Overblog
Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
BAE Recovery Vehicles to Receive Upgrades

Apr 25, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC

 

    HERCULES is the improved recovery system of choice for today's 70-ton combat vehicles

 

BAE Systems received a $28.7 million contract to upgrade 11 M88A1 Medium Recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) configuration.

 

“The M88A2 is able to hoist and tow twice the weight than that of an M88A1, including an M1 Abrams tank, and is an essential component in helping our Armed Forces to fulfill successful recovery missions,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager or Armored Combat Systems at BAE Systems. “This contract demonstrates the continued need to invest in the HERCULES and shows the Army’s commitment to the irreplaceable role it serves.”

 

The M88A2 HERCULES offers operational and logistics commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, which provides simplified training and parts availability benefits to the end-user. Key upgrades for the HERCULES include: improved power-assisted braking, steering, winching, hoisting, and increased horsepower. HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, answering the need for cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery performance. The M88A2 provides unparalleled capability for recovering today’s 70-ton combat vehicles including the M1A1, M1A2, Leopard MBT, bridging systems, and other medium weight vehicles.

 

The upgrade work will be performed by the existing workforce at BAE Systems operations in York, Pennsylvania and Aiken, South Carolina. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command with deliveries to conclude in March 2014. The award brings the total value of U.S. Government contracts that BAE Systems has been awarded on the HERCULES program to $2.1 billion. To date, 575 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall U.S. Army requirement of 632 vehicles, and a total of 84 vehicles have been fielded to the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

The M88 plays a critical role the company’s campaign to maintain the Bradley Industrial Base by protecting the affordability of the Army’s combat vehicles. BAE Systems’ York facility is responsible for four of the five U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) vehicles, including the Bradley and the M88. In addition to proposing that Congress provide base level investment in critical combat vehicle improvements, BAE Systems is working with the Army to secure increased funding for the M88 program to help carry the workload at the facility.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 10:55

24 avril 2013   Air&Cosmos

 

Altitude 23 000 pieds, cap 180, vitesse Mach 0,9, ce missile air-air Mica EM (Fox 3) accélère quasi instantanément jusqu'à Mach 3 pour atteindre une cible « Mirach » quelques dizaines de nautiques plus au sud. Remerciements : Apache Aviation.

Bref moment figé par le photographe d'Air & Cosmos lors d'un tir d'entraînement de la flottille 12F de l'aéronautique navale au large de Biscarosse le 17 avril 2013. Cette photo Air & Cosmos n'aurait pu être réalisée sans l'aide de MBDA, de la Marine nationale et de Nikon.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 10:55
Mirage 2000 D de l'escadron 3/3 "Ardennes"

Mirage 2000 D de l'escadron 3/3 "Ardennes"

25/04/2013 Armée de l'air

 

L’escadron de chasse 3/3 «Ardennes» a organisé, du mercredi 17 au vendredi 19 avril 2013, Ardennex, exercice d’entraînement des forces aériennes.

 

Conduit et dirigé depuis la base aérienne 133 de Nancy, en coopération étroite avec le commandement des forces aériennes (CFA) et le commandement de la défense aérienne et des opérations aériennes (CDAOA), Ardennex est le fruit d’une préparation minutieuse. «La préparation a débuté en octobre 2012, détaille le lieutenant Bruno K, navigateur officier systèmes d’armes et principal organisateur de l’exercice. Nous avons travaillé pendant plusieurs mois afin d’obtenir l’ensemble des autorisations de survol nécessaires à un tel entraînement.» Afin de respecter la règlementation du temps de paix, une zone d’exercice temporaire a été créée, au-dessus d’un large quart nord-est de la France.

 

L’objectif de cet entraînement, qui met en scène les Blue Forces (forces amies) et les Red Forces (forces ennemies), est d’exercer les unités aériennes à d’importantes missions d’Air Interdiction (pénétrations en territoire hostile qui sont en général le thème principal des exercices internationaux auxquels participent les escadrons), dans un environnement aussi réaliste que possible, en optimisant les ressources disponibles tant au sol (escadrons sol-air, moyens du polygone de guerre électronique) qu’en vol. «Nous nous entraînons quotidiennement aux diverses missions d’appui aérien rapproché, mais nous avons également besoin de nous exercer à l’Air Interdiction en métropole», explique le lieutenant K.

Mirage 2000D en vol

Mirage 2000D en vol

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 08:42
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

 

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

 

Le chiffre d'affaires de Dassault Aviation a chuté de 30% au premier trimestre, en raison d'une moindre activité de sa principale branche, l'aviation d'affaires, mais le constructeur aéronautique maintient ses prévisions pour 2013.

 

De janvier à mars, le chiffre d'affaires s'est élevé à 662 millions d'euros contre 950 millions un an plus tôt. Pour autant, le groupe prévoit toujours de livrer cette année "environ" 70 Falcon et 11 avions de combat Rafale. Il estime également, comme précédemment, que le chiffre d'affaires 2013 "devrait être supérieur à celui de 2012", selon un communiqué.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
Benoît Neel, président du Simtec

Benoît Neel, président du Simtec

 

24/4/2013 Pascal Coutance, ElectroniqueS

 

Les chiffres du Simtec, le syndicat français de la profession, montrent que derrière une croissance de 5,1% des chiffres d'affaires cumulés de ses membres en 2012, se cachent des disparités.

 

Lors d'une conférence de presse donnée hier 23 avril, le Simtec (Syndicat de l'instrumentation de mesure, du test et de la conversion d'énergie) a indiqué que le marché français du test et de la mesure a connu une croissance de 5,1% en 2012, pour atteindre 333,1 millions d'euros. C'est la 3è année consécutive de hausse après celles de 9,4% en 2011 et de 7,2% en 2010. Rappelons ici que ces chiffres correspondent aux ventes annuelles cumulées des adhérents du Simtec qui ont bien voulu répondre à l'enquête du syndicat et qui représentent environ 80 % du marché français du test et de la mesure.

 

"Ce résultat globalement positif tient au fait que l'activité de nos membres s'exerce principalement sur trois segments de marchés qui continuent à être bien orientés en France, à savoir l'aéronautique et la défense, les radiocommunications et le haut débit et enfin la recherche", précise Benoît Neel, président du Simtec (photo).

 

En revanche, la contribution du secteur automobile au marché du test et de la mesure a baissé en 2012. Toutefois, la baisse a été moins importante que l'on aurait pu croire, les équipementiers automobiles continuant à avoir une activité soutenue, notamment grâce à leurs exportations.

 

Enfin, dans le domaine des équipements industriels, des disparités se font jour entre les orientations positives constatées du côté de l'industriel ou du nucléaire, la stabilité de la contribution du ferroviaire et les difficultés rencontrées dans les domaines des énergies renouvelables et des semi-conducteurs.

