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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:45
Sous-marin classe Kilo à la sortie de l'Amirauté d'Alger  photo Cohen Mashaoul

Sous-marin classe Kilo à la sortie de l'Amirauté d'Alger photo Cohen Mashaoul

 

le 25.04.13 Naima Benouaret - elwatan.com

 

Sa place en tant que première force sous-marine en Afrique déjà établie, la Marine nationale algérienne s’apprête à acquérir deux nouveaux sous-marins, dont la commande devrait être incessamment passée.

 

Les deux sous-marins russes de la classe Kilo (code de l’OTAN) déjà réceptionnés, ces trois dernières années, les deux autres fraîchement modernisés en Russie auxquels s’ajoutent les deux unités devant être prochainement commandées devraient permettre à la Marine nationale d’être confortée dans son ambition de rejoindre le club des puissances européennes.

 

C’est ce qu’il faut retenir de l’état des lieux des différentes forces navales à travers le monde que vient de dresser le site Mer et Marine, qui s’occupe de tout ce qui se rapporte au monde maritime civil et militaire. Face à une concurrence marocaine peu redoutable malgré les acquisitions importantes – de grands et puissants bâtiments, des sous-marins allemands type 209/1200 ou russo-italien type S1000 évoqués –, ses voisines libyenne, tunisienne et égyptienne sensiblement affaiblies, les événements du Printemps arabe ayant freiné l’évolution de la situation de leurs forces navales respectives – la Marine nationale semble voir de plus en plus grand. Ainsi, outre les trois remorqueurs d’assistance et de sauvetage du type UT 515 qu’elle s’est offerts auprès de la Norvège, deux frégates lance-missiles de type Meko A200 ont été commandés en 2011 et 2012 à l’Allemagne puis deux autres à la Chine, indique la même source.

BDSL crédits ORIZZONTE SISTEMI NAVALI

BDSL crédits ORIZZONTE SISTEMI NAVALI

Autres commandes, autres dimensions et autres enjeux. Après de longues et pointilleuses négociations avec le ministère de la Défense, l’italien Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (société commune des groupes italiens Finmeccanica et Fincantieri) a fini par décrocher le premier contrat à l’export de sa toute dernière version de bâtiments amphibies. Le nouveau bâtiment de débarquement et de soutien logistique (BDSL) commandé par la Marine nationale et dont la construction a été entamée début 2012 par les ingénieurs du chantier naval Fincantieri, sera, en effet, le premier bâtiment de projection à être équipé de puissants systèmes électroniques de défense aérienne et antinavire de dernière génération. Outre le radar tridimensionnel destiné à la détection aérienne à grande portée ainsi que la conduite de tir appelé à y être installés, le futur bâtiment de la Marine nationale sera également le premier à mettre en œuvre les Aster 15, la dernière version de missiles antimissiles récemment mise au point par le leader européen des missiles et systèmes de missiles MBDA.

Aster 15

Aster 15

S’agissant des capacités d’accueil, force est de dire que le nouveau bâtiment de projection algérien est une véritable base militaire flottante. En témoignent : un hangar pouvant abriter 5 hélicoptères lourds, un garage pour 15 chars lourds, des logements pour 440 soldats en plus des 150 membres d’équipage, une unité hospitalière de 50 lits dotée de salles d’opération permettant la prise en charge des troupes débarquées ou pouvant être mis au service des populations civiles lors d’opérations humanitaires, selon Mer et Marine.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Fincantieri Launches Patrol Vessel for UAE

April 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Italian navy; issued April 23, 2013)

(Issued in Italian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

 

Shipbuilding: Launch of the Third Ship for the United Arab Emirates

 

On 22 April, at the Fincantieri shipyards in Muggiano (La Spezia), was held the launching ceremony of the patrol vessel Salahah ordered by the Navy of the United Arab Emirates from the domestic shipbuilding industry.

 

Salahah is the second "Falaj2"-class patrol vessel delivered to the Navy of the United Arab Emirates, and the third ship overall.

 

The ceremony was attended by Ing. Ferdinand Tognini, Director of the Cantieri del Muggiano and Riva Trigoso, and by General Mohamed Ibrahim Salem, Chief of the Naval Forces of the United Arab Emirates. The launch was also attended by various representatives of the manufacturer, the Commander in Chief of the Naval Region of the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea, Admiral Andrea Toscano, the Head of the Preparation and Testing New Ships (MARINALLES La Spezia), Captain Paolo Pezzutti.

 

The vessel was assigned the recognition number P 252.

 

Salahah is 55 meters long and 8.60 meters wide; it has a maximum speed in excess of 20 knots and it can accommodate a crew of 28 people. Its main feature is the special geometry of its design, which makes it difficult to detect by radar.

 

Fincantieri, after completing the first phase of the contracted program in 2010, which called for the delivery of the 1,650-tonne anti-submarine corvette "Abu Dhabi" and two 550-tonne "Saettia-Stealth" patrol boats, will provide a support and familiarization program for United Arab Emirates crews, together by Marinalles, before being transferred to their homeland.

 

As evidence of the strategic importance assumed by the Middle Eastern market and the strong partnership started with the UAE, Fincantieri has formed the company Etihad Ship Building - a joint venture with Al Fattan Ship Industries and Melara Middle East - specializing in the design, production and sale of different types of civil and naval ships, as well as conducting maintenance and refitting of those under construction in Italy.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
DRS Write-down Drives $1B Finmeccanica Loss

Apr. 23, 2013 - By TOM KINGTON – Defense News

 

ROME — Italy’s Finmeccanica announced a net loss of €786 million (US $1.02 billion) for 2012 on Feb. 23, due mainly to a write-down of the value of US electronics unit DRS.

 

Orders dropped 2.2 percent to €16.7 billion, while revenue rose 1 percent to €17.2 billion. The firm forecast revenue would drop in 2013 to between €16.7 billion and €17 billion as it navigates a tight defense market.

 

After buying DRS for $5.2 billion in 2008, the firm has suffered from a dip in orders as the US pulled out of Iraq and prepares to pull out of Afghanistan. Finmeccanica took a write-down in the value of DRS of €993 million in its 2012 results, as well as a value write-down of €155 million for its Selex EC electronic unit. The company stated that its defense electronics activities in Italy, the UK and the US would see revenue decline in 2013, “but to a large extent in the US market, also following the recent restrictive measures triggered by the sequestration.”

 

Without the write-downs, the company said in a statement, it would have seen a profit of €362 million in 2012.

 

A drop in civil transport, missile and underwater systems, energy and space orders was partly compensated for by an increase in orders of military vehicles by Italy, new AW169 and AW189 helicopters and orders related to the Eurofighter, M346 training jet and C-27J transport aircraft.

 

In a press conference, Finmeccanica CEO Alessandro Pansa said Finmeccanica would begin to reap the benefits of restructuring in 2013, with results already improving at aeronautics unit Alenia Aermacchi due to restructuring.

 

At DRS, a reduction in orders “and prospective orders” was being countered by a reduction in 3,000 jobs and a reduction in the number of sites, he said. “Profitability remains constant, even the cut in orders, thanks to vigilance,” he said.

 

Pansa took over Finmeccanica after the arrest of former CEO Giuseppe Orsi in February by magistrates who suspect him of involvement in alleged corruption in the 2010 sale of helicopters to India. The arrest delayed the issue of the 2012 results from March.

 

Orsi had planned to sell off Finmeccanica’s stake in civil unit Ansaldo Energia to drive down debt, which stood at €3.37 billion at the end of 2012. But the political uncertainty in Italy robbed the firm, which is state controlled, of the political backing it needed to push through the sale.

 

Pansa suggested on Tuesday he would try and proceed with the sell-off when a new government is formed, likely this week.

 

“When there is a government it will be the right moment to present our strategy and our economic and financial position and propose solutions and receive suggestions,” he said.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 06:50
Finmeccanica déçoit avec de nouvelles pertes en 2012

24.047.2013 Bruno Trévidic, Les Echos

 

Le grand nettoyage des comptes opéré en 2012 par Giuseppe Orsi n'aura finalement pas suffi. Après une perte record de 2,3 milliards d'euros en 2011, Finmeccanica a encore fini dans le rouge en 2012, avec une perte nette de 786 millions d'euros, pour un chiffre d'affaires de 17,2 milliards, là où les analystes attendaient un bénéfice de 235 millions.

 

Une fois encore, le groupe italien d'aéronautique et de défense a dépassé les pires prévisions en passant pour près de 1 milliard d'euros de charges exceptionnelles et de dépréciations d'actifs au dernier trimestre. Elles s'ajoutent aux 3,2 milliards d'euros de charges « non récurrentes » annoncées l'an dernier. A l'époque, Giuseppe Orsi avait affirmé que l'entreprise n'aurait désormais « plus aucune excuse » en cas de nouvelles pertes. Mais Giuseppe Orsi n'est plus là. Il a dû démissionner en février dernier, après avoir été inculpé de corruption active dans l'affaire de ventes d'hélicoptères en Inde. Le groupe, qui est détenu à hauteur de 30,2 % par l'Etat italien, est toujours privé de président et une nomination n'est pas prévue avant le mois de juin. Le plan de restructuration, en forme de cure drastique d'amaigrissement, s'est néanmoins poursuivi. Après avoir taillé dans ses filiales de transport et d'énergie, Finmeccanica s'attaque maintenant à ses activités d'électronique de défense. Pour réduire les coûts, trois filiales d'électronique de défense ont fusionné en janvier pour former Selex. Et, le mois dernier, la direction de la nouvelle entité a dévoilé un plan prévoyant la fermeture de 25 usines en Italie et en Grande-Bretagne, avec 2.500 suppressions de postes à la clef.

