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21 octobre 2011 5 21 /10 /octobre /2011 07:45
Does EU Defence Initiative Mark the Beginning of a Truly Competitive Military Equipment Market?

Source: Atlantic Council


10/20/2011 Jonathan Dowdall - defenceiq.com


2011 is proving a momentous year for European militaries, with both spending cuts and new cooperative ties radically shaking-up the defence establishment. Yet whilst the austerity screws continue to tighten in national capitals, in the European Union’s corridors of power, something far more fundamental is coming into force. On the 21st of August, phase two of the EU’s “Defence Package” passed into binding law, beginning a paradigm shift for European defence industry relations. Indeed to put it simply - and in the words of an executive from one of Europe’s largest defence companies - “this is the biggest thing to happen to European defence ever.”


As always, Defence Dateline will take you through the key points of this landmark policy.


The need to “De-frag” EU defence


The Defence Package seeks to address the fragmentation and un-competitiveness of the EU’s defence industry. The core question is: how has a continent that spends a not-insignificant €200bn a year on defence ended up with so little “bang for its buck”?


The arguments about low overall investment are well known, but in addition, inefficiencies in EU member state defence spending are exasperated by the division of its defence industrial base into 27 national markets. This fragmentation creates additional costs for buyers – i.e. European militaries - in two ways.


Firstly, because nations must acquire and pay for a myriad array of export licenses for even the simplest inter-EU weapons sale, pan-European defence transactions incur significant overheads. In fact, the European Commission has estimated that individual national licensing regimes and a lack of uniformity in application processes generates €400m in costs a year.


Secondly, Europe’s defence industry has for many years remained outside of the EU free market, due to a key component of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty - Article 296. This article allows nations to exempt defence and sensitive military procurement contracts from EU open competition laws - under the banner of “national security interests”.

Unsurprisingly in an industrial sector populated by national champions and niche interests, in practice almost all defence contracts have been declared “Art. 296”, and thus closed to open tender. This has obvious implications for market transparency and supply-discrimination, but it also creates generally disadvantageous market conditions across the EU. In effect, most national companies have guaranteed first access to their government’s contracts, regardless of competitors just across the border. This is not good for market and pricing forces, and it is not good for European military effectiveness.


Leveling the playing field


To address these issues, the EU legislated a “two-for-one” package of laws in 2009 to tackle these systemic problems.

Part 1, which came into force on the 30th of June 2011, addresses the issue of export licenses. It induces member states to replace their existing individual licences with a general EU certificate for arms transfers between member state markets. If successfully implemented, this should reduce the bureaucratic overhead for inter-EU transfers to a simple and quick “rubberstamp”. Cross-border industrial transfers, as well as military procurement, will both stand to gain from such a move, at a fraction of the current export licensing cost.


Part 2, which entered into force on the 21st of August 2011, tackles the larger problem of national protectionism. This directive demands that national procurement agencies align their contract tender announcements into a common EU format. Yet more crucially, it also puts additional restrictions on the use of Art. 296, by demanding that most supply or service contracts above €412,000 or procurement contracts above €5.15mmust abide by EU free market laws, meaning that they must be publicly announced and left open to European bids.


It is this second provision which seeks to truly shake-up the old order. By pushing European defence procurement into the open market, the EU is seeking to break monopolistic and protectionist tendencies in the defence sector. Significantly more European defence bids should, under the Defence Package, be open to any company within the EU, without prejudice to their country of origin.


Testing times - theory and practice


Needless to say, this utopian vision of a truly open defence market will not manifest over-night. In fact, huge questions remain about the effectiveness and implementation of the Defence Package.

Firstly, Art. 296 is not dead or buried. Member states retain their sovereign “national security” opt-out, even under the new law, as this is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty and transcends individual legislation. National capitals will still have the legal right to exempt certain contracts from foreign competition, and thus shield their national industries. The question will be how widely states choose to enact Art. 296 under the new law.


Pre-emptively, the EU has already tried to cover this eventuality. The package contains a specific technical annex categorising the types of defence equipment that can be declared “national security” sensitive. Member states have thus had their legal room for manoeuvre severely curtailed. Gone are the days where everything from ammunition to jeep tyres could be lumped into a safe bid guaranteed to be won by a national arms champion. The onus will now be on member states to justify why a contract is too sensitive to tender openly.


Indeed, should a national government refuse to open a contract to pan-European tender, they could be vulnerable to a legal challenge by member states who feel their defence companies are being discriminated against. The EU Court of Justice could then be asked to adjudicate against a transgression of the free market, with financial penalties if an infraction is deemed to have taken place. It is also likely this would incur a certain amount of political embarrassment for the transgressor.


Yet the above scenario presumes the basic mechanisms of the Defence Package will be observed - and this has also yet to be tested.


At the bottom line, there are political, and not legal, questions about these reforms. Would a smaller member state (Slovakia for example) be willing to risk a public duel on behalf of its national industry with Germany or France over a procurement bid worth, say,  €10m? And would the political fall-out be worth the cost, as recriminations fly and politicians pontificate?


We simply don’t know at this stage how honestly member states intend to deal with the new rules, and how willing others will be to challenge them if they don’t. Art. 296 is ultimately a red-line: something the EU cannot supplant completely through law. It will thus fall to bilateral politics to smooth out the details in practice.


Transatlantic implications?


Interestingly this inter-EU shake-up may also send shockwaves across the Atlantic, as the directive compels a larger number of bids to be tendered on the EU free market - but not necessarily to those outside of it.

For instance, effectively only two “categories” of contract existed in Europe in the past - open to the world (and thus the US) or closed to national champions only. However with the addition of “open EU market” to that list - and the legal compulsion to push more bids into this category it entails - it could transpire that European procurement agencies will, whilst opening up to the EU27, simultaneously reduce the number of truly global open bids. After all, member states have simultaneously been granted cheaper and easier arms export licences to their European neighbours, an advantage the US cannot match.


Thus, whilst strongly denied publicly by the European Commission, the incentives to “buy European” have certainly de facto increased. It is difficult to imagine the US being “locked out”, but these fundamental changes in procurement could certainly alter the buying preferences of EU member states regarding US military equipment.


“The biggest thing to happen to European defence ever”


As this analysis indicates, the sources of Europe’s defence woes have industrial and bureaucratic, as well as spending, roots. The EU has aggressively set out to rectify these deficiencies, highlighting an increased readiness to legislate on defence matters and to introduce greater competitiveness in the last “closed shop” in town.

Yet whether the efficiencies and reduction in fragmentation that lies at the heart of these efforts can realistically be achieved is, as has been explained, an open question. It must also be remembered that a key component of market “de-frag” is a reduction in the number of defence primes. A truly open EU defence market would naturally begin to more closely resemble the national market of the US - with almost all bids fought over by a small number of multi-sector conglomerates.


The loss of national champions this would entail across Europe will almost certainly send governments dashing for the Art. 296 card. It is the biggest potential show-stopper for these reforms.

It will therefore be the willingness of national capitals to negotiate between themselves the loss of national capacities, in the name of greater EU efficiency, that will make or break a truly open European defence market.


Jonathan Dowdell writes for  Defence Dateline Group.

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20 octobre 2011 4 20 /10 /octobre /2011 17:40



October 20, 2011MEA


Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers of India and France on Progress in “India-France: Partnership for the Future”

The External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India, Shri S.M. Krishna and the Senior Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the French Republic Mr. Alain Juppé met in New Delhi on 20 October 2011 and reviewed the progress on the implementation of the Joint Declaration on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest and importance “India-France: Partnership for the Future” adopted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Nicolas Sarkozy on December 6, 2010.

Reaffirming that the India-France Strategic Partnership has been steadily strengthening and widening in scope, they agreed on a roadmap for its further development.


Trade and Economic Cooperation

The two Ministers recalled the target set in December 2010 of increasing bilateral trade to 12 billion by 2012 and reiterated their commitment to achieving it. They also welcomed the increase in foreign direct investment flows in both directions and agreed to address the genuine concerns of investors.

India and France have identified energy efficiency, renewable energy, preservation of biodiversity, urban services and infrastructure as promising fields of cooperation. To that end, Agence Française de Développement financing could be of relevance.

Space co-operation

Minister Krishna and Minister Juppé welcomed the successful launch of Megha-Tropiques satellite, a joint contribution to the global scientific community engaged in research on climate and weather systems. The forthcoming launch of SARAL, a joint satellite to study sea surface altitude would be another milestone in space cooperation. India and France encouraged Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Space Agency (CNES) to pursue further cooperation in Earth System Science and Climate within the framework of the MoU signed in December 2010 and to explore new fields of cooperation in the future.

Defence Cooperation

India and France reaffirmed their continued interest in enhancing bilateral cooperation in Defence. They welcomed the success of the first joint exercise between the two Armies (Shakti, ongoing in October 2011), as also the exercises between their Navies (Varuna in January 2011) and Air Forces (Garuda in 2010).

The two countries welcomed the finalisation of the project for modernisation of Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 aircraft and noted ongoing efforts to finalise joint defence research and development programmes, namely the SRSAM and Kaveri programmes. They reiterated their desire to cooperate in other high technology programmes and projects in the defence sector in the future.

Both countries reaffirmed their interest in intensifying their cooperation in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and other areas.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation

India and France agreed to an early entry into force of the agreement on intellectual property rights on the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. They recognized the importance of the highest levels of safety for nuclear power plants. They agreed to strengthen the cooperation between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Autorité de Sureté Nucléaire of France, and their technical support organizations. They welcomed the progress in the discussions between AREVA and NPCIL, aiming at finalizing the contract on the construction of two EPR reactors at Jaitapur and look forward to its early implementation. Following India’s enactment of civil nuclear liability legislation, both countries stand ready to further exchange views on this issue so as to ensure the appropriate framework for the sound development of their cooperation. They look forward to the conclusion of an agreement between ALSTOM, NPCIL and BHEL for supplying the Indian nuclear power program with the most recent technology for manufacturing turbo-generators

Education, Science & Technology

The two Ministers agreed that both Governments will work together to encourage an increase in the flow of students and researchers in both directions. India and France will increase the number and academic level of exchange students. They share a long term ambition for bilateral cooperation at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Rajasthan. France will finance scholarships for Indian students at the PhD level, depute professors to IIT Rajasthan and substantially contribute to the establishment of Joint Centres of Excellence/ research laboratories in the next five years. India welcomes this bilateral cooperation project in the higher education sector.


