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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:55
COSMOS arrive officiellement sur la BA 942

 

01/10/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Le vendredi 19 septembre 2014, le centre opérationnel de surveillance militaire des objets spatiaux (COSMOS) a pris officiellement place au sein du commandement de la défense aérienne et des opérations aériennes (CDAOA) sur la base aérienne 942 de Lyon Mont-Verdun.

 

Cette nouvelle unité reprend les missions de la division surveillance de l’espace (DSE). Le COSMOS est donc en charge de l’établissement et de l’exploitation de la situation spatiale au profit des opérations aériennes. Il vient donc en appui des forces pour le rythme des opérations, la précision et l’efficacité des missions avec l’intégration de moyens tels que la veille spatiale, la détection, l'analyse et l'orientation des capteurs.

 

Par ailleurs, il concourt à la protection des populations face aux rentrées atmosphériques à risques (RAR) en développant une capacité d’anticipation des événements spatiaux majeurs. Enfin, il offre ses services à la communauté spatiale internationale et au secteur privé.

 

Pour répondre à ces missions, le CDAOA dispose d’une capacité nationale de détection et de suivi des gros objets en orbite basse (entre 400 km et 1000 km) grâce au radar GRAVES. Cette capacité est complétée par les radars SATAM qui permettent d’affiner la trajectoire des objets détectés par GRAVES.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:54
 photos R. Pellegrino ECPAD

photos R. Pellegrino ECPAD

 

01/10/2014 Economie et technologie

 

À l'occasion de l'annonce de la création d'une centaine d'emplois supplémentaires chez Sagem à Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine), le ministre de Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a visité les locaux et rencontré les salariés de l'entreprise lundi 29 septembre. L'entreprise fougeraise Sagem, créée en 1970, va connaître sa cinquième reconversion d'ampleur pour se spécialiser comme véritable équipementier aéronautique. Filiale du groupe Safran, elle va désormais s’occuper des calculateurs des moteurs d'avions civils et militaires qui viendront s'ajouter à l'activité actuelle de cartes électroniques.

Le ministre de la Défense a visité les locaux de Sagem à Fougères

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:50
OTAN : le Jean Bart participe à l’exercice de guerre électronique « NEMO 2014 »

 

01/10/2014 Sources : Etat-major des Armées

 

Du 22 au 26 septembre 2014, la frégate antiaérienne (FAA) Jean Bart a participé à l’exercice de guerre électronique NEMO (Nato Electronic Magnetic Operations) organisé par l’OTAN au large de Tarente, en Italie.

 

Organisé l’an dernier à Toulon par FRMARFOR (French Maritime High Readiness Force - Force aéromaritime française de réaction rapide), cet entraînement international a rassemblé des bâtiments de combat venant d’Italie, d’Espagne, de Grèce, de Turquie et de France.

 

Cet exercice a mobilisé de nombreux moyens de simulation de guerre électronique pour rendre les situations auxquelles étaient confrontés les navires les plus réalistes possibles.

 

Au cours de l’exercice, interception, brouillage, et tirs de leurres se sont enchaînés à un rythme soutenu. Cette semaine a permis de mettre en œuvre les équipements dans toutes les configurations, mais également de tester de nouvelles tactiques de lutte en matière de guerre électronique (GE).

 

Cet entraînement international de haut niveau permet de renforcer l’interopérabilité avec nos alliés au sein de l’alliance Atlantique. Il vise à se tenir prêt à intervenir en coalition sur l’ensemble du spectre opérationnel.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:45
FAZSOI : Un nouveau COMSUP à La Réunion

 

01/10/2014 Sources : Etat-major des armées

 

Le 30 septembre 2014, le général de brigade Franck Reignier a pris le commandement des forces armées dans la zone Sud de l’océan Indien. Il succède au général de division Jean-François Hogard.

 

L’officier général commandant supérieur des forces armées en zone sud de l’océan Indien (COMSUP FAZSOI) et de la Base de Défense La Réunion - Mayotte dispose d’un état-major interarmées et commande environ 1900 militaires des trois armées dont près de 1400 permanents.

 

Les forces armées en zone sud de l’océan Indien (FAZSOI) garantissent la protection du territoire national et animent la coopération régionale depuis La Réunion et Mayotte. Elles constituent le point d’appui principal du Théâtre océan Indien.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:35
NATO's new mission gets green light


2 oct. 2014 NATO

 

The Afghan government, NATO and the US government have now signed agreements, thanks to which foreign troops will be able to operate in Afghanistan from next year.

It comes a day after the inauguration of the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the appointment of Abdullah Abdullah as CEO.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:30
Opération Chammal : renforcement du dispositif français

 

01/10/2014 Sources : Etat-major des armées

 

A l’issue du conseil restreint de défense du mercredi 1er octobre 2014, au cours duquel le Président de la République a décidé de renforcer le dispositif militaire français engagé dans l’opération Chammal.

 

A l’issue du conseil restreint de défense du mercredi 1eroctobre 2014, au cours duquel le Président de la République a décidé de renforcer le dispositif militaire français engagé dans l’opération Chammal, l’état-major des armées a notamment ordonné :

    le déploiement de trois avions de chasse Rafale qui viendront compléter les capacités aériennes déjà placées aux ordres de l’amiral commandant la zone océan Indien (ALINDIEN). Le dispositif français sera ainsi porté à neuf Rafale, un avion de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 et un avion ravitailleur C135-FR ;

    le déploiement d’une frégate anti-aérienne dans le golfe arabo-persique ;

    le renforcement de la participation des officiers de liaison français au sein des structures de commandement alliées dans le golfe arabo-persique.

 

Ces moyens seront progressivement déployés au cours des prochains jours.

 

Ce renfort vise à densifier le soutien aérien apporté aux forces irakiennes, en termes de renseignement et reconnaissance armée. Il permettra également de disposer d’un moyen naval capable de participer, en coordination avec nos alliés, au contrôle aérien de l’ensemble des moyens présents sur zone.

 

Lancée le 19 septembre 2014, l’opération Chammal vise, à la demande du gouvernement irakien et en coordination avec les alliés de la France présents dans la région, à assurer un soutien aérien aux forces armées irakiennes dans leur lutte contre le groupe terroriste Daech.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:30
Quand l'armée irakienne ravitaille (par erreur) Daesh

L'INFO. C'est une boulette très gênante. Selon la chaîne américaine NBC News, l'armée irakienne a ravitaillé l'organisation de l'Etat islamique, par erreur, a-t-on appris mardi. Cette information a été confirmée par une source sécuritaire qui a requis l'anonymat.

Des vivres et des munitions. Selon NBC News, l'aviation irakienne avait l'intention de livrer des vivres et des munitions à ses soldats en poste dans la province d'Anbar en Irak, pour combattre les djihadistes. Hakim Al-Zamili, un député membre de la commission de sécurité, a raconte qu'"au lieu de lâcher ces provisions au-dessus de la zone tenue par l'armée irakienne, certains pilotes les ont jetées au-dessus d'une zone prise par l'Etat islamique". Un brigadier-général du ministère irakien de la Défense a confirmé cet incident qui a eu lieu le 19 septembre.

 

Suite de l'article

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:30
Le CEMAA rencontre le personnel de l’opération Chammal

 

01/10/2014  Actus Air

 

Le général Denis Mercier, chef d’état-major de l’armée de l’air (CEMAA), s’est rendu les 27 et 28 septembre 2014, auprès des militaires engagés dans l’opération Chammal.

