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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
Volvo suspends Russia tank project over Ukraine 'uncertainty'

 

April 07, 2014 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Stockholm - Volvo on Monday said it had suspended a project to build an armoured infantry fighting vehicle with a Russian company due to uncertainty over the Ukraine crisis.

 

Renault Trucks Defense, which is owned by the Swedish truck manufacturer, in February 2013 signed an agreement to develop a combat vehicle with Russia's state-owned Uralvagonzavod.

 

But the project has been reconsidered due to concerns the Swedish government would veto the deal as the West seeks to isolate Moscow over its annexation of Crimea.

 

The vehicle, named Atom, would use a Volvo motor and so would require approval from Stockholm.

 

"As we see many uncertain factors around a possible collaboration, we have suspended our cooperation agreement until further notice," Volvo spokesperson Karin Wik told AFP, without giving further details.

 

The agreement was meant to last until March 2015, she added.

 

Sweden is not part of NATO, whose members have yet to block weapons sales to Moscow over its intervention in Ukraine but have suspended military cooperation.

 

Sweden has been outspoken against Russia's annexation of Crimea.

 

Swedish daily Dagens Industri wrote last week that Stockholm's "policy is clear: Swedish companies shouldn't furnish the Russian military or defence industry with military equipment that risks being used against Swedish troops."

 

Last September a mock-up of the Atom was shown at a Russian arms fair, according to several specialist publications.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Russia warns Ukraine against missile technologies proliferation

Yuzhmash produces the silo-based Voyevoda (SS-18, or Satan in NATO classification) inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of carrying eight-piece nuclear warhead.

 

Apr 08, 2014 (XNA)

 

Moscow - Russia on Monday drew Kiev's attention over media reports that a Ukrainian military-space enterprise had allegedly been negotiating with third countries on missile technology sale.

 

Referring to the Yuzhmash plant based in the city of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry reminded that Ukraine is a participant of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and a signatory of The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).

 

Moscow said Kiev has been bearing serious political obligations and must be especially restrained when it comes to technologies of building the missiles with the range over 300 km and workload over 500 kg.

 

"According to the MTCR, the most likely outcome of these negotiations must be refusal to hand over those technologies," the ministry said in a statement.

 

Yuzhmash produces the silo-based Voyevoda (SS-18, or Satan in NATO classification) inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of carrying eight-piece nuclear warhead. Yuzhmash also produces Dnepr space rockets conversed from the Voyevoda.

 

Russia reminded that participants of the HCoC have obligations not to facilitate, nor to support other countries in their efforts to build the ballistic missiles capable to carry weapons of mass destruction.

 

Russia hoped that despite complicated political situation in Ukraine in the absence of legitimate authorities, the leaders of the country should show due responsibility and stick to their obligations under the MTCR and HCoC not to undermine non- proliferation regimes.

 

Established in 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, the MTCR has been signed by 34 countries to date. The Hague Code of Conduct was signed in 2002 with the number of its participants currently reaching 137.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:40
Russie: une dizaine de sous-marins nucléaires modernisés d'ici 2020

 

 

MOSCOU, 8 avril - RIA Novosti

 

Les Forces navales russes seront dotées d'ici 2020 d'une dizaine de sous-marins nucléaires polyvalents modernisés, a annoncé mardi aux journalistes un représentant de la Marine.

 

"D'ici 2020, une dizaine de sous-marins des projets 971, 945 et 949 devraient être modernisés", a indiqué la source se référant au commandant en chef de la Marine russe, l'amiral Viktor Tchirkov.

 

A l'issue des travaux de modernisation, les appareils en question seront dotés d'équipements de survie et de systèmes de communications modernes ainsi que de complexes de navigation et de sonars, a expliqué l'interlocuteur de l'agence avant d'ajouter que la durée de service des sous-marins serait multipliée par deux.

