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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 09:45
Somalie : 5 formateurs belges intégreront l’EUTM Somalie

31 mai 2013 operationspaix.net(Source : Belga)

 

Le ministère belge de la Défense annonce aujourd’hui que le Conseil des ministres a approuvé l’envoi de cinq instructeurs belges en Ouganda dans le cadre de la mission EUTM Somalie. « La Défense déploiera ces cinq militaires pendant cinq mois à partir de juillet. Avec l’aide de deux militaires néerlandais et de deux militaires italiens, ils dispenseront le cours « Intelligence » (renseignement) aux militaires somaliens », indique le ministère belge de la Défense. Créée en 2010, l’EUTM Somalie soutient notamment la formation d’une armée somalienne professionnelle. Selon l’UE, la mission devrait progressivement être « transférée vers la Somalie en fonction des conditions de sécurité ».

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:55
Les "Gaulois" du 92e RI sont tous rentrés à Clermont-Ferrand

31.05.2013 par P. Chapleau – Lignes de Défense

 

130 soldats du 92e régiment d'infanterie ont regagné Clermont-Ferrand ce vendredi après-midi (photo cellule Com 92e RI). Désormais, tous les 350 militaires du régiment sont de retour en métropole après quatre mois passés au Mali.

 

Deux compagnies de combat d’infanterie équipées du VBCI (Véhicule blindé de combat d’infanterie), une équipe de mécaniciens et une partie de l’état-major, soit environ 350 soldats du régiment, avaient été déployées, fin janvier 2013, en urgence au Mali. Hommes et blindés étaient passés par le Sénégal avant un long raid blindé en deux étapes, de Dakar à Bamako puis de Bamako à Gao.

 

Durant les 4 mois de leur mission, les fantassins du 92e régiment d’infanterie ont participé à la recherche et la destruction des groupes terroristes. Les "Gaulois" se sont illustrés lors des violents combats dans les localités et zones désertiques du centre et nord du Mali ; ils ont notamment contribué à la sécurisation de la ville de Gao et de son aéroport.

photo EMA

photo EMA

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:55
Sukhoi Su-35A-3 fighter- photo Sukhoi

Sukhoi Su-35A-3 fighter- photo Sukhoi

31/05/2013 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges  - Supersonique

 

J-17. A un peu plus de deux semaines du salon du Bourget, les rumeurs bruissent déjà dans le Landerneau aéronautique. Côté commandes, la moisson s’annonce bonne : Airbus vient de relever sa prévision de commandes brutes de 700-750 à « confortablement plus de 800 », selon l’expression du communiqué de presse, ce qui laisse présager quelques belles annonces. On parle de commandes d’A330 et/ou 777 chez Qatar Airways, de la possibilité d’une cinquantaine d’A320 supplémentaires chez AirAsia.

 

Mais la grosse cote du salon est la présence ou non du nouveau long-courrier A350 d’Airbus, qui pourrait effectuer un passage si le programme d’essais est assez avancé et si la météo est favorable. Où en est-on exactement ? Les tests structurels du MSN5000, appareil de tests au sol, semblent bien se passer : les ingénieurs testent des charges représentant 125% des charges maximales supportées lors de l’exploitation de l’avion.

 

Le MSN1, l’avion du premier vol, est prêt pour les tests moteurs. De source interne, les tests du groupe auxiliaire de puissance (APU), qui alimente les systèmes de l’avion au sol, sont terminés. La suite, ce sont les tests des différents systèmes de l’avion, les tests moteurs au ralenti puis à pleine puissance, les tests des systèmes en cas de panne, la traque aux fuites de carburant. Viennent ensuite les tests de roulage et de freinage, dont un à la limite de la vitesse de décollage, puis enfin le premier vol. Le calendrier reste serré, mais il semble compatible avec un premier vol pendant le salon.

Les buzz du salon du Bourget

Le reste ? Airbus devrait aussi présenter deux appareils de transport militaire A400M, dont un en vol, et un en exposition statique. Boeing devrait présenter en vol un 787 de Qatar Airways. L’aviation russe revient en force : le nouveau chasseur Su-35 va faire sa première démonstration en vol à l’étranger. L’avion d’entraînement Yak-130 sera aussi de la partie, de même que le jet régional Superjet de Sukhoi.

 

Safran devrait effectuer une démonstration de son système de « green taxiing », avec le roulage de l’A320 équipé de moteurs électriques dans le train d’atterrissage. Ce système développé avec Honeywell permettrait une économie de carburant de 3 à 4%, en évitant d’avoir recours au moteur pour le roulage. Safran devrait également exposer son « checkpoint du futur », un ensemble d’équipements biométriques et de détection d’explosifs qui pourrait rendre plus fluide les procédures de sûreté dans les aéroports. On évoque aussi du nouveau sur le drone Patroller de Sagem.

 

Il y aura aussi du nouveau dans l’aménagement de cabine : Zodiac Aerospace devrait présenter en taille réelle sa cabine ISIS, prévue pour 2014. Les coffres à bagages, pivotants, offrent 60% de place supplémentaire : plus hauts, ils permettent de mettre huit bagages cabine sur la tranche, quand un coffre classique permet d’en mettre au maximum cinq à plat.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:55
Laser guided bombs and hellfire missiles loaded on a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone prior to a mission

Laser guided bombs and hellfire missiles loaded on a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone prior to a mission

May 31, 2013 by Tamir Eshel - defense-update.com

 

France has decided to buy two MQ-9 Reaper medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) drones from the USA, to extend the strategic reconnaissance capability of the French Air Force after the current Harfang drones end their planned mission in 2014. The two General Atomics (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reapers that will be delivered by 2013 year-end. The two drones are not likely to be used in armed recce missions as they do  with the US Air Force. Defense-Update reports.

Given the short delivery schedule, it is likely the two Reapers will not be new but taken from the US Air Force inventory. According to the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian the French Air Force desperately need the new drones to address the immediate situation in the Sahel region.

The Harfang was fielded with the French Air Force under the SDIM program in June 2008. France ordered three planes and two ground control stations which became operational with the Drone Experimentation Squadron 1/330 Adour, in Cognac, in June 2008. From the beginning the program was regarded as an interim capability, and proposals for the full capability plan were submitted by EADS Since 2007. Despite their ‘interim’ capability, the French Harfangs were supporting all contingencies the French forces were involved in, including Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.

