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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 06:55
Nexter TITUS Tactical Infantry Transport and Utility System 6x6 armoured vehicle DSEI 2013

11 sept. 2013 Army Recognition

United Kingdom, London. At DSEI 2013, French manufacturer Nexter unveils its new 6x6 armoured vehicle TITUS (Tactical Infantry Transport & Utility System).

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 22:55
Armement : la France a perdu du terrain à l'exportation

11/09/2013 Par Véronique Guillermard – LeFigaro.fr

 

Les ventes de matériels militaires ont reculé de 26 %, à 4,8 milliards d'euros, en 2012.

 

Un millésime moyen mais qui reste honorable. Faute de contrats majeurs, les exportations françaises d'armement ont reculé de 26 % en 2012, à 4,8 milliards d'euros, par rapport aux 6,5 milliards de 2011.

 

Depuis le plus haut de 2009 (8,16 milliards), les ventes de matériels militaires évoluent en dents de scie. Elles restent encore loin de l'objectif affiché depuis plusieurs années, 10 milliards à l'export, qui permettrait aux industriels de compenser les décalages de livraison donc de paiement qui affecteront tous les programmes dans le cadre de la nouvelle loi de programmation militaire 2014-2019. Malgré cela, «la France s'est maintenue parmi les cinq premiers exportateurs mondiaux de matériels de défense», a souligné Jean-Yves Le Drian, le ministre de la Défense, en présentant, mercredi 11 septembre, le rapport au Parlement sur les exportations d'armement françaises en 2012. Contrairement à l'habitude, le rang précis de la France n'est pas mentionné. Car il semble se confirmer qu'elle a perdu sa 4e place au profit d'Israël, dont les exportations auraient dépassé les 5 milliards d'euros l'an dernier.

 

Israël dépasse la France

 

«Nous ne pouvons pas le confirmer car il est difficile d'obtenir des chiffres homologués et comparables, mais ce serait bien le cas», dit-on à l'Hôtel de Brienne. «Notre classement repose sur des sources ouvertes. Or, certaines données sont classifiées, comme par exemple les exportations de systèmes en Inde par Israël», explique Paul Burton, directeur des analyses du cabinet IHS, qui a classé la France au 3e rang mondial en 2012, avec 4,5 milliards de dollars, soit 3,3 milliards d'euros de matériels militaires exportés… derrière la Russie (10 milliards) et les États-Unis (28,5 milliards).

 

Le recul de la France, tel qu'il ressort du rapport français, doit être nuancé. «Les exportations d'armement doivent s'apprécier sur la durée», souligne Jean-Yves Le Drian. Ce sont en effet les très gros contrats, par nature complexes et très longs à négocier, qui peuvent propulser ou faire glisser la France au sein du top 5 mondial. «2013 s'annonce meilleur que 2012», note le ministère. cet été, Astrium et Thales ont signé un contrat de 800 millions d'euros pour fournir deux satellites de renseignement militaire aux Émirats arabes unis. «Paris est proche d'un accord avec l'Arabie saoudite pour le maintien en condition opérationnelle de Sawari 1 (2 pétroliers et 4 patrouilleurs). On parle de 1 milliard d'euros de contrat», confie une source proche de l'affaire. Autre dossier que la France espère finaliser d'ici la fin 2013, la vente de 126 avions de combats Rafale à l'Inde estimée à quelque 10 milliards d'euros.

 

«La France restera un membre clé des pays exportateurs d'armement même si la compétition est de plus en plus dure avec l'entrée en scène de nouveaux acteurs», estime Paul Burton en citant l'impressionnante progression de la Corée du Sud, passée du 27e au 11e rang mondial entre 2008 et 2012. Parmi les atouts français, une gamme diversifiée de très haute technologie ainsi qu'un savoir-faire reconnu en matière de transfert de technologie - devenu une condition sine qua non pour décrocher des contrats.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Rolls-Royce Unveils New Maritime Patrol Vessel Design

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : Rolls-Royce Plc

 

Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new design of maritime patrol craft at the Defence & Security Event International (DSEI) in London.

 

The first of a 'protection vessel family' of designs, is a new 55-metre craft featuring a range of equipment from Rolls-Royce (stabilisers, thrusters, steering gear, fixed pitch propellers) and MTU (diesels, diesel generators, Callosum IPMS), offering a cost-effective design that can be tailored to mission requirements.

 

Weighing around 500 tonnes, the new vessel is suited to patrol, search and rescue and interception duties. A 90-metre version of the craft will be on offer by the end of the year, with a 75-metre design following in 2014.

 

Garry Mills, Rolls-Royce, Chief of Naval Ship Design, said: "Coastal protection and offshore patrol vessels is a growing sector and this new design offers multi-purpose capability, incorporating core design elements that are replicated across the family of vessels.

 

"Our customers often face short timescales in the procurement of this type of craft, and having a scalable, cost effective offering is essential.

 

"There is a growing trend of commercial marine technology crossing into naval markets as governments seek cost reduction through proven capability. Naval vessels generally comprise many disparate and complex technologies, and that’s what Rolls-Royce, with its broad product base, is good at integrating bespoke whole-ship systems to minimise programme risk."

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Patria future generation armoured wheeled vehicle concept launched at DSEI 2013

11.09.2013 Patria - army-guide.com

 

Patria’s new vehicle concept is built on the success of the market leader Patria AMV, but takes the overall performance of the modern 8x8 armoured wheeled vehicle platform to a new level fulfilling the customer needs of tomorrow.

 

Patria launched its top notch, armoured wheeled vehicle concept at DSEI 2013 exhibition in London. The new vehicle concept is built on experience and verified solutions based on the Patria AMV, which has been the unrivalled market leader of modern 8x8 AWVs for the last decade with nearly 1400 units contracted, selected by seven different nations and combat proven in real mission environment.

 

Unique features

 

Patria has decades of experience in armoured wheeled vehicles and the products are under continuous development and fitted with the latest technology. The new vehicle concept has many unique features e.g.

 

    Flexibility through modularity – It has a modular vehicle architecture allowing easy adaptation to various roles and providing built-in growth potential for future customer requirements.

 

    Payload efficiency – 13 ton payload at 30 ton gross vehicle weight provides the needed payload capacity without sacrificing the off-road mobility.

