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9 mai 2013 4 09 /05 /mai /2013 11:20
Photo Lockheed Martin

Photo Lockheed Martin

May 7, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


Bloomberg News has this report:


U.S. Navy leaders were warned last year that a $37 billion program to build Littoral Combat Ships can’t meet its promised mission because the vessels are too lightly manned and armed, according to a confidential report.


“This review highlights the gap between ship capabilities and the missions the Navy will need LCS to execute,” said the report prepared last year for the Navy by Rear Admiral Samuel Perez. “Failure to adequately address LCS requirements and capabilities will result in a large number of ships that are ill-suited to execute” regional commanders’ warfighting needs.


The 36-page report obtained by Bloomberg News is at odds with assurances from Navy leaders that their project is on course to deliver a small, speedy and adaptable ship intended to patrol waters close to shore.


Full article here



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9 mai 2013 4 09 /05 /mai /2013 07:35
INS Arihant nuke reactor to be activated in 2-3 weeks: DRDO

May 07, 2013 brahmand.com


NEW DELHI (PTI): Moving towards completing its nuclear triad, India will activate the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant in the "next two to three weeks" paving way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon.


"The nuclear reactor on-board the INS Arihant would be made critical (activated) in next two to three weeks," DRDO chief V K Saraswat told PTI on Sunday.


Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea.


He said after the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon.


INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy's key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials after the nuclear reactor goes critical.


The DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.


The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long durations.


Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up on surface at regular intervals for charging the cells of the vessel

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9 mai 2013 4 09 /05 /mai /2013 07:20
X-47B Completes Key Milestone As It Prepares for Carrier Tests At Sea

May 8th, 2013 By US Navy - defencetalk.com


The Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first-ever arrested landing here May 4, another key step to mature the system for its historic carrier-based tests later this month.


“Landing an unmanned aircraft on an aircraft carrier will be the greatest singular accomplishment for the UCAS demonstration and will serve as the culmination of over a decade of Navy unmanned carrier integration work”, said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. “Shore based arrested landing testing here at NAS Patuxent River is our final check that the X-47B can meet that objective.”


During Saturday’s test, the X-47B used a tailhook on the aircraft to catch a carrier representative cable, known as the MK-7 arresting gear, to quickly stop the aircraft. This is known as an arrested landing, the type of recovery required aboard aircraft carriers. The MK-7 arresting gear is an underground installation of actual carrier equipment that accommodates structural tests and aircraft/arresting gear compatibility studies with all models of U.S. Navy carrier aircraft.


“Shore-based testing allows our combined Navy/Northrop Grumman team to control test conditions before taking the aircraft to the ship,” said Matt Funk, Navy UCAS test team lead. “We are gradually building up to the maximum load conditions we expect to see during an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.”


This month the aircraft will undergo sea-based carrier testing, catapulting from the carrier deck and potentially completing landings aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).


“The entire system has performed very well across a large set of shore-based testing events including aircraft performance, flying qualities, navigation performance, catapult launches, and precision landings designed to stress system operation,” Engdahl said. “Our final carrier-landing software simulation shows excellent performance, flight test results are very good, and we are confident the X-47B will perform well on the ship.”


The X-47B is a tailless, autonomous aircraft designed with unique features for an unmanned aircraft, such as carrier suitable landing gear and structure. While the X-47B itself will not be used for operational use, the UCAS-D program is developing a concept of operations and demonstrating technologies for use in follow-on unmanned carrier based aircraft programs.


“This actual demonstration of the X-47B unmanned carrier operations is a first, essential step toward developing a carrier-based unmanned system for the U.S. Navy,” said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, who leads the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. “A carrier-based unmanned aircraft will increase carrier strike group relevance, provide opportunities for training and readiness cost avoidance and enable our future forward deployed carrier air wings to provide continuous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.”

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 16:40
Russian Navy's Project 20380-class lead ship, Steregushchy

Russian Navy's Project 20380-class lead ship, Steregushchy

8 May 2013 naval-technology.com


The Russian Navy is set to receive its third Steregushchy-class (Project 20380) corvette, Boiky, on 16 May from St Petersburg's Severnaya Verf shipyard.


Built at Severnaya Verf, Boiky has completed sea trials and was put through a series of final tests at the shipyard to validate its capabilities, as reported by RIA Novosti.


Designed by Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau, the Steregushchy-class corvette has a displacement capacity of 2,000t, is capable of reaching a speed of 27k, and can accommodate a crew of 100, including helicopter maintenance personnel.


The corvette is armed with Kh-35 missiles, 3M-54 Klub missiles and Arsenal A-190 100mm naval gun, as well as two 30mm six-barrelled AK-630M automatic gun mounts, fitted with two quadruple torpedo tubes for Paket-E/NK anti-torpedo missiles.

"The ship provides artillery support for beach landings and can also destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft."


Featuring stealth technology to reduce secondary radar fields, as well as acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures, the ship provides artillery support for beach landings and can also destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft.


Powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, the 20380-class vessels are fitted with Sigma combat information management system, Zarya-ME sonar suite, TK-25E-5 ECM system and PK-10E decoy system.


The first corvette, Steregushchy, is already in service with Russia's Baltic Fleet, while the second ship, Soobrazitelny, joined the navy in 2011.


The fourth vessel Stoyky was rolled-out at St Petersburg's Severnaya Verf shipyard in May 2012 and is scheduled to enter service in November, following a series of sea trials.


Around 30 Steregushchy-class ships are being considered for procurement by the country in a bid to safeguard oil and gas transportation routes in the Black and the Baltic seas, as well as protect its coastal waters.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 16:35
Austal: Response to Australian Defence White Paper and future Submarine Skills Industry Plan

08 May 2013 Pacific Sentinel

Austal has welcomed today’s release of Australia’s 2013 Defence White Paper and the Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan, noting that they foreshadowed a more conducive climate for Australian naval shipbuilding – including two significant patrol boat acquisition programs that lie firmly within Austal’s field of expertise.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the announcements indicated the Government had recognised that naval shipbuilding was a strategic capability that could and should be retained and enhanced through increased co-ordination between Defence and industry.
“It is very encouraging that the Government has expressed a commitment to, at the very least, consider balancing the shipbuilding program to provide greater stability as well as providing specific measures to aid the retention of critical skills,” he said.
“We believe a coordinated, long-term approach to naval shipbuilding would benefit both Defence and industry. More consistent and more predictable work would enable companies like Austal to deliver increasingly better value to the Commonwealth and foster the retention and development of the excellent skills that exist in our industry. It would also help mitigate the risks and costs associated with adjusting to meet the large variations in demand which are traditionally associated with naval shipbuilding.”
Most specifically to Austal, Mr Bellamy said the company’s existing capabilities in Western Australia could be particularly beneficial to the planned acquisition of new patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy and the Pacific Maritime Security Program, which were outlined in the Defence White Paper.


“Our success with patrol boat programs for state, Australian and international governments shows that we already have the world-class engineering, manufacturing and management skills and facilities, and a portfolio of proven designs that can readily be applied to both these new projects,” Mr Bellamy said.
“The fact that we can undertake construction of these vessels here in Australia, with Australian technology, and supported by a significant existing supply chain largely made up of Australian small and medium enterprises, means these programs can directly support the retention and enhancement of the nation’s naval shipbuilding capabilities.
Cape class Patrol Boat (File Photo)
“Provided the timing allows for continuing production from the current Cape Class Patrol Boat construction program, this would be perfectly in line with the recommendations of the Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Commonwealth, for Austal and our employees, and for the diverse industry that supports Australia’s defence and maritime security capabilities.”
As one of Australia’s principal naval shipbuilding companies, Austal was represented on the Expert Industry Panel by Andrew Bellamy.
“As an Australian-headquartered, globally operating naval prime contractor, Austal was very pleased to contribute to this important initiative,” Mr Bellamy said. “We look forward to reviewing the Skills Plan in detail and contributing to subsequent implementation actions.”
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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 16:35
The solid-fuelled Agni-5 missile

The solid-fuelled Agni-5 missile

May 8, 2013 Ajai Shukla – business-standard.com


New Delhi - Ending worldwide speculation about the futuristic Agni-6 missile, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has briefed Business Standard about the direction of India's ballistic missile development programme after the Agni-5 enters service, probably in 2015.


DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat, and missile programme chief Dr Avinash Chander, say the Agni-6 project has not been formally sanctioned. However, the missile's specifications and capabilities have been decided and development is proceeding apace. Once the ongoing Agni-5 programme concludes flight-testing, the defence ministry (MoD) will formally okay the Agni-6 programme and allocate funding.


Chander says the Agni-6 will carry a massive three-tonne warhead, thrice the weight of the one-tonne warhead that Agni missiles have carried so far. This will allow each Agni-6 missile to launch several nuclear warheads -Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Warheads (MIRVs) - with each warhead striking a different target. Each warhead - called Maneuverable Reentry Vehicle (MARV) - performs evasive maneuvers while hurtling down towards its target, confusing enemy air defence missiles that are trying to destroy them mid-air.


The DRDO is at an advanced stage of developing these warhead technologies. But the difficult challenge is building a booster rocket that can propel a three-tonne payload to targets 5000 kilometres away. This weighs almost as much as the satellite payload carried by the Indian Space Research Organisation's much larger and heavier Global Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).


"Our ballistic missiles must be compact and road mobile, even the Agni-6 with its heavy payload. We will do this by building the first stage with composites, fitting the Agni-6 with India's first composite 40-tonne rocket motor. This is a technical challenge but we have good capability in lightweight composites," says Chander.


The road mobile Agni-6 would also have stringent limits on its length. "It must be carried on a standard size trailer that can move from one part of the country to another, turn on our roads, cross our bridges and climb our heights. As the payload weight increases, we will require more advanced technologies to keep the missile's length constant," explains Chander.


Coaxing higher performance from smaller rockets becomes especially important in submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which can be no longer than 13 metres so that they can fit into the cramped confines of a submarine. Even long-range SLBMs that can fly 14,000 kilometres, like the Chinese JL-2, are built no longer than 13 metres. The DRDO faces this challenge as it develops the K-4 SLBM for the country's Arihant-class nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).


Eventually the Agni-6 will be no taller than the Agni-5, i.e. about 17 metres, says Chander. It will, however, be heavier and thicker - slightly over two metres - which will cater for the different shape of the MIRV payload.


"The timeframe for developing a new missile system is about five years and the DRDO has mostly achieved this in the Agni programme," says Chander. Calculating five years from April 2012, when the Agni-5 had its debut launch, the first test of the Agni-6 could happen in 2017.


The DRDO says the Agni-6 will have a longer range than the 5,000-kilometre Agni-5, but is not mentioning figures. "The MARVs and MIRVs will give us extended range. I will not be able to tell you how much because that is secret," Saraswat told Business Standard.


Ballistic calculations, however, suggest that at least some of the MIRV warheads on the Agni-6 would reach at least 6,000 kilometres. In a missile that travels 5,000 kilometres, the last MIRV warhead released flies an extra 1,000 kilometres.


Currently, the DRDO is readying for the second test next month of the Agni-5 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. This will be fired in the same configuration as its debut test a year ago, in order to establish the missile's reliability. A third test by end-2013 will see the missile fired from a canister.


"We will conduct at least five-six more Agni-5 tests before the missile enters operational service. After the repeat test this month or the next, we will conduct two test firings from a canister. Then the military units that will operate the Agni-5 will conduct two-three test firings as part of the induction process. Even after induction, the users conduct test firings as part of the Strategic Forces Command training plan," says Avinash Chander.


The Agni-5 is a three-stage, solid-fuel missile but its first stage consists of a metallic rocket motor, while the second and third stages have composite motors.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 16:30
Boeing 737 AEW&C de la Royal Australian Air Force

Boeing 737 AEW&C de la Royal Australian Air Force

May. 8, 2013 By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News


ANKARA — Turkey has imposed sanctions on Boeing for major delays in the US company’s spy plane program, a top Turkish official said. But Turkish leaders are not disclosing the penalties, citing commercial secrecy.


Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said major delays in Turkey’s multibillion-dollar program for the purchase of four airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing were due to the company’s failure in developing the system as well as other uncontrolled events within the program.


Under a July 23, 2003, contract, priced at more than US $1.6 billion, Boeing was to develop and deliver four AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish Air Force in 2008. The program involved the delivery of the 737-700 airframe, ground radar and control systems, ground control segments for mission crew training, mission support and maintenance support.


Yilmaz said April 8 that Turkey has paid Boeing only for work completed and has imposed legal sanctions for the delays considered the company’s failure.


“Compensation for the delays and other legal sanctions are being imposed [as part of Boeing’s contractual obligations],” Yilmaz said.


GTC Iletisim Danismanligi, a public relations firm that handles media queries for Boeing in Turkey, referred questions to Turkey’s procurement authorities.


Defense procurement officials said neither Turkey nor Boeing is required to disclose the clauses deemed as “commercial secrecy” in the original contract, including the compensation for delays. The generic compensation in any major Turkish defense contract is 0.03 percent per day, but different contracts can have lower or higher percentages and different rules of application.


“In the case of Boeing’s delays, there has been an agreement as to how the company should compensate for the delays,” a senior procurement official said. He did not say how much or whether the payment would be in cash or in the form of parts and maintenance supplies because “disclosing that would mean a breach of the contract.”


Procurement officials also said that the “force majeure” Yilmaz mentioned in his official explanation essentially referred to delays outside Boeing’s control, such as a now-defunct Israeli blockade of some of the parts in the program.


A clampdown by the Israeli Defense Ministry on the delivery of subsystems for the Turkish AEW&C program was only recently removed. Elta, the Israeli maker of the electronic support measures (ESMs) systems for the 737-700 serial, had since autumn 2011 been lobbying to remove the MoD licensing block preventing the delivery of the systems to Turkey.


Elta is a subcontractor of Boeing in this program and was building the ESMs for four aircraft under a subcontract worth more than $100 million.


The ESM is a passive, purely defensive system that does not enhance the firepower of the Turkish Air Force. The AEW&C system as a whole can be used offensively to direct fighters to their targets or defensively in order to counter attacks by enemy forces in the air and on the ground.


However, defense analysts agree that the ESM is a defensive subsystem.


The Israeli MoD, in December 2011, refused to allow Elta and Elbit, another Israeli company, to complete deliveries of long-range aerial photography systems to the Turkish Air Force.


The clampdown on the Boeing-led program marked the first Israeli government decision to force a US weapons-maker to fail to fulfill its contractual commitments to a third country governmental buyer — and at a time when the program itself faced major delays.


The 737-700 aircraft are to be used as part of Turkey’s NATO capabilities.


An airborne early warning and control system is an airborne radar system designed to detect aircraft, ships and vehicles at long ranges, and to control and command the battle space in an air engagement by directing fighter and attack aircraft strikes. Used at a high altitude, the radars on the aircraft allow the operators to distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft hundreds of miles away.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 12:50
Poland rejoins NATO AGS programme

17 Apr 2013 By:   Bartosz Glowacki – FG


Warsaw - Poland has confirmed its intention to formally rejoin NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) programme as a core nation, with the alliance's managing organisation now preparing the relevant documents for its reinclusion.