Through the years the Ministry of Defense evaluated only two options – the Israeli Heron TP and US made MQ-9 Reaper. IAI, the developer and manufacturer of the Heron and Heron TP has teamed with Dassault Aviation and EADS to form industry teams to support the selection of its drones, but has not succeeded in winning the French Air Force support for its system.

The procurement of the two Reapers is also considered an interim phase, until France is capable of establishing its own drones, considered as the centerpiece of future intelligence and combat operations. Two parralel programs are currently underway in France – the collaborative development of a jet-powered Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) known as NeuroN, expected to replace some manned aircraft by 2030. Another collaborative development of a UAS, with the British industry. Dassault is also cooperating with Israel Aerospace Industries, on the development of a future MALE platform addressing the French requirements. However, it is not clear whether this alliance will hold after failing to win the interim MALE program. France is currently interested in MALE drones designed for strategic reconnaissance, attack missions are currently not a priority for these assets.

IAI is also coopreating with Rheinmetall’s Unmanned Aerial Systems, a joint entity set by EADS and Rheinmetall, pursuing a similar program in Germany. Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Berlin is set to decide on the procurement of 16 drones, five to be operational by 2016.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Drones : Jean-Yves Le Drian dépose son plan de vol

31/05/2013 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord. - Défense globale

 

Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a livré, dans une tribune parue dans Les Echos ce vendredi 31 mai, sa vision de la politique française et européenne en matière de drones.

 

L'achat rapide de drones américains Reaper se confirme. Mais le ministre entend aussi développer en urgence une stratégie européenne, stratégique et industrielle (ici le nEUROn de Dassault aviation). Intéressante et claire mise au point.

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian commence par déplorer le crash des drones en France. Une sorte de serpent de mer volant : " Malgré des préconisations répétées depuis 1999, leur poids dans les investissements du ministère de la Défense est resté limité. "

 

Il effleure les causes principales : " L'ensemble de la communauté de défense, le ministère autant que l'industrie, a manqué le virage de ce type d'équipement. " Même constat tragique en Europe. " Dix ans ont passé, nous n'avons pas progressé ", regrette le ministre.

 

Donc le Livre blanc va permettre de " sortir d'une impasse opérationnelle et industrielle pour enfin doter la France de drones, pièces maîtresses du renseignement et de la guerre de demain ".

 

L'importance des drones tactiques MALE (moyenne altitude longue endurance) s'impose aux yeux de tous désormais. Lors du désengagement d'Afghanistan, par exemple. Mais " ils nous avaient manqué à Uzbeen en 2008 ", rappelle le ministre. Au Mali, avec ses deux malheureux et anciens drones Harfang, la France a heureusement été épaulée par des drones américains.

Drones : Jean-Yves Le Drian dépose son plan de vol

Des Américains très vite, des Européens bientôt

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian confirme donc l'achat urgent de matériels étrangers : le Héron-TP israélien et deux MQ-9 Reaper Predator. Avec une préférence pour la piste américaine, " avec la perspective d'une première livraison d'ici la fin de cette année ".

 

L'avenir à moyen terme passe par le drone Watchkeeper de Thales (photo Thales UK) depuis le partenariat signé en juillet 2012 avec le Royaume-Uni. Le ministre de la Défense dit aussi avoir " proposé à nos partenaires européens de nous regrouper pour partager nos expériences et nos capacités et impliquer nos industries ". C'est à la fois une question économique et de souveraineté.

 

" Je n'ai pas vu de besoins communs exprimés vers nous (industriels) ", regrettait la semaine dernière le PDG de Dassault aviation, Eric Trappier. " Cette ambition est d'ores et déjà en chantier ", le rassure le Lorientais qui cite le premier vol du drone nEUROn de Dassault en début d'année...

 

Parce qu'à l'horizon 2030, " les drones de combat viendront compléter voire remplacer nos flottes d'avions de chasse. Ce rendez-vous, nous ne le manquerons pas ". Il n'est pas certain que les aviateurs seront aussi enthousiastes et déterminés...

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Opération Baltic 2013 : exercice Baltic Region Training Event XV

01/06/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Les 29 et 30 mai 2013, le détachement français stationné sur la base aérienne de Šiauliai, a participé à un entraînement OTAN intitulé Baltic Region Training Event XV (BRTE XV).

 

L’objectif de cet exercice qui s’est déroulé en Lettonie était d’entraîner les moyens aériens de l’OTAN ainsi que la chaîne de commandement et de contrôle, et de renforcer l’interopérabilité des forces aériennes des pays membres.

 

Opération Baltic 2013 : exercice Baltic Region Training Event XV

La première phase de l’entrainement était consacrée à des exercices d’appui-feu réels sur le champ de tir d’Adazi au profit de 50 militaires des armées polonaise, lettone et estonienne déployés au sol. Les moyens aériens des pays baltes engagés (un L39 Albatros et un R44 pour l’Estonie, un hélicoptère Mi17 pour la Lettonie) ont été renforcés par deux Mirage F1CR déployés de France pour cette occasion. Plus de vingt guidages réels ont été effectués, aboutissant chacun à une passe de tir canon sur des figuratifs dédiés (bâtiments, voitures).

Le second volet de l’exercice consistait à conduire des opérations de recherche et de sauvetage (SAR) afin d’améliorer la coordination entre les moyens militaires et civils dans ce domaine. Les chasseurs de la permanence opérationelle ont participé ponctuellement à ces missions lors de leurs sorties quotidiennes.

Opération Baltic 2013 : exercice Baltic Region Training Event XV

Depuis le 30 avril 2013, près de 90 militaires français et 4 Mirage F1CR assurent la mission Baltic, sous mandat de l’OTAN. Durant 4 mois, le détachement conduit des missions d’assistance et de police du ciel de l’espace aérien de la Lituanie, de la Lettonie et de l’Estonie.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Chief Test Pilot VBS armasuisse flies Gripen EF test aircraft Photo Stefan Kalm - saabgroup.com

Chief Test Pilot VBS armasuisse flies Gripen EF test aircraft Photo Stefan Kalm - saabgroup.com

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 30 (UPI)

 

Swedish defense company Saab is conducting meetings with Swiss firms to discuss potential business opportunities.

 

The talks are part of the company's effort to obtain a deal with the Swiss government for the procurement of 22 Gripen-E fighters.

 

The marketing/business opportunities tour involves industrialists in 10 regions of the country.

