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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
L'Ukraine demande à la Russie de lui restituer 70 navires


KIEV, 2 avril - RIA Novosti


L'Ukraine envisage de présenter à la Russie la liste des biens, y compris 70 navires, dont elle demande la restitution, a annoncé mercredi lors d'un point de presse le chef de l'administration présidentielle par intérim Sergueï Pachinski.


"J'espère que tout ce qui figure dans la liste nous sera restitué. On y trouve des munitions et des armes que nous ne voulons pas récupérer. Mais les ministères de la Défense et de l'Intérieur ont dressé la liste des biens que nous demandons de nous restituer en premier lieu et qui, je l'espère bien, nous seront rendus. Cette liste comprend, entre autres, 70 navires et la corvette Ternopol", a déclaré M. Pachinski  cité par l'agence UNN.


Selon le commandant en chef des forces navales russes, l'amiral Viktor Tchirkov, 79 bâtiments de guerre et navires auxiliaires relevant de la Flotte ukrainienne de la mer Noire sont déployés en Crimée. La corvette Ternopol figure parmi les bâtiments les mieux équipés d'Ukraine. Il devait effectuer en avril une mission dans le golfe d'Aden dans le cadre de la lutte contre les pirates somaliens.


L'amiral M. Tchirkov a fait savoir que ces bateaux seraient prochainement remis à l'Ukraine.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
USS Truxtun - photo US Navy

USS Truxtun - photo US Navy



WASHINGTON, 3 avril - RIA Novosti


Les Etats-Unis prolongent le stationnement du destroyer USS Truxtun en mer Noire et y dépêchent des "ressources supplémentaires", a déclaré aux journalistes le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche Josh Earnest.


"Nous avons envoyé six chasseurs F-15C dabs les pays baltes pour patrouiller leur espace aérien. Une douzaine de F-16 américains sont arrivés en Pologne pour contribuer au maintien de la sécurité. Le stationnement de l'USS Truxtun en mer Noire a été prolongé. Il y a en outre des ressources supplémenentaires qui sont actuellement dépêchées en mer Noire par les forces navales US", a fait savoir le porte-parole.


Dans le même temps, M. Earnest n'a pas précisé de quelles ressources il s'agissait.


Début mars, six chasseurs F-15C et deux avions ravitailleurs KC-135 de l'US Air force ont atterri sur la base de Zokniai, dans le nord de la Lituanie.


Auparavant, le secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel a déclaré que le Pentagone élargirait sa coopération militaire avec la Pologne et les pays baltes (Estonie, Lettonie et Lituanie) en réponse à la crise politique en Ukraine.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
Russia Exposes a Competitor to the Reaper


31/3/2014 Ami Rojkes Dombe


The "Altius-M" UAV is produced by okb-sokol (Kazan) along with "Transas", and the chief designer is Mr Alyaksandr Gomzin. The development and initial design began in early October 2011, and won the Russian Defense Ministry contest to develop a UAV with a takeoff weight of up to 5 tons (the other bidder was RAC, the Russian manufacturer of the MiG aircraft). The contract for the research and development of the "Altius -M" is worth 28 million dollars (billion rubles).


According to the report, the experimental model should begin flight tests during 2014-2015. The assembly of the UAV will be conducted by CAPO-composites


According to militaryrussia.ru website, the UAV weighs about 5,000 kg, has a range of 10,000 km and is capable to stay aloft for 48 hours. It will include electro-optical payloads and a radar system. The drone is driven using two RED A03 type diesel. Details about arming of the UAV have not yet been exposed, but it appears that this is a UAV with offensive capabilities


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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
source USA News

source USA News


Apr. 2, 2014 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News


WASHINGTON — Taiwan watched Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine very closely. After all, the island nation, which is claimed by China, has long feared Beijing might do the same thing.


“We learned a very important lesson that we have to modernize our military by spending [to] develop [weapons and equipment] ourselves or working closely with the Americans,” Andrew Hsia, Taiwan’s deputy defense minister, said Wednesday at a Center for a New American Security event in Washington.


Russia’s military faced no resistance from Ukrainian forces as they entered the Crimean peninsula and eventually took over Ukrainian military bases. Many of the Ukrainian air force’s fighter jets are not flyable, and the ones that are can have limited capabilities. The rest of Ukraine’s military also has dated equipment with limited capabilities.


Taiwan has had a standing request to purchase new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters from the US; however, Washington has not approved the deal, instead offering upgrade Taiwan’s existing F-16s.


The George W. Bush administration in 2001 offered Taiwan submarines, but that deal never advanced.


Thirteen years later there is no “clear indication of how that will happen,” Hsia said Wednesday. “At this moment, I think Taiwan is developing, or trying to develop, our own indigenous submarine.


“I think people may have different thinking about submarines, so basically our request is that we should be able to sit down with the United States government to discuss … the system that is suitable for preventing war in Taiwan,” he continued.


Hsia said Taiwan should maintain defense spending at a 3 percent of gross domestic product. He said the budget, in recent years, has fallen short of that goal, particularly since the defense ministry has budgeted for weapon purchases that have not been approved by the US government. The money not spent on these items is returned to the treasury.


Still, Hsia stressed the need for Taiwan to receive support for the US.


“We’d … like to sit down with the American side to discuss what is the most adequate assistance that is suitable for the Taiwan Straight,” he said.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
USA: U.S. Commander Outlines Posture to Counter North Korean Threats



03 April 2014 By Amaani Lyle -American Forces Press Service – Pacific Sentinel


WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 – Readiness is critical to thwarting North Korea’s effort to develop nuclear arms and long-range missiles, the commander of U.S. forces in Korea told the House Armed Services Committee here today.


Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, who commands United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command in addition to U.S. Forces Korea, said his organizations will work closely with the South Korean military to develop its capabilities and stanch an increasing asymmetric threat on the Korean Peninsula.


“We will … combine [communications] systems, an alliance countermissile defense strategy, and a procurement of precision-guided munitions, ballistic missile defense systems and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms,” Scaparrotti said.


The general noted that North Korea has the fourth-largest military in the world, with more than 70 percent of its ground forces deployed near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. “[North Korea’s] long-range artillery can strike targets in the Seoul metropolitan area, where over 23 million South Koreans and almost 50,000 Americans live,” he said.


In addition to violations of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, Kim Jong Un’s regime also is aggressively investing in cyberwarfare capabilities, the general reported.


“North Korea brings risk to the world’s fastest-growing economic region, which is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s [gross domestic product] and home to our largest trading partners,” Scaparrotti said. “Against this real threat, our nation is committed to the security of South Korea and to our national interests.”


