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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 12:35
Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

 

06/05 Yann Rousseau Correspondant à Tokyo - Les Echos

 

Raytheon, Boeing ou encore Northrop Grumman enchaînent les contrats avec Séoul. L'appel d'offres pour les prochains avions de combat se jouera entre Boeing et Lockheed Martin.

 

Fin avril, les troupes américaines et sud-coréennes ont mis fin aux gigantesques exercices militaires « Foal Eagle » qu'elles avaient lancé le 1 er mars au large de la péninsule. Organisées régulièrement, ces manoeuvres communes impliquant plus de 20.000 soldats ont été particulièrement suivies par les grandes capitales de la zone car leur ampleur a semblé contribuer à la spectaculaire montée des tensions dans la région. Accusant Washington et Séoul de préparer une attaque, les autorités nord-coréennes ont enchaîné les provocations depuis début mars, allant jusqu'à enclencher la fermeture du complexe industriel nord-coréen de Kaesong.

 

Si ce durcissement mobilise les diplomates, il est aussi mis à profit par les grands industriels américains de l'armement. Pour eux, l'agressivité de Pyongyang et le rapprochement entre les états-majors américain et sud-coréen constituent une occasion unique de pousser leurs produits auprès de leurs clients de la péninsule. En quelques semaines, ils ont d'ailleurs sécurisé plusieurs commandes importantes.

US Army combat helicopter – AH-64E.

US Army combat helicopter – AH-64E.

Négociations

 

Mi-avril, Séoul a ainsi annoncé l'achat de 36 hélicoptères de combat Apache construits par Boeing pour 1,6 milliard de dollars, afin d'améliorer ses capacités de réaction face à la menace nord-coréenne. Une semaine plus tôt, Raytheon a révélé que son radar à antenne active RACR a été sélectionné dans le cadre du programme de modernisation des avions de combat F-16 du pays. Le montant de la vente n'a pas été divulgué mais les experts l'estiment à plusieurs centaines de millions de dollars.

Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

Même si aucun contrat n'est encore entériné, la presse sud-coréenne table sur l'acquisition prochaine d'au moins quatre exemplaires du plus imposant drone jamais conçu par les industriels américains. Presque aussi grand qu'un avion de ligne et facturé 215 millions de dollars pièce, le RQ-4 Global Hawk de Northrop Grumman pourrait compléter le réseau d'informations mis en place par les Américains et leurs alliés pour surveiller la Corée du Nord mais également la Chine. Début avril, Reuters assurait que les négociations avaient commencé avec Séoul mais aussi Tokyo.

Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

Avant la fin de l'été, Séoul devrait aussi dévoiler le nom de la société qui lui fournira sa nouvelle génération d'avions de combat. Ce programme, estimé à près de 8 milliards de dollars, doit permettre le remplacement, à partir de 2017, des anciens F-4 « Phantom ». Officiellement trois appareils restent en lice, le F-35 de Lockheed Martin, le F-15 Silent Eagle de Boeing, et l'Eurofighter Typhoon porté, dans ces négociations, par Cassidian, la filiale défense d'EADS.

 

La semaine dernière, le consortium européen a annoncé qu'il était prêt à délocaliser en Corée du Sud chez Korea Aerospace Industries la production d'au moins 48 des 60 appareils qui seraient commandés. Il a aussi laissé entendre qu'il était prêt à de plus importants transferts de technologies que ses concurrents américains dont les exportations sont strictement encadrées par Washington.

 

Malgré tout, les chances de l'Eurofighter sont bien maigres dans un pays qui fait office de pré carré américain (Dassault en sait quelque chose). En pleine période d'exercice militaires communs, les lobbies pro-américains ont pu activer tous leurs réseaux sur place et le contrat ne devrait pas leur échapper.

 

Au début du mois, Dave Scott, le responsable des ventes du F-35 chez Lockheed Martin, est longuement venu expliquer à Séoul que son avion de combat était le plus efficace face à la menace nord-coréenne. A condition de s'armer de patience car le programme, plombé par des problèmes techniques, affiche des années de retard.

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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 07:35
Exercices militaires américano-sud-coréens en mer Jaune (agence)

 

SEOUL, 6 mai - RIA Novosti

 

La Corée du Sud et les Etats-Unis ont entamé en mer Jaune, entre la Chine et la péninsule coréenne, des exercices militaires visant à lutter contre les sous-marins, a annoncé lundi l'agence Yonhap.

 

Organisés chaque année, les exercices visent à préparer la Marine à lutter contre une infiltration non autorisée de l'adversaire", a indiqué un porte-parole du ministère sud-coréen de la Défense.

 

Selon lui, un sous-marin nucléaire de classe Los-Angeles, des destroyers dotés de systèmes de missiles Aegis et des avions de patrouille maritime R-3C américains, ainsi que des navires de guerre sud-coréens prennent part aux exercices qui prendront fin vendredi prochain.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
photo Royal Australian Air Force

photo Royal Australian Air Force

 

25 April 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

The Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) A330 multirole tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft has successfully completed tanking trials with Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets at an undisclosed location.

 

Carried out by Canberra's Aircraft Research and Development Unit in February, the trials involved a total of 87 contacts and the transfer of approximately 76t of fuel through the hose and drogue method, with both aircraft flying within a limited envelope, Flightglobal reported.

 

Primarily conducted to assess the tanker's wake, drogue stability and the fighter's performance under an array of altitudes, conditions and aircraft configurations, the testing also sets the stage for additional trials that will certify the aircraft to support air-to-air refuelling of Super Hornets worldwide.

 

RAAF ordered five A330 MRTTs to replace its Boeing 707 tanker transporter fleet in 2005. The last was delivered to the RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in early December 2012.

 

Designated KC-30A in the RAAF service, the aircraft is a derivative of Airbus A330 civilian airliner, and is scheduled to be operated by the No. 33 Squadron for cover hose-and-drogue refuelling and strategic passenger transport missions.

 

Equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, a fly-by-wire Airbus Military aerial refuelling boom system (ARBS) and a universal aerial refuelling receptacle slipway installation that enables refuelling from another tanker, the aircraft achieved initial operational capability in February.

 

Currently undergoing further modification on its refuelling boom and testing to enable refuelling of the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, C-17 Globemaster, and other MRTTs, the aircraft is expected to reach its final operating capability in 2014.

 

Capable of simultaneously performing aerial refuelling, passenger or freight transport, and medical evacuation missions, the A330 MRTTs have also been ordered by the air forces of Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UK.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
Korea : The South Offers China A Deal

 

April 25, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Six weeks of aggressive threats to start a war have come to nothing for North Korea. None of this bluster has produced any needed aid (as in free food or fuel) or offers to reduce the sanctions. No one shows any sign of giving in to this latest barrage of threats. This is a major disappointment for the northern leadership. For over half a century you could always get something useful if you ranted and threatened long enough. The north cannot risk making good on these threats and starting an actual war, as they would lose big. North Korean military planners were taught the “correlation of forces” by their Russian mentors and have calculated the growing strength of the south and the decline of the north. All those smart bombs and combat-proven new tech the south and their allies have would make a mess of the north. But maybe another nuclear or long-range missile test will help.

 

In the last few days North Korean troops have been seen building fortifications near border crossings. This is unusual because for decades it was assumed any war between north and south would begin with a North Korean invasion of the south. The new fortifications indicate that the north is recognizing the power balance shift and that it is more likely South Korean troops will be moving north if it comes to war.

 

South Korea has offered to negotiate with North Korea over the recently closed (by North Korea) Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. This put over 50,000 North Koreans out of work and is costing the South Korean companies millions of dollars. The South Korean government has said it will provide help with these losses and wants to see what the North Koreans have to say about putting 50,000 of their own people out of good jobs and making future investment from South Korea less likely because of this nonsense. South Korean who work at the Kaesong Industrial Complex have long been a good source of intel on the north and apparently these sources indicate that it’s not just unemployed workers in Kaesong who are unhappy with their government’s antics. By asking for talks the south is indicating it wants to make it easy for the north to back down and get the Kaesong Industrial Complex and its employees working again.