 

The decision to procure Gripen has not yet been taken by the Swiss government," Peter Kuratli, director of the St. Gallen Office for Economy and Labor said. "However, for any industrial cooperation to be long-term, work has to start early.

 

"I ... welcome the industry in the regions of St. Gallen, Thurgau and the Appenzell region to evaluate the subject and take the decisions that they feel appropriate."

 

Added Beat F. Brunner, member of the board of the industry association Swissmem: "To generate business for the Swiss industrial and technological base must happen in an effective way and as a long-term strategy. This is even more important when it comes to doing business with the defense and security industry."

 

If Switzerland decides to acquire the Swedish fighters, Saab would be required provide Swiss industry with business equal to the value of the Gripen contract.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Italian Navy's FREMM ship

Italian Navy's FREMM ship

31 May 2013 naval-technology.com

 

The Italian Navy has taken delivery of the first Frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) vessel, Carlo Bergamini, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia, Italy.

 

The delivery is part of a contract awarded to Orizzonte Sistemi Navali to build ten vessels for the Italian Navy to replace the ageing Fincantieri-built Lupo and Maestrale-class ships by 2021.

 

Established in late-2002, the FREMM multi-mission ship programme is part of a major cooperation agreement between France and Italy, under which 11 frigates will be built for France as well, with the deliveries closing in 2022.

 

Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri, 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy, while Armaris, a joint venture between DCNS and Thales, is the prime contractor for France under the FREMM programme.

 

Italy will receive the vessels in two versions: an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) model and a general-purpose (GP) vehicle.

"Italy will receive the vessels in two versions: an anti-submarine warfare model and a general-purpose vehicle."

 

The 144m-long and 19.7m-wide Carlo Bergamini has a full-load displacement capacity of 6,500t, a maximum speed of 27k and an accommodation capacity of 145.

 

The Italian FREMM vessels will be armed with the SAAM Aster 15 missile system, Teseo Mk2 sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and MBDA's Milas all-weather weapon system to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-air warfare missions.

 

In addition, the ships will be equipped with EMPAR G-band multifunction phased array radar and Galileo Avionica silent acquisition surveillance system (SASS) to serve as infrared search and track (IRST) system.

 

Capable of supporting a range of missions and better safeguard the Mediterranean area, the FREMM frigates will also be used to conduct broad maritime defence strategies such as deterrence, protection, crisis mitigation and power projection.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:45
Mali : Serval est né d'un Requin...

31 Mai 2013 Jean-Dominique Merchet

 

Un livre des journalistes Isabelle Lasserre et Thierry Oberlé

 

L'intervention française au Mali (opération Serval), qui a démarré de manière fracassante le 11 janvier dernier, était dans les cartons depuis 2009. Une planification de l'état-major, baptisée Requin, prévoyait alors quasiment ce qui advenu cet hiver. Et qui a failli être déclenché à plusieurs reprises sous la présidence Sarkozy... Puis après l'élection de François Hollande, qui juge le dossier malien prioritaire, tout se met en place à partir du 31 octobre 2012. L'offensive des djihadistes en janvier servira de coup de sifflet pour y aller.  C'est ce que racontent deux journalistes du Figaro, Isabelle Lasserre et Thierry Oberlé, qui publient un livre, écrit à chaud et de lecture agréable, sur "Notre guerre secrète au Mali".

 

Attention, il ne s'agit pas d'un récit détaillé des opérations militaires depuis janvier - à la manière de Jean-Christophe Notin sur l'Afghanistan ou la Libye.   Les fana-milis, passionnés de la mécanique militaire, resteront sans doute sur leur faim. C'est un ouvrage de synthèse qui explique le pourquoi et le comment de cette guerre.  Une lecture conseillée à ceux qui veulent comprendre ce que fait la France au Mali, et plus largement au Sahel.

 

L'ouvrage revient sur les causes de cette crise, c'est-à-dire à la fois la déliquescence de l'Etat malien et la montée en puissance des groupes terroristes au Sahel, comme AQMI, qui trouvent leur origine dans la guerre civile algérienne. Les auteurs se penchent sur la question des otages, comme sur celle de l'islamisme radical. Ils retracent les causes immédiates de la guerre toujours en cours ainsi que le processus qui a conduit à l'intervention française. Sans cacher, par exemple, combien Serval a été l'objet de tensions au sommet de l'Etat et des armées, où une nouvelle architecture du pouvoir politico-militaire est apparue, plus centrée sur le ministre de la Défense qu'auparavant. En conclusion, le livre aborde les conséquences de Serval, notamment sur la question européenne ou des choix du Livre blanc.

 

Isabelle Lasserre et Thierry Oberlé "Notre guerre secrète au Mali" Fayard, 248 pages, 17 euros.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:45
Tunisie : 3 soldats blessés par une mine en pourchassant des djihadistes

1 juin 2013 Guysen News International

 

Trois militaires ont été blessés samedi dans l’explosion d’une mine sur le mont Chaambi, à la frontière algérienne où les forces tunisiennes pourchassent un groupe de jihadistes ayant miné la région.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:40
EU embargo move boosts Russia plan to arm Syria

May 31st, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

The European Union’s decision to lift its arms embargo on the Syrian opposition has provided Russia with a new defence of its controversial weapons deliveries to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 

Russia reacted with fury to the EU’s decision Monday — advocated primarily by Britain and France — to lift its arms embargo on the rebels fighting to oust Assad.

 

Moscow, a key backer of Assad, has since escalated its sabre-rattling, announcing it intends to keep its contract to supply the Syrian regime with sophisticated S-300 missiles, which can shoot down both incoming missiles and warplanes.

 

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu implied Wednesday that the EU’s decision had untied Moscow’s hands, hinting that Russia could now supply weapons banned by international treaties.

 

“Every decision has two sides. If one side lifts its restrictions, then the other side may no longer feel compelled to keep its previously adopted obligations,” Shoigu said while on a visit to Helsinki.

 

Analysts said the comments reflected the Kremlin’s apparent belief that it was obligated to support its biggest Middle East ally in the face of what it perceives as the Arab world and the West’s unfair support for the rebels.

 

One of the biggest questions now is whether Moscow will in fact follow through on its threat to supply Syria with S-300s — a prospect that even brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russia for private talks with President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

 

Israel has already implied it might wipe out any S-300 shipments with new bombing raids, with Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warning on Tuesday that Israel would “know what to do” if Russia delivered the missiles to Assad.

