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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:25
Gladiator LAV III - photo Ejecrito Colombia

Gladiator LAV III - photo Ejecrito Colombia

 

February 28, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In 2014 the South American nation of Colombia received 32 LAV III. 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles from Canada to replace their elderly M113 tracked and EE-11 6x6 wheeled vehicles. LAV III is a 17 ton vehicle mounting a remote control turret using a 12.7mm machine-gun or 25mm or 30mm autocannon, plus two machine-guns. It has a crew of three and can carry seven passengers. Colombia bought the LAV III version with a V shaped double hull and add-on armor to provide more protection against mines and roadside bombs. Colombia paid nearly $3 million for each LAV III and may spend more on them as additional accessories become available.

 

Canada has a big user of the locally made LAV III and had constantly improved the vehicle. This makes the LAV III more attractive to export customers. Thus in 2008 Canada ordered $66 million worth of add-on armor for its fleet of 700 LAV III 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles. Since 2000 Canada has been replacing its 1980s era MOWAG vehicles with the locally built LAV III. The LAV III design was the model for the American Stryker. Canada has also exported LAV IIIs to New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. Although Canada also obtained more heavily protected trucks (MRAPs), for troops in Afghanistan threatened by roadside bombs, the LAV IIIs were still seen as suitable for most combat missions. Canada did not equip all its LAV IIIs with add-on armor, most of the kits went to the vehicles serving in Afghanistan.  There, the LAVs also received additional electronics and several other minor tweaks.

 

Other countries made upgrades to LAV III type vehicles. In 2006 the U.S. Army equipped 150 of its Stryker wheeled armored vehicles with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor.) Invented by the Israelis in the 1970s, ERA consists of explosives packaged between layers of sheet metal. When the hot gas jet produced by a shaped charge (of an RPG or missile warhead) hits the ERA explosives, the gas jet is disrupted and rendered harmless by the ERA explosion. Many American M-2 and AAV-7 armored vehicles in Iraq are already protected by ERA kits (which cost over $100,000 each). The Stryker ERA cost nearly $300,000 per vehicle, and added 3.5 tons of weight (compared to 2.5 tons for the current slat armor it will replace.)

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 07:25
bateau "Da Dan Xia" - photo Ulf Kornfeld

bateau "Da Dan Xia" - photo Ulf Kornfeld

 

Pékin, 4 mars 2015 Marine & Océans (AFP)

 

Après l'immobilisation par la Colombie d'un navire battant pavillon chinois et transportant des stocks d'armes non déclarées à destination de Cuba, Pékin a répliqué mercredi qu'il s'agissait d'une "cargaison de matériaux militaires ordinaires".

 

Le bateau "Da Dan Xia", avait été intercepté samedi dernier dans la baie du port de Carthagène (côte des Caraïbes) avec à son bord un important stock de munitions et quelque 100 tonnes de poudre, ont rapporté mardi les autorités colombiennes.

 

Le commandant du navire, Wu Hong, a par ailleurs été interpellé et devait être déféré devant un juge pour répondre de l'accusation de trafic d'armes.

 

Mais Mme Hua Chunying, porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères, a dénoncé mercredi une telle procédure, assurant que le bateau respectait bien les lois chinoises et internationales.

 

"Le navire transportait une cargaison de matériaux militaires ordinaires pour Cuba. Il n'y avait à bord aucune substance +sensible+", a-t-elle dit lors d'un point presse régulier.

 

"Il s'agit d'une coopération commerciale militaire absolument normale" qui "n'enfreint pas les lois et règlements chinois, pas plus que les obligations internationales auxquelles la China a souscrit", a poursuivi Mme Hua.

 

La Chine est le quatrième plus gros pays fournisseur d'armements dans le monde, selon l'Institut international de recherche sur la paix de Stockolm (Sipri).

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:25
La Colombie a cloué au sol la totalité de sa flotte de Kfir après quatre crash

Deux Kfir de la Force Aérienne Colombienne se ravitaillent au cours d'un exercice Red Flag - Photo USAF

 

29 Janvier 2015 defens-aero.com

 

Le 31 Décembre 2014, un Kfir appartenant à la Force Aérienne Colombienne s'est écrasé à proximité d'une base aérienne colombienne alors que l'appareil se trouvait en finale, quelques instants avant l'atterrissage.

 

Après l'éjection du pilote et l'aboutissement d'une enquête préliminaire, les autorités militaires colombiennes ont rapidement découvert que cet incident n'est pas une erreur du pilote, et qu'il ne provient pas de l’ingestion d'un corps étranger dans les entrées d'air de l'appareil. La panne, comme les précédents crash des Kfir colombiens, dont un qui a coûté la vie à un pilote, trouve sa source dans le réacteur J79-GE J1EQD de l'aéronef. Ce dernier se serait brusquement éteint alors que l'appareil était en basse altitude et à faible vitesse. Du fait de la situation dans laquelle se trouvait le Kfir, le pilote a pris la sage décision de s'éjecter, car il n'aurait pas eu le temps de le rallumer, avant de s'écraser.