 

The out-of-work Kaesong employees say their complaints about their government are not unique to the well-off (relatively speaking) workers at the special economic zone, but are common throughout the north. People are tired of all the propaganda, which is another tool the government uses to get everyone to ignore all the hungry, ill-housed and underemployed people up north. Its bad enough northerners have to hear it all the time, but many are ordered out to perform in public demonstrations of “popular anger at the enemy”. This is annoying and time consuming. It used to be you got a little food for attending these “voluntary” exercises, but the food situation has gotten so bad that the government reserves have been depleted. Everyone was reminded of this during the recent evacuation exercises, when city dwellers moved to rural dispersal sites as they would in wartime to avoid bombing attacks on the cities. The evacuees found that there was no food available for them and as a result the evacuation exercise fell apart as people simply walked away to find food. Only the senior leadership, most of who live in the cities, always has enough food. In the capital (Pyongyang) the government gave most residents several days of food in early April (to celebrate the birthday of founder Kim Il Sung). A few other cities got such distributions but most of the population did not, which only increases the resentment against those pampered government lackeys in the cities (especially the capital). In most of the country, hunger, or the threat of it, is a constant worry. Many of the North Korean soldiers the propaganda declares are “ready for war” are actually, and quite visibly, out helping plant the new crops (as they do every year).

 

The last six weeks have made it clear to the North Korean leadership that they have lost control of information. News of how the outside world is reacting to all the threats, and how those threats look to the rest of the world, is quickly getting to most North Koreans. The secret police (who monitor public attitudes) are reporting that people have a low opinion of their government and the current threats of war have not changed that. The secret police also point out that a lot of North Korean propaganda, especially the stuff insisting that North Koreans have it better than people of other countries (like China, South Korea and Japan) is considered a bad joke by most North Koreans, and a growing number of them are openly mocking the mandatory lectures and demonstrations they must attend. This is ominous, the fact that the people are losing their fear of retaliation. This is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989 when all the communist governments there collapsed in a few months. North Korean leaders studied that event carefully and concluded that they had their people under control, that the people still feared their leaders. The decline in fear is scary news indeed because North Korea is basically a police state and without lots of fear that sort of government does not work.

 

The north is buzzing with talk of the April 14th collapse of a large mosaic wall honoring Kim Il Sung in Musan. It was quickly deduced that the mosaic came down because someone had sold off some of the construction materials and the wall was not as strong as it was supposed to be. When a strong enough wind came along, the wall came down. This is the first time a monument to the two previous rulers of North Korea (Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il) was subject to obvious corruption. There are 35,000 statues and monuments like this in North Korea and these representations of the two deceased rulers are considered sacred. It is a big deal that these monuments are now considered fair game by corrupt officials. For true-believers in the North Korean leadership this is a shocking event. For most North Koreans it is kind of expected. The old value system, inculcated by decades of relentless Kim-worshipping propaganda, is collapsing. The government will take action over this. There was a similar collapse of a lesser monument (honoring a lesser hero) in 2005, apparently due to poor design, not corruption. Still, those responsible for that collapse were punished. That will happen this time as well and there will be an official story that does not mention corruption. Since Kim Jong Un came to power he has had over 400 monuments built to honor his father and grandfather. Most of these have been mosaics and there will be inspections to find out if others were built by corrupt officials and are in danger of collapse. Omens like this must be avoided at all costs.

 

The current crisis (not enough food, fuel or hard currency) has led North Korea to put more pressure on its diplomats to come up with scams to raise cash. North Korean diplomats in Pakistan have, for example, made quite a business selling liquor in a country where sale of alcoholic beverages is very restricted and highly taxed. The North Koreans import name brand stuff and bring it in via diplomatic pouch and sell it freely to anyone who will pay (a price lower than the official price). This is a highly profitable arrangement and the Pakistani government eventually found out. The North Korean diplomats deny everything and keep selling the booze.

 

The U.S. has told North Korea that it will only resume food aid if the north will allow American officials to monitor the distribution. Food aid was halted in 2009 when North Korea expelled these observers. North Korea had been increasingly selling food aid to raise cash for imports (of weapons and luxury goods for the leadership). The north cannot do this with observers present and refuses to back off on this policy.

 

April 24, 2013: South Korea and China have established a hot line to handle any crisis in North Korea that would require action by the two countries (war or collapse of the government up there). Despite the huge cost of unification to South Koreans (who have only become affluent in the last 30 years) the idea of uniting Korea is still popular in South Korea. China has reservations about this and the South Korean have been trying to work out an understanding to get China to approve unification. Such a deal is not unprecedented. In the 1950s Austria ended its post-World War II occupation and partition (into allies and Soviet zones) by promising the Russians that it would remain neutral forever (or, as it turned out, until the Soviet Union disappeared) if Soviet troops left. A similar deal is apparently attractive to the Chinese, or at least they are willing to quietly talk about it. South Korea is a major trading partner and any deal that solved the North Korean mess and got U.S. troops out of Korea appeals to many Chinese.

 

April 23, 2013: North Korea demanded that it receive official recognition as a country equipped with nuclear weapons. The U.S., and most of the rest of the world, dismissed that claim out of hand. As far as anyone can tell North Korean nuclear weapons are crude and, for all practical purposes have not completed development into real weapons. At the same time North Korea has denounced a treaty it signed in 2005 where it agreed to halt nuclear weapons development in return for economic aid. The North Koreans apparently never had any intention of abiding by that deal and now say they will never give up their nukes.

 

April 21, 2013: North Korea has appealed to Mongolia for food aid. Even before DNA analysis became possible Koreans knew they had links to Mongols and Turks and were quite proud of. The Korean language is related to those of Central Asia (the Ural-Altaic family of languages) not the Han family (Chinese, Tibetan and many others in East Asia). Subsequent DNA studies have confirmed these ethnic links and North Korea is hoping for a handout from Mongolia (which North Korea has long had good relations with).

 

Iran confirmed that it is in negotiations to sell North Korea oil. This may be just to grab some media attention but the North Koreans may also be looking for some potential alternative source if their only current oil supplier (China) cuts them off or reduces shipments. The Chinese are not happy with North Korea’s self-destructive policies, especially their nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This oil import deal would never be allowed (by the West) to go forward because the North Koreans are broke and the one thing they do have to sell is a workable atomic bomb design. That could pay for a lot of oil, if Iran could deliver it.  

 

April 19, 2013: The U.S. reminded everyone (especially North Korea) that support for its ally South Korea includes the use, if necessary, of nuclear weapons.

 

April 18, 2013: North Korea said that it will even start negotiations to defuse tensions in Korea until the world lifted all the sanctions imposed on them. The rest of the world told North Korea that the sanctions won’t be lifted until the north stops its nuclear weapons development program.

 

April 17, 2013: South Korea has ordered 36 American AH-64 helicopter gunships

 

April 16, 2013: North Korea threatened to retaliate militarily against South Korea if the South Korean government did not ban anti-North Korean demonstrations in the south. This threat led to more anti-North Korea demonstrations and no reaction from South Korean officials.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
2 new Army airborne units for deployment near China border

 

Apr 25, 2013 brahmand.com

 

NEW DELHI (PTI): Against the backdrop of China strengthening its capability to airlift soldiers, India is planning to raise around 1,500 more airborne troops for deployment in the northeast along the China border.

 

Under the 12th Defence Plan, India is planning to raise two new battalions of the airborne troops with around 1,500 personnel under the elite Parachute Regiment of the Army, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.

 

The new raisings would be apparently used to check any move by any adversary to airdrop their troops within Indian territory and capture that area, they said.

 

The new units would also be used for the conventional roles in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in that area and would also be capable of being dropped behind enemy lines in case of any future war, they said.

 

Recently, the Army raised the 11 Para (SF) that is being deployed under the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and 3 Corps in Dimapur which are two of the Army's main formations looking after the border with China in the northeast.

 

The Parachute Regiment has 10 units under it of which eight are Special Forces units while the rest are Para Commando units with capability of launching airborne operations.

 

Seven among them have already been trained and classified as Special Forces, which are supposed to carry out counter- insurgency operations during peacetime and sabotage enemy installations beyond enemy lines during wars.

 

They are deployed in different sectors of the country and have also been given the responsibility to handle 26/11 type attacks near their area of deployment.

 

China in the recent past has significantly enhanced its capability to launch airborne operations and according to some reports, can air lift more than 3,500 soldiers for operational deployment in one go.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Le ministère chinois de la Défense nationale confirme le voyage en haute mer du porte-avions

 

2013-04-25  xinhua

 

Le premier porte-avions chinois, baptisé Liaoning, est prêt à larguer les amarres pour un voyage en haute mer.

 

Quand et où partira le porte-avions sera décidé en fonction des conditions générales, a indiqué Yang Yujun, porte-parole du ministère chinois de la défense nationale, lors d'une conférence de presse.

 

Song Xue, chef d'état-major adjoint de la Marine de l'Armée populaire de Libération (APL, armée chinoise), a indiqué mardi que la Chine se doterait de plus d'un porte-avions.

