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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 17:55
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air


09/04/2014 par Guillaume Steuer – Air & Cosmos

C'est un officiel de l'Otan qui l'indique à Reuters dans une dépêche parue hier : la France devrait déployer dès le mois prochain quatre avions de combat afin d'assurer des missions de défense aérienne depuis la Pologne, dans le cadre d'un élargissement de l'actuel mandat "Baltic Air Policing". Cette mission de l'Alliance mobilise depuis 2004 des chasseurs venus de différentes forces aériennes de l'Otan, qui se relaient pour assurer la défense de l'espace aérien des pays baltes.

L'Alliance atlantique souhaite désormais augmenter considérablement cette présence, selon la source citée par Reuters. De quatre avions aujourd'hui, la présence otanienne sur la Baltique devrait passer à trois plots de quatre chasseurs. Afin de répondre à la récente crise ukrainienne, les Etats-Unis ont déjà passé de quatre à dix le nombre de F-15C déployés en Lituanie dans le cadre de Baltic Air Policing.

A partir du mois prochain, ce plot américain devrait être remplacé par quatre Eurofighter britanniques, quatre F-16 danois et quatre MiG-29 polonais, selon cette même source otanienne. L'armée de l'Air avait assuré en 2013 cette mission Baltic avec des Mirage F1CR, et en 2011 avec des Mirage 2000C RDI.

Cette fois-ci, la présence française en Europe de l'est est envisagée en marge du dispositif Baltic Air Policing. Les quatre avions de combat de l'armée de l'Air seraient déployés en Pologne, peut-être sur la base de Lask qui accueille depuis mi-février 12 chasseurs bombardiers F-16C/D américains en plus d'avions de combat polonais du même type.

L'armée de l'Air pourrait théoriquement déployer des Rafale ou des Mirage 2000-5F. Ces derniers appareils, mis en oeuvre par l'EC-1/2 "Cigognes" depuis la base de Luxeuil, sont uniquement dédiés à la mission de défense aérienne, et leur déploiement en Pologne permettrait d'économiser le potentiel de la flotte Rafale.

L'armée de l'Air mène également depuis le 1er avril des missions régulières avec ses avions-radar E-3F Awacs au-dessus de la Roumanie et de la Pologne, toujours dans le cadre de la posture renforcée affichée par l'Otan suite à l'annexion de la Crimée par Moscou. Ces missions sont menées directement depuis la base d'Avord. Des Awacs de l'Otan et de la Royal Air Force participent également à ces missions.

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:30
1st C-130J Super Hercules 'Shimshon' Arrives In Israel


Apr 9, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


Israel’s first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] C-130J Super Hercules airlifter arrived at Nevatim Air Base today.  Along with senior Israeli officials, Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson attended the ceremony and made remarks.


Israel ordered its C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract with the U.S. Government. This is the first ferry of the C-130Js currently on order for the IAF, which has operated legacy C-130s since 1971.


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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Gripen E photo Swiss MoD

Gripen E photo Swiss MoD


April 6, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Swiss Dept. of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport; issued)

(Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The DDPS Distances Itself from A "Plan B" for the Acquisition of Combat Aircraft


This weekend, various media have discussed a "Plan B" in case the acquisition of 22 Gripen aircraft was refused in the referendum that will be held on May 18, 2014.


The DDPS distances itself from these allegations and will in all cases respect the decisions taken democratically.


According to these media reports, Switzerland could acquire every 15 years a full squadron of 12 fighters that could be financed in the usual way, and which thus would not require approval by referendum. The current fleet of 86 combat aircraft (32 F/A-18s and 54 F-5 Tigers) could be replaced over the long term by 50 to 70 new aircraft, these reports claim.


The DDPS wishes to distance itself from these statements.


It would indeed not acceptable to acquire combat aircraft shortly after a negative decision of the people. The government’s message about the vote makes it clear that the aircraft will not be purchased if the law on the Gripen funds is not approved.


According to the people who made these allegations would lead to a fleet of 50 to 70 aircraft, but their reasoning is confused. Combat aircraft have a lifespan of about 30 years. If we bought 12 combat aircraft every 15 years, the fleet size would be 24 aircraft. This is far too little to ensure the security of Switzerland, and is even lower than the current F/A-18 fleet, without the Gripen.


Moreover, the acquisition of only 12 combat aircraft could, depending on the model, cost 2 to 3 billion francs. In addition, a reduction in the number of aircraft increase economic inconsistencies, as part of the infrastructure is almost independent of the number of units purchased.


Finally, it should be noted that an important reason for the choice of financing the acquisition of Gripen through a fund was to give the possibility of a referendum. From a purely financial point of view, the acquisition of this magnitude could also be done in the normal way, not through a special fund as is now the case.


The DDPS is satisfied that the acquisition of 22 Gripen is necessary for the security of Switzerland and its people. By itself, the fleet of 32 F/A-18 is not enough, and the proposed acquisition is a realistic solution.


DDPS will in all cases strictly conform to the democratic decision.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
Ukraine Reshuffles Forces, Plans Rearmament

Although it ran down its armed forces by neglect over the past decade, Ukraine is now redeploying its available assets and hopes to restore its military capabilities to an effective level. (Ukraine MoD photo)


April 7, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Ukraine Ministry of Defence; issued April 7, 2014)


Ukraine Dispatches Modernized SU-27 Fighter Aircraft to the New Border with Crimea


Due to the situation near the Crimean border, Ukraine has taken measures to increase its military forces, including fortifying the Ukrainian Air Force stationed in Southern Ukraine near the new Crimea-Russian border.