Warsaw was involved in the early stage of the AGS project, but in early 2009 decided to leave the collaborative effort, citing financial problems.


Announcing its decision following a 21 March meeting, Poland's defence ministry says: "Joining AGS will be very significant for increasing Poland's meaning and strengthening its position in NATO structures."


It expects to re-enter the programme in early 2014, contributing 4.5% of the total AGS funds, or roughly €71 million ($93 million) until 2017.


Polish companies including Bumar Elektronika, Netline, Transbit and Wojskowy Instytut Lacznosci are expected to participate in the programme, providing radar equipment, component manufacturing and maintenance activities.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 12:50
BAE Systems toujours prudent pour 2013

08.05.2013 Romandie.com (AWP)


Londres (awp/afp) - Le groupe de défense britannique BAE Systems a confirmé mercredi ses prévisions prudentes pour l'année 2013, sous la pression des économies budgétaires en Europe et aux États-Unis, qui pourraient s'améliorer en cas de finalisation d'un important contrat en Arabie Saoudite.


Le numéro un européen du secteur indique toujours tabler sur une progression "modeste" de son bénéfice par action sous-jacent en 2013, une prévision qui reste sujette aux incertitudes concernant le budget de la défense aux États-Unis, où le groupe est très implanté.


Le résultat par action pourrait cependant augmenter d'environ 3 pence en cas de finalisation d'un important contrat avec l'Arabie saoudite.


Ce pays avait signé en 2007 avec le Royaume-Uni un contrat pour l'achat de 72 avions de combat Eurofighter Typhoon auprès de BAE Systems. Mais dans le cadre de ce programme nommé "Salam", les deux parties négocient actuellement une augmentation du prix des 48 appareils qui restent à livrer.


Les discussions avec le royaume sont toujours en cours même si les livraisons ont repris en avril, indique dans un rapport d'activité BAE Systems, dont le projet de fusion avec l'européen EADS a capoté l'an dernier.


"Nous continuons à croître sur nos marchés internationaux et avons consolidé nos solides prises de commandes enregistrées en 2012 avec 2,3 milliards de livres de commandes hors des États-Unis et du Royaume-Uni jusqu'à présent cette année", a souligné le directeur général, Ian King.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 12:50
Maritime Heron UAV  photo Israel Aerospace Industries

Maritime Heron UAV photo Israel Aerospace Industries

2 May 2013 By Arie Egozi – FG


Tel Aviv - A European project intended to prove the feasibility of using satellite communications to enable unmanned air system operations in non-segregated airspace completed a 6h flight from San Javier air base in Spain on 24 April.


Performed using a maritime surveillance variant of the Israel Aerospace Industries Heron, the demonstration involved the beyond line of sight control of the air vehicle, with satellite communications maintained between an operator in its ground control station and air traffic controllers.


Funded by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency, the Desire programme test was conducted by an international consortium led by Spain's Indra, and also included AT-One, CIRA, SES ASTRA and Thales Alenia Space.


The Heron's satellite data link was engaged after take-off, while the aircraft was still in segregated airspace, before it entered class-C airspace at 20,000ft (6,100m) under the supervision of Spanish air navigation service provider Aena.


During the trial, a manned aircraft from the Spanish air force academy approached the UAS, simulating frontal and 90˚ collision trajectories. "The pilots of the two aircraft followed the separation instructions issued by the air traffic controllers, demonstrating the safe operation of remotely-piloted aircraft, even in an emergency situation," the EDA, ESA and Indra say in a joint statement.


Land and maritime surveillance information was also relayed to the ground control station during the mission.


"All the information collected in these tests will be analysed and compared with the safety requirements being established by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the operational requirements being set by Eurocontrol," the programme partners say.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 12:35
Problem in Nirbhay cruise missile identified: Antony

May 08, 2013, zeenews.india.com


New Delhi: Scientists have identified the problem in Nirbhay cruise missile, which led to its malfunction during the first test flight last month, and corrective design is being implemented, Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said.


In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, he said, "Scientists have identified that Inertial Navigation System has malfunctioned and corrective design/modification are being implemented."


On whether the missile achieved only partial success, Antony said, "Yes. Except for covering the full range by flying in all way points, all the objectives set for the cruise missile functionality have been met fully."


Maintaining that the missile had a perfect launch with the navigation systems correctly touching the "first way point", he said, "Deviation was observed while going to second way point. When the deviation extended the safety limit, mission abort command was issued from the ground and the destruction mechanism inside the missile was activated."


In reply to a separate question, the Minister said DRDO has proposed to set up a missile testing centre and a launch pad at Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 1200 crore.


"The proposal is at a very initial stage. So far, only proposal for requirement for land has been initiated with the Government of Andhra Pradesh."

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 12:20
Kafka et les chars que l’US Army ne veut pas mais qu’elle aura

01.05.2013 F de St V / Mars Attaque


Le département de la Défense (DoD) pourrait dépenser jusqu’à 436 millions de $ (environ 330 millions €) sur les 2 prochaines années fiscales pour acheter de nouveaux chars lourds Abrams (à 7,5 millions de $ l’unité). Des chars que l’US Army ne veut pas.

PDA 30a (6)

« Si nous avions eu le choix, nous aurions utilisé cet argent différemment » a plusieurs fois déclaré le chef d’état-major de l’armée de Terre, le général Ray Odierno, au Congrès et dans la presse. Rien n’y a fait, les chars seront commandés et reçus. Comme en 2012, où 255 millions de $ avaient été dépensés pour 42 chars. Dingue, non ?


Du complexe militaro-industriel au complexe politico-industriel ?

Le 17 janvier 1961, à trois jours de la fin de son second mandat, le président des États-Unis Dwight David Eisenhower prononce un discours devenu depuis célèbre. Il y met en garde ses compatriotes contre « l’acquisition d’une influence injustifiée, qu’elle soit recherchée ou non, par le complexe militaro-industriel ».

Le futur retraité rappelle néanmoins l’absolue nécessité du développement de cet attelage militaro-industriel pour que « la sécurité et la liberté puissent prospérer ensemble ». Un demi-siècle plus tard, le 15 décembre 2011, le sénateur John Mc Cain note au Congrès que le conseil de l’ancien président n’a pas été suivi et que le monstre froid a depuis bien évolué. L’ancien pilote de l’US Navy durant la guerre du Vietnam, actuel élu de l’Arizona, indique que ce système serait devenu un « military-industrial-congressional complex » relevant par cette formule la connexion de cet ensemble avec la branche législative du pouvoir politique américain. Une harmonie entre les trois branches du triangle Défense – Industrie – État pas toujours garantie.

Suite à l’absence d’accord au Congrès, les coupes automatiques (sequestration) affectent depuis le 1er mars le budget fédéral américain pour tenter de réduire le déficit public. Le DoD doit trouver 42 milliards de $ d’économies d’ici la fin du mois de septembre, en plus des 487 milliards de $ à économiser sur 10 ans, suite au Budget Control Act voté en août 2011. Le budget de la Défense américain part de si haut, me direz-vous… Et pourtant, à très court terme, le niveau opérationnel des unités non-déployés sur les théâtres prioritaires (Corée du Sud et Afghanistan) devrait être affecté par une baisse des crédits d’entraînement. De nombreux contractuels, ayant pour certains un rôle vital dans le soutien (maintenance, administration, renseignement, etc.) des opérations, devraient être mis au chômage partiel (« furlough »). Le lancement de programmes jugés indispensables devrait être rétardé, tandis que d’autres, jugés pourtant non prioritaires, seront lancés…


Fiscalement, le Congrès fait la pluie et le beau temps

L’achat d’Abrams non désiré n’est, pour une fois, pas de la faute des militaires, qui ont généralement tendance à demander toujours plus. Cette fois-ci, ils veulent dépenser autant de précieux dollars des contribuables américains, mais autrement. Or le Congrès est en embuscade et ne voit pas la chose de la même façon.

