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24 août 2013 6 24 /08 /août /2013 11:45
Visite d’une délégation de la mission EUCAP Sahel Niger

22 août 2013 eutmmali.eu


Les 21 et 22 août 2013, la Mission Européenne d’Entraînement au mali (EUTM Mali) a reçu la visite du colonel John Venau et du commissaire divisionnaire Frank Van Der Mueren, de la mission EUCAP Sahel Niger, accompagnés de Mmes Laura Mascagna et Sara Campinoti, de la Délégation de l’Union Européenne au Mali. Le but de cette visite était d’améliorer la connaissance mutuelle entre ces différents acteurs de l’Union Européenne dans la région Sahélienne et d’évoquer les problématiques et les pistes de travail communes aux deux missions.


Au cours de la première journée, la délégation a pu s’entretenir avec le général Bruno Guibert, commandant la Mission Européenne d’Entraînement au Mali, et a assisté à une présentation de la mission à l’état-major principal de Bamako. La seconde journée a été consacrée à la présentation du volet « formation » à Koulikoro. Après avoir été accueillie par le colonel Philippe Testart, chef de corps du camp d’entraînement de Koulikoro, la délégation a assisté aux activités de formation du bataillon malien « Elou », notamment au travers d’une séquence d’entraînement au combat urbain dans le village de combat de Koulikoro.


Lancée en août 2012 pour un mandat de deux ans, la mission EUCAP Sahel Niger regroupe environ 50 experts européens dans les domaines de la justice et de la sécurité, et a pour objectif de contribuer à l’améliorer des capacités des forces de sécurité nigériennes  pour lutter de manière efficace contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée dans la région.

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24 août 2013 6 24 /08 /août /2013 11:40
750th Mi-8AMT helicopter produced

ULAN-UDE, Russia, Aug. 22 (UPI)


Russian Helicopters reports production of the 750th Mi-8AMT Hip aircraft, which will enter service with the Russian military.


The Mi-8AMT combat transport has the export designation of Mi-171.


The milestone was achieved by Russian Helicopters' Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.


"It is symbolic that this 'landmark' helicopter should be delivered to the Defense Ministry," UUAP Managing Director Leonid Belykh said. "We have enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the ministry for many years, and are continuing to develop this partnership."


The original version of the Mi-8 was introduced into service in 1977.


The AMT variant features gear such as a spotlight with infrared filter, a FLIR radar system and additional fuel tanks for increased range.


"Helicopters of the Mi-8/17 series enjoy global renown and are in constant demand, and for many years have set the standard for medium-class helicopters," Russian Helicopters said.


"The first Mi-8AMT (Mi-171) was produced in 1991. Since then, its construction and equipment have undergone continuous updating and new versions have been developed, strengthening the position of this Russian best-seller on the global market."


A new variant, the multi-role Mi-171A2, is under development. Russian Helicopters said it expects the aircraft will receive certification by the end of next year, with deliveries to customers starting in 2015.

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24 août 2013 6 24 /08 /août /2013 11:20
UH-1N Huey helicopter photo USAF

UH-1N Huey helicopter photo USAF

Aug. 21, 2013 By AARON MEHTA  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US Air Force is close to finalizing a plan to extend the life of the UH-1N Huey helicopter for the next decade.


“We’ve authored a master plan that will provide a framework for how to sustain and modernize this aircraft for the next six to ten years,” said Maj. Chris Roness, Helicopter Requirements Branch Chief at Air Force Global Strike Command. “It’s in the final phases of coordination for signatures.”


The plan will lay what improvements can be made to reduce long-running capability gaps with the Huey, among the oldest platforms in the service. Unlike modern aircraft, the Huey is analog, lacking the digital displays that are commonplace on current platforms.


“That plan says we’re going to sustain the fleet, address all our Air Force flight and safety mandates, investigate modest improvements in the capabilities and excess government assets, and we’re going to reduce capability gaps that we’re concerned with,” Roness said.


The majority of Hueys are used for two key missions: providing security at nuclear missile launch sites, and the movement of government officials around the Washington, D.C. area. In case of an attack on the city, the UH-1N fleet would be responsible for moving top officials out of the city and to a safe zone.


The Air Force recently attempted to replace the Huey fleet under the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform (CVLSP). But that program became a victim of a DoD-wide budget squeeze and was killed in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal.


“The challenge is, in a sequester resource challenged environment, there just aren’t enough budgetary resources to provide for a replacement right now,” Roness said. “So we’re sustaining, and we’ll do that with this plan.”


Roness stressed that there is no concrete decision to retire the Huey at the end of the timetable, and that the plan will be updated as time moves on. “It’s not that at the end of 10 years there is a big line in the sand,” he said. “This is us looking forward with what we can see right now.”


While the age and relative simplicity of the Huey means it lacks capabilities modern systems take for granted, Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, believes there is “minimal risk” in keeping the fleet going.


“It’s a robust work horse. With the Huey, what you see is what you get.” Aboulafia said. “It was developed before they started designing things with precise margins, and it was before they started building systems that needed constant care and feeding.”


But the aging platform has been criticized for its lack of modern technology, such as navigational tools needed for flight during adverse weather conditions. To help address capability gaps, the Air Force has already begun movement on three upgrades for the aging rotorcraft.


Cockpits fleetwide will have night vision compatible cockpit lighting installed, which should enhance night-flight capabilities. Flight engineers are also slated to receive crash worthy seats. Both upgrades are scheduled for installation across all Hueys by the beginning of 2015.


A similar timeline also applies to the installation of a helicopter terrain awareness warning system and traffic collision avoidance device into the aircraft. That system should provide the kind of high-level situational awareness data that Huey has lacked since its creation. The tailboom assemblies have also been changed out fleetwide, a project that finished in 2012.


“To us, those are big victories,” Roness said.


One potential boon for the Air Force: the US Marine Corps has decided to move away from the UH-1N model and is working out a strategy for handing over as many as 26 Hueys to its sister service.


“We made arrangements to acquire those aircraft, and they’re in the process of getting transferred over to the Air Force right now,” Roness said, before cautioning that a delivery date is cloudy, due in part to delays caused by sequestration. It is also unclear whether the service will beef up the number of active Hueys or keep the majority in reserve.


“Right now our goal is to obtain the aircraft and store them, then let the Air Force decide on way forward” with deciding how and where to deploy them, he added.


The Air Force has previously taken possession of three Marine Corps Hueys, used to replace a trio of Air Force models lost over the last five years. Those three are currently going through a recapitalization process.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:50
Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West - photo UK MoD

Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West - photo UK MoD

23 August 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Infrastructure Organisation


Elaine West has become the first woman to be promoted to Air Vice-Marshal within the RAF.


