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9 décembre 2015 3 09 /12 /décembre /2015 08:20
Future USS Zumwalt underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean

The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean Dec. 7, 2015. The multimission ship will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 12:55
MBDA va recruter 550 salariés en France d’ici fin 2016

Les nouveaux diplômés ajusteur monteur de structures aéronef de MBDA à Bourges, en présence d’Antoine Bouvier, CEO de MBDA. Photo D. Lutanie - MBDA

 

04.12.2015 par Bruno Rivière – Aerobuzz.fr

 

MBDA prévoit 550 recrutements en France d’ici fin 2016, toutes catégories professionnelles confondues, politique qui pourrait se poursuivre en 2017. Pour faire face à ses besoins, le missilier développe ses capacités de formation.

 

« Nos récents succès à l’exportation replacent désormais MBDA sur une trajectoire de croissance à court et moyen terme  », affirme Antoine Bouvier, CEO de MBDA. Cette nouvelle dynamique se traduit par un plan ambitieux de recrutement de 550 personnes d’ici fin 2016 pour ses sites français. MBDA a besoin d’ingénieurs mais aussi de techniciens et d’ouvriers qualifiés. Le missilier n’échappant pas à la pénurie de main d’œuvre qualifiée, il a mis en place, en 2012, une formation qualifiante d’ajusteur monteur de structures aéronef sur son site de Bourges. A ce jour, 28 ajusteurs monteurs aéronautiques ont été diplômés à Bourges. Les derniers en date ont reçu leur diplôme, le 30 novembre dernier. Il s’agit de personnes sans emploi ou en reconversion et ne disposant pas de qualification dans les métiers aéronautiques ou industriels.

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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 08:50
photo Airbus DS

photo Airbus DS

 

December 3, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Airbus DS is adding new optional features to its popular C295 transport. One is a kit that enables the aircraft to refuel in the air. The other kit enables the aircraft to land and take off on smaller airfields. These two features are provided largely at the request of customers that use the C295 for special operations missions.

 

The C295s entered service in 2001 and are manufactured in Spain. C295 is a 23 ton twin engine turboprop aircraft that can carry six tons for up to 2,200 kilometers. Top speed is 570 kilometers an hour and max payload is nine tons or 71 troops. Users note that the C295 is easy to maintain, stands up well to daily operation over long periods and copes with hot and dusty conditions. So far over 220 C295s have been ordered by 20 countries.

 

One of the latest sales (early 2015) was India which is paying $33.4 million each for 56 C295 transports. These will replace the elderly (some 50 years old) HAL-748 transports. The HAL-768 is a license built version of the British Avro 748. India bought 89 HAL-748s in the 1960s but only about fifty are still flyable.  India began looking for someone to replace the HAL-768s in 2012 and asked for proposals from all major aircraft manufacturers. Only AirBus responded because India insisted that the manufacturer build most of the aircraft in India with an existing Indian company. AirBus partnered with Tata Motors to build 40 C295s in India while the first 16 wound come from the Spanish manufacturer. The Avros were built in India by state owned and run HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) as were most aircraft built in India since the 1940s. But HAL has a terrible reputation for quality and reliability so the choice of Tata (a younger and more innovative and successful firm) is appealing because it would give HAL some effective competition.

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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 08:35
India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight - photo IAF

India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight - photo IAF

 

December 2, 2015: Strategy Page

 

India’s locally designed and built LCA (Light Combat Aircraft or "Tejas") jet fighter has still not received its FOC (Final Operational Clearance), nearly two years after receiving its IOC (Initial Operational Certificate). That is one of many reasons the Indian Air Force is openly pleading with the government not to force them to accept and operate the LCA. The air force has already agreed to accept (and pay for out of their budget) twenty LCAs but is defiantly resisting government suggestions that another hundred LCAs be purchased. Air force commanders point out that the LCA development has been a long list of failures. Moreover the current LCA design is very expensive to maintain and performs poorly in the air.

 

The air force has ample reasons to fear the LCA. In late 2013 the LCA finally, after many delays, was issued an IOC. This allowed LCA to be flown by military pilots, not just certified test pilots. The next goal was to upgrade LCA a bit so that it could earn an FOC. That would confirm that the aircraft was combat ready and that all its systems (electronics, fire control, weapons handling and so on) were operating to the satisfaction of the air force or foreign customers. In late 2013 it was announced that the LCA should earn an FOC by the end of 2014. But to move things along in the meantime the first LCA squadron (20 aircraft) was be built to IOC standards with plans to upgrade to FOC standards later. This first LCA squadron was to be based in the southern tip of India (near Sri Lanka) and far from any likelihood of combat. It will be years, if ever, before India is confident enough in LCA to station any of them on the Pakistani or Chinese border.

 

In 2012 the government admitted an inability to get the LCA into mass production and quietly delayed that goal for at least two more years. Production was originally to begin at the end of 2012 but the number of technical problems with the LCA was too great to clear up in time for production to start on schedule. Many essential electronic items were not functioning properly or reliably. The prototypes were maintenance nightmares and after each test flight it took several days to get the aircraft in shape to fly again. The managers of this government financed project tried to keep the problems quiet while problems were quickly and quietly fixed. The bureaucrats failed at both these tasks. The failures continue because the plan to earn the FOC in 2015 was missed for the usual reasons (equipment failures and poor performance). The current date for getting the FOC is early 2016 but no one is certain about that, or anything else having to do the LCA.

 

This IOC/FOC mess was not the first major failure for the LCA. In early 2013 India admitted defeat and dropped plans to use the locally developed Kaveri engine in the LCA. After 24 years and over $600 million the Kaveri was unable to achieve the necessary performance or reliability goals. The government plans to try and adapt the Kaveri for use in a combat UAV that is being developed locally but that aircraft is not expected to fly until the end of the decade.

 

The LCA developers saw this Kaveri disaster coming in 2012 and several years earlier ordered 99 American F414 jet engines for $8.1 million each. These were to be used for the first LCAs being mass produced. At that point it was still believed that eventually most of the LCAs were to be powered by the Kaveri engine. The F414s were to substitute only until the Kaveri was ready but now are a long-term solution.

 

The failure of the Kaveri project is just one of many examples of how the Indian defense procurement bureaucracy misfires. Efforts to fix the mess even led to calling in foreign experts (from the U.S., Israel, and other Western nations). For example, in 2010 India made arrangements with French engine manufacturer Snecma to provide technical assistance for the Kaveri design and manufacturing problems. Critics in the Indian air force asserted that help from Snecma would not save the ill-fated Kaveri program. But the government apparently believed that it was necessary for India to acquire the ability to design and build world class jet engines, whatever the cost. Only a few nations can do this and India wants to be one of them, soon, no matter what obstacles are encountered. Despite decades of effort, the Kaveri never quite made it to mass production. Now the government will continue funding development of jet engine design and manufacturing capability, but with some unspecified changes.