The general pledged to transform, sustain and strengthen the alliance, maintain the armistice to deter and defeat aggression, and be ready to fight. Priorities, he added, also include sustaining the force and family readiness and enhancing the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea teams.


“An essential part of this is a positive command climate that focuses on the covenant between the leader and the led and our mission together,” he said. “At the core of mission success is the close relationship we share with our South Korean partners; we benefit from an important history forged on many battlefields, shared sacrifices and democratic principles.”


Over the past 60 years, the general said, the United States and South Korea have built one of the longest-standing alliances in modern history.


“We will continue to ensure strong and effective deterrence posture so that Pyongyang never misjudges our role, commitment or capability to respond as an alliance,” he added.



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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
USA: Hagel - ASEAN Meeting Reflects Commitment to Asia-Pacific



03 April 2014 By Cheryl Pellerin American Forces Press Service – Pacific Sentinel


HONOLULU, April 2, 2014 – At a hotel here, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will join defense ministers from 10 Asia-Pacific countries for the official start of an unofficial meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, their first in the United States.


Hagel himself invited the ministers here, he told reporters traveling with him on the military plane that brought him yesterday to the April 1-3 ASEAN meeting and will later take him on to Japan, China and Mongolia -- a 10-day trip that will be his fourth official visit to the Asia-Pacific region in less than 12 months.


Last June, at a luncheon for the ASEAN defense ministers during the Shangri-La Dialogue meeting in Singapore, Hagel invited them to Hawaii this year. All 10 ministers -- from Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- immediately accepted his invitation.


“When I invited the ASEAN defense ministers last year to Hawaii, the thought I had then … is it’s more and more important that the United States, as we’ve moved over the last three years into a rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, be clear in our intent,” the secretary said.


The purpose of the rebalance, he said, is to strengthen U.S. relationships in the Asia-Pacific with treaty allies and partners, and coordinate efforts.


“ASEAN represents the one organization in the Asia-Pacific where there is a cohesiveness, a consolidation, a coordination among 10 nations [and] among the ASEAN Defense Ministers-Plus organization,” Hagel said.


The ADMM-Plus is made up of the 10 ASEAN defense ministers and eight dialogue partners, who are the defense ministers from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.


Hagel said the United States has been participating in the ADMM-Plus since 2010, representing “a tremendous opportunity to connect, to coordinate, to communicate, to reinforce the U.S. message about our intent and our cooperation.”


The secretary added, “When we designed the two-and-a-half days of informal meetings [for the ASEAN defense ministers], I wanted to ensure that it was more than military-to-military events and I think we’ve done that.”


In attendance will be U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, and the head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, he said. Tours will be held in a new U.S. Department of Commerce technical facility and several of the events will focus on humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief activities, Hagel added.


“All of this is about a more stable, secure Asia-Pacific,” he said. “That means a prosperous region of the world, [one] that presents possibilities and hope for all its people.”


Over the past 25 years the Asia-Pacific region has done well, the secretary added, with a population of more than 600 million people and huge emerging economies.


“They’ve done that essentially because they’ve had wise leadership in how they have handled their differences and their areas of competition,” said Hagel, adding, “It’s imperfect -- there’s been conflict. There are still issues [and] disagreements and we’ll talk about those. I intend to talk about those when I go to China and Japan as well.”


Hagel said at the defense ministers’ meeting he would also discuss the United States’ ongoing fiscal constraints and its commitment, nevertheless, to the Asia-Pacific rebalance.


“I have been very clear and direct in what I’ve said about the fiscal restraints we are dealing with [and] working through,” Hagel said, “and I’ve made very clear the prioritization [for the Asia-Pacific rebalance] in the president’s budget that I presented to Congress and that Congress will be dealing with for the next few months.”


The secretary added that the department’s recent Quadrennial Defense Review also prioritizes the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and named ongoing military activities in the region -- rotating littoral combat ships to Singapore, rotating 1,150 Marines and four CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters to Australia, continuing negotiations with the Philippines to use Subic Bay resources on a rotational basis, progress made with the AN/TP2 missile defense radar site in Japan, a breakthrough late last year on the Futenma replacement facility when the governor of Okinawa approved a critical landfill permit, and continuing efforts and posturing of assets in the Asia-Pacific.


“I think it’s pretty clear, even with budget constraints … that this is a priority and we’ll fulfill the commitments we’ve made,” Hagel said, “and I do look forward to talking about this with our ASEAN partners.”


The secretary added, “I want the defense ministers, after they leave Hawaii, to feel even more clarity about the U.S. commitment to the [Asia-Pacific], our coordination, our communications [and] the areas where we can cooperate more and more -- and certainly humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is one of those.”


There is a tremendous amount of capability and capacity in the Asia-Pacific region, Hagel said, and the United States represents a good amount of it.


“This is not about crowding anybody out,” he said, “but it is about assuring the freedom of the sea lanes and the openness of our skies and cyber, and we’re going to continue to help do that.”



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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
3UBK20 with guided missile 9M119M.

3UBK20 with guided missile 9M119M.


Apr 01, 2014 brahmand.com


NEW DELHI (PTI): India has signed a deal worth over Rs 2,600 crore with Russia to procure 66,000 anti-tank shells to meet the shortfall of critical ammunition faced by its armoured fleet including the latest T-90 tanks.


The two sides signed the deal on March 27 for the supply of anti-tank shells to the Army and agreement in this regard was inked by Defence Ministry officials from India and Rosoboronexport officials from the Russia side, Defence Ministry told PTI here.


The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the Prime Minister had recently cleared the proposal to acquire 66,000 3UBK20 (Mango) tank ammunition from Russia, they said.


Under the deal, Russia will also undertake transfer of technology on the production techniques of the specialised tank ammunition to the Ordnance Factory Board, which will produce it indigenously, they said.


Faced with shortage of weapon systems, the Defence Ministry has decided to form JVs with the Russian manufacturers to produce them in India like the rockets for the Smerch multi-barrel rocket launcher systems.


The severe shortage of tank ammunition was first highlighted by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh in a top secret letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March this year which later found its way to the media.


Gen Singh had noted in his letter that only three to four days of this particular ammunition was left in the inventory of the armoured regiments.


Later on, the Army had also informed the Standing Committee on Defence about the shortage and how the situation had worsened by the recent blacklisting of its supplier Israeli Military Industry (IMI).