 

Pour 2013, la direction par intérim de Finmeccanica s'est bien gardée de promettre un retour au bénéfice, au cas où d'autres charges exceptionnelles seraient jugées nécessaires. Le groupe indique seulement tabler sur un résultat d'exploitation avant amortissement de 1,1 milliard d'euros, pour un chiffre d'affaires compris entre 16,7 et 17 milliards d'euros. Des perspectives à des années-lumière des niveaux de rentabilité de ses concurrents, Boeing et EADS, avec lesquels Finmeccanica aimait à se comparer.

 

Mais, plus que ces pertes successives, c'est l'absence de stratégie à long terme qui peut sembler plus préoccupante. Après avoir tout misé sur le marché américain de la défense, avec l'acquisition à prix d'or de l'américain DRS, le groupe se retrouve aujourd'hui en première ligne face à la réduction généralisée des budgets de défense. Et sans contrepoids suffisant dans l'aéronautique civile, où sa filiale Alenia tarde à récolter les fruits de son partenariat avec Boeing sur le programme 787.

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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 17:04
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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 17:27
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15 avril 2013 1 15 /04 /avril /2013 20:09
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28 mars 2013 4 28 /03 /mars /2013 13:51

http://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/image_data/file/8370/s300_16x-2013-025-0279g.jpg

British and Italian soldiers work together during Exercise

Eagle Eye [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

 

28 March 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

The eyes and ears of the British Army's rapid reaction force have been tested on a tough training exercise with their Italian counterparts.

 

Exercise Eagle Eye saw reconnaissance troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade work alongside the Italian Brigata Paracadutisti Folgore in Monte Romano, near Rome.

 

The aim of the training was to test the brigade’s full range of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities, and share techniques and tactics with their Italian counterparts.

 

After joint training on basic skills, the exercise built up to an assault on a simulated terrorist camp.

 

Ahead of the attack, British and Italian soldiers worked together behind enemy lines on the ISTAR skills of securing and marking drop and landing zones for paratroopers and helicopters, checking routes were suitable for troops and vehicles to use, intercepting communications and carrying out surveillance from concealed observation posts to build up a detailed picture of the target.

Italian and UK soldiers
Italian and British soldiers joint training on basic skills during Exercise Eagles Eye [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

The British units taking part included D Squadron Household Cavalry Regiment (D Sqn HCR), 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) and Pathfinders.

All provide soldiers for the Air Assault Task Force, which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to conduct the full spectrum of military operations, from non-combatant evacuation operations to warfighting.

Captain Ben Neary, of 3 PARA, said:

The success of any operation is down to the intelligence that the plan is built around and this exercise has been about testing our capabilities to gather and act on information. I command 3 PARA’s patrols platoon and our role is to put troops just ahead of the main force to learn about enemy movements and the ground conditions.

 

It’s been a great experience to share our skills with Italian paratroopers. After a long operation in Afghanistan, both armies are regenerating the specialist capabilities of their airborne forces to be ready for future operations. The Italians have been humble in asking for our advice, but they’re very capable and it’s been more of an exchange of ideas.
A paratrooper
A paratrooper dropping towards a marked landing zone during Exercise Eagle Eye [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

The strike was carried out by D Sqn HCR, who swapped their core role of conducting reconnaissance patrols in the Scimitar armoured vehicle for an infantry-style operation. Troops were dropped by helicopter at night to covertly march on the target.

 

Lance Corporal of Horse Mark Doran, aged 29 from Shrewsbury, said:

As a unit we’re looking to develop our infantry capabilities and this has been a good chance to practice the basic skills in the field. It’s very tough terrain to move and fight in and we haven’t slept for two days, but everyone has performed well.

 

Having Italians with us has added to the challenge but been very enjoyable. At first the language barrier was quite difficult, but we’ve all learned a few words of each others language.

Household Cavalry soldiers
Having swapped their core role of conducting reconnaissance patrols, Household Cavalry soldiers exercise as an infantry force [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Captain Bruno Ambrosini, of the Italian Savoia Cavalleria Regiment, worked with D Sqn HCR as his unit is changing to perform the same airborne cavalry role.

 

He said:

It’s been very hard training but an excellent opportunity to learn from the British, who are NATO allies we have served alongside on operations.

 

It’s really good to exchange procedures and knowledge in training, so we can successfully develop our forces and work better with the British in the future.

UK and Italian reconnaissance troops
UK and Italian reconnaissance troops on Exercise Eagle Eye [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]
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25 mars 2013 1 25 /03 /mars /2013 17:50

C-27J – photo1 Alenia Aermacchi

Italian air force types including the C-27J will receive

ELT-572 DIRCM installations

 

Mar. 25, 2013 by Arie Egozi – FG

 

Tel Aviv - Work to install Elbit Systems C-Music directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) equipment on several Italian air force types is to begin soon, under the terms of a $15 million contract awarded to industry partner Elettronica in 2011.

 

Dan Slasky, vice-president of airborne electro-optics and laser systems at Elbit's Elop division, says the Italian air force will first install Elettronica's ELT-572 self-protection system onto its Lockheed Martin C-130J and Alenia Aermacchi C-27 tactical transports and AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.

 

The integration work is to begin following a series of "very successful" tests performed by the Italian air force, Slasky adds.

 

Based on the use of advanced fibre laser technology, the Music system counters man-portable air defence systems by emitting a laser beam towards an approaching missile's seeker head, causing it to veer off course. Elbit says the open-architecture technology can be installed on any type of aircraft, with existing customers including operators of military, commercial and VIP-transport aircraft.

 

"There is a growing demand for the systems for protecting cargo and aerial refuelling aircraft. Each month we respond to at least one request for proposals," Slasky says, citing a "real and imminent" threat posed by shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles. However, integrating such equipment with commercial airliners remains a "complex issue", he adds.

 

Slasky also reveals that negotiations are taking place about potentially installing Music-series countermeasures equipment on aircraft for four Boeing customers. The US airframer and Elbit earlier this year signed a collaboration agreement enabling the former to offer different versions of the DIRCM technology with its fixed-wing and helicopter product ranges.

 

Boeing's Military Aircraft and Network & Space Systems organisations are working together to integrate the systems on to new and existing aircraft, as well as providing signature analysis and end-to-end services and support for the equipment.

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22 mars 2013 5 22 /03 /mars /2013 17:50
SAMP/T successfully destroy a ballistic missile

Picture: French Air Force SAMP/T (Armée de l’Air)

 

22.03.2013by Guillaume Belan (FOB)

 

The Italian Army and French Air Force carried out early March a successful interception of a ballistic missile target. The recent test of the European missile defence system SAMP/T, made by MBDA, employed NATO standard communications environment for the first time. This 6 March test was  integrated within the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre (BMDOC) at Ramstein, Germany. The missile was the Aster 30 which scored a direct hit on the target. The target, an Israeli Black Sparrow missile was launched by an Israeli F-15 from the Atlantic ocean on a ballistic trajectory about 300 km from the land. The test campaign began in 2005 and the system is operational since 2008. The test represents another milestone for the SAMP/T system, now capable to counter a ballistic missile under NATO’s future missile defence architecture. This test has been realised in France at the DGA (French procurement agency) missile test center in Biscarrosse, jointly realised by the fourth artillery regiment of Mantoue (Italy) and the French Military air testing center (centre d’expériences aériennes militaires – CEAM) of Mont-de-Marsan. It required important means form the French DGA and NATO. SAMP/T based on the Aster 30 missile has thus accomplished an important step in the french-italian contribution for the NATO programme of force protection against a ballistic missile threat.

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7 mars 2013 4 07 /03 /mars /2013 21:55

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/dga/images-format-une/missiles/tir-samp-t/2214972-1-fre-FR/tir-samp-t.jpg

Tir SAMP/T sur le site de DGA Essais de missiles à

Biscarrosse

 

07/03/2013 16:35 Actualité DGA

 

L’armée de terre italienne et l’armée de l’air française ont réussi le 6 mars 2013, pour la première fois dans une architecture impliquant l’Otan, l’interception d’une cible représentative d’un missile balistique de théâtre grâce à leur système commun de défense aérienne moyenne portée SAMP/T. Après environ 300 kilomètres de vol balistique, la cible tirée d’un aéronef a été détruite par un missile intercepteur Aster 30.

 

Ce tir d’évaluation technico-opérationnelle a été réalisé au centre DGA Essais de missiles de Biscarrosse, conjointement par le quatrième régiment d’artillerie de Mantoue (Italie) et le centre d’expériences aériennes militaires (CEAM) de Mont-de-Marsan. Il a mobilisé des moyens importants de plusieurs centres de la DGA ainsi que ceux de l’Otan.

