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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
X-47B Completes First-Ever Carrier-Based Arrested Landing USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)– photo US Navy

X-47B Completes First-Ever Carrier-Based Arrested Landing USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)– photo US Navy

Sept. 5, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Sept. 5, 2013)

 

What R&D Breakthroughs Are Required to Give China A Carrier-Borne UCAV?

 

Military experts are currently speculating on whether China's aircraft carrier may be equipped with unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV). This has not only increased public interest in these new "robot fighters", but also led China's military devotees to wonder whether China's forthcoming self-developed aircraft carrier will similarly be equipped with shipborne UCAVs.

 

The technical threshold of the unmanned air vehicle is relatively low. A company that can manufacture sophisticated model aircraft has the technology to develop a UAV. However, the threshold of a UCAV is more than 10 times higher than that of a UAV. The combat capability of UCAV requires particular abilities in target identification and autonomous attack. Thus the requirements of the observing and targeting system (eyes), the control system (brain), and the communication system (mouth and ears) of a UCAV are very high. On the one hand, the UCAV should be able to detect the target that is to be attacked, while transmitting images to remote controllers; on the other hand, the UCAV should be able to receive remote directions based on human judgment, and then launch attacks or engage in combat under remote control.

 

Shipborne UAVs were not manufactured specifically for aircraft carriers. It is already the case that some advanced modern destroyers and surface vessels have been equipped with shipborne UAVs.

 

But the greater platform size of an aircraft carrier creates the opportunity for large-scale UAVs with combat and attack capabilities. However, this presents a technical difficulty - carrier-borne UCAVs need all the functions of ordinary UCAVs, but also require an independent capacity to take off from and land on aircraft carriers. The requirements of carrier-borne UCAVs include not only attack and combat capability, but also the delicate maneuvers of 'intelligent' aircraft.

 

Therefore the development of a carrier-borne UCAV involves extremely high research costs and a complex development process. If China intends to commission UCAVs similar to the US carrier-borne X-47B, five technical breakthroughs must be made.

 

The first is advanced aerodynamic design. It can be seen from the shape of the X-47B that these designs improve stealth, increase flight range, and respond to the demands of air attack and combat. The X-47B, the UK "Taranis", and France's "Neuron" all feature a recessed rear inlet and flying-V wings.

 

The second step is advanced flight control technology. This is the real technical challenge for the UCAV. The carrier-borne UCAV requires a full range of capabilities covering takeoff, cruise, combat, withdrawal, and landing. The demands on the electronic take-off and landing systems for the moving deck of an aircraft carrier are significantly higher than the requirements for a land-based airport.

 

A UCAV's flight control equipment adjusts the craft in flight. This requires the flight control computer to implement planning and design according to a series of algorithms as quickly as possible after feedback, and update in response to environment changes detected by sensors.

 

Combat imposes high demands on the UCAV's flight control system. Whether in aerial combat or an attack on an enemy target, both the UCAV itself and the target can be moving at high speeds. The flight control system must be able to control the aerial maneuvers of the UCAV in response to a dynamic battlefield environment.

 

Returning to and landing on the aircraft carrier are the steps with the highest accident rate for both manned and unmanned combat aircraft. Therefore, China’s shipborne UCAV will require not only advanced satellite navigation, but also a higher specification of flight control system to achieve a safe landing.

 

The third element is intelligent attack-defense integrated firing control. The U.S. military classifies UAVs in levels ranging from ACL-1 to ACL-10 (totally autonomous). A relatively complete firing control system begins at level ACL-4. The more advanced generation of shipborne UCAVs such as the X-47B are classified at level ACL-6, that is a UAV with the capacity to deal with sudden threats and targets in the form of multiple drones. At this level, the shipborne UCAV is required to have an autonomous attack-defense integrated firing control system with a significant degree of “intelligence”.

 

The fourth feature is a high thrust-weight ratio turbofan, achieved at low cost. The turbojet/turbofan engines used on American UCAVs are always derived from civil engines or manned military planes. For example, the X-47B uses the F100-220U turbofan engine derived from the F-100, originally developed for the F-16. The characteristics and combat environment for a UCAV require that its engine should have a low fuel consumption rate, a high thrust-weight ratio, low R&D and purchase costs, convenience for maintenance, and fitness for long-term storage.

 

The fifth element is information security. Communications between the UCAV and the remote controller are very likely to be targeted for disruption by the adversary. Thus the UCAV must use the most sophisticated network security technology, and error-free self-destruct programs.

 

Although the UCAV is an excellent weapon, the technical difficulties cannot be ignored. UCAV development experts throughout the world have racked their brains in search of solutions to the problems posed by intelligent flight and firing control systems, and the need to guarantee information transmission security.

 

In the development of a carrier-borne UCAV, we need to exercise patience. If China intends to research and develop such an aircraft, then high-tech combat attributes should perhaps be considered as a second phase. Functions such as early warning, investigation, and relay-guidance of UAV can be executed as a first priority.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:55
Commander 670 - photo Zeppelin

Commander 670 - photo Zeppelin

4 septembre 2013, Portail des Sous-Marins

 

Le fabriquant de bateaux pneumatiques semi-rigides vient de décrocher un marché avec la Marine nationale. Au cours des sept prochaines années, l’entreprise ludoise fournira entre 7 et 40 bateaux. Les embarcations de 6,70 mètres sont destinées aux fusiliers marins et aux commandos basés à Lorient. La première livraison interviendra dès octobre 2013.

 

Référence : Le Maine Libre

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
FN Herstal to Exhibit at DSEi 2013

September 04, 2013 by FN HERSTAL

 

FN Herstal will attend the DSEi Defence & Security Event, due to take place in London on 10-13 of September. Staff will be on hand at booth N3-622 in the Belgian Pavilion at the ExCeL centre to answer questions about FN Herstal's latest products and developments, which will be on display.

 

FN Herstal's exhibits will be:

 

    The FN MINIMI® 5.56 light machine gun, the world's most widely deployed machine gun in 5.56mm

    The FN MINIMI® 7.62 light machine gun, combining lightweight, long-range, and hitting power; the MINIMI® 5.56 and the MINIMI® 7.62 feature high parts commonality and identical ergonomics and operator handling

    The famous FN MAG® machine gun, originally designed by FN Herstal, is still a leading reference in the field of 7.62x51mm NATO caliber general purpose machine gun with more than 200,000 units supplied to more than 90 countries all around the globe

    The family of FN SCAR® assault rifles: designed for, tested, adopted, and used by the most demanding combat units. This highly adaptable weapon is available in 5.56mm or 7.62mm NATO caliber, easy to change between short (CQC) and standard barrels, light, modular, ergonomic, accurate and highly reliable in the harshest conditions. An additional FN40GL® 40mm LV grenade launcher mounted under the 5.56 or 7.62mm assault rifle or as a stand-alone launcher provides increased capability to the user

    The FN SCAR® precision rifle in 7.62mm caliber is the latest development within the FN SCAR® family and is available with a foldable or fixed sniper-type butt; while retaining the ergonomics and reliability of the FN SCAR® assault rifle, it has been adapted for increased range and accuracy for sniper support or designated marksman roles

    The FN FCU™ fire control unit is a full solution highly accurate aiming system for 40mm LV/MV grenade launchers allowing first round hits, at all ranges, in the most difficult situations, by day or by night

 

In addition to an extensive range of portable weapons designed, developed and manufactured for military, law enforcement and special forces operators worldwide, FN Herstal's product portfolio also includes integrated weapon systems for air, land and sea applications.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
RMN Hassan II - PH Farmaroc

RMN Hassan II - PH Farmaroc

4 septembre 2013, Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La frégate légère classe Floréal, de la marine royale, la RMN Hassan II, s’est rendue lundi 2 septembre au chantier naval portugais Alfeite, pour un entretien de routine qui durera 6 semaines.

