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23 mai 2011 1 23 /05 /mai /2011 19:00

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/casa-c295-torpedo_400x266.jpg

 

23 May 2011 by Leon Engelbrecht defenseWeb

 

Airbus Military is keen to propose its aircraft range for the South African Air Force's Project Saucepan requirement for new maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft. Air Force chief Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano earlier this month said the programme had been “pulled to the left” by the increased threat of piracy in southern Africa's eastern littoral waters.

 

"I think we have the best product in the world and I believe we could win the programme if we are given the chance to compete," said Airbus Military CE Domingo Ureña. Speaking at a company trade media briefing (TMB) in Madrid on Wednesday he added "We will be ready to compete."

 

Project Saucepan should finally see the SAAF replace its 68-year-old Douglas C47 Dakota aircraft in the maritime surveillance role, a requirement Gagiano says is now both “urgent and important”.

 

The SAAF received its first C47s in 1943 and they were employed as transport in the Italian campaign of World War Two as well as for ferry duties in the Mediterranean theatre. The aircraft remain in service with 35 Squadron, based in Cape Town, with medium transport as well as maritime patrol duties. In the latter role it replaced the Avro Shackleton MR3, the last purpose-designed antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, in SAAF inventory from November 1984.

 

But it is not yet clear what the requirement is. Brigadier General Tsoku Khumalo, the SAAF's director transport and maritime told the defenceWeb maritime security conference in Cape Town in October 2009 that the SAAF was contemplating five specialised Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and eight cheaper general-purpose Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). At the time he said the new aircraft would have to be cost effective, sustainable, appropriate and offer a growth path. It would further need to be capable of inshore, coastal and deep-sea exclusive economic zone patrol as well as search-and-rescue (SAR) work. To support naval operations they would also require an ability to engage in antisubmarine and surface warfare.

 

The new MPA would in addition require the ability detect, track, classify and identify surface targets and in wartime to engage the same with onboard weapons, he added. Khumalo noted the SAAF realistically required 12 to 14 MPAs but these were very costly and the budget needed likely prohibitive. Other than having a maritime role the aircraft also needed to have a transport function and would also replace the C47, Airbus Military C212 and C235 aircraft; Khumalo being keen to reduce the number of platform types in use in the SAAF transport environment.

 

Gagiano would not be drawn on budget, numbers or platforms, but did indicate a change in thinking. Asked about the size of the preferred platform, he said he had his own views. Pressed whether it would be something the size of a C235, Gagiano chuckled and said he was looking at “something smaller, actually.” One suggestion was the Beechcraft King Air 350, used by several air forces, coast guards and other authorities for maritime patrol. Speaking about Operation Hopper, the South African National Defence Force's maritime security operation off the northern Mozambique coast, Gagiano said the burning need was for airborne sensors. “We have a gap there we have fill very quickly,” the general said. This is why Saucepan is “so important” and “will make such a big difference”. Asked about numbers, Gagiano again declined to comment, not confirming or denying the figure four.

 

“There is no doubt about it. These aircraft will give us a massive boost and will make a major difference to our operational capabilities. Not only will they be used in anti-piracy roles, but also to combat poaching and the detection of war threats. Because of outdated maritime surveillance equipment, this project is an urgent priority,” he said.

 

Airbus Military senior VP: commercial Antonio Rodriguez Barberán told a question and answer session at the the TMB the company would offer the CN235 or C295 aircraft for Saucepan. Barberán said although the King Air was a good platform, it was, in his view, limited, especially in a secondary transport role. "Typically, what we would present to the SAAF are aircraft with a dual role. A CN235 could be a preferred solution for South Africa. Even a C295." Noteworthy was the absence of the C212, the smallest aircraft in the current Airbus Military stable and closest in size to the King Air – albeit still bigger. In answer to another question Barberán noted Airbus Military was in talks with Indonesian Aerospace (Iae), formerly IPTN, about the future of that platform. Indications are the manufacturing of the C212 might be transferred there.

