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19 octobre 2011 3 19 /10 /octobre /2011 06:25

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Oct 18, 2011 ASDNews Source : Rheinmetall AG

 

A multifaceted partner for multifaceted operations

 

In contemporary peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations, where asymmetric threats are omnipresent, it can be hard to draw a hard and fast distinction between internal and external security. The duties of armed forces and internal security agencies often overlap, meaning that both require a multifaceted array of equipment and capabilities.

 

At Milipol 2011, the prestigious Paris tradeshow for military and law enforcement agencies, leading system supplier Rheinmetall Defence of Germany will be on hand from 18 to 21 October at Stand 1H-092, displaying an extensive range of products for police forces, security services and the armed forces, with the accent on the Group's numerous capabilities categories.

 

Reconnaissance

 

The newly established division Rheinmetall Electro-Optics, consisting of the companies Vinghog, Vingtech, Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics, I.L.E.E. and some units of Rheinmetall Defence Electornics, is presenting (among other things) night observation devices for many different applications - ranging from GN night vision goggles and the KN night vision visor to KDN night vision binoculars.

 

Weapons and weapon-related systems

 

Further, Rheinmetall Electro-Optics is presenting its tried-and-tested laser light modules, among them the brand-new Vario Ray (LLM-VR) and the LLM01, already in service with many armed forces and law enforcement organizations. The LLM01 has also been mounted on the German Bundeswehr's newest infantry weapon, the Designated Marksman Rifle G28 by Heckler & Koch.

 

Also on display are the Group's FeLVis fire control unit for 40mm low-velocity ammunition and the ZEFF dismounted soldier identification device (DSID).

 

Another Rheinmetall Electro-Optics product on show is the Vingmate advanced sight and fire control system. Besides the aiming device and fire control unit, it consists of a combined tripod and softmount, capable of receiving various 40mm automatic grenade launchers or .50 calibre heavy machine guns. Because the fire control unit can store up to ten ballistic firing tables, the effector of the Vingmate system can be quickly changed without having to readjust the weapon being used. The Canadian armed forces have procured a variant of the Vingmate system to serve as a close area support weapon, or CASW.

 

Moreover, at Milipol Rheinmetall also provides proof of its leading position in the field of 40mm ammunition, with an extensive array of 40mm x 46 (low velocity/LV and medium velocity/MV) and 40 mm x 53 high velocity (HV) rounds. These range from training and non-lethal cartridges to highly effective service ammunition.

 

At its Test Centre in Unterlus, the company recently conducted an impressive demonstration of its 40mm x 46 MV und 40mm x 53 HV time-delay airburst cartridges on behalf of the international ground forces community. Rheinmetall is developing the Cerberus grenade launcher and the Hydra automatic grenade launcher, specially designed for firing medium-velocity ammunition. Both weapon systems feature hydraulic shock absorbers that reduce the resulting recoil to the level of low velocity ammuntion.

 

Rheinmetall has also developed a quick-mounting digital aiming device for the Fly-K mortar, a system successfully deployed by the French armed forces in Afghanistan. The device measures the incline and elevation angle of the tube, while showing the range of the cartridges on a display. Light, compact, quiet and with a very low operational signature, this indirect fire weapon can of course also be used without an aiming device to engage targets at distances of up to 800 metres.

 

In the ordnance field, Rheinmetall is displaying its new generation flash-bang grenade, which features bottom-top venting (BTV) technology. Its new chamber system is designed for different decibel levels: 180 dB for military applications and 170 dB for law enforcement operations. For added flexibility, the new generation can be used either with a conventional flash-bang charge or with a newly developed perchlorate-free one, which also produces less smoke.

 

Rheinmetall has also improved the performance of the classic Spirco rapid smoke/obscurant grenade. In addition, its new red phosphorous smoke/obscurant grenade, known as ISIS (standing for "Infrared Smoke Instantaneous Spread"), creates a smokescreen in the space of a second that is impenetrable to optical, night vision and infrared devices.

 

Designed for illumination and signalling, the Group's handheld Mithras rockets make it possible to engage hostile forces around the clock. They feature ranges of 300, 600 and 1,000 metres, and come in normal and IR versions. The British armed forces have already introduced this innovative signalling rocket.

 

Mobility

 

The Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles division makes numerous vehicles that substantially enhance the mobility and operational effectiveness of miltary and law enforcement units. For example, the German Military Police use a water cannon version of the Yak protected command and mission-specific vehicle.

 

A joint development of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Armoured Multi Purpose Vehicle, or AMPV, is currently undergoing Bundeswehr trials.

 

Finally, the robust all-terrain vehicles of the HX/SX family and the TGM model series assure first-class mobility. Scale models of the Yak, AMPV and TGM are all on display at the Rheinmetall stand.

 

Protection

 

Rheinmetall is also a many-sided partner in the field of ballistic protection. On show at Milipol is the VERhA-product range by Rheinmetall Verseidag Protection Systems, consisting of high-performance, lightweight materials which are installed in special vehicles, helicopters and ships to protect their occupants. Inserts for bullet-resistant vests can also be inspected at the company's stand. In addition, Rheinmetall Chempro is presenting its practical Mobile Modular Protection System, or MMS. Whether it is used for reinforcing mobile checkpoints, for hardening shelters in forward operating bases or protecting portholes and machine gun positions on board ships, the MMS assures maximum flexibility in all climate zones, meeting the need for swiftly deployable protection in accordance with STANAG 4569, even in difficult terrain.

 

Rheinmetall's major presence at Milipol 2011 underscores yet again the Group's multifaceted role as a leading supplier of systems and equipment for the world's armed forces and law enforcement agencies.

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17 octobre 2011 1 17 /10 /octobre /2011 16:45

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Royal Australian Navy's Collins class submarine in the floating dock. (photo : cumminscommentary)

 

17.10.2011 DEFENSE STUDIES

 

AUSTRALIA'S troubled Collins Class submarines are more than twice as expensive to operate as US Navy nuclear submarines that are more than three times bigger.

Figures obtained by the Herald Sun, show the six Collins subs cost about $630 million a year - or $105 million each - to maintain, making them the most expensive submarines ever to put to sea.
Only two of the fleet of six could go to war at the moment.

The annual price for "sustainment" (maintenance and support) is $415.9 million for 2011-12 with operating costs running at $213.4 million for the year, for a total of $629.3 million.

A US Navy Ohio Class nuclear attack submarine - more than three times the size of a Collins boat - costs about $50 million a year to operate.

The cost figures are revealed as Defence officials say at least two possible contenders for the navy's new submarine fleet - the Spanish S-80 and French-Spanish Scorpene class boat - have been ruled out of the future submarine project.

In 2008, embarrassed navy brass stopped reporting on the performance of the Collins fleet in the Defence annual report.

 

The 2007-08 performance outcome for the Collins fleet showed it achieved 64 per cent of its mission capability, or 559 days of actual availability.

 

 

Since then the figures have been classified "secret", but assuming a similar outcome, then sustaining the subs now costs taxpayers $1,643,835 a day for all six vessels.

 

With only two or three available for duty, that cost blows out to more than $500,000 a day.
Sustainment costs are forecast to be $443 million this year. Since 2004, the costs have more than doubled from $204 million.

 

Opposition defence spokesman Senator David Johnston accused the Government and Defence Minister Stephen Smith of taking their eye off the ball when it came to the submarines.

 

Mr Smith said the Government was being careful about plans for 12 new submarines because 80 per cent of problems with the Collins could be traced back to mistakes in the planning stage.

 

OHIO CLASS NUCLEAR ATTACK SUBMARINE
Displacement = 16,500 tonnes
Length =170 metres
Speed = 12 knots surfaced 20 kts submerged
Crew = 155
Armament = Mark 68 torpedoes, Trident ballistic nuclear armed missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles

 

COLLINS CLASS SUBMARINES
Displacement = 3000 tonnes
Length = 77 metres
Speed = 10 knots surfaced 21 knots submerged
Crew = 38 to 48
Armament = 6 X 53cm torpedo tubes, Mark 48 torpedoes

 

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16 octobre 2011 7 16 /10 /octobre /2011 17:55
Tornado Goes Out Fighting

photo UK MoD

 

October 16, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

Libya has been a major combat effort for the British Royal Air Force (RAF), which sent over fifty aircraft. These included Tornado and Typhoon fighter-bombers plus several types of support aircraft. The small force of British Tornado fighter-bombers flew over 1,400 sorties (out of 19,000 flown by all aircraft from all nations) and spent over 7,000 hours in the air. Up to 16 Tornados, flying out of Italian air bases, carried out recon and combat missions over Libya, day and night. This was a major contribution for a 30 year old aircraft nearing the end of its service life.

 

Recon proved to be a more important mission that first anticipated. Back in July, four additional Tornadoes were sent to serve mainly for reconnaissance missions, to keep a better eye on the complex Libyan battlefield. The four additional Tornados were equipped with four of the eight RAPTOR digital photo recon pods the RAF. RAPTOR can spot targets at 72 kilometers in daylight and at 36 kilometers at night using infrared sensors. The digital images can be seen by the pilot, and transmitted to other aircraft, ground units or ships, in real time.

 

Four more Tornados are not needed for bombing largely because Britain has a small guided missile (Brimstone) that enables fighters to carry a dozen of them, and hit a dozen individual targets with high accuracy. Originally developed as an upgraded version of the American Hellfire, Brimstone ended up as a Hellfire in general shape only. Weighing the same as the Hellfire (48.5 kg/107 pounds), Brimstone was designed to be fired by fighter-bombers, not just (as with Hellfire) from helicopters and UAVs. Aircraft can carry more of these lightweight missiles. These are perfect for small targets, including vehicles that need to be hit, without causing injuries to nearby civilians or friendly troops.

