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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
photo S. Fort

photo S. Fort

 

13 août 2014, Par Elodie Vallerey –Usine Nouvelle

 

Le 12 août, le nouveau ministre indien de la Défense Arun Jaitley a assuré aux 245 membres de la Chambre haute du Parlement local, que les négociations entre le gouvernement et Dassault Aviation autour du contrat pour l'achat de 126 avions de combat Rafale "se poursuivaient".

 

Plus de deux ans et demi après la victoire de Dassault Aviation dans la compétition MMRCA pour le renouvellement de la flotte indienne d'avions de combat, les négociations n'en finissent pas... mais avancent.

 

"Au vu de la complexité de cette acquisition, le processus de négociation avec Dassault Aviation sur différents aspects de la proposition commerciale et sur les dispositions du contrat est toujours en cours", a assuré Arun Jaitley, le ministre indien de la Défense, lors de son audition le 12 août devant le Rajya Sabha, la chambre haute du Parlement en Inde, selon le blog spécialisé LiveFist.

 

Si l'avionneur français a remporté l'appel d'offres début 2012, le comité indien responsable de l'étude des coûts et du contrat MMRCA doit encore finaliser son rapport sur l'accord.

 

"Nous sommes très mobilisés en Inde et nous nous efforçons, avec nos partenaires français et indiens, de concrétiser le contrat de 126 Rafale dans les meilleurs délais", avait assuré le PDG de Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, lors des résultats semestriels du groupe fin juillet.

 

Arun Jaitley a été nommé ministre indien des Finances et de la Défense fin mai lors de l'accession au pouvoir de Narendra Modi.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
La Corée du Nord effectue des tirs de courte portée dans la mer

 

14 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Séoul - La Corée du Nord a effectué jeudi un tir de trois projectiles de courte portée dans la mer, depuis ses côtes est, a annoncé le gouvernement sud-coréen peu après l'arrivée du pape François à Séoul.

 

La Corée du Nord a tiré trois projectiles de courte portée dans la mer de l'Est (ou mer du Japon, a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère sud-coréen de la Défense.

 

Arrivé dans la matinée à Séoul, non loin du 38e parallèle sur lequel a été tracée la frontière entre les deux Corée, le pape François doit lancer un message pour tenter d'aider à la réconciliation entre le sud capitaliste et le nord communiste.

 

Il célèbrera une messe pour la paix et la réconciliation sur la péninsule coréenne en la cathédrale de Myeong-dong à Séoul, le 18 août, au cinquième et dernier jour de sa visite en Corée du Sud.

 

Les autorités de Pyongyang, qui ont refusé que des catholiques nord-coréens viennent rencontrer le pape, garantissent en principe la liberté de culte, inscrite dans la Constitution.

 

Mais selon un récent rapport de la Commission de l'ONU sur la situation des droits de l'Homme dans l'Etat communiste, les chrétiens pratiquant leur foi en dehors des associations officielles s'exposent à des persécutions.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
US Reassures China as 2,500 Marines Head to Australia

 

Aug. 12, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)

 

SYDNEY — The United States stressed Tuesday it welcomes the rise of China and wants to work constructively with Beijing as it signed a deal to deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia as part of its “rebalance” to Asia.

 

China bristled when the agreement to deploy Marines to the northern city of Darwin was first announced by President Barack Obama in 2011.

 

But after signing the deal at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Sydney, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was not interested in conflict with the Asian powerhouse.

 

“We welcome the rise of China as a global partner, hopefully as a powerful economy, as a full participating constructive member of the international community,” he said.

 

“We are not seeking conflict and confrontation. And our hope is that China will likewise take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of it and be that cooperative partner.”

 

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier defended the deal to bring US Marines and Air Force personnel to the Northern Territory, denying it was aimed at China which is embroiled in maritime disputes with neighbors.

 

“That’s not what it is directed to do at all. It’s about working closely with the United States to ensure that we can work on regional peace and security,” she told a radio program.

 

“The United States is rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific so it’s ways we can work together to support economic development as well as security and peace.”

 

After the talks Bishop, who also hosted US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the discussions were broad — ranging from tensions on the Korean peninsula to the crisis in Ukraine and to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan.

 

Threat of Foreign Jihadists

 

The threat of foreign jihadist militants fighting in these conflicts and then returning home radicalized was also explored. The US and Australia agreed to raise the issue at the United Nations.

 

Kerry said this problem, highlighted by images in local media of the seven-year-old son of an Australian jihadist in Syria holding a severed head, underscored the degree to which Islamic State fighters were “so far beyond the pale.”

 

“This image, perhaps even an iconic photograph, is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photos ever displayed,” Kerry said.

 

“It’s no accident that every country in the region is opposed to ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).”

 

Bishop made no comment about the prospect of an increased US military presence beyond the Marines, some 1,200 of whom are already in the country.

 

But a communique issued after the talks said that enhanced aircraft and naval cooperation was discussed, while the allies would also examine options for Australia’s contributions to ballistic missile defense in the region.

 

Bishop said there existed between Australia and the United States “a clear instinct for collaboration across a wide area of endeavor.”

 

“There is a desire to share the burden of implementing regional and global peace and prosperity, security and stability,” she said.

 

Bishop added that there was no more important security partner for Australia than the US and their longstanding alliance “had never been stronger.”

 

But she said Canberra did not envisage Australian troops would return to Iraq, where the US is carrying out air strikes and humanitarian airdrops to try to combat jihadist fighters.

 

However, Australia has offered support for humanitarian relief.

 

Kerry also ruled out sending troops to Iraq.

 

Speaking at the start of the talks at Sydney’s harborside Admiralty House, he said the Australia-US relationship was “essential to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

“We do face new challenges,” he said, citing North Korea and maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
NZ Navy's Newest Ships May Have Short Life

The amphibious ship Canterbury was part of New Zealand's Project Protector program. Two of the four inshore patrol vessels that are also part of the program could be replaced by a larger ship. (New Zealand Navy)

 

Aug. 12, 2014 - By NICK LEE-FRAMPTON – Defense News

 

WELLINGTON — New Zealand’s government is considering cutting half of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s inshore patrol vessel (IPV) fleet.

 

Two of the four 180-foot IPVs, commissioned in 2009, could be swapped for a larger ship, said Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.

 

“Obviously, if we felt that what we had already was ideal we wouldn’t be looking at this potential change,” he said.

 

The four IPVs, ordered under the NZ $500 million (US $423 million) Project Protector contract, which included two 279-foot offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and the 430-foot amphibious ship Canterbury, which participated in the recent Rim of the Pacific exercise, were ordered to help police, customs, fisheries and other government agencies protect New Zealand’s borders and exclusive economic zone.

 

However, staff shortages, particularly a chronic lack of technicians, have meant the Navy struggled to crew all the ships. The Navy has 2,059 regular personnel, down from 2,162 in 2010.

 

Business case documents, obtained under the Official Information Act by a New Zealand television channel, show two of the four patrol vessels would be sold and replaced by one longer-range ship, effectively a third OPV, in about five years.

 

Coleman says he will put the case to Cabinet next year if the government wins next month’s election.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Kurdish Peshmerga forces - photo Matt Cetti-Roberts - War is boring

Kurdish Peshmerga forces - photo Matt Cetti-Roberts - War is boring

 

Aug 12 by Steve Weintz - war-is-boring

 

Wherein I ask Robert Caruso about the crisis in Iraq

 

With American jets and drones flying top cover, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have launched counter-attacks aimed at retaking territory they lost to Islamic State militants in northern Iraq in June, July and August.

I spoke with Robert Caruso—a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who has worked in the Pentagon, with the Army and at the State Department—about the Kurds’ future, American strategy and Iranian schemes.

 

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Combattante kurde de Ras Al-Ayn. photo Hamid Mesud

Combattante kurde de Ras Al-Ayn. photo Hamid Mesud

 

August 13, 2014: Strategy Page

 

In northern Iraq the threat posed by ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has led to over 2,000 Kurdish women volunteering for combat duty. Another 5,000 had volunteered for support work in the combat zone. This is nothing new for the Kurds, or many other peoples around the globe.

 

Throughout history women have often served in irregular combat organizations. In modern times, with the arrival of lightweight firearms, more women became capable of handling direct combat. This is because before modern firearms were developed in the 19th century lots of combat was dependent on muscle, which men have a lot more of.

 

Despite this inability to compete with men in the muscle department women often served as archers, using the small, shorter range short bow that did not require the big muscle of longer range bows. These women became accurate archers because in many cultures women used short bows to hunt small game near their camp or village. Men used more powerful bows for big game. But the short bow could kill a man, especially if he were not wearing a lot of armor. A skilled female archer could regularly get face shots, as they were accustomed to hitting small targets like rabbits and birds.

 

Despite being Sunni Moslem, the Kurds do not have a lot of restrictions on women. In fact, a lot of the clothing and behavior restrictions associated with Moslem women are, as many Islamic scholars will point out, based on cultural customs not religious scripture. In the Middle East for example, women in many ethnic groups, and of all faiths (including Christians) have ancient customs about women being well covered when in public and generally staying at home. The Kurds have little of that cultural baggage and they do have a tradition of women going to war, especially in self-defense militias. This was the case in Israel during the 1948 war and their Arab opponents were enraged (and humiliated) when they found that the “soldiers” who had just defeated in one encounter or another were female. ISIL will be similarly unamused when they get the same treatment from Kurdish women.

 

Russia, and other countries, discovered during World War II that women, in general, made better snipers. But that was something any student of archery through the ages could have told you. Since World War II warfare has come to depend more on brains more than muscle. This has made women competitive at more jobs in regular armies.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
US Military Aircraft Operating In Northern Iraq

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft takes off from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) on June 20. (Staff Sgt. Lukas Atwell Marine Corps)

 

Aug. 13, 2014 - By ANDREW TILGHMAN – Defense News

 

US helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 US troops, defense officials said Wednesday.

 

The Ospreys arrived overnight Tuesday as they ferried about 130 additional US troops into the airfield, which is in or near the Kurdish city of Irbil, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

 

“They will stay there until they are no longer required,” Warren said of the aircraft. “There is no timeline.”

 

The new US troops include more than 80 Marines and dozens of special operations soldiers. Those troops were deployed from other locations within US Central Command, Warren said.

 

The expanding Iraq operation, which has no assigned name, comes as the White House is considering a more aggressive humanitarian mission to rescue the estimated 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis who are trapped on a nearby mountain, surrounded by Islamic State militants and on the verge of starvation.

 

The precise number of US aircraft on the ground in northern Iraq is likely to fluctuate, but for now includes about four MV-22 Ospreys and several rotary-wing aircraft, defense officials said.

 

The aircraft will support the 130 new US troops authorized by President Obama on Tuesday night. Their mission is limited to conducting intelligence assessments on Islamic State forces and helping to prepare possible recommendations for an expanded humanitarian assistance mission to help the Yazidis. Among those 130 new troops are some aircrew personnel and maintainers, Warren said.

 

About 1,000 US troops are now in Iraq, including about 200 in Irbil, which is under assault from Islamic State forces. In total, about 900 troops are providing security for US personnel and conducting intelligence assessments. About 100 more are on permanent assignment to the US Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq and arrived before the militants began seizing large swaths of Iraq territory in June.

 

On Wednesday, a White House official reiterated Obama’s vow to keep US troops out of direct combat. “What he’s ruled out is reintroducing US forces into combat on the ground in Iraq,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.

 

However, the precise definition of “combat” is unclear. At the Pentagon, Warren said he did not want to get into “the whole debate over, ‘When does an action become combat?’ ”

 

“Make no mistake ... these personnel are in Iraq where there is unrest and there is an active enemy. That said, their purpose is [to] assess ... options for humanitarian assistance [in Irbil]. In Baghdad, their purpose is to assess the capability of the Iraqi security forces,” Warren said.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Israeli Forces Praise Elbit UAVs in Gaza Op

The IDF's Skylark mini-UAV is used broadly in support of ground forces in the latest Gaza operation. (Israel Defense Forces)

 

Aug. 12, 2014 - By BARBARA OPALL-ROME – Defense News

 

IAF Debuts Hermes 900; IDF Deploys 2 Skylarks With Each Brigade

 

KASTINA ARMY BASE, ISRAEL — Israeli military commanders are crediting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by Elbit Systems for delivering added operational value in recent combat in Gaza.

 

From the one-ton Hermes 900 debuted by the Israel Air Force (IAF) to the soldier-launched Skylarks supporting ground-force brigades, officers here say assets acquired from the Haifa, Israel-based firm boosted combat effectiveness of Operation Protective Edge.

 

While the Skylark mini-UAV has been operational here since 2008, Protective Edge marked the first time it was used in quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces, said Brig. Gen. Roy Riftin, IDF chief artillery officer.

 

“This was the first time we deployed it broadly,” Riftin said of the system, known here as SkyRider, operated by the Artillery Corps.

 

“Every brigade — even the reserves — got at least two air vehicles and flew them nonstop; at the same time,” he said.

 

In an Aug. 12 interview at a base in southern Israel, Riftin said some 18 systems flew hundreds of hours, generating intelligence and streaming target-acquisition data to myriad shooters on the ground.

 

“It was phenomenal; a real asset,” Riftin said.

 

“We stretched these systems to the edge of their capability,” he said of the 7.5 Skylark and its 1.1 kilogram payload.

 

“They created intel; helped close the loop with other shooters ... and served up targets of opportunity for Tammuz,” the officer said of the electro-optic, precision strike system built by Rafael and operated by IDF gunners.

 

At the opposite end of Elbit’s unmanned portfolio is Hermes 900, which the IAF fielded for the first time during the operation that began July 8 and has not yet officially concluded due to unresolved ceasefire negotiations.

 

Known here as Kochav (Star), Hermes 900 is the newest system to be integrated into the IAF’s unmanned force. With a maximum takeoff weight of 1.1 tons and payload capacity of some 300 kilograms, it’s double the size of Elbit’s Hermes 450S. The 900 model also carries nearly twice the weight and flies some 12 hours longer than its predecessor.

 

“The Kochav was introduced during the operation for unique missions that it could perform in a much better way than Hermes 450,” Capt. Grisha, an officer who managed the operational integration of Hermes 900.

 

In an account published on the IDF’s website, the officer said the Hermes 900 was still undergoing test flights and wasn’t planned for operational deployment until later next year.

 

“In addition to the aircraft itself, the cockpit and flight systems are much more advanced, which enables greater operational flexibility,” said the officer, whose surname was withheld from publication.

 

The IDF officer said that following conclusion of the still ongoing operation, Hermes 900 would resume operational integration and flight testing. “There’s still some significant milestones that need to be met,” he said.

 

Dalia Rosen, a spokeswoman for Elbit, declined comment on company systems deployed in the Protective Edge operation.

 

“It’s always preferable to hear what the customer has to say,” she said.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
US Clears Major Arms Sales to Saudi, Turkey

A Royal Saudi Air Force AWACS takes off. The US has approved upgrades to five Saudi AWACS aircraft. (Jim Anderson / Boeing)

 

Aug. 12, 2014 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The US cleared two major potential sales to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Tuesday.

 

The Saudi government has requested $2 billion in upgrades for its E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. The Saudi military operates five of the command-and-control planes, produced by Boeing.

 

Upgrades include “Block 40/45 Mission Computing Upgrade systems, 20 Next Generation Identification Friend or Foe (NG IFF) AN/UPX-40, communication equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, support equipment, Mission Planning System, repair and return, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment.”

 

The sale would help “improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability in the Middle East,” DSCA said in its notice.

 

Boeing will be the principal contractor on the proposed deal. On Aug. 6, the company announced a $250 million agreement to upgrade NATO’s AWACS fleet.

 

The agency also cleared a possible sale to Turkey for 145 AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles missiles and associated equipment. That sale would be worth an estimated $320 million.

 

Those missiles will be used on the Turkish Air Force’s fleet of F-16 fighters, although the DSCA notice adds that they could also be used on the country’s eventual F-35 fleet.

 

The weapons will help “maintain the TAF’s air-to-air capability to defend its extensive coastline and borders against future threat,” according to DSCA. Raytheon would produce the equipment in its Tucson, Arizona, facility.

 

While both sales have now been cleared by the State Department, they are subject to congressional approval and further negotiations with the potential customers.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
RAF Chinooks now considered for Iraq aid crisis

 

12 Aug 2014 By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent

 

British Chinook helicopters could soon join RAF transport planes and Tornado jets operating in Iraq as the UK rapidly escalates its aid mission

 

Britain is considering sending Chinook helicopters to Iraq to bolster an aid mission for thousands of desperate refugees fleeing Islamist extremists demanding they convert or die.

The heavy lift helicopters would join two RAF C130 Hercules planes already carrying out aid drops and Tornado jets on their way to the region, as Britain rapidly steps up efforts to save a quarter of a million people fleeing fighting in northern Iraq.

The proposal was being discussed in a meeting of Government’s COBR emergencies committee on Tuesday afternoon.

 

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Irak: Washington juge moins probable d'évacuer des réfugiés, peu nombreux

 

14 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Washington - Les Etats-Unis ont jugé mercredi beaucoup moins probable d'organiser une mission d'évacuation des réfugiés yazidis du mont Sinjar, dans le nord de l'Irak, après avoir constaté que ces derniers étaient beaucoup moins nombreux et vivaient dans de meilleures conditions qu'attendu.

 

Sur la base de cette évaluation, les agences ont déterminé qu'une mission d'évacuation était beaucoup moins probable mais que les Etats-Unis continueraient à fournir une aide humanitaire aux réfugiés restant, a affirmé dans un communiqué le porte-parole du Pentagone, le contre-amiral John Kirby.

 

Une vingtaine de soldats américains qui ont effectué mercredi une mission de reconnaissance sur place ont rapporté qu'il y avait beaucoup moins de Yazidis sur le mont Sinjar que craint auparavant et qu'ils vivaient dans de meilleures conditions qu'attendu précédemment.

 

Les Yazidis sont moins nombreux car chaque nuit depuis quelques jours plusieurs milliers d'entre eux ont réussi à quitter la montagne, a expliqué M. Kirby, qui a aussi souligné l'utilité des largages d'aide humanitaire et des frappes aériennes contre l'Etat islamique (EI), menés quotidiennement par les Etats-Unis depuis vendredi dernier.

 

Les réfugiés restant continuent d'avoir accès à la nourriture et à l'eau que les Etats-Unis larguent par avion, a-t-il assuré.

 

Un responsable du Pentagone avait évoqué précédemment cette mission de reconnaissance menée par des Bérets verts, une force spécialisée dans la formation et le conseil des armées locales. Elle n'a pas été engagée dans des opérations de combat et est revenue depuis à Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien, a précisé le Pentagone.

 

Plus tôt mercredi, Ben Rhodes, conseiller adjoint à la sécurité nationale de Barack Obama, avait évoqué la possibilité d'établir des couloirs, de procéder à des évacuations par voie aérienne des réfugiés qui doivent supporter des conditions climatiques extrêmes et ont dû tout abandonner face à l'avancée des combattants sunnites.

 

Mais en soirée, M. Rhodes affirmait lui aussi sur Twitter qu'une mission d'évacuation était désormais beaucoup moins probable.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Turkey Selects Local Firm in Tank Engine Program

 

Aug. 12, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News

 

ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey’s top procurement panel selected a local tractor and diesel engine manufacturer to design and develop an engine for the country’s first indigenous new generation main battle tank, the Altay.

 

The Defense Industry Executive Committee said that it decided to launch contract negotiations with Tumosan in connection with the engine program for the Altay.

 

Kurtulus Ogun, Tumosan’s general director, told reporters Aug. 12 that the contract involved development of a diesel engine and transmission system for the planned tank.

 

“This program will increase Turkey’s self-sufficiency in defense industry and end its dependency on foreign suppliers (of diesel engines),” he said.

 

Turkey’s procurement authorities are preparing to officially launch a multi-billion-dollar competition for an eventual batch of 1,000 Altays.

 

The race for the serial production will involve an initial batch of 250 tanks, followed by three additional orders each comprising 250 more tanks, officials said.

 

The Altay program has faced hurdles and delays, as the most problematic development feature concerned its engine. Turkey’s months-long negotiations with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for joint development and production of an engine for the Altay failed earlier this year.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:25
Partners in the Water in Guatemala


13 août 2014 US Navy

 

Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) have just wrapped up two weeks in Guatemala working with divers from the Fuerza Especial Naval (FEN) as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:20
Raytheon and UMass Lowell establish institute to inspire technology innovations and knowledge sharing

 

 

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire

 

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell have announced an agreement to establish a joint research facility focused on the advancement of innovative technologies in a collaborative, state-of-the-art institute. Raytheon is committing $3 million with options to $5 million throughout the next 10 years for establishment of this research facility. 

The Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute (RURI) will feature state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms that will serve as a launchpad for collaboration and learning among UMass Lowell faculty and students and Raytheon employees to benefit both organizations in the pursuit of federal research funding. It will also provide UMass Lowell students with opportunities for research projects and employment opportunities at Raytheon.

"The creation of the RURI presents a tangible opportunity to advance the research and the learning of technologies under development for students and employees alike and will inspire future engineers and drive innovation," said Dan Crowley, president of Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business.

"We look forward to bringing the expertise of our top-notch faculty together with researchers from Raytheon. This new partnership is just one example of how UMass Lowell is leading the way in collaborating with industry to power innovation and the economy in Massachusetts and beyond," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "This institute will also provide our students with the kind of real-world experience that is one of the hallmarks of a UMass Lowell education."

"As a co-directed, co-located research environment, the RURI signifies a unique opportunity for Raytheon's university partnerships," said Mark E. Russell, Raytheon vice president of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance. "The RURI will serve as an extension of our current research capabilities and represents a resource across the Raytheon enterprise for the study of advanced materials and flexible circuit technologies, such as printable electronics and nanotechnology."

Initial research will focus on future technologies for radar and communication systems and could expand into other areas as needed. The institute will leverage UMass Lowell's strengths in printed electronics and nanotechnology that align with Raytheon's strategic technology needs including high-frequency printed conformal antennas, carbon-based transistors and photonic devices.

The RURI will be located in the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, an $80 million, 84,000-square-foot research facility on the UMass Lowell campus that is home to cutting-edge research in a variety of science and engineering disciplines. The center – one of nine new buildings opened by the university since 2009 – was constructed to provide not only UMass Lowell faculty and students with the most advanced research facility of its kind north of Boston, but to also support collaboration with businesses from startups to world leaders like Raytheon.

The building's fourth floor will be specially equipped to house the institute, which will be co-directed by Dr. Christopher McCarroll of Raytheon and UMass Lowell Prof. Craig Armiento, Ph.D., a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering in the university's Francis College of Engineering.

 

About UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in business, engineering, education, fine arts, health, humanities, liberal arts, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu

 

About Raytheon
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

 

 

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:20
Northrop Grumman Awarded $300 Million Contract to Continue Air Force Weather Support

 

BELLEVUE, Neb. – Aug., 13 2014 – Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract valued at up to $300 million to continue helping U.S. Air Force Weather (AFW) deliver a full range of terrestrial and space environmental information, products and services to military users worldwide.

 

The Air Force, Army, special operations forces and others rely on AFW environmental information and forecasts for mission planning, combat operations by military units in the field, and airfield and flight operations.

 

Under the Systems Engineering, Management and Sustainment (SEMS) III contract, Northrop Grumman will continue to facilitate enterprise-level systems engineering, systems management and sustainment services. In addition, the company will support scientific projects, the transition of new capability to operations, logistics analysis and management, and testing and fielding support. The company has been the prime contractor for SEMS since 2002.

 

Northrop Grumman's SEMS work includes supporting AFW's continuing enhancement of existing systems, development of enterprise-level distribution methods that use network-centric services, expanding on-demand capabilities and fully integrating environmental domain data from land, sea, atmosphere and space sensors.

 

"We are very pleased to build upon our strong partnership with the Air Force Weather community as we work together to implement the government's single baseline architecture for the future," said Linnie Haynesworth, vice president and general manager, Intelligence Systems and Reconnaissance division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "The Northrop Grumman SEMS team ensures all systems are operational and available, enabling the Air Force to provide the continuous, complete and current weather information that is so critical to our military for mission success. We have a long history of delivering strong performance and are dedicated to increasing performance levels to satisfy existing and emerging missions while reducing total cost of ownership."

 

Supported systems include the Weather Data Analysis, Point Analysis Intelligence System and Air Force Weather Web Services, which provide timely data and services to warfighters making critical operational decisions; the Space Weather Analysis and Forecast System, which characterizes the near earth electrical and magnetic fields for global Defense Department space operations and communications; and operational numerical weather modeling systems including the Land Information System, Weather Research and Forecast Model, Cloud Depiction and Forecast System II, and AFWA Coupled Assimilation and Prediction System to analyze and predict environmental conditions worldwide for mission planning, current operations and post-strike analysis.

 

The SEMS III contract was awarded by the 55th Contracting Squadron, based at Offutt Air Force Base. Work will be performed primarily at the Air Force Weather Agency, also headquartered at Offutt. AFWA runs the strategic center for weather for the Air Force and supplies all weather-related information to the Air Force, Army, other Defense Department activities, the intelligence community and many civilian agencies.

 

Northrop Grumman was first awarded SEMS in 2002, initially tasked with consolidating the Air Force's weather systems to reduce the costs of maintaining individual weather systems. Under related contracts, the company has supported the Air Force's weather mission for more than 25 years.

 

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:20
U.S. Army M-1A2SEPv2s and Romanian tanks during an exercise in Germany in May 2014

U.S. Army M-1A2SEPv2s and Romanian tanks during an exercise in Germany in May 2014

 

Aug 12 by David Axe – War is boring

 

A taxonomy of armored vehicles, volume four — the tricked-out M-1

 

The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over. The Afghanistan war is winding down. Today America faces “emerging threats in an increasingly sophisticated technological environment,” according to Gen. John Campbell, the Army vice chief of staff.

For the U.S. ground combat branches that means a renewed emphasis on fast-moving armored warfare. The Army and Marines are dusting off heavy vehicles that played a minor role in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In this series, we spotlight some of the more obscure, weird and lamented armored behemoths. The battle wagons of a new era of warfare. The focus of this volume — the Army’s latest M-1 tank … with all the bells and whistles.

 

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:20
Warship "Survivability"

 

12 Aug 2014 by Lazarus - informationdissemination.net

 

Much of the recent discussion of the current Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) program and the proposed new frigate FF(G)X involves the “survivability” of both classes. Numerous senior civilian and uniformed officials have called for the FF(G)X to be “more survivable” than the current LCS. Casual observers may not know how much information goes into determining this feature of a warship design. Before the Second World War and for some time after, “survivability” was primarily concerned with how many “hits” of a certain size projectile a warship could sustain and still be mission capable. In the postwar era, the concept of survivability changed based on a new ethos in surface combatant design, the advent of nuclear weapons, and advances in detection, communication, weapons, and countermeasure technologies. In fact, a warship’s active and passive defenses against attack from aircraft, cruise missiles and underwater weapons have effectively replaced armor and other elements of physical resistance to damage, making a warship’s “survivability” more akin to a combat aircraft than past combatants.

 

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 23:50
1st Cavalry soldiers headed to Poland, Baltics

U.S. Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division travel in a Bradley Fighting Vehicles during Combined Resolve II on May 24, 2014. Photo James L. Brown U.S. Army

 

August 13, 2014 By Jon Harper Stars and Stripes

 

WASHINGTON — Approximately 600 soldiers from the Army’s 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division will deploy to Poland and the Baltic States to help reassure European allies who feel threatened by Russian military moves, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The troops and their equipment — which include M-1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers — will go to Europe in October for a three-month series of training exercises.

 

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 23:30
Sinjar Mountains - source Washington Post (11 aug 2014)

Sinjar Mountains - source Washington Post (11 aug 2014)

 

13 août 2014 22h17 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Dohuk (Irak) - Des conseillers militaires américains doivent se rendre dans la région montagneuse de Sinjar, dans le nord de l'Irak, pour étudier les moyens d'évacuer des civils qui y sont coincés, a déclaré mercredi un porte-parole des forces de sécurité kurdes.

 

Quelque 130 conseillers militaires sont arrivés à Erbil, la capitale de la région autonome du Kurdistan, et certains d'entre eux devaient se rendre aux monts Sinjar pour y évaluer la situation, a déclaré à l'AFP Halgord Hekmat, sans préciser si ces hommes étaient déjà partis vers cette région.

 

La prise de Sinjar par les jihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI) a poussé des milliers de personnes à fuir vers les montagnes.

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 22:01
US Navy F/A-18s Launch From USS GHW BUSH

 

13 août 2014 US Navy

 

ARABIAN GULF (Aug. 12, 2014) Flight deck operations from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Bush is operating in the Arabian Gulf on a scheduled deployment to U.S. 5th Fleet. The President has authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct military operations in support of humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests, in response to activities conducted by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 21:55
Mobilisation générale contre l’EI en Irak, la France aussi fournira des armes aux Kurdes

 

13 août 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

C’est la mobilisation générale sur les front doplomatique, humanitaire et militaire: après les États-Unis et la Grande-Bretagne, la France fournira des armes «pour soutenir la capacité opérationnelle» des forces kurdes engagées contre les djihadistes qui progressent vers Bagdad, a annoncé l’Elysée ce mercred 13 août dans un communiqué.

 

«La situation catastrophique à laquelle doit faire face la population dans la région du Kurdistan irakien nécessite la poursuite et l’amplification de la mobilisation de la communauté internationale. La France entend jouer un rôle actif en fournissant, en lien avec ses partenaires et en liaison avec les nouvelles autorités irakiennes, toute l’assistance nécessaire», dit le communiqué de l’Élysée.

«De premières livraisons humanitaires ont eu lieu ces derniers jours. Elles vont se poursuivre. Le Président de la République a demandé au ministre des Affaires étrangères et du développement international de suivre personnellement cette question», poursuit le communiqué.

«Conformément aux termes de l’entretien du 7 août entre le Président de la République et le président Barzani, la France a déjà pris les dispositions nécessaires depuis plusieurs jours pour soutenir la capacité opérationnelle des forces engagées contre l’État islamique. Afin de répondre aux besoins urgents exprimés par les autorités régionales du Kurdistan, Le chef de l’Etat a décidé, en accord avec Bagdad, de faire acheminer des armes dans les heures qui viennent», précise l’Élysée.

 

Suite de l’article

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 21:30
Syrie: importante avancée des jihadistes dans le nord

 

13 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Beyrouth - Les jihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI) ont mené mercredi une importante avancée dans la province syrienne d'Alep, chassant les rebelles de plusieurs villages à l'issue de combats qui ont fait 52 morts, rapporte l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH).

 

Le groupe ultra radical a pris en moins de 24 heures huit localités et villages au nord de la ville d'Alep, non loin de la frontière turque, a indiqué l'OSDH, parmi lesquels le village d'Arshaf et la localité de Dabeq.

 

Au moins 40 combattants rebelles et 12 de l'EI ont été tués dans les combats, selon un nouveau bilan de l'Observatoire qui dispose d'un large réseau de sources civiles, médicales et militaires. Un précédent bilan faisait état de 39 morts au total.

 

D'après l'OSDH, les jihadistes ont fait prisonniers au moins 50 rebelles.

 

L'Etat islamique, qui contrôle en très grande partie l'est syrien et une partie du nord, avance rapidement vers l'ouest, indique le directeur de l'OSDH Rami Abdel Rahmane.

 

Les combats, qui durent depuis des mois, se sont intensifiés dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi après un assaut majeur de l'EI sur ces villages, d'après l'OSDH.

 

Dans cette zone, les bataillons islamistes avaient été lâchés par leur ex-allié, le Front al-Nosra, qui s'est retirée de la région fin juillet, toujours selon l'ONG. Les rebelles ont été affaiblis par ce retrait, affirme M. Abdel Rahmane.

 

Al-Nosra, la branche syrienne d'Al-Qaïda, était alliée aux rebelles aussi bien contre l'EI que contre les troupes du président Bachar al-Assad.

 

Mais ces dernières semaines, Al-Nosra a commencé à combattre les rebelles, rendant encore plus complexe le conflit syrien.

 

La prise des villages par l'EI lui permettra d'attaquer deux importants bastions de la rébellion, les villes de Marea et d'Aazaz, plus à l'ouest, ajoute l'OSDH.

 

Marea est un bastion du Front islamique, une coalition de groupes islamistes qui combat l'EI et le régime.

 

Aazaz, proche de la frontière turque et du poste-frontière de Bab al-Salama, vital pour la rébellion, pourrait constituer un atout pour l'EI qui veut étendre son califat proclamé début juin sur les territoires saisis en Irak et en Syrie.

 

Si l'EI prend Marea et Aazaz, elle coupera une des plus importantes routes d'approvisionnement pour les rebelles en provenance de la Turquie. C'est très grave, dit M. Abdel Rahmane.

 

Apparu en 2013 en Syrie, l'EI s'est attiré les foudres des rebelles syriens par ses violences contre les civils et les combattants rivaux et ses velléités hégémoniques, ce qui a déclenché une guerre sanglante entre les deux bords.

 

Sans issue en vue, la guerre en Syrie a fait plus de 170.000 morts, selon l'OSDH, et a forcé près de la moitié des habitants a fuir leur foyer, selon l'ONU.

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 21:30
Gaza: une roquette s'abat sur le sud d'Israël avant l'expiration de la trêve

 

13 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Jérusalem - Une roquette de la bande de Gaza s'est abattue mercredi sur le sud d'Israël, sans faire de victime ni de dégât, a indiqué à l'AFP la porte-parole de la police israélienne, deux heures avant l'expiration d'une trêve de 72H.

 

Ce tir est le premier incident signalé depuis l'entrée en vigueur lundi de ce cessez-le-feu, suspendu à d'éprouvantes négociations indirectes entre Israéliens et Palestiniens sous l'égide des Egyptiens qui, deux heures avant une éventuelle reprise des hostilités, n'avaient toujours pas abouti.

 

Depuis le lancement de l'offensive israélienne sur Gaza le 8 juillet, près de 2.000 Palestiniens ont été tués, tandis que l'armée israélienne a recensé près de 4.000 tirs de roquettes depuis Gaza. Côté israélien, 64 soldats et trois civils ont péri.

 

L'Etat hébreu avait assuré se lancer dans cette opération, aérienne et terrestre, pour faire cesser les tirs de roquettes.

 

En soirée, alors que rien n'avait filtré depuis Le Caire de la position des Palestiniens quant à une prolongation de la trêve, le porte-parole du Hamas à Gaza, Sami Abou Zouhri, a affirmé dans un communiqué que la branche armée du mouvement islamiste palestinien continuait à fabriquer des roquettes, y voyant un message disant aux amis comme aux ennemis que les objectifs de l'occupant (israélien) dans cette guerre ont échoué.

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 21:30
Irak : la France va acheminer des armes aux Kurdes pour lutter contre les jihadistes

 

13.08.2014 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord. - Défense Globale

 

Un communiqué de l'Elysée indique ce mercredi 13 août que le chef de l'Etat, François Hollande, " a décidé en accord avec Bagdad, de faire acheminer des armes dans les heures qui viennent " aux autorités régionales du Kurdistan qui luttent contre les jihadistes de l'Etat islamique. La France n'a donc pas attendu l'Europe et a choisi d'emboîter le pas des Etats-Unis et de la Grande-Bretagne. Nous voici avec un nouvel allié, le Kurdistan, qui aspire à devenir un Etat dans un Moyen-Orient en cours de redéfinition complète. Mais ceci est un autre sujet...

 

C'est un des deux Airbus A340 de l'escadron de transport 3/60 Esterel de la base aérienne de Villacoublay qui a livré le 10 août 18 tonnes d'aide humanitaire à Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien autonome. Un second vol était prévu ce mercredi 13 août pour la livraison de 20 tonnes de médicaments, de tentes, de matériel de traitement et de distribution des eaux.

Pour l'acheminement d'armes, aucune information n'est évidemment précisée mais on peut penser que l'escadron Esterel sera encore de la partie, sans doute avec un encadrement de la DGSE, habilitée à traiter ce genre de missions comme lors des derniers conflits (ex-Yougoslavie, Libye, Syrie). Toujours à l'aéroport d'Erbil équipé de deux pistes longues de 2 800 et 4 800 m...

A qui donne-t-on ? Peut-on tracer les armements ? Des formateurs français, militaires ou non, vont-ils enseigner la pratique aux peshmergas kurdes ? Beaucoup de questions sans réponses et d'incertitudes émaillent ce genre de contrat. Elles sont visiblement balayées par l'urgence de la situation.

 

Des missiles antichars Eryx ?

On ignore également quels types d'armements vont être livrées " dans les heures qui viennent ", comme l'indique le communiqué de l'Elysée. On pense dans un premier temps à des missiles antichars pour faire face aux blindés américains et autres Humvees de l'armée irakienne investis par les jihadistes.

 

missile anti-char ERYX - photo ADC O Dubois Armée de Terre

missile anti-char ERYX - photo ADC O Dubois Armée de Terre

Le missile antichars Eryx, de MBDA, qui équipe classiquement les régiments d'infanterie en France, pourrait être l'arme adaptée : puissante, d'une portée de 600 m, légère (12 kg), semble-t-il facile de mise en place et d'utilisation pour des tirs à l'épaule ou sur un trépied (car les soldats kurdes n'auront pas le temps d'avoir six mois de formation...).

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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 20:40
Russie-Ukraine: aucun trafic d'armes à la frontière (OSCE)

 

VIENNE, 13 août - RIA Novosti

 

Il n'y a pas eu de trafic d'armes et aucun homme armé n'a traversé la frontière russo-ukrainienne entre le 6 et le 12 août, ont annoncé mercredi les observateurs de l'OSCE dans un rapport.

 

Selon le document, parmi les personnes ayant traversé la frontière il y avait des familles à pied ou en voiture avec beaucoup de bagages, des personnes âgées avec un petit nombre de sacs, des personnes adultes sans bagages et des hommes en vêtements militaires avec ou sans sac à dos. Des ambulances ont évacué des insurgés blessés en Russie par le poste-frontière de Donetsk (à ne pas confondre avec la ville ukrainienne du même nom).

 

Des hélicoptères militaires dont l'identité n'a pas été indiquée ont survolé à plusieurs reprises les postes-frontières russes, d'après les observateurs.

"Les cinq derniers militaires ukrainiens entrés sur le territoire russe le 4 août sont rentrés en Ukraine", ajoutent les auteurs du rapport.

 

La mission d'observation de l'OSCE est déployée dans la région russe de Rostov-sur-le-Don, voisine du Donbass ukrainien, théâtre d'intenses combats entre forces gouvernementales et brigades indépendantistes.

 

La mission compte 19 observateurs depuis le 9 août. Présents à la frontière depuis le 30 juillet, les observateurs ont commencé à surveiller les postes-frontières 24 heures sur 24 la semaine dernière.

 

Ces derniers mois, les poste-frontières russes de la région de Rostov ont à plusieurs reprises subi des tirs depuis le territoire ukrainien.

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