 

    Superior performance – Based on combat proven solution with upgraded power line and a new integrated terrain control system.

 

    Protected future – Modular, tailorable protection solutions match the threats and can also be easily upgraded in the future.

 

    Firepower to match – It is an ideal platform for weapon systems up to 120 mm including also Patria Nemo 120 mm - Ready for 21st century soldier – Electrical power output, connectivity and ergonomics are designed for the needs of future soldier systems.

 

By developing the new armoured vehicle concept Patria provides the best solutions to match the customer needs of tomorrow. The new vehicle concept at DSEI is the first concept vehicle and its extensive testing will be continued after the exhibition.

 

“The new vehicle concept with very high standards has been provided by us at Patria, a company with the proven track record and solid owners committed to take care of the life-cycle support of its products. The unique technology know-how is a very valuable asset for us in the future, and based on that we want to provide even better vehicles for our customers in future”, highlights Seppo Seppälä, President, Patria Land Systems and Land Services.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
1st Equipment Design Contracts for Type 26 Global Combat Ship Awarded

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : BAE Systems PLC

 

We are awarding four key design contracts for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, demonstrating the momentum building behind the programme to deliver the UK Royal Navy's next generation complex warships

 

The Design Development Agreements with Rolls-Royce, MTU, David Brown Gear Systems and Rohde & Schwarz cover propulsion and communications equipment for the ship design.

 

Geoff Searle, Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “Confirming our first major equipment design partners is a huge step forward and reflects the maturity we have achieved in the ship's design. We are working closely with the Ministry of Defence and our suppliers, bringing expertise together from across industry and we are now at the stage of developing detailed design of systems and equipment that will go into the ships.

 

“Using proven products and technology, ensures we are delivering the highest level of service and capability, giving confidence to the Royal Navy and prospective customers in the global market.”

 

The UK's Type 26 Global Combat Ship will employ a Combined Diesel Electric or Gas Turbine propulsion system. This will enable the ships to achieve high speeds, whilst also providing an economic power to the onboard systems and will allow the ships to operate quietly in cruising mode. Rolls-Royce has been selected as the design partner for Gas Turbines, while David Brown Gear Systems Ltd will develop the Gear box and MTU the Diesel Generator Sets. Rohde & Schwarz has been selected to design the Integrated Communications System for the ships.

 

The Assessment Phase for the Type 26 programme began in March 2010, with a joint team of 550 engineers from BAE Systems, Ministry of Defence and wider industry working across Bristol, Portsmouth and Glasgow to develop the detailed specification for the ships. The Ministry of Defence is expected to make its Main Investment decision around the middle of the decade, with manufacturing planned to start in 2016 and the first Type 26 set to enter service as soon as possible after 2020. The planning assumption is for a Class of 13 anti-submarine warfare and general purpose ships to replace the capability of the UK Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates with enhanced, flexible modern warships.

 

The Global Combat Ship will be a multi-mission warship capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. Designed with an acoustically quiet hull, it will support anti-submarine warfare, air defence and general purpose variants. The Global Combat Ship will take full advantage of modular design and open systems architecture, ensuring it can be easily upgraded as new technology develops and can accommodate sub-systems and equipment to individual customer needs.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
EADS vise plus de cessions que d'acquisitions dans la défense

11/09 LesEchos.fr (Reuters)

 

EADS mettra davantage l'accent sur les cessions d'actifs que sur les acquisitions dans le cadre de la fusion annoncée de ses activités militaires et spatiales, a déclaré mercredi le directeur commercial de Cassidian, la branche défense du groupe européen.

 

EADS a annoncé fin juillet son intention de regrouper ses différentes filiales de défense et spatiales dans le cadre de la réorganisation de ses activités en trois divisions: Airbus (avions civils), Airbus Defence & Space et Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter). (Voir )

 

Les filiales font l'objet d'une revue de portefeuille et le groupe pourrait céder des activités "petites et facilement séparées du reste", a dit mercredi Christian Scherer, directeur commercial de Cassidian.

 

"Cela doit se traduire par une simplification de ce que nous faisons et non par une complexité accrue par l'ajout d'activités supplémentaires. Nous ne sommes pas à l'affût d'acquisitions", a-t-il ajouté en marge d'une conférence sur la défense à Londres.

 

Mardi, Marwan Lahoud, le responsable de la stratégie d'EADS, a déclaré que des cessions et des acquisitions étaient possibles à l'issue de la fusion des activités militaires et spatiales du groupe au sein d'une même division.

 

Christian Scherer s'est refusé à préciser quelles activités pourraient être vendues mais il a dit que la défense et l'aérospatiale constituaient le coeur de métier de Cassidian et que des activités telles que la cybersécurité, qui offrent un potentiel de croissance, étaient considérées comme capitales.

 

"Cassidian fait tout, des petits modules radars jusqu'aux avions de chasse et aux grands projets de contrôle aux frontières, nous avons des milliers de produits", a-t-il dit.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:40
Russian Army to Receive Vityaz Air Defense Systems in 2016

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti)

 

Russia’s Almaz-Antei defense corporation is planning to start deliveries of its newest S-350E Vityaz mid-range air defense system to the Russian army in 2016, the company said Wednesday.

The Vityaz, which is expected to replace the outdated S-300 systems, was showcased for the first time during the recent MAKS-2013 airshow near Moscow.

“We are planning to complete [Vityaz] testing in 2014, [and] start mass production in 2015 and deliveries to the military in 2016,” Almaz-Antey general director Vitaly Neskorodov told RIA Novosti.

The system has been in the works since 2007 and features advanced all-aspect phased array radar, a new mobile command post and a launcher capable of carrying 12 vertical-launch missiles planned to be variants of the 9M96 active radar homing missile, according to the company.

The Vityaz will complement the Morfey, the S-400 and the S-500 air defense systems in the future aerospace defense network to engage targets at ranges from five to 400 kilometers, and at altitudes from five meters to near space.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Lockheed Looks to Poland for Possible MEADS Partnership

A Medium Extended Air Defense System missile launches to intercept a target in November. Lockheed Martin is pursuing missile defense partnerships in the Middle East and Europe after the US announced it was backing out of the MEADS program. (US Army)

 

Sep. 11, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense news

 

WASHINGTON — Like other US defense companies looking for international opportunities amid Pentagon spending cuts, Lockheed Martin executives say they’re aggressively pursuing missile defense business in the Middle East and Europe, and hope to make a controversial program the centerpiece of this effort.

