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7 avril 2015 2 07 /04 /avril /2015 16:20
DARPA Close Air Support Success

7 avr. 2015 by DARPA


Close air support (CAS)—delivery of airborne munitions to support ground forces—is difficult and dangerous because it requires intricate coordination between combat aircrews and dismounted ground agents. DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program focuses on technologies to enable sharing of real-time situational awareness and weapons systems data through approaches designed to work with almost any aircraft. PCAS envisions more precise, prompt and easy air-ground coordination for CAS and other missions under stressful operational conditions, and seeks to minimize the risk of friendly fire and collateral damage by enabling the use of smaller munitions to hit smaller, multiple or moving targets.

On March 27, DARPA successfully tested the full PCAS prototype system for the first time as part of a U.S. Marine Corps infantry/aviation training exercise conducted in partnership with the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, stationed in Yuma, Arizona. The demonstration marked the first successful integration of automated, digital, real-time coordination capability into a military aircraft system, including rail-launched munitions, digital data links and advanced software.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
A V-22A Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5)

A V-22A Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5)



March 21, 2015: Strategy Page


China has responded to Japanese efforts to defend the Senkaku Islands by building a helicopter base on a Chinese island 335 kilometers from the Senkakus, This is within range of transport helicopters that could bring in troops and weapons in under two hours. This is seen as a response to the Japanese decision in late 2014 to purchase 17 American MV-22 transports. This the Japanese did to defend the Senkaku Islands from possible surprise Chinese attack. The V-22s are faster than helicopters but Japanese territory is about a hundred kilometers farther away than Chinese land. So given sufficient warning the Chinese and Japanese occupation forces would arrive on the Senkakus at the same time.


Japan first raised the possibility of buying MV-22 “Osprey” tilt rotor transports in 2013. These would be able to quickly move reinforcements to the Senkakus if the Chinese decided to land troops there and declare such an occupation as proof of Chinese ownership. The Senkakus are uninhabited islets 320 kilometers southeast of the Chinese mainland, 167 kilometers northeast of Taiwan, and 426 kilometers west of Japan's Okinawa Island. Taiwan also claims the Senkakus, which have a total area of 6.3 square kilometers. The islands were discovered by Chinese fishermen in the 16th century and taken over by Japan in 1879. They are valuable now because of the 380 kilometer economic zone nations can claim in their coastal waters. This includes fishing and possible underwater oil and gas fields.


The U.S. has also noted the usefulness of V-22s in the Western Pacific. In 2013 the U.S. moved 23 of its MV-22s to an American base on Okinawa. Both the U.S. and Japan long assumed that the biggest threat was the new Chinese Zubr air cushion craft that could get troops and vehicles to the Senkakus in five hours. From Okinawa MV-22s could reach the Senkakus within an hour. China has been getting more aggressive about its claims on the Senkakus, sending more warships and aircraft near the islands, which Japan considers a provocation and possible prelude to a Chinese attempt to establish small bases on the larger islets. One has 4.3 square kilometers of space and its tallest point is 383 meters above sea level. The next largest has 1.08 square kilometers and reaches 177 meters above sea level. The next smaller islets are .32 and .45 square kilometers and basically the peaks of underwater mountains, as are four even smaller ones, three of which only appear during low tide. The largest island has wild goats and some other small mammals as well as vegetation. The only source of fresh water is rain that collects in depressions and crevices. The five largest islands are frequented by sea birds, sometimes for breeding. For a long time the only human visitors were fishermen with boat trouble or in need of fresh water or some of the unique herbs found on the larger islands. Because of the dispute with China there are now more Japanese tourists.


China has a history of installing small numbers of troops on islets or reefs (via structures built on stilts) whose ownership China disputes. China then supplies these troops at great expense via boat from the mainland and threatens to strike back if its “garrisons” are attacked. Thus the Japanese watch the Senkakus carefully, in case China tries to send in “occupation forces.” The U.S. has made it clear that its MV-22s in Okinawa would be available to move Japanese troops to the Senkakus in the event of an emergency.


Zubr class air cushion vehicle

Zubr class air cushion vehicle

The 27 ton MV-22B cruises at 445 kilometers an hour and its endurance is about 3.5 hours per sortie. The MV-22B can carry up to 32 troops or 9 tons of cargo. The Zubr class air cushion vehicles are 555 ton craft that can carry 130 tons (three tanks or a combination of lighter armored or non-armored vehicles). Top speed is 110 kilometers an hour and range is 480 kilometers. The crew of 31 usually stays out less than 8 hours per mission. The Zubrs also carry two stabilized MLRs (multiple tube rocket launchers), 4 short range anti-aircraft missiles systems (Igla-1Ms) and 2 AK-630 six-barrel 30mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS), for defense against anti-ship missiles. Currently China has two Zubrs and two more are on order. The most likely Chinese transport helicopter for this mission is the Russian Mi-8 with a max speed of 260 kilometers an hour.