 

Pour 2013, même si certains secteurs d'activités comme les radiocommunications vont continuer à tirer le marché avec le déploiement de la 4G/LTE notamment, le Simtec se contente d'"espérer une stabilité du marché compte tenu du manque de visibilité actuel", selon les termes de M. Neel. Le point positif reste que le secteur du test et de la mesure est transversal et se comporte généralement mieux que la moyenne du marché de l'industrie électronique dans son ensemble.

Nous reviendrons plus en détails sur les résultats du Simtec dans le numéro de mai de notre revue ElectroniqueS.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
Premier pas vers la création d'un grand groupement unifié de l'électronique française

24/4/2013 Jacques Marouani, ElectroniqueS

 

Pour être plus forts, les deux syndicats qui représentent les fabricants de composants, le Sitelesc et le Gixel, ont acté leur processus de fusion, l'objectif étant de concrétiser ce rapprochement d'ici la fin de l'année 2013. D'autres syndicats pourraient les rejoindre en 2014.

 

Hier soir 23 avril, six grands syndicats de la filière électronique, le Sitelesc (semi-conducteurs), le Gixel (composants passifs et sous-systèmes), le Simtec (instrumentation électronique), le GFIE (founisseurs d'équipements et de consommables), le SPDEI (distribution) et le Snese (sous-traitance), se sont retrouvés à la Maison de la Mutualité pour tenir leurs assemblées générales respectives et pour matérialiser leur engagement commun à agir ensemble pour une meilleure reconnaissance de l'industrie électronique française.

 

La journée s'est terminée par une conférence commune du groupement "Agir pour l'industrie électronique" (APIE) que les six syndicats ont constitué dès l'année dernière. Cette conférence a souligné principalement la nécessité pour ces six syndicats de parler d'une même voix à leurs interlocuteurs, notamment leurs clients intégrateurs et les pouvoirs publics. "APIE, c'est d'abord un pôle qui a une vision d'avenir, ce groupement représente un secteur ayant un fort potentiel de croissance. Contrairement à beaucoup d'idées reçues, nous devons convaincre que l'électronique française n'est pas morte. Sans électronique, pas de numérique, sans électronique, sur quoi reposerait Internet ? Sur de l'air ?", questionne Jean-Pierre Quemard, président du Gixel.

 

Aussi, APIE souhaite-t-il faire comprendre que l'électronique est essentielle à l'économie numérique, et par voie de conséquence, à l'économie toute entière. Pour cela, le groupement insiste sur la nécessité de continuer à produire en Europe et de disposer de compétences suffisantes pour continuer à embaucher, alors que les jeunes se désintéressent de plus en plus de l'électronique en particulier et des métiers de l'industrie en général. Il convient donc d'engager des actions pour y remédier. Et de manière collégiale afin d'être mieux entendu !

 

Le Sitelesc et le Gixel devraient être rejoints par d'autres syndicats

 

Pour être plus forts, les deux syndicats qui représentent les fabricants de composants, le Sitelesc et le Gixel, ont acté leur processus de fusion, l'objectif étant de concrétiser ce rapprochement d'ici la fin de l'année 2013. "Ce premier regroupement restera ouvert à d'autres syndicats et il faut s'attendre à ce que d'autres organisations professionnelles de l'initiative APIE nous rejoignent en 2014", nous a précisé l'un des artisans du rapprochement Sitelesc-Gixel. De là à imaginer, à moyen terme, un regroupement de l'ensemble des six syndicats impliqués dans APIE, il n'y a qu'un pas que certains dirigeants n'hésitent pas franchir.

Reste à passer de nombreuses démarches administratives et surtout à convaincre les adhérents de chacune des organisations professionnelles qu'un tel groupement est essentiel pour que l'électronique française s'en sorte face à la concurrence mondiale. La fusion du Sitelesc et du Gixel, amorcé il y a un an, ne devrait se concrétiser finalement que dans six mois. "Nous sommes face aux mêmes démarches que dans le cadre d'une fusion de deux sociétés", nous a confié l'un des promoteurs de la fusion Sitelesc-Gixel.

 

Nous reviendrons en détail sur cette première conférence APIE, avec de larges extraits des discours des présidents des six syndicats du groupement dans le numéro de mai de notre magazine "ElectroniqueS".

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
La marine chinoise en escale à Toulon

23 avril 2013 Var Matin

 

Trois navires de la marine nationale chinoise font escale, ce mardi matin, dans la rade de Toulon.

 

Une grande cérémonie d'accueil a été organisée par l'ambassade, qui a convié quelque 300 ressortissants chinois installés en France.

 

Accueilli au son de la la musique des équipages de la flotte de Toulon et sous les cris de la foule qui agitait des drapeaux dans tous les sens, l'équipage reste à quai pour cinq jours.

 

Toulon est la dernière escale d'une campagne de lutte anti-piraterie débutée il y a quatre mois par les trois navires de l'armée populaire de libération chinoise.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
Fin du grand carénage du sous-marin espagnol Mistral

 

24 avril 2013 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Le chantier naval Navantia de Carthagène a remis à l’eau le sous-marin espagnol Mistral, après avoir terminé 80% des travaux de grand carénage. Sa livraison à la marine espagnole est prévue pour le mois de septembre. Il sera alors prêt à naviguer pendant 5 ans de plus.

 

Pendant le grand carénage, les équipements du sous-marin sont démontés et changés pour ceux qui sont en mauvais état.

 

Le Mistral est resté en cale sèche le temps nécessaire à la vérification des plus de 15.000 équipements du sous-marin. Sa coque épaisse a été mise à nu et intégralement vérifiée. Le grand carénage a duré environ 18 mois et a apporté du travail à près de 200 techniciens du chantier et de sous-traitants.

 

Une fois remis à l’eau, le Mistral restera amarré au quai du chantier, où le chantier accomplira les 20% de travaux restants. Il s’agit de terminer le montage des équipements et la réalisation des essais à quai et en mer.

 

Référence : MurciaEconomía (Espagne)

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
UK MoD Confirms A400M, UAV Cost Overruns

April 23, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: House of commons; posted April 23, 2013)

 

The House of Commons Hansard (official bulletin) has published the following ministerial answer:

 

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which projects being delivered for his Department by (a) Babcock, (b) Boeing, (c) Cobham, (d) the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, (e) Finmeccanica, (f) General Dynamics, (g) Kelloggs-Brown-Root, (h) Lockheed Martin (i) Marshall Aerospace, (j) Northrup Grumman, (k) Rolls-Royce, (l) Thales and (m) Ultra Electronics are running over budget; and by how much in each case. [128063]

 

Substantive answer from Mr Dunne to Angus Robertson:

 

I am writing in full response to the answer I gave on 26 November 2012, Official Report, column 22W, regarding the question you asked about Ministry of Defence (MOD) projects being delivered by a list of named companies that are running over budget.

 

The following table details the three projects being delivered by those named contractors that are currently assessed as running over budget.