During the last week of March 2014, four SU-27 jet aircraft from the 831 Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force arrived in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.


These four fighter aircraft are the foundation of the combative potential of the 831 Air Brigade. On the main base in Western Ukraine, in Myrhorod nine more SU-27 and five SU-27 UB jets are ready for comba

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Iraq Buys 12 Mothballed L-159s from Czech AF


April 7, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Xinhua; published April 8, 2014)


Iraq to Buy 12 Mothballed L-159s from Czech Military


Representatives from Iraqi Defense Ministry have signed a purchase contract with Aero Vodochody on buying 12 mothballed L-159 combat planes from the Czech military on Sunday.


Penta Investments that owns Aero Vodochody confirmed the news on Monday.


The mothballed L-159s should be delivered to Iraq by September 2014 at a cost of 200 million U.S. dollars, said Martin Danko, spokesman for Penta Investments.


Former Czech chief-of-staff Jiri Sedivy said that Iraq needs combat aircraft for the training of pilots who would later fly U.S. F-16 fighter jets.


Iraq showed interest in the new Czech combat aircraft for the first time in 2012, when it signed a preliminary agreement with the then Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra on buying 28 L-159s.


The Czech Defense Ministry's spokesman Jan Pejsek said that the Ministry has not yet officially received information on the signing of the contract between Aero and Iraqi officials.


Czech military bought 72 L-159s with only one third of them in use. The military has been trying to sell the redundant L-159s for several years.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 18:30
The Iron Dome Turns 3



01.04.2014 Naomi Tzoref - iaf.org.il


Although it seems like the "Iron Dome" system has always been a part of the protection of the residents of Israel, today actually marks only three years since its first interception. Since then, the system has recorded hundreds of interceptions, been deployed around the country and boosted drafting percentages


Three years have passed since the "Iron Dome" system has become a significant part of the lives of the residents of southern Israel. Since the first interception above the city of Ashkelon, "Iron Dome" batteries have been deployed across Israel and the system is considered a central layer of defense against the threat of rockets.


The military service of the combat soldiers and technicians who operate the "Iron Dome" is unique: the location of the batteries in open areas close to population centers requires dealing with field conditions that are especially complex, as their location changes on short notice depending on intelligence picture.


The operators have to deal with an intensive routine, to adapt to the front and to stay alert all the time.

"Unlike other units, we don't have work plans that are determined ahead of time. Our activities are the result of the conduct of the enemy", explains Lieutenant Colonel Gilad Biran, commander of the unit. "The soldiers serving in the unit are called up on short notice over and over without warning. In fact, most of the soldiers continuously spend the duration of their service on high alert".


Because Of The Spirit


In the last three years, the unit has managed to grow and develop in all areas: from the integration of batteries and weapons to the accumulation of rich operational experience that includes hundreds of rocket-fire incidents.


"The spirit forged in the unit is what enables us to perform the complex task as efficiently as possible", explains Lieutenant Colonel Biran

Men and women serve side-by-side in the many posts at the "Iron Dome" battery: combat soldiers, interceptors and soldiers in the technical branch-everyone is greatly influential at the moment of truth.


"It's important to understand that the operations of the unit are not one-man show", Lieutenant Colonel Gilad stresses. "It's a team effort; it's just like an orchestra, in which every player plays a certain role. Only if everyone works precisely, with vigor and to the best of his/her abilities will overall tune come out fluent and accurate".


Someone Watching Over You


The tune Lieutenant Colonel Gilad mentions is frequently heard in the southern communities: in the last three years, the system has become a significant tool in the lives of the residents of the southern communities and it takes part in every round of fighting.


"Every single one of us feels the weight of responsibility", says Lieutenant Colonel Gilad. "It is clear to us that there isn't a unit similar to us in the IDF, there isn't anyone who can do the job for us. There is a deep understanding of the meaning of our operations, we provide a clear and substantive answer to the security of the country, we protect the home and, in so doing, we save a lot of lives".


The unit, which started its operations in the Gaza strip borders, operates on the northern border today and even on the Sinai border and its batteries are ready to be deployed at any time at any point on the map.


"It's hard for us to expect the security reality and we are prepared for different scenarios", he clarifies. "We are ready for the threats, but it's important to adjust the expectations to the reality: the unit cannot provide a hermetic solution during a large-scale war. This type of solution cannot only include defense capabilities; it must also include offensive ones in addition to detection, reliable deterrence and adherence on the part of the civilian population to the instructions of the Home Front Command".

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 17:35
IAF, HAL to Work On Joint Plans


April 8, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; issued April 7, 2014)


HAL Proposes Single Agency to Deal with Foreign OEMs


The Indian Air Force and HAL have decided to work on joint plans on various fronts for better understanding of issues so that both contribute effectively in India’s defence preparedness. The entire board of HAL and senior officials flew down from Bangalore to interact with the top commanders of IAF at the conference held at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan) in New Delhi yesterday.


