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29 janvier 2014 3 29 /01 /janvier /2014 18:50
German Defense Producer and Industrial Plant Constructor Team Up

 

 

Jan. 29, 2014 - By ALBRECHT MÜLLER- Defense News

 

Rheinmetall of Düsseldorf and Ferrostaal of Essen have created a joint venture to plan and build industrial facilities. Each company holds 50 percent of Rheinmetall International Engineering.

 

The needed approval by the competition authorities was granted in December, both companies recently announced.

 

The Rheinmetall group is Germany’s largest defense company and was No. 31 on the Defense News Top 100 list of defense companies for 2012. Ferrostaal is a provider of industrial services, operating worldwide with a presence in about 40 countries, and is active in project development, financing and industrial plant construction.

 

“Rheinmetall intends to use the new joint venture to accelerate internationalization of its defense operations, especially in regions where until now it has had only limited access,” said a spokesman for Rheinmetall. “It complements our portfolio and fits it 100 percent.”

 

The defense giant sees the joint venture as a means of marketing its extensive array of defense technology products in combination with local turnkey production facilities.

 

“This takes account of a growing trend among international customers, who increasingly prefer to create manufacturing infrastructure at home rather than rely solely on traditional arms imports,” said the spokesman.

 

Both companies expect broader access to target markets in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Asia and Latin America, particularly with regard to sovereign customers, by mixing the two groups’ sales networks.

 

Ferrostaal decline to comment, but in a statement released in September when the companies announced their intention to form the joint venture, John Benjamin Schroeder, managing director of Ferrostaal, said, “With Rheinmetall we have a leading enterprise of the defense technology with a unique product portfolio at our side. Together, the distinct project competence and the specific country knowledge of Ferrostaal are the perfect base to generate new business in many regions of the world. This also includes, that we will expand our traditional oil and gas business within the joint venture to Asia and South-America.”

 

Rheinmetall International Engineering is based in Geisenheim, close to Frankfurt/Main in the midwest of Germany. It will have an initial staff of around 200 persons. Most of them are former Ferrostaal employees.

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 12:45
photo EMA

photo EMA

 

MOSCOU, 21 janvier – RIA Novosti

 

A l’unanimité, les ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'UE ont donné hier leur feu vert à une mission européenne en République centrafricaine qui pourrait impliquer jusqu'à 1 000 casques bleus, écrit mardi 21 janvier le quotidien Nezavissimaïa gazeta.

 

Bruxelles souligne qu’il s'agit de la première opération terrestre de l'Union européenne depuis six ans. Les détails du plan, qui ont filtré dans la presse, évoquent également le projet d'envoyer au Mali un contingent franco-allemand d'une centaine de soldats, selon certaines sources.

 

Le conflit interconfessionnel entre chrétiens et musulmans en Centrafrique dégénère aujourd’hui en génocide et a déjà engendré près d'un million de réfugiés. Plus de mille personnes ont été tuées le moins dernier seulement dans la capitale, Bangui. Les réfugiés évoquent d'horribles cruautés et racontent que les gens sont égorgés comme des animaux. "La crise a tous les aspects que nous avons déjà vus au Rwanda et en Bosnie. Les éléments sont réunis pour un génocide.

 

Il n’y a pas de doute", a déclaré jeudi John Ging, directeur des opérations de l’Office des Nations unies pour la coordination des affaires humanitaires (OCHA). La France n'est pas à même de rétablir la sécurité à elle seule : l'ambassadeur français à l'Onu Gérard Araud a reconnu que de toute évidence, Paris avait sous-estimé l'importance du conflit interethnique. C'est pourquoi les Français ont demandé de l'aide à d'autres pays européens.

 

Pour l'instant il ne s'agit que d'une ligne politique commune de l'UE en Centrafrique.

 

Une planification militaire minutieuse et l'approbation du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies sont encore nécessaires pour envoyer une mission de 300 à 500 casques bleus. Le Royaume-Uni, l'Allemagne et l'Italie ont préalablement refusé de participer à cette opération. L'Estonie a confirmé qu'elle mettrait à disposition 55 hommes. La Suède, la Finlande, la Belgique, la Lituanie, la Slovénie et la Pologne ont fait part de leur intérêt pour rejoindre le contingent.

 

Selon les diplomates, les casques bleus seront projetés en Centrafrique à partir de fin février.

 

La mission militaire européenne, sous le commandement de la France, durera entre 4 et 6 mois puis le contrôle sera transmis à l'Union africaine (UA).

 

Il est prévu de déployer le contingent européen autour de Bangui pour protéger les habitants de la capitale et l'aéroport. L'UE et l'UA agissent en collaboration avec les Etats-Unis, qui transfèrent actuellement les troupes rwandaises en Centrafrique - deux avions de transport C-17 ont déplacé jeudi 70 soldats de Kigali à Bangui où ils seront 800 en tout. Deux avions pour le transport de troupes et deux ravitailleurs ont été proposés à Bangui par Berlin. Il s'agit de la première opération terrestre d'envergure de l'UE depuis six ans et l'envoi de troupes au Tchad et en Centrafrique, dans le cadre du conflit du Darfour en 2008. Une autre mission militaire de l'UE au Mali, d'un autre ordre, a pour objectif de former l'armée locale.

 

D'après les revues Süddeutsche Zeitung et Spiegel, c'est la brigade franco-allemande (BFA) créée en 1989 qui participera à l'opération au Mali, selon des sources militaires allemandes. D'après le quotidien Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, le général Mark Rudkiewicz, commandant de la BFA, a déclaré qu'une centaine de soldats de la brigade seraient envoyés à Bamako en mars. Rappelons que Berlin fait partie de la mission de l'Onu pour le maintien de la paix au Mali et de la mission de formation de l'UE, qui sera rejointe par les soldats de la BFA, selon le général Rudkiewicz.

 

L'information officielle est attendue le 19 février à l'issue du conseil bilatéral pour la défense à Paris. Pour la presse française, la volonté de Berlin d’aider plus activement Paris au Sahel signe une nouvelle ère de la coopération franco-allemande, que le président François Hollande a une nouvelle fois promis de développer lors d'une conférence de presse le 14 janvier.

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 08:50
Probing America: Top German Prosecutor Considers NSA Investigation

 

January 20, 2014 By SPIEGEL Staff

 

Germany and the US appear to be edging closer to political confrontation. The Federal Prosecutor says there is sufficient evidence to open a politically explosive investigation into NSA spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

 

Last Tuesday, on the sidelines of an Social Democrat party caucus in Berlin, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas ran into Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Maas pulled his fellow SPD member aside and warned him about what could become a difficult matter. "Something may be coming our way," Maas whispered, and noted that the foreign minister could be affected as well. Germany's federal prosecutor, Maas intimated, is currently considering opening an investigation into the scandal surrounding the surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone by US intelligence. It's a step that would undoubtedly be considered an affront by the Americans.

 

Steinmeier listened attentively and nodded several times, but he didn't say much. At the start of his second posting as foreign minister (he previously served for four years from 2005-2009), Steinmeier is facing the extremely tricky problem of new discord in German-American relations.

 

The current difficulties got their start in October, when SPIEGEL reported that US intelligence services were interested in Merkel's mobile phone. When the magazine published its report, the National Security Agency's curiosity suddenly became an open act of provocation.

 

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 08:45
L'UE enverra des troupes en Centrafrique

 

20/01/2014 Par Jean-Jacques Mevel Correspondant à Bruxelles – LeFigaro.fr

 

L'Europe s'est engagée lundi à déployer à Bangui au moins 500 militaires, qui ne sont pas attendus avant fin février.