 

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), a partnership between the United States, Italy and Germany, is gearing up for its final test in November, after which the US Army — after spending $2 billion on the program — will back out, leaving its two European partners to decide what to do next.

 

Germany and Italy have long vowed to continue work on the 360-degree missile-detection radar system. However, there is little chance they can pool the money to make up for the US funding that will go away.

 

Still, Mike Trotsky, vice president of Air & Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, which has helped develop the program, told reporters on Tuesday that the company is looking at a Polish missile defense program as a possible landing pad for MEADS.

 

“The Poles have the most mature acquisition that’s going on right now,” he said. “But we see a market for anybody who has aging short to medium-range air missile defense systems.”

 

Trotsky also said that the German and Italian governments might also be able to join with the Polish government to keep MEADS going after the Americans pull the plug, incorporating it into a larger Europe-wide missile defense system.

 

There are other opportunities for the system elsewhere in the Middle East and Asia, he said, where governments “have expressed informal interest, but nothing as formal as the Polish program, which actually has a budget.”

 

MEADS would have to beat out other European and Israeli systems to win the Polish deal.

 

While the US Army is backing out of continued funding for the program, Congress has mandated that the government consider harvesting what it can from the $2 billion investment already made in developing the system.

 

“The US also has a 30-year plan for air and missile defense that runs into the tens of billions of dollars,” Trotsky pointed out. Since Lockheed has developed two modern sensors, “I suspect what you’ll see is that those items get merged” into the long-term missile defense strategy, he said.

 

A day before Trotsky’s comments, Lockheed announced that a German launcher had arrived in the United States for integration ahead to the November test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

 

MEADS had a successful intercept test there last November using the Italian configuration launcher, and MEADS authorities are planning to use the two European launchers in this year’s two-target flight test.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
OH-58D Kiowa Warrior - Photo U.S. Army

OH-58D Kiowa Warrior - Photo U.S. Army

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : Textron Inc

 

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), is pleased to announce it has been awarded a contract with the U.S. Army valued at more than $61 million to supply 12 new metal OH-58D Kiowa Warrior cabins and 12 supplemental parts kits. The new metal cabins will be manufactured at Bell Helicopter's facility in Amarillo, Texas with deliveries to begin January 2015.

 

"This agreement is a significant milestone in the Kiowa Warrior's legacy, proving the Army's continued confidence in the OH-58 aircraft. With its remarkable record for reliability and our continuous improvement roadmap, the OH-58 will continue to meet the needs of the Army for many years to come," said Mike Miller, director of Military Business Development at Bell Helicopter.

 

The OH-58 has been in continuous use by the U.S. Army, flying more than 836,000 combat hours with the highest readiness and highest OPTEMPO in the Army fleet. During a program update last April at the 2013 Army Aviation Association of America's Annual Professional Forum and Exposition, Bell Helicopter shared that the OH-58 consistently ranks as the Army's most affordable combat aircraft. Combining new metal cabins with the ongoing cockpit and sensor upgrade program will enhance the capabilities of this proven workhorse while also extending its service life.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Harris' new RF-7850A radio – Photo Sgt. DeNoris A. Mickle.

Harris' new RF-7850A radio – Photo Sgt. DeNoris A. Mickle.

11 September 2013 army-technology.com

 

Harris has introduced a new airborne mission radio for enhanced international ground-to-air tactical communications at the ongoing Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London, UK.

 

Dubbed RF-7850A, the new tactical radio is designed to deliver secure and reliable voice and wideband data communications for a range of ground-to-air missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), close-air support (CAS) and border patrol.

 

Harris RF communications international business president, Brendan O'Connell, said the radio enables international forces on both ground and in aircraft to exchange real-time information through interoperable voice, video, images and other ISR applications.

 

''With more information in hand, air crews will be able to respond quickly and appropriately, resulting in improved mission success,'' O'Connell said.

 

The radio has been launched in two configurations, namely RF-7850A-UA and RF-7850A-MR, to help offer a better solution than current systems for a broad range of platforms..

 

A lightweight and single-channel radio, RF-7850A-UA is designed for use with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for rapid data transmission from ISR platforms to air and ground forces, as well as range extension for ground tactical networks.

 

Featuring significant size, weight and power advantages over the existing communication systems, RF-7850A-MR is a multiband dual-channel radio engineered for use in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

 

Capable of easily integrating with airframe intercom systems, the radio delivers two independent channels in the same physical space as legacy single-channel solutions. It also has cross-banding capabilities for bridging of disparate radio networks.

 

The radios feature a simple user interface and are fully interoperable with all members of the company's Falcon II and Falcon III families, including the RF-7800M wideband radio.

 

In addition, the radios use the Harris adaptive networking wideband waveform (ANW2) and the new time division multiple access (TDMA) networking waveform for wideband networking.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
General Dynamics Land Systems  Awarded $118 M for Stryker Double-V Hull Vehicles

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : General Dynamics Corporation

 

General Dynamics Land Systems has been awarded a $118 million contract by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command to convert 66 flat-bottom Stryker infantry combat vehicles to a newer, more survivable double-V hull (DVH) design. Deliveries of the vehicles will begin in July 2014 and be completed by February 2015. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

 

The Army partnered with General Dynamics in 2012 and launched a Stryker DVH-exchange pilot program to validate that components from traditional Stryker flat-bottom variants can be quickly refurbished and installed on a new, more survivable double-V hull variant, at less cost than producing a new vehicle. General Dynamics and the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Ala., successfully completed the DVH pilot program in April 2013 and delivered 52 Stryker vehicles on time and under budget.

 

The first brigade of Strykers equipped with double-V hulls was fielded in 2011 to provide Stryker-borne soldiers increased protection from the effects of roadside mines and improvised explosive devices. With MRAP-like or better survivability, the DVH configuration also includes a more rugged suspension system that has greatly improved mobility and reduced operating costs. Two brigades of double-V hull Stryker vehicles were produced between July 2010 and July 2013.

