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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
India's third C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing Boeing's Long Beach facility in US. Photo Boeing.

India's third C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing Boeing's Long Beach facility in US. Photo Boeing.

02/09/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft formally joins the Indian Air Force today. In the presence of A.K Antony - the Indian Defence Minister - the 70 tonne airlifter will be pressed into service at Hindon Air Force Station, Delhi.


Equipped with this brand new type, the Indian Air Force will be better-placed to airlift troops and support equipment into battle.


Able to accommodate up to 150 service personnel, the C-17 Globemaster III is the Indian Air Force's largest aircraft, taking over from the Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 in this regard.


Ultimately, the air arm is getting a fleet of 10 Globemasters. In comparison, the Royal Air Force currently operates eight Globemasters and only the USAF, with 220 examples, has more in service. To date, three have been delivered to India, with the remaining seven to be supplied between now and the end of 2014. Still to be exercised is an option to acquire six more Globemasters, meaning India could one day have 16 such aircraft.


C-17 Globemaster III  Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

C-17 Globemaster III Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

Indian Air Force Globemasters


The Indian Air Force Globemaster fleet will operate from India's advanced landing sites (in the northeast) and its more mountainous regions (in the north). Recent years have seen India orientate its arms purchases away from Russia and towards the US and other Western nations. With many older Soviet-era technologies now reaching the end of their service lives, the Indian Air Force is rearming itself with a host of new military technologies. Besides the C-17s, it has also recently obtained six Lockheed C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft and has its sights on six more.


The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III first flew in 1991 and entered service two years later. Capable of carrying payloads up to 77,500 pounds in weight, it can use 3,500 foot-long runways. Four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans - each generating 40,700 pounds of thrust - give it a maximum speed of 515 miles an hour, while it's also got a maximum operational ceiling of 45,000 feet and a 4,741 mile range.


Hindon Air Force Station is Asia's largest air base. Currently based there are Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters, MiG-29 air superiority fighters and a number of the Indian Air Force's C-130Js.

C-17 Globemaster III  Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

C-17 Globemaster III Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
Boeing Close to Winning S. Korean Fighter Deal

Sep. 2, 2013 - By JUNG SUNG-KI  - Defense News


F-15SE Emerges From Long-Shot To Favorite


SEOUL — Boeing is set to inch closer to clinching a multibillion-dollar deal to sell 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets to South Korea, as its competitors have effectively been priced out of the contest.


Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter, which vied for the US $7.4 billion fighter contract, failed to submit proposals below the budget.


“The bottom line is that we can’t sign a final contract with any bidder offering a proposal over the budget,” Oh Tae-shik, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s (DAPA’s) program management bureau, said Aug. 28 in a meeting with local reporters.


“A bidder that offered a proposal under the budget is now only qualified for final evaluations,” Tae-shik said.


The DAPA will hold an executive committee presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in mid-September to pick a final bidder.


The US government failed to submit a proposal below the budget for the sale of 60 F-35 joint strike fighters built by Lockheed Martin.


The Eurofighter consortium’s Typhoon was once thought to be competitive in a contest with Boeing, but the DAPA announced later that the European company was also priced out. The consortium includes Alenia Aermacchi, BAE Systems and EADS.


“Reviewing EADS’ final proposal in a careful manner, we found that some terms and conditions agreed upon by both sides in previous negotiations were modified arbitrarily,” a DAPA spokesman said Aug. 18. “We can’t accept such a proposal breaching bilateral agreements.”


According to the spokesman, for example, Eurofighter promised that it would modify 15 of 60 Typhoon jets into twin-seat aircraft at the request of the DAPA. In the final proposal, however, the European firm changed the number of twin-seat modification work to only six, apparently in order to lower the total price under $7.4 billion.


EADS also changed conditions regarding the costs of weapons integration, the spokesman argued, without specifying what armament integration it was.


Eurofighter officials rebut DAPA claims.


“We have repeatedly explained to DAPA why there was no operational rationale to opt for the number of twin-seaters requested to Eurofighter,” said Christian Scherer, Eurofighter’s chief sales officer. “Thanks to the present state of the art of the Eurofighter simulators, the twin-seater need is minimal, if any, as already proven by the Eurofighter operating in air forces.”


“We do not see any promises made but only different scenarios with preferences, which have been discussed respectfully by the parties all along the negotiation process,” he added.


Despite Eurofighter’s appeal, DAPA has reconfirmed that the Typhoon is not qualified for final evaluations.


Meanwhile, Lockheed spokesman Eric Schnaible said “The situation is DAPA and DAPA Executive Committee’s concern and we’re not going to speculate or intervene in their sovereign decision-making process.”


If a final contract is signed with Boeing, this will be the aerospace giant’s third consecutive win for South Korea’s F-X fighter jet acquisition project. The F-X aims to acquire 120 new high-end warplanes to replace the older fleet of F-4s and F-5s flown by the Republic of Korea Air Force.


Boeing won the two previous F-X deals to supply the Air Force with 60 F-15Ks.


Howard Berry, Boeing’s campaign director for the Korea competition, remains confident that the Silent Eagle is the right choice for Korea in terms of performance and cost aspects.


“Silent Eagle builds on a continuous evolution of capability in the combat-proven F-15 family of aircraft and with a bundle of additional advancements that allows Boeing to offer a ‘2-aircraft-in-1-platform’s solution that brings an unprecedented balance of survivability and lethality,” he said.


But skepticism remains high here about the F-15SE’s performances since the aircraft is still in development.


“The F-15SE is not the best choice. There is not even a prototype of the aircraft,” Lee Hee-woo, head of a logistics support research institute at Chungnam National University. “Stealth functions are not featured only by painting the aircraft and fitting the jet with an internal weapons bay. It is much better to buy more F-15Ks, not the F-15SE, which critics call a paper aircraft.”


The DAPA has been criticized for its zigzag stance on the F-X requirements.