 

Au cours de sa visite, il s’est entretenu avec le contre-amiral Beaussant, amiral commandant la zone Océan Indien (ALINDIEN), qui assure le contrôle opérationnel de cette opération en coordination avec le centre de coordination des opérations aériennes (Coordination Air Operation Center) américain, situé à Al Udeid (Qatar).

 

Devant les aviateurs engagés dans l’opération Chammal, le CEMAA a fait part de son admiration et de sa fierté. Il a rappelé la chance de pouvoir bénéficier dans la région d’un dispositif permanent, adapté et réactif, qui a montré célérité et efficience depuis sa mise en œuvre le 15 septembre dernier.

 

Conformément à la volonté du président de la République, les missions d’appui aérien et de reconnaissance se poursuivront pour soutenir les armées irakiennes dans leur lutte contre Daech. Ces missions seront à nouveau effectuées en coordination étroite avec les autorités irakiennes ainsi qu’avec nos alliés présents sur le théâtre.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 16:30
Pantsir-S1 Photo Iraqi Ministry of Defence

Pantsir-S1 Photo Iraqi Ministry of Defence

 

DUBAI, 1er octobre - RIA Novosti

 

L'Irak a reçu un premier lot de systèmes de défense antiaérienne modernes en provenance de Russie, lit-on mercredi sur le site du ministère irakien de la Défense.

 

"Le commandement des forces irakiennes de défense aérienne a reçu des systèmes modernes destinés à défendre la souveraineté de notre pays et à protéger les sites civils", a indiqué un porte-parole ministériel.

 

Le ministère irakien ne précise cependant pas la provenance des armes, mais souligne que "peu de pays sont en mesure de produire de tels systèmes".

 

Dans le même temps, sur les photos qui accompagnent le texte, on voit des complexes de défense sol-air russes Pantsir-S1 et des lance-missiles portatifs Djiguit.

 

Auparavant, le ministère irakien de la Défense a annoncé avoir reçu le troisième lot d'hélicoptères russes Mi-35M.

 

En 2012, Moscou et Bagdad ont conclu un accord de coopération militaro-technique pour un montant total de 4,3 milliards de dollars qui prévoit entre autres la livraison de 43 hélicoptères russes Mi-35M et Mi-28NE.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 15:55
photo R. Pellegrino ECPAD

photo R. Pellegrino ECPAD

 

02 octobre 2014 par  Jacques Marouani - .electroniques.biz

 

"Il s'agit de faire passer le site de Fougères d'un statut de sous-traitant électronique à celui d'un équipementier aéronautique complet", précise Jean-Paul Herteman, Pdg du groupe Safran.

 

Visitant pour l'occasion le site de Sagem Fougères (groupe Safran) en la présence du Pdg du groupe Jean-Paul Herteman, le ministre de la défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a confirmé la bonne nouvelle aux salariés de cette usine : le transfert d'une activité aéronautique, basée jusqu'à présent à Massy (Essonne), sera opéré sur le site breton et consolidera ainsi l'emploi à l'usine de Fougères (Ile-et-Villaine).

 

Créée en 1970, cette usine va connaître sa cinquième reconversion pour se spécialiser en tant qu'équipementier aéronautique, alors que son activité était jusqu'à présent centrée sur la sous-traitance électronique. Les calculateurs des moteurs d'avions civils et militaires seront en effet regroupés à Fougères, et viendront s'ajouter à l'activité actuelle de cartes électroniques.

 

Un investissement de 30 M€

 

Le groupe Safran avait cessé ses activités de téléphonie mobile en 2008. L'usine de Fougères s'était alors réorientée vers la sous-traitance pour les activités aéronautiques et de défense. Avec la fin du programme Félin (Fantassin à équipements et liaisons intégrés), prévu pour 2015, et la baisse du volume des cartes électroniques pour la défense, cette reconversion est vitale pour le site."Il s'agit de faire passer le site de Fougères d'un statut de sous-traitant électronique à celui d'un équipementier aéronautique complet", précise Jean-Paul Herteman, Pdg du groupe Safran.

 

Plus de 30 millions d'euros d'investissements sont prévus, notamment en travaux et en formation, entre 2015 et 2018. Ils permettront de consolider les 635 emplois actuels de l'entreprise et d'en créer une centaine supplémentaire à Fougères.

 

"A l'issue des investissements prévus, le site de Fougères deviendra un équipementier de premier rang positionné sur le marché en pleine croissance de l'aéronautique civil et militaire", s'est pour sa part félicité Pierrick Massiot, président de la Région Bretagne dans un communiqué.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 14:55
Défense : la France en guerre réduit encore le nombre de militaires

Le gouvernement Valls va couper à nouveau dans les effectifs (7.500) du ministère de la Défense... alors que la France guerroie aux quatre coins du globe (Mali, Centrafrique, Irak...)

 

01/10/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Les objectifs de suppressions d'emplois dans les armées ont été confirmés (7.500 en moins) dans le projet de budget 2015. Avec 31,4 milliards d'euros, dont 2,3 milliards de recettes exceptionnelles, ce projet s'inscrit dans la trajectoire de la loi de programmation militaire (LPM).

 

Après 7.234 de militaires en moins en 2013 puis 7.881 en 2014, le gouvernement va couper à nouveau dans les effectifs du ministère de la Défense... alors que la France guerroie aux quatre coins du globe (Mali, Centrafrique, Irak...). Un peu paradoxale comme stratégie. Les objectifs de suppressions d'emplois dans les armées ont été confirmés (7.500 d'emplois en moins) pour atteindre un "plafond d'emplois" de 265.846 à fin 2015. Au total, 23.500 postes doivent être supprimés sur la période de la loi de programmation militaire (LPM) 2014-2019.

Avec 31,4 milliards d'euros de recettes, le projet de budget de la Défense pour 2015 présenté mercredi par le gouvernement s'inscrit dans la trajectoire de la LPM adoptée fin décembre par le Parlement. Les crédits budgétaires inscrits dans le projet de budget s'élèvent à 29,1 milliards d'euros (hors pensions), auxquels doivent s'ajouter 2,3 milliards de recettes exceptionnelles (REX) pour atteindre le seuil de 31,4 milliards d'euros fixé par la LPM en 2015 puis 2016. Les recettes globales doivent progresser ensuite à 31,6 milliards en 2017.

 

Des recettes exceptionnelles à trouver

Dans un contexte budgétaire général de redressement des finances publiques, la LPM vise à "concilier souveraineté stratégique et souveraineté budgétaire", réaffirme Bercy, qui a pourtant gelé 1,2 milliard d'euros de crédits en 2014. Elle fixe une trajectoire de ressources de 190,5 milliards d'euros sur la période, conforme à la valorisation du modèle d'armée validé par le Livre Blanc. Ainsi, la LPM sera respectée et bénéficiera, en 2015, de 31,4 milliards de ressources totales, conformément au vote du Parlement. Au total, le budget triennal 2015-2017 prévoit une enveloppe de 94,3 milliards de ressources totales, conformément à la LPM", assure Bercy.  A suivre...

Bercy a déjà rapiné des crédits budgétaires de 2015. D'abord fixées à 1,8 milliard d'euros pour 2015, les recettes exceptionnelles (REX) ont été portées à 2,3 milliards en juillet, "pour sécuriser les programmes d'équipement". Le gouvernement avait alors assuré que la mission Défense bénéficierait "en 2015 de 31,4 milliards de ressources totales", comme le prévoit la trajectoire financière de la LPM.