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10 octobre 2014 5 10 /10 /octobre /2014 05:45
Six U.S. military aircraft as well as U.S. Marines arrive in Ebola hot zone

A C-17 U.S. military aircraft arrived in Liberia Thursday with the first shipment of increased U.S. military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight. The cargo included a heavy duty forklift, a drill set and generator and a team of 7 military personnel, including engineers and airfield specialists. (photo USAFRICOM)



October 9, 2014  by David Pugliese


Six U.S. military planes arrived in the Ebola hot zone Thursday with more Marines, as West Africa’s leaders pleaded for the world’s help in dealing with a crisis that one called “a tragedy unforeseen in modern times.”


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Six U.S. military aircraft as well as U.S. Marines arrive in Ebola hot zone
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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:30
US Military Aircraft Operating In Northern Iraq

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft takes off from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) on June 20. (Staff Sgt. Lukas Atwell Marine Corps)


Aug. 13, 2014 - By ANDREW TILGHMAN – Defense News


US helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 US troops, defense officials said Wednesday.


The Ospreys arrived overnight Tuesday as they ferried about 130 additional US troops into the airfield, which is in or near the Kurdish city of Irbil, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.


“They will stay there until they are no longer required,” Warren said of the aircraft. “There is no timeline.”


The new US troops include more than 80 Marines and dozens of special operations soldiers. Those troops were deployed from other locations within US Central Command, Warren said.


The expanding Iraq operation, which has no assigned name, comes as the White House is considering a more aggressive humanitarian mission to rescue the estimated 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis who are trapped on a nearby mountain, surrounded by Islamic State militants and on the verge of starvation.


The precise number of US aircraft on the ground in northern Iraq is likely to fluctuate, but for now includes about four MV-22 Ospreys and several rotary-wing aircraft, defense officials said.


The aircraft will support the 130 new US troops authorized by President Obama on Tuesday night. Their mission is limited to conducting intelligence assessments on Islamic State forces and helping to prepare possible recommendations for an expanded humanitarian assistance mission to help the Yazidis. Among those 130 new troops are some aircrew personnel and maintainers, Warren said.


About 1,000 US troops are now in Iraq, including about 200 in Irbil, which is under assault from Islamic State forces. In total, about 900 troops are providing security for US personnel and conducting intelligence assessments. About 100 more are on permanent assignment to the US Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq and arrived before the militants began seizing large swaths of Iraq territory in June.


On Wednesday, a White House official reiterated Obama’s vow to keep US troops out of direct combat. “What he’s ruled out is reintroducing US forces into combat on the ground in Iraq,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.


However, the precise definition of “combat” is unclear. At the Pentagon, Warren said he did not want to get into “the whole debate over, ‘When does an action become combat?’ ”


“Make no mistake ... these personnel are in Iraq where there is unrest and there is an active enemy. That said, their purpose is [to] assess ... options for humanitarian assistance [in Irbil]. In Baghdad, their purpose is to assess the capability of the Iraqi security forces,” Warren said.

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5 avril 2014 6 05 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
photo USMC

photo USMC


Apr. 4, 2014  Business Insider


In a bid to increase the Marine Corps' crisis-response ability, the Corps is experimenting with using tablets to provide troops with real-time intelligence, the Marine Corps Times reports.


Marines will be using Samsung tablets that wirelessly connect through an encrypted internal wifi network hosted on a MV-22 Osprey. The Samsung tablets are standard off-the-shelf technology that have not been modified for combat use.

Read more


Photo gallery: Marine Corps’ mobile warriors

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Choppy East China Seas



4/1/2014 Strategy Page


EAST CHINA SEA (March 30, 2014) An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group Seven and is participating in Exercise Ssang Yong, an annual combined exercise conducted by Navy and Marine forces with the Republic of Korea in order to strengthen interoperability across the range of military operations. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christian Senyk)

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Bell-Boeing award V-22 multi-year contract

Jun. 13, 2013 by Dave Majumdar- FG


Washington DC - Bell-Boeing is being awarded a $4.89 billion contract modification to "definitise" a multi-year production contract for the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, the US Department of Defense announced on 12 June.


The contract covers the manufacture and delivery of 92 MV-22s for the US Marine Corps and seven CV-22 special operations aircraft for the US Air Force. But, moreover, it definitises a previously undefinitised contract to build Lot 17 production aircraft. It also solidifies plans for the advance acquisitions of long lead items for the 18th production lot of Ospreys. According to the Pentagon release, the work will be completed in September 2019.


Boeing had said earlier that it was expecting to sign the multi-year contract for the V-22 on 13 June, which had been delayed to due budgetary squabbles within the US government. Company officials could not immediately comment on the contract award, but say they will make a statement on 13 June.


Signing the new multi-year deal could pave the way for international sales of the Osprey.

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