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14 février 2013 4 14 /02 /février /2013 13:35



February 14, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


This is an unedited statement by the MoD on the acquisition of VVIP helicopters for the IAF, currently suspended after the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi.


The Facts: In August 1999, the IAF which is responsible for carrying out VVIP communication task, proposed the replacement of Mi-8 VIP helicopters due to severe operational constraints, such as, inability of Mi-8 to operate at night and in adverse weather, inability to operate safely at places in elevation beyond 2000 meters etc. IAF felt the need for the replacement of Mi-8 helicopters as they were completing their total technical life.


2.           A global RFP was issued in March 2002 to which 4 vendors responded. The Technical Evaluation Committee shortlisted 3 helicopters and accordingly flight evaluations were conducted.  Since, EH-101 of M/s. AgustaWestland was not certified for an altitude of 6000 meters, it did not participate in the flight evaluation. The Russian helicopter Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements (ORs).  After flight evaluation, EC-225 of M/s. Eurocopter, France was found suitable for acquisition.


3.           On November 19, 2003 a meeting was taken by Principal Secretary to PM on this subject.  In the meeting, Principal Secretary observed that his main concern was that the framing of the mandatory requirements has led us effectively into a single vendor situation.  It was also noted that PM and President have rarely made visits to places involving flying at an altitude beyond 4500 meters.  In the meeting it was decided to make the mandatory requirement for operational altitude 4500 meters.  The higher flying ceiling of 6000 meters, and a cabinet height of 1.8 meters could be made desirable operational requirements.  It was observed that with these revisions, several helicopters which otherwise met all requirements but had been rejected due to the altitude restriction, would now come into the reckoning.


4.           The meeting was followed by a letter dated 22nd December, 2003 from the Principal Secretary to PM to the Air Chief, stating that it was unfortunate that neither PMO nor SPG was consulted while framing these mandatory requirements.  He suggested that CAS and Defence Secretary may jointly review the matter to draw up realistic mandatory requirements satisfying operational, security and convenience requirements of VVIPs and also set in motion a fast track process for selection and acquisition of the replacement helicopters.


5.           In pursuance of the above directive, the ORs were deliberated at length between IAF, NSA, SPG/PMO and MoD between March, 2005 to September, 2006 and the above indicated changes were incorporated.


6.           The required numbers of helicopters for the entourage of VVIP was further deliberated between Air HQ, MoD and SPG/PMO. The quantity of helicopters proposed for procurement was revised from 8 to 12 helicopters by adding 4 helicopters in non-VIP configuration for security reasons.


7.           The AON for the procurement of 12 helicopters was accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council under ‘Buy’ category with 30 percent offsets on 3rd January, 2006.  RFP was issued to 6 vendors on 27th September, 2006.


8.           Three vendors, namely M/s Sikorsky, USA (S-92 helicopter), M/s AgustaWestland, UK (EH-101 helicopter) and M/s. Rosoboronexport, Russia (Mi-172 helicopter) responded to the RFP.


9.           M/s. Rosoboronexport did not submit earnest money deposit and the Integrity Pact, along with their Technical and Commercial proposals. It had been made clear to M/s Rosoboronexport in February 2007 that this was a global tender and hence every contractual clause would be the same for all vendors.  As no Integrity Pact and Earnest Money Deposit were received from M/s Rosoboronexport, their Techno-Commercial offer was not accepted.


10.       The Technical Evaluation Committee evaluated the technical proposals of M/s Sikorsky and M/s AgustaWestland and recommended field evaluation trials of their helicopters.


11.       The Field Evaluation Trial of M/s AgustaWestland was carried out in UK and trials of M/s Sikorsky were carried out in USA from 16 January 2008 to February 2008.  The Field Evaluation Trial team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended AW-101 helicopter of M/s AgustaWestland for induction into Service.  SPG was also part of the Field Evaluation Trial team.


12.       The Staff Evaluation Report of Air HQ concluded that the S-92 helicopter was non-compliant with respect to four SQRs for the VVIP helicopter (Missile Approach Warning System, Service Ceiling of 4.5 km, Drift Down Altitude and Hover Out of Ground Effect).  The Staff Evaluation Report assessed the VVIP helicopter AW-101 to be fully compliant with all SQRs.


13.       Technical Oversight Committee constituted on 6 August 2008 found that the field evaluation trials, compliance to SQRs and selection of vendors were done according to the prescribed procedures.


14.       Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) was constituted and it carried out its discussions with the vendor between 19 September 2008 and 21 January, 2009.  While the CNC was progressing its discussions, Air HQ, recommended inclusion of Traffic Collusion Avoidance System (TCAS-II) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for all 12 helicopters and SPG/PMO recommended inclusion of Medevac System for 8 VVIP helicopters.  These additional equipment were considered to be essential for safe and effective operation of the helicopter in VVIP transportation role.  SPG also agreed to these requirements.  The CNC, thereafter, recommended conclusion of the contract at a negotiated price of EURO 556.262 million. 


15.       On completion of CNC the proposal was submitted for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).  The CCS considered the proposal in its meeting held on 18 January 2010 and approved the proposal.


16.       In pursuance of the decision of the CCS the Ministry of Defence concluded a contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter with M/s AgustaWestland, UK on 08 February, 2010.


17.       The procurement case was, thus, progressed in accordance with the established procurement procedure in a transparent manner with all stages of procurement being followed meticulously.   Security aspects as required by SPG/PMO and IAF were fully taken into consideration.  The role of PMO which began in 2003 was to ensure that security, communication and other requirements of VVIP security were taken care of and the helicopter for VVIP use is selected on the basis of broad based QRs.


18.       Contract signed with M/s. AgustaWestland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence.  Article 22 of the contract deals with penalty for use of undue influence.  This clause entitles the ‘Buyer’ to cancel the contract with the ‘Seller’ and recover from him the amount of any loss arising from such cancellation.  Article 23 of the contract dealing with agents and agency commission requires the ‘Seller’ to confirm and declare that he has not engaged any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whosoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way to recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to award of the contract to the ‘Seller’ nor has any amount been paid, promised or intended to be paid to any such individual or firm in respect of any such intercession, facilitation or recommendation.  This clause further entitles the ‘Buyer’ to consider cancellation of the contract without any entitlement or compensation to the ‘Seller’ who shall be liable to refund all payments made by the ‘Buyer’ in terms of the contract along with interest.


19.       In addition to the above contractual provisions, M/s. Agusta Westland has signed an Integrity Pact with the Government.  The validity of this Integrity Pact is from the date of its signing and extends up to five years or the complete execution of the contract whichever is later.  Under the Integrity Pact, the bidder commits himself to take all measures necessary to prevent corrupt practices, unfair means and illegal activities during any stage of the bid or during any pre-contract or post-contract stage.  Any breach of the provisions of the Integrity Pact entitles the ‘Buyer’ to take actions against the ‘Seller’ which includes forfeiture of the earnest money, performance bond, cancellation of the contract without giving any compensation, to recover all the sums already paid with interest, to cancel any other contracts with the bidder and to debar the bidder from entering into any bid from the Government for a minimum period of five years which may be extended, etc.


20.       As regards, the allegations of unethical dealings in helicopter procurement case including involvement of middleman and payment of bribes etc., the first report in the media appeared in February 2012.


21.       Immediately (the next day after the news item appeared in the papers) DG(Acq) in MoD sought a factual report in the matter from our Embassy in Rome.


22.       MoD also noted the report in the ‘Hindu’ of 28.2.2012 that, quoting Finmeccanica, states that its subsidiary AgustaWestland is not involved in “any irregularity in the deal”.


23.       Subsequently, MoD received more than one communication from M/s AgustaWestland confirming that the statements in the press are “completely    unfounded and have been issued with malicious intent” and that “no commissions whatsoever were paid” in the case.


24.       In April 2012, MoD wrote again to our Embassy in Rome seeking an update.


25.       A detailed report on the status of the case was received from our Embassy in Rome in May 2012.  The report made it clear that there are inherent difficulties in obtaining formal details of the case given the independence of the judiciary from the executive in Italy.


26.       MoD in July 2012 wrote to our embassy in Rome stating that it could approach the concerned judicial authorities directly.  A formal request was indeed made by the embassy to the Naples prosecutors office on July 16, 2012.


27.       Since factual information was difficult to arrive at, Defence Secretary wrote to Secretary (West), MEA, in October 2012 reiterating the importance of the need to get information from the Italian authorities so that MoD could take further necessary action in this regard.


28.       MEA’s response again was that the matter had been taken up with the Italian side and the position conveyed for the need for ‘reliable information’, for “news reports alone could not be the basis for the Ministry of Defence to make any preliminary determination”.


29.       In October 2012 Defence Secretary also wrote to Secretary (West) to take up the matter with the Government of U.K.  in view of the alleged involvement of a British citizen and the fact that the contract was signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K.


30.       In November 2012, Secretary (West), MEA, replied to Defence Secretary stating that ‘the U.K. authorities were waiting for the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether there are further actions to take’.


31.       Earlier, in connection with the letter received from one

Mr. Edmund Allen of Ganton Limited, USA, MoD had written on 19.4.12 to CBI and Enforcement Directorate for necessary action, as Abhishek Verma and others were also being named in various media reports in connection with several defence deals.  Later, Enforcement Directorate informed MoD in July 2012 that they were enquiring into the allegations.


32.       In November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the Director, Income Tax (Investigations) regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them.  The current status of the case was conveyed to the income tax authorities in January 2013; in return, MoD asked Income Tax to share with it any ‘credible information’.


33.       Throughout the process of this case, MoD has been prompt to take action on newspaper reports, and to seek factual information from the concerned authorities.  Since foreign governments are involved, MoD has consistently pursued the matter though MEA.


34.       As soon as information was available of one concrete step having been taken by the concerned foreign investigative authorities, namely, the arrest of Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, Finmeccanica on Feb 12, 2013. MoD handed over the case to CBI for investigation and put on hold all further payments to Agusta Westland.  Besides this, the Indian Embassy has been requested to provide the factual position and any other relevant information.  The CEO of M/s AgustaWestland has also been asked to categorically state the clear position in view of the current developments indicating specifically if any financial transaction has taken place with any Indian individual / entity which would be violative of the Integrity Pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract.


35.       As already mentioned above, both the contract and integrity pact signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K., contain specific provisions by which strict action including cancellation of contract, recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action can be taken against the vendors.  Government is determined to take all possible legal and administrative action against the guilty parties and accordingly has ordered a thorough probe by CBI.

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14 février 2013 4 14 /02 /février /2013 07:20

HMCS Halifax (FFH 330) en route to Haiti 2010-01-18


13/02/2013 par Nicolas Laffont - 45enord.ca


Un reportage de Radio-Canada annonce qu’Ottawa a (encore) sous-estimé le coût d’achat de l’un de ces programmes phares, cette fois-ci: les futurs navires de la Marine royale canadienne.


Déjà en avril 2012, 45eNord.ca vous apprenait que le coût était sous-estimé, non à cause de l’inflation comme l’annonce Radio-Canada aujourd’hui, mais en raison de la méthode de calcul du gouvernement, qui est la même que pour le F-35.


Dans l’article daté du 20 avril dernier, nous vous indiquions qu’une porte-parole du ministère de la Défense nationale, avait déclaré lors d’une interview téléphonique qu’il était impossible de connaître pour l’instant tous les coûts d’exploitation des navires puisqu’ils ne sont pas encore construits et que certains sont encore à l’état de simple dessins sur une planche. «L’évaluation de l’ensemble des coûts ne pourra se faire que lorsque le design des navires sera défini, ce qui devrait être fait dans le courant de l’année [2012].»


