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6 juin 2011 1 06 /06 /juin /2011 06:00

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Jun 5 2011 DefenseNews TRDEFENCE

 

The Israeli Army has developed a new tool in its seemingly Sisyphean struggle against the hundreds of underground tunnels used for smuggling weapons from Sinai into Gaza, or as subterranean staging grounds for cross-border strikes into Israel.

 

A collaborative effort between the Army’s special technology division and EMI, a local explosive materials manufacturer, the system – known here as Emulsion – injects into the ground a blend of commercial-grade liquid explosives, each of which remains nonsensitive to mishandling or even improvised bomb attack until blended and deployed.

 

“It’s all automatic, carries minimal risk to troops and creates maximum, irreparable damage to the tunnels,” said Maj. Isam Abu Tarif, director of the special technology division of Israel’s Ground Forces Command.

 

Abu Tarif said the recently completed prototype is actually a second-generation system, following less efficient versions deployed in Gaza in the last seven or eight years. The newest Emulsion-2 prototype is self-navigating and programmed for precision deployment of explosive materials and optimum penetration of the destructive mixture.

 

“Earlier versions didn’t provide optimum destruction, allowing the enemy to dig around the destroyed section,” Abu Tarif said. “With this second-generation system, they’re better off digging a new tunnel.”

 

First reported in the latest editions of B’yabasha (On the Ground), the official Hebrew-language journal of Israel’s Ground Forces Command, the latest Emulsion prototype is mounted on eight-wheeled armored trucks. Future versions will be smaller, tailored for more challenging operational conditions and designed to be towed into high-threat areas by tank.

 

Deployment of the latest prototype has allowed the Army to amend its doctrine for more effective, force-protective anti-tunnel combat, Abu Tarif said.

 

“Under our old doctrine, our forces had to endanger themselves while transporting the explosive materials to the target,” he said. “Then they had to physically get into the tunnel to perform the mission. … And there were cases where soldiers died en route or inside the tunnels.

 

“But now, the two substances are housed separately and are impervious to accidental or enemy-initiated detonation,” he said. “Emulsion-2 is designed to withstand [a rocket-propelled grenade] attack. And once we neutralize the threat on approach, automation takes over with the injection of materials for optimum effect.”

 

Finally, Abu Tarif said the Emulsion-2 carries “a huge quantity” of two-component explosive material, allowing specialty units to destroy multiple tunnels in a single deployment to high-threat areas.

 

“Before, we were limited to the amount of explosives carried in an [armored personnel carrier], but now the carrying capacity is safe and unlimited … and the effect of the liquid explosive blend creates a chain reaction that extends well beyond the target penetration area,” he said.

Overwhelming Threat

 

Security sources here estimate a network of many hundreds of tunnels of varying levels of sophistication have been built between Gaza and Egypt. While most tunnels are built to sustain Egypt’s thriving smuggling industry for appliances, vehicles, livestock and other commercial goods into Gaza, an alarming number are used to deliver primarily Iranian-supplied missiles, anti-tank rockets, other weaponry and even military instructors into the strip via Sinai.

 

Another category of tunnels – some nearly a kilometer in length – are built for commando strikes and kidnapping attempts on Israel’s side of the Gaza border. Security sources here peg the number of so-called terror tunnels built to support subterranean combat operations against Israel in the dozens.

 

In Israel’s Cast Lead incursion into Gaza in late December 2008, the Air Force destroyed 40 smuggling tunnels in the first two days of the 22-day campaign. Since then, the Israeli military claims to have destroyed or heavily damaged 190 tunnels, 150 of them smuggling routes along the Gaza-Egyptian corridor.

 

Military sources here said another 40 tunnels destroyed in recent years were built to support infiltration operations similar to Hamas’ successful June 2006 attack on an Israeli tank. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in that strategically important strike, while one – Pvt. Gilad Shalit – remains in captivity. Shalit’s plight has traumatized the Israeli public and taunted a string of successive political and military leaders who have failed to secure his release.

 

“Combating terror tunnels is a top priority,” said Capt. Barak Raz, an Israeli military spokesman. “The orders are maximum readiness to defend our citizens and soldiers from kidnapping attempts and deny the enemy any opportunity for another strategic achievement.”

 

Avi Dichter, an Israeli lawmaker and former director of the Shin Bet security service, said Egypt’s decision to open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza will not erode the need for persistent and coordinated military and intelligence anti-tunnel operations.

 

The late May opening of Egypt’s border crossing with Gaza and its 1.5 million residents is a reversal of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s policy of isolating and neutralizing the militant, Islamist Hamas authority in the Strip. And while Israel must remain watchful of those exiting and re-entering Gaza via Egypt, Dichter said more than 90 percent of illicit smuggling will continue to be conducted via underground tunnels.

 

“As much as we lament the passing of the Mubarak era, we have to admit that he could have done a hell of a lot more to blunt the arms smuggling industry,” Dichter told a seminar of Israeli military officers May 26.

 

“For that matter, when we had control of Philadelphi [the corridor linking Sinai to the southern part of Gaza], we, too, missed a lot of activity,” he said. “Bottom line, the tunnel threat is an eternal mission requiring very close cooperation between security forces and all branches of the Israel Defense Forces.”

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16 mai 2011 1 16 /05 /mai /2011 18:30

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Vue de l'OPV Gowind

crédits : DCNS

 

16/05/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Le premier patrouilleur du type Gowind est sorti ce week-end de son hall de construction situé sur le site DCNS de Lorient, où le navire doit être mis à flot mercredi prochain. Réalisé sur fonds propres par DCNS dans le cadre du programme Hermès, cet offshore patrol vessel (OPV) sera remis à la Marine nationale en fin d'année. Au travers d'une convention de partenariat, la flotte française utilisera ce patrouilleur pour ses besoins opérationnels durant trois ans. Baptisé L'Adroit, le navire, qui sera basé à Toulon, sera placé sous le commandement organique du commandant de la force d'action navale (FAN). Un premier noyau d'équipage sera constitué à compter du 1er juin.

Un peu plus d'un an après la découpe de la première tôle (7 mai 2010), la coque du premier OPV du type Gowind est donc terminée. Il reste, désormais, à achever la superstructure et mettre en place la mâture. Et, d'ici l'été, le bâtiment devrait faire sa première sortie en mer.

Long de 87 mètres pour un déplacement d'environ 1500 tonnes en charge, L'Adroit disposera d'une artillerie légère, ainsi que d'un système de mise à l'eau d'embarcations rapides par le tableau arrière. Il pourra également embarquer un hélicoptère ou des drones.

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10 mai 2011 2 10 /05 /mai /2011 20:30

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10.05.2011 Vincent Lamigeon, journaliste à Challenges – Blog SUPERSONIQUE

 

La rumeur courait depuis deux semaines. Le délégué général pour l'armement Laurent Collet-Billon a finalement lâché l'info ce matin dans les Echos, obligeant les deux groupes à noyer le poisson dans des communiqués qui fleurent bon l'embarras : Thales et Safran discutent bel et bien à nouveau d'échanges d'actifs. Pas de quoi danser le Bagad de Lann-Bihoué, dira le lecteur intransigeant. Il n'aura pas tort : dans le genre serpent de mer de l'industrie de défense, ce projet n'est pas loin de la palme. La solution avait déjà été évoquée du temps de Jean-Paul Béchat patron de Safran et Denis Ranque PDG de Thales. Les discussions avaient repris après l'entrée de Dassault Aviation au capital de Thales, avant de butter sur l'intransigeance des deux parties.

 

Revoilà donc le projet sur la table de négociations. De quoi s'agit-il exactement ? En gros, un deal poussé par la DGA, lassée de financer des doublons au sein des deux groupes : Thales récupèrerait les activités d'optronique (équipements à la fois optiques et électroniques, type jumelles de vision infrarouge) de Safran, comme le viseur Strix de l'hélicoptère de combat Tigre (photo Sagem). Lequel recevrait en échange celles de navigation inertielle (équipements permettant à un engin de s'orienter de façon autonome) et de génération électrique de Thales. D'où une consolidation autour de deux champions français qui pourraient tenir la dragée haute aux américains Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell ou Northrop Grumman. Splendide sur le papier.

 

Le problème, c'est que les intérêts ne sont pas forcément convergents. Côté Thales, récupérer l'optronique permettrait grosso modo de doubler de taille sur un marché en forte croissance, à un milliard d'euros de ventes à peu près. L'intérêt de Safran est plus contestable : certes il récupérerait les activités de navigation inertielle et de génération électrique de Thales. Mais les spécialistes s'accordent à estimer qu'il y perdrait quand même au change, car l'ensemble resterait loin des leaders américains. D'où l'idée d'une soulte que paierait Thales, histoire de se quitter bons amis. Mais là encore, Safran n'est pas forcément intéressé : gavé de cash par le carton du moteur CFM-56 et de sa maintenance, il a plus besoin d'activités en croissance que d'un chèque qui serait de toute façon limité.

 

Le patron de Safran l'a bien compris : l'année dernière, il avait tenté d'intégrer aux négociations les activités d'avionique civile de Thales, une des pépites du groupe, ce qui avait passablement courroucé Charles Edelstenne, PDG de Dassault Aviation, l'actionnaire industriel de Thales. Cette activité étant exclue des négociations actuelles, pas sûr qu'un accord soit possible. A moins de tordre la main à un des deux industriels...

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4 mai 2011 3 04 /05 /mai /2011 12:30

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04.05.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Le BPC Dixmude a pris la mer la semaine dernière. Une première sortie sans tambours ni trompettes. Contrairement à la Fremm Aquitaine qui avait eu droit à un papier sur le site internet de la DGA (en date du 19 avril, alors que la sortie datait du 18), le Dixmude n'a eu droit qu'à un silence presque total.

 

La direction des chantiers STX s'est borné à indiquer que les essais s'étaient « déroulés de manière satisfaisante » et dans les temps impartis. Les tests portaient en particulier sur « la propulsion, les manoeuvres habilitées, la vitesse, la navigation ». Autre petite indication, quant au bilan de ces opérations qui constituent une étape importante dans la naissance d'un navire: « Aucune nouvelle sortie n'est prévue. »

 

Pour sa part, DCNS a brièvement révélé, sur son propre site, que le Dixmude et l'Aquitaine s'étaient croisé en mer, le 28 avril, quelque part au large de Belle-Ile-en-Mer (voir la photo ci-dessus). Il aura fallu un papier dans l'édition de Saint-Nazaire d'Ouest-France pour que l'on apprenne que le navire était bien rentré.

