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1 juin 2011 3 01 /06 /juin /2011 08:00
BAE Systems, Dassault Await UAS Requirement



May 31, 2011 By Robert Wall aviation week and space technology


Warton, England - One of the flagship programs underpinning the ambitious Franco-British effort to establish a 50-year strategic partnership in national security is several steps closer to being clarified.


France and the U.K. have committed to jointly address their medium-, long-endurance unmanned aircraft (MALE) requirement under the new defense agreement that was formulated in November 2010. But much of the program’s success will hinge on devising combined requirements and a cohesive acquisition strategy. Progress on both fronts is being made, and a definitive shape is likely in the next few months.


The French defense procurement agency, DGA, has already dispatched a cadre to Abbey Wood, home of the U.K. defense ministry’s defense equipment and support organization, to help run the project. The detailed acquisition strategy is now being defined.


Many industry officials in Europe are eagerly anticipating the outcome, but probably none more so than BAE Systems and Dassault—they have agreed to jointly pursue the program. Others, such as Thales, are still pondering a commitment and EADS Cassidian is mulling over building a proposal featuring its Talarion unmanned aircraft concept.


While BAE Systems and Dassault have agreed on the broad outline, details are closely coupled to the requirements document. Although the two national prime contractors appear strange bedfellows, Ian Fairclough, project director for strategic unmanned aerial systems (UAS) programs at BAE Systems, argues that the two firms offer “complementary capabilities.”


Fairclough suggests that open competition and a sole-source approach to the Franco-British industrial partnership are under consideration; European competition rules could influence the outcome.


Regardless of what course is taken, Fairclough argues, there are benefits to moving quickly beyond just preserving the notional 2015-20 fielding agenda. A prolonged competitive process jeopardizes design engineering skills, which would otherwise be idle during that time.


Detailed program definition between the partners is still being worked out. What is less clear is how specific that document will be and whether it will be sufficient to begin detailed design activity.


One matter still under discussion is whether the system would have to be certified to civil requirements, which would ease operations in civil airspace but add complexity and cost.


Industry also is waiting for word from both governments over their preference for final assembly.


The current plan calls for BAE Systems to be responsible for defining the aircraft and engine selection—turbofans and turboprops are still in the mix—while Dassault would focus on systems integration and testing, Eric Trappier, executive vice president/international at Dassault Aviation, said recently.


The concept would be an evolution of the Mantis flying demonstrator developed by BAE Systems. Many details, though, remain undetermined, including how many air vehicles will be featured in each system.


Another decision revolves around devising an exportable system. The two countries “would like to minimize ITAR content,” Fairclough says of equipment governed by the complex U.S. International Transfer of Arms Regulations.


The air vehicle would be designed to be able to both target and deliver ordnance.


Cost estimates vary for the program. Some put the development/production bill at €1 billion ($1.4 billion), which would be shared equally, although a U.K. defense ministry document cites a £2 billion ($3.2 billion) life-cycle cost for the U.K. alone. That assumes around 20 aircraft, although no number has been set.


For the U.K., the program would take on much of the requirement of the so-called Scavenger UAS requirement, although it remains uncertain whether all aspects would be covered by the Franco-British effort. The U.K.’s UAS document, developed by the defense ministry’s doctrine center, suggests “the U.K. will consider if other complementary components are needed to fully satisfy the U.K. capability requirement.”


Although the program is bilateral, so far, Dassault’s Yves Robins, a counselor to Trappier, says that if the two governments change course, industry would adapt.

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31 mai 2011 2 31 /05 /mai /2011 13:00


May 31st, 2011 By VMSB DEFESA Global


In collaboration with the French-German Research Institute ISL (Institut Saint Louis), the French company Sagem SA (of SAFRAN group) has developed a compact and lightweight gunshot detection system.


The system called DELOC can be fitted on vehicle based remotely controlled weapon station, armoured vehicle, fixed site or on the soldier helmet.


The data received by the antenna is featured is on a console inside the vehicle or on the soldier portable observation terminal.


DELOC has been trialed integrated on Sagem SA and Panhard General Defense WASP (Weapon under Armor for Self-Protection) remotely controlled weapon station which has been installed on a Panhard General Defense PVP (Petit Véhicule Protégé) 4×4 light armoured vehicle.


DELOC can help as well to establish a tactical view of the field scenario when linked to a tactical battle management system like the French Army (Armée de Terre) SITEL (Système d’Information Terminal Elémentaire) system.

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19 mai 2011 4 19 /05 /mai /2011 18:30



19 May 2011 by Leon Engelbrecht defenseWeb


France is set to receive its first of 50 Airbus Military A400M heavy transport aircraft in the first quarter of 2013. That’s the word from programme head Cedric Gautier. He was speaking at an Airbus Military trade media briefing (TMB) – attended by defenceWeb – in Sevilla, Spain, on Tuesday where the large airlifter is built.


But Airbus Military CE Domingo Ureña would like to see the French Air Force accept the aircraft this year. Addressing the TMB yesterday, he said the company was keen to deliver to the aircraft ahead of the new contracted schedule.


The final assembly of that aircraft is set to start in the last quarter of this year. By then all five test prototypes will be flying, type certification will have been received and customers would have signed off on the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the transporter. The aircraft, MSN7, will first fly in the third quarter of next year, Gautier told journalists from some 30 countries.


Gautier added that the fuselage join up has already been completed at the Airbus plant in Bremen, Germany, with system equipping now underway. That is also the case with the wing structure, built at Filton in the United Kingdom. Work on other structures, including the central wing box at Nantes, in France; the nose fuselage at St Nazaire, also in France, are “progressing as per plan”. Work on the wing of the second production aircraft has also started at Filton, Gautier noted in his presentation.


Some 174 aircraft remain on order with seven NATO nations and one export customer – Malaysia, which ordered four. Turkey, with 10 aircraft on order, will be the second user to receive an aircraft, delivery being expected in the second half of 2013 by when the aircraft should meet Standard Operational Capability 1 (SOC1) . A minimum of four aircraft are planned for delivery that year.


Britain and Germany will receive aircraft in 2014 (they have 22 and 53 A400M on order respectively), while Malaysia will receive its first heavy-lifter at the end of 2014 or in early 2015. That year-end is further the target date for SOC1.5. Spain’s first delivery of 27 aircraft bought falls over the year-end 2015/16, when SOC2 should be available, with SOC2.5 following in late 2017 and SOC3 at the end of 2018. This will also be when deliveries to Belgium and Luxembourg should start – the former has seven and the latter one aircraft on order.


