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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 12:35
CARAT 2011 - photo US Navy

CARAT 2011 - photo US Navy

 

September 28, 2015 By Grant Newsham

 

The country needs a more robust capability. Here’s how it can achieve it.

 

As Indo-Pacific nations build up their naval power, submarines, cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, jets, and frigates get the most attention. However, an underreported but significant regional trend over the last five years is widespread interest in amphibious capabilities.

Japan and Australia have created rudimentary amphibious forces, and New Zealand is working to develop one. Malaysia has publicly stated it wants a Marine Corps and even the small, remote Maldives has established a Marine Corps.

Apart from this, Asia also already has a number of Marine Corps or amphibious-capable ground forces. The ROK Marine Corps is one of the oldest and most capable, though largely tied to the Korean peninsula. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has a large Marine Corps, and as the PRC pursues its territorial expansion strategies it understands the value of amphibious forces and is rapidly building new amphibious ships.

The Indonesian Marine Corps is expanding, while the Philippine Marines are working to upgrade their force. India has amphibious-capable forces, even though they lack adequate funding and focus, and Singapore is looking to improve its amphibious capabilities. Bucking the trend, the competent Taiwan Marines have been pared down in recent years – to the point where they may eventually be ineffective.

The Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) has a long history and can conduct amphibious operations. It has performed superbly in the south against separatist insurgents, and made important contributions to winning the nearly 30-year long Communist insurgency. However, the RTMC can make even greater contributions to Thailand’s national security and to regional security as well. The RTMC is indeed a neglected strategic asset, but to understand why, one first must understand why amphibious capabilities are important.

 

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 12:35
Warplanes: The J-31 Mystery Deepens

 

September 30, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Recently someone in China anonymously posted performance data for the new Chinese J-31 fighter. This was in the form of a sales brochure (for trade shows) that had not been distributed to the public. So far the manufacturer has been vague about J-31 performance data. This despite the fact that the J-31 has been showing up at Chinese weapons shows. But so far this promotion has been all about looking at the impressive appearance of the J-31, not crunching any numbers.

 

It gets more interesting when you realize that the recently posted data ascribes better engine performance than actual engines the Chinese have in service or access to. There were also descriptions of J-31 electronics that sounded more like a Chinese wish list than anything the Chinese have or are known to be developing. Many in the industry see this as some kind of desperate publicity stunt.  Efforts to sell the J-31 have not been very successful so far.

 

In late 2014 China quietly approached some potential customers about interest in buying its 18 ton J-31 stealth fighter. For export customers the J-31 would be called the FC-31 and it was understood that this version would not have all the best stuff the J-31 has. Pakistan expressed some interest, but then Pakistan is the largest export customer for Chinese weapons. Pakistan apparently thought it best to wait a bit because it was unclear how ready the J-31 was for active service. Since 2012 China has been testing the J-31 “Falcon Eagle” (from an inscription on the tail). While it looks like the American F-22, it’s also smaller than China’s other stealth fighter (the 35 ton J-20, which has been around longer). The J-31 was built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (which makes the J-11, the illegal Chinese copy of the Russian Su-27). The J-31 has some characteristics of the F-35 as well and appears to be something of an “F-35” to the earlier J-20s effort to match the American F-22. The J-31 flew for the first time in October 2012 and at that point there were at least two prototypes. The designer has talked of the J-31 being able to operate off an aircraft carrier (like the U.S. F-35 and the Chinese J-15, a J-11 variant).

 

One advantage the J-31 is that it has two engines, compared to one for the 31 ton F-35. In theory this means the J-31 could carry more weapons, but this is less crucial with all the guided weapons available. Moreover the J-31 is seen using Chinese engines, which are less powerful and reliable, even when two are used, compared to the single engine in the F-35C.

 

The J-31 is further evidence that China is determined to develop its own high tech military gear. While China is eager to develop advanced military technology locally, it recognizes that this takes time and more effort than nations new to this expect. Thus, China is trying to avoid the mistakes Russia made in this area. That means having competing designs and developing necessary supporting industries as part of that. All this takes a lot of time and involves lots of little (and some major) failures. The Chinese are doing it right and are willing to wait until they get military tech that is truly world class.

 

At this point the J-31 is scheduled to be ready for service in 2019 and have ground attack as well as air-to-air capabilities.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 12:20
photo Roboteam

photo Roboteam

 

September 30, 2015: Strategy Page

 

An Israeli firm has managed to sell some of its small battlefield robots to the American military, which is a first for an Israeli firm. The U.S. Air Force has ordered over 200 Israeli MTGR (Micro Tactical Ground Robot) for their bomb disposal teams. This came after MTGR demonstrated its capabilities during the 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza. This was particularly true with the large number of Hamas tunnels discovered. These proved more complex and dangerous than any previously encountered and a new robot was needed to deal with the situation. Within days a specification was provided to Israeli robot manufacturers and by the end of July 2014 a new robot design had been accepted, in production, delivered and in action. This was the MTGR and while it was not a major breakthrough, it was simply a better application of design elements that had been developed since the 1990s and suited current Israeli needs. The Israelis have ordered over a hundred MTGRs for delivery ASAP. Based on its success in Gaza MTGR is being offered to other armed forces and police departments around the world.

 

MTGR is a 7.3 kg (16 pound) tracked (or wheeled version weighing 9 kg) robot. Tracks are preferred for climbing stairs and getting over obstacles. MTGR can carry up to 9 kg of accessories. The basic MTGR comes with five cameras, a microphone, and can carry additional sensors. The cameras have day/night capability, 360 degree views and x10 zoom. One of the more useful accessories is a robotic arm for clearing debris or searching. Another useful item are bright LED lights when you need illumination. MTGR uses GPS and can carry a laser rangefinder to measure dimensions of where it is. The battery lasts 2-4 hours depending how onboard equipment is used. Top speed is 50 meters a minute and max range for the operator is 500 meters.

 

MTGR is designed to be carried in a backpack and an operator can use the handheld control unit to operate several MTGRs at once. The MTGR was a lifesaver for exploring Hamas tunnels, which are often filled with booby traps and other nasty surprises for advancing Israeli troops. Often an MTGR was simply sent down, take a lot of measurements and pictures and then withdraw after which explosives will be lowered down and the tunnel collapsed. If MTGR detects documents or electronic devices like laptops, tablets or cell phones, MTGR will carefully survey the area and troops will go down to recover the valuable intel often found on such devices. If MTGR can reach cell phones or small tablets it can pick them up and carry them away.

 

What made MTGR special was the firm that provided it demonstrated that it was able to take existing technologies and quickly adapt them to new situations. The small firm that developed MTGR it had an existing design modified and readied for production in less than a month. In wartime this is a very valuable capability. This has now been demonstrated under combat conditions and the rest of the military robot industry has to adapt.

 

The U.S. Army has been using robots like the MTGR since the 1990s. American designs went through rapid refinement after September 11, 2001 because thousands of these robots were bought and used by American troops in combat. The culmination of all that was expressed in the XM1216 SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle). SUGV was designed to be the definitive next generation infantry droid, replacing existing droids like the similar but larger PackBot. Not surprisingly MTGR is based on the same experience but more refined and using some newer technology.  This design was not ready for action until most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was over. Thus by 2012 only about 200 of these combat robots were in service or on order. It was only in 2011, after more than six years of development, that the army bought its first production model SUGV. Many in the U.S. Army were not satisfied with how long it took to get SUGV to the troops and MTGR is proof that it could have been done faster.

