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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
source centralasiaonline.com

source centralasiaonline.com



April 25, 2013: Strategy Page


Landmines continue to be a nasty problem for many former communist nations. This is especially true of countries in out-of-the-way places that rarely generate many headlines for any reason. A typical case is Tajikistan. One of the northern neighbors of Afghanistan, Tajikistan long had mines on its borders because of communist policies towards free movement (as little as possible). After becoming independent of Russia in the early 1990s Tajikistan went through several years of civil war in which both sides planted thousands of Cold War surplus landmines. Russia helped settle that internal conflict and supplied peacekeepers, who also manned the Afghan border to try and keep the Afghan heroin and hashish out. This involved more new minefields along the Afghan border. There were also some mines planted on the new international borders (with other former parts of the Soviet Union).


While Tajikistan got some foreign aid to help with clearing all those mines, only about 30 percent of the known minefields have been cleared so far. Fortunately the mines tend to be planted in thinly populated areas, so only about 350,000 people live near enough to the mined areas to be in any danger. Thus since 1991 20-30 people a year have been killed by the mines with another 30-40 wounded. Civilians are the most frequent victims of landmines.


Landmines were outlawed by an international treaty 14 years ago, but this mainly applies to nations that don't have landmines or don't have any reason to use them. Rebels and gangsters have not signed the international agreement and find the mines a cheap way to control civilian populations and slow down the movements of the security forces. It takes more time, money, and effort to remove these mines than to place them.


The most effective way to get the mine clearing done is by training local volunteers to be part of the part-time mine clearing teams. The government must provide training, pay (which should be good by local standards), health and life insurance. When a new bunch of mines are found (usually by an animal coming across them), the team gets to work.


Despite efforts like this it has not been a promising time for those seeking to enforce the ban on the use of landmines. In the last few years Israel, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Myanmar (Burma) planted new mines. In addition, there are three countries still manufacturing landmines (India, Myanmar, and Pakistan). Arms dealers will still provide large quantities of Russian and Chinese landmines, many of them Cold War surplus. China, Russia, and other communist nations were major producers of landmines during the Cold War. The mines were produced not just for use against potential enemies but to aid in keeping the borders closed and preventing citizens from leaving these unpleasant dictatorships.


There has been a growing list of outlaw organizations that are ignoring the 1999 Ottawa Convention to ban landmines. The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are manufacturing landmines in primitive workshops and using them against Pakistani, Afghan, and foreign soldiers, as well as Afghan civilians who refuse to support the Islamic terrorist group.


Despite the 1999 treaty, landmines are still causing over 5,000 casualties a year worldwide. About twenty percent of the victims are killed and 90 percent of them are males. This is largely because men are more likely to be out in the bush or working farmlands that still contain mines. A third of the casualties are security personnel (police and soldiers). This is because in many countries rebels and criminals are still using landmines, either factory made ones from countries that did not sign the Ottawa Convention or locally made models.


Landmines are simple to make and workshops are easily set up to do it. There's no shortage of mines out there, despite the fact that in the first few years after the 1999 Ottawa Convention was signed over 25 million landmines, in the arsenals of over fifty nations, were destroyed. But these nations were not users and rarely sold them either. For those who want landmines, they find a way to obtain and use them. The Taliban are the latest group to demonstrate this. Leftist rebels in Colombia have been making their own mines for years now, as have Islamic and communist rebels in the Philippines. There are believed to be over 100 million mines still in the ground and at least as many in military warehouses for future use.


The 1999 Ottawa Convention was supposed to have reduced land mine casualties among civilians. It hasn't worked because the owners of the largest landmine stockpiles, Russia and China, refused to sign. Chinese land mines are still available on the international arms black market. China is believed to have the largest stockpile, mostly of anti-personnel mines. The old ones are often sold before they become worthless. But even these mines, which go for $5-10 each, are too expensive for many of the criminal organizations that buy them. Land mines, competitive with the factory built ones from China, can be built for less than three dollars each. You can find all the technical data you need on the Internet.


Anti-vehicle mines are increasingly popular and are particularly common in poor countries where there are still a lot of dirt roads traveled by buses and trucks, carrying dozens of passengers each. While these mines are usually intended for military vehicles, mines can't tell the difference. As a result, in this year or next, Colombia or Afghanistan will have the largest number of annual mine casualties in the world.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
photo Royal Australian Air Force

photo Royal Australian Air Force


25 April 2013 airforce-technology.com


The Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) A330 multirole tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft has successfully completed tanking trials with Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets at an undisclosed location.


Carried out by Canberra's Aircraft Research and Development Unit in February, the trials involved a total of 87 contacts and the transfer of approximately 76t of fuel through the hose and drogue method, with both aircraft flying within a limited envelope, Flightglobal reported.


Primarily conducted to assess the tanker's wake, drogue stability and the fighter's performance under an array of altitudes, conditions and aircraft configurations, the testing also sets the stage for additional trials that will certify the aircraft to support air-to-air refuelling of Super Hornets worldwide.


RAAF ordered five A330 MRTTs to replace its Boeing 707 tanker transporter fleet in 2005. The last was delivered to the RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in early December 2012.


Designated KC-30A in the RAAF service, the aircraft is a derivative of Airbus A330 civilian airliner, and is scheduled to be operated by the No. 33 Squadron for cover hose-and-drogue refuelling and strategic passenger transport missions.


Equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, a fly-by-wire Airbus Military aerial refuelling boom system (ARBS) and a universal aerial refuelling receptacle slipway installation that enables refuelling from another tanker, the aircraft achieved initial operational capability in February.


Currently undergoing further modification on its refuelling boom and testing to enable refuelling of the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, C-17 Globemaster, and other MRTTs, the aircraft is expected to reach its final operating capability in 2014.


Capable of simultaneously performing aerial refuelling, passenger or freight transport, and medical evacuation missions, the A330 MRTTs have also been ordered by the air forces of Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UK.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
Korea : The South Offers China A Deal


April 25, 2013: Strategy Page


Six weeks of aggressive threats to start a war have come to nothing for North Korea. None of this bluster has produced any needed aid (as in free food or fuel) or offers to reduce the sanctions. No one shows any sign of giving in to this latest barrage of threats. This is a major disappointment for the northern leadership. For over half a century you could always get something useful if you ranted and threatened long enough. The north cannot risk making good on these threats and starting an actual war, as they would lose big. North Korean military planners were taught the “correlation of forces” by their Russian mentors and have calculated the growing strength of the south and the decline of the north. All those smart bombs and combat-proven new tech the south and their allies have would make a mess of the north. But maybe another nuclear or long-range missile test will help.


In the last few days North Korean troops have been seen building fortifications near border crossings. This is unusual because for decades it was assumed any war between north and south would begin with a North Korean invasion of the south. The new fortifications indicate that the north is recognizing the power balance shift and that it is more likely South Korean troops will be moving north if it comes to war.


South Korea has offered to negotiate with North Korea over the recently closed (by North Korea) Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. This put over 50,000 North Koreans out of work and is costing the South Korean companies millions of dollars. The South Korean government has said it will provide help with these losses and wants to see what the North Koreans have to say about putting 50,000 of their own people out of good jobs and making future investment from South Korea less likely because of this nonsense. South Korean who work at the Kaesong Industrial Complex have long been a good source of intel on the north and apparently these sources indicate that it’s not just unemployed workers in Kaesong who are unhappy with their government’s antics. By asking for talks the south is indicating it wants to make it easy for the north to back down and get the Kaesong Industrial Complex and its employees working again.