 

Regional expert Alexei Malashenko of the Carnegie Moscow Centre said that “Russia could use the EU embargo to strengthen its own position concerning the S-300 deliveries.”

 

“They are going to use this argument,” said Malashenko.

 

But he added that Russia was unlikely to fulfil its S-300 contract if Moscow and Washington were successful in their ongoing efforts to arrange a Syria peace conference to get the two warring sides engaged in their first round of direct talks.

 

The prospects for such a meeting at this stage look fleeting because of sharp divisions in the opposition and divergent views in Russia and the West about which regional players should be invited to the talks.

 

Foreign and Defence Policy Council think-tank chairman Fyodor Lukyanov called the EU embargo lifting and Russia’s 3-300s threat a diplomatic “game” that the two sides were playing while the situation on the ground deteriorated.

 

“You are seeing both sides use the same arguments,” Lukyanov said.

 

“They are saying that in order to push the two sides toward peace, you have to put pressure on the other side,” he added.

 

“And to do that, the European Union is supporting the opposition, and Russia — Assad.”

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:35
UCAV Shows China’s Military Aerospace Prowess

Jun. 01, 2013 By Douglas Barrie - defense-unmanned.com

(Source: IISS Shangri-la Voices; posted May 29, 2013)

 

China's 'Sharp Sword' (excerpt)


LONDON --- If any more evidence were needed of the strides China continues to take in defence-aerospace, then the taxi-tests of what appeared a tail-less ‘stealthy’ unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) design last month certainly provided it.

Dubbed Li Jian, or Sharp Sword, the UCAV airframe was ‘allowed’ to be photographed at the Hongdu manufacturing site at Qingyunpu airfield in Nanchang during taxi trials. As of the end of May the air vehicle, reportedly designed by Shenyang and Hongdu, had yet to be flown for the first time.

Yet while it is clear China’s aerospace technology is making advances in both scale and sophistication, it has some way to go in developing the related, and no-less-important, technologies and intelligence it needs to operate its aircraft effectively and to meet its long-term defence-capability ambitions.

In the past few years, China has unveiled two indigenous combat-aircraft designs, the Chengdu J-20 and the Shenyang J-31, as well as the Xian Y-20 four-engine military airlifter. It has also continued to use the Russian Su-27 Flanker for several national programmes, including the J-15 carrier-borne strike fighter now in development, and is working on upgrades to the J-10 combat aircraft. Two combat helicopters, the Z-10 and the Z-19, have also been introduced into service. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full article, on the IISS website.

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The New Air Force Station Thanjavur!

May 29, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

Still in Tokyo, missed posting on this. The Defence Minister inaugurated the spruced up, expanded air force station at Thanjavur in southern India on May 27, a base that could house Su-30MKIs in the future. Sweet. Here's the MoD statement from the event:

 

Defence Minister AK Antony today dedicated to the nation the new air force station at Thanjavur at a brief function held to mark the occasion. Speaking to reporters Antony said the operationalisation of the Air Force Station Thanjavur would strengthen the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force in general and the Southern Command, in particular. He said various sensitive, strategic, industrial, aerospace and economic assets are coming up in the Southern Peninsula and the Station will play a vital role in providing protection to those assets.

 

The event was attended among others by the COSC and the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and the AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Air Marshal RK Jolly. Antony said the Station will also help protect our island territories and Sea Lines of Communication in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR). He said even though we are a peace-loving nation, we have to protect our national interests from threats such as piracy and terrorism. He said the IOR is increasingly becoming more and more active. In the emerging security scenario, the presence of Fighter Planes in Thanjavur will not only guard our interests but also give a feeling of safety to our neighbours, he said.

 

Thanjavur airbase is poised to become a premier airbase in Southern Air Command. The status of the airbase as the pride of Southern Air Command befits the city of Thanjavur, which was a jewel in the crown of the Chola and Pandya Kingdoms. The airbase was first constructed in 1940 by the Royal Air Force. During the period 1942-45, 36 Sqn, 353 Sqn and 60 Sqn of RAF operated from this airfield with Hudson, Wellington 1C, Hurricane and Thunderbolt aircraft. These aircraft were used in various roles which included fighter operations, air transport, anti-shipping and anti-submarine patrol. After independence, the airfield was handed over to the Airports Authority of India and Vayudoot operations were undertaken from this base.

 

By the mid-eighties, a need was felt to build up the country's  air power capabilities in the Southern peninsula to provide Air Defence protection to the high value national assets as well as the island territories.   In addition, there was a growing need felt to protect our maritime trade and the large EEZ in the coming years.  The government, therefore, decided to create Southern Air Command at Trivandrum in 1984 and also gave approval for the formation of 47 Wing at Thanjavur.  The IAF took over the airfield in March 1990.

 

With the modernization and induction of new technology into the IAF, it was but natural to upgrade the infrastructure at Thanjavur to utilise the sophisticated weapon systems in times of need and the works towards it started in real earnest.  This included construction of runway, parallel taxi track and other operational, maintenance and administrative infrastructure to support air operations.

 

The air base is now ready to undertake fighter, transport & helicopter operations and detachments of these aircraft will be planned every year. The  Air Force Station is also slated to house an array of IAF platforms in the future including Su-30 'Air Dominance' Fighter Aircraft, Medium Transport Aircraft, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and a Medium Power Radar on build up of further infrastructure.

 

In the intervening years, this air base has been used extensively for relief operations whenever the southern peninsula was affected by natural calamities.  During the heavy floods in Tamilnadu in November 2008, the IAF helicopters operating from Thanjavur dropped 15,000 kg of relief material in Papanasam, Mulanguri and Pandalenur areas. Earlier, on his arrival at the Thanjavur Station, Shri Antony was presented a guard of honour. He unveiled a Plaque marking the dedication of the Station to the Nation. Two SU-30 MkI aircraft took off from the Station.

 

Speaking on the occasion,  Air Chief Marshal Browne said, in the years ahead, the strategic importance of the Thanjavur Air Base will grow in stature. He thanked the Defence Minister for settling issues relating to the relocation of some villagers for the expansion of the Station.

Su-30MKI photo Livefist

Su-30MKI photo Livefist

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:35
India to Approve Troop Buildup on China Border?

June 1, 2013 By Zachary Keck - Flashpoints

 

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is expected to approve a proposal to deploy 40,000 additional troops along the 4,057-km line of actual control (LAC) that acts as the border between China and India, the Times of India reported Saturday morning.

