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19 septembre 2013 4 19 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Altay tank nov 2012

Altay tank nov 2012

Sep. 18, 2013 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News

 

ANKARA — Despite their differences over the July coup in Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have ratified a defense industry cooperation agreement..

 

According to the agreement, which took effect Sept. 11, Turkey and Saudi Arabia “aim to increase cooperation in the defense industry by improving the industry capabilities of both countries through more effective collaboration on the development, production and procurement of goods and services in the defense industry and the related technical and logistical support fields.”

 

The agreement had been signed in May and was pending parliamentary approval.

 

The agreement will remain in force for five years and it should be extended automatically for successive one-year periods. Last year, the Turkish parliament also approved a deal with Saudi Arabia regarding cooperation in the training of military personnel.

 

On a political level, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have cooperated to support the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which both countries said must be removed. But Ankara and Riyadh differ in their Egypt policies. Turkey has been a fierce opponent of the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in July, while the Saudi kingdom has been supporting the military-backed government there.

 

Industry experts here say the cooperation accord between Turkey and Saudi Arabia could facilitate Turkey’s future exports of naval vessels, assault boats, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The Arab kingdom also has shown an interest in the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous new-generation battle tank now in the prototype production and testing stage.

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19 septembre 2013 4 19 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Défense : DCNS confirme un contrat de 750 millions d'euros en Arabie Saoudite

18/09/2013, Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Le PDG de DCNS, Patrick Boissier, a confirmé avoir conclu un contrat de 750 millions d'euros portant sur la modernisation d'une partie de la flotte saoudienne. Il a également confirmé que l'Etat travaillait sur la création d'une société pour vendre des armements en leasing.


 

Le PDG du groupe naval DCNS a confirmé ce mercredi avoir remporté un contrat de 750 millions d'euros pour rénover des frégates en Arabie saoudite. "On est en train de finaliser le contrat LEX pour l'entretien et la rénovation des frégates Sawari I, contrat qui fera 750 millions à peu près pour DCNS", a déclaré Patrick Boissier devant la commission de la défense de l'Assemblée nationale. Ce contrat LEX (Life extension Sawari I) porte sur la modernisation de quatre frégates de classe Al Medinah et de deux pétroliers ravitailleurs de classe Boraida, mis en service en 1985-1986. La Tribune avait annoncé fin août la victoire de DCNS et de ses partenaires Thales et MBDA sur ce contrat, attendu depuis plusieurs années. L'ensemble du contrat représente environ un milliard d'euros, ce qui avait été confirmé à l'AFP de source officieuse.

DCNS tablait sur ce succès pour se positionner sur les prochaines acquisitions de la marine saoudienne. "L'Arabie saoudite veut des nouvelles frégates, veut des sous-marins, il faut qu'on se bagarre pour être présents dans ce pays où la France a toujours eu un rôle significatif dans le domaine naval", a estimé Patrick Boissier, qui était auditionné par la commission de la défense de l'Assemblée nationale dans le cadre de l'examen du projet de Loi de programmation militaire (LPM) 2014-2019. Selon nos informations, François Hollande pourrait se rendre en Arabie Saoudite en décembre, et non plus à l'automne comme il en avait été question.

 

Des ventes en leasing

A l'export, DCNS cherche également à vendre ses navires en leasing pour remporter des marchés, a également confirmé mercredi Patrick Boissier. "Nous travaillons actuellement sur un projet qui est de mettre en place une société de leasing qui serait contrôlée par l'Etat (... afin) de prendre en charge un certain nombre de navires pour les mettre sur le marché international", a-t-il précisé. Selon lui, "c'est un levier extraordinaire pour l'export et nous avons un certain nombre de pays qui pourraient être intéressés par des frégates de type FREMM dans ces conditions là". Les FREMM sont des frégates multimissions furtives, prévues en version anti-sous-marine et en version défense aérienne. Elle coûtent environ 450 millions d'euros l'unité, a révélé Patrick Boissier. Pour DCNS, le programme FREMM représente douze unités, soit onze pour la Marine nationale, dont une a été livrée (Aquitaine) et une pour la Marine Royale du Maroc. Le groupe naval a mis à l'eau ce mercredi à Lorient la FREMM Provence.

FREMM Provence mise à flot 18.09.2013 - photo DCNS

FREMM Provence mise à flot 18.09.2013 - photo DCNS

Selon des sources concordantes, DCNS propose deux frégates à la Grèce et deux corvettes à Chypre. Le PDG a souligné que les Etats-Unis et l'Allemagne recouraient déjà à ce type de montage et que la Grande-Bretagne l'étudiait. Ainsi, a-t-il dit, "nous sommes candidats pour des sous-marins en Pologne mais nous avons en face de nous un projet germano-polonais qui consiste à donner en leasing à la Pologne des sous-marins allemands".

 

L'APE planche avec la DGA

DCNS, l'Agence des participations de l'Etat (APE) et la Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) planchent sur le projet au sein d'un groupe de travail. Ils espèrent aboutir à un accord avant la fin de l'année pour mettre la société en place au premier semestre 2014, afin de remporter des contrats à l'exportation, a indiqué le PDG de DCNS. Des succès à l'étranger permettraient selon lui de compenser les effets de la LPM, qui reporte des achats prévus de frégates et de sous-marins. La décision d'acquérir les trois dernières des onze frégates Fremm commandées par la France a même été reportée au-delà de la LPM.

Patrick Boissier a averti que si ces commandes étaient en fin de compte annulées, les surcoûts -- compensation dues au constructeur et à ses sous-traitants-- "seraient de 900 millions, c'est à dire là encore de deux frégates". Le projet de loi LPM prévoit des étalements de livraisons des sous-marins Barracuda, pour un surcoût que Patrick Boissier a évalué à 300 millions d'euros, et de frégate FREMM, pour un surcoût de 450 millions.

 

Plus de 3 milliards d'euros de chiffre d'affaires en 2013

Selon Patrick Boissier, le chiffre d'affaires de DCNS, qui est contrôlé à 64 % par l'Etat et à 35 % par le groupe Thales, "dépassera largement les 3 milliards d'euros" cette année et son carnet de commandes s'approche des 15 milliards.

Enfin, il a révélé que l'Etat allait bientôt proposer 1 % des actions aux employés, ce qui doublera leur participation au capital.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Saudi-British Green Flag Exercise

September 17th, 2013 By UK Ministry of Defence - defencetalk.com

 

Aircraft, crews and supporting personnel from the Royal Saudi Air Force, (RSAF) have been operating alongside their allies from the Royal Air Force as Exercise Saudi-British Green Flag took place at RAF Coningsby.

 

RSAF Typhoons from the 10th Sqn, based at King Fahad Air Base, Taif were flown into the Lincolnshire base alongside Tornados from the 75th Sqn, King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran. No 3 (Fighter) Squadron supplied the RAF Typhoon element, alongside a composite Tornado GR4 force from RAF Marham. The ten day exercise saw the Saudi and RAF crews fly in a series of training flights of gradually increasing complexity, during which the crews gained a wider knowledge of how the other force works and also how to use the relative strengths of their aircraft to generate greater overall effects.

 

Group Captain Johnny Stringer, RAF Coningsby Station Commander said, “For Coningsby and for the RAF this is a hugely significant exercise, an opportunity to fly the same aircraft types with our RSAF friends, to share our tactical thinking on how we employ our platforms, and for us as a station to support a detachment at significant range from a fellow air force.

 

He continued, “At the end of the exercise we will get to the point where success for us, and I think I can speak for the RSAF as well, is that our pilots, navigators, engineers, fighter controllers – all of the people who the RSAF has brought across that we are hosting both at Coningsby and more broadly in the UK – not only understand and know each other a little bit better, but if we ever have to go and fly and fight alongside each other for real then we will have the confidence in each other that we are able to do that.

 

Brigadier-General Mohammed Al-Shahrani, the RSAF Detachment Commander said, “One very important objective we have is to make sure that our people, from aircrew, to engineers, to staff, to fighter control and all the other roles, work side by side with the RAF; to be ready if we ever need to operate together.

 

Gp Capt Stringer,” In terms of what the exercise looks like, you are obviously drawn to Coningsby because it’s where the Tornados and Typhoons are operating, but we also have embedded RSAF personnel with our GCI personnel up at RAF Boulmer, and elsewhere, and we have them supporting the exercise directing staff. You can see from that breadth that this is more than just flying some aircraft together — this is a significant engagement.

 

Cooperation and greater understanding of how each air force works was a very clear objective for the exercise. This was not just limited to the pilots; engineers and other support staff on both sides also benefited. One example of the variety of roles that air force personnel provided during the exercise is that of No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron. Personnel from the squadron deployed to Coningsby to provide catering facilities to exercise personnel. Sgt Maxine Booth, “We are a mobile catering squadron, so our job is to pitch up in a tent somewhere and supply food. The big difference this time is that where we are usually in another country taking a piece of the UK to our forces, this time we are in the UK hoping to bring part of Saudi Arabia here. It has been a massively rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. We have some Saudi chefs with us and it has been fascinating to observe and learn different cooking techniques, for example with something as basic as rice. On a personal level, we are spending time with the Saudi’s, we are working with them and eating with them, it is great to learn about their culture and their language.

 

From the Saudi perspective, two aspects of the deployment stand out as significant. The exercise is the first significant deployment of the Typhoon outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is also the first time that the MRTT aircraft, (called Voyager by the RAF) has been used to “trail” aircraft operationally by any air force, a source of great pride for the RSAF. (A trail is when air-to-air refuelling aircraft are used to allow swift deployment; in this case the Typhoons flew directly from Saudi Arabia to the UK, refuelling en-route)

 

Brig-Gen Shahrani, “It is the first time we have deployed Typhoons for a long period of time outside our Kingdom so that means we are reaching out our logistic support to about 3,000 miles; it is very important for us to test that. Also it is the first time that we have used the Airbus MRTT for trailing from Saudi Arabia to here, which has proven successful.

 

Several of the Saudi pilots and engineers have been to Coningsby before as they undertook their Typhoon training at the Lincolnshire base, Brig-Gen Shahrani being the first pilot to do so in 2008.

 

Gp Capt Stringer, “The Saudis have been our friends and allies for a long time, and on an individual level it is wonderful to see friends such as Brigadier-General Shahrani back here”, Brigadier-General Shahrani echoed Group Captain Stringer’s comments, “When you operate as allies, knowing the other person, being able to pick up the telephone and talk to someone you already know, is very valuable.”

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Saudi-British Green Flag

September 17, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Royal Air Force News; published Sept. 16, 2013)

 

Aircraft, crews and supporting personnel from the Royal Saudi Air Force, (RSAF) have been operating alongside their allies from the Royal Air Force as Exercise Saudi-British Green Flag took place at RAF Coningsby.

 

RSAF Typhoons from the 10th Sqn, based at King Fahad Air Base, Taif were flown into the Lincolnshire base alongside Tornados from the 75th Sqn, King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran. No 3 (Fighter) Squadron supplied the RAF Typhoon element, alongside a composite Tornado GR4 force from RAF Marham. The ten day exercise saw the Saudi and RAF crews fly in a series of training flights of gradually increasing complexity, during which the crews gained a wider knowledge of how the other force works and also how to use the relative strengths of their aircraft to generate greater overall effects.

 

Group Captain Johnny Stringer, RAF Coningsby Station Commander said, “For Coningsby and for the RAF this is a hugely significant exercise, an opportunity to fly the same aircraft types with our RSAF friends, to share our tactical thinking on how we employ our platforms, and for us as a station to support a detachment at significant range from a fellow air force.

 

He continued, “At the end of the exercise we will get to the point where success for us, and I think I can speak for the RSAF as well, is that our pilots, navigators, engineers, fighter controllers - all of the people who the RSAF has brought across that we are hosting both at Coningsby and more broadly in the UK - not only understand and know each other a little bit better, but if we ever have to go and fly and fight alongside each other for real then we will have the confidence in each other that we are able to do that.

 

Brigadier-General Mohammed Al-Shahrani, the RSAF Detachment Commander said, “One very important objective we have is to make sure that our people, from aircrew, to engineers, to staff, to fighter control and all the other roles, work side by side with the RAF; to be ready if we ever need to operate together.

 

Gp Capt Stringer,” In terms of what the exercise looks like, you are obviously drawn to Coningsby because it’s where the Tornados and Typhoons are operating, but we also have embedded RSAF personnel with our GCI personnel up at RAF Boulmer, and elsewhere, and we have them supporting the exercise directing staff. You can see from that breadth that this is more than just flying some aircraft together — this is a significant engagement.

 

Cooperation and greater understanding of how each air force works was a very clear objective for the exercise. This was not just limited to the pilots; engineers and other support staff on both sides also benefited. One example of the variety of roles that air force personnel provided during the exercise is that of No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron. Personnel from the squadron deployed to Coningsby to provide catering facilities to exercise personnel. Sgt Maxine Booth, “We are a mobile catering squadron, so our job is to pitch up in a tent somewhere and supply food. The big difference this time is that where we are usually in another country taking a piece of the UK to our forces, this time we are in the UK hoping to bring part of Saudi Arabia here. It has been a massively rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. We have some Saudi chefs with us and it has been fascinating to observe and learn different cooking techniques, for example with something as basic as rice. On a personal level, we are spending time with the Saudi’s, we are working with them and eating with them, it is great to learn about their culture and their language.

 

From the Saudi perspective, two aspects of the deployment stand out as significant. The exercise is the first significant deployment of the Typhoon outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is also the first time that the MRTT aircraft, (called Voyager by the RAF) has been used to "trail" aircraft operationally by any air force, a source of great pride for the RSAF. (A trail is when air-to-air refuelling aircraft are used to allow swift deployment; in this case the Typhoons flew directly from Saudi Arabia to the UK, refuelling en-route)

 

Brig-Gen Shahrani, “It is the first time we have deployed Typhoons for a long period of time outside our Kingdom so that means we are reaching out our logistic support to about 3,000 miles; it is very important for us to test that. Also it is the first time that we have used the Airbus MRTT for trailing from Saudi Arabia to here, which has proven successful.

 

Several of the Saudi pilots and engineers have been to Coningsby before as they undertook their Typhoon training at the Lincolnshire base, Brig-Gen Shahrani being the first pilot to do so in 2008.

 

Gp Capt Stringer, "The Saudis have been our friends and allies for a long time, and on an individual level it is wonderful to see friends such as Brigadier-General Shahrani back here", Brigadier-General Shahrani echoed Group Captain Stringer’s comments, "When you operate as allies, knowing the other person, being able to pick up the telephone and talk to someone you already know, is very valuable."

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 17:58
Syrie: 11 pays du G20 appellent à une «réponse internationale forte» contre Damas

06/09/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca

 

Onze pays présents au sommet du G20 ont appelé vendredi dans une déclaration commune à une «réponse internationale forte» suite à l’usage d’armes chimiques en Syrie, assurant que des indices montraient «clairement» la responsabilité du régime de Bachar al-Assad dans une attaque chimique le 21 août.

The english version of the joint statement will follow:

Déclaration commune sur la Syrie (texte traduit de l’anglais):

Les dirigeants et les représentants de l’Australie, du Canada, de France, d’Italie, du Japon, de la République de Corée, de l’Arabie saoudite, d’Espagne, de Turquie, du Royaume-Uni et des États-Unis d’Amérique ont fait la déclaration suivante en marge de la réunion des leaders des pays du G 20 à Saint-Pétersbourg, en Russie:

La norme internationale contre l’utilisation d’armes chimiques est ancienne et universelle. L’utilisation d’armes chimiques diminue partout la sécurité des personnes partout dans le monde. Si elle n’est pas  n’est pas sanctionnée,  augmente le risque d’une nouvelle utilisation et la prolifération de ces armes.

Nous condamnons dans les termes les plus vifs l’attaque aux armes chimiques horrible dans la banlieue de Damas le 21 Août qui a coûté la vie de tant d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants. Les preuves indiquent clairement que le gouvernement syrien est responsable de l’attaque, qui corrspond au modèle d’utilisation des armes chimiques par le régime.

Nous appelons à une réponse internationale forte à cette violation grave des règles et la conscience du monde qui enverra  un message clair que ce genre d’atrocité ne peut jamais être répétée. Ceux qui ont perpétré ces crimes doivent être tenus responsables.

Les signataires [de cette déclaration, ndlr] ont constamment soutenu une résolution forte du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, étant donné les responsabilités qui incombent au  Conseil de sécurité de mener  la réponse  internationale, mais reconnaissent  que le Conseil reste paralysé comme il l’a été pendant deux ans et demi. Devant l’échec du processus au Conseil de Sécurité, le monde ne peut pas attendre indéfiniment, ce  qui ne peut que conduire à une augmentation de la souffrance en Syrie et de l’instabilité régionale. Nous soutenons les efforts entrepris par les États-Unis et d’autres pays pour faire respecter l’interdiction de l’utilisation d’armes chimiques.

Nous nous engageons à soutenir les efforts internationaux à long terme, y compris à travers les Nations Unies, pour relever le défi de la sécurité durable posée par les stocks d’armes chimiques de la Syrie. Les signataires ont également appelé la mission d’enmquête de l’ONU mission à  présenter ses résultats dès que possible, et  le Conseil de sécurité à agir en conséquence.

Nous condamnons dans les termes les plus énergiques toutes les violations des droits humains en Syrie de tous les côtés. Plus de 100.000 personnes ont été tuées dans le conflit, plus de 2 millions de personnes sont devenus des réfugiés, et environ 5 millions sont déplacées à l’intérieur [de la Syrie]. Reconnaissant que le conflit en Syrie n’a pas de solution militaire, nous réaffirmons notre engagement à rechercher un règlement politique pacifique à travers la mise en œuvre complète du communiqué de  la Conférence de Genève  2012. Nous sommes déterminés à trouver une solution politique qui ménera à une Syrie unie, solidaire et démocratique.

Nous avons contribué généreusement au dernier appel à l’aide humanitaire  des Nations Unies (ONU) et du  CICR  [Comité international de la Croix-Rouge] et nous allons continuer à fournir un soutien pour répondre aux besoins humanitaires croissants en Syrie et leur impact sur les pays de la région. Nous nous félicitons des contributions annoncées lors de la réunion des pays donateurs en marge du G20. Nous appelons toutes les parties à permettre aux acteurs humanitaires un accès sûr et sans entraves aux personnes dans le besoin.

Les signataires européens continueront à s’engager dans la promotion d’une position européenne commune.

- – -

Joint Statement on Syria

The Leaders and Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America made the following statement on the margins of the Group of 20 Nations Leader’s Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia:

The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal.  The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere.  Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons.

We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women, and children.  The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.

We call for a strong international response to this grave violation of the world’s rules and conscience that will send a clear message that this kind of atrocity can never be repeated. Those who perpetrated these crimes must be held accountable.

Signatories have consistently supported a strong UN Security Council Resolution, given the Security Council’s responsibilities to lead the international response, but recognize that the Council remains paralyzed as it has been for two and a half years.  The world cannot wait for endless failed processes that can only lead to increased suffering in Syria and regional instability.  We support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.

We commit to supporting longer term international efforts, including through the United Nations, to address the enduring security challenge posed by Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.  Signatories have also called for the UN fact finding mission to present its results as soon as possible, and for the Security Council to act accordingly.

We condemn in the strongest terms all human rights violations in Syria on all sides.  More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, more than 2 million people have become refugees, and approximately 5 million are internally displaced.  Recognizing that Syria’s conflict has no military solution, we reaffirm our commitment to seek a peaceful political settlement through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique.  We are committed to a political solution which will result in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria.

We have contributed generously to the latest United Nations (UN) and ICRC appeals for humanitarian assistance and will continue to provide support to address the growing humanitarian needs in Syria and their impact on regional countries. We welcome the contributions announced at the meeting of donor countries on the margins of the G20.  We call upon all parties to allow humanitarian actors safe and unhindered access to those in need.

European signatories will continue to engage in promoting a common European position.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:30
Syrie: les pays arabes prêts à financer l'intervention américaine (Kerry)

WASHINGTON, 5 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

Les pays arabes ont proposé de prendre en charge les frais d'une éventuelle intervention américaine en Syrie, a déclaré mercredi à Washington le secrétaire d'Etat US John Kerry.

"Les pays arabes nous ont effectivement proposé de couvrir les frais de l'opération militaire (...). Nous examinons cette proposition", a indiqué le chef de la diplomatie américaine s'exprimant devant le comité des Affaires étrangères de la Chambre des représentants.

La Ligue arabe a exclu la Syrie de ses rangs, tandis que certains pays arabes à majorité sunnite fournissent des armes à l'opposition syrienne combattant les forces fidèles au président Bachar el-Assad. L'Arabie saoudite et le Qatar sont considérés comme les principaux sponsors des anti-Assad.

Washington accuse le régime de Bachar el-Assad d'avoir employé le 21 août dernier des armes chimiques contre l'opposition armée et la population civile dans une banlieue de Damas. Le président américain Barack Obama a pris la décision de lancer une opération militaire contre les autorités syriennes sans mandat du Conseil de sécurité de l'Onu, mais a demandé l'aval du Congrès.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 17:30
sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite  - source LesEchos.fr

sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite - source LesEchos.fr

03/09/13 challenges.fr (Finance +)

 

Cassidian, la filiale sécurité d'EADS, aurait pris un gros retard sur le contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie Saoudite, le plus gros de ce type jamais signé. Le quotidien allemand 'Handelsblatt' dispose d'une source qui lui a fait savoir que le lancement, initialement prévu en 2014, pourrait être décalé de deux ans. Le projet, signé en 2009, devait initialement durer 5 ans. Le journal allemand évoque des problèmes de réalisation aussi bien que des changements décidés par le donneur d'ordres pour expliquer le décalage d'un programme destiné à doter 9.000 kilomètres de frontières d'un système de surveillance électronique, dont la valeur était estimée à quelque 2 milliards de dollars.

Note RP Defense :

 

EADS décroche le contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite

 

Par Alain Ruello - Les Echos n° 20457 du 02 Juillet 2009 • page 19

 

Le groupe européen, candidat de Berlin dans l'appel d'offres, a signé ce contrat de plus de 1,5 milliard d'euros, connu pendant longtemps sous l'acronyme « Miksa ». Une claque pour Thales, et donc pour Paris, même si les équipes françaises d'EADS participeront au projet.

 

Ambiance de fête chez EADS : en pole position depuis le début de l'année, le groupe aéronautique européen vient de décrocher le très mirifique et très politique contrat de sécurisation des frontières de l'Arabie saoudite, aussi appelé « Saudi Border Guard Development Program ». L'accord, conclu mardi, a été annoncé hier, après une information du site Internet du « Point ». « Il s'agit du plus important contrat de ce genre jamais conclu dans le monde », se félicite EADS. Le montant de la transaction se situerait entre 1,5 et 2 milliards d'euros. Après le Qatar, la Roumanie, ou encore les Emirats arabes unis, le groupe européen peut ainsi s'enorgueillir d'une nouvelle référence de marque sur le marché très fermé de la sécurité nationale. A l'inverse, il s'agit d'un véritable camouflet pour Thales _ et Paris _ même si une part du travail reviendra en France.

 

Longtemps connu sous l'acronyme de « Miksa », ce projet consiste à doter en cinq ans les 9.000 kilomètres de frontières, maritimes et terrestres, du royaume d'un système électronique de surveillance, à grands renforts de radars, de réseaux de télécoms, ou encore de caméras. Initié après la première guerre du Golfe, il a échappé de très peu à Thales au début des années 2000. Après plusieurs années d'une négociation de gré à gré entre la France et l'Arabie saoudite, les guerres d'influence entre l'Elysée et le ministère de l'Intérieur dirigé alors par Nicolas Sarkozy font en effet échouer l'affaire sur le fil. « Quand je pense qu'on a été à deux doigts de signer ! » regrette encore un dirigeant de Thales.

 

Riyad _ où les luttes de pouvoir ont compté également _ gèle alors l'affaire, pour la relancer en 2005. Mais dans le cadre d'une procédure d'appel d'offres cette fois-ci. A chaque capitale intéressée de soutenir son champion : ce sera Thales pour la France, EADS pour Berlin, Raytheon pour Washington, BAE Systems pour Londres, ou encore Finmeccanica pour Rome. Sans oublier Russes et Chinois. La procédure suit son cours, et finit par aboutir en 2008 à une liste de trois finalistes : EADS, Thales, et Raytheon. Et un seul, le champion de l'Allemagne, au début de l'année.

 

C'est qu'entre-temps, EADS a très bien joué. D'abord en débauchant le représentant de Thales en Arabie saoudite. « Ils ont laissé filer leur carte maîtresse », explique un bon connaisseur du dossier qui pointe une erreur « majeure ». Ensuite, en construisant une offre bien moins chère que celles de ses deux concurrents. Exemple : quand Thales propose de former les gardes saoudiens, EADS suggère de former des formateurs. De ce point de vue, l'affaire rappelle celle du métro automatique de Dubaï où Mitsubishi, pourtant peu présent sur ce créneau, a coiffé au poteau Siemens et Alstom en comprimant les prix au maximum.

 

Du coup, aux yeux de Riyad, la proposition de la maison mère d'Airbus a un double mérite : elle est la moins-disante financièrement, et la moins coûteuse politiquement. En retenant le groupe sponsorisé par Berlin, le royaume ne fâche ni Washington ni Paris. Enfin, un troisième élément a joué puisque le groupe de BTP local Al-Rachid avait déjà été retenu pour la surveillance de la frontière nord, avec EADS comme sous-traitant. Le fait de choisir à nouveau le groupe européen facilite la réalisation de l'ensemble.

 

L'affaire ne devrait pas s'arrêter là. Car à Riyad, on projette d'équiper les gardes-frontières d'hélicoptères, de navires côtiers ou encore de jeeps, qu'il faudra bien relier au système de surveillance. Pour EADS, qui devrait disposer de plusieurs centaines d'ingénieurs sur place à terme, c'est la promesse d'autres développements, au delà des cinq ans du contrat signé mardi.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 18:55
Saudi Arabia Raises Military Alertness Over Syria

August 30, 2013 voanews.com

 

DOHA — Saudi Arabia, a supporter of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has raised its level of military alertness in anticipation of a possible Western strike in Syria, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

 

The United States has been calling for punitive action against Assad's government for a suspected poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people.

 

Saudi Arabia's defense readiness has been raised to "two" from "five," a Saudi military source who declined to be named told Reuters. "One" is the highest level of alert.

 

"It is a must, no one knows what will happen," he said.

 

The source said other countries in the region, including Jordan, Turkey and Israel, appeared also to have raised their level of military readiness.

 

A second source said Saudi Arabia's defense readiness had been raised last week, and meant that all leave for the armed forces would be cancelled.

 

The sources declined to give further details of what a change in alert level would mean, but analysts said it was likely some forces would be moved closer to national borders.

 

In Kuwait lawmakers have asked their government to inform them about plans for readiness to deal with repercussions of a strike on Syria, Kuwaiti newspapers reported.

 

The prime minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, held an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Thursday, al-Watan reported.

 

Interior minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Hamad al-Sabah was told to take all necessary measures in case of an emergency that might arise as a result of strikes, the paper said.

 

Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, Qatar and other Sunni Muslim powers back the mainly Sunni rebels battling Assad, who is from Syria's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. The rebels have been joined by foreign Sunni jihadis.

 

Assad enjoys military support from Iran, Lebanon's Hezbollah and among Iraqi Shi'ites.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 17:30
New Middle East Clients Lining Up To Buy CH-47 Chinooks

In June, Boeing began delivery of 13 new CH-147F model Chinooks to Canada. Here, the first helicopter off the line demonstrates its capabilities Aug. 28. (Boeing)

 

Aug. 29, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News

 

MIDDLETOWN, DEL. — Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar head the list of countries looking to begin flying variants of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in coming years, Boeing officials said here Wednesday. .

 

If deals being negotiated between Boeing, the US government, and these three countries eventually come to fruition, projections are that at least 54 Chinooks would be shipped overseas, making up a good portion of the 168 Chinooks that foreign clients around the globe are considering buying in coming years.

 

Pentagon officials and defense industry brahmins have been talking for the better part of two years about how they’re planning to rely on foreign sales to make up for the reductions they’re seeing in the US defense market, but a chart shown to reporters Wednesday really drove that point home.

 

On top of the 830 Chinook H-47 variants that are currently flying around the world, the chart showed, Boeing executives are working with foreign clients and the US government to sell another 168 to new and existing clients if all goes as planned.

 

In addition to the six CH-47D models and 16 CH-47F models that Libyan officials are working on buying, Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in fielding one of the world’s largest CH-47F fleets, with at least 24 helicopters being considered for the oil-rich kingdom.

 

Mark Ballew, director of business development for Boeing’s Chinook program, said the company is preparing to do a flight demonstration in Saudi Arabia, and that Qatar is interested in buying eight of the “F” models similar to what the company produced for Canada, which feature larger external fuel tanks and an upgraded electrical system.

 

Morocco, which has already purchased three “D” models, also is talking about buying three more, and Egypt, which currently flies 18 “D”s, has enquired about buying six more from the US Army as it retires them in the switch to the upgraded “F” aircraft.

 

Boeing is also involved in the competition for India’s heavy lift requirement, which would mean 15 more “F” aircraft if it wins.

 

The deals with these countries are still very early on in the negotiation stage, Ballew and other executives stressed, adding that contracts for the birds aren’t expected soon.

 

Any deals several years down the road would be welcome news for Boeing, however, as the company’s $4 billion, five-year deal with the US Army for 214 more CH-47 “F” models will end in 2019.

 

That agreement would add to the 241 CH-47F helicopters that the Army already has in its fleet, eventually bringing the service close to its goal of 464 “F” models.

 

The foreign deals — especially with countries in the Middle East — aren’t just helicopter contracts, however. Countries in the region have generally neglected establishing their own maintenance and logistics programs, which would mean years of repair work for the contractor.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Bradley photo BAE Systems

Bradley photo BAE Systems

Aug. 28, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News

 

STERLING HEIGHTS, MICH. — The Iraqi government is negotiating with the US government and BAE Systems to purchase 200 Bradley Fighting Vehicles sometime during the next 15 months, according to BAE officials.

 

The potential deal is expected sometime in 2014 and could come just before another expected agreement is reached with Saudi Arabia to buy Bradleys in 2015. The Iraq contract would provide recently upgraded M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm) variants to the Baghdad government, the same vehicles that the US Army National Guard uses.

 

“We’ve done all the upfront work and for those sales,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of vehicle systems for the company. He added that Iraq already has about 1,000 tracked M113 infantry carriers made by BAE.

 

Although the sale of the vehicles would be good news for the company, which has been laying off employees in its Land Armaments sector since MRAP sales dried up, the decline in overall US defense spending is all but irreversible at this point, he said.

 

“We’re past the point where we can avoid layoffs,” Signorelli said during an event Aug. 26 at the company’s new glass-encased facilities here.

 

Overall, the company has been forced to reduce staff from 650 employees to about 335 at the facility in Michigan, which mostly does prototyping and research work for ground vehicles.

 

If the deals eventually go through, they’ll follow on about $4.3 billion worth of contracts the Iraqi government has requested in recent weeks from the US government for 50 Stryker infantry carriers, helicopters and air defense systems.

 

There is also a pending $750 million deal to do maintenance work on Iraqi M113s, Humvees, M88s and other ground vehicles, which Signorelli said BAE will likely bid on as part of a team with industry partners.

 

The Bradley industrial base is something that BAE Systems is extremely concerned about. Signorelli said the company has reached deals with the US Army to keep the line at York, Pa., humming through 2014, but that the work will run out about halfway through 2015. “We mitigated the major risks in ’14,” he said, but “we still can’t support the entire supply base. There will be layoffs.”

 

The work to convert 59 Bradley cavalry scout vehicles to the newer M2A3 configuration would end about halfway through 2015, which would be the end of the line until a larger reset program begins in 2018, the company has said.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 16:30
frégate de la classe Al Medinah

frégate de la classe Al Medinah

28/08/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Selon des sources concordantes, la société ODAS, qui représente les intérêts français en Arabie saoudite, a signé un contrat d'Etat à Etat au mois d'août avec Ryad d'un montant de plus de 1 milliard d'euros portant sur la modernisation d'une partie de la flotte militaire du Royaume. DCNS, Thales et MBDA ainsi que ODAS se partagent la commande.

 

C'est un bel été pour l'industrie française de l'armement, qui engrange enfin des gros contrats export. Après les deux contrats gagnés d'une valeur totale de près de 1 milliard d'euros par EADS et Thales aux Emirats arabes unis (deux satellites espions et 17 radars de défense aérienne), c'est au tour de l'Arabie Saoudite de débloquer un contrat longtemps attendu. Selon des sources concordantes, la société ODAS, qui représente dans le royaume les intérêts des industriels français DCNS, Thales et MBDA, a signé en août avec Ryad un contrat d'Etat à Etat (LEX ou Life Extension Sawari 1) de plus d'un milliard d'euros portant sur la modernisation de quatre frégates de classe Al Medinah et de deux pétroliers-ravitailleurs de la classe Boraida mis en service en 1985-1986 (contrat Sawari I).

 

Le contrat pourrait être mis en vigueur dès le 1er septembre. Quatre sociétés se partagent cette commande : DCNS avec son partenaire saoudien Zamil (700 millions d'euros), Thales (moins de 200 millions), MBDA, qui va équiper les pétroliers de son nouveau système surface-air à très courte portée de MBDA Simbad-RC (entre 40 et 50 millions d'euros), et ODAS (infrastructures). ODAS a été créée à la demande de l'État français pour contribuer à développer les exportations dans le domaine de la défense, de la sécurité et des hautes technologies. ODAS intervient essentiellement en Arabie saoudite dans le cadre de contrats d'État à État ou de contrats commerciaux. Son actionnariat rassemble, aux côtés de l'État français, une dizaine de grandes entreprises, dont DCNS, MBDA France et Thales.

 

Plus de cinq ans de négociations

 

DCNS attendait depuis longtemps la signature de ce contrat espéré depuis près de deux ans (les négociations ont commencé il y plus de cinq ans) pour moderniser une partie de la flotte saoudienne. Le contrat LEX sera réalisé en partie par un chantier naval saoudien, le groupe Zamil. Pour DCNS, un contrat de ce type est une première en Arabie Saoudite. Le chantier naval français va devoir créer une structure industrielle à Djeddah sur les bords de la Mer Rouge. En outre, la remise en état des navires peu entretenus sera compliquée. Du coup, l'enjeu pour DCNS sera de maîtriser les coûts de production et les délais dans un environnement peu connu par le groupe... et de satisfaire le client dans ce domaine pour remporter un nouveau contrat de modernisation (Sawari 2).

 

Selon nos informations, DCNS aurait déjà obtenu un autre contrat de 150 millions d'euros pour la modernisation des frégates Sawari 2 dans le cadre d'un accord-cadre global. Soit 850 millions engrangés au total par le chantier naval.

 

Des frégates multimissions Fremm en Arabie saoudite ?

 

Mais surtout DCNS compte à plus long terme beaucoup sur la vente d'au moins six frégates multimissions Fremm (Sawari III). "Le contrat Lex est important pour la vente des Fremm", assurait-on il y a plus d'un an à "latribune.fr". D'autant que DCNS et Paris, via la structure ODAS, proposent une coopération industrielle globale aux Saoudiens avec l'assemblage à terme des Fremm en Arabie saoudite, assorti de transferts de technologies (aussi bien sur la tôle que sur l'électronique) et d'un volet formation. Mais les premières Fremm seraient réalisées à Lorient, expliquait-on à "latribune.fr".

 

François Hollande en Arabie saoudite cet automne

 

Le président François Hollande, qui a déjà effectué une visite express en Arabie Saoudite en novembre 2012, comptait s'y rendre cet été mais le roi était parti se reposer à l'étranger. Les Saoudiens ont donc repoussé cette visite d'Etat, qui est désormais prévue cet automne. La convergence de vue entre Paris et Ryad sur le dossier syrien n'est pas étranger au réchauffement des relations franco-saoudiennes après la période glaciale du quinquennat de Nicolas Sarkozy, comme le démontre la signature de LEX. "Ryad a pris le temps de se faire une idée des nouveaux responsables politiques français", explique un connaisseur du royaume.

 

Désormais, les industriels français, notamment Thales, attendent la signature du mégacontrat Mark 3 portant sur la livraison de nouveaux missiles Crotale (défense aérienne). « Les discussions se sont accélérées », explique-t-on à La Tribune.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 11:30
Royal Saudi Arabia Air force F-15SA  Boeing – source Asian Defence News

Royal Saudi Arabia Air force F-15SA Boeing – source Asian Defence News

August 27, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued August 23, 2013)

 

Saudi Arabia - Sustainment and Support

 

WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Aug 22 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of follow-on support and services for Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.2 billion.

 

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of follow-on support and services for Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) aircraft, engines and weapons, to include contractor technical services, logistics support, maintenance support, spares, equipment repair, expendables, support and test equipment, communication support, precision measuring equipment, personnel training and training equipment, technical support, exercises, deployments and other related elements of program support services, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $1.2 billion.

 

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia needs this follow on maintenance and logistical support to sustain the combat and operational readiness of its existing aircraft fleet.

 

The proposed sale of this support and services will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

 

There is no prime contractor involved in this proposed sale. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

 

Implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government personnel or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia.

 

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this sale.

 

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 16:30
Al Watah missile base – Photo IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

Al Watah missile base – Photo IHS Jane's Intelligence Review

July 11, 2013 Source: IHS

 

LONDON --- Analysis reveals a newly identified surface-to-surface missile base deep in the Saudi desert, capable of targeting Israel and Iran, according to IHS Inc. (IHS), the leading global source of information and analytics.

 

As fears of a nuclear-armed Iran continue to stoke tensions in the Middle East, there are questions over whether Saudi Arabia might also purchase nuclear weapons. IHS Jane's Intelligence Review has looked in detail at the Saudi missile programme and assessed Riyadh’s delivery capabilities.

 

Using satellite imagery, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review identified an undisclosed surface-to-surface missile facility in Saudi Arabia. With a different layout to the previously documented Al Sulayyil and Al Jufayr missile bases, this new third site potentially serves as a training and storage complex with the ability to perform operational missile launches.

 

There are two launch pads at the facility, one appearing to be aligned on a bearing of approximately 301 degrees and suggesting a potential Israeli target, and the other oriented along a bearing of approximately 10 degrees, ostensibly situated to target Iranian locations. IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review assesses that the site likely has a limited operational capacity within a defined target set, and could serve as an off-site storage point for additional missile airframes and propellant stocks.

 

"While the lorry-launched missiles can theoretically be fired from any location, the idea of having pre-planned directional markers is to ensure that they can be deployed in accurate fashion as quickly as possible. There is a marked out spot for the launch truck to park in, which will facilitate an expedited launch," said Allison Puccioni, Image Analyst, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review.

 

Robert Munks, Deputy Editor, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, comments: “The identification of a third missile complex in Saudi Arabia comes as IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review assesses that Saudi Arabia is likely to begin re-arming its missile stock with more modern and accurate Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles. There has also been recurrent speculation that Saudi Arabia would seek to procure nuclear weapons “off-the-shelf” should Iran develop them, as suggested by former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal in 2011. For such short notice, the foundations for both nuclear-capable launch vehicles and for acquiring the warheads will need to have been laid in advance.”

 

"Our assessment suggests that this base is either partly or fully operational, with the launch pads pointing in the directions of Israel and Iran respectively. We cannot be certain that the missiles are pointed specifically at Tel Aviv and Tehran themselves, but if they were to be launched, you would expect them to be targeting major cities. We do not want to make too many inferences about the Saudi strategy, but clearly Saudi Arabia does not enjoy good relations with either Iran or Israel,” adds Robert Munks, deputy editor of IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

 

Saudi Arabia’s reported attempts to acquire more modern delivery systems do not appear to have been fruitful. This means that Riyadh would have to rely on its ageing fleet of Chinese Dong Feng-3 (DF-3) surface-to-surface missiles. Purchased in 1985, the DF-3 has a range of between 2,650 and 4,000 km dependent on the warhead weight, and is nuclear-capable.

 

 

IHS is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs 6,700 people in 31 countries around the world.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 16:30
Leopard 2 tank photo KMW

Leopard 2 tank photo KMW

Jul. 12, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

General Dynamics considered as alternative

 

FRANKFURT — German defense technology group Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann is about to lose a contract worth at least 5 billion euros from Saudi Arabia, the daily Handelsblatt reported Friday.

 

The Saudis are losing patience over Berlin’s foot-dragging on a deal, worth US $6.5 billion, to deliver 270 Leopard combat tanks, which is the subject of fierce controversy in Germany, the newspaper said.

 

As a result, Riyadh is considering awarding the contract to US giant General Dynamics.

 

Handelsblatt also reported that KMW was in “advanced” merger talks with French rival Nexter.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 12:30
Mark V Patrol Boats for Saudi Arabia

July 12th, 2013 By US Defense Security Cooperation Agency - defencetalk.com

 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress July 9 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of 30 Mark V patrol boats and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.2 billion.

 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of 30 Mark V patrol boats, 32 27mm guns, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $1.2 billion.

 

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of Saudi Arabia which has been, and continues to be, an important force for stability in the Middle East. This sale of Mark V patrol boats will give the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) an effective combat and threat deterrent capability to protect maritime infrastructure in the Saudi littorals. This acquisition will enhance the stability and security operations for boundaries and territorial areas encompassing the Saudi Arabian coastline.

 

The purchase of Mark V patrol boats represents an upgrade and modernization of the RSNF’s existing patrol boat capability. The proposed sale will enhance interoperability between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will contribute to the stability in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region. The Mark V patrol boats will provide additional capability to rapidly identify, engage, and defeat maritime security threats in the near-offshore region of the Saudi littorals. The boats will be used primarily to patrol and interdict intruders in Saudi territorial seas, and recognized economic exclusion zones. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these additional boats.

 

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

 

The principal contractor for this effort has not yet been determined. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

 

Implementation of this proposed sale will require an additional three to four U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia for a period of seven years to provide logistics and technical support and warranty work during delivery of the boats.

 

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

 

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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3 juillet 2013 3 03 /07 /juillet /2013 10:30
AIM-9X Block II

AIM-9X Block II

June 28, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Saudi Arabia and South Korea recently ordered over 150 AIM-9X Block 2 air-to-air heat seeking missiles. Both nations have used this missile for decades and are satisfied customers. They are not alone. The AIM-9X Block 2 is the latest version of the Sidewinder, a missile that has come a long way since it first appeared in the 1950s. In the last 25 years these short-range heat-seeking missiles have accounted for some 90 percent of losses in air-to-air combat. Sidewinder still dominates the market, despite a lot of competition from the likes of IRIS-T, ASRAAM, Magic, Python, Molinya, and several Chinese clones of foreign designs.

 

There are not only a lot of different heat-seekers out there, they offer a wide variety of features. Sidewinder has managed to dominate the field by concentrating on the most useful, workable, and popular features. For example, the 9X-2 can lock-on-after-launch. That is, the missile can be fired and then directed to a target via a datalink. That means it can be fired at ground targets or at an enemy aircraft behind you. The X-2 version also makes improvements in the warhead fuze and other components. As impressive as all these features, most are already found in similar missiles made in several other countries (including Russia and China). In effect, the X-2 version is just keeping up. What the U.S. sells, in addition, is an impressive track record of reliability and the high probability of actually performing as expected in combat. Over 4,000 X model Sidewinders have been built since it entered service in 2003. Block II (X-2) entered service four years ago.

 

The AIM-9 is a heat seeking missile and the heat sensors have become much more sensitive since the first AIM-9s. The current versions of the missile work by detecting a heat source at the point where the pilot is looking. This is done using the JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems), which allows a pilot to see, displayed on his visor, critical flight and navigation information. Sort of like a see-through computer monitor or HUD (Head Up Display). Most importantly, the pilot can turn his head towards a target, get an enemy aircraft or ground target into the crosshairs displayed on the visor, and fire a missile that will promptly go after the target the pilot was looking at. For Sidewinder the pilot has to be looking at something giving off enough heat to catch the attention of the missile's heat sensor. With the X-2 the pilot can launch the missile before he has located the target via the JHMCS, saving a critical few seconds.

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14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
LONGBOW Receives $90 M Contract for Saudi Arabia Apache Radar Systems

Jun 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin

 

The LONGBOW Limited Liability Company, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Northrop Grumman Corporation [NYSE: NOC], received a $90.6 million contract to provide Saudi Arabia with LONGBOW Fire Control Radars (FCRs) for the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter.

 

The contract award includes AH-64E LONGBOW FCRs, spares and support for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command. The contract also includes LONGBOW FCRs for the Saudi Arabia National Guard and LONGBOW Mast Mounted Assemblies for the U.S. Army.

 

“Saudi Arabia is emerging as one of the largest international users of the LONGBOW systems,” said Mike Taylor, LONGBOW LLC president and director of LONGBOW programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The AH-64E LONGBOW FCR's new Radar Electronics Unit provides greater processing power and provision for significant growth while reducing weight and maintenance costs.”

 

“The LONGBOW FCR team values our ability to provide Saudi Arabia with a product that will promote greater regional security while providing warfighters with the highest level of protection,” said Mike Galletti, director of the Tactical Sensor Solutions-Aviation business unit for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division.

 

Since 1998, the LONGBOW FCR has provided Apache aircrews with target detection, location, classification and prioritization. In all weather, over multiple terrains and through any battlefield obscurant, the radar allows automatic and rapid multi-target engagement.

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Britain, Saudi Arabia Talk Strengthening Military Ties

Jun. 12, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

RIYADH — British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond discussed strengthening military and security ties with Saudi Arabia with top defense officials in the kingdom on Wednesday, the state-run SPA news agency reported.

 

Hammond met Crown Prince and Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz in the port city of Jeddah, and they discussed ways to bolster cooperation as well as regional and international developments, SPA said.

 

He later met National Guard Minister Prince Mitab, it reported.

 

No more details were provided on Hague’s visit, but Britain is trying to boost arms sales to oil-rich Gulf Arab states, key allies in a region facing instability from the violence in Syria and the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.

 

In December, British defense group BAE Systems said discussions would continue on an agreement to sell fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

 

BAE had warned that the lucrative deal was facing unresolved “issues” five years after the agreement was struck between the two sides.

 

Both sides signed a £4.5 billion (US $7.3-billion) deal in 2007 to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes to Riyadh.

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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 18:30
Préparation de l’exercice «Green Shield 2014»

03/06/2013 Armée de l'air

 

Une réunion préparatoire (Initial planning conference) de l’exercice «Green Shield» qui aura lien en 2014 s’est déroulée, les 22 et 23 mai 2013, au CDAOA (commandement de la défense aérienne et des opérations aériennes) sur la base de Balard à Paris, en présence d’une délégation saoudienne.  

 

Depuis sa première édition en 2007, l’exercice franco-saoudien air-air "Green Shield" est biannuel. Il s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’activité de coopération bilatérale entre l’armée de l’air française et la Royal Saoudi Air Force. En 2012, l’exercice, qui comportait un

 

volet air-sol avec des missions de type Close Air Support (CAS - appui aérien rapproché),  s’est déroulé dans l’espace aérien saoudien. Mais, lors de la prochaine édition en 2014, l’Arabie Saoudite sera l’hôte de la France. 

L’exercice "Green Shield" a vocation à entraîner au combat aérien les pilotes de chasse des deux pays.

 

En avril 2014, des avions de chasse saoudiens et plus d’une vingtaine d’avions français seront engagés depuis la base aérienne 133 de Nancy-Ochey. Ainsi, 16 chasseurs français (dix Mirage 2000, quatre Rafale et deux Alphajet) évolueront aux côtés de six F15 saoudiens. Pour compléter le dispositif aérien français, un E-3F et deux hélicoptères Caracal participeront à l’exercice.

Une délégation Saoudienne s'est rendue à Paris dans le cadre du futur exercice "Green Shield".

Une délégation Saoudienne s'est rendue à Paris dans le cadre du futur exercice "Green Shield".

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 11:30
Ankara hopes that by 2017, as the first Altay MBT rolls off the production line it will be produced both for Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Savunma ve havacilik, Turkey

Ankara hopes that by 2017, as the first Altay MBT rolls off the production line it will be produced both for Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Savunma ve havacilik, Turkey

May 31, 2013 defense-update.com

 

Turkey’s defense industry may sell hundreds of new generation Altay battle tanks (video) to Saudi Arabia, as the two countries show a common understanding on the civil war in Syria – Defense-Update reports.

The rift between Sunni and Shiite moslems reflected in the Syrian Civil war could open new business opportunities for Turkish defense industries, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports. One of the main prospects, Saudi Arabia is sharing political and strategic interest with Turkey, particularly over the Syrian civil war and support for Syrian rebels. “There are indications that their political alliance with Ankara may facilitate bigger contracts,” Hurriyet quoted a top defense industry official in Turkey.

An executive from a Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer said that reinforced alliances with some of the Gulf countries over the Syrian crisis have already indicated that new contracts could be in the offing for the Turkish arms industry. “I can say that we are more warmly welcomed in certain [Gulf] capitals than before. Our counterparts have made it clear that almost excellent political relations their countries have with Turkey could soon turn into new business opportunities for Turkish defense companies,” he said.

Turkey has already offered hundreds of Altay Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to Saudi Arabia. While the Altay is still in development, Ankara is hopeful a preliminary agreement over a future order of the Altay could be struck in the near future. “The Altay is not available for immediate sale, but is potentially a powerful export product when you think of a medium-term deal. Saudis are good customers with available cash, good political ties and their need for new tanks. We are hopeful about a future deal [for the Altay],” an official with the Turkish Defense procurement agency (SSM) said. Riyadh expressed interest in modernizing its fleet of MBTs for years, but has yet to decide what tank it would like to buy. Among the platforms they have considered in the past were the leopard II, which is still in consideration, French AMX-56 Leclerc, the cancelled T-95 and its successor T-99 ‘Armata’ from Russia. Saudi Arabia already operates several hundreds American M-1A2 currently undergoing systems upgrades. New tanks are required to replace 320 AMX-30 tanks delivered from France in the 1980s.

Koç Holding’s Otokar is currently producing prototypes of the Altay MBT. Under the turkish defense procurement plan, four tranches of 250 units will be procured over the next decade, gradually replacing some 3,000 German-made Leopard 1 and US made M-60s and obsolete M48 still in service. Ankara is hopeful that a Saudi order could further improve the production cost of the new tank, expected to begin in 2017, establishing the new tank’s position in the export market.

Source: Defense-Update

Otokar Altay Main Battle Tank

Otokar Altay Main Battle Tank

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
Saudi Arabian PC-21 – photo Stephan Widmer

Saudi Arabian PC-21 – photo Stephan Widmer

29 May 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

London - Saudi Arabia's first PC-21 trainer has emerged in its future service livery at Pilatus's Stans manufacturing facility in Switzerland.

 

Drawn from a 55-unit order signed in May 2012, Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft 901 has made its first ground engine runs, ahead of a flight debut that is likely to be performed within the next couple of months. Deliveries to the service will start during 2014, as part of a deal including 22 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers.

 

Pilatus's current order book for the PC-21 includes 24 examples to be manufactured for Qatar. The type is already in operational service with the air forces of Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 07:30
CEMA : Déplacement en Arabie saoudite et au Koweït

06/05/2013 Sources : EMA

 

A l’invitation de ses homologues saoudien et koweïtien, l’amiral Edouard Guillaud, chef d’état-major des armées, s’est rendu dans la région du Golfe arabo-persique entre le 20 et le 22 avril.

 

Lors de son passage à Riyad, l’amiral Guillaud s’est entretenu avec de nombreuses autorités politiques et militaires dont le général d’armée Hussein Bin Abdallah Qubayel, chef d’état-major des forces armées du Royaume d’Arabie Saoudite. Les relations entre les deux armées sont anciennes et s’appuient tant sur la formation que sur la coopération opérationnelle. En effet, depuis 30 ans la France a formé dans ses écoles militaires plus de 500 officiers et ingénieurs militaires saoudiens. Cette formation des élites militaires saoudiennes permet aujourd’hui de développer une coopération opérationnelle de haut niveau dans les trois composantes ainsi que dans le domaine des opérations spéciales.C’est d’ailleurs dans le domaine des forces spéciales qu’avait eu lieu l’exercice Tigre II en Corse à l’automne 2012. Dans le domaine maritime, le dernier exercice bilatéral a eu lieu début avril à l’occasion du passage du groupe Jeanne d’Arc en mer Rouge.

 

L’amiral Guillaud a été reçu le lendemain à Koweït City par le Premier ministre, le ministre de la défense et le général de corps aérien Khaled Al Jarah Al Sabah, chef d’état-major des armées koweïtiennes. Lors du dîner officiel et de la réunion de travail à l’état-major koweïtien, l’amiral Guillaud a pu recueillir l’avis de son homologue sur la situation régionale et évoquer avec lui de nouvelles pistes de coopération. Le prochain exercice Pearl of the West, prévu de se dérouler au Koweït en 2014, constituera à cet égard un rendez-vous important pour les deux pays.

 

A travers ses liens bilatéraux avec les pays du Golfe, régulièrement entretenus par des exercices conjoints et des visites d’autorités, la France est un acteur essentiel pour la sécurité et la stabilité de la région.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Hagel: Defense Partnership Anchors US-Saudi Relationship

 

April 25th, 2013 By US Department of Defense - defencetalk.com

 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: On his inaugural trip to the Middle East since taking office, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met here today with Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement.

 

During their talks, Hagel and his Saudi counterpart reiterated the longstanding, steadfast relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and emphasized the strong defense partnership that anchors the two nations, Little added.

 

They also discussed the release of standoff weapons to Saudi Arabia that will provide strategic precision defensive capabilities to the Saudi F-15 fleet, Little said. Such smart weapons can navigate to their targets and are more precise and can be fired at further distances.

 

“Both agreed the release reflected the close bilateral partnership and would enable long-term cooperation in the pursuit of common security policy aims of a peaceful and stable region,” Little said. The two defense leaders also consulted on regional issues, including the need for Iran to abide to international commitments on its nuclear program, the situation in Syria, and the political transition in Yemen, he added.

 

Hagel’s trip to the Middle East, which began April 20 and will end April 26, began in Israel and Jordan and tomorrow will take the secretary to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to discuss common threats and interests in the region.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Hagel in Riyadh as Saudi, US Plan Arms Deal

Apr. 23, 2013 Defense News

 

RIYADH — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday to seal a major arms deal that will provide the Saudi kingdom with sophisticated missiles for its American-made fighter jets.

 

Hagel flew in from Jordan after a three-day visit to Israel in his first tour of the region since he took office two months ago.

 

He was scheduled to hold a working dinner Tuesday evening with Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. The talks will touch on the weapons agreement as well as the Syrian war and the disputed nuclear program of Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran, officials said.

 

Hagel had originally planned to meet former deputy defense minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, but the official was sacked by a royal decree Saturday. He was replaced by Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, who has been commander of Saudi naval forces since 2002.

 

Prince Khaled commanded Arab and Muslim armies in a US-led coalition that evicted Iraqi occupation forces from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. He had played a major role in sealing several arms deals with the United States, including a groundbreaking agreement in 2010 to sell Saudi Arabia 84 F-15 fighter jets, 70 Apache attack helicopters, 72 tactical Black Hawk helicopters and 36 light helicopters, as well as upgrades for 70 used F-15s.

 

The delivery of the weapons to the oil-rich kingdom, thought to be the largest ever single US arms sale, would be spread across 15 to 20 years. The long-term nature of that arms deal carried special symbolism for the US-Saudi relationship, as it ensures cooperation over years that will likely see a change in the kingdom’s aging leadership.

 

The two countries share a common concern over Iran’s role in the region and the threat posed by al-Qaida militants, officials say.

 

Hagel’s visit comes as the United States unveiled plans last week to sell $10 billion worth of advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to counter Iran.

 

Under the package, which is still being finalized, the US government will sell 26 F-16 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates as well as sophisticated missiles for the warplanes, which officials would not specify.

 

The UAE part of the arms deal comes to nearly $5 billion, officials said.

 

Saudi Arabia would purchase the same advanced missiles provided to the UAE, allowing Saudi fighters to strike ground targets at a safe distance.

 

Hagel will next travel to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

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22 avril 2013 1 22 /04 /avril /2013 13:38
Des F-16 pour les Emirats Arabes Unis

Des F-16 pour les Emirats Arabes Unis

22/04/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr (avec agences)

 

Les Etats-Unis s'apprêtent à conclure d'importants contrats d'armement, d'une valeur totale de 10 milliards de dollars, avec Israël, les Emirats Arabes Unis, qui s'offrent 26 F-16, et l'Arabie saoudite. L'annonce de ces projets de ventes d'armes intervient à la veille du départ du secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel pour une tournée dans la région qui le mènera dans ces trois pays ainsi qu'en Egypte et en Jordanie.

 

Les Américains ne font pas les choses à moitié. Plus agressifs sur les marchés à l'export, pour atténuer les baisses du budget du Pentagone, les Etats-Unis s'apprêtent à conclure d'importants contrats d'armement, d'une valeur totale de 10 milliards de dollars, avec Israël, les Emirats arabes unis et l'Arabie saoudite, trois alliés de Washington face à l'Iran, ont annoncé des responsables de la défense. Par son caractère inhabituel, cette annonce concernant trois pays, faite vendredi par ces responsables américains s'exprimant sous couvert de l'anonymat, apparaît comme un signal envoyé à Téhéran que les alliés de Washington renforcent leurs moyens militaires.

 

Le projet de contrat avec Israël concerne des missiles anti-radar utilisés pour éliminer les défenses anti-aériennes, de nouveaux radars pour les chasseurs israéliens, des avions de ravitaillement en vol KC-135 et des V-22 Osprey, des appareils mi-avion mi-hélicoptère, ont détaillé ces responsables devant des journalistes. Cette vente "non seulement maintient mais renforce l'avantage militaire qualitatif d'Israël" par rapport aux autres pays de la région, selon l'un d'eux. La loi américaine prévoit que les Etats-Unis fournissent une assistance militaire, actuellement de trois milliards de dollars annuels, qui assure à l'Etat hébreu la suprématie militaire dans la région. Le renforcement des capacités de frappes aériennes et de ravitaillement en vol de l'Etat hébreu vient à point nommé pour Israël, qui menace depuis plusieurs mois de s'attaquer au programme nucléaire iranien.

 

Des F-16 aux Emirats arabes Unis

 

Aux Emirats, les Etats-Unis s'apprêtent à vendre pour près de 5 milliards de dollars 26 chasseurs-bombardiers F-16 ainsi que des missiles sol-air, dont le modèle n'a pas été précisé. Cette vente menace-t-elle une éventuelle acquisition de Rafale par Abu Dhabi ? Pas sûr. Les Emiratis, qui gardent les Mirage 2000-9 ont toujours souhaité avoir une double source d'approvisionnement en matière d'aviation de combat. A suivre donc.

 

L'Arabie saoudite, qui avait conclu fin 2010 le plus gros contrat d'armement jamais enregistré par Washington, d'une valeur de 60 milliards de dollars et comprenant 84 avions F-15, devrait acheter les mêmes missiles air-sol que les Emirats. L'annonce de ces projets de ventes d'armes intervient à la veille du départ du secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel pour une tournée dans la région qui le mènera dans ces trois pays ainsi qu'en Egypte et en Jordanie. Selon l'un des responsables de la défense, "c'est l'une des ventes d'armes les plus complexes et organisées avec le plus de précautions de l'histoire américaine".

 

Un contrat justifié par la menace iranienne

 

Le secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel, en visite en Israël, a affirmé dimanche que la prochaine conclusion d'un énorme contrat de vente d'armes avec l'Etat hébreu envoyait un "signal très clair" à Téhéran afin de l'empêcher de se doter de l'arme nucléaire. Chuck Hagel s'est exprimé juste avant d'atterrir à Tel-Aviv au début d'une tournée régionale de six jours, largement consacrée à la crise nucléaire iranienne et à la guerre civile en Syrie. Interrogé par des journalistes pour savoir si ce contrat d'armement de plusieurs milliards de dollars avec Israël, qui détient illégalement  l'arme nucléaire, visait à montrer à Téhéran que l'option militaire était toujours sur la table, il a répondu : "Il ne fait pas de doute que c'est un autre signal très clair pour l'Iran". Les puissances occidentales et Israël soupçonnent l'Iran, malgré ses démentis, de chercher à développer la bombe atomique.

 

La tournée de Chuck Hagel au Moyen-Orient, la première depuis son arrivée au Pentagone il y a deux mois, devrait permettre de finaliser la vente, pour un montant global de dix milliards de dollars, de missiles et d'avions à Israël, aux Emirats arabes unis et à l'Arabie saoudite. Toutefois, selon des sources américaines, les armes pourraient ne pas être livrées avant des mois, voire plus.

 

Des différences entre Israël et les Etats-Unis sur l'Iran

 

Au sujet de l'Iran, les dirigeants américains et israéliens ont néanmoins fait entendre des dissonances. Le président Barack Obama veut donner davantage de temps à la diplomatie et aux sanctions, tandis qu'Israël, seule puissance nucléaire régionale, a multiplié les menaces d'opération militaire préventive. "Israël et les Etats-Unis voient la menace iranienne exactement de la même façon. C'est quand on se penche dans le détail du calendrier, si et à quel moment l'Iran décide de fabriquer une arme nucléaire, qu'il peut y avoir quelques divergences", a admis Chuck Hagel. "Mais je crois que les éléments recueillis par nos services sont assez proches de ceux collectés par d'autres agences de renseignement", a ajouté le chef du Pentagone.

 

Chuck Hagel n'a pas souhaité commenter l'hypothèse d'une intervention solitaire israélienne, se contentant de rappeler qu'Israël est une nation souveraine qui a "le droit de se défendre et se protéger". Il a demandé à nouveau un peu de patience avant de voir si les sanctions et la diplomatie permettraient de convaincre l'Iran de changer de cap. "Je crois que notre stratégie est la bonne", a-t-il insisté tout en estimant qu'Israël a le "droit d'avoir sa propre évaluation". Chuck Hagel, qui s'était vu reprocher, avant sa nomination, son manque de fermeté envers l'Iran et de soutien envers l'Etat hébreu, est le troisième haut dirigeant américain à se rendre en Israël en un mois.

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