 

Some 6600 King Air aircraft of all types have been built an delivered since 1972, including three to the SAAF, one of 48 military operators, who generally use them for light transport and liaison duties. The C212 is a turboprop short take-off and landing (STOL) medium transport aircraft. Some 580 have been built since 1974 and are flown by numerous civil and some 22 military operators. The

 

The CN-235 is a medium-range twin-engined medium transport plane jointly developed by the-then CASA and IPTN of Indonesia as a regional airliner and military transport. Its primary military roles include maritime patrol, surveillance, and air transport. Some 230 have been delivered since 1988. Some 27 air forces and three paracivil authorities have used the type, along with some 11 civil operators, the wikipedia notes. Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico and the Turkish as well as US coast guards operates the type in maritime patrol role, the Spanish Civil Guard (a paramilitary police) employ it on surveillance duties while the Turkish Navy operates an antisubmarine/surface warfare version. The Spanish SASEMAR sea search and rescue organisation also uses the C235 in the maritime SAR role.

 

The C-295 is a further development of the CN-235 with a stretched fuselage, 50% more payload capability and new PW127G turboprop engines. The C-295 made its maiden flight in 1998. Some 111 examples are on order or have been delivered to 24 operators in 16 nations, according t Airbus Military figures. Algeria and Portugal use the transport as a MPA while Chile recently received the first ASW version.

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19 mai 2011 4 19 /05 /mai /2011 18:30

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/a400m-two-aircraft-seville_400x301.jpg

 

19 May 2011 by Leon Engelbrecht defenseWeb

 

France is set to receive its first of 50 Airbus Military A400M heavy transport aircraft in the first quarter of 2013. That’s the word from programme head Cedric Gautier. He was speaking at an Airbus Military trade media briefing (TMB) – attended by defenceWeb – in Sevilla, Spain, on Tuesday where the large airlifter is built.

 

But Airbus Military CE Domingo Ureña would like to see the French Air Force accept the aircraft this year. Addressing the TMB yesterday, he said the company was keen to deliver to the aircraft ahead of the new contracted schedule.

 

The final assembly of that aircraft is set to start in the last quarter of this year. By then all five test prototypes will be flying, type certification will have been received and customers would have signed off on the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the transporter. The aircraft, MSN7, will first fly in the third quarter of next year, Gautier told journalists from some 30 countries.

 

Gautier added that the fuselage join up has already been completed at the Airbus plant in Bremen, Germany, with system equipping now underway. That is also the case with the wing structure, built at Filton in the United Kingdom. Work on other structures, including the central wing box at Nantes, in France; the nose fuselage at St Nazaire, also in France, are “progressing as per plan”. Work on the wing of the second production aircraft has also started at Filton, Gautier noted in his presentation.

 

Some 174 aircraft remain on order with seven NATO nations and one export customer – Malaysia, which ordered four. Turkey, with 10 aircraft on order, will be the second user to receive an aircraft, delivery being expected in the second half of 2013 by when the aircraft should meet Standard Operational Capability 1 (SOC1) . A minimum of four aircraft are planned for delivery that year.

 

Britain and Germany will receive aircraft in 2014 (they have 22 and 53 A400M on order respectively), while Malaysia will receive its first heavy-lifter at the end of 2014 or in early 2015. That year-end is further the target date for SOC1.5. Spain’s first delivery of 27 aircraft bought falls over the year-end 2015/16, when SOC2 should be available, with SOC2.5 following in late 2017 and SOC3 at the end of 2018. This will also be when deliveries to Belgium and Luxembourg should start – the former has seven and the latter one aircraft on order.

 

SOC3 will include the software required to allow the A400M to conduct low level terrain avoidance flight, which is “a big requirement for this aircraft.”

 

The A400M programme last month emerged from a turbulent restructuring that saw the NATO partners give formal backing to a €3.5 billion euro (US$5 billion) rescue deal for the project. “Challenges are here to overcome and today we can say this challenge has been concluded," Ureña said on April 7. The contract amendment to what was once a €20 billion project was signed in Sevilla by Patrick Bellouard, director of the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and Ureña, in the presence of Spanish Minister of Defence Carme Chacón. National armament directors and other representatives from customer nations also attended the ceremony, Airbus Military and EADS said in a statement.

 

The contract amendment implemented changes that were agreed in principle by the buyer nations with EADS and Airbus Military in a frame agreement signed on March 5 last year, Reuters reported. “This is a major milestone, and EADS is particularly proud to have the support of all governments involved in this cooperation programme that represents a strategic capacity for Europe and its defence, and for the new generation of military transport worldwide. The A400M is a fantastic new aircraft already flying with outstanding and unrivalled capabilities", said EADS CE Louis Gallois.