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Xichang satellite launch centre

Xichang satellite launch centre


Apr 03, 2014 Spacewar.com (Voice of Russia)


Moscow  - To compensate the frustration over the endless search for missing the Malaysian airliner, Chinese scientists have doubled efforts to promote their project of a huge satellites network, which will enable Beijing to monitor the whole world.


As the mission to find the passenger jet MH370 which disappeared off the radars on March 8 with 239 people on board, 153 of them Chinese, is yet to yield to any substantial result, the space surveillance net project is gaining strong backing from key government officials in Beijing, the South China Morning Post reports.


China currently has satellites in the orbit but they largely focus on its region and surrounding area. The exact number of them is a state secret.


"If we had a global monitoring network today, we wouldn't be searching in the dark. We would have a much greater chance to find the plane and trace it to its final position. The plan is being drafted to expand our regional monitoring capability," Professor Chi Tianhe, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of remote Sensing and Digital Earth, told the SCMP.


After the Malaysian Boeing 777 went missing, the Chinese Academy of Engineering submitted a letter from senior scientists to state leaders advising them to begin building a global satellite-surveillance network.


If the project is given the green light by the Chinese government it could be up and running in as little as two years from now, says Chi. But it won't be cheap, a satellite costs 400 million Yuan ($64 million) to build, this would mean the project as a whole would need a budget of at least 20 billion Yuan.


According to statistics from the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists there are about 1,000 satellites currently orbiting the earth, but the vast majority of those are for communication and only about 150 are for observation, remote sensing and military-surveillance.


Professor Liu Yu, an expert at Peking's University's school of earth and space sciences, believes the project could be game changing for China's ability to spy from space.


"International earth-observation services today are dominated by the US and European countries, but if China launches more than 50 satellites for this purpose, the whole landscape will be changed," said Liu.


But the project is by no means set in stone and it faces a number of technological hurdles. One of them is that the existing space centers in Jiuguan, Taiyuan and Xichang are involved in other missions, like manned space flights and plans to explore the Moon.


At the moment China launches about 15 satellites every year, but this would need to be at least doubled.


Space experts believe that with an upgrade at the Wenchang launch center in Hainan, which is now complete, it might be possible to increase China's rocket capacity and thereby make the project possible.


While the quality of the imaging equipment also needs to be improved, says Liu.


Professor Zhao Chaofang, an oceanographer at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, also said that China needs to develop more ground stations, to ease and speed up sending data back to earth.


"Many Chinese satellites can only offload their data when they are flying over China, so the data we receive is sometimes only a fraction of the amount collected by the satellites. To build up a global monitoring network as efficient as that of the US, our ground stations overseas must be expanded as well," he said.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Russie-Otan: poursuivre la coopération sur les projets afghans (Kaboul)



BRUXELLES, 2 avril - RIA Novosti

Kaboul appelle l'Otan et la Russie à régler leurs divergences sans toucher aux projets qu'elles réalisent conjointement en Afghanistan, a déclaré mercredi le vice-ministre afghan des Affaires étrangères Ershad Ahmadi.
"Nous demandons à la Russie, à l'Otan et aux Etats-Unis de séparer leurs problèmes bilatéraux de la coopération sur l'Afghanistan. Nous poursuivrons bien entendu un partenariat constructif et fructueux avec la Fédération de Russie sur une base bilatérale", a indiqué M. Ahmadi. Le vice-ministre répondait à la question de savoir s'il regrettait la décision de l'Alliance de suspendre la coopération avec la Russie en matière d'entretien des hélicoptères afghans et de formation portant sur la lutte antidrogue.
Les ministres des Affaires étrangères des pays alliés avaient antérieurement déclaré qu'ils suspendaient la coopération civile et militaire pratique entre l'Otan et la Russie, mais maintenaient le dialogue politique au sein du Conseil Russie-Otan au niveau des ambassadeurs et à un niveau plus élevé.
Les ministres ont convenu de revenir à l'examen des relations avec la Russie lors de leur prochaine rencontre en juin. 
Un haut responsable de l'Otan qui a requis l'anonymat a annoncé mercredi aux journalistes que l'Alliance avait gelé la coopération avec Moscou en matière d'entretien des hélicoptères afghans et de formation relative à la lutte contre la drogue. L'Otan envisage de trouver un acteur capable de remplacer la Russie dans ces projets.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Source: Pakistan Already Has US-Made MRAPs, New Deal in Works

Mine resistant ambush protected vehicles are loaded onto the USNS Pililaau in 2007 at the seaport of Charleston, S.C. (US Army)


Apr. 2, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — While controversy swirls over reports that Pakistan may receive some of the excess Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that the United States has sitting in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials are on the verge of completing a deal to send new and excess MRAPs to Islamabad, Defense News has learned.

The 160 vehicles, all of which would be the MaxxPro MRAP variant made by US manufacturer Navistar, would be a mix of new builds and some from US Army prepositioned stocks in Kuwait, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who is not authorized to speak for attribution.

While no formal notification of the deal has yet been sent to Congress since the last stages of the vetting process are still being completed, the official expected a notification to head to Capitol Hill by the end of this month.

The spat over the potential MRAP sale began in March when the Washington Post reported that the United States was considering giving Pakistan some MRAPs that the US didn’t want to pay to ship home once the mission in Afghanistan draws to a close. The report came at the same time as Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the coalition and US Forces in Afghanistan, said there are more than 1,200 excess MRAPs in country.

For a while, US forces were literally shredding to bits the hulking MRAP infantry carriers that it doesn’t want to pay to bring home, but Dunford has since put a halt to that program while final decisions on the ultimate fate of the fleet are being made.

The holdup on the deal for the 160 MRAPs centers around a congressionally mandated human rights vetting process that all US foreign training and equipping programs must undergo.

Known as the “Leahey Amendment” after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahey of Vermont, the law stipulates that US forces cannot train or equip foreign military or police units that have been accused of human rights abuses.

The 160 MRAPs would be split among the branches of the Pakistani armed forces. Although specific army and air force units have been identified and vetted, the Pakistani Navy has yet to submit all of the required information, according to the official.

While it hasn’t been reported previously, the Pakistani armed forces have already been supplied with 22 MRAPs — 20 MaxxPro’s along with two “haulers” to move them if damaged — under a now-canceled State Department program known as the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund. The vehicles were drawn out of the US Army’s existing stock in Kuwait.

The fund was axed in the US government’s fiscal 2014 budget.

The State Department and the US Embassy in Islamabad have been tying themselves in rhetorical knots over the past week trying to explain the situation over the potential MRAP transfer, all without giving specifics or mentioning the MRAPs already sent to Pakistan or the deal currently in the works.

