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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
New York Army National Guard soldiers train at Camp Smith, N.Y. (Army)

New York Army National Guard soldiers train at Camp Smith, N.Y. (Army)



Apr. 3, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US Army National Guard is asking Congress to find an extra $1.5 billion to meet its unfunded requirements in fiscal year 2015, primarily to fund training and operations, according to a copy of the list obtained by Defense News.


Due to budget cuts and the winding down of troop requirements in Afghanistan, the Guard was not funded for any brigade-sized Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations in 2015. The Guard, therefore, is requesting $45 million to send two brigades through to intensive operational training.


The active Army is being funded for 19 brigade CTC rotations in 2015, Army Secretary John McHugh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning. Until Congress offered some sequester relief in January, the Army was only planning on seven CTC rotations this year.


The biggest line in the Guard’s request also involves training. The service is requesting $480 million to “allow 3 BCTs [brigade combat teams] to achieve company level of readiness; 3 BCTs to achieve platoon levels of readiness … and all Functional/Multi-Functional units to achieve company level of readiness.”


The Guard has said that under the current budget cuts, its units would be able to train only to squad and company levels of readiness, while not being able to afford to train for complex operations, such as brigade-sized maneuvers with air and ground elements working in tandem.


The Guard is also asking for $137 million for depot maintenance, which is funded only to 33.6 percent of its requirement. “The increase improves funding to 48.83% for maintenance of aviation end items and spares HEMTTs, PLS, M915A3 Tractors, and M917 Dump Trucks to improve readiness and support an Operational Force,” the Guard wrote

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Global Hawk Expands Satellite Communications Capability


BEALE AIR FORCE BASE – April 3, 2014 – Northrop Grumman


Demonstration at Beale Air Force Base proves system can send data independent of command and control


The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has completed a series of ground and air demonstrations at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., expanding the adaptability of the Global Hawk system to use an additional Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link to improve the transfer of mission data.


At the request of the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, Northrop Grumman worked with Air Force partners to demonstrate that Global Hawk is compatible with different SATCOM architectures with no changes to the aircraft's hardware, software or payload. Taking place from Jan. 13-15, the demonstration highlighted a unique split link capability for Global Hawk that allows it to send mission data through a satellite link that is independent of the link used for command and control.


"This powerful demonstration illustrates Global Hawk's unique versatility," said Alfredo Ramirez, director and chief architect of Northrop Grumman's HALE Enterprise. "We're ecstatic with Global Hawk's ability to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to operational end-users via multiple paths."


The combat-proven Global Hawk has logged more than 110,000 flight hours and carries a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads to allow military commanders to gather near real-time images and uses radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground or at sea. The system supports antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information sharing missions.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Marine Corps Scraps Tracks for Amphibious Combat Vehicle



April 4, 2014 by Bryant Jordan defensetech.org

The Marine Corps is walking away from the high-speed Amphibious Combat Vehicle it envisioned – at least for the time being – but Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos said a wheeled version will have to do in this budget environment.

“We elected to switch and go to a wheeled vehicle,” Amos said on April 1 during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “These are commercial off-the-shelf … they’re already being made by several different manufacturers.”

Unlike the planned ACV, the vehicle the Corps now calls the ACV 1.1 will not be able to deploy quickly from ship to shore from up to 12 miles out and it will not move on treads once landed. But what makes it a sound alternative is that the Corps already has other means to deploy it over water rapidly, Amos said. And the fact it will move on wheels makes it more survivable in a combat theatre.

Following it’s now cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the Marine Corps seem to have abandoned efforts to quickly develop an amphibious vehicle that can both swim at what the Corps calls high water speeds of 13 to 15 knots and survive substantial land threats once ashore. Instead, the Corps plans to field a less-ambitious interim vehicle and simultaneously work on research and development aimed at reaching the desired combination of attributes for the future , senior leaders have said.

And then there’s the cost. Amos said the 300 ACV 1.1s he anticipates buying will cost about $3 million to $4.5 million each. The original ACV, the Corps had envisioned, would have cost between $12 million and $14 million each, he said.

“It’s the way to go, and they are highly mobile, and that’s the direction we’re going,” Amos said.

It does not appear that the Corps thinks it is technically feasible or cost-effective to attempt quick delivery of a vehicle that can both swim at faster speeds for ship to shore missions and also function as a sufficiently survivable land vehicle.

The ACV, as initially conceived, would be able to swim to shore from as far out as 12 miles. While the ACV 1.1 will not do that, Amos said the Corps’ fleet of connectors can. These include some 81Landing Craft Air Cushions, or LCACs, that are capable of transporting up to 150,000 pounds and as many as 180 Marines. Powered by four gas-turbine engines and two four-bladed propellers, the LCACs can travel over water, ice, snow, sand and tundra.

Additionally, Amos told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the Corps has two Joint High Speed Vehicles currently out at sea and another eight under contract.

“Those will go fast, they will haul a lot of Marines and vehicles,” he said. “That gives us the ability to maneuver from a sea base that could be pushed out as far as 100 miles because of an enemy threat.”

“So what we’ve done is we’ve changed the paradigm in the way we thought, in that we have to swim all that way in our amphibious combat vehicle,” he said. “Well, it’s impractical now. Can we get on a connector, and the connector take us in? And the answer is yes.”

Amos still plans for the Corps to get the ACV it originally wanted. That’s now called ACV 1.2.

Amos said he came to the tough decision a few months ago to scrap original plans for the ACV. What made it more difficult is that just two years earlier the Corps called it quits on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle after spending about 15 years and more than $3 billion in research, development and testing.

Amos has not identified the companies who may compete for the ACV 1.1 contract, though in the past Lockheed, General Dynamics and BAE Systems have done so, according to Manny Pacheco, a spokesman for the Corps’s Program Executive Office Land Systems Equipment Modernization.

Pacheco said an RFI for the ACV 1.1 is still a few months off.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Sparton and USSI to supply sonobuoys to ERAPSCO

A sonobuoy loaded on to an aircraft. Photo US Navy


3 April 2014 naval-technology.com


ERAPSCO/Sonobuoy, a joint venture between electronics manufacturing firm Sparton and Ultra Electronics (ULE) subsidiary USSI, has awarded subcontracts worth $13.3m to its parent companies.


Under the $5.6m and $5.2m deals awarded to Sparton Electronics Florida and USSI respectively, the companies will manufacture and supply passive and active sonobuoys to ERAPSCO.


The subcontracts will support the multiple international agreements that the joint venture has for proposed exercises with the US Navy, as well as independent training and exercises, which have been approved under export regulations.


Designed to support the US Navy's anti-submarine forces, the sonobuoys can detect acoustic emissions or reflections from potentially hostile submarines and transmit these signals to US Navy airborne anti-submarine warfare forces.


As part of the deal, the sonobuoys will be manufactured at Sparton's De Leon Springs facility in Florida and USSI's Columbia City base in Indiana.


With production expected to be completed by June 2014, the passive and active sonobuoys will be used for detection, classification, and localisation of opponent submarines during peacetime and combat operations.

"Sonobuoys can deploy an acoustical signal source and receive underwater signals of interest."


They can also be used to evaluate environmental conditions in order to help deploy best search tactics, and for communication with friendly submarines.


In addition, they can send an acoustical signal source and receive underwater signals of interest that are sent to monitoring units for analysis.


Passive sonobuoys are used in the initial detection of submarines and the localisation of targets, while the active ones can identify targets quickly and accurately in extreme environmental conditions against a very quiet submarine, or one in an attack mode.


Certain specialised sonobuoys are capable of identifying electric fields and magnetic anomalies, as well as the light emitted by microscopic organisms disturbed by the passage of a submarine.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

MARIETTA, Ga. April 3, 2014 – Lockheed Martin


A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 18th C-5M Super Galaxy to Dover Air Force Base, Del., yesterday from the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] facilities here.
Aircraft 87-0040 was flown by Lieutenant General Brooks L. Bash, Vice Commander, Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to Delaware, making Dover the first base with a complete C-5M Super Galaxy fleet.
The C-5M is the only true strategic airlifter capable of offering the entire globe in one unrefueled flight. A total of 52 Super Galaxy aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force by 2018.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Le NORAD mène un exercice majeur dans le Nord canadien


3 avril 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca


Le Commandement de la défense aérospatiale de l’Amérique du Nord (NORAD) et son élément canadien, la Région canadienne du NORAD (RC NORAD), mèneront un exercice d’entraînement majeur les deux premières semaines d’avril, annonce la Défense nationale ce jeudi 3 avril.


