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7 octobre 2011 5 07 /10 /octobre /2011 11:30
India studying NATO offer on joining missile programme


October 7, 2011 T. S. Subramanian – THE HINDU


DRDO is getting ready to launch Agni-II Prime


The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) invitation to India in the first week of September to be a partner in its ballistic missile defence (BMD) programme is being analysed, according to V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.


“We are analysing the report. It is under consideration,” he said on September 30 after the successful launch of the Agni-II ballistic missile from the Wheeler Island on the Orissa coast.


India has so far conducted six interceptor missile tests as part of its quest to establish a credible shield against ballistic missiles launched from adversarial countries. Of these, five interceptor tests, including the first three in a row, were successful.


The first interceptor missile test took place in November 2006.


These six tests featured a missile launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on the Orissa coast, mimicking the path of a ballistic missile coming from an “enemy country” and an interceptor launched from the Wheeler Island destroying the incoming missile in mid-flight.


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is the author of India's BMD programme and Dr. Saraswat is the programme's architect. He is DRDO Director-General.

Ballistic clash


A top DRDO official had described an interceptor destroying an incoming ballistic missile in mid-flight as “hitting a bullet with a bullet.”


After three successful test-flights of Shourya, Prithvi-II and Agni-II missiles, all surface-to-surface missiles, on September 24, 26 and 30, the DRDO is getting ready to launch Agni-II Prime from the Wheeler Island. “The two stages of Agni-II Prime, their rocket motors and the re-entry vehicle are ready,” the DRDO Director-General said.


Tessy Thomas, Project Director, Agni-II Prime, said: “We are flying” the Agni-II Prime in the first week of November and that “everything is ready” for the launch. The two-stage missile has a range of 3,000 km.


It will lift off from a road-mobile launcher, that is, a huge truck. Ms. Thomas was confident that a problem in the control system of Agni-II Prime in its maiden flight in December 2010 would be overcome this time.


The DRDO is also busy with the maiden launch of the Agni-V ballistic missile in December. The three-stage, surface-to-surface missile can take out targets 5,000 km away.

On schedule


“Agni-V is on schedule. We will launch it as announced by the Raksha Mantri [Defence Minister A.K. Antony] by the end of this year,” said Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO. “All the sub-systems have been tested.”


Both the Agni-II Prime and Agni-V can carry nuclear warheads.

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6 octobre 2011 4 06 /10 /octobre /2011 07:20
Supporting Europe’s Missile defense Initiative, U.S. Navy to Position Four AEGIS ships in Rota, Spain

In March 2011 USS Monterey (CG 61) deployed for a six-month independent deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. On this voyage, the AEGIS cruiser provided the first ballistic missile defense under the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The cruiser is seen here on one of its Mediterranean port visits in Greece, in May 2011. Photo: U.S. Navy


October 6, 2011 by Tamir Eshel - defense-update.com


The U.S. Navy is relocating four AEGIS destroyers to be stationed at port of Rota, spain on the Atlantic Ocean coast. “The alliance is significantly boosting combined naval capabilities in the Mediterranean, and enhancing our ability to ensure the security of this vital region.” The move comes just seven months after the Pentagon sent another AEGIS ship, USS Monterey, to the Mediterranean, marking the first of the administration’s four-phase plan to put a missile defense system in Europe by 2018.


Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta said. These AEGIS ships will support NATO’s missile defense effort, alongside the planned positioning of radar stations and, eventually, land-based AEGIS missile systems in Romania, Poland, and Turkey. “Spain’s decision represents a critical step in implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach, as our leaders agreed to in Lisbon. For its part, the United States is fully committed to building a missile defense capability for the full coverage and protection of all our NATO European populations, their territory and their forces against the growing threat posed by ballistic missiles.” Panetta added.


According to Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, by 2013, Spain would “decisively support a large part of the naval portion” of the [European missile defense] system. The system, the Spanish president added, will have a positive economic impact on Rota, requiring the presence of 1,100 military staff and their families, representing 1,000 jobs.


In addition to supporting the new missile defense capability, these Aegis ships will support the Standing NATO Maritime Groups, and maritime security cooperation activities in the Mediterranean Basin and the Atlantic Ocean. The agreement also enables the United States to provide rapid and responsive support to the U.S. Africa and U.S. Central Commands, as needed.

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5 octobre 2011 3 05 /10 /octobre /2011 05:50
NATO Plans Interim Missile Defense Capability

Oct 4, 2011 By Robert Wall - aerospace daily and defense report


LONDON — When defense ministers from NATO member states meet this week in Brussels, missile defense will be on the agenda. And while concrete decisions are not expected, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hopes to be ready to declare some meaningful progress next year.


“Step by step, NATO’s territorial missile defense is becoming a reality,” he tells reporters in advance of the defense ministerial. He says he is hopeful that at the time the heads of government of NATO members meet next year in Chicago, the alliance will be ready “to declare an interim operational capability.”


Poland, Romania and Turkey already have agreed to host elements of the U.S.-European Phase Adaptive Approach — a key element of the NATO concept — and Rasmussen says others will be asked this week to prepare commitments.


More broadly, the ministers are likely to discuss the report from an Allied Command Transformation task force exploring potential areas of increased cooperation. Rasmussen has been pushing for more cooperation as part of his “Smart Defense” agenda and says he will work with governments in the coming months to identify projects they may be ready to lead. Program decisions are not expected this week, he notes.


Moreover, a decision by NATO to terminate military operations over Libya remains in limbo. Although Rasmussen says NATO is ready to stop its efforts as soon as the situation on the ground allows, he does not expect this week’s meeting to reach that conclusion.

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1 octobre 2011 6 01 /10 /octobre /2011 06:10



NEW DELHI, 30 septembre - RIA Novosti


L'Inde a effectué vendredi un test réussi d'un missile balistique Agni-II capable de transporter une ogive nucléaire, rapporte l'agence IANS, citant les sources officielles.


Le missile a été lancé depuis une base militaire située dans l'Etat d'Orissa (est) et a détruit sa cible.


Prévu initialement pour le 29 août, le tir avait été reporté pour des raisons techniques.


L'Agni II est un missile balistique de portée moyenne de deux étages à combustible solide. Sa portée est de 2.000 kilomètres.


Il s'agit du troisième test d'un missile capable de porter une charge nucléaire effectué en Inde depuis le début septembre.


Le 26 septembre, un missile balistique Prithvi-II a été tiré avec succès depuis un site situé dans le même Etat d'Orissa. Le 24 septembre, l'armée a testé avec succès un missile balistique Shaurya.

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27 septembre 2011 2 27 /09 /septembre /2011 17:45



Anti-ship missile development and testing - including that of the Dong Feng 21 –

has remained a high priority for the PLA. Image: vostokstation.com.au


09/27/2011  Contributor:  Nick Young - Defence IQ


Since the introduction of the contemporary anti-ship missile (ASM) by the Soviet Navy, ASMs have been developed to come in all shapes, sizes and guidance methods. Without a doubt, the largest contributor to this field is the former Soviet Navy (now the Russian navy), which developed no fewer than 12 systems of varying delivery methods (submarine, air or surface launched), only two of which have been combat tested.  So far, the Russian ASMs include some of the most feared systems to threaten naval platforms due to a varying combination of velocity, manoeuvrability, warhead and physical size. 


To date, the conventional ASM threat has focused on three key integers - high velocity, high manoeuvrability, low signature - that have concerned various navies around the globe. Now, a newer, potentially more potent anti-ship capability has been developed by the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The challenge remaining, then, is to explore this system in detail - its validity and potency in the current naval environment - with access only to information within the public domain. 


Many press outlets have reported the development of the ‘D’ variant of the Dong Feng 21 (DF-21D) anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), (NATO reporting name CSS-5), which is a missile equipped with what is believed to be a single manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle (MaRV), with the sole mission of striking ships at sea.  DF-21 is a mobile, medium range ballistic missile that has reportedly achieved its initial operating capability (IOC). 


The Department of Defence (DOD) believes that the system has a range in excess of 1500km (>800nm), while Chinese sources claim a 2700km (1400nm) range. This latter range could  potentially provide a sea denial ability against any navy within range of the system.  For the purpose of analysis, 2000km will be assumed. It is reported that total flight time is around 12 minutes (720 seconds). It boasts a reported maximum velocity of between 3000 and 3500 ms-1, assumed to be during ballistic descent and re-entry.


The reported use of MaRVs will provide a capability to perform midcourse ballistic correction manoeuvres and this compounds the problem of intercepting a ballistic target. Such manoeuvrability coupled with any number of countermeasure capabilities makes a successful intercept difficult. 


System detection, classification & identification


To achieve this goal, the DF-21D system has to go through a standard sequence: detection, classification, identification and engagement. While sounding relatively straightforward, the technicalities of engaging a fleet of ships at sea is never quite that easy. Detection of ships at sea can be achieved by several methods including, patrols, over the horizon (OTH) radar (like the Australian Jindalee operational realisation network JORN system) or by satellite.  Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. 


Patrols are long and expensive and have coverage limited to the sensor range of the platform (airborne or surface). OTH radars are a much cheaper alternative long-term; however, their resolution is generally measured in hundreds to thousands of miles, hence not providing the level of quality to launch such a weapon.  Satellites, while initially expensive do offer an immediate long-term wide coverage, which is exactly how the DF-21D weapon system is reportedly targeted.


The detection of ships at sea from space is not new; the Soviet Union used ‘radar ocean reconnaissance satellites’ (RORSAT) from the late 1960s onward. Since then, technology has progressed and the capabilities of such systems are much greater. While it is possible to hide naval platforms or a fleet of naval platforms from satellites, such manoeuvres severely restrict movement, thus reducing their utility. Detection from space can be augmented with more locally based systems such as OTH radars and patrols or other assets such as electronic surveillance measures (ESM) that may help reduce the ability to hide from a targeting system. 


Classification, or even determining that the detected ship is a naval platform rather than a large merchant vessel such as super tanker or cruise liner, becomes a little more difficult. While the size of the ship can be estimated based on wake size and velocity, many oil tankers and cruise liners are as large as (or larger than) many warships, including aircraft carriers. 


The typical fleet composition (i.e., many ships in a small area) may give away the nature of the detected vessels since many fleets (especially the US Navy) sail with several ships surrounding the high value unit (HVU) - usually the aircraft carrier. Choke points may confuse the issue since many ships may be passing through such areas at once, although choke points provide an advantage to the DF-21D system to be augmented by other intelligence sources. Fleets could disperse more widely and this could cause problems for classification issues, although tracking all objects in a specific area should filter out fleet composition. 


Identification of the correct target for the DF-21D system can only reasonably be confirmed electro-optically, although contextual information may assist. Once a ship or set of ships have been classified as potential targets, an electro-optic satellite can be tasked to carry out specific identification reasonably easily. The use of visual or passive milli-metric wavelength (mmW) systems could perform this quite adequately, however precipitation (clouds, fog etc.) may be a concern. Once identification has occurred, the DF-21D missile can be launched. 


Initial threat flyout


Throughout the boost phase, it is likely that target positional data is continuously supplied to the warhead from the targeting and guidance sensors.  Whether a single communications link provides this data or whether the warhead performs organic data fusion is unknown. In terms of complexity, the former is less complex, requiring less on board processing. However, it potentially becomes a single point failure and opens up the potential for electronic attack. Organic data fusion, while overcoming the communication single point failure, will require the ability to receive multiple signals and process them, thus requiring more hardware and increasing overall launch weight. When initially exploring this missile’s capability, digging into the actual methodology is largely irrelevant, the only caveat being vulnerability to electronic attack to any communications link. 


