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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 11:35
Australia and India plan naval exercise

CANBERRA, Australia, June 6 (UPI)

 

Australia and India will hold their first joint naval exercise in 2015, Australian Minster for Defense Stephen Smith said.

 

The announcement was made in Canberra after discussions with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony during an official visit -- the first for an Indian defense minister.

 

Smith also invited Indian naval ship participation in the navy's International Fleet Review in Sydney Oct. 3-11, a statement by the Ministry of Defense said.

 

Some 40 visiting warships and 12 tall ships will participate in the review to commemorate the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into Sydney harbor in 1913.

 

Smith and Antony, who arrived in Australia June 4, agreed to cooperate through regional forums, including the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

 

Australia will chair IONS next year and host its Conclave of Chiefs in Perth in March. India currently is the chair of the IOR-ARC and Australia the next chair.

 

Smith said the two countries will continue regular bilateral defense ministers' meetings and military personnel exchanges.

 

"The 2013 Australian Defense White Paper outlines the profound strategic changes occurring as economic, strategic and military weight shift to the Indo-Pacific region," Smith said.

 

"India and Australia have a shared interest in helping to address these strategic changes, including through defense collaboration. Today's Defense Ministers' Dialogue in Canberra was a timely opportunity to review progress in the bilateral defense relationship and to examine areas for further collaboration."

 

"Both sides acknowledged that maritime security and freedom of navigation in accordance with principles of international law is critical for the growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions," a joint statement said.

 

Antony later met Prime Minister Julia Gillard and political opposition leaders, including Shadow Minister for Defense Sen. David Johnston.

 

Antony arrived in Australia in Perth on the Indian Ocean coast where he laid a wreath at the Western Australia State War Memorial and met business leaders.

 

Before his Australia visit, Anthony was in Singapore where he agreed to allow Singapore's army to continue using Indian military training facilities for five more years, The Times of India reported.

 

The original agreement was signed for five years in 2008.

 

Singapore's air force has been using Indian facilities since October 2007. The deal was extended for five years during a visit to India by Singapore permanent secretary of defense Chiang Chie Foo in July.

 

Singapore, a city-state with limited space for military training, is the only country India allows to use its military facilities, The Times of India reported.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 11:20
Entering The Well

6/1/2013 Strategy Page

 

GULF OF ADEN (May 30, 2013) A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) enters the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corbin J. Shea)

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:55
Flirter avec les nuages et un Rafale

05.06.2013 by Steven__Strong

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Poland To Acquire Middle-Range Missile Systems

Jun. 5, 2013 - By JAROSLAW ADAMOWSKI – Defense News

 

WARSAW — The Polish Ministry of Defense is aiming to purchase middle-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, the ministry’s Armament Inspectorate said in a statement. The procurement is part of Poland’s plans to overhaul its missile defense system from 2014 to 2023.

 

The ministry invited interested manufacturers to participate in a dialogue through which they will be provided more detailed information on the technical and strategic requirements of the procurement. The deadline for applications is June 21, the statement said.

 

In addition to middle-range systems, the Polish ministry is planning to acquire short-range missiles. Under the plan, deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.

 

Poland’s National Security Bureau estimates that acquisition of a new missile defense system could be worth between 8 billion zloty and 12 billion zloty (US $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion).

 

In April, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski signed a bill on modernizing and financing the Polish Armed Forces that secured a separate stream of funding to overhaul its missile defense system. According to the bill, the funds will be set aside from the country’s defense budget from 2014 to 2023.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
A400M-C295 photo Airbus Military

A400M-C295 photo Airbus Military

4 Jun 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

With his company within weeks of delivering its first A400M under a European project for 170 of the type, Airbus Military chief executive Domingo Ureña-Raso has for the first time hinted openly at a potential future development programme for a smaller transport aircraft.

 

To provide the air forces of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK - plus first export customer Malaysia - with a tactical airlifter capable of carrying a maximum payload of 37t, the A400M has been designed to occupy a niche between the USA's smaller Lockheed Martin C-130J and larger Boeing C-17.

 

Significant product development work is still being conducted on Airbus Military's C295 medium transport, which can carry a cargo of up to 9t. This includes a winglet-equipped production standard to be delivered to customers from 2014, plus a version on offer to several potential buyers with an airborne early warning and control system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary.

 

Speaking in Seville on 29 May, Ureña-Raso said the company's next development task could be to create an offering to fit below the size of the C-130 Hercules. Possible payload capacities for such a product could be in the 9t area already occupied by the current C295, or in the "16-18t" sector, he said. The latter would pit any such transport in the same broad category as Embraer's turbofan-powered KC-390 transport and tanker, which the Brazilian company says will be able to lift between 16 and 23t, depending on mission type. Embraer's developmental product should be ready for service introduction with the Brazilian air force during 2016.

 

Despite his hints at Airbus Military's possible future development strategy, Ureña-Raso notes that no such activity will be launched in the short-term, while final assembly of the A400M continues to ramp up and the company also pursues a "second wave" of orders for its Airbus A330-based multi-role tanker transport, and further orders for its C295 product line.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

4 Jun 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

London - France will receive its first A400M tactical transport in late June or early July, after the nation's air force has displayed the type at the Paris air show, says Airbus Military programme head Cedric Gautier.

 

The company completed production acceptance tests with lead aircraft MSN7 at its San Pablo site in Seville, Spain in May, Gautier says, adding: "We as industry consider the aircraft as ready for delivery. Customer acceptance is ongoing, and is going well."

 

Meanwhile, the same production acceptance process has also been launched for the French air force's second A400M, which is expected to be transferred "in the summertime". Sources had suggested that aircraft MSN8 was due to make its flight debut late last month, but Gautier on 30 May said a decision was taken to delay this by around one week, due to "some very little short-term conflict with MSN7's delivery process".

