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31 mai 2013 5 31 /05 /mai /2013 07:20
UH-72A Lakota Helicopter photo US Army

UH-72A Lakota Helicopter photo US Army

May 29, 2013: Strategy Page


Because of budget cuts the U.S. Army has stopped buying the twin engine UH-72A ("Lakota") Light Utility Helicopters. Six months ago the army ordered another 34 Lakotas for $5.4 million each. Additional electronics and anti-missile systems add several millions to the cost per chopper. With that order the army has bought 312 of the 347 UH-72As it plans on getting. Most have already been delivered and apparently no more will be ordered, which means at least 35 Lakotas will not arrive.


Built by European firm EADS, the UH-72A is a militarized version of the EC145, a helicopter long popular with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. The EC145 was introduced nine years ago and has been very popular with its users. The UH-72A purchase is a side effect of the cancellation of the Comanche scout helicopter in 2004 (mainly because of constantly increasing costs). Comanche was perceived as too expensive and complex. The UH-72A mainly replaces the few remaining UH-1 (“Huey”) helicopters, which have been retired because of old age.


The UH-72A has about the same capacity as the UH-1, despite its smaller size. The 3.6 ton UH-72A has a top speed of 260 kilometers an hour and a max range of 660 kilometers. Average endurance per sortie is about two hours. The helicopter has a crew of two and can carry up to eight passengers or about three-quarters of a ton of cargo or weapons. The UH-72A has been popular with its users and has had a readiness (for flying) rate of 90 percent.

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30 mai 2013 4 30 /05 /mai /2013 17:55
TTH90 helicopters for the French Army (NHI photo)

TTH90 helicopters for the French Army (NHI photo)



May 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com


PARIS --- The French defense ministry has ordered a follow-on batch of 34 NH90 helicopters, a contract estimated to be worth just under 1 billion euros.

A French Ministry of Defense official, who requested anonymity, confirmed the award May 30, but declined further comment. Neither NH Industries, the prime contractor for the NH90 program, nor Eurocopter, its largest shareholder and manufacturer of the TTH90 battlefield variant, were available to comment. The award was originally reported May 29 by the French website LaTribune.

The order, initially due to be awarded in 2010, was announced as “imminent” in January 2012 by then defense minister Gérard Longuet when he took delivery of the first French army NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) in its final operational configuration from Eurocopter.

At the time, Longuet told defense-aerospace.com that the helicopters, in TTH tactical transport configuration for the French army, would each cost about 20 million euros, which with spares and support would increase the contract’s value to over 800 million euros.

France has already ordered 34 TTH90 army versions and 27 NFH90 navy versions, and according to its newly-published defense white paper plans a total of 113 medium helicopters.




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30 mai 2013 4 30 /05 /mai /2013 16:40
Russia suspends Mil Mi-8 flights after fatal crash

May 30, 2013 by Dominic Perry  - FG


London - Russia's defence ministry on 28 May suspended operations using Mil Mi-8 helicopters, following a fatal training accident involving the type.


A statement from the ministry says that a Russian air force Mi-8, on a routine training flight, crashed at around 12:00 local time near the village of Ivanovo in the Saratov region.


Two crew members - the pilot and a student pilot - escaped from the wreckage, but the flight engineer was killed, it says.


Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Viktor Bondarev, suspended operations using the Mi-8 until the service "ascertains the causes of the disaster".


Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records the Russian air force as operating 335 active Mi-8s, with the country's navy flying a further 15 examples.

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30 mai 2013 4 30 /05 /mai /2013 11:35
MRH90 multirole helicopter is an Australian version of the NH90 helicopter. Image courtesy of Duan Zhu.

MRH90 multirole helicopter is an Australian version of the NH90 helicopter. Image courtesy of Duan Zhu.

30 May 2013 Pacific Sentinel


Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly today announced that three Tenderers have been selected to progress Project Air 9000 Phase 7 which will provide a new helicopter aircrew training system to meet the future rotary wing training needs of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
AIR 9000 Phase 7 is an important project which will deliver a new joint helicopter aircrew training system for Army and Navy to be based at Nowra, New South Wales.
This new joint training system will overcome the broadening gap in training systems required for the advanced operational helicopters to be operated by the future ADF, including 22 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, 47 MRH90 Multi-role helicopters, 24 Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters, and 7 CH-47 (F) Chinook medium lift helicopters.
The new joint training system will allow the retirement of 40 Kiowa helicopters operated by Army and 13 Squirrel helicopters operated by Navy. The new training system will comprise a combination of light twin-engine helicopters, with options for basic and advanced avionic systems; a mix of Synthetic Training Devices (Simulators and Part-Task Trainers); new Training, Administration and Warehousing facilities; and Integrated Through Life Support. An Aviation Training Vessel will also be supplied as a component of the new training system through existing Defence Maritime Support arrangements
Seahawk Romeo (File Photo)
The three short-listed Tenderers are the teams led by Australian Aerospace Ltd, Boeing Defence Australia Ltd and Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd.
The Request for Tender was issued in early 2012. The three short-listed Tenderers will now enter the second phase of the evaluation, which will include the development and evaluation of final proposals.
A decision on the successful tenderer is expected by mid-2014, with training on the new (system) expected to commence in 2016/17.
The total project value is up to $1 billion.
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29 mai 2013 3 29 /05 /mai /2013 09:50
First European Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course Delivered Successfully

Brussels | May 29, 2013 European Defence Agency


Fourteen students from Germany and Sweden together with four observers from Austria and Hungary participated in the first European Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (EHTIC) which was successfully organised in two parts. The classroom and simulator phase took place from 08 - 28 April in the UK (RAF Linton-on-Ouse) and the life flying phase was hosted and located by Sweden at the Vidsel Test Range (06 – 24 May) 2013. The complete course is part of the EDA Helicopter Training Programme (HTP). 


The aim of course is to give selected European helicopter aircrew tactical depth and expertise, leading to an enhanced awareness of helicopter tactics and employment and multi-national integration.  At the end of the course graduates are adept at imparting tactical instruction during training and on operations and are also competent in providing helicopter tactical advice at one star level, as well as leading multi-platform complex Composite Air Operations (COMAOs).


Classroom and simulator phase

The classroom and simulator phase was executed in the simulator assets of the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and followed the syllabus of the UK QHTI (Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor) course as the baseline. Fourteen instructors of the UK instructor team of the ROWETU (Rotary-Wing Operational Evaluation and Trials Unit) ran the course which allowed a ratio of one instructor per student. This allowed a very individual and supportive training with a high-value output.

The focus of the course is to not only train the pilots, but the rear crew (chiefs and door-gunners) as well. Not only the “Pitchers” (German nickname for the front crew) had to prepare the missions or give related briefings, the “Mixers” (German nickname for the crew chiefs) and the door-gunners where challenged as well.