Once the DF-21D is exo-atmospheric, it is assumed that various booster separations occur and the payload continues until it reaches its apogee -reportedly around 500km. Around the apogee, the MaRV is likely to separate from the main body (decoys could also be deployed at this stage to attempt to confuse any surveying sensors). The MaRV then begins its ballistic descent, rapidly accelerates to the peak speeds discussed earlier, taking around 155 seconds to reach the intercept point from the apogee. 


Warhead guidance & target acquisition


Only on its decent is the MaRV able to unmask its sensor and attempt to detect the target. The nature of the sensor is unknown; however, it is likely to be a radio frequency (RF), either passive or active. While an electro-optical sensor is feasible, it would not be usable due to the nature of the re-entry phase. The size of the MaRV will dictate the frequency of the sensor, which will probably require that it is small enough and light enough to fit into the MaRV, making it likely that it is no lower than J-band (10-20GHz) and maybe as high as M-band (94GHz). If we assume the seeker head is approximately half the size of the missile diameter, then the beamwidth for these two frequency bands will be between 1.64 and 0.26 degrees, respectively. Ignoring atmospheric absorption and other losses, at these beamwidths, the available coverage - at 500km - is between 820km and 130km. If a target, travelling at 30 knots, is located at the ballistic intercept point, (i.e. the ideal ballistic arc intercept with the sea surface), assuming the MaRV does not manoeuvre, then the target will remain inside the beamwidth of the sensor throughout its decent. 


Generally, the higher the sensor frequency, the greater the atmospheric absorption limiting the effective range of the sensor. Active sensors, as would be required for J and K bands, would suffer from two-way absorption. M-band could be passive, suffering only one-way absorption; however, the absorption levels at this frequency are much greater than for J and K bands. Since the sensor is likely to be limited in physical size, it is unlikely that it incorporates the level of output power necessary to overcome the absorption. Hence, it is unlikely that the sensor, in any of the probable frequencies, will detect the target if it is unmasked at an altitude of 500km. The nature of the Earth’s atmosphere means that the thickest part of the atmosphere will be nearer to the target, meaning that the sensor is unlikely to detect the target until quite late in the re-entry phase, requiring continuous updates from the surveillance and targeting system. 


As the MaRV hits the Kármán line, at an altitude of 100km, it would be expected that a communication blackout might occur. This is caused by the signals being reflected and absorbed by free electrons making up the plasma shield that envelopes the re-entry vehicle, created by the extreme heating of air by a strong shock wave created by the MaRV leading edges.  The attributes of this plasma shield will vary according to the altitude and shape of the re-entry vehicle. However, assuming the re-entry velocity equates to the maximum velocity of 3500ms-1, then, by coincidence, the re-entry temperature can be estimated as ~3500°K. The Saha equation may be used to determine the frequency cut-off for penetration of the plasma shield, which, for the MaRV, is around 0.5GHz, meaning that it is likely that communications can continue at this frequency and higher, further indicating that the DF-21D surveillance and targeting system can maintain contact with the MaRV during the re-entry phase. 


While relevant frequencies are able to penetrate the plasma shield, the MaRV still has to protect any seeker from the heating effects. This requires specialised materials to allow the RF energy to penetrate the heat shield. A composite material comprising boron nitride, silica and boron nitride yarn able to withstand temperatures of up to 4000°K, would also facilitate RF transmissions. As the MaRV begins to undergo negative acceleration, the electron density, and therefore plasma shield, decreases allowing the reestablishment of communications at frequencies below 0.5GHz. 


Summarising the re-entry phase - the phase of most concern from the DF-21Ds perspective - any onboard sensor will be limited until quite late in the re-entry phase (potentially 100km or less). However, the surveillance and targeting system can maintain contact with the target and the MaRV, providing uninterrupted targeting data. 


Destructive capability


The nature of MaRV has not been widely reported, but given that other DF-21 versions can carry a 600kg warhead, it probably is safe to say that DF-21D should be able to carry a similar weight. The amount of kinetic energy this would produce while travelling at 3500ms-1 is 3.6 terra joules, or about 5% of the power of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, without the use of an explosive warhead. 


This is more than enough to destroy any naval platform up to destroyer size and enough to significantly damage or destroy something as large as a US Navy super carrier. If the MaRV contained a warhead, when coupled with the kinetic energy, it is likely that it would destroy something the size of a US Navy aircraft carrier. 


Defensive measures


The DF-21D will be at its most vulnerable during its boost phase. This is the phase from engine ignition until it is exo-atmospheric. During the boost phase, it is relatively easy to engage the missile with conventional hardkill effectors (surface-to-air missile) to achieve this. The launch must occur within the range of the hardkill effectors, which, for most systems, is around 80-120km. Placing such a SAM system in such a position exposes that platform to a pre-emptive attack. Hence, it is likely that the majority of the boost phase will occur relatively unhindered. Another possible solution is the use of something similar to the recently abandoned airborne laser (ABL); however, the limitation identified by the ABL programme would need to be overcome to develop a viable system. 


Intercepting the MaRV during the descent phase presents a number of difficulties. First among these is having suitable sensor coverage to detect and track the MaRV with fire control quality. Systems like SPY-1 are limited in their zenith coverage by the physics of the antenna, which can only electronically scan to 60° off the antenna boresight, (a characteristic of physics that afflicts all phased array antennas). Given that the SPY-1 scans at an angle of no more than 10 or 15° from the horizontal, this results in a cone shape blind spot of around 30-40° around the zenith. 


The reported range of the SPY-1 is approximately 200km. There are two aspects to this figure: the instrumented range, defined by the selected waveform known as instrumented range; and that of the basic physics, which is dependant on the effective radiated power (ERP) and the radar cross section of the target (RCS). Modification of the waveform, increasing the spacing between pulses, will change the instrumented range to encompass any particular range. The angle at which the MaRV descends means that there is very little clutter to interfere with the detection of the target. Hence, a normal radar, single pulse system can be utilised, rather than a complex waveform that requires processing such as Doppler filtering often used in high clutter environment (e.g. littoral regions). 


Based on physical size, the estimated MaRV RCS is around 2.2m2, meaning it is probable that SPY-1 could detect the MaRV at between 150km and 200km, or between 43 and 60 seconds, assuming the sensor is not distracted by any potential decoys. Giving a second or so for a targeting process, an intercepting missile can be launched travelling at a typical velocity of 1000ms-1, resulting in an intercept range of around 18km (or 18 seconds to go), with a combined velocity of 4500ms-1. This Mach 15 combined intercept speed would make it incredibly difficult for even an optimised fusing mechanism and blast fragmentation warhead to detect, initiate and distribute fragments against the MaRV. 


This suggests that using an ordinary SAM effectively against the MaRV would be near impossible - even a vaunted SM-2. Hence, intercepting the MaRV in the terminal phase is unlikely, so once the MaRV is in its ballistic fall, the likelihood of it hitting its target is very high. Guns are of little use against this type simply because of their limited range and accuracy, not to mention the lack of effect. 


A viable defensive solution


Once exo-atmospheric the DF-21D is potentially susceptible to attack from systems such as the US Navy’s standard missile (SM)-3, typically based upon a Ticonderoga cruiser. As the threat breaches the horizon, the platforms sensors (SPY-1) will acquire the rising target and commence tracking, facilitating the calculation of an engagement solution. The solution will incorporate a ‘window’ of opportunity, bounded by the very first time the missile can launch and achieve a suitable probability of intercept and a very last time. Once the threat enters this window, the SM-3 can be launched. 


The SM-3 is a three-stage missile comprising:


    Initial stage: A Mk72 booster that incorporates a four-nozzle thrust vector control, providing pitch, roll and yaw control for the missile - used for the initial launch

    Second stage: A Mk104, dual thrust rocket motor (DTRM)

    Third stage: A Mk136 third stage rocket motor (TSRM)


The initial stage propels the SM-3 from the launcher, accelerating it to around 1000ms-1. On burnout, the booster separates and is discarded and the DTRM ignites, accelerating the missile further. After MK 104 burnout and separation, the TSRM ignites, propelling the third stage out of the atmosphere, which includes the kinetic warhead (KW). The TSRM contains two separate propulsion pulses allowing optimisation of the engagement. 


Throughout its flight, the SM-3 receives in-flight target information, constantly updating the predicted intercept solution. During the third stage, approximately 30 seconds prior to intercept, the TSRM pitches over and ejects the nose cone, exposing the KW which starts its search for the target using its long-wave infra red (LWIR) seeker, augmented with received target data. The KW uses the solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS) to manoeuvre the KW to enable a hit-to-kill intercept. 


As the KW closes on the target, the LWIR seeker tries to determine the area where the MaRV is located, shifting its aim towards this area to increase the probability of a successful intercept. The KW collides with the target with a reported 130-mega joules of kinetic energy, equating to a 10 tonne truck travelling at 600 miles per hour. Such a strike is highly likely to destroy the target. 


While the Aegis/SM-3 anti-ballistic missile solution seems viable, and indeed tests have demonstrated its capability, it seems to need to engage the target prior to MaRV separation. This is not an issue in itself; however, to achieve this, it is likely that the SM-3 launch platform must be in a specific range to allow the SM-3 to reach the target prior to MaRV separation. Based on maximum reported range of SPY-1, this suggests the system must be within ~200km of the launch point to allow detection.  Even if this range is incorrectly reported, then the launch platform needs to be within 500km of the trajectory. Simply put, this is necessary to ensure that the operating envelope of the SM-3 suitably covers the trajectory path of the DF-21D while it is exo-atmospheric. The need for the launch platform to be in a suitable location to engage the DF-21D potentially exposes it to a pre-emptive attack since the intercept geometry dictates the launch position. 


Assessing threat viability


Based on available information and on first inspection, the DF-21D concept is viable. Whether the fully integrated system is effective – and what the concept suggests - is not something that can be easily verified.  Given the likely low cost of a DF-21D relative to naval platforms (especially the US carriers), the introduction of the DF-21D system is a game changer in terms of strategic naval warfare. The economical offset gives these weapons an unmatched potency almost equivalent to the introduction of the submarine and torpedo combination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Without a doubt, US Navy aircraft carriers are susceptible to attack by these weapons. 


As this paper has explored, the vast majority of contemporary in-service SAM systems are unable to defend against this threat, while the information on the only potentially viable system suggests that the launch platform has to be exposed to achieve a successful engagement.  However, the Aegis/SM-3 combination is the only known naval system that can possibly negate this threat. Hence, any US moves towards the areas guarded by DF-21D would likely be preceded by the deployment of a Aegis/SM-3 platform. This potentially makes the Aegis/SM-3 platforms strategic assets, worthy of significant defence, themselves, to prevent a pre-emptive attack. 


Even if the Aegis/SM-3 combination is systemically capable of defeating the DF-21D, there is always potential for system failures in any stage of the engagement. While this applies equally to the DF-21D, as usual, the threat will always have the advantage. Given the tight engagement timeline for the SM-3, depending on the system element, failure would be potentially catastrophic. While the launching of multiple SM-3s may overcome some of the potential failures, it is not clear if the Aegis/SM-3 combination can manage multiple engagements of this nature. 


The only assured method of defence against the DF-21D is one of offense.  The DF-21D system relies heavily on its targeting and guidance elements that primarily consist of satellite-based sensors (although probably not exclusively). Hence, were the US to initiate a move into a DF-21D protected area, its best defence would be to incapacitate the targeting and guidance elements, which may be politically unacceptable. Fortunately, the Aegis/SM-3 combination can also engage satellites as demonstrated by operation BURNT FROST, the shooting down of the USA-193 satellite.  Even if the DF-21D system is not as capable as reports suggest, or does not work at all, PLAN has presented a difficult problem for the US in which any move could risk the US losing either political capital (going for the assured route of defence) or losing a significant asset - a US Navy aircraft carrier. This could immediately put the US on the back-foot before any combat occurred. 


