Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
1 octobre 2012 1 01 /10 /octobre /2012 16:55
The Forces Of Evil Are Winning


October 1, 2012: Strategy Page


While Islamic terrorism and religious and ethnic strife produce most of the headlines about Pakistan, there's a lot more largely unreported misery that is rarely mentioned. Much of Pakistan is medieval in many ways and millions of Pakistanis live, literally, as serfs (a form of slavery that lasted into the 19th century in the West). While India has some of these social/economic problems, the Indians made a major effort to eliminate most of these feudal social and economic practices over half a century ago. Pakistan did not and that is one reason why per-capita economic performance in Pakistan is behind that of India. The feudalism also limits social mobility and economic activity. The wealthy feudal families dominate the economy, politics and the military. The families thought they could use Islamic radicalism as a weapon against India. But in over three decades of that there has been nothing but more misery and defeat for Pakistan. The world considers Pakistan a corrupt and unreliable sanctuary for Islamic terrorism. The people in most danger are Pakistan reformers, who keep trying to defeat the corruption and intolerance at great risk to their lives. So far, the forces of evil are winning.


While the U.S. backs the reformers in Pakistan, the American counter-terrorism efforts also help to keep the corrupt rulers in power. The American UAV program over Pakistan has, in the last eight years, found and killed over 500 Islamic terrorists. The CIA run operation seeks out key people (leaders and technicians) in various terrorist organizations. While most of the dead terrorists are internationalist (al Qaeda), many have more local ambitions (the Pakistani Taliban) and are at war with the Pakistani government. These Islamic radicals are all of a piece when it comes to maintaining their terrorist sanctuaries in the tribal territories (North Waziristan) and Baluchistan (Quetta). But the Pakistani Taliban wish to turn Pakistan (and the rest of South Asia) into a religious dictatorship while al Qaeda seeks to conquer the world to Islam. For the Pakistani ruling class, having American UAVs seeking out and killing the Pakistani Taliban leaders is very useful and often, quite literally, a lifesaver for prominent Pakistanis. The Islamic radical groups work hard to portray the UAV campaign as a murderous effort to kill Pakistanis in general. That's a very popular attitude, and Pakistani leaders go along with it, while quietly supporting the Americans. Pakistan could easily order its F-16s to shoot down the slow moving UAVs, but they don't and that's because it would not be in their interest.


The death of so many key al Qaeda personnel since 2004 has changed the terrorist organization, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of the deaths occurred in the last three years and that means that most of the key al Qaeda people are now Pakistanis. Arabs long dominated al Qaeda in this part of the world (where the group was created in the late 1980s), but UAV attacks caused many survivors to head back home (to prison, death or surrender for many of them) or to other al Qaeda battlefields (Somalia and Western Yemen, both of which turned out to be deadlier than Pakistan). Despite the UAV attacks, al Qaeda still enjoys its best sanctuary in Pakistan and new recruits from Pakistan, and around the world, still join the cause and are trained in remote mountain camps for local and international terrorism. 


Islamic political parties in Pakistan organized dozens of demonstrations in the last three weeks, to protest, often violently, an American film accused of being critical of Islam. These demonstrations are part of an effort by the Islamic parties to establish themselves as censors for all Pakistanis. Over twenty people (mostly demonstrators) were killed in these actions and dozens of movie theaters and Western style businesses were destroyed or damaged. The Islamic parties want a much more religiously conservative lifestyle (no alcohol, movies or Western habits in general) for all Pakistanis. Most of their countrymen disagree with this, but you can't argue with a mob.


The UN has made itself very unpopular with the Pakistani military by investigating army misbehavior in Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan). The UN has been looking into ISI and military counter-terror operations in Baluchistan. There, Baluchi tribes have been fighting for more autonomy and a larger share of the revenue from natural gas fields in their territory. In response to this the government has allowed the ISI and military to kidnap, and often kill Baluchis believed involved in resistance efforts. The government denies this sort of thing is going on and the UN insisted that it be allowed to send in investigators. These were allowed in, but the ISI and military has not cooperated with them. Military controlled media has denounced the UN investigation, but independent media have called for reforms within the military and ISI and the expulsion of Islamic radicals and corrupt officers. That is not likely to happen any time soon, but you never know.


In Indian Kashmir five Islamic terrorists, all Pakistanis were killed by troops near the border. The troops also found a large supply of weapons and ammunition. The dead men appeared to have crossed the border, carrying lots of weapons and ammo, about a month ago and were trying to establish a base. Their presence was noted and troops sent to investigate.


The Maoist militants in Nepal have caused Indian trucks, many carrying essential goods, to stay out because of threats to attack Indian vehicles. The militants are seeking to ban Indian movies and other aspects of Indian culture from Nepal. The Nepalese government is led by more moderate Maoists and is trying to control the radicals before the fragile economy suffers further harm.


September 30, 2012: In an unusual switch, Pakistani police have accused nine Moslem men of blasphemy for attacking a Hindu temple during recent riots against an American film critical of Islam. The anti-American demonstrations sometimes escalated to attacks on anything considered unIslamic. The Pakistani blasphemy laws are usually only used by Moslems against non-Moslems.


September 29, 2012: In Eastern India (Chhattisgarh) Maoists attacked a rural police camp, wounding two policemen before being driven off.


September 28, 2012: In the Pakistani tribal territory city of Peshawar an experienced police bomb technician died when a bomb he was defusing went off. The police tech had just disabled one bomb and was working on the second one found that day. Most of the Islamic bombs used in the tribal territories are used in and around Peshawar.


September 26, 2012: In Pakistan (North Waziristan) a roadside bomb hit a military convoy, killing one soldier and wounding fifteen. The army has a truce with Islamic terrorists in this area, but there are so many terrorist factions, and some of them refuse to honor any truce deals. 


September 25, 2012: In Indian Kashmir a clash between troops and Islamic terrorists left two terrorists and one soldier dead.


September 24, 2012: A court in Pakistan announced that an investigation had confirmed that a 14 year old Christian girl had been framed by a Moslem cleric for desecrating a Koran (the Moslem bible) several months ago. Pakistan still has severe blasphemy laws that are mostly used by Moslems against innocent Christians or each other. Efforts to repeal these laws, or at least limit their misuse, are violently resisted by Islamic political parties.