On March 31, the Islamabad embassy issued a statement confirming that Pakistan has requested “a variety of Excess Defense Articles (EDA). The U.S. is currently reviewing Pakistan’s request.” In what appears to be a nod to the pending deal, the embassy added that “if approved, this EDA is likely to be sourced from U.S. stock outside Afghanistan.”

The State Department weighs EDA requests on a “case-by-case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the need of potential recipients, regional security dynamics, how the recipient nations intend to use the equipment and the ability of an EDA recipient to sustain the equipment,” the embassy said. ■

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:25
Mexican Navy Orders 6th Damen Patrol Boat


April 1, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Damen Shipyards Group; issued April 1, 2014)


Mexican Navy Orders Sixth Damen Stan Patrol 4207


The Mexican Navy and Damen Shipyards Group (the Netherlands) signed another contract for a license, material package and technical assistance of a Damen Stan Patrol 4207. The agreement also includes crew training in the Netherlands.


This contract, the sixth patrol vessel of the Tenochtitlan class, underlines the excellent ongoing relationship between the Mexican Navy (Secretaria de Marina or SEMAR), and Damen. As all five previous vessels, this vessel will be built in the Mexican Navy Yard ASTIMAR 1 in Tampico, a city and port on the Gulf of Mexico.


Damen Shipyards Group operates 40 ship- and repair yards, employing 8.000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5.000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers approx. 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:25
DCNS May Join OPV Lease Bid for Uruguay

A bid by DCNS on a leasing tender from Uruguay would include an offshore patrol vessel such as the Adroit.. (DCNS)


Apr. 2, 2014 - By PIERRE TRAN – Defense News


PARIS — French naval company DCNS is exploring a leasing deal for offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as a tender held by Uruguay calls for procurement under a lease, a French bank executive said April 2.

“The [Uruguay] Finance Ministry has asked for a leasing,” the executive said. Talks with ministry officials are due to be held in Uruguay next week.

“The campaign is well underway,” the executive said.

DCNS declined to comment.

The French state-owned company faces competition from Fassmer, a family-owned German shipbuilder; an Israeli firm, Ocea; a French company; and there may be a British bidder, the executive said.

Uruguay has yet to draw up a short list of the bids.

Britain is interested in the Uruguay offshore patrol vessel program, but more information on the requirement is needed before lodging a bid, said a spokesman for the Defence and Security Organisation, the government’s military export arm.

“We are keen to get clarification of the requirement to allow British industry to fully explore its options,” the spokesman said.

BAE Systems, Britain’s only major naval shipbuilder, recently sold three OPVs to Brazil, Uruguay’s neighbor, and is engaged in talks over the possible sale of further vessels under license.

Website latribune.fr reported Uruguay has selected DCNS for the supply of three vessels.

DCNS funded development and building of the Adroit, which is on loan to the French Navy. The Navy’s sailing of the ship under the French tricolor flag on the open seas is seen by the company as a big boost in promoting the vessel in the export market.

Andrew Chuter contributed to this report from London.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
DARPA Launches Biological Technologies Office



Apr 03, 2014 Spacewar.com (SPX)


Washington DC - Technology, like biology, constantly evolves. It is DARPA's mission to stay ahead of the shifting technology curve by making critical, early investments in areas that cut across fields of research and enable revolutionary new capabilities for U.S. national security.


Now DARPA is poised to give unprecedented prominence to a field of research that can no longer be considered peripheral to technology's evolving nature. Starting today, biology takes its place among the core sciences that represent the future of defense technology.


DARPA has created a new division, the Biological Technologies Office (BTO), to explore the increasingly dynamic intersection of biology and the physical sciences. Its goals are to harness the power of biological systems by applying the rigorous tools of engineering and related disciplines, and to design next-generation technologies that are inspired by insights gained from the life sciences.


BTO's programs will operate across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales-from individual cells to humans and other organisms and the communities in which they operate, and from the time it takes for a nerve to fire to the time it may take a new virus to spread around the world one sneeze at a time. All told, BTO will explore the intricate and highly adapted mechanisms of natural processes and demonstrate how they can be applied to the mission of national defense.


BTO expands on the instrumental work undertaken by DARPA's Defense Sciences (DSO) and Microsystems Technology (MTO) Offices. Recent progress in such diverse disciplines as neuroscience, sensor design, microsystems, computer science, and other longstanding areas of DARPA investment has begun to converge, revealing newly emergent potential ready to be realized.


"The Biological Technologies Office will advance and expand on a number of earlier DARPA programs that made preliminary inroads into the bio-technological frontier," said Geoff Ling, named by DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar to be the first director of BTO.


"We've been developing the technological building blocks, we've been analyzing our results, and now we're saying publicly to the research and development community, 'We are ready to start turning the resulting knowledge into practical tools and capabilities.'"


The initial BTO portfolio includes programs transferred from DSO and MTO, but will also include new opportunities, beginning with the recently announced Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program that expands on the work of DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics and Reliable Neural-Interface Technology programs.


In keeping with DARPA tradition, future programs will be created from ideas brought to the agency by program managers and through conversations with the research community.


"Before BTO, DARPA had a handful of biologists, neuroscientists, engineers, and the like, interested in synthesizing their work but distributed across different offices," Ling said. "Now we're under one roof, so to speak, and looking to attract a new community of scholars, who will bring a host of new ideas at the intersection of traditional and emerging disciplines."


Three research focus areas reflect the scale and scope of BTO's mission.


+ Restore and Maintain Warfighter Abilities: Because military readiness depends on the health and wellbeing of service members, a critical focus is on cultivating new discoveries that help maintain peak warfighter abilities and restoring those abilities as quickly and fully as possible when they are degraded-including through the development of advanced prosthetics and neural interfaces. BTO will seek to develop new techniques and therapeutic strategies for addressing current and emerging threats, but its work will extend beyond medical applications to include exploration of complex biological issues that can affect a warfighter's ability to operate and interact in the biological and physical world.


+ DARPA's Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program is an example of work to restore lost function. It pursues advanced therapies to reduce the burden and severity of neuropsychological illness in afflicted troops and veterans.


+ The Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics (ADEPT) program, which seeks novel ways to identify and protect against infectious disease, is an example of work to mitigate or neutralize biological threats.