 

The A400M was designed to give Europe autonomy in military transport, which is dominated by the Lockheed Martin C130 Hercules turboprop and the Boeing C17Globemaster III jet transport, Reuters added. But technical problems and mismanagement kicked the project four years behind schedule and €7.6 billion over budget. For a while, the A400M crisis cast a shadow over the future of EADS as the cost of abandoning the project would have been staggering in penalties alone. More recently, EADS has been embarrassed by an improvement in its finances, which left it with a sharply higher cash surplus than it had when it approached buyer nations for help, Reuters said.

 

EADS has blamed A400M delays on development problems with the aircraft's massive turboprop engines, the largest built in the West, and conflicting military requirements from the buyers. But it has also admitted mistakes in managing the project as its attention was diverted towards the delayed A380 jetliner and power struggles within its previous management.

 

Under the rescue plan, the seven key buyers agreed to a €2 billion increase in the total price of the transport planes. Part of this will be financed by taking fewer aircraft for the same price, reducing the total order to 170 from 180. Germany has cut its order by 7 planes to 53 and Britain will take 22 planes instead of the 25 initially ordered. A high-level political dispute over the terms of the bailout focussed on the remaining €1.5 billion, which would be a loan against repayments from future exports.

 

Britain was seen as most reluctant about this part of the plan, which involves nations advancing money to EADS, but also reluctant to divorce from Airbus, which makes wings in the UK. Sources said the two sides compromised on payment schedules. The delays and cost overruns that became known during the 2009 recession caused the South African government to cancel its order in November 2009 to popular acclaim.

 

Previously known as the Future Large Aircraft, the A400M has been long in the coming. A European Staff Requirement (ESR) was drawn up as long ago as 1993 but only signed in 2003. Production was scheduled to start in 2001 with deliveries starting in 2006, but this slipped to 2007, then 2009 and then “late 2012.” First flight had been scheduled for January 2008 but was delayed and took place on December 11, 2009.

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16 mai 2011 1 16 /05 /mai /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Casa_maripasoula.jpg

 

May 16, 2011 By Leon Engelbrecht, defenceWEB Editor – defpro.com

 

Project Saucepan, the South African Air Force's programme to replace its 68-year-old Douglas C47 Dakota aircraft in the maritime surveillance role has been “pulled to the left”. SAAF chief Lieutenant Carlo Gagiano says the project, now at staff target phase, is both “urgent and important”.

 

The air boss was speaking to journalists at the SAAF's annual air capability demonstration at the Roodewal bomb range in Limpopo yesterday. He would not be drawn on budget, numbers or platforms, but did not vigorously deny a figure of four. Asked about the size of the preferred platform, he said he had his own views. Pressed whether it would be something the size of an Airbus Military CASA 235, Gagiano chuckled and said he was looking at “something smaller, actually,” in the class of the Beechcraft King Air 350, used by several air forces. The SAAF also operates two King Air 200s and one King Air 300 in the light tranport role. Some 3550 King Air's have been built since 1972. The wikipedia puts it cost at between US$5.24-7.57 million each in 2009 base prices.

 

Speaking about Operation Hopper, the South African National Defence Force's maritime security operation off the northern Mozambique coast, Gagiano said the burning need was for airborne sensors. “We have a gap there we have fill very quickly,” the general said. This is why Saucepan is “so important” and “will make such a big difference”.

 

“There is no doubt about it. These aircraft will give us a massive boost and will make a major difference to our operational capabilities. Not only will they be used in anti-piracy roles, but also to combat poaching and the detection of war threats. Because of outdated maritime surveillance equipment, this project is an urgent priority,” he said.

 

Gagiano continued that he would like to see the aircraft permanently based along the coast – with appropriate resources an perhaps also crewed by the SAAF Reserve Force. Richards Bay, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town were named in that connection.

 

The SAAF received its first C47s in 1943 and they were employed as transport in the Italian campaign of World War Two as well as for ferry duties in the Mediterranean theatre. After the war, the aircraft were deployed to support the Berlin Air Lift. Between June 1948 and May 1949 some 1.5 million tons of cargo was carried into the blockaded city aboard some 200 000 flights.

 

In the early 1990s about 11 were modernised with, inter alia turboprops replacing the piston engines. The aircraft remain in service with 35 Squadron, based in Cape Town, with medium transport as well as maritime patrol duties. In the latter role it replaced the Avro Shackleton MR3, the last purpose-designed MPA, in SAAF inventory from November 1984.

