Overblog Suivre ce blog
Administration Créer mon blog
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 12:20
Air Weapons: The V-22 Gunship


January 17, 2015: Strategy Page


U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is arming its V-22 tilt-rotor transports with more weapons, all of them forward firing and, along with temporary armor panels, meant to temporarily turn a V-22 into a gunship as needed. Tests are being performed to see if the V-22 can carry and launch guided missiles. SOCOM has already obtained a GAU-2B machine-gun fitted to the bottom of a V-22 as part of the Universal Turret System (UTS) for Helicopters. Plans for arming the V-22 have always been an option and since 2007 the marines and SOCOM have been developing weapons for use on their V-22s. The main purpose for this is to give V-22s just enough firepower to clear the landing zone long enough to land, unload and get away.


The original proposal was for a UTS equipped with a 12.7mm machine-gun, which has a longer range (about 2,000 meters). However, the 7.62mm GAU-17 can lay down more bullets more quickly and usually does so at low speed (1,500 rounds a minute). Experience in Iraq and Afghanistan indicated this would be a more useful defensive measure. Like the similar turret the Marine Corps developed, the SOCOM one is mounted on CV-22s as needed. The armed SOCOM CV-22 provides an option that the other V-22 users can easily adopt. The machine-gun turret was mainly there for protection from local threats, not for turning the V-22 into an assault aircraft. That attitude has now changed.


All this began back in 2011 when the U.S. Marine Corps ordered a dozen DWS (Interim Defensive Weapons System) turret gun kits for its hundred MV-22 tilt-rotor transports. Each kit cost about a million dollars. MV-22 crews were trained to use these new weapons which are quickly installed underneath the V-22. The remote control turret used a three-barrel 7.62mm GAU-17 machine-gun. This system has a rate of fire of up to 1,500-3,000 rounds per minute (25-50 per second) and max range of 1,500 meters. The system weighs under 100 kg (220 pounds) and includes 4,000 rounds of ammo. A member of the crew uses a video game like interface to operate the gun. Before the DWS arrived there was some experimentation mounting a heavy machine-gun on the rear ramp. But this did not prove nearly as effective as the turret.


The DSW is only mounted on a V-22 if a mission might be in need of some firepower. The DWS can swivel completely (360 degrees) around (useful when mounted underneath). It was apparently this weapon that was carried by an MV-22 sent to pick up the pilot and weapons operator who had to bail out of a disabled F-15E in Libya in 2011. The DWS was tested in Afghanistan in 2010 and by 2012 production models were being delivered. All MV-22 squadrons were given the opportunity to mount a turret on some of their aircraft and try out the weapon using live ammo.


The V-22s often have to fly into hostile territory to land their cargo. The V-22 can carry 24 troops 700 kilometers (vertical take-off on a ship, level flight, landing, and return) at 400 kilometers an hour and sometimes has to land in areas where the locals are firing at them. The marine MV-22 is replacing the CH-46E helicopter, which can carry 12 troops 350 kilometers at a speed of 200 kilometers an hour. The MV-22 can carry a 10,000-pound external sling load 135 kilometers, while the CH-46E can carry 3,000 pounds only 90 kilometers.


The U.S. Air Force component of SOCOM uses the CV-22 to replace the current MH-53J special operations helicopters. Unlike the U.S. Marine Corps version, the SOCOM CV-22B has a lot more expensive electronics on board. This will help the CV-22 when traveling into hostile territory, especially at night or in bad weather. The CV-22 carries a terrain avoidance radar, an additional 3,600 liters (900 gallons) of fuel, and more gadgets in general. The 25 ton CV-22 is a major improvement on the MH-53J, with three times the range, and a higher cruising speed (at 410 kilometers an hour, twice that of the helicopter). The CV-22 can travel about a thousand kilometers, in any weather, and land or pick up 18 fully equipped commandoes. The SOCOM CV-22s have been in action since 2008 but SOCOM will never have more than fifty of them.


The V-22 is the first application of the tilt-rotor technology in active service. The air force is already working on improvements (to make the V-22 more reliable and easier to maintain). The MV-22 gives the marines and SOCOM a lot more capability but, as it often the case, this is a lot more expensive. The initial production models of the CV-22 cost over $60 million each. SOCOM insists on a high degree of reliability for its aircraft. Commando operations cannot tolerate too many mistakes without getting fatally derailed.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 08:50
Armor: Poland Produces Their Own APFSDS


January 11, 2015: Strategy Page


Poland has ordered 13,000 120mm APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot, for smooth bore guns) tank gun shells from a local manufacturer for delivery by 2017. These are for Poland’s recently acquired forces of 237 second hand German Leopard 2 tanks. Poland bought some German APFSDS shells initially, but since the Cold War ended Poland has been producing APFSDS for the 125mm guns used by its T-72s, which the Leopards are replacing. Polish ammo plants will buy new manufacturing equipment to produce the 120mm APFSDS but will be able to build the shells at lower cost, and comparable quality to other nations and thus be able to grab some export business. Poland still has some locally upgraded T-72s (the PT-91) and continues to manufacturer 125mm APFSDS for these.


APFSDS weigh about 23 kg (50 pounds) and tend to be about  is 900mm (35 inches) long and use 8.1 kg (18 pounds) of slow burning explosives to propel the shell out the 120mm smooth barrel to a top speed of 1,555 meters (5,100 feet) a second. The sabots fall away after the shell leaves the barrel, leaving the 10 kg (22 pound), 25mm diameter (and 800mm long) depleted uranium or tungsten penetrator to continue on to the target (up to 5,000 meters away).


Most modern 120mm tank guns fire a shell that uses a smaller 25mm “penetrator.” The 25mm rod of tungsten (or depleted uranium) is surrounded by a “sabot” that falls away once the shell clears the barrel. This gives the penetrator higher velocity and penetrating power. This is the most expensive type of 120mm shell and already comes in several variants. There is APDS (Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot) and APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot, for smooth bore guns). The armor piercing element of discarding sabot rounds is less than half the diameter of the shell and made of very expensive, high density metal. Its smaller size enables it to hit the target at very high speeds, up to 1,900 meters (5,900 feet) a second. This is the most common type of anti-tank shell and is constantly being improved. Thus in the 1970s depleted (nonradioactive) uranium was introduced by the U.S. to replace the slightly lighter tungsten penetrators. The depleted uranium penetrators were more effective.


About twenty armies now have 120 mm and 125mm smoothbore guns which can obtain slightly more penetrating power using depleted uranium instead of tungsten. While composite armor was developed to defeat APDS but it was not always successful. HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) rounds have fallen from favor because their success depends on hitting a flat surface on the tank. Modern tanks have few flat surfaces. On the plus side, HEAT shells must be fired at lower speeds, are good at any range, and many are now built with a fragmentation capability to make them useful for anti-personnel work. The AP type shells are less effective at longer ranges. Similar to HEAT, more expensive and still in use, is the HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) shell. This item hits the tank, the explosive warhead squashes, and then explodes. The force of the explosion goes through the armor and causes things to come lose and fly about the inside of the tank (the spall effect). The vehicle may appear unharmed, but the crew and much of its equipment are not. Works at any range but is somewhat defeated by spaced and composite armor.


