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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Azerbaijan and Pakistan discuss perspectives of cooperation in defense industry

Azerbaijan, Baku, September 5 /Trend, I.Izzet/

 

A meeting was held in Ministry of Defence Industry on Thursday with the leaders of Pakistan Company GIDS, who are on visit in Azerbaijan, Ministry press service said.

 

The delegation was informed about the Ministry's activities.

 

During the meeting, which was attended by Pakistan's military attache in Azerbaijan, the sides discussed prospects of cooperation in the field of defense industry between Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Russia Boosts Mediterranean Fleet for Potential Evacuation - Kremlin

St. PETERSBURG, September 5 (RIA Novosti)

 

Russia has strengthened its naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian nationals from Syria, the Kremlin chief of staff said Thursday.

 

Asked why Russia is boosting its task force in the region, Sergei Ivanov said: “Above all, given the presence there of amphibious landing ships, they are intended for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens.”

 

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said earlier on Thursday that the country’s increased presence in the Mediterranean is “a legitimate, natural and predictable reaction to the situation developing” in the region.

 

“Our actions are in strict compliance with international law and the UN Charter,” he stressed, adding that the Mediterranean Sea is “quite close to Russia’s borders.”

 

However, he stressed that Russia’s naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea does should not be interpreted as an indication that the country plans to take an active role in any regional conflict, he said.

 

“Our warships are a guarantee of regional stability, an attempt to restrain other forces that are ready to launch military operations in the region,” Antonov said.

 

Russian media reports earlier cited senior Russian diplomatic, naval and defense officials as saying that changes to Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean was part of a “normal rotation,” that the fleet was not being strengthened, and that these changes were not a response to rising international and regional tensions over the conflict in Syria.

 

However, on Wednesday, a high-ranking Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti that a new group of ships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will join the country’s Mediterranean task force within days.

 

The Defense Ministry source confirmed media reports that the electronic intelligence ship Priazovye would be part of the new grouping, and gave further details of the changes.

 

Also on Wednesday, a high-ranking member of Russia’s General Staff told RIA Novosti that the Slava class guided missile cruiser Moskva was heading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, where it will take over from the Admiral Panteleyev destroyer on September 17

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
NATO Chief Regrets Divisions Over Syria

Sep. 5, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

VILNIUS — NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen sharply regretted international divisions over Syria on Thursday, warning that such splits risked sending a message of encouragement to dictators accross the globe to use prohibited deadly weapons.

 

“I strongly regret that division within the international community,” Rasmussen told AFP on the sidelines of an EU defense ministers’ meeting taking place in Lithuania as the United States and Russia sought to overcome divisions over a US-led push for military action against the Damascus regime.

 

“It sends a very dangerous signal to dictators all over the world that they can use chemical weapons and maybe other weapons of mass destruction without any reaction from the international community,” he added.

 

Rasmussen called for “a firm international response,” insisting he was confident Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21 which killed hundreds.

 

EU ministers started talks Thursday in Lithuania, current holder of the rotating European Union presidency, as US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders were convening at a G20 gathering in Russia.

 

“We’re all looking to St. Petersburg. That’s now the forum for important decisions,” German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters.

 

Syria will also be at the heart of an EU foreign ministers gathering in Vilnius on Friday and Saturday that threatens to highlight more divisions with France standing alone in the 28-nation bloc in favor of military intervention.

 

The skeptics say any retaliatory strike could have dangerous consequences and stress the need for a proper legal justification to use force from the United Nations.

 

Rasmussen admitted it “seemed to be difficult” to find an agreement in the UN Security Council, where Russia and China have veto-wielding permanent membership, but said the military action could be justified.

 

“If individual nations were to respond militarily, it would be in defense of international conventions that clearly ban the use of chemical weapons,” he said.

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to join EU counterparts on Saturday in Lithuania.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:25
A-1M subsonic attack aircraft - photo Brazilian air force

A-1M subsonic attack aircraft - photo Brazilian air force

Sept. 5, 2013 by  Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - Embraer has delivered the first modernised A-1M subsonic attack aircraft to the Brazilian air force in Gavião Peixoto.

 

"The A-1 fighter jets are fundamental elements for the defence of Brazil, including its territorial coastal waters," says Gen Juniti Saito, the service's commander. "We have been very successful in using this aircraft on such highly complex operations as the Cruzex and Red Flag exercises. Its modernisation presents a big gain in capability," he adds.

 

The A-1M programme provides for the upgrade of 43 AMX jets, which were originally developed under a joint Italian-Brazilian venture. So far, 16 aircraft have been inducted into Embraer's facilities for refurbishment.

 

The modernisation package includes new navigation systems, weapons, oxygen generators, multimode radar and electronic countermeasures. The new hardware is coupled with structural refurbishment that will extend the type's life until 2025

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
US Sailors prepare to load a Tomahawk cruise missile onto the guided-missile submarine Michigan. (US Navy)

US Sailors prepare to load a Tomahawk cruise missile onto the guided-missile submarine Michigan. (US Navy)

06/09 LesEchos.fr (Reuters)

 

Le secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel a déclaré à des élus du Congrès qu'une intervention militaire limitée pour dissuader la Syrie d'utiliser des armes chimiques à l'avenir coûterait des dizaines de millions of dollars, mais l'expérience des opérations passées montre que ce montant pourrait être nettement plus élevé.

 

Les missiles de croisière Tomahawk que pourraient utiliser les Etats-Unis contre la Syrie pour la "punir" d'avoir mené une attaque au gaz neurotoxique le 21 août dernier près de Damas coûtent 1,2 à 1,5 million de dollars pièce (autour d'un million d'euros).

 

Quant aux bombardiers furtifs B-2 qui larguent les bombes, il leur faut 18 heures pour quitter leur base et autant y revenir à un coût de 60.000 dollars l'heure.