 In Pakistan (North Waziristan) an American UAV fired two missiles at a terrorist base and killed five Islamic radicals. There have been 37 of these attacks so far this year, with 16 of them against targets in North Waziristan. This has led to dozens of senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders being killed and much anger among these groups against the Pakistani government (which quietly supports the UAV campaign while publically denouncing it.)


September 22, 2012:  In Pakistan (North Waziristan) an American UAV fired two missiles at a terrorist base and killed four Islamic radicals.


September 21, 2012: In Indian Kashmir another village leader was killed by Islamic terrorists, causing many other village leaders to post announcements in local papers that they had resigned their leadership job. The Islamic terrorists go after official village leaders as a way to terrorize people into supporting the terrorists with shelter, food, money and recruits. This is not popular, but death threats do produce some cooperation. The army and police respond by hunting down those who made the threats. This is greatly reduced, but not entirely eliminated the problem.


September 20, 2012: India has refused to go along with Pakistani proposals to demilitarize the Siachen glacier. The offer was greeted with skepticism in India. That's because the Pakistani Army has used lies and deceptions for decades in a futile effort to gain an edge over India. This has led to the current situation, where thousands of Islamic terrorists, openly supported by Pakistani troops, continue to plan and carry out attacks on India. It happens every day in places like Kashmir. But Pakistan officially denies it all. Until the denials stop and taking responsibility begins, there will be no real peace with India. The collapse of the talks about withdrawing troops from the Siachen glacier is seen as another example of this.


A Pakistani political party denounced one of its senior members (a minister in the current government) for offering a $100,000 reward for whoever would kill the Egyptian-American man who produced a film critical of Islam. The Railways Minister is offering his own money.


September 19, 2012: In the Pakistani tribal territory city of Peshawar a car bomb intended for a military target instead killed ten civilians.


In Pakistan's northwest tribal territories (Bajaur) troops killed 29 Islamic terrorists. This was part of an operation, lasting several weeks, to destroy or drive into Afghanistan several Islamic radical groups that have tried to maintain bases in this rural area. The current operation has killed, wounded or captured several hundred Islamic terrorists.

Partager cet article
25 septembre 2012 2 25 /09 /septembre /2012 12:20


At Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, a Reaper drone prepares for a training mission


24 Sep 2012 By Rob Blackhurst - telegraph.co.uk


The unmanned aircraft patrolling the skies above Afghanistan are controlled by pilots sitting in front of screens as far as 7,000 miles away


Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan is reckoned to be as busy as Gatwick. Every few minutes the cloudless skies are filled with the roar of a military fighter taking off – hugging the ground to avoid pot shots by the Taliban’s crude rockets before disappearing into the heat haze.


In between there is a more persistent sound: the high-pitched whirr of 'drones’ – military aircraft without a human on board – as they head out for 18-hour stints monitoring the vast empty spaces of Afghanistan. This sound, generated by the aircraft’s tail propeller, is a constant white noise for the inhabitants of Kandahar Airfield.


It is said the term 'drone’ originated with a 1930s pilotless version of the British Fairey Queen fighter, the 'Queen Bee’. But, with the new generation of insect-like small aircraft, together with its monotonous engine noise, the name has never been more apt.


Reaper drone flies over Afghanistan without pilot. Image: GETTY


Before 9/11, drones were a new, untried technology. Now it is estimated that 40 countries are trying to buy or develop unmanned aircraft. The United States operates 7,500 drones or, in the official parlance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), making up more than 40 per cent of Department of Defense aircraft. They have been the weapon of choice for the US to assassinate 'high value targets’ – as the military call them – from al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Last year in Libya an American drone identified and attacked the convoy Colonel Gaddafi was travelling in. A few hours later, after fleeing, he was caught by rebels and killed. And since the killing of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s top ranks have been eviscerated by drone strikes, culminating in June in the killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the al-Qaeda deputy in Pakistan. In military terms, their success is not in doubt. They have disrupted al-Qaeda by forcing its commanders to abandon telephones (drones can listen in on calls) and avoid meetings, communicating only by courier.


But drone strikes have also led to mass protests in Pakistan and spawned numerous campaigns against them. Do they really represent a new, sinister form of battle in which moral judgments are delegated to machines? And does their deadly accuracy ensure that 'collateral damage’ is minimised, protecting civilians in war zones? Or do they encourage trigger-happy pilots, free from risk in their cockpits on the ground?


Since 2007 the RAF has operated 39 Squadron, a detachment of five US-built MQ-9 Reaper aircraft at Kandahar Airfield. While America has a sprawling UAV programme targeting Islamic militants everywhere from Pakistan to Somalia, British Reapers have only ever been used as part of the official combat mission against the Taliban over Afghanistan.


The vast majority of the 38,500 hours of operations flown by the RAF Reapers have been in intelligence-gathering rather than in attacking targets. Most of the 35 RAF Reaper pilots are based at Creech, an airfield near Las Vegas, where they control the aircraft via satellite as they fly over Afghanistan.


An RAF Reaper drone in its shelter at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, armed and ready for a mission (NEIL DUNRIDGE)


But the two-second delay between a pilot moving a joystick in Nevada and an aircraft responding in Afghanistan is enough to cause a crash during take-off and landing. Crews in Afghanistan control 'launch and recovery’ through direct contact with antennae on the aircraft. Half an hour after take-off, control of the Reaper is handed to a crew in Nevada; half an hour before landing, it returns to the crews on the ground in Kandahar.


Kandahar Airfield is a vast, crowded military camp, full of private-security contractors in new SUVs, soccer pitches, traffic jams, and the 'boardwalk’ – a Midwest-style town square where soldiers carrying automatic weapons visit frozen-yogurt outlets and TGI Friday’s. Far from prying eyes, the Reaper pilots work in a corner of the airfield behind concrete blast barriers to protect them from the sporadic Taliban rocket attacks.


Their cockpit is a cabin full of wires and computer servers – a sealed and spotless world without the film of white dust that covers Kandahar Airfield. The crew sit side by side in leather seats as if in a conventional aircraft, dressed in all-in-one khaki flight suits. A technician fiddles with wires on a bank of hard drives. Office carpets cover the floor. Apart from the low rumble of the air-conditioning, it is as silent as a cathedral.