 

Brigadier General Tsoku Khumalo, the SAAF's director transport and maritime told the defenceWeb maritime security conference in Cape Town in October 2009 that the SAAF has a requirement for five specialised Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and eight cheaper general-purpose Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). At the tie he said the new aircraft would have to be cost effective, sustainable, appropriate and offer a growth path. It will need to be capable of inshore, coastal and deep-sea exclusive economic zone patrol as well as search-and-rescue (SAR) work. To support naval operations they will also require an ability to engage in antisubmarine and surface warfare.

 

The new aircraft would require the ability detect, track, classify and identify surface targets and in wartime to engage the same with onboard weapons, he added. Khumalo noted the SAAF realistically required 12 to 14 MPAs but these were very costly and the budget needed likely prohibitive. Other having a maritime role the aircraft also needed to have a transport function and would also replace the C47, CASA C212 and C235 aircraft; Khumalo being keen to reduce the number of platform types in use in the SAAF transport environment.

 

While at pains to avoid mentioning manufacturers or aircraft models for fear of creating perceptions, Khumalo did acknowledge that to have the range for maritime operations – the SA search-and-rescue region is some 17.2 million square kilometres in size – and to have a useful cargo capacity the aircraft would have to be of the size and capability of the Casa 295. However, extreme long range SAR operations over the sea would remain the task of the Lockheed Martin C130BZ Hercules.

 

It is not yet clear how the new developments affect the plan put forward by Khumalo.

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 18:00
La Medevac, une fonction particulière au sein d’EATC

Pour la France, EATC n’intervient pas encore. « Mais on pourra le faire dans l’avenir, c’est en mouvement et je suis prudemment optimiste. » explique Jochen Both. Les Pays-Bas assurent, pour l’instant, leurs Medevac avec des avions civils ou en recourant aux moyens britanniques. Le problème n’est pas vraiment l’évacuation. « Chaque État fait toujours le maximum quand un de ses nationaux est atteint. » Mais c’est une question très sensible. « Si on peut utiliser la même plateforme, les mêmes chirurgiens, le même avion, ce serait parfait. »

 

Le Dossier :

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 08:00
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28 avril 2011 4 28 /04 /avril /2011 11:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/48/Belgian_C-130_aircraft_arrives_at_McChord.JPG/800px-Belgian_C-130_aircraft_arrives_at_McChord.JPG

photo SrA Dayton Mitchell USAF

 

28/04/2011 Belga - lalibre.be

 

Ce "transfert d'autorité", déjà effectué fin 2010 par l'Allemagne, la France et les Pays-Bas, a été retardé par des "problèmes informatiques", selon le ministère de la Défense.

 

La Belgique a transféré jeudi, avec près de quatre mois de retard sur ses partenaires, le contrôle de ses avions de transport militaire au commandement européen du transport aérien européen (EATC), un état-major multinational installé aux Pays-Bas et qui chapeaute ainsi une flotte de plus de 150 appareils de quatre pays, a-t-on appris de sources militaires. Ce "transfert d'autorité", déjà effectué fin 2010 par l'Allemagne, la France et les Pays-Bas, a été retardé par des "problèmes informatiques", selon le ministère de la Défense.

 

Il a été réalisé jeudi et concerne les onze C-130 "Hercules" de la composante Air de l'armée et l'unique Airbus A330, ainsi qu'"à la demande", les quatre Embraer ERJ-135 et ERJ-145, deux Mystère 2O et un Falcon 900 du 15ème wing de Melsbroek, a précisé l'EATC dans un communiqué.

 

Cet état-major européen installé à Eindhoven (sud des Pays-Bas) vise à une utilisation plus efficace des moyens de transport aérien et de ravitaillement en vol dont disposent les quatre pays membres, ou du moins certains d'entre eux. Il aurait dû atteindre une capacité opérationnelle initiale (IOC) fin 2010 - ce qui n'a pas été réalisé, mais devrait être le cas dans les prochains jours. Il sera pleinement opérationnel dans les prochains mois.

 

Il occupera à terme quelque 200 militaires provenant de ces quatre pays - dont 22 Belges -, mais avec la possibilité de s'élargir à d'autres, comme l'Espagne qui suit ce projet de près et le Luxembourg, des pays qui ont également commandé le futur avion de transport militaire Airbus A400M.