 

Lors d'une cérémonie tenue à Beijing pour célébrer le 64e anniversaire de la fondation de la Marine de l'APL, M. Song a révélé que "le prochain porte-avions serait plus large et capable de transporter davantage d'avions de chasse".

 

M. Song a également réfuté certains reportages étrangers selon lesquels la Chine construisait de nouveaux porte-avions à Shanghai, déclarant que de tels reportages étaient inexacts.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 06:35
Army chief briefs Antony on Chinese incursion issue

 

Apr 25, 2013, timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

NEW DELHI: Army chief Gen Bikram Singh on Thursday briefed defence minister A K Antony on the Chinese incursion issue in Ladakh and the present situation there.

 

After reviewing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Ladakh area with military commanders in the Northern Command, Gen Singh briefed the defence minister on the incursion issue today, Army officials said.

 

The Army chief had returned from Jammu and Kashmir yesterday evening after reviewing the situation there with Northern Army Commander Lt Gen K T Parnaik, they said.

 

The Army has given its inputs to the government and the National Security Advisor-headed China Study Group, which is handling the present situation in Ladakh.

 

The Army has also given various options to the government on the issue including the aggressive use of military to handle the present situation.

 

All the options suggested to the China Study Group are being looked at carefully and other stakeholders in the situation have also given their inputs.

 

The China Study Group is handling the whole issue in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the defence ministry.

 

The Army had rushed its troops from the 5 Ladakh Scouts battalion to the DBO area and they are camping there. The force is also considering the option of dispatching additional troops if the need arises.

 

On April 15, a platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had come 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 06:35
Japanese PM warns China against landings

 

April 26th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Japan would respond with force if China attempts to land on the disputed Senkaku Islands, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in Parliament.

 

Abe was responding to a question about what he was prepared to do if Chinese ships sailing close to the islands — called the Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese — tried to land, a BBC report said.

 

“We have made sure that if there is an instance where there is an intrusion into our territory or it seems that there could be landing on the islands then we will deal will it strongly,” Abe said.

 

China claims the Senkaku Islands, which lie about 100 miles north of Japan’s Ishigaki Island and about 115 miles northeast of Taiwan, as its territory under treaties signed in the late 1800s.

 

At the end of World War II the islands were under U.S. jurisdiction as part of the captured Japanese island of Okinawa. Japan has administered them since 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan.

 

Tensions flared between Beijing and Tokyo in September after the Japanese government bought three of the islands from a private Japanese owner, triggering protests in Chinese cities.

 

Since then China has stepped up patrols around the islands for which Japan has lodged formal diplomatic complaints.

 

Abe’s warning — the most explicit to China since he took power in December — came as eight Chinese ships sailed around the islands, the BBC said. A flotilla of 10 fishing boats carrying Japanese activists was also reported to be in the area, as well as the Japanese coast guard.

 

A report by Japan’s Kyodo news agency said China’s State Oceanic Administration saying its eight vessels were in the area but within what it claims is its territorial waters.

 

The vessels are monitoring the activity of a flotilla of boats reportedly carrying members of a Japanese nationalist group, the Kyodo report said.

 

Japanese coast guard officials have said it was the largest number of Chinese government ships to enter the disputed area since September when Tokyo purchased the islands.

 

In January China said it would carry out an oceanic survey of the islands as part of a larger island and reef mapping project started in 2009, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said.

 

“Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets have been the inherent territory of China since ancient times,” a Chinese government said at the time.

 

China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation has completed mapping of islands within 60 miles of China’s coastline and will start on territories further afield which include the Senkaku, also claimed by Taiwan.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 17:35
U.S. Ready for North Korea Conflict: Dempsey

 

Apr. 25, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

TOKYO — The United States’ top military officer said Thursday that his troops were ready to act if North Korea turned its increasingly bellicose rhetoric into action.

 

“We are seeking to deter North Korea from provocation,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told soldiers at the Yokota Air Base, about an hour's drive west of the Japanese capital.

 

“I can assure you that we are postured with our Japanese allies in order to protect our citizens, their citizens, our facilities, their facilities.”

 

Dempsey's remarks follow a visit to South Korea and China, North Korea's chief ally, as regional tensions rise over fears about Pyonyang's recent threats to attack its southern neighbour and wage nuclear war on the United States.

 

The Korean peninsula was already engulfed in a cycle of escalating tensions — triggered by the North's nuclear test in February — when Pyongyang decided on April 3 to block all South Korean access to the Kaesong industrial zone, a rare joint project between the two countries.

 

Dempsey, who has also met with Chinese military officials and President Xi Jinping, said the U.S. wanted closer ties with Beijing.

 

But he reiterated earlier official remarks that the U.S. would defend Japan if it came under attack -- as Beijing and Tokyo remain embroiled in an increasingly bitter territorial dispute.

 

“The theme [of talks with Chinese officials] was that we both aspired to a new, different and better relationship,” Dempsey said. "But that relationship has to be approached in the context of our other responsibilities, and alliances in the region.

 

“Will we trade off our relationship with Japan in order to have stronger relationship with China? The answer is no. That's not going to change.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Tuesday to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on a chain of islands in the East China Sea, which are administered by Japan as the Senkakus but also claimed by Beijing as the Diaoyus.

 

His statement came after a flotilla of eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters, the biggest number to do so in one day since Tokyo's nationalization of some of the islands in September.

 

The U.S. is engaged in a “pivot” to Asia after years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Planning the Unthinkable War with China: An Aussie View of AirSea Battle

 

Apr. 24, 2013 - By WENDELL MINNICK   - Defense News

 

TAIPEI — As the US pushes forward on the AirSea Battle doctrine and the so-called Asia Pivot, many in the Asia-Pacific are asking for clarification on a subject that could involve them in an unnecessary war with China.

 

Many frontline allies and partners are asking : Do we want to take a bullet from China for America, especially over policies that are still ambiguous?

 

Benjamin Schreer, a senior analyst for Defence Strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, looks around Asia and finds a lack of consensus on who among America’s allies and friends are willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of a US policy formulated in far-off Washington.

 

Schreer’s paper, released this month, “Planning the Unthinkable War: ‘AirSea Battle’ and Its Implications for Australia,” does more than just look at Australia’s strategic position and whether it should support the new doctrine. It examines why America’s traditional allies in the region are less supportive than they might have been before the rise of China.

 

Schreer’s report voices cautious support for the Asia Pivot and the AirSea Battle concept, but also asks, from the perspective of a traditional ally, critical questions that have yet to be addressed by the US government.

 

These are questions that demand debate in Australia’s democratic society, with a healthy respect for rule of law and transparency.

 

“AirSea Battle presents allies and partners with the classical dilemma of being caught between ‘entrapment and abandonment.’”

 

Despite China’s growing ability to hold US forces at risk, the Pentagon is pushing forward on a military strategy for fighting and winning a potential war against China.

 

China does not need to reach strategic parity with US forces, he said.

 

Instead, its asymmetric strategy aims to prevent or complicate US intervention in territorial disputes by making the potential costs for American forces prohibitively high.

 

AirSea Battle debates in Australia center on two opposing arguments: “those who see it as a dangerous instrument to ‘contain’ China and potentially drag Australia into a nuclear escalation between two great powers, and those who embrace the concept’s logic and even argue that Australia should develop long-range strike capabilities to contribute to potential offensive operations against China.”

 

AirSea Battle aims at defeating anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategies by withstanding an initial Chinese attack, followed by a blinding campaign against Chinese command and control networks, a missile suppression campaign against China’s land-based systems, and a distant blockade against Chinese merchant ships.

 

Deep strikes inside China appear limited in achieving political and military objectives due to China’s immense size, he said. Attacking China would be equivalent to 21st century medieval siege warfare. American air and naval strike forces would run out of precision-guided munitions long before they ran out of targets. China’s size and depth, its authoritarian culture, and supporting institutions of internal security make the impact of mainland strikes less likely to succeed.

 

Importantly, it’s based on the assumption the escalation can be kept below the nuclear threshold, and that Japan and Australia will be active allies throughout the campaign, he said.

 

Schreer looks around Asia and sees discrepancies in support among US allies and partners. What to do about South Korea, which has little interest in fighting anyone but North Korea? There is Taiwan with complex political and economic relationships with China. Japan lacks the capabilities and perhaps the constitutional mandate needed to engage China in a war.