“The Army has proposed a mountain strike corps, two independent infantry brigades and two independent armored brigades to plug its operational gaps along the entire line of actual control (LAC) with China, as well as to acquire offensive capabilities,” the newspaper report said.

It continued:

“The proposed mountain strike corps, with over 40,000 soldiers and headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal, will for the first time give India the capability to also launch offensive action into Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the event of a Chinese attack.”

The new forces would be part of a larger plan to strengthen India’s defenses along its northern border with China and western border with Pakistan. Between 2009 and 2010, India beefed up its LAC presence by raising two new infantry divisions consisting of 35,000 troops.

The government is also planning on spending around US$4.6 billion building infrastructure on the Indian side of the LAC, and will deploy more mechanized elements and restructure troop formations to achieve greater mobility. The mountain strike corps would be part of India’s goal of having a rapid response force along the border.

The CCS’s approval of the plan will come after the Ministry of Defense (MoD) responds to questions raised by the Ministry of Finance, the Times of India report said. Previously, the MoD had said raising the extra 40,000 troops would cost $14.3 billion, which would be spread across India’s 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) and could even stretch into the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-2022).

Back in March, India’s Defense Minister AK Antony told Parliament the army also intended to raise 30 infantry battalions during the 13th Five Year Plan, although these wouldn’t necessarily be stationed along the LAC. According to The Indian Express, the cost of raising these 30 infantry battalions would be similar to the US$14.3 billion that raising the 40,000 troops for the LAC will cost.  

Indian officials maintain that their decision to beef up forces along the LAC is a response to what they perceive as China’s military modernization in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). In particular, Indian lawmakers and officials have previously expressed alarm with the infrastructure modernization in the TAR, including the construction of five airbases, new rail networks and 58,000 km of new roads.

India’s concern is that the PLA could use this new infrastructure to mobilize large numbers of troops along the LAC more rapidly. According to Indian press accounts, with the new roads and railways the PLA can amass 30,000 troops in around 20 days compared to the 90 days it previously would have taken them.

Although the plan to deploy an additional 40,000 troops along the LAC has been under consideration for some time now, moving forward has taken on a greater sense of urgency for many Indian officials in the wake of the three week standoff along the LAC that began in April.

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Japan Offers To Sell India 2 Shinmaywa US-2 Amphibians

ay 29, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

TOKYO, MAY 29: Japan prohibits itself constitutionally from exporting military equipment, but the country has now offered to sell 2 Shinmaywa US-2 aircraft to India. The Prime Ministers of India and Japan today decided to set up a joint working group to study how India (there were no specifics in their statement, but both the IAF and Indian Navy have stated requirements) can acquire and operate the Shinmaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft. The joint statement issued today by the two leaders said, "They decided to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore modality for the cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft."

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Vikrant-class aircraft carrier. Photo: courtesy of Cochin Shipyard

Vikrant-class aircraft carrier. Photo: courtesy of Cochin Shipyard

30 May 2013 naval-technology.com

 

The Indian Navy is planning to equip its second domestically built Vikrant-class aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, with General Atomics' (GA) new-generation catapult, Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

 

Currently, the Indian Navy is evaluating the EMALS programme for its 65,000t INS Vishal, which is still only a concept, while General Atomics recently briefed on the EMALS to the navy admirals.

 

A senior Indian Naval planner was quoted by Business Standard as saying that the INS Vishal may also feature a catapult assisted takeoff but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) system to support larger and diverse aircraft launch and recover missions.

 

The first ship of the class, INS Vikrant, currently under construction, features a short takeoff but arrested recovery (STOBAR) system.

 

During the meeting, General Atomics stated that the EMALS ships can support launch operations even in still conditions, while STOBAR aircraft carriers should maintain a speed of 20k-30k to generate wind-over-deck to support the mission.

 

An admiral said that the CATOBAR offers more options such as supporting operations of heavier fighters, AEW aircraft and, crucially, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), when compared with STOBAR systems.

"We could greatly expand our mission envelope with UCAVs, using the pilotless aircraft for high-risk reconnaissance and suppression of enemy air defences."

 

A naval planner said: "We could greatly expand our mission envelope with UCAVs, using the pilotless aircraft for high-risk reconnaissance and SEAD (suppression of enemy air defences)."

 

Equipped with six major subsystems. including prime power interface, launch motor, power conversion electronics, launch control, energy storage and energy distribution system, EMALS is also a choice for the US Navy's new aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

 

In addition, EMALS provides reduced manning workload, reduced thermal signature, increased launch availability, reduced topside weight, reduced installed volume and launch capability for unmanned aerial vehicles.

 

Armed with close-in weapon system and OTO Melera 76mm Super Rapid guns, INS Vikrant and INS Vishal are expected to be delivered to the navy by 2017 and early 2020s respectively.

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01 june 2013 Pacific Sentinel

 

SINGAPORE, May 31, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived here today for the first Shangri-La Dialogue he will attend as head of the Pentagon, but he helped to build the first such event as a U.S. senator more than a decade ago, he told reporters traveling with him to the annual conference.
 
“It has developed into a premier and very relevant … institution,” he said about the annual Asia-Pacific security conference. “It becomes more and more important every year, and there is no other event, no other venue, like it.”
 
Hagel left Hawaii, the first leg of his current trip, yesterday and -- 18 time zones later -- is continuing his schedule here, the home of the Shangri-La Dialogue, named for the hotel in which it’s held.
 
Back around 2000, Hagel explained, the current director-general for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, John Chipman, approached him to seek his support for a new regional conference focused on Asia-Pacific security issues. Hagel said the gathering was envisioned as comparable to the annual “Wehrkunde” security conference established in 1958, which allowed Western defense ministers to gather in Munich once a year, outside NATO, and address big security issues.
 
Hagel, then a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, helped Chipman get the congressional support he needed. In 2002, Hagel noted, he attended and spoke at the first Shangri-La Dialogue as head of the U.S. congressional delegation, along with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and he also attended and spoke at the next two annual events, though he hasn’t been back since.
 
“Asia is emerging into this incredible power, with the growth [and] emergence of China, India, Vietnam and other countries, and I was very enthusiastic about the concept,” Hagel said. He added that since the first dialogue, attendance has broadened and deepened to include more nations’ representatives, and more kinds of representatives per nation.
 
For example, he said, there was little to no Chinese or Russian involvement the first few years of the dialogue, though both nations have since participated regularly, and participants of the early events largely were limited to defense ministers.
 