Life flying phase

For the life flying phase, one CH-53 (Germany), one AS332 (Sweden, Super Puma) and two UH-1D (Germany) were available.The life flying phase was executed in cooperation with the UK 100 Squadron which deployed their two HAWK fast jets as red air for the evasion training phase. Swedish GRIPPEN jets were involved in this part of the course as well.

The following topics are integral parts of the course:

  • Electronic Warfare Training (EW)
  • Evasion Training (ET)
  • Airspace Battle Management (ATO, ACO, SPINS)
  • Manpads/SA
  • Helo Escort Techniques
  • Other Operations (Wells, Tac-3D Manoeuvres, Vehicle Interdiction, Mutual Support)
  • Tac Formations
  • Mission Preparation & Planning
  • COMAO Mission Planning
  • Multinational, English language, three building-block phases


Excellent support was provided by the Swedish Ministry of Defence organisation, FMV, which is running the Vidsel Test Range and which provided all necessary organisational requirements for the live flying phase in Sweden.


Results and way forward

The EHTI course delivers an outstanding opportunity to expose helicopter crews to the training methodology and tactical knowledge of another Member State. “An extremely challenging course, delivered by highly professional instructors, we have to keep this going”, said Major Sascha Pink from the German Army Aviation. It is also the first step in delivering a sustainable European course where successful graduates can be awarded a qualification recognised by all pMS. Additionally, on returning home, these graduates can pass on the common understanding and methodologies to their own crews and can interact as mentors vis-à-vis other helicopter programmes.

During the HOT BLADE Exercise of the Helicopter Exercise Progamme (HEP) in Portugal this July, many of the freshly trained instructors will meet together with UK instructors at OVAR Airbase and form together the first Mentor Team for an HEP Exercise, ready to support the multinational crews in preparation and execution of the challenging COMAO missions.

This year’s students will become next year’s instructors.  This will allow the gradual build-up of expertise and create a self-sustaining course using European Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructors.   


More information:

  • For more information on the Agency's helicopter activities, please visit the project page
  • Pictures from the course are available on Flickr
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23 mai 2013 4 23 /05 /mai /2013 16:35
A Lynx Mk9A helicopter flying over the desert in Helmand province (library image) [Picture: Corporal Barry Lloyd, UK MoD]

A Lynx Mk9A helicopter flying over the desert in Helmand province (library image) [Picture: Corporal Barry Lloyd, UK MoD]


22 May 2013 Ministry of Defence


The final tour of duty in Afghanistan of the Commando Helicopter Force fliers of 847 Naval Air Squadron (847 NAS) has ended today, 22 May.


The Lynx helicopter crews, based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset, ended their fourth and final deployment to Afghanistan after a 4-month tour of duty working out of Camp Bastion as the ‘eyes in the skies’ for ground forces and RAF Chinook and Merlin helicopters.

847 NAS deployed to Afghanistan in January after a 2-year break from deployments to the country, this time flying Army Air Corps wheeled Lynx Mk9As.

A Lynx Mk9A helicopter coming in to land
A Lynx Mk9A helicopter coming in to land (library image) [Picture: Corporal Barry Lloyd, Crown copyright]

As well as lacking the distinctive skids of the Lynx aircraft previously flown by the squadron, the Mk9As have more powerful engines – the same as those fitted to the Wildcats which are replacing them – and are armed with a 0.5-inch calibre machine gun.

The missions ranged from escorting RAF helicopters around Helmand to acting as the airborne eyes of international and Afghan troops and security forces when conducting patrols outside operating bases.

To meet those demands, 847 NAS’s engineers and technicians put in 10,500 man-hours of work on the helicopters over 103 shifts. The result was a serviceability rate of over 80% – and over 90% in the final month of the deployment – and 650 hours flown by the squadron.

This detachment has seen weather comparable to the cold temperatures of Norway and, more recently, in the mid-30s Celsius. Personnel also struggled with a tropical storm which led to a flood sweeping through the aircraft hangar, regular sandstorms and some of the highest gusts of winds ever recorded in Helmand during the final days of their deployment.

Lynx Mk9A helicopter
A Lynx Mk9A helicopter run by Naval Air Squadrons working from Camp Bastion in Helmand province (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Alex Cave, Crown copyright]

847 NAS’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Venn Royal Marines, said his men and women left Afghanistan having forged ‘an enviable reputation’ with all the units they had worked with since January – and having achieved ‘some real operational successes’:

This tour has been an exceptionally busy one in which the squadron has made a very positive contribution to operations in Helmand – a contribution that is universally recognised out here,” he said.

The fantastic work rate and innovation of the engineering team has ensured that, despite only a small pool of aircraft, we have been able to ‘punch above our weight’, consistently ensuring that we always have aircraft ready to meet operational demands.

In no small part, the work of the squadron has also contributed directly to helping create the secure environment that the Afghans need as they move towards effective self-governance and security; the same secure environment that will allow the UK to leave Afghanistan in due course.

Having handed over duties to the Army Air Corps’ 661 Squadron, 847 NAS was due back at RAF Brize Norton this afternoon, before personnel are bussed down to Yeovilton for reunions with loved ones.

After leave, 847 NAS personnel will begin the conversion process as they get to grips with the Wildcat which is replacing all the Fleet Air Arm and Army Lynx helicopters in the coming years; the squadron is the first front line unit to get its hands on the new helicopter.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011

RAF Puma HC1 helicopter photo UK MoD 2011


April 24, 2013 By Think Defence


So we know the RAF Puma helicopters are currently being upgraded (and you can argue the value for money of that endlessly) but at some point, they will have to be withdrawn.


Depending on what life extension we can expect from the makeover they are currently getting (planned out to 2025) a replacement is eventually required.


The cynic would suggest at the end of the Puma era the UK will have Wildcat, Merlin and Chinook as the three main rotary wing platforms and we will be lucky at that so first question is, do we actually need a Puma replacement?


One of our regular commenters (thanks Paul G) reminded me about the Agusta Westland AW 189 (it coming into service on the new SAR contract) and wondered if the MoD would be able to leverage the support arrangements from that sizeable fleet.


With the contractual framework I am sure it would be complex but with a bit of joined up thinking, who knows.


By the time the Puma goes out of service the competitive landscape will be very different today, the US search for a Blackhawk replacement may well have concluded, the various X designs on both sides of the Atlantic might have matured, the NH90 will have limped into service and the strategic, political and economic picture might be equally different.


All the UK Chinooks will have been upgraded by then by JULIUS, Wildcat will have been in service some time, the Merlin HM2 upgrade will have been completed and maybe by then, the Merlin HC3′s will have been fully marinised and transferred to the CHF.


Loads of what ifs but the first question is, do we need to be looking for a Puma replacement now, something in the 8-9 tonne category, 12-16 seats and about 4 or 5 tonne lift?


This is an off the cuff post, apologies for not thinking through any answers but instead, just asking a question.


Have a few nice videos to oil the discussion wheels!