This third phase of F-X, in fact, was launched to procure the so-called fifth-generation stealth aircraft. To promote competition, however, DAPA eased the required operational capability, including the level of radar cross section. As a result, the Silent Eagle and the Typhoon were invited to the contest.


“The [competition] has lost its original purpose to buy stealth fighters,” said Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defense Network, a civic group for defense affairs. “It seems like a boxer in the ring was knocked out by his sparring partner.”


Han Sung-joo, a former commander of the Air Force Logistics Command, is worried F-15SEs would lose an air superiority battle against neighboring countries.


“Japan will introduce 42 F-35 stealth aircraft and is expected to get more up to 200 eventually. China’s J-20 stealth jet is likely to enter service by 2016,” the retired three-star general said. “Then why do we have to choose fighter aircraft falling behind those of the neighboring countries?”


DAPA’s stringent cost evaluation is also at the heart of debate here.


The aircraft acquisition cost only accounts for about 15 percent of the total evaluation. Mission capability takes up the largest portion with 35 percent, while compatibility accounts for nearly 18 percent, operational costs, 15 percent. The remainder is about technology transfer and offset programs.


DAPA had sought to increase the third F-X budget by 20 percent this year, but the budget authorities rejected the request, according to DAPA officials.


Critics say DAPA was easygoing about the budget issue. Rejected by the Finance Ministry, DAPA was upset and offered the 15-percent acquisition cost as an absolute condition to sway all other evaluation results.


“Certainly, it’s not reasonable that the whole evaluation is swayed by a 15-percent element,” said Kim Dae-young, a researcher at the Korea Defense & Security Forum, a Seoul-based private defense think tank. “In terms of regulations, there is no fault with the DAPA, but the acquisition process is too stringent to shop the best-performance product.”


Andrew Chuter in London and Aaron Mehta in Washington contributed to this report.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
Première historique pour les pilotes russes et français

29/08/2013 Armée de l’Air


Pour la première fois depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, des pilotes français ont participé à un exercice tactique commun avec leurs homologues russes sur la base aérienne de Savasleyka, à 400 km à l’est de Moscou, du 18 au 23 août 2013.


Retour en images sur ce moment chargé d’Histoire.

Première historique pour les pilotes russes et françaisPremière historique pour les pilotes russes et français
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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Sep. 1, 2013 - By GERARD O’DWYER – Defense News


HELSINKI — Job creation will stand as the chief factor when the Danish government convenes to select a replacement type for its aging F-16 fleet in mid-2015.


Denmark will look for substantial long-term industry value from bidders in the restarted Fighter Replacement Program (FRP), said newly appointed Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen, who replaced Nick Hækkerup following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt’s coalition government on Aug. 9.


The government, which hopes to use the FRP as a mechanism to inject significant new investment into an economy weakened by the global financial crisis, has set job creation as the cornerstone of its revised fighter procurement policy, Wammen said.


Moreover, the FRP will be used to bolster sustainable export growth within the country’s tiny defense industry


“All four candidates will be informed of our thinking and requirements. It will be made crystal clear that if there are not jobs coming to Denmark, then we will not be buying planes from that quarter,” Wammen said in a statement.


The bidding line-up includes Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Saab’s Gripen-DK NG and Cassidian’s Eurofighter Typhoon. Denmark is looking to begin retiring the first of its F-16 fighters in 2020.


Denmark is expected to purchase 24 to 30 new fighters at an estimated cost of $3.8 billion to $5.5 billion. A final decision on the number of aircraft to be acquired is anticipated in the next six months.


All bidders will need to bring real jobs to the negotiating table for what will be a “huge” capital investment undertaking by the Danish state, Wammen said.


Denmark’s defense industry has welcomed the government’s clear message to potential bidders. However, industry chiefs want the government to ensure any future supplier agreements with 100 percent countertrade guarantees.


“This is about maximizing gains for Denmark, the national economy and for industry,” said Jan Falck-Schmidt, CEO of Falck-Schmidt Defence Systems, a domestic supplier of missile, force protection and life-cycle systems and services. “It is not enough to ask candidate manufacturers if jobs will emerge. What is needed is for the Danish government to demand 100 per cent countertrade. This will focus attention on value-added contracts and serious job creation initiatives.”


Only time will tell if the Danish government is serious about pushing job creation to the front when it comes to implementing the FRP, said defense analyst Jens Ringsmose. Other considerations, including a wish to retain a strong political alliance with the U.S, can also be expected to play a crucial role in the aircraft selection process, he added.


“The message is that jobs will be the most important parameter in this massive acquisition. In this way [Wammen] avoids having to explain the other major contributory reasons that are at least as important; not least the alliance with the United States,” Ringsmose said.


While the FRP competition needs to be industry and value centered, it must also be run in a fair and equitable manner, said Lene Espersen, the opposition Danish Conservative party’s defense spokeswoman.


“This is a very large item of expenditure for Denmark, and we must derive as much value in terms of jobs and long-term economic growth as possible. The project must be used not alone to expand the order books of our defense groups but help them grow into more export-driven niche suppliers of weapons and military systems in the future,” Espersen said. “Above all this competition must be about buying the best aircraft from European and the American bidders in an environment of trust where all are competing on a level playing field.”


The government’s final decision could favor the purchase of a reduced number of fighters as part of a broader strategy to purchase specialized unmanned aircraft, Espersen said.


“Drones will never replace conventional combat aircraft, but they will play an increased role in international operations. They will become increasingly used in Denmark’s Arctic territories. The drone dimension could add an interesting feature to the fighter replacement competition,” Espersen said.


The mistakes made in the original competition, which saw Eurofighter withdraw from the contest due to what it perceived as a contest weighted in favor of Lockheed’s F-35 JSF, cannot be repeated, said John Dyrby Paulsen, the Social Democrat’s spokesman on defense.


“There is already a perception that Lockheed Martin has an advantage in this competition because Denmark has invested in the JSF project. This must be a real competition. We must not be bound by some sense of loyalty to choose an American plane. The final decision must be based on the economic value to Denmark on the one hand and the need to buy the best aircraft for our needs on the other,” Paulsen said.


Denmark, which is a Tier-3 partner in the JSF project, restarted the FRP in March after suspending the competition in 2010 due to a need to divert funds in a battle to fight off recessionary fears and support the country’s then-ailing banking system. As a Tier-3 partner, Denmark has so far invested around $200 million in the JSF development program.


“Industry’s position has always been very clear: Military procurements must result in concrete contracts for the Danish defense equipment and aerospace industries,” said Frank Hall, general secretary of the Danish Defense & Security Industries Association (DDSIA).


The DDSIA plans to hold regular meetings with all bidders in the coming months. Talks will be routed through the organization’s dedicated FRP unit, the Danish Industry Fighter Aircraft Team, which was established in 2008 to explore the potential for partnerships and contract work with all candidates in the competition.

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31 août 2013 6 31 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Russie: le bombardier de 5e génération remplacera trois types d'avions (Armée)

JOUKOVSKI (région de Moscou), 30 août - RIA Novosti


Le bombardier russe de 5e génération PAK DA, qui sera livré à l'armée à partir de 2020, pourrait remplacer trois types d'avions actuellement en service dans l'armée russe, a annoncé vendredi le général Victor Bondarev, commandant en chef de l'Armée de l'air russe.


"Il accomplira les missions qui sont actuellement assignées aux avions Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS et Tu-22. Il sera équipé d'armes hypersoniques", a indiqué le général lors d'une conférence de presse au Salon aérospatial international MAKS-2013 à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.


Le commandant de l'Armée de l'air a ainsi confirmé les informations selon lesquelles le bombardier à long rayon d'action PAK DA, en cours de conception, serait doté d'armes hypersoniques.


L'avion PAK DA quant à lui sera subsonique, sur décision d'une commission spéciale du ministère de la Défense.


Le groupe russe "Missiles tactiques" a annoncé le 28 août dernier avoir créé un missile hypersonique, qui pour le moment n'arrive à voler à une vitesse hypersonique que pendant quelques secondes.


D'après le commandant de l'Aviation à long rayon d'action russe Anatoli Jikharev, les premiers bombardiers PAK DA seront livrés à l'armée d'ici 2020.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 18:57
Missile Scalp-EG sur son berceau de chargement, devant un Mirage 2000D du CEAM.

Missile Scalp-EG sur son berceau de chargement, devant un Mirage 2000D du CEAM.

30/08/2013 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges Supersonique

Le vote négatif de la chambre des Communes sur la participation de l’armée britannique à une intervention en Syrie aura eu au moins un mérite : clarifier la situation. Si frappes il y a, elles seront le fait, essentiellement, des Etats-Unis et de la France. François Hollande confirme cet après-midi dans le Monde la position française: « Si le Conseil de sécurité est empêché d’agir une coalition se formera […] Il y a peu de pays qui ont les capacités d’infliger une sanction par des moyens appropriés. La France en fait partie. Elle y est prête. Elle décidera de sa position en étroite liaison avec ses alliés.»


MdCN, - SCALP naval

MdCN, - SCALP naval

Que peut faire la France dans le cadre d’une intervention de portée limitée, la plus probable à ce jour ? On peut déjà renverser la question, et dire ce qu’elle ne peut pas faire : les Etats-Unis devront se charger des frappes de missiles de croisières Tomahawk, tirés de leurs destroyers. L’équivalent français des Tomahawk, le missile de croisière naval (MdCN, connu aussi sous le nom de SCALP naval), est encore en cours de développement par l’industriel MBDA : il pourra être tiré des frégates françaises à partir de 2014, et des futurs sous-marins nucléaires d’attaque Barracuda à partir de 2017.


Scalp - photo MBDA

Scalp - photo MBDA

En attendant, la France s’appuie sur son missile de croisière aéroporté SCALP-EG, dont une quinzaine d’exemplaires avaient été tirés lors de l’opération Harmattan en Libye. Ces missiles, d’une portée annoncée de 250 km, sont embarqués sur Rafale (version armée de l’air et marine) et Mirage 2000. Ils permettent le tir à distance de sécurité, mais leur portée est quatre fois inférieure à la future version navale, et l’armement ne peut être emporté qu’à raison d’un missile sur Rafale Marine et deux sur Rafale de l’armée de l’air.


Syrie : de quels moyens dispose la France ?

Pour assurer la protection de ces chasseurs, la France dispose de frégates de défense aérienne dont l’une des plus modernes, le Chevalier Paul, a quitté Toulon hier, selon les informations du Point. Ce bâtiment dispose de missiles Aster 15 et Aster 30 (MBDA) d’une efficacité redoutable, même contre les missiles à grande vitesse. Il est aussi probable, même si ce ne sera probablement jamais confirmé, qu’un sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque soit déjà à pied d’œuvre en Méditerranée orientale pour des missions de renseignement. Le bâtiment collecteur de renseignement ultra-moderne Dupuy-de-Lôme peut également être envoyé sur zone, si ce n’est pas déjà fait.


Syrie : de quels moyens dispose la France ?

Reste le cas du porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle. Mon confrère Hubert Levet citait cette semaine une source au ministère de la défense affirmant que la décision d’envoyer le fleuron de la marine nationale « a été prise, même si elle n’est pas encore officielle », ce qu’a démenti l’état-major des armées. S’il quitte Toulon pour la Méditerranée orientale, le porte-avions, opérationnel après un « entretien intermédiaire » de six mois à Toulon, partira avec son groupe aéronaval (frégates, sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque, pétrolier ravitailleur…). L’autre solution pour projeter des chasseurs est d’utiliser les bases aériennes françaises, les bases à l’étranger (Djibouti, Abu Dhabi) ou alliées (Chypre, Turquie…).