The out-of-work Kaesong employees say their complaints about their government are not unique to the well-off (relatively speaking) workers at the special economic zone, but are common throughout the north. People are tired of all the propaganda, which is another tool the government uses to get everyone to ignore all the hungry, ill-housed and underemployed people up north. Its bad enough northerners have to hear it all the time, but many are ordered out to perform in public demonstrations of “popular anger at the enemy”. This is annoying and time consuming. It used to be you got a little food for attending these “voluntary” exercises, but the food situation has gotten so bad that the government reserves have been depleted. Everyone was reminded of this during the recent evacuation exercises, when city dwellers moved to rural dispersal sites as they would in wartime to avoid bombing attacks on the cities. The evacuees found that there was no food available for them and as a result the evacuation exercise fell apart as people simply walked away to find food. Only the senior leadership, most of who live in the cities, always has enough food. In the capital (Pyongyang) the government gave most residents several days of food in early April (to celebrate the birthday of founder Kim Il Sung). A few other cities got such distributions but most of the population did not, which only increases the resentment against those pampered government lackeys in the cities (especially the capital). In most of the country, hunger, or the threat of it, is a constant worry. Many of the North Korean soldiers the propaganda declares are “ready for war” are actually, and quite visibly, out helping plant the new crops (as they do every year).


The last six weeks have made it clear to the North Korean leadership that they have lost control of information. News of how the outside world is reacting to all the threats, and how those threats look to the rest of the world, is quickly getting to most North Koreans. The secret police (who monitor public attitudes) are reporting that people have a low opinion of their government and the current threats of war have not changed that. The secret police also point out that a lot of North Korean propaganda, especially the stuff insisting that North Koreans have it better than people of other countries (like China, South Korea and Japan) is considered a bad joke by most North Koreans, and a growing number of them are openly mocking the mandatory lectures and demonstrations they must attend. This is ominous, the fact that the people are losing their fear of retaliation. This is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989 when all the communist governments there collapsed in a few months. North Korean leaders studied that event carefully and concluded that they had their people under control, that the people still feared their leaders. The decline in fear is scary news indeed because North Korea is basically a police state and without lots of fear that sort of government does not work.


The north is buzzing with talk of the April 14th collapse of a large mosaic wall honoring Kim Il Sung in Musan. It was quickly deduced that the mosaic came down because someone had sold off some of the construction materials and the wall was not as strong as it was supposed to be. When a strong enough wind came along, the wall came down. This is the first time a monument to the two previous rulers of North Korea (Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il) was subject to obvious corruption. There are 35,000 statues and monuments like this in North Korea and these representations of the two deceased rulers are considered sacred. It is a big deal that these monuments are now considered fair game by corrupt officials. For true-believers in the North Korean leadership this is a shocking event. For most North Koreans it is kind of expected. The old value system, inculcated by decades of relentless Kim-worshipping propaganda, is collapsing. The government will take action over this. There was a similar collapse of a lesser monument (honoring a lesser hero) in 2005, apparently due to poor design, not corruption. Still, those responsible for that collapse were punished. That will happen this time as well and there will be an official story that does not mention corruption. Since Kim Jong Un came to power he has had over 400 monuments built to honor his father and grandfather. Most of these have been mosaics and there will be inspections to find out if others were built by corrupt officials and are in danger of collapse. Omens like this must be avoided at all costs.


The current crisis (not enough food, fuel or hard currency) has led North Korea to put more pressure on its diplomats to come up with scams to raise cash. North Korean diplomats in Pakistan have, for example, made quite a business selling liquor in a country where sale of alcoholic beverages is very restricted and highly taxed. The North Koreans import name brand stuff and bring it in via diplomatic pouch and sell it freely to anyone who will pay (a price lower than the official price). This is a highly profitable arrangement and the Pakistani government eventually found out. The North Korean diplomats deny everything and keep selling the booze.


The U.S. has told North Korea that it will only resume food aid if the north will allow American officials to monitor the distribution. Food aid was halted in 2009 when North Korea expelled these observers. North Korea had been increasingly selling food aid to raise cash for imports (of weapons and luxury goods for the leadership). The north cannot do this with observers present and refuses to back off on this policy.


April 24, 2013: South Korea and China have established a hot line to handle any crisis in North Korea that would require action by the two countries (war or collapse of the government up there). Despite the huge cost of unification to South Koreans (who have only become affluent in the last 30 years) the idea of uniting Korea is still popular in South Korea. China has reservations about this and the South Korean have been trying to work out an understanding to get China to approve unification. Such a deal is not unprecedented. In the 1950s Austria ended its post-World War II occupation and partition (into allies and Soviet zones) by promising the Russians that it would remain neutral forever (or, as it turned out, until the Soviet Union disappeared) if Soviet troops left. A similar deal is apparently attractive to the Chinese, or at least they are willing to quietly talk about it. South Korea is a major trading partner and any deal that solved the North Korean mess and got U.S. troops out of Korea appeals to many Chinese.


April 23, 2013: North Korea demanded that it receive official recognition as a country equipped with nuclear weapons. The U.S., and most of the rest of the world, dismissed that claim out of hand. As far as anyone can tell North Korean nuclear weapons are crude and, for all practical purposes have not completed development into real weapons. At the same time North Korea has denounced a treaty it signed in 2005 where it agreed to halt nuclear weapons development in return for economic aid. The North Koreans apparently never had any intention of abiding by that deal and now say they will never give up their nukes.


April 21, 2013: North Korea has appealed to Mongolia for food aid. Even before DNA analysis became possible Koreans knew they had links to Mongols and Turks and were quite proud of. The Korean language is related to those of Central Asia (the Ural-Altaic family of languages) not the Han family (Chinese, Tibetan and many others in East Asia). Subsequent DNA studies have confirmed these ethnic links and North Korea is hoping for a handout from Mongolia (which North Korea has long had good relations with).


Iran confirmed that it is in negotiations to sell North Korea oil. This may be just to grab some media attention but the North Koreans may also be looking for some potential alternative source if their only current oil supplier (China) cuts them off or reduces shipments. The Chinese are not happy with North Korea’s self-destructive policies, especially their nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This oil import deal would never be allowed (by the West) to go forward because the North Koreans are broke and the one thing they do have to sell is a workable atomic bomb design. That could pay for a lot of oil, if Iran could deliver it.  


April 19, 2013: The U.S. reminded everyone (especially North Korea) that support for its ally South Korea includes the use, if necessary, of nuclear weapons.


April 18, 2013: North Korea said that it will even start negotiations to defuse tensions in Korea until the world lifted all the sanctions imposed on them. The rest of the world told North Korea that the sanctions won’t be lifted until the north stops its nuclear weapons development program.


April 17, 2013: South Korea has ordered 36 American AH-64 helicopter gunships


April 16, 2013: North Korea threatened to retaliate militarily against South Korea if the South Korean government did not ban anti-North Korean demonstrations in the south. This threat led to more anti-North Korea demonstrations and no reaction from South Korean officials.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
Australia unveils its F-35 JSF 'Iron Bird'


CANBERRA, Australia, April 26 (UPI)


Australia will use a full-scale F-35A Joint Strike Fighter model to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft.


Minister for Defense Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon unveiled the JSF model at the laboratories of the Defense Science and Technology Organization, which will conduct the studies, a statement from the Australian Ministry of Defense said.


The Australian-built model -- called Iron Bird -- will be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of Lockheed Martin's JSF.


"This study is a significant part of ensuring the protection of the JSF against electromagnetic environmental effects such as lightning and static discharge, which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft," Snowdon said during a visit to DSTO laboratories in Adelaide.


Australia's first two F-35As are to be delivered to a training facility in the United States during 2014-15 when Australia starts training JSF pilots and maintenance personnel.


The fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II will replace Australia's McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters and its retired General Dynamics F-111 bombers.


Snowdon said the JSF has sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials, a combination that exposes the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from natural phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions and radar.


"The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed," Snowdon said.


"DSTO has developed world-class expertise in the investigation of electromagnetic radiation impact on aircraft and is engaged directly with the United States JSF Joint Project Office to undertake this study using the Iron Bird model.


"The data captured will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft's capability."


Snowdon said DSTO's research will support verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF, as well as keep maintenance costs down.


The latest estimate of around $90 million per plane has raised concerns among politicians in Canberra about whether Australia can afford to buy the intended 100 F-35 aircraft.


