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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 08:00

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Le BPC Dixmude au retour de ses essais en mer, le 30 avril

 

03/05/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Il n'y aura pas de seconds essais en mer avant livraison, preuve que la campagne menée la semaine dernière au large de Belle-Ile s'est parfaitement déroulée. Du 26 au 30 avril, conformément au planning fixé, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude, réalisé par les chantiers STX France, a appareillé pour la première fois de Saint-Nazaire, afin de mener des essais de propulsion, de manoeuvrabilité et de navigabilité. A bord, on comptait quelques 320 personnes, dont une centaine comprenant l'équipage de conduite de la Marine nationale ainsi que les équipes de DCNS et de la Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA). Quasiment terminé, le nouveau BPC de la flotte française est revenu samedi dernier à Saint-Nazaire, où STX va achever les travaux en vue d'un départ du navire début juillet vers Toulon. Depuis le port varois, DCNS procèdera alors aux essais et à la mise au point du système de combat et du système d'armes, la livraison du Dixmude étant prévue début 2012.

 

Troisième BPC du type Mistral, le navire mesure 199 mètres de long et affichera un déplacement d'environ 21.000 tonnes en charge. Ses installations aéronautiques lui permettront d'accueillir 16 hélicoptères de type NH90 et Tigre (ou autres), le pont d'envol comprenant 6 spots d'appontage. Les capacités amphibies sont également importantes, le radier pouvant abriter quatre chalands de débarquement de type CTM ou deux catamarans rapides de type EDA-R, dont le premier exemplaire, conçu par CNIM, est actuellement en achèvement aux chantiers Socarenam de Boulogne-sur-Mer. Les ponts garages et les logements permettent, quant à eux, l'embarquement de 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars lourds) et 450 hommes de troupe. Comme ses deux aînés, le Mistral et le Tonnerre, livrés en 2006 et 2007, le Dixmude sera également à même de diriger une opération interarmées et interalliée. Pour cela, il abrite un vaste PC de 800m² capable d'accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs. Enfin, le BPC bénéficiera de vastes installations hospitalières, comprenant notamment des blocs opératoires.

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27 avril 2011 3 27 /04 /avril /2011 08:00

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Le BPC Dixmude lors de son appareillage, hier, à Saint-Nazaire

crédits : BERNARD PREZELIN

 

27/04/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Construit par les chantiers STX France, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude a appareillé hier, de Saint-Nazaire, pour ses premiers essais en mer. Jusqu'à samedi, le navire effectuera différents tests de propulsion et de plateforme. Mis sur cale en janvier 2010, le Dixmude, commandé en avril 2009 au titre du plan de relance de l'économie, devrait rejoindre Toulon au mois de juillet. Depuis la base varoise de la Marine nationale, DCNS travaillera à la mise au point du système d'armes et du système de combat, en vue d'une livraison du navire début 2012. Le Dixmude rejoindra alors les deux premiers BPC de la flotte française, les Mistral et Tonnerre, qui avaient été assemblés à Brest (avec une moitié avant construite à Saint-Nazaire) et furent livrés en 2006 et 2007 par DCNS. En dehors du montage industriel, le Dixmude se distingue de ses aînés par diverses améliorations, notamment l'ajout d'un propulseur d'étrave supplémentaire et une visibilité améliorée au niveau de la passerelle de défense à vue. Longs de 199 mètres pour un déplacement de 21.500 tonnes en charge, les BPC peuvent embarquer16 hélicoptères lourds, deux engins de débarquement du type EDA-R (dérivé du L-CAT de CNIM), 70 véhicules (dont 13 chars Leclerc) et 450 hommes de troupe. Doté d'importantes infrastructures de commandement, avec un PC pouvant accueillir 150 postes d'opérateurs, ils disposent aussi d'un hôpital embarqué. Un quatrième navire de ce type doit être construit pour la marine française. Sa mise en service est prévue en 2019/2020 pour succéder au transport de chalands de débarquement Siroco. Son aîné, le TCD Foudre, sera quant à lui remplacé par le Dixmude. DCNS et STX cherchent, par ailleurs, à vendre le concept de BPC à des marines étrangères. Un accord a, notamment, été signé en janvier dernier avec la Russie, qui souhaite se doter de quatre bâtiments de ce type. Les négociations se poursuivent en vue d'aboutir à un contrat.