Pour autant, les REX censées venir principalement de la vente de fréquences hertziennes, ne seront pas au rendez-vous de 2015. Car selon de nombreux observateurs, le produit de la vente des fréquences 694 MHZ et 790 MHz est attendu au plus tôt en 2016 pour les plus optimistes, au plus tard en 2018 pour les plus pessimistes. L'exécution financière de la LPM précédente (2009-2014) a déjà montré qu'elles n'étaient pas forcément disponibles au moment prévu. Le gouvernement devra donc céder des participations de l'Etat pour tenir la trajectoire financière de la LPM. Et ce n'est qu'une question de volonté politique ni plus ni moins... A François Hollande s'il veut continuer à faire avancer la paix dans le monde, d'imposer ce choix à Bercy.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 14:45
Barkhane : point de situation du 2 octobre

 

02/10/2014 Sources : Etat-major des Armées

 

La force Barkhane compte 3 000 hommes. Au Mali, la MINUSMA (ONU) compte plus de 8 000 hommes.

 

La situation sécuritaire est restée calme cette semaine dans la bande sahélo-saharienne (BSS).

 

Le fuseau Est de la BSS a retrouvé son groupement tactique interarmes (GTIA) qui était engagé depuis fin février en République centrafricaine après la décision du président de la République de renforcer la force Sangaris. Avec l’arrivée de la MINUSCA en Centrafrique, le dispositif de la force Sangaris s’est réarticulé autour de deux GTIA. Le GTIA de Boissieu est ainsi rentré au Tchad le 28 septembre, après sept jours de transit par voie routière via le Cameroun. Aujourd’hui, le groupement tactique Désert-Est (GTD-E) de la force Barkhane est au complet. Il entame sa remise en condition pour effectuer sa relève dans les prochains jours.

 

Le 25 septembre, la force Barkhane a remis aux autorités maliennes quatre terroristes qu’elle avait interceptés au cours d’une opération conduite dans la région de Gao.

 

Le même jour, le détachement de liaison et d’appui opérationnel (DLAO) de Tombouctou a effectué une patrouille conjointe avec le bataillon burkinabais de la MINUSMA dans le village d’Elaket, à l’Est de Tombouctou au Mali.Au cours de cette patrouille, les soldats de la MIMUSMA et du DLAO ont également appuyé une opération de fouille des forces armées maliennes qui contrôlaient le trafic routier.

 

La force Barkhane a enfin conduit des reconnaissances de sites au Nord du Niger, du 4 au 22 septembre, pour étudier la faisabilité du déploiement d’un poste avancé temporaire qui servirait de nouveau point d’appui secondaire au Nord-Niger.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 14:30
Further air strikes in Iraq

A Tornado GR4 returning to RAF Akrotiri after a mission [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]

 

2 October 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Tornados continue to provide vital air support to Kurdish forces in Iraq.

 

Royal Air Force Tornados have conducted further operations in support of Kurdish ground forces engaged in combat with ISIL in north west Iraq.

 

Overnight, 2 GR4s provided vital air support to Peshmerga forces advancing on an ISIL position, conducting a successful precision attack on an armed pick-up truck with a Paveway IV guided bomb.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 14:30
MILAN-Einweisung der Peschmerga in Hammelburg


2 oct. 2014 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 10/2014 14Z27501

 

Im Kampf gegen die ISIS unterstützt Deutschland die Peschmerga unter anderem mit 30 Panzerabwehrwaffensystemen vom Typ MILAN. Die kurdischen Soldaten werden in einer einwöchigen Einweisung an die treffsichere Bedienung der MILAN herangeführt.

 

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 13:55
source MinDef Fr (Aoùt 2014)

source MinDef Fr (Aoùt 2014)

 

02/10/2014, Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Le surcoût des opérations extérieures (OPEX) pourrait atteindre 1,1 milliard d'euros, selon le ministre de la Défense.

 

1,1 milliard d'euros. C'est le montant des surcoûts des opérations extérieures (Opex) des armées françaises qui devrait avoisiner 1,1 milliard d'euros en 2014, a estimé mercredi le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Selon des sources concordantes, le surcoût des opérations extérieures (OPEX) pourrait même dépasser en 2014 plus de 1,1 milliard d'euros. La dotation budgétaire au titre des Opex s'élèvera à 450 millions d'euros en 2015, comme en 2014, a-t-il indiqué devant la Commission de la Défense de l'Assemblée nationale.

Pour l'année en cours, le chiffrage global du surcoût est en cours d'évaluation. "Je peux toutefois déjà vous dire qu'au 31 août 2014, la consommation effective au titre des surcoûts Opex s'élevait à 743 millions d'euros (680 millions au 31 juillet) et que le surcoût prévisionnel total devrait avoisiner 1,1 milliard d'euros en 2014", a-t-il précisé.

 

Financement interministériel

Au-delà des 450 millions inscrits dans la loi de finances, "les Opex non budgétées font l'objet d'un financement interministériel" et ne pèsent pas sur le budget de la Défense, a-t-il rappelé. "Ce fut le cas en 2013 et ce le sera a l'avenir", a assuré le ministre.

En 2013, le surcoût Opex avait été de plus de 1,2 milliard d'euros, mais l'année avait notamment été marquée par le désengagement des forces françaises d'Afghanistan. Il était de 873 millions en 2012 et de 1,24 milliard en 2011, année des opérations en Libye et en Côte d'Ivoire.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 11:50
First A400M for German Air Force runs it´s engines for the first time


29 sept. 2014 Airbus DS
 

The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter for the German Air Force has begun final tests towards its delivery. The four engines on the aircraft, known as MSN18, were successfully run simultaneously for the first time

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 11:35
Naval Air: Chinese Carrier Returns To Service

 

October 1, 2014: Strategy Page

 

On September 25th China’s first aircraft carrier (the Liaoning) completed five months of shipyard level maintenance, refurbishment and repairs. This came after three years of frequent trips to sea for training and testing. All this time at sea apparently produced a long list of things needing to be fixed, modified or replaced. Thus the long visit in the shipyard. It was also revealed what the carrier’s air wing would eventually consist of. There will be twelve helicopters (four Z-18J early warning, six Z-18F anti-submarine and two Z-9C search and rescue) and 24 J-15 jet fighters (navalized Su-27s). None of these aircraft are available yet to complete the Liaoning air group. The Z-18F is the first Chinese made anti-submarine helicopter that works (at least on paper). It is described as a 13 ton naval helicopter that carries a dipping sonar, 32 sonobuoys and up to four light (235 kg/517 pound) anti-submarine torpedoes. The Z-18F is too heavy for most Chinese warships and will be used on Chinese carriers and large amphibious ships (that look like small carriers). The Z-18F appears to be a major upgrade to the earlier Z-8F, which was not acceptable. The Z-18J is equipped with a radar that can spot aircraft out to 150 kilometers. The Z-9 is four ton helicopter with a two ton payload. China has built over 200 of the Z-9s and many have been armed (with twin 23mm cannon, torpedoes, anti-tank missiles and air-to-air missiles.) The Z-9D, armed with four TL-10 missiles, while the Z-9EC simply has anti-submarine equipment installed instead. The Z-9C is an unarmed version of the Z-9EC. Both the Z-18 and Z-9 are based on French helicopters that China has long produced under license.