U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, principal executive of the Pentagon's JSF Program Office, addressed the issue of F-35 cost overruns when he met with Australian defense officials at the Avalon air show in Melbourne in February.


Bogdan said his survey of the JSF program had uncovered "ugly" problems with the program but that his office had sought to have Lockheed Martin share the costs of fixing faults and covering delays, The Australian newspaper reported in February.


In the United States, there has been concern over estimates of the jet's weight amid continuing questions about delivery dates and final cost.


Outgoing Executive Vice President and JSF General Manager Tom Burbage was quoted in the U.S. news media as saying the manufacturer miscalculated on the aircraft's weight during its early development.


After spending 12 years fronting the Lockheed Martin F-35 program Burbage retired this month on an optimistic note but far from clear about the aircraft's ultimate cost and delivery schedule.


Burbage was named head of the F-35 program less than three weeks after the company beat Boeing to develop the aircraft. Then valued at $220 billion, the contract aims to build thousands of F-35 for the U.S. military and hundreds more for international partners, Flight International said on its website.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
2 new Army airborne units for deployment near China border


Apr 25, 2013 brahmand.com


NEW DELHI (PTI): Against the backdrop of China strengthening its capability to airlift soldiers, India is planning to raise around 1,500 more airborne troops for deployment in the northeast along the China border.


Under the 12th Defence Plan, India is planning to raise two new battalions of the airborne troops with around 1,500 personnel under the elite Parachute Regiment of the Army, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.


The new raisings would be apparently used to check any move by any adversary to airdrop their troops within Indian territory and capture that area, they said.


The new units would also be used for the conventional roles in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in that area and would also be capable of being dropped behind enemy lines in case of any future war, they said.


Recently, the Army raised the 11 Para (SF) that is being deployed under the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and 3 Corps in Dimapur which are two of the Army's main formations looking after the border with China in the northeast.


The Parachute Regiment has 10 units under it of which eight are Special Forces units while the rest are Para Commando units with capability of launching airborne operations.


Seven among them have already been trained and classified as Special Forces, which are supposed to carry out counter- insurgency operations during peacetime and sabotage enemy installations beyond enemy lines during wars.


They are deployed in different sectors of the country and have also been given the responsibility to handle 26/11 type attacks near their area of deployment.


China in the recent past has significantly enhanced its capability to launch airborne operations and according to some reports, can air lift more than 3,500 soldiers for operational deployment in one go.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
Army seeks round of base closure, realignment for 2015


April 26th, 2013 By Army News Service - defencetalk.com


The Army says a round of base realignment and closure for fiscal year 2015 is necessary to save tax dollars, consolidate resources and adapt to force reductions.


With a smaller total force over the next years — from a high of 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 in 2017 — the Army’s need for facilities will also decrease, said Katherine Hammack, the Army’s assistant secretary for Installations, Energy and Environment.


“The resulting force structure reduction will create excess capacity at several installations,” she testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee, subcommittee on readiness and management support, April 24, 2013.


“With a reduced end-strength and force structure in the United States, now is the time to assess and right-size the supporting infrastructure,” she said.


Hammack said the Army is already downsizing its infrastructure in Europe, and that it is working closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to examine whether there are additional cost-saving opportunities in Europe through joint or multi-service consolidation.


Infrastructure changes in Europe, while important, are not part of base realignment and closure, known as BRAC. The BRAC process — including past rounds of BRAC and any future rounds of BRAC — applies only to installations in the United States.


With a 45 percent reduction in force structure, Hammack said the Army is implementing a 51 percent reduction in infrastructure, a 58 percent reduction in civilian staffing, and a 57 percent reduction in base operating costs.


“A future round of base realignment and closure in the United States is essential to identify excess Army infrastructure and prudently align civilian staffing with reduced uniform force structure, just like we are doing in Europe,” she said.


For fiscal year 2014, the Army requests $2.4 billion for military construction, Army family housing and the Army’s share of the Department of Defense base closure account, said Hammack. She said the request represents a 34 percent decrease from the fiscal year 2013 request.


Hammack said BRAC property conveyance, from prior rounds of BRAC, remains an Army priority.


“Putting excess property back into productive reuse can facilitate job creation, help communities building the local tax base and generate revenue,” she said. “In total, the Army has conveyed almost 78 percent of the total prior BRAC acreage.”


Hammack said the Army also requests $15.2 billion for installation energy and environmental programs, facility sustainment restoration and modernization and base operating support.


“With the fiscal challenges we are facing, the Army has closely reviewed the facility investments to determine the level of resources needed to support the force,” Hammack said. “Supporting the force requires appropriate facilities, training ranges, maintenance and operations. And that’s where we have focused.”


Hammack said the most important aspect of the Army is its human element.


“The Army’s strength is our Soldiers, families and Army civilians who support them,” she said. “They are and will continue to be the centerpiece for the Army.”


John Conger, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for Installations and Environment, testified that a BRAC round is needed for fiscal year 2015, but it must be executed in a careful manner that does not affect the warfighter.


“The department is facing a serious problem created by the tension caused by declining budgets, reductions in force structure, and limited flexibility to adapt our infrastructure accordingly,” he testified.


“Without question, installations are critical components of our ability to fight and win wars,” he said. “However, we need to be cognizant that maintaining more infrastructure than we need taxes other resources that the warfighter needs — from depot maintenance to training to bullets and bombs.”

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
Army scientists scout energy solutions for the battlefield


April 26th, 2013 By Army News Service - defencetalk.com


What if scientists and engineers could scavenge energy for warfighters, like bottom feeders scavenge in the ocean?


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, along with the Army science and technology community, is pursuing novel technology aspects of the Army’s Operational Energy Strategy.


Energy Scavenging is just one way ARL experts are getting more from existing resources, said Dr. Edward Shaffer, who is the Energy and Power Division Chief at the lab. Energy harvesting is critical to realize “net zero” energy use, a key element of the Army’s Operational Energy Strategy.


There are a number of technology areas enabling operational energy, such as energy storage, alternative energy sources, high-density power converters and micro grids that the lab is pursuing.


Department of Defense operational energy is an emerging area being shaped. It is what is required to train, move, and sustain forces, weapons, and equipment for military operations. It accounted for 75 percent of all energy used by DOD in 2009, according to the Energy website for DOD.


It was in May 2011, when the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, Plans and Programs defined an operational energy strategy, and then published Operational Energy for the warfighter, a guide that would transform the way the DOD consumes energy in military operations.


“We want to develop technologies to enable future energy networks for the warfighter,” Shaffer said. “The challenge is to develop something that could be valuable to Soldiers 15 to 20 years from now — based on what we know today.”


A past history of success in areas like electrochemistry is “informing the way forward for other technologies,” he said.


“In the recent past, ARL electrochemists discovered a way to increase the duration of high-energy batteries with an electrolyte additive. Now, other teams are thinking about high-efficiency, miniature power supplies that could give small, unmanned systems bursts of power “on-demand,” Shaffer said.


“Technology is ever changing,” he said.


The basic research at the laboratory now will help the Army to be better in the next conflict, said John Carroll, action officer for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Power and Energy Technology Focus Team. “The fuel challenge won’t go away. We have to fix it.”


Shaffer originated the concept of Smart Battlefield Energy on-Demand, or SmartBED.


“SmartBED is one way we think Soldiers would be able to link up to the power they need. It will ultimately bring complex pieces together — generator, solar systems and energy storage — in a flexible, resilient way into an energy network,” said Carroll, who retired from the Navy as a nuclear propulsion engineer before coming to ARL.


“The essence of SmartBED is being able to get energy seamlessly when and where it is needed, but yet not wasting it,” Shaffer said. “Currently, we waste energy and it limits availability because often a single power source is tied directly to a single load.”


We want Soldiers to plug into the energy they need to keep their sources, batteries and devices topped off, yet drawing energy only as needed,” Shaffer said. “SmartBED is designed to improve energy capacity for Soldiers while they are at base camp or otherwise on the move.”