 

Les travaux en question sont assurés par les chantiers navals Zvezdotchka de Severodvinsk et Zvezda (Extrême-Orient russe), a encore précisé la source.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Updates Timing of C-17 Production Line Closure

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today adjusted slightly the timing for ending C-17 Globemaster III production and closing its Long Beach, Calif., C-17 final assembly facility after a successful two-decade production run of the world’s premier airlifter.

 

Based on current market trends and the timing of expected orders, Boeing anticipates completing C-17 production in mid-2015, an adjustment of approximately three months from an initial estimate of late 2015. The company announced plans to end C-17 production in September 2013.

 

Boeing expects inventory–related charges of approximately $50 million, which will be recorded in the first quarter, as a result of this announcement.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Airbus Defense and Space Delivers 17th HC-144A Aircraft to USCG

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : Airbus Defense and Space

 

    HC-144A Ocean Sentry Continues as the Coast Guard's Primary Maritime Patrol Aircraft

 

Airbus Defense and Space, Inc. has delivered the 17th HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Ocean Sentry is based on the Airbus CN235 tactical airlifter with more than 235 currently in operation by 29 countries. This is the second of three HC-144A's planned for delivery this year.

 

The latest aircraft will join a fleet of 16 Ocean Sentries operating from Coast Guard Air Stations in Cape Cod, Mass.; Mobile, Ala.; and Miami. The Coast Guard is planning to stand up the fourth HC-144A air station in Corpus Christi, Texas, later this year.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Navy to Deploy Electromagnetic Railgun Aboard JHSV

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : US Navy

 

The U.S. Navy plans to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun aboard a joint high speed vessel in fiscal year 2016, the service announced today.

 

This test will mark the first time an electromagnetic railgun (EM railgun) has been demonstrated at sea, symbolizing a significant advance in naval combat.

 

EM railgun technology uses an electromagnetic force - known as the Lorenz Force - to rapidly accelerate and launch a projectile between two conductive rails. This guided projectile is launched at such high velocities that it can achieve greater ranges than conventional guns. It maintains enough kinetic energy that it doesn't require any kind of high explosive payload when it reaches its target.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:55
Nexter Group awarded VBCI Support in Service contract (MSS)

 

 

07.04.2014 Nexter -- army-guide.com

 

Versailles -- The Nexter Group has today signed the Support in Service contract for the VBCI armored infantry combat vehicle, at a ceremony held in Satory.

 

The Central Director of the SIMMT (The French ministry of Defence maintenance in operational condition department), General Jean-Yves Dominguez, and the CEO of Nexter Systems, Philippe Burtin, are thus continuing the substantial work already carried out between their teams and ensuring the continued availability of the fleet for the next 10 years.

 

On August 1, 2014, this market will take the place of an initial contract (Series Logistics), which has demonstrated its effectiveness by successfully supporting operations such as PAMIR in Afghanistan, DAMAN in Lebanon, SERVAL in Mali, as well as the maintenance of the training fleet in Champagne.

 

With an organization structured around purchase orders, it will enable the Army to regulate financial commitments to meet their needs based on the actual use of the fleet. Technical expertise services will concurrently ensure the continued existence of supply flows.

 

This contract, which comes in addition to the support contracts for LECLERC and CAESAR® fleets, confirms the position of Nexter as a major partner of the French Army.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
BHIC to build (Malaysia's) first littoral combat ship in 2015

 

07 April 2014 Pacific Sentinel

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC) expects to build the first littoral combat ship (LCS) early next year, under a RM9bil contract awarded to its associate company.
 
This, coupled with the group’s growing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business, will help the company improve its financial performance in the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2014.
 
“We are confident of doing much better this year. BHIC’s order book for shipbuilding and MRO for this year is more than RM500mil,” managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor told reporters after the company’s AGM yesterday.
 
He said the LCS programme was ahead of schedule and that actual work at the group’s shipyard in Lumut, Perak was expected to commence once the LCS project contract was finalised.
 
