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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 07:30
Counter-Terrorism: Jordan Gets By With A Little Help From Its Friends


September 13, 2015: Strategy Page


Jordan recently revealed more details of the Israeli assistance it was receiving for the fight against Islamic terrorism. Israel has supplied Jordan with a dozen lightweight Slylark UAVs and the services of one or more larger Heron TP UAVs. Israel has also provided special electronics and software so that Jordan can more effectively track its own troops and possible Islamic terrorist activity. There appears to be some cooperation in the area of special operations (command0) troops. Both nations have a good track record in this area but Jordan can more easily put their commandos into Iraq or Syria than can Israel.


It’s no secret that since the late 1960s Israel and Jordan have been on good terms. This is mutually beneficial because both nations have large numbers of Palestinians to deal with and these Palestinians tend to be a source of disloyalty for both the Jewish dominated democracy of Israel and the Bedouin (Arab) monarchy of Jordan. Since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Jordan has had to deal with lots of refugees and, for a while, more Islamic terror attacks. Jordan continues to keep Islamic terrorists from reaching Israel via Jordan and provides valuable intel on what is going on in Syria and Iraq and the Arab world in general. As it has done for decades, Israel also passes on any useful intel to Jordan, especially if it involves attacks against the royal family.


Jordan is poor and does not have a lot of money for new equipment. Thus the arrival of the Israeli Skylark UAVs was much appreciated. This UAV has been around since 2008, has an impressive combat record and a new version (Skylard 1LE) recently showed up. This is a 7.5 kg (16.5 pound) aircraft with a 1.1 kg (2.4 pound) payload. This is sufficient to carry Israeli designed vidcam, laser designator and communications gear that can work with the American Rover ground terminals (designed to let commanders on the ground see what UAVs are seeing). Max endurance is three hours, max altitude is 4,700 meters (15,000 feet). Max distance from the operator is 40 kilometers.


The Heron TP has been in service since 2009 and is similar to the 4.5 ton American Reaper. Equipped with a powerful (1,200 horsepower) turboprop engine, the 4.6 ton Heron TP can operate at 14,500 meters (45,000 feet). That is above commercial air traffic and all the air-traffic-control regulations that discourage, and often forbid, UAVs fly at the same altitude as commercial aircraft. The Heron TP has a one ton payload, enabling it to carry sensors that can give a detailed view of what's on the ground, even from that high up. The endurance of 36 hours makes the Heron TP a competitor for the U.S. five ton MQ-9 Reaper. The big difference between the two is that Reaper is designed to be a combat aircraft, operating at a lower altitude, with less endurance, and able to carry a ton of smart bombs or missiles. Heron TP is meant mainly for reconnaissance and surveillance, and Israel wants to keep a closer, and more persistent, eye on Syria, southern Lebanon and now parts of Jordan threatened by ISIL. The Heron TP has also been rigged to carry a wide variety of missiles and smart bombs.


In the 1967 war with Israel, the Jordanians caused the Israelis more trouble than any other Arab army. Since then, the Israelis and Jordanians have maintained good relations, partly because of the realization that war between the two nations would be particularly bloody. Jordan also became a good ally of the United States, and American Special Forces have worked with their Jordanian counterparts for decades. Another thing that keeps the Jordanian troops on their toes is the fact that most Jordanians are non-Bedouin Palestinians, a population that has produced a lot of terrorists and disloyal Jordanians. The royal family of Jordan, from an ancient Bedouin family, takes very good care of the largely Bedouin armed forces, which provides security for the royal family.

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12 septembre 2015 6 12 /09 /septembre /2015 16:35
New Delhi Nods +$400 Million Israeli Mega Drone Procurement


Sep 12, 2015 defense-update.com


The IAF has been seeking an unmanned, precision attack capability as a matter of high priority. These new drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which already has a large fleet of Searcher and Heron I reconnaissance drones. Both are produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).


The Indian government recently approved a plan to procure ten new missile-armed drones from Israel. “The $400-million proposal for buying armed Heron TP drones from Israel was cleared last week,” The Economic Times reported.

These new drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which already has a large fleet of Searcher and Heron I reconnaissance drones. Both are produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The IAF also has a fleet of Harpy UAVs from Israel – designed as loitering radar-supression weapons. In addition,India operates the HAROP, a spin-off variant of the loitering weapon, designed to attack other surface targets. (Both Harpy and Harop are also made by IAI).

The proposed sale of the Heron TP to India had been on the table since 2012, but, only after the election of the new Modi government, did it receive the necessary political backing.


