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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 12:20
MV-22 Osprey at Morón Air Base - photo US DoD

MV-22 Osprey at Morón Air Base - photo US DoD

 

12.10.2015 Par Murielle Delaporte – V.A.

 

High-tech. Mi-avion, mi-hélicoptère, le “convertible” de transport tactique Bell Boeing V-22 a révolutionné les méthodes du combat aéromobile dans les forces américaines. Nous sommes montés à bord de cet aéronef futuriste. Reportage.

 

Aux commandes de son appareil, le colonel Michael Orr, commandant de l’escadron d’essai VMX-22 (Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22), s’exerce inlassablement à l’approche tactique d’une zone censée être en territoire hostile : une bonne vingtaine d’atterrissages et de décollages effectués en boucle sur une petite prairie située au milieu des bois, quelque part en Caroline du Nord. Autant d’approches différentes permettant de tromper l’ennemi et d’échapper à une éventuelle menace sol-air — canons, mitrailleuses et autres missiles —, autant d’options rendues possibles par la technologie unique de ce curieux hybride d’hélicoptère et d’avion qu’est le V-22 Osprey… Pour les personnels habitués au Transall, le vieux cheval de bataille du transport tactique français, le seul point commun de la manoeuvre est le degré de nausée que peuvent parfois ressentir les passagers — dont l’auteur de ces lignes, bien que très confortablement assise sur la banquette latérale arrière… L’expérience s’avère vraiment unique lorsque, à pleine puissance, le V-22 s’arrache littéralement du sol, avec vue plongeante par la rampe de soute demeurée béante !

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 19:55
Ouverture du domaine d’interopérabilité du BPC avec le V-22

 

29/09/2015 Sources : Marine nationale

 

Le 28 septembre 2015, le centre d’expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l’aéronautique navale (CEPA/10S) a tenu la conférence de clôture sur l’interopérabilité entre BPC et aéronef convertible V22-Osprey à bord du bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude. Cette conférence concrétise le résultat de deux années d’investigation et de tests communs.

 

En 2014, les premiers essais débutent grâce à la coopération de groupes expéditionnaires américains (ESG – Expeditionary Strike Groups). Un V22-Osprey effectue pour la première fois des tests d’appontage sur le pont d’envol du Dixmude en février.

 

En juillet dernier, lors de la mission Jeanne d’Arc 2015, des appontages suivis d’exercices de ravitaillement - moteurs coupés - ont apporté la confirmation d’une interopérabilité avec les V22.

 

Une fois l’homologation prononcée par le CEPA/10S, le BPC, se verra doté d’une nouvelle fonction : l’accueil et le soutien de missions opérationnelles de ces aéronefs spécialisés dans le transport de troupes et le ravitaillement.

 

Cette capacité ouvre  la voie à de nouvelles interactions avec les marines américaine et japonaise, cette dernière ayant récemment acquis des V22. Le CEPA débutera prochainement des essais similaires sur le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle.

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20 juillet 2015 1 20 /07 /juillet /2015 17:20
photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

 

09/07/2015 Sources : EMA

 

Dimanche 5 juillet 2015, le centre d’expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l’aéronautique navale (CEPA) a conduit au large de Djibouti une campagne d’homologation de l’aéronef de transport américain Boeing V-22 Osprey  sur le BPC Dixmude.

 

L’objectif recherché au travers de cette homologation est de renforcer l’interopérabilité entre les marines française et américaine. Le BPC Dixmude a pour cela accueilli durant quelques heures un V-22 de l’US Marine Corps du 15ème MEU, provenant de l’USS Essex. Le V-22 est un convertible, c’est-à-dire un croisement entre un avion de transport militaire et un hélicoptère. Sa conception à rotors basculants lui permet de décoller et d’atterrir verticalement. En 2014, pour la première fois, une série d’appontages avait été réalisée sur  les BPC Dixmude puis Mistral. Un spot d’atterrissage spécifique au V-22 avait ainsi été choisi, à proximité du spot hélicoptère n°1, puis expérimenté. A des fins de progressivité, les aéronefs n’avaient alors stationné que quelques minutes sur le pont d’envol. Cette fois, en plus des appontages désormais « classiques » qui ont été réalisés, l’équipe du CEPA a conduit toute une série d’expérimentations afin de démontrer la capacité du BPC à accueillir un V-22 à des fins opérationnelles : embarquer et débarquer du personnel, ravitailler et stationner sur le pont d’envol moteurs coupés.

 

L’enjeu était donc de taille.

 

Les équipes du pont d’envol, de la passerelle et de la sécurité ont été briefés par leurs homologues américains. Lorsque le V-22 s’est approché, les marins ont été impressionnés par l’imposante machine, qui est venue se poser sur l’avant du pont d’envol du BPC Dixmude. C’est un grand pas qui a ainsi été fait, sous le contrôle de l’équipe du CEPA venue de métropole pour l’occasion, et qui a pris place à la fois à bord du BPC et du V-22. Les présentations de l’aéronef se sont succédées,  suivies de mesures de températures sur le pont. Le posé final a été mis à profit pour débarquer du personnel et effectuer un ravitaillement rotors tournants, avant de couper les moteurs – une première sur un BPC français.

 

Cette opération a été un grand succès : toutes les mesures et manœuvres prévues par le CEPA ont pu être réalisées. Les experts pourront se prononcer sur l’homologation et le cadre futur de l’interopérabilité du V-22 sur BPC. Good Job !

photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale
photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale
photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale

photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale

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2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 12:50
Talon II departs from England

 

27 janv. 2015 US Air Force

 

The last MC-130 H Talon II takes off from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, for the last time.

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10 décembre 2014 3 10 /12 /décembre /2014 17:20
V-22 Osprey photo Boeing

V-22 Osprey photo Boeing

 

December 8, 2014 Marcus Weisgerber - Defense One

 

The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey has been deployed globally since 2007 with only one major offensive weapon: a machine gun pointed out the back of the aircraft.

Besides that, the tiltrotor aircraft – which takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but can pivot its engines and rotors forward to fly long distances at a higher speed like a fixed-wing plane – has relied on its speed and agility to protect itself from ground fire. But that could change soon.

Bell-Boeing announced on Monday that it had successfully fired rockets from a V-22 test aircraft.

 

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:45
Final Inspections

 

8/12/2014 Strategy Page

 

Crew members conduct final inspections on a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response July 26, 2014, before it takes off from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, to provide support to a military-assisted departure from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The U.S. Department of Defense, at the request of the U.S. Department of State, authorized U.S. Service members to support in the evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel from Libya. (DoD photo by 1st Lt. Maida Kalic, U.S. Marine Corps)

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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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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 11:20
photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

 

par Marine-Nationale

 

Entrainement opérationnel LCAC et V22 de l'US NAVY sur Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement.

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Phantom Badger Certified for V-22 Transport

 

Apr 8, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Versatility offers more deployment options to warfighters

 

After a series of successful tests, the U.S. Navy last month certified that the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Phantom Badger combat support vehicle can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. That is another step toward providing warfighters with more options to deploy the versatile vehicle.

 

The tests included form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations exceeding four G-forces.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
photo USMC

photo USMC

 

7 April 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger – FG

 

Washington DC - The US military continues talks with potential foreign buyers of Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey as the service works to decrease the tiltrotor's costs.

 

US Marine Corps Col Daniel Robinson, manager of the V-22 joint programme office, tells reporters that the service is getting closer to securing a contract to sell V-22s to Israel, and says the military has a team of negotiators in that country working on a deal.

 

He adds that up to one dozen other countries have shown significant interest in the aircraft, but declines to specify those nations or say how close the military and Bell Boeing are to securing an order.

 

"Its definitely growing in demand," he says.