 

Not all missions were flown out of Italy. On August 10th, six Tornado GR4 fighter bombers took off from an air base in southern Britain, flew 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) to Libya, and launched a dozen Storm Shadow stealth cruise missiles at key targets. The round-trip mission from Britain took eight hours, with aerial refueling aircraft available over the Mediterranean to provide sufficient fuel to get back to Britain. This was the first RAF combat mission launched from Britain since World War II.

 

The Storm Shadow air launched stealthy cruise missile got its first combat experience over Iraq eight years ago. The 5.2 meter (16 foot) long, 1.3 ton missile has a 250 kilometer range and carries a penetrating warhead. The missile is a British modified version of the French Apache missile and entered service in late 2002, costing about $1.2 million each.

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10 octobre 2011 1 10 /10 /octobre /2011 17:25

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10.10.2011 KMW - army-guide.com

 

Outstanding levels of tactical, operational and strategic mobility, compelling combat effectiveness and maximum survivability are key requirements imposed on modern military vehicles today – whether they are designed primarily for combat, command and control, mission-specific roles or transport.

 

In contemporary conflicts, where the threat is often asymmetric yet deadly, protecting troops deployed in harm’s way from hostile fire, IED attacks, CBRN agents and even extreme climates conditions has become a top priority for commanders worldwide: around the clock and in every branch of every service.

 

This is reflected in the current procurement plans of the armed forces of many nations, including the Bundeswehr’s GFF/GTF project to develop protected C4I and mission-specific vehicles as well as protected transport capacity.

 

Under this programme, Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of Germany have joined forces to develop a highly protected family of armoured multipurpose vehicles (AMPV) in the weight class up to 9 ton. Their design and layout take full account of operational experience accumulated by the German armed forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Engineered exclusively to meet the needs of the modern military, the AMPV family consists of two separate branches.

 

The AMPV,a prototype version of which is currently undergoing qualification by the German armed forces, is slightly over five metres long, two metres wide and two metres high. Empty, it weighs 7.3 tons and can carry a two-ton payload. The highly protected vehicle cell consists of a self-supporting steel hull with composite armour. Spall liners, reinforced flooring and cellular design offer excellent protection against mines and IEDs; while add-on armour modules supply extra ballistic protection.

 

High mobility likewise contributes to a vehicle’s overall battlefield survivability, and the AMPV design reflects this. The vehicle’s robust chassis, featuring independent wheel suspension, is engineered to withstand maximum punishment. An automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, automatic differential locking management and combat wheels with a central tyre inflation system combine to assure superb mobility even in the toughest terrain.

 

A patrol version of AMPV (with an unprotected load space) will be available, as well as mission module carriers with a safety cell extending all the way back to the rear of the vehicle. For enhanced lethality, a remote control weapon station up to calibre .50 can be mounted on any AMPV vehicle.

 

Extremely compact, all members of the AMPV family largely consist of identical components, especially the logistically relevant parts of the vehicle. Moreover, their essentially uniform, highly ergonomic design makes all AMPV vehicles easy to operate as well as facilitating logistics and training.

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10 octobre 2011 1 10 /10 /octobre /2011 07:25
US soldiers in midst of equipment revolution

 

October 10th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK AFP

 

Kevlar underwear, enhanced night-vision goggles and portable solar panels: the US military is seeing a gear revolution, thanks to the lessons learned during 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

The M4 rifle remains the basic firearm of the American GI, but the addition of many gizmos now makes the soldier look more like Inspector Gadget than GI Joe: the typical gear kit includes 73 items, from clothes to weapons.

 

Program Executive Office Soldier, the military unit responsible for inventing and producing army equipment, says some items are designed to better protect soldiers on the ground, while others help them understand the terrain.

 

Since 2004, every soldier has been issued a bulletproof vest with extra protection panels.

 

But the increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), responsible for more than half the deaths of US soldiers in Afghanistan, has led to the development of new protective gear.

 

Over the next two months, "tens of thousands" of Kevlar outergarments to protect the pelvic area will be sent to US soldiers in Afghanistan, according to Colonel William Cole, who is part of the PEO Soldier unit.

 

"It protects soldiers if they step on an anti-personnel IED. It can really mitigate their injuries," he told reporters.

 

The protective outergarment is worn over the soldier's fatigues.

 

Soldiers in Afghanistan also will have a Kevlar undergarment, similar to a pair of biker shorts, which helps protect them against infections caused by dirt and stones kicked up in a blast.

 

"When you keep the wound area clean, you prevent follow-on infections," Cole said.

 

To combat the frequent traumatic brain injuries suffered by troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq, which doctors say often lead to cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, helmets are being tricked out with sensors.

 

"When a soldier is caught in an IED event, we will be able to immediately download the data from his helmet to determine what kind of impact the helmet got to help the medical community correlate that to what kind of brain injury he might have," Cole said.

 

Colonel Stephanie Foster, the program manager for the unit's Soldiers, Sensors and Lasers project, expresses her pride in the new "Individual Gunshot Detector" system, which will help soldiers locate hidden snipers.

 

"You can wear it on the shoulder or other parts of your equipment," Foster said of the IGD sensor, 5,000 of which are already being used on the ground.

 

"Basically you have the ability to have counter-sniper situational awareness. With its acoustic device, you'll be able to get the range and direction of the incoming fire."

 

For night-time combat, modern armies have the upper hand over insurgents thanks to night-vision goggles. The new-generation eyewear, which is just reaching the field, will allow troops to more easily detect enemy fighters.

 

Other gadgets in the works -- like the lightweight Joint Effects Targeting System -- will allow soldiers to use a laser target to guide an air strike.

 

The US military currently uses a laser designator weighing several kilos (pounds) which is mounted on a tripod.

 

The use of too many electronic gadgets can be cause for concern.

 

"When you're in an hostile environment, how do you recharge your batteries?" wonders Bill Brower, a deputy project manager, displaying a box as big as a pack of cigarettes.

 

"It's basically a power manager. With it, I can take power from virtually any source. If I come across an old car battery, I can plug this in."

 

If there are no power sources around, soldiers can always use a portable solar blanket covered with mini-solar panels, which can be used to charge up a small computer.

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6 octobre 2011 4 06 /10 /octobre /2011 11:50
NATO Nations Outfit Troops For Future Needs

 

Oct 5, 2011 By Paul McLeary, Christina Mackenzie, Nicholas Fiorenza - Aviationweek.com

 

Washington, Paris, Brussels - After nine years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, why are our soldiers still involved in fair fights?” asked U.S. Army Maj. Gen. (ret.) Robert Scales recently.

 

By “fair fights” Scales means the close-quarters combat that dismounted infantry engage in throughout Afghanistan daily, trading fire with an enemy who can partially negate NATO’s technical advantage with small-unit combat from concealed positions.

 

In an effort to use communication and sensor technologies to make the fight as unfair as possible, NATO allies are undertaking soldier modernization efforts akin to the U.S. Nett Warrior—formerly Land Warrior—suite of wearable networked sensors and communication gear.

 

While Nett Warrior continues to experience growing pains, particularly with its bulk and 8-12-lb. load, the Army issued a solicitation in September for a “smartphone or smartphone-like device” that is capable of “commercial-based, integrated computer display and data-entry capability for dismounted use in either standalone or networked configuration.”

 

While the Army tries to figure out how it wants to deliver the dismounted and networked connectivity it desires, NATO allies are ready with their own soldier modernization programs.

 

By the end of the year, French soldiers of the 1st Infantry Regt. of Sarrebourg—deployed to the Surobi region of Afghanistan—will be issued the new Felin (Fantassin a Equipements et Liaisons Integres, or dismounted soldier with data-linked integrated equipment) kit. The deployment is the first for Felin, which comprises 150 components and is a milestone in modernizing the kit used by French ground forces.

 

The equipment will be introduced piecemeal to give soldiers time to adapt. “These soldiers are [in combat], they’re not training, so we can’t run the risk of outfitting them entirely with equipment they’re not completely at home with,” a senior officer tells DTI.

 

Felin’s baggy combat outfit is water repellent, fireproof, mosquito repellent and has a low infrared signature. The NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) version has a ventilation system that pulses filtered air into the mask, enabling a soldier to remain operational for longer periods. One problem from an operational perspective is that the ventilation system is audible 50 meters (164 ft.) away.

 

The system includes 73 items of basic gear—a fully equipped soldier (with Nexter’s Famas assault rifle and one-day supply of food, water and ammunition) will carry 26 kg (57 lb.) in a grenadier configuration. Soldiers say the weight is not an issue because the Felin kit “is extremely well balanced” when assembled.

 

Ballistic protection is modular and can be tailored to different missions: e.g., high-intensity, NBC, law enforcement or crowd control. A soldier’s torso, neck, pelvis, knees, elbows and shoulders are protected. The vest supports 11 portable electronic components, such as a battery case, radio, man-machine interface, tactical information system and soldier information network. These fit into pouches, which a soldier places wherever he feels is most comfortable and to accommodate left- or right-handed dexterity. The jacket has space for eight batteries.