 

The AirSea Battle is flawed in that it can only be activated during a major conflict. It is “optimized for high-intensity conventional war between China and the US and its allies” and “applies only in extreme cases,” such as a Chinese attack on Taiwan, Chinese missile strike on Japan or US bases in the region, or the sinking of a US aircraft carrier.

 

“However, Chinese coercive military actions in territorial disputes with its neighbors (short of high levels of escalation) are much more likely.”

 

Therefore, AirSea Battle is “not a ‘catch-all’ solution” to America’s conventional deterrence dilemma in the Western Pacific, he said.

 

It is not in Australia’s interest to fully embrace the logic behind AirSea Battle or develop specific military capabilities to underpin the concept’s implementation. “Openly signing up for the concept would send a strong political message to China that the ADF [Australian Defence Force] is now actively planning and equipping for a potential war with the PLA [People’s Liberation Army].”

 

“There is no need to do so,” he said. Australia’s decision to allow US Marines to base in Darwin has already displayed Australia’s political commitment to the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security (ANZUS) alliance.

 

The development of long-range strike capabilities against China by Australia would be an “unnecessary provocation … let alone a very costly one.”

 

A serious Australian amphibious strike capability is a rather unrealistic one. A “distant blockade” of Chinese maritime shipping in Southeast Asian chokepoints, such as Malacca, Lombok and Sunda straits, is “much easier proposed than done,” Schreer said. In any event, China would consider such actions acts of war.

 

Australia does have an interest in making an active contribution to the US AirSea Battle plan, he said. Providing the US with greater strategic depth is one way, though rotational deployment of a US Marine Air-Ground Task Force at Darwin is “largely symbolic and not directly tied to America’s AirSea Battle planning.”

 

An area of possible assistance during a war would be upgrades of HMAS Sterling to host US carrier strike groups or the use of the Cocos Island airfields for US strike aircraft, in case the strategic environment deteriorates. Australia can also offer, as an option, niche capabilities, such as tanker aircraft, airborne early warning and control, and airborne electronic warfare assets.

 

He questions whether frontline states, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, would be willing to get involved in war between China and the US if their direct interests were not threatened. Would South Korea get involved in a Philippine scenario or a Taiwan Strait conflict involving the US?

 

On the one hand, they want to avoid becoming entrapped in Sino-US strategic rivalry. “Signing up for AirSea Battle at a time when there still seems ample opportunity to incorporate China into a peaceful Asian security order could be detrimental to their interests … AirSea Battle could thus have a disruptive effect in US alliance relationships.”

 

On the other hand, their suspicion of China’s strategic trajectory has only increased over the years as they experience a decline in military power relative to China. They want to avoid being abandoned by the US if China becomes a problem, he said.

 

Japan’s substantial air and naval forces could augment US forces in selected mission areas, including submarine, anti-submarine warfare, and ballistic missile defense.

 

However, Schreer asks whether Japan can live up to US hopes.

 

Constitutional restrictions hamper many opportunities to augment US forces in an attack on China.

 

For South Korea, AirSea Battle is far more problematic. Seoul’s core strategic concern has been North Korean military aggression, and it remains more “ambivalent about the Chinese threat.” Seoul also needs Beijing’s assistance to keep North Korea’s antics under control. South Korea has publicly stated that the new maritime base on the southern resort island of Jeju, between Japan and China, will not host US forces, despite the fact that the base could be the host of 20 South Korean warships.

 

There are also concerns about getting too involved in Northeast Asian AirSea Battle architecture that would include South Korea’s old enemy, Japan.

 

Questions should also be raised on whether South Korea would allow US forces to operate strike missions into China during a war, particularly a war involving Chinese aggression against Japan or Taiwan.

 

Schreer makes several recommendations to the Australian government that are in many ways revelations of how ambiguous and mysterious the US AirSea Battle doctrine has become.

 

The Australian government should seek a “detailed, classified briefing from its US ally about the specifics of AirSea Battle,” which Schreer said would “demystify the concept.”

 

The government should also ask the US to release a declassified version of the AirSea Battle strategy to end speculation among allies and partners.

 

He said Australia should not publicly endorse AirSea Battle, because the US “itself is still in the process of determining the specifics of implementing the concept.”

 

Australia should also consider implications for the possible integration of the ADF into a Southeast Asian AirSea Battle framework operating alongside US forces.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Pakistan commissions last Zulfiquar frigate

 

ISLAMABAD, April 25 (UPI)

 

Pakistan's navy commissioned the fourth and last F-22P Zulfiquar class frigate at a ceremony at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

 

Commissioning of the PNS Aslat completes the $750 million technology-transfer contract signed in 2005 between Pakistan's Ministry of Defense Production and China Shipbuilding Trading Co., the defense news website PakSoldiers said.

 

The first ship, PNS Zulfiquar -- "Sword," in English -- was handed over to the navy in July 2009 and the second vessel, PNS Shamsheer, was commissioned in January 2010.

 

The PNS Saif was the third frigate -- the last to be built in China at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, Shanghai -- and was commissioned in September 2011.

 

Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Mohammad Asif Sandila was a guest at the ceremony attended by officials and dignitaries from Pakistan and China, including the ambassador of People's Republic of China, PakSoldier said.

 

Sandila said construction of the 2,500-ton, 404-foot Aslat at KSEW and other ships including a fast attack craft, small tankers and utility ships is a result of the government's determination to attain self-reliance in defense capabilities.

 

The contract with China includes ammunition for the vessels' single 76mm deck-mounted guns and six Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine helicopters, already delivered to the navy, PakSoldier reported in February 2012.

 

The Z9EC helicopters -- a licensed version of the French Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. -- were purchased from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corp. and operate from the Zulfiquar frigates.

 

The vessels carry 200 personnel and have eight C-802/CSS-N-8 subsonic Saccade anti-ship missiles made by China Haiying Electromechanical Technology Academy, the defense news website NavalTechnology said.

 

They also have 8-round FM-90 surface-to-air missiles, the export version of the HQ-7 missile, which includes infra-red tracking system and built by China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp.

 

Pakistan's navy also took delivery of two 12-ton Bollard Pull Pusher tugs constructed at the KSEW, which handed over the vessels to Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Adm. Muhammad Shafiq last month.

 

The navy has on order with KSEW a 15,000-ton capacity tanker -- an example of the government's need to develop the country's indigenous defense manufacturing sector, Shafiq said during the handing over ceremony for the tugs.

 

He said the changing geo-political dynamics means access to foreign defense technology will be denied or hard to come by for Pakistan in the coming year.

 

KSEW, the only major shipyard in Pakistan, was set up in the 1950s and operates as an autonomous commercial organization within the Ministry of Defense.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Game Changer: The F-35 and the Pacific

 

April 25, 2013 By Robbin F. Laird - thediplomat.com

 

To understand the real value of the F-35 one must consider its operation as a fleet, not simply as an individual aircraft.

 

It is difficult to discuss the F-35 without actually knowing what the aircraft is and how F-35 fleets will reshape combat. But this is precisely what the budding negative commentary on the F-35 is built on – a lack of knowledge. 

Even worse, the existing 5th generation aircraft is not well known either, because of its limited numbers and its condemnation by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama as a “Cold War” weapon. One could note that when the latest Korean crisis flared up, those “Cold War” mainstays, the F-22 and the B-2 (which has been flying now for more than 20 years) were called upon very quickly. And the U.S. Air Force (USAF) began to do sortie surge exercises in Hawaii and Arctic exercises in Alaska to increase the quantities of F-22s available for immediate Pacific operations. 

I have had the opportunity over the years to interview many F-22 and F-35 pilots, maintainers and builders as well as the subsystem suppliers of the F-35. Much of the capability of the aircraft, including its multiple integrated combat systems are evolutionary steps forward, and low risk systems, such as the active electronically scanned array (AESA) built by Northrop Grumman for the F-35. 

What is radically new about the F-35 is the fusion of data in the cockpit and the shaping of a new decision making capability within the aircraft and the fleet.  The aircraft permits situational decision-making, not just situational awareness.  It is a C5ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) aircraft, which allows the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) alone to replace three aircraft, including an Electronic Warfare Aircraft with the F-35B. This is also why Singapore has referred to the F-35B as a “cost effective” aircraft.

But understanding the real value of the F-35 one must consider its operation as a fleet, not simply as an individual aircraft. The F-22 was built as an aircraft, which flies in 2, and 4 ship formations, but unlike the F-15, the “wingman” is miles away and not anywhere to be found in visual range. As one pilot put it to me: “When we take off together that is the last time we see each other until we land.”

