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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
Image: a soldier wearing Batlskin Cobra helmet system. Photo Revision Military.

Image: a soldier wearing Batlskin Cobra helmet system. Photo Revision Military.

2 September 2013 army-technology.com


Revision Military has been awarded a contract for supply of additional Batlskin Cobra helmets to the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO).


Covering deliveries of additional 3,000 helmets, the order forms part of a seven year contract under which the company has already supplied 4,335 helmets to the Danish military.


The helmets were issued by DALO earlier this year to infantry and head-quarters troops deploying to Afghanistan.


Revision's CEO, Jonathan Blanshay, said the lightweight, high-performance polyethylene helmets have performed very well during rigorous in-theatre use.


''The Danish military was among the very first to identify and realise the benefits that new materials and technology would bring to soldier protection, and the first to buy and deploy the Cobra polyethylene helmet system,'' Blanshay said.


The Batlskin Cobra helmet has received positive feedback from soldiers returning from Afghanistan, with the vast majority reporting very positively on its weight, comfort and protection offered in theatre.


Fitted with a high-performance modular liner system, ergonomic retention system and multipurpose front mount, Batlskin Cobra is an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene helmet, designed to safeguard soldiers against trauma-blunt force, blast fragmentation and ballistic threats.


Besides operating with multiple in-service equipment from night vision goggles (NVGs) to communications gear and weapons sights, the fully modular and integrated helmet can also wear system components in any combination to achieve ideal balance between protection and lethality.


The helmets delivered under the new contract will feature Revision's adjustable retention system, high-performance modular liner, multi-purpose front mount, fitted helmet cover and front rails for accessory attachment.


In addition, the three-position Visor and high-threat Mandible Guard, components included in the initial contract award, can be used for additional facial protection.


Manufacturing work will be carried out at the company's Composite Center of Excellence in Montreal, Canada, while the delivery schedule has not been undisclosed.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
GDELS presents the EAGLE V 4x4 recently awarded by the German Army at DSEI 2013

31.08.2013 General Dynamics - army-guide.com


Madrid -- General Dynamics European Land System (GDELS) will present the EAGLE V 4X4, recently selected and awarded by the German Army, at the DSEI 2013 exhibition in London from the 10th to the 13th of September 2013. As part of a portfolio of solutions and systems integration know-how for military forces, will also feature the latest development of the armoured tracked vehicle family ASCOD.


General Dynamics European Land Systems will be displayed on Stand No. S9-250.


EAGLE - The Superior Tactical Mobility and Payload


General Dynamics European Land Systems presents the EAGLE V, a further development of the EAGLE IV fleet, already in service. The EAGLE V features a higher payload capacity and increased crew protection at superior tactical mobility. Recently, GDELS was awarded a contract by the German Army for the delivery of 100 EAGLE V Vehicles. To meet the increasing demand for mobility, protection and payload, General Dynamics European Land Systems offers the EAGLE vehicle family comprising 4x4 and 6x6 versions. Due to its higher payload capacity, it can carry more equipment or heavier protection solutions, depending on the military or police customer’s requirements. This highly mobile vehicle, with a crew capacity of up to 5 soldiers, offers outstanding protection against ballistic, mine and improvised explosive device (IED) threats. Interchangeable automotive parts and components with DURO vehicles provide a cost-effective logistics commonality. The total cost of ownership of these vehicles will be reduced through the EAGLE Family of Vehicles concept, with its high degree of commonality, maintenance-friendly design and proven support solutions.


ASCOD – Maximum Protection and High performance affordable


In the stand, General Dynamics European Land Systems display also information about the latest development of the armoured tracked vehicle family ASCOD. The ASCOD provides maximum protection and high performance at a very competitive market price. Its rubber track version is currently participating in an international competition in Denmark, with a design that integrates lessons learned from the “Specialist Vehicle (SV)” Program of the British Army. More than 250 units variants of the ASCOD are presently in service with the Spanish and Austrian Armies.

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31 août 2013 6 31 /08 /août /2013 11:35
Desert Rats prepare for Afghanistan

An RAF Chinook brings in a light gun (and plenty of dust) for the gathered media [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]


30 August 2013  Ministry of Defence


7th Armoured Brigade personnel have displayed their skills on Salisbury Plain prior to deploying to Afghanistan later this year.


It is nearly time for the ‘Desert Rats’, as members of 7th Armoured Brigade are known, to return to the desert. Although, this time, the desert that the famous brigade will be heading to is in Helmand province, where they will be taking over the role of Task Force Helmand (TFH).

The deployment on Operation Herrick 19 will see personnel from all 3 Services working closely with 3/215 Brigade of the Afghan National Army. And, as is the norm, the media were invited to Salisbury Plain to see some of the skills that the Rats have honed over an extensive period of pre-deployment training.

Media days tend to illustrate the main role that the troops will be playing during their tour. Not long ago the event would have had a dramatic pyrotechnic theme as troops displayed their patrolling and soldiering skills; helicopters would worry their way into contested areas to pick up the wounded.

The media day for Herrick 18 on a snow-swept Salisbury Plain focused on troops working with the Afghan Army and Police, advising and mentoring them and helping them to develop their skills.

Corporal Ed Grace demonstrates the Dragon Runner
Corporal Ed Grace, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, demonstrates the Dragon Runner bomb disposal robot [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

Yesterday, 29 August, the main event was the drawdown of a forward patrol base, which will be an important feature of Herrick 19. Brigade Commander, Brigadier James Woodham, said:

In preparation for the tour I visit Afghanistan often to talk to those doing the job there at the moment, and it is clear to me that there has been great progress.

The Afghan Army in Helmand are without doubt showing themselves to be brave, competent and able to plan and conduct their own complex operations, the vast majority of which are conducted with no support from ISAF.

The police have clearly benefited from the concerted training effort over the years.

The success that has been seen in transferring responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the development of public trust in their government has meant that the current Task Force has been able to press ahead with disengagement and to close those bases for which there is no longer any operational need:

I fully expect that this process will continue,” said the Brigadier. “As a result the force that I deploy with will be smaller. As I take over, the full force numbers will be about 6,000, falling to 5,200 by the end of the year.

Brigadier James Woodham
Brigadier James Woodham, Commander of 7th Armoured Brigade [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

Brigadier Woodham said that he expected Herrick 19 would see the ANSF continuing to develop and that TFH would work with them only when required, with the focus being on increasing their independence and sustainability:

I fully expect in my time to conclude the process of closing and transferring the UK’s bases in Helmand. And as this process takes place we will be able to redeploy more of our people and equipment back to the UK and to Germany.

Which is why the showpiece of the day was the breaking down of a patrol base. Of course, in itself this is nothing new. British troops have been breaking down bases for generations.

But, whereas in years gone by the field guns and equipment would have been moved out on horseback, yesterday it was an upgraded RAF Chinook Mk4 helicopter, dubbed the workhorse of the skies, that took the strain of lifting a 105mm light gun, while a demountable rack offload and pickup system (a big army lorry) hauled away the more standard items.

An Apache attack helicopter provided air cover while an outer ring of Ridgback armoured vehicles and an inner platoon of soldiers held the ground secure as sappers dismantled a watchtower.

An Apache attack helicopter
An Apache attack helicopter providing air cover during the media day on Salisbury Plain [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

It was an important reminder that, while this tour for UK troops will be less kinetic and more advisory than in the past, basic soldiering skills must nevertheless be maintained to the highest level:

What you will see today is our chance to polish our skills, before using them for real in Helmand,” said Brigadier Woodham. “I’m pleased to say that the training progression has gone from strength to strength, and the training my soldiers have received has been first class, hugely realistic and challenging.

The training for Afghanistan which has been delivered by the Army has been really well-focused; we don’t just roll out the same training as last time. The training organisations work really hard to reflect the sorts of roles that the troops are going to do.

All the way through it was clear that Herrick 19 was going to be different. Therefore that’s been bedded into all the training courses and exercises and I’m confident that our soldiers are prepared for whatever will come their way.

Private Danny Greenhalgh with military working dog Amy
Private Danny Greenhalgh, from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, with his military working dog Amy, a 4-year-old Belgian Shepherd [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

That was certainly an opinion that was echoed by the soldiers manning the stands:

It’s my first tour,” said Lance Corporal James Carstairs, part of a 2 Medical Regiment combat medical team. “I feel prepared for everything to do with my job, and I’m very comfortable about going.

Another first-timer will be reservist Lieutenant Jabez Crisp, a watchkeeper in 2 Logistic Support Regiment. It will be his job to keep a close eye on the movements of the logistic convoys as they supply troops and bring back kit and equipment from those bases that are closing or being handed over. He said:

I admit to a healthy level of stage fright. But I’m very ready to go.

