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7 mars 2012 3 07 /03 /mars /2012 08:35
Saint-Nazaire : Nouveaux patrouilleurs nigérians et béninois chez Ocea

Le premier patrouilleur nigérian réalisé par Ocea

crédits : BERNARD PREZELIN

 

 

07/03/2012 MER et MARINE

 

De nouveaux bateaux gris, de deux types différents, ont fait leur apparition chez Ocea, à Saint-Nazaire. Fin février, le chantier a procédé à la mise à flot du premier d'une série de trois patrouilleurs destinés au Nigéria. Portant le numéro de coque P175, ce bateau mesure 24 mètres de long et pourra mettre en oeuvre une artillerie mégère. Deux autres unités sont en cours de réalisation dans le cadre d'un nouveau plan de développement de la marine nigériane, qui porte également sur l'acquisition de trois patrouilleurs du type israélien Shaldag et deux patrouilleurs hauturiers (OPV).
Dans le même temps, Ocea réalise une autre série de trois patrouilleurs, cette fois pour le Bénin. Construit aux Sables d'Olonne, le premier de ces bâtiments, l'Alibori, est arrivé hier à Saint-Nazaire. Les deux autres, le Oueme et le Zou, devraient suivre d'ici l'été afin de recevoir leur armement. Ces unités sont directement dérivées des 20 patrouilleurs du type FPB98 MKI livrés à l'Algérie entre 2008 et 2011. Longs de 31.8 mètres et capables d'atteindre 30 noeuds, ces bateaux de 100 tonnes sont dotés d'un canon de 30mm.


Le patrouilleur béninois Alibori (© : BERNARD PREZELIN)


Le patrouilleur béninois Alibori (© : BERNARD PREZELIN)

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5 mars 2012 1 05 /03 /mars /2012 13:00
Rheinmetall: ready to team with India

 

Mar 2, 2012ASDNews Source : Rheinmetall AG

 

Without a doubt, India is the regional superpower of South Asia. Its armed forces form a mainstay of Indian security policy, and are now undergoing further modernization. Facing up to the challenges of an expanded mission spectrum, they rely increasingly on network-enabled operations: a “system of systems” consisting of sensors, C4I capabilities and effectors that enables an appropriate response to any and all threats.

 

From 29 March to 1 April 2012, Defexpo will take place in New Delhi. It is one of the largest defence technology trade fairs in Asia.

 

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall will be on hand with a representative selection of its diverse array of products for military and security forces. Building on a proud tradition, the Düsseldorf, Germanybased Rheinmetall Group covers many different capability categories.

 

Wiesel – mobile, air-portable, versatile

In order to operate in difficult terrain – in the mountains, for example, or in an urban environment – today’s armed forces need a flexible, quickly deployable, protected platform that can be readily integrated into network-enabled operations and which, above all, can be transported by air either on board or as underslung cargo. It was precisely with these capabilities in mind that Rheinmetall developed the Wiesel (‘weasel’) family of vehicles, which the company will be presenting at Defexpo 2012.

 

A lightweight tracked armoured vehicle, the Wiesel is standard equipment in German airmobile and mountain units. While the Wiesel 1 was originally employed as a weapons platform, the somewhat longer Wiesel 2 is now available in numerous other configurations.

 

Today the Wiesel family covers practically the full range of military ground capabilities, encompassing a reconnaissance vehicle, a command post version, an anti-tank-missile launcher platform, an automatic cannon platform, an engineering scout vehicle and a field ambulance version. Other variants include joint fire support team and joint fire support coordination team vehicles and a 120mm mortar carrier; Finally, a Wiesel-based mobile air defence system consisting of an air defence command post vehicle, an air defence reconnaissance and fire control vehicle, and an air defence weapon carrier round out the portfolio.

 

Much like other Rheinmetall vehicles – e.g. the Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle – the Wiesel has accompanied the Bundeswehr right from the start in every deployed operation. Whether in the deserts of Somalia, the mountains of Kosovo or the rugged terrain of the Hindu Kush – the Wiesel has what it takes: high mobility coupled with protection. Transportable by air in a medium transport helicopter or as underslung cargo, the various members of the Wiesel family can be quickly deployed to new flash points. The Wiesel is thus the ideal platform for the Mountain Strike Corps, which is now in the process of formation.

 

Countering the threat from above: advanced air defence systems

Aerial attacks continue to pose a major threat to troop concentrations, military bases, civilian population centres and critical civilian infrastructure.

 

In the domain of VSHORAD technology, Rheinmetall’s Air Defence division is the global leader and the sole single-source supplier of battle management systems, fire control systems, automatic cannon, integrated missile launchers and Ahead ammunition. Its core competencies include the development and manufacture of complete air defence systems as well as simulators and training equipment.

 

Aware of India’s ambitious plans to modernize its air defence capabilities, Rheinmetall is presenting a wide array of sophisticated air defence solutions at Defexpo 2012.

 

The need for a 35mm gun-based air defence system able to meet current and coming requirements led to the recent development and manufacture of the Oerlikon Skyshield air defence system. Lightweight and compact, it is the world’s most advanced and effective system for low-level air defence. It basically consists of an Oerlikon Skyshield fire control unit and two high-performance Oerlikon Revolver Gun MK2 automatic cannons, specifically designed to fire Ahead airburst ammunition.

 

The heart of Rheinmetall’s proprietary Ahead technology is a high-precision timedelay projectile. At the optimum moment, it ejects a lethal cloud of heavy metal pellets, reliably neutralizing small and even very small projectiles, such as rockets, artillery and mortar (RAM) rounds, much the way a shotgun shell destroys a clay pigeon.

 

This weapon has been successfully deployed in NATO operations since 1996. It forms the main armament of the Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system, which the German Bundeswehr has procured for defending its forward operating bases.

 

Furthermore, Rheinmetall’s air defence technology is by no means limited to static defence roles. Mobile applications are equally feasible. For short-term missions, a truck-mounted version is available which can be deployed without unloading the system from the truck. This is particularly useful if the mission involves protecting a succession of different sites for short periods. Mounting a Skyshield air defence system on an all-terrain 8x8 vehicle – e.g. a military truck made by Rheinmetall’s partner Tata – ensures maximum operational flexibility.

 

Existing Skyguard and Skyshield systems can also be retrofitted with Ahead technology. Furthermore, thanks to the modularity of its systems, Rheinmetall is able to bring additional components into play, readily creating multi-mission capabilities tailored to the needs of individual clients.

 

C4ISTAR – Enhancing your vision, your impact and your information

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall is an increasingly important partner in the field of C4ISTAR systems. The Group’s product spectrum ranges from single sensors and components to sensor platforms and fire control units, and from individual soldier systems to complete battle management systems.

 

These sensor and fire control systems represent top-notch technology and are in service with a number of armed forces worldwide.

 

Rheinmetall has longstanding experience in equipping combat platforms with sensor and fire control systems. To enable customers to cope with today’s requirements, Rheinmetall has developed digital turret and vehicle systems that provide modular and flexible solutions for a variety of combat and turret systems, as well as to standard vehicles e.g. for law enforcement or security surveillance missions. Due to the technology applied and the system architecture these solutions can be used either for adapted upgrades or fully integrated solutions for systems under development.

 

As part of these digital turret and vehicle systems the Situational Awareness System (SAS), for example, on show at Defexpo 2012, is a complete panoramic close-up sight for local situational awareness. It can be integrated easily into turret or chassis and offers a 360° - both day and night sight - near-field view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, with automatic alarm and target-tracking functions. SAS provides outstanding “look through armour”, increases the safety and reduces the workload of the crew thanks to a high degree of automation.

 

The situational awareness of a combat vehicle can be complemented by the vehiclemounted version of Rheinmetall’s Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS). ASLS comprises a powerful microphone antenna array with integrated analysis electronics as well as a control and display functions inside the vehicle.

 

When a round is fired ASLS instantly computes azimuth, elevation and distance of the sniper relative to the vehicle. Simultaneously ASLS alerts the crew acoustically and visually, displaying the results of the location  analysis on the vehicles manmachine-interface in real-time. In combination with the fire control system of the vehicle’s the crew can react within no time and start to engage the enemy position, before the next round is fired. Additionally, the geo-referenced position of the sniper –determined with a GPS system – can be fed into a C4I system, e.g. for information of other forces in the area, target assignment or subsequent engagement. ASLS is also available in a stationary version and a man-portable version, which can be connected to modern soldier systems.