The F-35 also has the capability to operate miles away from one another, but with a major difference.  The individual airplanes are interconnected, operate in 360-degree operational space, and the machines pass the data throughout the network.  Each individual plane can see around itself for significant distances in 360 degree space, which has already underscored the need for a new generation of weapons, for existing systems such as Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) operate in half or less of the space which each F-35 can see beyond itself.

It is the interconnected C5ISR delivered by the fleet, coupled with the ability to work with the off-boarding of weapons, which shapes a new way forward.  Target acquisition does not have to be limited to weapons carried on board. This means that classic distinctions between tactical fighters doing close air support, air superiority missions or air defense missions become blurred. The fleet as a whole identifies targets for the various mission sets and can guide weapons from any of its elements to a diversity of targets. The reach of the fleet is the key to the operation of the fleet, not the range of individual aircraft.

As General Hostage, the Air Combat Commander, put it during an interview Lt. General (Retired) Deptula and I conducted with him last December:

"The ability of the planes to work with each other over a secure distributed battlespace is the essential foundation from which the air combat cloud can be built.

And the advantage of the F-35 is the nature of the global fleet. Allied and American F-35s, whether USAF, USN, or USMC, can talk with one another and set up the distributed operational system. Such a development can allow for significant innovation in shaping the air combat cloud for distributed operations in support of the Joint Force Commander."

With many Pacific allies already committed to the F-35, and with the USAF and USMC planning to deploy their new aircraft to the regionin the next couple of years, a fleet of F-35s will clearly emerge in the Pacific and shape combat capabilities the next decade out.

The movement of data among the elements of the fleet will be the beginning of the 21st century equivalent to what the U.S. Navy called the “big blue blanket” over the Pacific in World War II.  Clearly, the U.S. will not have the assets to do this by itself, but with the emergence of interconnected fleets this aspiration can come closer to reality.

And with it will be the ability to build the kind of attack-defense enterprise essential to deal with the evolving threats in the Pacific, and the efforts of China to undercut the significant lynchpin role that the United States plays in the Pacific. 

An inherent characteristic of many new systems is that they are really about presence and putting a grid over an operational area, and therefore they can be used to support strike or defense within an integrated approach. In the 20th Century, surge was built upon the notion of signaling. One would deploy a particular combat capability – whether it be a Carrier Battle Group, Amphibious Ready Group, or Air Expeditionary Wing – as a marker to signal its presence and intentions to an adversary. Depending on the adversary’s response, additional forces would be sent in to escalate the threat capability.

With the new multi-mission systems – 5th generation aircraft and Aegis for example – the key is presence and integration able to support strike or defense in a single operational presence capability. Now the adversary can not be certain that you are simply putting down a marker.

This is what former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne calls the attack and defense enterprise. The strategic thrust of integrating modern systems is to create a grid that can operate in an area as a seamless whole, able to strike or defend simultaneously. This is enabled by the evolution of C5ISR, and it is why Wynne has underscored for more than a decade that 5th generation aircraft are not merely replacements for existing tactical systems, but a whole new approach to integrating defense and offense.

When one can add the strike and defensive systems of other players, notably missiles and sensors aboard surface ships like Aegis, then one can create the reality of what Ed Timperlake, a former fighter pilot, has described as the F-35 being able to consider Aegis as his wingman.

In fact, the ability for forward deployed F-35s to identify targets for surface ships can lead to a renaissance of the strike role of surface ships as well.  Or it can lead to what I referred to early last year as enhancing “the long reach of Aegis.” The F-35 is a global program tapping into the industrial and technological capabilities  of global allies of the United States in a unique way.  Earlier, the Aegis program built a foundation for such an approach, with nearly 25 percent of the deployed Aegis fleet now being non-American.  This led me to coin the term many years ago of the “Aegis global enterprise.”  Combing these two efforts into an integrated attack and defense capability will be game changing. 

As I have written in Proceedings Magazine:

These F-35-Aegis offense and defense bubbles can be networked throughout the Pacific to enhance the capacity of individual nations. They represent a prime example of how one country’s assets can contribute to the reach others, together establishing a scalable capability for a honeycombed force.

Overall, the enterprise lays a foundation for a global capability in sea-based missile defenses and for protecting deployed forces as well as projecting force. Power such as this is increasingly central to the freedom of action necessary for the worldwide operation of the U.S. military and our coalition partners.

In other words, the roll out of the Pacific fleet of F-35s is part of the re-shaping of the U.S, and allied military capabilities for a 21st century strategy.  And such a strategy must be able to deal with the impact of China, Korea, the Arctic opening and the challenge of securing the conveyer belt of goods and services by sea or sea lines of communication (SLOC) defense.

But this does not end the story of the impact of the F-35 on the future. Another key aspect is how the F-35 as a global enterprise can affect global investments in airpower and the growth of capabilities over time. This is a subject broader than a short article can discuss with full justice, so I will emphasize only three key points.

First, what is not often realized is that Lockheed Martin is a 30 percent “prime contractor” standing on the top of a global supply chain. And this supply chain includes many of the world’s best suppliers and subsystem providers. And foreign manufacturers produce more than 20 percent of the aircraft even at this stage as part of the global supply chain. 

This system allows the taping of capabilities, which have been, available in specific nations and unleashing their potential to support global coalitions.  The case of Japan is instructive whereby the participation of the Japanese in building parts for the F-35 means they are building for the global coalition not just for Japan.

Second, the F-35 is built around a global sustainment model. This means that the Singapore F-35Bs will be supported by Singapore who could do the same for the USMC F-35Bs.  The opportunity and ability to build hubs and training ranges in the Pacific with hubs and ranges in Canada and Australia and hubs in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam provides an opportunity to re-shape how sustainment can be done in around the world.

Third, Japan, like Italy, is building a final check out or assembly facility for the F-35, which can function, as well as a matience, repair, and operartions (MRO) facility for allies. Although intended to serve their own needs the Italians and Japanese are in effect putting in place maintenance facilities or MRO facilities which the U.S. Air Force, USN and USMC are able to use in two key regions, central to American interests.

Fourth, the weapons revolution necessary to catch up with 5th generation aircraft can be the focus of global, not just American investments. Even though the U.S. has been the core architect for the aircraft, the implementation of the fleet will not be solely and perhaps primarily American. The diversity of global weapon suppliers – European, Israeli, and Asian – will seek to integrate their products onto the F-35 and integration on one set of F-35s makes them available to the fleet.

A totally ignored aspect of the aircraft as a weapon system is weapons integration. The software integration of a weapon on one set of aircraft will be available to the fleet.

This means that the weapons to be integrated on Block 4 software F-35s, which includes the MBDA’s new Meteor Missiles, the Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile or the new Turkish missiles, can be purchased directly by Asian governments for their aircraft as well. This is providing for a global investment in the strike capabilities of the F-35 fleet.

In short, the F-35 will be an important fixture of allied and American defense in the Pacific and will bring Europe and the Pacific together inside the aircraft and arming the aircraft in the years ahead.  It will be a key part of shaping new concepts of operations, which will be essential to the safety, and security of America and its allies in a troubled world. 

Dr. Robbin F. Laird is a Military and Security Analyst, the co-founder of Second Line of Defense, and a Member of the Editorial Board of Contributors, AOL Defense.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Top US General Reminds China of US Commitment to Japan

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

As tensions rise over island dispute

 

BEIJING — The top US military officer told China’s leaders on Wednesday that Washington is committed to defending Japan, as Beijing and Tokyo engage in intensified rhetoric over a territorial row.

 

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting China just as the dispute between Beijing and Tokyo over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is again heating up.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Tuesday to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the islands, which are administered by Japan as the Senkakus but also claimed by China as the Diaoyus.

 

His statement came after a flotilla of eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters, the biggest number to do so in one day since Tokyo’s nationalization of some of the islands in September.

 

“In the case of Japan, I was careful to remind them (China’s senior leaders) that the US has certain treaty obligations with Japan, that we would honor,” Dempsey told reporters in Beijing.

 

US officials have said that while Washington takes no side in the dispute itself, the islands are under Japan’s control and thus protected under the US security treaty with Tokyo.

 

Dempsey also expressed concern that rhetoric between China and Japan over the rival claims is increasing the risk that the situation could spin out of control and lead to clashes.

 

“I think the heightened risk is a function of heightened rhetoric that could produce emotional outcomes at the tactical level, that could frankly get away from the control of the central level,” he said.

 

A group of Japanese nationalists said Tuesday it had sent nine ships to the area around the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan.

 

Dempsey said at a joint press conference Monday with Fang Fenghui, the chief of the People’s Liberation Army general staff, that Washington’s aim was “to be a stabilizing influence in the region.”