In the final analysis, even the threat of introducing the DF-21D, let alone the actual introduction, changes the balance of power in huge areas of strategic importance around Asia. While systems do exist to mitigate this threat, none provides an ideal defence in either concept or execution, but they do form the basis of limited defence ability.

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26 septembre 2011 1 26 /09 /septembre /2011 16:35



September 26, 2011 by Shiv Aroor LIVEFIST



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26 septembre 2011 1 26 /09 /septembre /2011 12:00



NEW DELHI, 26 septembre - RIA Novosti


L'armée indienne a testé lundi avec succès un missile balistique Prithvi-II, rapporte l'agence Press Trust of India citant les sources officielles.


Le missile a été tiré depuis le polygone de Chandipur, situé dans l'Etat d'Orissa (est). Par ailleurs, les médias indiquent qu'un tir réussi d'un missile balistique Shaurya a été effectué le 24 septembre depuis le même site.


La portée de Prithvi-II est de 350 kilomètres. Conçu par les spécialistes indiens, il est capable de porter des charges allant jusqu'à 500 kg, nucléaires ou classiques. La portée de Shaurya s'élève quant à elle à 600 km.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 18:15



14 septembre 2011 par Edouard Maire – INFO AVIATION


Durant trois jours, les avions britanniques ont à nouveau mené des tirs d’armes à longue portée contre les bases militaires restantes du colonel Kadhafi.


Le 8 septembre, les Tornado GR4 de la Royal Air Force (RAF) ont participé avec d’autres appareils de l’OTAN à une attaque majeure contre une base importante située près de Birak, à 650 km au sud de Tripoli, dans le Sahara.


« Les renseignements de l’OTAN ont révélé que ce site, très utilisé par le régime de Kadhafi dans le passé, a été une fois de plus utilisé comme un quartier général. De nombreuses cibles militaires dans l’enceinte de la base ont été détruites », a déclaré le Major général, Nick Pope, directeur de la communication de l’état-major.


Le lendemain, les avions de la RAF ont également aidé l’OTAN à maintenir ses patrouilles de reconnaissance au-dessus d’autres parties du pays. Des Tornado et des Typhoon ont notamment détruit une installation de contrôle près de Hun dans le centre de la Libye.


Le 10 septembre, des missiles à longue portée Storm Shadow ont été tirés par les Tornado GR4, de la base RAF Marham (comté de Norfolk), pour frapper un poste militaire important utilisé par les troupes de Kadhafi dans la ville de Sebha, à 50 kilomètres de Birak.


Une autre mission a permis de repérer un blindé embusqué du régime Kadhafi à Bani Walid. Une bombe guidée Paveway a été largué depuis un Typhoon pour le détruire. La même patrouille a ensuite repéré un lance-roquettes, caché dans une rangée d’arbres, qui a également été détruit par une Paveway.


Cette communication de l’armée britannique n’est pas anodine puisque la guerre en Libye sert aussi de vitrine aux industriels militaires européens (en l’occurrence MDBA).


Le missile air-sol Storm Shadow est en effet la version britannique du missile SCALP (Système de croisière conventionnel autonome à longue portée) fabriqué par MBDA. Il est compatible avec le Rafale français qui est en lice pour les appels d’offres au Qatar, au Brésil et aux Émirats Arabes Unis.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 16:30


photo by IMI - source jpost.com


14 septembre 2011 Guysen International News


Les Industries militaires israéliennes ont testé avec succès, mercredi, dans le sud du pays, le nouveau missile "Javelot magique", rapporte le site IsraelDefense. Le missile "Javelot magique" a une portée de 40 kilomètres, une précision au mètre près et peut porter des têtes de toute nature. Il est prévu pour la destruction de cibles ennemies sensibles comme un poste de commandement ou des batteries de missiles.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 12:05


photo David Monniaux


September 9, 2011 W. Alibrandi, Forecast International - defpro.com


NEWTOWN, Conn. | Microturbo's TRI 40 and TRI 60 engines power several missiles and one target drone.


MBDA's SCALP EG and SCALP Navale are in production, and exports are playing a large role in the company's future. Saudi Arabia has purchased the Storm Shadow for its Tornado fighters, and the sales of Rafale fighters and FREMM frigates should boost demand for this missile.


MBDA is planning to upgrade the SCALP EG with an enhanced version to meet France's and the U.K.'s requirements for long-range and strike missiles. The new missile's range could exceed 1,000 kilometers.


France's Exocet anti-ship missile is one of MBDA's most popular products. The Block 3 Exocet has greater range than the solid-fuel-propelled Block 2 and can also engage land-based targets. Sales to Middle East countries have been a large source of business for MBDA.


Saab Bofors' RBS15 is an anti-ship missile that has been purchased by Sweden, Germany, Poland and Thailand. Several other navies are considering the missile, which may provide a near-constant stream of contracts from 2011-2020.


Composite Engineering's BQM-167 Skeeter drone is powered by the TRI 60, and has been purchased by the U.S. Air Force and Navy. The USAF is replacing its legacy BQM-34 and MQM-107 drones with the Skeeter.

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7 septembre 2011 3 07 /09 /septembre /2011 05:55



6.09.2011 Konstantin Bogdanov -- french.ruvr.ru


Un radar américain sera installé en Turquie où, très probablement, il commencera à suivre les lancements de missiles sur le territoire iranien et ne pourra pas être utilisé contre les forces stratégiques russes. Cependant, le système global américain de défense antimissile (ABM) comporte toujours un risque pour la Russie.

L’ABM américain se dote d’un nouveau radar


Une station radar en cours de création par les Etats-Unis et l’OTAN sera déployée en Turquie, a déclaré vendredi le porte-parole du ministère turc des Affaires étrangères Selçuk Ünal. 
"Le déploiement de cet élément de l’ABM en Turquie sera une contribution de notre pays au système de défense développé dans le cadre de la nouvelle stratégie de l’OTAN et renforcera le potentiel de défense de l'Alliance et de notre système national de défense", a-t-il fait remarquer.


Pour autant qu’on puisse en juger actuellement, il s’agit de variations sur le thème du radar centimétrique AN/TPY-2 intégré dans le complexe américain THAAD destiné à l'interception endo-atmosphérique des missiles de moyenne portée. Le radar couvre un rayon d’environ 1.000 kilomètres.


La particularité de cette station est qu’hormis la transmission des paramètres au complexe de tir THAAD destiné à détruire les ogives lancées, elle peut être utilisée comme une sorte de "point d’observation" avancé dans la structure projetée du nouvel ABM américain (ce qu’on appelle le régime Forward-based mode). Dans ce cas, le radar est utilisé pour une détection précoce des lancements de missiles et la détermination des éléments de leurs trajectoires.

Dans quelle direction le radar sera-t-il orienté?


Le site prévu pour le déploiement de la station radar réduit rapidement le cercle des "ennemis éventuels" de la région sud-européennes de l’ABM américain. Selon les médias turcs, il est question des régions sud-est de la Turquie.

Le radar ne pourra pratiquement pas fonctionner contre la Russie à partir de cette position : premièrement, sur le plan purement théorique sa portée suffira jusqu'à Novorossiïsk, et deuxièmement, la crête du Caucase et les montagnes à l’est de la chaîne pontique empêcheront fortement le radar de surveiller la situation au-dessus du territoire russe, même s’il était déployé sur l’un des sommets autour du lac Van.


Sans parler du fait que dans ce secteur il est inutile de surveiller quoi que ce soit qui soit lié aux lancements des missiles stratégiques russes. Ils sont déployés au nord-ouest de Russie, dans sa région centrale et en Sibérie, et leurs trajectoires opérationnelles sont dirigées vers le nord, au-dessus des régions polaires et le Groenland.


De plus, et surtout, même en supposant que ce radar soit capable de détecter quelque chose qu’il ne devrait pas voir (par exemple, des lancements hypothétiques de missiles tactiques au-dessus de l’Abkhazie et de l’Ossétie du Sud en cas de nouveau conflit au sud de la crête du Caucase), les Américains ne pourraient rien en faire. Les vecteurs pour antimissiles en Géorgie pourraient convenir, mais la possibilité de leur déploiement dans les conditions actuelles est très faible.


Vendredi, Dmitri Rogozine, représentant permanent de la Russie auprès de l’OTAN, a annoncé que le radar turc ne représentait aucune menace pour la Russie. Par contre, deux Etats de la région devraient s’en inquiéter: l’Iran et la Syrie.


Si la Syrie ne dispose pas de missiles capables d’atteindre le territoire européen (et a peu de chances de s’en procurer à moyen terme), l’Iran est sur le point de créer de tels systèmes. Et ses principales bases de missiles connues du public sont situées à l’ouest et au nord-ouest du pays (près de Khorramabad et Tabriz), et le lancement d’un missile serait certainement détecté par la nouvelle station radar américaine. 

Mise au point de la politique générale


La logique du déploiement d’un radar en Turquie renforce l’orientation ouverte anti-iranienne de la composante européenne de l’ABM américain (ce qui a été ouvertement annoncé).


Au début des années 2000, l’administration républicaine misait sur le déploiement des éléments de l'ABM en République tchèque et en Pologne, où ils pouvaient seulement menacer les missiles Topol tirés à partir des régions nord-ouest de Russie.


Avec l’arrivée à la Maison blanche de l’équipe de Barack Obama, le concept de l’ABM européen a changé : les plans de déploiement des vecteurs ABM ont changé au profit du sud de la Roumanie, et un radar devait être déployé en Bulgarie ou (comme ce sera certainement le cas) en Turquie.


Ainsi, le flanc sud de la composante européenne de l’ABM américain a été dessiné dans l’ensemble. Désormais, on peut affirmer que dans cette configuration il s’agit effectivement de la protection de l’Europe contre d'éventuelles attaques de missiles en provenance du Moyen-Orient.


Les missiles d’un ennemi éventuel lancés contre les pays européens passeront au-dessus de la Turquie et les éléments de leurs trajectoires seront détectés par le radar turc. Ensuite, les intercepteurs roumains traiteront les ogives au-dessus des Balkans.

La mosaïque complexe de l’ABM global


En comparaison avec les plans annoncés par Washington une dizaine d’années auparavant, le fond général du problème de l’ABM européen a perdu son caractère franchement antirusse. Cependant, les risques pour la Russie demeurent.


L’architecture de l’ABM américain global, dans sa forme sous laquelle il sera créé, assure une souplesse sans précédent des systèmes de ciblage et de guidage des systèmes d’attaque. En fait, il est prévu que toutes les composantes de l’ABM (les radars navals et les intercepteurs embarqués sur les navires) soient capables de se déplacer et, en cas de menace, d’adopter la configuration nécessaire au Pentagone.


Ainsi, une source haut placée au Pentagone a déclaré au The Wall Street Journal que la décision de déployer le radar en Turquie avait été prise à la fin de l’année dernière. Toutefois, afin d’éviter d’exacerber les relations déjà complexes dans la région, selon la source, il a été décidé que le radar américain identique, déployé en Israël et intégré à l’ABM, ne recevrait aucune information à partir du radar turc.


Ankara est réellement préoccupé par les tensions possibles dans la région et se prononce contre la création de l’ABM régional intégré basé sur ces deux radars. Toutefois, on ignore comment les Américains garantiront l’absence d'échange d’informations si l’architecture de l’ABM global prévoit un échange transparent de données (dans l’idéal à l’échelle planétaire).


L’ABM israélien sera probablement exclu de ce schéma, mais la facilité avec laquelle il est possible de mettre ces radars en liaison confirme le caractère éphémère des garanties avancées par les militaires américains.

