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25 février 2012 6 25 /02 /février /2012 08:30


source redakcjawojskowa


MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti)


The Polish government has terminated a warship building project seen as a drain on the nation’s resources, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Friday.


“Vast amounts of money are still being spent on the Polish military that simply have nothing to do with defense,” Polish Radio External Service quoted him as saying.


The prime minister said the project will be terminated “despite opposition from the navy” as it was “senseless” to maintain an enterprise that costs 30 million zloty a year (7.2 million euro).


Poland launched the project in 2001, under Prime Minister Leszek Miller.


It was initially planned that Poland would build six so-called Gawron (Rook) Corvettes: small, state of the art warships that would be capable of combating ships and submarines as well as taking part in rescue operations.


The cost was initially set at 250 million zloty per vessel (60 million euro), but the project then changed to three vessels at a cost of 1.5 billion zloty each (360 million euro each). However, after more than a decade, not one warship has been built.

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25 février 2012 6 25 /02 /février /2012 08:00


photo BCR Marne - Marine Nationale


02/24/2012  Contributor:  Malcolm Warr – Defence IQ


It is said that effective afloat support is decisive in maintaining the wide spectre of current naval operations around the globe. From supporting troops engaged in expeditionary missions, the protection of crucial shipping lanes, to engaging in humanitarian missions, afloat support has never been more important and this trend will only continue to grow into the future.


In peace and war, the present mission of naval logistics for most Navies is to provide and sustain operational readiness by getting the right support to the right place at the right time. In peace, operational readiness stems from the ability of naval forces to accomplish a wide range of day to-day taskings. In war, operational readiness is the forerunner of war fighting effectiveness.


But is this enough in the war fighting age we now find ourselves in?


As I write, dawn is breaking over a tranquil Indian Ocean. A naval auxiliary from a Western Navy is on the horizon. But all is not as it might be. That vessel is carrying military stores. It does not hold goods that might provide aid to Somalia or Yemen. Its mission is entirely directed at support for military forces in the Gulf. Yet it cannot support smaller navies around the Gulf Region.


It’s a national asset, occasionally used to support other forces on an ad hoc basis. It carries no Command & Control capability to provide a platform for aid to civil power operations. It is expensive to build and is expensive to operate.


Naval afloat support is broadly speaking, 60 years old this year. The modern Fleet Train was born out of the need to provide support to US Forces operating across the Pacific, although small and successful attempts were also being made concurrently by the German submarine flotilla to resupply its submarines using Milch Cows – or ‘Milk Cows’ – in the furthest reaches of the Atlantic.


By the end of the Second World War, the US Navy had built specialised afloat support vessels. The Kreisgmarine relied on Type XIV U-boats which were amodification of the Type IXD, They had no torpedo tubes or deck guns, onlyanti-aircraft guns. Due to its large size, the Type XIV could resupply other boatswith 400 tons of fuel, four torpedoes, and fresh food that were preserved inrefrigerator units. In addition, the boats were equipped with bakeries, in order toprovide the luxury of fresh bread for crews being resupplied.


And by the end of the Second World War, the Royal Navy had understood that ‘Fleet Trains’ complemented (and in due course largely replaced) naval resupply bases around the world and were a vital and integrated component for a Blue Water Navy.


30 years ago, a Royal Navy Task Force sailed to the South Atlantic to uphold historical Sovereign rights. That task force would not have succeeded without interconnecting afloat and ashore support provided by dedicated military, merchant seamen and civilians. ‘Logistics is the sinews of War’ so said Admiral Sandy Woodward, a Task Force commander quoting an earlier commander of an 18th century campaign.


But that was 1982, is a new approach needed in 2012?


BMT-AEGIR1 source BMT Defence Services

source BMT Defence Services


Modern afloat support is now said to apply to support for Oceanic Navies in the form of Sea Basing or near offshore logistic support and traditional fuel and solid stores support in dedicated naval vessels or chartered ships.


But the last thirty years has seen a perceptible shift from direct military intervention from sea to land based operations supported by air bridges and commercial charter.


Latterly, operations have included external military force, humanitarian aid and reconstruction capability and stimulation and support for internal asymmetric agents.


I first had direct involvement with this trend when invited by the UK Government to investigate how UK reconstruction and military activities might be conducted through the Iraqi Port of Basra during the second Gulf War but I also saw nascent elements of military/civilian co-operation during the first Gulf War when periphery countries were used to store and transit supplies and thence in Rwanda and Somalia during the 1990s and also humanitarian aid in Montserrat and in East Timor.


In all of these interventions, where the humanitarian role of the armed forces has evolved, discussion has focused around three separate categories: military support to emergency or disaster relief efforts, the problematic notion of humanitarian intervention and the provision of humanitarian assistance during combat operations.


The first category has proved to be the least contentious certainly from British experiences in places like Mozambique and Montserrat. In these types of humanitarian disaster relief operations, the UK military has acted as a subcontractor to the wider foreign relief effort through its Department for International Development (DFID).


The military including key naval forces has been deployed for a specific task within a permissive environment which has allowed them to adopt a benign force posture.


However, co-ordination of effort with local forces and humanitarian aid (mostly NGO) organisations has not been without problems. In many instances, NGO dislike working with military and naval forces, yet do not have the Command and Control structures to allow them to deliver aid optimally. Nor are most NGOS able to set up and pay for sophisticated supply chains and transport links. In turn, the military find dealing with freewheeling and loosely managed civilian aid workers, challenging.


While there is no such thing as a standard operation, the key tenets covered in Humanitarian/Disaster Relief Operations are universal.


The UK Government sees CIMIC as a key enabler to facilitate missionsuccess in Civil Military Cooperation. It sees CIMIC as a process rather thanan activity.


The UK Government suggests that military services engaged in such activities should, whenever possible, take advice and overall direction from a coordinating civilian authority or humanitarian agency and should hand over responsibility for the humanitarian task at the earliest opportunity.


However, in 2010, the UK Homeland Security Minister went further, and suggested that non defence departments should provide money to establish a UK CIMIC organisation which uses cores Military Command & Control capability and experience but embraces the wider aspects of modern intervention by acting as a platform for civilian NGOs and civilian multinationals with reconstruction and infrastructure development capability.


The Chinese have already adopted this approach. Naval Afloat support is part of a broader Chinese, diplomatic, economic and structural approach to protect its homeland.


The Indian Navy ten year plan spends time explaining how its Navy will be part of wider Indian humanitarian aid effort.


Way back in 1996, the USN Naval War College issued a White Paper that offered a revised naval strategic maritime concept that embodied from the Sea, a concurrent examination of the naval operational logistics elements necessary to support multi-faceted sea driven operations.


According to the USN, naval forces are vital in shaping the environment needed to enhance national security. A strong naval team capable of deterrence, war at sea and from the sea, and operations other than war is essential to that effort.