 

China appeared to single out the US in a military white paper last week, saying “certain efforts” to enhance military deployment in Asia “are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region.”

 

The US is engaged in a “pivot” to Asia after years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

“A fair share of the questions that were discussed in my meetings with senior leaders had to do with our rebalance to the Pacific, and seeking greater clarity on what we mean by it,” Dempsey said.

 

“It is a strategic imperative for us over time to rebalance to the Pacific, because that’s where future trends are taking us,” he said.

 

Dempsey met new Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, with the state Xinhua news agency reporting that Xi called for the two countries as well as their militaries to foster deeper trust.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 21:35
BAE Australia LHD training center

BAE Australia LHD training center

CANBERRA, Australia, April 24 (UPI)

 

The Australian navy, in collaboration with BAE Systems, has opened a training facility for Landing Helicopter Dock ships.

 

The facility, in New South Wales, was officially opened by Minister for Defense Materiel Mike Kelly.

 

"The opening of this training facility is another example of the effective collaboration between the Defense Materiel Organization, Royal Australian Navy and BAE Systems Australia," he said.

 

"This facility will train over 700 ADF (Australian Defense Force) personnel to safely operate and maintain the LHDs in anticipation of acceptance by (the) navy of Australia's first LHD NUSHIP Canberra in early 2014 and the acceptance of NUSHIP Adelaide the following year."

 

The training facility will feature simulated training suites, LHD ship fitted equipment and classrooms.

 

Redevelopment of an existing government site for the training facility took six months and cost about $5.1 million.

 

"The facility has the potential for follow-on training and through-life support training and to manage and conduct other future training for the ADF," the Department of Defense said.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 19:46
Chine : Livre Blanc sur la Défense entre ambiguïté et transparence

 

24 avril 2013 par François Danjou - questionchine.net

 

Le 16 avril dernier Pékin a publié son 8e Livre Blanc sur la défense. En Chine comme ailleurs l’exercice est ambigu. Tandis que le titre appelle à la transparence, le contenu ne l’est qu’en partie. Où qu’ils soient, les pouvoirs politiques n’entendent pas présenter la vérité objective de leur système de défense, avec leurs forces et leurs faiblesses, et encore moins dévoiler leurs secrets les plus sensibles. En réalité, les Livres Blancs sur la défense proposent toujours une image policée conforme à celle que les États entendent donner de leurs forces armées, à l’intérieur comme à l’extérieur.

 

Leur publication, avant tout politique, vise à affirmer la légitimité, la cohérence et l’efficacité des systèmes militaires destinés à mettre en œuvre la violence d’Etat face aux menaces identifiées, ainsi que les conditions et les modalités de son déclenchement. L’extrême sensibilité de leur objet induit nécessairement une part d’ombre plus ou moins vaste.

 

En Chine, où la culture militaire est enracinée dans les préceptes de Sun Zi, qui prônent l’ambiguïté, la déception et les approches obliques, les réticences à la transparence sont encore plus fortes qu’ailleurs. Elles sont renforcées par la persistance de faiblesses tactiques et technologiques, dont Deng Xiaoping disait lui-même qu’elles fondaient l’essentiel de l’opacité du système de défense chinois peu désireux de dévoiler ses lacunes.

 

Mais l’exigence de transparence est en Chine comme ailleurs le nouveau mantra du pouvoir soucieux de donner des gages de bonne gouvernance. C’est un fait, et l’APL a sacrifié à cette mode. Mais elle n’y consent qu’avec mesure et sans aller trop loin dans l’abandon des ambiguïtés. Ses révélations sont soigneusement calibrées, soit qu’elles concernent des informations déjà connues des experts, soit qu’elles viennent en appui d’une stratégie de long terme visant à réaffirmer le rôle crucial de sa dissuasion nucléaire et à contrôler complètement sa zone d’intérêt stratrégique immédiate.

 

Pour la première fois en effet le Livre Blanc communique la structure des forces stationnées dans les sept régions militaires, révèle les effectifs de l’armée de terre (850 000 h), de la marine (235 000 h, organisée en trois flottes du Nord, de l’Est et du Sud), de l’armée de l’air (398 000 h, implantés dans chaque région militaire), sans oublier la Seconde Artillerie.

 

Suite de l’article

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
China Has Not Changed Nuclear Strategy, Yet

April 22, 2013 china-defense-mashup.com

 

2013-04-22 — (by M. Taylor Fravel and from thediplomat.com) — In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, nuclear expert James Acton suggests that China may be changing its nuclear doctrine. The principal basis for his argument is the absence of a specific repetition of China’s “no first-use” policy in the latest edition of Beijing’s bi-annual white paper on defense. Acton, however, misreads the recent white paper and draws the wrong conclusion about China’s approach to nuclear weapons.

 

First, no first use has been a core feature of Chinese defense policy for decades, having been decided by Mao himself in 1964. If China abandoned or altered this policy position, it would reflect a major change in China’s approach to nuclear weapons – and a major change in China’s international image. This would not be a casual decision by China’s top leaders but rather a radical change precipitated by a major shift in China’s security environment. Although China’s concerns about U.S. missile defense policies that Acton notes are real, these concerns have existed since the mid-1990s and shape China’s current efforts to reduce the vulnerability of its nuclear forces.

 

To date, China has focused on building a small but potent nuclear force with the ability to launch a secure second strike if attacked with nuclear weapons – what I call “assured retaliation.” The relatively small size of China’s nuclear arsenal and the doctrinal emphasis on survivability and reliability are consistent with a pledge to not use nuclear weapons first. Moreover, if China were to abandon or alter the no first-use policy, it would surely want to reap a clear deterrent effect from such an action and likely do so clearly and publicly, not indirectly and quietly through an omission in a report.

 

Second, the absence of the no first-use policy in the 2012 white paper does not support Acton’s contention that China is changing its nuclear doctrine. Here, Acton overlooks that this edition of China’s bi-annual defense white papers is different from past volumes in one important respect.

 

According to Major General Chen Zhou, one of the white paper’s drafters and a researcher at the PLA’s Academy of Military Science, the 2012 white paper uses a thematic model (zhuanti xing) and not a comprehensive one. In the past, the comprehensively-oriented white papers all had the same title, such China’s National Defense in 2010. The title of the 2012 edition, however, reflects the new thematic focus: Diversified Employment of China Armed Forces. By discussing in more detail the structure and missions of China’s armed forces, the 2012 white paper dropped a chapter found in all previous ones entitled “National Defense Policy.” In the past editions, this chapter contained the references to China’s no first-use policy (as well as many other defense policies). Applying Occam’s razor, the lack of a chapter on China’s national defense policies can account for the absence of a reference to the no first-use policy.

 

In addition, the white paper’s discussion of the use of nuclear weapons is consistent with the no first-use policy. The white paper refers to “the principle of building a lean and effective force,” repeating language from the 2006 white paper that officially detailed China’s nuclear strategy for the first time. Second, it states that China’s nuclear weapons will only be used under one condition: “If China comes under a nuclear attack, the nuclear missile force of the [Second Artillery] will use nuclear missiles to launch a resolute counterattack (jianjue fanji).” Here, the 2012 white paper uses the exact same sentence as the 2008 white paper, which did contain a reference to the no first-use policy. More generally, a nuclear counterattack is the only campaign for China’s nuclear forces that has been described in authoritative Chinese doctrinal texts, starting with the 1987 edition of the Science of Strategy (Zhanlue Xue).

 

Acton also cites a speech that Xi Jinping gave to party delegates from the Second Artillery in December 2012. In public reporting of his speech, Xi stated that the Second Artillery provides “strategic support for our great power status.” Xi also did not mention the no first-use policy. But Xi did not mention any other elements of China’s nuclear policy, either, or anything related to when and how China’s nuclear forces would be used. Instead, the absence of the no-first use policy in this speech was likely another “false negative” regarding a change in China’s nuclear doctrine.

 

Furthermore, Xi in his remarks praised the Second Artillery for “resolutely carrying out the policies and instructions of the party center and Central Military Commission.” Given that Hu Jintao re-affirmed no first use at the April 2012 nuclear summit in Seoul, these “policies and instructions” would have included the no first-use policy.

 

To be clear, Chinese strategists have debated the merits of dropping or altering its no first-use policy. The debate was especially intense during the mid to late 2000s. Some participants in the debate suggested that no first use might not apply in certain situations that would be seen as equivalent of a “first use,” including conventional strikes on China’s nuclear forces or facilities as well as strikes on strategic targets like the Three Gorges Dam or the top Chinese leadership. In the end, however, a high-level decision was made to maintain the no first-use policy and the internal debate concluded without any change to China’s position.

