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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Everything the light touches


22.09.2015  photo by Cpl. Justin T. Updegraff - U.S. Marine Corps

 

An M1 Abrams main battle tank provides security during the Combined Arms Company field exercise at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, Sept. 16, 2015. The CAC is a newly formed armor element supporting the Black Sea Rotational Force.

 

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft - photo USAF

Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft - photo USAF

 

September 26, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Bulgaria has hired a Polish firm to upgrade six of their MiG-29 fighters. Poland was selected because in 2014 Poland completed upgrades required to make their own MiG-29s compatible with NATO standards. This was necessary because Poland is now a member of NATO and could not afford to replace its MiG-29s with Western fighters. Poland has the largest fleet of MiG-29s in NATO (32 operational) and other East European nations that recently joined NATO are in a similar situation.

 

The Poles didn’t do it all themselves but figured out who the most effective partners would be. Thus a Polish firm worked with an Israeli company to make the MiG-29 electronics compatible with NATO equipment. Mechanical controls were replaced with electronic (“fly by wire”) ones. This involved a much more efficient cockpit and some amenities which make life much easier for pilots. All this gave the MiG-29 electronics similar to those in the 48 F-16s Poland has purchased.

 

The Bulgarian upgrades are less about new electronics and more about keeping the Bulgarian MiG-29s flyable. This being done despite protests from Russia who insist it is illegal for anyone but the Russian manufacturer to perform such upgrades and refurbishment. But the Russians want a lot more money for the work than Polish, or even Western European firms can do it for. Moreover the current Russian hostility towards NATO does not make Russia a reliable source of such services.

 

Bulgaria has to be careful with what it spends on military equipment because the country was never rich to begin with. After Bulgaria broke free from communist (and Russian dominated) government in 1989 it turned to the West for help. Reforms (and reducing the chronic corruption) took time. Thus it wasn’t until 2009 that Bulgaria was able to resume training new MiG-29 pilots. Such training had stopped, for budgetary reasons, in the late 1990s. Throughout the 1990s, and until 2004, Bulgaria was busy disbanding its Cold War era air force of 226 aircraft. By 2009 all they had left was 18 MiG-29s (which needed upgrades to meet NATO standards), some Su-25s (for ground attack), a few MiG-21s (on their way out), some Su-22s (used for reconnaissance) and a few dozen transports and helicopters. One by one, most air bases were shut down, and the Russian made aircraft (most of them obsolete) sold for scrap.

 

Western aircraft are being bought, but the MiG-29s are being kept because they are competitive with Western fighters. That is important because East European nations found that Western warplanes were too expensive. Meanwhile by 2009 the existing MiG-29 pilots were getting old and many of them had already left for more lucrative commercial flying job. Thus the need for another dozen MiG-29 pilots. That training was completed by 2010.

 

In late 2011 Bulgaria announced that it would postpone a decision on the purchase of a new multi-role jet fighter until at least 2012. Bulgaria originally committed itself to buying a NATO-type fighter as part of its alliance integration process. However, the economic recession cut into procurement funds and that situation never got better. Soon plans for buying Western warplanes was dropped as well. Then the Poles showed it was possible to upgrade MiG-29s on an East European budget.

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17 septembre 2015 4 17 /09 /septembre /2015 15:50
Migrants: Sofia envoie jusqu'à 1.000 militaires à la frontière turque

 

17 septembre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Sofia - La Bulgarie a commencé à déployer un millier de militaires à la frontière bulgaro-turque, redoutant un afflux de migrants, a annoncé jeudi un haut responsable du ministère de l'Intérieur.

 

Face à la situation compliquée provoquée par la crise migratoire, un plan prévoyant le déploiement de jusqu'à un millier de militaires d'ici une semaine, est mis en application sur toute la frontière bulgaro-turque, a déclaré Gueorgu Kostov, secrétaire général du ministère.

 

L'armée se joindra ainsi aux forces de police pour des patrouilles à la frontière, a-t-il ajouté.

 

La Bulgarie a une frontière terrestre de 259 km avec la Turquie dont 30 km sont protégés par une clôture en barbelés qui doit être prolongée.

 

Un millier de migrants se sont rassemblés ces derniers jours dans le secteur d'Edirne, ville du nord-ouest de la Turquie jouxtant les frontières grecque et bulgare, a constaté l'AFP. Ils cherchent à continuer leur route via la Grèce de nord vers la Macédoine et la Serbie pour atteindre l'Europe de l'Ouest.