 

In the field of soldier systems, Rheinmetall was awarded a contract by the German Army in 2011 to deliver the cutting edge “German Future Soldier - Expanded System”. The IdZ2 (formerly IdZ-ES) enhances the battle performance, endurance and protection of modern war-fighters on the ground and embeds them directly into the network-centric operations loop. Visitors will see the IdZ2 during Defexpo.

 

Rheinmetall Defence: totally oriented to today’s military

 

With its Combat Systems, Electronic Solutions, and Wheeled Vehicles divisions, Rheinmetall Defence supplies the world’s armed forces with systems and equipment systematically designed to assure successful outcomes in complex modern military operations.

 

Rheinmetall also maintains an extensive network of international partnerships for serving new markets as well as enabling technology transfer that will substantially benefit both the industry and the military of customer nations. This makes Rheinmetall the ideal industrial partner in the quest to supply India’s armed forces with advanced capabilities.

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5 mars 2012 1 05 /03 /mars /2012 12:45

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Australia will build 6 new conventional submarine (photo : Layher)

 

03.03.2012 DEFENSE STUDIES

 

South Australia in Box Seat to Win Billion-dollar Defence Contracts

 

THE national race to snare work in the planned multi-billion-dollar submarine program has largely been won by South Australia, the state's Treasurer claimed in parliament yesterday.

 

Jack Snelling, who also is South Australian Defence Industry Minister, said in recent weeks he had met with senior leaders in defence, including the federal Defence Minister Stephen Smith, to secure "early opportunities" arising out of the Future Submarine Project.

 

The planned 12 new submarines are set to be built in South Australia but the other states, particularly Victoria, had hoped to benefit through companies providing key components and infrastructure.

 

But Mr Snelling said federal Labor and other defence leaders understood that South Australia was "primed to capture a significant share of this work".

 

"Over recent weeks, I have personally met with senior leaders in defence to reinforce South Australia's focus on securing early opportunities arising out of the future submarine project, including promoting South Australia as the logical home for project design and complementary facilities, such as the proposed submarine propulsion land based facility," Mr Snelling told parliament.

 

"Under Defence's current plans, the commonwealth will spend up to $250 billion over the next 20 years on acquiring and sustaining new ships and submarines, an enormous opportunity by any measure.

"South Australia is committed to supporting defence with this ambitious target.

"We are primed to capture a significant share of this work with our highly skilled workforce, state-of-the-art infrastructure and experienced maritime industry."

Mr Snelling said during his meeting with Mr Smith, the Minister had reinforced the federal government's commitment to acquiring 12 new submarines to be consolidated in South Australia over the next 30 years.

"The Future Submarine Project will be the largest and most complex defence project ever undertaken by Australia, providing significant job opportunities for South Australians for decades to come," Mr Snelling said.

The Gillard government has said it would build 12 conventionally powered submarines in Adelaide, but has not yet said whether they would be largely Australian-made or a locally constructed off-the-shelf European boat.

The construction of 12 large home-made submarines has been estimated at up to $36 billion.

Mr Snelling said the state was committed to a long-term defence industry and attracting additional defence units, and was well placed given its multi-billion-dollar Collins class submarine sustainment contract and the $8 billion air warfare destroyer construction contract.

However, while he said he supported the industry's Defence Teaming Centre, he could not guarantee its funding next financial year.


(The Australian)

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1 mars 2012 4 01 /03 /mars /2012 08:15

30mm-PGU-15-Projectiles-photo-ATK.jpg

 

Feb 29, 2012 ASDNews Source : Alliant Tech Systems, Inc

 

ATK was recently awarded a  fourth contract option to produce 30mm PGU-15A/B cartridges for the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center (RICC), Rock Island, Ill.   The order is a part of a multi-year contract originally signed in July 2007. ATK's worldwide sales of 30mm ammunition in the current fiscal year now exceed $29 million.  

 

ATK's 30mm PGU-series target practice ammunition is specially designed for training applications.  These cartridges, currently in use with the 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun on the U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog close-support aircraft provide cost-effective, ballistic-matched training rounds for improved warfighter performance.

 

"We are proud to continue our role as the primary provider of PGU-15 ammunition in support of the U. S. Air Force's A-10 aircraft," said Dan Olson, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Integrated Weapon Systems. "This round plays an integral role in training A-10 aircrews to develop and maintain essential air-to-ground combat skills.  ATK supports this program through the delivery of high quality products, outstanding value and great customer service."

 

ATK's Mesa, Ariz.-based Integrated Weapon Systems division will produce the rounds at its facilities in Radford, Va. and Rocket Center, W. Va.  Delivery of the optioned rounds is set to begin this year.

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29 février 2012 3 29 /02 /février /2012 08:50

nimr-II.jpg

 

Feb. 28, 2012 ameinfo.com

 

Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive, a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding, is currently exhibiting at the 11th Annual International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference and exhibition being held at FIVE, Farnborough, UK (20th to 23rd Feb 2012).

 

The first ever UAE company to appear at International Armoured Vehicles, Nimr develops and manufactures a wide range of interoperable defence vehicles that feature high power delivery, high mobility, high versatility and high protection levels.

 

These multi-mission vehicles are designed and manufactured for applications that range from tactical missions in harsh environments, such as arid deserts, to modern urban warfare, deep infiltration missions, reconnaissance, border surveillance, and support logistics.

 

Depending on the configuration required by the customer, they can perform a variety of roles, including armament or personnel carrier, logistics vehicle, ambulance, and Command and Control vehicle.

 

Under a Memorandum of Agreement between Nimr and DRS Technologies, part of the Finmeccanica Group, DRS Technologies, is equipping Nimr vehicles with tactical vehicle electronics, electro-optics, vehicle power management and tactical communications.

 

This combination of Nimr's vehicle engineering capacity and DRS Technologies' systems and integration skills can equip these vehicles to deliver world class C4ISTAR solutions, including battle management, close-in situational awareness, reconnaissance and surveillance, and secure vehicle and tactical communications. In partnership with other Finmeccanica businesses, DRS can also integrate highly effective electronic countermeasures against the IED threat as well as a range of stabilised overhead weapon systems capable of meeting most of the operational scenarios the vehicles are likely to encounter.

 

On display at International Armoured Vehicles is the Armoured Patrol Vehicle - 6x6 (pictured) fitted with systems provided by DRS and its sister companies Oto Melara and Selex Elsag.

 

Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles conference, Mr Hamad Al Neyadi, Chief Strategic Officer of Tawazun and Chairman of Nimr Automotive, drew attention to the vision of Nimr which is to establish a globally recognised and sustainable defence automotive business, contributing to the diversification of the UAE economy and enhancing local skills and experience. Full production, assembly and quality management facilities are being installed at Nimr's Abu Dhabi plant and comprehensive lifecycle management capabilities are already in place.

 

To date, over 509 Nimr vehicles have been delivered, including both the 4x4 and 6x6 versions, and an order book of 1800 plus.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 19:30

Su-30MKI--Flanker-H--multirole-fighter-infographie-Ria-Novi.jpg

 

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

The crew of a Su-30 fighter that crashed earlier on Tuesday in Russia’s Far East reported an engine fire before the crash, a spokesman for the Main Military Investigative Directorate said.

 

The Su-30MK2 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-na-Amure during a post-construction test flight. Both pilots ejected safely, although one of them was hurt on landing.

 

“While executing acceleration to a maximum speed, the first pilot reported a fire in the right engine,” the spokesman said. “The flight controller immediately ordered the crew to eject.”

 

“The investigators are taking all necessary steps to establish the cause of the crash,” the official said.

 

The aircraft belonged to the Komsomolsk-na-Amure factory where Su-30s are manufactured.

 

The Russian military earlier said that the plane had been built for export.

 

Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia's arms exports.

 

Variants of Su-30 Flanker fighters are in service with air forces in several foreign countries, including India, Indonesia, China, Algeria, Vietnam and Venezuela.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 13:35
Su-30 Fighter Jet Crashes, Crew Ejects Safely

Two crew members ejected safely after their Su-30 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-na-Amur during a test flight

 

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

Two crew members ejected safely after their Su-30 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-on-Amur during a test flight on Tuesday, according to sources in the regional administration.

 

"Both crew members ejected safely but one was hurt on landing," a regional administration source said.