Shaffer has a wide view of the energy needs across Army, DOD and interagency forums that explore complimentary ways of addressing energy and power technology gaps and reduce duplicated efforts, including the DOD Energy and Power Community of Interest and the Interagency Advanced Power Group that includes agencies like the Department of Energy and NASA.


These communities are comprised of scientists, engineers, subject matter experts, technologists and program managers with a common interest in promoting innovative energy and power solutions for the nation.


“One of the good things is to be able to see the flow of technology and communicate at each level,” Carroll said. “We come together as a science and technology community and see what investments are necessary to better get Program Executive Offices and Program Managers the operational energy tools they need when they need it.”


The Army acknowledges energy and power challenges to its operational energy concept and strategy, beyond technological improvement — there are cultural, policy and procedural concerns that leaders are addressing.


There are ongoing research initiatives within the Army to explore alternatives and technology improvements in order to offset long-standing issues, like delivering large amounts of JP8 to the front lines, Carroll said.


The good news is that within and beyond the Army there are partners that are finding solutions and pushing technologies ahead together more smartly, he said.


At ARL, the future is a seamless energy architecture that begins with concepts like SmartBED, Long-lived Power and Fuel-Reforming for better energy convergence.


ARL will share a series of four stories that focus on far-reaching concepts of the Army operational energy strategy. The next article in the series will focus on Smart BED. Scientists and engineers at ARL forecast solutions that empower and protect Soldiers into the future with a portfolio of basic and applied science.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
Death Rattler


April 25, 2013: Strategy Page


PACIFIC OCEAN (April 23, 2013) An F/A-18C Hornet from the Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 begins its ascent after being launched off the catapult of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 recently left San Diego for a deployment to the western Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Bartlett)

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
 photo Canadian Forces

photo Canadian Forces


April 25, 2013.  David Pugliese - Defence Watch


News release from L-3:


TORONTO, Ontario, April 25, 2013 – L-3 Electronic System Services (ESS), avionics prime contractor for the CP-140 Optimized Weapon System Support effort, has successfully implemented Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) data transmission capability on a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora aircraft. Unlike conventional line-of-sight transmissions, BLOS enables non-line-of-sight transmissions over challenging geographical terrain, such as that found in the Canadian High Arctic.

On January 31, 2013, the BLOS-capable CP-140 did what other RCAF aircraft have not been able to achieve to date. The aircraft streamed live video from just below 80°N latitude to 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia, covering a distance of nearly 4,000 kilometers. BLOS represents a significant enhancement to RCAF ISR capabilities and situational awareness, as well as Canada’s ability to conduct operations in its arctic region.

L-3 ESS is a supplier of integrated logistics and system support services, providing OEM and third-party MRO for a variety of avionics, inertial navigation systems, radars, cockpit displays and other systems. L-3 ESS aftermarket services include integrated and performance-based logistics support, logistics management, supply chain management and technical services for air, land and naval platforms.

L-3 ESS is a division of the L-3 Aviation Products (AP) sector. L-3 AP is a leading provider of commercial and military avionics with unsurpassed performance, quality and customer support. L-3 AP manufactures a diverse line of safety- and efficiency-enhancing products that sets the standard for next-generation requirements, including configurable voice and data recorders, collision avoidance systems, navigation products, display systems and processors. L-3 AP also offers aftermarket services, including MRO and integrated performance-based logistics for military and commercial systems.


To learn more about L-3 Aviation Products

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
EADS North America Delivers 250th On-Time, On-Budget UH-72A Lakota Helicopter to US Army


Apr 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company


    Combined Lakota Fleet Passes 150,000 Flight Hours, Maintains 90% Availability


The U.S. Army has fielded the 250th UH-72A Lakota helicopter delivered to Army and National Guard units by EADS North America since 2006. Every Lakota -- including an additional five produced for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School -- has been delivered on time and on budget, by an American workforce that is more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans.


The combined Lakota fleet's operations have now exceeded 150,000 flight hours, while maintaining greater than 90 percent availability. The Lakota is the Army's newest helicopter, with the lowest cost to fly, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production.


The Lakota is manufactured at EADS North America's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.


"In today's budget environment, the Pentagon needs programs that deliver what's been promised, and we're proud to have worked with the Army to field this capability unfailingly on schedule and on cost," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.


Army Lt. Col. David Cheney, the UH-72A Product Manager, stated, "The UH-72A Lakota helicopter program continues on schedule, within budget and is serving the Soldier very well. The success of this aircraft and program is a testament to EADS North America's team's determination to provide the best support for the Army and homeland security missions."


The 250th Army Lakota will be operated out of Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma National Guard. It is the latest of 54 Lakotas delivered with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package, which expands the Lakota's capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations.


The S&S configuration includes a moving map, EO/IR sensor, digital video recording capability, digital and analog downlink, and a searchlight. Army National Guard units across the country currently operate Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP, including extensive operations along the U.S. southwest border for border security and drug interdiction.


A combination of full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the active Army and hybrid CLS for the Army National Guard enables the units to operate the Lakota in accordance with their flying hour plan. The Army program office, military units, and the industry team of EADS North America, American Eurocopter and Helicopter Support International has provided tailored program logistics to the Army and Army National Guard since 2006.


The Lakota fleet has averaged an operational availability rate greater than 90 percent for locations with full contractor logistics support, encompassing 21 different military units. Spare parts fill rate under the hybrid CLS concept supporting 33 units has averaged 97 percent.


The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program, and was one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army's history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to combat missions.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
F-35 Office Sees Improved Relations With Contractor


Apr. 25, 2013 - by AARON MEHTA – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The head of the F-35 Joint Program Office told Congress that the program is continuing to improve, in part because of turnover at primary contractor Lockheed Martin.


Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan was testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee Airland subcommittee when he was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to elaborate on previous statements the general had made about the relationship between his office and contractors Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney.


“My intention was to put [the contractors] on notice,” Bogdan told McCain. “I needed to make sure that they were committed in the long term to reducing costs in this program, and at the time when I made that comment I was not so sure. Doing business with both companies has been difficult and is getting better. I was seeing behaviors in which I thought over the next 30 or 40 years were not sustainable for us or either one of those industry partners.


Read more

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
A KC-135R refuels an F-15 Eagle photo USAF

A KC-135R refuels an F-15 Eagle photo USAF

April 25, 2013.  David Pugliese - Defence Watch

This is written by Jet Fabara (yes Jet) of 412th Test Wing Public Affairs:


Known as “The Mighty War Wagon” of the Air Force, the KC-135 Stratotanker has proven to be the core aerial refueling capability for the Air Force for more than 50 years.

With the help of the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards, along with a multitude of testers, the KC-135 Block 45 test team recently completed a series of tests in April to help extend the aircraft’s service life for decades.


“There are currently 419 KC-135s and 59 KC-10s that enhance the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of Global Reach while providing aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. These aircraft also provide mission support including cargo, aeromedical evacuation, personnel transport, and a variety of other specialized missions,” said Maj. John Mikal, 418th FLTS KC-135 Block 45 lead project test pilot. “Increasing the life expectancy of the current Air Force tanker fleet is critical. Ongoing upgrade programs help to ensure there is no gap in these mission capabilities, while the new KC-46 program starts replacing the aging KC-135 fleet.”




As part of the KC-135 Block 45 upgrades, Mikal said they included a digital flight director, a radar altimeter, an electronic engine instrument display, and Automatic Flight Control System or Autopilot for Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements in order to maintain global airspace access.


“Maintenance sustainability was another item that was looked at, which addresses the need to deal with parts that are obsolete, since no one makes the old parts anymore,” said Mikal.


“Commercial off-the-shelf equipment or systems will be used to replace the existing analog flight director, radio altimeter, autopilot, and 21 cockpit engine instruments with newer digital technology equipment that will be integrated into the existing avionics.”