 

On ne peut jamais prévoir quelle direction prendra la vague de réfugiés (...) Si un pays décide de fermer la frontière, ils se dirigent vers une autre frontière, a déclaré le ministre de la Défense Nikolay Nentchev à la radio publique.

 

Il a précisé que 160 hommes pouvaient être envoyés dans le cadre de la journée.

 

La Bulgarie enregistre systématiquement les migrants, notamment syriens, irakiens et afghans et les oblige à passer des mois dans des camps pour attendre un statut de réfugié.

 

La ministre de l'Intérieur Roumiana Batchvarova a confirmé jeudi que cette pratique continuerait à être strictement appliquée, alors qu'en Grèce, en Macédoine et en Serbie voisines les migrants transitent sans être retenus.

 

Depuis le début de l'année, la police frontalière a enregistré l'arrivée de 7.400 migrants, principalement depuis la Turquie. Des milliers d'autres cherchent à transiter de façon clandestine, une partie étant arrêtée à l'intérieur du pays et à la frontière bulgaro-serbe.

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8 septembre 2015 2 08 /09 /septembre /2015 17:30
Vols vers la Syrie : Moscou demande à Athènes et Sofia de s'expliquer

 

08 septembre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Moscou - La diplomatie russe a réclamé mardi des explications à la Bulgarie, qui a interdit le survol de son territoire à des avions russes en route pour la Syrie, et à la Grèce, qui a annoncé que les Etats-Unis lui avaient demandé de prendre la même décision.

 

Si quelqu'un, et dans ce cas précis il s'agit de nos partenaires grecs et bulgares, a des doutes, alors bien entendu il doit nous expliquer quel est le problème, a déclaré le vice-ministre russe des Affaires étrangères Mikhaïl Bogdanov, cité par l'agence de presse russe Interfax.

 

La Bulgarie, pays membre de l'Otan, a déclaré mardi avoir refusé à un nombre non précisé d'avions russes de traverser son espace aérien à la fin de la semaine dernière.

 

Cette décision fait suite à des informations lundi selon lesquelles les Etats-Unis ont demandé à la Grèce, également membre de l'Otan, de ne pas autoriser les avions russes effectuant des livraisons en Syrie à survoler son territoire.

 

S'il est avéré qu'ils prennent des mesures restrictives ou d'interdiction à la demande des Américains, alors cela soulève des questions sur leur droit souverain à prendre des décisions sur le passage par leur espace aérien d'avions d'autres pays, comme la Russie, a noté M. Bodganov.

 

Si la Grèce n'a pas encore donné de réponse officielle, le ministère bulgare des Affaires étrangères a dit fonder son refus sur des informations dignes de confiance selon lesquelles le chargement déclaré n'était pas celui qu'il y avait en réalité.

 

Depuis plusieurs jours, les Américains notamment s'inquiètent d'une éventuelle augmentation de la présence russe en Syrie, sans que ces craintes ne soient étayées par des preuves définitives.

 

Samedi, le secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry avait appelé son homologue russe Sergueï Lavrov pour lui faire part de l'inquiétude des Etats-Unis quant à un éventuel engagement militaire de Moscou en Syrie.

 

Pour sa part, la Russie se borne à répéter qu'elle fournit depuis longtemps des armes au régime du président syrien Bachar al-Assad.

 

Mardi, Mikhaïl Bogdanov a rappelé que des experts et des instructeurs russes formaient en effet des soldats de l'armée syrienne.

 

Par ailleurs, la Russie n'a pas prévu de changer quoique ce soit en ce qui concerne sa seule base en Syrie, celle située à Tartous, ville côtière et deuxième port de ce pays, a ajouté M. Bogdanov.

 

Les conditions de fonctionnement de cette base et ses objectifs sont depuis longtemps connus et je n'y vois aucun problème, a affirmé le vice-ministre.

 

Cette base logistique se trouve à Tartous depuis déjà plusieurs décennies et il n'y pas de questions à se poser, et personne n'en posera, a-t-il martelé.

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15 juin 2015 1 15 /06 /juin /2015 05:20
Un char américain Abrams débarque dans le port de Riga, en Lettonie, le 9 mars 2015. (photo US DoD)

Un char américain Abrams débarque dans le port de Riga, en Lettonie, le 9 mars 2015. (photo US DoD)

 

15 juin 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Les États-Unis sont en passe d’entreposer des armes lourdes, y compris des chars, et jusqu’à 5.000 hommes, dans plusieurs pays baltes et d’Europe de l’Est pour contrer une éventuelle agression russe, affirme ce week-end le New York Times.