Dans le cadre d’une opération planifiée depuis l’année dernière, des aéronefs et des membres de l’Aviation royale canadienne (ARC) se rendront à Inuvik et à Yellowknife, dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, à Iqaluit, au Nunavut, et à Goose Bay, à Terre-Neuve et Labrador.

Cette opération marque la fin de presque six mois de planification; elle a pour but d’exercer la capacité de la RC NORAD à mener des opérations à partir d’emplacements d’opérations avancés répartis dans le Nord. L’exercice consistera en une série de vols d’entraînement effectués en collaboration avec NAV CANADA, le Secteur de la défense aérienne du Canada et la Région alaskienne du NORAD.

Parmi les avions qui participeront à l’exercice figurent des chasseurs CF18 Hornet, des avions CC130T Hercules et des ravitailleurs air-air CC150T Polaris, en plus des autres aéronefs qui serviront au déploiement et au redéploiement.

«Exercer notre capacité de mener des opérations à partir de nos emplacements d’opérations avancés répartis dans le Nord est une activité essentielle nous permettant d’être prêts à intervenir au pied levé», a déclaré à ce propos le major-général Pierre St-Amand, commandant de la 1re Division aérienne du Canada/Région canadienne du NORAD.

Le NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command, ou NORAD) ou, en français, le Commandement de la défense aérospatiale de l’Amérique du Nord est une organisation américano-canadienne dont la mission est la surveillance de l’espace aérien nord-américain auquel se rajoute depuis mai 2006 une mission d’avertissement maritime.

L’organisation est dirigée par un commandant en chef (CINC) nommé à la fois par le président des États-Unis et par le premier ministre du Canada.

Elle est basée à Peterson Air Force Base au Colorado, à Colorado Spring, et trois quartiers généraux lui sont subordonnés: Elmendorf Air Force Base en Alaska, CFB Winnipeg au Manitoba et Tyndal AFB en Floride.

Traditionnellement, l’officier commandant est Américain et le directeur est Canadien. Aujourd’hui, le commandant du NOTAD est le general américain Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. et le directeur le lieutenant-général canadien Alain Parent.

Pour le compte du NORAD, l’Aviation royale canadienne assure le maintien en service de divers emplacements d’opérations avancés (EOA) d’un bout à l’autre du Canada, afin que les ressources puissent être réparties de façon stratégique pour permettre au NORAD d’accomplir sa mission, à savoir détecter, prévenir et contrer les menaces éventuelles.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Northrop Grumman Flies First Production Smart Node Pod


SAN DIEGO – April 3, 2014 – Northrop Grumman


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed a series of flight tests demonstrating the first production Smart Node Pod for the U.S. Air Force.


Smart Node Pod is an aircraft-mounted airborne communications system that allows real-time information to be exchanged among many disparate military and commercial radios and different datalinks, extends the network to the forward edge of the battlefield and relays full-motion video.


Northrop Grumman conducted five flights to certify performance characteristics in February in Virginia Beach, Va. During the flights, the Smart Node Pod demonstrated the ability to transmit full-motion video, imagery, voice and digital messages between warfighters both in the air and on the ground via various waveforms and datalinks and its interoperability with the proprietary and open source forward tactical handheld devices.


The company is under contract to produce Smart Node Pod systems for the Air Force, with deliveries scheduled through mid-summer of this year. Two different pod designs – a single-pod and a multipod architecture – are in production.


"This proven, reliable technology gives an extremely capable but lightweight communications, situational awareness, and command and control capability that can be readily mounted on many different military aircraft and controlled by the deployed commander," said Jeannie Hilger, vice president, Network Communication Systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.


Hilger said the pod can connect to the high-altitude Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) platforms, ground operational centers or other pods for beyond-line-of sight connectivity and provides access to high level intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data and command and control information. "In this manner, Smart Node Pod has the capability to augment BACN in its anchor role as the persistent high altitude gateway of the Joint Aerial Layer Network (JALN) by providing connectivity at the lower tier. Working in unison, Smart Node Pod and BACN have the potential to expand warfighter benefits by building out a multitiered JALN architecture and providing network connectivity across the battlespace."


Smart Node Pod is based on BACN technology Northrop Grumman developed for the Air Force.


Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for developing, deploying, operating and sustaining the BACN systems flying missions in support of U.S. Central Command. The company was awarded the first BACN contract in April 2005 by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. Since the system was deployed in 2008, it has delivered near 24/7 coverage in theater. Northrop Grumman initially deployed BACN to satisfy a joint urgent operational need. It is now a key enabler of surface and airborne missions theaterwide.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 22:45
photo EMA

photo EMA

Chadian troops make up a sizeable part of the African Union's contingent in CAR


3 April 2014 BBC Africa


Chad is to pull its peacekeepers from an African Union mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) in protest at claims that they aided rebels.


A statement from the Chadian foreign ministry said its troops had been criticised despite their sacrifices.


Chad has contributed roughly 850 soldiers to a 6,000-strong contingent.


Its forces have been accused of siding with Muslim rebels whose ousting of the CAR government last year was followed by a wave of religious violence.


The rebels, who call themselves Seleka, seized power last March. Their leader stepped down in January amid spiralling attacks and counter-attacks between groups claiming to represent different faiths.


Recently, thousands of Muslims, a minority in CAR, have been fleeing to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon after being targeted by Christian militias.


The Chadian statement said its forces had been the victims of "a gratuitous and malicious campaign" to blame them for "all the suffering in CAR".


The ousted president of CAR, Francois Bozize, told the BBC last year that Chadian troops had helped drive him from office - a claim that Chad has denied.


Last weekend, Chadian forces were blamed for the deaths of 24 people in CAR's capital, Bangui. The troops, however, said they were responding to an attack.


The Chadian statement on Thursday said its forces would remain in CAR while the details of the withdrawal were worked out.


The African Union contingent in the country is backed up by some 2,000 French troops.



Analysis Thomas Fessy Thomas Fessy West Africa correspondent


Aware of Chad's power to destabilise CAR, some diplomats would argue that it was better to keep the neighbour on board and a part of the UN mission.


Others would say a UN mission without Chadian troops would be ideal, but diplomatically impossible to bring about.


The most pragmatic would simply argue that at a time when it is proving extremely difficult to cobble together a UN force of 12,000, losing more than 800 troops from the existing mission is not what is needed.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 22:40
La Russie rappelle son représentant auprès de l'OTAN


MOSCOU, 3 avril - RIA Novosti


La Russie a rappelé pour consultations son représentant permanent auprès de l'OTAN Valeri Evnevitch, a annoncé jeudi à Moscou le vice-ministre russe de la Défense Anatoli Antonov.

"La politique d'escalade artificielle de la tension n'est pas notre choix. Mais nous ne voyons pas de possibilités de poursuivre la coopération militaire avec l'OTAN comme si de rien n'était. Nous avons décidé de rappeler pour consultations le représentant militaire principal de la Russie auprès de l'OTAN Valeri Evnevitch", a indiqué M.Antonov. 

Selon lui, le renforcement par l'OTAN de sa présence militaire dans l'Europe de l'Est, à proximité des frontières russes, "ne correspond pas à la politique de désescalade dans la région" proclamée par les partenaires américains et européens.

Les ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'OTAN ont annoncé le 1er avril dernier qu'ils suspendaient la coopération civile et militaire pratique avec la Russie, mais maintenaient le dialogue politique au sein du Conseil Russie-OTAN au niveau des ambassadeurs et à un niveau plus élevé. Le secrétaire général de l'OTAN Anders Fogh Rasmussen a plus tard déclaré que l'Alliance comptait poursuivre la coopération avec Moscou dans la lutte contre le trafic de drogue et sur l'Afghanistan.

Le vice-premier ministre russe Dmitri Rogozine a antérieurement expliqué la décision de l'OTAN de geler sa coopération avec Moscou par la résurgence de "l'esprit de la guerre froide".

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 20:40
photo Vladislav  Seleznev

photo Vladislav Seleznev



MOSCOU, 3 avril - RIA Novosti


La Russie a confirmé sa disposition à restituer à l'Ukraine ses biens militaires restés en Crimée, a annoncé jeudi le ministère russes des Affaires étrangères. 