Then there is the controversy over the health issues associated with depleted uranium, which is a metal that is one of the heaviest known. It is very effective at punching holes through enemy tanks. It is so named because all the harmful radiation has been "depleted" from it as a by-product of manufacturing nuclear fuel.  But because it's still considered a "nuclear" material it is controlled by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In effect, these anti-tank shells are technically "nuclear weapons." U.S. export laws had to be changed to allow the export of depleted uranium ammo.


Early on there were rumors that depleted uranium created dangerous levels of radiation when handled or used. In reality, depleted uranium is no more toxic than tungsten and other heavy metals. It is true that when depleted uranium penetrators go through armor, and come under enormous stress, they do produce brief, but high, bursts of radiation. This seems to be because a chunk of depleted uranium will absorb most of the radiation it produces through normal decay, which it cannot do once shattered. However, it is unlikely that the resulting "pulse" of radiation will cause injury or illness, particularly given the damage produced by the explosive effect and shell fragments inside a vehicle hit. The Poles don’t have any depleted Uranium, so they will be using tungsten.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 08:50
Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS)

Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS)


January 30, 2015 by Think Defence


The Throughout the evolution of the Type 26 Frigate there has been a great deal of discussion and speculation about it’s export potential. Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and even the US have been linked with the Type 26 and yet not a great deal has been forthcoming.

The emergence of the Type 26 coincided with a new approach from the MoD that placed ‘exportability’ into the decision making process for investment in bespoke design and development. The general concept put forward by the MoD was if the nation is investing large chunks of cash in designs from scratch it had better have some export potential or else it wouldn’t be authorised.

This approach was included in the National Security Through Technology strategy published in 2012, click here to read.

In the past, the MOD has sometimes set its equipment requirements so high that the resulting systems exceeded any potential export customer’s needs or budget. As highlighted in the SDSR, we believe one way to increase the UK’s share of global defence exports is to consider export-related issues early in the MOD’s own acquisition cycle, while ensuring that our Armed Forces continue to receive the equipment capabilities and support they need. This approach was strongly supported in the Green Paper consultation responses.

There are some major equipment projects that will never be exported, Successor and Astute for example, or some crypto as another. For others, the discussion centred on how operational capabilities could be maintained whist still offering the same equipment for export in a competitive global market. It was recognised that exportability could not be tacked on at the end of the development cycle but had to be integral to the process from start to finish. Techniques such as modularity, open system exploitation and parallel development.

It also raised the prospect of compromising on specification in order to make equipment more exportable.

the MOD will adjust programmes, having considered the qualitative and quantitative benefits to be gained from exports, underpinned by robust market analysis of customer requirements in potential export markets.

A recent FOI release included a 2014 report from DSTL titled Embedding Exportability in the MoD which has a very interesting section on the Type 26, drawing a comparison between that and the Complex Weapons portfolio approach that has already seen some export success with the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM)

On Type 26 it said;

The Type 26 project team made an attempt at implementing exportability by identifying and consulting potential international partners/customers early in the projects lifecycle. This aspect was successful but did not occur early enough and there wasn’t a real appetite to compromise on UK requirements to accommodate export customers. The premise of achieving exports of the platform was also based on flawed market intelligence, leading to a poor export strategy.

Click here to read the full document, it is fascinating and complex subject with no easy soundbite solutions but at least on T26, the additional information is very interesting. It raises the same question the MoD has been grappling with for a very long time, should it compromise equipment specification (and thus, arguably operational effectiveness) for better exportability which offers the prospect of larger volume and lower overall programme cost. Or put another way, the balance between cost, specification and quantity.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 08:50
K-9 Thunder self-propelled artillery of the ROK Armed Forces

K-9 Thunder self-propelled artillery of the ROK Armed Forces


January 16, 2015:  Strategy Page


South Korea recently sold 120 of its locally designed and made K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Poland. South Korea has already sold 350 to Turkey. While superficially similar to the American M-109 the K9 is a heaver (46 tons versus 28 for the M-109), carries more ammo and has twice the range (up to 56 kilometers in part because of a barrel that is a third longer). There is more automation on the K9, so it has a crew of five versus six on the M-109. South Korea thus joins Germany in their effort to build a suitable replacement for the elderly M-109 design.


The United States sought to build a replacement for the M-109 (the 56 ton Crusader) that was very similar to the K9 but was too complex and expensive and the heavier weight was seen as a disadvantage for a country that has to ship its armored vehicles overseas to use them. For South Korea, Turkey and Poland that is not a problem and more heft (and protection for the crew) is an advantage.


One American innovation K9 users will probably adopt is the GPS guided Excalibur shell. This smart shell entered service in 2008 and changed everything. Excalibur has worked very well in combat, and this is radically changing the way artillery operates. Excalibur means 80-90 percent less ammo has to be fired to destroy a target and this results in less wear and tear on SP artillery, less time needed for maintenance, and less time spent replenishing ammo supplies and more time being ready for action.


Because of Excalibur (and other precision munitions) since 2001 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan provided very little work for the M-109. The lighter, towed, M777 has proved more useful, especially when using the Excalibur shell. Currently, the army plans to keep newly upgraded versions of the M-109 around until 2050. The army plans to acquire at least 551 upgraded M-109s by 2027, reflecting the impact of the Excalibur shell, and the number of older M-109s that are still fit for service. The M-109 was a solid design, which is pretty clear from how difficult it's been to come up with a replacement. So, in the end, the army replaced the M-109 with another M-109 upgrade and is still seeking a replacement for that.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 08:35
LCA Tejas Notches Up Crucial Cold Start Test Point


January 28, 2015 by Livefist


Some good news in from the Tejas Programme currently fighting to finish high-altitude cold weather test points in Leh, Ladakh. Here's the full DRDO statement just in: [With] three consecutive start-ups of its engine after overnight soak in extreme cold (around -15ºC) conditions of Ladakh, that too without any external assistance, Tejas, the Indian Light Combat Aircraft has achieved yet another and a rare distinction. Starting the fighter aircraft under such extreme condition without any external assistance or heating is a technology challenge. The requirements become further stringent when the starting is to be done three times consecutively with a partially charged battery. Team LCA led by AERD&C of HAL, and members from ADA, NFTC, IAF, CEMILAC and DGAQA have succeeded in achieving this. “The team LCA has achieved a technological breakthrough”, stated Dr. PS Subramanyam PGD (CA) & Director, ADA.


LCA Tejas Notches Up Crucial Cold Start Test Point

The engine starter is developed indigenously by HAL Aero Engine Research and Design Centre (AERDC), Bangalore. Prior to aircraft tests, the Jet Fuel Starter (JFS) was extensively tested on test rig to meet starting conditions across the operating altitudes including Leh (10,700 ft.) and Khardungla  (18300 ft.). The control software of JFS was fine tuned to work at all operating altitudes with no adjustments from cockpit. GE-F404-IN20 engine start up control schedule was also varied with several control patches to establish reliable [start].