 

L'UE a donné lundi son feu vert à l'envoi en Centrafrique d'un demi-millier d'hommes en armes, afin de soulager à Bangui les 1600 Français de l'opération «Sangaris». Mais l'Europe reste à la peine pour convaincre que ce déploiement limité à six mois pourra faire une différence sur le terrain militaire.

À huis clos, Laurent Fabius et ses vingt-sept collègues européens ont validé à l'unanimité le «concept de gestion de crise» établi par Bruxelles. C'est un mandat politique. Il doit encore être accepté par le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU. Et surtout décliné en vrai plan d'opération, avec une chaîne de commandement propre, un périmètre géographique précis, des effectifs affectés et des règles d'ouverture de feu. L'état-major de l'UE pourrait envoyer une équipe d'évaluation d'ici à dix jours. Mais le premier déploiement de troupe n'est pas attendu avant la fin février.

 

Le premier déploiement militaire de l'UE depuis 2008

Sur le papier, c'est un succès politique pour François Hollande, un mois tout juste après qu'il a appelé ses partenaires à la rescousse lors d'un sommet européen. C'est le premier déploiement militaire terrestre de l'UE depuis la crise tchadienne, en 2008. «L'UE ne s'engage pas souvent et c'est en soi très positif», affirme le chef de la diplomatie française. Carl Bildt, son collègue suédois, ajoute: «Il faut agir maintenant parce que les conséquences humanitaires sont terribles lorsque l'Afrique voit un État comme la RCA s'effondrer.» Beaucoup d'Européens ont dû surmonter une réticence instinctive.

Le plan esquissé répond aussi au souhait de l'état-major français. D'après Laurent Fabius, il s'agit de déployer quelque 500 hommes à Bangui, dans ou à proximité de l'aéroport où s'entassent près de 100.000 réfugiés. La seconde mission pourrait être de «muscler» l'état-major de la Misca, la force africaine qui prendra la relève des contingents européens à l'été, si tout va bien. L'appoint de l'UE doit décharger les troupes françaises de leur mission de sécurité dans la capitale et leur permettre de s'engager plus avant dans le pays. Il protégerait aussi l'écoulement d'une aide humanitaire que l'Europe, l'ONU, les ONG et les capitales ont portée à 365 millions d'euros pour 2014. Hors de ces deux pistes, l'horizon de la nouvelle mission Eufor/RCA-Bangui est des plus floues, à commencer par la liste des pays de l'UE qui apporteront des troupes. Bruxelles a fixé la barre assez bas, et nul doute qu'elle sera atteinte, voire dépassée. L'Estonie, le plus petit des États baltes, s'est formellement engagée à hauteur de 55 hommes dont une quarantaine de combattants. La Pologne et la Belgique, qui attendaient la décision des Vingt-Huit, devraient suivre dans les jours qui viennent. La Finlande, la Lituanie et la Suède y réfléchissent, mais elles tardent à s'enrôler.

Cette liste putative laisse de côté la plupart des armées qui comptent en Europe. L'Italie et l'Espagne sont absentes. Le Royaume-Uni, compagnon d'armes de la France en Libye, fournit depuis le départ un soutien logistique à «Sangaris». Mais Londres fait clairement savoir qu'il n'y aura pas de combattants britanniques en Centrafrique. David Cameron s'était déjà opposé à l'envoi de l'un des deux «groupements tactiques» (battlegroups) que l'UE maintient en permanence pour faire face en cas de coup dur. Ces bataillons d'astreinte, créés en 2004 sur une initiative franco-britannique, n'ont jamais servi, bien que l'Afrique ait multiplié les prétextes d'emploi ces dernières années…

L'autre déception devrait venir d'Allemagne, même si Berlin et Paris tentent de décrire un verre à moitié plein. Sauf coup de théâtre, Berlin n'expédiera pas non plus de combattants en Centrafrique. Les apparences seraient en revanche sauvées par l'envoi au Mali d'unités de la Brigade franco-allemande, une autre façon dit-on de soulager l'effort militaire tricolore en Afrique. Laurent Fabius et son collègue Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Jean-Yves Le Drian et son homologue Ursula von der Leyen, sont chargés de faire passer le message dans les prochains jours.

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19 janvier 2014 7 19 /01 /janvier /2014 19:45
Ne pas laisser la France seule au Sahel

 

18 janvier 2014 Hélène Kohl, correspondance, Berlin (Allemagne) - Le Journal du Dimanche

 

Même si le ministère français de la Défense reste prudent, la proposition de Berlin d'envoyer des éléments de la brigade franco-allemande à Bamako marque une volonté d'aider davantage au Sahel.

 

Lors de la cérémonie des vœux à la Bundeswehr, le général Hans-Werner Fritz, chef du commandement interarmes, a surpris son auditoire. Tel que l'a rapporté le Süddeutsche Zeitung samedi, son discours fut presque entièrement consacré jeudi à la situation en Afrique "qui va bien nous occuper au cours des prochaines années". En réalité, le Spiegel révèle que des soldats de la brigade franco-­allemande (bataillons d'artillerie et de chasseurs d'Immendingen et Donaueschingen) ont été informés de leur départ prochain pour Bamako.

 

Un contingent renforcé au Mali, avec une structure de commandement franco-­allemande? Le chef d'état-major des forces armées, Volker Wieker l'a confirmé cette semaine devant la commission défense du Bundestag. La décision de Berlin doit être officialisée lundi par la nouvelle ministre de la Défense, Ursula von der Leyen, lors d'un dîner avec Jean-Yves Le Drian à Paris.

 

La défense franco-allemand dans une nouvelle ère

 

Parallèlement, à Bruxelles, le chef de la diplomatie allemande, Frank-­Walter Steinmeier, informera ses homologues européens au conseil des ministres des Affaires étrangères à Bruxelles. Berlin compte affecter des soldats armés à la protection de hangars et de l'aéroport de ­Bamako. Actuellement, la centaine d'Allemands sur place est surtout occupée à la formation de l'armée malienne ; cette mission évoluerait vers une "véritable intervention militaire".

 

Le plan d'opération doit être ficelé avant le conseil des ministres franco-allemand du 19 février. Le mois prochain, le Bundestag doit renouveler le mandat malien de la Bundeswehr. "Ce sera une formalité", assure un parlementaire. "La défense franco-allemande va entrer dans une nouvelle ère", promet un gradé. Selon plusieurs sources, l'Allemagne s'engagerait davantage sur le terrain malien, afin de contrebalancer sa timidité en Centrafrique, où pour l'instant Berlin compte seulement envoyer quatre avions de transport et de ravitaillement. "La France va pouvoir baisser sa voilure au Mali, nous complétons." En somme, en soulageant la France au Mali, l'Allemagne indiquerait qu'elle soutient ses alliés à Bangui. Un jeu de passe-passe "peu glorieux", reconnaissent en coulisse certains experts. L'Allemagne n'est pas près de faire oublier ses réticences passées.

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19 janvier 2014 7 19 /01 /janvier /2014 12:45
Envoi de soldats de la brigade franco-allemande au Mali

 

18.01.2014 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

Selon la "Süddeutsche Zeitung", une décision sur une coopération militaire conjointe au Mali doit être prise avant un conseil franco-allemand de la défense le 19 février.

 

Des soldats de la brigade franco-allemande vont participer à l'intervention militaire au Mali, affirme le quotidien allemand Süddeutsche Zeitung, citant des sources militaires. Selon les projets encore provisoires, des soldats de la brigade franco-allemande doivent être envoyés au Mali avec une structure de commandement.

 

En République centrafricaine (RCA) le gouvernement allemand va également proposer d'organiser des transports aériens de troupes et de matériel dans la capitale, Bangui, dans le cadre d'une intervention européenne, selon la même source.