"La partie russe a réaffirmé sa volonté de remettre à la partie ukrainienne les avoirs militaires appartenant aux Forces armées ukrainiennes restés en Crimée", a indiqué le ministère. 

Mercredi, la diplomatie russe a adressé à l'ambassade ukrainienne à Moscou une note annonçant l'entrée en vigueur de la loi sur la dénonciation des accords bilatéraux sur la présence de la Flotte russe de la mer Noire en Ukraine suite à l'entrée de la péninsule de Crimée au sein de la Fédération de Russie. 

Le jour même, le chef de l'administration présidentielle ukrainienne par intérim Sergueï Pachinski a annoncé que l'Ukraine envisageait  de présenter à la Russie la liste des biens, y compris 70 navires, dont elle demande la restitution. 

Un changement de pouvoir ayant toutes les caractéristiques d'un coup d'Etat s'est produit en Ukraine le 22 février dernier. La Rada suprême (parlement) a destitué le président Viktor Ianoukovitch, réformé la constitution et fixé l'élection présidentielle au 25 mai. Moscou conteste la légitimité des nouvelles autorités du pays.    

Peuplée en majorité de russophones, la république autonome de Crimée a proclamé son indépendance vis-à-vis de l'Ukraine et sa réunification avec la Russie au terme d'un référendum tenu le 16 mars, lors duquel 96,7% des habitants de la péninsule ont appuyé cette décision. La Russie et la Crimée ont signé le 18 mars dernier le traité sur le rattachement de la république de Crimée et de la ville de Sébastopol à la Fédération de Russie.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
Défense antimissile américaine : échecs et retards


03/04/2014 par Duncan Macrae – Air & Cosmos


L’agence américaine responsable du développement et du déploiement des systèmes de défense antimissile (MDA, pour Missile Defense Agency) en prend pour son grade. Dans un nouveau rapport qui fait le bilan des activités de la MDA pour l’année 2013, le GAO (équivalent américain de la Cour des Comptes) critique le manque de progrès dans la mise à niveau de certains composants du "bouclier" antimissile américain, notamment les système d’interception Aegis et GMD.


En ce qui concerne les intercepteurs SM-3 déployés sur les frégates Aegis pour contrer les missiles à courte et moyenne portée, le GAO s’interpelle quant au lancement de la production en série de la variante Block 1B, actuellement prévu en 2015. Le GAO souligne que, sur les trois tirs d’essai réalisés en 2013, il y a eu un échec dont les causes restent à déterminer. Et il rappelle que les responsables du programme évoquent un éventuel problème de conception du moteur du troisième étage, un moteur partagé avec la version SM-3 Block 1A déjà déployée.


Quant au système GMD (conçu pour intercepter des missiles balistiques à longue portée, actuellement déployé sur deux sites américains), le rapport note que ce programme affiche actuellement un retard de sept ans dans la réalisation d’un premier tir de la version amélioréé, CE-II ,avec interception rélle. Ce tir est actuellement programmé pour le troisième trimestre de l’année fiscale 2014. Le GAO note aussi l’échec, au mois de juillet 2013, d’un essai en vol du missile tel qu’il est déployé actuellement, pour des raisons qui restent à déterminer.


Le rapport fait état d’un certain nombre de tirs d’essai réussis au cours de l’année, notamment le premier essai opérationnel « régional » avec tirs simultanés de missiles Aegis et THAAD. Mais le bilan global est mitigé, et la facture est salée — un total de 100 Md$ investis dans la défense antimissile depuis 2004.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
Policy Chief Nominee Backs Global Spec Ops Network

A Marine critical skills operator instructs Senegalese and Malian counterterrorism team members on movement tactics prior to a training operation in Theis, Senegal. More special operations forces will take part in missions in areas such as North Africa, according to a Pentagon official. (US Air Force)


Apr. 3, 2014 - By JOHN T. BENNETT – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving aggressively to establish a “network” of elite American commandos across the globe as part of its changing strategy to combat al-Qaida cells in places like North Africa.


Senior Defense Department officials on Thursday also told a House panel that had Russia invaded Crimea before the 2014 quadrennial defense review (QDR) was completed, the Obama administration would not have altered plans to place more emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.


Christine Wormuth, deputy defense undersecretary for strategy, plans and force development, told the House Armed Services Committee that DoD’s 2015 spending plan and the QDR include plans, equipment and dollars to “continue” using “direct action” where needed to target al-Qaeda leaders and operatives.


A major part of the Obama administration’s strategy to counter the changed nature of the violent Islamic extremist organization, which now is strongest in Yemen and North Africa, will be placing additional US special operations forces (SOF) in those — and other — regions, Wormuth said.


Under questioning from committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., Wormuth said the need to directly strike al-Qaeda targets is a main reason that — in an era of defense cuts — Pentagon and administration officials maintained growth for special operations forces.


US Special Operations Command chief Adm. William McRaven has been pushing his plan for a “global SOF network,” which Wormuth — nominated become Pentagon policy chief — fully endorsed on Thursday.


The Obama administration wants to work more closely with US allies in the fight against al-Qaeda than has been the case over the “last 10 years,” Wormuth said, adding McRaven’s vision will be the backbone of such efforts.


The latest QDR makes clear the administration continues to be a big believer in SOF’s role in fighting al-Qaeda.


“The United States will maintain a worldwide approach to countering violent extremists and terrorist threats using a combination of economic, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, development, and military tools,” the QDR states. “The Department of Defense will rebalance our counterterrorism efforts toward greater emphasis on building partnership capacity, especially in fragile states, while retaining robust capability for direct action, including intelligence, persistent surveillance, precision strike, and special operations forces.”


Notably, it includes a passage that the administration plans to “grow overall special operations forces end strength to 69,700 personnel.”


Such growth, it states, is necessary to protect “our ability to sustain persistent, networked, distributed operations to defeat [al-Qaeda], counter other emerging transnational threats, counter WMD, build the capacity of our partners, and support conventional operations.”


The QDR also says a more-robust cadre of elite commandos is needed to “preserve the element of surprise.”


Meantime, Wormuth and Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld assured the House panel that had Russia invaded Ukrainian soil before the QDR was complete, its contents largely would have remained the same.


Winnefeld acknowledged to committee Vice Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, that an earlier Russian move would have changed “the tone” of parts of the quadrennial strategy document. And Wormuth told Thornberry that the underlying strategy — and its increased focus on the Asia-Pacific — would not have changed.


Some lawmakers and analysts have criticized the Obama administration for failing to anticipate the Russian invasion — and for being, as they see it, too “weak” in dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


The QDR mentions Russia 10 times. Those passages mostly focus on how US officials will work with counterparts in Moscow to avoid conflict, maintain stability in Europe and Asia, and further reduce American and Russian stockpiles of nuclear arms. On the latter, Wormuth assured lawmakers that there are no nuclear arms talks with Russia, and she doesn’t expect new ones in the foreseeable future.


“The United States is willing to undertake security cooperation with Russia, both in the bilateral context and in seeking solutions to regional challenges, when our interests align, including Syria, Iran, and post-2014 Afghanistan,” states the beefiest QDR section on Russia. “At the same time, Russia’s multi-dimensional defense modernization and actions that violate the sovereignty of its neighbors present risks. We will engage Russia to increase transparency and reduce the risk of military miscalculation.”


Thornberry, seen by many Washington insiders as the favorite to replace retiring committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., pressed Winnefeld on whether the QDR is too flawed. Thornberry bluntly asked if lawmakers should simply repeal the legal provision requiring it be conducted every four years.


Winnefeld pushed back, saying he believes it is a “valuable process” inside the Pentagon and for new presidential administrations.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 18:45
Les Etats-Unis et l'Algérie veulent lutter ensemble contre le terrorisme



03 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


Alger - Alger et Washington se sont engagés jeudi à lutter ensemble contre le terrorisme, à l'occasion de la première visite en Algérie du secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry.


L'Algérie, qui a payé un lourd tribut au terrorisme, ne pliera jamais devant ce fléau, a affirmé le ministre algérien des Affaires étrangères, Ramtane Lamamra, à l'ouverture des négociations stratégiques entre les deux pays.


