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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
Hot Blade 2013: another fruitful training week for European helicopter crews
Ovar, Portugal | Jul 26, 2013 European Defence Agency
 

The second week of Hot Blade 2013 Helicopter Exercise is now close to its conclusion. This week offered some new and challenging missions testing the capabilities of the involved military and allowing European helicopters crews to train and qualify in complex scenarios, similar to real operations theatres, as well as to improve the interoperability among the participating Nations.

 

Formation flight session

To fly in formation was on one of the possibilities that the HB13 provided to its participants during this week of exercise. Formation flight means the disciplined flight of two or more aircraft under the command of a flight “Leader”. All the other aircraft involved are called "wings."

There are several possible formations and the 751 Squadron, EH-101 Merlin already had the opportunity to flight in formation with the Dutch and the Austrians in this edition of HB13. The Austrian OH-58 KIOWA and the Dutch CH-47D CHINNOOK joined the Portuguese EH-101 Merlin and put into practice the theory gained.

The military use this kind of flight for mutual support training and for capabilities sharing. It is a type of flight that increases the capabilities of the aircraft involved: greater security and the possibility of more cargo and personnel transport.

Furthermore, the flight formation can significantly increase the overall aerodynamic efficiency. It can also reduce drag, increasing the flight range. This fulfills one of the objectives of HB13: to increase the participating forces interoperability.

 

Aviation aficionados 1st visit

 Tuesday 23 July was the day dedicated to aviation enthusiasts, either professionals or amateurs. There were sixty people who assured their place at Ovar Air Base with a prior registration. The objective was to capture the aircraft best moments and images.

These aviation experts had the opportunity to go through several observation points which were set up for this purpose, a privileged access to all air operations.

At the end of the day, a closing briefing took place where an overall opinion about the day was collected. The enthusiasts said they had enjoyed each moment and the exercise had surpassed their expectations.

 

EDA’s HTP Project Manager interview

The EDA Helicopter Training Programme Project Manager Andrew Gray explains the importance of the exercise and the reasons that led to the success of Hot Blade in Portugal.
Watch the interview here.

 

More information

Visit EDA's HB13 webpage.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
Securing the future of European defence

Faced with growing global volatility, strategic shifts, daunting fiscal realities and declining defence capabilities, Europeans must rethink the political, operational and economic facets of their security and defence commitments.

 

The Communication ‘Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector’, adopted by the European Commission on 24 July, provides an important contribution ahead of the European Council meeting in December which will discuss concrete proposals to bolster the Common Security and Defence Policy.

 

Download document

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
First Tranche 3 Typhoon is on the move

Jul 24, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC

 

    Evolution of Typhoon Tranche 3 capability

 

The first Tranche 3 Typhoon, BS116, has been transferred from final assembly to the paint shop facility where it spent two weeks getting a makeover - check out the video and learn more about the painting process.

 

Next pit stop

The Tranche 3 jet will progress to the hush house, our sound-proofed engine testing facility, for a series of engine ground runs in the next few weeks.  First test flights are expected to take place in September/October 2013.

 

Tranche 3 capability includes over 350 modified parts designed, engineered and assembled ready to incorporate the most advanced capability enhancements.

 

Capability enhancements

Enhancements include provision for conformal fuel tanks and extra electrical power and cooling to cater for an E-Scan radar which will enhance performance, reliability and availability whilst delivering lower support costs for Typhoon customers.  Extra computing power and high speed data network systems will give the aircraft capacity for even more capability in the future.

 

About the Tranche 3A contract

Under the Tranche 3A contract signed in 2009, a total of 112 aircraft have been ordered for the four European partner nations of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, with 40 aircraft bound for the Royal Air Force.

 

Deliveries of Tranche 3 Typhoons are expected to start later this year.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:45
Algerian training ship La Soummam (937)

Algerian training ship La Soummam (937)

26 juillet 2013,Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La campagne d’instruction a vu la participation de 89 élèves officiers, dont 29 femmes, en 2e année à l’Ecole supérieure navale de Tamentfoust (est d’Alger).

 

Référence : Algérie Soir

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:40
Severodvinsk (projet 885)

Severodvinsk (projet 885)

MOSCOU, 26 juillet - RIA Novosti

 

Un sous-marin nucléaire dernier cri de projet 885M (Iassen M), capable de "mieux entendre" l'adversaire grâce à un équipement acoustique sophistiqué sera mis en chantier vendredi, a déclaré à RIA Novosti un porte-parole du chantier naval  russe Sevmach.

Le sous-marin de quatrième génération recevra le nom de Novossibirsk.

Les sous-marins nucléaires polyvalents de  projets Iassen et Iassen M sont dotés de systèmes de missiles Onyx et Kalibr ainsi que par un système de torpilles.

Le sous-marin nucléaire amiral de cette série, le Severodvinsk (projet 885), a été mis à l'eau  en 2010 et devra équiper cette année la Marine russe. Le deuxième sous-marin de ce type, le Kazan (projet 885 M), est en train d'être construit.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
India, France to discuss Rs 80K cr worth defence deals

Jul 25, 2013 brahmand.com

 

NEW DELHI (PTI): Deals expected to be worth over Rs 80,000 crore including supply of 126 Rafale combat aircraft are likely to be high on agenda of French Defence Minister Jaen Yves Le Drian during his three-day visit to India from Friday.

 

India and France have been busy in negotiating the 126 combat aircraft deal for which the French combat aircraft was selected last year defeating its five other European and American rivals and over Rs 30,000 crore Maitri surface-to-air missile projects.

 

During the visit of the French Minister, the two sides are expected to discuss the two deals in his meetings with Defence Minister A K Antony and other senior military leadership along with ways of strengthening bilateral ties, Ministry officials said here.

 

The militaries of the two countries have close ties and hold regular exercises with each other. The Indian Army will be visiting a French military base in September for a company-level exercise, they said.

 

The French Minister will also visit the Gwalior-based Maharajpur airbase, which is home to the French origin Mirage 2000 aircraft.

 

The Rafale aircraft deal, which is expected to be worth over Rs 50,000 crore, has been moving at its natural pace and had seen hiccups when the French side asked the Defence Ministry to define the role of HAL.

 

The deal is not expected to be finalised before the end of this year, officials said.

 

India, France to discuss Rs 80K cr worth defence deals

In the recent times, France has been awarded several key tenders by India including the supply of six Scorpene submarines to the Navy and the multi-billion dollar 126 combat aircraft deal.