 

Before September 11, 2001, the army didn't expect to have robots like PackBot or SUGV until 2013. But the technology was already there, and the war created a major demand. The robots expected in 2013 were to be part of a new generation of gear called FCS (Future Combat Systems). SUGV is still waiting for some of the high tech FCS communications and sensor equipment (which MTGR used), and appeared in 2011 using off-the-shelf stuff in the meantime. The troops don't care, as long as it worked. These small robots have been quite rugged, having a 90 percent availability rate.

 

The overly ambitious, expensive and much delayed FCS program was cancelled in 2009 but successful bits, like SUGV, were allowed to keep moving. This was a big deal for SUGV, because demand for these small droids collapsed when the Islamic terror offensive in Iraq did in 2008. There were plenty of droids left over for service in Afghanistan, where the Taliban provided a much lower workload for the little bots than did Iraq.

 

SUGV is a 13 kg (29 pound) robot, similar to the slightly older and larger Packbot. SUGV can carry 3 kg (6.6 pounds) of gear, and seven different "mission packages" are available. These include various types of sensors and double jointed arms (for grabbing things.) SUGV is waterproof and shock resistant. It fits into the standard army backpack, and is meant to operate in a harsh environment. The battery powered SUGV is operated wirelessly, or via a fiber optic cable, using a controller that looks like a video game controller with a video screen built in. SUGV can also use an XBox 360 controller, with the right drivers. Like the earlier PackBot and later MTGR, SUGV can climb stairs, maneuver over rubble and other nasty terrain.

 

The SUGV design is based largely on feedback from combat troops. For example, it is rugged enough to be quickly thrown into a room, tunnel or cave, activated and begin sending video, as well as audio, of what is in there. This feature makes it very popular with the troops, who want droids with the ability to see, hear and smell were more acutely. No one likes being the first one going into dark, potentially dangerous, places. Throwing a grenade in first doesn't always work, because sometimes frightened civilians are in there. Despite all these fine qualities, the current generation of robots is not fast enough, agile enough or sensitive enough to compete with human troops doing this kind of work. Sometimes, however, the robots are an adequate, and life-saving, substitute. SUGV is supposed to be better at this sort of thing.

 

SUGV can also perform outpost and listening post work. These are two dangerous jobs the infantry are glad to hand off to a robot. Outposts are, as the name implies, one or two troops dug in a hundred meters or so in front of the main position, to give early warning of an enemy attack. A listening post is similar, but the friendly troops are often much deeper into enemy territory. The SUGV battery enables it to just sit in one place, listening and watching, for eight hours or more. After that, you send out another SUGV with a fresh battery, and have the other one come back for a recharge. No risk of troops getting shot at while doing the same things, and the troops really appreciate that. Again, the problem with this is that the robot sensors are just not there yet. The sensors are getting close, but not close enough for troops to trust their lives to this thing.

 

Other dangerous jobs for the SUGV are placing explosives by a door (to blow it open for the troops), or placing a smoke grenade where it will prevent the enemy from seeing the troops move. Since 2006 users of the older PackBot UGVs filled military message boards with interesting uses they have found for these robots, and new features they could make use of. SUGV and MTGR are the products of all that chatter.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:55
Festivités de la Saint Michel

 

30-09-2015 par 2e REP Réf : 335 | 665

 

A l’occasion des festivités de la St Michel 2015, le 2ème Régiment étranger de parachutistes a organisé un certain nombre de cérémonies ouvertes au public. Une cérémonie en hommage aux morts s'est déroulée samedi 26 septembre, au carré Légion du cimetière de Calvi. A la fin de cette cérémonie, l’orchestre de la Musique de la Légion étrangère a donné une aubade sur le port de Calvi, quai Landry. L’occasion de découvrir les prouesses de musiciens venus du monde entier servir la France.

 

Anciens chefs de corps

Enfin, une prise d’armes présidée par le COMLE a été donnée au camp Raffalli dimanche 27 septembre, en présence d'une délégation de l'AALPC emmenée par le général d'armée (2s) Bruno Dary. De nombreuses autorités civiles, militaires ainsi que d'anciens chefs de corps du régiment avaient également fait le déplacement, dont le Général Emmanuel Maurin, aujourd'hui à la tête de l'école d'infanterie de Draguignan, le général d’armée (2s) Michel Guignon, ancien Gouverneur militaire de Paris, ainsi que les généraux de division (2s) Alain Bouquin, Jean-Michel Wabinski et Rémy Gausseres.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy

S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy

 

September 24, 2015: Strategy Page

 

South Korea is seeking to buy about twenty retired American S-3 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to augment South Korean ability to find and destroy North Korean submarines. The United States retired the last of its S-3s in 2009 but put dozens in storage, just in case. Before putting these aircraft in storage the navy took advantage of new, lightweight, search radars and targeting pods and in 2006 began equipping S-3 aircraft with Lantirn targeting pods. This was in an effort to extend the life of the S-3s, as reconnaissance aircraft. That did not prevent the retirement decision.

 

The S-3 was originally designed as an anti-submarine aircraft, and served in that capacity from its introduction in the mid-1970s, to the late 1990s. The end of the Cold War ended most of the submarine threat so after 1999 the S-3 has served as a patrol aircraft and aerial tanker. It was hoped that a reequipped S-3, with the long endurance (ten hours per sortie), day/night video capability of the Lantirn, and lightweight search radar, would make it a much more effective maritime patrol aircraft. The Lantirn pod costs two million dollars, and is hung off a hard point like a bomb or fuel tank. Despite this effort some 90 late model S-3s, about half the 188 manufactured, are in storage and can be brought back to service in a few months. South Korea would add some of its own electronics and begin using the S-3s for ASW work.

 

The 23 ton S-3 is a twin-jet ASW aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carriers. It carries a crew of four (two pilots and two equipment operators) and up to 2.2 tons of weapons (bombs, mines, depth charges, ant-submarine torpedoes). Cruise speed is 650 kilometers an hour and stall (slowest) speed is 180 kilometers an hour. Also carried are sixty sonobuoys plus extensive electronics (search radar, night vision camera and magnetic anomaly detector).

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
J-2 avant les Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été

 

30/09/2015 Ministère de la Défense

 

Du 2 au 11 octobre se tiendra la 6e édition des Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été (JMME) à Mungyeong (Corée du Sud). Cette édition 2015 rassemblera 7 000 militaires représentant 115 nations. Parmi eux, 163 Français qui espèrent briller dans plus d’une quinzaine de disciplines.

 

Mungyeong, en Corée du Sud, accueille du 2 au 11 octobre les 6e Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été (JMME). Sous l’égide du Conseil international du sport militaire, ces jeux rassemblent cette année environ 7 000 militaires représentant pas moins de 115 nations.

 

Avec des sports aussi variés que l’escrime, l’athlétisme, le football masculin comme féminin, le tir à l’arc ou le parachutisme, ce sont près de 24 disciplines dans lesquelles les compétiteurs concourront.