And key to that strength, is naval logistics – i.e. the total integration of highly trained and dedicated personnel within a complex network of technical support, facilities, transportation, materiel, and information.


Is it time that governments should stop talking about stand alone naval afloat support to maintain the spectre of current naval operations around the globe and direct a much wider sea based logistics effort directly linked to economic imperatives?

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 19:14


The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope

Photo DAVID ROSE – The Telegraph


24 Feb 2012By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor – The Telegraph


The head of the Royal Navy has issued a staunch defence of "gunboat diplomacy" as a means of resolving disputes without risking the lives of troops.


First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope argued that stationing warships in hot spots around the world can prevent conflict and provide the necessary “leverage” for politicians seeking to settle disputes.


Citing the Navy's part in last year's successful Nato campaign against Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan regime, he said the "supreme advantage" of maritime power was that it could achieve "effect without regret".


But Admiral Stanhope noted that other events over the past decade – an apparent reference to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – were a reminder of the "limits of military force alone in achieving security outcomes".


He said: "Such engagement can of course lead to embroilment, which can be costly, both in resources and in lives.


"Whatever the political rhetoric of the past, the UK has I sense neither the political appetite nor the capacity to respond to every conceivable threat. No country frankly has."


Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London today, the First Sea Lord said naval forces offered "versatility, mobility and interoperability".


"Together these hallmarks provide a strength of maritime power that can deliver – arguably with considerable efficiency – political and military leverage of events ashore," he said.


Admiral Stanhope said Navy ships and submarines contributed to Nato's success in Libya with "the lightest of touches".


He argued that the value of maintaining a persistent military presence in regions of interest to the UK "cannot be underestimated" and said it was crucial to maintain a "credible war-fighting capability" capable of operating at range.


He added: "Even a cursory glance at the numerous 'gunboat diplomacy' publications penned by diplomats, historians and academics over the years tells us that the supreme advantage of maritime power is that it can leverage 'effect without regret'."

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 18:10



Fév 24, 2012 par Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (BRUXELLES2)


L’Autriche devrait avoir un nouveau représentant militaire à Bruxelles en la personne du général Günter Höfler. Le ministre de la défense, Darabos, a annoncé cette nomination jeudi (23 février).


Agé de 59 ans, Höfler est un des plus hauts gradés de la Bundesheer. Puisqu’il était jusqu’ici commandant des forces armées. Il a déjà fait un séjour à Bruxelles comme agent de liaison et attaché militaire de l’OTAN, et chef adjoint de la mission militaire de 1995 à 1999, lors de la mise en place du partenariat pour la Paix.


Agé de 59 ans (le 24 janvier 1953 à Weiz en Styrie, près de Graz), il a rejoint l’armée autrichienne en 1971, Hoefler est engagé dans la mission des Nations-Unies à Chypre. Après la formation d’officier à l’Académie militaire de Wiener-Neustadt, il sert au Jagdpanzerbataillon 4 à Graz (1977-1982). Il enseigne les tactiques à l’Académie militaire (1985-1986) avant d’en prendre la tête (1987-1990), au 9e bataillon d’infanterie blindée Panzergrenadierbataillons 9 (1991-92). Il dirige ensuite l’Institut de formation des officiers à l’Académie militaire (1992-1995) et est commandant des opérations internationales à Götzendorf (1999-2002). En 2002, il est nommé commandant des opérations internationales à Graz et, en janvier 2006, commandant des forces armées. Il est marié (à Elisabeth) et a deux enfants (Anna et Jakob).

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 18:00


photo Royal Navy


24 February 2012 naval-technology.com


The UK Royal Navy's third Vanguard class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) HMS Vigilant will begin sea trials in March 2012, marking the completion of the £300m Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) (LOP(R)) programme.


Babcock project manager Phil Smith said that HMS Vigilant will be ready to leave Devonport next month, capable of fulfilling its mission well into the 21st century.


The three and a half years' refit and refuel programme, undertaken by Babcock, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Rolls-Royce and ship's staff at Devonport Royal Dockyard, involved incorporation of around 200 design alterations and additions (A&As) and class modifications to maximise the submarine's operational capability.


The upgrades included installation and commissioning of the combined oxygen generation system, and a modification to the control rod drive mechanisms to improve nuclear safety during maintenance periods.


As part of the programme, the company undertook a structural survey using ultrasonic phased array and time of flight diffraction techniques to validate the submarine's hull.


Additional upgrades included the modernisation of the reactor core as in Astute class submarines, overhauling tactical and strategic weapons systems, including replacement and integration of sonar 2054 inboard and installation of improved chilled water plants and system.


The project involved engaging more than 80 subcontracting companies, the overhaul of 26,000 items of equipment and replacement of pressure hull plating to reactor primary circuit pipework as well as testing of some 400 systems by the Babcock commissioning teams.


A formal Pre-Sea Trials Inspection was recently completed while the submarine was refuelled in November 2010, followed by steam machinery trials in dry dock and flood-up in June 2011.


The submarine is currently undergoing Power Range Testing (PRT) to validate its propulsion plant and supporting sub-systems.

Post-LOP(R) trials of the submarine at sea and alongside at Faslane, UK will be supported by Babcock and MoD.

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 12:55

BMT-AEGIR3 source BMT Defence Services

photo BMT Defence Services


24.02.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU lignes de Défense


Le MoD britannique a passé commande de quatre pétroliers-ravitailleurs au chantier naval sud-coréen Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Ces navires à double coque (c’est obligatoire) entreront en service en 2016 au sein de la Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Longs de 200m, d'un tonnage de 37 000t, ils pourront accueillir un hélicoptère. Coût de l’opération : 455 millions de livres (538 millions d’euros). 150 millions de livres devraient toutefois revenir à des sous-traitants britanniques, assure le moD.


A quand une annonce identique annonçant la signature d'un contrat pour le remplacement des quatre PR français (Meuse, Marne, Somme, Var)? Entrés en service entre 1980 et 1990, ces bâtiments ne sont pas à double coque conformément aux normes en vigueur. Au moindre incident, la France pourrait se le voir reprocher et toute la flotte de ravitailleurs devra rester au port, limitant la capacité d'action de la marine. DCNS a déjà imaginé, pour remplacer les actuels PR de la Marine nationale, un nouveau concept de bâtiment logistique baptisé "Brave". Mais d'appel d'offres, point!

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 08:37



22 February 2012 - by Andrew White – Shepard Group


London - A UK government report has warned the Ministry of Defence (MoD) against overlooking the threat of electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapons.


According to the Defence Committee's 'Developing Threats: Electro-Magnetic Pulses' report, published on 22 February, the consequences of EMP events must be 'addressed specifically'.


'It is time that the government began to approach this matter with the seriousness it deserves,' the report warned. 'There must be a clear line of responsibility within the MoD; an appearance is given that the MoD is unwilling to take these threats seriously.'


Referring to high-altitude nuclear EMP (HEMP) threats, the report described how states such as Iran could 'potentially pose a realistic threat in the future, even if it does not currently do so, if nuclear non-proliferation efforts are not successful'.


Detonated anywhere between 25 and 500 miles above the Earth, HEMP could have a devastating and long lasting impact on the UK's infrastructure, the report added.


In 1962, a US-sponsored test some 250 miles over the Pacific Ocean illustrated such an effect on fire alarms, streetlights and communications equipment.


However, the report conceded: 'Currently, no state has both the intent to threaten our vital interests and the capability to do so with nuclear weapons. MoD's view is that over the next decade, existing space launch vehicle technology could theoretically be adapted by states to deliver a nuclear device.'


According to the US EMP Commission, Iran and North Korea are both 'aware' of the potential of such an attack, adding that elements required to carry the task out required an integrated delivery system and nuclear device. This, the commission said, was 'technically very challenging and expensive'.


The UK paper also described existing non-nuclear EMP devices as 'crude and limited', despite adding that viable devices could be produced by non-state actors.


Such a non-nuclear EMP, which could include radio frequency weapons, would be capable of damaging electronics locally. Available on the open market, such a device can be designed to look like a suitcase, it warned. 'Armed with such a device and with some knowledge about the electric grid, a terrorist could blackout a city,' the report warned.


Highlighting reliance on satellite-based communications including GPS, position navigation and timing (PNT) and earth observation, the report outlined how the government must 'ensure the long-term security of satellite technology'.


Finally, the report described the additional threat of space weather, caused by varying conditions in the Sun's atmosphere. Described as a 'Tier 1' threat in the 2010 National Security Strategy, space weather is capable of degrading satellites.

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24 février 2012 5 24 /02 /février /2012 08:00



Feb 22, 2012 ASDNews Source : Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)


A new generation of 37,000-tonne tankers is to be ordered for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) to support future Royal Navy operations around the globe, the MOD has announced today.


The new Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) tankers will maintain the Royal Navy's ability to refuel at sea and will provide fuel to warships and task groups.


They will support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore, will be able to operate helicopters, and are planned to enter service from 2016, replacing existing Royal Fleet Auxiliary single-hulled tankers.


At over 200 metres long, the four tankers will be approximately the same length as 14 double-decker buses and be able to pump enough fuel to fill two olympic-sized swimming pools in an hour.


Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, announced that Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is the Government's preferred bidder for the deal. This represents the best value for taxpayers' money, with GB P452m to be spent on the four new vessels to support the Royal Navy on operations around the world.


A number of British companies took part in the competition, but none submitted a final bid for the build contract. In light of this, the best option for Defence, and value for money for taxpayers, is for the tankers to be constructed in South Korea by DSME.


UK companies will however benefit from GBP150m of associated contracts comprising:


    GBP90m on UK contracts for the provision of key equipment, systems, design and support services. The winning design is being provided by UK company BMT Defence Services

    GBP60m investment in the UK from customisation, trials and specialist engineering support.


The tankers are part of a multi-billion pound investment programme for the Royal Navy, which includes Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and Astute Class attack submarines, employing thousands of people in the UK.


Mr Luff said:


"Over the next decade, the Government will be investing billions of pounds in our maritime capabilities to ensure that our Royal Navy remains a formidable fighting force. This project will inject up to GBP150m into UK industry, and support and maintenance will also be carried out in the UK. The Government remains committed to building complex warships in UK shipyards."


Commodore Bill Walworth, Head of the RFA, said:


"We are delighted the RFA will be able to operate these world class vessels. These fleet replenishment tankers will be flexible ships, able to operate with the Royal Navy and Armed Forces in conflict, and are designed to allow for upgrades and emerging technologies, meaning that they have been designed with the future in mind."


The Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray, said:


"The competition for the contract sought to engage shipbuilders from across the globe. I believe the winning bidder's solution will offer the UK the best value for money.


"The MARS tanker is an exceptionally versatile platform; able to simultaneously refuel an aircraft carrier and destroyer whilst undertaking helicopter resupply of other vessels. I am looking forward to the award of the contract and the work that will follow in the lead up to the delivery of the ships."

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 21:19

Watchkeeper UAS photo Thales UK

photo Thales UK


Feb. 23, 2012 defense-unmanned.com


PARIS --- Speaking during and after DGA’s annual results press conference on Feb. 22, Lauren Collet-Billon, head of the Direction Générale de l’Armement, and other procurement officials provided details of ongoing unmanned programs.


-- The French army fully intends to buy the Watchkeeper UAV developed by Thales UK for the British Army, but this will be preceded by an in-depth evaluation. French army crews will train in Britain this year to operate the system, and will then evaluate Watchkeeper on French territory next year, with a view to awarding a procurement contract by late 2013.


-- Two contracts will be awarded as part of Anglo-French cooperation on UAVs. The first, worth about 50 million euros, will cover the assessment phase of the MALE drone, whose service introduction is planned around 2020. This contract will be awarded by France’s DGA on behalf of both countries, and will be overseen by a joint project office based at MoD’s procurement wing in Bristol


The goal is to firm up the project’s specifications, the industrial framework – including subcontractors and suppliers - and the development and production plans so the manufacturers will submit an offer for a fixed-price development contract by the end of 2012 or early 2013.


-- The second contract, worth about 10 million euros, will fund the initial specifications of the UCAS combat drone. It will define an unmanned combat aircraft that will follow on to the Neuron demonstrator project managed by Dassault Aviation.


-- Collet-Billon was dismissive of a future role for EADS in French UAV programs. When asked if the company and DGA were still talking on the subject, he noted that EADS had provided French forces with the Harfang UAV, “and we are in constant dialogue at least on this subject.”


-- France has not dropped plans for a rotary-winged UAV, which the French army initially preferred to a fixed-wing design, but this will instead go to the Navy. Larger ships will operate the NH90 helicopter, but there is a need for a rotary-winged UAV to provide a reconnaissance and surveillance capability for ships that have limited available deck space, Collet-Billon said.


-- Orders are imminent for minirobots and drones to equip French army combat engineer units, which will use them for itinerary reconnaissance and clearing.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 20:22


Vice- amiral Wim Nagtegaal - source militaryphoto


Fév 23, 2012 Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (Bruxelles2)


Le ministère néerlandais de la Défense aura désormais un haut gradé « aux exportations ». Le vice amiral Wim Nagtegaal occupera cette fonction jusqu’à la mi-2013. Il sera notamment chargé de vendre le matériel excédentaire et d’assister l’industrie de défense néerlandaise, annonce le quotidien néerlandais Telegraaf. Il sera responsable de coordonner le réinvestissement de ces ventes pour la Défense. Un job nécessaire en raison des coupes drastiques qu’a décidées les Pays-Bas dans sa défense.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 19:00



February 22, 2012 by Think Defence


Its not really UK related and therefore slightly outside of the remit of Think Defence but still interesting nevertheless, even though the future of the GCV programme seems uncertain.


BAE have released a few images of their solution… HERE

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 18:17

Europe Flag


23.02.12 par Alain Frachon (International) Chronique | LEMONDE


La Russie réarme, à grande vitesse. La Chine pourrait doubler son budget de la défense d'ici à 2015. Les Etats-Unis entendent rester la première puissance militaire mondiale. Un seul continent désarme, comme s'il avait chassé la guerre de son horizon : l'Europe. Est-ce que c'est important ?


Commençons par l'actualité la plus récente, celle des propos fracassants tenus par Vladimir Poutine au début de la semaine. A quelques jours de l'élection présidentielle du 4 mars, qu'il n'imagine pas perdre, M. Poutine a annoncé le plus gigantesque programme militaire russe depuis la fin de la guerre froide. L'une de ses priorités sera de moderniser et de transformer de fond en comble l'appareil militaire du pays, écrit-il dans le quotidien Rossiyskaya Gazeta.


L'ennemi principal est désigné : l'Ouest. La plus grande menace qui pèse sur la Russie, celle qui peut rendre obsolète son arsenal de missiles, est le bouclier antimissile américain, poursuit le premier ministre. Ce système de défense antimissile, auquel Washington a proposé à Moscou de participer, est censé protéger l'Europe. Vladimir Poutine ne l'entend pas ainsi. "Nous devons contrer les efforts des Etats-Unis et de l'OTAN en matière de défense antimissile", assure-t-il. Pas question d'accepter l'offre de collaboration des Etats-Unis : "On ne saurait être trop patriotique dans cette affaire", dit l'ancien président ; la réponse de la Russie sera "de tenir en échec le projet américain, y compris sa composante européenne".


Dans les dix années à venir, M. Poutine prévoit de passer pour 772 milliards de dollars (583 milliards d'euros) de commandes militaires. La liste des courses est éclectique : 400 nouveaux missiles balistiques intercontinentaux ; 2 300 blindés de la dernière génération ; 600 avions de combat ; 8 sous-marins porteurs de missiles nucléaires et 50 bâtiments de surface - sans compter une palanquée de matériels plus légers.


A l'arrivée, en 2022, le poste défense dans les finances publiques russes représentera de 5 % à 6 % du produit intérieur brut (PIB) du pays.


La plupart des experts s'accordent sur trois points. L'état de l'armée russe actuelle n'est pas brillant et justifie une politique de modernisation. Mais le programme de M. Poutine n'en est pas moins marqué par quelque chose qui relève de la paranoïa. Enfin, il est à peu près sûr que l'industrie de défense russe est incapable de fournir ce que lui demande le candidat.


Le deuxième effort militaire le plus notable sur la planète est celui de la Chine. D'ici à 2015, son budget militaire aura doublé, estiment cette semaine les spécialistes de la revue Jane's Defence. Il devrait alors atteindre 238 milliards de dollars (180 milliards d'euros). Cela fait plus de vingt ans que son taux de progression est à deux chiffres.


Jane's Defence juge que le total des dépenses militaires chinoises se montera à 120 milliards de dollars en 2012, soit plus que le budget militaire combiné des huit premiers membres de l'OTAN, à l'exception des Etats-Unis. Méfiants et très concernés, les Japonais assurent que les Chinois ne donnent pas les vrais chiffres de leurs dépenses militaires. Jane's Defence considère qu'elles ne sont pas disproportionnées : elles représenteraient 2 % du PIB de la deuxième économie mondiale.


Qui est l'ennemi ? Cette fois encore, les Etats-Unis. Mais les analystes de la politique de défense chinoise disent que Pékin n'a aucunement l'intention d'égaler la puissance militaire américaine. Le premier objectif stratégique des Chinois est de protéger leur environnement maritime, ces 1 800 kilomètres de côtes qui s'étirent de la mer Jaune au nord à la mer de Chine méridionale. Voies d'eau essentielles qui acheminent une énorme partie de l'approvisionnement énergétique et alimentaire du pays.


La Chine considère que cette zone maritime relève de sa tutelle. C'est là, et pas ailleurs, qu'elle entend afficher sa prépondérance. Les armes qu'elle développe - missiles anti-porte-avions, porte-avions, bombardiers furtifs - n'ont qu'un objectif : chasser les Etats-Unis du Pacifique occidental.


Les Américains ne vont pas se laisser faire. Au contraire. Ils veulent rester une puissance militaire écrasante - plus de 40 % de l'effort militaire mondial à eux seuls. Avec plus de 700 milliards de dollars, leur budget de défense 2011 est à peine inférieur à ce que M. Poutine veut dépenser d'ici à 2022.


L'Amérique sort de dix ans de guerre, en Irak et en Afghanistan, avec des résultats mitigés. Lancés par George W. Bush, qui a simultanément diminué les impôts, ces deux conflits ont fait exploser la dette américaine.


Pour des raisons financières et stratégiques, Barack Obama veut dégager les Etats-Unis de ces engagements prolongés à l'étranger. Il a commencé à réduire le budget de la défense, un peu. L'objectif affiché est de passer en dix ans d'un volume de quelque 700 milliards de dollars annuels à un peu moins de 500. Ce qui devrait assurer aux Etats-Unis une domination militaire incontestée jusqu'au beau milieu du siècle...


Mais M. Obama réoriente aussi les priorités stratégiques du pays. Il veut contrer le projet chinois : l'Amérique restera, dit-il, une puissance militaire du Pacifique. Elle y renforce ses alliances et en noue de nouvelles. Aucune coupe dans le budget de la défense ne concernera cette région. Le réalignement américain se fait aux dépens de l'Europe.


Il n'y restera bientôt plus que 30 000 soldats américains, contre 100 000 encore à la fin de la guerre froide.


L'Europe choisit ce moment précis pour désarmer. Massivement. Elle ne s'estime pas concernée par la course aux armements alentour. Ni par le retrait américain du Vieux Continent ou par les années de turbulences qui s'annoncent au Proche-Orient.


A l'exception de la France et de la Grande-Bretagne, tous les pays européens taillent dans leur défense. Ils avancent qu'ils modernisent et rationalisent leurs armées. Mais l'argument cache mal la réalité : les Européens désarment. Renonceraient-ils à être l'un des acteurs du siècle ?

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 18:12


Scorpene - source DCNS


23 février 2012 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Le ministère polonais de la défense a ajouté l’achat d’un sous-marin sur sa liste d’achats d’équipements d’importance stratégique, indique le ministère dans un communiqué.


Les fonds destinés à ce nouveau programme seront prélevés sur ceux prévus pour le projet de corvette Gawron, qui a disparu de la liste récemment mise à jour.


La construction de cette corvette, basée sur le Meko A-100 de ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, doit être arrêtée après plus de 10 ans. Les travaux se déroulent aux chantiers navals publics de Gdansk.


On estime que la décision d’abandonner le projet Gawron va permettre d’allouer près d’un milliard de zloty (238 millions €) à l’achat d’un sous-marin. A ce jour, la Pologne a dépensé 402 millions de zloty (95,8 millions €) pour la corvette inachevée, selon le ministre de la défense, Tomasz Siemoniak.


La marine polonaise dispose d’un sous-marin de la classe Kilo et de 4 sous-marins de la classe Kobben, achetés entre 2002 et 2004 à la Norvège. Ces derniers devraient être désarmés vers 2015.


L'analyse de la rédaction :

DCNS, qui a pris une participation minoritaire dans le chantier SWM de Gdansk, souhaiterait vendre un Scorpène.


Référence : Defense News (Etats-Unis)

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 17:30




Prague - 22 February 2012 by Rosita – EDA News


Ms. Claude France Arnould, EDA’s Chief Executive, visited the Czech Republic on 21 and 22 February.




During her visit, Ms. Arnould spoke with Mr. Alexandr VONDRA, Minister of Defence. She also met Mr. Jiri SEDIVY, First Deputy Minister, Mr. Rudolf BLAŽEK, Deputy Minister for Acquisitions, Mr. Ivan DVOŘÁK, Director of Defence Policy and Strategy Division and other senior officials.


Discussions focused, among other topics, on Pooling and Sharing, the EDA Helicopter Pilot Training Programme and Research & Technology.


During her visit to the Czech Republic, Ms. Arnould also visited LOM Praha, a defence state-owned company, which offers services inter alia for military helicopters.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 13:55

Canadian Forces emblem


Feb 22, 2012 Spacewar.com (UPI)


Ottawa - Canadian plans to create a defense logistics hub in Germany are in doubt after complications arising from German objections over potential noise pollution.


Canada announced plans for opening the hub as it unveiled a long-term strategy to better prepare for overseas military operations.


Canadian forces are active in Afghanistan and took part in NATO's operation in Libya last year.


After talks with German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere in Ottawa on Feb. 14, Canada announced it would set up a logistics hub at German's Koln Bonn Airport, which serves Bonn, Cologne and surrounding tones.


The planned hub is to be a substitute for the U.S. Air Base Spangdahlem in the southwestern German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which Canada shares.


Spangdahlem is near the sparsely populated city of Eifel while the Koln Bonn Airport is one of the busiest land and air transportation hubs.


Airport administration officials said they couldn't accept the plan for Canadian relocation as increased night flights in a congested urban center could upset residents.


Cologne city officials said they also opposed Canada's planned move.


"The airport of a major city is not the right location for additional military air traffic," Cologne Lord Mayor Juergen Roters said.


In fact, he said, the city favored a further reduction in night flights to reduce noise pollution.


Airport officials said they would continue to confer with Canadian armed forces and German Defense Ministry to find a solution.


Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, who met with de Maiziere, said Canada's Afghanistan operations and experience of Libya had brought home the need to have better facilities.


Sharing the small logistical hub at Spangdahlem with U.S. forces has "driven home the value of maintaining operational support hubs abroad in anticipation of future mission requirements," MacKay said.


Canadian forces must be "flexible, able to respond at a moment's notice and get halfway around the world sometimes at very short notice," he said.


Canada has spent the last few months exploring ways to ensure that flexibility, MacKay said, and is in talks to set up a network of operational hubs in other locations.


Canadian defense officials said the planned hub will cost about $500,000 per year to operate but didn't revealed the initial costs of transferring and setting up operations in a new location.


Only have a small number of Canadian military personnel and facilities are planned to be based at the hub, MacKay said.


"However, the benefit to Canada will be huge as the hubs will have the capacity to ramp up operations quickly should the need arise in response to those crises," MacKay said.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 13:45



23/02/2012 Jean Guisnel - Le Point.fr


La crise grecque n'est pas sans effet sur le budget militaire du pays. Et sur les exportations d'armes françaises.


Les délirantes dépenses militaires grecques, qui avaient fait de ce pays - au nom de la protection contre la menace du voisin turc - le cinquième acheteur d'armes entre 2004 et 2008, appartiennent désormais au passé. "Mon premier constat en arrivant a été qu'il y avait une marge pour réduire les dépenses courantes de l'ordre d'un milliard d'euros par an", explique, jeudi matin, l'ancien ministre de la Défense grec Panos Beglitis aux Échos. Titulaire du poste de juin à novembre 2011, le député et porte-parole du Pasok (socialiste) a décidé de parler.


Selon lui, l'actuel gouvernement Papademos a fait de fausses promesses à Bruxelles en assurant qu'il serait disposé à réduire les dépenses militaires pour contribuer au remboursement de sa dette. "On a promis des coupes dans le budget de la Défense qu'on pourrait qualifier de virtuelles et (...) ce ministère a fourni à la troïka des chiffres inexacts, qui ne correspondent pas à la réalité", affirme-t-il. Avant de conclure : "Cela n'est pas encourageant. Il faut maintenant que ça change pour de bon." L'ancien ministre ne détaille pas ses accusations.


Frégates Fremm


En 2011, 20 % du budget total de la Défense avait été amputé par rapport à l'année précédente. "J'ai été confronté à une forte résistance de la part de la haute hiérarchie militaire. Je suis passé outre en fermant une grosse dizaine des 33 centres d'entraînement de recrues, à commencer par celui sis dans ma propre circonscription de Corinthe", explique-t-il. Un effort qui doit pourtant se poursuivre. 16 % de coupes supplémentaires doivent être réalisées en 2012, pour un montant total de 4,1 milliards d'euros, si l'on en croit l'actuel ministre de la Défense Dimitri Avramopoulos.


Concrètement, toutes ces coupes viennent entraver de nombreux contrats d'armement que la Grèce avait signés avec d'autres pays. En 2010, le règlement des achats de chasseurs américains (F-16) et français (Mirage 2000) comptait ainsi pour le tiers des dépenses grecques en équipements de défense ! Mais pas seulement.


Dans une précédente interview au Monde, en 2010, Panos Beglitis, qui, avant d'occuper le ministère de la Défense, était chargé des achats d'armement pour Athènes, racontait ainsi comment un juteux contrat avec Paris pour l'achat de six frégates Fremm - une transaction estimée à 2,5 milliards d'euros - était plus que compromis. "Avec les autorités françaises, le gouvernement précédent avait signé un accord de négociation. Nous continuons les discussions, il faut respecter la continuité de l'État", déclarait-il alors, précisant : "Poursuivre les négociations ne veut pas dire qu'elles vont aboutir. Et la décision ne sera pas prise en 2010." Elle ne l'a pas été non plus en 2011, ne le sera probablement pas en 2012. Autant dire que, pour Paris, le contrat des Fremm est repoussé aux calendes... grecques.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 13:30



February 16, 2012 By Steve Gale – innovateuk.org


The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) is conducting a study to better understand how public procurement can be used to stimulate innovation more effectively and with increased reach to businesses along the supply chain, including SMEs. The research project is funded by the ESRC, the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and NESTA as part of the Innovation Research Initiative and is examining practice in the National Health Service, transport and local government as well as defence.


As part of this study, MIOIR is examining defence procurement and the stimulation of innovation through the defence supply chain. In particular:


    Q1: What are the main features of the supply chains arising from defence procurement?

    Q2: What contribution to technological innovation is played by SMEs?

    Q3: What are the factors that support or hinder the participation of SMEs as sources of technological innovation in the defence supply chain?

    Q4: What can MOD, prime contractors and SMEs do to overcome barriers to greater participation?


The study team would welcome input from SMEs – both from within and outside the traditional defence supply chain – to help them address these questions, and identify potential solutions to the challenges.


If you are an SME and would like to contribute to this study, please contact…..


Dr Andrew James, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Business School

Tel: 0161 275 5860 or Email: Andrew.James@mbs.ac.uk

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 13:20


Crédits BMT Defence Services


22 février 2012 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Les prochains pétroliers-ravitailleurs de la Royal Navy seront construits en Corée du Sud, a annoncé le ministère britannique de la défense.


Le ministre des équipements militaires, Peter Luff, a annoncé que Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering avait été retenu par le gouvernement pour construire les 4 pétroliers-ravitailleurs de 37.000 t, pour un montant de 452 millions £.


Le ministère a précisé que, bien que des compagnies britanniques aient participé à l’appel d’offres, aucune n’avait soumis d’offre définitive.



Crédits BMT Defence Services


Certaines vont cependant fournir certains équipements importants, pour un montant de 150 millions £. C’est BMT Defence Services, une compagnie britannique, qui a dessiné les plans de ces bâtiments.


Référence : Yorkshire Post (Grande-Bretagne)

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 07:57

Europe Flag


15 février 2012 - Baudouin Heuninckx *- Pyramides.revues.org


Cet article présente, dans leur contexte politique et économique, les évolutions du droit européen des marchés publics de défense au cours des cinq dernières années, en particulier la nouvelle directive applicable aux marchés de défense et de sécurité et le régime intergouvernemental qui peut être appliqué lorsque l’exemption de l’art. 346 du Traité sur le Fonctionnement de l’Union Européenne, qui permet d’exclure de l’application du droit européen certaines mesures nécessaires à la protection des intérêts essentiels de sécurité de l’État et liées à la production ou au commerce de matériel militaire, est appliqué. Ces innovations représentent sans doute la plus vaste évolution du droit des marchés publics de défense au sein de l’Union Européenne, et ont non seulement le potentiel d’ouvrir les marchés nationaux de l’armement à la concurrence, mais également de modifier de manière fondamentale le travail des acheteurs dans le domaine de la défense. Notre article aide à définir le droit applicable aux marchés publics de défense au sein de l’Union Européenne, et discute les récentes évolutions de ce droit en fonction de la spécificité des marchés d’armements et de leur impact politique et économique.


Accéder à l’article


* Officier supérieur à la Défense belge, ainsi que chercheur et doctorant au Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG) de l’Université de Nottingham et à l’Ecole Royale Militaire.

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 12:50
British Army set for operational trials with Watchkeeper UAS

Watchkeeper UAS Thales UK


Feb 2012 By Craig Hoyle – Flight Global


Thales UK has confirmed it has provided France's DGA procurement agency and army with technical information about the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system, as its British Army launch customer prepares to begin operational field trials with the type.


French interest in the Watchkeeper system was revealed during a bilateral summit in Paris on 16 February, with a formal evaluation to start during 2012 and conclude next year.


UK Prime Minister David Cameron said co-operation between the nations would offer advantages in technical, support and operational terms, and during the development of doctrine and concepts for the equipment's use.


"The French army has similar requirements to the British Army and is interested in replacing its SDTI [Sagem Sperwer] system with a high-performance, certified and financially attractive solution," said Thales. It cited the "considerable pedigree" of the Watchkeeper air vehicle (above), which builds on the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 design, which has now amassed more than 60,000 flight hours in support of the UK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Operational field trials of the Watchkeeper system involving the Royal Artillery's 32 Regiment are "due to start at ParcAberporth shortly", Thales said, adding that more than 100 flights of the aircraft have now been undertaken in the UK. The army assessment had been due to start last October, but was delayed due to "technical issues encountered during software integration and flight trials".


The UTacS joint venture company formed by Thales and Elbit began delivering Watchkeeper equipment in late 2011, ahead of the type's phased introduction to use in Afghanistan.


"Details of when Watchkeeper will deploy to Afghanistan are operationally sensitive, but the British Army is planning a progressive roll-out in theatre during 2012," the Ministry of Defence said.

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 08:25



21 février 2012 par info-aviation


Le 17 février, un sommet franco-britannique se tenait à l’Elysée concernant une « lettre d’engagement commune » sur le successeur du Rafale et du Typhoon.


Cette lettre n’est ni plus ni moins qu’une déclaration d’intention entre David Cameron et Nicolas Sarkozy pour développer le successeur potentiel du Rafale (Dassault) et du Typhoon (Eurofighter). Le projet baptisé Future Combat Air System (FCAS) sera confié à BAE Systems et Dassault-Aviation pour fabriquer un drone de combat (UCAV), avec un premier prototype en 2020.


    « Nous affirmons notre volonté commune de lancer ensemble en 2013 un programme de démonstrateur technologique du système futur de combat aérien qui mettra en place une coopération d’importance stratégique pour l’avenir du secteur de l’aviation de combat en Europe. Ces travaux fourniront un cadre pour développer les technologies pertinentes et les concepts opérationnels nécessaires pour utiliser un drone de combat armé dans des opérations de haute intensité. Dès 2012 nous préciserons les caractéristiques de ce démonstrateur qui fera l’objet d’un contrat cofinancé, confié à nos deux industriels nationaux dans le domaine de l’aviation de combat (Dassault-Aviation en France et BAE Systems au Royaume-Uni). »


Ce projet ne remet pas en cause celui du drone furtif de combat nEUROn que conduit Dassault en collaboration avec Alenia (Italie), Saab (Suède), EADS-Casa (Espagne), HAI (Grèce) et Ruag (Suisse). Présenté et assemblé à Istres, le nEUROn doit faire son premier vol à l’été 2012.


Concernant le programme franco-britannique du drone MALE Télémos, les deux pays devraient décider de la « levée de risques » qui est une étape dans le lancement de ce programme.


Cette vaste coopération militaire franco-britannique a été initiée en novembre 2010 avec l’accord de Lancaster House. Les deux pays ont également mené la guerre en Libye, mettant parfois en rivalité le Typhoon et le Rafale qui a récemment damé le pion aux Britanniques dans l’appel d’offres MMRCA en Inde.


Lire le document officiel (en anglais)

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 08:15



February 21, 2012 A D S – defpro.com


After an extended build up, the UK Government published its Defence and Security White Paper, National Security Through Technology, on 1 February 2012. Much has already been written about the defence-related aspects of this document, but it is equally important not to overlook its security element, argues Hugo Rosemont, Security Policy Adviser to ADS and secretary to the Policy Committee of RISC.


Whilst the paper carries the MoD logo and is understandably primarily concerned with the sustainable supply of capabilities to the Armed Forces, the government has been keen to point out that it was completed with the support of the Home Office and its foreword is co-signed by the Minister for Security. Industry plays a variety of important roles in the “wider security” elements of the UK government’s National Security Strategy and in implementing this paper due attention should be given to the twin goals of ensuring national security and achieving growth via the security industry.


If the security element of the paper is of significant importance, to what extent does the document reflect the recommendations made by the security industry in the run up to its publication? The UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers’ Community (RISC) - an alliance of companies, trade associations, think tanks and academia chaired by Michael Clayforth-Carr - made seven key recommendations to the government during the consultation period:




National Security Through Technology considers industry’s involvement in a number of “wider security” issues, especially in the areas of cyber security and science and technology for security purposes (for example, in protecting against CBRN threats). The government’s new proposal to establish a cross-governmental Ministerial Working Group to oversee the work arising from the paper - a group which will include representation from the Home Office - is further evidence of the government’s desire to develop (and co-ordinate across) a wider security posture. In addition to the creation of this new structure, it would be desirable for the structures of the National Security Council (NSC) to develop a stronger sense of ownership for engaging the UK-based defence and security industries on national security issues.




This is a complex area and it is worth noting that the paper’s accompanying summary of consultation responses outlines the “mixed response to the idea of developing UK [security] standards.” However, it is encouraging that the document states that in the field of security “increased and wider use of open (as distinct from proprietary) standards will facilitate a more open market, improve procurement, enhance market competitiveness, and achieve smarter procurement and value-for-money”. Whilst National Security Through Technology does not commit the government to setup a working group to take this issue forward along the lines proposed by RISC, this issue is now clearly rising up the agenda.




The paper makes a clear commitment to the “Open Procurement principle” across both defence and security markets (albeit this is qualified by “the principle of Technology Advantage” whereby when it is essential for national security the government will take action to protect the UK’s operational advantages and freedom of action). The document provides few details on how security sector-specific procurement issues will be addressed - separately, a significant programme of procurement reform affecting all departments is being developed from the Cabinet Office and the Home Office is placing a strong focus on the transformation of policing arrangements - but it usefully stresses the importance of open standards to improve the status quo. The security market can work more effectively and economic growth can be generated if export considerations are taken into account in all these procurement initiatives.




The paper does not propose to establish a specific security industry mechanism along these lines, but it does articulate the need for government to be an intelligent customer with the following statement: “Equally vital is the provision of effective and accurate advice on defence-related and security-related science and technology in times of crisis or emergency”. Both industry and academia have potential contributions to make in emergency situations and it will be important to develop the framework for effective engagement in this area.




The White Paper’s explicit recognition that responsible security exports can contribute to both national security and the UK’s economic recovery is to be welcomed. There is an understandable focus on defence sector exports in the paper, but the value of the UK security sector in overseas markets (£2bn) is usefully highlighted. The sector is also described as “one of the most diverse and technically advanced in the world” and there is a particular focus on the potential of cyber security exports (including recognition of the UK as a “global leader in niche areas of cyber security”). A section on the potential benefits of a “UK Security Brand” to support security exports suggests the need for further collaboration between UKTI, the Home Office and industry, and is an important initiative upon which further work can be developed.




The document expresses a more coordinated approach to the S&T activities of government departments operating in the field of national security. For example, the capabilities of DSTL and CAST are outlined and a list of the government’s “seven priority challenges for science and technology posed by the risks outlined in the National Security Strategy” addresses both defence and security issues. Perhaps disappointingly, the paper declines to articulate the levels of funding that exist (or that will be committed to) S&T funding for security-specific purposes. In the defence field, the government states that it will “sustain investment at a minimum of 1.2% of the defence budget.” It would have been useful to have seen a similar commitment on security.




The White Paper contains encouraging statements about RISC’s main recommendation developed under the policy leadership of John Howe. The government recognises that “arrangements for working with suppliers are not ideal” and a commitment is made to evaluate “the potential benefits of appointing a Senior Responsible Owner within government to head up a security authority”. Whilst the document does not commit the government to a timescale for the appointment - which is considered in industry to be the crucial next step - this is an important development for all those who believe that stronger governmental “ownership” of industrial issues is needed in the security sector. It will be important to ensure that any such appointment is accompanied by appropriate levels of oversight and scrutiny.




The White Paper addresses important additional security elements. It refers to specific industrial contributions to national security (for example, the public/private collaboration in the planning phase for 2012 Olympic Security) and it announces that the Centre for Defence Enterprise “will broaden its remit to cover both the defence and security domains.” Additionally, the document clarifies that the MoD has established a Defence Exports Support Group which has representation from the Home Office. Finally, despite the worthy attempt to align defence and security issues throughout the paper, there is a healthy understanding of the differences between the defence and security markets.


National Security Through Technology is understandably a defence-orientated document but it is welcome that a number of security aspects feature so prominently. The proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, but the paper promises to develop a number of important initiatives which would be significant steps forward for the security sector. In particular, the government has placed a strong emphasis on the development of responsible security exports and consideration of the appointment of a SRO. The security industry will strive to support the government as it seeks to fulfil these objectives.


(This article first appeared as an online feature for Global Response - The International Security Review in February 2012.)

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21 février 2012 2 21 /02 /février /2012 08:55



February 20, 2012 Thales group – defpro.com


The largest tactical unmanned air system (UAS) in Europe was announced Feb. 17 as a key pillar of a broad Anglo-French defence coopera­tion in the field of UAS as the French Government confirmed its interest in working with the UK to develop Thales UK’s Watchkeeper.


Victor Chavez, Chief Executive of Thales UK, says: “Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have played a fundamental role in military operations in recent years, and it is only natural that they now also take centre stage in international defence agreements. The UK and France want to remain leaders in the use of UAVs, and working together on Watchkeeper would ensure both have the best intelligence capabilities without duplicat­ing the costs.”


“Cooperation will unlock huge potential benefits in terms of interoperability, joint tech­nology development and industrial collaboration, and the twinning of the British Royal Artillery 32nd Regiment and the French Artillery’s 61st Regiment underlines how closely the two nations intend to work in this area.”


“Industrially, UAVs are central to the defence sector’s renewal over the next period, and today’s agreement gives the market confidence that British and French industry will play a central role. Collaboration also creates the chance to work with the best small and medium-sized enterprises on both sides of the channel, as part of ensuring this dynamic capability continues to evolve.”


Thales is at the forefront of the UK’s growing adoption of UASs, with unparalleled experience from 60,000 hours of operating Hermes 450 UAS in Afghanistan and Iraq.


The company’s next-generation Watchkeeper system, to be built entirely in Europe, will deliver life-saving surveillance and operational capabilities to the UK’s armed forces, and is also the only tactical UAV to meet European airworthiness criteria – completing over 100 flights in the UK as part of its trials programme.

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21 février 2012 2 21 /02 /février /2012 08:35

Gripen - photo Saab group


20.02.2012 AWP Romandie News


(synthèse de divers articles parus dans les journaux samedi et dimanche, reprise de dimanche)


Berne (awp/ats) - La contre-offensive en faveur du Gripen suédois s'est poursuivie dans la presse dominicale. Le conseiller fédéral Ueli Maurer a répété que les avions concurrents auraient coûté un milliard de francs en plus. En outre, il n'a pas été possible d'obtenir des contreparties politiques.


"Avant de nous décider pour le type d'avions, nous avons parlé avec les gouvernements concernés", explique le ministre de la défense dans une interview samedi à la NZZ. Trois avionneurs avaient répondu à l'appel d'offres pour remplacer la flotte des Tiger: le suédois Saab (Gripen), le français Dassault (Rafale) et le consortium européen EADS (Eurofighter). Le Conseil fédéral a choisi en novembre le Gripen.


Lors des nombreuses rencontres avec ses homologues français, allemands et suédois, avec lesquels "nous avons mené un travail de fond politique", "il n'a pas été possible de lier les avions à un autre paquet", indique Ueli Maurer. "Les trois Etats étaient prêts à discuter d'une coopération dans le domaine militaire, mais pas dans d'autres secteurs, comme les impôts", relate-t-il.


Interrogée par l'ats, Silvia Steidle, porte-parole du Département fédéral de la défense (DDPS), a précisé qu'il ne s'agissait "pas de négociations, mais de discussions confidentielles".




La France a certes signalé être prête à des concessions politiques, indique encore Ueli Maurer. Mais finalement, lors d'une visite à Berne en octobre 2011, son ministre de la défense a expliqué qu'un lien n'était malheureusement pas possible.


L'appel d'offres est définitivement clos, selon le chef du DDPS. On ne peut cependant pas exclure que les Etats allemand ou français, qui sont liés aux avionneurs, fassent une nouvelle offre et la "mettent en relation avec une proposition politique". "Si une telle occasion se présente, nous devrions entrer en matière, ne serait-ce qu'en raison des usages diplomatiques", dit le conseiller fédéral.


En revanche, le ministre de la défense ne considère pas la lettre de Dassault à des parlementaires fédéraux comme une proposition sérieuse. Pour lui, une véritable offre se compose d'un dossier de plusieurs centaines de pages et nécessite plusieurs mois de travail. Rien à voir avec une copie d'une page, a-t-il relevé dans les journaux "Sonntag" et "SonntagZeitung".




La facture pour 22 exemplaires du Gripen est pour l'instant devisée à 3,1 milliards de francs. Dans l'interview, le ministre de la défense explique que l'ardoise pour le Rafale comme pour l'Eurofighter se monterait à quatre milliards de francs.


La polémique sur l'achat de nouveaux avions de combat a rebondi voici une semaine avec la publication par la presse de deux rapports d'évaluation confidentiels notant très mal le Gripen.


Mardi, Ueli Maurer a expliqué que ces documents concernaient un ancien modèle de l'avion, C/D. Pour vérifier si le nouveau modèle, le Gripen E/F, s'est amélioré, les forces aériennes le testeront "en mai en Suède", a-t-il indiqué dans le "Matin Dimanche".




Pour Ueli Maurer, "il est exclu qu'il y ait eu le moindre dysfonctionnement" dans le processus du choix de l'avion de combat. Et de critiquer le comportement du Parlement. "Il n'est pas de la compétence des élus aux Chambres fédérales d'intervenir dans ce dossier". Leur tâche sera de discuter du message du gouvernement sur le sujet en juin, conclut-il.


Le chef du DDPS se montre en outre convaincu que l'achat du Gripen aboutira même en cas de referendum contre le programme d'économies de 750 millions de francs décidé pour financer cette acquisition. Les Suisses soutiendront les avions de combats et d'une manière générale, l'armée, pronostique-t-il.

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20 février 2012 1 20 /02 /février /2012 20:01



20.02.2012 boursier.com


Le 'Gripen' suédois a été sélectionné par les autorités suisses pour remplacer ses avions de combat vieillissants, et les derniers remous du dossier ne devraient pas permettre aux 'Rafale' et autre 'Typhoon' de revenir dans la course. C'est en substance le message que s'est employé à faire passer le département fédéral de la défense, en réponse aux rapports publiés dans la presse voilà un peu plus d'une semaine, montrant que le jet suédois était le moins bien noté des trois appareils en concurrence.


Le conseiller fédéral Ueli Maurer, personnellement mis en cause par une partie des médias suisses pour avoir choisi l'offre la moins chère mais aussi la plus éloignée des exigences de l'armée de l'air, a répliqué via la NZZ en expliquant que le 'Gripen' de Saab avait été choisi non seulement pour son coût mais aussi parce que le gouvernement suédois avait offert d'autres contreparties politiques, fiscales notamment, que ses homologues français et allemand (le 'Typhoon' est produit par un consortium britanno-germano-italien) auraient écartées. Globalement, 22 'Gripen' commandés représenteraient une facture de 3,2 Milliards de Francs, contre environ 4 MdsCHF pour ses deux concurrents.


Le choix des autorités helvétiques avait été à nouveau contesté après la sélection du 'Rafale' en Inde et un courrier envoyé par Dassault Aviation proposant des assouplissements à sa proposition initiale. L'argument tiré des insuffisances du 'Gripen' par rapport à ses concurrents a été balayé par Ueli Maurer durant la semaine, après qu'il eut expliqué que la version notée était la "C/D" de l'appareil alors que la "E/F" sera fournie à l'armée de l'air suisse, qui pourra tester l'appareil en mai prochain.

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