Air Vice-Marshal West will take up the role of Director of Projects and Programme Delivery at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. She will lead the way in programming and delivering multi-million-pound infrastructure projects to support military training, improve defence capability and oversee the draw down of Army units from Germany.


Prior to Air Vice-Marshal West’s promotion, the highest rank held by a regular serving female officer in the modern day RAF was Air Commodore. The highest ranking female officer in the Navy has been Commodore and the highest rank achieved by a woman in the Army has been Brigadier.


Air Vice-Marshal West said:

It is with enormous pride that I take up my new appointment. I am privileged to have served in the RAF and to have enjoyed so many challenging roles over the years.

To now be the first female military two-star is a truly unexpected bonus. I know so many inspirational women across all 3 Services who continue to make a substantial contribution to operations and our Armed Forces more widely.

This is a terrific opportunity and one that I’m looking forward to immensely.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

We need the best and the brightest talent in senior positions as we transform Defence over the next few years as we build Future Force 2020, and that means selecting people from across Defence, irrespective of gender.

I am pleased that we are demonstrating in Defence that there are no ‘glass ceilings’ for female officers who have the necessary abilities to rise to the senior ranks.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, said:

Elaine West’s promotion to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal is thoroughly well-deserved and I wish her every success in her challenging role within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

The Royal Air Force is proud of its record as an equal opportunities employer – we were recognised most recently by the Times as one of the UK’s top 50 female employers – and it is fantastic to see more female officers reaching top positions within the Service.

The vast majority of roles in the Armed Forces are open to women and I would encourage everyone, regardless of gender, to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them within the military.

Air Vice-Marshal West joined the RAF in late 1978 and through her commitment and leadership has climbed through the ranks over her 34-year career. She has served her country in bases across the world and her appointment will now help to inspire generations of women to continue aiming high to reach the top ranks within the military.

The Armed Forces are committed to increasing the number of female personnel and to promoting diversity at all levels. The RAF has consistently received extensive recognition for its work on gender equality and promoting career opportunities for women.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:40
SNLE Severodvinsk Photo Oleg Kuleshov

SNLE Severodvinsk Photo Oleg Kuleshov

MOSCOU, 22 août - RIA Novosti


Le sous-marin nucléaire russe Severodvinsk a achevé la 3e des quatre étapes d'essais en mer, a annoncé jeudi le service de presse des chantiers navals Sevmach de Severodvinsk.


"Le sous-marin a passé plus de 20 jours en pleine mer. Il a réalisé tous les essais prévus par le programme. Les systèmes de bord du sous-marin ont été testés dans différentes conditions", a indiqué Marat Abijanov, chef de production des matériels de guerre de Sevmach, cité par le service de presse.


Le sous-marin nucléaire Severodvinsk est le chef de file du projet 885 Iassen. Il a un déplacement de 8.600/13.800 tonnes et peut plonger à 600 mètres de profondeur. Sa vitesse est de 16/30 nœuds. Le SNLE Severodvinsk est doté de missiles supersoniques de croisière de type Oniks et Kalibr et de torpilles à guidage automatique. Son équipage comprendra 90 sous-mariniers dont 32 officiers.


La Marine russe se verra livrer trois sous-marins nucléaires avant la fin de 2013 dont deux du projet 955 Boreï (Alexandre Nevski et Vladimir Monomakh) et un du projet 885 Iassen.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:35
India AF's Second C-17 - source Livefist

India AF's Second C-17 - source Livefist

August 22, 2013 By : Defence News


A top US Air Force general has said Washington is preparing to station military aircraft in India as part of its "Asia pivot" policy, and the city it is looking at to base its assets in is Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram.


An Indian defence ministry source said: “We have never discussed any such proposal.”


Defence minister A.K. Antony is from Kerala, where the Opposition Left is mobilising protests against the state government.


The disclosure by the American general, who was part of the policy group on Indo-US military relations, has the potential to stir up trouble for the Manmohan Singh government in the run-up to elections. In Kerala, the Left is particularly strong.


CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, informed of the US general’s statement, said: “That seems to be the expectation of the Pentagon. It would stem from the Indo-US military framework agreement signed in 2006. It is up to the UPA government to clarify if such base facilities will be allowed.”


The chief of the Pacific air forces under the US military’s Pacific Command, General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, has visited Thiruvananthapuram. As a lieutenant general before he took over his current command, he had led the US delegation at an executive steering group meeting of the Indian and US air forces.


“So, as I envision it, as I talk about expanded engagement, a lot of our rebalance is a rotational presence through the Pacific. And obviously we’ll maintain our capability in Northeast Asia. In a lot of ways we’ll increasingly move south and west with the rotational presence. Darwin, Tindal, (Pilbara), Changi East in Singapore, Korat in Thailand, Trivandrum in India.… The most capable platforms will be rotated into the Asia-Pacific,” the general was quoted by Foreign Policy and other magazines as telling journalists at a breakfast meeting.


Carlisle said the US was not setting up new bases in the Asia-Pacific but would continuously “rotate” its military assets in a revival of a “Checkered Flag” policy from the years of the Cold War.


He said that during the Cold War, the US rotated all its military units from the Continental US (Conus) to Europe. That would now be done for the Asia-Pacific.


Indian Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, who visited the US last month, met Carlisle.


Talking of that meeting, the US general said the Indian Air Force was trying to learn to set up a military space command. Carlisle said he had apologised for cancelling a Red Flag exercise, to which the Indian Air Force had been invited, because of budget cuts.


“The relationship’s great with the Indian Air Force. I think Air Chief Marshal Browne and I are good friends. We’ve known each other for a while,” Carlisle said.


“We talked about a variety of things. One of them was, again, an apology on our part for cancelling Red Flag. We did make a commitment to have Red Flag next year about this time and they are going to participate, so that was a positive in that respect.”


He added: “We talked about other engagement opportunities. Their C-17 (strategic air-lifter) — he was here picking up a C-17 out of Long Beach, their second one. He actually flew the C-17 back here to Washington DC through Colorado. So we talked about the C-17.


“One of the discussions was doing some exchanges with their C-17 folks and ours. The other things that he talked about were the Indian Air Force — the Indian military is trying to develop a space command.”


Browne was also in Colorado Springs to visit the US Air Force Space Command. “So we talked about our potential to show them how we do it, some of the education that’s available, some of the organisational things, some of the things we learned as we stood up a space command a long time ago,” the general said.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:30
L’Iran annonce le début des essais de son nouveau sous-marin, le Fateh

22 août 2013 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


L’Iran commencera prochainement les essais de son nouveau sous-marin, le Fateh, qu’elle est sur le point de terminer, a déclaré le commandant adjoint des forces navales iraniennes, le contre-amiral Reza Kadem Bigam.


