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27 janvier 2012 5 27 /01 /janvier /2012 08:05
Northrop Grumman Statement on the Global Hawk Block 30 Program

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Jan. 26, 2012 – Northrop Grumman Corporation

Northrop Grumman Corporation has released the following statement on the Global Hawk Block 30 program:

    "The Pentagon announced today that it is planning to cancel the Global Hawk Block 30 program and plans to perform this mission with the U-2 aircraft. Northrop Grumman is disappointed with the Pentagon's decision, and plans to work with the Pentagon to assess alternatives to program termination.

    "The Global Hawk program has demonstrated its utility in U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, as well as its utility in humanitarian operations in Japan and Haiti. Just a few months ago, the Pentagon published an acquisition decision memorandum regarding Global Hawk Block 30 that stated: 'The continuation of the program is essential to the national security… there are no alternatives to the program which will provide acceptable capability to meet the joint military requirement at less cost.'

    "Global Hawk is the modern solution to providing surveillance. It provides long duration persistent surveillance, and collects information using multiple sensors on the platform. In contrast, the aging U-2 program, first introduced in the 1950s, places pilots in danger, has limited flight duration, and provides limited sensor capacity. Extending the U-2's service life also represents additional investment requirements for that program.

    "Northrop Grumman is committed to working with our customers to provide the best solutions for our country and our allies. We are pleased with the continuing support for the Global Hawk Block 40 system, as well as for the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system and our other unmanned systems."

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26 janvier 2012 4 26 /01 /janvier /2012 17:38
photo Sirpa Air

photo Sirpa Air

le 26/01/2012 Air & Cosmos

En créant une joint-venture dans les drones avec Rheimetall, Cassidian se postitionne en fédérateur européen et capitalise sur le Harfang.


Dans la joint-venture annoncée vendredi avec Rheinmetall dans le domaine des drones, Cassidian ne se contentera pas d’une part initiale -déjà majoritaire- de 51% : selon nos sources, la firme prévoit déjà und augmentation prochaine de la prise de contrôle. Rheinmetall semble considérer que mettre ces activités sous la houlette de la division défense d’EADS leur assurera plus de pérennité dans un secteur où la diversité des acteurs se heurte à la restriction des budgets.


De son côté, Cassidian n’a de cesse d’être reconnu comme le fédérateur européen des drones, par opposition à une alliance franco-britannique qui favoriserait Dassault et BAE Systems. L’accord intervient ainsi après le rachat en octobre de la PME française Surveycopter, puis en décembre le protocole d’accord avec Alenia pour une possible coopération dans les drones Male (Moyenne Altitude Longue Endurance) et de combat, sans compter l’accord avec le Turc TAI autour du projet de Talarion.
Et le fait que Rheinmetall, en plus de fabriquer le drone tactique KZO, soit responsable de l’exploitation du Heron 1 d’IAI pour les forces allemandes dans le programme Saateg n’est pas anodin.


Car Cassidian ne renonce pas au Harfang ( dérivé du Heron 1 francisé), bien que la France ait refusé sa proposition de Harfang « Nouvelle Génération » modernisé au profit du plus gros Heron TP francisé par Dassault. Notant qu’en France comme en Allemagne, Harfang et Heron 1 arrivent à échéance fin 2013 en n’ayant épuisé « que 10% du potentiel du véhicule aérien », EADS s’appuierait bien sur une mutualisation des coûts fixes entre les deux pays pour jouer les prolongations. Et de noter que le Harfang serait qualifié pour une exploitation sur le territoire national allemand, contrairement au Heron 1… Tout cela même si, officiellement, l’alliance n’invalide pas la proposition faite par Rheinmetall à l’Allemagne de succéder au Heron 1 avec du Heron TP.

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21 janvier 2012 6 21 /01 /janvier /2012 12:40
L'Inde, premier importateur d'armes russes en 2012 (centre d'analyse)

MOSCOU, 20 janvier - RIA Novosti


En 2012, la Russie fournira à l'Inde des armes et du matériel de guerre pour un montant d'environ 7,7 milliards de dollars, a annoncé vendredi un communiqué du Centre russe d'analyse du commerce mondial d'armes (TSAMTO).

"Cette année, la Russie livrera à l'Inde des armes et du matériel de guerre pour un montant d'environ 7,7 milliards de dollars, ce qui constitue plus de 60% des exportations russes et 80% des importations indiennes d'armements", lit-on dans le communiqué mis en ligne sur le site du TSAMTO.

Selon le centre d'analyse, ce résultat impressionnant sera assuré par la livraison de trois commandes importantes.

La commande la plus onéreuse est celle du porte-avions Vikramaditya qui sera livré aux forces navales indiennes en décembre 2012. Mis à l'eau en 1982 sous le nom d'Admiral Gorshkov, ce navire a subi une modernisation dont le coût a changé à plusieurs reprises pour atteindre 2,34 milliards de dollars. La deuxième livraison importante sera celle de deux frégates d'un montant total d'environ un milliard de dollars. Le troisième contrat d'envergure prévoit la location par la Marine indienne du sous-marin nucléaire Nerpa. Selon les dernières informations, le prix du contrat s'élève à 920 millions de dollars.

La Russie projette en outre de livrer à l'Inde près de 40 hélicoptères MI-17V-5, 33 chasseurs Su-30MKI et neuf chasseurs embarqués MiG-29K/KUB.

En 2012, la Russie poursuivra également la modernisation de chasseurs, de drones et d'hélicoptères pour l'armée indienne.

D'après le centre TSAMTO, de 2002 à 2011, les importations indiennes d'armements ont atteint 25,65 milliards de dollars. Les experts estiment qu'elles doubleront entre 2012 et 2016.

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20 janvier 2012 5 20 /01 /janvier /2012 13:35
NATO to sign delayed AGS deal by May

Nato AGS – photo Northrop Grumman

January 20th, 2012 by Craig Hoyle - Flight Global

London - NATO's long-running process to order an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability could at last achieve a contract signature within the next few months, although the scale of its programme appears to have again been revised.

"We have the contract, and it's under negotiation," said US Air Force Maj Gen Steve Schmidt, commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force. A 13-nation deal should be signed before the next NATO summit, in Chicago from 20-21 May, he added.

"I fully expect to see the announcement that NATO has purchased AGS by that summit," Schmidt told the AEW and Battle Management conference in London on 17 January.

Schmidt valued the pending acquisition at about €1 billion ($1.3 billion) for five Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned air vehicles, each equipped with a Northrop/Raytheon surveillance payload. An associated 20-year operational support package is expected to total a further €2.2 billion, he added.

This assessment contrasts with a previous plan, which had called for the purchase of six Global Hawks, to be operated from NAS Sigonella in Sicily from later this decade. Northrop officials last October said a deal was expected to be signed in early November 2011.

Although NATO was able to access information from a USAF Global Hawk that flew a limited number of sorties during last year's Libya campaign, Schmidt said the availability of an Alliance-owned fleet "would have been a game-changer" during the seven months of Operation Unified Protector.

Beyond its application during such coalition operations in the future, Schmidt said additional uses for the AGS fleet would include crisis management and cooperative security tasks.

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20 janvier 2012 5 20 /01 /janvier /2012 13:05
Canadian Army’s M113s Wind Up in Victoria, British Columbia to Be Destroyed

January 19, 2012. By David Pugliese Defence Watch

The Canadian Army’s M113 armoured personnel carrier fleet is being driven into oblivion.

Sharp-eyed Defence Watch readers in Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria, BC have all sent in reports about the M113s being shipped to a scrapyard in Victoria, B.C.  The vehicles are being shipped on flatbeds, two to a truck.

In Victoria they are being totally destroyed; no parts are being keep, the engines are being decimated, etc. The destruction is because the U.S. government is insisting on that. There are several hundred carriers to destroy (some estimates are as high as 500 or 600).

A number of M113s have been set aside for museums, for base displays, etc. DND tried to sell the carriers to other nations but had not much luck considering there are large numbers of the vehicles readily available.

Proposed sales of the M113s did not take off as Crown Assets and DND had hoped.

Some Defence Watch readers have suggested it might have been an idea to provide the carriers for free to some nations in the developing world that Canada has a military relationship with (there are a number of countries in Africa).

Other readers questioned why the carriers were stripped for parts in case they are needed for the TLAVs (upgraded M113s which were sent to Afghanistan and received excellent reviews about their performance).


As way of background, here is what I wrote about the TLAV on Defence Watch in July 2008:

The M113A3 TLAV or Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle was developed several years ago as part of the upgrade program for the Canadian Force’s M113A2 fleet. I’m told that although the TLAV is not seen as a frontline combat vehicle, it nonetheless is a robust and steady workhorse that can keep up to the Leopards and provide the needed protection for crews.

Jason Bobrowich, a former crew commander and armored gunnery instructor in the Canadian Forces on the Cougar and the Leopard C1, writes this about the history of the TLAV on an excellent and information-filled post on the Armorama website:

“A variety of upgrades were done to power pack, suspension, and weapon systems on the M113A2s to become the M113A3 variant. A total of nine M113A3 variants were developed for specific Combat Support roles. One variant is the M113A3 TLAV with the One Metre Turret. The most recognizable feature of this version of the TLAV is the addition of the One Metre Turret. The turrets came from the retired AVGP Grizzly 6×6 wheeled APCs. The turrets were further upgraded with 76 mm Wegmann multi-barrel grenade dischargers and add-on armour. The turrets are fitted with a .50 Calibre machine gun and a C6 7.62 mm machine gun. They are electrically or manually traversed and are fitted with an image intensification night sight.

In addition to the internal upgrades to the TLAV hull external modifications were also made. Add-on armour panels were added to the sides, front, and rear ramp. The trim vane was eliminated and a stowage bracket was added to the engine access hatch. Anti-slip surfaces were added to the hull top as well as an extended exhaust, new antenna mounts, anti-slip surfaces, and a hull top stowage box. The suspension was also upgraded with the Diehl track being replaced by the Soucy rubber band track system. The Soucy track is wider than the Diehl track, lighter, and far less work is needed to maintain it. The drive sprockets and tensioning idler wheels were also replaced with new versions designed for the Soucy track. The tracks are made of rubber, steel cable, and other compounds. The tracks dramatically reduce the noise and vibrations and increase the M113A3′s mobility.

A number of M113A3 TLAVs with the One Metre Turret are currently being used by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan along with other M113A3 variants. The TLAVs provide convoy escorts and security for both command posts and Artillery batteries. While the Canadian LAV III has replaced the M113A2 as an Infantry carrier in the Canadian Forces the M113A3 TLAV and M113A3 variants will continue to serve as very important Combat Support AFVs on the front line. Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan the TLAVs began being fitted with add-on bar armour packages. This further increased the crew protection on the TLAV against RPG type weapons.”

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20 janvier 2012 5 20 /01 /janvier /2012 08:25
Temporary Plateau For Indian Defense Spending

photo Sirpa Air

Jan 19, 2012 By Neelam Mathews - defense technology international

New Delhi - The Indian defense budget for fiscal 2012 (April 2012-March 2013), adjusted for the 12.9% decline in the value of the rupee to the dollar last year, is less than 2011 in real terms. Plans are to allocate $36 billion, or 2.6% of GDP, to defense this year. In 2011, the budget was $35.2 billion, or 2.03% of GDP.

Based on the current value of the rupee, this yields a budget with buying power of $31.4 billion in 2011 dollars. And while the defense budget’s share of GDP is up 28% from 2011, India’s rate of GDP growth was 16.6% less than in 2010—7.5%, compared with 9%.

The rupee’s loss of value is attributable to worried investors selling emerging-market assets on the presumption that Europe’s debt crisis will lead to global recession. Nevertheless, major programs are under way by the air force, navy and army, as India undertakes a $50 billion modernization drive in the next five years that will improve the capabilities and power projection of its forces. One factor driving modernization is the rise of China as a regional power, expanding its presence in the Indian Ocean and building forces and infrastructure in Tibet and Pakistani-occupied Kashmir. India lags China in ICBMs, nuclear submarines, antisatellite weapons and fifth-generation fighter aircraft. The defense budget seeks to fill at least some of these gaps.

The biggest deal this year is the $11 billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program for the air force, which will see a bidder selected for the 126 aircraft by March—at least according to the current timeline. The downselected bidders are Dassault Aviation with the Rafale and Eurofighter with the Typhoon. If the deal goes as planned, it will boost the air force’s share of the defense budget to a projected 35% this year from 28%. This in turn will affect allocations for the army, which received 51% of the budget last year, and the navy, which got 15%. (Allocations for these services had not been announced at press time.)

On the other hand, homeland security, which is under the jurisdiction of the Home Affairs Ministry, has a budget that will increase, says Laxman Behera, research fellow at Indian Defense Strategic Affairs. Homeland security’s budget was $4.4 billion last year. “Internal security has urgent needs that cannot wait. Overall, we are compelled to modernize forces including the police,” adds Behera. The homeland security budget will be announced on Feb. 29.

International defense and aerospace companies are seizing opportunities in India’s competitive and rapidly expanding market. India’s modernization plans and recent upgrades mean the military is importing more than 70% of its arms. Factors behind this effort include protection of its robust economy based on trade and challenges ranging from border conflicts with Pakistan and China to terrorism and piracy.

Meanwhile, with contracts for the long-delayed upgrades of 51 Dassault Mirage jets signed and the down payment made in late 2011, the $2.4 billion project is finally underway. Dassault and Thales will modernize onboard equipment and systems to bring the aircraft to Mirage 2000-5 standards. Clearance for procurement has also been given for 450 MICA multitarget air-to-air intercept and combat missiles from MBDA for the Mirages. MICA has a maximum operating range of 60 km (37 mi.).

The upgrade involves new avionics including the Thales RDY2 multimode radar, as well as new navigation and electronic countermeasures. The MPDU mission computer, also on the Rafale, will be installed in the Mirages. Thales will now need to tap current and potential partners for offsets and finalize its joint venture with Samtel.

The first two Mirage aircraft will be upgraded in France within 44 months. The next two will be modified over 14 months by Dassault, Thales, and government contractor Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore). HAL will then upgrade the rest.

A contract to integrate Rafael Advanced Defense System’s Derby medium-range air-to-air missile with India’s Tejas light combat aircraft is in the works. Delivery of the missiles is expected in the second half of 2012. The active radar- and infrared-guided Derby, which provides all-weather, beyond-visual-range capability, has been acquired for the navy’s Sea Harrier FRS51 fighters, 14 of which have been modified for the missile.

The Defense Research and Development Organization will spend $4 billion over the next three years on locally manufactured strategic and tactical missiles, including the Astra air-to-air missile, BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Akash surface-to-air missile and the Shourya ballistic missile. Also scheduled for production are 1,100 Pinaka rockets, 1,000 84-mm rocket launchers and 7,500 missiles.

Honeywell became the sole vendor in a bid to re-engine the air force’s Jaguar fleet when Rolls Royce pulled out. Honeywell will supply its F125IN engine, which has 9,850 lb. of thrust. It is projected to save the service $1.5 billion in lifecycle costs. The engine includes a dual full-authority digital engine control system, modular construction, integrated engine-monitoring system and high thrust-to-weight ratio, according to Honeywell.

The air force has started taking delivery of six Lockheed Martin C-130J transports. A letter of request has been sent to the U.S. for procurement of six more, according to Defense Minister A. K. Antony.

HAL is planning to modernize its facilities to better handle impending orders for such aircraft and programs as the fifth-generation fighter, a joint project with Russia; the medium transport aircraft, a joint venture with Irkut Corp. and Ilyushin Design Bureau of Russia; indigenous light combat aircraft; the light combat helicopter; MiG-29 upgrades; and the intermediate jet trainer.

Navy leaders are working to give India a new fleet with greater range. Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma says force levels will increase to 150 warships and 500 aircraft. The navy’s current fleet strength is 118 surface ships, 14 submarines and 216 aircraft. When he speaks of range, he means “deployment at long distances with the ability to stay for some time.” In other words, “reach and sustainability.”

India’s plans to construct its first indigenous aircraft carrier at Cochin Shipyard suffered delays following problems in design and integration of the propulsion system and procurement of critical equipment. Verma says the carrier should be launched “by the middle of 2012, or so.”

The navy plans to soon commission the refitted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov). It also wants to add nine surface warships. These include a Shivalik-class frigate; Kolkata-class destroyer; antisubmarine warfare corvette; offshore patrol vessel; two Talwar-class frigates from Russia; three catamaran survey vessels; and 25 fast interceptor craft.

The largest army initiative, a $13 billion modernization program, will add 90,000 soldiers and raise four new divisions along India’s border with China. “The army will purchase 2,600 vehicles as part of its future combat vehicles program, and is likely to see strong public and private sector participation from ordnance board and industry players such as Tata Group,” says Rahul Gangal, defense advisory and investments director at aerospace specialist Aviotech of Hyderabad.

The purchase by the army of 197 light helicopters has been re-tendered, following an objection by Bell-Boeing. This delays the award to one of two short-listed contenders: Eurocopter with its Fennec AS550 C3, and Kamov with the 226T. There has been no indication as to when the contract will be announced.

Defense Minister Antony told parliament recently that priority was being “given to ensure that artillery units are equipped with modern weapons.” The army reportedly needs 1,580 155-mm/53-caliber towed guns; 180 155/52 wheeled and self-propelled guns; 145 155/39 ultra-light howitzers; and 100 more 155/52 tracked guns.

Analysts advise that India should sustain its defense expenditures at a consistent pace for an extended period. This is likely, given that defense is in modernization mode. If the current momentum of budgeting is sustained, defense spending is likely to be around $100 billion by the end of 2021, resulting in significant market opportunities for industry in India and outside.

Until recently, the defense ministry has been unable to spend all of its annual allocations due to complicated procurement procedures. As a result, large programs have suffered delays, which in turn led to cost escalation and technology obsolescence. This situation is changing, though it remains to be seen to what extent.

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18 janvier 2012 3 18 /01 /janvier /2012 13:20
DCNS embarque des maquettes de missiles de croisière sur l'Aquitaine

Vue d'artiste d'un Scalp Naval tiré d'une FREMM
crédits : MBDA

18/01/2012 MER et MARINE


Le groupe naval poursuit les essais de mise au point du système de combat de l'Aquitaine, tête de série du programme des frégates multi-missions. Dans cette perspective, DCNS a procédé à l'embarquement de maquettes du nouveau missile de croisière naval dont le bâtiment sera doté (à raison de 16 munitions). L'embarquement de ces maquettes a été mené à la demande de la Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) par les équipes DCNS, en lien avec MBDA, fournisseur des munitions et des installations de tir. Ces essais ont permis de vérifier la capacité des équipes à embarquer en sécurité à bord des FREMM des missiles Aster (mer - air) et des missiles Scalp Naval (appelés MdCN dans la Marine nationale). « La réussite de ces opérations est une illustration du bon déroulement général des essais de la FREMM Aquitaine. Grâce à l'investissement des collaborateurs de DCNS, les FREMM constituent des navires de référence, avec les systèmes les plus aboutis qui soient », affirme Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, directeur des programmes FREMM au sein de DCNS.

Embarquement d'une maquette de MdCN sur l'Aquitaine (© : DCNS)

Nouvelle capacité pour la Marine nationale

Développé par MBDA, le Scalp Naval sera l'un des atouts maitres des nouvelles frégates et offriront une nouvelle capacité à la marine française, qui ne dispose pas encore de missiles de croisière tirés depuis ses bâtiments. Le MdCN est dérivé du Scalp EG mis en oeuvre depuis les avions de l'armée de l'Air et de l'aéronautique navale (les Rafale embarqués sur le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle). Longs de 6.5 mètres (avec booster) pour un poids de 1.4 tonnes, dont 500 kilos de charge militaire, les engins mis en oeuvre par les FREMM pourront voler à 800 km/h et atteindre des cibles terrestres situées à un millier de kilomètres. Autonome, le missile, qui déploie ses ailes après le lancement, dispose d'une centrale inertielle. Durant la phase de vol, il se recale grâce à un radioaltimètre et un système de positionnement GPS lui permettant de voler à très basse altitude. En phase finale, il se sert d'un autodirecteur infrarouge pour reconnaitre sa cible et la détruire. Idéale pour détruire des installations stratégiques, comme des infrastructures de commandement, cette arme est conçue pour pénétrer des cibles durcies. Elle constitue même, pour le bâtiment qui en est doté, une capacité de frappe considérable, et donc un outil très intéressant pour le pouvoir politique. D'autant qu'en dehors des FREMM, MBDA développe une version lancée depuis sous-marins, qui équipera les futurs Barracuda à partir de 2017.
En tout 200 Scalp Naval ont été commandés, soit 150 pour les 9 premières FREMM françaises, et 50 pour les 6 sous-marins nucléaires d'attaque du type Barracuda.

L'Aquitaine (© : DCNS)

Cinq FREMM en chantier

Longues de 142 mètres pour un déplacement de 6000 tonnes en charge, les FREMM disposeront également de 16 missiles surface-air Aster 15 et 8 missiles antinavire Exocet MM40 Block3, d'une tourelle de 76mm, de deux canons télé-opérés de 20mm, de torpilles MU90 et d'un hélicoptère Caïman Marine (NH90). En plus des 9 premières frégates, disposant d'importantes capacités anti-sous-marines (avec sonar remorqué), deux unités supplémentaires seront dédiées à la lutte antiaérienne. Sur ces frégates de défense aérienne (FREDA), les 16 Scalp Naval seront remplacés par des missiles Aster, chaque bâtiment embarquant un panachage de 32 Aster 15 et Aster 30.
Pour mémoire, cinq frégates sont actuellement en essais, en achèvement ou en cours de construction sur le site DCNS de Lorient. Il s'agit de l'Aquitaine, qui sera livrée dans un premier standard au second semestre de cette année, de la Mohammed V, commandée par le Maroc et en achèvement à flot, des Normandie et Provence françaises, en cours d'assemblage, ainsi que de la Languedoc, dont l'industrialisation a débuté il y a quelques semaines. La dernière des 11 FREMM françaises, en comptant les FREDA, doit être livrée en 2022.

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17 janvier 2012 2 17 /01 /janvier /2012 19:13
EADS : des mesures d'économies pourraient avantager le projet Talarion

17/01/2012 Kaveri Niththyananthan, Dow Jones Newswires – Zonebourse.com

Le président exécutif d'EADS, Louis Gallois, a déclaré mardi que les projets tels que le drone Talarion pourraient être dopés par des économies réalisées ailleurs.

Cassidian, filiale de défense et de sécurité d'EADS, autofinance le développement du Talarion.

Un drone concurrent, baptisé Telemos, est développé par BAE Systems et Dassault Aviation.

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17 janvier 2012 2 17 /01 /janvier /2012 12:35
STX France et DCNS livrent le Dixmude avec trois mois d'avance

Le BPC Dixmude

17/01/2012 MER et MARINE


Le nouveau bâtiment de projection et de commandement de la Marine nationale a été livré le 14 janvier à la direction générale de l'armement. Conçu par DCNS et réalisé par STX France, à Saint-Nazaire, le Dixmude est le troisième BPC de la flotte française, qui doit en compter quatre à terme. Commandé en avril 2009 dans le cadre du plan de relance de l'économie, le bâtiment a été livré avec trois mois d'avance par rapport au planning initial. Une performance qui a été saluée par le ministre de la Défense, présent samedi dernier à Toulon lors de la cérémonie de livraison. « Ce succès industriel est le fruit d'une excellente collaboration entre les deux co-traitants DCNS et STX France. Le processus de conception, de production et de validation a été totalement maîtrisé en étroite collaboration avec les équipes de la DGA et de la Marine nationale. Depuis le début des travaux qui ont débuté en avril 2009 avec la découpe de la première tôle jusqu'à la livraison de la plate-forme en juillet 2011, les équipes de STX ont sans cesse pris de l'avance sur le planning de production. De son côté, DCNS a été en mesure de valider le système de combat en effectuant trois sorties à la mer au lieu des 6 prévues contractuellement », expliquent les deux industriels qui ont mené à bien le programme.



Long de 199 mètres et présentant un déplacement de plus de 21.000 tonnes en charge, le Dixmude est à la fois un porte-hélicoptères d'assaut, un transport de chalands de débarquement, un bâtiment de commandement et un hôpital flottant. Armé par un équipage de 180 marins, il peut embarquer 450 hommes de troupe, 70 véhicules, 16 hélicoptères lourds et deux engins de débarquement amphibie rapides (EDA-R) ou quatre chalands de transportde matériel (CTM). Bénéficiant d'améliorations par rapport à ses deux aînés, le Mistral et le Tonnerre, livrés en 2006 et 2007, le Dixmude compte notamment un second propulseur d'étrave et une meilleure visibilité sur sa passerelle de défense à vue. Le BPC réalisera son premier déploiement de mars à juillet, dans le cadre de la mission Jeanne d'Arc. Il réalisera à cette occasion ses essais en eaux chaudes, en vue d'une admission au service actif à l'été.

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)

NH90 sur le Dixmude (© : MER ET MARINE - JEAN-LOUIS VENNE)



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16 janvier 2012 1 16 /01 /janvier /2012 08:25
F-16s Versus Su-30s Over Indonesia

source Ria Novisti

January 15, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE

Indonesia has signed a contract to buy six more Su-30 jet fighters from Russia for $78 million each. Indonesia already has ten Su-27s and Su-30s, but wants at least 16 of these modern aircraft so they will have a full squadron. Although expensive, the Russian fighters are modern, and look great. They are also relatively cheap to maintain. This was all part of a plan to switch from American fighters (ten F-16s, and 16 F-5s) to Russian Su-27s and 30s. But used F-16s are so much cheaper than Su-27s, and the public pressure forced the Indonesian politicians to hang on to the F-16s, and upgrade existing F-16s, an expensive proposition that appeals to corrupt Indonesian officials.

Although Indonesia wants to buy 180 Su-27 and Su-30 fighters from Russia, they are now also rebuilding their older force of early model F-16s. In addition, Indonesia has ordered 24 used, but modernized, F-16Cs for $31 million each. The ten older F-16s will also be modernized to the same standard.

Indonesian Air force generals opposed the acquisition of the F-16s because they fear this will lead to a reduction in the procurement of new Russian fighters. The generals believe the Russian fighters are a better match for the 80 F-18Es that neighboring Malaysia is acquiring, and the F-35s that Australia is buying. But the F-16s have a proven combat record that the Su-27s and Su-30s lack.

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14 janvier 2012 6 14 /01 /janvier /2012 17:50
India Casts Wider Net for Short-Range Missiles

photo Livefist

13 Jan 2012 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI Defensenews

NEW DELHI - The Indian Army has entered the global market to buy short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) systems for $1.5 billion, a move that could further undercut a four-year effort to develop a system with MBDA of France.

The Army convinced the Indian Defence Ministry there is an urgent requirement for SRSAM, said Army sources, and did not want to wait for the Maitri project conceived four years ago. India and France have not been able to agree on details of the Maitri project, including funding arrangements, the source added.

The Army last month sent global tenders to defense companies in Europe, the United States and Russia including Raytheon of the U.S., Israel's Rafael, MBDA and Thales of France, Diehl Defence of Germany, KBP Tula and Rosoboronexport of Russia, Ukraineexport of Ukraine and LIG NEX1 of South Korea.

The requirements of the SRSAM are similar to those of the proposed Indo-French Maitri project, the Army source said.

The current tender is for two regiments (36 systems, 1,000 missiles) estimated to cost about $800 million each. The total Indian Army requirement is likely to be about eight regiments in the next five to seven years.

The Maitri project was proposed to be jointly developed by India's Defence Research and Development Laboratory and MBDA.

The selected vendor will have to transfer technology of the systems, as well.

The supply will be made in two batches and completed within five years of the signing of the tender, including the launchers, sensors, vehicles for transportation and the missiles. The system must have a service life of at least 20 years and the missiles of not less than eight years.

The SRSAM system should be able to engage multiple targets, including those flying up to 500 meters per second, and have a maximum range of not less than 15 kilometers.

In 2009, India bought two regiments of Spyder quick-reaction surface-to-air missile systems from Rafael. Another Indo-Israeli joint project is the $2.5 billion long-range surface-to-air missile project signed in 2009 and expected to be inducted in 2013, Indian Defence Ministry sources said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army has begun inducting the homemade medium-range Akash, which has a range of up to 30 kilometers. In 2011, the Indian Army ordered the induction of two Akash regiments at a cost of about $3 billion.

The Army also has been negotiating the purchase of David Sling and Iron Dome missile interceptor systems.

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13 janvier 2012 5 13 /01 /janvier /2012 08:40
BPC Dixmude -14th of July 2011, in Toulon

BPC Dixmude -14th of July 2011, in Toulon

12 janvier 2012 letelegramme.com


Construit par STX France à Saint-Nazaire, le Dixmude, l'un des trois Bâtiments de Projection et de Commandement (BPC) français (les plus gros bâtiments de la flotte française après le porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle), recevra samedi, à son bord, le ministre de la Défense Gérard Longuet. Deux autres bâtiments du même type, commandés par la marine russe en 2009, sont actuellement en construction à Brest.


Le ministre de la Défense, Gérard Longuet, visitera samedi à Toulon le troisième bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC) français, baptisé Dixmude, réceptionné début janvier par la marine nationale. Les BPC sont les plus gros bâtiments de la flotte française, après le porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle.


Commandé par le ministère en 2009 aux société STX France et DCNS dans le cadre du plan de relance de l'économie, le Dixmude est doté de capacités opérationnelles identiques à celles du Mistral et du Tonnerre déjà en service.


Construction du Dixmude : "2,7 millions d'heures de travail pour les chantiers navals français"

Le bâtiment bénéficie d'améliorations techniques et d'équipements modernisés, fruit du retour d'expérience de cinq années de service des BPC, a souligné le porte-parole du ministère, Gérard Gachet. Sa réalisation a représenté "2,7 millions d'heures de travail pour les chantiers navals français", a-t-il précisé.


Le Dixmude répond, selon le ministère, "à la nécessité de posséder des unités polyvalentes, capables de se positionner au large, de déployer rapidement des troupes, de projeter des forces à terre", de commander ou soutenir "des opérations interarmées et interalliés d'envergure en mer ou à terre".


Deux bâtiments similaires actuellement en construction à Brest pour le compte de la marine russe

Le bâtiment a été construit par STX France à Saint-Nazaire, où la DCNS (ex-Direction des constructions navales) l'a équipé de son système de combat, a précisé le ministère. La marine russe a commandé en 2011 deux BPC du même type, dont la construction a débuté en décembre à Brest.


Selon le porte-parole de la Défense, la construction de ces deux bâtiments, qui doivent être livrés sans armement français, "représente six millions d'heures de travail pour l'industrie française, soit l'équivalent de mille emplois créés ou maintenus pendant quatre ans". Longs de 199 mètres, pour un déplacement de 22.000 tonnes, les BPC disposent d'un équipage réduit à 170 personnes et peuvent accueillir jusqu'à 4.000 personnes pour des opérations humanitaires.

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12 janvier 2012 4 12 /01 /janvier /2012 18:33
Sagem signs life-cycle support contract for STRIX sights on French army Tiger helicopters

Source Safran-group.com

January 12, 2012 defpro.com

Paris | Sagem (Safran group) signed a contract with SIMMAD* to provide life-cycle support for the STRIX turret-mounted, gyrostabilized observation and sighting systems on Tiger HAP combat and fire support helicopters deployed by the French army’s air arm (ALAT).


The five-year contract covers 50 STRIX systems and associated logistics. It includes support by the hour for curative maintenance and a flat rate for preventive servicing of certain line replaceable units. Covering both France and overseas theaters of operation, the contract also provides for Sagem to set up a dedicated hot line in conjunction with ALAT units operating Tiger helicopters.

Contract services will be provided by Sagem’s Dijon and Poitiers plants for optronics modules, and by the Montluçon plant for the gyroscopic stabilization devices.

The STRIX optronic turret, mounted over the cockpit, is a major part of the Eurocopter Tiger’s weapon system. On the HAP version of the Tiger, the STRIX system provides full day/night support for all missions: observation, reconnaissance and target identification, along with the operation of its weapon systems, the 30 mm cannon, rockets and Mistral air-to-air missiles.

During combat operations in the summer of 2011 (Opération Harmattan, French contribution to Nato operation Unified Protector), the STRIX sight demonstrated its efficiency on deployments the French navy’s Tonnerre and Mistral BPC class amphibious assault, command and power projection ships, in mobile air support operations that proved decisive in the conflict. These systems have been deployed in Afghanistan since 2009, within the scope of the PAMIR operation.

Sagem is the European leader in gyrostabilized optronic systems for military helicopters. It develops and produces the entire STRIX and OSIRIS observation and sighting systems for all versions of the Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, deployed by Germany, Australia, Spain and France.

* SIMMAD (Structure Intégrée du Maintien des Matériels Aéronautiques du ministère de la Défense) is a joint services entity, reporting to French air force headquarters, that overseas maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for aircraft deployed by all services of the armed forces.

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11 janvier 2012 3 11 /01 /janvier /2012 21:18
Cérémonie : réception du premier SAMP/T au pôle de défense sol-air d’Avord

11/01/2012 Auteur :  Ltt Marianne Jeune  - Actus Armée de l’Air

Mercredi 11 janvier 2012, une cérémonie s’est tenue sur la base aérienne 702 d’Avord pour la réception d’une section du nouveau système d’arme sol-air de moyenne portée (SAMP) Mamba au pôle de défense sol-air.

Le système air-sol de moyenne portée (SAMP), baptisé Mamba, a effectivement été livré, mercredi 30 novembre 2011, à l’escadron de défense sol-air 2/950 «Sancerre» de la base aérienne 702 d’Avord. Présidée par le colonel Laurent Rataud, commandant la base aérienne et la base de Défense, la cérémonie marque officiellement et solennellement l’arrivée de ce nouvel équipement. Un événement d’autant plus important que la base d’Avord accueille le pôle de défense sol-air, une véritable pépinière de compétences complémentaires composée de trois unités : le centre de formation de la défense sol-air (CFDSA), l’escadron de défense sol-air (EDSA) et l’escadron de soutien technique sol-air (ESTSA).




Au cours de la cérémonie, le colonel Rataud a procédé à la lecture de l’ordre du jour. Le document pose les jalons de l’aventure qui attend les aviateurs du pôle de défense sol-air : « Matériel à la pointe de la technologie, confié à des spécialistes opérateurs et techniciens de l’armée de l’air au savoir-faire reconnu, le SAMP devient aujourd’hui le fer de lance de la défense sol-air au sein des armées françaises. Officiers, sous-officiers et militaires du rang de l’EDSA « Sancerre », soutenus par  l’ESTSA et formés par le CFDSA, souvenez-vous des hauts faits de votre glorieux passé au cours des opérations Manta, Epervier et Daguet pour écrire, dès aujourd’hui, aux commandes de ce nouveau système d’arme, une nouvelle page de l’histoire de la défense aérienne face aux nouveaux enjeux et aux nouvelles menaces du XXIe siècle. »

Décidée en décembre 2006 par le chef d’état-major des armées, la réorganisation de la fonction sol-air a en effet confié la responsabilité du domaine de la courte et de la moyenne portée à l’armée de l’air, à partir des systèmes Crotale de nouvelle génération en service depuis 1994 et du SAMP "Mamba". L’armée de terre a, quant à elle, reçu l’expertise de la capacité très courte portée avec le Mistral. Il s’agit de l’un des plus grands changements qu’a connus l’armée de l’air depuis ces cinq dernières années.

Composé de quatre lanceurs, équipés chacun de huit missiles Aster   30 et capable d’intercepter tous les types de menaces aériennes, le SAMP est destiné à assurer la protection de points sensibles ainsi que celle de zones de déploiement de forces terrestres en opérations extérieure. Il constitue également une première contribution française à l’édification d’une défense antimissile de théâtre. Connecté à un radar de détection et à un centre de commandement et de contrôle de l’Otan, il sera capable de réaliser l’interception de missiles balistiques en phase terminale de vol.

Cette cérémonie a marqué la troisième étape de livraison du SAMP dans les forces, qui a d’abord été déployé sur les bases aériennes 116 de Luxeuil, en septembre 2010, et 118 de Mont de Marsan, en mars 2011. Une deuxième section arrivera en terre du Berry au cours du premier trimestre 2012.

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11 janvier 2012 3 11 /01 /janvier /2012 08:35
Acoem fournit les armées en systèmes de détection des tirs


source 01db-metravib.com


11/01 Marie Annick Depagneux - Les Echos

Ex-filiale d'Areva spécialisée dans la mesure de bruits et de vibrations, cette entreprise a été achetée par le fonds Evolem, qui a associé les managers en place.

Quand Areva a annoncé sa décision de céder sa filiale 01dB-Metravib en avril dernier, les 320 salariés de cette entreprise spécialisée dans l'expertise acoustique étaient inquiets. Toutefois, les cadres dirigeants associés à la reprise par le fonds privé Evolem les ont convaincus que cette émancipation était une chance. Elle a eu lieu fin 2011. « Le poids du groupe commençait à être lourd », reconnaît Fabien Condemine, désormais président de l'affaire, rebaptisée Acoem. Champion tricolore de l'expertise acoustique et les vibrations, Acoem se présente comme un spécialiste de la surveillance intelligente : « Nos solutions vont au-delà de la simple mesure à distance. Elles incluent des traitements automatisés qui facilitent l'analyse des résultats », plaide le patron. Maintes collectivités locales et presque tous les aéroports de France ont recours à ses procédés. A l'étranger, la PME est devenue il y a deux ans le fournisseur exclusif de dispositifs de suivi des éoliennes du chinois State Grid, importante compagnie d'énergie qui lui commande entre 150 et 200 unités chaque année. Dans un autre domaine, elle équipe la quasi-totalité des armées du monde entier en systèmes de détection des tirs. « Ils s'installent dans les camps de base, sur des véhicules blindés et sans doute demain des hélicoptères. Nous avons conçu cette technologie il y a dix ans et les Américains ont été les premiers à nous l'acheter. Nous essayons de garder notre avance en mettant au point de nouvelles applications », poursuit-il. A la demande d'Areva, qui restera un de ses clients, l'entreprise a conçu en 2011 un outil de mesure des températures afin d'accroître la disponibilité et la durée de vie des centrales nucléaires. A la tête d'une trentaine de brevets, Acoem consacre près de 8 % de son chiffre d'affaires (environ 45 millions d'euros en 2011) à la R&D, qui mobilise 25 ingénieurs. Implanté depuis dix ans au Brésil à travers une filiale commerciale très liée à l'environnement et à la surveillance des machines tournantes d'extraction de matières premières, il réfléchit à « l'opportunité de monter une unité d'assemblage de certains éléments. Toutefois, le coeur de la production sera conservé dans nos unités françaises de Limonest et Toulouse », assure le patron. Projet analogue en Asie : « Nous y disposons aujourd'hui de bureaux, mais nous souhaitons constituer une société à part entière en Chine ou, plus vraisemblablement, en Malaisie, courant 2012 », ajoute-t-il. Avec le soutien de son nouvel actionnaire, la PME pourrait atteindre le cap des 150 millions de revenus à l'horizon 2020 par croissance interne et externe. Fabien Condemine aimerait ainsi prendre des positions dans la surveillance sismique.

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10 janvier 2012 2 10 /01 /janvier /2012 18:45
Watchkeeper Misses Key Schedule Milestone

Jan 10, 2012 By Robert Wall - AviationWeek.com

LONDON - The U.K.’s flagship unmanned aircraft program, the Thales Watchkeeper, has failed to meet its target for delivering the first air vehicles to troops in Afghanistan.

Watchkeeper is among the ongoing U.K. Defense Ministry procurements with the largest schedule delays, according to the National Audit Office. It was running more than a year behind schedule and also has come under scrutiny at the ministry.

The program only barely escaped being named to the ministry’s “programs of concern” list when it was first issued last year. At the time, the government said another review was expected “around the turn of the year.”

One of the key milestones for the program last year was to begin deliveries to deployed forces in Afghanistan. However, a Defense Ministry official notes that “Watchkeeper has not yet been delivered.” A reason for the delay was not given.

The military was hoping to have sufficient numbers of Watchkeepers fielded to sustain three orbits in April, with the number of orbits to reach six in October. Fifty-four Watchkeepers are being bought under current procurement plans.

The in-service date for the program was initially planned for June 2010.

Once Watchkeeper is fielded, it is supposed to allow the ministry to start drawing down Hermes 450 unmanned aircraft being used on a fee-for-service basis in Afghanistan.

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5 janvier 2012 4 05 /01 /janvier /2012 15:22
France Buys Anti-Sniper Kits for Afghanistan

The French Army will equip 80 of its VAB wheeled vehicles in Afghanistan with a Kongsberg weapon station and a SLATE ground shot detector.

(French MoD photo)


January 5, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Renault Trucks Defense; issued January 5, 2012


Urgent Delivery of Slate Kits for VAB Armoured Vehicle


VERSAILLES --- Under an urgent operational requirement, at the end of November 2011, Renault Trucks Defense supplied 80 SLATE (Acoustic Sniper Localization System) kits to the French defense procurement agency (DGA) for integration with TOP 12.7 versions of the VAB armoured personnel carrier in Afghanistan.


The SLATE system consists of a PILARw acoustic antenna for detecting gunshots, produced by 01dB-Metravib, which is connected to the Kongsberg TOP 12.7 (Protector M151) remote control weapon system and an interface for the crew.


When integrated into the VAB, this assembly allows very fast response times against sniper type of attack. As soon as a gunshot is detected, the VAB’s crew can decide to cue the turret automatically in the direction of the danger. The target can be identified and fire returned immediately.


New functionalities have been developed in partnership with the DGA and the end-users (French Army Technical Department, STAT) to enhance the protection of troops: the sensitivity of SLATE allows the threat level to be determined by indicating whether the weapon used is small or medium caliber. At the same time, the SLATE system stores the geographical location of the attacking shooters in memory, even after the VAB has moved.


The VAB can therefore move into cover when engaged. Thanks to the added reach provided by the armament of the TOP 12.7 weapon station (a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm grenade launcher), the crew can move away from the threat while retaining the option of neutralizing targets from a safe distance.


Ultimately, the SLATE system could be connected to information and command systems to improve the sharing of information gathered at tactical level.



Renault Trucks Defense, a reference manufacturer for the terrestrial armed forces, designs and develops a full range of armoured vehicles, with the SHERPA. Legacy supplier to the French Army, with more than 4,000 VAB armoured personnel carriers in service, Renault Trucks Defense can claim more than 65 customer countries across the world. Employing 600 people in France, RTD's 2010 revenues exceeded 300 million euros. Armoured vehicles represent more than 60% of its activity, but it also has a truck offering geared to a very full range of military uses. Renault Trucks Defense participates in programmes with Nexter, such as the Caesar artillery system and the VBCI infantry fighting armoured vehicle. It holds several brand names across the world, including ACMAT.


Kongsberg Protech Systems is the world's leading supplier of Remote Weapon Stations providing flexible solutions that meet our customer's specific requirements. Through world class innovation, program execution and customer understanding, we aim to provide high tech systems for enhanced situational awareness and protection of personnel and property in high-risk areas. As of October 2010 the Protector has been chosen by 17 nations and Kongsberg continues to be the world’s leading provider of Remote Weapon Stations.


01dB-Metravib has a global “products and solutions” offer in acoustics and vibrations: hardware production, software publishing, engineering, audits, services, research, and training. Dedicated to the Armed and Police Forces, 01dB-Metravib Defense and Security Division has designed a complete range of products for threat detection and localisation, including gunshot and RPs named PILARw. PILARw is a combat proven solution used by many countries all around the world and is already deployed in almost every ISAF Force in Afghanistan.

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4 janvier 2012 3 04 /01 /janvier /2012 13:30
Su-27 Survives On Upgrades


January 4, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE


Despite being in service for 25 years, the Su-27 continues to appear in updated models. The most recent one is the Su-27SM(3). The Russian Air Force received a dozen of these in 2011. The SM(3) version has more powerful and durable AL-31M1 engines and a reinforced airframe that enables the aircraft to take off with three more tons of fuel or weapons. There were also updated electronics and a "glass" (full of touch screens) cockpit. Russia considers the Su-27SM(3) twice as capable as the original model, the Su-27S, in air-to-air combat and three times as effective in ground attack.


Things are not doing so well with existing Su-27s. Last year, Russia grounded all of its Su-27s. This necessary until it could be determined what caused one to crash on January 14th, 30 kilometers from its airbase at Dzemga (in the Far East). The pilot died in the crash, but the flight recorder was recovered. A year earlier, two Su-27s crashed. The Su-27 entered service in the 1980s and some of them are showing their age. It's still a first line fighter, but only as long as updated models can be developed and built. Russia's Sukhoi aircraft company has sold over a billion dollars' worth of these aircraft (plus components and technical services for them) a year for the last few years. Sukhoi mainly supplies Su-27/30 jet fighters to India, China, Malaysia, Venezuela and Algeria. The 33 ton Su-27 is similar to the U.S. F-15, but costs over a third less.


Developed near the end of the Cold War, the aircraft is one of the best fighters Russia has ever produced. The government helped keep Sukhoi alive during the 1990s, and even supplied money for development of an improved version of the Su-27 (the Su-30). This proved to be an outstanding aircraft, and is the main one Sukhoi produces. There are now several Su-30 variants, and major upgrades. While only about 700 Su-27s were produced (mostly between 1984, when it entered service, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), adding Su-30 production and you have over 1,000 aircraft (including license built ones in China and India).

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2 janvier 2012 1 02 /01 /janvier /2012 13:05


Su-30 of the Vietnam People Air Force (photo : Jetphotos)




Interfax-AVN - Russia successfully carried out a contract to supply Vietnam 12 multifunctional fighters Su-30MK2.

"In accordance with the timetable agreed with the customer next four Su-30MK2 posted on Friday from Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Vietnam," - said a source in the military-industrial complex.


He recalled that the delivery of the first four aircraft were delivered in June this year.



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29 décembre 2011 4 29 /12 /décembre /2011 08:00
Airborne Platforms Bolster Ocean Patrol

Photo: Boeing


Dec 28, 2011 By David Eshel - defense technology international


Tel Aviv - Regional threats to stability, growing tension over the exploitation of natural resources in economic exclusion zones (EEZ), the impact of piracy and terrorism, and criminal activities in the littorals are among factors driving demand for advanced airborne maritime surveillance assets.


Maritime surveillance is one of the fastest-growing defense markets, with countries seeking a range of technologies to improve their ability to monitor traffic in territorial waters and secure ports and other shore facilities from threats. For naval forces, airborne assets are needed to track and warn of submarine activities and protect disputed territories. Strong and effective surveillance is also a key component in assembling international coalitions for stability operations and in fighting piracy.


Effective and far-reaching maritime monitoring is a priority in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In the eastern Mediterranean, deep-sea drilling has yielded major deposits of oil and natural gas off Israel and Cyprus, and shown the importance of defending offshore rigs (DTI November, p. 22). In Asia the dramatic growth of the Chinese navy has increased tension with countries such as India over energy sources and territorial claims, and led to a surge in submarine fleets, and with it demand for maritime patrol and antisubmarine-warfare (ASW) aircraft.


The Lockheed P-3 Orion has compiled a decades-long record of maritime patrol, and is in use with the U.S. Navy and other maritime forces around the world. Modernization programs have kept the iconic aircraft relevant in a rapidly changing world of evolving threats and capabilities. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was awarded two contracts worth $37 million to integrate the EL/M-2022A surveillance radar, developed by IAI and its Elta subsidiary, onto P-3s. The contracts were awarded by two undisclosed militaries that are upgrading their patrol aircraft. The radar sets were tailored to fit in the nose and tail. One forward-looking antenna will provide 240-deg. coverage and two additional antennas will provide 360-deg. coverage.


The EL/M-2022A is an advanced, multimode surveillance system incorporating synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and inverse SAR 3-D technology, as well as expertise gained by missions conducted by the Israeli military. EL/M-2022A can be deployed on maritime aircraft in support of ASW, EEZ patrols, coastal defense, drug smuggling and fisheries patrols, and search-and-rescue missions. The radar’s modular architecture permits integration onto rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It has a high degree of commonality with Elta’s EL/M-2032 fire-control radar. Excluding the operator’s console, EL/M-2022A hardware weighs less than 100 kg (220 lb.).


A patrol aircraft developed by Boeing, the P-8 Poseidon, will replace the U.S. Navy’s remaining P-3Cs. The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission platform. It has an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in battlespace. According to Boeing, all sensors on board contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is shared over military standard and Internet Protocol data links, allowing for seamless delivery of information among U.S. and coalition forces.


After several years of debate, the Navy decided to replace its specialized versions of P-3 reconnaissance aircraft with UAVs by the end of the decade. Northrop Grumman is team leader and prime contractor for the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV. The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) platform is based on the Global Hawk, and designed to cruise at 60,000 ft. Unlike Global Hawk, which flies only at high altitude, MQ-4C is required to descend to lower altitude to get a closer view of suspected targets. To fly safely with manned and unmanned aircraft, the MQ-4C will be equipped with sense-and-avoid radar, which alerts an operator to air traffic in its vicinity. The MQ-4C will have 36-hr. endurance and operate at 60,000 ft., avoiding strong winds and severe weather. The payload is 3,200 lb. The UAV will have 2-D advanced, electronically scanned array radar for 360-deg. coverage of vast sections of ocean.


Another UAV for maritime use, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical-takeoff-and-landing rotorcraft, accommodates a variety of sensors. It was deployed for the first time aboard the USS McInerney.


The P-8A and BAMS programs are in their advanced stages. Last January, Boeing received a $1.6 billion contract for low-rate initial production of the first six aircraft. Initial operational capability is slated for 2013. In 2008, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $1.16 billion System Development and Demonstration contract for BAMS.


The P-8A/MQ-4C duo already provides a role model for Asia-Pacific nations that are challenged with covering vast ocean areas from shore bases. The Royal Australian Air Force, currently operating 18 Lockheed AP-3Cs, has expressed interest in the P-8A and its HALE component. As part of Project Air 7000 Phase 1, Canberra is expected to buy eight P-8As to replace its 18 AP-3Cs. The P-8A aircraft will be augmented by seven UAVs to fulfill the remaining roles. Australia completed the last upgrade of its AP-3Cs in 2005, which included the installation of an Elta’s EL/M-2022(V)3 maritime surveillance radar and a FLIR Systems Star Safire II thermal imager.


Israel is investing in its maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to protect new finds in offshore oil and gas deposits, which have become a security priority for coming years. One segment that will likely get much attention is enhancing unmanned maritime surveillance in the eastern Mediterranean, to guard the gas and oil drilling platforms being moved within Israel’s vulnerable EEZ and in other areas.


Eli Gambash, marketing manager for IAI’s Malat division, says the company’s Heron-1 and Heron-TP UAVs, equipped with the new EL/M-2022 inverse SAR and automatic identification system, are ideal for maritime surveillance, coastal protection and antipiracy missions. The Heron-TP has also been tested with SAR for maritime surveillance, with the antenna stored in a belly fairing. “The Heron-1 with Elta radar covers a 400-nm. radius and identifies objects amid the clutter of the sea with enormous precision,” says Gambash, a captain in Israel’s naval reserve. “With the Heron you can remain in a certain place, completely passive, yet be in full situational control.”


India is rapidly expanding maritime surveillance, targeting and ASW capabilities with acquisitions of advanced systems. The country is a pioneer in the use of unmanned systems for surveillance. Its navy has been operating Israeli Searcher II and Heron I UAVs for years—Searchers carry EL/M-2022U lightweight maritime surveillance radar, and Herons are equipped with a suite of sensors, including radar, electro-optic payloads, sigint, comint and electronic support measures sensors, and line-of-sight or satellite data links. Israel is believed to have offered the newer Heron-TP to India to augment current UAVs.


India is also embarking on two maritime patrol programs to upgrade the littoral surveillance capabilities of the navy and coast guard. New Delhi is evaluating a potential buy of six aircraft, as part of the navy’s Medium-Range Maritime Reconnaissance program. These aircraft would cover 500 nm., flying 6 hr. on station, and replace the navy’s Dornier Do-228 aircraft, currently used for littoral surveillance.


A similar platform is being considered to replace the coast guard’s Britten-Norman BN-2B Islanders.


A third program in the planning stage seeks nine amphibious aircraft for surveillance over territorial waters in the Andaman Sea. The platforms likely to meet the requirement are the CASA/IPTN CN235MP—produced and supported in Indonesia—and the Saab 2000 MPA. The latter will be offered with advanced AESA radar from Selex, addressing what Saab considers a new Indian requirement. The plane will be fitted to carry RBS-15 antiship missiles, manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics. Optional weapons include the Boeing Harpoon missiles India is buying for the P-8I, the Indian version of the P-8A aircraft.

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25 décembre 2011 7 25 /12 /décembre /2011 21:09
Israël a annulé un contrat sur des systèmes radars à la Turquie (médias)


25 décembre 2011 - Armenews.com


Le ministère israélien de la Défense a ordonné d’annuler un important contrat de fourniture à la Turquie de systèmes radars équipant des avions, ont indiqué jeudi les médias israéliens.


Selon les médias qui citent un responsable du ministère de la Défense ayant requis l’anonymat, le contrat signé en 2009 avec la Turquie par la société israélienne Elbit Systems et les Industries aériennes israéliennes porte sur un montant de 140 millions de dollars (107 millions d’euros).


Interrogé par l’AFP sur les raisons de cette annulation, le ministère de la Défense a indiqué qu’il “n’a pas pour habitude de s’expliquer sur ses décisions (...) qui sont prises sur une base professionnelle en vertu de considérations sécuritaires et diplomatiques“.


Le journal en ligne Ynet a pour sa part estimé que le ministère de la Défense avait décidé d’annuler ce contrat, de crainte qu’Ankara ne transfère ces équipements ultra-sophistiqués à des tiers qui lui sont hostiles.


Selon la première chaîne publique de la télévision israélienne, Israël s’inquiète surtout d’un rapprochement entre la nouvelle hiérarchie militaire à Ankara et l’Iran.


Tous les autres contrats d’armes conclus par Israël et la Turquie sont maintenus, a précisé la télévision.


Les relations entre Israël et la Turquie, jadis florissantes, y compris dans le domaine de la coopération militaire, se sont considérablement dégradées, notamment après un raid meurtrier israélien contre un ferry turc qui tentait de briser le blocus de Gaza en mai 2010.

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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 19:24
Countersniper Systems Detect Hidden Shooters


Dec 22, 2011 By Andy Nativi - defense technology international


Snipers have experienced a renaissance in recent years, as asymmetric combat has turned their shooting skills into tactical and even strategic advantages for the forces that deploy them. One sniper can pin down hundreds of enemy combatants, disrupting or halting their operations and even forcing a retreat.


The reason for this outsized impact is simple: Few soldiers will expose themselves to the “one shot, one kill” capability of modern snipers. When a sniper starts shooting, casualties follow.


Shooting skills are only part of the equation. Sniper teams rely on a wealth of high-tech gear. This includes powerful, accurate purpose-built rifles, precision optics, rangefinders and ballistic computers, and long-range ammunition. Western snipers already have a huge skills and technology advantage. Insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, are not only outgunned but vulnerable at greater range. Record kills have been achieved at distances beyond 2,400 meters (7,875 ft.—almost 1.5 mi.) using rifles chambered for the 338-caliber Lapua Magnum round or 50-caliber bullet. Engagement ranges in excess of 1,000 meters are becoming the norm.


But even an outgunned enemy fields snipers. If an infantry team comes under sniper fire and a friendly sniper is not available, the standard procedure is to call in air strikes, artillery, mortars, combat vehicles, antitank missiles—almost anything that can be used to eliminate a sniper. But in an era characterized by efforts to reduce collateral damage there is a need to suppress the threat rapidly and surgically.


Before being able to engage a target, the target must be found, located and identified. And this is where countersniper systems come into play. These are used in fixed emplacements, on vehicles and lately, with the miniaturization of electronics, on dismounted infantry.


In an ideal world an enemy sniper would be eliminated before he shoots. A preemptive action would rely on a combination of intelligence, surveillance systems and tactics, and a countersniper system. Most countersniper systems work by detecting the optics mounted on sniper rifles or used by spotters, usually by detecting reflections generated by laser beams hitting the lenses. These systems generally employ a wide-angle laser beam that scans an area and a receiver with a low-light amplifier. Examples include Rheinmetall’s SLS (sniper locating system) and advanced Cilas SLD 400. The latter mounts on a turret and achieves detection at ranges of 1,000 meters in daylight and 3,000 meters at night. The optical head weighs 7 kg (15.4 lb.). For static site protection, the larger SLD 500 is proposed, combining a surveillance camera and laser detection system.


Other technologies can be exploited for pre-shot detection. The U.S. Marine Corps is conducting a market survey under its G-BOSS (E) program (Ground-Based Operational Surveillance System—Expeditionary), which is aimed at assessing technologies including optic retro-reflective, shortwave infrared (SWIR) and skin detection.


Active countersniper systems are more complex and costly than passive systems, which use a combination of techniques to detect and pinpoint the source of incoming fire. Passive systems come into play when the sniper starts shooting. Technical solutions in passive systems could be based on optical detection of the muzzle flash, thermal signature of the flying projectile or, more often, the acoustics generated by the muzzle blast and/or the shock wave created by a supersonic bullet.


In many cases the detection system is co-mounted with a weapon system, which automatically aims in the direction of a threat. This reduces reaction time, which is critical. Because a sniper rarely takes more than a few shots from a concealed position, countersniper action needs to be fast, accurate and, of course, proportionate. Countersniper systems are not necessarily limited to snipers: Many can be used to detect and warn soldiers of other threats such as artillery and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG).


Some systems can be mounted on fixed ground-surveillance systems, land vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles or helicopters. Detection systems ideally provide 360-deg. coverage, though some redundancy—e.g., multiple sensors—is necessary, especially on fixed surveillance systems. Also important is the system interface with the operator, who needs to immediately receive aural and/or visual warnings, followed by a clear indication about the direction of a threat, its range and location. A low false-alarm rate is critical. Some systems even identify the weapon being used by a sniper. Almost all of them can handle multiple threats, if not simultaneously, at least in quick succession.


Optical systems work passively and use IR sensors to detect muzzle flash. Many were developed in Israel. Israel Aerospace Industries/Elta offers the EL/O 5320 gun-detection system, which uses a day/night short-range infrared (SWIR) module and high-definition camera. When the IR sensor detects a gunshot, an image is recorded and displayed on a screen, showing the shooter’s location and allowing the operator to identify the threat. The system comes in different versions, and mounts on tripods or vehicles. It weighs less than 6 kg and has a field of view greater than 60 deg.


Rafael markets a range of electro-optic detection systems under the Spotlite name. The P version is man-portable, battery-powered and for stationary use. It has a detection range in excess of 1,000 meters, uses an IR sensor, CCD day camera, laser rangefinder, laser marker and GPS, and has a 50-deg. field of view. The M version—for light vehicles—detects bullets, tank projectiles, RPGs and missiles. Combining it with other sensors increases coverage and protection.


Acoustic systems are the most common on the battlefield. They are used for site protection, can be mounted on vehicles, and new versions are wearable—soldiers attach them to their battle dress uniforms or their weapons.


In many cases system performance depends more on data-processing quality than on data acquisition. Among systems available are: AAI Textron’s PDCue (Projectile Detection and Cueing); Boomerang from Raytheon BBN Technologies; Qinetiq North America’s Ears/Swats (Shoulder-Wearable Acoustic Targeting System); RMGL (Rifle-Mounted Gunfire Locator) from Ultra Electronics; Pilarw from O1dB-Metravib; and Pinpoint from Cobham.


Acoustic systems are so light, economical and easy to use that they are often deployed at the squad level for operation by dismounted infantry on the move. They are not as accurate as larger vehicle-mounted units, but soldiers value their potential to detect an enemy position. The RMGL, for instance, can be attached to the Picatinny rail on an M-4 carbine. Weighing 500 grams (16 oz.), it provides 7 hr. of operation and detects 5.56-12.7-mm shots from 30-1,200 meters. Manufacturer ­Ultra Electronics claims an accuracy rate of more than 90% in detection and location.


Qinetiq’s Ears/Swats has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers like the rugged, compact, lightweight (450 grams) system, which provides direction and distance in a fraction of a second and 360-deg. coverage. Ears gives a soldier an immediate audio indication of a threat: “shot, 300 meters, 3 o’clock,” which in most cases is enough time to save a life and return fire effectively. Visual indication is shown on the Swats shoulder display. The system is available in vehicle (VMS) and fixed-site (FSS) versions.


Raytheon BBN Technologies has sold and fielded thousands of its Boom­erang systems, mostly on vehicles. The design-specific feature is the array of microphones on a single mast, which provides 360-deg. coverage.


Another system widely used on U.S. vehicles is AAI Textron’s PDCue, which uses four detection arrays to provide a precise identification of target position and range. Target position, derived by GPS, is displayed on a digital map. The company says the system is effective to 1,200 meters and has a range error of less than 25%.


Pilar is an acoustic system fielded by France, U.S. special forces and other international customers. The system relies on a single array of detection microphones. Pilar detects threats, including mortar rounds, at 2,000 meters.


While sniper-detection systems make being a sniper more dangerous than ever, snipers are reacting to the threats with a combination of countermesures. There are coatings for scope optics that shield them from backscatter laser energy; new and enhanced bullets that reach targets at greater distances—even outranging some detection system; muzzle blast and flash suppressors and subsonic ammunition which, at relatively short range, is difficult to detect, much less pinpoint.

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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 08:30



21 December 2011 By Vladimir Karnozov - Flight Global


With work on the Indian navy's future aircraft carrier the INS Vikramaditya now 90% complete, an RSK MiG-29K fighter has been placed aboard the vessel for the first time.


Pictured on the carrier's deck at the Sevmash dockyard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia during November, aircraft Side 311 was deployed using a crane to serve as a mock-up only.


According to Sevmash, the Vikramaditya will start sea trials in May 2012, with these to involve take-offs and landings using two industry-owned aircraft. One is a purpose-built MiG-29K, while the other is a MiG-35D two-seat demonstrator now being modified after the crash of a MiG-29KUB trainer during trials in 2011.


Originally introduced to service with the Russian navy in 1987 as the Baku, but deactivated in 1992, the modified Vikramaditya now features a "ski-jump" ramp and three arrestor wires to support fighter operations. New Delhi's total investment in the ship is worth around $2 billion, with Sevmash expecting it to be commissioned into service on 4 December 2012 - Indian navy day.


Russia has so far delivered 11 of the 16 MiG-29K/KUBs ordered for the Indian navy under a 2003 deal worth $530 million, with the remainder due to be shipped to Goa before the end of 2011.


India also this year firmed up an option for 29 more navalised MiG-29s to equip its future homegrown aircraft carriers.

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20 décembre 2011 2 20 /12 /décembre /2011 08:20



19 December 2011 - by the Shephard News Team


The Australian Army has selected the Sentient Kestrel Land Moving Target Indicator (MTI) for the Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) systems being acquired under the Defence Capability Plan Joint Project (JP) 129 Phase 2. Under the contract Sentient will provide the automated target detection solution to support the Shadow systems in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.


To be operated by the 20 Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Regiment, Kestrel Land MTI will assist Australian forces in analysing ISR imagery from the AAI Shadow 200. The software processes the imagery in real time, automatically detecting small, moving targets such as dismounts and vehicles within the TUAV sensors’ field of view.


Equipped with cutting-edge payload technology including advanced electro-optical and infrared sensors the Shadow TUAV will transmit real-time, full motion video (FMV) to the Ground Control Station (GCS) and remote video viewing devices. The Kestrel system analyses the video footage and provide a real-time cue to operators on moving objects within the field of view. This capability will enable the Army to effectively detect and respond to enemy targets, and thus protect Australian forces.


According to the company, the Army has purchased three Kestrel Land MTI licenses for 20 STA Regiment, which will be deployed with the Shadow in Afghanistan early next year. Sentient has been working closely with 20 STA Regiment and AAI over the past years and has successfully demonstrated Kestrel’s automated target detection capability with the Shadow.


Kestrel is currently supporting the Australian Army on board the ScanEagle which will remain in service in Afghanistan during the transition-in of the Shadow.

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19 décembre 2011 1 19 /12 /décembre /2011 08:30
Submarine HMCS Victoria returns to base after nearly two weeks at sea

The Royal Canadian Navy submarine HMCS Victoria is moored in the magnetic silencing facility at the U.S. naval base in Bangor, Washington, for a deperming treatment. It reduces the sub's electromagnetic signature, making it harder for enemies to detect.

Photograph by: Lt. Ed Early, U.S. Navy


December 16, 2011 By Sandra McCulloch - timescolonist.com


The Royal Canadian Navy's west coast submarine, HMCS Victoria, returned to its base at CFB Esquimalt Friday after nearly two weeks at sea, where testing was carried out on the boat's systems and the skills and knowledge of its crew.


"HMCS Victoria's return to sea highlights all the hard work that has gone into this boat," Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific said in a statement.


"The submarine's return to operations will build on the achievements to date of the Victoria-class fleet in previous exercises and operations, and marks another significant milestone in the Canadian submarine program."


If all goes well, HMCS Victoria will be fully operational in 2012, the first of the four Victoria-class submarines to reach this point. Its next scheduled refit is set to take place from 2016 until 2018.


HMCS Victoria arrived at CFB Esquimalt on Aug. 25, 2003 and has been at sea an average of 10 days a year.


It's been a very long voyage for the Victoria and the three other diesel-powered submarines which were bought from Britain in 1998.


HMCS Windsor sailed from June 2005 to December 2006 and has since been in drydock on the east coast. It is scheduled to be operational from 2013 until 2018, when it will undergo a three-year refit.


HMCS Chicoutimi has not been at sea since a fire broke out on its delivery voyage across the Atlantic. The boat is also in refit and expected to be operational from 2013 until 2020.


HMCS Corner Brook hit the ocean bottom this year during training in Nootka Sound this year. The sub struck the southeastern wall of Zuciarte Channel. There were no serious injuries.


The results of a naval inquiry were released Friday, blaming the grounding on human error.


"The incident was avoidable," Capt. (Navy) Luc Cassivi, deputy commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, said in a statement.


"The grounding was caused by a failure to properly account for the positional uncertainty of the submarine in accordance with approved ... submarine navigational practices and techniques when operating in confined waters."


Lieut.-Cmdr Paul Sutherland was removed from command of the submarine and reassigned to a position onshore. A lack of training and experience were also found to be factors in the incident.


HMCS Corner Brook will remain at dock until 2015, and is scheduled to be operational by 2016.

Submarine HMCS Victoria returns to base after nearly two weeks at sea


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