 

Airbus Military also expects to conduct the first flight of an A400M for the Turkish air force before the end of June, with MSN9 scheduled to be delivered in late September. This will be followed by a third example for France, in December, with MSN10 the first aircraft to be completed in the SOC1 software standard - which will introduce tactical capabilities including initial aerial delivery and self-protection equipment. First flight is planned for late September.

 

Targeted for completion ahead of Bastille Day events to be staged in France on 14 July, the delivery of MSN7 is a key milestone as the European manufacturer looks to attract more export orders for the Atlas, beyond the four units to be delivered to Malaysia.

 

"Entry into service is the real starting point for us for a marketing campaign," Gautier says. "Our potential customers want to have a clear view of the aircraft being used by launch operators." Airbus Military officials say it is already negotiating possible deals with several undisclosed nations, with the company having previously described opportunities as existing in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

 

Gautier believes a new export order could potentially be agreed within the next 18- to 24-months, although one production slot is available for delivery during 2016, should a buyer emerge in time.

 

With Germany having previously expressed a desire to operate just 40 of its originally planned 60 and already revised 53 A400Ms, France's publication of a new defence White Paper in April also hinted at a need for a potentially reduced fleet than the 50 it is under contract to receive.

 

"There is a risk regarding the capability of the [French] customer to take on time all the aircraft," Gautier says. "Perhaps they will take some measures later on, but for now they have an urgent need."

 

Gautier notes that Airbus Military has had no discussions so far with Europe's OCCAR defence procurement agency about reducing its production total below the 170 A400Ms on order for Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK. "The short term and the medium term is protected," he adds. The company will look to offer any surplus slots to the export market from late this decade if any of the core nations opt to reduce the size of their planned fleets.

 

Meanwhile, flight testing with the new type has recently advanced to include initial air-to-air refuelling proximity flights, ahead of a Eurocopter demonstrator for the EC725 utility helicopter, says Eric Isorce, head of A400M flight tests. Conducted in late May, the process involved aircraft Grizzly 2 deploying a refuelling hose for the rotorcraft to approach at flight speeds of 130kt (240km/h) down to 105kt.

 

Further work with the A400M acting as a receiver aircraft during refuelling should be conducted in September 2013, behind a C160 Transall airlifter. More than 30 dry contacts already performed between the types by multiple pilots have shown the new aircraft's ability to maintain contact, even during turns of up to 20˚ angle of bank, Isorce says.

 

With the company's five-strong fleet of Grizzly development aircraft having accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours through 1,700-plus flights since December 2009, Gautier says: "We are now devoted to the SOC1 and 1.5 standards development." To be fielded by late 2014, the latter will add air-to-air refuelling functionality and expanded self-protection systems: "the vast majority of the tactical capabilities to operate in a hostile environment," he notes.

 

Beyond the four aircraft to be delivered this year, structures for two more A400Ms are already on the final assembly line, with 15 others currently in the production or subassembly stages at supplier sites, and long-lead items already ordered out to aircraft MSN32. "The A400M is now part of the production landscape in Europe," Gautier says

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Euro Hawk décollage de la BA De de Manching 11.01.2013 photo EADS - Cassidian

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

June 5, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; issued June 4, 2013)

 

The Euro Hawk Scandal: A Chronicle

 

Development of the Euro Hawk drone cost hundreds of millions of euros. Despite early indications of problems, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière held on to the project. DW chronicles the Euro Hawk's short life.

 

 

The government coalition of Social Democrats and Greens laid the foundation for the development of a surveillance drone as early as 2001. Five defense ministers came and went during the planning and trial process of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft. Warnings of flight permit problems came early. Here's what happened between the project's start in 2001 and its sudden end in 2013.

 

2001

As a member of the SPD/Greens coalition government, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping (SPD) planned the commission of a surveillance drone that would fly at a height of 20 kilometers (12 miles) and registers radio and radar signals with the help of modern technology. US defense technology company Northrop Grumman was to be tasked with production, while European aviation firm EADS was to develop the surveillance technology. That was as far as plans went.

 

2003

During Peter Struck's (SPD) term as defense minister, America's Global Hawk performed its first test flights in German air space. That drone served as the prototype for the "Euro Hawk." The six successful flights laid the foundation for cooperation between the companies involved and the German defense ministry that followed.

 

2004

The Bundeswehr asked EADS and Northrop Grumman to present an offer for the development, production and delivery of a Euro Hawk.

 

Then came the first words of caution. An EADS employee warned that an anti-collision system was necessary, particularly during departure and landing. On other occasions, similar warnings came from air traffic controllers, the private sector and the German military itself.

 

2005

In November, EADS and Northrop Grumman founded the 'Euro Hawk GmbH' corporation. In December, they presented their bid. Public announcements about the project appear not to have been made.

 

Looking back, Franz Josef Jung (CDU), the defense minister at that time, recently told the German weekly "Bild am Sonntag" that the contract included an automatic anti-collision system and a "recourse clause."

 

2007

The budget committee in Germany's lower house of parliament approved the program in late January 2007. The defense ministry signed a 430-million-euro ($560-million) contract with the Euro Hawk GmbH corporation for the drone project.

 

2009

According to current reports in "Spiegel" magazine, German military inspectors pointed out potential flight permit issues in summer 2009. They criticized the manufacturer for not providing any approved construction documents that would have facilitated the obtaining of those permits. It also remains unclear whether members of the German army were even authorized to issue flight permits for the drone.

 

But under pressure from the defense ministry, with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) as minister, a military inspector eventually carried out the necessary tests allowing for a temporary permission of flight.

 

2010

In June, the Euro Hawk took off for the first time. It flew from the Northrop Grumman plant in Palmdale, California to the Edwards Air Force Base in the same state. The flight lasted two hours.

 

2011

On July 20, the aircraft embarked on its way to Germany and landed on Manching air field near Ingolstadt after 22 hours in the air.