There was another army asset that could not be displayed on the day, but to which the Brigadier wanted to pay tribute:

I must mention some unsung heroes, our families,” he said, “for on the eve of deployment they too are preparing for the challenges that lie ahead. But they are not alone. Each unit has on hand a dedicated team to assist and help make the time pass as painlessly as possible.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:40
Russian Paratrooper Artillery in 1st Intl. Drills in 20 Years

Russian Paratrooper Artillery. (Archive)


MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti)


Artillery units of Russia’s Airborne Assault Forces will participate in an international exercise for the first time in two decades, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.


The exercise, codenamed Interaction-2013, will take place in Belarus in September, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Irina Kruglova said. Russia will send an artillery battery from the Ulyanovsk Special Airborne Assault Brigade, she said.


As part of the exercise, Nona self-propelled guns, artillery fire control vehicles and D-30 howitzers will be airdropped and employed in a simulated combat operation, the spokeswoman said.


The exercise is organized under the umbrella of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led security group that includes the former Soviet states of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:30
Damas redéploye ses missiles Scud

MOSCOU, 30 août - RIA Novosti


Le commandement de l'armée syrienne a redéployé ses missiles tactiques Scud sur fond de menace croissante d'une intervention étrangère dans le pays, rapportent vendredi les agences occidentales citant des sources diplomatiques au Proche-Orient.


Selon les médias, plusieurs missiles Scud et des dizaines de rampes de lancement ont été transférés depuis une base militaire située à proximité de Damas dans des régions intérieures de la Syrie. Ces manœuvres seraient destinées à protéger les forces balistiques syriennes contre une éventuelle frappe visant les sites militaires du pays.


En décembre 2011, le secrétaire général de l'Otan Anders Fogh Rasmussen a annoncé que les forces fidèles au gouvernement de Damas utilisaient des missiles tactiques Scud contre l'opposition armée.


Le terme Scud désigne une série de missiles balistiques à courte portée développés dans les années 1950 par l'Union soviétique. Pour sa part, le ministre syrien des Affaires étrangères nie toute utilisation de missiles Scud par les troupes gouvernementales.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:50
the Puma IFV will undergo two month-hot weather trials in UAE. Photo Ralph Zwilling

the Puma IFV will undergo two month-hot weather trials in UAE. Photo Ralph Zwilling

29 August 2013 army-technology.com


The German Army has shipped two new Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to UAE for hot weather trials under the direction of the Bundeswehr Federal Office for equipment, information technology and operation (BAAINBw) over the next two months.


Scheduled to be carried out by personnel of the Bundeswehr Technical Centre (WTD) 91 Meppen (weapons) and WTD 41 Trier for mobility, the testing forms part of extensive investigations required to demonstrate whether the vehicle fulfils military requirements.


Apart from testing Puma's suitability for very hot weather operations, the trials will also include firing and driving manoeuvres in desert conditions, as well as firepower and mobility evaluations.


During the trials, the temperature profiles inside the vehicle will be measured, then compared to the ambient temperature and analysed.


Puma IFV successfully completed three-month cold weather testing in Lakselv, Norway, in 2012.


Based on the weather tests results, the first production of Puma IFV is expected to be delivered to the German Army in 2014.


Powered by a MTU V10 892 diesel engine, Puma is a 31.5t tracked armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) designed to replace the army's existing Rheinmetall Landsysteme Marder 1 vehicles, which entered service in 1971 and will soon reach the end of operational life.


Around 350 vehicles are currently being manufactured by Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Rheinmetall Land Systems and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, as part of a €3bn contract awarded in July 2009.


The contract originally covered 405 vehicles, but the numbers were later reduced in wake of the German army's restructuring programme.


Deliveries of all vehicles are scheduled to complete by the end of 2020.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Russia Revives The Canadian Army Trophy

August 29, 2013: Strategy Page


In August 2013 the Russian Army held its first tank gunnery competition. Tank crews competed by performing actual tasks a tank crew would be called on to carry out in combat. The competition is held on a course that is 20 kilometers long and the winders are those who get through it the quickest. Each time a tank goes through it they are called on to halt when a target appears and fire one of their three weapons (main gun, machine-gun or long range missile fired from main gun barrel). Each time a tank misses a target it must hustle through a 500 meter penalty loop. Part of the course is an obstacle course where crews are graded on time and accuracy (not hitting certain obstacles). The crews are ranked according to their scores and those that do the best are rewarded in one way or another.


Such competitions are costly, especially when they involve all similar units in the army, navy or air force. But in the West such competitions were found to be worth the additional cost and effort. They are a big boost to morale as well because of the competitive element and this is especially true for the teams (and the unit they are from) who win overall. Russia has picked up on this and has made these elaborate and expensive training/testing methods part of their military reforms.


It’s unclear if Russia is seeking to revive a Cold War era tank competition held among NATO tank crews. From 1963 to 1991 Canadian forces in Europe sponsored a tank gunnery competition for NATO troops stationed in Europe. The completion ceased because the Cold War ended and Canadian forces withdrew from Europe in 1993. The most frequent competitors were Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, West Germany and the United States. The winner got to keep the Canadian Army Trophy until the next competition. The competition evolved over the years and its final format was very similar to the one the Russians are now using.


Russia has invited other nations to compete. This includes nations that used to be part of the Soviet Union as well as China and NATO countries. The U.S. was also invited to compete, but that would be expensive (moving American tanks to Russia for the competition) and in these times of shrinking military budgets, not likely to happen. This is a disappointment to tanks crews worldwide, who have a keen interest in knowing which nation does indeed have the most skilled crews. Then again the Russians might be tempted to cheat (using specially selected and trained “competition crews” instead of having all crews on active service competing to select the best ones for the international competition.)

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 07:50
UK-Polish Group Unveils New Vehicle Demonstrator

An artist's rendering of a concept vehicle being developed by Obrum, part of the Polish Defence Holding group. The demonstrator will be unveiled at the upcoming MSPO exhibition in Poland next month. (Polish Defence Holding)


Aug. 28, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News


LONDON — The BAE Systems-Polish Defence Holding’s team competing for an upcoming requirement from the Polish Army for a family of light tanks and infantry fighting vehicles has released a sneak preview of a concept demonstrator they plan to unveil at the upcoming MSPO defense equipment show.


The concept vehicle — developed by Obrum, part of the Polish Defence Holding group — features an unmanned turret sporting a 120mm gun mounted on a chassis, drawing heavily on CV90 mobility and protection technology provided by BAE’s Hagglunds operation in Sweden.


The vehicle will be a centerpiece of Polish Defence Holding’s stand at the MSPO exhibition, which opens in Keilce, Poland, on Sept 2.


BAE and the state-owned Polish Defence Holding, formerly known as the Bulmar Group, announced a teaming deal in late May to compete for a Polish Army requirement for hundreds of light tanks and infantry fighting vehicles using a universal tracked platform.


Formal specifications for the tracked vehicle requirement are expected to be released by the Polish Defense Ministry toward the end of the year, with a requirement for the first delivery sometime in 2018.


BAE officials said the modular design of the demonstrator is intended to be flexible and help stimulate debate as Poland heads toward issuing a formal specification.


Despite unexpected Polish government revenue shortfalls this year, which could result in some trimming of the defense budget spending on the military, funding remains robust with the portion of cash going to equipment increasing.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Scottish cavalry takes the reins in Kabul

28 August 2013 army.mod.uk


Scotland’s most senior, and only cavalry, regiment has officially taken control of the force protection of more than 500 British Armed Forces personnel in Kabul.


The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) took over as the outgoing commander, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Kitchener, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), handed control to the incoming commander Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Bartholomew.


SCOTS DG will provide essential support for all those working in Kabul, including transport and accommodation.


Lt Col ‘Barty’ Bartholomew, a veteran of the campaign in Iraq and highly experienced on the UK’s campaign in Afghanistan, described his thoughts on the months ahead:


“It’s a hugely exciting and challenging role. The Regiment is well-trained, prepared and ready for its tour of duty in Kabul. At a crucial part of the campaign, the Regiment is well placed to support and enable the military effort in the nation’s capital.



“All of the Regiment are up for the task ahead and look forward to making a difference in the coming months.”


Enduring UK commitment


The UK has maintained a presence in Kabul since NATO forces deployed there in 2001. Currently, British troops fulfil an array of tasks in the city including advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and providing military assistance to the British Embassy.


In June this year, the ANSF formally took over for security for the whole of Afghanistan and UK support is increasingly focused at the institutional level.


In addition to their force protection role, the SCOTS DG also has a number of troops committed to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Camp Qargha, an enduring UK commitment, which will continue to train the next generation of Afghan officers beyond 2014 when combat operations in Afghanistan ends.



"challenging and rewarding"


Outgoing commander, Lt Col Kitchener said of the last sixth months: “I expected the tour to be a challenging and rewarding time in my career and it has certainly lived up to that expectation. I now leave knowing that the unit’s mission and reputation has been handed over to a very capable unit – the SCOTS DG.