A black-and-white screen is filled with the featureless landscape of southern Afghanistan’s red desert. The conventional head-up display is superimposed on the screen, as in any fighter aircraft, giving the details of altitude and pitch that a pilot needs. But, unlike in a conventional aircraft, the pilot can switch the camera view in front of him to see behind or below. He manoeuvres the aircraft with a games console-style joystick. In front of the pilot is a keyboard, next to him a telephone. Reaper pilots can make telephone calls, or email photographs to operational commanders; they can go to the lavatory or get coffee during a flight.


A slogan among Reaper pilots is 'no comms, no bombs’: the system is wholly dependent on satellite links working. If there is an IT breakdown, the Reaper’s lost link’ program directs it to land at the nearest air base. Seated next to the pilot, the sensor operator controls a swivelling electronic eyeball on the nose of the Reaper, fitted with infrared sensors for night vision.


'We can say to troops on the ground, “Hey, we saw this guy run out of the compound – he’s hiding in the field,”’ Winston, an American former F-16 pilot who has moved to the Reaper, says. 'We can see headlights and engines that are hot from vehicles that have run recently. If a command wire has been placed across the road, the infrared will show the earth a different colour where it has been disturbed – and you can save a convoy from driving over an IED.’


Half an hour earlier, via Internet Relay Chat (a kind of instant messaging), the pilots took control back from the crews in Nevada at the end of a mission without a word being spoken. The word ready appeared on the screen in front of us, typed by the pilot in Creech. The pilot in front of us replied, ready. ours. Then yours flashed up on the screen, confirming the handover.


Tension fills the cabin as the pilot lines up the Reaper with the runway for landing. No speaking is allowed, since landing the aircraft, with its long, glider-style wings and lightweight body, requires concentration. Sandstorms and 60-knot crosswinds frequently buffet the aircraft, and the margin of error between a safe landing and a crash is only one degree of pitch. As the infrared outline of the hot tarmac looms into view on the pilot’s screen, there is no sense that the aircraft is descending, nor any jolt as the undercarriage retracts.


All the sensory instincts a pilot normally uses are missing; he is forced to fly by the instruments. Reaper pilots rely on forward-facing camera and see through the 'soda-straw’ view. As the Reaper nears the ground, the pilot calls out the altitude: '10, 9, 8, 7, 6…’ The only way we know he has landed is when the altitude reading on the head-up display is zero feet.


A short walk from the flight cabins are the mess rooms of the huge US Reconnaissance Force Reaper unit that shares facilities and operations with the RAF. On the wall are children’s paintings with messages to Daddy, and vintage Apocalypse Now posters. Small talk is of next week’s squadron barbecue. In this US military milieu, the RAF has colonised a corner with Union flag-covered lockers and photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge. More startling are the 1970s photographs of a thickly mustachioed Burt Reynolds, mirrored in the upper-lip growths of the airmen sitting drinking soda. (It is the end of 'Moustache March’, an annual USAF contest to grow facial hair for charity.)


An RAF Reaper pilot at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, controls a Reaper drone, with the help of a sensor operator, to his right (NEIL DUNRIDGE)


The RAF crews based at Creech take their place in a four-month rotation in the 'launch and recovery unit’ in Afghanistan. Sitting in the mess are Oz, a bald, middle-aged RAF Reaper pilot who has flown three tours of duty in the Tornado, and DJ, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot. Both seem too grizzled to be described as PlayStation warriors. Like these two, all the RAF Reaper pilots have been trained to fly conventional aircraft, and most have fought in previous wars.


These pilots talk up the similarities with manned aircraft. Although they don’t suffer the exhausting effects of g-force and can’t look out of the window, they admit to flinching when they see something coming towards the aircraft.

'It’s irrelevant where you are physically sitting,’ Oz says. 'You’re attached to the airframe, you’re attached to the view that you see, and you’re attached to the laws of armed conflict.’


He reacts with cool anger to suggestions that this mode of war reduces victims to the status of players in a video game. 'It’s a bugbear of mine because I’ve had the accusation levelled that it’s a Star Wars game. It’s anything but. If we act like it’s Star Wars, there are people in the command centre watching us and listening to what we do. The taking of human life is not something to be considered lightly. OK, they are bad guys we are killing, but they are still human beings.’

He also bridles at the suggestion that UAVs leave moral judgments to machines. 'The plane cannot start, cannot fly and cannot release a weapon without us doing it. Human beings are in the cockpit – exactly the same as when I was flying a Tornado. We just happen to be 8,000 miles away from the plane.’


The courtly, upright American colonel in charge of Reaper operations, 'Ghost’, arrives, just back from the Kandahar military hospital, where he was visiting an American soldier shot in the leg on the battlefield. His Reapers provided 'overwatch’ while the soldier was evacuated by helicopter. It is common for the squadron to receive texts or emails of thanks from those they have protected. A group of Royal Marines made a trip to Las Vegas last year to thank the pilots in person.'We’ve had Humvees breaking down,’ Ghost says, 'and we’ve provided overwatch. You’re not going to get a good night’s sleep in the middle of the desert in Afghanistan normally, but if you’ve got a Reaper overhead that’s got your back, then you can.’


Afghanistan has been the ideal conflict for the Reaper. Unlike conventional fast-jets, which provide intelligence to troops on the ground only for short periods before having to refuel, the Reaper can stay in the air for 18 hours. It can stream real-time video feeds to troops for the duration of a skirmish, allowing them to see the Taliban’s positions on their laptops. And if they are required to fulfil their other major role, killing Taliban forces judged an immediate threat, they can circle for hours above a compound or a village, waiting for a confirmed sighting in the open of their target, before dispatching one of their laser-guided Hellfire missiles. These Taliban fighters won’t even know that they are being watched – at 15,000ft, Reapers usually fly too high to be seen or heard.


Stories spill out of the pilots. 'A British vehicle was disabled and the troops had to leave it,’ Oz says. 'The Taliban showed up in numbers. And we provided overwatch for them for hours while they [British troops] withdrew. They were able to withdraw without the fear of being overrun.’ Sometimes the threat of force isn’t enough, DJ says: 'We got called in because US Marines were under fire and were pinned down. We prosecuted [military jargon for 'killed’] two chaps. That broke their fire. The other four scampered, allowing the other Marines to withdraw.’


The Reaper pilots insist their high-resolution cameras, as well as the long periods that they can stay airborne, give them more time to weigh decisions before weapons are fired.