Read more

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
photo Israel Aerospace Industries

photo Israel Aerospace Industries


Nov. 26, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Israel Aerospace Industries; issued Nov. 25, 2013)


Israel Aerospace Industries' Unmanned Aerial Systems Surpass One Million Operational Flight Hours - an Unprecedented Accomplishment


Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have accumulated over one million operational flight hours worldwide – an unprecedented accomplishment.


IAI will present its UAS and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) at the AUS&R 2013 Expo of Autonomous, Unmanned Systems & Robotics, which will be held tomorrow, Tuesday November 26, 2013, in Reshon Lezion, Israel.


Regarding the AUS&R Expo, Joseph Weiss, IAI's president & CEO said: "IAI has long been a leading pioneer in the field of unmanned aerial systems. With over forty years of operational experience and fifty customers worldwide, I am proud to announce that IAI's unmanned aerial systems have accumulated over one million flight hours.


“The Heron UAS has been the leading system in its class in the international markets for over a decade and has been sold to 20 customers worldwide. Heron has accumulated over 200,000 operational flight hours with extensive use in combat in Afghanistan and in other hot spots around the world.


“As a result of the lessons learned from the Heron’s exceptional history and extensive experience, we continue to refine and upgrade the Heron and our UAS's design."

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:30
photo Israel Aerospace Industries

photo Israel Aerospace Industries

July 26, 2013 by Arie Egozi – FG


Tel Aviv - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will have to sign joint development agreements with companies in countries that want to operate medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air systems such as its Heron TP, Israeli defence ministry sources say.


The requirement stems from the fact that Israel - despite not signing the international missile technology control regime (MTCR) - complies with its guidelines.


The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technologies for systems capable of carrying a 500kg (1,100lb) payload at least 162nm (300km), as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction.


IAI could offer the Heron TP to France and Germany, as both are partners in the MTCR, but would not be allowed to offer it to non-signatory countries.


Defence ministry sources confirm one such potential customer from a MALE UAS with capabilities similar to the Heron TP is India, but refuse to say whether there are negotiations about such a co-development agreement with New Delhi.


With a maximum take-off weight of more than 4t and a 26m (85ft) wingspan, the Heron TP is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprop engine.


Sources in Israel say some countries already operating Israeli-made UAS are the most likely potential customers for a jointly developed MALE UAS that will comply with the terms of the MTCR.

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20 janvier 2013 7 20 /01 /janvier /2013 08:50


source FG


18 Jan 2013 by Arie Egozi - FG


Tel Aviv - Israel Aerospace Industries is awaiting decisions in two unmanned air system competitions in France and Germany, with the outcomes to be announced from as soon as early this year.


The turboprop-engined Heron TP is currently on offer to both nations, with sources suggesting that Berlin could make a decision by the end of the first quarter. IAI is offering the medium-altitude, long-endurance type in association with Rheinmetall Airborne Systems, against the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator B.



IAI waits on European UAS decisions

Israeli sources suggest that France could make a choice in its UAS contest by mid-year, with the Heron TP and Predator B also in contention.


IAI has identified the future sale of missiles, UAS and special mission aircraft as being among its main growth engines in the coming years. Israeli defence analysts note that these areas are also receiving the largest share of the company's research and development budget.


Meanwhile, after a number of years in which there were doubts about IAI's ability to maintain its space activities due to receiving few contracts, there are signs of change.


The company has recently won deals to build the Amos-4 and Amos-6 communication satellites for Israel, and will also develop and manufacture an observation satellite for Italian company Telespazio for $182 million as part of an offest arrangement linked to the Israeli air force's selection of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainer. IAI will also supply the Italian air force with two Gulfstream G550-based conformal airborne early warning and control system aircraft under the relationship.


It is also believed that the backlog of IAI's space division includes new spy satellites in the Offeq series, as Israel will have to launch new examples.

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19 avril 2012 4 19 /04 /avril /2012 12:40
IAI to offer Germany Heron TP systems


April 18, 2012 by Arie Egozi - FG


Tel Aviv - Germany is expected to re-evaluate the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP unmanned air system following Cassidian's decision to halt development work on its Talarion programme.


The German military already uses a version of IAI's Heron 1 UAS in Afghanistan and its army has previously been briefed on the capabilities of the turboprop-engined Heron TP.


Sources say Berlin's expected competition for a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS will be fierce, with the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator B another candidate.


EADS company Cassidian stopped work on the Talarion after failing to secure the required state funding from target nations France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey to advance the programme towards building a flying prototype.