Les problèmes similaires préoccupent la Russie.


Admettons que la probabilité de la destruction des missiles Topol tirés dans le nord-ouest de la Russie au-dessus de la mer de Norvège est relativement faible : la phase d’accélération sera déjà terminée ce qui compliquera l’interception. Mais à partir des mêmes positions les croiseurs américains de classe Ticonderoga pourront détruire les missiles navals russes pendant la phase de lancement depuis les sous-marins dans la mer de Barents.


Or c’est une grave menace : les missiles nucléaires navals étaient toujours considérés comme une arme de représailles (dans les années 70 on les qualifiés des "tueurs de villes" en raison de leur précision relativement faible), et l’annulation de leur potentiel de riposte pourrait pousser encore plus les politiques irresponsable à effectuer une première frappe de "désarmement" contre les forces nucléaires russes. Notamment dans le contexte de la future mise hors service des silos lourds de production soviétique, et d’une situation pour l’instant floue concernant le rythme de leur replacement par de nouveaux systèmes.


La situation s’avère complexe. D’une part, le déploiement de la composante sud de l’ABM en Turquie et en Roumanie ne présente aucune menace pour la Russie. D’autre part, la mise en place de la mosaïque colossale de l’ABM américain global comporte certains risques potentiels pour les forces stratégiques russes.


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6 septembre 2011 2 06 /09 /septembre /2011 11:30
India postpones latest Agni missile launch


September 6th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK / AFP


India postponed until next week a test-firing of its indigenously built Agni II ballistic nuclear capable missile due to a technical glitch.


The two-stage surface-to-surface missile was to be tested by its Strategic Forces Command from Wheeler Island off the Bay of Bengal on Monday, a report in the Indian Express newspaper said.


"But we had to postpone the test due to technical problems," Avinash Chander, director of the Agni missile program, said.


The day next week for the launch is not decided, said Chander, who gave no reason for the failure.


But previous missile failures have been blamed on guidance problems.


There also were doubts about continuous rainfall in Balasore near the test-firing range over the past three days.


India has a checkered history of launching indigenously built missiles, including the Agni I, II and III weapons.


The basic Agni series includes the single-stage 450-mile range Agni I, already inducted into service, and the two-stage Agni II and III models.


The 1,200-mile range Agni II was inducted into the army in 2004 and still is undergoing test-firings. The 65-foot missile weighs around 17 tons and can carry a 1-tonne payload.


The 2,000-mile range Agni III is in the last stages of development.


The solid-propellant Agni series of ballistic missiles are manufactured by Bharat Dynamics, one of India's major manufacturers of munitions and missile systems founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.


Bharat Dynamics also manufactures India's Konkurs anti-tank missile.


Agni-II has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other laboratories under the government-backed Defense Research and Development Organization.


India's main missile test launch center is Wheeler Island -- just over 1 mile long and 6 miles off the country's east coast in the Bay of Bengal and about 90 miles from Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa state.


It was from Wheeler Island that Agni III, with a range of just over 2,000 miles, was successfully test-launched from a mobile launcher in February last year.


During a test launch the following month, a Prithvi missile veered off its path, failing to reach its required altitude of around 70 miles. It climbed to around 45 miles before tumbling back into the Bay of Bengal.


Then in September, the DRDO acknowledged guidance problems that caused a failure in another Prithvi missile test launch. The surface-to-surface missile remained on the launch pad during a trial in Chandipur, Orissa.


The short-range, 4.6-tonne nuclear-capable missile became enveloped in orange smoke and the launch was aborted, officials from the DRDO said at the time.


"The failure to lift Prithvi II was due to a snag either in the main missile or the sub-system, including the launcher," a DRDO spokesman said.

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5 septembre 2011 1 05 /09 /septembre /2011 05:40



05/09/2011 Source : La Tribune


Le comité ministériel d'investissement du ministère de la Défense a approuvé le lancement de quatre programmes qui ont été confiés au missilier.


MBDA a décroché au coeur de l'été le jackpot au moment où la France entre dans une période de disette budgétaire sévère. Avant la grande trêve estivale, le dernier CMI (comité ministériel d'investissement) du ministère de la Défense a approuvé fin juillet, selon nos informations, toute une série d'investissements dans de nouveaux programmes de missiles et dans la modernisation de certains grands programmes de MBDA (37,5 % EADS, 37,5 % BAE Systems et 25 % Finmeccanica). Soit un volume financier de l'ordre de 600 à 650 millions par an pendant une dizaine d'années. Ce qui va donner au missilier européen une belle visibilité en termes de charges de travail pour ses bureaux d'études et pour l'exportation avec des nouveaux produits dans des gammes où la France a déjà fait ses preuves.


Successeur du Milan


Après une très longue réflexion, le ministère de la Défense a finalement retenu pour le programme MMP (missile moyenne portée), successeur du Milan, qui a été l'un des grands best-sellers français à l'exportation, la solution proposée par MBDA (munitions) et Sagem (postes de tir) au détriment des propositions de « francisation » des missiles Javelin de l'américain Raytheon et Spike de l'israélien Rafael. Le développement de ce programme est estimé entre 150 à 200 millions d'euros. C'est une belle victoire pour le PDG de MBDA, Antoine Bouvier, qui s'est beaucoup battu pour ce programme majeur pour sa stratégie à l'exportation. Ce programme pourrait être notifié par la Direction générale de l'armement avant la fin de l'année 2011 et lancé en 2012. Le CMI a également décidé de lancer le programme ANL (antinavire léger), l'un des programmes majeurs de la coopération franco-britannique, qui s'inscrit dans l'accord de défense signé entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne en novembre 2010. Enfin, le ministère de la Défense va moderniser en 2012 une nouvelle version d'un des best-sellers de MBDA, le missile antinavire Exocet ainsi que le missile Aster 30 Block 1 NT (nouvelles technologies), fabriqué par MBDA et Thales. Ce missile disposera d'un autodirecteur bénéficiant de la technologie devenue mature en bande Ka qui apportera un potentiel de croissance pour les performances contre les cibles balistiques jusqu'à 1.000 km de portée, sans régression sur les performances contre cibles conventionnelles. M. C.

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3 septembre 2011 6 03 /09 /septembre /2011 08:00



NEW DELHI, Sept. 2 (UPI)


India postponed until next week a test-firing of its indigenously built Agni II ballistic nuclear capable missile due to a technical glitch.


The two-stage surface-to-surface missile was to be tested by its Strategic Forces Command from Wheeler Island off the Bay of Bengal on Monday, a report in the Indian Express newspaper said.


"But we had to postpone the test due to technical problems," Avinash Chander, director of the Agni missile program, said.


The day next week for the launch is not decided, said Chander, who gave no reason for the failure.


But previous missile failures have been blamed on guidance problems.


There also were doubts about continuous rainfall in Balasore near the test-firing range over the past three days.


India has a checkered history of launching indigenously built missiles, including the Agni I, II and III weapons.


The basic Agni series includes the single-stage 450-mile range Agni I, already inducted into service, and the two-stage Agni II and III models.


The 1,200-mile range Agni II was inducted into the army in 2004 and still is undergoing test-firings. The 65-foot missile weighs around 17 tons and can carry a 1-tonne payload.


The 2,000-mile range Agni III is in the last stages of development.


The solid-propellant Agni series of ballistic missiles are manufactured by Bharat Dynamics, one of India's major manufacturers of munitions and missile systems founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.


Bharat Dynamics also manufactures India's Konkurs anti-tank missile.


Agni-II has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other laboratories under the government-backed Defense Research and Development Organization.


India's main missile test launch center is Wheeler Island -- just over 1 mile long and 6 miles off the country's east coast in the Bay of Bengal and about 90 miles from Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa state.


It was from Wheeler Island that Agni III, with a range of just over 2,000 miles, was successfully test-launched from a mobile launcher in February last year.


During a test launch the following month, a Prithvi missile veered off its path, failing to reach its required altitude of around 70 miles. It climbed to around 45 miles before tumbling back into the Bay of Bengal.


Then in September, the DRDO acknowledged guidance problems that caused a failure in another Prithvi missile test launch. The surface-to-surface missile remained on the launch pad during a trial in Chandipur, Orissa.


The short-range, 4.6-tonne nuclear-capable missile became enveloped in orange smoke and the launch was aborted, officials from the DRDO said at the time.


"The failure to lift Prithvi II was due to a snag either in the main missile or the sub-system, including the launcher," a DRDO spokesman said.

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27 août 2011 6 27 /08 /août /2011 08:05


Photo SAC Simon Armstrong/Crown Copyright


26/08/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flightglobal.com


The UK Royal Air Force’s Panavia Tornado GR4-equipped 2 Sqn has completed its contribution to the NATO mission in Libya, after achieving a notable first using a Raytheon Systems Paveway IV precision-guided bomb.


On 18 August, a GR4 operating from Gioia del Colle air base in Italy dropped a 226kg (500lb) Paveway IV to engage a moving patrol craft which was being operated by pro-Gaddafi forces near the Az Zawiyah oil refinery.


“This was the first time a Tornado crew had used a Paveway IV bomb to take out a moving target of this nature,” the UK Ministry of Defence said, adding that the target had posed a threat to Libyan civilians.


RAF Tornado strike aircraft have again used their Storm Shadow missiles during long-range missions flown from the UK


Separately, a package of GR4s flying from RAF Marham in Norfolk attacked a headquarters bunker in the Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte overnight on 25-26 August using an undisclosed number of MBDA Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles. Tornado aircraft from Gioia del Colle also destroyed a surface-to-air missile system located near Al Watiyah on 25 August.


The RAF’s Tornado force has accumulated more than 5,400 flying hours in support of the UK’s Operation Ellamy since March. Its contribution is now being provided by the RAF’s 9 Sqn.

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19 août 2011 5 19 /08 /août /2011 06:20
MDA Eyes UAS Missile-Tracking Potential

photo USAF


Aug 18, 2011 By Amy Butler aviation week and space technology


Washington- The General Atomics Reaper unmanned aerial system (UAS) may eventually go from hunting terrorists to hunting hostile ballistic missiles.


The U.S. Air Force’s Predator and Reaper UAS have been well-publicized workhorses providing intelligence and firepower on the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arabian peninsula.


Now the Reaper may get a new mission as a frontline cueing system for the burgeoning U.S. missile defense architecture. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) officials say the Reaper and its Raytheon MTS-B sensor are showing promise. The system could plug a longtime gap by providing firing quality data to facilitate early intercept of ballistic missiles. MDA is exploring the technology and operational concepts for using electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) -equipped UAS to eventually achieve “launch-on-remote” capabilities with Aegis ship- and land-based SM-3 interceptors. This means the fidelity of UAS data would need to be high enough for commanders to launch an interceptor before Aegis radars capture the target.


Ballistic missile patrol is one of many potential missions for the large and growing Predator/Reaper fleet. As the Pentagon plans to draw down combat forces in Afghanistan—combat operations ended a year ago in Iraq—officials insist that intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets (ISR) will continue to support ongoing activities in these areas. But Pentagon planners are considering how these ISR resources can be reallocated or, if need be, modified to fill capability gaps for other missions.


UAS orbits could be placed to provide a “picket fence” of sensors if an area is expected to have hostile ballistic missile activity, says Tim Carey, vice president of intelligence for Raytheon.


MDA officials say data from early experiments show that “just a few orbits can provide substantial sensor coverage” for various regions.


Gen. Robert Kehler, who oversees U.S. Strategic Command, provides advice to the Pentagon on how to allocate ISR resources across the globe. Regional commanders in the Pacific, Africa, Europe and Central and Southern America feel the focus on U.S. Central Command and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have curbed their ability to monitor activities in their areas of operation. “Their view is that many of their ISR needs are not being met because of all the things we have placed in Centcom,” Kehler says.


