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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
AH-64E helicopter - photo Boeing

AH-64E helicopter - photo Boeing

 

13 October, 2015 BY: Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Washington DC - A Lockheed Martin communications system will be replaced on the Boeing AH-64E Apache fleet as the US Army moves to standardise data links for manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T).

 

Having Apache pilots communicating and controlling unmanned air systems (UAS) in flight is a central element of the army’s strategy for replacing the armed scout role now performed by the Bell Helicopter OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. But the transition to the MUM-T future has been complicated by a fleet of UAS fielded with incompatible data links.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
Procurement: How The Indian Army Got Its Apaches

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

India, after three years of deliberation by the procurement bureaucrats and politicians, approved the purchase of 22 American AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships and 15 CH-47F transport helicopters. Such delays are not unusual for India where decades of corrupt foreign arms purchases have been exposed in the last decade and the made those still involved in those decisions extremely cautious. It usually takes external events to move decisions forward. In the case of the American helicopters the primary motivators were Russian sales to Pakistan and a feud between the Indian Army and Air Force. The Russian aspect has to do with the growing hostility of India to Russian weapons. For half a century Russia has been the major supplier of imported weapons. But since the 1990s, as India freed up the economy (from fifty years of crippling state controls) and finally reached the limit of tolerance for poor quality and support that characterized Russian weapons, India began to buy weapons from the West. Although more expensive the Western stuff was more effective, reliable and often cheaper to operate than Russian systems. Now Russia has made the situation worse by selling helicopters to Pakistan, the arch enemy of India. India seems content to let the Pakistanis have the Russian dreck while India proceeds to upgrade with Western equipment. Since 2001 India has bought over $12 billion worth of American weapons and military equipment. The U.S. is the largest source but Israel and several European defense companies are also major suppliers. The Russian arms salesmen are not amused.

 

Another factor in helicopter procurement is an ongoing feud between the Indian Army and Air Force about who controls AH-64s. The air force has long operated the helicopter gunships, arguing that these helicopters are crucial for certain air combat missions like attacking air defense radars and other helicopters. The army generals were furious over that and demanded that the government set the air force straight. The army was particularly anxious to get the 22 Indian AH-64s as soon as possible, as these are generally recognized as the best gunships currently in service anywhere. Now those helicopters are on the way and apparently the army will have them.

 

Back in late 2012 the Indian Army thought it had won a major victory over the Indian Air Force when the government agreed to transfer most attack helicopters from the air force to the army. That was supposed to mean the army gets control of over 270 armed helicopters (22 AH-64s, 179 light combat models, and 76 armed Indian made transports). The air force would continue to operate a dozen or so elderly Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships, until they retire by the end of the decade. These are export versions of the Russian Mi-24. Even then it was clear that Russia was not the preferred helicopter supplier anymore.

 

The army had long complained that air force control of the armed helicopters, which were designed to support army operations, were sometimes difficult to get from the air force in a timely manner. Another aspect of this deal was a new agreement by the air force to station some transport helicopters at army bases in Kashmir, so that there will not be a delay when transport is needed for an emergency.

 

This sort of problem between the army and air force is not unique to India and is actually quite common. It all started back in the 1920s, a decade after aircraft became a major military asset. For example, at the start of World War I (1914-18), the British Royal Navy had more aircraft than the Royal Flying Corps (which belonged to the army). But at the end of World War I, it was decided to put all aircraft under the control of the new Royal Air Force (the former Royal Flying Corps). The navy was not happy with this and just before World War II broke out, the admirals got back control of their aircraft, at least the ones that operated from ships (especially aircraft carriers).

 

The British army expanded its Army Air Corps during World War II, to gain control over artillery spotter aircraft, gliders (for parachute divisions), and a few other transports for supporting commando operations. After World War II the Army Air Corps mainly controlled the growing fleet of transport and attack helicopters. The Indian Air Force has always refused to allow the Indian Army to do the same thing after modern India was created in 1947. The Indian armed forces was long led by men who started out as members of the British Indian Army and continued to note, and often copy, British practices.

 

Thus the Indian Air force, like its British counterpart tended to keep trying to control everything that flies. British Royal Air Force generals recently demanded control of everything that flies, believing that this is more efficient. The army and navy, not to mention the experience of many other nations, said otherwise. At the very least the army needs to control its helicopters and some small transports. In Russia the army always controlled ground attack aircraft, as well as some fighters. In the United States the Marine Corps controlled its own fighters, light bombers, and helicopters. It made a difference, especially to the marines on the ground, that the marine aircraft were being flown by marines.

 

Another problem with a unified air force is that it becomes, quite naturally, air force centric. This is understandable and the air force proceeds to develop strategies, and tactics, that emphasize looking at military matters from an air force viewpoint. Before World War II this led to the doctrine of strategic bombardment. This was supposed to be a decisive weapon but it wasn't. When nuclear weapons came along the air force believed that it finally had a way to make strategic bombardment decisive. But it didn't, as ballistic missiles (another form of artillery) became the key delivery system for nukes. Nuclear weapons were so destructive that they became more of a threat than a weapon that you could use. In fact the very existence of nukes resulted in them not being used again since the first two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. The fact of the matter is that wars are still ultimately won by the ground forces. As the army likes to point out, the ultimate air superiority weapon is your infantry occupying the enemy air bases. Everyone else (the navy and air force) is there to support the infantry in actually winning the war.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 14:50
A Dutch Apache attack helicopter in Mali - photo Defensie.nl

A Dutch Apache attack helicopter in Mali - photo Defensie.nl

 

Brussels, 18/03/2015 EEAS ref 150318_02_en

 

The death of two Dutch peacekeepers from the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in northern Mali, , extends the long list of those who sacrificed their lives for the return of peace in the country.

 

On this occasion, I extend my deepest condolences to the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and to the families of the two peacekeepers, who lost their lives in this tragic accident.