“It has been an honour to serve as the Commanding Officer of the Kabul Joint Support Unit, providing force protection and support to UK personnel across the city for the last six months.”


The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will complete a six-month operational tour (their 3rd in Afghanistan) before returning to their home base of Bad Fallingbostel in Germany.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Bradley photo BAE Systems

Bradley photo BAE Systems

Aug. 28, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News


STERLING HEIGHTS, MICH. — The Iraqi government is negotiating with the US government and BAE Systems to purchase 200 Bradley Fighting Vehicles sometime during the next 15 months, according to BAE officials.


The potential deal is expected sometime in 2014 and could come just before another expected agreement is reached with Saudi Arabia to buy Bradleys in 2015. The Iraq contract would provide recently upgraded M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm) variants to the Baghdad government, the same vehicles that the US Army National Guard uses.


“We’ve done all the upfront work and for those sales,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of vehicle systems for the company. He added that Iraq already has about 1,000 tracked M113 infantry carriers made by BAE.


Although the sale of the vehicles would be good news for the company, which has been laying off employees in its Land Armaments sector since MRAP sales dried up, the decline in overall US defense spending is all but irreversible at this point, he said.


“We’re past the point where we can avoid layoffs,” Signorelli said during an event Aug. 26 at the company’s new glass-encased facilities here.


Overall, the company has been forced to reduce staff from 650 employees to about 335 at the facility in Michigan, which mostly does prototyping and research work for ground vehicles.


If the deals eventually go through, they’ll follow on about $4.3 billion worth of contracts the Iraqi government has requested in recent weeks from the US government for 50 Stryker infantry carriers, helicopters and air defense systems.


There is also a pending $750 million deal to do maintenance work on Iraqi M113s, Humvees, M88s and other ground vehicles, which Signorelli said BAE will likely bid on as part of a team with industry partners.


The Bradley industrial base is something that BAE Systems is extremely concerned about. Signorelli said the company has reached deals with the US Army to keep the line at York, Pa., humming through 2014, but that the work will run out about halfway through 2015. “We mitigated the major risks in ’14,” he said, but “we still can’t support the entire supply base. There will be layoffs.”


The work to convert 59 Bradley cavalry scout vehicles to the newer M2A3 configuration would end about halfway through 2015, which would be the end of the line until a larger reset program begins in 2018, the company has said.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 11:30
Altay MBT - Photo Savunma ve havacilik

Altay MBT - Photo Savunma ve havacilik

27.08.2013 par Guillaume Belan (FOB)

La Turquie s’est lancée dans un important programme de modernisation de ses forces armées. Avec un budget prévisionnel de 150 milliards de dollars sur 25 ans, « Force 2014 » vise non seulement à moderniser les capacités des armées mais également à assurer l’essor de l’industrie nationale turque. 


La modernisation de l’outil de défense turc, financée à hauteur de 28% du budget alloué à la Défense, révèle la nouvelle politique militaro-industrielle d’Ankara, qui vise à réduire sa dépendance à l’égard des pays étrangers, États-Unis et Israël en tête, tout en développant une politique industrielle sur les marchés à l’export très agressive. Une stratégie qui s’est avérée payante: en 2012, l’industrie militaire turque a réalisé 4,3 milliards de dollars de chiffre d’affaires et a totalisé des exportations pour 1,3 milliard de dollars; lesquelles ont bondi de près de 35 % en l’espace d’un an. L’objectif est désormais d’atteindre les 2 milliards de dollars pour 2016-2017.


L’armée de terre : une priorité


la Turquie a toujours accordé une grande importance à son armée de terre, qui aligne pas moins de 390 000 hommes et femmes, ce qui fait d’elle la deuxième force terrestre otanienne, de par ses effectifs après celle des Etats-Unis. La modernisation de la Türk Kara Kuvvetleri concerne tout les systèmes d’armes, du fusils d’assaut au char de bataille, en passant par le génie. L’industrie nationale est très fortement impliquée dans l’effort de modernisation de la composante terrestre des forces armées turques, devenant de facto, un des grands exportateurs mondiaux de systèmes d’armes. En seulement quelques années…


Les Blindés lourds

Le programme le plus emblématique demeure le développement du char Altay, du nom du général Fahrettin Altay, héros de la guerre d’indépendance turque, dont FOB s’est déjà fait l’écho ici.

Altay MBT - photo Otokar

Altay MBT - photo Otokar

Relevons la participation sud-coréenne à ce programme, basée sur l’expérience accumulée par Hyundai Rotem avec le développement de son char K-2 Black Panther, ainsi celle allemande, qui fournit à la fois le moteur turbo diesel MTU de 1 500 chevaux et le canon Rheinmetall de 120/55 mm produit sous licence par MKEK (Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu). Le programme Altay, qui s’est vu attribué un contrat initial de 500 millions de dollars pour le développement et la réalisation de quatre prototypes, prévoit la livraison à l’armée turque d’un premier lot de 250 chars lourds à partir de 2016. Les besoins exprimés portent sur un millier d’engins, destinés à remplacer, à terme, les quelques 2 300 chars M-48 et M-60 actuellement en service. En parallèle, Ankara maintiendra en service un millier de chars allemands Leopard modernisés (package Next Generation de Aselsan) et M-60T (package « Sabra » de Israel Military Industries).




En ce qui concerne les véhicules de combat d’infanteries chenillés, la Türk Kara Kuvvetleri a déjà mis en service un engin blindé réalisé par FNSS, joint venture créée en 1988 entre NUROL Holding et BAE Systems pour le développement d’une nouvelle famille de véhicules blindés : l’ACV-300. Fabriqué pour l’armée turque à partir de 1992 en plusieurs versions (transport/tourelle de 25 mm/ missile antichar TOW), le blindés a déjà été vendu à l’export (250 à la Malaise et 136 aux Emirats Arabes Unis).


Les véhicules légers

La modernisation de l’armée de terre turque

Même ambitions en ce qui concerne le parc blindé léger à roues. Là aussi, l’industrie nationale (Otokar et FNSS) a développé divers programmes. Le Pars de FNSS, un blindé 6×6 ou 8×8, dont un millier d’exemplaires en été commandés par la Türk Kara Kuvvetleri, ainsi que 50 en version amphibie par le corps d’infanterie de marine rattachée à  la Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri. Même agressivité sur le marché export, grâce à des prix très contenus : 257 engins ont été commandés par la Malaisie dans le cadre d’un contrat évalué à 559 millions de dollars, avec la participation de Thales (relire l’article de FOB sur ce sujet ici)


Kobra II d’Otokar

Kobra II d’Otokar

Quant aux blindés légers 4×4 (classe 8-10 tonnes), les militaires turcs ont exprimé un besoin pour 2700 nouveaux véhicules tactiques blindés. Le grand gagnant est le Kobra d’Otokar, dérivé du “Humvee” américain (avec pourtant de faux airs de VBL !), et a été commandé à plus de 1 200 exemplaires (les premières livraison sont intervenues en 1997). Autre véhicule commandé : l’Akrep (scorpion), un tout-terrain protégé, dérivé du Land Rover Defender 110, réalisé sous licence par Otokar (plus de 10 000 exemplaires produits et largement exportés), dont une version reconnaissance dédiés aux opérations spéciales, appelée Engerek (vipère), commandées à plus de 500 exemplaires.


Un MRAP turc


Kirpi - BMC

Kirpi - BMC

En 2009, suite au retour sur expérience du théâtre afghan et afin de disposer de véhicules capables de faire face aux menaces de type asymétrique, les Türk Kara Kuvvetleri ont commandé 468 véhicules 4×4 MRAP (résistant aux mines) Kirpi (hérisson), produits depuis 2010 par BMC de Izmir, avec l’assistance de l’industriel israélien Hatehof. Ces engins sont destinés pour l’essentiel à remplacer les BTR-60/80 russes, achetés dans les années 90, ainsi que les Dragoon, dérivés des Cadillac Cage Commando V-150. Récemment, les militaires turques ont exprimé également un besoin pour 336 véhicules NBC. Pour ce contrat, deux véhicules « made in » Turquie sont en lice: le 6×6 Edjer (dragon) de Nurol Makina, dont 26 exemplaires en version transport de troupe ont déjà été vendus à la Géorgie en 2007, et le 6×6 ARMA d’Otokar, qui existe également en version 8×8.


