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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:35
China Confirms It Plans More Carriers

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Xinhua; published Aug. 30, 2013)


China to Have More Aircraft Carriers: Ministry Spokesman

BEIJING --- The Liaoning is the Chinese military's first aircraft carrier, but there will surely be more in future, a Ministry of National Defence spokesman said on Thursday.

China will comprehensively consider the development of aircraft carriers in accordance with the needs of national defense and military building, spokesman Yang Yujun said.

Yang made the comment at a news briefing when asked to confirm media reports that China is producing its first domestically made aircraft carrier.

Currently, China operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and delivered to the Chinese Navy on Sept. 25, 2012.

The carrier's original design allows it to carry about 30 fixed-wing aircraft.

The Liaoning has conducted successful take-off and landing tests of its carrier-borne J-15 fighters, the main strike force of China's carrier group.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:35
China’s J-31 Stealth Fighter Begins Flight Tests

Chinese media report that the Shenyang J-31 “stealth” fighter, now dubbed “Falcon Hawk,” began intensive flight trials this month, and claim it will outperform and out-sell Lockheed’s F-35 on the world market. (file photo)


Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Aug 29, 2013)


Intensive Flight-Tests for China's J-31 Fighter; May Challenge US for Market Share


Since August China's fourth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31 "Falcon Hawk", has carried out more than three sets of trial flights at a rapidly increasing frequency. America's fourth-generation equivalent has achieved huge market penetration, and analysts believe that the excellent performance of the J-31 will make it a strong competitor in this market.


J-31 performance compares favorably with F-35


Although similar to the fourth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31's overall aerodynamic design and stealth appearance is not so identical with J-20, which has a higher degree of exposure. Military enthusiasts prefer to compare the relation of J-31 and J-20 with that of the U.S. Air Force F-22 and F-35. J-31 and F-35 use the same DSI inlet (non-boundary layer separated lane supersonic inlet) design, the difference is, F-35 uses a single engine to provide power, but J-31 is designed with double engines. In addition, some models of F-35 support the short distance/vertical landing; J-31 cannot do this for the time being.


Earlier reports indicate that the J-31 is equipped with twin Russian RD-93 engines - news that has been confirmed by Russia's MiG Aircraft Corporation. The "Fierce Dragon" light fighter developed jointly by China and Pakistan is also equipped with this model of engine. Judged against the specifications of fourth-generation aircraft, the RD-93 engine seems somewhat old, but during prototype testing the use of a stable engine with mature technology is the safest approach. Sources point out that once in service, the J-31 will hopefully carry our self-developed WS-13 engine, which has significantly improved performance in comparison with the RD-93.


China's Air Force test pilot expert Xu Yongling points out that the J-31's stealth aerodynamic design, stealth engine design and stealth coating design have all reached internationally advanced standards in stealth technology. He also pointed out that the J-31 possesses both stealth capability and a considerable payload level. In addition, Xu Yongling says that China has its own considerations in the development of fourth-generation aircraft, taking account not only of the need for stealth, but also of its performance in air-to-ground and air-to-air combat, and the relevant weapons requirements. This means that in payload, the J-31 will prevail over the F-35.


Domestic fourth-generation aircraft target the export market


A landmark in international military aviation history, the fourth-generation stealth aircraft will not only have a great impact on combat strategy, but also exercise a tremendous influence on geopolitics, especially on international relations and the geo-strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific region. The stealth fighter has gone beyond a simple weapons platform; its presence is now an indication of the balances and the strategic considerations at play among different countries. It could be said that the high-tech weapon systems represented by stealth fighters are becoming a new variable in the Sino-US strategic game.


Experts predict that the J-31 will make rapid inroads in the international market in the future, and will undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35. China's fourth-generation aircraft will become a new option for those countries which have not yet made the decision to purchase the F-35. In particular for those countries which are excluded from access to U.S. arms exports, China's fourth generation aircraft will certainly be attractive. The J-31, with its main target as the export market, represents a serious threat to U.S. arms manufacturers.


J-31 can be part of an aircraft carrier's payload


Earlier this year, the chief architect of the J-31 fighter Sun Cong revealed that the improved version of the J-31 is expected to become China's next generation of carrier-based aircraft.


Analysts believe that the J-31 fighter can act as a carrier-borne aircraft. One of the important factors affecting this question is the configuration of the landing gear. The front landing gear of the J-31 is designed with double wheels (the J-20, which is twice the weight, only has single front wheel), while the back landing gear adopts a dogleg structure – both these features provide strong supporting capacity and excellent shock resistance. Considering that a carrier-borne aircraft requires the ability to withstand a greater impact when landing on an aircraft carrier than when landing on land, the J-31 seems designed to meet the requirements of a carrier-borne landing.


In addition, it has recently been reported that if the J-31 is deployed on the aircraft carrier, it may combine in light-weight battle formations with the early-service J-15.



(EDITOR’S NOTE: Although the above Chinese claims about the J-31’s performance have little credibility, at least at this early stage in its development, they are interesting for what they reveal about Chinese perceptions of the aircraft and its competition.

As for claims that the J-31 will “make rapid inroads in the international market,” and that it will “undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35,” they show that Chinese writers make up in creativity what they lack in realism.)

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Kremlin Unaware of Syrian S-300 Missile Contract Payment - Aide

MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti)


Moscow has no knowledge of Syria having made payments for Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, a Kremlin aide said Friday.


“We don’t know about that,” presidential aide Yury Ushakov said, when asked whether the Assad regime was making payments under a previously signed contract for Russian surface-to-air missile systems.


All previously signed military supply contracts with Damascus are being honored, he said, adding “this is common practice for any state” and is “not in conflict with any international rules.”


“There are no bans in place, and our collaboration in the military technology sphere is proceeding ahead,” Ushakov said.


Earlier in the day, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Moscow has signed no new arms supply contracts with Damascus since the start of the civil war in Syria. Corporation Deputy CEO Viktor Komardin said his company is currently implementing contracts signed prior to 2011, which are “100 percent defensive.”


Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed in an interview with Izvestia published Monday that all the contracts Syria has previously signed with Russia were being implemented, despite pressure from the West, but did not clarify the status of a deal for Moscow to deliver advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Damascus.


Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in June a deal had been signed with Damascus for the S-300 system, but said Russia had not shipped the weapons for fear of disrupting “the balance of power in the region.” Russian media reports said Moscow and Damascus had signed a $1.1 billion deal for the S-300 systems.


The S-300 would be a largely useless weapon for use in the civil war that the Syrian government has been waging since 2011 because the Syrian rebels have no air force, but would be a huge obstacle to Western powers opposed to the Assad regime if they tried to carry out air strikes against Damascus, analysts have previously told RIA Novosti.


Russia is currently locked in commercial arbitration with Syria’s ally and neighbor Iran over a suspended contract for delivery of S-300 missiles.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Turkey on Alert for Possible Syrian Chemical Attack

Aug. 30, 2013 By BURAK EGE BEKDIL  - Defense News


ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held critical meetings Thursday with top security officials to discuss measures to counter a possible chemical weapons attack from neighboring Syria, officials said.


Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan were among those at the three-hour meeting, the officials said.


The meeting came as the United States, Britain and France take steps for military action against Syria.


The Turkish military has also issued an alert warning about possible chemical attacks from Syria, military officials said.


A U.N. inspection team is continuing its investigation into a reported chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus, which could be the turning point in the two-and-a-half-year conflict. The team is expected to complete its report Saturday.


Meanwhile in Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. is committed to Turkey’s defense against any possible Syrian attack.


Asked by journalists about Washington’s response in the event of a Syrian chemical weapons attack against Turkey, Jordan or Israel, Earnest said the U.S.’s priority was the protection of international norms, Turkish and international news services reported.


“We have a defense agreement with Turkey. We have a commitment to protect our ally Turkey,” he said.


He also added that the U.S. has a similar commitment with Israel. “Our relations with Jordan are a little different, but it’s a critical partner in the region,” Earnest said.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Iakhont, missile antinavire russe de 4e génération

Iakhont, missile antinavire russe de 4e génération

MOSCOU, 30 août- RIA Novosti


Ces deux dernières années, la Russie n'a signé aucun contrat de livraison d'armes à la Syrie, a déclaré vendredi à RIA Novosti le directeur général adjoint de l'agence russe d'exportation d'armements Rosoboronexport Viktor Komardine.


"Actuellement, la Russie s'acquitte des contrats signés avant 2011. Ces contrats portent à 100% un caractère défensif. Il s'agit de moyens de DCA et de défense maritime", a indiqué l'interlocuteur de l'agence.


Il a précisé qu'il s'agissait de systèmes de DCA Tor et Bouk, ainsi que de systèmes de défense côtiers antinavires Bastion.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Worst Case: F-35 Could Cost Canada C$71Bn

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: The Hill; published Aug. 29, 2013)


F-35 Purchase Could Cost Canada $71-Billion Under Worst-Case Scenario: Report (excerpt)

PARLIAMENT HILL --- A worst-case scenario of cost risks in a Department of National Defence report on a possible acquisition of 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets estimates the airplanes could cost Canada up to $71 billion through acquisition, sustainment and operations over 36 years.

The costs, $25-billion more than the current National Defence estimate, are contained in a section of the department’s latest report to Parliament on the F-35 that outlines “cost risk and uncertainty” and is intended to provide a range of effects on the cost of buying and operating a fleet of stealth attack planes if factors such as inflation, the exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollar, the cost of fuel and the rate of aircraft to be produced by Lockheed Martin fluctuates either higher or lower than the estimates that are behind the current National Defence figures.

If Lockheed Martin expectations of more efficiency through continued production and economies of scale as it makes and sells an expected 3,100 jets are even just three per cent less than expected, the extra cost to Canada would be $6.1-billion over a current acquisition calendar which has the 65 aircraft being delivered over a seven-year period beginning in 2017.


Other risks the National Defence report outlines include a likelihood that Lockheed Martin will sell 250 aircraft less than the number previously expected during the period Canada would potentially buy, leading to lower economies of scale in production and an extra cost to Canada of $500 million.

The risk analysis shows if the Canadian dollar were valued at 78 cents per U.S. dollar, instead of the current forecast of 92 cents, it would add $1.6-billion more to the acquisition cost. If the inflation rate were one per cent more over the lifetime of the fleet than the inflation rate on which the current National Defence forecast is based, the extra cost for sustaining Canada’s fleet would be $3.1-billion over the aircraft lifecycle. A change of one cent in the exchange rate could mean an extra $2.1-billion in lifetime sustainment cost. On the other side of the coin, a one-cent change in the exchange rate to the benefit of the Canadian dollar would lower the lifecycle sustainment cost by $2.1-billion.

The National Defence forecast of $19.8-billion in operating costs over the F-35 fleet’s lifecycle would increase by $5.4-billion with just a one per cent increase in the inflation rate from the rate the National Defence estimates are based on. It would correspondingly drop with a reduction of one per cent in the inflation rate from the current forecast rate.

The National Defence report forecast of fuel costs over the fleet’s lifetime is based on a price of 87.9 cents per litre, and a 10-per-cent increase in that cost could raise the forecast of life cycle fuel costs by $1.5-billion, with a reduction of the same amount in the unlikely event fuel costs would drop by 10 per cent. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full report, on The Hill website.

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have recently begun to claim they have significantly lowered F-35 costs when, in fact, they have simply lowered their estimates.
It is thus particularly appropriate to see how the picture can change when estimates are instead increased; in this instance, life-cycle costs jump from C$45 billion to C$71 billion if just a few assumptions change by a percentage point or two.
As the cost reductions claimed by Lockheed and the JPO are based on estimates of how various costs (labor rates, fuel, materials, exchange rates, inflation, etc. etc.) will evolve over the next 50 years, it is eye-opening to see how easily minor fluctuations can cause a totally unexpected cost blow-out.)

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 11:50
Ariane 5's 4th launch of 2013

Aug 29, 2013 ASDNews Source : European Space Agency (ESA)


This evening, an Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two communications satellites, Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7, into their planned geostationary transfer orbits.


Liftoff of flight VA215 occurred at 20:30 GMT (22:30 CET; 17:30 French Guiana) at the opening of the launch window. The target injection orbit had a perigee altitude of 249 km, an apogee altitude of 35 929 km with an inclination of 3.5° relative to the equator.