 

Si la proposition du Pentagone est acceptée par l’exécutif américain, les États-Unis entreposeront pour la première fois des armes lourdes dans ces pays qui ont récemment adhéré à l’OTAN et qui, avant la chute du mur de Berlin, appartenaient à la sphère d’influence de l’Union soviétique, affirme le quotidien qui cite des sources américaines et alliées anonymes.

 

Il s’agit de rassurer les pays baltes et d’autres pays d’Europe de l’Est qui sont très inquiets depuis l’annexion de la Crimée et les combats en Ukraine, où des séparatistes pro-russes contestent l’autorité de Kiev dans l’est du pays.

 

Kiev et les Occidentaux accusent la Russie d’armer les séparatistes et d’avoir déployé des troupes régulières pour les aider.

 

Selon le New York Times, la proposition doit encore recevoir l’aval du secrétaire américain à la Défense, Ashton Carter, et de la Maison Blanche. Le quotidien souligne que certains alliés de l’OTAN s’inquiètent de la réaction de la Russie.

 

Un porte-parole du Pentagone cité par le quotidien souligne qu’aucune décision n’a encore été prise.

 

Les responsables qui ont parlé au quotidien estiment que le Pentagone devrait avoir le feu vert avant une réunion des ministres de la Défense de l’OTAN, ce mois-ci à Bruxelles.

 

En l’état actuel des plans du Pentagone, de l’équipement pour quelque 150 hommes (une compagnie dans l’armée américaine) serait stocké dans chacun des trois pays baltes.

 

De l’équipement pour une compagnie ou un bataillon (750 militaires environ) serait entreposé en Pologne, Roumanie, Bulgarie et peut-être en Hongrie, ont précisé ces sources.

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7 juin 2015 7 07 /06 /juin /2015 11:50
MiG-21 Bulgarian Air Force photo US DoD

MiG-21 Bulgarian Air Force photo US DoD

 

05/06/2015 par Justine BOQUET – Air  & Cosmos

 

Fin mai, le ministère de la Défense bulgare a annoncé qu'un appel d'offres allait être lancé d'ici fin juin en vue de l'acquisition de nouveaux avions de combat. La Bulgarie, à travers cette future acquisition, vise à remplacer ses MiG-21 dans un premier temps puis ses Mig-29.

 

La volonté bulgare de remplacer sa flotte de MiG existe depuis 2012. Le projet avait été repoussé par manque de moyens financiers. Aujourd'hui encore la Bulgarie ne peut consacrer qu'une somme limitée. 400 millions de dollars ont été débloqués pour l'achat de 8 avions d'occasion. Ce premier lot devra être complété. Le pays table sur l'acquisition d'une à deux séries supplémentaires, de préférence neufs. L'objectif final est de composer une flotte d'environ 20 nouveaux appareils.

 

Suite de l’article

Bulgarian MiG-29 with pair of R-27R (AA-10 Alamo) missiles Photo Krasimir Grozev

Bulgarian MiG-29 with pair of R-27R (AA-10 Alamo) missiles Photo Krasimir Grozev

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25 mars 2015 3 25 /03 /mars /2015 17:51
European airlift course kicks off in Bulgaria

 

Plovdiv, Bulgaria - 23 March, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

This year’s first edition of the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) just started in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Academic sessions and live missions will take place until 3 April 2015, with graduating crews joining from four EU countries.

 

Initiated by the European Defence Agency and run by the European Air Transport Command, the EAATTC series of courses aim to provide air transport crews with a robust airlift tactics training syllabus in order to enhance interoperability between European air forces. EAATTC 15-1, hosted by the Bulgarian Air Force in Plovdiv, has started today with the first academic sessions and familiarisation flights.

Four countries are joining EAATTC 15-1 with their tactical transport aircraft: Bulgaria (1 x C-27J), Germany (1 x C160), France (1 x C-130) and Italy (1 x C-130J). Due to other operational commitments, Czech Republic and the Netherlands were not able to contribute with aircraft as initially planned.

Over the next days, the complexity of the academic training and the flying sorties will gradually increase. At the end of the course, graduating crews will be presented with a certificate based on the completion of a commonly-agreed syllabus.

The EAATTC series of courses is one of the deliverables of the European Air Transport Fleet partnership, launched in 2011 by 20 participating nations under the framework of the European Defence Agency.

 

More information

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
SNMG2 Completes Operations in the Black Sea

 

20 Mar. 2015 by NATO

 

NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) completed their participation in joint NATO training exercises and maritime situational awareness operations in the Black Sea today.

 

Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), and ITS Aliseo (F 574).