 

The aircraft belonged to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory where Su-30s are manufactured.

 

The crash took place at 10:20 AM Moscow time.

 

The Su-30, a multirole combat aircraft, is operated by India, China and Russia.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 13:30
Sagem décroche un contrat pour les drones de l’armée de terre

27 février 2012 par Astrid Gouzik L’USINE NOUVELLE

 

La filiale du groupe aéronautique Safran a remporté un contrat de maintenance pour les Sperwer de l’armée de terre française.

 

C’est donc Sagem qui sera en charge des activités de maintenance, de réparation et de support technique des drones tactiques Sperwer. Le contrat court jusqu’en 2014. Le système Sperwer est utilisé en Afghanistan depuis 2003. Il vient renforcer les forces aéroterrestres de l’OTAN.

 

"A ce jour, Sagem a développé et produit plus de 25 systèmes de drones tactiques Sperwer et 140 véhicules aériens", précise le groupe.

 

Par la même occasion, Sagem a enregistré une commande pour deux "catapultes pneumatiques tractées".  "Plus légères et compactes que les catapultes de première génération, elles permettent de réduire l'empreinte au sol du système en opérations, de diminuer les coûts d'exploitation, de faciliter les catapultages, et d'accroître la charge embarquée en vue d'une autonomie accrue", vante le communiqué.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 12:40
Kuwait - AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Missiles

Feb 27, 2012 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Feb. 24 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait of 80 AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Block II All-Up-Round Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $105 million.

 

The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of 80 AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Block II All-Up-Round Missiles, 26 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, 2 CATM-9X-2 Block II Missile Guidance Units, 8 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance Units, 2 Dummy Air Training Missiles, containers, missile support and test equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The estimated cost is $105 million.

 

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

 

The Kuwait Air Force is modernizing its fighter aircraft to better support its own air defense needs. The proposed sale of AIM-9X-2 missiles will enhance Kuwait’s interoperability with the U.S. and among other Central Command nations, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world.

 

The proposed sale of this weapon system will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 19:11
Russia holds negotiations with several countries on sale of Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile system.

 

February 23, 2012 worldwide-defence

 

Azerbaijan and Russia hold negotiations on “Pantsir-S1” surface-to-air missile system

 

APA (Azerbaijan Press Agency) reports that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are among the countries showing interest to the missile complex code-named by NATO as SA-22 Greyhound Pantsir-S1. Russia is reportedly holding negotiations with those countries.

 

APA (Azerbaijan Press Agency) reports that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are among the countries showing interest to the missile complex code-named by NATO as SA-22 Greyhound Pantsir-S1. Russia is reportedly holding negotiations with those countries.

 

The orders were received from Algeria and Morocco for “Pantsir-S1” which is included to the arsenal of armed forces of Russia, Syria, Iran, UAE and Oman.

The “Pantsir-S1”, which is designed for air defense of military facilities at short range, can open fire at the targets in 20-km distance. The complex also includes radar system. The “Pantsir-S1”, which has different modifications, replaces Tunguska complex of the Russian army.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 08:38
La défense a investi 10 milliards d'euros en 2011 dans l'industrie

 

22/02/2012 Par Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

La Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) a dépensé 10,7 milliards d'euros en 2011 dans l'industrie au titre des programmes d'armement et de la recherche.

 

Les industriels de la défense ont été plutôt préservés l'an dernier. Selon les chiffres du Délégué général pour l'armement (DGA), Laurent Collet-Billon, présentés mercredi lors d'une conférence de presse, la DGA a investi 10,7 milliards d'euros dans l'industrie de défense, dont 724 millions au titre de la recherche. Sur ces crédits de paiements dans la recherche, Laurent Colle-Billon a souligné l'effort du ministère de la Défense en faveur des PME et ETI à travers le dispositif "Rapid", doté d'un budget de 40 millions d'euros, en hausse de plus de 30 % sur un an. "L'effort de renouvellement des forces s'est poursuivi en 2011, avec notamment, dans le domaine de la dissuasion la suite des livraisons de missiles M51 et ASMPA, dans le domaine concventionnel les livraisons des hélicoptères NH90 et Tigre, des équipements de fantassin FELIN, des véhicules blindés de combat VBCI, des avions Rafale ainsi que des missiles Aster, Exocet MM40 et MICA", a expliqué la DGA dans un communiqué.

 

Réduction des personnels

 

Le ministère de la Défense a en revanche peu dépensé dans les programmes dits "d'urgence opérationnelle", nécessaires pour équiper les forces sur les théâtres d'opération (Afghanistan, Libye...). C'est, selon la DGA "un autre preuve de la robustesse de l'approche capacitaire du ministère et de la flexibilité des matériels déployés pour s'adapter à des théâtres d'opération variés et très éprouvants". En 2009 et 2010, le ministère avait dépensé respectivement 250 et 170 millions d'euros pour faire face à ces urgences opérationnelles.

 

Enfin, la DGA vise des effectifs à hauteur de 10.000 en 2014. Soit la suppression d'u quart des personnels entre 2008 et 2014.

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

Watchkeeper UAS Thales UK

 

Feb 2012 By Craig Hoyle – Flight Global

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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17 février 2012 5 17 /02 /février /2012 08:45

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Robert gates à Pékin en janvier 2011

 

15.02.2011 par Edouard Maire - info-aviation

 

Le budget militaire de la Chine, si souvent critiqué par l’Occident, stimule aussi les dépenses militaires de l’Asie et profitent indirectement aux fournisseurs d’armes américains et européens.

 

Les avions de combat de Lockheed Martin (F-35, F-22, F-16) et de Boeing (F/A-18) sont actuellement exposés au salon aéronautique de Singapour. Les deux plus grands entrepreneurs de la défense des États-Unis se préparent à rivaliser avec l’Eurofighter (EADS) et Saab sur un appel d’offres de 7 milliards de dollars lancé par la Corée du sud. D’autres compétitions similaires sont ouvertes au Japon et en Inde.

 

Les dépenses militaires de l’Asie-Pacifique pour les avions de combat, les missiles et d’autres équipements est appelé à croître en moyenne de 4,2% par an, atteignant 114 milliards de dollars en 2016, selon le cabinet Frost & Sullivan, en raison de la forte croissance économique et des tensions géopolitiques, notamment dans la mer de Chine du Sud, la péninsule coréenne et le détroit de Taiwan. Le budget de la défense chinois augmentera à lui-seul de 14% chaque année jusqu’en 2015, selon Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

 

Taïwan va moderniser sa flotte de F-16 pour contrer la menace chinoise. Budget : 3,7 milliards de dollars (Lockheed Martin).

 

« L’augmentation des recettes publiques signifie que plus d’argent est disponible pour les dépenses de la défense », a déclaré Tim Huxley, directeur exécutif de l’Institut international d’études stratégiques en Asie à Singapour. « De nombreuses parties de l’Asie sont également précaires ce qui crée un sentiment d’insécurité chez les gouvernements. »

 

Les bombardements par la Corée du Nord et l’attaque d’un navire de guerre qui a tué 50 marins sud-coréens en 2010 ont clairement tendu la situation. La Corée communiste dispose d’une armée de 1,2 million d’hommes, de missiles balistiques et d’assez de plutonium pour une demi-douzaine d’armes nucléaires, selon les estimations de l’armée américaine.

 

La Chine travaille sur son premier porte-avions et son nouvel avion furtif J-20. En 2011, le pays a prévu d’augmenter ses dépenses militaires de 13% à 601,1 milliards de yuans (95 milliards de dollars), a déclaré Li Zhaoxing, porte-parole du Congrès national de la Chine populaire. La Chine stimule son budget pour remplacer son matériel de combat vieillissant et met davantage l’accent sur sa sécurité nationale au milieu de la montée des tensions territoriales, analyse Ronald Keung et Tom Kim de l’institut Goldman Sachs.

 

Taïwan, qui est considérée par la Chine comme une province renégate*, va mettre à niveau 146 chasseurs F-16 par Lockheed Martin dans un programme estimé à 3,7 milliards de dollars selon le ministère de la Défense taiwanais. La modernisation des F-16 pourrait aussi inclure l’installation de nouveaux radars et systèmes de navigation.

