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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 18:35
BITD indienne : vers les stratégies du «Make in India» and «Export India»

 

3 mars 2015 Par Pierre Memheld  - IRIS
 

L’édition 2015 du salon Aero India s’est terminée dimanche 22 février sans annonce de contrat important malgré de nombreuses attentes et rumeurs. Plus de six cents entreprises, indiennes et internationales, étaient présentes à cette 10ème édition du salon aéronautique indien. S’il n’y a pas eu d’annonce notable, le sujet principal des discussions a été la nouvelle stratégie dite du « Make In India » sur laquelle le Premier ministre indien a centré son discours d’inauguration.

L’objectif principal de cette stratégie est de réduire la dépendance de l’Inde vis-à-vis de ses fournisseurs étrangers d’armement tout en développant les industriels indiens. L’industrie de défense indienne se divise en deux catégories principales : d’une part les entreprises publiques, Public Sector Undertakings, et d’autre part les entreprises privées. Le budget de la défense étant en constante augmentation (1), l’enjeu pour ces entreprises est de développer leurs positions sur ce marché en croissance.

Le développement actuel de ces industriels se fait soit directement par l’obtention de contrats publics, soit « indirectement » par le biais des offsets (2) et des transferts de technologies à l’occasion de contrats emportés par des entreprises internationales. Les industriels indiens veulent également que les procédures actuelles soient simplifiées, en particulier la question des offsets et de la fiscalité, avec un plan détaillé au-delà de la stratégie annoncée par le Premier ministre (3).

La réduction de cette dépendance - l’Inde est le premier importateur mondial d’armement - est aussi un enjeu diplomatique pour le pays. En effet, l’attractivité de son marché d’équipement et la possibilité de créer des partenariats locaux lui permettent de développer ses relations stratégiques et économiques à l’international, avec des pays comme les Etats-Unis, la Russie, la France ou Israël et vers sa zone d’influence, comme l’Australie, Singapour, le Sri Lanka, la Thaïlande ou même Oman et Bahreïn.

La base industrielle et technologique de défense (BITD) publique

Sous l’égide du ministère de la Défense indien, on peut identifier d’une part les entreprises publiques, Public Sector Undertakings (PSU), au nombre de huit (4), et d’autre part les usines d’armement, Ordnance Factories Board (OFB), au nombre de quarante deux, employant en tout 164 000 personnes. Celles-ci sont dirigées par un conseil avec à sa tête un directeur général en charge des cinq « divisions » (5) : munitions et explosifs ; armes, véhicules et équipements ; matériels et composants ; véhicules blindés ; et un groupement des usines.

Les OFB et PSU sont chapeautées par le Department of Defence Production (DDP) dirigé par un Secrétaire à la production. Le DDP est chargé de coordonner les programmes, et de fabriquer les équipements, nécessaires à l’autonomie de l’Inde en matière d’armement. On peut ajouter à cette organisation la Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) qui est elle en charge de la recherche et développement sous l’autorité d’un secrétaire dirigeant : le Department of Defence Research and Development.

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) a été créée en 1970 pour la fabrication de missiles, soit localement, avec la DRDO (6), soit en coopération avec la Russie pour les missiles Konkurs M et Invar (7). Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), créée en 1956, est spécialisée dans les systèmes électroniques, en particulier de communication et radars, pour les différentes composantes des armées (8). Enfin, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), créée en 1964, fabrique des engins de chantiers, des camions et des trains pour le marché militaire et civil.

Dans le domaine naval, les trois chantiers Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Goa Shipyard et Mazagon Dock, assurent la construction des bâtiments de surface (dont le programme de porte avions), des sous marins (diesel et nucléaire) et des bâtiments de soutien ou de surveillance côtière. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), partenaire de Dassault pour le Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) est en charge des recherches, et de la construction, pour les programmes d’avions, d’hélicoptères, de moteurs et d’avionique.

La BITD privée

La principale caractéristique de la BITD privée indienne réside dans le fait que ses principaux acteurs sont des groupes aux activités multiples qui ne sont parfois entrés dans le secteur de la défense que récemment. C’est le cas par exemple du Hero Group qui veut investir dans un chantier naval ou le Reliance Group d’Anil Ambani qui a annoncé son intérêt pour la défense en février 2015. A l’inverse, des groupes comme Tata ou Mahindra sont des acteurs anciens du secteur.

Le Tata Group est actif dans le secteur de la défense depuis l’indépendance de l’Inde, pour la fabrication de véhicules, de composants de missiles, et plus récemment a investit dans l’électronique de défense avec Honeywell ou l’aviation militaire avec Airbus (9). Le Mahindra Group, quant à lui, a commencé par la construction de jeeps militaires pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, puis de camions, blindés et désormais des torpilles ou des radars. Le Hero Group, leader mondial des deux roues, cherche à investir dans la défense.

Reliance Industries, groupe dirigé par Mukesh Ambani (première fortune indienne), présent dans le pétrole, les télécoms ou la santé, est partenaire de Boeing pour la construction des avions de reconnaissance P8I indiens, et de Dassault pour fournir des composants du programme MMRCA. Bharat Forge, principale société du Kalyani Group, est partenaire de l’israélien Rafael pour fournir des missiles antitanks à l’armée indienne, et a fabriqué des munitions d’artillerie.

Il s’agissait des munitions des canons Bofors dont le Hinduja Group fut l’acteur principal : celui-ci contrôle fabriquant de camions et bus Ashok Leyland, partenaire de Nexter pour le châssis du canon Caesar. L’autre partenaire de Nexter est Larsen & Toubro, qui intervient aussi bien dans le domaine naval que terrestre ou aéronautique, que ce soit pour des systèmes complets, des pièces et composants ou la construction de matériels lourds. On le voit, les activités de défense ne sont qu’une partie des activités de ces groupes privés.

 

Offsets et transferts de technologie

A l’échelle d’un contrat comme le MMRCA (10), l’enjeu est d’avoir une BITD suffisamment importante pour atteindre le montant prévu des offsets et surtout pouvoir faire fabriquer sur place les pièces et systèmes nécessaires. Et il ne s’agit pas seulement de faire faire ponctuellement mais de transférer durablement les technologies et savoirs faire afin de rendre les industriels indiens autonomes. Au-delà du « Make In India », l’objectif déclaré est désormais le « Export India » (11).

Si l’attractivité du marché indien, les offsets et le « Make In India », rendent l’acquisition de technologies et savoirs faire facile pour les industriels indiens, l’enjeu secondaire est l’emploi : créer des emplois pour la population mais surtout fournir aux industriels des travailleurs qualifiés. D’après le ministre indien du « skill development and entrepreneurship », Rajiv Pratap Rudy, l’industrie aéronautique aura besoin d’un million de travailleurs d’ici dix ans pour la construction, la maintenance, l’exploitation et la recherche (12).

L’ouverture du marché indien de la défense passe par la création de joint-ventures (JV) entre industriels indiens et internationaux. Ceux-ci peuvent désormais avoir, grâce à une réforme récente, 49% de la structure commune. Il y a désormais trente-trois « investissements directs étrangers » aussi bien dans la BITD publique que privée. La création de telles structures doit être approuvée par un comité gouvernemental, le Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Donc bien que de plus en plus ouvert, ce marché sensible reste régulé.

Et de ce point de vue, les industriels indiens, privés et publics, ou même étrangers, réclament une clarification des procédures que ce soit pour les contrats, les offsets ou les JVs. Ainsi lors d’une session organisée, en parallèle d’Aero India, par la Confederation of India Industry, le ministre de la Défense, Manohar Parrikar, a interagi directement avec les trois cents industriels venus avec des questions sur ces sujets (13). Les offsets étant la clef du développement des partenariats et des industriels, le ministre a promis d’agir pour faciliter leurs mises en œuvre.

