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20 mars 2014 4 20 /03 /mars /2014 08:45
Ayres S2R Thrush aircraft

Ayres S2R Thrush aircraft


19 March 2014 by Oscar Nkala– defenceWeb


The Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) has taken delivery of three second-hand Ayres S2R Thrush aircraft which it is using to conduct maritime surveillance and security patrols in support of the regional crackdown on piracy.


According to defence and security website IHS Janes, the three Thrush aircraft, as well as an Alouette III helicopter, were captured on satellite imagery on February 24 at the PMFP main base at the Red Sea port of Bosaso. The site said all three aircraft formerly belonged to the US State Department which previously used them to spray defoliants during anti-narcotics operations in South America. As a result they were fitted with armoured cockpits and engines to protect the crew and aircraft from hostile ground fire.


The aircraft may be armed with machineguns and rockets but IHS Jane’s sources give conflicting information on this.


Unnamed sources told IHS Janes that the aircraft are being flown by foreign contractors.


Apart from the three Ayres S2Rs, the PMPF also owns a 40-year-old Alouette III helicopter bought from South African commercial firm and fitted with a door gun. However, IHS Janes reports that it has since been grounded due to a lack of spares.


The force also reportedly operates a Russian-made Antonov An-26 transport aircraft which is used to rotate foreign contractors and deliver fuel and equipment to PMPF units on operations. The air drops includes fuel supplies at sea for the PMPF's three rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), which are armed with 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine guns. A DC-3 transport aircraft was also captured on satellite imagery at the PMPF base.


IHS Janes also quoted one source saying that two Mil Mi-17 helicopters fitted with Western avionics are also routinely seen at the PMPF's airstrip in Bosaso. The two aircraft are reportedly flown by US crews and they are suspected to be part of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or US special forces operations in the region.


Established in 2010 with the help of the United Arab Emirates, the PMPF has been struggling to arm itself because of a United Nations embargo which prohibits arms sale to the region which broke away from Somalia and proclaimed itself an independent republic at the height of the political and security chaos in the late 1990s.


However, Puntland's demonstrated ability to secure itself and its strategic location on the horn of Africa has attracted some Western and Middle Eastern countries who have established security ties as part of the war on terror in neighbouring Somalia and for the common front against maritime piracy in the Red Sea.

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 08:50
Future Maritime Patrol – Part 1 (Challenges and Missions)

We have regularly discussed future maritime patrol on Think Defence but it is an especially interesting subject because it spans so many capability areas and has so many implications in other areas.



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20 janvier 2014 1 20 /01 /janvier /2014 17:30
Israeli Westwind maritime patrol fleet to fly on



Jan.20, 2014 By Arie Egozi – FG


Tel Aviv - The Israeli navy will continue to rely on a mix of manned and unmanned systems for maritime patrol missions .


Two years ago the Israeli air force, together with the navy, decided to prolong the service life of their jointly-operated Israel Aerospace Industries Westwind 1124 maritime patrol aircraft. The business jet-based type is equipped with advanced sensors, mostly produced by IAI's Elta Systems subsidiary, including a maritime search radar.


Recently, the services decided to extend the Westwind's use further, by performing fuselage and wing treatment work and upgrading its sensors.


Over the last few years the Israeli military has used IAI Heron unmanned air systems in parallel with its manned maritime patrol aircraft, with the intention of replacing the capabilities provide by the latter, aged type. However, an Elta source says that while the Heron is capable of performing many such missions, the long-endurance design lacks the speed needed to perform some other tasks.


According to the company source, the Westwind fleet will be kept flying until a suitable manned substitute has been identified. Potential options include the Gulfstream G550 – a model previously adapted by Elta for use in the airborne early warning and control system and ground surveillance applications, and the Bombardier Q400.


The Israeli air force has an active fleet of three maritime patrol-adapted Westwinds. These were manufactured between 1971 and 1975, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database.

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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
The "Defenders of the West" Squadron Meets the French Navy


25.11.2013 Noa Fenigstein - iaf.org.il


The IAF Maritime Patrol Squadron –The "Defenders of the West" – and its French equivalent met last week for a brainstorming aimed to enrich each other's instructional knowledge. "Being a unique squadron, it is very important for us to learn from other air forces around the world"


The AS-565 "Panther" (AKA "Bat" in the IAF) maritime patrol Helicopters Squadron, located in Ramat-David Airbase had a special meeting last week: teams from the equivalent French Maritime Patrol Squadron joined them at Haifa port for an enriching instructional gathering.