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 17:25
Brazil's Embraer, AgustaWestland drop helicopter plans

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


SAO PAULO — Top Brazilian plane maker Embraer and Italy’s AgustaWestland have dropped joint-venture talks to produce the Anglo-Italian company’s helicopters in the South American country.


A brief Embraer statement on Wednesday said the two companies jointly decided “to terminate negotiations without reaching an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture in Brazil.”


It gave no explanation for why the talks collapsed.


Last January, Embraer said it signed a memorandum of understanding with AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica, to create a joint venture “which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.”


The companies then said preliminary studies had shown strong market potential for helicopters to serve Brazil’s growing offshore oil and gas sector, as well as for executive transport and military craft.


Embraer is the world’s third largest commercial aircraft maker while AgustaWestland is a leader in a number of helicopter markets

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 17:20
MH-60R TOFT cockpit

MH-60R TOFT cockpit

April 24, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


News release from CAE:


TAMPA, FLORIDA–(Marketwired – April 24, 2013) – (NYSE:CAE)(TSX:CAE) – CAE USA today announced that the United States Navy has declared an updated MH-60S “Sierra” operational flight trainer (OFT) as ready-for-training at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island near San Diego, California.


This MH-60S OFT, originally manufactured by Lockheed Martin, was completely upgraded by CAE to add new technologies and ensure concurrency with other MH-60S training devices as well as the operational MH-60S helicopters.


“We were able to complete this major technology refresh on the original MH-60S operational flight trainer on-schedule while working closely with the Navy to ensure minimal training downtime,” said John Lenyo, President and General Manager, CAE USA. “CAE is very proud of the partnership we have established with the Navy on both the MH-60S and MH-60R training programs, and will continue to leverage our experience and world-class simulation technologies to help the Navy lower risk, reduce costs and most importantly, prepare helicopter aircrews for mission success.”


The technology refresh and updates to the fixed-based MH-60S OFT included the addition of motion seats, upgraded image generator visual system, and a new Barco CD2260 visual display system. CAE also performed significant engineering updates to re-architect the hardware and software computing designs to bring this MH-60S OFT to a common architecture with the Navy’s suite of CAE-built MH-60S training devices.


CAE is currently the prime contractor responsible for the design and manufacture of MH-60S OFTs and weapons tactics trainers (WTTs), as well as MH-60R tactical operational flight trainers (TOFTs), for the U.S. Navy. CAE began work on the MH-60S training program in June 2004. At that time, CAE won a competitive procurement to design and manufacture MH-60S OFTs and WTTs. Prior to CAE’s involvement on the MH-60S training program, the Navy had already procured two MH-60S OFTs, including the first MH-60S OFT that CAE has now updated. Since June 2004, CAE has designed and manufactured seven additional MH-60S OFTs as well as five MH-60S WTTs for the U.S. Navy.


CAE is a global leader in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence. The company employs approximately 8,000 people at more than 100 sites and training locations in approximately 30 countries. CAE offers civil aviation, military and helicopter training services in more than 45 locations worldwide and trains approximately 100,000 crew members yearly. In addition, the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy offers training to aspiring pilot cadets in 11 CAE-operated flight schools. CAE’s business is diversified, ranging from the sale of simulation products to providing comprehensive services such as training and aviation services, integrated enterprise solutions, in-service support and crew sourcing. The company applies simulation expertise and operational experience to help customers enhance safety, improve efficiency, maintain readiness and solve challenging problems. CAE is now leveraging its simulation capabilities in new markets such as healthcare and mining. More information can be found at http://www.cae.com.

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 17:27
The "Tzefa" (Cobra) helicopter Photo: IDF Spokesperson

The "Tzefa" (Cobra) helicopter Photo: IDF Spokesperson

19/4/2013 IsraelDefense


IAF Commander renews flights, a month after a fatal accident. According to the investigation, the cause of the crash was a fracture in one of the tail rotor's blades


The Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, instructed that the Tzefa (Cobra) helicopter layout will return to activity in the coming days, after being grounded in the wake of the accident that occurred on March 12, 2013, which saw the deaths of two air crew members.



The IDF Spokesperson announced on Friday morning that the team investigating the circumstances of the accident presented its intermediate findings and conclusions to the IAF commander, which indicate that the crash of the helicopter occurred due to a fracture in one of the tail rotor's blades.


The investigation further revealed that the accident was not caused due to human error on the part of the pilots, nor due to the age of the helicopter. The military investigation will continue until its conclusion, and it includes an in-depth investigation by the IAF, in cooperation with the helicopter manufacturer Bell.


In light of the operational importance of the helicopter layout, a plan was formulated at the IAF for returning the helicopters to flight, which includes technical inspections for all of the helicopters and changes to the maintenance plan.


The IAF commander accepted the conclusions of the team, which determined that based on the intermediate findings and conclusions and the activities that were defined in order to prevent and reduce risks, it is possible for the helicopters to resume operational activity in a safe manner.

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 14:55
le-caiman-et-le-tigre-en-vol-a-valence – photo GAMSTAT P.Gillis

le-caiman-et-le-tigre-en-vol-a-valence – photo GAMSTAT P.Gillis

Apr. 23, 2013 - By PIERRE TRAN – Defense News


More on the Way? Eurocopter's outgoing CEO says he believes France will buy additional NH90 tactical transport helicopters, though perhaps fewer than planned. (EUROCOPTER)


MARIGNANE, FRANCE — Outgoing Eurocopter Chief Executive Lutz Bertling said he is “pretty confident” France will come through with an order for more NH90 Army helicopters, but the number of units might be smaller than expected.


Bertling’s prediction came after the company warned the government that failing to buy a second batch of 34 helicopters would cost France €35 million (US $45 million) — and some 1,000 jobs.


“I’m pretty confident this contract will come,” Bertling said at a farewell press lunch at the company’s headquarters just outside Marseilles, in southern France, on April 17. “We’re facing risk without this order.”


On the Tiger attack helicopter, Eurocopter on April 19 formally handed over the first of 40 hélicoptère d’appui et destruction (close support) versions to the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office. The version is armed with the Hellfire missile.


And on April 25, an undisclosed technology demonstrator is due to make a first test flight at the government’s Istres test center.


Under the NH90 contract, the French Defense Ministry had until the end of March to firm up an option to order 34 NH90 tactical transport helicopters, or pay the cash penalty.


But the date went by without a decision, raising concern within Eurocopter, the helicopter division of EADS.


The programs were years late, with contract dates unachievable, but the company failed to tell the clients, he said. That meant a government minister would mislead the parliament by saying the helicopters would enter service in a year’s time, and then have to go back to correct the statement.


A lack of transparency added a “personal problem,” he said. It is important to tell the truth, which did not solve the problem but made mitigation of risk easier, he said.


The NH90 is of great operational significance, a senior analyst said.