 

Référence : Slate Afrique

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
Russia Wrestles With Reality And Loses

September 5, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Russia has gone public with fears that their ambitious new warship building program may take up to five years longer. The Navy modernization plans are underway and include new equipment and facilities. New base construction is continuing in the Black Sea (at Novorossiisk, as an alternative to the old Soviet base of Sevastopol that is rented from Ukraine), the north coast (for the new Borei and Yasen class nuclear subs), and the Pacific (for the two new Mistral class amphibious ships). Dozens of new ships are on order and the navy is on schedule to complete the current modernization plans after another decade of effort if the promised money keeps coming.

 

Money is not the big problem. The inability of the Russian defense industry, especially the ship yards is. This problem is not a secret, the extent of it, however, is generally unkn0wn. The public got a hint three years ago that something was very wrong. In 2010 the government announced its decision to buy four Mistral amphibious assault ships from France. This was just the beginning as the Russian Defense Minister made it clear that Russia would seek more Western weapons and military equipment. Russia was planning to spend over $600 billion in the next decade to replace aging Cold War gear. The Defense Ministry insisted that the Mistral deal was but the first of many. Russia already had a deal with Israel, to build a factory in Russia to build Israeli UAVs under license. Similar deals were made with other Western suppliers for armored vehicles from Italy and various bits of technology from other Western nations.

 

The problems with the Russian defense industry are many. They include a shortage of skilled workers and competent managers as well as corruption, very poor quality control and a tradition of ignoring complaints from users. Changing these Soviet era habits has proved extremely difficult. There are simply too few competent Russian managers (in general) and fewer still willing to work in the defense industries. Same deal with skilled workers. Even during the late Soviet era the defense industry was regarded as a refuge for over-paid and corrupt incompetents. Imposing Western ideas like warranties and financial controls didn't work. The warranties were not honored and the financial controls were seen as an interesting challenge, not a new tool to aid management.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
La Russie achètera pour 500 mds EUR d'armements d'ici 2020

CHISINAU, 3 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

Moscou débloquera 500 milliards d'euros pour l'achat d'armements d'ici 2020, a annoncé mardi le vice-premier ministre et président de la commission gouvernementale russe pour l'industrie de la défense Dmitri Rogozine, en visite à Chisinau.

 

Comme la région Asie-Pacifique est prioritaire pour la Russie au XXIe siècle, elle doit "investir sans tarder dans le développement de l'Est du pays. Nous y transférerons des entreprises aéronautiques et de production de missiles. Nous débloquerons 500 milliards d'euros rien que pour l'achat d'armements et 100 milliards de dollars pour la modernisation des usines dans le cadre du rééquipement des forces armées russes", a indiqué M.Rogozine qui participe à une conférence consacrée à l'intégration européenne de la Moldavie.

 

Commentant l'intention de Chisinau de signer un accord d'association avec l'UE, M.Rogozine, représentant spécial du président russe pour la Transnistrie (république autoproclamée sur le territoire moldave), a déclaré que la Russie n'avait pas l'intention de rivaliser avec l'Union européenne pour l'influence sur la Moldavie.

 

Selon lui, Moscou promeut sa coopération avec l'UE, mais elle accorde aussi une grande attention à la région Asie-Pacifique. "Ce sont la Chine, l'Inde, les deux Corée. L'UE est loin d'être le thème principal de l'ordre du jour mondial. Nous investissons nos fonds et intensifions nos rapports avec les pays de la région Asie-Pacifique et nous continuerons de le faire", a noté M.Rogozine.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
INS Vikramaditya. An Indian Navy photo

INS Vikramaditya. An Indian Navy photo

Sep 02, 2013 brahmand.com

 

NEW DELHI (PTI): India is expected to take up the issues of progress made in the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier project and pricing of the fifth generation fighter aircraft project during Defence Secretary R K Mathur's meeting with his Russian counterparts in Moscow today.

 

The Defence Secretary is leading a high-level tri-services team comprising three-star rank officers from the three services, and the status of ongoing projects such as Gorshkov, which is now rechristened as INS Vikramaditya and FGFA are expected to come up for discussion, Defence Ministry sources said here.

 

In the delegation-level talks scheduled to be held today, the two sides are also expected to discuss the futuristic joint development projects for the armed forces, they said.

 

The meeting is also expected to discuss the ammunition requirements of the artillery and the tank fleet of the Army and the upgrade of the T-90 tanks.

 

However, it is not clear whether the Indian side will raise the issue of mishap on its Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhurakshak, which had come back from Russia a few months ago after an extensive refurbishment in a shipyard there and is believed to under warranty till January 2014.

 

India is planning to involve the Russian side into the investigations in the mishap after the completion of the Board of Inquiry into the matter.

 

It is learnt that the two sides are also planning to discuss the upgrade of one more Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhushastra, the last of the 10 submarines procured by India from Russia.

 

India had procured ten Kilo class vessels from Russia in early 1980s and the deliveries were made in 14 years from 1986 to 2000.

 

On the Admiral Gorshkov project, the Russian shipyards are carrying out the sea trials of the warship and it is expected to be delivered to India by the end of this year.

 

The FGFA is a co-development project between India and Russia whose Preliminary Design Phase programme was completed on June 19 and the Research and Development contract is under negotiation between the two countries to define the total scope, the work share and responsibilities of each side, and the financial implications of the programme.

 

The visit by the Defence Secretary to Russia was scheduled in June but had to be postponed as Mathur had just taken over his new responsibility at that time.

 

The visit by the Defence Secretary is to prepare ground for Defence Minister A K Antony's visit there during the October-November timeframe this year.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Pakistan Navy inducts new guided missile frigate

Sep 04, 2013 brahmand.com

 

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI (PTI): Pakistan has inducted a F-22P frigate made with Chinese assistance into its navy, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying the warship exemplified the "everlasting bond of friendship" between the two countries.

 

PNS Aslat was built in a shipyard in Karachi with technology transferred by China. China has delivered three more F-22P guided missile frigates to Pakistan under a 2005 contract.

 

The Aslat is equipped with surface and surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes and an electronic warfare system.

 

Addressing the induction ceremony on Tuesday, Sharif acknowledged Beijing's assistance in building the frigate and said the two sides share time-tested relations that go back to 1950.

 

"Construction of the F-22P Frigate at Karachi Shipyard under a transfer of technology arrangement is a testament of the everlasting bond of friendship that exists between China and Pakistan," he said.

 

He said he was confident that defence cooperation between the two countries will grow and serve as a source of improved peace stability and security in the region.

 

Pakistan views relations with China as "enduring, multi-dimensional and deep-rooted" and these ties form a pillar of the country's foreign policy, he said.

 

Sharif also referred to China's support in developing Gwadar deep sea port, saying the facility will help open new vistas of growth and prosperity. The port will become a game changer for trade and economy of the region after the development of rail and road infrastructure, he added.

 

Pakistan's strategic location can only be exploited to its advantage by developing the maritime sector and a capable navy for effective defence, he said.

 

In his address, naval chief Admiral Asif Sandila said a strong naval force is required to deal with the challenges faced by Pakistan.

 

Pakistan does not have aggressive designs against any country and it wants to promote peace in the region, he said.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Type 214 Diesel Electric Submarine Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering

Type 214 Diesel Electric Submarine Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering

September 3, 2013: Strategy Page

 

South Korea recently launched the first of a second batch of six Type 214 submarines. This one was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The first three were built (from German components) by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Much to the chagrin of the South Koreans, who are trying to develop their own submarine building capability, the first three Type 214s had quality problems. Mostly it was defective components and poor construction techniques that left the three boats noisy and easier to detect.