Read the full story at The Star
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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Salon de la défense DSA 2014: plus de 20 sociétés russes répondent présent

 

 

MOSCOU, 7 avril - RIA Novosti

 

22 sociétés russes présenteront environ 500 modèles d'armements au salon de la défense DSA 2014 qui ouvre ses portes le 14 avril en Malaisie, a annoncé lundi à Moscou le Service fédéral russe pour la coopération militaire et technique (FSVTS).

 

"Le holding de hautes technologies Rostec organise l'exposition russe au salon DSA. Les stands de 22 organisations russes seront situés dans les pavillons 4 et 6 sur une superficie de 555 m². Vingt sociétés présenteront des produits à vocation militaire. Au total, la Russie présentera 477 produits à vocation militaire", a indiqué FSVTS dans un communiqué.

 

La Russie sera notamment représentée par l'Agence d'exportation d'armements Rosoboronexport, le holding public Uralvagonzavod, producteur de blindés, le groupe aéronautique Oboronprom et le holding opto-électronique Schvabe.

 

La 14e édition du salon asiatique de la défense DSA se tiendra à Kuala Lumpur du 14 au 17 avril avec le concours du ministère malaisien de la Défense.

 

Parmi les pays participants figurent la Malaisie, qui sera représentée par 94 sociétés, les Etats-Unis (83 sociétés), la Grande-Bretagne (70 sociétés), la France (42 sociétés), l'Allemagne (34 sociétés), l'Australie (28 sociétés), la République tchèque (25 sociétés), Singapour (24 sociétés), l'Italie (23 sociétés) et la Chine (23 sociétés).

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Thales place le Bushmaster au Japon

Un Bushmaster hollandais en opération en Afghanistan

 

7 avril, 2014 Frédéric Lert (FOB)

 

Bon d’accord, la bateau qui apportera les véhicules blindés au pays du soleil levant sera moins chargé que ceux qui en ramènent des Toyota et autre Nissan… Thales Australia, qui a la responsabilité de la fabrication du véhicule, annonce la vente de seulement… quatre véhicules qui seront mis en œuvre par l’armée de terre japonaise (Japan Ground Self-Defence Force). Cette vente n’en constitue pas moins un beau succès pour pour la filiale australienne du groupe Thales, le Bushmaster ayant semble-t-il été opposé au M-ATV d’Oshkosh dans cette compétition. Les blindés, qui seront tous en version transporte de troupe, seront livrés fin 2014. Que vont pouvoir faire les Japonais de ces véhicules et s’agit simplement d’un échelon précurseur avant une vente plus large ? Le communiqué de presse de Thales rappelle que le Bushmaster « lors des déploiements sur les théâtres afghans et irakiens (…) a démontré toute son efficacité à la fois en milieu urbain mais aussi dans les régions plus montagneuse. Il est ainsi parfaitement adapté aux différents environnement géographiques du Japon ». Faut il donc croire comme le laisse entendre ces deux phrases que les Bushmaster seront utilisés sur le  territoire national japonais, où le bush est maigre et le niveau de menace

 

sensiblement moins élevé qu’en Irak ou en Afghanistan (sauf à considérer les soubresauts de la Terre). Ou bien ces véhicules seront-ils plutôt associés aux interventions extérieures des JGSDF ? Rappelons que depuis 2004, rompant avec sa traditionnelle politique de non-intervention  depuis la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale, Tokyo a déployé à travers le monde plusieurs contingents dans des opérations de maintien de la paix. Le premier contingent avait d’ailleurs été envoyé en… Irak

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Oman Air Force Continues F-16 Legacy

 

 

Apr 6, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

The Sultanate of Oman accepted the first of its second order of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-16 Fighting Falcons in a ceremony April 3 at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth facility. The fighter aircraft will ferry to Oman later this year.

 

In 2002, the Sultanate of Oman became the 23rd member of the F-16 family and now joins the 15 other countries which have ordered additional F-16 jets for their air defense. The new F-16s will add to the Oman Air Force's existing fleet of F-16s used to defend Oman's borders.

 

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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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