A potential near-term application of UAS for missile defense is to support monitoring of North Korea. MDA plans to field the Persistent Tracking Satellite System (PTSS) as soon as fiscal 2016 to provide early launch detection and high-fidelity targeting data from space to ship- and land-based interceptors.


That plan, however, has two problems. First, even if fielded as planned, the sensor gap would not be closed until later this decade. Perhaps a larger issue is that funding for PTSS is in question.


Industry sources say MDA is struggling with a $4 billion budget gap in fiscal 2013-17, and a project as expensive as building satellites could slip or be axed altogether as Leon Panetta, the new defense secretary, searches for projects to cut in light of diminished funding and deficit reduction pressure.


The interim solution for MDA is to test and possibly field the Airborne Infrared system (ABIR), a UAS carrying the proper EO/IR sensors to support early intercept operations (a kill before a hostile missile reaches apogee), improved target discrimination and enhanced handling of the threat of missile raids (tens or more missiles fired nearly simultaneously).


Last year, MDA selected the Reaper as the platform of choice for the ABIR experimentation phase, which is ongoing. “If fielded, we envision a podded ABIR capability that could ride on a variety of unmanned or even manned platforms,” says Rick Lehner, MDA’s spokesman. Ultimately, platform decisions would be made in consultation with the Air Force and Navy if the system is fielded, as these services will be the operators.


Since 2009, MDA has conducted 10 flight tests in which ABIR was used for data collection. Six of these trials were observed using MTS-B-equipped Reapers and the remainder featured risk-reduction tests using ground-based sensors (see chart, p. 43). For these trials, at least two Reapers are needed to provide “stereo tracking.” Each EO/IR sensor provides a “flat” view, but triangulating the target provides higher-fidelity data.


A main objective in the trials has been to expose the MTS-B—which includes visible, shortwave IR and mid-wave IR sensors—to various scenarios and targets, from short-range to intercontinental ballistic missiles.


“We have been able to improve the pointing accuracy of the sensor [and] we have demonstrated automatic acquisition and tracking of the sensor required to meet system needs,” Lehner says. “Modeling indicates the agility of the sensor will substantially improve the raid-handling capability we currently have.”


Today, X-band radars—the AN/TPY‑2 and Sea-Based X-Band—are used for early tracking. Carey notes that the ABIR experiments are the first time EO/IR data have contributed to generating firing-quality data early in flight. (IR sensors typically provide only a cue to ground- and sea-based X-band radars.)


“They just never thought to look up” with the sensors, Carey says. “Everybody was surprised [by] the range at which we were able to detect the targets after burning and the accuracy with which we were able track them.”


The MDA has purchased four MTS‑Bs for ABIR experimentation, two last year and two this year, Carey adds. MDA is contributing to a larger Pentagon effort to develop the two-color MTS‑C; this will add a long-wave IR detection capability. While the short- and mid-wave bands are optimal during launch and rocket burn, a long-wave detector is better for tracking cold bodies, such as missiles after burnout, or plumes and exhaust.


Packaging short-, mid- and long-wave IR detectors on the same sensor ball, however, presents complex challenges, including design of proper cooling and meeting power requirements. One defense official suggests the MTS-C could be a year or more from being ready for work in this area. Lehner says the MTS‑C will be delivered in the summer of 2012 and begin testing shortly thereafter.


This time frame will be a key deciding point for the future of the program. Also next summer, MDA plans to conduct a launch-on-remote exercise. “To demonstrate launch on remote, we will provide real-time tracking data to [ballistic missile defense (BMD) command-and-control] nodes,” Lehner says. “The BMD command-and-control nodes then send [the data] to Aegis in a simulated engagement in the summer of 2012.”


Carey notes that in trials thus far, ABIR has generated virtual targeting data that can be compared against data from other sensors used in the tests. But he says more command-and-control and system architecture work is needed to make the system operational.


Early tests were highly manpower intensive; targets were acquired by hand and tracked by people. Software has been developed to automate that process. But officials need to develop an operational concept of how many UAS must be orbiting in what locations for an optimum chance of achieving early launch data if there is an unpredicted hostile launch. “If you put the aircraft in the right place and we know the test is coming, we turn it on and it will perform,” he says.


Through fiscal 2012, MDA has requested $178.5 million for ABIR. Depending on results of the flight trials, the agency plans to make a development and fielding decision around 2014.

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21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 11:55
India test-fires new short range missile Prithvi-II

Test launch of a Prithvi (P-II) surface-to-surface missile by the Indian Armed Forces. (Photo: DRDO)


July 21, 2011 defpro.com


NEW DELHI | India successfully test-fired on Thursday its new quick reaction, short range Prahaar missile, regional media reported.


The missile blasted off at about 8.15 am local time (02:45 GMT) from the Integrated Test Range in the eastern state of Orissa, the Press Trust of India news agency said.


"The test launch was fully successful as the surface-to-surface, sleek missile mounted on a road mobile launcher, roared into an overcast sky, seconds within its blast off," a defense source was quoted by PTI as saying.


The 150-km range Prahaar is a single-stage missile fuelled by solid propellants, media reports said. It is designed to fill the gap between Pinaka, a 40-km multi-barrel rocket system, and the 350-km range, nuclear-capable Prithvi-II, a surface-to-surface strategic missile.


The uniqueness of the missile system is that "in one salvo, six missiles can be fired with multiple targets," PTI quoted a scientist associated with this project as saying.


The test was initially scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed for Thursday to allow for additional tests of the vehicle which the missile was mounted on, the Hindu website said. (RIA Novosti)

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21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 06:05
French Legislators Push Broad Missile Defense

Jul 20, 2011 By Amy Svitak, Robert Wall - aviation week and space technology


Washington, London - A push by French legislators to encourage France to do more in the realm of ballistic missile defense is very much threat-driven. But they are not concerned as much about Iranian missile proliferation as they are about France falling technologically behind its strategic rivals.


In particular, French politicians want to make sure that the U.S. does not dominate Europe’s missile defense spending and that Paris’s nuclear deterrent is not undermined in the long term.


France’s interest in pursuing exoatmospheric-intercept capability is two-pronged, say industry and government officials. Besides gaining experience in national defense, the country’s leaders want to ensure that when upgrades and a follow-on to the M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile are developed, France will know how to defeat missile defenses to uphold its strategic deterrent.


Although a new report by French senators on the need to pursue missile defense does not specify immediate funding, the document is considered an important strategic marker. It is the first time the legislature has forcefully advocated missile defense, and sets the stage for the mission area to be a key element in the new defense white paper to be written following next year’s presidential elections.


The report also underscores the 180-deg. turnaround the nation has taken on the anti-missile topic. Paris initially resisted the U.S.’s pressure on Europe to regard the mission more seriously. Now, it has not just signed on to NATO’s decision to embrace missile defense but is pushing an expansive set of capabilities, ranging from endo- and exoatmospheric intercept capabilities to space-based early warning satellites, long-range radars and command-and-control structures.


Some early steps could emerge this year, with potential funding to launch work on the Aster Block 1NT flowing to give the interceptor an anti-ballistic missile capability.


One of the central themes for the legislators is that Europe should act jointly and pool resources. They urge France and Germany to work together on a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft surveillance system equipped with an infrared sensor to aid in ballistic missile tracking. France would provide the infrared sensor and Germany the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. Germany is considering fielding Global Hawks in addition to the signals intelligence Euro Hawk system (see p. 32).


In the report, several senators see a budget requirement of roughly €7.4 billion ($10.4 billion) through 2020 to realize their missile defense vision. But they recognize the budget environment does not allow such outlays, so they advocate immediate action items totaling €3.2 billion, spent nationally or in cooperation with other European states. That includes €180 million to upgrade the French air force’s SAMP/T air defense system and €200 million to achieve the same for its ship-based cousin, Paams, as well as performing development work for Aster Block 2, a new interceptor optimized for endoatmospheric ballistic missile defense.


Among the near-term spending items advocated by the report are:


•€20 million for France to establish a national missile defense center.


•€700 million for work (potentially cooperatively) for space-based early warning.


•€30 million for a long-range radar.


•€270 million for initial work on an exoatmospheric interceptor.


Astrium Space Transportation has already proposed to the French defense ministry a plan to validate the underlying technology for a €1 billion missile defense system, called Exoguard. “We just want to demonstrate the capabilities of French industry in order to succeed in exoatmospheric or space interception,” says CEO Alain Charmeau, adding that “it is exactly the same kind of technologies as the one we have on the kill vehicle of Exoguard.”


The unsolicited proposal aims at achieving a successful flight test of an in-space interceptor around 2016 at a cost of roughly €225 million. The senators’ report states that 75% of the flight’s demo’s pre-tax cost would pay for development of the demonstration kill vehicle while the rest would go to other elements. Astrium would lead the work on the kill vehicle, which will use an infrared sensor to spot its target. Safran units would work on the divert and attitude control system.


“We have already submitted to the DGA [French defense procurement agency] a commercial proposal with a commitment from my company to deliver in five years this demonstration of space interception, even if in the end the demonstration could be a first phase of a development of an Exoguard operational product in the future.”


But industry officials say they are worried that the funding level suggested by the senators will never emerge in the difficult fiscal environment.


To help ease the financial burden, the legislators are calling for a missile defense conference to be held under the auspices of the European Defense Agency to help spur cooperation, particularly in the area of upgrading air defenses to create a lower-tier missile shield.


For the senators, it is not just the need for burden-sharing that prompts them to argue for cooperation within Europe. They argue that without a sweeping European program, countries will be tempted to buy into the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach, and this would absorb scarce modernization funding in Europe with little immediate technology payoff. A U.S. missile defense program is a Trojan horse not unlike the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, they assert.


To help interest Germany and Italy in working with France, the senators argue that the Pentagon’s decision to disengage from the trinational Medium Extended Air Defense System program should persuade Berlin and Rome to consider joining in an Aster Block 2 development.

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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 16:50
China Details Anti-ship Missile Plans


Jul 15, 2011 By Bradley Perrett aviation week and space technology


Beijing - For more than a century, surface warships have been struggling to survive against mines, submarines, aircraft and, more recently, cruise missiles. Now China’s rapid development of a sophisticated anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) raises the threat to a new level.


The U.S. Navy, mindful of the threat and no less focused on advancing its technologies to protect its fleet, remains confident in its ability to project naval power globally on the surface as well as under water. But for less technologically advanced navies of the Asia-Pacific region, it is becoming difficult to see how in the decades ahead they can stand up to an opponent that can target surface ships with hypersonic homing warheads that can range more than 1,500 km (900 mi.)—and perhaps much farther.


China Daily is citing a range of 2,700 km for the revolutionary missile, the DF-21D, presenting the crucial data point in a report based on comments by the chief of the Chinese general staff, Gen. Chen Bingde. The Pentagon said last year the DF-21D’s range is “in excess of 1,500 km.”


If not a journalistic error, the statement means that U.S. aircraft carriers launching strike missions while keeping clear of DF-21Ds would need aircraft with even longer ranges than thought. It means that the DF-21Ds can be safely kept further inland. And, for Asian navies, it means the whole South China Sea can be covered from Guangdong, a Chinese province where DF-21Ds are based.


China’s second key revelation about the DF-21D is that it is still in development, though the U.S. has said it is in service.


“The missile is still undergoing experimental testing and will be used as a defensive weapon when it is successfully developed, not an offensive one,” says Chen. “It is a high-tech weapon and we face many difficulties in getting funding, advanced technologies and high-quality personnel, which are all underlying reasons why it is hard to develop this.”


Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said in December that the DF-21D had reached the equivalent of initial operational capability. Taiwan has also said China has begun to deploy the missile. Yet Chen’s comments, made after a meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, imply that any DF-21Ds that have been deployed are not regarded as fully developed.


“It’s possible that an initial ASBM variant could be more basic,” says Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, an Asia-focused think tank in Arlington, Va. “Then maybe a follow-on variant could integrate some of the more sophisticated technologies, such as a high-altitude radar system.”


U.S. Naval War College Prof. Andrew Erickson says the tone of Chen’s remarks “could be interpreted to reflect a high level of uncertainly and ambivalence about the missile’s immediate prospects, directed at a Chinese audience through Chinese media.


“Viewed in this light, the three factors Gen. Chen outlines—funding, technology, talent—may be viewed as serious constraints, even bottlenecks, in the challenging task of successfully maturing and integrating an ASBM system of systems.”


China’s idea of “operational” may be closer to the U.S. concept of full operational capability, adds Erickson.


The appearance of Chen’s statement in China Daily, an English-language newspaper acting as a government mouthpiece directed at the outside world, is itself meaningful. The paper’s reports on sensitive subjects often appear to be carefully written to deliver Beijing’s message.


The DF-21D is one such sensitive subject, as the U.S. considers how it would counter Chinese attempts to dominate nearby seas and forcibly regain control of Taiwan. In the view of some analysts, surface warships—above all, aircraft carriers—are fundamentally too vulnerable to such a weapon, because their signatures are so large and the missile is very difficult to intercept.


In the May 2011 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute journal Proceedings, two Pentagon strategists, Navy Capt. Henry Hendrix and Marine Corps Lt. Col. Noel Williams, urge immediate cessation of U.S. aircraft carrier construction. Noting such threats as the DF-21D, they write, “the march of technology is bringing the supercarrier era to an end, just as the new long-range strike capabilities of carrier aviation brought on the demise of the battleship era in the 1940s.”


Skeptics respond that the DF-21D’s kill chain can be broken in several places—for example, in target detection and tracking before launch, communication of targeting data or final homing descent. Still, considering the crews and costs of surface ships, especially carriers, the stakes are high.


“Yes, the [U.S.] Navy would want to have a high degree of confidence that they could break a link in the kill chain, but there are no certainties here,” says Eric Hagt of the World Security Institute. “It’s a game of measures, countermeasures, counter-counter-measures, et cetera. Having said that, the U.S. remains a superior, technologically capable fighting force, so it stands to reason they are able to conceive of and develop sophisticated countermeasures to the ASBM.”


However, there are no guarantees, he stresses, adding that the real mission of the DF-21D is deterrence. “It could and probably will give the U.S. Navy much more pause for concern when getting involved in any potential scenario in the western Pacific closer to China’s shores.”


The views from China’s neighboring countries and Australia are even more sobering. From there, attacking the DF-21D kill chain must look like a challenge ranging from enormous to unthinkable. Over the past few years, the Asia-Pacific-region navies have increasingly shifted their resources to submarines. Japan intends to enlarge its submarine fleet to 24 from 18 and Australia, to 12 from six.


Recounting Chen’s remarks, China Daily says: “He did acknowledge . . . that Beijing is developing the Dongfeng-21D [DF-21D], a ballistic missile with a maximum range of 2,700 km and the ability to strike moving targets—including aircraft carriers—at sea.”



The range of 2,700 km has previously been attributed to earlier DF-21s built to attack fixed targets, raising the possibility that the figure has appeared in the paper only as a result of sloppy journalism. That would be quite an error, however, considering that the report was supposed to convey a message abroad.


China’s military, with a seemingly atavistic aversion to public statement, tends to reveal its capabilities by just letting the world see them. Examples include its demonstration of anti-satellite technology in 2007, when it blasted away an old weather spacecraft, and the seemingly casual rolling out of the so-called J-20 fighter prototype in view of an airfield fence at Chengdu in December 2010.


“My impression is that an ASBM range requirement is driven by the maximum range of U.S. weapon-delivery platforms associated with a carrier battle group,” says Stokes. “The 2,700-km requirement seems a bit more than what’s needed.”


Nonetheless, it is clear that extra range, whether immediately available or in a future version of the DF-21, would give China greater flexibility in basing and targeting. Hagt notes that fixing targets becomes more difficult and increasingly reliant on vulnerable satellites as the range rises.


China itself evidently sees a continuing role for aircraft carriers. In the same report, China Daily says the incomplete carrier China bought from Ukraine in 1998, Varyag, “is expected to serve primarily as a training vessel for pilots and deck crews.” Such training has always been assumed as the initial role of the ship, since China has little or no experience in the difficult business of operating fixed-wing aircraft at sea.


“China is a big country and we have quite a large number of ships, but they are only small ships,” Chen says. “This is not commensurate with the status of a country like China.” The U.S. is “a real world power” because it has 11 aircraft carriers, he adds. The general also says much Chinese military technology is at the level of U.S. equipment used 20-30 years ago.

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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 05:50


photo defencetalk.com


Jul 13 2011 trdefence.com


Roketsan is completing development of a trio of guided anti-armour weapons


Turkish Land Forces Command is the main customer, but the missiles will be marketed for exports


Since the mid-1990s Turkey’s Roketsan has firmly established itself in the design, development and production of unguided surface-to-surface rockets. During the past decade, however, the company has ventured into the more complex and demanding guided-weapons business with the development of three anti-armour systems.


All three are being manufactured under contract to the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) with Roketsan as the prime contractor, and will also be offered on the export market. Several other Turkish companies are involved in the programmes, including Aselsan.




In 2004 Roketsan began development of a 2.75-inch semi-active laser-guided missile (SALGM) called Cirit, which was originally the name of a Turkish cavalry-rooted sport played for many centuries. It was also sometimes called Jereed, meaning ‘Javelin’ – also the name of the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided weapon [ATGW] system. Cirit was intended to provide the TLFC’s AH-1P Cobra and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters with a precision attack capability.


Rather than upgrading its existing 2.75-inch unguided rocket, Roketsan elected to develop a new missile that could be launched from MIL-STD-810 F- and MIL-STD-464 A-compatible M- and LAU-series launchers, which are widely deployed.


Cirit has an overall length of 1.9 m and a launch weight of 15 kg. Minimum range is 1,500 m and maximum range is 8,000 m.


The SALGM has a conventional layout, with a passive SAL seeker installed in the nose, surmounting the control unit with four swing-out control surfaces, which is in turn followed by the guidance section and power source.


Further back is the multipurpose warhead, which provides a combined anti-armour, anti-personnel and incendiary effect. According to Roketsan, this is optimised to neutralise high-value soft or semi-hardened targets.


The rear of the SALGM contains the rocket motor, which is insensitive munition (IM)-compliant and has a reduced smoke signature. It is connected to the rear section by a roll bearing that enables it to rotate in flight.


There are four small stabilising surfaces at the very rear of the missile immediately in front of the exhaust nozzle.


During deployment, the gunner designates the target prior to launch, after which the rocket relies on a MEMS (micro electromechanical system)-type inertial measurement unit in combination with terminal laser homing.


According to Roketsan, Cirit has a high probability of hit on a 3×3 m target at maximum range.


First tests of Cirit were carried out in 2006, with development and flight qualification completed in 2008. Low-rate initial production has already commenced and will ramp up to full-rate production in 2012.


The company says that nearly 100 Cirit missiles of different configurations were launched during the extensive development and qualification tests. These included ballistic, control and guidance test missiles, plus qualification missiles.


As the SALGM is longer than the M- and LAU-series pods, Roketsan has developed a new launch pod and a new canister in which Cirit is delivered as an all-up round. The latter is loaded into either a two- or a four-round launch pod, which is more robust against environmental conditions than a standard launcher and easier to load and unload.


Cirit can additionally be fired from a ‘smart’ launcher, which has a MIL-STD-1760 interface. This can hold two or four SALGMs and contains all of the control electronics, enabling it to be rapidly integrated onto a number of helicopters that are required only to have a MIL-STD-1760 interface.


Roketsan signed an agreement with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in May 2011 for the integration of its Cirit Smart Launcher System on the T-129 attack helicopter, to enable data transfer between the missile and the helicopter launch platform.


Also in May, Roketsan signed a memorandum of understanding with Eurocopter for integration of Cirit on the EC635 helicopter, tests of which are planned for an unknown date.




Development of the UMTAS (Uzun Menzilli Tanksavar Fuze Sistemi) long-range air-launched ATGW began in 2005 with the Turkish Undersecretary of National Defence’s award to Roketsan of an initial TRY50 million (USD30.53 million), 26-month Phase I study contract. Phase I covered concept work, including subsystems such as missile propulsion, guidance and warhead.


The ATGW will be the main armament of TAI’s T-129 attack helicopter, which is a further development of the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta. It is expected that 51 T-129s will be built to supplement the currently deployed AH-1P and AH-1W attack helicopters used by the TLFC.


The UMTAS missile is 1.8 m long and 16 cm in diameter. Launch weight is 37.5 kg and range is 500-8,000 m.


Roketsan received the Phase II contract in mid-2008. First helicopter trial launches have taken place from an AH-1P, which is being used as a testbed for the programme. Safe separation and jettison tests have also been carried out.


The launcher has a military-standard interface and weighs 60 kg. The T-129 attack helicopter would typically carry two launchers, each with four UMTAS missiles, and two launch pods with two or four Cirit 2.75-inch missiles each.


Aselsan has developed a pedestal-type launcher with four UMTAS missiles in the ready-to-launch position. This could be installed on fast attack craft or patrol boats.


In addition to lock-on-before-launch and lock-on-after-launch operational modes, UMTAS can be used against masked targets. The firing envelope enables an off-boresight target engagement.


UMTAS has completed ballistic and control test firings and is undergoing guided firing tests.


Although the first application of UMTAS will be airborne, it is also suitable for some land- and sea-based platforms.




A new weapon known as OMTAS (Orta Menzilli Tanksavar Sistemi) portable medium-range ATGW has grown out of UMTAS and shares several of its subsystems. These include: a nose-mounted uncooled imaging infrared (IIR) seeker developed by Aselsan; a tandem HEAT warhead optimised against targets fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA) – the first warhead neutralises the ERA, thereby clearing a path for the larger main charge; a duplex RF datalink for uplink-downlink between the user and missile command; and other electronic subsystems.


Roketsan received an initial Phase I design contract for the OMTAS ATGW in April 2007, which it fulfilled by the end of 2009.


The system consists of a missile in its launch tube and a tripod with associated control unit and sighting unit (SU), the latter two systems together weighing about 55 kg.


The OMTAS missile has an overall length of 1.68 m and the same 16 cm diameter as UMTAS, but is slightly lighter at 35 kg, including launch tube. It has four flip-out control surfaces at the very rear and six flip-out wings about two thirds of the way down from the nose.


It has a minimum range of 200 m and maximum range of more than 4,000 m. Its solid-propellant HTPB (hydroxy terminate polybutadiene) rocket motor – also developed by Roketsan – is IM-compliant.


The SU features a thermal camera, TV camera, digital magnetic compass and laser rangefinder. It can be removed and used as a standalone observation device, providing an all-weather target battlefield surveillance capability.


OMTAS can be launched from within a confined space. It has fire-and-forget and fire-and-update modes of operation, as well as direct-attack and top-attack options for masked targets.


Although the first version of OMTAS will be tripod mounted, the ATGW can also be integrated onto tracked and wheeled platforms. During transportation and field deployment each end of the launch tube is fitted with a protective cover.


According to Roketsan, first missiles have already been successfully test fired without the IIR seeker and all-up firings are due in 2012, with design freeze scheduled for late 2012.


Ballistic performance trials have also been completed, as well as control and guidance characteristics using control test vehicles.


