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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:30
Iron Dome Fantasy And Reality

July 10, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Israel is making preparations to deploy a sixth Iron Dome anti-rocket battery this month, with two more coming within the next eight months. Iron Dome is the principal defense against short range rockets fired from Gaza or Lebanon. Iron Dome has a range of 70 kilometers against rockets, as well as artillery and mortar shells up to 155mm. Work is underway to increase Iron Dome range to over 200 kilometers. Meanwhile, Iron Dome remains a controversial mix of battlefield success and controversy.

 

For example, the Israeli military has had to keep repeating public reminders that the Iron Dome anti-rocket system was not meant for defending towns and villages but military bases and critical infrastructure (power and water). This reminder comes after Iron Dome successfully defeated a Hamas attack (using 1,500 rockets) last November. Many Israelis assumed this meant they could expect similar protection if there were a larger attack from Hamas or Hezbollah. But the military points out that Hamas has over 5,000 rockets and Hezbollah over 40,000. If one or both of these groups fired several thousand rockets, including longer range (over 20 kilometers) ones  the Iron Dome batteries would have to be used to defend military bases and power plants first (otherwise defense of the nation would be imperiled) before trying to cover civilian targets. With a smaller attack the existing number of Iron Dome batteries is sufficient to defend everything, which is what happened last year. But until it is possible to buy more Iron Dome batteries, a major attack will leave many civilian targets vulnerable. With eight batteries available next year, there will still be a need to concentrate on protecting key targets if there is a major attack. The military believes it would need twenty batteries to cover everything but it is unclear if the government can come up with the money for that. The U.S. is supplying some of the cash for this, but not enough for another dozen batteries.

 

The military has been pointing this out for over three years. The first mention was in response to announced plans to keep the new Iron Dome batteries in storage. At that time politicians were making much of using Iron Dome as a means of defending civilians living close to the border and vulnerable to rockets fired from Gaza in the south and Lebanon in the north. But it turned out that it takes about 15 seconds for Iron Dome to detect, identify, and fire its missiles. Most of the civilian targets frequently under fire from Gaza are so close to the border (within 13 kilometers) that the rockets are fired and land in less than 15 seconds. When longer range rockets are fired there are many more targets (civilian and military) to aim at and Iron Dome is much more effective. This is what happened last November, when Hamas fired many of its longer range rockets at larger towns and cities deeper in Israel.

 

This explains why, after Iron Dome was declared ready for action three years ago, it was surprisingly (to most Israelis) placed in storage. The air force said they would prefer to save money and put the Iron Dome batteries in storage, to be deployed only for regular tests and training or, of course, for an actual emergency (an expected large scale attack on southern or northern Israel). Politicians demanded that at least one battery be deployed along the Gaza border. Eventually all the batteries were deployed to defend a constantly shifting array of targets. Moving the Iron Dome batteries a lot is good training and confuses the enemy. Meanwhile the military sees Hamas and Hezbollah stockpiling larger numbers of longer range rockets that would enable massive use of long-range rockets against military bases (most of them more than 20 kilometers from the Gaza or Lebanese borders). The generals believe it's more important to protect the military forces, who ultimately defend Israel, and that's what Iron Dome will now be used for, at least when there is threat of a major rocket attack.

 

Iron Dome Fantasy And Reality

Since 2010 Israel has bought eight batteries of Iron Dome anti-rocket missiles. Five are in action and were responsible for defeating the Hamas attack last November, which used a lot of long range rockets. Each battery has radar and control equipment and three missile launchers. Each battery costs about $50 million, which includes 50-100 Tamir missiles (costing $50,000 each). Iron Dome uses two radars to quickly calculate the trajectory of the incoming rocket and do nothing if the rocket trajectory indicates it is going to land in an uninhabited area. But if the computers predict a rocket coming down in an inhabited area, Tamir guided missiles are fired to intercept the rocket. So far Iron Dome has been able to intercept 85 percent of missiles it identified as heading for an inhabited area. The latest version of Iron Dome has a longer range as well as more effective fire control.

 

This approach makes the system cost-effective. That's because Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets in 2006, and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired over six thousand rockets in the past eight years, and the Israelis know where each of them landed. Over 90 percent of these rockets landed in uninhabited areas, and few of those that did hit inhabited areas caused casualties. Israel already has a radar system in place that gives some warning of approaching rockets. Iron Dome uses that system, in addition to another, more specialized, radar.

 

The Palestinians are believed to have tried to defeat Iron Dome by firing a lot of long range missiles simultaneously at a few cities. In theory this could overwhelm one or two Iron Dome batteries. But Israel is able to keep 24/7 UAV watch on Gaza and spot attempts at large scale simultaneous launchers. This enables Israel to bomb many of the launch sites. This results in many rockets destroyed on the ground or launching erratically and landing within Gaza or nowhere near where they were aimed. Because Iron Dome can track hundreds of incoming missiles, quickly plot their trajectory and likely landing spot, and ignore the majority that will not land near people, the Palestinians tried putting hundreds of larger (long range) missiles into the air at the same time to be sure of causing lots of Israeli casualties. So far the Palestinians have not been unable to get enough rockets into the air at the same time to make this work. They may never get this to work, because they have to hide preparations for the simultaneous launch of many rockets and this is very difficult to do undetected.

 

The Palestinian rocket attacks have been around since 2001, but got much worse once Israel pulled out of Gaza in August of 2005. This was a peace gesture that backfired. From 2001 to 2005, about 700 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Since the 2005 withdrawal, over 5,000 more rockets were fired into Israel. The rate of firings increased after Hamas took control of Gaza in June, 2007. In 2011 700 rockets and mortar shells were fired, this jumped to 2,300 in 2012 when Hamas briefly went to war with Israel. The retaliation was so effective that Hamas agreed to a ceasefire. Thus during the first half of 2013 only about 40 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israel.

 

Hamas has been bringing in more factory made Iranian and Chinese made BM-21 and BM-12 rockets. Hamas revealed, last November that they had brought into Gaza factory-made BM-21 rockets, each with a range of 20-40 kilometers. They also have lots more shorter range (six kilometers) Russian designed B-12 107mm rockets. The 122mm BM-21s weigh 68.2 kg (150 pounds) and are 2.9 meters (nine feet) long. These have 20.5 kg (45 pound) warheads but not much better accuracy than the 107mm model. However, these larger rockets have a maximum range of 20 kilometers and a flight time of under 15 seconds. Again, because they are unguided, they are only effective if fired in salvos or at large targets (like cities, large military bases, or industrial complexes).

 

There are Egyptian and Chinese BM-21 variants that have smaller warheads and larger rocket motors, giving them a range of about 40 kilometers and flight time over 15 seconds. Israel found that there are now dozens of even larger Iranian Fajr rockets, with a range of 70 kilometers, plus several hundred extended-range (40 kilometers) 122mm rockets, and even more standard range (20 kilometers) 122mm rockets in Gaza. Before last November there were thought to be over 10,000 rockets stored in Gaza. But between Iron Dome and attacks on storage sites by artillery and smart bombs, over half of those rockets were destroyed.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:30
Aerial Defense Combat Soldiers to Identify UAVs

10.07.2013 Shir Aharon Baram - iaf.org.il

 

In the Aerial Defense Division, soldiers have learned lessons from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that penetrated Israeli territory last October and April of this year: In addition to the courses on airplane identification the soldiers pass, there is also a course on UAV identification. From now on, the soldiers of the division will be able to deal with the new, developing threat

 

The Aerial Defense Division is currently putting forth a plan to train combat soldiers to deal with the threat of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The combat fighters and interceptors will learn how to detect UAVs of different kinds and to distinguish between them. "The threat of UAVs is a very relevant threat, along with our classic mission against manned aerial vehicles", says Commander of the Aerial Defense Division, Brigadier General Shahar Shohat, in an interview with the IAF journal.

 

Identification rates of airplanes are of great importance to the Aerial Defense Division, as its soldiers are required to identify an aircraft at a high altitude and determine quickly whether it is friendly or hostile. Through distinguishing the types of inlet cones, canopies, undercarriages, and non-stop memorization of blueprints and different points, the soldiers responsible for the task of defended the airspace succeed in distinguishing between a every type of plane and helicopter in the area.

 

In recent years, the State of Israel has realized the threat is not limited to just manned aerial vehicles, but includes also unmanned aerial vehicles, a developing threat among terror organizations that will no slip past the watchful eyes of the soldiers of the division: In their lessons, they will learn how to distinguish between offensive UAVs, UAVs for intelligence purposes, and other types of UAVs available in the field.

 

In the last year, the IAF has dealt with the threat of UAVs: Last April, a UAV was intercepted off the coast of Haifa by a fighter jet, and half a year before this incident, in October, a UAV from the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, was intercepted in midair over the northern Negev.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Lawmakers Want Answers from Pentagon Over Missile Test Failure

Jul. 10, 2013 - By JOHN T. BENNETT – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Congress wants answers from the Pentagon about a failed missile interceptor test, and several prominent senators say it should slow efforts to build an East Coast shield.

 

The Defense Department announced on Friday that a missile interceptor failed to hit a target over the Pacific Ocean, the latest setback for a pricey program that has not had a successful test since George W. Bush occupied the White House.

 

The missile interceptor was supposed to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and shoot down a ballistic missile launched from a site in the Marshall Islands. It did not, however, and was the latest in a string of failures going back to 2008.

 

Lawmakers with oversight of the US missile defense program say Pentagon officials owe them some answers.

 

“I read the story, and I’m looking forward to getting a briefing. I haven’t drawn any conclusions yet,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., chairman of the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said during a brief interview on Wednesday.

 

“I don’t think I should until I hear what the Pentagon has to say,” said Udall, whose subcommittee has legislative jurisdiction over the missile defense program’s plans, schedule and budget.

 

One senior lawmaker with even more power than Udall to impose restrictions on the missile defense program said the failure gives him new worries about America’s ability to shoot down an adversary’s missile.

 

“I’ve got plenty of concerns about the whole program,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the full Armed Services Committee.

 

Levin has yet to be briefed by Pentagon officials on the failed test launch.

 

“But I’ve asked for one,” he told Defense News.

 

New concerns were not limited to Democratic members, however.

 

“It has to be reviewed,” said Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “Obviously, that’s a very expensive failure.”

 

Some key defense-focused lawmakers, however, told Defense News the underlying missile interceptor technology is sound, adding existing interceptors like the Capability Enhancement-II (CE-II) should do the job.

 

“I don’t think we need to put the brakes on anything,” said House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. “We need a missile defense system. Rogue actors, from North Korea to Iran, are developing missiles. We need to improve our missile technology.

 

“We need to figure out what went wrong and fix it,” Smith said.

 

Asked if he has confidence the Missile Defense Agency and its private-sector contractors have the expertise to “fix it” given the spate of failed tests since 2008, Smith was confident.

 

“Absolutely I think they can fix it,” he said. “Just look at the success they’ve had with Iron Dome in Israel. Missile defense technology has improved dramatically.”

 

SASC Ranking Member Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said the US missile defense technology is sound — despite the run of failed test intercepts.

 

“I believe we should be entering into more tests,” Inhofe said. “The CE-II [interceptor] is going to be what we have to to rely on.”

 

Lawmakers said they intend to press the Pentagon for details of what went wrong last week.

 

“We have to get certain benchmarks,” McCain said, “and we have to review what remedial steps have to be taken.”

 

While Smith was bullish about the missile-defense program, he told Defense News that Congress and the Pentagon “need to re-look at our options and figure out what the best ones are.”

 

The Pentagon has around 30 interceptors on the West Coast, and intends to build 14 more in Alaska and California. Collectively, the price tag for erecting and operating those is in the tens of billions of dollars.

 

And GOP lawmakers in both chambers are fighting hard to secure legislative language that would require the Pentagon to build a missile shield on the East Coast.

 

“We’re going to study the East Coast,” Udall said. “But we need to finish the West Coast, I think.”

 

McCain did not rule out slowing efforts to erect the East Coast site.

 

“It’s too early to tell because we haven’t determined the reason for the failure,” he said on Wednesday.

 

“I think the East Coast proposal should not proceed until a number of other things have happened,” Levin said. “Number one, until there’s a requirement for it; and number two, until there’s an environmental assessment, which has not yet been made but is required by law.

 

“So there’s a lot of other reasons to have that proposal meet certain standards before we go ahead with it,” Levin said. “This [failure] is just … on top of all that.”

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Phoenix AUV Now Capable of Diving to 4,500 Meters

Jul 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Phoenix International Holdings, Inc.

 

Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. announced that the company has taken delivery of their Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) after designer and manufacturer Bluefin Robotics completed a depth upgrade from a 1,500-meter to a 4,500-meter capability.

 

The Phoenix AUV is equipped with field-swappable acoustic  and optical payloads.  The acoustic payload section can concurrently operate a Reson 7125 multibeam (400kHz), Edgetech 2200-M side scan sonar (120/410 kHz), and Edgetech DW2-16 sub-bottom profiler (2-16 kHz) on 20 hour dives at speeds up to 3.5 knots.  The optical payload section can collect high resolution black and white imagery up to 3 frames per second using a Prosilica GE1900 camera system with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.  This highly capable and portable deep-water vehicle ships air freight to deploy on vessels of opportunity.  The average loadout specifications which include the AUV, mission support equipment, and lithium ion batteries consist of 20 pieces totalling 10,000 lbs. and occupies 1,000 cubic feet.

 

“We are quite pleased with this upgraded vehicle,” said Phoenix CEO, Mike Kutzleb. “And we’re ready to go to work.”

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Airmen set world's record during exercise

Jul 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Air Force

 

Airmen from the Dyess's 317th Airlift Group set a world's record for the largest C-130J formation during a Joint Operational Access exercise on June 19.

 

JOAX is a 12-day combined military training exercise designed to prepare Airmen and Soldiers to respond to worldwide crises and contingencies.

 

"This was the largest JOAX since September 2011," said Maj. Josh Leibel, 317th AG. "Servicemembers from all across the Air Force and Army came together to make the exercise possible."

 

Dyess supported JOAX with 20 C-130Js and 87 aircrew members, which delivered Soldiers and equipment to multiple drop zones.

 

"During the exercise the 317th AG set a world record for the largest C-130J formation," Leibel said. "Just as impressive as the 20-ship formation, our aircrew delivered 2,426 paratroopers and more than 140 tons of equipment to support the Army's training."

 

Not only did Dyess support the exercise with aircrew and aircraft, servicemembers on the ground worked nonstop to ensure operations went smoothly.

 

"I'm very proud of everything these guys did," said Senior Master Sgt. Rodney Jones, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "They worked hard every day and every night to get the aircraft ready to go. I look forward to deploying with them."

 

"Once the engines started cranking up I got goose bumps," said Airman 1st Class Matthew Martin, 317th AMXS. "It was such a good feeling seeing the largest C-130J formation fly out knowing we all did this. It made all the hard work we put in worth it."

 

Exercises such as JOAX give Dyess servicemembers the unique opportunity to train as a team with other military branches.

 

"This training is very important," said Senior Airman Jamie Richardson-Granger, 317th AG loadmaster. "I've learned a lot since I've been out here. We actually get to see more of the real-world equipment we would drop operationally, things that aren't normally available to us at home station."

 

It's good to come out here and see how the Army and Air Force coordinate," he added. "Both branches worked together to ensure training requirements were met."

 

While JOAX plays a vital role in keeping U.S. military members trained and proficient, it's increasingly difficult to financially support these exercises under sequestration. However, Dyess were able to work through these constraints.

 

"About this time last year Dyess 317th was tasked as the lead unit for JOAX 13-03," Leibel said. "A few months ago it became apparent that under current government financial limitations that reaching the objective for both the Air Force and Army would require some creative options and divergence from the normal way of executing operations and exercises especially of this size.

 

"Through collaberation with the Army, our fiscal saving measures resulted in the exercise bed down cost of about $65,000 which is a 76.6 percent reduction and savings of around $215,000," he added.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Air Force Intelligence Report Provides Snapshot of Nuclear Missiles

July 10, 2013 Hans M. Kristensen - FAS Strategic Security Blog

 

The U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) has published its long-awaited update to the Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat report, one of the few remaining public (yet sanitized) U.S. intelligence assessment of the world nuclear (and other) forces.

 

Previous years’ reports have been reviewed and made available by FAS (here, here, and here), and the new update contains several important developments – and some surprises.

 

Read more

 

Click to download full report

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Throwbot XT

Throwbot XT

July 9, 2013 Source: ReconRobotics, Inc

 

EDINA, Minn. --- ReconRobotics, Inc., the world leader in tactical micro-robots and remotely deployed sensor systems, announced today that it has passed the 4,000 robots sold plateau, making it the second largest producer of military and police robots in the world. Recent sales of Throwbot XT and Recon Scout XL micro-robots to police agencies in Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, New York, California, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands pushed the company over this significant milestone.

 

The only company that has sold more military and police robots is iRobot, which reports 5,000 robots sold and began selling its Packbot in 2001, six years before ReconRobotics entered the market.

 

“When we came on the scene in 2007, all military and police robots were large and complex and were operated only by trained experts,” said Alan Bignall, President and CEO of ReconRobotics. “Our vision was radically different: give warfighters and SWAT operators an incredibly simple, personal system that weighed one pound and enabled them to remotely deploy video, infrared and audio sensors to reveal hidden threats. What we are most proud of is the countless lives these 4,000 deployed systems have saved over the last six years.”

Reconrobotics Surpasses 4,000 Robots Sold

Among the users of the company’s systems are the U.S. military and allied friendly forces, and more than 800 police and counterterrorism teams, worldwide. The company’s Recon Scout XL and Throwbot XT robots protect operators by providing immediate situational awareness and greater standoff distance during high-risk operations. These capabilities protect personnel from hidden threats, enhance mission planning and execution, and minimize collateral damage.

 

 

ReconRobotics is the world leader in tactical, micro-robot systems and remotely deployed sensor systems. The company is based in Edina, Minnesota, USA, and markets its products through a distribution network in 45 countries. Its international operations are based in Lugano, Switzerland.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
X-47B Completes First-Ever Carrier-Based Arrested Landing USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)– photo US Navy

X-47B Completes First-Ever Carrier-Based Arrested Landing USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)– photo US Navy

A BORD DE L'USS HW BUSH (Etats-Unis), 10 juil 2013 marine-oceans.com  (AFP)

 

Le X-47B, un prototype de drone furtif, a apponté sur le porte-avions américain USS George HW Bush mercredi, une première ouvrant un nouveau chapitre dans l'histoire de l'aéronavale, a annoncé l'US Navy.

 

L'appareil, contrôlé à distance mais plus autonome que les drones actuels comme le Reaper ou le Predator, avait décollé quelques dizaines de minutes auparavant de la base aéronavale de Patuxent River, dans le Maryland (est), pour rejoindre le porte-avions croisant au large des côtes de Virginie (est).

 

Le X-47B "opère de façon autonome lors de son vol et lors de l'approche du navire mais l'officier d'appontage a un contrôle numérique direct grâce à un bouton" d'interruption en cas de problème, a expliqué le capitaine de vaisseau Jaime Engdahl, responsable du programme.

 

Le démonstrateur, destiné à développer les technologies pour les futurs drones de l'US Navy, avait déjà été catapulté du pont du George Bush le 14 mai.

 

Le X-47B, qui n'a pas d'empennage arrière, est doté d'un moteur à réaction, et a une forme dite en "aile de chauve-souris" pour accroître ses capacités furtives. Il a été conçu depuis 2007 par la firme américaine Northrop Grumman, qui construit également le drone d'observation Global Hawk.

 

L'appareil a une envergure de 19 mètres pour une longueur de 12 mètres. Ce n'est à ce stade qu'un démonstrateur et il faudra de nombreuses années de mise au point avant l'entrée en service opérationnelle de drones dans l'US Navy.

 

Sa portée de 2.100 miles nautiques (3.900 kilomètres) en fait un potentiel bombardier à long rayon d'action.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Old Reliable Beats Out New And Expensive

July 10, 2013: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. Army recently signed a $4 billion deal for another 177 CH-47F transport helicopters. These will cost $22.6 million each and there is an option to add 28 more CH-47Fs to the deal. The first of these new helicopters will arrive in two years. This is a rare multi-year contract, which cuts the price about 16 percent. Congress prefers to allow only deals where the politicians can diddle with contracts on an annual basis. But because this drives up costs, there is pressure to go with the cheaper multi-year contracts and the army managed to get one for its huge CH-47F order.

 

The huge projected cost of developing a new transport helicopter caused the army to decide a decade ago to spend $11.4 billion dollars to refurbish its fleet of existing CH-47 transport helicopters instead. The CH-47 has proved to be a very successful design and none of the proposed replacements was dramatically better than an upgraded CH-47. This upgrade effort will result in a fleet of 513 CH-47F helicopters (including 397 rebuilt CH-47D choppers, 55 new build 47Fs ones plus some special versions.) The CH-47F has been so successful that the army was able to persuade Congress to allow the fleet to be expanded with more new choppers as well.

 

The rebuilt CH-47Ds became CH-47Fs that are good for another twenty years of service. The F model CH-47 has up-to-date digital communications, is easier to maintain, and cheaper to operate. The CH-47F can carry up to 55 troops, and has a maximum range of 426 kilometers. Its max speed is 315 kilometers an hour. Typical missions last no more than 2.5 hours.

 

Three years ago the CH-47F helicopter got its first sustained experience in a combat zone, and performed well. This was a major factor in getting the money to buy more of them. A company of 20 CH-47Fs arrived in Afghanistan during 2009 and soon found themselves often flying eight missions a day, day after day. The CH-47Fs had a 90 percent availability rate. Although the CH-47F has been flying since 2001, and were first delivered to the army in 2009, it takes sustained use in a combat environment to smoke out the last bugs and maintenance problems. In Afghanistan there were some problems with the flat panel displays, but these were quickly worked out. There were several other minor problems, mostly having to do with all the dust in the environment, and the temperature extremes (often below freezing in Winter, and over 45 degrees/113 Fahrenheit in Summer). This was tough on the maintainers and manufacturers' reps initially, but after a year, maintenance problems were no longer an issue. This is important, because in Afghanistan, the CH-47 is a critical form of air transportation, including combat assault.

 

photo EMA

photo EMA

Since the 1990s the U.S. Army had used UH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopters for combat assault missions, while the larger CH-47 "Chinook" was used just for moving cargo. But the army found that, in the high altitudes of Afghanistan, the more powerful CH-47 was often the only way to go in the thin mountain air. While doing that, the army found that the CH-47 made an excellent assault helicopter. In many ways, it was superior to the UH-60, mainly because the CH-47 carries more troops and moves faster and farther. The CH-47F has even more powerful engines, and is even more valuable for high altitude assaults. It is the best helicopter for use in Afghanistan, having proved able to deal with the dust and high altitude operations better than other transport choppers.

 

The first CH-47s entered service in 1962, able to carry only five tons. Some 750 saw service in Vietnam and 200 were lost in action. During 1982-94, 500 CH-47s were rebuilt to the CH-47D standard. SOCOM operates 31 MH-47Ds and Es, which have additional navigation gear. These are being upgraded to MH-47F standards and the fleet expanded to 61 helicopters. As a result of all this, the CH-47 will end up serving at least 75 years. The original CH-47F upgrade program and new builds will not be completed until 2018. The new contract will extend production into the 2020s.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Raytheon-built joint stand-off weapon (JSOW) C-1 photo USAF

Raytheon-built joint stand-off weapon (JSOW) C-1 photo USAF

TUCSON, Ariz., July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire

 

Variant provides enhanced capability to warfighter

 

Raytheon Company received an $80.5 million production contract award from the U.S. Navy to procure Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1's. The contract was awarded in Raytheon's second quarter of 2013.

 

"JSOW C-1 enables the warfighter to precisely engage targets well beyond most enemy air defenses, thus limiting the threat of adversarial forces," said Celeste Mohr, JSOW program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "JSOW is exceptionally dependable and provides immeasurable value to the warfighter."

 

The JSOW C-1 adds a weapon datalink radio and modified seeker software to the existing JSOW C, which increases the anti-surface warfare mission capability. The weapon is designed to provide fleet forces with the capability and flexibility to engage moving maritime targets, while retaining its robust capability against stationary land targets.

 

"With more than 400 JSOW A's employed in combat, this weapon has stood the tests of time," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. "Furthermore, the JSOW program has sustained on-time deliveries for 11 years while concurrently maintaining costs. The JSOW has a remarkable record of reliability, resourcefulness and accuracy."

 

Work on the contract will be performed in Tucson, Ariz.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; McAlester, Okla.; and Dallas, Texas. Delivery of the missiles is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2014.

 

About the Joint Standoff Weapon

JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker. JSOW C-1 adds the two-way Strike Common Weapon Datalink to the combat-proven weapon, enabling a moving maritime target capability. JSOW C-1 will provide an advanced anti-surface warfare solution on the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

 

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 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 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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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
US Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft fly in formation over Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on May 14. photo Master Sgt. John R. Nimmo Sr.US Air Force

US Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft fly in formation over Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on May 14. photo Master Sgt. John R. Nimmo Sr.US Air Force

July 10, 2013: Strategy Page

 

American fighter pilots (air force, navy and marine) are largely in agreement that, while the F-22 is a superior air-to-air fighter, the new F-35 is a better, if still flawed, all-round combat aircraft. A lot of this has to do with technology. The F-35 is a more recent aircraft, entering service a dozen years later than the F-22. Fighter pilots, who tend to be keen connoisseurs of aviation technology (many being university trained in aviation tech) note that the F-35 is actually using a new generation of tech as much of the F-22 stuff dates back to the 1980s and 1990s. This accounts for some of the tech updates the F-22 has received since it entered service in 2005. But the basic design and composition of the F-35 is a generation ahead of the F-22. As a result the F-35 is cheaper, more effective (in terms of tech), easier to maintain and designed as a fighter-bomber.

 

This last item is important for combat pilots, because they note there has been little air-to-air combat in the last few decades, but smart bombs (especially the GPS variety) have become cheaper, more effective and reliable and that has meant more calls for air support from ground troops. The F-22 is strictly air-to-air and despite heavily publicized efforts to give F-22s ground attack capability, the F-22 has not yet experienced combat. The smart bomb revolution also means that far fewer aircraft are needed and the air force can’t justify sending in the F-22 when there are so many available aircraft that can do the job a lot cheaper. So fighter pilots looking forward to a hot new ride tend to favor the F-35 rather than the F-22.

 

American fighter pilots do see downsides with the F-35. They believe the manufacturer and proponents promised too much and that the F-35 will never be able to deliver. There is a lot of doubt that stealth will work as promised and the shape restrictions on the F-35 (to make stealth possible) limit what the F-35 can do.

 

There are some attractive aspects of the F-35, especially because it comes in three distinct flavors. The vertical take-off F-35B is a 27 ton aircraft that can carry six tons of weapons and will enter service in two or three years. In vertical takeoff mode the F-35B has a range of 800 kilometers. The U.S. Air Force will get its 31 ton F-35A in 2016 or 2017. This is the cheapest version, costing about $154 million each. The U.S. Navy version (the F-35C) will arrive in late 2019 and cost about $200 million each (same as the F-35B). This version has a stronger landing gear to handle carrier landings and components that are more resistant to corrosion from constant exposure to salt water.

 

The F-35 has been delayed many times in the last decade and there is growing talk of cancellation. Orders have already been cut and the manufacturer is under a lot of pressure to get this new stealth aircraft into service. It’s still being debated how many F-35s will actually be produced. The U.S. Air Force assumes 3,162, but the Department of Defense is not so sure that many will eventually be built. Worst case, there will be more than ten times as many F-35s as F-22s. Most (about 60 percent) of the F-35s built will be used by foreign nations.

 

F22 raptor photo USAF

F22 raptor photo USAF

Last year the 187th, and last, F-22 fighter was completed. This last aircraft was sent to a squadron in Alaska which lost one in an accident two years ago. The manufacturer is not going to scrap or sell off the tools and equipment used to produce the F-22, but will store the stuff for a while in the hope that production may resume eventually.

 

That is unlikely as Congress passed a law forbidding the export of the F-22 fighter. Three nations (Australia, Japan, and Israel) sought to buy some. Efforts to change the law have failed. At one time there was a similar prohibition to the export of the F-16 and that law was changed. One reason for the law was the fear that F-22 technical and operational secrets would fall into the hands of a hostile power that would then build more than 200 of them.

 

The F-22 has performance that is far superior to that of any other aircraft in service, which is why several foreign air forces would like some. The combination of speed, advanced electronics, and stealth technology has created such a decisive advantage that F-22s are often matched up against as many as six F-15s to ensure their pilots face a challenge during training. So why is the F-35, with somewhat lower performance, getting all the export orders?

 

The first reason is price. The F-22 costs up to $200 million each (without even counting the huge R&D costs). The F-35 costs up to half as much (although that edge is eroding). This is one reason the U.S. is pushing exports of the F-35. This is why many more F-16s were exported, compared to the F-15. In any event, the F-35 will outclass a Rafale, F-15E, or Eurofighter, but not the F-22. The U.S. Air Force intended the F-22 to be part of a high-end/low-end mix with the F-35, much like the F-15 and F-16 were the combination in the 1990s, only the F-22/F-35 combination will be much harder to detect and defend against.

 

The U.S. Air Force saw export sales as a way to keep the F-22 production line active, giving it more time to persuade Congress to allow more to be built for the U.S. That did not work. Despite the high cost of the F-22, Russia is developing the similar T-50, and China the similar J-20. But neither of these aircraft is as capable, or as expensive, as the F-22. Neither of these aircraft is in service. The F-22 began development in the late 1980s, first flew in 1997, and entered service in 2005. The F-22 is expected to remain in service for at least 30 years. And for much of that time the F-22 will be the best, if also the least numerous, jet fighter on the planet. During that time many American fighter pilots believe the stealth advantage will be lost due to new technology. China, Russia and the Europeans will continue developing new combat aircraft designs and the appearance of unmanned fighters would change the situation most dramatically of all.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
What Next for Army Force Structure? (excerpt)

July 9, 2013 Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Two weeks ago, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno announced significant Army force structure reductions. The impending reorganization helps meet an Army obligation and an Army desire. First, the obligation—it allows the Army to satisfy the fiscal demands required by 2011’s Budget Control Act (BCA). Second, the desire—as the Army eliminates brigade headquarters from its structure to meet budget requirements, it can at the same time increase the fighting potential of its brigade combat teams (BCTs). Specifically, the elimination of BCT headquarters frees up an additional maneuver battalion for each of the Army’s infantry and armored BCTs.

The reduction and reorganization of Army forces is not insignificant. As in the case of rebalancing all U.S. forces toward the Asia-Pacific region, Army force reductions are a visible acknowledgment that the Department of Defense (DoD) is entering a new postwar era. It roughly returns active Army force structure to its pre-9/11 configuration, leaving 33 deployable BCTs in the inventory, after having achieved a wartime high of 45 BCTs. There are clearly important, unanswered questions on the table with respect to the Army.

Q1: How should we look at the postwar Army and its contributions to joint operations?

A1: The U.S. Army remains the nation’s principal ground force. It makes two important contingency contributions to joint operations. First, Army forces—active and reserve—provide U.S. decision-makers with the capability for sustained ground operations abroad and potentially in U.S. homeland security contingencies. In reality, Army forces—often reinforced by the U.S. Marine Corps—are tangible demonstrations of American resolve. To paraphrase a senior Marine Corps officer interviewed during the course of a recent CSIS study, when the U.S. Army arrives on scene, it is an unmistakable indication that America means business.

Indeed, the United States’ continued ability to project large numbers of ground forces overseas for sustained operations is a key metric of its remaining the world’s dominant military power. Second and often less appreciated, Army enabling capabilities—logistics, communications, intelligence, engineers, air and missile defense, etc.—“set” foreign theaters and support deployed forces from the other services and foreign partners. This latter function provides a solid backbone for sustained military campaigns of all types under a variety of circumstances. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full item (HTML format) on the CSIS website.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
X-47B lands aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 10 (U.S. Navy photo)

X-47B lands aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 10 (U.S. Navy photo)

10.07.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

C'est une nouvelle étape capitale qui a été franchie : Le démonstrateur de drone de combat X-47B de Northrop Grumman a effectué avec succès son premier appontage ce 10 juillet. Le drone a décollé de la BAN de Patuxent River, effectuant sa manœuvre d’appontage à bord du plus récent porte-avions de la classe Nimitz, l'USS George H.W. Bush de l’US Navy (CVN-77).

 

C’est un nouveau succès pour le programme UCAS-D de l’US Navy, qui cherche ainsi à étudier et à tester les capacités d’un drone à partir d’une plateforme maritime. Les deux démonstrateurs technologiques X-47B qui sont actuellement utilisés pour les essais n’ont pas vocation à être produits en série et déployés en opérations, mais ils sont néanmoins cruciaux pour les études de R&D et de R&T dans le domaine des appareils non pilotés.

 

Le programme « opérationnel » de l’US Navy est quant à lui nommé UCLASS (Unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system). Une RFI (request for information) a été dévoilée il y a trois ans, l’appel d’offre devrait lui être annoncé prochainement. Il s’agit pour l’US Navy de se doter de capacités ISR ainsi que de capacités de frappe pour équiper ses porte-avions à l’horizon 2018. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Atomics et bien sûr Northrop Grumman sont les quatre industriels attendus sur ce créneau.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:20
Stryker vehicle photo US Army

Stryker vehicle photo US Army

July 9, 2013 Source: Kongsberg Group

 

Kongsberg Awarded Contract from GDLS Supporting US Army Stryker ECP Program

 

BELLPORT, NY --- Kongsberg Integrated Tactical Systems (KITS) has been awarded a contract from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for the supply of the Commander’s and Driver’s smart displays for the US Army Stryker Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Program.

 

GDLS, headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, selected KITS as the supplier of the Driver’s Situational Awareness Display (DSAD) and the Commander’s Situational Awareness Display (CSAD) on May 28, 2013. The contract includes design, development, fabrication, test and performance of the DSAD and CSAD for the Stryker ECP Program. Serial production of the displays will be conducted at the Kongsberg facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

 

Stryker is a family of eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles, built for the US Army by GDLS. The Stryker ECP Program is managed by the Army’s Project Manager, Stryker Brigade Combat Team which is under the leadership of the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS.) PEO GCS is based at the US Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) LCMC, in Warren, Michigan.

 

"This highly competitive bid for the CSAD and DSAD was a perfect fit for KITS, whose CORTEX Displays meet or exceed the most demanding maritime and combat vehicle requirements. Extremely rugged and waterproof, the high resolution CORTEX displays also feature a high contrast ratio, which not only reduces viewer fatigue but makes them the most sunlight readable displays on the market today," says Mr. Åsmund Groven, President of KITS.

 

The CORTEX smart displays that will be used for the CSAD and DSAD feature an on-board processor and additional I/O ports for both data and video.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 22:45
Tessalit : focus sur les missions du DLA auprès de la MINUSMA

10 juillet 2013 par EQUIPE COM SERVAL

 

Alors que la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA) a pris le relais de la MISMA depuis le 1er juillet, la force Serval conserve ses 7 détachements de liaison et d’appui (DLA) insérés au sein des bataillons africains de la MINUSMA. Le DLA détaché auprès de la Force Armée Tchadienne d’Intervention au Mali (FATIM) basé à Tessalit est composé principalement de militaires du Commando Parachutistes de l’Air (CPA 30) de Bordeaux. Déployé depuis bientôt deux mois, il poursuit ses missions aux côtés du bataillon Tchadien dans le nord du Mali.

 

Le lieutenant-colonel Jacky, chef du DLA FATIM, nous précise les missions de ce détachement : «Notre DLA est composé de 24 militaires. Nous sommes ici pour appuyer et conseiller au plus près le bataillon Tchadien. Pour cela, nous sommes organisés de la manière suivante : une équipe commandement et logistique, une équipe opérationnelle de déminage (EOD), un groupe d’appui aérien, une équipe médicale et un élément de liaison et de contact ».

Tessalit : focus sur les missions du DLA auprès de la MINUSMA

Hormis sa fonction de conseiller auprès du bataillon appuyé et son rôle de coordinateur au niveau tactique concernant les actions des forces concourantes (Force Serval, FAMA) dans la zone de responsabilité, le DLA FATIM de Tessalit possède quelques particularités. « Nous avons deux missions spécifiques. Premièrement, nous sommes en mesure de coordonner les appuis feux au profit du bataillon Tchadien de la MINUSMA. Ensuite, nous pouvons aussi fournir un appui spécialisé avec notre équipe de démineurs composée d’un spécialiste Cynophile et de son chien » précise le lieutenant-colonel Jacky.

 

Arrivés dans un moment de transition pour la FATIM, les commandos de l’armée de l’air du CPA 30 mènent régulièrement des patrouilles conjointes dans Tessalit et ses alentours ainsi que des opérations de fouille en coordination avec les prévôts tchadiens. Ensemble, ils participent aussi à la garde de la plateforme militaire de Tessalit.

Tessalit : focus sur les missions du DLA auprès de la MINUSMA

« Nous n’effectuons aucune action de manière autonome, ce n’est pas notre mission ici. Jusqu’à présent, l’initiative a été partagée et il faut mettre en avant la bonne volonté des Tchadiens qui, rappelons-le, étaient présents bien avant nous dans la zone. Au quotidien, le binomage fonctionne parfaitement » conclut le chef du DLA FATIM.

 

Dans le cadre de la montée en puissance de la MINUSMA, la mission de la FATIM devrait évoluer. Le DLA reste à sa disposition et continuera à mettre en œuvre ses capacités spécifiques tant que cela sera nécessaire.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 18:50
EC225 - photo Anthony PECCHI(/h5)

EC225 - photo Anthony PECCHI(/h5)

10.07.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

Le ministère norvégien de la Justice et de la sécurité publique a annoncé le 9 juillet avoir sélectionné AgustaWestland et Eurocopter pour engager des négociations avancées dans le cadre de son appel d’offres concernant les hélicoptères de recherche et de sauvetage.

 

Eurocopter, qui présente son EC225, et AgustaWestland, qui propose son AW101, vont donc entrer dans une phase de négociations plus poussées avec le ministère, la décision finale étant attendue pour la fin de l’année 2013.

 

AW101 - AgustaWestland

AW101 - AgustaWestland

Il s’agit pour la Norvège de remplacer sa flotte de Sea King à l’horizon 2020 par 16 nouveaux hélicoptères, avec une option pour six exemplaires supplémentaires. Le processus de sélection avait débuté en octobre 2011. Sikorsky (H-92) et NHIndustries (NH90) étaient les deux autres compétiteurs dans cet appel d'offres.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 18:50
Panorama des think tanks bruxellois - printemps /été 2013

10 juillet 2013 RPUE

 

Ce bulletin propose une sélection des principales contributions des think tanks aux débats d’idées sur les questions européennes de janvier à début juillet 2013. Il vise à mieux identifier l’éventail et l’occurrence des thèmes traités et à présenter les principales positions exprimées sur les sujets de l’actualité immédiate et sur les réflexions en cours. Des liens dans le texte permettent d’accéder aux publications.

 

Panorama des think tanks bruxellois - printemps /été 2013

 

 

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 17:45
Senegalese general leads CAR peace-building efforts

 

10 July 2013 by defenceWen/UN

 

Senegalese General Babacar Gaye has been appointed as the United Nations Secretary General’s top envoy in the Central African Republic (CAR), where he also heads BINUCA, the UN integrated peace-building office in the country.

 

Since arriving in the capital Bangui his mandate is to “pursue the necessary assistance to put in place needed priorities and build a foundation for sustainable development”.

 

The Senegalese general said that 1,2 million people have been cut off from essential services since the Séléka rebel coalition launched its offensive last December. “Human rights violations have also been widespread,” he said.

 

He added he would work within the four priority axes of intervention set down for the CAR by the UN. They are restoration of security, respect for human rights, humanitarian assistance and the re-launch of political dialogue.

 

“I intend to meet with political stakeholders, civil society and representatives the CAR’s partners. I also intend to make contact with the authorities of neighbouring countries and religious and international partners.”

 

BINUCA’s conversion in January 2010 to an ‘integrated’ mission was designed to ensure coherence of peace-building support activities by various UN entities present in the CAR.

 

Early in the current crisis, a peace accord known as the Libreville Agreement was signed on January 11 in Gabon. It called for the establishment of National Transitional Council that would elect a transitional government.

 

The rebels, claiming the Government was not complying with its obligations under the accord, continued to gain territory and overran Bangui in late March.

 

This was part of what has become known as the Battle for Bangui which saw 15 South African soldiers killed.

 

More than four million people, almost half children, have been directly affected by the crisis and more than 37 000 people have fled the country in the past four months due to violence.

 

Prior to his appointment in BINUCA, Lieutenant General Gaye served as Assistant Secretary-General and Military Advisor for Peacekeeping Operations

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 17:45
New African Military Profile: Lesotho

10 July 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

The small Lesotho Defence Force has the task of protecting Lesotho's territory and sovereignty. The Force also supports the police and is used for transport and VIP duties. With South African and Indian help, Lesotho's military has been transformed into a professional service that no longer attempts to interfere in the political process. Click here to read more about Lesotho's armed forces.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 17:35
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards leaving Main Operating Base Price in Helmand province - Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards leaving Main Operating Base Price in Helmand province - Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

10 July 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

The Defence Secretary has announced that 7th Armoured Brigade will lead the next group of UK Armed Forces personnel deployed to Afghanistan.

 

The next roulement, or transition, of UK forces in Afghanistan is due to take place in October 2013.

As the Prime Minister announced in December 2012, the UK’s conventional force levels in Afghanistan will draw down to around 5,200 by the end of 2013, from the current level of around 7,900.

As part of this drawdown, there will be around 6,000 personnel in Afghanistan from Autumn 2013. However, this figure may fluctuate and occasionally exceed this total due to ‘relief-in-place’ (where all or part of a unit is replaced in an area by an incoming unit) and additional surges into theatre.

Around half of these units will form Task Force Helmand under the command of 7th Armoured Brigade. The remainder will deploy within Helmand province and also to other locations in Afghanistan, particularly Kandahar and Kabul, as part of the UK’s overall contribution.

In addition to the list of formed units, individual augmentees from each of the Services will continue to deploy as part of this integrated force package. In total MOD expects around 1,119 individual augmentees to deploy on operations.

These will be comprised of 246 Royal Navy personnel, 370 Army personnel and 503 Royal Air Force personnel. The Royal Air Force currently provides the command element of Headquarters Joint Force Support (Afghanistan), with the wider headquarters manned by individual augmentees from all 3 Services. 101 Logistic Brigade will deploy in November to take on this role.

A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards talks to one of the local children during a patrol around Kopak near Babaji - Picture: Sergeant Keith Cotton RLC

A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards talks to one of the local children during a patrol around Kopak near Babaji - Picture: Sergeant Keith Cotton RLC

Volunteer and ex-regular members of the Reserve Forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to issue around 400 call-out notices.

On completion of their mobilisation procedures, the reservists will undertake a period of training and, where applicable, integration with their respective receiving units.

The majority will serve on operations for around 6 months although a small proportion of any force which is stood down due to force level reductions is likely to be reservist.

As announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 14 May 2013, some elements of 7th Armoured Brigade will deploy on Op Herrick 19 for up to 8 months. This will remove the requirement to train and deploy an extra brigade, at greatly reduced scale, to cover the final months of 2014.

It will also align tours to key milestones in the transition process, such as the Afghan presidential elections in Spring 2014. A small number of reservists may voluntarily serve 8 months.

20th Armoured Brigade is currently training to relieve 7th Armoured Brigade in 2014.

The forces deploying include:

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:50
RAF Typhoon jets – photo baesystems.com

RAF Typhoon jets – photo baesystems.com

10 July 2013 baesystems.com

 

The Royal Air Force has completed the biggest training mission ever undertaken by its Typhoon force.

 

Over the past two weeks a total of 265 sorties have been flown on six days in Exercise Android Preference.

 

Availability of aircraft

 

One of the main aims of the Typhoon Availability Service and ATTAC (Availability Transformation Tornado Aircraft Contract)TAS and ATTAC contracts is to ensure the RAF has the maximum amount of aircraft available. Working in partnership with the RAF, our colleagues on both these contracts contributed towards ensuring such a large scale training mission could take place.

 

Qualified Weapons Instructor Course

 

Exercise Android Preference, which concluded at RAF Coningsby on 5 July, forms part of the Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) course regarded as the pinnacle qualification for RAF aircrew, as RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Gp Capt Johnny Stringer, explained:

 

“The QWI courses are where we fuse the physical, moral and conceptual components of air fighting power at the tactical level. We’re taking our brightest and best and making them the most capable and aware tactical operators they can be. What Android Preference allows us to do is not only to prepare them for the QWI operational phase, but also to expose them to some of the wider and higher-level considerations and consequences of their tactical appreciation, planning and subsequent execution.”

 

A real operational feel

 

The exercise designer, Flight Lieutenant Andrew Tidmarsh, said:

 

“For the first time we’ve executed missions involving the entire Typhoon Force which, along with other Force Elements, gives a real operational feel. The exercise challenges the whole spectrum of what Typhoon can do as a platform; not only fighting air-to-air, but also finding, fixing and prosecuting targets on the ground.

 

“Being fully swing role the Typhoon is able to fight its way to the target and then fight its way out again. This places a high training demand on the pilots who have to be extremely capable in the air-to-air role and the air-to-surface role and be able to make timely tactical decisions to enable them to fulfil both in a high threat environment.”

 

Largest training mission for Typhoon

 

In the first week of the Exercise the single largest training mission Typhoon has ever undertaken as one complete Force was executed. A total of 22 Typhoons from five different squadrons took part in a Combat Search and Rescue scenario that also included Tornado GR4s, USAF F-15 Eagles and Danish F16s, as well as Support and Attack Helicopters. Tactical air control and command was provided by an E-3D Sentry from RAF Waddington and 1 Air Control Centre (1 ACC), which deployed to RAF Coningsby from their home station at RAF Scampton.

 

Gp Capt Stringer explained: “The key involvement of 1 Air Control Centre and E-3 Sentry underlines the importance of air command and control, as well as ISTAR, to the effective employment of modern combat air power. We’re also delighted and very grateful to have had the excellent support from the Support Helicopter and Tornado GR4 Forces, 100 Squadron, the Army Air Corps and our USAF and Danish colleagues.”

 

Challenging roles

 

This variety and scope of exercise participants presented its own challenge for mission planning and execution in addition to an excellent opportunity for training large and diverse packages of aircraft. Each QWI student took it in turns to act as a Mission Commander, a challenging role which requires individual tactical prowess and wider integration in order to succeed.

 

Flt Lt Tidmarsh added: “At one point there was a 16 versus 20 air-to-air fight concurrent with ground serials including Air Interdiction, Close Air Support and Dynamic Targeting. I can’t remember in my career the whole force attempting one Defensive Counter Air mission that lasted an entire day.”

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:50
Baltic 2013 : visite d’une délégation de l’armée de l’air italienne

10/07/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Le 4 juillet 2013, le brigadier géneral Gianni Candotti, accompagné de 4 officiers de l'armée de l'Air italienne, a rendu visite au détachement français stationné sur la base aérienne de Šiauliai, dans le cadre de l’opération Baltic 2013.

 

Cette visite avait pour objectif d’apprécier les capacités offertes par la base aérienne de Šiauliai, dans le cadre de la participation italienne en 2015 à la mission de police du ciel dans l'espace aérien de la Lituanie, de la Lettonie et de l'Estonie. Leur mandat, d’une durée de 4 mois, est prévu de janvier à avril 2015.

 

Baltic 2013 : visite d’une délégation de l’armée de l’air italienne

Lors de cette visite, la délégation a été accueillie par le lieutenant-colonel Vidmantas Rakleviciux, commandant la base aérienne lituanienne. Il leur a présenté les installations aéroportuaires et le soutien apporté par la nation hôte aux différents détachements.

Baltic 2013 : visite d’une délégation de l’armée de l’air italienne

Le lieutenant-colonel Colombani, commandant le détachement français, leur a ensuite détaillé les spécificités de la mission dans les pays Baltes. La rencontre s’est achevée sur la zone opérationnelle, pour une visite de l’ensemble des infrastructures de la zone d’alerte (Quick Reaction Alert area), suivie d’une présentation du Mirage F1-CR.

 

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

Le 4 juillet 2013, le brigadier géneral Gianni Candotti, accompagné de 4 officiers de l'armée de l'Air italienne, a rendu visite au détachement français stationné sur la base aérienne de Šiauliai, dans le cadre de l’opération Baltic 2013.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:50
Illustration of Royal Navy's MARS tanker. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

Illustration of Royal Navy's MARS tanker. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

10 July 2013 naval-technology.com

 

Designers have completed plan for the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary's (RFA) new fleet of Tide-class military afloat reach and sustainability (MARS) tankers, which will serve at least 25 years.

 

The four Tide-class MARS tankers, comprising Tidespring, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, will enter service with the Royal Navy to boost its capabilities by delivering fuel, water, spare parts and other supplies.

 

In cooperation with the Royal Navy and RFA, BMT Defence Services has completed design for the four next-generation tankers with hundreds of design drawings and plans.

 

The company has also developed and tested scale models in the gigantic water tank at Haslar in Gosport, where Tidespring vessel also successfully refuelled HMS Queen Elizabeth in various sea conditions.

"A Range Rover's fuel tank connected to all four 7in hoses on the starboard size of a Tide tanker would be full in 0.12 seconds."

 

The future tanker project naval architect Mark Lewis said: "A Range Rover's fuel tank connected to all four 7in hoses on the starboard size of a Tide tanker would be full in 0.12 seconds."

 

Following completion of a £450m quartet design of the 37,000t ships, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) will draw up detailed plans to begin construction on the ships next year at Okpo-dong in south-east South Korea.

 

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a contract to DSME in 2012 for the construction of four MARS tankers to replace the existing RFA's single hulled tankers, with the first ship of the class due to be delivered in October 2015, with the final vessel due in April 2017.

 

The new double-hulled tankers will be designed to meet International Maritime Organization pollution (MARPOL) regulations, an International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 and the protocol of 1978, as well as European Commission environmental regulations.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45

10 juil. 2013

Environ septante de militaires ont pris le départ pour le Mali ce mercredi 10 juillet 2013. Les membres du Bataillon Libération -- 5 de Ligne assureront la force protection de la mission de formation européenne European Union Training Mission (EUTM) à Koulikoro.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:35
Australian Hawk upgrade contract

9 July 2013 baesystems.com

 

£90 million contract awarded for Australian Hawk upgrades

 

The Minister for Defence Materiel for the Commonwealth of Australia has awarded a £90m contract to us for the upgrade of their Mk127 Hawk fleet.

 

Known as Project AIR5438, the upgrade to the Australian Hawk fleet will deliver an enhanced training capability and also encompass the supply of three Full Mission Simulators, RAAF aircrew/groundcrew training and support.

 

We have been working closely with the Australian Department of Defence to define the scope of the upgrade, leveraging off previous Hawk programs and experience.

 

The upgrade of the Australian Hawk fleet will ensure its effectiveness into the next decade and provides a solid foundation for the progression of aircrew onto the F/A-18 Classic and Super Hornets and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) when it is introduced into service.

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