 

163 athlètes portent jusqu’en Corée du Sud les couleurs de la France. La délégation française présente 47 sportifs de haut niveau, tous issus de « l’armée des champions », une équipe de la Défense rassemblant les meilleurs éléments militaires de la nation. Cette « armée des champions » possède notamment dans ses rangs des célébrités telles que le maréchal des logis Florent Manaudou, nageur professionnel.  Ils seront accompagnés par 116 sportifs de la Défense, dont 12 blessés en service qui participent aux épreuves d’athlétisme et de tir à l’arc.

 

En 2011, année de la dernière édition des JMME, qui s’étaient tenus à Rio, au Brésil, la France avait remporté 18 médailles – 11 en or, 3 en argent et 4 en bronze. Elle s’était alors hissée à la 5e place au classement des nations. Cette année, elle peut espérer faire encore mieux.

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Procurement: How The Indian Army Got Its Apaches

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

India, after three years of deliberation by the procurement bureaucrats and politicians, approved the purchase of 22 American AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships and 15 CH-47F transport helicopters. Such delays are not unusual for India where decades of corrupt foreign arms purchases have been exposed in the last decade and the made those still involved in those decisions extremely cautious. It usually takes external events to move decisions forward. In the case of the American helicopters the primary motivators were Russian sales to Pakistan and a feud between the Indian Army and Air Force. The Russian aspect has to do with the growing hostility of India to Russian weapons. For half a century Russia has been the major supplier of imported weapons. But since the 1990s, as India freed up the economy (from fifty years of crippling state controls) and finally reached the limit of tolerance for poor quality and support that characterized Russian weapons, India began to buy weapons from the West. Although more expensive the Western stuff was more effective, reliable and often cheaper to operate than Russian systems. Now Russia has made the situation worse by selling helicopters to Pakistan, the arch enemy of India. India seems content to let the Pakistanis have the Russian dreck while India proceeds to upgrade with Western equipment. Since 2001 India has bought over $12 billion worth of American weapons and military equipment. The U.S. is the largest source but Israel and several European defense companies are also major suppliers. The Russian arms salesmen are not amused.

 

Another factor in helicopter procurement is an ongoing feud between the Indian Army and Air Force about who controls AH-64s. The air force has long operated the helicopter gunships, arguing that these helicopters are crucial for certain air combat missions like attacking air defense radars and other helicopters. The army generals were furious over that and demanded that the government set the air force straight. The army was particularly anxious to get the 22 Indian AH-64s as soon as possible, as these are generally recognized as the best gunships currently in service anywhere. Now those helicopters are on the way and apparently the army will have them.

 

Back in late 2012 the Indian Army thought it had won a major victory over the Indian Air Force when the government agreed to transfer most attack helicopters from the air force to the army. That was supposed to mean the army gets control of over 270 armed helicopters (22 AH-64s, 179 light combat models, and 76 armed Indian made transports). The air force would continue to operate a dozen or so elderly Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships, until they retire by the end of the decade. These are export versions of the Russian Mi-24. Even then it was clear that Russia was not the preferred helicopter supplier anymore.

 

The army had long complained that air force control of the armed helicopters, which were designed to support army operations, were sometimes difficult to get from the air force in a timely manner. Another aspect of this deal was a new agreement by the air force to station some transport helicopters at army bases in Kashmir, so that there will not be a delay when transport is needed for an emergency.

 

This sort of problem between the army and air force is not unique to India and is actually quite common. It all started back in the 1920s, a decade after aircraft became a major military asset. For example, at the start of World War I (1914-18), the British Royal Navy had more aircraft than the Royal Flying Corps (which belonged to the army). But at the end of World War I, it was decided to put all aircraft under the control of the new Royal Air Force (the former Royal Flying Corps). The navy was not happy with this and just before World War II broke out, the admirals got back control of their aircraft, at least the ones that operated from ships (especially aircraft carriers).

 

The British army expanded its Army Air Corps during World War II, to gain control over artillery spotter aircraft, gliders (for parachute divisions), and a few other transports for supporting commando operations. After World War II the Army Air Corps mainly controlled the growing fleet of transport and attack helicopters. The Indian Air Force has always refused to allow the Indian Army to do the same thing after modern India was created in 1947. The Indian armed forces was long led by men who started out as members of the British Indian Army and continued to note, and often copy, British practices.

 

Thus the Indian Air force, like its British counterpart tended to keep trying to control everything that flies. British Royal Air Force generals recently demanded control of everything that flies, believing that this is more efficient. The army and navy, not to mention the experience of many other nations, said otherwise. At the very least the army needs to control its helicopters and some small transports. In Russia the army always controlled ground attack aircraft, as well as some fighters. In the United States the Marine Corps controlled its own fighters, light bombers, and helicopters. It made a difference, especially to the marines on the ground, that the marine aircraft were being flown by marines.

 

Another problem with a unified air force is that it becomes, quite naturally, air force centric. This is understandable and the air force proceeds to develop strategies, and tactics, that emphasize looking at military matters from an air force viewpoint. Before World War II this led to the doctrine of strategic bombardment. This was supposed to be a decisive weapon but it wasn't. When nuclear weapons came along the air force believed that it finally had a way to make strategic bombardment decisive. But it didn't, as ballistic missiles (another form of artillery) became the key delivery system for nukes. Nuclear weapons were so destructive that they became more of a threat than a weapon that you could use. In fact the very existence of nukes resulted in them not being used again since the first two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. The fact of the matter is that wars are still ultimately won by the ground forces. As the army likes to point out, the ultimate air superiority weapon is your infantry occupying the enemy air bases. Everyone else (the navy and air force) is there to support the infantry in actually winning the war.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
Indo-Israeli LRSAM Range Extended By A Third

 

25.09.2015 by Livefist

The Indo-Israeli LRSAM/Barak-8 began its first hot trials with the Israeli Navy in May this year. In what could be the single most significant development in the weapon system's long-drawn journey, the Indian Navy has confirmed to Livefist that the LRSAM will sport an operational range a third higher than initially agreed upon. In effect, the LRSAM's range now moves from 70-km to in excess of 90-km or higher. Range upgrade discussions took place in November last year following a land test in Israel.

 

IAI and India's DRDO missile cluster (led by the DRDL) that have jointly developed the missile system, designated the Barak 8 for Israel and yet to be officially named in India, have begun work on boosting weapon range.

 

With preliminary integration activity already on, Livefist can also confirm that the LRSAM is all set to undergo its first test firing from Indian Navy destroyer INS Kolkata in November-December this year in the Arabian Sea. The weapon system is intended for a host of frontline surface combatants, including all future fighting ships of the Indian Navy.

 

Top Navy tell Livefist that while the 2nd Kolkata-class destroyer Kochi set to enter service on September 30, like the first ship of its class, sports a BEL-built HUMSA NG bow mounted sonar, the contracted active towed array sonar will be integrated within the next 16-18 months.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:20
Space Fence facility on Kwajalein Island. Photo: Lockheed Martin Corporation

Space Fence facility on Kwajalein Island. Photo: Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

30 September 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

The US Air Force has deemed the design of the Space Fence System developed by Lockheed Martin to be technically mature.