According to Mikal, the new upgrades will ensure:

  • the extension and improvement of mission capability and sustainability of the KC-135 fleet
  • the new digital avionics technology integrated into the legacy system will increase safety, efficiency and reliability
  • effective replacement of obsolete components
  • the KC-135 meets current and future CNS/ATM requirements, allowing unrestricted operations in commercial and military airspace throughout the world.


“The Block 45 modification was needed to extend the KC-135 aircraft as a viable weapon system through fiscal year 2040,” added Mikal. “The Block 45 systems mitigate capability gaps and improve overall KC-135 shortcomings in reliability, maintainability and supportability.”


At the initial start of the KC-135 Block 45 program, it was originally estimated that testing would end in March 2011, but the technical challenge of integrating the new digital systems proved to be very challenging, according to the test team.


“It took an amazing amount of ingenuity and hard work by the collective KC-135 Block 45 upgrade team, due to the program experiencing a two-month stop in test in early 2012 to determine the cause of a structural coupling event which occurred during flight test,” Mikal said. “While clearing the aerial refueling envelope, the performance of the new autopilot altitude hold was so good, re-adjustment was required to improve stability during aerial refueling coupled flight.”


Along with the 418th, the massive, multi-year undertaking required support from more than 90 members to overcome technical hurdles and prevent the very real threat of program cancellation. Of those included, individuals were acquired from the 412th Test Wing, 412th Operations Group, 412th Test and Engineering Group, 773rd Test Squadron, 775th Test Squadron, 370th Flight Test Squadron, 445th Flight Test Squadron, the KC-135 Special Programs Office, Rockwell Collins, Air Mobility Command Test and Evaluation Squadron Detachment 3, AMC Air, Space and Information Operations (A3), and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.


“There were only two KC-135 aircrew in the 418th FLTS when the program started. Eventually, the 418th FLTS KC-135 aircrew numbered four; even so, Test Operations was largely instrumental in supporting the program with their KC-135 aircrew,” said Mikal.

Most notably though was the Edwards team, which was able to complete the final testing $200,000 below cost and three weeks ahead of new schedule through extremely efficient testing and test execution flexibility despite regular scope changes, priority changes, funding rebaseline, weather cancellations, maintenance issues, resource rescheduling/constraints, and the ultimate challenge of addressing the AR oscillation issue with no additional schedule or funding impacts.


“In the end, the Global Reach Combined Test Force test team proved to be a pivotal contributor, bringing this challenged program to a successful completion,” added Mikal. “Successful completion of this program has secured the opportunity to field Block 45 to the KC-135 fleet, while preventing the otherwise inevitable reduction in overall mission effectiveness due to avionics obsolescence and CNS/ATM airspace access issues. Without the KC-135 Block 45, 88-percent of the USAF tanker assets would eventually be unable to complete their mission.”


It is currently estimated that the first 179 KC-46 aircraft will be delivered by 2028

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 10:55
La France vend 2,1% d'EADS pour 707 millions d'euros


26 avril 2013, Usinenouvelle.com (Reuters)


BOURSE  L'Etat français a annoncé, vendredi 26 avril, avoir cédé environ 17,6 millions d'actions, représentant près de 2,1% du capital du groupe d'aérospatiale et de défense, pour 707 millions d'euros, dans le cadre de la réorganisation du capital du groupe.


La France, qui a récolté 1,19 milliard d'euros à la suite de deux cessions de participations consécutives, a ramené ses droits de vote dans la maison-mère d'Airbus à 12%, conformément à l'accord passé le 5 décembre par les principaux actionnaires du groupe, précise le ministère de l'Economie et des Finances dans un communiqué.


Des traders ont indiqué à Reuters qu'UBS avait été chargé de vendre 2,1% du capital d'EADS pour un prix final de 40,10 euros par titre, contre 40,20 euros initialement évoqué.


EADS, qui opère sa transformation la plus spectaculaire depuis sa création en 2000, a abandonné l'imbroglio passé de son actionnariat, la France et l'Allemagne ne devant plus détenir chacun que 12% du capital, l'Espagne 4% et son flottant devant être porté d'environ 50% à 72% du capital.


"Faisant suite à la cession par Sogepa à EADS le 16 avril dernier d'environ 13 millions d'actions EADS pour un montant de 483 millions d'euros, dans le cadre du programme de rachat d'actions mis en oeuvre par la société, cette opération a ramené la participation de Sogepa à 12% des droits de vote", indique précise le ministère de l'Economie et des Finances.


EADS n'a souhaité faire aucun commentaire.


La transaction de ce jour a toutefois été réalisée à un prix supérieur de 7,4% par rapport à l'opération de mi-avril, qui portait sur 1,56% du capital et s'était déroulée à 37,35 euros par action.


Le mois d'avril a également été marqué par les sorties de Daimler et de Lagardère du capital d'EADS.


"La sortie des actionnaires historiques touche désormais à sa fin avec la cession par l'Etat français des derniers titres non pactés. A ce jour, seulement 1,2% du capital pouvant être cédé librement reste encore dans les mains des Etats français et espagnols", commente dans une note Oddo Securities.


"Toutefois, compte tenu des mouvements récents, nous pensons que ces cessions seront décalées dans le temps. De l'autre côté, EADS conserve encore la capacité de racheter environ 6,1% de son capital (l'équivalent de 22 jours de bourse) ce qui soutiendra le cours dans les prochaines semaines", ajoute le broker.


En Bourse, l'action EADS recule de 1,62% à 39,99 euros vers 10h00 dans des volumes représentant déjà 51% de ceux réalisés en moyenne sur une séance complète au cours des trois derniers mois. Au même moment, l'indice CAC 40 lâche 0,56%.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 10:45
Crédits ECPAD

Crédits ECPAD


26.04.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Jean-Yves Le Drian est au Mali (Bamako et Gao) depuis hier soir, avant des étapes au Niger et au Tchad, et un retour dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi. Avant son départ, il m'a accordé un entretien pour faire le point sur l’opération Serval et préciser quel sera le dispositif militaire français à l’avenir. Cette interview est parue dans Ouest-France ce matin.


Les objectifs fixés sont en passe d’être d’atteints. Et maintenant ?


Nous avons mené les dernières opérations dans le Nord-Ouest ces jours derniers ; il reste quelques poches à surveiller mais le territoire malien a été entièrement fouillé. Nous avons toutes les raisons d’être fiers de l’action menée dont la qualité a permis de renforcer l’influence française dans le monde. Nous pouvons aussi être fiers de la réactivité de nos forces et du commandement, et de leur lucidité tactique. Désormais nous préparons le passage de la force africaine, la Misma, à la future force onusienne, la Munisma dont le siège sera à Gao. Le déploiement de cette force de Casques bleus à partir de juillet, pour qu’elle soit opérationnelle en septembre, permettra au Mali de retrouver son fonctionnement normal.


Mille Français à la fin de l’année. Pour quelles missions ?


Nous commençons notre retrait ; Il se fait de manière pragmatique et progressive. Il s’adapte aux évolutions de la situation. A la fin de l’année nous maintiendrons un millier de soldats français sur place. 150 hommes affectés la Minusma, soit à l’état-major soit auprès des unités; 150 autres qui travailleront dans la mission européenne de formation de l’armée malienne. Le reste, soit environ 700 militaires, restera sur le territoire malien pour s’assurer que les groupes terroristes ne se reconstituent pas et pour assurer un soutien opérationnel à la force de stabilisation qui pourrait avoir besoin d’une force d’intervention. Les forces prépositionnées à Ouagadougou, Niamey et N’Djamena pourront aussi contribuer à cette dernière mission et contribuer au renseignement et à l’aéromobilité.


Après le temps du combat, qu’est-ce qui va démarrer?


Le temps est venu de la démocratie et de la reconstitution d’un État fiable. Ceci passe par d’une élection présidentielle qui aura lieu en juillet, c’est indispensable. Le Mali a besoin d’un président élu, qui soit complètement légitimé. Cela passe aussi par la réconciliation, par la mise en place d’une Commission du dialogue et de la réconciliation, pour que le Mali retrouve l’espoir d’un avenir serein. Nous passons désormais d’une action purement militaire à une action triple : militaire, diplomatique et politique. L’après-guerre a bien commencé.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

Istres, France,  25 April 2013 EADS.com


Eurocopter’s ability to integrate unmanned flight capabilities into its helicopter family has been validated by an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) demonstration program, which used an EC145 to fly routes that included deployment of an external sling load and a representative observation mission.


Conducted at the French Air Force base in Istres, France, this program was revealed today with an unmanned demonstration, which followed similar flights performed earlier in April.


With this capability fully validated, Eurocopter is now positioned to pursue OPV flight capabilities for its product line of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopters – enabling these rotorcraft to be flown by pilots or in an unmanned mode.


“Eurocopter innovation is once again expanding the mission capabilities of helicopters, and we are ready to apply the proven optionally piloted vehicle competence in meeting customers’ needs,” explained Eurocopter Chief Technical Officer Jean-Brice Dumont. “This latest achievement results from our company’s expertise in flight control and autopilot systems, human-machine interface, system architecture and integration.”


Today’s unmanned demonstration – along with the previous flights– used a four-dimensional flight plan that was uploaded to the helicopter, with its starting and completion points situated on the Istres Air Force Base’s Runway 15/33. After an automatic takeoff, the EC145 flew the circuit via multiple pre-programmed waypoints, during which the helicopter performed a mid-route hover to deploy a load from the external sling. The EC145 continued on a return route segment representing a typical observation mission, followed by an automatic landing.


For delivery of the external load, the helicopter entered a planned hover – enabling the ground station controller to provide flight control inputs in orienting the EC145 over the drop point. The ground controller then transmitted a command to release load once the helicopter and load were correctly positioned.


The OPV flight capability was developed in an internally-funded Eurocopter program, and was coordinated by a team at the company’s Donauwörth, Germany facility. Initial tests with a monitoring pilot aboard the EC145 were flown from Donauwörth and then at Istres.

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

The EC145 demonstrator is a Eurocopter testbed helicopter with an enhanced dual-duplex four-axis automatic flight control system (AFCS) and the latest navigation systems. In addition, the helicopter is fitted with the “plug-in” OPV avionics rack in its cabin behind the pilot seats, which contains the data link subsystems.


Visibility during the EC145’s unmanned flights was provided to the ground station via onboard cameras. They were complemented by an external gimbaled camera on the helicopter for infrared and daylight mission imaging.


Eurocopter’s OPV system was configured to enable uploading of the four-dimensional flight plans to the helicopter via data link from the ground station. The system included an automatic hover-to-land capability in case of major system degradation.


Follow this event on http://press.eurocopter.com/en/gallery/aflight


About Eurocopter


Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 38 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
Au cœur du futur Pentagone à la française

Le nouveau ministère de la Défense sera situé entre le périphérique et le tramway T3.


25/04/2013 Par Nicolas Theodet, Service infographie du Figaro


INFOGRAPHIE - À Paris, dans le XVe arrondissement, le ministère de la Défense sera terminé en 2015. Visite guidée.


À Balard, dans le XVe arrondissement de Paris, que l'on passe sur le périphérique ou le long du tramway T3, on aperçoit une douzaine de grues qui montent vers le ciel sur le chantier du Pentagone à la française. Lancé en 2007 par Hervé Morin, alors ministre de la Défense, ce projet a débuté en 2009. Cette année, il prend sa vitesse de croisière. «Le chantier sera normalement fini dans les délais, pour 2015», promet Christian Lasne, directeur du projet. Pour accélérer les travaux, le chantier utilise un système appelé «Top and Down», dans le jargon des travaux publics. «Cela signifie que nous construisons les sous-sols en même temps que les parties supérieures», précise le directeur du projet.


En moyenne, plus de 1000 personnes travaillent sur le chantier, dont 670 pour le bâtiment central, le cœur du nouveau ministère. «Le chantier fonctionne 24 heures/24», explique le directeur. Avec une logistique considérable. «Chaque jour, ce sont en moyenne 300 camions qui livrent les parties d'éléments préfabriqués. Il faut donc tout programmer pour ne pas être surchargé et éviter les embouteillages sur le chantier», poursuit Christian Lasne. Les étapes s'enchaînent rapidement et les premières parties de la façade seront visibles dès le mois de juillet. Afin de passer à la vitesse supérieure, le chantier sera en pleine production à l'automne 2013, et accueillera plus de 2000 travailleurs, ce qui représentera le plus gros chantier de Paris intra-muros. Des effectifs à la hauteur de l'ampleur du projet, qui s'étend sur pas moins de 16,5 hectares.


Les premiers employés emménagent à la fin du mois


Au cœur du futur Pentagone à la française

Situées entre le périphérique qui longe l'Aquaboulevard et la ligne de tramway T3, seules deux gigantesques tours à l'Est des travaux se détachent des échafaudages. Ces deux tours, appelées temporairement A et F, et qui s'élèvent au-dessus de la cité de l'air - qui regroupe l'état-major de l'armée de l'air - sont déjà terminées. Depuis avril 2012, la tour F accueille même des logements militaires. Les premiers employés vont ainsi pouvoir investir les 50.000 m² de bureaux dès la fin du mois. Mais le chantier de la parcelle Est est loin d'être achevé. De la porte de Sèvres à la rue de la Porte-d'Issy, les 8,5 hectares de cette partie sont encore au commencement de leur réhabilitation. Un bâtiment de 12.000 m² a été détruit et sera reconstruit le long de l'avenue de la Porte-de-Sèvres, une dizaine de bâtiments de 110.000 m² sont en cours de rénovation, tandis qu'une dizaine d'autres sont en phase de désamiantage avant leurs destructions complètes qui laisseront place à plus de 2,5 hectares d'espaces verts.


Passage côté Ouest du chantier. Pour l'instant, le Pentagone proprement dit est encore en gestation. Difficile de croire qu'il contiendra le cœur du ministère de la Défense d'ici à 2015. On devine l'ébauche du bâtiment grâce au rez-de-chaussée, totalement terminé depuis la fin du mois de mars. Et même à certains endroits, les chantiers des parties Nord et Sud, qui longent le périphérique et le boulevard Général-Valin, montrent à quoi ressemblera le premier étage. Mais il faudra encore deux ans pour que 130.000 m² de bureaux couvrent les cinq hectares de la parcelle le long du tramway.


Toujours dans cette partie Ouest, le seul bloc encore debout et qui se démarque du reste du chantier est celui des frères Perret, construit de 1929 à 1932, qui occupe l'angle du boulevard Victor et de l'avenue de la Porte-de-Sèvres. Classé monument historique, il ne pouvait être détruit. Bientôt il regroupera près de 17.000 m² de bureaux et l'entrée principale du ministère du côté de l'avenue de la Porte-de-Sèvres. L'intérieur est malgré tout en rénovation totale et un toit métallique sera posé dessus, dans un souci d'uniformité.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
Mali : l'opération a coûté 200 millions d'euros


25/04/2013 JDD


L'opération militaire française au Mali a coûté plus de 200 millions d'euros depuis son lancement, le 11 janvier, a indiqué jeudi le ministère de la Défense. Le surcoût de l'opération Serval pour le budget de l'Etat est estimé à 91 millions d'euros pour le transport stratégique, notamment l'acheminement d'environ 4.500 soldats français dans le pays. S'y ajoutent 55 millions d'euros pour le paiement des soldes des militaires au titre des opérations extérieures (Opex) et 59 millions de dépenses de fonctionnement, de munitions ou de carburants. Soit un total "de l'ordre de 200 millions d'euros", a souligné le porte-parole adjoint de la Défense, le général Martin Klotz


Les frais liés au transport stratégique ont été les plus importants durant les premières semaines de l'opération et se sont stabilisés ensuite, a-t-il précisé. De même, le coût lié aux soldes des militaires est appelé à diminuer avec la réduction amorcée des effectifs. Le nombre de militaires français actuellement au Mali est d'environ 3.850.


Contrairement à d'autres nations, la France calcule le "surcoût" de ses opérations extérieures pour le budget de l'Etat. C'est-à-dire ce que les opérations ont coûté, en soldes ou en heures de vol des appareils, par rapport au budget prévu si ces opérations n'avaient pas eu lieu. Des crédits - d'un montant de 630 millions d'euros pour 2013 - sont prévus dans le budget de la Défense pour financer les opérations extérieures. Si le surcoût dépasse cette somme, le gouvernement débloque des crédits supplémentaires.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55

Footage: Jean-François BRAMARD (GoPro, ground camera) & Evert CLOETENS (Cineflex) Editing: Leslie SINOPOLI ©EUROCOPTER, April 2013


25/04/2013 Par lefigaro.fr (AFP)


Ce nouveau système sans pilote pourra être proposé en option pour n'importe quel appareil de série du fabricant.


C'est une première européenne. Eurocopter a fait voler en public aujourd'hui un de ses appareils, un EC145, sans aucun pilote à bord, une innovation technologique pour le constructeur d'hélicoptères.


L'appareil a décollé à 14H15 de la base militaire d'Istres (sud-est de la France). Il a atterri, sans encombres, près de 40 minutes plus tard. Au sol, une «station» guidait le déroulement du vol. D'environ quatre tonnes, ce biturbine est habituellement utilisé par la gendarmerie nationale et la sécurité civile.


Le programme, baptisé «AFlight», a été lancé secrètement en septembre 2011. Deux tout premiers vols d'essais loin des regards avaient eu lieu avant celui d'aujourd'hui, a révélé Roland Gassenmayer, directeur du projet.


«Nous avons ouvert une nouveau chapitre de notre histoire», a commenté Jean-Brice Dumont, directeur du programme Recherche et Développement, estimant que le système développé par Eurocopter était unique en son genre, l'appareil pouvant être utilisé soit en mode pilote, soit en mode sans pilote.


Utilisé sans pilote, il est capable de changer de route en cours de vol. Ce nouveau système de véhicules sans pilote pourra être proposé en option pour n'importe quel appareil de série du fabricant.


Le coût de développement d'AFlight, «purement confidentiel», n'a pas été dévoilé mais M. Dumont a souligné qu'il avait été entièrement autofinancé par Eurocopter, filiale du groupe européen de défense et d'aéronautique EADS.


25 avril 2013 Eurocopter

Eurocopter launched in early April a series of flights for a new rotary-wing solution that will expand the mission capabilities of Eurocopter helicopters. The optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) program, which was conducted at the French Air Force base in Istres, France, was revealed on April 25 during a demonstration flight.

This unmanned demonstration -- similar to the previous flights-- used a four-dimensional flight plan that was uploaded to the helicopter. After an automatic takeoff, the EC145 flew the circuit via multiple pre-programmed waypoints, during which the helicopter performed a mid-route hover to deploy a load from the external sling. The EC145 continued on a return route segment representing a typical observation mission, followed by an automatic landing. Visibility during the EC145's unmanned flights was provided to the ground station via onboard cameras.

With this capability fully validated, Eurocopter is now positioned to pursue OPV flight capabilities for its product line of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopters -- enabling these rotorcraft to be flown by pilots or in an unmanned mode.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:45
Mali's Tuareg rebels reject elections, disarming before talks


25 April 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)


Mali's Tuareg separatist rebels dismissed French calls to disarm ahead of July elections on Wednesday saying they would fight to the death if Malian troops entered areas under its control, underscoring the challenge of unifying the West African state.


Mahamadou Djeri Maiga, the group's vice-president and chief negotiator, said Paris had a moral obligation to force the interim Malian government to the negotiating table to flesh out a deal that would create a framework for autonomy in the north and provide international guarantees.


"Have you ever seen a group disarm before negotiations take place?" Maiga told Reuters.


The restless Tuaregs have launched successive revolts since Mali gained independence from France in 1960, alleging neglect and mistreatment by the black-led central government in Bamako.


Despite French pressure, there are no signs in Bamako of talks starting between the government and the MNLA separatists, made up primarily of Tuaregs. Malian officials have said they want to restore their control over the northern region.


An announced visit to the Tuareg stronghold of Kidal by Mali's Prime Minister Diango Cissoko was this month postponed indefinitely.


"Holding elections just when the Malian army is threatening to enter Kidal is not realistic," said Maiga. "It's a war that is imminent not elections. If France allows the Malian army to attack us in Kidal, then we will defend ourselves to the death."


The MNLA had seized control of north Mali, which it calls Azawad, in an April 2012 uprising. It was quickly pushed aside by better-armed Islamist rebels, including al Qaeda's North African wing AQIM, sparking fears the region would become a launch pad for attacks on the West.


A three-month French-led campaign intervention broke Islamist dominance of northern Mali, sweeping their forces into desert and mountain hideaways, but Paris has now started to withdraw troops as it looks to hand over to U.N. peacekeeping forces by July.


French President Francois Hollande has demanded the presidential and legislative elections go ahead as planned. French diplomatic sources say the MNLA must now disarm and become a political party.


"France knows our position. We will not accept disarming without a consensus between us and the Malian government. We have to be shown what we will get tomorrow and who will guarantee it," Maiga said in Paris where he was meeting parliamentarians.


"France is running Mali," he said. "It must put pressure on Bamako."


Analysts have warned that a botched election could sow the seeds of further unrest and north-south conflict in the landlocked former French colony.


Hundreds of thousands of Malians have been displaced by the fighting and the north remains vulnerable to guerrilla-style counter attacks, despite the presence of thousands of African troops under the AFISMA banner. This is expected to become the backbone for a proposed 11,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission.


Highlighting the tensions, a senior government official in Bamako, said he had little faith in the MNLA.


"If they don't disarm by the elections then we'll have to go in and sort them out.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:45
An M1 Abrams firing during African Lion 2011

An M1 Abrams firing during African Lion 2011


25 April 2013 by defenceWeb


The United States and Morocco yesterday resumed their annual African Lion military exercise, but on a much smaller scale following its earlier cancellation due to a spat over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.


US embassy spokesman Rodney Ford told Agence France Presse that the Moroccan government had asked the United States to resume African Lion. "Most of our forces had already redeployed. But some elements are still on the ground. So we are conducting modified limited military engagements," he said yesterday.


Some of the activities taking place as part of African Lion include aerial refuelling, aerial training and various workshops.


African Lion was originally scheduled to begin on April 17 and conclude on April 27, but was cancelled on the 16th because of Moroccan anger with the Obama administration over its support for having the United Nations monitor human rights in a territorial dispute over the territory of Western Sahara.


“The Moroccan government has deferred the exercise to a later date,” said Tom Saunders, an Africom spokesman, in a statement last week. “The US and Moroccan militaries remain long-standing partners. We hope to continue to build our partnership through future military engagements with the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, as directed by US Africa Command and the United States Government.”


This week the US dropped its demand that rights monitoring be included in the mandate of the UN mission in the Western Sahara, with the resolution merely to encourage stronger efforts on human rights, AFP said.


Morocco occupied the desert region in 1976 unleashing a decades-long guerrilla struggle by the indigenous Polisario Front group, which ended with a UN ceasefire agreement in 1991. Since then talks between the two sides have remained stalemated, with Polisario insisting on an independence referendum and Morocco proposing autonomy for the mineral-rich former Spanish colony.


African Lion 2013 was set to involve 1 400 US personnel, 900 Moroccan troops and foreign observers. Earlier this month, the US Military Sealift Command’s USNS Dahl, a cargo transport vessel, pulled into a Moroccan port to deliver more than 250 short tons of equipment for the exercise. Marines disembarked everything from 7-ton trucks, Humvees and howitzers to Meals, Ready to Eat. Much of that equipment was reloaded and redeployed.


African Lion usually involves live-fire and manoeuvring exercises, amphibious operations and aerial refuelling and low-level flight training.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:45
Un général brésilien de l'ONU en RDC


25 avril, 2013 – BBC Afrique


L’ONU a nommé un général brésilien à la tête de la force de maintien de la paix de l’ONU en République démocratique du Congo, la Monusco.


Le général Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, connu pour avoir pacifié un bidonville à Haïti, dirigera une force de 20.000 hommes, dont la nouvelle brigade d’intervention de la Monusco, une force offensive de 2.500 hommes chargée de “neutraliser et desarmer” les groupes armés dans l’est de la RDC.


C’est la première fois que l’ONU a accordé un mandat offensif à ses troupes de maintien de la paix. La Monusco avait été largement critiquée pour son inefficacité.


La nouvelle brigade offensive de l’ONU en RDC sera composée essentiellement de soldats de Tanzanie, du Malawi, de Mozambique et d’Afrique du Sud, et devrait être déployée en juillet.


Le général Santos Cruz a déclaré à la BBC que ses troupes seraient entraînées pour prendre en compte les civils et la propriété privée en RDC.


“Je suis prêt à affronter les scénarios les plus difficiles. Le principal objectif est de soulager les souffrances de la population.”


Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz est l’ancien commandant de la mission de l’ONU à Haïti, qui avait bataillé pendant un an en 2007 pour reprendre le contrôle de l’immense bidonville de la Cité Soleil à Haïti. Ensuite, il avait pris sa retraite.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Le ministère chinois de la Défense nationale confirme le voyage en haute mer du porte-avions


2013-04-25  xinhua


Le premier porte-avions chinois, baptisé Liaoning, est prêt à larguer les amarres pour un voyage en haute mer.


Quand et où partira le porte-avions sera décidé en fonction des conditions générales, a indiqué Yang Yujun, porte-parole du ministère chinois de la défense nationale, lors d'une conférence de presse.


Song Xue, chef d'état-major adjoint de la Marine de l'Armée populaire de Libération (APL, armée chinoise), a indiqué mardi que la Chine se doterait de plus d'un porte-avions.


Lors d'une cérémonie tenue à Beijing pour célébrer le 64e anniversaire de la fondation de la Marine de l'APL, M. Song a révélé que "le prochain porte-avions serait plus large et capable de transporter davantage d'avions de chasse".


M. Song a également réfuté certains reportages étrangers selon lesquels la Chine construisait de nouveaux porte-avions à Shanghai, déclarant que de tels reportages étaient inexacts.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
La Chine annonce un deuxième porte-avions, plus grand que le premier


25/04/2013 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45eNord


Nouveau pas dans la construction de la puissance navale chinoise, le numéro deux de la Marine populaire de l’Armée de Libération (APL), Song Hue, a déclaré cette semaine que «la Chine aura plus d’un porte-avions», rapporte l’agence officielle chinoise Chine Nouvelles.


Song Hue a déclaré, lors d’une cérémonie pour célébrer le 64e anniversaire de la fondation de la Marine à Pékin, en présence d’attachés militaires étrangers, que «le prochain porte-avions dont nous avons besoin sera plus grand et pourra transporter plus de combattants».


Actuellement, la Chine opère un porte-avions, le Liaoning, qui a été construit sur la base d’une coque inachevée de fabrication russe et livré à la Marine le 25 septembre 2012.


Le Liaoning, doit effectuer sa première campagne en haute mer d’ici un an.


L’amiral Song a aussi rappelé que le Liaoning n’appartient pas à l’une des trois flottes de la Marine, mais qu’il est placé sous le commandement direct du quartier général de la Marine.


Le Liaoning a une cylindrée totale de plus de 50 000 tonnes et peut accueillir 30 aéronefs. Le prochain porte-avions, toujours selon l’amiral chinois, devrait en accueillir davantage.


Song Hue a également déclaré que la Marine chinoise est à bâtir une force aérienne navale et qu’il il y aura bientôt au moins deux régiments d’aviation à bord du Liaoning, y compris des chasseurs, des avions de reconnaissance, des avions anti-sous-marins, des avions de contre-mesures électroniques (ECM) et des hélicoptères.


Le numéro deux de la marine chinoise dit également que les futurs groupes de porte-avions comprendront aussi des destroyers, des frégates, des sous-marins et des navires de ravitaillement.


Plus de mille entreprises chinoises auraient participé à la construction et au réaménagement du Liaoning.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Afghanistan : l’Inspection des armées en Afghanistan


25/04/2013 Sources : EMA


Du 22 au 26 avril 2013, une délégation de l’inspection des armées (IDA) conduite par le vice amiral Carlier, adjoint à l’inspecteur des armées, est venue inspecter les forces françaises déployées en Afghanistan.


Les inspecteurs de l’IDA remplissent des missions d’étude,d’information et d’inspection en matière de doctrine générale d'emploi et d'organisation. En se rendant sur sa dernière inspection en Afghanistan, la délégation de l’IDA est allée à la rencontre des militaires sur le terrain chargés du désengagement. Ceci afin d’évaluer au plus près les difficultés rencontrées par les logisticiens dans cette manœuvre délicate.


La délégation s’est notamment rendue sur l’aéroport international de Kaboul (KAIA) dont le commandement de la structure militaire est armé par la France. Les éléments français initialement stationnés à Warehouse devront s’y regrouper d’ici à la fin du mois de juin.


Après s’être entretenue avec les médecins et les infirmiers de l’hôpital médico-chirurgical ou RÔLE 3, la délégation s’est rendue au camp Phoenix où sont regroupés les instructeurs de la mission EPIDOTE en charge de la formation de l’armée afghane.Une table ronde réalisée auprès des militaires français insérés au sein du quartier général de l’International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) est venu clôturer l’inspection.


Près de 1100 militaires français participent à l’opération PAMIR.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Domestic Firms Allowed in India Gun Contest


Apr. 25, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI  - Defense News


NEW DELHI — For the first time, domestic private sector defense companies will be allowed to compete alongside foreign companies in the forthcoming 155mm/52-caliber mounted gun tender, expected to be floated in the next two to three months.


Before, only overseas original equipment manufacturers could participate in the tender, according to the categorization of the program.


The Defence Ministry allowed the participation of domestic defense firms after those companies demanded that the ministry change the categorization of the competition from “Buy and Make Global” to “Buy Global.” The designation allows domestic companies to compete.


Under “Buy and Make Global,” only overseas companies can participate, with the requirement that those companies transfer technology to the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board.


The Indian Army will now issue a global tender for 814 mounted guns, to include domestic companies Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Forge. Overseas companies include Nexter of France, Rosoboronexport of Russia, Israel Aerospace Industries, BAE Systems of the UK and General Dynamics of the US.


An executive at Tata Power SED said they have not been told of the decision yet by the MoD, but added that his firm can manufacture all 814 in Bangalore .


In January, the private domestic companies demanded to be considered for future 155mm gun projects, estimated to be worth more than US $3 billion.


Domestic private sector companies will also be allowed to compete for the upgrade of Russian-made 130mm M-46 field artillery guns into 155mm guns, an MoD source said.


Late last year, Tata Power SED claimed that it had developed a 155mm/52-caliber mounted gun with 52 percent indigenous elements.


“Overseas Content of the gun is 48 percent and comprises technology taken for the barrel, breech and muzzle brake,” a company executive told Defense News. The indigenous content includes the 8x8 truck, platform, outrigger assembly, complete hydraulic system, fire control system, system integration and testing.


Private sector majors L&T and Bharat Forge have tied up with overseas defense companies to make the 155mm/52-caliber gun in India. State-owned Defense Research and Development Organisation is also developing its homegrown towed Howitzer gun.


A senior L&T executive said the company had tied up with Samsung for the wheeled artillery guns and with Nexter for making mounted and towed artillery guns in India

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