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17 janvier 2012 2 17 /01 /janvier /2012 08:55
France Offers Heron for NATO Role - Will Sign Deal To Buy UAV By Year's End


Dassault is negotiating with Israel Aerospace Industries on the contract for the Heron TP, which the French company would then deliver to French authorities. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

16 Jan 2012 By PIERRE TRAN DefenseNews

PARIS - France is offering the Heron TP as its contribution in kind to the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance program, but technical and financial problems related to adapting the medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV to French standards are holding up a deal with Dassault and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), industrial and political sources said.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet told the French aerospace journalists' press club that the deal would be sealed by "the end of 2012."

That's later than expected by industry and parliamentary sources, who had thought the controversial contract would be signed before the presidential elections starting in April.

Dassault is negotiating with IAI on the contract for the Heron TP, which the French company would then deliver to French authorities.

"There are many difficulties" on adapting the Heron TP, driving the cost above the 320 million euro ($408 million) budget, a parliamentary source said. An extra 150 million euros each for Dassault and Thales has been estimated for the modifications, the source said.

That would push the cost to 620 million euros, approaching the 700 million euro price tag of a previous Dassault offer of the Système de Drone MALE.

The Defense Ministry has asked Dassault to submit a technical-financial proposal on the Heron TP at the end of the month.

Among the key modifications are a satellite communications link and de-icing equipment, vital to plugging the UAV into the French - and NATO - network and fly in the northern European climate, the industry executive said.

Procurement officials are working hard to make progress on the UAV case, and one option might be to acquire the Heron TP with little or no modification, the executive said.

That might create problems of interoperability within NATO as Paris has offered the Heron TP as its asset contribution, instead of paying cash, toward maintaining the AGS system, the executive said.

Although 13 nations are acquiring AGS, based on the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAV, all 28 alliance members help maintain the system in return for access to AGS information.

"The AGS package is still being discussed at NATO," an alliance press officer said. "It is a topic to be discussed in the February meeting of defense ministers."

NATO has long sought to launch the AGS program, intended to provide commanders with a common operational picture.

France has had a troubled relationship with AGS, as Paris looked to gain a big technological role. The planned AGS system relies on five Global Hawks to provide radar and optical pictures of conditions the ground, and a network of transportable ground stations. The UAVs will be based at Sigonella airbase, Italy.

The choice of the Heron TP sparked resistance in the French Senate, which argued for acquisition of General Atomics' Reaper on grounds of cost, performance and interoperability with allied forces.

Longuet defended the choice of the Israeli UAV as "a compromise between capability and a long-term interest for industrial policy," he told the press club.

"We could have found a cheaper, more efficient, quicker solution, but at the [unacceptable] price of long-term dependence," he said.

Longuet denied that most of the contract value would go to IAI, saying that air vehicle is the smallest part of the system, with communication and observation more important.

The government argues that adapting the Heron TP to French needs will help develop competences among about 10 domestic companies in high-value areas, particularly in communications. Critics of the choice say there would be more work for French companies on the Reaper, pitched by EADS and General Atomics.

"No proposition was made by Reaper, which did not want to share, nor to adapt to French standards," Longuet said.

General Atomics did not make a formal offer because France did not send a letter of request, an industry executive said.

In 2010, the U.S. company signed a technical-assistance agreement with EADS detailing its offer, the executive said. The agreement listed modifications, including a communications link developed by French equipment firm Zodiac for the Harfang UAV flying in Afghanistan.

General Atomics also wrote in June 2011 to French Sens. Jacques Gautier and Daniel Reiner, setting out a $209 million offer for seven air vehicles, ground gear and service support.

The government, however, sees Dassault as holding a key position on a strategic roadmap intended to ensure interoperability in observation, surveillance, targeting and air power. That position stems from its work on the Rafale and Anglo-French cooperation, in the government's view.

Longuet said risk-reduction work on the Heron TP would start in 2013.

Dassault and DGA were unavailable for comment.

On a proposed new MALE UAV to be developed with Britain, Longuet urged a pan-European rather than a strictly bilateral approach.

The project "should accept the construction of Europe," he said. "We can't ignore countries with industrial capabilities. We'll probably have an Anglo-French project, which cannot avoid opening to other European partners."

On the Anglo-French cooperation treaty, Longuet said, a new date for a summit meeting would be set for before his birthday on Feb. 24.

"There are no doubts on defense," he said on relations between London and Paris.