'On a fast-jet, because of the speed you’re coming in at, you don’t have the fuel and the time to hang around. But we can sit on top of this thing for hours at a time,’ Oz says. 'We have the luxury to pick up the phone and say, look – something just doesn’t look right here.’


This recently happened when the RAF Reaper pilots saw what they thought were Taliban insurgents preparing to fire. 'But something didn’t make sense. These guys seemed a bit too casual. So we checked for longer. As soon as these guys hit the road, they suddenly went into tactical column. We suddenly realised they were Afghan National Army. They weren’t the best-disciplined troops until their sergeant was looking at them. The luxury we have is that we can just sit there and say, we’ll just watch this for a few more minutes.’


The mantra that the Reaper pilots repeat is 'zero expectations of civilian casualties’. They are forbidden to attack buildings if there are women and children in the area and they avoid targeting property. In Afghanistan village life, Taliban fighters are never far away from women and children.


In internal reporting the RAF has dropped the term 'compound’ because it obscures the simple truth that these are houses. As one senior commander told me, 'We’re trying to get it into the guys’ heads that this is not compound no 28, it’s 34 Acacia Drive – so you don’t hit it.’


According to Oz, 'We’ll spend hours watching some guy. There have been plenty of times when I’ve had a clearly identified enemy combatant under my crosshairs and I haven’t been able to fire at him because he’s in a village and there are civilians around. If there’s any doubt, we won’t fire. Apart from the tragedy of wounding or killing an innocent civilian, it plays straight into the hands of the enemy for propaganda – it’s a double whammy. You have to wait for your opportunity.’


It is curious that civilian casualties from drone strikes receive so much attention, while those caused by conventional attack aircraft, whose pilots are also miles away from their targets, are overlooked. But this is because anti-drone campaigners doubt the MoD’s estimates of civilian casualties.

Reapers have, as of September this year, fired their weapons 319 times and killed four civilians in total since they started operating in Afghanistan, according to the MoD. These civilians died, along with two Taliban 'insurgents’, when two pick-up trucks carrying explosives were targeted by an RAF Reaper in Helmand. A military investigation concluded that this attack had been in accordance with correct procedures and UK rules of engagement.


Campaigners complain that the system for counting civilian casualties is flawed because it relies on villagers in remote parts of Afghanistan making the effort to report deaths to coalition forces. They also complain more generally about the secrecy around the Reaper programme, which fuels distrust. Only 40 per cent of drone strikes have been revealed in official RAF operational updates – the others remain classified. And there are no figures of how many 'insurgents’ have been killed (the deliberately vague term includes Taliban and al-Qaeda). The MoD attributes this to the need to not let their enemy know exactly how it is being targeted, and to difficulties in collecting information for an accurate body count.


The lengths of deployment for Reaper pilots, split between short stints in Kandahar and three years in Nevada, means that they have more experience of the war in Afghanistan than many of the soldiers on the ground. The terrain and the 'pattern of life’ in the villages they watch for suspicious changes become as familiar as those of their home towns. Often they observe a building for their whole shift and come back the next day to watch the same deserted building for another eight hours.


Does it get boring? Winston, the US Reaper pilot, admits, 'The honest answer is yes. You may get information that the unit is going into an area in three days and you’re told, “Don’t take your eyes off that building.” So you will fly in a circle for an eight-hour shift looking at it, and four hours in somebody walks in or walks out. You have no idea who it is. But somebody is watching the feed.’ (The audience for a drone feed can include troops on the ground, commanders in Afghanistan and intelligence analysts thousands of miles away.)


At times like this they find ways to relieve the boredom. 'You try and find humorous things. You see kids getting into fights and you’ll watch that, or traffic jams where some guy moves his goats across the road and people get upset.’ The stress of constant operations and long shifts, albeit with rest breaks, has led to fears of burnout among Reaper pilots. The almost limitless demand for 'overwatch’ creates a huge workload: every stream and every suspicious-looking building on a convoy route is checked for IEDs or a potential ambush by Reapers before troops go out on patrol.


The usual pattern of war fighting is to spend four months in a war-zone before returning home. But the Reaper pilots at their base in Nevada are commuter warriors: they work five days a week and drive home to their families at the end of their shifts. A tour of duty for them can last years. This changing tempo of war is taking a toll on pilots, even though they are not themselves in harm’s way. According to a survey by the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, nearly half the operators of UAVs have high levels of 'operational stress’ caused by long hours and extended tours of duty.


An RAF drone over Afghanistan, armed with two GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and four Hellfire missiles (CROWN COPYRIGHT)


The RAF is moving some pilots from three years in Nevada back to three more years on operations in a new Reaper control centre in Britain, where they will also pilot Reapers over Afghanistan. According to a squadron leader with several years’ experience flying the Reaper, 'Six years of permanent ops is something that we’re going to have to pay great attention to. Chronic fatigue could become an issue.’ The effect on pilots of this strange new state of being simultaneously at home and at war has not yet been tested.


About four per cent of US UAV operators have developed post-traumatic stress disorder, which some have attributed to the fact that powerful cameras show close-up footage of the targets of drone strikes after they have been killed. 'The cameras are good,’ Oz says. 'A Hellfire missile does have significant effects on the human body, and you should get to see that. If you can’t accept it, you are in the wrong job. But the weirdest thing for me – with my background [as a fast-jet pilot] – is the concept of getting up in the morning, driving my kids to school and killing people. That does take a bit of getting used to. For the young guys or the newer guys, that can be an eye opener.’


At sunset at Kandahar we walk on to the flight line to see the angular, insect-like Reapers close up. Two of the RAF Reapers, distinguishable by RAF roundels, are being refuelled and armed with Hellfire laser-guided missiles before being sent out again, two hours after their last mission. 'This is only a small fraction of the Reapers we have here – the rest are in the air,’ Ghost says.


The Reapers are sleek, shark-grey and about the size of a light aircraft – 'a Cessna with a missile’, as some of the fast-jet pilots like to call them. They are so compact because they do not need systems to support a human: no air system, pilot’s instruments or ejector seat. If a Reaper is shot down or crashes, the taxpayer loses tens of millions, compared with the hundreds of millions that a conventional jet can cost. And they never risk a pilot being killed or captured.