 

The EU underlines the important role played by MINUSMA in consolidating peace, security and stability and reiterates its full support to it in the implementation of its mandate and protection of civilians. It also invites all parties involved in the Algiers process to agree on the proposed peace plan and put an end to the on-going crisis in the country.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 10:45
Capitaine René Zeetsen - Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger photo Defensie.nl

Capitaine René Zeetsen - Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger photo Defensie.nl

 

18 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Bamako - Deux militaires néerlandais de la Mission de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma) ont péri mardi dans un accident d'hélicoptère près de Gao, dans le nord du pays, a appris l'AFP de sources concordantes.

 

A La Haye, le chef d'état-major de l'armée néerlandaise, le général Tom Middendorp, a confirmé cet accident lors d'une conférence de presse mardi soir, précisant que les deux soldats étaient de nationalité néerlandaise.

 

Ils se trouvaient dans un hélicoptère de la Minusma qui était en phase d'atterrissage à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Gao avant de s'écraser, avait affirmé auparavant à l'AFP une source aéroportuaire à Gao.

 

Un de nos appareils s'est crashé, a déclaré à l'AFP une source au sein de la Minusma à Gao.

 

A La Haye, le général Middendorp, a précisé qu'un capitaine de 30 ans et un premier lieutenant de 26 ans sont morts dans le crash d'un hélicoptère Apache néerlandais d'attaque survenu aux alentours de 13H00 GMT.

 

Le capitaine est mort sur le coup, tandis que le premier lieutenant est décédé des suites de ses blessures peu après avoir été transféré à un hôpital de campagne français à Gao, a précisé le général Middendorp. Les deux hommes faisaient partie de l'escadron 301, originaire de la base aérienne de Gilze-Rijen dans le sud des Pays-Bas.

 

La Minusma compte actuellement quelque 11.000 personnes sur le terrain, dont près de 10.000 militaires et policiers, parmi lesquels environ 670 Néerlandais.

 

Avec plus de 40 Casques bleus tués depuis son déploiement en 2013, la Minusma est considérée comme la plus dangereuse des missions de l'ONU en cours.

 

Dans une déclaration unanime adoptée mardi soir à New York sur proposition de la France, les 15 pays membres du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU ont déploré la mort des deux Casques bleus néerlandais de la Minusma dans la région de Gao, à la suite d'un accident d'hélicoptère.

 

Ils ont adressé leurs condoléances aux familles des deux victimes de ce tragique accident et au gouvernement néerlandais. Ils ont aussi réitéré leur plein soutien à la Minusma, soulignant que la Mission aide les autorités maliennes à apporter une paix et une stabilité durables au pays.

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7 mars 2015 6 07 /03 /mars /2015 22:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

07 Mar 2015 By James Titcomb – The Telegraph

 

Lobbying by British firm has reportedly held back Government decision on refreshing fleet of helicopters

 

The billion-pound cost of replacing the Army’s fleet of Apache helicopters could soar as lobbyists urge the Government to buy from the British defence group AgustaWestland. Boeing, the American defence giant, is offering to provide the Ministry of Defence with 50 new aircraft at a cost of £20m each as it seeks to refresh the 14-year-old fleet. However, the Yeovil-based manufacturer, owned by Italian industrial group Finmeccanica, has won permission to make a rival bid, according to reports.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Taliban Troubled By Timing

 

February 19, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. Army received its first AH-64Es in 2011. Then in 2014 this most recent version of the Apache completed a seven month tour in Afghanistan. There the 24 AH-64Es with an aviation battalion performed better than expected. Each of these AH-64Es flew an average 66 hours a month while there. The readiness rate of the AH-64Es was 87 percent, compared to the army standard of 80 percent. One of the surprising new capabilities of the AH-64E was its ability to fly about 29 percent (at 288 kilometers an hour) faster that the D model. That translated into moving about one kilometer per minute faster and this cost the experienced Taliban commanders a lot of casualties. That was because these guys knew from experience how long it took a D model to arrive after the Taliban ambushed NATO forces. Suddenly the E model was showing up earlier and catching the Taliban exposed to attack rather than safely away or under cover. The AH-64E also had new electronics that enabled it to work more closely with UAVs, as in getting the video feeds directly and basically using the UAVs more effectively as scouts to spot targets. The Taliban weren’t expecting that either. NATO troops supported by the AH-64Es also noted the new capabilities and quickly began exploiting them when they knew they were getting air support from Es instead of Ds. These speed and commo capabilities were built into the AH-64E based on past experience and testing and training exercises gave pilots and ground commanders hints that these changes could be very useful. Battlefield experience confirmed that and led to new tactics for the E crews and the troops supported that no one had foreseen.

 

Testing of these new capabilities began in 2011 when the army began receiving the first of 51 "low rate initial production” AH-64s. This came three years after the first flight. These aircraft were then called the AH-64D Block III Apache helicopter gunship. It was decided in 2012 that the Block III improvements were so numerous and dramatic that it made more sense to go to a simpler and more descriptive AH-64E designation. The D model also had a name; Longbow (as it was optimized to kill tanks). The E model was called Guardian (because it was optimized for supporting infantry).

 

This goes back to the AH-64A, which was the initial model and entered service in 1986. The last AH-64A was taken out of service in 2012 for upgrade to the AH-64D standard. The AH-64B was an upgrade proposed for the early 1990s, but was cancelled, as was a similar “C” model upgrade. Some of these cancelled improvements were in great demand. Thus the “B” and “C” model upgrades were incorporated in the AH-64D Block I (1997). The AH-64D Longbow (because of the radar mast, making it possible to see ground targets and flying obstacles in all weather) models began appearing in 2002.

 

By the end of the decade 634 army AH-64Ds will be upgraded to the new AH-64E standard. The first AH-64Es entered service in 2012 and were heavily used to reveal any design or manufacturing flaws. These were fixed before mass production and conversion began in late 2013.