The two Ministers applauded the success of the cultural festivals Bonjour India and Namaste France. They committed to bolstering exchanges in the fields of culture and heritage. They took note of the success of the International seminar on “Traditions of cultural liberalism in India & France” organized in Paris in June 2011. They welcomed the future opening of an Indian cultural centre in Paris and looked forward to the upcoming Tagore exhibition in Paris.

Migration and consular issues

India and France welcomed the recent negotiations for a Human Resource Mobility Partnership Agreement where progress was made on the essential aspects. They underlined the positive impact that this agreement will have on a global approach to comprehensive migration, based on the intensification of business opportunities, exchanges of students, researchers and young professionals and better tackling of irregular migration. They agreed to continue this discussion and resolved to conclude the Agreement as early as possible. They also agreed to reinforce the dialogue on consular issues.

Regional and global challenges


India and France reaffirmed their solidarity with Afghanistan. They welcomed the will of the international community to remain committed after the 2014 transition, through bilateral and multilateral fora. Looking ahead to the Istanbul Conference of November 2, they welcomed the commitment of the region to work for a stable, peaceful, democratic and independent Afghanistan, achieved through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. They called for the continued engagement of the international community and increased cooperation in the region to work towards a terror-free Afghanistan. This would be in the interest of Afghanistan, the region and the international community at large.


The two countries support the efforts of the National Transition Council representing the Libyan people as a whole, to establish democratic institutions in a free Libya, to promote human rights, and to rebuild their country after the sufferings they have endured.

Middle East

Minister Krishna and Minister Juppé exchanged views on issues related to the Middle East including the peace process and the situation in Syria and agreed to continue the dialogue at all levels.


Minister Krishna and Minister Juppé reiterated their willingness to participate in the strengthening of the relationship between the European Union and India. They called for a successful India-EU summit in February 2012. They agreed that India and the EU should continue to work for the early conclusion of the negotiations for a mutually beneficial and balanced Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), which will lead to substantial increase in bilateral trade and investment flows


India and France have endeavoured to jointly fight international terrorism, a common threat. They reiterated their view that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds or attributed to any root causes. They noted that the bilateral Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism had met in Paris in June 2011. The two sides agreed to further expand information exchange and enhance counterterrorism cooperation in areas of mutual concern. They resolved to continue their efforts for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.


The two Ministers reaffirmed the role of the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation. India fully supports the priorities put on the G20 agenda by the French presidency. India and France reiterated their commitment to working together in the G20, especially on global issues notably, addressing the Financial crisis, development including infrastructure and food security, social dimension, fight against corruption, innovative financing, commodity price volatility, reform of the international financial institutions and financial regulatory reforms. They are committed to make the G20 Summit in Cannes a success, and support the adoption of an ambitious action plan for growth.

UN Reform

France reaffirmed its support for India’s accession as a permanent member of an enlarged UN Security Council. India and France are committed to reinforce their consultations at the UN on issues pertaining to international peace and stability.

Non proliferation

The two countries will intensify their cooperation on non-proliferation challenges, and will continue to work towards India’s full membership to the four export control regimes.

Climate Change

The two Ministers stressed their resolve to address the challenges posed by Climate Change, firmly based on the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in particular the principle of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together for an equitable, balanced and comprehensive outcome to the upcoming 17th Conference of Parties at Durban, South Africa.

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20 octobre 2011 4 20 /10 /octobre /2011 17:20
M4 carbine with M203A1

M4 carbine with M203A1


October 20, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE


U.S. soldiers and marines are using a new magazine for the 40mm grenades they fire from their single shot M203 and M320 grenade launchers. The MAG-D looks like a large rifle magazine. It is spring loaded and holds five 40mm rounds. Troops can easily pull a 40mm grenade from the MAG-D and load it into their weapon. A loaded MAG-D weighs less than three kg (6.6 pounds) each and is designed to hang from the webbing of the protective vest, and make additional rounds quickly available to troops carrying a rifle with a M203 or M320 attached (under the barrel). In the past, the 40mm rounds were carried loose or in bandoliers, and often got dirty or damaged. MAG-D also eliminates confusion about where different types of 40mm grenades are (high explosive, flare, smoke, tear gas, fuel-air explosive). U.S. Marines were the first to use MAG-D (which was invented by a former marine) and want more of them.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Army has replaced the M203 40mm grenade launcher with the M320, while the marines are still using the M203. The both launchers fit under the barrel of the M16 rifle (and similar weapons), and have been in use for forty years. The army bought 71,000 M320s (for about $3,500 each) to replace the 50,000 M203s it was using. The M320 is similar to the M203, but easier to use, has its own pistol grip, is more accurate and can be used separately from an M16 with the addition of a stock.


The biggest improvement with the M320 is its sighting system, which features a laser range finder. At night, an infrared range finder enables a soldier wearing night vision goggles to see the light beam. In over a year of testing, the M320s sighting system was seen to make the weapon much more accurate than the older M203. This was particularly the case with new users. With the M203, you got better after you had fired a hundred or so rounds. That took time, and was expensive (the 40mm grenades cost about $28 each). The 40mm grenades weigh 543 grams (19 ounces) each and have a range of about 400 meters. The grenade explosion can kill within five meters, and wound up to ten meters or more.


The marines also use the M32, a six round 40mm grenade launcher. It looks like a cross between a shotgun and a revolver type pistol. Most marine units are equipped with the M203, usually two or three per squad.

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19 octobre 2011 3 19 /10 /octobre /2011 06:25



Oct 18, 2011 ASDNews Source : Rheinmetall AG


A multifaceted partner for multifaceted operations


In contemporary peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations, where asymmetric threats are omnipresent, it can be hard to draw a hard and fast distinction between internal and external security. The duties of armed forces and internal security agencies often overlap, meaning that both require a multifaceted array of equipment and capabilities.


At Milipol 2011, the prestigious Paris tradeshow for military and law enforcement agencies, leading system supplier Rheinmetall Defence of Germany will be on hand from 18 to 21 October at Stand 1H-092, displaying an extensive range of products for police forces, security services and the armed forces, with the accent on the Group's numerous capabilities categories.




The newly established division Rheinmetall Electro-Optics, consisting of the companies Vinghog, Vingtech, Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics, I.L.E.E. and some units of Rheinmetall Defence Electornics, is presenting (among other things) night observation devices for many different applications - ranging from GN night vision goggles and the KN night vision visor to KDN night vision binoculars.


Weapons and weapon-related systems


Further, Rheinmetall Electro-Optics is presenting its tried-and-tested laser light modules, among them the brand-new Vario Ray (LLM-VR) and the LLM01, already in service with many armed forces and law enforcement organizations. The LLM01 has also been mounted on the German Bundeswehr's newest infantry weapon, the Designated Marksman Rifle G28 by Heckler & Koch.


Also on display are the Group's FeLVis fire control unit for 40mm low-velocity ammunition and the ZEFF dismounted soldier identification device (DSID).


Another Rheinmetall Electro-Optics product on show is the Vingmate advanced sight and fire control system. Besides the aiming device and fire control unit, it consists of a combined tripod and softmount, capable of receiving various 40mm automatic grenade launchers or .50 calibre heavy machine guns. Because the fire control unit can store up to ten ballistic firing tables, the effector of the Vingmate system can be quickly changed without having to readjust the weapon being used. The Canadian armed forces have procured a variant of the Vingmate system to serve as a close area support weapon, or CASW.


Moreover, at Milipol Rheinmetall also provides proof of its leading position in the field of 40mm ammunition, with an extensive array of 40mm x 46 (low velocity/LV and medium velocity/MV) and 40 mm x 53 high velocity (HV) rounds. These range from training and non-lethal cartridges to highly effective service ammunition.


At its Test Centre in Unterlus, the company recently conducted an impressive demonstration of its 40mm x 46 MV und 40mm x 53 HV time-delay airburst cartridges on behalf of the international ground forces community. Rheinmetall is developing the Cerberus grenade launcher and the Hydra automatic grenade launcher, specially designed for firing medium-velocity ammunition. Both weapon systems feature hydraulic shock absorbers that reduce the resulting recoil to the level of low velocity ammuntion.


Rheinmetall has also developed a quick-mounting digital aiming device for the Fly-K mortar, a system successfully deployed by the French armed forces in Afghanistan. The device measures the incline and elevation angle of the tube, while showing the range of the cartridges on a display. Light, compact, quiet and with a very low operational signature, this indirect fire weapon can of course also be used without an aiming device to engage targets at distances of up to 800 metres.


In the ordnance field, Rheinmetall is displaying its new generation flash-bang grenade, which features bottom-top venting (BTV) technology. Its new chamber system is designed for different decibel levels: 180 dB for military applications and 170 dB for law enforcement operations. For added flexibility, the new generation can be used either with a conventional flash-bang charge or with a newly developed perchlorate-free one, which also produces less smoke.


Rheinmetall has also improved the performance of the classic Spirco rapid smoke/obscurant grenade. In addition, its new red phosphorous smoke/obscurant grenade, known as ISIS (standing for "Infrared Smoke Instantaneous Spread"), creates a smokescreen in the space of a second that is impenetrable to optical, night vision and infrared devices.


Designed for illumination and signalling, the Group's handheld Mithras rockets make it possible to engage hostile forces around the clock. They feature ranges of 300, 600 and 1,000 metres, and come in normal and IR versions. The British armed forces have already introduced this innovative signalling rocket.




The Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles division makes numerous vehicles that substantially enhance the mobility and operational effectiveness of miltary and law enforcement units. For example, the German Military Police use a water cannon version of the Yak protected command and mission-specific vehicle.


A joint development of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Armoured Multi Purpose Vehicle, or AMPV, is currently undergoing Bundeswehr trials.


Finally, the robust all-terrain vehicles of the HX/SX family and the TGM model series assure first-class mobility. Scale models of the Yak, AMPV and TGM are all on display at the Rheinmetall stand.