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 08:20
Northrop Grumman to Deliver Additional Mission Packages for US Navy Littoral Combat Ship Program


Feb. 2, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Northrop Grumman Corp.; issued Feb. 2, 2015)


BETHPAGE, N.Y. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has received a $21.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy for two additional Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission packages. As the mission package integrator, the company will deliver one mission package for surface warfare and one for mine countermeasures.


The capabilities contained in the various mission modules directly support the three LCS primary missions – surface warfare, mine countermeasures and antisubmarine warfare. Mission modules facilitate efficient modular mission package embarkation, mission package operations at-sea, and debarkation / logistics support.


"As the mission package integrator for LCS we are committed to meeting the demanding requirements of our warfighters, while providing supplier base stability and reducing cost to the Navy," said Doug Shaffer, director, electronic attack/maritime systems integration programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "As more Littoral Combat Ships enter service, the U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman team has stepped up to make sure the mission modules are available when needed to achieve initial operational capability (IOC)."


Northrop Grumman has delivered three mine countermeasures and three surface warfare mission modules for LCS. A fourth mine countermeasures mission module is in production and scheduled for delivery in 2015. The fourth and fifth surface warfare mission modules are also in production and scheduled for delivery in early 2015. Northrop Grumman performs the final integration work and completes delivery at the Mission Package Support Facility located at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif.



Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:40
Russian military to get new assault rifles


February 2, 2015 by David Pugliese


The Russian Ministry of Defence has selected two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern as new standard issue firearms for the Russian Ratnik soldier modernisation program, writes Remigiusz Wilk of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Deputy Minister of Defence Yuriy Borisov gave an interview on Russian radio on Jan. 24 where he outlined details of the procurement. The two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern were selected by the military and that up to 70,000 have been ordered. The rifles are -the AK-12, chambered in 5.45×39 mm, and the AK-103-4, which is chambered in 7.62×39 mm.

The AK-12 is similar to its predecessor, the AK-74M, and has some common parts, Borisov told Russian radio.


Full article is here

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:35
HAL to integrate Brahmos missile with IAF Su-30MKI jets by next month

The air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at MAKS2009 in Russia. Photo Allocer


2 February 2015 airforce-technology.com


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is reportedly set to equip the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Su-30MKI fighter jets with the air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile by March.


HAL chairman RK Tyagi was quoted by Indo-Asian News Service as saying that two of IAF Su-30MKI jets are being integrated with the missile at the company's facility in Nashik, Maharashtra.


Tyagi added: "We have also recently conducted the critical ground vibration test (GVT) on a Sukhoi to modify it for carrying the missile under its fuselage for combat role.


"The vibration tests were conducted in nine configurations to assess the dynamic behaviour of the modified Sukhoi platform."


HAL director S Subrahmanyan said, according to The Times of India: "The initial requirement is for two Su-30MKIs with BrahMos.


"The first one will fly in March and we will take up the second one in line."


The air-launched variant is called BrahMos-A. It will use air breathing scramjet propulsion technology aboard IAF Su-30MKI fighters to enhance their conventional offensive capabilities.


In October 2012, the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a Rs60bn ($1.1bn) proposal for the acquisition of 200 BrahMos air-launched variants.


Forty-two 42 Su-30MKIs have been earmarked by the IAF has earmarked for structural and software modifications to carry 216 missiles.


The BrahMos is built by Brahmos Aerospace in a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia. It is a stealth supersonic cruise missile designed for launch from land, ship, submarines, and air platforms.


The solid propellant rocket-powered missile is capable of travelling at a speed of Mach 2.8. It can intercept surface targets by flying as low as 10m above the ground, even in mountainous terrain and hillocks, and has already been inducted by the Indian Army and Navy.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 06:50
F-16C/D Jastrząb fighter

F-16C/D Jastrząb fighter


January 31, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Defence24.com Poland; published January 31, 2015)


Poland’s Armament Inspectorate has started a tender to acquire AMRAAM training missiles, and 200 guided and 300 unguided bombs for the Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Jastrząb fighters stationed at the Łask AB. Final offer placing deadline expires on 2nd March this year.


This is yet another armament bundle for the aircraft based at the 32nd Tactical Air Base.


The tender is to make it possible to realize the following purchases:

-- 32 practice CTAM-120C AMRAAM missiles,

-- 100 GPS-guided GBU-38 JDAM Bombs (based on Mk. 82 500 lbs. bombs),

-- 100 laser guided GBU-12 bombs (also based on the Mk.82 bombs) ,

-- 200 Mk. 84 unguided bombs (1000 lbs.),

-- 100 Mk.82 bombs and

-- 3000 CXU-3A/B practice bomb signal cartridges, which are used to indicate the hit point of the dummy bombs.


The final part of the tender is to involve up to 5 bidders, who are experienced in provision of such supplies, and have at least 5 years of experience gathered within the European Union.


95% of the assessment of the offers is based on the price, while the remaining 5% are to be based on maintenance services.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 06:35
S. Korea Pushing to Export FA-50 Fighter Jets to Peru

Having clocked up sales to Indonesia, Iraq and the Philippines, South Korea has now set its sights on Peru as the next export customer for Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter, and will submit a formal offer this month. (KAI photo)


Feb 03, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Yonhap News Agency; published Feb 03, 2015)


SEOUL --- The South Korean military is seeking to export US$1 billion worth of an indigenous light attack aircraft to Peru, an informed source said Tuesday.


"We've been pushing to sell 24 units of the FA-50 to Peru, and are planning to submit a proposal for Lima's fighter purchase project this month," said the source, requesting anonymity. "Factoring in the necessary logistics support, the total amount of the envisioned exports would reach $2 billion."


South Korea is likely to vie with Russia, Italy and China, with the selection expected to be made in the second half of this year, he added.


As a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer, the FA-50 was co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin. It is the most advanced variant of the T-50 family operated by the South Korean Air Force.


Equipped with a supersonic advanced light attack platform, the aircraft can carry a weapons load of up to 4.5 tons and be armed with such precision-guided weapons as the GBU-38/B Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW).


"We could be a favorable bidder, as KAI won a $200 million deal for 20 KT-1 basic trainer aircraft from Peru in November 2012," said an officer of the country's arms procurement agency.


Indonesia bought 16 units in 2011 and Iraq purchased 24 in 2013. The latest export was to the Philippines, which bought 12 units.

Repost 0
4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 06:20
HMCS Chicoutimi (Archives / photo MDN)

HMCS Chicoutimi (Archives / photo MDN)


OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2015 /CNW


Babcock Canada Inc. is pleased to announce the delivery of HMCS CHICOUTIMI back to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on December 3rd, 2014, after the successful completion of the submarine's Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP).


This milestone marks the first of the Victoria-Class submarines to undergo a deep maintenance period managed by Babcock Canada through the Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC), and the first Canadian naval vessel to have an EDWP conducted by the RCN's industry partners. Originally awarded in 2008, VISSC is in excess of $1.5B and is intended to run for a period of 15 years.


