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23 mai 2012 3 23 /05 /mai /2012 11:59
The Beast


May 23, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE


Pakistan has agreed to allow NATO to resume trucking supplies into Afghanistan via Pakistan, but only if an additional fee of $4,750 be paid per cargo container. Most of this cash would go into the pockets of senior officials. That comes to $14 million a month in bribes. The Pakistanis consider this a good deal, because it is costing NATO $38 million a month in additional transportation costs because the Pakistani route is not available. American politicians note that the U.S. has been giving Pakistan over $80 million a month in military aid, so that aid is being withheld and may be cancelled completely if Pakistan does not open the border. The Pakistanis are also aware that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will involve the shipment of over 100,000 containers (and half a billion dollars in loot for Pakistani leaders, not the Pakistani people). So far, NATO and the U.S. refuse to give in to these extortionate demands, which include the U.S. taking the blame for last November's friendly fire incident that left 26 Pakistani soldiers dead. There is a long history of Pakistani troops firing across the border at NATO and Afghan forces. Giving the Pakistanis the apology they demand would be bad for NATO morale, as American and NATO troops are still facing a lack of cooperation from Pakistani forces along the Afghan border.


Meanwhile, the Pakistani military continues fighting selected Islamic terrorists in the tribal territories. While these Islamic radicals want to turn Pakistan into a religious dictatorship, an unpopular prospect with most people in the territories, there is widespread anger at the corruption and incompetence of the Pakistani government. Thus while the Islamic terrorists have destroyed several thousand schools in the tribal territories in the last decade (to protest educating girls and secular education in general), a very unpopular tactic, the people are appalled at the inability of the government to stop this violence or rebuild all the destroyed schools. Pakistanis are also angry at continued government support for some Islamic terror groups (that are supposed to restrict their attacks to India or foreigners outside Pakistan, like Western troops in Afghanistan). The problem with this strategy is that these terror groups tend to eventually slip off their leash and attack Pakistanis. Three decades of this military strategy has created a large minority of Pakistanis who are Islamic radicals and who advocate things (no school for girls or jobs for women or entertainment for anyone) that most Pakistanis oppose. At the same time the military feasts off the corruption their power enables them to indulge in. The Pakistani military is supposed to exist to defend Pakistan, but to a growing number of Pakistanis their military is an uncontrollable beast that just feeds off Pakistan.


Several years of fighting in the Pakistani tribal territories has created over half a million refugees and a lot of unhappy civilians. After September 11, 2001, Pakistan had an opportunity to renounce its two decades of support for Islamic terrorism. But the Pakistani generals tried to have it both ways. That approach failed. Now, once NATO leaves Afghanistan, Pakistan will have to deal with Pushtun Islamic radicals (mainly Taliban) on both sides of the border by themselves. Even with a determined effort to eliminate this scourge, it will take a decade or more to deal with it.


Pakistani government incompetence is getting more publicity than the senior officials are comfortable with. Wikileaks documents proved very embarrassing, as they detailed government support for the "secret" American UAV operations over the tribal territories. The officials publicly opposed these UAV operations. Wikileaks also documented a lot of the corruption in Pakistan, and now some retired generals are arguing via the media about rigged elections in the 1990s. This is nothing new for most Pakistanis, but the perpetrators going public about it is. The generals are saying they rigged elections "for the good of the country." But they used the power they obtained to get rich and get away with murder.


Despite the continuing terrorist threat from Pakistan, India is focusing on the military threat from China. The Indian Ocean is of particular concern, with more Chinese warships showing up along with the huge number of Chinese merchant ships already there. So over the next decade, the Indian Navy will receive an average of five new ships a year. This will include aircraft carriers and nuclear subs. While the Chinese fleet is larger, the Chinese have more immediate naval threats (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, America) off their Pacific coast. Thus the Indian buildup is meant to be sufficient to handle anything the Chinese might be able to spare for Indian Ocean mischief.


May 22, 2012: Three senior Pakistani naval officers were punished, for incompetence, because of command failures that enabled a terror attack on a naval base exactly a year ago. At the time six Taliban gunmen got onto a major naval base in Karachi, Pakistan, killed ten people and destroyed two American made P-3C maritime reconnaissance aircraft (worth over $100 million each). All the attackers were killed, but it took the military 17 hours to do so. It was early the following day before the sound of gunfire ended. What was most disturbing about this was that this heavily guarded base was supposed to have a degree of security similar to that provided for the bases where nuclear weapons are stored. While the six Taliban who attacked the naval base were killed, that in itself was scary, as the attackers did not seem concerned about surviving. The attack was later described by the Taliban as an act of revenge for the death of bin Laden. While the navy had three more P-3Cs, the loss of two of them greatly reduced the ability to patrol the long Pakistani coast.  The attackers were believed to have had inside help, but the military has not released any information on that (and rarely does.)