Rheinmetall is also a many-sided partner in the field of ballistic protection. On show at Milipol is the VERhA-product range by Rheinmetall Verseidag Protection Systems, consisting of high-performance, lightweight materials which are installed in special vehicles, helicopters and ships to protect their occupants. Inserts for bullet-resistant vests can also be inspected at the company's stand. In addition, Rheinmetall Chempro is presenting its practical Mobile Modular Protection System, or MMS. Whether it is used for reinforcing mobile checkpoints, for hardening shelters in forward operating bases or protecting portholes and machine gun positions on board ships, the MMS assures maximum flexibility in all climate zones, meeting the need for swiftly deployable protection in accordance with STANAG 4569, even in difficult terrain.


Rheinmetall's major presence at Milipol 2011 underscores yet again the Group's multifaceted role as a leading supplier of systems and equipment for the world's armed forces and law enforcement agencies.

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17 octobre 2011 1 17 /10 /octobre /2011 16:45



Royal Australian Navy's Collins class submarine in the floating dock. (photo : cumminscommentary)




AUSTRALIA'S troubled Collins Class submarines are more than twice as expensive to operate as US Navy nuclear submarines that are more than three times bigger.

Figures obtained by the Herald Sun, show the six Collins subs cost about $630 million a year - or $105 million each - to maintain, making them the most expensive submarines ever to put to sea.
Only two of the fleet of six could go to war at the moment.

The annual price for "sustainment" (maintenance and support) is $415.9 million for 2011-12 with operating costs running at $213.4 million for the year, for a total of $629.3 million.

A US Navy Ohio Class nuclear attack submarine - more than three times the size of a Collins boat - costs about $50 million a year to operate.

The cost figures are revealed as Defence officials say at least two possible contenders for the navy's new submarine fleet - the Spanish S-80 and French-Spanish Scorpene class boat - have been ruled out of the future submarine project.

In 2008, embarrassed navy brass stopped reporting on the performance of the Collins fleet in the Defence annual report.


The 2007-08 performance outcome for the Collins fleet showed it achieved 64 per cent of its mission capability, or 559 days of actual availability.



Since then the figures have been classified "secret", but assuming a similar outcome, then sustaining the subs now costs taxpayers $1,643,835 a day for all six vessels.


With only two or three available for duty, that cost blows out to more than $500,000 a day.
Sustainment costs are forecast to be $443 million this year. Since 2004, the costs have more than doubled from $204 million.


Opposition defence spokesman Senator David Johnston accused the Government and Defence Minister Stephen Smith of taking their eye off the ball when it came to the submarines.


Mr Smith said the Government was being careful about plans for 12 new submarines because 80 per cent of problems with the Collins could be traced back to mistakes in the planning stage.


Displacement = 16,500 tonnes
Length =170 metres
Speed = 12 knots surfaced 20 kts submerged
Crew = 155
Armament = Mark 68 torpedoes, Trident ballistic nuclear armed missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles


Displacement = 3000 tonnes
Length = 77 metres
Speed = 10 knots surfaced 21 knots submerged
Crew = 38 to 48
Armament = 6 X 53cm torpedo tubes, Mark 48 torpedoes


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16 octobre 2011 7 16 /10 /octobre /2011 17:30


source United States Missile Defense Agency


16 octobre 2011 Par Maxime Perez - israelvalley.com


Combien de temps faut-il à un missile pakistanais pour frapper l’Inde ? Un peu plus de soixante secondes pour atteindre Bombay, capitale économique, trois minutes pour New Delhi et environ huit minutes pour Bangalore, situé dans le sud du pays.


Située dans l’Etat du Karnataka, Bangalore – qui signifie la « ville des haricots bouillis » dans l’idiome locale – abrite la Silicon Valley indienne. Fondé en 1909 par le philanthrope Tata, l’Indian Institute of Science est devenu l’un des centres de recherche asiatiques les plus réputés.


Nouvelles technologies et production de logiciels informatiques, biochimie, aérospatiale font partie des domaines développés dans cette cité où sont aujourd’hui installées des unités de recherche et développement et de nombreuses industries de défense.


Les entreprises indiennes y sous-traitent avec des firmes occidentales en côtoyant les bureaux délocalisés de multinationales (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, etc.), attirées par le faible coût d’une main-d’œuvre indienne hautement qualifiée.


A l’évidence, Bangalore constitue un site stratégique. Sauf que jusqu’ici, il ne bénéficiait d’aucune mesure de protection particulière. Désormais, un bouclier antimissile extrêmement polyvalent est en passe de protéger la zone contre toute attaque de missile pakistanais.


Fort de son savoir-faire en la matière et de ses liens privilégiés avec l’Inde, Israël a pris une part très importante dans le déploiement de ce dispositif. Deux systèmes antimissiles ont ainsi été intégrés au bouclier indien : le Arrow (« flèche ») et le Barak-8 (« foudre »). Ils sont appuyés par le puissant radar « Pin vert », lui aussi de fabrication israélienne. Après avoir subi de nouvelles modifications, son balayage tridimensionnel s’effectue sur un rayon de 1000 kilomètres.


Conçu par Rafael et l’IAI, le Barak-8 est missile mer-air, capable d’intercepter toute sorte de projectible dans un rayon de 70 kilomètres : drones, avions de chasse et roquettes. Depuis 2005, il est opérationnel dans la marine indienne.


Fruit d’un programme entamé dans les années 80, le système Arrow (connu sous l’appellation « Hetz » en hébreu) en est aujourd’hui à sa troisième phase de développement. C’est néanmoins le Arrow 2 qui équipe actuellement l’armée de l’air indienne.


Le missile est en mesure de contrer simultanément 14 missiles dans un rayon de 50 à 90 kilomètres. Il est commandé au sol par un centre de gestion réseau-centrique (baptisé « citron doré »), véritablement unique au monde. Le missile intercepteur utilise un détonateur de proximité à guidage terminal pour détruire des cibles situées à 40 kilomètres d’altitude.


Inde-Israël : des partenaires de premier plan


Au début des années 90, l’Inde a développé une étroite coopération militaire et sécuritaire avec l’Etat hébreu, tournant ainsi la page sur des décennies de méfiance mutuelle. Abandonnant sa position de pays non aligné au moment de la chute du bloc de l’Est, New Delhi a rapidement fait appel à l’armée israélienne pour solutionner ses problèmes avec le Pakistan, notamment au Cachemire en matière de lutte anti-terroriste.


Depuis mars 2009, Israël constitue désormais le premier fournisseur d’armes de l’Inde devant la Russie. Le dernier contrat d’armements signé entre New Delhi et Jérusalem a rapporté 1,5 milliard de dollars à l’IAI. Il s’agit de la vente du système de défense antimissile « Barak 8».


En une quinzaine d’années, Israël a ainsi fourni à l’Inde pour près de 9 milliards de dollars d’équipements militaires. Depuis des attentats de Bombay en novembre 2008, le gouvernement indien ne rencontre plus la même opposition de la part d’une frange de sa population musulmane et des parties de gauche qui sont habituellement opposés à un rapprochement stratégique avec l’Etat hébreu.


Récemment, des projets israélo-indiens ont été lancés dans le domaine de la surveillance navale et aérienne. En août 2008, le développement d’une version améliorée du système de missiles sol-air Spyder d’IAI et Rafael a été approuvé par le ministère indien de la Défense.

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10 octobre 2011 1 10 /10 /octobre /2011 17:25



10.10.2011 KMW - army-guide.com


Outstanding levels of tactical, operational and strategic mobility, compelling combat effectiveness and maximum survivability are key requirements imposed on modern military vehicles today – whether they are designed primarily for combat, command and control, mission-specific roles or transport.


In contemporary conflicts, where the threat is often asymmetric yet deadly, protecting troops deployed in harm’s way from hostile fire, IED attacks, CBRN agents and even extreme climates conditions has become a top priority for commanders worldwide: around the clock and in every branch of every service.


This is reflected in the current procurement plans of the armed forces of many nations, including the Bundeswehr’s GFF/GTF project to develop protected C4I and mission-specific vehicles as well as protected transport capacity.


Under this programme, Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of Germany have joined forces to develop a highly protected family of armoured multipurpose vehicles (AMPV) in the weight class up to 9 ton. Their design and layout take full account of operational experience accumulated by the German armed forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Engineered exclusively to meet the needs of the modern military, the AMPV family consists of two separate branches.


The AMPV,a prototype version of which is currently undergoing qualification by the German armed forces, is slightly over five metres long, two metres wide and two metres high. Empty, it weighs 7.3 tons and can carry a two-ton payload. The highly protected vehicle cell consists of a self-supporting steel hull with composite armour. Spall liners, reinforced flooring and cellular design offer excellent protection against mines and IEDs; while add-on armour modules supply extra ballistic protection.


High mobility likewise contributes to a vehicle’s overall battlefield survivability, and the AMPV design reflects this. The vehicle’s robust chassis, featuring independent wheel suspension, is engineered to withstand maximum punishment. An automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, automatic differential locking management and combat wheels with a central tyre inflation system combine to assure superb mobility even in the toughest terrain.


A patrol version of AMPV (with an unprotected load space) will be available, as well as mission module carriers with a safety cell extending all the way back to the rear of the vehicle. For enhanced lethality, a remote control weapon station up to calibre .50 can be mounted on any AMPV vehicle.


Extremely compact, all members of the AMPV family largely consist of identical components, especially the logistically relevant parts of the vehicle. Moreover, their essentially uniform, highly ergonomic design makes all AMPV vehicles easy to operate as well as facilitating logistics and training.

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10 octobre 2011 1 10 /10 /octobre /2011 07:25
US soldiers in midst of equipment revolution


October 10th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK AFP


Kevlar underwear, enhanced night-vision goggles and portable solar panels: the US military is seeing a gear revolution, thanks to the lessons learned during 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.


The M4 rifle remains the basic firearm of the American GI, but the addition of many gizmos now makes the soldier look more like Inspector Gadget than GI Joe: the typical gear kit includes 73 items, from clothes to weapons.


Program Executive Office Soldier, the military unit responsible for inventing and producing army equipment, says some items are designed to better protect soldiers on the ground, while others help them understand the terrain.


Since 2004, every soldier has been issued a bulletproof vest with extra protection panels.