Selon le contre-amiral, des sous-marins ressemblant au Fateh seront construits en « grande quantité parce que c’est une arme stratégique ».


Il a aussi annoncé que le Fateh se différencie des sous-marins de la classe Ghadir parce qu’il est équipé de missiles et torpilles plus puissants. De plus, le nouveau sous-marin pourra lancer missiles et torpilles en même temps.


En juin 2012, le contre-amiral Abbas Zamini avait annoncé que son pays lançait le développement d’un sous-marin nucléaire et que, pour sa conception, il s’appuierait sur l’expérience accumulée pour la construction de la centre nucléaire de Bushehr. Les caractéristiques de ce sous-marin n’ont pas été communiquées.


Référence : RIA Novosti (Russie)

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:20
U.S. Navy To Cut Admirals

August 22, 2013. by David Pugliese - Defence Watch


This is from the U.S. Navy:


WASHINGTON (NNS) — Upon the recommendation of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy has approved the initial step to reduce, eliminate or consolidate a net of 35 Navy flag officer positions in the ranks of rear admiral (lower half) (O-7), rear admiral (O-8), and vice admiral (O-9) Navy officials announced Aug. 20.


“We had to make tough choices but it was the right thing to do – the plan is in line with Congressional mandates, OSD guidance, and our changing fiscal environment,” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mark E. Ferguson.


Flag officer end strength adjustments are already underway using a phased approach and will be completed by fiscal year 2017. This will result in a flag officer end strength of 151 Navy specific billets while meeting the existing minimum requirement for 61 Navy flag officers to fill joint billets.


“This plan postures the Navy to absorb future reductions in headquarters and staff due to sequestration. In fact, we plan to submit the elimination of an additional six flag billets with the FY15 defense budget,” said Ferguson. “This reflects our commitment to working more efficiently and cost-effectively in this resource constrained environment without putting our warfighting capabilities at risk.”


Specific billets affected by this plan are:




Executive Director, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Acquisition and Procurement), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition), Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.




Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, N4, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from vice admiral to rear admiral.


Director, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, N45, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral to rear admiral (lower half).


Director, Operations Division, Office of Budget, Office of the Assistant SECNAV for Financial Management and Comptroller/Director, Operations Division, Fiscal Management Division, N821, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Director, Fleet Readiness Division, N43, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Director, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Capabilities, N2/N6F2, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, N95B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Director, Surface Warfare Division, N96B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Director, Submarine Warfare Division, N97B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Director, Air Warfare Division, N98B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Director, Total Force Programming and Manpower Management Division, N12, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Merge position with Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division, N13, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. The pay grade of the combined position will be rear admiral.


Director, Decision Superiority, N2/N6F4, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Program Manager, Director for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Merge Commander, Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. and Chief Operating Officer, N7, Naval Education and Training Command, Norfolk, Va. The pay grade of the combined position will be rear admiral (lower half).




Director, Maritime Headquarters, Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral to rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Virginia Beach, Va. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral to rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance 5th/7th Fleet, Atsugi, Japan. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, Virginia Beach, Va. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Deputy Commander, Fleet Cyber Command/ Deputy Commander, 10th Fleet, Fort Meade, Md. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Merge Commander, Office of Naval Intelligence, Washington, D.C. and Director, National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office, Washington, D.C. The pay grade of the combined position remains rear admiral.


Commander, Submarine Group 2, Groton, Conn. will be eliminated. The position pay grade is rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 5, Manama, Bahrain has been disestablished. This position had been filled by a flag officer Individual Augmentee from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. The associated responsibility of Commander, Task Force 51/59, Manama, Bahrain was turned over to Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.




Deputy Commander for Ship Design, Integration and Engineering, SEA-05, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral to rear admiral (lower half).


Deputy Commander for Undersea Warfare, SEA-07, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Merge position with Program Executive Officer for Submarines, Washington, D.C. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Assistant Commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR-6.0) Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. Merge with Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, Patuxent River, Md. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Space Field Activity, Washington, D.C. Merge with Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Deputy Commander for Surface Warfare, SEA-21, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Merge with Program Executive Officer for Ships, Washington, D.C. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md. Merge with Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command (AIR-4.0), Patuxent River, Md. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Washington, D.C. Merge with Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Washington, D.C. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Deputy Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Vice Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Vice Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.




Commandant of the Medical Education Training Campus/Director of Medical Education and Training (M7) BUMED Training Campus, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral to rear admiral (lower half).


Commander, Navy Region Midwest, Great Lakes, Ill. duties will be merged with Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Bangor, Wash. The pay grade of the combined position is rear admiral (lower half).


Chief of Staff, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


Director, Navy Medicine Research, M2, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D.C. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain.


United States Pacific Command/United States Pacific Fleet Surgeon, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Reduce pay grade of position from rear admiral (lower half) to captain assigned to U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 16:20
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) fires a standard missile - photo US Navy

USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) fires a standard missile - photo US Navy

Aug 23, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Lockheed Martin


The Lockheed Martin and U.S. Navy team's (NYSE: LMT) Aegis Combat System successfully completed the first live firing test that proves the system can defend beyond its line of sight by integrating data from a remote sensor to intercept a target.


The latest Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) test marks the first test at sea, and the second consecutive time this year, where Aegis used remote data to successfully intercept a target. Using the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) to interpret data from remote sources, Aegis launched a Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) missile from the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) to intercept the target.


"The latest NIFC-CA test demonstrated how the Aegis Combat System has taken a significant step forward in increasing interoperability with remote systems to extend the distance that we can detect, analyze and intercept targets," said Jim Sheridan, director of U.S. Navy Aegis programs for Lockheed Martin. "We continue to use our advanced solutions to provide the Navy with the robust and reliable capabilities needed to defend our nation from sophisticated threats."


As a result of the successful NIFC-CA test, Aegis proved once again that it can transform and adapt to threats and address a changing defense landscape. The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are committed to modernization programs for the Aegis Combat System on cruisers and destroyers to extend service life and provide new technologies to the ships and their crews. Ships receiving Aegis system upgrades will field Open Architecture and Commercial Off-the-Shelf technologies that will reduce total ownership costs and ensure military readiness for ongoing missile defense needs.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 13:49
Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013

23/08/2013 Sources : EMA


Point sur les opérations de la force Serval depuis le jeudi 15 août 18h00 jusqu’au jeudi 22 août, 18h00.


Au cours de ces derniers jours, les opérations aériennes se sont poursuivies avec une soixantaine de sorties dont la moitié consacrées aux opérations de reconnaissance ou d’appui au sol.  Une dizaine de sorties ont été dédiées aux missions de ravitaillement, une dizaine d’autres ont été consacrées à des missions de renseignement et une dizaine consacrées à des missions de transport.