“Hand-holding is important considering the challenges involved in manufacturing and operational fronts”, said the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal, Arup Raha . On his part, HAL Chairman, Dr. R.K. Tyagi, mooted the idea of putting up single group or team to deal with foreign OEMs on all matters as these OEMs work with Air Force, Army, Navy and other multiple Government agencies. "Normally these OEMs work with two or more agencies. There is greater cohesion, understanding and mutual benefits when these OEMs are dealt from one platform”, he said.


Senior IAF, MoD and HAL officials took part in the performance review with focus on challenges related to several fleets such as MiG (21, 27, 29), Su-30 MKI, Mirage, Jaguar, Hawk, Kiran, Pilatus, Avro, Dornier, Chetak/Cheetah and Cheetal, ALH, RPA, Lakshya, etc. HAL supports 80% of the IAF inventory.


The discussions also focused on indigenisation, quality and delivery timelines that are often demanding due to factors related to supply chain, transfer of technology and shortage of skilled manpower in the aviation/aerospace sector.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
 photo Richard Harvey

photo Richard Harvey

Lord Dannatt said events in Syria and Ukraine showed how the strategic landscape had changed since the Government's 2010 defence review


08 Apr 2014 By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent


A former head of the Army has said Britain must have another 5,000 regulars to show it takes its defence responsibilities seriously.


The Government should roll back Armed Forces cuts and recruit another 5,000 regular soldiers, sailors and airmen, a former head of the Army has said.


Lord Dannatt said new threats from Vladimir Putin and the civil war in Syria had left the Coalition’s cost-cutting defence reforms outdated.


He said there were also “genuine concerns” over whether the Army could meet its plan to train and recruit 30,000 reservists to make up for the loss of 20,000 regulars by 2020.


He told the House of Lords: “I believe there’s an increasingly strong case to uplift the manning of our regular Armed Forces by some 5,000 posts."


Read full article

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Australia waits on C-27J transfer approval



8 April 2014 by Andrew McLaughlin – FG


Sydney - Australia's programme to introduce the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J medium transport remains on track, despite a two month delay in its lead aircraft leaving Italy to undergo modifications in the USA.


First flown in December 2013, "green" aircraft A34-001 had been scheduled to arrive at L-3 Communications' Waco, Texas facility on 11 February, ahead of work to bring it to the Joint Cargo Aircraft configuration. Scheduled to take three months to complete, the work involves the fitting of an electronic warfare and infrared countermeasures suite, US-standard communications equipment and ballistic matting around the cockpit and loadmaster’s station.


The Australian Department of Defence says delays in obtaining flight clearances from EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration have delayed the event, citing “a change in process associated with delivery of the first Foreign Military Sales customer aircraft”. However, Australian officials say they are confident the programme “remains comfortably within the scheduled need dates”.


Ten C-27Js will be operated by the Royal Australian Air Force’s 35 Sqn from Richmond air base near Sydney, New South Wales. Its second example is now being flight-tested from Turin, with another six aircraft in various stages of production and to be completed at roughly three-month intervals.


Selected in 2011, Australia's C-27Js will replace its retired de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribous. The first four aircraft are due to be flown to Richmond in early 2015, with initial operating capability scheduled for mid- to late-2016. Full operating capability should be declared by the end of 2017, following the delivery of all aircraft, a full flight simulator and a fuselage trainer.


Ahead of the type's introduction, the Australian DoD says it has signed an agreement with the Pentagon “to establish a training delivery contract with L-3 to enable commencement of training in the fourth quarter of 2014”.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:45
photo Netherlands MoD

photo Netherlands MoD


Apr.8, 2014 by Anno Gravemaker - FG


After committing four Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopters in November last year to support the UN's stabilisation activities in Mali, the Royal Netherlands Air Force has announced it will also deploy three Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters.


The reason behind the expanding deployment is that the UN cannot guarantee the medical evacuation of Dutch forces on a "24-7" basis. Currently-available civilian helicopters are unable to operate at night or in high-risk areas, due to a lack of self-protection capabilities.


Expected to arrive in the second half of this year, the Dutch Chinooks will be stationed in Gao. In addition to medical evacuation tasks, the rotorcraft will also be used for tactical transport and logistical support. The nation's defence ministry says the cost of committing the additional aircraft is estimated at about €45 million ($62 million).


French helicopters participating in the nation's Operation Serval campaign in Mali will support Dutch ground forces until the Chinooks arrive.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
US outlines possible $98 million South Korean Sidewinder deal



Apr 08, 2014 by Greg Waldron – FG


Singapore - The US State Department has notified congress of a possible sale of 76 Raytheon AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II infrared (IR) homing missiles.


The proposed $98 million Foreign Military Sales deal also includes captive air training missiles, other equipment, and training associated with the weapons, said the US Defense Security Agency in a statement.


“The ROK intends to use these AIM-9X missiles to supplement its existing missile capability and current weapon inventory,” says the DSCA.


“This sale will contribute to the Republic of Korea’s force modernization goals and enhance interoperability with U.S. forces. The ROK will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.”

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
photo Luc Colin

photo Luc Colin


7 April 2014 by Bartosz Glowacki - FG


Warsaw - Poland will modify 12 of its Sukhoi Su-22M4 strike aircraft and six UM3K-model trainers, with their airframe and engine lives to be extended to allow another 10 years of use.