“Now, you’ve got Europeans, you’ve got most of the world powers represented,” Hagel noted, and prime ministers, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and other security experts also attend in greater numbers each year.
 
The secretary will speak at the start of this year’s conference, he said, and will emphasize that while the United States is rebalancing its security strategy, resetting from the longest war in its history and grappling with challenging economic issues, all of those factors converge on this region at this time.
 
“I expect next year, [that convergence] will be even more pronounced,” he added. “This is an important time.”
 
Hagel said he put in a great deal of personal effort and sought input from across and beyond government in crafting the speech he’ll deliver at Shangri-La. The secretary added that he also will take part in a number of bilateral and trilateral meetings while in Singapore.
 
Such meetings don’t allow broad in-depth engagement, Hagel acknowledged, but they allow leaders to share face-to-face focus on certain big issues. “Then, you can usually set something in motion as a follow-up,” he added.
 
“I have always believed … that these kinds of dialogues, these kinds of venues, are critically important,” the secretary said. He noted that as technology becomes more complex and the planet’s population keeps adding billions, “the world’s not going to get any less complicated.”
 
According to the online agenda for the conference, cybersecurity, counterpiracy, counterterrorism, freedom of navigation and disaster relief issues are among those scheduled for discussion at Shangri-La.
 
“We’d better take these moments to start sorting some of this out now,” Hagel said. “[It’s important to] avoid crises, so you won’t find countries in situations that evolve and develop because technology and the astounding rapidity and pace of world affairs result in very limited, if any, margin of error in mistakes.”
 
After his stop in Singapore, Hagel will travel to Brussels, Belgium, for a gathering of defense ministers from NATO and International Security Assistance Force troop-contributing nations.
 
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Le Japon cherche à rassurer ses partenaires asiatiques

1.06.2013 Par Sylvie Kauffmann  -Le Monde.fr

 

Singapour, envoyée spéciale. On attendait Chuck Hagel, dont c'était la première visite en Asie depuis sa nomination à la tête du Pentagone il y a trois mois. Mais la révélation du Shangri-La Dialogue, conférence annuelle sur la sécurité régionale réunie à Singapour, a été son collègue japonais, Itsunori Onodera, dont le discours très habile, samedi 1er juin, a même été salué par un officier chinois.

 

Lire (en édition abonnés) : La pirouette du maire d'Osaka

 

Le ministre japonais a dénoncé les récents propos "déplacés" du maire nationaliste d'Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, qui avait beaucoup choqué en Asie, en particulier en Corée du sud, en déclarant que les "femmes de réconfort" utilisées par l'armée japonaise pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale étaient une "nécessité". "Le Japon a par le passé infligé des souffrances et des préjudices terribles aux populations de nombreux pays, en particulier aux pays d'Asie", a poursuivi M. Onodera. Rappelant les "remords et les excuses" déjà formulés par de précédents gouvernements, le ministre de la défense a souligné que cette ligne était aussi celle du gouvernement de Shinzo Abe.

 

DURCISSEMENT DE LA POLITIQUE EXTÉRIEURE DU JAPON

Deuxième point fort de l'intervention du ministre de la défense : une explication de texte qui s'est voulue rassurante sur le "retour du Japon fort" proclamé par M. Abe depuis son élection en décembre, et dont les accents nationalistes ont suscité pas mal d'interrogations dans la région. Si l'Asie ne peut que se réjouir du retour de la croissance économique au Japon, certains ont craint, en particulier en voyant le budget japonais de la défense augmenter pour la première fois depuis onze ans, que l'"Abenomics" s'accompagne d'un durcissement en politique extérieure. N'ayez pas peur, a lancé en substance le ministre, qui passe pour un modéré dans l'équipe Abe : "un Japon fort jouera un rôle responsable dans la sécurité régionale et exercera fermement le leadership attendu par la communauté internationale".

Le renforcement de sa défense, rendu nécessaire par "un environnement sécuritaire de plus en plus difficile", a-t-il dit, vise à contribuer "à l'amélioration de la paix et de la stabilité régionales" et le Japon s'attachera à éviter les tensions en pratiquant "le dialogue, pas la violence". "L'intérêt national" japonais reste "le maintien et le renforcement de l'ordre international fondé sur les valeurs de liberté, de démocratie et d'Etat de droit". Non, le Japon n'est pas entrain de "virer à droite", il reste "un pays pacifique".

M. Onodera a consacré le reste de son discours au rappel de l'importance de l'alliance avec les Etats-Unis et des vertus du multilatéralisme, en particulier avec les pays d'Asie du sud-est. Le message n'est pas passé inaperçu des responsables militaires chinois présents à la conférence, qui ont parfaitement compris qu'il s'adressait à la Chine, dont les conflits territoriaux avec Tokyo et d'autres pays de la région sont la source de fortes tensions. Un colonel chinois a rendu hommage au mea culpa du ministre japonais sur la deuxième guerre mondiale, mais les deux parties restent en désaccord total sur les îles Senkaku/Diaoyou, où M. Onodera entend "maintenir le statu quo".

 

DISPOSITIF AMÉRICAIN DE "RÉÉQUILIBRAGE" VERS L'ASIE

Organisée par l'IISS (International Institute of Strategic Studies), la conférence avait été ouverte vendredi soir par le premier ministre vietnamien, Nguyen Tan Dung, qui a ouvertement désapprouvé l'attitude de la Chine. Le Vietnam et la Chine ont eux aussi un différend territorial. Rappelant que les deux tiers du commerce mondial transitent par la mer de Chine, M. Tan Dung a averti que "la moindre action irresponsable peut provoquer l'interruption de cet énorme flux commercial, avec des conséquences imprévisibles non seulement pour les économies régionales mais aussi pour le monde entier".

Pour Rory Metcalfe, expert de l'Asie au Lowy Institute à Sydney, le premier ministre vietnamien s'est montré "particulièrement direct" et le "ton très positif" qu'il a adopté sur la réconciliation de son pays avec les Etats-Unis n'aura pas non plus échappé aux Chinois. Chuck Hagel, le secrétaire américain à la défense, n'a d'ailleurs pas manqué de rappeler son passé de vétéran du Vietnam, où il a été blessé et deux fois décoré. M. Hagel a, lui, consacré l'essentiel de son intervention à la description détaillée du dispositif américain de "rééquilibrage" vers l'Asie (on ne dit plus "pivot", dans la terminologie officielle du Pentagone, mais "rebalancing"), une stratégie qu'il décrit comme " diplomatique, économique et culturelle " mais à laquelle il a donné un contenu exclusivement militaire.