 

The final assembly work will be performed at the Anniston Army Depot and will help to sustain the jobs of 80 employees who support the program. The contract will also preserve several jobs at General Dynamics' plant in Scranton, Penn.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
MBDA and UTC to Transform Development of Missile Guidance and Control

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : MBDA

 

MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems have initiated a pioneering development programme of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for a multitude of programmes within, and potentially beyond, MBDA’s current Complex Weapons (CW) Portfolio. This is being achieved with a focus on Value for Money (VfM) through Modularity and Reuse (M&R) at all levels of a missile system.

 

To help facilitate a successful programme, MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems are transforming the way they work together with a joint desire to move towards a much closer, more collaborative business relationship.

 

IMUs, which are a critical element of the missile’s guidance, navigation and control functions, have traditionally been based on a number of differing technologies including high cost fibre-optics. UTC Aerospace Systems, which is the Design Authority, will use Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based IMUs, through investment in their operationally-proven MEMS sensor technology. One outcome will be a high performance IMU that meets the MBDA performance requirements but is smaller, more versatile and offers unparalleled value for money when compared to traditional technologies.

 

This high performance IMU is being developed to be backwards compatible with one of existing UTC Aerospace Systems MEMS IMUs. This allows its adoption within multiple programmes whilst providing a form and fit interchangeable system upgrade opportunity for scenarios that require increased range and performance.

 

Steve Wadey, MBDA Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK commented, “This demonstrates MBDA’s commitment to the Team CW philosophy by delivering innovative solutions and long term value for money. It is being achieved by improving our way of working with strategic suppliers and harvesting the benefits from Commercial and Military Off The Shelf (COTS and MOTS) products in our systems.”

 

Kevin Pindard, Managing Director at UTC Aerospace Systems said “At Plymouth, we are delighted to be working closely with MBDA to take our operationally proven UK sovereign MEMS IMU capability and develop that into the next generation of IMUs for use across civil and defence aerospace applications.”

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Watchkeeper UAS photo Thales UK

Watchkeeper UAS photo Thales UK

11 sept. 2013 Thales

 

WATCHKEEPER flies over West Wales as Thales UK continues to deliver the programme to the UK Ministry of Defence - this new footage brings WATCHKEEPER to life

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

Sept. 11, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - The UK Royal Navy expects to conduct its first contractor-supported operations with the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air system from late this year, although its timetable for the type's introduction has been affected by a lack of manpower.

 

Operations with the ScanEagle will occur under a contractor-owned and operated deal awarded to Boeing Defence UK earlier in June 2013 worth £30 million ($47 million). This will see the equipment launched from and recovered aboard some RN and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

 

Urgent operational requirement acquisitions such as the ScanEagle deal are routinely expected to see equipment enter use within six months of a contract award, but the RN process is likely to require at least nine months, says Wg Cdr Dave Postlethwaite, commander of the UK Air Warfare Centre's UAS test and evaluation squadron.

 

Speaking at a pre-DSEi UAS conference in London on 9 September, RN Lt Cdr Pete Whitehead attributed the additional time requirement to the challenge of sourcing sufficient naval personnel to support the ScanEagle's introduction. This includes the service's need to have at least one person trained to fly the type, to serve as a safety officer.

 

Around three RN staff will be required per ScanEagle detachment, with this having been reduced from an earlier objective of up to eight. "We simply can't find the people at the moment" to achieve the latter figure, Whitehead says.

 

While the contractor will be responsible for flying the UAS in support of RN operations, Postlethwaite notes: "Whoever is looking at the [camera] picture will be trained, and will be military."

 

While the UAS will be flown by a contractor-hired operator, the Ministry of Defence must issue a release to service clearance before ScanEagle operations can commence, as activities will be conducted from a military vessel.

 

"We expect the capability to start becoming available from the end of 2013 onwards," minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne said on 5 September.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
BAE Systems New Global Combat Ship Draws Export Buyer Interest

September 11, 2013 nosint.blogspot.fr

 

Eight countries are considering the purchase of BAE Systems Plc Type 26 Global Combat Ships, including an air-defense variant the U.K. isn’t currently planning to acquire.

While export campaigns total more than 30 ships, not all are expected to result in sales, Commodore Steve Braham, who leads U.K. export efforts for the vessel, said today. He wouldn’t name potential buyers.

The U.K. government made an effort to lure customers for the ship by opting for a modular, lower-cost design after exports of other programs faltered because of price.

Read more

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Les enjeux du contrôle du courtage en armements

10.09.2013 affaires-strategiques.info
 

Alors que s’ouvre aujourd’hui à Londres le plus grand salon intégré de la défense et de la sécurité, le Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), il semble important de revenir sur les enjeux qui entourent le trafic d’armes ainsi que sa régulation au niveau international et plus particulièrement européen. A cet égard, le GRIP a publié le 30 août dernier un rapport relatif à la mise en œuvre de l’action commune 2003/468/PESC sur le contrôle du courtage en armements.

 

La semaine dernière la Chambre des communes du Royaume-Uni a voté contre une intervention militaire en Syrie. Certains n’ont d’ailleurs pas manqué de souligner l’ironie alors que se tient à partir d’aujourd’hui à Londres le plus grand marché d’armes au monde. Véritable vitrine de l’industrie de l’armement, il réunit fabriquant d’armes, sociétés militaires privées ou encore délégations officielles, certaines représentant d’ailleurs des Etats réputés pour leur utilisation controversée de leurs matériels militaires. Pour répondre aux critiques soulevées par le soutien politique, financier et logistique des autorités britanniques à l’organisation de l’évènement, le gouvernement a rappelé l’existence de contrôles rigoureux en matière d’exportation. Toutefois, lorsqu’il s’agit de transactions comportant des intérêts financiers majeurs, comme ce fut le cas dernièrement avec l’Arabie saoudite, les régimes de contrôle paraissent peu pertinents. Les courtiers en armes peuvent alors jouer un rôle privilégié dans le développement des trafics illégaux.
 