 

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 06:25
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

 

Feb 02, 2015 Defense-Aerospace.com

(Source: InfoDefensa.com; posted Feb 02, 2015)

(Published in Spanish; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

 

The Colombian government has received an offer to acquire Dassault Aviation Mirage 2000-5F multirole aircraft from the country’s air force, the Armée de l'Air.

 

The offer, revealed by industry sources, includes a total of eighteen units for an approximate cost of $ 500 million. Of this, $350 million are for the cost of the eighteen surplus aircraft, and the remaining $150 million is the cost of their initial logistics package.

 

These aircraft are in perfect operating conditions, according to the source, and would be delivered with the systems (electronic warfare (EW) in particular) requested by Colombia.

 

The offer comes just a month after in-flight tests that pilots of the Colombian Air Force (FAC) carried out in France aboard the Mirage 2000-5F, which were revealed by InfoDefensa.com.

 

Better than the F16 C / D

 

During these trials, the Colombian crews brought the aircraft to speeds exceeding Mach 2, and conducted identification and target designation exercises. The Mirages’ synthetic aperture radar allowed them to engage nearly three times the number of targets than those achieved in similar tests carried out by the same Colombian pilots with Lockheed Martin F16 C / Ds.

 

The offer comes in the context of good relations between the two nations, and after the visit of the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, to France, which would ensure full compliance of the transfer process according to NATO standards.

 

With this operation France would continue to support a traditional ally in the field of defense and security, as well as supporting the Colombian government in the future post-conflict stage.

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11 décembre 2014 4 11 /12 /décembre /2014 08:25
Rippel Effect producing more IGS-4S sights for Colombia


10 december 2014 by defenceWeb

South African company Rippel Effect Systems has landed another contract for IGS-4S day/night sights for the Colombian Army which has now standardised on this item of equipment from Rippel for all its cavalry requirements.

The company expects to complete installation on the whole Colombian Cascavel armoured combat vehicle fleet during next year.

The IGS-4S was launched as a Rippel product two years ago and the technology is licensed from South African firm Vision 24 Observation Systems. The model selected by Colombia is the IGS-4S compact video sighting system, which can be utilised in conjunction with various vehicle-mounted weapons in calibres ranging from 7.62 mm to 125 mm. The system provides the operator with a 24/7 below-armour observation and ranging capability to fire the weapon in all weather conditions, low visibility and darkness.

Rippel Effect said the IGS-4S accommodates multiple sensors tailored to suit user requirements and weapon choice. As a single system it can be pre-programmed with ballistic aiming marks for any weapon and the various types of ammunition for the selected weapon. IGS-4S has the additional ability to range distance to target. It has a laser rangefinder, day camera, uncooled thermal imaging and multi-function screen, which displays aim points and system parameters, as well as controls for the thermal camera. The system is optimised for installation in small vehicles where space is of prime consideration.

Chief Executive of Rippel Effect, Fritz Visser said there are good prospects for the sight, which is being marketed internationally. Particular focus is on the Cascavel series of armoured vehicles.

The company has developed a video bore sighting device as well as a day/night sight, the VK-RSS-02, that can be used with the secondary weapon on armoured vehicles (such as the 7.62 machine gun on the Cascavel). Both the bore-sight and the VK-RSS-02 integrate seamlessly with the IGS-4S System. The video bore sight makes bore sighting possible by one person from inside the vehicle. The VK-RSS-02 makes it possible to use the secondary weapon from below-armour. The VK-RSS-02 can also be used as hand-held thermal imaging device.

Rippel Effect is known for its series of 40 mm grenade launchers and is focusing on three main products: its new less lethal six-shot multiple grenade launcher RLL37/38 which will be marketed in association with two of the world’s foremost less lethal ammunition manufacturers - Condor of Brazil and ALS of the US; the XRGL40 extended range 40 mm MGL and IGS-4S targeting and sighting system. The XRGL40 can fire low velocity, medium velocity and less lethal ammunition with very low port pressures, including rubber, ball, soft-nose, illuminating and smoke grenades. The 5 kg XRGL40 fires a 220 gram medium velocity projectile to a range of 800 metres, versus 375 metres for low velocity ammunition.

Designed as a true multi-role weapon system, it comes with the GR40 smart multi-velocity sight, which allows the soldier to fire 40 mm ammunition with different ballistic profiles from the same weapon - both 40x46 mm low-velocity and 40x51 mm medium-velocity grenades and also the latest less-lethal rounds.