 

The contract worth over Rs 11,000 crore for upgrading the fleet of Mirage 2000 aircraft was also awarded to French firm Dassault Aviation.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
 RAAF C-130 Hercules (photo thebaseleg)

RAAF C-130 Hercules (photo thebaseleg)

26 Juli 2013 Defense Studies


Today in Perth, Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo and I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Sale between Australia and Indonesia for five C 130H aircraft and associated equipment.

During my visit to Jakarta in April this year, I confirmed that the Australian Government was willing to sell five C-130H aircraft, along with a simulator and spare parts, to Indonesia at a discounted rate.

This offer was in addition to the four C-130H aircraft that Australia is currently in the process of transferring to Indonesia following discussions between our respective leaders in November 2011.

The sale of a further five C-130H transport aircraft will further enhance Indonesia’s capacity to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis.

The Memorandum of Sale was signed by Australia’s Chief of the Defence Force, General Hurley, and Indonesia’s Head of Defence Facilities Agency, Rear Admiral Lubis.

The Memorandum sets out the arrangements for the sale of the five aircraft, simulator and spare parts to Indonesia.

Australia is pleased to continue to assist the development of Indonesia’s airlift capability, which will support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

The sale of these additional aircraft and associated equipment reflects the strength of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia, and the close ties between the Australian and Indonesian Defence forces.

(Aus DoD)

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Vers une première patrouille de SNLE chinois en 2014 ?

25 juillet 2013 Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La marine chinoise pourrait commencer à conduire en 2014 de premières patrouilles de dissuasion nucléaire avec une nouvelle classe de sous-marins nucléaires lanceurs d’engins. Pour les responsables américains, cette nouvelle, si elle est confirmée, met en lumière une nouvelle et grandissante menace pour la sécurité des Etats-Unis.

 

« Nous estimons que des patrouilles opérationnelles de sous-marins équipés du nouveau missile nucléaire balistique JL-2 commenceront l’an prochain, » a expliqué un responsable ayant connaissance des plus récentes évaluations de la force sous-marine chinoise par les services de renseignement.

 

La force nucléaire stratégique chinoise comprend actuellement 3 SNLE Type 094, chacun équipé de 12 tubes lance-missiles. Les sous-marins sont aussi appelés classe Jin par le Pentagone.

 

Si les patrouilles de dissuasion avaient effectivement lieu en 2014, ce serait la toute première fois que la Chine mènerait des opérations sous-marines avec des missiles à tête nucléaire, aussi loin des côtes chinoises. La Chine a pourtant mis son premier SNLE en service à la fin des années 80.

 

Référence : The Washington Free Beacon (Etats-Unis)

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
China s anti-satellite weapon test - January 24, 2007 – source genchan.wordpress.com

China s anti-satellite weapon test - January 24, 2007 – source genchan.wordpress.com

July 25, 2013 IntelliBriefs

 

July 12, 2013 Joan Johnson-Freese, Professor at US Naval War College

 

Arms control opponents repeatedly and consistently use the difficulty in defining what constitutes an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon as a reason not to engage in ASAT arms control efforts.  Broadly defined, an ASAT weapon can include anything that can destroy or disable a satellite, including by kinetic impact, ground-based or satellite equipped lasers, or, as the Soviets insisted in the 1970’s, a spacecraft like the Space Shuttle which maneuvers and has a robotic arm theoretically capable of plucking a satellite out of the heavens and capturing it. Some of these are clearly dedicated ASAT weapons with no other real use; others offer ASAT “capabilities” though perhaps not as its primary purpose. Clearly, however, under any definition the 2007 Chinese intercept and destruction of one of its own moribund satellites at about 850 km above the earth constituted the testing of a hit-to-kill ASAT weapon.  China is rapidly learning both the technology and the political nuance necessary to develop an ASAT capability while avoiding international condemnation.

 

China suffered global condemnation after that 2007 test, primarily in conjunction with the over 3000 pieces of debris irresponsibly created by the kinetic impact that will dangerously linger in and travel through highly-populated low earth orbits for decades. Lesson 1 for China: Space debris does not distinguish between space assets. The debris created by their ASAT test put everyone’s space assets at risk, including Chinese assets. Ironically, the U.S. government has on several occasions provided collision alerts to China, so they could avoid debris they created. Therefore, creation of space debris is to be avoided.

 

The United States most loudly protested the test, but even it had to be careful about the language of the protest so as not to create potential inhibitions on its own ASAT aspirations, and to minimize the backlash regarding the do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do nature of its criticism of China. The U.S., after all, developed ASAT capabilities in the 1970’s, though it stopped overtly testing after recognizing the potential damage caused by the debris created. Furthermore, the Chinese have long contended that missile defense technology is basically the same as ASAT technology, a contention with which most American analysts concur and missile defense proponents ignore.

 

After China conducted its kinetic test in 2007, the United States used missile defense technology in 2008 to destroy one of its own failing spy satellites, USA 193. Operation Burnt Frost, as the U.S. effort was called, received relatively little press coverage in the United States beyond space and security policy trade publications. In those publications, however, the operation was debated as a genuinely needed effort to destroy the satellite and with it the potentially toxic hydrazine onboard from reaching earth as it deorbited, or a tit-for-tat demonstration of U.S. ASAT capabilities. The U.S. destroyed the satellite at an altitude of about 250 km, low enough that most debris harmlessly burned up as it reentered the atmosphere, and received little international blowback beyond protests from China and Russia.

 

Hence the conundrum of dual-use technology – valuable to both the civil and military communities, and difficult to decipher as either offensive or defensive – makes a definitive determination of intent nearly impossible. As a high percentage of space technology is dual use, speculation regarding intent is often the best that can be done. Given the low level of political trust between the U.S. and China, both sides often assume the worst.

 

Operation Burnt Frost confirmed not only the symbiotic nature of missile defense and ASAT technology, but that missile defense tests largely escape the international condemnation of ASAT tests. Also, kinetic impacts conducted at low altitudes where the debris largely burns up as it falls through the atmosphere, or on a ballistic target to minimize debris creation, are politically acceptable. So the second lesson China learned regarding how to develop ASAT capabilities and avoid political condemnation was to not call testing its capabilities ASAT tests, and conduct impact tests in such a way as to not create long-lived orbital debris.

 

China is not the only country to have learned these lessons. India, which appears determined to develop an ASAT capability, has been conducting missile defense cum ASAT intercept attempts since 2006. India seems to be suffering from a Non-Proliferation Treaty hangover, where it was excluded from nuclear status. India now seems determined to possess an ASAT capability before arms control provisions potentially again separate countries into ASAT have and have-nots.