 

The first three Type 214 subs were out of action for most of 2010 because of these problems. This was very embarrassing, as these subs were built in South Korea and that was a big deal in South Korea. Building submarines is a very specialized and exacting type of manufacturing, and South Korea has only been doing it for less than a decade. The first subs built in South Korea were these three German Type 214s, and the first of those entered service five years ago. The boats were built using licensed technology from the German developer (HDW) and many of the components were manufactured in South Korea as well. But then metal bolts in the Type 214s began coming loose or breaking seven years ago. The problem was traced to the South Korean supplier of the bolts which were not, it turned out, manufactured to the German specification. Eventually, German specialists were called in, and by 2011 the problem had been fixed.

 

South Korea went ahead with plans to build six additional Type 214 subs over the next 12 years. South Korea already had nine 1,100 ton Type 209 subs, designed and built in Germany. The Type 214 boats use fuel cells, enabling them to stay underwater for up to two weeks. The Type 214 is a 1,700 ton, 65 meter (202 foot) long boat, with a crew of 27. It has four torpedo tubes and a top submerged speed of 35 kilometers an hour. Maximum diving depth is over 400 meters (1,220 feet).

 

AIP boats go for up to a billion dollars each. The second batch of South Korean 214s will have an improved AIP system, which is apparently more reliable and provides a small increase in time underwater. South Korea will probably become a supplier of AIP systems as well because they now have the industrial expertise for this sort of high tech. The latest Type 214 boat is important because if it proves to be flawless it will make South Korea a contender in the international submarine market.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Gumdoksuri Class, the Yoon Young-ha (PKG 711)

Gumdoksuri Class, the Yoon Young-ha (PKG 711)

03.09.2013 Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La marine nationale sud-coréenne a pris livraison de son 10e destroyer doté de missiles guidés et construit dans un chantier naval coréen, qui se joindra aux missions de patrouille pour protéger les zones côtières du pays, a fait savoir ce mardi l’Administration du programme d’acquisition de défense (DAPA).

 

Référence : Yonhap News (Corée du Sud)

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:30
Saeqeh Thunderbolt Fighter - Iranian Ministry of Defense

Saeqeh Thunderbolt Fighter - Iranian Ministry of Defense

September 5, 2013: Strategy page

 

On August 21st the Iranian Air Force announced that it had begun “mass production” of a new jet fighter, one that was designed and manufactured in Iran. This, according to the air force commander, means that Iran does not have to rely on foreign suppliers (all of whom are intimidated by international arms sanctions imposed on Iran.) This is all a bit of dark humor because the aircraft in question is apparently the Saeqeh jet fighter. A year ago it was announced that three more of these had been produced and that fifteen had been delivered to the Iranian Air Force. In 2011 Iran announced that they had put into service their first squadron of twelve Saeqeh. It was in 2006 that Iran first displayed a modified American F-5 fighter and proclaimed the new "Saeqeh" as similar to the American F-18 jet fighter. Iran is apparently producing a clone of the half century old F-5 design, not a rival for the F-18. Their local manufacturing and international smuggling capabilities are certainly up to the task of obtaining the components needed for this. But all this is mainly a publicity stunt to reassure Iranians that, despite decades of international arms embargoes, Iran still has weapons that can defend the country.

 

This is not the first time Iran has run a stunt like this. But even with a redesigned tail and better electronics, the 1960s era F-5 is still a low cost, and low performance, aircraft. The Saeqeh is not the first Iranian attempt to rebuild F-5s. In the 1990s, they built a clone of the F-5E, calling it the Azarakhsh. There are apparently four of these in service, and further modifications of F-5 airframes produced the Saeqeh.

 

The Iranians had dozens of damaged F-5s from their war with Iraq, along with many more elderly F-5s that are un-flyable or barely so. Three decades ago Iran had nearly 300 F-5 aircraft but many were destroyed in combat with Iraq during the 1980s, or due to accidents, and most of the remainder just wore out.

 

The F-5E, the most recent F-5 model the Iranians had when the Islamic revolution took over in 1979, is an 11 ton aircraft, with a max speed of 1,700 kilometers an hour, and a range of some 1,400 kilometers. It was armed with two 20mm cannon and could carry about three tons of missiles and bombs. The Iranians have taken the basic F-5 frame and rebuilt it to hold two Russian engines. The Chinese did the same thing and produced the J-8 (a twin engine MiG-21) that turned out to be not worth the effort.

 

Although the Iranians are using Russian components (if only because these are better than Chinese ones), they probably had technical assistance (for a price) from China. The Chinese have a lot of experience reverse engineering Russian warplanes and developing variations. The Chinese are getting away from that because they finally realized that all they ended up with was a lot of crap fighters. Now they are building a new air force with expensive, and high tech, fighters imported from Russia, or built under license (or just copied illegally).

 

The Iranians have become obsessed with these "propaganda weapons," where they hack something together from an existing Russian or American system and proclaim it to be a breakthrough weapon "designed and manufactured in Iran." It's all rather pathetic, and it all began during the 1980s, when Iran and Iraq were fighting a nasty war. Some of the hacks worked, after a fashion. Iran created a longer range SCUD missile by the simple expedient of lengthening the missile with a larger fuel tank. This changed the flight characteristics of the missile but since these things were being fired at city size (as in Baghdad) targets, it didn't matter. Actually, the Iranians didn't really need the longer range missiles because Baghdad was pretty close to the Iranian border. Iran actually got the technology for these SCUD mods from North Korea but Iranian press releases always touted the achievement as being the work of Iranian scientists and engineers.

 

Iranian weapons fantasies reached their peak earlier this year with an announcement that they had developed a stealth fighter; the Qaher 313. It showed photos of a single engine fighter with some curious (to aeronautical engineers) features. The air intakes were too small, the airframe was similar to older (unsuccessful) American experimental designs, and the cockpit controls were the same used in one and two engine propeller driven aircraft. There was a video of the Qaher 313 in flight but nothing showing it landing or taking off. Engineers have concluded that the Qaher 313 is a crude fake and that the aircraft seen in flight was a small remote controlled model of the larger aircraft shown in a hangar. A deception like this is nothing new for Iran. In fact, this sort of thing has become a staple of Iranian media over the last decade.

 

Every year the Iranian media features several new weapons described as locally designed and produced. This is to improve morale among a population that knows the country has been under an international arms embargo since the 1980s. Some of the new wonder weapons announced in the last few years include a cruise missile with a 200 kilometer range and a submarine torpedo designed for shallow coastal waters. There was also a new 73mm missile that appeared to be a small, unguided rocket, albeit with a good press agent. All of this was stuff was fluff, with a bit of recycled reality to back it up. If you go back and look at the many Iranian announcements of newly developed, high tech weapons, all you find is a photo op for a prototype. Production versions of these weapons rarely show up. It’s all feel-good propaganda for the religious dictatorship that runs Iran and its supporters.

 

Iran likes to recycle 1950 military tech. For example, several years ago it announced that it had developed an armed "Karar" UAV, with a range of 1,000 kilometers. Pictures of this new weapon showed what appeared to be a copy of 1950s era American cruise missiles and target drones. These, in turn, were based on a similar weapon, the German V-1 "buzz bomb" that was used extensively in World War II to bomb London. The Iranian "Karar" UAV had the benefit of more efficient jet engines, more effective flight control hardware and software, and GPS navigation. Karar is not a wonder weapon but the Iranians are depending on a clueless international mass media, and their own citizens, to believe it is.

