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21 mars 2012 3 21 /03 /mars /2012 08:55

VL-MICA-surface-to-air-defence-system.--Photo-MBDA--.jpg

 

19/03/2012 Michel Cabirol - LaTribune

 

Le missilier européen pourrait armer six frégates de la Marine royale malaisienne. Le montant du contrat est évalué à 400 millions d'euros.

 

Ca plane commercialement pour MBDA, qui présente mardi ses résultats. Après avoir obtenu un très beau contrat en Inde avec la vente de 493 missiles air-air de moyenne portée Mica (Mica IR/EM) pour armer les Mirage 2000 en voie de modernisation (920 millions d'euros) en février, le missilier européen (détenu à hauteur de 37,5 % par EADS, 37,5 % par BAE Systems et 25 % par l'italien Finmeccanica) pourrait à nouveau faire mouche en Asie, et plus particulièrement en Malaisie, dans les prochaines semaines.

 

MBDA aurait pris un avantage, qui reste toutefois à confirmer, dans la compétition pour armer six corvettes de la Marine royale malaisienne. Une nouvelle commande en Asie estimée à environ 400 millions d'euros. Pour autant, les différents interlocuteurs restent encore « très prudents » sur la concrétisation de ce contrat même si le package proposé par MBDA tient actuellement la corde de la part du client malaisien, selon des sources concordantes.

 

Signature espérée fin du premier semestre

 

MBDA propose ainsi ses missiles surface-air VL Mica, et l'anti-navire, Exocet block 3, à la Malaisie en vue d'équiper les corvettes malaisiennes fabriquées par le groupe local Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS). La première doit être livrée en 2017. Choisi en décembre dernier comme maître d'œuvre de ce programme de 2,2 milliards d'euros, BNS avait sélectionné le design des Gowind, conçu par DCNS.

 

Exocet MM40 Block 3 firing. MBDA Michel Hans

Exocet block 3 - photo MBDA

 

Le groupe naval tricolore attend dans les prochaines semaines la LOA (Letter of acceptance) de BNS, afin de finaliser les différents contrats (design des corvettes et système de combat). MBDA a d'autant plus de chance d'être sélectionné que le système de combat choisi par la Marine royale malaisienne est celui de DCNS (SETIS), qui a l'habitude de travailler avec le missilier européen, aux dépens de celui de Thales (Tacticos).

 

Le calendrier pourrait s'accélérer au moment du salon de défense DSA, qui se déroule mi-avril à Kuala Lumpur (16-19 avril). Mais les observateurs estiment que le contrat devrait être signé vers la fin du premier semestre.

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21 mars 2012 3 21 /03 /mars /2012 08:25
Cassidian calls time on Talarion UAS

 

Mar. 20, 2012 by Craig Hoyle FG

 

EADS company Cassidian confirms that it has halted work on the Talarion unmanned air system (UAS) programme, after failing to secure financial backing from potential future buyers.

 

"Cassidian said several times during the last few months that we will only continue to invest in the Talarion programme if we would get a firm commitment from our potential customers," the company says, referring to France, Germany and Spain. "Unfortunately, we did not get this commitment so far. Therefore we decided to ramp down the programme."

 

Ambitious in its scale, the Talarion had been designed to meet a broad range of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance requirements for a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS previously identified by France, Germany and Spain. Powered by two jet engines and with a 28m (91.8ft) wingspan, the aircraft was to have had a maximum take-off weight of around 7t and to have been flown at altitudes up to 50,000ft.

 

EADS originally saw an opportunity to produce 15 of the systems under a European programme worth around €3 billion ($3.9 billion), but spent the past two years unsuccessfully lobbying its now cash-strapped expected customers. It also made an attempt to market the aircraft to the Royal Air Force, rebranding it as the "X-UAS", but the UK instead backed a collaborative venture between BAE Systems and France's Dassault.

 

 

photo Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

photo Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

 

The Talarion-based "X-UAS" concept failed to attract interest from the UK

 

Cassidian chief executive Stefan Zoller has long seen the UAS sector as an engine for major growth at Cassidian, and the company is to continue work using its Barracuda unmanned combat air vehicle technology demonstrator. The aircraft is due to undergo a new programme of system flight tests later this year in Goose Bay, Canada.

 

Speaking earlier this month, Cassidian head of technology and research Aimo Bülte said the company's interest in unmanned systems also currently includes researching increased airframe and sensor autonomy, adaptive control techniques and the use of new materials and embedded sensors.

 

"We will continue to talk to our potential customers and interested industrial partners in order to secure key technologies for a joint European MALE programme," Cassidian says. The company has previously signed agreements with Italy's Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries to collaborate on such an activity. It also earlier this year established a new UAS joint venture with Germany's Rheinmetall Defence, in which it holds a 51% stake.

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19 mars 2012 1 19 /03 /mars /2012 08:55
INTERVIEW : Eric Trappier (Dassault) : « L'Inde vise une signature du contrat Rafale dans six mois environ »

source Livefist

 

18/03/2012 par Alain Ruello – LesEchos.fr

 

Malgré les coups de boutoir de BAE qui essaie de remettre l'Eurofighter dans la course, Dassault pense pouvoir conclure la première vente du Rafale à l'international cette année. La décision de New Delhi a eu un effet d'entraînement sur les autres campagnes en cours, affirme le directeur de l'international de l'avionneur.

 

En Inde, le Rafale a remporté l'appel d'offres portant sur l'achat de 126 avions de combat. Qu'est-ce qui pourrait enrayer les négociations désormais exclusives  ?

 

Je ne vois pas de raison qui nous empêcherait d'aller au bout ou amènerait les Indiens à s'arrêter alors qu'ils ont fait le plus dur. La procédure a débuté en 2007. Après plusieurs semaines d'évaluations dans des conditions extrêmes, des pentes de l'Himalaya aux sables du désert, l'armée de l'air a retenu deux appareils : le Rafale et l'Eurofighter. In fine, c'est l'offre la moins chère qui l'a emporté, tant du point de vue du coût unitaire de l'appareil que de son entretien dans la durée. Tout a été mené sur la base de critères fixés à l'avance et qui ont été scrupuleusement respectés, sans implication politique. Cet appel d'offres est exemplaire.

 

Quand pensez-vous pouvoir conclure  ?

 

Les Indiens souhaitent aller vite, et envisagent une conclusion sous six mois environ. Nous devons finaliser les clauses techniques et industrielles, et bâtir un contrat dont les clauses sont équivalentes à celles de celui des Mirage 2000 (signé en 2000, NDLR).

 

BAE a laissé entendre que l'Eurofighter pourrait revenir dans la course...

 

Je ne crois pas, et je suis surpris que certains se disent eux mêmes surpris que le Rafale l'ait emporté. Dans toutes les compétitions où les deux avions ont été opposés, l'Eurofighter a été éliminé au premier tour, comme en Corée, au Pays Bas, ou au Brésil, ou il a été classé derrière le Rafale, comme en Inde. Ou encore en Suisse, comme le prouve le rapport d'évaluation des forces armées publié dans la presse. J'ajoute que les calculs de la cour des comptes britannique montrent que l'Eurofighter est bien plus cher. Sur le plan opérationnel enfin, le Rafale a démontré toute sa polyvalence durant l'opération Harmattan, contrairement à l'Eurofighter qui a été conçu comme un pur chasseur. L'appel d'offres indien a désigné de manière claire le meilleur avion.

 

A quel prix ? L'avez-vous proposé moins cher que celui vendu à la France  ?

 

Le prix du Rafale proposé en Inde correspond au prix français, corrigé des dépenses liées au contrat puisqu'il ne s'agit pas tout à fait de la même configuration technique, et que la fabrication se fera en partie localement. La compétition a été tellement dure que chaque camp a été obligé de proposer le meilleur prix qui soit. Cela dit, nous n'avons pas fait de dumping pour l'emporter. A iso-conditions, nous avons proposé le prix du Rafale français.

 

Sur les 126 appareils envisagés, seuls 18 seront fabriqués en France. Doit-on s'attendre à des retombées industrielles limitées ?