Rippel Effect started marketing the six shot XRGL40 in 2011/12 and in the last two years has managed to sell the XRGL40 extended range 40mm MGL to eight different countries, the extended range 40mm MGL System is now operational in the Middle East, Latin America and Far East. The XRGL40 is also used in 40 x 51mm extended range ammunition development programs by RDM (South Africa), Diehl BGT Defence (Germany), Energetics Technologies Ltd (UK) and Indumil (Colombia).

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12 novembre 2014 3 12 /11 /novembre /2014 13:25
Le GICAT présent au Salon ExpoDefensa à Bogota

 

05/11/2014 GICAT

 

Du 28 au 31 octobre 2014, le GICAT était présent sur le Salon ExpoDefensa de Bogota (Colombie). Le Groupement a fédéré un le Pavillon France avec notamment la présence de Nexter, GAVAP ou encore CILAS.

 

Cette visibilité a permis aux industriels de rencontrer des délégations officielles (Défense et Sécurité) et mieux cerner les besoins des forces armées et forces de l'ordre de ce continent en plein développement.

 

A cette occasion, le ministre de la Défense colombien, Juan Carlos Pinzon, a officiellement annoncé le partenariat entre CORFERIAS, CODALTEC et le COGES. A partir de 2015, le COGES sera donc co-organisateur du Salon ExpoDefensa.

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 16:25
Colombian Navy receives new warships from South Korea

 

August 12, 2014 by David Pugliese

 

The Colombian Navy received three vessels from South Korea in late July, including a second-hand guided-missile corvette and two new offshore patrol vessels, according to Jane’s. The 1,723-ton corvette, formerly ROKS Anyang, was retired from Republic of Korea Navy service in 2011, and was re-commissioned as ARC Nariño, the article noted. The two OPVs were built to Colombian order at a South Korean shipyard, are to be followed by a third vessel which is currently being built in Colombia.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 16:25
Brazil and Colombia sign joint agreement. Photo: Cotecmar

Brazil and Colombia sign joint agreement. Photo: Cotecmar

 

07/14/2014  Defence IQ Press

 

Brazil and Colombia have agreed to jointly develop the Amazon Patrol Vessel (Buque Patrullero Amazónico - BPA), a specialist patrol vessel for the river Amazon to increase surveillance and reconnaissance throughout the region.

 

Colombia’s government-owned Cotecmar (the Corporation for Science and Technology Development of the Naval, Maritime and Fluvial Industry) and Brazil’s Projeto Navais Management Company Emgepron will lead the project in collaboration with Brazilian and Colombian Navy engineers.

 

Cotecmar explained in a briefing note that this agreement is the second stage of the international cooperation signed by the defence ministers of Colombia and Brazil during a bilateral meeting in Bogota. In the first stage, Brazil acquired four Cotecmar LPR-40 river patrol boats for $6.4 million, according to Iñigo Guevara.

 

Senior Navy and Coast Guard chiefs from around the world will assemble at the OPV conference in Dublin to discuss the challenges of maritime policing including piracy, smuggling, search and rescue, pollution monitoring, fisheries protection and EEZ patrol. Find out more below.

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7 juillet 2014 1 07 /07 /juillet /2014 11:25
Army of Colombia has take delivery of three new Nexter System LG1 Mk III 105mm light guns.

 

July 5, 2014 armyrecognition.com

 

In June 2014, Army Colombia has take delivery of three new light gun Nexter LG1 105mm Mk-III which is equipped with an autonomous ballistic computer for artillery system. The Nexter LG1 is especially designed to be used by rapid reaction forces.

 

Read more

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2 mai 2014 5 02 /05 /mai /2014 16:25
Hermes 900 - photo Elbit Systems

Hermes 900 - photo Elbit Systems

 

April 22, 2014 by CESA

 

En dépit de contraintes budgétaires, les forces aériennes latino-américaines s’efforcent aujourd’hui de se moderniser.

 

Le marché des drones apparaît en particulier comme un secteur en plein essor dans la région. Ces vecteurs sont utilisés par les forces aériennes, aux côtés des forces terrestres et de police, pour assurer des missions de surveillance des frontières, de lutte contre le crime organisé et de protection des ressources naturelles.

 

La Colombie, en raison du conflit armé auquel elle est confrontée depuis un demi-siècle, est précurseur dans ce domaine (18 Scan Eagle, 2 Hermes 450 et 1 Hermes 900). Elle est suivie de l’Equateur (2 Heron et 4 Searcher), du Brésil (4 Hermes 450) et du Chili (3 Hermes 900). Le Pérou met en œuvre également des mini-drones (Microfalcon et Orbiter) pour lutter contre le groupe armé du Sentier lumineux.

 

Au vu des besoins croissants, la plupart des pays ont entamé des projets de développement locaux, comme au Brésil (partenariat entre Embraer et Elbit pour adapter l’Hermes 450), en Equateur (projet de drone de haute altitude intégrant un satellite de communication et un radar), au Pérou (drones en cours de tests) et en Uruguay (utilisation d’un drone local léger, le Charrua, dans le cadre d’opérations de maintien de paix à l’étranger et pour lutter contre les incendies).

 

Source : International Defense News, 24 mars 2014, Special report « Latin American defense »

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1 avril 2014 2 01 /04 /avril /2014 16:25
Armor: MRAP Lite For Colombia

 

March 24, 2014 Strategy Page
 

The Colombian Army recently began receiving the 28 Commando wheeled armored vehicles ordered from the United States (for $1.13 million each) in 2013. The Commando is a larger version of the older American M1117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles). All of the armored vehicles in the Colombian Army are on wheels, to better control the roads in areas where FARC or drug gangs are active. The army has about 300 armored vehicles, a growing number of them armored hummers. Colombian troops have found the Commando handles most of the bombs and weapons used by the local drug gangs and leftist rebels.

Back in 2009 Colombia bought its first 39 American Commando vehicles, which is officially known as the ICV (Infantry Carrier Variant) of the M1117. The ICV is 61 cm (24 inches) longer than the original ASV, weighs 18 tons, and carries a crew of 3 and 8 passengers. Instead of the turret it has a cupola mounting a 12.7mm machine-gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

The original ASV was, in effect, one of the first MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) to get to Iraq. Originally developed in the 1990s for use by MPs (Military Police) in combat zones, only a few were bought initially. It was found that for 1990s era Balkan peacekeeping, existing armored vehicles were adequate and that in the narrow streets of Balkan towns the ASV was too wide to be very maneuverable. Then came Iraq, and suddenly the ASV was very popular. The army got a lot more because military police like these vehicles a lot. The MPs originally wanted 2,000 ASVs but before Iraq were told they would be lucky to get a hundred. After 2003, the MPs got all they wanted. Colombia noted the ASV success in Iraq and got some of their own.

The basic ASV is a 15 ton 4x4 armored car that is built to handle the kind of combat damage encountered in Iraq. The ASVs are, unlike armored hummers, built from the ground up as armored trucks. Basic ASVs are 6.1 meters (20 feet) long and 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) wide, making them a bit larger than hummers. The ASV is heavy enough to survive most roadside bombs and keep going. The ASV is bullet and RPG proof. The turret is the same one used on the U.S. Marine Corps LAV. When the marines went shopping for armored trucks, however, they passed on the ASV. This is believed to be mainly because most armored trucks have more room inside. The ASV carries a crew of 3, with plenty of room for additional gear but not a lot of people. That's why the stretched ICV version was developed. Iraq has also bought the ICV version.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:25
Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

 

 

Nov. 18, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - As its government and FARC rebel movement make progress towards ending more than 40 years of conflict, Colombia’s air force is planning to bolster its combat capabilities, with the purchase of an additional squadron of fighter aircraft.

 

Air force officials are now completing a study into potential candidates for the requirement, which air operations commander Brig Gen Eduardo Bueno Vargas says is likely to total 18 aircraft. To potentially include a mix of used and new-build airframes, these would be operated in concert with the service’s current Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir C10 strike platforms, he says.

 

Multiple types have been included in a potential candidate list, with Vargas identifying the Boeing F/A-18, Dassault Mirage 2000, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Sukhoi Su-30 as among a range of possible competitors at IQPC’s International Fighter conference in London on 14 November.

 

“We are performing an evaluation for the next Colombian fighter,” he says. “The study is almost ready – then we must wait for a political decision.”

 

The need to acquire a dedicated air superiority fighter was highlighted through Colombia’s deployment of eight Kfirs to the USA in 2012 to participate in a Red Flag-series air combat exercise flown from Nellis AFB in Nevada, Vargas says. “For us, it was something completely new and challenging,” he adds.

 

Colombia’s remaining Rockwell OV-10 Broncos are likely to remain operational for around another five years, Vargas says, before a multi-role replacement could be sought to work with its Embraer EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucanos. Operations with its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly counter-insurgency aircraft are expected to continue for some more years though, with the air force having recently acquired a low flight-hour example from Chile and to receive two more via the Dominican Republic.

 

Meanwhile, Vargas says the Colombian air force also has an interest in fielding an armed unmanned air system capability as part of its future force mix. This could initially involve adding air-to-surface weapons with its existing Elbit Systems Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 air vehicles, he says. The service also wants to field a new-generation airborne early warning and control system type, due to the age of its current one Boeing 707-based example.

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 17:25
MP Desert Favorite Hits The Jungle

September 12, 2013: Strategy page

 

The Colombian Army recently ordered another 28 Commando wheeled armored vehicles from the United States for $1.13 million each. The Commando is a larger version of the older American M1117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles). All of the armored vehicles in the Colombian Army are on wheels, to better control the roads in areas where FARC or drug gangs are active. The army has about 300 armored vehicles, a growing number of them armored hummers.