On parle ainsi d’achat brut. Dans le cas du F-35, les chiffres sont passés de 9 milliards $ à près de 45 milliards tout inclus.


Représentation d’un modèle conceptuel du navire de patrouille extracôtier de l’Arctique. (Photo: MDN)

Représentation d’un modèle conceptuel du navire de patrouille extracôtier de l’Arctique. (Photo: MDN)


En juin 2010, le gouvernement du Canada a annoncé la mise en place d’une Stratégie nationale d’approvisionnement en matière de construction navale (SNACN). Cette Stratégie a pour but la construction de navires destinés au ministère de la Défense nationale et au ministère de la Pêche et Océans Canada.


En janvier dernier 2012, le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé l’octroi de deux contrats pour la construction de ces navires. Le premier, d’un peu moins de huit milliards $ a été donné à Seaspan Marine, dans l’Ouest, pour sept bateaux civils. Quant au deuxième contrat, il a été donné au chantier Irving Shipbuilding Inc. dans l’Est du Canada, à Halifax, pour la construction de 21 navires au coût de 25 milliards $.




Aujourd’hui, des sources ont confirmé à Radio-Canada que le principal risque dans l’industrie navale militaire, l’inflation, a été plus que sous-estimé par le gouvernement dans son projet d’achat.


Selon David Perry, analyste à l’Institut de la conférence des Associations de la défense, le taux d’inflation annuel dans la construction de navires militaires varie entre 7 % et 11 %.


Or, selon des informations obtenues par Radio-Canada, la Marine royale canadienne n’aurait prévu une inflation d’à peine 2,7 %.


Pour sa part, le porte-parole libéral John McCallum a déclaré dans un communiqué publié ce mercredi 13 février au sujet des erreurs de calcul du gouvernement conservateur quant aux coûts des navires de soutien interarmées : « Le fait que les conservateurs aient utilisé un taux d’inflation erroné, 2,9 % au lieu de 7 à 11 %, pour calculer le coût du projet des navires de soutien interarmées, démontre clairement leur incompétence ainsi que leur échec persistant à consulter le secteur industriel avant d’établir un budget d’acquisitions de grande envergure.»


Le parte-parole libéral a ajouté que «Le manque de diligence de ce gouvernement peut laisser notre force navale avec un financement insuffisant pour acquérir les navires nécessaires pour protéger nos côtes, compromettant ainsi leurs capacités opérationnelles.»


Et, cerise sur le gâteau, la construction de ces navires de combat ne pourrait débuter avant 2020, soit cinq ans plus tard que prévu, un délai qui pourrait avoir un impact sur les coûts.


Bref, tout va bien!

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13 février 2013 3 13 /02 /février /2013 17:45



13 February 2013 defenceWeb


The Nigerian Navy has commissioned into service three OCEA and two Shaldag patrol boats during a ceremony at Western Naval Command Headquarters in Lagos.


P 175 patrouilleur Ocea pour le Nigéria photo Bernard Prez


The three OCEA FPB 72 Mk 2 vessels are 24 metre long coastal patrol craft with a top speed of more than 30 knots. The first commenced sea trials in March last year and all three were delivered in late September.


On September 4, 2012, Israel Shipyards announced that two new Shaldag Mk II Fast Patrol Craft were on their way to “an African customer for delivery to the local Navy.” This almost certainly was Nigeria.


During the commissioning ceremony on Monday, Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the vessels would be used to combat oil theft and other crime on Nigeria’s waterways. She is quoted by This Day as saying the government procured the boats because Nigeria relies heavily on resources from its maritime domain.


“I am personally delighted at what has been achieved [by the Nigerian Navy] and I urge them to continue to work hard so that we can see results,” Okonjo-Iweala said. “With the acquisition, it is to show that the president is totally behind the Armed Forces.”


The Minister of State for Defence, Dr Olusola Obada, was quoted by the Voice of Nigeria as saying the commissioning was another milestone in the Nigerian Navy’s history. “I am aware of the constraints militating against the Nigerian Navy's efforts to optimally discharge its statutory duties, especially in the security of the maritime domain. It is however gladdening to note that in spite of existing challenges, the Nigerian Navy has continued to do its best in safe-guarding the nation's maritime assets,” Obada stated.


The Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba said the Navy required at least 40 such patrol boats to effectively deal with maritime crime like sea robbery, piracy and oil theft. “Though the boats are small, they are fast. They are designed for security tasks such as interdiction, anti-smuggling, anti-illegal bunkering, sea robbery and piracy.”


Ezeoba noted that eleven officers and 48 ratings have been trained to man and maintain the boats.


The Shaldag design is in service with the Israeli Navy and other customers in Europe, Asia and Africa. It was developed and built by Israel Shipyards Ltd in the late 1980s but upgraded over the years based on combat experience. The type is powered by two diesel engines driving two water jets, which give an acceleration time to 40 knots of 40 seconds. The Shaldag Mk II has a length of 24.8 metres, a displacement of 58 tons and a range of 650 nautical miles.


Standard equipment on most Shaldag versions includes an X-band surveillance/navigation radar and electro-optical sensor system for day and night surveillance. A number of armament options are available, including fore and aft deck guns, and heavy machineguns on the fly bridge. The guns can be remotely controlled (such as the 23/25 mm Typhoon and 12.7/7.62 mm Mini-Typhoon) or manually operated weapons. In addition, a 20-23 mm naval gun can be mounted on the rear gun mount or four to eight short range missiles can be carried.


The Nigerian Navy received at least two Shaldag Mk IIs in June 2009. It is undergoing major expansion, with new boats being built locally and overseas. In October last year, China’s Wuchan Shipyard began construction of the first of two P18N offshore patrol vessels for the Nigerian Navy. These vessels are 95 metres long and are being built by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Limited, the trade arm of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). They will be delivered in around three years’ time and will be partly built in Nigeria.

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12 février 2013 2 12 /02 /février /2013 17:35



February 12, 2013: Strategy Page


Over the last five years Chinese submarines have been going to sea a lot more, at least the diesel-electric boats have been. This is worrying to other nations in the region, and the U.S. Navy, because it means China is training its submarine crews for war. Previously the Chinese kept their fleet in port most of the time. This was cheaper although in wartime it meant that Chinese warships would not last long in combat against a better trained fleet (like the Americans, or Japanese or South Koreans or Taiwanese.) Now the Chinese are building better quality subs, and feel they may have a fighting chance, if they have better prepared crews as well.


For China, one downside of all this training is that the U.S. Navy has more opportunity to practice hunting Chinese subs. This is particularly true for American subs, which are well equipped with passive (listen only) sonar and are even more effective if they have a lot of sound samples for enemy subs operating underwater or on the surface. The U.S. has discovered that Chinese diesel-electric boats are rapidly getting quieter, apparently because the Chinese have learned more about advanced techniques for “silencing” subs. Still, most of the 60 Chinese subs in service are pretty noisy and easy to find.


Meanwhile the Chinese Navy has been designing and building a rapidly evolving collection of "Song" (Type 39) class diesel-electric submarines that emphasize quietness. The changes have been so great that the latest four Songs have been called Yuan class (Type 39A or Type 41). The original design (Type 39) first appeared in 2001, and 13 have been built. But in 2008, a noticeably different Type 39 appeared. This has been called Type 39A or Type 41. Two of these Type 39As appeared before two of another variant, sometimes called Type 39B, showed up. The evolution continues and there are now six or seven "Type 41 Yuan Class" subs (of at least three distinct models). These latest models appear to have AIP (air independent propulsion system) along with new electronics and other internal improvements.


This rapid evolution of the Type 39 appears to be another example of China adapting Russian submarine technology to Chinese design ideas and new technology. China has been doing this for as long as it has been building subs (since the 1960s). But this latest version of what appears to be the Type 41 design shows Chinese naval engineers getting more creative. Two or more Yuans are believed to have an AIP that would allow them to cruise underwater longer. Western AIP systems allow subs to stay under water for two weeks or more. The Chinese AIP has less power and reliability and does not appear to be nearly as capable as Russian or Western models. The Chinese will keep improving on their AIP, just as they have done with so much other military technology.


The Songs look a lot like the Russian Kilo class and that was apparently no accident. The 39s and 41s are both 1,800 ton boats with crews of 60 sailors and six torpedo tubes. This is very similar to the Kilos (which are a bit larger). China began ordering Russian Kilo class subs, then one of the latest diesel-electric designs available, in the late 1990s. The first two Type 41s appeared to be a copy of the early model Kilo (the model 877), while the second pair of Type 41s appeared to copy the late Kilos (model 636). The latest Yuans still appear like Kilos but may be part of an evolution into a sub that is similar to the Russian successor to the Kilo, the Lada.  The Type 39s were the first Chinese subs to have the teardrop shaped hull. The Type 41 was thought to be just an improved Song but on closer examination, especially by the Russians, it looked like a clone of the Kilos. The Russians now believe that the entire Song/Yuan project is part of a long-range plan to successfully copy the Kilo. If that is the case, it appears to be succeeding.


China currently has 13 Song class, 12 Kilo class, seven Yuan class and 18 Ming (improved Russian Romeo) class boats. There are only three Han class SSNs, as the Chinese are still having a lot of problems with nuclear power in subs. Despite that, the Hans are going to sea, even though they are noisy and easily detected by Western sensors. Five Hans were built (between 1974 and 1991) but two have already been retired. There are four newer Shang class SSNs in service, but these are still pretty noisy. The Song/Yuan class subs are meant to replace the elderly Mings.

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12 février 2013 2 12 /02 /février /2013 12:50


More than 100 people from technology clusters, wider industry, research centres and regional and national authorities, together with the European institutions attended the European Defence Agency - European Commission workshop on Regional Smart Specialisation for Europe’s defence sector on 28 January 2013.



European Commission Logo A joint initiative of EDA and European Commission, supported by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, the workshop was launched with the objective of increasing awareness of the potential for policies on smart specialisation and regional policy funding to support European companies and research centres working in the field of defence. In parallel it provided regional decision makers with practical knowledge on the potential of the defence sector to support regional economic development. 


Europe’s defence industry, formed by many world class companies large and small, has long been a driving force for technical innovation, wealth generation and business growth across Europe but with constrained defence spending there is a need for new approaches. In this context the workshop addressed three key themes;


  • increasing the cross-fertilisation between the military and civil sectors;
  • promoting best practice for defence related industry centres of excellence/clusters contributing to regional development;
  • investigating the support that regional policy can offer to defence-related SME supply chain.


The workshop is a practical example of how European Commission instruments and EDA expertise can be fused to help support Europe retaining an innovative and competitive industrial base, one better able to meet the defence capability requirements of Member States.


Over the coming weeks EDA and European Commission will be analysing the workshop proceedings to see what lessons can be learnt and what concrete measures can be undertaken – to support the defence industry. This input is also very timely as the European Commission is preparing a Communication in support of the competitiveness of the defence industry and the internal market, which is expected to be finalised by June 2013.  



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11 février 2013 1 11 /02 /février /2013 12:50



11/02/2013 Armée de Terre / DGA -  Economie et technologie


Le Chef d’état-major de l’armée de terre français, le général d’armée Bertrand Ract Madoux, et son homologue britannique, le Chief of General Staff, Sir Peter Wall, se sont rendus à Bourges vendredi 8 février à l’invitation de la Direction générale de l’armement (DGA).


L’objectif était la présentation du programme franco-britannique de canon et de munitions de 40mm télescopées (40CTCA). Ce déplacement a été l’occasion de réaffirmer l’importance de ce programme pour la France et le Royaume-Uni.


Le général de brigade Patrick Etienne, représentant l’autorité militaire locale, et le lieutenant-colonel Bruno Charles, commandant en second de la base aérienne 702 d’Avord ont accueilli les  deux  chefs d’état-major sur la BA702 d’Avord.