"The French "Panther" helicopters squadron is a sister-squadron to the Israeli "Defenders of the West" and we've met with it before", says Captain M., the squadron's second-in- command, in charge of the squadron's instructional field. "The purpose of the meeting is creating a mutual learning process and to form a base of optional cooperation between the forces".


This time, unlike previous cooperation sessions, soldiers from the squadron's technical division also took part in the project. "The "Panther" helicopter's technicians have many unique and complex missions", says Captain M. "The technical maintenance regulations are an integral part of the squadron's development, and it's important to learn from the aerial and marine capabilities of the French Navy".


AS-565 Panther photo IAF

AS-565 Panther photo IAF

The "Defenders of the West" Squadron is one-of-a-kind in the IAF and has many designated missions combining air and sea and often working with foreign air forces and navies. "We see great importance in learning from different forces, practicing with them and comparing work methods for the joint missions", adds Captain M. "The main objective is to expand and improve the squadron and simultaneously tighten the IAF's relations with air forces and navies all around the globe".

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25 octobre 2012 4 25 /10 /octobre /2012 06:35

MK-54 torpedo-test-03-2012


The U.S. military's shift to a more extensive Pacific presence includes the continued purchase by the Navy of P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.



Oct. 24, 2012 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER Defense News


The U.S. Defense Department plans to purchase weapons and equipment geared to combat in the Asia-Pacific, a maritime-heavy region that will require long-range, stealthy systems that were rarely used over the past decade of combat.


Even as it prepares to downsize, the Pentagon plans to purchase fighters, unmanned aircraft and intelligence aircraft in the coming years, while beginning development of systems, such as a long-range bomber.


“With the war in Iraq now over, and as we transition security responsibilities to the government of Afghanistan, we will release much of our military capacity that has been tied up there for other missions, like fostering peace and strengthening partnerships in the Asia-Pacific,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said during an Oct. 3 speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.


“Naval assets that will be released from Afghanistan and the Middle East include surface combatants, amphibious ships and, eventually, aircraft carriers,” he said.


The Air Force will transition its unmanned systems, bomber and space forces to the Pacific, Carter said. The Air Force is also investing in a new aerial refueling tanker, the Boeing KC-46.


At the same time, the Army and Marine Corps will be freed up “for new missions in other regions.”


The Navy will install larger launch tubes in new Virginia-class submarines that will allow the vessels to carry cruise missiles, other weapons and small underwater vehicles. The service will also continue its purchase of Sikorsky


MH-60 helicopters, Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and the unmanned Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft.


DoD also plans to invest in cyber, space and electronic warfare capabilities.


The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all plan to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the coming years.


U.S. spending priorities are in line with a new military strategy DoD released in January. One of the key tenets of the new strategy is being able to fight in a contested or denied battle space. The wars of the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought in benign airspace, which have allowed all types of aircraft to fly with little threat of being shot down.


But budget cuts remain a major concern. The Pentagon already is cutting $487 billion from planned spending over the next decade. But the larger issue is the possibility of an additional $500 billion in cuts to planned spending over the next 10 years. Those reductions were mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a way to lower the U.S. deficit. These cuts, known as sequestration, are scheduled to go into effect in January.


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top defense officials have argued that the magnitude of these reductions would hurt the military’s ability to rapidly respond. They have also said DoD would need to create a new military strategy if the additional cuts are enacted.


Industry has said the spending cuts would lead to mass layoffs, although other defense analysts and observers have said the reductions would not be felt for several years and would not be as devastating as depicted.


While many in Congress have voiced opposition to sequestration-level spending cuts, a comprehensive deal to lower the U.S. debt is not likely anytime soon. Congress has been out of session since September so members can campaign for the November elections. The U.S. presidential election is also looming and could reshape U.S. spending.


Advisers for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have said the former Massachusetts governor would restore all planned DoD spending cuts immediately.


A Romney administration would allot 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product to the defense base budget, said Roger Zakheim, one of Romney’s senior defense advisers, at an Oct. 11 breakfast with reporters in Washington. Zakheim is on leave from his job as deputy staff director and general counsel of the House Armed Services Committee.


The fiscal 2012 Pentagon budget proposal, the last budget before the first round of spending cuts were announced, called for $2.99 trillion in defense spending from 2013 to 2017. That projection was cut by $259 billion after Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011.


If Romney is elected, his administration would likely not release a budget until next spring, as opposed to early February.

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