In Indian Kashmir, three Islamic terrorists were picked up by sensors as they sought to sneak in from Pakistan. An army patrol was sent to intercept and the resulting gun battle left one terrorist dead and the other two apparently headed back into Pakistan.


Gunmen attacked a political rally in Karachi, Pakistan, leaving 11 dead. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city (18 million), has ethnic and religious violence that is again growing, causing hundreds of casualties a week and chaos in some neighborhoods. The violence has been high all this year, although in the last month the security forces thought they had put a lid on it. The lid is rattling.


In Pakistan's North Waziristan a U.S. UAV killed four Islamic terrorists with a missile.


Indian police attacked a meeting of Maoists in eastern India (Jharkhand), and captured some weapons and equipment, but the twelve Maoist gunmen got away. The police acted on a tip.


May 21, 2012: Indian police arrested two Islamic terrorists in Punjab, and seized three bombs, two timers, three detonators, two Chinese pistols and 11 rounds of ammunition. The explosives came from Pakistan.


May 20, 2012: Pakistan blocked national access to Twitter for most of the day, apparently because of blasphemous (to some Moslems) activity on Twitter. Every day, if not every hour, there is something on Twitter that Islamic conservatives would consider blasphemous. What the Pakistani government particularly dislikes about Twitter is that it is a speedy conduit of reports on bad behavior by the Pakistani government. Shutting Twitter down for a sustained period would be enormously unpopular. Over the past two decades the military has backed off on its efforts to enforce censorship because of public anger. At this point, the government has lost control of most media. Some journalists can be bought or intimidated, but most roam free, sniffing out government misbehavior.


May 19, 2012: In Indian Kashmir, Islamic terrorists made two grenade attacks, wounding four policemen and ten civilians.


May 18, 2012:  Maoists in eastern India (Chhattisgarh) attacked the home of a senior politician and were driven off. One bodyguard was killed. 


May 17, 2012: Another sign of peace returning to Indian Kashmir is the army announcement that some of the minefields, surrounding eight of its camps, would be removed. This is mainly because there are far fewer Islamic terrorists operating in the area now.


In Pakistan, four pilots were killed when two military aircraft collided during a training exercise. Because if its large number of older Russian and Chinese designed warplanes, Pakistan has a much higher accident rate than Western air forces, or even neighboring India (which also has a lot of Russian warplanes).


May 13, 2012: Maoists in eastern India (Chhattisgarh) ambushed a police patrol and killed six policemen and a civilian driver.

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11 mai 2012 5 11 /05 /mai /2012 21:14
Le retrait français d'Afghanistan, dossier chaud avant le sommet de l'Otan


11-05-2012 nouvelobs.com


La décision de François Hollande de retirer d'ici fin 2012 les "troupes combattantes" françaises d'Afghanistan met Paris en situation délicate avant le sommet de l'Otan des 20 et 21 mai, et oblige la défense à revoir ses plans.


A peine entré en fonction, le nouveau chef de l'Etat devra convaincre ses partenaires réunis à Chicago du bien-fondé d'une accélération du désengagement des soldats de l'Alliance atlantique, au moment où les forces afghanes peinent à assurer la sécurité des régions dont elles ont la charge, face à la poussée islamiste.


Dès mardi à Berlin, il aura l'occasion d'évoquer le sujet avec la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, qui a appelé jeudi à respecter le calendrier international de retrait des troupes, fixé à fin 2014 par l'Otan.


Convaincu que la mission de la force internationale est terminée, François Hollande entend retirer les soldats français "en bonne intelligence" avec les alliés de la France, "sans prendre le moindre risque pour nos troupes".


Durant le débat télévisé qui l'a opposé le 2 mai à Nicolas Sarkozy, il a complété son dispositif en précisant que le retrait du matériel, qu'il faudra également évacuer, "prendra sans doute plus de temps".


"On a l'ébauche d'un plan : le gros de la troupe rentre dès la fin de l'année, ce qui est relativement simple. La deuxième partie, c'est sortir le matériel dans un laps de temps indéterminé, et a priori avec des difficultés majeures", résume François Heisbourg, président de l'International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) de Londres, interrogé par l'AFP.


Ces derniers mois, Jean-Yves Le Drian, un proche de François Hollande, dont le nom est cité pour le ministère de la Défense, s'est rendu à Washington, Londres et Bruxelles, pour déminer le terrain.