 

Contractor/Project name/Cost variation as at March 2013 (£ million)

-- Airbus Ltd (EADS): A400M: +£770 million

-- Northrop Grumman: Sentry Mode S Identification Friend or Foe: +£6 million

-- Thales UK Ltd: Watchkeeper: +£57 million

 

For the purpose of answering this question, my officials have examined all Category A-D equipment acquisition projects, but limited to those showing a variance of more than £1 million against their approval costs, 50% confidence figure. It is also limited to those projects where the named company is listed as the prime contractor or where projects are being delivered by subsidiaries of the named companies. It does not include support projects. This was necessary to avoid significantly exceeding the disproportionate cost threshold limit for answering parliamentary questions.

 

This approach means that there are some differences between the above table and the list provided to you in my answer of 6 November 2012, Official Report, column 519W, for example the inclusion of the A400M supplied by Airbus Ltd. as a subsidiary of EADS. The differences are due to the filters placed upon the data as explained above, as well as the passage of time.

 

It should be noted that the cost variation quoted is assessed against MOD project approval figures, which represent the total MOD costs for any particular project. They therefore do not necessarily reflect contractual obligations. Project performance can be affected by a number of reasons, not all of which are in the contractor's control.

 

I apologise for the time it has taken to get this information to you but its compilation has involved a significant amount of work and there was also a need to consult the companies concerned.

 

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above figures are the same as those reported in January by the UK National Audit Office, i.e. a cost overrun of £770 million on the A400M, despite the number of aircraft having been reduced from 25 to 22, and a slippage of 73 months compared to the original schedule. The first A400M is due to be delivered (to France) in May 2013, and the first Royal Air Force aircraft is due in 2015.

As for Watchkeeper UAV, MoD was quoted by Flightglobal as having acknowledged that one-third of the planned 54-aircraft fleet had been delivered, plus 9 of 15 planned ground stations. It said MoD declined to state where the aircraft are being held, while “prime contractor Thales UK didn't respond to requests to comment.”)

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance

Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance

 

April 24, 2013: telegraph.co.uk

 

The first of the UK's two new aircraft carriers - The Queen Elizabeth - takes shape at Rosyth. The ship, which will have a displacement of 65,000 tons, is the largest warship ever to be built in the UK. She is so big that she is being built in blocks at dockyards around Britain and then assembled in dry dock in Rosyth. Two ships of the class are being built - the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales

 

More pictures

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011

RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011

 

April 24, 2013 By Think Defence

 

So we know the RAF Puma helicopters are currently being upgraded (and you can argue the value for money of that endlessly) but at some point, they will have to be withdrawn.

 

Depending on what life extension we can expect from the makeover they are currently getting (planned out to 2025) a replacement is eventually required.

 

The cynic would suggest at the end of the Puma era the UK will have Wildcat, Merlin and Chinook as the three main rotary wing platforms and we will be lucky at that so first question is, do we actually need a Puma replacement?

 

One of our regular commenters (thanks Paul G) reminded me about the Agusta Westland AW 189 (it coming into service on the new SAR contract) and wondered if the MoD would be able to leverage the support arrangements from that sizeable fleet.

 

With the contractual framework I am sure it would be complex but with a bit of joined up thinking, who knows.

 

By the time the Puma goes out of service the competitive landscape will be very different today, the US search for a Blackhawk replacement may well have concluded, the various X designs on both sides of the Atlantic might have matured, the NH90 will have limped into service and the strategic, political and economic picture might be equally different.

 

All the UK Chinooks will have been upgraded by then by JULIUS, Wildcat will have been in service some time, the Merlin HM2 upgrade will have been completed and maybe by then, the Merlin HC3′s will have been fully marinised and transferred to the CHF.

 

Loads of what ifs but the first question is, do we need to be looking for a Puma replacement now, something in the 8-9 tonne category, 12-16 seats and about 4 or 5 tonne lift?

 

This is an off the cuff post, apologies for not thinking through any answers but instead, just asking a question.

 

Have a few nice videos to oil the discussion wheels!

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50

25 April 2013 Defense Studies

 

Eight of the SAF's Leopard 2SG MBTs and four of the Bundeswehr's Leopard 2A6 MBTs were involved in the joint live-firing exercise at the NATO-Bergen Training Area, Germany  (all photos : Sing Mindef)

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops participating in Exercise Panzer Strike at the NATO-Bergen Training Area, Germany, on 23 April 2013.

During his visit, Dr Ng was briefed on the conduct of the exercise and witnessed a successful bilateral live-firing involving the 2nd Company of the 48th Battalion of the Singapore Armoured Regiment and their German counterparts from the Bundeswehr's 33rd Panzer Battalion. Both armies had been engaged in rigorous training and exchange of pointers in the lead-up to the joint exercise, which involved the execution of tactical manoeuvres.
 


Speaking to the servicemen at the visit, Dr Ng emphasised the importance of overseas training in providing realistic and challenging training opportunities for the SAF to hone its operational readiness and extended his appreciation to them for their professionalism and dedication. Giving his thoughts on the exercise, Dr Ng said, "I think all servicemen recognise and realise that they have to optimise these very precious training resources. It makes a big difference for them, they know that that once they have done this, they are very confident that they can fire accurately on the move and they are confident as a crew. I think that is something they have achieved that cannot be taken away from them - that they feel very confident of themselves."

 


Exercise Panzer Strike is the fifth in the series and has included a bilateral live-firing component for the second consecutive year. It will involve more than 1300 armour personnel, 14 Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tanks and 11 Bionix I Infantry Fighting Vehicles. These training opportunities in Germany have helped build up the professionalism and capabilities of the SAF Armour. Due to a recent agreement, SAF Armour will now be able to double their training time in Germany.

(Sing Mindef)

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
submarino Tramontana (S 74) de la Clase Galerna

submarino Tramontana (S 74) de la Clase Galerna

 

24 avril 2013 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Le sous-marin espagnol Tramontana ne subira pas de grand carénage. La marine espagnole maintenait le doute, ne sachant pas si son budget le lui permettrait. Finalement, le sous-marin n’entrera pas en cale sèche cette année. Jusqu’en 2016, année prévue pour l’entrée en service des nouveaux sous-marins S-80, l’Espagne ne disposera plus que de 2 sous-marins.

 

Selon des sources militaires et industrielles, il n’est pas prévu d’envoyer le sous-marin Tramontana en grand carénage, qui permettrait de prolonger sa durée de vie opérationnelle. Le sous-marin pourrait donc être désarmé, comme ce fut le cas pour le Siroco au printemps dernier.

 

En novembre dernier, le ministère de la défense avait tenté de trouver des budgets supplémentaires afin de « sauver » le Tramontana. Cet argent aurait pu provenir de la vente à l’étranger de matériels désarmés. Cependant, aucune vente n’a été réalisée et le ministère n’a pas trouvé les quelques 30 millions € nécessaires à la réalisation du grand carénage.

 

Référence : El Confidencial Digital (Espagne)

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:45
LtCdr Saint Sernin awarded the the rank and dignity of Knight of the National Order of 27th of June by Djiboutian Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed

LtCdr Saint Sernin awarded the the rank and dignity of Knight of the National Order of 27th of June by Djiboutian Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed

 

April 23, 2013 - EUNAVFOR

 

On Saturday 6 April Djiboutian Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed graciously awarded Lieutenant Commander Luc de Saint Sernin (French Navy) the rank and dignity of Knight of the National Order of 27th of June for his outstanding service and assistance given to the Djiboutian Authorities during his time as the European Union Naval Force Liaison Officer for Operation Atalanta based in Djibouti.