Babcock  is currently conducting an Extended Limited Maintenance Period (ELMP) on HMCS CORNER BROOK and is slated to begin the submarine's deep maintenance period later this year


Mark Dixon, President of Babcock Canada commented: "We are delighted to have delivered HMCS CHICOUTIMI back to the Royal Canadian Navy following her EDWP. This is a significant achievement for Babcock and a testament to the strong partnership and trust we have built with the RCN. We are very proud to be a trusted In-Service Support provider to the RCN and look forward to supporting the needs of the Navy well into the future."


Malcolm Barker, VP and General Manager of Victoria Shipyards Ltd. added:


"We are extremely proud to have been part of the submarine team led by Babcock Canada. The integrated EDWP team (Babcock Canada, DND, PWGSC and Victoria Shipyards Ltd.) worked tirelessly to deliver HMCS Chicoutimi back to the fleet fully functional.


Babcock Canada Inc.

Babcock Canada Inc. is a Canadian ISO 9001 registered company employing over 260 personnel at 4 locations: Halifax, Ottawa, Lévis, and Victoria. We specialize in helping our Clients to efficiently and effectively maintain their in-service assets. Our core competencies include:  Program and Project Management, Material and Supply Chain Management, Systems Integration, Engineering and Design Services, Configuration Management and Asset Management, Records Support, 2nd and 3rd Line Maintenance, Information & Knowledge Management, Dockside Maintenance Support, Training and Simulation, Integrated Safety Management and In-Service Support.

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 22:35
State Of Play: Three Years Since India Chose Rafale


January 31, 2015 by Livefist


There are few things like defence procurement that make the passage of time seem nothing. So it shouldn't shake anyone up that its been three years today that the Indian government chose the Dassault Aviation Rafale in the final downselect of the medium multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA) competition. The M-MRCA competition has acquired mythological status now. It has its own folklore, its own (sometimes apocryphal) anecdotes of the twists and turns. The years have almost completely transformed the programme and how it is perceived. The wisdom of years usually provides insight. The galling thing about the M-MRCA is that it has lost none of its capacity to enthral, mystify, perplex. I've already told you what currently stalls negotiations between India and, well, France. So, as we head into air show month and mark three years since the M-MRCA downselect, here's 5 developments that, in their own way, tell you where things are:

  1. Three Rafales return to Aero India 2015 this year. Dassault clearly hopes this is the last time they'll need to fly them in and show them off. Thing is: that was the sentiment right before the last show two years ago too.

  2. The public statement from India's new defence minister Manohar Parrikar earlier this month on upgraded (and additional) Su-30 MKIs could be a viable alternative to 126+ Rafales only confirmed what I'd reported here -- that the negotiations stall was bad enough for high-level messages from the political leadership to begin flying. Incidentally, the message was loud and clear.

  3. Delegations outside the contract negotiations committee (CNC) have been formed to meet and hammer out final hurdles. No specific results reported just yet but they're expected given that the French delegation is empowered to make decisions.

  4. Indian PM Narendra Modi travels to France (and Germany) in April this year. Every effort is currently being made by the French government to facilitate at least a preliminary announcement, or at the very least a positive message, on the deal when PM Modi is in Paris. The PM himself hasn't made known his view, if any, on the programme. The French government on its part made it a point to underscore the inherent 'Make in India' component of the M-MRCA, even if it is facets of precisely this that has a deal hanging fire.

  5. The empirical dynamics of the IAF's requirements have shifted per force -- they're shifting even as we speak with a fresh cloud over the IAF's upgraded MiG-27 that populates a handful of squadrons. The bean count of squadron strength (approximately 32 squadrons currently) set off against sanctioned fleet strength (42) has shifted too. On average, the IAF manages to lose a squadron's worth of fighter planes every two years. Force accretion won't, in any combination, make up for the numbers required to meet sanctioned figures. In fact, it could be just the opposite.

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 21:50
"Armer l'Ukraine pour qu'elle se défende, pourquoi pas?"


1 février 2015 Arnaud Danjean - Le Journal du Dimanche


OPINION - Arnaud Danjean est membre (Parti populaire européen) de la sous-commission Sécurité et Défense du Parlement européen. Il appelle à un rééquilibrage du rapport des forces entre l'Ukraine et la Russie.


Depuis qu'un avion de ligne commercial a été abattu dans l'Est ukrainien l'été dernier avec ses 298 passagers à bord, chaque mois qui passe nous confirme que l'intensité du conflit ukrainien s'aggrave au lieu de la fameuse "désescalade" espérée. À chaque nouvelle étape, on réalise que la détermination et l'implication militaire russes sont sous-estimées. Jusqu'à l'automne, on pensait que l'annexion de la Crimée constituerait une prise "suffisante" pour Moscou, et qu'ils continueraient de souffler le chaud et le froid ponctuellement dans l'Est de l'Ukraine comme gages de négociation avec le gouvernement de Kiev.


Ils ne se contentent pas de tenir leurs bastions, ils grignotent aussi du territoire, kilomètre par kilomètre, ville par ville, jusqu'à viser Marioupol sur la mer d'Azov, ce qui permettrait d'avoir une continuité géographique de la Crimée jusqu'à la Russie. Aujourd'hui, les séparatistes appuyés par des milliers d'hommes des forces russes disposent théoriquement de suffisamment de leviers pour négocier un compromis avec les autorités de Kiev. Mais comme l'armée ukrainienne n'est pas en mesure de résister à leurs attaques, ce déséquilibre dans le rapport de forces installe les prorusses dans une logique d'impunité jusqu'au-boutiste. Où s'arrêteront-ils? À Kiev?


Il faut rééquilibrer le rapport de forces


La question se pose donc pour les Européens et l'Otan de savoir s'il faut aider les Ukrainiens à rétablir un équilibre dans le rapport de forces. J'y étais opposé l'an dernier, je pensais que la logique diplomatique pouvait prévaloir et également que l'armée ukrainienne avait, techniquement, davantage besoin de réformer son organisation interne minée par la gabegie et les dysfonctionnements.


Dès lors qu'il ne peut y avoir d'issue militaire à ce conflit et qu'il doit être réglé politiquement, il faut rechercher un compromis. Or celui-ci est impossible tant que les Russes et leurs sbires ont une telle supériorité militaire. Il faut donc rééquilibrer le rapport de forces pour empêcher l'effondrement de l'armée ukrainienne et pour que Kiev puisse négocier sans être soumis au chantage permanent de la poussée militaire russe.


Je ne suis pas certain que la France, si elle veut conserver avec l'Allemagne une capacité de dialoguer avec les Russes, soit la mieux placée pour livrer des armes aux Ukrainiens. En revanche, la Pologne et d'autres pays d'Europe centrale le souhaitent. L'Otan, avec laquelle l'Ukraine entretient un modeste partenariat, pourrait même auditer l'état-major ukrainien.


Ne risque-t-on pas d'alimenter ainsi l'argumentaire de Poutine selon lequel l'Occident veut la perte de la Russie? Cette mythologie qu'il a créée existe déjà et l'aide que nous devons à l'Ukraine n'y changera pas grand-chose. Rappelons que la Russie, au titre des traités internationaux, dont le mémorandum de Budapest, était censée, au même titre que d'autres puissances occidentales, être la garante de la sécurité et de l'intégrité territoriale de l'Ukraine… La violation flagrante de cet engagement permet difficilement à Moscou de s'offusquer d'un éventuel soutien européen à Kiev.