Au sol, la force Serval poursuit les opérations autour de la boucle du Niger et dans le Nord du pays.


Le 21 août, la force Serval a achevé l’opération Centaure, débutée le 21 juillet. Conduite avec près de 800 militaires français, une centaine de véhicules, les hélicoptères du GAM et l’appui des Rafale en provenance du Tchad, Centaure avait pour but de dissuader toute tentative de déstabilisation du processus électoral dans le Nord du Pays entre Kidal, Tessalit et Aghuelok. Placée en soutien de la Mission des Nations Unies au Mali (MINUSMA), elle-même en appui des forces armées maliennes, la force Serval a effectué des patrouilles dans les villes, fouillé des habitations, des camps et des grottes réputées ou susceptibles d’être ou d’abriter des caches d’armes. Près de 4 000 cartouches de tous calibres, des obus de mortiers, des roquettes, de l’explosif et du matériel de guerre ont ainsi pu être saisies. Parallèlement, la force Serval a participé à l’organisation logistique des deux tours de scrutins en soutenant l’installation des bureaux de vote (appui au transport du matériel électoral) et en assurant la sécurisation des bureaux de vote (vérification de non-pollution par moyen cynotechnique). Les élections se sont déroulées sans entrave.


Le 18 août, la force Serval a déployé un système radar GIRAFFE sur la plateforme opérationnelle désert de Gao. Le rétablissement sécuritaire de la zone ayant entraîné un accroissement de l’activité aérienne civile (ONU) et militaire dans la zone, ce système va permettre d’élargir les capacités actuelles de surveillance de l’espace aérien et d’accroitre la coordination des vols de l’ensemble des moyens aéronautiques de la force.


Enfin, sur le plan du soutien au développement, la brigade Serval a distribué du matériel informatique aux radios communautaires de Gao. Ces équipements informatiques serviront à la production de programmes culturels et d’information. Elle a par ailleurs livré un cinquième puits dans un hameau en périphérie de la ville, qui était l’un des plus  mal desservi en eau potable.


Environ 3200 militaires français sont actuellement présents sur le sol malien et poursuivent leurs missions de sécurisation visant à affaiblir durablement les groupes terroristes ainsi qu’à poursuivre le transfert progressif de la zone aux contingents relevant de la MINUSMA.

Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013
Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013
Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013
Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013Opération Serval : point de situation du jeudi 22 août 2013
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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:50
Euro Hawk décollage de la BA De de Manching 11.01.2013 photo EADS - CAssidian

Euro Hawk décollage de la BA De de Manching 11.01.2013 photo EADS - CAssidian

22 Aug 2013 By Zach Rosenberg – FG


Washington DC - Germany has denied that negotiations are ongoing in an attempt to salvage Northrop Grumman's Euro Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) deal, nixed in May over airspace concerns.


The German ministry of defence expressed "surprise" with comments by Northrop vice-president Tom Vice, who spoke to reporters on 20 August.


"We're continuing to work with the Germans to find a solution on this programme," Vice said. "We continue to have discussions, but the thing we continue to point out is that the capability continues to match their needs. The programme is going extremely well we're making a lot of progress, we're having discussions, we'll see where that ends up."


The ministry is seeking clarification from involved companies.


The programme, meant to supply surveillance capabilities to Germany using four modified RQ-4 Global Hawks, is formally scheduled to end in September. The programme's cancellation was largely a result of Germany's airspace regulators, expressing concern over integrating UAVs routinely into airspace.


"The Global Hawk programme has 97% of its life ahead of it. It's a maturing programme," Vice said.


In the USA, Global Hawk has its own problems. Citing high costs and sub-par performance, the US Air Force is seeking to retire the Global Hawk Block 30, originally meant to replace the aging Lockheed U-2 in its surveillance role, while continuing operations of the Block 40.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:40
Kurchatov city, the center of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site

Kurchatov city, the center of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site

August 23, 2013: Strategy Page


It was recently revealed that for the past 17 years (until 2012) there had been a secret operation to deal with the nuclear material scattered around the Soviet era Semipalatinsk nuclear research and testing facility in Kazakhstan. Semipalatinsk was not included in the places that needed nuclear weapons grade radioactive material removed to keep it out of circulation. Soviet nuclear weapons officials had insisted that the nuclear material at Semipalatinsk had already been taken care of. American nuclear researchers aiding the official nuclear disarmament operation stumbled upon the Kazakhstan facility in the 1990s and found that it still contained lots of nuclear material, and that this was apparently not generally known because the abandoned facility was overrun by illegal scrap collectors. Semipalatinsk consisted of many kilometers of tunnels where underground nuclear tests, or other nuclear research was conducted. The tunnels were largely sealed along with other places containing bits of nuclear material. But the area had been discovered by poor Kazakhs who had, since the early 1990s been scouring the place for scrap metal or anything else that could be sold. The scavengers didn’t know about buried nuclear material, but their excavations and dismantling activities were bringing them closer to such dangerous stuff. The Kazakhstan government was not aware of the danger and had not bothered to try and keep the scavengers out. In order to keep this a secret, and to get the nuclear material removed or permanently sealed, a secret deal was made with the Kazakh government and in 17 years of largely clandestine work the deed was done. All this cost $150 million, paid for by the United States.


Kazakhstan had earlier, with the help of the United States, already completed the official removal of 13 tons of weapons grade uranium and plutonium (enough to make nearly 800 nuclear bombs) to a secure storage site (and eventual conversion into fuel for nuclear power plants). All this was accomplished by a post-Cold War agreement between the United States and Russia to account for all Soviet nuclear weapons, and dismantle most of them. The U.S. provided funding and technical assistance, but the hard work was carried out by Russian experts and diplomats. Semipalatinsk was not included because the Soviet bureaucracy thought it didn’t count even though there turned out to be some 200 kg (440 pounds) of plutonium in some of the 131 tunnels and 13 test shafts where 456 nuclear tests had taken place over four decades. The last test was in 1989 and the site was officially closed in 1991. Many of those tests were not successful, leaving behind buried plutonium. The Soviet engineers believed that whatever plutonium there remained at Semipalatinsk was so hard to get at that it was not worth mentioning. Later visits by American scientists found this was not true. There was a lot of plutonium and other nuclear material that was easily extracted. Most of the loose nuclear material was at the Degelen Mountain part of the 18,000 square kilometer Semipalatinsk complex.


Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 (and everyone agreed that whatever Soviet assets were on the territory of the 14 new nations created from parts of the Soviet Union, were the property of the new country.) Russia, with the financial and diplomatic help of Western nations, bought and dismantled the nukes owned by those three nations.