 

Operation Atalanta is the EU’s counter piracy mission off the Horn of Africa and Djibouti is a key partner and logistic hub for EU Naval Force warships in the region.

 

Raising him to the rank of Knight of the National Order of the 27th of June, Prime Minister congratulated Lieutenant-Commander de Saint Sernin for the quality of service he gave to the Djiboutian government in general and to the Coast Guard Corps in particular.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:45
Marines from Task Force African Lion 13 and servicemembers from Joint Task Force-Port Opening, U.S. Transportation Command, begin the offload of vehicles and equipment to support Exercise African Lion 13 in the Port of Agadir, Morocco, on April 6. (Sgt. Tatum Vayavananda / Marine Corps)

Marines from Task Force African Lion 13 and servicemembers from Joint Task Force-Port Opening, U.S. Transportation Command, begin the offload of vehicles and equipment to support Exercise African Lion 13 in the Port of Agadir, Morocco, on April 6. (Sgt. Tatum Vayavananda / Marine Corps)

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

RABAT — US-Morocco war games, cancelled by Rabat over a Washington-backed plan for the UN's Western Sahara mission, have resumed on a smaller scale after a compromise was reached, the US embassy said Wednesday.

 

"The Moroccan government did ask us (in the past 48 hours) if we could resume African Lion," embassy spokesman Rodney Ford told AFP.

 

"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.

 

Aerial training, refuelling and workshops were among the resumed activities, he added.

 

The US army was to conduct the "African Lion 2013" joint military exercises with Morocco from April 7-27, involving 1,400 personnel from US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and 900 members of the Moroccan armed forces.

 

But it began withdrawing troops and equipment last week amid disagreement over a plan to broaden the Western Sahara peacekeeping force's mandate to include rights monitoring in the disputed territory and in Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria.

 

The US proposal triggered a furious lobbying campaign by Morocco, which called off the war games in a clear sign of Rabat's displeasure.

 

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

 

The Security Council resolution on the UN peacekeeping force is to be voted on Thursday.

 

Giving the force a rights monitoring role is something human rights groups and the pro-independence Polisario Front have been advocating for years in the face of repeated allegations of torture of Sahrawi activists by Moroccan forces.

 

Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in the 1970s in a move never recognised by the international community, and proposes broad autonomy for the phosphate-rich region under its sovereignty.

 

But this is rejected by the Polisario, which insists on the right of Sahrawis to decide in a UN-monitored referendum whether or not they want independence.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
Russia ready to negotiate with India on MiG-35 fighters

 

April 23, 2013, zeenews.india.com

 

New Delhi: Russia is keen that India buys its MiG-35 fighter aircraft, a top Russian official said.

 

The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) has proposed to India to consider the possibility of concluding a contract on the supply of the MiG-35 multipurpose fighter jet, RAC MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov told Itar-Tass in an interview.

 

"Despite the fact that we lost the tender for the supply of 126 multipurpose fighters to the Indian Air Force, the RAC MiG fulfilled all the requirements set the tender committee," Korotkov said. "The aircraft has demonstrated good results, sometimes even exceeding expectations."

 

According to him, the corporation hopes that "India will consider the possibility of concluding a contract on the supply of the MiG-35 fighters."

 

"And we will have the opportunity to implement it," he said. "Within this bundle of knowledge that India received during this tender, I would like the MiG-35 issue to be continued against the background of our common history and 50 years of partnership."

 

According to preliminary information, the winner of the tender for the supply of fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force was the French Dassault Rafale. However, neither party has announced the official timeframe of the contract conclusion.

 

"This year the next batch of four aircraft will be delivered," said the head of the MiG Aircraft Corporation.

 

He also took part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Soviet MiG-21 fighters' deliveries to the Indian Air Force.

 

The agreement on the supply of the MiG-21 planes to India was signed in 1962, and the deliveries began a year later. In 1967, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over to the Indian Air Force the first MiG-21 fighter that was built here under the USSR license.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
Russia to train Indian fighter pilots

 

April 23, 2013 Indo-Asian News Service - ndtv.com

 

New Delhi: Russia will train Indian fighter pilots for carrier-based operations, a top Russian official said.

 

The Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) has signed a contract with India's defence ministry on the training of Indian pilots on operating carrier-based aircraft, RAC MiG Director General Sergei Korotkov told Itar-Tass in an interview.

 

"On April 20, the contract was signed between the ministry of defence and the RAC MiG, under which we will train Indian pilots on the MiG-29K/KUB planes," said Korotkov.

 

"The training comprises two stages. The first will start in Russia two and a half months before the departure of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Russian cruiser Admiral Gorshkov) that our country is to hand over to the Indian Navy this year."

 

According to him, the continuation of the training, "which meets all the modern requirements" will be held in India.

 

"In addition, the RAC MiG provides assistance to the construction in India of a range for the training of pilots of carrier-based aircraft," Korotkov added.

 

"The training course is (for) two and a half months."

 

Russia supplied to India 16 MiG-29K/KUB planes under the main contract and four under a second contract.

 

"This year the next batch of four aircraft will be delivered," said the head of the MiG Aircraft Corporation.

 

He also took part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Soviet MiG-21 fighters' deliveries to the Indian Air Force.

 

The agreement on the supply of the MiG-21 planes to India was signed in 1962, and the deliveries began a year later. In 1967, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over to the Indian Air Force the first MiG-21 fighter that was built here under the USSR license.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:40
The Russian air force will begin flight-testing the Sukhoi T-50 fighter in 2014, after it completes preliminary flight testing by the end of this year. (UAC photo)

The Russian air force will begin flight-testing the Sukhoi T-50 fighter in 2014, after it completes preliminary flight testing by the end of this year. (UAC photo)

 

April 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: RIA Novosti; published April 23, 2013)

 

MOSCOW --- Russia will start state flight tests of its fifth-generation T-50 fighter jet in 2014, United Aircraft Corporation's President Mikhail Pogosyan told reporters on Tuesday.

 

“In 2013 we are expected to wrap up its preliminary tests and start operational testing. In 2014, we are planning to start official state tests,” Pogosyan said on Tuesday, adding "the first stage of the state trials should be complete by 2015."

 

The test program involves six prototype airframes, including four flying, one static and one systems test airframe. Another flying prototype will join the tests this year, Pogosyan said. "Flight testing this year will go ahead with five aircraft," he said.

 

The T-50, also known as PAK-FA (future tactical fighter aircraft), first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.

 

The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring elements of "stealth" technology," super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar.

 

India will also buy a fighter aircraft based on the T-50, known as the FGFA (fifth-generation fighter aircraft).