SOC3 will include the software required to allow the A400M to conduct low level terrain avoidance flight, which is “a big requirement for this aircraft.”


The A400M programme last month emerged from a turbulent restructuring that saw the NATO partners give formal backing to a €3.5 billion euro (US$5 billion) rescue deal for the project. “Challenges are here to overcome and today we can say this challenge has been concluded," Ureña said on April 7. The contract amendment to what was once a €20 billion project was signed in Sevilla by Patrick Bellouard, director of the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and Ureña, in the presence of Spanish Minister of Defence Carme Chacón. National armament directors and other representatives from customer nations also attended the ceremony, Airbus Military and EADS said in a statement.


The contract amendment implemented changes that were agreed in principle by the buyer nations with EADS and Airbus Military in a frame agreement signed on March 5 last year, Reuters reported. “This is a major milestone, and EADS is particularly proud to have the support of all governments involved in this cooperation programme that represents a strategic capacity for Europe and its defence, and for the new generation of military transport worldwide. The A400M is a fantastic new aircraft already flying with outstanding and unrivalled capabilities", said EADS CE Louis Gallois.


The A400M was designed to give Europe autonomy in military transport, which is dominated by the Lockheed Martin C130 Hercules turboprop and the Boeing C17Globemaster III jet transport, Reuters added. But technical problems and mismanagement kicked the project four years behind schedule and €7.6 billion over budget. For a while, the A400M crisis cast a shadow over the future of EADS as the cost of abandoning the project would have been staggering in penalties alone. More recently, EADS has been embarrassed by an improvement in its finances, which left it with a sharply higher cash surplus than it had when it approached buyer nations for help, Reuters said.


EADS has blamed A400M delays on development problems with the aircraft's massive turboprop engines, the largest built in the West, and conflicting military requirements from the buyers. But it has also admitted mistakes in managing the project as its attention was diverted towards the delayed A380 jetliner and power struggles within its previous management.


Under the rescue plan, the seven key buyers agreed to a €2 billion increase in the total price of the transport planes. Part of this will be financed by taking fewer aircraft for the same price, reducing the total order to 170 from 180. Germany has cut its order by 7 planes to 53 and Britain will take 22 planes instead of the 25 initially ordered. A high-level political dispute over the terms of the bailout focussed on the remaining €1.5 billion, which would be a loan against repayments from future exports.


Britain was seen as most reluctant about this part of the plan, which involves nations advancing money to EADS, but also reluctant to divorce from Airbus, which makes wings in the UK. Sources said the two sides compromised on payment schedules. The delays and cost overruns that became known during the 2009 recession caused the South African government to cancel its order in November 2009 to popular acclaim.


Previously known as the Future Large Aircraft, the A400M has been long in the coming. A European Staff Requirement (ESR) was drawn up as long ago as 1993 but only signed in 2003. Production was scheduled to start in 2001 with deliveries starting in 2006, but this slipped to 2007, then 2009 and then “late 2012.” First flight had been scheduled for January 2008 but was delayed and took place on December 11, 2009.

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16 mai 2011 1 16 /05 /mai /2011 18:30



Vue de l'OPV Gowind

crédits : DCNS


16/05/2011 MER et MARINE


Le premier patrouilleur du type Gowind est sorti ce week-end de son hall de construction situé sur le site DCNS de Lorient, où le navire doit être mis à flot mercredi prochain. Réalisé sur fonds propres par DCNS dans le cadre du programme Hermès, cet offshore patrol vessel (OPV) sera remis à la Marine nationale en fin d'année. Au travers d'une convention de partenariat, la flotte française utilisera ce patrouilleur pour ses besoins opérationnels durant trois ans. Baptisé L'Adroit, le navire, qui sera basé à Toulon, sera placé sous le commandement organique du commandant de la force d'action navale (FAN). Un premier noyau d'équipage sera constitué à compter du 1er juin.

Un peu plus d'un an après la découpe de la première tôle (7 mai 2010), la coque du premier OPV du type Gowind est donc terminée. Il reste, désormais, à achever la superstructure et mettre en place la mâture. Et, d'ici l'été, le bâtiment devrait faire sa première sortie en mer.

Long de 87 mètres pour un déplacement d'environ 1500 tonnes en charge, L'Adroit disposera d'une artillerie légère, ainsi que d'un système de mise à l'eau d'embarcations rapides par le tableau arrière. Il pourra également embarquer un hélicoptère ou des drones.

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16 mai 2011 1 16 /05 /mai /2011 18:00



May 16, 2011 Paris, France(SPX)


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Cassidian on behalf of EADS Deutschland GmbH and Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) to establish a close collaboration in the Talarion programme. The MoU was signed during an official ceremony at the 10th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) held in Istanbul.


Signed in the presence of Murad Bayar, The Honourable Undersecretary for Defence Industries and Thomas Kossendey, Germany's Deputy Defence Minister, this new agreement further reinforces the presence of Turkey in Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) multinational collaborative programmes.


Talarion is the European programme for a next-generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) advanced Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to fulfil the requirements initially placed by France, Germany and Spain for future unmanned long endurance surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The novel aspect of this approach is a modular design and the integration of the UAV in a network-enabled operations scenario.


Turkey has always advocated to participate in this major European programme with the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) agreeing significant investment and integration in the Talarion prototype programme team by major companies of the Turkish industry led by TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.).


The prototype will be the first development standard following an interactive design approach. First flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2014. To achieve this goal, Cassidian has created a dedicated co-located plateau phase with engineers from France, Spain, Turkey and Germany including main suppliers. Today around 160 engineers are working in the Talarion plateau.


Being the first Unmanned Aerial System that will operate within civil airspace, Talarion can be used for a variety of security missions amongst others such as anti-piracy, drug control, border protection and ecological and natural crisis management.


"Cassidian is very pleased and honored to welcome TAI as part of the Talarion Team", said Bernhard Gerwert, Chief Executive Officer of Cassidian Air Systems, adding : "This next-generation MALE UAS is of outmost importance since it will fulfill government security missions and commercial activities which are not accessible to current solutions and their derivatives. With this industrial commitment we strongly believe that the potential customers will decide soon to support this unique product."


"We look forward to the progress of this programme which offers the highest performance of its class, incorporating the most modern modular sensor suite and data links" explained Muharrem Dortkasli, Chief Executive Officer and President, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. adding : "TAI is very proud to integrate such a challenging breakthrough, paving the way to a new generation of operational capabilities ."