 

Nevertheless, although no first use remains a central part of China’s approach to nuclear weapons, a certain and perhaps growing ambiguity surrounds the policy. As the Chinese debate indicates, under some set of extreme but nevertheless not implausible conditions, the policy might not serve as a constraint on first use even if China overall postures its forces primarily to deter a nuclear attack. Likewise, in the heat of a crisis, actions taken to deter a nuclear strike against China, such has placing forces on high alert levels, might be seen as indicating a preparations to launch first and invite a pre-emptive strike.

 

Thus, I agree with Acton’s policy recommendation about the need for a U.S.-China dialogue on nuclear weapons even though I disagree with his argument about China’s nuclear doctrine. More dialogue on strategic issues is needed at the highest levels between the United States and China, an area is prone to misperception and miscalculation. The ambiguity and uncertainty about the no first-use policy should be discussed. Indeed, General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should the issue of nuclear dialogue when he visits China this week.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Japon: une flottille chinoise a quitté les eaux territoriales des Senkaku

TOKYO, 24 avr 2013 marine-oceans.com (AFP)

 

Huit navires chinois qui étaient entrés mardi matin dans les eaux territoriales des îles Senkaku disputées au Japon en sont repartis en fin de journée, a-t-on appris auprès des garde-côtes nippons.

 

Ces bateaux de surveillance maritime chinois ont croisé mardi dans la zone de 12 milles (22 km) entourant ces îlots de mer de Chine orientale, administrés par Tokyo mais revendiqués par Pékin sous le nom de Diaoyu. Ils sont repartis en début de soirée, ont précisé les garde-côtes.

 

Il s'agissait de l'intrusion la plus massive de navires gouvernementaux chinois dans les eaux territoriales de cet archipel inhabité, depuis que ce différend territorial s'est aggravé en septembre après l'achat par le Japon de trois de ses cinq îles à leur propriétaire privé nippon.

 

La Chine y envoie régulièrement des navires depuis, qui croisent quelques heures dans la zone avant de repartir.

 

Les autorités japonaises ont protesté et l'ambassadeur de Chine à Tokyo a été convoqué au ministère nippon des Affaires étrangères.

 

Au parlement japonais, le Premier ministre Shinzo Abe a été interrogé mardi sur sa réponse à un éventuel débarquement chinois. "Il serait normal que nous les repoussions par la force si d'aventure ils débarquaient", a-t-il prévenu, évoquant les garde-côtes nippons qui assurent la protection de cette zone.

 

L'archipel est situé à 200 km au nord-est de Taïwan, qui le revendique également, et 400 km à l'ouest de l'île d'Okinawa (sud du Japon). Outre sa position stratégique, il recèlerait des ressources énergétiques dans ses fonds marins.

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 17:35
Le premier porte-avions chinois entreprendra un voyage en haute mer en cours d'année

20.04.2013 ( Xinhua )

 

Le premier porte-avions chinois, le Liaoning, commencera cette année un voyage en haute mer.

 

Le Liaoning et son équipage ont mené une série de tests et d'exercices d'entraînement depuis que le porte-avions est arrivé en février à son port d'attache de Qingdao, dans la province du Shandong (est), a-t-on appris jeudi d'informations diffusées par la Télévision centrale de Chine (CCTV).

 

Tous les tests réalisés jusqu'à présent se sont déroulés sans encombre, et le port de Qingdao a prouvé sa capacité à accueillir le porte-avions et à répondre aux besoins de celui-ci, selon ces informations.

 

Le Liaoning a réalisé plus de cent exercices et expérimentations depuis qu'il a été remis l'année dernière à la Marine de l'Armée populaire de libération et qu'il est entré en service.

 

Des tests supplémentaires sont prévus, notamment des essais de navigation et des exercices d'atterrissage, a précisé la CCTV.

 

La chaîne de télévision a ajouté que le port de Qingdao connaîtrait de nouvelles améliorations.

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22 avril 2013 1 22 /04 /avril /2013 18:35
Credits : harvard.edu

Credits : harvard.edu

Apr. 22, 2013 Defense news (AFP)

 

BEIJING — The top U.S. military officer said Monday that Washington’s armed presence in the Asia-Pacific was meant to contribute to regional stability as he met his Chinese counterpart on a rare visit.

 

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Beijing amid regional tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program, maritime disputes and China’s concerns that the U.S. wants to contain its growing military strength.

 

Relations between Washington and Beijing have also been strained over a U.S. “pivot” to Asia after years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and accusations, denied by China, that its military has carried out large-scale cyber attacks on U.S. companies and institutions.

 

“We seek to be a stabilizing influence in the region,” Dempsey said at a joint news conference with Fang Fenghui, the chief of the People’s Liberation Army general staff.

 

“We are committed to building a better, deeper, more enduring relationship,” he said.

 

Fang said the two militaries needed to deepen cooperation and exchanges.

 

“The Pacific Ocean is wide enough to accommodate us both,” he said. “We should be cooperating partners regardless of the circumstances.”

 

He reiterated China’s position that it opposed cyber attacks and was itself a victim.

 

“Cybersecurity, if it is uncontrolled, the effects can be, and I don’t exaggerate, at times no less than a nuclear bomb,” he said.

 

He said China was opposed to nuclear tests by North Korea and supported U.N. Security Council resolutions against Pyongyang, but reiterated Beijing’s position that dialogue was the key to solving the issue.

 

“North Korea has already conducted a third nuclear test, and it could conduct a fourth nuclear test,” he said, but did not elaborate.

 

Dempsey’s predecessor, Adm. Mike Mullen, visited China in 2011 in what was the first trip by a U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in four years.

 

The latest visit came as China appeared to single out the U.S. in a military white paper last week, saying that “certain efforts” to enhance military deployment in Asia “are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region.”

 

China and some of its neighbors, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have boosted their naval capacity amid smoldering spats over disputed regions of the South China Sea, and China put its first aircraft carrier into service last year.

 

Beijing is also locked in a bitter dispute with Tokyo over islands in the East China Sea.

 

The U.S. stations tens of thousands of troops in allies Japan and South Korea and has announced plans to deploy more forces in Australia.

 

China has repeatedly asserted that it does not have an expansionist foreign policy as it continues its “peaceful rise.”

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21 avril 2013 7 21 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
La Corée du Nord a installé deux lanceurs de missile supplémentaires

 

21.04.2013 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

La Corée du Nord a récemment installé deux lanceurs de missile supplémentaires sur sa côte est en prévision d'un tir qui préoccupe Washington et ses alliés, dans un contexte de vives tensions sur la péninsule coréenne. Deux tracteur-érecteur-lanceur (TEL) de missiles à courte portée Scud ont été déployés la semaine dernière dans la province du Hamgyong méridional (nord-est), a rapporté dimanche l'agence de presse Yonhap, qui cite un haut responsable sud-coréen. Le ministère sud-coréen de la défense sud-coréen n'a pas confirmé cette information.

 

Selon les services de renseignements de Corée du Sud, le Nord a récemment déployé sur sa côte orientale sept lanceurs, dont deux lanceurs de missiles Musudan, d'une portée théorique de 4 000 kilomètres, capables d'atteindre la Corée du Sud, le Japon et l'île américaine de Guam. Certains experts pensaient que la Corée du Nord effectuerait des tirs autour du 15 avril pour marquer le 101e anniversaire de la naissance du fondateur du régime, Kim Il-Sung. Leurs prédictions ne se sont pas vérifiées mais la menace demeure depuis que le Nord a annoncé le 26 mars avoir placé en état de préparation maximale toutes ses unités d'artillerie et ses unités balistiques.

 

Un ou plusieurs essais pourraient survenir autour du 25 avril, date anniversaire de la création de l'armée nord-coréenne, selon un autre responsable sud-coréen cité par Yonhap. Les tensions sur la péninsule coréenne se sont amplifiées depuis un nouveau train de sanctions pris par l'ONU après le troisième essai nucléaire conduit par Pyongyang le 12 février. Furieux de ces sanctions et de manoeuvres militaires américano-sud-coréennes en cours, le régime de Pyongyang a multiplié les invectives et menacé Séoul et Washington de "guerre thermonucléaire".

 

Le régime de Pyongyang a procédé à trois essais nucléaires depuis 2006. Il a par ailleurs réussi à mettre un satellite en orbite le 12 décembre mais ne dispose pas à ce stade des moyens de lancer un missile balistique intercontinental (ICBM), comme le Taepodong-2 qu'il s'efforce de mettre au point.