 

United Aircraft Corporation is the state holding company uniting Russia's aircraft building industry including Sukhoi, a military and civil aircraft manufacturer.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Strategic Weapons : Chinese Carrier Killer Works

 

April 24, 2013: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. Navy believes that China has already begun deploying the DF-21D ballistic missile, which was designed for use against the U.S. Navy, particularly aircraft carriers. In response the Americans are developing defenses and countermeasures against the DF-21D. Details of this effort are, for obvious reasons, kept secret.

 

The basic DF-21 is a 15 ton, two stage, solid fuel missile that is 10.7 meters (35 feet) long and 140cm (4.6 feet) in diameter. Range varies (from 1,700-3,000 kilometers) depending on model. The DF-21D is believed to have a range of 1,500-2,000 kilometers. While the 500-2,000 kg (.5-2 ton) warhead usually contains a nuclear weapon, there are also several types of conventional warheads, including one designed for use against warships. Some of these conventional warheads are for use against targets in Taiwan. This is because the DF-21, as a longer range ballistic missile, comes down on the target faster than the 1,200 shorter range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. That means that the DS-21 is too fast for the Pac-3 anti-missile missiles Taiwan is installing around crucial installations.

Strategic Weapons : Chinese Carrier Killer Works

Until recently there was no evidence that the complete DF-21D system had been tested. But recently satellite photos showed a 200 meter long white rectangle in the Gobi Desert (in Western China) with two large craters in it. This would appear to be a “target” for testing the DF-21D and two of the inert practice warheads appear to have hit the target. American carriers are over 300 meters long, although the smaller carriers (amphibious ships with helicopter decks) are closer to 200 meters long. It appears China is planning on the using the DF-21D against smaller warships, or perhaps they just wanted to see exactly how accurate the missile could be.

Over the last three years various components of the DF-21D were tested, but until these satellite photos showed up there was no evidence that there had been any tests of the complete system against a carrier size target. In the last two years there have been photos of DF-21Ds on TELs (transporter erector launcher vehicles), and announcements of the first units activated three years ago. Now we have the tests. What has not been tested, apparently is a “dress rehearsal” test against a large ship (an old tanker or container ship would do) at sea and moving. That might yet happen.

Meanwhile China has three "remote sensing" satellites in orbit, moving in formation at an altitude of 600 kilometers, across the Pacific. Equipped with either radar (SAR, or synthetic aperture radar) or digital cameras, these three birds can scan the ocean for ships, even though the Chinese say their purpose is purely scientific. A typical SAR can produce photo quality images at different resolutions. At medium resolution (3 meters) the radar covers an area 40x40 kilometers. Low resolution (20 meters) covers 100x100 kilometers. This three satellite Chinese posse looks suspiciously like a military ocean surveillance system. This is the missing link for the Chinese ballistic missile system designed to attack American aircraft carriers.

China has been developing the DF-21D for about a decade. Most of the development effort was devoted to targeting systems that would enable them to seek out and find aircraft carriers. On the DF-21D warhead itself sensors would use infrared (heat seeking) technology for their final approach. This sort of thing had been discussed for decades, but China appears to have put together tactics, sensors and missile systems that can make this all happen. The key was having multiple sensor systems which would include satellites, submarines or maritime patrol aircraft, that could find the general location of the carrier, before launching the ballistic missile. Those sensors appear to be operational, as is the DF-21D itself.

The Chinese Second Artillery Force (sometimes called Corps) operates all land based long range ballistic missiles. Its units operate over several provinces it has been expanding over the last few years. This includes adding two brigades armed with theDF-21D. This gives the Second Artillery Force ten DF-21 brigades, plus brigades with several other types of missiles. Each of the DF-21 missile brigade has six missile battalions (with two mobile launchers each), two maintenance and repair battalions, a site management battalion, a signal battalion and an electronic countermeasures (ECM) battalion. The other eight DF-21 brigades in the Second Artillery Corps are the older models.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Planning the Unthinkable War with China: An Aussie View of AirSea Battle

 

Apr. 24, 2013 - By WENDELL MINNICK   - Defense News

 

TAIPEI — As the US pushes forward on the AirSea Battle doctrine and the so-called Asia Pivot, many in the Asia-Pacific are asking for clarification on a subject that could involve them in an unnecessary war with China.

 

Many frontline allies and partners are asking : Do we want to take a bullet from China for America, especially over policies that are still ambiguous?

 

Benjamin Schreer, a senior analyst for Defence Strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, looks around Asia and finds a lack of consensus on who among America’s allies and friends are willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of a US policy formulated in far-off Washington.

 

Schreer’s paper, released this month, “Planning the Unthinkable War: ‘AirSea Battle’ and Its Implications for Australia,” does more than just look at Australia’s strategic position and whether it should support the new doctrine. It examines why America’s traditional allies in the region are less supportive than they might have been before the rise of China.

 

Schreer’s report voices cautious support for the Asia Pivot and the AirSea Battle concept, but also asks, from the perspective of a traditional ally, critical questions that have yet to be addressed by the US government.

 

These are questions that demand debate in Australia’s democratic society, with a healthy respect for rule of law and transparency.

 

“AirSea Battle presents allies and partners with the classical dilemma of being caught between ‘entrapment and abandonment.’”

 

Despite China’s growing ability to hold US forces at risk, the Pentagon is pushing forward on a military strategy for fighting and winning a potential war against China.

 

China does not need to reach strategic parity with US forces, he said.

 

Instead, its asymmetric strategy aims to prevent or complicate US intervention in territorial disputes by making the potential costs for American forces prohibitively high.

 

AirSea Battle debates in Australia center on two opposing arguments: “those who see it as a dangerous instrument to ‘contain’ China and potentially drag Australia into a nuclear escalation between two great powers, and those who embrace the concept’s logic and even argue that Australia should develop long-range strike capabilities to contribute to potential offensive operations against China.”

 

AirSea Battle aims at defeating anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategies by withstanding an initial Chinese attack, followed by a blinding campaign against Chinese command and control networks, a missile suppression campaign against China’s land-based systems, and a distant blockade against Chinese merchant ships.

 

Deep strikes inside China appear limited in achieving political and military objectives due to China’s immense size, he said. Attacking China would be equivalent to 21st century medieval siege warfare. American air and naval strike forces would run out of precision-guided munitions long before they ran out of targets. China’s size and depth, its authoritarian culture, and supporting institutions of internal security make the impact of mainland strikes less likely to succeed.

 

Importantly, it’s based on the assumption the escalation can be kept below the nuclear threshold, and that Japan and Australia will be active allies throughout the campaign, he said.

 

Schreer looks around Asia and sees discrepancies in support among US allies and partners. What to do about South Korea, which has little interest in fighting anyone but North Korea? There is Taiwan with complex political and economic relationships with China. Japan lacks the capabilities and perhaps the constitutional mandate needed to engage China in a war.

 

The AirSea Battle is flawed in that it can only be activated during a major conflict. It is “optimized for high-intensity conventional war between China and the US and its allies” and “applies only in extreme cases,” such as a Chinese attack on Taiwan, Chinese missile strike on Japan or US bases in the region, or the sinking of a US aircraft carrier.

