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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
photo USMC

photo USMC

 

7 April 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger – FG

 

Washington DC - The US military continues talks with potential foreign buyers of Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey as the service works to decrease the tiltrotor's costs.

 

US Marine Corps Col Daniel Robinson, manager of the V-22 joint programme office, tells reporters that the service is getting closer to securing a contract to sell V-22s to Israel, and says the military has a team of negotiators in that country working on a deal.

 

He adds that up to one dozen other countries have shown significant interest in the aircraft, but declines to specify those nations or say how close the military and Bell Boeing are to securing an order.

 

"Its definitely growing in demand," he says.

 

Robinson's comments, made during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 7 April, follow an announcement in January that Israel requested permission from the US Defense Department to buy six V-22s.

 

Then, in February, at the Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison said Israel is now interested in acquiring a total of 12 aircraft, six of which would come from existing orders that are assigned to the Marine Corps.

 

Any order from Israel or another country would help Bell Boeing preserve V-22 sales beyond 2015 and could help keep production alive past 2019.

 

Robinson notes, however, that the production line has enough capacity in the next few years to handle some new aircraft orders.

 

Meanwhile, Robinson says the US military continues a rigorous effort to bring down the expense of V-22s, which currently have a flyaway cost of about $72.1 million, according the US Navy's recently-released fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.

 

Robinson notes that the V-22's cost per flight hour has dropped 25% since 2009 while its readiness has increased 20%.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
USNS Mispillion (T-AO-105) conducting an underway replenishment.

USNS Mispillion (T-AO-105) conducting an underway replenishment.

 

 

07 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON - Après la voile et la vapeur, la Marine américaine pense avoir la pierre philosophale pour propulser ses navires: ses chercheurs ont réussi à transformer de l'eau de mer en carburant, espérant à terme s'affranchir de la dépendance au pétrole.

 

L'idée de départ est simple: les hydrocarbures sont composés de carbone et d'hydrogène, présents en grande quantité dans l'eau de mer. En capturant le dioxyde de carbone (CO2) et l'hydrogène contenus dans l'océan, il est possible de produire un kérosène de synthèse utilisable dans les moteurs de navires ou d'avions.

 

Les chercheurs du Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) ont démontré la viabilité du concept en parvenant à faire voler un modèle réduit d'avion avec du carburant produit à partir d'eau de mer.

 

C'est une étape énorme, se félicite le vice-amiral Philip Cullom, chef d'état-major adjoint de l'US Navy, qui cherche à se désengager de sa dépendance au pétrole et des variations de son prix.

 

Et la Marine est gourmande: en 2011, la Navy a consommé près de deux millions de tonnes de carburant. La transformation d'eau de mer en kérosène pourrait coûter à terme entre 3 et 6 dollars par gallon (3,8 litres), espère le NRL.

 

Après neuf ans de travail sur le sujet, Heather Willauer, une chimiste du NRL ne cache pas sa joie: pour la première fois, nous avons été capables de mettre au point une technologie pour capturer de façon simultanée le CO2 et l'hydrogène contenue dans l'eau de mer et d'en faire un carburant liquide, c'est une percée importante.

 

- Directement utilisable -

 

Le CO2 -dont la concentration est 140 fois plus importante dans l'océan que dans l'air- et l'hydrogène sont capturés par un processus d'électrolyse et ensuite liquéfiés et transformés en hydrocarbures.

 

Ce carburant a sensiblement la même apparence et la même odeur qu'un kérosène conventionnel, assure Heather Willauer. Surtout, le grand avantage, selon le vice-amiral Cullom, est qu'il est directement utilisable dans les moteurs de navires et d'avions actuels. Pas besoin donc de mettre au point de nouveaux moteurs.

 

La production de ce carburant ne s'effectue pour l'instant qu'en petites quantités en laboratoire. L'unité de production, dont les divers éléments sont disponibles dans le commerce, est installée sur une palette d'environ 1,5 mètre de côté. Pour passer à une quantité industrielle, il suffira de multiplier les unités de production.

 

Mais avant cela, en partenariat avec plusieurs universités, le laboratoire veut améliorer encore la quantité de CO2 et d'hydrogène capturés. Nous avons démontré la faisabilité, nous voulons améliorer l'efficacité, explique Mme Willauer.

 

Les implications de cette innovation sont prometteuses sur le plan stratégique car elles devraient permettre de raccourcir la chaîne logistique, un maillon faible dans chaque armée car plus facile à attaquer.

 

Dans la Marine, on ne va pas nécessairement à la station-service pour se ravitailler, c'est la station-service qui vient à nous par le biais d'un pétrolier ou d'un navire de ravitaillement, explique le vice-amiral Cullom. Les Etats-Unis disposent d'une flotte de 15 pétroliers-ravitailleurs militaires.

 

Seuls les porte-avions sont dotés d'une propulsion nucléaire. Tous les autres navires doivent fréquemment abandonner leur mission pendant quelques heures pour naviguer en parallèle avec le pétrolier le temps de faire le plein, une opération délicate, surtout par gros temps.

 

Mais les chercheurs préviennent: il faut encore compter dix ans au moins avant que les navires américains soient en mesure de produire à bord leur propre carburant.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Navy to Test F-35C on Carrier This Fall

 

April 7, 2014 by Brendan McGarry defensetech.org
 

The U.S. Navy for the first time will begin testing its version of the F-35 fighter jet from an aircraft carrier this fall, according to the No. 2 official in charge of the program.

Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Joint Strike Fighter program, didn’t specify a date or ship for the upcoming evaluations. But he spoke confidently of the planned milestone for the F-35C, the Navy variant designed for taking off from and landing on carriers.

“It’s going to be the year of the F-35C,” he said during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference on Monday in National Harbor, Md.

Mahr acknowledged hardware and software problems that have plagued the three versions of the aircraft being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp., from a tailhook that didn’t catch the arresting cable to a bulkhead that cracks to logistics software that improperly grounded jets. In February, the program office discovered that an engine fan blade “came apart” into pieces, he said.

But the issues have either been resolved or are in the process of being fixed and won’t threaten the Marine Corps’ plans to begin in July 2015 operational flights of the F-35B, Mahr said. That version is designed for short takeoffs and vertical landings, meaning it can fly like a plane and land like a helicopter.

Corps leaders last week hinted to lawmakers that the aircraft may not meet that date.

“We are tentatively behind schedule,” Gen. John Paxton, the assistant commandant, told lawmakers during an April 2 hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Seapower. “The IOC is forecasted for July 2015,” Paxton added, referring to the date for initial operational capability. “We have every expectation that could be delayed by several months. It will continue to be conditions based.”