La seule capacité balistique avérée sur le plan opérationnel de la Corée du Nord est le missile No-Dong-1, d'une portée de 1 300 kilomètres, selon l'Arms Control Association.

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20 avril 2013 6 20 /04 /avril /2013 16:35
AUS: Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD concludes
 
 
Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 was conducted on the South China Sea, Singapore and the Malaysian Peninsula between 8-18 April.  
 
Australia was the only nation to deploy a submarine in support of Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 13.  
 
Commanding Officer of HMAS Dechaineux Commander Glen Miles said operating as the enemy or “Red Force”, HMAS Dechaineux’s role in the exercise was to test the responses from participating nations’ navy vessels. 
 
“We operated in shallow waters amongst high concentrations of fishing vessels conducting simulated attacks on surface ships from Malaysian, Singaporean and New Zealand Navies,” Commander Miles said. 
 
“For the crew of HMAS Dechaineux, Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 13 provided a fantastic opportunity to practice the ‘hide and seek’ of submarine warfare in busy waterways.” 
 
Throughout the exercise the submarine was “hunted” by two AP-3C Orion aircraft from Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) 92 Wing, based at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia. 
 
The AP-3C Orion aircraft flew a total of seven sorties in support of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA)-led exercise, allowing the AP-3C crews to hone their skills in a complex multinational exercise environment involving naval and air forces.  
 

 

The Five Power Defence Arrangements is the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia and has maintained relevance in the contemporary security environment.

 

The Australian Defence Force was a founding member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and this year marks the 42nd anniversary of our involvement in these exercises.

 
Exercises such as BERSAMA SHIELD 2013 continue to reinforce the relevance of this long-term relationship to the regional strategic environment. 
 
92 Wing Exercise Detachment Commander Squadron Leader Jesse Laroche said “Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD further enhances the strength of the FPDA relationship, the aircraft and support personnel operated from Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth. 
 
“The squadron regarded the AP-3C participation as a great success, testing exercise interoperability, capability expansion and communication between the Five Power Defence Arrangements Nations,” Squadron Leader Laroche said. 
 
In addition to the AP-3C Orions and HMAS Dechaineux, the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force provided liaison officers who deployed to Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth.
 

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 18:35
3ème session du Jakarta International Defense Dialogue - EMA / Marine nationale

3ème session du Jakarta International Defense Dialogue - EMA / Marine nationale

18/04/2013Sources : EMA

Le contre-amiral Anne Cullerre, commandant les forces maritimes de l’océan Pacifique (ALPACI) et commandant supérieur des forces armées en Polynésie française (COMSUP FAPF) a représenté le chef d’état-major des armées pour la 3ème session du Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD), qui se tenait les 20 et 21 mars 2013 en Indonésie. Plus de 1 300 délégués venus de 42 pays étaient présents.

Le JIDD vise à promouvoir la coopération régionale et à renforcer la confiance afin de pouvoir répondre aux menaces et aux défis communs. Le thème de cette édition portait sur « La défense et la diplomatie dans la région Asie-Pacifique ». A cette occasion, les interventions de l’amiral Cullerre ont permis de réaffirmer l’action des forces armées françaises dans la zone Pacifique.

Les échanges avec la partie indonésienne, pays hôte, ont plus particulièrement porté sur les équipements militaires, la lutte commune anti-piraterie et la volonté réciproque des deux parties d’intensifier le nombre d’exercices et d’entrainement communs. A ce titre, il a été proposé à l’Indonésie de participer au prochain exercice « Croix du sud » qui se déroulera en Nouvelle-Calédonie en 2014.

Par ailleurs, en marge de ce séminaire, des entretiens bilatéraux ont été menés avec de hauts responsables des états-majors américain, canadien et malaisien notamment.

En temps qu’ALPACI et COMSUP FAPF, l’amiral Cullerre a pour mission de garantir la souveraineté nationale dans la zone de responsabilité permanente (ZRP) Asie-Pacifique. Sa zone de compétence s’étend sur tout l’océan Pacifique, les détroits indonésiens et du méridien du cap sud de la Tasmanie à l’ouest, à la côte américaine à l’est, à l’exception de la zone entourant la Nouvelle-Calédonie sous la responsabilité du COMSUP Nouméa. ALPACI, au nom du CEMA, participe aux activités de coopération régionale et entretient des relations privilégiées avec l’ensemble des nations présentes sur cette zone.

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15 avril 2013 1 15 /04 /avril /2013 11:35

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/TLXqNEwY31I/AAAAAAAALac/rKvLWOi3AUo/s1600/NISHANT-787764.JPG

DRDO NISHANT UAV

 

April 15, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

The latest in the Indian Army's slew of requirements is this one for an unspecified number of short range unmanned aerial vehicles (SR-UAV). The Army currently operates a small fleet of IAI Searcher Mk.2 tactical UAVs and has been looking to augment that capability for a while now. A first lot of indigenously developed Nishant UAVs, in a final trial run, are expected to enter service with the Army this year.

The requirements put down in the new RFI mirror what the Army's Searcher Mk.2 can do. The Army is also in the process of acquiring mini UAVs for its special units and a loitering weapon.

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15 avril 2013 1 15 /04 /avril /2013 11:35

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Indian_Navy_crest.svg/214px-Indian_Navy_crest.svg.png

 

15 avril 2013 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

La France et l’Inde organisent un exercice commun au large de Goa le 17 avril. Il est principalement destiné à aiguiser les compétences de la marine indienne dans la lutte contre la piraterie et les opérations sous-marines.

 

« Cet exercice de 30 heures commencera le 17 au matin, » a indiqué le capitaine de vaisseau Guillaume Fontarensky, commandant la frégate Montcalm, actuellement amarrée dans le port de Goa et qui participera aux exercices.

 

Il fait parti d’un exercice plus important qui se déroule chaque année entre les marines française et indienne.

 

« De tels exercices de faible ampleur sont organisés pour accroitre la compréhension entre les 2 marines en vue de l’exercice plus important, » explique Fontarensky.

 

« L’exercice prévu au large de Goa va aiguiser les compétences de la marine indienne dans les opérations de lutte anti-sous-marine et contre la piraterie, » a précisé le commandant, ajoutant qu’une procédure commune serait développée par les 2 marines pour lutter contre les sous-marins de pays hostiles.

 

Il a indiqué que les détails sur la participation de la marine indienne ne seraient connus qu’après la conférence d’organisation de lundi.

 

De son côté, l’ambassadeur de France, François Richier, a expliqué qu’un tel échange était très important pour assurer la sécurité en océan Indien.

 

« La menace peut venir de n’importe où, même de sous la mer. Il est très important d’assurer la sécurité de l’océan Indien, » a déclaré l’ambassadeur, ajoutant que la menace de la piraterie avait fortement diminué en océan Indien grâce à la présence de bâtiments militaires de plusieurs marines.

 

« Le nombre d’attaques a fortement diminué, comparé au passé, » a-t-il souligné.

 

Référence : Zee News (Inde)

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15 avril 2013 1 15 /04 /avril /2013 11:35

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/Galleries/351-4/0268.jpg

 

Apr 15, 2013, timesofindia.indiatimes.com (PTI)

 

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has allowed private sector companies to take part in a tender to upgrade 300 M-46 artillery guns of the Army.

 

The meeting of the defence acquisition council (DAC), headed by defence minister AK Antony approved a proposal in this regard.

 

Under the proposal, the defence ministry plans to upgrade the 300 M-46 howitzers from 130 mm to 155 mm guns systems.

 

Indian private sector companies would be competing with state-owned Ordnance Factory Board for the project.

 

Indian private sector companies such as Tata and L&T have successfully developed mounted 155 mm howitzers and are planning to offer them for trials to the Army for its requirements for artillery modernisation.

 

The upgrade of the 130 mm howitzers was stuck after the blacklisting of Israeli Soltam guns.

 

After the recent scams in the procurement of military hardware systems from abroad, the defence ministry has been working towards developing policies to promote indigenization which includes encouraging the private sector in a big way.

 

The defence ministry also approved proposals under which the first right of refusal in defence tenders would be with the indigenous industry and procurement from abroad would be the last option.

 

The DAC also approved a proposal under which the status of Raksha Udyog Ratna (RUR) has been discontinued under which 12 private sector companies were to be selected and given opportunities in defence procurement process.

 

The RUR status was first proposed in the DPP-2006 but it could never take off due to opposition from local industry.

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