 

Les retombées industrielles ne correspondront pas à la production de 126 Rafale en France, mais pas non plus à la construction de quelques exemplaires. Le transfert de technologie va se faire de manière progressive et il n'y aura pas un contrat de licence global, mais des contrats de licence pour chaque équipement. Autrement dit, chaque équipement vivra sa propre vie et sa fabrication en Inde obéira à une montée en puissance propre. Le but est bien que l'Inde soit capable de fabriquer des Rafale, mais il y aura toujours une certaine activité en France. D'une manière globale, le contrat donnera du travail à des dizaines de milliers de personnes.

 

Un accord aux Emirats Arabes est-il encore possible avant la présidentielle ?

 

En ce qui nous concerne, la négociation touche à sa fin, mais si tout était terminé, cela se saurait.

 

En novembre, Abou Dhabi a qualifié votre offre de non compétitive et d'irréaliste. La fâcherie est-elle derrière vous ?

 

Y a-t-il eu fâcherie ? Une fâcherie c'est quand on ne se parle plus. Or, nous n'avons jamais arrêté de nous parler. Les mots utilisés -non compétitif et irréaliste -signifiaient que Dassault devait faire mieux. Dans une négociation, il y a toujours des hauts et des bas, mais un seul résultat à la fin. Aujourd'hui, nous n'en sommes pas encore là. C'est pourquoi nous travaillons et nous restons prudents.

 

En cas d'alternance politique en mai, il y a-t-il un risque de repousser de plusieurs mois l'issue des négociations ?

 

Une alternance politique n'est pas de nature à accélérer ce genre de décision. Maintenant, les échéances politiques de la France sont bien connues. Le volet politique est important avec ce type de contrat.

 

Le Rafale est à nouveau donné gagnant au Brésil. Ou en est l'appel d'offres ?

 

Le choix de New Delhi a eu un effet d'entraînement sur nos autres campagnes. Nous ne le surestimons pas, mais nous ne le sous-estimons pas non plus car cela nous permet de faire passer un certain nombre de messages. A l'issue d'une procédure très professionnelle, l'Inde a écarté nos concurrents américain, russe, suédois et européen. Ce n'est pas indifférent pour les pays qui ont lancé un appel d'offres. Comme au Brésil, où le Rafale est opposé au F-18 de Boeing et au Gripen de Saab qui, tous deux, ont été éliminés au premier tour en Inde. Cela dit, aujourd'hui, l'appel d'offres au Brésil reste gelé. La balle est dans le camp du gouvernement brésilien.

 

Est-ce que l'annulation par le Pentagone du contrat d'avions légers Tucano d'Embraer joue beaucoup en votre faveur ? Voyez-vous une décision cette année ?

 

Nous observons cette affaire avec un oeil attentif. Elle montre que les Etats-Unis savent protéger leurs intérêts. Je ne vois pas en quoi cela nous desservirait. Il y a un an, il se disait que la décision serait prise début 2012. Maintenant on évoque le milieu de l'année. Nous observons. En attendant un signe du gouvernement, nous continuons à tisser nos partenariats locaux.

 

Déposerez-vous un recours en Suisse qui a préféré le Gripen ?

 

Le Parlement a lancé une enquête. Nous souhaitons être certain que la procédure, qui exigeait que les avions testés soient en production, a été respectée. Le Rafale et l'Eurofighter ont été évalués en vol. Mais quelle version du Gripen l'a été ? Est-ce un avions de papier ? Un prototype ? Si c'est le cas, alors ce serait contraire à ce que nous avions compris de la procédure. Nous nous soumettrons au résultat de l'enquête parlementaire. Si elle confirme que la procédure a été respectée, nous ne déposerons pas un recours juridique face à un Etat souverain.

 

Qu'il soit ou non piloté, le futur avion de combat européen sera-t-il avant tout franco-britannique ?

 

C'est ce que l'on peut déduire du traité de Lancaster House de novembre 2010 et de la déclaration bilatérale du 17 février dernier. Les deux pays ont affiché leur volonté de confier ce projet à leurs deux champions nationaux, BAE Systems et Dassault Aviation.

 

Il y aura-t-il de la place pour d'autres pays et notamment pour ceux qui sont impliqués dans le prototype Neuron de drone de combat ?

 

Nous n'en sommes qu'au début, mais nous sommes prêts à ouvrir le projet à d'autres pays. Encore faut-il que leurs gouvernements le veuillent et qu'ils soient prêts à cotiser. La question se pose car le projet Neuron (qui associe la France, la Suisse, l'Espagne, l'Italie, la Suède et la Grèce) se terminera mi-2013. Cela dit, le leadership restera à BAE et Dassault.

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9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 18:05
MRAP glut on the way?

 

09 March 2012 by defenceWeb

 

The world military vehicle market will likely soon be glutted with surplus Mine Resistant Armour Protected (MRAP) V-shaped hull armoured vehicles.

 

The Washington Post says the MRAP’s signature V-shaped undercarriage helped deflect the impact of blasts from improvised explosives and made the armoured vehicle exactly what troops needed in Iraq. In 2007, the military began ordering almost 28 000 MRAPs, most of which went to Iraq, though some were designed for Afghanistan and its more challenging terrain.

 

“The military had little intention of keeping the vehicles over the long term,” the paper says. But to get them to the battlefield as quickly as possible, the Pentagon ordered multiple versions from six manufacturers, drawing from the war funding appropriated by Congress.

 

The number includes several hundred RG31s built at BAE Systems' Benoni plant in South Africa.

 

“At the time we bought MRAP, it was pretty clear to most people that this was a short-term buy for the current wars,” said David Berteau, senior adviser and director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ defense -industrial initiatives group. But, Berteau said, “when you buy that many variants, it becomes a long-term nightmare.” What to do with the vehicles now is a complicated matter, particularly for the Army, which owns most of the MRAPs, and the Marine Corps, which has a sizable number.

 

David Hansen, programme manager with the office set up to manage the MRAP initiative, said none of the military services has decided how many to keep, the Post reports. Although the Army has completed two studies on the issue, one of its top officials recently sent staff “back to the drawing table” to take another look, he said.

 

The military will certainly keep some for training at US bases so troops know how to operate them, but most of the vehicles will probably be placed in some form of war reserve. Older models that haven’t been upgraded are likely to be shed, Hansen said.

 

The Defense Department will consider selling some of the vehicles to foreign countries or moving them to other federal agencies. Under one idea, some could be used by units patrolling the nation’s borders. “President Obama’s mantra for the future is versatility, flexibility, agility,” Thompson said. “None of those things sounds like an MRAP” or seems suitable for a future characterised by drones, cyberwarfare, and intelligence and surveillance technology.

 

The military is paying a high price to keep MRAPs up and running. Last year, Navistar Defense received a US$133.7 million contract to service vehicles in Afghanistan and Kuwait, and Fairfax County-based ManTech received a contract this year worth up to US$507 million over 10 months to repair battle-damaged MRAPs and make upgrades. Once the vehicles are off the battlefield, maintaining them is expected to cost less, but they will still require regular maintenance, such as checking fluids and batteries, the Post says.

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9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 13:15
South Korea to Begin Spike-NLOS Acquisition

Spike missile launch (Photo Rafael)

 

7/3/2012 Arie Egozi - israeldefense.com

 

Future SPIKE missiles will be offered with a laser-homing head

 

Despite Seoul’s anger over Israel’s preference for an Italian training aircraft over a South Korean one, South Korea’s military will soon receive the Rafael-produced Spike-NLOS missiles.

 

South Korea sought to gain portable capability for launching long-ranged missiles, and therefore, chose to install missile launchers on Ford 550 vehicles, which carry protective solutions against small arms and shrapnel designed by Plasan. The Spike-NLOS is the long-range missile of Rafael’s SPIKE missile family. It has a range of 25 km, is extremely precise, and can be equipped with several types of warheads.

 

Rafael is anticipating additional deals for the export of Spike missiles. A demonstration of the Spike-ER missile was recently held in Israel when it was installed onboard an IAF Cobra helicopter. Representatives of foreign corps attended the demonstration of the missile, which has a range of 8 km. The advanced missile is marketed around the world as a more efficient substitute to the aging Hellfire missile, and it seems that several militaries will replace the US missile with the one produced by Rafael. Thus far, the missile has been installed on Spain’s Tiger helicopters, Italy’s I-129 helicopters, and Romania’s Puma helicopters.