 

The Critical Design Review (CDR) for the next-generation space surveillance system conducted by the government representatives lasted for three days, following which it was indicated that the system will be able to meet all the specified requirements.

 

The Space Fence S-band radar system has been designed to detect, track, and catalog orbital objects in space over 1.5 million times daily in order to predict and prevent space-based collisions.

 

Lockheed Martin had to deliver around 21,000 pages of design documents prior to the CDR and undergo an eight-day design walkthrough in order to ensure that the system meets the performance requirements.

 

The CDR event was conducted with a small-scale demonstration system which was developed with end-item components.

 

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training vice-president for Advanced Systems Steve Bruce said: "Completion of CDR marks the end of the design phase and the start of radar production and facility construction of the Space Fence system.

"Once complete, Space Fence will deliver revolutionary capability to the US Air Force with a flexible system capable of adapting to future missions requiring new tracking and coverage approaches."

 

"Once complete, Space Fence will deliver revolutionary capability to the US Air Force with a flexible system capable of adapting to future missions requiring new tracking and coverage approaches.

 

"We look forward to continuing our successful partnerships with the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Life-Cycle Management Center and Space Command."

 

The firm has used the latest monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology, including Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor materials, for the Space Fence radar open architecture design.

 

GaN can deliver multiple advantages to active phased array radar systems, which includes higher power density, improved efficiency and better reliability than previous technologies.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 10:30
Credits Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence

Credits Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence

La Russie est engagée dans un renforcement de sa présence militaire en Syrie, où elle soutient le régime de Bachar Al-Assad.

 

30.09.2015 Le Monde.fr avec AFP et Reuters

 

A la manœuvre diplomatiquement et militairement dans le dossier syrien, le président russe, Vladimir Poutine, a été autorisé par le Conseil de la Fédération, la chambre haute du Parlement, à déployer des soldats à l’étranger, rapporte le Kremlin.

L’examen d’une résolution autorisant l’usage de la force militaire à l’étranger, sans mentionner la Syrie, a eu lieu dans la journée de mercredi, à huis clos, rapportent plusieurs agences de presse russes, citant le président du Conseil de la Fédération. Les 162 sénateurs présents au vote ont approuvé à l’unanimité la demande du Kremlin.

La dernière autorisation donnée au déploiement de troupes russes à l’étranger avait coïncidé avec la prise, puis l’annexion, de la Crimée, en mars 2014.

 

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:55
photo EMA

photo EMA

 

29/09/2015 Sources EMA

 

Relever le défi de la transformation des armées impose de confronter sa méthode à celle des plus grands groupes industriels ou des organisations internationales. Se confronter à l’autre, penser autrement, éprouver ses procédés sont autant de principes qui sont au cœur de la démarche du général Pierre de Villiers.


C’est dans cet esprit qu’il a accepté d’intervenir, au Palais des Congrès, mardi 20 septembre 2015, devant plus de 600 experts de l'audit, du contrôle interne et de l’analyse des risques, représentant près de 50 nationalités différentes. C’était à l’occasion de la conférence de « l’European Confederation of Internal Auditors ».

Devant ces experts, le CEMA a présenté sa stratégie de transformation des armées, montrant en quoi la préparation de l’outil militaire de demain s’appuie sur une vision stratégique, un projet structuré et des outils de contrôle et d’audit. « Ce dont le chef a besoin, c’est d’un outil opérationnel de management, pas d’une  technostructure hors sol, déconnectée de la réalité du terrain ». Il a conclu son intervention en rappelant surtout qu’à ses yeux « les organisations ne sont rien sans la dimension humaine, la seule qui soit réellement créatrice de valeur » … propos qui ont soulevé l’adhésion et l’enthousiasme de son auditoire.

 

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:55
photo Pierre Bayle

photo Pierre Bayle

 

29/09/2015 Ministère de la Défense

 

Pierre-Jean Luizard remporte le Prix Brienne du livre géopolitique 2015

 

Mardi 29 septembre, le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, président du jury du prix Brienne du livre géopolitique, a remis le Prix à Pierre-Jean Luizard, lauréat 2015, Le piège Daech – L’État islamique ou le retour de l’Histoire aux éditions La Découverte.

 

Les membres du jury* ont également attribué un prix spécial à Andrei Gratchev pour son ouvrage Le passé de la Russie est imprévisible – Journal de bord d’un enfant du dégel aux éditions Alma.

 

Créé par le ministère de la Défense et organisé en partenariat avec l’association Lire la Société, le Prix Brienne rassemble un jury constitué de spécialistes, chercheurs, élus, journalistes et hauts responsables. Il récompense une œuvre (récits, essais, biographies) relevant des champs de la géopolitique et de la géostratégie et accessible à un large public.                                         

 

(*)Jury du Prix du Livre Géopolitique : Jean‐Yves Le Drian (président du jury), Yves Lacoste (président d’honneur), François Roussely (vice‐président), François Bazin (secrétaire général), Luce Perrot (secrétaire générale) Claude-France Arnould, Philippe Barret, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, Frédéric Charillon, Frédéric Encel, Philippe Errera, Louis Gautier, Béatrice Giblin, Nicole Gnesotto, Marc Guillaume, François Heisbourg, Jacques Lanxade, Anne‐Clémentine Larroque, Jean‐Dominique Merchet, François d’Orcival, Bernard Thorette, Maurice Vaïsse, Hubert Védrine, Michel Wieviorka.

 

Comité de lecture : Pierre Bayle, Gaëtan Bruel, Cédric Lewandowski, Jean‐Claude Mallet, Philippe Méchet, Ousmane Ndiaye, Paul Serre, Antoine de Tarlé.

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Un engin amphibie débarqué du BPC Tonnerre (en fond) - Crédits photos 3e RIMa

Un engin amphibie débarqué du BPC Tonnerre (en fond) - Crédits photos 3e RIMa

 

26/09/2015 Sources : Marine nationale

 

« De l’endurance, de la réactivité et une ouverture à l’autre »

 

 Entre le 21 et le 23 septembre 2015, 204 « marsouins » et « bigords » ont été déployés sur le bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC) Tonnerre afin de s’entraîner avec l’équipage aux procédures complexes des opérations amphibies.

 

L’exercice amphibie s’est déroulé sur deux jours. La présence de véhicules que l’on voit rarement, les véhicules haute mobilité (VHM) et véhicules à chenilles utilisés pour « ouvrir » les plages les plus difficiles, a particulièrement interpellé les marins. C’est avec plaisir que le Tonnerre a renoué avec le 3° RIMA de Vannes, dont l’éloignement rend les visites malheureusement plus rares.

 

Les marsouins ont ainsi eu l’occasion de se réaccoutumer à l’embarquement dans les engins de débarquement amphibie rapide (EDAR) et les chalands de transport de matériel (CTM), dans le radier du BPC et depuis la plage, de jour comme de nuit.

 

Pour le quartier-maître de 1ère classe L., manœuvrier et guide véhicules, cet exercice requiert « de l’endurance, de la réactivité, et une ouverture à l’autre » puisqu’il suppose d’opérer efficacement ensemble.

 

L’aboutissement de cette coordination interarmées s’est traduit par le débarquement de plus de 40 véhicules et l’ensemble des fantassins sur la plage de la Nartelle. La plage préalablement reconnue par l’équipe de « reco-plage » de la flottille amphibie a ainsi été le théâtre d’un déploiement tactique et pratique.