C’est d’ailleurs ce que tend à révéler Kloé Tricot O’Farrell, chercheur associé au GRIP, dans un rapport intitulé « Arms brokering controls : How are they implemented in the EU ? ». En effet, elle révèle que le code de conduite européen adoptée en 2003, bien que sa mise en œuvre présente des aspects satisfaisants puisque ayant permis une certaine harmonisation des législations nationales, présente des failles majeures. Profitant des faiblesses et des disparités entre les législations nationales en matière d’exportation d’armes, les courtiers peuvent donc agir hors du cadre légal, et ce, en toute impunité. Ainsi, certains pays sont pointés du doigt, notamment le Luxembourg qui demeure le seul membre de l’Union à n’avoir pas encore adopté de loi sur le contrôle des courtiers en armement, ou encore la Belgique, la France et l’Italie dont les réglementations nationales ne répondent pas encore à toutes les exigences du code de conduite européen. De ce fait, certains trafiquants d’armes ont pu échapper à toutes poursuites pour des actions illégales sur le sol européen comme l’Israélien Leonid Minin ou l’Anglais Gary Hyde.
 

Outre la nature même des opérations de courtage en armements, qui, par leur caractère transnational complexifie manifestement leur contrôle, les faiblesses inhérentes à la législation européenne sont engendrées par deux dynamiques concomitantes. D’une part, l’action commune de 2003 contient à la fois des dispositions obligatoires et des mesures optionnelles. Il existe donc des différences significatives entre les législations nationales qui les rendent plus ou moins permissives. D’autre part, et parce que la circonscription même de l’activité de courtier en armements est laissée à la libre interprétation des Etats, la plupart d’entre eux sont réticents à contrôler également les opérations liées au transfert d’armes. Ces brèches dans le code de conduite européen ont alors pour conséquences de favoriser la prolifération incontrôlable des marchés noirs en matière d’armement.
 

Kloé Tricot O’Farrell appelle ainsi à une plus grande cohérence entre les politiques nationales entre les membres de l’Union afin de consolider la lutte contre les transferts illégaux d’armes. D’autant plus que l’adoption récente du Traité sur le Commerce des Armes conventionnelles (avril 2013) et sa portée internationale devrait venir renforcer les régimes de contrôle de l’exportation et du courtage en armements.

Sources : THE GUARDIAN, GRIP

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:40
Russia Gets The Gunship Revolution

September 11, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Russia is replacing its 250 Mi-24 helicopter gunships with 300 Mi-28s. The Mi-28N is a much more complex aircraft than the Mi-24 and requires more skillful and better trained pilots. To deal with this problem the Russian Air Force recently ordered 60 Mi-28UB helicopter trainers. The UB model has dual controls that enable an instructor to also control the helicopter (from the weapons systems operator’s seat). Each squadron will receive 4-6 of the UB model to help build and maintain pilot skills. Russia plans to replace all its Mi-24s with the more modern Mi-28s by 2015.

Mi-28UB

Mi-28UB

The older Mi-24 helicopter gunship has been in service for over four decades. It is a twelve ton chopper based on the Mi-8/17 transport. The U.S. did the same thing with the AH-1, developing it from the UH-1 "Huey" in the 1960s. But rather than adopt the radical redesign seen in the AH-1 and AH-64 Apache, the Mi-24 could still carry troops or cargo in the back and was not as nimble as the AH-1. The 11 ton Mi-28 looks more like the AH-64. That's because, by the end of the 1960s, the Russians realized that the AH-1 design was superior. For several years there was intense competition, to decide which of its two new helicopter gunship designs (the Ka-50 and Mi-28N) to make standard. The Mi-28N is a more capable helicopter, costing about the same as the earlier American AH-64A ($15 million each).

 

Mi-28N source Rostec

Mi-28N source Rostec

The Mi-28N "Night Hunter" is an all-weather, night attack version of the 1980s era Mi-28A, with added FLIR (night vision sensor), night fighting optics, and a two man crew. The basic Mi-28 is an 11.6 ton helicopter that can carry 1.6 tons of rockets and missiles. The aircraft also has a 30mm cannon. The cockpit for the two man crew is armored and the helicopter has missile countermeasures (chaff and flares), GPS, head up display, laser designator, and other gadgets. The Mi-28N has a top speed of 300 kilometers an hour and a one way range of 1,100 kilometers. It can carry up to 16 anti-tank missiles (with a range of up to eight kilometers). The helicopter can also carry 80mm rockets, bombs, or fuel for additional range. The Mi-28 has been around in small quantities for two decades but the Mi-28N is the most advanced model, on par with the American AH-64D gunship (which is a little lighter). The first version of the Mi-28N was shown in 1996, although the manufacturer, Mil, wasn't ready to offer it for sale until 2004. The fact that the basic Mi-28 had been around for decades and was known to be reliable and effective made it an easy, and safe, choice for the Mi-24 replacement. The Mi-28UB solves the problem of quickly getting new pilots up to speed on how to handle this much more capable gunship.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:30
S-300VM Anteï-2500 - photo Vitaly V. Kuzmin

S-300VM Anteï-2500 - photo Vitaly V. Kuzmin

MOSCOU, 11 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

Les autorités russes ont décidé d'aller dans le sens de l'Iran sur deux questions fondamentales: les livraisons de systèmes antiaériens S-300 modifiés et la construction d'un second réacteur à la centrale nucléaire de Bouchehr, écrit mercredi le quotidien Kommersant.

 

Selon une source proche du Kremlin, le président Vladimir Poutine a déjà ordonné l'élaboration de deux accords à cet effet, dont il discutera les détails vendredi prochain lors de son premier entretien avec le nouveau président iranien Hassan Rohani.

 

Selon la source du journal, la Russie fournira à l'Iran cinq divisions de systèmes sol-air S-300VM Anteï-2500 (version modifiée du S-300V prévue pour l’exportation). Condition de la transaction? Le retrait de la plainte déposée par Téhéran contre Rosoboronexport, l'exportateur russe d'armes, réclamant 4 milliards de dollars pour la rupture du contrat précédent.