As a Reaper taxis by, I ask the 39 Squadron pilots how they cope with the 'chair-force’ jibes that come from fighter pilots. 'They can say whatever the hell they like,’ DJ says, more than a little testily. 'This is the leading edge of combat. As time progresses there is going to be a bigger appetite for these airframes,’ Oz admits. 'Flying a fighter aircraft was more fun. It was big, it was pointy, it went bloody fast and it carried big bombs. It was sexy. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Twenty-five years later I asked to come to the Reaper because it makes a significant contribution to the war.’


A short drive in a battered Land Rover across Kandahar Airfield is the headquarters of 617 Squadron, 'The Dambusters’, which flies Tornado fast-jets over Afghanistan. In the mess-room, where a flat-screen television and piles of DVDs kill time when they are on call to 'scramble’, I ask the pilots whether they would give up their fast-jets for UAVs. With varying degrees of politeness, they decline: 'I’ve no interest in flying Reaper. If I’m flying I want to be airborne,’ one says. But could their jobs eventually be replaced by UAVs? 'Reaper is absolutely the asset for Afghanistan but as soon as you start going up against anyone with a credible air threat we will have to pour money into aircraft that can fight back.’


It is a frequent criticism that Reapers work well in Afghanistan, where there is no air force and no accurate surface-to-air missiles, but in a conventional war these slow, fragile aircraft would be easy to shoot down. Though fast-jets such as the Tornado cannot stay airborne for as long, they can travel long distances more quickly. If troops are under fire at the far side of Afghanistan, the battle is likely to be over long before a Reaper arrives on the scene. Nor would Reapers fare well in colder, wetter weather.


Already the high rate of UAVs is a matter of concern to military planners. Figures are difficult to verify, but the UK Drone Wars website, run by anti-drone campaigners and using imperfect information, has recorded 14 drone crashes so far in 2012. The Los Angeles Times estimated in 2010 that 38 Reaper and Predator UAVs had been lost in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the Balkan Wars, experiments with UAVs were abandoned because so many were lost in the bad weather. Fast-jet pilots argue that a crew in the air above the target can always make better judgments than a crew thousands of miles away. 'We can give more an interpretation of what’s going on,’ a Tornado flight commander says. 'It’s hard to put into words, but there is just that feeling of being there. You can see the whole situation and not just the target. The fact that you can look out of a cockpit and say, “There’s a village next to us.” We could be talked into thinking that a couple of men kneeling in the middle of the road at night look dodgy when it’s actually a guy changing a motorbike tyre that’s just had a puncture.’


Whatever the counter-claims between Reaper and fast-jet pilots, the arguments in favour of UAVs have been won in the Ministry of Defence. Later this year a new squadron will be established in Lincolnshire to pilot remotely five more Reapers – the first time that drone missions in Afghanistan will be been controlled from British rather than American soil. However, there are practical difficulties to overcome first. It remains unclear where the UK Reapers will be legally able to take off and land when combat operations end in Afghanistan in 2014. Civil Aviation Regulations prevent them from flying in British airspace since reaction times might not be fast enough to avoid collisions.


By 2030, the RAF estimates, a third of the force will be unmanned aircraft. An MoD report, 'The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems’, predicts, 'Unmanned aircraft will eventually take over most or all the tasks currently undertaken by manned systems.’ The expensive F35B Lightning II fighter currently on order will be, it predicts, the last RAF fighter with a pilot in the air.


The UAV technology under development sounds like science fiction – from bee-size nano drones that can fly through windows to nuclear-powered drones that can fly for weeks without refuelling. Even if these wilder plans never see the light of day, the MoD has been funding the development of Taranis, a long-range jet-powered UAV attack aircraft that will be able to fly across continents.


The moral question overshadowing UAVs is whether their use trivialises the business of killing. According to the report 'Armed Drones and the PlayStation Mentality’ by Chris Cole, the director of the Drone Wars website, 'Young military personnel raised on a diet of video games now kill real people remotely using joysticks. Far removed from the human consequences of their actions, how will this generation of fighters value the right to life?’


From my experience at Kandahar this vision of teenage warriors seems far-fetched: the Reaper pilots I met were approaching middle age, softly spoken and sober about the life-and-death decisions with which they were charged.

It does, however, seem plausible that risk-free, long-distance strikes using UAVs could insulate the Western public from the human toll of war. If we can kill with such ease while protecting Western lives and avoiding the costs of deploying troops, will the bar be lower for governments to make war? Already, the creep towards a permanent state of war, via drone strike, can be seen. This year alone, the Obama administration has conducted drone strikes against al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. The Ministry of Defence candidly warns of these dangers in its report: 'We must ensure that by removing some of the horror, or at least keeping it at a distance, we do not risk losing our controlling humanity and make war more likely.’


These speculations become even more complex with the Frankenstein fear that, as UAVs become more advanced, they will be able to launch weapons without human input. There is a danger of an 'incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality’, the paper warns, and Britain must 'quickly establish a policy on what will constitute “acceptable machine behaviour”’.


Drones deliver death out of a clear blue sky. Victims will not have known their fate for more than a fraction of a second. Most of the time they won’t even have heard the Reaper’s engine. Is it possible such powerful weapons will hand a propaganda victory to those they are targeted against?


At some point military planners will have to face these issues. But, for the moment, the public is more likely to be swayed by the belief, shared by everyone on the ground in Afghanistan, that the Reaper has saved the lives of hundreds of British troops.


For the pilots, misgivings over a new weapon changing the nature of war are nothing new. On the flight line in Kandahar, DJ has to shout over the whine of a fully loaded Reaper about to take off for another long mission. He is dismissive of the angst surrounding unmanned aircraft. 'This goes back centuries. When it was sword versus sword and somebody started slinging an arrow over their head to the enemy – every time there’s an advance in military hardware, the other side says, “Are you playing fair?”’

Partager cet article
23 mai 2012 3 23 /05 /mai /2012 11:59
The Beast


May 23, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE


Pakistan has agreed to allow NATO to resume trucking supplies into Afghanistan via Pakistan, but only if an additional fee of $4,750 be paid per cargo container. Most of this cash would go into the pockets of senior officials. That comes to $14 million a month in bribes. The Pakistanis consider this a good deal, because it is costing NATO $38 million a month in additional transportation costs because the Pakistani route is not available. American politicians note that the U.S. has been giving Pakistan over $80 million a month in military aid, so that aid is being withheld and may be cancelled completely if Pakistan does not open the border. The Pakistanis are also aware that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will involve the shipment of over 100,000 containers (and half a billion dollars in loot for Pakistani leaders, not the Pakistani people). So far, NATO and the U.S. refuse to give in to these extortionate demands, which include the U.S. taking the blame for last November's friendly fire incident that left 26 Pakistani soldiers dead. There is a long history of Pakistani troops firing across the border at NATO and Afghan forces. Giving the Pakistanis the apology they demand would be bad for NATO morale, as American and NATO troops are still facing a lack of cooperation from Pakistani forces along the Afghan border.