 

AH-64Es have more powerful and fuel efficient engines, as well as much improved electronics. AH-64Es also have Internet- like capabilities enabling these gunships to quickly exchange images, video, and so on with other aircraft and ground troops. Each AH-64E can also control several UAVs and launch missiles at targets spotted by these UAVs. The AH-64E radar has longer range and onboard computers are much more powerful than earlier ones. The electronics are easier to upgrade and maintain. The combination of improved fire control and Internet capabilities greatly increases the combat effectiveness of the AH-64.

 

The 10 ton AH-64E carries a pilot and a weapons officer, as well as up to 16 Hellfire missiles (plus the 30mm automatic cannon). Sorties average three hours. The AH-64 can operate at night and has a top speed of about 300 kilometers an hour.

 

In addition to the U.S. Army, the AH-64E the UAE (United Arab Emirates) bought 60. Neighboring Saudi Arabia ordered 70, as well as upgrades for its existing twelve AH-64s to the “E” standard. Many more of the existing 1,100 AH-64s (American and foreign) may be upgraded as well.

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5 février 2015 4 05 /02 /février /2015 17:35
Hélicoptère de combat Apache AH-64E - photo Boeing

Hélicoptère de combat Apache AH-64E - photo Boeing

 

4 février Aerobuzz.fr

 

Le succès de l’hélicoptère militaire AH-64 Apache ne se dément pas. Boeing vient, en effet, de signer un contrat portant sur huit AH-64E pour l’Indonésie. Le modèle Echo bénéficie d’un système d’arme et de moteurs améliorés par rapport à son devancier le modèle Delta. Au total le contrat rapportera 296 M$ à Boeing et ses sous-traitants.

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31 janvier 2015 6 31 /01 /janvier /2015 12:20
US Army negotiating new AH-64 Apache agreement with Boeing

A US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter at forward operating base in Speicher, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of the US Army, photo by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.

 

30 January 2015 army-technology.com

 

The US Army is reportedly in talks with Boeing regarding a new multi-year agreement for the acquisition of an additional 240 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from 2017 to 2021.

 

US Army Apache programme manager Colonel Jeff Hager was quoted by Reuters as saying that army acquisition chief Heidi Shyu recently signed a document for the two sides to start work on an agreement, with the aim of receiving approval from the defence secretary by March 2016.

 

Boeing attack helicopters business development head Mark Ballew said it could include options for foreign military sales of 100 Apaches.

 

The US Government has already approved Apache sales to Qatar and Indonesia, Ballew added, noting that the helicopter has also drawn interest from other countries.

 

According to Reuters, lawmakers generally ask military services to demonstrate significant savings compared to the cost of negotiating purchases on a year-by-year basis.

 

Boeing attack helicopter programmes vice-president Kim Smith said: "We at Boeing have been doing our part to leave no stone unturned."

 

Meanwhile, Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall reportedly told the House Armed Services Committee that he favoured multi-year agreements because they allow programme managers to focus on performance, rather than annual contract negotiations.

 

Powered by two GE T700-701D engines, the AH-64 Apache is primarily used for distributed operations and deep precision strikes against relocatable targets. It can also provide armed reconnaissance when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions.

 

It is used by US, Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore.

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 17:45
Dutch Apaches strike Mali rebels

 

21 January 2015 by defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Dutch AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with the United Nations carried out air strikes on Tuareg rebel forces in northern Mali on Tuesday, the first such engagement by Dutch forces serving in the UN mission in Mali.

 

The U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, said it was responding to heavy weapons fire directed at its peacekeepers in the town of Tabankort. It said the helicopters only destroyed a rebel vehicle after firing warning shots that were ignored.

 

A spokesman for the MNLA Tuareg separatist rebels, who are involved in peace talks with the Malian government in Algeria, denied warning shots had been fired and said five fighters had been killed and several others wounded.

 

U.N. peacekeepers have deployed across northern Mali to help the weak Bamako government secure desert zones that were occupied by a mix of rebels and al Qaeda-linked Islamists in 2012 until a French military intervention two years ago.

 

The incident highlights how Mali's north is still awash with various armed groups and is likely to complicate the last round of U.N.-backed peace talks due to take place next month between the government and the rebel factions that are involved.

 

The U.N. mission had been for days seeking to end a standoff over Tabankort, a desert town that the MNLA had surrounded and where there are rival pro-government militia fighters, as well as a contingent of U.N. peacekeepers protecting civilians.

 

"These actions were taken in line with our mandate which authorizes MINUSMA to use force to protect civilians, its personnel and its positions from attack or imminent danger," the mission said in a statement.

 

The U.N. mission did not give a toll and it said clashes were still taking place on Tuesday evening.

 

Some 450 Special Forces troops, intelligence operatives and four Apache helicopter gunships from the Netherlands have been deployed in northern Mali as part of a force of up to 12,000 men.

 

U.N. troops mostly help Mali's army occupy key towns while French soldiers hunt down resurgent Islamist militants. However, the Dutch contingent is tasked with intelligence gathering and has the force's only attack helicopters.

 

MNLA spokesman Moussa Ag Acharatoumane said cooperation with U.N. peacekeepers would be suspended as a result of the clash.

 

"There was no negotiation. There was no warning," he told Reuters. "That was an error, and bombing our positions was also a very serious political error."

 

A resident in the town of Kidal, an MNLA stronghold, said the bodies of five rebels had arrived and were being buried on Tuesday evening.

 

The Dutch contingent in Mali is mainly involved in conducting reconnaissance and gathering intelligence, serving, as it were, as the 'eyes and ears' of the mission. The Dutch contribution chiefly consists of, Special Operations Forces; intelligence personnel; Apache attack helicopters; Chinook transport helicopters (from October 2014); and police trainers. The first two Apaches arrived in Mali in May last year.