 

In terms of technology, China is advancing on the learning curve.

 

China conducted what it now called missile defense tests, though de facto ASAT capabilities tests, in January 2010 and January 2013. Those tests used the same technology as in 2007, but without intercepting a target and so without creating debris. While there had been speculation in January 2013 that China might attempt to strike a target in medium earth orbit (MEO) to show that vulnerability of US Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites that did not occur.  Not only is China developing its own navigational satellite system, potentially at risk from debris in MEO, experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists have shown that “significantly reducing the capability of the U.S. GPS system would take a large-scale and well-coordinated attack, so much so that targeting these satellites may not be an effective strategy.”

 

On May 13, 2013, China changed its rhetoric, and demonstrated that it could reach much targets at much higher altitudes than previously. China stated that it had launched a sub-orbital rocket to carry a science payload to study the earth’s magnetosphere. Jonathan McDowell at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who follows Chinese launches, confirmed that the rocket had reached at least 10,000 km, possibly much higher, the highest suborbital launch since 1976. He further stated that most scientific suborbital launches, as the Chinese launch was officially posited to be, are at most to approximately 1,500 km. Lieutenant Colonel Monica Matoush, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated about the Chinese launch, “we tracked several objects during the flight but did not observe the insertion of any objects into space and no objects associated with this launch remain in space.” U.S. defense officials are concerned that the same technology could be used to destroy U.S. space assets at higher altitudes than previously.

 

Whatever China’s real intent, the veil of dual use technology provides plausible deniability, just as it did for the United States with Operation Burnt Frost. Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on June 3, requesting more information on the May 13 Chinese launch. The questions to Secretary Hagel included: 1) Was the launch part of China’s antisatellite program and 2) If the launch was part of China’s antisatellite program, why did China attempt to hide disguise it as a scientific experiment? There are no conclusive answers to either. Speculation regarding intent is the best that can be offered in addressing the first question. Concerning the second question, it seems clear that the Chinese have learned, from the U.S. and other countries, to use the political deniability of dual use technology to their advantage.

 

The United States knew that China was intending to test an ASAT prior to its 2007 test. However, it chose to remain silent, and protest later. Keeping quiet and protesting and requesting information afterward has been the U.S. approach since 2007 as well.

 

Brian Weeden at the Secure World Foundation suggests that while doing so allows the U.S. to protect is intelligence sources and methods, and potentially bolster its own ASAT capabilities, it also allows those opposed to the Obama Administration’s diplomatic efforts to use launches as a political weapon, and potentially sends a signal to Beijing that ASAT tests are acceptable as long as debris is not created. Weeden wants the Administration to be more transparent about China’s ASAT program, in terms of the launch site location, type of missile used, and altitude reached, toward leveraging international opinion against the irresponsibility of testing such systems.

 

Georgetown Law School Professor David Koplow has an article forthcoming that suggests building on -- basically reinterpreting -- current legal norms as an incremental approach to halting ASAT testing.

 

Clearly, the keeping silent approach has not been successful if the U.S. goal is to get the Chinese to cease ASAT testing, under any and all names. But as long as the U.S. – and other countries -- continues to develop, test, and deploy missile defense that is unlikely to happen, given the dual use nature of the technology. That being the case, incremental arms control management seems a much more realistic approach – assuming that those countries with potential ASAT capabilities actually want the testing of these technologies to stop. That, however, increasingly seems a big assumption.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Trials of Arjun Mark-II main-battle tanks to be completed this year

Jul 25, 2013 Rajat Pandit, TNN

 

NEW DELHI: The advanced version of the homegrown main-battle tank, Arjun, is all set to complete its protracted trials this year, which will include firing the Israeli-origin laser guided LAHAT missiles from its main gun.

 

This Mark-II version of the Arjun has "89 upgrades or improvements'' over the earlier 124 Mark-I tanks inducted by the Army. "The trials began in June 2012 at the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan. Phase-II of the trials, which basically revolve around the armaments, kicked off in May-June this year,'' said an official on Thursday.

 

Another round of the LAHAT missile firing will take place in the first week of August. "The remaining trials will begin in the third week of August at Pokhran. If the trials are fully successful, the production order for 118 Arjun Mark-II tanks will be placed,'' he said.

 

While the Army has inducted 124 Mark-I Arjuns, the force and other agencies had suggested the 89 improvements for the Mark-II version. These included the capability to fire missiles from the main gun, advanced laser warning and control systems, and explosive reactive armour plates for better self-protection of the tanks.

 

With the long delay in the indigenous Arjun project, which was sanctioned as far back as in 1974, the Army has progressively inducted around 800 of the planned 1,657 T-90S Russian-origin tanks till now.

 

The T-90S tanks, which are replacing the older T-55 and T-72 tanks, are going to be the main battle-tanks of the Army for the foreseeable future. DRDO, however, wants Army to order a minimum of 500 Arjuns to stabilise production lines and pave the way for the development of a "futuristic'' MBT. "The Arjun Mark-II, a crucial indigenous effort, will have better firepower, mobility and survivability over the earlier version,'' said another official.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., commander of Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet - photo US Navy

Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., commander of Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet - photo US Navy

25 juillet 2013,Portail des Sous-Marins

 

Le commandant des forces sous-marines américaines dans le Pacifique (COMSUBPAC), a lancé la conférence d’ouverture de la 13è conférence annuelle des sous-marins de la région Asie-Pacifique, le 22 juillet à Yokosuka au Japon.

 

L’événement, qui s’est déroulé du 21 au 24 jullet, était co-organisé par l’US Navy et la marine japonaise. La conférence est destiné à renforcer la coopération régionnale et à développer les relations entre les pays opérant des sous-marins dans la région Asie - Pacifique, y compris des pays qui ne sont pas considérés comme alliés.