+ Harness Biological Systems: The highly evolved functional and synthetic capabilities of biological systems can be harnessed to develop new products and systems in support of national security with advantages over what even the most advanced conventional chemistry and manufacturing technologies can achieve. BTO seeks to establish a fundamental understanding of natural processes and the underlying design rules that govern the behavior of biological systems, and apply that knowledge to forward-engineer new systems and products with novel functionality.


+ DARPA's Living Foundries program, for example, is focused in part on creating a biologically based manufacturing platform to provide rapid, scalable access to new materials with novel properties that can enable a new generation of mechanical, electrical, and optical products.


+ The Chronicle of Lineage Indicative of Origins (CLIO) program, meanwhile, aims to make biological engineering safer by establishing enduring control elements that protect against intentionally harmful genetic engineering, prevent illegal acquisition or misuse of proprietary strains, provide novel forensic tools to assist in the investigation of biological incidents, and allow responsible investigators to document compliance with safe biological manipulation practices.


+ Apply Biological Complexity at Scale: Biological systems operate over an enormous range of spatial, physical, and temporal scales. Some organisms thrive as individual cells but most depend on dynamic interactions with other species; humans, for example, are colonized by communities of foreign cells that greatly outnumber their own and have potentially significant but still largely mysterious impacts on metabolism, psychological state, performance, and health.


A better understanding of the interactions between mammalian and non-mammalian species and micro- and macro-organisms could foster new approaches to enhancing mental and physical health in routine and threatening situations. Similarly, disease vectors migrate around the globe slowly and stealthily at times, and at other times in devastating waves of breathtaking speed-reflecting poorly understood dynamics that can undermine national security.


And because they are so difficult to parse from larger biological and ecological phenomena, population-level effects of relevance to agriculture and food security remain largely unplumbed. BTO is looking into pursuing new insights derived from biological complexity and living-system dynamics with the goal of developing applications to enhance global-scale stability and human wellbeing.


+ The Biochronicity program studies the role of time in biological functions. By looking for temporal instructions, or "clock signatures," in biological organisms, the program aims to make it possible to manage the effects of time on human physiology.


Because BTO programs push the leading edge of science, they will sometimes be society's first encounter with the ethical, legal, or social dilemmas that can be raised by new biological technologies. For that reason, DARPA periodically convenes scholars with expertise in these issues to discuss relevant ethical, legal, and social issues.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Cracks In HMCS Iroquois Will Limit Warship’s Operations



April 2, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


Patrick Smith of the Ottawa Citizen has this article:


A Canadian military ship will be limited in future operations after cracks were discovered on the upper part of the vessel in late February.


HMCS Iroquois, an air defence destroyer ship that has been in use by the Royal Canadian Navy since 1972, suffered stress fractures to the superstructure – the part of the ship above the main deck – as a result of stress from the sea’s movement.


The damage, on a portion of the ship that is above water, were discovered while HMCS Iroquois was completing a fleet exercise off the East Coast of the United States.


Further examination of the ship while it was docked in Boston, Mass. showed that the cracks’ impact were not serious enough to affect the current exercise. HMCS Iroquois was able to complete its mission and return to Canada.


However, the Citizen has discovered that the ship, which is currently docked in Halifax, N.S. while engineers further assess the damage, will only be able to operate at limited capacity when the weather is bad.


Specifically, the Iroquois will be unable to navigate waters when the waves are particularly heavy.


The 42-year-old vessel typically operates in the North Atlantic Ocean, known for its rough water. The ship was declared safe enough to continue sailing in winter conditions during the examination in Boston.


As the Citizen reported in November 2013, Iroquois-class destroyers received a major upgrade in the 1990s and are scheduled for replacement in the mid-2020s if the government schedule remains on target.


Previous reports, though, have shown that officials do not expect the lifespan of these ships to last longer than 2017. As it stands, the ships will not be replaced before they are retired, leaving a sizeable gap in Canada’s navy. Although the navy’s Halifax-class frigates will pick up some of the slack, the retirement of the Iroquois class will limit the range of operations the navy can undertake.


The Iroquois class has only three remaining ships: HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Algonquin.


It’s unclear whether the Iroquois will be left in its current, restricted state, repaired for use until 2017, or retired from the fleet ahead of time.


The commanding officer of the ship was not available for comment.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
photo ONU Devra Berkowit

photo ONU Devra Berkowit


Apr. 2, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)


UNITED NATIONS — A total of 18 countries filed documents Wednesday ratifying a UN treaty to regulate the $80 billion-per-year conventional arms trade.


One year after the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the General Assembly, 31 countries have ratified it.


The treaty will take effect once 50 UN member states ratify it. So far, 118 countries have signed it.


“It is fair to say that at the current pace of signature and ratification, the ATT could well enter into force in the second half of this year,” said Virginia Gamba, deputy to the UN high representative for disarmament affairs.


The 18 countries to file their ratifications during a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York were members of the European Union except for El Salvador. Among the EU members submitting documents were Germany, France and Britain.


The treaty aims to force countries to set up national controls on arms exports. The countries must assess whether a weapon could be used to circumvent an international embargo, be used for genocide and war crimes, or be used by terrorists and organized crime.


The first major arms accord since the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the ATT covers international transfers of everything from tanks to combat aircraft to missiles, as well as small arms.


The United States — which is the world’s biggest arms producer — signed the treaty only after a regulation on ammunition was dealt with separately, providing for less comprehensive controls. Meanwhile Russia expressed reservations over the criteria used to authorize transactions.


A UN statement Wednesday said secretary-general Ban Ki-moon “calls on all states that have not yet done so to sign and/or ratify the ATT without delay.”


Anna Macdonald, a representative from the NGO Control Arms, said that “nowhere is the need for an effective treaty more apparent than in the devastating humanitarian crisis in Syria.”


The conflict there, she said, “has been fueled by transfers of arms and ammunition from outside parties.”

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 19:40
Ukraine Halts Arms Exports To Russia



Apr. 2, 2014 - By JAROSLAW ADAMOWSKI – Defense News


WARSAW — Ukraine’s state-owned defense giant Ukroboronprom has decided to halt all exports of armament and military equipment to Russia, said Yuriy Tereshenko, the group’s chief executive. Ukroboronprom will not carry out any supplies to the Russian armed forces “until the conflict de-escalates,” according to Tereshenko.


“Today, for obvious reasons, we are not supplying weapons and military equipment to Russia,” Tereshenko told local news weekly Zerkalo Nedeli. “Yes, we will incur economic losses, but is it reasonable to equip the enemy’s Army?”


Russia is one of the leading importers of Ukrainian arms, according to data from a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). From 2009 to 2013, about 7 percent of Ukrainian armament and military equipment was purchased by Russia, which ranked as the third largest market for Ukraine’s arms exports.