 

Robinson's comments, made during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 7 April, follow an announcement in January that Israel requested permission from the US Defense Department to buy six V-22s.

 

Then, in February, at the Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison said Israel is now interested in acquiring a total of 12 aircraft, six of which would come from existing orders that are assigned to the Marine Corps.

 

Any order from Israel or another country would help Bell Boeing preserve V-22 sales beyond 2015 and could help keep production alive past 2019.

 

Robinson notes, however, that the production line has enough capacity in the next few years to handle some new aircraft orders.

 

Meanwhile, Robinson says the US military continues a rigorous effort to bring down the expense of V-22s, which currently have a flyaway cost of about $72.1 million, according the US Navy's recently-released fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.

 

Robinson notes that the V-22's cost per flight hour has dropped 25% since 2009 while its readiness has increased 20%.

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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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26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
Ducommun Awarded Contracts from Bell Helicopter for V-22 Osprey

 

 

Mar 25, 2014 ASDNews Source : Ducommun Incorporated

 

Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE: DCO) (“Ducommun” or the “Company”) today reported that it has received contracts valued at $5.6 million from Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, Inc. (NYSE: TXT), to provide electronic assemblies and wiring harnesses for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft through January 2015. The Company will manufacture the electronic subassemblies at its Huntsville, Ark., plant and the wiring harnesses at its Joplin, Mo., facility. Ducommun has supported the V-22 program since 2005.

 

“We are certainly pleased to see our relationship with Bell continue to strengthen and grow through the V-22 program,” said Anthony J. Reardon, chairman and chief executive officer. “This latest award expands our support of the program with a new electronic subassembly — which we will manufacture with the same commitment to product integrity for our customer and, most importantly, for the V-22 fighter pilots and combat troops.”

 

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23 décembre 2013 1 23 /12 /décembre /2013 15:45
Trois appareils CV-22 Osprey touchés par des tirs au Sud Soudan

 

22.12.2013 journal-aviation.com (reuters)

 

Trois appareils américains Osprey CV-22 ont été atteints par des tirs samedi alors qu'ils tentaient d'évacuer des ressortissants américains pris dans les combats au Soudan du Sud, a annoncé l'US Army. Quatre militaires américains ont été blessés par ces tirs.

 

L'Osprey CV-22 est un appareil de transport hybride, qui tient de l'avion et de l'hélicoptère puisque ses rotors basculants lui permettent de décoller et atterrir verticalement.

 

Les trois appareils ont été atteints par des tirs alors qu'ils s'approchaient de la zone d'évacuation dans l’État du Jonglei, au nord de la capitale Juba, a précisé dans un communiqué le commandement militaire américain pour l'Afrique (Africa Command).

 

Endommagés par ces tirs, ils ont gagné un terrain d'aviation dans un pays voisin et la mission a été annulée.

 

Les Nations unies ont par ailleurs annoncé qu'un de leurs hélicoptères, sur les quatre envoyés à Youai, également dans l’État de Jonglei, a aussi essuyé des tirs d'armes légères vendredi. Il n'y a pas eu de blessé.

 

L'armée allemande a annoncé samedi avoir évacué du Soudan du Sud 98 personnes, des Allemands et d'autres ressortissants étrangers, qui ont été conduits en Ouganda. Parmi les personnes évacuées figurait l'ambassadeur d'Allemagne à Juba, a précisé le ministère allemand des Affaires étrangères.

 

Un autre avion a ramené à Berlin le général Hans-Werner Fritz, chef des opérations de l'armée allemande, ses adjoints et cinq autres personnes, précise la Bundeswehr.

 

Le président sud-soudanais Salva Kiir, qui appartient à l'ethnie Dinka, accuse son ancien vice-président Riek Machar, un Nuer qu'il a limogé en juillet dernier, de vouloir s'emparer du pouvoir par la force. Après avoir fait rage à Juba, les combats se sont étendus à d'autres régions du pays.

 

(Carl Odera, avec George Obulutsa à Nairobi, Elias Biryabarema à Kampala, Aaron Maasho à Addis-Abeba, Phil Stewart et Missy Ryan à Washington, Andreas Kenner à Berlin; Eric Faye, Danielle Rouquié et Guy Kerivel pour le service français)

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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
Navy releases funds for V-22 procurement

 

 

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Dec. 18 (UPI)

 

Funding for a second-year procurement of Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force has been executed by the U.S. Navy.

 

The funding amount is $1.3 billion and covers three aircraft for the Air Force and 19 aircraft for the Marines.

 

"Since Initial Operating Capability in 2007, V-22s have been answering the nation's call traveling into harm's way," a Navy official said.

 

"From combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the recent disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in the Philippines, the V-22 continues to prove itself as a game-changing aircraft. Ospreys enable our Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations to execute missions not possible with conventional aircraft."

 

The V-22 is a multi-mission, tilt rotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capability. It has a maximum speed of 316 miles per hour at sea level and a range of 879 miles. A total of 233 V-22 Ospreys are in operation.

 

The second-year funding comes under a multiyear funding procurement contract for the purchase of a total of 100 V-22s over the next five years.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Potential V-22 customers advised to take advantage of slot availability

 

Nov. 19, 2013 by FG

 

Dubai - Potential customers for the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor are being urged to take advantage of spare delivery slots, which will be available during the US government’s next five-year contract for the type.

 

The Department of Defense’s recently signed second multiyear procurement deal (MYP II) covers the planned manufacture of 100 V-22s for the US Marine Corps and US Air Force through the 2014 to 2019 fiscal years.

 

“The production profile is declining [from MYP I], and there is spare capacity for FMS [Foreign Military Sales] customers,” says USMC Col Dan Robinson, V-22 joint programme manager.

 

US defense secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced that Washington is to “expedite” the delivery of six V-22s to the Israeli air force, but Robinson declines to comment on the programme’s current status. Potential additional buyers are not being named, but he confirms: “I think we’ve got 18 or 19 [slots] left on the contract, and the capacity to add for whichever customer comes forward.”

 

Interest in the Middle East region is being shown in both the Osprey’s core military transport role, and also through its potential to receive a VIP cabin fit, Robinson says. He also hailed the USMC’s performance in deploying 12 MV-22s from Iwakuni in Japan to participate in humanitarian relief efforts mounted in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Philippines.

 

Meanwhile, the four MV-22s visiting the show this week completed a roughly 1,500nm (2,770km) self-deployment from a Marine Expeditionary Unit vessel off the coast of east Africa, each being refuelled three times in-flight. “That really demonstrates the versatility of this aircraft,” says Robinson, adding: “Since 2007, it has seen the full spectrum of operations.”

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4 novembre 2013 1 04 /11 /novembre /2013 07:30
Israel Will Buy 6 Osprey Aircraft, Hagel Announces

 

Oct 31, 2013 ASDNews Source : AFPS

 

Calling Israel’s self-defense capabilities and its qualitative military edge “central to both Israel and U.S. security interests,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced tonight that Israel will buy six V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for its air force.

 

Hagel made the announcement during his keynote address at the 100th annual Anti-Defamation League meeting in New York.

 

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:20
Osprey Assault

7/17/2013 Strategy Page

 

Three MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit take off from Samuel Hill Airfield in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area on July 16. The 31st MEU is participating in Talisman Saber 2013, a biennial exercise that enhances multilateral collaboration between U.S. and Australian forces for future combined operations, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

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5 juillet 2013 5 05 /07 /juillet /2013 11:20
Giving The Little Bird A Drink

7/4/2013 Strategy Page

 

A CV-22B Osprey receives fuel from a MC-130H Combat Talon II June 21, 2013, off the coast of Greenland. The aircraft landed in Iceland during its journey to Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, to allow for crew rest and refueling. The CV-22, assigned to the 7th Special Operations Squadron, is the first of 10 slated to arrive as part of the 352nd Special Operations Group expansion, which will last through the end of 2014. The MC-130 is assigned to the 7th SOS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Yahemiak)

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 11:30
A KC-130J load master watches a refueling of an MV-22B Osprey during a training mission in 2012. (Cpl. Michael Petersheim/US Marine Corps)

A KC-130J load master watches a refueling of an MV-22B Osprey during a training mission in 2012. (Cpl. Michael Petersheim/US Marine Corps)

Jun. 27, 2013 - By OREN DORELL USA Today  - Defense News

 

The United States plans to give Israel weapons that would enable it to send ground forces against Iranian nuclear facilities that it can’t penetrate from the air.

 

The deal includes air-refueling aircraft, advanced radars for F-15 fighter jets, and up to eight V-22 Ospreys, an aircraft that can land like a helicopter and carry two dozen special operations forces with their gear over long distances at aircraft speeds.

 

The Osprey “is the ideal platform for sending Israeli special forces into Iran,” says Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst now at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

 

The aircraft could help solve Israel’s inability to breach Iran’s uranium enrichment facility buried under a granite mountain at Fordow. It might be impregnable to even the heaviest conventional bunker-busting munitions in the U.S. arsenal, Pollack said. Israeli military planners have been brainstorming how to conduct an effective operation, Pollack said, citing conversations with senior Israeli military officers.

 

“One of the possibilities is (Israel) would use special forces to assault the Fordow facility and blow it up,” Pollack said.

 

The weapons deal would be part of a military aid package for Israel that includes $1 billion for up to eight V-22 tilt-rotors; $500 million to retrofit radars into F-15 fighters and another $1 billion for a variety of air-to-ground weapons. Additional details about the U.S.-financed deal were revealed during a visit to Washington by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on June 15.

 

The State Department said discussions of the arms deal are ongoing.

 

Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday had a working dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and will visit with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials through Saturday, discussing broad regional issues and the peace process.

 

Jonathan Schanzer, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said the arms package was part of an Israeli wish list including some items that were not discussed publicly to help it keep amilitary edge over other nations in the region and for possible operations against Iran.

 

Israel’s air force would be hard-pressed to cause lasting damage to the Iranian nuclear program because it cannot sustain long-term bombardment and has limited bunker-busting capabilities and limited air-refueling capabilities, said Kenneth Katzman, who co-wrote the 2012 report “Israel: Possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities” for the Congressional Research Service.

 

When he first announced the deal during a visit to Israel in April, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Ospreys would provide Israel with high-speed maritime search-and rescue-capabilities.

 

Yaalon said the arms sale would send a message to Israel’s chief adversary in the region.

 

“Without a credible military option, there’s no chance the Iranian regime will realize it has to stop the militarynuclear project,” Yaalon said.

 

Other parts of the arms package include Boeing’s KC-135 “Stratotanker,” which can refuel Ospreys and other aircraft while airborne and extend the tilt-rotor aircraft’s 426-mile range almost indefinitely. The deal also includes anti-radiation missiles that are used to target air defense systems, and advanced radars for Israel’s fleet of F-15 fighter jets, according to a Defense Department press release.

 

That equipment would increase Israel’s capabilities against Iran, said Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

 

The refueling equipment would extend the reach of Israeli special forces, which could be used against Iran as they were in Israel’s attack on a Syrian nuclear facility under construction in 2007, Karmon said.

 

In the 2007 attack, at least one Israeli team was on the ground to provide laser targeting of sophisticated airmunitions, Karmon said. “The same would be done for Iranian sites.”

 

The Osprey also could be used for search-and-rescue operations if Israeli aircraft involved in a complex airoperation are shot down and pilots endangered, Karmon said.

 

Michael Rubin, an analyst for the American Enterprise Institute, said senior U.S. and Israeli bombers would do significant damage to Iran’s hardened sites by targeting the entrances, and Israel could use the Ospreys for missions other than Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel may want the ability to send troops to secure chemical facilities in remote regions of Syria or to block Iranian shipments bound for terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula or Lebanon, Rubin said.

 

“Sudan and Eritrea are floating the idea of building an Iranian naval base or shipping Iranian missiles to the Gaza Strip,” Rubin said, referring to the Palestinian territory controlled by the terrorist group Hamas. “If you wanted to disrupt such missiles in a convoy, you’d do it with an Osprey.”

 

The arms deal also sends a message to Iran and reassurance to Israel that the United States is serious about standing by the Jewish state, Karmon said.

 

Katzman said he doesn’t think the arms sale provides Israel with significant new capabilities that Israel did not already have. He said the overall defense package, which also includes advanced F-16 fighter jets for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief rivals in the Persian Gulf, is more “a symbolic move to show (American) resolve to Iran,” Katzman said.

 

Contributing: Barbara Opall-Rome of Defense News

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15 juin 2013 6 15 /06 /juin /2013 21:20
CV 22 Osprey photo USAF

CV 22 Osprey photo USAF

Jun. 13, 2013 - By BARBARA OPALL-ROME – Defense News

 

Hopes to Repay With Future Military Aid

 

TEL AVIV — Israel’s Defense Ministry is asking the US government to guarantee billions of dollars in low-interest bridge loans for a Pentagon-proposed package of V-22 Ospreys, F-15 radars and precision-strike weaponry that it ultimately intends to fund with future military aid from the US.

 

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, when visiting here in April, announced that Washington “would make available to Israel a set of advanced new military capabilities” to augment Israel’s qualitative military edge.

 

At the time, Israeli defense and industry sources criticized the premature publicity generated by the Pentagon-proposed package, insisting negotiations on cost, quantities, payment terms and delivery schedules had not yet begun.

 

But in the past two months, MoD efforts to secure a US-backed loan for eventually US-funded systems on offer have intensified, with preliminary responses from relevant authorities in Washington expected later this summer, sources from both countries said.

 

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon aimed to advance the issue in meetings with lawmakers and Jewish leaders on Capitol Hill on Thursday. On Friday, Ya’alon is scheduled to fly to the Pentagon aboard an Osprey, where he will be greeted by Hagel ahead of their talks.

 

Under the novel, Israeli-proposed funding plan, US government guarantees would allow MoD to initiate near-term contracts for advanced, Pentagon-offered weaponry with cut-rate cash from commercial banks. Israel would pay only interest and servicing fees on the government-backed loan, with principle repaid from a new, 10-year military aid package that President Barack Obama — during a visit here in March — promised to conclude before the current bilateral aid agreement expires in 2018.

 

Israel is slated to receive $3.1 billion in annual Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant aid through 2017, minus some $155 million in rescissions due to US government-mandated sequester. Those funds, sources from both countries say, have already been tapped to cover payments on existing contracts for Israel’s first squadron of F-35I joint strike fighters, heavy armored carriers, trainer aircraft engines, transport planes and a host of US weaponry.

 

“Basically, they’re talking about the US government assuming the risk of billions of dollars in loans to be repaid by the US government with FMF promised in the out years,” a US source said.

 

In a Wednesday interview, the US source characterized discussions as “very preliminary” and said he had not yet heard a definitive figure for the amount of government-backed loans sought by Israel.

 

A second US official added: “There are a lot of creative options on how to fund these advanced platforms.”

 

$5 Billion or More

 

Several current and former Israeli officials, all of whom asked not to be named, estimated MOD’s official request, once submitted, could well exceed $5 billion if the Pentagon agreed to include a second squadron of F-35Is in the prospective funding plan.

 

The pending request for bridge funding would likely include $1 billion for up to eight V-22 tilt-rotors; $500 million to retrofit active electronically scanned array radars into F-15I fighters and another $1 billion for a variety of air-to-ground weapons. A second squadron of F-35Is — if approved for inclusion in the package — would boost requested funding by nearly $3 billion, sources here said.

 

At this point, Israeli government and industry sources said MoD and the Israel Air Force are still mulling Hagel’s offer to include aerial refueling tankers as part of the security assistance package.

 

In a Wednesday interview, a Defense Department source said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office would have to score the Israeli-requested loan to determine the servicing fees that Israel would pay in addition to interest and FMF-funded principle.

 

Aside from the Pentagon, he said the State Department, Treasury, National Security Staff and congressional leaders would be involved in the review process and that the requested US-backed loan would have to be approved by Congress.

 

Danny Ayalon, a former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Washington who was involved in earlier bilateral negotiations on loan guarantees and security assistance agreements, noted that Israel retains more than $3 billion in unused guarantees as a result of an October 2012 agreement with the US Treasury. That agreement gave Israel four more years to use the remainder of the $9 billion in Washington-backed loans granted in 2003 and set to expire later this year, provided they are used to promote economic growth.

 

“The remaining $3 billion-plus in US guarantees cannot be applied to investments in military hardware. But it’s my understanding that they could be converted to the kind of US-backed loans you’re talking about, if our good friends in Washington decide that’s what they want to do,” Ayalon told Defense News.

 

No Strings, But Expectations

 

In interviews here and in Washington, US officials were loath to link the pending response to Israel’s irregular financing request to Jerusalem’s readiness to resume long-stalled Palestinian peace talks. All underscored Washington’s unconditional commitment to Israel’s security.

 

Nevertheless, a senior US source noted that the unprecedented uptick in security support from the Obama White House was part of larger confidence-building efforts aimed at “encouraging the Israeli government to take those risky, yet necessary steps toward peace.”

 

The senior source referred to Obama’s March 20 press conference in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the US president said, “I actually believe that Israel’s security will be enhanced with a resolution to this [Israel-Palestinian peace] issue.”

 

When asked if US strings would be attached to the multibillion-dollar funding package under review, the source replied: “It’s not a matter of quid pro quo. There won’t be strings, but there are expectations.”

 

Disavowing Israel's Deputy Defense Minister

 

Bilateral discussion on US-backed loans and up to $37 billion in addition FMF aid through 2028 comes at a time of intensified shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry, aimed at bringing Israel and the Palestine Authority back to the negotiating table.

 

It also comes at a time of political posturing within Netanyahu’s right-of-center Likud Party and of early signs of the fierce ideological divides threatening the staying power of Israel’s barely three-month-old coalition government.

 

In the run-up to this week’s meetings in Washington, aides to Ya’alon and Netanyahu took pains to disavow untimely and embarrassing comments by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, an adamant opponent of the two-state solution championed by the White House and an overwhelming majority of the international community.

 

In a interview with the online Times of Israel, Ya’alon’s deputy insisted the Netanyahu government — despite the prime minister’s stated, personal support for “two states for two peoples” — would block any peace deal that would result in an independent Palestinian state.

 

Aggravating the faux pas, Danon suggested that Netanyahu was duping Washington and the international community with his ostensible support for resumed peace talks, since “he knows that Israel will not arrive at an agreement with the Palestinians in the near future.”

 

An MoD aide told Defense News that Danon’s remarks were politically motivated to advance himself within the Likud Party, and that they do not represent Ya’alon or Netanyahu — both Likud Party members — or the government of Israel. Similarly, a statement attributed to officials in the prime minister’s office rebuffed Danon’s remarks, insisting, “The Netanyahu government is interested in renewing diplomatic negotiations without preconditions.”

 

A spokesman for Danon said the deputy defense minister’s remarks reflected his well-known opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state and would not jeopardize his ability to carry out his duties at the Israel MoD

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14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of USS George H.W. Bush photo US Navy

MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of USS George H.W. Bush photo US Navy

13/06/2013 Par François Julian - air-cosmos.com

 

A la veille du Salon du Bourget, c'est un beau cadeau que vient de faire le Pentagone à Boeing en lui commandant pas moins de 99 exemplaires de l'hélicoptère convertible V-22 « Osprey ».

 

Ce contrat porte sur la livraison de 92 MV-22 pour l'US Navy et de 7 CV-22 pour l'US Air Force, sur les années fiscales 2013 à 2019. La valeur globale de cette commande est évaluée à 6,5 Md$. Une option pour 23 machines supplémentaires a également été négociée.

 

La précédente commande de grande ampleur de V-22 avait été passée en mars 2008. Elle portait alors sur la fabrication de 141 MV-22 pour les Marines et de 26 CV-22 pour l'armée de l'air américaine, le tout pour une valeur de 10,3 Md$.

 

Etant donné qu'il reste encore des machines à livrer de cette commande, la chaine d'assemblage de Fort Worth au Texas va donc pouvoir encore « tourner » jusqu'à la fin de la décennie. Sans compter que le Pentagone a conclu une vente FMS avec Israël.

 

A ce jour, si l'on inclut les machines de présérie, il y a un peu plus de 200 V-22 actuellement en service. La centième machine a été livré en mars 2008.

 

Opérationnel depuis juin 2007, les MV-22 sont utilisés par l'US Marine Corps, tandis que les CV-22 sont utilisés par les forces spéciales de l'US Air Force (AFSOC). La flotte en service a accumulé environ 175 000 heures de fonctionnement. Une machine a également été livrée récemment à HMX-1, l'escadron des hélicoptères de la Maison Blanche.

 

Les Marines ont par ailleurs déployé un escadron de V-22 à Okinawa au Japon l'an dernier. L'US Air Force devrait faire de même cet été en Grande-Bretagne, sur la base de Mildenhall de la RAF.

 

Boeing estime qu'il y a des possibilités de ventes à l'export du V-22 au Moyen-Orient, en Amérique du Sud, en Inde, au Japon, au Canada voire même en Europe, tout particulièrement en Grande-Bretagne et en Italie.

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
Marine V-22 – Photo US Navy

Marine V-22 – Photo US Navy

13 juin 2013 Usinenouvelle.com (Reuters)

 

L'avionneur américain Boeing et Bell Helicopter, filiale de Textron ont remporté jeudi un contrat d'une valeur de 4,9 milliards de dollars venant s'ajouter à un contrat de 1,4 milliard déjà accordé en décembre, pour travailler sur 99 avions de transport hybride V-22.

 

Boeing et Bell Helicopter, filiale de Textron ont remporté jeudi un contrat d'une valeur de 4,9 milliards de dollars venant s'ajouter à un contrat de 1,4 milliard déjà accordé en décembre, pour travailler sur 99 avions de transport hybride V-22.

 

Dans le détail, l'accord porte sur la construction de 92 MV-22 pour le corps des Marines et 7 CV-22 pour l'armée de l'air, indique le Pentagone.

 

Gregory Masiello, un officier du corps des Marines, a précisé que le contrat pluriannuel comprenait des options pour 22 appareils supplémentaires.

 

Il estime que la décision du gouvernement de signer ce contrat illustre la confiance accordée dans ce programme, un temps menacé d'annulation, et ce alors que Washington essaye de réduire ses dépenses militaires.

 

Boeing et Bell construisent ensemble le V-22, ou Osprey (balbuzard), un aéronef qui peut voler aussi vite qu'un avion mais qui se pose à la manière d'un hélicoptère.

 

Ce programme commence à trouver ses marques après des débuts difficiles. Une vingtaine de Marines avaient trouvé la mort en 2000 lors d'un vol d'essai. Deux autres sont décédés l'année dernière lors d'un vol d'entraînement au Maroc.

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 18:50

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18 janvier 2012 3 18 /01 /janvier /2012 08:40
Osprey Over Helmand

01/17/2012 STRATEGY PAGE

A Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey flies in the sky above Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 17. This was the last mission flown during Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162's six-month deployment in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Photo by Cpl. Justin Boling

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