Il a notamment fait valoir à ses interlocuteurs que le calendrier de l'Otan avait déjà été remis en cause par Nicolas Sarkozy, qui avait avancé d'un an le retrait des troupes après la mort en janvier de quatre soldats français.


Seule concession à la réalité du terrain, François Hollande limite à présent le retrait des forces fin 2012 aux seules "troupes combattantes". Ce qui signifie clairement que tous les soldats français n'auront pas quitté le pays à cette date.


Avant la France, les Pays-Bas en 2010, ou le Canada en 2011, ont déjà retiré leurs troupes, et les Etats-Unis s'apprêtent à rapatrier 23.000 hommes cet été.


Pour François Heisbourg, le retrait français ne devrait pas provoquer de clash à Chicago. "Du fait que différents pays adoptent des stratégies de retrait à des moments différents, ce ne sera ni un précédent, ni une surprise, ni une calamité, compte tenu du volume que représentent les forces françaises", souligne-t-il.


Concrètement, la France compte encore 3.400 soldats et 150 gendarmes en Afghanistan, notamment à Kaboul et en Kapisa (est), au sein de la force internationale (Isaf) d'environ 130.000 hommes.


Le retrait français a déjà commencé avec le départ de 600 soldats depuis octobre 2011. Et 83 militaires français ont été tués dans le pays depuis le début de l'intervention internationale, fin 2001, après les attentats du 11 septembre.


Depuis plusieurs mois, les planificateurs du ministère de la Défense s'activent pour anticiper les ordres. "Des planifications, il en existe quelle que soit la situation. Après, il faut attendre les ordres, c'est à dire une décision", souligne le porte-parole de l'état-major, le colonel Thierry Burkhard.


Le désengagement du matériel a également débuté, en proportion des troupes françaises retirées depuis octobre. Mais environ 900 véhicules, 1.400 containeurs, 3 Mirage 2000D, et 14 hélicoptères, restent encore sur le terrain.

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23 avril 2012 1 23 /04 /avril /2012 07:45
U.K. Firm’s War-Zone Selling Point


Apr. 22, 2012 By ANDREW CHUTER Defense News


In Search of Buyer, DSG Promos Afghanistan Performance


LONDON — Faced with an 11,000-kilometer round trip to get service, repairs or upgrades for armored vehicles battered by the Taliban and the environment in Afghanistan, Britain’s Ministry of Defence instead opted to build a facility at its sprawling Camp Bastion in Helmand province to carry out the work.


The task of operating the factory in the desert went to the Defence Support Group (DSG), the up-for-sale, state-owned company that is already responsible for depth servicing and other work at its facilities in the U.K.


Now in its second full year of operation, the facility, known as the Equipment Sustainability System (ESS) Regeneration Capability, is proving its worth — saving the MoD money, relieving pressure on the air bridge between Afghanistan and the U.K. and getting vehicles back into the fray much faster.


Dave Burgess, the DSG general manager at the Camp Bastion facility, said the MoD has saved 22.9 million pounds ($36.5 million) in the first full year of operation — nearly 8 million more than predicted.


This year’s savings are shaping up to be even better, Burgess hinted.


Importantly for DSG, the facility is not just saving the MoD money and improving vehicle turnaround times. ESS is also boosting the company’s bottom line as it faces the challenge of replacing the profits from its recently closed military aircraft maintenance business at St. Athan, Wales.


The Bastion facility is reckoned to be the first British base workshop deployed in an operational theater since the Korean War.


“Conceptually, ESS was a good idea, and we can now see it working in practice,” Burgess said.


ESS mainly handles longer-term preplanned work on land platforms, he said, while the British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers do the rapid-turnaround maintenance needed on the front line.


“In soldier terms, [the vehicles] get trashed,” Burgess said. “We give them an in-depth inspection, carry out the repairs, do a full service and any modifications and urgent operational upgrades required at the same time.”


Aside from armored vehicles like the Jackal, Husky and Warrior, ESS also services a range of land gear, including generators and electronic and optical equipment.


In the first year, 567 big pieces of equipment, from generators to armored vehicles and heavy equipment transporters, were serviced, repaired and updated by the 120 DSG and support employees at ESS.


British plans for the facility once combat troops are withdrawn at the end of 2014 are unclear. DSG has a minimum three-year contract for ESS, and while the drawdown will likely mean its eventual demise, the withdrawal of troops and equipment could bring opportunities of its own.


The MoD has been considering its options on what theater exit standard it wants for vehicles it brings home and whether that work is done back in the U.K. or at ESS, Burgess said.


The outcome of those deliberations will have a short-term impact on DSG’s efforts to remain viable amid the fallout from the government’s economic austerity measures, which has included serious cuts to spending and capabilities in sectors where the company operates.


While DSG has brought significant benefits to maintenance and repair activities in the U.K. since it was founded in 2008, reduced MoD spending could leave it exposed, said Howard Wheeldon of Wheeldon Strategic Advisory.


“The coalition government policy on deficit reduction and eventual privatization of DSG is an inevitable consequence of changes demanded by SDSR [Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review],” he said. “However, while the necessity to further reduce costs is an obvious consequence, we caution that with equipment capability reduction across all three U.K. armed forces, a privatized DSG with 12 bases and 3,000 employees could find itself deemed too large for future anticipated levels of maintenance and repair activity.”


The government’s 2010 SDSR resulted in large cuts in the numbers of some operational vehicles, like the Challenger II main battle tank.


DSG has other problems on the vehicles front. With withdrawal looming, the government’s heavy spending on urgent operational requirements in Afghanistan is starting to end. DSG has been a big beneficiary, with its facilities kept humming by extensive Army-required upgrades to platforms such as the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle and CVR(T) scout machine to increase protection against roadside bombs and fix other problems.


None of that’s good news for a company that the Conservative-led coalition decided would be sold off as part of its 2010 strategic defense review. Industry executives here said the delay between the decision to sell and the sale itself is to allow DSG to complete its transformation and secure the large long-term contracts that would lure would-be buyers.


Two major deals are in the works, but neither has been signed. Lockheed Martin UK has said it is committed to using DSG as the integrator on a $1 billion update of the Warrior, which includes fitting a new turret and cannon.


General Dynamics UK has a memorandum of understanding with DSG to build scout vehicles and other variants in the British Army’s specialist vehicles program. GD is working on the demonstration phase, and an MoD decision on a production deal is likely some way off.


An MoD spokeswoman said the ministry is “still looking to sell the Defence Support Group in line with the SDSR announcement. You can expect further developments later this year.”


Defense ministers have previously talked about completing the sale in 2013-14.


It’s unclear if all of DSG is up for sale. Aside from land systems repair and upgrade, DSG has an electronics and components unit that tests, repairs and calibrates avionics and other equipment.


Last year, it also took over the part of the MoD that undertakes vehicle storage — a small but important element in DSG’s strategic plan to offer customers a cradle-to-grave vehicle capability.


The company will soon report its annual figures for the year that ended in March, and defense analysts here said they are hopeful of an improvement over the previous year’s performance despite what is likely to have been a declining workload in the land and air sectors.


Unfortunately, 2011 is the last year in which DSG can rely on its Large Aircraft unit to underpin performance. The unit closed last month with completion of the last depth-maintenance program on the Royal Air Force’s VC-10 fleet ahead of the tanker/transporter’s retirement.


In 2010, the air and electronics businesses together (DSG doesn’t split them) reported 7.2 million pounds operating profit against total returns of 7.5 million pounds.


About Defence Support Group


Owner: U.K. government. Formed in 2008 from the Defence Aviation Repair Agency and the Army Base Repair Organisation.

Headquarters: Andover, England.

2010 sales: 209 million pounds.

Operating profit: 7.5 million pounds.

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17 avril 2012 2 17 /04 /avril /2012 18:55
FEA ou le troc interalliés


17/04/2012 SEActu


Fuel exchange agreement ou en français : convention d’échange de carburant. Le principe des FEA est de faciliter les approvisionnements entre alliés. Des points de situation sont réalisés lors de réunions périodiques, comme celle qui s’est déroulée du 3 au 5 octobre dernier à Wiesbaden en Allemagne.


Les États-Unis, à travers la Defense Logistic Agency Energy (DLA-E), sont les « leaders » dans ce domaine. Initialement, l’US Air Force, qui se ravitaillait fréquemment dans différentes bases européennes, a cherché à simplifier ses échanges essentiellement avec les aviations grecques, italiennes et turques. Depuis une vingtaine d’années, les Américains cherchent à augmenter leur réseau en le déployant vers davantage de pays et en l’appliquant à toutes les armées et à tous les produits.


Quel est l’intérêt ?

Il s’agit de limiter les procédures administratives en évitant, par exemple l’émission de facture dès qu’une unité fait le plein chez ses alliés.


Quel en est le principe ?

Plutôt que de payer à chaque approvisionnement et de compter en $ ou en €, les volumes sont cumulés sur une période, en galons ou en litres. Tous les 6 mois, un point périodique sur l’état des échanges est effectué. Lorsqu’un pays a davantage été livré en carburants qu’il n’en a délivré, il peut choisir suivant les cas de rembourser soit en nature, soit en monnaie. Ces mises à plat, appelées réconciliation, se réalisent une première fois à distance par courriel. Puis la fois suivante, lors d’une conférence permettant en sus de faire le point sur les difficultés, les avancées mais également de faire remonter diverses informations des différents pays participants, comme cela a été le cas les 3, 4 et 5 octobre derniers.


Qui y participe ?

Actuellement, les États-Unis ont près de 42 conventions ou « agreement » dans le domaine du carburant, notamment avec l’Espagne, la Turquie, l’Allemagne, la Grande- Bretagne, le Japon, la Corée, les Émirats arabes unis, l’Italie. Uniquement pour le carburéacteur : la Grèce. Uniquement pour le gazole de navigation : l’Inde, l’Indonésie, le Pakistan, la Pologne, le Chili, le Pérou, l’Argentine, le Canada et la France. D’autres accords sont en préparation.


Et la France dans tout cela ?

En France, c’est la Marine en 2006 qui a conclu le premier FEA, avec les États-Unis puis avec la Grande-Bretagne. La nécessité de simplifier les procédures administratives des avitaillements sont apparues naturelles, du fait du déplacement des bateaux en permanence autour du monde. Le SEA, avec la reprise du soutien de la flotte le 1er janvier 2010, fait perdurer cet accord et travaille à développer un « joint agreement » qui inclurait tous les carburants.               


Quel est l’intérêt opérationnel ?

Actuellement en mer, le ravitaillement d’un navire français auprès d’un britannique ou d’un américain n’engendre aucune charge administrative de facturation. La quantité reçue fait l’objet d’un compte rendu au bureau soutien pétrolier de l’état-major de la Marine qui assure un suivi. A terme un avion américain qui se poserait à Istres ne serait pas facturé mais compenserait un avion français qui se poserait à Incirlik, en Turquie. Une facilité de logistique opérationnelle avec une couverture mondiale, c’est la force du FEA.

Ainsi pour le SEA, adhérer au FEA est un maillon supplémentaire pour consolider son interopérabilité au sein de la logistique pétrolière interalliés.

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13 avril 2012 5 13 /04 /avril /2012 16:30
Par quelle route quitter l'Afghanistan ?


13 Avril 2012 Jean-Dominique Merchet - Secret Défense


Dans le meilleur des cas, le désengagement pourrait être accélérer de quelques mois.


Alors que l'armée française a transféré, jeudi 12 avril, le contrôle de la Surobi aux forces de sécurité afghanes, la question du retrait se heurte toujours à d'importantes difficultés logistiques. La France s'est engagé à retirer ses troupes combattantes fin 2013. François Hollande, au cas où il serait élu, a promis d'accèlerer ce calendrier, pour la fin de cette année, même s'il met progressivement de l'eau dans son vin...


Le défi logistique est colossal. Selon les chiffres américains et pour l'ensemble des troupes de la coalition, il s'agit de retirer en trois ans : 72.000 véhicules et 150.000 conteneurs, tout en rendant 1300 emprises. Les logisticiens américains ont calculé que cela signifiait enlever un équipement toutes les sept minutes et 150 conteneurs par jour pendant trois ans... A côté, la question du rapatriement de dizaines de milliers d'hommes semble être un jeu d'enfant.


Par où passer ? Les deux routes qui partent de l'Afghanistan vers le Pakistan (Khyber Pass au Nord et Quetta au Sud) sont fermées depuis cinq mois par les autorités pakistanaises et nul ne sait quand elles réouvriront...  La route du nord n'est pas plus simple. Même si les Russes acceptent le transit par leur territoire, il faut d'abord arriver en Russie. Et donc traverser des Républiques d'Asie centrale : Ouzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kirghizistan et Kazakhstan. Pas simple dans tous les cas et forcément couteux...


Pour l'heure, la solution la plus simple semble être, pour la France, un "brouettage" aérien dans deux directions. La première est déjà utilisée : en avion gros porteur jusqu'à Abu Dhabi puis par la mer. L'autre reste à mettre en place : en gros porteur jusqu'en Russie ou au Kazakhstan, puis par la route ou mieux, le rail.


Quoi qu'il en soit, cette affaire prendra du temps. Dans les armées, on estime aujourd'hui que si le pouvoir politique l'exigeait, le délai pourrait être raccourci "de quelques mois au plus, pas plus de six, si l'on veut faire les choses de façon sécurisée et à condition que les routes pakistanaises soient réouvertes".

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9 février 2012 4 09 /02 /février /2012 13:20
Retrait d'Afghanistan: Paris et l'ISAF négocient avec des Ouzbeks exigeants

09.02.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Dans le cadre des négociations en cours entre la Force internationale déployée en Afghanistan et les pays voisins comme l'Ouzbekistan et le Tadjikistan (photo ci-dessus, l'aéroport de Douchanbé), les discussions sont ardues. Pour permettre le passage des troupes et des matériels retirés d'Afghanistan, Tachkent, par exemple, pose des conditions "coûteuses", a confié, hier, aux députés, le ministre de la Défense, Gérard Longuet.


Pour voir ou revoir l'audition du ministre de la Défense et du ministre des Affaires étrangères, cliquer ici.


"Nous avons en réalité trois solutions. Une solution que nous écartons: une voie aérienne de bout en bout, parce qu'elle est très coûteuse", a détaillé Gérard Longuet devant les commissions de la Défense et des Affaires étrangères de l'Assemblée nationale.

Il y a ensuite "la solution pakistanaise, avec deux passages possibles, mais les relations sont actuellement encore très tendues avec les Pakistanais qui ne font guère preuve de bonne volonté.

La troisième possibilité est "la voie ferrée par l'Ouzbekistan, soit directement, soit par le Tadjikistan", a-t-il ajouté. Mais "l'Ouzbekistan pose des conditions matérielles assez coûteuses", a confié Gérard Longuet, précisant qu'une "négociation collective" avait été engagée avec ces pays voisins de l'Afghanistan par la Force internationale d'assistance et de sécurité (ISAF).


 "Le retrait des forces françaises en Afghanistan est une affaire, sur le plan logistique, complexe", a enfin rappelé le ministre de la Défense, confirmant les chiffres évoqués sur ce blog: 1 200 véhicules dont plus de 500 véhicules blindés, 1 500 à 1 800 conteneurs....

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5 février 2012 7 05 /02 /février /2012 18:35



05.02.2012 DEFENSETECH


Check this out. We’ve been wondering how the cancellation of the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft would impact the Army’s tactical airlift needs. While the Air Force says canning the JCA won’t hurt anyone, it looks like the Army is eying the optionally-manned K-MAX helo to carry realatively small but urgent loads of cargo to remote bases.

Now, the Marines have been experimenting with using the K-MAX for this role in Afghanistan for a while now and the Army is very interested in seeing how that effort goes, according to AvWeek.

And you can bet the Army is keeping a close eye on the program. In August, the service awarded the Lockheed/Kaman team $47 million to continue work on the K-MAX program—testing was done this past fall at Ft. Benning—while wrapping up a larger study on a full range of unmanned cargo options.

The tests will help the service build a formal program of record for an unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability, a program which we already know Textron/AAI is very interested in. Steve Reid, the company’s senior vp and general manager for unmanned systems says that the company has signed a license agreement with Carter Aviation for a manned, four-person rotary winged asset that Textron is working on turning into an unmanned asset that the company feels “would do the cargo mission that’s being talked about” quite nicely. The Navy has also been busy with other unmanned options, including awarding Northrop Grumman a contract in September to supply twenty-eight MQ-8C Fire Scout VTOL-UAS’s (based on Bell’s 407 helicopter airframe), which the company has touted for its cargo-lugging capabilities.

Very interesting.



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10 janvier 2012 2 10 /01 /janvier /2012 08:20
Military Sealift Command Reorganizes Operations


9 Jan 2012 By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS Defensenews

The Military Sealift Command (MSC) announced Jan. 9 a reorganization of its operating forces in a move to increase efficiency.

"We are proactively streamlining," Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, MSC's commander, said in a statement.

MSC operates virtually all the U.S. Navy's support and auxiliary ships, crewing them with civilian mariners working for the government or civilian contract crews. The 110 ships operated by the command provide fleet services, take on special missions and carry and store military equipment.

Under the reorganization, the ships will operate under five mission programs, including a new Service Support program. Continuing in operation are the Combat Logistics Force (CLF), Special Mission, Prepositioning and Sealift programs.

The former Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (NFAF) is no more, its ships operating now under the CLF or Service Support programs.

Also, MSC's 12 worldwide Ship Support Units, which previously reported to the Military Sealift Fleet Support Command in Norfolk, Va., now report to MSC's operational area commands: MSC Atlantic in Norfolk; MSC Pacific in San Diego; MSC Europe and Africa in Naples, Italy; MSC Central in Bahrain; and MSC Far East in Singapore.

Three of MSC's six civilian Senior Executive Service (SES) officials are being "repositioned," according to a press release. One SES will oversee MSC's government-operated ships, another will be in charge of contract-operated ships, and another will oversee total force manpower management.

The new Service Support program includes 14 government-operated ships, including the submarine tenders Emory S. Land and Frank Cable, command ship Mount Whitney and the cable laying ship Zeus, all formerly operated by the Special Mission program. Ten more ships previously operated by the NFAF operate now under the Service Support program, including the hospital ships Mercy and Comfort - designated T-AH - T-ATF fleet ocean tugs and T-ARS rescue and salvage ships.

The Combat Logistics Force, previously a subset of the NFAF, comprises 32 government-operated fleet underway replenishment ships, including T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ships, T-AOE fast combat support ships, T-AO fleet replenishment oilers and T-AE ammunition ships.

The Special Mission program maintains 24 contract-operated ships, including 8 chartered submarine- and special warfare-support ships; 6 T-AGS oceanographic survey ships; 5 T-AGOS ocean surveillance ships; 2 T-AGM missile range instrumentation ships; the navigation test support ship Waters; and the SBX-1 Sea-based X-Band Radar platform with its towing vessel Dove. The program also manages harbor tug contracts on behalf of the Navy's Installations Command.

The prepositioning program maintains 31 large ships positioned worldwide to store military equipment for the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy, and the Defense Logistics Agency. Prepositioning ships are a mix of government-owned and chartered ships. The program also includes the high-speed vessels Swift and WestPac Express, the Marine aviation support ships Curtiss and Wright, and the offshore petroleum distribution system ship Vice Adm. K. R. Wheeler.

The 16 ships of the Sealift program are also a mix of government-owned and long-term charter vessels, including large roll on/roll off ships, dry cargo ships, and tankers. The Ready Reserve Force, a group of 48 support ships maintained in various states of readiness, is also part of the Sealift program.

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8 décembre 2011 4 08 /12 /décembre /2011 18:55


Ravitaillement du Tonnerre par le Var

photo Marine Nationale


8 décembre 2011 Par BCR Var


La revue Marine et Océans vient de publier son numéro d’octobre-novembre-décembre 2011, où 70 pages exceptionnelles sont consacrées à l’opération française en Libye, « Harmattan ». Aucune composante de l’opération n’est oubliée dans ce numéro passionnant. Les pétroliers-ravitailleurs font l’objet d’un article que nous reprenons ci-dessous.


Les pétroliers ravitailleurs d’Harmattan.


La Marine nationale a engagé ses quatre pétroliers ravitailleurs, la Marne, la Meuse, la Somme et le Var, dans l’opération Harmattan. Ces bâtiments, dont le prochain remplacement est très sérieusement préparé, ont effectué près de 150 ravitaillements à la mer dont une trentaine au profit de bâtiments étrangers. Présentation d’une capacité opérationnelle vitale pour toute grande marine océanique.


Par le capitaine de frégate Frédéric Mauron, commandant du BCR Var


Le ravitailleur permet aux bâtiments de surface de durer à la mer, sans retourner au port, donc sans quitter leur poste. Bâtiment de 18000 t armé par 160 marins, le ravitailleur livre au porte-avions, aux BPC et aux frégates tout ce dont ils ont besoin : gazole, kérosène pour les avions et les hélicoptères, eau, vivres (secs, frais, congelés), pièces de rechanges, munitions, courrier officiel et personnel, médicaments et sang, parfois même un hélicoptère sortant de révision. En retour, il récupère les déchets compactés, le matériel hors service et les résidus de tirs. Le ravitailleur est un navire « ouvrier », armé par de nombreux manœuvriers et mécaniciens. Il dispose en outre d’une bonne capacité de logements, essentielle pour effectuer les relèves de personnel. Ainsi, le Var, au plus fort de la « manœuvre Ressources Humaines » en juillet – août 2011, a assuré la rotation de plus de 700 militaires entre la terre et la force navale.


La spécificité du ravitailleur militaire consiste à effectuer tout cela à la mer, en route, de jour comme de nuit et jusque dans des conditions de mer relativement sévères. Cela demande un entraînement spécifique de part et d’autre, un savoir-faire dont seules les marines océaniques peuvent s’enorgueillir.