Au-delà des grands groupes cherchant à capter une part croissante du budget de la Défense, il existe de nombreuses PME spécialisées. Celles-ci obtiennent des contrats de sous-traitance de la part des groupes indiens ou internationaux. A l’occasion d’importants contrats publics, pour lesquels les offsets sont applicables, ces PMEs offrent leurs capacités de production aux industriels étrangers. Cette partie privée de la BITD indienne, et son pendant public, reste à développer.

 

 

(1) Déjà 9ème budget mondial, l’Inde pourrait pousser son effort de défense jusqu’à 130 milliards de dollars sur les 8 années à venir : "Make in India: With defence budget set to touch $130 billion in eight years, experts urge HAL to revitalise itself", The Economic Times, 23/02/15, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/engineering/make-in-india-with-defence-budget-set-to-touch-130-billion-in-eight-years-experts-urge-hal-to-revitalise-itself/articleshow/46340016.cms
(2) Les Offsets, ou compensations industrielles et économiques ou commerciales, "sont des contrats non standards exigeant qu’une forme d’activité économique soit transférée du vendeur au gouvernement de l’acheteur comme condition pour la vente de biens et/ou services sur les Marchés Publics." (LES PRATIQUES D'OFFSET ET LES GRANDS GROUPES FRANCAIS - http://bdc.aege.fr/public/Les_pratiques_d_offset_et_les_grands_groupes_francais.pdf)
(3) "PM Modi sets challenging target for India's defence manufacturing sector", DNA India, 18/02/15, http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pm-modi-sets-challenging-target-for-india-s-defence-manufacturing-sector-2062045
(4) Certaines ont des filiales spécialisées et il existe la Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, spécialisée dans les alliages pour l’aéronautique, l’armement, le nucléaire et la marine.
(5) Il existe également des écoles de l’OFB, ainsi qu’un corps administratif spécifique et des services de soutien dédiés.
(6) Missiles AKASH, NAG, Article K-15, AGNI VARIANTS (A1, A2 and A3)
(7) Le missile Brahmos est une coopération directe entre la DRDO et NOP Mashinostroyenia en Russie.
(8) "L'Inde, puissance militaire?", Pierre Memheld, Revue de la Défense Nationale, Novembre 2014
(9) "Tata, Airbus to jointly bid for making transport planes for IAF", Business Standard, 29/10/14, http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/tata-airbus-to-jointly-bid-for-making-transport-planes-for-iaf-114102801555_1.html
(10) Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
(11) "Defence Exports Could Touch $17 Billion by FY22: Report", The Indian Express, 25/02/15, http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/news/Defence-Exports-Could-Touch-17-Billion-by-FY22-Report/2015/02/25/article2686225.ece
(12) "Indian aerospace sector needs one million skilled workforce in next 10 years", Live Mint, 20/02/15, http://www.livemint.com/Politics/hRJQjq7ZKVXQ5RFkzWbmAJ/Indian-aerospace-sector-needs-one-million-skilled-workforce.html
(13) "Offsets Exasperation Peaks, Defence Minister Listens", LiveFist, 21/02/15, http://www.livefistdefence.com/2015/02/offsets-exasperation-peaks-defence.html

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Indian Light Combat Copter Goes Through Cold Tests


March 2, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist
 

Cold weather trials of India's Light Combat Helicopter were carried out at Air Force Station, Leh early last month. “The trials covered engine starts with internal batteries after overnight cold soak at 3 km altitude and 4.1 km altitude”, HAL chairman T. Suvarna Raju has said in a statement. The engine starts were satisfactory in the temperature of minus 18 degree C at 4.1 km, the flights were also carried out to assess high altitude performance and low speed handling, the statement said.

 

The LCH prototype, TD2 was ferried from Bangalore to Leh and the flight trials were carried out involving customer pilots from Air Force and Army and with the participation of representatives from RCMA (H/c) and DGAQA (H/c).

 

“Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Technology Demonstrator TD-3 made its maiden flight in November last year and the TD-4 is likely to fly soon. The IOC is expected in the later part of this year and to achieve this we are concentrating on building more prototypes and increase the number of flights to reduce the lead-time for IOC”, Raju said.

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
U.S. To Re-Enter Indian Light Copter Contest


March 2, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist
 

India's third attempt at procuring 197 light reconnaissance/surveillance helicopters (RSH) for the Indian Army and IAF kicks off this month, and if two attempts across the last decade haven't thrown up enough dust, indications are that this third effort is all set to be even more interesting.

 

The two finalists in the last abortive attempt, Airbus Helicopters with the AS550 C3 Fennec and Kamov with the Ka-226T2 Sergei will both compete through respective build partners in India (the latter has a seemingly separate proposal to build the Sergei and Mi-17 V-5s in India.)

U.S. firm Bell Helicopter, which competed in the original effort (that began in 2003) has signalled that it will be re-entering the competition this year through local partners. Livefist learns that Bell Helicopter and an Indian partner will field the Bell 407GT in the new RSH contest.
 

B.S. Singhdeo, Managing Director, Bell India tells Livefist, "We are not prepared to discuss the details of the RSH; however Bell Helicopter is committed to the India and we are highly interested in the program.  Bell Helicopter has the right products to meet the future needs of India’s military."

 

The 407GT is a militarised version of Bell's 407GX, featuring the Garmin G1000H™ flight deck. Your correspondent was invited to fly in a 407GX at Aero India last month in Bengaluru in which a senior IAF pilot was at the controls for a 20-minute demo flight.

Bell reportedly withdrew from the original competition in 2006 after it was informed that the 407 hadn't satisfactorily demonstrated the three-axis vector maneouver during field evaluation trials. The competition went into the ground a year later when a complaint by Bell on the trials compelled the government to scrap a potential decision to award the contest to Eurocopter. The fresh contest sees another possible face-off between Bell and Airbus.

 

"In November 2014, Bell Helicopter established Dynamatic Technologies Ltd. as a single source supplier of major airframe cabin assemblies for the Bell 407GX and 407GT.  During Aero India, Dynamatic handed over first articles of these aerostructures.  Bell Helicopter continues to evaluate potential partners in India to support our local manufacturing footprint," says Singhdeo.

 

And AgustaWestland? The government's 2014 guidelines on 'dealing with Finmeccanica group of companies in all procurement cases', issued following the VVIP AW101 helicopter controversy, suggest that the light helicopter competition is open to AgustaWestland. It is not clear at this time if AgustaWestland has or will respond (through a partner, of course) to the new 'Make in India' RFI with its AW119 Koala, the platform it fielded in the second abortive procurement attempt.

The MoD has extended its deadline for interest from vendors three times since November last year, actions that speak loud about a desire perhaps for maximum participation. The truth is, two successive aborts have brought with them a measure of damage to confidence in India's ability to see crucial acquisition programmes through. The MoD sees the the light helicopter competition as a fairly uncompl

In a separate but related development, Airbus Helicopter has informed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (which license builds Alouette-II/IIIs in India) that its inventory of rotor blade kits for the Cheetah and Chetak have been exhausted, and that a previous order will necessarily be the last one.

As Livefist reported recently, the other side the light copter modernisation effort is seeing forward movement too, with HAL's LUH scheduled for a first flight soon.

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2 - photo Livefist

Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2 - photo Livefist

 

February 28, 2015 by Shiv Arror - Livefist


The Indian Ministry of Defence has just approved the Indian Air Force's move to exercise options on its original basic trainer deal (for 75 aircraft) with Pilatus Aircraft and will shortly sign up for 38 more. Of a total of 181 basic trainers the IAF has said it needs, the original Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2 order takes care of 75 aircraft.