Artillerie et missiles

En ce qui concerne l’artillerie, l’armé turque a déjà renouvelé une grande partie de son parc automoteurs avec la mise en service de 248 obusiers de 155/52 mm K-9 Firtina (tempête) d’origine sud-coréenne, commandés en 2001 dans le cadre d’un contrat de 1,2 milliards de dollars et livrés entre 2004 et 2011. Ces automoteurs d’artillerie ont été utilisés au Kurdistan contre le PKK ainsi qu’en représailles contre la Syrie suite à des tirs contre le territoire turc en octobre 2012. Pour ce qui est des pièces tractées et des lance-roquettes, les Türk Kara Kuvvetleri  continuent leur programme de mise en service d’obusiers de 155/52 mm Panter de production nationale et de la version locale fabriquée sous licence du lance-roquettes multiples WS-1 chinois de 302 mm. Le programme national Toros (taureau) pour l’introduction d’un nouveau système lance-roquettes de 230 et 260 mm semble, en revanche, rencontrer quelques problèmes. 


UMTAS anti-tank missile

UMTAS anti-tank missile

Côté missile, l’armée turque souhaitait remplacer ses systèmes antichars (TOW, MILAN, Cobra, Hellfire, etc.). Ici, la modernisation a fait largement appel à l’achat sur étagère, à savoir l’Eryx de MBDA avec un nouveau contrat pour 632 lanceurs signé en 2012, ou bien avec les russes comme le Kornet E (commande pour 80 postes de tir et 800 missiles livrés en 2009-2010). Peut-être afin de laisser le temps à l’industrie nationale de faire son chemin, car l’industrie turque poursuit plusieurs programmes de développement pour le compte de l’armée turque, comme Roketsan avec son système antichar de 160 mm UMTAS/OMTAS. Rappelons que le missilier et munitionnaire national Roketsan a développé également une roquette de 70 mm à guidage laser Cirit (javelot) utilisée, notamment, par l’hélicoptère de combat AT-129.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 09:35
An NH-90 helicopter belonging to the Italian army aviation command’s Task Force Fenice photographed during a long-range mission in Afghanistan. (IT MoD photo)

An NH-90 helicopter belonging to the Italian army aviation command’s Task Force Fenice photographed during a long-range mission in Afghanistan. (IT MoD photo)

August 27, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Italian Ministry of Defence; issued Aug. 23, 2013)

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


Afghanistan: One Year of Operational Deployment for the Army’s NH-90


Some days ago, coinciding with the completion of their first year of operational deployment in Afghanistan, two NH-90 helicopters of the Italian Army Aviation command (AVES), assigned to Task Force ‘Fenice’ (Phoenix) of Regional Command West (RC-W ), arrived at the headquarters of the ISAF Joint Command (IJC), after a three-hour flight and a quick stop at Forward Operating Base (FOB) of Chaghcharan, after flying over the Hindu Kush mountain range. IJC is the NATO command in Afghanistan which has the responsibility for military operations throughout the area of responsibility of ISAF.


Italian army NH-90s, which recently passed the 1,000 flight hour milestone, arrived in the Afghan theater of operations in August of last year and, for the first time ever among the program’s partner nations, have been engaged in combat and combat support missions.


This helicopter is equipped with latest generation avionics and fully integrated systems for day and night vision, allowing the crew a constant high state of situational awareness, ie the full and continuous perception of all the technical and operational aspects necessary for the safe completion of their missions. Together with the high professionalism and experience of the pilots in critical environmental situations typical of the Afghan theater of operations, the N-90 has proved to be an extremely flexible tool available to the commander of RC-W.


The organization put in place by Task Force 'Fenice' for the operation of these helicopters was also the subject of visit by a delegation from Australia who appreciated the effectiveness and the innovative solutions adopted for field maintenance.


Task Force 'Fenice', currently commanded by Colonel Luigi Adiletta, is the Italian Army Aviation unit deployed in the Afghan theater which is tasked with carrying out missions such as close air support to ground troops, transport and logistical support, as well as medical evacuation and the immediate stabilization of personnel wounded in combat with their 'Forward Medical Team' (FMT).

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26 août 2013 1 26 /08 /août /2013 06:55
Remise de diplôme aux nouveaux officiers de réserve spécialistes d’état-major

Cours des ORSEM - crédits : MCH A.Perret/CESAT


23/08/2013 Laura Bataille- Armée de Terre


Le vendredi 23 août 2013 a eu lieu la cérémonie de remise des diplômes aux nouveaux officiers de réserve spécialistes d’état-major (ORSEM), après trois semaines de stage.


Ce stage s’est déroulé à l’école militaire (Paris) du lundi 5 août au vendredi 23 août 2013. Il a pour objectif de former des responsables civils de haut niveau à des responsabilités d’officiers supérieurs. Il s’agit du troisième niveau de formation de cursus des officiers de réserve. La réussite au stage est sanctionnée par l’attribution du diplôme d’officier de réserve spécialiste d’état-major par le général commandant le collège de l’enseignement supérieur de l’armée de Terre (CESAT).


« Ils s’instruisent pour mieux servir » est leur devise


Au-delà des conférences et exercices dispensés par les professeurs du CESAT, ce stage est l’occasion, pour des officiers d’origines et d’expériences variées, de tisser entre eux des liens solides. Un atout important puisqu’aujourd’hui les opérations sont presque toutes multinationales.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 07:35
India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles

August 22nd, 2013 defencetalk.com  ( RIA Novosti)


India’s Defense Ministry has signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited for delivery of T-90 tank missiles manufactured under Russian license to the Indian army, The Hindu daily newspaper reported Tuesday.


Under the contract, estimated at $470 million, the deliveries of the Invar missiles, to be put on T-90 tanks, are to be completed within the next five years.


Invar is a laser-guided antitank missile with a range of five kilometers (three miles) and capability of penetrating explosive reactive armor.


Bharat Dynamics has been manufacturing the missiles in collaboration with Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, the newspaper said.


According to media reports, India is planning to procure 25,000 Invar missiles for its T-90 tanks, including 10,000 to be bought directly from Russia and 15,000 to be manufactured domestically under Russian license.

India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles
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22 août 2013 4 22 /08 /août /2013 14:25
Colombian Army Acquires 28 Additional COMMANDO Armored Personnel Carriers from Textron Marine & Land Systems

August 22, 2013 (Marketwired )


NEW ORLEANS, LA - Textron Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS), an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today a $31.6 million contract award from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to provide 28 COMMANDOTM Advanced Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), with 40mm/.50 cal remote turrets, to the Colombian Army (COLAR). Initial APC deliveries to the U.S. Army, for shipping to Colombia, are expected to begin in November, with all vehicles scheduled to be completed and transferred by April 2014.


The contract also includes repair services on two damaged Armored Personnel Carriers in the COLAR's inventory, which consists of 39 COMMANDO Advanced APCs in operation with its Armored Cavalry units. These repairs will coincide with vehicle support service work on COLAR APCs awarded to TM&LS earlier this year.


Since fielding its APCs in May 2010, the COLAR has employed them extensively while combating internal revolutionary forces in Colombia. These vehicles have provided the mobility, protection and firepower needed to meet all COLAR tactical armored vehicle requirements.


"Our Colombian Army customer values the performance, operator protection and reliability they have experienced with our COMMANDO APCs during more than three years of demanding operations," said Textron Marine & Land Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Walmsley. "We're pleased to be growing this relationship and providing the Colombian Army with this important asset for its Cavalry units."


The COMMANDO Advanced APC is an extended version of the Armored Security Vehicle, combat proven by the U.S. Army and other militaries in locations including Afghanistan and Iraq for more than 10 years. The APC's additional two feet in length and six inches in internal height allow greater troop carrying capacity. These vehicles offer excellent on-road and off-road mobility, enabling them to operate in urban, jungle, desert and mountainous terrain. Crew protection is reinforced with a V-shaped hull bottom and 360-degree protection from direct fire.


Rigorously tested and proven in the toughest environments, the COMMANDO family of vehicles offers a range of protection options, unmatched on-road/off-road mobility and ample firepower. TM&LS produces four lines of COMMANDO four-wheeled vehicles - COMMANDO Utility, COMMANDO Advanced, COMMANDO Select and COMMANDO Elite.


As an end-to-end armored vehicle provider, TM&LS offers customers a wide range of COMMANDO products and services. Within the COMMANDO family of vehicle lines, TM&LS has recently developed an enhanced recapitalization solution for HMMWVs, a 4x4 mortar vehicle, and command and control integration. Coordinated logistics support ensures proper fielding, training, maintenance and related services throughout each vehicle's life cycle. 


About Textron Marine & Land Systems

Textron Marine & Land Systems designs, produces and supports advanced wheeled combat vehicles and cutting-edge maritime craft used by U.S. and international armed forces, as well as civilian entities around the globe. Its COMMANDO family of armored vehicles offers a full range of vehicle options delivering enhanced survivability, mobility, lethality and sustainability. Textron Marine & Land Systems' innovative turret technology and related subsystems also deliver outstanding performance and reliability. Its strategic business, MillenWorks, operates an Engineering Center of Excellence with a reputation as a highly sought-after solution center, which designs and develops advanced mobility solutions for demanding on- and off-road applications. Textron Marine & Land Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textronmarineandland.com.