Meanwhile, the Pakistani military continues fighting selected Islamic terrorists in the tribal territories. While these Islamic radicals want to turn Pakistan into a religious dictatorship, an unpopular prospect with most people in the territories, there is widespread anger at the corruption and incompetence of the Pakistani government. Thus while the Islamic terrorists have destroyed several thousand schools in the tribal territories in the last decade (to protest educating girls and secular education in general), a very unpopular tactic, the people are appalled at the inability of the government to stop this violence or rebuild all the destroyed schools. Pakistanis are also angry at continued government support for some Islamic terror groups (that are supposed to restrict their attacks to India or foreigners outside Pakistan, like Western troops in Afghanistan). The problem with this strategy is that these terror groups tend to eventually slip off their leash and attack Pakistanis. Three decades of this military strategy has created a large minority of Pakistanis who are Islamic radicals and who advocate things (no school for girls or jobs for women or entertainment for anyone) that most Pakistanis oppose. At the same time the military feasts off the corruption their power enables them to indulge in. The Pakistani military is supposed to exist to defend Pakistan, but to a growing number of Pakistanis their military is an uncontrollable beast that just feeds off Pakistan.


Several years of fighting in the Pakistani tribal territories has created over half a million refugees and a lot of unhappy civilians. After September 11, 2001, Pakistan had an opportunity to renounce its two decades of support for Islamic terrorism. But the Pakistani generals tried to have it both ways. That approach failed. Now, once NATO leaves Afghanistan, Pakistan will have to deal with Pushtun Islamic radicals (mainly Taliban) on both sides of the border by themselves. Even with a determined effort to eliminate this scourge, it will take a decade or more to deal with it.


Pakistani government incompetence is getting more publicity than the senior officials are comfortable with. Wikileaks documents proved very embarrassing, as they detailed government support for the "secret" American UAV operations over the tribal territories. The officials publicly opposed these UAV operations. Wikileaks also documented a lot of the corruption in Pakistan, and now some retired generals are arguing via the media about rigged elections in the 1990s. This is nothing new for most Pakistanis, but the perpetrators going public about it is. The generals are saying they rigged elections "for the good of the country." But they used the power they obtained to get rich and get away with murder.


Despite the continuing terrorist threat from Pakistan, India is focusing on the military threat from China. The Indian Ocean is of particular concern, with more Chinese warships showing up along with the huge number of Chinese merchant ships already there. So over the next decade, the Indian Navy will receive an average of five new ships a year. This will include aircraft carriers and nuclear subs. While the Chinese fleet is larger, the Chinese have more immediate naval threats (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, America) off their Pacific coast. Thus the Indian buildup is meant to be sufficient to handle anything the Chinese might be able to spare for Indian Ocean mischief.


May 22, 2012: Three senior Pakistani naval officers were punished, for incompetence, because of command failures that enabled a terror attack on a naval base exactly a year ago. At the time six Taliban gunmen got onto a major naval base in Karachi, Pakistan, killed ten people and destroyed two American made P-3C maritime reconnaissance aircraft (worth over $100 million each). All the attackers were killed, but it took the military 17 hours to do so. It was early the following day before the sound of gunfire ended. What was most disturbing about this was that this heavily guarded base was supposed to have a degree of security similar to that provided for the bases where nuclear weapons are stored. While the six Taliban who attacked the naval base were killed, that in itself was scary, as the attackers did not seem concerned about surviving. The attack was later described by the Taliban as an act of revenge for the death of bin Laden. While the navy had three more P-3Cs, the loss of two of them greatly reduced the ability to patrol the long Pakistani coast.  The attackers were believed to have had inside help, but the military has not released any information on that (and rarely does.)


In Indian Kashmir, three Islamic terrorists were picked up by sensors as they sought to sneak in from Pakistan. An army patrol was sent to intercept and the resulting gun battle left one terrorist dead and the other two apparently headed back into Pakistan.


Gunmen attacked a political rally in Karachi, Pakistan, leaving 11 dead. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city (18 million), has ethnic and religious violence that is again growing, causing hundreds of casualties a week and chaos in some neighborhoods. The violence has been high all this year, although in the last month the security forces thought they had put a lid on it. The lid is rattling.


In Pakistan's North Waziristan a U.S. UAV killed four Islamic terrorists with a missile.


Indian police attacked a meeting of Maoists in eastern India (Jharkhand), and captured some weapons and equipment, but the twelve Maoist gunmen got away. The police acted on a tip.


May 21, 2012: Indian police arrested two Islamic terrorists in Punjab, and seized three bombs, two timers, three detonators, two Chinese pistols and 11 rounds of ammunition. The explosives came from Pakistan.


May 20, 2012: Pakistan blocked national access to Twitter for most of the day, apparently because of blasphemous (to some Moslems) activity on Twitter. Every day, if not every hour, there is something on Twitter that Islamic conservatives would consider blasphemous. What the Pakistani government particularly dislikes about Twitter is that it is a speedy conduit of reports on bad behavior by the Pakistani government. Shutting Twitter down for a sustained period would be enormously unpopular. Over the past two decades the military has backed off on its efforts to enforce censorship because of public anger. At this point, the government has lost control of most media. Some journalists can be bought or intimidated, but most roam free, sniffing out government misbehavior.


May 19, 2012: In Indian Kashmir, Islamic terrorists made two grenade attacks, wounding four policemen and ten civilians.


May 18, 2012:  Maoists in eastern India (Chhattisgarh) attacked the home of a senior politician and were driven off. One bodyguard was killed. 


May 17, 2012: Another sign of peace returning to Indian Kashmir is the army announcement that some of the minefields, surrounding eight of its camps, would be removed. This is mainly because there are far fewer Islamic terrorists operating in the area now.


In Pakistan, four pilots were killed when two military aircraft collided during a training exercise. Because if its large number of older Russian and Chinese designed warplanes, Pakistan has a much higher accident rate than Western air forces, or even neighboring India (which also has a lot of Russian warplanes).


May 13, 2012: Maoists in eastern India (Chhattisgarh) ambushed a police patrol and killed six policemen and a civilian driver.

Partager cet article
13 avril 2012 5 13 /04 /avril /2012 16:30
Par quelle route quitter l'Afghanistan ?


13 Avril 2012 Jean-Dominique Merchet - Secret Défense


Dans le meilleur des cas, le désengagement pourrait être accélérer de quelques mois.


Alors que l'armée française a transféré, jeudi 12 avril, le contrôle de la Surobi aux forces de sécurité afghanes, la question du retrait se heurte toujours à d'importantes difficultés logistiques. La France s'est engagé à retirer ses troupes combattantes fin 2013. François Hollande, au cas où il serait élu, a promis d'accèlerer ce calendrier, pour la fin de cette année, même s'il met progressivement de l'eau dans son vin...


Le défi logistique est colossal. Selon les chiffres américains et pour l'ensemble des troupes de la coalition, il s'agit de retirer en trois ans : 72.000 véhicules et 150.000 conteneurs, tout en rendant 1300 emprises. Les logisticiens américains ont calculé que cela signifiait enlever un équipement toutes les sept minutes et 150 conteneurs par jour pendant trois ans... A côté, la question du rapatriement de dizaines de milliers d'hommes semble être un jeu d'enfant.


Par où passer ? Les deux routes qui partent de l'Afghanistan vers le Pakistan (Khyber Pass au Nord et Quetta au Sud) sont fermées depuis cinq mois par les autorités pakistanaises et nul ne sait quand elles réouvriront...  La route du nord n'est pas plus simple. Même si les Russes acceptent le transit par leur territoire, il faut d'abord arriver en Russie. Et donc traverser des Républiques d'Asie centrale : Ouzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kirghizistan et Kazakhstan. Pas simple dans tous les cas et forcément couteux...


Pour l'heure, la solution la plus simple semble être, pour la France, un "brouettage" aérien dans deux directions. La première est déjà utilisée : en avion gros porteur jusqu'à Abu Dhabi puis par la mer. L'autre reste à mettre en place : en gros porteur jusqu'en Russie ou au Kazakhstan, puis par la route ou mieux, le rail.


Quoi qu'il en soit, cette affaire prendra du temps. Dans les armées, on estime aujourd'hui que si le pouvoir politique l'exigeait, le délai pourrait être raccourci "de quelques mois au plus, pas plus de six, si l'on veut faire les choses de façon sécurisée et à condition que les routes pakistanaises soient réouvertes".

Partager cet article
23 février 2012 4 23 /02 /février /2012 17:30


P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft


22 February 2012 naval-technology.com


The Pakistani Navy has received its second batch of two upgraded US-built P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft at the navy's Naval Aviation Base in Karachi, Pakistan.



The delivery comes at a time when military aid for Pakistan has been almost completely halted by the US in the wake of a series of crises affecting the bilateral relationship between the two nations.


The navy had placed orders with the US Government under its Foreign Military Sales programme for the procurement of six modernised P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, to be delivered in three batches of two.


The upgrades to the aircraft include new communications, electro-optic and infrared systems, data management, controls and displays, mission computers and acoustic processing.


The navy said that the aircraft's extended surveillance capability and modified avionics/sensors will assist in conducting continuous patrols of its vital areas of interest in the North Arabian Sea.


In May 2011, Pakistan Navy's first batch of two P3C Orion aircraft, received in 2010, was destroyed during a terrorist attack on PNS Mehran, a key naval airbase in Karachi.


The Pakistani Naval aviation fleet includes Atlantique reconnaissance aircraft, Fokker F-27 transport and surveillance aircraft, Alouette, Sea King, and Chinese Z9EC helicopters.


The four-engine turboprop aircraft features advanced submarine detection sensors including directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys, and magnetic anomaly detection equipment.


The aircraft also incorporates an avionics system that can automatically launch ordnance while accepting sensor data inputs and providing flight information to the pilots.


The P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft is capable of supporting missions that include anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, economic zone patrol and airborne early warning and electronic warfare.

Partager cet article
7 décembre 2011 3 07 /12 /décembre /2011 18:45



Dec.04, 2011 techlahore.com


Since the war on terror started in Afghanistan back in 2001, the United States Air Force has employed various different UAV platforms to target insurgents and the Taliban. Both on Afghan soil as well as in Pakistani territory, with the covert approval of the Pakistan government. Observing the efficacy of UAV platforms like the Predator, the Pakistani military establishment requested the United States to equip it with UAVs so that the war on terror could be prosecuted with more efficacy on the part of the Pakistani military. However these requests were denied repeatedly and America cited the potential use of these UAV platforms in military theaters outside the Afghan Pakistan border (i.e. India) as a flimsy excuse. Faced with these denials, but unwavering in its resolve to achieve its objectives, Pakistan undertook a domestic UAV development program. Even prior to Predator requisition requests being turned down, the Pakistani military had already invested in various autonomous target drones, built both by the private and public sectors. Here at TechLahore, we covered Pakistani drone developments a couple of years ago. In fact, we pointed out that the level of sophistication was such that – in a rather ironic twist -private Pakistani drone  manufacturers were exporting UAVs even to the United States homeland security department for oversight applications on the US-Mexico border.


Since then, much has happened. Pakistan entered into a deal with the Italian firm, Selex-Galileo, for the licensed production of fairly capable UAV aircraft at the Kamra Aeronautical facilities. In addition, the Pakistan Navy also acquired rotorcraft drones from foreign sources. Separately, the Pakistan Army has pursued partnerships with China and has incented local manufacturers to continue to develop more advanced platforms within the country. One of the more promising UCAV projects currently in progress in Pakistan is the Burraq armed drone. Burraq is envisioned as a high endurance, long-range, over the horizon, armed UAV aircraft. For the last four years it has been under development and rumors are now surfacing that it may be ready for deployment. At the recent Zhuhai airshow in China, in which the Pakistan Air Force participated with its JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, Chinese manufacturers also displayed miniaturized lightweight missiles that were particularly suited for carriage on a drone. Various parts of this sprawling Pakistani drone development program are coming together, in partnership with China – weapons development, control systems development, propulsion, airframe, ground stations and much else. The Burraq will only the first in a line of capable, armed Pakistani drones.


And soon. The Burraq, it seems, will be flying in early 2012.



The Pakistani UAV program is a wonderful example of the breadth of technological capability that exists in the country, its ability to collaborate internationally without relying on problem-ridden dealings with America, and the benefits of investing in local development and local manufacturing as opposed to wiring a ton of money to a foreign country and importing somebody else’s equipment (Saudi Arabia style). As with the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, Pakistan will discover that the flexibility of owning and running a domestically developed military platform allows unending customization, full control of capabilities, and absolutely no worries with regards to security or someone else knowing its true performance, or even inhibiting the capabilities by doctoring the IFF system or other internal electronics. Not only that, but for private technological firms based in Pakistan a program of this nature creates tremendous economic opportunity. A variety of different inputs, ranging from materials to software to optics to electronics and propulsion technologies are required to build a high-tech UAV. A sophisticated military program such as the Burraq will lead not only to an improvement in Pakistan’s defensive and offensive military capabilities, but also in significant benefits for the economy and local industry.


We hope that in future, with military programs such as Burraq, the continued development of the spectacularly successful JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft and its various space technology ventures, Pakistan will continue to create domestic research and development capabilities which will ensure a brighter future for its people and a credible defense against any would-be aggressor.

Partager cet article
21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 17:35


Source thenewstribe.com


21 juillet 2011 Par Rédacteur en chef. PORTAIL DES SOUS-MARINS


Le Pakistan va acheter 6 sous-marins de conception chinoise, équipés avec les technologies les plus récentes, à la Chine.


Selon certaines sources, le Pakistan a conclu mardi l’accord pour l’achat de 6 sous-marins de la classe Yuan-king pour renforcer ses capacités de défense nucléaire.


Les sous-marins sont actuellement testés dans les eaux chinois.


Les sources précisent que les sous-marins sont équipés du plus récent système de propulsion anaérobie qui leur permet de rester plus longtemps en plongée.


Les sous-marins ont la capacité d’emporter des armes nucléaires.


L'analyse de la rédaction :


Il s’agit probablement de sous-marins classiques Type 041 (classe Yuan). Le suffixe -king pourrait indiquer qu’il s’agit de la version améliorée (variante A). La capacité de lancer des armes nucléaires ne semble pas avoir été mentionnée auparavant.


Il est surprenant, compte-tenu de ses propres besoins, que la Chine vende des sous-marins déjà construits, comme le laisse entendre cet article.


Référence : Pakistan Observer

Partager cet article
17 avril 2011 7 17 /04 /avril /2011 17:30
Pakistan wants drone technology: report

Apr 17 2011 THE NATION


Drone attacks in Pakistan are creating rifts between US and Pakistan, claims UK media. After difference with US, Pakistan has approached many other countries including China to get drone technology, says UK media. According to report, drone attacks in Pakistan are creating rifts between US and Pakistan. CIA is not taking Pakistan into confidence regarding airstrikes.

Partager cet article
11 avril 2011 1 11 /04 /avril /2011 11:24
Le Pakistan renforce ses forces sous-marines pendant que l’Inde tergiverse


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


Alors que l’Inde a beaucoup de difficultés à concrétiser son nouveau programme de sous-marins baptisé “Projet-75 India”, le Pakistan a conclu un accord avec la Chine pour acheter 6 sous-marins classiques équipés d’une propulsion anaérobie, considérée désormais comme un élément crucial de tout sous-marin classique. Les sous-marins classiques doivent faire surface ou hisser leur schnorchel au bout de quelques jours de plongée pour renouveler leur oxygène et recharger leurs batteries. Mais ceux qui sont équipés d’une propulsion anaérobie (AIP) peuvent rester en plongée pendant beaucoup plus longtemps, ce qui renforce de beaucoup leur efficacité à se cacher et à combattre. Cela les rapproche des sous-marins nucléaires qui, évidemment, peuvent rester en plongée pendant une période virtuellement illimitée. Alors que l’Inde se trouve encore à des années avant d’obtenir un sous-marin équipé d’un système AIP, le Pakistan en a déjà un, le PNS Hamza, un des 3 sous-marins Agosta-90B mis en service il y a moins de 10 ans. De plus, le travail est déjà lancé pour équiper les 2 autres sous-marins, le PNS Khalid et le PNS Saad, de ce même système. Les 6 sous-marins chinois de nouvelle génération, appartenant à la classe Yuan améliorée et équipés d’un système AIP de type Stirling, vont encore donner plus de force à la marine pakistanaise.


Au contraire, l’Inde a pour l’instant refusé d’envisager d’équiper les 6 sous-marins Scorpène en cours de construction du système AIP de DCNS, le Mesma. De plus, le programme a déjà pris 3 ans de retard. « Il y a eu une forte augmentation des couts. Installer un système AIP MESMA sur les 5è et 6è sous-marins augmenterait les couts de 100 millions $ environ », a déclaré un responsable du ministère indien de la défense. « De plus, la marine souhaite plutôt utiliser un système AIP à piles à combustible. Le DRDO [1] développe un tel système, qui a déjà été testé à terre. Si le développement est un succès, nous envisagerons de l’installer sur les Scorpène 5 et 6, » a-t-il ajouté. Pour encore compliquer la question, les progrès sur le P-75I sont extraordinairement lent. Ce programme prévoit la construction de 6 nouveaux sous-marins discrets, équipés à la fois de missiles pouvant attaquer des cibles terrestres et d’une propulsion AIP. L’appel à projet qui doit être envoyé à des fournisseurs étrangers comme Rosoboronexport (Russie), DCNS (France), HDW (Allemagne) et Navantia (Espagne), ne sera pas lancé avant la fin 2011 au plus tôt. « Si un chantier peut fournir l’AIP, il ne peut pas fournir les capacités de lancer des missiles contre des cibles à terre, et vice-versa. Donc le projet 75-I est très complexe... Il va falloir au moins 2 ans pour seulement le conclure, puis ensuite 6 à 7 ans pour que le 1er sous-marin soit terminé, » a-t-il indiqué. Jusqu’à présent, le projet prévoit d’importer directement 2 sous-marins construits par le chantier naval étranger retenu, 3 autres au chantier MDL de Mumbai, et le 6è à Hindustan Shipyard de Visakhapatnam, dans le cadre d’un transfert de technologies.


Notes : [1] L’équivalent indien de la DGA.


Référence : Times of India (Inde)

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents