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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Corée du Nord: petits drones, grandes inquiétudes!

 

le 6 avril 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout  45eNord.ca

 

Le ministre de la Défense Kim Kwan-jin sud-coréen a déclaré cette semaine que des mesures seront prises pour renforcer la capacité de défense aérienne du pays suite à l’intrusion sur le territoire de drones nord-coréens rudimentaires, certes, mais qui n’augurent rien de bon pour l’avenir.

 

Tout récemment, la Corée du Sud a récupéré deux drones qu’elle croit d’origine nord-coréenne sur son territoire. Les petits drones bleus aux sombres desseins, bien que plutôt rudimentaires, inquiètent tout de même  les responsables sud-coréens, tant civils que militaires.

Un premier avion-robot récupéré à Paju au sud de la Zone démilitarisée le 24 mars et muni d’une caméra aurait survolé et pris de photos de la Maison Bleue, le siège de la présidence sud-coréenne.

Puis, après que les deux Corées se soient tirés dessus en mer Jaune le 31 mars, les Sud-Coréens ont retrouvé un autre drone non identifié, mais fort probablement d’origine nord-coréenne, sur l’île de Baengnyoeng, dont les habitants avaient dû gagner les abris au plus fort des échanges de tirs.

Le drone récupéré  à Paju pesait 15 kilos et était de seulement 2 mètres de long alors que celui de l’île de Baengnyeong était d’un peu moins de 2 mètres de long et pesait 12 kilos, mais le ministre sud-coréen de la Défense a affirmé cette semaine que Pyongyang pourrait à l’avenir développer des drones plus avancés dans le but de mener des attaques.

«Nous sommes en train de prendre des mesures urgentes, vu que les drones soupçonnés de provenir de Corée du Nord pourraient à terme être équipés de bombes», a dit Kim Kwan-jin. «Nous mettrons en place des mesures rapidement, bien que les drones ne posent pas de risque de sécurité sérieux puisqu’ils ne peuvent que prendre des photos, comme celles du service d’images satellite de Google»

Mais les politiques sud-coréens sont encore plus inquiets et outrés que les militaires et ont exhorté l’armée à mettre en place des mesures contre les drones de surveillance et les drones d’attaque. Un député sud-coréen a également demandé au ministre comment des drones «pauvrement conçus et démodés» ont pu franchir la frontière sans être détectés par l’armée.

L’armée envisage donc maintenant d’acquérir des radars de surveillance à basse altitude et des canons antiaériens avancés pour mieux pouvoir détecter les petits aéronefs et les abattre.

«Les radars actuels de l’armée ont des capacités limitées en ce qui concerne la détection de petits aéronefs», a déclaré à ce propos un porte-parole du ministère de la Défense Kim Min-seok, ajoutant «Les experts ont en vue quelques radars fabriqués par des pays développés, nous sommes actuellement en train de négocier leur acquisition.»

Le gouvernement veut également remettre à l’honneur un projet de dirigeable qui avait été abandonné pour raisons techniques et qui avait pour but de surveiller l’armée nord-coréenne près de la frontière maritime occidentale.

Drones, dirigeables, radars, méfiance et provocations semblent devoir faire partie du paysage des deux Corées pour encore bien des années.

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 21:40
photo Northrop Grumman

photo Northrop Grumman

 

14 mars 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

 

Un drone militaire américain a été intercepté à haute altitude au-dessus de la Crimée et électroniquement abattu, a affirmé vendredi le groupe public russe d’armements Rostekhnologuiï (Rostec), rapporte l’AFP.

 

Le drone volait à environ 4.000 mètres d’altitude et était pratiquement invisible du sol. Il a été possible de rompre la liaison avec ses opérateurs américains grâce à un système radio-électronique, dit Rostec dans un communiqué qu’a pu consulter l’agence française.

Le communiqué, que l’Agence de presse a pu consulter avant qu’il ne soit retiré du site de Rostec, présentait l’appareil selon l’agence comme un drone de reconnaissance et de frappe.

L’appareil a effectué une descente et est tombé pratiquement intact entre les mains des forces d’autodéfense de Crimée, disait Rostec, qui précisait être le constructeur du système de lutte électronique utilisé, mais sans révéler pas qui l’avait utilisé dans cette affaire.

« Le drone MQ-5B faisait partie, à en juger par son numéro d’identification, de la 66e brigade américaine de reconnaissance militaire, basée en Bavière », indiquait encore Rostec.

La photographie sur le site de Rostec montrait, toujours selon l’agence, un drone en vol en gros plan, armé de deux petits missiles, et non les débris de l’appareil au sol après son interception présumée.

La flotte russe de la mer Noire à Sébastopol, en Crimée, est susceptible d’être équipée d’équipements de détection ou d’interception.

Des milliers d’hommes en armes, présumément des militaires russes, sont actuellement déployés en Crimée où Moscou soutient la tenue d’un référendum dimanche sur le rattachement à la Russie, après l’arrivée au pouvoir à Kiev d’une coalition pro-occidentale.

photo Northrop Grumman

photo Northrop Grumman

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Drone Warfare Version 2.0: Great Power Edition

September 26, 2013 By  Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

The first decade of drone and unmanned warfare has been the exclusive domain of nation states like the U.S. and Israel using armed drones to target leaders of non-state actors like al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas.

 

This type of drone warfare will almost certainly continue into the future, albeit at a reduced pace in the case of the U.S. targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders. Other nation states may decide to make similar use of drones, if reports that China considered using drones to target an international drug trader are any indication.

 

Meanwhile, a second generation of drone warfare is taking shape: one in which countries employ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) against other nation states.

 

As the world's military superpower, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. is taking the lead in this endeavor. In May of this year, the U.S. garnered some headlines when it launched the X-47B drone from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia. Many more heads were turned in July, when the X-47B drone became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to make a landing on the same aircraft carrier.

 

Last week a X-47B drone marked the 100th flight in the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program, which is geared toward maturing the capability to operate combat UAVs from aircraft carriers.

 

A press release announcing the 100th flight stated: “The Navy UCAS program successfully completed all objectives for the carrier demonstration phase with the X-47B.” It went on to note: “The program is currently planning for continued carrier integration demonstrations and has also begun surrogate Learjet testing of the autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) capability.” Earlier this month, the Navy announced key successes in this latter, refueling objective.

 

This followed the Navy’s announcement in August that the two prototype X-47Bs would not be retired to museums as planned, but instead would continue to be utilized for the purpose of, among other things, “developing unmanned aircraft carrier fleet concept of operations.”

 

Also in August, the U.S. Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR), which is overseeing the efforts to develop a carrier-based UAV fleet, announced that it had awarded US$15 million Preliminary Design Review (PDR) contracts to four defense companies for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program, which is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with its first deployed carrier-based unmanned air system.

 

As NAVAIR explained in a press release announcing the contracts, the carrier-based drone “will provide persistent, unmanned, semi-autonomous, carrier-based Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR &T) with precision strike capability to support 24/7 carrier operational coverage.”

 

According to Defense News, the carrier-based UAVs will initially have a strike capability of around 2,000 km. This hints at a key purpose of the drones; namely, to allow the U.S. to continue to strike China with sea-based aircraft while keeping America’s aircraft carriers outside the range of the PLA’s DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). In other words, the sea-based drones will be a key component of America’s efforts to counter adversaries’ anti access/area denial (A2/AD) strategies.   

 

The U.S. is also putting together the larger infrastructure to execute this strategy. For example, in July Rear Adm. Thomas J. Moore, the Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, confirmed that the Ford-class aircraft carriers, the next-generation U.S. carriers, are being built with the capabilities to launch large fleets of UAVs off them.

 

As Moore explained of the Ford Class: “The flight deck has been designed to be bigger and have a higher sortie generation rate. The ship itself is built with three-times the electrical generating capacity than the Nimitz {Ford predecessor} class has – so it is not hard to envision that we are going to be flying unmanned aircraft off that ship.”

 

One crucial difference between using drones against terrorists in areas where the air force enjoys air superiority, and in using them against peer-competitors in contested air space, is that the vulnerability of the drones to air defense systems becomes a key concern in the latter environment. Thus, whereas U.S. drones can loiter over Pakistani airspace for days trying to pinpoint the location of al-Qaeda operatives, they will enjoy no such luxury in trying to eliminate China’s land-based missile systems.

 

As such, the carrier-based combat drones that come out of the UCLASS will be unlikely to conduct their own surveillance in many of the missions in which they were operate. For that, the U.S. is developing different UAVs. As Foreign Policy reported last month, the U.S. Navy envisions “swarms of tiny drones infiltrating heavily defended skies at will.”

 

Summarizing a U.S. Air Force official, the report noted that “these bug-like surveillance bots will be particularly useful in the Pacific…. Because that represents the toughest challenge for American spyplanes: snooping on say, a China equipped with increasingly advanced air defenses.” Presumably, these nano-drones will collect intelligence on targets for the UCLASS drones.

 

The U.S. is developing another unmanned system to counter China’s A2/AD strategy. Earlier this month, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) solicited bids from defense companies for its Hydra program, which will “develop and demonstrate an unmanned undersea system, providing a novel delivery mechanism for insertion of unmanned air and underwater vehicles into operational environments.” News reports suggest that submarines will also be launched from the Hydra system. This would give the U.S. the ability to launch carrier-based aircraft from devices that would be impervious to China’s ASBMs.

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator launches from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN_77) May 14, 2013, in the Atlantic Ocean

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator launches from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN_77) May 14, 2013, in the Atlantic Ocean

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 19:30
Jordan refutes report of opening airspace to Israeli armed drones to spy on Syria

April 22, 2013 RT.com

 

A Jordanian military official has refuted the reports that Jordan has opened two air corridors for Israeli drones to monitor the Syrian conflict. The official told RT Arabic that an earlier report by Le Figaro was “inaccurate and groundless.”

 

Citing a Western military source, the French daily said the decision to open Jordanian airspace to the Israelis had been reached in March following a visit by President Barack Obama to the country.

 

"The Syrians have Russian air defense assets, but Israeli aircraft are difficult to detect and therefore virtually immune to anti-aircraft measures," said the unnamed source to Le Figaro. The military craft will fly at night to minimize the risk of detection and are capable of striking a target “anywhere in Syria.”

 

The report follows an alleged Israeli strike at targets inside the Syrian border in acts branded as a violation of the UN charter. The new aerial corridors through Jordan will allow Israeli aircraft to avoid flying over southern Lebanon and inciting a possible aggressive response from Hezbollah.

 

Israel has repeatedly voiced its concern over stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria and the possibility they may fall into the wrong hands. In late January the Israeli government issued a number of warnings to Syria before reports of an air strike on what Damascus claimed was a “scientific research center" emerged. Israel did not take direct responsibility for the strike, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied Israeli involvement.

 

“I keep telling you frankly that ... when we say something we mean it. We say that we don’t think [Hezbollah should be allowed] to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon,” he told journalists in Germany a week after the attacks.

 

The US got behind Israel, stating that Washington had been informed prior to the strike on what was also said to be a weapons convoy heading to Lebanon.

 

The attack on a Syrian target drew widespread condemnation internationally, with Lebanon decrying the strike as “barbaric aggression,” while Russia said it was deeply concerned by the move that was in breach of the UN charter.

 

Israel has taken steps to beef up its military defenses along its borders with Syria and Lebanon. Iron Dome missile defense components were deployed along Israel’s northern borders along with a US-made Patriot missile unit in February, security sources told Reuters. The anonymous military spokesperson maintained that the deployment was purely routine.

 

Jordan has been dramatically affected by the escalating violence in neighboring Syria. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have flooded into Jordan since the conflict began over two years ago, leading to the creation of vast camps to house them. On Sunday the Jordanian authorities detained eight Syrians in a camp along the border for inciting riots, fueling fears the conflict could spark violence in Jordan.

 

Jordanian King Abdullah reportedly met with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in secret in March with a view to curb the influx of Syrian into Jordan. Assad, for his part, issued a warning to the Jordanian government last week, stating that thousands of fighters had crossed into Jordan to fight government forces.

 

"The fire will not stop at our border and everybody knows that Jordan is exposed as Syria is," Assad said in an interview broadcast on Al-Ikhbariya television.

 

The Syrian conflict has been raging for over two years and has shown no signs of abating. Opposition support group, the so-called Friends of Syria, met over the weekend to discuss monetary aid to rebel forces attempting to oust President Assad. The group granted $123 million in ‘non-lethal’ aid to the Syrian opposition.

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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 10:55
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