The nation's defence ministry confirms that the air force will retain those aircraft which are in the best technical condition, with the remainder to be used for spare parts. The service currently operates 32 of the type.


Airframe modification work will be performed by the WZL-2 depot in Bydgoszcz, while engine activities will be conducted by the WZL-4 depot in Warsaw. Each aircraft should take around eight months to complete, with unofficial sources suggesting a unit cost of about Zl6 million ($1.9 million). Details of the upgrade have not been revealed, but are expected to include the addition of a second radio, cockpit instruments with imperial units labelled and a cockpit video recorder.


By retaining the Su-22, the Polish air force will be able to prepare new pilots in tasks such as assisting with training joint terminal attack controllers from the nation's special forces units and also supporting exercises involving air-defence units.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Pictures: Dirk Pleger, Italian Air Force

Pictures: Dirk Pleger, Italian Air Force


Monday 7 April - Norbert Thomas EATC


The first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART 2014) is running for one week now; A German Airbus A310 MRTT, a Dutch (RNLAF) KDC-10 and the Italian KC-767A are complement on each other to achieve the best results within the given training.

Aim and objectives
Overall aim of EART14 is to get 100% of participants current in their qualifications in a short amount of time and with their dedicated assets, to consolidate existing qualifications or regain them if necessary.
Added training value and derived objections will be:
• Different RV procedures
• Multiple AAR formations
• Tactical AR/Cell procedures e.g. Link16, EMCON 3
• Bailout procedures, SAR
• Involvement in planning processes
• Achieving further Italian KC-767 certification process
• Implementing successfully Eindhoven AFB as a tanker FOB and to build up an AAR cell.
• Assist Frisian Flag 2014 (FF 2014) in all aspects of AAR


Italian KC-767A with Eurofighters

The theoretical approach
But where does the need for a highly professional training comes from ?
The deduction from pure military theory bridged over to actual lessons learned and other mid-term developments with international training could be summarized like this:
In general UN/EU/NATO lead missions from crisis establishment up to a nature catastrophe can make it necessary to move forces to remote areas while one of the most important characteristics in the AT-World is the capability to cover large distances within short time: Range capacity. In view of globalization and in concern of worldwide operations it is necessary for an Air Force being either able to operate on large distances or being able to accomplish several tactical operations in parallel - while being supplied with fuel in the air. But not only the transport of personal and material, also the AAR must assist the forces to build up in any thinkable remote theatre, necessarily being self tailored to the mission.
While most of the transport aircraft as well as fighter aircraft are not able to cover intercontinental distances to remote areas in just one sortie, with AAR they are able to reach the far away mission area in adequate time.


Norwegian F-16 shot out of Dutch KDC-10 while FF2014

While the fighter community has trained to operate together for years (e.g. Tactical Leadership Program (TLP), Flag exercises, large NATO exercises in European airspace, etc.), the same cannot be stated for AAR, a special kind of Air Transport. But with regard to the lessons learned out of Unified Protector over Libya 2011, the need to supply and train together became bigger every day: not only is Europe lacking on tanker aircraft, also its AAR personnel lacks on international experience: First Objective is therefore to develop and conduct a multinational exercise dedicated to AAR inside Europe.


This need was recogniced by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and hence addressed to all EDA Participaing Nations. Convened by all the nations responds, EDA took over the lead to recommend different measures to overcome the EU tanker shortfall.
The running EART 2014 is one important outcome of a cooperation of EDA and EATC: the training will deliver AAR training over a two-week period duration, offering participants a unique opportunity to plan and execute missions within a multinational framework.
EART itself is merged into Frisian Flag. Both training/exercise are tactically organised and conducted by the Host Nation, the Netherlands.
During EART14 training development, FF 2014-bound as well as independent scenarios will be played for each mission according to its specific AAR characteristics and training requirements.
EART14 will be developed on an increasing complexity basis, starting from single ship missions and evolving to being part of COMAO missions within Frisian Flag 2014.


Find much more about EART 2014 here.


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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Rafael targets Indian Rafale opportunity


Apr.7, 2014 By Arie Egozi – FG


Tel Aviv - Israeli guided weapons manufacturer Rafael is offering its Python 5 and Derby air-to-air missiles for integration with some of the Dassault Rafales expected to enter service with the Indian air force.


India in January 2012 selected the Rafale for its 126-unit medium multi-role combat aircraft deal, with the first 18 examples to be completed by Dassault with a full complement of integrated weapons. The type is flown by the French air force and navy with air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons produced by MBDA and Sagem.


An earlier request for proposals also required airframers to “integrate additional weapons of the Indian air force’s choice, as required”.


Joseph Horowitz, director of business development and marketing for Rafael's air superiority directorate, confirms that the Israeli company is in the competition to arm later Indian air force aircraft. Russian industry is also pursuing potential opportunities, with the air force still evaluating its options.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Oman Air Force Continues F-16 Legacy



Apr 6, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


The Sultanate of Oman accepted the first of its second order of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-16 Fighting Falcons in a ceremony April 3 at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth facility. The fighter aircraft will ferry to Oman later this year.


In 2002, the Sultanate of Oman became the 23rd member of the F-16 family and now joins the 15 other countries which have ordered additional F-16 jets for their air defense. The new F-16s will add to the Oman Air Force's existing fleet of F-16s used to defend Oman's borders.