About Textron Systems

Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.


About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com


The following files are available for download:

Colombian Army Acquires 28 Additional COMMANDO Armored Personnel Carriers from Textron Marine & Land Systems
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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Trials of Arjun Mark-II main-battle tanks to be completed this year

Jul 25, 2013 Rajat Pandit, TNN


NEW DELHI: The advanced version of the homegrown main-battle tank, Arjun, is all set to complete its protracted trials this year, which will include firing the Israeli-origin laser guided LAHAT missiles from its main gun.


This Mark-II version of the Arjun has "89 upgrades or improvements'' over the earlier 124 Mark-I tanks inducted by the Army. "The trials began in June 2012 at the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan. Phase-II of the trials, which basically revolve around the armaments, kicked off in May-June this year,'' said an official on Thursday.


Another round of the LAHAT missile firing will take place in the first week of August. "The remaining trials will begin in the third week of August at Pokhran. If the trials are fully successful, the production order for 118 Arjun Mark-II tanks will be placed,'' he said.


While the Army has inducted 124 Mark-I Arjuns, the force and other agencies had suggested the 89 improvements for the Mark-II version. These included the capability to fire missiles from the main gun, advanced laser warning and control systems, and explosive reactive armour plates for better self-protection of the tanks.


With the long delay in the indigenous Arjun project, which was sanctioned as far back as in 1974, the Army has progressively inducted around 800 of the planned 1,657 T-90S Russian-origin tanks till now.


The T-90S tanks, which are replacing the older T-55 and T-72 tanks, are going to be the main battle-tanks of the Army for the foreseeable future. DRDO, however, wants Army to order a minimum of 500 Arjuns to stabilise production lines and pave the way for the development of a "futuristic'' MBT. "The Arjun Mark-II, a crucial indigenous effort, will have better firepower, mobility and survivability over the earlier version,'' said another official.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 07:35
Indian Army gifts 7 bailey bridges to Myanmar Army

 July 26, 2013 irdw.org (Assam Tribune)


In a move to provide a vital fillip to the relationship between the two historic neighbours – India and Myanmar – the Indian Army yesterday handed over seven Bailey bridges to the Myanmar Army at Leimakhong army headquarter, about 20 km north of Imphal.


The General Officer Commanding Spears Corps Lt Gen AK Sahni, handed over the sevenBailey bridges to Commander Major General Soe Lwin of North West Command at Leimakhong.


“We are taking up this as a Prime Minister’s initiative for the development of border infrastructure”, said Lt Gen Sahni. “This will help in meeting the aspiration of the people and also to ensure security along the Indo-Myanmar border”, he also said adding, “This gesture by India will go a long way in providing a vital fillip to the relationship between the two historic neighbours.


The step has been taken as part of the 3rd Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Committee Meet between India and Myanmar held under the aegis of Spears Corps of Indian Army at Leimakhong from July 23-25. The meeting was attended by high ranking officials from both the countries.


The Border Committee Meet is a landmark event which provides an opportunity for representatives of security forces and government officials of both nations to discuss and resolve crucial issues relating to border management, bi-lateral cooperation and counter-terrorism strategy.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 18:50
Time to Cancel FRES SV?

by in




Can UOR equipment provide a viable alternative for Cavalry regiments ?



In this article I will attempt to bring together a number of threads that are based on current events, but also based on ongoing discussions in the comment threads of this site, as pertaining to various inter-related subjects. There are a number of distinct elements, but the overall theme is that of Armoured Reconnaissance in the British Armies FF2020 organizational structure.

Specific themes include:

  • Taking UOR kit into the core fleets
  • Getting the greatest value for money in a time of tight budgets
  • The role of the armoured cavalry regiments
  • The continued requirement for FRES Scout in a smaller army

Hopefully I will be able to bring these threads together to make a cohesive argument for what is I believe to be a fairly modest proposal, as given away by my suitable contentious and attention grabbing headline – that we can cancel FRES SV and spend the money elsewhere.


Armoured Reconnaissance, cavalry roles, and FF2020

There has been considerable discussion across the comment threads of various TD articles on the shape and form of armoured reconnaissance capabilities, and what kind of kit should replace the large number of venerable CVR(T) platforms that used to equip what were once calledFormation Reconnaissance Regiments”.

It might be said that the armour branch of the British Army has been in continual flux since the end of the Cold War; and due to the many and varied attempts to replace CVR(T) that pre-dated the existing FRES Scout programme, the armoured Recce role in particular has been in a somewhat confused state of doctrinal development, versus deployed reality in the middle east. We benefit on this site in having an Ex-Cavalry Officer, a serving member of the Singapore Armed Forces with a recce role, and other experts all of whom have varying opinions. Of course opinions are just that, they cannot be wrong nor are they universally “right” and as in any military endeavor there is rarely a single “one size fits all” solution to a particular problem set.

Personally I have been a supporter of the FRES Scout capability (if not the chosen vehicle) and 30 plus tonnes of what is essentially a Infantry Fighting Vehicle to replace the far lighter weight CVR(T) seemed like the right way to enhance protection on the modern battlefield for the Cavalry regiments. Herein lies the crux of the size, weight and capability arguments to me – Cavalry regiments have traditionally had roles above and beyond reconnaissance.

These have included:

  • Screening the main force
  • Rear guard for the main force
  • Flank guards
  • Rear area security
  • Response force (to assist in plugging gaps and preventing enemy breakthroughs)

On paper at least, all of these roles were ascribed to Cold War BAOR Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments equipped with lightweight CVR(T) series vehicles. Of course the fact that they are “armoured recce” regiments, also means advancing to contact with known / unknown enemy forces in order to “fight for information”.  This is where the arguments – sorry – discussions (!) normally begin in the comment threads, with the tension between fighting for information versus stealthy acquisition of such information.  The proponents of the stealth approach eschew protection for mobility, firepower for situational awareness and revel in the capabilities provided by modern optical / optronic and other sensors in assisting their desire to remained undetected by, and “not in contact” with the enemy.

However for the sake of simplifying concepts and categorizing capabilities with nice neat labels, we might say this is the difference between “armoured recce” where the mere fact of being armoured suggests fighting for information, and “surveillance”.

Either way, whichever style, concept of operations or tactical doctrine the reader prefers, the army that presided over the last few decades of failed programmes eventually chose a vehicle based on the General Dynamics Ascod 2 IFV to be the FRES Scout – the armoured recce platform of the future.  The Venn diagram below attempts to take the standard Iron Triangle and add in the “recce” element, showing the FRES Scout in the sweet spot in the centre of the overlapping capabilities.

I have also added some of the other vehicles available to the army to show extremes of protection and firepower (Challenger 2 MBT for both), the new Scimitar MK2 in the intersection of mobility, firepower (30mm cannon) and STA (new optics, thermal imager etc) and the Husky in the intersection of mobility, STA and protection – although I this case the point I am making is that the protection is relative to the Jackal 2. This is a point I shall return to later, at which point hopefully my intention will be more clear.

9339936677 64b33e2029 z Time to Cancel FRES SV?


Do we still need FRES Scout ?

So, onto the contentious main thrust of my modest proposal, to first ask a question: with the smaller army and new force structure of FF2020 do we still need FRES Scout or indeed the tracked Common Base Platform of the FRES SV family at all ?

As I have noted, I don’t have a problem with the size, shape, weight or capability of the FRES Scout, I am not a massive fan of light weight tracked or wheeled alternatives.  No, I ask the question based on the force structure and value for money propositions.

When FRES Scout was originally envisioned, and indeed when it was chosen in it’s current Ascod 2 incarnation, we had 7 Formation Reconnaissance Regiments.  Unit’s that could be assigned as a Divisional asset, with lots of CVR)(T) series vehicles in a Regiment, and BAOR Armoured Regiments had even more CVR(T) vehicles, with each having their own Close Recce Troop of 8 x Scimitar.  So there were a lot of Cavalry / Armoured Recce units, and a lot of vehicles that needed replacing.

However that is not the reality of today’s army or that of the near future. Instead we have:

  • 3 x Heavy Cavalry / Armoured Recce units in the Reaction Force
  • 3 x Light Cavalry units in the Adaptive Force

So we now have only 3 regiments destined to receive a fairly small number of FRES Scout, while the 3 Light Cavalry regiments and their aligned Reserve force Yeomanry Regiments are to be equipped with wheeled vehicles, mostly Jackal 2 for the regulars, and LR Wolf WMIK for the Yeomanry (at least in the interim). Tellingly there is no “to be replaced by FRES Scout” note against these Light Cavalry Regiments in the FF2020 glossy brochures.