 

Officially, this was seen as a success and hailed as the beginning of a new era of surveillance. At the time, the drone had a temporary traffic permit and could only take off and land in restricted air space.

 

There were reports that contact was temporarily lost with the drone during the flight and that it had deviated from its programmed route. US security authorities had denied overflight permission for the Euro Hawk within the United States.

 

Toward the end of 2011, the German defense ministry under current minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) discovered that flight permits would cost an additional 500 to 600 million euros.

 

2012

In early 2013, the drone flew for six hours over Germany, marking another test flight that was viewed as a success.

 

But Defense Minister de Maizière stopped the drone project in May because of massive problems in obtaining flight permits for European airspace. Construction documents were missing for some 120 Euro Hawk components. Amid growing criticism, de Maizière also announced his ministry's decision to deliver sensitive Euro Hawk documents uncensored to Germany's Federal Court of Auditors.

 

A short while later, Northrop Grumman and EADS issued a joint statement contradicting the defense ministry. "Media reports that indicate there are challenges with the aircraft's flight control system, as well as excessive costs associated with completing airworthiness certification, are inaccurate," they said.

 

The full Euro Hawk system, the companies added, performed flawlessly and safely throughout the entire flight test program.

 

The defense ministry grounded its decision to suddenly the Euro Hawk program on the expected additional costs of up to 600 million euros.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Army Brown

June 4, 2013 by Think Defence

 

Did we discuss this, not sure?

 

From Akzo Nobel

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) asked AkzoNobel – makers of paints and coatings such as Intergard, Sikkens and Dulux – to develop a high-tech paint with a colour that would be suitable for the desert environments where most military operations are focused.

The new camouflage paint – known as Army Brown – will replace the sand colour that has been used on Army vehicles since before the Second World War.

To produce the new colour the MoD collected high resolution imagery in Afghanistan and flew rock and soil samples back  to Britain, where  a team at the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory developed a colour optimised for vehicles operating in that environment.

AkzoNobel scientists were then asked to develop a new water-based camouflage coating that conformed with the colour requirements. Developed under the Intergard brand the new Army Brown paint is similar to the tan colour used by the military in the US and Australia. It is designed to provide a better balance between arid, desert-like areas and the green zone with its lush vegetation.

AkzoNobel has developed a special temporary peelable coating which can be quickly sprayed or brushed onto the Army vehicles to provide a quick camouflage change and then peeled off. The revolutionary coating is capable of absorbing chemical warfare agents and stopping them getting through to the vehicle underneath. The contaminated coating can then be stripped off and disposed off. It also protects the vehicles against weathering and corrosion.

AkzoNobel scientists are currently working on further developments which would mean the coating would change colour when it absorbed toxic chemicals, alerting the soldiers that they are under chemical attack. Rather than just absorbing the chemicals it would also be able to neutralise them.

Army Brown is being used on the UK’s Foxhound light patrol vehicles. Army Brown has also been applied to some of the Warrior tracked armoured vehicles deployed to Afghanistan.

The Intergard coating has been developed by AkzoNobel’s aerospace coatings team. AkzoNobel’s Global Market Director Andrew Richardson said:

““We were delighted to be asked to work on the new colour for British Army vehicles and continue our partnership with the Ministry of Defence.
“The new paint colour has been specifically designed for the desert-like environment where most operations currently take place.
“The water-based paint will provide an exceptional performance in the most challenging environments.”

  • Even the paint is going hi tech, interesting about the peelable nature of it and the level of protection against chemical agents.
Foxhound Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan -  photo UK MoD

Foxhound Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan - photo UK MoD

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Otan: l'adhésion de la Finlande et de la Suède serait négative pour la Russie (Medvedev)

KIRKENES (NORVEGE), 4 juin - RIA Novosti

 

Une éventuelle adhésion de la Suède et de la Finlande à l'Otan est une affaire intérieure à ces deux pays, cet élément ne serait toutefois pas positif pour la Russie, a déclaré mardi le premier ministre russe Dmitri Medvedev lors d'une conférence de presse.

 

"Nous ne considérons pas un rapprochement de l'Otan vers les frontières russes comme un facteur positif", a indiqué le chef du gouvernement russe, ajoutant que la décision d'adhérer à l'Alliance était une affaire relevant d'un pays.

 

M. Medvedev a rappelé que l'Otan était "une structure possédant un certain potentiel militaire qui, en cas de situation défavorable, peut être retourné contre la Russie".

 

"Nous ne pensons pas que l'adhésion de nouveaux pays à l'Otan est susceptible de créer une nouvelle situation visant à assurer la stabilité. Au contraire, tout nouveau membre de l'Alliance se trouvant près des frontières russes modifie en fin de compte l'équilibre des forces, nous obligeant à réagir", a déclaré le premier ministre russe interrogé par une journaliste finlandaise sur une modification du rapport des forces dans la région de la mer de Barents suite à une éventuelle adhésion de la Finlande et de la Suède à l'Otan.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:45
Libye: l'OTAN prête à former les forces de sécurité hors du pays

BRUXELLES, 4 juin - RIA Novosti

 

L'OTAN pourrait assurer la formation des forces de sécurité libyennes hors de la Libye, a annoncé mardi à Bruxelles le secrétaire général de l'OTAN Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

"Il ne s'agit pas de déployer des troupes (de l'OTAN) en Libye. Si nous nous occupons de l'entraînement et de la formation des forces de la sécurité, nous pouvons le faire hors du pays", a indiqué M.Rasmussen devant les journalistes, avant l'ouverture d'une réunion des ministres de la Défense des 28 pays membres de l'organisation.

 

Le gouvernement libyen a demandé des conseils de l'OTAN en matière de sécurité la semaine dernière, selon M.Rasmussen. Les pays membres de l'Alliance ont décidé lundi "d'envoyer une délégation d'experts en Libye pour examiner cette requête". Les autorités libyennes et les experts de l'OTAN doivent "identifier les domaines dans lesquels nous pouvons apporter notre expertise", a-t-il ajouté.