EADS and Finmeccanica signed a deal in December to team on UAV development, reflecting wider discontent in Italy and Germany over the Anglo-French defense accord.

France would not develop the EADS Talarion Advanced UAV, Longuet said.

One way of bringing a European dimension into the planned Anglo-French MALE UAV would be to integrate it into the European combat aircraft environment, dominated by the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale aircraft, Longuet said.

"If we're intelligent, we should say, 'You British work on Eurofighter with Germany, Italy and Spain, and we'll work on Rafale,'" he said. "It would be good if the MALE UAV were to be compatible with one and the other."

Other Programs

France will buy the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) from Airbus "in 2013 for delivery four years later," Longuet said, leaving Boeing out in the cold.

Longuet dismissed previous official denials that Airbus had been chosen as "semantic elegance."

The U.S. Air Force's $35 billion pick of Boeing over Airbus for its KC-X tender effectively shut the door on a French tender.

France is expected to order five to seven A330 MRTT units in a first-batch order that could total 14.

Paris had been considering leasing part of Britain's A330 tanker fleet, but the Libyan air campaign led French authorities to decide they wanted their own aircraft.

On domestic consolidation, Thales would likely take a 10 percent to 20 percent stake in Nexter in exchange for handing over its TDA Armements mortar and munitions business to the land systems specialist, Longuet said.

Thales' holding would be significant but would not leave Nexter "dependent," he said.

Answering a question on anxiety at DCNS, where Thales is raising its stake in the naval company to 35 percent from 25 percent, Longuet said, "Thales is not the obligatory supplier of systems. DCNS can choose its systems."

DCNS makes naval combat management systems, and executives fear Thales will impose its own products, relegating the company to being a platform maker.

Nexter and DCNS had to forge European alliances to compete with companies from emerging economies such as Brazil, but first they had to consolidate their domestic base, Longuet said. Nexter had to look to German partners, as that was where the land sector was strong, he said.

Asked about the health of French defense companies, Longuet said, "Thales is a company necessarily in more peril because it is innovative on creative subjects on a world scale. It is more difficult. It has to take risks and goes through periods of uncertainty."

Regarding arms exports, the 2011 total for France would be around 6.5 billion euros, helped by an Indian contract for modernization of its Mirage 2000 fighters, Longuet said. That compared with 5.12 billion in 2010.

In October, procurement chief Laurent Collet-Billon had told lawmakers in October he expected 2011 export sales to reach 7.5 billion euros.

On export prospects for the Rafale, Longuet said a UAE decision to pick the Rafale would help sell the fighter to Kuwait and Qatar, which want to be interoperable with their neighbor's Air Force.

"They are interested" but would not be the first to commit, he said. "If they think no decision is being made [by UAE], they will look elsewhere."

Kuwait is looking at acquiring 18 to 22 jet fighters, with Qatar potentially 24, industry executives said, according to La Tribune.

The Defense Ministry appeared to harbor worries about Qatar raising its stake in Lagardère, the family-controlled company which owns 7.5 percent of EADS.

"There are fewer problems in football than in military aeronautics," Longuet said. "It's a subject."

But the decision on Qatar's shareholding in Lagardère was up to the Finance Ministry, not the Defense Ministry, he said.

A Qatari sovereign fund holds 10.07 percent of Lagardère stock, making it the largest single stockholder in the French company, and has asked for a seat on the board. Qatar bought 70 percent of the Paris Saint Germain football club for 30 million euros in May.

Julian Hale in Brussels and Tom Kington in Rome contributed to this report.

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24 novembre 2011 4 24 /11 /novembre /2011 13:25



24.11.2011 par Laurent Lagneau - Opex360.com


L’on pouvait s’en douter lors des auditions des responsables du ministère de la Défense par la Commission des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense nationale du Sénat. En effet, au cours de ces dernières, le choix de l’Hôtel de Brienne en faveur du drone MALE (Moyenne Altitude Longue Endurance) Heron TP francisé avait été vertement contesté par des sénateurs de droite comme de gauche, lesquels considéraient le MQ-9 Reaper du constructeur américain General Atomics plus compétitif.


Et cette opposition à l’offre soumise par Dassault Aviation, en collaboration avec l’israélien IAI, qui produit le Heron TP, s’est confirmée avec l’annulation par la Commission du Sénat d’une partie des 318 millions d’euros de crédits qu’il est prévu d’allouer pour financer cet achat. Les sénateurs ont joué fin : selon le magazine Challenges, ils ont voté un budget dédié à l’acquisition de drones d’un montant de 209 millions, lequel correspond à la somme qu’il aurait fallu débourser pour des MQ-9 Reaper.