Le terrorisme ne connaît pas de frontière, est sans foi ni loi, et vise toutes les nations, a-t-il ajouté.


La vaste région du Sahel-Sahara est devenue l'un des terrains de jeu des jihadistes depuis la chute du régime libyen de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011.


Des jihadistes, dont Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), ont occupé le nord du Mali en 2012 avant d'en être chassés fin janvier 2013 par des soldats français et africains.


Des insurgés islamistes sont également présents au Niger, en Tunisie et en Algérie, où ils ont mené l'an passé une prise d'otages ayant conduit à la mort d'une quarantaine de captifs.


M. Lamamra a indiqué que son pays était déterminé à travailler avec tous ses partenaires pour éradiquer ce fléau.


L'une des principales préoccupations de l'Algérie est le Sahel où le terrorisme, le trafic d'être humains, de drogue et toutes sortes d'activités criminelles ont tissé leur toile, menaçant la stabilité et l'existence des peuples et des Etats de la région, a-t-il souligné.


M. Kerry est arrivé mercredi, sous haute protection, en Algérie, sa première visite dans ce pays depuis qu'il est devenu secrétaire d'Etat en février 2013.


Il a évoqué une période où la paix est confrontée à plus de menaces complexes que jamais et estimé que l'une des façons de lutter contre le terrorisme était d'aider à créer des emplois et d'améliorer le système éducatif.


Salu(ant) le leadership de l'Algérie dans la région, M. Kerry a souligné que les Etats-Unis voulaient travailler en coordination avec Alger, établir une relation plus solide avec ce pays, et aider à sécuriser les frontières dans la région.


La visite de M. Kerry en Algérie intervient en pleine campagne électorale pour la présidentielle du 17 avril, suscitant les interrogations de la presse algérienne, qui considère qu'elle constitue une caution au président sortant Abdelaziz Bouteflika.


Agé de 77 ans dont 15 ans au pouvoir, M. Bouteflika, brigue un quatrième mandat, malgré ses problèmes de santé, et est donné favori.


Nous attendons des élections transparentes et conformes aux standards internationaux, a déclaré M. Kerry.


Les USA travailleront avec le président que le peuple algérien choisira, pour dessiner l'avenir que l'Algérie et ses voisins méritent, a-t-il ajouté, en évoquant notamment un avenir où les citoyens peuvent exercer librement leurs droits civiques, politiques et humains.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 18:30
Et si le Qatar montait à bord du Rafale en juin

Le nouvel émir du Qatar, cheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, pourrait annoncer lors de sa visite à Paris avant l'été le choix du Rafale


03/04/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Le Qatar pourrait annoncer son choix en faveur du Rafale lors de la visite officielle à Paris au mois de juin du nouvel émir, cheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani.


Et si le Qatar annonçait sa décision de choisir le Rafale en juin lors de la visite à Paris du nouvel émir, cheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani ? En tout cas, toute la filière industrielle aéronautique militaire française l'espère. Tout comme le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui a bâti la loi de programmation militaire sur un contrat export de l'avion de combat fabriqué par Dassault Aviation. "Raisonnablement, nous pouvons croire à une telle annonce avant l'été de la part du Qatar", explique l'un des industriels contactés par "La Tribune". La signature d'une lettre d'intention (LoI) entre le Qatar et Dassault Aviation pourrait être signée à cette occasion. Inch Allah, comme se le répètent en boucle les industriels...

Selon nos informations, les discussions ont toutefois repris depuis le mois de mars après une période où Doha avait semble-t-il, mis en suspens ce dossier. Durant trois mois environ, les Qataris n'ont plus donné signe de vie sur le Rafale. Pour autant, à Paris, durant cette période, les industriels et les étatiques ne semblaient pas trop inquiets de ce silence. "Il faut s'inscrire dans la durée avec Doha, ils ont leur propre tempo", expliquait-on à "La Tribune". Et c'est en mars que les Qataris ont finalement repris langue avec le Team Rafale (Dassault Aviation, Thales et Safran) en posant par salves de nouvelles questions sur l'avion de combat.


72 avions de combat

De douze appareils - des Mirage 2000-5 -, le Qatar voudrait augmenter sa flotte d'avions de combat à 72, dont un premier lot de 36. En tout cas c'est que Doha souhaitait l'été dernier. Un client qui a de toute façon les moyens de s'offrir 72 avions de combat. Dans ce cadre, l'émirat avait envoyé en août dernier un appel d'offres (Request for Proposal) à trois candidats : Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin et le consortium Eurofighter. Selon un calendrier informel, le Qatar devait choisir un fournisseur pour un premier lot de 36 appareils d'ici à la fin 2013 et entrer ensuite avec ce constructeur en négociations exclusives. Dassault Aviation tenait la corde pour ce premier lot.

Mais le calendrier a dérapé en raison, notamment, du jeu étrange des Américains. Mi-septembre, Londres, qui propose Eurofighter Typhoon, et Paris, qui soutient le Rafale (Dassault Aviation), avaient rendu leur offre conformément au calendrier fixé par Doha. Mais pas Washington. Du coup, les deux enveloppes contenant les offres du consortium Eurofighter (BAE Systems, EADS et l'italien Finmeccanica) et de Dassault Aviation ont dormi plusieurs mois au fond d'un coffre avant d'être décachetées… une fois la réponse des Américains réceptionnée par les Qataris. Et curieusement, les États-Unis n'ont finalement pas proposé le F-35, selon des sources concordantes.


La LPM prévoit la livraison de 26 Rafale

Le ministre de la Défense a fait un sacré pari en inscrivant la livraison de seulement 26 Rafale dans la LPM (2014-2019). Elle fixe la livraison de 11 Rafale en 2014 puis 2015, quatre en 2016 et puis aucun entre 2017 et 2019. Pour compenser l'absence de livraisons de 11 Rafale par an, Jean-Yves Le Drian a fait le pari de l'export. Aujourd'hui on est entré dans le "money time" pour conclure un contrat à l'exportation. Car il faut en moyenne trois ans pour fabriquer un Rafale à partir de la signature du contrat.

S'il réussit, le ministère pourra économiser la livraison de 11 Rafale, soit autour de 1 milliard par an. A contrario, il s'expose à des pénalités très lourdes de Dassault Aviation, qui lui-même fait vivre 500 fournisseurs dont Thales et Safran, ses principaux partenaires. "Le contrat stipule la livraison annuelle de onze Rafale. "C'est la cadence minimale fixée au regard de la continuité industrielle et de la capacité des fournisseurs de Dassault à produire les équipements nécessaires", avait expliqué en 2012 le délégué général pour l'armement (DGA), Laurent Collet-Billon. Si un contrat export n'était pas signé, la LPM prévoit une clause de revoyure pour trouver de nouvelles solutions.


Avions ravitailleurs et hélicoptères NH90 pour le Qatar

Fin mars, le Qatar a déjà signé une lettre d'intention pour l'achat de 22 hélicoptères NH90, pour un montant de près de deux milliards d'euros. Il s'agit de douze appareils en version TTH (transport tactique) et de dix NFH (lutte anti-surface et anti-sous-marine). Programme lancé par l'OTAN (via l'agence NAHEMA), le NH90 est produit par NHIndustries, un consortium regroupant Airbus Helicopters, l'Italien AgustaWestland et le néerlandais Fokker Aerostructure. Les Qataris avaient également annoncé leur intention d'acquérir deux avions ravitailleurs MRTT.

L'Italie et l'Espagne peuvent également remercier le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui a arraché le dernier jour du salon naval de défense (DIMDEX) cette annonce, qui a même surpris certains industriels. C'est AgustaWestland qui assemble la version navale du NH90 sur son site de Venise, à l'exception de ceux destinés à la France. Et c'est en Espagne que les A330-200 fabriqués à Toulouse (un tiers du prix de l'avion) sont convertis à Getafe (Espagne) en A330 MRTT.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 18:20
Traité sur le commerce des armes: un an après, le Canada n’a toujours pas signé


3 avril 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca


Les Nations Unies ont célébré mercredi le premier anniversaire du Traité sur le commerce international des armes, qui avait été adopté l’an dernier par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, et que le Canada tarde toujours à signer et à ratifier de peur de déplaire aux amateurs d’armes.