Tereshenko was appointed to head the defense group March 24 following the sacking of Sergei Averchenko. Tereshenko’s predecessor was fired amid unanswered calls by Ukrainian members of parliament to halt Ukroboronprom’s exports to Russia.


Providing “the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military units with modern armament and military equipment is the main task of Ukroboronprom,” Tereshenko said in a statement released following his appointment. The group is “ready to enhance qualitatively the combat capability of the Ukrainian Army by supplying up-to-date armament and military equipment,” he said.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 17:50
Vector UK Hosts Puma Mk 2 Trials

April 1, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Vector Aerospace UK; issued March 31, 2014)


Puma Mark 2 Trials Hosted By Vector Aerospace UK


Vector Aerospace UK, a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services recently supported the characterisation trials of the Radar Warning Receiver on the Puma Mk 2 at its Fleetlands site in Gosport, Hampshire.


Working alongside Airbus Helicopters and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the company hosted two separate weeks of trials which constitute part of the new integrated defensive aids suite fitted as part of the Puma Life Extension Programme currently being carried out across the RAF Puma fleet.


"This shows how our working relationship with major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the UK MoD continues to expand", said Vector Aerospace UK's Operations Director Ross Powlesland. "The variety of rotary wing platforms we can support continues to grow in both the military and civil sectors; having the heliport on site enables us to offer a fly-in, fly-out facility to our diverse customer base".


"During the trials we offered our full flight test capability and specialised storage facilities to ensure that the potential of this new integrated defensive aids suite could be rigorously examined", said Michael Tyrrell, Managing Director for Vector Aerospace UK. "Naturally we were delighted to be involved in such a cutting edge programme and the experience has further developed our strong working relationships with both Airbus Helicopters and the MOD".



Vector Aerospace is a global provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. Through facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, South Africa, and Kenya Vector Aerospace provides services to commercial and military customers for gas turbine engines, components and helicopter airframes. Vector's customer-focused team includes over 2,700 motivated employees.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 17:45
UE-Afrique: la Centrafrique au cœur des discussions


2 avril, 2014 – BBC Afrique


Les dirigeants africains et européens ont déclaré qu’ils lutteront pour le règlement du conflit en République centrafricaine lors d’une réunion en marge du sommet de Bruxelles ce mercredi.


L’Union européenne (UE) a officiellement lancé sa mission militaire en République Centrafricaine, dévoilant l’envoi d’une troupe de 1 000 militaires en renfort des forces africaines et françaises déjà sur place.


Le secrétaire général de l’ONU Ban Ki-moon participe à cette réunion sur la Centrafrique avec les dirigeants européens et africains.


Ban Ki-moon a déclaré que les citoyens centrafricains faisaient face à des «atrocités graves et déplorables», et a promis de faire tout son possible pour améliorer la réponse internationale à ce conflit.


Les forces de l’UE aurait dû être déployées le mois dernier, mais cela a été retardé en raison d’un engagement insuffisant des troupes et avions des 28 membres de l’UE.


L’UE a annoncé que ses troupes opéreront dans la capitale de la République Centrafricaine, Bangui, point névralgique du conflit.


« Il est vital de retrouver l’ordre public le plus vite possible, alors le processus de transition politique pourra être mis en place », a déclaré Catherine Ashton, la haute-représentante de l'UE pour les Affaires étrangères.


19 000 réfugiés musulmans


8 000 soldats de l’Union africains et des forces françaises sont déjà en place dans le pays pour restaurer la stabilité après plus d’un an de conflit.


Ce mardi, le Haut-Commissariat pour les Réfugiés aux Nations unies a indiqué essayer d’évacuer 19 000 musulmans des zones près de Bangui.


Près de 16 000 personnes ont été déplacées de leurs domiciles à Bangui ces 10 derniers jours.


Depuis que Michel Djotodia a été contraint de quitter le pouvoir en janvier, des groupes d’auto-défense ont pris les musulmans pour cible dans ce pays à majorité chrétienne.


Echanges et investissements


Après la crise en République Centrafricaine, les deux bords sont censés discuter d’échanges et d’investissements.


Le président du Conseil européen, Herman Van Rompuy, a dit espérer que ce sommet marque une nouvelle étape dans les relations entre l’Europe et l’Afrique.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 17:20
GD Wins $75M for Cougar Survivability Upgrade

April 1, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: General Dynamics Land Systems; issued April 1, 2014)


General Dynamics Awarded $75 Million for Cougar Survivability Upgrade Program


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. --- The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems – Force Protection a contract valued at $74.7 million for egress upgrade kits in support of the Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) program.


The company will develop, design and produce 916 egress kits for the Cougar vehicles. The kits will include upgrades to the Cougar's front doors, rear doors, rear steps and exhaust system. General Dynamics will complete delivery of the kits by September 2015.


General Dynamics Land Systems – Force Protection is part of General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics .

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 17:20
Canadian Forces Improvised Explosive Device Disposal And EOD Operators Being Trained In Exercise Ardent Defender



April 2, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


By Major Sebastien Niles, Joint Counter Explosive Threat Task Force and Samantha Bayard, Army Public Affairs


Halifax, Nova Scotia — Skilled members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) detect, disable and exploit explosives devices on international deployments and, if called upon by civilian authorities, at home, which keeps their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, as well as nearby civilians, safe.


This expertise was essential during deployment in Afghanistan and skilled specialists will be in demand for future conflicts as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) become more prevalent.


On a yearly basis, Exercise Ardent Defender trains CAF operators to be prepared for the emerging threats seen abroad and in our own country.


This year, Exercise Ardent Defender 2014 (Ex AD 14), now underway, is training Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators in Halifax. The Royal Canadian Navy will host the joint exercise with participants from the Canadian Army the Royal Canadian Air Force and members of Canadian Law Enforcement and representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden.


Ex AD 14’s focus will be the explosive threat to maritime transportation including ships, ports and cargo.


The maritime threat is very real, both at home and abroad. Threat networks are moving IED materials by sea with other illegal materials and can be expected to use IEDs to protect their interests at docks, or may disrupt commerce by attacking docks and sea lanes.


Abroad, the military may also be exposed to the explosive threat during boarding operations or alongside in a foreign port.


Last year’s Exercise Ardent Defender was the first of its kind, held in late May at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. Over two weeks, Ex AD 13 provided highly experienced and qualified two-person teams from all 12 CAF EOD/IEDD units—a total of 24 operators—an opportunity to develop their own skills, broaden their understanding of the complex, evolving global threat, and collaborate with members across the three military environments.


