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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:40
Ukraine agrees on supply of French drones and electronic warfare equipment


27.02.2015 unian.info


A Ukrainian delegation signed an agreement on deliveries of French drones and electronic warfare equipment at one of the world's largest arms exhibitions - IDEX-2015 in the United Arab Emirates, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleh Hladkovskiy said at a briefing on Friday.


According to Hladkovskiy, an agreement was signed with the French company Thales for the supply of drones and electronic warfare equipment, a correspondent of Ukrainian online newspaper RBK-Ukraine reports.


In addition, Hladkovskiy said that Ukraine had signed agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars with a large number of weapons importing and exporting countries.


For instance, the Ukrainian manufacturing company Motor-Sich signed an agreement with the South African company to modernize helicopters, he said.


As UNIAN reported earlier, Hladkovskiy said that Ukraine has already obtained supplies of lethal weapons from abroad.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:35
India to purchase Japanese amphibious rescue aircraft

A US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft participates in a rescue drill in the sea off Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Jan. 7. photo The Japan News


Friday, Feb 27, 2015 Asia News Network


NEW DELHI - India's defence ministry intends to purchase the Maritime Self-Defence Force's US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft from Japan, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. According to the ministry's sources, the ministry is expected to decide on the purchase officially at a meeting of a committee on defence procurement on Saturday at the earliest.


If this export will be realised, this will be the first full-scale export based on the new three principles on transferring defence equipment, which the Cabinet approved last April.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:20
Oshkosh Defense, EOS, and Orbital ATK Demo Live Fire Capabilities


Feb 18, 2015 ASDNews Source : Oshkosh Corporation


Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, recently collaborated with EOS and Orbital ATK for a live fire demonstration at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The Oshkosh® MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Standard Base (SXB) was outfitted with an EOS R-400 fire control system integrated with Orbital ATK’s M230LF 30mm lightweight automatic chain gun to demonstrate the viability and lethal effectiveness of a medium caliber weapon system equipped M-ATV.

The combat-proven Oshkosh M-ATV is designed to accommodate a wide variety of weapon systems. Its exceptional off-road mobility and integrated protection provide capabilities for the most challenging operations. This live fire demonstration showcased improved accuracy in mobile engagements and integrated improved lethality on the M-ATV using a multi-role, multi-target automatic gun combined with a 3-axis stabilized Remote Weapon Station (RWS). Advanced performance data was captured from both the vehicle and the weapon system during the demonstration that included weapon and ammunition data, range and ambient environment, and vehicle attitude and dynamics.


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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:20
Unmanned aerial vehicles. Photo US Navy

Unmanned aerial vehicles. Photo US Navy


20 February 2015 aerospace-technology.com


US-based Battelle has tested a new ice protection system for unmanned aerial vehicles.


Called HeatCoat, the technology is tested on wing and engine inlet test articles, which are placed into an aero-icing tunnel with temperatures as low as -22°F and air speeds of up to 182kts.


The tunnel is designed to imitate icing conditions encountered during flight.


Ice protection technology incorporates a carbon nanotube coating, which can be sprayed onto an aircraft surface, creating a heated area.


The heater performance is monitored by a controller that applies appropriate power levels for flight conditions.


The four-day test demonstrated HeatCoat's ability to perform anti-icing and de-icing functions, and paves the way for flight demonstration phase of carbon nanotube coating, Battelle said.


Battelle HeatCoat Systems product manager Ron Gorenflo said: "Our recent tests validated improvements we've made and prove that we are ready to go from a technology readiness level (TRL) 6 on to a TRL 7 once we identify a key partner to help complete the next step of this process."


The new process is claimed to be lighter than traditional ice protection systems, operate on less power, and can be retrofitted to existing assets.


Battelle said its product is radically different from traditional ice protection systems, including bleed air, pneumatic boots or weeping wings.


In 2010, Battelle scientists completed initial feasibility tests of the coating in an icing tunnel in compliance with the FAA regulations, and found the technology could provide a durable, lightweight ice protection solution for aerial platform.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:20
Palomar Display Products Awarded a $28.6M Contract From US Army


Feb 19, 2015 ASDNews Source : Palomar Display Products, Inc.


Palomar Display Products, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a $28.6M firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to produce Biocular Image Control Unit (BICU) displays for M1A2 Abrams tanks. This award by the US Army Contracting Command also includes associated spares, repairs and engineering services.

These high resolution, optically coupled BICU displays have been designed and qualified for the M1A2 Abrams tank and will be delivered to the US Army over a period of five years, through 2020.


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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 13:51
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense


27/02/2015 Michel Cabirol, à Munich – LaTribune.fr


Le président exécutif d'Airbus Group Tom Enders estime que le groupe pourrait livrer 16 A400M en 2015. En revanche, il n'a pas été en mesure de dévoiler un nouveau calendrier de livraisons.


Mais que fait Airbus Group avec l'A400M? Lors de la présentation des résultats du groupe aéronautique et de défense, le président exécutif d'Airbus Group Tom Enders n'a pas été en mesure de dévoiler le nouveau calendrier de livraisons de l'avion de transport de troupes européen A400M. Pourtant, certains dirigeants de la division d'Airbus Defence and Space estimaient en janvier que Tom Enders pourrait dévoiler le nouveau calendrier de livraisons fin février lors de la présentation des résultats du groupe de 2014.


Mais Tom Enders a simplement précisé que le groupe avait livré huit appareils en 2014 et il "pense" que Airbus Defence and Space "pourrait doubler les livraisons en 2015". Il a souligné que son groupe restait mobilisé "pour faire face aux différents défis opérationnels, notamment la montée en cadence et les coûts de l'A350 et de l'A400M". "Le planning des améliorations militaires progressives et des livraisons associées est actuellement en cours de négociation avec les clients, pour refléter la situation du programme et le calendrier des livraisons révisés", a seulement indiqué le groupe.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:50
CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) - photo BAE Systems

CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) - photo BAE Systems


26.02.2015 BAE Systems - army-guide.com


BAE Systems has handed over the first CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in serial production to the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (FLO) on time and on budget.


A roll-out ceremony was held yesterday in Moelv, Norway, at the facilities of BAE Systems Hägglunds’ business partner CHSnor AS. More than 200 guests attended, representing FLO and the Norwegian Armed Forces, as well as BAE Systems Hägglunds and its Norwegian industrial partners.


BAE Systems Hägglunds’ contract, signed in 2012, includes the upgrade of the Norwegian Army’s existing fleet of 103 CV9030s and 41 new-build vehicles, giving the Army a total of 144 state-of-the-art CV90s in varying configurations. They will all include enhanced capabilities for future battlefield and conflict scenarios, such as in the areas of protection, survivability, situational awareness, intelligence, and interoperability.


“I’m really pleased that we are able to reach this key milestone,” said Colonel Ragnar Wennevik, Norwegian Army CV90 project leader. “BAE Systems Hägglunds is an impressive supplier, and with the new CV90, we are buying the world’s most advanced armored combat vehicle family. Already proven in combat, we are now taking it to the next generation with state-of-the-art survivability, lethality, digitalization, and mobility.”


This program is a key element of the modernization of the Norwegian Army, providing them with the next-generation CV90, one of the world’s most advanced IFV and a low-risk proven solution. The Norwegian Army will incorporate five different configurations of the CV90 from 2015 onwards: 74 infantry fighting, 21 reconnaissance, 15 command, 16 engineering, and 16 multi-role and tow driver training vehicles. The multi-role vehicles can fulfill different functions, including mortar carrier and logistics roles.


In 2014, BAE Systems rolled out three variants of the Norwegian vehicles in Sweden, which were subsequently handed over to Norwegian industry for completion, as part of in-country partnerships.


Both the Norwegian customer and BAE Systems Hägglunds have been extremely focused on meeting every milestone in the contract from the outset. This focus has ensured that the two parties have developed a strong relationship based on mutual respect and openness, which has ensured project success.


BAE Systems Hägglunds is working closely with Norwegian industry in a comprehensive industrial cooperation contract, which is part of the main vehicle contract. Companies such as Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Nammo Raufoss AS, CHSnor AS, Moelv, and Ritek AS Levanger are key parties to the contract. The turret upgrade work, for example, takes place at CHSnor AS, and yesterday’s handover was the first in a series of vehicle deliveries from CHSnor AS and Ritek through 2018.


“The Norwegian industrial cooperation is extensive and important to us, especially when industrial cooperation is one of the major factors for international success,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director for BAE Systems Hägglunds. “We want to thank all industry partners for their commitment and dedication, and also our professional and supportive customer.”

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:50
Sentinel-2A completed various tests at IABG's test facilities. Photo ESA-S Corvaja, 2015.

Sentinel-2A completed various tests at IABG's test facilities. Photo ESA-S Corvaja, 2015.



25 February 2015 aerospace-technology.com


The European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-2A earth observation satellite has completed testing and is preparing for launch on 12 June aboard a Vega rocket from Kourou space centre in French Guiana.


The satellite completed various mechanical tests at IABG's test facilities in Germany, including vibration, shock testing and acoustic tests. Its mass characteristics were also evaluated.


Sentinel-2A has also undergone space simulation tests in a thermal vacuum facility and other tests to determine its electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).


The satellite will be shipped to the European spaceport in April.


Built by Airbus Defence and Space, the Sentinel-2A is part of Sentinel-2 system, and is said to deliver high-resolution, multi-spectral earth observation data using 13 spectral bands with a resolution of 10m, 20m or 60m, and a swath width of 290km.

"Sentinel satellites provide remote sensing data of the earth for key operational services associated with environment and security."


Accumulated data will assist in studying land use, soil sealing, land management, agriculture, forestry, natural disasters and humanitarian aid missions.


The Sentinel-2 system is part of the European Commission-led Copernicus programme, designed to establish multi-level operational earth observation capability for Europe.


Sentinel satellites provide remote sensing data of the earth for key operational services associated with environment and security.


Other member of the Sentinel-2 system, Sentinel-2B is scheduled for launch in mid-2016. The Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B satellites will be designed to capture images of the entire land surface on earth in less than five days.


Airbus Defence and Space was selected as the prime contractor for five of seven Sentinel missions.


The company carries out system design, platform and satellite integration and testing at its German site, develops multispectral instruments in France, and produces mechanical satellite structure, power, energy management and high-speed data acquisition units in Spain.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:20
U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Company C, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Company C, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division


19.02.2015 General Dynamics - army-guide.com


The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems $49.7 million under an existing contract to upgrade M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 Systems Enhancement Package (SEP) V2 configuration. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics.


The most technologically advanced digital tank, the M1A2 SEP V2 includes improved color displays, day and night thermal sights, commander remote operated weapon station (CROWS II), a Thermal Management System (TMS) and a tank-infantry phone. The M1A2 SEP V2 maximizes the fighting ability of the tank on today's battlefield while preparing the platform for tomorrow's challenges.


The original multi-year contract was awarded in February 2008, which authorized the upgrade of 435 M1A1 tanks that have been in the Army's inventory for more than 20 years. General Dynamics is continuing the conversion of the tanks in the Army's active component to the M1A2 SEP V2 configuration.


Production will be performed by existing employees in Anniston, Ala.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Lima, Ohio; and Scranton, Pa., and is expected to be completed by January 2017.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 12:20
Aeros commences production of 40E ‘Sky Dragon’ airship

Work on the 40E Sky Dragon airship is expected to be completed later this year and the vehicle will enter service after FAA type certification. Photo Worldwide Aeros Corp.


23 February 2015 aerospace-technology.com


Lighter-than-air aircraft manufacturer Worldwide Aeros (Aeros) has commenced production of its latest airship, 40E 'Sky Dragon', at its engineering and production complex in Montebello, California, US.


The fabrication and vehicle assembly comes after the company completed critical design review (CDR) of the airship.


The company is currently working on supporting structure for the vertical and horizontal stabilisers, and will soon perform envelope and gondola fabrication activities.


Work on the 40E 'Sky Dragon' airship is expected to be completed later this year, and the vehicle will enter service after type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

"The company is currently working on supporting structure for the vertical and horizontal stabilisers, and will soon perform envelope and gondola fabrication activities."


Aeros engineering director Tim Kenny said: "During the recent CDR Aeros' technical experts from engineering, production and quality control found that the aircraft design was sound, met desired safety levels and demonstrated new system integration successfully, and I'm excited to see the aircraft quickly taking shape."


The 40E is the third-generation of Aeros' family of 'Sky Dragon' airships, and follows the 40B and 40D versions designed for multi-role mission capabilities and surveillance / reconnaissance support.


Built on strengths of the 40D 'Sky Dragon,' the 40E is said to incorporate operational enhancements, including flexible payload integration for radar, EO / IR and communications equipment with useful payload, vectored propulsion and control, onboard data workstations, and enhanced landing gear design.


Other design enhancements include added levels of safety, pilot empowerment, and crew and passenger comfort.


Powered by Lycoming AEIO-320-D engine, the 40E is a single-pilot aircraft with twin engine / vectored propulsion, and can fly up to 510km at maximum speed of 54kts.


Aeros' product portfolio includes advanced airships, tethered aerostats and the Aeroscraft cargo airship.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:55
Daher se réorganise pour devenir un acteur mondial


26/02/2015 Par Véronique Guillermard – LeFigaro.fr


Le groupe, présent dans l'aéronautique et le nucléaire, veut doubler de taille.


C'est à une révolution en douceur, mais à une révolution tout de même, que se soumet le groupe familial Daher. Pour la première fois de son histoire, commencée en 1863 dans le négoce et le transport maritime, le groupe, qui fait partie des grands équipementiers de l'aéronautique et du nucléaire, sera dirigé par un patron n'appartenant pas à la dynastie familiale. À 65 ans, le PDG, Patrick Daher, a décidé de faire évoluer la gouvernance afin de confier la direction opérationnelle de cette belle ETI française de 1 milliard d'euros à Didier Kayat, son bras droit et homme de confiance, entré dans le groupe en 2007. Celui-ci a été nommé directeur général délégué et «a vocation à devenir le directeur général de Daher avant la fin de 2017. Dans l'intervalle, il devra construire le budget 2016 et organiser son équipe», précise Patrick Daher, qui conservera le poste de président non exécutif. «Cette décision a été prise en accord avec le holding patrimonial de Daher et son actionnaire Bpifrance», précise le PDG.

Après plusieurs années à bâtir, consolider et tester la robustesse de son «business model», l'ETI veut accélérer. Signal visible de cette volonté, l'ensemble des sociétés du groupe adopte la marque de la maison mère, Daher, tout en conservant leurs marques commerciales. «Daher veut devenir un équipementier de premier rang qui soit un acteur majeur et un référent dans le monde aéronautique et les technologies avancées, dont le nucléaire», résume Didier Kayat. Il s'agit d'être à la pointe de ce que les économistes appellent la «3e révolution industrielle» ou le basculement de l'industrie dans l'ère du 3.0. Cela, grâce aux travaux déjà engagés par le groupe sur l'«usine intelligente» qui consacre la convergence de l'industrie et des services, la maîtrise des données (big data) au sein d'une usine déployée à l'échelle mondiale ainsi que la coopération entre l'employé humain et les robots collaboratifs ou «cobots».


Plan de transformation

L'entreprise s'appuiera sur son ADN: «Daher est une société de services qui a appris l'industrie puis a introduit les méthodes et process industriels dans les services», développe Patrick Daher. Cela, dans deux métiers complexes technologiquement et à cycle long. «Notre objectif est de passer du statut d'ETI à celui de grande entreprise. Nous voulons devenir un grand équipementier mondial», insiste Patrick Daher, qui devra mettre en œuvre un plan de transformation afin que le groupe double de taille entre 2017 et 2025, qu'il diversifie ses recrutements et qu'il s'internationalise, avec, en première intention, les États-Unis, où il est peu présent. Daher continuera à réaliser des acquisitions. Et «si une opération structurante qui transforme la société se présente, la famille regardera. Mais dans tous les cas, nous voulons garder le contrôle familial et opérationnel», précise Patrick Daher.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:35
HAL's Light Utility Copter - photo Livefist

HAL's Light Utility Copter - photo Livefist


February 19, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


HAL's Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), under development to meet a requirement of at least 187 light reconnaissance and utility rotorcraft for the Indian Air Force and Indian Army is all set for its first flight in August. An internal target of July has been set for the sole current prototype at HAL's Helicopter Division to lift off in July, though sources confirm that August is likely to be when it will happen. The LUH prototype (two more will be built for the flight test programme) has been in a routine of ground testing for weeks now. The LUH mock-up on display at Aero India this year is in Indian Army colours, and has been a source of interest for quite a few foreign delegations at the show this year. Quick news points:


  • The first LUH prototype will fly in August, officially kickstarting flight test.

  • HAL aims for final operational clearance in 2017, and begin deliveries to the Indian Army and IAF by the end of that year. 

  • The LUH sports a new jointed foldable rotor system (see photo), designed and built in-house

  • to meet the Indian Navy's deck requirements. Significantly, the rotor will be made available on future Dhruv ALH constructions and re-offered to the Indian Navy.

  • For a proposed naval version, HAL says it will offer a wheeled version of the LUH.

  • The LUH cockpit is almost entirely an Indian glass cockpit, with components and systems sources completely from the Indian private sector, and mission computer software modified from the Dhruv's.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:35
The MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée at Aero India 2015 photo StratPost

The MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée at Aero India 2015 photo StratPost


February 26, 2015 Saurabh Joshi – Stratpost.com


The four-km range MMP, which stands for Missile Moyenne Portée, or Medium Range Missile, is a new development for the French Army and has only been test-fired for the first time, earlier this month.


French arms company MBDA has offered it’s new MMP fifth generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) as a base platform for co-development to India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).


MBDA already supplies the Milan wire-guided ATGM system to the Indian Army.


MMP, which stands for Missile Moyenne Portée, or Medium Range Missile, is a new development for the French Army and has only been test-fired for the first time, earlier this month.


The offer to co-develop MMP, which was displayed at Aero India 2105, appears to be in competition to a proposal on the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) table to co-develop an advanced version of the Javelin ATGM, manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.


India also placed on order for the Israeli Rafael Spike ATGM system last October.


In comparison to the Milan 2T operated by the Indian Army, of which 4,100 were ordered in 2009, the MMP anti-tank missile system has a longer range of four kilometers and differs significantly in that it is not a wire-guided system.


According to MBDA officials who spoke to StratPost, the MMP has an uncooled infra red seeker and three operating modes: fire-and-forget, man -in-the-loop with fibre optic data link and lock-on-after-launch, wherein a third party can designate the target.


MBDA’s other proposal for co-development to DRDO, for the Maitri Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) system has been in a coma for several years now, especially with the development and orders for the indigenous Akash SRSAM system.


At the same time, India also has an ongoing tender being contested for SRSAM systems, for which trials are currently underway and the next stage of which will be held in Israel.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:30
Ministre : « IDEX 2015 a été utile pour l’Azerbaïdjan »


26 Février 2015 fr.apa.az


Abou Dabi. Le 12e Salon international de défense (IDEX 2015) qui se tient à Abou Dhabi (Emirats Arabes Unis) s’est achevé. Le ministère de l'industrie de défense de l'Azerbaïdjan a pris part au Salon.


Le ministère a présenté au salon plus de 180 produits, y compris les armes légères, les systèmes d'artillerie, les drones, les munitions de différents calibres fabriqués en Azerbaïdjan.

Les armes et les munitions fabriquées par l'Azerbaïdjan ont attiré l’attention des militaires étrangers.

Dans son entretien à l’APA, le ministre de l'Industrie de Défense de l'Azerbaïdjan Yaver Jamalov a déclaré que le salon a été important pour le Ministère. Au sein du salon, ont été conclus plusieurs accords avec des sociétés étrangères sur la création d'une coentreprise, l’échange d'expériences, ainsi que la production et l'exportation conjointes.

« Nous avons également reçu des propositions de plusieurs pays sur l'exportation de produit. Il y a des opportunités d'accès aux marchés dans la région arabe, ainsi que ces pays ont les intérêts à cet égard » dit-il.

C’est la deuxième fois que le Ministère de l'industrie de défense de l'Azerbaïdjan participe à IDEX. Il a également été représenté en 2011.

Ministre : « IDEX 2015 a été utile pour l’Azerbaïdjan »
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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:30
Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) - photo Thales

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) - photo Thales


Feb 26 2015 trdefence.com (WorldBulletin)


Turkey is pressing ahead with talks with U.S. and European firms over its first long-range missile defence system, as the preferred Chinese bidder has yet to meet all requirements for the multi-billion dollar project, two officials said on Thursday.

NATO member Turkey chose China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp in 2013 as the preferred candidate for the $3.4 billion deal, prompting U.S. and Western concern about security and the compatibility of the weaponry with NATO systems.

Turkey’s defence minister said last week it did not plan to integrate the system with NATO infrastructure, only for the presidential spokesman to say days later that the systems would be integrated.

One of the defence officials told Reuters on Thursday there were still question marks over the Chinese proposal, particularly around “technology transfer” to boost the Turkish defence industry.

“Contacts on this issue are continuing. Securing technology transfer is one of the most important subjects in the tender and on this subject a full guarantee has not been provided,” the official said.

U.S. and NATO representatives were unhappy with Turkey’s choice of China Precision Machinery, which has been under U.S. sanctions for selling items to Iran, Syria or North Korea that are banned under U.S. laws to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.



Turkish defense contractor Aselsan and French defense contractor Thales on Thursday agreed to install Thales-made Lightweight Multi-role Missiles on Turkish Aselsan’s launch-pad, the companies said in a joint statement released on Thursday.

Aselsan is known for its products in military communications and weapons systems. Thales is one of largest defense electronics contractors in the world with its revenue exceeding $16 billion in 2014.

The two companies have been working together since 2010, and have completed a long period of trials for the missiles and the launcher.

The agreement opens the way for more cooperation between the two companies, the statement said.

In addition to bids from the U.S. firm Raytheon Co and the Franco-Italian group Eurosam, the officials told Reuters that Russia, eliminated in the first stage of the tender, was still keen on providing a surface-to-air missile system – a prospect that could also raise concerns in NATO.

Eurosam, which is owned by the multinational European missile maker MBDA and France’s Thales, came second in the tender. U.S.-listed Raytheon Co also put in an offer with its Patriot missile defence system, which is now operated by 13 countries around the world.

One of the officials said defence representatives had gone to Italy at the end of January for talks with Eurosam.

“In March, a delegation will go to the United States for talks with the other bidder. Finally, a delegation will go to China and hold talks there,” he said.

The sources said Russia had renewed its interest in the project. Officials previously said Russia had revised an initial bid and offered to sell Turkey its S-400 medium- to long-range anti-aircraft missile system.

However Turkey is not currently holding talks with the Russians.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 18:50
Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)


February 25, 2015 Thales Group


Thales and ASELSAN of Turkey have signed a new cooperation agreement during IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi to continue joint development of a Missile Launcher System that incorporates Thales’s Lightweight Multi-role Missiles (LMM) and the Missile Launcher System of ASELSAN.


The cooperation between the two companies was initiated in 2010 and first stage firings of an integrated Missile Launcher System and LMM were demonstrated in 2014. The agreement covers further firing demonstrations, initially in the naval domain and allows for further cooperation in other areas where both Thales and ASELSAN are well experienced.


Thales’s LMM is a lightweight precision strike-missile that has been designed to be fired from a variety of tactical platforms including helicopters, fixed or rotary winged UAVs, wheeled or tracked vehicles or naval platforms. The target set includes surface threats such as static installations, armoured personnel carriers, asymmetric threats, fast in-shore attack crafts and UAVs.


ASELSAN’s Missile Launcher System is a customized compact and lightweight solution for naval platforms such as fast patrol boats and larger ships, providing defence for critical infrastructure such as oil rigs, seaports and naval bases against a variety of surface and air threats. The LMM Launcher System can be used either autonomously or fully integrated within a combat management system.


General Specifications:

    4/8 ready to fire LMM designed and produced by Thales

    2 axis gyro stabilized turret

    Automatic target tracking through independent stabilized EO suite

    Laser range finder for target ranging

    High hit performance with fast reaction time

    High level system automation for ease of use

    Ease of integration into existing and new built Fast Interceptor Crafts

    Low maintenance cost and high reliability


The LMM Missile Launcher System is on display at IDEX 2015 in ASELSAN’s stand (Hall 10 D05) and LMM is on the Thales stand (Hall 8 A08).


About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2013 Thales UK's revenues were around £1.3 billion.

About Aselsan:

Aselsan is Turkey’s leading defence company holding a well established reputation focusing on in-house critical capabilities, state-of-the-art technologies and sustainable research & development. Aselsan serves as a technology center in design, development, production, system integration, modernization and after sales services in the fields of Military Communication Systems, Professional Communication Systems, Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems, Electro-Optical Systems, INS and Avionic Systems, Defence and Weapon Systems, C4ISR Systems, Naval Combat Systems, Transportation  Systems, Security Systems,  Energy and Power Management Systems, Toll Collection and Traffic Management Systems. Powered by a fast increasing rate of global exports and an annual turnover continually exceeding the billion dollar benchmark, Aselsan is consistently ranked among the hundred largest defence companies in the world. More information about Aselsan is available at www.aselsan.com

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:45
Sudan unveils 122 mm self-propelled howitzer, armoured vehicles at IDEX


26 February 2015 by defenceWeb


The Military Industry Corporation (MIC) Khalifa-1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer has made its international show debut at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, along with several other products.


The weapon is already in service with Sudan’s army. It comprises a 6x6 Kamaz 43118 truck with a protected four-door cab for the five crew and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer on the back of the vehicle. The normally towed howitzer is transplanted onto the vehicle, and as such is manually traversed (40 degrees left and right). Elevation is minus five to plus 70 degrees, or 15 to 70 degrees above the cabin.


Hydraulically lowered stabilisers are used to anchor the vehicle when firing and the steel sides are hydraulically folded down in order to give access to artillery shells – 45 projectiles and charges are carried. Range is around 17 km and maximum firing rate is eight rounds per minute. The 20 500 kg vehicle can be readied for firing within 90 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is around 90 km/h.


The vehicle can be fitted with the Karary IGZ01 fire control system, which includes a laser range finder, GPS, telecommunications device etc.


The MIC displayed some of its other hardware at IDEX 2015, such as the 120 mm mortar carrier variant of its Khatim-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), a mobile version of the Taka 107 mm multiple rocket launcher, the Nimr long-range patrol vehicle, unarmoured Tamal tactical vehicle and Sarsar-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The Khatim-2 is loosely based on the BMP-2 via the Iranian Boraq-2 IFV.


The Sarsar-2 is based on a 1.2 ton KIA chassis but fitted with armour able to withstand 7.62x51 mm rounds. The vehicle weights 5.5 tons. Other items displayed at IDEX 2015 included the Ateed remote weapon station, apparently based on the Iranian ARIO-H762 and the Sarib anti-tank guided missile (apparently based on the Chinese HJ-8). The Ateed can operate either a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machinegun and uses a high resolution day camera, laser range finder and thermal imager. A DShK 12.7 mm heavy machinegun was mounted on the Ateed at IDEX 2015.


Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir attended the IDEX opening ceremony on Sunday in his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates since 2008. He arrived with an 11-member delegation, comprised of Ministers of the Presidency, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Investments, Electricity, Minerals, Livestock and Fisheries, Labour, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and the head of police.


Since the 1990s Chinese, Russian and Iranian companies have helped Sudan develop its domestic military industry after an international arms embargo placed on the country. The Military Industry Corporation was established in 1993 to manufacture weapons and equipment for the Sudanese military and is now marketing its products internationally. Products include main battle tanks (based on Chinese designs), small arms, recoilless rifles, mortars, rocket launchers, upgraded armoured vehicles, ammunition, electronics and uniforms.


The MIC has used Chinese hardware as the inspiration for many of its own products but the Sudanese military also uses a wide variety of Chinese weapons, such as the Type 96 main battle tank, HJ-8 and HJ-73D anti-tank missile, Type 56 and Type 81 rifles, CQ rifle, QJZ-89 12.7 mm machinegun, M99 12.7 mm sniper rifle, Type 80 machinegun, Type69-1 rocket propelled grenade, NP-42 pistol and the QLZ-87 automatic grenade launcher and recently selected the 5.56 mm QBZ-17 bullpup assault rifle to meet its future needs.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:35
A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy

A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy


February 20, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


It's a programme the Indian Navy wants quick movement on, exasperated in many ways by how no single effort over years to give its ships a tactical deck-launched/recovered unmanned surveillance capability have delivered a result. The navy now has a stated requirement of at least 50 such UAS. And the field is open -- the navy doesn't say what kind of launch of recovery it is looking for, leaving all such details to interested contenders.


Boeing firm Insitu, which has had preliminary conversations about the ScanEagle with India for a few years now, continues with the pitch. Insitu's business development manager for Asia-Pacific, Kevil Giles made the following presentation at a round-table that Livefist was invited to, information presumably shared with the Indian Navy over the months as well (post continues after the PDF):



A prospective competition could include the Airbus Tanan and Textron Aerosonde as well. The Indian Navy tested the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter from the deck of patrol vessel INS Sujata in 2007, though the effort didn't yield an acquisition.


According to the Indian Navy's request for information from global vendors, it needs the new UAVs for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), sea-lanes of communication monitoring and coastal/ EEZ surveillance, anti-¬piracy and anti¬terrorism, assistance in search and rescue and assistance in maritime domain awareness."

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:20
Heating Things up with Lightning: F-35 Climatic Testing


25 févr. 2015 Lockheed Martin


An F-35 Flight Test Engineer gives details about F-35 climatic testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin AFB, Florida. During this testing, the team simulates a day’s worth of solar exposure to the aircraft and puts the jet through simulated operations to ensure its avionics still function despite extreme heat exposure.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 13:35
Le missilier Rafael (Israël) va transférer ses technologies à Kalyani (Inde)


22.02.2015 Dan Rosh (Tel Aviv) – Israel Valley


Le géant israélien des missiles Rafael va transférer, au travers d’un accord de joint-venture, ses technologies en Inde. La firme partenaire des israéliens est Kalyani (12 000 employés). Rafael sera minoritaire dans la nouvelle société (49% des actions).


Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, connu sous le nom RAFAEL (acronyme hébraïque de «Autorité pour le développement de l’armement ») est l’autorité israélienne pour le développement d’armes et de technologie militaire. Rafael conçoit, développe, fabrique et distribue une large gamme de systèmes de défense de haute technologie pour les armées de l’Air, de Terre, la Marine ainsi que des applications spatiales. Plus de 9 % de son chiffre d’affaires est investi dans la Recherche et Développement. RAFAEL collabore avec différentes sociétés américaines (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon) et européennes (Thales, EADS, BAE) sur plusieurs projets de missiles, drones et systèmes d’armes.


Selon L’Express : “La société commune Rafael-Kalyani fabriquera (..) des systèmes d’armement et des solutions avancées de blindage pour les clients indiens et mondiaux de Rafael”, a dit B.N Kalyani, directeur opérationnel du groupe indien, à des journalistes.


L’Inde, premier importateur mondial d’équipement militaire, veut renouveler son matériel d’armement, dont une partie risque l’obsolescence. En ouverture de ce salon de la défense, M. Modi a assuré vouloir mettre fin à ce titre de premier acheteur mondial, voulant fabriquer 70% de son équipement sur son sol d’ici cinq ans.


Le ministre israélien de la Défense, Moshe Yaalon, qui a rencontré jeudi M. Modi, a dit vouloir travailler en coopération avec l’Inde dans la production et le développement de l’industrie militaire indienne. “Cette visite nous donne l’occasion d’améliorer et de renforcer notre relation”, a dit le ministre israélien lors d’une conférence.


“Nous coopérons de manière ouverte dans tous les domaines mais nous avons aussi trouvé le moyen de coopérer discrètement dans la sécurité”, a-t-il ajouté sans plus de précision. Le salon de Bangalore réunit des centaines de groupes de la défense et de l’aéronautique pendant cinq jours. Le premier contingent d’exposants est représenté par les Etats-Unis, avec 64 entreprises, suivi par la France, la Grande-Bretagne, la Russie et Israël".

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 13:30
Lockheed Martin : Aucune vente en vue pour le F-35 dans le Golfe, dit le Pentagone


22/02/2015 zonebourse.com (Reuters)


Les Etats-Unis ne prévoient à court terme aucune vente du chasseur F-35 à un pays du Golfe, les flottes en service permettant de faire face aux menaces auxquelles est confrontée la région, a déclaré dimanche le Pentagone.


"Je ne m'attends à aucune vente à court terme pour le F-35 dans la région", a dit Frank Kendall, secrétaire adjoint à la Défense américain en charge des acquisitions, de la technologie et de la logistique, à des journalistes à Abou Dhabi.


"Je crois qu'essayer de faire aboutir une vente serait un sujet très sensible, pour de nombreuses raisons", a-t-il ajouté.


Le F-35 Lightning II construit par le groupe Lockheed Martin , considéré comme un chasseur de "cinquième génération", est pratiquement invisible pour les radars ennemis.


Frank Kendall a estimé que les flottes actuelles du Golfe, comme les 80 F-16 "Block 60" des Emirats arabes unies, étaient en mesure de faire face aux menaces pesant sur la région.


Le français Dassault Aviation a conclu il y a quelques jours la vente de 24 chasseurs Rafale à l'Egypte, ce qui a conduit certaines sources du secteur à estimer que d'autres pays pourraient envisager de s'équiper du Rafale.


Une source proche du dossier a déclaré mardi à Reuters que les discussions sur la vente de 36 Rafale au Qatar étaient parvenues à un "stade final".


Les Emirats arabes unis, qui envisagent d'acheter 30 F-16 supplémentaires, étudient aussi l'Eurofighter Typhoon, construit par la Grande-Bretagne, l'Allemagne, l'Italie et l'Espagne.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 12:55
Thales poursuit (beaucoup trop ? ) lentement sa croissance

Première grande sortie médiatique de Patrice Caine lors de la présentation des résultats de 2014 (Crédits : Thales)


26/02/2015 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Avec un chiffre d'affaires qui a progressé de 2% en 2014, Thales est encore loin des objectifs ambitieux de son ancien PDG Jean-Bernard Lévy. En outre, DCNS a plombé les résultats financiers du groupe d'électronique.


Pour le futur directeur général de Thales et futur ex-PDG, Patrice Caine, c'est le grand jour avec sa première grande sortie médiatique avec la présentation des résultats 2014 après le départ surprise cet automne de Jean-Bernard Lévy à la tête d'EDF. En même temps, en tant que numéro deux de Jean-Bernard Lévy, il a participé grandement à la réalisation de ces résultats qui sont plutôt corrects avec un chiffre d'affaires en légère hausse à 12,9 milliards d'euros (contre 12,698 milliards en 2013). Soit une progression de 2% (-1% à périmètre et change constants). Loin toutefois de la volonté affichée par son ancien PDG de trouver 10 milliards d'euros de chiffre d'affaires supplémentaires dans les dix prochaines années. Surtout au regard de la croissance de Safran. Sans une acquisition majeure, Thales ne devrait pas pouvoir remplir cet objectif.

"En 2014, Thales a réalisé une très bonne performance commerciale, avec des prises de commandes en progression sensible dans l'ensemble de nos secteurs d'activités. Hors impact de DCNS, la rentabilité du Groupe s'est de nouveau améliorée. Cette dynamique devrait se poursuivre en 2015, avec leretour à la croissance du chiffre d'affaires du Groupe et une hausse des résultats",  a expliqué Patrice Caine dans un  communiqué publié par le groupe.

Pour 2014, Thales affiche un EBIT (résultat opérationnel) de 985 millions d'euros, soit une marge de 7,6% du chiffre d'affaires contre 1,01 milliard un an plus tôt (8%). Cette baisse est intégralement imputable à la contribution fortement négative de DCNS (- 117 millions d'euros, contre une contribution positive de 40 millions en 2013) "en raison d'importants écarts négatifs sur plusieurs contrats, notamment dans le nucléaire civil ainsi que sur le programme de sous-marins Barracuda", a rappelé Thales dans un communiqué. Hors DCNS, l'EBIT atteint 1,1 milliard d'euros (8,5% du chiffre d'affaires), en progression de 13% par rapport à l'exercice précédent, "témoignant de la poursuite du déploiement des plans d'amélioration de la performance".


Des commandes en forte hausse

En revanche, la vraie bonne nouvelle vient des prises de commandes qui ont atteint en 2014 14,3 milliards d'euros, en progression de 11% par rapport à 2013 (+8% à périmètre et taux de change constants). Au 31 décembre 2014, le carnet de commandes consolidé se monte à 27,2 milliards d'euros (29,8 milliards d'euros fin 2013), soit plus de deux années de chiffre d'affaires. Le ratio des prises de commandes rapportées au chiffre d'affaires, le fameux "book-to-bill", s'est élevé à 1,11 à fin 2014.

Avec une croissance particulièrement marquée au Moyen-Orient, les prises de commandes dans les marchés émergents "continuent leur progression" (+7% par rapport à 2013), affirme Thales. Pourtant l'an dernier, elles ont atteint 4,2 milliards d'euros (contre 4,56 milliards en 2013), soit 30 % des prises de commandes totales. Depuis 2012, les prises de commandes dans les marchés émergents ont connu une croissance de plus de 40%.

Dix-neuf grandes commandes - celles qui sont surveillées comme le lait sur le feu - d'un montant unitaire supérieur à 100 millions ont été enregistrées sur l'année 2014, soit autant qu'en 2013. Notamment grâce à la filiale spatiale commune avec Finmeccanica (8 commandes supérieures à 100 millions). Enfin, les commandes de montant unitaire inférieur à 10 millions d'euros représentent un peu moins de la moitié des prises de commandes en valeur.


Des perspectives de croissance... modérée

En 2015, après une croissance de près de 20 % en deux ans, les prises de commandes devraient continuer de se maintenir à un niveau élevé, avec une nouvelle croissance attendue dans les marchés émergents. Notamment grâce à des contrats Rafale. La hausse continue des prises de commandes depuis deux ans devrait permettre au chiffre d'affaires de connaître une légère progression en 2015.

Cette évolution favorable, la poursuite des efforts d'amélioration de la compétitivité et le retour progressif à la profitabilité de DCNS devraient conduireThales à afficher un EBITen hausse d'environ 15% par rapport à 2014 (sur la base des taux de change actuels), pour atteindre 1,130 à 1,150 milliard d'euros.Sur le moyen terme, Thales confirme viser une croissance modérée de son chiffre d'affaires et une amélioration de son taux de marge d'EBIT,pour atteindre un taux de 9,5 à 10% à l'horizon 2017/2018.

Pour l'heure, le futur directeur général doit affronter une grogne sociale des salariés, qui demandent la levée de la "politique de modération salariale scandaleuse au regard de l'implication et des efforts plus que significatifs fournit par les salariés", estime la CGC Thales.

"Forte de ce constat, la CFE-CGC a demandé à rencontrer, le plus rapidement possible, M. Patrice Caine, le président du groupe, avec comme objectif de débloquer une situation qu'elle juge préjudiciable à tous, salariés et entreprise. A ce jour, les cinquante établissements du groupe Thales manifestent régulièrement leur mécontentement. La CFE-CGC ne comprendrait pas que la direction reste figée alors que la situation ne peut que se dégrader et s'ancrer durablement dans le conflit".

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 12:45
Weaponised Seeker 400 at IDEX 2015 Picture Sam Basch - defenceWeb

Weaponised Seeker 400 at IDEX 2015 Picture Sam Basch - defenceWeb


24 February 2015 by defenceWeb


Denel Dynamics showed an armed version of its Seeker 400 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for the first time at the IDEX show currently underway in Abu Dhabi.


Sello Ntsihlele, UAV general manager of the company in the Denel Group specialising in UAVs and missiles, told the IDEX show daily that a final series of recent flight trials of the Seeker 400 system cleared it for production this year.


“The system is being offered in both a ‘clean’ ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance]-only and an armed reconnaissance version designated Snyper,” he said.


“The latest trials involved the full gamut of performance tests, including range and altitude, safety, endurance and functional payload. This brought us to the baseline as specified by the client, allowing us to head for production.”


The Seeker 400 is the latest and most advanced of Denel Dynamics’ UAV portfolio, with an operating altitude of 18 000ft, 16 hours endurance and a cruising speed of 150 km/h. With a payload capacity of 100 kg it can carry dual payloads comprising synthetic aperture radar, optronics turret and digital video system for different tactical missions.


The Seeker 400 builds on the heritage of the smaller Seeker 200, derived from the Seeker II, which had significant export success. Both versions are on display at IDEX.


“By aligning the design with international specifications for an armed surveillance UAV, we can offer Snyper with four Impi-S missiles. That still allows for a 40 kg payload, typically the Goshawk II HD from Airbus DS Optronics, although we are still optimising Snyper’s structure,” Ntsihlele told the IDEX daily publication.


The Impi-S is derived from the proven Denel Dynamics short-range (5 000 m) Ingwe and long-range (10 000 m) Mokopa anti-armour missiles.


According to Ntsihlele, potential international clients have indicated a preference for the existing Denel Dynamics forward tactical ground station, despite a smaller ground station being available for ease of transport. The tactical ground station typically more than doubles the line-of- sight range of the aircraft – up to 750 km in the case of Seeker 400.


The IDEX show daily, produced by IHS Jane’s, suggested that the South African Air Force has ordered the type. However, at the time of publication the SAAF had not responded to a request for comment on the possible UAV acquisition or whether 10 Squadron, which operated the Kentron Seeker RPV in the late 80s, will be re-activated.

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 12:35
Stalled SR-SAM: Parrikar Briefed Twice In A Month


February 21, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


European missile house MBDA is making a strong effort at the highest levels to give the comatose long-proposed joint Indo-French SR-SAM development programme new life. Top MBDA executives sought time with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, meeting him twice in the last one month, to brief him about the SR-SAM (proposed to be called 'Maitri'). Sources say Parrikar heard out the MBDA executives but made no commitment, only saying that the representation would be looked into.



To be sure, it's a tricky situation for MBDA. The SR-SAM programme was all but sunk last year when the Indian Air Force said the Indian Akash SAM it deployed was sufficient for the short range air defence role, and that it didn't feel the need for a separate SR-SAM. The Akash SAM being a DRDO success means the latter is now perceived to have little or no incentive to partner with MBDA on the SR-SAM, but simply to continue working on the Akash and extend its range and capabilities for an anticipated Mk.2 version that the IAF and Indian Army are reportedly keen on.


Anticipating that situation, MBDA opened discussions late last year with DRDO, offering that the proposed SR-SAM, could be, in effect the Akash Mk.2 in terms of capability. The Akash SAM in service sports a range of 25-km, while the proposed SR-SAM is intended to hit targets out to a maximum of 40-km. It isn't clear just yet what the DRDO will choose to do. At any rate, the success of the Akash programme, and a rare public show of satisfaction from the forces gives DRDO more options, though the time factor could be key in a decision going forward.


"The aim of this programme, one of several initiatives within the Indo-French strategic dialogue, was to contribute to the development of the Indian defence industry. This would enable India to set up automated production lines for seeker, sub-assembly and full missile production. Despite SR-SAM ticking all the boxes regarding ToT, timescale, capability and equally economics, a decision is still to be made," MBDA officials told me.


Other developments:


  • The Indian Army's $6 billion VSHORADS programme for 1,000 launchers and 6,000 missiles has just completed a final round of tests in Bengaluru and Dehradun for sighting systems and radar. MBDA's Mistral competes with the Saab RBS 70NG and KBM Igla-S. With field evaluations complete, the three companies have been notified of a meeting with the test team early next month at which point they will be informed about their performance.


photo Livefist

photo Livefist

  • MBDA has received an RfP from HAL to supply munitions for the Mistral ATAM system already integrated on the ALH Rudra helicopters being supplied to the Indian Army.
  • The company has also received an RfP on the integration of the Mistral ATAM system on the Light Combat Helicopter.
  • While there's been no word on the PARS 3 LR that's been field evaluated as an air-to-ground weapon for the Rudra against other systems, MBDA has opened preliminary discussions with the Army and DRDO on its new Missile de Moyenne Portée (or Medium Range Missile), successor to the Milan weapon system. The MMP was test-fired for the first time earlier this month.
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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang


25/02/2015 lorientlejour.com


"La Turquie s'efforce de conclure un meilleur accord, non seulement commercialement mais aussi politiquement".


La Turquie a relancé la controverse autour de l'appel d'offres lancé pour équiper son armée de missiles sol-air dernier-cri en agitant à nouveau la perspective d'une victoire de la Chine, à seule fin semble-t-il d'arracher des concessions des autres prétendants.


En 2013, le gouvernement islamo-conservateur turc a créé la surprise en annonçant avoir retenu pour ce contrat de 3 milliards d'euros la firme China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC), de préférence à ses concurrents américains Raytheon et Lockheed Martin et le consortium franco-italien Eurosam.


Cette décision a provoqué la levée de boucliers des alliés de la Turquie au sein de l'Otan. Tous ont regretté l'absence de compatibilité du matériel chinois avec leurs propres systèmes et rappelé que CPMIEC faisait l'objet de sanctions de Washington pour avoir livré des armes à la Syrie et à l'Iran sous embargo. Sous pression, Ankara a donc été contraint de revoir sa position en repêchant les deux autres candidats, priés de reformuler leurs propositions. A en croire les confidences du président Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ce nouveau tour de piste semblait devoir bénéficier aux Européens. Mais une série de récentes déclarations et de confidences sont venues rebattre les cartes.


La semaine dernière, le ministre de la Défense Ismet Yilmaz a ainsi suggéré que les Chinois allaient l'emporter en indiquant, en réponse à la question d'un député, que le système retenu par les Turcs ne serait pas intégré au système de l'Alliance atlantique. Dans la foulée du ministre, les autorités turques ont insisté sur les mérites de l'offre chinoise, même si elles ont précisé qu'aucune décision n'avait encore été prise. "La Chine est un candidat sérieux et se trouve dans une position plus avantageuse que celle de ses concurrents", explique à l'AFP une source gouvernementale, "elle propose un prix inférieur de moitié et elle accepte de partager sa technologie".


"Dans la course"


Si certains ont rapidement conclu de ces sorties que les Turcs avaient fait leur choix, les analystes n'y ont vu qu'une péripétie des négociations en cours."Il est faux de présumer que la Turquie a choisi d'acheter ses missiles aux seuls Chinois. Les Américains et les Européens sont toujours dans la course", assure Sinan Ülgen, du Centre d'études économiques et de politique étrangère (Edam) d'Istanbul. "La Turquie s'efforce de conclure un meilleur accord, non seulement commercialement mais aussi politiquement", renchérit Nihat Ali Özcan, du centre d'études Tepav d'Ankara.


La presse proche du gouvernement a ainsi rapporté récemment que les autorités n'attribueraient pas le contrat avant le 24 avril, date de la commémoration du centième anniversaire du génocide arménien, afin de s'assurer des bonnes dispositions de Paris et Washington sur ce dossier sensible. "Un accord pourrait être signé avec la Chine si les gouvernements américain et français adoptent des positions pro-arméniennes", a écrit le quotidien Sabah.


Un projet de loi français, finalement annulé, pénalisant la négation du génocide arménien a suscité une sérieuse crise entre Paris et Ankara en 2012 et le président français François Hollande a déjà annoncé sa présence à Erevan le 24 avril. Les Turcs s'inquiètent également du dépôt au Congrès américain d'un texte reconnaissant le caractère de génocide aux massacres d'Arméniens par l'Empire ottoman pendant la Première guerre mondiale. Ankara réfute catégoriquement cette qualification.


L'Otan comme les pays en course se sont refusés à commenter l'état des discussions. "Chaque nation est libre de décider de l'origine de ses équipements militaires mais il est important que tous puissent fonctionner ensemble", a toutefois rappelé sous couvert de l'anonymat à l'AFP un responsable de l'Alliance atlantique.


Le porte-parole du président Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, semble avoir entendu ces inquiétudes et a affirmé lundi que son pays assurerait "l'intégration" de son futur système d'armes avec celui de l'Otan.


Même si la Turquie fait monter les enchères, donc, les experts restent persuadés qu'elle privilégiera au final les offres occidentales. "Comment pouvez-vous espérer que le système radar de l'Otan basé à Kurecik, dans l'est de la Turquie, puisse fonctionner à pleine capacité avec un système chinois ?", s'interroge Sinan Ülgen, "ce serait un paradoxe". "Européens et Américains font la course en tête, pas les Chinois", confirme M. Özcan.

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