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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Netherlands cuts F-35 fleet plan to 37 fighters

Sept. 17, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - The Netherlands’ government has confirmed the selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the nation’s aged F-16s, but its purchase is likely to be for fewer than half of the number of aircraft previously anticipated.

 

Included as part of a budget announcement made on 17 September, the decision will lead to the introduction of the nation’s first frontline examples at Volkel air base from 2019.

 

“The replacement will be carried out entirely within the previously reserved investment budget of €4.5 billion [$6 billion] and the current operating budget for the F-16, which amounts to €270 million per year,” the government says. “Based on the current insights, the available financial room is sufficient for the purchase of 37 aircraft.

 

“The defence organisation will from now on base its plans on that number, and will inform its partners in the F-35 programme accordingly.”

 

Previous plans had called for the Royal Netherlands Air Force to eventually receive up to 85 Joint Strike Fighters, but this total has for some time exceeded the size of its now-dwindling F-16 inventory. In its announcement, the government says a further seven of the current type will be withdrawn in 2014, cutting the fleet size to 61 aircraft, with three squadrons. The type will leave Dutch use in the mid-2020s.

 

Citing the need for “careful consideration and astute choices” during a time of budget pressure, the government notes: “Opting for a modest number of the best aircraft attests to a sense of reality.” The F-35 was selected on “operational, financial and economic grounds”, and “is also the most future-proof option”, it adds.

 

Noting that the unit price for its conventional take-off and landing F-35As is not yet known, it comments: “Should any unexpected major changes occur in terms of product, time or money, the project will be reviewed within the given financial parameters, if those changes exceed the margins of the project budget.”

 

However, the statement notes: “If, within the given financial parameters, room is created in the coming years to purchase more aircraft, the defence organisation will do so. This may be the case if the [10%] contingency reserve is not used in full and if the price per unit of the F-35 turns out to be lower than is currently expected.”

 

The air force should be able to manage effectively with its more capable F-35s, says the government, which is also eyeing potential savings to be made through “international co-operation in areas such as training, sustainment and deployment”. A proposed bilateral quick reaction alert agreement already being discussed with Belgium would also reduce the impact of maintaining such an air policing capability in both nations, it adds.

 

Pointing to a more than 30-year relationship established with the air force via the F-16, Lockheed says the F-35 will provide “the very best aircraft capabilities possible for the Netherlands’ national security”.

 

The positive decision should also clear the way for two test aircraft already delivered to support initial operational test and evaluation activities to be returned to flight status. The pair were grounded earlier this year, pending the outcome of the formal selection decision.

 

Other potential candidates for the Dutch F-16 replacement had included offers of the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
JSF Jet Fighter Purchase Gets Green Light After 18 Years: Telegraaf

Sept. 17, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Dutch News; published Sept. 17, 2013)

 

The Netherlands will go ahead with the purchase of the controversial JSF jet fighter, despite objections, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday. The decision brings to an end 18 years of political dithering about the wisdom of spending so much money on an aircraft when the defence ministry is struggling to find €1.33bn in cuts, the paper says.

 

The Netherlands will buy 37 JSF jets which will keep the cost within the €4.5bn special budget set aside for the purpose. They will cost an additional €270m a year to keep in the air, the Telegraaf reports, quoting sources in The Hague.

 

Vision

 

Defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will confirm the buy when she unveils her vision for the future of the armed forces later on Tuesday, the paper says. Because of the careful budgeting, it is possible the Netherlands will buy more JSFs at a later stage, the Telegraaf said.

 

The JSF will gradually replace the aging F-16 fleet between 2019 and 2023. Earlier this month, sources said the Labour party, which had opposed the purchase of the JSF, was now in favour of the plan, clearing the way for cabinet approval. One Dutch jet is currently undergoing test flights and a second test aircraft is due to be delivered this year.

 

The issue has divided parliament for years, because of the high cost of the new American-built aircraft. There has also been criticism in the US over the mounting costs and delays.

 

Missions

 

A report by the Clingendael foreign policy institute earlier this year said an armed forces which includes the controversial JSF jet fighter is the least attractive scenario for the future of the Dutch military.

 

Clingendael says the JSF will only be needed if the Netherlands wants to take part in the opening phase of military interventions. The Netherlands rarely takes an active role.

 

But the high cost of the JSF will lead to ‘serious limitations’ to the country’s maritime operations – such as the role the Netherlands currently plays in protecting commercial shipping against pirates.

 

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If the Dutch budget of €4.5 billion will buy 37 aircraft, the average unit price works out to €121.6 million (approx. $158 million) per aircraft.

On the basis of annual operating costs of €270 million, the total operating cost of the fleet over 30 years works out to €8.1 billion, plus 30 years’ worth of inflation.

Of course, the Telegraaf story did not mention how any flight hours are included in the operating costs, so a more detailed analysis of the Netherlands’ cost estimates will have to wait for the defense minister’s official announcement.

It should be noted that the Netherlands originally planned to buy 85 F-35s.)

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 16:20
F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighters from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.,

F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighters from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.,

17/09/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

En dépit des énormes surcoûts et des graves problèmes techniques du F-35, les Pays-Bas vont pourtant acheter 37 avions de combat de Lockheed Martin pour équiper leur armée de l'air.

 

En dépit des énormes surcoûts financiers et des graves problèmes techniques du F-35, les Pays-Bas vont finalement acheter 37 avions de combat de Lockheed Martin pour équiper leur armée de l'air, ont indiqué ce mardi à l'agence Reuters deux sources proches du dossier. La ministre néerlandaise de la Défense, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, doit annoncer cette décision dans la journée de mardi dans un document définissant sa vision à long terme pour l'armée néerlandaise, qui tourne le dos à l'Europe. Initialement, La Haye devait acheter 85 F-35 pour remplacer une flotte vieillissante de F-16AM. Une décision qui sonne comme un nouvel échec politique pour les partisans d'une Europe de la défense et alors que même le Canada, fidèle allié des Etats-Unis, s'interroge sur l'achat de cet appareil.

Le gouvernement néerlandais a prévu 4,5 milliards d'euros dans son budget pour le renouvellement de sa flotte de chasse, auxquels il faut ajouter 270 millions d'euros de coûts d'entretiens d'annuels. Le F-35 Joint Strike Fighter a été conçu pour devenir le chasseur de nouvelle génération de l'US Air Force et des alliés des Etats-Unis, mais son développement a pris plusieurs années de retard en raison de problèmes techniques et d'une hausse des coûts, 70 % plus élevés que prévu. Si la commande de F-35 est confirmée, les Pays-Bas seraient le septième pays à faire confiance à Lockheed Martin après la Grande-Bretagne, l'Australie, l'Italie, la Norvège, Israël et le Japon. Washington essaie de convaincre le Canada de rejoindre cette liste. 