 

Ce QG supervisera ainsi quelque 70.000 heures de vol annuelles, selon son commandant, le général-major allemand Jochen Both. Depuis sa création, le 1er septembre dernier, il a déjà exécuté près de 3.500 missions de transport, dont 70 de ravitaillement en vol, et a coordonné l'évacuation médicale aérienne de plus de 400 patients.

 

L'Allemagne y apporte une flotte de 77 avions de transport, dont quatorze "à la demande", la France 56 appareils, dont 32 C-160 "Transall" et cinq Airbus A330-A340. Quant à la Belgique, elle a versé dans le pot commun dix de ses onze C-130 ainsi que ses huit avions pour passagers, dont sept "à la demande". Les Pays-Bas fournissent deux C-130, deux Fokker 50, deux ravitailleurs KDC-10 et, à la demande, un Gulfstream IV.

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26 avril 2011 2 26 /04 /avril /2011 18:30
Italy says air force can bomb Libya military targets

26 April 2011  by defenseWeb – Reuters

 

Italy, which has been playing a limited role in NATO operations in Libya, decided yesterday that its air force will be allowed to bomb selected military targets in the former Italian colony.

 

The surprise decision immediately opened a fresh crack in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government, with a minister in a key coalition party, the Northern League, saying he strongly opposed it. Other League officials also dissented.

 

Italy was one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's best friends in Europe until his violent suppression of an uprising prompted the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution authorising the use of force to protect civilian lives.

 

A statement from Berlusconi's office said he had informed U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation of the government's decision, and that he would call other European leaders to tell them personally as well.

 

It said the government had decided to "increase the operative flexibility of its aircraft with actions aimed at specific military targets on Libyan territory with the aim of protecting the civilian population".

 

Rome has made several air bases available for NATO forces and has contributed eight aircraft to the Libya mission.

 

But until now only it has taken part only in reconnaissance and monitoring of the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone rather than attacks on military infrastructure, which have principally been carried out by Britain, France and the United States.

 

"We have already done enough by offering the bases and logistical support and anti-radar activity," said Roberto Calderoli, minister for legislative simplification.

 

He said that, if Italy's allies wanted Rome to do more in Libya, they should help Italy turn back illegal immigrants and take some of the migrants from north Africa who land in southern Italy.

 

Italo Bocchino, a parliamentarian from a group that split with Berlusconi's party, said Calderoli's breaking of ranks was a precursor to a government crisis. Calderoli denied this, saying the League would convince other parties it was right.

 

Berlusconi was to inform British Prime Minister David Cameron and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Italy's new position soon, and also explain the decision with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who visits Italy on Tuesday to discuss immigration, the statement said.

 

Just 10 days ago, Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Italy would not order its aircraft to take part in military operations, despite pressure from Britain and France for NATO allies to contribute more to the air operations against Gaddafi's forces.

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23 avril 2011 6 23 /04 /avril /2011 11:30

http://www.aerocontact.com/actualite_aeronautique_spatiale/images/head200411rg2.jpg

 

20/04/2011 par Adrien Prévost AEROCONTACT

 

La base aérienne de La Sude en Crète (Grèce) accueille, depuis le 25 mars dernier, quatre Mirage 2000-5 français et quatre Mirage 2000-5 qataris qui effectuent conjointement des missions d’interdiction aérienne au dessus de la Libye. Ces derniers jours ils ont reçu le renfort de plusieurs appareils français. Partis lundi 18 avril la base de Solenzara en Corse, quatre Mirage 2000D, qui eux effectuent des missions de frappes au sol et d’interdiction aérienne, ont rejoint la base crétoise après avoir achevé leur mission au-dessus de la Libye. Ils ont été rejoints hier par deux nouveaux Mirage 2000D. Le redéploiement en Crète permet de renforcer l’efficacité du dispositif français et d’économiser les appareils qui ne sont plus qu’à 45 minutes des côtes libyennes. Ainsi les ravitaillements pour l’aller et le retour sur zone ne sont plus obligatoires. Les Mirage 2000D seront normalement opérationnels aujourd’hui quand l’ensemble du détachement achèvera sa montée en puissance, avec le ralliement du personnel de soutien, transmission, imagerie etc., mis en place par A340 et C160. Désormais ce sont dix appareils français, quatre Mirage 2000-5 et six Mirage 2000D qui sont disponibles sur la base aérienne de La Sude.