Meanwhile, the Russians had other, uniquely Russian, problems, like the Kazakhstan site that was recently revealed. They had a lot (tons) of other highly radioactive material in circulation, much of it in powder form, and largely used for medical and industrial purposes. Particularly worrisome are the hundreds of Radiothermal Generators (RTGs) Russia set up in remote parts of the country during the Soviet era. The RTGs were similar to the power supplies found on some space satellites, using radioactive material to generate heat, and thus electricity, for radio beacons and signal repeaters in remote areas. In the early 1990s, the Russians weren't even sure where some of these RTGs were, and there were cases of civilians finding them, cracking them open and being injured, or killed, from the radiation. The Russians noted that there have been many attempts to steal radioactive material in Russia, but none, so far as is known, have succeeded. All of the RTGs were eventually found and destroyed. The Kazakhstan site was similar in that a lot of the radioactive material was deadly but not suitable for nuclear weapons. Terrorists could use this stuff for dirty bombs and the radioactive debris was spread all over the Kazakhstan site. That’s why the cleanup had to be secret, lest terrorists find out about it and offer large cash payments for whoever could sneak such dirty bomb material out of the site. That never happened. The Kazakhstan site also contained enough nuclear material for a dozen or more nuclear bombs, although this stuff was spread over a large area.


There was one last problem. Russian officials admitted that, during the 1990s, 5-10 pounds of enriched uranium and several ounces of weapons grade of plutonium had been stolen from their nuclear power facilities. What the Russians did not mention (perhaps because the Russian nuclear bureaucracy had never kept a record of it) was the stray material in places like the Kazakhstan site. Some of the officially missing radioactive material was later discovered, in small quantities, in Western Europe, Turkey and Russia as the thieves sought to sell it. The amount the Russians admit to losing is not enough to make a bomb, and much of the missing stuff could be accounting and handling errors (both common in the Russian bureaucracy.)


In the last two decades, the only radioactive material smuggled out of Russia was small quantities, and usually low-level stuff unsuitable for a bomb. Most Russian nukes have been disassembled and their nuclear material turned into power-plant fuel. The remaining nukes are under very tight security and most of their nuclear scientists were given financial and career incentives (paid for by the U.S.) to leave nuclear weapons work behind. Nevertheless, for two decades, breathless new stories of Russian "loose nukes" were a media staple on slow news days.

Map of Nuclear Related Areas in Kazakhstan - source NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative)

Map of Nuclear Related Areas in Kazakhstan - source NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative)

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:35
Explosion à bord du sous-marin Sindhurakshak : le ministre indien de la défense n’écarte pas la thèse du sabotage

23 août 2013 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Sans écarter la thèse qu’un “sabotage” puisse être à l’origine des explosions qui ont secoué le sous-marin indien INS Sindhurakshak, le ministre de la défense A K Antony, a souligné jeudi que l’incident jetait une ombre sur les capacités de la marine à protéger les intérêts maritimes du pays.


Le ministre a indiqué que la marine avait ordonné une étude pour évaluer l’état des armes à bord du sous-marin touché, par crainte d’une nouvelle explosion pendant les opérations de sauvetage.


« La marine a chargé une commission d’enquête de trouver les causes de l’accident et elle a commencé ses travaux avec tout le sérieux nécessaire. Sa mission est de d’étudier tous les aspects pouvant être à l’origine de l’incident. Rien n’est écarté, Toutes les causes possibles seront examinées par la commission, » a précisé M. Antony.


Plusieurs parlementaires ont cherché à savoir si un sabotage était une des raisons de l’accident. Le ministre a répondu que « à ce stade, nous ne pouvons pas déterminer les causes de l’incident. Nos forces armées travaillent sur cet incident et ils sont attentifs à cette éventualité. »


Le ministre a aussi annoncé que le corps d’une 8è victime avait été retrouvé.


Les plongeurs ont découvert des morceaux de métal et des éléments de couleur jaune, partiellement brulés, près du quai où était amarré le sous-marin. Ils ont été envoyés à un laboratoire pour analyse de leur composition.


Des échantillons d’eau de la salle des torpilles ont été analysés en laboratoire et ne montrent pas la présence de TNT ou dans les éléments de couleur jaune. Des analyses complémentaires sont en cours.


Référence : The Hindu (Inde)

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:35
Project 636 Varshavyanka-class submarine

Project 636 Varshavyanka-class submarine

HANOI, Vietnam, Aug. 23 (UPI)


Russia's Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg said it will float out the third of six Project 636 Varshavyanka-class submarines being built for Vietnam's navy by the end of the month, RIA Novosti reported.


The Varshavyanka class, with more advanced stealth technology and an extended combat range, is an improvement on its predecessor, the Kilo class of submarines, RIA Novosti said.


The U.S. Navy calls the diesel-electric subs black-holes because their technology makes them nearly undetectable when submerged.


Vietnam will use the 3,100-ton submarines primarily for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.


RIA Novosti said Vietnam ordered the six submarines in 2009 to counter China's increasing naval influence in the region. The contract, worth around $2 billion, includes training of Vietnamese crews in Russia.


A Vietnamese crew has been training since April in the first of the submarines, the Novorossiisk, that completed its 100-day sea trials last month and is expected to be delivered in November, Admiralty Shipyards said.


Admiralty will float out Vietnam's fourth Varshavyanka-class vessel in November, with delivery of the last vessel to Vietnam scheduled for 2016.


A report by Naval-Technology in August last year said the Varshavyanka-class vessels have a range of 400 miles using electronic propulsion and can patrol for 45 days.


The submarines carry a crew of 52 and feature 533mm torpedo tubes and Kalibr 3M54 (NATO SS-N-27 Sizzler) cruise missiles, developed by Russia's Novator Design Bureau.


Top speed is 20 knots and diving depth is about 985 feet.


The shipyard also said the first of another six being built for Russia's Black Sea Fleet would be floated out in November.


Construction of the first Varshavyanka-class sub for the Black Sea Fleet, a vessel named the Novorossiisk, began in 2010 and was completed ahead of schedule, the shipbuilder said.


Admiralty Shipyard also constructed India's ill-fated Sindhurakshak submarine that was destroyed by an explosion this month.


The vessel is the seventh and last of the 10 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines the Indian navy acquired from Moscow between 1986 and 2000.


Admiralty built the Sindhurakshak in 1997 and the Russian Severodvinsk Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk recently completed a 2 1/2-year, $80 million modernization of the vessel.


Sindhurakshakat had arrived at Mumbai Naval Docks on April 29 but sank after a massive explosion Aug. 14 that killed 18 seamen.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:20
1 300 Flyer de General Dynamics pour les forces spéciales US

23.08.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

Le commandement des opérations spéciales a enfin choisi son Ground Mobility Vehicle: il s'agit du véhicule proposé par General Dynamics. La valeur du contrat est de 562 millions de dollars (lire l'avis d'attribution ci-dessous).