 

In the last few years Iran has announced many similar weapons, many of them originally conceived in the 1950s. There was, for example, a domestically designed and manufactured helicopter gunship and another UAV with a range of 2,000 kilometers. Recently, there have also been revelations of heavily armed speed boats, miniature submarines, new artillery rockets, and much more. Three years ago they showed off a new Iranian made jet fighter, which appeared to be a make-work project for unemployed engineers. It was a bunch of rearranged parts on an old U.S. made F-5 (which was roughly equivalent to a 1950s era MiG-21). The new fighter, like so many other Iranian weapons projects, was more for PR than for improving military power.

 

The Qaher 313 is the most ambitious fake so far. Stealth tech is not something you can recycle from 1950s gear, nor is it something you can easily deceive the experts with.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
M153 Protector is based on the combat proven M151 Protector remote weapon station

M153 Protector is based on the combat proven M151 Protector remote weapon station

4 September 2013 army-technology.com

 

Kongsberg has been awarded a contract to maintain the US Army's M153 Protector common remotely-operated weapon stations (CROWS).

 

Valued at NOK229m ($37.5m), the contract requires the company to repair and retrofit the systems that have already been delivered to the army.

 

The order forms part of a framework agreement signed with the service for production, and supply of system support and technical engineering support for M153 CROWS system in August 2012.

 

Awarded following a full and open competition, the agreement extends over a five year period and has a maximum potential value of up to $970m.

 

Valued at $1.4bn, CROWS is a joint acquisition programme for remote weapon stations (RWS) and is intended to offer improved protection capabilities, training and development support for the US army's vehicle programmes.

 

Based on the combat proven M151 Protector, M153 CROWS are designed to enhance military troop protection and combat capabilities by enabling target acquisition and engagement from safer distances.

 

Capable of mounting on a range of vehicles, the system also supports firing from the MK19 grenade machine gun, 0.50-calibre M2 machine gun, M240B machine gun and M249 squad automatic weapon from inside of a heavy armoured vehicle.

 

Besides army's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the system has also been used by the army national guard (ANG) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) during conflicts.

 

Kongsberg has to date delivered more than 10,000 M153 CROWS units to the US Army since August 2007.

 

The weapon is in use with more than 16 nations worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
iraq-abrams photo USMC

iraq-abrams photo USMC

September 5, 2013 defense-aerospace.com    

(Source: General Dynamics Land Systems; issued September 3, 2013)

 

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. --- The U.S. Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $56 million contract modification to continue providing logistics and base lifecycle support services in support of Iraqi M1A1 Abrams tanks.

 

Work will be performed by existing General Dynamics employees in Iraq for 30 days.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
the newly developed lightweight variant of the Resolve manpack electronic warfare system. Photo Roke Manor Research Limited.

the newly developed lightweight variant of the Resolve manpack electronic warfare system. Photo Roke Manor Research Limited.

4 September 2013 army-technology.com

 

Chemring Technology Solutions (CTS) has developed a lightweight variant of its Resolve manpack electronic warfare (EW) system for on-the-march military operations.

 

Weighing 22lbs, the newly launched system provides an alternative EW system to the standard Resolve manpack, which provides dismounted soldiers with advanced signals analysis enabling multiple mission profiles.

 

In addition, the system readily fits into a standard daysack, offering more flexible EW capabilities to exploit several communications systems.

 

CTS business sector manager, Gavin O'Connell, said the company's original Resolve system provides a high level of direction-finding capability for dismounted missions that cannot be delivered by other EW systems.

 

''The Resolve lightweight manpack system builds on this by meeting our customers' increasing demand for smaller, portable solutions that reduce thesoldiers' burden and provide more effective support for on-the-march EW operations,'' O'Connell said.

 

Despite a significant weight and size reduction, the system still offers immediate threat warning, electronic overwatch and single sensor location from a single battery for up to eight hours, and can also be networked to other static or mobile systems in the theatre.

 

Due to its simple interface, Resolve lightweight system can easily access vital functions to deliver immediate support in a range of operational environments, including close-quarter, long-range patrol or stand-off missions.

 

The system is scheduled to be displayed during the 2013 Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition, which will be held from 10 to 13 September in the ExCeL convention centre, London.

 

Fitted with one or more, intercept and direction finding nodes, Resolve is a modular and scalable EW suite designed for the interception and geolocation of tactical communications.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
Boeing, Polish Defence Holding to Explore Collaboration on Future Defense Work

Sep 3, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Polish Defence Holding (PDH) on Sept. 2 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore areas where Boeing and PDH can work together to meet Poland’s defense needs while supporting the growth of local industry.

 

Under the agreement, signed at the MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce, leaders from Boeing and PDH will begin to determine areas for future collaboration. Opportunities may include platform production, advanced technology solutions, research and development, and other areas of shared expertise.

 

“PDH is a regional leader in defense technology and draws on Poland’s talented and experienced workforce to manufacture world-class products,” said Henryka Bochniarz, president of Boeing Central and Eastern Europe. “We look forward to collaborating with them on potential contributions to Poland’s drive for defense modernization.”

 

“Both PDH and Boeing have a reputation for excellence throughout Europe, so this collaboration has significant potential,” said Krzysztof Krystowski, president and CEO of Polish Defence Holding. “We look forward to exploring the ways in which we can meet Poland’s defense needs and the needs of its allies around the world.”

 

PDH, the largest manufacturer and supplier of military equipment in Central and Eastern Europe, is composed of 40 companies operating in Poland and abroad, with 10,000 employees. The company’s mission is focused on meeting soldiers’ needs, making intensive investments in modern technologies, and expanding into new markets.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
La troïka somme Athènes de liquider son industrie de l’armement

04.09.2013 presseurop.eu

 

La troïka (UE-BCE-FMI) a rejeté le 3 septembre le plan du gouvernement visant à restructurer les entreprises de défense Larco (métallurgie), Elvo (véhicules), Eas (systèmes de défense), le jugeant “irréaliste, non viable et sans résultats’’. La troïka souhaite une solution plus incisive pour ces entreprises déficitaires et lourdement endettées, telle que leur mise en faillite et la mise à pied sans indemnités des salariés, explique I Kathimerini, qui titre à la Une sur l'"Implication de la troïka dans Eas"

Il s’agit de“l’épine la plus importante” au sein des négociations en cours avec la troïka ce mois-ci, en vue de l’octroi d’une nouvelle tranche d’aide, note le quotidien économique.

Selon I Kathimerini, le manque de compétitivité des entreprises de défense grecques est dû notamment

aux entremetteurs qui ont infesté le terrain des contrats militaires […] le pays a payé plus cher chacun des systèmes qu’il a acquis en échange de la vague promesse que les sociétés grecques auraient été impliquées dans la production. Un des plus grandes escroqueries jamais révélées en Grèce.

Le journal attribue enfin le déclin de l’industrie de l’armement grecque

aux syndicalistes et aux responsables politiques nommés par les partis impliqués dans le secteur. La Grèce n’a jamais rien produit, et, à chaque fois qu’elle a tenté de produire quelque chose, c’était trois fois plus cher.

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Troika Says Defense Industries Must Go

September 3, 2013 By - greekreporter.com

Greece’s proposal to overhaul three state-owned companies, Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS), mining company Larco and the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) instead of privatizing or closing them has been rejected by the debt-stricken country’s partners and creditors.

The Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) wants Greece to sell off state enterprises to reduce a still-staggering $390 billion debt but Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was hoping to keep control of the defense contractors in state hands.

Media reports cited an email said to have been sent by Troika officials to the Greek Finance Ministry on Sept. 2 citing the proposal. There was no immediate response from the government.