 

For most of the last decade China has been developing the J-15, which is a carrier version of the Russian Su-27. There is already a Russian version of this, called the Su-33. Russia refused to sell Su-33s to China when it was noted that China was making illegal copies of the Su-27 (as the J-11) and did not want to place a big order for Su-33s but only wanted two, for "evaluation." China eventually got a Su-33 from Ukraine in 2001. Ukraine had inherited some Su-33s when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. The first production models of the J-15 entered service in 2013 and it may take several years for the Liaoning to get its full complement of 24.

 

Liaoning completed its sea trials on January 1st 2014 after it returned to base with its escort group after 37 days at sea. This came 16 months after Liaoning was commissioned (accepted into service by the navy) in September 2012. At that time China announced that there would be more sea trials before Liaoning was ready for regular service. Before commissioning Liaoning had performed well during over a year of pre-commissioning sea trials. During that time Liaoning went to sea ten times. The longest trip was two weeks. All this was mainly to see if the ship was able to function reliably at sea. After commissioning Liaoning carried out months of additional trials and preparations for the first flight operations, which took place in late 2012.

 

Liaoning is one of the two Kuznetsov class carriers that Russia began building in the 1980s. Originally the Kuznetsovs were to be 90,000 ton nuclear powered ships, similar to American carriers (complete with steam catapults). Instead, because of the high cost and the complexity of modern (American style) carriers, the Russians were forced to scale back their plans and ended up with 65,000 ton (full load) ships that lacked steam catapults and used a ski jump type flight deck instead. Nuclear power was dropped but the Kuznetsovs were still a formidable design. The Kuznetsovs normally carry a dozen navalized Su-27s (called Su-33s), 14 Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters, two electronic warfare helicopters, and two search and rescue helicopters. But the ship was built to carry as many as 36 Su-33s and sixteen helicopters. The Kuznetsovs carry 2,500 tons of aviation fuel, allowing it to generate 500-1,000 aircraft and helicopter sorties. Crew size is 2,500 (or 3,000 with a full aircraft load). While the original Kuznetsov is in Russian service, the second ship, the Varyag, was launched but not completed, and work stopped in 1992. The Chinese bought the unfinished carrier in 1998, towed it to China and spent over a decade completing it as the Liaoning.

 

In 2011 China confirmed that the Liaoning will primarily be a training carrie used to train Chinese officers and sailors to operate as a carrier task force as the Americans and some other Western navies have been doing for over 80 years. That led to the formation of the first Chinese carrier task force in late 2013. This was essential because a carrier needs escorts. For Liaoning this consisted of two Type 051C destroyers and two Type 054A frigates plus a supply ship. All this is similar to what the U.S. has long used, which is currently 3-4 destroyers, 1-2 frigates, an SSN (nuclear submarine), and a supply ship. Chinese SSNs are few and not very good, which is why China probably has not assigned one to their escort group.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 11:20
Logistics: The Perils Of Power

 

October 1, 2014: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. Marine Corps learned a valuable lesson about logistics in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was an old lesson made more urgent because modern warfare requires lots more electricity in the combat zone. So in the last decade the marines have been seeking ways to reduce the need for electricity or fuel used to supply it (via generators). The latest example of this is a combined solar/generator power supply for a new medical unit (STS, Shock Trauma Section) created to provide complex surgical procedures for badly injured marines. STS does this to stabilize patients very close to the fighting so they can be transported to a hospital with more elaborate surgical and intensive care facilities. The STS fits in a truck that can be carried by air via a V-22 or heavy helicopter. STS requires a lot of reliable electrical power in order to function. To supply that a combined solar/generator/battery system was built into an ammunition trailer that is towed by the STS truck. This power system weighs less than a ton (about 900 kg) and when tested under realistic field conditions was silent (the fuel hungry generator was not needed) over 60 percent of the time because the solar panels and stored energy in the batteries was sufficient.

 

Lightweight and more powerful batteries, as well as more efficient solar power panels and generators contribute to these energy saving efforts. But many other improvements also make small contributions that add up. One of these recent innovations is the LED light display. While lighting consumes less than two percent of the fuel shipped to the war zone (heating and air conditioning get 12 percent and aircraft more than half), the LED devices (which generate little heat) consume only 15 percent of the electricity required by incandescent bulbs and less than half what fluorescent fixtures use. Plus the LED bulbs last longer and are more rugged. While the overall savings is small, it adds up. Combat troops are already very familiar with LED lighting as they have been using lightweight LED lights (often mounted on their weapons) for years and noted that the batteries last a lot longer on LED flashlights while producing the same amount of light as the older incandescent bulb units.

 

Since 2006 American army and marine commanders have become determined to reduce fuel consumption, mainly because electrical needs in combat have increased so much. The troops are dealing with some dramatic changes. For example, during World War II, the first war in which American forces were mechanized each soldier required 4-5 liters (one gallon) of fuel per day. But by 2003, and the invasion of Iraq, fuel consumption was twenty times higher. In reality this meant that when you sent a modern mechanized division into combat you had to supply those troops at the rate of 80-120 liters (20-30 gallons) of fuel per man per day. As the 3rd Infantry Division moved from Kuwait to Baghdad in 2003, some 20,000 troops were involved. That required some 200 tanker loads of fuel per day. Initially, the vehicles in the division carry enough fuel to go 200-300 kilometers on internal fuel. But you don't want your vehicles to run until their tanks are dry, so at least once a day, you try to top everyone off. The route of the 3rd Infantry Division covered about 700 kilometers of road. In addition to fuel, you need about a 45-90 kg (100-200 pounds) of other supplies per man per day (mostly ammo, but also batteries, food and the like.) Once inside Baghdad, and no longer moving all the time, the fuel requirement came way down. But on the march, the advancing combat brigades were tethered by convoys of fuel trucks going back and forth to the supply bases in Kuwait. But once the U.S. began building bases for the combat brigades, it was found that the use of generators, especially for air conditioning, kept fuel requirements high (over 80 liters per man per day), which is why most of the supply trucks were still carrying fuel.

 

There are no easy solutions for this. Vehicles are larger, and require more fuel than they did 70 years ago. Tanks weigh twice as much, as do most other armored vehicles. There are more trucks and armored vehicles, as well as a lot more electronic equipment and air conditioning to keep the electronics cool. It was found that air conditioned living quarters were a huge boost to morale, and a way to reduce combat stress. That required lots of fuel. So far, the army and marines have sought to equip the troops with more energy sources that do not require fuel to be trucked, or flown, in. This is especially important for troops who are out on operations that might last a few days.

 

Batteries, and the fuel to run generators for recharging, have become a major supply item. For example, a three day operation by an infantry platoon (30 men), consumes six kg (6.6 pounds) of batteries per man. Rechargeable batteries cut that by more than half, as long as you have some way to recharge them. Special Forces are particularly hard hit by this, as they often have to go in by foot, to avoid detection, and set up a surveillance operation that consumes a lot of batteries. This is very common in Afghanistan.

 

Solutions have long been sought. For example in 2010 company (about 200 personnel) of American marines conducted a desert training exercise to see how long they could run how much equipment using solar power. This was done via solar panels that were incorporated into equipment (like a cloth like panel that was draped over a tent) or set up with a number of solar panels to act as a "solar generator.") As a result, for eight straight days, the marines were able to power all their radios and laptops (by recharging batteries) via solar panels. There is a lot of other battery powered gear, but radios and laptops are the big energy eaters. Feed them, and you have eliminated most of the power demand for troops operating on foot. The equipment and techniques used doing were sent to marines in Afghanistan and was much appreciated. This sort of thing saves lives and money. Marines have to guard a lot of their supply convoys, two-thirds them carrying fuel or water, and for every 45 truckloads brought in a marine is killed or wounded. This is sometimes avoided by hiring locals to provide convoy security, but that option often creates another warlord in the area.