 

Ce succès est une étape supplémentaire franchie dans la démonstration des capacités du système d’armes SAMP/T à pouvoir contrer une menace balistique de théâtre dans un cadre Otan. Il fait suite aux deux tirs réalisés avec succès en octobre 2010 et novembre 2011 contre le même type de menace.

 

Les atouts du SAMP/T, baptisé « Mamba » par l’armée de l’air française, sont notamment la défense de zone à 360°, sa portée, l’agilité du missile, la modularité et la capacité à traiter simultanément tout type de cibles aériennes modernes.

 

En service en Italie et en France, le système SAMP/T est la pierre angulaire de la contribution de ces deux pays au programme Otan de protection des forces déployées contre la menace balistique.

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27 février 2013 3 27 /02 /février /2013 17:45

nimr II

 

27 February 2013 by Oscar Nkala - defenceWeb

 

The Libyan Army has taken delivery of 69 armoured vehicles, with the first batch of 20 Puma armoured fighting vehicles coming as a donation from Italy a while a further 49 Jordanian-made Nimr vehicles were donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 

The Puma vehicles were manufactured by Iveco Italia and supplied to Libya in terms of a bilateral defence co-operation agreement, which has also seen thousands of Libyan Army specialists and officers being trained in Italy. They were handed over to the Libyan defence minister General Mohammed Al-Bargoti in Tripoli by Italian defence minister Giampaolo Di Paola.

 

Speaking during the handover of the vehicles in Tripoli mid-month, Di Paola said the donation is testimony of the stronger, closer military and security ties between the two countries since the fall of former Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. He said Italy is prepared to help train and arm the navy, the army and the police forces to strengthen border and national security.

 

“We are prepared to help the new Libyan government by providing vehicles, training and a border control system. Libya is strategically important to Italy. We want the country to be stable and secure. We were among the first to come here immediately after the liberation to reaffirm our friendly ties. There are several agreements for cooperation projects that have already been signed, such as the one on integrated surveillance of Libyan borders,” Di Paolla told the Libyan Herald.

 

General Al Bargoti praised Italy for the support saying the donation and the fact that 3 000 members of the Libyan Army are currently being trained as military specialists and officers in Italy.

 

“Italy is a technologically advanced country and we will give it priority status for new armaments acquisitions. There will be more Italian arms deals,” Al Bargouti said.

 

The delivery of the 49 Nimr vehicles from the UAE is a boost to the 120 Nimrs already in service with the Libyan Army. Libyan Army spokesman Ali Al Sheiki said the armoured personnel carriers were supplied to Libya as part of a bi-lateral defence co-operation agreement signed between the two countries last year.

 

He said the new vehicles will be deployed to border security and surveillance duties in the eastern region which covers the general Benghazi area, which has evolved into a hotbed of jihadist militancy and a haven for armed criminal gangs.

 

The Nimr has a composite ceramic armour cover and a central tyre inflation system. All models are powered by a Cummins engines developing 146 kW of power, which provides a top road speed of 140 km/h and a cruising range of 700 km. The vehicle has a seating capacity for up to 6 passengers. More than 500 NIMR variants have been sold and are used widely in the UAE, Jordan, Libya, Algeria and Lebanon.

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17 février 2013 7 17 /02 /février /2013 07:35

Logo LBG 2011

 

Feb. 16, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - livefist

 

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the potential losses of business in the Indian defence market, as a result of a virtual blacklist, for Finmeccanica amount to about $10-billion in the near term. Not that it was on its way to winning, but the Navy's multirole helicopter (MRH) programme, in which AgustaWestland JV NHIndustries participates with the NH90, could be untouchable now. With bids still to be opened in what has been a long and bitter competition against the Sikorsky S-70B, it remains to be seen if the government will proceed with opening bids and hand the deal to Sikorsky -- or simply pull the plug and call for fresh bids and new competitors. The other programme is the newly floated Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) bid for 56 light copters. AgustaWestland has put forth the AW109 LUH as a contender against the Sikorsky S-76B, Bell 429 and Eurocopter AS 565 MB Panther. It might as well withdraw. No chance. Finally, the big IAF HS-748 Avro replacement programme, that's seen Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aermachhi mount a high-profile campaign on the C-27J Spartan. Not happening. There are others too that could potentially be singed by a blacklist -- Finmeccanica has equity fingers in tens of companies. Cynical? Overreacting? You don't know how Indian politics works.

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7 février 2013 4 07 /02 /février /2013 17:20

Armed-MC-27J-Alenia-Aermacchi.jpg

Armed MC-27J Alenia Aermacchi

 

Feb. 7, 2013 by Luca Peruzzi – FG

 

Alenia Aermacchi and ATK will complete the first phase of testing for an armed, multi-mission version of the C-27J battlefield airlifter by the end of February.

 

"The MC-27J version is not just a gunship", according to an Alenia Aermacchi source, "but an adaptable, agile and affordable platform solution to be equipped with a sensor, communication and weapon suite able to execute a wide range of customer-driven missions."

 

Unveiled as a product at the Farnborough air show in July 2012, the MC-27J is being developed and marketed by an Alenia and ATK team, with the companies acting as platform system integrator and modular mission and weapon system supplier, respectively.

 

"We are introducing roll-on and secure pallets, quick connect interface with avionics and aircraft systems, and working on an external antenna and sensor configuration to reduce operational limitations for transport missions," Alenia Aermacchi says.

 

The companies are offering a mission suite based on a roll-on/roll-off module, with two mission control operator stations, a cockpit display and command units capable of accomplishing a wide range of missions. The aircraft also boasts two electro-optical/infrared sensor (EO/IR) turrets for surveillance and weapon targeting, a new synthetic aperture radar, fire control system, secure radios and a datalink.

 

The armed configuration is based on a pallet-mounted ATK GAU-23 Bushmaster 30mm automatic cannon, also selected for the US Air Force's Lockheed Martin MC-130W Combat Spear special mission/gunship.

 

Weighing less than 900kg (1,980lb), with 500 rounds of ammunition, the weapon is fitted at the rear left door with the gun barrel protruding.

 

Flight International understands the gun has a slant range of 2.2nm (4km) from a 5,000ft (1,520m) altitude, and will be fired in unpressured conditions to enhance accuracy. The MC-27J also can carry precision-guided munitions, including those released from launchers incorporated with the aircraft's rear ramp.

 

An Alenia Aermacchi source says the first firing test phase will be performed at a US range, using a company-owned C-27J with a fixed gun with manual adjustment and cameras installed. The process will include five or six flights involving single and multiple rounds being fired, and will be completed during February.

 

The companies have, meanwhile, already started a second phase of work with an ATK-provided GAU-23 gun trainable mount, fire control software, installed EO/IR turrets and a mission system. These activities are scheduled to be completed, with additional testing, before the end of 2013.

 

Alenia Aermacchi says the C-27J has so far been ordered by 10 customers, with the latest being Australia and an undisclosed nation from central Africa. The company has so far delivered 54 of the 91 aircraft ordered, with more than 60,000 flight hours amassed and the type delivering an average availability rate of over 70%.

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17 novembre 2012 6 17 /11 /novembre /2012 12:50

Europe Flag

 

nov 16, 2012 Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (BRUXELLES2 à Paris)

 

On pourrait dire « voici une déclaration de plus », « encore du blabla », « c’est de la gesticulation politique »… La déclaration de Paris adoptée, jeudi (15 novembre), par les ministres des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense français, allemands, italiens, espagnols et polonais… tient sans doute de cela effectivement.

 

Mais il faudrait se garder de tout amalgame, une réunion des ministres en tandem, des cinq pays les plus importants au plan européen en matière de défense (exceptée le Royaume-Uni qui ne souhaite pas le développement de cette politique européenne) n’est pas anodine en soi. Le fait qu’elle se déroule avant un conseil des ministres, et alors que la discussion budgétaire au plan européen comme au plan national s’avère très difficile.

 

Le message est donc un clair signal politique, à portée tout autant interne qu’européen. Il est aussi l’occasion pour les Cinq de faire des recommandations en matière de renforcement des structures, de développement d’opérations et de coordination des capacités. Voici une lecture commentée de cette déclaration que l’on peut télécharger ici.

 

Le message politique d’une ambition renouvelée

 

L’Europe veut être adulte

 

Cette déclaration est donc, avant tout, une marque de « volonté« . Le mot figure dans la déclaration. Et il a été répété à plusieurs reprises par les ministres du « club des Cinq » lors de la conférence de presse qui a suivi la réunion, et sur tous les tons. L’UE devrait être « apte et résolue à prendre ses responsabilités dans des régions où ses intérêts de sécurité et ses valeurs sont en jeu ». Elle doit « se donner les moyens de leurs ambitions dans le domaine de la sécurité et de la défense » précise ainsi le texte. Ce que le ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères, Guido Westerwelle, a résumé par une formule : « Nous, Européens, devons être davantage responsables de notre politique de sécurité et de politique étrangère».

 

Les circonstances ont changé, la crise est passée par là

 

C’est un constat fait partagé par tous les ministres comme l’a résumé Laurent Fabius, l’hôte de la réunion. « Le tournant américain vers le Pacifique, les menaces qui demeurent et la crise budgétaire » ont marqué les esprits. L’impératif de réalité a frappé. Il oblige à « avoir davantage d’Europe », comme le souligne Guido Westerwelle, non pas vraiment pour le plaisir mais par nécessité. « Nous avons moins de moyens à disposition et des moyens budgétaires plus limités. Dans l’intérêt du contribuable et de la politique étrangère, il est judicieux de pouvoir se concerter, de créer des synergies ».