 

Comme le souligne le second maître J., coordinateur au cours des deux jours, « cet exercice permet l’entraînement à l’une des principales fonctions du bâtiment de projection et de commandement », être en capacité de projeter des forces sur un théâtre d’opérations à partir de la mer, en employant la batellerie.

 

Le commandant du Tonnerre, le capitaine de vaisseau Laurent Sudrat, rappelle enfin quant à lui que « pour tous, soldats de l’armée de Terre et marins, il s’agit de vérifier et parfaire l’interopérabilité de nos forces ».

photo 3e RIMaphoto 3e RIMa

photo 3e RIMa

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photo Marine nationale

photo Marine nationale

 

23/09/2015 Sources : Marine nationale

 

Du 14 au 18 septembre 2015, le troisième entraînement Gabian de l’année 2015 a réuni 12 bâtiments au large de Toulon, et mobilisé plus de 1500 marins. Organisé une fois par trimestre en Méditerranée, Gabian rassemble toutes les unités de la force d’action navale non déployées et disponibles afin d’entretenir et maintenir leur niveau de qualification opérationnelle.

 

La présence simultanée de plusieurs types de bâtiments permet la conduite d’exercices très variés, coordonnés pour cette édition par la frégate de défense aérienne Forbin. Dès le premier jour, les bâtiments ont fait face à une succession de menaces et de scénarii élaborés pour optimiser cet entraînement mutuel. Les exercices se sont enchaînés: défense aérienne avec le concours des aéronefs de l’aéronavale et de l’armée de l’Air ; transit sous menace mines pour les frégates La Fayette et Aconit avec le concours des chasseurs de mines dont le CMT Capricorne.

 

Tout au long de la semaine, le centre support Cyber Défense, crée en septembre a également  mis à l’épreuve les réflexes des équipages : de jour comme de nuit, des attaques très réalistes ont été lancées sur les réseaux depuis la terre, en parallèle des exercices de guerre électronique (effectués grâce au brouillage des radars et communications) via des scenarii tactiques.

 

Le concours des BCR Marne et Var a également permis la réalisation de nombreux ravitaillements à la mer (RAM), essentiels à la capacité à durer à la mer : RAM « double » entre le Var, le Forbin et le Jacoubet, RAM de nuit pour le patrouilleur de haute mer Commandant Ducuing avec la Marne, préparation au RAM pour l’Orion.

 

Les exercices ont reflété les opérations conduites par la marine nationale au quotidien : le La Fayette a ainsi conduit, avec le BPC Tonnerre, un RESEVAC très réaliste, tandis qu’une visite de navire suspecté de trafic de drogue joué par un bâtiment plastron était effectuée par les marins de la brigade de protection.

 

Les 3 bâtiments de projection et de commandement ont également été à la mer, côte à côte et simultanément.

 

Cette édition de Gabian, particulièrement relevée, a permis aux unités, dont la plupart ont renouvelé plus de 30 % de leur équipage cet été, de remonter en puissance et assurer très prochainement la relève des bâtiments déployés en opérations.

photo Marine nationalephoto Marine nationale

photo Marine nationale

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Le Caracal sur le stand Airbus à MSPO 2015 photo Airbus HC

Le Caracal sur le stand Airbus à MSPO 2015 photo Airbus HC

 

29/09/15 lesechos.fr ( Reuters)

 

GLIWICE, Pologne - La Pologne ne signera probablement pas avant les élections législatives du 25 octobre un contrat de trois milliards de dollars (2,7 milliards d'euros) avec Airbus Helicopters sur la fourniture de 50 hélicoptères à l'armée polonaise, a déclaré mardi le vice-Premier ministre, Janusz Piechocinski.

 

Favori du scrutin, le parti d'opposition Droit et Justice (PiS) a prévenu lundi qu'il bloquerait la signature de ce contrat s'il parvenait au pouvoir.

 

Antoni Macierewicz, vice-président du PiS, juge l'hélicoptère H225M Caracal d'Airbus dépassé et il ajoute que l'industrie de la défense polonaise ne tirera aucun profit de ce marché parce qu'elle en perdra des emplois.

 

"De mon point de vue, il est impossible que ce contrat (..) soit préparé dans le mois qui nous sépare des élections", a dit à Reuters Janusz Piechocinski, qui est également ministre de l'Economie, faisant référence à la partie du marché qui est négociée par son ministère.

 

PiS a dit à plusieurs reprises qu'il souhaiterait voir le contrat attribué à des sociétés qui produisent localement.

 

Le ministère polonais de la Défense avait choisi en avril de négocier avec la filiale d'Airbus Group pour ce contrat, au détriment de l'américain Sikorsky et de l'italien AgustaWestland.

 

Ces derniers ont implanté des sites en Pologne.

 

Airbus Helicopters avait dit en avril qu'il comptait embaucher directement 1.250 personnes en Pologne d'ici 2020 et créer en outre 2.000 emplois dans le secteur en lien avec ce marché.

 

Airbus n'a pas répond aux sollicitations de commentaires dans l'immédiat.

 

Le gouvernement polonais, dominé par le parti Plateforme civique (PO) depuis 2007, s'est lancé dans un vaste programme de modernisation de l'armée nationale.

 

A partir de 2016, la première économie d'Europe de l'est, veut porter le budget de la Défense à 2% du PIB contre 1,95% garanti actuellement.

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photo Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale

 

29/09/2015 Sources : État-major des armées

 

Parti le 8 septembre 2015 de Brest à destination de la mer Baltique, le Commandant Blaison participe actuellement à l’exercice interalliés Northern Coast 2015.

 

Après une escale à Frederikshavn (Danemark) durant laquelle l’équipage a rencontré les marins des autres bâtiments et participé aux conférences de préparation de l’exercice, l’aviso a appareillé pour 10 jours d’entraînements intensifs à la mer.

 

S’appuyant sur un scénario réaliste, le Commandant Blaison est intégré au sein d’un groupe de bâtiments de combat de l’OTAN qui a pour mission de sécuriser les eaux baignant un continent fictif. En soutien d’une résolution de l’ONU condamnant le crime organisé et la piraterie dans la région, les nations alliées ont dépêché sur zone une vingtaine de navires.

 

La semaine dernière a ainsi été mise à profit pour entraîner la flotte. Le programme prévoyait des exercices de tir et de lutte contre avions, navires et sous-marins.

 

Au bilan, ces premiers jours d’exercice ont permis à l’équipage de s’entraîner dans des conditions réalistes et de consolider l’aptitude du bâtiment à évoluer au sein d’une force multinationale en exerçant leur interopérabilité.

 

L’équipage du Blaison poursuit aujourd’hui cette opération fictive, mais néanmoins très réaliste.

photo Marine Nationalephoto Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale

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The transformation of NATO, in the General’s footsteps (JDef)



29 sept. 2015 Ministère de la Défense

 

At the NATO Summit, one of the two Supreme Commanders of the Organization, the French general Paloméros, was charged with the transformation of the Alliance. A team from the Journal de la Défense was allowed to accompany him for almost two weeks. From visits with his new Chief of Staff in Norfolk, to meetings of the Chiefs of Defense in Brussels, you will witness how and why NATO is transforming itself. We will enable you to explore the backstage workings of the Atlantic alliance, as well as its places of influence, decision making and command.
General Paloméros granted us several interviews during our reporting. His unpublished accounts enabled us to bring to light a major topic for France and the Alliance : NATO’s transformation.