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20 avril 2011 3 20 /04 /avril /2011 19:00

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/HMCS_Victoria_SSK-876_near_Bangor.jpg

 

20 avril 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Après 5 années de travaux, le seul sous-marin canadien basé sur la côte Pacifique, sur la base d’Esquimalt, a repris la mer au cours du week-end. Dimanche soir, le HMCS Victoria est sorti de bassin pour être mis à quai dans le chantier naval du port d’Esquimalt. Il s’agit d’un moment important pour le programme canadien de sous-marins, puisque le HMCS Victoria est seulement le 2ème sous-marin à pouvoir prendre la mer, malgré le maintien de certaines restrictions [d’emploi]. L’autre sous-marin, le HMCS Corner Brook, est attendu à l’été à la base navale de Victoria en provenance d’Halifax (côte Atlantique) pour effectuer des patrouilles. Le HMCS Victoria faisait l’objet ; depuis 5ans — la moitié de sa « vie » sous pavillon canadien — de travaux importants d’entretien, de réparation et de modernisation. « Le Victoria est le premier sous-marin de sa classe sur lequel nous avons effectué des maintenances d’un niveau aussi complexe », a déclaré le Cmdr. Christopher Earl, l’autorité technique de la marine canadienne pour les sous-marins, lors d’un interview en février dernier. Il a ajouté qu’il ne pouvait donner d’estimation des coûts de réparation et de modernisation, parce les travaux se poursuivaient sur le HMCS Victoria. A l’issue des essais en mer, ce sous-marin sera le tout premier complètement opérationnel et capable de lancer des armes. A terme, l’objectif de la marine canadienne est de disposer, simultanément, de 3 sous-marins opérationnels, le 4ème étant alors en période d’entretien aux chantiers navals de Victoria, a indiqué Earl. « Tous les 6 à 8 ans, tout système embarqué doit être réparé ou entretenu, » a-t-il expliqué. « Notre programme n’est pas foncièrement différent de celui des autres forces sous-marines. »

 

L'analyse de la rédaction :

Pour mémoire, la durée d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire français, comme celui que subit actuellement le Vigilant, est d’environ 2 ans, 2 ans et demi. Et encore, cette durée comprend la modification du système d’armes liée au passage au missile M-51. Les travaux réalisés lors d’un “grand carénage” de sous-marin nucléaire sont autrement plus complexes que ceux réalisés à bord d’un sous-marin classique, fût-il de la classe Victoria...

 

Référence : Saanich News (Canada)

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19 avril 2011 2 19 /04 /avril /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/USS_Freedom.jpg/220px-USS_Freedom.jpg  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/37/USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg/220px-USS_Independence_LCS-2.jpg

LCS 1                                                                LCS 2

 

April 19, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

Now that the U.S. Navy has decided to put its new "Littoral Combat Ship" (LCS) into mass production, it faces years of uncertainty and experimentation as this radical new combat ship design seeks to find out what works, to what degree, and what doesn't. There is some nervousness about all this. The U.S. Navy has not introduced a radical new design for nearly a century. The last such new design was the aircraft carrier, which required two decades of experimentation, and a major war, to nail down what worked. Even the nuclear submarines of the late 1950s and early 60s were evolutionary compared to what the LCS is trying to do.

 

In the last five years, two different LCS designs were built, and put into service. Problems were encountered. The much smaller crew required some changes in how a crew ran a ship, and how many sailors and civilians were required back on land to support an LCS at sea. It was found that, so far, the interchangeable mission modules take far longer (2-3 days instead of 2-3 hours) to replace. The LCS has still not seen combat, and the navy wants the first violent encounter to be successful, or at least not disastrous. It is expected that there will be surprises, which is about all that can be guaranteed at this point.

 

The navy surprised everyone last year by choosing both designs, and requesting that the fifty or so LCS ships be split between the two very different looking ships. It was only recently, after over a decade of development, construction and delays, that both versions of the LCS entered service. Both were worked hard, to determine which model should become the standard design. Both ships delivered impressive performance. But the navy also believes that having two suppliers, even with different designs, will provide the kind of competition that will keep costs down and quality high. If one of the builders began to screw up, they would lose some, or all, of their orders. Such an incentive program has worked in the past. Current plans are to place an initial order for to 20 LCSs, to be built between 2011-15.

 

While both ships look quite different (one is a traditional monohull, while the other is a broader trimaran), they both share many common elements. One of the most important of these is the highly automated design, and smaller crew. Both ships have accommodations for only 75 personnel. Normally, a ship of this size would have a crew of about 200. The basic LCS crew is 40, with the other 35 berths occupied by operators of special equipment. But that is already being exceeded on one LCS, which has a detail of 15 sailors for handing special equipment and another 23 to take care of a helicopter. Another shortage encountered is time. Although sailors work a typical six hours on/twelve hours off routine, there are plenty of miscellaneous jobs that cut into off duty hours (taking on supplies and fuel while underway, standing fire/safety alert during aircraft or small boat operations and so on). At times, some sailors were only getting 5-6 hours sleep a day. Fortunately, the LCS uses a two crew system, with each crew being on the ship (at sea or in port) for 40 days, and then the other crew takes over. In addition to a second crew, there are more maintenance personnel available back at the LCS home port, to help with needed repairs and upgrades the crew would normally handle. But with the smaller crew, these chores will be taken care of in port, using additional personnel.

 

Built using "smartship" technologies, that actually do greatly reduce personnel requirements, the LCS was expected to get by with a crew of about 40-50 in basic configuration. The sea trials and three years of operations gave the militarized smartship features a workout. These sea trials were very important, because the LCS is over budget, behind schedule and, worst of all, an untried new concept. Many of the operations in the last two years have been of the sort LCS will encounter during its 30 year career. But the strain on the crew makes it clear that heavy combat operations might be more than current crew size can handle. An additional chore is the refueling at sea. The LCS was not built for long voyages, but these have to be undertaken to get the ships overseas, or moved to a different theater once there. Fuel replenishment ships must be available, and the crew has to be ready for a heavy workload.

 

The LCS crews are also modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. Thus about 40 percent of the ship is empty, with a large cargo hold into which the mission package gear is inserted (and then removed, along with the package crew, when it is no longer assigned to that ship.) Thus the LCS has two crews when underway, the "ship" crew and the mission package crew. The captain of the ship crew is in charge, and the officer commanding the mission package is simply the officer in charge of the largest equipment system on board. There are a variety of interchangeable modules (e.g., air defense, underwater warfare, special operations, surface attack, etc.), which allow the ships to be quickly reconfigured for various specialized missions. Crews will also be modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. The design and crew requirements for these module is still a work in progress, but also shows a need for more people, or more automation.

 

So far, the heavy workload has not hurt morale. The small crew means that everyone knows everyone, and it's standard for people to handle a number of different jobs. Even officers pitch in for any task that needs to be done. This kind of overworked enthusiasm is actually typical of smaller naval craft. These included World War II era PT boats, with crews of up to 17, and current minesweepers (with crews similar to an LCS) and larger patrol boats. There's also the "new" factor. In addition to being new ships, there is a new design and lots of new tech. This gets people pumped. But the experience of using the LCS has to be used to develop changes that will make these ships viable for the long haul.

 

The two different LCS designs are from Lockheed-Martin (monohull) and General Dynamics (trimaran). The first LCS, the monohull USS Freedom, completed its sea trials and acceptance inspections two years ago. The ship did very well, with far fewer (about 90 percent fewer) problems (or "material deficiencies") than is usual with the first warship in a class. USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid down by General Dynamics in late 2005 and commissioned in January 2010.

 

Both LCS designs were supposed to be for ships displacing 2,500 tons, with a full load draft of under 3.3 meters/ten feet (permitting access to very shallow "green" and even "brown" coastal and riverine waters, where most naval operations have taken place in the past generation). Top speed was expected was to be over 80 kilometers with a range of 2,700 kilometers. Basic endurance is 21 days, and final displacement was closer to 3,000 tons.

 

LCS is currently armed with a 57mm gun, four 12.7mm machine-guns, two 30mm autocannon and a 21 cell SeaRam system for aircraft and missile defense. The RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles replace Phalanx autocannon. SeaRAM has a longer range (7.5 kilometers) than the Phalanx (two kilometers). Last year, the navy decided to equip LCS with a surface launched version of the Griffin air-to-surface missile. The Griffin is an alternative to the Hellfire II, which weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds) and carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead and has a range of 8,000 meters. In contrast, the Griffin weighs only 16 kg (35 pounds), with a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by the larger Hellfire missile. Griffin has a pop-out wings, allowing it to glide, and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire. The surface-launched Griffin weighs about twice as much as the air launched version, because of the addition of a rocket to get it into the air, after which it can glide to the target.

 

Ultimately, the navy hoped to have between 50 and 60 LCSs by 2014-18, at a cost of $460 million (after the first five.) The USS Freedom ended up costing nearly $600 million, about twice what the first ship in the class was supposed to have cost. The navy believes it has the cost down to under $450 million each as mass production begins.

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17 avril 2011 7 17 /04 /avril /2011 06:00

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Flag_of_Australia.svg/125px-Flag_of_Australia.svg.png

 

April 15, 2011 Australian Strategic Policy Institute - defense-aerospace.com

 

Funds must be allocated in the May budget for early design work on Australia's next submarine if a serious capability gap is to be avoided, Defence experts have said. Time is running out if new submarines are to be in operation by 2025 the date proposed in the latest Defence Capability Plan update. That plan and the 2009 Defence White Paper calls for the construction of 12 new submarines at a cost of at least $36 billion. They would replace the six Collins class submarines currently in service. Experts from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute have said that given this will be Australia's most expensive ever weapons program and a similar spend to the National Broadband Network pressure from the Government and voters for sound planning and effective delivery would be intense. Defence insiders have already said, off-the-record, the Navy is dreaming if it expects the Government to sign off on the 12-boat plan this year. Mark Thomson, the director of budget and maintenance at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the Government needed to use the budget to get the project moving. A failure to do so would likely result in the existing boats reaching the end of their effective lives before their replacements were ready to put to sea. This had happened in the transition from the old Oberon class boats to the Collins class between 1992 and 2003. While Defence had started winding back the use of the outdated O-boats in the early 1990s, the Collins class boats were not fully operational until 2003. Andrew Davies, ASPI's operations and capability director, said this created a decade-long capability gap that had seen many experienced submariners lost to the fleet. The Collins class boats have been plagued by crew shortages ever since. Mr Thomson, who worked with Mr Davies on a discussion paper on the submarine replacement issue that was released late yesterday, said the Government was due to make a ''first pass decision on the shape and size of the next submarine fleet in the next two years''. Once that was done, the initial design work expected to cost between $500 million and $1 billion could begin. The problem is that at the moment Defence does not have the information it needs to make informed recommendations to Government he said. Mr Davies agrees. ''You need to understand the true costs and benefits if you are to do an informed cost benefit analysis,'' Mr Davies said. He said Defence had a history of playing down costs while playing up benefits. At this point, despite the White Paper recommendations, the only certainties surrounding the next generation of submarines is that they will be conventionally powered and they will be built in Adelaide. Political factors have at least partly driven those parameters. The size of the boats, the numbers to be built and the tasks they should be required to perform are yet to be determined, Mr Davies said. He described the White Paper recommendation as an ''ambit claim'' and questioned the need for the submarines to be able to deploy special forces units. Mr Davies said it was difficult to conceive of a circumstance under which the need to land a small group of men on a beach would justify placing a $3 billion submarine at risk. Meanwhile, others haven't given up the fight for the nuclear option. Graham Harris, the president of The Navy League, has called for nuclear power to remain under consideration.

 

Click here to download the related report “The once and future submarine: raising and sustaining Australia’s underwater capability” (7 pages in PDF format) from the ASPI website.

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15 avril 2011 5 15 /04 /avril /2011 22:59

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15 Apr 2011 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI DefenseNews

 

NEW DELHI - Construction delays to four French-designed submarines have led India to reverse an 11-year-old decision and seek German help to upgrade four older subs. Estimated to cost about $500 million, the upgrade of the four HDW T-1500-class subs will replace their weapon control systems, data links, torpedoes and missiles. The Indian defense ministry wants the German submarines to be upgraded at Indian facilities with technical assistance from HDW Germany. The Indian Navy has seen its fleet of usable submarines shrink from 21 in the 1980s to 14 today, while the Chinese sub fleet, including nuclear boats, grows, said a Navy official. In 2000, when the Navy decided to buy the new Scorpene submarines, it shelved plans to upgrade the T-1500s, which have now been in disrepair for several years. The French-designed boats, now planned or under licensed production by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), are more than three years behind schedule, a senior defense ministry official said. Under the $3.9 billion contract signed in 2005 with France, construction of the first three Scorpenes began in December 2006, December 2007 and August 2008. The MDL contract said the six subs were to be delivered annually beginning in December 2012. Instead, the first one is now scheduled for delivery in 2015. Besides the Scorpene troubles, the Navy is also seeing delays in its $10 billion purchase of air-independent-propulsion submarines, the official said. The world's sub builders are expected to be invited to bid on the job, called Project 75I, in the next three months, the Navy official said. The T-1500s were built under an $89 million deal signed in 1983. HDW's shipyard in Germany built two of the T-1500s in 56 months apiece; the other two were built under license by MDL, taking 98 months and 116 months respectively. Later in the decade, New Delhi blacklisted HDW because of alleged bribery in the sub deal. The ban was lifted after an inquest by India's Central Bureau of Investigation ended without resolution.

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12 avril 2011 2 12 /04 /avril /2011 18:30
Navantia reçoit la pile à combustible du 1er sous-marin S-80

 

 

12 avril 2011 par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS

 

Le chantier naval Navantia de Carthagène a reçu la pile à combustible du système de propulsion anaérobie (AIP Air Independent Propulsion). Elle équipera le premier sous-marin S-80 destiné à la marine espagnole. La pile à combustible a été construite par UTC, la même entreprise qui les fournit aussi à la NASA. Il s’agit du cœur du système de propulsion. Elle permet d’augmenter la durée pendant laquelle le sous-marin peut rester en plongée. La pile à combustible produit de l’électricité à partir d’un mélange gazeux composé d’hydrogène et d’oxygène purs. Navantia a retenu cette technologie parce qu’elle la considère comme la plus sûre technologiquement. Elle permet une production importante d’électricité, et peut fonctionner à basse température.

 

Référence : ABC (Espagne)

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15 mars 2011 2 15 /03 /mars /2011 18:30
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16 février 2011 3 16 /02 /février /2011 02:02
Navantia propose à l’Australie un sous-marin "XXL"

 

 

Par Rédacteur en chef. le 15 février 2011

 

Navantia ne veut laisser passer aucune chance dans l’un des plus importants contrats de son histoire. Les chantiers navals espagnols ont inclus dans leur proposition à l’Australie un nouveau sous-marin, plus gros que le S-80. Selon des sources de l’entreprise espagnole, la réponse à l’appel d’offres que Navantia a déposée à la mi-janvier, comprend 3 propositions. Un sous-marin similaire au S-80 commandé par la marine espagnole, un S-80 adapté aux exigences australiennes, et un S-80 XXL, de dimensions plus importantes. Bien que l’appel d’offres n’en soit encore qu’à ses débuts, cette période est l’un des moments les plus délicats, parce que la marine australienne doit se décider pour un modèle de sous-marin. C’est pourquoi la prochaine visite en Espagne de responsables australiens pourrait permettre de préciser les détails. D’autres pays, comme l’Allemagne (avec HDW) et la France (avec DCNS), sont aussi candidats, et on n’attend pas avant 2015 ou 2016 la désignation du gagnant. Le premier sous-marin ne sera pas livré avant 2018. Actuellement, même le nombre de sous-marins n’est pas connu. Si l’Australie se décide pour un sous-marin de la taille du S-80, la marine australienne pourrait en commander jusqu’à 12. Par contre, si elle retient un sous-marin de grande taille, elle se contenterait de 6. "Dans les 2 cas, le contrat dépasserait les 5 milliards €", indiquent les mêmes sources.

 

Référence :Defensa (Espagne)

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13 octobre 2010 3 13 /10 /octobre /2010 11:55
Les bâtiments de soutien et d'assistance hauturiers - BSAH

 

13/10/2010 Sources : DGA

 

Les bâtiments de soutien et d'assistance hauturiers (BSAH) sont destinés à remplacer les bâtiments de soutien de région (BSR), remorqueur de haute mer (RHM) et remorqueur ravitailleur (RR) en fin de vie ainsi que les bâtiments de soutien, d'assistance et de dépollution (BSAD) actuellement affrétés par la marine.

 

Leurs missions seront le soutien des forces, le soutien de régions et la sauvegarde maritime.

 

La flotte de BSAH pourrait être constituée de huit bâtiments : quatre utilisés en permanence par la marine et armés par des équipages militaires et quatre dont l'usage pourrait être partagé avec un tiers et qui pourraient être armés par des équipages civils.

 

Le projet est en phase de préparation et la possibilité de recourir à un contrat de partenariat d'Etat (CPE) est actuellement à l'étude.

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