Eutelsat-25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 were accurately injected into their transfer orbits approximately 27 and 34 minutes after launch, respectively.


Eutelsat-25B/Es’hail 1 was the upper payload with an estimated liftoff mass of 6300 kg. Operating at an orbital position of 25.5°E, it will assist European telecommunications operator Eutelsat and Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, in providing direct-broadcast services covering the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. This will include video broadcasting, telecommunications and government services.


Equipped with four steerable spot beam antennas and four deployable reflectors, along with advanced command and telemetry capabilities, Eutelsat-25B/Es’hail 1 follows on from the current Eutelsat-25C satellite to provide Ku-band range communications, while its Ka-band capability widens business opportunities for both operators.


The Indian Space Research Organisation’s GSAT-7 was the lower payload with an estimated liftoff mass of 2650 kg. It will provide multiband telecommunications over India from an orbital position of 74°E.


Flight VA215 was Ariane 5’s 57th successful launch in a row since December 2002.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 11:20
Palomar Display Products Awarded a $2.2M Contract From US Army

Aug 30, 2013 ASDNews Source : Palomar Display Products, Inc.


Palomar Display Products, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a $2.2M firm fixed price contract by the US Army Contracting Command to deliver military display systems for the M1A2 Abrams tank fire control system.


These high resolution, optically coupled displays have been designed and qualified for the M1A2 Abrams tank and will be supplied to the US Army for an International customer. All display systems under this contract will be delivered through 2014.


"This repeat award contributes to our 2014 backlog," stated Palomar Display Products President Dennis Crothers. "Our position as the primary supplier of thermal sight displays for the US and International armored vehicle market has been reaffirmed again."

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:55
Le général Caspar-Fille-Lambie en visite à Orléans

30/08/2013 Armée de l'air


Jeudi 22 août, le général Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commandant la défense aérienne et les opérations aériennes (COMDAOA), était en déplacement sur la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans-Bricy.


Cette visite avait pour objectif de rencontrer le personnel des unités de la base engagé lors de l’opération Serval menée au Mali. Le général s’est ainsi entretenu avec des équipages du centre d’instruction des équipages de transport 00.340, des escadrons de transport 2/61 «Franche-Comté» et 3/61 «Poitou», et des fusiliers-commandos du commando parachutiste de l’air n°10 (CPA 10).


Après un premier échange portant essentiellement sur les interactions entre ces unités, le JFACC AFCO (Joint Forces Air Component Command de l’Afrique Centrale et Ouest) et les autres entités (armée de terre ou forces spéciales), un focus particulier a été porté sur les interventions dans la troisième dimension, notamment l’opération aéroportée, puis sur les opérations spéciales.


À l’issue de ce retour d’expérience, le général Caspar-Fille-Lambie a pu découvrir le nouveau simulateur de vol de l’A400M actuellement en phase de validation, et réaliser quelques tours de piste aux commandes.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:55
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

28/08/2013 Par E. Artigue-Cazcarra - sudouest.fr


Le nouveau patron de la brigade des forces spéciales Terre de Pau lève un peu le voile sur cette unité discrète forte de 2 000 hommes.


Le général Pierre Liot de Nortbecourt, 50 ans, a pris les rênes de la brigade des forces spéciales Terre (BFST) de Pau le 1er août. « Une fierté », dit cet homme qui a exercé à la direction du renseignement militaire, au 13e régiment de dragons parachutistes et au cabinet du ministre de la Défense, sous Alain Richard et Michèle Alliot-Marie.


« Sud Ouest ». Le secret qui entoure les actions de la BFST rend cette unité assez mystérieuse. Qui la compose et de qui dépend-elle ?


Pierre Liot de Nortbecourt. Nos employeurs sont le Commandement des opérations spéciales et la Direction du renseignement militaire : ils décident et nous leur fournissons les moyens d’intervention. Pour cela, nous avons un état-major situé à Pau, qui fédère et organise l’ensemble ; une compagnie de commandement et de transmissions, également à Pau ; et une force de frappe composée de trois régiments : le 4e Régiment d’hélicoptères des forces spéciales à Pau, le 1er Régiment de parachutistes d’infanterie de marine à Bayonne et le 13e Régiment de dragons parachutistes à Souge (33). Le premier est adossé au 5e RHC, avec qui nous mutualisons la maintenance des appareils. Nos procédures sont en revanche spécifiques, comme la formation de nos pilotes qui ne s’entraînent qu’avec des commandos des forces spéciales. Au total, le 4e RHFS, ce sont environ 400 hommes. Le 1er RPIMa, lui, est composé de 800 personnes et intervient sur des actions choc, comme la libération d’otages. Enfin, le 13e RDP (800 personnes), a pour vocation le renseignement. Par exemple, il peut envoyer une équipe de trois personnes dans une grande capitale où la situation est incertaine.


Vous faites donc de l’espionnage ?


Oui, mais c’est un espionnage à fin d’action. C’est pourquoi, même si elles sont soumises au secret défense, certaines de nos interventions sont révélées, et même revendiquées, par le politique.


Suite de l’article

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Gambia receives boats donated from Taiwan

28 August 2013 by defenceWeb


The Gambian Navy on Friday took delivery of three boats donated by the Taiwanese government, providing a major boost to the country’s small navy. Taiwan donated another four patrol boats in 2009.


Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy received the boats at the Gambia Ports Authority wharf in Banjul, on behalf of President Yahya Jammeh. After Taiwanese ambassador Samuel Chen handed over the vessels, he said the delivery was “fitting and timely for obvious reasons”.


“As a country, we will continue to ensure that our territorial waters are well-protected, together with our marine resources, and address banditry at sea as well as deter or punish the criminals,” she is quoted by local publication The Point as saying.


Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou agreed on the donation during a visit to the Gambia in April last year, to replace the four 50 ton Dvora class (called Hai Ou – Seagull – in Taiwan) fast patrol boats Taiwan donated to the country in 2009. One was seriously damaged, precipitating the donation of the new vessels. The Dvora class patrol boats will now be used for training, according to Hsu Mien-sheng, Director-General of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of African Affairs.


The eight ton vessels are 10 metres long, armed with a 12.7 mm machinegun and are powered by twin 115 horsepower outboard engines giving a top speed of 80 km/h and an endurance of two hours at full throttle. They were refurbished prior to delivery to Africa and christened GN Berre Kuntu, GN Kenyeh Kenyeh Jamango and GN Sanimentereng.