The remaining 106 aircraft were to be HAL's in-development HTT-40 propeller trainer that's all set to take-off for the first time this month. With the IAF approved to exercise options on 38 more PC-7s, HAL's platform will meet the remaining requirement: 68 aircraft. Indications are, however, that that number will be cranked up to make the project more viable in the near term.

An IAF-HAL-MoD committee is being set up to monitor the HTT-40 programme. The HTT-40 prototype is all set for its first flight in June.

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 11:35
Rafale photo Dassault Aviation

Rafale photo Dassault Aviation

 

February 25, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


The Indian government is understood to have made it clear that it is no longer a question of whether Dassault Aviation will underwrite the 108 Rafales that HAL proposes to license-build in Bengaluru (a top MoD official indicated to Livefist that the RFP was explicit about this), but a question of how it will do so. Yesterday's hour-long deliberations at the MoD involved discussions on possible options. In very limited conversations with all sides, the following threads become apparent:

  • Dassault and HAL will need to hammer down licensee/licensor modalities that will pave the way for a possibly complex matrix of agreements on the central issue of liability. It's clear now. It is this set of agreements that will provide a solution to the guarantee issue. The question is how long it would take to do this.
  • Second, the extent of inspection and post-manufacture testing of equipment at HAL that would be the minimum required for Dassault to underwrite HAL-built jets.
  • Whether there are any financial implications to additional understandings between HAL and Dassault for the process of underwriting jets produced on the former's production line in Bengaluru. Also, financial implications of the transfer of liability as a result of any additional agreements between HAL and Dassault.
  • Both sides appear committed to finding a solution before Prime Minister Modi's visit to Paris in April, but is that a realistic time-frame? Sources suggest HAL and Dassault have already held extensive discussions on the liability issue and should be in a position to move quickly.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:35
India to purchase Japanese amphibious rescue aircraft

A US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft participates in a rescue drill in the sea off Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Jan. 7. photo The Japan News

 

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 Asia News Network

 

NEW DELHI - India's defence ministry intends to purchase the Maritime Self-Defence Force's US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft from Japan, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. According to the ministry's sources, the ministry is expected to decide on the purchase officially at a meeting of a committee on defence procurement on Saturday at the earliest.

 

If this export will be realised, this will be the first full-scale export based on the new three principles on transferring defence equipment, which the Cabinet approved last April.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:35
A scaled-down model of the Harpoon missile at Aero India 2015 -Photo StratPost

A scaled-down model of the Harpoon missile at Aero India 2015 -Photo StratPost

 

February 26, 2015 Saurabh Joshi – Stratpost.com

 

The new order for the Indian Navy's four HDW Type-209 submarines is expected to cost an estimated USD 200 million and the planned purchase is currently waiting on the US government's Letter of Acceptance (LoA).

 

The Indian government has sent a Letter of Request (LoR) to the US government for the purchase of 22 Harpoon missiles for the Indian Navy’s Shishumar-class of submarines.

 

India has already ordered 26 Harpoon missiles for the eight Indian Navy P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft for an estimated USD 200 million and 24 Harpoon missiles for the Indian Air Force (IAF) Jaguar aircraft in an order worth USD 170 million.

 

Dennis Swanson, the head of India operations for Boeing Defense Space and Security, the prime contractor for Harpoon missiles, told StratPost, “We see significant potential for the Harpoon’s capabilities to be applied on other platforms by the Indian armed forces.”

 

While India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is to integrate the missiles on to the Jaguar, Boeing will integrate them on to the P-8I aircraft, itself.

 

The new order for the Indian Navy’s four Shishumar-class (HDW Type-209) submarines is expected to cost an estimated USD 200 million and the planned purchase is currently waiting on the US government’s Letter of Acceptance (LoA).

 

The order will include ’12 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II Encapsulated Missiles, 10 UTM-84L Harpoon Encapsulated Training missiles, 2 Encapsulated Harpoon certification training vehicles, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, US Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support’, according to notification issued by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) to the US Congress.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:35
Airbus Helicopters EC725 - Photo Anthony Pecchi Airbus HC

Airbus Helicopters EC725 - Photo Anthony Pecchi Airbus HC

 

February 20, 2015 Saurabh Joshi – Stratpost.com

 

Airbus Helicopters has initiated the process to get approval for a joint venture with an Indian partner to manufacture helicopters in India, with a majority stake held by the European company.

 

Airbus Helicopters is planning a joint venture for the production of helicopters with an Indian partner, which will have a majority stake controlled by the European company, formerly known as Eurocopter.

The company’s Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations in India, Rainer Farid, told StratPost at Aero India 2015 that they have ‘initiated the process’ for identifying and tying up with an Indian partner for the proposed JV before getting approval from the Indian government.

Farid says his company anticipates a requirement for more than 250 helicopters with both, the Indian Navy’s requirement for 123 Naval Multi Role Helicopters (NMRH) as well as a future Indian Army requirement for over 150 Tactical Transport Helicopter under the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan. According to him, both these requirements could be met by Airbus Helicopters’ EC725.

The EC725 is a medium lift helicopter in the 11-ton class, which recently underwent Field Evaluation Trials (FET) for the Indian Coast Guard tender for 14 shore-based helicopters.

The NMRH requirement envisages Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Search and Rescue (SAR) and ELINT roles, as well as, special operations, while the army’s Tactical Transport Helicopter requirement would mostly be for transport in battlefield conditions with a larger cabin that could accommodate 25-28 troops.

 

Read more

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:35
HAL's Light Utility Copter - photo Livefist

HAL's Light Utility Copter - photo Livefist

 

February 19, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

HAL's Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), under development to meet a requirement of at least 187 light reconnaissance and utility rotorcraft for the Indian Air Force and Indian Army is all set for its first flight in August. An internal target of July has been set for the sole current prototype at HAL's Helicopter Division to lift off in July, though sources confirm that August is likely to be when it will happen. The LUH prototype (two more will be built for the flight test programme) has been in a routine of ground testing for weeks now. The LUH mock-up on display at Aero India this year is in Indian Army colours, and has been a source of interest for quite a few foreign delegations at the show this year. Quick news points:

 

  • The first LUH prototype will fly in August, officially kickstarting flight test.

  • HAL aims for final operational clearance in 2017, and begin deliveries to the Indian Army and IAF by the end of that year. 

  • The LUH sports a new jointed foldable rotor system (see photo), designed and built in-house

  • to meet the Indian Navy's deck requirements. Significantly, the rotor will be made available on future Dhruv ALH constructions and re-offered to the Indian Navy.

  • For a proposed naval version, HAL says it will offer a wheeled version of the LUH.

  • The LUH cockpit is almost entirely an Indian glass cockpit, with components and systems sources completely from the Indian private sector, and mission computer software modified from the Dhruv's.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:35
The MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée at Aero India 2015 photo StratPost

The MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée at Aero India 2015 photo StratPost

 

February 26, 2015 Saurabh Joshi – Stratpost.com

 

The four-km range MMP, which stands for Missile Moyenne Portée, or Medium Range Missile, is a new development for the French Army and has only been test-fired for the first time, earlier this month.

 

French arms company MBDA has offered it’s new MMP fifth generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) as a base platform for co-development to India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

 

MBDA already supplies the Milan wire-guided ATGM system to the Indian Army.

 

MMP, which stands for Missile Moyenne Portée, or Medium Range Missile, is a new development for the French Army and has only been test-fired for the first time, earlier this month.