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G36 A2 mit RSA-S Visier, LLM01 und Sturmgriff (Quelle Heer-Alexander Schöffner)

G36 A2 mit RSA-S Visier, LLM01 und Sturmgriff (Quelle Heer-Alexander Schöffner)

 

September 18, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In mid-2015 Lithuania temporarily suspended purchases of German G36 assault rifles because a recent German Army study concluded that the G36 was unreliable during sustained combat, especially in hot weather.  Lithuania has been using the G36 since 2005 and their current G36 contract is worth about $14 million. Lithuanian soldiers had been satisfied with G36s. That was largely because the heat problems were never noticed because the troops typically used the G36 for training (typical single or short burst fire) and often in cold European weather.

 

In early 2015 the German Amy issued a report that admitted, after years of user complaints and several rounds of testing, that there were major accuracy and reliability problems with its G36 assault rifle. The G36 is a 3.3 kg (7.3 pound), 999mm (39 inch) long (758mm with stock folded) 5.56mm assault rifle. Effective range is 800 meters and it can use a 30 or 100 round magazine and was designed to be an improvement on the M16 design from the 1960s. On paper the G36 was a success but in combat it was not. This was particularly true in Afghanistan. While the G36 entered service in 1995 it didn’t get exposed to heavy combat use until 2008 and that’s when the complaints from the troops began.

 

The main problem was that the G36 suffers accuracy and reliability problems when the barrel gets very hot. This tends to happen when the rifle fires a lot of rounds in a short period and is worse in areas where the outdoor temperatures are very hot to begin with. This was a common situation in Afghanistan. In 2014 despite formal investigations and test results that backed up the complaints of the troops the German government ordered one last round of tests and a temporary halt in purchases of G36s. The results of those tests confirmed earlier results and the G36 was said to have no future in the German military. That admits the problem but does not solve it.

 

Although German troops went to Afghanistan in 2002, they were deliberately kept away from combat for several years. But by 2008 German troops were regularly fighting the Taliban and experiencing extended firefights during the warm weather. At that point the troops encountered the previously unknown G36 flaws. There were incidents where hours of combat caused several very obvious problems. One of the more obvious culprits was the polymer (plastic) parts of the rifle getting a bit soft when the metal parts got very hot due to heavy use in a short period of time. The barrel and receiver could move a tiny bit under those conditions and that threw off accuracy to a small degree that became especially noticeable only at longer (over 200 meters) ranges. It was later discovered that the manufacturer had not been using the right type of plastic for the rifle and the cheaper substitute was more prone to failure in high-heat conditions.

 

By 2012 it was also discovered that there were no practical (workable and affordable) solutions. At first the German government insisted the problem had to do with bad ammunition. The ammo manufacturers denied that and were able to make a convincing case. Meanwhile the complaints from the troops, confirmed by many witnesses and cell phone photos, of the heat related problems and total failure of the rifle in some cases kept showing up in the media. German politicians and procurement officials initially responded by trying to make all this go away. The government officials did not want to admit they made a major mistake in putting the G36 into service. They also don’t want the major expense of replacing the G36 with a better design.

 

The G36 was initially very popular as the standard German infantry assault rifle. By 1997 in was widely used and troops appreciated the fact that it used a short-stroke piston system. The M16s uses gas-tube system, which results in carbon being blown back into the chamber. That leads to carbon build up, which results in jams (rounds getting stuck in the chamber, and the weapon unable to fire.). The short-stroke system also does not expose parts of the rifle to extremely hot gases (which wears out components more quickly). As a result, rifles using the short-stroke system, rather than the gas-tube, are more reliable, easier to maintain and last longer. That was the good news. The bad news stayed hidden for a decade.

 

The G-36 assault rifle had been created in the early 1990s as the successor to the outdated G3 rifle which was incompatible with the current NATO standards. The new 5.56mm assault rifle has been adopted by the Bundeswehr in the 1995 and achieved some export success. The rifle is made mostly from reinforced composites. Thanks to this it is very light.  The lightest version weighs only 2.8 kilograms and the heaviest variant is only 3.6 kilograms.

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Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft - photo USAF

Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft - photo USAF

 

September 26, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Bulgaria has hired a Polish firm to upgrade six of their MiG-29 fighters. Poland was selected because in 2014 Poland completed upgrades required to make their own MiG-29s compatible with NATO standards. This was necessary because Poland is now a member of NATO and could not afford to replace its MiG-29s with Western fighters. Poland has the largest fleet of MiG-29s in NATO (32 operational) and other East European nations that recently joined NATO are in a similar situation.

 

The Poles didn’t do it all themselves but figured out who the most effective partners would be. Thus a Polish firm worked with an Israeli company to make the MiG-29 electronics compatible with NATO equipment. Mechanical controls were replaced with electronic (“fly by wire”) ones. This involved a much more efficient cockpit and some amenities which make life much easier for pilots. All this gave the MiG-29 electronics similar to those in the 48 F-16s Poland has purchased.

 

The Bulgarian upgrades are less about new electronics and more about keeping the Bulgarian MiG-29s flyable. This being done despite protests from Russia who insist it is illegal for anyone but the Russian manufacturer to perform such upgrades and refurbishment. But the Russians want a lot more money for the work than Polish, or even Western European firms can do it for. Moreover the current Russian hostility towards NATO does not make Russia a reliable source of such services.

 

Bulgaria has to be careful with what it spends on military equipment because the country was never rich to begin with. After Bulgaria broke free from communist (and Russian dominated) government in 1989 it turned to the West for help. Reforms (and reducing the chronic corruption) took time. Thus it wasn’t until 2009 that Bulgaria was able to resume training new MiG-29 pilots. Such training had stopped, for budgetary reasons, in the late 1990s. Throughout the 1990s, and until 2004, Bulgaria was busy disbanding its Cold War era air force of 226 aircraft. By 2009 all they had left was 18 MiG-29s (which needed upgrades to meet NATO standards), some Su-25s (for ground attack), a few MiG-21s (on their way out), some Su-22s (used for reconnaissance) and a few dozen transports and helicopters. One by one, most air bases were shut down, and the Russian made aircraft (most of them obsolete) sold for scrap.

 

Western aircraft are being bought, but the MiG-29s are being kept because they are competitive with Western fighters. That is important because East European nations found that Western warplanes were too expensive. Meanwhile by 2009 the existing MiG-29 pilots were getting old and many of them had already left for more lucrative commercial flying job. Thus the need for another dozen MiG-29 pilots. That training was completed by 2010.

 

In late 2011 Bulgaria announced that it would postpone a decision on the purchase of a new multi-role jet fighter until at least 2012. Bulgaria originally committed itself to buying a NATO-type fighter as part of its alliance integration process. However, the economic recession cut into procurement funds and that situation never got better. Soon plans for buying Western warplanes was dropped as well. Then the Poles showed it was possible to upgrade MiG-29s on an East European budget.