 

There is much to be learned from all these development disasters. When work began on the Kaveri, in the mid-1980s, it was believed that the LCA would be ready for flight testing by 1990. A long list of technical delays put off that first flight until 2001. Corners had to be cut to make this happen, for the LCA was originally designed to use the Indian built Kaveri engine and the engine was never ready.

 

For all this, by 2012 India only planned to buy 200-300 LCAs, mainly to replace its aging MiG-21s, plus more if the navy finds the LCA works on carriers. Now those plans have been cut to 120 for the air force as the navy has made it clear it wants nothing to do with LCA. Export prospects are dim, given all the competition out there (especially for cheap, second-hand F-16s). The delays have led the air force to look around for a hundred or so new aircraft (or even used F-16s) to fill the gap between elderly MiG-21s falling apart and the arrival of the new LCAs. There is no end in sight for this tragicomic farce.

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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 08:20
Air Defense: Anti UAV Defense

 

December 4, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The number of anti-UAV weapons showing up indicates that the countries with larger defense budgets see a need for this sort of thing and are willing to pay for a solution. That need has been created by the growing availability of small, inexpensive UAVs that can (and are) used by criminals and Islamic terrorists. These more sophisticated AUDs (Anti UAV Defense) are safer (for nearby civilians) to use because they rely on lasers or electronic signals to destroy or disable UAVs. For example the CLWS (Compact Laser Weapon System) is a laser weapon light enough to mount on helicopters or hummers and can destroy small UAVs up to 2,000 meters away while it can disable or destroy the sensors (vidcams) on a UAV up to 7,000 meters away. The CLWS fire control system will automatically track and keep the laser firing on a selected target. It can take up to 15 seconds of laser fire to bring down a UAV or destroy its camera. Another example is an even more portable system that can be carried and operated by one person. This is DroneDefender system, which is a 6.8 kg (15 pound) electronic rifle that can disrupt control signals for a small UAV. Range is only a few hundred meters so DroneDefender would be most useful to police.

 

There is also a high-end system similar to DroneDefender  that can use data from multiple sensors (visual, heat, radar) to detect the small UAVs and then use a focused radio signal jammer to cut the UAV off from its controller and prevent (in most cases) the UAV from completing its mission. The detection range of this AUDS is usually 10 kilometers or more and jamming range varies from a few kilometers to about eight.

 

AUDS can be defeated. For example a user can send a small UAV off on a pre-programmed mission. This can be to take photos or deliver a small explosive. No one has tried, at least successfully, using armed micro-UAVs yet but North Korea has been caught using small recon UAVs flying under automatic control.

 

If these UAVs are still detected they have to be destroyed via ground or air-to-air fire. This the South Koreans and Israelis have had to do several times. The Israelis were dealing with Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups using small UAVs, often Iranian models. South Korea and Israel has responded by adding more sensor systems, especially new radars that can detect the smallest UAVs moving at any speed and altitude. The downside of using missiles to machine-guns to take down UAVs is that those bullets and missiles eventually return to earth and often kill or injure people (usually civilians) on the ground.

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6 décembre 2015 7 06 /12 /décembre /2015 12:35
Japan Preparing to Test-Fly MHI-Built Stealth Jet

Like China, South Korea and Turkey, Japan is looking at stealth fighters, and should fly the Mitsubishi-built ATD-X demonstrator during the first quarter of 2016. (Japan MoD photo)


Dec 3, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: The Japan Times; published Dec 3, 2015)

 

Japan is closing in on becoming the fourth nation to test fly its own stealth jet, a move that could further antagonize neighboring Asian countries that oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to strengthen the role of the Self-Defense Forces.

The aircraft is scheduled to make its maiden flight within the first three months of next year, Hirofumi Doi, a program manager at the Defense Ministry, said in an interview in Tokyo. The plane, called Advanced Technology Demonstrator X, will then be handed over to the SDF, which will start conducting its own tests, he said.

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.-made plane builds on Abe’s military ambitions after he succeeded in pushing through U.S.-endorsed legislation to allow Japanese forces to fight in overseas conflicts, despite concerns voiced abroad and at home. Japanese militarism is a particularly sensitive topic for China and South Korea because of the aggression they endured before and during World War II.

“The security environment around Japan is becoming increasingly complex and Japan needs to maintain air capabilities commensurate to those of other air forces in the region,” said Rukmani Gupta, an analyst in New Delhi at IHS Jane’s. “Should the ATD-X test be deemed successful, it is very likely that Japan will pursue production of a next-generation fighter.”

The 14-meter-long jet, equipped with engines from IHI Corp., will cost ¥40 billion ($325 million) to develop, Doi said. The ATD-X could become the basis for a new fighter jet to replace the nation’s F-2, said Takahiro Yoshida, a director in the ministry.

Should Japan decide to make a fighter jet version, its engines would be about three times the strength of the stealth jet’s, and the plane would have enough internal space for missiles, Doi said.

It’s not certain that Japan will go ahead with the project.

“These experimental fighters are an exercise in the realm of the possible,” said Lance Gatling, head of aerospace consultancy Nexial Research. “In terms of international relations, it’s a bargaining chip. They can say: ‘We did a credible job on this, we may just build our own if you don’t give us a better deal or you don’t give us a portion of the production in Japan.'”

IHI is fully supporting flight tests of the latest jet, said Yuki Takahashi, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman. Hideo Ikuno, a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy in Tokyo, declined comment on the jet’s development.

The U.S., Russia and China have all built and flown stealth planes, known as fifth-generation jets, which are harder to detect by radar. Other countries such as India and Turkey are also developing stealth jets, according to Gupta at IHS Jane’s. South Korea and Indonesia are also investing in the joint development of a next-generation fighter aircraft, he said.

Back in Japan, the government will make a decision on a replacement for its F-2 fighter jets by the end of March 2019, Doi said.

“We’re building this in preparation for the development of a new fighter jet,” Doi said. “Neighboring countries are developing stealth jets and so this research is to allow us to understand what technology is needed for such a project.”

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6 décembre 2015 7 06 /12 /décembre /2015 12:25
Helibras Successfully Concludes H225M Integration Tests with Exocet Missile

Armed with two AM-39 Exocet long-range anti-ship missiles, the Airbus H225M Caracal is arguably the most powerful naval strike helicopter presently in service, and will give the Brazilian navy an unprecedented anti-ship firepower. (Airbus HC photo)


December 3, 2015 (Issued in Portuguese; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

(Source: Helibras; issued December 3, 2015)


Helibras this week concluded the first phase of the integration tests of the AM39 Exocet missiles and the naval mission system developed especially for operational version of the H225M helicopter of the Brazilian navy. During the three weeks of activities in the laboratory, the team successfully completed several simulated firing of the missile.

This phase of testing was performed to validate the connection between the Naval Mission system and the missile launchers, to test different modes of operation, to verify the control logic and check the test instrumentation that will be used during the flight trials.

In early 2016, bench analysis will resume for the missiles to be flight-tested on the prototype aircraft, in Brazil. These activities are being coordinated by teams of Helibras Engineering Center and Airbus Helicopters professionals as well as MBDA, maker of the AM39 Exocet missile, Atech and Airbus Defence and Space.