Les Etats-Unis s'étaient déjà engagés à baser 60 % de leurs forces navales en Asie-Pacifique d'ici à 2020 ; M. Hagel a révélé que désormais, 60 % de leurs forces aériennes extérieures se trouvaient déjà dans la région Asie-Pacifique. Et quelle que soit la situation budgétaire à Washington, a assuré le chef du Pentagone, les Américains continueront à représenter près de 40 % des dépenses de défense mondiales.

Là encore, une mise en garde a été adressée à la Chine à propos des différends territoriaux : les Etats-Unis "sont fermement opposés à toute tentative de modifier par la force le statu quo" en mer de Chine méridionale ou orientale, a rappelé Chuck Hagel. Le responsable de la défense américaine a directement mis en cause la Chine dans le domaine du cyber-espionnage, en s'inquiétant "de la menace croissante des intrusions informatiques, dont une partie semble liée à l'armée et au gouvernement chinois". Tout en continuant à prôner les vertus du dialogue avec Pékin.

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Agni architect is new DRDO chief

Jun 1, 2013 timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

HYDERABAD: Scientist Avinash Chander, programme director, Agni and chief controller (missiles & strategic systems) has been elevated as scientific advisor to raksha mantri, secretary of department of defence R&D and director general of DRDO from June 1, 2013 for a period of three years. He succeeds Dr V K Saraswat following his superannuation.

 

"I feel honoured on being entrusted with such a responsible position. Dr Saraswat has set a good course for DRDO and I will continue to steer the organization to higher levels," he said after taking charge on Friday.

 

Avinash Chander, an eminent missile scientist, is the chief architect of the long range ballistic missile system Agni. He envisioned and evolved strategies for long range missiles and led the team in the design and development of the Agni missile systems (Agni A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5), thus providing cutting edge and strategic weapon systems to the armed forces. He played a key role in the development of the 5,000 km range Agni-V, propelling India into an elite club of five advanced nations.

 

Avinash Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi. He did MS in spatial information technology from JNTU, Hyderabad. The development of Agni range of missiles under highly restrictive international control regimes was possible due to his technology forecast, perspective planning and relentless efforts.

 

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Saudi Arabian PC-21 – photo Stephan Widmer

Saudi Arabian PC-21 – photo Stephan Widmer

29 May 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

London - Saudi Arabia's first PC-21 trainer has emerged in its future service livery at Pilatus's Stans manufacturing facility in Switzerland.

 

Drawn from a 55-unit order signed in May 2012, Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft 901 has made its first ground engine runs, ahead of a flight debut that is likely to be performed within the next couple of months. Deliveries to the service will start during 2014, as part of a deal including 22 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers.

 

Pilatus's current order book for the PC-21 includes 24 examples to be manufactured for Qatar. The type is already in operational service with the air forces of Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

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Mig-29M2 source info-aviation

Mig-29M2 source info-aviation

MOSCOU, 1er juin - RIA Novosti

 

La Russie entend reprendre les négociations avec la Syrie sur les contrats suspendus de livraison d'armes et les mettre à exécution, l'expédition de premiers lots de chasseurs MiG-29M/M2 étant notamment prévue d'ici fin d'année, rapporte samedi le journal Kommersant.

Selon le quotidien, il s'agit de la réalisation du contrat signé encore en 2007 pour la livraison de 12 avions et suspendu pour des raisons politiques, en attendant la stabilisation de la situation en Syrie déchirée par un conflit sanglant entre régime et opposition.

La Russie relance sa coopération militaire et technique avec Damas, suite à la décision de l'Union européenne de ne plus proroger l'embargo sur les armes pour l'opposition syrienne, écrit Kommersant, en référence à une source proche du dossier.

Jeudi 30 mai, le journal libanais Al-Akhbar a publié des extraits d'une interview du président syrien Bachar el-Assad, où il aurait annoncé que "la Syrie avait reçu un premier lot de missiles sol-air russes S-300". Il s'est avéré par la suite que M.Assad n'avait pas tenu de tels propos, mais a dit simplement que toutes les ententes russo-syriennes étaient respectées à la lettre. 

Washington a qualifié de "provocantes" les fournitures d'armes russes en Syrie.

Les ministres des Affaires étrangères des 27 ne sont pas parvenus à s'entendre sur la levée de l'embargo sur les armes pour les rebelles syriens. Pour éviter une scission au sein de l'UE, la chef de la diplomatie européenne Catherine Ashton a annoncé le droit de chaque Etat membre de prendre sa propre décision à ce sujet.

 

Selon le chef du Foreign Office, William Hague, l'absence de consensus sur la prolongation de l'embargo signifie de facto son abolition.

Le Kremlin a pour sa part estimé que la levée de l'embargo européen risquait de torpiller la préparation de la conférence Genève 2. Selon le chef de la diplomatie russe Sergueï Lavrov, toute livraison d'armes aux anti-Assad sera "illégitime" et "contraire aux normes du droit international".

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Liban : Inspection du commandant de la FINUL à la FCR

01/06/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Le 23 mai 2013, le général italien Paolo Serra, commandant de la Force Intérimaire des Nations Unies au Liban (FINUL), a effectué une visite d’inspection auprès des militaires de la Force Commander Reserve (FCR) sur le camp de Dayr Kifa.

 

C’est dans le cadre d’une visite des bataillons de la FINUL stationnés au Sud Liban que le général italien Paolo Serra, Force Commander (FC) de la FINUL, est venu inspecter la FCR. Reçu par le colonel Christophe Baudouin, commandant la FCR  et chef de corps du 4ème régiment de dragons (4ème RD) de Carpiagne,  le général Serra s'est fait présenter les missions et les capacités opérationnelles de la FCR ainsi que les actions d’entraînement conjointes réalisées avec les Forces Armées Libanaises (FAL).

Liban : Inspection du commandant de la FINUL à la FCR

Cette visite a ensuite été l’occasion de présenter les matériels majeurs de la FCR : le VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger), le VBCI (Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie) et les radars de trajectographie sol-sol Cobra. Enfin, la section sol-air très courte portée (SATCP) a démontré au Force Commander sa capacité à surveiller l’espace aérien de la zone d’opérations de la FINUL. Pour terminer ces présentations, une démonstration conjointe de contrôle de foule lui a permis d’évaluer la parfaite coordination entre soldats français et libanais.