Le Traité sur le commerce international des armes a pour objectif d’instituer les normes communes les plus strictes possibles aux fins de réglementer ou d’améliorer la réglementation du commerce international d’armes classiques. Il veut aussi prévenir et éliminer le commerce illicite de telles armes et d’en empêcher le détournement.

Le 2 avril 2013, l’Assemblée générale avait en effet adopté le premier traité sur le commerce international des armes classiques, ouvrant le traité à la signature à partir du mois de juin de cette année là, à 154 voix pour et trois contre (Syrie, Corée du Nord, Iran).

Mais 23 pays s’étaient abstenus, parmi lesquels certains des principaux exportateurs (Russie, Chine) ou acheteurs de ces armes (Égypte, Inde, Indonésie).

Jusqu’à maintenant, précise le service d’information de l’ONU, le traité a été signé par 118 Etats et 18 États membres ont déposé mercredi les instruments de ratification, ce qui porte le nombre de ratifications à 31.

Chaque pays est libre de signer ou non le traité et de le ratifier, mais il n’entrera en vigueur qu’à partir de la 50e ratification.

Au 2 avril

États qui ont voté «oui» au TCA mais ne l’ont encore ni signé ni ratifié (43 au total):

Afghanistan, Algérie, Andorre, Azerbaïdjan, Bhoutan, Botswana, Brunéi Darussalam, Cameroun, Canada, Érythrée, Éthiopie, Gambie, Géorgie, Irak, Israël, Jordanie, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirghizistan, Liban, Maldives, Maroc, Îles Marshall, Maurice, Micronésie, Monaco, Namibie, Népal, Ouganda, Pakistan, Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, République centrafricaine, République démocratique du Congo, Saint-Marin, Salomon, Singapour, Somalie, Thaïlande, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tunisie, Turkménistan et Ukraine.

États qui ont ratifié le TCA au moment de la rédaction de ce communiqué (31 au total)

Albanie, Allemagne, Antigua-et-Barbuda, Bulgarie, Costa Rica, Croatie, Danemark, Espagne, Estonie, Finlande, France, Grenade, Guyana, Hongrie, Irlande, Islande, Italie, Lettonie, Mali, Malte, Mexique, Nigeria, Norvège, Panama, ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine, Roumanie, Royaume-Uni, Salvador, Slovaquie, Slovénie et Trinité-et-Tobago.

Cinq des dix premiers exportateurs l’ont ratifié mercredi

Cinq des dix premiers exportateurs d’armes au monde, soit la Grande-Bretagne, la France, l’Allemagne, l’Italie et l’Espagne, ont donc déposé leurs dossiers de ratification à l’occasion de cette cérémonie marquant le premier anniversaire mercredi. Les 13 autres États à avoir déposé leurs dossiers de ratification sont la Bulgarie, la Croatie, le Salvador, l’Estonie, la Finlande, la Hongrie, l’Irlande, la Lettonie, Malte, la Roumanie, la Slovaquie et la Slovénie.

Les États-Unis, premier exportateur mondial d’armes, ont signé le traité mais sa ratification est bloquée par le Sénat américain, dont les membres s’y opposent vivement.

Quant au Canada, pire que les États-Unis, il ne l’a toujours pas signé, encore moins ratifié, bien qu’il ait voté pour le Traité à l’Assemblée générale en avril 2013.

Pour le gouvernement canadien, qui tient beaucoup à la liberté de possession d’armes, il existerait, dit-on, un lien potentiel entre la signature de ce traité et le registre des armes d’épaule au Canada, désormais aboli. le Canada craindrait que la signature et la ratification du Traité n’affecte les propriétaires d’armes au Canada.

Le Secrétaire général des Nations-Unies, Ban Ki-moon, s’est quant à lui dit «très préoccupé par le fait que des civils continuent d’être tués ou mutilés lors d’attaques ciblées ou aveugles avec des armes qui ne devraient pas tomber dans les mains des auteurs de ces attaques»

Le Secrétaire général a salué mercredi ces ratifications. «Cela suscitera davantage d’élan vers les 50 ratifications nécessaires pour l’entrée en vigueur du traité », a-t-il déclaré, appelant tous les États qui ne l’ont pas encore fait à signer et/ou ratifier le traité sans tarder.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 17:55
Accès aux espaces communs et grandes stratégies : vers un nouveau jeu mondial

03/04/2014 Frédéric Ramel - IRSEM


Espaces non-terrestres accessibles à tous mais détenus par personne tels que l’espace aérien international, l’espace extra-atmosphérique, la haute mer et le cyber, les global commons ne sont plus « contrôlés » par les Etats-Unis. Aujourd’hui, la rivalité des puissances émergentes s’intensifie, se traduisant par une posture dite de « déni d’accès » aux dépens des forces armées américaines : c’est-à-dire une forme de campagne conduite à de longues distances qui peut aller jusqu’à une interdiction de zone. Une telle configuration entraîne l’élaboration d’une nouvelle Grande stratégie aux Etats-Unis ayant comme visée de maintenir les flux dans mais aussi et surtout l’accès à ces espaces. L’objectif de la présente étude consiste à analyser les caractéristiques conceptuelles et doctrinales des global commons dans la production officielle de l’administration Obama (de la QDR 2010 aux documents préparatoires de celle de 2014) mais aussi à identifier la manière dont la Chine et la Russie incorporent cet enjeu dans leur propre posture stratégique. Ce qui permet d’identifier un nouveau grand jeu mondial pour cette première moitié de XXIème siècle assez éloigné de la perspective classique d’un grand échiquier ayant l’eurasie comme cible. Il a pour objet central la liberté de mouvement dans les espaces communs. Il n’est pas non plus sans conséquences comme les tendances à la militarisation de ces espaces. Cette étude entend également mettre en relief deux autres apports pour la pensée stratégique : une homologie entre les espaces communs favorable à des options offensives, ainsi qu’une conception extensive de « l’état de guerre ».


Etude de l'IRSEM n°30 - 2014


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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 17:50
UK researchers create 3D-printed disposable UAV

The Sheffield UAV has already completed a test flight as a glider. Photo the University of Sheffield.


3 April 2014 aerospace-technology.com


Researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, have created a low-cost disposable drone as part of a research project on 3D printing of complex designs.


Engineers at the university's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) said the 1.5m-wide prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be the basis of cheap and potentially disposable UAVs that could be built and deployed within 24 hours.


The new 3D printing techniques could cut down the amounts of support material around component parts required by the earlier versions of the craft in order to prevent the airframe structures from deforming during the build process.


The fused deposition modelling (FDM), one of the latest techniques used to make the UAV at Sheffield, is expected to be soon used in the creation of products without the need for complex and expensive tooling, in comparatively less time than traditional manufacturing.


The Sheffield UAV, which comprises nine parts that can be snapped together, is made from thermoplastic and weighs less than 2kg.


Engineers are evaluating the potential of nylon as a printing material in order to make the UAV 60% stronger without any increase in its weight.


The prototype UAV has completed a test flight as a glider, with engineers currently developing an electric ducted fan propulsion system, which will be fitted into the airframe's central spine.


In addition, Sheffield researchers are considering full on-board data logging of flight parameters, autonomous operation by GPS, and control by surface morphing technology.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 17:45
Général Soriano - photo EMA

Général Soriano - photo EMA



03 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


Paris - L'armée française a commencé cette semaine à se déployer dans l'est de la Centrafrique, a indiqué jeudi le général dirigeant l'opération, au moment où le Tchad annonçait le retrait de son contingent de la force de l'Union africaine.


La troisième phase a débuté cette semaine, nous avons commencé à nous déployer dans l'est, a déclaré à la presse en visioconférence le général Francisco Soriano, qui commande l'opération française Sangaris. L'objectif est de restaurer l'autorité de l'Etat, de mettre fin aux agissements des bandes armées et de les désarmer, a-t-il ajouté.


Cette troisième phase est rendue réalisable grâce (...) aux renforcements accordés par le président François Hollande, qui a décidé à la mi-février l'envoi de 400 militaires supplémentaires, portant ainsi les effectifs du contingent français à 2.000 hommes, a précisé le général.


Quelques 6.000 militaires africains sont aussi déployés au sein de la force de l'Union africaine en Centrafrique (Misca). Mais jeudi, le gouvernement tchadien a annoncé le retrait de son contingent de 850 hommes, en dénonçant une campagne gratuite et malveillante contre ses troupes.