Full-scale development (Phase II) is still in progress in line with the original schedule, with qualification expected to take place in 2013 and production (Phase III) to commence in 2014.

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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 05:10
Shahab-2 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)

Shahab-2 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)

July 13, 2011 Arms Control Association (ACA) - defpro.com


In light of justifiable concerns about Iran’s potential as a nuclear weapons state, the country’s latest military exercise, ending last week, provided some grounds for qualified relief. Although the official commentary was predictably defiant in tone, the overall choreography and the weapons actually fired bespoke neither the intent nor a current operational capability for Iran to strike at Israel or Europe. The absence in the exercise of systems likely to serve as nuclear weapons delivery vehicles belies contentions that Tehran is moving rapidly to achieve such a capability.




In a ten-day extravaganza of martial events, dubbed “Great Prophet 6,” Iran conducted a prodigious number of missile launches, showcasing a variety of ballistic and cruise missiles, including some new missile types and a newly displayed silo basing mode. The live-fire exercises provided useful training for the troops and stimulated national pride among the population. Such displays of missile prowess also help Iran’s clerical government rally domestic support behind efforts to defy UN sanctions and send a warning message to potential aggressors.




Missiles are the premier weapon of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s ballistic missiles, in particular, occupy an iconic place in the power pantheon – they are fast to employ, hard for an enemy to locate and attack prior to launch, difficult to intercept in flight, and can potentially serve as a vehicle for delivering nuclear weapons to targets far from the country’s border. Iran already has medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) in its arsenal, which can reach targets not only in neighboring states, but also in Israel. Moreover, given the heavy concentrations of U.S. troops in the region, even Iran’s shorter-range missiles can easily and quickly put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk.


Anti-shipping cruise missiles – along with mines – provide one of Iran’s most credible deterrent threats, because they enable Tehran to effectively exploit its geographical position by threatening to interrupt maritime traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, which carries a third of all the world's seaborne traded oil. Such a disruption, even short-term, would have incalculable effects on the international economy.


Iranian missile forces loom large in relative significance because of inadequacies in Iran’s air and ground forces. These forces “are sufficient to deter or defend against conventional threats from Iran’s weaker neighbors…but lack the air power and logistical ability to project power much beyond Iran’s borders or to confront regional powers such as Turkey or Israel,” according to a recent official U.S. assessment. [1] U.S. domination of the seas and skies in any military confrontation drives Iran into a disproportionate reliance on threatening to use missiles to level the odds. Even so, the practical utility of Iranian missiles is primarily limited at present to being an instrument of intimidation or terror when targeted against cities, given that Iran’s ballistic missiles lack accuracy against point targets and Iran’s cruise missiles are not suited to land-attack.


By acquiring nuclear warheads for its medium-range ballistic missiles, Iran could gain the ability to destroy specific targets. The deployments of missile defenses in Israel and the Persian Gulf are unlikely to give the defenders confidence that nuclear devastation would be averted in the event of an actual Iranian nuclear missile attack. Moreover, missile defenses are likely to spur rather than retard Iranian efforts to improve their missiles. Fortunately, Tehran would also be aware that its use of nuclear weapons would provoke retaliation that could result in its annihilation as a nation – a risk disproportionate to any conceivable gain.




The majority of missiles launched over the course of the exercise were either short-range, battlefield weapons, such as the solid fuel Fateh 110 or cruise missiles, such as the Tondar and Khalije Fars that were claimed to be effective against ships and fixed targets in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Of some two dozen missiles fired, only one was a medium-range missile with sufficient power and available space to carry a future nuclear warhead, the liquid fuel Shahab 3, a derivative of North Korea’s No Dong MRBM. Yet the Shahab 3’s range of approximately 1,000 km (with a 750 kg warhead) is not sufficient for it to reach Israel from a secure position in Iran. Iran has developed an advanced version of the Shahab 3, the Ghadr 1, to extend the system's range. This was accomplished by lengthening the airframe, using high-strength aluminum, and changing the shape of the missile’s warhead section. Yet the Ghadr 1 did not appear in the recent exercises.


The Iranian media also displayed, for the first time, underground missile silos, allegedly loaded with liquid fuel Shahabs. However, outside experts doubt the accuracy of the descriptions provided in the video coverage of the exercise and question whether Iran has any MRBMs operationally deployed in silos. In any case, such missiles would be far more likely to survive attack in a mobile basing mode than in fixed silos, which can be located in advance and effectively destroyed with little warning by the precision weapons available to the United States.


Iranian television reported further that Iranian forces had been equipped with a new, long-range radar system, the Ghadir, which was featured in the exercises.




Based on the statements of Iranian military leaders and reports in Iran’s media, the main messages of “Great Prophet 6” for friends and foe were: that Iran’s strength is increasing in spite of the UN sanctions; that Iran is not dependent on other nations for its defense; that Iranian missiles could not be effectively preempted or intercepted; and that any attack on Iran would be met with devastating retaliation.


The new radar and missile silos were offered as evidence than Iran cannot be disarmed and that retaliation was inevitable. The salvo launches of missiles were a reminder that missile defenses can be overwhelmed by numbers. The longer-range Shahab 3 symbolized Iran’s reach across the Middle East region, far beyond its own borders. Each of the systems displayed were described as the product of Iranian scientists and engineers, independent of reliance on foreign purchases or technical assistance.




There are, however, other conclusions to be drawn from Iran’s flexing of missile muscles. For those seeking to prevent or dissuade Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, the most important question is how much progress the exercises demonstrate toward Iran developing and deploying the missiles, which would carry nuclear warheads.


Realistically, medium-term delivery boils down to two existing systems: the liquid fuel, single stage Ghadr 1 MRBM, an advanced derivative of the Shahab 3, and the solid fuel Sejjil 2 MRBM, a two-stage system with sufficient range to target Israel from launch sites throughout Iran, but not yet operational. Neither missile was flown during “Great Prophet 6.”


The only MRBM launched was announced to be a Shahab 3, an unlikely candidate for fulfilling Iran’s likely nuclear delivery capability aspirations. It is possible that the Iranians foresee using the Ghadr 1 as a nuclear weapons platform, in spite of the disadvantages inherent to liquid fuel mobile missiles – in terms of their limited mobility and greater vulnerability to attack.


It is more likely that the Iranians see the Sejjil 2 as the preferred carrier for a possible future nuclear warhead. Iran is apparently feeling no need to exercise its only operational missile suited for the nuclear mission and the missile best suited for the nuclear mission has not yet reached an operational status appropriate for exercising. Thus, if the U.S. Government is correct in assessing that Tehran has not yet made a decision to build nuclear weapons, there would appear to be time for dissuading it from doing so.




In a 1999 National Intelligence Estimate, the U.S. intelligence community projected that Iran could test an ICBM within “a few years.” Most analysts predicted back then either “even odds” or a “likely chance” that Iran would test an ICBM by 2010. However, in 2009, senior military and defense officials testified to Congress that shifting from deployment of strategic interceptors to Europe in a third site to a program for deploying theater interceptors in a “Phased Adaptive Approach” was appropriate since the Iranian ICBM threat was evolving more slowly than previously thought.


The Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis reported to Congress in 2011 that Iran was fielding increased numbers of SRBMs and MRBMs, “continuing to work on producing more capable MRBMs, and developing space launch vehicles, which incorporate technology directly applicable to longer-range missile systems.” [2] The still unofficial Report on Sanctions of the UN Panel of Experts completed in May 2011 revealed that the Iranians had conducted two unannounced tests of the Sejjil 2 MRBM (in October 2010 and February 2011) [3] in addition to the five flight tests it had conducted since 2007. (A senior Iranian Republican Guard Corps Commander recently confirmed two previously unannounced “1,900 km-range” missile flights tests in February.)


The Iranians launched their second satellite in May 2011, using the Safir Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) and predicted that it would be followed by another satellite launch in the summer. Unlike the larger Samorgh SLV that had been displayed as a mockup in February, conversion of the Safir SLV to a ballistic missile would still only deliver a nuclear-sized payload about 2,100 km, according to the IISS Strategic Dossier, [4] roughly the same as the Sejjil 2 MRBM.


This summer’s “Great Prophet 6” exercise provides more evidence that, while Tehran makes steady progress on augmenting its stocks of enriched uranium and while R&D work continues on its most likely MRBM candidate for being able to deliver a future nuclear weapon within the region, Tehran’s present military focus is on demonstrating and enhancing its conventional capability to deter and defeat a preventive attack on the Islamic Republic itself. It has not flight-tested, or indeed even asserted a need for, an IRBM or ICBM – the missile categories most relevant to threatening the territories of NATO Europe and the United States.




1. Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran (Congressionally Directed Action), April 2010, p.7

2. Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, Covering 1 January to 31 December 2010, p.3

3. Panel of Experts Established Pursuant to Resolution 1929 (2010), Final Report, p.26, http://www.innercitypress.com/1929r051711.pdf

4. The International Institute for Strategic Studies: “Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities: A Net Assessment,” May 2010, p.31

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15 juillet 2011 5 15 /07 /juillet /2011 06:15


Crédit photo : SLD, salon du Bourget, juin 2011


14.07.2011 sldinfo.com


Par Robbin Laird
Adapté de l’anglais par Virginie Lecat [1]


 Lors du Salon du Bourget, MBDA a invité deux pilotes de chasse de la Royal Air Force à présenter le retour d’expérience de leurs opérations en théâtre libyen, notamment quant à l’utilisation du Tornado et des armes de précision : Mark Lawson, pilote, et James Cooke, officier de système d’armes, appartenant à l’escadrille 9 RAF Marham.



Un équipage de deux hommes opère le Tornado, déployé pour la première fois en opération en 1982. Opération la plus longue depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, les premières missions en direction de la Lybie ont été effectuées depuis le sol britannique, impliquant trois ravitaillements en vol. Des patrouilles mixtes Tornado-Eurofighter ont également permis aux pilotes de la RAF de bénéficier d’une meilleure appréhension de la menace.

Opération la plus longue depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, les premières missions en direction de la Lybie ont été effectuées depuis le sol britannique, impliquant trois ravitaillements en vol. Des patrouilles mixtes Tornado-Eurofighter ont également permis aux pilotes de la RAF de bénéficier d’une meilleure appréhension de la menace.

Le missile de croisière Storm Shadow a été employé en premières frappes avec un taux de réussite particulièrement élevé. Le Brimstone, arme de choix pour les cibles en théâtre urbain, fut par ailleurs utilisé en un deuxième temps pour venir à bout des blindés lybiens. La RAF a aussi déployé pour la première fois en opération le missile AIM-132 fabriqué par MBDA. Il s’agit d’un missile air-air de courte portée ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile), lequel remplace les Sidewinder AIM-9 au sein des armées de l’air britannique et australienne. Il peut notamment détruire des cibles aéroportées, blindées, voire des missiles sol-air. Son rôle essentiel est celui d’interdiction aérienne. Autre équipement essentiel : Le RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod TORnado), fabriqué par la Goodrich Corporation. [2]

L’utilisation des équipements a bien-sûr varié selon la nature des missions et des cibles préétablies, ce qui a notamment conduit à passer rapidement du Storm Shadow au Brimstone, une des contraintes majeures en matière de frappes de haute précision étant la limitation des dommages collatéraux



Notes et Références

[1] Voir aussi côté anglais : Operation Ellamy Update

[2] D’après Wikipedia, « ce pod de reconnaissance dont la RAF est équipée pour sa flotte de Tornado GR.4A conti enta un capteur de reconnaissance DB-110, un système d’enregistrement en imagerie et un système de liaison de données sol-air. Le capteur est infrarouge et électro-optique, permettant les missions de jour comme de nuit. La retransmission de données permet à l’imagerie d’être exploitée quasi instantanément ».