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, who heads up the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, also said at the hearing that the Corps would not declare IOC until the software is developed to meet the requirements of the service.

The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, in a March 24 report cited an assessment made by the Pentagon’s own director of operational test and evaluation that software problems could delay delivery of the aircraft’s most advanced technology by 13 months.

When asked specifically about F-35B operational flights, Mahr said, “the Marines have not expressed any concerns at all about the IOC in 2015.”

The F-35B operational flights will rely on a less robust version of software, known as 2B, designed to provide basic close-air support and fire such weapons as the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile, or AMRAAM, and Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM. Both weapons have been successfully test-fired from the aircraft, Mahr said.

“We expect to be able to show that that software is ready to deploy,” he said, adding that two more software upgrades, or “drops,” are scheduled for the next two months.

Mahr acknowledged “some challenges” with the more robust version of software, known as 3F and designed to provide the full suite of war-fighting technology, which is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

“We think we have four to six months of risk on that end,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to meet that date.”

The program office has also made improvements to the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS (pronounced “Alice”), which determines whether the plane is safe to fly. A recent software upgrade to the system has drastically shortened the time it takes maintainers to load a webpage, to about 30 seconds from about five minutes, Mahr said.

 
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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
AW119 photo AgustaWestland

AW119 photo AgustaWestland

 

 

Apr. 7, 2014  By MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Helicopter maker AgustaWestland is touting the capabilities of its American-built AW119Kx as a candidate to replace the US Navy’s current fleet of training choppers.

 

The helicopter, which is used commercially by police departments and medical evacuation services, could meet the Navy or other service training needs more cheaply than existing military helicopters, company officials said.

 

“There’s no real active [government] solicitations out right now, so we’re trying to incubate something, whether it’s with the Navy, the Coast Guard, [Customs and Border Protection], the Air Force [or] Army,” Robert LaBelle, CEO of AgustaWestland North America, said Monday during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space convention.

 

The single-engine aircraft, which is a derivative of the twin-engine AW109, features a modern design, redundant systems and is “forgiving to a new student,” LaBelle said. The high-end civilian model costs about $3.5 million, a price that would likely decrease with a bulk buy.

 

The AW119Kx, called the Koala, is built solely at AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia production facility. AgustaWestland North America is a subsidiary of Italian-based AgustaWestland, which is part of Italy’s Finmeccanica aerospace and defense group.

 

The AW119Kx would not need any modifications to enter military service, LaBelle said.

 

The Navy operates just more than 100 Bell 206 Jet Rangers, which are used for helicopter training. The service is in the study phase to determine its future helicopter training needs.

 

“It really is time for them to replace them,” LaBelle said, of the current Navy helicopter trainers, which the service calls TH-57 Sea Rangers.

 

The US Army flies the twin-engine Airbus UH-72 Lakota for stateside missions and plans to buy 100 new aircraft for helicopter training. The Lakota would likely be a competitor when the Navy replaces its training helicopters.

 

The US military does not operate any AgustaWestland helicopters. LaBelle said he has been working to shed light on AgustaWestland’s US presence and portfolio of helicopters.

 

As US defense spending contracts in the coming years, LaBelle said the Defense Department should look at different types of platforms and industrial partners.

 

He touted the company’s $600 million yearly investment in research-and-development projects, and its growing commercial sales

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
US Army Rejects GD's Vehicle Protest; Company Mulls Further Action

General Dynamics will have to decide whether to pursue a more formal protest regarding the fairness of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program. (US Army)

 

Apr. 7, 2014 - By PAUL MCLEARY – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The April 4 rejection by US Army Materiel Command of a General Dynamics Land Systems protest disputing the fairness of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) competition puts the ball squarely back into GD’s court, which has the option of lodging a more formal protest with the Government Accountability Office — a move that would halt all work on the program for weeks or even months.

 

On Feb. 14, GD filed a protest contending “the AMPV solicitation provides a competitive advantage” to competitor BAE Systems, since BAE “has years of Army test and performance data” on the M113 personnel carrier, which the competition has been launched to replace.

 

“In our view, the AMPV procurement process is not consistent with the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, requiring a “full and open competition,” the company said in a statement.

 

These statements could indicate the company will file a protest with the GAO during the 10-day window that began when the initial protest was denied on April 4.

 

At issue is the fact that the Army wants competitors to incorporate parts from the Bradley fighting vehicle and the M113 in their AMPV designs, both of which are made by BAE. General Dynamics contends that it doesn’t have all of the relevant historical information on those parts to fully compete. The company has long said that it would submit a version of its eight-wheeled Stryker vehicle, of which the Army currently fields nine full brigades and a smaller Special Operations contingent.

 

BAE launched its own salvo on Friday afternoon, saying that it “is pleased” at the decision and that “cost savings, political expediency and business reasons do not justify putting soldiers’ lives at risk. The Army has had this solicitation in the works for two years and has adjusted requirements based on industry feedback to accommodate the broadest number of competitive offerings possible.”

 

On April 3, 10 members of Congress wrote a letter to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester, Frank Kendall, urging the Army to rewrite the five-month-old request for proposals. The lawmakers wrote that the Army should rework the program with a view toward “allowing for a mixed fleet of both track and wheeled vehicles” to meet the requirements for the competition.

 

In other words, the Army should split up the buy for 3,000 AMPVs between Stryker and Bradley variants.

 

The lawmakers also outlined the core reason for GD’s protests: the dearth of new ground vehicle programs in the Army’s near-term future.

 

“Given the intensely restrictive budget requirement the Army faces, the AMPV might be the only new vehicle entering the fleet for decades,” they wrote.

 

Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who represents the district that houses the Red River Army Depot — and its 4,500 jobs — which performs a great deal of work on Bradleys, issued a statement on Friday applauding the decision.

 

“No current vehicles meet the survivability, mobility, and reliability upgrades outlined in the Army’s competitive bid,” he wrote. The program “cannot be delayed a year or more by rehashing the multi-year bidding process.”

 

On March 4, Hall sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pitching BAE’s AMPV bid as good for the local economy, saying that “if BAE Systems is awarded the contract, jobs will be protected at Red River Army Depot and additional jobs could be added.”

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
A CH-47F Chinook helicopter of the US Army. Photo army.mil

A CH-47F Chinook helicopter of the US Army. Photo army.mil

 

 

7 April 2014 army-technology.com

 

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has been awarded a multi-million dollar subcontract for the modernisation of the US Army's CH-47F Chinook Avionics Trainers (CAT).