1 300 Flyers seront livrés d'ici à 2020. A moins que Navistar, candidat malheureux, ne mette son grain de sable dans le contrat.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems of St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost delivery orders (or any combination of those) contract with total ceiling of $562,210,980 for the purchase of Ground Mobility Vehicles 1.1 (GMV 1.1). The GMV 1.1 is a highly mobile, C/MH-47-transportable platform with associated manuals, spare parts, mechanical/operator training and a Government Furnished C4ISR suite non-developmental item with Special Operations Forces-peculiar modifications. The majority of the work will be performed in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Ladson, S.C. The term of the contract is seven years, and is expected to be completed by September 2020. This contract will be funded at the delivery order level. One delivery order will be issued at the time of contract award and funded with $9,807,029 of research, development, test and evaluation funds, under fiscal 2012 and 2013, and $4,999,500 procurement funds under fiscal 2012 and 2013. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with seven proposals received. U.S. Special Operations Command is the contracting activity (H92222-13-D-0013).

photos General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systemsphotos General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems
photos General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systemsphotos General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems

photos General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 12:20
MQ-4C BAMS  photo Northrop Grumman

MQ-4C BAMS photo Northrop Grumman

August 21, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued August 21, 2013)


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $27,599,424 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0117) to exercise an option for additional operations and maintenance services in support of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator Unmanned Aircraft System.


Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md. (70 percent), and outside continental United States (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2014. Fiscal 2013 operations and maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $27,599,424 will be obligated at the time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.


The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

MQ-4C Triton UAV photo Northrop Grumman

MQ-4C Triton UAV photo Northrop Grumman

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 11:50
Reductions Will Limit Armed Forces' Capabilities, UK Military Chief Warns

Aug. 22, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News


LONDON — Britain’s new chief of the defence staff has warned that reductions to military manpower and budgets will require the government and others to “recalibrate” what the armed forces can achieve.


“We have to recalibrate our expectations of the level of capabilities we can field on new operations from a standing start,” Gen. Sir Nick Houghton said in an interview in an internal Ministry of Defence magazine.


Houghton, who took over as Britain’s top military officer last month, said it was not possible to retain the degree of sophistication in capability terms “when you adopt a more generic contingency posture ... we will not have the perfect capability for every scenario.”


The warning from Houghton comes just weeks after the next US ambassador to London said during a US Senate confirmation hearing in Washington that it was of “critical concern” that the British continue to have “full-spectrum capability, remain operable with us and also that they are able to continue to lead missions on behalf of NATO.”


Britain has slashed defense spending as part of wider financial austerity measures, with personnel numbers heavily cut and capabilities completely axed — albeit temporarily in some cases.


Part of those changes involves cutting regular British Army troop numbers to 82,000 from 102,000 while building reserve force numbers up to 30,000.


With the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan due to be complete by the end of next year, the British are moving toward contingency operations under a restructuring of the military scheduled to be complete by the end of the decade.


Houghton said the combination of “manpower reductions, keeping our people motivated, maintaining the right skillsets in the right places and continuing to prosecute operations and run the day-to-day business of defense is a huge challenge”


The chief of the defence staff said reform at the MoD was “long overdue” but admitted mistakes had been made in the transformation process, risking “ people becoming cynical and detached from what Defence is trying to do.”


Houghton also used the interview to take a swipe at bureaucracy at the London headquarters of the MoD and said changing the cultural and behavioral practices there remained one of the biggest reform challenges.


“Head Office by design has got to be smaller and more strategic, and therefore we’re going to have to adopt new behaviors. Currently we are guilty of creating bureaucracy, people checking up on others and holding people to account unnecessarily,” he said.


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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 11:45
Serval : déploiement d’un radar GIRAFFE à Gao

23/08/2013 Sources : EMA


Le 18 août 2013, la force Serval a déployé un radar GIRAFFE sur l’aéroport de Gao. Il permet d’optimiser et de coordonner tous les mouvements aériens, civils et militaires, dans un cylindre de 7 850 km2.


L’aéroport de Gao accueille chaque jour de multiples aéronefs militaires ou civils. Pour gérer ce trafic, la France a décidé de déployer un radar mobile en appui des forces maliennes et de la MINUSMA. Il vient en complément de la vigie mobile déjà déployée par l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre, un système permettant d’assurer les services de la circulation aérienne sur l’aéroport international de Gao.


Le système radar GIRAFFE, nommé ainsi par ressemblance à son homonyme animal, fonctionne 24 heures sur 24 grâce à l’intervention de 15 militaires de l’armée de l’air. Il permet de visualiser l’activité tridimensionnelle dans un cône de 100 kilomètres de diamètre autour de Gao et jusqu’à 20000 mètres de hauteur. Il permet ainsi de détecter une présence, de déterminer une position sur le terrain, une distance ou l’altitude d’éléments volants, de créer des couloirs d’interdiction de vol et d’établir " une situation aérienne ".


Cette situation est transmise à la chaine de commandement de l’armée de l’air (CAOC à N’Djamena et JFAC à Lyon) ainsi qu’à la brigade Serval. elles permettent de gérer les modules  qui pourraient intervenir dans l’espace aérien (avions militaires et civils, hélicoptères, obus) et procéder à une identification.


Le GIRAFFE permet en outre de mettre à la disposition des équipages des données météorologiques indispensables à l’aviation : températures, pression, visibilité, plafond.

Serval : déploiement d’un radar GIRAFFE à Gao
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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 11:45
Serval : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliens

23/08/2013 Sources : EMA


Le 19 août 2013, deux gendarmes de la brigade Serval ont réalisé une séance d’instruction à la prise d’empreintes digitales au profit de leurs homologues maliens. Une quinzaine de gendarmes maliens ont assisté à la formation dans les locaux de la gendarmerie départementale à Gao.


Initiée par le sergent-chef Steve, adjoint au commandant de la brigade prévôtale de la Force Serval et titulaire d’une formation de technicien d’identification criminelle de proximité, l’instruction s’est déroulée en deux parties : « une première, théorique, pour assimiler l’utilité et l’importance du relevé d’empreintes digitales dans le cadre d’une enquête judiciaire et une seconde, plus pratique, pour relever proprement des empreintes digitales ».


L’atelier pratique a eu un franc succès et a permis à chacun de voir ou de revoir la technique particulière du relevé « décadactylaire ». « Le geste peut paraître simple mais on se rend compte que la manière dont défile le doigt sur le papier est très importante pour obtenir un relevé de bonne qualité. » Parmi les élèves du jour, se trouvait l’adjudant-chef Tounkara, commandant la brigade de l’aéroport de Gao et officier de police judiciaire : « Je suis content, cette instruction me rafraîchit la mémoire. Cela permet aux plus jeunes d’apprendre et à nous qui connaissions la technique de corriger quelques défaillances. Grâce aux tampons encreurs fournis par la force Serval, nous serons mieux équipés dans le cadre des affaires à venir ».


Environ 3200 militaires français sont actuellement présents sur le sol malien et poursuivent leurs missions de sécurisation visant à affaiblir durablement les groupes terroristes ainsi qu’à poursuivre le transfert progressif de la zone aux contingents relevant désormais de la MINUSMA.

Serval : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliensServal : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliens
Serval : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliensServal : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliens
Serval : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliensServal : Instruction au profit des gendarmes maliens
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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Angola to hold first defence exhibition

20 August 2013 by defenceWeb


Angola will hold its first defence exhibition, the International Fair of the Defence and Security Industry (FIDES), in November as it attempts to build up a local defence industry and reduce dependence on foreign imports.


Angola’s defence minister Candido Pereira dos Santos van Dunem said that FIDES would “identify opportunities to establish public-private partnerships,” and “stimulate investment in the defence and security industry.”


FIDES will be held from November 10 to 13 at the International Luanda Fair (FIL) venue. It will be “a platform for boosting economic cooperation ties between Angola and other countries,” van Dunem said.


Some 70 companies from five invited countries – Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spin and Israel – are expected to exhibit, although the fair could see up to 100 exhibitors from 27 countries.


FIDES was officially launched in the capital Luanda on Friday by van Dunem, under the banner ‘Peace, Security and Development’. The minister said he wants Angola to reduce its dependence on defence imports and create jobs at home.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 07:40
Rossiya_Antonov_An-148-100B photo Dvurekov

Rossiya_Antonov_An-148-100B photo Dvurekov

August 22, 2013:  Strategy Page


The Russian Air Force has ordered 15 An-148 commercial transports. The An-148 is a twin jet commercial transport that normally carries up to 80 passengers or nine tons of cargo. Max range is 2,100 kilometers and the high-wing design means that the stretched An-178 cargo version can carry up to 15 tons and have a rear door for quickly loading and unloading. The An-148 is costing the air force about $39 million each and all will be delivered by 2017. The air force does have a need for An-148s, but the government has an even greater need in keeping the Russian commercial aircraft manufacturers in business. That’s the main reason behind this purchase.


Antonov introduced the An-148 as a competitor for the American Boeing 737. Although Antonov soon had orders for over 200 of the new aircraft, the first operators reported that the An-148 was more expensive to operate than a comparable 737 (in service since the 1960s with over 6,000 built). Sensing that competing with the 737 (which costs more than 50 percent more) on price alone might not work Antonov announced a military version of the An-148; the An-178. This would be a cargo aircraft, with a max payload of 15 tons. But that segment of the market is already being served by aircraft like the Western AN-295 and C-27J. The basic problem here is that once mighty Soviet civil aviation industry has been shriveling away since 1991, and has few viable opportunities to make a comeback.


The disintegration of the Soviet Union not only destroyed centuries of Russian empire building, but tore apart the Russian civil aviation industry. For decades Soviet commercial aircraft manufacturers had guaranteed customers for their second-rate (compared to Western models) aircraft. Russian and East European airlines had to buy the Russian models, and many poor countries that could not afford Western aircraft, accepted the Russian planes as better than nothing. After 1991, the Soviet Union was replaced by a much reduced Russia, and 14 new nations that had been part of the old empire. No one was forced to buy second-best aircraft anymore. The dissolution deal had whatever Soviet assets were in the new nation, belonging to it. Most of the civil aircraft manufacturing facilities were outside of Russia (in Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Of the three major aircraft manufacturing firms, Antonov was headquartered in Ukraine, Ilyushin in Uzbekistan and only Tupolev in Russia. Russia has managed to persuade (via cash and help with sales) Ilyushin to move a lot of manufacturing back to Russia. Tupolev is being merged with several military aircraft manufacturers, as part of the United Aircraft Corporation. Antonov may be forced to reconnect with Mother Russia as well, given their inability to design and manufacture aircraft that can compete with AirBus and Boeing (not to mention many smaller Western firms).


New Russian commercial aircraft designs keep coming up short compared to what the West is offering. It’s not just Boeing and AirBus, but also smaller manufacturers in Europe and the Americas. Even China is entering the commercial aircraft market and is poised to beat the Russian efforts as well. But the Russian government is still determined to pay the price of staying in the market. As long as the subsidies, in the form of cash and government purchases keep coming, the Russian firms will keep trying.

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23 août 2013 5 23 /08 /août /2013 07:35
India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles

August 22nd, 2013 defencetalk.com  ( RIA Novosti)


India’s Defense Ministry has signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited for delivery of T-90 tank missiles manufactured under Russian license to the Indian army, The Hindu daily newspaper reported Tuesday.


Under the contract, estimated at $470 million, the deliveries of the Invar missiles, to be put on T-90 tanks, are to be completed within the next five years.


Invar is a laser-guided antitank missile with a range of five kilometers (three miles) and capability of penetrating explosive reactive armor.


Bharat Dynamics has been manufacturing the missiles in collaboration with Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, the newspaper said.


According to media reports, India is planning to procure 25,000 Invar missiles for its T-90 tanks, including 10,000 to be bought directly from Russia and 15,000 to be manufactured domestically under Russian license.

India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles
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22 août 2013 4 22 /08 /août /2013 16:45
Togolese Air Force CN235 not delivered

22 August 2013 by defenceWeb


The Togolese Air Force appears not to have taken delivery of an ex-Botswana Defence Force CASA CN235M transport aircraft, as previously indicated.


In August last year it was reported that the CN235 was destined for Togo as it was seen in Togolese Air Force markings at Lanseria airport in July, after undergoing maintenance in Johannesburg. On July 11 it was cancelled from the US register upon transfer to Togo.


However, last week Air Forces Daily reported that the sale may have fallen through as the aircraft remained at Lanseria until at least January this year. Then, on August 5, it was registered in the United States as N124CL to Avcorp US Registrations LLC Trustee of Wilmington, Delaware.


The aircraft is one of two ex-Botswana Defence Force Air Wing CN235s that were retired after being replaced with new production CN235M-300s from December 2009. Botswana was the second African customer for the CN235 and received its two examples in 1987-88. The older aircraft were subsequently placed in storage at Lanseria.


The second example was registered with Fayard Enterprises of Wake Forest, North Carolina. This company primarily provides skydiving operations with aircraft and aircraft maintenance services. The aircraft was then sold through Skywest International LLC to Paramount Logistics Corporation under a contract announced on June 5, 2012. It was removed from the US register on May 25, 2012, as it was sold in South Africa.


Air Forces Daily reports that in January this year it was painted as TN-228 for the Congolese Air Force. It has presumably been delivered to Brazzaville.


Congo-Brazzaville has a very small air force geared towards providing transport, especially to the president and government ministers, according to Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment. Janes adds that since 1997, the air force has “effectively ceased to exist as a viable and effective military organisation. Even before the civil war, most types had been withdrawn from service.”


The Congolese Air Force’s only combat capable aircraft are two ex-South African Air Force Mirage F1s acquired several years ago after being refurbished by the Paramount Group (the Air Force’s dozen MiG-21s are all grounded).


The Congolese Air Force has a motley collection of transport aircraft and helicopters. These include an An-12, five An-24s, one An-26, a Boeing 727, one Fokker F-28 and an N-2501 Noratlas, according to the IISS’s The Military Balance 2012.


Only a few helicopters are in flying condition, including a Mi-26, AS 365 Dauphin, SA 316 Alouette III and SA 318 Alouette II. Other aircraft in the Congo’s inventory include four L-39 Albatros jets. A number of Mi-8/17s may also be in service.


The CN235 is able to carry up to six tonnes of payload. Its two General Electric GE CT7-9C3 turboprop engines, each delivering 1 870 shp, give it a maximum cruise speed of 240 kt (450 km/h). CN235s have accumulated more than a million flight hours.


Cameroon became the most recent CN235 operator when it received a single example last month. Its CN235 was the 276th to be ordered from Airbus Military. A total of 43 operators around the world have ordered the aircraft in transport and surveillance versions, and it is currently in service with 28 countries.

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22 août 2013 4 22 /08 /août /2013 16:45
photo EMA

photo EMA

22 August 2013 by Guy Martin – defenceWeb

As an isolated island nation, Mauritius has no standing army but a small paramilitary force is used to maintain internal and external security, especially from threats such as Indian Ocean piracy. Mauritius receives substantial training and equipment from foreign partners, notably India. Click here to find out more about the military of Mauritius.

African military profile: Mauritius
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22 août 2013 4 22 /08 /août /2013 16:40
GEO-IK-2 earth mapping satellite

GEO-IK-2 earth mapping satellite

August 22, 2013:  Strategy Page


The Russian government recently issued a formal reprimand to the director (Vladimir Popovkin) of the Russian Space Agency (RSA), which handles all of Russia’s satellite launches. The government later clarified that the reprimand was not for several recent disasters but for the fact that in the last three years the RSA has only been able to launch 47 percent of Russian satellites. The reprimand, which in Russia is usually the last warning for someone about to be dismissed, was about the continued inefficiency of the RSA and the inability of Popovkin to reform and revitalize the RSA.


Vladimir Popovkin took over RSA in March 2011. Eleven months later he was hospitalized for exhaustion. There were rumors that he had been worn down by his many subordinates working against the new anti-corruption measures. He was out of the hospital in twelve days and denied the many rumors (like the corruption struggle) swirling about him. Vladimir Popovkin should have been an ideal candidate for the RSA job, as he was a career army officer and scientist who rose to command the Russian Space Forces and several other military operations dealing with large rockets and space operations. Popovkin has apparently not been dismissed because he is qualified to do the job and is encountering a lot of problems with corruption and decades of bad management. Russian politicians and state controlled media, both heavily involved in corrupt activities, are not eager to make a big deal of how corruption is crippling the RSA.


The problems with RSA are many. Recently, for example, an expensive mapping satellite fell to earth after seventeen months trapped in a bad orbit. This was the result of a flawed launch attempt that left it in a useless (too low) orbit. The Russian GEO-IK-2 earth mapping satellite entered the atmosphere on July 15th and completely burned up. No fragments of the 1.4 ton satellite were reported to have reached the surface, at least not anywhere that would be noticed by people. How and why this happens explains a lot about why Russia never became a superpower in space and why Vladimir Popovkin was being worked to death.


The GEO-IK-2 was designed to measure the shape of the earth and monitor planetary movement (land, tides, ice). The satellite also had a military use, to measure the planet's gravitational field, which helps make missile guidance systems (and commercial ones) more accurate and reliably. Launched on February 1st, 2011, the GEO-IK-2 satellite reached low orbit but the third stage of the rocket failed to turn on its rockets to put the satellite into its final (higher) orbit. The day after this happened Russian ground controllers restored contact with the GEO-IK-2. Ground control had lost contact with the GEO-IK-2 satellite shortly after launch and the satellite was initially believed to be a total loss. Controllers were not able to get GEO-IK-2 into a better orbit and functioning reliably, making this the second major satellite loss in three months for Russia.


There were repercussions. A month before the GEO-IK-2 loss, Russia fired two senior managers of the RSA, plus some lesser managers, because of the December, 2010 loss of three navigation satellites. The December incident involved a Proton satellite launcher that failed due to poor management and supervision. It was a stupid mistake. The rocket malfunctioned and caused the satellites to crash into the Pacific. The Proton rocket had been fueled incorrectly, causing the imbalance and failure to achieve orbit. This was poor management at its most obvious.


The prompt dismissal of so many senior managers was actually pretty typical. Russia has a long tradition of the "vertical chop," where several senior leaders in the same chain of command are dismissed (or even executed, at least in the old days) when there was a screw up in their area of responsibility. This approach has fallen out of favor in the West, where the tendency is to fire as few people as possible when there is a major failure. After September 11, 2001, for example, no one got fired. In Russia the vertical chop was never a magic bullet because even during the Soviet period corruption was a big problem and a major reason for the collapse of the communist Soviet Union in 1991.


Because of this Soviet legacy Russian satellite launchers have never been the most flawless, but they got the job done. Including the partial failures, the Proton has about a ten percent failure rate. However, the Russian launchers, and Russian launch facilities, are cheaper than those in the West and nearly as reliable. But the higher failure rate of the Proton rocket causes some concern among potential customers. Nevertheless, the Proton is so cheap that you can afford to pay more for insurance. And there is some comfort in knowing that the RSA suits put their jobs on the line every time one of those rockets is launched.


The repercussions continue in the wake of all the sloppy decisions and stupid mistakes that have led to the loss of launchers and satellites. Another shake up of the RSA is expected if the government can find someone more qualified than Vladimir Popovkin to do the deed. Senior government officials know that Popovkin is not the problem and that the corrupt environment he has to work in is. Cleaning that up means cleaning up the corruption throughout Russian society. That requires more than the vertical chop, it takes time and persistence.  

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