Tourelle 40CTA Nexter (photo Guillaume Belan)

photo Guillaume Belan


Les deux chefs d’état-major et leurs délégations se sont fait présenter le programme 40CTCA dans les locaux de la société CTA International.


L’ingénieur général de l’armement Marc Berville les a ensuite reçus pour une démonstration du 40CTCA sur une  position de tir de DGA Techniques terrestres. Une présentation du Véhicule blindé de combat d’infanterie (VBCI) leur a également été faite.


VBCI - French Army in Afghanistan with flexible wire cage R


A l’issue, les deux autorités ont rallié la BA702 d’Avord à bord d’un VBCI.

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5 février 2013 2 05 /02 /février /2013 16:45



05 February 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb


Landmine clearance company Denel Mechem has recently sold ten CASSPIR 2000 mine protected vehicles to Benin and has 15 on order with the United Nations as it promotes the latest version of the CASSPIR mine protected armoured vehicle.


Mechem is expecting new orders for the CASSPIR 2000 in the next financial year (starting April 1), according to Stephan Burger, CEO of Denel Land Systems (which merged with Mechem last year). “At this moment we are negotiating a number of substantial contracts,” he told DefenceWeb.


The Casspir 2000 is the latest variant of the world renowned armoured vehicle. Burger said the CASSPIR 2000 emerged from the shortage of old CASSPIR Mk 1 and 2’s available for refurbishment. Denel saw a niche as there were no more second hand CASSPIRS to rebuild, yet there is demand for the vehicles. “We decided to build with new technology, more armour, modern instrumentation etc.”


Burger said that now Mechem has merged with Denel, Mechem can spend the majority of its time focusing on getting orders. “We recognised the importance of the Mechem identity, brand and nimbleness. For that reason we’ve kept Mechem as a separate business unit that must get its own orders.”


The Denel Land Systems-Mechem merger was approved by the Board of Denel in June 2012. “We said the best time to make such a change is when things are going well. We decided from a financial perspective that this make sense. The financial gain was impressive,” Burger said of the merger. “Not only did we cut costs but we provide a better service at a lesser price…and we have a better marketing footprint.”


Burger pointed out that in 2006 when Vektor was merged with Lyttleton Engineering Works (LIW) to form Denel Land Systems, the entities were making a R600 million loss. ‘Traumatic’ restructuring saw the staff cut by a third but overheads were halved and the company soon became profitable. “We’re doing tremendously well on the traditional Mechem side with the clearance of explosive remnants of war and selling CASSPIRS as well.”


Mechem specialises in mine clearing, removing the explosive remnants of war (ERW), manufacturing mine protected vehicles (notably the CASSPIR Mk II, Mk IV and New Generation CASSPIR 2000) and mine clearing equipment, and providing canine training and services (for explosives and drug detection). Through its Afrifoot programme, it manufactures and supplies low-cost leg prosthesis to landmine survivors.


The company has recently completed various demining or mine clearing projects in Afghanistan, Republic of Sudan, Republic of South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Mozambique. Mechem is active in eleven African countries, including the DRC, where it has supported UN peacekeeping activities since 2003, Western Sahara and Somalia, where it works with the African Union.


Mechem is the only African-based company accredited by the UN for landmine clearance, as the rest are based abroad. Since it started African operations in 1992, the company has not lost a single employee to a landmine incident.


According to United Nations estimates, there are at least 110 million active landmine mines scattered across the world, of which about 44 million have been planted on the African continent. In 2010 there were 4 200 victims of landmine’s effects - 11 people a day. However besides landmines unexploded ordnance today poses the greatest risk to the populations in post conflict environments.


Apart from demining work, Mechem is also involved in drug detection through its Mechem Explosives and Drug Detection System (MEDDS). Mechem detection dogs have also been used to combat rhino poaching.

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5 février 2013 2 05 /02 /février /2013 08:59

Hawk Mk-132 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT)


05 February 2013 Pacific Sentinel


BAE are pleased to announce the extension of the Teaming Agreement with Elbit to develop next generation Indian Hawk airborne simulation capabilities.
BAE will jointly develop leading edge airborne simulation technologies as a response to the Indian Air Force (IAF) Virtual Training System (VTS) requirement. The requirement was first outlined in a Request For Information issued in 2009 and the companies have now extended the teaming agreement in readiness for a formal request from the IAF. This combined effort will build upon both companies extensive experience in the airborne simulation field and incorporate synthetic radar, electronic warfare, countermeasures and weapons into the Hawk Mark 132 mission system architecture. 
It will provide enhanced fast jet training on the Hawk Mark 132 allowing additional skills to be taught to pilots smoothing the transition to front line fast jet Squadrons. The Hawk Mark 132 VTS will revolutionise the IAF pilot training system and make India a world leader in fast jet training.
Michael Christie, BAE Systems Senior Vice President for India said “India is an incredibly important market to us and one we are committed to for the long term.  It’s an exciting time for Hawk in India with the aircraft continuing to be successfully built and delivered by HAL. Extending the agreement with Elbit paves the way for BAE Systems to introduce enhanced capabilities to the Hawk Mark 132 aircraft and make training for the Indian pilots even better.”
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3 février 2013 7 03 /02 /février /2013 08:20


Des techniciens sonar à bord de l’USS The Sullivans

(Photo: U.S. Navy photo)


02/02/2013 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45enord.ca


Le ministre de la Défense nationale, Peter McCay, a annoncé le vendredi 1er février l’attribution d’un de 6,6 millions$ Ultra Electronics Marine Systems pour l’entretien des systèmes sonar de la flotte de sous-marins canadiens.


Ultra Electronics Marine Systems, de Dartmouth, en Nouvelle-Écosse, qui emploie 147 personnes, est une division de de la société Ultra Electronics Group, basée à Middlesex au Royaume-Unie, qui oeuvre dans les secteurs de la du transport, de l’énergie, de la défense et de la sécurité, notamment ofrant une gamme complète de systèmes de sonar maritimes et aériens.


« Notre gouvernement continue d’ajouter à son solide bilan de réalisations visant à s’assurer que les hommes et femmes qui servent notre pays disposent de l’équipement dont ils ont besoin pour s’acquitter de leurs tâches, a déclaré à cete occasion le ministre MacKay. Nous continuons d’investir dans les technologies qui sont utiles aux Forces armées canadiennes, et nous continuons de veiller à ce que les industries canadiennes tirent profit de ces investissements majeurs. »


Ce contrat porte sur les travaux d’entretien des systèmes sonar à antenne remorquée intégrés à la flotte canadienne des quatre sous-marins de classe Victoria. Les travaux exécutés dans le cadre de ce contrat de trois ans, dit le communiqué qui accompagne cette annonce, permettront de s’assurer que ces sous-marins continuent de faire partie intégrante de la capacité canadienne en matière de défense et de sécurité.


Les sous-marins canadiens ont pour mission d’assurer la surveillance, le soutien de l’application de la loi maritime, le maintien des habiletés de la flotte, ainsi que les opérations nationales et internationales.


On se rappelle, bien sûr, la participation à l’exercice naval RIMOPAC 2012 où le sosu-marin canadien Victoria avait lancé une torpille qui a atteint son but et couler un navire (désaffecté) américain.


La flotte canadienne sera d’ailleurs pleinement opérationnelle en 2013, souligne le ministère de la Défense, lorsque la période de grande remise en état du NCSM Chicoutimi sera complétée. Ainsi, trois des quatre sous-marins canadiens seront disponibles pour des opérations. En tout temps et selon le principe de la rotation, il y aura un sous-marin en période de grand carénage.



RIMPAC 2012: visite du NCSM Victoria (source; Nicolas Laffont, 45enord.ca)


À lire aussi:

Des investissements dans une technologie sonar pour la Marine canadienne >>

Dans l’Arctique, sans sous-marins le Canada serait aveugle >>

Le Victoria prend part à un exercice international de guerre navale >>

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2 février 2013 6 02 /02 /février /2013 08:20

HMCS Victoria SSK-876 photo4 DND


February 1, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


The government announced a contract award to Ultra Electronics Marine Systems Inc., of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for work on the RCN’s submarines.


The $6.9 million contract covers maintenance work on the towed-array sonars on Canada’s fleet of four Victoria-class submarines, according to the news release from DND. The work carried out under this three-year contract.


Canada’s submarine fleet will reach steady state in 2013, with the completion of the ongoing Extended Docking Work Period for HMCS Chicoutimi, according to the release. Steady state means Canada will have three of the four submarines available for operations. One submarine will be taking its turn in the rotation for extended maintenance at all times.

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29 janvier 2013 2 29 /01 /janvier /2013 13:35



Jan. 28, 2013 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI  - Defense News


NEW DELHI — The Indian government has asked Israel to speed up development of its joint medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) project, which has faced technical snags since its inception in 2009.


MRSAM topped the agenda when Air Chief Marshal N.K. Browne, commander of the Indian Air Force, visited Israel last week, Ministry of Defence sources said here.


During his Jan. 21-23 visit, Browne was scheduled to meet with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak; Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, chief of the General Staff; Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, commander of the Israeli Air Force; and Rear Adm. Ophir Shohaim, director of the Directorate for Defense Research and Development.


Browne also discussed with the Israelis air-to-air missiles and precision-guided munitions that India might want to acquire.


The MRSAM, a joint weapon development project being undertaken by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), seeks to deliver at least 18 firing units along with related systems at a cost of more than $2 billion. Each firing unit has 16 missiles. India also hopes the system can be used by the Indian Army, but that remains unclear, the sources said.


The MRSAM prototype failed its first test, held late last year, Defence Ministry sources said, but they provided no details. Development is being carried out under secrecy here.


MRSAM is intended to intercept enemy missiles at a range of 70 kilometers. It carries an active radar seeker and a bidirectional data link for midcourse guidance and kill assessment, an Indian Air Force official said. It will also be equipped with an advanced rotating phased array radar to provide a high-quality air situation picture.


The Indian Army also has a requirement for an unspecified number of MRSAMs to move with mechanized forces and provide organic mobile air defense protection. The Army requirement of MRSAM is also worth more than $2 billion.


Defence Ministry sources said that in addition to discussions on MRSAM, Browne reviewed information from the Israelis on air-to-air missiles and precision-guided munitions that India could acquire.


The Air Force already has purchased 18 Spyder surface-to-air missile systems from Israeli company Rafael to protect high-value assets following the failure of India’s homegrown Quick Reaction System, the Trishul, after nearly 15 years of development.


Last year, the Air Force bought the Israeli Derby medium-range active radar seeker air-to-air missile, made by Rafael, to be mounted on the homemade Light Combat Aircraft, which the DRDO is developing. Earlier, the Air Force had purchased Israeli Python-5 air-to-air missile systems.


Israel also has helped Indian scientists develop the homemade Prithvi air defense ballistic missile system. Though no formal agreement has been signed, DRDO and Israel are developing India’s land attack missile project, including a land attack cruise missile.

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28 janvier 2013 1 28 /01 /janvier /2013 17:40

Russia Weapon Maker


January 28, 2013: Strategy page


Russian arms exports for 2012 were a record $15.2 billion. This is a major increase over 2010 (a then record $10 billion). That was an 18 percent jump from 2009 sales of $8.5 billion. That was less than two percent more than 2008's $8.35 billion. It was feared that the 2010 sales might be as high as it would get for a while. This was because the subsequent political upheavals in the Arab world might lead to large cancellations of orders, in part because of Russian willingness to use bribes to obtain sales, and past help in security matters to keep the ousted dictators in power. Russia did lose some orders, and there might be other cancellations (especially from Syria.) But India remained the largest buyer of Russian arms, despite complaints of poor quality and bribes.