 

« C’est une conférence importante parce que nous réunissons 18 pays différents, représentant littéralement des milliers de sous-mariniers dont les pays ont au total plus de 240 sous-marins, » a déclaré le contre-amiral James F. Caldwell, Jr., COMSUBPAC. « Notre objectif aujourd’hui est sur l’évacuation d’un sous-marin, la survivabilité et le sauvetage. C’est une question très, très importante. Elle dépasse les frontières internationales. »

 

« Si nous devions aller au secours de sous-mariniers bloqués au fond, ce devra être une opération multi-latérale et multi-nationale, » a précisé l’amiral Caldwell. « Nous devons pouvoir compter sur l’expertise et la coopération de tous les pays qui seraient présents, en fonction de l’endroit où le sous-marin serait bloqué.Donc, nous insistons que, ici et aujourd’hui, c’est un événement important pour le sauvetage de sous-marins. La coopération, les communications, les exercices à la mer sont nos priorités pour améliorer notre expertise et promouvoir la coopération. »

 

Les Etats-Unis ont partagé leur expérience des derniers exercices de sauvetage et montré comment ils peuvent soutenir d’autres pays dans le sauvetage de sous-marins.

 

« Nous sommes ici aujourd’hui pour partager nos expériences, les leçons tirées des exercices à la mer. Nous allons avoir ces grandes discutions et nouer ces relations pour que nous puissions compter les uns sur les autres, si nous devions en avoir besoin, » a souligné l’amiral Caldwell.

 

Les pays assistant cette année à la conférence étaient : Australie, Canada, Chine, Equateur, France, Inde, Indonésie, Japon, Malaisie, Norvège, Pakistan, Pérou, Corée du Sud, Singapour, Thaïlande, Royaume-Uni, Vietnam, et Etats-Unis.

 

Référence : US Navy

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
KAI Publishes Small KF-X Concept

26 July 2013 By Bradley Perrett, Bill Sweetman – Pacific Sentinel

 

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has published a drawing of a moderately stealthy fighter concept based on its T-50 series of supersonic trainers and light-attack aircraft. The concept aircraft is far smaller and less ambitious than the all-new, twin-engine KF-X designs promoted by the Agency for Defense Development, the leading proponent of building an indigenous South Korea fighter.
 
Some South Korean industry officials doubt that the country has the technical resources to build the KF-X, especially if major civil aerospace programs go ahead at the same time; a 90-seat turboprop airliner is also proposed. But a KF-X derived from a current type would demand less engineering and may benefit from stronger pricing by avoiding competition with the Lockheed Martin F-35, although Saab is already in the market for advanced but moderately sized fighters with its Gripen E/F.
 
The T-50 and its FA-50 light fighter derivative are themselves based on the F-16 and were developed with help from Lockheed Martin, but the stealthy concept, called KF-X-E, departs from the F-16 planform used for the earlier aircraft. Some wing and fuselage edges are parallel, and the trailing edges of the main and tail planes are swept forward. The fuselage sides have chines. Nose volume of the KF-X-E appears to be small, limiting the size of the radar antenna, but the airframe seems to have more volume overall than the T-50, offering more space for internal fuel and thereby minimizing the need for external tanks and their radar reflections.
 
Read the full story at Aviation Week
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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Around 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be provided to Afghanistan Air Force in 2014. Photo Embraer SA.

Around 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be provided to Afghanistan Air Force in 2014. Photo Embraer SA.

26 July 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

Tactair Fluid Controls has been selected as hardware supplier for the US Air Force's (USAF) recently-awarded light air support (LAS) contract.

 

Awarded to the team of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense and Security in February, the controversial $427.5m LAS contract covers the delivery of a total of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to help the Afghanistan Air Force (AAF) address its security requirements.

 

As LAS contract supplier, the company will be responsible for delivery of the emergency park brake valve and accumulators for use on the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

 

Fitted with single or dual gain braking curves, pressure sensing and an integrated parking function, the Tactair emergency park brake valves are specifically engineered to be manually actuated through a lever or cable quadrant.

 

The brakes are capable of providing an alternate method for brake pressure maintenance upon the main system failure, as well as constant parking brake pressure in park mode.

"Representing the US's support to Afghanistan following strategic withdrawal at the end of 2014, the LAS contract also includes delivery of associated maintenance and training support to the AAF."

 

Usually, the brake valve and hydraulic accumulator are paired together to provide emergency brake pressure and volume compensation in park mode.

 

The contract value and performance period remained undisclosed.

 

Representing the US's support to Afghanistan following strategic withdrawal at the end of 2014, the LAS contract also includes delivery of associated maintenance and training support to the AAF.

 

Expected to be delivered in the summer of 2014, the aircraft will be used by AAF for advanced flight training, surveillance, close air support or ground troops and air interdiction missions.

 

At least 88% of the aircraft is expected to be manufactured using parts delivered by more than 100 US companies from 20 states or countries that qualify under the Buy America Act.

 

Manufacturing work is scheduled to be carried out by US workers in Jacksonville, Florida, while training will be provided in Clovis, New Mexico, US.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Philippines: Defense chief says purchase of 8 Sokol choppers from Poland is last

26 July 2013 By Dona Z. Pazzibugan- Pacific Sentinel

 

MANILA, Philippines—”Of what use is a combat helicopter if you cannot use its machine gun?” President Aquino asked in his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

 

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the purchase of eight Sokol helicopters from Poland would be the last by the Department of National Defense (DND) since they could not be used in combat, after all.

 

“I understand helicopters because I’m a combat officer. The first thing I noticed was, why do you have to remove the machine gun before you can get inside it? The entrance is too narrow, it’s all wrong,” said Gazmin, a former Army Special Forces commander.

 

The P2.8-billion deal with Augusta PZL Swidnik of Italy and Poland for eight Sokol helicopters had been signed, sealed and delivered when he assumed office in July 2010, Gazmin said.

 

“We just had to make the payment,” he said.

 

The eight Sokol (Falcon in Polish) helicopters were delivered in two batches in 2012.

 

Read the full story at Inquirer News

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Afghanistan: A Dilemma for China and the US

July 26, 2013 by Jeffrey Payne - thediplomat.com

 

Both countries have an interest in Afghan stability post-2014. They should consider cooperation.

 

As NATO forces continue the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan, the People’s Republic of China finds itself in a conundrum. With tensions flaring throughout the Asia-Pacific, in part because of a more aggressive Chinese foreign policy, the last thing Beijing wants is to face a security risk along its western border. Regardless of Beijing’s wishes, it will need to become more involved in efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. The United States and its international partners thus have an opportunity to provide incentive for China to become a more reliable international security participant. Unfortunately, China seems unable to escape the inertia of its own politics, while the United States is increasingly consumed by concerns involving Chinese activities in the Asia-Pacific.

 

The Afghan Element within US-China Relations

The U.S.-China relationship is certain to define 21st century international relations to a great degree. As such, the two countries, as well as the world, are scrambling to better understand the relationship. China’s complaints about bilateral ties stem from a view that the United States is unfair to rising powers and, in particular, disregards Chinese traditions and history. The U.S. position is framed as one where China is an irresponsible stakeholder within the international system. China is content to free-ride off the efforts of others, while exploiting the goodwill of surrounding countries and global powers.