 

Troops from the Dutch Commando Corps and the Marine Corps, working in three teams, make up the operational core in the field. They have various types of vehicles at their disposal, including lightly armoured Bushmasters; Mercedes Benz tactical wheeled vehicles; Fennek tactical wheeled reconnaissance vehicles; and quad bikes.

 

The main task of the three Chinook helicopters is medical evacuation. The Dutch Chinooks have been fully deployed since October 2014. Until the arrival of the Chinooks, Dutch units only operated at distance from their base in Gao on condition that the French Operation Serval was able to guarantee medical evacuation.

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 07:45
photo Defensie.nl

photo Defensie.nl

 

21-01-2015 Par RFI

 

Les forces de l'ONU au Mali ont détruit mardi 20 janvier un véhicule des rebelles lors d'une frappe aérienne dans le nord du pays. La coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA) assure avoir été visée par un hélicoptère de la Minusma. Sept personnes ont été tuées.

 

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 16:30
 - photo US Army

- photo US Army

 

8 octobre, 2014 Frédéric Lert (FOB)

 

C’est un communiqué du Pentagone qui l’annonce : ce week-end, des hélicoptères de combat Apache ont été utilisés contre des objectifs de l’Etat Islamique en Irak. Six raids distincts ont été conduits, en coordination avec des avions de l’US Air force. Les raids ont continué semble-t-il en ce début de semaine. Les appareils de l’US Army étaient revenus en Irak au début du mois de juillet pour protéger les intérêts américains et notamment la zone verte et les accès à l’aéroport à Bagdad. Les Apache étaient notamment utilisés pour escorter les convois routiers et les déplacements en hélicoptères Blackhawk. Selon certaines sources, huit Apache seraient basés à Bagdad et ils proviendraient d’unités basées en temps normal au Koweit. Lors de leur retour au mois de juillet, ils étaient accompagnés de plusieurs centaines de soldats US et de drones RQ-7 Shadow destinés à renforcer la présence américaine face à une rébellion islamiste qui commençait à gagner du terrain. Ironie de l’histoire, les attaques américaines du week end semblent s’être concentrées sur la région de Falloujah, une ville dont la conquête avait déjà coûté tant d’effort aux Américains en 2004.

 

 

Iraq's first Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter

Iraq's first Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter

Le président Obama a déjà annoncé dans les semaines passées qu’aucun soldat américain ne prendrait part aux combats au sol. L’engagement des hélicoptères, optimisés pour un soutien direct des combattants et des combats en zone urbaine peut être diversement perçu : face aux armes automatiques et aux missiles portables, les risques de perte sont singulièrement plus élevés qu’avec des avions de combat.  A noter enfin que les Irakiens ont depuis longtemps demandé à acheter leurs propres Apache : le Pentagone avait annoncé en début d’année la vente possible de 24 appareils, sans que celle-ci ait pour l’instant abouti. Lassés d’attendre, les Irakiens se sont depuis tournés vers les Russes. Ils auraient reçu récemment trois hélicoptères de combat Mi28 « Havoc ». Environ 350 raids aériens ont été montés à ce jour contre les forces de l’Etat Islamique, dont les trois quarts en territoire irakien.

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5 octobre 2014 7 05 /10 /octobre /2014 19:30
US Army Apache Helos Used in Strikes Against Daesh

A US Army Apache helicopter flies over Iraq in 2008. Army pilots for the first time used an Apache attack helicopter to strike Islamist militants in Iraq over the weekend, according to CENTCOM. (Army)

 

Oct. 5, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News

 

 

WASHINGTON — US Army pilots for the first time used an Apache attack helicopter to strike Islamist militant targets in Iraq over the weekend, according to a statement by CENTCOM.

On Oct. 4, “US military forces used attack bomber, fighter and helicopter aircraft to conduct six airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq” the command said in a Sunday morning release, and a CENTCOM official confirmed to Defense News that the helicopter was a US Army Apache attack helicopter, but would not specify where it flew from or what munitions it used.

Apaches can fire Hellfire missiles from a significant standoff distance, and are capable of “teaming” with manned and unmanned aircraft to share information, and designate targets.

On July 1, the Pentagon announced that it was sending an unspecified number of Apaches to Baghdad to help protect embassy personnel in an increasingly uncertain situation as Islamist extremists allied with Sunni tribes continued to take swaths of territory in the north and west of the country. The US military also sent a number of RQ-7 Shadow drones to Baghdad at the same time.

The Saturday strikes near Fallujah struck two mortar teams and what CENTCOM characterized as “a large ISIL unit and two small ISIL units.”

There are currently about 1,200 US military personnel in Iraq under the war powers resolution Pentagon officials said recently, a number that should climb to about 1,600 in the coming weeks.

Among the new arrivals will be 216 soldiers in a US Army headquarters element from the 1st Infantry Division, who will begin deploying later this month.

While the US government won’t put a dollar figure on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, independent estimates say that the cost is approaching $1 billion since June.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 12:30
Qatar et USA : Un Contrat de $11 Milliards pour des hélicoptères Apaches

 

10.08.2014 Philippe Eyal-Koren (Tel Aviv) – Israel Valley

 

Les leaders israéliens installés à la Kiria, le Pentagone israélien situé au coeur de Tel Aviv, sont perplexes et se posent des questions (avant la guerre Gaza/Israël les militaires israéliens étaient “muets” sur les méga-deals d’armes avec le Qatar) : quel est l’état réel de la coopération entre le Qatar, qui finance le Hamas, et les producteurs d’armes américains ?