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16 avril 2011 6 16 /04 /avril /2011 13:00
NATO needs more precision Libyas in Libya

Apr 14, 2011by Stefan Nicola (UPI)

 

Berlin  - NATO needs more high-precision fighter aircraft to strike weapons the Libyan regime is hiding in populated areas, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday in Berlin. After NATO pilots have flown around 900 strike missions and destroyed many of the Libyan army's tanks and armored vehicles, the armed forces led by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi are now changing their tactics. "They're hiding their heavy arms in populated areas," Rasmussen said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin. "To avoid civilian casualties, we need a few more high-precision fighter aircraft for air-to-ground attack missions." Rasmussen said he didn't get specific pledges from NATO member states on new planes yet, but added that Thursday's talks in Berlin made him "confident that nations will step up to the plate." The meeting comes amid increasing frustration among Western politicians that Libyan rebel forces aren't able to hold ground despite Gadhafi's crumbling military power, and rising concerns that NATO airstrikes in Libya could lead to civilian casualties. Over the past days, France and Britain have complained that NATO member states aren't doing enough to defeat Gadhafi's forces. France had been one of the most outspoken proponents of military action against pro-Gadhafi forces and last month became the first nation to officially recognize the Libyan opposition. It was against a NATO lead after it became clear that the United States would pull its combat jets from the front lines, favoring a British-French operational command instead. Currently, only six of the alliance's members are carrying out airstrikes against ground targets in Libya, a NATO diplomat told The New York Times. On Thursday, the rebels asked for more NATO airstrikes to destroy forces attacking Misurata, a Mediterranean port city of roughly 300,000 that is being shelled by government artillery. Rasmussen Thursday underscored NATO's commitment to keep up the military pressure on Libyan forces. The alliance would "provide all necessary resources and maximum operational flexibility within our mandate," to strike regime forces until Gadhafi pulls all of them, Rasmussen said, including snipers and foreign mercenaries, out of areas they "have forcibly entered, occupied or besieged." Strikes will be flown until the regime commits to "immediate, full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all the people in Libya in need of assistance," Rasmussen said. "We will not stand idly by and watch a discredited regime attack its people," he added. With the fighting so far resulting in a stalemate, Western leaders hope for Gadhafi to eventually leave the country. At a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the NATO meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said NATO members were united in their goal to "seek the end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya." Germany had angered its allies when it abstained from a U.N. Security Council vote that green-lighted the airstrikes in Libya. The meeting in Berlin runs through Friday.

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31 mars 2011 4 31 /03 /mars /2011 19:00
Bulgaria receives its last C-27J transport

Photo Alenia Aeronautica

 

31/03/11 By Craig Hoyle Flightglobal.com

 

Alenia Aeronautica delivered the Bulgarian air force’s third and last C-27J Spartan tactical transport during a 31 March ceremony at Sofia Vrazhdebna airport. The Italian company also opened a new logistics support centre for the type at the site. Introducing the C-27J forms part of a modernisation effort by the Bulgarian air force. The service’s other current transport assets include three Antonov An-26s and three Let L-410s, says Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database. Examples of both legacy types are visible in the image below, along with the air force’s lone An-30 reconnaissance aircraft.  Bulgaria had originally intended to acquire five C-27Js via a contract signed in 2006, and received its first example in November 2007. However, the NATO nation last April announced its intention to cancel the final two aircraft in an effort to save funds. Delivery of the third example was delayed while negotiations took place. Alenia Aeronautica has also previously delivered C-27Js to Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, Romania, Slovakia, the US Air Force and the US Army. It also recently named Indonesia as a potential future customer for the type.