“With the NH90, the Army enters a new dimension regarding its air assault/air mobility capabilities,” Luc Viellard, strategic studies and solutions director at consultancy Cie Européenne d’Intelligence Stratégique.


The new helicopters have improved piloting and navigation capabilities, and their greater range means less refueling and therefore fewer logistical needs, he said.


The Mali campaign this year showed the French Army’s aging fleets of Pumas and Cougars need frequent refueling, with fuel tanks being flown or trucked in, he said. The age of the fleet also means high maintenance costs.


Looking back on his time as Eurocopter CEO, Bertling said the French and German decisions to deploy the Tiger and NH90 in Afghanistan were trigger events that changed the way the firm worked. For instance, Eurocopter would work on quality assurance and hand over aircraft to procurement officials who would duplicate the process.


The Afghanistan deployment brought the company and procurement offices “out of our silos” to work closely together to deliver at 100 percent quality, as the company and government officials knew the aircraft and crews would soon be flying in combat, Bertling said.


Bertling said he regrets waiting a couple of years before reorganizing the company around a stronger customer focus, sales support and an integrated global supply chain.


After the 2008 financial crisis, Bertling waited until the end of 2010 to early 2011 to commission independent studies from consultants Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton to see if Eurocopter had the right structure to do business in constrained markets. Those studies led to the current organization.

At a unit price of €28.6 million for a basic version of NH90, an order for 34 helicopters could be worth €972 million.


A small reduction from 34 would pose no problem, Bertling said, but a business needs a minimum number to make sense.


“It’s very simple,” Bertling said, adding that there is a need for the helicopter but the French government is deciding on defense spending, which will set priorities on requirements. The order would go ahead once budget decisions have been taken, he said.


A lack of transparency on two key military programs posed problems when Bertling took up the top job six and a half years ago. The previous management “had not given an appropriate level of transparency on the NH90 and the Tiger,” he said.


Looking ahead, Bertling said he sees the need for optionally manned air systems, greater speed — as seen in the US Joint Multi-Role Helicopter program — and affordability.


On affordability, it is one thing for four-star generals to say they want equipment that delivers 80 percent of requirements, but down the command chain, the one-star officer still writes specifications for the 100 percent solution, Bertling said.


Dual civil and military use would boost affordability, he said. While attack helicopters would be exclusively military, lower specification civil aircraft could be fitted with mission systems, he said.


There are, however, basic design differences between a civil aircraft such as the EC175, which has a long cabin, and military needs. The military wants a wide cabin for door gunners, he said.


Bertling leaves Eurocopter at the end of April to become president and chief operating officer of Bombardier’s trains business, based in Berlin.


His successor at Eurocopter is Guillaume Faury.

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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 18:48
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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 16:57
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2 avril 2013 2 02 /04 /avril /2013 13:45

Mali PT76 1 source Esoteric Armour Blogspot


02/04/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr (AFP)


Le Mali veut acheter à la Russie des hélicoptères, des avions de combat et des véhicules blindés pour combattre les rebelles islamistes dans le nord du pays.


Après l'acquisition de fusils d'assaut kalachnikov, le gouvernement du Mali veut acheter maintenant à la Russie des matériels beaucoup plus... consistants. Du lourd même. Bamako a demandé à Moscou de lui livrer des hélicoptères, des avions de combat et des véhicules blindés pour combattre les rebelles islamistes dans le nord du pays, affirme mardi le quotidien russe Vedomosti. Le Mali veut "des hélicoptères Mi-35 et Mi-17, des avions cargo et des avions de combat, des véhicules blindés BTR-80, des systèmes radar de défense antiaérienne, ainsi que des armes légères et des munitions", a indiqué une source au sein de l'agence publique russe d'exportation d'armements Rosoboronexport, citée par le journal.


En février, la Russie a déjà livré au Mali 3.000 fusils d'assaut kalachnikov, 300 mitrailleuses et des munitions pour un montant total de 12 millions de dollars, dans le cadre d'un contrat conclu en septembre 2012, a précisé cette source. Il n'est pas exclu que de nouveaux contrats sur la livraison d'armes russes, en premier lieu des hélicoptères et des véhicules blindés, au Mali puissent être signés "prochainement", a-t-elle souligné. Le directeur de Rosoboronexport, Anatoli Issaïkine, avait indiqué début mars que l'agence livrait au Mali des armes à feu "en toute légalité". Les autorités maliennes avaient alors fait part de leur intention d'acheter d'autres types de matériel militaire, selon la même source.


Et la France ?


Une opération militaire multinationale à laquelle participe la France est en cours depuis janvier au Mali, pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest en proie à une rébellion islamiste armée. Au début de cette opération, des avions cargo russes très gros porteurs Antonov-124 ont effectué au moins 20 vols pour acheminer des matériels militaires de l'armée française au Mali, a indiqué à Vedomosti une source au sein du ministère russe de la Défense. En mai, les Antonov-124 pourraient reprendre leurs vols au Mali pour aider la France - qui a déployé dans ce pays un contingent de 4.000 hommes - à effectuer le retrait d'une partie de ses troupes, selon la même source.

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 13:20
US Army fields first AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter


14 March 2013 army-technology.com


The US Army's 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) has fielded the first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter during a ceremony at Gray Army Airfield within Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, US.


Eight out of 24 helicopters were received by the battalion, since January 2013, and all are scheduled to be operational by the end of April this year.


Known as Guardian, the new heavily-armed helicopter features more powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology, as well as advanced electronics, and is designed to replace the army's existing AH-64D Longbow model helicopters.


Other features include improved drive system and sensor enhancements, improved handling and performance, as well as the ability to hover at 6,000ft with a full mission payload, providing pilots with more control during high-altitude operations.


Commenting on the helicopter, 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion commander lieutenant colonel Geoffrey Crawford said it would increase the battalion's lethality and survivability, while also improving its ability to support ground forces.


"The increased power will now allow us to stay on the objective longer and with more ammunition," Crawford added.


With a combat speed of around 189mph, the helicopter, which was formerly known as AH-64D Block III, can turn faster and tighter in challenging environments, and also provide pilots with options to remotely operate nearby unmanned aerial vehicles/systems.


In addition, 1-229th ARB maintenance test pilot chief warrant officer 3 Richard Crabtree said: "They can view UAV camera feeds, adjust their flight path and launch missiles at targets spotted by the UAV."


The battalion flight crews are scheduled to conduct familiarisation training using the actual aircraft and AH-64E flight simulators at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in addition to training in preparation for upcoming rotations to the Army's National Training Center (NTC) later this year.

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12 mars 2013 2 12 /03 /mars /2013 12:35

UH-60 Black Hawk source asdnews


12 mars 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)


KANDAHAR (Afghanistan) - Cinq soldats américains de la coalition de l'Otan sont morts dans le crash de leur hélicoptère Black Hawk dans le sud de l'Afghanistan, ont annoncé mardi des responsables.