 

"The planning, coordination and execution of these exercises allowed the integration of SNMG2 and other maritime Alliance assets in a multi-threat environment," said Lt. Cmdr. Ruiz Rodriguez (ESP N), SNMG2 Staff Communications Officer.  "The training provided us with outstanding results and allowed us to showcase our integration for key leadership across the Alliance."

 

SNMG2 was deployed to the Black Sea to reassure allies in the region of the Alliance’s collective defence and resolve. Throughout the month of March, SNMG2 participated in three separate exercises designed to improve interoperability and enhance rapid integration of Alliance maritime assets.

 

"Working with our Allied navies helps us improve our teamwork and interoperability," said Ensign Andrew Hanna, Vicksburg’s 1st Lieutenant. "The experience that we gained from these exercises will help us become more proficient both as operators and as a unit."

 

The force trained on anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare procedures during separate exercises with the Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian navies. The ships also responded to simulated small boat attacks and maneuvers with the ships in close proximity to one another.

 

"I am truly proud of the performance of all SNMG2 Sailors over the last several weeks," said Williamson. "The hard work they put in during this period allowed for invaluable training with our Allies on the Black Sea. The rapid integration we were able to achieve with three different navies is a true testament to the strength of the Alliance."

 

While in the Black Sea, SNMG2 made port visits to Varna, Bulgaria and Constanta, Romania. During each visit, the Sailors and leadership of the group interacted with key decision-makers both professionally and personally. The crews from all ships were also afforded time to explore the region and experience the rich history and culture of the Alliance nations bordering the Black Sea.

 

Since Williamson assumed command of SNMG2 in July 2014, the group deployed to the North American coast where it participated in three high-tempo exercises with multiple Allied nations.

 

Upon completion of their North American deployment, the ships of SNMG2 returned to the Mediterranean and again engaged in complex multinational exercises with Allied nations, including one of NATO’s largest exercises and the naval response force certification event for 2014; exercise Noble Justification. SNMG2 also completed several surges in support of NATO’s anti-terrorism mission, Operation Active Endeavour.

 

The group will resume patrols in Mediterranean, contributing to maritime situational awareness in the region.

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8 mars 2015 7 08 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
NATO Maritime Group visits Varna, Bulgaria, during Black Sea deployment

 

07 Mar. 2015 by NATO

 

VARNA, Bulgaria – Ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in Varna today for a scheduled port visit during the Group’s deployment to the Black Sea.

 

Led by Rear Admiral Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574), and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).

 

SNMG2 is in the Black Sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the region to assure NATO Allies of the Alliance’s commitment to collective defense.  During the deployment, SNMG2 ships are training with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies.

 

“Our Sailors are excited to visit Varna and to interact with the people who represent this city and nation,” said Rear Admiral Williamson. “More importantly, we are looking forward to getting back underway and training with the professional mariners of the Bulgarian Navy.”

 

During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Bulgarian authorities and Navy officials to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include exercises in the Black Sea.

 

SNMG2 Sailors will also have the opportunity to experience the rich culture and history of the surrounding area and participate in volunteer opportunities before returning to the Black Sea to train with the Bulgarian Navy and maintain maritime situational awareness in the region.

 

Bulgaria became a member of NATO on March 29, 2004, along with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
EAATTC 15-1 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (17 Mar-3 Apr)


 

5 March 2015 - EATC

 

The first European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC 15-1) will be held in Bulgaria from 17 March to 3 April 2015.


Aircraft and crews from six European countries are participating: Bulgaria (C-27J), Czech Republic (C-295), Germany (C160), France (C-130), Italy (C-130J) and the Netherlands (C-130). The programme of the training will include academic course and basic flying sorties during the first week, followed by more complex missions involving low-level flights, air-to-air as well as surface-to-air threats, and maximum effort landings during the second week.

Run by the EATC, EAATTC is conducted under the umbrella of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) whose main objective is to increase the European Union's airlift capabilities by addressing shortages and increasing interoperability.

For more information

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 17:40
Des navires OTAN déployés en mer Noire pour des activités d’entraînement

 

05 Mar. 2015 OTAN

 

Des navires du 2e Groupe maritime permanent OTAN (SNMG2) sont arrivés en mer Noire mercredi 4 mars 2015 pour s’entraîner avec des bâtiments des marines bulgare, roumaine et turque. Sont prévus au programme des exercices de défense aérienne et de guerre anti-sous-marine ainsi que des exercices mettant en jeu des attaques par de petites embarcations et des manœuvres maritimes simples.