Responding to a question by Kathimerini, EU spokesman Simon O’Connor avoided either confirming or refuting reports that all three companies were due to close.

“The MoU requires – and the last review set this as one of the milestones to be completed for September – the adoption of ‘irreversible decisions by August 2013 on the restructuring, involving substantial downsizing, ahead of privatization or on the resolution of ELVO, HDS, and LARCO, both in compliance with State aid rules, with a view to implementing these decisions by December-2013.’ Discussions are ongoing with the Greek authorities with regard to the fulfilment of this requirement,” O’Connor said.

The Greek proposal regarding the country’s defense industries was based on a liquidation while in operation scheme, a division between military and other factories as well as early retirement incentives for staff members. Finance Ministry sources said that the Troika wasn’t convinced about an overhaul but might consider more arguments.

The plans regarding the EAS, ELVO and Larco overhaul are a prerequisite for Greece to receive a new, one billion euro tranche of bailout aid scheduled to be releases in early October.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
M-ATV Special Forces Vehicle (SFV) - Oshkosh Defense

M-ATV Special Forces Vehicle (SFV) - Oshkosh Defense

Sep 2, 2013 ASDNews Source : Oshkosh Corporation

 

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), is presenting its M-ATV Special Forces Vehicle (SFV), designed to protect troops and overcome rugged off-road terrain in demanding special operations missions, at the 21st International Defense Industry Exhibition MSPO, Sept. 2-5 in Kielce, Poland.

 

“As Poland prepares to lead NATO’s special operations in Europe, Oshkosh Defense has the right mix of special forces expertise and advanced vehicles to meet the most demanding mission requirements,” said Serge Buchakjian, Senior Vice President and General Manager for International Programs at Oshkosh Defense. “Our M-ATV SFV offers Polish Armed Forces a modern, protected and highly mobile vehicle that is already supporting special operations. Additionally, as a global manufacturer, we retain partnerships with local industries in select markets and can ensure value is delivered to local economies.”

 

The M-ATV SFV is part of the Oshkosh Defense MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) family of vehicles, which also includes the base vehicle, Tactical Ambulance, Multi-Mission Vehicle (MMV) and 2.5 Cargo. Coalition forces are currently using the M-ATV in Afghanistan for protection against threats such as improvised explosive devices (IED) and to overcome the country’s rugged off-road terrain. The M-ATV uses the Oshkosh TAK-4® independent suspension system to support challenging tactical operations in rugged and mountainous off-road terrain. Battle-tested technology focused on crew safety meets Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle standards.

 

To date, Oshkosh Defense has delivered more than 9,500 life-saving M-ATVs to U.S. and global forces.

 

Oshkosh Defense developed the M-ATV SFV in close cooperation with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to meet the U.S. Special Forces’ demanding operational requirements. Such collaboration is intrinsic to the approach Oshkosh takes to meeting each customer’s specific mission profile. Among the many changes made to the base M-ATV to meet special forces’ needs in the SFV variant are a modified cargo deck, intended to accept specialized equipment based on each mission’s requirements, and larger front windscreens for increased visibility.

 

In addition to the vehicle on display, Oshkosh Defense also will present at MSPO its Integrated Product Support (IPS) capabilities, a comprehensive vehicle-service portfolio designed to optimize fleet readiness and life-cycle costs. Oshkosh IPS offerings include training services, instruction manuals, maintenance and repairs, parts supply, and fleet restoration services.

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On Aug. 8, the EURO HAWK(R) unmanned aircraft sets an endurance record by flying 25.3 hours nonstop in European airspace. Cassidian photo by Josef Gietl.

On Aug. 8, the EURO HAWK(R) unmanned aircraft sets an endurance record by flying 25.3 hours nonstop in European airspace. Cassidian photo by Josef Gietl.

MANCHING, Germany – Sept. 3, 2013 – Northrop Grumman

 

The EURO HAWK® unmanned aircraft system (UAS) set an endurance record Aug. 8 when it flew continuously for 25.3 hours in European airspace. Built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), operating through its subsidiary Northrop Grumman ISS International Inc. (NGISSI), and Cassidian (EADS Deutschland GmbH), the UAS climbed to 58,600 feet over Manching Air Base, Germany.

 

With a wingspan greater than most commercial airliners, EURO HAWK® can fly at altitudes more than 60,000 feet for more than 30 hours. It can detect radar and communication emitters with its advanced signals intelligence sensors and updated payload software.

"This is the longest flight flown in European skies by an unrefuelled UAS in the more than 30,000-pound [14,600-kilogramme] class," said Rolf Wirtz, head of Mission Systems, Cassidian's UAS branch. "The EURO HAWK® has performed safely and reliably with good results throughout its entire flight test programme. It is the only system that can meet Germany's requirement for high-altitude signals intelligence surveillance missions."

On June 6, the EURO HAWK® flew over the North Sea for the first time, soaring throughout Germany before returning 6.5 hours later to Manching Air Base.

"To date, the EURO HAWK® has completed 19 flights and approximately 200 flight hours," said Janis Pamiljans, sector vice president and general manager of Unmanned Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "I commend the entire EURO HAWK® customer and industry team on achieving this record-breaking flight. We remain committed to delivering the best technology solution at the most affordable cost to meet Germany's national security interests."

EURO HAWK® is an interoperable, modular and cost-effective replacement to the retired fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which was in service from 1972-2010. The flight test phase is currently scheduled through September 2013.

 

About Cassidian

Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing lead system integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe: air systems (aircraft and UAS), land, naval and joint systems, intelligence and surveillance, cybersecurity, secure communications, test systems, missiles, and services and support solutions. Please visit www.cassidian.com for more information.

 

About EuroHawk GmbH

EuroHawk GmbH, a 50-50 joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Cassidian, serves as the national prime contractor for the German Ministry of Defence through the system's entire life cycle. Please visit www.eurohawk.de for more information.

 

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 05:55
Présentation en vol du Rafale par le capitaine Planche

Présentation en vol du Rafale par le capitaine Planche

03/09/2013 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges - Supersonique

 

Les chiffres ont de quoi impressionner.  Dans un rapport publié le 27 août, et relayé par le Journal de l’Aviation, le cabinet de conseil Forecast International s’est livré au jeu des prévisions sur la production d’aéronefs militaires sur les dix prochaines années. Le résultat est édifiant : le cabinet prévoit la livraison de 11.940 appareils d’ici à 2022, pour un montant estimé de 480 milliards de dollars. Le pic de production devrait être atteint dès l’année prochaine, avec 1.367 appareils assemblés en 2014, chiffre qui devrait franchir à la baisse la barre des 1.100 appareils par an à l’horizon 2020

 

Les chasseurs représentent 2.900 appareils sur les dix prochaines années, pour un montant estimé de 183 milliards de dollars. A priori, c’est une bonne nouvelle pour les Dassault, Boeing, Eurofighter et autre Chengdu. Sauf que c’est bien la montée de la cadence de production du F-35 de Lockheed Martin qui devrait pousser la production annuelle d’avions de chasses à 355 appareils par an en 2022, estime le cabinet.