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10 mai 2011 2 10 /05 /mai /2011 20:30



10.05.2011 Vincent Lamigeon, journaliste à Challenges – Blog SUPERSONIQUE


La rumeur courait depuis deux semaines. Le délégué général pour l'armement Laurent Collet-Billon a finalement lâché l'info ce matin dans les Echos, obligeant les deux groupes à noyer le poisson dans des communiqués qui fleurent bon l'embarras : Thales et Safran discutent bel et bien à nouveau d'échanges d'actifs. Pas de quoi danser le Bagad de Lann-Bihoué, dira le lecteur intransigeant. Il n'aura pas tort : dans le genre serpent de mer de l'industrie de défense, ce projet n'est pas loin de la palme. La solution avait déjà été évoquée du temps de Jean-Paul Béchat patron de Safran et Denis Ranque PDG de Thales. Les discussions avaient repris après l'entrée de Dassault Aviation au capital de Thales, avant de butter sur l'intransigeance des deux parties.


Revoilà donc le projet sur la table de négociations. De quoi s'agit-il exactement ? En gros, un deal poussé par la DGA, lassée de financer des doublons au sein des deux groupes : Thales récupèrerait les activités d'optronique (équipements à la fois optiques et électroniques, type jumelles de vision infrarouge) de Safran, comme le viseur Strix de l'hélicoptère de combat Tigre (photo Sagem). Lequel recevrait en échange celles de navigation inertielle (équipements permettant à un engin de s'orienter de façon autonome) et de génération électrique de Thales. D'où une consolidation autour de deux champions français qui pourraient tenir la dragée haute aux américains Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell ou Northrop Grumman. Splendide sur le papier.


Le problème, c'est que les intérêts ne sont pas forcément convergents. Côté Thales, récupérer l'optronique permettrait grosso modo de doubler de taille sur un marché en forte croissance, à un milliard d'euros de ventes à peu près. L'intérêt de Safran est plus contestable : certes il récupérerait les activités de navigation inertielle et de génération électrique de Thales. Mais les spécialistes s'accordent à estimer qu'il y perdrait quand même au change, car l'ensemble resterait loin des leaders américains. D'où l'idée d'une soulte que paierait Thales, histoire de se quitter bons amis. Mais là encore, Safran n'est pas forcément intéressé : gavé de cash par le carton du moteur CFM-56 et de sa maintenance, il a plus besoin d'activités en croissance que d'un chèque qui serait de toute façon limité.


Le patron de Safran l'a bien compris : l'année dernière, il avait tenté d'intégrer aux négociations les activités d'avionique civile de Thales, une des pépites du groupe, ce qui avait passablement courroucé Charles Edelstenne, PDG de Dassault Aviation, l'actionnaire industriel de Thales. Cette activité étant exclue des négociations actuelles, pas sûr qu'un accord soit possible. A moins de tordre la main à un des deux industriels...

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 13:00



04 May 2011 by defenceWeb


The South African Army is purchasing night vision tubes worth R3 million from vendor ECM Technologies. The order was placed last month. It adds to the some R238 million spent on night vision equipment since 2007. In addition to the R241 223 912.08 spent on new equipment, some R17 241 102.51 has been spent on maintenance and repair. The equipment replaces dated technology based on first and second generation image intensifiers. The acquisitions appear separate from Project Cytoon that is seeing the SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps gaining 14 Thales Squire ground surveillance radars and 65 Thales Sophie thermal imagers.


Thermal imagers detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Since most objects emit such radiation, thermal imagers allow their users to "see" their surroundings with or without visible light. The warmer the object, the brighter the object appears in the imager. Humans, with an internal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius tend to stand out against their surroundings, which are mostly cooler. This also allows thermal imagers to spot camouflaged targets. Many modern thermal imagers include an eye-safe laser rangefinder and pointer, a compass, GPS and digital camera. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4km, tanks at 10km, helicopters at 12km and jet fighters at 16km, Thales says.

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 08:00


Le BPC Dixmude au retour de ses essais en mer, le 30 avril


03/05/2011 MER et MARINE


Il n'y aura pas de seconds essais en mer avant livraison, preuve que la campagne menée la semaine dernière au large de Belle-Ile s'est parfaitement déroulée. Du 26 au 30 avril, conformément au planning fixé, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude, réalisé par les chantiers STX France, a appareillé pour la première fois de Saint-Nazaire, afin de mener des essais de propulsion, de manoeuvrabilité et de navigabilité. A bord, on comptait quelques 320 personnes, dont une centaine comprenant l'équipage de conduite de la Marine nationale ainsi que les équipes de DCNS et de la Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA). Quasiment terminé, le nouveau BPC de la flotte française est revenu samedi dernier à Saint-Nazaire, où STX va achever les travaux en vue d'un départ du navire début juillet vers Toulon. Depuis le port varois, DCNS procèdera alors aux essais et à la mise au point du système de combat et du système d'armes, la livraison du Dixmude étant prévue début 2012.


Troisième BPC du type Mistral, le navire mesure 199 mètres de long et affichera un déplacement d'environ 21.000 tonnes en charge. Ses installations aéronautiques lui permettront d'accueillir 16 hélicoptères de type NH90 et Tigre (ou autres), le pont d'envol comprenant 6 spots d'appontage. Les capacités amphibies sont également importantes, le radier pouvant abriter quatre chalands de débarquement de type CTM ou deux catamarans rapides de type EDA-R, dont le premier exemplaire, conçu par CNIM, est actuellement en achèvement aux chantiers Socarenam de Boulogne-sur-Mer. Les ponts garages et les logements permettent, quant à eux, l'embarquement de 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars lourds) et 450 hommes de troupe. Comme ses deux aînés, le Mistral et le Tonnerre, livrés en 2006 et 2007, le Dixmude sera également à même de diriger une opération interarmées et interalliée. Pour cela, il abrite un vaste PC de 800m² capable d'accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs. Enfin, le BPC bénéficiera de vastes installations hospitalières, comprenant notamment des blocs opératoires.