 

Les activités d’entraînement et les exercices auxquels nous allons nous livrer en mer Noire avec nos Alliés sont destinés à nous préparer à toute mission que l’OTAN serait amenée à lancer pour s’acquitter de ses obligations en matière de défense collective, a indiqué le vice-amiral américain Brad Williamson, actuellement aux commandes du SNMG2. La flotte se compose du USS Vicksburg (États-Unis), qui en est le navire amiral, du NCSM Fredericton (Canada), du TCG Turgutreis (Turquie), du FGS Spessart (Allemagne) et l’ITS Aliseo (Italie) et du ROS Regina Maria (Roumanie). Cette puissante force navale OTAN se distingue par ses capacités de contrôle de l’espace maritime, de lutte anti-sous-marine et de défense aérienne.

 

Le déploiement du SNMG2 en mer Noire s’effectue dans le plein respect des conventions internationales et s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une visite programmée pour l’entraînement et en tant que mesure d’assurance à l’intention des pays de l’Alliance riverains de la mer Noire. Le Groupe remettra le cap sur la Méditerranée dans le courant du mois et reprendra ses missions de patrouille pour contribuer à la connaissance de la situation maritime dans la région.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:50
Six pays membres de l’Otan réduisent leurs dépenses militaires en 2015 - photo Shape

Six pays membres de l’Otan réduisent leurs dépenses militaires en 2015 - photo Shape

 

26/2/15 François d’Alançon – LaCroix.com

 

La diminution des budgets de défense contredit l’engagement pris lors du dernier sommet de l’Alliance atlantique.

 

Les pays membres de l’Otan – hors États-Unis qui représentent 75 % du budget –, ne tiennent pas l’engagement pris lors du dernier sommet de l’Alliance atlantique, en septembre 2014 au Pays de Galles, de mettre fin à la réduction de leurs dépenses militaires pour atteindre 2 % du Produit intérieur brut (PIB) en 2024.

 

Suite de l’article

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28 janvier 2015 3 28 /01 /janvier /2015 13:50
La Bulgarie pourrait confier la maintenance de ses MiG à la Pologne


27.01.2015 Info-Aviation
 

La maintenance des MiG-29 Fulcrum de la force aérienne de Bulgarie pourrait être assurée en Pologne plutôt qu’en Russie (source : The Sofia Globe).

 

La Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) envisage de confier la maintenance de ses 12 MiG-29 Fulcrum-A et 3 Fulcrum-B biplace d’entraînement à la Pologne en raison de la hausse des coûts de main d’oeuvre en Russie.

Selon le journal The Sofia Globe, l’accord de maintenance signé avec la Russie en 2006 avait été évalué à 48 millions de dollars (incluant un avion d’entraînement supplémentaire qui s’est crashé depuis), mais le ministre de la Défense bulgare Nikolay Nenchev a affirmé que le nombre croissant de sociétés intermédiaires russes a entraîné une hausse des coûts de manière significative.

Or, le contrat de maintenance des MiG-29  signé avec la Russie expire en septembre 2015. Mr Nenchev aurait alors déclaré que la Bulgarie est en train de négocier avec la Pologne pour récupérer la maintenance des MiG en offrant un meilleur prix.

 

Suite de l'article

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16 décembre 2014 2 16 /12 /décembre /2014 18:50
EDA holds first C-27J pooled maintenance and training meeting

 

Brussels - 10 December, 2014 European Defence Agency

 

The European Defence Agency recently held a meeting with European C-27J Spartan operators in order to identify potential solutions to support this user community.

 

Representatives from the community of European C-27J users attended this meeting which was held last month at the European Defence Agency (EDA) premises in Brussels. Bulgaria, Italy, Romania as well as Greece and Lithuania currently operate the C-27J Spartan twin-engine tactical transport aircraft. “EDA is an ideal forum to harmonise requirements of the European C-27J community”, Pete Round, EDA Capability, Armament and Technology Director, stresses. “Together with Member States, we can identify ways to enhance the global C-27J capability through a variety of pooling & sharing initiatives”, he adds. "It also fits perfectly in the EATF partnership signed in 2011 by 20 Member States."

 

Cooperation opportunities

Over the course of the meeting, EDA put forward three main domains in which cooperation could yield significant benefits for the European C-27J user community: training, logistics and operations. Various ideas were put on the table, such as the pooling of C-27J simulators, the sharing of spare parts or the optimisation of the different mission kits currently used by Member States for their aircraft (fire-fighting, command and control, medical evacuation, etc.)

Participants agreed to meet again early in 2015 to discuss the way forward and assess the potential for joining existing EDA Pooling & Sharing mechanisms, such as the “Sharing of Spare Parts” project. Meanwhile, EDA stands ready to facilitate the establishment of relevant ad hoc projects in accordance with the “à la carte“ mindset of the Agency.