 

The long-ranged missile can also be installed on helicopters, enabling a launch towards a ground target from a great distance that could be difficult to hit using ground fire.

 

Rafael’s Spike missiles are presently equipped with day and night homing heads. According to a source in Rafael, the missile will also be offered in the future with a laser homing head that will enable the missile to home in on a laser spot created by a laser marker positioned on the ground or operated from the air.

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9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 08:55
MBDA’s arsenal on display at DefExpo

The Fire Shadow launched at Vidsel in Sweden in 2010.

Photo Vidsel Test Range / RFN

 

March 8, 2012 Saurabh Joshi  - stratpost.com

 

The French defense company MBDA is planning to display a wide range of weapons systems from its product line at DefExpo, including the Mistral VSHORAD, the Mistral ATAM for the Indian Army’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mk IV WSI (Weapons System Integrated), as well as their PARS 3 LR anti-tank guided missile system, which is also being considered for the Dhruv.

 

MBDA is proposing the Mistral as a solution for India’s VSHORAD requirement to replace the existing Igla systems. MBDA says, the Mistral missile has a 96% kill probability over 4, 000 firings and can be effective against ‘a host of air threats, ranging from cruise missiles and combat jets flying at supersonic speeds to pop-up helicopters’. It is operated by 39 customers in 27 countries and can be fired from launchers mounted on tripod, vehicle, naval platform and helicopters.

 

A company statement quoted MBDA India country head, Loïc Piedevache, as saying, “Our stated strategy in India is to link and to work with local industry and to advance technology transfer wherever feasible. So should Mistral MANPADS be selected, we are exceptionally well positioned to get local production capability of the Mistral missile up and running as soon as required. This could of course be a single Mistral production line in India for both the Dhruv’s air–to-air Mistral ATAM system which is currently being integrated and for the surface to air requirement”.

 

The PARS 3 LR on the Eurocopter Tiger. Copyright: MBDA

 

The fire-and-forget PARS 3 LR is being pitched to service the air-to-ground requirement of the Dhruv helicopter. MBDA says the system has been ‘developed for engaging mobile and stationary targets equipped with the latest generation of armor protection, field fortresses, bunkers and other high-value targets.’

 

While the German Army’s Eurocopter Tiger helicopters operate a quad launcher for the PARS 3 LR, the Indian requirement is for a twin-launcher, currently being designed with Indian industrial partners. Piedevache says, “We are already working closely with an Indian company on the design of a specific PARS launcher for the Dhruv. Should we get the go ahead, another Indian partner will be lined up to carry out launcher production”.

 

A full-scale model of MBDA’s Medium Range Air Defense missile, ASTER 30, will also be on display. The missile, which is operationally deployed on ground and naval platforms in three countries, is said to offer ‘high-level tactical and strategic mobility and with its high rate of fire is capable of countering the most demanding of saturating threats’.

 

ASTER 30-SAMP/T firing in 2008. Copyright: MBDA

 

The company says the ASTER 30 can pull up to 60 G plus an additional 12 G lateral acceleration ‘automatically commanded by the missile in order to achieve a direct hit on the target’. The French Air Force used it to successfully intercept a ‘target representative of a ballistic missile’ last November.

 

The company is also putting up a model of its response to the Indian Army Request for Proposal for Loitering Munition, the Fire Shadow. Ordered by the British Army, the MBDA says it can be ‘targeted by a range of ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) systems, for example a forward observer with binoculars or a sophisticated system such as a UAV and is surface launched from a highly mobile launch unit’.

 

The Fire Shadow is a platoon or company level precision weapon that brings the human element into the picture, targeting ‘time-sensitive ground targets’ in the ‘absence of readily available air-support’. , The system satisfies the requirement to have man-in-the-loop control in the complex battlefield in the fog of war, ‘where the target might only make fleeting appearances before taking cover’.

 

MBDA says the Fire Shadow can fly directly to the target and carry out its precision strike at ranges of greater than 100km. ‘However, what makes Fire Shadow special is that should the intended target disappear, or should the operator decide to delay the attack until further target information becomes available, the weapon can be positioned to loiter over the suspected target area for around six hours. An operator remains in permanent control of Fire Shadow from a control centre using special software that provides real-time situational awareness, vital for complex urban scenarios where collateral damage could be an issue’.

 

Exocet MM40 Block 3 firing. Copyright: MBDA / Michel Hans

 

MBDA will also be showing off the anti-ship missiles like the entire Exocet family, which includes surface, submarine and air-launched variants, with the latest variant, the Exocet MM40 Block 3 with its 170 km range and littoral land attack capability. The Exocet SM39 has already been ordered for India’s Scorpene submarines. MBDA has sold around 4,000 of this family to global customers.

 

A little smaller, the French company’s Marte MK2/S, with its active RF seeker for maritime targets at ranges of 30 to 40 kilometers, though suitable for fixed-wing aircraft depending on altitude, has been optimized for the NH90 helicopter, which is competing in the Indian Navy tender for Multi Role Helicopters (MRH).

 

Besides these, also on display will be the MICA, already being purchased by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the Mirage 2000 upgrade, the ASRAAM, on offer for the IAF’s Jaguar aircraft, the Dual Mode Brimstone and the Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missile which earned a name for themselves in the Libya operations, last year, in addition to the Meteor BVR (Beyond Visual Range) air to air missile

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9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 08:25
Rafael adds laser sensor to Spike missile

 

Mar. 8, 2012 by Arie Egozi - Flight Global

 

Rafael will add a laser homing sensor to its Spike NLOS helicopter-launched long-range missile, with the new capability to be demonstrated soon, the company says.

 

Recently integrated on an Israeli air force Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter, the Spike NLOS currently features a dual electro-optical/infrared seeker. The weapon has a range of 13.5nm (25km) and can be fitted with at least three types of warhead, for use against tanks and armoured vehicles, bunkers and infantry.

 

Rafael also produces the short-range Spike ER (below), which can hit targets from a distance of 4.3nm. The weapon has been integated with the Eurofighter Tiger for Spain, AgustaWestland's AW129 for Italy and with the Eurocopter/IAR SA330 Puma used by Romania.

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7 mars 2012 3 07 /03 /mars /2012 13:25

model-of-the-Seeker-400-carrying-two-Mokopa-anti-tank-missi.jpg

model of the Seeker 400 carrying two Mokopa anti-tank

missiles - photo Denel Dynamics

 

March 7, 2012 defpro.com

 

The prototype of Denel Dynamics’ latest Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), the Seeker 400, has been completed and is due to make its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2012. It is a long-endurance tactical UAV. “The decision by Denel to consider investing in this new product was mainly based on requirements globally of such a capability. Based on the business case, Denel decided to fund the development from its balance sheet. The nation is waiting in anticipation for the first flight.” says Tsepo Monaheng, Executive for Denel UAVs.

 

Although the US and Israel dominate the global market, there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create market-leading UAVs to the broad spectrum of nations (from developing to developed) – a market estimated at US $14bn per annum. The RSA UAV industry aims to capture in excess of 20% of this end of the market.

 

The aircraft has already been displayed in mock-up form at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Show (AAD) 2010, in Cape Town South Africa. There is already a launch customer for the Seeker 400 who operated the Seeker I tactical UAV in the early 1990s. The other two countries which currently operate the Seeker II are also interested in the Seeker 400 because the new aircraft can be controlled by simply using their existing Seeker II control stations.

 

Though it utilizes the Seeker II architectural design, the Seeker 400 is a totally new aircraft. The Seeker 400 is much larger and much more capable than the Seeker II. It provides a variety of operational options. It is deployable in most conditions, including taking off from an unprepared piece of land.

 

Monaheng describes the Seeker 400 as a “typical entry-level” towards the long-endurance UAV (MALE). It can stay in the air for 16 hours and can simultaneously operate two payloads. Currently, it has a range of 250 km, because it uses only line-of-sight communications, but it could be upgraded to use satellite communications, which would allow it to operate at much greater ranges. With the use of the existing tactical ground station (TGS), the range may be extended to 750km. The Seeker 400 flight test programme will run for most of 2012, and production should start by the end of that year.