 

The offer to co-develop MMP, which was displayed at Aero India 2105, appears to be in competition to a proposal on the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) table to co-develop an advanced version of the Javelin ATGM, manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

 

India also placed on order for the Israeli Rafael Spike ATGM system last October.

 

In comparison to the Milan 2T operated by the Indian Army, of which 4,100 were ordered in 2009, the MMP anti-tank missile system has a longer range of four kilometers and differs significantly in that it is not a wire-guided system.

 

According to MBDA officials who spoke to StratPost, the MMP has an uncooled infra red seeker and three operating modes: fire-and-forget, man -in-the-loop with fibre optic data link and lock-on-after-launch, wherein a third party can designate the target.

 

MBDA’s other proposal for co-development to DRDO, for the Maitri Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) system has been in a coma for several years now, especially with the development and orders for the indigenous Akash SRSAM system.

 

At the same time, India also has an ongoing tender being contested for SRSAM systems, for which trials are currently underway and the next stage of which will be held in Israel.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:35
A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy

A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy

 

February 20, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

It's a programme the Indian Navy wants quick movement on, exasperated in many ways by how no single effort over years to give its ships a tactical deck-launched/recovered unmanned surveillance capability have delivered a result. The navy now has a stated requirement of at least 50 such UAS. And the field is open -- the navy doesn't say what kind of launch of recovery it is looking for, leaving all such details to interested contenders.

 

Boeing firm Insitu, which has had preliminary conversations about the ScanEagle with India for a few years now, continues with the pitch. Insitu's business development manager for Asia-Pacific, Kevil Giles made the following presentation at a round-table that Livefist was invited to, information presumably shared with the Indian Navy over the months as well (post continues after the PDF):

 

 

A prospective competition could include the Airbus Tanan and Textron Aerosonde as well. The Indian Navy tested the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter from the deck of patrol vessel INS Sujata in 2007, though the effort didn't yield an acquisition.

 

According to the Indian Navy's request for information from global vendors, it needs the new UAVs for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), sea-lanes of communication monitoring and coastal/ EEZ surveillance, anti-¬piracy and anti¬terrorism, assistance in search and rescue and assistance in maritime domain awareness."

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 13:35
Le missilier Rafael (Israël) va transférer ses technologies à Kalyani (Inde)

 

22.02.2015 Dan Rosh (Tel Aviv) – Israel Valley

 

Le géant israélien des missiles Rafael va transférer, au travers d’un accord de joint-venture, ses technologies en Inde. La firme partenaire des israéliens est Kalyani (12 000 employés). Rafael sera minoritaire dans la nouvelle société (49% des actions).

 

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, connu sous le nom RAFAEL (acronyme hébraïque de «Autorité pour le développement de l’armement ») est l’autorité israélienne pour le développement d’armes et de technologie militaire. Rafael conçoit, développe, fabrique et distribue une large gamme de systèmes de défense de haute technologie pour les armées de l’Air, de Terre, la Marine ainsi que des applications spatiales. Plus de 9 % de son chiffre d’affaires est investi dans la Recherche et Développement. RAFAEL collabore avec différentes sociétés américaines (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon) et européennes (Thales, EADS, BAE) sur plusieurs projets de missiles, drones et systèmes d’armes.

 

Selon L’Express : “La société commune Rafael-Kalyani fabriquera (..) des systèmes d’armement et des solutions avancées de blindage pour les clients indiens et mondiaux de Rafael”, a dit B.N Kalyani, directeur opérationnel du groupe indien, à des journalistes.

 

L’Inde, premier importateur mondial d’équipement militaire, veut renouveler son matériel d’armement, dont une partie risque l’obsolescence. En ouverture de ce salon de la défense, M. Modi a assuré vouloir mettre fin à ce titre de premier acheteur mondial, voulant fabriquer 70% de son équipement sur son sol d’ici cinq ans.

 

Le ministre israélien de la Défense, Moshe Yaalon, qui a rencontré jeudi M. Modi, a dit vouloir travailler en coopération avec l’Inde dans la production et le développement de l’industrie militaire indienne. “Cette visite nous donne l’occasion d’améliorer et de renforcer notre relation”, a dit le ministre israélien lors d’une conférence.

 

“Nous coopérons de manière ouverte dans tous les domaines mais nous avons aussi trouvé le moyen de coopérer discrètement dans la sécurité”, a-t-il ajouté sans plus de précision. Le salon de Bangalore réunit des centaines de groupes de la défense et de l’aéronautique pendant cinq jours. Le premier contingent d’exposants est représenté par les Etats-Unis, avec 64 entreprises, suivi par la France, la Grande-Bretagne, la Russie et Israël".

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 12:35
Stalled SR-SAM: Parrikar Briefed Twice In A Month

 

February 21, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

European missile house MBDA is making a strong effort at the highest levels to give the comatose long-proposed joint Indo-French SR-SAM development programme new life. Top MBDA executives sought time with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, meeting him twice in the last one month, to brief him about the SR-SAM (proposed to be called 'Maitri'). Sources say Parrikar heard out the MBDA executives but made no commitment, only saying that the representation would be looked into.

 

 

To be sure, it's a tricky situation for MBDA. The SR-SAM programme was all but sunk last year when the Indian Air Force said the Indian Akash SAM it deployed was sufficient for the short range air defence role, and that it didn't feel the need for a separate SR-SAM. The Akash SAM being a DRDO success means the latter is now perceived to have little or no incentive to partner with MBDA on the SR-SAM, but simply to continue working on the Akash and extend its range and capabilities for an anticipated Mk.2 version that the IAF and Indian Army are reportedly keen on.

 

Anticipating that situation, MBDA opened discussions late last year with DRDO, offering that the proposed SR-SAM, could be, in effect the Akash Mk.2 in terms of capability. The Akash SAM in service sports a range of 25-km, while the proposed SR-SAM is intended to hit targets out to a maximum of 40-km. It isn't clear just yet what the DRDO will choose to do. At any rate, the success of the Akash programme, and a rare public show of satisfaction from the forces gives DRDO more options, though the time factor could be key in a decision going forward.

 

"The aim of this programme, one of several initiatives within the Indo-French strategic dialogue, was to contribute to the development of the Indian defence industry. This would enable India to set up automated production lines for seeker, sub-assembly and full missile production. Despite SR-SAM ticking all the boxes regarding ToT, timescale, capability and equally economics, a decision is still to be made," MBDA officials told me.

 

Other developments:

 

  • The Indian Army's $6 billion VSHORADS programme for 1,000 launchers and 6,000 missiles has just completed a final round of tests in Bengaluru and Dehradun for sighting systems and radar. MBDA's Mistral competes with the Saab RBS 70NG and KBM Igla-S. With field evaluations complete, the three companies have been notified of a meeting with the test team early next month at which point they will be informed about their performance.

 

photo Livefist

photo Livefist

  • MBDA has received an RfP from HAL to supply munitions for the Mistral ATAM system already integrated on the ALH Rudra helicopters being supplied to the Indian Army.
  • The company has also received an RfP on the integration of the Mistral ATAM system on the Light Combat Helicopter.
  • While there's been no word on the PARS 3 LR that's been field evaluated as an air-to-ground weapon for the Rudra against other systems, MBDA has opened preliminary discussions with the Army and DRDO on its new Missile de Moyenne Portée (or Medium Range Missile), successor to the Milan weapon system. The MMP was test-fired for the first time earlier this month.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 08:35
Rafale : les discussions avec l'Inde « avancent », pas encore de contrat

Rafale MMRCA powered by M88 engine from Snecma, flies past the runway during the AeroIndia air display - photo Snecma

 

25.02.2015 Le Monde.fr (Reuters)

 

Après le succès de la vente d'avions Rafale à l'Egypte, l'Etat français espère bien doubler la mise en Inde. Le gouvernement a assuré, mercredi 25 février, que les discussions sur la vente de 126 Rafale à l'Inde avancent, mais que rien n'a encore été signé.