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photo EMA / Armée de Terre

photo EMA / Armée de Terre

 

29/09/2015 Sources : État-major des armées

 

Du 17 au 28 août 2015, le Détachement d’appui opérationnel (DAO) « feux dans la profondeur » des Éléments français au Sénégal (EFS) s’est rendu au bataillon d’artillerie de Dakar, dans le quartier Bel Air (sur la côte Est de la presqu’île du Cap-Vert). Ce DAO avait pour mission de conduire une action de formation en artillerie au profit de la batterie de 105 HM2 ALPHA renforcée d’une section de 155 TRF1 du bataillon d’artillerie (BAT ART) des Forces armées sénégalaises (FAS).

 

La première semaine a été consacrée à l’instruction théorique et au drill (exercices répétitifs) sur la zone technique du bataillon d’artillerie (BAT ART) afin d’évaluer le niveau de chaque stagiaire et de perfectionner leurs connaissances. L’instruction a été axée sur les domaines suivants : le calcul des éléments de tir en dégradé total, le service du canon 155 TRF1 et de 105 HM2, la reconnaissance d’itinéraire et l’implantation de la section de tir, ainsi que la mise en place et le réglage des tirs pour les équipes d’observation. À la fin de cette première semaine, un exercice a été conduit avec l’ensemble des équipes de la batterie sur le camp des Mamelles (côte Ouest de la presqu’île du Cap-Vert).

 

La deuxième semaine a été réservée au drill sur la zone de manœuvre du BAT ART afin de permettre aux stagiaires de s’entraîner à une manœuvre dynamique et rythmée, tout en travaillant les procédures opérationnelles intégrant l’ensemble des équipes de la batterie de tir. Cette formation visait à transmettre de nouvelles connaissances en mettant en œuvre la chaîne d’artillerie et les procédures opérationnelles permanentes durant un exercice en terrain libre. D’autre part, il s’agissait de faire manœuvrer une batterie avec deux sections de tir, exercice inédit pour les FAS dont l’organisation d’une batterie repose sur une section de tir, une section reconnaissance et deux équipes d’observation.

 

À la fin de la dernière journée de drill, les stagiaires des FAS et le détachement des EFS ont procédé à une remise d’attestation de stage.

 

Depuis leur création en août 2011, les EFS constituent l’un des deux pôles de coopération à vocation régionale en Afrique de l’Ouest. Au titre du partenariat de défense signé en 2012, ils contribuent aux missions de sécurité civile en appui des autorités locales sénégalaises en tant que de besoin.  Ils conduisent également des actions de coopération visant à accompagner les États africains de la sous-région dans le renforcement de leur sécurité collective. Ils mettent en œuvre le volet opérationnel des coopérations apportant un soutien aux missions de maintien de la paix dans la région.

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Mali: Going Through Some Bloody Changes

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Since the 18 th the UN has arrested Ahmad al Mahdi al Faqi, accused him of war crimes while he was a leader of an Islamic terrorist group that ran Timbuktu in 2012 and sent him off to Europe for a trial. Specifically al Faqi is accused of ordering the destruction of numerous religious shrines in June and July 2012. Al Faqi was in charge of enforcing “Islamic manners” for Ansar Dine (a largely Malian Islamic terror group). In doing that he supervised the destruction of ancient tombs of Moslem clerics and scholars worshipped by Sufi Moslems. To some conservative Sunni Moslems, Sufis are heretics and their shrines are to be destroyed whenever possible. Ansar Dine was affiliated with al Qaeda which, along with ISIL, encourages this sort of righteous vandalism. The destruction of the tombs was condemned by many Moslem leaders worldwide, and the ICC (International Criminal Court) declared it a war crime. These Moslem shrines were big tourist attractions to visitors of all religions and important to the local economy. Since 2013 foreign donors have supported restoration efforts meant to address religious and economic concerns over this destruction.

 

The Islamic radicalism in the north has resonated in the south. In central Mali there are several pro-Islamic terrorism Islamic clerics who have been preaching support for Islamic terrorism. The government is under pressure to shut down these guys because they encourage young men to join radical groups and that has apparently worked. This problem is particularly acute among the Fulani people in central Mali. There are some twenty million Fulani living in the Sahel (the semi-desert area between the Sahara and the jungle) and some of those in northern Nigeria have become involved in Islamic terrorism via the local Boko Haram. There are over two million Fulani in Mali and the name of a new Islamic terror group in the south (FLM for Macina Liberation Front) openly identifies with the Fulani (Macina are the local Fulanis). This group became active in early 2015 and has claimed responsibility for several attacks since. It started out with calls for Fulani people to live according to strict Islamic rules. That in turn led to violence against tribal and village leaders who opposed this. That escalated to attacks on businesses and government facilities. FLM is composed mostly of young Fulani men and is associated with Ansar Dine (which is largely Tuareg). Although most Malians are Moslem, few want anything to do with Islamic terrorism and Boko Haram is seen as a major mistake and not welcome at all in Mali. But the Fulani have always seen themselves as a people apart, an attitude common with the nomadic peoples of the Sahel.

 

In the north the unrest is not just about the few remaining Islamic terrorists but about the changes caused by the 2012 rebellion. That was the fourth Tuareg uprising since 1962 and the most disruptive. Many of the Tuareg and Arab tribes up there gained or lost power because of the 2012 rebellion. The pro-government tribes feel entitled to more power. Many tribes found themselves facing economic problems because of the disruption to traditional smuggling activities. It is now much harder to sneak stuff into Algeria and the peacekeepers disrupted the lucrative drug smuggling operations. Most of the unrest in the north is about money and access to the means to obtain it. The government and the peacekeepers really can’t help much in disputes involving illegal activities. Not openly at least, but peacekeeper commanders and local officials do know what is really going on and have to work around it to reduce the violence and uncertainty. That is essential so that aid deliveries, rebuilding and economic growth can move forward. 

 

In the last two years the Mali peacekeeping force has suffered nearly 200 casualties, including 42 killed. There have been 18 non-combat deaths. Mali has turned out to be one of the more dangerous UN peacekeeping assignments. Even so the casualties are less than half the peak rate for foreign troops in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

September 21, 2015: The government agreed with northern leaders and postponed the scheduled October 25th local elections. In the north there is still a lot of unrest and many areas where voting workers cannot safely operate. Tuareg tribal leaders felt too many Tuareg would not be able to vote in October and thus Tuareg would be underrepresented and lose political power.

 

September 19, 2015: In the south gunmen fired on a police station in the town of Binh, near the Burkina Faso, killing four (two police and two civilians). This was the second such attack in the area within a week. Islamic terrorists are suspected. The police made three arrests in the wake of this latest attack and have dozens of FLM suspects under arrest or surveillance. 

 

September 17, 2015: In the north (near Kidal) a pro-government militia clashed with CMA (a local Tuareg separatist group). There were dozens of casualties. The peacekeepers have been working for months to settle all the disputes the CMA and pro-government militias have. These are basically old antagonisms between clans and local strongmen. Many power relationships were upset when the Tuareg rebels and Islamic terrorists took control of the north during 2012 and sorting out the aftereffects is taking a long time and a lot of diplomatic and military effort.  