Operators watched demonstrations of tactics, techniques, and procedures required to use new equipment such as the Large Vehicle Borne IED disruptor. They participated in challenging tactical scenarios based on a South American insurgent threat.


Ex AD 13 offered a non-threatening training climate where the emphasis during tactical scenarios was on cultivating learning by encouraging the operators to try innovative solutions.


Future Ardent Defender exercises will also grow in size as international military teams from the United States, other allies and partner nations, Global Engagement Strategy partner nations, and Law Enforcement Agency teams are invited.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:55
quartier Roc Noir de Barby

quartier Roc Noir de Barby



02 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


BARBY (France) - Premier site militaire à faire sa mue écologique, le quartier du 13e bataillon de chasseurs alpins (BCA), en Savoie, a réduit de moitié sa consommation d'énergie et pourrait servir de modèle aux autres casernes hexagonales.


Ce qui est fait ici sert évidemment de laboratoire, estime le colonel Jacques Massot, chef de division au service d'infrastructure de la défense de Lyon.


Le quartier Roc Noir de Barby (Savoie), qui accueille quelque 1.100 chasseurs alpins au pied du massif des Bauges, a connu ces deux dernières années une mutation profonde mais presque invisible.


Les bâtiments à deux étages des années 1970 ont gardé leur façade grisâtre et sans charme. Mais des moquettes solaires installées sur les toits permettent désormais de produire de l'eau chaude. L'isolation a été revue de fond en comble et les chauffages électriques, installés à l'âge d'or du nucléaire, ont été remplacés par une chaufferie au bois, alimentée par les massifs forestiers de la région. Un réseau de chaleur court sous le gazon et des pompes à chaleur font l'appoint.


Au total, ce sont 30 bâtiments (pour une superficie chauffée de plus de 41.500 m^3) qui ont été rénovés. Et le contrat passé avec une filiale d'EDF (EDF Optimal Solutions) prévoit une baisse de 46% de la consommation d'énergie et une réduction de 50% des émissions de CO2. Plus de la moitié des besoins (58%) sont couverts par des énergies renouvelables. Et l'ensemble est piloté par informatique.


Lancés dans le cadre du Grenelle de l'Environnement, ces travaux étaient rendus nécessaires par la vétusté des installations, à bout de souffle, qui tombaient régulièrement en panne, selon le colonel Massot.


Parfois, le chauffage ne marchait pas et il y avait très souvent des coupures d'eau chaude. Au retour de 15 jours de mission en montagne, on était obligé de mettre une veste et d'allumer un chauffage d'appoint, témoigne le caporal Clément Moreau, 28 ans. Aujourd'hui, ça s'est bien amélioré.


- Des sources d'économie considérables -


Cela participe au confort de nos hommes. Et en tant que montagnards, on est très attaché à la préservation de l'environnement, appuie le lieutenant-colonel Thomas Guérin, commandant en second du 13e BCA.


C'est EDF Optimal Solutions qui a financé les travaux dans le cadre d'un partenariat public-privé. Pendant 18 ans, l'Etat paye un loyer d'environ 1,5 million d'euros par an, comprenant notamment l'exploitation des installations et le remboursement de l'investissement.


En contrepartie, l'Etat réalise un gain financier de 300.000 euros par an sur sa facture d'énergie.


Une deuxième opération similaire a d'ores et déjà été lancée pour le camp militaire de La Valbonne (Ain), qui accueille le 68e régiment d'artillerie d'Afrique et le régiment médical (3.000 militaires).


Le marché a cette fois été conclu avec Cofély, une filiale de GDF Suez, avec des travaux financés directement par l'Etat.


Il y a d'autres projets qui vont se nourrir de cette expérience, avance le Colonel Massot. Car, en cette période de disette budgétaire, dépenser moins, c'est rendre plus acceptable la contrainte qui pèse sur nos budgets, souligne-t-il.


Et les sources d'économie d'énergie au sein du patrimoine immobilier de l'armée sont potentiellement considérables.


Selon un rapport du Sénat, le ministère de la Défense utilisait, au 31 décembre 2008, 90 bases aéronavales et 8 bases navales, 41 camps d'entraînement, 99 camps militaires, 5.552 casernes, 25 centres de recherches et d'essais, 179 dépôts et 151 entrepôts, 875 locaux de bureaux, 98 immeubles administratifs ou à usage de bureau, 7.635 appartements, 737 immeubles collectifs d'habitation, etc.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
Swedish Auditor Criticizes Low Defense Spending

April 2, 2014 defense-aerospace.com/

(Source: Radio Sweden; published April 1, 2014)


Sweden's New Defence Poorly Planned


The National Audit Office criticised the government and the armed forces on Tuesday for not doing enough to ensure the long-term funding of the nation's defence.


In 2009, Sweden's armed forces went from a conscript system to become a professional force, but according to the National Audit Office, the budget for the big change has been too tight. The government is now told it needs to "improve the economic conditions to reach the goals long-term".


The equipment budget for the next ten years alone needs another SEK 30-50 billion, according to the report.


The switch-over to professional armed forces also means recruiting new staff with different competencies, something that has not happened fast enough.


In a statement, the auditor Jan Landahl said "extensive rationalisations" are necessary. But whether that is enough, or more money is needed, he did not want to say. "It is pretty tough. You are supposed to lower the staffing costs at the same time as you have to add new staff for the new organisation," Landahl told the news agency TT.


In a comment, Defence Minister Karin Enström said the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces have been working hard for the past year and a half to review the budget. She says the government has already decided on a gradual increase in the defence budget. "I can also see that further increases will be necessary," she told TT.


She adds that the crisis in Crimea has changed the security situation in Europe. "We are prepared to strengthen our capability, and then you also have to pay what it costs," she said.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
NATO Reinforces Collective Defense

April 2, 2014 defense-aerospace.com/

(Source: North Atlantic Treaty Organization; issued April 1, 2014)


NATO Takes Measures to Reinforce Collective Defence, Agrees On Support for Ukraine


NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday (1 April 2014) reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the Alliance’s collective defence, agreed to further support Ukraine and to suspend NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia. “NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our territory and our people. And make no mistake, this is what we will do,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.


Ministers directed Allied military authorities to develop additional measures to strengthen collective defence and deterrence against any threat of aggression against the Alliance, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. “We will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,” he said. NATO has already reinforced its presence on the eastern border of the Alliance, including surveillance patrols over Poland and Romania and increased numbers of fighter aircraft allocated to the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic States.