 

Denel Dynamics plans, in due course, to add weapons to the Seeker 400. The prototype was recently displayed at the company’s 2011 ‘Show and Tell’ briefing in Centurion with a Mokopa antitank missile (also a Denel Dynamics product) under each wing. A number of countries have already expressed interest in an armed version of the UAV.

 

The Seeker 400 was originally conceived as an upgrade of the Seeker II (hence, the name) but, as the project developed, the company realized that a totally new and larger aircraft would do better in the market. The retention of the name ‘Seeker’ also takes advantage of the Seeker II’s established brand.

 

The Seeker 400 programme schedule is on track. The medium-altitude, long-endurance (Male) UAV project, the Bateleur, has not been abandoned but is currently on hold; this is to allow for a focused development of the Seeker 400.

 

Globally, UAVs are becoming ever more important and ever more widely used. Although costs are coming down, UAVs are not necessarily cheaper or easier to operate than crewed aircraft – some top-of- the-range UAVs are very expensive, indeed – but the fact that they have no human on board means they can be sent into high-risk environments without any qualms and they can be kept aloft much longer than a conventional aircraft.

 

The availability of capable and affordable South African UAVs triggers the enhancement of not only national security, but crime fighting, disaster management, election monitoring and search and rescue. UAVs even provide benefits to the agricultural, mining, health and environmental sectors. Within the next five years UAVs will be used by a diversity of industries from policing poachers on land and coastlines, carrying test specimens from remote clinics to laboratories for analysis, to keeping an eye on livestock on farms, and will prove to be a lucrative parallel market for international UAV players.

 

Foreign experience in combat zones has established that the key service that UAVs provide to ground force commanders is live video coverage. This provides them with real time surveillance, intelligence and target acquisition as well as much better situational awareness. The French Army has reported that, in Afghanistan, UAVs have saved the lives of its soldiers and some 80% of its UAV missions are to protect its troops. Indeed, it is now known that one of the operators of the Seeker II has deployed these UAVs under UN command in a foreign country.

 

 

Denel Dynamics is an exhibitor at Defence and Security Asia 2012, Thailand. On display will be the new Seeker 400 which is scheduled to take its maiden flight this year. Another product is the 5th generation air-to-air missile, A-Darter, due for production in 2013.

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5 mars 2012 1 05 /03 /mars /2012 13:00
Rheinmetall: ready to team with India

 

Mar 2, 2012ASDNews Source : Rheinmetall AG

 

Without a doubt, India is the regional superpower of South Asia. Its armed forces form a mainstay of Indian security policy, and are now undergoing further modernization. Facing up to the challenges of an expanded mission spectrum, they rely increasingly on network-enabled operations: a “system of systems” consisting of sensors, C4I capabilities and effectors that enables an appropriate response to any and all threats.

 

From 29 March to 1 April 2012, Defexpo will take place in New Delhi. It is one of the largest defence technology trade fairs in Asia.

 

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall will be on hand with a representative selection of its diverse array of products for military and security forces. Building on a proud tradition, the Düsseldorf, Germanybased Rheinmetall Group covers many different capability categories.

 

Wiesel – mobile, air-portable, versatile

In order to operate in difficult terrain – in the mountains, for example, or in an urban environment – today’s armed forces need a flexible, quickly deployable, protected platform that can be readily integrated into network-enabled operations and which, above all, can be transported by air either on board or as underslung cargo. It was precisely with these capabilities in mind that Rheinmetall developed the Wiesel (‘weasel’) family of vehicles, which the company will be presenting at Defexpo 2012.

 

A lightweight tracked armoured vehicle, the Wiesel is standard equipment in German airmobile and mountain units. While the Wiesel 1 was originally employed as a weapons platform, the somewhat longer Wiesel 2 is now available in numerous other configurations.

 

Today the Wiesel family covers practically the full range of military ground capabilities, encompassing a reconnaissance vehicle, a command post version, an anti-tank-missile launcher platform, an automatic cannon platform, an engineering scout vehicle and a field ambulance version. Other variants include joint fire support team and joint fire support coordination team vehicles and a 120mm mortar carrier; Finally, a Wiesel-based mobile air defence system consisting of an air defence command post vehicle, an air defence reconnaissance and fire control vehicle, and an air defence weapon carrier round out the portfolio.

 

Much like other Rheinmetall vehicles – e.g. the Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle – the Wiesel has accompanied the Bundeswehr right from the start in every deployed operation. Whether in the deserts of Somalia, the mountains of Kosovo or the rugged terrain of the Hindu Kush – the Wiesel has what it takes: high mobility coupled with protection. Transportable by air in a medium transport helicopter or as underslung cargo, the various members of the Wiesel family can be quickly deployed to new flash points. The Wiesel is thus the ideal platform for the Mountain Strike Corps, which is now in the process of formation.

 

Countering the threat from above: advanced air defence systems

Aerial attacks continue to pose a major threat to troop concentrations, military bases, civilian population centres and critical civilian infrastructure.

 

In the domain of VSHORAD technology, Rheinmetall’s Air Defence division is the global leader and the sole single-source supplier of battle management systems, fire control systems, automatic cannon, integrated missile launchers and Ahead ammunition. Its core competencies include the development and manufacture of complete air defence systems as well as simulators and training equipment.

 

Aware of India’s ambitious plans to modernize its air defence capabilities, Rheinmetall is presenting a wide array of sophisticated air defence solutions at Defexpo 2012.

 

The need for a 35mm gun-based air defence system able to meet current and coming requirements led to the recent development and manufacture of the Oerlikon Skyshield air defence system. Lightweight and compact, it is the world’s most advanced and effective system for low-level air defence. It basically consists of an Oerlikon Skyshield fire control unit and two high-performance Oerlikon Revolver Gun MK2 automatic cannons, specifically designed to fire Ahead airburst ammunition.

 

The heart of Rheinmetall’s proprietary Ahead technology is a high-precision timedelay projectile. At the optimum moment, it ejects a lethal cloud of heavy metal pellets, reliably neutralizing small and even very small projectiles, such as rockets, artillery and mortar (RAM) rounds, much the way a shotgun shell destroys a clay pigeon.

 

This weapon has been successfully deployed in NATO operations since 1996. It forms the main armament of the Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system, which the German Bundeswehr has procured for defending its forward operating bases.

 

Furthermore, Rheinmetall’s air defence technology is by no means limited to static defence roles. Mobile applications are equally feasible. For short-term missions, a truck-mounted version is available which can be deployed without unloading the system from the truck. This is particularly useful if the mission involves protecting a succession of different sites for short periods. Mounting a Skyshield air defence system on an all-terrain 8x8 vehicle – e.g. a military truck made by Rheinmetall’s partner Tata – ensures maximum operational flexibility.

 

Existing Skyguard and Skyshield systems can also be retrofitted with Ahead technology. Furthermore, thanks to the modularity of its systems, Rheinmetall is able to bring additional components into play, readily creating multi-mission capabilities tailored to the needs of individual clients.

 

C4ISTAR – Enhancing your vision, your impact and your information

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall is an increasingly important partner in the field of C4ISTAR systems. The Group’s product spectrum ranges from single sensors and components to sensor platforms and fire control units, and from individual soldier systems to complete battle management systems.

 

These sensor and fire control systems represent top-notch technology and are in service with a number of armed forces worldwide.

 

Rheinmetall has longstanding experience in equipping combat platforms with sensor and fire control systems. To enable customers to cope with today’s requirements, Rheinmetall has developed digital turret and vehicle systems that provide modular and flexible solutions for a variety of combat and turret systems, as well as to standard vehicles e.g. for law enforcement or security surveillance missions. Due to the technology applied and the system architecture these solutions can be used either for adapted upgrades or fully integrated solutions for systems under development.

 

As part of these digital turret and vehicle systems the Situational Awareness System (SAS), for example, on show at Defexpo 2012, is a complete panoramic close-up sight for local situational awareness. It can be integrated easily into turret or chassis and offers a 360° - both day and night sight - near-field view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, with automatic alarm and target-tracking functions. SAS provides outstanding “look through armour”, increases the safety and reduces the workload of the crew thanks to a high degree of automation.