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 08:00


Le BPC Dixmude lors de son appareillage, hier, à Saint-Nazaire



27/04/2011 MER et MARINE


Construit par les chantiers STX France, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude a appareillé hier, de Saint-Nazaire, pour ses premiers essais en mer. Jusqu'à samedi, le navire effectuera différents tests de propulsion et de plateforme. Mis sur cale en janvier 2010, le Dixmude, commandé en avril 2009 au titre du plan de relance de l'économie, devrait rejoindre Toulon au mois de juillet. Depuis la base varoise de la Marine nationale, DCNS travaillera à la mise au point du système d'armes et du système de combat, en vue d'une livraison du navire début 2012. Le Dixmude rejoindra alors les deux premiers BPC de la flotte française, les Mistral et Tonnerre, qui avaient été assemblés à Brest (avec une moitié avant construite à Saint-Nazaire) et furent livrés en 2006 et 2007 par DCNS. En dehors du montage industriel, le Dixmude se distingue de ses aînés par diverses améliorations, notamment l'ajout d'un propulseur d'étrave supplémentaire et une visibilité améliorée au niveau de la passerelle de défense à vue. Longs de 199 mètres pour un déplacement de 21.500 tonnes en charge, les BPC peuvent embarquer16 hélicoptères lourds, deux engins de débarquement du type EDA-R (dérivé du L-CAT de CNIM), 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars Leclerc) et 450 hommes de troupe. Doté d'importantes infrastructures de commandement, avec un PC pouvant accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs, ils disposent aussi d'un hôpital embarqué. Un quatrième navire de ce type doit être construit pour la marine française. Sa mise en service est prévue en 2019/2020 pour succéder au transport de chalands de débarquement Siroco. Son aîné, le TCD Foudre, sera quant à lui remplacé par le Dixmude. DCNS et STX cherchent, par ailleurs, à vendre le concept de BPC à des marines étrangères. Un accord a, notamment, été signé en janvier dernier avec la Russie, qui souhaite se doter de quatre bâtiments de ce type. Les négociations se poursuivent en vue d'aboutir à un contrat.

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20 avril 2011 3 20 /04 /avril /2011 19:00



20 avril 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Après 5 années de travaux, le seul sous-marin canadien basé sur la côte Pacifique, sur la base d’Esquimalt, a repris la mer au cours du week-end. Dimanche soir, le HMCS Victoria est sorti de bassin pour être mis à quai dans le chantier naval du port d’Esquimalt. Il s’agit d’un moment important pour le programme canadien de sous-marins, puisque le HMCS Victoria est seulement le 2ème sous-marin à pouvoir prendre la mer, malgré le maintien de certaines restrictions [d’emploi]. L’autre sous-marin, le HMCS Corner Brook, est attendu à l’été à la base navale de Victoria en provenance d’Halifax (côte Atlantique) pour effectuer des patrouilles. Le HMCS Victoria faisait l’objet ; depuis 5ans — la moitié de sa « vie » sous pavillon canadien — de travaux importants d’entretien, de réparation et de modernisation. « Le Victoria est le premier sous-marin de sa classe sur lequel nous avons effectué des maintenances d’un niveau aussi complexe », a déclaré le Cmdr. Christopher Earl, l’autorité technique de la marine canadienne pour les sous-marins, lors d’un interview en février dernier. Il a ajouté qu’il ne pouvait donner d’estimation des coûts de réparation et de modernisation, parce les travaux se poursuivaient sur le HMCS Victoria. A l’issue des essais en mer, ce sous-marin sera le tout premier complètement opérationnel et capable de lancer des armes. A terme, l’objectif de la marine canadienne est de disposer, simultanément, de 3 sous-marins opérationnels, le 4ème étant alors en période d’entretien aux chantiers navals de Victoria, a indiqué Earl. « Tous les 6 à 8 ans, tout système embarqué doit être réparé ou entretenu, » a-t-il expliqué. « Notre programme n’est pas foncièrement différent de celui des autres forces sous-marines. »


L'analyse de la rédaction :

Pour mémoire, la durée d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire français, comme celui que subit actuellement le Vigilant, est d’environ 2 ans, 2 ans et demi. Et encore, cette durée comprend la modification du système d’armes liée au passage au missile M-51. Les travaux réalisés lors d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire sont autrement plus complexes que ceux réalisés à bord d’un sous-marin classique, fût-il de la classe Victoria...


Référence : Saanich News (Canada)

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19 avril 2011 2 19 /04 /avril /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/USS_Freedom.jpg/220px-USS_Freedom.jpg  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/37/USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg/220px-USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg

LCS 1                                                                LCS 2


April 19, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE


Now that the U.S. Navy has decided to put its new "Littoral Combat Ship" (LCS) into mass production, it faces years of uncertainty and experimentation as this radical new combat ship design seeks to find out what works, to what degree, and what doesn't. There is some nervousness about all this. The U.S. Navy has not introduced a radical new design for nearly a century. The last such new design was the aircraft carrier, which required two decades of experimentation, and a major war, to nail down what worked. Even the nuclear submarines of the late 1950s and early 60s were evolutionary compared to what the LCS is trying to do.


In the last five years, two different LCS designs were built, and put into service. Problems were encountered. The much smaller crew required some changes in how a crew ran a ship, and how many sailors and civilians were required back on land to support an LCS at sea. It was found that, so far, the interchangeable mission modules take far longer (2-3 days instead of 2-3 hours) to replace. The LCS has still not seen combat, and the navy wants the first violent encounter to be successful, or at least not disastrous. It is expected that there will be surprises, which is about all that can be guaranteed at this point.


The navy surprised everyone last year by choosing both designs, and requesting that the fifty or so LCS ships be split between the two very different looking ships. It was only recently, after over a decade of development, construction and delays, that both versions of the LCS entered service. Both were worked hard, to determine which model should become the standard design. Both ships delivered impressive performance. But the navy also believes that having two suppliers, even with different designs, will provide the kind of competition that will keep costs down and quality high. If one of the builders began to screw up, they would lose some, or all, of their orders. Such an incentive program has worked in the past. Current plans are to place an initial order for to 20 LCSs, to be built between 2011-15.


While both ships look quite different (one is a traditional monohull, while the other is a broader trimaran), they both share many common elements. One of the most important of these is the highly automated design, and smaller crew. Both ships have accommodations for only 75 personnel. Normally, a ship of this size would have a crew of about 200. The basic LCS crew is 40, with the other 35 berths occupied by operators of special equipment. But that is already being exceeded on one LCS, which has a detail of 15 sailors for handing special equipment and another 23 to take care of a helicopter. Another shortage encountered is time. Although sailors work a typical six hours on/twelve hours off routine, there are plenty of miscellaneous jobs that cut into off duty hours (taking on supplies and fuel while underway, standing fire/safety alert during aircraft or small boat operations and so on). At times, some sailors were only getting 5-6 hours sleep a day. Fortunately, the LCS uses a two crew system, with each crew being on the ship (at sea or in port) for 40 days, and then the other crew takes over. In addition to a second crew, there are more maintenance personnel available back at the LCS home port, to help with needed repairs and upgrades the crew would normally handle. But with the smaller crew, these chores will be taken care of in port, using additional personnel.


Built using "smartship" technologies, that actually do greatly reduce personnel requirements, the LCS was expected to get by with a crew of about 40-50 in basic configuration. The sea trials and three years of operations gave the militarized smartship features a workout. These sea trials were very important, because the LCS is over budget, behind schedule and, worst of all, an untried new concept. Many of the operations in the last two years have been of the sort LCS will encounter during its 30 year career. But the strain on the crew makes it clear that heavy combat operations might be more than current crew size can handle. An additional chore is the refueling at sea. The LCS was not built for long voyages, but these have to be undertaken to get the ships overseas, or moved to a different theater once there. Fuel replenishment ships must be available, and the crew has to be ready for a heavy workload.


The LCS crews are also modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. Thus about 40 percent of the ship is empty, with a large cargo hold into which the mission package gear is inserted (and then removed, along with the package crew, when it is no longer assigned to that ship.) Thus the LCS has two crews when underway, the "ship" crew and the mission package crew. The captain of the ship crew is in charge, and the officer commanding the mission package is simply the officer in charge of the largest equipment system on board. There are a variety of interchangeable modules (e.g., air defense, underwater warfare, special operations, surface attack, etc.), which allow the ships to be quickly reconfigured for various specialized missions. Crews will also be modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. The design and crew requirements for these module is still a work in progress, but also shows a need for more people, or more automation.


So far, the heavy workload has not hurt morale. The small crew means that everyone knows everyone, and it's standard for people to handle a number of different jobs. Even officers pitch in for any task that needs to be done. This kind of overworked enthusiasm is actually typical of smaller naval craft. These included World War II era PT boats, with crews of up to 17, and current minesweepers (with crews similar to an LCS) and larger patrol boats. There's also the "new" factor. In addition to being new ships, there is a new design and lots of new tech. This gets people pumped. But the experience of using the LCS has to be used to develop changes that will make these ships viable for the long haul.


The two different LCS designs are from Lockheed-Martin (monohull) and General Dynamics (trimaran). The first LCS, the monohull USS Freedom, completed its sea trials and acceptance inspections two years ago. The ship did very well, with far fewer (about 90 percent fewer) problems (or "material deficiencies") than is usual with the first warship in a class. USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid down by General Dynamics in late 2005 and commissioned in January 2010.


Both LCS designs were supposed to be for ships displacing 2,500 tons, with a full load draft of under 3.3 meters/ten feet (permitting access to very shallow "green" and even "brown" coastal and riverine waters, where most naval operations have taken place in the past generation). Top speed was expected was to be over 80 kilometers with a range of 2,700 kilometers. Basic endurance is 21 days, and final displacement was closer to 3,000 tons.


LCS is currently armed with a 57mm gun, four 12.7mm machine-guns, two 30mm autocannon and a 21 cell SeaRam system for aircraft and missile defense. The RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles replace Phalanx autocannon. SeaRAM has a longer range (7.5 kilometers) than the Phalanx (two kilometers). Last year, the navy decided to equip LCS with a surface launched version of the Griffin air-to-surface missile. The Griffin is an alternative to the Hellfire II, which weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds) and carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. In contrast, the Griffin weighs only 16 kg (35 pounds), with a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by the larger Hellfire missile. Griffin has a pop-out wings, allowing it to glide, and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire. The surface-launched Griffin weighs about twice as much as the air launched version, because of the addition of a rocket to get it into the air, after which it can glide to the target.


Ultimately, the navy hoped to have between 50 and 60 LCSs by 2014-18, at a cost of $460 million (after the first five.) The USS Freedom ended up costing nearly $600 million, about twice what the first ship in the class was supposed to have cost. The navy believes it has the cost down to under $450 million each as mass production begins.

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19 avril 2011 2 19 /04 /avril /2011 06:00


Le véhicule blindé hautement protégé Aravis en Afghanistan. Crédits : ECPAD


18/04/2011 ARMEE DE TERRE


Les militaires du 13e  régiment du génie (13e  RG) du Valdahon armant le détachement d’ouverture d’itinéraire piégé (DOIP) sont rentrés d’Afghanistan le 12 avril 2011.


Le 13e  RG  a été mandaté pour déployer et perfectionner le DOIP en Afghanistan  d’octobre 2010 à octobre 2011. Projeté en Afghanistan depuis octobre 2010, le DOIP est de retour au régiment depuis le 12 avril 2011. 2 autres sections du 13e  RG en assurent la relève. Le DOIP est composé de 2 sections : une section sur Buffalo et une section protection dépollution  (SPD) sur véhicules blindés hautement protégés (VBHP) Aravis . Elles œuvrent de concert sur le théâtre et constituent une capacité unique de l'armée de Terre. Sa mission principale : ouvrir les axes  au profit de groupements ou sous-groupements tactiques interarmes et de convois logistiques. Il s’agit de recherche et de lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés  (IED pour « improvised explosive device ») puis de reconnaissance d’axes pour le désengagement des unités. Au total, près de 5 000 km ont été ouverts ou reconnus en 6 mois sans explosion d’IED après le passage du DOIP.

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17 avril 2011 7 17 /04 /avril /2011 06:00



April 15, 2011 Australian Strategic Policy Institute - defense-aerospace.com


Funds must be allocated in the May budget for early design work on Australia's next submarine if a serious capability gap is to be avoided, Defence experts have said. Time is running out if new submarines are to be in operation by 2025 the date proposed in the latest Defence Capability Plan update. That plan and the 2009 Defence White Paper calls for the construction of 12 new submarines at a cost of at least $36 billion. They would replace the six Collins class submarines currently in service. Experts from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute have said that given this will be Australia's most expensive ever weapons program and a similar spend to the National Broadband Network pressure from the Government and voters for sound planning and effective delivery would be intense. Defence insiders have already said, off-the-record, the Navy is dreaming if it expects the Government to sign off on the 12-boat plan this year. Mark Thomson, the director of budget and maintenance at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the Government needed to use the budget to get the project moving. A failure to do so would likely result in the existing boats reaching the end of their effective lives before their replacements were ready to put to sea. This had happened in the transition from the old Oberon class boats to the Collins class between 1992 and 2003. While Defence had started winding back the use of the outdated O-boats in the early 1990s, the Collins class boats were not fully operational until 2003. Andrew Davies, ASPI's operations and capability director, said this created a decade-long capability gap that had seen many experienced submariners lost to the fleet. The Collins class boats have been plagued by crew shortages ever since. Mr Thomson, who worked with Mr Davies on a discussion paper on the submarine replacement issue that was released late yesterday, said the Government was due to make a ''first pass decision on the shape and size of the next submarine fleet in the next two years''. Once that was done, the initial design work expected to cost between $500 million and $1 billion could begin. The problem is that at the moment Defence does not have the information it needs to make informed recommendations to Government he said. Mr Davies agrees. ''You need to understand the true costs and benefits if you are to do an informed cost benefit analysis,'' Mr Davies said. He said Defence had a history of playing down costs while playing up benefits. At this point, despite the White Paper recommendations, the only certainties surrounding the next generation of submarines is that they will be conventionally powered and they will be built in Adelaide. Political factors have at least partly driven those parameters. The size of the boats, the numbers to be built and the tasks they should be required to perform are yet to be determined, Mr Davies said. He described the White Paper recommendation as an ''ambit claim'' and questioned the need for the submarines to be able to deploy special forces units. Mr Davies said it was difficult to conceive of a circumstance under which the need to land a small group of men on a beach would justify placing a $3 billion submarine at risk. Meanwhile, others haven't given up the fight for the nuclear option. Graham Harris, the president of The Navy League, has called for nuclear power to remain under consideration.


Click here to download the related report “The once and future submarine: raising and sustaining Australia’s underwater capability” (7 pages in PDF format) from the ASPI website.

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16 avril 2011 6 16 /04 /avril /2011 17:30
Les étranges affirmations du Washington Post sur la guerre en Libye


16/04/2011 Par Jean Guisnel Le Point.fr


Dans un article publié vendredi, le Washington Post livre de bien curieuses "révélations" sur la conduite de la guerre en Libye. Selon le quotidien américain, les opérations aériennes du Royaume-Uni, de la France et d'autres pays européens seraient limitées par le manque de munitions de précision. De quoi laisser dubitatifs :


1) Des frappes limitées ? Faux


S'il est vrai que la Royal Air Force britannique, l'armée de l'air et la marine nationale françaises procèdent actuellement à la majorité des frappes, ces aviations n'ont pas effectué "chacune vingt tirs depuis le début de la campagne", comme l'affirme le Washington Post. Pour ne citer qu'elle, la France a procédé à une vingtaine de frappes entre le 7 et le 14 avril. Le chiffre précis des frappes depuis le 19 mars, date du début de la guerre, n'est pas encore disponible, mais il est supérieur à la centaine, uniquement avec des munitions de précision de divers types, dont des SCALP-EG (au moins une douzaine de tirs), des AASM (armement air-sol modulaire) et des GBU de divers types. À l'heure actuelle, six des vingt-huit membres de l'Otan participent aux bombardements en Libye, France, Grande-Bretagne, Danemark, Norvège, Belgique et Canada, Paris et Londres assurant à eux seuls plus de la moitié des sorties. Les États-Unis ont retiré leurs avions des plans de frappe. Les pays non engagés dans les tirs contre des cibles au sol participent à la surveillance de la zone d'interdiction aérienne, alors que les avions et hélicoptères libyens ne décollent plus depuis des semaines. Les États-Unis fournissent des moyens logistiques (ravitailleurs, transports tactiques) ou encore des moyens de surveillance et de contrôle (AWACS). Les chiffres du Post sont d'ailleurs également faux pour les Américains. Dans la seule journée du 20 mars, ils n'ont pas seulement procédé à "trois frappes contre des installations statiques de défense aérienne", mais à plusieurs dizaines. Pour ne citer que les seuls missiles Tomahawk, ils ont effectué ce jour-là 105 frappes de précision...


2) Un manque de munitions ? Faux


L'autre assertion très curieuse du Washington Post concerne la consommation des stocks de munitions de précision, qui se seraient "rapidement réduits". Le journal affirme que les États-Unis seraient en mesure de recompléter à partir de leurs propres magasins, mais que les avions français et britanniques sont incompatibles avec les armes fabriquées aux États-Unis. Contrairement aux autres pays européens "frappeurs", dont "tous les avions ont été fabriqués aux États-Unis et sont compatibles avec l'armement américain". De fait, les avions français (Rafale, Mirage 2000, Super-Étendard et Mirage F-1) de même que les avions britanniques (Tornado et Typhoon) sont de conception et de fabrication européennes, quand d'autres armées sont équipées de F-16 et de F-18 américains. Mais alors, où est le rapport avec un prétendu "manque de munitions", et le fait que les Européens "ne prévoyaient sans doute de n'utiliser leurs armes de l'air que durant les salons aéronautiques", comme avance, ironiquement, le Washington Post ? Il n'y en a aucun ! Pour les avions français, les choses sont simples. Les munitions qu'ils ont tirées sont dans une large mesure fabriquées nationalement. Et les stocks, certes moins impressionnants que ceux des États-Unis, sont tout de même importants, sans être illimités. Il s'agit, pour l'armée de l'air et la marine françaises, de faire face à des conflits importants. Les stocks actuels permettraient donc de faire deux ou trois ans de guerres intenses, étant entendu que des commandes complémentaires seraient rapidement envoyées aux industriels. L'arme air-sol de précision tirée par le Rafale, fabriquée par l'industriel Sagem, est l'armement air-sol modulaire (AASM). Elle a été commandée à 744 exemplaires en 2000, et les dernières livraisons de ce premier marché sont prévues en 2011. Le député François Cornut-Gentille précise dans un rapport en date du 14 octobre 2010 : "En 2009, la cible de dotation en AASM est passée de 3 000 à 2 348 unités, dont 1 200 avec le kit laser." La France en achètera donc moins que prévu, mais ses stocks lui permettent de poursuivre ses opérations en Libye sans difficulté. Selon le rapport, le coût de ce programme est de 846 millions d'euros, ce qui mettrait le kit AASM à plus de 350 000 euros. Cela fait cher pour détruire un pick-up kadhafiste qui en vaut 15 fois moins... Les Français ont aussi tiré des missiles de croisière SCALP-EG, en nombre limité (une douzaine). Selon des informations de source parlementaire, ils disposent actuellement de 500 de ces engins, dont 400 doivent être rénovés. Là encore, aucun problème de stocks pour ces armes de précision. Enfin, la France a acquis aux États-Unis, pour ces Super-Étendard et ses Mirage 2000, plusieurs dizaines de kits Paveway, de différents modèles. Montés sur des bombes lisses à gravité, ils permettent de les transformer en armes de précision, et la France dispose, depuis plusieurs années, de cet équipement. Le Point.fr a précisé que les avions français avaient tiré des bombes à guidage laser GBU-12 de 250 kilos, des bombes GBU-24 de 500 kilos, et que les Mirage 2000-D de l'armée de l'air avaient tiré des GBU-49. Ce modèle le plus récent est équipé du kit de guidage Enhanced Paveway II et la France en a acheté 200 exemplaires en février 2008 pour son Mirage 2000D.