 

Un haut responsable américain avait indiqué lundi que l'OTAN pourrait dépêcher une mission de formation et d'entraînement des forces nationales de sécurité en Libye.

 

D'après M.Rasmussen, une délégation de l'Alliance, qui partira prochainement à destination de la Libye, présentera les résultats de sa visite dans un rapport avant la fin du mois de juin.

 

Les Etats-Unis et la France se sont déjà prononcés en faveur de l'octroi d'une assistance à la Libye dans la formation de ses forces de la sécurité.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:45
Reward! 23 millions de dollars de récompense pour les chefs des djihadistes du Sahel

04.06.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Les Etats-Unis ont annoncé lundi soir qu'ils offrent 23 millions de dollars de récompense au total pour toute information conduisant à la capture du jihadiste algérien Mokhtar Belmokhtar, du chef de la secte islamiste nigériane Boko Haram et d'autres responsables du groupe Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi).

 

Ce programme du département d'Etat, baptisé "récompenses pour la justice", offre depuis 1984 des sommes d'argent à tout informateur permettant l'arrestation ou l'élimination d'individus qui menacent les intérêts des Etats-Unis. Le site en français avec les bios des suspects est accessible ici.

7. La plus grosse récompense, sept millions de dollars, est réservée au n°1 présumé de Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, qui combat actuellement l'armée du Nigeria dans le nord-est du pays.

5. cinq millions de dollars sont également offerts à quiconque apportera des renseignements décisifs concernant l'Algérien Belmokhtar, un ancien chef d'Aqmi qui a monté son propre groupe fin 2012. Donné pour mort par le Tchad en avril, il a menacé il y a dix jours de lancer de nouvelles attaques au Niger après les attentats suicide de la fin mai. Son groupe avait mené une prise d'otages d'envergure en janvier dans un complexe gazier en Algérie.

5. Cinq millions de dollars sont également promis pour la tête de Yahya Abou Al-Hammam, un dirigeant algérien d'Aqmi accusé d'être impliqué dans le meurtre d'un otage français en 2010.

3. Malik Abou Abdelkarim, commandant d'Aqmi, et Oumar Ould Hamahathe porte-parole du Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao), un groupe islamiste chassé du Mali en janvier, sont également la cible de Washington, avec trois millions chacun de récompenses.

 

 

 

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:45
Le groupe Ansaru dans une vidéo datée de décembre 2012 (Photo: Archives/Ansaru)

Le groupe Ansaru dans une vidéo datée de décembre 2012 (Photo: Archives/Ansaru)

05/06/2013 par Sara Teodosio – 45eNord.ca

 

Le président du Nigéria, Goodluck Jonathan, a officiellement interdit mardi les activités des groupes islamistes Boko Haram et Ansaru.

 

Le bureau du président a déclaré dans un communiqué que «le président Goodluck Jonathan a formellement ratifié l’interdiction de Boko Haram et autorisé la publication d’un ordre déclarant que les activités du groupe sont illégales et constituent des actes de terrorisme». Cette mesure vise également le groupe Ansaru précise le communiqué.

 

Ansaru, considéré comme une faction du groupe Boko Haram, serait notamment impliqué dans des affaires d’enlèvement, dont le rapt en 2011 dans l’État de Kebbi (nord-ouest) d’un Britannique et d’un Italien tués le 8 mars 2012 et l’enlèvement en décembre 2012 dans l’État de Katsina (nord) d’un ingénieur français. Il serait également responsable de la mort de centaines de personnes dans des attaques menées dans le nord et dans le centre du pays depuis 2009.

 

Les activités des deux groupes tombent désormais sous le coup de la loi antiterroriste et toute personne en rapport avec ces groupes pourra être poursuivie et condamnée au regard de celle-ci. Ainsi, un individu apportant ou sollicitant une aide, notamment financière et logistique, pourra être condamné à «pas moins de vingt ans» d’emprisonnement.

 

Après avoir déclaré, le 14 mai à la télévision nationale, que les actions de Boko Haram «équivalent à une déclaration de guerre et à une tentative délibérée d’ébranler l’État nigérian et de menacer son intégrité territoriale», le président avait annoncé une vaste offensive dans le nord-est du pays pour tenter de stopper les violences du groupe.

 

Depuis lundi, la tête du chef présumé de Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau est mise à prix. Washington offre sept millions de dollars de récompense pour toute information conduisant à sa capture.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Syrie: Washington exige le retrait de l'Iran et du Hezbollah

WASHINGTON, 6 juin - RIA Novosti

 

Le mouvement chiite libanais Hezbollah et l'Iran doivent immédiatement retirer leurs combattants de Syrie, a déclaré la Maison Blanche dans un communiqué diffusé mercredi suite à la tombée de la ville syrienne de Qousseir aux mains des forces fidèles au gouvernement de Damas.

 

"Il est évident que le régime n'aurait pas pu prendre le contrôle de Qousseir avec ses propres forces et qu'il dépend de l'Iran et du Hezbollah. Nous soutenons les récentes déclarations du gouvernement libanais sur la non-ingérence dans le conflit syrien. Le Hezbollah et l'Iran doivent immédiatement retirer leurs combattants de Syrie", lit-on dans le communiqué.

 

Auparavant, les médias ont rapporté que les rebelles syriens avaient reconnu avoir subi une défaite face aux forces gouvernementales à Qousseir et s'étaient retirés de la localité. D'après les données des Nations unies, près de 1.500 civils blessés restent bloqués dans la ville.

 

Pour sa part, Washington a appelé les parties en conflit à assurer l'accès d'organisations humanitaires à Qousseir en vue d'y acheminer des médicaments et d'évacuer les blessés.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Syrie: Kerry a demandé à la France de partager ses informations sur les armes chimiques

05 juin 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

ANTIGUA (Guatemala) - Le secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry a déclaré mercredi qu'il avait demandé à son homologue français Laurent Fabius de partager ses informations sur l'usage éventuel de gaz sarin en Syrie.