 

Le point sur le 3e BPC. Parti mardi dernier en mer pour la toute première fois, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC) Dixmude a regagné, samedi les chantiers STX de Saint-Nazaire où il est en construction pour le compte de la Marine nationale. Les tests de résistance se sont enchaînés au cours des cinq jours. Une partie de l'équipage ainsi que des équipes STX étaient à bord pour cette campagne d'essais en mer. Le bâtiment de guerre doit quitter Saint-Nazaire en juillet. Il mettra le cap sur Toulon, où les équipes de DCNS installeront son système de combat.

Après le Mistral et le Tonnerre, livrés respectivement en 2006 et 2007, le Dixmude est le troisième BPC réalisés par les chantiers nazairiens et DCNS. La commande a été passée dans le cadre du plan de relance économique gouvernemental. Ce bâtiment de 199 mètres de long, pour un déplacement de 21 000 tonnes, prévu pour une vitesse de dix-neuf noeuds, peut embarquer 450 hommes de troupe, seize hélicoptères lourds et quatre barges de débarquement. Il dispose d'un hôpital embarqué et de 160 hommes d'équipage.

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 17:30
Eurotorp's MU90 LWT Takes a Further Step Towards Breakthrough for Air Platforms

photo Eurotorp

 

03 May 2011 naval-technology.com

 

The MU90 continues its operational progression with the French Navy, following the delivery of the 200th MU90 light weight torpedo in July 2010 by the French Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA).

 

Since then, the French Navy has started to deploy its first MU90 LWT for operational exercises in parallel with batch acceptance tests. During an advanced anti-submarine exercise in April 2011, the operational crew of one ATLANTIQUE2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) successfully performed tracking, classification and long range engagement of a CALAS autonomous target simulating a submarine. Thanks to using the MU90, the French Navy has made a significant step change in ASW capability. Following early operational capability validation in 2008 in partnership with Eurotorp, the French Navy has started to conduct exercises on its own with the MU90, helping the torpedo on its next step towards full operation.

 

Today, almost all the ATL2 have been modified to ensure the launching capability of the MU90. The MU90 airborne solution adopted for this aircraft is a semi-integrated one so as not to interfere with the aircraft data management system while being connected to the platform attitude data, thus granting maximum freedom of manoeuvre to the crew prior to the launch. This intermediate solution has minimised modifications on board the aircraft without degrading any of the MU90’s performance. The MU90 is preset through the very user-friendly 'PCA' semi-integrated airborne presetter, providing the TACCO the full range of MU90 presets through pre-defined scenarios in which every preset can be modified if needed. The success of MU90 air launches demonstrates the full efficiency of MU90 when embarked on board any air platform.

 

Of 324mm diameter, the MU90 can be embarked on board any type of ASW air fixed or rotary wing aircraft. In addition to ATL2, the MU90 is qualified on board NH90, Lynx, EH101 Merlin, SH-2G Sea Sprite with different solutions ranging from stand-alone to fully integrated ones, through specific equipments or aircraft store management system. MU90, offering an unmatchable flight domain up to 900m in altitude and 400kts in speed, is today a candidate to be embarked on board all anti-submarine warfare air platforms, including the helicopters Panther, AW159, S70B, MH-60R and MH92 as well as the maritime patrol aircraft C295, ATR72, Dash8, P3C and P8. Eurotorp is already in advanced talks with the majority of air platform suppliers to achieve this goal.

 

The MU90 is a fire-and-forget weapon designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors. The torpedo features unique system characteristics which allow real operational capability in coastal waters. The MU90 is powered through a closed-loop aluminium–silver oxide sea water battery delivering twice the energy of all the other LWTs as well as total safety. It is equipped with a fully-insensitive directed energy shaped charge warhead, proven to penetrate double-hulled large submarines, advanced acoustic head and last generation mission software. Of extremely long endurance, the engagement distance is beyond 12,000m, whatever the submarine depth. The MU90 operates without any speed degradation and without any limitation of salinity and temperature at depths >1000m or as shallow as 25m, whilst retaining navigation capability up to 3m.

 

The MU90 LWT is in service with the French, Italian, German, Danish, and Polish Navies, and has also been delivered and accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA). In France, the MU90 is embarked on board F70 and Horizon frigates, ATL2 MPA and Lynx helicopters. It will be also embarked soon, in France and in Italy as well, on board FREMM frigates and NH90 helicopters.

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 08:00

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Le BPC Dixmude au retour de ses essais en mer, le 30 avril

 

03/05/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Il n'y aura pas de seconds essais en mer avant livraison, preuve que la campagne menée la semaine dernière au large de Belle-Ile s'est parfaitement déroulée. Du 26 au 30 avril, conformément au planning fixé, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude, réalisé par les chantiers STX France, a appareillé pour la première fois de Saint-Nazaire, afin de mener des essais de propulsion, de manoeuvrabilité et de navigabilité. A bord, on comptait quelques 320 personnes, dont une centaine comprenant l'équipage de conduite de la Marine nationale ainsi que les équipes de DCNS et de la Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA). Quasiment terminé, le nouveau BPC de la flotte française est revenu samedi dernier à Saint-Nazaire, où STX va achever les travaux en vue d'un départ du navire début juillet vers Toulon. Depuis le port varois, DCNS procèdera alors aux essais et à la mise au point du système de combat et du système d'armes, la livraison du Dixmude étant prévue début 2012.

 

Troisième BPC du type Mistral, le navire mesure 199 mètres de long et affichera un déplacement d'environ 21.000 tonnes en charge. Ses installations aéronautiques lui permettront d'accueillir 16 hélicoptères de type NH90 et Tigre (ou autres), le pont d'envol comprenant 6 spots d'appontage. Les capacités amphibies sont également importantes, le radier pouvant abriter quatre chalands de débarquement de type CTM ou deux catamarans rapides de type EDA-R, dont le premier exemplaire, conçu par CNIM, est actuellement en achèvement aux chantiers Socarenam de Boulogne-sur-Mer. Les ponts garages et les logements permettent, quant à eux, l'embarquement de 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars lourds) et 450 hommes de troupe. Comme ses deux aînés, le Mistral et le Tonnerre, livrés en 2006 et 2007, le Dixmude sera également à même de diriger une opération interarmées et interalliée. Pour cela, il abrite un vaste PC de 800m² capable d'accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs. Enfin, le BPC bénéficiera de vastes installations hospitalières, comprenant notamment des blocs opératoires.

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 08:00

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Le BPC Dixmude lors de son appareillage, hier, à Saint-Nazaire

crédits : BERNARD PREZELIN

 

27/04/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Construit par les chantiers STX France, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude a appareillé hier, de Saint-Nazaire, pour ses premiers essais en mer. Jusqu'à samedi, le navire effectuera différents tests de propulsion et de plateforme. Mis sur cale en janvier 2010, le Dixmude, commandé en avril 2009 au titre du plan de relance de l'économie, devrait rejoindre Toulon au mois de juillet. Depuis la base varoise de la Marine nationale, DCNS travaillera à la mise au point du système d'armes et du système de combat, en vue d'une livraison du navire début 2012. Le Dixmude rejoindra alors les deux premiers BPC de la flotte française, les Mistral et Tonnerre, qui avaient été assemblés à Brest (avec une moitié avant construite à Saint-Nazaire) et furent livrés en 2006 et 2007 par DCNS. En dehors du montage industriel, le Dixmude se distingue de ses aînés par diverses améliorations, notamment l'ajout d'un propulseur d'étrave supplémentaire et une visibilité améliorée au niveau de la passerelle de défense à vue. Longs de 199 mètres pour un déplacement de 21.500 tonnes en charge, les BPC peuvent embarquer16 hélicoptères lourds, deux engins de débarquement du type EDA-R (dérivé du L-CAT de CNIM), 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars Leclerc) et 450 hommes de troupe. Doté d'importantes infrastructures de commandement, avec un PC pouvant accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs, ils disposent aussi d'un hôpital embarqué. Un quatrième navire de ce type doit être construit pour la marine française. Sa mise en service est prévue en 2019/2020 pour succéder au transport de chalands de débarquement Siroco. Son aîné, le TCD Foudre, sera quant à lui remplacé par le Dixmude. DCNS et STX cherchent, par ailleurs, à vendre le concept de BPC à des marines étrangères. Un accord a, notamment, été signé en janvier dernier avec la Russie, qui souhaite se doter de quatre bâtiments de ce type. Les négociations se poursuivent en vue d'aboutir à un contrat.

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20 avril 2011 3 20 /04 /avril /2011 19:00

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/HMCS_Victoria_SSK-876_near_Bangor.jpg

 

20 avril 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Après 5 années de travaux, le seul sous-marin canadien basé sur la côte Pacifique, sur la base d’Esquimalt, a repris la mer au cours du week-end. Dimanche soir, le HMCS Victoria est sorti de bassin pour être mis à quai dans le chantier naval du port d’Esquimalt. Il s’agit d’un moment important pour le programme canadien de sous-marins, puisque le HMCS Victoria est seulement le 2ème sous-marin à pouvoir prendre la mer, malgré le maintien de certaines restrictions [d’emploi]. L’autre sous-marin, le HMCS Corner Brook, est attendu à l’été à la base navale de Victoria en provenance d’Halifax (côte Atlantique) pour effectuer des patrouilles. Le HMCS Victoria faisait l’objet ; depuis 5ans — la moitié de sa « vie » sous pavillon canadien — de travaux importants d’entretien, de réparation et de modernisation. « Le Victoria est le premier sous-marin de sa classe sur lequel nous avons effectué des maintenances d’un niveau aussi complexe », a déclaré le Cmdr. Christopher Earl, l’autorité technique de la marine canadienne pour les sous-marins, lors d’un interview en février dernier. Il a ajouté qu’il ne pouvait donner d’estimation des coûts de réparation et de modernisation, parce les travaux se poursuivaient sur le HMCS Victoria. A l’issue des essais en mer, ce sous-marin sera le tout premier complètement opérationnel et capable de lancer des armes. A terme, l’objectif de la marine canadienne est de disposer, simultanément, de 3 sous-marins opérationnels, le 4ème étant alors en période d’entretien aux chantiers navals de Victoria, a indiqué Earl. « Tous les 6 à 8 ans, tout système embarqué doit être réparé ou entretenu, » a-t-il expliqué. « Notre programme n’est pas foncièrement différent de celui des autres forces sous-marines. »

 

L'analyse de la rédaction :

Pour mémoire, la durée d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire français, comme celui que subit actuellement le Vigilant, est d’environ 2 ans, 2 ans et demi. Et encore, cette durée comprend la modification du système d’armes liée au passage au missile M-51. Les travaux réalisés lors d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire sont autrement plus complexes que ceux réalisés à bord d’un sous-marin classique, fût-il de la classe Victoria...

 

Référence : Saanich News (Canada)

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19 avril 2011 2 19 /04 /avril /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/USS_Freedom.jpg/220px-USS_Freedom.jpg  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/37/USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg/220px-USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg

LCS 1                                                                LCS 2

 

April 19, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

Now that the U.S. Navy has decided to put its new "Littoral Combat Ship" (LCS) into mass production, it faces years of uncertainty and experimentation as this radical new combat ship design seeks to find out what works, to what degree, and what doesn't. There is some nervousness about all this. The U.S. Navy has not introduced a radical new design for nearly a century. The last such new design was the aircraft carrier, which required two decades of experimentation, and a major war, to nail down what worked. Even the nuclear submarines of the late 1950s and early 60s were evolutionary compared to what the LCS is trying to do.

 

In the last five years, two different LCS designs were built, and put into service. Problems were encountered. The much smaller crew required some changes in how a crew ran a ship, and how many sailors and civilians were required back on land to support an LCS at sea. It was found that, so far, the interchangeable mission modules take far longer (2-3 days instead of 2-3 hours) to replace. The LCS has still not seen combat, and the navy wants the first violent encounter to be successful, or at least not disastrous. It is expected that there will be surprises, which is about all that can be guaranteed at this point.

 

The navy surprised everyone last year by choosing both designs, and requesting that the fifty or so LCS ships be split between the two very different looking ships. It was only recently, after over a decade of development, construction and delays, that both versions of the LCS entered service. Both were worked hard, to determine which model should become the standard design. Both ships delivered impressive performance. But the navy also believes that having two suppliers, even with different designs, will provide the kind of competition that will keep costs down and quality high. If one of the builders began to screw up, they would lose some, or all, of their orders. Such an incentive program has worked in the past. Current plans are to place an initial order for to 20 LCSs, to be built between 2011-15.

 

While both ships look quite different (one is a traditional monohull, while the other is a broader trimaran), they both share many common elements. One of the most important of these is the highly automated design, and smaller crew. Both ships have accommodations for only 75 personnel. Normally, a ship of this size would have a crew of about 200. The basic LCS crew is 40, with the other 35 berths occupied by operators of special equipment. But that is already being exceeded on one LCS, which has a detail of 15 sailors for handing special equipment and another 23 to take care of a helicopter. Another shortage encountered is time. Although sailors work a typical six hours on/twelve hours off routine, there are plenty of miscellaneous jobs that cut into off duty hours (taking on supplies and fuel while underway, standing fire/safety alert during aircraft or small boat operations and so on). At times, some sailors were only getting 5-6 hours sleep a day. Fortunately, the LCS uses a two crew system, with each crew being on the ship (at sea or in port) for 40 days, and then the other crew takes over. In addition to a second crew, there are more maintenance personnel available back at the LCS home port, to help with needed repairs and upgrades the crew would normally handle. But with the smaller crew, these chores will be taken care of in port, using additional personnel.

 

Built using "smartship" technologies, that actually do greatly reduce personnel requirements, the LCS was expected to get by with a crew of about 40-50 in basic configuration. The sea trials and three years of operations gave the militarized smartship features a workout. These sea trials were very important, because the LCS is over budget, behind schedule and, worst of all, an untried new concept. Many of the operations in the last two years have been of the sort LCS will encounter during its 30 year career. But the strain on the crew makes it clear that heavy combat operations might be more than current crew size can handle. An additional chore is the refueling at sea. The LCS was not built for long voyages, but these have to be undertaken to get the ships overseas, or moved to a different theater once there. Fuel replenishment ships must be available, and the crew has to be ready for a heavy workload.

 

The LCS crews are also modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. Thus about 40 percent of the ship is empty, with a large cargo hold into which the mission package gear is inserted (and then removed, along with the package crew, when it is no longer assigned to that ship.) Thus the LCS has two crews when underway, the "ship" crew and the mission package crew. The captain of the ship crew is in charge, and the officer commanding the mission package is simply the officer in charge of the largest equipment system on board. There are a variety of interchangeable modules (e.g., air defense, underwater warfare, special operations, surface attack, etc.), which allow the ships to be quickly reconfigured for various specialized missions. Crews will also be modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. The design and crew requirements for these module is still a work in progress, but also shows a need for more people, or more automation.

 

So far, the heavy workload has not hurt morale. The small crew means that everyone knows everyone, and it's standard for people to handle a number of different jobs. Even officers pitch in for any task that needs to be done. This kind of overworked enthusiasm is actually typical of smaller naval craft. These included World War II era PT boats, with crews of up to 17, and current minesweepers (with crews similar to an LCS) and larger patrol boats. There's also the "new" factor. In addition to being new ships, there is a new design and lots of new tech. This gets people pumped. But the experience of using the LCS has to be used to develop changes that will make these ships viable for the long haul.

 

The two different LCS designs are from Lockheed-Martin (monohull) and General Dynamics (trimaran). The first LCS, the monohull USS Freedom, completed its sea trials and acceptance inspections two years ago. The ship did very well, with far fewer (about 90 percent fewer) problems (or "material deficiencies") than is usual with the first warship in a class. USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid down by General Dynamics in late 2005 and commissioned in January 2010.

 

Both LCS designs were supposed to be for ships displacing 2,500 tons, with a full load draft of under 3.3 meters/ten feet (permitting access to very shallow "green" and even "brown" coastal and riverine waters, where most naval operations have taken place in the past generation). Top speed was expected was to be over 80 kilometers with a range of 2,700 kilometers. Basic endurance is 21 days, and final displacement was closer to 3,000 tons.

 

LCS is currently armed with a 57mm gun, four 12.7mm machine-guns, two 30mm autocannon and a 21 cell SeaRam system for aircraft and missile defense. The RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles replace Phalanx autocannon. SeaRAM has a longer range (7.5 kilometers) than the Phalanx (two kilometers). Last year, the navy decided to equip LCS with a surface launched version of the Griffin air-to-surface missile. The Griffin is an alternative to the Hellfire II, which weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds) and carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. In contrast, the Griffin weighs only 16 kg (35 pounds), with a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by the larger Hellfire missile. Griffin has a pop-out wings, allowing it to glide, and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire. The surface-launched Griffin weighs about twice as much as the air launched version, because of the addition of a rocket to get it into the air, after which it can glide to the target.

 

Ultimately, the navy hoped to have between 50 and 60 LCSs by 2014-18, at a cost of $460 million (after the first five.) The USS Freedom ended up costing nearly $600 million, about twice what the first ship in the class was supposed to have cost. The navy believes it has the cost down to under $450 million each as mass production begins.

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15 avril 2011 5 15 /04 /avril /2011 22:59

http://www.defencenow.com/images/news/20110411084820.png

 

 

15 Apr 2011 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI DefenseNews

 

NEW DELHI - Construction delays to four French-designed submarines have led India to reverse an 11-year-old decision and seek German help to upgrade four older subs. Estimated to cost about $500 million, the upgrade of the four HDW T-1500-class subs will replace their weapon control systems, data links, torpedoes and missiles. The Indian defense ministry wants the German submarines to be upgraded at Indian facilities with technical assistance from HDW Germany. The Indian Navy has seen its fleet of usable submarines shrink from 21 in the 1980s to 14 today, while the Chinese sub fleet, including nuclear boats, grows, said a Navy official. In 2000, when the Navy decided to buy the new Scorpene submarines, it shelved plans to upgrade the T-1500s, which have now been in disrepair for several years. The French-designed boats, now planned or under licensed production by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), are more than three years behind schedule, a senior defense ministry official said. Under the $3.9 billion contract signed in 2005 with France, construction of the first three Scorpenes began in December 2006, December 2007 and August 2008. The MDL contract said the six subs were to be delivered annually beginning in December 2012. Instead, the first one is now scheduled for delivery in 2015. Besides the Scorpene troubles, the Navy is also seeing delays in its $10 billion purchase of air-independent-propulsion submarines, the official said. The world's sub builders are expected to be invited to bid on the job, called Project 75I, in the next three months, the Navy official said. The T-1500s were built under an $89 million deal signed in 1983. HDW's shipyard in Germany built two of the T-1500s in 56 months apiece; the other two were built under license by MDL, taking 98 months and 116 months respectively. Later in the decade, New Delhi blacklisted HDW because of alleged bribery in the sub deal. The ban was lifted after an inquest by India's Central Bureau of Investigation ended without resolution.

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Exemples de missions de la DGA en Afghanistan


01/04/2011 DGA

 

Découvrez quelques-unes des missions réalisées par les ingénieurs de la DGA en Afghanistan.

 

En octobre 2010 -Thierry Puig et Alain Prugne se sont rendus à Kaboul, Bagram et Tora pour anticiper le futur déploiement du missile antichar Javelin. La mission organisée conjointement avec la section technique de l'armée de terre (STAT) et le soutien sur place de l'attaché d'armement de l'ambassade américaine en France

 

En mai 2010 - Antoine Torres a eu pour mission l'adaptation réactive sur les équipements à Kaboul, Bagram, en Kapisa et en Surobi. Cette mission a été organisée conjointement avec la STAT et l’état-major de l'armée de terre (EMAT).

 

En mars 2010 -Norbert Fargère a assuré la mise en place du partenariat DGA / armée de terre sur les urgences opérations (UO) à Kaboul, Nijrab et Tora. Mission organisée conjointement avec la STAT et l’EMAT

 

En juillet 2009 -Patrick Dufour et Pascal Marchandin ont effectué le maintien en condition opérationnelle du matériel à Kaboul, Kandahar, Bagram et Tora. Mission organisée avec le soutien logistique interarmées (SLI) de l’état-major des armées (EMA).

 

En mars 2009 -Sylvie Gravelines s'est rendue à Kandahar pour le soutien au déploiement du Rafale.

 

En février 2009 -François Moysan, Jacques Doumic et Emmanuel Canton ont eu pour missions la lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés (EEI), les moyens d'ouverture d'itinéraires et les drone.

 

En novembre 2008 -Joël Reingewertz s'est chargé du déploiement du AASM (armement du Rafale) à Kandahar.

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30 mars 2011 3 30 /03 /mars /2011 11:30

An artist concept showing the Global Hawk RQ-4B Block 40 configured for the NATO AGS core capability. Photo: Northrop Grumman

 

March 29, 2011 by Tamir Eshel DEFENSE UPDATE

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation submitted its final proposal for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) core capability. NATO AGS system will employ an air segment consisting of six Northrop Grumman Block 40 Global Hawks specially missionized to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to ground, maritime and air commanders, anytime and anywhere in the world. These Global hawks will be equipped with Northrop Grumman’s Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, which will be capable of detecting and tracking moving objects throughout the observed areas, as well as providing radar imagery of target locations and stationary objects.

