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23 octobre 2014 4 23 /10 /octobre /2014 12:30
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Arabian Gulf


20 Oct. 2014 U.S. Naval Air Forces

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), bottom, relieves USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Arabian Gulf. George H.W. Bush will soon depart the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility for its homeport at Norfolk, Va., and Carl Vinson will take over support of maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 16:30
U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets operate aboard USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf

11 sept. 2014 US Navy


ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 10, 2014) U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets launch and land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The president has authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct military operations in support of humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests, in response to activities conducted by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

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24 mars 2014 1 24 /03 /mars /2014 19:30
Iran's 2 Navies Bring Mixture of Threats



Mar. 24, 2014 - By AWAD MUSTAFA – Defense News


DUBAI — Despite limited capabilities and lacking in modernization, Iran has always been seen as the major naval threat in the Arabian Gulf region.

Experts agree this is due to its ability for irregular warfare and to threaten, intimidate and conduct asymmetrical operations and wars of attrition.

According to the January “Gulf Military Balance” report by Anthony Cordesman, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Iran is sometimes described as the “Hegemon of the Gulf.” But it is a comparatively weak conventional military power with limited modernization since the Iran-Iraq War.

“It depends heavily on weapons acquired by the shah. Most key equipment in its Army, Navy and Air Force are obsolete or relatively low-quality imports,” he wrote.

Cordesman, however, highlighted that Iran is proficient at irregular warfare.

“It has built up a powerful mix of capabilities for both regular and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] forces to defend territory, intimidate neighbors, threaten the flow of oil and shipping through the gulf, and attack gulf targets,” he wrote.

“It has a dedicated force to train and equip non-state actors like Hezbollah, Hamas and Shiite extremists in Iraq — potential proxies that give Iran leverage over other states.”

Matthew Hedges, a military analyst based here with the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, added that the Iranian support of non-state actors such as Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels in Yemen are some of the leading threats in the region.

“The Iranian Revolutionary Guards [Corps] threaten every state in the region,” he said. “The IRGC possess mini-subs and are a constant menace to not only the UAE Navy, but to all naval trade passing through the Strait of Hormuz as they are particularly hard to trace. There have been numerous unconfirmed reports that Iranian midget subs have been spotted within a number of the regional ports, something which is particularly worrying for the entire [Gulf Cooperation Council] region.”

In November, gulf naval commanders stated that the IRGC mini-subs are a major danger in the gulf’s littorals.

“Anti-submarine operations are causing a real challenge to our units in the Arabian Gulf waters due to the small subs that are being used in shallow waters, which creates a challenge for sonar systems to detect them,” UAE Navy Chief Rear Adm. Ibrahim Musharrakh told the Gulf Naval Commanders Conference on Nov. 6.

“Furthermore, the merchant traffic creates clutter and noise that diminishes the capability of submersible devices to spot and helps the mini-subs to operate without being spotted,” he said.

The Iranian Navy and Revolutionary Guard Corps have launched three classes of submarines, two of which are small subs, since 2007. The programs, however, have been secretive, and limited information has been released by the Iranian naval command.

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a nonprofit nuclear watchdog, three Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines were commissioned from 1992 to 1996. They are called Tareq-class subs in Iran.

Iran reportedly paid US $600 million for each boat, and they are based at Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormuz. Two of the Kilo-class submarines are operational at any one time and are occasionally deployed in the eastern mouth of the strait, the Gulf of Oman or the Arabian Sea.

However, the real threat is from the smaller submarines deployed in 2007. According to the NTI, that’s when a wave of deployments began of small Ghadir-class and Nahang-class midget submarines for use in shallow coastal waters.

NTI reports that the number of operating Ghadir-class submarines ranges from 10 to 19.

The Ghadir class also is referred to as a subclass of the Yono class, suggesting that the submarines may be based on North Korean technology, although the level of North Korean involvement is unknown, the organization said.