Read more

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Israeli squadrons trial joint combat formation



7 April 2014 By: Arie Egozi - FG


Tel Aviv - The Israeli air force has unveiled a new strategy intended to increase the operational capabilities of its fighting squadrons at a time of war – operating two different types of aircraft very closely.


The decision to train in a joint formation is based on the assumption that during a war the air force would have to deal simultaneously with suppressing rocket and missile attacks being made against Israeli territory, and with any attempt by aerial forces to enter the nation's airspace to strike targets.


In late March, two squadrons trained using the new technique, with the target of employing the joint formation to achieve the best operational results. This involved Boeing F-15s from the "Knights of the Double Tail" unit, operating out of Tel Nof air base, and Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds from the "First Jet" squadron at Ramat David air base.


During three days of training, the units employed mixed formations against a simulated enemy in a scenario in which they had to defend Israeli airspace on the nation's northern front. They also flew in larger numbers than usual, in a bid to exploit the advantages of each combat aircraft type. Air crews also gathered for joint briefings and debriefings throughout the process.


By merging its assets into one flying formation, the air force can deal with a wide variety of threats. Its F-15s have longer-range capability and carry some unique weapons, while the F-16 has attributes including its defensive electronic warfare equipment.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
USAF Releases Outllook for Remotely-Piloted Aircraft



April 07, 2014 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: US Air Force; issue April 04, 2014)


Future Outlook Released for Remotely Piloted Aircraft


WASHINGTON --- Air Force leaders outlined what the next 25 years for remotely piloted aircraft will look like in the RPA Vector, published April 4.

“The RPA Vector is the Air Force’s vision for the next 25 years for remotely-piloted aircraft,” said Col. Kenneth Callahan, the RPA capabilities division director. “It shows the current state of the program, the great advances of where we have been and the vision of where we are going.”

The goal for the vector on the operational side is to continue the legacy Airmen created in the RPA field. The vector is also designed to expand upon leaps in technology and changes the Airmen have made through the early years of the program.

“The Airmen have made it all about supporting the men and women on the ground,” Callahan said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them for their own advances in technology to expand the program, making it a top platform.”

The document gives private corporations an outlook on the capabilities the Air Force wants to have in the future, ranging from creation of new RPAs to possibilities of automated refueling systems.

“There is so much more that can be done with RPAs,” said Col. Sean Harrington, an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance command and control requirements chief. “Their roles (RPAs) within the Air Force are evolving. We have been able to modify RPAs as a plug-and-play capability while looking to expand those opportunities.”

In recent years, RPAs not only supported the warfighter on the ground, they also played a vital role in humanitarian missions around the world. They provided real time imagery and video after the earthquake that led to a tsunami in Japan in 2011 and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, according to Callahan.

Then, most recently, during the California Rim Fire in August 2013, more than 160,000 acres of land were destroyed. Though this loss was significant, it was substantially decreased by the support of the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, with support from an MQ-1 Predator, a remotely piloted aircraft.

With this vector, technologies may be created to improve those capabilities while supporting different humanitarian efforts, allowing the Air Force to support natural disaster events more effectively and timely.

The future of the Air Force’s RPA programs will be continuously evolving, to allow the Air Force to be the leader in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.

“We already combine our air, space and cyber forces to maximize these enduring contributions, but the way we execute must continually evolve as we strive to increase our asymmetric advantage,” said Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff. “Our Airmen's ability to rethink the battle while incorporating new technologies will improve the varied ways our Air Force accomplishes its missions.”

For more information and to view the remotely piloted aircraft vector (101 PDF pages) click here.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:45
Mozambican MiGs stuck in Germany



07 April 2014 by defenceWeb


Three MiG-21 fighter jets destined for Mozambique are stuck in Germany due to a lack of necessary permits. They are part of a batch of eight being shipped from Romania.


Romanian company Aerostar is overhauling six MiG-21bis and two MiG-21UM trainer aircraft for the Mozambique Air Force and is also providing training for Mozambican MiG-21 pilots. Three MiG-21s were seen flying at Aerostar’s Bacau facility last year.


On Sunday Germany’s Der Spiegel reported that three MiG-21s were transported from the Romanian capital Bucharest by train in six containers and were to have been subsequently shipped to Mozambique from the Germany port of Bremerhaven.


However, although the aircraft were declared according to procedure, their transport was done without the necessary permits and they were stopped. Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s public prosecutor will investigate the possible breach of arms control laws. The publication noted that Aerostar was found guilty of a similar incident in 2008.


In 2012 German customs officials confiscated MiG-29 engines for Algeria and Tu-142 engines for India over the lack of necessary permits.


The Mozambique Air Force is slowly rejuvenating, considering that until recently it was almost entirely inoperable, suffering poor serviceability since independence from Portugal in 1975 and the collapse of the Soviet Union and its financial support in the early 1990s. The arrival of the MiG-21s will give the Air Force a jet capability not had in years, as its existing MiG-21s have fallen into disrepair and are grounded.