Les soldats tchadiens ont été accusés à plusieurs reprises depuis la prise du pouvoir à Bangui en mars 2013 de la coalition rebelle à dominante musulmane Séléka de connivence avec ces combattants - dont certains étaient Tchadiens -, voire de passivité face à leurs exactions, ce que N'Djamena a toujours démenti.


Cela leur a valu l'hostilité d'une partie de la population centrafricaine. Le week-end dernier, des soldats tchadiens ont tué au moins 24 personnes à l'entrée de Bangui après avoir été la cible d'une attaque à la grenade, selon la Misca et le gouvernement centrafricain.


Sangaris et la Misca vont obtenir le renfort de 800 soldats de la mission militaire européenne Eufor-RCA, opérationnelle à la fin mai.


L'arrivée de l'Eufor nous permettra d'augmenter notre déploiement dans l'est et le nord du pays, a affirmé le général Soriano.


Il s'est par ailleurs opposé à la volonté du Haut-Commissariat de l'ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR) d'évacuer quelque 19.000 musulmans menacés par les milices anti-balaka.


Ma réponse est claire: je m'y refuse. Notre rôle est de protéger les populations et de tout faire pour qu'elles puissent vivre là où elles ont toujours vécu, a-t-il assuré.


Formées en réaction aux exactions contre la population perpétrées pendant des mois par les combattants essentiellement musulmans de la Séléka après leur prise du pouvoir en mars 2013, les milices anti-balaka, groupes formés à l'origine de paysans chrétiens de l'ouest de la Centrafrique, s'en prennent depuis à la population musulmane, qui fuit massivement le pays plongé dans les tueries interreligieuses.


L'armée française a lancé l'opération Sangaris le 5 décembre 2013 pour restaurer la sécurité en Centrafrique, après un vote de l'ONU donnant mandat aux forces françaises d'intervenir.


Le président François Hollande a jugé mardi que la situation sécuritaire en Centrafrique s'était dégradée et que les musulmans y étaient directement visés.


Depuis un an, l'ancienne colonie française traverse une crise sans précédent qui a fait des milliers de morts et des centaines de milliers de déplacés.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 17:45
Le Tchad se retire de la force africaine en Centrafrique


03 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


N'Djamena - Le gouvernement tchadien a annoncé jeudi le retrait de son contingent de la force de l'Union africaine en Centrafrique (Misca), en dénonçant une campagne gratuite et malveillante contre ses troupes, dans un communiqué publié à N'Djamena.


Face à des accusations répétées contre le comportement des soldats tchadiens de la Misca, dont ils constituent une des principales composantes, le Tchad, après avoir informé la présidente de la transition centrafricaine, la présidente de la Commission de l'Union africaine et le secrétaire général des Nations unies, décide de se retirer de la force africaine, ajoute le communiqué.


Malgré les efforts consentis, le Tchad et les Tchadiens font l'objet d'une campagne gratuite et malveillante, tendant à leur faire porter la responsabilité de tous les maux dont souffre la RCA (République centrafricaine), accuse le texte.


Face à ces accusations répétées, le Tchad (...) décide du retrait du contingent tchadien de la Misca, ajoute le communiqué, précisant: les modalités pratiques de ce retrait seront arrêtées de commun accord entre le Tchad et l'Union africaine.


En attendant le Tchad assumera, sans failles, sa mission de paix dans les zones relevant de sa responsabilité en RCA, selon le texte qui ne fournit pas de détails sur ces zones.


Le Tchad réitère sa solidarité à la RCA et continuera de la soutenir sous d'autres formes, afin qu'elle retrouve la paix et la sécurité, l'unité et réalise la réconciliation de ses fils et filles, divisés par un conflit dont la gravité et les conséquences humanitaires et sécuritaires sont sans précédent par leurs caractères dramatiques et confessionnels, conclut le communiqué.


Les soldats tchadiens ont été accusés à plusieurs reprises depuis la prise du pouvoir à Bangui en mars 2013 de la coalition rebelle à dominante musulmane Séléka de connivence avec ces combattants - dont certains étaient Tchadiens -, voire de passivité face à leurs exactions, ce que N'Djamena a toujours démenti.


Cela leur a valu l'hostilité d'une partie de la population centrafricaine. Le week-end dernier, des soldats tchadiens ont tué au moins 24 personnes à l'entrée de Bangui après avoir été la cible d'une attaque à la grenade, selon la Misca et le gouvernement centrafricain.


La présidente centrafricaine de transition, Catherine Samba Panza, de passage à Paris avant le sommet de Bruxelles, a annoncé mardi l'ouverture d'enquêtes sur cette affaire.


Cet incident est le plus grave impliquant des troupes étrangères en Centrafrique depuis la chute du président François Bozizé par la Séléka en mars 2013.


Cette version a été démentie par des représentants des milices majoritairement chrétiennes anti-balaka.


La polémique a rebondi au niveau international avec de nouvelles déclarations mardi du Haut-Commissariat de l'ONU aux droits de l'Homme et de la diplomatie française. Il semble que les soldats tchadiens aient tiré sans discrimination dans la foule, a accusé à Genève une porte-parole du Haut-Commissariat, Cécile Pouilly.


Pour Paris au contraire, la responsabilité incombe pour une large part aux anti-balaka, selon le porte-parole du Quai d'Orsay, Romain Nadal, qui a demandé que toute la lumière soit faite sur ces violences.


Depuis un an, l'ancienne colonie française, pays parmi les plus pauvres de la planète, habitué aux coups d'Etat à répétition et aux rébellions, traverse une crise sans précédent qui a fait des milliers de morts et des centaines de milliers de déplacés.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 17:20
Navy to Commission LCS Coronado


Apr 2, 2014 ASDNews Source : US Navy


The Navy will commission its newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Coronado (LCS 4), April 5, during a ceremony at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif.


Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Susan Ring Keith, a long-time leader in the San Diego community, will serve as ship's sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Keith gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"


"The commissioning of USS Coronado is a celebration of the history of the great city of Coronado and its lasting relationship with our Navy and Marine Corps. The sailors aboard LCS 4 will bring this mighty warship to life with their skill and dedication, honoring her namesake and our nation for years to come," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "When she sets sail for distant shores, Coronado, and ships like her, will have a vital role maintaining freedom of the seas, and providing naval presence in the right place, all the time."


Cmdr. Shawn Johnston, a native of North Carolina, is the commanding officer of the ship's Gold Crew and will lead the core crew of 40 officers and enlisted personnel. The 2,790-ton Coronado was built by Austal USA Shipbuilding in Mobile, Ala. The ship is 417 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 100 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship uses two gas turbine and two diesel engines to power four steerable water jets to speeds in excess of 40 knots.


Designated LCS 4, Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship and the second of the Independence variant. Named for Coronado, Calif., it is the third Navy ship to bear the name. USS Coronado (LCS 4) will be outfitted with reconfigurable mission packages and focus on a variety of mission areas including mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.


The first USS Coronado (PF 38) was a patrol frigate and served as a convoy escort during World War II. The subsequent Coronado (AGF 11) was designed as an Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD) and was reconfigured to be an Auxiliary Command ship (AGF) in 1980 and subsequently served as the commander, Middle East Force flagship, then the commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship in the Mediterranean, and subsequently the commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet flag ship in the Eastern Pacific Ocean prior to decommissioning in 2006.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
EDA Annual Conference Video


09 April 2014 by European Defence Agency


Conference Video Available

Last week's annual conference of the European Defence Agency was a landmark event for the European defence community.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 12:55
L'innovation à coeur


03/04/2014 DGA


La DGA vous propose de découvrir les avancées issues des travaux innovants qu’elle finance. Ainsi, chaque semaine et jusqu’à la mi-avril, nous mettrons en lumière deux innovations significatives.


Première de la série : Des bactéries qui dopent la dépollution par les plantes


A venir lundi prochain : Kameleon, une caméra qui filme en couleur la nuit 

Investisseur avisé de la défense, la DGA prépare l’avenir. Elle porte une attention particulière au développement de la base industrielle et technologique de défense (BITD) en France. Ainsi, elle finance à hauteur de 90 M€ des projets d’innovation. En 2013 elle a donc soutenu avec ses partenaires de recherche quelque 270 projets. Parmi eux : 64 projets Rapid*, 39 projet Astrid**, 140 thèses et 14 projets du fonds unique interministériel (FUI). La DGA s’est également impliquée dans la stratégie nationale de recherche et a poursuivi son partenariat privilégié avec l’agence nationale de recherche (ANR), contribuant aux 9 « défis sociétaux » duaux pilotés par l’ANR et au défi Descartes sur l’autonomie énergétique.