 

De son côté, la Corée du Sud envisage d’acheter 60 avions de combat. Les candidats à l’appel d’offres sont le F-35 de Lockheed Martin, le F-15 de Boeing, le Typhoon du groupement Eurofighter et le Gripen de Saab. La Corée compte aussi acquérir des hélicoptères d’attaque pour son armée de terre et sa marine, et envisage même l’achat de véhicules aériens sans pilote.

 

Le Japon n’est pas en reste. En décembre 2011, Lockheed Martin a signé une commande pour livrer 42 avions F-35 au pays du soleil levant. Cette acquisition pourrait coûter jusqu’à 1,6 milliards de yens (21 milliards de dollars) pour acheter, exploiter et entretenir durant plus de 20 ans les F-35, selon le ministère de la défense japonais. Singapour a également signé en tant que partenaire de développement pour l’avion de combat F-35. Il s’agit du programme d’armement le plus cher de l’histoire américaine (382 milliards de dollars).

 

L'Inde a choisi le Rafale pour rivaliser avec la Chine et le Pakistan. Budget : 11 milliards de dollars (Dassault).

 

L’Inde, autre grand géant d’Asie (et adversaire potentiel de la Chine), a récemment sélectionné le Rafale de Dassault Aviation pour son appel d’offres MMRCA portant sur 126 avions de combat. Des négociations exclusives sont en cours.

« L’Eurofighter qui est déjà en lice sur l’appel d’offres sud-coréen, est aussi candidat en Malaisie et dans le Golfe persique », a déclaré Enzo Casolini, le dirigeant d’Eurofighter, une joint-venture entre BAE Systems, Finmeccanica et Airbus. « L’Asie est « un marché important, » a t-il ajouté, « Exporter le Typhoon est également très important pour l’industrie européenne et pour l’économie européenne. »

 

L’Eurofighter a ralenti sa production à cause des réductions des budgets militaires européens effectués dans le cadre des plans d’austérité. Les dépenses militaires de l’Europe de l’Ouest ont baissé d’environ 5% l’an dernier et vont encore diminuer cette année selon l’agence de notation Fitch Ratings.

 

Pendant ce temps, les dépenses militaires de l’Asie-Pacifique ont augmenté de 14% en 2011, soit la plus forte croissance du monde selon Frost & Sullivan. Le Japon est le plus dépensier en matière de défense (derrière la Chine), avec une dépense de 54,5 milliards de dollars en 2010, selon le Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

 

L’Inde est au troisième rang avec 41,3 milliards de dollars dépensés en 2011. Quant aux États-Unis, leurs dépenses mondiales ont atteint 698 milliards de dollars.

 

La Chine cherche également à profiter de la croissance des budgets de défense en vendant l’équipement intérieur développé à l’étranger. Lors du salon de Singapour, le groupe AVIC fera la promotion de l’avion de chasse JF-17 Thunder, qui a été développé avec le Pakistan. AVIC exhibera aussi son avion d’entraînement L-15, le Yilong, et le drone Ptérodactyle.

 

« Ce meeting permet à la Chine de montrer le pouvoir grandissant des entreprises de son industrie aérospatiale », a déclaré Ken Zhang, un analyste de la défense à Pékin. « AVIC a également besoin de stimuler ses exportations pour financer ses frais de recherche et développement car les marges sur les ventes à l’armée chinoise sont insuffisantes », ajoute t-il.

 

Lockheed Martin voit aussi l’Asie-Pacifique comme un gros client pour les technologies de défense antimissile, comme c’est le cas au Moyen-Orient depuis une décennie.

La Corée du sud a acheté 40 F-15 pour renforcer sa flotte. Budget : 4,4 milliards de dollars (Boeing).

 

« Nous observons les mêmes tendances en Asie pour la sécurité globale de la région », a déclaré Robert Stevens, dirigeant de Lockheed Martin, lors d’une conférence le 26 janvier avec des analystes. « La prolifération des technologies, le désir d’obtenir des missiles de plus grande performance, plus autonomes, plus précis, incitent les gouvernements asiatiques à obtenir une certaine protection contre les menaces de missiles balistiques. »

 

L-3 Communications, basée à New York, s’intéresse de près aux systèmes habités aéroportés de renseignement, de surveillance et de reconnaissance, ainsi que les drones de surveillance pour l’Asie, a déclaré son directeur, Michael Strianese, lors d’une conférence le 31 janvier.

 

Raytheon, le plus grand fabricant mondial de missiles, prévoit que 30% de ses commandes et 26% de son chiffre d’affaires en 2012 viendraient de l’extérieur des États-Unis, notamment l’Asie et le Moyen-Orient.

 

« La forte croissance dans les pays émergents et la demande en équipements de défense est un bol d’air pour les fabricants d’armes occidentaux, » a déclaré l’agence Fitch, le 1er février. « À moyen terme, la dépendance sur les marchés émergents pour le secteur de la défense va continuer de croître. »

 

Lire aussi L’Asie : la nouvelle priorité militaire des États-Unis

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16 février 2012 4 16 /02 /février /2012 13:00
NATO to spend 3.0 billion euros on drone program

 

Feb 15, 2012 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Brussels - NATO will spend 3.0 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to buy and operate five US-built drones over 20 years in an effort to fill a gap exposed in the Libyan air war, an official said Wednesday.

 

Allies will pay at least 1.0 billion euros to acquire the Global Hawk drones from Northrop Grumman, a price that includes ground support stations, image analysis technology and training for operators, the official said.

 

Operating the drones, which will be based at the NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily, will cost the alliance another 2.0 billion euros over the next two decades, the official said on condition of anonymity.

 

"Libya showed the importance of having such a capability," the official said.

 

While European air forces carried out the bulk of bombing missions in Libya last year, they relied heavily on drones provided by the United States to identify and hit targets during the campaign.

 

NATO defence ministers finally agreed on the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) after two decades of wrangling over its funding.

 

The drones are being purchased by 13 NATO nations: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States.

 

The aircraft will then be available to all 28 allies who will contribute to the cost of operating them. France and Britain will mostly contribute by providing their own surveillance aircraft to the programme.

 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has hailed the AGS programme as a prime example of the alliance's efforts to pool and share resources at a time of economic crisis chipping away at defence budgets.

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15 février 2012 3 15 /02 /février /2012 08:30
Canada Pulls Out of NATO’s AGS Project

 

Feb. 14, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Windsor Star; published Feb. 10, 2012)

 

Canada Backs Out of NATO Project

 

The Canadian government has withdrawn from a NATO surveillance project that would incorporate similar technology used in NATO's successful military operation in Libya.

 

"Canada is withdrawing from the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance program, with our full withdrawal to become effective in spring of 2012," said Kim Tulipan, spokeswoman for the Department of National Defence.

 

"NATO has been informed of these decisions. The details of our withdrawal are still under discussion with NATO," she said in an email to Postmedia News.

 

The Alliance Ground Surveillance System, which began in 1992, "will give commanders a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground,"according to NATO's website. "NATO's operation to protect civilians in Libya showed how important such a capability is."

 

Under the program, 13 countries, including the U.S., Italy and Germany, will acquire five reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles, in addition to associated command and control base stations. The surveillance system will be available by 2015-2017.

 

NATO will operate the system on behalf of its 28 allies.

 

On Feb. 2, the North Atlantic Council decided to collectively cover the costs of operating the surveillance program as a "NATO-owned and operated capability," according to NATO's website.

 

The surveillance system's main operating base will be in Italy.

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14 février 2012 2 14 /02 /février /2012 13:00
Unmanned systems lead IAI push for international growth

IAI Ben Gurion facility – photo Israel Aerospace industries

 

Feb 14, 2012 by Zach Rosenberg  - Flight Global

 

Tel Aviv - Like all of the Middle Eastern nation's defence companies, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in a delicate predicament: it cannot reveal much of its clientele, and Israeli politics - internal and external - put major limitations on what it can sell, and where.

 

Many of the governments buying IAI equipment, including major customers buying top-shelf systems, do not speak publicly about their purchases, and IAI does not disclose them.

 

"I can tell you no-one bought from Israel because they like us, or they love us," says Tommy Silberring, general manager of IAI's Malat division, which manufactures its UAVs. "They buy from us because we have a capability that is maybe better in price, or because we have the flexibility to enable that country to integrate their own systems."