« Nous ne communiquons que lorsque les contrats sont conclus, pas avant », a répété le ministère de la défense, au lendemain d'un entretien entre le ministre de la défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, et son homologue indien à New Delhi. Les négociations « se poursuivent », a ensuite confirmé le porte-parole du gouvernement, Stéphane Le Foll.

Dassault Aviation mène des discussions exclusives depuis trois ans avec l'Inde, mais le contrat n'est toujours pas signé, notamment en raison de divergences sur les garanties demandées par l'avionneur. L'un comme l'autre ont démenti les informations du Times of India (dont l'article n'était plus accessible en début d'après-midi) faisant état de la signature d'un premier accord portant sur 24 Rafale.

Lire aussi (édition abonnés) : Rafale : Paris espère un déclic à l’export

Le ministre de la défense indien avait laissé entendre que l'Inde ne prendrait une décision sur le sort du contrat qu'après le mois de mars, qui correspond à la fin de l'exercice budgétaire indien.

  • Un programme français prestigieux

Le Rafale, sixième avion de chasse conçu par Dassault Aviation, a été très rapidement relégué au rang des grands programmes français prestigieux dotés des technologies de pointe mais sans débouché, à l'image du Concorde, du TGV, ou de l'EPR nucléaire.

L'objectif était de remplacer, à l'horizon 2010, les sept types d'avions utilisés par l'armée par un seul avion de combat polyvalent, capable d'assurer des missions air-air, air-sol et air-mer et d'être embarqué sur un porte-avions.

Lire le décryptage : Le Rafale, vingt-sept ans d’attente

Le programme Rafale a été officiellement lancé le 21 avril 1988, avec pour objectif une entrée en service en 1996. Cependant, le contexte international (fin de la guerre froide) et la contraction des budgets de la défense aboutissent à la suspension du programme Rafale en 1995. Les premiers avions, attendus en 1996, n'ont été réellement livrés qu'en 2006.

  • Des polémiques sur son coût

Pour certains, le programme Rafale est trop cher pour le contribuable français. Depuis trente ans, il aurait coûté à chaque Français 500 euros, soit 16 euros par an. Cependant, en 2010, la Cour des comptes a reconnu que ce programme, estimé à 40 milliards d'euros sur quarante ans, pour fabriquer 286 avions, n'a dérivé que de 4,7 % par rapport au devis initial, arrêté vingt-cinq ans auparavant.

A titre de comparaison, le développement du JSF de l'américain Lockheed reviendrait à 5 000 euros par Américain, et son coût avoisine les 1 000 milliards de dollars. Le coût de l'Eurofighter a quant à lui dévié de 75 %, selon le National Audit Office — l'équivalent britannique de la Cour des comptes.

  • Une série d'échecs à l'export

Le Rafale a la réputation d'être le meilleur techniquement. Il a démontré ses compétences sur les terrains de conflit, que ce soit en Libye, au Mali, en Irak ou en Afghanistan. Pourtant, avant la signature de la première vente à l'export en Egypte, il s'est systématiquement fait battre par ses concurrents sur les marchés. Ce sera le cas aux Pays-Bas, à Singapour et en Corée du Sud. Malgré l'implication de Nicolas Sarkozy, les négociations vont aussi échouer avec le Maroc, les Emirats arabes unis, le Brésil ou encore la Libye — M. Sarkozy ayant proposé 14 avions au dictateur Mouammar Kadhafi de passage à Paris.

Lire aussi : Comment la vente de Rafale à l’Egypte a-t-elle été organisée ?

  • Des perspectives positives

La mégacommande indienne est de nature à changer la donne pour le Rafale, qui vient de faire l'objet d'un tout premier contrat à l'export avec l'Egypte pour 24 avions, le 12 février. Les discussions sur la vente de 36 Rafale au Qatar sont par ailleurs parvenues à un « stade final ». La France discute avec la Malaisie pour la vente de 16 avions, et les négociations ont repris avec les Emirats arabes unis pour un total pouvant aller jusqu'à 60 avions.

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 12:55
Le ministre français de la Défense a discuté du Rafale en Inde

Les négociations restent délicates entre le groupe français Dassault et le gouvernement indien (photo Dassault Aviation)

 

25 février 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Le ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a rencontré mardi à New Delhi son homologue indien pour tenter de relancer les négociations sur le méga-contrat de vente de 126 Rafale à l’Inde.

 

M. Le Drian a rencontré Manohar Parrikar à l’occasion d’une brève visite en Inde survenue deux mois avant le voyage du Premier ministre Narendra Modi en France.

Les deux délégations se sont rencontrées aujourd’hui pendant 45 minutes. La rencontre s’est bien passée, a déclaré le porte-parole du ministère indien de la Défense, Sitanshu Kar. Il n’a pas donné d’autres informations.

La France essaye de convaincre New Delhi de conclure des négociations entamées il y a trois ans mais qui semblent marquer le pas.

Les discussions devaient porter sur la situation internationale et des questions d’ordre industriel, avait dit avant la rencontre le ministère français de la Défense.

Le gouvernement de Narendra Modi, arrivé au pouvoir en mai, souffle le chaud et le froid sur l’avancée de ces discussions complexes portant sur l’achat de 18 appareils fabriqués en France et 108 autres en Inde sous la conduite du groupe public HAL.

Le ministre indien de la Défense, qui assurait en décembre vouloir résoudre de manière accélérée les points de blocage, a évoqué pour la première fois fin 2014 l’éventualité d’un échec en assurant que le recours aux avions de chasse russe Sukhoi était une option.

M. Parrikar a en outre repoussé la perspective d’une conclusion rapide des discussions en déclarant vouloir attendre un nouveau rapport sur les coûts du Rafale.

Ce rapport du Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) est attendu d’ici à début mars et doit permettre de prendre une décision sur l’acquisition du Rafale. Le CNC est en train de revoir les coûts à long terme de l’avion de combat, a dit le ministre mercredi lors du salon aéronautique et de défense de Bangalore (sud).

Le quotidien économique indien Business Standard a récemment affirmé que ce comité avait conclu que le Rafale était en fait plus cher que son concurrent européen malheureux, le Typhoon de l’Eurofighter. Selon le journal le contrat est effectivement mort.

La semaine dernière, la France a signé avec l’Égypte le premier contrat d’exportation de l’avion de combat de Dassault, portant sur 24 exemplaires.

Arrivé en Inde lundi soir, le ministre français devait en repartir mardi après-midi.

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 11:35
Rafale Deal on Track, PM Modi to Take Final Call

 

February 25, 2015  by Sudhi Ranjan Sen

 

New Delhi:  French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar appear to have sorted out one of the key issues holding up the estimated $15 billion deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force. A final decision is expected to be taken before Prime Minister Narendra Modi before his visit to France in April.

 

The deal, billed by some as one of biggest defence procurement by any country in a long time, has been on hold for almost a year over the issue of producing the planes here.

 

Of the 126 jets, 18 are to be purchased ready-made from France. The rest are to be manufactured by the Bengaluru-based Defence Public Sector Unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited as part of the government's initiative for defence manufacturing in India.

 

The French defence manufacturing giant Dassault was hesitant to guarantee the quality of the jets produced in India, since it does not control the process. More importantly, Dassault estimates that the jets can be produced faster, with fewer man hours, than calculated by HAL, which can keep the cost down.

 

HAL has countered that Indian labour isn't as productive as in France and also, the level of automation here is less.

 

Senior Defence Ministry Officials told NDTV the first issue - that of guaranteeing the quality of aircraft produced in India - has been settled. India has given Dassault the option of physically inspecting the jets and guaranteeing the quality. Alternatively, Dassault is free to take a counter-guarantee from HAL on the process and quality of inputs.

 

The second issue - the man hours and the cost -- is now between the two companies to sort out. It will be reflected in the report of the crucial Cost Negotiating Committee, which will be submitted to the ministry shortly.

 

Mr Parrikar recently said he would not want to comment on the  progress of the deal since it could influence the report.

 

India had decided to buy the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft in 2012 over rival offers from the United States, Europe and Russia. The deal was initially worth $12 billion but is now estimated to have jumped to around $15 billion.

 

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24 février 2015 2 24 /02 /février /2015 15:35
MMRCA may get a push today

 

February 24, 2015 idrw.org Source Asian Age

 

India and France are hoping for a major breakthrough on Tuesday on the proposed multi-billion dollar 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal when visiting French defence minister Jean Yves Le Drian will hold a 90-minute crucial meeting with defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

 

Talks are stuck on contract-negotiation with French firm Dassault — manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft — after certain problems allegedly cropped up regarding acceptance of complete responsibility by the French firm for the 108 aircraft (out of 126) that will be manufactured in India by the lead integrator—stae-run HAL.

 

Sources said France could agree to firmly adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding the manufacture of the 108 aircraft in India but French sources said it is up to HAL to stick to deadlines.

 

In the proposed deal, 18 aircraft will be supplied in “fly-away” condition by Dassault. Work had already begun earlier on the draft for the proposed deal amid speculation that the deal could be to the tune of about $20 billion when it is inked. Dassault was earlier selected as the “L-1” (lowest financial bidder) among the two firms selected after the completion of the technical trials.

 

The IAF is eagerly looking forward to clinching the deal to bolster the number of its fighter squadrons. It remains to be seen whether the French Government provides any guarantees to India to clinch the deal during the talks on Tuesday which is being seen as a make-or-break attempt to reach an agreement on the deal. If talks are successful, the proposed draft of the deal is expected to be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for clearance before the deal is formally inked with Dassault. The Modi Government is going all-out to ensure that crucial defence acquisitions are not delayed.

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23 février 2015 1 23 /02 /février /2015 20:35
photo Livefist

photo Livefist

 

23.02.2015 avionslegendaires.net
 

Voilà une information qui pourrait peut-être assurer (enfin) la finalisation du contrat MMCRA en Inde. Selon la presse indienne, le président de Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), T. Suvarna Raju, a déclaré que l’avionneur indien était prêt à assumer l’entière responsabilité des Rafale produits en Inde si le contrat avec le français Dassault était signé. La petite phrase prend une signification toute particulière dans le contexte actuel de désaccord majeur entre l’Inde et Dassault sur la garantie des avions de combat Rafale produits par HAL. Pour rappel, le programme Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), pour lequel Dassault est en négociation exclusive depuis 2012, prévoit l’achat de 18 avions auprès de Dassault, fabriqués en France. Tandis que le reste doit être fabriqué sous licence par le constructeur indien HAL.

 

Lors d’une conférence de presse à Aero India 2015, le chef d’Etat-major de l’armée de l’air indienne, Arup Raha, a déclaré qu’il fallait rapidement compenser l’obsolescence et la baisse du nombre d’avions de chasse et qu’il était important pour l’IAF de mettre en oeuvre prochainement un appareil de combat moderne, sans toutefois spécifiquement nommé le Rafale. Ainsi ces mots on été : « Il est important que nous aillons un MMRCA. Je ne dirais pas le Rafale, mais nous avons besoin de l’avoir [MMRCA] le plus vite possible « .

 

Suite de l'article

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18 février 2015 3 18 /02 /février /2015 17:35
Snecma et HAL signent un MoU en vue de créer une joint venture et de construire une nouvelle usine de production en Inde

 

Aero India, Bangalore (Inde) – Le 18 février 2015. Snecma (Safran)

 

Snecma (Safran), motoriste aéronautique de premier rang mondial, et Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), acteur majeur de la construction aéronautique, ont signé le 28 janvier 2015, à Bangalore, un protocole d’accord afin d’étudier les modalités de la création d’une joint-venture en Inde pour la production de pièces de moteurs aéronautiques. Le protocole d’accord a été signé par Bruno Durand, directeur Industriel et Supply Chain de Snecma et Arunachalam Muthukumaraswami, directeur général de la division Moteurs de HAL.

La joint-venture en projet se consacrerait dans un premier temps à la réalisation de pièces de très haute technologie pour le turboréacteur M88, qui équipe l’avion de combat Rafale de Dassault Aviation. Dans un second temps, elle pourrait participer à d’autres projets aéronautiques d’envergure de Snecma et de HAL, en Inde et dans le monde entier. La nouvelle usine de plus de 30 000 m2 bénéficierait alors d’investissements substantiels de la part des deux partenaires, notamment pour l’équiper de machines à la pointe de la technologie.

Cette signature marque une nouvelle étape dans la coopération de longue date entre Snecma et HAL. La joint-venture viendrait par ailleurs approfondir les excellentes relations établies depuis plus de 60 ans entre les sociétés de Safran et celles de l’industrie aéronautique indienne*. Par exemple, Snecma produit le M53 qui motorise le Mirage 2000 H "Vajra" opéré par l’armée de l’air indienne.

« Ce nouveau partenariat témoigne une fois de plus des relations d’étroite collaboration établies depuis de nombreuses années entre Snecma, notre maison mère Safran, et l’industrie aéronautique indienne » a déclaré Pierre Fabre, président de Snecma. « Nous sommes fermement engagés à contribuer à la politique du « Make in India », à travers des partenariats d’envergure et des investissements locaux. Cette société commune est une preuve supplémentaire que nous approfondissons activement nos liens existants avec HAL ».

*Safran est présent en Inde depuis plus de 60 ans. Avec plus de 2 600 salariés hautement qualifiés et une croissance de 30% au cours des dix dernières années, l’Inde est le pays d’Asie où Safran est le plus implanté. Les activités de Safran en Inde se répartissent autour de trois grands axes : l’apport de compétences concrètes au service de l’industrie aéronautique en pleine expansion de ce pays, la fourniture d’équipements de navigation et d’optronique de pointe destinés au secteur de la défense, et des solutions biométriques sur le marché de la sécurité. Au fil du temps, les activités de Safran se sont développées, à travers de solides partenariats locaux avec l’industrie aéronautique militaire indienne, fondés sur des accords de développement conjoint et des licences de production et de soutien de moteurs, de trains d’atterrissage et de systèmes de navigation d’avions, d’hélicoptères (dont le moteur Shakti destiné au Dhruv) et de fusées, assortis des services de soutien afférents. 
 

 

A propos de Snecma

Suivez @Snecma sur twitter et LinkedIn

Snecma est une société de Safran, groupe international de haute technologie, leader en aéronautique, défense et sécurité. Snecma conçoit, produit, et commercialise des systèmes propulsifs, et notamment une large gamme de moteurs destinés à l’aviation civile, à la fois puissants, fiables, économiques et respectueux de l’environnement, dont le leader mondial CFM56 et le moteur de nouvelle génération LEAP**. Snecma fabrique également des moteurs militaires au meilleur niveau mondial, dont le M88, destiné au Rafale de Dassault, ainsi que des équipements et systèmes propulsifs pour satellites et pour lanceurs. Snecma est également un acteur majeur dans le domaine de la maintenance, de la réparation et de la révision (MRO) des moteurs d’avions civils et militaires pour les activités de services, à travers sa nouvelle marque EngineLife®, et assure un support client partout dans le monde.

** CFM56 et LEAP sont produits et commercialisés par CFM International, une société commune 50/50 de Snecma (Safran) et de GE (États-Unis).

 

A propos de HAL

Site internet : www.hal-india.com

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) est un groupe aéronautique leader d’Asie du Sud-est. L’expertise de HAL regroupe les activités de conception, production, maintenance et réparation ainsi que de modernisation des avions, hélicoptères, moteurs aéronautiques, équipements, avionique et systèmes. HAL propose une unique solution pour tous les besoins de conception d’avions et d’hélicoptères au niveau de la cellule mais aussi des systèmes liés, avionique, équipements de mission et de combat, en utilisant des outils de conception avancés. HAL s’est également diversifié dans la production et la maintenance et réparation pour les moteurs de turbines à gaz industrielles et marines et fabrique désormais des structures pour les véhicules spatiaux.

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18 février 2015 3 18 /02 /février /2015 12:35
IAF To Induct 1st Indo-Brazilian AEW&C Jet In Sept


15.02.2015 by Livefist

The Indo-Brazilian EMB-145i AEW&C platform, that made its first public appearance at AeroIndia 2013, returns to the show this year. But unlike two years ago, when the jet was steeped in a busy and extended period of systems trials, including sorties in the Eastern sector and over the Arabian Sea, the Indian Air Force gets all set to receive its first aircraft in seven months.

 

The team is looking to wrap up development flight & systems trials by the end of March (a Centre for Airborne Systems, CABS, officer tells me the aircraft at AeroIndia will still be notching up test points at the show too). With two aircraft in flight test, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has enough to meet its March 2015 deadline to complete development tests. But choosing to deploy one of the two jets at the Bangalore show wasn't a difficult decision, given the remarkable level of interest in the platform. CABS sources say at least two countries could sign MoUs declaring their interest in getting more information about the platform to support potential acquisitions. A confidential list of nations that have asked for briefings on the platform includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Oman, and UAE. Embraer has taken it upon itself to (a) look at consolidating the EMB-145i into a standard marketable product that the two countries can jointly pitch in the global market, and (b) handle South American operations by itself.

 

Director of the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), lead integrator on the programme, Dr Christopher says, "Currently though the system is customised for the Indian Air force, the AEW&C India can fine tuned to any specific user‐oriented early warning product through appropriate programming/software which can be defined by the user. Many countries are evincing keen interest in the AEW&C system and discussions are in progress for export of this system."

 

But exports are in the future. The more immediate good news for the programme is what the Indian Air Force thinks of the EMB-145i. In the words of a senior officer associated with the programme, and one who will be part of 4-6 month user evaluation trials aimed for April, the IAF is 'impressed and satisfied'. Those are important words from a customer that hasn't had much faith in the past in long-gestation systems, especially critically needed platforms like early warning jets.

 

But September, the Indian Air Force hopes to be ready to induct the first of three EMB-145i. A third platform arrives from Brazil by the end of June or early July. The second EMB-145i will also likely enter service by the end of the year.

 

User trials with the IAF will include the deployment of the aircraft in a special live exercise to be jointly held by the Western and Central Commands, and involve operational situations for the AEW&C. A team from CABS will, of course, be embedded through this phase. Most importantly, there's a rare confidence in the systems and platform.

 

The IAF officer quoted above says, "These are impressive timelines. Our team has been satisfied with the performance. There are still some ends to tie up in the process of matching requirements with performance, but all major requirements have been demonstrated, including intercept control, battle management, Electronic Support Measure (ESM) and Communication Support Measure (CSM), data handling and the crucial SATCOM links. This could be one of the most trouble-free developments we have had so far."

 

The official literature on the platform, to be released at Aero India this year, says, "The AEW&C India has managed to pack in several sub-systems namely a highly versatile active array  Radar system, Identification friend or foe system, ELINT, COMINT systems, along with multiple combination of ‘C’-Band& SATCOM ‘Ku’-Band voice and Data Links, UHF/VHF/HF communications, & Self Protection Systems - in order to enhance mission capabilities, add redundancies to foolproof operations, and implant self‐protection against missile attacks from ground as compared with its contemporaries on same Embraer aircraft elsewhere in the world."

 

Speaking of the primary sensor, the heart of the platform, and India's contribution to the system, the Director of CABS Dr S. Christopher says, "While India has caught up with the rest of the world in adopting the Active Electronically Steering Array (AESA) Antenna for its radar; the two building-block components of the radar, the Transmit-Receive Multi-Module (TRMM) and the teflon-clad ultra light Antenna Panel are notable Indian innovations in the radar sub-system. These are developed by CABS and with a joint patent along with M/s Astra Microwave, Hyderabad for TRMM. The most important outcome of the efforts is the realisation of a system that is both operation-efficient and cost-effective."

 

The reloaded Indian AWACS programme, first revealed here on Livefist, is also gathering speed, with the DRDO expected to move forwarded in choosing an aircraft platform for the project this year.

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17 février 2015 2 17 /02 /février /2015 08:35
Photo F. Robineau, Dassault Aviation

Photo F. Robineau, Dassault Aviation

 

February 17, 2015 Rediff.com (Business Standard)

 

Air force brass is ignoring a project to develop a fifth-generation fighter for fear it will take attention away from buying the Rafale. Ajai Shukla reports

 

The priceless Indo-Russian project to co-develop the eponymous Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft is dying of neglect. With the Indian Air Force brass focused single-mindedly on procuring 126 Rafale fighters, the air marshals fear that an FGFA on the horizon would undermine their argument that the Rafale is essential. With the costly Rafale procurement imploding in slow motion, the FGFA is becoming collateral damage.

 

In October 2012, then IAF boss, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, announced the IAF would buy only 144 FGFAs instead of the 214 that were originally planned. Having cut down the numbers, the IAF is now undermining the FGFA project itself.

 

After the apex Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission for Military Technical Cooperation met on January 22 to discuss military cooperation, IAF officers whispered to a gullible media that the FGFA was dead. It was reported that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had told his Russian counterpart that joint research and development was a waste of time. This was factually incorrect. What is true is that the IAF -- for reasons that can only be guessed at -- is scuttling a project to develop a fighter that would rank alongside the world's best.

 

Why is the FGFA important, more so than the Rafale? It is a fifth-generation fighter, which makes it operationally more capable than contemporary fourth-generation fighters like the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon. Gen-5 fighters are designed to be stealthy, which means enemy radar cannot detect them until it is too late. They "supercruise", i.e. fly at supersonic speeds without lighting engine afterburners (the Rafale can do this too); and Gen-5 aircraft have futuristic avionics and missiles. In a war with China, stealthy Gen-5 aircraft would be ideal for missions deep into Tibet, evading China's radar network, to destroy the Qinghai-Tibet railway and roads leading to the Indian border -- to prevent China from quickly switching troops around on its superior border infrastructure.

