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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
photo MinDef FR

photo MinDef FR

22 septembre 2013 Par Olivier Fourt - RFI

 

La chronique Défense de RFI aborde ce dimanche matin la question de la gouvernance au sein des armées françaises : un décret publié le 13 septembre vient renforcer les pouvoirs du ministre de la Défense face au chef d'état-major des armées.

OK DIFF 22/9 Chronique défense CEMA vs MIN DEF
(02:30)
 
 
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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
MV850  photo  Polaris  Industries Inc

MV850 photo Polaris Industries Inc

22.09.2013 Polaris Industries - army-guide.com

 

Polaris Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, today announced the company was awarded a contract to provide MV850 ultra-light tactical vehicles to the German Army.

 

“Defense forces around the world are seeking Polaris Defense Military vehicles to take advantage of our ability to make modifications to our commercial off-the-shelf technology (COTS), insert customer requirements and quickly deliver an end product that meets their needs,” said Rich Haddad, general manager of Polaris Defense. “It is our goal to match the warfighter’s mission requirements with our best value product.”

 

The highly-mobile MV850 platform, which was built specifically for the U.S. military and allied forces, allows for the transport of military personnel and gear through extreme off-road terrain. It features a 600 lbs./272 kg capacity metal rack system, 11.75 gal/ 4.5 L fuel capacity, blackout lighting with IR light capability and an optional litter mount.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Les Suisses votent pour le maintien du service militaire obligatoire

22/09/2013 Par Marie Maurisse – LeFigaro.fr

 

Une très large majorité de votants a rejeté la proposition de rendre la conscription facultative. Le pays reste très attaché à ses citoyens-soldats.

 

Qu'il s'agisse de l'interdiction des minarets ou du renvoi des étrangers criminels, les référendums suisses sont souvent très débattus. Ce n'est pas le cas de celui qui a eu lieu dimanche. L'initiative populaire porte sur l'abrogation du service militaire obligatoire, instauré en 1848. D'après les projections de résultats établies par l'institut de sondage de Berne GFS pour la télévision publique RTS, 73% des votants ont dit non à la proposition du Groupe pour une Suisse sans armée de rendre la conscription facultative.

 

L'affiche choc de l'extrême droite genevoise, qui montre un soldat suisse menacé par un pistolet sur la tempe, aura certainement convaincu les électeurs de ne pas «exécuter la milice». Sans surprise, car ils avaient déjà refusé par deux fois de le faire, en 1989 et en 2001.

 

Ce consensus fait partie de l'ADN helvète, comme l'explique Bernard Wicht, spécialiste du sujet. «Chez nous, dès le Moyen Âge, les fusils appartiennent à ceux qui détiennent le pouvoir, c'est-à-dire les citoyens eux-mêmes, souligne cet enseignant à l'université de Lausanne. Dans les assemblées, les hommes votaient en levant leurs baïonnettes…»

 

Le service militaire oblige les hommes à effectuer entre 18 et 21 semaines d'entraînement l'année de leurs 20 ans, puis à se rendre 3 semaines par an à des cours de répétition, jusqu'à leurs 34 ans. S'ils souhaitent opter pour un service civil, ils doivent y passer plus de temps qu'à l'armée et s'acquitter d'une taxe annuelle équivalente à 3 % de leurs revenus, jusqu'à 30 ans.

 

Malgré ces contraintes, «la Suisse a besoin d'une force de réserve en cas de crise grave», soutient Guy Parmelin, vice-président du groupe parlementaire de l'Union démocratique du centre (UDC), premier parti du pays et opposant à l'initiative. Et si le pays n'est pas attaqué? «L'armée est comme une assurance, répond-il. On espère ne jamais l'utiliser mais quand les ennuis arrivent, vous êtes content de l'avoir!»

 

Cette mentalité a longtemps imprégné les milieux économiques, notamment bancaires: faire l'armée était un gage d'efficacité et permettait d'accéder plus vite à des fonctions de cadre. Mais aujourd'hui, ce n'est plus le cas, note le quotidien Le Temps. Les entreprises étrangères, plus nombreuses en Suisse, n'aiment pas se priver de leurs collaborateurs plusieurs semaines par an - tout en continuant à les payer. L'armée peut être un handicap à l'embauche.

 

Pour Tobia Schnebli, membre du GSSA et militant de gauche, «le pays a besoin d'avoir des ennemis aux frontières pour exister, d'où l'importance de l'armée. Mais cette idée, portée par la droite nationaliste, ne correspond plus à la réalité».

 

Absentéisme

 

D'ailleurs, «un Suisse sur deux échappe à l'armée», a écrit L'Hebdo fin août. «Certains évoquent - avec la complaisance d'un médecin - des problèmes respiratoires, de pied, de cœur ou simulent des faiblesses psychologiques», décrit le magazine romand.

 

Les autorités veulent s'adapter à cette donne. Malgré un refus probable de l'initiative, elles prévoient une diminution des effectifs, qui passeraient de 180.000 soldats à 100.000 - si la réforme est mise en place dans le courant de l'année.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
La Royal Air Force retire le VC10

23 septembre 2013 par Valerie Cheron  - Info-Aviation

 

La Royal Air Force britannique (RAF) a mis à la retraite son avion de transport et de ravitaillement VC10 après 47 ans de service.

 

Exploité par la RAF depuis 1996, le Vickers VC-10 était à l’origine un avion de ligne quadri-réacteur britannique. Son premier vol eut lieu le 29 juin 1962.

 

Les deux derniers Vickers VC10 K3 exploités par le Squadron 101 ont quitté la base de la RAF Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) le 20 septembre pour effectuer un défilé aérien d’adieu à travers le pays. L’avion sera officiellement retiré du service à la fin du mois.

 

Avec la retraite des VC10, le ravitaillement aérien et le transport de troupes/fret de la RAF seront assurés par le L-1011 TriStar de Lockheed (lui-même à la retraite en 2014) puis par le nouvel A330-200 Voyager d’Airbus Military. Le Royaume-Uni a reçu à ce jour six exemplaires sur les 14 avions Voyager commandés, qui seront exploité par le consortium AirTanker pour le compte du ministère de la Défense.

 

Fondé le 12 juillet 1917, le Squadron 101 était le dernier à opérer le VC10 après la dissolution du Squadron 10 en 2005. Ce dernier fut toutefois reformé en juillet 2011 pour devenir le premier opérateur du nouvel Airbus Voyager à la base RAF Brize Norton.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:40
Russia Boosts Security For Sochi Olympics With Pantsir-S Systems

MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti)

 

Six Pantsir-S short-range air defense systems have been delivered to the Russian military ahead of schedule to ensure security during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, a senior defense ministry official said.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place from February 7 to 23 in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The first Winter Olympics to be held in Russia are widely regarded as an opportunity for the country to showcase its economic achievements under President Vladimir Putin.