 

Jusqu'à présent, seuls des vols vers un pays voisin étaient évoqués. Interrogé par l'agence AFP, le ministère allemand des affaires étrangères n'était pas en mesure de confirmer ces informations. Rien n'a « encore été décidé », a indiqué un porte-parole. Les discussions concernant une éventuelle mission militaire en RCA sont en cours. Les ministres européens des affaires étrangères doivent se rencontrer lundi à Bruxelles.

 

Selon la Süddeutsche Zeitung, une décision sur une coopération militaire conjointe au Mali doit être prise avant un conseil franco-allemand de la défense le 19 février. Pour le moment, Berlin et Paris sont encore en train de régler les détails de cette éventuelle coopération.

 

Des soldats allemands participent à la mission de stabilisation de l'ONU au Mali, la Minusma, ainsi qu'à celle de l'Union européenne consacrée à la formation. Une prolongation du mandat de la Bundeswehr (l'armée allemande) doit intervenir à la mi-février.

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16 janvier 2014 4 16 /01 /janvier /2014 17:50
Rencontre franco-allemande des forces aériennes à Nancy

 

16/01/2014 Armée de l'air

 

À l’invitation du général Serge Soulet, commandant les forces aériennes (CFA) et le soutien des forces aériennes (CSFA), son homologue allemand, le lieutenant général Martin Schelleis, a été accueilli sur la base aérienne (BA) 133 de Nancy-Ochey, les 13 et 14 janvier 2014. L’occasion d’échanger sur les différents volets de coopération des forces aériennes entre la France et l’Allemagne, tels que l’appui aérien et l’A400M.

 

La délégation s’est naturellement rendue au centre de formation de l’appui aérien (CFAA), unité franco-allemande. Centre interarmées et international, le CFAA délivre une formation labellisée par l’Otan. Les militaires des trois armées et des forces spéciales sont formés aux techniques de guidage en utilisant les moyens les plus modernes (liaisons de données tactiques, liaison 16, transmissions satellitaires cryptées, etc.). Leur contribution sur des théâtres d’opérations, tels que le Mali et l’Afghanistan, a été déterminante pour la réussite des missions des troupes au sol ou pour soutenir les forces alliées en situations délicates. Depuis quelques mois, le centre forme ses stagiaires avec un outil révolutionnaire, le SIMFAC, simulateur immersif très réaliste, qui a l'avantage d'économiser de nombreuses heures de vol.

 

Cette visite fut également l’occasion de présenter la montée en puissance de l’A400M  dans l’armée de l’air française, appareil dont l’Allemagne commencera à être équipée en 2014. Le 29 décembre 2013, l’A400M a réalisé sa première mission en opérations extérieures entre la BA 123 d’Orléans-Bricy et l’aéroport de Bamako, au Mali. Les commandeurs des forces aériennes allemandes et françaises ont également partagé leurs retours d’expériences sur l’utilisation et l’engagement des drones MALE (longue endurance et moyenne altitude) en opérations. L’Allemagne met en œuvre des drones HERON en Afghanistan, tandis que côté français, les drones Harfang sont déployés au Sahel. Depuis peu, deux drones Reaper les ont rejoints pour renforcer la capacité de surveillance et de renseignement.

 

 

 

Rencontre franco allemande au CFAA

Rencontre franco allemande au CFAA

SIMFAC présenté au CFA allemand

SIMFAC présenté au CFA allemand

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16 janvier 2014 4 16 /01 /janvier /2014 12:50
L'Etat vend 1% d'Airbus Group (ex-EADS)

Désormais, la France et l'Allemagne détiendront 11% des droits de vote d'Airbus Group, et l'Espagne 4%.

 

16/01/2014 latribune.fr

 

Le ministère de l'Economie et des Finances a annoncé mercredi la cession par l'Etat français d'environ un pour cent du capital de l'ex-EADS, ramenant sa participation à 11% des droits de vote, à parité avec l'Etat allemand.

 

L'Etat cède 1% d'Airbus Group, soit quelque 451 millions d'euros, selon le cours de l'action en clôture de la Bourse mercredi. Annoncée par Bercy, cette cession d'environ huit millions d'actions dans l'ex-EADS par le biais d'un placement institutionnel accéléré fait suite à un accord bilatéral entre l'Allemagne et la France, précise le ministère dans un communiqué. Bercy précise:

 

    "Ces ressources viendront notamment compenser le financement exceptionnel de 1,5 milliard d'euros du nouveau Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir au bénéfice de l'excellence technologique de l'industrie de défense, prévu par la Loi de Programmation Militaire".

 

Cela ne modifie pas la place de l'Etat dans la gouvernance d'Airbus

 

Cela dit, l'ajustement à la baisse de la participation de la France, pour s'aligner avec celle de l'Allemagne, ne modifie pas la place de l'Etat dans la gouvernance d'Airbus Group, dont il entend demeurer un actionnaire de référence à moyen terme, ajoute le ministère.

 

Désormais, la France et l'Allemagne détiendront 11% des droits de vote d'Airbus Group, et l'Espagne 4%.

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15 janvier 2014 3 15 /01 /janvier /2014 12:50
March to The Top: Risky Opportunity for New Defense Minister

Visiting the troops in Afghanistan last week -- Germany's first female defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen.

 

December 30, 2013 Spiegel.de

 

Ursula von der Leyen has clinched the defense ministry and positioned herself as potential heir to Chancellor Angela Merkel. She's the star of the new cabinet, but she also has formidable rival in Thomas de Maizière, whom she ousted to get her new job.

 

Ursula von der Leyen smiles the smile of someone who made it. Relaxed, almost nonchalant, she approaches German President Joachim Gauck, who has in his hand the document officially naming her Germany's first female defense minister. Gauck gives von der Leyen a firm handshake. Von der Leyen smiles. Both turn to face the photographers.

 

The cameras click for four seconds, she holds the pose longer than any of the other ministers. Von der Leyen thanks Gauck. Next, she turns to Angela Merkel who says, "I look forward to working with you." Soon after, she's standing in front of Thomas de Maizière, her predecessor as defense minister.

 

De Maizière wants to simply extend his hand and offer brief congratulations -- for him, that would be enough. But von der Leyen is faster: She takes him by surprise, opening her arms and enveloping her colleague in a hug. De Maizière is startled, but then plays along, valiantly smiling as the cameras click away. A kiss on each cheek, then von der Leyen moves on.

 

It takes quite an amount of chutzpah to hug a man after you've just taken away his beloved job. But von der Leyen is capable of doing whatever it takes to get a good photo op, and did so at the Bellevue presidential palace, in Berlin on December 17, when she was officially appointed to her new post. Von der Leyen has always had a talent for easing the bitter taste of her ambition with a sweet coating of harmony. It's a method that has brought her far.

 

Germany now has a new government -- it has a few surprises in store, and one of them has been Ursula von der Leyen. Not only has she battled her way up to become the first female defense minister in German history, she has also managed along the way to reorganize the hierarchy of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

 

Within the CDU, two women are in charge now. Merkel at the top, and von der Leyen as her second in command. Then there's a considerable gap between them and the next in line. De Maizière, who had been all set to slip into the role of crown prince, was forced to make way so that von der Leyen could receive a ministerial post. That step fits in with her ambition and her desire to invent a new story for herself.

 

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15 janvier 2014 3 15 /01 /janvier /2014 12:35
German Navy Type 212 submarine

German Navy Type 212 submarine

 

 

January 07, 2014 By Otfried Nassauer and Gordon Repinski – Spiegel.de

 

The German defense industry is increasingly looking to Asia as a growing market for its products. Conflicts in the Far East have led to a demand for the kind of giant -- and expensive -- submarines that come from shipyards in northern Germany.

 

The special fascination of ThyssenKrupp's new Type 218SG submarine is not immidiately apparent. It only becomes clear at the sight of the delicate, detailed engineering at its stern. That's where the "air independent propulsion system" is installed, connected directly with a gearless Permasyn motor. Built to glide through the sea almost noiselessly, the submarine is quieter and more durable than any other conventional model.

 

With fuel-cell drive and lithium-ion batteries, such a submarine can stay deployed at sea for more than 80 days and spend four weeks at a time under the surface.

 

These are ideal capabilities for a war machine built to function in the depths of seemingly endless waters, over routes that can be navigated without interruption for longer than ever before. It is a design suitable for the largest of all oceans: the Pacific.

 

At the end of November, Singapore, an authoritarian city-state on the edge of the crisis regions of the West Pacific, ordered the first two Type 218SG submarines to be released by German firm ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). The custom-designed machines are to be delivered to the Singapore Navy by 2020. The deal cost the country €1.6 billion ($2.18 billion), which will go directly into the German economy.

 

German specialists will offer training for the crew and logistical support as part of the deal, in accord with industry standards. Thanks to German engineering, the Singapore Navy will become the most modern in the region.

 

An Arms Race in the Pacific

 

The deal is also a contribution to the arms race for military dominance in the Pacific. To underscore its interests, China has already sent its first aircraft carrier cruising over the South China Sea and presented a stealth jet. Japan and the United States are strengthening their engagement in the West Pacific. Vietnam is arming itself with submarines, frigates and fighter jets. Singapore's neighbor Malaysia is involved in scuffles over islands with the Chinese People's Republic. Even Russia is involved: Last summer they engaged in joint naval exercises with China -- in the Sea of Japan.

 

The entire region is expected to become one of the world's most important focal points for security policy. The conflicts that play out there relate to fishing areas, island groups and large mineral deposits believed to lie at the bottom of the ocean.

 

It is a state of affairs that promises big business for the German defense industry. Next to the Gulf region, the Pacific is increasingly becoming one of the few global growth markets for defense firms. According to a 2013 report published by the Swedish research institute SIPRI, three of the worlds five biggest arms importers are West Pacific states: China, South Korea and Singapore. For the German economy, the sale of large submarines is especially lucrative. Each vessel costs €400-800 million, depending on size.

 

The German government supports the business with benevolence. Each contract is given its own federal export guarantee. In the case of Singapore, the German state guaranteed the value of the submarines. It's a risk that pays off: In the end, the state also profits off global exports through tax revenue. In addition, long-running jobs for the North German HDW shipyard, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp, means secure jobs for the otherwise structurally weak region at the Kiel Fjord.

 

Merkel's Business-Friendly Approach

 

Thus far, when it comes to arms export policy, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has been as business-friendly as possible. German security interests have tended to trump the human rights situation in recipient countries. The coalition agreement between Merkel's conservatives and their governing partners, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), also failed to resolve the issue, long a point of contention between the two parties. "An arms race is taking place in the Pacific," said Rolf Mützenich, the SPD's foreign policy point man in parliament. "We must look into this carefully." Human rights, said Mützenich, should have priority over security concerns.

 

In the case of the submarines, however, everything is still chugging along in the business-friendly direction: The deal was carefully prepared in the summer. On June 3 of last year, Steffen Kampeter, a state secretary in Germany's Finance Ministry, wrote a letter to Petra Merkel, chair of the parliament's Budget Committee for the SPD, approving the government export guarantee.

 

Kampeter asked that Merkel treat the documents as if they were confidential, because ultimately "the exporter is in direct competition with suppliers from France and Sweden." It was valuable "not to compromise" the "competitive environment." In that, they were successful.

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 12:50
Les présidents français et allemand le 3 août en Alsace pour le centenaire de la 1ere Guerre mondiale

 

10 janvier 2014 Romandie.com  (AFP)

 

BERLIN - Les présidents français, François Hollande, et allemand, Joachim Gauck, se retrouveront le 3 août en Alsace pour marquer le centième anniversaire de la déclaration de la Première Guerre mondiale, a annoncé vendredi un porte-parole de la présidence allemande.

 

Le président fédéral se rendra le 3 août à Vieil-Armand (Hartmannsweiler Kopf en allemand) où est érigé un monument en souvenir des combats qui s'y déroulèrent durant la Guerre 14-18, a indiqué une porte-parole de la présidence à l'AFP à Berlin.

 

Une cérémonie germano-britannique, à laquelle Joachim Gauck et François Hollande participeront également est prévue le lendemain à Liège en Belgique.

 

Situé dans les Vosges, le site du Vieil-Armand est l'un des hauts lieux de mémoire de la Première Guerre mondiale où soldats allemands et français se sont affrontés pour l'Alsace. Les combats les plus violents s'y déroulèrent en 1915.

 

Des bâtiments et tranchées témoignent encore aujourd'hui des horreurs vécues durant la Grande Guerre.

 

Souvent considérée comme la première guerre totale de l'histoire, ce conflit a aspiré près de la moitié de la population mondiale dans un cycle de violence sans précédent par son ampleur et son intensité. Il fit en 52 mois quelque 10 millions de morts et 20 millions de blessés sur les champs de bataille, et des millions de victimes parmi les populations civiles occupées, affamées ou déportées, dont un million d'Arméniens systématiquement massacrés par les forces turques. Sans compter les millions de morts que provoquèrent jusqu'en 1923 les contrecoups du séisme en Russie, en Europe orientale, en Turquie et jusqu'en Irlande.

 

Quatre des plus grands empires de l'époque -russe, allemand, austro-hongrois et ottoman-- disparaitront dans la tourmente, redessinant la carte politique du monde avec l'apparition de dizaines de nouveaux pays et d'idéologies nouvelles : communisme, fascisme, nazisme, anticolonialisme, pacifisme, dont l'affrontement avec les démocraties occidentales triomphantes marquera les relations internationales pendant des décennies.

 

Vainqueurs ou vaincus, les Européens sortirent du conflit ruinés économiquement, politiquement et moralement.

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 08:50
L’Allemagne se joint aux efforts de destruction de l'armement chimique syrien

 

09.01.2014 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

Deux jours après l'évacuation tardive du premier chargement d'armes chimiques syriennes par un navire danois, l'Allemagne a annoncé jeudi 9 novembre que des résidus allaient être détruit sur son territoire. C'est « à la demande de l'Organisation pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques [OIAC] » que le gouvernement fédéral a pris sa décision, estimant « que l'Allemagne était prête à contribuer de manière substantielle », ont affirmé les ministères allemands des affaires étrangères et de la défense, dans un communiqué commun.

 

« L'Allemagne dispose d'une technologie sûre et d'une longue expérience dans le domaine de la destruction de résidus d'armes chimiques. Il est judicieux que nous mettions ce savoir-faire à la disposition de la communauté internationale et qu'ainsi nous puissions contribuer de manière significative au processus de paix [en Syrie] », a expliqué la ministre de la défense, Ursula von der Leyen, citée dans le communiqué.

 

La mise en œuvre pratique de cette destruction sera prise en charge par la Société fédérale pour le traitement des armes et résidus d'armement chimiques (GEKA), sise à Munster, dans le nord de l'Allemagne, précise le document.

 

UN PROCESSUS DE DÉSARMEMENT COMPLEXE

 

Le processus de déconstruction de l'arsenal chimique syrien résulte d'un accord russo-américain, approuvé par l'ONU, qui a permis d'éviter des frappes militaires américaines en Syrie. Washington tient en effet le régime de Bachar Al-Assad pour responsable des attaques chimiques du 21 août.

