March 11, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Airbus Defence and Space; issued March 10, 2015)
Airbus Defence and Space has formally delivered the first of four Airbus A400M military transport ordered by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The handover also marks the first delivery of an A400M to an export customer outside the original launch nations.
The aircraft was accepted at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain on 9 March by Chief of Malaysian Defence Force General Tan Sri Dr. Zulkifeli, witnessed by Datuk Nozirah, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Finance, and Dato Dr. Rothiah, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Defence, who signed the Transfer of Title on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Chief of RMAF, General Dato' Sri Roslan Bin Saad, said: "The A400M will give the RMAF the most advanced heavy transport capability in the region and enable us to undertake an extraordinary range of military and humanitarian operations."
Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space, said: "We are extremely proud to deliver the first A400M to our first export customer - Malaysia. These aircraft will transform Malaysia's air mobility force thanks to the A400M’s unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities. Today sends a clear message that the A400M is not just a specialised aircraft designed and developed for Europe's air forces, but is truly the new reference in tactical and strategic transport market globally – fulfilling both roles in a single machine."
After arrival in Malaysia, the A400M will star in the LIMA airshow at Langkawi, 17-21 March.
March 10th, 2015 By German Radio - defencetalk.com
German Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel is facing an awkward trip. From Saturday, he will be on a four-day journey through Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar – all countries where Germany has significant business interests. Representatives from 140 German companies will be accompanying him.
Less exhilarating, however, is the fact that each of these countries is guilty of significant human rights atrocities in the name of Islamic law – including beheadings and brutal corporal punishment.
The most notorious of these is Saudi Arabia, the first stop on Gabriel’s tour. Opposition parties have been making the usual appeals to Gabriel’s conscience in advance. Katrin Göring-Eckardt, parliamentary leader of the Green party, called on the vice chancellor to use his meetings to bring up the case of Raif Badawi, the DW prize-winning blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for allegedly “insulting Islam.” She also wants Badawi to be offered asylum in Germany. The socialist Left party MP Jan van Aken echoed the call and demanded that future weapons exports be made contingent on improvements in the human rights situation.
Two days before his journey, the pressure on Gabriel was cranked up further by the release of an answer to an official Bundestag question made by the Left party. In response to the question, Gabriel’s ministry was forced to reveal exactly how many weapons exports Germany had approved over the last 12 years, and to which German arms manufacturers.
Olaf Boehnke, German foreign policy analyst at the European Council of Foreign Relations, points out that the government justifies the sales in a number of ways beyond the economic. “The political argument is that Saudi Arabia is an important cooperation partner in a region marked by a lot of insecurity and defragmentation,” he told DW. “Our interest has to be to support those who support European interests in the fight against IS.”
More precise numbers
The answer to Left party’s question shows that, since 2002, Germany has approved an average of 14 weapons exports a year – Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s 2002 – 2005 tenure saw the approval of 68 exports, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2005 – 2009 tenure 48, and her second – up to 2013 – saw 52 approvals.
The figures also showed that Saudi Arabia has been one of Germany’s best weapons customers. In the period 2009 – 2013 alone, under Merkel’s coalition government with the Free Democrats, fully 43 of 52 approvals went to Saudi Arabia – including machine guns, ammunition, and parts for tanks and armored vehicles – all ideal equipment for suppressing internal dissent.
As well as the three countries on Gabriel’s tour, Germany’s other customers in the past 12 years have included Pakistan (fighter plane parts), Indonesia (tank parts), both pre- and post-revolutionary Egypt (ammunition manufacturing equipment), Turkey (assault rifles, ammunition), pre- and post-revolutionary Libya (radar systems), Algeria (parts for surveillance systems), Israel (ammunition, weapons parts), Oman (sniper rifles, machine guns), Lebanon (machine guns, handguns), Bhutan (machine guns, grenades), and Turkmenistan (patrol boats).
While a member of the opposition, Gabriel criticized Germany’s weapons exports, but in office, he has been confronted with grubby realities dealing with business interest groups, Now, he says that the country is still caught in old contracts that it can’t get out of. “But there are various interest camps in a permanent conflict here,” said Boehnke. “In a recent speech, Gabriel said he would much prefer to pass the decision-making to the foreign ministry, because it was much better equipped to judging the human rights situation – which I expect led to a lot of laughter in the foreign ministry, because, of course ,they don’t want to either.”
The government’s weapons exports decisions are made periodically by a secret “security council,” chaired by the chancellor and attended by key ministers, like Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Flooding the Middle East with weapons
The new figures also show that fully one-third of the approved contracts went to the controversial gun-maker Heckler and Koch, named by anti-weapons campaigners as the “deadliest company in the world,” and currently under investigation by Stuttgart prosecutors for illegally exporting assault rifles to Mexico. Heckler and Koch’s machine guns are used by police forces and armies all over the world, as well as virtually every Islamist militia – from Hezbollah to “Islamic State.”
Despite this, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly been sold “manufacturing equipment” for Heckler and Koch guns over the past decade. “Whether it’s Schröder, Merkel, [former Foreign Minister Joschka] Fischer, or Steinmeier, they all personally decided to put the instruments of oppression into the hands of the unjust regime in Saudi Arabia,” van Aken told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Thanks to Germany, Saudi Arabia now has the capacity to make its own Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifles – the state-of-the-art weapon used by the Bundeswehr and other NATO forces. Given that these guns can be functional for a period of 30 to 50 years, it seems likely they will be in circulation around the Middle East conflicts for decades to come, and that Western coalition soldiers will eventually be facing “terrorist” militias armed with German weaponry.