Selon la police de la province de Kandahar, l'un des fiefs des insurgés talibans, le crash s'est produit lors d'un orage tard lundi soir dans le district de Daman.


Un responsable taliban à Kandahar a affirmé que le crash était en fait le fruit d'une attaque des insurgés, mais les autorités locales ont balayé du revers de la main ces affirmations. Il n'y avait pas d'insurgés dans ce secteur au moment de l'incident, a rétorqué le général Abdul Razeq, chef de la police provinciale.


Les causes du crash font l'objet d'une enquête, mais les premières informations indiquent qu'il n'y avait pas d'activités ennemies dans cette zone à ce moment-là, a indiqué de son côté la force de l'Otan en Afghanistan (Isaf).


Conformément à son habitude, la coalition n'a pas dévoilé la nationalité des victimes, mais un haut responsable militaire occidental ayant requis l'anonymat a confirmé à l'AFP que les victimes étaient toutes américaines.


En août dernier, un hélicoptère s'était écrasé dans des conditions suspectes dans la même province de Kandahar, causant la mort de onze personnes, sept soldats américains ainsi que trois militaires et un interprète afghans. Les rebelles talibans avaient revendiqué avoir abattu l'aéronef, ce que n'avait pas démenti l'Isaf.


Les accidents d'hélicoptères sont relativement fréquents en Afghanistan, le plus souvent dus à des problèmes mécaniques ou à de mauvaises conditions météorologiques, et plus rarement à des attaques ennemies. L'Isaf s'appuie énormément sur le transport aérien en raison notamment d'un terrain très accidenté.


Deux soldats américains et des membres des forces de sécurité afghanes avaient aussi été tués lundi lorsqu'un homme portant l'uniforme afghan a ouvert le feu sur eux dans la province du Wardak, située à la porte de la capitale Kaboul, portant ainsi à sept le nombre de soldats américains ayant perdu la vie ce jour-là en sol afghan.


Le président afghan Hamid Karzaï avait par ailleurs accusé dimanche les Etats-Unis et les talibans de discuter hors du pays de l'avenir de l'Afghanistan après le retrait de l'essentiel des forces de l'Otan en 2014.


M. Karzaï avait même soutenu que des attentats récents perpétrés par les talibans servaient la rhétorique des Etats-Unis, car ils leurs permettaient de justifier leur présence au pays après le retrait de l'Otan. La Maison Blanche a rejeté sans appel lundi les propos du président Karzaï.

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28 février 2013 4 28 /02 /février /2013 07:50


Arrivée et départ du Panther de la 36F


27/02/2013 Sources Marine nationale


Tous les ans, l’hélicoptère Panther affecté au détachement 36F en Martinique est remplacé par un nouvel appareil. Cette substitution permet de répartir la charge de l’activité entre les différents Panther appartenant à la 36F.


Le 11 février 2013, après une préparation minutieuse, le Panther a été confié à un Hercules C130 de l’armée belge, pour le ramener en métropole dans le cadre d’un accord de transport européen. Le C130 était arrivé en Martinique quelques jours plus tôt avec le nouvel hélicoptère. Dès lors que l’hélicoptère arrive de métropole, quatre jours sont nécessaires pour suivre le bon déroulement de l’échange et la remise en état de vol de la nouvelle machine.



Le Panther de la 36F à l'intérieur du C130 de l'armée de l'air belge


Cette opération nécessite une préparation minutieuse, répartie sur plusieurs jours. Des techniciens assistent le détachement dans la préparation de la machine quittant la Martinique. Plusieurs éléments sont démontés pour permettre le transport par voie aérienne, parmi lesquels la tête rotor, les pales et une partie des dérives.


Le détachement 36Fde Martinique est attaché à la frégate Ventôse, il embarque à bord dès que celle-ci prend la mer.



Préparation du départ du Panther de la 36F

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27 février 2013 3 27 /02 /février /2013 17:55



27 février 2013 Par BPC Tonnerre


3000 heures de vol, dont la moitié de nuit, ont été effectuées par les hélicoptères des trois armées sur le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Tonnerre depuis son admission au service actif en 2007. Cette échéance a été franchie par le lieutenant Sustersic, commandant de bord du PUMA « FMDAT » du 3ème régiment d’hélicoptères de combat de Pau au cours de l’exercice Spartiate, organisé au large de Toulon par la division entraînement d’ALFAN. Cet exercice, de niveau supérieur, achève le cycle de mise en condition opérationnelle des marins du BPC Tonnerre avant leur départ de Brest, le 6 mars 2013, pour la mission Jeanne d’Arc.

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21 février 2013 4 21 /02 /février /2013 15:47
Le Caiman trouve un maître

21.02.2013 par Frédéric Lert


L’armée de Terre annonce aujourd’hui avoir formellement adopté le NH90 Caiman dans sa version TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter). Le Caiman est destiné à prendre la relève des Puma les plus anciens, aujourd’hui à bout de souffle. Cette adoption va permettre au CFIA (Centre de Formation Inter Armées) du Cannet des Maures de débuter la formation des pilotes opérationnels avec les deux appareils qui lui ont déjà été remis.


 Il ne faut toutefois pas confondre adoption et mise en service opérationnelle (MSO) : cette dernière, qui « validera la pleine autonomie de l’armée de Terre à opérer sa flotte de Caiman » n’est attendue que pour 2016. Mais entre adoption et MSO, une étape intermédiaire devrait permettre à l’Alat de disposer d’un module de quatre appareils « projetables » ainsi que de six appareils au sein du 1er régiment d’hélicoptères de combat de Phalsbourg.


le prototype du Caiman, dans sa version amphibie. ICI

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14 février 2013 4 14 /02 /février /2013 13:35



February 14, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


This is an unedited statement by the MoD on the acquisition of VVIP helicopters for the IAF, currently suspended after the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi.


The Facts: In August 1999, the IAF which is responsible for carrying out VVIP communication task, proposed the replacement of Mi-8 VIP helicopters due to severe operational constraints, such as, inability of Mi-8 to operate at night and in adverse weather, inability to operate safely at places in elevation beyond 2000 meters etc. IAF felt the need for the replacement of Mi-8 helicopters as they were completing their total technical life.


2.           A global RFP was issued in March 2002 to which 4 vendors responded. The Technical Evaluation Committee shortlisted 3 helicopters and accordingly flight evaluations were conducted.  Since, EH-101 of M/s. AgustaWestland was not certified for an altitude of 6000 meters, it did not participate in the flight evaluation. The Russian helicopter Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements (ORs).  After flight evaluation, EC-225 of M/s. Eurocopter, France was found suitable for acquisition.


3.           On November 19, 2003 a meeting was taken by Principal Secretary to PM on this subject.  In the meeting, Principal Secretary observed that his main concern was that the framing of the mandatory requirements has led us effectively into a single vendor situation.  It was also noted that PM and President have rarely made visits to places involving flying at an altitude beyond 4500 meters.  In the meeting it was decided to make the mandatory requirement for operational altitude 4500 meters.  The higher flying ceiling of 6000 meters, and a cabinet height of 1.8 meters could be made desirable operational requirements.  It was observed that with these revisions, several helicopters which otherwise met all requirements but had been rejected due to the altitude restriction, would now come into the reckoning.