 

Le contrat d’environ 800 millions de dollars pour la fourniture à l'Iran de cinq divisions de S-300 (version PMU-1) a été signé en 2007. Trois ans plus tard le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies avait adopté des sanctions contre l'Iran, comprenant l'interdiction de lui vendre des armes modernes. En septembre 2010, le président Dmitri Medvedev avait alors signé un décret pour mettre en application cette résolution et même adopter des sanctions plus sévères qu'il n'était prévu par la décision du Conseil de sécurité. En particulier, le contrat pour la livraison des S-300 avait été annulé. L'Iran avait alors saisi la cour d'arbitrage de Genève pour attaquer Rosoboronexport, suite à quoi la Russie avait proposé un accord à l'amiable en promettant des systèmes sol-air Tor-M1E. Cet échange avait été rejeté par l'Iran.

 

Cette fois Téhéran devrait accepter les livraisons d'Anteï-2500. "Ce système est même meilleur pour l'Iran que le S-300PMU-1: il est plus efficace pour contrer les missiles, explique Vladimir Evseev, directeur du Centre d'études sociopolitiques. Et si l'Iran était attaqué, ce serait d’abord par des missiles. De ce fait, Anteï-2500 convient parfaitement pour les fins défensives de l'Iran." Selon l'expert, les Anteï-2500 ne sont pas formellement concernés par le décret de Medvedev.

 

La seconde directive de Poutine concerne la coopération dans le secteur nucléaire: selon la source, Moscou serait prêt à signer avec Téhéran un accord pour la construction d'un second réacteur à Bouchehr. "Ce projet n'est pas très rentable du point de vue économique pour la Russie – il est plutôt politique", déclare la source de Kommersant.

 

Vladimir Poutine a l'intention d'évoquer ces deux thèmes avec le nouveau président Hassan Rohani le 13 septembre, lors de leur première rencontre en marge du sommet de l'Organisation de coopération de Shanghai (OCS) à Bichkek. "Ils discuteront de la coopération nucléaire, y compris à la centrale de Bouchehr – ce thème ne peut pas être évité", a déclaré le porte-parole du président russe Dmitri Peskov, ajoutant que les questions de coopération militaro-technique étaient également à l'ordre du jour.

 

Selon les experts, le point de vue commun des deux pays sur la situation en Syrie est un argument de poids pour le rapprochement de Moscou et Téhéran. "Nous nous sommes retrouvés dans la même barque. Nous voyons différemment l'avenir de la Syrie du point de vue stratégique mais sur le plan tactique les deux pays s'opposent à l'intervention des USA", déclare Vladimir Evseev. Selon les experts les différends entre la Russie et l'Occident, notamment les USA, s'accentuent, ce qui contribue également au rapprochement entre les deux pays. "Lors du dernier G20 Poutine s’est comporté comme un hôte qui ne cherchait pas la confrontation. Mais le sommet est terminé et cette fois il peut s'exprimer et riposter à l'annulation du sommet de Moscou par les Américains et à la sévère critique de la Russie vis-à-vis de sa position sur la Syrie, explique le président du centre PIR Vladimir Orlov. L'entretien avec le nouveau président iranien est très opportun." Toutefois, l'expert précise que l'intensité du rapprochement avec l'Iran dépendra principalement de l'évolution des relations entre la Russie et les Etats-Unis.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Hammerhead

9/10/2013 Strategy page

 

CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 10, 2013) A Hammerhead unmanned, remote controlled vehicle from the Canadian navy auxiliary oil replenishment ship HMCS Preserver (AOR 510) makes a close pass by the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) during a live-fire exercise during the annual UNITAS multinational maritime exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker)

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Airborne Systems Awarded Contract to Supply Anti-Missile Decoys to the US Navy

Sep 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : Airborne Systems

 

Airborne Systems, a division of HDT Global, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to supply its Mk59 naval floating corner reflector decoy system.

 

The contract to supply the Mk59 naval floating corner reflector decoy system is valued at $41.7 million over the next five years and will see the decoy system fitted to U.S. frigates/destroyers.

 

The Mk59 corner reflector decoy offers a unique countermeasure protection against the most advanced emerging RF seeking missiles.

 

“The U.S. Navy has recognised the capability that the Mk59 system offers, and to win this contract is a major achievement for Airborne Systems,” says Dr. Vicki Panhuise, President, Airborne Systems.

 

“The award of this contract further confirms the position of Airborne Systems as the world leader in naval decoy technology.”

 

“This is one of a number of electronic warfare decoy products being designed and manufactured by Airborne Systems’ European facility, and represents a growing market, states Chris Rowe, Managing Director, Airborne Systems Europe.

 

“In addition to providing protection for the forces of our allies, it also provides and sustains high quality jobs in the UK, and more particularly in South Wales.”

 

Peter Barrett the Airborne Systems Business Development Manager for naval decoys adds,

 

“As newer and more advanced threats emerge on the marketplace, navies will have to re-examine their strategies for defeating RF missiles, as the more traditional countermeasures that have been utilised for many years will be increasingly ineffective against these advanced missiles.”

 

The Mk59 decoy system being supplied to the U.S. Navy represents several generations of advancements to the previously supplied ANSLQ49 decoy which went out of service with the U.S. Navy in the early 2000’s.      

 

Airborne Systems corner reflector decoys have been fitted to the UK Royal Navy frigates since 1986, with the latest version for the UK Royal Navy entering service in 2006, including their latest Type 45 Destroyer. Other NATO nations have also fitted various versions of the decoy system onto their vessels.

 

The decoy system itself comprises of deck mounted launch tube, which is already preloaded with the Mk59 decoy, and upon pressing the fire button in the Ops room the process then becomes fully automatic. The decoy is launched out of the tube, and fully inflates alongside the ship’s hull on the sea surface, before automatically being released and free floating past the stern. This entire deployment and inflation process takes a very short period of time, making the Mk59 effective against even supersonic threats.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 11:55
Christian Mons : "20000 emplois sont menacés dans les PME de la Défense"

10 septembre 2013 Par Hassan Meddah - Usinenouvelle.com

 

Alors que l'examen de la loi de programmation militaire qui doit traduire en termes financiers le nouveau Livre blanc de la défense a démarré au Sénat et à l'Assemblée nationale, industriels, parlementaires et représentants des forces armées sont réunis à Pau aux universités d'été de la Défense. Christian Mons, président du Cidef (le Conseil des industries de défense françaises) craint que les grands groupes industriels répercutent les prochaines baisses de commandes sur leurs fournisseurs.

 

L'Usine Nouvelle - Malgré le maintien des crédits du budget de la Défense annoncés par le gouvernement, vous restez inquiet pour l'emploi dans le secteur industriel. Pourquoi ?

 

Christian Mons - Ce maintien des budgets de Défense est un affichage. Par rapport au budget initial de 2013, nous estimons qu'il y a un déficit de l'ordre d'un milliard d'euros par an sur les premières années de la loi programmation de militaire (LPM) et la perte de l'inflation. Et rien ne garantit que les recettes exceptionnelles (environ 6 milliards d'euros sur l'ensemble de la LPM, ndlr) seront au rendez-vous. Or la profession réalise un chiffre d'affaires de 16,5 milliards d'euros avec un effectif de 165 000 personnes en direct. Nous risquons donc de perdre 20 000 emplois dans l'industrie de haute qualification et non délocalisables. Je rappelle que le format des armées va également être réduit de 25 000 hommes ! On ne peut pas s'en satisfaire. Les emplois militaires valent pourtant bien les emplois d'avenir défendus par le gouvernement !

 

Qui risque d'être le plus touché selon vous?

 

Les grandes entreprises ont les moyens de résister à un tel choc, surtout lorsqu'elles sont duales. Certaines pourraient même être tentées de réinternaliser certaines productions jusqu'ici confiées à leurs prestataires, pour retrouver de la charge. Les PME sont les plus menacées par la perte de ces 20 000 emplois, plus précisément celles qui sont tournées essentiellement vers les marchés de défense.

 

Les parlementaires de la Défense soulignent que l'export doit prendre le relais des commandes réduites en France...

 

Nos industriels se battent pour gagner des contrats à l'étranger mais il faut aussi être réaliste. Le marché international est très dur. Les Américains sont revenus en force et bénéficient d'un dollar faible. Nos clients à l'étranger restent très limités : l'Inde, Abu Dahbi, le Qatar... Et sur les produits d'entrée de gamme, on est en concurrence plus forte avec les pays émergents comme la Turquie, l'Afrique du Sud, Israël, la Corée du Sud... Certes ils ont des technologies moins bonnes que les nôtres mais à des prix deux fois plus bas !

 

Plus spécifiquement, où en est le programme de modernisation des forces terrestres Scorpion?

 

La LPM prévoit que le VBMR (véhicule blindé multi-rôles) entre en service en 2018. Mais l'appel d'offres n'est pas encore lancé. Or, en matière de programme d'armement, entre l'appel d'offres et les premières livraisons, il s'écoule entre huit et dix ans. La date de 2018 n'est pas réaliste. A l'origine, ce programme correspondait à des commandes d'environ 500 millions d'euros par an pendant dix ans, soit la création d'environ 5 000 emplois. Plus globalement, les objectifs de cette LPM sont tellement irréalistes qu'on est sûr que cela va glisser et qu'elle ne sera pas exécutée comme elle est écrite. Comme les précédentes lois de programmation.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 11:55
Défense : Industriels et élus alertent le gouvernement

10/09/2013 Par Véronique Guillermard – LeFigaro.fr

 

Inquiétude et doute. Le climat n'est pas serein autour de la future loi de programmation militaire (LPM) 2014-2019, dont le texte doit être voté au cours de la session d'automne par les députés. Au-delà de tout clivage politique, les parlementaires montent au créneau afin que le gouvernement respecte ses engagements budgétaires en faveur de la défense. La nouvelle LPM prévoit une enveloppe de 179,2 milliards d'euros sur six ans.

 

«La pression qu'on avait mise pour les arbitrages du président de la République, on va la maintenir», a déclaré mardi Patricia Adam, présidente PS de la commission défense de l'Assemblée nationale. Les parlementaires veulent des garanties car ils sont échaudés: aucune LPM n'a jamais été exécutée à 100 %. «À chaque LPM, on perd une année budgétaire», résume Patricia Adam. Or, aux yeux des parlementaires, plusieurs volets de la LPM 2014-2019 sont aléatoires et, au premier chef, le montant des recettes exceptionnelles chiffrées à 6,1 milliards d'euros. Pour Jean-Louis Carrère, président de la commission défense du Sénat, il faut «obtenir une sécurisation de ces recettes exceptionnelles», car, sans elles, le gouvernement ne peut réussir la LPM 2014-2019. Or la vente des fréquences (bandes des 700 mégahertz) serait déjà décalée à 2016, en raison notamment de la durée des appels d'offres, selon la Lettre A.

 

Avertissement à Bercy

 

Également inquiets, les sept grands patrons de la défense français ont décidé de parler d'une seule voix en publiant une tribune commune dans Le Monde le week-end dernier. Ils alertent le gouvernement sur les conséquences d'un non-respect des engagements de la LPM, en particulier un «décrochage irréversible» de la France, de son armée et de son industrie. Cela, assorti de lourdes conséquences sur l'emploi. L'équipement des armées, qui représente 16 milliards d'euros par an, est vital pour les 165.000 salariés de la filière armement et plus de 4000 PME. «C'est un avertissement lancé à Bercy plus qu'au ministre de la Défense», souligne-t-on.

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian était très attendu à l'université d'été de la Défense qui s'est achevée mardi à Pau. «Je veux sortir du déni de réalité (…) par le choix de ressources adaptées et raisonnables (…) et les différents mécanismes de sauvegarde qui viennent garantir la sincérité de cette programmation», a-t-il déclaré. Le ministre a en effet inscrit une clause de révision de la LPM fin 2015. Il s'agit de faire un point d'étape sur son exécution, notamment en termes de contrats export et de recettes exceptionnelles.