 

L’heure est au pragmatisme

 

Les Cinq ne cachent pas qu’ils n’ont pas été parfaits dans le passé, entassant des déclarations plus ambitieuses que les autres non suivies d’effet et qui n’étaient plus en rapport avec les réelles capacités des Européens. Dans le passé, « la divergence entre objectifs fixés et réalisations concrètes était trop importante, aujourd’hui il faut être sans doute moins ambitieux mais plus pragmatique et faire des réalisations communes » a expliqué le ministre allemande des Affaires étrangères Guido Westerwelle.

 

Une politique industrielle

 

Il faut donner « travailler sur un marché commun de défense plus intégré avec des synergies et des économies budgétaires » à la clé a ainsi plaidé le ministre italien Giulio Terzi. Cette notion de politique industrielle était aussi très présente chez les ministres allemand et français de la Défense. De Maizière défendant « une politique industrielle de l’armement, le renforcement en commun de l’agence et la coordination des projets d’équipement » tandis que son homologue français Le Drian confirme. « Nous nous inscrivons totalement dans l’Agence de défense » allant faire jusqu’à s’interroger s’il ne fallait pas lui confier la réflexion sur « l‘acquisition nécessaire pour la défense anti-missiles ».

 

Agir à l’extérieur

 

Malgré tout les Européens veulent continuer à peser sur le monde.« Il y a un consensus sur la partie la plus difficile : l’engagement des forces armées, et la contribution de tous à la sécurité et à la stabilité du monde » a ajouté Pedro Morenes le ministre espagnol de la Défense. Notre dénominateur commun, a conclu Radek Sikorski, le ministre polonais des Affaires étrangères. « C’est de pouvoir agir à l’extérieur. Il ne faut pas avoir une Union européenne qui se referme mais réfléchit et s’ouvre sur l’extérieur. » Et a-t-il ajouté « nous devrons être capable de renforcer notre diplomatie par notre force militaire. De même qu’on intervient dans la Corne de l’Afrique, on devrait sécuriser notre voisinage ». Un propos qui rappelle aux intervenants que pour de nombreux pays de l’Est, la menace reste toujours à Moscou (les derniers chars russes n’ont quitté le territoire qui est celui de l’Union européenne qu’il y a 15 ans).

 

Les recommandations des Cinq à l’UE

 

La déclaration comprend une série de recommandations à la fois sur les structures, les opérations et les capacités, qui n’est pas tout à fait anodine

 

Le cap et les moyens

 

Les ministres placent également une ambition à cette politique européenne servie aujourd’hui par un Service européen d’action extérieure (SEAE).

 

Le cap. L’Union européenne doit agir « rapidement » et « efficacement » sur « tout le spectre » des mesures de gestion des crises , « en étroite coopération avec les organisations internationales et régionales ». Nb : il ne peut être question de faire uniquement des opérations « gentilles » mais être capable de faire du maintien de force. L’axiome d’intégration de l’action de l’Union européenne dans un cadre international et régional est répété et amplifier…

 

Les Structures politico-militaires. « Des structures véritablement civilo-militaires pour planifier et conduire des missions et opérations et créer une plus grande synergie entre le Service européen d’action extérieure et la Commission ». Nb : le dispositif du Traité de Lisbonne n’est pas vraiment efficace, du moins pas encore. La présence d’un haut représentant qui est aussi vice-président de la Commission européenne n’a pas produit l’effet escompté. Entre la Commission et le SEAE, il y a plus qu’une « différence de cultures », une différence d’approche, que masque mal le concept d’approche globale qui est souvent un peu la « tarte à la crème » du SEAE. Les incompréhensions et les « gaps » de financement existent encore. On peut remarquer également qu’il n’est plus question uniquement d’un centre de conduite des opérations militaires mais d’une structure civilo-militaire de conduite des opérations. Ce qui donnerait effectivement à l’Union européenne une structure originale, correspondant à son « logiciel de pensée » et qui ne pourrait se voir reprocher l’idée de doublon avec d’autres structures existantes (nationales ou OTAN). Intelligent.

 

Battlegroups.

 

563px-EU Battlegroup.svg

 

Il faut « être prêts à les tenir à disposition, les entraîner, les déployer et les maintenir sur le terrain ». Nb : les Cinq répètent leur « foi » dans ces groupements tactiques qui n’ont jamais servi, et surtout où on ne voit pas vraiment où ils peuvent servir. L’idée de les maintenir en réserve par exemple pour les Balkans pourrait être une idée à travailler. Au-delà du principe de « déploiement », on peut aussi remarquer que réapparait la notion de « maintien » sur le terrain. Autrement dit des Battlegroups qui ne sont pas uniquement une « force d’entrée en premier » mais une « force de présence ».

 

Commandement européen de transport aérien (EATC). Il doit « adapté et étendu à d’autres États membres, pourrait constituer un véritable pas en avant vers des capacités rapides et partagées de transport aérien et de ravitaillement en vol ». Nb : ce blog a été un des premiers à visiter le QG d’Eindhoven d’EATC. Et ce commandement est certainement la première capacité réellement partagée au plan européen, de façon concertée. les Cinq s’accordent ainsi sur son extension géographique (d’abord aux trois qui n’en sont pas membres : Espagne, Italie, Pologne) et matérielle (seul le transport aérien est concerné aujourd’hui, l’extension aux ravitailleurs en vol est donc attendue).

 

Conforter cinq terrains d’opérations

 

• Mali : Les Cinq encouragent tous les partenaires « à contribuer à une éventuelle mission de formation en soutien aux forces armées maliennes ». Nb : Mis à part la Pologne, les 4 autres pays présents ont affirmé leur disposition à envoyer des forces dans le cadre d’EUTM Mali. Ils invitent chacun à faire un geste identique.

 

• Libye : « se tenir prête » à « assister et soutenir les nouvelles autorités libyennes ». Nb : sur cette mission, il y a hésitation tant au sein des Etats membres que du service européenne d’action extérieure ou de la Commission. L’hésitation n’est plus permise disent les Cinq.

 

Balkans : « réfléchir à la façon dont l’Union européenne pourrait mieux agir sur le terrain et contribuer davantage à la normalisation de la région ». Nb : Concrètement, comme l’a rappelé le ministre italien, il faut réfléchir à ce que les Européens prennent en charge la KFOR, qui passerait ainsi du giron de l’OTAN à celui de l’UE. Avec un avantage essentiel, disposer sous une même autorité politique à la fois du renforcement de l’Etat de droit (EULEX) et des forces militaires.

 

Géorgie : « demeurer engagée et impliquée dans les efforts pour stabiliser et apporter une solution au conflit ».

 

Afghanistan : « maintenir l’engagement de l’Union européenne en faveur d’une police nationale afghane forte et efficace ».

 

La présence de cinq théâtres mentionnée dans la déclaration ne tient pas tout à fait au hasard : elle correspond à des zones où un ou deux Etats auteurs de la déclaration de Paris sont « pousseurs » : la France et l’Espagne pour le Mali, l’Italie pour la Libye, l’Italie (et la France) pour les Balkans, la Pologne pour la Géorgie, l’Allemagne pour l’Afghanistan.

 

Coordination des capacités

 

Les cinq plaident pour :

 

- une capacité de « déployer et de soutenir des opérations militaires sur des théâtres lointains et de longues périodes ». Nb : alors que le retrait d’Afghanistan s’amorce, ce qui va permettre une diminution de la charge financière et matérielle, on voit mal comment les Européens pourraient supporter un nouvel effort à court terme. Cet engagement se situe donc plutôt à moyen terme.

 

- mieux équilibrer le « partage du fardeau au sein de la communauté transatlantique ». Nb: on verra si cet engagement est tenu

 

- assurer une « meilleure coordination entre les processus nationaux de planification » des Etats membres. Nb : Ce qui représenterait une vraie valeur ajoutée par rapport aux systèmes actuels où chacun planifie, achète, et dépense sans concertation, et explique sans nul doute l’affaiblissement des armées européennes qui multiplient doublons et lacunes.

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5 septembre 2012 3 05 /09 /septembre /2012 17:20

C-27J – photo1 Alenia Aermacchi

 

September 5, 2012. David Pugliese Defence Watch

 

This press release is from Alenia:

 

 Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 5, 2012 – Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America and its Canadian partners, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace and DRS Canada are pleased to announce that their C-27J Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) configuration will include a Canadian mission system.  By partnering with well-established Canadian companies and committing to a Canadian mission system, Alenia Aermacchi resolves to make the C-27J Spartan the most suitable search and rescue platform available for Canada’s FWSAR mission.  The C-27J team will develop a SAR platform focused on Canada’s requirements, including the mission system, which will be designed and integrated in Canada, delivering economic impact and efficiency.  Furthermore, Alenia will work closely with the Canadian government, Canadian partners and vendors to assure the necessary technology transfer so Canadian firms have the technological capability to support the C-27J FWSAR solution in Canada, for the life of the program. Completing this work in Canada maximizes Canadian participation in the program and creates opportunities for Canadian industry to market similar solutions around the world.

 

The mission system, which includes high tech sensors and the computers that manage them, will greatly increase search and rescue crews’ ability to detect Canadians in need, such as mariners in life rafts or lost hikers in the mountains.

 

“The mission system will add significant search capability to the C-27J. Five years from now, we’ll wonder how we ever managed search and rescue missions without it,” said David Ibbetson, General Manager of General Dynamics Canada. “Eastern Canadian companies are a strong part of the C-27J team.  The program represents a great opportunity for Eastern Canada and our country as a whole; announcing our plans to missionize the aircraft in Canada, while here at DEFSEC, seems appropriate.”

 

In May, Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace and DRS Canada signed a Letter of Intent to partner on a proposal for a Canadian FWSAR solution.  Since that time the team has been working to develop the best path forward. In addition to its decision to missionize the C-27J in Canada, the team looks forward to the time when it can announce new teaming decisions and its plans to drive superior economic benefits to all parts of Canada, coast-to-coast- to-coast.

 

“After visiting our partners’ facilities in Ottawa, ON, Halifax, NS and St. John’s, NL, I am more confident than ever that the C-27J team is capable of producing a search and rescue platform that Canadians can be proud of – a platform that is not only tailored for Canada, leveraging world class Canadian technology, but one that helps build the Canadian economy through continued investment in technology, infrastructure and workforce,” said Alan Calegari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi North America.

 

The C-27J Spartan is the most capable, cost effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today. The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with state-of-the-art technology in avionics, propulsion and systems, resulting in a high performance, cost effective and extremely flexible aircraft. The aircraft can operate in the harshest environments and over vast terrain and can provide the speed necessary to reach those in need, when time is short. The C-27J is a perfect fit for Canada’s FWSAR needs.

“Provincial Aerospace has been performing airborne surveillance missions in Canada for more than 30 years, flying over 150,000 hours and completing 25,000 incident-free missions,” said Mr. Keith Stoodley, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Provincial Aerospace. “We are intimately familiar with the demands of Canada’s oceans, arctic areas, and rugged terrain and we are confident that the C-27J Spartan is the best suited aircraft for Canada’s SAR needs. No other company in the world has the operational experience that we bring to the table and when combined with the team’s missionization experience, the FWSAR procurement process presents exceptional domestic and international opportunities for Canadian industry.”

 

As the program evolves, the C-27J team believes Canada’s approach to FWSAR is appropriate and practical. For example, when it comes to having a single point of accountability, the C-27J team is committed to having one entity responsible for all program performance, with others, including Canadian defence and aerospace companies responsible for fully supporting the aircraft for the life of the program. The C-27J team looks forward to the release of the draft Request for Proposal and the continued advancement of the project.

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13 juillet 2012 5 13 /07 /juillet /2012 12:20

Predator over Afghanistan photo USAF

 

13 July 2012 defenceweb.co.za (Reuters)

 

Having revolutionized warfare for the United States in the last 15 years, unmanned aerial drones are going global as the number of countries building and operating them soars.

 

Until now, such systems have largely been the exclusive purview of the U.S. and a handful of allies. Washington allowed Britain, Italy and Turkey to buy U.S.-built drones and operate them usually alongside U.S. forces, but largely rejected requests from other nations keen to acquire the same capability.

 

But that is quickly changing. U.S. firm General Atomics expects to make its first sales of an unarmed version of its Predator drones this year, with Latin America and the Middle East seen to be particularly fertile markets, Reuters reports.

 

"There has been very considerable international interest," retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Christopher Ames, now director of international strategic development for the company, told Reuters at this week's Farnborough International Airshow.

 

Flanked by video screens showing the firm's products in action in Iraq, Afghanistan and tracking pirates over the Indian Ocean, Ames said their combat record spoke for itself.

 

Not only were human air crew not put at risk, he said, but use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also offered huge savings in fuel and personnel costs over conventional manned aircraft.

 

"The nations that have been operating with us in coalition... have seen what it can do in practice," he said.. "Their conviction goes beyond what marketing hype can provide."

 

Privately owned San Diego-based General Atomics was one of the pioneers of early drone technology, operating them first in the Balkans in the 1990s. While the Israeli military has long embraced unmanned aircraft, recruiting specialists directly from model aircraft clubs, other air forces including that of the United States were initially distinctly skeptical.

 

But the wars that followed the attacks of September 11, 2001 changed all that. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere, U.S. forces have become increasingly reliant on drones ranging from tiny aircraft operated by infantrymen to those that can fly hundreds or even thousands of miles and stay aloft over 24 hours.

 

Under the presidency of Barack Obama in particular, they have often been the weapon of choice for targeted killings of leading al Qaeda militants, as well as a favorite tool for long-range spy flights over potentially unfriendly countries.

 

The winding down of combat operations in Afghanistan may reduce the current level of U.S. drone demand, industry executives say. But the global market, they suspect, is only beginning to hot up.

 

Until now, Washington has remained able to exercise considerable control over even those drones it has sold abroad. Britain's Royal Air Force, for example, bases the pilots flying its drones over Afghanistan at a U.S. air force base in Nevada alongside their U.S. counterparts.

 

That, experts say, cannot last.

 

DRONES PRIDE OF PLACE

 

"In the future, if you're a moderately serious air force... you're going to want to have at least a medium-level endurance drone with the capability to mount reconnaissance and probably deploy weapons," says Douglas Barrie, a senior fellow for aerospace at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. "It also may or may not be stealthy... We are only at the very beginning of that now."

 

With aircraft such as Predator, the much longer-range Global Hawk built by Northrop Grumman Corp and the top-secret and stealthy Lockheed Martin Sentinel -- one of which crashed and was captured on an apparent mission over Iran last year -- the United States remains by far the leader of the pack.

 

But perhaps inevitably, the gap is closing.

 

At this year's Farnborough Air Show, almost every major international aircraft maker brought with them their own latest drone. Outside its large chalet, Britain's BAE Systems displayed its long-range Taranis stealth UAV prototype in prime position alongside its Hawk trainer -- the aircraft used by the RAF's Red Arrows display team -- as well as a World War Two-era Spitfire.

 

"What we're looking at is effectively jumping straight to the next generation," said Martin Rowe-Wilcocks, BAE head of international business development for future combat air systems. "We're able to look at those systems that are already in service and learn from them."

 

Israel has long sold small unarmed drones to a range of countries, but other producers are also muscling in. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported in April that Russia hoped to fly its first prototype domestically produced armed drone as soon as 2014.

 

China has made it clear it is interested in building similar systems, and both countries are expected to have done what they can to persuade Tehran to share its captured Sentinel.

 

As demand but also international competition rises, some U.S. firms worry Washington's attempts to slow the spread of drone technology may leave it falling behind.

 

Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show several countries including United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia asking U.S. officials to buy armed drones but being rebuffed.

 

Washington says its commitments to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a non-binding international agreement designed to limit the spread of long-range precision weaponry, restrict drone export.

 

U.S. FIRMS DISADVANTAGED?

 

Industry leaders warn that could see the U.S. drone sector going the way of its commercial satellite production, effectively strangled by export controls seen as effectively killing its dominance of the sector just as new rivals emerge.

 

"The unmanned area is growing by leaps and bounds," says Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association. "The Missile Technology Control Regime is something that really needs to be addressed because it's disadvantaging U.S. industry."

 

The export-variant Predator, General Atomics says, should deal with some of those concerns. It will have no "hard points" to attach missiles and would be deliberately engineered to make adding new weaponry impossible, it says.

 

Retailing at $3-4 million an item, the unarmed export drone is way cheaper than most equivalent aircraft, Ames said.

 

"There are countries that for a long time have been asking for Predator," he said. "It (the export variant) opens that up to us."

 

Other U.S. defense firms are also investing growing quantities of their own money in new and innovative UAVs. Boeing recently test-flew its prototype "Phantom Eye", a high-altitude drone capable of staying airborne for days at a time.

 

Even if foreign markets remain sometimes off-limits, the Pentagon is seen as still keen to expand the use of drones into new areas. Lockheed Martin says it is investing in unmanned technologies and plans to compete for a future U.S. Navy contract to build a next-generation drone that will operate from aircraft carriers.

 

That contest is also likely to include Northrop Grumman Corp, maker of the X-47B, a U.S. Navy program that is demonstrating some of the initial capabilities that would be packed on the future carrier drones.

 

Officials say Britain is also increasingly interested in naval drones to operate from carriers as well as a range of smaller warships. But BAE's Rowe-Wilcocks says the real growth area will ultimately be the civilian sector.

 

Within a decade or so, he believes unmanned aircraft will routinely operate in European air space, providing surveillance for law enforcement agencies, maritime patrol and a host of other functions.

 

"The test will be whether the public will accept unmanned aircraft overhead in the way they accept those with someone in the cockpit," he says. "At this stage, I think we're more or less there technologically. It is really going to be a regulatory and particularly cultural challenge."

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9 juillet 2012 1 09 /07 /juillet /2012 17:15
Alenia Transforms C-27J Into Gunship

 

July 9, 2012. David Pugliese Defence Watch

 

Press release from Alenia:

 

Alenia Aermacchi is pleased to introduce a new version of the C-27J battlefield airlifter, the MC-27J. The MC-27J is a multi-mission, armed, Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) derivative of the C-27J Spartan. Alenia Aermacchi and ATK will jointly produce and market this new offering.