 

Le correspondant militaire du journal Haaretz, dans son édition de Dimanche, donne des chiffres assez impressionnants sur les ventes d’armes des Etats-Unis au Qatar. Il s’agit de la vente en 2014 d’Apaches (l’hélicoptère Apache est constitué de plus de 6 000 pièces fabriquées dans le monde entier, notamment au Royaume-Uni, aux Pays-Bas et en Irlande), de missiles, et des roquettes anti-tanks pour un montant total de 11 Milliards de dollars.

 

Le Qatar aurait acheté en 2014 au moins 24 exemplaires de l’Apache (livrables entre 2015 et 2016). Pour se faire une idée du contrat : la Grèce a pour sa part acheté récemment douze Apache AH-64D pour un coût total de 675 millions de $ (incluant probablement les armes et la maintenance), soit un prix unitaire de 56,25 millions de $.

 

A SAVOIR. Un hélicoptère d’attaque est un hélicoptère militaire conçu pour attaquer des cibles au sol, notamment des unités d’infanterie, des véhicules blindés et des bâtiments. Il est généralement équipé de mitrailleuses lourdes, de roquettes et de missiles air-sol. Il est parfois aussi muni de missiles air-air, surtout dans une tactique d’auto-défense.

 

Les hélicoptères d’attaques sont principalement utilisés pour deux types de mission : L’appui aérien rapproché et les actions anti-char, afin de détruire des escadrons de véhicules blindés. Ils sont parfois aussi appelés pour protéger des hélicoptères plus légers lors de missions de reconnaissance.

 

Alors que les hélicoptères ont été efficaces comme “tueurs de chars” au Moyen-Orient, les hélicoptères d’attaque sont vus dans un rôle plus multifonctionnel. Des tactiques comme le tank plinking ont montré que les avions pouvaient être efficaces contre les chars, mais les hélicoptères restent uniques dans leur capacité à fournir à basse vitesse et basse altitude un appui aérien rapproché.

 

L’AH-64 Apache rivalise en popularité avec le Hind, son adoption par l’US Army n’y étant pas étrangère. Durant la fin des années 1970 l’armée américaine a ressenti la nécessité de plus de sophistication dans le corps des hélicoptères d’attaque, leur permettant de fonctionner dans toutes les conditions météorologiques.

 

L’AH-64 Apache a été largement utilisé pendant l’opération Tempête du désert avec un grand succès. Les Apache ont effectué les premiers tirs de l’offensive en détruisant des radars d’alerte rapide et de sites de SAM à l’aide de leurs missiles Hellfire. Ils ont ensuite été utilisés avec succès dans deux de leurs rôles opérationnels, dans l’attaque directe contre les blindés ennemis et comme artillerie aérienne pour l’appui des troupes au sol. Les attaques aux missiles antichar et au canon par les hélicoptères Apache, Cobra et Gazelle permirent de détruire de nombreux chars et véhicules de l’armée irakienne.

 

En 1999, pendant la guerre de Kargil, les forces armées indiennes constatèrent qu’il y avait un besoin en hélicoptères qui peuvent fonctionner à des conditions de haute altitude avec facilité. Les limites d’exploitation des hélicoptères d’attaque avec une charge utile élevée et une maniabilité limitée a mené l’Inde à l’élaboration du Light Combat Helicopter qui peut fonctionner dans les hautes altitudes. Cet hélicoptère sera utilisé par l’Indian Air Force et l’escadre aérienne de l’armée indienne.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 16:30
Le Qatar achète pour 11 milliards de dollars d'armements aux Etats-Unis

 

15/07/2014 latribune.fr

 

L'émirat a signé lundi avec le Pentagone un contrat pour l'achat de missiles Patriot américains (Raytheon) et d'hélicoptères d'attaque Apache. Une commande record passée avec les Etats-Unis, moins d'un mois après les échanges entre François Hollande et le cheikh qatari sur une éventuel vente d'avions Rafales.

 

La concurrence s'intensifie. Les États-Unis et le Qatar ont conclu lundi un accord d'un montant évalué à 11 milliards de dollars soit 8 milliards d'euros portant sur la livraison à l'émirat d'hélicoptères de combat Apache ainsi que de missiles Patriot et de systèmes de défense anti-aérien Javelin.

 

Le plus gros contrat de l'année avec les Etats-Unis

Le ministre de la Défense du Qatar, Hamid ben Ali Al-Attiyah, a signé ce contrat à l'issue d'entretiens avec son homologue américain Chuck Hagel à Washington, ont précisé ces responsables qui s'exprimaient sous le couvert de l'anonymat.

Dans le détail, l'émirat acquiert une dizaine de radars et 34 lanceurs de missiles Patriot, fabriqués par le groupe de défense américain Raytheon, et destinés à la défense anti-missile. En outre, Doha achète 24 hélicoptères d'attaque Apache et des missiles anti-char Javelin, selon les mêmes sources.

Il s'agit du plus gros contrat d'armement passé cette année par les États-Unis.

 

Un point pour Boeing

L'avionneur américain Boeing est de son côté en compétition avec le britannique BAE Systems et le français Dassault pour fournir au Qatar des avions de chasse.

Dans ce contexte, la vente de lundi est "un bon signe" pour Boeing, s'est réjoui un haut responsable du Pentagone.

Les États-Unis, a-t-il poursuivi, veulent continuer à être "le fournisseur de choix" du Qatar et d'autres États du Golfe en termes d'armement.

C'est la première fois que le Qatar se dote de missiles Patriot, tandis que d'autres pays du Golfe comme le Koweït, l'Arabie saoudite et les Émirats arabes unis en ont déjà acheté par le passé.

 

Contrer la menace iranienne

Par l'achat de ces armes, le Qatar entend ainsi s'équiper pour contenir la menace qu'il voit dans l'Iran voisin. Les responsables américains pressent depuis longtemps leurs partenaires du Golfe de mettre en place un réseau coordonné de défense anti-missile pour faire face à la menace de l'Iran, mais une telle coopération a mis du temps à s'installer.