 

Todd Harrison, spécialisé dans l'analyse du budget de la défense pour le Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, se dit surpris d'avoir entendu Chuck Hagel parler mercredi de dizaines de millions de dollars, un chiffre trop faible selon lui. Il estime que le chef du Pentagone a sans doute voulu parler de ce qui resterait à dépenser sur l'année fiscale 2013 qui prend fin le 30 septembre.

 

L'essentiel du coût d'une action en Syrie consistera à remplacer les munitions utilisées. Selon Todd Harrison, le Pentagone paiera sans doute les munitions via un budget spécial qui sera demandé au Congrès et qui de ce fait ne serait pas soumis à plafonnement.

 

"Si l'on tient compte du coût de remplacement des munitions cela (une opération en Syrie) pourrait coûter un demi-milliard, voire un milliard de dollars, en fonction du nombre de cibles recherchées", estime l'analyste.

 

La Navy a largué 221 Tomahawks contre la Libye de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011, dont près de la moitié, soit 110, dans une salve d'ouverture contre 22 objectifs militaires libyens.

 

Si l'armée de l'air américaine utilise un nombre similaire de missiles pour frapper les objectifs liés aux armes chimiques en Syrie, le coût dépasserait 100 millions de dollars.

 

Selon l'amiral Jonathan Greenert, le chef des opérations navales américaines, les préparatifs n'ont pas nécessité pour l'instant de dépenses imprévues. Tous les navires de guerre américains dans la région le sont dans le cadre d'opérations régulières.

 

La Navy dispose de quatre frégates en Méditerranée orientale d'où pourront être lancées les frappes ainsi que du porte-avions USS Nimitz et ses navires satellites en mer Rouge.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Key US Lawmakers Still Undecided on Syria Vote

Sep. 5, 2013 - by JOHN T. BENNETT  - Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers whose votes could prove important continue holding their cards close, saying Thursday they remain undecided about authorizing military strikes.

 

Analysts and pundits are predicting close votes in the House and Senate next week when both chambers vote on giving President Barack Obama the authority to launch limited military strikes to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons.

 

Lawrence Korb, a former Pentagon official now with the Center for American Progress, told Defense News on Thursday he expects the Democratic-controlled Senate to easily pass a use-of-force resolution. But the GOP-controlled House, he said, will be a tougher fight for Democratic leaders and the White House.

 

Korb says he “would be dumbfounded” if House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fails to hold enough of her 200-member caucus to join with a likely minority of Republicans to push a force resolution across the finish line.

 

“I think Pelosi will figure out how many votes she needs,” Pelosi said. “In the final analysis, I can’t see House Democrats throwing Obama under the bus.”

 

But other analysts, like Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute COO and a former Georgetown University security studies professor, believe the resolution is doomed.

 

“Since the administration can't prove that any U.S. military action in Syria can be kept limited or positively impact the situation on the ground, it is likely that legislative sentiment for attacking Assad's forces has already peaked,” said Thompson.

 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters Wednesday that he is so far unable to predict whether lawmakers will approve a new version of the White House’s proposed a use-of-force resolution that will be altered by both chambers.

 

The vote-counting and -predicting in Washington already is in high gear. And many eyes are focused on veteran lawmakers who typically skew toward the political center on national security matters.

 

Two such members are Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Collins is Intelligence Committee member and a was longtime Armed Services Committee member until this year. Mikulski is the Appropriations Committee chairwoman and is viewed as pro-military, with her state hosting military and defense-industry facilities.

 

She said she still has reservations "about the wisdom" of Obama’s desired strikes.

 

Collins said she is worried about Assad again using chemical weapons, this time after US Tomahawk missile strike. “That’s the definition of entanglement,” she said.

 

Mikulski told reporters before a classified briefing that she still has “more questions than I have answers.”

 

“I hope to get them over the course of today and tomorrow,” Mikulski said, referring to classified briefings slated for Thursday and Friday for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

 

She said she is not yet prepared to vote on the use-of-force measure.

 

The Senate could vote on Syria as soon as Sept. 11. It is unclear when the House might vote.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:55
Commmande de 200 M EUR pour les chantiers cherbourgeois CMN (direction)

CHERBOURG (France), 05 sept 2013 marine-oceans.com  (AFP)

 

Le Mozambique a passé une commande de 30 bateaux d'une valeur de 200 millions d'euros aux Constructions mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), qui emploie près de 350 personnes à Cherbourg, a annoncé jeudi le propriétaire des chantiers navals, l'homme d'affaires libanais Iskandar Safa.

 

Il s'agit de 24 chalutiers, trois patrouilleurs de 32 mètres et trois patrouilleurs de 42 m, a-t-il précisé lors d'une conférence de presse à Cherbourg en présence du ministre du Redressement Productif Arnaud Montebourg, du ministre délégué au Budget et ancien député-maire de Cherbourg Bernard Cazeneuve et de la ministre du Commerce extérieur Nicole Bricq.

 

Le ministre de l'Economie de Mozambique Manuel Chang était également présent.

 

Cela représente plus de deux ans de plan de charge pour les CMN, selon la direction.

 

"Pour les CMN, il était temps que ce contrat arrive. Les chantiers deviennent ainsi les premiers constructeurs de chalutiers en France", a déclaré Bernard cazeneuve.

 

"C'est le triomphe du made in Cherbourg et donc du made in France", a ajouté Arnaud Montebourg.

 

"C'est une partie d'un contrat que le groupe Safa a signé avec le Mozambique", a expliqué M. Safa.

 

L'ensemble de la commande au groupe Safa inclut une trentaine d'autres bateaux pour les autres chantiers du groupe (situés notamment en Allemagne et à Abou Dabi), a précisé M. Safa.

 

Les CMN affichent un chiffre d'affaires annuel d'environ 50 à 100 millions d'euros, selon les années, selon la direction.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
RAF Hawk T2 trainers photo UK MoD

RAF Hawk T2 trainers photo UK MoD

Sept. 5, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - Early use of the Royal Air Force's BAE Systems Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer has dramatically boosted the quality of instruction being provided to UK students, programme officials say.

 

A first course of four ab initio pilots completed their training on the T2 with 4 Sqn at Valley in June 2013, before progressing to the RAF's 29 Sqn operational conversion unit (OCU) for the Eurofighter Typhoon at Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

 

"I think we've doubled the standard of the students," says Alasdair Shinner, station manager at the Anglesey base for Lockheed Martin/Babcock joint venture Ascent; the Ministry of Defence's training system partner for the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme. The T2 has the potential to deliver a "multi-role, combat-ready pilot" to the OCU, he adds, whereas the RAF's analogue cockpit Hawk T1s "weren't giving them relevant training for the aircraft that they were going to be flying".

 

Several additional courses are now under way, with these including RAF and Royal Navy students and 11 more UK qualified flying instructors (QFI). With only 50% of system capacity currently being used on a 28-aircraft fleet, potential options to increase the volume of training delivered include preparing additional RAF QFIs, increasing the number of instructors sourced from other air forces from a current one each from Australia, Canada and France, or approving Ascent-employed instructors to command some flights, officials say.

 

"Spare capacity is something that is being looked at, but there is no simple answer," says Gp Capt Simon Blake, from the RAF's 22 Group training organisation. "Lots of other air forces are coming here and seeing that we are filling the [training capability] gap," he notes.

 

Meanwhile, activities involving the RAF's Hawk T1-equipped 208 Sqn have been extended at Valley, with the service currently providing Phase IV lead-in fighter training for Royal Saudi Air Force pilots. Riyadh will take delivery of its first of 22 T2-equivalent Hawks from BAE in 2015, with Oman also having ordered eight of the new-generation type.

 

The remainder of the MFTS programme's fixed-wing equipment package should be determined by 2015, with a side-by-side-configuration type to deliver elementary training and a turboprop-powered basic trainer offering "jet-like performance" to be acquired as a replacement for the RAF's current Shorts Tucano T1s. Operations should commence from around 2018, says Ascent training director Simon Falla.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Destroyer Mahan Leaves Mediterranean and Heads Home

September 5, 2013 by Mike Hoffman - defensetech.org

 

The U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Mahan has left the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and headed to her home port of Naval Station Norfolk, Va., according to multiple media reports.

 

Navy leaders ordered the Mahan to extend its deployment as the U.S. increased its presence in the region surrounding Syria. President Barack Obama has sought authorization from Congress to strike Syria after U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used sarin gas in the extend Syrian civil war killing over 1,400 people including women and children.

 

The Mahan carries about 90 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) that many expect will be the weapon used should a strike be ordered.

 

Four U.S. destroyers will remain in the Mediterranean Sea: USS Stout, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Gravely. The Ramage was originally scheduled to replace the Mahan. All four also carry TLAMs.

 

The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz also sailed to the Red Sea to provide forces to the Syrian region.

 

Congress is expected to vote on an authorization next week. A Senate panel started the vote approving authorization in a vote 10–7 on Wednesday.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:45
Niger: combats entre l'armée et des narcotrafiquants dans le Ténéré

06 septembre 2013 Par RFI

 

De violents accrochages ont opposé dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi l'armée nigérienne à des narcotrafiquants dans le Ténéré, près de la frontière de l’Algérie et de la Libye. C’est dans cette région que l'armée nigérienne mène depuis la crise libyenne une guerre sans merci contre les narcotrafiquants et les islamistes massivement présents dans le Sud libyen.

 

Suite de l’article

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
Russia suspends Syria S-300 missile deliveries: Putin

September 6th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday revealed Russia had suspended deliveries of sophisticated S-300 missile systems to Syria even though some components had already been handed over.

 

Western governments have repeatedly condemned Russia for signing a contract to supply President Bashar al-Assad’s regime with the S-300 air-defence systems which are among Russia’s most prized military exports.

 

Russia has repeatedly insisted that the contract is being implemented but in an interview with Channel One state television Putin said deliveries had now been suspended, without making clear why.

 

“We have delivered separate components but the whole delivery has not been completed and for the moment we have suspended it,” Putin said.

 

The announcement appears aimed at reassuring Russia’s Western partners ahead of this week’s G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, which is taking place against a background of huge diplomatic strains over the Syria conflict.

 

Putin had in June said the contract had not been “realised”, saying Moscow did not want “to upset the balance in the region”.

 

The West and Israel argued that delivery of the sophisticated weaponry by Moscow would hand Damascus the firepower to hit back at possible air attacks.

 

Putin acknowledged that the S-300 systems were not Russia’s most modern weaponry but also could not resist opining that they are a “bit better than the (US) Patriots, for example”.

 

The S-300 surface-to-air missile systems were first developed under the Soviet Union but new versions also appeared after the collapse of the USSR.

 

A military source told the state RIA Novosti news agency Wednesday that the components delivered by Moscow to Damascus were thus far not enough to mount a single complete S-300 missile system and could not be used as a weapon.

 

“Rosoboronexport (Russia’s arms export agency) has not completely implemented the contract with the S-300 systems. Deliveries started but have not been completed. They cannot be used as a single defence unit,” the source told the news agency.

 

The Vedomosti daily, citing sources in the arms industry, reported in August that several of the S-300s destined for Damascus had already been built.

 

Syria has paid a deposit of several hundred million dollars, the sources told the newspaper.

 

But Damascus is not expected to push for a quicker delivery of the systems or to demand its deposit back due to Assad’s need for Russian support, it added.

 

According to Russian media reports, the contract with Damascus is for between three to six missile system units and worth $1 billion.

 

The suspension of deliveries to Damascus comes after Russia in 2010 cancelled a contract to sell Iran S-300 systems in a deal that was estimated to have been worth some $800 million.

 

Russia came under strong US and Israeli pressure not to go ahead with the sale of the weapons systems to Tehran which would have impeded any Western military action against the Iranian nuclear drive.

 

Tehran expressed fury but the director of the Russian weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey which makes the S-300s said last month that the systems destined for Tehran had been dismantled, with some elements used elsewhere and other parts destroyed.

 

“The hardware that was destined for Iran no longer exists,” said general director of Almaz-Antey, Vladislav Menshchikov, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
Israel deploys Iron Dome defence system: Netanyahu

September 5th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system to bolster its security as the West weighed military strikes on neighbouring Syria.

 

But he echoed President Shimon Peres in insisting that Israel is not involved in Syria’s civil war but will respond with all its might if attacked.

 

“We have decided to deploy Iron Dome and other interceptors,” Netanyahu said, in a statement released by his office, ahead of holding security talks at the defence ministry.

 

“We are not involved in the war in Syria. But I repeat: if anyone tries to harm Israeli citizens, Tsahal (the Israeli army) will respond with force,” Netanyahu said in other remarks broadcast by Israeli television.

 

His comments come as Britain and the United States laid out their case for punitive strikes on Syria over an alleged chemical attack last week that rights groups say killed hundreds.

 

Earlier Peres said Israel will hit back if its security is at stake.

 

“Israel was not, and is not, involved in the Syrian fighting but if anyone tries to harm us we will respond with all our might,” Peres was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

 

“Israel has a strong army, modern and powerful, and a more advanced defence system than ever before,” he added.

 

Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said his forces were “ready for all scenarios,” but added: “I hope we will not have to send them into action.”

 

Peres said the situation in Syria, where a civil war that erupted in March 2011 has killed more than 100,000 people, “is not a local incident but a crime against humanity.”

 

Israeli media and officials sought to calm the public on Thursday, as queues for gas masks lengthened.

 

There are fears that it the United States and its allies launch military strikes on Syria, forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could retaliate against Israel, Washington’s key ally in the region.

 

“Keep calm and carry on” was the title of a front-page analysis in the Jerusalem Post, echoing a slogan designed by the British government in World War II.

 

“With (Israeli) military intelligence keeping more eyes and ears open to enemy activity than ever before, the combination of Israel’s firepower and accurate intelligence would spell very bad news for the Assad regime should it choose to target Israel in response to an attack on Syria by the United States,” the Post wrote.

 

“Doing so would likely sign his regime’s death certificate.”

 

On Wednesday, Netanyahu’s security cabinet authorised a limited call-up of reservists, but the premier said members of the public had “no reason to change their routines.”

 

Haaretz daily said those to be called up numbered “a few hundred” personnel considered vital, including members of missile defence, air force, intelligence and civil defence units.

 

“We need to make preparations but also to go about our daily lives,” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday.

 

News website Ynet reported on Thursday that “hundreds” of people were waiting outside a gas mask distribution centre in central Tel Aviv before it opened, and public radio said “thousands” were queueing at a distribution site in the northern city of Haifa.

 

Maariv said a centre in Jerusalem was forced to close on Wednesday after anxious residents grabbed all the mask kits on the premises.

 

Nevertheless, Maariv reported, “security officials said that the situation assessment was that the likelihood of an attack on Israel was low.”

 

The kits were first distributed during the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq fired Scud missiles at Israel as the US-led coalition launched Operation Desert Storm.

 

The kits also contain syringes of the anti-nerve gas agent atropine for self-injection.

 

Yediot Aharonot diplomatic writer Shimon Shiffer recalled the 1991 attacks, which did not deliver non-conventional warheads and caused few casualties.

 

“Yesterday, against the backdrop of pictures of panicked civilians crowding the distribution centres for gas mask kits, I remembered something I said back then: ‘There are no chemical weapons, and there will be no chemical weapon attack,’” Shiffer wrote in the top-selling daily.

 

“It seems to me that what was correct then, is correct today too. I dare to say that no chemical weapon attack is expected on Israeli targets. We can relax.”

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
Turkey Reinforces Syria Border as Erdogan Backs US Attack

September 6th, 2013 defencetalk.com

 

Turkey deployed tanks and anti-aircraft guns to reinforce its military units on the Syrian border, as the U.S. considers strikes against Syria.

 

Convoys carrying tanks and rocket-launchers headed to border areas in Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa provinces today and yesterday, according to Hurriyet newspaper and Anatolia news agency. Tanks, missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns on hilltops near the border town of Kilis were aimed Syria, state-run TRT television said. F-16s, tanker and cargo planes as well as at least one drone landed at southern Incirlik Air Base, Anatolia said.

 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has expressed a willingness to join any international coalition against Syria, yesterday vowed to respond to any attack from its southern neighbor. He spoke after Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Syria will strike U.S. allies Israel, Jordan and Turkey if the Obama administration attacks his country over its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
Launch of a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile missile. (Photo Lockheed Martin)

Launch of a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile missile. (Photo Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON, 05 sept 2013 marine-oceans.com (AFP)

 

Le coût de possibles frappes militaires en Syrie ne devrait "pas être extraordinaire", a estimé jeudi le chef de la Marine américaine, qui a toutefois rappelé qu'un seul missile de croisière Tomahawk coûtait "1,5 million de dollars".

 

"Les chiffres ne sont pas extraordinaires à ce stade", a déclaré l'amiral Jonathan Greenert, chef d'état-major de l'US Navy, lors d'une intervention devant l'American Enterprise Institute, un groupe de réflexion conservateur de Washington.

 

Interrogé la veille lors d'une audition devant la Chambre des représentants américaine, le secrétaire à la Défense Chuck Hagel avait évoqué un coût de "plusieurs dizaines de millions de dollars".

 

La plupart des navires lance-missiles dans la zone "étaient là-bas de toute façon" dans le cadre de leur déploiement habituel, a expliqué l'amiral Greenert, mettant à part le cas du porte-avions Nimitz et des trois destroyers et du croiseur qui constituent son escorte.

 

Ce groupe aéronaval, qui devait rentrer aux Etats-Unis à l'issue d'un déploiement dans la région du Golfe, a été redirigé vers la mer Rouge.

 

Le coût hebdomadaire d'un destroyer en déploiement est de deux (BIEN deux) millions de dollars, celui d'un groupe aérien (les quelque 80 appareils que compte un porte-avions) de 25 millions de dollars pour des "opérations de routine", et de 40 millions en cas d'opérations soutenues.

 

Hormis l'éventuel recours à des frappes effectuées à l'aide de bombardiers furtifs B-2, le coût de frappes devrait donc essentiellement dépendre du nombre de missiles Tomahawk tirés par l'US Navy.

 

Ces missiles ont déjà été payés, il faudrait en revanche que la Marine les remplace à l'avenir s'ils étaient lancés.

 

Pour le seul premier jour de l'intervention en Libye, 110 Tomahawks avaient été tirés. La participation américaine à l'opération avait coûté au total un milliard de dollars.

 

Gordon Adams, spécialiste du budget de la défense, estime pour sa part dans Foreign Policy que le "surcoût" lié à des frappes en Syrie, notamment les primes pour les militaires impliqués ou la consommation de carburant, serait au maximum de "100 à 200 millions de dollars".

 

Ces chiffres ne prennent toutefois pas en compte le coût de remplacement des Tomahawks tirés.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 06:30
75,000 troops needed to secure chemical weapons if Damascus falls

September 05, 2013 RT.com

 

The potential of strategic US strikes in Syria has sparked fears Damascus’ chemical weapons could fall into the wrong hands if the government is toppled. A recent congressional report says 75,000 troops would be needed to safeguard the WMD caches.

 

The Congressional Research Center (CRS) report, issued just one day before the alleged August 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, was compiled with the aim of “responding to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons.”

 

It states that Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles, which a French intelligence report recently estimated at over 1,000 tons, have been secured by Syrian special forces.

 

“Due to the urgency of preventing access to these weapons by unauthorized groups, including terrorists, the United States government has been preparing for scenarios to secure the weapons in the event of the Assad regime’s loss of control,” the document reads

 

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned the ouster of Assad would present a scenario “100 times worse than what we dealt with in Libya.”

 

In order to secure the 50 chemical weapon and production sites spread across Syria, in addition to storage and research facilities, “The Pentagon has estimated that it would take over 75,000 troops to neutralize the chemical weapons,” the document continues, citing a February 2012 CNN report.

 

Meanwhile, a resolution backing the use of force against President Bashar Assad's government cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a 10-7 vote on Wednesday, although section 3 of the draft ostensibly ruled out US combat operations on the ground.

 

The wording of the text, however, could potentially allow for troops on the ground for the sake of non-offensive operations, including securing chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities.

 

While the Senate committee initially opted to limit US military involvement in the country to 90 days with no potential of ground operations, Republican Senator John McCain joined forces with Democratic Senator Chris Coons to add a provision calling for "decisive changes to the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria."

 

The Obama administration’s vacillations on Syria were perhaps best exemplified by Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry suggested it would be preferable to give the White House the power to send in ground forces in the event that Syria “imploded” or if chemical weapons were at risk of being obtained by extremists.

 

"I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country," he told the committee in the run up to the vote.

 

After being told by Senator Bob Corker –  the top Republican on the committee –  his sentiments regarding boots on the ground were not “a very appropriate response,” Kerry quickly backtracked.

 

"Let's shut the door now," Kerry said. "The answer is, whatever prohibition clarifies it to Congress or the American people, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war."

 

Having cleared committee, the measure authorizing force in Syria is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. Senator Rand Paul, a republican with strong ties to the Tea Party movement, has threatened a filibuster.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 19:45
Tchad : le COMJFACC en visite à N’Djamena

05/09/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Du 26 au 27 aout 2013, le général de brigade aérienne Philippe Montocchio, commandant le Joint force air component command (JFACC) de Lyon Mont-Verdun s’est rendu sur la base Kosseï à N’Djamena.

 

Le Joint force air component command (JFACC) est le commandement de la composante aérienne des opérations conduites par la France. Il est stationné à Lyon Mont-Verdun. Une « antenne » de cet état-major est prépositionné au Tchad pour la conduite des opérations aériennes en Afrique centrale et occidentale (JFACC AFCO). Le JFACC AFCO permet une coordination et une conduite optimale des opérations aériennes, notamment au profit de l’opération Serval. Les moyens aériens de la force Epervier participent largement à l’opération Serval depuis janvier 2013.

 

C’est dans ce cadre que le général de brigade aérienne Philippe Montocchio s’est rendu à N’Djamena. Accueilli par le colonel Paul Peugnet, commandant de la force Epervier, le général a rendu visite à la trentaine de militaires du JFACC ACO puis aux détachements « chasse » et « ravitailleurs », au groupement de transport opérationnel (GTO) ainsi qu’au détachement de l’aviation légère de l’armée de terre (DETALAT).

 

Les militaires de la force Épervier assurent deux missions permanentes : ils garantissent la sécurité des ressortissants français résidant au Tchad et apportent un soutien aux forces armées et de sécurité (FADS) tchadiennes, conformément à l’accord de coopération technique signé entre la France et le Tchad.

Tchad : le COMJFACC en visite à N’DjamenaTchad : le COMJFACC en visite à N’Djamena
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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
Kosovo : L’EEI participe à un exercice de dépannage du MNBG-E

05/09/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Le 29 août 2013, l’élément léger d’intervention (ELI) de l’escadron d’éclairage et d’investigation (EEI) a participé à un exercice de dépannage interallié organisé par le Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG-E), à Novo Selo.

 

Cet exercice avait pour but d’étendre le domaine de compétence des équipes de dépannage aux véhicules des différents contingents du MNBG-E, afin de parer efficacement aux situations d’urgence. Chaque contingent peut ainsi venir en aide aux autres, en cas d’accident ou de panne. Cet exercice a été planifié en vue de l’hiver, qui rend la circulation au Kosovo particulièrement difficile, et met les conducteurs et les engins à rude épreuve.

 

Huit compagnies du MNBG-E ont dépêché leurs moyens de dépannage pour cet exercice. Chaque équipe a procédé à une démonstration de son savoir-faire et de ses moyens sur ses propres engins, avant d’intervenir sur les blindés de leurs alliés. L’ELI de l’EEI se compose de trois mécaniciens. Ces derniers effectuent des dépannages, des diagnostics, et des petites réparations pour tous les véhicules de l’escadron, principalement les véhicules blindés légers (VBL).

 

La KFOR participe au maintien d’un environnement sûr et sécurisé au profit de l’ensemble de la population du Kosovo, en coopération avec la Mission des Nations unies au Kosovo (MINUK) et la mission de l’Union européenne (EULEX). Environ 320 militaires français sont engagés dans l’opération TRIDENT, nom de la participation française à la KFOR, avec une unité de manœuvre (l’EEI) et un élément de soutien national (ESN).

Kosovo : L’EEI participe à un exercice de dépannage du MNBG-E
Kosovo : L’EEI participe à un exercice de dépannage du MNBG-E
Kosovo : L’EEI participe à un exercice de dépannage du MNBG-E
Kosovo : L’EEI participe à un exercice de dépannage du MNBG-E
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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
BALTIC 2013 : Fin de mission pour le détachement français

05/09/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Le 03 septembre 2013, le détachement français armant la mission Air Baltic a été relevé par un détachement belge sur la base aérienne de Siauliai (Lituanie).

 

Depuis le 30 avril 2013, un détachement français de 80 militaires a assuré sous mandat de l’OTAN, la permanence opérationnelle dans l’espace aérien des trois états Baltes : Lituanie, Lettonie et Estonie. La France, comme d’autre pays volontaires membres de l’Alliance, offre à tour de rôle à ces trois pays souverains un dispositif aérien cohérent leur garantissant l’intégrité de leur espace aérien.

 

Quatre Mirages F1-CR de l’Escadron de Reconnaissance (ER) 02.033 « Savoie » ont ainsi conduit des missions d’assistance et de police du ciel, en assurant une alerte 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7. Le détachement français a effectué une quinzaine de mission d’identification parmi plus de 500 vols de surveillance ou d’exercice ( BRTE XV,  Ramstein Guard). Près de 170 militaires ont été mobilisés pour assurer les quelques 815 heures de vol de la 4eparticipation française à la mission Baltic.

 

Le 3 septembre, le lieutenant-colonel Jérôme Colombani, commandant le détachement français, a remis la "clé en bois", symbolique de l’espace aérien balte, au Major Kris Hulpiau, commandant du détachement belge, en présence du Major General Edwardas Mazeikis, commandant l’armée de l’air lituanienne.

BALTIC 2013 : Fin de mission pour le détachement français
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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:55
UTC Aerospace Systems signs major contract with HeliDax SAS

Sep 4, 2013 ASDNews Source : Hamilton Sundstrand

 

UTC Aerospace Systems has signed a major contract with French company HeliDax SAS to provide aftermarket service for its fleet of helicopters – the largest EC120 worldwide fleet in operation today. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX).

 

Actuation Systems will provide flight controls and hydraulic operational support based on flying hours including consignment stock at the HeliDax SAS facility to aid daily operations.

 

The French Ministry of Defense awarded a 22 year contract in January 2008 to HeliDax SAS for training military pilots.

 

HeliDax has to provide a maximum of 22,000 flying hours per year on their fleet of 36 EC120 helicopters renamed "Calliope" which are fitted with special training equipment such as auto pilot, glass cockpit systems and full night vision imaging systems (NVIS).

 

Training was previously performed by the French army with Gazelles.

 

Andreas Schell, president Actuation Systems said, "Helping customers to support their strategies and provide innovative solutions to manage their maintenance spending, asset requirements and repair needs more effectively is at the heart of the business. I am delighted that HeliDax SAS recognizes the value this agreement can provide in managing its fleet."

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Photo Daniel Orban - MIL.be

Photo Daniel Orban - MIL.be

05.09.2013 Karen Bral  MIL.be

 

La Défense acquiert une nouvelle Installation de Neutralisation de Substances Explosives (INSE). Le département a permis la construction du quartier Wevelsmoer à Zutendaal. Le 4 septembre 2013, le général aviateur Gerard Van Caelenberge, inaugurait officiellement ces nouvelles infrastructures.

 

La Défense n'est pas la seule concernée par le stockage important des déchets de munitions. De nombreux domaines en dissimulent et en regorgent. Ainsi, les fossés qui entourent le fort de Zwijndrecht en comportent entre 2.000 et 4.000 tonnes. Le département a donc permis la construction d'une installation de destruction afin d'entamer une vaste opération d'assainissement.

 

« Tous les occupants du fort de Zwijndrecht ont abandonné des munitions depuis son édification en 1870 », explique le major Thierry Debu, ingénieur et chef de l'INSE. « À l'époque, les gens croyaient que le simple fait d'immerger un explosif suffisait à le neutraliser. La problématique des déchets en la matière fait partie intégrante du plan environnemental de la Défense. Raison pour laquelle, nous souhaitons procéder aux destructions en concordance avec le respect du milieu. » 

 

L'Installation de Neutralisation des Substances Explosives durera environ quinze ans. La sécurisation du fort de Zwijndrecht en prendra quatre. L'INSE pourra ensuite annihiler les munitions non opérationnelles contenues dans les dépôts de la Défense. L'installation peut en détruire de 1.000 à 1.500 tonnes annuellement.

 

« Quatre-vingts pourcents de l'infrastructure se compose de filtres destinés à dépourvoir les gaz de combustion de leurs nuisances », nuance le général aviateur Van Caelenberge. Les gaz qui retournent dans l'atmosphère satisfont complètement aux normes VLAREM, principes environnementaux définis par l'autorité flamande. Les déchets retournent après inspection dans des containers qu'une firme civile recycle ensuite. « Il est donc évident que l'environnement est primordial pour la Défense », conclut son chef.

 

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC)

Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC)

Sept. 4, 2013 by  Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - Further details of the UK Royal Navy's Crowsnest next-generation airborne early warning programme have been disclosed by the nation's Ministry of Defence, with the effort expected to have a maximum cost of around £500 million ($782 million).

 

Aiming to provide replacements for the Fleet Air Arm's current Westland Sea King 7 airborne surveillance and control system helicopters, Crowsnest recently entered a second assessment phase. This is concerned with candidate radars and mission systems to be installed aboard eight upgraded AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HM2 rotorcraft from later this decade.

 

Merlin HM2 programme prime contractor Lockheed Martin is offering its Vigilance mission suite, combined with a Northrop Grumman radar for Crowsnest, while Thales is promoting an update of its Cerberus system and Searchwater 2000 sensor already used with the Sea King 7. Elta Systems and Selex ES are also offering radars for the requirement, according to evidence given to the UK Public Accounts Committee by MoD officials earlier this year.

 

In a report about the UK's future carrier strike capability published on 3 September, the committee voiced concern that the Crowsnest system is not scheduled to achieve full operational capability until 2022 - two years after the expected initial use of the RN's first Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier with deployed Lockheed F-35B combat aircraft.

 

Service trials with the selected system would commence in 2020, the MoD says, with initial operational capability to be declared late the same year. "By the time we get to 2020 we will own four Crowsnest helicopters, of which two would be available to deploy in extremis," deputy chief of defence staff (military capability) Air Marshal Stephen Hillier told the committee. Prior to achieving a full carrier strike capability, the UK "would be working alongside allies and would be able to share capabilities", he notes.

 

The MoD expects to launch a third assessment phase activity next year, and to make a main gate investment decision for the Crowsnest system in 2017. The programme is expected to have a total cost ranging between £230 million and around £500 million, it says.

 

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records the Fleet Air Arm as having 12 radar-equipped Sea King 7s in active service. Their use will come to an end in March 2016, when the MoD will also retire all remaining examples of the aged transport and search and rescue asset.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
L'Europe de la Défense, c'est 42 ravitailleurs en vol, de 12 types différents

05.09.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Lu dans un communiqué de l'agence de défense européenne:
 

"Today Europe can deploy 42 tanker aircraft of twelve different types for which more than 40% of required clearances are missing."

Une "faute admise", serait dit-on, "à demi pardonnée". Surtout quand commence, en Italie, une campagne de certification avec les KC767 italiens, des Mirage et Rafale français et des Gripen suédois. Mais ce n'est ni cette campagne ni cet aveu de forces (!) qui vont me convaincre que la défense européenne n'est pas que la somme des faiblesses des Européens.

 

Ce sujet me rappelle que le mercredi 18 septembre le Cercle Stratégia organise un petit-déjeuner-débat avec Jacques Gautier, Sénateur des Hauts-de-Seine, et Daniel Reiner, Sénateur de la Meurthe-et-Moselle, Membres de la Commission des Affaires étrangères, de la Défense et des Forces armées. Ce sont les auteurs du rapport parlementaire d'information sur le thème : POUR EN FINIR AVEC L'EUROPE DE LA DEFENSE" (cliquer ici pour y accéder). Un rapport dont je cite un des paragraphes conclusifs:

"L'Europe de la défense » est morte. Il faut cesser d'en prononcer le nom. Car à force de perdre le sens des mots, l'on se perd soi-même. L'expression était destinée à contourner l'obstacle de la souveraineté et à se dispenser d'une clarification des relations entre l'Union européenne et l'OTAN. C'était, comme le dit Hubert Védrine, une « chimère », un « oxymore » qui a conduit la défense européenne dans l'impasse où elle se trouve."

L'Europe de la Défense, c'est 42 ravitailleurs en vol, de 12 types différents
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Future of European Defence to be discussed in Vilnius

04 September 201 eu2013.lt

 

On 5–6 September EU Defence Ministers will hold an informal meeting in Vilnius. One of the key preparatory phases of the run-up to the December European Council will address possible recommendations for the discussion on defence issues at the level of European Heads of State and Government. 

 

“Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union coincides with a key semester on the Common Security and Defence Policy agenda as the European Council which will meet this December will discuss future prospects of European defence after a long break,” Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said on the eve of the meeting. “I do hope that in Vilnius we will manage to reach a common understanding with the colleagues on the discussion points and deliverables the European Heads of State and Government should produce.” 

 

„By agreeing to the need to debate on European security environment, I plan to draw our colleagues’ attention to the fact that the current European Security Strategy does not provide the best guidance in the rapidly changing security environment,“ Lithuanian Minister of National Defence J. Olekas said.

 

“I will also stress that EU cooperation with partners is very important for regional security and will urge my colleagues to focus more on EU response to the emerging security challenges, the necessity to be as flexible as possible in using EU battle groups for crisis management and seek for closer co-operation between the EU and NATO in international security area, “ Minister J. Olekas said.  

 

While discussing initiatives to strengthen the European defence and security sector, the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence plans putting forward possibilities to engage small and medium enterprises in European Commission support programmes. The Minister also said he would stress the importance of increasing military energy efficiency in the light of the fact that energy consumption accounts for the major part of defence budgets and increased cost of military operations.

 

Two documents will provide the basis for the defence ministerial in Vilnius. The first will be the interim report on the European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The President of the European Council will be referring to the report revised at the EU Defence Ministers meeting when delivering concrete proposals at the December European Council of Defence. The second document will be the Communiqué on the European Defence and Security Sector “Towards a More Competitive and Efficient Defence and Security Sector” the European Commission released in July earlier this year.  

 

The informal EU Defence Ministers meeting is also expected to address issues of EU military operations, EU security partnerships the strengthening of which is one of Lithuania’s priorities of the EU Presidency.   

 

Approximately 350 participants are expected to take part in the informal Defence Ministers meeting in Vilnius. The meeting will be chaired by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The event will also be attended by European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier. The attendance of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also indicates the importance of the meeting agenda.  Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) General Patrick de Rousiers, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency Claude-France Arnould, commanders of the EU operations ATALANTA, ALTHEA and training missions in Somalia and Mali will be among the participants as well. 

 

21 delegations of the arriving 28 member states will be led by their Defence Ministers.

In the margins of the Vilnius defence ministerial the delegations will have bilateral and multilateral meetings.

 

On 5 September a meeting of Defence Ministers of the United Kingdom, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden, nations contributing military personnel to the EU BG currently on standby, will meet at the National Art Gallery, the man venue for the defence ministerial.

 

On 6 September Minister of National Defence J. Olekas will hold bilateral meetings with Philip Hammond, UK Secretary of State for Defence, and Mario Mauro, Italian Minister of Defence in Vilnius.  

 

On 6 September General Sir Richard Shirreff, Operation Commander of EUFOR ALTHEA and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) are scheduled to visit the Ministry of National Defence and meet with Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius and Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička.

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Grèce/Privatisation: désaccord entre l'UE et Athènes sur trois industries phares

04.09.2013 Romandie.com (AWP)

 

Athènes (awp/afp) - La Grèce a indiqué mercredi avoir proposé un plan alternatif concernant la procédure de privatisation de trois industries emblématiques, dont celles de la défense, jugeant que leur fermeture immédiate, prônée par la troïka des créanciers, n'est pas la bonne solution.

 

Selon le calendrier fixé entre la troïka et le gouvernement grec, ce dernier devrait décider d'ici fin septembre la restructuration et la privatisation de la compagnie métallurgique Larco et des sociétés de défense Elvo (fabrication de véhicules) et HDS (industrie aérospatiale), dont l'activité est la fois militaire et civile, qui font partie du secteur parapublic et qui occupent plus de 2000 employés au total.

 

"Nous essayons de convaincre la Commission de la concurrence et la troïka (UE-BCE-FMI) que notre proposition, qui consiste à placer ces entreprises en liquidation, tout en continuant à les faire fonctionner pendant cette période de cinq ans, sera plus efficace en termes de valeur pour l'État que leur mise en faillite", a indiqué le ministre grec des Finances Yannis Stournaras à l'issue d'un entretien avec le Premier ministre Antonis Samaras.

 

Selon le ministère des Finances, la troïka n'est pas d'accord avec cette proposition qui prévoit également la scission des entreprises et l'élaboration d'un plan d'incitation aux départs volontaires.

 

Mardi, la ministre adjointe de la Défense, Fofi Gennimata, a indiqué que "la troïka avait demandé au gouvernement grec de fermer ces entreprises sans payer d'indemnisation" aux ouvriers car elle juge que la proposition d'Athènes "n'est ni réalisable ni viable".

 

Le débat sur le sort de ces trois sociétés endettées mais qui font partie des rares industries grecques, est ouvert en vue de la visite à Athènes des hauts responsables de la troïka d'ici fin septembre dans le cadre du contrôle régulier des comptes du pays et du suivi du programme de privatisation et des réformes.

 

Athènes est sous pression constante de ses créanciers pour faire avancer le plan de privatisation qui, en raison d'importants retards, a récemment été révisé à la baisse à 1,6 milliard d'euros en 2013 contre 2,6 milliards initialement.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:45
photo EUTM Mali

photo EUTM Mali

05.09.2013 Par Guillaume Belan (FOB)

 

Le  général Bruno Guibert (commandant la 1ère Brigade Mécanisée) est à la tête de la mission EUTM au Mali depuis le 1er août. Rappelons que EUTM (European Training Mission) est une mission de l’Union Européenne qui doit aider à la reconstruction de l’armée malienne, un des gages de stabilité du pays suite à l’intervention française. La mission européenne, qui est à mi-mandat est assurée par 560 soldats issus de 23 nations européennes, dont 120 français. Le général français explique que la mission se réalise autours de deux piliers que sont la formation de l’armée malienne ainsi qu’un apport en expertise, visant à reconstruire une chaîne de commandement opérationnelle. « Les résultats sont tangibles » selon le général Guibert. Le premier bataillon malien (soit 700 hommes) est déjà déployé à Tessalit, au nord du pays, tandis que le second bataillon va bientôt achever sa formation ; cette semaine il doit réaliser un exercice de synthèse. Le troisième bataillon va débuter sa formation le 30 septembre prochain et le 4ème bataillon prendra le relais début juin prochain. Même si « ce ne est pas toujours simple » reconnaît le commandant français, « les maliens sont au rendez-vous » pour ces 11 semaines de formations. Quant à l’expertise apportée par EUTM, elle se traduit en ce moment dans un rôle de conseil à la rédaction d’une loi de programmation militaire nationale, qui sera bientôt soumise au nouveau président. La formation comprend l’ensemble des spécialités (infanterie, combat débarqué, appuis…) ainsi que la formation au commandement. Le général français sera à Bruxelles cette semaine pour présenter le bilan de la mission, l’UE doit décider de la poursuite de la mission, qu’il qualifie déjà de «  succès opérationnel ». « La mission répond à une attente très forte des Maliens qui sont conscients des efforts de l’Union européenne. EUTM est également la preuve d’un réel savoir-faire européen : elle constitue un laboratoire pour la politique de sécurité et de défense commune avec des concepts concrets, simples et efficaces ».

 

Quant à la présence française sur le terrain malien, elle demeure inchangée, avec plus de 3000 soldats sur place, l’objectif étant de baisser à 1000. Des opérations de sécurisation ont toujours lieu, comme l’opération Anaconda, qui s’est déroulée du 13 au 25 août au nord de Gao avec 160 soldats, et qui a abouti à la saisie d’anciennes caches d’armes.

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