 

The headgear comprises an additional 13 pieces of kit, including helmet, antilaser goggles, antishrapnel visor and jaw pad, an eyepiece for around-the-corner sighting, night-vision gear and osteophone headband with microphone. (The osteophone lets a soldier hear orders through bone near the ear, leaving the ear free to pick up sounds around him.)

 

Sagem, prime contractor for Felin, received orders for the 22,588 systems planned and has delivered full kits for four regiments—almost 5,000 soldiers.

 

Spain is also working on a soldier modernization kit called ComFut (Combatiente del Futuro, or soldier of the future), which was completed by Cassidian in 2010. The company is developing the second generation, scheduled for completion by 2015, unless it is postponed by the severe budget cuts Spain is implementing. So far, 36 prototypes have been produced.

 

ComFut includes a modified Heckler & Koch G36E assault rifle, thermal camera and image intensifier, ballistic vest, new 1.5-kg helmet, bad-weather clothing, eye protection, NBC equipment and battery power sources. There is also a C4I (command, control, communication, computers and intelligence) element, which includes a radio, GPS, osteophone and microphone, and mobile computer.

 

While some of the R&D has been abandoned, innovative ideas are in place. One is a boot-heel generator that produces electricity while the wearer walks. The Spanish government is reportedly looking into autonomous and renewable electricity solutions for some electronics, which might include a version of the boot-heel generator. The Spanish are expected to make heavy use of commercial off-the-shelf electronics and open-source Internet technologies such as Linux/Java in future generations of the kit.

 

The full ComFut system will not be provided to every soldier in the field. Plans call for full kits to be issued to platoon commanders and seconds-in-command. There is also doubt as to whether each soldier needs a complete voice and data link.

 

Germany has deployed its future infantry system (IdZ, or Infanterist der Zukunft) to Afghanistan. IdZ has been in use since 2004. In March, the federal office of defense technology and procurement ordered 400 more units from manufacturer Cassidian under an urgent operational requirement for the German contingent of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, bringing the total number of equipment sets to 2,900.

 

An IdZ basic system (BS) consists of sets for the 10 soldiers in an infantry squad and includes a modular bullet-resistant vest with Class I-IV protection; C4I equipment including a NaviPad for situational awareness and transmission of messages, target data and images; night-vision device; radio; laser rangefinder; camera; and thermal sight.

 

Based on operational experience in Afghanistan and the Balkans, improvements in protection and ergonomics have been made to the IdZ voice and data exchange between infantry systems and vehicle-integrated C4I systems, and in the use of optronic equipment for day/night vision.

 

Integration into infantry combat vehicles such as Boxer and Puma comes by connecting to FuInfoSysH (Fuhrungsund Informationssystem Heer), the German army’s command, control and information system, used in Afghanistan. For dismounted use, vehicles are integrated into IdZ’s communication network for the exchange of voice and data. During mounted use, soldiers use a plug to connect to the digital vehicle intercom and exchange data with higher command. To avoid electromagnetic emissions inside the vehicle, IdZ-BS uses the vehicle-integrated radio for outside communication. The position of an IdZ-BS system is updated based on vehicle position to provide location when switching from mounted to dismounted operations.

 

Rheinmetall is developing the second-generation IdZ-ES (expanded system). The pre-series demonstrator underwent operational trials in August and September, including two weeks under hot and dry conditions in Spain, to ensure it is ready for production. Before the latest budget cuts, the Bundeswehr planned to procure 1,000 IdZ-ES versions.

 

IdZ-ES is actually a new system based on the lessons learned from operating the original in Afghanistan. Whereas IdZ-BS is based on commercial off-the-shelf components, IdZ-ES is based on a development program focusing on technical and ergonomic components and volume and weight reduction. Delivery of IdZ-ES versions is to begin in 2012, meaning it will overlap the service life of the original. Both versions are interoperable, however, and can be connected to FuInfoSysH.

 

The computer unit which is at the core of IdZ-ES, as well as the squad leader’s portable command computer, weighs less than the IdZ-BS, is more capable and requires substantially less power to operate. Cassidian and Rheinmetall have considered the use of fuel cells for power, but a Cassidian study deemed it economically unfeasible.

 

To improve ergonomics and effectiveness, the kit’s G36 assault rifle has an adjustable, foldable shoulder stock, both sides of the handguard have a push-to-talk button that activates the squad radio, and a laser rangefinder is activated by pushing a button next to the trigger guard. The IdZ-ES version uses modular day/night optronic aiming systems and a fire-control aiming unit for the AG36 single-shot, 40-mm grenade launcher.

 

A new carrying system lets soldiers haul a full complement of basic and mission-specific equipment. Troops that operate in vehicles will be equipped with harnesses where the volume and thickness of components worn on the back are kept to a minimum, enabling them to rapidly switch combat modes. For light infantry, a modular harness has been designed so soldiers can carry a full combat load and electronic devices for command and control.

 

IdZ-ES has room for growth—communication equipment and the computer decouple for replacement with more modern systems, and the armor plate is removable for upgrades.

 

Italy’s Soldato Futuro modernization program is based on two concepts that differ from Felin and ComFut: “evolution through production” and “transformation while operating.” This means the system is designed with a high degree of modularity—every element can be reconfigured or reengineered to meet evolving performance requirements. The process includes a continuous cycle of operational testing, design modification, technical and operational validation, design review and new implementations. One example of this is the NC4-09 ballistic vest. Developed to meet the ballistic requirements of soldiers in Afghanistan, it has since been incorporated within the program.

 

An industry team led by Selex Communications is focusing on the man-machine interface, ergonomics and improving integration of the system with ground vehicles. Ninety-two prototypes were ordered in 2007, of which 30 have been delivered. The rest are due by year-end.

 

Britain’s long-running Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) program has been dominated by the need to quickly provide sighting systems for soldiers in Afghanistan. Some optics gear has been sent, but other program aspects such as survivability and C4I will likely not be ready before 2020. FIST is on an incremental schedule, with components being added when developed rather than as a single, complete system.

 

Thales U.K. is the prime contractor for the delivery and in-service support of the surveillance and target acquisition system, having been awarded a £150 million ($236 million) contract in 2010, with full delivery planned for June 2014. A Thales representative tells DTI that the idea is to establish what the British soldier needs and then see if there is a mature technology or off-the-shelf equipment that meets the need as quickly as possible.

 

Norway is working on the Norwegian Modular Arctic Network Soldier system (Normans), which, as the name suggests, is for cold-weather operations. Normans comes in light and advanced versions, with the former providing the soldier with situational awareness, navigation, communication and target handoff capabilities in a single display, while the advanced version is for unit commanders, providing Blue Force tracking, navigation tools, terrain elevation, messaging, targeting and an interface to laser rangefinders and GPS.

 

Earlier this year, French Gen. Stephane Abrial, commander of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, told DTI that he had set up a task force to explore where multinational cooperation could overcome budget cutbacks among alliance members and aid in technology development. He said this “budgetary winter” would force NATO to “redouble our efforts” and “see how we can be more effective and more efficient,” while avoiding “unnecessary and unwanted duplications” in equipment development.

 

Questions remain as to whether the governments—and militaries—of member nations will accept collaboration on technologies that, while expensive for one country to pursue, are also secret, often battlefield game-changers, and could be prone to compromise if multiple nations have access to them.

 

It’s an issue that may not be soon resolved, but which will probably receive serious study for as long as budget cutbacks play an outsized role in soldier modernization.

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5 octobre 2011 3 05 /10 /octobre /2011 12:15

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photo laopiniondemurcia.es

 

5 octobre 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Les équipages des futurs sous-marins espagnols de la classe S-80 pourront bientôt commencer à s’entraîner. La base sous-marine de Carthagène a reçu le simulateur de navigation qui permettra d’entraîner l’équipage à la maitrise de ce sous-marin dans toutes les situations et conditions de navigation.

 

Le simulateur permet de simuler des avaries et défaillances des différents équipements et systèmes du sous-marin, ainsi que des situations d’urgence qui exigent une réaction immédiate de l’équipage.

 

Les nouveaux sous-marins S-80 seront équipés d’un système de contrôle de la plateforme et d’un système de barres, qui intègrent les dernières avancées technologiques. Le sous-marin pourra ainsi naviguer avec un équipage réduit.

 

L’équipage devra parvenir à un niveau d’entraînement exceptionnel. Ce niveau ne pourra être atteint qu’au travers d’exercices sur le simulateur, où se reproduisent de la façon la plus proche de la réalité, le fonctionnement du sous-marin et les incidents qui peuvent survenir pendant sa navigation.

 

Référence : La Opinión de Murcia (Espagne)

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24 septembre 2011 6 24 /09 /septembre /2011 08:10

http://www.asdnews.com/data_news/ID38371_600.jpg

 

Sep 23, 2011 ASDNews Source : Saab AB

 

Defence and security company Saab has signed a frame agreement and received a first order from the EADS company Cassidian to supply safety-critical avionics equipment for the new advanced UAV system Talarion.

 

The order includes design and development of the Aircraft Vehicle Management Computer (AVMC), Communications Computer (CC) and Mission & Payload Management Computer (MPMC) for Talarion. The work will be carried out by the Avionics Division of Saab's business area Electronic Defence Systems, in Jonkoping and Jarfalla, Sweden, and deliveries of the first order will take place 2012-2014.

 

"The selection of Saab to provide mission and flight critical avionics equipment for this new advanced platform verify our position as a competitive supplier in the avionics market," says Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab's business area Electronic Defence Systems.

 

"It also acknowledge our product strategy of developing common avionics building blocks that could be adapted for many different functions for various customer needs."