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 20:50
MBDA : une année commerciale record en 2014 sous le signe de l'Union Jack

Premier contrat export pour le missile air-air Meteor développé par le missilier MBDA en Arabie Saoudite en 2014 (photo MBDA)


03/02/2015 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


MBDA va-t-il à nouveau battre son record de commandes en 2014 ? C'est possible car le missilier, tout comme en 2013, a réalisé 4 milliards d'euros de prises de commandes, dont une majeure en Arabie Saoudite (contrat Meteor).


Bis repetita pour MBDA au niveau commercial. Après avoir réussi une belle année en 2013 (4 milliards d'euros, dont 2,2 milliards à l'export), le missilier européen a réédité l'année dernière sa performance commerciale. Et ce en dépit de quelques déceptions de prises de commandes attendues en 2014. Selon plusieurs sources concordantes, MBDA a toutefois réussi à engranger environ 4 milliards d'euros de commandes, dont un peu plus de 2 milliards à l'export. Des commandes qui concernent essentiellement des missiles de fabrication britannique.

En tout cas, cette performance va à nouveau ravir le PDG de MBDA, Antoine Bouvier, qui avait fixé pour 2013 un objectif à ses troupes commerciales d'avoir un ratio chiffre d'affaires, prises de commandes (le fameux book to bill) supérieur à 1. Et bingo, le groupe y parvient deux années consécutives alors que le carnet de commandes déclinait inexorablement depuis 2009. Il était même passé en 2012 pour la première fois depuis la création de MBDA en 2001 sous la barre symbolique des 10 milliards d'euros (9,8 milliards). En 2009, le carnet s'élevait à 12 milliards, déjà en net retrait par rapport à 2003 (14,8 milliards).

Seule ombre au tableau, le chiffre d'affaires de MBDA devrait être à la baisse en raison des efforts consentis (réduction des livraisons négociée avec la direction générale de l'armement) par Antoine Bouvier en vue de préserver l'avenir avec le développement de nouveaux programmes : Missile terrestre de nouvelle génération (MMP), Anti Navire Léger (ANL), CAMM, un missile britannique qui répondra aux besoins futurs des marines, forces terrestres et forces aériennes en matière de défense anti-aérienne.


Arabie saoudite : un contrat Meteor qui fait du bien

Longtemps, les équipes du patron de l'export Jean-Luc Lamothe se sont rongées les ongles, attendant la mise en vigueur d'un contrat qui fait passer l'année du bon côté ou pas. Ce ne donc sera ni T-Loramids (Air Defence en Turquie), estimé à 3 à 4 milliards d'euros, ni le programme polonais Wisla (environ 4 milliards), ni un contrat export Rafale avec la panoplie de missiles MBDA, ni bien sûr SRSAM (Air Defence en Inde), un programme en perdition... Selon des sources concordantes, la bonne surprise est venue en fin d'année d'Arabie Saoudite, qui a équipé ses Eurofighter fournis par BAE Systems de missiles air-air Meteor, un contrat estimé à un plus de 1 milliard d'euros. C'est d'ailleurs le premier contrat export du Meteor.

Une nouvelle fois l'Arabie Saoudite est venue sauver l'année commerciale de MBDA. En 2013, le missilier y avait gagné cinq contrats, selon nos informations. Notamment BAE Systems avait choisi le missilier européen pour fournir à l'armée de l'air saoudienne le missile air-sol britannique le Dual-Mode Brimstone. En outre, il équipera l'armée de l'air saoudienne un lot supplémentaire de missiles de croisière Storm Shadow. Soit environ une commande évaluée pour MBDA à 500 millions d'euros.


Enfin un contrat en Inde

Outre l'Arabie saoudite, MBDA a enfin obtenu en Inde en début d'année un contrat attendu pendant très longtemps. New Delhi a mis en vigueur un contrat estimé à 428 millions de dollars en vue d'équiper les vieux Jaguar de l'armée de l'air indienne de missiles britanniques air-air de courte portée Asraam. Outre le SR-SAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile), un missile sol-air de nouvelle génération co-développé et coproduit en Inde avec Bharat Dynamics Limited, le missilier a plus d'une trentaine de campagnes en cours actuellement en Inde dont celles concernant MMRCA (Scalp, Meteor...).

Enfin, MBDA a obtenu plusieurs autres contrats de taille plus modeste. Notamment deux  nouvelles commandes pour le missile britannique surface-air Sea Ceptor à la marine brésilienne et néo-zélandaise après la Grande-Bretagne. MBDA a également vendu ses installations de tir (50 millions d'euros environ) sur les quatre corvettes vendues par DCNS à l'Égypte. Enfin, le Chili et le Maroc ont passé des petites commandes en vue de compléter leurs armements.


Deux déceptions commerciales

Au rang des déceptions commerciales, il y a bien sûr le programme SR-SAM en Inde, qui semble en mauvaise posture pour MBDA alors que cela fait trois ans que les négociations sont pourtant terminées, depuis décembre 2011. Mais le nouveau gouvernement indien pourrait annuler le programme SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile) faute de trouver un financement. Ce missile sol-air de nouvelle génération devait être co-développé avec la DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) et coproduit en Inde avec Bharat Dynamics Limited.

Par ailleurs, le missilier comptait beaucoup en France sur le programme AT4 CS, un programme de lance-roquette, destinés à la Marine et aux armées de Terre et de l'Air. Un matériel qui venait parfaitement compléter la trame missile-roquette de MBDA, selon la stratégie définie par Antoine Bouvier. Mais finalement, après avoir beaucoup pataugé, le missilier, associé à l'espagnol Instalaza a perdu face au suédois Saab, associé à Nexter. La première commande s'élève à 32 millions d'euros, mais le contrat, toutes options comprises jusqu'à 2024, pourrait monter jusqu'à 220 millions d'euros. En outre, Antoine Bouvier voulait avec ce contrat faire entrer l'Espagne dans la galaxie MBDA à travers Instalaza. Echec et mat...


Des commandes domestiques en demi-teinte

S'agissant des commandes nationales, MBDA a obtenu fin mars 2014 après quelques péripéties la signature de la phase de développement et de production du programme de missile FASGW(H)/ANL (Future Anti Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy)/Anti Navire Léger). Ce contrat d'un montant d'environ 600 millions d'euros est financé conjointement par la France et le Royaume-Uni. Cette nouvelle phase de travaux vient poursuivre les étapes de faisabilité et de conception financées conjointement par les deux nations depuis 2009.

En outre, le missilier a signé un contrat d'étude de près 50 millions d'euros (36 millions de livres) avec le ministère de la Défense britannique pour adapter le système CAMM à l'environnement terrestre. MBDA propose à l'armée de terre une variante, appelée Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS Land). Enfin, le missilier a signé de très nombreux contrat de supports et de maintien en condition opérationnel avec les armées françaises, britanniques, italiennes et allemandes.