Increasing these sales is very important for the Russian government. The defense industry employs over three million people and accounts for about 20 percent of industrial jobs in Russia. At the end of the Cold War in 1991, defense work was more than three times as large as it is now. It was the enormous size of the defense industry that played a major role in bankrupting the Soviet Union. The Russians were never quite sure (cost accounting not being a communist favorite) what proportion of their GDP was devoted to military spending, but it is estimated that it was over 20 percent. That was more than four times the figure for Western nations (and their generally larger per-capita economies).


Russian defense firms quickly realized, in the 1990s, that export sales were all that could save them. It worked. By 2007, Russia was exporting $8 billion worth of weapons a year. Two years before that there were hopes that sales might reach $10 billion for 2008. Russian arms exports had been growing rapidly for a while. In 2005 Russian arms exporters had already booked orders for six billion dollars-worth of sales per year through 2008. In 2004, Russian arms sales were $5.6 billion, and that went to $6 billion in 2005 and $7 billion in 2006. Russian arms sales were only $4.3 billion in 2003, and ballooned as the economies of their two biggest customers (India and China) grew larger. That, and the escalating price of oil (driven largely by increased demand from China and India), has sent international arms sales from $29 billion in 2003, to over $80 billion now. Oil rich countries, particularly those in the Persian Gulf, are eager to buy more weapons, with which to defend their assets.


Then problems developed, even before the current Arab situation. There were problems with the two largest customers; China and India.  Over the last decade, about a third of Russian arms exports went to China. But that is now way down, as Russian manufacturers feud with the Chinese over stolen technology. The Chinese have been quite brazen of late, as they copy Russian military equipment, and then produce their own versions without paying for the technology. Worse, the Chinese are now offering to export these copies. The Russians are trying to work out licensing deals with the Chinese, with limited success. The Chinese say their generals are angry over how Russia sells technology to potential Chinese enemies, like India. The Russians don't understand that, as they have been selling weapons to India for decades. Russia fears that the Chinese have just decided that they don't need to buy Russian technology, or equipment, any more, and can just steal what they need.


India is also unhappy with Russian sloppiness in handling large projects, like refurbishing a decommissioned Cold War era carrier. This project has been a financial disaster for India. Worse yet, India is buying more Western (Israeli, European and American) weapons, and notes the differences in performance and service. The Arabs were always more understanding, at least more so than China and India. But if Russia cannot change a lot of old habits real quick, their flourishing arms export business is going to slide back into the cellar.


Three years ago Israel became one of the top four arms exporters on the planet, shipping $7.2 billion worth of military equipment. The year before, Israel had exported $6.9 billion. The U.S. is the largest exporter, followed by Russia and Germany. Israel is now number four.


Half the weapons exported worldwide last year came from the United States (mostly) and Russia. European nations have long occupied the next three slots (Germany, France and Britain.) But lately, German and Israeli exports have been growing. The other big exporters are Spain, China, Netherlands and Italy. These top ten exporters accounted for over 90 percent of the exports. The major importers are Middle Eastern Arab nations, India, South Korea, China and (until recently) Greece.


Israel and Germany have been gaining more sales because of reliability and quality. Israel has a major advantage in that many of its weapons and military equipment have proved their worth in combat.

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28 janvier 2013 1 28 /01 /janvier /2013 17:35


Jiangkai II class frigates (photo : US Navy)


25.01.2013 Defense Studies

Bangkok to talk frigate purchase with Beijing

The government has formed a committee to negotiate with a Chinese team on purchase of three frigates to enhance Thai’s naval strength in the resourceful Gulf of Thailand, officials said. Both the sides will work out details of the state-to-state frigate purchase agreement the groundwork of which was laid during the visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Thailand in November 2012.

The Thai government has recently approved the purchase of two medium-sized frigates with a budget of 1 billion U.S. dollars after denying allegation about the countrys navy persistent request for submarines. However, Beijing had offered three of its Type 054T frigates at a very lower rate and the number of the frigates on conditions that Bangkok can not be denied. Some source said these special offer include six Z-9EC ASW helicopters.

Officials said the armed forced division had planned to utilize budgetary allocations of the 1 billion U.S. dollar fund, approved by the Yingluck Cabinet for the procurement of the frigates, is to be spent for a 10-year period, beginning from current fiscal year. The three frigates are unlikely be procured at the same time.

Type 054T frigate may be an improved version of the Type 054A frigate, possibly designated F40T, for which discussions have been held between Thailand and China.

Officials said commissioning of the type 054T frigates would help the capability of the Thai maritime force in Anti-submarine warfare in the Gulf of Thailand, the dimension of which had changed a lot in the last one decade amid growing interest of Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam in the area.

Officials also said Malaysia also plans to acquire two more Scorpène class submarines and Vietnam has recently purchased from Russia six Kilo class submarines and Russian submarine have already been delivered, the delivery of all six submarines will be completed before 2016 and most important thing is Cambodia has already started Submarine project.

Thailand and its neighbor Cambodia were on the edge of conflict in the Gulf in the past 10 years over oil and gas exploration by the latter in the disputed areas. Both the countries had engaged in legal battle over the disputed areas in an international court.

Besides, Thailand is still running a legal battle against another neighbor, Malaysia, over maritime boundary and also the most revealing public statement by any military top brass on the nature and consequences of the Thai Deep South conflict since violence resumed in January 2004.


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25 janvier 2013 5 25 /01 /janvier /2013 08:50



25/01/2013 Mer et Marine


Le Zeeland, second des quatre patrouilleurs hauturiers néerlandais du type OGPV (Ocean Going Patrol Vessel), a reçu son mât intégré. Du type I-Mast 400, développée et réalisée par Thales, l’imposante structure, d’un poids de 52 tonnes et d’une hauteur de 13.6 mètres, a été posée sur le bâtiment par son constructeur, Damen, dans un dry dock couvert où se trouvait également le Holland, tête de série du programme OGPV. Ces bâtiments sont les premiers patrouilleurs à être dotés de ce concept de mâture regroupant l’essentiel des moyens de détection et de communication. L’I-M400 intègre, en effet, un radar de veille-air à longue portée Smile (SeaMaster 400), capable de détecter des aéronefs à  250 km. Disposant de quatre antennes fixes, ce senseur offre une détection permanente à 360 degrés. Il en va de même pour le radar de veille-surface Seastar, optimisé pour la détection de petits mobiles, comme des semi-rigides et des jet-skis. Toujours dans un souci de se prémunir contre les menaces asymétriques, l’I-M400 dispose d’un système électro-optique (vidéo TV et infrarouge) de surveillance et d'alerte Gatekeeper, lui aussi panoramique. Les OGPV bénéficient, grâce à ces équipements, de capacités de détection équivalentes à celles d’une frégate.


Le Zeeland reçoit son I-Mast 400 (© : DAMEN)


Le Zeeland reçoit son I-Mast 400 (© : DAMEN)


Le Zeeland (© : DAMEN)


Le Zeeland et le Holland (© : DAMEN)


Le Zeeland et le Holland (© : DAMEN)


Longs de 108 mètres pour une largeur de 16 mètres, les nouveaux patrouilleurs néerlandais présentent un déplacement de 3750 tonnes en charge. Armés par un équipage d’une cinquantaine de marins, ils mettent en œuvre une tourelle de 76mm et des affûts télé-opérés, un de 30mm (Marlin) et deux de 12.7 mm, toute l’artillerie étant fournie par l’Italien OTO-Melara. Les bâtiments peuvent également embarquer un hélicoptère NH90 et deux embarcations rapides de 11 mètres de type FRISC (Fast Raiding Interception Special Forces Crafts) développées par la société britannique MST.


On notera que les quatre OGPV ont été initialement livrés par Damen sans leur mât intégré, qui a été réalisé indépendamment par Thales pour être installés ensuite. Cela a permis de dé-corréler la construction et les essais des bateaux de la fabrication et la mise au point des nouveaux mâts intégrés, sachant que les patrouilleurs disposent en plus de l’IM-400 de deux radars de navigation, suffisants pour leur permettre d’évoluer en mer. C’est d’ailleurs sans son I-Mast que le Friesland, troisième bâtiment de la série, a été admis au service opérationnel cette semaine et va partir pour une mission de plusieurs mois dans les Antilles néerlandaises, où il participera notamment à la lutte contre le narcotrafic. A son retour, il recevra son mât, tout comme le quatrième et dernier OGPV, le Groningen.



- Voir notre reportage sur le patrouilleur Holland

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23 janvier 2013 3 23 /01 /janvier /2013 08:35

Kongyu 2000 early waring aircraft


22.01.2013 Pacific Sentinel


To counter the F-22 stealth fighter in a potential air war against the United States, China is developing third-generation early warning aircraft, according to our sister paper Want Daily.
Reports published by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based thinktank, have noted that the phased array radar technology of the KJ-2000 and KJ-200 AWACS systems of the PLA Air Force is already one full generation ahead of the E-3C and E-2C early warning aircraft of the US. China is also currently one of the only four nations in the world to export its airborne early warning systems technology to foreign market after the United States, Sweden and Israel.
Read the full story at Want China Times
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16 janvier 2013 3 16 /01 /janvier /2013 16:50


Computer-generated image of Dual Mode Seeker

Brimstone missiles fitted to an aircraft


16 January 2013 Ministry of Defence / Defence Equipment and Support


A new £14 million contract will deliver hundreds of precision attack weapons to the RAF.


Brimstone missiles are carried by RAF Tornado aircraft in Afghanistan and were also used on operations over Libya. Defence Equipment Minister Philip Dunne agreed the contract and has just returned from a visit to Helmand where he met RAF personnel who use the weapon.


This contract with MBDA will increase UK stocks by replenishing weapons used so effectively in Afghanistan and Libya.

Manufactured and assembled at MBDA facilities in Henlow, Bedfordshire, and Lostock, Bolton, the Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile is used by RAF crews to engage moving or static targets during the day or at night with pinpoint accuracy. The weapon’s precision guidance capability means that the pilot is able to engage fleeting targets with extreme accuracy.


During his visit to Afghanistan, Mr Dunne met with British personnel working for Joint Force Support, based in Camp Bastion, who are responsible for co-ordinating air operations in Helmand.

Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missiles fitted to a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft
Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missiles fitted to a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft [Picture: Copyright MBDA Systems]

After meeting with the RAF and discussing their operations, Mr Dunne said:

Brimstone is an extremely effective and reliable weapons system for RAF crews and ISAF commanders. This investment to replenish supplies used in Afghanistan and in Libya will ensure this capability continues to be available whilst also giving a boost to the UK defence industry.

Wing Commander Andy Turk led the initial Tornado operations over Libya and is now Officer Commanding IX (Bomber) Squadron, currently deployed in Afghanistan. He said:

Brimstone is being used to great effect by the RAF’s Tornado Force in Afghanistan and was also invaluable during the successful air campaign in Libya. It is very popular with our air crews because of its flexibility, accuracy and reliability - they have real confidence that the weapon will deliver the effects required.


Brimstone has become a vital part of our modern and sophisticated arsenal of precision strike weapons.

Computer-generated image of a Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile
Computer-generated image of a Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile [Picture: Copyright MBDA Systems]

The contract for more Brimstone missiles comes just weeks after plans were announced to buy more Paveway IV bombs as part of a £60 million contract, securing 450 jobs at Raytheon UK.

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14 janvier 2013 1 14 /01 /janvier /2013 17:20

CH-53K Helicopter photo Sikorsky


14 January 2013 naval-technology.com


Sikorsky Aircraft has awarded a contract to Cobham Aerospace Communications for the production of area microphone preamplifiers in support of the US Marine Corps' (USMC) next-generation heavy-lift rotorcraft, the CH-53K Super Stallion.