 

The deal, awarded by Usfalcon under the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) SPOTS V contract, requires the company to perform upgrade services to four of the simulators currently located at the army's 128th Aviation Brigade in Fort Eustis, Virginia, US.

 

Specifically, this includes the aircraft product improvement programme one (PIP1), which will ensure concurrency of the simulators to the aircraft, as well as other product lifecycle and functional improvements, such as the networking of simulators to enable trainees to perform more advanced maintenance scenarios.

 

Kratos Training Solutions senior vice-president Jose Diaz said that the maintenance of the CH-47, which is a vital asset for troops, is critical to the army.

 

"Based on our detailed knowledge of these simulators, coupled with the use of our advanced software integration lab capability, device downtime will be minimised and student training will continue during the upgrade period," Diaz said.

 

Manufactured by Kratos, the CH-47F CAT is a high fidelity hands-on training system (HOTS) designed to train soldiers in fault isolation procedures (FIPs), remove and install (R/I) tasks, and system and subsystem familiarisation in a fully immersive physical environment.

 

Additional tasks include servicing and inspection, maintenance operational checks (MOCs), and component identification.

 

It is currently used to support heavy-lift helicopter maintenance training at the US Army's Aviation Logistics School (USAALS) in Fort Eustis.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 06:50
photo Alan Radecki Northrop Grumman

photo Alan Radecki Northrop Grumman

If the British government decides to rebuild its maritime patrol capabilities it may consider an acquisition of the Triton, a maritime version of the Global Hawk UAV. (Northrop Grumman)

 

Apr. 7, 2014 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News

 

LONDON — Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is dispatching a team to train on Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton UAV in the run-up to a possible decision next year on whether to re-establish a maritime patrol capability.

 

Responding to a parliamentary question April 3, the government said that four personnel are “scheduled to train on the MQ-4C Triton during June and August, 2014.”

 

The Triton is a maritime version of the Global Hawk remotely piloted surveillance vehicle. The high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft is in its flight-test phase ahead of deliveries to the US Navy.

 

The British government said the team will be trained at the US Navy’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said on a number of occasions that unmanned aircraft could meet at least part of the requirement for a future maritime patrol aircraft capability if the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) resurrects the requirements.

 

The government controversially axed Britain’s maritime patrol aircraft capability as part of a budget-cutting exercise in the 2010 SDSR when BAE Systems’ long-delayed and over-budget Nimrod MRA4 program was canceled before the aircraft entered service.

 

Two demonstration versions of the Triton are scheduled to be delivered to Patuxent River in the next few weeks, having last month completed initial flight testing.

 

Triton has already been ordered by the US Navy to operate alongside Boeing P-8 Poseidon MPAs. Australia has also said it intends to buy the machine to work with the P-8s it has on order.

 

Northrop displayed a mock-up of the high-altitude Triton at a Royal Air Force show at its Waddington, England, base last year.

 

The British parliamentary answer also revealed that 20 personnel have been embedded with US Navy P-8 operations as part of a program to retain crew skills until a decision is made on whether to recreate a maritime patrol capability.

 

The program, known as Seedcorn, has also seen smaller numbers of personnel embedded with Australian, Canadian and New Zealand maritime patrol forces.

 

An MoD spokeswoman declined to elaborate on why the British personnel were being trained on Triton, but said it is part of a wider effort to develop capabilities.

 

“The Seedcorn program provides a valuable opportunity to UK personnel for training, specialization and exposure within the maritime environment while working with our allies to develop our capabilities. Triton forms only one element of this program and only a small, select number of UK personnel are involved in work, which operates from Patuxent River,” the spokeswoman said.

 

Representatives from Northrop declined to comment

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 06:40
Russia Says Concerned Over Possible Leaks of Ballistic Missile Technology by Kiev

 

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti)

 

Ukraine must adhere to its international obligations on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and prevent the sale of ballistic missile technologies to third countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

 

The ministry cited a number of media reports alleging that the Yuzhmash company, based in the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, is holding talks with foreign clients on the sales of technologies involved in production of RS-20 Voyevoda ballistic missiles.

 

 

“Ukraine, being a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) partnership and a signatory to the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), bears serious political obligations,” the ministry said in a statement.

 

The ministry urged the new Kiev authorities to be extremely cautious in its decisions to trade technologies related to ballistic missiles with payloads exceeding 500 kilograms and firing ranges of over 300 kilometers (over 180 miles).

 

“We expect that despite domestic political difficulties in Ukraine and the absence of legitimate supreme authorities, the country’s incumbent leaders show due responsibility and abstain from moves that undermine the existing regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles,” the ministry said.

 

The MTCR is a voluntary association of countries which declare their commitment to non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

 

The HCoC is a multilateral code of conduct, whose signatories voluntarily commit themselves to provide pre-launch notifications (PLNs) on ballistic missile and space-launch vehicle launches (SLVs) and test flights.

 

A heavy Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) missile is armed with a warhead fitting 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each. It has a maximum range of 11,000 km (6,800 miles) with a launch mass of over 210 tons and a payload of 8.8 tons.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:35
L'Inde teste un missile de croisière russo-indien BrahMos

 

NEW DELHI, 7 avril - RIA Novosti

 

Les forces armées indiennes ont effectué lundi un tir d'essai d'un missile de croisière supersonique russo-indien BrahMos, a annoncé l'agence indienne PTI se référant à un représentant du polygone de Pokharan, situé dans le nord-ouest de l'Etat indien du Rajasthan.

Tiré par une rampe de lancement mobile, "le missile a détruit sa cible", a indiqué le responsable cité par l'agence.

Utilisé par l'armée indienne depuis 2005, BrahMos est un missile supersonique à propergol solide pesant 2,55 tonnes. Doté d'une ogive de 200 à 300 kg, le BrahMos est capable de neutraliser les cibles à une distance de 290 km. L'Inde a déjà testé ses versions terrestre et navale et compte également en équiper les chasseurs Su-30MKI.

BrahMos tient son nom des premières syllabes du fleuve indien Brahmapoutre et de la rivière russe Moskova.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
Magellan Aerospace Awarded Contract To Repair and Overhaul CF-18 Engines

 

April 7, 2014. David Pugliese Defence Watch

 

News release from Magellan:

 

TORONTO, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ – Magellan Aerospace Corporation (“Magellan” or the “Corporation”) announced today the award of a contract for engine repair and overhaul (“R&O”) for the F404 engine that powers Canada’s fleet of CF-188 Hornet aircraft. The one-year contract renewal for approximately CDN $55 million, which was competitively bid, commenced on 1 April 2014, and includes an option for an additional year. The work will be carried out at Magellan’s facility in Mississauga, Ontario.