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 17:50
EDA discusses synergies at EU Space Policy Conference


Brussels - 30 January, 2015 European Defence Agency


EDA European Synergies & Innovation Director Denis Roger provided the audience of the 7th EU Space Policy Conference with an overview of the Agency’s work in the field of Governmental satellite communications. 


The 7th Annual Conference on European Union Space Policy took place 27-28 January in Brussels. For this year’s edition, this event of major importance for the space community focused on the rising demand for space services and applications in Europe and on ways to reinforce the EU’s position in that domain. It gathered high-level speakers from governments, industry and EU institutions.



Speaking as part of the sixth session dedicated to the increasing civil and security & defence synergies of space services, EDA European Synergies & Innovation (ESI) Director Denis Roger put the focus on the Agency’s role in the cooperative Govsatcom (Governmental Satellite Communications) programme. “A common set of requirements has been approved by participating Member States in 2014”, he pointed out. “The European Defence Agency is now preparing the technical studies that will allow us to offer options to Member States by late 2016, early 2017”, he added.

From the outset, this future Govsatcom programme will need to benefit from a dual approach, taking into account military and civil needs. “Not taking advantage of such synergies will be a waste of efficiency and taxpayer’s money”, Denis Roger stressed. He also discussed the topic of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), another capability priority supported by the December 2013 European Council with an important space dimension:  “The DESIRE program, ran jointly by EDA and the European Space Agency, will investigate if satellite communications are compatible with safety and navigability requirements for the air traffic insertion of RPAS”.  


Dual-use approach

Denis Roger stressed again the benefits of a dual-use approach on these topics. He also mentioned cyber defence as a field where close coordination between civil and military users is needed and should be taken into account at the very beginning of any new programmatic initiative.

He concluded on the fact that the progress made to better exploit civil-military synergies did not diminish the need for specific defence research and had to be pursued through the full use of EU funding instruments to support them as well as other dual-use initiatives in the space domain.


More information

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 17:35
A400M Royal Malaysian Air Force painting process


3 févr. 2015 Airbus DS


The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter for the Royal Malaysian Air Force has now been painted in its new colours at the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Seville, Spain.
More info about A400M: http://bit.ly/11OQ3eu

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 16:55
SOFINS - Du 14 au 16 avril 2015


source SOFINS

Imaginé par le Commandement des Opérations Spéciales et placé sous le haut patronage du ministre de la Défense, le Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar (SOFINS) est un concept inédit visant à développer une synergie en matière d’équipements entre les forces spéciales françaises et le tissu national des industriels, des PME et du monde de la recherche.


Un événement unique en Europe qui combine une offre à plusieurs niveaux :



Un espace d’exposition et des rendez-vous d’affaires pour présenter vos savoir-faire et produits


Des tests de produits par les opérateurs des forces spéciales sur des zones adaptées

Des démonstrations live des forces spéciales


Des présentations produits pour promouvoir votre activité

Des ateliers pour initier des programmes de R&D répondant aux besoins des FS


Les secteurs d'activité concernés


Aéronautique «voilure fixe» :

- Capacités C3ISTAR

- Infiltration et mobilité 3D

- Frappe de précision et appui-feu

- C4I

- Largage

- Livraison par air

- Réalité augmentée


Aéronautique « voilure tournante » :

- Simulation / entraînement

- Capteurs embarqués

- Avionique

- Équipement actif de défense

- Équipement de défense passive

- Mobilité et infiltration 3D

- Appui feu


Action à la mer :

- Systèmes submersibles

- Systèmes de surface

- C4I


- Équipements individuels


Reconnaissance Spéciale, Surveillance et Exploitation :

- Observation

- Détection / Reconnaissance, Identification

- Prises de vues Jour / nuit

- Géolocalisation, marquage- Surveillance de zone

- Biométrie

- Transmissions sécurisées

- Systèmes d’exploitation


Command and Control, Communications, computers :

- Systèmes de transmissions

- Système de commandement et d’organisation des PC

- Guerre électronique

- Localisation


Environnement du combattant FS

- Mobilité terrestre

- Armement individuel / collectif - Vision nocturne

- Protection individuelle

- Médicalisation au combat

- Désignation de cible

- Démolition / bréchage

- Survie

- Équipements individuels


Plus d'informations : SOFINS 2015

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 08:55
Salon du Bourget : Rencontrez tous les professionnels du secteur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace !

source SIAE

Pour sa 51ème édition, le Salon International de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace ouvrira ses portes du 15 au 21 juin 2015. Comme chaque édition, les 4 premiers jours seront réservés aux Visiteurs Professionnels puis le Salon accueillera le Grand Public du 19 au 21 juin 2015.
Le Salon est, par son ampleur, une occasion unique de faire du business, de rencontrer l’ensemble des acteurs de l’industrie aérospatiale et de découvrir les dernières nouveautés du secteur.

A 5 mois de l'ouverture du Salon, 95% des surfaces (halls et chalets) sont d'ores et déjà louées.
2200 exposants sont attendus (dont 50% venant de pays étrangers) avec tous les grands avionneurs et une forte présence des ETI / PME françaises.

De plus, dans le cadre de la Conférence Climat des Nations Unis qui se tiendra au Bourget en décembre, un événement "Climat" sera organisé en présence de personnalités politiques et scientifiques.

Enfin, l'Avion des Métiers sera reconduit cette année après son succès de 2013. Cet événement original permettra à des salariés de l'industrie aérospatiale de présenter aux visiteurs des métiers liés à la production.

Vous pouvez dès à présent commander en ligne votre badge d’accès au Salon International de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace 2015.

Ne ratez pas cet événement incontournable !

Repost 0
3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 08:55
Le site Elvia PCB de Coutances obtient le renouvellement de sa certification Nadcap dédiée à l'aéronautique


23 janvier 2015 par  Didier Girault - electroniques.biz


Le site Elvia PCB de Coutances a obtenu le renouvellement de sa certification Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program.


Le site Elvia PCB de Coutances annonce qu’il a obtenu, fin 2014, le renouvellement de sa certification Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) destinée au marché de l’aéronautique.

S’appuyant sur 600 personnes réparties dans 8 sites - spécialisés par marchés –, le groupe Elvia PCB est présent en aérospatiale, militaire et ferroviaire, en automobile, en gestion d'énergie et de puissance, ainsi que dans les TIC (Technologies de l’information et des communications) et l’industriel.

Repost 0
2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 17:35
Pakistan flight tests Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) Ra’ad


February 2nd, 2015 defencetalk.com


Pakistan on Monday conducted a successful flight test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) “Ra’ad”, said an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.


The Ra’ad missile, with a range of 350 km, enables Pakistan to achieve ‘strategic standoff capability’ on land and at sea.


“Cruise Technology” is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. The state of the art Ra’ad Cruise Missile with stealth capabilities is a low altitude, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability; can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pin point accuracy.


Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, while congratulating the scientists and engineers on achieving yet another milestone of historic significance, termed it a major step towards strengthening Pakistan’s full spectrum credible minimum deterrence capability. Pakistan’s strategic pursuits are aimed at achieving strategic stability in the region, he said.