These portrayals aren’t completely inaccurate in either case, but they do not sufficiently define this bilateral relationship. It is undeniable that trust between the U.S. and China is low and that many parties within both countries see each other as opponents. Yet, much of the tension in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship is linked to territory, commerce, and relationships throughout the Asia-Pacific region. If we move beyond the Asia-Pacific, then greater opportunity for cooperation exists.

As such, the future of Afghanistan offers an opportunity for these two major powers to work together in furthering Afghan national – as well as South and Central Asian regional – security. With the majority of NATO forces to leave Afghanistan in 2014, China is realizing that its investments in Afghanistan will be at risk, its Central Asian trade threatened, and its relations with Pakistan strained. In short, China needs to take steps to protect its interests.

The U.S., its population exhausted from war and its politics focused on domestic problems, is consumed with withdrawing its security forces from Afghanistan. However, Washington does not wish to watch Afghanistan fall into absolute chaos. Not only would it be negatively affected by the further loss of life, but it would also make the country’s years of investment meaningless and create a security vacuum that may once again require a major U.S. presence.

Thus, China wants to protect its Western border and the U.S. wishes to find a means to enhance Afghan security. This issue can be a basis for building cooperation between the two countries, while avoiding the tension stemming from the Asia-Pacific. Unfortunately, neither country is focused on the Afghan issue in respect to the other. That must change.

 

Bilateral Strategic Cooperation

Too many in the United States view China as an inevitable strategic opponent, ignoring counterevidence in favor of a quasi-Cold War worldview. Likewise, many analysts in China argue that the United States is a diminishing power intent on inhibiting China’s growth. Neither country should be so easily caricatured as such. Both countries’ foreign policy establishments constantly debate how to move forward bilateral relations. What both countries need to do is recognize mutual interests. Mutual interests, particularly outside the Asia-Pacific region, should be the source of U.S.-China international cooperation. In the security arena, Afghanistan’s stability is a major threat and a vital opportunity.

First, each country needs to figure out what costs it is willing to pay for Afghan security. Both countries publicly declare their desire for a prosperous and safe Afghanistan, but neither has made headway in exploring what international institutions it will need in order to reach the desired end stage. China, given its policies of peaceful development and respect to sovereignty, will resist pressure to step up its involvement in security matters. The U.S., for its part, will be intensely hesitant about China taking on a more robust role in Afghanistan. Yet the past ten years have proven that when it comes to Afghanistan, what works best is often not what any party favors.

Second, the U.S. and China should immediately initiate both formal and informal dialogues regarding Afghanistan post-2014. Experts can meet in a Track II setting to formulate policy options, while Track I meetings can follow. These meetings need to be candid and based on past arrangements that proved successful, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Southeast Asia and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Third, both countries should utilize international institutions in which they have influence in order to build a comprehensive Afghan security policy. For the U.S., this means working with its strategic allies to provide continued training for Afghan security forces, foreign aid and private investment. In China’s case, it means engaging the Shanghai Cooperative Organization to mobilize resources throughout Central Asia.

Fourth, and most importantly, both countries need to cooperate in their engagements with both Afghanistan’s leaders and South Asian leaders. The U.S. can leverage its relationship with Afghanistan’s government to further interaction between China’s leaders and their Afghan counterparts. Both countries can engage Pakistan’s new government to show a united will that encourages Pakistan to do more to inhibit destabilizing groups operating in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Finally, India should be brought into talks with respect to its diplomatic operations in Afghanistan and its own investment in the country.

 

Difficult, But Not Impossible

It will be immensely difficult for the U.S. and China to cooperate on Afghanistan. Over the long term, however these two countries have parallel national interests when it comes to Afghanistan and that must be the basis of all forward movement. Added to the complexities of the bilateral relationship are the intricacies that will be required when working with the Afghan, Central Asian, Pakistani, and Indian governments. In short, this is no small task. The alternative, however, will certainly be a more chaotic Afghanistan and by extension, a more unstable Central and South Asia.

This effort will be more difficult for China, for it will require them to revise their stance on international security engagement. There is no chance that China will send security forces to Afghanistan, but it is equally unlikely that another international force will replace NATO. Thus, China must engage the security situation directly. As such, the U.S., given its experience in Afghanistan, will have an opportunity to encourage China to take on a more responsible international security role.

Again, this process will not be easy, but it allows an opportunity for the U.S. and China to engage in coordinated security policy. Both countries desire stability in Afghanistan and it is that, not external problems within the bilateral relationship, which must be the focus of both countries. There is no more pressing issue in Central and South Asia than Afghanistan.

Jeffrey Payne is the Senior Research Associate at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. The views expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Hyunmoo III Cruise Missile

Hyunmoo III Cruise Missile

July 26, 2013 By  Zachary Keck - Flashpoints

 

South Korea’s Defense of Ministry submitted a budget to Parliament on Wednesday asking for 214.5 trillion won (US$192.6 billion) for the fiscal years between 2014 and 2018, Yonhap News Agency reported.

That breaks down to a yearly average of US$38.52 billion; according to Yonhap, South Korea spent US$29 billion on defense last year, although the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) put the figure at US$31.7 billion. Parliament has approved around 34.5 trillion won (US$31.05 billion) for FY 2013.

The budget proposal submitted on Thursday focuses heavily on beefing up South Korea’s missile defense, with such capabilities accounting 13.7 percent of the entire budget request. This in essence proposes funding the improved missile defense capabilities the Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced in rapid succession since North Korea’s latest missile and nuclear tests in December 2012 and February of this year.

Although it has continued to refuse to join the U.S.-led missile defense system, South Korea has gradually come around to fielding its own indigenous system. While it first considered missile defense capabilities during the late 1990s, progress really only began in the last few years of the Roh Moo-hyun administration (2003-2008), following North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.

Indeed, in 2006 South Korea announced its plan to build the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, initially intended to be made up solely of Patriot-2 (PAC-2) missile interceptors and radar. The SAM-X program reportedly appropriated US$1.2-1.6 billion toward this goal.

Then, in March of 2008, Raytheon announced it had started “preliminary planning efforts aimed at integrating Patriot air defense/ABM missiles into South Korea’s national command and control structure,” in the words of Defense Industry Daily.