Via les 2 phases (plus ou moins distinctes) de l’autorisation d’un programme et de l’appropriation des fonds nécessaires, le Congrès a la haute main sur le budget fédéral (cf. cette étude de Maya Kandel / IRSEM). Par un truchement plus ou moins habile, il peut décider d’accorder des sommes à certains programmes et obliger à les lancer, bien qu’ils n’aient pas été proposés dans le budget prévisionnel d’un département ou d’une agence. Le pouvoir de contrainte est de facto largement supérieur à celui d’acceptation ou de refus d’une loi de finances annuel ou triennal soumise aux votes du Parlement français. Aux États-Unis, un programme, après avoir été débattu lors d’auditions au sein d’une commission (dans ce cas, celle des forces armées), est validé en session plénière, perdu au milieu d’un nombre important d’autres programmes dont l’immense majorité n’a pas retenu l’intérêt des votants.

Il n’est donc pas rare que des programmes désignés comme des « pets projects » (« projet de compagnie » ou programmes soutenus par un membre d’une commission car intéressant sa circonscription) passent discrètement. Manque de chance, celui des chars Abrams fait du bruit, et cela depuis plus de 2 ans.


Puisque l’US Army vous dit qu’elle n’en a pas besoin

La première variable prise en compte dans le lancement d’un programme est l’intérêt opérationnel. Le char Abrams (dans ses différentes versions) doté d’un canon de 120 mm est l’arme de la réassurance en cas de conflit majeur. Utilisé récemment en Irak lors des deux dernières guerres du Golfe et à quelques unités dans le sud de l’Afghanistan (par l’USMC), il est déployé notamment en Corée du Sud, fer de lance de 70 tonnes d’une dissuasion conventionnelle face à une possible agression de la Corée du Nord. Les 22 derniers chars américains de ce type ont quitté le continent européen le 18 mars 2013, laissant cet espace vide de chars américains pour la première fois depuis 69 ans.

Consommateur en carburant (alors que le prix du baril a explosé) et relativement peu engagés, l’US Army en conserve en nombre (plus de 8.000) mais en garde une majorité sous cocon (plus de 3.000 dans le désert en Californie), prêts à resservir. Aujourd’hui, avec le nombre et le type de brigades (d’infanterie, lourde ou Stryker) visés, l’US Army se satisfait de son parc de chars lourds en activité (de 3 ans de moyenne d’âge) et de sa composition (2/3 des 2.400 chars au standard M1A2SEPv2, le dernier). Elle conserve un certain nombre de chars d’une version ancienne (M1A1 : tableaux de bord non colorisés, électronique moins performantes, communications moins fiables, moindre protection, etc.), plus simples à utiliser pour des unités de la Garde nationale et de la Réserve, qui bénéficient de moins de jours d’entrainement. Sans oublier les quelques 400 chars (principalement au standard M1A1) du Corps des Marines.


Des intérêts supérieurs et/ou particuliers variables

Une autre variable est prise en compte dans la délivrance de crédits publics, avec encore plus d’acuité ces derniers temps : une certaine préférence nationale économique pour garantir un niveau d’emploi suffisant aux citoyens américains. En effet, la réduction des budgets de la Défense de 42 milliards de $ d’ici septembre 2013 pourrait conduire, selon des études commanditées par les acteurs industriels concernés, à la suppression d’un million d’emplois dans le secteur américain de la Défense. Ainsi, les élus du Congrès n’hésitent pas à défendre avec force les emplois de leurs circonscriptions qui pourraient être menacés si des industriels américains ne recevaient pas des fonds publics ou si des industriels non américains remportaient des contrats face à des acteurs américains. En effet, plus de 360 districts sur les 435 que compte le découpage électoral américain hébergent des industries de l’armement ou des sous-traitants directs de ces quelques géants de l’armement.

C’est l’axe majeur de la défense, et du lobbying à 11 millions de $ en 2012, sans compter les dons aux membres influents du Congrès, du maitre d’œuvre industriel concerné, General Dynamics. Ce consortium émarge à la 4ème ou 5ème place (selon les années) parmi les plus importantes entreprises du secteur de la défense américaine. Détenue par le gouvernement mais opérée par General Dynmacis (GOCO : governement owned, contractor operated), la chaine d’assemblage de Lima (« Lima Army Tank Plant » dans l’Ohio, dernière chaine de chars lours aux USA) de la filiale Land Systems est le 5ème employeur de la ville avec quelques 700 employés (contre 1.100, il y a encore 2 ans). Une fermeture de la chaine aurait des conséquences directes sur ces emplois, et indirectes sur la chaine de sous-traitants (environ 560, employant 18.000 personnes en 2011). C’est le cas, par exemple de Verhoff Machine and Welding (aussi dans l’Ohio) qui réalise notamment les sièges de ces chars, et dont les commandes sont déjà passées de 20 millions de $ en 2011 à 7 millions de $ en 2012. 25 employés ont du être licenciés.

Ainsi, les représentants (Républicains et Démocrates) des districts concernés, qu’ils soient ou non des adeptes de la réduction des dépenses publiques (« deficit hawks »), montent au créneau. C’est le cas principalement des républicains Jim Jordan et Rob Portman représentant le 4ème district de l’Ohio et du sénateur démocrate Sherrod Brown du 13ème district. Les 40 sous-traitants présents en Pennsylvanie ont aussi trouvés leur défenseur en la personne du sénateur Robert Casey, par exemple. En avril 2012, une lettre signée par 173 membres du Congrès avait été envoyée au secrétaire à la Défense d’alors, Leon Panetta. Le débat dépasse bien le bipartisme, tous unis pour défendre l’emploi américain.


Investissements publics et maintien des compétences

Troisième facteur, ces quelques 300 millions € doivent permettre pour General Dynamics de maintenir encore deux années des compétences industrielles. Pas tant celles des bureaux d’études (les plus critiques du fait de la haute valeur ajoutée d’ingénieurs aux compétences rares à retrouver), mais celles de l’outil de production (ouvriers qualifiés, qui, au chômage, n’hésiteront pas à aller voir ailleurs). Or, des crédits de R&D sont déjà alloués aux bureaux d’études de GD pour la réalisation de la nouvelle version du char Abrams qui doit être livrée à partir de 2017 et que l’US Army attend. Ces crédits d’études pourraient même être augmentés si ces 300 millions ne sevraient pas acheter des chars neufs.

Malgré les contrats à l’exportation encore à honorer (pour compléter les parcs en Égypte (1.000 chars, produits et assemblés en partie sur place), en Irak (140), au Koweit (218), en Arabie Saoudite (370), voir peut-être demain en Grèce), les chaines d’assemblage de Lima devront fermées sans de nouvelles commandes. En effet, le nombre de chars à produire ne permettra pas une rentabilité à court terme. Outils de « la diplomatie du char lourd made in USA » pour influencer les équilibres de puissance dans certaines régions du monde, les contrats de vente à l’export de ces Abrams ne suffisent pas à garantir une cadence minimale. Commandés, les 4 à 5 chars par mois destinés à l’US Army viendraient aider à remplir les chaines d’assemblage, en plus des 5 par mois pour l’Arabie Saoudite et des 4 pour Égypte. La production serait néanmoins bien loin du seuil maximal estimé à 70 unités par mois.