 

La machine de guerre de Lockheed Martin, qui a siphonné les budgets militaires de nombreux alliés de Wahington dont quelques Européens (Royaume-Uni, Pays-Bas, Italie, Norvège) ne laissera donc, sinon des miettes, du moins que des demi-baguettes à la concurrence. « Le reste du marché devrait être réparti entre Boeing, le consortium Eurofighter, Dassault, Saab, Chengdu, et le Russe United Aircraft Corp, assure le rapport. L’indien HAL et le sud-coréen KAI ont introduisent des chasseurs légers low-cost, mais aucun ne devrait vraiment percer sur le marché export. »

 

Conclusion (qui ne figure pas dans le rapport) : le Rafale n’a donc pas le droit à l’erreur sur ses compétitions (Inde, Emirats, Qatar, voire Malaisie), mais c’est tout aussi vrai pour le Typhoon du consortium Eurofighter ou le Gripen de Saab. Boeing, lui, s’est donné de l’air avec la vente de F-15 en Arabie Saoudite, et peut-être bientôt en Corée du Sud. Les Russes et les Chinois peuvent compter sur leur énorme marché intérieur.

 

Sur le segment des appareils de transport militaire, c’est l’A400M qui va tirer les chiffres de production, assure Forecast International. Le pic de production de 108 appareils de transport par an devrait être atteint en 2018. L’A400M devrait représenter à lui seul « 25% de toute la production d’avions de transport sur la période 2013-2022 », indique le document. Forecast International prévoit également la fin de la production du C-17 de Boeing, et l’intensification de la concurrence face au C-130J de Lockheed Martin, concurrencé à la fois par l’A400M et par le KC-390 du brésilien Embraer.

 

Boeing devrait se rattraper sur ce que le document appelle les appareils à « usage spécial » : ravitailleurs, avions de patrouille maritime, appareils de guerre électronique. « Boeing devrait capter 50% de ce segment, grâce à la production du ravitailleur KC-46A pour l’US Air Force et de l’appareil de patrouille maritime P-8 Poseidon pour l’US Navy et d’autres clients », indique Forecast International.

 

Côté hélicoptères, ce n’est pas la grande joie. Le cabinet prévoit un ralentissement de la production d’hélicoptères militaires légers (1.425 appareils en dix ans, 23,3 milliards de dollars), faute de nouveaux programmes d’acquisitions. Idem pour les hélicoptères lourds, dont la croissance de production observée depuis 2005 devrait faire long feu. 4.728 machines sont tout de même prévues d’ici à 2022, soit 110 milliards de dollars de marché estimé.

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F-X III fighter contest F-35 Eurofighter F-15 SE photo FG

F-X III fighter contest F-35 Eurofighter F-15 SE photo FG

03.09.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’institut d’analyse de marché et de prospective stratégique Forecast International a publié un rapport le 27 août dernier sur l’état de la production d’aéronefs militaires pour la période 2013-2022. Les conclusions de ce document révèlent une baisse globale sur les 10 prochaines années, comprenant toutefois des secteurs qui resteront au même niveau et d’autres qui augmenteront, tel que ce sera le cas pour le F-35 de Lockheed Martin et l’A400M d’Airbus Military.

 

Les données globales fournies par Forecast International sont les suivantes pour la période 2013-2022 : 11 940 aéronefs militaires effectueront leur roll-out pour un total de 480 milliards de dollars, dont 48% d’avions et 52% de voilures tournantes. La production devrait connaître un pic en 2014 avec 1 367 unités, une baisse significative en 2018 (1 095) et une légère remontée en 2020 (1 122).

 

Concernant les différents segments de l’aviation militaire, Forecast International les divise en cinq catégories : les chasseurs, les avions de transport, les avions spécifiques, les avions d’entraînement et les hélicoptères.

 

Les avions de chasse représentent le plus important segment dans le secteur de l’aviation militaire : 2 900 exemplaires devraient être fabriqués entre 2013 et 2022, pour un total de 183 milliards de dollars. Les budgets de Défense étant contraints pour la plupart des pays, Forecast International ne prévoit pas d’expansion importante de la demande dans les prochaines années. Les principaux avionneurs resteront Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Eurofighter, Dassault Aviation, Saab, Chengdu et UAC. Selon FI, KAI et HAL ne devraient pas s’imposer comme grosse concurrence dans ce marché.

 

Une baisse de la production d’aéronefs militaires attendue dans les années à venir

Concernant les avions de transport, l’A400M devrait focaliser 25% des 848 avions qui devraient sortir d’usine. Le pic est attendu en 2018, en partie grâce à la production de masse d’Airbus Military. Le C-130J de Lockheed Martin sera lui concurrencé par l’A400M et par le futur KC-390 d’Embraer.

 

Du côté des avions dits « spécifiques » (ravitailleurs, avions-radars, de reconnaissance maritime), le marché devrait être attribué à 50% à Boeing, une prévision basée sur la production du ravitailleur KC-46A et du P-8A Poseidon. Cinq cent trente-huit avions devraient être produits dans les dix prochaines années pour 78,1 milliards de dollars.

 

Enfin, dans la dernière catégorie des voilures fixes, les avions d’entraînement. Mille cinq cent appareils devraient effectuer leur roll-out entre 2013 et 2022, pour un total de 18,5 milliards de dollars. 2014 et 2015 semblent être des pics de production, avec 200 avions annuels, le double de ce qui est attendu pour 2022 (97 avions). Forecast International prédit tout de même une reprise, avec le programme T-X de l’US Air Force, qui prévoit de remplacer ses T-38 par au moins 350 machines.

 

Pour les voilures tournantes, la production d’appareils légers (en-dessous de six tonnes) ne devrait pas grimper, en raison des programmes d’acquisition qui sont en passe de se terminer. FI prévoit 1 425 appareils pour 23,3 milliards sur la période 2013-2022.

 

Il en va de même pour les hélicoptères moyens et lourds, Forecast International prévoit même une baisse plus marquée avec 4 728 appareils produits pour 110 milliards de dollars entre 2013 et 2022. Les perspectives des voilures tournantes à long terme se joueront autour du programme Future Vertical Lift du Pentagone, qui prévoit le développement et la production d’un nouveau type d’appareil pour les missions d’attaque, ainsi que des missions utilitaires.

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On Aug. 8, the EURO HAWK(R) unmanned aircraft sets an endurance record by flying 25.3 hours nonstop in European airspace. Cassidian photo by Josef Gietl.

On Aug. 8, the EURO HAWK(R) unmanned aircraft sets an endurance record by flying 25.3 hours nonstop in European airspace. Cassidian photo by Josef Gietl.

04.09.2013 - Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

Northrop Grumman annonce que son drone EuroHawk a battu un record d’endurance le 8 août dernier en restant plus de 25 heures (25 heures et 18 minutes plus précisément) dans les airs. Il a atteint la hauteur de 58 600 pieds. C’est la première fois qu’un drone de cette catégorie (plus de 14 tonnes) vole aussi longtemps dans le ciel européen, selon Rolf Wirtz, directeur « systèmes de mission » de la branche Drones de Cassidian.

 

Il a par ailleurs ajouté que l’EuroHawk était « le seul système capable de répondre aux besoins de l’Allemagne pour les missions de renseignement et de surveillance à haute altitude », semblant oublier que l’Allemagne a annulé le programme EuroHawk le 15 mai dernier en raison de difficultés de certification.

 

D’après le communiqué diffusé par l’avionneur américain, la phase des essais en vol doit se poursuivre jusqu’à fin septembre. Le drone HALE dérivé du RQ-4 Global Hawk affiche actuellement 19 vols et 200 heures de vol au compteur.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Défense : la Pologne fera-t-elle un geste vers les industriels de l'armement français ?

03/09/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Alors que le salon international de l'industrie de défense (MSPO) a ouvert ses portes lundi à Kielce en Pologne, Varsovie n'est vraiment pas un très bon client de l'industrie française d'armement. Mais le missilier MBDA et l'hélicoptériste Eurocopter ont actuellement deux belles cartes à jouer.

 

La roue va-t-elle un jour finir par tourner pour l'industrie d'armement française en Pologne… Depuis l'échec cinglant du Mirage 2000-5 de Dassault Aviation en 2002 - Varsovie candidate alors à l'Union européenne avait préféré des F-16 américains -, la France est toujours restée complètement absente des grands marchés de l'armement polonais. Les industriels français font régulièrement un « bide » commercial. Sur la période 2007 et 2011, Varsovie, qui préfère acheter américain, allemand ou israëlien, a ainsi royalement commandé à l'industrie tricolore 54,7 millions d'euros d'équipements militaires, selon le dernier rapport au Parlement sur les exportations d'armement de la France publié en octobre 2012.

 

 Dialogue politique franco-polonais

 

Qu'est-ce que peut espérer la France aujourd'hui ? Sur le plan politique, le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a tendu à plusieurs reprises la main aux Polonais dans le cadre du Triangle de Weimar (Berlin, Paris et Varsovie) pour relancer l'Europe de la défense. Son homologue Tomasz Siemoniak y semble favorable. Paris avait réussi à réunir en novembre à Paris dans le cadre du format "Weimar Plus", les huit ministres des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense de la Pologne, mais aussi de l'Allemagne, de la Pologne, de l'Italie et de l'Espagne.

 

Dans la déclaration commune, les dix ministres avaient annoncé qu'ils étaient "réunis pour confirmer [leur] volonté de promouvoir une politique européenne ambitieuse dans le domaine de la sécurité et de la défense". L'ambition "de construire une Europe de la défense intégrée n'est pas facile", a reconnu le ministre de la Défense espagnol, Pedro Morenes Eulate. Depuis, c'est silence radio…

 

Contraintes budgétaires

 

Parallèlement Varsovie avait entrepris de moderniser et de renforcer ses équipements militaires. En juin dernier, le Premier ministre, Donald Tusk, avait confirmé un plan de modernisation des forces armées polonaises de 43 milliards d'euros sur 10 ans, annoncé en mai. Mais la Pologne a été rattrapée par la crise et, deux mois plus tard, Donald Tusk a pris la décision… de couper dans les achats d'armement.

 

Le projet de collectif budgétaire fait état de recettes fiscales inférieures de 23,7 milliards de zlotys (5,6 milliards d'euros) par rapport à ce qui était prévu dans la loi de finances pour 2013. En réponse, le gouvernement polonais propose de procéder à des coupes dans ses dépenses de 7,7 milliards de zlotys pour limiter l'augmentation du déficit budgétaire à 16 milliards de zlotys. Les coupes concerneront principalement les financements de la défense nationale (3,5 milliards de zlotys) et des infrastructures de transport.

 

Priorité à la défense aérienne et aux hélicoptères

 

De sept projets prioritaires, le ministre de la Défense polonais Tomasz Siemoniak en a conservé trois, dont la défense aérienne et les hélicoptères. Deux compétitions auxquelles participent le missilier MBDA (37,5 % BAE Systems, 37,5 % EADS et 25 % l'italien Finmeccanica) et Eurocopter (groupe EADS). MBDA, qui doit faire face à la concurrence américaine, postule avec le système antimissile SAMP/T pour renforcer la défense aérienne, en vue de contrer notamment les avions de combat russes. Pour gagner, MBDA avait signé en juillet 2009 avec le groupe d'armements polonais Bumar un accord-cadre sur la création en commun d'un système de missiles de défense aérienne.

 

En dépit d'un retard initial, Eurocopter, qui expose au salon MSPO de Kielce un EC725, semble maintenant avoir rattrapé ses concurrents (l'italien AgustaWestland et l'américain Sikorsky) et a réussi à rebattre les cartes en Pologne avec l'EC725, le Caracal qui a fait ses preuves sur plusieurs théâtres d'opération, notamment en Afghanistan... qui a séduit les militaires polonais. Objectif, remporter un appel d'offres, qui pourrait être lancé en fin d'année et qui porte sur l'achat de 70 hélicoptères de transport de troupes, un contrat estimé à 3 milliards d'euros environ. Si le constructeur européen remporte cette campagne, il installera avec le motoriste Turbomeca respectivement deux chaînes d'assemblage pour l'EC725 chez l'industriel polonais WZL 1 basé à Lodz. Varsovie pourrait choisir son fournisseur vers la mi-2014.

 

Et les sous-marins ?

 

Sous-marin Scorpene photo  DCNS

Sous-marin Scorpene photo DCNS

DCNS, qui propose deux Scorpène (950 millions d'euros), aura tout fait pour tenter de briser le tropisme allemand de la marine polonaise. Difficile (trop ?) même si le groupe naval propose de sauver les chantiers navals polonais en faillite. Car l'Allemagne et la Pologne ont signé en avril une lettre d'intention (LoI), qui consolide le partenariat stratégique entre les deux pays dans le domaine naval. Selon ce document, cette coopération comprend un large spectre, dont notamment le développement de capacités dans le domaine de l'armement et des achats. Dans les annexes, les deux pays souhaitent établir une autorité opérationnelle commune pour les sous-marins allemands et polonais.

 

Face aux difficultés budgétaires, la marine polonaise, qui pour l'heure n'a pas obtenu le lancement d'un appel d'offres du gouvernement polonais contrairement à ce qui était prévu cet été, chercherait des solutions innovantes pour acquérir deux nouveaux sous-marins. Car ce n'est plus dans les priorités de Varsovie, qui aurait envisagé de louer deux sous-marins conventionnels SS U-212A (ASA 2005-2007) à l'Allemagne, qui seraient prélevés sur les 6 SS U-212A Batch-1 et 2 de la marine allemande. Un projet qui pourrait être déjà mort-né tant il soulève des réticences de la marine allemande, qui ne souhaite pas se séparer de ses navires, et des interrogations. Une telle procédure, sans publication d'un appel d'offres à l'échelle européenne, pourrait contrevenir aux règles communautaires de l'Union.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 17:30
sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite  - source LesEchos.fr

sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite - source LesEchos.fr

03/09/13 challenges.fr (Finance +)

 

Cassidian, la filiale sécurité d'EADS, aurait pris un gros retard sur le contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie Saoudite, le plus gros de ce type jamais signé. Le quotidien allemand 'Handelsblatt' dispose d'une source qui lui a fait savoir que le lancement, initialement prévu en 2014, pourrait être décalé de deux ans. Le projet, signé en 2009, devait initialement durer 5 ans. Le journal allemand évoque des problèmes de réalisation aussi bien que des changements décidés par le donneur d'ordres pour expliquer le décalage d'un programme destiné à doter 9.000 kilomètres de frontières d'un système de surveillance électronique, dont la valeur était estimée à quelque 2 milliards de dollars.

Note RP Defense :

 

EADS décroche le contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite

 

Par Alain Ruello - Les Echos n° 20457 du 02 Juillet 2009 • page 19

 

Le groupe européen, candidat de Berlin dans l'appel d'offres, a signé ce contrat de plus de 1,5 milliard d'euros, connu pendant longtemps sous l'acronyme « Miksa ». Une claque pour Thales, et donc pour Paris, même si les équipes françaises d'EADS participeront au projet.

 

Ambiance de fête chez EADS : en pole position depuis le début de l'année, le groupe aéronautique européen vient de décrocher le très mirifique et très politique contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite, aussi appelé « Saudi Border Guard Development Program ». L'accord, conclu mardi, a été annoncé hier, après une information du site Internet du « Point ». « Il s'agit du plus important contrat de ce genre jamais conclu dans le monde », se félicite EADS. Le montant de la transaction se situerait entre 1,5 et 2 milliards d'euros. Après le Qatar, la Roumanie, ou encore les Emirats arabes unis, le groupe européen peut ainsi s'enorgueillir d'une nouvelle référence de marque sur le marché très fermé de la sécurité nationale. A l'inverse, il s'agit d'un véritable camouflet pour Thales _ et Paris _ même si une part du travail reviendra en France.