He appreciated the technical prowess, dedication and commitment of scientists who contributed whole heartedly to make this launch a success.


He showed his full confidence over operational preparedness of strategic forces including employment and deployment concepts, refinement and training of all ranks in operational and technical domains.


The successful launch has been commended by President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who have congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.

Repost 0
2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 11:55
A400M (photo Arméez de l'Air) - FREMM (photo DCNS)

A400M (photo Arméez de l'Air) - FREMM (photo DCNS)


31/01/2015 Par Véronique Guillermard – LeFigaro.fr


Le dispositif de location d'armements présenté par Jean-Yves Le Drian (nos éditions du 22 janvier), ne fait pas l'unanimité au sein de l'Assemblée nationale. De nombreux députés, de droite comme de gauche, veulent des précisions sur les futures Sociétés de projet (SDP), capitalisées avec le produit de cession de titres détenus par l'État, avant de donner leur feu vert. Jean-François Lamour, membre de la commission de la défense, a pris une initiative en ce sens.

«J'ai déposé un sous-amendement à un amendement de la loi Macron qui ouvre la voie à la création des SDP, explique le député UMP qui demande un rapport détaillé sur ce dispositif. Le ministre de l'Économie devra s'expliquer. Nous manquons d'informations sur le cadre juridique, sur le coût à terme du dispositif, sur l'assurance des matériels et les équipements concernés au-delà des Airbus A 400M et des frégates.» Recourir à des SDP est la seule solution, selon le ministère de la Défense, pour boucler le budget des armées en 2015. Sur les 31,4 milliards d'euros prévus, il manque 2,6 milliards de recettes exceptionnelles, dont 2,2 milliards issus de la vente des fréquences (700 mégahertz) dont l'appel d'offres ne sera lancé que fin 2015, au mieux. Aux yeux de l'Hôtel de Brienne, l'État peut combler ce «trou» en achetant les équipements aux industriels, en les revendant immédiatement aux SDP qui les loueraient aussitôt aux armées.


Les armées très sollicitées

«L'amendement à la loi Macron n'est pas clair, développe François Cornut-Gentille (UMP), rapporteur des crédits de la défense de la commission des finances. Si ces SDP sont des dispositifs temporaires qui permettent de passer le cap de 2015 voire de 2016, nous n'y sommes pas hostiles par principe. Mais si elles s'installent dans la durée, avec l'entrée de capitaux privés, on met le doigt dans un engrenage. Ces SDP constituent une forme de partenariat public-privé qui sauve le budget à court terme mais qui coûte très cher à long terme.» Via ces externalisations, «on acte le passage du budget de la défense à 29 milliards», ajoute-t-il.

Gilles Carrez, le président de la commission des finances, fait étudier des solutions permettant de se passer des SDP, en réaffectant le produit de cession des titres détenus par l'État, directement dans le budget de la Défense. Celui-ci a besoin de moyens supplémentaires pour répondre aux enjeux, à l'heure où les armées sont très sollicitées tant sur le territoire national (10.500 hommes déployés) qu'en opérations extérieures (Opex) avec 9000 militaires engagés. Le budget militaire traîne déjà un report de charge (des impayés) de 3,5 milliards, hérité du passé. La décision de supprimer 7500 postes de moins que prévu dans les armées d'ici à 2018 coûtera au bas mot 1 milliard. Et la facture des Opex s'alourdit à plus de 1 milliard par an alors que le budget n'en prévoit que 450 millions. «Les SDP ne règlent pas tout. Nous avons un énorme problème d'ensemble», résume François Cornut-Gentille.

Pourquoi alors déconnecter les SDP de la refonte de la loi de programmation militaire 2014-2019? Une nouvelle mouture doit être présentée au Parlement d'ici à juin. Ce qui augure d'un nouveau bras de fer entre Bercy et la Défense. «La situation est assez exceptionnelle pour sortir du jeu classique entre Bercy et la Défense, ajoute François Cornut-Gentille. Nous devons à nos militaires de leur donner les moyens de remplir leur mission et de ne pas dépendre de crédits aléatoires.»

Repost 0
2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 08:50
Airbus restructures A400M programme over production delays

Fernando Alonso has been named as new head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space. Photo Airbus DS


30 January 2015 airforce-technology.com


Airbus Defence and Space has announced plans to restructure the A400M Atlas aircraft programme amid increasing criticism from the European governments over production delays.


The A400M programme covers supply of 174 aircraft to seven Nato member countries, namely Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, and Turkey.


Only 11 aircraft have been delivered to date, including six to France, one to Germany, while the UK and Turkey each received two airlifters, after production delays, cost overruns, and technical faults.


As part of the restructuring, Airbus has transferred A400M industrial activities to its Operations unit, which is led by Pilar Albiac-Murillo.


However, programme-related activities, such as development and customer deliveries, will continue to be overseen by Rafael Tentor-led military aircraft business unit.


The move follows the resignation of Airbus Defence and Space military aircraft division head Domingo Urena-Raso, who led the troubled A400M programme since 2009.


The resignation comes as German politicians asked Airbus managers to justify the delays to the Parliament, which they argue have damaged the company's reputation, as reported by The New York Times.


In addition, Turkey and France are believed to have expressed concerns on the ongoing problems associated with the project.


Airbus chief executive officer Bernhard Gerwert will serve as interim head of the division until 1 March, when Fernando Alonso, who is currently the head of Airbus flight test operations, would take over the responsibility.


Gerwert said the current aircraft in service are showing good performance and have also been deployed in military operations, but conceded that the company has failed to perform at the expected level in integration of military capabilities and the industrial ramp-up.


Gerwert said: "That is unacceptable and we will fix that. We are fully conscious of how dependent the customer nations are on this new airlifter and therefore take their concerns very seriously.


"We will do our utmost to overcome them so the customers receive the aircraft they need in the shortest time possible.


"I expect that the new team will rapidly address existing shortfalls in the most efficient way."


Airbus said: "The military capabilities consisting of aerial delivery, cargo handling system, defensive aids subsystems (DASS), and air-to-air refuelling with pods will be integrated in the second half of 2015, following certification and qualification for each capability.


"Additional military capabilities will be integrated gradually up until 2018, as contractually agreed.


"We are continuing our intense and constructive discussion with OCCAR and the customer nations regarding the delivery schedule, and will communicate on this once those have been concluded."

Repost 0
2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 08:45
A400M : la supply chain n'a pas supporté la hausse des cadences


30 janvier 2015 Par Hassan MEDDAH  - Usinenouvelle.com


Après la démission du patron de la branche des avions militaires, Domingo Urena-Raso, Airbus doit remettre d'équerre l'organisation industrielle du programme A400M qui n'a pas résisté à la montée en cadence.