*Rapid : régime d’appui aux PME pour l’innovation duale
**Astrid : accompagnement spécifique des travaux de recherche et d’innovation défense

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 12:50
RAF completes first Voyager three-point tanking flight


Apr 3, 2014 Cobham  Air Tanker


RAF Voyager has today (31/3/14) carried out its’ first flight with RAF crews as a three-point tanker, completing an air-to-air refuelling sortie over the Cornish Coast.


The flight follows the Release to Service awarded to Voyager from the Ministry of Defence on 29/3/14, which cleared Voyager to refuel the C-130 Hercules, the first approval on the Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU).


This latest achievement for the Voyager programme follows the wing-pod approvals already given by the MOD to begin air-to-air refuelling (AAR) operations with Tornado and Typhoon in summer last year.


Phill Blundell, CEO, AirTanker, which was appointed in 2008 to deliver the Future Strategic Tanker Transport Aircraft (FSTA) programme, said clearance on the FRU represented another significant step forward.


He said: “Clearance with the C-130 on the centerline hose is another important achievement, nudging us just that little bit closer to full operational capability. “We will continue to work alongside the RAF in supporting refinement of these systems as we move towards our air-to-air refuelling in service date in the summer.”


AirTanker, the consortium behind Voyager, is made up of leading aerospace, defence and facilities management specialists, Cobham, EADS, Rolls-Royce, Thales and Babcock. They also form its primary supply chain.


Since receiving the go-ahead to refuel the Tornado GR4 and Typhoon, Voyager has completed more than 215 air-to-air refuelling sorties, giving away in excess of 3,300 tonnes of fuel.


A fully certified and militarily-converted Airbus A330-200, multi role tanker transport MRTT, Voyager has a total fuel capacity of 111 tonnes. This is delivered using standard A330-200 fuel tanks without adaptation of its cargo hold to accommodate additional capacity.


In addition to its air-to-air refuelling role Voyager also has capacity to carry up to 291 passengers with a cargo capability of up to 8 NATO pallets or up to 43 tonnes. The aircraft can also be configured to accommodate a 40 stretcher aeromedical evacuation capability including critical care.


In all seven aircraft have now been delivered to the programme. The latest arrival, ZZ337, which was delivered at the end of January, brings the total number of aircraft flying on the MAR to six, (2x two-point tankers and 4x three-point capable tankers).


Since the start of air transport operations in April 2012, these military aircraft have together clocked more than 7,200 hours, flying more than 1,940 sectors, carrying more than 125,300 passengers and 8,100 tonnes plus of freight. This includes the start of flights in and out of Camp Bastion in support of the Afghanistan air-bridge in December last year.


Voyager 02, which flies on the Civilian Aircraft Register, has flown more than 2,700 hours and 490 sectors, carrying over 55,600 passengers and more than 3,400 tonnes of freight, since the start of AirTanker’s civilian airline operation at the beginning of 2013 Blundell added: “As with any programme of this scale, we have faced challenges but in partnership with the RAF, they have been overcome. They have not impacted on the programme. Our effort and the pace of progress has been relentless and we remain on budget and on time.


“Most importantly we have remained flexible, adapting to the changing needs of the programme and the RAF and the MOD as customer. We will continue to work alongside them to ensure that needs of the RAF and UK Armed Forces continue to be met.”

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 12:45
Libya: Greed, Islamic Terrorism And Sense Of Entitlement


April 3, 2014: Strategy Page


The predicted (last Summer when the rebel militias cut off oil exports) cash crises has arrived and it has everyone’s attention. Despite the rebels blocking oil exports now expressing willingness to deal, oil exports are still at an all-time low of 100,000 barrels a day. The government has only $116 billion left and little credit. Government banking officials insist that can be made to last for at least two years but Libyans are seeing growing cutbacks in government spending. Most Libyans depend on the government for jobs, food and other essentials. Without oil income the government cannot deliver. About two thirds of the $53 billion annual government budget is for salaries and benefits. A growing number of government workers are having their pay or benefits delayed so that more essential issues (like food imports) can be attended to. The government reserves are not all cash and it takes time to convert some of those assets into cash. The government is also warning people that a lot of Kaddafi era subsidies will have to go in order to keep the economy going. Such a move would be very unpopular. Kaddafi provided a lot of stuff at very low prices. Like loaves of bread for a few pennies. Fuel and electricity was also sold far below cost as were airline, bus and train tickets. Another problem is the many people who collect a government paycheck don’t do any work, or even show up for work. Thus there are 22,000 soldiers in Benghazi, according to payroll records, but few of them are on the job. Some of that is because some government or military official is pocketing the payroll, but in other cases there are real people getting paid but they only show up on payday, if that (because direct-deposit is available). Changing all these bad habits is very difficult. The greed, Islamic terrorism and sense of entitlement that is so widespread in Libya also means that foreign investors are not interested because Libyans make inefficient and troublesome employees. Libya is no place to create wealth but it is an ideal place to squander it.


The basic problem is that Libyans have proved unable to agree on how to handle their oil wealth. The tribes living where the oil comes from want a larger share. Actually, everyone wants more, for one reason or another. In the last year various local militias near the oil fields and export terminals have seized these facilities halted most (over 70 percent by the end of 2013 and over 90 percent now) oil exports. All this was largely unexpected because at the start of 2013 oil production was at 1.4 million barrels a day and nearly back to normal. Then greed got the best of many factions who decided their loyalties were more to themselves than to Libya as a whole. It’s been downhill since then. Before the 2011 revolution oil accounted for over 90 percent of government revenue and over 70 percent of GDP. With over $20 billion in oil revenue lost so far the government is running out of credit and will soon have no way to pay for essential imports, like food. These shortages have become more widespread and severe and that is driving many people to either back the government or use more desperate measures to grab whatever they can.


Because the refineries that provide fuel for Libyans are also shut down the government has to spend scarce cash to import fuel. Even the greedy militias are now aware that what they are doing means the economy will collapse and with that food and other essentials will not be available for most Libyans. To avoid that catastrophe there is compromise or force, or a combination of the two. Ultimately force will prevail as starvation is the last thing anyone wants. The economy is already in decline because many payments have not been made for things that can be delayed (infrastructure and replacements for old or destroyed equipment). The government ordering the troops in does not sound so crazy in light of the dire financial situation. The absence of law in most of the country is crippling the economy, which is still trying to recover from the 2011 revolution. Kaddafi tightly controlled the economy and his overthrow was supposed to allow economic activity to flourish. But the widespread presence of armed men taking what they want and kidnapping for ransom has made entrepreneurs and investors unwilling to do much.


Let’s Make A Deal


The rebel militias holding east Libyan oil facilities now say they are ready to work out a deal over control of these facilities. What changed their minds was the March 17th U.S. Navy SEAL raid to capture the rebel controlled tanker full of Libyan oil. Apparently over the last two weeks the rebels have learned that the foreign criminal gangs who were once willing to broker sales of stolen Libyan oil have backed away. The oil smuggling gangs see the American warships and commandoes as a deal breaker. With no way to sell the oil they control, the rebel militias must quickly make the best deal they can with the government because these militia leaders are broke and their armed followers expected great things to come from occupying the oil facilities. Government troops are closing in and apparently it comes down to working out a price to avoid a battle and get the militias out of the oil export facilities.


The militias holding the eastern oil facilities have also lose some of their Robin Hood glow. They now stand accused of working with former officials of the Kaddafi government to smuggle oil out of the country and sell it. There are still a lot of Kaddafi era officials in Libya and even more overseas. Some of these Kaddafi henchmen are still wealthy, having gotten a lot of money (usually obtained by corrupt means) out of the country before the 2011 revolution. These guys still have contacts and fans inside Libya (among the tribes that Kaddafi favored) as well as a taste for obtaining more Libyan cash. The pro-Kaddafi exiles are open for business and smuggling is more attractive to them than subsidizing terrorism. The war is over, Kaddafi is gone and life goes on.