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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 07:45


23/06/2011 MER et MARINE


A l'occasion du salon aéronautique du Bourget, qui se déroule cette semaine, Français et Britanniques ont réaffirmé leur volonté de renforcer leur coopération dans le secteur des missiles. Cette démarche a été considérée mardi d'une « importance stratégique » par Peter Luff, ministre britannique des achats de défense et Laurent Collet-Billon, délégué général pour l'armement, tous deux présents sur le stand du missilier européen MBDA. « Conformément aux décisions du dernier sommet franco-britannique du 2 novembre 2010, la Direction Générale de l'Armement et le DE&S travaillent à la mise en place d'un secteur des missiles plus cohérent autour d'un maitre d'oeuvre industriel européen unique, devant conduire à des gains significatifs (jusqu'à 30%) pour les États », explique la DGA. Laurent Collet-Billon et Peter Luff ont échangé en amont de la présentation des premières analyses sur l'optimisation du tissu industriel franco-britannique prévue début juillet. Parallèlement les deux pays travaillent au rapprochement des méthodes de travail en vue « d'une gouvernance de plus en plus commune ».

Pour soutenir le renforcement de la coopération des deux côtés de la Manche, la DGA et le DE&S prévoient toujours de lancer une série de projets, comme le développement d'un nouveau missile antinavire léger (FASGW(H)/ANL), l'évaluation des améliorations à apporter aux missiles de croisière Scalp/Storm Shadow, ainsi qu'une feuille de route commune pour les technologies de défense aérienne à courte portée.
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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 07:35
Exocet MM40 Block3 (photo MBDA)

Exocet MM40 Block3 (photo MBDA)

23/06/2011 MER et MARINE


Depuis plus de trente ans, les missiles antinavire sont devenus l'un des principaux piliers du combat naval. Ces armements équipent les bâtiments de combat, des patrouilleurs aux frégates en passant par les sous-marins, ainsi que les forces aériennes et les batteries côtières. Evoluant sans cesse et intégrant de nouvelles fonctions, comme les capacités de tir contre buts terrestres, les missiles antinavire s'adaptent aux évolutions technologiques et opérationnelles. Tour d'horizon des solutions proposées par l'industrie européenne :

Exocet MM40 Block3 (© : MBDA)


Vendu à plus de 3600 exemplaires dans 35 pays depuis plus de 30 ans, l'Exocet ne cesse d'évoluer depuis sa mise en service. Le célèbre missile antinavire se décline aujourd'hui en trois versions, tirées depuis bâtiments de surface, aéronefs et sous-marins. Développé par MBDA à partir de 2004 suite à l'abandon du programme ANF, l'Exocet Mer-Mer 40 Block3 fait son entrée dans la Marine nationale, qui a réalisé un premier tir le 18 mars 2010 depuis la frégate de défense aérienne Chevalier Paul, admise au service actif en juin 2011 (son sistership, le Forbin, l'a été fin 2010). D'une longueur de 5.8 mètres pour un diamètre de 35 centimètres et un poids de 780 kilos, le nouveau missile antinavire présente des dimensions identiques à celles de son prédécesseur, tout en étant plus léger (870 kilos pour la génération précédente). Mais, surtout, il affiche une portée opérationnelle plus que doublée, soit 180 km contre 72 km pour le MM40 Block2. Le Block3 intègre également un GPS, ce qui lui confère une capacité de frappe contre des cibles côtières. Doté d'une charge optimisée pour la lutte antinavire, il ne peut néanmoins être comparé à un missile de croisière, conçu pour neutraliser des cibles durcies et disposant d'une allonge et d'une précision contre buts terrestres nettement plus importantes.

Exocet AM39 sur Rafale (© : DASSAULT AVIATION)

Tir d'AM39 depuis un Atlantique 2 (© : MARINE NATIONALE)

Tir d'un SM39 depuis un sous-marin (© : MBDA)

Outre la marine française, le MM40 Block3 a déjà été vendu au sultanat d'Oman, aux Emirats Arabes Unis et au Qatar. L'adoption du nouveau standard se fait soit par achat de matériel neuf, soit par retrofit des MM40 Block2 existants. Ainsi, depuis 2008, le site MBDA de Selles-Saint-Denis a débuté la mise à niveau de missiles pour des clients export, avant d'entreprendre le retrofit des munitions françaises, livrées à partir de 2011.
L'aéronautique navale tricolore, qui met en oeuvre l'Exocet AM39 depuis ses avions de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 et jusqu'ici sur ses Super Etendard Modernisés (SEM), reçoit également une nouvelle version de son missile air-mer. Un Exocet numérisé, l'AM39 Block2 Mod2, a été spécialement développé pour le Rafale, qui remplace le SEM dans les missions de lutte antinavire. Le nouvel avion de combat a réalisé un tir de validation en 2007 avec l'AM39 Block2 Mod2. La numérisation de la version à changement de milieu a, quant à elle, été lancée en 2009. Le SM39 Block2 Mod2 équipera les nouveaux sous-marins nucléaires d'attaque du type Barracuda à partir de 2017. Dans cette configuration, le missile est éjecté par un tube lance-torpille. En dehors des SNA français, le SM39 peut armer les sous-marins Scorpène.

RBS-15 (© : SAAB)

Le RBS-15

Le Suédois Saab Bofors Dynamics et l'Allemand Diehl BGT Defence ont développé et commercialisent le RBS-15 Mk3. Ce missile antinavire de 4.3 mètres est doté d'un booster et affiche une portée de 200 kilomètres. Embarquant une charge militaire de 200 kilos pour un poids total de 800 kilos, il dispose d'un autodirecteur infrarouge, ce qui le rend autonome par rapport au porteur après le tir. Ce dernier standard du RBS-15 est aussi équipé d'un GPS, lui conférant une capacité de frappe contre des cibles côtières. Le RBS-15 Mk3 a été adopté par la marine suédoise, ainsi que la flotte allemande pour ses nouvelles corvettes du type 130. Le missile a également été vendu à la Croatie, la Finlande et la Pologne. Outre la version mer-mer, Saab a développé une version air-mer équipant les avions de combat Gripen. Une variante à changement de milieu doit aussi voir le jour pour équiper les sous-marins.

Tir de NSM (© : KONGSBERG)


Après le succès du Penguin, Kongsberg a développé, en partenariat avec EADS, le Naval Strike Missile (NSM). Destiné à équiper les frégates du type Fridjof Nansen et les patrouilleurs norvégiens du type Skjold, ce nouveau missile antinavire à autodirecteur infrarouge, d'une portée de 200 km, mesure 3.96 mètres et pèse 410 kg, dont 120 de charge militaire. Une version pour la défense côtière, tirée depuis la terre, a été retenue par la Pologne. Le NSM sert également au développement avec Lockheed-Martin du Joint Strike Missile (JSM), programme découlant de l'achat par la Norvège de F-35. Prévu pour être lancé depuis la soute de l'avion, le JSM est conçu pour la lutte antinavire et l'attaque contre cibles terrestres. Comme un missile de croisière, il disposera d'un système d'exploitation de la géographie ainsi que d'une liaison de données permettant le rafraîchissement des informations en vol.

Tir de Marte (© : MBDA)

Le Marte MK2

Missile antinavire intermédiaire entre l'Exocet et le futur ANL/FASGW, le Marte Mk2 est destiné aux forces navales, à commencer par les hélicoptères de la marine italienne. Evolution du Marte, mis en service dans les années 80 sur les Sea King, le nouveau missile (Mk2/S) est désormais opérationnel après sa qualification sur AW-101 Merlin et NH90. D'un poids de 270 kilos pour une longueur de 3.85 mètres, le Marte Mk2/S affiche une portée de 30 à 45 kilomètres suivant l'altitude de tir. Du type "Fire and Forget", le missile, qui peut aussi être lancé par avion (Mk2/A) est doté d'un autodirecteur électromagnétique actif et une capacité de résistance accrue face aux contre-mesures. Une version embarquée, le Marte Mk2/N, est proposée par MBDA pour équiper des bâtiments de surface de 30 à 50 mètres. Le nouveau missile antinavire peut, également, être mis en oeuvre depuis des batteries côtières.



La France et la Grande-Bretagne ont confié à MBDA une étude d'évaluation sur un nouveau missile antinavire léger destiné à équiper leurs hélicoptères. Ce projet, baptisé ANL ou FASGW (Future Anti-SurfaceGuidedWeapon), pourrait s'ouvrir sur un programme en coopération en vue d'une première livraison en 2015. D'un poids d'une centaine de kilos, dont 30 de charge militaire, l'ANL/FASGW affiche une portée de 20 km. Il est doté d'un autodirecteur infrarouge et d'une liaison de données bidirectionnelle permettant de maintenir un lien avec l'hélicoptère. Ce nouveau missile à booster non-largable succèderait au Sea Skua britannique et comblerait un manque dans la marine française, dépourvue d'un tel armement depuis le retrait de l'AS-12 en 1995. Répondant à l'évolution des menaces asymétriques, l'ANL/FASGW est optimisé contre les bateaux de moins de 500 tonnes. Il doit équiper les Lynx (Wildcat), Panther et NH90.

Le Milas (© : MBDA)

Otomat et Milas

La marine italienne utilise sur ses bâtiments le missile antinavire Otomat Mk2 Teseo de MBDA. Long de 4.82 mètres pour un poids de 780 kilos, cet engin, doté d'un turboréacteur et d'un autodirecteur actif, affiche une portée de 180 kilomètres. A partir de ce missile, l'Italie a aussi commandé un nouvel engin anti-sous-marin. Rappelant le concept du Malafon français, le Milas associe un Otomat et une torpille MU90. Tiré comme un missile antinavire, le Milas équipera à raison de quatre munitions les FREMM italiennes en version ASM. Long de 6 mètres pour un poids de 800 kg, l'engin a une portée de 5 à 50 km. Il se comporte d'abord comme un missile classique puis, arrivé au dessus de l'objectif, largue la torpille qui pénètre dans l'eau à l'aplomb du sous-marin. L'objectif est de surprendre ce dernier et de le frapper à une portée supérieure à celle de ses armes. Sur la frégate, une console située au central opérations intègre les informations fournies par les sonars et délivre au Milas les paramètres nécessaires avant le tir. Les données peuvent, ensuite, être rafraîchies en vol.

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22 juin 2011 3 22 /06 /juin /2011 06:30
Les missiles au cœur de la coopération franco-britannique


21/06/2011 DGA


Peter Luff, ministre britannique des achats de défense et Laurent Collet-Billon, délégué général pour l’armement, réaffirment, le mardi 21 juin 2011 sur le stand de MBDA au salon aéronautique du Bourget, l’importance stratégique de la coopération franco-britannique dans le domaine des missiles.


Conformément aux décisions du dernier sommet franco-britannique du 2 novembre 2010, la Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) et le DE&S travaillent à la mise en place d’un secteur des missiles plus cohérent autour d’un maitre d’œuvre industriel européen unique, devant conduire à des gains significatifs pour les États (jusqu’à 30% de gains).


Laurent Collet-Billon et Peter Luff ont échangé en amont de la présentation des premières analyses sur l’optimisation de notre tissu industriel prévue début juillet. Parallèlement les deux pays travaillent au rapprochement des méthodes de travail en vue d'une gouvernance de plus en plus commune.


La DGA et le DE&S prévoient également de lancer une série de projets pour consolider cette initiative : lancement du développement du missile antisurface naval léger (FASGW(H)/ANL), évaluation des améliorations des missiles de croisière Scalp/Storm Shadow et feuille de route commune pour les technologies de défense aérienne à courte portée.

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