 

Le président américain Barack Obama a tracé une ligne rouge concernant l'usage d'armes chimiques en Syrie et toutes les options restent ouvertes, a averti M. Kerry, en marge de l'assemblée générale de l'Organisation des Etats américains (OEA), au Guatemala.

 

M. Kerry a expliqué qu'il avait été en contact avec Laurent Fabius avant et après que la France et la Grande-Bretagne eurent annoncé avoir des preuves de l'usage d'armes chimiques en Syrie, qui selon le président français François Hollande obligent la communauté internationale à agir.

 

Je lui ai demandé s'il pouvait nous envoyer cette information, pour savoir comment les preuves étaient arrivées entre ses main, quelle est leur origine, a détaillé M. Kerry devant des journalistes.

 

Mais, clairement, c'est une déclaration très importante, une découverte très importante, a estimé John Kerry.

 

Les Etats-Unis continuent d'analyser les éléments en leur possession concernant l'usage d'armes chimiques par le régime syrien, a-t-il poursuivi.

 

Je suis très à l'aise avec notre calendrier, a ajouté le ministre, mais ne vous y trompez pas, la 'ligne rouge' du président (Barack Obama) est réelle, a-t-il averti.

 

M. Obama a déclaré par la passé que l'usage d'armes chimiques serait la ligne rouge qui justifierait une action militaire.

 

Laurent Fabius a accusé mardi le régime de Bachar al-Assad d'avoir utilisé à au moins une reprise du gaz sarin en Syrie, soulignant qu'une ligne a été franchie et que toutes les options sont sur la table.

 

Nous n'avons aucun doute sur le fait que les gaz ont été utilisés (...). La conclusion du laboratoire est claire : il y a du gaz sarin, a affirmé sur la chaîne de télévision France 2 le chef de la diplomatie française, qui a évoqué des échantillons provenant de journalistes du quotidien Le Monde, mais aussi d'une autre source qu'il n'a pas précisée.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
AACE  (Amphibious Armoured Combat Earthmover) FNSS  photo SITTA

AACE (Amphibious Armoured Combat Earthmover) FNSS photo SITTA

05/06/2013 SITTA

 

La onzième éditiondu salon « IDEF » s’est déroulée au parc des expositions Tüyap d’Istanbul du 7 au 10 mai 2013. Plus de 790 exposants, dont 255 sociétés turques, ont fait spécialement le déplacement.

 

Le salon a été inauguré par Monsieur Ismet Yilmaz, ministre turc de la Défense, en présence de nombreuses autorités locales et délégations étrangères. 105 délégations officielles provenant de 81 pays ont assisté à une édition rendue particulièrement attrayante par l’exposition de nombreuses nouveautés. Une hausse de 25% du nombre d’exposants a d’ailleurs été enregistrée par rapport à l’édition 2011. 

 

Ces exposants étaient rassemblés, pour certains, sous pavillons nationaux. Parmi eux, la Turquie, les Etats-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la Russie, l’Italie, la Chine,le Pakistan et les Emirats-Arabes-Unis. Plusieurs sociétés françaises étaient également regroupées autour du pavillon France dont la société Lacroix. Le salon « IDEF » a, par ailleurs, été l’occasion pour les représentants du Commissariat Général des Expositions et Salons (COGES) de sensibiliser les participants, tant français qu’étrangers, sur l’organisation de la prochaine édition du salon EUROSATORY qui se déroulera à Villepinte (France), du 16 au 20juin 2014.

 

Parmi les nombreux matériels et équipements présentés lors de cette édition, il convient de souligner :

 

-         le véhicule de combat d’infanterie TUPLAR de la société turque OTOKAR ;

-         le véhicule antichar KAPLAN STA de la société turque FNSS ;

-         le système antiaérien KORKUT des sociétés turques FNSS et ASELSAN ;

-         le véhicule blindé transport de troupe VARAN de la société turque HEMA ;

-         le véhicule blindé polyvalent EJDER 4x4de la société turque NUROL ;

-         la grenade lacrymogène GL 310 de la société brésilienne CONDOR ;

-         la lunette de visée nocturne 1 PN 93.4de la société russe NOVOSIBIRSK ;

-         le fusil d’assaut UBS RS-X de la société turque ARMSAN ;

-         les munitions  « less lethal »de la société sud-africaine LESS LETHAL AFRICA ;

-         la vedette rapide MRTP de la société turque YONCA ONUK ;

-         le pistolet semi automatique MC P 17 de la société turque TISAS ;

-         le fusil d’assaut SAR 223 T de la société turque SARSILMAZ ;

-         le missile sol-sol et sol-mer ALAS de la société serbe YUGOIMPORT ;

-         la boule optronique MAMBA de la société britannique CHESS ELECTRONICS.

 

Plus de détails

 

Rendez-vous est d’ores et déjà pris pour la prochaine édition du salon IDEF qui se tiendra,comme il se doit, au centre Tüyap au mois de mai 2015.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
The Parchin site in April (left) and July (right). The deconstruction work may be a sign Iran is moving nuclear research away from prying eyes. Photo Digital Globe-ISIS 2012

The Parchin site in April (left) and July (right). The deconstruction work may be a sign Iran is moving nuclear research away from prying eyes. Photo Digital Globe-ISIS 2012

MOSCOU, 3 juin - RIA Novosti

 

Les travaux en cours sur le site militaire de Parchin, près de Téhéran, pourraient empêcher les experts de déterminer la nature des opérations qui y sont menées, a déclaré lundi le directeur général de l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique Yukiya Amano.