 

Four years ago Colombia bought its first 39 American Commando vehicles, which is officially known as the ICV (Infantry Carrier Variant) of the M1117. The ICV is 61 cm (24 inches) longer than the original ASV, weighs 18 tons and carries a crew of three and eight passengers. Instead of the turret it has a cupola mounting a 12.7mm machine-gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

 

The original ASV was, in effect, one of the first MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) to get to Iraq. Originally developed in the 1990s for use by MPs (Military Police) in combat zones, only a few were bought initially. It was found that for 1990s era Balkan peacekeeping, existing armored vehicles were adequate and that in the narrow streets of Balkan towns the ASV was too wide to be very maneuverable. Then came Iraq, and suddenly the ASV was very popular. The army got a lot more because military police like these vehicles a lot. The MPs originally wanted 2,000 ASVs but before Iraq were told they would be lucky to get a hundred. After 2003, the MPs got all they wanted. Colombia noted the ASV success in Iraq and got some of their own.

 

The basic ASV is a 15 ton 4x4 armored car that is built to handle the kind of combat damage encountered in Iraq. The ASVs are, unlike armored hummers, built from the ground up as armored trucks. Basic ASVs are 6.1 meters (20 feet) long and 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) wide, making them a bit larger than hummers. The ASV is heavy enough to survive most roadside bombs and keep going. The ASV is bullet and RPG proof. The turret is the same one used on the U.S. Marine Corps LAV. When the marines went shopping for armored trucks, however, they passed on the ASV. This is believed to be mainly because most armored trucks have more room inside. The ASV carries a crew of three, with plenty of room for additional gear but not a lot of people. That's why the stretched ICV version was developed. Iraq has also bought the ICV version.

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22 août 2013 4 22 /08 /août /2013 14:25
Colombian Army Acquires 28 Additional COMMANDO Armored Personnel Carriers from Textron Marine & Land Systems

August 22, 2013 (Marketwired )

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

About Textron Marine & Land Systems

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

 

About Textron Systems

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

 

About Textron Inc.

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

 

The following files are available for download:

Colombian Army Acquires 28 Additional COMMANDO Armored Personnel Carriers from Textron Marine & Land Systems

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:25
NATO Rules Out Colombia Membership

Jun. 4, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

BRUSSELS — Colombia cannot be considered for NATO membership but the alliance is exploring ways of boosting ties with the country, a NATO official said Tuesday after an uproar in Latin America over the possibility.

 

Colombia “does not meet the geographically limited membership criteria,” the official said, noting that the NATO Treaty “states that membership is open to states in the North Atlantic area.”

 

At the weekend, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his country would sign a cooperation agreement this month with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with a view ultimately to membership.

 

On Monday, a senior US State Department official, Roberta Jacobson, said “our goal is certainly to support Colombia as being a capable and strong member of lots of different international organizations, and that might well include NATO.”

 

This appeared to go too far for Colombia’s neighbors, with Bolivian President Evo Morales calling the move a “provocation” and a threat to “anti-imperialist” countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua or Ecuador.

 

The NATO official said Tuesday the military alliance was “aware of Colombia’s interest to develop cooperation with NATO” but that there was “no immediate plan for establishing a formal partnership.”

 

Instead, “we are exploring the possibility of carrying out specific activities together,” the official said, citing an accord to allow the exchange of classified information with Colombia.

 

“The accord would be a precursor for any possible future cooperation with Colombia that allies develop through NATO,” the official added.

 

NATO counts 28 members in Europe and North America but has a string of security cooperation and partnership accords with many countries, such as Australia and Mongolia, but none in Latin America.

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 12:04

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 11:24

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27 mars 2012 2 27 /03 /mars /2012 16:45
Latin America re-arms air combat fleets

Colombia has set about upgrading its Kfir fighters

 

20 Mar 2012 by Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Washington DC - For many years, military spending in South America was a footnote in forecasts of the global arms trade. While that was once a healthy sign of a continent largely at peace among member states, the stakes have changed. South America still does not compare with the giants of the global arms trade, but military spending is growing rapidly.

 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the world's independent arms trade watchdog, felt compelled to issue a report earlier this year on Latin American spending. As budgets have "risen considerably", SIPRI's analysts sought to focus attention on the continent's woeful record of disclosure on military budget accounts.

 

The institute may have some grounds for raising the alarm. South American countries are poised for a new round of major arms purchases. From Brazil to Chile to Venezuela, air forces are priming to re-arm their front-line fighter fleets. Everywhere, countries are prioritising the growth of local aerospace companies, leveraging the biggest weapons deals to transfer key skills and technologies to local industry. The continent's traditional Western suppliers are not the only ones to notice. Russian and Chinese manufacturers have poured into the region, striking deals for fighters, helicopters, trainers, transports and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

 

CHILE

 

A seemingly never-ending fighter modernisation process in Chile is gearing up for a fourth competition in less than 20 years. The Chilean Air Force (FACh) has 16 Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs that are due to be retired after 2015. Contractors are already preparing for the biggest procurement prize in South America, after Brazil's F-X2 acquisition programme for at least 36 fighters.

 

Lockheed Martin was Chile's preferred supplier in the previous three rounds. The FACh selected the F-16 Block 50 in 2000 for a 10-aircraft order. That was followed in 2004 by a first batch of 18 second-hand F-16A/B mid-life update Block 20s from the Netherlands, and in 2008 by a second batch of another 18 F-16A/Bs. In addition, the FACh ordered 12 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos.

 

Lockheed has been eager to campaign for the F-5 replacement order for at least five years. In 2007, a Lockheed executive even touted the F-35 as a possible option for the FACh. Three years later, a US Air Force F-22 made a debut appearance at the FIDAE air show. The F-35 programme delays and cost increases may lead Chile to look elsewhere, but Lockheed may still offer new or used F-16s. On the other hand, Chile's political and military leadership may prefer to diversify its sources of combat aircraft. Prior to the F-16 selection, the FACh inventory included a mix of US-made F-5s and French-made Mirage 50s.

 

FACh officials have reportedly visited Eurofighter manufacturing sites in Spain. A batch of new or used EF-2000s ordered by Chile would introduce the type in Latin America. Chile has been among the most active military spenders in recent years as a 10% tax on surging copper revenues has kept procurement active. In addition to the new fighters, Chile will introduce the most advanced UAV in South America. In June, Chile was disclosed as the buyer of an Elbit Systems Hermes 900.

 

ARGENTINA

 

Sustained economic growth has yielded some benefits to Argentina's air force, but perhaps not in the way service leaders had envisioned. Despite sustained growth as Latin America's third-largest economy, Argentina still operates one of the most ancient fleets of combat aircraft.

 

Its "youngest" fighters, measured in terms of Argentine service, are ex-US Navy A-4s, delivered in the late 1990s with upgraded radars and avionics by the former Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina (LMAASA). The air force fleet also includes 13 Dassault Mirage IIIs, seven Mirage 5s and 13 Israel Aerospace Industries Daggers. The navy, meanwhile, operates 11 Dassault-Breguet Super Etendards.

 

Although Argentina's defence budget has doubled since 2007, there are still no active replacement programmes. The inaction may be partly explained by market analysis from Forecast International, which estimates personnel salaries consumed 70% of the $4 billion defence budget in 2011. The $4 billion budget, while a 100% improvement on 2007, still represents only about 0.6% of Argentina's GDP.

 

However, there are encouraging signs for the resurgence of Argentina's air force. The rise in military spending has allowed a once highly skilled aerospace industry to rebound from decades of neglect. In 2009, the nation's Kirchner administration reclaimed LMAASA from Lockheed's management.

 

The Argentine-owned FAdeA reopened its factory in Cordoba on 17 December, and the company has hummed with activity ever since. Although it has yet to work on Argentina's front-line fighters, it has reset its skills set by modernising the country's proudest aviation achievements - the IA-58 Pucara light attack aircraft and the IA-63 advanced jet trainer.

 

On 8 July 2011, FAdeA delivered the first upgraded IA-58 to the air force. The upgrades start with maintenance improvements, with the eventual replacement of the avionics and navigation systems. Finally, FAdeA will replace the ageing Turbomeca Astazou engines with Pratt & Whitney PT6A-62s, allowing the seminal counter-insurgency aircraft to remain in service until 2045.

 

Meanwhile, the air force has also funded FAdeA to manufacture 40 IA-63s designed to the Series II standard, which includes the 4,250lb (1,900kg) Honeywell TF731-40-N2 turbofan. The first flight of a re-engined IA-63 on 8 June 2011 spurred FAdeA's marketing division to poetically describe the "sublime moment that justifies the hours and hours of dedication, effort, ingenuity and creativity".

 

FAdeA is already pursuing larger ambitions, while the country's aeronautic pride has been rekindled. The air force's aeronautical university has developed an all-new cruise missile - the FAS-850 Dardo 2C. Another local company has joined forces with Israel's Innocon to develop the indigenously built Yarara, a 30kg-class unmanned air vehicle.

 

FAdeA wants to design a new military trainer to replace the air force's retired Beechcraft T-34 Mentors. A prototype of the IA-73 is notionally scheduled to achieve first flight in 2013. If it succeeds, the IA-73 will be the first Argentine-built aircraft to enter service since the IA-63 in 1988.

 

Other opportunities are being pursued. In November, FAdeA hosted a delegation from the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) to discuss the possibility of license-building the Changhe Z-11 helicopter. The Argentine army evaluated the Harbin Z-9 in 2008, and selected the aircraft.