 

The new MC-27J is an adaptable, agile, and affordable solution for various airborne multi-mission requirements that today are performed by a wide variety of aircraft, including special operations versions of the C-130. The MC-27J is not just a gunship, but a battlefield tested platform equipped with proven sensors, communications, and weapons suite able to execute a wide range of customer-driven missions.

 

The MC-27J is designed to support air forces and Special Forces in performing several key operations, including: anti-terrorism missions, the evacuation of military personnel and civil populations from crisis areas, fighting asymmetrical threats and for all standard operations of the Special Forces. The MC-27J provides Special Forces a platform with quick transfer speed; long operational range and ample cargo capacity (console for the systems’ operators, troops and vehicles).

 

The MC-27J is capable of taking off from and landing on short and/or unprepared strips while acting as an autonomous command and control centre integrated with the ground command network. The MC-27J will also provide Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capability as well as the ability to deploy paratroopers. Furthermore, the MC-27J’s target designation and on-board weapons systems provide outstanding support for ground operations.

 

ATK’s gunship capability is provided from a newly developed palletized weapons system, which is self-contained, modular, scalable and provides RO/RO flexibility. This palletized system integrates sensors, communications and weapons into a responsive and reconfigurable mission package. Specific features for the MC-27J system include enhanced electro-optical/infrared targeting sensors, a trainable 30mm cannon, precision guided munitions, advanced communications and a networked mission management and fire control system.

 

The MC-27J provides outstanding offensive capability utilizing a palletized weapon system specifically designed for the ATK 30mm GAU-23 cannon and other precision guided weapon systems, resulting in a highly effective system that minimizes collateral damages. The palletized system is designed for easy embarkation and disembarkation via the aircraft’s rear ramp; permitting flexibility in the use of the unaltered aircraft. The primary configuration requires minimal integration on the aircraft’s frame to significantly reduce acquisition costs and development times, while retaining the C-27J’s robust airlift capabilities.

 

At the core of the MC-27J is the C-27J Spartan, the best-selling battlefield airlifter, offering payload, persistence and out-of-area capabilities coupled with high performance; high maneuverability and the capability to operate on short, unpaved strips. The Spartan is currently the world’s best seller in the tactical airlifter’s category with 89 airplanes ordered by 9 countries all over the world including Italy, United States and recently, Australia.

 

The MC-27J offer commonality of equipments and systems with larger multi-mission platforms but at much lower operational costs and with the operational flexibility of being able to operate form shorter runways also in hot and high conditions, and as modern and reliable solution for those air forces interested in integrating their forces with a skilled airplane in a very delicate role but at the same time very flexible in its use.

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6 juillet 2012 5 06 /07 /juillet /2012 16:40
C-27J Spartan Refuels from KC-767A Tanker

 

July 6, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued July 5, 2012)

 

C-27J: Positive Tests for the Fight-Refueling with the KC-767A Tanker

 

TURIN, Italy --- The C-27J is carrying out flight-refueling tests with the KC-767A tanker at the Italian Air Force Base in Pratica di Mare with the collaboration of the 14th Stormo of the Italian Air Force, Alenia Aermacchi, Rolls Royce and Dowty, the latter two responsible respectively for the engines and propellers of the aircraft.

 

After a series of ground test that did not present any complications, the flight test conducted had the C-27J perform a series of contacts with the KC-767 at various altitudes between 10.000 and 20.000 ft. and speeds up to and near 220 kts, including night flight-refueling with the aid of Night Vision Goggles; in turning pattern, in turbulence and during an emergency decent.

 

The preliminary results highlighted the exceptional flying quality of the C-27J, in both the day and night contacts. The test confirmed the high capability of fuel transfer (up to 2800 liters\min) predicted in the planning phase, allowing for a complete replenishment of the tanks in only 5 minutes.

 

Also confirmed during these test was the superior quality of the C-27J as an aircraft receiver also in conditions of slipstream turbulence generated by the tanker.

 

An aircraft piloted by Alenia Aermacchi test pilots was used for these tests, modified with the integration of a complex instrumentation dedicated to controlling the engine parameters, propellers, transfer of fuel and flight controls, in order to meet the requirements requested by the military certification.

 

The objective of these tests was to achieve the certification of the flight-refueling system, that so far has been adopted on the 12 C-27Js in service in Italy and on one of the three units in service with the Lithuanian Air Force.

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6 juin 2012 3 06 /06 /juin /2012 17:00

C-27J – photo1 Alenia Aermacchi

 

Jun. 6, 2012 by Greg Waldron – FG

 

Singapore - Australia has entered a A$63 million ($61 million) contract with Italy's Alenia Aermacchi related to the sustainment of its future fleet of 10 L-3/Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft.

 

"A contract has been signed with Alenia Aermacchi that will allow for the long term operation, maintenance, modification and upgrade of the C-27J aircraft and support systems," Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) said in a statement.

 

"The contract will also provide Defence with the ability to compete and sub-license third parties, including Australian industry, to provide the maintenance services, training services and the ability to modify the C-27J capability."

 

A DoD spokesperson told Flightglobal that the contract covers "technical data and intellectual property support not available from any other source."

 

"[The contract] will assure Defence's ability to independently establish and maintain airworthiness certification, life of type sustainment, future modifications that may be required, and cost-effective through life management of the aircraft and its support systems," the spokesperson said.

 

In early May Canberra, confirmed it will obtain 10 C-27Js for A$1.4 billion through the US foreign military sales (FMS) mechanism, with US firm L-3 Communications designated as the prime contractor

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31 mai 2012 4 31 /05 /mai /2012 18:00

C-27J – photo1 Alenia Aermacchi

 

May 31, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued May 30, 2012)

 

Alenia Aermacchi, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace, and DRS Canada Announce Letter of Intent to Team on Canadian Fixed-Wing SAR Proposal

 

OTTAWA, Canada --- Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America and Canada, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace, and DRS Canada today announced the signing of a Letter of Intent to partner on a proposal for a Canadian Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) solution. The companies are finalizing the terms and conditions of the partnership and will work towards a more definitive agreement in the coming months.

 

The partnership is being formed in response to the Department of National Defence (DND) plan to acquire a new FWSAR capability to replace the aging fleet of FWSAR aircraft. Selection of the new capability will be conducted through a competitive process, with a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) expected in the fall of 2012, and contractor selection projected for 2014.

 

Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J Spartan is the most capable, cost effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today. Canada’s requirements make the C-27J the perfect fit for their FWSAR needs. The aircraft can operate in harsh environments and across vast terrains and can provide the speed necessary to reach those in need quickly.

 

“The search and rescue teams need an aircraft they can count on no matter the conditions or distance. The C-27J is well suited to some of Canada’s harshest terrain where it will often be called into duty. The characteristics that made the C-27J the right solution for ten other national air forces will prove critical in Canada’s selection process as well,” said Alan Calegari, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi North America. “We are looking forward to working with our outstanding Canadian partners on this procurement.”

 

With Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J, General Dynamics Canada’s experience in performance-based in-service support on aircraft, and Provincial Aerospace's search and rescue experience and international reputation as a special mission aircraft modification, integration, operations and MRO organization, this team offers Canada the very best aircraft for FWSAR with a strong Canadian presence. The long-term engineering and maintenance support of the fleet, and the resulting long-term, well-paying jobs across the country will make this partnership an outstanding economic stimulus for Canada’s aerospace sector.

 

“This team represents the best capabilities in Canadian industry, combined with the most capable aircraft in the competition,” says David Ibbetson, General Manager, General Dynamics Canada. “We are excited to be part of such a strong team, supporting Alenia’s C-27J for the FWSAR program. We are committed to providing RCAF air crews and SAR techs with the very best search and rescue capability in the world for decades to come.”

 

According to Brian Chafe, Provincial Aerospace’s Chief Operating Officer, “Our company has been supporting the Department of National Defence airborne surveillance mandate in Canada's challenging maritime environment for some 25 years. We know the demands of Canada's oceans, Arctic areas and rugged terrain first hand. The C-27J is the right aircraft for the job and the FWSAR procurement will result in an economic enabler with no parallel by creating domestic and international opportunities for companies to become part of Alenia's globalsupply chain.”

 

Steve Zuber, vice president and general manager of DRS Canada said, “DRS Canada is very excited to be a partner on the Alenia C27J team, and we look forward to expanding our significant presence in Canada into a strong relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force.” Seasprite technicians, were often operating in challenging conditions. Nevertheless the trials were completed in a thoroughly professional, safe and timely manner.

 

"There will still be a considerable period of learning as we gain experience operating the aircraft on actual deployments."

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30 mai 2012 3 30 /05 /mai /2012 16:50
Obama set to arm Italy's drones in milestone move

30 May 2012defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

President Barack Obama's administration appears set to notify the U.S. Congress of plans to arm a fleet of Italian MQ-9 Reaper drones, a step that may spur a wider spread of remotely piloted hunter-killer aircraft.

 

The administration could move ahead within two weeks on the proposal to let Italy join Britain in deploying U.S. drones with weapons such as laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles, U.S. officials said.