 

So vital was the FGFA considered to India's aerospace capabilities that, in October 2007, New Delhi and Moscow signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement to co-develop the fighter, which placed the project above defence ministry procurement rules. The IGA states that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd would partner Rosoboronexport, Russia's defence exports agency, in co-developing the fighter. Furthermore, Indian engineers say the expertise gained from the FGFA would be valuable in building the planned indigenous Gen-5 fighter, designated the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

 

Following the IGA, New Delhi and Moscow signed a General Contract in December 2008, stipulating general principles of cooperation such as the share of work and cost, and the sale of the FGFA to third countries. In December 2010, a preliminary design contract was signed in which both sides contributed $295 million towards finalising the fighter's basic configuration, systems and equipment. With that completed in June 2013, the central R&D Contract is now being negotiated. This will govern the bulk of the work - the actual design and development of the FGFA.

 

Even as the IAF stonewalls the R&D contract negotiations, the need for India to come on board grows ever more pressing. Russia has already designed, built and flown the first prototypes of a Gen-5 fighter they call the PAK-FA (Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or "Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation"). The PAK-FA, built to Russian Air Force specifications, has already completed 650 test-flights. India's work share will lie in adapting this fighter to the IAF's requirements -- which include advanced capabilities like all-round radar that can detect threats in a 360-degree envelope, and voice recognition software that allows the pilot to call out commands. In all, the IAF has specified some 40-45 improvements that they want over the PAK-FA. Indian designers, who will have to integrate these improved capabilities with the existing PAK-FA, are losing out by not participating in the on-going design and test flying in Russia.

 

How Rafale is killing the (Indian) air force's future

Gen-5 fighters are designed to be stealthy, which means enemy radar cannot detect them until it is too late.

 

The IAF's objections to the FGFA are (a) The Russians are reluctant to share critical design information; (b) The fighter's current AL-41F1 engines are inadequate, being mere upgrades of the Sukhoi-30MKI's AL-31 engines; and (c) It is so expensive that "a large percentage of IAF's capital budget will be locked up." It is ironical that an air force that is eager to spend an estimated $20 billion on the entirely foreign, Gen-4 Rafale is baulking at spending a fraction of that on co-developing and indigenously manufacturing a Gen-5 fighter, which can be maintained and upgraded cheaply for decades to come.

 

An entire mythology has come up around the cost with even senior air marshals incorrectly stating that India will spend $11 billion on the FGFA. Even this inflated figure would be modest compared to the $40 billion that America spent in the 1980s and 1990s to develop the Gen-5 F-22 Raptor. Yet, in fact, this $11 billion figure was a defence ministry estimation in 2010, which included numerous items that have nothing to do with R&D. Firstly, the amount included both Russian and Indian expenditure; second, it included several options that India may not require, e.g. $1.5 billion for developing a twin-seat FGFA (which the IAF now says it does not want), and $1.5 billion for a new engine. Third, this included the cost of infrastructure that India must establish to manufacture the aircraft in large numbers for the IAF.

 

Since India urgently needs to start participating in the flight-test programme, of which the PAK-FA has already completed some 20 per cent, Sukhoi would have to build another prototype for India. That cost too is included in the estimation, along with the ground support equipment and training needed for a full-fledged Indian flight-test programme. With all of this factored in, officials closely involved in the negotiations say that India's share in the project could be about $3.5 to 4 billion.

 

Both sides have already talked around the R&D contract in such detail that it can be concluded in one sitting, provided Indian negotiators are given the green light from a clear-minded political leadership. The FGFA perfectly fits the "Make in India" idea; the strategy of being ready for a two-front conflict; and the IAF force structure of the future. From the standpoint of negotiation strategy, the timing is perfect. The rouble has plummeted more than 60 per cent against the dollar and the rupee in the last five months after the Ukraine crisis. The Russians will agree to the lower dollar rate that New Delhi has been proposing. The time to strike is now.

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16 février 2015 1 16 /02 /février /2015 17:35
Alignement de Rafale de la Flottille 11F sur l'arrière du pont d'envol avant présentation sur la catapulte

 

3 février 2015 Crédit : Etat-major des armées / Marine nationale

 

Le déploiement du groupe aéronaval (GAN) dans le nord de l’océan Indien vise à assurer une mission de présence opérationnelle et de pré-positionnement dans cette zone stratégique pour la France. Il permettra également de développer et d’entretenir nos relations et nos échanges avec les différents pays partenaires présents et leurs forces armées. En particulier, il participera à l’exercice aéromaritime franco-indien Varuna, au large de l’Inde.

 

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:35
Bird-Eye 400 photo IAI

Bird-Eye 400 photo IAI

 

Feb 11, 2015 Defence-Update

 

The agreement covers local production of IAI's Bird-Eye 400 and Bird-Eye 650 mini UAS as well as other mini-unmanned aerial systems

 

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India’s Alpha Design Technologies have signed a teaming agreement for the production and marketing of mini-Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in India to accommodate the operational needs of Indian customers. Potential customers in India include security agencies and all defense organizations including police forces, coastguard and Border Security Forces (BSF).

 

According to Shaul Shahar, IAI VP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, the agreement with Alpha follows India’s policy for ‘Buy and make India’. “The important vision of ‘Make in India’ is being made fully effective by this joint effort. Alpha will meet the huge market in India and will examine further, later exports by Alpha, through IAI to various countries”. Col. H. S. Shankar, Chairman & Managing Director, Alpha Design Technologies Private Limited, added.

 

The agreement covers local production of IAI’s Bird-Eye 400 and Bird-Eye 650 mini UAS as well as other mini-unmanned aerial systems. Production of the systems will take place in India, while the marketing will be a joint effort of the two companies. Alpha Alpha will also provide integration of the systems in India, with IAI’s support.

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:35
France, India Disagree Over Key Rafale Contract Issue

 

Feb 12, 2015 by Jay Menon, Caroline Bruneau and Amy Svitak - Aviation Week & Space Technology

 

France will not warranty Indian-built aircraft

After months of seeing Dassault Aviation being browbeaten in the Indian press, French arms procurement agency DGA defended its contractor, asserting that a 2012 agreement to provide India with Rafale fighter jets never committed the company to guarantee aircraft manufactured in India at state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). However, a recent senior adviser to HAL’s management tells Aviation Week that guaranteeing HAL’s work is not the issue, but that the French are being “rigid” and refusing to stand behind the integrity of the design.

“Dassault will not be responsible for the whole contract. It is a co-management setup,” says French defense procurement chief Laurent Collet-Billon, who was clear that France will not assume full liability for HAL-built Rafales. “It cannot be a problem, because it was not in the request for proposals [RFP].”

Speaking to reporters during an annual media address Feb. 9, France’s arms procurement chief said the €10.2 billion ($12 billion) agreement—which has been under negotiation for more than three years—calls for the first 18 of 126 Rafale jets to be built in France. After that, HAL would take over production of the remaining 108 aircraft.

 

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 07:35
Dhruv advanced light helicopter - photo livefist

Dhruv advanced light helicopter - photo livefist


12.02.2015 by Livefist
 

The 7.43pm crash of an Indian Army HAL-built Dhruv advanced light helicopter yesterday in Kashmir happened to be the third accident of the type in less than a month, a streak that has set off alarm bells once again within HAL. Last night's accident, in which two Army pilots Lt Col Rajesh Gulati and Major Tahir Khan were killed, was preceded by two crashes of Dhruv copters from the lot exported to Ecuador -- one on Jan 13 and the other on Jan 28 (Ecuador has lost four Dhruvs of the seven it has operated since 2009). There were no casualties in the two Ecuador accidents involving the Dhruv last month.

 

An HAL team dispatched to Ecuador on Jan 15 is part of accident investigations at a time when the country has restricted use of the Dhruvs to operational flights, and not for training or executive transport flights. HAL sources say preliminary information suggests the causes of the two January accidents are different.

The Sarang Dhruv aerobatics team is scheduled to perform at Aero India this month.

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