 

IAI is not only the country's largest defence company, but also one of the major drivers of high technology in a place famous for its technological prowess. Its 17,000 employees are divided into six divisions, three concerned with military projects and three with civil work. IAI's backlog is valued at $10.6 billion and in January the manufacturer disclosed its largest order ever, valued at $1.6 billion and covering a range of systems including Heron 1 UAVs, Harop stand-off munitions and Green Pine radars.

 

Among the civil divisions, Bedek is pre-eminent. Based at IAI's facility besides Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Bedek is mainly concerned with passenger-to-cargo conversions of the Boeing 737, 747 and 767, a roster to which additions are under consideration. Maintenance, repair and operations work is also a major contributor to IAI's bottom line.

 

SPANNING SECTORS

 

IAI also produces G150, G200 and G280 midsize business jets for Gulfstream. The aircraft are built in Tel Aviv and flown to the USA for interior outfitting. The G280 is the latest offering. After a four-year development programme the aircraft has earned approval from the Israeli civil aviation authority, but is not yet certified with the US Federal Aviation Administration or European Aviation Safety Agency. Despite what is widely acknowledged as expectation-exceeding performance, the depressed market for new midsize business jets and correspondingly small order book means it may be some time before IAI comes anywhere near recouping its development costs.

 

The Israeli Defence Force is in the middle of a highly competitive $1 billion contest for an advanced trainer aircraft to replace its aged Douglas A-4 Skyhawks. As whichever trainer is eventually selected will be operated by IAI, the company stands to gain either way. The field has narrowed to two competitors: Italy's Alenia Aermacchi M346 and South Korea's KAI T-50. The governments of both nations are long-time customers for various IAI products, and both nations have threatened to look elsewhere for equipment should their products not be selected. Preliminary indications are that Italy has the favoured product.

 

Unmanned systems lead IAI push for international growth

German Luftwaffe IAI Heron, photo Israel Aerospace industries

UAV contests in Canada and Germany could yield quick divdends for the Heron

 

Special-mission aircraft - regular aircraft packed full of specialised electronics - have been particularly lucrative for IAI. Its offerings include heavily modified Gulfstream Vs for airborne early warning (AEW), signals intelligence and synthetic aperture radar. Several deals are potentially forthcoming, and Italy has reportedly committed to buy two of the AEW aircraft if Aermacchi wins its trainer bid.

 

IAI's bread and butter is UAVs for export. Widely considered to be among the inventors of the modern UAV, IAI remains on the cutting edge of international markets in that area. It offers a more diverse array of UAVs than any other manufacturer in Israel, ranging from a tiny hand-launched aircraft, the Mosquito, to the Heron TP, a large medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) aircraft capable of staying in the air for two days.

 

In keeping with the tradition of Israeli defence companies, almost 80% of its sales are made abroad. India, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing defence markets, is a particularly loyal customer of IAI's. India operates around 50 Heron UAVs with IAI-developed radar and optical payloads, plus a number of IAI-modified special-mission aircraft. "India is one of our biggest markets," confirms Silberring.

 

CROWDED ARENA

 

Other countries operating the Heron include Australia, France, Germany and Brazil. Most operators have only a handful of aircraft on a lease basis, many for operations over Afghanistan, but IAI is angling for purchases. France has selected a version of the aircraft co-produced with Dassault, called the Harfang, for purchase, despite blistering criticism from the French senate. In each of these contests the aircraft faces competition from the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator B, the only other large MALE aircraft available on the international market. However, the arena is likely to get more crowded as other companies - particularly Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems - bring their own offerings to the table. But for the meantime IAI has a lock on non-NATO countries.

 

IAI's electronics division, Elta, is the fourth-largest radar manufacturer in the world, providing systems for both IAI's products and those of others. Ironically, despite it being among the early adaptors of solid-state electronics, Elta's most sought-after and profitable services are for older technology. Many of IAI's customers are simply not in the market for cutting-edge technology.

 

"We thought that we would phase out of [TWT, transmitting wave tube] technology, and we actually moved long ago into solid-state technology," says Igal Karney, Elta's manager of marketing and sales. "But still there are so many systems in the field, so the need for TWT has even increased."

 

Rumours that IMI, a state-owned munitions company, may be primed for acquisition are emerging in defence circles. Members of the Israeli government occasionally make public statements about partial or total privatisation. Such changes have been floated for years, but Israel's falling defence budget may finally be the requisite catalyst.

 

Either way, change of one sort or another is coming to IAI. Its president Yitzhak Nissan, who has held the post for six years, is leaving his position after a semi-public fight with the chairman of the board. Two board members are following. But whether this results in any major changes to business strategy or product road-maps is yet to be seen.

 

Still, IAI has entered 2012 with a strong outlook. UAV contests in Canada, Germany and Australia could yield quick dividends for the Heron, and a number of smaller, somewhat more opaque contests in smaller nations also offer potential.

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14 février 2012 2 14 /02 /février /2012 08:05
Israel's spending cuts hits defense sector

 

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 13 (UPI)

 

Israel's military says major cuts in defense spending will hit air-defense missile systems being developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and others and halt production of the Merkava Mark 4 tank and the new Namer armored personnel carrier.

 

Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz last week ordered commanders to prepare for what The Jerusalem Post calls "a near-shutdown of the military in two months" because of cutbacks demanded by the Finance Ministry.

 

The Globes business daily said 700 career officers and senior non-commissioned officers in all service branches will be sacked over the next few months because of the cutbacks of an initial $800 million for fiscal 2012, with more expected.

 

"A number of strategic projects will be harmed," the Post quoted a senior officer as saying.

 

"We're canceling all kinds of exercises, from division-level down to battalion level," said another who attended Gantz's meeting of the top brass, from colonel on up.

 

"We won't be able to call up reserves and even when we hold exercises we'll be limited in the amount of live ammunition we can use."

 

The Post has also reported that the army "has decided to suspend all future orders of the new Merkava tanks and Namer APCs."

 

The 65-ton Merkava, which entered service in 1978, is designed by the Merkava Tank Office and assembled by the Israel Ordnance Corps.

 

Among the key contractors involved in production are Elta, which supplies electronic sensors and infra-red optics; Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which makes the Trophy active protection systems to counter rockets and missiles; and El-Op an Elisa, the optics and laser warning system.

 

The Namer, in which the U.S. Army has shown interest, is based on the Merkava Mark 4 chassis and is intended as the Israel army's main fighting vehicle. The decision to develop the new APC, which is said to have improved reinforced steel protection, was made after the 2006 war with Hezbollah in which Israeli armor took heavy losses from anti-tank missiles.

 

All told, orders for components from 200 Israeli companies will be canceled.

 

Other strategic projects that are being affected are the Iron Dome missile-defense system designed by Rafael to intercept short-range missiles and artillery rounds.

 

The development of the David's Sling system, designed to shoot down medium-range missiles, and the Arrow-3 missile which is intended to target ballistic missiles outside Earth's atmosphere, are also likely to be affected.

 

David's sling is being built by Rafael. The long-range Arrow is being developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, flagship of Israel's defense sector.

 

The United States, which has paid half of the $3 billion cost of developing the Arrow system, agreed in 2011 to fork up $235 million for Arrow-3 and David's Sling development.

 

But the Israelis say 1.3-ton Arrow-3, the country's main defense against Iranian Shehab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles, will need $3.9 billion for the Arrow program over the next few years.

 

Gantz and Defense Ministry Director General Udi Shani are to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the coming weeks in a bid to secure additional funds to allow the military to implement its new five-year procurement plan.

 

That plan is undergoing major changes these days.

 

The Post reported that it "was supposed to continue the upgrade of recent years to the military's ground forces and at the same time improve its strategic capabilities with the procurement of additional F-35 stealth fighter jets and also lead to a boost in Israel's cyberwarfare capabilities."

 

In October 2010, Israel ordered an initial batch of 20 of F-35s from Lockheed Martin at a cost of $2.75 billion.

 

Given development problems and hefty cost over-runs, Israel may not take delivery of the first F-35s until 2017, two years later than anticipated.

 

Ultimately, Israel wants 75 of the fifth-generation fighters to maintain its long-held aerial superiority in the Middle East.

 

But with the budget cutbacks on top of Lockheed Martin's troubles, the air force has been examining the alternative of buying second-hand Boeing F-15s from the U.S. Air Force to fill the gap.

 

The five-year plan was formulated on the premise that Israel would have to fight a multi-front war sometime in the next few years and one in which the planned four-tier missile-defense shield would be a vital component.