 

Under the terms of the contract, the Corporation will provide maintenance, engineering, material management, provision of Field Service Representatives, and Publication support for the CF-188 F404 engine and ancillary components. Magellan has provided CF-188 F404 engine R&O services to the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 30 years.

 

“Magellan is pleased to have been selected to provide this service for the Canadian Department of National Defence. Magellan’s long-standing relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces is very much the product of providing excellent value in terms of competitive pricing and world class technical experience”, said Jim Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Aerospace.

 

In addition to supporting Canada’s CF-188 F404 fleet, Magellan is a proven supplier, as well as Centre of Excellence, in the worldwide F404 engine R&O support market. There are approximately 4,000 F404 engines currently in service in 15 countries around the world.

 

About Magellan Aerospace

 

Magellan Aerospace is a global, integrated aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers, and defence and space agencies worldwide. Magellan designs, engineers, and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, industrial power generation, and specialty products. Magellan is a public company whose shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MAL), with operating units throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Poland.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 17:50
Space, sovereignty and European security - SEDE

 

SEDE meeting on 1 April 2014

 

  • Presentation by Jean Pierre Darnis of study on space, sovereignty and European security

 

Presentation Darnis

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 17:35
Japan's New Export Rules Broaden Global Role

 

 

Apr. 5, 2014 By PAUL KALLENDER-UMEZU – Defense News

 

Defense Export Rule Change Could Balance China Threat

 

TOKYO — Japan’s recent decision to set up a regulatory system to export arms should boost Tokyo’s future role in global weapons consortiums and potentially help balance against the threat of China, analysts say.

 

An April 1 decision by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved principles that continue to prohibit Japan from exporting arms to countries involved in conflict and that violate UN resolutions. But they also create a screening mechanism to allow weapons makers to sell arms if they contribute to international cooperation and security interests, and to alliance partners who agree not to resell them to third nations without Japan’s approval.

 

Under the new rules, the ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Economy, Trade and Industry will screen applications for sales, with the National Security Council making the final decision. The council was set up in December to speed decision-making on defense policy.

 

The new rules codify export relaxations first announced in 2011 under previous Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, but with two critical changes, said Satoshi Tsuzukibashi, director of the Defense Production Committee (the Japan Business Federation), Japan’s most powerful industrial and business lobby.

 

New guidelines mandate “strict examination” of all export cases, but with a “flexible” approach that contains a caveat allowing quicker decisions in cases of emergency, for example a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

 

A second critical change relaxes the 2011 stipulation that every potential sale to a third country be written into any initial development, co-production or licensing deal in advance. Now, applications for sales to third countries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

“This is an important first step forward, as it means, for example, we can export parts for the F-35, which we couldn’t and which Noda didn’t understand, and build in the principle of the ability to export to a range of countries in future deals. We can now negotiate with more countries in good faith. It means we now have a system that opens new doors,” Tsuzukibashi said.

 

An ability to cooperate on programs will be critical because countries are leaning on cost sharing as defense spending in many places falls, said Phil Finnegan, an analyst with the Teal Group.

 

“Cooperation, that is a direction that the industry is going,” Finnegan said. “Japan is now moving in that direction as well.”

 

But Finnegan said opportunity for economic gain through military equipment sales is likely years down the road because of the high manufacturing costs Japanese companies face.

 

“Nothing is going to change quickly; maybe in the long run, they can play a role in the international market,” he said. “It’s a very insular industry, and by its nature, it’s going to be expensive.”

 

Japan’s actions have become a hotly debated regional issue, with both South Korea and China signaling concern that the rule changes show Japan is on the path to remilitarization, and calling for “transparency.”

 

Jun Okumura, a visiting scholar at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, said the new regulations represent a significant change for Japan, not because Japan is remilitarizing but because the decision draws Japan closer to the US and to other global partners, a worrying development for China.

 

“Yes, Abe is chipping away at the postwar pacifist regime, and the question is how far Abe wants to change Japan. But he won’t go ‘all out’ ” and remilitarize, Okumura said. “The point is, he is aware of the repercussions for the Japan-US alliance, and anything that reinforces that alliance is a negative for China as they extend a more aggressive policy of projecting their military power.”

 

Critics offer both prosaic and deeper concerns that they avoid mentioning publicly, said Narushige Michishita, director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

 

“China and South Korea are proactive in selling their weapons overseas, and in a way, they are concerned about Japan becoming a competitor,” he said.

 

Michishita said Japan wants to play a more active role in maintaining Asia’s balance of power, so the changes will build a “win-win-win” situation not only for the US, but for Japan’s increasingly important partnerships with Australia, South Korea and India. This extends to emerging Southeast Asian countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, all of whom are increasingly concerned about China, he said.

 

“If it’s possible to sell arms to the US [that South Korea might not want to buy from us], Australia, India and partners in Southeast Asia, our targets include the Philippines and Vietnam; it’s a great step forward. By providing arms to these countries we can make money, we can balance China, and strengthen and institutionalize our partnerships and empower these countries. It’s a win-win-win situation,” Michishita said.

 

Since Japan’s defense industrial base accounts for less than 1 percent of the country’s industrial output, and its defense products often cost multiples of the prices of US gear, it may be some time before the Mitsubishi conglomerate’s three diamonds are emblazoned on radar kits globally.

 

“Japanese weapons are not battle tested, and problems with Sumitomo Heavy Industries machine guns were covered up for many, many years, so we don’t know if potential buyers can trust Japanese systems,” Michishita said.

 

Nonetheless, Japan has a smorgasbord of specific, component level and small systems technologies, wrapped in a huge swath of dual-use technology that it can bring to future partnerships.

 

Just recently, for example, Japan politely walked away from attempts by Turkey to buy Type 10 (TK-X) lightweight main battle tanks, which one analyst said contained capabilities that emerging countries are eager to obtain. Other technologies include the Type 99 155mm self-propelled howitzer, specialized armor, and sensor and radar technologies.

 

They also extend to aero and marine engine technologies, including Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines fitted with air-independent propulsion systems, which are sought after by Australia in particular, Michishita said.