In addition to the MiG-21s, Mozambique has apparently bought two Aerostar Festival side-by-side light aircraft and will get an overhauled Aero Vodochody L-39ZO jet trainer. Late last year it emerged that Mozambique’s Air Force would also receive two second hand Antonov An-26B transport aircraft after they have been refurbished in the Ukraine.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
Magellan Aerospace Awarded Contract To Repair and Overhaul CF-18 Engines


April 7, 2014. David Pugliese Defence Watch


News release from Magellan:


TORONTO, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ – Magellan Aerospace Corporation (“Magellan” or the “Corporation”) announced today the award of a contract for engine repair and overhaul (“R&O”) for the F404 engine that powers Canada’s fleet of CF-188 Hornet aircraft. The one-year contract renewal for approximately CDN $55 million, which was competitively bid, commenced on 1 April 2014, and includes an option for an additional year. The work will be carried out at Magellan’s facility in Mississauga, Ontario.


Under the terms of the contract, the Corporation will provide maintenance, engineering, material management, provision of Field Service Representatives, and Publication support for the CF-188 F404 engine and ancillary components. Magellan has provided CF-188 F404 engine R&O services to the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 30 years.


“Magellan is pleased to have been selected to provide this service for the Canadian Department of National Defence. Magellan’s long-standing relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces is very much the product of providing excellent value in terms of competitive pricing and world class technical experience”, said Jim Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Aerospace.


In addition to supporting Canada’s CF-188 F404 fleet, Magellan is a proven supplier, as well as Centre of Excellence, in the worldwide F404 engine R&O support market. There are approximately 4,000 F404 engines currently in service in 15 countries around the world.


About Magellan Aerospace


Magellan Aerospace is a global, integrated aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers, and defence and space agencies worldwide. Magellan designs, engineers, and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, industrial power generation, and specialty products. Magellan is a public company whose shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MAL), with operating units throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Poland.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 16:30
The Future Is Here: The Hercules C-130J lands at Nevatim Airbase



07.04.2014 Shani Pomes - iaf.org.il


This week, the IAF is expected to become stronger with the landing of the latest transport plane, the Hercules C-130J "Shimshon" (Hebrew for Samson). The IAF's new acquisition is capable of carrying much more than its sister plane, the Hercules H, and will be equipped with advanced Israeli systems which will extend the strategic arm of the IAF


This week, it's finally happening: after long anticipation and much preparation, the Hercules C-130J will land at the Nevatim airbase and will join the ranks of the IAF. The latest plane will join the Heavy Transport Division of the force and will add advanced capabilities to the long arm of the IAF.


Big, Accurate, Strong And Safe


The IAF purchased the long version of the Hercules C-130J from Lockheed- Martin which allows for an improved carrying capacity: instead of 64 paratroopers the short version can carry, the Hercules C-130J can accommodate in its cargo hold 92 paratroopers and their equipment. Alternatively, the cargo hold can accommodate four military SUVs instead of three, or transport 128 soldiers.


"The more cargo a plane is able to take, the fewer the trips that are necessary to accumulate power on the battlefield", explains Lieutenant Colonel Uri, commander of the "Elephants" squadron. "Also, there is cargo that cannot be put in a short plane and can only be put in a long plane". A tour of the cockpit of the Hercules C-130J reveals cutting-edge technology: in addition to the digital screens and the advanced displays, the new plane is equipped with new systems that streamline the aircraft maintenance work and allow the technicians to gain information on the routine operations and the malfunctions. Many of the systems that will be installed in the plane are Israeli-made and will make the Hercules C-130J stand out from Hercules planes around the world.


Working With Ground Forces


The installation of the Israeli systems in the Hercules C-130J was carried out in the production line of the planes in the United States and after the plane lands in Israel, additional systems will be installed. This is one step in the integration process of the IAF platform, during which the Hercules C-130J will undergo test flights at the Test Flight Center and, simultaneously, the air crews of the "Elephants" squadron will begin training on it.


"The Hercules C-130J is a plane whose main missions mostly include tactical transport of forces and cargo for long and short distances, in large amounts and with high accuracy", adds Lieutenant Colonel Uri. "The plane will mostly work with ground forces and to their benefit: it will transport forces, rescue them and know how to execute transport and supply missions for them with a high degree of efficiency and safety".

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Ukraine Puts Mothballed Mig-29 Fighter Jets Back in Service


April 7th, 2014 By RIA Novosti - defencetalk.com


Several mothballed Mikoyan Mig-29 Fulcrum fourth-generation fighter jets were returned to combat service in western Ukraine, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.


“Specialists of our team have already returned several planes to service,” the ministry quoted an unnamed commander of an Air Force unit near Ivano-Frankivsk as saying. “We are now conducting test flights. Soon, more mothballed fighter jets will take off again.”


The state of Ukraine’s armed forces came under close scrutiny when the new government took office in late February, after months of violent uprising.


Kiev launched extensive combat readiness checks of its armed forces in early March, following Crimea’s announcement that it was ready to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.


Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh said in his report to the president that the checks revealed “unsatisfactory” condition of the armed forces.


He said that out of 507 combat planes and 121 attack helicopters, only 15 percent are serviceable. Air Force crews lack proper training and only 10 percent of them are capable of performing combat tasks.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Philippines DND will be Acquiring a Multi-Role Fighter by 2018

After F/A-50 contract has signed, DND announced that it will be acquiring a multi-role fighter by 2018.