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10 février 2012 5 10 /02 /février /2012 17:40
La Malaisie, dans le radar du Rafale et des industriels de la Défense

photo Armée de l'Air

 

10 février 2012 par Hassan Meddah à Kuala Lumpur – L’USINE NOUVELLE

 

Ce petit état de l'Asie du sud-est consacre l'équivalent  de  900 millions d'euros par an à son budget de Défense. Le Rafale est en compétition pour un appel d'offres pour l'achat de 18 appareils. Au rang de ses fournisseurs, Européens et Français tirent leur épingle du jeu.

 

Tout d'un coup, la côte du Rafale auprès des militaires et gouvernementaux malaisiens est remontée vitesse grand V. "La victoire du Rafale en Inde a créé une onde de choc ici en Malaisie. Surtout que l'on sait les voisins Indiens très exigeants dans ce genre de négociation à la fois sur le plan technique et financier. Avant cela, il aurait été compliqué de sélectionner un appareil qui n'avait jamais été vendu à l'export", explique un observateur du marché de la défense en Malaisie.

 

Le pays a lancé début 2011 son processus de sélection pour l'achat de 18 avions de combats afin de remplacer sa flotte de MIG 29 vieillissante. Et tous les prétendants prennent position maintenant.

 

En décembre dernier, lors de du dernier salon aéronautique et maritime de Lima, le gratin des fabricants d'avions de chasse avaient fait le déplacement. Deux Rafale avaient participé au programme de démonstration pour le compte de l'Armée française. Mais la concurrence était également bien présente : les Typhoon d'Eurofigther, le Gripen suédois, les Sukhoï russes, les F18 américains.

 

"Pour ce genre de contrat, le prix proposé sera important. Mais ce qui sera déterminant, c'est le coût global de l'appareil, en incluant les coûts de maintenance sur toute la durée de vie de l'appareil. Cette tendance est clairement apparue lors des derniers appels d'offres pour l'achat de sous-marins, de frégates ou d'hélicoptères", explique un bon connaisseur du dossier.

 

En s'équipant de telle manière, Kuala Lumpur espère faire ainsi bonne mesure face à ses proches voisins que sont la Thaïlande au nord et l'Indonésie au Sud, dont les forces armées sont respectivement deux et trois fois plus nombreuses en nombre de militaires.

 

Au grand bonheur des industriels de la Défense, les opportunités offertes par la péninsule vont largement bien au-delà du contrat des avions de chasse. Malgré sa petite taille (29 millions d'habitants sur une superficie de 300.000 km2), la Malaisie est un pays qui a tout pour leur plaire.

 

D'une part, il est riche. Grâce à ses ressources en hydrocarbures et ses ressources naturelles (huile de palme…), il figure à la troisième place des économies de la région Asie du Sud-Est. En 2010 et 2011, il a encore affiché une solide croissance de son PIB de l'ordre de 5 à 7% malgré la crise économique mondiale, soit un PIB par habitant élevé de 14600 dollars.

 

D'autre part, les dirigeants politiques ont toujours placé la sécurité et la stabilité du pays au premier rang de leurs préoccupations. De fait, leur histoire récente avec l'indépendance acquise en 1957 et le cessez-le feu avec la guerilla communiste à la fin des années 80, marque encore largement la génération au pouvoir.

 

Les récentes tensions en mer de Chine du Sud accentuent l'impératif sécuritaire. Aussi, sa géographie, à la fois stratégique, avec le détroit de Malacca au carrefour de l'Inde et de la Chine, et morcelée, les parties péninsulaire et orientale (Bornéo) sont séparées par la Mer de Chine, l'incite à renforcer ses capacités militaires.

 

Le cinquième plus gros client des industriels de défense français

 

En dépensant environ 900 millions d'euros par an pour s'équiper en matériel militaire, le pays a fait le bonheur des industriels  de la Défense. Kuala Lumpur n'a pas lésiné sur les dépenses  achetant hélicoptères de combats, sous-marins, avions de combats, équipements terrestres, missiles...

 

Les industriels français et européens tirent leur épingle du jeu figurant au premier rang des fournisseurs de l'armée malaisienne. Outre les deux sous-marins Scorpene commandés  en 2002, la DCNS (en partenariat avec l'industriel local Boustead Naval Shipyard) a décroché en décembre dernier un contrat de plus de 2 milliards d'euros pour livrer six corvettes. Eurocopter de son côté a confirmé lors du dernier salon du Bourget la vente de 12 hélicoptères EC725 à la Force aérienne royale malaisienne. Sans oublier Airbus Military qui va livrer à partir de 2016 quatre A400M son avion de transport tactique…

 

Malgré sa taille modeste, la Malaisie est le cinquième plus gros client des industriels de défense français. Et l'avenir reste brillant pour les vendeurs de matériel militaire. "La Malaisie continue de représenter un grand potentiel en terme de marché", précise une source locale.

 

Toutefois, l'acheteur malaisien en veut plus pour son argent. La Malaisie a rénové en 2011 ses règles concernant les offsets, les fameuses  compensations industrielles suite à la signature des contrats militaires: 100%  de la valeur du contrat doit désormais être réinvesti dans le pays et surtout de manière directe.

 

La Malaisie ne se contentera plus qu'on lui achète ses biens ou ses marchandises (huile de palme…) mais exige que le partenaire retenu investisse dans le pays. Une nouvelle donne à laquelle les industriels devront se plier s'ils veulent que la Malaisie leur reste une terre aussi favorable.

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10 février 2012 5 10 /02 /février /2012 13:05
Comment l'industrie aéronautique et de défense française s'est imposée en Malaisie

photo Airbus Military

 

10/02/2012  Michel Cabirol, à Kuala Lumpur –  LaTribune.fr

 

Les industriels français arrivent au salon aéronautique de Singapour, le « Singapore Airshow », qui ouvre ses portes le 14 février, auréolés de leurs succès en Malaisie. Une exception dans le sud-est asiatique.

 

Qui pourrait croire que la Malaisie à plus de 10.000 km de Paris est aujourd’hui le pays le plus francophile de la région du sud-est asiatique en matière d’achats de de matériels aéronautiques et de défense… Et pourtant, Paris est bien le plus gros exportateur d’armements de Kuala Lumpur, loin devant les Etats-Unis, un rouleau compresseur dans cette zone véritable chasse gardée de l’administration américaine, qui grogne et tempête contre des Malaisiens beaucoup trop friands à leur goût des technologies françaises. C’est la pépite des industriels tricolores dans la région avec l’Inde. « Sinon nous avons une position médiocre dans cette région. Où est l’eldorado ? C’est un mythe et c’est la triste réalité », explique-t-on à La Tribune.

 

Le 5ème client français

 

En dépit de la pression américaine, la Malaisie, qui dispose bon an, mal an d’un budget pour les équipements militaires de 900 millions d’euros, se classe au cinquième rang des clients de l’industrie de défense française derrière les deux poids lourds du Golfe (Arabie saoudite et Emirats Arabes Unis) et les leaders des Brics (Brésil et Inde). « C’est l’une des plus belles réussites de la France même si ce succès reste très discret », regrette le président d’EADS en Malaisie et à Brunei, Bruno Navet. Ces dix dernières années, l’industrie française de défense a réussi de très jolis coups : deux sous-marins à propulsion classique Scorpène (DCNS) en 2002, quatre avions de transport de troupes A400M (Airbus Military) en 2005, douze hélicoptères de transport tactique EC725 (Eurocopter) en 2010 et bientôt six corvettes Gowind de DCNS en 2012. Sans compter les armements de MBDA (37,5 % EADS, 37,5% BAE Systems et 25 % l’italien Finmeccanica).

 

Razzia d'Airbus

 

Le civil n’est pas en reste. Airbus fait une razzia en Malaisie, notamment chez AirAsia, qui possède une flotte 100 % Airbus. La low cost à succès du Sud-Est asiatique disposera à terme du plus grand nombre d’A320 au monde (375 commandes fermes, dont 200 Neo). En outre, le tonitruant patron d’AirAsia, Tony Fernandez, s’est également offert l’A350 (15 exemplaires) et fait voler une flotte de neuf A330-300 (+ cinq A330-200 en commande). Chez Malaysia Airlines (MAS), qui disposera quant à elle de six A380, possède une flotte de onze A330-300 (13 sont encore à livrer) et de trois A330-200. La filiale hélicoptériste d’EADS, Eurocopter, vend quant à elle en moyenne une dizaine de machines. L’avionneur régional ATR (50 % EADS, 50 % Finmeccanica) a vendu en 2007 une vingtaine d’ATR 72-500 à deux filiales de la compagnie aérienne MAS. Enfin, Astrium (groupe EADS) a été sélectionné en juin 2011 par l’opérateur de télécoms Measat, jusqu’ici plutôt favorable à Boieng, pour fabriquer le satellite de télécoms Measat-3B.