 

“Japan’s defense budget is due to grow an extra 2 percent annually over the next five years, but while that is small in real terms, this growth will be augmented when and if Japanese companies engage in [international] consortiums in the joint development of next- or next-next generation weapons,” Okumura said.

 

There also is great potential in Japan’s dual-use capabilities, he said, which range from electronics and sensors to information technology products to advanced materials and carbon and composite technologies. These include excellence in partially or highly integrated technologies like those found in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ advanced MRJ commercial passenger jet.

 

“The good news is [that] in parallel with this progress in terms of arms sales, the Japanese government has made a decision to promote dual-use science and technology,” Michishita said.

 

“Certainly, in a best-case scenario, as we’ll be able to purchase more, unit costs will go down and we might be able to exercise some kind of influence on international security while we can ease our fiscal difficulties,” he said. “But by also engaging in international joint research and procurement, we can boost our competitiveness, and make and procure better weapons systems at lower prices.”

 

But Paul Giarra, president of Global Strategies & Transformation, warned that the change won’t necessarily tie Japan to feeding the US, and it could, in fact, help Japan emerge as a competitor.

 

“This is a most important development. Whatever the government manages will be consequential, but developments will not work out in a straight line,” Giarra said.

 

“Also, many appear to think that somehow this will give priority to American interests, but I disagree. American defense technology and industrial interests will have to compete with other global alternatives from which Japan will choose. This will be an uncomfortable competition for some,” he said.

 

Tsuzukibashi said such concerns would take a long time to materialize, although such a scenario is possible.

 

“There is this image of the Zero-sen [fighter plane], but that was a long time ago during World War II,” he said. “Japan’s defense base is not that strong, we don’t have the size, and [in] the technology to compete with companies such as Lockheed Martin or BAE, we are no threat.”■

 

Zachary Fryer-Biggs contributed to this report.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 16:55
Awacs à Roissy photo AFI KLM EM

Awacs à Roissy photo AFI KLM EM

 

07/04/2014 - AFI KLM E&M

 

Based until now at Le Bourget, AFI KLM E&M's Military Product team is moving to CDG as part of a plan to optimize and modernize the MRO's industrial base.

 

For the first time, one of the French Air Force's four AWACS aircraft, whose MRO support is entrusted to AFI KLM E&M, has arrived at Hangar H4 at CDG for a major overhaul scheduled to last several weeks. This is a major first, as military activities and French Air Force AWACS aircraft have until now been handled at Le Bourget ? another AFI KLM E&M facility to the North of Paris.

Leading-edge technology at H4 
The relocation is designed to ensure increased responsiveness for the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) as well as the French Defense Ministry's Aircraft Through Life Support Organization (SIMMAD) - two bodies in charge of AWACS modernization and maintenance operations on behalf of the French Air Force.
The inside of the hangar has been completely reconfigured in order to position all support functions (offices, back-office tasks, logistics, technical assistance and modification configuration) as close as possible to the aircraft. For increased security and performance, all operations are conducted in H4. AFI KLM E&M is also in charge of a dedicated AWACS Information System (IS) to concurrently inform both maintenance activity and the customer. The IS was successfully migrated from Le Bourget to CDG.

Heightening security 
AWACs maintenance provided by AFI KLM E&M is subject to a high level of both French and Nato classification. As a result, the investment needed to make Hangar H4 compliant with these security requirements was substantial.

Investing in the future
Executive Vice President Air France Industries Anne Brachet said: "The investment we have ploughed into new infrastructure for this fleet at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle clearly demonstrates our intention to satisfy the expectations of the French Defense Ministry and to be worthy of the trust it has placed in us."
This state-of-the-art maintenance infrastructure delivers improved service quality and is part of a much wider program. The grouping and modernization of operations north of Paris at CDG is part of the Transform 2015 adaptation and development Plan which aims to step up AFI KLM E&M's operational performance and economic effectiveness.
Based on these strong new assets, the Group intends to fully demonstrate its added-value for AWACS aircraft in particular, and for military fleets in general.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Bushmaster - photo Thales

Bushmaster - photo Thales

Déployé en Irak et en Afghanistan, le Bushmaster a été vendu à plus de 1.000 exemplaires, à l'Australie, aux Pays-Bas et à la Jamaïque, explique Thales.

 

07/04/2014 latribune.fr 

 

Thales va vendre des blindés Bushmaster au Japon. Ils seront fabriqués par la filiale australienne du groupe français pour un montant inconnu.

 

Le groupe français d'électronique et de défense Thales a annoncé lundi la vente de quatre de ses blindés Bushmaster au Japon, confirmant ainsi le succès de ce véhicule fabriqué en Australie à l'exportation.

 

"premier contrat de plateformes au Japon"

Ces blindés à roues, en version transport de troupes, doivent être livrés d'ici la fin de l'année à la force d'auto-défense terrestre du Japon, indique Thales dans un communiqué, sans révéler le montant du contrat. Chris Jenkins, PDG de Thales Australia commente :

"Ce nouveau contrat à l'export démontre le succès grandissant et la polyvalence du Bushmaster. (...) Il s'agit pour Thales du premier contrat de plateformes au Japon. Notre objectif est de fournir des technologies et des services qui répondent parfaitement aux besoins du ministère de la Défense japonais. Nous nous réjouissons de travailler en étroite collaboration avec la force d'auto-défense terrestre japonaise dès que les véhicules seront en service."

 

1.000 exemplaires vendus

Déployé en Irak et en Afghanistan, le Bushmaster a été vendu à plus de 1.000 exemplaires, à l'Australie, aux Pays-Bas et à la Jamaïque, ajoute Thales.

Le groupe français, qui a réalisé en 2013 un chiffre d'affaires de 14,2 milliards d'euros, travaille sur les marchés de l'aérospatiale, de la défense, de la sécurité et des transports. Sa filiale Thales Australia a enregistré des ventes de 1 milliard de dollars australiens (677 millions d'euros) l'année dernière.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 12:56
Opération de maintenance Awacs sur la base d'Avord photo Cosmao

Opération de maintenance Awacs sur la base d'Avord photo Cosmao

 

 

07/04/2014 par Guillaume Steuer – Air & Cosmos

 

Il s'est posé ce matin sur l'aéroport de Roissy : pour la première fois, un E-3F Awacs de l'armée de l'Air va être pris en charge par Air France Industries, en charge du maintien en condition opérationnelle de cet aéronef, sur son site de CDG. Et non plus au Bourget, comme c'était le cas jusqu'alors.