 

BRAZIL

 

In January 2011, Embraer had the misfortune to launch a defence and security business around the same time Brazil made a 26% cut in military procurement. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer's defence business, shrugs when recalling the episode. "As a matter of fact, by the end of the year we had a very good recovery," he says. "They didn't cut one single programme from their plan."

 

The momentary pause in Brazilian defence spending has passed. With Brazil hosting the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games two years later, few countries in Latin America have more incentive to invest in Latin America during the next two years.

 

Aguiar notes that the 2012 defence budget largely recovers any reductions in the procurement accounts from last year. In fact, the procurement budget has increased in 2012 by 18% to R8 billion ($4.5 billion).

 

The largest allocation - $500 million - is for Brazil's joint helicopter programme, which is acquiring 50 Eurocopter EC-725s. The budget also invests a further $302 million in the Embraer KC-390 tanker-transport, which is scheduled to fly in 2014 with deliveries two years later. However, the FX-2 fighter contract - Brazil's 16-year-old competition to replace a fleet of Dassault Mirage IIIs - is not in the 2012 budget. The competition has dragged on so long the Mirage IIIs have been replaced by Mirage 2000s, which also need to be retired.

 

But the lack of a 2012 line item for FX-2 is no cause for concern. Brazil's air force is expected to continue negotiating with the winning bidder for up to a year after contract selection before making the award.

 

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff is reportedly set to make a decision in the first half of this year. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale and the Saab Gripen remain in the bidding, almost four years after the air force selected them as finalists. For its part, Boeing confirms the pricing it originally submitted in 2009 remains valid.

 

For Embraer, the decision is of no great consequence. In contrast with the aborted F-XBR competition, Embraer has forged no formal links with a particular bidder as it once did with Dassault. Meanwhile, the company can continue reaping the benefits of the continued delays.

 

In addition to the arrival of the Mirage 2000s in 2005, the delays have forced Brazil's air force to fund a new round of avionics and structural upgrades for the existing fleet. Embraer has received deals to upgrade 41 A-1 Alenia/Embraer AMX fighters, 53 Northrop F-5s, and 12 McDonnell Douglas A-4s. The upgrades are part of an overall $397 million line item in the 2012 budget to pay for the modernisation of the legacy fleet. "We have received all of our money related to all of our programmes," Aguiar says.

 

VENEZUELA

 

The Venezuelan military's acquisition arm has never been busier - or more creative. Banned by the USA from receiving most Western sources of supply since 2006, Venezuela has looked to Russia, China and Iran for arms during the past five years. US sanctions have failed to slow Venezuela's modernisation strategy, and in some ways have forced Caracas to aim even higher. Take the example of Venezuela's campaign to replace its ageing ­F-16As. The USA first blocked Brazil and Italy from exporting the AMX fighter, then stopped Israel from bidding to upgrade the F-16As with new avionics and weapons.

 

In response, Venezuela turned to Russia in 2006 to supply 24 Sukhoi Su-30s, a far more potent threat than upgraded F-16As. China also received orders for two batches totalling 24 to 36 Hongdu K-8Ws - more challenging to slip past the US export ban as the K-8 is powered by the Honeywell TFE731-2A turbofan engine. Hongdu has reportedly re-engined the K-8s with the Ukrainian Ivchenko Al-25TLK, and deliveries are already under way.

 

These procurements only seem to be the beginning for Venezuela. According to the Civil Association of Citizen Control (CACC), a Venezuela-based security watchdog, during the past two years Venezuela has announced a long list of future acquisitions.

 

Since April 2010, President Hugo Chavez has announced the acquisitions of two Beriev Be-200s for firefighting missions, 24 Su-35 fighters, up to 20 Antonov An-74 maritime patrol aircraft and 10 to 12 Shaanxi Y-8 transports, the association says. Venezuela has also been linked to the acquisition of the Chengdu J-10 or the less-capable JF-17, the CACC adds.

 

It is not always clear how real Venezuela's acquisition announcements are, but its rapid re-arming after 2006 lends some credibility. If all come to fruition, Venezuela could boast the most powerful air force in South America.

 

While it is importing weapons from Russia and China, Venezuela appears to be asking Iran for technology transfer, particularly in the crucial area of UAVs. Iran is widely reported to have exported 12 Ghods Mohajer UAVs to Venezuela, a tier-two aircraft by Western standards. Apparently some transfer of engineering skills accompany the sale. In November, Venezuela's state-owned armoury CAVIM unveiled a UAV called the ANT-1X.

 

COLOMBIA

 

Despite being one of the most prolific military spenders in South America, the Colombian air force boasts a modest combat fleet. Rather than replace ageing Kfir fighters, Colombia upgraded them to carry Israeli Python and Derby missiles, as well as Griffin III laser guided bombs. So it would come as no surprise if the Colombian air force decides used aircraft will suit its needs for the next big requirement: replacing eight Cessna A-37 Dragonflys.