Mar 9, 2015 ASDNews Source : Kelly Ann DeWitt, AMRDEC Public Affairs - US Army
Three Army technologies were in play at the recently conducted Army Expeditionary Warfighter Experiment, or AEWE, on Fort Benning, Georgia.
"AEWE is (Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC) live, prototype experimentation campaign," said Harry J. Lubin, chief of the experimentation branch, Maneuver Center of Excellence. This year, 66 industry and military technologies participated in AEWE.
U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, also known as AMRDEC, technologies participating in spiral "J" included the TowerHawk weapons system, Containerized Weapons System, and the Maneuver Aviation Fires Integrated Application, also known as MAFIA.
TowerHawk is a transportable, modular remote weapon system. Soldiers can employ it as an integrated capability of the Combat Outpost's Force Protection network or as a stand-alone capability, said Stephen W. Stillwell, Jr. project engineer, Engagement and Effects Tech Area, Mission Systems Focus Area, Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Aviation Development Directorate. In either configuration, TowerHawk provides surveillance, enhanced perimeter defense, and an extended range of precise lethal response.
TowerHawk combines a modular remote weapon system consisting of a highly accurate .338 Lapua Magnum semi-auto rifle equipped with a 10 or 35 round magazine, day and night optics, and a laser rangefinder/pointer, an electro-optical/infrared sensor ball.
The operator controls the system remotely using secure fiber optic communications between the weapon and the ground station enabling the system to engage man-sized targets at ranges more than 1,200 meters with a reduction in civilian casualties or collateral damage, Stillwell said.
The Containerized Weapons System, or CWS, was designed to provide enhanced lethality and bolster force protection. This "weapons system in a box" concept combines a rapidly deployable Container Express, also known as CONEX, with the Commonly Remotely Operated Weapons Station M153 system, with various levels of firepower ranging from .50 caliber to the Javelin.
CWS works to augment or replace existing guard towers, said John Dillon, a mechanical engineer with the Weapons Development Directive, Platform Integration group. CWS provides a scalable, standalone force protection or threat suppression asset. This technology has been completed and qualified through testing and demonstration and is deployed in numerous locations under the management of Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, Program Management-Close Combat Weapons Systems.
MAFIA is a collaborative software application that allows field artillery and infantry small unit leaders to create precise, category one coordinates for accurate, timely, and predictable fires support, said Michael V. Murray, government lead and training coordinator, Battlefield Operations Software Suite team, Software Engineering Directorate.
The application provides full motion video from various Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, also known as SUAS, directly to the squad level, and supports cursor on target commands. The application is fully government owned, and is hardware agnostic, allowing for future hardware migration.
Lubin said the AEWE used the technologies in three cases: a live-fire exercise and two force-on-force events with Soldiers and Marines integrating the participating technologies into each mission.
The Army Test and Evaluation Center will analyze the results of the experiments and publish a final report, followed by an "experiment to action plan" to help TRADOC discover and develop "technologies of merit," Lubin said. That plan enables TRADOC organizations and the Army's Science and Technology community to place evolving technologies into the hands of deploying Soldiers earlier and more often, he said.
The three technologies performed well, said Lubin, who was especially complimentary of MAFIA, in its third year of experimentation at AEWE.
"We have over the last few years established a really great working relationship with AMRDEC. They have been linked to everything we do," said Lubin, crediting the MAFIA team's constant contact with the Maneuver Center of Excellence. "That constant contact enables this integrated development over time. We see that partnership continuing to grow over time."
Initial feedback from the participants of AEWE was also positive on the CWS and TowerHawks systems, he said. Both provide the sought-after expeditionary aspect for further development. "With their expeditionary emphasis, we can certainly see some utility for both," Lubin said.
"This was a great opportunity to hear about strategic challenges facing the Army's continuing transition as an agile, networked, expeditionary fighting force," said AMRDEC Director James Lackey, who attended a visitor's day March 3. "The overall focus at AEWE on building a networked infrastructure was a key takeaway for me. This reinforces the importance of how all of our AMRDEC systems interface along networks. It's all about linking various levels of command and control to sensors and shooters and pushing warfighting control to the lowest practical unit."
"AMRDEC's products of MAFIA, Containerized Weapon System and TowerHawk demonstrate networked sensor to shooter warfghting value for the expeditionary fight," Lackey said. "In my talks with the Soldiers at AEWE, they provided overall complimentary opinions of these specific capabilities. Through forums like AEWE, AMRDEC retains a tuned ear to the valuable, operational voice of the user. Their inputs drive our overall purpose and direction."
Mar 10, 2015 ASDNews Source : Saab AB
Defence and security company Saab have signed a contract on further deliveries of components for the Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system.
The order has a total value of SEK 127 million and comprises components for ammunition to the Carl-Gustaf system, a modern and effective ground support weapon system. The contract also includes an option for additional orders with a total value of SEK 60 million.
Mar 10, 2015 ASDNews Source : Airbus DS
Electronic Jamming System Deactivates Detonation Signals in Real Time
Airbus Defence and Space will equip vehicles of the German Armed Forces with an electronic system for the protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The German procurement authority BAAINBw has awarded the company a contract worth several million euros to supply 36 jammers of the type VPJ-R6 (VPJ = Vehicle Protection Jammer). The systems are intended to be integrated into protected vehicles of the German Armed Forces.
The Vehicle Protection Jammer uses the ultra-fast SMART Responsive Jamming Technology developed by Airbus Defence and Space to substantially enhance protection compared to conventional systems. It detects and identifies radio signals intended to detonate roadside bombs. After detection and classification, it transmits real-time jamming signals, which precisely match the hostile frequency band, thus interrupting the connection between assassin and bomb.
Thanks to new digital receiver and signal processing technologies, the system achieves reaction times of well below a millisecond. Up to 750.000 threat signals in all common frequency bands can be detected and jammed each second. The jamming power is focused on the detonation signal’s specific frequency instead of being distributed over the whole frequency range, as is the case in conventional systems. In this way less energy is required, while the jamming effect is increased at the same time. Moreover, this also reduces the impact on friendly forces’ radio communication, which means that reliable command and control can be ensured.
March 3, 2015 By Gerard O'Dwyer - Defense News
HELSINKI — As Russia strengthens its naval, air and ground forces in its northern territories, Norway has responded by scaling-up manpower, equipment and Arctic combat units as part of a broader reinforcement of its High North defenses.
Norway's program, part of the Norwegian Defense Forces' (NDF) Smart Defense strategy, comprises a strong Arctic-focused dimension in funding and resource allocation.
The Smart Defense approach to High North military reinforcement has, since 2010, placed higher priority on Arctic-class specialized equipment procurement coupled with more intensive training for High North-deployed units. The goal is to produce combat-ready modular units that can fight independently or alongside NATO forces.
The NDF's August 2009 decision to relocate the Army's headquarters functions to the Arctic town of Bodø — 1,700 kilometers north of Oslo — bolstered Norway's commitment to establishing an integrated High North defense system. That decision led to the establishment of the Joint Operational Command Headquarters (JOCH).
This new approach is centered around more compact units equipped with the best available Arctic fighting equipment and capable of delivering greater firepower.
The JOCH is overseeing the evolution of Norway's High North defenses into a centralized command and coordinated fighting structure that will be able to call upon an Air Force equipped with F-35s, forward Army battalions deploying CV90 tracked armored fighting vehicles and high mobility Archer artillery units, and a stronger Navy operating anti-aircraft and submarine-hunting Arctic-class Fridtjof Nansen frigates and Skjold corvettes.
The scaling-up of Norway's defense capabilities in the High North is happening while the military intelligence services are urging the government to adopt a more cautious posture toward Russia's increasing militarization in the region.
Although the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) believes Norway is under no "short- to medium-term threat" from Russia, its latest open threat evaluation assessment, FOKUS-2015, advocates vigilance.
"Threat is a combination of two factors; capacity and intention," NIS chief Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen said. "Although capacity is increasing, it is difficult for the time being to see a rational reason for Russian military activity against Norway in a short- to medium-term perspective. But intentions can change over time, and it is therefore now increasingly important for Norway to follow Russia's long-term political, economic and military development."
The NIS' intel-gathering capacity will be enhanced once its new advanced signals intelligence ship, the Marjata 11, enters service in the High North and Barents Sea in 2016.
Under the Smart Defense program, Ørland, located on the mid-Norway coast, and Evenes, above Norway's Arctic Circle, will become the main operating bases for F-35 aircraft and, during more regular joint exercises, NATO aircraft and forces. Evenes also will house a Quick Reaction Alert squadron.
Ørland, Evenes and the NDF's core High North battalions will also be equipped with an updated Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system, which is being deployed primarily to protect key military installations, warfare units and infrastructure against air-to-surface attacks.
The system uses active missiles and different types of sensors, boosting firepower for the NDF's Smart Defense and High North strengthening program.
Archer, the next-generation self-propelled artillery system developed as a joint project with Sweden, also increases firepower. Norway plans to deploy 24 Archer systems complete with fully automated 155 mm/L52 howitzer guns and M151 Protector remote-controlled weapon stations. These are mounted on modified Volvo A30 six-wheel-drive chassis all-terrain articulated haulers.
The Arctic-class Archer's operational strike-and-run capacity makes it ideal in the hilly and forested terrains of the High North. Moreover, Archer can fire Nexter Bonus and Raytheon/Bofors XM982 Excalibur guided rounds over respective distances of 34 kilometers and 60 kilometers.
The NDF also is establishing a specialized Arctic-trained "professional" rapid reaction force north (RRFN), set to become fully operational in 2017. The RRFN unit's core will comprise an existing armored battalion and a motorized infantry battalion equipped with CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks
Norway's ability to defend its High North territories also received a boost from the Defense Ministry's US $1.6 billion program to re-equip its core forward armored brigade units with CV90 tracked infantry fighting vehicles, part of the NDF's biggest fighting vehicle modernization project investment.
The vehicle fleet upgrade, with delivery scheduled from BAE Systems in 2015-17, will include 74 modernized and armor-strengthened infantry fighting vehicles, 21 reconnaissance, 16 multirole (mortar carrier or cargo), 15 command and control, 16 engineering, in addition to two driver training vehicle types.
The new and updated vehicles are expected to make the NDF's forward armored battalions in the High North more mobile with improved firepower. The infantry vehicles also will have better protection against armor-piercing weapons and rounds, including improvised explosive devices.
The infantry and reconnaissance vehicles will also be equipped with better sensor systems, surveillance and communication capabilities, and fitted with integrated technologies that will extend to dismounted infantry troops. Norwegian company Kongsberg's Protector remote weapon stations are to be fitted to all IFV variants.
The need to prioritize military readiness and defense capability in the High North helped drive Norway's decision to raise spending on defense above that of any of its Nordic neighbors, said defense analyst Thorvald Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian defense minister.
"Russia is rebuilding its naval and Air Force strength, as well as its Arctic fighting capability, in the High North," Stoltenberg said. "While this is understandable from a Russian perspective, its growing level of activity regionally is causing problems and concerns among all Nordic governments and militaries. This is unfortunate, as the emphasis should be on building more, not less, bilateral cooperation with Russia on defense and security in the Arctic."
Norway's defense budget will run to $8 billion in 2015.
March 10, 2015 by navyrecognition.com
MOSCOW, -- Pictures have emerged on Russian social networks showing the first test flight of the new Ka-52K Naval Attack helicopter. Based on the Ka-52 "Alligator" the K version has been specifically modified for the Russian Navy to operate the helicopters from the Mistral class LHDs.
Intended originally to be deployed from the two Mistral class LHDs built in France, it is not clear what the Russian Navy will do if the two amphibious vessels are not delivered.
Le MRAP HIGUARD de Renault Trucks Defense pourrait-il être vendu à Singapour?
10 mars, 2015 Pierre Brassart (FOB)
La France est, depuis plus de vingt ans, un important fournisseur d’armes pour la république de Singapour. Que ce soit pour les hélicoptères (Cougar, Fennec,…), les blindés (AMX-10P), les missiles (Milan, Mistral, Aster), les frégates (classe Formidable, dérivée des La Fayette), la France est toujours présente. Et, qui sait, peut-être qu’une nouvelle vente se profile à l’horizon…
Le ministère de la défense singapourien a publié début mars un document concernant le futur de son armée, tant en ce qui concerne la marine que l’aviation ou l’armée de terre. On y parle notamment, pour le volet terrestre, du remplacement de véhicules blindés V200 dans le cadre du programme PRV (Protected Response Vehicle). Or, sur plusieurs sites internet spécialisés, ainsi que sur le site du journal singapourien Today, une photo montrant un véhicule de Renault Trucks Defense, le MRAP Higuard, est apparue.
La République de Singapour pourrait-elle être le deuxième client export pour le Higuard après le Qatar ?
10.03.2015 Le Monde.fr (AFP)
La Suède a décidé de ne pas renouveler son accord de coopération militaire signé avec l'Arabie saoudite en 2005, a annoncé mardi 10 mars le premier ministre social-démocrate, Stefan Löfven. « Il sera rompu », a déclaré M. Löfven à la radio publique SR depuis Kiev, à propos de cet accord qui était controversé au sein de la majorité de gauche en raison de la question des droits de l'homme. Cette décision survient peu après que l'Arabie saoudite a empêché la ministre des affaires étrangères suédoise, Margot Wallström, de prononcer un discours prévu lors d'une réunion de la Ligue arabe au Caire.
Suite de l’article
Boeing and Saab test their new Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb concept in Feb. 2015.(Photo Boeing)
March 10, 2015 By Aaron Mehta – Defense News
WASHINGTON — Boeing and Saab have teamed up to develop a Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) program, with three successful test launches of the new system completed last month.
The three tests, conducted at a range in Sweden, proved that the Boeing and Saab design could successfully launch a SDB weapon from the ground, sync up with GPS and guide the weapon to its target, opening up what Beth Kluba, vice president for Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems, called "all-angle, all-aspect attack."
The system essentially sticks a GBU-39B small diameter bomb, widely used by the US military and a number of international customers, on the front of a M26 rocket. The M26 is set to be demilitarized by 2018 under a set of cluster munitions treaties, meaning the GLSDB program would essentially be recycling an item that countries were planning to stockpile or scrap.
The weapon is designed to be launched out of a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), used by a number of US allies already, avoiding the need to design a new launch system. That MLRS can hold six weapons per pod, with two pods per vehicle.
Executives from the two companies are positioning the system as a low-cost product that meets a requirement gap by combining off-the-shelf products.
Video of Boeing's Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb
"These are technologies that are already in use," Kluba said. "It's off-the-shelf technology. That really drives the risk down for this new capability."
Once launched, the SDB acts as any air-launched SDB would, which means ground-based commanders now have 360-degree coverage. The weapon can do both high and low angles of attack, fly around terrain to hit targets on the back of mountains, or circle back around to attack a target behind the launch vehicle.
Range-wise, the GLSDB can hit targets 150 kilometers in front of the launcher or 70 kilometers behind it.
While declining to put a price range for the system, Kluba said it will be "very affordable" and comparable in price to anything the MLRS currently uses. She also predicted an 18- to 24-month delivery time from when a contract is signed to when the system would be fielded.
"This is not developmental, it's not PowerPoint," she said. "It' hardware, it exists, and through our investment we're able to bring this capability to the war fighter very quickly."
That investment she mentions is all internal R&D spending, something split between the two companies.
According to Kluba and Saab North America President Michael Andersson, there are ongoing discussions with a number of customers, including several who were present for the weapon tests in February. While Kluba confirmed the US Army is looking at the system, she declined to identify other customers.
Boeing actually began development of the GLSDB system in 2011, but dramatically sped up the process once Saab signed on as a partner in August.
Both executives also declined to go into details of how the investment has been split between the two companies. However, it is clear that a big part of Saab's role will be to help sell the system to nations overseas, something in line with previous Boeing teaming efforts.
"From Boeing's point of view, this was something we wanted to do and we were moving towards that goal," Kluba said. "As we conducted out various reviews, we saw an opportunity, because we have a relationship in place with Saab, and as we were looking at the market and how to be most successful in penetrating the global market, we saw an opportunity."
"We view ourselves as equal partners," Andersson said. "We're bringing different skills and capabilities to the program, and that ranges from engineering production, testing and also marketing."
Andersson added that there are 10 potential initial customers identified by the companies, adding that this is a program that could exist even if the US does not buy in.
"Looking at the international coalition partners, this is a very important capability," he said. "In the US context it may be more complimentary. Here it is a unique capability that they haven't had access too, and that's really important in terms of looking at the broader market."
Air-to-air right side view of an USAF T-38 Talon aircraft from 560th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, TX, taken from the 3rd aircraft in echelon formation as lead aircraft banks to the left.- photo USAF
10/03/2015 par Antony Angrand – Air & Cosmos
Après Northrop Grumman, c'est maintenant au tour de Lockheed de garder sous la main une alternative possible concernant le programme T-X. Northrop Grumman est reparti d'une feuille blanche en abandonnant la version du T-X autour du BAE Hawk, faisant appel à Scaled Composites pour sa nouvelle mouture. Lockheed garde en option un appareil créé de toutes pièces, en parallèle au T-50 Golden Eagle.
Suite de l’article
Mar 9, 2015 ASDNews Source : US Navy
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) successfully undocked USS Maryland (SSBN 738) Feb 21. SSBN 738 is now pier-side to finish its Engineered Refueling Overhaul (ERO), a complex, major shipyard availability at the submarine's mid-life point that enables the submarine to operate for its entire design service life. Maryland has been at NNSY since Dec. 2012.
Brussels - 10 March, 2015 European Defence Agency
The seventh issue of European Defence Matters, the magazine of the European Defence Agency, is now available.
The cover story of this latest issue is dedicated to defence research & technology in Europe. We gathered views and opinions from a number of experts in the field, ranging from Philippe Brunet, Director of Aerospace, Maritime, Security and Defence Industries within the European Commission’s Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, to Denis Roger, EDA European Synergies & Innovation Director, and Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation CEO and Chairman of the Defence Business Unit of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). They provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the upcoming Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research, which could prove to be a real game-changer for European defence.
Also in this issue, we report on a selection of programmes in the field of air-to-air refuelling, maritime surveillance, non-lethal capabilities or renewable energy. We also explain the latest revision of the Agency’s Capability Development Plan with EDA experts.
Meanwhile, Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Vējonis has kindly accepted to share his views on European defence issues in this latest edition of our magazine. Here he discusses topics of interest for Latvia, who is assuming the EU presidency for the first half of 2015. Vice-Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, Director of the Defence Material Organisation in the Netherlands, also sat down with European Defence Matters in order to review some of the Dutch priorities in the field of defence acquisition and cooperation.
March 8, 2015 By Pierre Tran – Defense News
PARIS — Industry is expecting France to soon launch a tender worth an estimated total €250 million for two types of vehicles for its special operations forces, sources close to the deal said.
The procurement reflects a need for a speedy equipping of the special forces, which have been widely engaged in foreign missions and have worn out the Panhard Véhicule de Patrouille Spéciale.
"The special forces can't wait," said a source who declined to be identified.
The tender comprises two orders, one worth €100 million and the other €150 million, a second source said.
Two sources said such a deal would be expensive for a relatively small order. But a company that wins the bid could promote itself in the market as supplier to the elite French special forces.
The Defense Ministry will hold a tender to choose a vehicle and develop it to meet special forces requirements, procurement chief Laurent Collet-Billon told journalists on Feb. 9.
No off-the-shelf vehicle meets the specifications, which calls for two years of development, he said. The development will adapt the vehicle, which will then undergo a certification to show the weapons and radio will be fit for use, he said.
Special forces command, the chief of the armed forces and the Direction Générale de l'Armement procurement office will conduct the acquisition.
"I hope a solution can be found that meets the urgent needs of the operational forces and the realities of the procurement procedure," French senator Jacques Gautier said.
Gautier, Daniel Reiner and Gérard Larcher co-wrote a Senate report on the special forces published in May. An off-the-shelf acquisition of heavy and light vehicles was planned under the multiyear budget law, the report said.
The special forces command has highly specific requirements, which makes it hard to find a vehicle already on the market, the sources said. Sources said the vehicle likely will be of French, not foreign, manufacture.
One of the specifications is that two of the vehicles can be loaded on the C-130 Hercules transport.
Renault Trucks Defense (RTD), part of the Volvo group, has filed papers to qualify for the tender, which is expected to be launched soon, an industry executive said.
RTD is pitching its four-wheel drive Sherpa Light, which was on display last year at the Eurosatory trade show and at the special operations forces innovation network seminar (SOFINS) the year before.
RTD declined comment.
The SOFINS website refers to "the must-go biennial event for collaboration between the Special Forces community and French industrialists."
RTD had fitted a naval version of a pintle-mounted Nexter 20mm gun on the Sherpa Light displayed at SOFINS two years ago. A second special forces show is due to be held April 14-16 at the Souge army base, near Bordeaux, southwest France.
The special forces drew on lessons learned in the Mali campaign, when insurgents drove pick-ups armed with a Russian 14.5mm gun, which has a range of 1.2 kilometers, greater than that of the 12.7mm, or .50-inch, NATO standard weapon.
Under the public markets law, the Defense Ministry must hold a tender for off-the-shelf acquisition, yet a certification is not always needed. For example, the AWACS and Hawkeye did not need French certification as the spy planes had already been certified by the US authorities.
The special forces also have a requirement for a heavy vehicle in the 10-ton category to replace a current fleet of 212 units.
A second major equipment project for the special forces is an upgrade of avionics and further tactical capabilities on the C-130. The avionics must conform with rules that go into effect from 2020 and set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
A People's Liberation Army Navy official has confirmed for the first time that China is building its second aircraft carrier, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
Ding Haichun, a deputy political commissar of the PLA Navy, acknowledged during an interview with Hong Kong media on March 8 that China's second aircraft carrier is currently under construction and will be more advanced than the country's first carrier, the Liaoning, which was retrofitted from the Soviet-era carrier Varyag and commissioned in September 2012.
Once the industrial manufacturing department has completed construction, the carrier will be handed over to the PLA Navy to commence training, Ding said.
Naval power and electrical engineering specialist Ma Weiming added that China's catapult launch technology has absolutely no problems and can compete with that of the United States.
When questioned by reporters, former PLA Navy political commissar Liu Xiaojiang refused to confirm media speculation that the second aircraft carrier would commcence sea trials as early as this year, noting that the manufacturing process and schedule is highly complex.
Liu admitted he is uncertain just how many aircraft carriers the country intends to build. While some have claimed as many as six carriers are needed to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and interests abroad, Liu said the answer will ultimately lie in how much research and development funding is available.
9 March 2015 naval-technology.com
The US Marine Corps (USMC) Programme Executive Office - Land Systems has exercised options under a contract awarded to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to support its assault amphibious vehicle (AAV) upgrade programme.
As part of the prime contract signed in May last year, SAIC is responsible for engineering, designing and test upgrading of ten prototypes and 52 low-rate initial production (LRIP) vehicles.
The initial $16m, multiple award included options for prototype vehicle builds and trials, followed by a LRIP.
SAIC Navy and Marine Corps Customer Group senior vice-president and general manager Tom Watson said: "This significant win demonstrates SAIC's ingenuity to meet the demands of our customers and to serve the mission interests of the USMC.
"SAIC is honoured to have the opportunity to support the USMC on this highly important programme to ensure the safety and amphibious mission success of our nation's marines."
The contract value has increased to $69m and, if all options are exercised, will rise to approximately $194m over five years.
Work includes armour and engine rebuilds to enhance horsepower and torque, replacement of ageing transmission, modernisation of suspension components and new water jets and blast-resistant seats, as well as upgrades to vehicle control, instrumentation and driver interface systems.
SAIC will carry out upgrade works primarily at its facility in Charleston, South Carolina, US.
AAVs are capable of attacking any shoreline from the well decks of navy assault ships and can carry marines and cargo through hostile environments.
March 9, 2015 by Beth Stevenson - FG
Testing of the pan-European Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator is due to move to Italy following the completion of French testing of the aircraft.
Following 100 test flights by Dassault Aviation in France, during which the sensor, datalink and stealth characteristics of the demonstrator were tested, responsibility for the six-nation Neuron aircraft will be transferred to Alenia Aermacchi ahead of a follow-up test phase by Saab in Sweden. All French tests were authorised by DGA, Paris’s defence procurement agency, and demonstrated “exemplary” availability and reliability throughout, Dassault says. The first phase of tests involved the opening of Neuron’s flight envelope – including opening the weapon bay door – as well as electro-optical sensor and datalink performance validation. During a second phase, “most flights were dedicated to infrared and electromagnetic signature/detection confrontations against operational systems”, Dassault says, adding that all “produced all the expected results”.
March 09, 2015 by Paul G. – Think Defence
It’s no secret that the A2 has had a hard few years, with prolonged use in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also ironic that after many modifications it is now a respected weapon, but one without any real chance of newer versions coming into service due to a lack of the tooling required. The A1/A2 are what I would class as 1st generation bullpups: that is, rifles that have made it into mass production and have been accepted into service. Other examples include the Steyr Aug and the FAMAS.
Rolls-Royce's MT30 engine powers the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, above, and Type 26 frigate of the British Royal Navy and the US Navy's Freedom-class littoral combat ship and DDG-1000.(Photo: Royal Navy)
March 2, 2015 By Tom Kington – Defense News
ROME — UK-based Rolls-Royce has confirmed it will compete to supply propulsion for Italy's new €5.4 billion (US $6.13 billion) naval shipbuilding program, and has opened the bidding by promising to beat US rival General Electric on life-cycle costs.
In a briefing in Rome, David Kemp, Rolls-Royce vice president for naval sales, said the company was committed to winning contracts on the program, which he called "arguably the most important naval program in the world today."
As a large number of vessels reach obsolescence, the Italian Navy has secured the funding to build a new logistics ship, a landing helicopter dock (LHD) and at least six multifunctional ships, known by their Italian acronym PPA, which have been designed in-house by the Navy to handle civil and naval missions.
GE has offered its LM2500, or a variant thereof, for the PPA vessels, and managers have said they will seek to offer synergies since Italy's FREMM frigates and other vessels use the engine. Choosing GE, the managers have said, will benefit maintenance centers the firm already operates in Italy.
Taking a different approach, Rolls-Royce argues that if Italy selects its MT30, it will need to think a lot less about maintenance.
"The MT30 will need no major overhaul in 30 years," said Rolls-Royce's Italy CEO , Giuseppe Ciongoli. "I don't think anyone else has this capability. GE has facilities and has to defend jobs. We want to introduce a new concept which will diminish the need for maintenance for the benefit of the Navy."
Ciongoli said Rolls would look to offer jobs to Italy on the production of "packaging" for the engines — meaning the connections linking them to the ship. He said Rolls-Royce was forging a partnership with an Italian company to work on packaging for Italian vessels as well as for the British Navy Type 26 frigates that use the MT30.
Rolls will also offer MTU 8000 diesels to power the PPAs at lower speeds. MTU, which Rolls-Royce purchased in 2014, turns over €73 million a year through its activity in Italy.
The firm will offer its mission bay handling system for the PPAs, as used on the Type 26 vessels, to assist in the moving of the ship's containers and ribs. For the logistic ship it will offer a new refueling system, funded in development by the UK Ministry of Defence, which does away with hydraulic fluids, relying on electric power.
The MT30 — which is used by the US Navy's Freedom-class littoral combat ships, the US DDG-1000s, the new UK carriers and Type 26 frigates — is rated up to 40 MW at 38 degrees Celsius, which would qualify it for use on the Italian LHD as well as the PPAs, said Ciongoli.
GE is set to offer its LM6000 for the LHD.
"We are the only supplier that can offer the same solution for the PPA and LHD," Ciongoli said.
If the MT30 offered power in abundance on the PPAs, it would "allow the ship to grow," he said.
Ciongoli said things had changed since Rolls-Royce was beaten in a close race by GE to supply propulsion to the Italo-French FREMM frigates a decade ago.
"Maybe our weak point was that the MT30 was not in service — it was certified but not operational. We were also less present in Italy. Now we order products worth £300 million a year from Italy and have a turnover of €140 million here," he said.
While the Italian program may be the biggest around right now, the number of PPA vessels that will be purchased is still unclear. Members of parliament have talked of the number rising from six to 10, but a naval source said it was likely to stay closer to six.
The reason for the uncertainty is a switch in the way the program is to be funded. Originally, the €5.4 billion funding package was to be released over a number of years and be used to pay back bank loans worth €3.829 billion obtained up front to build the vessels, as well as just under €1.6 billion to cover the interest on the loans.
That changed when parliament decided the funds were available now and loans were unnecessary, meaning the €1.6 billion in interest was suddenly freed up to buy more ships.
But a naval source said that if the money became available, planners were now thinking more about upgrades and stretching logistic support deals to 10 years on existing ships, albeit adding one option for an extra PPA.
Planners originally thought of ordering five "light"-version PPAs and one full combat version. If more funds were available, the source said, the light versions would all get 76mm cannons to accompany their 127mm cannons, just like the full combat version, and some would get a SAAM extended self-defense missile defense system like the full combat version.
The light versions would still lack the full undersea warfare and electronic warfare suites offered by the full combat vessel, but thanks to the modular approach used in the design, all light-version ships could easily be upgraded to full combat version if required, the source said.
All plans for upgrades are still conditional on ministerial funding decrees that have yet to be signed. "For this reason, contracts have not yet been signed," he added.
March 9, 2015 Defense News
Now that Paris has shelved plans to deliver two helicopter assault ships to Russia, Moscow is working overtime to convince India to dump plans to buy French fighters and instead buy a new Sukhoi jet.
In 2012, New Delhi tapped Dassault's Rafale as its next fighter, with plans to acquire 126 of the twin-engine jets for $12 billion. At the time, Indian officials said the French jet would help them reduce their reliance on Russian equipment (India also flies French Mirage 2000 jets as part of a longstanding policy to avoid exclusive dependence on Moscow for military hardware).
By choosing Rafale, India also gains access to cutting-edge technology to advance its aerospace and defense industries.
But talks have stalled over price and who would bear responsibility for Rafales license-produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Russia is irked that its once-close ally has invested tens of billions of dollars on American transports, helicopters and maritime patrol planes and now is about to buy French jets.
At the recent IDEX trade show in Abu Dhabi, Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov announced that Russia and India had inked a deal to co-develop a new version of Sukhoi's Su-35. Indian officials, however, say Russia has pitched the jet, but have not yet agreed to move forward on the project.
The Su-35 is a formidable aircraft and an improvement over India's Su-30s, but the Rafale is superior as a system, with greater mission capability and reliability. And its technology is more likely to serve as a foundation for a more competitive Indian defense and aerospace industry.
The entire rationale behind the Rafale deal wasn't to get the least expensive fighter to meet India's needs, but the aircraft that would best satisfy the nation's long-range military needs as well as its industrial interests.
Le fabricant d'armes, qui ambitionne d'équiper l'armée française, est une légende de l'industrie lombarde depuis quinze générations.
«Une victoire en France constituerait une excellente référence pour notre maison. Elle s'inscrirait dans la continuité de notre relation de confiance avec la France. Et ce marché nous permettrait de développer Humbert, notre filiale française», déclare Pietro Beretta, PDG du groupe éponyme, au Figaro. Beretta travaille notamment pour la gendarmerie française. Et 20.000 Famas sont équipés de canons made in Italy.
Suite de l’article
9 mars 2015. Portail des Sous-Marins
Le gouvernement indien a retenu 2 chantiers navals — Larsen & Toubro (L&T) et Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company — pour l’attribution d’un contrat de construction de 6 sous-marins classiques dans le cadre de son projet 75i.
Selon des sources haut-placées, un comité de haut-niveau présidé par le vice-amiral Subhedar, a inspecté à la fois des chantiers navals privés et publics en vue de sélectionner les chantiers pouvant postuler à l’attribution du contrat. Dans sa présentation au ministère de la défense la semaine dernière, le comité a retenu les 2 chantiers navals du secteur privé : le chantier Katupalli de L&T et Pipavav.
Le contrat sera du type “achat et construction en Inde”. Cela implique que le ou les chantiers devront conclure des accords avec des sociétés étrangères.
Le chantier Pipavav a déjà conclu de tels accords, avec DCNS par exemple. L’objectif du chantier est de se diversifier sur le marché des sous-marins. Il a aussi la capacité de construire plusieurs sous-marins en même temps.
Le Projet 75i prévoit la construction de 6 sous-marins classiques à propulsion anaérobie. La livraison doit intervenir en 2022.
Référence : Financial Express (Inde)
Fabrice Brégier, Président et directeur exécutif d’Airbus, lors de la présentation du Bizlab. photo Airbus SAS
09/03/2015 Par Laurence Boffet - france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr
Accélérer la mise sur le marché des idées innovantes, c'est l'objectif du Bizlab présenté ce lundi par Airbus à Toulouse. Cette structure qui réunira des start'ups et des entrepreneurs et des salariés d'Airbus se veut un accélérateur mondial de business pour l’industrie aéronautique et spatiale.
Un laboratoire de l'innovation
Innover pour mieux faire face à l'intensification de la concurrence dans l'industrie aéronautique et spatiale, c'est l'objectif de l'avionneur européen. Pour Fabrice Brégier, son président et directeur exécutif, "les idées nouvelles et l’innovation sont essentielles au maintien du leadership d’Airbus dans le secteur aéronautique. Le défi consiste à accélérer le processus de transformation des idées les plus prometteuses en projets concrets".
Suite de l’article
TEWKSBURY, Mass., March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire
Polish defense industry successfully demonstrates advanced engineering capabilities
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and TELDAT successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase of their current contract to co-develop and co-produce advanced militarized routers for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense system. This milestone validates the capability of the TELDAT design to meet all Patriot system requirements and enables the company to transition into the manufacturing and design qualification phase of the program.
"It is with great satisfaction that we successfully completed the first batch of military and modern routers for Next Generation Patriot, on schedule and while adhering to the highest quality technology standards. This is an important stage in our cooperation with Raytheon and proves that TELDAT is a reliable business partner and a global leader in development and production of military IT solutions," said Henryk Kruszynski, Ph.D., CEO of TELDAT Company. "The milestone allows us to start the next stages of our close partnership with Raytheon, which will surely bring more tangible benefits for both companies and further strengthen the Polish-American cooperation."
"TELDAT has demonstrated exemplary technical capabilities in support of this key initiative," said Daniel J Crowley, President, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. "When we contracted with TELDAT, we envisioned a long-term partnership beyond just WISLA. By producing this militarized router, TELDAT will have access to an export market among established users worldwide – an opportunity unique to our global Patriot customers."
Polish industry will have major involvement in the co-development (design, engineering, software) of the Next Generation Patriot system, including co-production of a large portion of this future capability. To date, Raytheon has signed seven contract awards and 28 initial teaming agreements (LOIs), which are all focused on bringing work share to Polish industry from the WISLA program and beyond. Raytheon is already exploring partnerships beyond air and missile defense to include naval modernization, cyber, smart munitions, sensors, and other missiles (air to air, air to ground).
TELDAT is a Polish business entity that has existed in the defense market for about 20 years. It has the broad expertise, capabilities, and comprehensive solutions, which are widely sought in Poland and abroad. The company specializes in design and manufacturing of innovative, specialized IT solutions, dedicated especially for security and national defense. Its products and provided services have been successfully used and tested in the following situations: (1) Polish troops and institutions, and on the major international peace and stabilization theaters of operation; (2) Subsequent editions of the biggest international military exercises (eg. Combined Endeavor, NATO CWID, NATO and the Bold Quest CWIX) in particular command and communications; (3) NATO, US and European research laboratories; (4) International worldwide projects and programs (e.g. the Multilateral interoperability Program where TELDAT and its solutions are the only Polish and a few that have passed the highest tests). For more about TELDAT visit www.teldat.com.pl.
Raytheon Company, with 2014 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 93 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter at @Raytheon.