 

Italy has a fleet of six Reapers. The sale of the technology to arm them, including bomb racks and "weaponization" kits costing up to $17 million, would help the United States redistribute the burden of its global military operations as the Pentagon's budget is being squeezed by deficit-reduction requirements, Reuters reports.

 

Aides to Obama have been informally consulting the House of Representatives' and Senate's foreign affairs committees about the proposed sale to Italy since last year, congressional staff said.

 

The latest such period of "pre-consultations" ended May 27 without a move to block the sale, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the coming formal notification to lawmakers.

 

A transfer to Italy would make it harder for the United States to deny armed-drone technology if asked for it by other members of the 28-country NATO alliance or by close U.S. partners such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, arms-sale analysts said.

 

"I think that if you sell armed drones to Italy, you will very likely make a decision that any member of NATO that wants them can also get them," said a former congressional staff member who followed the issue.

 

Some lawmakers fear that a decision to arm Italian drones may spur overseas sales of related technology by Israel, Russia and China.

 

The United States has used its MQ-9s to hunt and kill members of al Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistani tribal areas.

 

Upgraded Italian Reapers would be able to fire weapons such as Lockheed Martin Corp's next generation AGM-114R, or Hellfire "Romeo," designed to knock out "hard, soft and enclosed targets," according to Lockheed, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales.

 

Britain, the first foreign country to get U.S. technology to arm its Reapers, is considered a special case. Many U.S. officials and members of Congress view it as Washington's staunchest and most reliable ally.

 

The State Department does not comment on proposed sales of U.S. military hardware until formal notifications have been completed. But a State Department official described Italy as a strong NATO ally which contributes significantly to coalition operations.

 

"The transfer of U.S. defense articles and service to allies like Italy enables us to work together more effectively to meet shared security challenges," said the official, who declined to be named.

 

SPREAD DRONES, OR LIMIT THEM?

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has publicly opposed the transfer of armed drones. "There are some military technologies that I believe should not be shared with other countries, regardless of how close our partnership," Feinstein, a California Democrat, said last year.

 

She said she would put armed drones in the category of weapons the United States should try to rein in, not spread.

 

Turkey is among countries that have been seeking to buy U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. The MQ-9 Reaper is larger and more capable than the earlier MQ-1 Predator, both built by General Atomics.

 

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Chicago last week that Obama was leaning toward selling UAVs to Turkey, which has fought separatist Kurdish rebels for decades in a conflict that has killed 40,000 people.

 

"The administration's position (toward a sale) is favorable," Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Gul as saying after he met Obama. "They are trying to convince Congress."

 

Under U.S. law a proposed U.S. arms sale may proceed unless lawmakers enact joint resolution barring it, an event that has never occurred.

 

The Obama administration says that all exports of sensitive military technology are considered on a case-by-case basis under a general policy of "restraint," taking into account national security and foreign-policy considerations as well as U.S. multilateral commitments.

 

Purchasers of U.S.-made military systems must agree to a strict set of "end-use" conditions designed to limit the system to approved uses such as self-defense and United Nations missions. They also must agree to let the United States monitor their adherence to these conditions.

 

Italy has sought to arm its drones for use in Afghanistan, where it maintains about 3,950 troops. But it initially wanted the drones themselves for such things as border patrols, the former congressional staff member said.

 

TEAL Group, a U.S. aerospace consultancy, estimated in April that worldwide UAV spending will almost double over the next decade, totaling more than $89 billion in the next 10 years.

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9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 08:00
L’opération de libération tourne mal, les 2 otages européens tués (Nigeria)

 

Nigerian Army - defenseWeb

 

Mar 8, 2012 Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (Bruxelles 2)

 

L’opération menée par les forces britanniques et nigérianes visant à libérer deux otages – l’un britannique Chris McManus, l’autre italien Franco Lamolinara – s’est mal terminée. Les deux otages sont morts. Ils avaient été enlevés le 12 mai dernier à Birnin Kebbi tout au nord Nigeria, près de la frontière du Niger, où ils travaillaient pour une entreprise de construction. Le mouvement islamiste Boko Haram serait à l’origine de ces évènements. Un décès confirmé par le Premier ministre britannique, David Cameron, dans un communiqué. « C’est avec grand regret que je dois dire que Chris et Franco ont perdu la vie. Nous attendons toujours la confirmation des détails, mais les premières indications indiquent clairement que les deux hommes ont été assassinés par leurs ravisseurs, avant qu’ils puissent être sauvés. » Le Premier ministre a précisé aussi pourquoi l’opération avait été tentée. « Après des mois à ne pas savoir où ils étaient détenus, nous avons reçu des informations crédibles sur le lieu (où ils étaient détenus). Une fenêtre d’opportunité s’est présentée pour obtenir leur libération. » Et « nous avions (toutes les) raisons de croire que leur vie était en danger imminent et croissant. »

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29 février 2012 3 29 /02 /février /2012 08:05
Alenia Warns U.S. Over C-27J Sales

Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian maker of the C-27J, is warning the U.S. government that it will refuse to support the aircraft it sold to the United States if the U.S. resells them to other nations. (Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp / Air Force)

 

Feb. 27, 2012 By VAGO MURADIAN – Defense news

 

SINGAPORE — In what analysts see as an unprecedented move, Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian maker of the C-27J, is warning the U.S. government that it will refuse to support the aircraft it sold to the United States if the U.S. resells them to other nations.

 

 

The move caught some U.S. officials by surprise and threatens to undermine American efforts to resell the planes on the international market, most likely to Australia, Canada or Taiwan.

 

Giuseppi Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aermacchi, explained his position in an interview at the Singapore Air Show here, before continuing on for meetings in Australia.

 

“Obviously, we don’t like the [U.S.] decision,” he said. “However, we respect it and we will try to mitigate any negative impacts from the cancellation of the C-27J.”

 

Giordo explained that the company would continue to support efforts to sell new C-27Js through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, but would exercise its contractual rights not to support the aircraft originally sold to the U.S. if those planes were resold on the international market, essentially competing with Giordo’s company.

 

“If they want to sell additional airplanes as FMS, we will support them, but not those 21 airplanes,” Giordo said. “In fact, we will do our best — not only us, but the Italian government — not to support those planes. In that case the U.S. government will be competing against our international campaigns in a market where 21 airplanes is a big deal.”

 

The U.S. Air Force announced it would end the program earlier this month after spending $1.6 billion for 21 aircraft, 12 of which have been delivered, four in final assembly and testing, and five in production. Officials have not specified plans for the C-27Js, and options include parking them in the desert for future use, transferring the planes to the Air Guard, Special Operations Command or another agency, such as Homeland Security, or reselling the aircraft internationally.

 

Air Force spokesmen said the decision was driven by a change in U.S. strategy and budget pressures, and is not a reflection on the aircraft or its performance. Officials simply concluded they could meet mission requirements with their fleet of C-130 and C-17 transports.

 

“We’re working through those issues for the C-27, also the Global Hawk, which in both cases represent new airframes,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told an audience at the Air Force Association’s winter conference in Orlando, Fla. “So we will probably set rules for Type-1,000 recoverable storage and lesser numbers for availability for us. Our international affairs staff ... are communicating to potential countries interested and partners asking for them to identify their interest.

 

“I think there are a number of avenues available to us. We have not selected a particular course of action. We will be putting that together and it does include potentially making these airframes available for sale to [partners].”

 

Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, said foreign interest is high in C-27Js, C-130H transports and Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft.

 

In Singapore, Grant met with nearly two dozen of her international counterparts during her visit to the Asian city-state. The aircraft to be divested by the U.S. since 2001, she said, would constitute the world’s seventh largest air force.

 

Grant added the Air Force is working to determine the future of the planes and waiting to see whether Congress approves the service’s budget. Selling excess aircraft is of interest, she said, because her mission is to improve “the capability and capacity of our partners.”

 

A Rare Stand

 

For the U.S. Air Force, ending the purchase of C-27J transport planes was just one of thousands of decisions needed to help cut Pentagon spending by nearly a half-trillion dollars over the coming decade.

 

But for Alenia, a Finmeccanica company, the decision is a threat to the future of the twin-engine plane and 1,000 workers at two factories that build it.

 

Once a nearly $6 billion Army program for 145 aircraft, the Air Force took over the effort in 2009 and capped the purchase of C-27Js at 38 planes. But in its recent 2013 budget request, it decided to end the program at 21 aircraft, 17 fewer than expected, and retire the fleet next year.

 

It remains unclear how much the Air Force will save by deferring the option for 17 additional aircraft, or if the service will even be required to pay Alenia a termination fee, sources said.

 

Analysts called Giordo’s stance unprecedented, but understandable in light of market dynamics and the Italian company’s bitter experience with Pentagon contracting over the past decade.

 

Alenia’s sister company, AgustaWestland, beat longtime incumbent Sikorsky to win the U.S. presidential helicopter contract, only to have the $6 billion program for 28 aircraft canceled in the early days of the Obama administration after constant design changes by the government sent costs soaring. Nine helicopters were delivered when the program was canceled; they were later sold to Canada for $164 million.