4.           The meeting was followed by a letter dated 22nd December, 2003 from the Principal Secretary to PM to the Air Chief, stating that it was unfortunate that neither PMO nor SPG was consulted while framing these mandatory requirements.  He suggested that CAS and Defence Secretary may jointly review the matter to draw up realistic mandatory requirements satisfying operational, security and convenience requirements of VVIPs and also set in motion a fast track process for selection and acquisition of the replacement helicopters.


5.           In pursuance of the above directive, the ORs were deliberated at length between IAF, NSA, SPG/PMO and MoD between March, 2005 to September, 2006 and the above indicated changes were incorporated.


6.           The required numbers of helicopters for the entourage of VVIP was further deliberated between Air HQ, MoD and SPG/PMO. The quantity of helicopters proposed for procurement was revised from 8 to 12 helicopters by adding 4 helicopters in non-VIP configuration for security reasons.


7.           The AON for the procurement of 12 helicopters was accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council under ‘Buy’ category with 30 percent offsets on 3rd January, 2006.  RFP was issued to 6 vendors on 27th September, 2006.


8.           Three vendors, namely M/s Sikorsky, USA (S-92 helicopter), M/s AgustaWestland, UK (EH-101 helicopter) and M/s. Rosoboronexport, Russia (Mi-172 helicopter) responded to the RFP.


9.           M/s. Rosoboronexport did not submit earnest money deposit and the Integrity Pact, along with their Technical and Commercial proposals. It had been made clear to M/s Rosoboronexport in February 2007 that this was a global tender and hence every contractual clause would be the same for all vendors.  As no Integrity Pact and Earnest Money Deposit were received from M/s Rosoboronexport, their Techno-Commercial offer was not accepted.


10.       The Technical Evaluation Committee evaluated the technical proposals of M/s Sikorsky and M/s AgustaWestland and recommended field evaluation trials of their helicopters.


11.       The Field Evaluation Trial of M/s AgustaWestland was carried out in UK and trials of M/s Sikorsky were carried out in USA from 16 January 2008 to February 2008.  The Field Evaluation Trial team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended AW-101 helicopter of M/s AgustaWestland for induction into Service.  SPG was also part of the Field Evaluation Trial team.


12.       The Staff Evaluation Report of Air HQ concluded that the S-92 helicopter was non-compliant with respect to four SQRs for the VVIP helicopter (Missile Approach Warning System, Service Ceiling of 4.5 km, Drift Down Altitude and Hover Out of Ground Effect).  The Staff Evaluation Report assessed the VVIP helicopter AW-101 to be fully compliant with all SQRs.


13.       Technical Oversight Committee constituted on 6 August 2008 found that the field evaluation trials, compliance to SQRs and selection of vendors were done according to the prescribed procedures.


14.       Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) was constituted and it carried out its discussions with the vendor between 19 September 2008 and 21 January, 2009.  While the CNC was progressing its discussions, Air HQ, recommended inclusion of Traffic Collusion Avoidance System (TCAS-II) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for all 12 helicopters and SPG/PMO recommended inclusion of Medevac System for 8 VVIP helicopters.  These additional equipment were considered to be essential for safe and effective operation of the helicopter in VVIP transportation role.  SPG also agreed to these requirements.  The CNC, thereafter, recommended conclusion of the contract at a negotiated price of EURO 556.262 million. 


15.       On completion of CNC the proposal was submitted for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).  The CCS considered the proposal in its meeting held on 18 January 2010 and approved the proposal.


16.       In pursuance of the decision of the CCS the Ministry of Defence concluded a contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter with M/s AgustaWestland, UK on 08 February, 2010.


17.       The procurement case was, thus, progressed in accordance with the established procurement procedure in a transparent manner with all stages of procurement being followed meticulously.   Security aspects as required by SPG/PMO and IAF were fully taken into consideration.  The role of PMO which began in 2003 was to ensure that security, communication and other requirements of VVIP security were taken care of and the helicopter for VVIP use is selected on the basis of broad based QRs.


18.       Contract signed with M/s. AgustaWestland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence.  Article 22 of the contract deals with penalty for use of undue influence.  This clause entitles the ‘Buyer’ to cancel the contract with the ‘Seller’ and recover from him the amount of any loss arising from such cancellation.  Article 23 of the contract dealing with agents and agency commission requires the ‘Seller’ to confirm and declare that he has not engaged any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whosoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way to recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to award of the contract to the ‘Seller’ nor has any amount been paid, promised or intended to be paid to any such individual or firm in respect of any such intercession, facilitation or recommendation.  This clause further entitles the ‘Buyer’ to consider cancellation of the contract without any entitlement or compensation to the ‘Seller’ who shall be liable to refund all payments made by the ‘Buyer’ in terms of the contract along with interest.


19.       In addition to the above contractual provisions, M/s. Agusta Westland has signed an Integrity Pact with the Government.  The validity of this Integrity Pact is from the date of its signing and extends up to five years or the complete execution of the contract whichever is later.  Under the Integrity Pact, the bidder commits himself to take all measures necessary to prevent corrupt practices, unfair means and illegal activities during any stage of the bid or during any pre-contract or post-contract stage.  Any breach of the provisions of the Integrity Pact entitles the ‘Buyer’ to take actions against the ‘Seller’ which includes forfeiture of the earnest money, performance bond, cancellation of the contract without giving any compensation, to recover all the sums already paid with interest, to cancel any other contracts with the bidder and to debar the bidder from entering into any bid from the Government for a minimum period of five years which may be extended, etc.


20.       As regards, the allegations of unethical dealings in helicopter procurement case including involvement of middleman and payment of bribes etc., the first report in the media appeared in February 2012.


21.       Immediately (the next day after the news item appeared in the papers) DG(Acq) in MoD sought a factual report in the matter from our Embassy in Rome.


22.       MoD also noted the report in the ‘Hindu’ of 28.2.2012 that, quoting Finmeccanica, states that its subsidiary AgustaWestland is not involved in “any irregularity in the deal”.


23.       Subsequently, MoD received more than one communication from M/s AgustaWestland confirming that the statements in the press are “completely    unfounded and have been issued with malicious intent” and that “no commissions whatsoever were paid” in the case.


24.       In April 2012, MoD wrote again to our Embassy in Rome seeking an update.


25.       A detailed report on the status of the case was received from our Embassy in Rome in May 2012.  The report made it clear that there are inherent difficulties in obtaining formal details of the case given the independence of the judiciary from the executive in Italy.