But the increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), responsible for more than half the deaths of US soldiers in Afghanistan, has led to the development of new protective gear.


Over the next two months, "tens of thousands" of Kevlar outergarments to protect the pelvic area will be sent to US soldiers in Afghanistan, according to Colonel William Cole, who is part of the PEO Soldier unit.


"It protects soldiers if they step on an anti-personnel IED. It can really mitigate their injuries," he told reporters.


The protective outergarment is worn over the soldier's fatigues.


Soldiers in Afghanistan also will have a Kevlar undergarment, similar to a pair of biker shorts, which helps protect them against infections caused by dirt and stones kicked up in a blast.


"When you keep the wound area clean, you prevent follow-on infections," Cole said.


To combat the frequent traumatic brain injuries suffered by troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq, which doctors say often lead to cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, helmets are being tricked out with sensors.


"When a soldier is caught in an IED event, we will be able to immediately download the data from his helmet to determine what kind of impact the helmet got to help the medical community correlate that to what kind of brain injury he might have," Cole said.


Colonel Stephanie Foster, the program manager for the unit's Soldiers, Sensors and Lasers project, expresses her pride in the new "Individual Gunshot Detector" system, which will help soldiers locate hidden snipers.


"You can wear it on the shoulder or other parts of your equipment," Foster said of the IGD sensor, 5,000 of which are already being used on the ground.


"Basically you have the ability to have counter-sniper situational awareness. With its acoustic device, you'll be able to get the range and direction of the incoming fire."


For night-time combat, modern armies have the upper hand over insurgents thanks to night-vision goggles. The new-generation eyewear, which is just reaching the field, will allow troops to more easily detect enemy fighters.


Other gadgets in the works -- like the lightweight Joint Effects Targeting System -- will allow soldiers to use a laser target to guide an air strike.


The US military currently uses a laser designator weighing several kilos (pounds) which is mounted on a tripod.


The use of too many electronic gadgets can be cause for concern.


"When you're in an hostile environment, how do you recharge your batteries?" wonders Bill Brower, a deputy project manager, displaying a box as big as a pack of cigarettes.


"It's basically a power manager. With it, I can take power from virtually any source. If I come across an old car battery, I can plug this in."


If there are no power sources around, soldiers can always use a portable solar blanket covered with mini-solar panels, which can be used to charge up a small computer.

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7 octobre 2011 5 07 /10 /octobre /2011 07:55
Le Batral La Grandière crédits : MARINE NATIONALE

Le Batral La Grandière crédits : MARINE NATIONALE


07/10/2011 MER et MARINE


Appelés BMM, pour bâtiments multi-missions, les successeurs des bâtiments de transport légers (Batral) de la Marine nationale seront commandés l'an prochain. Ce nouveau programme remplace l'ancien projet BIS (bâtiment d'intervention et de souveraineté). Cet été, la Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) a lancé un appel à projets en vue de notifier en 2012 le contrat, dont le financement est prévu par le projet de loi de finances. Différent du programme BSAH (bâtiments de soutien et d'assistance hauturier), qui sera lui aussi lancé l'année prochaine, le programme BMM va voir l'acquisition de trois navires afin de remplacer les Batral Dumont d'Urville, Jacques Carter et La Grandière. Les nouvelles unités seront basées aux Antilles, en Nouvelle-Calédonie et en Polynésie.

Le Batral Dumont d'Urville (© : MARINE NATIONALE)

Mise en service en 2014

Les BMM, dont la livraison est prévue à partir de 2014, seront des navires de type supply, c'est-à-dire des bateaux des bateaux de soutien et de ravitaillement, à l'image de ceux exploités dans le secteur offshore. Construits aux normes civiles, ils mesureront 60 à 80 mètres et afficheront un déplacement d'au moins 1000 tonnes. La DGA a spécifié que ces bâtiments devaient avoir une grue pour l'embarquement de conteneurs, pouvoir mettre en oeuvre des embarcations rapides et des plongeurs, être en mesure de transporter des armes et des munitions, et présenter une autonomie importante, leur permettant de tenir au moins 20 jours en opérations. De nombreux designs de navires peuvent correspondre à ces besoins. Dans le cadre du projet BIS, Rolls-Royce avait, par exemple, proposé plusieurs versions militaires de ses célèbres remorqueurs du type UT, qui rencontrent un certain succès auprès de différentes marines et garde-côtes. Mais le groupe britannique et ses bureaux d'études norvégiens ne sont sans doute pas les seuls sur les rangs. Le groupe français Piriou, qui a développé une gamme de patrouilleurs polyvalents de 60 à 80 mètres, les Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel (MPOV), peut par exemple se positionner .

Navire du type UT512 (© : ROLLS-ROYCE)

Navire du type UT515 (© : ROLLS-ROYCE)

Un financement interministériel

Contrairement aux BSAH, les BMM ne vont pas faire l'objet d'un partenariat public privé. En revanche, et c'est une grande nouveauté, il s'agit d'un programme dont le financement sera interministériel. En dehors du ministère de la Défense, qui pilote le dossier via la DGA, les ministères de l'Intérieur, des Pêches (Agriculture) et des Transports (Ecologie), ainsi que des Finances (dont dépend la Douane) vont également mettre la main à la poche. Car les BMM, qui seront armés par la Marine nationale, ne rempliront pas que des missions militaires, comme la surveillance et le contrôle des espaces océaniques outre-mer, ainsi que le transport de personnels et de matériel de l'armée de Terre. Leur action concernera aussi d'autres ministères, puisqu'ils assureront des missions de police des pêches, de lutte contre les trafics et l'immigration clandestine, de lutte contre les pollutions ou encore de soutien logistique des territoires ultramarins et d'aide humanitaire aux pays riverains suite à des catastrophes naturelles. La mutualisation de leur acquisition en interministériel, dans l'esprit de la nouvelle Fonction Garde Côtes (FGC), est donc logique.

Débarquement depuis le La Grandière (© : MARINE NATIONALE)

Blindé débarqué du Dumont d'Urville (© : MARINE NATIONALE)

Abandon des capacités amphibies

Entre les Batral et les BMM, la grande nouveauté est l'abandon des capacités de débarquement amphibies. Mis en service entre 1983 et 1987 (deux autres unités plus anciennes, les Champlain et Francis Garnier, ayant déjà été désarmés), les Batral ont, à l'époque de la guerre froide, été conçus pouvoir déployer une compagnie d'intervention Guépard de l'armée de Terre. Bateaux à fond plat pouvant s'échouer sur une plage, les Dumont d'Urville, Jacques Carter et La Grandière, longs de 80 mètres pour un déplacement de 1330 tonnes en charge, ont la possibilité de projeter 140 soldats et 12 véhicules, dont des blindés. L'embarquement et le débarquement des hommes et surtout du matériel se fait au moyen d'une rampe, qui se déploie après l'ouverture de la grande porte de proue. L'évolution des missions et des besoins, ces dernières années, a rendu moins évidente la nécessité de disposer, sur les successeurs de Batral, de capacités amphibies. Celles-ci auraient été intéressantes, comme l'histoire récente l'a montré, pour intervenir suite à des catastrophes naturelles dans des zones où les infrastructures portuaires sont inexistantes ou hors d'usage. Mais cette option n'a pas été retenue, peut-être dans la mesure où cela aurait nécessité le développement d'un bâtiment spécifique, plus coûteux qu'un supply, type de bateau construit à la chaîne pour l'offshore et logiquement moins onéreux, même avec quelques adaptations.

Le Francis Garnier chargé d'aide humanitaire pour Haïti, en 2008 (© : EMA)

Le Batral Dumont d'Urville (© : MARINE NATIONALE)

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7 octobre 2011 5 07 /10 /octobre /2011 07:55
Remorqueur-ravitailleur du type Rari crédits : Marine nationale

Remorqueur-ravitailleur du type Rari crédits : Marine nationale


07/10/2011 MER et MARINE


Le programme des nouveaux bâtiments de soutien et d'assistance hauturiers (BSAH) a été inscrit au projet de loi de finances 2012, qui prévoit une commande l'an prochain. Les nouveaux navires devront remplacer les remorqueurs de haute mer (RHM) Malabar et Tenace, le remorqueur ravitailleur (RR) Revi, les bâtiments de soutien de région (BSR) Elan, Chevreuil, Gazelle et Taape, ainsi que les bâtiments de soutien, d'assistance et de dépollution (BSAD) Ailette et Alcyon.

En tout, une petite dizaine de navires (sans doute 8) doivent succéder, entre 2014 et 2015, aux navires de soutien qu'aligne actuellement la Marine nationale. Pour remplacer les RHM, RR, BSR et BSAD, la Direction Générale de l'Armement, qui notifiera la commande, souhaite des navires du type Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS), à l'image des gros remorqueurs civils utilisés dans le secteur offshore. Les futurs BSAH mesureraient 70 à 80 mètres de long pour un déplacement de 2000 à 3000 tonnes, leur motorisation développant entre 8000 et 12.000 cv. Ils doivent disposer d'une grande plateforme de travail, sur l'arrière, capable d'accueillir divers équipements et matériels. Les caractéristiques techniques, indicatives, ne sont pas fixées précisément. Elles seront affinées avec les opérateurs privés intéressés par ce programme, qui a fait l'objet, en 2010, d'un appel à projets.



Partenariat public/privé

Pour les BSAH, le ministère de la Défense a, en effet, prévu un contrat de partenariat d'Etat avec des groupes privés. Il verra la mise en place d'un contrat de service global de longue durée couvrant la réalisation, la mise à disposition et l'entretien des navires. Ce contrat sera signé en 2012 à l'issue d'une procédure de dialogue compétitif. L'appel à projets permet de retenir les dossiers répondant aux critères fixés par la DGA. En fonction du service demandé, les candidats ont proposé leurs solutions techniques et financières, y compris sur le dimensionnement de la flotte de BSAH. Celle-ci sera répartie en deux groupes. Le premier, qui comprendrait quatre bâtiments, sera armé par la Marine nationale. Les navires seront chargés du soutien des forces avec, par exemple, des missions (comme le remorquage) au profit des sous-marins nucléaires, ou encore le repêchage de cibles ou de torpilles d'exercice.

