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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
RUAG Defense's Cobra 120mm mortar features a semi-automatic loading system. Photo courtesy RUAG Defense

RUAG Defense's Cobra 120mm mortar features a semi-automatic loading system. Photo courtesy RUAG Defense


BERN, Switzerland, March 19 By Richard Tomkins (UPI


-- RUAG Defense of Switzerland has introduced a modular 120mm mortar system that comes equipped with a semi-automatic loader system.


The Cobra features electronic drives and shoot–and-scoot capabilities, multi-round capabilities and ballistic computing. It can be integrated into any lightweight vehicle, RUAG said.

"The RUAG Cobra mortar system incorporates RUAG's ballistic computing, allowing automatic gun laying and multi-round single impact capabilities," the company said. "The system is designed to fire any standard 120mm ammunition, including latest generation smart ammunition."

The Cobra system has a range of about 5.6 miles.

RUAG said the system was first unveiled last month at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Additional details on the system's specifications were not immediately available.

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 12:50
Swiss Army Opts for Leguan Bridge Layers


January 16th, 2015 By Krauss-Maffei Wegmann - defencetalk.com


The Swiss Defence Procurement Agency and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) signed a contract for the purchase of twelve Leguan bridge layers on a Leopard 2 chassis together with the associated peripherals and training equipment in Berne.


This brings to 16 the number of countries now using the Leguan system. As a major initiator of the Leopard 2 chassis variant, the Swiss Army is now one of four to be using these bridge layers.


The system is capable of laying one 26 – metre bridge or two separate bridges, each 14 metres in length. With a carrying capacity of around 70t (MLC 80), the bridge allows very heavy equipment to be used. The widespread use of the system results in very good interoperability.


This versatility, coupled with the unique protection and mobility characteristics of the Leopard 2 chassis, enables the Leguan to also be used for civilian purposes, for example, to quickly restore supply routes after natural catastrophes.


Krauss Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG leads the European market for highly protected wheeled and tracked vehicles. At locations in Germany, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the USA and Turkey some 3,200 employees develop, manufacture and support its products.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Swiss Reject Plan To Scrap Military Draft

Sep. 22, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


GENEVA — Swiss voters on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected a referendum calling for an end to the country’s military draft, with 73 percent casting ballots against the plan, exit polls showed.


In a country whose part-time army is ingrained in the national image — and seen abroad as Swiss as cheese, chocolate and Heidi — voters bucking a post-Cold War European trend against conscription was no surprise.


But the exit polls by the gfs.bern institute for public broadcaster RTS showed that opposition to the plan was a full 10 percentage points higher than forecast over recent days.


Armed neutrality has been the cornerstone of Switzerland’s defense policy for almost two centuries, with soldiers straddling the civilian and military worlds, keeping their weapons at home when they are not in training.


“Abolishing military service would break the genuine link uniting the people and the army,” insisted Defence Minister Ueli Maurer ahead of Sunday’s vote.


But there is also an anti-military undercurrent in Switzerland, which has not been invaded since the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, despite major scares during World Wars I and II.


Direct democracy is another bedrock of Swiss society, and referenda are held several times a year on a range of federal and local issues.


Th exit polls showed that 27 percent of voters backed the anti-conscription plan Sunday, slightly down on the forecast score.


The anti-draft camp, spearheaded by pacifists and left-wing parties, had not expected victory Sunday, but had been eyeing a symbolic score of at least 30 percent.


They were mindful of their high point in 1989, the year the Iron Curtain fell, when a vote on abolishing the army outright mustered a surprising support of 36 percent. In 2001 they garnered 21 percent.


“Compulsory military service is a tool created for wars of the past,” said Tobias Schnebli of the anti-military group GSoA, telling AFP that a country in the heart of Europe faced no serious threat of invasion.


Draft needed to fill ranks


The plan was opposed by the political right and center, as well as parliament and Switzerland’s cross-party government, and not simply due to cliches about the army being as Swiss as its pocketknives.