La vente de ces armes devrait améliorer les relations diplomatiques et de sécurité des États-Unis avec le Qatar, a estimé l'un des responsables, malgré des différends qui persistent sur le dossier syrien et notamment l'aide de Doha à certains groupes rebelles jugés trop radicaux par Washington.

"C'est un investissement dans la prochaine génération (de dirigeants militaires)... C'est un investissement sur le long terme", a souligné l'un des responsables.

D'autant que le Qatar abrite le Centre des opérations aériennes combinées (CAOC), capital pour l'armée américaine car les hauts responsables militaires y supervisent leurs avions de combat en Afghanistan et surveillent le trafic aérien à travers le Moyen-Orient.

 

54.000 emplois créés

La vente de ces armes sera également bénéfique à l'économie américaine, selon ces responsables, qui citent le chiffre de 54.000 emplois créés dans le cadre du contrat signé avec le Qatar.

Les missiles Patriot valent plus de 7 milliards de dollars, les hélicoptères Apache plus de 3 milliards et les missiles anti-char Javelin près de 100 millions, selon les mêmes sources

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 12:30
Accord USA/Qatar sur la vente d'hélicoptères Apache, de missiles Patriot

 

15/07/2014 zonebourse.com

 

Les Etats-Unis et le Qatar ont conclu lundi un accord d'un montant évalué à 11 milliards de dollars (8 milliards d'euros) portant sur la livraison à l'émirat d'hélicoptères de combat Apache ainsi que de missiles Patriot et Javelin.

 

L'accord a été conclu au Pentagone par le secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel et par son homologue qatari Hamid ben Ali al Attiah.

 

Le Qatar et les Etats-Unis ont signé en décembre un accord décennal de défense encadrant les relations entre forces américaines et qataries permettant le maintien des bases américaines dans la région. (Peter Cooney, Nicolas Delame pour le service français)

patriot-missile-system

patriot-missile-system

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9 juillet 2014 3 09 /07 /juillet /2014 11:35
CH-47F Chinook helicopter

CH-47F Chinook helicopter

 

Jul 8, 2014 Rajat Pandit, TNN

 

NEW DELHI: India is now close to inking major deals worth over $2.5 billion for two iconic American helicopters, the Apache attack and Chinook heavy-lift choppers, which thrashed their Russian rivals both technically and commercially earlier.

 

Defence ministry sources on Monday said the around $1.4 billion deal for 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow gunships, armed with deadly Hellfire and Stinger missiles, and the $1.1 billion one for 15 CH-47F Chinooks, equipped with powerful contra-rotating tandem rotors, are "almost ready" now.

 

"These two deals for IAF will be placed for approval before the first defence acquisitions council (DAC) meeting to be chaired by Arun Jaitley on July 19. Thereafter, the cases will be moved for the cabinet committee on security's final nod," said a source.

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28 avril 2014 1 28 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Crash d’un hélicoptère Apache : la Défense de Taiwan annonce une commission d’enquête

Aucune perte humaine n 'est heuresement à déplorer dans cet accident, a noté le ministère de la Défense. CNA

 

 

Après l’accident d’un hélicoptère de combat de type AH-64E, survenu vendredi dernier dans le district de Taoyuan, au nord de Taiwan sans faire aucune victime, le ministère de la Défense a annoncé la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête.

 

Une erreur humaine, les conditions climatiques ou une défaillance technique, aucune de ces pistes n’est écartée, a-t-on déclaré vendredi dernier au ministère de la Défense, à l’annonce de la mise en place de la commission d’enquête destinée à élucider les circonstances qui ont provoqué l’atterrissage en catastrophe de l’hélicoptère sur un immeuble de trois étages dans la commune de Longtan. Les 17 autres Apache AH-64E de l’Armée de l’air sont maintenus au sol, a par ailleurs précisé la Défense. Ces appareils de combat ont été acquis auprès des Etats-Unis entre novembre 2013 et mars 2014, et font partie d’une commande de 30 hélicoptères d’un montant total de 2,01 milliards de dollars américains. La vente avait été annoncée en 2008 par le président des Etats-Unis de l’époque, George Bush. Le 13 mars 2013, les 18 Apache avaient vu leur système de transmission remplacé après un certain nombre de problèmes mécaniques constatés aux Etats-Unis sur le même type d’appareil.

Le major Chen Lung-chien [陳龍謙], instructeur de vol avec 1 247 heures de vol dont 350 sur cet hélicoptère, et son co-pilote, le lieutenant-colonel Liu Ming-hui [劉銘輝], avec 1034 heures de vol mais aucune sur ce type d’appareil, n’ont été que légèrement blessés dans cet accident. Quatre habitations ont été endommagées par la chute de l’hélicoptère.

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14 avril 2014 1 14 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Apache flies 50,000 hours on operations in Afghanistan

An Apache attack helicopter landing at Camp Bastion (library image) [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Mez Merrill, Crown copyright]

 

14 April 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

The British Army's Apache attack helicopters, operated by the Army Air Corps, flew their 50,000th hour on operation in Afghanistan recently.
 

This represents a third of all UK Apache flying, a huge proportion of the total. Apache helicopters have been conducting operations in Afghanistan since 2006, deploying initially with 16 Air Assault Brigade, shortly after being introduced into service with the British Army. Since then the aircraft have been constantly deployed on Operation Herrick, the UK’s name for operations in Afghanistan, where they provide support to ground forces, tactical strike, reconnaissance, and armed escort to other helicopters.

To maintain Apache’s high tempo of operations, the aircraft are fully supported by air and ground crews from the Army Air Corps (AAC), and technicians from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). All these soldiers perform a vital function, keeping the aircraft serviceable and airborne.

Ground crew prepare to refuel an Apache helicopter
Army Air Corps ground crew prepare to refuel an Apache helicopter at Camp Bastion (library image) [Picture: Corporal Jamie Peters, Crown copyright]

The current detachment, 664 Squadron AAC, part of 4 Regiment AAC, is commanded by Major Simon Wilsey, who actually flew the 50,000th hour. Major Wilsey said:

The operational tempo we have maintained over the last 8 years has been challenging, but the resilience of our soldiers, and especially that of their families supporting them, is outstanding. I am proud and lucky to command such high calibre, professional soldiers and such an amazing capability as the Apache.

The Apache will continue to play a key role with 16 Air Assault Brigade once operations in Afghanistan draw to a close and the brigade starts to focus on readiness for contingency operations.

Aircraft technicians service an Apache helicopter
Aircraft technicians from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers service an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Corporal Mark Webster, Crown copyright]

Commander of the Joint Aviation Group, Colonel Jaimie Roylance of the Royal Marines, said:

This immaculately versatile machine has, for nearly 8 years, been the most clinically precise and effective attack helicopter when it has needed to be. But, equally, and sometimes at the same time, it has been the most wonderfully effective keeper of the peace, and protector of the vulnerable in its escort and deterrent roles.

There is a vital role for the Apache now, but I am just as sure that there will be an essential role for this exceptional helicopter, and for the force which flies and maintains her, in the years to come after Afghanistan.

Ground crew reload ammunition onto an Apache
Army Air Corps ground crew reloading ammunition onto an Apache attack helicopter in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Corporal Jamie Peters, Crown copyright]

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
The active US Army will receive National Guard Apache attack helicopters under a new plan. (US Army)

The active US Army will receive National Guard Apache attack helicopters under a new plan. (US Army)

 

Apr. 8, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — In a surprising move, the head of the US National Guard Bureau has given his blessing to the US Army’s plan to move all of the Guard’s Apache attack helicopters into the active force while receiving several hundred Black Hawk and Lakota multi-use helicopters in return.

 

“As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we have fought, and we have discussed many, many times, these topics,” the National Guard Bureau chief, Army Gen. Frank Grass, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday “And I provided my best military advice. I’ve assessed the risk. I’ve given the cost.

 

“But the decision’s been made, Mr. Chairman,” he said. “And my job now is to begin to look at the effects across the states, and figure out how we’re going to execute this plan.”

 

The general’s acquiescence came as a surprise in what many anticipated to be a contentious hearing, especially after Grass told the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee on April 3, “I do not agree with the proposal to take all Apaches out of the guard.”

 

Grass testified before the committee with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, who has been campaigning for the aviation restructuring for months, but has encountered stiff resistance from the Guard leadership and sharp questions from Congress.

 

The chief emphasized that the aviation plan is a necessity given the tightening fiscal picture for the Army, and the expense of upgrading its helicopter fleets.

 

“No one is fully satisfied with the final outcome, including myself,” he offered. “However, the reality is the funding in the future will not allow us to have everything we may want. These cuts will still occur, even if we delay our decisions or fail to address the issue as the total Army. The results will be hollowing out of our Army.”

 

The plan calls for the Army to retire its fleet of Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters and replace them with the Guard’s Apaches, which will team with Army drones to perform the scout mission. Overall, the Army will lose 687 aircraft, including 600 Kiowas.

 

The active component will also eliminate three of its 13 Combat Aviation Brigades while the Guard will retain all of its 10 aviation brigades.

 

The Army expects to save about $12 billion over the next several years by taking this approach, beginning with $2 billion in fiscal 2015 alone.

 

The strategy “salvages our plans to modernize our aviation fleet,” said Col. Frank Tate, the Army’s chief of aviation force development, at an event across town at the same time the chiefs were testifying on Capitol Hill.

 

“We were lowering our rates of procurement on our biggest systems” due to the cost of maintaining seven different helicopter platforms, Tate told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

 

The Army’s proposal to get rid of two models of the Kiowa and the TH-67 trainer helicopter would eliminate three aircraft models of the Army’s seven, as it continues to modernize the Chinook, Apache and Black Hawk until replacement helicopters begin to enter the fleet some time in the 2030s.

 

While the Army might be losing helicopters, it is increasingly eyeing shipboard operations for the 690 Apaches that it is keeping.

 

Operating from ships at sea “seems to be a growth capability, and we do sense that there is increasing demand out there” in South Korea and the Central Command area of operations, said the Army’s director of aviation, Col. John Lindsay.

 

“We’ve gotta make sure that we have the appropriate demand signal coming in from the combatant commanders,” however, in order to determine “how much maritime capability does the Army need to invest in,” he added.

 

Lindsay acknowledged that over the long term, “we still have some work to do” to determine how much the Army wants — or needs — to invest in operating Apache helicopters from naval vessels.

 

In a nod to Marine Corps sensitivities over the issue, Tate was quick to point out that flying Army helicopters from the decks of ships isn’t necessarily anything new. He was involved in operations in Haiti in the early 1990s where the Army flew Apaches off the back of short-deck Navy frigates.

 

“The Army is not new to this idea of maritime operations and ship operations,” he insisted

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12 mars 2014 3 12 /03 /mars /2014 18:20
LM Receives $14 M for Upgrades to The Apache's Targeting and Pilotage System

 

Mar 11, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] received a $14 million contract in 2013 from the U.S. Army to design, integrate and qualify a High Reliability Turret for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

 

The High Reliability Turret is the interface between the M-TADS/PNVS and the Apache airframe. It improves target track performance and minimizes the effects of aircraft vibration on the system. The turret also improves M-TADS/PNVS reliability and maintainability, as well as reducing the operations and support costs of the existing turret assembly. It will potentially save the U.S. Army more than $500 million in operation and support costs over the life of the system.

 

Read more

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29 janvier 2014 3 29 /01 /janvier /2014 12:30
AH-64E Apache helicopter - photo US Army

AH-64E Apache helicopter - photo US Army

 

27 janvier 2014 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Le Pentagone a notifié lundi le Congrès américain d’un projet de vente à l’Irak de 24 hélicoptères d’attaque Apache pour 4,8 milliards de dollars, a annoncé l’agence chargée des ventes d’armes à l’étranger.

 

Bagdad réclamait depuis des mois que Washington lui fournisse ces équipements mais de nombreux élus américains s’y opposaient, craignant que le Premier ministre irakien Nouri al-Maliki ne s’en serve contre des groupes autres que ceux liés à Al-Qaïda. Le Congrès dispose de 15 jours pour soulever d’éventuelles objections, faute de quoi le contrat sera conclu.

Le projet de contrat porte sur 24 hélicoptères avec leurs équipements et pièces détachées. Il comporte également la vente de 480 missiles Hellfire, une arme antichar qui peut être tirée depuis des hélicoptères ou des avions.

 

 

«Cette proposition de vente soutient les intérêts stratégiques des États-Unis en fournissant à l’Irak des moyens essentiels pour se protéger contre les menaces terroristes et conventionnelles et améliorer la protection des infrastructures pétrolières clés», justifie dans un communiqué l’agence de coopération de défense et de sécurité (DSCA), chargée des ventes d’armes à l’étranger.

Nouri al-Maliki, un chiite critiqué pour son manque d’ouverture vers les autres composantes de la société irakienne, est confronté à la perte de contrôle d’une partie de la province à majorité sunnite d’al-Anbar, frontalière de la Syrie. Des combattants de l‘État islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL, lié à Al-Qaïda) se sont notamment emparés fin décembre de la ville de Fallouja, à 60 km à l’ouest de Bagdad.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 21:45
Coopération militaire : Les Pays-Bas au chevet du Mali

 

28 nov 2013 Mali-Actu

 

Le Président de la République, SEM Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA, a reçu cet après-midi à Koulouba une délégation ministérielle de haut niveau du Royaume des Pays-Bas. La délégation comprenait le ministre des Affaires Etrangères et son collègue de la Défense, respectivement SEM Frans TIMMERMANS et M. Jeanine HENNIS-PLASCHAERT.

 

D’autres personnalités néerlandaises étaient aussi du déplacement à Koulouba dont Maarten BROUWER, Ambassadeur du Royaume des Pays-Bas au Mali, et le Général Tom MIDDENDORP, Chef de la défense néerlandais.

 

Les compatriotes de Bert Koenders, le patron de la Mission intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (Minusma), s’engagent à déployer environ 400 hommes au Mali pour appuyer les forces internationales.

 

Le Royaume des Pays-Bas a aussi décidé de mettre à la disposition de la MINUSMA 4 hélicoptères dédiés à la recherche du renseignement.

 

Ces annonces ont été saluées par le Chef de l’Etat qui a exprimé sa profonde gratitude au gouvernement et au peuple néerlandais.

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 12:20
L’AH-64E Apache obtient son IOC

La cérémonie de délivrance de l'IOC de l'AH-64E sur la base Lewis-McChord. Photo US Army

 

27.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com

 

L’US Army annonce ce mercredi que la dernière version des hélicoptères d’attaque Apache de Boeing, l’AH-64E, avait obtenu son IOC (Initial Operating Capability), première certification au standard militaire, lors d’une cérémonie qui s’est tenue le 21 novembre dernier sur la base Lewis-McChord, dans l’Etat de Washington.

 

Le bataillon d’attaque et de reconnaissance 1-229, « Tigersharks » avait reçu le premier exemplaire de l’AH-64E en janvier 2013. Les premiers déploiements à l’étranger sont prévus pour 2014.

 

L’AH-64 Apache a été mis en service en 1984 dans l’US Army, la flotte a accumulé depuis plus de 3,7 millions d’heures de vol, dont 6 000 pour la dernière version en date, l’AH-64E.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
Army Air Corps Apache attack helicopter takes off from the deck of the Royal Navy's amphibious assault helicopter carrier HMS Ocean - photo UK MoD

Army Air Corps Apache attack helicopter takes off from the deck of the Royal Navy's amphibious assault helicopter carrier HMS Ocean - photo UK MoD

 

November 10, 2013 by martin – Think Defence

 

Due to the ongoing sequestration and budget battle in Washington the US Army has been forced to delay its Apache new build and rebuild programs to AH 64 E standards. This means the current type as used by the British Army is likely to be supported for longer giving the MOD some vital breathing space to decide what to do about its Apaches.

 

Currently UK thinking seems to be slanted towards going for a rebuild on the current fleet but reported costs for the US program would put a rebuild on the entire UK Apaches fleet some where north of $600 million which is probably not something the MOD can consider for the next few years at the very least.

 

However as the rebuild will see the fuselage and main rotor replaced, if it was to go ahead would it be worth the UK looking at a marinised version? The aircraft is said to have performed very well from Ocean but it has some severe maintenance issues when being used in a salt water environment. Could a rebuild offer us the chance to solve some of these issues and produce a truly purple asset.

 

ADEX 2013: US sequestration buys time for UK Apache decision makers

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6 novembre 2013 3 06 /11 /novembre /2013 18:45
photo defensie.nl

photo defensie.nl

 

06.11.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

Dans le cadre de la MINUSMA (Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali), les Pays-Bas ont annoncé le 1er novembre l’envoi de quatre hélicoptères AH-64D Apache, de drones de surveillance ainsi que 380 militaires - dont des forces spéciales - sur le sol malien. Les premiers personnels devraient être sur place d’ici la fin de l’année et le déploiement devrait durer jusqu’à la fin de l’année 2015.

 

Les principales missions du contingent néerlandais consisteront à effectuer des missions de renseignement et de protection des troupes au sol pour les Apache. Des officiers de police seront également envoyés sur place afin d’aider à la formation des forces de police maliennes.

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