 

Defense trade has emerged as the source of uncharacteristic discord between Washington and Rome, which have long been close allies. Italy hosts thousands of U.S. troops on its soil and remains a major buyer of American military gear, most notably the Joint Strike Fighter that will cost Rome about $15 billion for 100 aircraft. But the fact that America won’t buy Italian products infuriates some executives and officials.

 

Giordo maintains his tough line on the C-27J won’t hurt his company’s prospects in the U.S. Alenia remains a key partner on the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program and will pursue the Air Force’s trainer replacement contract when that competition gets underway formally in a few years. And Finmeccanica’s DRS Technologies continues to serve as the cornerstone of the Italian giant’s U.S. operation and a key DoD supplier, now under the leadership of former Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn.

 

L-3 Communications is the prime contractor for the U.S. C-27J program, performing final integration of the aircraft in Waco, Texas. The company declined to comment on Giordo’s stance, noting it’s a matter between Alenia and the Air Force.

 

With the U.S. order capped and the aftermath of U.S. and European budget cuts, the C-27J’s prospects have dimmed. A derivative of Alenia’s G222 with new engines and avionics, 62 C-27Js have been sold worldwide: 21 to America, 12 to Italy, eight to Greece, seven to Romania, four to Mexico, four to Morocco, three to Bulgaria and three to Lithuania.

 

Alenia has identified South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Taiwan, Egypt, Oman, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Qatar and “potentially UAE” as future customers.

 

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group in Virginia, said the 21 planes the U.S. might want to sell constitutes the bulk of the world market for such small transports — and is equivalent to two years’ output from Alenia’s factories.

 

That explains why the stakes are high enough for Giordo to take such a hard stance.

 

“I am pragmatic,” Giordo said. “I prefer they put the airplanes in the desert.”

 

Message to Potential Buyers

 

Giordo said he will take his message that his company won’t support U.S. aircraft to all his potential C-27J customers such as Australia, which has expressed interest in the planes. He visited Australia Feb. 15-17.

 

The message to the Australians is that “you can buy on FMS and we will support the FMS case for 10 additional airplanes,” Giordo said. “But if they consider selling the 21 [U.S. planes], no way. They can sell, but as the original equipment manufacturer, I will not give spares, not guarantee configuration control, and so on.”

 

Alenia has fought an uphill battle to crack the U.S. market. Lockheed Martin first partnered with Alenia on the C-27J, only to abandon the program when it concluded it would compete with Lockheed’s four-engine C-130J. Then Boeing signed on as a partner, but it too withdrew its support. Eventually, Alenia partnered with L-3 and won a deal for up to 145 light battlefield transports valued at $6 billion, beating EADS’ C-295.

 

“We have two problems,” Giordo said. “First of all, the price that we have with the U.S. government is a very, very, low, low price because to win the competition we had to reduce the price. Second, the volume at the beginning was 145, then 78, then 38, now 21 with firm, fixed price. We are losing money.

 

“So, how can I allow the U.S. government to sell 21 airplanes they have in their inventory where I lose money and they also kill my international marketing?”

 

Sympathy for Alenia

 

But that stance does have its risks for Alenia Aermacchi, which stands to compete when the U.S. Air Force launches a new jet trainer competition in three years.

 

That competition was to have gotten underway later this year, with Alenia to bid a U.S. version of its M-346 trainer against the T-50 by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin and a new version of BAE Systems’ Hawk trainer sold by Northrop Grumman. Boeing is also considering developing an all new aircraft for the competition.

 

Asked whether his C-27J stance could damage relations with the U.S. Air Force, Giordo said, “I do not see what consequences our decision should have. Our decision is based on a product of a specific program and not meant to jeopardize the relationship with such an important customer and partner. I am sure that we will continue our collaboration with the United States, on, for example the [Joint Strike Fighter] program.”

 

He added that he is confident the M-346, which was selected by Singapore and most recently Israel, is a strong product that would satisfy U.S. requirements.

 

Senior U.S. aerospace executives expressed sympathy for Giordo, saying Alenia has been dealt a particularly tough hand.

 

“They fought like hell to win that contract and priced the plane to win but didn’t leave a lot of profit margin,” said one senior executive. “That’s why he can’t afford to have the U.S. government sell the planes they have. But we’ve all been through that. We bid for programs that we think will be for hundreds of planes that over time dwindle to a handful; it’s just that Alenia’s smaller than we are, so this kind of thing hurts even more.”

 

“No doubt about it, it’s a tough message, but you can’t blame them because by any objective measure, this company has faced a series of setbacks not of its making,” said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank, who also has served as a strategic adviser to Alenia’s parent, Finmeccanica. “It invested heavily to break into the U.S. market, winning the presidential helicopter and the Joint Cargo Aircraft. Both were terminated, and two Air Force helicopter programs they were eager to compete for, search and rescue and supporting ICBM fields, were canceled.”

 

Teal analyst Aboulafia agreed, noting that the only recent parallel to Alenia’s position was between Boeing and Airbus two decades ago.

 

“Back in the ‘90s, Airbus said it wouldn’t support A340s Boeing took from Singapore in exchange for 777s,” he said. “It was ultimately resolved after Airbus realized that not supporting the planes would hurt residual values for all A340s. What Alenia wants to do is effectively embargo its own product. It’s an aggressive stance, but my question is how this plays out in reality. It’s extremely difficult to enforce on any sophisticated product with a whole lot of subcontractors and third-party suppliers.”

 

Aboulafia suggested the move is more a negotiating tactic than a final position, noting it’s never good for business to squeeze a customer.

 

“Customers have a tendency of noticing how you treat other customers,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s a great little airplane that’s living hand to mouth at a run rate of just under one per month, not a lot in the pipeline and with few prospects like Taiwan and Australia.

 

“You can say one thing in Finmeccanica’s favor, they’ve worked hard. Given all that’s happened, whether cancellation of the 27, the presidential helicopter, competitions going away or being delayed like the trainer, the degree of fatigue and annoyance with U.S. procurement of foreign systems is quite understandable, so what do they really have to lose? It’s very understandable, but it might not be tenable.”

 

Marcus Weisgerber in Washington and Tom Kington in Rome contributed to this report.

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9 février 2012 4 09 /02 /février /2012 08:10

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z8MQJWY9X7A/TzKU_4e2UAI/AAAAAAAAMFs/CEuChS_zxuE/s400/maestrale%2B-%2Bmaltashipphotos.jpg

 

Maestrale class, ASW frigates with 3.100 tonnes displacement and 122.7m in length (photo : Maltashipphotos)

 

08.02.2012 DEFENSE STUDIES

 

MANILA, Philippines - The procurement of military equipment from Italy-based suppliers will be fast-tracked under an agreement between the Philippines and Italy.


National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola signed the five-year agreement when Gazmin visited Italy last Jan. 30.
 
In a statement, Gazmin said the arrangement will help expedite the procurement from Italy of supplies with the help of the Italian Ministry of Defense.
“This arrangement is a result of our efforts to explore any and all avenues for a more efficient procurement process for our modernization program,” he said.

 

AMX ground attack aircraft (photo : code20photog)
The agreement is valid for five years from signing and will be automatically extended for another five years unless there is a written notice of intention to terminate.

 

However, the signing of the arrangement does not mean that the Philippines would buy defense equipment from Italian firms.

Gazmin said the agreement is merely intended to establish a system for “future transactions.”
Gazmin and members of the DND Defense Acquisition System team left for Italy last Jan. 28 and returned home last Feb. 3.
 

 

Other key defense officials who joined the week-long trip were Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel Fernando Manalo, and Bids and Awards Committee chairman Patrick Velez.

 

 

Piaggio P-180 surveillance aircraft (photo : piaggioaero)

 


They inspected combat-ready defense materiel including Maestrale and Soldati-class deep patrol water vessel, the Piaggio 180, a single platform defense materiel that can perform the functions of a special mission aircraft, light lift aircraft and long range patrol aircraft.
 
Also inspected were the medium lift tactical aircraft C27J, Italian Navy Coast Watch and Air Defense 3D Radar Systems, AMX ground attack aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle Falco and armored personnel carrier.
 
Philippine officials and Italian suppliers also talked about an information technology system that would allow the transmission of data.
 
The system would allow the delivery of data from any defense material platform to personnel in mission up to the commander-in-chief. The system can enhance the defense awareness of the military and civilians.
 
 
C-27J medium transport aircraft (photo : Aviationnews)
 
Gazmin said the arrangement with the Italian government includes a service agreement and training of Philippine military personnel.
 
These are aimed at ensuring the medium- and long-term effectiveness of the equipment that may be bought from Italy.
 
“We would like to assure the Filipino people that all possible negotiations are premised within the national government’s established ideals of transparency, accountability and good governance,” Gazmin said.
 
The Philippines has bought 18 basic trainer aircraft from Alenia Aermacchi, an Italian firm that designs and produces military trainers. The delivery of the 18 units was completed last year.
 
Falco MALE unmmaned aerial vehicle (photo : Militaryphotos)

The DND seeks to approve the contracts of 138 modernization projects worth P70 billion by July.
The projects include big-ticket items like fighter jets and long-range patrol aircraft for the Air Force, multi-role vessel for the Navy and coast watch radars.

Aside from Italy, other countries that have offered defense equipment to the DND are the United States, Korea, France and United Kingdom.
 
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