 

Thus all American commanders in Afghanistan wanted more renewable fuel sources. Combat commanders had done the math, and with more combat units out and about these days, they are demanding more solar panels and fuel cells, in order to lower the demand for generator fuel and batteries. With all those computers and electronic gadgets out there, the demand for electricity, especially by units in combat, is huge and growing.

 

For decades, it was believed that hydrogen powered fuel cells would replace fossil fuel (JP-5, similar to jet fuel) powered generators. But fuel cells have been the next-big-thing for nearly a century. That said, small fuel cells are beginning to appear. The U.S. Army is installing them in tanks and trucks, as a source of auxiliary power. This points out that the larger fuel cells are now quite ready to replace the large generators (the main consumer of all that fuel). While the fuel cells cost more than ten times as much as JP-5 powered generators, that JP-5 costs about 40 times more than the same fuel used back in the United States. That's because of the transportation cost (up to $25/liter or $100/gallon) of fuel. Thus fuel cells are still a cheaper alternative and the more expensive fuel cell generator quickly pays for itself in a combat zone, and saves the lives of those operating and protecting all those fuel convoys. Another use for small fuel cells is to ease the growing load of batteries carried into combat.

 

A major problem with these small fuel cell devices is that it is mainly for items like cell phones and iPods, or anything that can get its charge via a USB connector. For military use, you need a device that can recharge common batteries, and specialized ones for military equipment. Technically, that is a simple matter, as is scaling up the current miniature fuel cell devices (about the size of a hand held game player) to provide more power. The problem with fuel cells remains their temperamental technology and high cost. But the military is willing to buy one that can stand rough handling, even at a high price, because of the even higher cost of getting fuel to the combat zone.

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 16:55
L’annonce des restructurations reportée

 

1 octobre, 2014 Guillaume Belan

 

L’annonce devait-être faite initialement fin juillet, puis aujourd’hui : ce matin aux unités dissoutes et cet après-midi aux élus, pour être exact. Mais le ministère a décidé de reporter ces annonces, sans fixer de date. Un traumatisme pour les unités.

 

Rappel : le ministère de la défense s’est engagé à supprimé 34 000 postes d’ici 2017, et a fait le choix d’annoncer de manière annuelle ces coupes qui concernent en moyenne pas moins de 7000 postes dans les armées par an, dont la moitié, soit 3500 pour les terriens. Une catastrophe pour l’armée de terre qui encaisse le gros des coupes, en étant l’armée la plus impactée par les déflations, bien plus que son poids relatif comparée aux autres, comme la Marine ou encore la DGA, très peu touchée. Le problème, c’est que, outre un état-major supprimé, deux régiments étaient en ligne de mire : le 3ème RPIMa et le 126ème Régiment d’Infanterie de Brive. Las, ce dernier est en Corrèze, les terres de François Hollande ! Résultat, le Chef d’État Major de l’Armée de Terre (CEMAT) a été prié de revoir sa copie !

 

Mais ces restructurations surtout atteignent leurs limites. Ce sont des unités combattantes et déployées qu’il faut maintenant fermer… De futures dissolutions signifieraient dorénavant mettre en berne des unités très décorées et également très employées en opérations. Dans un contexte où l’armée de terre est sur-employée : au Liban, au sein de l’opération Barkhane dans la Bande sahélo-saharienne, en RCA et bien d’autres endroits du globe où le besoin est actuel ou à venir… Bref, annoncer des dissolutions d’unités alors que l’armée de terre est sur tous les fronts, déstabiliserait profondément son modèle, voire les opérations. Inacceptable.

 

En conséquence, l’objectif du CEMAT serait d’élaborer « une réflexion profonde » sur le rôle et le modèle de l’armée de terre, « tout en conservant des marges de réflexions et des manœuvres éventuelles pour la suite » confiait un proche du dossier. Une annonce pourrait être faite dans les semaines qui viennent.

 

Drames humains

 

D’autant plus qu’en optant pour ce système d’annonces annuelles, le ministre de la Défense créé de véritables traumatismes dans les unités, qui tremblent d’être désignée et ne peuvent s’y préparer. Les Ressources Humaines, complètement déboussolées,  sont dépassés et ont bien du mal à gérer l’urgence.

 

Outre un contexte géostratégique chargé, qui voit la France sacrifier son outil de défense alors que le reste du monde réarme et s’enflamme, ces dissolutions favorisent la récession économique des territoires. Un régiment (en moyenne 800 à 1000 soldats) signifie 21 millions d’euros de retombées économiques dans le tissu local, d’après les chiffres de l’observatoire économique de la Défense…

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 16:20
Nuclear Sortie

 

9/30/2014 Strategy Page

 

An unarmed AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile is released from a B-52H Stratofortress Sept. 22, 2014, over the Utah Test and Training Range during a Nuclear Weapons System Evaluation Program sortie. Conducted by Airmen from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., the launch was part of an end-to-end operational evaluation of 8th Air Force and Task Force 204Â’s ability to pull an ALCM from storage, load it aboard an aircraft, execute a simulated combat mission tasking and successfully deliver the weapon from the aircraft to its final target. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Roidan Carlson)

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 12:55
Au cœur de l'équipage du C135 FR lors d'une mission de ravitaillement en vol de deux Rafale


29 sept. 2014 Crédit : EMA / armée de l'Air
 

Au cœur de l'équipage du C135 FR lors d'une mission de ravitaillement en vol de deux Rafale au dessus de l'Irak, le 21 septembre 2014.
 

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 12:45
Barkhane : patrouille conjointe avec la MINUSMA

 

01/10/2014 Sources : Etat-major des Armées

 

Le 25 septembre 2014, le détachement de liaison et d’appui opérationnel (DLAO) de Tombouctou a effectué une patrouille conjointe avec le bataillon burkinabais de la MINUSMA dans le village d’Elaket, à l’Est de Tombouctou au Mali.

 

Cette patrouille de contrôle de zone fait partie des missions habituelles des DLAO. Elle vise à assurer une présence dissuasive et à vérifier l’absence d’activité ou d’indice d’activité des groupes armés terroristes dans la région, en appui de la MINUSMA.

 

Les 32 soldats français du DLAO et les 25 soldats de la section burkinabaise sont allés à la rencontre des habitants pour recueillir leur sentiment sur la situation sécuritaire et mieux connaître leurs préoccupations.

 

Cette patrouille témoigne de l’excellent degré d’entente et de coopération entre les soldats français et leurs partenaires burkinabais.

 

Au cours de cette mission, les soldats de la MIMUSMA et du DLAO ont également appuyé une opération de fouille des forces armées maliennes qui contrôlaient le trafic sur la route entre le camp français et Tombouctou, confirmant ainsi le très bon degré de coordination et de confiance qui existe entre les différentes forces.

 

Composés d’une trentaine de soldats chacun, les DLAO sont placés au plus près des forces maliennes et de la MINUSMA, à Tombouctou, Tessalit, Kidal et Ansongo. Ils ont pour mission :

    de coordonner et d’assurer des missions aux côtés des forces partenaires dans leur zone ;

    d’apporter aux forces partenaires des appuis spécialisés dans les domaines du guidage aérien, de la lutte contre-IED et du soutien santé notamment ;

    d’accompagner et de conseiller les forces armées maliennes dans l’exécution de leurs missions.