A l'occasion de sa cérémonie des vœux pour la presse, Tom Enders, le PDG du groupe Airbus, a tenu à relativiser, ce jeudi 29 janvier, les nouveaux déboires rencontrés par son programme d'avion de transport militaire l'A400M. "Ce n'est pas une catastrophe mais c'est sérieux", a-t-il dit. Selon lui la situation n'a en effet rien à voir avec celle de 2009, quand le groupe s'interrogeait alors sur la pertinence à poursuivre ou non un programme dont les coûts de développements explosaient.

Toutefois après les sévères critiques exprimées notamment par l'Allemagne, les nouveaux retards annoncés ont coûté la tête au patron de la branche des avions militaires, Domingo Ureña-Raso, un pilier du groupe présent dès sa création. Il est remplacé par Fernando Alonso, jusqu'ici directeur du programme d'essais en vol de l'appareil. "Il connaît parfaitement l'appareil.C'est l'homme de la situation au bon moment", veut croire Tom Enders.


Personnalisation à l’excès

L'avionneur distille au compte-gouttes les explications sur les nouveaux problèmes rencontrés par le programme alors que près d'une dizaine d'appareils sur les 174 commandés ont déjà commencé à être livrés aux différentes armées européennes (France, Royaume-Uni, Allemagne...) et à la Turquie. Ils sont de natures différentes.

Le PDG du groupe avance un retard sur la disponibilité des capacités militaires. Plusieurs versions de l'A400M sont prévues en fonction des missions envisagées par les armées (soutien logistique, largage aérien, systèmes d’autoprotection, ravitaillement en vol...). Cela pourrait entraînait une personnalisation à l'excès des appareils préjudiciable à l'efficacité de la ligne de production. "La plus grande partie de l'avion est commune à tous les clients. Il se différencie par les systèmes militaires et de télécommunications propres à chacune des armées. On peut donc changer les appareils entre les clients jusqu'à un certain point sur la ligne d'assemblage. Au delà, l'appareil devient soit belge, soit français, soit allemand...", explique Marwan Lahoud, directeur de la stratégie du groupe.


Problèmes de cadences

L'autre explication du retard viendrait des difficultés rencontrées par les fournisseurs. "C'est un problème de supply chain, explique Marwan Lahoud. Les sous-traitants internes et externes ont du mal à suivre l'augmentation des cadences". Ainsi au pied de la chaîne d'assemblage, d'une part, les pièces n'arrivent pas au rythme attendu et d'autre part elles ne sont pas toujours conformes aux spécifications. Pour expliquer ces difficultés, la direction d'Airbus met en avant la forte sollicitation de ses fournisseurs par d'autres programmes notamment dans le secteur civil: montée en puissance du programme A350, de la gamme A320...

Pour rectifier le tir, Airbus revoit l'organisation industrielle du programme. L’industrialisation de l’A400M sera désormais intégrée à la direction des opérations d’Airbus Defence and Space. Elle est confiée à Pilar Albiac-Murillo, recrutée auprès de l'industrie automobile en 2007 pour améliorer l'efficacité opérationnelle du groupe.


Des pénalités à payer

Le groupe a, en revanche, réfuté les critiques concernant le transfert du programme A400M de la branche commerciale vers la nouvelle filiale Airbus Defence and Space créée l'an dernier. "C'était utile. Cela nous a permis de regrouper dans une même entité tous les expertises qui étaient nécessaires pour l'A400M, celles des avions militaires et celles des systèmes de défense portée par Cassidian", a justifié Tom Enders.

D'ores et déjà, le groupe s'attend à payer des pénalités de retard à ses principaux clients. "Nous ne retournerons pas vers les Etats pour leur demander de nouveaux moyens financiers pour régler ces problèmes", a précisé Tom Enders. Le groupe est encore en phase d'études pour définir un nouveau calendrier de livraison et estimer les surcoûts liés à ces nouvelles difficultés. Airbus devrait communiquer ces éléments au moment de l'annonce de ses résultats financiers fin février.

Repost 1
31 janvier 2015 6 31 /01 /janvier /2015 12:20
US Army negotiating new AH-64 Apache agreement with Boeing

A US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter at forward operating base in Speicher, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of the US Army, photo by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.


30 January 2015 army-technology.com


The US Army is reportedly in talks with Boeing regarding a new multi-year agreement for the acquisition of an additional 240 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from 2017 to 2021.


US Army Apache programme manager Colonel Jeff Hager was quoted by Reuters as saying that army acquisition chief Heidi Shyu recently signed a document for the two sides to start work on an agreement, with the aim of receiving approval from the defence secretary by March 2016.


Boeing attack helicopters business development head Mark Ballew said it could include options for foreign military sales of 100 Apaches.


The US Government has already approved Apache sales to Qatar and Indonesia, Ballew added, noting that the helicopter has also drawn interest from other countries.


According to Reuters, lawmakers generally ask military services to demonstrate significant savings compared to the cost of negotiating purchases on a year-by-year basis.


Boeing attack helicopter programmes vice-president Kim Smith said: "We at Boeing have been doing our part to leave no stone unturned."


Meanwhile, Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall reportedly told the House Armed Services Committee that he favoured multi-year agreements because they allow programme managers to focus on performance, rather than annual contract negotiations.


Powered by two GE T700-701D engines, the AH-64 Apache is primarily used for distributed operations and deep precision strikes against relocatable targets. It can also provide armed reconnaissance when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions.


It is used by US, Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore.

Repost 0
30 janvier 2015 5 30 /01 /janvier /2015 17:20
The KC-46 Pegasus EMD aircraft during its maiden flight in US. Photo US Air Force.

The KC-46 Pegasus EMD aircraft during its maiden flight in US. Photo US Air Force.


30 January 2015 airforce-technology.com


Kaman has secured a contract to manufacture and supply fixed trailing edge (FTE) kits for the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker programme.


Under the multi-year contract, the company's Aerosystems division will supply an undisclosed number of KC-46A FTE kits and assemblies to Boeing.


Kaman Aerospace Group president Greg Steiner said: "Kaman has worked with Boeing to develop a more monolithic design over the base 767 aircraft for the tanker.


"The KC-46A Tanker FTE kit award exemplifies Kaman's capabilities and Boeing's continued confidence in us."


The company handed over its first KC-46A Tanker FTE kit to Boeing in March 2014.


In addition, the company has supplied more than 1,000 FTE kits and assemblies for the Boeing 767 programme since 1986.


Additional contract details, including its value and delivery schedule, remain undisclosed.


KC-46A is a military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft that has been developed from Boeing's 767-200ER. It was designed to replace the US Air Force's (USAF) ageing fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, which have served as its primary refuelling aircraft for more than 50 years.


The wide body multi-mission aircraft is equipped with the Cobham centreline drogue system, integrated display system, and four body fuel tanks. It will be capable of transporting fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients, at a maximum speed of 915km/h.


Boeing is under contract to deliver 18 KC-46 refuelling aircraft by August 2017 to the USAF, which plans to acquire a total of 179 tankers by 2027.


The company successfully completed the maiden test flight of the first KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) aircraft from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, in December 2014.


The fully provisioned KC-46A tanker is expected to undergo its first flight in early 2015, while delivery of the first production aircraft to the USAF is anticipated to take place early next year.

Repost 0


  • : RP Defense
  • RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents