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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 12:50
Thales : le satellite Athena-Fidus est arrivé sur la base de lancement de Kourou

 

 

12.12.2013 (Boursier.com)

 

Thales annonce que le satellite dual franco-italien de télécommunication très haut débit est arrivé sur la base de lancement de Kourou, en Guyane française, le 9 décembre. Maître d'oeuvre du programme pour le compte des agences spatiales française (CNES) et italienne (ASI) et des ministères de la Défense français (Direction générale de l'armement) et italien (Segredifesa), Thales Alenia Space est responsable du développement, de la construction, des tests et de la livraison en orbite du satellite. Telespazio, la coentreprise détenue à 67% par Finmeccanica et à 33% par Thales, intervient sur ce projet au niveau de la mise en place du segment sol et à travers ses compétences services liées principalement au lancement et à la mise en orbite du satellite.

 

Le programme Athena-Fidus (Access on theatres for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual use satellite) comprend un satellite géostationnaire fonctionnant en bandes Ka et EHF ainsi que son segment sol de contrôle, basé sur un site militaire français. Le satellite fournira des capacités en particulier aux ministères de la Défense français et italien ainsi qu'aux acteurs institutionnels de la sécurité de ces pays (sécurité civile, sécurité intérieure : police, pompiers...).

 

D'une masse au lancement de plus de 3 tonnes, le satellite, basé sur une plate-forme Spacebus 4000, aura une durée de vie opérationnelle supérieure à 15 ans. Le lancement sera effectué par Arianespace, à bord du lanceur Ariane 5

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4 décembre 2013 3 04 /12 /décembre /2013 08:55
Les limites du drone…

 

4 décembre, 2013 FOB

 

Bien involontairement, l’exercice Serpentex qui se déroule en Corse sous l’égide de l’armée de l’Air vient de rappeler les limites des drones. Qu’il s’agisse d’ailleurs des limites fixées par des règles d’exploitation en vigueur ou issues des capacités propres des appareils… La participation d’un drone Reaper MQ-9A mis en œuvre par le 28° Gruppo de la force aérienne italienne est annoncée depuis le début de l’exercice consacré à la pratique du Close Air Support (appui-feu aérien).

Deux belles premières  étaient annoncées : la participation de cet appareil à Serpentex et le premier transit transfrontalier d’un appareil sans pilote en Europe. Las ! Dix jours après le début de l’exercice, l’appareil qui devait faire deux missions hebdomadaires n’a toujours pas montré le bout de son antenne satellite. La faute en est revenue la première semaine à la météo sur la zone d’exercice, avec des vents violents qui ont également gêné les opérations aériennes (les limites portaient dans ce cas sur la sécurité des équipages en cas d’éjection au-dessus de la mer ou dans la montagne…). Après cette déconvenue, les Italiens pensaient bien se rattraper en début de deuxième semaine. Pas de chance, c’est cette fois le couloir aérien spécialement mis en place pour l’appareil entre la Sardaigne et la Corse qui s’est avéré impraticable, une fois encore en raison des conditions météo. Le Reaper avait pourtant bien décollé de sa base d’Amendola, dans le sud de l’Italie. Mais, forcé de rester dans son couloir aérien, il n’avait pu contourner les cellules orageuses qui s’y trouvaient et avait du finalement faire demi-tour. Un nouvel essai sera tenté avec la journée VIP de demain !

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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 08:30
Largest International Exercise in IAF History

 

26.11.2013 Shani Poms - iaf.org.il

 

The "Blue-Flag" international aerial combat training exercise is being held for the first time in the IAF history. For two intensive weeks the Greek, Italian and US air forces are flying complex and intensive combat scenarios with the Israeli fighters Formation

 

For the last two weeks Greek, Italian and US fighter jets have been landing in Ovda Airbase as part of a broad exercise with the IAF fighters formation. This is the first time a wide and intricate exercise as the "Blue Flag" is conducted in Israel and it demands plenty of preparations from the Israeli Air Force, which has been working on the project for months.

 

This week is the most important week of the exercise, in which the four air forces practice joint flights and complex battle scenarios: the Israeli F-16C/D, F-16I and F-15C/D aircrafts alongside the foreign fighter jets.

"The Americans brought the F-15E, one of the best F-15 aircrafts in the world. The Italians came with the AMX and Tornado aircrafts and the Greeks brought a very modern F-16 aircraft", explained Lieutenant colonel Ziv, commander of the "Flying Dragon" squadron which leads the "Red" force in the Drill, and in charge of simulating the aerial and ground enemy throughout it. "During this exercise, a mixed group of air forces has a mission and they need to fly together in one big mass in order to execute it".

 

The participants from the various countries landed in Israel two weeks ago. During the last week they explored the Israeli airspace by introductory flights and also had a few tactical flights. In addition to the aerial introduction, the Participants got to know each other on ground at a special event organized in honor of them, attended by the airbase commander, Colonel A'.

 

Today at the Blue Flag: Delegates from 22 countries

22 delegates from all over the world congregated in Ovda Airbase today to watch the international exercise. Among the guests were representatives from Canada, Britain, Germany and also the commander of the Bulgarian Air Force. Based on their impression they will decide whether or not to participate in future exercises.

"One of our top goals is that foreign air forces will know that practicing in Israel is very effective", said Lieutenant colonel Ziv. "We want them to see the great power of the IAF reflected in the organization of the exercise and understand the Professionalism and strength of our force".

IAF commander, Major General Amir Eshel, arrived earlier this week at the southern Ovda Airbase to witness the progress of the exercise and joined to a flight with the "Blue" forces.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 17:20
Roll-on/roll-off weapons system for MC-27J

 

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 26 (UPI)

 

Alenia Aermacchi's U.S. partner for weaponizing the C-27J airlifter has given details of the armaments the aircraft will carry and how it will carry them.

 

ATK said the MC-27J variant will be equipped with its GAU-23 Bushmaster 30mm cannon configured for firing from the side of the plane. The gun uses a simple, automatic feed system and fires a variety of NATO 30mm rounds.

 

The weapon system will be mounted on a roll-on/roll-off pallet for quick mounting and removal from MC-27J via the plane's rear ramp, allowing for quick reconfiguration of the aircraft for other missions, including command and control through pallet-mounted sensors and communications equipment.

 

The aircraft can also be used for transporting troops and cargo.

 

The first customer for the MC-27J is the Italian Air Force, which will use the aircraft for its special forces, which will deploy the plane in an operational theater next spring.

 

"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."

 

The base C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 mph, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:40
Russie et Italie pourraient coopérer dans la construction de navires de guerre (Poutine)

 

TRIESTE, 26 novembre - RIA Novosti

 

Le président Vladimir Poutine n'exclut pas la possibilité d'une coopération entre la Russie et l'Italie dans la construction de bâtiments de guerre.

 

"Nous pouvons coopérer dans les constructions navales aussi bien civiles que militaires. Je tiens à attirer votre attention sur ce fait, car il témoigne d'un haut niveau de confiance entre nos pays", a déclaré M. Poutine lors d'une conférence de presse à l'issue de consultations interétatiques russo-italiennes.

 

Il a en outre souligné que la Russie et l'Italie pourraient coopérer également dans l'agriculture et les constructions mécaniques.

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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 19:50
Top départ pour l'exercice SERPENTEX 2013

 

26/11/2013 CFA – Armée de l’Air

 

Du lundi 25 novembre jusqu’au 13 décembre 2013, la base aérienne 126 de Solenzara en Corse accueille l’édition 2013 de SERPENTEX, exercice interarmées et interalliés majeur organisé par le commandement des Forces aériennes.

 

Dédié originellement à la mise en condition opérationnelle du personnel projeté sur le théâtre Afghan, cet exercice a pour objectif principal d’entraîner, dans un environnement tactique complexe, les unités aériennes et les équipes de contrôleurs aériens avancés (FAC, Forward Air Controller) aux missions d’appui feu.

 

Si ce SERPENTEX 2013 reste construit sur le socle « appui aérien », son contenu évolue cette année pour prendre notamment en compte les enseignements des dernières opérations (Lybie, Mali) et mettre en œuvre de nouveaux modes d’action. Aussi, l’édition 2013 est marquée par l’introduction de missions type SCAR (Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance) et le développement de l’emploi des outils de liaisons de données de type DACAS (Digital Aided Close Air Support), initié lors du précédent SERPENTEX.

 

Les objectifs principaux de cet exercice seront d’entraîner, dans le relief montagneux corse :

 

        les unités aériennes Chasse aux missions d’appui-feu avec FAC (CAS) ou sans FAC (SCAR), aux missions de Dynamic Tagerting et Time Sensitive Target,

        les FAC et les CTA (Contrôleur Tactique Air – experts de la coordination 3D) au guidage de jour et de nuit,

        les unités de transport tactique aux missions d’appui transport dont le largage de petits colis avec les FAC.

 

Préparation opérationnelle de grande ampleur, cet exercice réunira cette année, au plus fort de son activité près de 800 militaires. Huit nations étrangères (Canada, Royaume-Uni, Etats-unis, Espagne, Italie, Belgique, République Tchèque, Slovénie) seront représentées aux côtés des militaires français.

 

Pour le volet aérien, une trentaine d’avions de chasse (Rafale et Mirage 2000 D, CF-18 canadiens, F18 MLU espagnols), un CP-140 canadien, des avions de transport français (CN235 et C160), des hélicoptères Gazelle de l’aviation légère de l’armée de terre (ALAT) seront déployés ainsi qu’un drone Reaper italien.

 

Pour le volet sol, des équipes de contrôleurs aériens avancés de l’armée de l’air (CPA), de l’armée de terre ainsi que des 8 nations présentes participeront à SERPENTEX.

 

Parmi tous ces moyens, il est à souligner que le Canada déploiera un dispositif conséquent de quelques 200 personnes et 7 aéronefs.

 

L’édition 2013 de SERPENTEX verra également pour la première fois, la participation d’un drone italien Reaper depuis sa base de déploiement nationale.

Top départ pour l'exercice SERPENTEX 2013
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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 18:25
Le Pérou commande deux C-27J

 

25.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com

 

C-27J, Spartan ,Alenia Aermacchi, Pérou,

 

Le ministère péruvien de la Défense a commandé deux avions de transport tactique C-27J Spartan à Alenia Aermacchi.

 

Le contrat d’une valeur d’environ 100 millions d’euros devrait être signé prochainement, selon l’industriel italien.

 

La filiale de Finmeccanica indique que le processus de sélection a duré quasiment trois ans.

 

Les exigences demandées faisaient état de capacités de transport de troupes, de personnels civils, de matériel, de MEDEVAC, d’opérations de largage, de missions de SAR ou encore d’assistance humanitaire, le tout dans des conditions de climat et de terrain comparables à celles de la Cordillère des Andes.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
Italian Navy Receives First NH90 NFH in FOC

 

 

Nov. 22, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: AgustaWestland; issued Nov. 22, 2013)

 

AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the Italian Navy has taken delivery of its first NH90 NFH helicopter in Full Operational Capability (or Step B) configuration. The helicopter will be assigned to the 5th Helicopter Squadron of the Italian Navy based at the Sarzana-Luni base.

 

The Italian Navy has ordered 56 NH90s, 46 of which in the NFH variant, part of its modernization plan in order to bring its capabilities to the latest technological standards.

 

The Step B configuration features a range of significant advancements in mission capability including weapon systems integration for both air-to-surface missiles and torpedoes, advanced satellite and encrypted communications, a further expanded envelop for ship-based operations and in demanding weather conditions, radar and avionics capability enhancements. Starting next year, the five previously delivered Step A (MOC, Meaningful Operation Capability) helicopters will begin to be retrofitted to bring them to the final configuration.

 

The NH90 NFH variant is primarily designed for autonomous and joint Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions. The comprehensive mission equipment packages allow a wide range of additional missions to be performed including Search and Rescue (SAR), maritime patrol, vertical replenishment, troop transport, medical evacuation and amphibious support roles.

 

The helicopter is designed for day and night operations in adverse weather conditions from the decks of ships. Because of its optimal weight and dimensions, the deck-lock system, the deck traversing system and the automatic blade and tail folding system, it can operate from small frigates even in high sea states.

 

The Italian Navy will benefit from a Mission Planning & Analysis System (MPAS) for its fleet of NH90 NFH helicopters. The MPAS is a multi-mission and multi-platform mission planning based on the state of the art AgustaWestland-designed Skyflight™, a multi-helicopter flight and mission planning solution that all related AgustaWestland stations currently utilize.

 

The NH90 is the most successful European helicopter programme ever. The total number of NH90 on order is 529 – of which over 160 delivered – by 19 armed forces in 14 countries. Of these, the NH90 NFH variant has been ordered in 111 units by Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Norway.

 

The NH90 programme is managed by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) representing France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium, and by the NH Industries industrial consortium comprising AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%) and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%). In the framework of the NH90 programme,

 

AgustaWestland is responsible for the production of the main transmission, tail drive shafts, hydraulic system, automatic flight control system, rear ramp, rear fuselage, the T700/T6E1 or CT7-8F5 engines solution installation and on-board computers. Furthermore, AgustaWestland is also responsible for the overall integration of the NH90 naval mission system for all NFH variants.

 

AgustaWestland's Venice Tessera plant is the new final assembly line for the NH90s ordered by Italy (Army and Navy, 60 and 56 helicopters respectively), the Netherlands (20), Norway (14) and Portugal (10) giving a total of 160 helicopters so far.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
Italian Air Force To Launch Gunship C-27J

 

November 17, 2013 By Anthony Osborne aviationweek.com

 

The Italian air force (AMI) is expected to sign a deal to convert several of its C-27J Spartan tactical transports into gunships at the Dubai Air Show on Monday.

 

Aviation Week ShowNews understands that six of the air arm’s 12 C-27Js will be converted into the MC-27J gunship variant, currently under development by manufacturer AleniaAermacchi, ATK and Selex ES. The aircraft are expected to be assigned to support Italian Special Forces units.

 

The deal makes the AMI the launch customer for the program, which has also garnered interest from other C-27 operators. It also makes Italy the first European country to operate a gunship of this kind.

 

Three of the aircraft will undergo the full conversion program while the other three will be configured to take the system when required. The deal is expected to include development, evaluation, certification and logistic support for the aircraft. A single prototype, separate from the MC-27J demonstrator, will be used to test the systems.

 

The MC-27J makes use of palletized systems. The mission control system and the gun are self-powered and fit snugly into the cargo hold with no need to plug them into the aircraft power systems. On the ground, the pallets can simply be plugged into mains power to re-charge the batteries. The companies have set a time limit of four hours to role and de-role the aircraft from its gunship configuration back into the C-27J’s standard transport role but engineers have been able to do it in a quarter of that time.

 

 

The company is also expected to announce the results of a second phase of testing which integrates ATK’s ScatheView mission system with an electro-optical sensor and the electronically traversable ATK-produced 30mm GAU-23 cannon, which is fired from the port-side paratroop door. The company has already completed Phase 1 of the program, which saw a series of firing trials being flown in partnership with the USAF over the Gulf of Mexico in April.

 

 

A third phase of integration will add the capability to carry and launch precision-guided weapons. The munitions could include the Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin or the Northrop Grumman GBU-44 Viper Strike. These are likely to be soft-fired either by opening the ramp and ejecting the weapons out the back of the aircraft or potentially dropped through a series of launch tubes cut out of the cargo loading ramp. The gun pallet currently carries around 500 rounds of ammunition with gunners generally firing a burst of eight rounds when engaging targets.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Italian Air Force, Alenia to develop MC-27J Praetorian

The Praetorian is expected to provide 360° coverage for the Italian Forces against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield. Photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

21 November 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

Alenia Aermacchi will provide development, testing, certification, industrialisation and logistic support for the Italian Air Force's Praetorian fleet.

 

The Finmeccanica Company and the Italian Air Force signed the agreement at the ongoing Dubai Airshow 2013.

 

The Praetorian, which is a specialised version of the MC-27J, is expected to support the Italian Special Forces and Comando Operativo Forze Speciali (COFS) in their missions.

 

Designed to provide 360° coverage against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield, the Praetorian is an advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite, including computers, cameras and unspecified fire-support systems.

 

As part of the two-phased Praetorian project, Alenia Aermacchi will first develop and deliver the Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force in spring 2014, for immediate testing in the threatre.

 

The industrialisation of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support will form part of the phase two.

 

The Italian Air Force plans to convert its current three C-27Js into the Praetorian configuration throughout 2016 and will include mission systems, C3ISR equipment and palletised support / fire systems.

 

An additional three aircraft will also have the same mission package capabilities, according to the company.

 

Alenia Aermacchi will partner with US-based ATK to develop the Praetorian mission and air-to-ground support systems while Selex, a Finmeccanica Company, will coordinate with Alenia Aermacchi for communication and data link solutions.

 

Jointly developed by Alenia Aermacchi and ATK, the MC-27J is an advanced defence system, which is based on the C-27J, a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
ATK, Alenia to Integrate C-27J Palletized Gun

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: ATK; issued November 19, 2013)

 

ATK and Alenia Aermacchi Earn Contract from the Italian Air Force for Roll-On/Roll-Off Palletized Gun and Command and Control Systems

 

ARLINGTON, Va. --- ATK announced that the Alenia/ATK team has been notified by the Italian Air Force they have been selected for the integration of the Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO), palletized Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2-ISR) and gun systems onto the Italian Air Force (ITAF) MC-27J multi-mission aircraft. The award represents an important contract for the partnership between ATK and Alenia Aermacchi.

 

The MC-27J is a modified C-27J Spartan Airlifter that allows customers to execute a wide range of missions including armed gunship, airborne C2-ISR, border surveillance, troop and vehicle transport, personnel evacuation and paratrooper deployment. The MC-27J provides quick transfer speed, long operational range and ample cargo capacity. It is also capable of taking off from and landing on short and/or unprepared strips while acting as an autonomous command and control center integrated with a ground command network.

 

"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."

 

"The MC-27J is a strategic development program for Alenia Aermacchi and our partner ATK that we believe is well matched to the current and future asymmetric warfare Air Forces' requirements," said Giuseppe Giordo, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi. "To have been selected by the Italian Air Force and committed to deploying the first aircraft in the operational theatre next spring is a clear confirmation of the MC-27J's capabilities and the industrial development completed to date."

 

Use of ATK's self-contained RORO mission and weapons systems allow rapid configuration change depending on mission requirements. They are designed for easy embarkation and disembarkation via the aircraft's rear ramp, permitting flexibility in the use of the unaltered aircraft. The suite of sensors and communication system coupled with multiple data links allows the Command and Control pallet to provide improved mission oversight and coordination.

 

The gun system incorporates ATK's GAU-23 30mm cannon in a side-firing configuration, and is designed to fire numerous types of NATO 30MM X 173 rounds, including the 30MM PGU-46/B munitions. The gun suite will use a simple, automatic feed system in order to minimize crew size and reduce overall operating costs.

 

ATK and Alenia Aermacchi announced their intent to jointly develop and market the MC-27J multi-mission aircraft at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show. The internally funded test and development program successfully completed its first phase in the spring of 2013. The Italian Air Force is the launch customer for the program.

 

 

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally.

 

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, is global leader in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 11:50
photo Dassault Aviation

photo Dassault Aviation

 

20/11/2013 par Julien Ponthus - Le Point.fr (Reuters)

 

PARIS (Reuters) - François Hollande tentera mercredi de profiter du sommet franco-italien et de sa proximité avec le président du Conseil italien Enrico Letta pour bâtir des positions communes, notamment sur l'Europe de la Défense, thème du sommet européen de décembre.

 

Le président français sera accompagné à Rome par Jean-Marc Ayrault et 11 ministres, dont ceux des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense, Laurent Fabius et Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui tiendront un conseil franco-italien séparé de défense et de sécurité.

 

Paris et Rome ont déjà pris date pour le projet européen de nouvelle génération de drones MALE (moyenne altitude-longue distance) à l'horizon 2020 grâce à l'union de Dassault Aviation, d'EADS et du groupe italien Finmeccanica.

 

"Il faut s'assurer que la prochaine génération de drones soit européenne", dit-on à l'Elysée, après que la décision de la France de commander des drones de surveillance Reaper au groupe américain General Atomics a mis au jour les lacunes de l'industrie européenne dans ce type d'armement.

 

Le recours aux drones de surveillance s'est fortement accru ces dernières années sur les théâtres d'opérations militaires tels que l'Afghanistan, la Libye ou le Mali mais l'Europe veut aussi s'en doter pour surveiller ses propres frontières.

 

En première ligne pour la gestion des réfugiés clandestins, l'Italie a demandé au Conseil européen de se saisir de la question pour prévenir de nouvelles crises liées à l'arrivée sur les côtes de l'île de Lampedusa de milliers de migrants.

 

Le Conseil européen de décembre se penchera sur la question d'augmenter les moyens de l'agence Frontex et du système Eurosur, une demande qui devrait être appuyée par Paris qui a déjà accepté de prendre "sa part du fardeau".

 

François Hollande et Enrico Letta doivent aussi se pencher sur la volonté exprimée par les Européens de procéder à l'achat groupé de ravitailleurs en vol, de développer un système commun de satellites de communication et de lutter contre le cyber-espionnage qui avait bouleversé l'agenda européen en octobre.

 

Suite de l’article

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Alenia Aermacchi making gunship variant of C-27J for Italy

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 18 (UPI)

 

The Italian Air Force has contracted Alenia Aermacchi for development and production of a gunship version of the C-27J airlifter for use by special forces.

 

The project, announced at an international airshow in the United Arab Emirates, has two phases. During Phase One, Alenia Aermacchi will develop and deliver a MC-7J Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force next spring for testing in operational scenarios. Phase Two will involve industrialization of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support.

 

The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 miles per hour, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.

 

Alenia Aermacchi said its partners on the project are ATK of the United States and Selex ES.

 

The Italian Air Force plans to transform three C-27J's currently in service into the Praetorian configuration in 2016. Three others will follow. All six will feature command-and-control equipment, palletized cargo systems and fire support systems.