"This was another stage planned in our schedule of work and shows the commitment of Helibras to the H-XBR program, as well as the increased training of its professionals and its plant in Brazil," said Richard Marelli, Helibras vice president of Operations.

The successful integration of the systems also demonstrates the maturity of the development of H225M and of the Naval Mission Systems for the Navy of Brazil, which has a completely new layout, designed in Brazil by Helibras, together with the customer, Airbus Helicopters and partner companies

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6 décembre 2015 7 06 /12 /décembre /2015 11:50
BaToLUS project, Battle Damage Tolerance for Lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Structures

BaToLUS project, Battle Damage Tolerance for Lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Structures


Brussels - 03 December, 2015 European Defence Agency
 

The BaToLUS project, Battle Damage Tolerance for Lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Structures, brought about a successful development of new rapid prototype modelling capabilities.

 

The BaToLUS project involved major European aeronautical industries, top-rated European research institutes and also small European enterprises. The European Defence Agency (EDA) led cooperation brought together a "critical mass" for an effective scientific dialogue, thus allowing the Nations to benefit from synergies in their respective industrial capabilities.

Compared to more conventional combat aircraft designs, extremely lightweight structures exhibit different distributions of strength and stiffness. Within the BaToLUS project, cost-efficient alternatives to a well-defined baseline configuration have been developed by improved structural design, aiming to offer increased tolerance against battle damage, whilst supporting the original requirements and keeping potential penalties small. 

Thanks to BaToLUS, new rapid prototype modelling capabilities have been developed. Also, a generic design process, which includes “Vulnerability Load Cases", and novel high-fidelity simulation methods have been demonstrated. A large number of structural concepts for vulnerability reductions have been identified, assessed and – for two of them – implemented and tested. Operational evaluation with respect to impacts on cost, weight and capabilities were considered at an overall platform level, together with vulnerability analysis taking into account the demonstrated structural performance and aerodynamic damage characterisation.

The main objectives of the project have been: (i) defining a UAV design and development process for vulnerability reduction to be integrated in the design process, (ii) demonstrating an improvement of the current UAV modelling, simulation and design capabilities, and (iii) providing a guideline on the costs associated with the development of a vulnerability-improved UAV.

The BaToLUS project was managed and funded by Germany, France, Sweden, and the UK in the frame of the European Defence Agency, and carried out by Airbus Defence & Space Germany (project leader), Airbus Group Innovations France, BAE Systems, CEA Gramat, Dynamec Research AB, Fraunhofer-Institut für Kurzzeitdynamik - Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI), Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG), ONERA – The French Aerospace Lab, and SAAB Aerosystems.

 

More information:

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6 décembre 2015 7 06 /12 /décembre /2015 08:55
photo Marine nationale

photo Marine nationale

 

27/11/2015 Sources : Marine nationale

 

Le mercredi 25 novembre 2015, la frégate type La Fayette Surcouf a réalisé un tir de missile antinavire Mer-Mer 40. La réussite de ce tir montre que cette capacité opérationnelle reste pleinement maîtrisée.

 

Les missiles Mer-Mer 40 comptent parmi les armements les plus performants des bâtiments de la marine nationale.

 

Le missile MM40 : dominer le combat de surface en haute mer :

- grâce à une même famille de missiles

- sur 4 plates-formes tactiquement complémentaires

 

Trois versions modernisées multiplateformes :

- Version Mer-Mer (MM40 Block 3) sur frégate de premier rang (FREMM, HORIZON, LA FAYETTE) et sur bâtiment de combat

- Version Air-Mer (AM39 Block 2 Mod 2) sur avions d’armes rapides ou lents et hélicoptères

- Version Sous-Marine (SM39 Block 2) sur tous les sous-marins français

photo Marine nationale

photo Marine nationale

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5 décembre 2015 6 05 /12 /décembre /2015 17:55
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

 

03/12/2015 Armée de Terre

 

Fête de famille fin novembre à Paris ; les militaires de l'arme du matériel se sont retrouvés pour célébrer leur jubilé de diamant, soit 75 ans d'existence !

 

L'arme des maintenanciers évolue dans un "milieu particulièrement favorable et privilégié pour assouvir à la fois son goût pour l'aventure, le bel ouvrage et l'acte technique". C'est en ces mots que le général de brigade Pascal Cavatore, commandant l’école du matériel, a évoqué les 75 ans de l'arme dont il est également le père.

 

 Célébrée à l'École militaire de Paris le 26 novembre 2015, la journée du souvenir du matériel était destinée à honorer la mémoire des maintenanciers morts pour la France ou décédés au cours de l'année. Ce moment privilégié de cohésion, de rayonnement et de mémoire était présidé par le général de division Patrick Hocquard, directeur du service de la maintenance industrielle terrestre (SIMTER), et par le général de division Daniel Gérard, président de l’association nationale du matériel de l’armée de Terre (ANAMAT).

 

 Découvrez également dans cette vidéo les différentes récompenses attribuées, ainsi que la remise de l'insigne à des blessés de guerre :

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5 décembre 2015 6 05 /12 /décembre /2015 08:55
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

 

03/12/2015 armée de Terre

 

Souvenez-vous. Il y a deux semaines, Renault Trucks Défense recrutait un blessé psychique de l’armée de Terre. Aujourd’hui, c’est l’entreprise Michelin qui décide de relever le défi en signant une convention pour le recrutement de deux autres blessés atteints d’un syndrome post-traumatique.

 

Pour monsieur Jean-Dominique Senard, président-directeur général du groupe Michelin, cette convention est  « une façon de rendre hommage à l’armée française et d’offrir une nouvelle perspective à ses blessés en les intégrant à l’entreprise. » Le sergent-chef Pierre et le 1re classe Maxime sont actuellement en stage d’immersion au sein des usines Michelin à Clermont-Ferrand. Un nouvel exemple concret de la prise en compte des blessés de l’armée de Terre, du moment de la blessure jusqu’à la réinsertion socio-professionnelle.

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4 décembre 2015 5 04 /12 /décembre /2015 08:55
Radar à ondes de surface - PRISME credit ONERA

Radar à ondes de surface - PRISME credit ONERA

 

03.12.2015 – par ONERA

 

Ce jeudi 26 novembre se déroulait, sur le campus de l’École polytechnique à Palaiseau, la 4e édition du Forum DGA Innovation. 10 projets et thèses impliquant l’ONERA, soit 10% des innovations exposées, étaient présentés sur ce lieu d’échange et de rencontre professionnelle des acteurs clés de l’innovation et de la recherche de défense.