 

"L'Iran mène une activité intense sur le site de Parchin, auquel l'AIEA voudrait avoir accès. Il s'agit de transport de terre, de travaux d'asphaltage et peut-être du démantèlement de certaines constructions. Même si nous obtenons un accès, il pourrait être impossible de vérifier" la nature des opérations menées sur ce site, a indiqué M. Amano aux journalistes.

 

Plus tôt dans la journée, le directeur général de l'AIEA avait une nouvelle fois sommé l'Iran de fournir un accès au site militaire de Parchin.

 

L'Agence soupçonne l'Iran d'avoir effectué à Parchin des tests d'explosion conventionnelle applicable au nucléaire, ce que Téhéran dément. Jusqu'ici, l'accès à Parchin, situé à 30 km de Téhéran, était inclus dans les discussions sur un accord visant à donner aux experts de l'agence un accès plus large à des sites, documents ou individus pouvant aider à déterminer la nature du programme nucléaire iranien.

 

Les Etats-Unis et d'autres pays reprochent à l'Iran de vouloir se doter de l'arme nucléaire sous couvert du programme nucléaire qu'il prétend réaliser à des fins pacifiques. Téhéran reconnaît enrichir de l'uranium à 20%, mais affirme que ses activités nucléaires ont pour seul objectif de satisfaire les besoins du pays en électricité.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Chuck Hagel, secrétaire à la Défense des États-Unis, Peter MacKay, ministre de la Défense du Canada, et Ante Kotromanovic, ministre de la Défense de Croatie (Photo: OTAN)

Chuck Hagel, secrétaire à la Défense des États-Unis, Peter MacKay, ministre de la Défense du Canada, et Ante Kotromanovic, ministre de la Défense de Croatie (Photo: OTAN)

05/06/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca

 

Le ministre de la Défense nationale, Peter MacKay, a conclu sa participation aux réunions des ministres de la Défense de l’OTAN, qui ont eu lieu les 4 et 5 juin 2013 au siège de l’OTAN à Bruxelles, en Belgique, après avoir été accueilli en Chine par son homologue, le général Chang Wanquan.

 

«Ces réunions avec mes homologues de la Défense de l’OTAN ont présenté une importante occasion pour nous de discuter des enjeux relatifs à la défense et à la sécurité ayant un impact sur nous tous en tant qu’Alliance», a dit le ministre MacKay.

«L’OTAN continue de réaliser des progrès en ce qui concerne la transformation et les capacités, et ce, malgré le contexte financier difficile touchant la majorité des membres de l’Alliance.»

Le ministre MacKay et ses homologues ont notamment discuté de la planification de la défense et le développement des capacités, y compris le processus de planification de la défense de l’OTAN, dans le but d’assurer le progrès continu de ces questions afin de conformer à la vision des forces de l’OTAN à l’horizon 2020. Peter MacKay a également participé à une réunion de la Commission OTAN-Géorgie et a discuté de la mission en cours en Afghanistan avec les pays fournisseurs de troupes à la Force internationale d’assistance à la sécurité.

Le ministre de la Défense du Canada est celui qui occupe son poste depuis le plus longtemps au sein de l’OTAN. Il a également participé à une série de réunions bilatérales avec des alliés et des partenaires, comprenant ses homologues de l’Estonie, de la Grande-Bretagne, de l’Italie, de la Norvège, des Pays-Bas, de la Pologne, et de la Suède. De plus, le ministre MacKay a pris part à une rencontre multilatérale avec ses homologues de la Grande-Bretagne, de la France et des Etats-Unis. Pendant ces rencontres, il a mis l’accent sur l’engagement du Canada à faire avancer les initiatives de réforme et de transformation de l’OTAN afin de s’assurer que l’Alliance soit prête à agir au moment où les besoins se font sentir.

À lire aussi:

En Chine, le ministre MacKay rencontre son homologue, le général Chang Wanquan >>

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)

USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI)

 

Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will build nine DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the U.S. Navy.

 

The two separate, multiyear procurement contracts are together worth more than $5.1 billion.

 

The Navy said General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will design and build four DDG 51 class ships beginning this year and continuing into 2017. The contract includes an option for a fifth ship.

 

Huntington Ingalls Industries will construct five ships, one each year until 2017.

 

"These contract awards represent great value to the taxpayer and will ensure our warfighters have the ships and systems they need to prevail in any situation," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "By leveraging competition in the DDG 51 class shipbuilding program, these shipbuilders will continue their proud histories in delivering these highly capable ships to the fleet while meeting critical operational requirements for integrated air and missile defense capability."

 

The Navy said the destroyers will be in a Flight III configuration in which Aegis AN/SPY-1D radar is replaced with Air and Missile Defense Radar, and improved weapons and sensor suites are installed.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Raytheon explores further developments after MALD-J completes operational tests

4 Jun 2013 Dave Majumdar - FG

 

Washington DC - Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J) completed operational testing in late May, a senior company official says. The results of the testing should be available "this fall", but the US Air Force is already buying the MALD-J in quantity.

 

"We just negotiated lot six with the US Air Force, and they bought lot six and they are all jammers," says Jeff White, Raytheon's MALD business development manager. The sixth production lot of the air-launched decoys consists of 202 MALD-J vehicles, for a total price of $81 million.

 

White points out that this is the third lot of the MALD-J decoys that the USAF has purchased since the service started procuring the jammer variant of the MALD in the fourth production lot. So far the USAF has ordered about 650 MALD-J decoys, he says, with more to come.

 

"We're negotiating lot seven now," White says. "That'll come out next year."

 

Even though the MALD-J has completed its developmental activities, Raytheon is moving forward on potential naval applications for the jet-powered decoy. The company is working on risk reduction activities for the US Navy's Airborne Electronic Attack Expendable air-launched decoy programme, with White saying its proposal would use the MALD-J as a baseline.

 

White also says that Raytheon is working with the Office of Naval Research on a programme called Cerberus, which would fit the MALD with multiple payloads for the service's offensive anti-surface warfare mission. White says that if the navy can secure funding in the 2015 budget, the service could receive its first MALDs in 2017 or 2018.