However there are factors other than the Scout variant requirements to take into account. FRES SV was to replace 100’s of remaining FV432 series vehicles, and CVR(T) series vehicles other than the Scimitar. Command vehicles, ambulances, signals vehicles, repair and recovery vehicles used by Armoured Regiments, Armoured Infantry, Armoured Combat Engineer units etc etc…..

Up to 125 Warrior variants maybe updated for some of these roles under the Armoured Battlefields Support Variant (ABSV) project as part of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme – but even for a smaller army, 125 such vehicles is not enough. Even if the FRES Utility programme was also meant to replace some FV432 series vehicles as well as the AT105 Saxon and some CVR(T) family members,  FRES UV will be a wheeled vehicle and there remain a large-ish number of pretty old tracked armoured support vehicles to replace with some urgency.  Let’s return to this subject after we examine the return of UOR kit, and it’s absorption into the core fleets.


UOR to Core

As we now know, a large amount, probably the majority, of vehicles procured under Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) for operations in Afghanistan is to be returned to the UK and absorbed into the ‘core fleets’ of the army. The one vehicle type mentioned that appears to have been axed is the Warthog, but I will return to this momentarily.

The Venn diagram below shows 4 major factors in the decision to take UOR vehicles into the future as ‘core’ equipment.  Realistically we can’t always hit the sweet spot in the middle (red x marks the spot), but we maybe able to fit into one of the other intersections, providing a “good enough” capability with existing UOR kit, and within the budgetary constraints currently imposed.

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According to Wikipedia, roughly we are talking about the following numbers of UOR vehicles:

  • Mastiff – 350 ish
  • Ridgeback – 168 (including Command, Ambulance and Weapons carrier)
  • Husky TSV – approx 350 (including Command, Ambulance and new Recovery variants)
  • Jackal 2 / 2A – 250
  • Coyote – 70
  • Warthog – 100
  • Scmitar Mk 2 – 60

Many of the numbers are “ ish “ because articles quoting procurement numbers are often contradictory, and I can’t find numbers for losses in country.

We know the Mastiff is going to be the mount for the 3 x Mechanised Infantry battalions of the Reaction Force, there being plenty of them for this role, including command vehicles, enough to carry the mortars, be out fitted as ambulances etc. No doubt others will remain with, or going into storage for RE EOD units.

However what I am interested in, is maximizing return on investment and value for money by use of various of these UOR vehicles in the Cavalry / Armoured Recce Roles.


A modest proposal – leverage the kit we already have instead of procuring FRES Scout

If we can bin the Nimrod MR4 at such a late stage in the project, surely we can bin the FRES Scout, and utilize existing equipment ? We may use the FRES SV programme budget to enhance these existing vehicles, and perhaps make ‘top up’ purchases to get numbers to where we need them to be.  The remainder of the FRES SV budget could then go to FRES UV ! As anyone who has read my pieces before will know, I believe Infantry should only be “light” for a very good reason (Marines, Airborne, Airmobile, Alpine) and that having Infantry battalions in the “General Purpose – Light” role simply because we can’t afford enough armoured (or “protected”) vehicles is just not good enough for such a small army on the non-linear and asymmetric battlefield. So diverting money to FRES UV seems like a good idea, but we digress………..

There are many forms of battlefield recce, from the Infantry Recce platoon crawling through undergrowth under cover of darkness to achieve a good over watch point, to Royal Corps of Signals units intercepting and direction finding enemy communications and other electronic emissions. Royal Artillery UAV’s, from Desert Hawk to Watchkeeper, Lynx and even Longbow radar equipped Apache’s of the Army Air Corps. In this context I believe that the role of the Cavalry Regiment, when tasked with Recce should be non-stealthy, survivable and capable of fighting for information during high tempo maneuver warfare.

That said, the role of the Formation Recce Regiment as the eyes and ears of the Division seem to have been replaced in current operational doctrine with the “Brigade Reconnaissance Force” (BRF)as the task oriented construct, which maybe based around the core provided by a Cavalry Regiment. Although many of our readers / commentor’s do not seem to understand the innate flexibility of a task oriented organizational structure, arguing for units that are dedicated to specific tasks; those of us who are ex-army will probably agree the ability to task organize and form battle groups and other composite units and sub-units as required to undertake the task at hand is at the core of the British Armies operational flexibility.

So for the new Brigades that form the Reaction Force, and the 3 planned brigades that can be pulled together from the pool of Adaptive Force units, I can see a BRF being created based around the Cavalry Regiment, but including Infantry Recce platoons, STA and air assets etc, as shown in the diagram below:

9342723086 a5b35b9cdc z Time to Cancel FRES SV?


Therefore with this context set, let us move onto the details for the modest proposals.


Modest Proposal 1 – the Light Cavalry Regiments

At the moment it would appear that the 3 regular Light Cavalry Regiments of the Adaptive Force will be equipped with the Jackal 2 vehicle, as we have a large number of them returning from theatre. Personally I have big issues with the Jackal, mainly as any vehicle in this mine / IED centric universe that seats the crew over the front axle is simply not good enough.  Also despite the much vaunted situational awareness benefits,  I don’t like it at all for the “Cavalry” role. However, we do have a lot of them, so I would push the Jackal 2 into the Recce platoon role for the Mastiff mounted Mechanised Infantry. I would also push it into the Support Coy’s of these battalions, for use by the MG Platoon and even Anti-Tank platoon as it is undoubtedly a pretty good weapons platform. We probably have enough to also equip the Light Protected Mobility Infantry Battalions (those to be equipped with Foxhounds) in the same way.  We have them, we are going to keep them, lets use them, but just not for Cavalry roles.

For the 3 Light Cavalry Regiments I would pull together all the Husky TSV models. With approx 350 on the books, including the base variant with an open weapons station mounting a 7.62mm MG, command and ambulance variants, and even a new recovery variant, we could have 3 regiments that use variants of the same vehicle for the majority of their sub units.  For Regimental HQ, a bigger aid post, and general purpose usage, the Light Cav could utilize some of the approx. 168 Ridgeback vehicles in service. On the theme of UOR Kit,  I have not seen anything about what is going to happen to the Hirtenberger 60mm mortars that were purchased, but I would pass them all to these Light Cav Regiments, more for their utility in dropping smoke screens and provide IR / white light illumination than for HE.

The majority of the Husky’s might retain the current open topped, manned “weapons station” with .50 cal M2 or 40mm H&K GMG, however some might be equipped with the full Selex Roadmaster suite with both mast mounted sensors and RWS. Even better, an Anti-tank version would have its RWS equipped with a Javelin launcher – hey I did say we could use some of the FRES Scout money to enhance the UOR Kit as required !

Some additional Husky’s for the Reserve Yeomanry Recce regiments would be a good idea. With the Whole Fleet Management concept, and the role of these regiments in supporting their aligned Regular Adaptable Forces regiment, perhaps enough to provide a single squadron’s worth of vehicles per regiment would be enough, with UK based troop and squadron level training using the LR WMIK’s ?

On a slight side note, the un-armoured Navistar MXT upon which the Husky TSV is based was one of 9 originally selected contenders for the Operational Utility Vehicle order before it was cancelled, and morphed in to the dormant requirement for a Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected).  With the various versions of the Husky already in service, plus the new Navistar MXT-VA APC variant, perhaps we should just bite the bullet, indulge in some standardization and just take the Husky on as MRV-P ? It does not offer the protection levels of the much more expensive Foxhound, but it doesn’t need to meet this requirement.  I am sure the APC version is at least offering the same levels of protection as the old Saxon did ?


Heavy Cavalry – the Challenger 2 Recce Variant

Oh yes, I went there…….

In one comment thread, our illustrious leader TD himself suggested if we want a “heavy” Cavalry Armoured Recce vehicle, why not go the whole way and use a Challenger, just as U.S. Army Cavalry regiments are equipped with M1A1.

While I understand there is a considerable difference in mass between a 30 plus tonne FRES Scout Ascod 2 and 60 tonne plus Chally 2, with all the Recce, Surveillance and Target Acquisition assets we at our finger tips outside of the Armoured Recce regiment, why not lever the upcoming the Chally upgrade programme, the fact that we have existing and spare vehicles in storage and save our selves a lot of money !

TD covered the Challenger 2 LEP in this article.  With the more powerful but smaller engine leaving space for perhaps a diesel genny APU, for quiet fuel efficient power generation for running the sensors and comms kit,  new optical sensors, the additional RWS (and thus optical / thermal sensor channel) of the Theatre Entry Standard kit etc,  a Chally 2 for Recce use would potentially have an excellent multi-channel optical sensor capability.  This could perhaps be further enhanced with other elements of the full Selex Road Marshal suite as TD described in this article.

Perhaps we would just need an armoured box on the turret roof into which the mast mounted sight could be retracted ?

