 4 14 /04 /avril /2011 19:00


source rheinmetall.de


April 14, 2011 Rheinmetall-Defence - defense-aerospace.com


Germany’s Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply the Bundeswehr with innovative force protection technology, which will soon be providing German troops deployed in Afghanistan with even greater security. The total volume of the two individual contracts, both of which were issued in response to an immediate operational requirement of the Bundeswehr, amounts to around EUR 24 million.


First, Rheinmetall will thoroughly modernize four Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles to provide their crews with effective protection against ballistic threats, landmines and improvised explosive devices; the latter pose a particularly serious danger to ISAF forces in Afghanistan.


At the same time, Rheinmetall has been tasked with providing a pioneering high-tech system for reliably detecting mines and booby traps buried in the soil which will enhance the security of frequently travelled routes as well as protecting convoys. In future, remote control systems will be used for this hazardous task, enabling soldiers to remain in protected vehicles outside the danger zone.


“German Route Clearing Package” – a high-tech system of systems


By the end of 2011, Rheinmetall will supply the Bundeswehr with seven systems as part of the German Route Clearing Package (GRCP). A complete system consists of four vehicles, including one for detection and one for clearing explosive devices, as well as a command vehicle and transport vehicle.


In the GRCP ‘system of systems’, Rheinmetall’s remote control Wiesel, equipped with a newly developed built-in dual sensor with ground penetration radar and a metal detector, will take on the task of detecting mines and IEDs concealed on roads and in open terrain.


The Fuchs/Fox 1A8 armoured transport vehicle will serve as a highly mobile, well protected mobile command post, equipped with workstations for operating the remote control systems as well as systems for evaluating signals from the dual sensor.


Ordered separately, the remote control “MiniMinewolf”, which is already in service with the Swiss Army, will be used for neutralizing hazardous unexploded ordnance. Depending on the mission requirements, the 6-ton vehicle can be equipped with a robot arm, mine plough or bulldozer blade. An integrated video system enables the crew onboard the Fuchs/Fox command vehicle to monitor operations at all times. Made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV), “Multi FSA” logistics vehicles will serve as the GRCP system’s transport vehicles.


Moreover, Rheinmetall is currently developing a manipulator arm for conducting high-precision bomb disposal operations. With an operating reach of over ten metres and a heavy carrying capacity, it will enable verification and disposal of suspicious objects from a safe standoff.


Additional protection package for the Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle The modernization of the BPz 3 Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle includes optimization of its ballistic protection features, crucial for safeguarding the crew from rocket-propelled grenades and light antitank weapons. Furthermore, the floor of the hull is to be reinforced with additional anti-mine protection to shield the crew from blasts occurring under the vehicle, while the vehicle’s flanks will be fitted with special protection elements to attenuate the blast wave caused by roadside bombs.


The extensive overhaul of the Büffel/Buffalo also involves modernizing the vehicle’s C4I systems and improving its ergonomics.


These armoured recovery vehicles, which are mounted on a Leopard 2 tank chassis, are above all required for deployment in Afghanistan where they will be used for recovering and towing tracked vehicles. The heaviest tracked vehicles currently fielded by the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan are the Marder 1A5 infantry fighting vehicle and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.


Rheinmetall has already carried out comparable modernization work on Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles belonging to the Canadian armed forces. Their high level of protection has proven highly effective even in extreme situations.

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source armyrecognition.com


13 Avril 2011 par  Jean-Dominique Merchet


Dans les prochaines semaines, la France va évaluer un micro-drone en Afghanistan : il s'agit du Spy Arrow de Thales, actuellement en expérimentation à la Section technique de l'armée de terre (STAT). Le Spy Arrow pèse environ un kilo et peut voler une dizaine de minutes. Il est transporte dans un sac à dos et permet aux fantassins d'observer ce qu'il y a derrière la colline ou le bâtiment...  Cet engin, qui se lance à la main, est plus petit que le DRAC, déjà déployé dans les Unités de renseignement de brigade (URB). Il correspond au segment inférieur des drone tactiques.

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12 avril 2011 2 12 /04 /avril /2011 21:30


source lockheedmartin.com


Apr 12, 2011 By Paul McLeary AviationWeek.com


By year’s end, some U.S. ground forces in Afghanistan may head out on patrol accompanied by new allies: unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) that can carry more than 1,000 lb. of gear, recharge soldiers’ batteries and follow foot patrols autonomously. Thanks to a U.S. Army initiative begun in April 2010 called Project Workhorse, spearheaded by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF), the service hopes to send UGV to Afghanistan for operational use by October, after a few months of stateside tests. Designed to carry the gear of squads of 9-13 soldiers, the UGV could represent a huge step in the goal of lightening the often 100-plus-lb. load that dismounted soldiers carry on long missions. The REF says it hopes to award a contract for the UGV later this month, allowing the Army to begin testing platforms by June for a deployment date currently slated for Oct. 15. Some basic specifications call for a platform that can carry up to 1,200 lb. of gear and supplies, demonstrate an off-road capability and operate in “several modes of operation to include tele-operation, and certain levels of supervised autonomy (follow me, come to me),” according to Mike Chevlin, deputy product manager for the REF.


While the ultimate size of Project Workhorse remains unclear, Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) UGV is in the running, and there is talk that John Deere’s R-Gator has also been submitted, though the company has not responded to interview requests. Lockheed Martin’s Jim Gribschaw, director of combat maneuver systems, provided more details about the SMSS’s capabilities. Once loaded with extra equipment, it will use its laser radar (ladar) to “paint” the soldier it is assigned to follow. The ladar also can paint people standing around soldiers and follow them as secondary objects, but “not for very long before it stops and sends a signal to the operator that it needs help,” Gribschaw says. Clutter also is not considered much of a problem. During evaluation at Fort Benning, Ga., the vehicle was subjected to tests where two vehicles crossed paths, and the ladar continued to follow the soldier to which it was assigned. One of the big issues with long-duration dismounted patrols is battery power, and the weight and space that batteries take up per soldier to keep his ever-increasing amount of electronics running. In Afghanistan this winter, small solar panels that Marines carried allowed one three-week patrol to shed 700 lb. of battery and rechargeable equipment. Gribschaw says the SMSS can carry six chargers, which reduces its carry weight to 600-800 lb. and the number of extra batteries that soldiers have to carry. During tests with the Army’s NetWarrior system — Land Warrior’s follow-on program — a platoon needed 56 batteries to conduct dismounted operations, but the SMSS was able to recharge on the fly.

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