26.       MoD in July 2012 wrote to our embassy in Rome stating that it could approach the concerned judicial authorities directly.  A formal request was indeed made by the embassy to the Naples prosecutors office on July 16, 2012.


27.       Since factual information was difficult to arrive at, Defence Secretary wrote to Secretary (West), MEA, in October 2012 reiterating the importance of the need to get information from the Italian authorities so that MoD could take further necessary action in this regard.


28.       MEA’s response again was that the matter had been taken up with the Italian side and the position conveyed for the need for ‘reliable information’, for “news reports alone could not be the basis for the Ministry of Defence to make any preliminary determination”.


29.       In October 2012 Defence Secretary also wrote to Secretary (West) to take up the matter with the Government of U.K.  in view of the alleged involvement of a British citizen and the fact that the contract was signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K.


30.       In November 2012, Secretary (West), MEA, replied to Defence Secretary stating that ‘the U.K. authorities were waiting for the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether there are further actions to take’.


31.       Earlier, in connection with the letter received from one

Mr. Edmund Allen of Ganton Limited, USA, MoD had written on 19.4.12 to CBI and Enforcement Directorate for necessary action, as Abhishek Verma and others were also being named in various media reports in connection with several defence deals.  Later, Enforcement Directorate informed MoD in July 2012 that they were enquiring into the allegations.


32.       In November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the Director, Income Tax (Investigations) regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them.  The current status of the case was conveyed to the income tax authorities in January 2013; in return, MoD asked Income Tax to share with it any ‘credible information’.


33.       Throughout the process of this case, MoD has been prompt to take action on newspaper reports, and to seek factual information from the concerned authorities.  Since foreign governments are involved, MoD has consistently pursued the matter though MEA.


34.       As soon as information was available of one concrete step having been taken by the concerned foreign investigative authorities, namely, the arrest of Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, Finmeccanica on Feb 12, 2013. MoD handed over the case to CBI for investigation and put on hold all further payments to Agusta Westland.  Besides this, the Indian Embassy has been requested to provide the factual position and any other relevant information.  The CEO of M/s AgustaWestland has also been asked to categorically state the clear position in view of the current developments indicating specifically if any financial transaction has taken place with any Indian individual / entity which would be violative of the Integrity Pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract.


35.       As already mentioned above, both the contract and integrity pact signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K., contain specific provisions by which strict action including cancellation of contract, recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action can be taken against the vendors.  Government is determined to take all possible legal and administrative action against the guilty parties and accordingly has ordered a thorough probe by CBI.

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15 janvier 2013 2 15 /01 /janvier /2013 23:18



January 15, 2013 China Defense Blog



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14 janvier 2013 1 14 /01 /janvier /2013 17:20

CH-53K Helicopter photo Sikorsky


14 January 2013 naval-technology.com


Sikorsky Aircraft has awarded a contract to Cobham Aerospace Communications for the production of area microphone preamplifiers in support of the US Marine Corps' (USMC) next-generation heavy-lift rotorcraft, the CH-53K Super Stallion.


Known as Model 265-005 and used in a wide range of aircraft applications, the area microphone preamplifier will help in detecting and amplifying signals that are sent out of the cockpit and routes them to voice recorders.


Compatible with various other voice and data recorders, the equipment is available is different industry mounting standards such as DZUS panel mount, glare shield surface mount, and integrated or remotely-connected microphone options.


The CH-53K Super Stallion is a large, heavy-lift cargo helicopter and features three 7,500shp (5,590kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider cabin than previous CH-53 variants.


The helicopter is equipped with a new elastomeric hub system, a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head, upgraded engines and a locking cargo rail system.


Capable of carrying more than 27,000lb of external load in extreme weather conditions, the CH-53K helicopters are being developed to replace the existing CH-53E Super Stallions in 2019.


Two additional ground test helicopters are currently undergoing airframe structural testing at the company's US facility in Stratford, Connecticut, while all the four follow-on helicopters will undergo flight testing between 2014 and 2015.


Expected to continue through and beyond 2020, Sikorsky team for the CH-53K, 200-ship programme contract involves Aurora Flight Sciences, ITT Excelis, GKN Aerospace and Spirit Aerosystems.

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13 janvier 2013 7 13 /01 /janvier /2013 11:12



12/01/2013 Armée de Terre


Le 11 janvier 2013, lors de la première phase de l’opération Serval consistant, en appui des forces armées maliennes, à stopper l’avancée des groupes djihadistes vers le Sud du Mali, le Lieutenant Damien BOITEUX du 4e régiment d’hélicoptères des Forces spéciales a été mortellement blessé alors qu’il était aux commandes de son hélicoptère.


Né le 24 novembre 1971, le lieutenant Damien BOITEUX aura servi la France durant 22 ans.


A 19 ans, il s’engage le 1er janvier 1991 en qualité d’élève sous-officier à l’école nationale des sous-officiers d’active (ENSOA) de Saint-Maixent. A l’issue d’une brillante formation initiale, il rejoint l’école d’application de l’aviation légère de l’armée de Terre de DAX le 5 août 1991. Il est nommé sergent le 1er avril 1992.


Breveté pilote, il est affecté au 1er régiment d’hélicoptères de combat de Phalsbourg le 9 juin 1992. Sportif et enthousiaste, il progresse rapidement, c’est un jeune sous-officier consciencieux, discipliné et appliqué. Il s’impose déjà comme un pilote doué puis comme un chef de bord d’hélicoptère d’attaque atteignant rapidement un excellent niveau. Il est promu maréchal des logis-chef le 1erjuillet 1999 et est admis dans le corps des sous-officiers de carrière le 1er décembre suivant.


Le 1er août 2000, il est appelé à servir en qualité de moniteur à l’école d’application de l’aviation légère de l’armée de Terre de DAX. D’un naturel calme et mesuré, il tire son ascendant d’un comportement et d’un esprit militaire remarquables. Instructeur de talent et pétri de nombreuses qualités pédagogiques, il maîtrise parfaitement l’exercice de sa fonction d’instructeur. Il est promu adjudant le 1er avril 2004.


Le 1er août 2005, il rejoint le 6e régiment d’hélicoptères de combat de Margny les Compiègne. Très disponible, il se porte volontaire pour suivre les stages lui permettant d’évoluer en milieu opérationnel. Il retrouve ainsi rapidement sa place en escadrille de combat.


Le 1er juillet 2007, il est sélectionné pour rejoindre le détachement de l’aviation légère de l’armée de Terre des opérations spéciales (DAOS) de Pau. Elément moteur de l’escadrille, il est une force de proposition crédible et écouté de ses chefs comme de ses pairs. Son sens du commandement et son fort potentiel l’amènent tout naturellement au recrutement officier. Nommé aspirant le 30 juin 2008 puis sous-lieutenant le 1er octobre suivant, il s’impose sans peine dans l’exercice du commandement.


Le 1er août 2009, le DAOS devient 4e régiment d’hélicoptères des forces spéciales. Officier particulièrement aguerri, il est promu lieutenant le 1er octobre de la même année. Il s’illustre par son sens tactique élevé dans la préparation des missions et ses qualités de chef de patrouille et de moniteur Gazelle hors pairs. Spécialiste des interventions en milieu désertique de jour comme de nuit, il sert de manière remarquable au sein des forces spéciales.


Le lieutenant BOITEUX a effectué de nombreuses missions extérieures aux cours desquelles son dévouement et sa volonté de réussite ont été remarquées : Djibouti en 1993, l’ex-Yougoslavie en 1998, la République de Côte d’Ivoire en 2005, 2007 et 2009, à nouveau Djibouti en 2008 et 2009, la Mauritanie en 2010 et le Burkina-Faso en 2010, 2011 et 2012.


Il était titulaire de la médaille de l’aéronautique, de la médaille d’outre-mer avec agrafe « République de Côte d’Ivoire », d’une citation à l’ordre du régiment avec attribution de la médaille d’or de la défense nationale avec étoile de bronze et de la médaille d’or de la défense nationale avec agrafe « aviation légère » et « missions d’assistance extérieure ».


Agé de 41 ans, pacsé et père d’un enfant, il a été tué dans l’accomplissement de sa mission au service de la France.


Dès l’annonce de son décès, le président de la République a présenté à sa famille et à ses proches ses plus sincères condoléances. Son action a contribué à arrêter l'avancée des forces terrestres vers Mopti et restera dans nos mémoires. Il a également salué le courage et le dévouement de nos soldats engagés aux côtés des forces maliennes contre les mouvements terroristes.


L’armée de Terre, profondément unie dans la peine, partage le deuil des proches et des camarades du Lieutenant Damien BOITEUX.

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10 janvier 2013 4 10 /01 /janvier /2013 17:20
US Army fields first AH-64E unit, but more improvements to come


Jan. 10, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - Even as the US Army moves forward with fielding its first unit of Boeing AH-64E Block III attack helicopters, the service is planning to add further improvements to the Apache gunship.


"Right now, we are currently fielding the first unit equipped, our FUE [first unit equipped] unit, with Echo-models, and we're on track to meet that fielding schedule," says Col Jeff Hager, the army's Apache programme manager.


Hager adds that Boeing has delivered 28 of 51 low-rate initial production AH-64Es that it is contracted to build. This year, the company will start producing full-rate production aircraft for an eventual total of 634 helicopters.


But even as the AH-64E transitions into full-rate production, some systems engineering work remains, Hager says. The changes, which will come in production Lots 4 through 6, include better embedded diagnostics for improved maintenance. The Apache will also gain the Link-16 data-link, which is typically found on fixed-wing combat aircraft. It will also be afforded improvements to its mast-mounted Northrop Grumman APG-78 Longbow fire control radar, which will improve range and add overwater capability.


Hager says that the army has not quite decided how the overwater capability would be used, but he says the Longbow radar in concert with the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile could be used to attack landing craft or small warships. In the future, active electronically scanned array radar could be added to the aircraft.


Another addition will be the cognitive decision aiding system (CDAS), Hager says. CDAS is designed "to help the pilot and the crew with some of those tasks that tend to get a little cumbersome at times," he says. "It'll help him in those tasks in specific."


The army also intends to support Boeing's efforts to sell the Apache overseas, Hager says. Boeing's attack helicopter vice president, Dave Koopersmith, says that the company has seen an uptick in interest internationally for the Apache recently. "We have more demand signals for this dominant capability in this attack helicopter space," he says.

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9 janvier 2013 3 09 /01 /janvier /2013 08:55
NH90 : Standard 2 pour la marine française et première livraison pour la Belgique

24/12/2012 Mer et Marine


Deux évènements ont marqué, le 21 décembre, le programme NH90. Tout d’abord, la livraison à la Belgique du premier des 8 hélicoptères commandés au consortium NH Industries (détenu à 62.5% par Eurocopter, 32% par AugustaWestland et 5.5% par Fokker Aerostructures) pour ses forces armées. Cet appareil est en version TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter), comme le seront les trois prochains exemplaires belges. Les quatre machines suivantes seront des NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopters), version navalisée du NH90, qui sera embarquée sur les frégates belges Léopold 1er et Louise Marie, en remplacement des Alouette III actuellement en service.


Le 21 décembre toujours, la Direction Générale de l’Armement prenait livraison, également sur le site Eurocopter de Marignane, du 1er Caïman Marine, appellation française de la version navale du  NH90, au Standard 2 (ou Step B comme disent les industriels). Après une courte période d’évaluation conduite au Centre d’expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l’aéronautique navale (CEPA/10S), l’appareil renforcera la flotte de 7 Caïman déjà en service au sein des flottilles 31F et 33F, basées à Hyères (Var) et Lanvéoc-Poulmic (Finistère). Ces machines, livrées depuis 2011 au standard 1 (Step A), seront progressivement mises au niveau le plus récent entre 2014 et 2017.


Autoprotection, MU90 et réservoirs externes


Le standard 2 du Caïman Marine introduit le système d’autoprotection de l’hélicoptère, comprenant notamment des leurres électromagnétiques et infrarouges. Il ouvre également la voie à la capacité de tir de la torpille anti-sous-marine MU90, attendue en 2013, tout en améliorant différents systèmes du standard précédent. La nouvelle version permettra, de plus, l’emport de réservoirs externes afin d’améliorer l’autonomie de l’hélicoptère. Celui-ci pourra disposer de deux bras de chaque côté de la cellule, chacun étant capable d’emporter un bidon de carburant ou une torpille (avec panachage possible de deux bidons, un bidon et une torpille ou deux torpilles). A terme, le Caïman français, à l’instar du NH90 italien avec le Marte Mk2/S, pourra également mettre en œuvre un ou deux missile(s) antinavire léger(s).


Premières capacités ASF et ASM sur le standard 1


Sans attendre l’arrivée du standard 2, la Marine nationale, suite aux expérimentations menées par le CEPA/10S, a ouvert mi-novembre une capacité de lutte au dessus de la surface (ASF) pour les Caïman au standard 1. Et, toujours sur ce premier standard, une première capacité de lutte anti-sous-marine (ASM) devrait être disponible avant le mois de février.


Déployé depuis ses bases littorales ou sur les frégates des types Horizon et FREMM, les Caïman Marine pourront, dans le domaine de la lutte ASM, mettre en œuvre un sonar trempé FLASH, des bouées acoustiques et des torpilles MU90. En dehors de la lutte au dessus de la surface, ces appareils servent également aux missions de sauvetage en mer et au transport opérationnel. Sur les 27 Caïman commandés pour la marine française et livrables d’ici 2021, 13 seront dotés d’une rampe arrière (dont les 7 premiers) permettant l’embarquement rapide de troupes ou de matériel, avec une capacité d’emport d’environ 16 passagers.

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