 

Details of weaponry to be carried by the aircraft were not disclosed.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
The P.1HH Hammerhead UAV is based on Piaggio Aero's manned P.180 business aircraft. (Piaggio Aero)

The P.1HH Hammerhead UAV is based on Piaggio Aero's manned P.180 business aircraft. (Piaggio Aero)

 

Nov. 18, 2013 - By AWAD MUSTAFA and TOM KINGTON – Defense News

 

DUBAI AND ROME — The successful test flight of the Piaggio Aero P.1HH Hammerhead UAV has been welcomed by the Italian Air Force as it looks to intensify its maritime surveillance operations. Lt. Gen. Pasquale Preziosa, chief of staff of the Italian Air Force, said at the Dubai Air Chief Conference this week that the Hammerhead will increase the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in its fight against illegal immigration.

 

“It will give us the possibility to increase our capability in ISR, especially when we are facing in the Mediterranean illegal immigration from North Africa approaching Lampedusa,” he said.

 

The test flight took place at Sicily’s Trapani air base on Nov. 14, according to Piaggio Aero.

 

The Hammerhead features two pusher propellers and canards on the nose. It offers a 15.5-meter wing span, maximum takeoff weight of 6,146 kilograms and will fly to 45,000 feet with 16 hours endurance, with the company claiming it can get to a target faster and stay on target longer than rivals.

 

Pasquale said that he hoped the UAV would be operational soon.

 

Last week, United Arab Emirates (UAE) investment fund Mubadala beefed up its stake in Piaggio Aero from 33 to 41 percent, as part of an equity increase of €190 million (US $255 million).

 

Tata Limited, a UK offshoot of India’s Tata Group, also increased its stake from 33 to 44.5 percent.

 

“The [Hammerhead] is an example of very good cooperation between Italy and the UAE,” Pasquale said.

 

During Monday’s announcement, Mubadala CEO Khaldoon al-Mubarak was present alongside Alberto Galassi, CEO of Piaggio Aero, Pasquale and Fabrizio Giulianini, CEO of Selex ES.

 

Despite the equity increase, Galassi said the product remains a 100 percent Italian product that will be used exclusively by the Italian Air Force and its NATO partners.

 

“At this stage, Mubadala is a fundamental shareholder to develop this program,” he said. “It is an Italian program classified by the Italian government and is certified by the Italian Air Force.”

 

Galassi said he hopes the program will achieve certification by the end of 2014.

 

“First of all, before looking for customers, you need to achieve certification, so this is the mission of 2014. Plenty of NATO countries are interested in having this program and we will see if there will be export versions of it. But of course, there are some limitations and classifications,” he said.

 

“I’m expecting NATO countries to be our first and most important customers.”

 

Italian procurement chief Gen. Claudio Debertolis said at this summer’s Paris Air Show that Italy could buy 10 of the aircraft, adding that he was also tipping the UAV as a candidate for a common European medium-altitude, long-endurance drone program and would assist in promoting it to other countries.

 

Italy’s Selex ES will supply an electro-optical turret, forward-looking infrared, its e-scan Seaspray 7300 radar and mission management system.

 

“We partnered with Piaggio less than two years ago to develop it under a crash program and we achieved the maiden flight in an incredibly short time,” Giulianini said.

 

Giulianini said he is confident that they can achieve certification by the end of 2014.

 

“At the end of 2014, we will have full operational capability and of course then we will have further development by adding a full payload because this is a multiple mission aircraft,” he said.

 

Selex has provided the vehicle control and management systems, aviation systems and avionics on board, Giulianini said. Furthermore, the data link system, ground control station and the management system with the sensors has also been developed by Selex.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
The Italian Cavour aircraft carrier

The Italian Cavour aircraft carrier

 

13 November 2013 by defenceWeb

 

A fleet of Italian Navy (Marina Militare) vessels led by the aircraft carrier Cavour today set off on an unusual trip around the Middle East and Africa that will combine crew training and diplomacy with a privately funded sales trip for Italian industry.

 

The Cavour, loaded with sales teams from defence companies such as Finmeccanica, Fincantieri, Elettronica and Beretta, will turn the vessel into a “large defence show like Le Bourget,” DefenseNews quoted Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro as saying at a conference announcing the mission earlier this month.

 

Setting up mobile showrooms alongside defence firms on board will be the makers of Italian furniture and civilian aircraft, as well as representatives of the Italian Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations.

 

The rationale behind the travelling sales mission, which will call at 19 ports before returning to Italy in April, is that companies on board will foot the bill, effectively underwriting crew training as regular funding for exercises dries up, the Gannett Company publication said.

 

Industry will pay more than €10 million for fuel costs and €3 million for other expenses, including port fees, while the Navy will pick up the €7 million wages bill, said Navy Chief Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi.

 

Addressing the news conference, Italy’s military chief of staff, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, spoke of the benefits of being able to “train our crews for five months in a challenging climate, far from home.”

 

Accompanying the Cavour will be the patrol vessel Comandante Borsini, the support ship Etna and the multi-mission frigate Bergamini.

 

The Navy has been pushing to find creative ways to fund crew training while maintenance and operations budgets are eroding as planners divert large amounts for personnel spending, DefenseNews reported.

 

In the three-year budget published this year, maintenance and operations funding slips from €1.33 billion this year to €1.32 billion in 2014 and to €1.3 billion in 2015.

 

Apart from training, De Giorgi said the mission would help spur co-operation with allied navies the four vessel fleet calls on during the trip, including Mozambique, where the Italian and local navies are due to sign a co-operation deal.

 

The marketing of Italian naval vessels also would be on the agenda in the Arabian Gulf, Morocco, South Africa and Mozambique, while in Angola, talks would continue about Italian industry helping to develop a new type vessel for the local navy, he said.

 

The 27 600-ton Cavour has been involved in marketing activities before. In 2010, its maiden mission took it to earthquake-stricken Haiti with aid, earthmoving vehicles, hospital facilities and 900 personnel. But it also stopped off in Brazil, ostensibly to take on Brazilian medical personnel, but also to support Rome’s efforts to market naval vessels to Brazil.

 

Finmeccanica and Fincantieri, the two state-controlled companies that team on Italy’s naval construction, footed most of the bill for the mission.

 

This time, the mission has a more determinedly commercial profile, with potential buyers scheduled to board the Cavour at each port to view displays. The five month voyage was confirmed by Counsellor Luigi Diodati of the Italian Embassy in South Africa. He said further details, including exactly which South African ports the Cavour and her escorts would call on, would be made available in due course.

 

For companies in the Finmeccanica group, the voyage allows a focus on the gulf ports in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

 

AgustaWestland will be parking an NH90 and AW101 helicopter on board the Cavour, while Oto Melara will promote its new guided munitions and Selex ES the combat management system it installed on Cavour. Torpedo unit WASS will promote its Black Shark torpedo, while visitors also will see the Storm Shadow, Meteor and Brimstone missiles built by MBDA, in which Finmeccanica holds a stake.

 

Small-vessel builder Intermarine is joining the trip, as is small arms maker Beretta.

 

“We are interested in the visits to the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait,” said Lorenzo Benigni, vice president for communications at electronics firm Elettronica, which has supplied self-protection systems on Cavour.

 

The defence stands will share space with displays promoting Italy’s hosting of Expo 2015, as well as stands taken by small aircraft maker Blackshape, tire-maker Pirelli and business aircraft company Piaggio Aero. Railway technology group Mermec and microsatellite builder Sitael also will be represented, as well as an Italian trade association grouping 2 800 furniture and wooden goods manufacturers.

 

The mission, De Giorgi said, represented “a business card for Italy,” while Mauro said, “the Cavour will be a piece of Italy.”

 

Following stops in the gulf, the ships will make stops in Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco and Algeria. During African stops, humanitarian groups on board, including 60 Red Cross volunteers, will work with locals.

 

Combined, the military presence, the marketing of Italian hardware and the humanitarian aid would show Italy is taking care of “360 degrees of co-operation,” De Giorgi said. The mission reflects his desire to engage the Navy in civil tasks.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Le porte-aéronef italien Cavour transformé en VRP

14.11.2013 par P. Chapleau  - Lignes de Défense

 

Et vogue le Cavour ! Le navire a pris la mer hier (retour le 7 avril 2014) pour une mission très commerciale de promotion de l'excellence italienne.

 

Le porte-aéronefs italien va faire escale dans les ports suivants: Jedda (Arabie Saoudite), Djibouti, Abu Dhabi, Mina Sulman (Barheïn), Koweït, Doha (Qatar), Mascate (Oman), Dubaï, Mombasa (Kenya), Antseranana (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique), Durban et Le Cap (RSA), Luanda (Angola), Pointe-Noire (Congo), Lagos (Nigeria), Tema (Ghana), Dakar (Sénégal), Casablanca (Maroc) et Alger.

 

La croisière est financée à hauteur de 13 millions d'euros (sur les 20 qui coûtera la mission) par les entreprises suivantes: Finmecanica, Fincantieri, Ellettronica et Beretta (voir la liste complète des financeurs et exposants dans ce communiqué en italien de la Marina Militare).

 

Et pour donner un vernis humanitaire à ce voyage mercantile, la Croix-Rouge italienne avec 60 volontaires sera à bord, tout comme les ONG Operation Smile et Francesca Rava Foundation.

 

A quand DCNS, Dassault, Thales, MBDA et les autres équipementiers français s'offrant le CDG pour faire de la réclame?

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 19:40
Russia, Italy Complete Joint Naval Drills in Mediterranean

 

MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti)

 

Russian and Italian warships completed Saturday the joint Ioniex-2013 exercise in the Ionian Sea, a spokesman for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet said.

 

“Russian frigate Smetlivy as well as Italian destroyer Durand de la Penne and the frigate Espero returned today to the Ionian Sea port of Taranto after completing the active phase of the Ioniex-2013 exercise,” Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said.

 

The active phase of the exercise on November 7-9 included artillery drills with live ammunition firing, air defense and anti-submarine warfare drills.

 

The warships successfully detected and “destroyed” an Italian diesel-electric submarine, repelled a simulated attack by two Italian Sea Harrier naval fighter jets, and practiced joint navigation and communications procedures, the Russian official said.

 

The Smetlivy, a Kashin-class frigate, will return to its mission as part of Russia’s permanent task force in the eastern Mediterranean, established late last year “to protect Russia’s interests in the region,” Trukhachev said.

 

The Ioniex-2013 exercise began Monday with a planning and coordination phase.

 

Russia and Italy have been conducting Ioniex drills since 2004 as part of a cooperation program between their navies. The Smetlivy participated in the drills in 2011 and 2012.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:50
NHI Delivers First NH90 Step B to Italian Navy

The Italian navy has taken delivery of its first NH90 Step B naval helicopter, which is the fully operational version of which it has ordered 46. Five earlier aircraft delivered in the interim Step A configuration will now be upgraded. (NHI photo)

 

Nov. 12, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: NH Industries; issued Nov. 8, 2013)

 

Delivery of the First NH90 Step B to Italian Navy

 

NHI is proud to announce that the first NH90 NFH Step B has been delivered today to the Italian Navy. This fully operational naval helicopter will be assigned to the 5th Helicopter Squadron of the Italian Navy at the Sarzana-Luni base. The Italian Navy has ordered 56 NH90s, 46 of which in the NFH variant.

 

“This NH90 Step B will allow its crews to fully take advantage of its tremendous mission system” explains Xavier Poupardin, Delegated Managing Director of NHIndustries. The Step B configuration features a range of significant advancements in mission capability including mission systems integration for both air-to-surface missiles such as the Marte MK/2S and torpedoes, advanced satellite and encrypted communications, radar and avionics capability enhancements. Next year the five previously delivered Italian Navy NH90NFH in Step A (MOC, Meaningful Operation Capability) standard, will begin to be retrofitted to bring them to the final configuration.

 

"The NH90 NFH is the most recent and versatile helicopter for naval warfare" it is designed according to precise NATO Staff Requirements. It is equipped with a state of the art weapon system combining on a modern platform several types of sensors with a complete weapon suite. The NH90 NFH is able to perform a wide range of missions such as Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, SAR, Transport, Special Ops support, Boarding, Medical Evacuation, Maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Piracy In any type of environment. It can safely operate from a ship even in rough weather.

 

The NH90 is the optimal choice for tactical transport, naval operations thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio; and its wide range of rôle equipment. It features a redundant Fly-by-Wire flight control system for reduced Pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics.

 

As of today, more than 164 helicopters have been delivered and are in service in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Australia and New Zealand.

 

The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland SpA (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%).

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:20
Pentagon Needs to Rethink Cancellation of Meads

 

November 8, 2013 Daniel Goure*, Ph.D. -  defense-update.com



The Department of Defense has a long and unhappy history of spending tens of billions of dollars bringing weapons programs well along the path to completion only to terminate them in the 11th hour. Remember the A-12 attack aircraft, Comanche helicopter, Future Combat System, Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, CG(X) cruiser, VXX Presidential Helicopter and Crusader howitzer.

Often the military service and contractors involved fail to salvage any of the advanced technologies or manufacturing capabilities developed as part of the program. If the political stars are properly aligned, the Pentagon may be pressured into producing a small number of extremely capable but controversial platforms at very high unit prices: Seawolf nuclear submarine, B-2 bomber, F-22 fighter and Zumwalt DDG-1000 destroyer.

In an era of austere budgets and renewed calls for acquisition reform, one might think that DoD would make a concerted effort to admit to its dysfunctional behaviors and reconsider some of its near-term acquisition decisions. Chief among these is the decision by the U.S. Army to terminate the Medium Extended Air Defense System. MEADS was intended to be the next-generation in ground-mobile air and missile defense replacing a wide range of Western systems. MEADS had many attractive features, it was a multinational program — Germany and Italy were co-developers and provided nearly half the funding, it was highly mobile, and the radar and battle management system provided 360-degree coverage against fast moving aircraft and cruise missiles.

 

Just this week, MEADS demonstrated the unprecedented capability to track, intercept and destroy simultaneously two targets approaching from opposite directions. One target represented an air-breathing threat and the other a short-range ballistic missile. Every element of the system worked flawlessly: the 360-degree MEADS Surveillance Radar, a networked MEADS battle manager, two lightweight launchers firing PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missiles and a 360-degree MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar. This was the third successful test in a row for the MEADS system.

At a time when the Army is trying to become more expeditionary, agile, lighter and responsive to new threats, the decision to cancel MEADS, a system that supports all of these objectives, seems odd. The Army has promised to identify component technologies that could be harvested from MEADS to enhance existing air and missile defense systems. Unfortunately, this means the Army will still be left with a ground-based air and missile defense capability less responsive and mobile than MEADS.

Critics have complained that the multinational character of MEADS increased complexity and cost. But the same could be said about the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program which has eight co-development partners. Yet, DoD has stressed international participation as one of the positive features of the JSF program. Germany and Italy would like to keep the MEADS program going, adding new participants. Poland recently expressed strong interest in becoming a MEADS principal. Warsaw would have to put some money to the program for which it would expect to receive significant industrial participation. If other nations can be enticed to participate, perhaps DoD should tell the Army to give MEADS a second look.


* Dr. Goure is a Vice President with the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. He is involved in a wide range of issues as part of the institute’s national security program.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 17:30
This is how the M346I could look like when it is delivered in 2014

This is how the M346I could look like when it is delivered in 2014

 

November 8, 2013 defense-update.com

 

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. The three major components of the first aircraft are currently being joined to form the aircraft’s structure. Israel’s first M-346 – to be called Lavi – in IAF designation – will make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for final checks and delivery to the IAF in the mid of 2014. Israel ordered a total of 30 M-346 as advanced trainers to replace the TA-4 Skyhawk and F-16A/B s Falcons currently in service.

 

Israel is expecting to receive the first two aircraft in 2014 with remaining 28 to be delivered through 2016.

 

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. Photo: Alenia

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. Photo: Alenia

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 13:50
Photo Marine Nationale N. Nocart

Photo Marine Nationale N. Nocart

12.11.2013 Marine Nationale

 

Du 6 au 9 novembre 2013, la base de l’aéronautique navale de Landivisiau a accueilli des détachements britanniques et italiens pour un entraînement mutuel au profit des pilotes et techniciens de chacune des nations.

Les missions ont impliqué principalement les aéronefs des flottilles 11F et 17F Landivisiau ( Rafale Marine, Super-Étendard modernisé) et quatre Eurofighters (EF2000) italiens du 4 Stormo, IX Gruppo, tous contrôlés par un hélicoptère Seaking ASaC (Airborne Surveillance and Control) du 849th Squadron (Royal Navy).

De tels échanges sont régulièrement organisés dans le cadre des accords de défense avec le Royaume-Uni et l’Italie et des protocoles Eurofight de l’European Air Group (EAG). Ils visent à accroître l’interopérabilité des forces aériennes afin que celles-ci puissent agir comme une seule force dans l’éventualité d’un conflit.

Photo Marine Nationale N. Nocart

Photo Marine Nationale N. Nocart

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6 novembre 2013 3 06 /11 /novembre /2013 18:40
Patrouilleur russe Smetlivy

Patrouilleur russe Smetlivy

 

MOSCOU, 6 novembre - RIA Novosti

 

Des exercices navals russo-italiens Ioniex-2013 se déroulent en mer Ionienne, au large de l'Italie, du 4 au 9 novembre, a annoncé à Moscou Viatcheslav Troukhatchev, porte-parole de la flotte russe de la mer Noire.

 

"L'exercice naval russo-italien Ioniex-2013 se tiendra en mer Ionique du 4 au 9 novembre. La Marine russe y a dépêché le patrouilleur Smetlivy de la flotte russe de la mer Noire", a indiqué le porte-parole.

 

Les deux pays ont élaboré le scénario des exercices lors d'une conférence russo-italienne tenue début novembre sur la base navale italienne de Tarente. Selon le scénario, les marins russes et italiens s'entraîneront conjointement à la base de Tarente du 4 au 6 novembre avant de procéder aux manœuvres en mer.

 

Les exercices navals russo-italiens Ioniex se tiennent tous les ans depuis 2004 dans le cadre de la coopération militaire entre Moscou et Rome.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 18:50
EU’s Ashton Calls for European MALE Program

 

Oct. 23, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: EU Observer; published Oct. 22, 2013)

 

Ashton Calls for Military-Grade Drones In EU Airspace



BRUSSELS --- A security strategy paper by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says EU countries should use military-grade drones for border surveillance.

The EU chief is set to debate security ideas with MEPs in the plenary chamber in Strasbourg on Wednesday (23 October).

Her plan, which outlines priorities in the lead up to an EU summit on defence in December, notes that there is “an urgent need to prepare a programme for the next generation” of so-called Medium Altitude Long Endurance (Male) drones.

It adds that: "The objective is to promote a European approach for developing this key future capability."

Germany, France, Italy and the UK already have the machines, but only use them in military-led operations.

But industry wants to make drones that can be used for both military and civilian operations, such as border control, but also for monitoring agriculture, civilian infrastructure and natural disasters.

The idea is to allow authorities to easily switch MALE equipment according to mission type.

Big EU defence companies are already lining up. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the EU Observer website.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 07:50
photo Frontex

photo Frontex

 

PARIS, 12 oct 2013 marine-oceans.com  (AFP)

 

Le chef du gouvernement italien Enrico Letta a appelé samedi l'Union européenne à mettre en oeuvre "immédiatement" Eurosur, système de surveillance des frontières de l'UE avec les pays de la Méditerranée, sur la radio française Europe1

 

"On ne peut pas continuer comme ça", a lancé Enrico Letta, au lendemain d'un nouveau naufrage d'un bateau de clandestins au large des côtes italiennes et maltaises, huit jours après celui qui avait coûté la vie à plus de 350 personnes près de l'île de Lampedusa.

 

"Je pense qu'avec les instruments qu'on a mis sur la table jusqu'à maintenant il n'y a pas la possibilité de trouver des solutions efficaces au drame qu'on est en train de vivre", a-t-il dit en réitérant son appel pour que le Conseil européen des 24 et 25 octobre se saisisse du sujet.

 

"Il faut qu'on mette en marche immédiatement Eurosur, il faut que chaque pays soit mis en condition de faire son travail", a-t-il dit.

 

"Il faut qu'il y ait d'avantage de moyens pour surveiller la Méditerranée, et aussi qu'il y ait les conditions pour que les bateaux et avions qui ne sont pas italiens ou maltais ou grecs puissent faire leur travail sans avoir de problèmes juridiques".

 

Le Parlement européen a donné jeudi son aval à la mise en place en décembre d'Eurosur, un système de surveillance des frontières de l'UE avec les pays de la Méditerranée destiné à prévenir les mouvements de migrants.

 

"On est dans une situation dans laquelle tout ce qui est en train de se passer en Afrique du nord, en Erythrée, Somalie, Syrie, fait que l'on est devant une urgence réelle", a ajouté M. Letta. "Le grand problème aujourd'hui c'est la quasi explosion de la situation libyenne", a-t-il insisté.

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9 octobre 2013 3 09 /10 /octobre /2013 16:50
U.S. to move 200 Marines to Italy base after Libya raid

09 October 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

The United States will move about 200 Marines to a U.S. base at Sigonella, Italy from one in Spain in the next day or so, U.S. military officials said on Tuesday, bolstering the U.S. ability to respond to any crises after its raid in Libya.

 

The move comes after a U.S. special operations forces captured a senior al Qaeda figure in Libya on Saturday and whisked him to a warship for questioning.

 

One U.S. military official called the Marines' move to Naval Air Station Sigonella a "prudent, precautionary" measure after the Libya raid.

 

The Marines are part of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response, which was created after last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya to bolster U.S. response capabilities in north and west Africa.

 

 

Libyan militant groups angered by Saturday's raid have taken to social networking sites to call for revenge attacks on strategic targets, including gas-export pipelines, planes and ships, as well as for the kidnapping of Americans.

 

In the operation, U.S. special forces seized Nazih al-Ragye, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Liby - a Libyan who is a suspect in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 civilians.

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