 

"Nous avons décidé de transférer cette activité vers Roissy afin de moderniser notre outil industriel et d'assurer la maintenance de cet appareil dans des installations entièrement rénovées", explique Anne Brachet, directrice générale d'Air France Industries. "Nous avons investi plus de cinq millions d'euros afin de réaliser ces travaux, qui s'inscrivent dans la continuité du plan Transform 2015", précise la dirigeante.

 

A ce jour, l'activité Awacs mobilise environ 200 personnes chez Air France Industries (AFI). Pour le moment, le site du Bourget héberge encore les équipes de direction et l'activité aérostructures. Mais cette dernière est également amenée à rejoindre Roissy, où une usine plus moderne est en cours de construction. Elle permettra notamment à AFI d'être mieux armé dans le domaine des matériaux composites.

 

A Roissy, les Awacs français seront désormais entretenus et modernisés sous le hangar de maintenance H4, dans une zone respectant les contraintes de sécurité fixées par le client mais aussi par le gouvernement américain, attentif à l'utilisation qui est faite des systèmes "sensibles" fournis par les Etats-Unis. Ce même H4 continuera toutefois de servir à la maintenance d'autres flottes long-courrier, A330 et A340 notamment.

 

L'Awacs qui vient de se poser à Roissy est par ailleurs le deuxième E-3F de l'armée de l'Air qui doit subir son chantier de rénovation à mi-vie (MLU). Une modernisation majeure qui vise à rénover entièrement le système de mission de l'appareil dans une configuration similaire à la version dite Block 40/45 développée par Boeing pour l'US Air Force.

 

De son côté, Air France Industries entend développer ses activités dans le domaine du soutien militaire à moyen et long terme. "Nous avons clairement exprimé notre volonté de participer au soutien complet des futurs A330 MRTT français", explique Anne Brachet. L'expérience acquise par AFI dans le soutien des A330 civils est une sérieuse référence, sur un marché qui reste toutefois très concurrentiel.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
Perceptual Robotics Laboratory

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory

 

 

Paris, le 7 avril 2014 Sagem (Safran)

 

Sagem (Safran) a signé avec le laboratoire Percro (Perceptual Robotics Laboratory) de l’école supérieure Sainte-Anne de Pise (Italie) un accord de coopération portant sur le développement des technologies de l’exosquelette.

Un exosquelette est une structure électromécanique autonome externe à l’organisme permettant de démultiplier les capacités physiques de l’être humain, pour le port de charges, la mobilité, et la précision. Le concept d’exosquelette bénéficie aujourd’hui des nouvelles ruptures technologiques, dans les domaines du traitement numérique, des senseurs miniatures et du contrôle.

Au titre de cette coopération, Sagem travaillera sur l’évaluation physiologique et biomécanique et l’école supérieure Sainte-Anne de Pise sur le contrôle, la mécanique appliquée et la mécatronique. Ce partenariat débouchera sur le développement et la fabrication de prototypes pour essais d’ici à 2017.

Ces développements pourront profiter de l’expertise reconnue de Sagem dans la gestion autonome de l’énergie et les technologies de contrôle et de stabilisation de plates-formes.

Le projet s’appuiera à la fois sur des financements européens du programme de recherche et d’innovation Horizon 2020 (1)> et des investissements financés par Safran.

Les technologies d’exosquelette offrent des perspectives considérables dans les secteurs civils et les forces armées, telles que la construction ou la conduite des premiers secours lors de catastrophes naturelles. Les exo prothèses se présentent comme des solutions améliorant l’autonomie des personnes handicapées ou à mobilité réduite, notamment les seniors dans leur quotidien. Ils ouvrent aussi des perspectives pour la robotique collaborative en industrie, ainsi qu’en logistique (augmentation des capacités de manutention, sécurité, lutte contre les troubles musculo-squelettiques, etc.).

Les projets européens associés à ces technologies sont pour Safran, à travers sa filiale Sagem, une opportunité nouvelle de coopération avec l’Italie en matière de recherche et de développement. Faisant un large appel à des technologies innovantes, cette opportunité s’inscrit pleinement dans la stratégie de Safran de s’engager pleinement dans des coopérations européennes (A400M, NH90, etc,) susceptibles à leur tour d’associer des PME innovantes.

(1) Horizon 2020 est le programme de recherche et d’innovation de l’Union européenne. Il recentre ses financements sur trois priorités : l’excellence scientifique, la primauté industrielle, les défis sociétaux. Il est doté de 79 milliards d’euros (en euros courants, Euratom compris), pour la période de 2014-2020. Entrée en vigueur : 1er janvier 2014.

****

Le laboratoire PERCO Perceptual Robotics Laboratory est l’un des centres les plus avancé dans le domaine de la robotique, de l’intelligence artificielle et de la réalité virtuelle. Fondé en 1994 par Massimo Bergamasco, professeur de mécanique appliquée de l’Université de Saint Anne de Pise. Le laboratoire a deux implantations, l’une à Pise, l’autre à Polo Sant’Anna Valdera de Pontedera.

Sagem, société de haute technologie de Safran, est un leader mondial de solutions et de services en optronique, avionique, électronique et logiciels critiques, pour les marchés civils et de défense. N°1 européen et n°3 mondial des systèmes de navigation inertielle pour les applications aéronautiques, marines et terrestres, Sagem est également n°1 mondial des commandes de vol pour hélicoptères et n°1 européen des systèmes optroniques et des systèmes de drones tactiques. Présents sur tous les continents via le réseau international du groupe Safran, Sagem et ses filiales emploient 7 500 personnes en Europe, en Asie du Sud-est et Amérique du Nord. Sagem est le nom commercial de la société Sagem Défense Sécurité.
Pour plus d’informations : www.sagem-ds.com

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
BAE Systems Wins £16.8 Million Illuminating Shell Contract

 

7 April 2014 BAE Systems

 

BAE Systems has been awarded a £16.8 million contract to produce 105mm illuminating artillery shells, L43A5, for the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD).

 

 “This award builds on more than 45 years of 105mm Illuminating Shell development,” said Lena Gillström, managing director of Weapon Systems, Sweden at BAE Systems. “Variants of the 105mm Illuminating Shell have been used by multiple armed forces around the world and continues to be one of the best solutions to meet a 105mm illuminating artillery shell capability.”

 

Upon completion of this contract, BAE Systems will have delivered more than 60,000 rounds of 105mm white and infrared illuminating artillery shells to the U.K. MoD.