Liban : Inspection du commandant de la FINUL à la FCR

Placée directement sous les ordres du général commandant la FINUL, la FCR, est l’élément d’intervention d’urgence de la force. Elle est en mesure d’intervenir sur court préavis (moins de trois heures) dans tout le Sud Liban, dans le cadre de la résolution 1701. Elle participe à la montée en puissance des FAL au cours d’exercices de patrouille et d’entraînement communs réguliers.

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Agustin Oscar Rossi

Agustin Oscar Rossi

May. 31, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine President Cristina Kirchner reshuffled part of her cabinet late Thursday, appointing new defense and security ministers, her spokesman said.

 

National Deputy Agustin Oscar Rossi, who leads the ruling Front for Victory block in the lower chamber, will replace Arturo Puricelli as defense minister in the surprise move, spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro told reporters.

 

Puricelli, in turn, will replace Security Minister Nilda Garre, who will be nominated as ambassador to the Organization of American States.

 

Kirchner was elected in 2007 and won a second term in 2011 with 54 percent of the vote.

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Gen. Keith Alexander  - US Cyber Chief

Gen. Keith Alexander - US Cyber Chief

May 31, 2013 By Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

The head of the U.S. Cyber Command said that the U.S. military is unprepared for cyber attacks, specifically singling out China.

"What we're seeing in cyber is going to continue and it's going to grow and it's going to get worse," Gen. Keith Alexander, the Pentagon’s top Cyber chief said at a Washington, DC breakfast this week, InsideDefense reported. He added:

"The platform we have today is not defensible. You can't see it, you can't defend it, and I would guarantee you that the adversary could penetrate it. And it'd take us months to find it."

Elaborating on this point, Gen. Alexander said that the military’s current network has 15,000 enclaves, which made it “obviously indefensible.” To remedy this problem, the general advocated that the military adopt a “thin, virtual client that is defensible, a cloud-like architecture. By doing that it collapses that 15,000 enclaves into a defensible perimeter," according to the InsideDefense report.

He also stressed the importance of working more closely with defense companies that have been the target of cyber espionage operations, particularly from China. In addition, Gen. Alexander emphasized that the military and intelligence agencies didn’t to do a better job of creating a unified set of standards to facilitate information sharing and joint operations between different agencies responsible for cyber defense.

According to the report, Gen. Alexander singled out China as a particularly cyber concern. To bolster his argument that hacking operations could enable China to acquire information and technology must more quickly and cheaply than Western companies, he cited the rapid rise of the Chinese telecommunication company Huawei.

"If you look at Huawei and how they've come up so quickly, did they grow all by themselves or did they steal some of the intellectual property that led to it?"

Gen. Alexander’s speech seemed to contradict a statement the Pentagon had made earlier in the week downplaying the U.S. defense industries’ vulnerability to hackers following reports that major U.S. weapon systems had been compromised by Chinese hackers. In the statement, Pentagon spokesperson George Little said:

“We maintain full confidence in our weapons platforms…. The Department of Defense takes the threat of cyber espionage and cyber security very seriously, which is why we have taken a number of steps to increase funding to strengthen our capabilities, harden our networks, and work with the defense industrial base to achieve greater visibility into the threats our industrial partners are facing. Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect.”

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Oshkosh Defense Receives EMD Contract to Develop JLTV - the Future of Light Tactical Vehicles

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Aug. 23, 2012) —  Oshkosh Defense

 

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), a contract for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase.  The JLTV program aims to replace many of the U.S. military’s aged HMMWVs with a lightweight vehicle that offers greater protection, mobility and transportability.

“The JLTV program is critical to supporting our troops who stand in harm’s way and deserve the best equipment that industry can provide,” said John Urias, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Oshkosh Defense.  “The Oshkosh JLTV solution will allow the Army and Marine Corps to provide unprecedented levels of protection and off-road mobility in a light vehicle – so that their troops can accomplish their missions and return home safely.”

JLTV is managed by the Joint U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps program, under the leadership of the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS).  Under the contract, Oshkosh will deliver 22 Oshkosh-designed and manufactured JLTV prototypes within 365 days of contract award, and support government testing and evaluation of the prototypes. 

Since 2006, Oshkosh has invested significantly in independent R&D to develop its JLTV solution.  Oshkosh employed a generational product development approach that aligned to rapidly evolving technical requirements.  As a result, the Oshkosh JLTV delivers the latest automotive technologies, an advanced crew protection system, and a next generation TAK-4i™ independent suspension system to achieve JLTV performance at an affordable price.  The Oshkosh JLTV is fully tested, ready for initial production, and meets or exceeds the requirements of the JLTV program.

“The Oshkosh JLTV solution was designed with a purpose – to keep Warfighters safe on future battlefields with unpredictable terrain, tactics, and threats,” said John Bryant, vice president and general manager of Joint and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense.  “Oshkosh has a 90-year history of delivering high quality military vehicle programs on-time and on-budget, and our JLTV program is no exception.  We understand how critical this light, protected, off-road vehicle will be to Warfighters.” 

The Oshkosh JLTV solution, called the Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle, or L-ATV, offers an advanced crew protection system that has been extensively tested and is proven to optimize crew survivability.  The L-ATV can accept multiple armor configurations, which allows the vehicle to adapt easily to changing operational requirements. The L-ATV also applies the Oshkosh TAK-4i™ intelligent independent-suspension system to provide significantly faster speeds when operating off-road, which can be critical to troops’ safety. 

Oshkosh Defense has an unwavering commitment to the men and women who serve our nation.  Notably, Oshkosh was awarded the M-ATV contract in June 2009 on an urgent needs basis.  Oshkosh ramped up production at a historical pace – delivering 1,000 vehicles per month within six months.  Oshkosh delivered more than 8,700 M-ATVs, most of which were deployed in Afghanistan and are credited for saving thousands of troops’ lives. 

“Oshkosh’s M-ATV is the only vehicle in the combat theater in Afghanistan performing the JLTV’s mission profile,” said Bryant. “We delivered more than 8,700 M-ATV’s on-time and on-budget, and Oshkosh will bring the same level of commitment to the JLTV program.”

More information about the Oshkosh JLTV solution is available at http://www.oshkoshdefense.com/jltv.

 

 

About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical and protected military vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.

 

About Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, TM All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies

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