Aux difficultés présentés par l’industriel de réouvrir une chaine de production après 2017 suite aux pertes de compétences jugées irrémédiables, le général Odierno rétorque que 2,8 milliards de $ pourraient être économisés (ou en partie réattribués) sans commandes d’ici là de nouveaux chars lourds. En effet, la fermeture des chaines d’assemblage est estimée à seulement 600 millions de $ environ. Les fermer n’est pas sans conséquence notamment si de futurs clients, en nombre suffisant, se font connaître d’ici là et permettent de remplir le plan charge de l’industriel qui tiendrait jusqu’en 2017 via les contrats à l’exportation. Encore faut-il que ces contrats soient remportés. D’où l’agressivité actuellement de General Dynamics, et des industriels américains en général, sur les appels d’offres internationaux.


En guise de conclusion

Pour le secrétaire à la Défense Chuck Hagel, il est donc nécessaire de se battre pied à pied sur chacun des programmes jugés non indispensables ou trop couteux par les armées. Alors même que le DoD est à la recherche d’économies pour financer d’autres agrégats (pour reprendre un terme français) : Infrastructures, Petits équipements, Carburants, Activités opérationnelles, etc. En somme, tout ce qui permet, hors Programmes à effets majeurs ou PEM (les grands programmes), de s’entraîner et de disposer de forces opérationnelles, en plus d’être équipées. De garantir la cohérence et l’efficacité d’un système finalement.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 11:50
Bridge Section of HMS Queen Elizabeth Put into Place

The 700 tonne navigation bridge of the future aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is lowered into place at Rosyth Shipyard in Scotland.

The construction of the Royal Navy’s new Aircraft Carrier took a huge step forward, as the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP witnessed the installation of the ship’s navigation bridge.

Nearly two thirds of the ship has now been built and the structure is due to be completed by the end of this year. The Carrier is then expected to leave the dockyard in 2014 before beginning her sea trials with the Royal Navy.

The forward island fitted houses the bridge where the captain and navigation crew will operate. The enormous steel section was built in Portsmouth and transported by barge to Fife, where the Carriers are being assembled. Both HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales will have two island sections which will provide independent control of navigation and air traffic control operations.

© Crown Copyright 2013
Photographer: Aircraft Carrier Alliance

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 07:20
The bow of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was mounted on the ship in early April. The ship will remain in the drydock in which it was built until November.

The bow of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was mounted on the ship in early April. The ship will remain in the drydock in which it was built until November.


May. 6, 2013 By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — The launch of the US aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford has been moved back from July to November, a consequence of production delays identified two years ago.


The move comes weeks after the US Navy and shipbuilder Newport News Shipbuilding moved the ship’s delivery from September 2015 — which has been the contracted date for some years — to early 2016.


“We've been tracking and reporting schedule risk for several years and actively working to retire that risk,” Chris Johnson, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said May 7 in an email. “Following a detailed review of the schedule in February 2013, the Navy and the shipbuilder concluded that a delay in the launch would allow the shipbuilder to complete the remaining critical path work and allow for increased outfitting to most economically complete the ship.”


Earlier, Johnson acknowledged the problems associated with the first ship of a new design.


“Certainly it’s not ideal, but in this case it is very much a first-of-class issue. And those ships have challenges.”


The Ford is the first of the CVN 78-class carriers, the first new US carrier design since the mid-1960s. The 100,000-ton ships — the largest warships in the world — are also the first to be entirely designed using computer-aided design technologies.


Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, is the only shipbuilder in the world capable of building full-sized nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.


The shipbuilder, in a statement released Monday, acknowledged its problems in making up the schedule delays. HII’s statement in full:


“Working closely with the Navy, we have revised the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) launch date from July 2013 to November 2013. Although actions to resolve first-of-class issues have retired significant schedule risks, the revised launch date allows increased outfitting and ship construction that are most economically done prior to ship launch.


“As the first new design carrier beginning construction in more than 40 years, CVN 78 is designed to provide increased capability and reduced total ownership cost by about $4 billion compared to Nimitz-class carriers. For this first-of-class ship, construction commenced in parallel with design completion based on earlier decisions at [the] Department of Defense. Ongoing design during the construction process caused delay and inefficiencies in procurement, manufacturing, and assembly.


“We have demonstrated that delaying launch (and therefore delivery) to allow for increased outfitting and construction prior to launch is the most economical path forward to deliver the tremendous capability and affordability improvements resident in Ford. “


NAVSEA also released a statement on the shift in launch date:


“The CVN 78 launch date will be revised from July 2013 to November 2013, and delivery will be shifted to second quarter FY 2016. Although shipbuilder actions to resolve first-of-class issues have retired significant schedule risks to launch and stabilized schedule performance, they have not been able to overcome the 17 weeks of schedule pressure identified two years ago.


“The Navy and the shipbuilder concluded last month that a delay in the launch would allow the shipbuilder to complete the remaining critical path work and allow for increased outfitting to most economically complete the ship. The ship is expected to be 70 percent complete at launch, well prepared for subsequent shipboard testing.


“Ongoing design and new technology development during the construction process caused delays in material procurement, manufacturing and assembly.


“First-of-class producibility issues [that impacted the schedule included] the use of thinner steels which caused difficulties with structural erection; new processes for advanced coating systems; and qualification of new material components. The shipbuilder recommended a delay in launch in order to accomplish greater completion levels prior to launch and thereby enable the lead ship to be completed most economically. The Navy agreed.


“As reported by the Navy previously in its December 2011 CVN 78 Selected Acquisition Report, the Navy projects a most likely total ship end cost of $12.887 billion. This includes the cost of construction, government furnished equipment, and design funding of $3.3 billion for non-recurring engineering which is the investment in the 11 ship class design (not just the lead ship of the class, CVN 78). Current shipyard construction cost estimates are consistent with this Navy estimate from 2 years ago.”

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 07:20
AIM-120 AMRAAM (right) fitted in a weapons bay of a F-22 Raptor photo USAF

AIM-120 AMRAAM (right) fitted in a weapons bay of a F-22 Raptor photo USAF

May. 7, 2013 By AARON MEHTA  - Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US Air Force has requested $841 million in the fiscal 2014 budget for tactical missiles, a jump of nearly $200 million from proposed 2013 levels.


The money would fund the purchase of 1,164 missiles, up from 991 in the 2013 proposed base budget. In total, the US Defense Department wants to spend $5.34 billion for “missiles, spacecraft, rockets and related equipment.”


The largest financial request is for 199 of Raytheon’s advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs), for which the service requested $340 million. The US Navy, which also uses AMRAAMs, has requested 54 missiles. The budget request also notes that foreign military sales of the AIM-120C7 model are projected at the rate of 200 per year.


The Air Force has also requested $291.1 million for 183 joint air-to-surface standoff missiles (JASSMs) designed by Lockheed Martin. An autonomous, air-to-ground precision weapon, the JASSM comes in two models: the baseline version and the extended-range (JASSM-ER) model, which improves the range by more than two and a half times. In the fiscal 2014 request, 80 of the missiles will be of the ER variety, but going forward, the service expects to phase out purchases of the baseline model by fiscal 2017.


Other tactical weapons the Air Force has requested include 225 Sidewinder missiles for $119.9 million, 144 small diameter bombs at $42.3 million, and 413 Hellfire missiles designed for use by Predator unmanned aircraft. The Hellfires will cost $48.5 million

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 17:35
Boeing, others investing in South Korea

SEOUL, May 7 (UPI)


Boeing and six other U.S. companies have reportedly promised to invest $380 million in South Korea.


The pledges of direct foreign investment were made Monday to South Korean government officials visiting the United States along with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.


"The decisions of the seven U.S. corporations demonstrate their trust in the South Korean economy without regard to various uncertainties in the country," Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick said.


"Based on the new administration's resolute diplomatic and security policies, we will make active and strategic efforts to attract foreign direct investment."


The Korea Times newspaper reported that Boeing will invest $120 million to establish a maintenance, repair and overhaul center for F-15K Slam Eagle avionics components in South Gyeongsang province. The facility will be the first Boeing MRO facility in Asia.


U.S. company Curtiss-Wright will invest $30 million in South Korea to shore up its capacity in nuclear reactor valves, while Almost Heroes, an animation studio, will make a $20 million investment for creation of products to will be screened in the United States.


The newspaper quoted the minister as saying the other U.S. companies would invest in solar cells, leisure facilities and logistics centers.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 17:30
photo Rafael

photo Rafael

May. 6, 2013 By BARBARA OPALL-ROME – Defense news


Adapts Older 1,000-lb. SPICE for JSF


TEL AVIV — Israel’s state-owned Rafael is expanding its SPICE family of autonomous, jam-resistant, surgical standoff weapons with a new 250-pound missile against fixed and moving targets.


Now in advanced development, the newest version of the company’s Smart, Precision Impact, Cost-Effective (SPICE) weapon — known here as SPICE250 — features the same day-night electro-optical seeker and advanced scene-matching algorithms that allow 1,000-pound and 2,000-pound SPICE missiles to autonomously home in on preplanned targets some 100 kilometers away.


Like the much larger, combat-proven SPICE weapons, the downsized SPICE250 is designed for “one-shot, one-kill” without having to rely on satellite guidance or target coordinates, industry sources here said. The new SPICE250 features advanced data link communications, a multieffect warhead and inherent bomb damage assessment capabilities that optimize the standoff system for strikes against moving targets.


“We believe SPICE250 will be a compelling extension of the SPICE family. It’s a versatile system relevant for all target sets, with the ability to engage a single pixel and nothing else,” said Yuval Miller, Rafael’s director for air-to-surface systems.


Miller said the SPICE250 has the potential to answer operational needs now supported by a combination of munitions, including laser- and GPS-guided standoff penetration weapons.


“It could very well change the way air forces organize their inventory and build their force,” he said.


Miller said the firm already is under contract to supply SPICE250 to the Israel Air Force and is working to expand its portfolio of international customers.


The Rafael executive said the new weapon could be integrated on a variety of platforms, with initial plans focused on F-16Is.


In an interview following the November 2012 Pillar of Defense campaign in Gaza, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) brigadier general said the service aims to enhance its air-to-ground strike arsenal with systems offering greater precision and multimission flexibility.


The officer, head of the air branch on the IAF staff, said the service employed nearly 100 percent precision-guided munitions against 1,400 separate targets during the eight-day Pillar of Defense operation, with success rates “in significant excess of 90 percent.”


The IAF general did not mention SPICE or other specific weapons slated for multiyear funding, but credited local industry for its “intimate knowledge of our cur­rent and future operational requirements.”


The Rafael SPICE, particularly the 2,000-pound version, was proven in Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon; the December 2008-January 2009 Cast Lead operation in Gaza; and most recently in the Pillar of Defense anti-rocket war in Gaza.


Israeli defense and industry sources said the SPICE250 would provide a locally made option to requirements now answered by the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) by Chicago-based Boeing or the new SDB II by Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon.


Israel has procured hundreds of the Boeing SDBs for launch against fixed targets from F-15Is.


The Raytheon SDB II is slated for low-rate production later this year and has not yet been offered to foreign customers. In addition to its planned use against moving targets by a broad range of manned fighters and bombers in the U.S. inventory, SDB II has been proposed for launch by the MQ-9 Reaper UAV.


SPICE1000 for JSF


In parallel, Rafael plans to integrate its 1,000-pound SPICE on Israel’s planned fleet of F-35I Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).


The US government has not yet authorized Israel to integrate its own weapons into the F-35’s internal bays, but a defense source in Washington said permission is likely to be codified in negotiations toward a follow-on contract for remaining aircraft.


“There are understandings that could be implemented in follow-on agreements,” a US defense source said. “We understand Israel’s desire to integrate unique weaponry and subsystems [into the F-35] and they understand our concerns, especially regarding the risks involved in making changes to such a highly integrated fifth generation fighter.”


He added that that prospective US permission would likely be limited to JSFs destined for Israel, and probably would preclude Israeli exports of internally carried JSF weaponry and subsystems.


“Our intention is to have the 1,000-pound version actually integrated into the bay,” Miller said. “It will take time, but there is a specific intention by our IAF customers to do this.”


With its 100-kilometer precision standoff capabilities and 1,000-pound warhead, Miller said SPICE1000 offers added value not yet planned for the F-35.


“The IAF is convinced of its added value and is working with the relevant Israeli and US authorities to make it happen,” he said.


According to the website of JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin, internally carried strike systems now include: 500-, 1,000- and 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions; GBU-12 Paveway IIs, the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), SDBs; and SDB IIs.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 16:40
Fifth-Generation Jet Tests May Start in July - Air Force

AKHTUBINSK (Astrakhan Region, south Russia), May 7 (RIA Novosti)

Tests of Russia’s fifth-generation T-50 fighter jets in the Chkalov state flight test center in Akhtubinsk, Astrakhan Region in south Russia may start in July, Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said.

“In two months,” he said Monday when asked when the center would start tests of such jets, adding that the first serial fifth-generation jet may be manufactured in 2014-2015.

United Aircraft Corporation President Mikhail Pogosyan said in April Russia will start state flight tests of the T-50 in 2014.

The fighter jets will enter service with the country’s armed forces in 2016, and not 2015 as was previously announced, President Vladimir Putin said at a live Q&A session with the Russian public in April.

The Defense Ministry had earlier said the jet would be ready in 2015.

Russian Fith-Generation t-50 Fighter Jet

The T-50, also known as PAK-FA (future tactical fighter aircraft), first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.

The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring elements of stealth technology, super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar.

Bondarev also said some 60-70 military airfields will be built or reconstructed for Russia’s Air Force by 2020.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 16:35
FA-50 lightweight fighter (KAI photo)

FA-50 lightweight fighter (KAI photo)

Korea Aerospace has won a second Korean air force production order worth about $1 billion for an unspecified number of FA-50 lightweight fighters. (KAI photo)

May 7, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Korea Aerospace Industries; issued May 7, 2013)


KAI Contract for Mass Producing the FA-50


KAI announced on May 6th that the company concluded the contract for mass producing the FA-50, amounting to approximately 1.1 trillion won with The Defense Acquisition Program Administration ("DAPA"). In accordance with the contract, subsequent to the first mass production contract which was signed on 2011, KAI plans to deploy the aircraft (first production portion) for preparing for the actual battle beginning in August and seek its entire force integration until 2016.


The FA-50 is a light combat aircraft which was developed based on the T-50, a supersonic advanced trainer in order to replace the military's superannuated fighters, like the F-5E/Fs and A-37s. The FA-50 combat aircraft is able to load up to 4.5 tons of weapons including the basic weapons like air-to-air/air-to-surface missiles and machine guns as well as precision guidance bombers such as JDAMs, or joint direct attack munitions and multi-purpose precision guidance CBUs (or cluster bomb units). Also, the FA-50 fighter, complete with a night vision apparatus, has a mission capability both in the daytime and in the night time and boasts its improved self-protection ability for the aircraft itself.


“The FA-50 aircraft is excellent in performance compared with the price. Through the operation of the home-grown airplane which is high in terms of operation ratio and is low in terms of maintenance cost, the Korean military's self-reliance defense potential will be doubled," an official at the military said. KAI won the order for the FA-50 PBL, or Performance Based Logistics project in November last year and is in charge of the development and production, stepping forward the subsequent support of the airplane.


KAI told, "Through the Korean military's operation ability for the actual battle and KAI's thorough logistics support, the confidence in the performance, safety and follow-up ability of the aircraft are further enhanced, which will accelerate the exports of the home-grown airplanes including the FA-50."


In October last year, the FA-50 airplane was verified in terms of a flight safety test of about 1,300 items and acquired the Korea's Type Certification for the first time in the Korea's fighter-class aircraft, securing a bridgehead for exports. KAI, which set a goal for exporting more than 1,000 T-50 series airplanes forecasts positively the exports of the FA-50 and makes effort to export the T-50 series airplanes to other nations, like the Philippines, Iraq and Chile.


Thanks to the fact which the worldwide replacement demand for the old and superannuated F-5 and A-37 airplanes is on the increase more and more but the light attack aircraft which is able to substitute those planes is only the FA-50 model or something like it, KAI makes a positive evaluation on exporting the FA-50. The air forces of the nations in the world operate both the high-intensity mission fighters and low-intensity mission fighters at the same time, depending on their operation purpose.


In the meanwhile, KAI has won the orders for the FA-50, amounting to approximately 3 trillion won, including the contract thus far and is sailing smoothly to achieve the goal of 6.2 trillion won which the company set this year. "Thanks to the successful large-scale export contracts in the first half of this year, including the order amounting to 1.2 trillion won with Boeing in April in succession to the deal for fuselage parts worthy of approximately 460 billion won with Airbus in March, KAI predicts that its goal set for 2013 will be achieved without difficulty," told KAI.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 16:30
Turkey's Otokar Unveils New Tracked Vehicle

May. 7, 2013 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense news


ANKARA — Turkey’s leading armored vehicles manufacturer, Otokar, has revealed what it views as the most strategic indigenous vehicle ever developed by a local company, a tracked armored tactical vehicle, the Tulpar.


Analysts said that once the Tulpar has hit serial production, it would end Turkey’s dependence on imported tracked vehicles. But they also say the Tulpar may have to find export markets rather than win huge domestic orders.


“The Tulpar is a vehicle the Turkish military needed in large quantities. But the current peace process with Kurdish insurgents will probably mean less local demand than potentially foreign demand for a vehicle like this,” said one London-based analyst.


After three decades of civil strife with its autonomy-seeking Kurdish minority and nearly 40,000 deaths, the Turkish government earlier this year launched ambitious peace talks with the militant Kurds. The Kurdish separatist PKK promised to withdraw from Turkish territory as of May 8 in return for broader political rights and constitutional recognition. Turkey, the US and the EU recognize the PKK as a terrorist entity.


“The Tulpar is a strategic product for the Turkish military. It is designed to fight all anti-tank assets along with the new-generation tanks Turkey will possess,” Serdar Gorguc, general manager for Otokar, told reporters.


The Tulpar boasts an advanced ballistic and mine resistant body and modular armor technology. It can carry an entire infantry squad.


Otokar unveiled last year the country’s first national main mattle tank, the Altay, with top government officials promising the program would be completed “one or two years” ahead of time.


In 2008, Otokar signed a $500 million contract with the country’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries. Under the deal, Otokar will finish building four prototypes of the Altay this year, two years ahead of the original schedule. The four prototypes will undergo performance tests throughout 2013.


The SSM selected South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem for overall technical support. Turkey’s Aselsan was chosen as the fire control system and command, control and communications system subcontractor. Also, state-owned MKEK was selected as the subcontractor for the 120mm primary weapon, and Roketsan was tasked with the job to provide the armor.


Procurement officials said the serial-production agreement for the Altay would be effective probably in 2017, and together with the expected foreign orders, a first batch of at least 200 tanks is expected to be produced. The Altay probably will be the world’s most modern tank in the 60-ton category by then, Turkish procurement officials say.


Otokar also produces several other armored vehicles, the best known being the Cobra, a four-wheel-drive vehicle, used for reconnaissance and area control purposes by the Turkish security forces and the armies of several other countries.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 16:20
Industry, DoD Have Common Interests: Carter

May 7, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued May 6, 2013)


WASHINGTON --- The long-term interests of the defense industry and the Defense Department are aligned, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a May 3 awards ceremony in McLean, Va.


At the ceremony, Carter received the Eisenhower Award from the National Defense Industrial Association. The award recognizes leadership and strategic impact at the highest levels of national security, according to an NDIA news release.


The success of the U.S. defense industry is in the nation’s interest, Carter told the audience.


Though President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address in 1961 warned of the dangers of an outsized military-industrial complex, Carter said, the warning has been removed from its context. As a former Army general and supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe, Eisenhower clearly understood the vital role played by the defense industry in securing the nation, the deputy secretary noted.


"The larger point of his farewell address was that the interests of the country are served when leaders take the long view," he continued. Only by properly aligning ends with means in accordance with national interests, rather than special interests, can national leaders achieve the balance Eisenhower sought, Carter said.


Eisenhower advocated "balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped-for advantages, balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable, balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual [and] balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future," Carter said, quoting from the president’s farewell address.


"He went on to say, 'Maintaining balance involves the element of time, as we peer into society's future. We -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow,'" he said.


The Defense Department is taking the long view, Carter said, understanding that it is operating at the convergence of two great historical trends. The first -- a time of unprecedented strategic change -- led President Barack Obama to make clear in the new defense strategy that "we're turning a strategic corner," the deputy secretary said. The second -- historic levels of financial turbulence -- will require the department to absorb reductions in defense spending in the interest of the nation's overall fiscal health, he said.


The country is moving from an era dominated by two wars toward a future defined by disparate challenges and opportunities, Carter said.


“We know what many of these challenges are -- continued turmoil in the Middle East, the persistent threat of terrorism, enduring threats like weapons of mass destruction and a range of new threats like cyber,” the deputy secretary said.


With the challenges come great opportunities, he said. Among them, Carter noted, is shifting the Defense Department’s great intellectual and physical weight from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia-Pacific region, "where America's future ... will lie, and where America will continue and must continue to play a seven-decade-old pivotal, stabilizing role.


"As we draw down from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our force needs to make a very difficult transition," Carter continued, "from a large, rotational counterinsurgency-based force, to a leaner, more agile, more flexible and ready force for the future."


There was nothing wrong with the force the nation built for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Carter told the audienced. "It was the right force for the period," he added, noting that the Afghanistan conflict is not over. "We can't ever forget that that still remains job one, but we're going into a different period," he said.


The department's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is predominately a political and economic concept, not a military one, the deputy secretary said. But, the Defense Department's role is to enable the continuation of the region's 60 years of peace and prosperity, he said, often by simply leading by example. "We believe that our strong security presence in the Asia-Pacific has provided a critical foundation for our principles to take root," Carter said.


"Our partners in the region welcome our leadership and the values that underlie them,” he added, “and therefore, I believe that our rebalance will be welcomed and reciprocated."


The rebalance isn't aimed at any one country, or group of countries, in the region, Carter noted. "It's good for us, and it's good for everyone in the region, and it includes everyone in the region."


If managed properly, the department's budget reductions and the nation's strategic shift can reinforce one another, he said.


"That is the task before us in the Department of Defense," the deputy secretary said. "We know, that in making this strategic transition, we only deserve the amount of money we need, and not the amount we've gotten used to. That's why, well before the current budget turmoil, we made reductions to the department's budget by $487 billion over the coming decade."


Other cuts were made earlier under former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to eliminate unneeded or underperforming programs, Carter said. Additionally, overseas contingency operations funds are decreasing now that the military has left Iraq and is drawing down from Afghanistan, he said.


"Taken together, these reductions compare in pace and magnitude to historical cycles in defense spending the nation has experienced ... after Vietnam and after the Cold War,”the deputy secretary said. “We need to continue our relentless effort to make every defense dollar count."


The department is committed to this effort, he added, noting that "everything will be on the table" during an ongoing review of strategic choices and management. The results of the review will be delivered to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the coming weeks, Carter said.


"The choices that the secretary and the president make in response to these points in the following months will then inform our [fiscal year 2015] budget submission, as well as our [fiscal 2014] execution decisions," he added. "Ideally, we will have all three elements -- stability, time and flexibility -- with which to make critical budget decisions, but we must anticipate a wide range of possible contingencies."


Tough choices will be necessary in the years to come, Carter acknowledged, -- and will have significant impact on the United States, particularly if deep spending cuts required by the budget sequester remain in force.


“These tough choices, by necessity, must favor national interests over parochial priorities,” he said. “What we cannot afford, as President Eisenhower said, is a debate in which people are in favor of sequester, but just not in their own back yard.


"Fiscal ‘NIMBY-ism’ is exactly the wrong policy prescription for what ails us," the deputy secretary said.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 16:20
A multiple object tracking radar awaiting installation at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of Mr John Andrew Hamilton (ATEC).

A multiple object tracking radar awaiting installation at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of Mr John Andrew Hamilton (ATEC).

7 May 2013 army-technology.comGDC4S


General Dynamics C4 Systems () has been awarded a contract modification for the development of a next-generation radar system as part of the US Army's range radar replacement programme (RRRP).


Valued at $16m, the contract covers engineering, development and initial manufacture of a new high/medium power close-in radar system, designed to provide enhanced fidelity during tracking of munitions and other targets at a range of 37m or more.


General Dynamics C4 Systems president Chris Marzilli said: "The close-in radar system is the second in a new generation of range instrumentation radars that deliver cost-effective, digital technologies and systems needed to meet the army's goal of modernising test ranges in Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico and Maryland."


Capable of acquiring information about the launch and early stages of flight for munitions and other low-flying objects, the radar joins the fly-out radar, the first system ordered by the army from the company under the $385m RRRP contract in June 2012.


The close-in radar systems are also expected to reduce the cost and downtime associated with the maintenance and relocation of old and obsolete radar systems that are currently installed at army test ranges across the US.


Capable of tracking up to 40 test objects over a range of 60 miles, the fly-out radar system recently completed the requirements phase of development.


Based on STAR Dynamics' XSTAR family of instrumentation radar, GDC4S's RRRP solution is scheduled to replace obsolete tracking radars at White Sands Test Center in New Mexico, Yuma Test Center in Arizona, Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland, as well as at Redstone Test Center in Alabama, US.


Led by GDC4S, the RRRP team includes STAR Dynamics, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and EO Imaging.


The delivery schedule has not been disclosed.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 15:50
Italian Army's first FOC configuration helicopter stationed at AugustaWestland's facility in Venice Tessera, Italy. Photo AgustaWestland - A Finmeccanica Company.

Italian Army's first FOC configuration helicopter stationed at AugustaWestland's facility in Venice Tessera, Italy. Photo AgustaWestland - A Finmeccanica Company.



7 May 2013 army-technology.com


The Italian Army has taken delivery of the first final operational capability (FOC) configuration NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) during an official ceremony at AgustaWestland's NH90 final assembly line in Venice Tessera, Italy.


Representing a significant milestone for the Italian Army's NH90 programme, the shipment brings the total number of helicopters received by the service to date to 21.


Around 60 NH90 TTHs were ordered by the Italian Defence Ministry for the army, along with 46 Nato frigate helicopter (NFH), as well as ten TTH for the Navy from NH Industries in June 2000.


Currently deployed in Afghanistan, five Italian NH90s have successfully completed 470 flight hours with enhanced performance, reliability and mission effectiveness in the country's extreme and demanding environmental, weather and operational conditions.


Powered by two Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca RTM322 engines, the NH90 TTH is a multi-role military helicopter primarily designed to conduct logistics and utility transport, combat search-and-rescue (RESCO), as well as heliborne operations during day and night.


The 11t-class, fully composite crashworthy fuselage equipped helicopter can also be configured for casualty and medical evacuation, electronic warfare, special operations and counter-terrorism operations, airborne command post and VIP transportation missions.


Additional features include a dual bus core avionic system, full glass cockpit with multi-function displays, fly-by-wire controls with a four-axis automatic flight control system, as well as up to two M134D mini guns for enhanced self-defence capabilities.


The helicopters have also been ordered by other NH90 members, including Australia, Belgium, Greece, Norway, New-Zealand, Oman, Sweden, Spain, Finland, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands.


AgustaWestland is also providing an integrated operational support package to help the Italian army maximise operational effectiveness of its NH90 fleet, as part of a phased logistic support (PLS) programme from the Venice Tessera facility.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 12:55
Denis Pinoteau, directeur commercial export véhicules légers à roues de Nexter

29/04/2013 Par Bénédicte GOUTTEBROZE


Denis Pinoteau est nommé directeur commercial export véhicules légers à roues de Nexter, groupe industriel spécialisé dans l'armement appartenant à l'État français. Il est sous la responsabilité directe de Jean-Christophe Bund, deputy director sales & marketing.


Diplômé de Saint-Cyr en 1991 et titulaire d'un executive MBA obtenu à HEC Paris en 2005, Denis Pinoteau était précédemment responsable commercial export Inde et Moyen-Orient chez Sagem, depuis 2006.


Nexter fabrique du matériel militaire pour le combat terrestre, aéroterrestre, aéronaval et naval.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 12:25
"Etranges Affaires" enquête sur les missiles Exocet dans la guerre des Malouines

07.05.2013 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Le deuxième numéro de la série documentaires "Etranges Affaires" est en cours de post-production et sera diffusé sur France 3 en juillet. Il est consacré à l'affaire des Exocet français aux mains des Argentins, lors de la guerre des Malouines.


Le 4 mai 1982, un missile Exocet lancé par un Super Etendard de l’aéronavale argentine coule un destroyer de la Royal Navy venue reconquérir les îles Malouines. Le couple Super Etendard-Exocet, fabriqué par les Français, va être l'objet d'une guerre secrète entre Britanniques et Argentins.


Comme le précédent numéro de la série consacré à l'affaire des Vedettes de Cherbourg, le deuxième épisode d'"Etranges Affaires" est un documentaire hybride de 52 minutes qui associe archives, témoignages et animation. L'enquête est menée par Sasha Maréchal (interprétée par la comédienne Ina Mihalache) et Patrick Pesnot (dans son propre rôle). Les témoins clés en Argentine, au Royaume-Uni et en France décryptent le rôle des armes françaises pendant la guerre des Malouines. De l'attaque du destroyer Sheffield à l'opération Plum-Duff menée par les forces spéciales britanniques, le film propose un regard inédit sur cette affaire qui agita les relations entre Margaret Thatcher et François Mitterrand.


Ce deuxième opus d'"Etranges Affaires" est une coproduction Vivement Lundi !/Antoine Martin Productions avec la participation de l'unité documentaire de France 3, en association avec France 3 Nord-Ouest.

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