 

French touch

 

Pourquoi un tel engouement pour les matériels français ? La Malaisie (28,7 millions d’habitants début 2012), comme toute la région Asie-Pacifique, connaît une forte croissance de son trafic passager (+ 6,7 % en 2011). En outre, MAS et AirAsia veulent jouer dans la cours des grandes compagnies. D’où la volonté de s’armer pour devenir des compagnies incontournables au niveau régional et international même si aujourd’hui MAS connaît quelques difficultés et doit se restructurer. Au-delà d’une conjoncture favorable à des investissements aéroportuaires et en appareils, la Malaisie, d’un pays acheteur, veut devenir un pays producteur. Une volonté politique incarnée par le Premier ministre, Najib Razak, anciennement ministre de la Défense de 1999 à 2004 et qui connait, de fait, très bien la qualité des matériels français, notamment l’hélicoptère de combat Tigre dans lequel il a volé. « La Malaisie (7 % de croissance par an en moyenne depuis 50 ans) a l’ambition de passer du statut de pays en développement à celui de pays à haut revenu en l’espace de trois générations », précise-t-on à l’ambassade de France à Kuala Lumpur.

 

A armes égales avec les Etats-Unis

 

Et ça, les industriels français, pour pouvoir exporter, savent faire depuis très longtemps. A savoir concevoir et organiser des coopérations industrielles avec des transferts de technologies, ce qui leur permet de jouer de temps en temps à armes égales ou presque avec la puissance de feu des Etats-Unis. C’est notamment le cas en Malaisie. En témoigne la coopération gagnante entre DCNS et le conglomérat Boustead. Sa filiale Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), qui a choisi le design du groupe naval tricolore, a obtenu un contrat d’un montant de 2,14 milliards d’euros pour livrer à la Malaisie 6 corvettes de la gamme Gowind, qui seront fabriquées localement par BNS.

Installé depuis 2002 en Malaisie, Eurocopter est le plus bel exemple de cette coopération industrielle. Sa filiale Eurocopter Malaysia, qui a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 105 millions d’euros (+ 20 %), est devenue un centre de maintenance et de support pour tous les hélicoptères de la région du Sud-Est asiatique (Malaisie, Thaïlande, Indonésie et Philippines). Son patron, Pierre Nardelli a signé en 2011 une coopération, dans le cadre des offsets (contreparties industrielles) garantis par le contrat EC 725, avec le groupe malaisien CTRM (Composites Technology Research Malaysia), qui est désormais le seul industriel au monde à fournir le fenestron de l’EC 130, jusqu’ici fabriqué en France. Soit un marché pour 40 machines par an. CTRM, qui travaille également avec Airbus, dispose d’un carnet de commandes de 1,5 milliard d’euros, dont l’essentiel est généré par l’avionneur toulousain : notamment 1 million d’euros de chiffre d’affaires par A400M livré, 1 million par A350 livré, entre 700.000 et 800.000 euros par A320 livrés et 500.000 euros par A380 livré.

 

Tensions régionales

 

Dans le domaine de la défense, les industriels ne peuvent plus déroger aux offsets en Malaisie, qui s’est dotée d’une politique ambitieuse en la matière pour constituer à terme son industrie aéronautique. Ces contreparties sont passées de 50 % en 2010 à 100 % en 2011 pour la durée du contrat et à partir d’un appel d’offre d’une valeur de 10 millions d’euros. « Les offsets ne sont plus basés sur l’échange d’achat de biens (huile de palme par exemple) mais sur l’investissement dans le pays, explique un industriel tricolore. L’accent est mis fortement sur la formation ». Ils peuvent être directs ou indirects, le plus souvent avec des transferts de technologies.

Enfin, baignée par la Mer de Chine au du nord du pays, la Malaisie, comme la plupart des pays de la région, s’arme pour disposer d’une défense crédible face à la puissance de la Chine, génératrice de tensions dans cette région. Tout comme les iles Spratleys, riches en hydrocarbures, les îles Parcels sont revendiquées, elles aussi, par plusieurs pays outre la Chine et le Vietnam et notamment le Brunei, la Malaisie, Taiwan et les Philippines. Du coup, la Malaisie cherche à accroître ses capacités militaires navales (sous-marins, corvettes…). Comme la plupart de ses voisins qui se dotent de sous-marins nécessaires pour assurer leur souveraineté au large de leurs côtes. Car la Chine, elle, compte à ce jour 63 sous-marins, dont huit à propulsion nucléaire et 31 modernes et opérationnels.

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9 février 2012 4 09 /02 /février /2012 08:10

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z8MQJWY9X7A/TzKU_4e2UAI/AAAAAAAAMFs/CEuChS_zxuE/s400/maestrale%2B-%2Bmaltashipphotos.jpg

 

Maestrale class, ASW frigates with 3.100 tonnes displacement and 122.7m in length (photo : Maltashipphotos)

 

08.02.2012 DEFENSE STUDIES

 

MANILA, Philippines - The procurement of military equipment from Italy-based suppliers will be fast-tracked under an agreement between the Philippines and Italy.


National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola signed the five-year agreement when Gazmin visited Italy last Jan. 30.
 
In a statement, Gazmin said the arrangement will help expedite the procurement from Italy of supplies with the help of the Italian Ministry of Defense.
“This arrangement is a result of our efforts to explore any and all avenues for a more efficient procurement process for our modernization program,” he said.

 

AMX ground attack aircraft (photo : code20photog)
The agreement is valid for five years from signing and will be automatically extended for another five years unless there is a written notice of intention to terminate.

 

However, the signing of the arrangement does not mean that the Philippines would buy defense equipment from Italian firms.

Gazmin said the agreement is merely intended to establish a system for “future transactions.”
Gazmin and members of the DND Defense Acquisition System team left for Italy last Jan. 28 and returned home last Feb. 3.
 

 

Other key defense officials who joined the week-long trip were Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel Fernando Manalo, and Bids and Awards Committee chairman Patrick Velez.

 

 

Piaggio P-180 surveillance aircraft (photo : piaggioaero)

 


They inspected combat-ready defense materiel including Maestrale and Soldati-class deep patrol water vessel, the Piaggio 180, a single platform defense materiel that can perform the functions of a special mission aircraft, light lift aircraft and long range patrol aircraft.
 
Also inspected were the medium lift tactical aircraft C27J, Italian Navy Coast Watch and Air Defense 3D Radar Systems, AMX ground attack aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle Falco and armored personnel carrier.
 
Philippine officials and Italian suppliers also talked about an information technology system that would allow the transmission of data.
 
The system would allow the delivery of data from any defense material platform to personnel in mission up to the commander-in-chief. The system can enhance the defense awareness of the military and civilians.
 
 
C-27J medium transport aircraft (photo : Aviationnews)
 
Gazmin said the arrangement with the Italian government includes a service agreement and training of Philippine military personnel.
 
These are aimed at ensuring the medium- and long-term effectiveness of the equipment that may be bought from Italy.
 
“We would like to assure the Filipino people that all possible negotiations are premised within the national government’s established ideals of transparency, accountability and good governance,” Gazmin said.
 
The Philippines has bought 18 basic trainer aircraft from Alenia Aermacchi, an Italian firm that designs and produces military trainers. The delivery of the 18 units was completed last year.
 
Falco MALE unmmaned aerial vehicle (photo : Militaryphotos)

The DND seeks to approve the contracts of 138 modernization projects worth P70 billion by July.
The projects include big-ticket items like fighter jets and long-range patrol aircraft for the Air Force, multi-role vessel for the Navy and coast watch radars.

Aside from Italy, other countries that have offered defense equipment to the DND are the United States, Korea, France and United Kingdom.
 