“We will do everything possible to accomplish the task of protecting the Russian airspace along the southern borders and to ensure security during the Winter Olympics,” Maj. Gen. Viktor Gumenny, the commander of air defense troops of the Russian Air Force, said Saturday.

The general said that the Pansir-S air defense systems will be initially sent to the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia to ensure the proper training of their crews during the next two months.

The Pantsir-S is a combined gun-missile system featuring a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles.

The system is designed to take on a variety of targets flying at low level, including cruise missiles and aircraft, and can effectively engage targets at up to 20 kilometers.

The Defense Ministry has reportedly ordered 100 Pantsir-S units for Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces.

A maneuverable track-bearing variant is currently being developed by Russia’s High Precision Weapons corporation, to be put in service with the Russian Ground Forces and Airborne Troops in the near future.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:40
Russia, Belarus Begin Second Stage of Strategic Drills

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)

 

The second stage of international strategic exercises, Zapad 2013 (West 2013), began on Monday at five locations in Russia and Belarus, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

 

During the second stage, Russian and Belarusian troops would train combat interaction to ensure the two states’ military security. The troops will train at five training grounds – two in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and three in Belarus.

 

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian and Belarusian servicemen on Monday conducted a successful joint training operation to detect, block and eliminate an armed militant group.

 

The six-day drills, held once in two years since 2009, will involve about 12,000 Russian servicemen. Ships from Russia’s Baltic, Black Sea and Northern fleets will take part in the final stage of the exercises.

 

Observers from over 60 states will attend the two-stage drills.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Osprey vs. Bison in the East China Sea

September 22, 2013 Richard D. Fisher, Jr. - thediplomat.com

 

China, Japan and the U.S. are ramping up their ability to deploy to disputed islands in the East China Sea.

 

Stability in the region between Taiwan and Japan, and the security of Taiwan, hinges on an arms race that will soon be accompanying the heightened paramilitary engagements between Japanese, Chinese and, occasionally, Taiwanese Coast Guard ships over who will control the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

 

For now this contest for control is confined to shoving matches largely between Chinese and Japanese Coast Guard ships, which take several days to deploy. However, China is now developing the means to project decisive force to these islands in hours, not days. Should China gain the upper hand in this arms race there is a greater chance it will use force to occupy the islands and then set its sights on the strategically more attractive nearby Sakashima island group.

 

For now, though, the upper hand is held by the United States, which has just completed the initial deployment of 24 U.S. Marine Corps Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey conventional, or twin tilt rotor aircraft, to Futenma Base in Okinawa. This unique aircraft, by virtue of its twisting rotors and engines at the ends of its wing, can take off like a helicopter, and then cruise at about 280 miles per hour, carrying up to 24 troops or about six tons of cargo to a range sufficient to reach the disputed islands. In a full-out surge, the 24 MV-22Bs at Futenma could potentially put about 500 troops or about 140 tons of weapons and material on the Senkakus or the Sakashimas in about one hour.

 

On September 17, 2013, Kyodo reported thatcurrent commander of U.S. Marine forces on Okinawa, Lt. General John Wissler, told Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaimu about the Osprey, “That aircraft has the ability to reach the Senkakus, should we need to support any sort of Japan-U.S. security treaty.”

 

China is also accumulating rapid lift assets. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has taken delivery of the first Ukrainian-built Zubr (Bison) large hovercraft. The first example, delivered in May, is now undergoing final modifications in Shanghai. At least three more are expected initially, but China may build many more of an indigenous version. Developed by the former Soviet Union to give its Naval Infantry the ability to rapidly invade NATO countries along the Baltic Sea, the Zubr can lift about 500 troops or up to 150 tons of armor, weapons and material up to speeds of 66 miles per hour. With just four Zubr hovercraft, the PLAN could potentially put 2,000 troops or up to 600 tons of weapons and material on the Senkakus in about four to five hours, or it could reach the island of Miyako-jima in about six to seven hours with a much reduced payload.

 

If it actually came to a race between the Osprey and the Bison, getting there first would make all the difference, as without the advantage of surprise, an adequately armed defender could significantly damage incoming hovercraft or helicopters. But the outcome would also depend on the result of intensive air and sea battles around these islands. For now, the superior performance of the U.S. Lockheed-Martin F-22A fifth-generation fighter and the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine provide a margin of superiority that undergirds deterrence, but this could change quickly as the PLA Air Force increases the number of capable fourth-generation fighters supported by AWACS radar aircraft, followed by fifth-generation fighters that could even the odds, especially if China decides to strike first. Growing numbers of PLAN air defense destroyers like the new Type 052D could also help deny air dominance to Japanese and U.S. forces.

 

However, China could also gain the upper hand should it successfully develop its own tilt rotor aircraft, an ambition it likely has been pursuing for most of the last decade. In a surprising revelation, an article published August 28, 2013 on the web page of the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI) goes further, saying that China is now developing a quad tiltrotor design called the Blue Whale, with the goal of carrying 20 tons of cargo at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, with a combat radius of 500 miles. A model of the Blue Whale appeared at a Chinese helicopter technology expo recently held in Tianjin, at least confirming it is an active program.

 

Blue Whale’s performance goals are very close to a now lapsed Bell-Boeing program to develop a V-44 Quad TiltRotor, which faded with evolving heavy-lift requirements for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System of programs, in turn cancelled in 2009. CHRDI does not reveal when they expect the Blue Whale to enter service or how China will overcome technical challenges for a quad tiltrotor that a 2005 U.S. Defense Science Board study said would take 20 to 25 years to overcome. By 2008 to 2009 the heavy lift program was punted to the U.S. Air Force-controlled Joint Future Theater Lift program, intended to develop a replacement for the venerable Lockheed-Martin C-130, perhaps by the late 2020s. China may think it can succeed with a quad tiltrotor design before the U.S. fields a new vertical heavy lifter. The operational implications of such a capability go well beyond the East China Sea, but may matter there sooner.

 

For Beijing, control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and the much larger Sakashima Islands, which have ports and airfields, is not simply a matter of salving historical resentments or even controlling resources; it is a contest for geostrategic position to influence the future of democratic Taiwan. From the Senkakus and especially the Sakashimas, the PLA can more easily impose an air and sea blockade on Taiwan or launch multi-axis attacks to rapidly take airfields to aid follow-on invasion forces. Before making any military moves, mere possession of these islands allows Beijing to exert far greater political pressure on Taipei to make “peace” at the expense of its virtual American ally and Tokyo. Occupation of the islands would also give Beijing greater legitimacy on which to develop latent claims to other islands in the Ryukyu chain.

 

The Miyako Strait in the Sakashimas also must be passed by Chinese naval forces trying to reach the Pacific Ocean. This group of seemingly negligible islands are in fact the lock in the door that keeps the PLA Navy from cruising the Pacific at will, a key link in the so-called “First Island Chain.” For Tokyo and Washington, preserving Japanese control over these islands proves to Beijing that it cannot use force to solve maritime territory disputes, but also gives Japanese and U.S. forces a large number of island base options from which to counter China’s rapidly growing air and naval forces.

 

At a time when Washington is far more preoccupied with preserving adequate strategic capabilities under threat from sequestration-enforced defense budget reductions, an expensive heavy-lift tiltrotor development program, like so many other programs, has crossed the line from “need” to “needless luxury.” But the absence of this level of capability may have consequences. Without the means to put decisive counter-invasion forces on these islands at a moment’s notice, Japan will have to consider something it has been very reluctant to do: militarize these islands. Tokyo is already considering the development of a 500 km short-range ballistic missile to defend these distant islands. Missiles, of course, fly much faster than the Osprey. On one level, China’s looming threat justifies such moves, but deploying missiles will encourage China’s buildup as well as anti-Japan factions in Taipei.

 

Despite its much advertised military and political-economic pivot/rebalance toward Asia, it remains an uncomfortable fact for Washington that successful military deterrence of Beijing will also require that the U.S. remain ahead in a growing, multi-faceted arms race. In the East China Sea this arms race and its implications are taking shape rather rapidly.

 

Richard D. Fisher, Jr. is a Senior Fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center and author of China’s Military Modernization, Building for Regional and Global Reach, (Stanford, 2010)

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
INS Trikand_(F51) photo Brian Burnell

INS Trikand_(F51) photo Brian Burnell

23 September 2013 Pacific Sentinel

 

Rosoboronexport will participate in NAMEXPO 2013, India’s premiere international naval & maritime exposition and conference to be held in Cochin, India from 23 to 27 September 2013.
 
Enterprises affiliated with the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) – Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau and Sudoexport – as well as the Mars Research & Production Association and the Aquamarin Company will display their products under the aegis of Rosoboronexport, part of the Rostec State Corporation.
 
“We work closely with our Indian partners in the naval area and hope that the new specialized exhibition will be a good platform to showcase our capabilities. Today, India has set ambitious goals to strengthen the national naval forces and Russia, as its strategic ally, is ready to comprehensively cooperate to effectively implement these plans,” – said Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General Viktor Komardin who leads the Company’s delegation at the exhibition.

 

Among the models having high potential in the Indian market are the Project 11356 frigates, which have long been successfully operated by the Indian Navy, Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarine and a variety of naval weapon systems.
 
According to Viktor Komardin, at NAMEXPO 2013, the Russian side is planning to discuss concrete steps to deepen cooperation with India’s state and private manufacturers of naval equipment. In particular, the joint design and construction of new ships is one of the most promising areas of cooperation.
 
Rosoboronexport will also hold talks with its partners in Southeast Asia, where potential customers are showing great interest in patrol boats and Project 22460E patrol ships, Gepard 3.9-class frigates, Bastion and Bal-E coastal defense missile systems, shipborne SAM and artillery systems, and anti-ship missiles. In addition, the integrated coastal zone surveillance systems in various configurations and their components, in particular the Podsolnukh-E coastal over-the-horizon surface wave radar, have high export potential.
 
More than 70 warships have been built for India over more than 45 years of Russian-Indian cooperation in the naval sphere. Russia is providing assistance in designing and supplying systems and equipment for indigenously developed ships under construction in India. Among them are the Project 15A, 15B destroyers, Project 17 frigates and Project 71 aircraft carrier. In addition, Sevmash, part of USC, is completing the trials of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya.
 
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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Taiwan Develops 'Smart' Munitions Against China: Report

Sep. 21, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s air force will be armed with “smart” munitions before the year’s end that could be used against any Chinese invasion by striking airfields and harbors on the mainland, media reported Saturday.

 

The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousand Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets.

 

The island nation began developing its own smart weapons after the United States — Taiwan’s main arms supplier — refused to sell it guided bombs.

 

Taiwan’s air force plans to upgrade 60 fighters before the year’s end, with the last six being refitted and scheduled to be completed in December, the Taipei-based China Times reported.

 

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

 

The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say.

 

The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbors, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.

 

Each kit carries more than 100 warheads capable of blowing dozens of small craters in airport runways, making them impossible to use, they say.

 

The China Times said the refusal to sell JDAMs to Taiwan by United States had prompted the island to develop the offensive weapon on its own.

 

Ties between Taiwan and its giant neighbor have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government took power in Taipei in 2008. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.

 

But China still considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, prompting Taipei to seek more advanced defense weaponry, mainly from the United States.

 

Taiwanese experts estimate the People’s Liberation Army has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/09/sacred-defense-parades-2013.html

http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/09/sacred-defense-parades-2013.html

22.09.2013 par RFI

 

Ce dimanche 22 septembre, comme tous les ans, les forces armées iraniennes ont paradé. Trente missiles balistiques d'une portée de 2 000 km ont été présentés. Mais le président Rohani se veut rassurant : « Au cours des 200 dernières années, l'Iran n'a jamais agressé un autre pays », a-t-il déclaré. « Le régime ne commencera jamais une agression mais résistera toujours aux agresseurs ».

 

Avec notre correspondant à Téhéran, Siavosh Ghazi

 

L’Iran a montré les muscles, en faisant défiler pour la première fois trente missiles balistiques d’une portée de 2 000 kilomètres, capables d’atteindre théoriquement Israël et les bases américaines situées dans la région.

De plus, les missiles Ghadr et Sejil utilisent du combustible solide, ce qui permet de les déplacer plus rapidement et de les lancer sans délai. Par ailleurs, le commandant de la marine des Gardiens de la révolution a déclaré que l’Iran avait la capacité de détruire les porte-avions américains dans le golfe Persique.

Cette démonstration de force a lieu alors que le président Rohani doit se rendre à New York pour participer à l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies, où le programme nucléaire de l’Iran sera au centre des discussions. Il doit notamment s’entretenir avec le président français François Hollande.

 

(RÉ)ÉCOUTER SUR RFI : Décryptage, « Ouverture diplomatique en Iran ?

 

Pour sa part, le chef de la diplomatie iranienne, Mohammad Javad Zarif, doit rencontrer la chef de la diplomatie européenne, Catherine Ashton, pour relancer les négociations nucléaires entre Téhéran et les grandes puissances.

Mais le président Rohani a profité du défilé militaire pour demander à l’Occident d’accepter le droit, pour l’Iran, de procéder à des enrichissements d’uranium sur son sol. Une déclaration qui pourrait compliquer les négociations pour sortir de l’impasse actuelle.

 

 (RÉ)ÉCOUTER SUR RFI : La marche du monde, « Au nom du Guide suprême »

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Tank Development Halted

17/9/2013 IsraelDefense

 

Future tank development has been halted in the framework of the upcoming multi-year plan and the cuts to the defense budget. A special team will be in charge of examining alternatives

 

The Israeli defense establishment has decided not to pursue the development of the Merkava Mark V tank, and at this stage, the Merkava Mark IV will be the last tank that will be manufactured.

 

IsraelDefense revealed nearly a year ago that the Israeli Ministry of Defense decided to establish a team, headed by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Didi Ben Yoash, that would be responsible for developing the IDF's future tank. Senior officials from Israel's defense industries were also asked to provide their opinions on the form of the future tank, along with the IDF Ground Forces branch.

 

However, it has now been learned that a decision was made not to develop the advanced tank and to examine possible alternatives in the framework of the IDF's upcoming multi-year plan. In the meanwhile, the Merkava Mark IV tank will be the most advanced tank used by the IDF.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Turkey Could Face Huge Fighter Bill

In addition to an indigenous fighter under development locally, Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35A fighter jets. (Lockheed Martin)

 

Sep. 22, 2013 By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense news

 

ANKARA — Turkish ambitions to develop and build the first ever made-in-Turkey fighter aircraft and at the same time buy a new generation, multinational combat jet may go beyond Turkey’s financing capacity, industry sources and experts said.

 

They said Turkey could face a US $50 billion bill in the next few decades if it decides to go ahead with now maturing plans to build an indigenous fighter jet and order scores of the US-led, multinational F-35 joint strike fighter in a parallel move.

 

“The [local] fighter program has not yet won the final green light from the government, but if it does, Turkish budget planners will have to sit down and find ways to finance both this ambition and the JSF program,” said one senior western aerospace official.

 

Procurement officials earlier said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would make the final decision on whether Turkey should skip to a next level in its pre-conceptual design work for the Turkish fighter, a program dubbed the TF-X.

 

Turkey’s ultimate decision-maker on procurement, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Erdogan, is expected to make a decision this year.

 

Industry sources took a ministerial statement on a civilian project as an indication of a positive decision on the TF-X. Transport Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Sept. 3 that a plan for the design, development and production of a Turkish civilian aircraft, with 60 to 120 seats, had been submitted to the cabinet for approval.

 

Defense industry officials estimate that building eight prototypes to be produced under the TF-X would cost Ankara over $10 billion. “Any figure in the range of $11-13 billion would be realistic,” an aviation official said.

 

His guess for the final Turkish order if the entire program succeeded is nearly 200 aircraft. “We target $100 million per aircraft,” he said. “I think 200 is a realistic figure given our aging fleet of aircraft that will phase out in the decades ahead.”

 

That means Turkey will have to spend $31-33 billion for the Turkish fighter it hopes to design, develop and manufacture. But independent analysts say this can be an over-optimistic calculation.

 

“We know that Turkey’s plans do not include developing an engine for the Turkish fighter. Moreover, I think $100 million per aircraft is too optimistic given Turkey’s technological constraints, its high-cost industry and the fact that a newcomer [into the fighter industry] like Turkey would always suffer setbacks and trials and errors during the entire process.”

 

Turkey has been in talks with Sweden’s Saab for pre-conceptual design work for the country’s first national fighter jet. Saab makes the JAS 39 Gripen, a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. The Gripen is powered by the Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, a derivative of the General Electric F404, and has a top speed of Mach 2.

 

Turkey hopes that under the TF-X program, it can fly the Turkish fighter by 2023, the centennial of the republic. Turkey’s aerospace powerhouse, TAI, has been debating three designs.

 

Meanwhile, Turkey, whose present fighter fleet is made up of US-made aircraft, also plans to buy the F-35.

 

Most of Turkey’s fleet of F-16 fighters, being modernized by Lockheed Martin, and the F-35s are open to US technological influence. Only its older F-4 aircraft, modernized by Israel, and its oldest F-16s, being modernized by Turkey, are free from this influence. But these older aircraft are expected to be decommissioned around 2020.

 

Turkey’s defense procurement officials have said that Ankara intends to buy around 100 F-35s. Defense analysts estimate the cost of the entire JSF program to Turkey to be around $16 billion, bringing Turkey’s fighter budget up to $50 billion together with the TF-X.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:25
Norwegian Military Inspectors to Fly Over Russia, Belarus

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)

 

Norwegian military inspectors are set to fly above Russia and Belarus starting from Monday under the international Open Skies Treaty, a Russian Defense Ministry official has said.

 

“Within the framework of the international Open Skies Treaty, Norwegian specialists flying Romania’s An-30 aircraft will perform a surveillance flight above the territories of Russia and Belarus in the period between September 23 and 27,” said Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center.

 

The aircraft’s surveillance equipment was inspected and certified by international experts, including from Russia. It has no weapons on board.

 

Russian and Belarusian experts will also be on board the aircraft, to oversee the proper use of surveillance and filming equipment in line with the treaty’s provisions.

 

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.

 

Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors, and imaging radar.

 

The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
C-17 Swap Could Extend Production

Boeing has announced it will shutter its production line for C-17 transports in 2015, but a plan to swap aircraft and sell refurbished planes overseas could keep the assembly line humming. (US Air Force)

 

Sep. 22, 2013 - by MARCUS WEISGERBER  - Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Unless Boeing can sell a few more C-17 transports to international customers or strike a novel deal with the US Air Force to swap old planes for new ones, the company will end production of the giant cargo plane in 2015 after a more than 20-year run.

 

Trading old C-17s for new ones — akin to what the service does with its Lockheed Martin C-130Js — could extend the line several years, sources and analysts said. Rather than retiring the aircraft, like the Air Force does with its older C-130s, the service could return its early C-17s to Boeing, which would refurbish them for sale on the international market.

 

It is unclear in the current fiscal environment as global defense spending shrinks if a trade-out concept is even tenable. Over the past two decades, Boeing has successfully extended C-17 production six years, but this time the Pentagon is facing another $52 billion cut to its upcoming budget.

 

The oldest Air Force C-17s, many of which reside in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, were built in the early 1990s and have logged thousands of flight hours.

 

Boeing on Sept. 18 said it would close the C-17 final assembly plant in Long Beach, Calif., in 2015, after completing 22 aircraft for international customers.

 

The company will begin reducing its workforce in 2014. In all, 3,000 people at facilities in California, Arizona, Missouri and Georgia work on the C-17. When the supply chain is factored in, about 20,000 people support the C-17 program.

 

Of the 22 aircraft still to be built, 13 are not on “firm order,” said Nan Bouchard, Boeing’s C-17 program manager.

 

“We expect those [13] to go to a mix of new and existing customers,” she said.

 

Six nations in addition to the US Air Force fly the C-17: Canada, Australia, the UK, Qatar, India and United Arab Emirates. A consortium of 12 countries — 10 NATO members and two partner nations — also jointly operate three aircraft.

 

But international orders have come mostly in small quantities.

 

“There’s a lot of interest out there, but timing of the orders just didn’t line up for us,” Bouchard said. “We’ve been protecting the production line with long-lead funding.”

 

The C-17 is the only wide-body military transport in production in the US. Lockheed builds the smaller C-130J in Marietta, Ga., and is also upgrading the mammoth C-5 Galaxy transport.

 

“We’re kind of in uncharted territory here, because there had never been an export market for a plane of this class before the C-17,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group consultancy. “It’s a clever idea, but unlikely to be successful. They’ve managed to pull off a miracle by stretching production with international orders this far. But what can they do when the only customers they do have aren’t coming through in time, like Saudi Arabia? Remember, the other 13 planes are being built on spec.”

 

The company said it would produce an additional 13 planes that have not yet been sold before shuttering the production line. Aboulafia said he believes those planes could end up with India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. India has already purchased a previous order of C-17s; the latter two countries have been named for some time as potential buyers.

 

It is always possible that the existing user pool could see this as last call and tack on extra orders before the line closes. Countries such as the UAE, Kuwait and potentially Qatar could make that move, Aboulafia said. Another potential participant could be Japan, whose domestic C-2 program has developed slowly.

 

Whether this opens up market opportunities for the Airbus A400M, seen as the C-17s largest competitor, is unclear.

 

“The problem with the A400M is we just don’t know what the price is going to be,” Aboulafia said. “There will be some kind of export market, but it’s not clear if it’s the same as the C-17s. This isn’t a question of price point, but politics and whether you can afford the capability at all. Consider that there haven’t been any new A400M sales outside the consortium that developed the plane, other than Malaysia.

 

“What Boeing needs now is time. Time to see if the Saudis come through. Time to see what happens to Japan’s indigenous cargo plane program, the C-2. Time for the US to realize it’s throwing away a valuable industrial capability it will miss in five years.”

 

If the Air Force swapped out its older aircraft, it could likely acquire the new ones at a deep discount from the airlifter’s $225 million sticker price, sources said.

 

The new aircraft would also include more modern features not installed on the older C-17s. The older aircraft must go through a separate overhaul process to receive these upgrades. Boeing holds an Air Force support contract and upgrades the aircraft in San Antonio. That contract runs through 2017 and has options through 2021.

 

The aircraft is expected to continue flying in the US and abroad for “many decades to come,” Bouchard said.

 

Boeing believes its modernization and sustainment programs will help the company retain the intellectual know-how to compete for future military transport projects in the 2020s, Bouchard said. She said the company is not planning a lobbying effort to keep the production line open.

 

If the Air Force traded in its older aircraft, it raises the prospect of international sales. Boeing could sell the aircraft on the international market at a lower price and more directly competing with the Airbus Military A400M.

 

A C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney jet engines, while the A400M is powered by four Europrop turboprop engines.

 

While the Air Force is said to find the deal attractive, federal US budget cuts will likely prevent the service — which has a host of higher acquisition priorities, namely the Boeing KC-46A tanker, the Lockheed F-35 joint strike fighter and a new long-range bomber — from signing on to the plan. That means Congress would need to legislate the move, which seems unlikely in in the current budget climate.

 

Several members of California’s House delegation signaled that, in the sequestration era, Congress is unlikely to reverse the Air Force’s decision.

 

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said he has not studied the issue in any depth.

 

But he did sarcastically utter a telling quip when asked about the Air Force plan to end C-17 manufacturing: “You mean keep all production lines open forever?”

 

And California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi — also a member of the Armed Services Committee — said he supports the service's plans.

 

“The Air Force has completed its purchases of C-17,” he said during an interview.

 

Asked if he believes the US has enough Globemasters, Garamendi replied: “Yes. Unless you’ve found another several billions dollars lying around some place.”

 

Boeing in 2006 began taking measures to close the C-17 production line in 2009, but Congress added dozens of Air Force aircraft and numerous international orders were also placed.

 

John T. Bennett and Aaron Mehta contributed to this report.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from Balad Air Base, Iraq as a U.S. Air Force MQ-1L Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) waits to be launched

A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from Balad Air Base, Iraq as a U.S. Air Force MQ-1L Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) waits to be launched

September 22, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

Air Force Times recently reported on an interesting strategy the Air Force Special Operations Command is embarking on. The command has taken its rapid-deploy strategy to Predator UAVs.

 

Air Force Times reports that special operators have recently tested their ability to load two MQ-1 Predators onto a C-17, deploy and set up at an expeditionary base within four hours of landing, said Brig. Gen. Buck Elton, the director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments for Air Force Special Operations Command.

 

“We are able to rapidly deploy [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capability to an area that didn’t have the pipes and infrastructure that could support what we wanted to do,” Elton said.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
SM-3 Block 1B Missile Defense Test

9/21/2013 Strategy Page

 

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2013) An SM-3 Block 1B interceptor is launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency test and successfully intercepted a complex short-range ballistic missile target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. (U.S. Department of Defense photo)

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:55
Les industriels de la défense face au « mur » budgétaire

23/09 Alain Ruello, Journaliste en charge de la défense, chef adjoint du service Industrie – LesEchos.fr

 

Les 190 milliards d'euros prévus de 2014 à 2019, dans le cadre de la loi de programmation militaire, pourront tout juste éviter au secteur de couler. Les industriels vont devoir faire avec...

 

Venus présenter ces derniers jours les impacts du projet de loi de programmation militaire (LPM), à l'occasion de l'examen du texte par la commission de la Défense de l'Assemblée nationale, les PDG des grands industriels de l'armement se sont retrouvés sur un point : ça va être dur, très dur même, et plusieurs milliers d'emplois sont menacés, des pertes que ne compenseront que partiellement les ventes à l'exportation.

 

D'Eric Trappier (Dassault), à Jean-Bernard Lévy (Thales), en passant par Patrick Boissier (DCNS), Jean-Paul Herteman (Safran), Gérard Amiel (Renault Trucks Défense), Philippe Burtin (Nexter), Antoine Bouvier (MBDA), ou Marwan Lahoud (EADS) qui a fermé le ban, tous ont salué le fait que le projet de loi « préserve l'essentiel ». Une façon diplomatique de dire que les 190 milliards d'euros prévus de 2014 à 2019 - dont 6,1 milliards de recette exceptionnelles - pourront tout juste éviter au secteur de couler.

Tous les grands programmes d'armement sont maintenus - avion de combat Rafale, frégates FREMM, sous-marins Barracuda, pour n'en citer que trois. Certes, les cadences de livraisons seront étirées une fois de plus pour économiser la trésorerie des militaires. La France est passée maîtresse dans la pratique de l'exercice, quelle que soit la couleur des gouvernements. Les cibles, c'est à dire le nombre d'exemplaires, de pas mal de programmes ont par ailleurs été ratiboisées. Ce qui renchérit forcément le coût unitaire de chaque matériel. Enfin, s'il est bien prévu 730 millions d'euros par an pour la recherche, ce qui permettra a priori de conserver de précieuses compétences dans les bureaux d'études, on sait déjà que cette enveloppe ne pourra contenter tout le monde.

 

Evidemment, la situation n'est pas la même pour chacune des grandes entreprises. Chaque PDG a donc profité de son audition pour passer ses messages aux députés, d'autant plus intéressés qu'ils sont nombreux à abriter une usine dans leurs circonscriptions.

Peut-être le moins inquiet, parce qu'il sait que les ventes d'Airbus compenseront, Marwan Lahoud (EADS) a expliqué que le passage de 35 à 15 du nombre d'A400M qui seront livrés d'ici à 2020 est « gérable ». Serein, car il a visiblement bien anticipé le coup, Antoine Bouvier (MBDA) n'a pas caché que ses chaîne de fabrication de missiles allaient connaître de sérieux trous d'airs. Mais, et c'est là l'essentiel à ses yeux, cela doit permettre de financer de nouveaux programmes, avec les Britanniques notamment.

 

Chez Safran, Jean-Paul Herteman a mis un coup de zoom sur l'usine de Fougères, en Ille-et-Vilaine, qui va souffrir des réductions de commandes des tenues Félin du fantassin. Mais, pour difficile qu'elle soit, la situation est gérable, comme chez EADS, grâce à des relais d'activité. D'un naturel très placide, Philippe Burtin (Nexter) a regretté que la loi de programmation ne prenne pas suffisamment en compte les outils de formation numériques. Tout comme il a regretté qu'elle soit muette sur le sujet des munitions. Il a surtout reprécisé les enjeux du grand programme Scorpion de modernisation de l'armée de terre, si crucial pour l'ex-Giat Industries.

 

Plaidant pour un rapprochement avec Nexter, Gérard Amiel (Renault Trucks Défense), a sans doute été le plus pessimiste. Dores et déjà très touché, il a évoqué les « cinq années blanches » à venir. « Une vraie traversée du désert », s'est-il désolé. Tout comme Nexter, Scorpion est « la » grosse affaire à ne pas rater pour la filiale de Volvo.

 

Patrick Boissier (DCNS), lui, s'est montré très offensif, ce qui lui a valu une volée de bois vert de la part de la DGA, son premier client (« Les Echos » du 20 septembre). Eric Trappier (Dassault) n'a pas manqué de plaider pour le lancement d'un programme de drones d'observation. Et il n'a pas caché que faute d'exportation du Rafale, la loi de programmation tanguerait dangereusement. Jean-Bernard Lévy (Thales) enfin, a défendu l'idée de construire une frégate de taille intermédiaire parce que les FREMM ont visiblement bien du mal à s'exporter.

 

Au final, pour ceux qui ont pris le temps de tout écouter, l'exercice s'est révélé fort intéressant par la foultitude de détails rendus publics. Mais après ? En quoi cela fera-t-il bouger les lignes lors de l'examen du projet de loi par le Parlement ? Au risque de froisser la susceptibilités des élus de la République, il est probable que toutes ces auditions, finalement, ne serviront pas à grand chose.

 

Députés (et sénateurs qui vont refaire l'exercice) sont dans leurs rôles pour apprécier les conséquences de la loi de programmation chez les industriels. Sauf que le gouvernement a fixé le curseur à 190 milliards d'euros. Il n'y en aura pas un de plus, et même probablement plusieurs de moins. Le problème, c'est que tout a été bouclé au forceps. Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, le reconnaît : qu'une pierre manque à l'édifice et tout risque de s'écrouler.

 

S'il venait aux parlementaires l'envie de porter à quatre au lieu de deux le nombre d'avions ravitailleurs livrés d'ici à 2019, ce serait quasi impossible. On ne peut pratiquement rien changer au projet de loi. Tout amendement au rapport annexé, celui qui comprend les éléments chiffrés, ne pourra provoquer qu'une réponse de principe du ministre de la Défense. Il n'y a plus qu'à prier pour que cette LPM soit exécutée comme prévu, ce qui n'a jamais été le cas des précédentes. On peut toujours croire au miracle...

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Swiss Reject Plan To Scrap Military Draft

Sep. 22, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

GENEVA — Swiss voters on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected a referendum calling for an end to the country’s military draft, with 73 percent casting ballots against the plan, exit polls showed.

 

In a country whose part-time army is ingrained in the national image — and seen abroad as Swiss as cheese, chocolate and Heidi — voters bucking a post-Cold War European trend against conscription was no surprise.

 

But the exit polls by the gfs.bern institute for public broadcaster RTS showed that opposition to the plan was a full 10 percentage points higher than forecast over recent days.

 

Armed neutrality has been the cornerstone of Switzerland’s defense policy for almost two centuries, with soldiers straddling the civilian and military worlds, keeping their weapons at home when they are not in training.

 

“Abolishing military service would break the genuine link uniting the people and the army,” insisted Defence Minister Ueli Maurer ahead of Sunday’s vote.

 

But there is also an anti-military undercurrent in Switzerland, which has not been invaded since the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, despite major scares during World Wars I and II.

 

Direct democracy is another bedrock of Swiss society, and referenda are held several times a year on a range of federal and local issues.

 

Th exit polls showed that 27 percent of voters backed the anti-conscription plan Sunday, slightly down on the forecast score.

 

The anti-draft camp, spearheaded by pacifists and left-wing parties, had not expected victory Sunday, but had been eyeing a symbolic score of at least 30 percent.

 

They were mindful of their high point in 1989, the year the Iron Curtain fell, when a vote on abolishing the army outright mustered a surprising support of 36 percent. In 2001 they garnered 21 percent.

 

“Compulsory military service is a tool created for wars of the past,” said Tobias Schnebli of the anti-military group GSoA, telling AFP that a country in the heart of Europe faced no serious threat of invasion.

 

Draft needed to fill ranks

 

The plan was opposed by the political right and center, as well as parliament and Switzerland’s cross-party government, and not simply due to cliches about the army being as Swiss as its pocketknives.

 

Male Swiss citizens aged between 18 and 32 begin service with a seven-week boot camp and take six 19-day refresher exercises over ensuing years. Since 1992, non-military service, for example in environmental projects, has been available for conscientious objectors.

 

Supporters of the status quo argue that other European nations which axed conscription have struggled to fill their military ranks, even with unemployment high amid the economic crisis, denting their defense capacity.

 

While Switzerland is ringed by friendly nations, draft supporters say the Swiss army in its current shape is essential in a world of morphing threats.

 

The army also plays a key role in providing security at international summits, as well as disaster relief.

 

Supporters also argue that the draft helps cement a country with three main language groups — German, French and Italian — and also cuts across class lines.

 

Critics reject those arguments, arguing that language groups stick together when in uniform, women do not have to serve, and almost half of those called up do not start or complete their training on health or other grounds, with middle class urban dwellers more able to avoid it.

 

Men who do not serve pay a special tax of four percent of their salary instead.

 

Still, the Swiss army is no longer the giant it once was.

 

A string of military reforms for budgetary and strategic reasons have repeatedly reduced its pool of trained troops from 625,000 in 1961 to today’s 155,000.

 

By 2016, the figure is set to be 100,000 — a leaner and fitter force, supporters say.

 

But critics say that is still way too big in a nation of eight million.

 

Neighboring Germany, for example has 10 times the population and 183,000 active troops.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Royal Navy names latest nuclear submarine HMS Artful

HMS Artful, built by BAE Systems, is the the third of the Royal Navy's seven Astute-class submarines

 

20 September 2013 theguardian.com

 

Britain's latest nuclear-powered submarine has been unveiled.

 

HMS Artful, a 7,400-tonne, 97-metre-long attack submarine, was officially named in front of thousands of guests in an event to mark its completion at the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

 

Artful, the third of seven Astute-class submarines, has now moved a step closer to joining her sister vessels HMS Astute and HMS Ambush.

 

The other submarines in the class in various stages of design or build are Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and Ajax.

 

The Astute class of vessels, while nuclear powered but not nuclear armed, have greater conventional missile firepower, state-of-the-art communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quiet and harder to detect, according to the Ministry of Defence.

 

Royal Navy submarines patrol the seas for months at a time, providing a key part of the UK's armed defence.

 

Built by BAE Systems, the Barrow yard has been working on the Astute programme since 2001.

 

Friday's ceremony was performed by Amanda Lady Zambellas, wife of the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, inside BAE Systems' giant submarine construction facility.

 

John Hudson, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines, said: "The design and build of a nuclear-powered submarine is as challenging as it is complex, so today represents a significant milestone in Artful's programme.

 

"It requires real skill and innovation to deliver submarines as sophisticated as Artful and this would not have been possible without the valued contribution of our employees and the collaborative efforts of the whole submarine enterprise.

 

Sir George Zambellas said: "Today's naming ceremony in Barrow for Artful adds another capable nuclear submarine to the gathering momentum in the Astute class.

 

"Ahead of her, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already being pressed hard towards operational use, contributing to the wider renaissance in the UK's naval equipment programme and adding to the Royal Navy's operational authority."

 

Artful will remain in the Barrow yard to complete a series of commissioning activities, before being launched in early 2014 for further tests and commissioning.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:40
INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya

22 septembre 2013, Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La Russie va remettre le 15 novembre à l’Inde le porte-avions Admiral Gorchkov, un bâtiment rénové de l’époque soviétique dont la livraison avait été repoussée à plusieurs reprises, a annoncé samedi le vice-Premier ministre russe Dmitri Rogozine.

 

Référence : 7 sur 7 (Belgique)

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
IRGC-ASF Ghadir-H medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)

IRGC-ASF Ghadir-H medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)

Sep. 22, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

TEHRAN — Iran paraded 30 missiles with a nominal range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) Sunday, the first time it had displayed so many with the theoretical capacity to hit Israeli targets.

 

Iran displayed 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles at the annual parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

 

The stated range of both missiles would put not only Israel but also US bases in the Gulf within reach.

 

But in his speech at the parade, President Hassan Rowhani insisted the weaponry on show was for defensive purposes only.

 

“In the past 200 years, Iran has never attacked another country,” he said.

 

“Today too, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic and its leadership will never launch any aggressive action in the region.

 

“But they will always resist aggressors determinedly until victory.”

 

The Sejil was first tested in November 2008 and the Ghadr in September of the following year.

 

Both are two-stage missiles that use solid fuel that allows them to be moved around and launched rapidly.

 

The naval chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards was meanwhile quoted as saying that Iran has the capability to strike US warships in the Gulf.

 

“We have the necessary equipment to destroy American aircraft carries and warplanes in the Gulf,” the ISNA news agency quoted Admiral Ali Fadavi as saying.

 

Bahrain, a strategic archipelago just across the Gulf from Iran, is the home base of the US Fifth Fleet.

 

The elite Revolutionary Guards is in charge of protecting the strategic Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Gulf, a key gateway for the world’s oil supplies.

 

Over the past year, the United States has gradually strengthened its naval forces in the Gulf region, particularly after Iran at one point threatened to block the strait.

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22 septembre 2013 7 22 /09 /septembre /2013 16:55
Carte des attaques chimiques  syriennes du 21 aout 2013

Carte des attaques chimiques syriennes du 21 aout 2013

21/09/2013 à 11:50 Jean Guisnel - Défense ouverte

 

Paris n'a pas été conviée aux négociations diplomatiques qui se jouent actuellement. Et c'est seule qu'elle prépare une option militaire, au cas où...

 

De quoi demain sera-t-il fait ? C'est la question que l'on se pose à Paris à propos de la Syrie. Les Français assistent en spectateurs au grand jeu diplomatique ouvert par l'initiative russe. On regrette un peu dans les cercles dirigeants, mezza voce, que les Américains se soient "lancés tête baissée dans la négociation", selon la formule d'un excellent connaisseur de ce dossier explosif. Pour les Français, l'hypothèse de frappes contre le régime n'est évidemment pas envisageable de manière unilatérale.

 

Pour autant, l'option n'est pas exclue à terme, au cas où le régime de Damas ne collaborerait pas pleinement, et le niveau de préparation de l'armée française ne s'est nullement abaissé. Le Centre national de ciblage de l'état-major des armées, qui traduit en données opérationnelles les informations transmises par la DRM et la DGSE, continue de préparer des dossiers d'objectifs en relation avec l'état-major américain de Centcom installé à Tampa (Floride). L'effort national de renseignements s'est trouvé notablement renforcé. Il implique notamment la marine nationale, qui pourrait déployer de nouveaux moyens navals et aériens (Atlantique 2) dans la zone.

 

Un doigt dans la guerre

 

Une source actuellement très influente dans l'appareil d'État confie les raisons du maintien de cette posture : "Il est vrai que c'est inattendu de voir la France mettre un doigt dans la guerre dans cette région. Mais si nous ne faisons rien, Assad gagne. Il aurait dans ce cas les mains libres pour raser Alep et d'autres villes encore. Ce serait aussi une victoire pour l'Iran, qui recevrait la démonstration que l'on peut utiliser des armes de destruction massive sans recevoir de sanction. L'Iran maintiendrait, en plus, la ligne de vie qui soutient le Hezbollah au Liban."

 

Au ministère de la Défense, on a de la mémoire. Voilà bientôt douze ans, le 8 octobre 2001, les forces américaines et britanniques frappaient seules l'Afghanistan. "Plus jamais ça !" pense-t-on cette fois à Paris, où l'on comptait sur l'option militaire pour ne pas être exclu du jeu syrien.

 

Cibler le régime

 

Pour les Français, et singulièrement pour François Hollande, le régime syrien est totalement et absolument détestable. Les frappes chimiques du 21 août, confirmant les précédentes, ont convaincu les dirigeants français que "l'armée d'Assad est professionnelle du maintien au pouvoir. Ces gens sont insubmersibles. Si on ne leur lance pas une torpille, ils ne couleront jamais"... Il s'agit donc, in fine, de renverser le régime, comme en Libye. Et d'apporter une appui décisif aux composantes "démocratiques" de l'opposition syrienne, notamment l'Armée syrienne libre du général Selim Idriss. En visite à Bamako, François Hollande a déclaré le 19 septembre que la France livrerait des armes à l'ALS : "Nous le ferons dans un cadre élargi, avec un ensemble de pays et dans un cadre qui peut être contrôlé, car nous ne pouvons pas accepter que des armes puissent aller vers des djihadistes." Sauf que personne ne peut le garantir...

 

On sait que le Quai d'Orsay est beaucoup plus allant en matière de livraisons d'armes que le ministère de la Défense. À ce stade, selon nos informations, les armées françaises ont essentiellement livré des moyens "non létaux", à savoir des rations de combat, des équipements médicaux, des systèmes optiques et des moyens de transmission. Mais aussi du renseignement. L'ALS demande en outre des équipements antiaériens (missiles Manpads), des moyens antichars, des armes d'infanterie. Pour les missiles et les roquettes antichars, Paris ne dit pas non, mais la France ne livrera pas de moyens antiaériens. Paris devrait par ailleurs accentuer la formation et l'entraînement de troupes syriennes.

 

Grande gueule, petit bâton

 

Selon toute vraisemblance, les armées françaises ne tireront pas de sitôt un coup de feu contre le régime de Bachar el-Assad. Parti trop vite, évoquant imprudemment la volonté d'infliger au despote une "punition", contraint de prendre une posture d'auxiliaire de Barack Obama, François Hollande se retrouve aujourd'hui dans une posture peu glorieuse. Les négociations internationales se déroulent en son absence, et il paraît hautement improbable que Paris obtienne satisfaction sur ce qui était son cheval de bataille : le recours à la force contre le régime de Damas, ainsi que l'intégration de cette option dans une future résolution de l'ONU.

 

La France n'a pas été conviée dans la partie diplomatique ouverte par le retour de la Russie sur la scène. Comme souvent, elle a donné de la voix, sans avoir les moyens militaires de conduire une coalition, alors que les capacités et l'organisation de l'adversaire semblent à première vue autrement plus solides que celles de la Libye, par exemple. C'est souvent le problème avec la France : grande gueule, mais petit bâton !

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22 septembre 2013 7 22 /09 /septembre /2013 16:40
Syrie: un obus de mortier s'abat près de l'ambassade russe à Damas

22/09/2013 à 12:43 Point.fr

 

Un obus de mortier, tiré par des rebelles, s'est abattu dimanche dans le périmètre de l'ambassade de Russie située dans le quartier de Mazraa au centre de Damas, a indiqué l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH).

 

Selon l'OSDH, qui n'a pas pu préciser si ce tir a fait des dégâts ou des victimes, l'ambassade de la Russie, pays qui soutient activement le régime syrien, avait été visée plusieurs fois dans le passé mais c'est la première fois que le périmètre de la chancellerie est touché.

 

La Russie a été le principal artisan d'un accord avec les Etats-Unis conclu à Genève le 14 septembre prévoyant le démantèlement des armes chimiques syriennes.

 

L'accord a permis d'éloigner des frappes militaires voulues par les Etats-Unis et la France contre le régime syrien, qu'ils accusent d'être responsable d'une attaque aux armes chimiques qui avait fait des centaines de morts le 21 août près de Damas.

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22 septembre 2013 7 22 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
Une délégation militaire américaine en visite au Vietnam

21/09/2013 vietnamplus.vn

 

Le général de corps d'armée Lê Huu Duc, vice-ministre vietnamien de la Défense, a reçu vendredi à Hanoi une délégation de l'US TRANSCOM (United States Transportation Command), conduite par son commandant William Fraser.

 

Lê Huu Duc a apprécié le bon développement des relations vietnamo-américaines ces derniers temps, notamment depuis la signature de la Déclaration commune de coopération intégrale.

 

Il a souligné que cette visite était une bonne occasion pour les deux parties de partager des expériences avant de souhaiter les voir poursuivre leur coopération dans la mise en oeuvre des cinq points s'inscrivant dans leur accord de coopération dans la défense.

 

Pour sa part, William Fraser a demandé aux deux parties de renforcer les échanges de cadres et de délégations, pour une meilleure efficacité de la coopération bilatérale ainsi que le renforcement de la confiance mutuelle en tous domaines.

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22 septembre 2013 7 22 /09 /septembre /2013 15:30
Geneviève Gosselin-Fleury à la base de défense d’Abou Dhabi - 13e DBLE

Geneviève Gosselin-Fleury à la base de défense d’Abou Dhabi - 13e DBLE

16.07.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Bernard Cazeneuve étant devenu ministre, Geneviève Gosselin-Fleury a donc repris, il y a un an, le fauteuil de député de la 4e circonscription de la Manche.

 

Membre de la commission de la Défense et des forces armées à l'Assemblée nationale, elle a été nommée co-rapporteur, avec la Finistérienne Patricia Adam (également PS), de la future loi de programmation militaire pour la période 2014-2020.

 

En attendant de se pencher sur la LPM, la députée manchoise planche sur un rapport consacré à la réforme du ministère de la Défense (celle en cours, pas celle à venir bien sûr), rapport que le duo Cazeneuve/Cornut-Gentille avait ébauché et qui devrait être présenté le 10 septembre.

 

Pour lire le blog de GGF, cliquer ici.

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