The midget subs are operated by both the Iranian Navy and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN). Their operational capabilities include firing torpedoes (both the Ghadir and the Nahang class have two, 533mm tubes), laying mines for anti-shipping operations, as well as insertion of special forces into enemy territory.

Iran also is experimenting with wet submersibles. The Sabehat-15 GPS-equipped two-seat submersible swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV), designed by the Esfahan Underwater Research Center, has undergone testing with both the Iranian Navy and the IRGCN.

NTI’s report on “Iranian Submarine Capabilities,” released in July, states the SDVs, due to their limited endurance and payload, are primarily used for mining, reconnaissance and special operations, and are restricted to operating in coastal waters.

Col. Yousif al-Mannaei, deputy commander of the Bahrain Naval Operations Center, explained the need for more intelligence collection.

“As we all know that the sea is very vital for our well-being and the world economy, the air supremacy and surface supremacy has been achieved,” he said. “However, we have no subsurface superiority in the Arabian Gulf waters.

“It is a real threat, and the [Gulf Cooperation Council] really understands that and are pursuing ways to counter that,” he said. “At this point, the exchange of information and intelligence sharing, as well as the formation of a database, is vital.”

According to Michael Connell, director of Iranian Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses, Iran has two independent naval forces with parallel chains of command.

“The two navies have overlapping functions and areas of responsibility, but they are distinct in terms of how they are trained and equipped — and more importantly, also in how they fight,” he wrote in an article for the United States Institute of Peace. “The backbone of the regular Navy’s inventory consists of larger surface ships, including frigates and corvettes and submarines.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy is generally considered to be a conventional “green water” Navy, he wrote, operating at a regional level, mainly in the Gulf of Oman but also as far out as the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

“The Revolutionary Guard’s naval force has a large inventory of small fast-attack craft, and specializes in asymmetrical, hit-and-run tactics; it is more akin to a guerrilla force at sea,” Connell wrote. “Both navies maintain large arsenals of coastal defense and anti-ship cruise missiles and mines.”

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Nimitz Strike Group Enters 5th Fleet

Jun 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Navy


The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations June 9.


"I am proud of the Sailors and Marines of the strike group," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander of CSG 11. "They have worked tirelessly to ensure that we arrive in theater ready to support ongoing operations. We look forward to working with our regional partners to demonstrate our commitment to security operations."


While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz Strike Group will conduct maritime security operations, which help set conditions for security and promote regional stability and global prosperity.


"We are eager to participate in fostering trust, cooperation and mutual respect with our partner nations while working together to increase stability in the area and ensure the vital sea lanes of this region remain free for all maritime traffic," said White.


The squadrons of CVW-11 include the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Gray Wolves" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, the "Wallbangers" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, the "Indians" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 and the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75.


U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, and is responsible for about 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.


While operating in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz and CVW-11 will also conduct missions in direct support of troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.

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16 février 2013 6 16 /02 /février /2013 20:09

Middle east


Feb. 16, 2013 - By PIERRE TRAN – Defense news


ABU DHABI – British and French defense ministers pointed to longstanding strategic relations with Arabian Gulf countries as they sought Feb. 16 to boost industry and military ties with the energy-rich region, a big buyer of equipment looking to develop local businesses.


French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a keynote speech at the Gulf Defense Conference, said Paris seeks not a commercial relationship but a “real strategic partnership founded on confidence,” with co-development and co-production projects in armaments and defense.


The high-level conference, organized by Inegma, is tied to the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) opening Feb. 17.


The French presence at the IDEX trade show shows France is ready to deepen partnerships in high technology areas with the United Arab Emirates, Le Drian said.


Paris hopes to sell the Rafale fighter to Abu Dhabi and faces competition from the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F-18. Lockheed hopes later to sell the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the UAE.


France also hopes to win a UAE tender for 700 armored vehicles, with state-owned Nexter bidding against the Patria AMV from Finland.