 

A third development is being funded internally by Raytheon to effectively turn the decoy into a cruise missile of sorts by adding a thermobaric warhead to the decoy, White says. The company is also looking at adding a data-link to the device.

 

Another Raytheon-funded development is the MALD cargo aircraft launch system, which would enable a transport, such as the Lockheed Martin C-130J, to launch as many as 24 of the decoys. The company released inert MALDs from a Hercules in March 2011, but hopes to carry out a full live demonstration of the capability this year or during 2014, White says.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Lawmakers Reject Withholding F-35 Funds

June 5, 2013 by Brendan McGarry - defensetech.org

 

A Republican-led defense panel in Congress easily rejected a proposal to withhold most funding for the F-35 fighter jet next year.

 

The House Armed Services Committee on June 5 voted 51–10 against the amendment sponsored by Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., while debating its version of the 2014 defense authorization bill. The legislation sets policy goals and spending targets for fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1.

 

Calling it a “good government issue,” Duckworth proposed freezing procurement funding for the Joint Strike Fighter program until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel certified that the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., fixed problems with the aircraft’s software and several pieces of hardware, including the helmet-mounted display, fuel dump system and arresting hook.

 

“I want contractors to be held accountable and I want to fix the technical problems before we give them another $6 billion of taxpayer money,” she said during the hearing. “There’s nothing wrong with flying before we buy. In fact, most of us test drive cars before we [buy].”

 

The Defense Department next year plans to spend $8.4 billion to buy 29 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, including 19 for the Air Force, six for the Marine Corps and four for the Navy. The funding includes $6.4 billion in procurement, $1.9 billion in research and development and $187 million in spares.

 

Duckworth said she has “serious concerns” that buying production models of the planes while they’re still being tested — a practice known in acquisition parlance as concurrency — has led to developmental problems and a 68-percent surge in the projected cost of the program.

 

The Joint Strike Fighter is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, with an estimated cost of $391 billion to develop and build 2,457 aircraft.

 

Duckworth cited comments made last year by Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, in which he criticized his own department’s decision to begin production of the single-engine jet years before its first test flight as “acquisition malpractice.”

 

Many of the aircraft’s most vaunted technologies “remain untested and unready,” Duckworth said. Flight testing of the software package designed for initial aircraft operations, known as Block 2B, was only 5 percent complete as of last month, she said.

 

Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the panel’s Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee, said the amendment would effectively halt funding for the F-35 program, triggering delays and additional cost increases.

 

“We believe that we address the issues with the F-35 in the mark,” he said.

 

Turner was referring to language his subcommittee drafted in the legislation that would order the Pentagon to establish an independent team of subject matter experts to review software development for the program and submit a report to lawmakers by March 3, 2014.

 

Turner also cited as evidence of progress in the program a March report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of congress, subtitled, “Outlook Is Improved, but Long-Term Affordability Is a Major Concern.”

 

The Pentagon last week announced that the Marine Corps will begin operational flights of the F-35 fighter jet in 2015, followed by the Air Force in 2016 and the Navy in 2019.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor tiltrotor design

Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor tiltrotor design

Jun. 6, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - Bell Helicopter says that its V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor design has been selected by the US Army for its Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme.

 

"The V-280 Valor will provide the army's most sought-after capability, with a cruise speed of 280kt [519km/h]," says Keith Flail, director of Bell's future vertical lift effort. The service hopes to develop an aircraft that can achieve a cruise speed of at least 230kt for the JMR-TD effort and its follow-on Future Vertical Lift programme.

 

Flail says the V-280 improves on the technology found in the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and is being designed to provide "outstanding" low-speed agility, multiple-g high-speed manoeuverability, superior fuel efficiency and improved range capabilities. Much of the aircraft's handling characteristics will be due to a new triple redundant fly-by-wire system that Bell hopes to incorporate into the machine.

 

The aircraft is also being designed to hover out of ground effect at a pressure altitude of 1,830m (6,000ft) at an ambient temperature of 35˚C (95˚F). Bell claims the V-280 will cruise at speeds of 280kt true airspeed and have a combat range of between 500nm (926km) and 800nm. It should also be able to self-deploy over a distance of 2,100nm.

 

Flail also claims the aircraft will have improved reliability and reduced costs, because the new clean sheet design reduces complexity compared to previous generation tiltrotors.

 

Bell's main competitor during the JMR-TD programme is expected to be a team consisting of Sikorsky and Boeing, which was its partner on the V-22. The two companies are pitching a high-speed compound helicopter design based on Sikorsky's self-funded X2 prototype for the army technolody demonstrator effort.

US Army selects Bell, Sikorsky/Boeing team for JMR demonstration

“The Sikorsky Boeing team is extremely pleased to have been invited by the US Army to negotiate a technology investment agreement for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase I programme,” the two companies say. “Our team brings a shared commitment to invest in next-generation rotorcraft technology based on Sikorsky’s X2 rigid rotor coaxial design.” Meanwhile, EADS North America recently told the army that it will drop out of the programme.

 

The army is expected to award JMR-TD contracts by September 2013, with first flights scheduled for 2017. The programme is expected to inform the Future Vertical Lift programme, which aspires to field a new medium-lift high-speed rotorcraft design to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk series in the 2030s. It could also spawn an effort to replace the Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. That market could be worth as much as $100 billion, according to Bell.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Commercial sector shines for A&D industry

NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI)

 

A surging commercial aviation market last year offset a soft defense sector, giving the aerospace and defense industry a bumper year, a U.S. report says.

 

PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported the top 100 A&D companies reported a record-setting $695 billion in revenue in 2012 and $59.8 billion in operating profit.

 

Revenue rose 4 percent compared with the previous year. Operating profit was up 2 percent from 2011 while the operating margin decreased 17 basis points to 8.60 percent.