 

Jusqu'ici l'accord prévoyait que deux cargos, escortés par les navires militaires norvégien et danois, chargent les agents chimiques au port syrien de Lattaquié, les acheminant ensuite vers un port italien. La destruction des agents chimiques les plus dangereux devaient être réalisée dans les eaux internationales sur un navire spécialisé de la marine américaine, le MV Cape-Ray. Des sociétés privées devaient se charger des agents chimiques moins dangereux, la totalité de l'arsenal chimique syrien devant être détruite d'ici le 30 juin.

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 08:50
German weapons firms : No farewell to arms

 

Jan 11th 2014 economist.com

 

Political pressure and bribery allegations are unlikely to hurt Germany’s exporters of military equipment

 

Since the second world war, Germany has rarely sent soldiers to combat zones. But it exports a lot of weapons: more than Britain, France or any other country besides America and Russia. Some German makers of military gear are part of civilian industrial giants, such as Airbus Group (which has dropped its ungainly old name, EADS, to adopt the brand of its commercial-aircraft business), and ThyssenKrupp, a steelmaker. But the biggest German company known mainly for weapons, Rheinmetall, is just 26th in the world league of arms-exporting firms. And Krauss Maffei Wegmann (KMW), which makes the Leopard 2 tank (pictured), is 54th.

 

Germans are, in general, proud of their export prowess. But although foreign sales of weaponry bring in almost €1 billion ($1.4 billion) a year, they are a delicate subject, and lately beset by bad press. Several German firms are accused of bribery in Greece. A former defence official there has said that of €8m in bribes he took, €3.2m came from German firms, including Wegmann (now part of KMW) and Rheinmetall. On January 3rd KMW’s alleged middleman was detained after a court hearing. The firm itself denies any bribery. Atlas, a maker of naval weapons owned jointly by Airbus and ThyssenKrupp, is under fire too. A former representative in Athens has reportedly admitted to bribery; the company says it is investigating the matter.

 

On another front, the industry faces criticism over the countries it sells to—most recently over a deal to sell Leopard 2s to Saudi Arabia. Arms sales to anywhere other than NATO and “NATO-equivalent” countries are in principle forbidden. But the Federal Security Council, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, can approve exceptions when foreign policy dictates, as long as they do not harm human rights.

 

Peace campaigners fear that the exceptions are becoming less exceptional. NATO countries’ budgets are being squeezed, so Germany’s armsmakers are looking farther abroad. Rheinmetall, for example, has a target of 50% of exports outside Europe by 2015. Asia is a growing target: Singapore recently signed a €1.6 billion deal for ThyssenKrupp submarines.

 

German small arms are also popular. Heckler & Koch’s G3 rifle (together with its variants) is the world’s most popular after the Russian AK-47. Germany was a leader in pushing the UN to restrict the flow of small arms to war-torn countries. But such weapons leak across borders nonetheless. This is why Helmut Schmidt, a former chancellor, in December urged Germany to restrict arms exports, calling gun deaths a slow-motion Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His fellow Social Democrat, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, promised to restrict sales if his party made it into government after last September’s elections. It did: Mr Steinmeier is now foreign minister, and sits on the Federal Security Council.

 

But Germany’s arms exports are probably in little danger, since they have the same reputation for reliability as its cars and other industrial goods. Even Pieter Wezeman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a critic of weapons sales, compares a Heckler & Koch gun to a high-quality Leica camera. Though German soldiers mostly stay clear of combat zones, German weapons are battle-tested; Leopard tanks in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, for example.

 

Moreover, there are ways to lessen the controversy of selling things used to wage war. For example, making guns for a fighter jet assembled elsewhere is less visible than selling a German-made tank. Military transport, logistics, surveillance and protective equipment together account for five times as much of German defence firms’ output as weapons and ammunition—and are less likely to be blamed for civilian casualties. Stephan Boehm, an analyst at Commerzbank, sees such non-lethal materiel as a bright spot for German exporters. The flagging fortunes of Rheinmetall, in particular, should be restored by strong sales of the armoured transporters it produces in a joint venture with MAN, a lorry-maker.

 

Critics say the government is too willing to let arms firms export to dodgy regimes. The Federation of German Security & Defence Industries argues that strong exports are crucial to spread the development costs of the equipment Germany needs to defend itself. This would be less of a problem, the lobby group admits, if Europe’s fragmented defence industry were consolidated; it says the government should not have vetoed a proposal last year to merge EADS with BAE Systems of Britain. Weapons account for less than 1% of Germany’s exports. But it is a 1% that it, like other countries, is loth to give up.

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 06:50
Outgoing German defence minister in parting shot at France, Britain

 

Jan 09, 2014 straitstimes.com

 

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany's former defence minister on Wednesday took an unusually undiplomatic parting shot at allies France and Britain, saying Berlin had met its responsibilities when it came to overseas military operations.

 

Mr Thomas de Maiziere, seen as a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, told a military ceremony marking his departure from the ministry that "Germany has no lessons to take from anyone in Europe on how to organise its military interventions. Not even from France or Britain."

 

"When it comes to international engagements, we have several times been more involved than France," he said in an apparent reference to the Nato-led operation in Afghanistan where Germany contributes the third most troops behind the United States and Britain.

 

"Germany does its duty, even when the domestic political situation is difficult. No German government has suffered a defeat on a vote to approve military intervention," he added, in a veiled swipe at British Prime Minister David Cameron's defeat in parliament over possible action in Syria.

 

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20 décembre 2013 5 20 /12 /décembre /2013 13:45
Germany reacts coolly to French request on Central Africa

 

19 December 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Germany reacted coolly on Wednesday to a French request that European countries step up support for its military mission in Central African Republic, playing down the likelihood of any financial assistance on the eve of an EU summit.

 

France has deployed troops there to prevent worsening violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted ex-President Francois Bozize.

 

At a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday, it requested more help from allies to bolster its peacekeeping mission beyond logistical and financial aid.

 

French European Affairs Minister Thierry Repentin said on Wednesday said Germany and Britain were thinking about sending troops, although both countries had denied that on Tuesday.

 

And a senior German official, speaking on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, said that European rules dictated that countries carrying out military missions paid for them on their own.

 

Costs could only be shared, he said, for very specific, limited tasks.

 

"In that sense, I don't see much need for discussion on this," the official said.

 

French demands for more burden-sharing in Central African Republic are likely to be discussed in talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday evening in Paris.

 

They will also feature at a two-day summit of EU leaders that begins on Thursday.

 

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday that other European countries would soon send troops to support the French-African mission to restore order.

 

While European nations such as Germany, Britain, Poland, Spain and Belgium have provided various forms of assistance, French troops are intervening alone for the second time this year after ousting Islamist rebels in Mali, another former African colony.

 

Diplomats said European ground troops involved may be used to relieve French forces who secure the airport in the capital Bangui, but that no official decision had been taken.

 

Support at home for the French intervention has fallen since two French soldiers were killed in a firefight during a patrol in Bangui last week, a poll showed.

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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:35
Atlas Elektronik building sonar for Thai frigate

 

ULM, Germany, Dec. 18 (UPI)

 

Sonar systems for a new frigate being built for Thailand by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering are being supplied by Atlas Elektronik GmbH.

 

Atlas Elektronik, headquartered in Germany said the contract from Daewoo is for the supply and integration of a bow sonar and a low-frequency active towed array sonar system.

 

The two will be delivered in early 2016. The monetary value of the contract, however, was not disclosed.

 

"Together, the two systems offer active and passive sonars for the detection, tracking and classification of underwater vehicles, such as submarines, torpedoes and unmanned underwater vehicles," the company said. "In addition, these sonars are able to detect and classify small speedboats, divers or floating obstacles, e.g. containers or tethered mines."

 

The bow sonar to be supplied provides a surveillance radius of up to nine miles, while the towed array sonar operates in the low-frequency range from about 2 kHz and permits observation of the sea space at ranges of more than 37 miles, the company said.

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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
Affaire Snowden: un rapport demande une meilleure protection de la vie privée par les Etats-Unis

 

19 décembre 2013 Anne-Marie Capomaccio - RFI

 

La Maison Blanche vient de rendre public le rapport du groupe d’experts sur la NSA. Cette étude avait été mandatée par Barack Obama à la suite des révélations d’Edward Snowden. Les informations diffusées au compte-gouttes par l’ancien agent réfugié en Russie avaient devoilé un programme de stockage des données à grande échelle, et l’écoute de portables de leaders étrangers, comme celui de la chancelière Merkel.

 

Si le rapport préconise des changements dans la gestion de la NSA, les experts ne vont pas aussi loin que le souhaitaient les libéraux. Ils expliquent en préambule que la sécurité des Etats-Unis reste la priorité, dans un monde où la menace terroriste est réelle.

 

Cette sacro-sainte sécurité doit toutefois être assurée en respectant le droit à la vie privée des citoyens. L’utilisation des données doit passer par la justice écrivent les experts, et les Etats-Unis doivent s’interdire tout acte qui sortirait de la légalité comme l’espionnage industriel.

 

Déontologie de la surveillance

 

Cela peut sembler évident, mais les rapporteurs consacrent un chapitre à ce que l’on pourrait appeler la déontologie de la surveillance.

 

Concernant d’éventuelles écoutes de leaders étrangers, pas de préconisation définitive, elles peuvent se justifier si la sécurité nationale est en jeu, le rapport propose un travail de concertation avec les alliés des Etats-Unis afin d’établir un code de conduite commun.

 

Quant au directeur de la NSA, les experts estiment que Barack Obama serait bien inspiré de nommer un civil.

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18 décembre 2013 3 18 /12 /décembre /2013 18:45
Insight: Libya’s training honeypot

 

17 December 2013 by ADIT - The Bulletin - defenceWeb

 

.Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the foreign military intervention in the country, the need to rebuild security through a stable and capable army in Libya has become urgent. Indeed it is becoming vital to fill Libya’s security vacuum, and efficiently fight against the country's growing chaos, the militia violence, and al Qaida.

 

Many countries and private entities are interested in benefitting from the risky endeavour of training the Libyan armed forces, and expanding their influence within the resource rich country. Through different partnerships with different countries, Libya is starting to enhance its army capacity through training and mentoring arrangements on several fronts:

The European Union is focusing on training Border Guards and the Coast Guard under a border mission called Eubam (EU Border Assistance Mission). According to the mission’s blueprint, the EU objective is to take Border and Coast Guard "battalions" out of the field, train them in secure locations, and "redeploy" them into action. Eubam's 111 personnel will be unarmed (albeit heavily guarded by private contractors) and many of them will have civilian backgrounds in EU police and customs. But the EU document notes that Eubam should also recruit people with "military expertise" to "provide specialist skills."

 

After cancelling an October tender to secure Eubam training, the European Union (EU) launched one-on-one negotiations with bidders, including Argus Security Projects. To date, 40 Eubam personnel that are already present in Libya are protected by Argus, which also secures the European official representation office in Tripoli.

 

Italy, as Libya’s former colonial power, still remains a major interlocutor and donor in Libya, as far as energy and security issues are concerned. As reported by EUobserver and according to the Eubam paper, it seems that Italy set aside at least 250 million euros for Libya for 2012 and 2013, the vast majority of which is being spent on security projects, run by Italy's defence and interior ministries, including:

• Training 60 Libyan border guard officers in Vicenza, Italy

• Teaching 65 Libyan infantrymen at Italy's Army Infantry School in Cesano

• Training 280 Libyan military police in Tripoli

• Teaching another 150 civilian police in using anti-drug sniffer dogs and in forensic crime scene investigation.

Rome is also sending a naval boat to Libyan waters to stop "weapons smuggling," restoring seven Libyan naval vessels and donating 20 VBL Puma armoured vehicles. In addition, two Technical Agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation between Rome and Tripoli were signed. One of these agreements concerns the employment of Italian remotely piloted aircraft to support Libyan authorities in border control activities in southern Libya. Moreover, as reported by Reuters, Libya is going to build a satellite surveillance system with Italian expertise to help secure its borders to stem the flow of Islamist militants and illegal immigrants. Another agreement on training Libyan personnel has also been signed, and will be implemented either in Libya or in Italy, in order to improve common security.

 

France has already agreed to train 1 000 Libyan police in counter-terrorism and plans to train another 1 500, Foreign minister Laurent Fabius said on the sidelines of a regional border security conference in the Moroccan capital Rabat, as reported Reuters. In addition, still according to EUObserver, France is currently training 75 bodyguards to protect Libyan VIPs, 30 Libyan airmen, 20 naval officers as well as 72 naval divers. These training sessions have been delivered partly by DCI AIRCO and NAVFCO since early 2013.

 

The United Kingdom is also very keen to enhance the Libyan Army’s capabilities. The Foreign Office acknowledges that the British Army is training 2 000 Libyan soldiers in basic infantry skills. Furthermore, according to an undisclosed source close to the security services, the British are currently conducting training Libyan intelligence agents in a secret location somewhere in Scotland.... Meanwhile, London has appointed a "Defence Assistance Team" within the Libyan Ministry of Defence, plus a "strategic adviser" to the Ministry of the Interior.

 

Germany is helping to prevent nuclear fuel in Libya's Tadjoura research centre from getting into the wrong hands. It is also spending 600 000 euros on "disposal of chemical weapons" and 800 000 euros on securing Libya's stocks of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

 

The US and some of its allies in the region - including Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates - are also working on a big scale. According to EUobserver and Commentary Magazine, Washington is going to train between 5 000 and 8 000 Libyan soldiers and a separate, smaller unit for specialized counterterrorism missions - potentially in Bulgaria, as reported by The Complex. The US has already launched a $20 million programme on "justice sector reform, arms control and land border security," which involves "contracted personnel" from private security firms in Libya and US personnel in "neighbouring countries," such as Morocco.

 

A group of 220 Libyan soldiers recently flew to Turkey to start three and half months of military training. The soldiers are the first group of a total of 3 000 troops who will be trained at the Egirdir Commando School, as part of an agreement between the two countries.

 

Denmark, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain are also about to implement military training or assistance projects, although on a smaller scale. According to a recent statement from Libya's oil ministry, the country is currently producing just 700 000 barrels a day, but could quickly get back to pre-war levels of 1.4 million barrels if things go well.

 

EU and US oil contracts aside, Libya may soon have a lot of money to spend on security equipment, public infrastructure and military hardware. It is therefore urgent to provide a stable environment necessary to achieve this kind of bright future… The bees are therefore flying around the Honey pot…

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18 décembre 2013 3 18 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50
New TRS-4D naval radar for German F125 frigates demos capabilities in sea trials

 

Dec 17, 2013 ASDNews Source : Cassidian

 

    High precision, particularly when detecting small targets

 

Cassidian’s new radar for the German Navy’s F125 class frigates has demonstrated its particular reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities during tests in the North Sea and Baltic Sea and during factory acceptance tests. In two test series of several weeks, the TRS-4D naval radar showed an extraordinarily high precision, particularly when detecting small targets such as UAVs, guided missiles and periscopes. Subsequently, the customer confirmed the system’s capabilities during the factory acceptance test at Cassidian’s Ulm location.

 

At the beginning of the test series, which ran for over a year, the radar underwent functional tests on the beach, which were carried out by the Bundeswehr Technical Centre No. 71 in Surendorf. Next year, the first system is planned to be integrated into the “Baden-Württemberg” lead ship.

 

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17 décembre 2013 2 17 /12 /décembre /2013 18:30
MEKO 200T series of the Turkish Navy

MEKO 200T series of the Turkish Navy



HAIFA, Israel, Dec. 17 (UPI)

 

The Israeli navy is getting two German-built frigates under a $1.37 billion contract that will build up its maritime firepower, officials said.

Their primary mission is expected to be protecting the Jewish state's rich natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.

The warships, which the Israelis are expected to pack with their own weapons and electronic systems, such as the Barak 8 medium-range air defense system produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, will be the most advanced surface vessels in the Israeli navy.

The frigates will reinforce three advanced Super Dvora Mark III missile corvettes, known as Sa'ar 5s, currently on order from state-run IAI's shipyards in Haifa. These ships will join four already in service and will be primarily deployed to shield the offshore fields that currently contain an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with more expected that will earn an estimated $150 billion in export revenue over the next two decades.

That makes the gas fields, and the attendant production infrastructure, a high-value strategic asset that will transform the country's economy after decades of dependence on imported energy.

The German vessels are believed to be MEKO class F221 frigates developed by Blohm + Voss at their Hamburg yards equipped with 76mm guns, surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

Defense sources say the Israelis were split between buying four low-end corvettes or two high-end frigates, but opted for the more advanced vessels because they can undertake other missions, such as countering the growing submarine threat in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Iran has said it will deploy its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines in these waters, while Egypt is negotiating with Germany to acquire at least two Type-209 diesel-electric attack submarines produced by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG of Kiel.

HDW also builds the advanced Dolphin-class submarines deployed by the Israeli navy, with four operational and two more under construction. The Dolphin is based on the Type-209 but with classified Israeli missiles and electronic systems.

The 7,000-strong Israeli navy, long the Cinderella service of the armed forces, has been expanding at a time when Israel's defense budget is being heavily cut.

That situation could change once gas exports get underway, possibly via underwater pipelines to Turkey or Europe, or via liquefied gas terminals from which exports are shipped by tanker.

The Israeli press has reported on more than one occasion that the cost of bolstering the navy's capabilities could be partly underwritten by state-owned companies involved in constructing and operating the gas field infrastructure.

In April, Capt. Ilan Lavi, director of the Israeli navy's planning division, said the new offshore gas industry offers Israel's adversaries a tempting target whose destruction would have a strategic impact on Israel's economy.

"We have to build an entirely new defensive envelope," he said.

The navy has been gradually building up patrols around the gas fields, primarily the largest fields, Leviathan and Tamar off the coast of northern Israel.

Tamar, with some 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, began production in March. Leviathan, which covers around 125 square miles and contains around 17 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to follow in 2016.

Security concerns grew this year when Russia supplied Syria with 72 supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missiles, some of which the Israelis fear could be handed over the regime's Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The Yakhonts have the range to reach the Israeli gas fields, particularly if fired from south Lebanon.

"Another danger is a proximity attack, by frogmen, by boats, by terrorists in some fashion," Gen. Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, told the Globes business daily recently.

Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, is viewed as a particular threat.

Its guerrillas drove Israeli forces out of south Lebanon in May 2000 to end 22 years of occupation and fought Israel's vaunted military to a standstill in a 34-day war in 2006. Hezbollah is currently believed to have an arsenal of more than 60,000 missiles and rockets.

In February 2012, the Israeli navy seized an Iranian arms shipment that authorities said was bound for the Palestinian Hamas group in the Gaza Strip bordering southern Israel. It contained 50 tons of arms, including six Nasr-1 radar-guided anti-ship missiles.

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16 décembre 2013 1 16 /12 /décembre /2013 13:50
photo Laurence Chaperon

photo Laurence Chaperon

 

BERLIN, 16 décembre - RIA Novosti

 

Ursula von der Leyen est devenue la première femme ministre de la Défense en Allemagne dans le troisième gouvernement d'Angela Merkel, rapporte lundi le correspondant de RIA Novosti à Berlin.

 

Médecin de formation, Mme Leyen, 55 ans, avait occupé le poste de ministre de l'Emploi dans le gouvernement sortant.

 

Au cours d'un référendum interne tenu près de trois mois après les élections du 22 septembre, 76 % des adhérents du Parti social-démocrate (SPD) ont finalement donné leur feu vert samedi à la coalition avec l'Union chrétienne-démocrate (CDU) d'Angela Merkel et son aile bavaroise, la CSU. Mardi, la chancelière sera formellement réélue par le Bundestag pour un troisième mandat de quatre ans.

 

Dimanche, les partis ont dévoilé le gouvernement. La chancelière Merkel a alors conservé son ministre des Finances Wolfgang Schäuble, dont le nom est associé selon elle "à la stabilité de l'euro et à tout ce qui est important en Europe". Frank Walter Steinmeier (SPD) a occupé le poste de ministre des Affaires étrangères, tandis que Sigmar Gabriel, président du SPD, a pris le ministère de l'Economie.

 

Parmi les autres portefeuilles attribués dimanche soir, l'ancien ministre de la Défense, Thomas de Maizière, passe à l'Intérieur, un poste qu'il a déjà occupé par le passé. L'ancien secrétaire général de la CDU Hermann Gröhe prend en charge le ministère de la Santé, alors que Joanna Wanka reste ministre de l'Education.

 

Peter Altmaier, remplacé par une sociale-démocrate à l'Environnement, devient ministre en charge de la Chancellerie.

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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 12:50
photo Airbus Military

photo Airbus Military

 

Le 12/12/2013 BFM (Dow Jones)

 

NEW YORK -Le groupe européen d'aéronautique et de défense EADS (EAD.FR) va reporter la livraison de son avion de transport militaire A400M à l'armée allemande, indique jeudi le quotidien allemand Handelsblatt.

 

La livraison est maintenant prévue pour la mi-2015, au lieu de novembre 2014, précise le journal, citant la réponse du ministère allemand de la Défense à la question du député écologiste Tobias Lindner.

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12 décembre 2013 4 12 /12 /décembre /2013 18:50
German Air Force order highlights Saab Grintek Defence’s self-protection business

 

 

12 December 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

Saab Grintek Defence is manufacturing the core components for the BOZ-101 EC podded self-protection system for the German Air Force’s Tornado jets and is also working on a variety of other self-protection systems for various international customers.

 

Last month Saab in Sweden announced that it had received three orders for self-protection equipment for the German Air Force’s Tornado fleet totalling 100 MSEK.

 

The contracts will see the certification and limited production of the BOZ-101 EC podded self-protection system, including the MAW-300 missile approach warning system, as well as development and qualification of a new cockpit control unit for the pod. The pods sold to Germany have a missile approach warner, controller and dispenser. Saab Grintek Defence (part of Saab South Africa) manufactures the missile approach warners and controllers while Saab in Jarfalla, Sweden, does the remainder of the work.

 

“These orders mark the first contract with Germany for Saab’s MAW-300 missile approach warning system. It is a breakthrough and a strong vote of confidence in Saab as an electronic warfare supplier,” said Micael Johansson, Head of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence System.

 

A production order is expected from Germany in the second quarter of 2014. Saab is also expecting a follow-on order from the Italian Air Force, which has used a version of the pod, BOZ-102 EC, on its Tornados since 2008.

 

Saab’s premier military self-protection system is the IDAS (Integrated Defensive Aids Suite) for helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. It features missile, laser and radar warning receivers and chaff and flare dispensers. Its modular system architecture allows IDAS to be configured for any one or any combination of the three sensor types. Saab claims it is the world’s first fully integrated system, as Saab produces every component itself. Another selling point is that the user has complete control over the system’s threat database and library tools, according to Chris Skinner, Vice President, Head of Marketing and Sales and Commercial, Saab Grintek Defence.

 

Saab says IDAS has been chosen for many different airborne platforms, including the Saab 2000, AgustaWestland A109, Super Lynx 300, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Denel Rooivalk and Oryx, Eurocopter Cougar, Puma and Super Puma, NH Industries NH90, C-130 and L100 Hercules and Sukhoi Su-30MKM.

 

In September this year Saab Grintek Defence was awarded additional follow-on orders to supply its IDAS onto India’s Dhruv advanced light helicopter. The Dhruv’s manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is producing helicopters for the Indian Army and Air Force. Deliveries on the latest follow-on order are scheduled to commence in 2014.

 

India is one of Saab Grintek Defence’s most significant customer to date, and Saab is expecting follow-on orders for the Dhruv. The entire self-protection system on the Dhruv, except for the dispensers, is made in South Africa. So far Saab has been contracted to supply 99 systems, and expects orders for additional systems next year. It is transferring technology to HAL for local involvement, something that will help Saab’s chances in supplying systems for the HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), currently under development.

 

Saab has developed the IDAS system into the commercial Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System (CAMPS) using almost identical sensors and other features (such as the MAW-300 warner), but instead of dispensing chaff or flares, CAMPS uses pyrophoric ‘confetti’ which reacts with the air to burn at a cool temperature, creating a large heat signature to throw off heat-seeking missiles. The biggest advantage of the system is that it does not pose a fire risk, unlike with conventional flares - this makes it viable as a commercial protection system.

 

The CAMPS system is designed to work against first and second generation heat-seeking missiles like the SA-7 and SA-14 which have been widely proliferated across the globe, especially following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the disappearance of thousands of SAMS from his stocks.

 

Skinner said that the CAMPS project was started around 2005 and the first demonstration was done at the Overberg Test Range in the Western Cape in 2007 using an Embraer 120 aircraft. He added that CAMPS had accumulated a couple of good sales and lots of interest. UN and World Food Programme operators and heads of state make the most inquiries for the system, which has or is still being integrated onto civil Hercules, Embraer 120, Dornier 328, Boeing 737 and Boeing 747 aircraft.

 

Saab also provides self-protection systems for land vehicles, the Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS). This comes in several different versions, including the LEDS 50 laser warning system. The LEDS 150 system currently under development is an active protection system (APS) that operates in conjunction with the Mongoose-1 counter-munition. LEDS 150 claims the possibility to destroy incoming anti-tank projectiles (e.g. RPG-7 rounds) with the Mongoose missile at ranges as close as within 20 metres of the launch vehicle. The munition has in tests deflected 105 mm tank rounds as well as fin-stabilised rods.

 

A number of partners are involved in LEDS 150, including Denel, which supplies the Mongoose missile, Reutech, which supplies the radar that detects incoming rounds, and Curtiss Wright, which manufactures the directed launcher. Saab is the systems house and integrator.

 

Saab is looking for a partner to complete development of the LEDS 150. Skinner said that due to the complexity and state of the art technology involved, it was a very R&D resource intensive programme, hence the serious need for an investment partner. Saab is talking to two potential European partners and is hoping for a firm commitment in the next six months, otherwise the company may have to hibernate the programme.

 

Skinner said LEDS 150 was a proven concept, with trials already been conducted using the Mongoose active countermeasure missile. He said the big thing was integrating and finalising the system. It would take an estimated one and a half years to get the system to production.

 

LEDS 50 is currently operationally deployed on the CV 90/35 combat vehicles of the Royal Netherlands Army and Saab hopes the LEDS system will be ordered by the Canadians for their new combat vehicle.

 

Saab also has a marine version of the laser warning system called NLWS for surface vessels and has numerous international successes with this product in both Europe and the Middle East.

 

Going forward, Saab is looking at new sensor technologies such as active and imaging infrared sensors, as well as partnering with other suppliers with the aim of enhancing technologies such as directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems.

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11 décembre 2013 3 11 /12 /décembre /2013 17:35
Rheinmetall delivers 40 new trucks to New Zealand Defence Force

New Zealand Army / Air Force Unimog vehicles in Auckland City, New Zealand. Photo Ingolfson.

 

11 December 2013 army-technology.com

 

Rheinmetall-MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has delivered 40 new medium-heavy operational vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

 

Delivered as part of $113m order for 200 new trucks in May 2013, the received vehicles would be used to replace its old fleet comprising Unimog and heavier Mercedes trucks.

 

New Zealand Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said that the new Rheinmetall-MAN military medium and heavy vehicles are designed for modern military operations and offer improved mobility and protection, enhanced technology, and greater capacity.

 

"By purchasing these trucks off the same production line as the UK, the government has ensured value for money, and has achieved a fast delivery in record time," Coleman said.

 

"This project is a good example of smart and efficient procurement. The government is keen to work closely with our international partners to identify future procurement opportunities which could achieve similar results."

"The new trucks are part of a wider programme of equipment upgrades and investment into navy, army and air force frontline capabilities."

 

Ordered in sizes including 6t 4x4, 9t 6x6 and 15t 8x8, the trucks feature thigh capacity electrical systems, air conditioners and Euro 4 emissions compliant engines, which will facilitate efficient operations even if lower quality fuel is used.

 

An additional $22m has been allocated for armour protection kits, weapons mounts, personnel modules and other particular military equipment, in addition to spares, logistic support arrangements and widespread training packages.

 

"The NZDF's continuous drive to deliver back office savings and efficiencies means that reinvestment into frontline capabilities like these new trucks can be made," Coleman said.

 

"The new trucks are part of a wider programme of equipment upgrades and investment into navy, army and air force frontline capabilities."

 

The NZDF is planning to begin the training personnel in February-March next year, while the trucks will be introduced to Army and Air Force bases, with complete commissioning expected by the late-2015.

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11 décembre 2013 3 11 /12 /décembre /2013 17:20
M982 Excalibur round - photo USMC

M982 Excalibur round - photo USMC

 

11 December 2013 army-technology.com

 

Raytheon has completed the final phase of compatibility testing of precision-guided Excalibur projectiles with the German-made PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer in collaboration with the US Army, marking completion of a multi-phase assessment.

 

During the trials carried out at Yuma Proving Ground, the PzH2000 fired ten Excalibur projectiles at targets ranging from 9km to 48km, with all rounds striking within 3m of the targets.

 

The live-fire demonstration, funded by the US, Germany and supported by Raytheon-funded initial testing, also demonstrated the projectile's capability to manoeuvre from the ballistic trajectory to an offset target.

 

Raytheon Missile Systems Land Warfare Systems product line vice-president Michelle Lohmeier said: "The PzH2000 is one of many highly capable cannon artillery systems currently deployed, and now we've proven that it can fire the only mature, true precision solution available today."

 

In October, Raytheon also tested the Excalibur from the Swedish Archer and US howitzers.

 

The German Ministry of Defence is currently assessing Excalibur and competitive technologies, with a contract decision anticipated next year.

 

US Army Excalibur programme manager Lt Col Josh Walsh said: "Raytheon's Excalibur is a combat-proven solution that has been fielded and used in combat since 2007 with nearly 700 firings in coalition operations."

 

In a bid to validate the production readiness of Excalibur Ib, Raytheon would carry out a first article test by the end of the year, with further plans of a live-fire demonstration of the 'Excalibur-S' early next year.

 

The 155mm precision-guided, extended-range Excalibur deploys GPS guidance, which would allow précised, first-round effects capability in any situation, while reducing time, cost and logistical load associated with using other artillery munitions.

PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer

PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer

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