 

L’opération Barkhane regroupe 3 000 militaires dont la mission, en partenariat avec les pays du G5 Sahel, consiste à lutter contre les groupes armés terroristes dans la bande sahélo-saharienne.

Barkhane : patrouille conjointe avec la MINUSMA

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 12:30
Syria: The Long War

 

October 1, 2014: Strategy Page

 

So far over 70 percent of the air strikes against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq and half of those in Syria have been carried out by American warplanes. The rest have been flown by NATO and Arab countries. There have been about 300 air strikes against ISIL so far but only about a quarter of them have been in Syria. That’s largely because the strikes in Iraq began in early August while those in Syria did not begin until late on September 22nd. Moreover most NATO nations prefer to restrict their operations to Iraq, so only the U.S. and five Arab nations are bombing in Syria. Britain and France have expressed willingness to operate in Syria. But will have to wait until more targets are identified. The strikes in Syria are limited by the lack of reliable people on the ground to confirm targets. This is less of a problem in Iraq where there are Iraqi air controllers and some Iraqi army units that are reliable enough to assign American controller teams to. Then there are the Kurds (in Iraq and Syria) where Special Forces controllers can operate with Kurdish militia groups they know (and often trained over the years). The trained Kurdish fighters are spread thin, trying to protect long borders and widespread Kurdish civilian populations. As more American controller terms get into Iraq and Syria, the air attacks against ISIL combat forces will become more common and effective. Many of the older ISIL fighters, with experience fighting American air power in Iraq (and, for a few ISIL men, Afghanistan) know that with enough controllers on the ground and enough bombers in the air, ISIL will no longer be able to take and hold ground. This explains the ISIL offensives going on now, because ISIL leaders know that in a month or so they will not be able to travel easily by road or even cross country on foot. Syrian civilians have also gotten the word and air reconnaissance shows civilians fleeing residential areas where ISIL has sought sanctuary from the air strikes. ISIL will be forced to follow the Taliban practice of forcing (at gunpoint) civilians to stick around to discourage the warplanes above.

 

The first few dozen air strikes in Syria hit the obvious targets like buildings taken over by ISIL (especially in the eastern city of Raqqa which has become the ISIL capital) as well as large storage areas for captured vehicles, weapons and housing for ISIL fighters. Also hit were large ISIL checkpoints that controlled traffic on the few major roads in eastern Syria. As expected ISIL, under the direction of Iraqi ISIL men who had experienced American air power in Iraq from 2003-2008, quickly began to disperse. Headquarters were moved to residential areas, large permanent checkpoints were abandoned (replaced by temporary ones set up by ISIL fighters travelling in vehicles equipped with baggage on the roof, to look like civilians) and all vehicles and equipment was also dispersed to residential areas. Schools, hospitals and mosques now have to provide some space for ISIL men and equipment. ISIL personnel have been warned to use cell phones and radio communications carefully because the Americans are probably listening. The Americans are listening and they have proven tactics to defeat the dispersal tactics ISIL is using to avoid air attack. Dispersal will not make ISIL safe from attack bur it will slow down the rate of loss to air attack. The attacks in Syria have killed about 240 people so far, that’s about three deaths (and over a dozen wounded) per strike. The attacks so far have concentrated on things like command and control (headquarters and communications) and logistics (fuel, vehicles and stockpiles of food and equipment). This causes ISIL long term problems right away and killed or wounded several senior people. Soon the attacks will concentrate on combat forces. This is already happening in Iraq where Kurdish forces, long comfortable working with American troops and air power) are pushing back ISIL in the north and inflicting (with the help of air strikes) lots of ISIL casualties. Because of the threat of air strikes ISIL has to be careful concentrating forces to push back the Kurdish advance.

 

In response ISIL is, as expected, claiming massive civilian casualties from the air strikes. Again, as expected, the U.S. is ready with video and eyewitness evidence that the ISIL claims are false. Since the wide use of smart bombs in the 1990s civilian casualties have plummeted over 80 percent compared to the pre-smart bomb era. This sort of thing does not make good headlines, but false accusations from Islamic terrorists, who regularly use civilians as human shields, do. Another non-news event is the large number of smart bomb strikes that are called off to avoid civilian casualties.

 

The anti-ISIL rebels are complaining that many Syrians are blaming the rebels for the damage and disruption caused by the coalition (of NATO and Arab states) air strikes. Given how few strikes there have been so far and the fact that most of them were very precise and often in remote areas, these complaints are seen as an attempt to pry more aid out of NATO and Arab counties. The Arabs are rethinking their support for Islamic terrorist rebels groups and NATO is again trying to find non-terrorist rebels to train and support. The main problem with the rebels has always been lack of unity and a sharp division between the secular (or non-fanatic Moslem) groups and the radicals. Unfortunately the Islamic terrorist groups have the widest appeal to the young Moslem men most likely to join the armed rebel groups. This is made worse by the religious divisions in Syria. The ruling Assad family are Shia, a minority in Syria and the Moslem world in general. The Shia and other minorities (Christians and other small Islamic sects) are a quarter of the population and they have dominated the Sunni majority for decades. So it’s not just a rebellion against a dictatorship but part of the centuries old hostility between Sunni and Shia. It doesn’t help that the Assads have been financed and armed by Shia Iran since the 1980s. Religious radicalism has been a problem in the Islamic world for over a thousand years. While most other religions have found ways to tame the fanatic fringe problem, Islam has not. This fanaticism is a key component in the Syrian civil war and cannot be ignored or avoided.

 

ISIL controls (or contests control) of a third of Iraq (mostly in the west) and a third of neighboring Syria (mostly in the east). There are more aircraft and UAVs over Syria and Iraq seeking out new ISIL targets than there are bombers hitting targets. ISIL forces are dispersing now that they have to deal with a sustained air offensive.  This is not a major problem because ISIL forces are not as concerned with controlling large areas, if only because most of eastern Syria and western Iraq is desert and uninhabited. What ISIL is concentrating on is attacking Kurdish and government forces wherever it can. The Kurdish and Iraqi forces are largely tied down keeping ISIL raiders out of more densely populated areas the government and Kurds control. Thus there are clashes with these ISIL raiders every day.

 

What the international coalition must do is establish a system where air support can quickly be provided for all anti-ISIL forces on the ground. This is difficult because having trained troops (air controllers) on the ground is the preferred method. But there are hundreds of specific locations anti-ISIL forces are guarding or based in and all are potential targets. This is not a new problem, but how it is handled in Iraq and Syria will determine how quickly ISIL can be reduced from major threat to dangerous nuisance status. The United States has declared that it will seek to destroy ISIL without putting any troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria. That means no American regular troops will be sent in for offensive combat. That does not apply to Special Forces advisors and ground controller teams. Some Americans will be there to help with security around the massive U.S. embassy compound, and perhaps other American facilities as well. There will also be a lot of security contractors. While these are civilians, many are veterans of the U.S. Army, Marines, Special Forces and so on. Given their civilian status, there may be a temptation to use the contractors if a lot of offensive muscle is needed. By the end of the year there will be at least 5,000 American military personnel in Iraq and even more contractors. That number is expected to grow in 2015 is needed. Hundreds of these will end up in Syria, but the United States will not be saying much about that officially.