 

Series production starts immediately and the rounds will be delivered from 2014 through 2016. Final assembly will occur at BAE Systems facility in Karlskoga, Sweden. The L43A5 can be fired from the 105mm Light Gun, currently in service with the United Kingdom and many other armed forces around the world.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:45
Libye: ouverture du salon de la défense à Tripoli

 

07-04-2014 French.china.org.cn

 

Le salon Libya Defense Show 2014 a ouvert ses portes dimanche à Tripoli, avec l'objectif d'améliorer la situation sécuritaire dans ce pays déchiré par les conflits.

 

Parmi les articles qui y sont présentés figurent des véhicules blindés, des uniformes, des gilets pare-balles et différents équipements de la police en provenance de 40 exposants.

 

Lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture, le ministre libyen de l'Intérieur par intérim Salah Mazig a souhaité que les efforts de toutes les parties concernées puissent aider la Libye à "construire une armée puissante capable de se défendre".

 

Cependant, en raison d'un manque de publicité en amont pour des raisons de sécurité, le nombre de participants a baissé par rapport aux dernières éditions, ont expliqué les organisateurs.

 

Depuis la chute de l'ancien dirigeant libyen Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011, le pays est déchiré par les conflits impliquant milices et hors-la-loi. Le gouvernement de transition n'est pas parvenu à prendre le contrôle de toutes les régions du pays d'Afrique du Nord.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Ratnik warrior military equipment to inform medics about the wound

 

April 07, 2014 by Rostec

 

Special sensors in soldiers’ equipment will transmit information to military medics

 

In Russia, the Warrior (Ratnik) military equipment is in the final stages of state testing. The next-generation equipment is outfitted with a system to register the physiological state of soldiers, with special sensors transmitting information to military medics.

 

According to Izvestia, the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy named for Kirov (VMA) over the next two years will undergo an experimental modernization that includes a system to monitor soldiers’ vital functions and “to determine the physiological parameters of the wounded and assessing the severity of their injuries.”

 

The creators of the Warrior equipment (the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering, part of the state corporation Rostec) confirmed to Izvestia that a health monitoring system was already being developed. The monitoring system is expected to be included in the next version of the Warrior equipment.

 

The upgraded Warrior equipment will include body sensors that every minute will record parameters such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood-oxygen saturation indicators, and microvascular blood filling. The system will store and analyze these figures, and any deviation from the norm will trigger an alarm in the medical service. This technology draws on the already-developed Sagittarius (Strelets) system of intelligence, control, and communication. All information is automatically saved on a flash drive that stores medical history.

 

Soldiers in the medical unit will have access to all indicators on the condition of the wounded. Based on the severity of the injuries, the state of a wounded soldier will be assessed on a scale of 0 to 5. The medical company will use the data to prioritize the evacuation of the wounded and to identify the best possible ways to reach them based on their GPS coordinates.

 

The Ratnik warrior military equipment includes body armor, GLONASS-GPS navigation, the Sagittarius (Strelets) control system, a communicator, and an automatic weapon with night and thermal vision. The helmet is equipped to withstand a shot from a pistol at a distance of 10 m and has a thermal camera and video module for sniping. The Warrior equipment also includes food, water filters, medical supplies, a tent, and a sleeping bag. In total, the equipment weighs up to 20 kg.

 

The Ratnik warrior equipment was first introduced in 2011 and is expected to be formally adopted in the summer of 2014. This year’s state defense order includes the supply of tens of thousands of sets of the combat equipment for ground, airborne, and naval troops.

 

The Warrior equipment is produced at the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TSNII TochMash), which was founded in 1944 and is now part of Rostec. The enterprise focuses on the development and manufacture of small arms and ammunition, military equipment, artillery systems, optoelectronic devices, sporting and hunting ammunition, sealed containers for transportation and storage, and firearm simulators.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Russie: un nouveau système de DCA testé près de Saint-Pétersbourg

 

 

MOSCOU, 7 avril - RIA Novosti

 

Les tests d'un nouveau système russe de surveillance de l'espace aérien ont eu lieu dans l'aéroport de Poulkovo, près de Saint-Pétersbourg, a annoncé lundi lors d'une conférence de presse un représentant du groupe Almaz-Antey, principal constructeur russe des systèmes de défense antiaérienne.

 

"Le consortium Almaz-Anteï a mené à bien avec succès tous les tests d'Etat du système de surveillance de l'espace aérien multipostion à spectre étendu +Mera+", a indiqué la source.

 

D'après le concepteur, le système en question peut servir de source d'informations précises sur la situation aérienne dans les zones inaccessibles pour les radars. Ce système permettra de renoncer aux radars ARSR et d'améliorer la couverture radar. En outre, Mera est plus attirant de point de vue du coût. 

 

"Le système de surveillance de l'espace aérien Mera fournit non seulement des informations exhaustives et précises sur les appareils aériens, mais garantit un travail sûr et sans failles", a conclu la source.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Philippines DND will be Acquiring a Multi-Role Fighter by 2018

After F/A-50 contract has signed, DND announced that it will be acquiring a multi-role fighter by 2018.

 

07 April 2014 Defense Studies



PHL to get MRF by 2018

MANILA, (PNA) — With the country now on its way to acquire its first-ever supersonic jet aircraft in 34 years, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it will be acquiring a "multi-role fighter" (MRF) by 2018.

This was revealed by DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo

2018 is the second phase of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

During this period, the defense and military establishment will determine whether to acquire additional units of the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" or go full stream with the acquisition of the MRFs to enhance the country's external defense capabilities.

Studies are now underway to determine the best MRF designs for the Philippines.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday. Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.

(Batita)

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
India to have own satellite navigation system by 2015

The navigational system, developed by India, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation's boundary line.

 

Apr 02, 2014 Spacewar.com (IANS)

 

Ahmedabad, India - India is expected to have its own satellite navigation system by the first quarter of 2015 with four of its satellites in space, said an official of Indian space agency. India is expected to have its own satellite navigation system by the first quarter of 2015 with four of its satellites in space, said an official of Indian space agency.

 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching the second navigational satellite badged Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1B (IRNSS-1B) April 4 evening at 5.14 p.m.

 

The 1,432 kg satellite will be carried by Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

 

Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)-SHAR director M.Y.S.Prasad told IANS: "Though the IRNSS is a seven satellite system, it could be made operational with four satellites."

 

According to him, even if a navigation system has more than four satellites, the final precise data is picked from four satellites.

 

The IRNSS-1B satellite with a design life span of 10 years will be part of the seven-satellite Indian regional navigational system. The first navigational satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013.

 

The navigational system, developed by India, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation's boundary line.