07 April 2014 Defense Studies

PHL to get MRF by 2018

MANILA, (PNA) — With the country now on its way to acquire its first-ever supersonic jet aircraft in 34 years, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it will be acquiring a "multi-role fighter" (MRF) by 2018.

This was revealed by DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo

2018 is the second phase of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

During this period, the defense and military establishment will determine whether to acquire additional units of the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" or go full stream with the acquisition of the MRFs to enhance the country's external defense capabilities.

Studies are now underway to determine the best MRF designs for the Philippines.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday. Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.


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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:25
Joint Statement by the Defence Ministers of Sweden and Brazil



April 7th, 2014 By Swedish Radio - defencetalk.com


The Defence Minister of Sweden, Karin Enström, Sweden, and the Defence Minister of Brazil, Celso Amorim, held an official meeting in Stockholm, upon the kind invitation of the Swedish side, on April 3rd, 2014.


The Ministers recalled the 2009 Plan of Action of the Sweden-Brazil Strategic Partnership, which early identified the potential of bilateral cooperation in the defense area, including joint projects, industrial partnerships, technology transfer, education and training, particularly in the aeronautical field.


The Defence Ministers of Brazil and Sweden welcomed the decision by the Brazilian government – taken on December 18, 2013, and based on technical criteria, in particular the ones related to technological and industrial offsets – to select the proposal presented by Swedish company SAAB in the bidding process called FX-2, related to the provision of fighters to equip the Brazilian Air Force.


The Ministers announced the opportunities for a fruitful long term association between Brazil and Sweden in the field of military aircraft, its technologies and its market.


The Ministers expressed that this association is not only limited to the equipping of the Brazilian Air Force but rather a long-term, strategic cooperation.


The Ministers of Defense of Brazil and Sweden thus decided to launch the Brazilian-Swedish Strategic Partnership in Military Aeronautics.


In that regard, the Defence Ministers of Sweden and Brazil took note of the agreements that are already in force and that offer solid base to the conformation of the Strategic Partnership in Military Aeronautics:

    the Memorandum of Understanding Brazil – Sweden on Cooperation in Defence Matters, signed in São Paulo in July 7, 2000;

    its Amendment, signed in Rio de Janeiro on 24 April 2001;

    Agreement between the Administration for Swedish Defence Material – Forsvarets Materielverk – and the Brazilian Air Force on the Protection of Military Classified Information on the JAS 39 Gripen program, adopted in September 1997 and its Supplement No. 1, adopted in 1998.


With a view to providing continuous strength to the Strategic Partnership, the Defence Ministers agreed to sign today a new Framework Agreement for Defense Cooperation between Brazil and Sweden, which shall replace, when it enters into force, the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation.


The Ministers also saluted the signature, on the same date, of the Agreement on the Exchange and Protection of Classified Information by the Chief Minister of the Cabinet of Institutional Security of the Presidency of the Republic and the Head of Military Intelligence and Security Service of the Armed Forces of Sweden.


The Defence Ministers agreed that the next steps include:

    a deepened political dialogue on defence issues, as well as global topics of mutual interest;

    adoption of a Protocol on Cooperation in Military Aeronautics, which shall define specific terms for, among others, the bilateral cooperation between Air Forces;

    a process forward on export control to third countries; and

    creation of the Office of the Brazilian Defense and Air Force Attaché in Stockholm, in reciprocity to the creation of the Office of the Swedish Defence Attaché in Brasilia.


In reiterating their high expectations regarding the Strategic Partnership between Brazil and Sweden in Military Aeronautics, the Ministers saluted the broader bilateral cooperation in defense and military issues.


The ministers reaffirmed the intentions of their Governments to jointly explore synergies regarding the testing, training, logistics, operations and future upgrades of the Gripen system. They looked forward to the inaugural meeting of a Joint Working Group on Military Cooperation within the Framework Agreement, scheduled to meet in Brasilia in August, 2014.


With a view to following up on the bilateral cooperation agenda, the Minister of Defense of Brazil invited the Minister of Defence of Sweden to undertake a visit to Brazil in 2014.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Canada: No F-35 Buys Before 2018

A move by Canada to postpone any F-35 buys until 2018 means decisions will wait until after the next federal election. (US Air Force)


Apr. 6, 2014 - By DAVID PUGLIESE – Defense news


VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Canada has told the US government it won’t be in a position to purchase the F-35 fighter jet until 2018, a move that critics of the aircraft say intentionally delays the controversial procurement until after the next federal election.


The decision has a number of ramifications. It will allow the ruling Conservative Party government to claim during the 2015 election campaign that no decision has yet been made on the purchase of a new fighter jet.


But if the Conservatives are defeated in that election, set for October 2015, it could mean further delays or even a cancellation of the proposed buy, since the country’s other political parties have raised concerns about the acquisition. Both the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party favor an open competition for a new fighter jet.


The F-35 Joint Program Office in the US has amended the Canadian “buy profile,” which indicates numbers of aircraft and timelines of the purchase.


“This moves the notional date of first delivery of aircraft from 2017 to 2018,” the Canadian government noted in a statement. No official reason was provided by Canada for the change in dates.


But industry, military and government officials say the change means a final decision won’t need to be made until after 2015.


“This whole thing is designed to delay and to get the Conservatives past the next election so they don’t have to come clean with Canadians about their F-35 plans,” Liberal Party defense critic Joyce Murray said.