 

Le F-35, un appareil pour tuer l'industrie aéronautique européenne

Cet appareil devait remiser tous ses rivaux dans les musées, Rafale compris. Ce qui est loin aujourd'hui d'être le cas compte tenu de ses graves problèmes techniques. Et le F-35 avait également une mission officieuse : torpiller l'industrie aéronautique militaire européenne, notamment en France, seul pays à maîtriser l'ensemble des technologies pour développer et industrialiser un avion de combat, à l'exception de la Russie. "Pour mieux la vassaliser", rappelle un expert du ministère de la Défense.

"Il faut bien savoir que les Américains souhaitent casser notre industrie de défense pour accroître leur domination mondiale, car nous sommes leur seul concurrent ", expliquait dans l'indifférence générale en mai 2002 Serge Dassault dans une interview accordée à "La Tribune".

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
South Korea poised for final decision in F-X III

Sept. 17, 2013 by Greg Waldron – FG

 

Singapore - South Korea could make a final decision in the F-X III competition for 60 fighters as soon as the following week, with Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle in a strong position.

 

Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) says it has completed the evaluation of the competing bids of the three jets involved in the competition, according to a report by state news agency Yonhap.

 

The report indicates that DAPA officials have briefed South Korean president Park Geun-hye about the competition, with the winner to be decided following a meeting presided over by defence minister Kim Kwan-jin on 24 September.

 

DAPA has indicated that the F-15SE has the edge as its bid came in below the won (W) 8.3 trillion ($7.7 billion) budget. Its rivals in the competition, the Lockheed Martin F-35 and Eurofighter Typhoon, appear to have come in over budget, which should technically eliminate them from the competition.

 

This could give Seoul just two options in the following week: select the F-15SE or re-tender the competition.

 

A major consideration among Seoul’s defence establishment is the prestige inherent in the F-35, which is seen as a more advanced option owing to its dedicated stealth features. They are keenly aware of Tokyo’s decision to buy 42 F-35s in 2011, defeating rival bids from the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Typhoon.

 

In addition, they are aware of aircraft developments in China, where apparently stealthy types such as the Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 are undergoing flight testing.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Rolls-Royce Boosts Power for V-22 Engines

Rolls-Royce says it has increased the power of the engine it supplies for US V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft by 17 percent. (photo USMC)

 

Sep. 16, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has increased the power output of its V-22 Osprey engine by 17 percent, a significant jump that should boost the reliability of the tilt-rotor aircraft in high-altitude, high-heat conditions, according to a company official.

 

“We’ve been upgrading the [AE family] of engines to provide more thrust as more challenging requirements came up in the commercial market, so we knew there was more power available” said Tom Hartmann, the company’s senior vice president of defense. “Now that we’re through the hurdles of wrestling and working the time-on-wing improvements, we recognize there is additional capability we haven’t taken advantage of that could provide high power to the Pentagon for their particular missions.”

 

The engine improvements came from three relatively small changes. First, the company added a new turbine to the engine, known as the Block 3 turbine. That design is based on a commercial product Rolls-Royce has used.

 

Some of those turbines are already in the field; the company has been installing them into all new-production models since July 2012, and began upgrading older turbines during regular maintenance two months later.

 

The other modifications included an increase in the flow capacity of the fuel valve and a software update, which allow the engines to deliver the higher power when needed.

 

Each V-22 Osprey is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines. The US Air Force’s fleet of CV-22s are used for special operations missions. The US Marine Corps’ MV-22 has two variants, the B and C models, which are used in the transportation of troops and equipment.

 

Most of the time, the V-22 won’t need the extra power. It’s really designed for use at higher altitudes — the 6,000-8,000-foot range — where the V-22 has struggled.

 

“Without flight tests, it’s hard to say the real-world impact” of the improvements, Hartmann said. But Rolls aims to give US military operators full engine capability at 6,000 feet with an air temperature of 95 degrees, a challenge that he said Air Force officials asked the company to look at.

 

“Right now, they are limited on what load they can carry at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees.” Hartmann said. “The plan is to provide that full capability in the near term, and then, in a future upgrade, give enhanced capability at 8,000 feet and 95 degrees.”

 

The company will begin tests of its upgraded engine in the fall, beginning the Federal Aviation Administration review process. Hartmann expects kits for the improved engines to arrive late 2014.

 

Rolls also is keeping an eye on a more comprehensive Block 4 upgrade, which should increase power by 26 percent over the current baseline, allowing the engines to hit close to 10,000 horsepower. It also could improve fuel consumption, which the company expects to be key as the Pentagon focuses more on the Asia-Pacific region.

 

“You have the ‘tyranny of distance’ in the Pacific, so better fuel consumption is obviously a benefit in that region,” Hartmann said.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Les Pays-Bas vont acheter 37 chasseurs américains F-35

17/09/2013 Capital.fr

 

Les Pays-Bas vont acheter 37 chasseurs F-35 de Lockheed Martin pour équiper leur armée de l'air, ont indiqué mardi à Reuters deux sources proches du dossier.

 

La ministre néerlandaise de la Défense, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, doit annoncer cette décision dans la journée de mardi dans un document définissant sa vision à long terme pour l'armée néerlandaise, ont-elles ajouté.

 

Le F-35 Joint Strike Fighter a été conçu pour devenir le chasseur de nouvelle génération de l'US Air Force et des alliés des Etats-Unis, mais son développement a pris plusieurs années de retard en raison de problèmes techniques et d'une hausse des coûts, 70% plus élevés que prévu.

 

Anthony Deutsch; Tangi Salaün pour le service français

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
La NSA soupçonnée de piratage de l’opérateur de téléphonie belge Belgacom

16/09/2013 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord - Défense globale

 

La Belgique a vivement dénoncé lundi une « intrusion » dans le système informatique de son opérateur de téléphonie Belgacom, soupçonnant l’implication « à haut niveau d’un autre Etat » qui pourrait être les Etats-Unis par le biais de la controversée Agence nationale de sécurité (NSA).

 

On peut lire également sur ce sujet les déboires du service de renseignement militaire belge, victime d'une intrusion sur son réseau fin 2012 et " dépanné " par le cybercommand américain...

 

Deux mois après les premières révélations d’Edward Snowden, l’ex-administrateur réseaux de la NSA aujourd’hui réfugié en Russie, l’opérateur historique Belgacom, majoritairement détenu par l’Etat belge, a annoncé que son système informatique interne avait été victime d’une « intrusion digitale ».