The Heavy Cavalry Regiment does not need to all heavy though.  Although I am on record as stating CV(T) is too light and not well enough protected to fight for information, again we have spent cash on upgrading a whole bunch of these vehicles for operations in Afghanistan, so why not lever that investment and add a squadron of these vehicles to our Heavy Cav regiment ?  With 60 ‘brand new” Scimitar 2 light armoured recce vehicles, and an unknown (to me via Google) number of remanufactured Spartan APC, Sultan command vehicle, Samaritan ambulances and Samson recovery vehicles, all with new hulls offering enhanced protection, more powerful diesel engines and upgraded suspension; we would appear to have enough to add a 16 vehicle Scimitar 2 “Close Recce Squadron” plus enough of the other variants for Squadron and Regiment HQ’s, and even an STA troop with battlefield radar etc (as per the old Formation Recce Regiment).

Again if we have an amount of the FRES SV budget to spend, why not upgrade the remaining Stormer based ex-StarStreak and Shielder vehicles that are still in storage – extra space is always appreciated in command vehicles and ambulances.


Heavy, medium and light capabilities integrated into a Reaction Forces “Brigade Reconnaissance Force”

So to answer the undoubted criticism that the Chally 2 is just too heavy for the way we have traditionally conducted armoured recce ops, lets look at how it can fit into a range of capabilities available to the Brigade commander of a deployed brigade of the Reaction Forces.

Obviously you can’t strip all of the constituent units recce capabilities, as they still need their own limited capabilities for use at their more local level, on  the more constrained operational frontage of a particular battle group. However please don’t get to caught up in the details, this is just an example.  Also don’t forget that other UOR kit that applies but is not specifically depicted might include a Desert Hawk unit, and Apache and Watchkeeper, plus RA Warrior FST vehicles etc.

The other capability not depicted is that which would sit at Brigade HQ in the form of the Intelligence cell and the C3 capabilities required to pull together the outputs and disseminate the consolidated intelligence picture to combat units.

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Tracked Armoured Support Vehicles

We have 100 Warthog vehicles that apparently are not being integrated into the core vehicle fleet. As noted at the beginning of this article, part of the FRES SV programme is to deliver command vehicles, ambulances and larger ‘aid post’ vehicles, and other tracked armoured support vehicles to replace up to hundreds of old FV432 family vehicles. So again, keeping the Warthog, and potentially buying a few more seems to provide an alternative to various types in the FRES SV “Common Base Vehicle” family.

I understand that the Warthog would not be as well armoured or as well protected, but as previously noted, with a considerably smaller army, with a commitment to deploy a division at the most (based on best efforts) perhaps the Warrior upgrade programme will provide enough of the better protected support vehicles.

So the 100 Warthogs could certainly equip armoured ambulance units, and other CSS elements. If we wanted to make our Reaction Forces Armoured Brigades fully tracked, perhaps an additional buy of Warthog for the  3 Mechanised Battalions would allow the Mastiff to be passed down to the Adaptable Forces Protected Mobility Infantry battalions.


Summary and conclusions

In summary my modest proposal is to lever the UOR kit that we already own to enable the required Armoured Cavalry capabilities within the bigger set of ISTAR capabilities for the Army FF2020 order of battle.

I would suggest cancellation of FRES Scout and the FRES SV family, spending the budget elsewhere, including enhancements to the UOR equipment, including additional procurement. I really don’t see that the FF2020 orbat is big enough to warrant the FRES SV and it’s considerable expenditure anymore. The UOR kit, Chally 2 Recce Variant etc could keep us running well into the 2020’s and longer.

With funds diverted to the FRES UV requirement, with the tracked equipment in the Reaction Forces, perhaps we could dive into collaboration with the French who need to replace over 1000 VAB’s; or go with the RG35, but we don’t really need a heavy 8 x 8 IFV for this armoured utility role.

Looking further forward into the future, eventually we will need to replace Chally 2 just as our European NATO allies will need to replace a lot of Leopard 2’s – perhaps a common heavy chassis, suspension and drive train will provide for a front or rear mounted engine to provide an MBT, a heavy IFV and heavy APC (e.g. similar to the Namer), with Scout and other variants as required.

OK guys,  I will hand it over to the comment section now, so you can rip my modest proposals to bits.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
Niger Armed Forces receive new aircraft, vehicles

24 July 2013 by defenceWeb


The Nigerien military has taken delivery of two new Cessna aircraft and ten trucks from the United States, providing a boost to the Niger Armed Forces.


Two Cessna Caravans and ten Toyota trucks were handed over to the Nigerien military on July 5 during a ceremony at Nigerien Airbase 101 in the capital Niamey. The ceremony was attended by officials from Niger and the United States, including General Seyni Garba, the Nigerien Joint Chief of Staff, US Ambassador Bisa Williams, Nigerien Minister of Defence Karidio Mahamadou and Brigadier General Issa Mounkaila, Commander of the Nigerien Military Police.


The aircraft and trucks will be used mainly for border security and moving cargo, US Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement.


The single engine Caravans were purchased through the US National Defence Authorization Act Section 1206 programme that is jointly administered by the US Department of Defence and the US State Department. The $11 million package covered the initial costs of the aircraft and related expenses, including maintenance and pilot training, Africom said.


The ten new trucks were obtained under the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program. The small trucks are part of a $4.2 million package that includes larger water and fuel trucks that will be delivered later. The vehicles will be used to enhance border security efforts across Niger, Africom said.


Niger has become a smuggling route for weapons from Libya reaching al Qaeda militants deeper in the Sahara since Muammar Gaddafi's fall in late 2011. Thousands of gunmen and tonnes of weapons and ammunition flowed south, mainly to Mali, after the fall of Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.


The US military has run training programmes for Niger's army for years under its counter-terrorism programme in the Sahel and has deployed about 100 military personnel and drones in Niger as part of the operation to dislodge Islamic militants from neighbouring Mali.


Niger is among the West African countries which contributed troops to the regional AFISMA force battling Islamists in Mali alongside a 4 000-strong French contingent.


Niger’s small military comprises some 5 000 personnel. The army has a dozen AML-60 and 88 AML-90 armoured cars and 14 M-3 armoured personnel carriers in service, according to The World Defence Almanac 2012, while the air force flies a single C-130H, Do-28D, Do-228, Boeing 737, two Diamond DA 42 and three ULM Tetra aircraft.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
South Africa : Puma airframe will improve scouts’ training

24 July 2013 by defenceWeb


A decommissioned SA Air Force (SAAF) Puma helicopter airframe has been added to the inventory of training aids at 1 Tactical Intelligence Regiment in Potchefstroom.


With uniformed intelligence operators, better known as scouts, generally deployed on surveillance taskings via helicopter, the airframe will provide a realistic level of training often not present in the current tight financial situation the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) finds itself in.


Acknowledging this, SA Army Intelligence Formation General Officer Commanding Brigadier General Nontobeko Mpaxa said the airframe “will serve as a realistic replacement in the event the SAAF is unable to provide an aircraft for helicopter training”.


The airframe will also allow for better and more hands-on training prior to training on a serviceable helicopter. This will also cut down on the time needed for training with rotary-winged aircraft, another cost saving measure.


Scouts will use the Puma airframe to properly orient themselves with regard to danger areas, crew positions, entry and exit points and preparation for landing. Helicopter trooping drills, including embussing and debussing, seating arrangements and protection of the aircraft in a landing zone will also now have an added dimension of reality. These drills can be safely practised day and night to fully familiarise scouts with the air transport that will take them to predetermined surveillance positions on deployments including border protection, anti-poaching operations and peacekeeping or peace support.


Having an airframe on hand at the Regiment will also see better training when it comes to packing supplies for delivery to scouts deployed at forward surveillance posts. This, Mpaxa said, will be of particular value to those undergoing the surveillance troop sergeant’s course. These are the men and women charged with ensuring scouts have the necessary food, water, ammunition and other specialist equipment to properly execute their tasks.


Overall, the one star general is confident the newest training aid will “significantly” improve the standard of training at the Formation’s School of Tactical Intelligence. She also indicated the airframe would be made available to other units in the Potchefstroom area for training purposes.

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19 juillet 2013 5 19 /07 /juillet /2013 10:50
Exercice logistique de l’OTAN : la France remarquée.

Exercice OTAN - Crédits : SIRPA Terre


17/07/2013 Laura Bataille – sources LCL P. Augereau - Armée de Terre


Du 08 au 23 juin 2013, la France a participé à l’exercice « Capable logistician 2013 » (CL 13) organisé en Slovaquie par le « multinational logistics coordination center » (MLCC). Il s’agissait du premier exercice logistique de l’OTAN depuis « Common effort » en 2004.