 

Petites et moyennes entreprises, établissements de taille intermédiaire, maîtres d’œuvres industriels, autorités de l’état, décideurs institutionnels, laboratoires universitaires et délégations étrangères, soit plus de 850 acteurs, ont ainsi pu découvrir les résultats et récentes innovations de la recherche menée à l’ONERA sur :

- le radar à ondes de surface, moyen pour une surveillance plus discrète et performante des zones maritimes, de 20 à 400 kilomètres des côtes

-  l’optimisation du flux des lasers intenses grâce à une nouvelle méthode d’optique adaptative

-  le contrôle de l’état de santé des matériaux composites par une technique non intrusive, la vibrothermographie

- des composites à bas coût, 10 fois moins cher, et résistant à haute température pour les missiles supersoniques et hypersoniques

- une solution logicielle de navigation sûre et embarcable sur drones pour optimiser leur autonomie

- une base de données de réflectance (proportion de la lumière réfléchie par la surface d’un matériau) des différents types de sol de l’Europe dans le visible et l’infrarouge

- la propagation basse altitude des ondes radar en environnement marin et en présence d’une cible (projet piloté par l’industriel Alyotech)

- La modélisation détaillée et la simulation prédictive des moteurs à propergol solide

- La miniaturisation de systèmes optiques (lentilles, prismes, convertisseurs de polarisation) et leur intégration  sur des détecteurs infrarouge et térahertz.

- La propagation des ondes HF dans l’ionosphère de moyenne altitude (thèse menée à l’IRAP).

 

« Le Forum DGA Innovation est une occasion unique pour l'ONERA de montrer à de nombreux interlocuteurs, dont son ministère de tutelle, l'excellence de sa recherche » a commenté, lors de sa venue, Bruno Sainjon, président-directeur général de l'ONERA.

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4 décembre 2015 5 04 /12 /décembre /2015 08:50
En plus de la version 30mm, Nexter propose également le VBCI-2 équipé de la tourelle 40 CTAS de 40mm développée avec BAE Systems (Crédit: Nexter)

En plus de la version 30mm, Nexter propose également le VBCI-2 équipé de la tourelle 40 CTAS de 40mm développée avec BAE Systems (Crédit: Nexter)

 

 4 décembre, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)

 

Le VBCI-2 décrochera-t-il bientôt son premier contrat à l’export ? C’est en tout cas ce qu’espère Nexter, qui vient officiellement de proposer l’un des fleurons de sa gamme à la Lituanie. Le petit pays baltique est en effet sur le point de choisir un nouveau véhicule blindé 8×8 pour remplacer son parc de transports de troupes chenillés M113.

 

Dévoilé durant le salon DSEI 2015 à Londres, le VBCI-2 est une version du VBCI spécifiquement conçue pour le marché à l’export. Le « Dash 2 » est le fruit de l’expérience récoltée grâce au déploiement des VBCI français en Afghanistan, au Liban, au Mali et en république Centrafricaine.

 

Si le programme lituanien (dont vous trouverez plus d’informations ici) prévoit un armement principal de calibre 30mm, Nexter a décidé d’aller plus loin en proposant non seulement un VBCI-2 équipé d’une tourelle téléopérée de 30 mm HITFIST OWS fabriquée par OTO Melara, mais également une version plus « musclée » du véhicule armée du canon 40 CTAS de 40mm fabriqué en partenariat avec BAE Systems.

 

Pour proposer le VBCI-2 calibré en 30mm, Nexter est allé chercher la tourelle téléopérée HITFIST OWS fabriquée par les Italiens d’OTO Melara (Crédit: Nexter)

Pour proposer le VBCI-2 calibré en 30mm, Nexter est allé chercher la tourelle téléopérée HITFIST OWS fabriquée par les Italiens d’OTO Melara (Crédit: Nexter)

 

Le VBCI profite d’une protection balistique de niveau 5, qui peut par ailleurs être porté au niveau 6, et atteint les standards de protection 4A-4B contre les mines et engins explosifs improvisés. De même, l’architecture vectronique du véhicule permet d’y intégrer des systèmes de missiles anti-char, tels que le Javelin, le Spike ou le MMP.

 

Par ailleurs, Nexter n’exclut pas de s’associer avec un partenaire local à tous les niveaux de production et de maintenance du véhicule. Il est vrai que le systémier français jouit déjà d’une certaines expérience en la matière, après avoir formé des partenariats avec, entre autres, Larsen & Toubro et Avibras pour promouvoir son CAESAR respectivement en Inde et au Brésil.

 

Dans cette compétition, Nexter et son VBCI-2 font face à neuf autres véhicules : Patria et son AMV équipé d’une tourelle UT 30 Mk2, le Boxer d’ARTEC armé soit d’une tourelle RCT 30 ou LANCE 30, le Superav d’IVECO doté également d’une UT 30 Mk2, le fameux LAV II de General Dynamics Land Systems assorti d’une tourelle MCT30 produite par le norvégien Kongsberg, General Dynamics European Land System et le Piranha, l’Arma et la tourelle Mizra-30 d’Otokar et, enfin, le PARS de FNSS pourvu d’une tourelle E30. Par ailleurs, Elbit Systems et Lockheed Martin ont quant à eux offert un système d’armement principal, à savoir respectivement les tourelles UT 30 Mk1 et 2, et la 40 CTAS.

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3 décembre 2015 4 03 /12 /décembre /2015 13:55
Arrêté du 30 novembre 2015 fixant la parité d'échange applicable au transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Nexter Systems SA


JORF n°0279 du 2 décembre 2015 page 22245 - texte n° 27


Arrêté du 30 novembre 2015 fixant la parité d'échange applicable au transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Nexter Systems SA

NOR: FCPA1529072A

ELI: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/arrete/2015/11/30/FCPA1529072A/jo/texte


Le ministre des finances et des comptes publics et le ministre de l'économie, de l'industrie et du numérique,
Vu la loi n° 2015-990 du 6 août 2015 pour la croissance, l'activité et l'égalité des chances économiques et notamment son article 189 autorisant le transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Groupement industriel des armements terrestres (GIAT) et de ses filiales ;
Vu l'ordonnance n° 2014-948 du 20 août 2014 modifiée relative à la gouvernance et aux opérations sur le capital des sociétés à participation publique, et notamment son titre III ;
Vu le décret n° 2015-1483 du 16 novembre 2015 autorisant le transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Nexter Systems SA,
La Commission des participations et des transferts entendue, et sur son avis conforme n° 2015 - A.C.- 4 recueilli le 25 novembre 2015 en vertu des dispositions des articles 26-II et 27 de l'ordonnance susvisée,
Arrêtent :

 

Article 1

Le transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Nexter Systems SA. (Nexter Systems) s'effectuera par :
i. L'acquisition par GIAT Industries SA (GIAT), pour le prix de 22.500 euros, de 22.500 actions de la société Honosthor NV. (Honosthor), dont le siège est situé à Amsterdam (Pays-Bas), cette participation représentant la moitié du capital et des droits de vote d'Honosthor ;
ii. L'apport à Honosthor par GIAT de la totalité des actions de Nexter Systems, à l'exception d'une action détenue par l'Etat ;
iii. L'apport simultané à Honosthor de la totalité du capital et des droits de vote de Wegmann KMW Holding GmbH (KMWH), dont le siège social est situé à Kassel (Allemagne) ;
iv. L'émission par Honosthor de 299.955.000 actions nouvelles, dont la moitié (149.977.500 actions) sera attribuée à GIAT en rémunération de son apport.
A l'issue de cette opération, GIAT sera en conséquence actionnaire à 50 % de la société Honosthor, qui aura pour filiales Nexter Systems et KMWH.

 

Article 2

Le commissaire aux participations de l'Etat est chargé de l'exécution du présent arrêté, qui sera publié au Journal officiel de la République française.


Fait le 30 novembre 2015.


Le ministre des finances et des comptes publics,

Michel Sapin


Le ministre de l'économie, de l'industrie et du numérique,

Emmanuel Macron

 

Note RP Defense: voir aussi Décret n° 2015-1483 du 16 novembre 2015 autorisant le transfert au secteur privé de la majorité du capital de la société Nexter Systems SA

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2 décembre 2015 3 02 /12 /décembre /2015 17:50
photo Bundeswehr

photo Bundeswehr


Dec 2, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Reuters; published Dec 2, 2015)

 

BERLIN --- The German Armed Forces took delivery of a second A400M military transport plane from Airbus in Seville on Wednesday, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Another A400M plane is due to be delivered by the end of the year, a military source said, taking the total Germany will have received to three.

Germany has ordered 53 of the planes from Airbus but deliveries have been delayed as the world's second-biggest aerospace group grapples with production delays.

Five of the planes were due to be delivered to Germany this year, but it will now only receive two.

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2 décembre 2015 3 02 /12 /décembre /2015 05:30
L'armée de Terre a reçu ses premiers 4x4 Ford Ranger XL

L'armée de Terre a reçu ses premiers 4x4 Ford Ranger XL

 

2 décembre, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)

 

La saga de l’achat de véhicules « américains » par l’armée française entre enfin dans son ultime phase, alors que les premiers véhicules 4×4 Ford Ranger sont sur le point d’entrer en service dans l’armée de Terre. En effet, après avoir passé les vérifications d’usage, les neuf Ford Ranger XL récemment livrés rejoindront prochainement leur première affectation au sein du 1er régiment de chasseurs (1er RCh), basé à Verdun.

 

Petit rappel.

 

En avril dernier, le ministère de la Défense français achetait 1000 véhicules 4×4 Ford Ranger, destinés à accomplir des tâches diverses sur le territoire métropolitain, et capable d’emporter cinq soldats et une tonne d’équipements. Ils ne sont par ailleurs pas destinés à être déployés en opération extérieure. Le Ford Ranger fut choisi parmi trois véhicules présentés « sur étagère » dans le catalogue de l’Union des Groupements d’Achats Publics (UGAP). Les deux autres véhicules proposés, davantage « made in France », étaient le Duster de Dacia (Renault) et le Berlingo de Citroën  (le premier étant en fait majoritairement fabriqué en Roumanie, le second en Espagne). Les trois véhicules présentant tous le même prix unitaire, mais « Seul le Ford Ranger permettait une charge utile satisfaisante, et le tout-terrain a été préféré au tout-chemin », expliquait alors le porte-parole du ministère Pierre Bayle, justifiant un choix lourdement critiqué par la suite par certains industriels et élus locaux français.

 

L’achat de ces 1000 Ford Ranger ne répondait finalement qu’à une demande urgente et à court terme de la part du ministère de la Défense, dont le parc de véhicules disponibles est fortement amputé par les nombreuses OPEX dans lesquelles sont actuellement impliquées les forces françaises. Il n’était donc nullement question d’éclipser les Peugeot P4 de l’armée française, en service depuis 1982 et usées au point que la France en retire 600 du service actif chaque année. Son remplaçant fera prochainement l’objet d’un appel d’offres ouvert aux industriels français pour la livraison de 4450 véhicules légers tactiques polyvalents » (VLTP). Un appel d’offres qui sera divisé en deux phases: un premier lot de 2450 véhicules suivi d’un second de 2000 VLTP. Le véhicule sélectionné commencera à remplacer les P4 restantes à partir de 2020.

 

L’industrie française a donc encore toutes les cartes en main pour envisager sereinement un marché autrement plus important que celui remporté par Ford. Enfin, le Duster de Dacia pourrait entamer prochainement une carrière à l’export, les français de MagForce ayant annoncé, durant le salon Milipol 2015 à Paris, leur intention de le promouvoir sur le marché africain.

 

Exit la polémique, place aux premières livraisons. Après leur passage au sein du 8e régiment du Matériel (8e RMAT) à Mourmelon et Woippy, les premiers véhicules Ford Ranger XL, assemblés en Afrique du Sud, viennent maintenant renforcer les capacités opérationnelles du 1er RCh. Une trentaine de véhicules supplémentaires devraient rejoindre Verdun en janvier 2016.

 

Le dernier chapitre de cette saga se clôture enfin, à l’heure où les premiers véhicules intègrent une armée française qui a, plus que jamais, davantage besoin de matériel performant que de polémiques.

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21 novembre 2015 6 21 /11 /novembre /2015 11:55
Les Malouins de Tecknisolar jettent un coup de froid avec leur "absorbeur thermique"


.11.2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense

Un de mes coups de cœur du salon Minipol 2015 va aux ingénieux Malouins de Tecknisolar, la société de Pascal Barguirdjian.

Cette année, Tecknisolar présente un « absorbeur thermique » qui devrait faire un tabac chez les militaires et dans les unités d’intervention. Ce produit est l’aboutissement de deux ans de recherche ; il a été finalisé il y a deux mois.

Réalisé en résines végétales, ce tissu atténue les émissions de chaleur émise par les corps et les moteurs. Il permet d’échapper aux appareils de vision infra-rouge (lunettes et caméras thermiques). La photo ci-dessus montre une l'image prise par une caméra thermique et l'occultation par un carré d''absorbeur de la tête du collaborateur de la société au second plan. Plusieurs vidéos prises lors de tests (certains réalisés par le 13e RDP) attestent des qualités du produit.

Selon Pascal Barguirdjian, cette matière permet de réaliser des treillis et combinaisons pour les militaires et forces spéciales, des couvertures, de la toile pour des tentes, des housses capables de recouvrir un véhicule.

Le recours aux résines végétales a aussi permis à Tecknisolar de produire un tissu qui protège des contaminations bactériologiques et qui pourrait donc devenir indispensable aux personnels soignants opérant dans des zones touchées par des épidémies virulentes.

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20 novembre 2015 5 20 /11 /novembre /2015 08:50
Challenger II tanks will be support by the company under the agreement Photo: British Army - Uk MoD

Challenger II tanks will be support by the company under the agreement Photo: British Army - Uk MoD

 

19 Nov 2015 By Alan Tovey, Industry Editor - telegraph.co.uk

 

Cook Defence Systems' contract to support British Army vehicles with tank tracks secures 110 jobs

 

The British Army’s tanks and armoured vehicles will be kept rolling by Cook Defence Systems (CDS) after the privately owned business secured a £70m deal with the Ministry of Defence.

The Country Durham-based business has landed a four-year deal to support vehicles including the Army’s Challenger II main battle tanks, Warrior armoured personnel carriers and Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles with replacement tracks.

Read more

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 13:50
£1.3Bn contract awarded for latest attack submarine

Anson Infographic - credits UK MoD

 

19 November 2015 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and Philip Dunne MP

 

A £1.3 billion contract to build the latest Astute Class attack submarine for the Royal Navy has been awarded by the Ministry of Defence.

 

Both time and money are being saved on the building of Anson, the Royal Navy’s fifth Astute submarine. Savings of £50 million for the taxpayer have been achieved during negotiations with BAE Systems, and the agreed build time is to date the shortest ever for the Astute Class, with a current schedule some nine months ahead of that for Boat 3 (Artful).

Defence Minister Philip Dunne made the announcement as he visited the home of the UK’s submarine manufacturing industry based in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and viewed progress already made on the new submarine.

BAE Systems employs more than 7,600 people in its Submarines business, which includes those that work on the Astute programme, with thousands more working in the 400 suppliers across the UK submarine supply chain.

Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:

This £1.3 billion contract marks an important step in the progress of the Astute programme. This is a key part of our £166 billion plan to ensure that our armed forces have the equipment they need to defend the UK’s interests across the seas, in the skies and on land, both at home and abroad.

This new contract for Anson not only provides significant financial savings of £50 million to the taxpayer but also secures thousands of jobs in Barrow and across the UK supply chain, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade.

Director Submarines at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Rear Admiral Mike Wareham, said:

The Astute Class provides the Royal Navy with the most technologically advanced submarines, offering much greater firepower, better communications, and more advanced stealth technology than their predecessors.

The first two of class, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, are already in service and making a vital contribution to the defence of UK’s interest, both at home and overseas. Third of class Artful is undergoing sea trials and is due to be handed over to the Royal Navy by the end of 2015.

Featuring the latest nuclear-powered technology, the Astute class can circumnavigate the world submerged, manufacturing the crew’s oxygen from seawater as they go.

They also have the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected in almost all circumstances despite being 50 per cent bigger than the Royal Navy’s current Trafalgar Class submarines.

HMS Artful, the third of the Royal Navy’s new Astute Class attack submarines, set sail from Barrow in July.

On his visit, Mr Dunne was also able to see the progress being made on Barrow’s £300 million infrastructure upgrade programme, which is due to be completed by 2022. This will prepare the site for investment in a new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile submarines and the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:50
Warplanes: Typhoon Was Too Late And Too Much

 

November 15, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Deliveries of Typhoon jet fighters has been delayed for the second time in a year because of manufacturing quality problems. The current delay has to do with assembly of the fuselage and does not cause a short term safety problem but rather a long-term one. If not corrected the aircraft would face a shorter service life (number of flight hours) that could only be corrected with expensive rebuilding.

 

Developed and built by a consortium of the largest European defense firms Typhoon was a replacement for the Cold War era Tornado fighter (a contemporary of the Su-27, F-15 and F-16). Development began in the 1980s and first flight was in 1994, after the Cold War unexpectedly ended. This reduced the urgency to get Typhoon into service, which didn’t happen until 2003. At that point many of the main customers (European NATO members) began to have second thoughts. The huge Russian (Soviet Union) air force faded away in the 1990s and there was no new air threat to replace it. By 2007 most customers for Typhoon were cutting their orders in a major way. For example Britain initially planned to buy 232 (Germany was to get 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87.) Britain already had 144 Eurofighters from the first two batches by 2009 and bought few additional aircraft after that.

 

The Typhoon turned out to be a pretty good warplane. This was discovered early on. By 2008 there were 135 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters in service, and they aircraft have been in the air for a combined 35,000 hours (as of the end of 2007.) Half those hours were flown in 2007, as the Eurofighter entered regular service in several nations. About 20 percent of those flight hours were for flight testing, but the rest were for day-to-day operations. The future looked bright. But since then, competition from American and Russian fighters, for export sales, and lack of European enthusiasm for more purchases, has dimmed sales prospects. Typhoon got into combat in 2011 over Libya and performed well, but the demand from export customers (and local ones) was just not there.

 

Each aircraft costs over $120 million, including development costs. Current estimates indicate that about 600 will eventually be built. The Typhoon is a somewhat stealthy multi-role fighter. It is fast, maneuverable, and carries a lot of weapons. It also can be used for attack missions. This 23 ton aircraft will be the principal fighter in the air forces of Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The Typhoon is closer in capability to the F-15, than the F-22, and is competing with the F-35 for many export sales. The Typhoon was purchased by Saudi Arabia, mainly to provide protection from Iran and some other Persian Gulf states did the same. But this was not enough to make up for the lost sales in Europe.

 

Typhoon has since been modified to operate as a fighter-bomber and can carry up to seven tons of weapons. Normally it carries a combination of smart bombs, missiles and additional fuel tanks and can stay in the air for two to four hours per sorties depending on the mission.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:35
RTA AW-139 helicopter (photo thaifighterclub)

RTA AW-139 helicopter (photo thaifighterclub)

 

November 16, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In early October Thailand ordered another eight AW139 transport helicopters from Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland. The Thai army received its first two AW139s in 2014 and was impressed. The military tends to buy a lot more stuff after a coup (which Thailand had in 2014, the 12 th since 1932) because an elected government is much less cooperative about this sort of thing. The first two AW139s cost about $27 million each. These eight ton choppers carry up to 15 passengers and can get by with just one pilot. Cruise speed is 288 kilometers an hour and endurance averages 3.2 hours. The AW149, a military version of the AW139, is also available but is more expensive. The AW139 competes with the U.S. UH-60 and another European helicopter, the slightly larger NH90. AgustaWestland is a division of the Italian firm Finmeccanica.

 

Thailand has been trying to replace its aging force of helicopters for the last decade. This has led to the purchase of new American, European, and Russian helicopters, depending on who is offering the best deal at the moment. Thus Thailand has also ordered Russian Mi-17V5s, American UH-72As and UH-60Ms and European (Airbus) AS500 helicopters.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:30
Saudi Arabia's Multi-Mission Surface Combatant will be based on the US Navy's Freedom-class littoral combat ships, seen here, but will be more heavily armed.(Photo US Navy)

Saudi Arabia's Multi-Mission Surface Combatant will be based on the US Navy's Freedom-class littoral combat ships, seen here, but will be more heavily armed.(Photo US Navy)

 

November 17, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Saudi Arabia has become the first export customer for the U.S. Navy’s new LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) type vessels. The Saudis are buying four modified LCS ships for $11 billion. This includes basing facilities, training and support as well as extensive modifications to the basic LCS design. The Saudi ships are heavily modified Freedom type LCS ships that the Saudis call MMSC (Multi-Mission Surface Combatant) frigates. The Saudis have been considering this purchase since 2005.

 

In early 2015 the U.S. Navy decided to reclassify the LCS as frigates. This was not unexpected as in size and function the LCS ships were very comparable to frigates. This type of ship was created during World War II as “Destroyer Escorts” (or DE, versus DD for destroyer). These were basically destroyers that were slower (smaller engines), smaller (fewer weapons) and meant for escorting convoys and patrolling areas where major warships were not expected. The DEs proved more useful than expected and were retained after the war and eventually renamed as frigates (FF) type ships. The LCS was meant to be much more than a frigate and used a very innovative design. All that did not work out as expected.

 

The Saudi MMSC armament will be heavier, including sixteen VLS cells carrying Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM). These are anti-aircraft weapons with a range of 50 kilometers. There will also be a 76mm gun, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, several anti-submarine tubes, a 21 cell SeaRAM anti-missile system, a 20mm remotely controlled autocannon, ten 12.7mm machine-guns and more extensive electronics and defensive systems than the U.S. LCS. This includes a variable depth sonar, a torpedo defense system as well as a more powerful radar, and fire control system. A helicopter will also be carried. The heavier armament means the MMSC will not be able to use the mission modules the LCS was designed to carry. NNSC will probably have a crew of about a hundred.

 

Meanwhile the U.S. Navy continues having problems with the original LCS weapons and mission modules. There have been development delays (largely due to poor management) of three unique weapons systems developed for the LCS. The simplest weapon involved is a surface launched Hellfire missile. This missile was designed to be launched from aircraft but it has been long suggested that it be adapted for use from the surface, specifically from warships. The LCS Hellfire has been named the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module and won’t be ready for service until 2017. This module includes 24 Hellfire missiles. The problems are minor compared to the two other problematic modules; the one for mine hunting and one for ASW (anti-submarine warfare) system. The MCM (Mine CounterMeasures) module has no major problems with any of its sensors or mine destroying systems. The problems are with the “integration” (the hardware and software created to get all components of the MCM module to work efficiently together.) The MCM module was supposed to be operational by now but additional debugging will delay this at least until 2016. The worst problems are with the ASW module. All the components work well and integration is fine but in getting all this done someone lost track of module weight, which was not supposed to exceed 105 tons. The excess weight must be removed before the LCS can safely and reliably use the ASW module. This will prove expensive since most of the ASW components involved have been around for a while and are not easily or cheaply modified.

 

These mission modules (which the Saudis are not going to use) are in addition to the basic armament of the LCS which includes a 57mm gun, four 12.7mm machine-guns, two 30mm autocannons, and a 21 cell SeaRam system for aircraft and missile defense. The RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles replaces the earlier Phalanx autocannon. SeaRAM has a longer range (7.5 kilometers) than the Phalanx (two kilometers).

 

The LCS began development in 2002 and in 2012 the U.S. Navy put it into mass production. Then in 2013 one of the three LCSs in service got its first tour in a combat zone (counter-piracy duty around the Straits of Malacca). There LCSs will take turns serving six month tours of counter-piracy duty and be based in Singapore.

 

All these problems, the new ones and many old ones, caused the navy to decide in early 2014 to cut the number to be built from 52 to 32. Mostly this was about shrinking budgets, but there’s also the fact that the LCS has been, for many admirals and politicians, much more troublesome than expected. This was to be expected because the LCS was a radical new warship design and these always have a lot of problems at first. LCS was basically a replacement for the older frigates as well as several jobs frigates did not handle. The LCS has gone through the usual debugging process for a new design and that has attracted a lot of unwelcome media attention. On a more ominous note the navy has decided to study the possibility of developing a new frigate design, which would incorporate some of the lessons learned with the LCS. Because of the money shortage that is also stalled.

 

Despite all the problems many in the navy still believe that the LCS is worth the effort. Costing less than a quarter what a 9,000 ton destroyer goes for and with only a third of the crew the navy sees many tasks where the LCS can do a job that would otherwise require a destroyer or frigate. The navy could have built a new class of frigates, but the LCS design was a lot more flexible, making it possible for different “mission packages” to be quickly installed so that LCS could do what the navy needed (like assemble a lot of mine clearing ships or anti-submarine vessels) in an emergency. This has not worked out as well as expected.

 

The LCS has many novel features which required a lot of tweaking to get working properly. One much resisted latest tweak was to crew size, with ten personnel being added. That made a big difference, because all LCSs have accommodations for only 75 personnel. Normally, a ship of this size would have a crew of about 200. The basic LCS crew was 40, with the other 35 berths occupied by operators of special equipment or special personnel (SEALs or technical specialists). In practice the original crew was usually 55. That was 40 for running the ship and about 15 for the mission package. From now on the number of personnel running the ship increases to 50.

 

The navy surprised everyone in 2010 by choosing both designs and requesting that the fifty or so LCS ships be split between the two very different looking ships. While both ships look quite different (one is a traditional monohull while the other is a broader trimaran), they both share many common elements. One of the most important of these is the highly automated design and smaller crew. The two different LCS designs are from Lockheed-Martin (monohull) and General Dynamics (trimaran). The first LCS, the monohull USS Freedom, completed its sea trials and acceptance inspections in 2009. The ship did very well, with far fewer (about 90 percent fewer) problems (or "material deficiencies") than is usual with the first warship in a class. USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid down by General Dynamics in late 2005, and commissioned in January 2010.

 

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

 

The navy originally sought to have between 50 and 60 LCSs by 2014-18, at a cost of $460 million (after the first five) each. The USS Freedom ended up costing nearly $600 million, about twice what the first ship in the class was supposed to have cost. The navy believes it has the cost down to under $500 million each as mass production begins. At this point it looks like the navy will only have 32 LCS ships by the end of the decade and still unsure about exactly what it can use these ships for.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:30
ENIGMA Blindé 8x8 - photo SITTA

ENIGMA Blindé 8x8 - photo SITTA

 

November 15, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In early 2015 the UAE (United Arab Emirates) sent troops into combat for the first time since 1991. This time around the UAE forces had more modern equipment, some of it made by UAE firms. For example there were two locally made armored vehicles sent to Yemen; NIMR and Enigma. The UAE military has bought over 1,500 NIMR military trucks. NIMR is produced by a UAE company with an assembly plant in Jordan. It is a hummer-like vehicle designed to cope with the high heat and abundant sand and dust found in the Middle East. The basic 4x4 NIMR weighs 4.4 tons, can carry 1.5 tons (or up to eight people), and be equipped with a remote control 12.7mm machine-gun turret. Top speed is 140 kilometers an hour on roads. This version costs about $82,000 each. There is a larger 6x6 version for carrying cargo. There is also an anti-aircraft version armed with four Mistral missiles ready-to-fire and four more as reloads. An anti-tank version comes equipped with four Milan ATGM (anti-tank guided missiles) ready to fire and four more as reloads. All NIMRs are equipped to take a variety of armor kits (providing different degrees of protection against bullets and explosions). NIMR development began in the late 1990s and production began in 2005. NIMR was designed with the help of Russian automotive company GAZ, which also helped set up the manufacturing operation and supplies some of the components. There have been several export customers (all Moslem states) for NIMR.

 

Another new UAE armored vehicle sent to Yemen, the Enigma 8x8 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), which only entered service recently and was still undergoing field testing. Despite that the 25 available Enigmas were sent off to war, where they have performed well. The Enigma is a 28 ton IFV with a V shaped bottom (for protection against mines and roadside bombs). It uses a Russian turret (the one for the BMP 3) and has a crew of three. Eight troops can be carried in the back. The turret is armed with a 100mm gun that fires laser-guided projectiles or several types of shells. In addition there is a 30mm automatic cannon and a 7.62mm machine-gun. Enigma was designed to handle other types of turrets including one with a 155mm howitzer or various missile systems. NIMR (the company that created the NIMR truck) has also developed an MRAP vehicle based on the popular South African RG35 design.

 

UAE troops in Yemen are armed with locally made CAR 816 assault rifles. This is another M-16 clone and has all the latest features and accessories.

 

Since the 1990s the UAE has invested heavily in defense manufacturers inside the UAE and the Middle East. One of these firms is Adcom Systems United which has been around for 25 years and produces a wide range of military equipment. It does this by licensing a lot of technology and forming partnerships with high-tech firms in the West. Adcom has been working on UAVs since 2003 and has delivered several models for both military, police and commercial use.

 

The UAE has been encouraging local companies to develop weapons for use by local forces and export markets. So far this has resulted in UAE firms manufacturing military trucks, guided missiles, and small arms. Despite this since 2008 UAE has become the third largest importer of weapons in the world and the largest in the Middle East. The other two big spenders worldwide are India and China. In the Middle East the UAE imports 50 percent more weapons than Israel.

 

The UAE is a confederation of small Arab states at the southern end of the Persian Gulf. With a population of only 5.5 million, and large oil and gas deposits, the emirates have a per-capita income of $43,000. Thus the UAE has a lot to defend and an increasingly belligerent neighbor just across the Gulf. The UAE controls one side entrance to the Gulf (the Straits of Hormuz). Iran is on the other end, and both nations dispute ownership of some islands in the middle.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:30
Amos-E - credits IAI

Amos-E - credits IAI

 

November 14, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Israel has developed a much cheaper and lighter communications satellite that will do the same job for just as long (about 15 years) as current models. The Amos-E weighs less than two tons and costs a third less than comparable, and nearly twice as heavy, satellite designs. A key technology to make this work is a cheaper and lighter propulsion system to position the satellite (and keep it in position.)

 

Currently over a quarter of the operational satellites are for communications. Most are in a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). This is one of the more difficult orbits to achieve, because it is 36,000 kilometers out, and exact positioning is required in order to get the satellite to the proper position to be most effective. GTO birds are usually communications satellite, with each one having 18 to 24 transponders. Each transponder is capable of relaying data at speeds of from 45 to 90 Megabits per second. While most communications traffic these days goes by much cheaper fiber optic cables, the satellites are still in demand for mobile communications. This is especially true as portable satellite dishes become smaller and cheaper. Military use of satellite communications got its first big workout during the 2003 Iraq invasion, where American troops used, on average 3,200 Megabits of bandwidth. That tied up a lot of transponders, which rented for over a million dollars a month each. Western militaries expect to rent transponders for troops sent overseas and there is a growing commercial demand for such rentals. Because of constant technical innovation like Amos-E the cost of using communications satellites has kept declining. This has kept this method of communications competitive with cheaper alternatives like fiber cable.

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:20
Pike munition - photo Raytheon

Pike munition - photo Raytheon

 

November 14, 2015: Adam Szczepanik – Strategy Page

 

An American firm (Raytheon) has successfully tested a new revolutionary weapon; the Pike 40mm laser guided missile. Pike is another step in the constant shrinking of precision guided munitions, much like the miniaturization of personal electronic devices everyone is familiar with. 40mm Pike is a major step in further miniaturization of laser guided missiles especially for infantry and ground vehicles. Pike will be much cheaper than heavier existing systems like Javelin. The tiny 0.7 kg  (1.5 pound) and 43 centimeter (17 inch) long Pike can reach targets up to two  kilometers distant and come within 4.5 meters (14.5 feet) of the designated target. The major advantage of this missile is that it can be fired from some of the already existing 40mm grenade launchers, like the M320 and FN EGLM. All that is needed is a second soldier with pistol sized laser designator illuminating a target for the missile, and thanks to the semi active laser homing and parabolic trajectory of the missile, the target needs to be illuminated only about 15 seconds after the missile is launched. This allows the missile to be launched from behind cover, and limits the time during which the spotter with laser designator has to be exposed to enemy fire. The Pike is also expected to be integrated with other launch platforms, including small UAVs, boats, and light vehicles. The missile’s 0.3 kg (0.6 pound) blast-fragmentation warhead, slightly larger than that of an ordinary 40mm grenade has 10 meter (32 feet) lethal radius. Further upgrades are also planned for Pike’s electronics, including data link capability and multiple-round simultaneous programming.

 

Pike is part of a trend. Rrecently developed laser guided versions of 70mm rockets, like the Talon, Cirit, DAGR, and APKWS program were the first examples of rapid progress in miniaturization of air launched weapons. Developed since 2002, and first was used in combat in 2012, the APKWS was the first of these missiles to prove the concept worked. These 70mm guided rockets are basically 13.6 kg (30 pound) 70mm missiles, with a laser seeker, a 2.7 kg (six pound) warhead, and a range of about six kilometers. Laser designators on a helicopter, aircraft, or with troops on the ground, are pointed at the target and the laser seeker in the front of the 70mm missile homes in on the reflected laser light. The $28,500 guided 70mm rocket is used against targets that don't require a larger (49 kg/108 pound), and more expensive (over $100,000), Hellfire missile but still needs some targeting precision. In tests the APKWS hit within a meter (a few feet) of the aiming point, about what other 70mm missiles are capable of.

 

The 70mm missile makes an excellent weapon for UAVs, especially since you can carry more of them. The launcher for carrying these missiles is designed to replace the one for Hellfire but can carry four missiles instead of one. Other launchers for 70mm Hydra rockets, like the 7-tube LAU-68 were also adapted for APKWS. However, the APKWS, being based on aircraft carried unguided rockets, have not received a launcher deployable by ground forces.

 

This has forced the infantry to rely on guided anti-tank weapons, like the American Javelin, if no other precision weapons were available. These weapons, designed to fight armored vehicles, are not only challenging for infantry to carry in significant quantity due to their considerable weight of 15.9 kg (35 pound) per 1.2m (4 feet) single missile and launch container, but are also extremely expensive to use, especially in light of the fact that in Afghanistan and Iraq they were generally used against buildings, light fortifications, and trucks. A lot of the cost is due to the advanced, 8.4 kg (18.5 pounds) HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) warhead that features a top-attack mode specifically meant for defeating modern main battle tanks. The newest variant of the Javelin, FGM-148F, has a multi-purpose warhead available for enhanced effectiveness against buildings and fortifications, costs $78,000 per shot, in addition to a re-useable $126,000 Command Launch Unit.

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