“There’s one chance in two,” an announcement could be made at the IDEX show, a Nexter executive said.


In wide ranging remarks on policy, Le Drian said there is no compromise possible with “terrorism,” that France should have the political will to commit, when necessary, to helping “friends, allies, and partners” and to uphold its convictions.


“We have to maintain the capacity to react militarily far from our borders,” Le Drian said. “Long-range strike, intelligence, aerial refueling, and special operations forces are essential capabilities,” he said.


Strong links between France and Arab world carried “responsibilities and duties,” Le Drian said. Over 40 years, France has become one of the leading defense partners with the Gulf Cooperation Council, signing several defense cooperation agreements, he said.


The creation of a French permanent military base in Abu Dhabi showed Paris’ responsibility as a “world power” to help contribute to a world balance, he said.


The base is part of a relationship, which includes military cooperation, exercises, close operational ties which are strengthened by the fact “our forces are equipped with common equipment,” Le Drian said.


“Engagement is not a vain word, or a pious wish. When a state friend needs help, France replies ‘present,’” he said.


Le Drian pointed to three major crises: a perceived threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran, and conflicts in Syria and Mali.


In Syria, a political transition is needed, in which president Bashar al-Assad “has no place,” Le Drian said.


Nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, chemical warfare and regional destabilization are the big threats, he said.


France is committed to security and stability in the region, Le Drian said.


Flights of Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 Block 60 fighters flew in formation over the conference held at the Armed Forces Officers Club.


Britain also sees the Gulf region as a key area, and wants to promote the U.K. as a potential buyer of defense kit built in the region.


“In age of uncertainty, Britain is a consistent partner. We will respond to your aspirations and lend you our support,” Philip Dunne, minister for defense equipment, support and technology, said at the conference.


Britain recognized the “vision to develop indigenous capability,” he said.


“We recognize in the years to come, supply of defense and security equipment will increasingly become two-way traffic,” he said.


“We are not restricted in the UK only to procure defense capability within our national boundaries or rely on a handful of selected defense partners,” he said. “We stand ready to procure much defense equipment through open competition and greater international collaboration.


“Our market is open to your growing defense industries,” he said.


Britain last year published its open procurement philosophy, he said.


“Britain has one of the most technologically advanced defense industries in the world,” Dunne said.


Almost 100 British firms are exhibiting at IDEX and NAVDEX, the associated naval show, he said.


As part of the close ties, bilateral trade between Britain and the Gulf nations has risen 39 percent over the last two years, Dunne said.


Some 160,000 British nationals live in the Gulf, with many more visiting each year, he said.


The Gulf is vital to global energy supply, and the UK imports about 20 pct of its gas from the region, he said.


The British armed forces have some 1,500 personnel deployed in the Gulf, with around 300 in non-operational missions such as defense attachés and support teams.


Since the conservative government won power in Britain in May 2010, there have been more than 160 ministerial visits to the region, including four by prime minister David Cameron, Dunne said.


That has been matched by more 100 visits to the UK by senior Gulf officials, including state visits, he said.


“Our approach is one of friendship and partnership,” Dunne said.


London has long standing relations with many Gulf countries stretching back centuries, he said. That shared history has built up “trust,” he said.


“Our economies and cultures are increasingly intertwined,” he said. The Gulf nations have links throughout Britain -- from universities, skyscrapers, financial institutions to football clubs, he said.


“The impact from inward investment from Gulf nations is rapidly growing,” Dunne said. The security and prosperity of the Gulf is of critical importance to the UK, he said.


“A threat to the security and prosperity of this region represents a threat to our interests,” he said. “We have a common interest in the stability of this region.”


Britain’s capacity to intervene in the Gulf region will grow under the Force 2020 military reorganization planned after the exit from Afghanistan, he said.


London looks to boost joint training and interoperability with Gulf forces. “We have some of the best trained, best equipped and most experienced armed forces in the world. They exercise, they deploy, and they fight, and they do it extremely well,” Dunne said.

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