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27 mars 2011 7 27 /03 /mars /2011 21:00
NATO Begins to Execute Libya No-Fly Zone: General

27 Mar 2011 DefenseNews AFP

 

ROME - NATO has begun to "execute the no-fly zone operations" over Libya as well as imposing a naval arms embargo, the Canadian general in charge of operations Charles Bouchard said March 27. "I've been assigned as the Combined Joint Force Commander of the embargo operations. And, we've also begun to successfully execute the no-fly zone operations," Bouchard said in a statement released by NATO. Lt. Gen.General Bouchard, named just two days ago, is based at NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples in southern Italy. The Libya campaign has been codenamed "Operation Unified Protector". "Along with its non-NATO partners, NATO will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and it will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the people of Libya," the three-star general said. "Our current mission is to close Libya's airspace to all flights except aid and humanitarian flights," he added. Bouchard has been appointed to run NATO's Libya operations, enforcing a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone and arms embargo. He will also take command of the entire military campaign to protect civilians from troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi if and when the 28-member alliance takes the reins of the entire Libya campaign from a U.S.-led coalition. The coalition launched by Britain, France and the United States kicked off its campaign six days ago but Washington, along with several members of the alliance, is anxious to see NATO take the helm as soon as possible. Reluctance to engage in strikes by NATO's sole Muslim member, Turkey, as well as concerns over the political leadership of the campaign voiced by France, have held up the transfer of command.

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25 mars 2011 5 25 /03 /mars /2011 19:45
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18 mars 2011 5 18 /03 /mars /2011 18:00
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14 mars 2011 1 14 /03 /mars /2011 07:00
Underwater, Air-to-Air roles targeted for BrahMos Cruise Missile; Trials by 2011-end

2011-03-13 INDIA DEFENCE

 

The BrahMos cruise missile programme is a joint venture between the Indian DRDO and the Russian NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. It is the world's fastest cruise missile in operation and is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. In recent interviews given to local media by BrahMos Aerospace chief A. Sivathanu Pillai, it was discovered that underwater and air-to-air capabilities are being sought for. "If we are able to reduce the weight of the missile below two tonnes, we can deploy it on the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and we are looking to doing that in future. The trials of launching BrahMos cruise missile from air will begin in 2012 and there will be no delay in the programme due to this." "We will test-fire the underwater version by the end of this year after we get the pontoon." The test-firing missile would be done from a pontoon at the Integrated Test Range in Balasore on the Orissa coast from a DRDO facility.

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2 mars 2011 3 02 /03 /mars /2011 23:05
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1 février 2011 2 01 /02 /février /2011 00:29
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13 août 2008 3 13 /08 /août /2008 16:35
Afghanistan : Première mission des Rafale

 

12/08/2008 Sources : EMA

 

Le 11 février 2008, trois jours après leur arrivée, sur la base OTAN de Kandahar, deux Rafale de l'escadron de chasse 1/7 " Provence " en patrouille avec 2 Mirage 2000D de l'escadron de chasse 3/3 " Ardennes " ont effectué leur première mission d'appui au profit des troupes de l'ISAF.

 

Avec le détachement de trois Rafale de l'escadron 1/7 " Provence ", ce sont 55 techniciens, mécaniciens, informaticiens, logisticiens et pilotes qui sont venus s'intégrer au sein du détachement air de la base de Kandahar. Au total, le détachement Air compte maintenant 165 militaires français.

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4 août 2008 1 04 /08 /août /2008 16:35
Afghanistan : les Rafale sont de retour dans le ciel afghan

 

04/08/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 2 août 2011, trois Rafale C de l’escadron de chasse 01.007 Provence de la base aérienne 113 de Saint-Dizier se sont posés sur la base aérienne de Kandahar. Ils sont venus relever les trois Mirage F1 CR de l’escadron de chasse 02.033 Savoie qui ont définitivement quitté le théâtre le 31 juillet après un déploiement d’environ quatre ans.

 

Depuis le début du mois d’août, les trois Rafale et les trois Mirage 2000-D déployés à Kandahar assurent  donc conjointement les missions chasse de l’opération Pamir.

 

Ce n’est pas le premier déploiement des Rafale en Afghanistan. Deux détachements ont déjà été déployés en 2007, puis en mai 2009. Depuis, les équipements de ce chasseur omni rôle de l’armée de l’Air ont beaucoup évolué. En effet, le Rafale F3.2 intervient désormais équipé du pod laser Damoclès permettant de désigner une cible avec un faisceau laser. Grâce à ce pod, le Rafale peut donc également emporter des bombes à guidage laser GBU 12 ou des bombes guidées AASM (armement air-sol modulaire). Enfin, ses missions peuvent avoir lieu de jour comme de nuit.

 

Une cérémonie solennelle s’est déroulée sur la base de Kandahar le 29 juillet en présence de tout le détachement Air, durant laquelle le Mirage F1 CR a  « cédé » les clefs des hangarettes au Rafale.

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