Her analysis was echoed by Jack Harris, defense critic with the official opposition New Democratic Party, as well as Alan Williams, the Department of National Defence’s former head of procurement who approved Canada’s participation in the F-35 program.


Canada’s Conservative Party government committed in 2010 to purchasing 65 F-35s, but the acquisition soon became a major political albatross around the neck of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Opposition MPs alleged his government misled Canadians on the F-35’s price and performance.


In March 2011, the majority of the members of Parliament supported a motion that declared the Conservative government in contempt of Parliament over its withholding of information about the F-35, as well as other key financial documents on other issues. That motion of non-confidence in the government led to the federal election in May 2011, but despite the controversy, the Conservative Party was re-elected.


But in April 2012, Canadian Auditor General Michael Ferguson found Department of National Defence officials had withheld key information from Parliament about the fighter jet, underestimated costs and didn’t follow proper procurement rules.


In December 2012, the government, under continuing fire over the increasing cost of the F-35s, announced it would put the procurement on a temporary hold and examine other aircraft.


That process continues, but senior officers from the Royal Canadian Air Force have publicly stated they are preparing for the eventual delivery of the F-35.


Until the evaluation of other aircraft is complete, the government will not decide on how to proceed, said Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesman for Public Works and Government Services Canada. That department handles federal procurements.


Bujold said the “work is being completed as expeditiously as possible,” but the department could not provide any timelines on when it might be finished or a final decision on an acquisition made.


That’s because the process is a public relations exercise, former defense procurement chief Alan Williams alleges.


“It’s all designed to buy the government time so they can pick the opportune moment to announce the purchase of the F-35,” Williams said.


Jack Harris, defense critic with the official opposition New Democratic Party, said the F-35 acquisition has the potential to hurt the Conservative government’s image with voters in the upcoming election.


“They portray themselves as strong fiscal managers, but they have bungled numerous defense procurement files, particularly the F-35,” he said. “They don’t want this mess hanging over their heads during an election campaign.”


In his 2012 examination, Ferguson found that although Department of National Defence officials were publicly claiming the F-35 purchase would cost CAN $14.7 billion (US $13 billion), they had already quietly estimated the actual price tag to be $25 billion.


Mike Barton, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Canada, said the delay will not affect the F-35 program. When Canada is ready to place its order for the planes, the company will respond, he said.


Canada is still a partner in the program and has not informed the US government or Lockheed Martin of any plans to change that.


Canada operates 78 modernized CF-18 fighters and was planning to replace those with the F-35A, the conventional-takeoff-and-landing version of the F-35.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 10:50
Le DDPS se distancie d’un « plan B » pour l’acquisition d’avions de combat

Berne, 06.04.2014 - news.admin.ch


Ce weekend, divers médias ont parlé d’un « plan B » en cas de refus de l’acquisition de 22 avions Gripen lors du référendum le 18 mai 2014. Le DDPS se distancie de ces allégations et s’en tiendra en tous les cas aux décisions prises démocratiquement.


Ce weekend, divers médias ont parlé d'un « plan B » en cas de refus de l'acquisition de 22 avions Gripen lors du référendum le 18 mai 2014. Selon ces médias, il s'agirait d'acquérir tous les 15 ans une escadrille de 12 avions de combat qui pourraient être financés par la voie ordinaire et ne devraient alors pas être soumis à un référendum. La flotte actuelle de 86 avions de combat (32 F/A-18, 54 F-5 Tiger) pourrait ainsi être remplacée sur le long terme par 50 à 70 nouveaux avions.

Le DDPS tient à se distancer de ces déclarations.

Il ne serait en effet pas acceptable d'acquérir des avions de combat peu de temps après une décision négative du peuple. Dans le message au sujet de la votation, il est clairement dit que les avions ne seront pas achetés si la loi sur le fonds Gripen est refusée.

Selon les gens qui ont fait ces allégations, on aboutirait à une flotte de 50 à70 avions, mais leur raisonnement n'est pas clair. Les avions de combat ont une durée de vie d'environ 30 ans. Si l'on achetait 12 avions de combat tous les 15 ans, la taille de la flotte serait alors de 24 avions. C'est beaucoup trop peu pour garantir la sécurité de la Suisse, car c'est encore moins que la flotte actuelle des F/A-18 sans le Gripen.

Par ailleurs, l'acquisition de seulement 12 avions de combat pourrait, selon le modèle choisi, coûter 2 à 3 milliards de francs. En outre, une réduction du nombre d'avions accroîtrait les incohérences d'ordre économique, car une partie de l'infrastructure est quasi indépendante du nombre d'appareils achetés.

Enfin, il faut relever qu'un motif important pour le choix du financement de l'acquisition du Gripen au moyen d'un fonds était de donner la possibilité d'un référendum. Du point de vue purement financier, des acquisitions de cet ordre de grandeur pourraient aussi se faire par la voie normale, sans passer par un fonds.

Le DDPS est convaincu que l'acquisition de 22 Gripen est nécessaire pour la sécurité de la Suisse et de sa population. A elle seule, la flotte de 32 F/A-18 ne suffit pas, et l'acquisition proposée constitue une solution réaliste. Le DDPS s'en tiendra dans tous les cas strictement à la décision prise démocratiquement.

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