Durant deux semaines, cet exercice a réuni 1800 militaires et observateurs civils appartenant à 35 nations différentes. La France a pu démontrer, avec ses 108 militaires déployés, le savoir-faire de ses armées dans le domaine du soutien logistique de théâtre. L’armée de Terre a été le contributeur principal du détachement français et a pleinement participé aux objectifs de l’exercice qui consistaient à améliorer : la coordination multinationale des moyens engagés ; la capacité à déployer, au niveau tactique, un état-major interallié de soutien interarmées ; l’interopérabilité des procédures et des moyens engagés par les alliés.


Un test grandeur nature pour le nouveau matériel


L’armée de Terre a déployé des hommes et du matériel provenant notamment du 3e régiment du génie (3eRG), du 516e  régiment du train (516eRT), du 501e régiment de char de combat (RCC) et du régiment de soutien du combattant (RSC). Cet exercice était aussi l’occasion pour la section technique de l’armée de terre (STAT) de déployer certains de ses nouveaux matériels, dont un exemplaire de présérie du porteur polyvalent logistique avec dispositif de protection (PPLOG DP) et un exemplaire du porteur polyvalent lourd de dépannage avec dispositif de protection (PPLD DP). Cela a notamment permis de démontrer leur interopérabilité avec les autres moyens engagés par les alliés et d’apprécier la capacité d’emport de plateaux et de containers étrangers par le PPLOG DP. Avec les démonstrations du char lourd de dépannage, ces deux équipements ont fait forte impression.


Les conclusions de cette évaluation seront intégrées dans le processus d’optimisation des règles d’engagement capacitaires de l’OTAN.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 16:50
Two Canadian Forces G-Wagen photo Tyler Brenot

Two Canadian Forces G-Wagen photo Tyler Brenot

July 11, 2013 Source: Swiss Dept. of Defence

(Unofficial English translation by defense-aerospace.com)


After twenty years of using off-road vehicles made by Puch, the Swiss Army is expected to replace them with the Mercedes G-class. The acquisition will be submitted to Parliament under a specific weapons program.


The Mercedes-Benz range of vehicles was chosen because it is the most advantageous economically. Other reasons for the choice are that they are particularly robust and use proven technology, the reduction to essential components and ease of use for the troops.


As part of the evaluation by armasuisse – the Department’s competence center for acquisitions and technology - the Mercedes G won against three competitors. The chosen model chosen is already in use in many armies.


The new Swiss army all-terrain vehicles will be equipped with a 6-cylinder, 184 hp diesel engine and used for all types of transport of people and goods.


Parliament will take a decision in the context of a weapons program.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 16:30
Leopard 2 tank photo KMW

Leopard 2 tank photo KMW

Jul. 12, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


General Dynamics considered as alternative


FRANKFURT — German defense technology group Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann is about to lose a contract worth at least 5 billion euros from Saudi Arabia, the daily Handelsblatt reported Friday.


The Saudis are losing patience over Berlin’s foot-dragging on a deal, worth US $6.5 billion, to deliver 270 Leopard combat tanks, which is the subject of fierce controversy in Germany, the newspaper said.


As a result, Riyadh is considering awarding the contract to US giant General Dynamics.


Handelsblatt also reported that KMW was in “advanced” merger talks with French rival Nexter.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 12:50
Moog delivers Turret Test System to Lockheed

12 July 2013 army-technology.com


Lockheed Martin has taken delivery of turret test systems (TTS) from Moog Industrial Group to evaluate stabilisation of military vehicles at its facility at Ampthill, UK.


The system will be used for validation of turret stabilisation systems of the UK Army's Warrior infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), as part of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Program (WCSP) and Scout IFVs.


Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle

Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle

The enhanced turret is integrated with a 40mm cased telescoped gun requiring optimisation of gun aiming and stability performance during manoeuvres for simulation of a typical battlefield mission.


Previously, such trials were carried out on an external remote test track or proving ground, requiring engineers to adjust the gun aiming and stability settings in less-than-perfect conditions, which limited their work, in addition to making it difficult to consistently replicate dynamic motion inputs.

"The user-friendly system can precisely reproduce time history files recorded by a vehicle on a test track using its replication module in a controlled in-house environment."


Capable of handling a turret weighing up to 53,000lb, the system features a six degrees-of-freedom (DOF) motion base, control cabinet and replication module of the Moog integrated test suites software.


Also present is a motion base system, which has been designed to deliver desired dynamic performance with up to 17,500lb payloads, and also facilitate installation of an actual turret or a remote weapon station (RWS).


In addition to addressing particular excursions, velocities or accelerations requirements, the user-friendly system can precisely reproduce time history files recorded by a vehicle on a test track using its replication module in a controlled in-house environment, saving time and enhancing the test results reliability.


The 24/7 laboratory testing enables the engineers to perfect the optimum vehicle set-up for combat readiness, saving money on putting a fully operational vehicle on a test track and working in a confidential environment.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 11:55
Formation des tireurs du 152ème RI à l’emploi du Javelin en  mars 2011.

Formation des tireurs du 152ème RI à l’emploi du Javelin en mars 2011.

12.07.2013 par Frédéric Lert(FOB)


Au-delà des seuls aspects techniques, les enjeux du programme MMP portent également sur le calendrier et les perspectives commerciales. Raytheon met en avant ses liens forts avec l’US Army et le lancement effectif des études pour un Javelin modernisé avec des performances en hausse et la promesse d’une baisse de 25% du prix du système (poste de tir et missile). Une première commande pluriannuelle américaine est attendue pour les années 2014-2015. « Nous serions donc prêts pour tout contrat avec la DGA passé au plus tard fin 2015 et capables d’une livraison à l’armée de Terre en 2017» explique-t-on chez le missilier américain qui doute en revanche que son concurrent puisse en dire autant.


On affiche pourtant du côté de MBDA une très grande sérénité face à ce calendrier serré : le développement du MMP a débuté il y a trois ans et le tir en espace confiné a déjà été validé avec une dizaine d’éjections de « bûches » (missiles inertes). Les outils de simulation sont également en cours de développement, tout comme l’autodirecteur qui est de la responsabilité de Sagem. Un premier missile devrait être tiré en mode propulsé dès l’an prochain, avec une qualification attendue pour 2016. « Il nous reste aujourd’hui un peu plus de trois ans avant l’échéance de 2017 et nous sommes dans les délais du planning initial » précise-t-on chez MBDA. « Nous n’avons aucune inquiétude sur le calendrier initial, d’autant que la gestion du stock de Milan par l’armée de Terre lui permettra d’assurer le tuilage entre la fin du Milan et l’arrivée du MMP ».


MBDA fait à son tour remarquer que c’est plutôt son concurrent qui pourrait avoir du mal à respecter l’échéance de 2017 pour fournir un missile répondant aux spécifications françaises, surtout s’il lui fallait en plus négocier et engager une coopération avec un industriel européen. Pour le missilier européen, cela ne fait d’ailleurs aucun doute : l’objectif de son concurrent américain est de placer dans un premier temps un Javelin existant, immédiatement disponible, avant de développer (et à quel prix ?) les évolutions nécessaires pour répondre aux spécifications françaises. « L’intégration d’une liaison de données sur un missile existant nécessite des modifications de l’ensemble du système et ce n’est pas une opération neutre en termes de délais et de coût ».


Raytheon questionne de son côté les potentialités à l’export d’un MMP qui arrivera sur un marché où Javelin et Spike règnent déjà en maîtres. MBDA explique assumer ce risque, rappelant que le développement de son nouveau missile a été largement autofinancé. La cible française, annoncée pour 3000 missiles mais qui sera sans doute réduite, serait consolidée par des ventes à l’export estimées de manière conservatoire par MBDA à 9000 missiles. Les opposants au MMP de MBDA mettent les pieds dans le plat en questionnant ouvertement la fiabilité de ces chiffres. L’époque merveilleuse du Milan qui se vendait à plus de 300.000 exemplaires est définitivement révolue. De nombreux anciens clients de ce missile ont déjà opté pour de nouveaux missiles plus récents, qui les engagent pour les vingt ans à venir, à tout le moins. D’autres pays comme l’Inde ou l’Arabie Saoudite, gros consommateurs d’anti-chars, ont annoncé leur intention d’acheter de nouveaux missiles très prochainement, trop tôt donc pour que le MMP puisse participer à la compétition. La Turquie et le Brésil développent leurs propres solutions. Ce contexte politico-industriel limite mécaniquement le marché du missile anti-char pour les années à venir et il sera difficile pour MBDA d’offrir au MMP une place au soleil, ou du moins de garder celle qui avait été défrichée par le Milan. « Le MMP arrivera sur la marché avec des technologies, autodirecteur bimode, infrarouge non refroidi, centrale inertielle, que ses concurrents n’offrent pas encore » tient toutefois à rappeler MBDA. « Le MMP aura une longue carrière… »

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