 

The system is similar to the global positioning system of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe, China's Beidou or the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System.

 

The system will be used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and others.

 

While the ISRO is silent on the navigation system's strategic application, it is clear that the IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.

 

According to the ISRO, the IRNSS-IB has been realised within seven months of the launch of the IRNSS-1A.

 

Meanwhile Indian space agency officials are getting ready for the 58 and half hour launch countdown slated to begin April 2 around 6.45 a.m.

 

"Normally 53 hour countdown is sufficient. But we have decided to an extended countdown so that some break time could be given for the officials," Prasad said.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Canada: No F-35 Buys Before 2018

A move by Canada to postpone any F-35 buys until 2018 means decisions will wait until after the next federal election. (US Air Force)

 

Apr. 6, 2014 - By DAVID PUGLIESE – Defense news

 

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Canada has told the US government it won’t be in a position to purchase the F-35 fighter jet until 2018, a move that critics of the aircraft say intentionally delays the controversial procurement until after the next federal election.

 

The decision has a number of ramifications. It will allow the ruling Conservative Party government to claim during the 2015 election campaign that no decision has yet been made on the purchase of a new fighter jet.

 

But if the Conservatives are defeated in that election, set for October 2015, it could mean further delays or even a cancellation of the proposed buy, since the country’s other political parties have raised concerns about the acquisition. Both the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party favor an open competition for a new fighter jet.

 

The F-35 Joint Program Office in the US has amended the Canadian “buy profile,” which indicates numbers of aircraft and timelines of the purchase.

 

“This moves the notional date of first delivery of aircraft from 2017 to 2018,” the Canadian government noted in a statement. No official reason was provided by Canada for the change in dates.

 

But industry, military and government officials say the change means a final decision won’t need to be made until after 2015.

 

“This whole thing is designed to delay and to get the Conservatives past the next election so they don’t have to come clean with Canadians about their F-35 plans,” Liberal Party defense critic Joyce Murray said.

 

Her analysis was echoed by Jack Harris, defense critic with the official opposition New Democratic Party, as well as Alan Williams, the Department of National Defence’s former head of procurement who approved Canada’s participation in the F-35 program.

 

Canada’s Conservative Party government committed in 2010 to purchasing 65 F-35s, but the acquisition soon became a major political albatross around the neck of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Opposition MPs alleged his government misled Canadians on the F-35’s price and performance.

 

In March 2011, the majority of the members of Parliament supported a motion that declared the Conservative government in contempt of Parliament over its withholding of information about the F-35, as well as other key financial documents on other issues. That motion of non-confidence in the government led to the federal election in May 2011, but despite the controversy, the Conservative Party was re-elected.

 

But in April 2012, Canadian Auditor General Michael Ferguson found Department of National Defence officials had withheld key information from Parliament about the fighter jet, underestimated costs and didn’t follow proper procurement rules.

 

In December 2012, the government, under continuing fire over the increasing cost of the F-35s, announced it would put the procurement on a temporary hold and examine other aircraft.

 

That process continues, but senior officers from the Royal Canadian Air Force have publicly stated they are preparing for the eventual delivery of the F-35.

 

Until the evaluation of other aircraft is complete, the government will not decide on how to proceed, said Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesman for Public Works and Government Services Canada. That department handles federal procurements.

 

Bujold said the “work is being completed as expeditiously as possible,” but the department could not provide any timelines on when it might be finished or a final decision on an acquisition made.

 

That’s because the process is a public relations exercise, former defense procurement chief Alan Williams alleges.

 

“It’s all designed to buy the government time so they can pick the opportune moment to announce the purchase of the F-35,” Williams said.

 

Jack Harris, defense critic with the official opposition New Democratic Party, said the F-35 acquisition has the potential to hurt the Conservative government’s image with voters in the upcoming election.

 

“They portray themselves as strong fiscal managers, but they have bungled numerous defense procurement files, particularly the F-35,” he said. “They don’t want this mess hanging over their heads during an election campaign.”

 

In his 2012 examination, Ferguson found that although Department of National Defence officials were publicly claiming the F-35 purchase would cost CAN $14.7 billion (US $13 billion), they had already quietly estimated the actual price tag to be $25 billion.

 

Mike Barton, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Canada, said the delay will not affect the F-35 program. When Canada is ready to place its order for the planes, the company will respond, he said.

 

Canada is still a partner in the program and has not informed the US government or Lockheed Martin of any plans to change that.

 

Canada operates 78 modernized CF-18 fighters and was planning to replace those with the F-35A, the conventional-takeoff-and-landing version of the F-35.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 10:55
Signature du contrat de soutien du VBCI

 

7 avril, 2014 Guillaume Belan (FOB)

 

Nexter a annoncé la signature, ce 4 avril, du nouveau Marché de Soutien en Service (MSS) du Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie (VBCI) au cours d’une cérémonie qui s’est déroulée à Satory, en présence du Directeur central de la SIMMT, le général de corps d’armée Jean-Yves Dominguez, et du Président de Nexter Systems, Philippe Burtin.

 

Cette cérémonie  fait suite à la notification du marché, intervenue le 2 décembre dernier.

 

Le communiqué indique que « construit sur une organisation en bons de commande, il permettra à l’armée de Terre de réguler au plus juste besoin les engagements financiers en fonction de l’emploi réel du parc. Des prestations de maîtrise technique assureront en parallèle la pérennité des flux de ravitaillement. » Ce nouveau marché de soutien prendra la relève du précédent, signé en 2008, à partir du 1er août.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 08:35
Japan buys Thales Bushmasters
 
April 7, 2014 Thales Group

 

The Japanese Ministry of Defence has ordered four Bushmaster vehicles for deployment with the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF).

The vehicles, all troop carrier variants, will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Bendigo, Victoria in Australia, for delivery in late 2014.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: “This new export order demonstrates the ongoing significance and versatility of the Bushmaster vehicle.  

With effective operational deployment across Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bushmaster has proven its effectiveness across urban landscapes as well as mountainous regions, making it uniquely suited to Japan’s geographic and urban environments.

This is the first time that Thales is providing platforms to Japan. Our aim is to be customer focused and to offer Thales Group’s seamless and convenient services and technologies to our customers in Japan. We look forward to working closely with the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force as these vehicles enter service.”

The Thales Bushmaster is a true success story with over 1,000 vehicles already sold in Australia, the Netherlands and Jamaica

 

About Thales Australia

Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing around 3,200 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues of AUD 1 billion in 2012.

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