Le reste des BSAH sera armé par un équipage civil, à l'image de ce qui se pratique aujourd'hui avec les BSAD, mais aussi les remorqueurs d'intervention, d'assistance et de sauvetage (RIAS), qui appartiennent au groupe Bourbon et sont affrétés par la Marine nationale. Les futurs BSAH « civils », armés sous pavillon européen (français ou autre), assureront des missions de sauvegarde maritime, incluant le sauvetage, l'assistance aux navires en difficulté, la protection du littoral et éventuellement des missions de police. Ils seront également affectés au soutien de région, consistant notamment au remorquage, à la pose et à l'entretien de coffres, aux ancrages et à d'autres travaux de servitude.


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5 octobre 2011 3 05 /10 /octobre /2011 07:55
Le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle crédits : EMA

Le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle crédits : EMA


05/10/2011 MER et MARINE


Commandée en 2008 à l'issue des réflexions ayant abouti au livre blanc sur la défense, la nouvelle étude portant sur le second porte-avions français (PA2) est achevée. Les travaux ont, notamment, porté sur les différents modes de propulsion possibles. Il s'agissait d'évaluer, à long terme, les avantages et les inconvénients du nucléaire. Le principal bénéfice de ce mode de propulsion, adopté pour le Charles de Gaulle, est d'offrir une autonomie considérable, la place occupée par le combustible de propulsion pouvant être attribuée à d'autres fonctions. Dans un contexte de renchérissement du pétrole et de raréfaction des hydrocarbures (du moins ceux facilement atteignables), cette solution peut paraitre avantageuse en matière de coûts d'exploitation. Mais elle présente aussi des inconvénients. Comme l'a démontré le Charles de Gaulle, les contraintes en termes de sécurité sont importantes et, en temps de paix, la propulsion d'un porte-avions nucléaire (PAN) est gérée suivant les mêmes règles de sureté qu'une centrale nucléaire civile, ce qui n'est pas la solution offrant le plus de souplesse par rapport aux besoins opérationnels. Les mesures de sécurité, très importantes, ont évidemment un coût, auquel il faudra rajouter le démantèlement des installations une fois le bâtiment désarmé. Le rechargement des réacteurs est, de plus, dimensionnant lors des grands arrêts techniques et rend le navire inutilisable durant une longue période. En matière d'escales, il est aussi à noter que tous les pays n'acceptent pas les bâtiments à propulsion nucléaire, ce qui peut parfois être problématique. Quant aux ressources humaines, la réalisation d'un second PAN nécessiterait sans doute d'augmenter les effectifs spécialisés, notamment les atomiciens, qui demeurent des « perles rares » en matière de recrutement. Enfin, au cas où le PA2 serait construit et qu'il serait décidé de le doter d'une propulsion nucléaire, il conviendrait de développer de nouveaux réacteurs, ce qui entrainerait un surcoût important et rendrait sans doute plus complexe la mise en oeuvre de deux porte-avions équipés différemment.

En somme, bien que l'option nucléaire soit opérationnellement la meilleure, les contraintes évoquées, dans un contexte budgétaire compliqué, plaident plutôt en faveur d'un porte-avions à propulsion conventionnelle, telle le PA2 issu du projet de coopération franco-britannique mené entre 2006 et 2008. Ce projet n'est officiellement plus à l'ordre du jour, même si le gouvernement britannique a décidé de se séparer de l'un de ses deux futurs porte-avions, le Queen Elizabeth, actuellement assemblé à Rosyth, ce qui peut constituer une éventuelle opportunité (moyennant une adaptation aux besoins français).

Le design de PA2 présenté par DCNS fin 2010 (© : MER ET MARINE)

DCNS et STX ont un design en poche

Après l'abandon du programme franco-britannique en 2008, DCNS et STX France ont travaillé sur un nouveau design de porte-avions, s'affranchissant des contraintes liées à la coopération. Présenté lors du salon Euronaval 2010, le dernier modèle exposé porte sur un navire à propulsion classique doté de trois lignes d'arbres. Long de 285 mètres pour un déplacement de 59.000 tonnes en charge, ce projet se distingue par un important travail sur la carène, avec bulbe d'étrave très allongé et jupe à la poupe, ainsi que l'optimisation de la plateforme pour réduire fortement les coûts d'exploitation et de maintenance. Grâce à l'automatisation, l'équipage (hors groupe aérien embarqué) pourrait être réduit à 900 marins, contre 1260 pour le Charles de Gaulle, pourtant plus petit (261 mètres, 42.000 tonnes). Ce modèle de PA2 pourrait embarquer 32 Rafale, 3 Hawkeye et 5 hélicoptères. En profitant des techniques de construction modernes mises en oeuvre à Saint-Nazaire, la coque pourrait, aujourd'hui, être réalisée entre deux et trois ans seulement, auxquels il convient d'ajouter la phase d'essais et de mise au point des systèmes. En clair, s'il était commandé demain, ce second porte-avions pourrait être à la mer lorsque son aîné subira, vers 2016, son second arrêt technique majeur, qui sera assorti d'une importante modernisation.

L'étude commandée en 2008 et désormais achevée a pour but d'éclairer le président de la République sur les possibilités techniques offertes. Il y a trois ans, Nicolas Sarkozy avait renvoyé à 2011/2012 la décision de construire, ou non, le PA2. Jusqu'ici, l'Elysée a mis en avant le contexte économique difficile pour différer ce programme, dont l'utilité n'est pourtant pas remise en cause, un seul porte-avions ne permettant pas de disposer en permanence du groupe aéronaval, l'une des clés de voute l'armée française.

Mais la réalisation du PA2 demeure avant tout une question politique, son coût (environ 3 milliards d'euros à répartir sur plusieurs années) étant finalement assez faible comparé à d'autres programmes et, de manière générale, à ce que l'Etat dépense tous les ans en crédits d'équipement (16 milliards d'euros).

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3 octobre 2011 1 03 /10 /octobre /2011 07:55
PLF 2012 : Livraisons et commandes attendues pour la Marine nationale


03/10/2011 MER et MARINE


L'an prochain, le gouvernement prévoit d'affecter 16.5 milliards d'euros pour équiper les forces armées françaises. Concernant la Marine nationale, le projet de loi de finances 2012 porte notamment, en matière de dissuasion nucléaire, sur la commande d'une tranche de production du missile balistique M51.2 ; ainsi que le lancement de la réalisation du programme TRANSOUM relatif aux transmissions stratégiques. Dans le domaine du commandement et de la maîtrise de l'information, la modernisation et la numérisation des moyens va se poursuivre avec les commandes de 19 réseaux navals RIFAN étape 2 supplémentaires.

Concernant l'engagement au combat, le PLF 2012 confirme le lancement du programme de rénovation des avions de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2. Il prévoit aussi la préparation du prochain arrêt technique majeur du porte-avions Charles de Gaulle, programmé vers 2016 et qui comprendra un vaste programme de modernisation. Le développement du missile Antinavire léger (ANL) est aussi intégré au budget.

Enfin, dans le domaine de la protection et de la sauvegarde, 2012 doit voir la notification du programme des Bâtiments de Soutien et d'Assistance Hauturiers (BSAH).

Côté livraison, la Marine nationale touchera, en 2012, son troisième bâtiment de projection et de commandement, le Dixmude, ainsi que la première des 11 frégates multi-missions, l'Aquitaine. Seront aussi livrés l'an prochain 12 réseaux navals RIFAN étape 2, 11 stations navales et 1 téléport TELCOMARSAT, ainsi que 16 missiles Exocet MM40 block3.

Des livraisons complémentaires, concernant la marine mais aussi d'autres armées sont prévues, le détail n'étant pas encore fourni quant aux répartissions. Il s'agit de 10 stations sol et navales Syracuse III, 11 avions Rafale, 7 nacelles de reconnaissance Reco NG, 228 Armements air-sol modulaires (AASM), 8 hélicoptères Caïman (NH90), 61 missiles Aster, 10 missiles Mica et 15 missiles rénovés Mistral.

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22 septembre 2011 4 22 /09 /septembre /2011 17:20


source flightglobal.com


Sept. 22, 2011 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Saab AB; issued Sept. 22, 2011)


Defence and security company Saab has signed a frame agreement and received a first order from the EADS company Cassidian to supply safety-critical avionics equipment for the new advanced UAV system Talarion.


The order includes design and development of the Aircraft Vehicle Management Computer (AVMC), Communications Computer (CC) and Mission & Payload Management Computer (MPMC) for Talarion.


The work will be carried out by the Avionics Division of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence Systems, in Jönköping and Järfälla, Sweden, and deliveries of the first order will take place 2012-2014.


“The selection of Saab to provide mission and flight critical avionics equipment for this new advanced platform verifies our position as a competitive supplier in the avionics market,” says Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence Systems.


“It also acknowledges our product strategy of developing common avionics building blocks that could be adapted for many different functions for various customer needs.”


Talarion is a European development program to fulfill functional and operational capability for in-theatre ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance). Due to its specific design, Talarion is able to operate over its broad flight envelope spectrum thereby establishing persistent surveillance, precise adversary identification, localization and real-time intelligence.

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17 septembre 2011 6 17 /09 /septembre /2011 11:50
Armements: l'Inde lance un remake du Kalachnikov (journal)

NEW DELHI, 16 septembre - RIA Novosti


L'Inde envisage de lancer la production d'un fusil d'assaut imitant le célèbre Kalachnikov AK-47 dont il reprend les caractéristiques principales, a annoncé vendredi le quotidien Times of India, se référant à des sources au sein de l'industrie d'armements.


Selon le journal, l'entreprise Tiruchirapalli Ordnance Factory (basée dans l'Etat indien du Tamil Nadu) a mis au point un fusil d'assaut que les médias ont immédiatement baptisé "le cousin de l'AK-47".


Appelée Tiruchirapalli Assault Rifle (TAR), la nouvelle arme subit actuellement des tests en vue de sa prodiction en série. D'après le journal, elle équipera d'abord la police avant d'être mise à la disposition de l'armée.


Des sources proches du fabricant du fusil indien ont fait savoir que le TAR est en mesure de neutraliser les cibles à une distance de 400 mètres.