Cette coupe de 109 millions d’euros dans le projet de loi de finance 2012 correspond en effet à l’écart de prix entre le Heron TP francisé et le drone MALE américain. Quant au choix en faveur de l’offre proposée par Dassault Aviation, le ministre de la Défense, Gérard Longuet, a déjà indiqué qu’il avait fait « jouer la préférence nationale ».

« Dassault ayant su renouer une coopération avec son partenaire israélien autour de ce projet, il était important pour moi que notre industrie demeure présente dans cette filière quand bien même cette solution devrait être plus coûteuse que si nous avions eu recours au Reaper proposé par General Atomics, son concurrent américain  » a-t-il déclaré en octobre dernier, lors de son audition par les sénateurs.


Seulement, en ces temps de rigueur budgétaire, les gains attendus de la solution du Heron TP, nettement plus chère que celle du MQ-9 Reaper, seront-ils à la hauteur des espérances? Rien n’est moins sûr.


Il avait été dit que le choix du Reaper allait porter un coup aux capacités industrielles françaises en matière de drone. Sauf que l’on voit mal ce que l’appareil israélien francisé apportera de plus, si ce n’est qu’il permettra d’attendre que le drone Telemos, développé par BAE Systems et Dassault Aviation, soit prêt. Car le constructeur IAI est un partenaire difficile. Et EADS est bien placé pour le savoir, le groupe européen ayant produit en collaboration avec ce dernier le drone Harfang, actuellement en service dans l’armée de l’Air. D’autre part, le choix fait dans les années 1960 d’acquérir des avions ravitailleurs américains KC-135 n’a pas empêché Airbus de développer l’A-330 MRTT et d’entrer en concurrence sur ce segment avec Boeing.


Par ailleurs, alors que l’on parle de mutualisation de capacités de défense entre pays européens, il est à souligner que, par exemple, le Royaume-Uni et l’Italie sont déjà des utilisateurs du drone MQ-9 Reaper, dont la technologie est éprouvée.


Autre élément : le chef d’état-major de l’armée de l’Air, le général Palomeros, a indiqué vouloir un drone armé. Si l’appareil américain a cette capacité, le flou persiste au sujet du Heron TP…


Cela étant, et comme le dernier mot revient à l’Assemblée nationale, qui n’a pas manifesté la même opposition que les sénateurs sur ce dossier, le choix du Heron TP devrait être finalisé. Sauf si Premier ministre réunit une commission mixte paritaire pour concilier les positions des deux assemblées sur cette affaire. A ce moment-là, un revirement sera toujours possible.

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21 juin 2011 2 21 /06 /juin /2011 20:40
IAI Heron UAS Has Reached Full Operational Capability


Jun 21, 2011 ASDNews Source : Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.


The German Air Force recently announced that the "Heron", Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)' advanced unmanned aerial system (UAS), has achieved full operational capability (FOC) under its activities in Afghanistan.


It's a significant milestone for the program, where IAI provided its Heron UAV system, together with its partner Rheinmetall Defence, to the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces). The program included full in-theatre logistical and maintenance services performed by Rheinmetall.


The aerial platforms supplied, are equipped with IAI's stabilized day/night electro-optical, SAR payloads and Satellite Communications (SATCOM). Within five months of the signing of the contract, Heron was already deployed in the Afghan skies.


The Heron MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAS, is an interim solution, yet decisively enhances the Bundeswehr's important real- time intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) capabilities in their missions in Afghanistan. Heron is the first unmanned aerial system (UAS) ever to operate under the aegis of the GAF.


To date, the SAATEG interim solution has flown over 4,000 hours in Afghanistan, representing an average of twenty hours a day. At the end of May, the German Air Force declared the Heron squadron based in Mazar-e-Sharif to be fully operational.


Given its positive experience with the system, the Bundeswehr opted to extend the original one-year service contract for a further two years.


Furthermore, the German Air Force is reviewing ways of enhancing its performance.


In response to the Bundeswehr's requirement for a follow-on solution for SAATEG in the near term IAI and Rheinmetall plan to participate in the tender and offer IAI's Heron TP (turbo prop) strategic UAS. An advanced version of the Heron, the Heron TP is ready to go into operation right away. Heron TP was successfully inducted into the Israeli Air Force in February 2010.


To a large extent, the system will be modified and produced in Germany, meaning that it will make a major contribution to national know-how in this field.

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