 

Malgré cette mise au point, les industriels restent circonspects. Ils redoutent aussi les conséquences des réductions de cibles et des décalages de livraisons qui affecteront tous les programmes. «Nous devrons ralentir le rythme de production en tâchant de préserver notre outil industriel et nos emplois. Les premiers à en faire les frais seront nos sous-traitants. Idem pour les bureaux d'études», lâche un industriel. «Ce sera difficile dans certains bassins d'emplois», ajoute-t-on. Certaines négociations avec la Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) arrivent à leur terme. Chez DCNS par exemple, on s'attend à ce que le décalage de quelques mois de la livraison du premier des six sous-marins Barracuda (programme signé en 2007), prévue en 2017 à l'origine, entraîne un glissement de la construction de chaque bâtiment à Cherbourg et donc un écart de livraison plus important en bout de programme.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
photo Christophe Guilloteau

photo Christophe Guilloteau

Sep 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Sagem Defence & Security

 

Sagem (Safran), the European leader in navigation systems and technologies, has won a contract from French defense procurement agency DGA as prime contractor for the modernization of the inertial navigation and alignment system (SINA) on the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier.

 

System modernization mainly involves the replacement of the original gimbal type inertial reference units by very-high-precision Sigma 40 laser gyro inertial navigation units.

 

Sagem will gradually upgrade the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier navigation system. The system will supply data allowing Rafale fighters to align their own laser gyro navigation systems, also supplied by Sagem.

 

Sagem continues to work with French shipyard DCNS on the integration of high-performance navigation systems that enhance the capabilities of its shipborne weapon and combat systems. The company’s expertise is reflected in new functions, tested for effectiveness, and guaranteed performance throughout the development and production cycle, all while meeting the tight deadlines imposed by the Charles-de-Gaulle’s maintenance schedule.

 

After completion of this program, the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier will deploy a navigation system fully equivalent to new vessels already equipped with Sagem’s Sigma 40 system, including Mistral class BPC amphibious assault ships, Horizon and Aquitaine frigates (FREMM program) and the upcoming Suffren class nuclear attack submarines in the Barracuda program.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Picture MOD 2012

Picture MOD 2012

Sep 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has supplied the final batch of Platform Management System (PMS) hardware for the Royal Navy's Astute-class series' boat 5 submarine.

 

Under a performance partnering arrangement, Northrop Grumman's Sperry Marine business unit supplied the PMS to BAE Systems Maritime–Submarines for installation on Astute Boat 5, Anson, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, U.K. The PMS equipment controls and monitors the submarine's platform machinery and onboard systems.

 

"Northrop Grumman has a well established relationship with the Royal Navy, supplying and supporting systems for surface ships and submarines," said Andrew Tyler, chief executive U.K. and Europe, Northrop Grumman. "The continued success of our involvement in the Astute programme is a reflection of the skill of our teams and the close partnership that we have with BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence."

 

Additionally, Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to supply PMS hardware and software for Astute Boat 4 (Audacious) and the forthcoming Astute boats 6 and 7, which will be the Royal Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarines.

 

"Our extensive track record of delivering reliable, high-performance navigation and ship control solutions has helped to establish us as a preferred supplier for Royal Navy platforms," said Alan Dix, managing director of Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine. "We are particularly pleased that we have achieved 100 percent on-time delivery status during the two-year process for Astute Boat 5."

 

Based on Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine's innovative approach to configuring commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software to meet exacting military and commercial applications, the PMS is expected to reduce life cycle costs and minimize program risk for the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The system will provide an advanced network design that includes the stringent levels of safety and redundancy associated with nuclear submarine control systems.

 

Also, the Platform Management System is expandable and versatile due to an open architecture design that allows interfacing with third-party equipment via standard field-bus technology.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
More than 1,000 vehicles return from Afghanistan

Jackal and Coyote vehicles waiting to be unloaded at Marchwood (Picture Corporal Lu Scott, UK MoD)

 

9 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support

 

The delivery of nearly 100 vehicles to the UK from Afghanistan today brings the total number redeployed from theatre to more than 1,000.

 

94 vehicles were unloaded earlier today, Monday 9 September, at Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre near Southampton after transit from a port in the Middle East.

The protected patrol vehicles on board the ‘roll-on, roll-off’ ferry included 18 Mastiffs, each weighing more than 26 tonnes, and more than 30 Jackal vehicles.

British armoured vehicles are either being flown from Camp Bastion in Helmand province or in some cases moved overland through Pakistan to a sea port, before being loaded onto a ferry.

The ferry then spends over 4 weeks at sea navigating through the Gulf of Oman, along the coast of Yemen, across the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal, before sailing through the Mediterranean, past Gibraltar, and finally turning for UK shores.

Vehicles being returned to the UK from Afghanistan
Vehicles being returned to the UK from Afghanistan arriving at Marchwood [Picture: Shane Wilkinson, Crown copyright]

So far more than 1,080 vehicles and pieces of major equipment have been redeployed to the UK from Afghanistan, alongside 1,570 containers of materiel.

Under current plans, around 3,345 vehicles or items of equipment and around 5,500 containers of materiel will be returned by the conclusion of the British combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

The vehicles returned to the UK today will next travel to the Herrick exchange point facility at Warminster where mechanics will work to bring them up to standard ready to issue to units for future use.

Unloading vehicles being returned to the UK from Afghanistan
Unloading vehicles being returned to the UK from Afghanistan at Marchwood [Picture: Shane Wilkinson, Crown copyright]

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

Having deployed thousands of vehicles and pieces of equipment to Afghanistan over the last 12 years we are making good progress in bringing them home as we near the end of combat operations in December 2014. A huge amount of work goes into returning our equipment and vehicles from Helmand, so I’m pleased with the progress we have made so far.

The redeployment of equipment from Afghanistan is a major logistical challenge, but I am confident military planners are up to the task and we are on schedule to bring home the vast array of equipment we have deployed there. Our troops will be resourced properly to the end of operations, and the drawdown of equipment will not compromise our mission in Afghanistan.

We can only achieve this redeployment because of the successful transition of security control from British forces to Afghan forces, which are increasingly capable and professional. These forces have stepped up in the fight against the insurgency throughout this summer and now lead on security throughout the country.

Mastiff and Wolfhound armoured vehicles
Mastiff and Wolfhound armoured vehicles waiting to be unloaded at Marchwood [Picture: Corporal Lu Scott, Crown copyright]

The Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre is the sole ‘Army’ port in the UK and was built up in 1943 to ferry equipment and personnel to the Normandy beaches the following year during the Second World War.

The 289-acre site, which incorporates 3 main jetties, is operated by 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, who load and discharge Service and civilian shipping in support of military administration, exercises and operations.

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