 

“However, Chinese coercive military actions in territorial disputes with its neighbors (short of high levels of escalation) are much more likely.”

 

Therefore, AirSea Battle is “not a ‘catch-all’ solution” to America’s conventional deterrence dilemma in the Western Pacific, he said.

 

It is not in Australia’s interest to fully embrace the logic behind AirSea Battle or develop specific military capabilities to underpin the concept’s implementation. “Openly signing up for the concept would send a strong political message to China that the ADF [Australian Defence Force] is now actively planning and equipping for a potential war with the PLA [People’s Liberation Army].”

 

“There is no need to do so,” he said. Australia’s decision to allow US Marines to base in Darwin has already displayed Australia’s political commitment to the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security (ANZUS) alliance.

 

The development of long-range strike capabilities against China by Australia would be an “unnecessary provocation … let alone a very costly one.”

 

A serious Australian amphibious strike capability is a rather unrealistic one. A “distant blockade” of Chinese maritime shipping in Southeast Asian chokepoints, such as Malacca, Lombok and Sunda straits, is “much easier proposed than done,” Schreer said. In any event, China would consider such actions acts of war.

 

Australia does have an interest in making an active contribution to the US AirSea Battle plan, he said. Providing the US with greater strategic depth is one way, though rotational deployment of a US Marine Air-Ground Task Force at Darwin is “largely symbolic and not directly tied to America’s AirSea Battle planning.”

 

An area of possible assistance during a war would be upgrades of HMAS Sterling to host US carrier strike groups or the use of the Cocos Island airfields for US strike aircraft, in case the strategic environment deteriorates. Australia can also offer, as an option, niche capabilities, such as tanker aircraft, airborne early warning and control, and airborne electronic warfare assets.

 

He questions whether frontline states, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, would be willing to get involved in war between China and the US if their direct interests were not threatened. Would South Korea get involved in a Philippine scenario or a Taiwan Strait conflict involving the US?

 

On the one hand, they want to avoid becoming entrapped in Sino-US strategic rivalry. “Signing up for AirSea Battle at a time when there still seems ample opportunity to incorporate China into a peaceful Asian security order could be detrimental to their interests … AirSea Battle could thus have a disruptive effect in US alliance relationships.”

 

On the other hand, their suspicion of China’s strategic trajectory has only increased over the years as they experience a decline in military power relative to China. They want to avoid being abandoned by the US if China becomes a problem, he said.

 

Japan’s substantial air and naval forces could augment US forces in selected mission areas, including submarine, anti-submarine warfare, and ballistic missile defense.

 

However, Schreer asks whether Japan can live up to US hopes.

 

Constitutional restrictions hamper many opportunities to augment US forces in an attack on China.

 

For South Korea, AirSea Battle is far more problematic. Seoul’s core strategic concern has been North Korean military aggression, and it remains more “ambivalent about the Chinese threat.” Seoul also needs Beijing’s assistance to keep North Korea’s antics under control. South Korea has publicly stated that the new maritime base on the southern resort island of Jeju, between Japan and China, will not host US forces, despite the fact that the base could be the host of 20 South Korean warships.

 

There are also concerns about getting too involved in Northeast Asian AirSea Battle architecture that would include South Korea’s old enemy, Japan.

 

Questions should also be raised on whether South Korea would allow US forces to operate strike missions into China during a war, particularly a war involving Chinese aggression against Japan or Taiwan.

 

Schreer makes several recommendations to the Australian government that are in many ways revelations of how ambiguous and mysterious the US AirSea Battle doctrine has become.

 

The Australian government should seek a “detailed, classified briefing from its US ally about the specifics of AirSea Battle,” which Schreer said would “demystify the concept.”

 

The government should also ask the US to release a declassified version of the AirSea Battle strategy to end speculation among allies and partners.

 

He said Australia should not publicly endorse AirSea Battle, because the US “itself is still in the process of determining the specifics of implementing the concept.”

 

Australia should also consider implications for the possible integration of the ADF into a Southeast Asian AirSea Battle framework operating alongside US forces.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
ZBL09 IFV (VN1 Export) 8x8

ZBL09 IFV (VN1 Export) 8x8

 

April 24, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Four years ago China revealed an assault gun version of its ZBL 09 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle. This version has a small turret containing a 105mm gun, for providing direct fire support for troops. There was already an artillery version, carrying a 122mm howitzer in a larger turret. There are several other versions, and apparently more on the way.

 

The Chinese Army has been recently referring to this vehicle as a wheeled light tank. It’s unclear if this means a new doctrine about how the ZBL 09/105mm is to be used, or if the vehicle remains assigned to infantry support work with some extra training for shooting up other armored vehicles. The 105mm gun carried is not powerful enough to destroy most modern tanks, but could knock out most other armored vehicles.

 

The basic ZBL 09 is a 21 ton vehicle that has a crew of three and carries seven passengers. The vehicle is 8 meters (25 feet) long, three meters (9.2 feet) wide and 2.1 meters (6.5 feet, to the hull roof) high. It's amphibious, and has a top water speed of 8 kilometers an hour. On roads, top speed is 100 kilometers an hour, and max road range on internal fuel is 800 kilometers. The infantry carrier version has a turret with a 30mm autocannon. There are also artillery versions carrying either a 105mm or 122mm howitzer.

 

The ZBL 09 entered service in 2009, and some combat brigades are being equipped with it, to operate somewhat like the American Stryker brigades. China has been developing new wheeled armored vehicles for over a decade. Until recently, these were all based on Russian designs. The ZBL 09, however, borrows more ideas from the West. Still, some of the more recent (five years ago) Russian type designs were interesting, and instructive.

WMZ551 of the Sri Lanka Army Mechanized Infantry Regiment

WMZ551 of the Sri Lanka Army Mechanized Infantry Regiment

Back then, for example, the 18 ton, 6x6 WMZ551A model was given a new turret. The vehicle has a crew of three and can carry nine more troops. Using technology and weapons obtained from Ukraine, the new vehicle has a 30mm autocannon, instead of 25mm. More importantly, the new turret has an improved fire control system (containing a laser range finder, and a vidcam that shows the vehicle commander what the gunner sees.) This is apparently related to earlier Chinese efforts to upgrade its BMP1 tracked infantry fighting vehicles, with BMP3 turrets from Russia. These also have the 30mm cannon. The main problem with all these upgrades was money. The government wanted Chinese-made weapons to be used, as they are cheaper, and supply is more assured. But the Chinese manufacturers didn't want to move up to the 30mm autocannon design just yet. Many Chinese generals believed that the Chinese 25mm autocannon was sufficient. All that has changed.

There was always agreement that an improved fire control system was a good thing. But there was not much space available inside a BMP. Some export models of the BMP3, when equipped with a thermal imager, had to mount some of that gear on the outside of the vehicle. There was also agreement that wheeled armored vehicles for the infantry might be a better investment.