 

Many Western politicians are uneasy with the fact that they are now de-facto allies with Iran and the Syrian Assad dictatorship as well as rebel groups that are openly Islamic terrorists and hostile to the West. Iran wants to destroy the West but at the moment it’s a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my ally whether I like it or not.” Despite official bans on cooperation there is some informal military coordination with Iran and the Assads. Meanwhile the Iranian government is encouraging the rumor that ISIL is part of an American plot to hurt Iran. This sort of thing is believed by most Iranians and many Arabs as well, who see the Western operations against ISIL as another form of the Western “war on Islam”. This conspiracy theory is so popular that many Arab states are reluctant to get too involved with the mainly Western coalition formed to stop ISIL. This is despite the fact that ISIL is a very immediate threat to Iran and all Arab states in the region. Iran backs the “ISIL is an American plot” in part to show their anger at the growing sanctions and Iranian efforts to formally coordinate anti-ISIL operations. The Syrian government is claiming to be part of the international anti-ISIL coalition but only Russia supports that claim and at the moment both Russia and Syria are considered outlaw states by the international community. 

 

The UN admitted that it had basically withdrawn its peacekeeping force on the Israeli/Syrian border. The 1,200 man peacekeeping force has been on the border since 1974 and Israel has long criticized the UN for allowing their troops to be used as human shields anti-Israel terrorists could hide behind. Now those peacekeepers are fleeing to Israel for protection.

 

September 30, 2014: On the Iraqi border Kurdish forces, allied with an Iraqi Sunni tribe that had turned against ISIL, attacked and captured a border crossing controlled by ISIL. Many Sunni tribes in Syria and Iraq have turned against ISIL, at great risk to themselves. ISIL has retaliated savagely against rebellion Sunni tribes in Syria. Defections like these were a prelude to the al Qaeda in Iraq collapse in 2007. But before this can seriously weaken ISIL the Americans have to convince the Shia dominated Iraqi government to make peace with their Sunni minority on terms acceptable to most Sunnis. That is difficult given the bitter memories the Shia and Kurds (who together comprise over 80 percent of the population) have of decades of brutal Sunni rule. The Syrian situation is more complicated, with the Sunni majority (nearly 80 percent of the population) also angry at decades of brutal Shia minority rule. The Sunni majority in Syria is more religiously conservative than the Shia Arabs (largely Shia) and Kurds (largely Sunni) of Iraq. This means that most rebels are Islamic conservatives and more sympathetic to Islamic terrorist groups. But in both Syria and Iraq most Sunni Arabs do not want to live according to the strict rules enforced by ISIL.

 

Outside Damascus al Nusra rebels repulsed an attack by soldiers and Hezbollah gunmen. The rebels have been close to the center of the city since 2012 and can still get close enough to launch rockets (with a range up to ten kilometers) or fire mortar shells (up to a few kilometers.) This fire is not accurate, but by firing into the city center it is difficult not to cause damage or casualties. Al Nusra may be losing to ISIL in the north and east, but in central and southern Syria they are still the main foe of the government forces.

 

Today American and British warplanes carried out 24 airstrikes in Iraq (14 attacks) and Syria (ten). Arab warplanes did not participate as they are undergoing maintenance and should be available tomorrow. The Arab coalition members have not contributed as many warplanes to the anti-ISIL air operations as the U.S. and Britain and are not as efficient at turning their aircraft around for more sorties.  For most of the Arab pilots and ground crews this is their first combat experience.

 

September 29, 2014: Turkey moved a company of about a dozen tanks to the area (across the border from the northeastern Syrian town of Kobane) where over 100,000 Syrian Kurds have been allowed to enter Turkey to get away from a major ISIL offensive. The tanks were accompanied by about two dozen other armored vehicles and several hundred combat troops. This border crisis began on September 18th when a large ISIL force, including some tanks and other armored vehicles and supported by artillery, advanced and have occupied over 70 of Kurdish villages. This forced over 200,000 Kurdish civilians to flee, with Kurdish militiamen delaying the ISIL fighters so the civilians could get away. About half of these civilians got into Turkey before the Turks closed the border. This ISIL victory was achieved in part because of an August agreement by Kurds from Iraq, Syria and Turkey to join forces against ISIL in northern Iraq. This was in response to continued ISIL attacks on Kurdish territory in Iraq. The organized Kurdish military forces consist of the Iraqi Peshmerga (about 100,000 full time and over 300,000 part time fighters, many with formal training and years of experience), the Turkish PKK (several thousand based in northern Iraq) and the Syrian PYD (a smaller version of the PKK and largely tied down defending northeastern Syria.) The Peshmerga and PKK have been increasingly active helping the PYD defend traditional Syrian Kurdish territory against ISIL. The fighting in northeastern Syria has been going on for over two years and ISIL has largely been held back. But as the Kurds shifted forces back to Iraq in early September to defend Kurdish northern Iraq ISIL sensed an opportunity. Because of growing American air strikes in Iraq it seemed safer to concentrate forces against the Syrian Kurds. ISIL really has it in for the Kurds, mainly because of the decades of violence between Sunni Arabs and Kurds in northern Iraq. The Sunni Arabs have been getting the worst of it since the 1990s and want revenge. Because of the need for fighters in Iraq, ISIL only encountered local militia when they advanced and the use of armored vehicles and artillery was more than the militiamen could handle. Despite Kurdish reinforcements being shifted to northeastern Syria the ISIL advance continued, despite a few coalition air strikes in support of the Kurds. Turkish Kurds tell the Turkish government that refusal to support the Syrian Kurds is causing anger among Turkish Kurds and may interfere with the current peace negotiations to end the three decade old Kurdish rebellion in Turkey.

 

Some Kurdish reinforcements were blocked or delayed at the Turkish border as the Turks enforced their ban on armed men crossing in either direction. Many Turks objected to this and now pressure is building in the Turkish parliament to have Turkey actively join the anti-ISIL coalition and allow Turkish air and ground forces to go after ISIL in the border areas. The senior Turkish leadership is against this, feeling that the Turks will be criticized by the Arabs (who endured centuries of harsh Turkish rule until 1918 and have not forgotten).

 

In the east (Deir Ezzor province) ISIL executed two of its own men. One was accused of looting and the other of spying for the Americans. The air attacks have caused some morale problems with many ISIL fighters, and paranoia among ISIL leaders.

 

September 28, 2014: Because many al Nusra rebels have allied themselves with ISIL in the last month or so, some of the recent coalition air strikes hit al Nusra units. As a result some al Nusra leaders have threatened to make attacks in the West and Arabia (especially the oil-rich Gulf States.) The al Nusra threats have more import than similar ones made by ISIL. That’s because ISIL is basically a local (most ISIL leaders are Iraqi Sunnis) while al Nusra is still on good terms with al Qaeda (which still has active franchises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa and Yemen and all of these have been trying to carry out attacks against the West).

 

September 27, 2014: The Arab Gulf states agree with the United States that the fight against ISIL could take years and are making more of an effort to stop those wealthy citizens of theirs who are still contributing lots of cash to Islamic terrorist groups, including ISIL. Many Arabs in Arabia have long been very conservative and sympathetic to Islamic terrorist organizations. This has provided most of the manpower and cash to keep al Qaeda, ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups going. The West has been pressuring Arabian (especially Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait) to do more to stem the flow of volunteers and cash. With these government facing a very real threat from ISIL, there is more cooperation to curb terrorist recruiting and find raising.

 

In Syria al Nusra revealed that the leader of an al Qaeda faction (Khorasan) that was actively planning attacks on the West, was killed by a recent air strike. Khorasan is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan but moved some key people to Syria in the last year to set up an operation for carrying out terror attacks in Europe and North America. Khorasan allied itself with al Nusra. The dead Khorasan leader, Muhsin al Fadhli was known to Western intelligence agencies and there was a $7 million reward for killing or capturing him.