After negotiations in 2006 and 2007, South Korea also received its first shipment of second-hand PAC-2 interceptors from Germany in late 2008. Although it initially expressed interest in purchasing 48 PAC-2 interceptors from Germany, in 2011 Finland temporarily seized a ship carrying 69 PAC-2s from Germany to South Korea. Berlin described this as the last of the sales.

In 2009, the U.S. announced that South Korea had officially requested the U.S. sell various types of SM-2 standard missiles. These would ultimately be used on South Korea’s three KDX-III Class Aegis Destroyers, the largest Aegis-equipped destroyers in the world, which were commissioned into the ROK Navy between 2008 and 2012.

KDX-III ships are also equipped with SPY-1D(V) radar  for early warning. Two of these were deployed in the crisis on the Korean Peninsula last spring, and the SPY-1D radar immediately picked up and tracked North Korea’s December 2012 launch of an Unha-3 long-range rocket.

Last year South Korea also purchased two Green Pine land-based radar systems from Israel. The Green Pine systems were jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel. Seoul also sought to purchase the Iron Dome from Israel, and proposed paying for part of this purchase by selling Israel other types of military equipment. Tel Aviv rebuffed South Korea on the military equipment although some reports have surfaced saying that Seoul is still pursuing the system.  

After years of South Korea insisting it was still considering joining the U.S.-led regional missile defense system, the U.S. more or less endorsed Seoul’s KAMD system at the ROK-U.S. 2+2 talks in June 2012. Although Seoul has claimed the KAMD system can be integrated into the existing U.S. system, some defense analysts have questioned how extensive this integration would actually be.

Following the endorsement in June, last October the two sides announced revisions to a treaty that restricted the range and payload sizes South Korea of missiles, giving Seoul the green light to ramp up its missile capabilities.

The ROK has hit the ground running ever since. In February of this year it vowed to speed up the completion of the KAMD system, which was initially expected to be in place in 2015. It also announced it is developing an indigenous ballistic missile capable of reaching all of North Korea. These would complement its existing domestically made cruise missiles that can already reach all of the North.

Following this announcement, South Korea said in April it would finally be opening its Air and Missile Defense Cell (AMD-Cell) in July. The AMD-Cell is a command and control center for the entire KAMD enterprise that was initially scheduled to be operational at the end of last year.

At the time of the April announcement, an unnamed ROK defense official told Yonhap that the AMD-Cell would analyze “information acquired from the U.S. early missile warning satellites and South Korea's radar system and sends it to Patriot missile units.”

Then, last month, South Korea announced it would be upgrading its KDX-III vessels with SM-6 surface-to-air missiles, which have a range of up to 400 km. The SM-6 systems are expected to be in place by 2016.

As expected, the budget unveiled this week proposed funding for the purchase of additional PAC-2 missile batteries, as well as PAC-3 upgrades to the existing systems. The PAC-3 upgrades appear to be a wise investment as South Korea's PAC-2s have had an intercept rate of 40 percent. Moreover, the PAC-3 can hit missiles at twice the altitude of its predecessor. 

What ties all these efforts together is the so-called “Kill Chain.” Seoul’s most ambitious program to date, the Kill Chain is a comprehensive set of indigenous satellites that South Korea hopes to have in place by 2021. These satellites would be integrated with the KAMD system with the goal of being able to detect North Korean missiles launches early enough to allow Seoul’s cruise and ballistic missiles to destroy them preemptively.

This will help the ROK military implement its new “active deterrence” doctrine, which was announced by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin during the thick of the Korean Peninsula crisis in April.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:30
photo Israel Aerospace Industries

photo Israel Aerospace Industries

July 26, 2013 by Arie Egozi – FG

 

Tel Aviv - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will have to sign joint development agreements with companies in countries that want to operate medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air systems such as its Heron TP, Israeli defence ministry sources say.

 

The requirement stems from the fact that Israel - despite not signing the international missile technology control regime (MTCR) - complies with its guidelines.

 

The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technologies for systems capable of carrying a 500kg (1,100lb) payload at least 162nm (300km), as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction.

 

IAI could offer the Heron TP to France and Germany, as both are partners in the MTCR, but would not be allowed to offer it to non-signatory countries.

 

Defence ministry sources confirm one such potential customer from a MALE UAS with capabilities similar to the Heron TP is India, but refuse to say whether there are negotiations about such a co-development agreement with New Delhi.

 

With a maximum take-off weight of more than 4t and a 26m (85ft) wingspan, the Heron TP is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprop engine.

 

Sources in Israel say some countries already operating Israeli-made UAS are the most likely potential customers for a jointly developed MALE UAS that will comply with the terms of the MTCR.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:30
Kuwait's first AH-64D Apache Longbow hovers over the flight line at Boeing's facility site in Mesa, Arizona, US. Photo Boeing

Kuwait's first AH-64D Apache Longbow hovers over the flight line at Boeing's facility site in Mesa, Arizona, US. Photo Boeing

26 July 2013 airforce-technology.com/

 

Selex ES has completed training of the Kuwaiti Air Force pilots in operation of the helicopter integrated defensive aids system (HIDAS) at its electronic warfare operational support (EWOS) facility in Lincolnshire, UK.

 

The six-month training programme delivered the essential knowledge and skills that will enable the air force to customise the HIDAS system in response to the current and emerging threats.

 

Additionally, the training is expected to help the country start development of a national EWOS capability.

 

Selex ES EWOS vice-president Ramie Smith said the equipment alone does not offer the most effective solution in the fast-paced EW world.

 

''This training will allow our Kuwaiti customer to program their electronic warfare hardware to effectively defend against modern threats and new challenges as they emerge in the future,'' Smith said.

Specifically, the training includes a multitude of EW and EWOS basics such as EW data analysis, EW database management, EW mission support, threat vulnerability assessment, as well as EW tactics and counter-measures development, United Press International (UPI) reports.

 

The company is now planning to supply a broad spectrum of mission data sets to Kuwait, eventually paving way for the country to start its assessment and development of a national EW capability.

 

Acquired though a US foreign military sale (FMS) programme route in 2002, the HIDAS systems are currently installed onboard the Kuwaiti Air Force's AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

 

Equipped with advanced sensors and intelligent software, HIDAS has been designed to automatically detect, identify, prioritise, and counter threats to the Apache helicopter by creating a comprehensive picture of the tactical operating environment without crew intervention.