Known as Model 265-005 and used in a wide range of aircraft applications, the area microphone preamplifier will help in detecting and amplifying signals that are sent out of the cockpit and routes them to voice recorders.


Compatible with various other voice and data recorders, the equipment is available is different industry mounting standards such as DZUS panel mount, glare shield surface mount, and integrated or remotely-connected microphone options.


The CH-53K Super Stallion is a large, heavy-lift cargo helicopter and features three 7,500shp (5,590kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider cabin than previous CH-53 variants.


The helicopter is equipped with a new elastomeric hub system, a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head, upgraded engines and a locking cargo rail system.


Capable of carrying more than 27,000lb of external load in extreme weather conditions, the CH-53K helicopters are being developed to replace the existing CH-53E Super Stallions in 2019.


Two additional ground test helicopters are currently undergoing airframe structural testing at the company's US facility in Stratford, Connecticut, while all the four follow-on helicopters will undergo flight testing between 2014 and 2015.


Expected to continue through and beyond 2020, Sikorsky team for the CH-53K, 200-ship programme contract involves Aurora Flight Sciences, ITT Excelis, GKN Aerospace and Spirit Aerosystems.

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11 janvier 2013 5 11 /01 /janvier /2013 12:35
Dassault, India tussle over supply chains

BANGALORE, India, Jan. 11 (UPI)


India's defense ministry reiterated that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. will remain lead integrator for producing 108 Rafale fighters under the medium multirole combat aircraft contract.


Replacing HAL as integrator would jeopardize the procurement process carried out to secure the $15 billion deal with Dassault Aviation in France that was signed in January 2012.


The MMRCA contract called for final and exclusive negotiations with Dassault before production begins.


Under the tender issued in 2007, the first 18 of 126 of the twin-engine delta-wing fighters will be supplied by Dassault from its facilities in France. The remaining 108 will be produced under license by HAL at its Indian factories.


A deviation from the tender issued for the project would need to be approved by the Defense Acquisition Council and legal issues could arise, ministry sources told the Press Trust of India.


The ministry issued its statement after coming under pressure from Dassault to clarify the role of HAL so the French manufacturer could explore options for working with other companies.


Defense officials said it would convey final details of the relationship to Dassault and HAL this month, the PTI report said.


HAL is a Navratna company -- a government business -- and has 19 production and overhaul divisions and 10 research and development centers in India, the company's Web site said. It has 33,000 employees of which around half have "more than a decade of aircraft industry experience."


Dassault has been pressing the government for more freedom to choose its supply chain partners in light of a deal it signed -- shortly after getting the MMRCA contract -- with India's Reliance Industries Ltd. for working together in defense and homeland security agreements.


"Dassault Aviation, a major player in the global aerospace industry, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Reliance Industries, for pursuing strategic opportunities of collaboration in the area of complex manufacturing and support in India," officials of the two companies told PTI shortly after Dassault landed the MMRCA deal.


The PTI report said Dassault had told the ministry that if it had overall responsibility for the project, it should have the freedom to decide on the proportion of work done by HAL and other private companies.


In February the PTI reported that Dassault must reinvest 50 percent of the worth of the deal back into Indian defense sector.


The aerospace and security division of the Reliance Industries is headed by Vivek Lall, who has been closely associated with the MMRCA deal while spearheading the campaign for Boeing in the deal.


Dassault won the hard-fought MMRCA contract by beating EADS with its Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing with its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin's F-16, the Russian-made MiG-35 and the Gripen from Swedish firm Saab.


The loss was a blow to EADS which less than two months before, in December 2010, had lost out to Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation fighter F-35 Lightning II in a major Japanese military contract.


Japan chose the F-35 also over Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet in a deal estimated at around $7 billion for 42 planes.

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11 janvier 2013 5 11 /01 /janvier /2013 12:20



Jan. 9, 2012 by Galrahn - informationdissemination.net


Normally when a defense budget is passed, I can't wait to dig through it and highlight all the important details. This time, with no associated appropriations bill (or plan) coming anytime soon, it would be a waste of time to suggest anything in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Act is worth discussing, because it is worthless until the elected folks in Washington, DC get their budget priorities sorted out.

There is one section in the bill that I do want to highlight though. This reads like something inserted by a lobbyist, and it doesn't belong in my opinion.


a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:
  1. The Marine Corps is a combat force that leverages maneuver from the sea as a force multiplier allowing for a variety of operational tasks ranging from major combat operations to humanitarian assistance.
  2. The Marine Corps is unique in that, while embarked upon naval vessels, they bring all the logistic support necessary for the full range of military operations and, operating ‘‘from the sea’’, they require no third-party host nation permission to conduct military operations.
  3. The Navy has a requirement for 38 amphibious assault ships to meet this full range of military operations.
  4. Due only to fiscal constraints, that requirement of 38 vessels was reduced to 33 vessels, which adds military risk to future operations.
  5. The Navy has been unable to meet even the minimal requirement of 30 operationally available vessels and has submitted a shipbuilding and ship retirement plan to Congress that will reduce the force to 28 vessels.
  6. Experience has shown that early engineering and design of naval vessels has significantly reduced the acquisition costs and life-cycle costs of those vessels.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that—
  1. the Department of Defense should carefully evaluate the maritime force structure necessary to execute demand for forces by the commanders of the combatant commands;
  2. the Navy should carefully evaluate amphibious lift capabilities to meet current and projected requirements;
  3. the Navy should consider prioritization of investment in and procurement of the next generation of amphibious assault ships as a component of the balanced battle force;
  4. the next generation amphibious assault ships should maintain survivability protection;
  5. operation and maintenance requirements analysis, as well as the potential to leverage a common hull form design, should be considered to reduce total ownership cost and acquisition cost; and
  6. maintaining a robust amphibious ship building industrial base is vital for the future of the national security of the United States.

To me this looks a lot like some Marine Corps General and his industry buddies throwing their weight around via Congress to try an influence the Analysis of Alternatives taking place regarding the LSD(X). Congress should not be trying to influence the decision unless they are ready to pony up the big bucks for what they are basically calling for - which to me sounds like more LPD-17s.

From what I understand, LSD(X) will be a design to cost ship. The recurring cost (ship 3 and beyond) is pegged to be about $1.2 billion in the shipbuilding budget. That makes the LPD-17 hull a nonstarter without a significant increase in cash from Congress.

The Marines face several challenges in dealing with amphibious requirements, but two stand out as important challenges that must be addressed. The first challenge is that the lift footprint of the amphibious MEB is growing, and the second challenge is that the MPS squadron only carries about 70% of the MEB's equipment. With limited funding and only one platform in the shipbuilding plan able to address these issues - the LSD(X) - folks are either going to have to get creative to solve these challenges, or accept that the challenges will not be solved.

The LSD(X) is a choice between 4 alternatives.

The first choice is a new build, best possible lift vessel for $1.2 billion recurring. I have no idea what design that would be, but if we are being honest it almost certainly wouldn't be anything similar to a current LSD if it is going to meet the stated requirements.

The second choice is for a LPD-17 mod, best possible for $1.2 billion recurring. I do not believe that is possible, but I'm sure there is a shipbuilding guru who other Marines call "General" willing and ready to convince a gullible politician it is possible. Experts I have spoken to in NAVSEA say it's not possible, and I'll trust their expertise and opinion over any Marine General when it comes to shipbuilding.

The third choice is to use a foreign design brought up to NVR standard at a cost of no more than $1.2 billion recurring with the third ship. The design that is specifically highlighted with this option is the French Mistral class. The ships would be built at a US shipyard. There is not a consensus whether these ships can be built in a US shipyard for $1.2 billion recurring.

The fourth option is to build two ships - a MLP and an AFSB - and use the combination of both ships to replace the single LSD. The idea is for the AFSB vessel to cover both the lift for amphibious groups and carry residual lift for the MPS MEB while MLP serves as a well deck surrogate. What is important to understand here is that the AFSB design would actually be a non-mil spec LPH with a limited hanger capacity, but it gives the option for that vessel to carry forward the helicopters in an ARG while the LHA/LHD operates 20 JSFs. Neither the MLP or AFSB would be a gray hull though, which is a major reason why old school Marine Generals who have been doing amphibious assaults for 30 years (cough!) hate the idea.

When I read Section 131 of the 2013 National Defense Act, what I read as "Sense of Congress" actually represents the traditionalists mindset on amphibious capability and their Gulf coast lobby buddies.

But the bottom line is this. The fourth option is the only option that will actually meet the capacity requirements for amphibious lift and the MPS, but I fully expect the United States Marine Corps to outright reject the very suggestion of any option away from the traditional 3 ship ARG. The third option for a foreign design will be rejected solely because it is a foreign design, even though the logic of that escapes me completely when the ships are being built in US shipyards. A new design is possible but unlikely, and until we see more in-house design expertise in NAVSEA I can't say that is necessarily a bad thing.

So ultimately I fully expect the final choice for the LSD(X) to be a LPD-17 mod that the Navy budget cannot afford, and in the end I suspect the Marine Corps will end up with about 8 LSD(X) because that is all they can afford.

But if it was me, I would go for the MLP + AFSB concept. I believe it carries with it the highest risk, but I also believe it would give the Marine Corps the most flexibility when it comes to operations at sea. In my opinion it is much easier for the USMC to remain a relevant national defense asset when they are operating from more ships than when they are operating from fewer ships, and the MLP + AFSB option puts Marines on well over 40 vessels that deploy frequently, vs less than 30 possible vessels that deploy less frequently when one picks the quality LPD-17 mod option.

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10 janvier 2013 4 10 /01 /janvier /2013 13:40

Su-30SM Fighter source Ria Novisti


January 10, 2013: Strategy Page


The Russian Air Force recently ordered another 30 Su-30SM two-seat fighters. Thirty of these were ordered back in April and deliveries to the Russian Air Force were to begin in six months and the first one did arrive six months later. All this was pretty impressive when you consider that that Su-30SM flew for the first time last September 21st. All 60 SU-30SMs are to be delivered by 2016. Before this order Russia had only 11 Su-30s in service, far fewer than China and India. All Russia could afford until recently was the older Su-27.


The Su-30SM is a Russian Air Force version of the Su-30MKI that has long been exported (to India, Algeria, and Malaysia). For the last two decades Russian defense manufacturers have survived on exports. The Russian military halted most procurement spending after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 (largely from financial mismanagement).


In the last decade the Russian military has gradually resumed buying. Initially the Russian military could not afford the best stuff (like the Su-30MKI). But that has changed, and now the Russian military is catching up. This is the first Su-30 model for the Russian Air Force that uses thrust vectoring (the ability of the engine to direct its exhaust a bit and enhance maneuverability).


Both the Su-30SM and Su-30MKI are most similar to the two seat American F-15E fighter-bomber. The Su-30MKI, even though equipped with Western electronics, costs less than $40 million each, about half of what an equivalent F-15 costs. The Russian version will have Russian electronics and other Russian made gear but otherwise be nearly identical to the Su-30MKI. The Su-30MKI/SM can carry more than eight tons of bombs and hit targets over 1,500 kilometers away. The Su-30SM is able to use a large range of missiles and smart bombs.

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9 janvier 2013 3 09 /01 /janvier /2013 17:55



09/01/2013 Par Valérie Lion (L'Express)


Vente du Rafale en Inde, projet du futur avion de combat européen, rapprochements industriels... Bien décidé à garder son rang dans le secteur militaire, l'avionneur joue son destin en 2013, alors qu'un nouveau PDG, Eric Trappier, prend les commandes.


Ce 19 décembre, le gratin militaro-industriel s'était donné rendez-vous sur la base aérienne d'Istres, au bord de l'étang de Berre. Serge Dassault était suivi de près par son fils aîné, Olivier. Eric Trappier, futur PDG de Dassault Aviation, disputait la vedette bien malgré lui à Charles Edelstenne, sur le départ - la passation de pouvoir entre les deux hommes devait se faire sans tambour ni trompette, mercredi 9 janvier, à Saint-Cloud, au siège de l'avionneur. Laurent Collet-Billon, délégué général à l'armement, avait même fait le déplacement, séchant pour l'occasion une séance plénière de la commission du Livre blanc sur la défense. Devant quelque 400 invités, à 10 h 55, dans un ciel d'hiver nuageux, le Neuron, dernière réalisation de la maison, a décollé pour un vol inaugural de dix minutes avant de revenir parader le long de la piste. Aucun pilote n'a salué la foule de la main, et pour cause : le Neuron est un prototype de drone de combat, commandé à distance. Le premier du genre sur le Vieux Continent.



Chiffre d'affaires 2011, en milliards d'euros.


Difficile de savoir ce qui, ce jour-là, a le plus étonné les nombreux participants à l'événement. Cet appareil futuriste aux lignes presque inquiétantes ? Ou le discours d'Edelstenne, d'une tribune où étaient plantés le drapeau européen et ceux des six pays partenaires du programme (France, Suède, Suisse, Espagne, Italie, Grèce) ? Du jamais-vu dans la maison Dassault : réputée pour sa conduite solitaire des affaires, elle a toujours cultivé un splendide isolement. "Non à la fédération des incompétences", n'a cessé de répéter Edelstenne, pendant les douze ans de son mandat, sans perdre une occasion d'ironiser sur les difficultés des programmes multilatéraux tels que l'A400M ou l'Eurofighter, rival du Rafale. Et pourtant, ce 19 décembre, les dirigeants de l'avionneur ont lancé un vibrant plaidoyer en faveur d'une coopération européenne pour le futur avion de combat. Avant de laisser les invités méditer ce virage sur l'aile autour des six buffets, honorant la gastronomie de chacun des pays représentés. Une belle variété, propre à ouvrir l'appétit.


Celui de Dassault est grand. Pas question de perdre sa place dans le cercle mondial très restreint des fabricants de chasseurs. Le choix d'Eric Trappier pour remplacer Edelstenne traduit clairement la volonté du groupe, qui réalise pourtant les trois quarts de son chiffre d'affaires avec les jets d'affaires, de rester un acteur majeur de la défense. Trappier ? L'homme du militaire et de l'international, rompu aux arcanes politiques et seul représentant de l'industrie de défense dans la commission du Livre blanc. Cet ingénieur, passé très vite du bureau d'études aux ventes, a conclu le dernier contrat export en date de Dassault, la vente de 30 Mirage 2000-9 aux Emirats arabes unis, en 1998. Il est à la manoeuvre depuis près d'un an dans la négociation finale avec l'Inde pour la vente de 126 Rafale - le contrat de la dernière chance à l'export pour cet avion dont le premier vol à Istres remonte à... juillet 1986.


Cinq ans de travail suspendus au contrat indien


Le lendemain de sa nomination, le futur PDG se refusait en public à tout commentaire, fidèle à la tradition maison, mais il affichait, en privé, sa sérénité quant à l'issue des négociations. Complice d'Edelstenne, Trappier a aussi toute la confiance de Serge Dassault - "les clients le connaissent et l'apprécient", assure le pater familias. Mais la pression sur les épaules de ce quinqua est immense : Trappier doit absolument rapporter de New Delhi la signature tant attendue, qui devrait garantir cinq années de travail aux usines de l'avionneur et pourrait ouvrir d'autres marchés. A plus long terme, il lui faut aussi assurer la pérennité du bureau d'études - près de 2 000 personnes qui risquent fort de se tourner les pouces si le Rafale n'a pas de successeur. "Le système Dassault, c'est avoir toujours en parallèle un avion en fabrication et un autre en développement", rappelle Louis Gautier, président du think tank Orion.


Le Rafale absorbe 30 % des dépenses d'équipement !


Or il n'y a aucun nouveau programme à l'horizon. Le danger guette : partout, dans le monde occidental, l'heure est à la réduction des budgets de la défense. Une diète qui attise la concurrence à l'export et contraint les industriels à se regrouper. En France, la prochaine loi de programmation militaire, pour 2014-2019, élaborée d'ici à l'été, en sera le douloureux reflet. D'où la démonstration de force du 19 décembre. L'opération de com a été montée en moins de quatre semaines, au lendemain de la réussite, loin des caméras et des photographes, du tout premier vol du Neuron, le 1er décembre. Objectif : convaincre que seul Dassault est capable de fédérer efficacement des partenaires étrangers pour développer une technologie de pointe. Et encourager les gouvernements, au premier rang desquels la France, à poursuivre l'aventure.


Au passage, le groupe en a profité pour exposer son savoir-faire dans les avions sans pilote, alors que le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, doit bientôt choisir qui de Dassault ou d'EADS fournira le drone de surveillance intermédiaire - à moins que, pour des raisons d'économies, la France se résigne à acheter américain. Par la voix d'Eric Trappier, dans Les Echos du 2 décembre, Dassault a tendu la main sur ce dossier à EADS, le frère ennemi, deuxième actionnaire de la société réduit depuis des années au rôle de figurant au conseil d'administration. Et lors de leurs auditions à l'Assemblée nationale, à l'automne dernier, Trappier comme Edelstenne ont spontanément parlé d'Europe, à la grande surprise des membres de la commission de la Défense. Cette évolution en laisse d'ailleurs plus d'un sceptique. "La coopération à la mode Dassault ? C'est simple : les autres paient, lui décide", raille un observateur averti. Ainsi, la société n'a pas mis un centime dans le programme Neuron.


Le changement de tête à Saint-Cloud ne fait guère illusion non plus : "Une page se tourne mais l'auteur du livre reste le même", glisse un syndicaliste. Trappier a combattu sans relâche sur les marchés export le britannique BAE et le franco-allemand EADS, fabricants de l'Eurofighter. Quant à Charles Edelstenne, il a beau lâcher le manche de Dassault Aviation, il reste administrateur et s'installe au Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, à la direction générale du holding familial, GIMD. A charge pour lui de veiller au rang de Dassault dans la défense et de calmer la guerre de succession qui fait rage entre deux des fils de Serge, Olivier et Laurent. "Il va tout contrôler", glissait en aparté, ravi, Serge Dassault, le 19 décembre. Ce jour-là, Edelstenne a d'ailleurs balayé sèchement l'hypothèse d'un rapprochement Dassault-Thales-Safran, évoqué par Laurent Dassault : "Cette idée a fleuri quelque part, oubliez-la !"


Le gouvernement devra - encore - compter avec l'inflexible "ChE". Pas facile, même pour les socialistes, de prendre ses distances avec la maison Dassault. Le contrat indien est ainsi vital pour l'Etat français : il permettra de desserrer la contrainte budgétaire - le Rafale, avec ses 11 avions par an pour les forces françaises, absorbe en moyenne 30 % des crédits d'équipement ! L'Etat n'a guère de moyens de pression sur Dassault. Tout au plus peut-il jouer sur des commandes annexes, comme la modernisation des avions de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2, repoussée à 2013, ou les drones de surveillance. Sous Sarkozy, la société s'est rendue incontournable en entrant au capital de l'électronicien de défense Thales, un groupe quatre fois plus gros qu'elle. "C'était un moyen tactique d'éviter que les grandes orientations se fassent contre elle", estime Louis Gautier. Une position qui a bloqué toute restructuration. Aucune synergie n'a été développée entre Dassault et Thales, aucune ouverture vers des coopérations européennes n'a été engagée, déplorent les spécialistes. Le PDG, Luc Vigneron, a été un simple exécutant, avec pour seul mot d'ordre : améliorer les comptes. Mais la brutalité de son management a déclenché une crise sans précédent, jusqu'à son éviction le 20 décembre.


C'est Charles Edelstenne en personne qui a lâché le nom du successeur de Vigneron, la veille d'un conseil d'administration décisif. Sans doute soulagé d'avoir enfin trouvé une solution, mais prenant aussi un malin plaisir à couper l'herbe sous le pied du gouvernement, privé de la primeur de l'annonce. Certes, Dassault n'a pas réussi à imposer son choix chez Thales, comme il y a trois ans déjà. Mais comme il y a trois ans, le gouvernement n'a pas non plus fait prévaloir ses vues. Et comme il y a trois ans, c'est un candidat de compromis qui a finalement été nommé, après moult tractations. Jean-Bernard Lévy, ex-PDG de Vivendi, aura- t-il la latitude de développer une vision stratégique pour Thales ? Rien n'est moins sûr. Les deux actionnaires lui demandent d'abord de ramener la paix sociale. Après ? "On discutera", a lâché Edelstenne, qui n'avait jamais rencontré Lévy auparavant.


Pourtant, "Thales est l'un des pivots naturels de la consolidation européenne, c'est le groupe le plus diversifié et le plus international", assure Philippe Plouvier, consultant chez Roland Berger. Dassault, lui, rêvait plutôt d'une intégration verticale à la BAE, lui permettant d'être présent dans l'aérien, la marine et le terrestre. Un schéma qui n'a pas les faveurs du nouveau gouvernement. "Faire un champion national n'a pas de sens, surtout si le budget domestique est fortement réduit", martèlent en choeur les sénateurs Daniel Reiner et Jacques Gautier, chevilles ouvrières de la commission de la Défense au Palais du Luxembourg. Les deux hommes soulignent aussi la nécessité de ne pas se mettre dans la main d'un "monopoleur" : "Les Etats-Unis ont su consolider leur industrie tout en gardant deux acteurs majeurs dans chaque secteur pour faire jouer la concurrence", rappellent-ils.


L'Etat prêt à soutenir des rapprochements


Que prônera Jean-Yves Le Drian ? Le ministre s'est montré étonnamment prudent - et discret - sur le sujet. Son entourage répète à l'envi qu'il ne jouera pas les marieurs : aux entreprises de discuter entre elles et de trouver les meilleures formules. Le gouvernement se voit plutôt en facilitateur, prêt à soutenir des rapprochements surtout s'ils ouvrent la voie à des solutions européennes. Mais le précédent EADS-BAE n'est guère encourageant : si Le Drian en a vite saisi l'intérêt, il n'a pas su entraîner Matignon et l'Elysée. Après l'échec de la fusion des deux groupes, l'Hôtel de Brienne s'est empressé de commander à un cabinet de conseil renommé une étude sur les stratégies possibles de consolidation dans la défense. Il s'efforce aussi de ramener dans le jeu les Allemands, marginalisés par l'axe franco-britannique développé sous l'ère Sarkozy. Mais une chose est sûre, comme ses prédécesseurs, Le Drian devra faire avec l'avionneur de Saint-Cloud. "C'est le meilleur sur le plan technologique, il respecte les coûts et les délais, et c'est une société purement française", résume un fin connaisseur. Une fois de plus, il faudra bien sauver les ailes Dassault.


Rafale: vaincre le signe indien



Le contrat indien ? "Les discussions se poursuivent dans l'état d'esprit de conclure au plus vite." Fermez le ban. Eric Trappier a officiellement bien mis ses pas dans ceux de Charles Edelstenne. Pas question d'extrapoler davantage sur le "contrat du siècle" - estimé à 15 milliards d'euros, dont environ un tiers pour Dassault - tant qu'il n'est pas signé.