 

September 26, 2014: American military leaders revealed that their planners had determined that it would require over 12,000 reliable (trained and well led) rebels to retake eastern Syria. This is the heartland of ISIL and would be heavily defended. The American officials also believed that it would take six months to train rebel fighters and their leaders to the point where they could carry out the liberation of eastern Syria. In other words, the current plan is for at least six months of air strikes on Syria while the coalition tries to find 12,000 or more Syrian rebels that can be trained, armed and equipped. These trainees must be men who are unlikely to run off and join ISIL or some other Islamic terrorist group. This plan will cost at least $500 million in its first year and rebel training camps in Jordan are being expanded. The U.S. would like the Turks to get more involved and also host training camps.

 

September 24, 2014: Sources inside Turkey claim that the Turkish government secretly agreed to release fifty ISIL men held prisoner by secular Syrian rebels in return for the freedom of 46 Turkish diplomats and family members captured when ISIL took Mosul in early June. The Turkish government denies that any such deal was made. It is claimed that the Turks made promises to the Syrian rebels in order to get the Turkish captives released. Turkey so far refuses to provide a lot of support for the campaign against ISIL and is accused of secretly allowing support for ISIL from Turks to continue. The Turkish captives were released in Iraq on September 20th.

 

September 23, 2014: On the Israeli border Israel used a Patriot missile to shoot down a Syrian Su-24 that had entered Israeli air space while it was bombing rebel positions on the Syrian side of the border. The Su-24 only got about 700 meters into Israel before turning around. Israeli air defense forces have orders to shoot down any Syrian warplanes that enter Israeli air space and Syria was informed of that policy. The last time Israel shot down Syrian aircraft was in 1985 when two Syrian MiG-23s attempted to interfere with an Israeli reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. At the time Syrian forces occupied parts of Lebanon because the 1975-90 civil war there was still going on.

 

Overnight the U.S. and Arab nations began large scale (over 200 bombs on nearly 30 targets) air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria. Most of the attacks were carried out by American aircraft, as well as 47 cruise missiles fired from U.S. ships. Some warplanes and other support was provided by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. It was estimated that 120 Islamic terrorists were killed. Some 70 of the dead were ISIL while the other fifty belonged to a faction of al Nusra that was planning attacks on the United States. Phone calls to Syrians living near the targets indicated that there was little damage to nearby structures or injuries to civilians. But the Islamic terrorists were keeping locals away from the buildings hit while the wreckage was searched. Meanwhile the U.S. has carried out nearly 200 attacks against ISIL targets in Iraq since August 7th. The U.S. also announced that over fifty countries had agreed to join a coalition to destroy ISIL. Most of these nations would not be contributing military forces but would assist in intelligence and police operations against ISIL. Some countries will provide support for coalition military forces and this is what many Arab states are doing. Western intelligence agencies now believe that there are at least 3,000 Moslems from the West fighting for ISIL. The Saudis reluctantly admit that Saudi citizens comprise the largest national faction of ISIL, including many senior positions. Most ISIL members are Iraqi or Syrian Sunnis.

 

September 20, 2014:  On the Lebanese border a suicide bomber attacked a Hezbollah controlled checkpoint and killed at least three Hezbollah gunmen and one civilian. Earlier in the day al Nusra announced that it had killed a Lebanese soldier it had captured. Al Nusra wants Hezbollah gunmen to withdraw from Syria.

 

September 19, 2014: Just across the Lebanese border a roadside bomb, apparently planted by Syrian Islamic terrorist rebels, killed two Lebanese soldiers.

 

Israeli intelligence believes that Syria has held onto some of its chemical weapons despite a 2013 deal that had them surrender those weapons in order to avoid NATO air attacks. The Israelis also believe Syria has stockpiled component chemicals for some chemical weapons and has the ability to quickly resume production. Earlier this year Israel announced that it believed that Syria again used chemical weapons on March 27th during two operations on the outskirts of Damascus.

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 11:55
Thales awarded with a study contract for the next generation of active array radars

 

September 30, 2014 Thales Group
 

The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales a technology study contract for the next generation of active phased array radars, including modular processors and multifunction panel technologies. These new technologies will ultimately equip the Rafale combat aircraft and will be suitable for future unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs).

 

 

During the signing ceremony held on 29 September in the presence of Laurent Collet-Billon, Head of the DGA, Jean-Bernard Lévy, Thales’s Chairman and CEO wished to highlight the "strong support of the DGA in maintaining a French sector of excellence in the field of airborne radars. With this technology study contract, Thales will maintain its lead in the field of active radar antennas, which is essential for the future of defence aerospace. "

Under the advanced study contract, Thales will demonstrate the technological readiness of various components and design a new generation of multifunction arrays (radar, electronic warfare and communications). The new arrays will also significantly improve range capabilities and discretion.

Over the next four years approximately 100 Thales staff, will be involved in these studies alongside a number of SME’s which have already contributed to the development of the Rafale active phased array radar.

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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 11:54
Usine de Fougères - Photo Daniel Linares Sagem

Usine de Fougères - Photo Daniel Linares Sagem


29.09.2014 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges - Supersonique


C’est l’histoire d’un site qui a tout connu. Construite en 1970 pour la fabrication de téléscripteurs, l’usine Sagem (groupe Safran) de Fougères (Ille-et-Villaine) a connu une des histoires les plus mouvementées du tissu industriel français, produisant tour à tour des équipements automobiles, des télécopieurs, des téléphones portables (100.000 par jour dans les années 2000), puis des panoplies high-tech FELIN des fantassins français, des cartes électroniques, composants de viseurs, et systèmes de guidage et de contrôle de missiles et de drones.

Le site, que le ministre de la défense Jean-Yves Le Drian visitait le 29 septembre, s’apprête à entamer un nouveau virage stratégique, avec la fin anticipée de la production des systèmes FELIN : il va accueillir la production de calculateurs aéronautiques civils et militaires, actuellement basée à Massy, en région parisienne. Safran prévoit d'investir 30 millions d’euros sur le site, une centaine de créations d'emplois à la clé.

En 2008, l’usine de Fougères est pourtant clairement menacée. Safran vient de se séparer de son activité de téléphonie mobile, ultra-déficitaire, le sort des salariés du site inquiète. Le PDG Jean-Paul Herteman, décide de prendre un pari : reconvertir l’usine et ses salariés dans la fabrication des panoplies high-tech du fantassin FELIN, un investissement de 9 millions d’euros à la clé. L'opération, soutenue par un grand plan de formation des salariés (70.000 heures de formation et 45.000 de tutorat dans d'autres sites du groupe), est un succès.

La fin des livraisons de ces équipements, anticipée du fait de la réduction de cible actée par le Livre Blanc, menaçait 25% du volume d'affaires du site. Avec les calculateurs électroniques pour moteurs civils et militaires , Fougères hérite d’une charge précieuse, sur le marché en croissance des moteurs d’avions. « Il s'agit de faire passer le site de Fougères d'un statut de sous-traitant électronique à celui d'un équipementier aéronautique complet », assure Jean-Pierre Herteman, cité par Ouest France.

L’usine s’est aussi imposée comme un centre logistique de premier plan, notamment pour l’assemblage de kits pour les moteurs militaires du groupe, le M88 du Rafale, le M53 du Mirage et le TP400 de l’A400M.

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