 

The primary ground segment component will consist of a number of ground stations in different configurations, such as mobile and transportable configurations, which will provide data link connectivity, data processing and exploitation capabilities, and interfaces for interoperability with Command, Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance(C2ISR) systems. The AGS Core ground segment will also include dedicated mission support facilities at the AGS Main Operating Bases (MOB), and ground stations for flight control of the UAVs. The Main Operating Base will be located at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. The Core system will be supplemented by interoperable national airborne stand-off ground surveillance systems from NATO countries, thus forming a system of systems.

 

NATO AGS program was approved by European heads of state and government as a priority capability initiative at the 2010 Lisbon Summit. In support of the new strategic concept, system will establish a network-enabled sensor system, supporting interoperability with national systems in support of all possible missions, including force protection, border and maritime security, counter- and anti-terrorism, crisis management, peacekeeping and enforcement, and natural disaster relief.

 

The current proposal is based on refinements introduced by the team to meet NATO requirements. “Our updated proposal offers an affordable, executable program that will provide an operationally relevant system to the Alliance,” said Pat McMahon, sector vice president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems’ Battle Management & Engagement Systems Division. Northrop Grumman is expecting contract award by July 2011.

 

NATO embarked on the AGS program in 1995, when the NATO Defence Ministers agreed to develop a pooled NATO asset, consisting of both manned and unmanned platforms, as well as ground control stations in various configurations. The manned platform was to be based on the Airbus A321 commercial airliner, and the unmanned platform on the Global Hawk high altitude long endurance UAV. Both the manned and unmanned platforms were to carry the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR). In November 2007, however, due to declining European defense budgets, NATO chose to move forward with a UAV-only solution based on the Global Hawk RQ-4B and the multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP). With this revision, the number of cooperating nations was reduced from 24 to 14.

 

NATO AGS is the first international sale of the Block 40 Global Hawk. The ground element, which provides real-time data, intelligence and target identification to commanders within and beyond line of sight, will be wholly produced by the team’s European industry partners, offering the potential for national re-use in other programs as well as direct work in the program for the participating nations. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the program, leading a team which includes companies from each of nations participating in the acquisition.

 

The program is managed by NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) and being implemented by the AGS Implementation Office (AGS IO) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). The agency was established in September 2009 after all participating nations signed the AGS Program Memorandum of Understanding. NAGSMA, was chartered to acquire the NATO-owned and operated core capability, and is responsible for the procurement of the NATO AGS capability until it has reached full operational capability at the NATO AGS main operating base in Italy.

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29 mars 2011 2 29 /03 /mars /2011 11:30

El camión de transporte especial lleva la vela del S-81 a Santa Lucía.

Photo JAVIER CONESA  - Source www.laopiniondemurcia.es

 

29 mars 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Le premier sous-marin S-80 que Navantia construit pour la marine espagnole, commence à prendre forme. Sur la coque résistance, dont la construction a été terminée en octobre dernier, sera bientôt fixé le kiosque, une structure de 6 mètres de haut et de près de 3 m de long, qui est arrivée hier au chantier naval de Carthagène. Un porte-parole de l’entreprise a expliqué que, à cause des dimensions du kiosque, l’opération de transport a été complexe. Il a d’abord été transporté sur un camion spécial depuis l’entreprise locale qui l’a construit jusqu’au port de pêche de Santa Lucía. Là, la pièce qui donne sa silhouette caractéristique au sous-marin lorsqu’il navigue en surface, a été embarquée sur une barge qui l’a transporté jusqu’au quai d’armement du chantier naval. La construction du premier des 4 sous-marins S-80 se déroule selon le calendrier établi. Depuis la fin de la construction de la coque résistante, les travaux se déroulent à l’intérieur, pendant que Bolea fabrique les superstructures extérieures. Si aucun problème ne survient d’ici là, le S-81 devrait être mis à l’eau en 2013. La technologie utilisée pour leur construction est « 100% Navantia » depuis que l’entreprise espagnole et DCNS ont dissous le consortium qui les associait pour la construction des sous-marins Scorpène. Il est actuellement prévu que le dernier exemplaire des S-80 soit terminé et livré à la marine espagnole en 2016.

 

Référence :  La Opinión de Murcia (Espagne)

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24 mars 2011 4 24 /03 /mars /2011 13:46
L’industrie aérospatiale israélienne et Elbit prêts à collaborer sur un nouveau modèle d’avion d’entrainement. Le T-50 sud-coréen et le M-346 italien toujours à l’étude

 

24 mars 2011

 

Rivaux de longue date, notamment pour des contrats d’armements à l’étranger, I’industrie aéronautique israélienne (IAI) et Elbit Systems pourraient s’associer en vue de l’acquisition et du maintien d’un avion d’entrainement destiné aux futurs pilotes de chasse de l’armée israélienne. Ce dernier devrait être choisi dans les prochains mois afin de remplacer les vieux Skyhawks A-4, aujourd’hui inadaptés à l’évolution des technologies aériennes et rangés dans les hangars de Tsahal. Ces appareils, utilisés d’abord par l’US Navy au Viêt-Nam, connurent leur heure de gloire au moment de la guerre de Kippour en 1973. D’après le quotidien économique Globes, Elbit Systems, spécialisé dans les équipements électroniques à usage militaire, et IAI, fleuron de l’industrie de défense israélienne, pourraient très rapidement créer une joint venture. Dans les faits, la société serait financée par l’aviation de Tsahal qui louerait les appareils achetés par Elbit et IAI dans le cadre des programmes de formation de ses cadets. L’alliance Elbit-IAI a déjà été approuvée par Ronit Khan, directrice des autorités antitrust israéliennes. Elle intervient dans un contexte agité pour l’industrie militaire israélienne, alors que se murmure toujours une possible fusion entre IMI (Israel Military Industries), en proie à des difficultés économiques, et le puissant missilier Rafael. De son coté, Elbit Systems a annoncé en février avoir racheté 30% des actions d’Elisra, une société dont IAI est l’actionnaire majoritaire.

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24 mars 2011 4 24 /03 /mars /2011 12:30
CAE décroche des contrats d'une valeur totale de 100 millions

 

23 mars 2011 La Presse Canadienne

 

Le fabricant de simulateurs de vols CAE (T.CAE) a récolté pour 100 millions de dollars de contrats militaires dans une dizaine de pays, dont le Canada, Taïwan et les États-Unis. La société fournira ainsi ses services-conseils au ministère de la Défense nationale du Canada et réalisera des contrats de sous-traitance pour le compte du géant Lockheed Martin, dans le cadre du programme d'avion de transport militaire Hercule C-130J. L'entreprise construira par ailleurs des dispositifs d'entraînement pour les avions de patrouille maritime Lockheed P-3C Orion de la marine taïwanaise. CAE offrira en outre des mises à niveau à celle des États-Unis pour l'entraînement sur les hélicoptères de patrouille MH-60S. Ces appareils servent notamment à des missions antimines, à la recherche et au sauvetage de combat ainsi qu'au ravitaillement. L'entreprise dont le siège social est situé à Montréal emploie aujourd'hui 7500 personnes dans plus de 20 pays.

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2 mars 2011 3 02 /03 /mars /2011 23:01
Teal Group Predicts Worldwide UAV Market Will Total Just Over $94 Billion in Its Just Released 2011 UAV Market Profile and Forecast

 

March 1, 2011 Source: Teal Group

 

WASHINGTON --- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis.

 

Teal Group's 2011 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $5.9 billion annually to $11.3 billion, totaling just over $94 billion in the next ten years.

 

"The UAV market will continue to be strong despite cuts in defense spending," said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group's director of corporate analysis and an author of the study. "UAVs have proved their value in Iraq and Afghanistan and will be a high priority for militaries in the United States and worldwide."

 

The study suggests that the US will account for 77% of the worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 69% of the procurement. "We expect that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of high-tech arms procurement worldwide, with the Asia-Pacific representing the second largest market, followed very closely by Europe," said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the 458-page study. "Africa and Latin America are expected to continue to be very modest markets for UAVs."

 

The eighth edition of the sector study, World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2011, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads and companies, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.

 

Teal Group analysts already cover the UAV market in their World Missiles and UAV Briefing, which examines the UAV market on a program-by-program basis. The sector study examines the UAV market from a complementary perspective, namely national requirements, and includes both a comprehensive analysis of UAV system payloads and key UAV manufacturers.

 

UAV Payloads

 

The 2011 study provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, C4I Systems, and CBRN Sensors, worth $2.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2011 and forecast to increase to $5.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2020. The UAV electronics market will grow steadily, with especially fast growth and opportunities continuing in SAR and SIGINT/EW, according to Dr. David Rockwell, third author of the new study.

 

"The payload portion of the 2011 study includes many new systems and system types, with expanded coverage of SIGINT/EW and SAR markets," said Rockwell "Few now question the U.S. Air Force's claim that ISR is 'the centerpiece of our global war on terrorism, with production beginning for major endurance UAV systems such as MP-RTIP and ASIP,' new RDT&E programs such as wide angle EO/IR systems, and a variety of ground and foliage-penetrating radars, and future development efforts to bring large-aircraft capabilities to small UAVs; tactical and mini/micro/nano-UAVs will continue to offer some of the best electronics opportunities over the next decade."

 

UAV Companies

 

The study also includes a UAV Manufacturers Market Overview that reflects the worldwide UAV market "continuing as one of the prime areas of growth for defense and aerospace companies," said Finnegan. The new study reflects the rapid growth of interest in the UAV business by increasing the number of companies covered to some 35 US, European and Israeli companies, and reveals the fundamental reshaping of the industrial environment.

 

"Smaller companies can successfully compete against larger players, as AAI Corp., Insitu, General Atomics and AeroVironment have all shown," Finnegan said. "Now the prime contractors are buying the successful smaller companies." In the past year, L-3 Communications bought Airborne Technologies, a small UAV developer and manufacturer, and VT Group purchased Evergreen's UAV fee-for-service operations.

 

As prime contractors and small companies compete in the dynamic UAV market, they are adopting widely different strategies. "Our overview tracks the widely varying approaches being taken by these key companies, ranging from outright acquisitions to teaming arrangements and internal development of new UAV systems," said Finnegan.

 

The Teal Group is an aerospace and defense market analysis firm based in Fairfax, Virginia USA. It provides competitive intelligence to industry and government worldwide.

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