The Chinese have been observing NATO success in Iraq with the Stryker and LAV wheeled combat vehicles. Chinese designers eventually concluded that the roomier internal layout of Western vehicles did serve a useful purpose, and the ZBL 09, and all the electronics installed in it, are an example of what the Chinese learned.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Pakistan commissions last Zulfiquar frigate

 

ISLAMABAD, April 25 (UPI)

 

Pakistan's navy commissioned the fourth and last F-22P Zulfiquar class frigate at a ceremony at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

 

Commissioning of the PNS Aslat completes the $750 million technology-transfer contract signed in 2005 between Pakistan's Ministry of Defense Production and China Shipbuilding Trading Co., the defense news website PakSoldiers said.

 

The first ship, PNS Zulfiquar -- "Sword," in English -- was handed over to the navy in July 2009 and the second vessel, PNS Shamsheer, was commissioned in January 2010.

 

The PNS Saif was the third frigate -- the last to be built in China at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, Shanghai -- and was commissioned in September 2011.

 

Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Mohammad Asif Sandila was a guest at the ceremony attended by officials and dignitaries from Pakistan and China, including the ambassador of People's Republic of China, PakSoldier said.

 

Sandila said construction of the 2,500-ton, 404-foot Aslat at KSEW and other ships including a fast attack craft, small tankers and utility ships is a result of the government's determination to attain self-reliance in defense capabilities.

 

The contract with China includes ammunition for the vessels' single 76mm deck-mounted guns and six Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine helicopters, already delivered to the navy, PakSoldier reported in February 2012.

 

The Z9EC helicopters -- a licensed version of the French Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. -- were purchased from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corp. and operate from the Zulfiquar frigates.

 

The vessels carry 200 personnel and have eight C-802/CSS-N-8 subsonic Saccade anti-ship missiles made by China Haiying Electromechanical Technology Academy, the defense news website NavalTechnology said.

 

They also have 8-round FM-90 surface-to-air missiles, the export version of the HQ-7 missile, which includes infra-red tracking system and built by China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp.

 

Pakistan's navy also took delivery of two 12-ton Bollard Pull Pusher tugs constructed at the KSEW, which handed over the vessels to Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Adm. Muhammad Shafiq last month.

 

The navy has on order with KSEW a 15,000-ton capacity tanker -- an example of the government's need to develop the country's indigenous defense manufacturing sector, Shafiq said during the handing over ceremony for the tugs.

 

He said the changing geo-political dynamics means access to foreign defense technology will be denied or hard to come by for Pakistan in the coming year.

 

KSEW, the only major shipyard in Pakistan, was set up in the 1950s and operates as an autonomous commercial organization within the Ministry of Defense.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Two new Army units for deployment near China border

 

April 24, 2013, zeenews.india.com

 

New Delhi: 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 said 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.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Game Changer: The F-35 and the Pacific

 

April 25, 2013 By Robbin F. Laird - thediplomat.com

 

To understand the real value of the F-35 one must consider its operation as a fleet, not simply as an individual aircraft.

 

It is difficult to discuss the F-35 without actually knowing what the aircraft is and how F-35 fleets will reshape combat. But this is precisely what the budding negative commentary on the F-35 is built on – a lack of knowledge. 

Even worse, the existing 5th generation aircraft is not well known either, because of its limited numbers and its condemnation by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama as a “Cold War” weapon. One could note that when the latest Korean crisis flared up, those “Cold War” mainstays, the F-22 and the B-2 (which has been flying now for more than 20 years) were called upon very quickly. And the U.S. Air Force (USAF) began to do sortie surge exercises in Hawaii and Arctic exercises in Alaska to increase the quantities of F-22s available for immediate Pacific operations. 

I have had the opportunity over the years to interview many F-22 and F-35 pilots, maintainers and builders as well as the subsystem suppliers of the F-35. Much of the capability of the aircraft, including its multiple integrated combat systems are evolutionary steps forward, and low risk systems, such as the active electronically scanned array (AESA) built by Northrop Grumman for the F-35. 

What is radically new about the F-35 is the fusion of data in the cockpit and the shaping of a new decision making capability within the aircraft and the fleet.  The aircraft permits situational decision-making, not just situational awareness.  It is a C5ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) aircraft, which allows the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) alone to replace three aircraft, including an Electronic Warfare Aircraft with the F-35B. This is also why Singapore has referred to the F-35B as a “cost effective” aircraft.

But understanding the real value of the F-35 one must consider its operation as a fleet, not simply as an individual aircraft. The F-22 was built as an aircraft, which flies in 2, and 4 ship formations, but unlike the F-15, the “wingman” is miles away and not anywhere to be found in visual range. As one pilot put it to me: “When we take off together that is the last time we see each other until we land.”

The F-35 also has the capability to operate miles away from one another, but with a major difference.  The individual airplanes are interconnected, operate in 360-degree operational space, and the machines pass the data throughout the network.  Each individual plane can see around itself for significant distances in 360 degree space, which has already underscored the need for a new generation of weapons, for existing systems such as Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) operate in half or less of the space which each F-35 can see beyond itself.

It is the interconnected C5ISR delivered by the fleet, coupled with the ability to work with the off-boarding of weapons, which shapes a new way forward.  Target acquisition does not have to be limited to weapons carried on board. This means that classic distinctions between tactical fighters doing close air support, air superiority missions or air defense missions become blurred. The fleet as a whole identifies targets for the various mission sets and can guide weapons from any of its elements to a diversity of targets. The reach of the fleet is the key to the operation of the fleet, not the range of individual aircraft.

As General Hostage, the Air Combat Commander, put it during an interview Lt. General (Retired) Deptula and I conducted with him last December:

"The ability of the planes to work with each other over a secure distributed battlespace is the essential foundation from which the air combat cloud can be built.

And the advantage of the F-35 is the nature of the global fleet. Allied and American F-35s, whether USAF, USN, or USMC, can talk with one another and set up the distributed operational system. Such a development can allow for significant innovation in shaping the air combat cloud for distributed operations in support of the Joint Force Commander."

With many Pacific allies already committed to the F-35, and with the USAF and USMC planning to deploy their new aircraft to the regionin the next couple of years, a fleet of F-35s will clearly emerge in the Pacific and shape combat capabilities the next decade out.

The movement of data among the elements of the fleet will be the beginning of the 21st century equivalent to what the U.S. Navy called the “big blue blanket” over the Pacific in World War II.  Clearly, the U.S. will not have the assets to do this by itself, but with the emergence of interconnected fleets this aspiration can come closer to reality.

And with it will be the ability to build the kind of attack-defense enterprise essential to deal with the evolving threats in the Pacific, and the efforts of China to undercut the significant lynchpin role that the United States plays in the Pacific. 

An inherent characteristic of many new systems is that they are really about presence and putting a grid over an operational area, and therefore they can be used to support strike or defense within an integrated approach. In the 20th Century, surge was built upon the notion of signaling. One would deploy a particular combat capability – whether it be a Carrier Battle Group, Amphibious Ready Group, or Air Expeditionary Wing – as a marker to signal its presence and intentions to an adversary. Depending on the adversary’s response, additional forces would be sent in to escalate the threat capability.