 

Longtemps connu sous l'acronyme de « Miksa », ce projet consiste à doter en cinq ans les 9.000 kilomètres de frontières, maritimes et terrestres, du royaume d'un système électronique de surveillance, à grands renforts de radars, de réseaux de télécoms, ou encore de caméras. Initié après la première guerre du Golfe, il a échappé de très peu à Thales au début des années 2000. Après plusieurs années d'une négociation de gré à gré entre la France et l'Arabie saoudite, les guerres d'influence entre l'Elysée et le ministère de l'Intérieur dirigé alors par Nicolas Sarkozy font en effet échouer l'affaire sur le fil. « Quand je pense qu'on a été à deux doigts de signer ! » regrette encore un dirigeant de Thales.

 

Riyad _ où les luttes de pouvoir ont compté également _ gèle alors l'affaire, pour la relancer en 2005. Mais dans le cadre d'une procédure d'appel d'offres cette fois-ci. A chaque capitale intéressée de soutenir son champion : ce sera Thales pour la France, EADS pour Berlin, Raytheon pour Washington, BAE Systems pour Londres, ou encore Finmeccanica pour Rome. Sans oublier Russes et Chinois. La procédure suit son cours, et finit par aboutir en 2008 à une liste de trois finalistes : EADS, Thales, et Raytheon. Et un seul, le champion de l'Allemagne, au début de l'année.

 

C'est qu'entre-temps, EADS a très bien joué. D'abord en débauchant le représentant de Thales en Arabie saoudite. « Ils ont laissé filer leur carte maîtresse », explique un bon connaisseur du dossier qui pointe une erreur « majeure ». Ensuite, en construisant une offre bien moins chère que celles de ses deux concurrents. Exemple : quand Thales propose de former les gardes saoudiens, EADS suggère de former des formateurs. De ce point de vue, l'affaire rappelle celle du métro automatique de Dubaï où Mitsubishi, pourtant peu présent sur ce créneau, a coiffé au poteau Siemens et Alstom en comprimant les prix au maximum.

 

Du coup, aux yeux de Riyad, la proposition de la maison mère d'Airbus a un double mérite : elle est la moins-disante financièrement, et la moins coûteuse politiquement. En retenant le groupe sponsorisé par Berlin, le royaume ne fâche ni Washington ni Paris. Enfin, un troisième élément a joué puisque le groupe de BTP local Al-Rachid avait déjà été retenu pour la surveillance de la frontière nord, avec EADS comme sous-traitant. Le fait de choisir à nouveau le groupe européen facilite la réalisation de l'ensemble.

 

L'affaire ne devrait pas s'arrêter là. Car à Riyad, on projette d'équiper les gardes-frontières d'hélicoptères, de navires côtiers ou encore de jeeps, qu'il faudra bien relier au système de surveillance. Pour EADS, qui devrait disposer de plusieurs centaines d'ingénieurs sur place à terme, c'est la promesse d'autres développements, au delà des cinq ans du contrat signé mardi.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance

Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance

Sep. 2, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News

 

LONDON — The British government is trying to renegotiate a contract with the BAE-led alliance that is building two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy in order to control rising costs, but it says the terms of the deal leave it with little room to maneuver, according to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

 

Responding to a critical Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report into the aircraft carrier program due to be published here Tuesday,, Hammond said in a statement, “We are currently negotiating with industry to seek to secure proper alignment between industry and the MoD over the balance of the project and so bring the costs under control, but we are doing so within the context of a contract that gives us very little negotiating leverage.”

 

The PAC criticized the contract signed by the MoD and the alliance, saying it was “not fit for purpose as it fails to provide industry with any real incentive to control costs.”

 

The British lawmakers said that as things stood, the “contractors will continue to make a profit until the 5.24 billion pound target cost has been exceeded by 2.5 billion pounds.”

 

At one point, the original contract negotiations — which led to the signing of the construction deal for the Royal Navy’s largest-ever warships in 2008 — were targeting a cost of 3.65 billion pounds.

 

A spokesman for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance declined to comment beyond confirming negotiations with the MoD were ongoing. The alliance includes BAE, Babcock and Thales.

 

Margaret Hodge, the PAC chairwoman, said in a statement the committee was still “not convinced that the MoD has this program under control. It remains subject to huge technical and commercials risks, with the potential for further uncontrolled growth in costs.”

 

Senior alliance officials reported to the MoD this summer that the program faced time and cost overruns, said one industry source. He said he did not believe they were significant problems at this point.

 

Labour were responsible for signing the construction deal, but it is the Conservative-led coalition government that came in for much of the report’s criticism.

 

The PAC was prompted to investigate the carrier program after the government’s 2012 decision to do a U-turn and revert to the F-35B short takeoff and landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter to equip the carriers.

 

The British originally selected the F-35B, but the coalition government opted to change to the F-35C conventional carrier variant in a botched decision made as part of the 2010 strategic defence and security review (SDSR).

 

Two years later, when the spiraling cost of fitting catapults and traps to the two STOVL-designed warships became clear, the government changed its mind again and reverted to the F-35B.

 

The PAC said the decision to switch to the F-35C was “deeply flawed” on cost grounds and wasted at least 74 million pounds of taxpayers’ money.

 

Hodge said that “at the time of the SDSR, the MoD believed the cost of converting the carriers for the new aircraft would have been between 500 million pounds and 800 million pounds. By May 2012, it had realized that the true cost would be as high as 2 billion pounds.”

 

The renegotiations come as the carrier construction program is approaching the halfway mark. The alliance is preparing to fit the last major structural element of the first of the warships around mid-November, ahead of it being floated out of the yard at Rosyth, Scotland, next summer.

 

The government has committed only to operating one of the carriers and will decide in the 2015 SDSR whether it can afford to operate the second vessel as well or whether it will mothball or sell it.

 

Negotiations to buy a first production batch of F-35Bs to equip the aircraft carriers are currently underway, and the British hope to start flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018.

 

The PAC report said that aside from trying to change the terms of the carrier contract, the MoD was also attempting to renegotiate a wider maritime agreement with UK industry “with a view to incentivise contractors more by transferring cost risk.”

 

The MoD had aimed to conclude negotiations over the summer, said the PAC.

 

BAE and Babcock both have terms of business agreements with the UK government that virtually guarantee workload in return for efficiency savings at their ship construction and repair yards.

 

With two naval shipyards in Glasgow, Scotland, and a third in Portsmouth, southern England, BAE has been in talks with the government for months about reducing its capacity once the aircraft carrier program starts to run down.

 

A decision on future yard closures had been expected in late 2012, but negotiations with the government over several issues, including a possible stop-gap order to fill some of its yard capacity until the Type 26 frigate program enters production later in the decade, have delayed a decision.

 

The PAC also criticized the government for delaying an airborne early warning helicopter program that is vital for the protection of the aircraft carrier.

 

Known as Crowsnest, the program would replace an existing Sea King helicopter-based capability due to be axed in 2016 with an AgustaWestland EH101 rotorcraft system planned to become fully available in 2022 — two years after the first carrier is scheduled to become operational.

 

Hammond defended the money-saving decision.

 

“The Crowsnest program is expected to deliver an initial operating capability by the time the first carrier is in operational service. Maritime surveillance will also be provided by other platforms and systems, including the state of the art radar on the Type 45 Destroyers, working together in a layered defence.”

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