Le quotidien rappelle que les armuriers indiens avaient déjà tenté de mettre sur pied leur propre production de fusils d'assaut similaires à l'AK-47. Or, cette démarche avait alors provoqué les protestations de leurs collègues russes mécontents de cette violation des droits d'auteur.

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16 septembre 2011 5 16 /09 /septembre /2011 06:30
South Korea To Issue AH-X RFP In January


Sep 15, 2011 By Bradley Perrett - aviation week and space technology


Sacheon, South Korea - Forget death and taxes. Probably the surest thing in aerospace these days is that South Korea will want serious technology transfer in any major military equipment order.


The country’s manufacturers are increasingly confident in their ability to win manufacturing contracts without the compulsion of offsets. More and more, they and the government want the know-how behind the systems that the country buys, with the aim of making the next generation themselves.


In an classic example of that process, the planned Korea Attack Helicopter (KAH) might end up as an amalgam of European, South Korean and U.S. technology if Boeing, as looks likely, wins Seoul’s separate AH-X rotorcraft for 36 heavy attack rotorcraft.


With a request for proposals likely within months, the other competitors for the AH-X competition are expected to be Eurocopter, offering the Tiger; Bell with the AH-1Z Viper; and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and AgustaWestland with the T-129, a derivative of the A129 Mangusta.


The South Korean army wants the Apache, say local and U.S. officials in government and industry. It has been trying to buy the aircraft for more than a decade, and its keenness has only risen with the transfer of U.S. Army Apaches ­(AH-64) from the peninsula to Iraq two years ago. While the preference of the South Korean forces is not always decisive in a country that often puts industrial development first, two factors are reinforcing Boeing’s already high chances.


One of those is the transfer of Apache airframe manufacturing to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), which is shaping up as the national helicopter champion. KAI will build airframes for U.S. Army Apaches whether the country buys the aircraft or not, but South Korean orders will add to the orderbook.


A second factor is the definition of the indigenous Korean Attack Helicopter as an aircraft of about 5 metric ton—uncomfortably close to the gross weight of all of the AH-X competitors except for the 8-ton Apache.


Boeing’s approach to the offset requirement is to suggest the integration of Apache avionics on the KAH. As the U.S. government urges South Korea to put priority on interoperability with U.S. forces on the peninsula—and therefore choose the Apache—Boeing is stressing the value of the KAH being able to operate with its helicopter. Integration of U.S. weapons, such as the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile, would also be simplified by moving systems from the Apache to the KAH.


Each of the other likely bidders brings important advantages. South Korea and Turkey have a developing military-industrial relationship that would be further promoted by the choice of TAI and AgustaWestland. The army already operates earlier versions of the AH-1, so that type should offer attractively low costs at entry into service. And Eurocopter, already a partner with KAI in developing the Surion transport under the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) program, is well positioned to link its AH-X offer to codevelopment of the KAH. Moreover, all of those manufacturers can offer aircraft designed for NATO standards, somewhat diminishing Boeing’s claimed advantage in high levels of interoperability.


The Defense Acquisition Program Agency is expected to issue a request for proposals in January 2012, with responses due by April, selection in July and a contract in October.


A key part of the mission is the destruction of North Korean special forces attempting to infiltrate coastal or land borders, says an industry executive. The KAH, replacing OH-6s and AH-1s, will perform a broader close support and reconnaissance role. Under the influence of the industry ministry, called the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, it will be designed with a cabin of up to eight seats so it can be easily transformed into a civil transport. Marketed internationally with the Surion, it would help establish a South Korean helicopter export industry.


A Boeing executive says the company is not interested in taking a risk-sharing role on the KAH. So even if the company wins AH-X, KAI, the selected South Korean manufacturer, will have to work with another partner, such as Eurocopter, for the airframe and dynamics of KAH.


The transfer of Apache structural work to KAI’s plant here is emblematic of the country’s mastery of manufacturing and helps explain its determination to move on to developing aircraft. A Boeing official says the Korean company hit quality targets almost from the beginning of its Apache program. Judged against such metrics as tolerances, finish and precision of fasteners, the helicopter bodies were delivered to an unusually high standard, he says.


Airframe production is due to rise to five from three a month as the remanufacturing of U.S. Army Apaches ramps up. A KAI official says the company has the workers and space for the expansion but will need new tools. It plans to design some that it expects will cut production costs.


So far in the program it has introduced tools for making subassemblies that are positioned vertically instead of horizontally, as before. They are easier to work with and save space, says a KAI production engineer.

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15 septembre 2011 4 15 /09 /septembre /2011 07:00
EADS Awaits Fighter Radar, UAV Decisions

photo Eurofighter - source flightglobal.com


Sep 14, 2011 By Robert Wall aerospace daily and defense report


LONDON – With two flagship programs in the balance, EADS is awaiting formal government endorsement of both its Eurofighter Typhoon active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and Talarion unmanned aircraft endeavors.


The outlook for the two is slightly split, though. For the Typhoon AESA – deemed critical for the Indian Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft program, which is considering the Typhoon and Dassault’s Rafale – the prospects are internally seen as positive. “We are almost there,” says Cassidian chief executive Stefan Zoller. Since Typhoon buyers endorsed the effort, Zoller says it is “no concern anymore.” The money is being finalized and is expected to materialize.


For the Talarion program, EADS is trying to sustain a similarly positive outlook. But reality is more complex.


Spain and Turkey have signaled their willingness to participate, but the support of Germany and France is crucial to see the program gain traction. Neither country has signed on yet.


Furthermore, EADS is reaching the end of the time it will self-fund Talarion development efforts.


The focus now is securing €300 million to €400 million ($409 million - $545 million) for prototyping work. Zoller notes that spread over several countries, that is a small sum. But he refuses to discuss how long EADS will sustain self-funded activities, noting merely that “there is no deadline,” while conceding “we can’t be going on forever.”


Zoller believes Talarion still has a chance at survival, though, even if France and the U.K. are discussing the Telemos bilateral medium-altitude long-endurance drone effort. Two countries cannot sustain such an initiative, he argues, which is why a broader effort is needed.


When a German funding decision may materialize is uncertain. And any commitment from Paris – even if the government were favorably disposed to Talarion – could be caught up in electoral politics, slowing decision cycles.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 16:30


photo by IMI - source jpost.com


14 septembre 2011 Guysen International News


Les Industries militaires israéliennes ont testé avec succès, mercredi, dans le sud du pays, le nouveau missile "Javelot magique", rapporte le site IsraelDefense. Le missile "Javelot magique" a une portée de 40 kilomètres, une précision au mètre près et peut porter des têtes de toute nature. Il est prévu pour la destruction de cibles ennemies sensibles comme un poste de commandement ou des batteries de missiles.

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13 septembre 2011 2 13 /09 /septembre /2011 05:55
Rasmussen Calls For Open Defense Markets

Sep 12, 2011 By Keith Weir/Reuters AviationWeek.com


LONDON - The United States and European countries should do more to open up their defense markets to competition at a time of tight budgets, the head of NATO said on Monday.


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also said he planned to appoint a special envoy to help ensure that countries were getting value for money for defense spending.


“We need equal opportunities for European Union and American defense companies to compete across the Atlantic,” Rasmussen told an industry conference in London.


He noted that 90 percent of the Pentagon’s procurement budget went to U.S. companies, while Europe often favored its own contractors.


Rasmussen welcomed moves by U.S. President Barack Obama to reform export licensing programs which should allow U.S. companies to play a greater role in Europe.


NATO’s 28 allies need to prioritize spending, improve coordination and adopt a multinational approach, he said.


Rasmussen said he wanted a specific package of mulitlateral measures to be on the table in time for the next NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.


NATO is worried that financial hardship among member countries could hurt the alliance’s military capability unless steps are taken to make procurement more efficient.


“I think for most of us, it is the worst economic crisis we have ever faced and it has an impact on everything we do,” Rasmussen told reporters. “Of course, NATO defense budgets are falling, the cost of defense capabilities is rising and security threats are more complex and less predictable.”


“We can’t ask the allies to spend more, we have to ask them to spend better.”


The Pentagon is shaving at least $350 billion from its previously projected spending over the next decade. European allies are also making deep defense cuts.


Rasmussen repeated his criticism of the shortcomings of the NATO operation in Libya, citing lack of intelligence and transport capabilities of an operation led by its European members and Canada.


U.S. officials have said the Libyan operation showed the need for European allies to spend more on defense.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 11:55
Watchkeeper flies to new endurance record

Photo Thales UK


09/09/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flight International


Operational trials with the British Army's Watchkeeper unmanned air system (UAS) remain on track to start next month, after the WK450 air vehicle has set a new endurance record in testing.


Maj Matt Moore, SO2 UAS for headquarters, Royal Artillery, said a WK450 completed an almost 14h flight in early September from West Wales airport.


With current approvals restricting test flights to daylight hours only, the aircraft landed with around 4h of fuel remaining, he said.


During the record-breaking UK flight, the aircraft's dual mission payload of an Elop Compass IV electro-optical/infrared camera and Thales I-Master/Viper synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor were employed, along with its data link.


 The WK450's dual mission payloads, data link and software were tested during the record-breaking sortie


The UAS was also taken to its 16,000ft (4,880m) service ceiling and 115km (62nm) away from the airport, Moore told the UK Air Warfare Centre's remotely piloted air systems symposium in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, on 8 September. The aircraft also flew using its operational-standard software, prime contractor Thales UK said.


Operational trials with the Watchkeeper will be conducted in October and November, with the first training flights over Salisbury Plain to be made from the Ministry of Defence/Qinetiq Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire in December.


Watchkeeper vehicles and equipment will be deployed to Afghanistan from late this year, to deliver one daily "task line" from the first quarter of 2012. A full service using six task lines should be in place within 12 months, Moore said.


In addition to continuing flight testing, other Watchkeeper activities currently include preparing modifications - such as the addition of covert lighting - for deployment in Afghanistan, Moore said.


Development testing with the WK450 has now passed 230 flights and 320h in the UK and Israel.


Thales UK/Elbit Systems joint venture Utacs is responsible for delivering the Watchkeeper system, which will replace an interim service in Afghanistan currently using leased Elbit Hermes 450s.


The service has delivered 50,000h of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance services for the British Army since April 2007.