 

The data does not take into account the acquisitions of Goodrich last year by United Technologies Corp. and GE Aviation's acquisition of Avio so the statistics "slightly understate the strength of commercial aviation earnings," it said.

 

The report says commercial aerospace companies continue to be optimistic about the future -- air traffic is robust and steady, driving the aftermarket business, while the industry increased large commercial aircraft output by 18 percent and captured more than 2,000 large aircraft orders for the second consecutive year and the third time in history.

 

"As a result, there's a record backlog -- more than seven years at current production rates," PriceWaterhouseCoopers said. "And the industry is anticipating another record output in 2013."

 

Defense companies, however, face an uncertain 2013 with U.S. defense spending curtailed by sequestration.

 

"Companies now are bracing for the consequences and waiting for details regarding the impact on specific programs," the report said. "Defense companies face more pressure than ever to improve productivity, increase transparency, and respond to increasingly complex government regulations and oversight."

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:55
Le 6 juin, Ouistreham accueille une cérémonie de traditions de la Forfusco

05.06.2013 par P. Chapleau – Lignes de Défense

 

Jeudi (6 juin) aura lieu à Colleville (Calvados) une cérémonie avec un dépôt de gerbe à la mer. A partir de 10h se tiendra sur la plage de Ouistreham la cérémonie de tradition de l’école des fusiliers marins avec la baptême de deux cours de fusiliers marins, la remise d’insigne de la préparation militaire "Kieffer" de Paris, ainsi que la remise de bérets verts d’une promotion de commandos marine (arrivant par la mer) qui sort de l’école.

source musee.fusco.lorient.free

source musee.fusco.lorient.free

Une remise de décorations aura également lieu sur la plage, en l’honneur des 177 commandos qui se sont illustrés le 6 juin en Normandie, seuls représentants de la France à débarquer par voie maritime le jour J. Ils faisaient partie du 1er bataillon de fusiliers marins commandos, fort de deux troops de combat et d’une 1/2 troop d’appui (K-Guns). Ils portaient le fameux béret vert, l'insigne porté à gauche dont le bord est relevé.

 

Jean Morel, Léon Gauthier et Jean Rosset, survivants de cet assaut maritime mythique, seront présents pour ces cérémonies.

 

Note RP Defense :

 

Informations 4, 5 et 6 juin 2013- Musée de Tradition des fusiliers marins et commandos

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:55
source museedelaresistanceenligne.org

source museedelaresistanceenligne.org

4 juin 2013  Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Mardi 18 juin 2013 en fin de matinée, à l’occasion de la commémoration de l’appel du Général de Gaulle, sera dévoilée une plaque portant le nom des quatre-vingt six marins, des trois unités navales et de la commune maritime qui ont été faits Compagnons de la Libération.

 

Des grands anciens feront l’honneur de leur présence dont le vice-amiral d’escadre (2S) Emile Chaline, ancien président des anciens des FNFL, qui prononcera une brève allocution lors de la cérémonie et le capitaine de vaisseau (h) Etienne Schlumberger, dernier marin Compagnon de la Libération encore en vie (98 ans) et ancien directeur des études de l’Ecole navale.

 

Source : École Navale

 

Note RP Defense:

 

Ecole navale : Inauguration le 18 juin d’un mémorial aux marins Compagnons de la Libération

La Marine de la France libre, les Forces navales françaises libres (FNFL), voit le jour le 1er juillet 1940. Pour des faits d'armes exceptionnels, deux bâtiments français, de même que le 1er Régiment de fusiliers marins, recevront la Croix de la Libération, portant à trois le nombre des unités FNFL Compagnon de la Libération.

Sous-marin Rubis
Corvette Aconit
1er Régiment de fusiliers marins       

14/10/1941
19/04/1943
12/06/1945

source Ordre de la Libération

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:50
Merkel Ally Admits Mistakes In German Drone Scandal

Jun. 5, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

BERLIN — German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Wednesday admitted missteps by his staff in connection with an election-year scandal over a scrapped spy drone deal, but insisted he had no plans to step down.

 

With less than four months to go until the national poll, De Maiziere, one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s closest allies, said he had made the right decision to pull the plug on the so-called Euro Hawk project last month.

 

But he acknowledged that he had been kept in the dark for too long on problems with the unmanned surveillance aircraft program, which had already swallowed more than €500 million euros (US $654 million) before he axed it.

 

“I regret that,” he told reporters.

 

“I should have organized my ministry in this area so that I as the minister would be involved in decisions with this kind of scope.”

 

Officials feared aviation authorities would not certify the Euro Hawk — a version of US-based Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk customized by Europe’s EADS — because it lacks an anti-collision system.

 

The ministry decided the cost of adding such a system was too high, in what German media have dubbed the “drone debacle.”

 

But asked whether he would resign as a result, De Maiziere said the main consequence of the affair would be an overhaul of his ministry to ensure quicker whistle-blowing.

 

Merkel’s spokesman told a regular briefing that the minister still enjoyed her “full confidence.”

 

De Maiziere presented a report on the scandal to parliament’s defense committee earlier Wednesday in which he said he will commission regular status reports on major acquisitions and development projects.

 

“We have got to encourage people to step forward and call attention to problems, not just tell us what they think we want to hear,” he said.

 

But he dismissed a key allegation of the center-left opposition, which has stepped up attacks on him as the election campaign gets into full swing — that he wasted taxpayers’ money with a tardy decision.

 

“The delay did not incur financial damages but rather avoided them,” he said, arguing that it was clear only at a late stage of development that the project would not be worth the expense.

 

But a poll of voter confidence for Stern magazine showed that De Maiziere, long one of Germany’s most popular politicians, had tumbled six points since the last survey in February to 45 points out of 100.

 

Viewed as a safe pair of hands with a particular talent for organization and administration, De Maiziere had figured on the short list of possible candidates to eventually take the reins from Merkel.

 

But the drone scandal has largely silenced such talk.

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