 

Synergies

European C-27J users have already been involved in other EDA initiatives, such as the EATT (European Air Transport Training) series of exercises. Earlier this year, Lithuania and Bulgaria deployed C-27Js as part of EATT14, which was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

This EDA initiative aims to complement existing cooperative efforts such as the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, the Spartan User Group, which also gathers non-European C-27J users, and the European Air Transport Command (EATC) which was recently joined by Italy who offered to “pool” some of its C-27Js through this operational command. 

 

 

More information

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17 octobre 2014 5 17 /10 /octobre /2014 11:50
Bulgarian military orders Commando Select vehicles from Textron

Bulgaria will deploy the new Commando Select vehicles to support the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Photo Textron Inc.

 

15 October 2014 army-technology.com

 

Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS) has been awarded a foreign military sales contract to supply Commando Select four-wheeled armoured vehicles to the Bulgarian National Military Forces.

 

Awarded by the US Army Contracting Command, the $15.2m contract requires the company to deliver ten Commando Select vehicles, along with related fielding hardware and technical services.

 

Textron will supply three variants, including a turreted vehicle with co-axially mounted 40mm Mk-19 and .50 cal machine guns, a command and control (C2) variant with turret, and an ambulance variant used for patient treatment and transport.

 

Textron Marine & Land Systems senior vice-president and general manager Tom Walmsley said: "Our customer values both the level of performance and protection offered by these vehicles, as well as the support and training services our team can provide throughout each vehicle's lifecycle."

 

The C2 vehicles will be integrated with Textron Systems' remote video terminal technology for real-time situational awareness from a variety of unmanned systems and other sources.

"Commando Select is a 90mm direct-fire vehicle designed to address the growing international requirement for significantly greater under-armour firepower."

 

The vehicles are scheduled to be deployed in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

 

Commando Select is a 90mm direct-fire vehicle designed to address the growing international requirement for significantly greater under-armour firepower, integrated on a highly mobile armoured vehicle.

 

Capable of carrying up to seven soldiers alongside the crew, the vehicle incorporates a monocoque V-shaped hull, which is designed for protection against landmines and improvised explosive devices. A CMI Defence Cockerill CSE 90LP weapon system provides day / night combat capability for counter-insurgency and legacy combat operations.

 

Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out in Louisiana, and Maryland, US, and Afghanistan, while deliveries are expected to begin during the first quarter of 2015. All contract activities should be completed by June 2015.

 

The Bulgarian military's inventory currently includes seven Commando vehicles, which were delivered in 2008 and are operated by ISAF in Afghanistan.

 

In addition, Textron is also under contract to provide the Bulgarian Army with technical support in Afghanistan and quarterly training in Bulgaria.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 07:50
Rear Admiral Dimitar Denev

Rear Admiral Dimitar Denev

 

7 août 2014. Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La marine bulgare a besoin de 2 ou 3 nouveaux navires multi-fonctions, a déclaré son commandant, le contre-amiral Dimitar Denev.

 

Les navires devraient être construits dans des chantiers navals bulgares, parce que les navires actuels sont vieux, de construction russe et ne respectent pas les standards OTAN. S’ils sont construits en Bulgarie, ils seront moins chers et l’entretien sera plus facile, a expliqué l’amiral Denev.

 

Selon Denev, les nouveaux navires doivent être multi-fonctions : pour la défense d’autres navires, des plateformes pétrolières et des convois. Ils doivent aussi pouvoir embarquer un hélicoptère.

 

Il a indiqué que la marine avait aussi besoin de nouveaux sous-marins. Actuellement, l’entrainement de l’état-major de la marine bulgare a lieu à bord de sous-marins turcs, parce que la Bulgarie n’a aucun sous-marin.

 

Référence : Novinite (Bulgarie)

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 11:50
Exercise Sea Breeze  2012 - photro US Navy

Exercise Sea Breeze 2012 - photro US Navy

 

MOSCOU, 3 juillet - RIA Novosti

 

Les exercices navals Sea Breeze 2014 se dérouleront du 4 au 13 juillet en mer Noire avec la participation de navires de guerre américains, a annoncé jeudi un communiqué du ministère bulgare de la Défense.

 

"Les exercices réuniront des bâtiments des forces navales de la Bulgarie, de la Grèce, de la Roumanie, de la Turquie et des Etats-Unis, un avion patrouilleur américain et quatre navires du deuxième groupe permanent de guerre des mines de l'OTAN", lit-on dans le communiqué.