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7 février 2012 2 07 /02 /février /2012 08:40
NATO clears funding hurdle to buy five Global Hawks

 

Feb 6, 2012 by Stephen Trimble – Flight Global

 

Washington DC - NATO officials have cleared a key hurdle in a long-delayed process to buy five Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned air systems.

 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen provided no details of the arrangements in a 3 February press conference, but confirmed members "have found the way ahead on a practical funding solution" for the alliance ground surveillance (AGS) programme.

 

Funding and operational details have delayed a contract signing since October 2010, even as three of the original 15 AGS programme members - Canada, Denmark and Poland - have withdrawn from the programme.

 

Northrop officials have previously said Poland may rejoin the AGS partnership, but Rasmussen provided no details on the current members.

 

NATO's AGS fleet will comprise five radar-equipped Global Hawk Block 40s

 

Some NATO members have been seeking the AGS capability for about 20 years. The concept would allow a consortium of alliance members to contribute funding to operate the RQ-4s, with all allowed some level of access to the intelligence data gathered.

 

Northrop has proposed the RQ-4 Block 40, which includes a Northrop/Raytheon multiplatform radar technology insertion programme sensor that detects moving targets on the ground.

 

Once fielded, the system will perform a similar role as the US Air Force's Northrop E-8C joint surveillance target attack radar system aircraft, although the RQ-4's sensor is not as large or powerful.

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5 février 2012 7 05 /02 /février /2012 08:15
Estonia Joins NATO Ground Surveillance Network

 

TALLINN, February 4 (RIA Novosti)

 

Estonia will be part of NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) project, the country’s Defense Ministry said.

 

The North Atlantic Council decided on February 2 to collectively cover the costs for operating the AGS network as a NATO-owned and operated capability.

 

The AGS will be acquired by 13 Allies (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States), and will be made available to the Alliance in 2015-2017.

 

The network will include five U.S.-made Global Hawk RQ-4B reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the associated command and control base stations.

 

“The AGS core capability will enable the Alliance to perform persistent surveillance over wide areas from high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aerial platforms operating at considerable stand-off distances and in any weather or light condition,” NATO said.

 

The main operating base for AGS will be located at Sigonella Air Base in Italy.

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4 février 2012 6 04 /02 /février /2012 17:50
Israel Says Iran Seeking U.S.-range Missile

 

 

Feb 2, 2012 By Jeffrey Heller/Reuters - AviationWeek.com

 

JERUSALEM - Israel said Feb. 2 that Iran had been working on developing a missile capable of striking the U.S. at a military base rocked by a deadly explosion three months ago.

 

The blast on Nov. 12 killed 17 Iranian troops, including an officer regarded as the architect of Iran’s missile defenses. Iran said at the time the explosion at the facility, 45 km (28 miles) from Tehran, was an accident and occurred during research on weapons that could strike Israel.

 

Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, addressing Israel’s annual Herzliya security conference, challenged the Iranian account that the weapons project was focused on targeting Israel, and implied Iran was seeking to extend its strike range fourfold.

 

He said the base was a research and development facility where Iran “was preparing to produce or develop a missile with a range of 10,000 km (6,000 miles) … aimed at the ‘Great Satan’, the United States of America, and not us”.

 

Yaalon, who is also minister of strategic affairs, gave no other details nor related his remarks to the cause of the explosion.

 

Analysts currently estimate the longest range of an Iranian missile to be about 2,400 km, capable of reaching Israel and Europe. Israeli leaders are keen to persuade any allies who do not share their assessment of the risk posed by Iran that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic would also threaten the West.

 

Israel has made little comment on accusations by Tehran that its agents along with those of its Western allies are waging a covert war against Iran’s nuclear program.

 

Iran denies Israeli and Western allegations that it is seeking to build atomic weapons, saying it is enriching uranium to generate electricity and for other peaceful purposes.

 

“MILESTONE”

 

In a Nov. 28 report on the explosion at the Iranian base, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), said it had learned the blast occurred “as Iran had achieved a major milestone in the development of a new missile”. The Washington-based ISIS, founded by nuclear expert David Albright, said Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine when the explosion took place.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressing for stronger international sanctions against Tehran, has said repeatedly that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat not only to Israel but to the United States and Europe as well.

 

Israel is widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power and to have developed missiles capable of striking Iran. It has said all military options are open in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

 

In his address, Yaalon, a former chief of staff of the Israeli military, was dismissive of arguments that underground Iranian nuclear sites may be invulnerable to so-called “bunker-buster” bombs.

 

Speaking in general terms, he said: “From my military experience, human beings will know how to penetrate any installation protected by other human beings. Ultimately all the facilities can be hit.”

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3 février 2012 5 03 /02 /février /2012 18:35
Ministerial Waffling Blamed for Australia’s Submarine Burden


Feb. 3, 2012 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: The Canberra Times; issued February 3, 2012)

Analysts predict taxpayers will spend billions of dollars to keep the troubled Collins class submarine fleet afloat into the 2030s, blaming a succession of defence ministers who haven't made a decision on a replacement.

The first Collins class boats are due to be decommissioned around 2025 and the plan called for a replacement to have been designed, built and successfully tested by then.

This just isn't going to happen. Rear-Admiral Rowan Moffitt, the head of the future submarine program, has said an Australian designed and built submarine won't be ready until 2032 at the earliest.

One analyst, who has examined the timeline Admiral Moffitt spelt out at the Seapower conference in Sydney this week, says 2035 is a more likely date. Another, who argues Admiral Moffitt may be being conservative, believes a locally designed and built submarine could be ready for sea trials by 2029.

Both have pinned the blame for the ''schedule slip'' on the Government's failure to get the ball rolling.

Submarine Institute of Australia vice-president Frank Owen said, ''We should have been doing what we are doing now at least three years ago.''

Andrew Davies, a senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the delays were ''due to decisions not being made by government - but, on the other hand, I don't believe the quality of information needed to make a decision has been available.''

That point is moot however. ''The Government has not made obtaining that information a priority,'' he said.

Mr Owen and Mr Davies agree there is no way the Collins fleet could be operational into the 2030s in its current form. Mr Davies said, ''It will definitely require a midlife upgrade.''

Both men concur the investment required would be substantial. ''Likely well over a billion dollars,'' Mr Davies said.

The Collins has been dogged by propulsion system problems for decades. ''When Admiral Moffitt gave his speech he referred to some problems that had been designed in [to Collins],'' Mr Davies said. ''The engines are one of those.''

Issues with the diesels are two fold; Hedemora - the manufacturer - stopped making engines in the 1990s.

''They were effectively the last of the previous generation of naval diesels - and they were heavily modified,'' Mr Davies said.

He said the problems with the engines are such they need to be replaced. This could be done in conjunction with the future submarine project. Technology developed for the Collins could then be applied to the new class of submarines.

Mr Owen said a midlife upgrade could also reduce the ever-increasing operating cost of the Collins class boats.

''There is a view that a lack of upgrades in the past is one of the reasons they are costing so much to operate now,'' he said.

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3 février 2012 5 03 /02 /février /2012 18:25
NATO to Acquire Unmanned Aircraft

Feb. 3, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb. 3, 2012)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

NATO Defence ministers have made a very important decision to acquire unmanned aircraft for surveillance of land and oceans - NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS).

“Common solutions have tied NATO together for over 60 years and give the nations of the Alliance access to strategic capabilities that are disproportionately expensive to acquire alone. This decision is therefore a very good example of why it is important for Norway to join the NATO,” says Norwegian Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide.

It is important that the Alliance has real time information about the situation on the ground and at sea. AGS will give NATO the ability to monitor large areas from high altitude, long range under all weather and lighting conditions. The monitoring is done with unmanned aircraft of the type of the Global Hawk, which has a range of 16,000 kilometers and can fly at altitudes up to 60,000 feet. The aircraft will be controlled from a ground station in Italy.

“NATO nations show, with this decision, that there is a political will to work together to invest in public safety, despite the difficult economic situation that affects many countries,” said Minister of Defence Espen Barth Eide.

Norway's share of the investment is estimated at 320 million. The acquisition will also provide contracts for Norwegian industry.

NATO will own and operate the unmanned surveillance aircraft. In addition, to meeting military surveillance needs, the aircraft will have the capacity to contribute to the monitoring of large ocean areas, transportation routes, oil and gas installations and environmental monitoring. This is a capacity that will also be suitable in the far North.

It is expected that the aircraft will be operational in 2017.

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