With the new multi-mission systems – 5th generation aircraft and Aegis for example – the key is presence and integration able to support strike or defense in a single operational presence capability. Now the adversary can not be certain that you are simply putting down a marker.

This is what former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne calls the attack and defense enterprise. The strategic thrust of integrating modern systems is to create a grid that can operate in an area as a seamless whole, able to strike or defend simultaneously. This is enabled by the evolution of C5ISR, and it is why Wynne has underscored for more than a decade that 5th generation aircraft are not merely replacements for existing tactical systems, but a whole new approach to integrating defense and offense.

When one can add the strike and defensive systems of other players, notably missiles and sensors aboard surface ships like Aegis, then one can create the reality of what Ed Timperlake, a former fighter pilot, has described as the F-35 being able to consider Aegis as his wingman.

In fact, the ability for forward deployed F-35s to identify targets for surface ships can lead to a renaissance of the strike role of surface ships as well.  Or it can lead to what I referred to early last year as enhancing “the long reach of Aegis.” The F-35 is a global program tapping into the industrial and technological capabilities  of global allies of the United States in a unique way.  Earlier, the Aegis program built a foundation for such an approach, with nearly 25 percent of the deployed Aegis fleet now being non-American.  This led me to coin the term many years ago of the “Aegis global enterprise.”  Combing these two efforts into an integrated attack and defense capability will be game changing. 

As I have written in Proceedings Magazine:

These F-35-Aegis offense and defense bubbles can be networked throughout the Pacific to enhance the capacity of individual nations. They represent a prime example of how one country’s assets can contribute to the reach others, together establishing a scalable capability for a honeycombed force.

Overall, the enterprise lays a foundation for a global capability in sea-based missile defenses and for protecting deployed forces as well as projecting force. Power such as this is increasingly central to the freedom of action necessary for the worldwide operation of the U.S. military and our coalition partners.

In other words, the roll out of the Pacific fleet of F-35s is part of the re-shaping of the U.S, and allied military capabilities for a 21st century strategy.  And such a strategy must be able to deal with the impact of China, Korea, the Arctic opening and the challenge of securing the conveyer belt of goods and services by sea or sea lines of communication (SLOC) defense.

But this does not end the story of the impact of the F-35 on the future. Another key aspect is how the F-35 as a global enterprise can affect global investments in airpower and the growth of capabilities over time. This is a subject broader than a short article can discuss with full justice, so I will emphasize only three key points.

First, what is not often realized is that Lockheed Martin is a 30 percent “prime contractor” standing on the top of a global supply chain. And this supply chain includes many of the world’s best suppliers and subsystem providers. And foreign manufacturers produce more than 20 percent of the aircraft even at this stage as part of the global supply chain. 

This system allows the taping of capabilities, which have been, available in specific nations and unleashing their potential to support global coalitions.  The case of Japan is instructive whereby the participation of the Japanese in building parts for the F-35 means they are building for the global coalition not just for Japan.

Second, the F-35 is built around a global sustainment model. This means that the Singapore F-35Bs will be supported by Singapore who could do the same for the USMC F-35Bs.  The opportunity and ability to build hubs and training ranges in the Pacific with hubs and ranges in Canada and Australia and hubs in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam provides an opportunity to re-shape how sustainment can be done in around the world.

Third, Japan, like Italy, is building a final check out or assembly facility for the F-35, which can function, as well as a matience, repair, and operartions (MRO) facility for allies. Although intended to serve their own needs the Italians and Japanese are in effect putting in place maintenance facilities or MRO facilities which the U.S. Air Force, USN and USMC are able to use in two key regions, central to American interests.

Fourth, the weapons revolution necessary to catch up with 5th generation aircraft can be the focus of global, not just American investments. Even though the U.S. has been the core architect for the aircraft, the implementation of the fleet will not be solely and perhaps primarily American. The diversity of global weapon suppliers – European, Israeli, and Asian – will seek to integrate their products onto the F-35 and integration on one set of F-35s makes them available to the fleet.

A totally ignored aspect of the aircraft as a weapon system is weapons integration. The software integration of a weapon on one set of aircraft will be available to the fleet.

This means that the weapons to be integrated on Block 4 software F-35s, which includes the MBDA’s new Meteor Missiles, the Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile or the new Turkish missiles, can be purchased directly by Asian governments for their aircraft as well. This is providing for a global investment in the strike capabilities of the F-35 fleet.

In short, the F-35 will be an important fixture of allied and American defense in the Pacific and will bring Europe and the Pacific together inside the aircraft and arming the aircraft in the years ahead.  It will be a key part of shaping new concepts of operations, which will be essential to the safety, and security of America and its allies in a troubled world. 

Dr. Robbin F. Laird is a Military and Security Analyst, the co-founder of Second Line of Defense, and a Member of the Editorial Board of Contributors, AOL Defense.

Partager cet article
Repost0
25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
India's MoD Says No to Joint Heron Development With Israel

 

Apr. 24, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI  - Defense News

 

NEW DELHI — India has shot down an Israeli proposal to jointly develop an advanced version of the Heron UAV in India, a rarity for projects between the two nations.

 

This month, India’s Ministry of Defence rejected the codevelopment and coproduction proposal by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), MoD sources said.

 

During a meeting this month, senior MoD officials said DRDO should concentrate more on the Indo-Israeli Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) program, which is behind schedule and has technical problems.

 

IAI executives here were not available for comment.

 

This rejection illustrates the new thinking among India’s MoD, which is concentrating more on sustaining existing DRDO programs than on paying for new projects, the source said. In 2009, India and Israel agreed to jointly develop the MRSAM for use by both militaries. One prototype failed in December, the source said.

 

DRDO signed the codevelopment contract with IAI after the MoD failed in its efforts to procure the MRSAM through competition. No vendor was prepared to transfer technology for the system.

 

The Indian Air Force’s requirement is for 18 MRSAMs, estimated to cost around US $1.2 billion. The MRSAM would be a low- and medium-level, quick-reaction missile system capable of moving with mechanized forces. The system would be able to engage manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles and all types of airborne targets.

 

The MRSAM will have a range of more than 50 kilometers, and its warhead will have self-destruct capabilities to avoid unwanted collateral damage on the ground. The system will have an active seeker with the option of a passive seeker and an electro-optical system will be provided, which would enable the system to track targets in hostile electronic countermeasures environments.

 

As for the Heron, the Indian MoD has around 60 and requires more, although it hasn’t said how many.

 

In its proposal for the joint development of Herons, DRDO claimed it has developed a broad spectrum of knowledge on UAV subsystem technologies, including aerodynamic design, composite materials, telemetry and propulsion. The advanced Heron would have featured greater range and endurance.

 

The Indian Army plans to procure a variety of UAVs, including micro and nano UAVs. The Army also plans to acquire weaponized UAVs, which can be armed with precision missiles.

Partager cet article
Repost0

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

Categories