Qu'en conclure ?


L'article du Washington Post considère, sans l'écrire explicitement, que les Européens feraient bien d'acheter davantage d'armements aux États-Unis s'ils veulent faire la guerre sérieusement. Rien de neuf...

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15 avril 2011 5 15 /04 /avril /2011 22:59




15 Apr 2011 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI DefenseNews


NEW DELHI - Construction delays to four French-designed submarines have led India to reverse an 11-year-old decision and seek German help to upgrade four older subs. Estimated to cost about $500 million, the upgrade of the four HDW T-1500-class subs will replace their weapon control systems, data links, torpedoes and missiles. The Indian defense ministry wants the German submarines to be upgraded at Indian facilities with technical assistance from HDW Germany. The Indian Navy has seen its fleet of usable submarines shrink from 21 in the 1980s to 14 today, while the Chinese sub fleet, including nuclear boats, grows, said a Navy official. In 2000, when the Navy decided to buy the new Scorpene submarines, it shelved plans to upgrade the T-1500s, which have now been in disrepair for several years. The French-designed boats, now planned or under licensed production by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), are more than three years behind schedule, a senior defense ministry official said. Under the $3.9 billion contract signed in 2005 with France, construction of the first three Scorpenes began in December 2006, December 2007 and August 2008. The MDL contract said the six subs were to be delivered annually beginning in December 2012. Instead, the first one is now scheduled for delivery in 2015. Besides the Scorpene troubles, the Navy is also seeing delays in its $10 billion purchase of air-independent-propulsion submarines, the official said. The world's sub builders are expected to be invited to bid on the job, called Project 75I, in the next three months, the Navy official said. The T-1500s were built under an $89 million deal signed in 1983. HDW's shipyard in Germany built two of the T-1500s in 56 months apiece; the other two were built under license by MDL, taking 98 months and 116 months respectively. Later in the decade, New Delhi blacklisted HDW because of alleged bribery in the sub deal. The ban was lifted after an inquest by India's Central Bureau of Investigation ended without resolution.

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12 avril 2011 2 12 /04 /avril /2011 18:30
Navantia reçoit la pile à combustible du 1er sous-marin S-80



12 avril 2011 par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Le chantier naval Navantia de Carthagène a reçu la pile à combustible du système de propulsion anaérobie (AIP Air Independent Propulsion). Elle équipera le premier sous-marin S-80 destiné à la marine espagnole. La pile à combustible a été construite par UTC, la même entreprise qui les fournit aussi à la NASA. Il s’agit du cœur du système de propulsion. Elle permet d’augmenter la durée pendant laquelle le sous-marin peut rester en plongée. La pile à combustible produit de l’électricité à partir d’un mélange gazeux composé d’hydrogène et d’oxygène purs. Navantia a retenu cette technologie parce qu’elle la considère comme la plus sûre technologiquement. Elle permet une production importante d’électricité, et peut fonctionner à basse température.


Référence : ABC (Espagne)

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9 avril 2011 6 09 /04 /avril /2011 06:00
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2 avril 2011 6 02 /04 /avril /2011 06:00
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1 avril 2011 5 01 /04 /avril /2011 16:55
Exemples de missions de la DGA en Afghanistan

01/04/2011 DGA


Découvrez quelques-unes des missions réalisées par les ingénieurs de la DGA en Afghanistan.


En octobre 2010 -Thierry Puig et Alain Prugne se sont rendus à Kaboul, Bagram et Tora pour anticiper le futur déploiement du missile antichar Javelin. La mission organisée conjointement avec la section technique de l'armée de terre (STAT) et le soutien sur place de l'attaché d'armement de l'ambassade américaine en France


En mai 2010 - Antoine Torres a eu pour mission l'adaptation réactive sur les équipements à Kaboul, Bagram, en Kapisa et en Surobi. Cette mission a été organisée conjointement avec la STAT et l’état-major de l'armée de terre (EMAT).


En mars 2010 -Norbert Fargère a assuré la mise en place du partenariat DGA / armée de terre sur les urgences opérations (UO) à Kaboul, Nijrab et Tora. Mission organisée conjointement avec la STAT et l’EMAT


En juillet 2009 -Patrick Dufour et Pascal Marchandin ont effectué le maintien en condition opérationnelle du matériel à Kaboul, Kandahar, Bagram et Tora. Mission organisée avec le soutien logistique interarmées (SLI) de l’état-major des armées (EMA).


En mars 2009 -Sylvie Gravelines s'est rendue à Kandahar pour le soutien au déploiement du Rafale.


En février 2009 -François Moysan, Jacques Doumic et Emmanuel Canton ont eu pour missions la lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés (EEI), les moyens d'ouverture d'itinéraires et les drone.


En novembre 2008 -Joël Reingewertz s'est chargé du déploiement du AASM (armement du Rafale) à Kandahar.

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30 mars 2011 3 30 /03 /mars /2011 11:30

An artist concept showing the Global Hawk RQ-4B Block 40 configured for the NATO AGS core capability. Photo: Northrop Grumman


March 29, 2011 by Tamir Eshel DEFENSE UPDATE


Northrop Grumman Corporation submitted its final proposal for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) core capability. NATO AGS system will employ an air segment consisting of six Northrop Grumman Block 40 Global Hawks specially missionized to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to ground, maritime and air commanders, anytime and anywhere in the world. These Global hawks will be equipped with Northrop Grumman’s Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, which will be capable of detecting and tracking moving objects throughout the observed areas, as well as providing radar imagery of target locations and stationary objects.


The primary ground segment component will consist of a number of ground stations in different configurations, such as mobile and transportable configurations, which will provide data link connectivity, data processing and exploitation capabilities, and interfaces for interoperability with Command, Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance(C2ISR) systems. The AGS Core ground segment will also include dedicated mission support facilities at the AGS Main Operating Bases (MOB), and ground stations for flight control of the UAVs. The Main Operating Base will be located at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. The Core system will be supplemented by interoperable national airborne stand-off ground surveillance systems from NATO countries, thus forming a system of systems.


NATO AGS program was approved by European heads of state and government as a priority capability initiative at the 2010 Lisbon Summit. In support of the new strategic concept, system will establish a network-enabled sensor system, supporting interoperability with national systems in support of all possible missions, including force protection, border and maritime security, counter- and anti-terrorism, crisis management, peacekeeping and enforcement, and natural disaster relief.


The current proposal is based on refinements introduced by the team to meet NATO requirements. “Our updated proposal offers an affordable, executable program that will provide an operationally relevant system to the Alliance,” said Pat McMahon, sector vice president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems’ Battle Management & Engagement Systems Division. Northrop Grumman is expecting contract award by July 2011.


NATO embarked on the AGS program in 1995, when the NATO Defence Ministers agreed to develop a pooled NATO asset, consisting of both manned and unmanned platforms, as well as ground control stations in various configurations. The manned platform was to be based on the Airbus A321 commercial airliner, and the unmanned platform on the Global Hawk high altitude long endurance UAV. Both the manned and unmanned platforms were to carry the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR). In November 2007, however, due to declining European defense budgets, NATO chose to move forward with a UAV-only solution based on the Global Hawk RQ-4B and the multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP). With this revision, the number of cooperating nations was reduced from 24 to 14.


NATO AGS is the first international sale of the Block 40 Global Hawk. The ground element, which provides real-time data, intelligence and target identification to commanders within and beyond line of sight, will be wholly produced by the team’s European industry partners, offering the potential for national re-use in other programs as well as direct work in the program for the participating nations. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the program, leading a team which includes companies from each of nations participating in the acquisition.


The program is managed by NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) and being implemented by the AGS Implementation Office (AGS IO) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). The agency was established in September 2009 after all participating nations signed the AGS Program Memorandum of Understanding. NAGSMA, was chartered to acquire the NATO-owned and operated core capability, and is responsible for the procurement of the NATO AGS capability until it has reached full operational capability at the NATO AGS main operating base in Italy.

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29 mars 2011 2 29 /03 /mars /2011 11:30

El camión de transporte especial lleva la vela del S-81 a Santa Lucía.

Photo JAVIER CONESA  - Source www.laopiniondemurcia.es


29 mars 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Le premier sous-marin S-80 que Navantia construit pour la marine espagnole, commence à prendre forme. Sur la coque résistance, dont la construction a été terminée en octobre dernier, sera bientôt fixé le kiosque, une structure de 6 mètres de haut et de près de 3 m de long, qui est arrivée hier au chantier naval de Carthagène. Un porte-parole de l’entreprise a expliqué que, à cause des dimensions du kiosque, l’opération de transport a été complexe. Il a d’abord été transporté sur un camion spécial depuis l’entreprise locale qui l’a construit jusqu’au port de pêche de Santa Lucía. Là, la pièce qui donne sa silhouette caractéristique au sous-marin lorsqu’il navigue en surface, a été embarquée sur une barge qui l’a transporté jusqu’au quai d’armement du chantier naval. La construction du premier des 4 sous-marins S-80 se déroule selon le calendrier établi. Depuis la fin de la construction de la coque résistante, les travaux se déroulent à l’intérieur, pendant que Bolea fabrique les superstructures extérieures. Si aucun problème ne survient d’ici là, le S-81 devrait être mis à l’eau en 2013. La technologie utilisée pour leur construction est « 100% Navantia » depuis que l’entreprise espagnole et DCNS ont dissous le consortium qui les associait pour la construction des sous-marins Scorpène. Il est actuellement prévu que le dernier exemplaire des S-80 soit terminé et livré à la marine espagnole en 2016.


Référence :  La Opinión de Murcia (Espagne)

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28 mars 2011 1 28 /03 /mars /2011 17:30
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28 mars 2011 1 28 /03 /mars /2011 12:30
Northrop Grumman Submits Final Proposal for NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance

ELBOURNE, Fla., March 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) submitted its final proposal last week for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) core capability – a trans-Atlantic cooperation that will meet the security challenges of the 21st century. "The updated proposal offers an affordable, executable program that will provide an operationally relevant system to the Alliance," said Pat McMahon, sector vice president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems' Battle Management & Engagement Systems Division. "NATO AGS will be a critical component of the Alliance's response to threats to peace now and in the future."


Based on the Block 40 configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft, the NATO AGS system will provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to ground, maritime and air commanders, anytime and anywhere in the world. A contract award is anticipated in July 2011. The NATO AGS includes an air segment consisting of six Block 40 Global Hawks that will be missionized to meet NATO requirements. They will be equipped with Northrop Grumman's Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, which will be capable of detecting and tracking moving objects throughout the observed areas as well as providing radar imagery of target locations and stationary objects. "The ground element, which provides real-time data, intelligence and target identification to commanders within and beyond line of sight, will be wholly produced by our European industry partners, offering the potential for national re-use in other programs as well as direct work in the program for the participating nations," said Matt Copija, director of Northrop Grumman's NATO AGS program. "As NATO's highest acquisition priority and Europe's highest visibility program, NATO AGS also represents the first international sale of the Block 40 Global Hawk."


Approved by heads of state and government as a priority capability initiative at the 2010 Lisbon Summit in support of the new strategic concept, the NATO AGS system will empower a network-enabled approach to support interoperability with national systems and to perform the entire range of NATO missions, including force protection, border and maritime security, counter- and anti-terrorism, crisis management, peacekeeping and enforcement, and natural disaster relief. It also includes mobile and transportable ground stations and a world-class mission operation support center at its main operating base in Sigonella, Italy. Flying up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours, the combat-proven Global Hawk has flown more than 53,000 hours thus far. The U.S. Air Force Block 30 Global Hawks continue to fly relief support missions over Japan in response to the tragic 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, and are also supporting the NATO-led coalition effort in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya.  The Global Hawk was also used for disaster relief and recovery efforts following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, Hurricane Ike on the Gulf Coast in 2009, and the California wildfires in 2007 and 2008.


As prime contractor, Northrop Grumman worked closely with the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA) and its industry team, which includes companies from each of the 14 nations participating in the acquisition, to refine the proposal to meet NATO requirements. NAGSMA, which was chartered to acquire the NATO-owned and operated core capability, is responsible for the procurement of the NATO AGS capability until it has reached full operational capability. NAGSMA was established in September 2009 after all participating nations signed the AGS Program Memorandum of Understanding.

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26 mars 2011 6 26 /03 /mars /2011 13:00
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