D'abord espéré avant le 31 mars, le dénouement des négociations, entamées en février 2012, pourrait intervenir plus tard dans l'année. "Les discussions sont complexes, explique un expert. Il ne s'agit pas seulement de l'achat d'avions, mais des modalités de fabrication." Dernier épisode en date : un vif débat entre Dassault et les autorités indiennes sur le rôle de Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) dans la production de 108 des appareils (les 18 premiers seront assemblés en France, chez Dassault). Certains doutent que HAL ait les compétences pour garantir la qualité des avions, mais Dassault ne veut pas assumer cette responsabilité s'il n'a pas la maîtrise du choix des partenaires et sous-traitants.


A Saint-Cloud, on se veut confiant : à ce stade, le risque d'un échec retentissant, avec à la clef le retour d'un concurrent dans le jeu, semble mince. Comme en 2012, la direction a promis 1 % d'augmentation générale en 2013 pour tous les salariés si le contrat est signé. "Sinon, il faudra prendre des mesures d'économies", avait lâché cet automne le DRH en comité d'entreprise.

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9 janvier 2013 3 09 /01 /janvier /2013 13:55
Euronaval 2012 par SITTA


09/01/2013 SITTA


Malgré un contexte économique difficile en Europe, l’édition 2012 du salon a rassemblé près de 370 exposants représentant 33 pays et des visiteurs professionnels en provenance des quatre coins du monde. Une présentation de bâtiments de la Marine nationale a également été réalisée le lundi 22 octobre sur site de la base navale de Toulon, présentation à laquelle ont assisté près de 200 personnes. Plusieurs conférences, ainsi que des présentations dynamiques de drones sous-marins, ont également animé cette édition.


De nombreux industriels de premier plan du secteur naval étaient représentés sur le salon, dont une forte participation des industriels russes, italiens et allemands.




AGAT-CONCERN. La société russe spécialisée dans le développement des systèmes de combat (CMS), des équipements électroniques (radars, conduites de tir), des missiles de croisière et de leurs systèmes de lancement associés, présentait sur son stand les systèmes de missiles antinavires/anti-terre CLUB-K et CLUB-M :

-         CLUB-K : cette version du système CLUB propose l’intégration des missiles de type 3М-54ТE, 3М-54ТE1 et 3М-14ТE dans un conteneur commercial de 40 pieds, mais également l’intégration du missile subsonique KH-35UE URAN dans un conteneur de 20 pieds. Facilement dissimulable et transportable, le CLUB-K (dans ses deux versions) constitue une arme particulièrement redoutable et dissuasive. La version KH-35du système CLUB-K a été testée avec succès en août dernier. D’après les responsables de la société AGAT, la version en conteneur 40 pieds avec missiles 3M-54TE/TE1/14TEaurait également été testée récemment avec succès ;

-         CLUB-M : il s’agit de la version en batterie côtière mobile du système CLUB. Les TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher), d’une capacité maximale de six missiles, sont associés à véhicule radar et de commandement.

Les systèmes CLUB-K et CLUB-M, en fonction des missiles employés, sont en mesure de neutraliser les bâtiments de surface ainsi que les cibles terrestres jusqu’à une distance maximale de 300 kilomètres. Le système CLUB (M/N/S/U/K) constitue à l’heure actuelle la vitrine technologique de l’industrie missilière russe.




ARESA. Basée à Barcelone, la société ARESA est spécialisée dans la production de RHIB, vedettes et patrouilleurs rapides de 7 à 50 mètres. Axée principalement sur le marché africain (le groupe espagnol réalise 70% de ses exportations vers l’Afrique, 20% vers l’Amérique latine et 10% vers le Golfe persique), ARESA a remporté récemment plusieurs contrats pour la livraison de vedettes rapides (gamme 12 à 32 mètres) vers des états d’Afrique de l’Ouest : Angola, Nigéria et Cameroun notamment. Légèrement armées, rapides, disposant de propulsion hydrojet/diesel inboard ou outboard (selon le choix du client), ces unités s’avèrent particulièrement adaptées pour le renforcement de la protection côtière, la lutte anti-piraterie et lutte contre les nouvelles menaces asymétriques. Souhaitant pérenniser son implantation en Amérique du sud, ARESA sera prochainement représentée à l’occasion du salon EXPONAVAL de Valparaiso (Chili) du 04 au 07 décembre prochain.



BLACK SNAKE. Première présentation de l’antenne linéaire remorquée BLACK SNAKE. Cette ALR (Antenne Linéaire Remorquée) proposée par WASS / Finmeccanica est une réelle nouveauté, par la technologie employée d'une part, et par les futurs porteurs de cette petite antenne d'autre part. Actuellement en phase d'essais à la mer, cette ALR est destinée aux bâtiments de surface de petit et moyen tonnages. Le tronçon acoustique regroupe des canaux numérisés, composés d'un seul hydrophone. La particularité de la formation de voie et du traitement associé permet, malgré un espacement inter-canaux limité, d’obtenir une large gamme de fréquences de travail. Autre particularité, le lever de doute azimutal s'affranchit de manœuvre du porteur, malgré la composition mono hydrophonique de l'antenne. Cette prouesse, selon l'industriel, serait le résultat d'un système de gouverne positionné sur le câble tracteur, qui, par de légères oscillations, provoque après traitement de l'information, le lever de doute quasi instantané des cibles. Cette antenne est optimisée pour l'alerte torpille. Les paramétrages, modifiables en fonction de la menace sur la console bi-écrans, sont proposés par défaut, associé à une fonction automatique d'alerte torpille. La console gère également, en l'absence d'un système de combat intégré sur le porteur, la mise en œuvre des contre mesures, le lancement des armes d'autodéfense, telles que la Black Shark, ou également la torpille légère Flash Black, utilisée dans ce cas comme torpille anti-torpille. Un tronçon additionnel actif est également proposé en option, permettant ainsi à un bâtiment de combat de se doter d'une véritable capacité de lutte anti sous-marine complémentaire.



BAE SYSTEMS. Sur son stand, BAE présentait l’une des rares nouveautés de cette édition 2012 d’EURONAVAL avec la maquette de la future frégate TYPE 26, quelques semaines seulement après une reprise de son design par les bureaux d’études britanniques. Programme majeur pour la Royal Navy, qui en espère la livraison de 13 unités dans les prochaines décennies, les frégates de TYPE 26 sont destinées à remplacer dans les prochaines années les frégates de TYPE 23et devenir l’épine dorsale de la marine britannique. Si l’ensemble des armements et équipements devant équiper la plateforme n’est pas encore arrêté (notamment pour la lutte anti-sous-marine), la découpe de la première tôle (pour la première unité) devrait intervenir au cours de l’année 2013.




DAEWOO-DSME. Sur son stand, le constructeur sud-coréen proposait son concept de nouvelle frégate multi-missions de 3 000 tonnes (DW 3000). D’une longueur de 114 mètres, la plateforme dispose d’un armement conséquent avec huit missiles antinavires, une tourelle de 76 millimètres, un système VLS à huit cellules (sur la plage-avant) pour la mise en œuvre probable de missiles surface-air, deux pièces de 30 millimètres, un CIWS de type PHALANX et six tubes lance-torpilles de 324 millimètres. Polyvalente, la frégate de type DW 3000 dispose également d’une plateforme hélicoptère ainsi que d’un hangar. Déjà présentée à l’occasion du salon « Defense & Security 2012 » à Bangkok, cette nouvelle plateforme pourrait être choisie prochainement par la marine thaïlandaise dans le cadre de la modernisation de ses forces navales.


DSME présentait enfin la maquette de son pétrolier-ravitailleur de type MARS (Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability - tanker), projet récemment retenu par la Grande-Bretagne pour la Royal Fleet Auxiliary (quatre exemplaires).




FINCANTIERI. Le constructeur italien s’était déplacé en force pour cette 23ème édition d’EURONAVAL avec un stand impressionnant, véritable vitrine technologique pour la construction navale transalpine. Parmi les très nombreuses plateformes exposées (projets réalisés, en cours, ou à l’étude), il convient de signaler :

-         Le destroyer de type AEGIS : FINCANTIERI présentait un concept de bâtiment AEGIS, dont la plateforme est dérivée des frégates italiennes de type FREMM (classe CARLO BERGAMINI). Conçue pour être intégrée au sein du système de défense aérienne AEGIS, non seulement pour la détection des cibles mais également pour leur interception (l’intégration de missiles SM-3 jusqu’au Block IIA -a minima- serait prévue dans un VLS situé sur l’avant du bâtiment) cette plateforme pourrait être proposée à des marines occidentales désireuses d’accéder aux mêmes capacités que les marines américaine et japonaise ;

-         Le LHD de type BDSL (Bâtiment de Débarquement et de Soutien Logistique) : retenu par la marine algérienne et dont la mise sur cales a débuté en janvier dernier au chantier naval de Riva Trigoso, le futur bâtiment majeur de la marine algérienne devrait être mis à l’eau courant 2013 pour une livraison en 2014. Dérivé des unités de type SAN GIORGIO/SAN GIUSTO, le bâtiment d’un déplacement d’environ 9 000 tonnes est un véritable concentré de technologie avec notamment l’intégration du radar de veille AIR 3D EMPARet de missiles anti-aériens ASTER-15 ;

-         La corvette lance-missiles ABU DHABI, construite pour la marine émiratie, et dont l’admission au service actif devrait avoir lieu en 2013.




MECTRON. La société brésilienne Mectron a profité du salon Euronaval pour présenter le missile MAR-1. C’est un missile air-sol antiradar qui peut neutraliser aussi bien les stations radar fixes que les batteries sol-air mobiles. Le missile, qui avait était développé au profit des forces aériennes brésiliennes, vient d’entrer en service dans les forces aériennes pakistanaises où il équipe les chasseurs Mirage. Mectronpropose plusieurs types d’intégrations du missile. Soit en association avec l’avionique de l’avion, au travers d’un bus MIL-STD-1553ou 1760, soit avec un système de commande indépendant et installé dans le cockpit. Cette dernière solution permet ainsi de diminuer largement le coût de l’intégration. Mectron, nouveau venu dans ce marché, offre une alternative intéressante aux missiles antiradars américain AGM-88 et russe Kh-31P.




MKU. Implantée dans près de 90 pays à travers le monde, la société MKU est spécialisée dans la protection individuelle du combattant (gilets pare-balles, casques) et la protection des plateformes aériennes, navales et terrestres (systèmes de blindage additionnels). A l’occasion d’EURONAVAL 2012, MKU présentait un échantillon de ses matériaux de blindage synthétiques destinés à protéger les unités navales contre des tirs directs d’armes légères et les éclats métalliques. Les blindages proposés par MKU peuvent être utilisés afin de renforcer les cloisons de secteurs névralgiques d’un bâtiment de surface (passerelle, central-opérations, silos missiles, soutes à munitions, etc.). A titre d’exemple, la société singapourienne SUNCRAFT a choisi de faire confiance à MKU pour la protection de ses patrouilleurs rapides en aluminium (à l’instar du patrouilleur MANTA ASD).