On Ukraine, NATO foreign ministers decided to intensify efforts to support the country’s defence reforms. The Alliance will also provide advice on Ukraine’s protection of critical infrastructure. In a separate meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, the Allies and Ukraine condemned Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine and Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.


NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to suspend all of NATO’s practical cooperation with Russia. “Through its actions, Russia has chosen to undermine the very foundations upon which our cooperation is built,” said the Secretary General. “In light of this, there can be no business as usual.”


Allied ministers urged Russia to engage in dialogue towards a political and diplomatic solution that respects international law and Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.


In light of the Ukraine crisis, preparations for the Alliance’s summit in Wales this September are even more important, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. “We remain committed to all our core missions. We will further develop our partnerships through defence capacity building and by building upon our experience in operations in order to further promote security and stability together and we will continue to invest in our readiness, so that we stay strong and prepared for any challenge.”

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Lask Air Base Poland

USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Lask Air Base Poland


April 1, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force; issued March 31, 2014)


Av-Det Keeps U.S.-Polish Training Running Smoothly


LASK AIR BASE, Poland --- "All the expectations you have for a normal assignment -- throw those out the window. We have to analyze who we have, what our guys bring to the table and what we can do to overcome any challenges thrown our way," said Maj. Micah Chollar, 52nd Operations Group, Detachment 1 director of operations.


The Aviation Detachment here was activated in November 2012, and consists of a small group of Airmen marking the first enduring presence of U.S. military members on Polish soil. The detachment's presence in Poland makes it possible to host multiple allied air force elements and serve as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises. They also facilitate and enable combined U.S. and Polish training and exercises to increase air support to NATO.


Ten Airmen are assigned and work at the Av-Det, each serving a vital role in the mission here. The various jobs consist of Airmen from several mission-essential career fields to include: A C-130 Hercules and an F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot, an aerospace ground equipment troop, a crew chief, a maintenance officer, a contracting officer, a logistics airman, two communications airmen and a supply airman.


"It's interesting because we're used to operating with people within our own career fields," said Chollar. "Now, all of us are one deep in the shop together. You learn a lot about each other's career fields, what each person brings to the fight and how to communicate more efficiently."


With the limited on-base resources available to those assigned here, the contracting officer, whose job is to procure anything needed off the economy, takes on a large responsibility within the detachment.


"My assumption coming here is that we are going to a U.S. Air Force base, but I came to quickly realize that we are a very small tenant unit inside a Polish air force base," said Tech. Sgt. Rommel Delmundo, 52nd OG, Det 1 contracting officer. "That changes a lot of things. We don't have a base exchange or a commissary or a gas station so we depend and rely a lot on the economy as far as accomplishing our mission to not only maintain our unit but the rotations that come through here as well."


While working and living with only 10 Airmen on a day-to-day basis may seem like a daunting task, the Airmen stationed here for the year realize it comes down to cooperation and understanding.


"Since there are only 10 of us, we've come to rely on each other whenever someone gets overloaded and needs help," said Tech. Sgt. Gloria Casanova, 52nd OG, Det 1 client systems. "We have come to be very close and been able to be that helping hand for individuals in any career field."


The Av-Det hosts approximately four rotations each fiscal year for off-site training for an average of two weeks at a time. While eight weeks out of the year may not seem that long, the Av-Det Airmen contribute their workload to the preparation before a unit arrives.


"What's not commonly known is how little downtime we have here," said Maj. Matthew Spears, 52nd OG, Det 1 commander. "We may have months in between each rotation, but it's not well known how hard we work in those months. It's that behind the scenes work that makes rotations successful here. The preparation we do allows units to come in and begin operations on day one."


Delmundo expresses the same views and explains that with extensive preparations, the outcome results in an easier workload while rotations are present at the Av-Det.


"There's a lot of preparation going on before a rotation arrives," said Delmundo. "There's hotel coordination, vehicle coordination, getting tents and making sure we have water. That's the majority of what we do here is preparation and when execution time comes, if everything is done right, then it's pretty much cruise control."


While preparations for several rotations of F-16 and C-130 squadrons can exhaust a lot of man-hours, Av-Det personnel understand the importance of their mission and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a successful completion of a rotation.


"We know that the work we accomplished was for a valid purpose and we took a little bit of coordination and administration off the plates off an operational unit with a high operations tempo to make their lives a little easier," said Spears.


"The team out here works hard, whether we're preparing for a rotation or building relationships with the Polish air force," Spears said. "Either way, I couldn't be prouder of the work that they do."


To date, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous other distinguished visitors have visited the Av-Det here to solidify the importance of a U.S. presence in Poland.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:45
Atalante : Inspection en mer du TCD Siroco


02/04/2014 Sources : EMA


Du 19 au 21 mars 2014,le Général de division Pinel, adjoint de l’Inspecteur des Armées (IDA), s’est rendu à bord du transport de chalands de débarquement (TCD) Siroco afin d’y poursuivre l’évaluation de l'opération Atalante.


Cette inspection, menée pour le chef d’état-major des armées, lui a permis d’appréhender en mer l’organisation et le fonctionnement du Siroco à l’occasion de son déploiement au large des côtes somaliennes.


Le Général de division Pinel s’est entretenu avec le Contre-amiral Hervé Bléjean, ainsi qu’avec le capitaine de vaisseau Jean-Marc Le Quilliec, commandant du Siroco. Il a ensuite participé à une conférence de présentation du TCD dans le cadre de sa mission européenne de lutte contre la piraterie Atalante.


Depuis la passerelle du Siroco, il a pu assister à un ensemble de manœuvres internationales engageant trois autres navires européens et chinois, ainsi que leurs hélicoptères associés : entraînement à l’évolution en formation tactique, exercice de visite de bateaux suspects, manœuvres de présentation pour le ravitaillement à la mer, et mise en œuvre simultanée de plusieurs hélicoptères étrangers.


Mais ces 48 heures étaient avant tout dédiées aux réunions et entretiens avec l’état-major embarqué de la force navale européenne, notamment avec les officiers étrangers de neuf nationalités différentes et avec le personnel du Siroco.


Le GDI Pinel, ainsi que la délégation l’accompagnant, a débarqué le 21 mars pour rejoindre Djibouti.


L’opération Atalante a pour mission d’escorter les navires du Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM), de participer à la sécurité du trafic maritime et de contribuer à la dissuasion, à la prévention et à la répression des actes de piraterie au large des côtes somaliennes.

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