Male Swiss citizens aged between 18 and 32 begin service with a seven-week boot camp and take six 19-day refresher exercises over ensuing years. Since 1992, non-military service, for example in environmental projects, has been available for conscientious objectors.


Supporters of the status quo argue that other European nations which axed conscription have struggled to fill their military ranks, even with unemployment high amid the economic crisis, denting their defense capacity.


While Switzerland is ringed by friendly nations, draft supporters say the Swiss army in its current shape is essential in a world of morphing threats.


The army also plays a key role in providing security at international summits, as well as disaster relief.


Supporters also argue that the draft helps cement a country with three main language groups — German, French and Italian — and also cuts across class lines.


Critics reject those arguments, arguing that language groups stick together when in uniform, women do not have to serve, and almost half of those called up do not start or complete their training on health or other grounds, with middle class urban dwellers more able to avoid it.


Men who do not serve pay a special tax of four percent of their salary instead.


Still, the Swiss army is no longer the giant it once was.


A string of military reforms for budgetary and strategic reasons have repeatedly reduced its pool of trained troops from 625,000 in 1961 to today’s 155,000.


By 2016, the figure is set to be 100,000 — a leaner and fitter force, supporters say.


But critics say that is still way too big in a nation of eight million.


Neighboring Germany, for example has 10 times the population and 183,000 active troops.

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
National Council in Swiss Parliament Votes ''Yes'' to Gripen E Procurement

Sep 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : Saab AB


Earlier today the National Council (Nationalrat), which is one of the two chambers in the Swiss Parliament, reached a majority “yes” vote regarding the procurement of Gripen E.


There were several motions and votations made in the Parliament, all positive for the Gripen procurement. The main votation was the endorsement of the procurement with 113 votes for and 68 against. The financing and Gripen fund law were also passed with strong majorities.


The procurement now moves to the other chamber in the Swiss Parliament, the Council of States (Ständerat), where a vote on financing is scheduled for the 18 September, and where a positive vote for Gripen E had been made earlier this year.


“Naturally we are pleased by the vote in the Nationalrat, which is another positive endorsement of Gripen E,” says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab’s Aeronautics business area.


“Whilst we respect and are following the political process closely, we continue to progress our Swiss industrial participation programme, which is generating business throughout all regions of Switzerland. Even before a Gripen order has been signed, contracts have been signed between our suppliers and 117 Swiss companies valued at 315 MCHF. Saab continues to increase these values whilst ensuring the regional distribution of the business,” adds Mr. Sindahl

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 11:45
Denel to produce new small arms range

19 July 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb


State owned defence company Denel has partnered with Swiss firm B&T to offer a new range of small arms, from submachineguns to grenade launchers.


B&T and Denel have signed a technology transfer agreement that will see Denel produce several B&T weapons in South Africa. Initially production will use some Swiss made parts while Denel gets its production line up and running, according to Patric Staudt, Technical Support Manager, Africa, at B&T.


One of the new weapons on offer is the GL-06 40 mm single shot grenade launcher, designed to only use less lethal ammunition, as it is aimed primarily at the police. It was procured by the South African Police Service for use during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.


B&T’s MP9 9 mm submachinegun will be manufactured by Denel as the GMP9. This closed bolt weapon comes standard with a number of different attachments, including a suppressor, shell catcher (mainly for use on aircraft), red dot sight and holster. It can accept 15 to 30 round magazines and has been designed to be lightweight and modular.


B&T’s carbine, the 9 mm Advanced Police Carbine 9 (APC9 - called GPC9 by Denel) was designed in 2011 as a firearm bridging the gap between a personnel defence weapon and a 5.56 mm rifle. It features a number of innovations like a hydraulic recoil reduction system to reduce muzzle lift. It is ambidextrous, modular and comes with a suppressor and different barrel length options. A 5.56 mm version is also available – Denel may offer this as a replacement for the South African National Defence Force’s R4/R5 series of assault rifles.


B&T approached Denel several years ago, and after receiving permission from the Swiss government, signed a technology transfer agreement with Denel a year ago. The Swiss company exhibited with Denel at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition outside Pretoria last year.


Denel exhibited at the Land Forces Africa conference outside Pretoria earlier this week, with the grenade launcher, submachinegun and assault rifle on display.


B&T has further collaborations with Denel and is working on an upgrade kit for Denel’s SS77 7.62 mm machinegun, which will cover things like a redesigned rail, top cover, magazine belt attachment etc. B&T may in the future sell the SS77.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 16:50
Two Canadian Forces G-Wagen photo Tyler Brenot

Two Canadian Forces G-Wagen photo Tyler Brenot

July 11, 2013 Source: Swiss Dept. of Defence

(Unofficial English translation by defense-aerospace.com)


After twenty years of using off-road vehicles made by Puch, the Swiss Army is expected to replace them with the Mercedes G-class. The acquisition will be submitted to Parliament under a specific weapons program.


The Mercedes-Benz range of vehicles was chosen because it is the most advantageous economically. Other reasons for the choice are that they are particularly robust and use proven technology, the reduction to essential components and ease of use for the troops.


As part of the evaluation by armasuisse – the Department’s competence center for acquisitions and technology - the Mercedes G won against three competitors. The chosen model chosen is already in use in many armies.


The new Swiss army all-terrain vehicles will be equipped with a 6-cylinder, 184 hp diesel engine and used for all types of transport of people and goods.


Parliament will take a decision in the context of a weapons program.

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12 juin 2013 3 12 /06 /juin /2013 19:50
Entente-cordiale reaches a new high level

11/06/2013 Royal Navy


With a keen eye on the future HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Programme, a Fleet Air Arm Airborne Surveillance and Control Squadron, working with the French Navy’s Carrier Air Group, (CAG) on a major French Navy Air Defence exercise has proved an outstanding success.


The 849 Naval Air Squadron deployment of two Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) helicopters facilitated participation in a multi-national Air Defence exercise with the French Navy Carrier Air Group (CAG) and a Squadron of Swiss Air Force F /A-18 D Hornet fighters.


Four Squadrons make up the French CAG: two of Rafale fighters, (11F & 12F), one of Super Étendard fighters (17F) and a E2-C Hawkeye squadron (4F) which provide carrier strike and airborne early warning for the Flagship of the French Navy, the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, FS Charles de Gaulle.


Operating from the French Naval Air Station at Landivisiau in Brittany the pair of Sea Kings from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose cemented further, long-established links in Anglo-French relations.


The deployment was fully integrated within the Air Defence Exercise and supported by not only the superb logistical support with host nation infrastructure, but also from the French CAG Operational Planning Staff, who planned and executed the joint exercise.


Integration was fundamental between the two nations and the employment of the SKASaC in the core role was a key enabler. This included fighter control training missions for the CAG strike assets on their way to attack naval surface vessels from France and the UK, providing some of the highlights during the training.


The Air Defence Week exercise is part of the operational work-up that the French CAG has to complete before joining up with the FS Charles De Gaulle and being declared ready to deploy.


Entente-cordiale reaches a new high level

“This exercise proved an excellent opportunity for SKASaC and its air surveillance and fighter control capabilities,” said Lieutenant Commander Jim Hall, Senior Observer of 849 NAS.


“We achieved a significant amount on so many levels.


"A comprehensive Airborne Surveillance and Control training programme provided the basis for the mission profiles, as well as continuation training for 854 NAS and the achievement of the Operational Conversion Phase for three ab-initio aircrew students who will be deploying in the near future on Operations.


"It also proved an excellent chance to re-establish links with the E2-C Hawkeye Squadron who are affiliated to 849 NAS.”


Overall the Sea Kings achieved over 40 hours flying and completed 16 mission sorties conducting control of the Carrier strike (CS) assets, with mission profiles including Maritime Strike missions and Composite Air Operations (COMAO) against ground targets.


Captain Mark Garratt, Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, took the opportunity to visit the detachment and secure closer links with his French counterpart at the French Naval Air Station Landivisiau


"We can learn a great deal from each other. This exercise has proved the mutual benefit to be gained from working closely together in challenging operational scenarios.”

Entente-cordiale reaches a new high level
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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 15:21
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