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8 septembre 2011 4 08 /09 /septembre /2011 18:00
EADS ne participera pas au projet de drone Telemos (màj1)

Talarion - source aeroplans.fr


08/09/2011 Les Echos Reuters


EADS ne souhaite pas rejoindre le programme franco-britannique de drone Telemos, qu'il s'efforce de concurrencer avec son propre drone Talarion, a déclaré jeudi un porte-parole du groupe.


Cette déclaration répond à des rumeurs qui annonçaient l'entrée d'EADS dans ce programme binational, après un article paru dans Le Monde, dans lequel Louis Gallois, président exécutif d'EADS, jugeait qu'une coopération de seulement deux pays n'était pas suffisante pour un programme de drone.


"Avec le Talarion, qui est en avance de cinq ans par rapport aux autres concurrents européens, nous sommes prêts pour la compétition", a dit le porte-parole.


Le projet Telemos rassemble le britannique BAE Systems et le français Dassault Aviation.


Les deux groupes envisagent de faire voler en 2016 le premier prototype de cette nouvelle génération de drones, développée dans le cadre de l'accord de coopération franco-britannique de novembre 2010.


Le porte-parole d'EADS a par ailleurs de nouveau mis en garde l'Europe contre le risque de lancer deux programmes de drones concurrents, en pleine période de réduction budgétaire.


A plusieurs reprises le groupe aérospatial européen avait en effet prévenu que l'Europe se devait d'éviter de répéter le scénario d'un affrontement sur les marchés à l'exportation, comme ce fut le cas pour les avions de combat Rafale et Eurofighter.


L'Etat français détient directement 15% d'EADS, 30% de Safran et 27% de Thales, les deux derniers étant susceptibles de jouer un rôle dans le projet de drone de Dassault Aviation et BAE. De son côté, Dassault Aviation est détenu à 46% par EADS.

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 16:50


The Nimrod MRA4 project was axed photo BAE Systems


07/09/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flight International


Late last year, the UK armed forces were rocked by the effects of a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) process overseen by a new coalition government determined to tackle a massive budget deficit head-on.


Almost 12 months later, the defence industry will gather for its largest post-SDSR coming-together at the Defence & Security Equipment International show, or DSEi, which will be held in London's Docklands on 13-16 September.

Since the event was last held two years ago, the UK has lost its fixed-wing carrier strike capability with the early retirement of its BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9s, and seen its replacement maritime patrol aircraft, BAE's Nimrod MRA4, axed after a programme investment of over £3 billion ($4.8 billion).


Also gone are two of the Royal Navy's three Invincible-class aircraft carriers and the Royal Air Force's last Panavia Tornado F3 fighters and Nimrod R1 electronic intelligence aircraft. Two squadrons equipped with the Tornado GR4 strike aircraft have also recently been disbanded, with the move having also trimmed a fleet that is expected to remain in use until around 2020.


Dramatic in nature, these cuts were adopted against a backdrop of the UK's recent withdrawal of forces from Iraq, and with plans in place for the country to end its combat commitment in Afghanistan around 2015, following the progressive transfer of control to local authorities. But the rise of the "Arab Spring" movement in nations across the Middle East and North Africa throughout this year has provided an unexpected test for a military hard-hit by the spending cuts introduced by UK defence secretary Dr Liam Fox.


In announcing the recommendations of the SDSR last October, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said his country's coalition government was seeking to tackle an investment "black hole" inherited from the previous Labour administration, which it valued at £38 billion. Failure to tackle this shortfall now could result in a more "severe recalibration in the future", Fox told the Royal United Services Institute's Air Power conference in London in mid-July.

The SDSR has received much criticism for the swift nature of its completion and the severity of its cuts. Speaking at the same event, one analyst described the process as having been "four years in anticipation, but only four months in gestation".


Sir Brian Burridge, Finmeccanica UK's vice-president, strategic marketing, and formerly one of the RAF's most senior ranking officers, drew a different analogy when referring to the loss of key capabilities. "The concern is that this government might come out of the supermarket without a balanced meal, and that the next time it goes the shelves will be empty," he said.


RAF Panavia Tornado GR4, SAC Simon Armstrong/Crown Copyright
 © SAC Simon Armstrong/Crown Copyright
Tornado GR4s will serve until around 2020


DSEi will provide a focus for the UK's defence contractors to pursue already planned deals and fresh business, both at home and on the international stage. It will also highlight the security opportunities available, with London preparing to host the Olympic Games in mid-2012.


Speaking at a pre-show media briefing on 6 September, minister for international security strategy Gerald Howarth identified the role that global defence and security sales could play in helping to repair the UK's economic prospects. "Exports are critical to a sustainable recovery," he said. "The UK defence industry is proving itself to be well-placed to weather the storm."


With UK defence exports having totalled around £6 billion in 2010 - when it was second only to the USA in terms of total exports - and security systems around £2 billion more, selling on the global stage is a vital requirement at a time of domestic squeeze. Current targets include closing a proposed government-to-government deal to supply Eurofighter Typhoons to Oman, and a campaign to offer the same type for India's medium multi-role combat aircraft deal.


The Typhoon made its combat debut for the UK as a multi-role platform earlier this year, with the RAF employing the type's air-to-surface weapons against regime targets in Libya. Perhaps crucially for the European type, the fighter also looks set to receive an active electronically scanned array radar enhancement, while MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile also should be available for operational use from around 2015.


But more attention at DSEi will be given to Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which will be on display as a full-scale mock-up. However, reflecting the UK's last-minute decision to swap to the C-model carrier variant, the design on show will be in the short take-off and vertical landing guise.


To meet the Joint Combat Aircraft requirement from late this decade, the F-35C will be flown from the Royal Navy's (RN's) two future aircraft carriers, with the combination to reintroduce a big-deck operating model last employed by the UK in the late 1970s.


UK Carrier with F-35s, BAE Systems
 © BAE Systems

F-35Cs will fly from the UK's future carriers


One source previously involved with the JSF programme describes the SDSR's surprise variant switch as potentially "one of the most catastrophic procurement decisions ever made". Abandoning years of experience in flying vertical/short take-off and landing Harriers could end up costing UK taxpayers billions of pounds extra, the source claims, as a result of the additional training needed to ensure pilots maintain proficiency. Regaining this skill is already a focus of attention, with the RN looking to train a new cadre of Fleet Air Arm officers on US Navy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.


The UK's exact requirements for the F-35 have yet to be set, but the Ministry of Defence has previously identified a need for up to 138 of the aircraft. An initial three F-35Bs were ordered to participate alongside the US military during initial operational test and evaluation of the new aircraft, but the allies are working out the details of a deal to exchange the last example for an F-35C.


The new type could achieve initial operating capability as a land-based asset from roughly 2018, before launching embarked operations around 2020. Its introduction must be balanced with the planned draw-down of the Tornado GR4 force: an activity that Fox says will be "particularly challenging".


Some level of funding commitment will be required next year, to cover the order of long-lead items for an initial batch of around 16 aircraft to be built during the programme's low-rate initial production phase.


"We are still in the midst of the post-defence review figuring our conversion from -35B to -35C, and there's an awful lot of work still in that rescheduling process," says Air Marshal Kevin Leeson, the UK's chief of materiel (air).


For now, while the UK's carrier strike capability lapses, the strong performance of the Army Air Corps' Westland/Boeing Apache AH1 attack helicopters over Libya in May 2011 from HMS Ocean has highlighted one likely means by which the nation could respond to other such contingencies until its future aircraft carriers and F-35Cs enter use.


Plans to buy the JSF were safeguarded in July, when the government announced a planned £3 billion increase in defence spending for the five-year period starting 2015-16. This sum will help to cover initial spending on the F-35C, as well as the costs of converting both Queen Elizabeth-class carriers with catapults and arrestor gear.


The commitment also enabled the MoD last month to sign a £1 billion order for 14 Boeing CH-47 Chinook HC6 transport helicopters and to complete the acquisition of three Air Seeker (RC-135 Rivet Joint) surveillance aircraft. A memorandum of understanding covering logistics support activities and capability updates for the latter fleet until 2025 was also recently signed, with this valued at more than $850 million. The aircraft will replace the retired Nimrod R1s from 2014.


One glaring capability shortfall created by the SDSR has yet to be addressed, however. The cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 has left the MoD having to improvise on the provision of long-range maritime patrol aircraft cover by using RAF Lockheed C-130J transports and RN AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HM1 shipborne helicopters.


Proposals have been made by industry to adapt some C-130Js to assume the role on a more formal basis, but other contractors are looking at any potential demand to field a smaller aircraft, possibly using an airframe such as the Alenia Aeronautica C-27J or Hawker Beechcraft King Air. With money to remain tight for some years to come, the idea of acquiring a more dedicated type - such as Boeing's 737-based P-8, now in development for the US Navy - seems fanciful.


Apache/Ocean, Crown Copyright
 © Crown Copyright

The Apache/Ocean pairing could sail again


Importantly, the costs associated with supporting NATO's Libyan operation since March have been covered from the Treasury reserve, and not the over-stretched defence budget.


The Libyan campaign has underlined the importance of the pending introduction of 14 Airbus A330-200-based Voyager tanker/transports from late this year, and of past investments in weapons systems such as MBDA's Storm Shadow cruise missile and dual-mode Brimstone air-to-surface missile, and Raytheon Systems' Paveway IV precision-guided bomb. It has also highlighted the value of the Bombardier Global Express-based Sentinel R1 surveillance aircraft's synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor, months after it was identified in the SDSR for disposal after the needs of Afghanistan.


The jury is still out as to whether the government's cuts to date and commitment for a future spending increase will cover the armed forces' procurement plans. Answers could be quick in coming, however, with an independent body having been tasked with conducting an "affordability audit" late this year on the MoD's top projects.


Looking at the likely equipment spending bill out to 2018-19 in his Defence Analysis publication, military analyst Francis Tusa says: "The spend curve looks far from balanced, and [SDSR] could well cause as many troubles as it resolved." He adds: "The extra 1% annual defence budget rise is only kicking in after 2015, so one has to ask how the books have been balanced prior to that time, when some £3 billion in funding will be needed."

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 11:50


photo by Bthebest


To Provide Rugged Digital Signal Processor Modules for New Gripen NG Aircraft's Fire Control System


September 7, 2011 Curtiss-Wright Corporation  - defpro.com


PARSIPPANY, N.J. | Curtiss-Wright Corporation announced Sept. 6 that it has been selected by SELEX Galileo to supply rugged embedded digital signal processor modules for use on Saab's new Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighter aircraft. The contract, which runs from 2010 to 2014, is valued at $15 million, and has an estimated potential additional value of $10 million over the lifetime of the program.


"Curtiss-Wright is proud to have been selected to provide our digital signal processor technology for use on the next generation Gripen aircraft," said Martin R. Benante, Chairman and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. "This award further demonstrates the value of our advanced technologies on a global basis."


Curtiss-Wright's digital signal processor modules will provide the radar processing for the Gripen's fire control radar system. The company's Motion Control segment will develop the digital signal processor modules at its Ashburn, VA facility.

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 05:40
Quand les industriels européens de la défense font semblant de coopérer



06-09-11 à 19:40 par Vincent Lamigeon – challenges.fr


Challenges était à l'université de la Défense organisée à Rennes. On y a beaucoup parlé de coopération européenne. Mais en la matière, tout est dans les non-dits. Reportage.


Rennes n’est pas Marseille ou la Rochelle. On en a eu confirmation avec l’université de la Défense, organisée en Bretagne quelques jours après la grand-messe du PS en Charente-Maritime et celle de l’UMP sur les bords de la Méditerrannée. Ici, pas de pulls autour du cou, encore moins de polos multicolores, mais une flopée d’uniformes et une impressionnante armada de gradés et de patrons de groupes de défense, de Louis Gallois (EADS) à Charles Edelstenne (Dassault Aviation), en passant par Luc Vigneron (Thales), Antoine Bouvier (MBDA), Lutz Bertling (Eurocopter) ou Jean-Paul Herteman (Safran).


Le tout dans le cadre impressionnant de l’installation "Solange", cathédrale de béton de 58 mètres de diamètre sur le site de la DGA (délégation générale de l’armement) de Bruz (près de Rennes), où chasseurs et missiles sont suspendus à trente mètres du sol pour analyser leur signature radar.


Débats sur la coopération européenne...


De quoi aura-t-on causé durant ces deux jours d’échanges feutrés? Des relations Etat-industrie bien sûr, de défense anti-missiles également, du retour d’expérience en Libye ou en Afghanistan, des 200 millions d’euros à trouver pour compenser les petits désagréments financiers liés à l’affaire des frégates de Taiwan. La visite du site de Bruz a aussi été l’occasion de cerner le rôle de la DGA dans la cyberdéfense, la guerre électronique (brouillage, leurres etc) ou le développement des missiles qui ont fait leurs preuves en Libye, comme le Scalp ou le AASM.


Mais l’essentiel des débats a porté sur le serpent de mer de l’industrie de défense: la coopération européenne. "L’Europe est en train de passer sous le seuil critique des budgets de défense, il faut absolument relancer les collaborations européennes", assurait ainsi Louis Gallois.


... que personne ne voit en réalité


Le problème, c’est que la coopération européenne est un peu à la défense ce que le monstre du Loch Ness est aux passionnés de créatures fantasmagoriques: tout le monde en parle, personne ne le voit. Bien sûr, les traités franco-britanniques de novembre 2010, qui prévoient quelques collaborations sur les essais nucléaires, les porte-avions ou le partage de matériels, ont été largement évoqués. Mais c’était aussi pour souligner la difficulté de l’étendre à l’Allemagne, l’Italie, l’Espagne ou la Pologne, aux stratégies de défense pas forcément convergentes, voire carrément opposées.


Du coup, le plus frappant résidait peut-être avant tout dans les non-dits de ces deux jours de débats. Rien de concret ou presque sur les grands programmes européens du futur, notamment un programme de drones MALE (moyenne altitude longue endurance) de BAE et Dassault pas encore lancé par les gouvernements, et qui semble pour l’instant exclure EADS, au risque de recréer une guerre intestine type Rafale-Eurofighter.


Rien non plus sur les discussions, évoquées par la presse, entre le groupe naval de défense DCNS et son concurrent allemand TKMS. Rien encore sur la nécessaire consolidation des sociétés françaises et européennes d’armement terrestre (Nexter, Panhard, Renault Trucks Défense, Rheinmetall...). Le délégué général pour l’armement Laurent Collet-Billon a subtilement fait comprendre que ces sujets attendraient tranquillement l’après-2012.


Ca chauffe entre les cadors de la défense européenne


En attendant, ca continue de cogner dur entre cadors de la défense européenne. Phrases assassines en off dans les couloirs entre Safran et Thales, échanges d’amabilités aéronautiques entre EADS et Dassault, mais aussi une lutte sans merci au quotidien: "Mes équipes sont ravies quand l’agressivité de nos offres oblige nos concurrents européens à vendre avec des marges négatives", déplore presque Patrick Boissier, P-DG de DCNS.


"La concurrence intra-européenne dans les drones, les sous-marins, les satellites ou les blindés est totalement destructrice", renchérit Josselin de Rohan, président de la commission défense du Sénat. De quoi motiver le cri du coeur –ironique- de Gérard Longuet dans son discours de clôture: "Vous, les industriels, rendez-nous un service: aimez-vous les uns les autres!" Dans les rangs de Dassault et EADS, le sourire ressemble étrangement à un rictus.

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6 septembre 2011 2 06 /09 /septembre /2011 11:30
India postpones latest Agni missile launch


September 6th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK / AFP


India postponed until next week a test-firing of its indigenously built Agni II ballistic nuclear capable missile due to a technical glitch.


The two-stage surface-to-surface missile was to be tested by its Strategic Forces Command from Wheeler Island off the Bay of Bengal on Monday, a report in the Indian Express newspaper said.


"But we had to postpone the test due to technical problems," Avinash Chander, director of the Agni missile program, said.


The day next week for the launch is not decided, said Chander, who gave no reason for the failure.


But previous missile failures have been blamed on guidance problems.


There also were doubts about continuous rainfall in Balasore near the test-firing range over the past three days.


India has a checkered history of launching indigenously built missiles, including the Agni I, II and III weapons.


The basic Agni series includes the single-stage 450-mile range Agni I, already inducted into service, and the two-stage Agni II and III models.


The 1,200-mile range Agni II was inducted into the army in 2004 and still is undergoing test-firings. The 65-foot missile weighs around 17 tons and can carry a 1-tonne payload.


The 2,000-mile range Agni III is in the last stages of development.


The solid-propellant Agni series of ballistic missiles are manufactured by Bharat Dynamics, one of India's major manufacturers of munitions and missile systems founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.


Bharat Dynamics also manufactures India's Konkurs anti-tank missile.


Agni-II has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other laboratories under the government-backed Defense Research and Development Organization.


India's main missile test launch center is Wheeler Island -- just over 1 mile long and 6 miles off the country's east coast in the Bay of Bengal and about 90 miles from Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa state.


It was from Wheeler Island that Agni III, with a range of just over 2,000 miles, was successfully test-launched from a mobile launcher in February last year.


During a test launch the following month, a Prithvi missile veered off its path, failing to reach its required altitude of around 70 miles. It climbed to around 45 miles before tumbling back into the Bay of Bengal.


Then in September, the DRDO acknowledged guidance problems that caused a failure in another Prithvi missile test launch. The surface-to-surface missile remained on the launch pad during a trial in Chandipur, Orissa.


The short-range, 4.6-tonne nuclear-capable missile became enveloped in orange smoke and the launch was aborted, officials from the DRDO said at the time.


"The failure to lift Prithvi II was due to a snag either in the main missile or the sub-system, including the launcher," a DRDO spokesman said.

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5 septembre 2011 1 05 /09 /septembre /2011 05:40



05/09/2011 Source : La Tribune


Le comité ministériel d'investissement du ministère de la Défense a approuvé le lancement de quatre programmes qui ont été confiés au missilier.


MBDA a décroché au coeur de l'été le jackpot au moment où la France entre dans une période de disette budgétaire sévère. Avant la grande trêve estivale, le dernier CMI (comité ministériel d'investissement) du ministère de la Défense a approuvé fin juillet, selon nos informations, toute une série d'investissements dans de nouveaux programmes de missiles et dans la modernisation de certains grands programmes de MBDA (37,5 % EADS, 37,5 % BAE Systems et 25 % Finmeccanica). Soit un volume financier de l'ordre de 600 à 650 millions par an pendant une dizaine d'années. Ce qui va donner au missilier européen une belle visibilité en termes de charges de travail pour ses bureaux d'études et pour l'exportation avec des nouveaux produits dans des gammes où la France a déjà fait ses preuves.


Successeur du Milan


Après une très longue réflexion, le ministère de la Défense a finalement retenu pour le programme MMP (missile moyenne portée), successeur du Milan, qui a été l'un des grands best-sellers français à l'exportation, la solution proposée par MBDA (munitions) et Sagem (postes de tir) au détriment des propositions de « francisation » des missiles Javelin de l'américain Raytheon et Spike de l'israélien Rafael. Le développement de ce programme est estimé entre 150 à 200 millions d'euros. C'est une belle victoire pour le PDG de MBDA, Antoine Bouvier, qui s'est beaucoup battu pour ce programme majeur pour sa stratégie à l'exportation. Ce programme pourrait être notifié par la Direction générale de l'armement avant la fin de l'année 2011 et lancé en 2012. Le CMI a également décidé de lancer le programme ANL (antinavire léger), l'un des programmes majeurs de la coopération franco-britannique, qui s'inscrit dans l'accord de défense signé entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne en novembre 2010. Enfin, le ministère de la Défense va moderniser en 2012 une nouvelle version d'un des best-sellers de MBDA, le missile antinavire Exocet ainsi que le missile Aster 30 Block 1 NT (nouvelles technologies), fabriqué par MBDA et Thales. Ce missile disposera d'un autodirecteur bénéficiant de la technologie devenue mature en bande Ka qui apportera un potentiel de croissance pour les performances contre les cibles balistiques jusqu'à 1.000 km de portée, sans régression sur les performances contre cibles conventionnelles. M. C.

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