Le porte-avion Charles-de-Gaulle à quai à Toulon le 28.08.2013 photo France 3 Provence-Alpes

Le porte-avion Charles-de-Gaulle à quai à Toulon le 28.08.2013 photo France 3 Provence-Alpes

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:40
Moscou dévoile le SU-30SM

29 août Aerobuzz.fr


A l’occasion du salon aéronautique MAKS de Moscou (27 août-1er septembre 2013 à Joukovski), la Russie met l’accent sur son nouveau biplace de combat SU-30 SM. Il s’agit d’un dérivé du biplace SU-30 MKI en service en Inde. Cet avion hyper manoeuvrant est doté de plans canard et de tuyères à poussée dirigée. Côté avionique, il s’agit d’un appareil 100% russe : il possède un radar à antenne active signé NIIP Tikhomirov, dérivé du « Bars » en service sur le MKI. Le SU-30 SM dispose d’un cockpit « tout écran » et d’un calculateur analogue à celui du SU-35. Ce calculateur gère le système d’arme et assure la sécurité du vecteur et de ses occupants. Il décide par exemple d’éjecter les pilotes en cas de danger. Il est piloté par Mr Averyanov, un pilote d’essais réputé qui est entré dans la légende lors de son éjection d’un SU-30 MKI pendant un salon du Bourget.


Moscou qui se dit très satisfait du SU-30 SM, aussi à l’aise en combat rapproché qu’en combat hors de portée visuelle, en a commandé 60 exemplaires. Ils serviront à former les pilotes de SU-35 et de T-50 qui constituent le renouveau des forces aériennes russes (VVS).

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Worst Case: F-35 Could Cost Canada C$71Bn

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: The Hill; published Aug. 29, 2013)


F-35 Purchase Could Cost Canada $71-Billion Under Worst-Case Scenario: Report (excerpt)

PARLIAMENT HILL --- A worst-case scenario of cost risks in a Department of National Defence report on a possible acquisition of 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets estimates the airplanes could cost Canada up to $71 billion through acquisition, sustainment and operations over 36 years.

The costs, $25-billion more than the current National Defence estimate, are contained in a section of the department’s latest report to Parliament on the F-35 that outlines “cost risk and uncertainty” and is intended to provide a range of effects on the cost of buying and operating a fleet of stealth attack planes if factors such as inflation, the exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollar, the cost of fuel and the rate of aircraft to be produced by Lockheed Martin fluctuates either higher or lower than the estimates that are behind the current National Defence figures.

If Lockheed Martin expectations of more efficiency through continued production and economies of scale as it makes and sells an expected 3,100 jets are even just three per cent less than expected, the extra cost to Canada would be $6.1-billion over a current acquisition calendar which has the 65 aircraft being delivered over a seven-year period beginning in 2017.


Other risks the National Defence report outlines include a likelihood that Lockheed Martin will sell 250 aircraft less than the number previously expected during the period Canada would potentially buy, leading to lower economies of scale in production and an extra cost to Canada of $500 million.

The risk analysis shows if the Canadian dollar were valued at 78 cents per U.S. dollar, instead of the current forecast of 92 cents, it would add $1.6-billion more to the acquisition cost. If the inflation rate were one per cent more over the lifetime of the fleet than the inflation rate on which the current National Defence forecast is based, the extra cost for sustaining Canada’s fleet would be $3.1-billion over the aircraft lifecycle. A change of one cent in the exchange rate could mean an extra $2.1-billion in lifetime sustainment cost. On the other side of the coin, a one-cent change in the exchange rate to the benefit of the Canadian dollar would lower the lifecycle sustainment cost by $2.1-billion.

The National Defence forecast of $19.8-billion in operating costs over the F-35 fleet’s lifecycle would increase by $5.4-billion with just a one per cent increase in the inflation rate from the rate the National Defence estimates are based on. It would correspondingly drop with a reduction of one per cent in the inflation rate from the current forecast rate.

The National Defence report forecast of fuel costs over the fleet’s lifetime is based on a price of 87.9 cents per litre, and a 10-per-cent increase in that cost could raise the forecast of life cycle fuel costs by $1.5-billion, with a reduction of the same amount in the unlikely event fuel costs would drop by 10 per cent. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full report, on The Hill website.

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have recently begun to claim they have significantly lowered F-35 costs when, in fact, they have simply lowered their estimates.
It is thus particularly appropriate to see how the picture can change when estimates are instead increased; in this instance, life-cycle costs jump from C$45 billion to C$71 billion if just a few assumptions change by a percentage point or two.
As the cost reductions claimed by Lockheed and the JPO are based on estimates of how various costs (labor rates, fuel, materials, exchange rates, inflation, etc. etc.) will evolve over the next 50 years, it is eye-opening to see how easily minor fluctuations can cause a totally unexpected cost blow-out.)

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 15:55
French Air Force Working Up on A400M

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: French Ministry of Defense; issued Aug. 29, 2013)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)


Status Report on A400M Activities at Orléans


The first A400M Atlas, serial number MSN007, was handed over to the French air force on August 2, 2013. It is currently operated by the Multinational Entry into Service Team (MEST), with the goal of achieving 55 flight hours per month.


After an initial maintenance period, flight activity began in week 34. These are mainly training and aircrew qualification flights, with some in-flight trials.


In the support area, both personnel and equipment are going through a running-in period for the technical and logistical process.


Training and in-flight trials are to continue. A second aircraft is to be delivered by year-end. The coming into service of a simulator will allow the French air force to be self-sufficient for aircrew training.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:55
Le général Caspar-Fille-Lambie en visite à Orléans

30/08/2013 Armée de l'air


Jeudi 22 août, le général Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commandant la défense aérienne et les opérations aériennes (COMDAOA), était en déplacement sur la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans-Bricy.