Les ravitailleurs sont en fait toujours en opérations : en effet, réaliser un ravitaillement à la mer (RAM) en exercice représente la même technicité et le même risque nautique potentiel que lors d’un ravitaillement en opérations. Imaginez le porte-avions et le ravitailleur naviguant côte à côte à 50 m l’un de l’autre pendant 6 heures, effectuant un transfert par charges lourdes / de kérosène / par hélicoptère équivalent à 6 camions semi-remorque 38 t et 40 gros camions citerne. Lors d’Harmattan, notre cœur de métier a été le même mais à un rythme plus soutenu. Les ravitaillements ont souvent été réalisés aux limites des capacités du couple bâtiment/équipage, plus ou moins près de la côte donc avec une menace à ne pas négliger. Nous avons appris à travailler dans l’incertitude des opérations et avec une pression née d’un constat simple : une seule avarie non réparée au plus vite ou un seul incident nautique sérieux, et c’était l’ensemble de l’opération qui se voyait mis en danger. Les équipages l’ont parfaitement compris et ont agi avec un dévouement et un professionnalisme remarquables.

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14 juin 2011 2 14 /06 /juin /2011 05:55
Artist's impression of the Joint logistic Support Ship (middle)

Artist's impression of the Joint logistic Support Ship (middle)


VLISSINGEN, Netherlands, June 13 (UPI)


Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding reports the keel has been laid for a new joint support ship for the Dutch navy.


The JSS, designed to operate both in the lower and higher levels of the force spectrum, will measures 673 feet in length and 98 feet in breadth.


The vessel accommodates a crew of 180 sailors as well as 120 non-listed people, such as helicopter crews and medical teams.


The company says the vessel features a helicopter deck that can handle two Chinooks simultaneously and a hangar with a storage capacity six helicopters; facilities for loading and unloading operations of materiel and goods in harbors, near the shore or at open or at sea; two Replenishment-At-Sea masts; an elevator and crane for up to 40 tons; a roll on/roll off facility for vehicles; and a steel beach stern construction for accommodating cargo transfer via landing craft.


Weaponry includes two Goalkeepers, two 30mm automatic guns, and four automatic medium caliber gun systems.


To reduce the vulnerability, the vessel will be outfitted with signature reduction measures, ballistic protection, blast resistant constructions, redundant, shock resistant and decentralized systems, a gas citadel and extensive fire fighting systems.


Construction will take place at Damen Shipyard Galatz, while final systems outfitting, commissioning and testing of the vessel will take place at DSNS in Vlissingen.

Schematic representation of the different aspects of the ship

Schematic representation of the different aspects of the ship

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28 mai 2011 6 28 /05 /mai /2011 11:00



STUTTGART, Germany, May 27 (UPI)


The German military has contracted Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks to produce Actros Heavy Recovery Vehicles for immediate use in Afghanistan.


Mercedes Benz said the lead time for delivery of the mine-protected vehicles is seven months. The number of vehicles ordered and the monetary value of the contract weren't disclosed.


The Actros vehicles to be delivered will be of the same configuration and protection level as those operated by the Canadian armed forces in Afghanistan since March 2008.


With the Actros 4151 AK 8x8 provides Level 4 ballistic protection and Level 4b mine protection.


The protected special vehicle is 34.5 feet long, with a wheelbase of 18 feet.


Mercedes said a particular challenge faced by heavy recovery vehicles is the distribution of axle loads in all deployment situations. While the weight of the armored cab lies across the front axles only, in recovery situations the weight of the raised, towed vehicle places a load on the rear axles which can act like a huge lever. The Actros 4151 AK 8x8 Recovery vehicle, however, has been designed in such a way as to ensure a substantially uniform axle load distribution and also enable safe handling in both heavy-duty recovery situations and also when driving without a load.

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 08:00
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18 mars 2011 5 18 /03 /mars /2011 18:00
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28 juin 201 7 28 /06 /juin /201 07:55
Le Centre Interarmées de Coordination de la Logistique des Opérations (CICLO)


28/06/2010 Sources : CFLT


Le Centre Interarmées de Coordination de la Logistique des Opérations (CICLO) est opérationnel depuis le 29 septembre 2008.


Organisme à vocation interarmées dépendant de l'armée de Terre, le CICLO est stationné à MONTHLERY, il est armé par 31 officiers, sous-officiers et militaires du rang issus des trois armées et de services interarmées.


Subordonné à l'état major des armées/Centre de Préparation et de Conduite des Opérations (EMA/ CPCO) et principal interlocuteur des théâtres d'opération, le CICLO est chargé de coordonner les actions des armées et des services interarmées afin de rationaliser le soutien des forces projetées en opération extérieure.

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