Taiwan sent a team of four instructors to train Navy personnel prior to delivery.


They are a major boost to The Gambia’s small navy, which comprises of a couple of ex-Spanish fast patrol boats and a single Peterson-type patrol boat.


The three vessels are expected to help The Gambia combat drug trafficking, smuggling, piracy, illegal fishing and other maritime threats. "We hope this will promote safety, security and freedom of the sea," ambassador Chen said. “Defending the territorial integrity of The Gambia and creating a stable and viable economic environment promotes national development and economic growth.”


“These threats such as piracy, narcotic drugs trafficking, illegal fishing, human trafficking and smuggling of goods in the maritime environment continues to affect the security and stability of the sub-region,” said Comodore Madani Senghore, Commander of The Gambia Navy. “The nature and design of the boats would also enable us to conduct search and rescue operations in narrow channels and shallow waters,” he added.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
New MINURSO force commander

28 August 2013by defenceWeb/UN


Indonesian career soldier Major General Imam Edy Mulyono has been named as new force commander of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).


He takes over from Major General Abdul Hafiz of Bangladesh who has been force commander since July 2011.


Mulyono is currently special assistant to the Indonesian Army Chief of Staff in charge of peacekeeping operations and previously served as senior staff officer for training and exercises. He also commanded the Indonesian Defence Force’s peacekeeping centre.


He joined the Indonesian army in 1984, commanding an infantry company and battalion before becoming an associate professor at the Army Command General and Staff College.


A statement from secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s office said the Indonesian will bring “vast national and international military experience, including command and staff” to the position in Western Sahara.


Established in 1991, MINURSO is tasked with monitoring the ceasefire in Western Sahara and organising a referendum on self-determination for the people of the territory.


The UN has been involved in settlement efforts in Western Sahara since 1976 when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after Spanish colonial administration of the territory came to an end.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Multi-national Exercise Oxide aims to combat piracy through collaboration

28 August 2013 by Kim Helfrich – defenceWeb


The three combat arms of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will all, to a greater or lesser extent, be part of an intensive five day multi-national exercise concentrating on counter-piracy operations starting on Monday.


The basic premise of Exercise Oxide is the promotion of co-operation and improved inter-operability between the French, Mozambican and South African navies with the emphasis on keeping pirates away from the Indian Ocean seaboard off East Africa.


The sea off the Mozambican capital of Maputo is the designated exercise area.


The SA Navy (SAN) is the lead nation in the exercise and will deploy a Valour Class frigate (SAS Islandwana), a Type 209 submarine (SAS Queen Modjadji), the offshore patrol vessel SAS Isaac Dyoba, and a platoon from its Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS).


Last weekend Islandwana underwent final work-up in False Bay in preparation for the exercise, after which she will take up station in the Mozambique Channel replacing the OPV SAS Galeshewe on the Operation Copper counter-piracy tasking.


FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

French forces taking part include the FS Nivose, a light surveillance frigate, and French commando boarding teams.


The airborne component for Exercise Oxide will be in the form of a C-130 Hercules from 28 Squadron and a 35 Squadron C-47TP, also used regularly in Operation Copper as a maritime patrol asset.


During the exercise, search and rescue, basic and advanced interdiction and boarding operations, vertical replenishment as well as tactical exercises and gunnery practice disciplines will all be undertaken.


The search and rescue component will use a submarine in distress as its central point with ships from both participating navies conducting a co-ordinated search for the underwater craft. Once the submarine’s location has been established a Special Forces parachute action group will use the C-130 as an airborne platform to speedily access it.


All vessels deployed for Exercise Oxide will take an active part in the interdiction and boarding operations phase. This will include location of “contacts of interest” (ships and vessels suspected of piracy and/or smuggling) and challenging them. Both French commandos and SAN MRS will exercise procedures for boarding, interrogation and search of suspicious vessels.


Helicopters from French and South African vessels will launch to airlift and drop crew.


The exercise will also see conventional naval procedures such as gunnery, multi-ship manoeuvring at sea and various communication methods practised.


The SAN will host nine “sea riders”, officers from the Mozambican and Tanzanian navies, aboard participating vessels to facilitate training and exposure among Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime forces.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Sudan operating Su-24s

Image credit: Akram Kharief


28 August 2013 by defenceWeb


Satellite imagery and photographic evidence has confirmed that Sudan has received at least three Sukhoi Su-24 strike aircraft over the last few months.


According to the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), DigitalGlobal satellite imagery has confirmed the presence of at least three Su-24s at the Sudanese Wadi Seidna airbase, which were acquired in recent months. The SSP says technical checks and pilot proficiency are probably underway at the air base.


“As early as March 2013, one Su-24 bomber was parked in the engine testing apron in the operational area of Wadi Seidna, located 25 km northwest of Khartoum,” the SSP said. “To date, three Su-24 aircraft have been observed at Wadi Seidna, most recently on August 24, 2013”.


Meanwhile, photos have emerged of Su-24s in Sudanese Air Force markings. They were provided by the Secret Difa 3 blog, which claims that Sudan has received 12 Su-24s from Belarus that were supposedly intended to go to Yemen.


In the past Sudan has used An-24/26 transport aircraft as crude, inaccurate bombers. The arrival of the Su-24s gives the Air Force the ability to conduct precision strikes over long ranges.


Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast stated that, “The capabilities of this particular type of bomber in the hands of the Sudanese government is troubling. Khartoum has an extensive track record of targeting civilian areas with aerial bombing, and these new planes will allow future damage to be even deadlier. The Sudan government has flouted past UN restrictions on offensive aerial operations in Darfur, and undertaken sustained bombing campaigns in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where there are no UN restrictions. With the deployment of these attack planes, life just got much more dangerous for civilians living in Sudan’s war zones.”


“The Satellite Sentinel Project will keep tracking these aircraft to ensure that they are not used in Darfur, in contravention of the UN Security Council’s directive,” said Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar.


Sudan’s Air Force has of late received a number of new aircraft from Russia and Belarus. According to the United Nations it received 15 Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack jets from Belarus in 2008 and 2009. Together with Mi-24s, these have been used in operations against suspected rebel positions in South Kordofan and Darfour.


Sudan has taken delivery of a number of Mi-24s, with 36 delivered by Russia between 2007 and 2009, according to Amnesty International. In 2011 Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of 12 former Russian Air Force Mi-24s and 6 Mi-8s to Sudan. This year Sudan apparently concluded a contract for the delivery of another 12 Mi-24s and 8 or 12 Mi-8s with an option to supply six more of each, according to Russian daily Vedomosti.


Russia told the UN Register of Conventional Arms that it transferred only four attack helicopters to Sudan in 2012.


Sudan is allegedly negotiating for the supply of 18 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters stored in Belarus.

Image credit: Akram Kharief

Image credit: Akram Kharief

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
La Tunisie crée des «zones tampons» militaires à ses frontières

29/08/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca


Des zones militaires tampons dans le sud de la Tunisie. Voilà ce qu’a ordonné de créer la présidence tunisienne ce jeudi 29, pour lutter notamment contre le terrorisme.


Dans un communiqué publié sur le site de la présidence tunisienne, le ministre de la Défense nationale Rachid Sabbagh annonce que «la nécessité de la création de ces zones a été dictée par la situation actuelle afin de combattre toutes les menaces pesant sur la Tunisie», citant notamment «le trafic d’armes» et le «terrorisme».


Il ne précise cependant pas où exactement dans «le sud de la Tunisie», si ce n’est que ce sera aux frontières avec l’Algérie et la Libye.


Le communiqué précise que cette mesure est prévu pour durer une année et que toute personne souhaitant se rendre dans l’une de ces futures zones devra obtenir des autorisations spéciales.


Depuis plusieurs mois, les autorités tunisiennes pourchassent un groupe armé lié à Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) à la frontière algérienne. Une quinzaine de militaires tunisiens ont été tués au cours de la traque, dont huit ont été égorgés et mutilés le 29 juillet dernier, près du Mont Chaambi, à la frontière algérienne.


De plus, le sud désertique du pays est devenu, de l’aveu même des autorités, une zone privilégiée pour les trafiquants d’armes venant de Libye.


La Libye, qui peine à mettre en place une armée et une police depuis la chute en 2011 de Mouammar Kadhafi, a proposé jeudi à la Tunisie de déterminer une «stratégie de sécurité commune destinée à sécuriser» les frontières.


Le ministre libyen des Affaires étrangères Mohamed Abdelaziz a dit ainsi vouloir «mettre fin au trafic des produits subventionnés, des armes et à la fuite de terroristes à partir de la Libye vers la Tunisie ou le contraire».

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:40
Russian Paratrooper Artillery in 1st Intl. Drills in 20 Years

Russian Paratrooper Artillery. (Archive)


MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti)


Artillery units of Russia’s Airborne Assault Forces will participate in an international exercise for the first time in two decades, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.


The exercise, codenamed Interaction-2013, will take place in Belarus in September, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Irina Kruglova said. Russia will send an artillery battery from the Ulyanovsk Special Airborne Assault Brigade, she said.


As part of the exercise, Nona self-propelled guns, artillery fire control vehicles and D-30 howitzers will be airdropped and employed in a simulated combat operation, the spokeswoman said.


The exercise is organized under the umbrella of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led security group that includes the former Soviet states of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is fired from HMAS Perth photo RAN

Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is fired from HMAS Perth photo RAN

30 August 2013 Pacific Sentinel


The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) have recently completed the final Operational Acceptance Trial for the Australian-designed Phased Array Radar and Combat Management System upgrades to the ANZAC Class frigate Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) system.
The trial included a number of successful Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) firings from HMAS Perth at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. During the trials, the ASMD system was challenged by a number of demanding firing scenarios. These included successful missile engagements against multiple sea-skimming targets including, for the first time in the RAN, an engagement by an ESSM against one of the world’s most advanced supersonic targets.
Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, said the firing clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the upgraded ASMD system.
CEA Phased Array Radar (File Photo)
“The targets were detected by the Australian designed and built CEA Phased Array Radar and the missiles were successfully launched and controlled in flight by the ship’s ASMD systems, resulting in the destruction of the targets,” Captain Goddard said.
“This proves the accuracy and precision of the upgraded systems to guide the weapon in a complex warfighting scenario.”
Perth is the first of eight ANZAC Frigates to enter the ASMD upgrade to improve her weapons systems and sensor arrays.
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said “The ASMD upgrade provides the ANZAC class with a significantly enhanced level of self and local area defence against modern anti-ship missiles. The complexity of the firing scenarios is unsurpassed in the RAN’s history, particularly the successful firings against supersonic targets. The results from this activity are a ringing endorsement of the capability flowing from the ASMD program.”
The RAN and DMO acknowledge that the success of the program has largely been due to the outstanding efforts and collaboration by Navy, the DMO, Canberra-based CEA Technologies, SAAB Systems and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
Imagery of the firing is available HERE
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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
 Islanders (BN-21A) surveillance aircraft

Islanders (BN-21A) surveillance aircraft

Aug. 29, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI – Defense News


NEW DELHI — India is on a global hunt to procure nine medium range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft equipped with anti-ship missiles.


The tender, worth more than $2 billion, was sent to overseas defense majors Alenia of Italy; US-based Boeing and Lockheed Martin; Saab of Sweden; Germany’s EADS, France-based Dassault; Embraer of Brazil and Bombardier of Canada.


The latest global tender is a rebid of tender floated in 2008 to buy six MRMR aircraft. That was withdrawn later because none of the vendors could meet the qualitative requirements of the tender.


In the latest tender, the nine MRMR aircraft will replace the Indian Navy’s Islanders (BN-21A) surveillance aircraft, which were used for coastal surveillance for many decades. The Islander aircraft, bought in 1976, will be given to the Coast Guard or could even be gifted to foreign countries,said an Indian Defence Ministry source. India has already donated two Islander aircraft to Myanmar.


The MRMR should have an endurance of about four hours and a range of about 400 nautical miles. Indian Navy sources said the range was lowered from the earlier planned range of 500 nautical miles and endurance of six hours. No reason for this dilution is known.


The current procurement is in addition to the purchase of 12 long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft purchased from Boeing on a government-to-government basis for more than $3 billion. Eight P-8I Poseidons were contracted in January 2009 for $2.1 billion and another four P-8Is were contracted last month for more than $1 billion.


The latest tender requires the MRMR to be equipped with anti-ship missiles, and is not specific on the supply of anti-submarine missiles, which would require bigger aircraft, said an executive of an overseas company who refused to be identified. In addition, the tender requires the supply of spares along with two engines.


The MRMR must be able to perform maritime reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare, electronic intelligence, electronic support measures, communication intelligence, search-and-rescue and medical evacuation.


The MRMR aircraft needs to be powered by two engines, which the tender says should be of current production generation and have full authority digital engine control system. The overseas defense company executive said the engine requirement is not very clear as the price of an aircraft could vary on the choice of the engine.


On weapons capabilities, the MRMR needs to have detection-and-tracking capability against air targets. The aircraft must also carry and launch at least two anti-ship missiles on surface vessels at ranges of at least 100 kilometers.


On its surveillance capabilities, the aircraft should be able to track up to 200 surface targets automatically.


The MRMR will be used in tropical conditions prevailing in the Indian Ocean region. As such the aircraft and its engines and all other systems should be optimized for prolonged operations over salt-laden seas.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Geo-Stationary Satellite GSAT-7 satellite at French Guyana, launched by Ariane 5  India (1)

Geo-Stationary Satellite GSAT-7 satellite at French Guyana, launched by Ariane 5 India (1)

August 30, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


Sat up to watch this. Real history, given how long the Indian Navy has wanted this. India's first dedicated military satellite was placed into orbit early this morning by the Ariane-5 rocket, launched from Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will be exclusive for use by the Indian Navy that's so far had to share bandwidth on India's existing space platforms, including the INMARSAT family of satellites.


The GSAT-7 will be activated for operations on September 14 in a geostationary orbit 36,0000-km above the equator.


According to ISRO, "GSAT-7 is an advanced communication satellite built by ISRO to provide wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication. GSAT-7 Communication payload is designed to provide communication capabilities to users over a wide oceanic region including the Indian land-mass. The payload configuration is compatible with I-2.5K bus of ISRO. The GSAT-7 payload design includes Multiband communication."


Congratulations to the navy, ISRO and the GSAT-7 team!

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Ariane 5 Flight VA215 with the EUTELSAT 25B Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 satellites

Ariane 5 Flight VA215 with the EUTELSAT 25B Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 satellites

Kourou, August 29, 2013 .arianespace.com


Arianespace launch VA215: Mission accomplished !


On Thursday, August 29, Arianespace carried out the 57th successful Ariane 5 launch in a row, orbiting two telecommunications satellites: EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 for the Qatari and European operators, Es’hailSat and Eutelsat, and GSAT-7 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  

Fourth Ariane 5 launch in 2013, 57th success in a row: Arianespace continues to offer the world's most reliable launch service!

Today's successful mission, the 57th in a row for the European launcher, once again proves the reliability and availability of the Ariane 5 launch system. It also confirms that Arianespace continues to set the standard for guaranteed access to space for all operators, including national and international space agencies, private industry and governments.

Following the announcement of the orbital injection of the EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7 satellites, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "The 57th successful launch in a row of Ariane 5, the 80th for our family of the Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega launchers, once again confirms the unrivaled reliability of our launch systems. I would like to thank Astrium, as the industrial prime contractor for Ariane 5, along with all other manufacturers involved, and the CNES teams at the Guiana Space Center, for working with us to make this achievement possible. On behalf of everybody at Arianespace, I would like to express our pride this evening in rising to the challenge of meeting the requirements of our three customers, Es'hailSat, Eutelsat and ISRO. Es'hailSat, like 80% of all new players in the telecommunications satellite market, chose Arianespace to orbit their first satellite. I realize that this is a particularly important moment for Es'hailSat, and for its CEO, Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari. Eutelsat and ISRO are both long-standing partners to Arianespace, reaching back over 30 years, and they continue to entrust us with their satellites year after year, within the scope of partnerships that truly honor us. I would like to express my sincere thanks to both of these companies; this latest successful launch shows that they made the right choice by selecting Arianespace! I would also like to personally thank Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, and S.K. Shivakumas, Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre, for sharing this launch with us. And last but not least, I would like to thank Nicole Bricq, French Minister of Foreign Trade, and Her Excellency Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Qatari Minister for Information and Communication Technology, for kindly agreeing to join us this evening in the Jupiter control room at the Guiana Space Center." 


A launch for two long-standing customers, Eutelsat and ISRO, and one new customer, Es'hailSat

The EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 satellite is a joint program by the Qatari operator Es'hailSat and the European operator Eutelsat. It is the first geostationary telecommunications satellite launched for Qatar, and the 23rd launched by Arianespace for customers in Africa and the Middle East.

It carries on the collaboration between Arianespace and Eutelsat that started in June 1983, and therefore marks its 30th anniversary this year. Two-thirds of the Eutelsat fleet have been launched by Ariane rockets, and Eutelsat 25B is the 27th Eutelsat satellite launched by Arianespace.

GSAT-7 is the 17th ISRO satellite to use the European launcher since the Apple experimental satellite was launched on flight L03 in 1981. Arianespace has also launched two other satellites designed by India, for the operators Eutelsat and Avanti Communications.

The partnership between Arianespace and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reaches back to the creation of Arianespace, and has allowed the two companies to define highly effective joint working methods, as shown by today's launch, just a month after the launch of Insat-3D, a meteorological satellite developed by ISRO, by an Ariane 5 ECA from the Guiana Space Center on July 25.


EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7 mission at a glance

The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm local time in Kourou (4:30 pm in Washington, D.C., 20:30 UT, 10:30 pm in Paris, 11:30 pm in Doha, and on Friday, August 30 at 2:00 am in Bangalore).

This was the 215th Ariane launch, with Astrium as industrial prime contractor. The launch vehicle boosted 9,776.5 kg into geostationary transfer orbit, including 8,960 kg for the two satellites.

EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 was designed and built by Space Systems/Loral in California and weighed 6,310 kg at liftoff. The EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 satellite is a joint program of Es-hailSat and Eutelsat to operate a high-power satellite at 25.5 degrees East, an orbital position that has been used for many years. This new satellite will serve booming markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. It will replace EUTELSAT 25C to bolster the power and coverage provided from this orbital position. In addition to ensuring Ku-band service continuity for Eutelsat and providing Ku-band capacity for Es'hailSat, the satellite will offer the two partners their initial Ka-band capacity, paving the way for new business development opportunities.

GSAT-7. Designed, developed and integrated by ISRO in Bangalore, southern India, GSAT-7 is dedicated to telecommunications services for the Indian government. It weighed 2,650 kg at launch and offers a design life exceeding seven years. GSAT-7 carries Ku, C, S and UHF band transponders. Positioned at 74 degrees East, its coverage zone encompasses the entire Indian subcontinent.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Indian MoD, Contractor Faulted in Guided-missile Purchases

Aug. 29, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI  - Defense News


NEW DELHI — India’s Defence Ministry has been severely criticized for buying 10,000 Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Russia despite having a licensed production facility for the missiles at state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).


The latest report of the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG), placed in the Indian Parliament recently, said, “Failure of BDL to supply the missiles intended by the Indian Army resulted in conclusion of a contract for import of 10,000 missiles at a cost of $188 million defeating the very objective of avoiding dependence on foreign supplier for the ammunition.”


A source in BDL said the Russians failed to transfer the technology to India, which kept BDL from absorbing the information on time and led to production delays. However, a Russian diplomat here said all promised technologies for the advanced Konkus-M missile have been transferred to BDL.


However, the CAG report said BDL was slow in enhancing the production base for the Konkurs-M missiles.


“The Hyderabad-based defense public sector unit BDL planned to increase its production capacity from 3,000 to 4,500 missiles per year by 2012, and up to 6,000 missiles by 2013. In reality, the capacity was augmented by only 500 missiles per annum until February 2013.


“The delay in supply created a capability gap in the Army to fight tanks fitted with [explosive reactive armor] panels, thereby impacting its operational preparedness,” the CAG report said.


“Production of missiles is a complex challenge for India, which includes transfer of technology, absorption, acceptance of the missiles by the services and finally serial manufacturing the same based on the demand by the armed forces,” said Rahul Bhonsle, retired Indian Army brigadier general and defense analyst. “The failure of the BDL, which has been touting Konkurs as one of its products for long, could be due to glitches in this entire cycle, thus its inability to deliver missiles to the Army has led to large deficiencies forcing the government to import the same.”


Another retired Indian Army officer said the delay by BDL led to a shortage of ATGMs, which finally led to purchases from Russia. “An inquiry should be held to find if the delays by BDL were intentional and meant to benefit the Russians,” he said.


On the delays in production, a BDL official who did not want to be identified said there were delays in transfer of technology, but added there was also a delay in giving orders to BDL from the service headquarters.


An Indian Army officer said the best option is to buy fully formed missiles from original equipment manufacturers, rather than from BDL, to meet operational requirements.


When asked about BDL’s performance, the Army official said BDL’s monopoly should be broken and the MoD should identify another agency, preferably in the private industry.


Former Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh had warned of the shortages of ammunition, including Konkurs-M missiles. The November purchase of the 10,000 Konkurs-M missiles was a desperate reaction to Singh’s warning, an Indian Army source said.


With the serious concerns raised by the CAG regarding BDL’s production capabilities, alternatives will have to be explored to meet the Army’s requirements. “India has to address the entire missile-production cycle in BDL on priority or look for alternate foreign sources until BDL provides assured delivery,” Bhonsle said. “The large requirement means that only the US or Russia will have production facilities to provide thousands of missiles that are required by the over 400 battalion foot and mechanized infantry and approximately 70 tank regiments.”


An MoD official said the Army’s initial requirement is about 24,000 ATGMs to arm its 356 infantry units, adding that this procurement will be completed by the end of the twelfth plan period in 2017.


India has also been negotiating with the United States for the purchase of Javelin ATGMs and with Israel for Spike ATGMs. MoD sources said the negotiations with the US have been stalled over technology transfer, while negotiations with Israel on the Spike are also on hold, but gave no reason.


The purchase of new generation of ATGMs worth $3 billion could be re-floated as a separate program by the end of the year, the source said.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Fournis par Snowden, les détails du «budget noir» éclairent la traque de Ben Laden

30/08/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca


Le rôle des satellites et des interceptions électroniques par des agences de renseignement américaines afin de débusquer Oussama ben Laden en 2011 est dévoilé dans des documents budgétaires fournis par Edward Snowden au Washington Post, ce jeudi.


Ainsi, et pour la première fois, le budget des 16 agences de renseignement des États-Unis, surnommé le «budget noir», a été rendu public par le journal.


Si plusieurs de ces documents publiés in extenso pour certains, «ne font que de brèves références à l’opération ben Laden», ils permettent de mieux comprendre le rôle des diverses agences de renseignement dans la traque de l’ancien leader d’al-Qaïda, tué au cours d’une opération commando américaine contre sa résidence d’Abbottabad, au Pakistan, le 1er mai 2011.


387 collectes d’images haute-résolution et infrarouge du complexe dans lequel se trouvait ben laden furent effectuées par les satellites espions du National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) dans le mois qui a précédé le raid. La résidence d’Abbottabad avait été identifiée à la suite de filatures d’un homme dont les autorités américaines pensaient qu’il était un messager du chef d’al-Qaïda.


Un des documents cité par le quotidien affirme ainsi que cette surveillance satellitaire a été «cruciale pour préparer la mission et a contribué à la décision de l’exécuter».


En plus des satellites, le gouvernement a fait volé un drone furtif avancé, le RQ-170, au-dessus du Pakistan pour écouter les transmissions électroniques. La CIA a également recruté un médecin pakistanais et d’autres travailleurs de la santé publique pour tenter d’obtenir des échantillons de sang de personnes vivant dans la résidence d’Abbottabad, dans le cadre d’un programme de vaccination pour déterminer si les résidents pourraient être liés à Ben Laden.


De son côté, la NSA, (agence chargée des interceptions téléphoniques et électroniques, doit-on le rappeler), avait monté un groupe spécialisé dans la mise au point et l’installation de logiciels espions sur les ordinateurs et téléphones portables de membres d’al-Qaïda soupçonnés de pouvoir renseigner les États-Unis sur le repaire de ben Laden.


Lors de l’opération d’Abbottabad, les Navy Seals ont récupéré quantité de documents et disques durs. En septembre 2011, les services de renseignement ont dû prévoir un budget de 2,5 millions $ pour être en mesure de les analyser, rapporte encore le Washington Post. L’argent a servi à acheter 36 postes de travail et payer des heures supplémentaires pour les médecins légistes, linguistes et «personnel de triage» impliqués dans le projet.


Finalement, huit heures après le raid, et selon les documents fournis par Edward Snowden, un laboratoire d’analyse criminelle mené par l’Agence du renseignement de la Défense en Afghanistan avait analysé l’ADN de la dépouille de Ben Laden et«fourni une correspondance concluante» confirmant son identité

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:30
Syrie: Obama prêt à intervenir en dépit du retrait britannique (journal)

WASHINGTON, 30 août - RIA Novosti


Le président américain Barack Obama est prêt à autoriser une frappe "limitée" contre la Syrie en dépit du refus de Londres de participer à l'intervention, rapporte vendredi le Washington Post citant des sources au sein de la Maison Blanche.


"En dépit des déclarations d'Obama qui affirme ne pas avoir pris de décision définitive, tout porte à croire que la frappe pourrait avoir lieu dès que les inspecteurs de l'Onu auront quitté la Syrie", indique le quotidien.


Toujours selon le journal, le départ des experts onusiens chargés d'enquêter sur les cas présumés d'emploi d'armes chimiques en Syrie est prévu samedi 31 août.


Dans la nuit de jeudi, le parlement britannique a rejeté à vendredi l'idée d'une intervention militaire contre la Syrie. Par la suite, le ministre britannique de la Défense Philip Hammond a estimé qu'une frappe contre le régime de Damas aurait lieu en dépit du retrait de Londres.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:30
source BBC

source BBC

30 août 2013 à 07:00 Paul Khalifeh correspondant à Beyrouth - RFI


Alors que le Parlement britannique refuse une action militaire contre Damas et que l'hypothèse d'une action unilatérale des Etats-Unis se voit renforcée, le régime syrien, lui, s'organise. Il procèderait à un redéploiement de ses troupes partout pour parer à toutes les éventualités.


Suite de l’article

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:30
Syria: Britain sets out intelligence case for military action

29 Aug 2013 By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent - telegraph.co.uk


Britain’s case for military intervention in Syria is based on a “limited but growing body of intelligence”, which suggests it is “highly likely” the Syrian regime was responsible for last week’s devastating chemical weapons attack, the government has said. But Mr Cameron, in last night’s debate, admitted the intelligence did not provide a definitive case against Assad.


An intelligence dossier released by the Prime Minister shows the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) - which oversees Britain's spy network - said that the chemical attack, which killed at least 350 civilians, was “probably” delegated by Bashar al-Assad to one of his commanders, rather than overseen by the Syrian President himself.

However the JIC guidance, which forms the basis for David Cameron’s case to attack Syria, says that it cannot establish the motive behind the attack.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, the JIC chairman Jon Day concluded that there are “no plausible alternative scenarios” other than the attack being an act of the Syrian regime.

The letter was released on the same day that American sources admitted there was “no smoking gun” proving President Assad personally ordered his forces to use chemical weapons.

The weight given to the JIC documents was questioned by some MPs. Ben Bradshaw, a former Labour Cabinet minister, said: “‘Intelligence’ published by JIC today is not intelligence but assertion. The Government’s going to have to do much better than that”

David Davis, former shadow home secretary, said: “We must consider, being where we’ve been before in this House, that our intelligence as it stands might just be wrong because it was before and we have got to be very, very hard in testing it.”

But Mr Cameron, in last night’s debate, admitted the intelligence did not provide an definitive case against Assad.

He said: “Of course intelligence is part of this picture, but let’s not pretend there is one smoking piece of intelligence that can solve whole problem. In the end there is no 100 per cent certainty about who is responsible. You have to make a judgment.”

Mr Day’s letter to Mr Cameron, dated yesterday, dispensed with the traditional formal salutations and farewells of letter-writing, and bears the reference “Jp 115”.

It is likely to become one of the most scrutinised government documents since the Labour government’s now notorious Iraq dossier published in 2003.

The two-page letter was accompanied by a short summary of the intelligence case which runs to just 313 words, in six short paragraphs.

Critically, this document said the JIC believes permission to authorise chemical weapons had “probably been delegated” by President Bashar al-Assad to senior regime commanders.

The summary is also dated as the “JIC’s assessment of August 27 on reported chemical weapons use in Damascus” - and it is not known why later intelligence, if it exists, was not included in the document.

Amid claims by the Syrian regime and others that the chemical attack was faked or staged by the Syrian rebels, Mr Day said in his letter: “There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of CW [chemical weapons] by the opposition.

“The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility.”

He went on: “We also have a limited but growing body of intelligence which supports the judgement that the regime was responsible for the attacks and that they were conducted to help clear the Opposition from strategic parts of Damascus.

“Against that background, the JIC concluded that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for the CW attacks on 21 August.

“The JIC had high confidence in all of its assessments except in relation to the regime’s precise motivation for carrying out an attack of this scale at this time - though intelligence may increase our confidence in the future.”

He also pointed out the JIC assessed President Bashar al-Assar’s regime had used chemical weapons on 14 previous occasions since last year.

The intelligence summary said: “Permission to authorise CW has probably been delegated by President Asad to senior regime commanders, such as [redacted], but any deliberate change in the scale and nature of use would require his authorisation.”

United States intelligence sources yesterday indicated that its agencies intercepted communications discussing the chemical attack between officials in Syria’s central command and in the field.

But it is understood these do not clearly implicate President Assad or his entourage in ordering the use of chemicals.

The Americans admitted there was “no smoking gun” proving President Assad personally ordered his forces to use chemical weapons. But it expressed high confidence that Syrian government forces carried out the attack and that Assad’s government therefore bears responsibility.

“This was not a rogue operation,” one US official said.

Evidence that forces loyal to Assad were responsible goes beyond the circumstantial to include electronic intercepts and some tentative scientific samples from the neighborhood which was attacked, US officials said.

John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel, the US Defence Secretary, are due to brief senior members of Congress on the situation on Thursday.

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