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 source War is boring

source War is boring

 

September 28, 2015 Robert Beckhusen  - War is Boring

 

In a far-off future war, an infantry platoon awaits a Russian assault.

The defending soldiers are in a fortified position on elevated ground or a reverse slope. They’ve arranged machine guns and anti-tank weapons to kill anything that comes into view. They’ve dug into the ground to help them survive the initial artillery barrage. To bolster their defenses even more, they’ve covered the area in front of them with mines.

If the Russian assault force was human, then it’d probably be too dangerous to go ahead with the attack. But it’s not. Over the horizon comes a mix of mostly-robotic vehicles — and the NATO troops don’t have much of a chance.

That’s science fiction, but a future scenario like that one recently appeared in the pages of Russian defense trade newspaper Military-Industrial Courier. It’s an interesting idea, and the article is notable for its realistic depiction of combat robots used on a relatively large scale. But the concept has a few problems.

 

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Afghan Army to receive additional Commando Select vehicles from Textron

 

30 September 2015 army-technology.com

 

Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems has received a contract to supply additional Commando Select four-wheeled armoured vehicles to the Afghan National Army (ANA).

 

Awarded by the US Army Contracting Command, the $56.2m firm-fixed-price contract covers the delivery of 55 more Commando Select vehicles to ANA through the US Army foreign military sales process. The vehicles will be configured in three variants, with 36 equipped with objective gunner protection kits, 15 with enclosed 40mm / .50 calibre turrets, and four ambulance vehicles. Known as mobile strike force vehicles (MSFV) by the Afghan Army, the vehicles are scheduled to be deployed in support of security operations across the country. The ANA has been operating more than 630 MSFVs since 2012.

Read more

 

 

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UCAV Burraq launching the laser-guided missile Burq

UCAV Burraq launching the laser-guided missile Burq

 

September 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

On September 7th a Pakistani UAV used laser guided missiles to kill three Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan. This was a first for Pakistan. While Pakistan has officially condemned and opposed similar strikes by American UAVs in North Waziristan, it never banned the American use of armed UAVs in certain parts of Pakistan. The U.S. refused to sell Pakistan UAVs that could carry laser guided missiles, mainly because the Americans don’t trust Pakistan. So Pakistan went looking for other suppliers and eventually bought a similar UAV (the CH-2) from China in 2009. Pakistan was soon producing a local version, Burraq. The earliest CH-2 models were unarmed, but the latest version (CH-3A) can carry a max payload of 180 kg for six hours. China supplies two missiles similar to the American Hellfire. One of these, the laser guided AR-1, weighs 45 kg and has a range of 8,000 meters. This is said to be the one Pakistan is using.

 

Pakistan apparently won’t stop with the Burraq. There is a more advanced armed UAV being offer by China. Called the Wing Loong (that's Chinese for Pterodactyl, a Jurassic period flying dinosaur) this UAV which can be equipped to carry two BA-7 laser guided missiles (similar to the Hellfire) or two 60 kg (110 pound) GPS guided bombs (similar to the U.S. SDB). This UAV has been around for a while but it has taken time to get it working reliably when used to hit targets with laser guided missiles.   Since 2008 Chinese aircraft manufacturer (AVIC) has been showing off photos and videos of a prototype for a clone of the American MQ-1 Predator UAV that tuned out to be Wing Loong. This in 2012 one was seen in flight, over the capital of Uzbekistan, which, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) were the first export customers. It was later revealed that development on Wing Loong began in 2005, first flight was in 2007 and Chinese troops got the first ones in 2008 for testing under more realistic conditions.

 

While Wing Loong is similar in shape to the larger American MQ-9 Reaper, in size it's almost identical to the 1.2 ton Predator. Wing Loong weighs 1.1 tons, has a 14 meter (46 feet) wingspan, and is 9 meters (28 feet) long. It has max altitude of 5,300 meters (16,400 feet) and an endurance of over 20 hours. Payload is 200 kg. The base price of Wing Loong is about a million dollars. But additional sensors and fire control equipment for one able to use laser guided missiles increases that to several million dollars. That is still about half the price of a similarly equipped Predator. Unlike the United States, which restricts the sale of armed UAVS, China will sell to anyone who can pay, no questions asked. The only problem Pakistan has is a shortage of cash. That’s why Pakistan cooperates at all with the United States; billions of dollars in military aid.

 

For several decades a growing number of Chinese commercial firms have been developing military UAVs. China is quite proud of its thriving commercial UAV industry, which produced a wide range of models. For example in mid-2014 China announced that a civilian UAV, used for mapping and land use surveys, recently stayed in the air for 30 hours, setting a record for Chinese UAVs. The previous record for Chinese UAVs was 16 hours.  This long endurance UAV was developed by a government agency (CASM, or Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping) and has limited military use. CASM has developed several small UAVs for survey duties. These UAVs all feature lightweight materials and tend to be under 50 kg (110 pounds) with small payloads (usually 5 kg/11 pounds). These take advantage of new lightweight and powerful cameras to economically monitor Chinese farming and natural resources. Some of these UAVs are also believed to be used by the police and security services.  Export customers are welcome.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
Les atouts de DCNS pour remporter le méga-contrat des sous-marins australiens

 

29 septembre 2015 Par Hassan Meddah - UsineNouvelle

 

Opposé à l’allemand TKMS et à un consortium japonais, le fabricant de navires militaires s’est positionné sur le contrat de renouvellement de la flotte de sous-marins de la Royal Australian Navy. Un contrat qui pourrait atteindre 30 milliards d’euros. DCNS proposera une version conventionnelle du sous-marin nucléaire Barracuda déjà en production pour la marine française.

 

Pour les fabricants de sous-marins, c’est le contrat du siècle. L’Australie a lancé une compétition pour le renouvellement de sa flotte,  de Collins vieillissants de conception suédoise qui devraient quitter le service d’ici 2025. La pays serait prêt à acheter entre 6 à 12 sous-marins pour un montant qui pourrait atteindre 30 milliards d’euros.

Après leur pré-sélection au printemps dernier, seuls trois groupes ont eu l’opportunité de déposer une offre initiale le 18 septembre dernier. Le français DCNS sera ainsi opposé à son rival de toujours, l'allemand ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) et à un consortium japonais regroupant Kawasaki et Mitsubishi.

Les candidats seront départagés selon six critères: le design des sous-marins, leur coût, l’organisation industrielle associée pour les produire, leur maintenance sur trente ans et la capacité d’intégrer un système de combat américain. Enfin le prix sera bien sûr un élément déterminant de l’offre.

La Royal Australian Navy exige un sous-marin de la gamme des 4000 tonnes et plus capable d’opérer de longues missions océaniques. Sur le plan industriel, Canberra n’écarte aucune option : une production "on-shore" (c'est-à-dire locale), "off-shore" (entièrement à l’étranger) ou un mix des deux, où le premier exemplaire pourrait être par exemple produit chez le fournisseur et le reste dans un chantier naval australien. Elle a demandé à chacun des candidats de plancher sur les trois scénarios. Ils doivent remettre leur copie définitive fin novembre. L’Australie sélectionnera ensuite un fournisseur exclusif d’ici le premier semestre 2016 pour des premières livraisons estimées d’ici 2026.

 

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