Cette visite avait pour objectif de rencontrer le personnel des unités de la base engagé lors de l’opération Serval menée au Mali. Le général s’est ainsi entretenu avec des équipages du centre d’instruction des équipages de transport 00.340, des escadrons de transport 2/61 «Franche-Comté» et 3/61 «Poitou», et des fusiliers-commandos du commando parachutiste de l’air n°10 (CPA 10).


Après un premier échange portant essentiellement sur les interactions entre ces unités, le JFACC AFCO (Joint Forces Air Component Command de l’Afrique Centrale et Ouest) et les autres entités (armée de terre ou forces spéciales), un focus particulier a été porté sur les interventions dans la troisième dimension, notamment l’opération aéroportée, puis sur les opérations spéciales.


À l’issue de ce retour d’expérience, le général Caspar-Fille-Lambie a pu découvrir le nouveau simulateur de vol de l’A400M actuellement en phase de validation, et réaliser quelques tours de piste aux commandes.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Sudan operating Su-24s

Image credit: Akram Kharief


28 August 2013 by defenceWeb


Satellite imagery and photographic evidence has confirmed that Sudan has received at least three Sukhoi Su-24 strike aircraft over the last few months.


According to the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), DigitalGlobal satellite imagery has confirmed the presence of at least three Su-24s at the Sudanese Wadi Seidna airbase, which were acquired in recent months. The SSP says technical checks and pilot proficiency are probably underway at the air base.


“As early as March 2013, one Su-24 bomber was parked in the engine testing apron in the operational area of Wadi Seidna, located 25 km northwest of Khartoum,” the SSP said. “To date, three Su-24 aircraft have been observed at Wadi Seidna, most recently on August 24, 2013”.


Meanwhile, photos have emerged of Su-24s in Sudanese Air Force markings. They were provided by the Secret Difa 3 blog, which claims that Sudan has received 12 Su-24s from Belarus that were supposedly intended to go to Yemen.


In the past Sudan has used An-24/26 transport aircraft as crude, inaccurate bombers. The arrival of the Su-24s gives the Air Force the ability to conduct precision strikes over long ranges.


Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast stated that, “The capabilities of this particular type of bomber in the hands of the Sudanese government is troubling. Khartoum has an extensive track record of targeting civilian areas with aerial bombing, and these new planes will allow future damage to be even deadlier. The Sudan government has flouted past UN restrictions on offensive aerial operations in Darfur, and undertaken sustained bombing campaigns in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where there are no UN restrictions. With the deployment of these attack planes, life just got much more dangerous for civilians living in Sudan’s war zones.”


“The Satellite Sentinel Project will keep tracking these aircraft to ensure that they are not used in Darfur, in contravention of the UN Security Council’s directive,” said Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar.


Sudan’s Air Force has of late received a number of new aircraft from Russia and Belarus. According to the United Nations it received 15 Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack jets from Belarus in 2008 and 2009. Together with Mi-24s, these have been used in operations against suspected rebel positions in South Kordofan and Darfour.


Sudan has taken delivery of a number of Mi-24s, with 36 delivered by Russia between 2007 and 2009, according to Amnesty International. In 2011 Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of 12 former Russian Air Force Mi-24s and 6 Mi-8s to Sudan. This year Sudan apparently concluded a contract for the delivery of another 12 Mi-24s and 8 or 12 Mi-8s with an option to supply six more of each, according to Russian daily Vedomosti.


Russia told the UN Register of Conventional Arms that it transferred only four attack helicopters to Sudan in 2012.


Sudan is allegedly negotiating for the supply of 18 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters stored in Belarus.

Image credit: Akram Kharief

Image credit: Akram Kharief

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 17:35
China and Pakistan to hold joint Air Force exercises

August 29, 2013 indian.ruvr.ru


China and Pakistan will hold joint defence aviation exercises in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (northwest China) during the period of 2nd to 22nd of September this year, said spokesman of the Chinese Defense Ministry Yang Yujun on Thursday.


According Mr Yang, the exercise codenamed “Shaheen-2” will be held in the Hotan county. The previous exercises were held in 2011.


Yang Yujun also said that China and India have planned to carry out anti-terrorism exercises this year in the city of Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province.


According to Mr Yang, the joint military exercises are aimed at enhancing trust between the countries and developing further cooperation with a view to maintain peace and stability in the region.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 16:35
Air-launch BrahMos to fly late this year

29 August 2013 by nayeem sheikh - Indian Defence Goal


The air-launched version of the Russian-Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will have its first flight before the end of 2013, according to BrahMos Aerospace managing director A Sivathanu Pillai.

It will be carried by a SU-30MKI fighter that will conduct captive carry and drop tests before attempting the first powered test launch in mid-2014.


The basic surface- and submarine-launched missile has now completed 36 successful test flights, so the test programme for the new variant will be fast-paced. The system is due to enter Indian Air Force service in 2015.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 16:20
First Weapon Loading Tests for F-35A

August 29, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force; issued Aug. 28, 2013)


Airmen Perform First Weapons Load Verification on F-35A


EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- After months of preparation the weapons troop Standardization Load Crew from the 33rd Maintenance Group performed the first munitions load verification on the F-35A Lightning II here Aug. 27.


"Over the next couple of days, our 33d Fighter Wing maintenance professionals, alongside representatives from the F-35 Program Office and Air Combat Command, will validate weapons loading procedures. This involves loading and unloading laser-guided and GPS-guided bombs, and air-to-air missiles into the weapons bays of the aircraft and ensuring the instructions we provide our load crews are accurate and effective - one more step towards F-35 initial war fighting capability," explained Air Force Lt. Col. Ron Huzzard, deputy commander of the 33rd MXG.


The SLC has been practicing this load verification using a series of tabletop exercises for several months. This marked the first hands-on load verification for the crew.