OSK. A l’occasion de cette 23ème édition du salon EURONAVAL, l’industrie navale de défense russe était fortement représentée par le biais de l’OSK, représentant près d’une dizaine de chantiers navals et bureaux d’études. De nombreuses plateformes, de surface ou sous-marines (plateformes pour certaines déjà largement "éprouvées" à l’image des sous-marins de type KILO) étaient représentées sur le stand. Parmi les programmes/projets en cours, il convient de retenir :

-         Sous-marins KILO (Projet 636M) : deux contrats majeurs sont actuellement en cours. Le premier, pour la marine vietnamienne, avec la livraison à Hanoï de six unités (la première unité a été mise à l’eau récemment au chantier du Nord de St-Petersbourg), le second pour la marine russe avec la réalisation de trois unités pour le Flotte russe de mer Noire ;

-         Sous-marins LADA/AMUR (Projet 950/1650) :malgré des déclarations récentes émanant du Ministère de la défense russe annonçant l’arrêt du programme compte tenu de difficultés sur la première unité (le sous-marin St-Petersbourg), le chantier naval russe annonce la résolution des problèmes (sur l’appareil propulsif) et le maintien du programme avec la poursuite de la construction des seconde et troisième unités. La réalisation de ce programme revêt une importance majeur pour l’industrie navale russe, les sous-marins AMUR devant à terme remplacer les KILO dans le cadre des contrats exports ;

-         Corvettes STEREGUSHCHIY/TIGR (Projets 20380-20385/20382) : la maquette de la corvette STEREGUSHCHIY (en configuration URAN-E et missiles 9M-96/9M-100 -soit la configuration des corvettes russes Soobrazitelnyy et Boikiy-) était présentée sur le stand russe. La réalisation de ces unités pour la marine russe poursuit son cours. La corvette Boikiy,qui a récemment débuté ses essais en mer Baltique, devrait être admise au service actif d’ici la fin de l’année 2012. Si l’OSK n’a pour l’heure pas concrétisé de contrat export pour cette plateforme, la livraison de deux unités à la marine algérienne (version export : TIGR) serait actuellement toujours en discussion d’après les industriels russes ;

-         Frégate ADMIRAL GORSHKOV (Projets 22350/22356) : mise sur cales en février 2006, l’unité tête de série Admiral Gorshkov, devrait débuter ses premiers essais à quai au cours du mois de novembre. L’OSK présentait à l’occasion d’EURONAVAL la version proposée à l’export : le Projet 22356.




ROTINOR. La société allemande ROTINOR propose depuis trois ans maintenant ses deux jets « immergeables » type Divejet 414 et Black Shadow 730. Largement disséminés, en particulier sur le continent asiatique, ces deux engins propulsés par hydrojet, sont entièrement électriques. L’autonomie annoncée serait de l’ordre de 400 minutes (environ 6h)  pour le modèle 414 à 700 minutes (environ 11h) pour le modèle 730. Ces engins sont tous les deux dotés de batteries lithium-ion et pour le model 730, d'un sonar haute fréquence d'évitement d'obstacle. Silencieux d'un point de vue acoustique, ces engins auraient également une signature magnétique particulièrement basse, ce qui les rendrait difficilement interceptables par les moyens magnétiques et acoustiques actuels. A ce jour, Rotinor n’aurait pas de nouveau projet, la notoriété actuelle de ces deux produits se suffirait à elle -même, selon son directeur.


Photothèque Euronaval 2012

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9 janvier 2013 3 09 /01 /janvier /2013 12:35



January 5, 2013 defense-update.com


U.S. Air Force officials have decided not to renew a contract with Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia North America to support and induct the small, Italian-made C-27A transport aircraft into the Afghan Air Force. This is the second U.S. blow aimed at the Italian aircraft manufacturer, after the termination of acquisition of C-27J Spartan by the US Air Force. According to the Air Force, Alenia failed to generate a sufficient number of operational aircraft for effective Afghan Air Force airlift capability. Aviation Week reports.


In 2008, the U.S. paid $314 million for the purchase of 20 former Italian Air Force G.222s — designated the C-27A by the Air Force — to give to the fledging Afghan National Army Air Corps, later the Afghan Air Force, an independent tactical transport capability to replace Soviet-era Antonov An-32s.


However, their introduction to service has been far from smooth. Only 16 of the aircraft have been delivered to Afghanistan, with four remaining in Italy. Despite a deployed team of contractors, the aircraft struggled with serviceability issues and have been grounded twice — once in December 2011 on airworthiness grounds, and again in March 2012 because of safety issues that delayed the training of Afghan personnel.

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9 janvier 2013 3 09 /01 /janvier /2013 12:20

RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 - Northrop Grumman


January 08, 2013 by General Dynamics Canada


General Dynamics Canada has been awarded a CA$32m contract by Northrop Grumman Corporation for key communications network technology for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.


Under this contract, General Dynamics Canada will provide the software that will control the AGS Communications Ground Control System (CGCS). The CGCS will manage radio and satellite communications between Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the main operating base in Sigonella, Italy.


General Dynamics Canada will also deliver ruggedized computer workstations and the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) intercom systems that will enable communications between operators at the operating base and with mobile command centers. In addition, the company will provide engineering support for the integration of its software and systems at Northrop Grumman's facilities in the US, and at the main operating base in Italy.


"This contract highlights the capabilities of the world-leading communication solutions we have developed through many years of innovation in airborne ISR systems," said David Ibbetson, general manager for General Dynamics Canada.


"It showcases Canadian technology that we have successfully deployed on the CP-140 Aurora as part of the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project, and on the CH148 Cyclone as part of the Maritime Helicopter Program. At the same time, it provides us with the opportunity to leverage the experience and expertise of the highly skilled employees at our facilities across Canada.


"As important, the key technologies being provided by General Dynamics Canada will be available for future UAV-based programs in Canada, such as the Joint Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System and the Mercury Global Wideband Global Satellite communications system."


Dan Chang, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager of the NATO AGS program, said: "This is another example of how Northrop Grumman is leveraging national investments already made in the NATO AGS program to benefit the entire alliance.


"We look forward to working with General Dynamics Canada on this program to deliver this critical capability to NATO."


The NATO AGS program, led by Northrop Grumman, is a major international procurement initiative to establish an airborne ground surveillance system, which can provide NATO commanders with a comprehensive picture of activity on the ground. It includes five Northrop Grumman high-altitude, long endurance Global Hawk UAVs, missionized to NATO requirements; mobile ground command and control vehicles; as well as associated command and control base stations. Once deployed, the AGS system will enable NATO and its coalition partners to gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to support military and humanitarian operations.


With its main operating base at Sigonella, NATO AGS will be co-located with the US Air Force Global Hawks and the US Navy MQ-4C Triton (BAMS) Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft systems, further advancing synergies across the three programs in operational capability, lifecycle logistics and sustainment.


Development and production of the AGS program is expected to take place over the next three years, with initial operation scheduled for November 2016. General Dynamics Canada will continue to provide in-service support for the system beyond 2016.

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21 décembre 2012 5 21 /12 /décembre /2012 12:35

Yi Long UAV pic1

Chinese Yi-Long (Wing Loong) UCAV


20 December 2012 William Gallo – Pacific Sentinel


Analysts say China is using its rapidly expanding defense budget to make impressive advances in drone technology, prompting some to worry that the United States' global dominance in the market could soon be challenged.


At a recent biennial airshow in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai, China unveiled a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Long-time observers of Chinese military capability reported the drones on display were bigger and more sophisticated than in the past.


Though many of the prototypes and models on display at the Zhuhai air show did not have explicit military purposes, others appeared to be clones of U.S. drones, such as the Predator or Reaper, which have both been used in deadly missions on suspected militants.


There is no evidence suggesting China plans to use its drones in a similar manner as the United States, and observers say Beijing is still likely far behind Washington in drone technology.


US Defense Report Calls China's drone advances "alarming"


But a report published in July by the Defense Science Board, a committee that advises the U.S. Defense Department, suggested that Beijing's ramped up spending and research on drones could threaten U.S. supremacy in the sector.


The unclassified report called China's recent focus on UAVs "alarming," warning Beijing could "easily match or outpace U.S. spending on unmanned systems, rapidly close the technology gaps and become a formidable global competitor in unmanned systems."


Richard Bitzinger, an ex-CIA analyst and senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, says he dismisses parts of that report as being "melodramatic."


"There's certainly cause for concern and for watchfulness. But how could the Chinese outspend the United States on drones? I just don't see it," he said. "The United States has literally thousands of drones."


How has China used drones?


Bitzinger says it is difficult to determine how China, or any other country, uses drones, partly because of their often-times covert nature. He says drone programs with obvious military purposes are often disguised as only having humanitarian roles, such as disaster relief, counter-piracy or crime-fighting.


"Kind of all these warm fuzzies, these kind of 'mom-and-apple-pie,' benign things that you can say 'That's what we're building the drones for, and oh, by the way, we have a military purpose for them, as well," said Bitzinger. "When I hear all the kind of uplifting and peaceful-sounding kind of things [about drones], I think 'So what. They can be converted in a matter of hours, if not sooner, into an offensive, or at least an explicitly military, capability.'"


For China, state media said those reportedly peaceful missions include patrolling maritime regions. In September, the Xinhua news agency reported that China's State Oceanic Administration would step up the use of drones to "strengthen marine surveillance" in disputed areas of the South China Sea. A government report earlier this year called for 11 drone bases to be established along China's coastline by 2015.


But other missions were seemingly more mundane. The state-run Global Times reported in June that Beijing police is using a drone to spot illegal opium poppies in rural areas of the capital. Last year, the paper said the department would also use unmanned aircraft to "monitor traffic accidents, conduct aerial surveillance, or help with rescue operations."


So far there are no known instances of China carrying out deadly attacks with weaponized UAVs. But Li Yidong, a designer for the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told the Global Times that one of the UAVs on display at the Zhuhai air show appears to have carried out 20 missions and fired 15 missiles, judging from the number of red stars and missile patterns on the drone.


At the Zhuhai air show, Huang Wei, the director of a drone program at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation told the Global Times that UAVs were, "as the Americans say," fit for missions that are "dirty, dangerous and dull."


Possible deadly missions in the future?


Bitzinger warns that if Beijing did decide to use drones for explicitly offensive missions, such as targeting suspected militants, it would likely draw on the experience of the U.S. military, which has used the highly effective unmanned planes to target militants in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen.


"The United States is basically field-testing the whole idea of drone warfare," said Bitzinger. "Armed hunter-killer drones have been going very well for the United States. And people walk away with this as a lesson. One of the lessons is, "Gee, it would sure be nice to have one of those things."


Wendell Minnick, Asia bureau chief at Defense News, says there is no evidence to suggest that China desires to carry out deadly drone strikes. But he says that if it did, it would likely point to U.S. drone use as justification.


"There's certainly an argument to be made that if the U.S. can make the same type of judgment call and justification for hitting militants in Pakistan, what's to stop the Chinese from hitting Tibetan or Uighur rebel groups that are technically within China's own sovereign country?" he asks.


The danger of Chinese drone exports


Another area of concern for the United States is that China will increasingly export its relatively inexpensive drone technology to nations around the world. That fear was heightened when the Global Times said in November that "some foreign sales" were reported at the Zhuhai air show.


Minnick says that Chinese drones, many of which are specifically produced for the export market, are very attractive for nations that cannot afford or are otherwise prevented from purchasing the U.S. alternatives.


"Our drone exports are very expensive platforms, very sophisticated. The Chinese produce a much cheaper variety that basically does the same job," said Minnick. "The Chinese have got cheap labor, technological know-how, and are looking at an export market that's growing."


But Bitzinger says price is only one factor that nations consider when purchasing foreign military equipment. He warns Beijing will not likely become the "Wal-Mart" of international drone sales anytime soon.


"I'm sure they'd like to be, but the question is, do you want to buy Chinese equipment?" asks Bitzinger. "The reliability, the maintenance of these things is still unproven, and there's a lot of political baggage that comes with buying Chinese [products]."


Bitzinger also says Chinese exports of drones may be limited by international arms sales regulations that govern exports of weapons and "dual-use" goods that have both civilian and military purposes.


Still, Bitzinger and other analysts warn against being dismissive of Chinese drone capability.


"I think at this point, they're still very much in that developmental, exploratory phase," he said. "That aside, I don't see them getting out of the business. I think they'll continue to work on it and get better."

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