 

Les traces de cette intrusion ont été décelées début juillet par les experts en sécurité du groupe belge, qui a directement porté plainte contre X devant le parquet fédéral à Bruxelles pour « accès non-autorisé » à son réseau interne.

 

Après deux mois de préparation, « des dizaines » de personnes ont travaillé durant tout le week-end pour « nettoyer le système » et renforcer les mesures de sécurité, a expliqué lors d’une conférence de presse le patron de Belgacom, Didier Bellens.

 

« Au stade actuel, il n’y a aucune indication d’impact pour les clients ou leurs données », a ajouté M. Bellens. En clair, rien n’indique que les logiciels malveillants découverts dans « quelques dizaines d’ordinateurs » de membres du personnel et dans des serveurs ont permis d’intercepter des données sensibles, selon le groupe.

 

Les virus ont uniquement infiltré « le système interne à l’entreprise tournant sous Windows », pas les « services télécoms », a précisé un autre responsable de Belgacom.

 

" Une opération internationale d'espionnage étatique "

 

Pourtant, l’affaire est prise très au sérieux par la justice. « L’enquête démontre que le hacking n’a été réalisable que moyennant l’engagement d’importants moyens financiers et logistiques par les intrus. Cette donnée, de même que la complexité technique du hacking (entre autres l’emploi de malware spécifiques et de techniques de cryptage avancées) et son ampleur, orientent les investigations vers une opération internationale d’espionnage étatique », a indiqué le parquet fédéral.

 

« L’objectif de ce hacking semble plutôt être de rassembler des informations stratégiques et non de commettre des actes de sabotage ou de causer des dommages économiques ou autres », poursuit-il.

 

L’enquête devra déterminer « les organisations » à l’origine du piratage, « très important et très intrusif », a abondé le ministre de tutelle de Belgacom, Jean-Pascal Labille.

 

La Belgique entend évoquer les problèmes de cybersécurité avec ses partenaires européens, a expliqué le ministre. « Nous ne sommes pas les seules victimes, les Français aussi il y a peu de temps », a-t-il ajouté.

 

Dans un communiqué, le Premier ministre Elio Di Rupo a assuré que si « l’implication à haut niveau d’un autre pays » était confirmée, il « entreprendra les démarches appropriées », sans citer toutefois les Etats-Unis ou un autre pays.

 

Soupçons sur la NSA

 

La presse belge porte toutefois clairement ses soupçons sur la NSA.

 

Selon le quotidien De Standaard, qui ne cite pas ses sources, l’opération d’espionnage durait depuis 2011 au moins. Le journal de référence en Flandre ajoute que l’agence américaine s’intéressait en particulier à l’une des filiales du groupe belge, Belgacom International Carrier Services (Bics).

 

Détenu par Belgacom, Swisscom et le sud-africain MTN, Bics est un acteur majeur pour le transfert de données vocales, de SMS ou encore de trafic internet entre opérateurs de téléphonie fixe ou mobile du monde entier, en particulier en Afrique et au Proche-Orient.

 

« Ce sont essentiellement des communications avec des numéros de pays comme le Yémen, la Syrie ou d’autres Etats jugés "voyous" par les Etats-Unis qui auraient été enregistrés », assure le Standaard.

 

La semaine dernière, de nouveaux documents obtenus par l’intermédiaire d’Edward Snowden et révélés au Brésil ont indiqué que la NSA aurait espionné les réseaux privés de communications du ministère français des Affaires étrangères, le réseau international de transferts bancaires internationaux Swift (dont le siège est en Belgique), Google et Microsoft, ainsi que la compagnie pétrolière brésilienne Petrobras.

 

La Commission européenne a à nouveau demandé le 12 septembre aux autorités américaines de lui fournir des « réponses claires et satisfaisantes » sur ces nouvelles allégations d’espionnage par la NSA.

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16 septembre 2013 1 16 /09 /septembre /2013 22:50
F-35 Weekly Update: 16th September 2013

09/16/2013 Defence IQ Press

 

 

Canada's aerospace industry could lose about $10.5 billion worth of contracts over several decades if the federal government ultimately decides not to purchase the controversial F-35 Stealth Fighter, says a senior executive at Lockheed Martin.

Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of the U.S. defence giant, says Lockheed will honour $500 million worth of business already awarded to Canadian partners but that other work would be in jeopardy without a Canadian jet order.

"If in fact the Canadian government were to decide not to select the F-35 we will certainly honour the contracts that we have here with the Canadian industry but our approach in the future would be to try to do business with the industries that are in the countries that are buying the airplane," he said in an interview after officially opening its new engine overhaul facility in Montreal.

Carvalho said Lockheed estimates that Canadian industry could potentially receive $11 billion of contracts over 25 to 40 years as its builds 3,000 planes for air forces around the world.

About 72 Canadian companies have secured work on the F-35 project. Industry Canada has estimated that the potential value could be US$9.8 billion, including the amount of contracts already awarded.

Gilles Labbe, the former head of aerospace cluster Aero Montreal and CEO of F-35 supplier Heroux-Devtek (TSX:HRX), last year warned that thousands of jobs would be at risk if lead manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman remove work destined to be completed in Canada by members of the global supply chain. [Huffington Post Canada]

 

 

Thirteen British companies and the U.K. Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology participated in a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Industry Recognition Event during the DSEI tradeshow today. Over the next 40 years, British industry will continue to play a vital role in the F-35’s global production, follow-on development and sustainment, bringing strong economic benefits to the kingdom.

“The F-35 is the largest defence programme in the world,” said U.K. Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne. “The U.K.’s involvement will generate billions of pounds and tens of thousands of jobs for the British economy for decades to come, with over 500 suppliers across the U.K. already contributing to the production of the F-35. Backed by this government's strategic vision for U.K. aerospace, the F-35 programme allows us to continue to build on the strengths of our nations avionics, systems and sensors industry.”

Steve O’Bryan, vice president, F-35 Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics added, “Our suppliers here in the U.K. are essential to the success of this program. Together, they will produce 15 percent of each one of the more than 3,100 F-35s planned for the global fleet. We are leveraging their proud legacy of innovation in aerospace to deliver this unprecedented capability to the warfighter.”

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries. [Your Industry News]

 

 

Northrop Grumman has begun company-funded development of a Directed Infrared Countermeasures (Dircm) system for fast jets, anticipating a requirement to protect the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from heat-seeking air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

“We believe the requirement is there, and coming quickly, and that the first opportunity will be on the F-35,” says Jeff Palombo, senior vice president and general manager of Northrop’s land and self-protection systems division.

Northrop plans to begin testing a prototype of the Threat Nullification Defensive Resource (ThNDR) system in its system-integration laboratory by year’s end, he revealed at a briefing in Washington Sept. 12.

The timing for development of a laser missile jammer to equip the F-35 “is still in question,” Palombo says, “but we want to get out in front of the requirement.”

Northrop has supplied more than 3.000 Dircms to protect large aircraft and helicopters against heat-seeking missiles by directing a modulated laser beam into the seeker head to confuse its guidance.

A Dircm is not part of the requirements for the initial, Block 3-standard F-35 now in development. But draft requirements already exist and Northrop says a laser jammer is now expected to be part of the scheduled Block 5 update.

The system must meet low-observability (LO) requirements and be packaged to fit in a restricted space available inside the F-35. But it will have a smaller, more-powerful laser than current Dircm systems and require liquid cooling, Palombo says.

The ThNDR, which includes the laser, beam steering and LO window, is packaged to fit inside volume available alongside sensors for the F-35’s distributed aperture system (DAS). There would be two jam heads, one on top and one underneath the aircraft to provide spherical coverage with minimal change to the outer mold line.

The DAS, which has six infrared sensors located to provide a 360-deg. view around the aircraft, would provide missile warning, detecting and declaring incoming threats and cueing the pointer/tracker, or jam head. [Aviation Week]

 

The Pentagon’s top officer overseeing the F-35 program put Lockheed Martin, the lead contractor, on notice last year with some unexpected straight talk about his views of the program saying the relationship between Lockheed and the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office is the “worst I’ve ever seen.”

A year later, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan is set to return to the Air Force Association’s annual conference, but the same fireworks are not expected as the F-35 Joint Program Office and Congress has seen progress in the F-35 program.

Air Force leaders have said publicly they are confident the A-model of the F-35 – the Air Force’s version — will achieve initial operational capability by 2016.

Initial operational capability, or IOC, is the target date each service sets for fielding an initial combat capable force. The IOC dates for the different F-35s have changed several times, starting with 2010–2012, according to a March 2013 report on the program by the Government Accountability Office.

Currently, there are 78 F-35s flying today amongst the services to include the Marine Corps, according to Lockheed Martin.  The contractor expects to have 90 by the end of the 2013 and by the end of 2016 the military will have 200 F-35s in the air, and more than 50 percent of them by the Air Force, said Mike Rein, a Lockheed Martin spokesman.

The Defense Department next year plans to spend $8.4 billion to buy 29 F-35s, including 19 for the Air Force, six for the Marine Corps, and four for the Navy. The funding includes $6.4 billion in procurement, $1.9 billion in research and development, and $187 million in spare parts.

The missed deadlines and cost overruns of the F-35 Lightning II, the most expensive weapons system in U.S. military history, have been well documented. But there are some critics who have begun to offer praise to the program. [Air Force Times]

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16 septembre 2013 1 16 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
German Army Awards Polaris Contract to Supply Military ATVS

Sep 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : Polaris Industries Inc.

 

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, today announced the company was awarded a contract to provide MV850 ultra-light tactical vehicles to the German Army.

 

“Defense forces around the world are seeking Polaris Defense Military vehicles to  take advantage of our ability to make modifications to our commercial off-the-shelf technology (COTS), insert customer requirements and quickly deliver an end product that meets their needs,” said Rich Haddad, general manager of Polaris Defense. “It is our goal to match the warfighter’s mission requirements with our best value product.”

 

The highly-mobile MV850 platform, which was built specifically for the U.S. military and allied forces, allows for the transport of military personnel and gear through extreme off-road terrain. It features a 600 lbs./272 kg capacity metal rack system, 11.75 gal/ 4.5 L fuel capacity, blackout lighting with IR light capability and an optional litter mount.

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13 septembre 2013 5 13 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
German military orders QinetiQ's shoulder-worn acoustic targeting system

13 September 2013 army-technology.com

 

QinetiQ North America (QNA) has been awarded a contract for supply of its shoulder-worn acoustic targeting system (SWATS) to the German military.

 

Under the $2m contract, the company will supply a range of its SWATS systems, including EARS/SWATS vehicle conversion kits and EARS/SWATS fixed site conversion kits to help address the military's requirement for individual gunshot detection systems.

 

QNA Technology Solutions general manager, Andy Rogers, said SWATS is setting the standard for wearable gunfire detection to protect modern-day soldiers as the company expands into the European market.

 

''With over 17,000 units sold, and thousands of systems deployed in theater since 2007, SWATS is a proven system that saves lives,'' Rogers said.

 

Apart from new sensor firmware, capable of enhancing sensor performance with extended detection range and improved accuracy, the contract also covers supply of software required for downloading of recorded gunshot events for after-action review and analysis.

 

The SWATS systems are scheduled to be supplied with German language customisation and documentation.

 

Manufactured as a human-wearable extension of QNA's EARS acoustic sensor programme, SWATS is innovate acoustic sensors suite designed to boost personal safety through rapid detection of the origin of incoming fire in both urban and rural environments.

 

Weighing less than 1lb, the individual gunfire detection solution can transmit actionable information of snipers and other hidden hostile combatants by audio and / or visual reporting to help soldiers seek cover and return fire thus minimising casualties.

 

 

SWATS, which was jointly developed with the US Army's Program Executive Office-Soldier (PEO-S), is currently operational with the US Army and marine corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The company did not disclose the number of units ordered and the contract's delivery schedule.

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13 septembre 2013 5 13 /09 /septembre /2013 16:20
Rolls-Royce Joins BAE Hawk AJTS Team to Pursue USAF T-X Contract

Sep 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC

 

    Rolls-Royce will lead the support and integration of the Adour Mk951 engine on the Hawk AJTS aircraft

 

BAE Systems, Inc. and Rolls-Royce today announced that Rolls-Royce is joining the Hawk Advanced Jet Training System (AJTS) team as an exclusive partner to compete for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X program. As the engine supplier to BAE Systems on this pursuit, Rolls-Royce will lead the support and integration of the Adour Mk951 engine on the Hawk AJTS aircraft.

 

“Rolls-Royce’s extensive propulsion expertise, coupled with their lengthy relationship with the U.S. Air Force, makes them the perfect choice to integrate their Adour Mk951 engine in the Hawk AJTS aircraft,” said Robert Wood, vice president of BAE Systems’ Hawk Advanced Jet Training System team. “The selection of Rolls-Royce rounds out the Hawk AJTS team as we pursue the T-X program win.”

 

Rolls-Royce joins BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and L-3 Link Simulation & Training as the fourth member of the Hawk AJTS team. The team plans to offer the Hawk AJTS as the replacement of the T-38 trainer. The Hawk AJTS is uniquely tailored to meet the training needs of the U.S. Air Force and will be manufactured in the United States with the involvement of a strong U.S. supply chain.

 

“We are delighted to join the Hawk AJTS team and bring our decades of experience to the program,” said Tom Hartmann, senior vice president of Customer Business at Rolls-Royce Defense. “The Rolls-Royce Adour engine has demonstrated success with 8.6 million flying hours and 200 engines already in service within the U.S. Department of Defense, plus hundreds of others in service around the world. The Hawk AJTS is the affordable, low-risk option, offering proven performance to the U.S. Air Force.”

 

The Hawk AJTS effectively integrates live and synthetic air- and ground-based elements to successfully train pilots for 5th generation fighters such as the F-35 Lightning II and the F-22 Raptor. It is the world’s only fully-integrated, off-the-shelf system in service today that is ready now to train U.S. Air Force combat pilots. More than just an aircraft, the Hawk AJTS teaches student pilots how to address the critical flow of information, learn to interpret it correctly, and make the right decisions to maintain operational advantage.

 

Almost 1,000 Hawk aircraft have been sold across the globe, helping produce highly trained pilots in 18 countries for newest-generation aircraft such as Typhoon, F-35 Lightning II, and JAS 39 Gripen. The Hawk aircraft, which is in active production around the world, is the future lead-in trainer for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35, and for militaries in the U.K., Canada, and Australia.

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13 septembre 2013 5 13 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
MBDA & LM co-operation achieves 1st missile launch from a MK 41 launcher using ExLS

Sep 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : MBDA

 

MBDA and Lockheed Martin demonstrated the first launch of a Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) launcher using the host variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS).

 

This is the first test by MBDA and Lockheed Martin since the May 2013 announcement of cooperation between the two companies to offer MBDA missile systems for use with the MK 41 and ExLS family of launchers. The test used MBDA’s soft vertical launch technology to eject the CAMM from its canister and position the missile for main motor ignition. The trial is the first in a series to demonstrate that the CAMM can be installed using ExLS in vessels that use the MK 41 launcher or on the 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher.

 

Announcing the result of the trial, Paul Mead, Business Development Director for MBDA said, “This first CAMM trial is an example of how MBDA and Lockheed Martin are offering the global MK 41 customer base a real choice in which missile they use. The missile offers a wide range of benefits, not least its active seeker, as well as low impact of installation on-board due to the soft vertical launch method. This is the start of what we hope will be a wider range of MBDA missile systems available to Lockheed Martin vertical launcher users.”

 

“The multi-missile MK 41 VLS has fundamentally changed the way world navies think about sea-launched weapons by providing the flexibility to respond to numerous threats," said George Barton, vice president of business development of Ship & Aviation Systems for Lockheed Martin's Mission System and Training business. "Our partnership with MBDA allows us to grow the MK 41 multi-missile capability and offer our customers an outstanding VLS launcher alternative.”

 

Lockheed Martin, in collaboration with MBDA, is developing a 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher for those navies whose ships cannot accommodate the larger MK 41 VLS but desire the superior missile packing density, survivability and reliability that the 8-cell MK 41 launcher has been offering for over 30 years to 13 navies worldwide.

 

The trial was carried out on the 10th of September near Bedford, England, using a MK 41 launcher outfitted with a host ExLS.

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13 septembre 2013 5 13 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
GE to Supply Avio Aero with Gas Turbine for France's 9th FREMM Frigate

Sep 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : GE Marine

 

GE Marine has received an order to supply one LM2500+G4 aeroderivative marine gas turbine to Avio Aero of Turin, Italy, a GE Marine System Supplier. The gas turbine will power the French Navy’s ninth FREMM frigate.

 

Through Avio Aero, at least 18 LM2500+G4 gas turbines will provide propulsion for the Italian-French FREMM program, which includes six ships for the Italian Navy, 11 ships for the French Navy, and one ship for the Royal Moroccan Navy.  Other international navies are considering the FREMM frigate for use in their fleets.

 

Italy’s first FREMM frigate Bergamini was delivered to the Italian Navy earlier this year by shipyard Fincantieri, and commissioning activities have commenced on Italy’s Fasan and Margottini frigates. According to French shipbuilder DCNS, the French Navy’s second FREMM frigate Normandie will begin sea trials later this year and is scheduled for delivery in 2014. Sea trials are currently underway off the French coast for the Royal Moroccan Navy’s FREMM frigate Mohammed VI. The remaining three Italian Navy ships and nine French Navy ships are expected to launch approximately one per year through 2017 and 2022, respectively.

 

The LM2500+G4 gas turbine was manufactured at GE’s Evendale, Ohio, facility. For the FREMM program, Avio Aero assembles the gas turbine into a propulsion module produced at its Brindisi industrial plant. The propulsion system includes a sophisticated turbine control system entirely developed and manufactured by Avio Aero.

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13 septembre 2013 5 13 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
AEHF Expands Global Communications for Allied Missions

Sep 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

    Netherlands Makes Call On Protected Communications Satellite

 

The Netherlands has become the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) international partner to communicate using the Lockheed Martin-produced [NYSE: LMT] satellite system. During July testing, for the first time three nations used the system simultaneously as The Netherlands connected to U.S., Canadian and domestic terminals.

 

AEHF provides vastly improved global, survivable, jam-proof, protected communications for strategic and tactical users on ground, sea and air platforms.

 

“AEHF’s ability to securely connect allies together is vital to current and future operations,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Protected Communications Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We are hard at work delivering this global capability: Our fixed-price production builds are on schedule, we will launch a third satellite next week, and those users testing the system are extremely satisfied with this leap forward in capability.”

 

The U.S.-Canada-Netherlands team engaged AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 while completing test calls between international terminals. In separate tests, Dutch forces exchanged voice and data communications with the U.S. and Canada by connecting to the AEHF-2 satellite, crosslinking with AEHF-1 and downlinking to the U.S. Navy terminal in San Diego and a Canadian terminal at Shirley’s Bay, Ontario. By connecting with AEHF-2, The Netherlands also completed their first local AEHF call from ship to shore. Radios used in the tests include domestic and international versions of the Navy Multi-Band and Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical (SMART-T) terminals.

 

The U.S. Air Force has been allowing select groups to use AEHF for testing as it fields the system, and the system has performed well as its user base grows with different terminal types. The Netherlands achievement follows Canada’s successful call in May. Both countries will continue testing for several months as they move toward initial operational capability. The United Kingdom is also scheduled to complete their first connection by the end of the year.

 

A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will increase five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF provides the critical survivable, protected and endurable communications links to national leaders, including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

 

Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver six AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. Both AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 are on orbit, AEHF-3 was shipped for a September 18 launch and AEHF-4 is progressing on schedule. All satellites are assembled at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility.

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (Picture Corporal Si Longworth, UK MoD)

A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (Picture Corporal Si Longworth, UK MoD)

11 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support

 

The MOD is to buy an additional 24 Foxhound vehicles for the British Army in a new £23 million contract.

 

Foxhound, designed and built in the UK by General Dynamics Land Systems: Force Protection Europe (GDLS:FPE), first deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and has proved successful on operations.

Foxhound represents leading edge technology, and the vehicles are agile enough to reach a top speed of 70mph and have a V-shaped hull, providing unparalleled protection against a range of threats for their weight and class.

Since 2010, MOD has invested £371 million in Foxhound and the latest order will take the Army’s total fleet to 400 vehicles.

A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle
A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle is put through its paces at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan [Picture: Graeme Main, Crown copyright]

Announcing the contract at the DSEI (Defence Security Equipment International) Conference in London, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said:

Foxhound gives our Armed Forces enhanced mobility, enhanced protection and enables them to operate in a wide range of environments.

This further £23 million investment will bolster the British Army’s capability far into the future and demonstrates our commitment to provide troops with the battle-winning vehicles they deserve.

There is no better advertisement for the British Defence industry on the international stage than the UK’s Armed Forces using British-built equipment on operations.

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Raytheon UK Receives 1st Order for its Latest GPS Anti-Jam Prototype

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : Raytheon Corporation

 

Raytheon UK has taken its first order for a pre-production MiniGAS, the latest in GPS Anti-Jam technology, designed and manufactured by the company in the U.K. This contract, awarded by an undisclosed customer, requires Raytheon UK to produce demonstrator units for customer evaluation.

 

MiniGAS is the latest in Raytheon's GPS Anti-Jam family of products, and it aims to be the lightest and smallest GPS Anti-Jamming system produced by Raytheon UK. It will have flexible form factors, suited to land, unmanned aerial vehicles and missile platforms. Raytheon is also producing demonstration units of its Landshield high performance digital Anti-Jam product for customer evaluation.

 

As well as developing new products, Raytheon has also received an order for a further 100 of its Advanced Digital Antenna Production (ADAP) systems with the U.S. government. To date, more than 500 ADAP systems and more than 6,600 GAS-1 systems have been delivered to the U.S. government and other international customers over the course of 15 years.

 

Richard Daniel, defense director for Raytheon UK, said: "Raytheon UK is a world leader in the production and supply of GPS Anti-Jamming systems to the majority of the world's military forces. These contracts and milestones demonstrate that we continue to make advancements in new systems, ensuring that Raytheon's systems continue to meet the latest platform requirements."

 

Raytheon continues to deliver GPS Anti-Jam systems to Northrop Grumman Italia to be used in the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, and the company has also delivered a significant number of systems for the Airbus Military A400M aircraft. The company also completed the delivery of its first order for its latest GPS Anti-Jam Land product to the UK Ministry of Defence within six months of contract award.

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Squadron Leader Jim Schofield RAF performs the first short takeoff at sea in a F-35B aircraft from the USS Wasp (photo Todd R McQueen, Lockheed Martin)

Squadron Leader Jim Schofield RAF performs the first short takeoff at sea in a F-35B aircraft from the USS Wasp (photo Todd R McQueen, Lockheed Martin)

12 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support

 

UK military pilots have been involved in the second round of vertical night landings at sea of the new F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft.

 

The pilots, along with UK ground crew, are testing 3 Lightning II jets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, working alongside their counterparts from the US Marine Corps.

The latest testing has been used to expand the operational envelope, with aircraft flown in a variety of air and sea states, landing at day and night, all while carrying internal weapons.

The vertical night landings which took place on the USS Wasp, were the first to be conducted at sea.

Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London, the UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:
 

Our Armed Forces will be equipped with the best next generation jet fighter machine, giving them the operational advantage they will need to protect our citizens for decades to come.

The fifth-generation stealth aircraft will fly from the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Carriers from 2018.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
UK Royal Navy Examines Ballistic-Missile Defense Capabilities

The Royal Navy destroyer Daring pulls alongside the US destroyer Chafee in the Pacific Ocean in July. The head of the UK Royal Navy said Daring is conducting tests in the Pacific to see what role British vessels might play in ballistic-missile defense. (MC2 Sean Furey/Navy)

 

Sep. 11, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense news

 

LONDON — One of the UK Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers is conducting tests to establish whether the warships could provide British forces with theater ballistic-missile defense (TBMD) capabilities for the first time, according to the head of the Royal Navy.

 

First Sea Lord Adm. Sir George Zambellas, said during a speech to industry executives and military personnel on the opening day of the DSEi defense exhibition on Tuesday that “The type is on trials in the Pacific to explore the ballistic-missile defense capabilities that are ready to be exploited, bringing strategic opportunities to the vessel.”

 

The Type 45 destroyer Daring, one of six Type 45s built by BAE for the Royal Navy, has been in the Pacific for several weeks, having departed its Portsmouth base this summer for a wide-ranging nine-month deployment, which the Royal Navy said in May would include science and technology trials.

 

The work is being done as part of a US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) research and development test.

 

In March, the UK Missile Defence Centre (MDC) revealed it was collaborating with industry and the MDA to “explore the potential of the Royal Navy’s destroyers to conduct TBMD missions.”

 

The MDC said at the time that the new BAE Systems Sampson radar fitted to the Type 45s would be used in detecting and tracking ballistic targets during the MDA tests.

 

The radar is part of the Sea Viper anti-air missile system, which includes the MBDA-developed Aster 30 weapon.

 

Successful satellite tracking experiments involving Sampson have already been conducted.

 

In May, the UK Defence Ministry confirmed it was talking to Aster 30 partners France and Italy about developing an extended-range version of a missile already used by the French and Italian armies to intercept incoming missiles

 

While there is no program to adapt the Type 45 to include TBMD capability, the trials support the possibility of such a move once a decision whether to go down that route is made by the British government.

 

NATO is already moving to strengthen its TBMD capabilities, including on the maritime front. Raytheon has been doing preparatory technology work as part of an effort to interest European navies, such as the Dutch and Germans in its Standard Missile-3.

 

While Zambellas pointed to tests that could see the Royal Navy adding capabilities to allow it to work alongside the US Navy’s Aegis-equipped ballistic-missile defense warships, Britain’s Defence Secretary Philip Hammond also boosted the Royal Navy’s air defenses with a contract announcement on the Sea Ceptor missile.

 

Speaking at DSEi, Hammond said the MoD had signed a £250 million (US $392 million) production contract to provide the anti-air missile defenses for the Type 23 frigate starting 2016 and future Type 26 frigate sometime in the early 2020s.

 

The UK government and MBDA signed a £483 million development contract in late 2011.

 

Overall, naval matters dominated the opening day of DSEi.

 

BAE announced a £22 million contract to support and maintain the Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol vessels.

 

Rolls-Royce unveiled the design for a new family of maritime patrol craft starting with a 500-ton, 55-meter vessel, while first time DSEi exhibitor CTruk launched an 11-meter, twin-hulled, fast-attack raider capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.

 

The marine side of the British engine maker set up a naval ship design team last year, and the patrol craft, complete with Rolls-Royce systems ranging from propellers to steering gear, is the first product of that effort.

 

A 90-meter design is set to follow by the end of the year and a 75-meter variant sometime in 2014.

 

The Rolls-Royce marine business is expected to be named the gas turbine supplier for the Type 26 on Wednesday, as BAE announces a first wave of equipment selections for the upcoming frigate program.

 

CTruk is a small, British-based boat designer best known for building offshore wind-support vessels, although it is moving into the defense sector.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Lockheed Looks to Poland for Possible MEADS Partnership

A Medium Extended Air Defense System missile launches to intercept a target in November. Lockheed Martin is pursuing missile defense partnerships in the Middle East and Europe after the US announced it was backing out of the MEADS program. (US Army)

 

Sep. 11, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense news

 

WASHINGTON — Like other US defense companies looking for international opportunities amid Pentagon spending cuts, Lockheed Martin executives say they’re aggressively pursuing missile defense business in the Middle East and Europe, and hope to make a controversial program the centerpiece of this effort.

 

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), a partnership between the United States, Italy and Germany, is gearing up for its final test in November, after which the US Army — after spending $2 billion on the program — will back out, leaving its two European partners to decide what to do next.

 

Germany and Italy have long vowed to continue work on the 360-degree missile-detection radar system. However, there is little chance they can pool the money to make up for the US funding that will go away.

 

Still, Mike Trotsky, vice president of Air & Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, which has helped develop the program, told reporters on Tuesday that the company is looking at a Polish missile defense program as a possible landing pad for MEADS.

 

“The Poles have the most mature acquisition that’s going on right now,” he said. “But we see a market for anybody who has aging short to medium-range air missile defense systems.”

 

Trotsky also said that the German and Italian governments might also be able to join with the Polish government to keep MEADS going after the Americans pull the plug, incorporating it into a larger Europe-wide missile defense system.

 

There are other opportunities for the system elsewhere in the Middle East and Asia, he said, where governments “have expressed informal interest, but nothing as formal as the Polish program, which actually has a budget.”

 

MEADS would have to beat out other European and Israeli systems to win the Polish deal.

 

While the US Army is backing out of continued funding for the program, Congress has mandated that the government consider harvesting what it can from the $2 billion investment already made in developing the system.

 

“The US also has a 30-year plan for air and missile defense that runs into the tens of billions of dollars,” Trotsky pointed out. Since Lockheed has developed two modern sensors, “I suspect what you’ll see is that those items get merged” into the long-term missile defense strategy, he said.

 

A day before Trotsky’s comments, Lockheed announced that a German launcher had arrived in the United States for integration ahead to the November test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

 

MEADS had a successful intercept test there last November using the Italian configuration launcher, and MEADS authorities are planning to use the two European launchers in this year’s two-target flight test.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
German Variant MEADS Launcher Arrives for Integration into Flight Test Configuration

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2013 – lockheedmartin.com

 

The first Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) launcher on a German truck has arrived in the United States, ready for integration into a future test scenario.

 

Based on the success of the intercept test last November at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., MEADS authorities are planning to use two launchers in the two-target flight test scheduled for later this year. The original launcher is in the Italian configuration and has been used in previous tests. Originally, only the Italian-configured launcher was planned for use in this year’s flight test.

 

In addition to the Italian and German configuration launchers, there is also a U.S. design that is easily transportable and tactically mobile. Each MEADS launcher can carry up to eight PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles and achieve launch readiness in just minutes.

 

The MEADS launchers have two main features that stand out from the air and missile defense (AMD) launchers currently fielded. The first is the ability of the MEADS launchers to self-load. An integrated crane arm can pick up and release expended missile packs, then grab and position a full eight-missile reload within minutes. The second is the ability to launch the PAC-3 MSE in a near-vertical position to defend assets in all 360 degrees of possible attack space.

 

In two previous tests at White Sands Missile Range, the MEADS launchers have demonstrated unprecedented over-the-shoulder launches of a PAC-3 MSE against targets attacking from behind.

 

“360-degree coverage has become increasingly important as our nations deal with evolving threats from highly maneuverable cruise missiles to easily re-locatable short- and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) General Manager Gregory Kee. “As our forces enter future conflicts, the threat will no longer stay in front of them – that’s why the investment in MEADS 360-degree technology is so important.”

 

Using its 360-degree defensive capability and advanced radars, MEADS can defend up to eight times the coverage area of other systems while deploying far fewer system assets. MEADS needs fewer deployed personnel and less equipment to get to the fight sooner.

 

“MEADS can see and intercept 21st century threats from farther away without blind spots,” said MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “The networked, plug-and-fight MEADS system elements continue to demonstrate capabilities of an AMD force of the future that also dramatically reduces operational and support costs.”

 

MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Germany and Italy, and Lockheed Martin in the United States. MBDA Germany is the Design Authority for the MEADS launcher.

 

The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
MBDA and UTC to Transform Development of Missile Guidance and Control

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : MBDA

 

MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems have initiated a pioneering development programme of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for a multitude of programmes within, and potentially beyond, MBDA’s current Complex Weapons (CW) Portfolio. This is being achieved with a focus on Value for Money (VfM) through Modularity and Reuse (M&R) at all levels of a missile system.

 

To help facilitate a successful programme, MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems are transforming the way they work together with a joint desire to move towards a much closer, more collaborative business relationship.

 

IMUs, which are a critical element of the missile’s guidance, navigation and control functions, have traditionally been based on a number of differing technologies including high cost fibre-optics. UTC Aerospace Systems, which is the Design Authority, will use Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based IMUs, through investment in their operationally-proven MEMS sensor technology. One outcome will be a high performance IMU that meets the MBDA performance requirements but is smaller, more versatile and offers unparalleled value for money when compared to traditional technologies.

 

This high performance IMU is being developed to be backwards compatible with one of existing UTC Aerospace Systems MEMS IMUs. This allows its adoption within multiple programmes whilst providing a form and fit interchangeable system upgrade opportunity for scenarios that require increased range and performance.

 

Steve Wadey, MBDA Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK commented, “This demonstrates MBDA’s commitment to the Team CW philosophy by delivering innovative solutions and long term value for money. It is being achieved by improving our way of working with strategic suppliers and harvesting the benefits from Commercial and Military Off The Shelf (COTS and MOTS) products in our systems.”

 

Kevin Pindard, Managing Director at UTC Aerospace Systems said “At Plymouth, we are delighted to be working closely with MBDA to take our operationally proven UK sovereign MEMS IMU capability and develop that into the next generation of IMUs for use across civil and defence aerospace applications.”

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

Sept. 11, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - The UK Royal Navy expects to conduct its first contractor-supported operations with the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air system from late this year, although its timetable for the type's introduction has been affected by a lack of manpower.

 

Operations with the ScanEagle will occur under a contractor-owned and operated deal awarded to Boeing Defence UK earlier in June 2013 worth £30 million ($47 million). This will see the equipment launched from and recovered aboard some RN and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

 

Urgent operational requirement acquisitions such as the ScanEagle deal are routinely expected to see equipment enter use within six months of a contract award, but the RN process is likely to require at least nine months, says Wg Cdr Dave Postlethwaite, commander of the UK Air Warfare Centre's UAS test and evaluation squadron.

 

Speaking at a pre-DSEi UAS conference in London on 9 September, RN Lt Cdr Pete Whitehead attributed the additional time requirement to the challenge of sourcing sufficient naval personnel to support the ScanEagle's introduction. This includes the service's need to have at least one person trained to fly the type, to serve as a safety officer.

 

Around three RN staff will be required per ScanEagle detachment, with this having been reduced from an earlier objective of up to eight. "We simply can't find the people at the moment" to achieve the latter figure, Whitehead says.

 

While the contractor will be responsible for flying the UAS in support of RN operations, Postlethwaite notes: "Whoever is looking at the [camera] picture will be trained, and will be military."

 

While the UAS will be flown by a contractor-hired operator, the Ministry of Defence must issue a release to service clearance before ScanEagle operations can commence, as activities will be conducted from a military vessel.

 

"We expect the capability to start becoming available from the end of 2013 onwards," minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne said on 5 September.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:25
US spying on Brazil halts talks on warplane purchase: Brazil

Sept 10, 2013 spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Brasilia, Federal District (Brazil) - Brazil has been in talks to buy 36 fighter jets for years, at a cost of $5 billion. The candidates are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale from France's Dassault the Gripen NG by Saab of Sweden.

 

Alleged US spying on the communications of Brazil's president have brought negotiations on buying US warplanes to a halt, a Brazilian government source said Tuesday.

 

The talks have been going on for years, and got a nudge with a visit from Vice President Joe Biden in May.

 

"The negotiations were going very well, and then they stopped" with the recent press reports that the National Security Agency had spied on the online and other communications of President Dilma Rousseff. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was also alleged to have been targeted by the NSA.

 

The US government was eager to close the aircraft deal in time for a planned October visit to Washington by Rousseff, the source said.

 

Brazil has been in talks to buy 36 fighter jets for years, at a cost of $5 billion.

 

The candidates are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale from France's Dassault the Gripen NG by Saab of Sweden.

 

Rousseff said last week she will decide whether to go ahead with the Washington trip depending on the explanation she gets from Obama about the alleged espionage. Obama has promised an answer this week, Rousseff said.

 

"They have to win back our trust," the source said.

 

Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo has reported over the past two weeks that the NSA spied on the online communications of Rousseff, her aides and Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.

 

The allegations stem from documents leaked by fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

 

But the alleged US espionage targeting Petrobras will not in fact delay an oil field auction scheduled for next month, a government official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

 

The finding of the enormous so-called Libra field marked the largest oil discovery in Brazilian history. It is believed to hold between eight and 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and covers an area of 1,500 square kilometers in ultra deep oil fields detected in 2007.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 11:30
Conflit en Syrie - présence militaire en Méditerranée - RTBF-Imagique 06.09.2013

Conflit en Syrie - présence militaire en Méditerranée - RTBF-Imagique 06.09.2013

MOSCOU, 11 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

L'ambassadeur américain en Russie Michael McFaul a démenti les informations parues dans les médias occidentaux sur un échange entre Moscou et Damas de renseignements concernant les déplacements de navires US en Méditerranée, a annoncé mercredi la chaîne télévisée CNN.

"Je ne suis pas du tout au courant de l'échange de renseignements sur les manœuvres militaires américaines", a déclaré l'ambassadeur dans une interview accordée à la CNN.

Toutefois, le diplomate estime que la coopération militaire entre la Russie et la Syrie se poursuit dans son ensemble. Il tire ses conclusions en se basant sur l'intervention du président russe Vladimir Poutine faite à l'issue du sommet du G20 de Saint-Pétersbour

A la question de savoir si la Russie allait soutenir la Syrie en cas de frappe militaire, le chef de l'Etat russe avait répondu par l'affirmative.

"Soutiendrons-nous la Syrie? Sans aucun doute. Tout comme nous le faisons actuellement. Nous livrons des armes, nous sommes en coopération dans le domaine économique. Et j'espère qu'il y aura davantage de coopération humanitaire, dont l'aide humanitaire destinée aux civils qui se trouvent actuellement dans une situation très difficile", a déclaré le président russe.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Picture MOD 2012

Picture MOD 2012

Sep 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has supplied the final batch of Platform Management System (PMS) hardware for the Royal Navy's Astute-class series' boat 5 submarine.

 

Under a performance partnering arrangement, Northrop Grumman's Sperry Marine business unit supplied the PMS to BAE Systems Maritime–Submarines for installation on Astute Boat 5, Anson, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, U.K. The PMS equipment controls and monitors the submarine's platform machinery and onboard systems.

 

"Northrop Grumman has a well established relationship with the Royal Navy, supplying and supporting systems for surface ships and submarines," said Andrew Tyler, chief executive U.K. and Europe, Northrop Grumman. "The continued success of our involvement in the Astute programme is a reflection of the skill of our teams and the close partnership that we have with BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence."

 

Additionally, Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to supply PMS hardware and software for Astute Boat 4 (Audacious) and the forthcoming Astute boats 6 and 7, which will be the Royal Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarines.

 

"Our extensive track record of delivering reliable, high-performance navigation and ship control solutions has helped to establish us as a preferred supplier for Royal Navy platforms," said Alan Dix, managing director of Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine. "We are particularly pleased that we have achieved 100 percent on-time delivery status during the two-year process for Astute Boat 5."

 

Based on Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine's innovative approach to configuring commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software to meet exacting military and commercial applications, the PMS is expected to reduce life cycle costs and minimize program risk for the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The system will provide an advanced network design that includes the stringent levels of safety and redundancy associated with nuclear submarine control systems.

 

Also, the Platform Management System is expandable and versatile due to an open architecture design that allows interfacing with third-party equipment via standard field-bus technology.

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