 

Selon le document, le but de ces manœuvres est d'améliorer la coopération entre les forces armées des pays membres de l'Alliance atlantique, y compris dans le cadre d'opérations visant à régler des crises régionales.

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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 17:52
Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

 

27 June - Pascal Ballinger - News & Press updates / EATC

 

During the last two weeks, as of 25 June, more than 90 missions have been flown and more than 140 flying hours have been performed. Some 34 tons of cargo and nearly 100 paratroopers have been dropped.

 

Whilst one and a half week ago the tactical scenario started with simple familiarization and recognition flights, allowing the participants to get familiar with the exercise terrain, the complexity of the mission evolved to multi-ship formations and more challenging sorties.

 

The mission of the last day was a COMAO, a composite air operation.

 

A COMAO is an operation, limited in both time and space, where assets differing in type and/or role are put under the control of a single commander to achieve a common, specific objective.

 

Integrating a tactical transport aircraft into a COMAO is complicated, especially due to the lack of aircrews’ training and the limited speed and manoeuvers ability of the tactical transport aircraft. This implies that the backbone of a successful COMAO is coordination.

 

EATT14’s COMAO put together 9 tactical transport aircrafts of 9 different nations. Five C-130, 2 CASA CN-295 and 2 C-27J. Moreover two Greek F-16 and a Greek EMB-145H AEW&C participated in the exercise. Bulgarian Mig-29, SA-6 and SA-8 played the threat.

 

The primary objective was a massive personnel and material air drop at drop zone “Gold”, followed by a second air drop on DZ “Africa”. Before entering in the threat area, the tactical air transport aircraft (TAT) waited at a hold on position, while above the F-16, dedicated to the protection of the TAT cleaned the area to prevent air to air threat played by the MIG 29. All these manoeuvers have been coordinated by AEW orbiting 200 km south in a safety area. Moreover the AEW constantly provided the position of the MIG 29 to the TAT and the F-16.

 

To avoid the threat, the COMEO participants, the so-called package, flew at a very low level.

 

When a TAT was committed by the MIG-29, the concerned aircraft reacted and had to leave the transport flow. With AEW information, the F-16 could commit on the MIG aggressor and the engaged TAT could rejoin the flow in order to continue its mission.

 

Approaching the DZ, the transport aircraft reduced their speed, climbed in order to be able to perform the material and personnel air drop.

 

On the DZ, a Dutch pathfinder unit acting as Combat Control Team had put ground markings to authenticate and guide the aircrews.

 

Above, the F-16 continued to protect the package during the drop phase. Given that the TAT had to fly at that moment at lower speed and at a higher flight level, this phase was particularly critical. 

 

After having performed the drop, the TAT accelerated and descended again to the safer low flight level.

 

After the second drop the package back to Plovdiv where they performed a tactical approach before landing.

 

This very impressive last mission closes EATT14, but the next challenge is already on the RADAR – in September 2014, for the first time, the EAATTC – the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course will take place in Zaragoza (Spain).

 

Find more views about EATT at EATT 2014 picture gallery

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff
Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin GesenhoffPictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 17:50
EATT14 clip from Bulgarian MOD film team

 

30 June – EATC -   News & Press updates

 

The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence film team followed the participants of EATT14 during their daily missions and interviewed the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, the Deputy Exercise Director and the Chief Maintenance.

 

Find the Bulgarian MOD EATT Clip.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 15:28
EATT14: Bulgarian Special Forces

 

24.06.2014 by European Defence Agency

 

Bulgarian paratroopers keeping their skills up to date as part in of European Air Transport Training 2014. Thanks to Bulgarian Special Forces 68th Division for the video.

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20 juin 2014 5 20 /06 /juin /2014 12:50
EATT 2014 : entraînement des unités des transports tactiques

 

 

19/06/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Sous l’égide de l’agence européenne de Défense, la 3e édition d’EATT (European Air Transport Training - entraînement européen du transport aérien) se déroule du 15 au 27 juin 2014 à Plovdiv, en Bulgarie.

 

Dix nations, soit près de 300 personnes se sont réunies pour participer à cette 3e édition. Parmi elles, l’armée de l’air met en oeuvre d’un Hercule C130. Deux équipages et des mécaniciens de l’escadron de transport 2/61 «Franche-Comté» de la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans-Bricy, ainsi que des instructeurs du centre d’instruction des équipages de transport (CIET) et trois aviateurs de l’escadrille aérosanitaire «Étampes» de la base aérienne 107 de Vélizy-Villacoublay sont déployés.