 

The situational awareness of a combat vehicle can be complemented by the vehiclemounted version of Rheinmetall’s Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS). ASLS comprises a powerful microphone antenna array with integrated analysis electronics as well as a control and display functions inside the vehicle.

 

When a round is fired ASLS instantly computes azimuth, elevation and distance of the sniper relative to the vehicle. Simultaneously ASLS alerts the crew acoustically and visually, displaying the results of the location  analysis on the vehicles manmachine-interface in real-time. In combination with the fire control system of the vehicle’s the crew can react within no time and start to engage the enemy position, before the next round is fired. Additionally, the geo-referenced position of the sniper –determined with a GPS system – can be fed into a C4I system, e.g. for information of other forces in the area, target assignment or subsequent engagement. ASLS is also available in a stationary version and a man-portable version, which can be connected to modern soldier systems.

 

In the field of soldier systems, Rheinmetall was awarded a contract by the German Army in 2011 to deliver the cutting edge “German Future Soldier - Expanded System”. The IdZ2 (formerly IdZ-ES) enhances the battle performance, endurance and protection of modern war-fighters on the ground and embeds them directly into the network-centric operations loop. Visitors will see the IdZ2 during Defexpo.

 

Rheinmetall Defence: totally oriented to today’s military

 

With its Combat Systems, Electronic Solutions, and Wheeled Vehicles divisions, Rheinmetall Defence supplies the world’s armed forces with systems and equipment systematically designed to assure successful outcomes in complex modern military operations.

 

Rheinmetall also maintains an extensive network of international partnerships for serving new markets as well as enabling technology transfer that will substantially benefit both the industry and the military of customer nations. This makes Rheinmetall the ideal industrial partner in the quest to supply India’s armed forces with advanced capabilities.

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5 mars 2012 1 05 /03 /mars /2012 12:45

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QOgsUoYduvk/T1GKtoHCi-I/AAAAAAAAMcw/hx-x2WbfoJ0/s400/submarinescaffold_450.jpg

Australia will build 6 new conventional submarine (photo : Layher)

 

03.03.2012 DEFENSE STUDIES

 

South Australia in Box Seat to Win Billion-dollar Defence Contracts

 

THE national race to snare work in the planned multi-billion-dollar submarine program has largely been won by South Australia, the state's Treasurer claimed in parliament yesterday.

 

Jack Snelling, who also is South Australian Defence Industry Minister, said in recent weeks he had met with senior leaders in defence, including the federal Defence Minister Stephen Smith, to secure "early opportunities" arising out of the Future Submarine Project.

 

The planned 12 new submarines are set to be built in South Australia but the other states, particularly Victoria, had hoped to benefit through companies providing key components and infrastructure.

 

But Mr Snelling said federal Labor and other defence leaders understood that South Australia was "primed to capture a significant share of this work".

 

"Over recent weeks, I have personally met with senior leaders in defence to reinforce South Australia's focus on securing early opportunities arising out of the future submarine project, including promoting South Australia as the logical home for project design and complementary facilities, such as the proposed submarine propulsion land based facility," Mr Snelling told parliament.

 

"Under Defence's current plans, the commonwealth will spend up to $250 billion over the next 20 years on acquiring and sustaining new ships and submarines, an enormous opportunity by any measure.

"South Australia is committed to supporting defence with this ambitious target.

"We are primed to capture a significant share of this work with our highly skilled workforce, state-of-the-art infrastructure and experienced maritime industry."

Mr Snelling said during his meeting with Mr Smith, the Minister had reinforced the federal government's commitment to acquiring 12 new submarines to be consolidated in South Australia over the next 30 years.

"The Future Submarine Project will be the largest and most complex defence project ever undertaken by Australia, providing significant job opportunities for South Australians for decades to come," Mr Snelling said.

The Gillard government has said it would build 12 conventionally powered submarines in Adelaide, but has not yet said whether they would be largely Australian-made or a locally constructed off-the-shelf European boat.

The construction of 12 large home-made submarines has been estimated at up to $36 billion.

Mr Snelling said the state was committed to a long-term defence industry and attracting additional defence units, and was well placed given its multi-billion-dollar Collins class submarine sustainment contract and the $8 billion air warfare destroyer construction contract.

However, while he said he supported the industry's Defence Teaming Centre, he could not guarantee its funding next financial year.


(The Australian)

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2 mars 2012 5 02 /03 /mars /2012 12:04

Aravis - Eurosatory 2010 photo DICoD

photo ministère de la Défense

 

29/02/2012 Daily-Bourse.fr (AFP)

 

Le groupe d'armement terrestre Nexter a décroché une commande ferme de 73 blindés Aravis en Arabie saoudite, premier succès de ce véhicule de reconnaissance à l'étranger, a annoncé mercredi son PDG Philippe Burtin.

 

"Nous avons enregistré la semaine dernière une commande ferme de 73 Aravis", a déclaré M. Burtin à la presse en présentant les résultats du groupe pour 2011. "C'est la seule commande entrée en carnet" mais les discussions se poursuivent pour répondre à de nouveaux besoins, a-t-il ajouté.

 

Il s'est refusé à chiffrer le montant de la commande, la première à l'exportation pour ce blindé développé par Nexter sur ses propres fonds.

 

L'Aravis est un nouveau blindé de reconnaissance de 13 tonnes, ultra-protégé pour supporter les explosions de bombes placées au bord des routes (connues sous l'acronyme d'IED pour improvised explosive device) qui ont fait des ravages en Irak et en Afghanistan.

 

L'Aravis a été vendu à quinze exemplaires à l'armée française et il a fait ses preuves en Afghanistan, a expliqué Michel Bonnefis, PDG du Pôle Equipements du groupe.

 

Le montant du contrat français s'élevait à près de 20 millions d'euros pour les 15 véhicules, soit près d'1,3 million par exemplaire.

 

Le Délégué général à l'armement Laurent Collet-Billon avait évoqué ce contrat la semaine dernière, ajoutant que l'Arabie saoudite envisageait d'en acheter davantage.

 

Nexter, fabriquant de blindés, d'artillerie et de munitions détenu à 100% par l'Etat français, développe une activité commerciale intense à l'étranger sur un marché très compétitif.

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1 mars 2012 4 01 /03 /mars /2012 08:45
Marine russe: les premiers MiG-29 embarqués livrés dès 2013

 

MOSCOU, 29 février - RIA Novosti

 

Les quatre premiers chasseurs embarqués MiG-29/KUB seront livrés aux forces navales russes en 2013, a annoncé mercredi aux journalistes un porte-parole du ministère russe de la Défense.

 

"La Marine russe recevra les quatre premiers avions MiG-29KUB dès 2013. Tous les chasseurs embarqués de ce type, dont le nombre est spécifié dans le contrat signé entre le ministère de la Défense et le consortium MiG, seront mis à la disposition de la  Flotte du Nord d'ici 2015", a indiqué le porte-parole.

 

Selon lui, six mois avant la livraison des chasseurs, les pilotes de l'Aviation navale russe suivront un entraînement approprié.

 

Le ministère de la Défense et le groupe de construction aéronautique MiG ont signé un contrat prévoyant la livraison de 20 chasseurs embarqués MiG-29K et quatre MiG-29KUB. Ces appareils équiperont le croiseur porte-avions Admiral Kouznetsov, rattaché à la Flotte du Nord.

 

Il s'agit d'appareils multi-rôles, destinés à assurer la maîtrise aérienne et à remplir différentes missions de combat de jour comme de nuit, dans toutes les conditions météorologiques.

 

Un lot de chasseurs MiG-29K et MiG-29KUB a été livré à l'Inde à la fin de 2011.

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1 mars 2012 4 01 /03 /mars /2012 08:15

30mm-PGU-15-Projectiles-photo-ATK.jpg

 

Feb 29, 2012 ASDNews Source : Alliant Tech Systems, Inc

 

ATK was recently awarded a  fourth contract option to produce 30mm PGU-15A/B cartridges for the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center (RICC), Rock Island, Ill.   The order is a part of a multi-year contract originally signed in July 2007. ATK's worldwide sales of 30mm ammunition in the current fiscal year now exceed $29 million.  

 

ATK's 30mm PGU-series target practice ammunition is specially designed for training applications.  These cartridges, currently in use with the 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun on the U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog close-support aircraft provide cost-effective, ballistic-matched training rounds for improved warfighter performance.

 

"We are proud to continue our role as the primary provider of PGU-15 ammunition in support of the U. S. Air Force's A-10 aircraft," said Dan Olson, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Integrated Weapon Systems. "This round plays an integral role in training A-10 aircrews to develop and maintain essential air-to-ground combat skills.  ATK supports this program through the delivery of high quality products, outstanding value and great customer service."

 

ATK's Mesa, Ariz.-based Integrated Weapon Systems division will produce the rounds at its facilities in Radford, Va. and Rocket Center, W. Va.  Delivery of the optioned rounds is set to begin this year.

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29 février 2012 3 29 /02 /février /2012 18:35
Rafael to Sell Spike Missiles to Germany for Hundreds of Millions of US Dollars

 

29/2/2012 Amir Rapaport – Israel defence

 

In a special interview with Rafael’s Marketing VP, Lubra Drori reveals Rafael will sell additional Spike missiles to Germany

 

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has signed a contract to supply additional Spike missiles to Germany via its German subsidiary, Eurospike. The deal, worth hundreds of millions of US dollars, was revealed by Luba Drori, Rafael’s Marketing VP.

 

The Spike missiles are a family of missiles with various operational ranges and similar operational principles: they all possess electro-optic guidance and a doubled (tandem) warhead, intended to penetrate reactive protection. The initial warhead detonates the reactive protection while the second warhead penetrates the passive armor via a hollow charge.

 

The missile has four rectangular fins that it uses to guide itself towards the target. It is possible to launch the various Spike versions through several means: from a helicopter, from a vehicle, and even a shoulder-mounted missile launcher. The Spike LR has an effective operational range that is between 200 to 4,000 m.

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29 février 2012 3 29 /02 /février /2012 08:50

nimr-II.jpg

 

Feb. 28, 2012 ameinfo.com

 

Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive, a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding, is currently exhibiting at the 11th Annual International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference and exhibition being held at FIVE, Farnborough, UK (20th to 23rd Feb 2012).

 

The first ever UAE company to appear at International Armoured Vehicles, Nimr develops and manufactures a wide range of interoperable defence vehicles that feature high power delivery, high mobility, high versatility and high protection levels.

 

These multi-mission vehicles are designed and manufactured for applications that range from tactical missions in harsh environments, such as arid deserts, to modern urban warfare, deep infiltration missions, reconnaissance, border surveillance, and support logistics.

 

Depending on the configuration required by the customer, they can perform a variety of roles, including armament or personnel carrier, logistics vehicle, ambulance, and Command and Control vehicle.

 

Under a Memorandum of Agreement between Nimr and DRS Technologies, part of the Finmeccanica Group, DRS Technologies, is equipping Nimr vehicles with tactical vehicle electronics, electro-optics, vehicle power management and tactical communications.

 

This combination of Nimr's vehicle engineering capacity and DRS Technologies' systems and integration skills can equip these vehicles to deliver world class C4ISTAR solutions, including battle management, close-in situational awareness, reconnaissance and surveillance, and secure vehicle and tactical communications. In partnership with other Finmeccanica businesses, DRS can also integrate highly effective electronic countermeasures against the IED threat as well as a range of stabilised overhead weapon systems capable of meeting most of the operational scenarios the vehicles are likely to encounter.

 

On display at International Armoured Vehicles is the Armoured Patrol Vehicle - 6x6 (pictured) fitted with systems provided by DRS and its sister companies Oto Melara and Selex Elsag.

 

Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles conference, Mr Hamad Al Neyadi, Chief Strategic Officer of Tawazun and Chairman of Nimr Automotive, drew attention to the vision of Nimr which is to establish a globally recognised and sustainable defence automotive business, contributing to the diversification of the UAE economy and enhancing local skills and experience. Full production, assembly and quality management facilities are being installed at Nimr's Abu Dhabi plant and comprehensive lifecycle management capabilities are already in place.

 

To date, over 509 Nimr vehicles have been delivered, including both the 4x4 and 6x6 versions, and an order book of 1800 plus.

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29 février 2012 3 29 /02 /février /2012 08:05
Alenia Warns U.S. Over C-27J Sales

Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian maker of the C-27J, is warning the U.S. government that it will refuse to support the aircraft it sold to the United States if the U.S. resells them to other nations. (Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp / Air Force)

 

Feb. 27, 2012 By VAGO MURADIAN – Defense news

 

SINGAPORE — In what analysts see as an unprecedented move, Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian maker of the C-27J, is warning the U.S. government that it will refuse to support the aircraft it sold to the United States if the U.S. resells them to other nations.

 

 

The move caught some U.S. officials by surprise and threatens to undermine American efforts to resell the planes on the international market, most likely to Australia, Canada or Taiwan.

 

Giuseppi Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aermacchi, explained his position in an interview at the Singapore Air Show here, before continuing on for meetings in Australia.

 

“Obviously, we don’t like the [U.S.] decision,” he said. “However, we respect it and we will try to mitigate any negative impacts from the cancellation of the C-27J.”

 

Giordo explained that the company would continue to support efforts to sell new C-27Js through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, but would exercise its contractual rights not to support the aircraft originally sold to the U.S. if those planes were resold on the international market, essentially competing with Giordo’s company.

 

“If they want to sell additional airplanes as FMS, we will support them, but not those 21 airplanes,” Giordo said. “In fact, we will do our best — not only us, but the Italian government — not to support those planes. In that case the U.S. government will be competing against our international campaigns in a market where 21 airplanes is a big deal.”

 

The U.S. Air Force announced it would end the program earlier this month after spending $1.6 billion for 21 aircraft, 12 of which have been delivered, four in final assembly and testing, and five in production. Officials have not specified plans for the C-27Js, and options include parking them in the desert for future use, transferring the planes to the Air Guard, Special Operations Command or another agency, such as Homeland Security, or reselling the aircraft internationally.

 

Air Force spokesmen said the decision was driven by a change in U.S. strategy and budget pressures, and is not a reflection on the aircraft or its performance. Officials simply concluded they could meet mission requirements with their fleet of C-130 and C-17 transports.

 

“We’re working through those issues for the C-27, also the Global Hawk, which in both cases represent new airframes,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told an audience at the Air Force Association’s winter conference in Orlando, Fla. “So we will probably set rules for Type-1,000 recoverable storage and lesser numbers for availability for us. Our international affairs staff ... are communicating to potential countries interested and partners asking for them to identify their interest.

 

“I think there are a number of avenues available to us. We have not selected a particular course of action. We will be putting that together and it does include potentially making these airframes available for sale to [partners].”

 

Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, said foreign interest is high in C-27Js, C-130H transports and Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft.

 

In Singapore, Grant met with nearly two dozen of her international counterparts during her visit to the Asian city-state. The aircraft to be divested by the U.S. since 2001, she said, would constitute the world’s seventh largest air force.

 

Grant added the Air Force is working to determine the future of the planes and waiting to see whether Congress approves the service’s budget. Selling excess aircraft is of interest, she said, because her mission is to improve “the capability and capacity of our partners.”

 

A Rare Stand

 

For the U.S. Air Force, ending the purchase of C-27J transport planes was just one of thousands of decisions needed to help cut Pentagon spending by nearly a half-trillion dollars over the coming decade.

 

But for Alenia, a Finmeccanica company, the decision is a threat to the future of the twin-engine plane and 1,000 workers at two factories that build it.

 

Once a nearly $6 billion Army program for 145 aircraft, the Air Force took over the effort in 2009 and capped the purchase of C-27Js at 38 planes. But in its recent 2013 budget request, it decided to end the program at 21 aircraft, 17 fewer than expected, and retire the fleet next year.

 

It remains unclear how much the Air Force will save by deferring the option for 17 additional aircraft, or if the service will even be required to pay Alenia a termination fee, sources said.

 

Analysts called Giordo’s stance unprecedented, but understandable in light of market dynamics and the Italian company’s bitter experience with Pentagon contracting over the past decade.

 

Alenia’s sister company, AgustaWestland, beat longtime incumbent Sikorsky to win the U.S. presidential helicopter contract, only to have the $6 billion program for 28 aircraft canceled in the early days of the Obama administration after constant design changes by the government sent costs soaring. Nine helicopters were delivered when the program was canceled; they were later sold to Canada for $164 million.

 

Defense trade has emerged as the source of uncharacteristic discord between Washington and Rome, which have long been close allies. Italy hosts thousands of U.S. troops on its soil and remains a major buyer of American military gear, most notably the Joint Strike Fighter that will cost Rome about $15 billion for 100 aircraft. But the fact that America won’t buy Italian products infuriates some executives and officials.

 

Giordo maintains his tough line on the C-27J won’t hurt his company’s prospects in the U.S. Alenia remains a key partner on the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program and will pursue the Air Force’s trainer replacement contract when that competition gets underway formally in a few years. And Finmeccanica’s DRS Technologies continues to serve as the cornerstone of the Italian giant’s U.S. operation and a key DoD supplier, now under the leadership of former Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn.

 

L-3 Communications is the prime contractor for the U.S. C-27J program, performing final integration of the aircraft in Waco, Texas. The company declined to comment on Giordo’s stance, noting it’s a matter between Alenia and the Air Force.

 

With the U.S. order capped and the aftermath of U.S. and European budget cuts, the C-27J’s prospects have dimmed. A derivative of Alenia’s G222 with new engines and avionics, 62 C-27Js have been sold worldwide: 21 to America, 12 to Italy, eight to Greece, seven to Romania, four to Mexico, four to Morocco, three to Bulgaria and three to Lithuania.

 

Alenia has identified South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Taiwan, Egypt, Oman, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Qatar and “potentially UAE” as future customers.

 

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group in Virginia, said the 21 planes the U.S. might want to sell constitutes the bulk of the world market for such small transports — and is equivalent to two years’ output from Alenia’s factories.

 

That explains why the stakes are high enough for Giordo to take such a hard stance.

 

“I am pragmatic,” Giordo said. “I prefer they put the airplanes in the desert.”

 

Message to Potential Buyers

 

Giordo said he will take his message that his company won’t support U.S. aircraft to all his potential C-27J customers such as Australia, which has expressed interest in the planes. He visited Australia Feb. 15-17.

 

The message to the Australians is that “you can buy on FMS and we will support the FMS case for 10 additional airplanes,” Giordo said. “But if they consider selling the 21 [U.S. planes], no way. They can sell, but as the original equipment manufacturer, I will not give spares, not guarantee configuration control, and so on.”

 

Alenia has fought an uphill battle to crack the U.S. market. Lockheed Martin first partnered with Alenia on the C-27J, only to abandon the program when it concluded it would compete with Lockheed’s four-engine C-130J. Then Boeing signed on as a partner, but it too withdrew its support. Eventually, Alenia partnered with L-3 and won a deal for up to 145 light battlefield transports valued at $6 billion, beating EADS’ C-295.

 

“We have two problems,” Giordo said. “First of all, the price that we have with the U.S. government is a very, very, low, low price because to win the competition we had to reduce the price. Second, the volume at the beginning was 145, then 78, then 38, now 21 with firm, fixed price. We are losing money.

 

“So, how can I allow the U.S. government to sell 21 airplanes they have in their inventory where I lose money and they also kill my international marketing?”

 

Sympathy for Alenia

 

But that stance does have its risks for Alenia Aermacchi, which stands to compete when the U.S. Air Force launches a new jet trainer competition in three years.

 

That competition was to have gotten underway later this year, with Alenia to bid a U.S. version of its M-346 trainer against the T-50 by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin and a new version of BAE Systems’ Hawk trainer sold by Northrop Grumman. Boeing is also considering developing an all new aircraft for the competition.

 

Asked whether his C-27J stance could damage relations with the U.S. Air Force, Giordo said, “I do not see what consequences our decision should have. Our decision is based on a product of a specific program and not meant to jeopardize the relationship with such an important customer and partner. I am sure that we will continue our collaboration with the United States, on, for example the [Joint Strike Fighter] program.”

 

He added that he is confident the M-346, which was selected by Singapore and most recently Israel, is a strong product that would satisfy U.S. requirements.

 

Senior U.S. aerospace executives expressed sympathy for Giordo, saying Alenia has been dealt a particularly tough hand.

 

“They fought like hell to win that contract and priced the plane to win but didn’t leave a lot of profit margin,” said one senior executive. “That’s why he can’t afford to have the U.S. government sell the planes they have. But we’ve all been through that. We bid for programs that we think will be for hundreds of planes that over time dwindle to a handful; it’s just that Alenia’s smaller than we are, so this kind of thing hurts even more.”

 

“No doubt about it, it’s a tough message, but you can’t blame them because by any objective measure, this company has faced a series of setbacks not of its making,” said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank, who also has served as a strategic adviser to Alenia’s parent, Finmeccanica. “It invested heavily to break into the U.S. market, winning the presidential helicopter and the Joint Cargo Aircraft. Both were terminated, and two Air Force helicopter programs they were eager to compete for, search and rescue and supporting ICBM fields, were canceled.”

 

Teal analyst Aboulafia agreed, noting that the only recent parallel to Alenia’s position was between Boeing and Airbus two decades ago.

 

“Back in the ‘90s, Airbus said it wouldn’t support A340s Boeing took from Singapore in exchange for 777s,” he said. “It was ultimately resolved after Airbus realized that not supporting the planes would hurt residual values for all A340s. What Alenia wants to do is effectively embargo its own product. It’s an aggressive stance, but my question is how this plays out in reality. It’s extremely difficult to enforce on any sophisticated product with a whole lot of subcontractors and third-party suppliers.”

 

Aboulafia suggested the move is more a negotiating tactic than a final position, noting it’s never good for business to squeeze a customer.

 

“Customers have a tendency of noticing how you treat other customers,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s a great little airplane that’s living hand to mouth at a run rate of just under one per month, not a lot in the pipeline and with few prospects like Taiwan and Australia.

 

“You can say one thing in Finmeccanica’s favor, they’ve worked hard. Given all that’s happened, whether cancellation of the 27, the presidential helicopter, competitions going away or being delayed like the trainer, the degree of fatigue and annoyance with U.S. procurement of foreign systems is quite understandable, so what do they really have to lose? It’s very understandable, but it might not be tenable.”

 

Marcus Weisgerber in Washington and Tom Kington in Rome contributed to this report.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 19:30

Su-30MKI--Flanker-H--multirole-fighter-infographie-Ria-Novi.jpg

 

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

The crew of a Su-30 fighter that crashed earlier on Tuesday in Russia’s Far East reported an engine fire before the crash, a spokesman for the Main Military Investigative Directorate said.

 

The Su-30MK2 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-na-Amure during a post-construction test flight. Both pilots ejected safely, although one of them was hurt on landing.

 

“While executing acceleration to a maximum speed, the first pilot reported a fire in the right engine,” the spokesman said. “The flight controller immediately ordered the crew to eject.”

 

“The investigators are taking all necessary steps to establish the cause of the crash,” the official said.

 

The aircraft belonged to the Komsomolsk-na-Amure factory where Su-30s are manufactured.

 

The Russian military earlier said that the plane had been built for export.

 

Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia's arms exports.

 

Variants of Su-30 Flanker fighters are in service with air forces in several foreign countries, including India, Indonesia, China, Algeria, Vietnam and Venezuela.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 13:35
Su-30 Fighter Jet Crashes, Crew Ejects Safely

Two crew members ejected safely after their Su-30 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-na-Amur during a test flight

 

MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

Two crew members ejected safely after their Su-30 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-on-Amur during a test flight on Tuesday, according to sources in the regional administration.

 

"Both crew members ejected safely but one was hurt on landing," a regional administration source said.

 

The aircraft belonged to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory where Su-30s are manufactured.

 

The crash took place at 10:20 AM Moscow time.

 

The Su-30, a multirole combat aircraft, is operated by India, China and Russia.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 13:30
Sagem décroche un contrat pour les drones de l’armée de terre

27 février 2012 par Astrid Gouzik L’USINE NOUVELLE

 

La filiale du groupe aéronautique Safran a remporté un contrat de maintenance pour les Sperwer de l’armée de terre française.

 

C’est donc Sagem qui sera en charge des activités de maintenance, de réparation et de support technique des drones tactiques Sperwer. Le contrat court jusqu’en 2014. Le système Sperwer est utilisé en Afghanistan depuis 2003. Il vient renforcer les forces aéroterrestres de l’OTAN.

 

"A ce jour, Sagem a développé et produit plus de 25 systèmes de drones tactiques Sperwer et 140 véhicules aériens", précise le groupe.

 

Par la même occasion, Sagem a enregistré une commande pour deux "catapultes pneumatiques tractées".  "Plus légères et compactes que les catapultes de première génération, elles permettent de réduire l'empreinte au sol du système en opérations, de diminuer les coûts d'exploitation, de faciliter les catapultages, et d'accroître la charge embarquée en vue d'une autonomie accrue", vante le communiqué.

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28 février 2012 2 28 /02 /février /2012 12:40
Kuwait - AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Missiles

Feb 27, 2012 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Feb. 24 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait of 80 AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Block II All-Up-Round Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $105 million.

 

The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of 80 AIM-9X-2 SIDEWINDER Block II All-Up-Round Missiles, 26 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, 2 CATM-9X-2 Block II Missile Guidance Units, 8 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance Units, 2 Dummy Air Training Missiles, containers, missile support and test equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The estimated cost is $105 million.

 

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

 

The Kuwait Air Force is modernizing its fighter aircraft to better support its own air defense needs. The proposed sale of AIM-9X-2 missiles will enhance Kuwait’s interoperability with the U.S. and among other Central Command nations, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world.

 

The proposed sale of this weapon system will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

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26 février 2012 7 26 /02 /février /2012 12:44

Aravis---Eurosatory-2010-photo-DICoD.JPG

Aravis - Eurosatory 2010 - photo DICoD

 

The Nexter Aravis is a high mobility 4x4 protected multi-mission vehicle intended for land forces in scenarios such as Iraq and Afghanistan

 

February 25, 2012, Armyrecognition

 

Laurent Collet-Billon Delegate General for the French Armaments Procurement Agency (DGA) confirmed this Monday, February 20, 2012 during the presenting of the DGA 2011 results, that the French Defence Company manufacturer Nexter has signed a contract in late 2011 with Saudi Arabia, for "between 100 and 200" ARAVIS 4 x 4 armoured vehicle.

 

This is the first export contract for the high protected armoured vehicle Aravis, which has been designed, developed and manufactured by Nexter. The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 at the International Defence Exhibition Eurosatory in paris, France.

 

An order for 15 ARAVIS vehicles was placed by the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (French army procurement agency DGA) in April 2009 for use by the French Army as a reconnaissance and escort vehicle for engineer units. The Aravis is currently in use by the French armed forces in Afghanistan.

 

Canon-Caesar---photo-Sirpa-Terre.jpg

photo Sipa Terre

 

In July 2006, Saudi Arabia has placed an order for 80 CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howiter which are also manufactured by The French Company Nexter.

 

The vehicle ARAVIS for Saudi Arabia should be equipped with a remote weapons system armed with a 20mm Nexter gun ARX-20.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 19:11
Russia holds negotiations with several countries on sale of Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile system.

 

February 23, 2012 worldwide-defence

 

Azerbaijan and Russia hold negotiations on “Pantsir-S1” surface-to-air missile system

 

APA (Azerbaijan Press Agency) reports that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are among the countries showing interest to the missile complex code-named by NATO as SA-22 Greyhound Pantsir-S1. Russia is reportedly holding negotiations with those countries.

 

APA (Azerbaijan Press Agency) reports that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are among the countries showing interest to the missile complex code-named by NATO as SA-22 Greyhound Pantsir-S1. Russia is reportedly holding negotiations with those countries.

 

The orders were received from Algeria and Morocco for “Pantsir-S1” which is included to the arsenal of armed forces of Russia, Syria, Iran, UAE and Oman.

The “Pantsir-S1”, which is designed for air defense of military facilities at short range, can open fire at the targets in 20-km distance. The complex also includes radar system. The “Pantsir-S1”, which has different modifications, replaces Tunguska complex of the Russian army.

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 13:15
Aravis - photo RP Defense

Aravis - photo RP Defense

22.02.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Intéressant  sujet des collègues du blog FOB qui confirment une info d'octobre dernier:

 

L'info avait été donnée en octobre dernier par la Lettre de l'Expansion qui annonçait une prochaine signature "portant sur l'acquisition par l'Arabie Saoudite de 73 véhicules blindés Aravis à 0,6 million d'euros pièce. Près de 191 engins pourraient être commandés ultérieurement".

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23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 08:38
La défense a investi 10 milliards d'euros en 2011 dans l'industrie

 

22/02/2012 Par Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

La Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) a dépensé 10,7 milliards d'euros en 2011 dans l'industrie au titre des programmes d'armement et de la recherche.

 

Les industriels de la défense ont été plutôt préservés l'an dernier. Selon les chiffres du Délégué général pour l'armement (DGA), Laurent Collet-Billon, présentés mercredi lors d'une conférence de presse, la DGA a investi 10,7 milliards d'euros dans l'industrie de défense, dont 724 millions au titre de la recherche. Sur ces crédits de paiements dans la recherche, Laurent Colle-Billon a souligné l'effort du ministère de la Défense en faveur des PME et ETI à travers le dispositif "Rapid", doté d'un budget de 40 millions d'euros, en hausse de plus de 30 % sur un an. "L'effort de renouvellement des forces s'est poursuivi en 2011, avec notamment, dans le domaine de la dissuasion la suite des livraisons de missiles M51 et ASMPA, dans le domaine concventionnel les livraisons des hélicoptères NH90 et Tigre, des équipements de fantassin FELIN, des véhicules blindés de combat VBCI, des avions Rafale ainsi que des missiles Aster, Exocet MM40 et MICA", a expliqué la DGA dans un communiqué.

 

Réduction des personnels

 

Le ministère de la Défense a en revanche peu dépensé dans les programmes dits "d'urgence opérationnelle", nécessaires pour équiper les forces sur les théâtres d'opération (Afghanistan, Libye...). C'est, selon la DGA "un autre preuve de la robustesse de l'approche capacitaire du ministère et de la flexibilité des matériels déployés pour s'adapter à des théâtres d'opération variés et très éprouvants". En 2009 et 2010, le ministère avait dépensé respectivement 250 et 170 millions d'euros pour faire face à ces urgences opérationnelles.

 

Enfin, la DGA vise des effectifs à hauteur de 10.000 en 2014. Soit la suppression d'u quart des personnels entre 2008 et 2014.

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 12:50
British Army set for operational trials with Watchkeeper UAS

Watchkeeper UAS Thales UK

 

Feb 2012 By Craig Hoyle – Flight Global

 

Thales UK has confirmed it has provided France's DGA procurement agency and army with technical information about the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system, as its British Army launch customer prepares to begin operational field trials with the type.

 

French interest in the Watchkeeper system was revealed during a bilateral summit in Paris on 16 February, with a formal evaluation to start during 2012 and conclude next year.

 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said co-operation between the nations would offer advantages in technical, support and operational terms, and during the development of doctrine and concepts for the equipment's use.

 

"The French army has similar requirements to the British Army and is interested in replacing its SDTI [Sagem Sperwer] system with a high-performance, certified and financially attractive solution," said Thales. It cited the "considerable pedigree" of the Watchkeeper air vehicle (above), which builds on the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 design, which has now amassed more than 60,000 flight hours in support of the UK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Operational field trials of the Watchkeeper system involving the Royal Artillery's 32 Regiment are "due to start at ParcAberporth shortly", Thales said, adding that more than 100 flights of the aircraft have now been undertaken in the UK. The army assessment had been due to start last October, but was delayed due to "technical issues encountered during software integration and flight trials".

 

The UTacS joint venture company formed by Thales and Elbit began delivering Watchkeeper equipment in late 2011, ahead of the type's phased introduction to use in Afghanistan.

 

"Details of when Watchkeeper will deploy to Afghanistan are operationally sensitive, but the British Army is planning a progressive roll-out in theatre during 2012," the Ministry of Defence said.

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