The Shortages


Another unresolved problem is that while there is a Libya there are not enough true (patriotic and loyal to a central government) Libyans. There are many countries suffering from this problem with tribal, ethnic, regional and other loyalties that create lots of corruption and little national unity. In these conditions a lot of the corruption is not seen as stealing, but simply taking care of your own group. In a place like Libya, where decades of oil wealth have created a population largely dependent on oil income for basic survival, this lack of unity has become a matter of life or death.


Another source of unrest is brewing on the Tunisian border. There the smugglers are having more problems with the security forces on both sides of the frontier. It’s all about money of course as the smuggling deprives the governments of over half a billion dollars a year in revenue. But the smuggling, especially of cheap Libyan into Tunisia, has become the primary livelihood for thousands of Libyan families. Locals believe the Libyan and Tunisian security forces are simply seeking a bigger cut of the smuggler profits. That’s how things work in this part of the world. The smugglers also have to find a patron, a “boss of all bosses” to negotiate deals with local army and police commanders. Everybody wants to get paid.


France Guards The South


The continued success of the French-led counter-terrorism effort in northern Mali and the equally determined efforts by Islamic terrorists to maintain a presence there anyway has led France to set up a permanent base in the north. This would be similar to the base it has long maintained on the other end of Africa in Djibouti. Since September 11, 2001 that base has been shared with the Americans and the Mali base is expected to see a lot of Americans helping out. France currently has about 1,600 troops in northern Mali and that appears to be about what it will take to staff the permanent base. France is particularly concerned about the continuing unrest in Libya and the ability of Islamic terrorists to establish bases and training facilities there. Because of all that, this year there have been several incidents of Islamic terrorists moving into northern Mali from Libya and until the Libyan government establishes some control over the many Islamic terrorists roaming Libya, more will show up in northern Mali.


March 31, 2014:  As a goodwill gesture to get negotiations going the government has released the three militiamen who were arrested off Cyprus by U.S. SEALs on the tanker carrying $30 million in stolen Libyan oil. The rebels are also demanding the return of the tanker and the stolen oil but the government is apparently not willing to go that far. The three militiamen were quickly pointed out by the crew of the tanker after the SEALs seized control. The ship captain said the three were armed and tasked with ensuring that the tanker went to wherever the oil brokers (who were going to sell the stolen oil) instructed. The three Libyan militiamen were armed and the crew was not, so they just went along, having been assured that they would be paid and not harmed if they did. The crew were not so sure they would be safe as it appeared the Libyan militiamen were dealing with some pretty shady characters.


March 27, 2014:  Another militia composed of personnel hired to provide oil facility security has gone rogue and blocked a pipeline from a southwestern oil field. The former guards want lots of money. The main source of exported oil now are two offshore fields.


March 26, 2014: 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.


March 24, 2014: The government said it is releasing the 21 man crew (consisting of six Pakistanis, six Indians, three Sri Lankans, two Syrians, two Sudanese and two Eritreans) of the oil tanker captured by American SEALs and returned to Libya on the 23rd and its cargo of 350,000 barrels of oil will be unloaded there. The U.S. handed control of the tanker to Libya in international waters some 30 kilometers off Tripoli and removed the American sailors who had supervised the return of the ship.


March 23, 2014: In the east (Derna) gunmen ambushed a van carrying $600,000 from a telecommunications company to a bank and made off with the money. The thieves were probably members of one the militias that dominate the city (to the east of Benghazi). There is no law in places like Derna but the local militias still need cash.


March 22, 2014: The army began fighting rebel militias in the east that are holding three oil export ports. The rebels apparently hoped to interfere with the arrival of more troops but were driven off. The troops are better trained than the militiamen and that is apparently making a difference. On March 12rh the government gave the rebel militias until the 26th to relinquish control of the oil ports. The rebels do not appear to be making preparations to leave.


March 21, 2014: In the capital a Tunisian diplomat was apparently kidnapped for ransom. Earlier in the day (before dawn) someone got past the tight security at the main airport and placed a bomb on the main runway. A timer detonated the bomb, causing little damage but closing down flight operations for several hours.


March 20, 2014: In a first, the Libyan government finally admitted that it has an Islamic terrorism problem and called for international help to deal with it. The government now wants to form a dedicated counter-terrorism force and knows that will require outside help. NATO, which has many members just across the Mediterranean, is expected to be the main source of assistance.  Countries like Italy and France have many Arab speaking counter-terrorism operatives and many expatriate Libyans live over there. Then there are the Americans, with all their useful gadgets, technical magic and unique specialists (like the SEAL commandos who took back the tanker full of stolen Libyan oil).


March 19, 2014: The success of recent joint operations around Lake Chad has led the nations bordering Lake Chad (Chad, Cameroon, Libya, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic/CAR) to form a permanent task force to patrol the lake region and coordinate operations against smugglers, Islamic terrorists and bandits. The initial emphasis will be on containing the Islamic terrorists, mainly the Nigerian Boko Haram, in the area. The new task force will have its headquarters in the Nigerian town of Baga, which is on the lake. Baga is large enough to accommodate a new military base. The goal is to have the new task force up and running before the end of the year. Increased coordination will start immediately.


March 18, 2014: In the southwest the local Tuareg tribes warned the government not to use force to remove the militias occupying oil facilities in the area.


March 17, 2014: Some 32 kilometers off the coast of Cyprus two dozen U.S. Navy SEAL commandos used power boats to go from a U.S. Navy destroyer to a nearby North Korean tanker. Once aboard the tanker the SEALs quickly took control and arrested three Libyans the crew of 21 said had, in effect, hijacked the tanker and its $30 million cargo of stolen Libyan oil. There were no casualties and the tanker was taken back to Libya. Libya had asked the United States to help retrieve the tanker, which had fled Libya with the oil. The North Korean registered tanker fled the Libyan oil loading port of Es Sider early on March 11th and made it to international waters before Libyan Navy gunboats could catch up. The Libyan sailors were within their rights to board the tanker and retake it, but they were not trained to do so and there were apparently some armed men on the tanker. The tanker then moved towards Cyprus and Libya asked the Americans for some help. The U.S. dispatched a destroyer with SEALs on board and the American warship was soon following the tanker. The U.S. government agreed on the 16th to use SEALs to get the tanker back and the raid was carried out before dawn on the 17th.


In the east (Benghazi) a car bomb went off outside a military school killing seven soldiers and wounding twelve.


March 16, 2014: The rebel militias in the east that are holding three oil export ports now say they are willing to negotiate. Up until now the militias asserted that they were representing the new government of an independent country called Cyrenaica. The rebels have been trying to make this stick since the beginning of the year but without cash (from selling oil) they got no traction.


March 15, 2014: The parliament gave the interim prime minister another 15 days in power. Parliament is, as usual, deadlocked. This time it is over who the new prime minister should be. Parliament is split into many factions, most of them either secular or Islamic.


March 14, 2014:  The UN agreed to extend its support effort in Libya until March 13, 2015.


March 13, 2014: North Korea denied any involvement with the North Korean registered tanker that carried off Libyan oil illegally. North Korea pointed out that the ship was registered in North Korea in February for six months with the understanding that there would be no illegality involved. The ship is actually owned by a Saudi company and currently controlled by an Egyptian shipping company that is apparently helping to sell the oil. North Korea has long been involved with shady deals like this and is apparently trying to distance itself from one that went off the rails.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 12:25
Russia Focusing on South America


1/4/2014 Ami Rojkes Dombe - israeldefense.com


On Russia's target: Mainly sales of attack and transportation helicopters and of the MiG and Sukhoi aircraft

Russia intends to expand its arms sales to South and Central America in the near future, so was published by the news agency itar-tass. This was said by the Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), Alexander Fomin after the International Conference FIDAE 2014 in Chile ended.


Ten companies, including the arms exporter Rosoboronexport, presented Russia’s military equipment at the event. Fomin headed the Russian delegation.


“There were very many contacts (at the FIDAE 2014) and meetings with our partners, such as Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela. We believe that our products can be in demand also in other countries of the region, especially all the types and kinds of helicopter equipment: the Mil (Mi) and Kamov (Ka) brands, both military-transport and combat and multipurpose types,” Fomin said.


He also noted the interest of the partners in the Russian aircraft. “The fighters of the MiG and Sukhoi brands, Yakovlev Yak-130 planes are also very popula

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