L’EATT est un exercice dédié à l’entraînement des avions de transport dans le domaine tactique. Il est basé sur la mutualisation et le partage des moyens «pooling and sharing». Son objectif principal est de promouvoir l'interopérabilité entre les nations participantes. Des entraînements communs dans un contexte international sont ainsi réalisés.

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 16:50
EATT catches up speed

 

17 June  Pascal Ballinger - EATC

 

In Plovdiv (Bulgaria) for the moment military out of 20 nations are just staring to the sky with the same question in mind: when will the rain stop?
This morning, Tuesday June 17, 2014 the 3rd EATT started with some academicals for air crews. While inside the meeting room the crews have been briefed on air operations and have got an update on the threat situation in the vicinity of Plovdiv Airbase - while outside it was just raining “cats and dogs”.
EATT 14 brings together more than 450 participants, 19 crews and 10 transport aircraft of five different types having flown in from ten different countries.
The aircraft and crews come from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain and Norway. Luxembourg, the smallest EATC Participation Nation joins with one single pilot embedded inside the Belgian crew.
Observers are coming from Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, UK, and USA.
Greece is supporting the exercise with F-16 aircraft and one EMB-145H AEW&C.

 

Find EATT 2014 picture gallery here.

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 16:49
EATT has begun

 

16 June Norbert Thomas EATC
 

Starting officially on 16 June 2013, the third serial of the European Air Transport Training - the EATT 2014 - took up action at Plovdiv Airport (Bulgaria). EATT 2014 is a Pooling & Sharing initiative by EDA, being supported by the European Air Transport Command (EATC) and aiming at enhancing interoperability between tactical airlift users in the area of operations.
EATT is furthermore to develop an innovative Air Transport training opportunity on a close location within Europe, saving thus flying hours and resources by reducing the travel distance and the logistical footprint. Like in the former serials of EATT, the training activities stick to the nations requirements and strive to optimize the training opportunities. EATC itself deploys about 20 soldiers to support the training.

Find some impressions about last years EATT (in Zaragoza/Spain) here.

 

Pictures: EATC, SIRPA Air, Norbert Thomas

EATT has begun
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27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 22:45
Support: American Troops Sent To Libya

 

March 27, 2014: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. has sent a team of American soldiers to Libya to work out details of a training program being set up in Bulgaria for the new Libyan Army. In late 2013 the U.S. agreed to establish a training facility in Bulgaria where 500 American soldiers would serve as instructors at a camp that would train 8,000 (or more) Libyan recruits in basic military skills.

 

Putting the training facility in Bulgaria avoided the possibility of the many Islamic terrorist groups active in Libya having American instructors as targets for kidnapping for murder. Many Islamic terrorist organizations in Libya see the Libyan Army as the enemy and a training facility with American staff would be a prime target. The small team of officers and NCOs will work with their Libyan counterparts to agree on what exactly the training will cover and how selection for the training will be conducted. This small team of American troops will receive a lot of protection while in Libya.

 

The first batch of 200 Libyan trainees is to go to Bulgaria soon. Some 500 soldiers from the U.S. 1st Infantry Division have been selected as instructors. Bulgaria will provide military and civilian personnel for support services and some Libyan Army officers and NCOs will be in Bulgaria to oversee the entire process.

 

While American Special Forces often train foreign troops, for jobs like this, that mainly provide basic skills, its easier, cheaper and more convenient to use regular troops (who do this sort of thing with Americans all the time.)

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 13:40
US, Romanian and Bulgarian navies start drills near Russian border

 

 

13 March 2014 naval-technology.com

 

The US Navy has reportedly begun military manoeuvres along with Romanian and Bulgarian navies near Russia's borders, fuelling tensions in the region.

 

The joint military training exercises are said to represent the US's resolve to protect its NATO allies, Reuters reports.

 

USS Truxtun, the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer with a crew of about 300 will take part in the drills, as well as Bulgarian naval frigate Drazki and three Romanian naval vessels, Bulgaria's defence ministry said in a statement.

 

The training exercise will not involve any live-firing and will be held off the Black Sea, across the water from the Crimean Peninsula, where Russian military groups have seized control from Ukrainian authorities.

 

"The goal of the exercise is to increase the operational compatibility within NATO members' navy vessels, to improve the mutual understanding and to increase the crews' preparedness at sea," the ministry said.

 

Meanwhile, US military fighter jets are scheduled to take part in joint air defence exercises in north Poland, with Poland's president set to review the manoeuvres.

 

The US said that the drills were planned before the Ukraine crisis, although both exercises are alleged support gestures for NATO members after Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

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