 

Colombia's latest strategic plan seeks to acquire a jet-powered light attack fighter. There is no shortage of options available, including the Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50, Italy's Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and the UK's BAE Systems Hawk. However, expect Colombia to seek used aircraft from sources that include the Czech Republic's Aero Vodochody L159 and Italy and Brazil's AMX.

 

Meanwhile, Colombia's military is investing heavily to improve its aerospace industry. The military has ordered 25 Lancair Legacies, requiring local assembly. As of 8 March, state-owned CAMAN has assembled eight of the re-designated T-90 basic trainers.

 

In the meantime, Embraer has started to work with the Corporation de la Industria Aeronautica Colombiana (CIAC) to help the air force extend the life of 14 EMB-312 Tucanos by about 15 years. Embraer is also still seeking to convert a letter of intent with Colombia into an order for two KC-390 tanker transports, says Aguiar.

 

Colombia's goal is to allow CIAC to gain experience on the Tucano contract, then take on a bigger role in the KC-390 work.

 

"Depending on their performance they are going to be able to transfer some very simple aerospace components for the KC-390," Aguiar says. "They are trying to develop their industry step by step.

 

PERU

 

Peru has always been content to acquire its military aircraft from abroad, but there are recent signs that it, too, wants to develop more industrial capability.

 

The most significant step in this process came in late 2011, when Minister of Defence Daniel Mora confirmed the acquisition of a surprise new trainer and light attack fighter to replace its fleet of Cessna A-37 Dragonflys - the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1 Woong-Bee.

 

The Super Tucano has lost out to the KT-1 in Peru

The Super Tucano has lost out to the KT-1 in Peru

 

It had once seemed inevitable that Peru would eventually buy the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano - to the point that Brazil's ministry of defence announced in February 2011 that Peru was in talks to buy 10 EMB-314s in a deal valued at $150 million.

 

However, something changed in Peru's decision-making process, and now the country's air force expects to take delivery of 24 KT-1s from South Korea.

 

Peru's decision clearly had nothing to do with comparative combat performance. The KT-1 is widely considered a robust trainer, but it is powered by an engine slightly more than half the size of the Super Tucano's powerplant.

 

The key to the deal may well have been cost, as the KT-1 is valued at less than half the price of the Super Tucano.

 

South Korea also agreed to allow Peru's local industry to participate in the acquisition. Peru's SEMAN repair station is reportedly assembling all 24 KT-1s for the air force, and is also producing between 500 and 600 parts of the aircraft.

 

Peru's air force has quietly, but steadily, re-equipped or modernised its combat aircraft fleet in recent years. Government policy has focused on eradicating coca farms, which has stirred the opposition of local farmers and created a minor security threat. In addition to the KT-1s, Peru also has a contract with Canada's Viking Air to deliver 12 DHC-6 Twin Otters for remote transport operations.

 

Helicopter modernisation has also been a recent priority. Russian Helicopters has begun deliveries of Mi-35P gunships and Mi-171Sh transports to Peru.

 

Meanwhile, Peru has also moved to prevent its ageing fighter fleet from drifting into decay. Last year, RSK completed deliveries of Peru's 12 MiG-29SMPs upgraded with new avionics. The MiG upgrades followed a $140 million project, which was launched at the 2009 Paris air show, to "recover" the air force's 12 Mirage 2000s, with Dassault, Thales and Snecma contracted to restore the airframes, avionics and engines.

 

ECUADOR

 

Among Latin American air forces, Ecuador's has probably progressed the most since 2008. In March of that year, the sorry state of the Ecuadorian air force (FAE) was exposed when Colombia's air force attacked a suspected rebel hideout about 3km south of its border. Ecuador's air force was unable to even dispatch helicopters to the scene of the bombardment, much less defend the sovereignty of its airspace against what the government considered an illegal attack.

 

Three years later, the FAE has new fleets of HAL Dhruv helicopters from India; IAI Heron and Searcher UAVs from Israel; EMB-314s from Brazil; and, most recently, second-hand HAL Cheetah fighters from South Africa. It has also installed air surveillance radars along its border. The acquisitions follow a $680 million, three-year investment in the armed forces.

 

"We understood there is no security without development, but also no development without security," said President Rafael Correa, speaking on 14 February at the delivery ceremony of the Cheetah fleet.

 

There have been minor incidents along the way. One Dhruv helicopter crashed in October 2009 during a public ceremony. The pilot, who was killed, was blamed. Last August, an ejection seat malfunctioned in the Cheetah, which Correa attributed to an assembly error.

 

Ecuador's military modernisation is still ongoing. The country is reportedly in discussions with China to buy the Xian MA-600 transport. The US military has notified Congress that Ecuador's navy has requested a possible sale of second-hand Kaman SH-2 Seasprite helicopters.

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