 

Talarion is a European development program to fulfill functional and operational capability for in-theatre ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance). Due to its specific design, Talarion is able to operate over its broad flight envelope spectrum thereby establishing persistent surveillance, precise adversary identification, localization and real-time intelligence.

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23 septembre 2011 5 23 /09 /septembre /2011 07:40
Saab to build Talarion computers

Photo EADS

 

22/09/11 By Zach Rosenberg SOURCE:Flight International

 

EADS Cassidian has awarded Saab the job of building crucial avionics for the Talarion unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

 

Saab will build and supply vehicle, payload and communications management computers for the medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) UAV. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2012, and the first order completed by 2014.

 

"The selection of Saab to provide mission and flight critical avionics equipment for this new advanced platform verify our position as a competitive supplier in the avionics market," says Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab's business area Electronic Defence Systems.

 

The computers are based off a Saab common module, easily adaptable to a number of platforms. The details of the order, including the number of systems to be produced, have not been finalised, but Saab plans to deliver prototypes in 2013 and 2014.

 

Design and construction work will take place at Saab facilities in Jönköping and Järfälla, Sweden.

 

Despite the €500m ($684m) and climbing development costs of Talarion, another €300m is required to build a flying prototype, according to Cassidian chief executive Stefan Zoeller. Sales efforts targeted at ten prospective European customers, particularly Germany, France, Spain and Turkey, have thus far been unsuccessful, and the aircraft has no orders on the books. Falling military budgets have cast doubts upon the programme's ultimate success.

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17 septembre 2011 6 17 /09 /septembre /2011 11:50
Armements: l'Inde lance un remake du Kalachnikov (journal)

NEW DELHI, 16 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

L'Inde envisage de lancer la production d'un fusil d'assaut imitant le célèbre Kalachnikov AK-47 dont il reprend les caractéristiques principales, a annoncé vendredi le quotidien Times of India, se référant à des sources au sein de l'industrie d'armements.

 

Selon le journal, l'entreprise Tiruchirapalli Ordnance Factory (basée dans l'Etat indien du Tamil Nadu) a mis au point un fusil d'assaut que les médias ont immédiatement baptisé "le cousin de l'AK-47".

 

Appelée Tiruchirapalli Assault Rifle (TAR), la nouvelle arme subit actuellement des tests en vue de sa prodiction en série. D'après le journal, elle équipera d'abord la police avant d'être mise à la disposition de l'armée.

 

Des sources proches du fabricant du fusil indien ont fait savoir que le TAR est en mesure de neutraliser les cibles à une distance de 400 mètres.

 

Le quotidien rappelle que les armuriers indiens avaient déjà tenté de mettre sur pied leur propre production de fusils d'assaut similaires à l'AK-47. Or, cette démarche avait alors provoqué les protestations de leurs collègues russes mécontents de cette violation des droits d'auteur.

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16 septembre 2011 5 16 /09 /septembre /2011 06:30
South Korea To Issue AH-X RFP In January

 

Sep 15, 2011 By Bradley Perrett - aviation week and space technology

 

Sacheon, South Korea - Forget death and taxes. Probably the surest thing in aerospace these days is that South Korea will want serious technology transfer in any major military equipment order.

 

The country’s manufacturers are increasingly confident in their ability to win manufacturing contracts without the compulsion of offsets. More and more, they and the government want the know-how behind the systems that the country buys, with the aim of making the next generation themselves.

 

In an classic example of that process, the planned Korea Attack Helicopter (KAH) might end up as an amalgam of European, South Korean and U.S. technology if Boeing, as looks likely, wins Seoul’s separate AH-X rotorcraft for 36 heavy attack rotorcraft.

 

With a request for proposals likely within months, the other competitors for the AH-X competition are expected to be Eurocopter, offering the Tiger; Bell with the AH-1Z Viper; and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and AgustaWestland with the T-129, a derivative of the A129 Mangusta.

 

The South Korean army wants the Apache, say local and U.S. officials in government and industry. It has been trying to buy the aircraft for more than a decade, and its keenness has only risen with the transfer of U.S. Army Apaches ­(AH-64) from the peninsula to Iraq two years ago. While the preference of the South Korean forces is not always decisive in a country that often puts industrial development first, two factors are reinforcing Boeing’s already high chances.

 

One of those is the transfer of Apache airframe manufacturing to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), which is shaping up as the national helicopter champion. KAI will build airframes for U.S. Army Apaches whether the country buys the aircraft or not, but South Korean orders will add to the orderbook.

 

A second factor is the definition of the indigenous Korean Attack Helicopter as an aircraft of about 5 metric ton—uncomfortably close to the gross weight of all of the AH-X competitors except for the 8-ton Apache.

 

Boeing’s approach to the offset requirement is to suggest the integration of Apache avionics on the KAH. As the U.S. government urges South Korea to put priority on interoperability with U.S. forces on the peninsula—and therefore choose the Apache—Boeing is stressing the value of the KAH being able to operate with its helicopter. Integration of U.S. weapons, such as the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile, would also be simplified by moving systems from the Apache to the KAH.

 

Each of the other likely bidders brings important advantages. South Korea and Turkey have a developing military-industrial relationship that would be further promoted by the choice of TAI and AgustaWestland. The army already operates earlier versions of the AH-1, so that type should offer attractively low costs at entry into service. And Eurocopter, already a partner with KAI in developing the Surion transport under the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) program, is well positioned to link its AH-X offer to codevelopment of the KAH. Moreover, all of those manufacturers can offer aircraft designed for NATO standards, somewhat diminishing Boeing’s claimed advantage in high levels of interoperability.

 

The Defense Acquisition Program Agency is expected to issue a request for proposals in January 2012, with responses due by April, selection in July and a contract in October.

 

A key part of the mission is the destruction of North Korean special forces attempting to infiltrate coastal or land borders, says an industry executive. The KAH, replacing OH-6s and AH-1s, will perform a broader close support and reconnaissance role. Under the influence of the industry ministry, called the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, it will be designed with a cabin of up to eight seats so it can be easily transformed into a civil transport. Marketed internationally with the Surion, it would help establish a South Korean helicopter export industry.

 

A Boeing executive says the company is not interested in taking a risk-sharing role on the KAH. So even if the company wins AH-X, KAI, the selected South Korean manufacturer, will have to work with another partner, such as Eurocopter, for the airframe and dynamics of KAH.

 

The transfer of Apache structural work to KAI’s plant here is emblematic of the country’s mastery of manufacturing and helps explain its determination to move on to developing aircraft. A Boeing official says the Korean company hit quality targets almost from the beginning of its Apache program. Judged against such metrics as tolerances, finish and precision of fasteners, the helicopter bodies were delivered to an unusually high standard, he says.

 

Airframe production is due to rise to five from three a month as the remanufacturing of U.S. Army Apaches ramps up. A KAI official says the company has the workers and space for the expansion but will need new tools. It plans to design some that it expects will cut production costs.

 

So far in the program it has introduced tools for making subassemblies that are positioned vertically instead of horizontally, as before. They are easier to work with and save space, says a KAI production engineer.

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15 septembre 2011 4 15 /09 /septembre /2011 07:00
EADS Awaits Fighter Radar, UAV Decisions

photo Eurofighter - source flightglobal.com

 

Sep 14, 2011 By Robert Wall aerospace daily and defense report

 

LONDON – With two flagship programs in the balance, EADS is awaiting formal government endorsement of both its Eurofighter Typhoon active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and Talarion unmanned aircraft endeavors.

 

The outlook for the two is slightly split, though. For the Typhoon AESA – deemed critical for the Indian Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft program, which is considering the Typhoon and Dassault’s Rafale – the prospects are internally seen as positive. “We are almost there,” says Cassidian chief executive Stefan Zoller. Since Typhoon buyers endorsed the effort, Zoller says it is “no concern anymore.” The money is being finalized and is expected to materialize.

 

For the Talarion program, EADS is trying to sustain a similarly positive outlook. But reality is more complex.

 

Spain and Turkey have signaled their willingness to participate, but the support of Germany and France is crucial to see the program gain traction. Neither country has signed on yet.

 

Furthermore, EADS is reaching the end of the time it will self-fund Talarion development efforts.

 

The focus now is securing €300 million to €400 million ($409 million - $545 million) for prototyping work. Zoller notes that spread over several countries, that is a small sum. But he refuses to discuss how long EADS will sustain self-funded activities, noting merely that “there is no deadline,” while conceding “we can’t be going on forever.”

 

Zoller believes Talarion still has a chance at survival, though, even if France and the U.K. are discussing the Telemos bilateral medium-altitude long-endurance drone effort. Two countries cannot sustain such an initiative, he argues, which is why a broader effort is needed.

 

When a German funding decision may materialize is uncertain. And any commitment from Paris – even if the government were favorably disposed to Talarion – could be caught up in electoral politics, slowing decision cycles.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 18:15

http://info-aviation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Tornado-GR4.jpg

 

14 septembre 2011 par Edouard Maire – INFO AVIATION

 

Durant trois jours, les avions britanniques ont à nouveau mené des tirs d’armes à longue portée contre les bases militaires restantes du colonel Kadhafi.

 

Le 8 septembre, les Tornado GR4 de la Royal Air Force (RAF) ont participé avec d’autres appareils de l’OTAN à une attaque majeure contre une base importante située près de Birak, à 650 km au sud de Tripoli, dans le Sahara.

 

« Les renseignements de l’OTAN ont révélé que ce site, très utilisé par le régime de Kadhafi dans le passé, a été une fois de plus utilisé comme un quartier général. De nombreuses cibles militaires dans l’enceinte de la base ont été détruites », a déclaré le Major général, Nick Pope, directeur de la communication de l’état-major.

 

Le lendemain, les avions de la RAF ont également aidé l’OTAN à maintenir ses patrouilles de reconnaissance au-dessus d’autres parties du pays. Des Tornado et des Typhoon ont notamment détruit une installation de contrôle près de Hun dans le centre de la Libye.

 

Le 10 septembre, des missiles à longue portée Storm Shadow ont été tirés par les Tornado GR4, de la base RAF Marham (comté de Norfolk), pour frapper un poste militaire important utilisé par les troupes de Kadhafi dans la ville de Sebha, à 50 kilomètres de Birak.

 

Une autre mission a permis de repérer un blindé embusqué du régime Kadhafi à Bani Walid. Une bombe guidée Paveway a été largué depuis un Typhoon pour le détruire. La même patrouille a ensuite repéré un lance-roquettes, caché dans une rangée d’arbres, qui a également été détruit par une Paveway.

 

Cette communication de l’armée britannique n’est pas anodine puisque la guerre en Libye sert aussi de vitrine aux industriels militaires européens (en l’occurrence MDBA).

 

Le missile air-sol Storm Shadow est en effet la version britannique du missile SCALP (Système de croisière conventionnel autonome à longue portée) fabriqué par MBDA. Il est compatible avec le Rafale français qui est en lice pour les appels d’offres au Qatar, au Brésil et aux Émirats Arabes Unis.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 16:30

http://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?ID=143623

photo by IMI - source jpost.com

 

14 septembre 2011 Guysen International News

 

Les Industries militaires israéliennes ont testé avec succès, mercredi, dans le sud du pays, le nouveau missile "Javelot magique", rapporte le site IsraelDefense. Le missile "Javelot magique" a une portée de 40 kilomètres, une précision au mètre près et peut porter des têtes de toute nature. Il est prévu pour la destruction de cibles ennemies sensibles comme un poste de commandement ou des batteries de missiles.

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13 septembre 2011 2 13 /09 /septembre /2011 05:55
Rasmussen Calls For Open Defense Markets

Sep 12, 2011 By Keith Weir/Reuters AviationWeek.com

 

LONDON - The United States and European countries should do more to open up their defense markets to competition at a time of tight budgets, the head of NATO said on Monday.

 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also said he planned to appoint a special envoy to help ensure that countries were getting value for money for defense spending.

 

“We need equal opportunities for European Union and American defense companies to compete across the Atlantic,” Rasmussen told an industry conference in London.

 

He noted that 90 percent of the Pentagon’s procurement budget went to U.S. companies, while Europe often favored its own contractors.

 

Rasmussen welcomed moves by U.S. President Barack Obama to reform export licensing programs which should allow U.S. companies to play a greater role in Europe.

 

NATO’s 28 allies need to prioritize spending, improve coordination and adopt a multinational approach, he said.

 

Rasmussen said he wanted a specific package of mulitlateral measures to be on the table in time for the next NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

 

NATO is worried that financial hardship among member countries could hurt the alliance’s military capability unless steps are taken to make procurement more efficient.

 

“I think for most of us, it is the worst economic crisis we have ever faced and it has an impact on everything we do,” Rasmussen told reporters. “Of course, NATO defense budgets are falling, the cost of defense capabilities is rising and security threats are more complex and less predictable.”

 

“We can’t ask the allies to spend more, we have to ask them to spend better.”

 

The Pentagon is shaving at least $350 billion from its previously projected spending over the next decade. European allies are also making deep defense cuts.

 

Rasmussen repeated his criticism of the shortcomings of the NATO operation in Libya, citing lack of intelligence and transport capabilities of an operation led by its European members and Canada.

 

U.S. officials have said the Libyan operation showed the need for European allies to spend more on defense.

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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 12:55
DSEi 2011: Thales shows optronics products

 

September 12, 2011 Beth Stevenson,SHEPARD GROUP

 

London - Thales has demonstrated advancements in its ISR capabilities through a series of new products and platform upgrades.

 

At a pre-DSEi briefing on 13 July, Thales introduced the new Orion stabilised panoramic sight, and Video Eyesafe Laser Transceiver (VELT), as well as upgrades to its Catherine and Sophie systems.

 

The Orion is a new armoured vehicle sighting system, fitted with Thales’ Catherine MP IR camera, David Low, head of the vehicles optronics group at Thales said at the briefing.

 

In response to soldier demand for multiple functions to be delivered from one fighting vehicle, it has a gigabit ethernet data and video interface that is ‘easily upgradable and easily integrated’, and the company believes this is a market first in terms of being an all-digital sighting system.

 

‘It is an enhanced capability in terms of its panoramic capability. It is a fully stabilised sighting system, so you have got stabilised line of sight. It provides a full 360o continuous azimuth rotation capability, and is qualified for both tracked and wheeled vehicles,’ Low explained.

 

‘We have developed a number of fairly sophisticated algorithms and processing units that allow us to do automatic target tracking, automatic target detection, and wide area surveillance.’ The system was selected on 8 July as the primary sight for the Scout SV programme.

 

‘It provides what we believe to be one of the longest range surveillance and target acquisition capabilities within the vehicle market,’ Low added.

 

Fitted on the Orion is the new VELT eyesafe laser rangefinder (LRF), which comes in two variants, direct (VELT-D) and indirect (VELT-I).

 

‘We’ve introduced two variants, one for the other sights, the direct view, which has a direct view optical channel, and also a second colour TV,’ Richard French, head of the sensors product group at Thales, explained.

 

‘We have two cameras, both wide and narrow, for wide area surveillance and high performance identification.’

 

Features that distinguish it include: the expansion port for adding other capabilities; the reticle and symbology that is now software generated; the ‘industry leading’ athermal boresight stability; and the high-resolution digital colour video.

 

French said the system has received ‘significant interest from the US marketplace’.

 

The Catherine mega pixel (MP) medium wave (MW) IR camera is a ‘fully configurable’ medium wave and lighter addition to the Catherine MP family.

 

The original Catherine MP long wave camera was launched at DSEi in 2005, and ‘since then we’ve taken the fields of view of that camera from 5o down to 3.5 o in the long wave, and have two long wave cameras on the marketplace’, French commented.

 

‘We’ve introduced three fields of view to give 10o for wide area surveillance, dropping down to 2.3 degrees, to give us class-leading identification.

 

‘This medium wave megapixel camera adds to the already established 5o and 15o and 3.5o and 10o degree variants that we have on the marketplace.’

 

The camera has an extended range, is carried under armour, and has periscopic sight applications.

 

The Sophie UF2 is a long wave, dismounted soldier, handheld, thermal imaging target locator based on the Sophie UF released some three years ago, with Thales having sold some 10,000 of this type of system worldwide.

 

The ‘highly successful’ Sophie UF uncooled target locator has been bought by the British Army and is ‘highly successful’, French said, although soldiers still come back to the issue of how to make it lighter and smaller.

 

‘The message that comes back from the user every time we launch a target locator is “when can I have a smaller and lighter one?”’ French explained.

 

The new platform has the same functionality as the original system, but has dropped from 3.4kg to 2.4kg through better integration.

 

It is used for accurate infantry indirect fire control, ISR, enhanced force protection, and day/night operation.

 

All the Thales systems are at production standard and are available to order.

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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 07:00

http://images.defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/reapernose.jpg

 

09.09.2011 DEFENSETECH

 

Being part of Military​.com, it wouldn’t be right if we here at DT didn’t do something to recognize the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. We figured we’d list off some of the most significant advances in weaponry that have occurred over the last decade — some driven by the wars spawned by that day, some independent of them. We gradually saw a shift away from extremely high-end weaponry designed to defeat major armies in favor of tech that could be fielded quickly and rapidly adapt to the needs of “low intensity” warfare. Case in point; the F-22 Raptor buys being cut while buys of relatively low-tech drones and propeller-driven ISR planes were dramatically increased . However, now that those wars are winding down, we may see a return to high-end tech at the cost of low-end tech.

 

You’ll find our list below, set up in no particular order. We’ve kept it to major weapons systems that have become operational in the last decade. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

 

 

 

The rise of unmanned vehicles: Yes, UAVs existed before 9/11 but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw them pressed into mass production as full-on spy planes and attack aircraft that are in the process of replacing manned aircraft. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in November, 2001, the Pentagon had less than 100 of the early model MQ-1 Predators and it had yet to master the art of using them in combat. By early February 2002, Predators armed with Hellfire missiles were killing al Qaeda operatives, the beginning of the controversial drone bombing campaign that garners so much attention today. Soon after, the Pentagon would unleash the Predator’s bigger brother, the MQ-9 Reaper and field the RQ-4 Global Hawk — though, the Global Hawk still hasn’t replaced the U-2 Dragon Lady as Air Force planners had hoped would have happened by now. Don’t forget the dozens of micro-UAVs operated by small units of troops on the ground giving them unprecedented situational awareness. Hundreds of UAVs of all sizes have now joined the fights in the Middle East and are seen as one of the most important weapons in the U.S. arsenal. A few years ago, the demand for UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan became so high that the Air Force began pulling pilots from fighter planes to fly UAVs. As the second decade of the 21st Century begins, we’re seeing the development and fielding of stealthy, jet-powered drones like the Navy’s X-47B  and UCLASS planes that are designed to perform high-end strike and reconnaissance missions that were always the domain of the manned-aircraft. Keep in mind that the robot planes have been joined by thousands of ground robots that are doing everything from explosive ordnance disposal to scouting for bad guys. Just recently, the Army announced that it is sending robotic jeeps to Afghanistan to haul soldiers gear on patrols.

 

 

 

Advances in electronic warfare: As U.S. troops began to fall victim to Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, the Pentagon scrambled to find ways to defeat the insurgents weapon of choice. While up-armored Humvees and eventually MRAPS were fielded in the fight against IEDs military officials began applying electronic warfare in ways they had never planned. Hundreds of millions were spent developing a range of vehicle-mounted and handheld IED jammers (some worked others were notoriously bad) that were carried on the deadly Middle Eastern roads. Navy EW personnel were put in land billets to share their expertise with troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the Air Force’s big spy planes were brought into the effort. The RC-135 Rivet Joints helped intercept insurgent communications. The E-8 Joint STARS used their powerful ground-scanning radars, originally designed to spot Soviet tank columns, to find disturbances in the earth where insurgents had buried bombs. Even the EC-130 Compass Call was pressed into service using its electronic attack gear to prematurely detonate IEDs. All sorts of new EW technology has been developed with the aim of identifying enemy signals,  hacking insurgent communications and disrupting electronic IED detonation tech. This surge of EW gear and a steep learning curve led to the Pentagon eventually dominating the electronic landscape of Iraq — eventually, special operators, the CIA and the NSA were able to listen to all communications in the country as they systematically dismantled bomb making networks and insurgent groups. Not surprisingly, the success of EW in targeting insurgents and defeating IEDs in Iraq has led to Afghan insurgents moving toward more low tech bombmaking techniques.  Still, you can bet the advances made in EW over the last decade (many of which are classified) will no doubt continue to influence the ways wars are fought. Don’t forget that work on high-end jammers, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Next Generation Jammer built for the 21st century also continues.

 

 

The MRAP: As we mentioned earlier, the fight against IEDs led to the fielding of an entirely new class of ground vehicle for the U.S. military when the thin-skinned yet highly-mobile Humvees proved far too vulnerable to explolsives to use on patrol. A vehicle was desperately needed that could carry infantry troops yet provide them levels of protection normally afforded by heavy armored vehicles like tanks. Enter the MRAP. As you know, they’re big trucksvcentered around blast deflecting hulls and lots of armor. Now, we’re  seeing the design scaled down to accommodate the terrain in Afghanistan that limits the use of big trucks.  We’ll see how many of them the military hangs on to after the Iraq and Afghan conflicts end — though, many of the lessons learned from fielding MRAPs are being incorporated into the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, one of the trucks that will replace the Humvee.

 

 

Cyber warfare: We write about it all the time here at DT. It’s gone from something no one talked about to becoming a universally fretted about topic. We see new reports of cyber espionage, hacking and full on attacks every week. The Stuxnet virus unleashed against the Iranian nuclear program is a great example of a full on cyber attack that had physical results. With technology so widely available, many worry that almost any rouge group or a nation state will be able to cripple a nation’s critical infrastructure. Before 9/11, heck before 2006–7 it was hard to get senior leaders at the Pentagon to take the cyber threat seriously. However, in the last few years, we’ve seen all four services establish cyber fighting arms and watched as the Pentagon stood up U.S. Cyber Command.

 

 

Fifth generation fighters: On 9/11 the USAF’s most potent fighter was arguably the F-15 Eagle. In 2005, the F-22 Raptor became operational ushering in a new era in manned aerial combat. Many believe it’s hands-down the best fighter ever built. However, with the last decade’s focus on irregular warfare, the Raptor came under fire as a jet that was built to meet threats that never materialized and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates cut the Raptor buy to 187 jets. Adding insult to injury, the plane has yet to see combat and has been grounded for months now due to problems with toxins seeping into its oxygen system. Still, opened the door for the development of not only the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter but fifth gen planes around the world like Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK FA and China’s J-20. It remains to be seen how all of these planes with their stealth designs, high-speeds and maneuverability and most importantly their advanced sensors and EW gear will change air warfare around the globe.

 

 

Tiltrotor tech: Like the Raptor, the V-22 Osprey wasn’t out of testing on 9/11.  However, by the end of the decade, the Osprey has become an integral part of the U.S.’ vertical lift fleet after decades of development troubles that garnered it a ton of critics. The revolutionary birds can fly at near-C-130-speeds to targets far beyond the range of most helicopters and then swoop in for a vertical landing. This has opened up a range of options to mission planners that were never before available. Since their first combat deployments in 2008, Marine Corps MV-22s and Air Force CV-22s have been used to do everything from CSAR missions in Libya to special operations raids in Afghanistan, carrying bin Laden’s body to the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and even ferrying the Secretary of Defense around the ‘States. And yes, they’ve seen real combat. Still, the Ospreys have experienced teething problems, particularly with dust and sand seeping into their massive engines, leading to higher than normal maintenance rates.

 

 

The Littoral Combat Ship: Yup, these little ships have finally come on line and the Navy is going to buy both classes of LCS for a minimum of 22 ships. We’ll see how the prove themselves since they have yet to  recieve their full weapons suites or work out all the problems with their plug-in mission modules. Oh, and they’ve had some issues with corrosion. Still, Navy officials have high hopes for the controversial vessels which they see as extremely flexible platforms for fighting close to shore.

 

 

Soldier tech: From more advanced body armor and flame resistant uniforms and sweet mountain boots (for troops in Afghanistan) to better radios and the XM-25 counter-defilade grenade launcher, ground troops have received numerous and often life-saving advances in their individual gear over the last decade. For more on how the grunt’s gear has evolved since 9/11 check out this piece at sister site, Kit Up!

 

We could go on about everything from the Small Diameter Bomb and the M982 Excalibur guided artillery round to new blue force tracking tools and data sharing devices (we should also mention the Army’s Stryker armored vehicle that came online very soon after 9/11), and we’re sure you can too, so please do in the comments.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 12:05

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Stormshadowcrop.JPG

photo David Monniaux

 

September 9, 2011 W. Alibrandi, Forecast International - defpro.com

 

NEWTOWN, Conn. | Microturbo's TRI 40 and TRI 60 engines power several missiles and one target drone.

 

MBDA's SCALP EG and SCALP Navale are in production, and exports are playing a large role in the company's future. Saudi Arabia has purchased the Storm Shadow for its Tornado fighters, and the sales of Rafale fighters and FREMM frigates should boost demand for this missile.

 

MBDA is planning to upgrade the SCALP EG with an enhanced version to meet France's and the U.K.'s requirements for long-range and strike missiles. The new missile's range could exceed 1,000 kilometers.

 

France's Exocet anti-ship missile is one of MBDA's most popular products. The Block 3 Exocet has greater range than the solid-fuel-propelled Block 2 and can also engage land-based targets. Sales to Middle East countries have been a large source of business for MBDA.

 

Saab Bofors' RBS15 is an anti-ship missile that has been purchased by Sweden, Germany, Poland and Thailand. Several other navies are considering the missile, which may provide a near-constant stream of contracts from 2011-2020.

 

Composite Engineering's BQM-167 Skeeter drone is powered by the TRI 60, and has been purchased by the U.S. Air Force and Navy. The USAF is replacing its legacy BQM-34 and MQM-107 drones with the Skeeter.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 11:55
Watchkeeper flies to new endurance record

Photo Thales UK

 

09/09/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flight International

 

Operational trials with the British Army's Watchkeeper unmanned air system (UAS) remain on track to start next month, after the WK450 air vehicle has set a new endurance record in testing.

 

Maj Matt Moore, SO2 UAS for headquarters, Royal Artillery, said a WK450 completed an almost 14h flight in early September from West Wales airport.

 

With current approvals restricting test flights to daylight hours only, the aircraft landed with around 4h of fuel remaining, he said.

 

During the record-breaking UK flight, the aircraft's dual mission payload of an Elop Compass IV electro-optical/infrared camera and Thales I-Master/Viper synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor were employed, along with its data link.

 

 The WK450's dual mission payloads, data link and software were tested during the record-breaking sortie

 

The UAS was also taken to its 16,000ft (4,880m) service ceiling and 115km (62nm) away from the airport, Moore told the UK Air Warfare Centre's remotely piloted air systems symposium in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, on 8 September. The aircraft also flew using its operational-standard software, prime contractor Thales UK said.

 

Operational trials with the Watchkeeper will be conducted in October and November, with the first training flights over Salisbury Plain to be made from the Ministry of Defence/Qinetiq Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire in December.

 

Watchkeeper vehicles and equipment will be deployed to Afghanistan from late this year, to deliver one daily "task line" from the first quarter of 2012. A full service using six task lines should be in place within 12 months, Moore said.

 

In addition to continuing flight testing, other Watchkeeper activities currently include preparing modifications - such as the addition of covert lighting - for deployment in Afghanistan, Moore said.

 

Development testing with the WK450 has now passed 230 flights and 320h in the UK and Israel.

 

Thales UK/Elbit Systems joint venture Utacs is responsible for delivering the Watchkeeper system, which will replace an interim service in Afghanistan currently using leased Elbit Hermes 450s.

 

The service has delivered 50,000h of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance services for the British Army since April 2007.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 06:40

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/PVP_%28Petit_v%C3%A9hicule_prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9%29_%281%29.JPG/800px-PVP_%28Petit_v%C3%A9hicule_prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9%29_%281%29.JPG

 

8 Sep 2011 By PIERRE TRAN DefenseNews

 

PARIS - The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) has ordered a further 200 small armored vehicles from Panhard, boosting a previous contract for 933 units, the procurement office said in Sept. 8 statement.

 

"The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) ordered from Panhard General Defense Sept. 6, 2011, 200 PVP for the Army," the procurement office said.

 

The PVP is the Petit Véhicule Protegé, an armored four-wheel-drive vehicle that can be fitted with a 7.62mm machine gun on a remote-operated turret.

 

The new batch of vehicles will be delivered in 2012. The last of the 933 units ordered in 2004 will be produced in December of this year, the DGA said.

 

No financial details were available.

 

The PVP has been deployed in Lebanon and Afghanistan.

 

Production of the PVP at two Panhard sites has so far generated 1 million hours of work, the DGA said.

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8 septembre 2011 4 08 /09 /septembre /2011 16:30

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/dga/1_programmes/le-petit-vehicule-protege-pvp-credit-stat/266082-1-fre-FR/le-petit-vehicule-protege-pvp-credit-stat.jpg

source defense.gouv.fr

 

08/09/2011 Direction générale de l'armement

 

La Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) a commandé à Panhard General Defense, le 6 septembre 2011, 200 PVP destinés à l’armée de terre. Cette commande s’ajoute au marché initial de 933 PVP passé en 2004 et dont le dernier exemplaire sera produit en décembre 2011. Ces 200 PVP supplémentaires seront livrés en 2012.

 

Le PVP est un véhicule 4x4 moderne, équipant les cellules de commandement des unités d’artillerie et de génie, ainsi que certaines unités spécifiques de l’infanterie parachutiste et alpine, de la circulation et du renseignement. Aérotransportable, blindé et très mobile, il peut transporter jusqu’à 4 passagers. Il dispose d’une mitrailleuse de 7,62 mm qui, pour certains emplois, est installée sur un tourelleau téléopéré de l’intérieur du véhicule. Le PVP est déployé au Liban depuis fin 2009 et en Afghanistan depuis début 2010.

 

Les PVP sont produits sur les 2 sites industriels de Marolles-en-Hurepoix (Essonne) et Saint-Germain-Laval (Loire). Le programme PVP a représenté jusqu’à présent un total d’environ un million d’heures de travail pour Panhard et ses sous-traitants.

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 16:50

http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=41755 

The Nimrod MRA4 project was axed photo BAE Systems

 

07/09/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flight International

 

Late last year, the UK armed forces were rocked by the effects of a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) process overseen by a new coalition government determined to tackle a massive budget deficit head-on.

 

Almost 12 months later, the defence industry will gather for its largest post-SDSR coming-together at the Defence & Security Equipment International show, or DSEi, which will be held in London's Docklands on 13-16 September.

Since the event was last held two years ago, the UK has lost its fixed-wing carrier strike capability with the early retirement of its BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9s, and seen its replacement maritime patrol aircraft, BAE's Nimrod MRA4, axed after a programme investment of over £3 billion ($4.8 billion).

 

Also gone are two of the Royal Navy's three Invincible-class aircraft carriers and the Royal Air Force's last Panavia Tornado F3 fighters and Nimrod R1 electronic intelligence aircraft. Two squadrons equipped with the Tornado GR4 strike aircraft have also recently been disbanded, with the move having also trimmed a fleet that is expected to remain in use until around 2020.

 

Dramatic in nature, these cuts were adopted against a backdrop of the UK's recent withdrawal of forces from Iraq, and with plans in place for the country to end its combat commitment in Afghanistan around 2015, following the progressive transfer of control to local authorities. But the rise of the "Arab Spring" movement in nations across the Middle East and North Africa throughout this year has provided an unexpected test for a military hard-hit by the spending cuts introduced by UK defence secretary Dr Liam Fox.

 

In announcing the recommendations of the SDSR last October, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said his country's coalition government was seeking to tackle an investment "black hole" inherited from the previous Labour administration, which it valued at £38 billion. Failure to tackle this shortfall now could result in a more "severe recalibration in the future", Fox told the Royal United Services Institute's Air Power conference in London in mid-July.

The SDSR has received much criticism for the swift nature of its completion and the severity of its cuts. Speaking at the same event, one analyst described the process as having been "four years in anticipation, but only four months in gestation".

 

Sir Brian Burridge, Finmeccanica UK's vice-president, strategic marketing, and formerly one of the RAF's most senior ranking officers, drew a different analogy when referring to the loss of key capabilities. "The concern is that this government might come out of the supermarket without a balanced meal, and that the next time it goes the shelves will be empty," he said.

 

RAF Panavia Tornado GR4, SAC Simon Armstrong/Crown Copyright
 © SAC Simon Armstrong/Crown Copyright
Tornado GR4s will serve until around 2020

 

DSEi will provide a focus for the UK's defence contractors to pursue already planned deals and fresh business, both at home and on the international stage. It will also highlight the security opportunities available, with London preparing to host the Olympic Games in mid-2012.

 

Speaking at a pre-show media briefing on 6 September, minister for international security strategy Gerald Howarth identified the role that global defence and security sales could play in helping to repair the UK's economic prospects. "Exports are critical to a sustainable recovery," he said. "The UK defence industry is proving itself to be well-placed to weather the storm."

 

With UK defence exports having totalled around £6 billion in 2010 - when it was second only to the USA in terms of total exports - and security systems around £2 billion more, selling on the global stage is a vital requirement at a time of domestic squeeze. Current targets include closing a proposed government-to-government deal to supply Eurofighter Typhoons to Oman, and a campaign to offer the same type for India's medium multi-role combat aircraft deal.

 

The Typhoon made its combat debut for the UK as a multi-role platform earlier this year, with the RAF employing the type's air-to-surface weapons against regime targets in Libya. Perhaps crucially for the European type, the fighter also looks set to receive an active electronically scanned array radar enhancement, while MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile also should be available for operational use from around 2015.

 

But more attention at DSEi will be given to Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which will be on display as a full-scale mock-up. However, reflecting the UK's last-minute decision to swap to the C-model carrier variant, the design on show will be in the short take-off and vertical landing guise.

 

To meet the Joint Combat Aircraft requirement from late this decade, the F-35C will be flown from the Royal Navy's (RN's) two future aircraft carriers, with the combination to reintroduce a big-deck operating model last employed by the UK in the late 1970s.

 

UK Carrier with F-35s, BAE Systems
 © BAE Systems

F-35Cs will fly from the UK's future carriers

 

One source previously involved with the JSF programme describes the SDSR's surprise variant switch as potentially "one of the most catastrophic procurement decisions ever made". Abandoning years of experience in flying vertical/short take-off and landing Harriers could end up costing UK taxpayers billions of pounds extra, the source claims, as a result of the additional training needed to ensure pilots maintain proficiency. Regaining this skill is already a focus of attention, with the RN looking to train a new cadre of Fleet Air Arm officers on US Navy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

 

The UK's exact requirements for the F-35 have yet to be set, but the Ministry of Defence has previously identified a need for up to 138 of the aircraft. An initial three F-35Bs were ordered to participate alongside the US military during initial operational test and evaluation of the new aircraft, but the allies are working out the details of a deal to exchange the last example for an F-35C.

 

The new type could achieve initial operating capability as a land-based asset from roughly 2018, before launching embarked operations around 2020. Its introduction must be balanced with the planned draw-down of the Tornado GR4 force: an activity that Fox says will be "particularly challenging".

 

Some level of funding commitment will be required next year, to cover the order of long-lead items for an initial batch of around 16 aircraft to be built during the programme's low-rate initial production phase.

 

"We are still in the midst of the post-defence review figuring our conversion from -35B to -35C, and there's an awful lot of work still in that rescheduling process," says Air Marshal Kevin Leeson, the UK's chief of materiel (air).

 

For now, while the UK's carrier strike capability lapses, the strong performance of the Army Air Corps' Westland/Boeing Apache AH1 attack helicopters over Libya in May 2011 from HMS Ocean has highlighted one likely means by which the nation could respond to other such contingencies until its future aircraft carriers and F-35Cs enter use.

 

Plans to buy the JSF were safeguarded in July, when the government announced a planned £3 billion increase in defence spending for the five-year period starting 2015-16. This sum will help to cover initial spending on the F-35C, as well as the costs of converting both Queen Elizabeth-class carriers with catapults and arrestor gear.

 

The commitment also enabled the MoD last month to sign a £1 billion order for 14 Boeing CH-47 Chinook HC6 transport helicopters and to complete the acquisition of three Air Seeker (RC-135 Rivet Joint) surveillance aircraft. A memorandum of understanding covering logistics support activities and capability updates for the latter fleet until 2025 was also recently signed, with this valued at more than $850 million. The aircraft will replace the retired Nimrod R1s from 2014.

 

One glaring capability shortfall created by the SDSR has yet to be addressed, however. The cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 has left the MoD having to improvise on the provision of long-range maritime patrol aircraft cover by using RAF Lockheed C-130J transports and RN AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HM1 shipborne helicopters.

 

Proposals have been made by industry to adapt some C-130Js to assume the role on a more formal basis, but other contractors are looking at any potential demand to field a smaller aircraft, possibly using an airframe such as the Alenia Aeronautica C-27J or Hawker Beechcraft King Air. With money to remain tight for some years to come, the idea of acquiring a more dedicated type - such as Boeing's 737-based P-8, now in development for the US Navy - seems fanciful.

 

Apache/Ocean, Crown Copyright
 © Crown Copyright

The Apache/Ocean pairing could sail again

 

Importantly, the costs associated with supporting NATO's Libyan operation since March have been covered from the Treasury reserve, and not the over-stretched defence budget.

 

The Libyan campaign has underlined the importance of the pending introduction of 14 Airbus A330-200-based Voyager tanker/transports from late this year, and of past investments in weapons systems such as MBDA's Storm Shadow cruise missile and dual-mode Brimstone air-to-surface missile, and Raytheon Systems' Paveway IV precision-guided bomb. It has also highlighted the value of the Bombardier Global Express-based Sentinel R1 surveillance aircraft's synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor, months after it was identified in the SDSR for disposal after the needs of Afghanistan.

 

The jury is still out as to whether the government's cuts to date and commitment for a future spending increase will cover the armed forces' procurement plans. Answers could be quick in coming, however, with an independent body having been tasked with conducting an "affordability audit" late this year on the MoD's top projects.

 

Looking at the likely equipment spending bill out to 2018-19 in his Defence Analysis publication, military analyst Francis Tusa says: "The spend curve looks far from balanced, and [SDSR] could well cause as many troubles as it resolved." He adds: "The extra 1% annual defence budget rise is only kicking in after 2015, so one has to ask how the books have been balanced prior to that time, when some £3 billion in funding will be needed."

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 11:50

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Gripen_39-7_Bthebest.jpg/800px-Gripen_39-7_Bthebest.jpg

photo by Bthebest

 

To Provide Rugged Digital Signal Processor Modules for New Gripen NG Aircraft's Fire Control System

 

September 7, 2011 Curtiss-Wright Corporation  - defpro.com

 

PARSIPPANY, N.J. | Curtiss-Wright Corporation announced Sept. 6 that it has been selected by SELEX Galileo to supply rugged embedded digital signal processor modules for use on Saab's new Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighter aircraft. The contract, which runs from 2010 to 2014, is valued at $15 million, and has an estimated potential additional value of $10 million over the lifetime of the program.

 

"Curtiss-Wright is proud to have been selected to provide our digital signal processor technology for use on the next generation Gripen aircraft," said Martin R. Benante, Chairman and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. "This award further demonstrates the value of our advanced technologies on a global basis."

 

Curtiss-Wright's digital signal processor modules will provide the radar processing for the Gripen's fire control radar system. The company's Motion Control segment will develop the digital signal processor modules at its Ashburn, VA facility.

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 05:40
Quand les industriels européens de la défense font semblant de coopérer

 

 

06-09-11 à 19:40 par Vincent Lamigeon – challenges.fr

 

Challenges était à l'université de la Défense organisée à Rennes. On y a beaucoup parlé de coopération européenne. Mais en la matière, tout est dans les non-dits. Reportage.

 

Rennes n’est pas Marseille ou la Rochelle. On en a eu confirmation avec l’université de la Défense, organisée en Bretagne quelques jours après la grand-messe du PS en Charente-Maritime et celle de l’UMP sur les bords de la Méditerrannée. Ici, pas de pulls autour du cou, encore moins de polos multicolores, mais une flopée d’uniformes et une impressionnante armada de gradés et de patrons de groupes de défense, de Louis Gallois (EADS) à Charles Edelstenne (Dassault Aviation), en passant par Luc Vigneron (Thales), Antoine Bouvier (MBDA), Lutz Bertling (Eurocopter) ou Jean-Paul Herteman (Safran).

 

Le tout dans le cadre impressionnant de l’installation "Solange", cathédrale de béton de 58 mètres de diamètre sur le site de la DGA (délégation générale de l’armement) de Bruz (près de Rennes), où chasseurs et missiles sont suspendus à trente mètres du sol pour analyser leur signature radar.

 

Débats sur la coopération européenne...

 

De quoi aura-t-on causé durant ces deux jours d’échanges feutrés? Des relations Etat-industrie bien sûr, de défense anti-missiles également, du retour d’expérience en Libye ou en Afghanistan, des 200 millions d’euros à trouver pour compenser les petits désagréments financiers liés à l’affaire des frégates de Taiwan. La visite du site de Bruz a aussi été l’occasion de cerner le rôle de la DGA dans la cyberdéfense, la guerre électronique (brouillage, leurres etc) ou le développement des missiles qui ont fait leurs preuves en Libye, comme le Scalp ou le AASM.

 

Mais l’essentiel des débats a porté sur le serpent de mer de l’industrie de défense: la coopération européenne. "L’Europe est en train de passer sous le seuil critique des budgets de défense, il faut absolument relancer les collaborations européennes", assurait ainsi Louis Gallois.

 

... que personne ne voit en réalité

 

Le problème, c’est que la coopération européenne est un peu à la défense ce que le monstre du Loch Ness est aux passionnés de créatures fantasmagoriques: tout le monde en parle, personne ne le voit. Bien sûr, les traités franco-britanniques de novembre 2010, qui prévoient quelques collaborations sur les essais nucléaires, les porte-avions ou le partage de matériels, ont été largement évoqués. Mais c’était aussi pour souligner la difficulté de l’étendre à l’Allemagne, l’Italie, l’Espagne ou la Pologne, aux stratégies de défense pas forcément convergentes, voire carrément opposées.

 

Du coup, le plus frappant résidait peut-être avant tout dans les non-dits de ces deux jours de débats. Rien de concret ou presque sur les grands programmes européens du futur, notamment un programme de drones MALE (moyenne altitude longue endurance) de BAE et Dassault pas encore lancé par les gouvernements, et qui semble pour l’instant exclure EADS, au risque de recréer une guerre intestine type Rafale-Eurofighter.

 

Rien non plus sur les discussions, évoquées par la presse, entre le groupe naval de défense DCNS et son concurrent allemand TKMS. Rien encore sur la nécessaire consolidation des sociétés françaises et européennes d’armement terrestre (Nexter, Panhard, Renault Trucks Défense, Rheinmetall...). Le délégué général pour l’armement Laurent Collet-Billon a subtilement fait comprendre que ces sujets attendraient tranquillement l’après-2012.

 

Ca chauffe entre les cadors de la défense européenne

 

En attendant, ca continue de cogner dur entre cadors de la défense européenne. Phrases assassines en off dans les couloirs entre Safran et Thales, échanges d’amabilités aéronautiques entre EADS et Dassault, mais aussi une lutte sans merci au quotidien: "Mes équipes sont ravies quand l’agressivité de nos offres oblige nos concurrents européens à vendre avec des marges négatives", déplore presque Patrick Boissier, P-DG de DCNS.

 

"La concurrence intra-européenne dans les drones, les sous-marins, les satellites ou les blindés est totalement destructrice", renchérit Josselin de Rohan, président de la commission défense du Sénat. De quoi motiver le cri du coeur –ironique- de Gérard Longuet dans son discours de clôture: "Vous, les industriels, rendez-nous un service: aimez-vous les uns les autres!" Dans les rangs de Dassault et EADS, le sourire ressemble étrangement à un rictus.

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6 septembre 2011 2 06 /09 /septembre /2011 11:30
India postpones latest Agni missile launch

 

September 6th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK / AFP

 

India postponed until next week a test-firing of its indigenously built Agni II ballistic nuclear capable missile due to a technical glitch.

 

The two-stage surface-to-surface missile was to be tested by its Strategic Forces Command from Wheeler Island off the Bay of Bengal on Monday, a report in the Indian Express newspaper said.

 

"But we had to postpone the test due to technical problems," Avinash Chander, director of the Agni missile program, said.

 

The day next week for the launch is not decided, said Chander, who gave no reason for the failure.

 

But previous missile failures have been blamed on guidance problems.

 

There also were doubts about continuous rainfall in Balasore near the test-firing range over the past three days.

 

India has a checkered history of launching indigenously built missiles, including the Agni I, II and III weapons.

 

The basic Agni series includes the single-stage 450-mile range Agni I, already inducted into service, and the two-stage Agni II and III models.

 

The 1,200-mile range Agni II was inducted into the army in 2004 and still is undergoing test-firings. The 65-foot missile weighs around 17 tons and can carry a 1-tonne payload.

 

The 2,000-mile range Agni III is in the last stages of development.

 

The solid-propellant Agni series of ballistic missiles are manufactured by Bharat Dynamics, one of India's major manufacturers of munitions and missile systems founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

 

Bharat Dynamics also manufactures India's Konkurs anti-tank missile.

 

Agni-II has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other laboratories under the government-backed Defense Research and Development Organization.

 

India's main missile test launch center is Wheeler Island -- just over 1 mile long and 6 miles off the country's east coast in the Bay of Bengal and about 90 miles from Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa state.

 

It was from Wheeler Island that Agni III, with a range of just over 2,000 miles, was successfully test-launched from a mobile launcher in February last year.

 

During a test launch the following month, a Prithvi missile veered off its path, failing to reach its required altitude of around 70 miles. It climbed to around 45 miles before tumbling back into the Bay of Bengal.

 

Then in September, the DRDO acknowledged guidance problems that caused a failure in another Prithvi missile test launch. The surface-to-surface missile remained on the launch pad during a trial in Chandipur, Orissa.

 

The short-range, 4.6-tonne nuclear-capable missile became enveloped in orange smoke and the launch was aborted, officials from the DRDO said at the time.

 

"The failure to lift Prithvi II was due to a snag either in the main missile or the sub-system, including the launcher," a DRDO spokesman said.

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