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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy

S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy


September 24, 2015: Strategy Page


South Korea is seeking to buy about twenty retired American S-3 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to augment South Korean ability to find and destroy North Korean submarines. The United States retired the last of its S-3s in 2009 but put dozens in storage, just in case. Before putting these aircraft in storage the navy took advantage of new, lightweight, search radars and targeting pods and in 2006 began equipping S-3 aircraft with Lantirn targeting pods. This was in an effort to extend the life of the S-3s, as reconnaissance aircraft. That did not prevent the retirement decision.


The S-3 was originally designed as an anti-submarine aircraft, and served in that capacity from its introduction in the mid-1970s, to the late 1990s. The end of the Cold War ended most of the submarine threat so after 1999 the S-3 has served as a patrol aircraft and aerial tanker. It was hoped that a reequipped S-3, with the long endurance (ten hours per sortie), day/night video capability of the Lantirn, and lightweight search radar, would make it a much more effective maritime patrol aircraft. The Lantirn pod costs two million dollars, and is hung off a hard point like a bomb or fuel tank. Despite this effort some 90 late model S-3s, about half the 188 manufactured, are in storage and can be brought back to service in a few months. South Korea would add some of its own electronics and begin using the S-3s for ASW work.


The 23 ton S-3 is a twin-jet ASW aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carriers. It carries a crew of four (two pilots and two equipment operators) and up to 2.2 tons of weapons (bombs, mines, depth charges, ant-submarine torpedoes). Cruise speed is 650 kilometers an hour and stall (slowest) speed is 180 kilometers an hour. Also carried are sixty sonobuoys plus extensive electronics (search radar, night vision camera and magnetic anomaly detector).

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
J-2 avant les Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été


30/09/2015 Ministère de la Défense


Du 2 au 11 octobre se tiendra la 6e édition des Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été (JMME) à Mungyeong (Corée du Sud). Cette édition 2015 rassemblera 7 000 militaires représentant 115 nations. Parmi eux, 163 Français qui espèrent briller dans plus d’une quinzaine de disciplines.


Mungyeong, en Corée du Sud, accueille du 2 au 11 octobre les 6e Jeux mondiaux militaires d’été (JMME). Sous l’égide du Conseil international du sport militaire, ces jeux rassemblent cette année environ 7 000 militaires représentant pas moins de 115 nations.


Avec des sports aussi variés que l’escrime, l’athlétisme, le football masculin comme féminin, le tir à l’arc ou le parachutisme, ce sont près de 24 disciplines dans lesquelles les compétiteurs concourront.


163 athlètes portent jusqu’en Corée du Sud les couleurs de la France. La délégation française présente 47 sportifs de haut niveau, tous issus de « l’armée des champions », une équipe de la Défense rassemblant les meilleurs éléments militaires de la nation. Cette « armée des champions » possède notamment dans ses rangs des célébrités telles que le maréchal des logis Florent Manaudou, nageur professionnel.  Ils seront accompagnés par 116 sportifs de la Défense, dont 12 blessés en service qui participent aux épreuves d’athlétisme et de tir à l’arc.


En 2011, année de la dernière édition des JMME, qui s’étaient tenus à Rio, au Brésil, la France avait remporté 18 médailles – 11 en or, 3 en argent et 4 en bronze. Elle s’était alors hissée à la 5e place au classement des nations. Cette année, elle peut espérer faire encore mieux.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
Special Operations: South Korea Threatens The North


September 29, 2015: Strategy Page


South Korea recently confirmed that it is organizing six special operations teams that are being trained to attack and destroy key targets inside North Korea. Apparently the North Koreans had figured this out and there were a growing number of rumors in South Korea as well. This revelation represents a major change in special operations in Korea because since the 1950s it was North Korea constantly sending commandos and spies into South Korea where not all of them were quickly caught or caught at all. At the same times it has always proved nearly impossible to get foreign agents into North Korea, which had been turned into the ultimate police state after World War II. Since the 1990s the lack of Russian aid (which kept North Korea afloat since the 1950s) caused the North Korean military to gradually (and almost imperceptibly) fall apart. This was accelerated by growing and corruption, even within the secret police and other security agencies. As a result South Korea considers North Korea vulnerable and is preparing to take advantage of that during the next military emergency. If nothing else it causes the North Koreans to spend a lot more on protecting their nuclear weapons.


Meanwhile North Korea, which has long maintained elite commando forces, tries to keep up appearances. In North Korea special operations troops are still carefully selected, then paid, housed and fed better and given access to better equipment. About twelve percent of the million North Korean military personnel are in these elite units. But the benefits have eroded so much that even the elite troops are now suffering food and fuel shortages as well as aging equipment.


Since North Korean conscripts still serve for at least six years, there’s enough time to train even draftees to special operations levels of capabilities. Service in these units are sought after because not only do they mean better treatment while in the military but better career opportunities after military service. Most of these North Korea special operations troops are similar to U.S. rangers, marines, paratroopers or special reconnaissance troops (U.S. Marine Force Recon and army LURPS).


There are also some 30,000 snipers, organized into ten Sniper Brigades. This is a rather unique use of snipers, and given shortages of ammunition in the north, it's uncertain how well these troops, no matter how well selected, are at sniping. If you want to maintain your shooting skills, you have to fire thousands of rounds a year. The same applies for all elite troops, although a lot of the training just consists of physical conditioning and combat drills. For snipers, this consists practicing staying hidden. This can be accomplished, if you can keep the troops well fed and housed. This is no longer the case with many of the Special Forces, and morale is suffering.


At the apex of North Korean Special Forces there are about five thousand commando and U.S. Special Forces type troops. These are meant to get into South Korea and go after key targets and people. Again, the North Koreans have trained for half a century to do this, but have not been able to actually put these troops to the test much. There have been thousands of small operations in the south over the last half century. In the 1960s there was a low level war going on, as the North Koreans sent dozens of small teams south each year. Over a hundred American troops were killed or wounded, and many more South Korean soldiers and police. Yet, the North Koreans had little success.


While the top special operations units are still well cared for, more and more reports come out of the north about many less skilled special operations troops complaining about less, or at least lower quality, food and other problems (like less access to electricity year round, and heat during the Winter.) More of these troops are deserting and heading for China, where they can be more easily interviewed. Some have made it all the way to South Korea, where the extent of their numbers and preparations has pushed South Korean commanders to increase their security preparations, and train more troops to deal with all these commandos in war time.


While the North Korean special operations troops are grumbling about not getting all the training resources (ammo and fuel) they need, they remain a highly motivated and generally loyal force. The government uses these troops to insure the loyalty of the rest of the military, and more and more elite troops are being used to assist the secret police in going after dissidents and corrupt officials. This is probably hurting the North Korean special operations forces more than anything else. The troops are getting a close look at the corruption and contradictions in North Korea. The troops generally live in closed bases and don't get out much. But now that they do, they see a North Korea that is unpleasant, and not as swell as their commanders told them it was. It turns out those letters they were getting from home were not exaggerating how bad things were. And the trend has been down for so long, it's hard to assure the troops that there's any way up.


South Korea has fewer (about 20,000) special operations troops but they are trained and equipped to a higher (Western) standard. Meanwhile South Korea has improved its air defenses along the DMZ. For over half a century North Korea has prepared to fly small single engine transports into South Korea by coming in so low the radar could not pick it up. South Korea can now detect such low flying aircraft and has weapons on the DMZ to quickly shoot down intruders. The pilots of these aircraft are not as skilled as they used to be, especially for low altitude night flying, because fuel shortages have sharply cut training time in the air.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)

A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)


September 29, 2015: Strategy Page


The growing availability of small, inexpensive UAVs that can (and are) used by criminals and Islamic terrorists has led to the development of several Anti-UAV Defense Systems (AUDS). These systems consist of multiple sensors (visual, heat, radar) to detect the small UAVs and a focused radio signal jammer to cut the UAV off from its controller and prevent (in most cases) the UAV from completing its mission. The detection range of AUDS is usually 10 kilometers or more and jamming range varies from a few kilometers to about eight.


AUDS can be defeated. For example a user can send a small UAV off on a pre-programmed mission. This can be to take photos or deliver a small explosive. No one has tried, at least successfully, using armed micro-UAVs yet but North Korea has been caught using small recon UAVs flying under automatic control.


If these UAVs are still detected they have to be destroyed via ground or air-to-air fire. This the South Koreans and Israelis have had to do several times. The Israelis were dealing with Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups using small UAVs, often Iranian models. South Korea and Israel has responded by adding more sensor systems, especially new radars that can detect the smallest UAVs moving at any speed and altitude. An American firm has demonstrated a high-powered laser that can take down small UAVs several kilometers away.


North Korea had been interested in UAVs since the 1970s but had never bought or built a lot of them. In the late 1980s North Korea acquired some of China’s first generation UAVs (ASN-104s). These were 140 kg (304 pound) aircraft with a 30 kg (66 pound) payload and endurance of two hours. Very crude by today’s standards but it took real time video and higher resolution still photos. In the 1990s the North Koreans produced some ASN-104s, apparently by just copying the Chinese ones they had. In the 1990s North Korea got some Russian DR-3 jet powered UAVs. These were faster but less useful than the ASN-104s. Attempts to use the DR-3 as the basis for a cruise missile design failed. In the 1990s North Korea also got some Russian Pchela-1T UAVs. These were very similar to the ASN-104s and that means not very useful at all. The Chinese and Russians used these first generation UAVs mainly for correcting artillery fire and this is what North Korea was seen doing with them, particularly North Korean coastal artillery.


In 2014 South Korea was alarmed to discover three North Korean UAVs that had crashed in South Korea. It was soon discovered that North Korea was using modified versions of the commercial Chinese SKY-09P UAV. North Korea gave the SKY-09Ps a new paint job (to make it harder to spot), a muffler (to make it less detectable) and installed a different camera. The SKY-09P was used via its robotic mode, where the SKY-09P flew to pre-programmed GPS coordinates, taking digital photos over selected areas and returned with those photos stored on a memory card. The SKY-09Ps found in South Korea had GPS coordinates in their guidance system showing they originated and were to return to a location in North Korea. The memory cards showed pictures of South Korean government (mainly military) facilities.


Thus the most successful UAV the North Koreans ever used turned out to be a Chinese commercial model, the SKY-09P. This is a 12 kg (26 pound) delta wing aircraft with a wingspan of 1.92 meters (6.25 feet), propeller in the front and a payload of three kg (6.6 pounds). It is launched via a catapult and lands via a parachute. Endurance is 90 minutes and cruising speed is 90 kilometers an hour. When controlled from the ground it can go no farther than 40 kilometers from the controller. But when placed on automatic it can go about 60 kilometers into South Korea and return with photos. These things cost the North Koreans a few thousand dollars each. While South Korea says they detected two of the three crashed North Korea UAVs no other details were provided. The Chinese manufacturer denied selling anything to North Korea, but the North Koreans typically use a third party for purchases like this.  

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17 septembre 2015 4 17 /09 /septembre /2015 11:55
Cromwell tanks of Guard's Armoured Division drive along 'Hell's Highway' towards Nijmegen during Operation 'Market-Garden', 20 September 1944

Cromwell tanks of Guard's Armoured Division drive along 'Hell's Highway' towards Nijmegen during Operation 'Market-Garden', 20 September 1944

17.09.2015 source SHD

17 septembre 1921 : exécution du « baron fou » (Sibérie). Général de cavalerie, le baron russe Roman von Ungern-Sternberg combat les troupes des bolcheviks dès 1917 en Sibérie. De 1917 à 1921, il se taille une réputation de légende tant chez ses hommes que chez l’ennemi. Considéré comme un dieu vivant de la guerre par certaines tribus mongoles ou comme un illuminé sanguinaire par les Bolcheviks, il aurait été livré par ses proches collaborateurs qui voulaient mettre un terme à la guerre qu’il menait selon des objectifs de plus en plus personnels. Il est fusillé à Novonikolaïevsk. Lire le roman Cour des mystères d’Hugo Pratt.

Note RP Defense : voir Le proces du baron Ungern von Sternberg 


17 septembre 1944 : opération Market garden (Pays-Bas). Les alliés lancent la plus grande opération aéroportée de l'Histoire (30 000 paras aérolargués et mis à terre par planeurs), dans le but de conquérir les ponts permettant la traversée des Pays-Bas (dont une partie a été inondée par l'occupant) et d'atteindre l'Allemagne. Malgré les succès initiaux à Eindhoven et Nimègue, l’audacieuse opération conçue par le général Montgomery est un échec coûteux sur le plan humain. Le dernier pont à Arnhem n'a pas pu être atteint par la composante blindée avant que les paras britanniques, légèrement équipés, ne soient réduits par les forces allemandes, malgré une résistance désespérée longue d’une semaine. Le cinéaste et acteur britannique Richard Attenborough a rendu célèbre cet épisode de la Seconde guerre mondiale en glorifiant la résistance des paras britanniques dans le film Un pont trop loin avec une distribution prestigieuse (James Caan, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Dirk Bogard,…).


17 septembre 1986 : attentat rue de Rennes (Paris). Une série d’attentats revendiqués par des mouvances islamistes ébranle la capitale depuis quelques mois et tue de nombreuses personnes. 7 morts rue de Rennes.


17 septembre 1996 : échouage d'un sous-marin de poche nord-coréen (Gangneung - Corée du Sud). La récupération d'un commando des forces spéciales nord-coréennes entraine l'échouage du sous-marin de poche Song-O (35 m de long) sur une plage sud-coréenne. Sur les 26 hommes à bord, 2 survivent à la chasse à l'homme que déclenche Séoul lorsque l'affaire éclate. L'équipage, peu rompu aux exfiltrations terrestres se suicide pour laisser une chance aux commandos. Ceux-ci tuent dans leur fuite une dizaine de sud-coréens mais sont abattus sauf un qui est fait prisonnier et un autre qui se serait échappé. L'épisode survient alors que des pourparlers étaient engagés pour signer un traité de paix. Le traité a finalement été signé en octobre 2007 (mettant fin à l'état de guerre durant depuis 1953) ce qui n'empêche pas la Corée du Nord de continuer à maintenir la pression sur son voisin du Sud à travers des incidents militaires frontaliers. Le Song-O est maintenant exposé à Gangneung.

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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 16:35
S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft

S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft


16.09.2015 by By Franz-Stefan Gady Pacific Sentinel


Seoul is moving ahead with plans to purchase refurbished Viking S-3 planes.


South Korea’s Navy will procure 12 Lockheed Martin S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft with the option of eight more from the United States to counter threats from North Korea Yonhap news agency reports.


The article notes that a military program review group approved the purchase in August, which will now have to be evaluated by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. Final approval will be up to South Korea’s national defense system committee. According to an unnamed South Korean defense official, “using the planes can give the country the ability to deal more effectively with underwater threats.”


The United States retired its fleet of S-3 Vikings in 2009 and purportedly offered its surplus S-3 aircraft to South Korea and other allies thereafter. Between 1971 and 178, a total of 187 S-3As were built. In the 1980s a much-improved S-3B version of the aircraft entered service specifically designed to counter quieter Soviet submarines. There are currently 91 S-3B models in storage out of which 87 could be refitted for active duty, according to the Defense Industry Daily.


Read the full story at The Diplomat

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30 juin 2015 2 30 /06 /juin /2015 16:35
A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) - photo Airbus DS

A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) - photo Airbus DS


30/06/2015 By: James Drew - FG


Airbus Defence & Space this week added South Korea to its growing list of A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) operators after the nation downselected the tanker type over Boeing’s KC-46A Pegasus and Israel Aerospace Industries’ 767-based design.


South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced the selection decision on 30 June, citing the performance and price of the European tanker over the US and Israeli alternatives.


The $1.26 billion KC-X programme aims to deliver four tankers by 2019, and the selection of Airbus is an important victory for the company as it looks to an upcoming Japanese tanker competition.


Boeing had expressed confidence before the decision, touting estimates that the KC-46A it is developing for the US Air Force will cost 25% less to own and operate over its life-cycle compared with the A330 MRTT, despite being a more expensive aircraft up front. However, Airbus offers a much larger aircraft compared with the 767-based KC-46A, and it can carry 111t (245,000lb) of fuel and up to 300 troops.


“This contract will also allow Airbus Defence & Space to establish a long-term and sustainable cooperation with the Korean industry,” says company spokeswoman Maggie Bergsma. “We will carry out our contractual obligations faithfully and are looking forward to executing this programme in a timely and efficient way as we have done with other A330 MRTT contracts.


“The decision means that the A330 MRTT has won every tanker competition outside of the United States since it entered the market, and has now been selected by nine nations plus the European Defence Agency.”


The decision to go with a European supplier shows that South Korea is prepared to break from the tradition of buying American military hardware, following multi-billion-dollar commitments last year to procure the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and three Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles.


"While we are disappointed with this decision, we remain committed to our partnerships in Korea,” says Boeing spokesman Chick Ramey.


Boeing’s KC-46 programme is running behind schedule, and is yet to conduct the first full-up KC-46A tanker flight. The first 767-2C engineering and manufacturing development aircraft recently flew an airworthiness test fitted with a boom and wing aerial refuelling pods. Still, Boeing can claim the largest base customer, the US Air Force, with 176 orders expected initially and potentially up to 400 as the aging KC-135 is retired.


Meanwhile, Airbus already has 35 solid orders on its books from six countries, and has delivered more than 24 aircraft to date. The tanker has also been selected by India (six aircraft) and Qatar (two). France is boosting its tanker order to 12, and the European Defence Agency is exploring options to acquire several aircraft that would be operated jointly.


One of Boeing’s biggest selling points was interoperability with the US fleet. The KC-46 will be certified to refuel more than 64 receiver types at little or no cost to the foreign customer, Boeing says.


However, Korea is not alone in the Pacific. The Royal Australia Air Force – which operates Super Hornets and, soon, F-35As – was the tanker type’s launch customer and it has already completed several refuelling certifications.


Singapore has also ordered six aircraft, and in Europe and the Middle East – Korea would dovetail on the established MRTT programmes of the UK, France, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

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30 juin 2015 2 30 /06 /juin /2015 11:35
A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS

A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS


30 juin 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)


Séoul - Airbus Defence and Space a remporté un contrat de 1,33 milliard de dollars US (1,19 milliard d'euros) avec la Corée du Sud pour l'achat de quatre avions A330 MRTT, a annoncé mardi le ministère sud-coréen de la Défense.


Selon les termes de ce contrat, Airbus livrera ces appareils de transport et de ravitaillement d'ici à 2019, a précisé dans un communiqué l'agence d'acquisition des matériels militaires dépendant du ministère de la Défense.


L'A330 était en concurrence avec le KC-46A de l'avionneur américain Boeing, a-t-il ajouté.


La France a acquis 12 MRTT (Multi-Role TankerTransport), des appareils conçus sur la base des long-courriers A330-200, maillon clé dans le déploiement de bombardiers stratégiques et plus généralement dans les missions aéroportées de longue distance.


Les forces armées sud-coréennes, et en particulier l'armée de l'Air, se fournissent traditionnellement auprès des constructeurs américains, expression de la longue alliance militaire entre Séoul et Washington depuis la guerre de Corée.


Les groupes européens, Airbus en tête, ont cependant décroché d'importants contrats ces dernières années.


Dernier en date, celui signé en mars par Airbus Helicopters avec Korea Aerospace Industries pour le développement et la fabrication de plus de 300 appareils civils et militaires, qui rapportera au constructeur européen 1,5 milliard d'euros sur 20 ans.

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29 juin 2015 1 29 /06 /juin /2015 16:35
Ministre de la Défense : «La 2e bataille de Yeonpyeong a été une victoire navale»

Le ministre de la Défense Han Min-koo prononce un discours lors d`une cérémonie commémorant le 13e anniversaire de la 2e bataille navale de Yeonpyeong


SEOUL, 29 juin (Yonhap)


Le ministre de la Défense Han Min-koo a décrit ce lundi comme une «victoire navale» la deuxième bataille de Yeonpyeong qui s'est déroulée le 29 juin 2002 et qui a fait six morts et 18 blessés coté sud-coréen.

«La deuxième bataille navale de Yeonpyeong a été une victoire navale gagnée par nos soldats qui ont contré de tout leur corps une provocation nord-coréenne», a déclaré Han lors d'une cérémonie commémorant le 13e anniversaire de cet accrochage naval. Cette cérémonie a eu lieu à la 2e flotte de la marine nationale à Pyeongtaek.

C'est la première fois qu'un ministre de la Défense en exercice a prononcé un discours en hommage aux soldats morts dans ce combat naval et décrit celui-ci comme une «victoire navale». Cette reconnaissance devrait accélérer les efforts visant à reconnaître les six soldats tués dans cette bataille comme des victimes de guerre et non comme des morts à la tâche.

Il a également décrit cette bataille comme une «histoire pleine de fierté, qui a montré la détermination ferme» des forces militaires qui se sont battues pour défendre les eaux territoriales sud-coréennes face au Nord.

Han a en outre noté la récente montée des tensions provoquée par le Nord près de la Ligne de limite Nord (NLL) en mer Jaune. «Si la Corée du Nord procède de nouveau à une provocation téméraire, nos forces armées lanceront des représailles fermes contre non seulement l'origine de la provocation de l'ennemi mais aussi contre les forces de soutien et le commandement», a-t-il averti en soulignant que le Nord ne pourra atteindre aucun de ses objectifs avec des provocations et menaces.

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17 juin 2015 3 17 /06 /juin /2015 12:35
Corée du Sud : un premier contrat imminent pour Airbus Helicopters

La version sud-coréenne du LCH sera développée à partir du Dauphin H155 (Crédits : Airbus Helicopters)


14/06/2015 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Le constructeur de Marignane est tout proche de signer son premier gros contrat à l'export en 2015. il devrait signer en fin de semaine prochaine avec l'industriel sud-coréen Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), le contrat de développement et de production de la version civile d'un appareil de la classe de 5 tonnes, le "Light Civil Helicopter (LCH)".


Airbus Helicopters va enfin engranger son premier gros contrat de l'année 2015. Ce sera en Corée du Sud où il devrait signer, selon des sources concordantes, en fin de semaine prochaine avec l'industriel sud-coréen Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), le contrat de développement et de production de la version civile d'un appareil de la classe de 5 tonnes, le "Light Civil Helicopter (LCH)", développé sur la base de version H155 B1, la toute dernière version du Dauphin.

KAI a lui récemment signé avec le ministère de la Défense coréen (DAPA) le contrat de maître d'oeuvre de ce programme pour une mise en service en 2022 au plus tard. Soit un contrat estimé à 1,4 milliard de dollars pour KAI. Le contrat n'est pas entré en vigueur encore mais il devrait l'être avant la fin du premier semestre 2015.


Un contrat estimé à 2,8 milliards d'euros

Puis, dans un second temps, viendra le contrat de développement et de production de la version milliaire qui sera modifiée par rapport au LCH, le LAH (Light Armed Helicopter). Cet hélicoptère remplacer les appareils américains MD500 (MD Helicopters) et AH-1S (Bell).  "Ce contrat exceptionnel par son ampleur porte sur le développement et la fabrication de 214 hélicoptères militaires d'attaques et une centaine d'appareils civils destinés au marché civil et parapublic coréen", avait expliqué en mars à l'AFP le vice-président d'Airbus Helicopters pour l'Asie du Nord (Chine, Corée du Sud et Japon) Norbert Ducrot à l'occasion de la signature du partenariat entre les deux industriels.

Ce contrat est évalué, selon Reuters, à 3 milliards de dollars (2,8 milliards d'euros), dont 1,4 milliard d'euros pour Airbus Helicopters. Les deux industriels s'attendent au total en vendre 1.000 exemplaires, dont 300 à l'export. Des hélicoptères qui devraient être motorisés par Turbomeca (Arriel). Les premières livraisons du LCH (15 millions de dollars par appareils) et du LAH (20 millions) sont prévues respectivement en 2020 et 2022.


Des contrats en attente de signature

Que ce soit en Pologne, au Koweït, au Qatar et même au Mexique, le constructeur de Marignane est pour le moment en pole-position. Ces appareils en compétition ont été sélectionnés par ces quatre pays. En Pologne, Airbus Helicopters vise, selon des sources concordantes, une signature du contrat des 50 hélicoptères de transport Caracal (H225M) en septembre avant les élections législatives prévues à l'automne. Des élections à risques puisque Andrzej Duda qui vient d'être élu chef de l'Etat et qui a toutes les chances de remporter les élections législatives a sévèrement critiqué le choix de Caracal au détriment de l'Américain Sikorsky et du groupe italo-britannique AgustaWestland, qui ont tous les deux d'importantes usines en Pologne.

Au Qatar (22 NH90) comme au Koweït (Caracal), Airbus Helicopters attend toujours d'être convoqué par Doha et Koweït City pour négocier le contrat. Enfin au Mexique, en proie à certaines difficultés budgétaires en raison d'une moindre rentrée des pétrodollars, les discussions pourraient être plus longues que prévues (une signature était attendu pour le 14 juillet).

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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 07:35
Weapons: The China Solution


May 26, 2015: Strategy Page


China has arming its troops with the new ZH-05, a weapon that combines a 5.56mm assault rife with a computer controlled 20mm grenade launcher (with a max range of 700 meters). The ZH-05 has been seen with Chinese marines sent abroad warships working with the Somali anti-piracy patrol. Chinese special operations troops have the ZH-05 and the army ordered several thousand of them so that each four man infantry fire-team will have one. That puts China ahead of the other two countries (United States and South Korea) with similar weapons. The Chinese version is lighter, simpler and cheaper and the Chinese feel the ZH-05 is worth buying and issuing to the troops. There’s not been similar enthusiasm with the American and South Korean versions.


The U.S. began working on this type of weapon back in the 1990s as the OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) and that mutated into the XM25 (the “X” in XM25 designates a system that is still in development). The South Korean one is the K11. The three weapons are different in important ways. The American and South Korean weapons both have a magazine for the computer controlled grenades while the ZH-05 is a single shot weapon, requiring 20mm rounds to be loaded manually each time. This makes the ZH-05 the lightest of the three weapons, weighing five kg (11 pounds) loaded (with a single 20mm round and a magazine with 20 rounds of 5.8mm ammo). The M25 got rid of the assault rifle element and upped the caliber to 25mm. Thus an M25, with a four round magazine, weighs 5.5 kg while the K11, loaded with a 20 round 5.56mm and five round 20mm magazines weighs 7.2 kg. The M25 is the only one of three to have been tested extensively in combat but because of misfire during a demonstration, budget cuts and troops finding there were not really that many situations calling for the M25, the system was cancelled (development funding was eliminated) in 2013.




The initial spectacular success and popularity of the XM25 grenade launchers in Afghanistan led the army to request that the weapon enter regular service as the M25 in 2014. But Congress, looking for ways to reduce military spending in 2013 cut all money for the M25. The army managed to scrounge enough cash to keep the M25 on the books and hopes to get the money to build 1,100 of them. Currently the M25 cost $35,000 each with the 25mm ammo going for $55 per round. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) apparently has some M25s but with few American troops in combat there is not a lot of demand for a weapon like this.


When the first evaluation models of the XM25 arrived in Afghanistan in 2011 the weapon soon became much sought after by infantry troops. There were never more than a few dozen XM25s in Afghanistan and limited supplies of ammunition. Despite that the weapon quickly developed a formidable reputation. The Special Forces have priority on the weapon because it is very useful for special operations missions. The army planned to buy enough so that they could issue one per infantry squad. There are 27 squads in an infantry battalion.


The XM25 grenade launcher went through several major design changes and it wasn’t until 2005 that the first XM25s were delivered to the U.S. Army for troop testing. In 2007 a few were sent overseas for testing in combat situations. While the troops have been very enthusiastic about the new weapon, there were a lot of suggestions, mostly about minor items. So the army kept tweaking and refining the weapon. It appeared that the XM25 was a success after only 55 of the 25mm rounds were fired in combat. The users protested having to give them up after the few months of field testing. All this was because the XM25s worked as advertised, firing "smart rounds" that exploded over the heads of Taliban hiding behind rocks or walls, or hiding in a cave or room. Enemy machine-guns have been quickly knocked out of action and ambushes quickly disrupted with a few 25mm shells. Encounters that might go on for 15 minutes or longer, as U.S. troops exchange fire with hidden Taliban, end in minutes after a few 25mm, computer controlled rounds were used. But over time it was found that there were not that many situations in combat calling for an M25 and some troops left them behind most of the time.


The XM25 was originally one of two weapons (the other being a 5.56mm rifle) incorporated in the 8.2 kg (18 pound) XM29 OICW. The OICW was originally developed as a replacement for the 40mm grenade launcher attached to the grenadiers M16 as well as providing a more accurate and capable grenade launcher. Didn't work out as intended. The big problem was effectiveness. The older 40mm, unguided, grenade rounds weigh 540 grams (19 ounces) each, the original 20mm OICW round weighed half that. This was one of the several major problems with the OICW. It was too heavy and ungainly, and the 20mm "smart shell" it fired did not appear capable of effectively putting enemy troops out of action consistently, especially compared to the 40mm shell it was replacing. So, in August, 2003, it was decided to take the 5.56mm portion out of the OICW and develop it as a separate weapon (the XM8) while the grenade launcher part that fired the "smart shell" continued development as the XM25. But the XM-25 would now use a 25mm shell, which would generate 50 percent more fragments (and heavier ones at that) than the 20mm shell of the OICW. China and South Korea insist that their 20mm grenades inflict sufficient hurt on the enemy to be effective. The U.S., with lots of combat testing believes that 25mm is the only way to go. China disagrees and insists its 20mm shell is quite lethal.


The 20mm and 25mm "smart shells" both use a computer controlled fuze. The XM25 operator could choose one of four different firing modes via a selector switch on the weapon. The four modes include "Bursting" (airburst). For this to work, the soldier first finds the target via the weapons sighting system. The sight includes a laser range finder and the ability to select and adjust the range shown in the sight picture. For an air burst, the soldier aims at an enemy position and fires a round. The shell is optimized to spray incapacitating (wounding or killing) fragments in a roughly six meter (19 foot) radius from the exploding round. Thus if enemy troops are seen moving near trees or buildings at a long distance (over 500 meters), the weapon has a good chance of getting them with one shot. M-16s are not very accurate at that range, and the enemy troops will dive for cover as soon as M-16 bullets hit around them. With smart shells, you get one (or a few) accurate shots and the element of surprise. The smart shells can be used out to 700 meters, but not as accurately. At those longer ranges, you can't put a shell through a window, but you can hurt a crowd of gunmen standing outside the building.


The other modes are "PD" (point detonation, where the round explodes on contact), PDD (point detonation delay, where the round detonates immediately after it has gone through a door, window or thin wall) and "Window", which is used for firing at enemy troops in a trench, behind a stone wall or inside a room. The round detonates just beyond the aiming point. For buildings, this would be a window or door frame, cave entrance or the corner of a building (to get enemy troops thought to be around the corner.)


The XM25 is still a heavy weapon, with the final version coming in at 5.5 kg (12 pounds). The 25mm shells weigh over half a pound each (270 grams). On the plus side, there is already a 25mm armor piercing round (using a shaped charge capable of penetrating over 50mm of armor) available. This makes the XM-25 capable of knocking out light armored vehicles. Then there are the types of 25mm ammo, like fuel-air explosive (or "thermobaric"). Such a shell would cause greater blast effect in an enclosed space, and actually suck most of the oxygen out of a cave or closed room long enough to make surviving troops at least a bit groggy. This gives the attacking troops an opportunity to rush in and kill the enemy or take prisoners. In combat, every little advantage helps. With the XM-25, hiding behind rocks, trees, walls or in caves will no longer protect you. There is also a flechette ("shotgun") round. The XM-25 also has a 4x thermal sight.


K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon

K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon

It was only in 2009 that South Korea revealed it had developed the K11, a $14,000 20mm/5.56mm weapon which appeared to be identical in concept to the U.S. Army XM29. The South Korean version weighs 6.1 kg (13.4 pounds) empty and combines a 5.56mm rifle, with one firing 20mm computer and laser controlled shells. The South Korean weapon appears to operate the same way as the 20mm shell of the XM-29. The South Koreans plan to issue the K11, on the basis of two weapons per squad (an infantry unit containing 10-12 men). The K11 was both cheaper and lighter than the XM29.


It's unclear if the South Koreans found solutions to the problems the XM29 and XM25 encountered, or simply developed an improved XM29 and decided it was useful in small numbers. South Korea used some K11s in Afghanistan and there were lots of complaints about reliability and effectiveness. This did not result in the K11 being cancelled, but the weapon does not have a good reputation among the troops. The South Koreans have found that the 20mm smart shell is effective out to about 500 meters. South Korean troops began receiving the K11 in 2010. In 2011 South Korea halted production of the K11 for a while because nearly half of those already distributed to the troops had design or manufacturing problems. This included some that had been sent to South Korean troops in Afghanistan. The K11 problems were fixed and so far over 4,000 have been built. The K11 manufacturer insists that problems have been fixed but troops and many commanders are not so confident.


The Chinese ZH-05 has three types of 20mm ammo. One is impact detonation, the second is air burst and the third is a shotgun type shell. The computerized fire control system only provides for the user to select at what range the air burst round will detonate. Because these 20mm rounds have fewer electronics in them they carry more fragments and the Chinese believe (but don’t know from combat experience) that this supplies adequate wounding capability.

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30 mai 2015 6 30 /05 /mai /2015 11:35
Vietnam : Le chef de l'Etat reçoit le ministre sud-coréen de la Défense

Le chef de l'Etat Truong Tan Sang (droite) a reçu le 28 mai à Hanoi Han Min-koo, ministre sud-coréen de la Défense. (Source : VNA)


29/05/2015 Vietnam+


Saluant les résultats de l'entretien entre les ministres vietnamien et sud-coréen de la Défense, le président Truong Tân Sang a demandé aux deux parties de matérialiser au plus tôt leurs accords déjà conclus, mais aussi de lancer de nouvelles initiatives pour rendre plus efficace leur coopération.


Le chef de l'Etat a reçu le 28 mai à Hanoi Han Min-koo, ministre sud-coréen de la Défense, en visite de travail au Vietnam afin de discuter des mesures propres à renforcer les relations bilatérales dans la sécurité et la défense nationales.


Truong Tan Sang a apprécié cette visite du ministre sud-coréen Han Min-koo. Selon lui, sur la base des relations de partenariat et de coopération stratégique et de la confiance politique élevée entre les deux pays, la coopération bilatérale contribuera activement à la paix, à la stabilité et au développement commun dans la région.


Le président vietnamien a par ailleurs rappelé les efforts des deux pays depuis l'établissement de leurs relations de partenariat et de coopération stratégique en 2009, afin de renforcer leur confiance politique, de multiplier les visites de délégations et d'accélérer leur coopération multiforme, notamment dans le commerce, la culture et la défense. Chaque pays, a-t-il poursuivi, accueille quelque 100.000 ressortissants de l’autre, un fort contingent qui contribue au resserrement de l'amitié bilatérale.


Appréciant les échanges réguliers de délégations et d’expériences entre les forces armées des deux pays, le ministre sud-coréen Han Min-koo a souhaité une coopération bilatérale plus étroite en matière d'industrie de la défense. Il s’est également félicité des réalisations socio-économiques du Vietnam, avant d’estimer que les relations vietnamo-sud-coréennes ont connu un bel essor dans plusieurs les domaines, à commencer par l’économie, le commerce, la défense et les échanges populaires. Il a souligné en outre les contributions de la diaspora vietnamienne en République de Corée au développement socio-économique de son pays.


A cette occasion, les deux parties ont discuté de questions relatives au maintien de la paix et de la stabilité dans la région. - VNA

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29 avril 2015 3 29 /04 /avril /2015 16:35
Séoul s'équipera de nouveaux missiles sol-mer en 2016


26.04.2015 sputniknews.com


L'année prochaine, Séoul pourrait s'équiper de nouveaux missiles téléguidés sol-mer conçus pour frapper les véhicules de débarquement à coussin d'air nord-coréens, selon l'agence Yonhap.


En 2016, la Corée du Sud pourrait s'équiper de nouveaux missiles téléguidés sol-mer conçus pour frapper les véhicules de débarquement à coussin d'air nord-coréens, annonce dimanche l'agence Yonhap.


Selon l'agence, les missiles longs de 1,9 mètre et pesant 15 kilogrammes ont déjà réussi quatre tests et pourraient être déployés sur les îles Baengnyeong et Yeonpyeong en mer Jaune, près de la frontière maritime entre les deux Corées. Séoul a commencé la mise au point de ces missiles en 2012 ayant dépensé pour ce projet 65 millions de dollars.


La portée de l’arme, conçue pour frapper les véhicules de débarquement à coussin d’air de la Corée du Nord, serait de 5 à 8km.


Pyongyang a construit en 2012 une base pouvant abriter 70 véhicules de débarquement à coussin d'air à Goampo, à environ 60 km de la frontière maritime occidentale. La Corée du Nord a récemment intensifié ses exercices de débarquement et d’infiltration à l’aide de ces engins.


Par le passé, la frontière maritime entre les deux Corées a été à plusieurs reprises le théâtre d'échauffourées meurtrières, dont la dernière remonte à novembre 2010, lorsque le régime communiste a bombardé l'île sud-coréenne de Yeonpyeong située près de cette frontière, faisant quatre morts et poussant la péninsule au bord du conflit.

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2 avril 2015 4 02 /04 /avril /2015 11:35
Stinger® missile - photo Raytheon

Stinger® missile - photo Raytheon


Mar 31, 2015 ASDNews Source : Raytheon


Systems to Go Aboard Apache Helicopters


Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) signed a $35 million contract to deliver Stinger® missiles and air-to-air launchers to the Republic of Korea Army in support of their recent procurement of AH-64 Apache helicopters.


Under the previously announced foreign military sale, Raytheon will begin deliveries of the Stinger weapon systems in 2017.


"Stinger provides vital self-protection capabilities as well as defensive counter-air protection of aviation and ground forces," said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon's Land Warfare Systems product line. "Most importantly, Stinger operates day and night, in all environmental conditions and allows for the engagement of multiple targets within seconds."


This agreement highlights a renewed global interest in air-to-air Stinger as a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations. Stinger greatly enhances the capabilities of the aircraft to successfully perform today's missions while countering existing threats.


"With the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles in the battlespace and the key role of helicopters, the evolved technology of air-to-air Stinger is easily adapted to defeat evolving threats," said Jack Elliot, Raytheon's Stinger program director. "Stinger is an immediate- response weapon of choice against a wide range of air threats for protection of both fixed sites and maneuver forces."


About Stinger

Stinger-RMP (reprogrammable microprocessor) Blk 1, the current production version of Stinger, has maintained a greater than 90 percent success rate in reliability and training tests against advanced threat targets. The combination of supersonic speed, agility, highly accurate guidance and control system, and lethal warhead gives Stinger the operational edge against all classes of helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft. In service in 19 countries, Stinger not only has a surface-to-air capability from land and sea, but also an air-to-air capability that can be integrated into most fixed- or rotary-wing platforms.

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1 avril 2015 3 01 /04 /avril /2015 07:35
En 2013, Lockheed Martin déjà vendu 40 F-35 Corée Sud 7,8 milliards dollars - photo LM

En 2013, Lockheed Martin déjà vendu 40 F-35 Corée Sud 7,8 milliards dollars - photo LM


30/03 Yann Rousseau / Correspondant à Tokyo - lesechos.fr


La Corée veut faire de Korea Aerospace Industries un géant mondial du secteur.


L’armée sud-coréenne a révélé hier qu’elle avait choisi de s’associer à l’industriel Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) dans le cadre d’un contrat de développement estimé 8.670 milliards de wons (7,2 milliards d’euros), un nouvel avion de chasse, dont une large part des technologies de pointe sera fournie par l’américain Lockheed Martin. Tentant sa chance sur ce contrat stratégique baptisé « KF-X », la maison mère de la compagnie aérienne Korean Air avait, elle, présenté, il y a quelques semaines, un projet concurrent en association avec Airbus. Mais ces deux partenaires savaient que leurs chances étaient limitées devant l’importance stratégique du projet (l’avionneur européen n’a pas tout perdu puisqu’il a remporté un contrat d’hélicoptères de 1,5 milliard de dollars avec KAI, « Les Echos » du 16 mars).


Suite de l'article

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31 mars 2015 2 31 /03 /mars /2015 11:35
Pas de système américain de défense antimissile à haute altitude en Corée pour le moment

Le chef du Comité d’état-major interarmées (JCS) sud-coréen, Choi Yun-hee (droite) et le chef d'état-major des armées des États-Unis, Martin Dempsey, lors d,une cérémonie à Séoul le 27 mars (Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton/U.S. Navy)


29 mars 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca


Contrairement à ce qu’attendaient les observateurs, le chef d’état-major des armées des États-Unis, Martin Dempsey, n’a pas discuté de l’éventuel déploiement du système de défense antimissile à haute altitude THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) sur le sol sud-coréen, lors de sa rencontre avec son homologue sud-coréen à Séoul selon ce qu’a fait savoir un officiel qui a assisté à la réunion entre les deux chefs militaires.


Les États-Unis ont exprimé par le passé leur volonté de déployer un système sur le sol sud-coréen pour mieux défendre la Corée du Sud des menaces du Nord et garantir la sécurité de près des 28.000 soldats américains stationnés en Corée du Sud. Cependant, les autres pays de la région, tout particulièrement la Chine,s’opposent à un tel déploiement.

Les spéculations et rumeurs sur un pareil déploiement vont bon train plusieurs années et depuis déjà quelques années et il est toutefois étonnant que la question n’ait pas été abordée.

Au Japon, la première destination de sa tournée asiatique, Dempsey avait pourtant indiqué mardi que la construction d’un système intégré de défense antimissile serait un sujet clé des discussions lors de ses rencontres avec les officiels sud-coréens.

En notant que Washington a fait des progrès pour l’établissement d’un système de défense intégré, le chef militaire américain avait déclaré que Séoul et Tokyo ont fait chacun des avancées pour l’obtention d’un système de défense antimissile en vue d’améliorer l’interopérabilité.


L’importance d’un système de défense anti-missile intégré

Le général Dempsey ne s’est toutefois pas privé de réaffirmer lors de sa visite l’importance d’un système de défense anti-missile intégré

Tout comme les terroristes utilisent des engins explosifs improvisés comme arme asymétrique de choix, a dit Dempsey lors de sa visite en Corée du Sud,les États voyous comme la Corée du Nord comptent sur les missiles balistiques comme arme de prédilection.

Pour décourager cette menace, Dempsey a dit, une coopération étroite au sein de l’alliance et dans la région est importante pour assurer l’interopérabilité effective de la défense aérienne et antimissile intégrée.

Lors d’une réunion avec le ministre de la Défense Han Min-koo, l’alliance américano-coréenne a fait des progrès dans plusieurs domaines, a dit le chef militaire américain
Le passage à une approche fondée sur les conditions-pour déterminer le temps de transférer à la Corée du Sud le contrôle opérationnel (OPCON), c’est à dire le contrôle en temps de guerre des forces alliées, ainsi que la défense antimissile et des exercices militaires réalistes pour améliorer l’état de préparation, ont été l’objet des discussions avec le ministre sud-coréen, a déclaré le général Dempsey.

Le général Dempsey était arrivé en Corée du Sud jeudi pour une visite de trois jours. Il est venu à Séoul à l’invitation de son homologue Choi Yun hee avant de quitter ses fonctions en septembre. Choi s’était rendu, lui, aux Etats-Unis en juillet 2014.

Les deux chefs militaires se sont réunis pour discuter du futur transfert du contrôle opérationnel en temps de guerre (OPCON), de la façon de traiter les menaces nucléaires et de missiles de la Corée du Nord, et des moyens de développer encore l’alliance américano-coréenne.

Lors de sa visite en Corée du Sud, le général américain a également rencontré la présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye à Cheong Wa Dae.

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25 mars 2015 3 25 /03 /mars /2015 13:35
Le ministre de la Défense sud-coréen Han Min-koo et son homologue polonais Tomasz Siemoniak  - photo Jacek Sonta

Le ministre de la Défense sud-coréen Han Min-koo et son homologue polonais Tomasz Siemoniak - photo Jacek Sonta


SEOUL, 25 mars (Yonhap)


Le ministre de la Défense sud-coréen Han Min-koo et son homologue polonais Tomasz Siemoniak se sont entendus ce mercredi pour renforcer leurs liens dans la sécurité et promouvoir la coopération dans l'industrie de la défense, ont fait savoir des officiels du ministère de la Défense de Séoul.


Les deux hommes se sont rencontrés cet après-midi à Séoul pour «faire ensemble le point sur la situation sur la péninsule coréenne et discuter des moyens de développer leur coopération dans le domaine de la défense», selon le ministère.


Le ministre polonais était arrivé à Séoul plus tôt dans la journée pour une visite de deux jours au cours de laquelle il rencontrera aussi des officiels de l’Administration du programme d’acquisition de défense (DAPA) pour discuter de projets de défense en suspens, a indiqué le ministère.


En décembre dernier, le sud-coréen Samsung Techwin Co. a signé un contrat avec le polonais Huta Stalowa Wola pour l'exportation vers le pays d’Europe de l’Est de 120 obusiers autopropulsés K-9


«Les discussions entre les ministres de la Défense seront l'occasion d'améliorer considérablement la coopération bilatérale dans les domaines de la sécurité et de la défense», avait déclaré le ministère dans un communiqué avant la rencontre. Séoul a établi des relations diplomatiques avec l'ancien pays communiste en 1989.

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23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)

Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)


21 March 2015 By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau – Pacific Sentinel


WASHINGTON – The Philippines is planning to purchase 24 more combat aircraft, adding to the 12 FA-50 fighter jets it had ordered from South Korea in 2014, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.


It did not specify when or from whom the aircraft would be ordered.


The FA-50s were the first order by the Philippines for advanced combat aircraft in decades amid the increasing tensions with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea.


The SIPRI report from Stockholm on Monday said the five biggest weapons exporters in 2010-14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.


The top five exporters were responsible for almost 74 percent of all arms exports.


Read the full story at The Philippine Star

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 13:35
source AsiaFirst

source AsiaFirst


21 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)


Séoul - Les ministres des Affaires étrangères du Japon, de Chine et de Corée du Sud se sont engagés samedi à travailler à la tenue, le plus rapidement possible, d'un sommet entre leurs trois pays, lors de leur première rencontre à Séoul depuis trois ans.


Cette réunion entre les chefs de la diplomatie de ces trois puissances asiatiques avait pour but de calmer les rivalités territoriales et disputes diplomatiques liées à l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.


Dans un communiqué commun, les ministres disent s'être mis d'accord sur la tenue d'un sommet entre leurs dirigeants respectifs le plus rapidement possible.


Ils ont également exprimé leur ferme opposition au développement d'armes nucléaires sur la péninsule coréenne, dans une référence claire aux ambitions de Pyongyang.


La rencontre ministérielle de Séoul était la première depuis avril 2012. Le dernier sommet trilatéral s'était tenu un mois plus tard mais, depuis cette date, la Chine, comme le Japon et la Corée du Sud se sont dotés de nouveaux dirigeants.


La présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye a déjà tenu deux sommets avec le président chinois Xi Jinping, mais évité le Premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe.


M. Abe et le plus haut dirigeant chinois se sont rencontrés quant à eux en novembre dernier lors d'un bref sommet à Pékin, en marge du Forum de coopération économique Asie-Pacifique (Apec), mais la poignée de mains fut glaciale. Jeudi, cependant, les deux pays ont mené leurs premières négociations sur la sécurité en quatre ans.


Alors que les relations entre la Chine et la Corée du Sud sont au beau fixe, Pékin et Séoul entretiennent des rapports tendus avec Tokyo en raison de contentieux sur des îles disputées ou sur l'interprétation de l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.


Séoul reproche notamment à Tokyo de ne pas s'excuser assez pour les exactions commises lors de l'occupation de la Péninsule par l'armée nippone entre 1910 et 1945, notamment à propos des femmes enrôlées dans les bordels pour les soldats japonais.


Perdure en outre entre les deux pays un différend sur les terres contrôlées par la Corée du Sud mais que le Japon estime siennes.


Dans leur communiqué commun, les ministres sud-coréen Yoon Byung-Se, chinois Wang Yi et japonais Fumio Kishida affirment la volonté des trois pays de renforcer leur coopération en regardant l'histoire honnêtement et en avançant vers l'avenir.


Le secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, a incité les trois pays à avoir un dialogue dynamique, tandis que Washington a décrit la dispute entre la Corée du Sud et le Japon, ses deux principaux alliés militaires en Asie, comme un handicap stratégique.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Airbus DS teams with Korean company for missile warning system


MUNICH, Germany, March 19 By Richard Tomkins (UPI)


Airbus Defense and Space has partnered with a Korean firm for local production of a missile warning system for use on Korea's new Surion helicopters.


South Korea's new Surion military helicopters are to be equipped with advanced missile warning systems from Airbus DS and Huneed Technologies Co. Ltd.


Airbus Defense and Space said that under a recently signed cooperation agreement, Huneed Technologies will produce the core electronic components of Airbus Defense and Space's Missile Launch Detection System, or MILDS, which is being supplied for the Surion.


"Airbus Defence and Space follows a dedicated globalization and partnership strategy in a wider perspective", said Thomas Muller, head of the Electronics Business Line of Airbus Defence and Space. "We are convinced that a close cooperation with local industries creates additional value for our customers."


Airbus DS had been awarded several contracts by Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration and Korea Aerospace Industries to develop and locally manufacture the missile warning system for the Surion based on its MILDS system.


Airbus DS' MILDS is a passive, high-resolution imaging sensor that detects the UV radiation signature of approaching missiles. It is in service with the Royal Danish Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)


March 19, 2015: Strategy Page


A South Korean investigation of a hacker attack on the computer network of the company that runs South Koreas’ nuclear power plant concluded that the attack came from North Korea. The hackers said they were protesting nuclear power and demanded South Korean nuclear plants be shut down. That was ignored and then the hackers released some stolen documents and demanded a ransom. That was apparently ignored as well. North Korea insists it had nothing to do with the attack but South Koreans have seen a growing number of such attacks that all point to North Korea as the source.


South Korea has openly called on China to stop using diplomatic threats and economic bribes in an effort to get South Korea to halt the installation of an anti-missile system. South Korea wants this American THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system for protection from North Korean missile attack. The Chinese would not come right out and say it but they object mainly because THAAD would also make South Korea less vulnerable to intimidation by Chinese ballistic missiles. South Korea openly refused to comply with the Chinese threats and South Korean public opinion became even more enthusiastic about the high tech and very expensive (over $100 million per launcher and associated equipment) THAAD system. China sees South Korea more of an ally of the United States and a potential wartime foe than as an ally in attempts to keep North Korea from doing anything that would cause major economic and diplomatic problems (like starting a war).   


North Korea is also unhappy with a new UN study which documents North Korea kidnapping over 200,000 people since the early 1950s. Most of these were South Korean taken during the Korean War (1950-53) but hundreds were taken, from the 1960s on, from eleven other countries. About half these victims were Japanese and Japan has been putting economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea since the 1990s to try and get these people back as well as details of exactly who was taken. North Korea is willing to negotiate over this but these talks are stalled over how much North Korea wants in return for coming clean on these abductions. North Korea now wants Japanese help in getting the UN to back off on threats to charge North Korea with “crimes against humanity” because of the abductions. Negotiations continue, which is usually the best you can hope for when dealing with North Korea.


Although China has withheld some forms of aid to North Korea in an effort to halt the North Korean nuclear weapons program, economic aid has more than doubled, to nearly $7 billion a year. since 2009. That’s nearly 20 percent of North Korean GDP and is what is keeping the North Korean economy functioning. Despite that stranglehold on their survival, North Korea continues to resist Chinese “requests” that they get rid of their nuclear weapons program. China could arrange a coup against the ruling Kim dynasty but that risks plunging North Korea into chaos, rebellion or civil war (or all three), which would require a Chinese invasion and occupation to sort out. For the moment China prefers to be prudent and patient.


As serious a threat North Korea poses to the neighborhood, Americans are less concerned. Despite the declining ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) prospects a recent opinion poll in the United States showed that 84 percent of Americans believe ISIL is the most serious threat over the next decade. International terrorism also has 84 percent of Americans concerned. Iranian nukes frighten 77 percent followed by North Korea (64 percent) and Russia (49 percent, actually a tie with the Islamic effort to destroy Israel).


Despite continuing Chinese aid, North Korea knows that China could do more but isn’t because the Chinese are unhappy with North Koreas’ self-destructive economic policies and determination to build a large number of nuclear weapons. While South Korea, Japan and America see these nukes aimed at them China realizes that China is the traditional overlord of (and threat to) independent minded Koreans. So China sees these nukes as a threat to Chinese power in the region and that sort of insolence cannot be tolerated. While Westerners tend to ignore (or play down) this sort of thing it is taken for granted by Koreans and Chinese. With this in mind North Korea is forging stronger ties with Russia, which is also a historical foe of China that, at the moment, pretends to be a Chinese ally. Russia is in bad economic and diplomatic shape because of the falling price of oil and aggression against Western neighbors, but is still sending some economic aid to North Korea and pledging long-term friendship and cooperation.


Despite always giving China a hard time, North Korea encourages this “Chinese solution” by continuing to keep hard-liners from destroying the growing market economy. A growing number of people in the North Korean leadership understand (even if they don’t agree with) the superiority of a market economy over the communist command economy that has failed in every country it has been tried. For many North Koreans this failure shakes the faith in the system. But Chinese leaders point out that the communist bureaucrats in China have prospered along with the new entrepreneurial class. The key is in figuring out how to exploit the newly wealthy entrepreneurs without creating an angry opposition that can overthrow you. That’s what happened to most traditional monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries and communism was supposed to be immune to that sort of thing but wasn’t. The last thing a thieving bureaucrat wants is democracy and many North Korean (and some Chinese) leaders fear that this is where it all leading.


In the short term all this new prosperity is causing the government problems closer to home, literally. Families of senior officials often contain wives or children who want more of the consumer goods and services they are seeing on illegal South Korean videos. In response many officials are not only taking bribes but seeking out opportunities to do so. Supreme leader Kim Jong Un knows, as do his Chinese counterparts, that this sort of thing eventually leads to a bloody (for the senior leadership) revolution. But stopping the corruption once it gets started is difficult and many historians of this sort of thing point that cleaning up this mess is, based on past experience, exceedingly difficult and rarely accomplished in dictatorships.


A growing problem in the south is the illegal debt (to North Korean people smuggling gangs) refugees from the north bring with them. The gangs up north will, for a fee of $10,000 to $20,000, get people out if North Korea, through China to a country (like Thailand) that tolerates the local South Korea embassy taking these refugees in and sending them to South Korea. The North Korean gangsters know how much money South Korea gives these refugees to adjust and how much refugees can earn in the more affluent south and adjusts their fees accordingly. In effect these refugees become employees of the gangs for years until their debt is paid off. If payments stop, the gang can kidnap or kill kin still in North Korea or China. The smuggling gangs work with the notorious “snakehead” gangs of China which have been going the same thing for Chinese for decades. The pressure on North Korea refugees is often so great that some commit suicide or turn to crime. The fees the North Korean snakeheads demand have skyrocketed in the past year as the North Korean government increased security on the Chinese border. This required more bribes to get people across as well as greater risk of running into secret police who cannot be bribed and are looking for snakeheads to prosecute and execute.


Despite the higher snakehead fees North Korean still pay it and get to South Korea. That is made possible by the growing market economy and prevalence of bribes which enables many more North Koreans to raise the cash to pay the snakeheads immediately on arrival. The snakeheads are fine with this. In South Korea these more affluent refugees often include government officials and military officers. These people had access to more information back home and are a prime source of data on overall conditions in the north. One of the more disturbing revelations is the growing hunger problem in the north and how that is impacting the military. Apparently North Korea has shifted more military resources to the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and part of that shift involved cutting food supplies to the troops. The way this works officers and their families still eat well but the most junior troops (recruits and those only in a year or so) are given just enough to stay alive. Soldiers who demonstrate their loyalty are given more food and this works to control the growing unrest in the ranks. What it does not control is the growing incidence of theft (especially of food or anything that can be sold or exchanged for food) by the constantly hunger young soldiers.


Canada revealed that one of their citizens (a clergyman who was born in South Korea) has been arrested in North Korea. The victim went to North Korea in January to do some humanitarian work. North Korea takes a dim view of this sort of thing and frequently arrests foreigners for that, especially if there are clergy. North Korea has not admitted to the arrest yet. Canada repeated its warnings to Canadians to stay out of North Korea.


March 15, 2015: In an effort to revive its tourism business North Korea has dropped the quarantine rules it introduced for tourists in late 2014. Quarantine caused a sharp drop in tourist traffic and spending. Back in November quarantine was seen as another new money making idea. This involved holding some visitors in isolation for 21 days to make sure they did not have Ebola. Thus in November North Korea began forcing most foreign visitors to remain in quarantine for 21 days after arrival. This was a scam to extract more money from visitors as they had to stay in designated hotels for the quarantine period and pay for it. Most business and all official visitors were not subject to the quarantine. No cases of Ebola have occurred in China or Korea. However China was considered vulnerable because there are over a million Chinese living in Africa, with over 100,000 living in areas where the Ebola deaths (over 5,000 by late 2014) have been highest. China had made preparations to deal with an Ebola outbreak in China and had experience in dealing with infectious diseases like this. The quarantine turned out to be an expensive mistake. This is especially the case sine, with much effort, North Korea had been able to increase the number of foreign tourists arriving each year to over 6,000. North Korea then went about creating more facilities (like a recently built ski resort) to accommodate them. While some tourists have been imprisoned, or even killed, North Korea is generally safer than most non-Western tourist destinations because there is virtually no crime. If you stay away from politics (the cause of most tourist problems) you are quite safe. Of course North Korea is very expensive as the government overcharges for everything and visitors are escorted everywhere. But for the very adventurous and affluent, North Korea is the place to be. North Korea needs the foreign exchange and have noted that many nations have turned tourism into major industries (often accounting for ten percent or more of GDP and accounting for most foreign exchange. The Ebola quarantine turned out to be a major mistake as tourist arrivals fell by over 90 percent. It took North Korean leaders several months to muster the courage to admit (without saying anything) that they were wrong and drop the quarantine. It is not clear if any senior officials were executed (as has long been the custom up there) for this expensive error in judgement.


March 12, 2015: North Korea test fired seven surface-to-air missiles off its east coast. This follows the firing of two SCUD ballistic missiles on the 2nd. These firing were supposed to be a form of protest against recent joint training exercises by American and South Korean forces. These training exercises are held regularly by the most capable military forces and the U.S. and South Korea have long done this. That bothers North Korea a lot because since the 1990s North Korea has been too poor to keep up in the training department. These days its nearly one million troops spend most of their time growing food and working for civilian enterprises to earn money to pay for fuel and other supplies the government can no longer afford to provide. North Korea announced these recent missile “tests” as they usually do without mentioning that they have a growing number of missiles that are reaching their expiration date (when too many aging components become unreliable) and conducting all these missile and rocket firing “tests” off the coasts is largely a case of “use it or lose it” combined with “let’s try and scare our enemies.” But this sort of thing has been going on for so long that it no longer has much shock appeal, but it is good training for the troops who operate these missiles and good for morale when these launches seem to go well. What is never revealed is if the guidance systems of these missiles were still functional. The guidance systems are components most vulnerable to aging and it is believed that many of these elderly missiles are launched with the guidance systems disabled so that a guidance system failure would not turn the missile firing into an obvious failure (as the missile careened about under the control of a failing guidance system).


March 11, 2015: South Korea announced a new law that allows it to assign police to guard foreign diplomats and other dignitaries the police believe might be subject to attack. This comes in the wake of the March 5th attack on the American ambassador by a deranged Korean nationalist who blames the United States for the division of Korea. A growing minority of South Koreans blame America for the division of Korea and some of these anti-America activists get violent from time to time. There have previously been attacks like this on American and South Korean officials but never one that involved a knife and left the victim bleeding. This attacker will be prosecuted and his attack appalled most South Koreans. North Korea praised the attacker (who openly praised North Korea and had visited there several times) but police have not been able to find any connection between this attack and North Korea. Then again North Korea has always encouraged South Korean conspiracy theorists who blame America, especially since many of these anti-American activists are pro-North Korea.


March 9, 2015: North Korea apologized to Bangladesh after a North Korean diplomat was caught trying to smuggle in 27 kg (59.4 pounds with $1.5 million) into Bangladesh. The senior diplomat had diplomatic immunity and apparently hoped that would protect his luggage from inspection. In this case it didn’t. North Korean diplomats are notorious crooks and since the 1990s have been caught smuggling or distributing drugs and counterfeit currency. More recently they have used their diplomatic immunity to smuggle illegal items (it is illegal to bring more than two kg of gold into Bangladesh without declaring it and paying a fee). In most countries where North Korea ganger diplomats are most active local police pay special attention to the North Koreans in general. Other nations react by severely limiting the number of North Korea diplomats admitted and given diplomatic immunity. In severe cases the North Korean embassy gets shut down and all North Koreans expelled. This keeps North Korea on good behavior, or at least urging its diplomats to try harder to not get caught. But the gangster diplomats are still a major source of foreign currency and useful contacts with powerful foreign gangsters so they remain at work.


North Korea needs all the economic help it can get because along with falling oil prices the prices for coal and iron ore (major North Korean exports) are also falling. This is hurting North Korea big time, far more than economic sanctions. The situation is not as dire as with oil (where the price has declined by more than half since 2014.) Coal and oil prices have fallen about 15 percent and the volume of exports (because of lower demand) have gone down about ten percent. This situation is getting worse as the Chinese economy (the main customer for the ore and coal) continues to slow. While mining is only about 14 percent of the North Korean economy it is the major source of foreign currency, which is needed to pay for imports.


March 2, 2015: Israel claims that Syria has transferred some long range (700 kilometers) SCUD ballistic missiles to Hezbollah. These missiles carry a half ton high-explosive warhead. These SCUDs are actually North Korean variants on the original Russian SCUD that have a smaller warhead to enable longer range.


February 28, 2015: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un made a big deal of ordering his military to prepare for war. This was done as a form of protest against large scale military training exercises, which North Korea can no longer afford. Protests, however, are cheap.


February 25, 2015: The UN released a report showing that North Korea continues to operate state-owned merchant ships for use in smuggling operations. The UN reported discovering several cases where North Korean ships earlier caught smuggling were now back in business with new names. This is just the latest round in the international effort to shut down the North Korean smuggling fleet. This fleet grew considerably in the 1990s and the U.S. soon began paying attention. Thus by  2006 the U.S. ordered that American citizens were no longer allowed to own, lease, operate or insure any vessel flagged by North Korea. This made it more difficult for North Korea to maintain its fleet of smuggling ships. At the time it was believed that about ten of the 80 ships registered in North Korea were American.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:45
Foreigners train Nigerian troops as 'final onslaught' hits Boko Haram


18 March 2015 defenceWeb (Reuters)


Foreign private security personnel from South Africa, Russia and South Korea are on the ground in northeast Nigeria to train Nigerian troops and are not engaged in frontline combat against Boko Haram, the government said on Tuesday.


According to security and diplomatic sources, Nigeria has brought in hundreds of mercenaries to give its offensive against the Islamist militant group a shot in the arm ahead of the March 28 presidential elections.


But government spokesman Mike Omeri said foreigners on the ground were only engaged in training Nigerian troops.


"There are trainers on the ground to assist in the handling of equipment," Omeri told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference in London. "They simulate, they teach. These are the things they do."


Asked if they were directly involved in fighting, he said: "I am not aware of that."


Africa's most populous nation and top energy producer has been plagued by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, when insurgents intensified efforts to establish an Islamic caliphate in the northeastern Borno state.


However, this year Nigeria and its neighbours have launched a series of offensives to recapture territory, turning the tide against Boko Haram in the run-up to the hotly contested presidential poll.


Omeri would not confirm how many foreigners were involved but said they had come from the same countries that had provided military equipment. He cited South Africa, Russia and South Korea.


"Acquisition of recruitment and military hardware is done through a number of processes. There are government-to-government exchanges and there are those who also come through contractors," he said.


The contractors' stay in Nigeria would end when local troops had become proficient at handling the equipment, he added.


"This is training on site and maybe this is why the people on the ground have been described as mercenaries."


He declined to predict how long it would take for the military to regain full control.


"We have started the final onslaught," he said. "This is the road to the finish and we are on it already."

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 14:35
Un lanceur du système THAAD (US Missile Defense Agency)

Un lanceur du système THAAD (US Missile Defense Agency)


18 mars 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca


Au grand dam de la Chine, la Corée du Sud et les États-Unis discuteront de l’éventuel déploiement du système de défense antimissile à haute altitude THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) sur le sol sud-coréen lors de leur rencontre de haut niveau sur la défense le mois prochain, a fait savoir une source sud-coréenne s’exprimant sous couvert de l’anonymat.

Washington a fait part de sa volonté de déployer une batterie THAAD sur la péninsule coréenne mais la partie sud-coréenne affirme qu’aucune consultation n’a encore eu lieu sur le sujet, rapporte l’agence sud-coréenne Yonhap.

«Toutes les questions en suspens entre les deux côtés devraient être discutées durant le Dialogue de défense intégrée Corée-USA (KIDD) qui se déroulera mi-avril à Washington», a indiqué la source de l’agence sud-coréenne.

La Corée du Sud sera représentée par Ryu Je-seung, vice-ministre de la Défense, alors que David Helvey, vice-secrétaire adjoint américain à la Défense pour l’Asie de l’Est, mènera l’autre délégation, a-t-il été précisé.

L’armée sud-coréenne envisage depuis quelques années d’acquérir le système THAAD pour renforcer la capacité d’interception de son système KAMD (Korea’s Air and Missile Defense)

Il s’agit des sujets de sécurité les plus urgents et importants, non seulement entre Séoul et Washington mais aussi en termes de relations avec la Chine.

Pékin, de son côté, exerce une pression de plus en plus forte sur la Corée du Sud pour qu’un tel déploiement ne s’effectue pas, en avançant que cela irait à l’encontre de ses intérêts en matière de sécurité.

Mais Séoul affirme que le déploiement du système de défense THAAD servirait à mieux contrer les menaces nucléaires et de missiles de la Corée du Nord et renforcerait sa défense nationale.

Le Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) est un système de missiles antibalistiques américain en service depuis 2008 conçu, construit et monté par Lockheed Martin Space Systems en tant que principal contracteur

Il est destiné à détruire les missiles balistiques de portées moyenne ou intermédiaire dans leur dernière phase d’approche en s’écrasant contre eux (hit-to-kill).

Le missile ne transporte en effet aucune ogive et c’est seulement son énergie cinétique qui sert à détruire. À l’origine, le THAAD a été conçu pour abattre les Scuds et des missiles similaires, mais pas un missile balistique intercontinental.

Le THAAD est conçu, construit et monté par Lockheed Martin Space Systems en tant que principal contracteur

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS

A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS


Mar 14, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Korea Herald; published Mar 13, 2015)


South Korea has postponed the introduction of aerial refueling tankers by about a year until 2018 due to a delayed process of selecting a successful bidder, government officials and industry sources here said Friday.


The 1.4 trillion won ($1.26 billion) project to purchase four refueling tankers has drawn interest from three aerospace giants: Europe's Airbus Defense and Space, Boeing of the United States and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) of Israel.


The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea's state arms procurer, had planned to choose the winning bidder by the end of last year, but the process has been delayed due mainly to gaps in offsets of defense trade terms, according to industry sources.


Offsets in defense trade encompass a range of industrial compensation arrangements required by foreign governments as a condition of the purchase of defense articles and services from a non-domestic source.


"We will resume negotiations with the candidates next week," said a DAPA official, requesting anonymity. "After wrapping up the talks and bidding process by the end of next month, we will make a contractor selection in June."


The delay in the selection process has subsequently caused the military's schedule of putting the tankers into service to be postponed from 2017 to 2018, a defense ministry official said.


"But we are to deploy all four tankers by 2019 as planned -- two in 2018 and two in 2019," the official noted.


The use of tankers allows the fighter jets to stay airborne for an extra hour and carry more weapons. The greater payload is made possible because the jets can take off with less fuel, thereby lightening their weight. (Yonhap)

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 13:35
H-155 Dauphin - photo Airbus HC

H-155 Dauphin - photo Airbus HC

Ce contrat est évalué, selon Reuters, à trois milliards de dollars (2,8 milliards d'euros), dont 1,4 milliard d'euros pour Airbus Helicopters


16/03/2015 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Airbus Helicopters a annoncé lundi avoir signé un contrat pour le développement et la fabrication en Corée du Sud d'un nouveau programme de plus de 300 hélicoptères légers militaires et civils.


Sacré Norbert Ducrot.... Dix ans après avoir réussi le "casse du siècle" en Corée du Sud pour le compte d'Airbus Helicopters au nez et à la barbe des hélicoptéristes américains, ce vendeur hors-pair récidive à nouveau. Le vice-président du constructeur de Marignane pour l'Asie du Nord (Chine, Corée du Sud et Japon) a signé un accord avec l'industriel coréen KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries) en vue de développer et fabriquer cette fois plus de 300 appareils civils et d'attaque de la classe des 5 tonnes destinés à l'armée coréenne et au marché civil. KAI doit encore de son côté signer le contrat final avec le gouvernement dans les prochaines semaines.

"Ce contrat exceptionnel par son ampleur porte sur le développement et la fabrication de 214 hélicoptères militaires d'attaques et une centaine d'appareils civils destinés au marché civil et parapublic coréen", a expliqué à l'AFP Norbert Ducrot. Et ce n'est pas rien car il a mis hors jeu ou presque les Américains, qui sont pourtant chez eux à Séoul avec 50.000 GI stationnés en Corée du Sud. Il justifie une nouvelle fois son surnom, Norbertcopter....


1,4 milliard d'euros pour Airbus Helicopters

Du lourd, du très lourd pour Airbus Helicopters. Car ce contrat est évalué, selon Reuters, à 3 milliards de dollars (2,8 milliards d'euros), dont 1,4 milliard d'euros pour le constructeur de Marignane. "C'est un accord d'autant plus structurant qu'il prévoit un volet exportations", a fait valoir Norbert Ducrot. Airbus estime le potentiel de vente mondiale du LCH et LAH a au moins de 600 appareils, "ce qui peut représenter pour Airbus Helicopters un revenu de plusieurs milliards d'euros dans les 20 prochaines années, si l'on ajoute les opérations de support et de maintenance".

L'appareil civil, le LCH (Light Civil Helicopter), sera développé sur la base de l'EC155 B1, toute dernière version du Dauphin, qui inclut les versions militaire (Panther) et parapublique, et servira de base pour le développement par KAI d'un dérivé militaire léger, le LAH (Light Armed Helicopter). Des hélicoptères qui devraient être motorisés par Turbomeca (Arriel), selon nos informations. Les premières livraisons du LCH (15 millions de dollars par appareils) et du LAH (20 millions) sont prévues respectivement en 2020 et 2022. Ces appareils doivent remplacer une partie de la flotte vieillissante des McDonnell Douglas 500MD et AH-1S Cobra, en service depuis des décennies, ont indiqué des responsables de KAI.


Le nouveau souffle du Dauphin

"Grâce à cette nouvelle coopération, nous pensons pouvoir doubler le chiffre de vente du Dauphin dans les 20 prochaines années", a précisé Norbert Ducrot. Quelque 1.100 appareils Dauphin ont été livrés dans le monde depuis ses débuts en 1975. Il va enfin donner un nouveau souffle au programme Dauphin, dont le successeur le H160 doit entrer en service en 2018. "Nous engageons notre plein support dans l'assurance que les programmes LCH et LAH seront achevés à l'heure, au coût et aux spécifications" prévus contractuellement, a expliqué le PDG d'Airbus Helicopters, Guillaume Faury.

Airbus Helicopters s'engage à un transfert de savoir-faire technique, comme il l'a déjà réalisé sur le Surion à partir de 2005, pour aider la Corée du Sud à développer de nouveaux appareils surplace. "Les programmes LCH et LAH seront développés à partir de notre coopération avec KAI sur le Surion, qui est devenue une référence dans le cadre d'un partenariat réussi. En continuant notre relation, nous allons réduire significativement les risques pour ces deux nouveaux programmes en développement, en respectant toutes les exigences des missions", a précisé Guillaume Faury.

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