 

Capable of being used in automatic, semi-automatic or manual modes, the system is also installed on British military's Apache, Chinook and Puma helicopters, as well as other exported Apache helicopters.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
NGC to Supply Steering Gear Systems for Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers

Jul 25, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded contracts totaling $14.4 million by prime contractors General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (NYSE:GD) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) to supply the steering gear system for three new DDG 51 Class Arleigh Burke destroyers.

 

The steering gear system is vital for the control and maneuverability of the ship and is directly linked to the integrated bridge, as well as the navigation and inertial navigation systems that Northrop Grumman is supplying under separate contracts for the DDG 51 Class destroyers.

 

Northrop Grumman has been the sole provider of the steering gear system for the DDG 51 Class since production began during the 1980s. This contract award brings the program's total to 69 steering systems.

 

"These latest awards for the DDG 51 Class steering gear system demonstrates Northrop Grumman's continued excellence in delivering quality mission-critical systems for U.S. Navy ships and submarines," said Bill Hannon, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Maritime Systems business unit. "Our expertise in producing steering, integrated bridge, inertial navigation, machinery controls and other systems makes Northrop Grumman a world leader in shipboard navigation, sensors and ship controls."

 

The work will be performed chiefly in Charlottesville and the steering systems will be installed on the DDGs at the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine and the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi before the destroyers are delivered to the Navy. Equipment deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015 and continue into the third quarter of 2017.

 

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
Natick develops holster for M320 grenade launcher

Jul 25, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Army

 

When the M320 40 mm grenade launcher began replacing the M203 in 2009, it put a new and more lethal weapon into the hands of the Soldier.

 

There was one question, however. How would he or she best carry it?

 

An equipment specialist with Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, or PM SCIE, is trying to answer that question. Darren Bean has been working at the Natick Soldier Systems Center since November 2012 on the M320GL Holster Soldier Enhancement Program, or SEP.

 

The detachable M320, named one of the Army's top 10 inventions of 2009, comes equipped with a sling to carry it when not mounted to the M4 carbine or M16 rifle, according to Bean.

 

"It was a one-point sling, so (the weapon) was kind of bouncing around," Bean said. "If you went down to the ground, you were dragging it through the dirt. Most people felt that protection was needed at some level because they were just getting dragged in the dirt and pounded on."

 

Some Soldiers began looking for a better solution than the sling for the M320, which weighs seven pounds with the butt stock.

 

"They decided they wanted to be able to put it in a holster rather than just shove it in their ruck sack," Bean said.

 

The SEP allowed the purchase of enough holsters to equip a brigade combat team. He said the "buy-try-decide" concept allows the Army to test the functionality of equipment without spending a lot of time on research and development.

 

Bean found three commercial vendors who make M320 holsters, so PM SCIE acquired 167 of each.

 

"They're of varying design," Bean said. "All three of them were very different from each other."

 

One model includes pockets for grenades but is bulky. Another is more streamlined but offers less protection for the weapon. The third is a cross between the other two.

 

Bean put the holsters in the hands of a dozen Soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., who went through a set of standardized tests in mid May. The Soldiers filled out surveys after the testing.

 

The testing was to make sure it was realistic to go forward, Bean said.

 

"Now we can actually test them with an entire brigade," he added.

 

Each one of the holsters has had small issues, according to Bean.

 

"None of them have performed necessarily any better than the other ones," Bean said. "They all have some small things that need to be tweaked."

 

Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, N.Y., the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Vermont National Guard, and Soldiers in Afghanistan are currently evaluating the holsters. The Consumer Research Team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center will collect data. PM SCIE officials will then make a recommendation to the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning by the beginning of fiscal year 2014.

 

"The need is there, for sure," Bean said. "I think the end state of this will be that they will say, 'Yes, we need a grenade launcher holster for this when we use it in the stand-alone mode.'"

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
Smiths Detection Wins approximately $7m Chemical Detector Order

Jul 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : Smiths Detection

 

    JCAD Protects U.S. Troops from Chemical Warfare Agents, Toxic Industrial Chemicals

 

Smiths Detection today announced a follow-on production order worth approximately $7 million from the U.S. Army under the Department of Defense’s Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) program.

 

Lance Roncalli, Vice President of Sales, Americas, Smiths Detection, said: “This order underscores the Department of Defense’s continued commitment to one of the largest, most effective chemical warfare protection projects in the world.  Recent news coverage of possible chemical weapons use is a reminder about why JCAD is such a critical technology to help safeguard troops around the world.”

 

The JCAD is based on Smiths Detection's LCD product line of advanced, light-weight, threat detection devices that can be easily strapped to a belt. The LCD is a cost-effective solution that protects military personnel, police and hazmat responders by testing the air and providing an immediate warning if dangerous chemicals such as warfare agents and toxic substances are detected.

 

The enhanced M4A1 JCADs provided to the U.S. military are manufactured in Smiths Detection’s facility at Edgewood, Md. Serving as the main U.S. manufacturing site for X-ray and a range of chemical warfare detection systems, Edgewood employs nearly 230 people and was recently expanded to help meet continued demand for the JCAD program.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
100th Jet In Final Production; 1st F-35 Bound For Luke

Jul 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

The 100th Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II, the first aircraft destined for Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz., has entered the last stage of final assembly. This conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, known as AF-41, is scheduled to arrive at the base next year. During final assembly, the aircraft structure is completed, and electrical and hydraulic systems are added. Additionally, these systems are tested in preparation for fuel systems checks and engine runs. The final steps prior to acceptance by the Air Force include a series of checkout flights leading to the aircraft entering the service’s F-35 fleet. AF-41 is one of 126 F-35s in various stages of production worldwide.

 

In June, the Air Force announced its decision to increase the number of squadrons at Luke AFB to six with 144 aircraft, which will make it the largest F-35 base worldwide.  In addition to training U.S. pilots, Luke will also serve as an F-35A International Training site. Currently, Luke’s economic impact on the state of Arizona is $2.17 Billion. With 14 F-35 suppliers in the state of Arizona, the program has an additional economic impact of $98Million.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 10:55
photo ECPAD

photo ECPAD

26/07 LesEchos (Reuters)

 

Le ministre de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian est arrivé jeudi soir en Inde pour une visite de deux jours destinée à "approfondir le dialogue stratégique" entre Paris et New Delhi, a annoncé vendredi le ministère.

 

Le ministre a prévu de rencontrer à cette occasion les industriels français du secteur de la défense et de s'entretenir avec son homologue indien Arackaparambil Kurian Antony avant de se rendre samedi sur la base aérienne de Gwâlior.

 

Cette visite survient cinq mois après celle de François Hollande qui avait constaté des progrès dans les négociations sur la vente de 126 avions de combat de Dassault Aviation à l'armée de l'air indienne.

 

L'Inde a présélectionné le Rafale en janvier 2012 au terme d'un appel d'offres très disputé pour une commande évaluée à quelque 15 milliards de dollars portant sur 126 avions et 63 options potentielles, et discute depuis avec le groupe français des termes du contrat.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 10:55
photo DCNS

photo DCNS

July 26th, 2013 By DCNS  - defencetalk.com

 

The French Navy’s Fleet Support Service (SSF) signed off on the completion of the intermediate refit of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after six months’ work by DCNS. From hull to combat system, without forgetting compliance tests to the latest environmental standards, communications suite modernization or the refurbishment of the accommodation and recreation areas, the project involved some 950 people and 1 million person-hours’ work.

 

Maintenance and modernization

 

In addition to scheduled maintenance, the refit was used to undertake significant modernization. The work was performed in the Vauban drydock at the Toulon naval base. The ship was given a complete facelift that included the repainting of a total area of 26,000 square meters and the complete refurbishment of one of the main galleys. Other modernization work included the replacement of the stabilization computer.

 

The propulsion system and other shipboard systems and equipment were inspected, overhauled and tested to ensure optimal performance in operation. Some 35 kilometers of cabling was also installed with a view to the later installation of a state-of-the-art IP network.

 

CVN Charles de Gaulle underwent a thorough overhaul performed by teams assembled by DCNS and its partners, supported day-to-day by the ship’s crew.

 

Major contracting challenge, noteworthy team success

 

“Scheduled refits are essential to return a ship to ‘as new’ condition. This six-month period of intense contract maintenance and modernization is over. Other teams will now resume shore-based day-to-day monitoring of the ship’s systems and equipment,” said Franck Bouffety, the Group’s Charles de Gaulle program manager.

 

With over 1,000 tasks in progress each week, the Vauban drydock was very busy indeed. Despite the huge number of jobs to be performed, everything was completed on time. DCNS completed the 6,000 maintenance and modernisation ‘line tasks’ specified for this scheduled refit. In addition to the ship’s crew, all available staff based at the Toulon naval base were mobilized for the extended pit stop. Virtually every DCNS center contributed in one way or another. In all, the Group assigned almost 500 employees to the project.

 

Technical data for intermediate refit:

 

    Number of people involved: 950

    DCNS employees: 250

    subcontractor employees: 200

    crew: 500

    number of subcontractors: 60

    person-hours worked: 1 million

    tasks in progress each week: 1,000

    number of line tasks: 6,000

    preparatory work for next refit: 20%

    area painted: 26,000 sq.m

    cabling installed: 35 km

    Engine room tasks:

    pipes cleaned and inspected: 25,000

    new pipes installed: 6,000

 

CVN Charles de Gaulle at a glance

 

    Commissioned: 18 May 2001 (12 years’ active service)

    Crew: ≈ 2,000 men & women (women ≈ 15%)

    Displacement, full load: ≈ 42,000 tonnes

    Length overall: 261.50 m

    Beam: 64.36 m

    Height: 75 m (equivalent to a 20-storey building)

    Average daily distance travelled: 1,000 km

    Total distance travelled: 1 million km (≈ 23 circumnavigations)

    Recent operations: Libya (Operation Harmattan), Afghanistan.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 10:50
EADS regroupe ses activités défense et va se rebaptiser Airbus

26 juillet 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

PARIS (France) - Le groupe européen EADS se prépare à regrouper ses activités défense et à prendre le nom de sa principale filiale Airbus, ont indiqué jeudi des sources proches du dossier.

 

Selon un schéma qui doit être soumis la semaine prochaine au conseil d'administration, le groupe, actuellement formé de quatre divisions, n'en aurait plus que trois.

 

L'actuelle division défense Cassidian fusionnera avec la division espace Astrium et avec Airbus Military, filiale de l'avionneur qui produit les appareils de transport militaire, au sein d'une seule et même entité, Airbus Defence.

 

Le groupe profitera lui-même de cette opération de regroupement pour abandonner son nom historique d'EADS au profit de celui d'Airbus. L'avionneur deviendra Airbus Civil Aircraft et le fabricant d'hélicoptères Eurocopter sera rebaptisé Airbus Helicopters.

 

Selon la lettre d'information spécialisée AeroDefenseNews, la direction d'Airbus Defence serait confiée au patron de Cassidian Bernhard Gerwert. Il serait secondé par Christian Scherer, qui possède les nationalités française et allemande.

 

Ce qui est sûr c'est que cette entité ne peut pas être confiée à un Français, a souligné une des sources proches du dossier, deux Français, Fabrice Brégier et Guillaume Faury, dirigeant déjà les deux autres divisions.

 

Un porte-parole du groupe européen s'est refusé à tout commentaire sur les décisions que pourrait prendre le conseil d'administration. Celui-ci doit approuver les résultats semestriels avant leur publication mercredi.

 

EADS est né en 2000 d'une fusion d'actifs industriels français, allemands et espagnols. Son chiffre d'affaires est dominé par les résultats de l'avionneur.

 

Le groupe avait tenté l'année dernière de fusionner avec le fabricant d'armes britannique BAE Systems pour rééquilibrer activités civiles et militaires mais le projet a échoué en octobre devant l'opposition de l'Allemagne.

 

Depuis, le directeur exécutif Tom Enders a lancé une revue de la stratégie du groupe, dont il discute avec le nouveau conseil d'administration qui a pris ses fonctions le 2 avril.

 

Le groupe réalise plus du quart de son chiffre d'affaires dans la défense (12 milliards d'euros sur 56,5 milliards en 2012), avec les satellites et les missiles d'Astrium, les hélicoptères militaires, les avions de transport militaires, les radars de Cassidian et le chasseur Eurofighter, qu'il co-produit avec BAE et l'italien Finmeccanica.

 

Tom Enders caresse depuis longtemps le projet de rebaptiser le groupe du nom d'Airbus, marque mondialement connue, et la décision doit être approuvée par le conseil d'administration la semaine prochaine.

 

Eurocopter, basé à Marignane (bien Marignane), conservera la production des hélicoptères militaires, un même modèle étant souvent décliné en version commerciale et de défense.

 

D'après le Financial Times, cette restructuration s'accompagnera de pertes d'emplois dans le groupe et les syndicats devraient être consultés à l'automne.

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