"Watching our weapons troops verify loading procedures was like getting a glimpse into the future. Ultimately, this will be the work that is performed down range when it counts, and we are laying that foundation here at Eglin," said Navy Capt. Lance Massey II, commander of the 33rd MXG. "The stealth capability on the F-35 is beyond incredible, but the weapons capability rounds out the whole purpose of the joint strike fighter."


The procedure was overseen by Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Wilbur, wing weapons manager at the 33rd MXG.


"The Airmen walked through the technical instructions to verify the data is accurate and make adjustments as necessary," Wilbur said about the verification load exercise.


The three-person SLC included Air Force Master Sgt. Karen Griffin, Tech. Sgt. Russell Fontaine and Staff Sgt. Steven Dash. Working as a cohesive team, the trio carefully performed several iterations of loading and unloading four different munitions. Once the procedures are verified SLC members will train the weapon troops.


"Getting this step verified in ALIS (the automated logistics information system) for the F-35A is important, so we can move forward and get our 60-plus maintainers trained and working," Griffin said.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 15:55
Missile Scalp-EG sur son berceau de chargement, devant un Mirage 2000D du CEAM.

Missile Scalp-EG sur son berceau de chargement, devant un Mirage 2000D du CEAM.

29.08.2013 Par Frédéric Lert (FOB)


Pour deviner ce qui peut se passer sur la Syrie, rien de tel qu’un coup d’oeil dans le rétroviseur de l’Histoire. Direction 2011 et la Libye… Dès le premier soir de leur intervention contre le colonel Kadhafi, réputé armé jusqu’aux dents, les Occidentaux font un large usage de missiles de croisière. La Royal Air Force britannique lance un raid de quatre Tornado GR4 armés chacun de deux missiles Storm Shadow (version britannique du Scalp-EG français, l’un comme l’autre étant signés MBDA). Quelques heures plus tard, pas moins de 124 missiles Tomahawk sont tirés depuis les navires de surface de l’US Navy mais aussi depuis un sous-marin britannique en maraude au large des côtes libyennes. Il aurait alors été logique que la France utilise également ses propres missiles de croisière, qui n’avaient alors jamais servi en opération. Ce ne sera pas le cas, du moins dans l’immédiat. Et c’est ainsi que dans le cadre de l’opération Harmattan, l’armée de l’Air entra en première dans l’espace aérien libyen (dont les défenses anti-aériennes n’avaient pas encore été neutralisées) pour stopper à la bombe guidée une colonne blindée menaçant Benghazi. Tout se termina bien pour les ailes françaises, mais la prise de risque avait été considérable et il semble hors de question aujourd’hui de la renouveler au-dessus de la Syrie. Celle-ci fait figure d’adversaire autrement plus coriace que la Libye : les Américains en 1983 (deux appareils abattus au-dessus du Liban par l’armée syrienne) puis les Turcs l’an dernier (un appareil abattu après être venu renifler les défenses syriennes) ont pu en faire l’enrichissante expérience.


Après quelques jours de retard sur ses Alliés, la France a finalement tiré 15 missiles de croisière Scalp-EG pendant l’opération Harmattan en 2011. Dix ont été tirés par les Rafale de l’armée de l’Air, quatre par ceux de la Marine et un seul par un Mirage 2000D de l’armée de l’Air. Petits bras les Français et sans doute près de leurs sous, parce que dans le même temps les Italiens en tiraient une trentaine et les Britanniques une soixantaine ! Reste que cette volonté louable de faire des économies pourrait bien tomber à plat dans la guerre qui se prépare. D’abord parce qu’on l’a dit, l’adversaire semble être plus coriace que précédemment. Ensuite parce que si les avions sont dans l’impossibilité d’utiliser des bombes guidées dans une guerre punitive qui promet d’être limitée, l’engagement des uns et des autres ne pourra se faire qu’en comptant le nombre de missiles de croisière tirés. Il faudra faire bonne figure…


Mais les missiles sont comme les hamsters, ils ont une durée de vie inférieure à celle de l’être humain. Après dix ou douze ans de stockage (le Scalp est entré en service en 2004 en France), le temps viendra rapidement de leur redonner du potentiel, mais cette opération exigera des sous… Or comme chacun le sait les temps sont durs. La loi de programmation militaire ne prévoit à ce jour que la rénovation d’une centaine de missiles de croisière air-sol pour les années à venir sur les 500 livrés. Cela signifie-t-il que les 385 autres encore en stock devront être consommés avant d’être démantelés ? Ce qui ouvrirait des horizons nouveaux aux armées, pour peu qu’elles disposent encore des avions pour les porter…

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Vigilant Eagle 2013 cooperative air defence exercise begins

A Russian SU-27 fighter escorts Fencing 1220, a Gulfstream 4 replicating a hijacked aircraft during Exercise Vigilant Eagle 2010. Photo Maj. Mike Humphreys


29 August 2013 airforce-technology.com


The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is conducting the annual cooperative air defence exercise, Vigilant Eagle 2013, with the Russian and Canadian air forces, to improve their ability to provide a coordinated response in the event of a terrorist attack on a passenger aircraft.


Representing the third to incorporate real aircraft and overall the fifth drill in the series, the exercise features two hijacked international flights: one originating in Alaska and travelling into Russian airspace, followed by the other originating in Anadyr, Russia and travelling into US airspace.


NORAD and US Northern Command joint training and exercises director Joseph Bonnet said the scenario involves two hijacked civilian aircraft challenging participants to provide a coordinated response.


Bonnet added: "The US and Russian air forces will launch or divert fighter jets to investigate and follow the suspect aircraft, after it fails to respond to communications, and will also participate in co-operative escort and handoff procedures using two different communications, command-and-control and air traffic control systems.


''This is the culmination of everything that has gone on in previous exercises, and we expect it to continue to mature.''


The US Air Force's airborne warning and control system (AWACS) and Russia's A-50 Beriev will serve as command-and-control platforms, whereas Canadian CF-18 Hornet and Russian Sukhoi fighter aircraft are tasked with tracking, identifying, intercepting and following the hijacked aircraft, and air-to-air refuelling operations.


Meanwhile, the hijacked commercial airliners are being simulated by a Russian Tupolev and a commercial aircraft contracted by the US.


Besides NORAD, Russian and Canadian air forces, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its Russian counterpart are also participating in the exercise.


Initiated in 2008 with a computer simulated exercise, Vigilant Eagle intends to continue the development of cooperation between the Russian air force and NORAD in preventing and combating potential air terrorism threats.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Le chasseur russe de 6e génération sera un drone

29 août 2013 par info-aviation


Les constructeurs aériens russes ont entamé la conception d’un avion de chasse de sixième génération, a déclaré l’ex-commandant en chef de l’Armée de l’air russe, le général Piotr Deïnekine.


« La conception de drones à long rayon d’action nécessite des études supplémentaires, d’autant que la sixième génération d’appareils de combat sera le plus probablement sans pilote. Nous travaillons activement sur ce sujet », a annoncé le général à la question de savoir pourquoi la Russie développait, avec un retard important sur les États-Unis, le chasseur de 5e génération T-50 et ne procédait pas à la conception de la sixième génération de chasseurs en omettant la cinquième.


Selon M.Deïnekine, il est incorrect de comparer la Russie aux pays de l’Otan capables d’acheter des appareils US de cinquième génération.


« Nous devons faire nous-mêmes ce travail important, et il est peu probable que nous soyons en mesure de sauter une génération », a indiqué le général.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:35
Russia to deliver six Mig-29K warplanes to India

28 August 2013 by nayeem sheikh - Indian Defence Goal


Russia is set to deliver six more jet fighters of 4++ generation this year to Indian Air Force as per a deal with New Delhi, the MIG aircraft corporation said Wednesday.


“India currently exploits 21 aircrafts. In line with a contract, we must deliver 29 planes by 2015. Last year, we’ve delivered four planes. This year, we’ve delivered one plane and six aircrafts remain to be delivered,” MIG’s director general Sergei Korotkov told reporters at the MAKS air show, Xinhua reported.


The six-day MAKS show kicked off in Zhukovsky city outside Moscow Tuesday. MIG signed a $1.5 billion deal with India in 2010 to deliver 29 MIG-29K-KUB warplanes.


This is the second such contract between the Russian aircraft construction corporation and New Delhi. The first deal to supply India with 16 MIGs-29 was signed in 2004 and completed in 2011.


During MAKS, the Russian corporation also signed two deals worth $55 million to build a centre in India to service MIG’s avionics and hardware, the corporation’s spokesperson Elena Fedorova said.


MIG’s partner in those deals is Basant Aerospace Private Ltd, she added.


MIG commenced production of new unified family of multi-role fighters of the 4++ generation in 2005.


The double-seat MIG-29K-KUB is a multi-role fighter intended for air-defence missions of naval forces, air superiority gaining, sea and ground target destruction with high precision guided weapons day and night and in any weather condition.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:30
Syrie: une zone d'exclusion aérienne envisagée (Washington)

WASHINGTON, 29 août - RIA Novosti


Les Etats-Unis étudient la possibilité de mettre en place une zone d'exclusion aérienne en Syrie, mais le président Barack Obama n'a pas encore pris de décision concernant la réaction à l'emploi d'armes chimiques dans ce pays, a déclaré mercredi Marie Harf, porte-parole adjoint du département d'Etat américain.

"Nous avons déclaré à maintes reprises que les militaires étaient prêts à toute surprise. Beaucoup de variantes sont à l'étude, dont la mise en place d'une zone d'exclusion aérienne" en Syrie, a indiqué Mme Harf.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:20
F-35 team makes headway with helmet-mounted display

29 August 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - Lockheed Martin, Vision Systems International and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) are making progress with solving night vision acuity problems on the F-35's helmet-mounted display, says a senior test pilot assigned to the programme.


Test pilots recently tested a modified second-generation helmet fitted with a new 1600x1200 resolution ISIE-11 night vision camera coupled with a new display management computer/helmet, says Lt Col Matt Kelly, an F-35 test pilot assigned to the JPO.


Kelly says the ISIE-11 immensely improves the helmet's night vision capabilities.


"The ISIE-11 has great potential for tactical operations," Kelly says of the new system. However, there is still a lot of work to do before the helmet is ready for fleet release - the system will have to be demonstrated in the air before test pilots give it a green light.


Meanwhile, the F-35 JPO is still funding parallel development work on a BAE Systems-developed helmet into the third quarter of 2014.


F-35B test pilots on the USS Wasp are using the existing helmet with the current ISIE-10 camera, which has been judged to have deficient night-vision performance.


The ISIE-10 has inferior night vision capability compared with the ANVIS-9 night vision goggles (NVGs) used in the Boeing AV-8B and F/A-18. However, pilots say it is easier to land the F-35B unaided by the night vision camera on a ship than a AV-8B with NVGs.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 09:36
Syrie / intervention: Rome veut un aval de l'ONU (journal)

MOSCOU, 29 août - RIA Novosti


L'Italie ne mettra ses bases aériennes à la disposition des participants à l'intervention militaire en Syrie que si cette opération se déroule sous l'égide de l'ONU, a écrit mercredi le journal La Repubblica, se référant à des sources au gouvernement italien.


"Londres et Washington, qui projettent de lancer une intervention militaire en Syrie, en réponse à une attaque chimique de la semaine dernière, ne pourront pas utiliser les bases italiennes. Des sources gouvernementales ont indiqué que Rome ne permettrait pas d'utiliser les bases militaires sur son territoire, si - comme cela semble de plus en plus probable - l'opération aura lieu sans l'aval des Nations unies", selon le journal.


La ministre italienne des Affaires étrangères Emma Bonino insiste toujours sur le fait qu'il n'y "a pas de solution militaire au conflit", qui doit être réglé par voie politique, et que l'Italie "ne participerait aux opérations militaires sans l'aval du Conseil de sécurité", d'après le quotidien.

Intervenant devant la commission parlementaire italienne pour les affaires étrangères, Mme Bonino a déclaré qu'il fallait tenir la conférence Genève 2 et négocier un règlement durable de la situation en Syrie et dans l'ensemble de la région.


Le ministre italien de la Défense Mario Mauro opte aussi pour une solution politique. Il a appelé mercredi l'Italie, sur les ondes de la Radio Anch'io, à "ne pas être timide face aux Etats-Unis, à la France, à la Grande-Bretagne et à l'Allemagne", tout en soulignant qu'elle devait être "en harmonie avec le rôle des alliés", toujours selon La Repubblica.


La situation en Syrie est entrée dans une phase critique le 21 août, date à laquelle certains médias ont fait état de l'utilisation d'armes chimiques par les troupes gouvernementales dans la région de Damas. Selon les rebelles, cette attaque présumée pourrait avoir fait jusqu'à 1.300 morts.


Damas a démenti avoir mené l'attaque et dénoncé une manipulation visant à déclencher une intervention étrangère dans le conflit syrien, qui dure depuis mars 2011.


Le 27 août, un porte-parole de la Maison Blanche a annoncé que le président Barack Obama réfléchissait aux mesures de riposte à cette attaque. Certains pays occidentaux, dont les Etats-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne et la France, appellent à une intervention militaire en Syrie sans aval du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 07:50
Czechs, Swiss Boost Hopes for Sweden’s Gripen

Aug 28, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: The Local; published Aug 28, 2013)


Czechs and Swiss Boost Hope for Swedish Gripen


The interim Czech government said it plans to renew its lease of JAS Gripen fighter jets, while a parliamentary committee in Switzerland said yes to a proposed 23 billion kronor ($3.5 billion) purchase of the Swedish-made warplanes.


Following two days of discussions of the deal that would see the Swiss military purchase 22 JAS Gripen jets, the security and defence committee of the Swiss parliament voted 14-9 in favour of the deal. The deal now moves for a vote in front of the full parliament on September 11th.


The committee had previously given the deal a thumbs up in the spring, but some politicians expressed concerns, prompting the government to review and clarify the deal.


As the new Gripen E is still in development, there remains uncertainty as to whether Saab and Sweden can deliver what they've promised and that Switzerland may end up with what some called an "Ikea-plane" instead of a "Super-JAS".


Meanwhile, outgoing Czech prime minister Jiri Rusnok said this week that the government expects to renew its lease on 14 Swedish fighter jets beyond 2015.


"The negotiations are at an advanced stage. The ball is actually in our court. The Swedes are awaiting our final answer to their recent offer," he told reporters on Monday.


The new contract with Stockholm over the supersonic JAS-39 Gripen combat jets could be inked at the end of the year or in early 2014 by the new government, he added. Snap elections are scheduled for late October.


The Czech military paid nearly $1 billion to lease the Gripens for a decade starting 2005. The aircraft include 12 one-seater JAS-39 Cs and two two-seater training JAS-39 Ds.


In July of last year, former Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said Stockholm was being "uncooperative" regarding the renewal. According to press reports, the Swedes had been refusing to lower the lease price.


Necas stepped down in June amid a spy and bribery scandal. The president appointed a new technocratic government led by Rusnok, but that cabinet lost a confidence vote this month.


"The next government will make the final decision on the Gripens, but this (Rusnok) cabinet will do its utmost to facilitate it," Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek said Monday. He added that the new contract will be a better deal for the Czech Republic and valid for "a period longer than ten years".

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 07:40
Moscou crée sa première base aérienne en Biélorussie

MINSK, 28 août - RIA Novosti


La Russie créera sa première base aérienne sur le sol biélorusse en 2013, a annoncé mercredi à Minsk le ministre biélorusse de la Défense Iouri Jadobine.


"Une patrouille de chasseurs russes sera déployée sur le territoire biélorusse d'ici la fin de l'année", a indiqué M.Jadobine lors d'une conférence de presse.


La base aérienne sera située à Lida, non loin de la frontière avec la Pologne et la Lituanie conformément à l'accord intergouvernemental bilatéral sur le renforcement de la composante militaire de l'Union Russie-Biélorussie.


La base sera opérationnelle dès 2013.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 19:14
photo Livefist

photo Livefist

JOUKOVSKI (région de Moscou), 28 août - RIA Novosti


L'Inde entend équiper ses futurs chasseurs Rafale de missiles russes, a annoncé mercredi Boris Obnossov, directeur général du groupe russe "Armements balistiques tactiques", lors du Salon aérospatial international MAKS-2013 à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.


"L'Inde manifeste de l'intérêt pour l'adaptation de nos missiles pour les Rafale" qui seront fournis par la France, a indiqué M.Obnossov devant les journalistes.


Selon lui, le groupe, qui a perdu l'appel d'offres indien pour la production de 126 chasseurs polyvalents en 2011, est prêt à adapter ses missiles pour les chasseurs français Rafale (Dassault Aviation) retenus par l'Inde.


Le Salon aérospatial international MAKS-2013 se déroule du 27 août au 1er septembre sur l'aérodrome de l'Institut de recherche sur les vols Gromov à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 16:35
South Korea T-50 Crashes, Killing 2 Pilots

Aug. 28, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


SEOUL — Two pilots were killed Wednesday when a South Korean air force jet trainer crashed near the southwestern city of Gwangju, the defense ministry said.


Investigations were underway to determine the cause of the crash of the T-50 aircraft, a spokesman said.


It was the second crash in less than a year involving a T-50, South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft jointly developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin.


A T-50B aircraft crashed into a mountain in the northeast last November, killing a pilot.


Indonesia in 2011 ordered 16 T-50s and Seoul is pursuing other contracts from the Philippines and Iraq.

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