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29 mai 2012 2 29 /05 /mai /2012 17:51



29 May 2012 by Leon Engelbrecht - defenceWeb


The South African Army will this afternoon officially receive its new tactical intelligence system acquired over the last several years under Project Cytoon.


The SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps last year began operational testing and evaluation of the system that was project managed by Thales South Africa. A company spokesman last July said testing had begun in August 2010 and was by September “going fairly well.”


Project Cytoon will see the gain 14 Thales Squire ground surveillance radars, 65 Thales Sophie thermal imagers, processors and communications equipment as part of a battlefield surveillance and mobile intelligence processing system. “Thales has teamed up with various local and international partners whose products have also been integrated,” the company said at the Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition in Cape Town in September. “The system has been designed to address the exclusive intelligence requirements of the SANDF, and in doing so established a unique state of the art intelligence gathering system. Project Cytoon has been completed and is ready for commissioning into the SANDF. Operational field tests are being conducted at this moment where-after the SANDF will receive the system. The system will be complemented soon with the delivery of a training system to support the specific training needs of the South African Army Intelligence Formation.”


The cost of the programme is not in the public domain but was at least R137 246 961.00 by July last year.


Battlefield surveillance radars are used to detect and classify moving ground targets, typically up to 20km to 30km. Additionally, they assist artillery and mortar units by giving feedback on shell impact. Besides battlefield use, these radars can also be deployed in peacetime to safeguard high-value area assets such as oilfields, power stations and grids, as well as other important potential targets for terrorist or criminal acts.


Battlefield surveillance radars also assist in counter-drug operations and monitoring illegal border crossings. As an example, the Thales Squire man-portable system, which was ordered for Cytoon, can plot a pedestrian at 10km, a vehicle at 21km, a tank at 28km, a helicopter at 21km, a boat at 12km and a ship at 48km, Thales avers. Because it uses a frequency modulated continuous wave Doppler radar, the Squire is also virtually undetectable to hostile electronic warfare experts, it adds.


Thermal imagers detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since most objects emit such radiation, thermal imagers allow their users to "see" their surroundings with or without visible light. The warmer the object, the brighter the object appears in the imager. Humans, with an internal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius tend to stand out against their surroundings, which are mostly cooler. This also allows thermal imagers to spot camouflaged targets. Many modern thermal imagers include an eye-safe laser rangefinder and pointer, a compass, GPS and digital camera. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4km, tanks at 10km, helicopters at 12km and jet fighters at 16km, Thales says.

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29 mai 2012 2 29 /05 /mai /2012 07:34

C-130 Hercules source defenceWeb


28 May 2012 Thales


28 May 2012 – Thales has been successfully selected by the South African Department of Defence, South African Air Force and ARMSCOR (Armaments Corporation of South Africa Ltd) for a five years Through Life Support [TLS] of all Thales avionics equipment on-board several fleets of aircrafts.


Under the terms of the multi-year contract signed with Armscor, Thales will support a large variety of avionics equipment on board the aircrafts: TopDeck suite for the C-130BZ Tactical Transport aircrafts, avionics equipment (visualization, navigation and air data computers, …) for the Rooivalk Combat helicopters, TopFlight avionics systems for the Hawk Lead-In-Fighters and avionics suites for the Super Lynx helicopters.


Merry Michaux, Vice-President, Military Aerospace Customer Support and Services Managing Director at Thales said: “This program represents another major step for Thales involvement in South Africa. We are very proud to have been awarded this new contract, which demonstrates our understanding of the customer’s requirements and the development of a successful long term logistics support plan for all South African Air Force fleets. Under this extended perimeter contract, Thales will deliver a Global Logistics Support Services Solution to Armscor, encompassing, among other items, management of obsolescence, of strategic stocks of components, technical support and assistance. Such a long term and transverse approach will enable the customer to fully benefit from Thales expertise in the support domain, under a shared mastering of costs and risks.”

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23 mars 2012 5 23 /03 /mars /2012 08:50
Airspace Integration Slows Watchkeeper

Mar 22, 2012 By Robert Wall - aerospace daily and defense report


LONDON — Continued delays in fielding the Watchkeeper unmanned aircraft are linked to clearing the system for use in military and civil airspace, the U.K. Defense Ministry says.


After several delays, the military was hoping to field Watchkeeper in Afghanistan last year, but that milestone was only the latest of several missed for one of the U.K.’s flagship unmanned aircraft efforts. Now, Peter Luff, defense minister for equipment, tells Parliament that obtaining the airworthiness certification to fly in both civil and military environments “is taking longer than anticipated.”


Luff will not provide a new fielding timeline for the Thales-led program, which is essentially a major upgrade of the Elbit Hermes 450. “Work continues and, until this is complete, it would be speculative to provide a forecast as to when Watchkeeper will achieve release to service or its in-service date,” he says in response to a parliamentary question. Earlier this year, the Defense Ministry was still saying the system would deploy to Afghanistan in 2012.


Once Watchkeeper is fielded, it is supposed to allow the Defense Ministry to start reducing the number of Hermes 450 unmanned aircraft being used on a fee-for-service basis in Afghanistan.

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 12:50
British Army set for operational trials with Watchkeeper UAS

Watchkeeper UAS Thales UK


Feb 2012 By Craig Hoyle – Flight Global


Thales UK has confirmed it has provided France's DGA procurement agency and army with technical information about the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system, as its British Army launch customer prepares to begin operational field trials with the type.


French interest in the Watchkeeper system was revealed during a bilateral summit in Paris on 16 February, with a formal evaluation to start during 2012 and conclude next year.


UK Prime Minister David Cameron said co-operation between the nations would offer advantages in technical, support and operational terms, and during the development of doctrine and concepts for the equipment's use.


"The French army has similar requirements to the British Army and is interested in replacing its SDTI [Sagem Sperwer] system with a high-performance, certified and financially attractive solution," said Thales. It cited the "considerable pedigree" of the Watchkeeper air vehicle (above), which builds on the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 design, which has now amassed more than 60,000 flight hours in support of the UK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Operational field trials of the Watchkeeper system involving the Royal Artillery's 32 Regiment are "due to start at ParcAberporth shortly", Thales said, adding that more than 100 flights of the aircraft have now been undertaken in the UK. The army assessment had been due to start last October, but was delayed due to "technical issues encountered during software integration and flight trials".


The UTacS joint venture company formed by Thales and Elbit began delivering Watchkeeper equipment in late 2011, ahead of the type's phased introduction to use in Afghanistan.


"Details of when Watchkeeper will deploy to Afghanistan are operationally sensitive, but the British Army is planning a progressive roll-out in theatre during 2012," the Ministry of Defence said.

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2 février 2012 4 02 /02 /février /2012 08:25
Thales welcomes pragmatic Defence & Security White Paper

01 February 2012 Thales UK

In an era when Government funding is in decline, technologies are evolving at record speeds and Britain aspires to maintain its leading international role, it’s clear that the UK approach to acquisition and technology needs to be brought up to date.

We therefore welcome the clarity that the White Paper brings, and support the use of competition and ‘off the shelf’ acquisition, which is a pragmatic recognition of the approach that Thales has taken on many of its UK programmes. Critical to the delivery of this approach is the Government’s recognition of the importance of UK-based systems integration skills and key technologies that provide the battle-winning edge.

On the ground in Afghanistan, both the military and the Exchequer have benefited from Thales UK’s ability to fit ‘military off the shelf’ solutions to UK forces’ needs. Whether in Armoured Vehicles such as Mastiff or UAVs like the Hermes 450 (which has flown over 50,000 hours in support of operations in theatre) recent experience demonstrates the feasibility of combining an international supply chain with domestic integration skills to deliver battle-winning capability. What matters to the soldier on the ground is not where a piece of kit was manufactured, but whether it delivers the capability he needs.

UK Armed Forces must have unique capabilities which give them an edge in the field, on the seas, in the air and in cyberspace. The challenge going forward, however, is that the specific circumstances of each capability area vary wildly, frustrating one-size-fits-all approaches. We therefore look forward to working with Government to understand how the high level strategy laid out in this Paper will carefully be put into effect in a timely manner in each case.

The Paper also confirms the need to make special arrangements for a specific set of ‘strategic’ technologies, and the inclusion of capabilities like electronic warfare and cryptography highlights how C4ISR technologies are central to delivering ‘operational advantage’ in the 21st century.

Research and Technology underpins all of the UK’s Defence goals – responding to fast-changing threats in an agile way, improving export market share and performance, convergence with Security capabilities, and reorienting the economy towards advanced technology skills and manufacturing. Whilst the White Paper’s commitment to a consistent level of funding provides certainty, it is clear that this level will need to rise significantly above current levels if the UK is to achieve its broader goals.

Exports and strategic relationships are clearly critical in developing future capability and creating economies of scale, and Thales welcomes the commitment to Anglo-French collaboration as a key contributor in realising the UK’s ambitions at a time of constrained budgets.

Similarly, Government’s emphasis on the use of service-based solutions is an effective and pragmatic response to the decline in military headcount. This recognises the benefits generated through Contractor Support to Operations in recent years, and looks forward to the emerging Whole Force Concept where reservists and industry play greater roles supporting the military force.

Victor Chavez
Chief Executive
Thales UK

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10 janvier 2012 2 10 /01 /janvier /2012 18:45
Watchkeeper Misses Key Schedule Milestone

Jan 10, 2012 By Robert Wall - AviationWeek.com

LONDON - The U.K.’s flagship unmanned aircraft program, the Thales Watchkeeper, has failed to meet its target for delivering the first air vehicles to troops in Afghanistan.

Watchkeeper is among the ongoing U.K. Defense Ministry procurements with the largest schedule delays, according to the National Audit Office. It was running more than a year behind schedule and also has come under scrutiny at the ministry.

The program only barely escaped being named to the ministry’s “programs of concern” list when it was first issued last year. At the time, the government said another review was expected “around the turn of the year.”

One of the key milestones for the program last year was to begin deliveries to deployed forces in Afghanistan. However, a Defense Ministry official notes that “Watchkeeper has not yet been delivered.” A reason for the delay was not given.

The military was hoping to have sufficient numbers of Watchkeepers fielded to sustain three orbits in April, with the number of orbits to reach six in October. Fifty-four Watchkeepers are being bought under current procurement plans.

The in-service date for the program was initially planned for June 2010.

Once Watchkeeper is fielded, it is supposed to allow the ministry to start drawing down Hermes 450 unmanned aircraft being used on a fee-for-service basis in Afghanistan.

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6 décembre 2011 2 06 /12 /décembre /2011 07:55


Pose de l'IM400 sur le patrouilleur Holland

crédits : THALES


06/12/2011 MER et MARINE


Le premier mât intégré produit par Thales a passé avec succès ses essais d'usine avant d'être intégré sur le Holland, tête de série des quatre nouveaux patrouilleurs néerlandais du type OGPV. Développé aux Pays-Bas, l'Integrated Mast IM400 permet de concentrer en un seul mât les différents systèmes électroniques mis en oeuvre par le bâtiment, facilitant l'intégration de matériels toujours plus nombreux. L'IM400 dont est doté le Holland comprend un radar de veille air à quatre faces planes SeaMaster 400 (bande S), dérivé des SMART et APAR. La veille surface est assurée par un radar fixe Seawatcher (également à quatre faces, bande X), qui pourra aussi assurer le guidage de l'hélicoptère embarqué. L'IM400 comprend, par ailleurs, un système électro-optique (IR/TV) de surveillance et d'alerte Gatekeeper. Ce système, avec une capacité de détection à 360 degrés, a été conçu pour traiter les menaces asymétriques, comme les attaques de petites embarcations rapides, de drones aériens ou de nageurs de combat. Le mât accueille enfin l'Integrated Communication Antenna System (ICAS), qui permet l'utilisation de systèmes de communication VHF/UHF et peut mettre en oeuvre une liaison de données tactique (L16), ainsi qu'un système d'identification « Friend or Foe » NR IFF.

En dehors des capacités de cette structure intégrée, on insiste aussi, chez Thales, sur les gains financiers que procure l'I-Mast. Ce dernier permet, en effet, de réduire les coûts d'intégration et de maintenance (il y a notamment une galerie technique à l'intérieur permettant aux marins, en cas d'intervention, de travailler à l'abri). Ainsi, l'électronicien livre la structure en un seul bloc à l'issue du montage et des tests des senseurs. La solution est donc beaucoup moins lourde qu'une intégration progressive des équipements électroniques sur le navire en construction. Certes, le planning initialement prévu a connu un peu de retard avec le Holland, qui a débuté ses essais en mer en mai dernier et vient tout juste de recevoir son mât intégré. Il convient néanmoins de rappeler qu'il s'agit là d'une première et que, comme pour tout « prototype », les glissements calendaires sont fréquents.

(© : THALES)

(© : THALES)

Fabriqué par l'usine Thales d'Hengelo, l'IM400 a été installé sur le Holland au chantier Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding de Flessingue, où a été réalisé le patrouilleur et où le mât est arrivé par barge. La structure a ensuite été transférée dans une cale où se situait le bâtiment, puis montée à bord au moyen d'un pont roulant. Le Holland va désormais mener la fin de ses essais en mer avec son mât intégré, avant d'entrer en service au sein de la marine néerlandaise. Destiné au patrouilleur Zeeland, second de la série des OGPV, le deuxième IM400 doit être installé début 2013. Deux autres mâts sont prévus pour les quatrième et cinquième patrouilleurs, un IM400 ayant été commandé à Thales pour équiper le bâtiment logistique Karel Doorman, que DSNS doit livrer en 2014.

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(© : THALES)

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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 12:55
DSEi 2011: Thales shows optronics products


September 12, 2011 Beth Stevenson,SHEPARD GROUP


London - Thales has demonstrated advancements in its ISR capabilities through a series of new products and platform upgrades.


At a pre-DSEi briefing on 13 July, Thales introduced the new Orion stabilised panoramic sight, and Video Eyesafe Laser Transceiver (VELT), as well as upgrades to its Catherine and Sophie systems.


The Orion is a new armoured vehicle sighting system, fitted with Thales’ Catherine MP IR camera, David Low, head of the vehicles optronics group at Thales said at the briefing.


In response to soldier demand for multiple functions to be delivered from one fighting vehicle, it has a gigabit ethernet data and video interface that is ‘easily upgradable and easily integrated’, and the company believes this is a market first in terms of being an all-digital sighting system.


‘It is an enhanced capability in terms of its panoramic capability. It is a fully stabilised sighting system, so you have got stabilised line of sight. It provides a full 360o continuous azimuth rotation capability, and is qualified for both tracked and wheeled vehicles,’ Low explained.


‘We have developed a number of fairly sophisticated algorithms and processing units that allow us to do automatic target tracking, automatic target detection, and wide area surveillance.’ The system was selected on 8 July as the primary sight for the Scout SV programme.


‘It provides what we believe to be one of the longest range surveillance and target acquisition capabilities within the vehicle market,’ Low added.


Fitted on the Orion is the new VELT eyesafe laser rangefinder (LRF), which comes in two variants, direct (VELT-D) and indirect (VELT-I).


‘We’ve introduced two variants, one for the other sights, the direct view, which has a direct view optical channel, and also a second colour TV,’ Richard French, head of the sensors product group at Thales, explained.


‘We have two cameras, both wide and narrow, for wide area surveillance and high performance identification.’


Features that distinguish it include: the expansion port for adding other capabilities; the reticle and symbology that is now software generated; the ‘industry leading’ athermal boresight stability; and the high-resolution digital colour video.


French said the system has received ‘significant interest from the US marketplace’.


The Catherine mega pixel (MP) medium wave (MW) IR camera is a ‘fully configurable’ medium wave and lighter addition to the Catherine MP family.


The original Catherine MP long wave camera was launched at DSEi in 2005, and ‘since then we’ve taken the fields of view of that camera from 5o down to 3.5 o in the long wave, and have two long wave cameras on the marketplace’, French commented.


‘We’ve introduced three fields of view to give 10o for wide area surveillance, dropping down to 2.3 degrees, to give us class-leading identification.


‘This medium wave megapixel camera adds to the already established 5o and 15o and 3.5o and 10o degree variants that we have on the marketplace.’


The camera has an extended range, is carried under armour, and has periscopic sight applications.


The Sophie UF2 is a long wave, dismounted soldier, handheld, thermal imaging target locator based on the Sophie UF released some three years ago, with Thales having sold some 10,000 of this type of system worldwide.


The ‘highly successful’ Sophie UF uncooled target locator has been bought by the British Army and is ‘highly successful’, French said, although soldiers still come back to the issue of how to make it lighter and smaller.


‘The message that comes back from the user every time we launch a target locator is “when can I have a smaller and lighter one?”’ French explained.


The new platform has the same functionality as the original system, but has dropped from 3.4kg to 2.4kg through better integration.


It is used for accurate infantry indirect fire control, ISR, enhanced force protection, and day/night operation.


All the Thales systems are at production standard and are available to order.

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9 septembre 2011 5 09 /09 /septembre /2011 11:55
Watchkeeper flies to new endurance record

Photo Thales UK


09/09/11 By Craig Hoyle SOURCE:Flight International


Operational trials with the British Army's Watchkeeper unmanned air system (UAS) remain on track to start next month, after the WK450 air vehicle has set a new endurance record in testing.


Maj Matt Moore, SO2 UAS for headquarters, Royal Artillery, said a WK450 completed an almost 14h flight in early September from West Wales airport.


With current approvals restricting test flights to daylight hours only, the aircraft landed with around 4h of fuel remaining, he said.


During the record-breaking UK flight, the aircraft's dual mission payload of an Elop Compass IV electro-optical/infrared camera and Thales I-Master/Viper synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication sensor were employed, along with its data link.


 The WK450's dual mission payloads, data link and software were tested during the record-breaking sortie


The UAS was also taken to its 16,000ft (4,880m) service ceiling and 115km (62nm) away from the airport, Moore told the UK Air Warfare Centre's remotely piloted air systems symposium in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, on 8 September. The aircraft also flew using its operational-standard software, prime contractor Thales UK said.


Operational trials with the Watchkeeper will be conducted in October and November, with the first training flights over Salisbury Plain to be made from the Ministry of Defence/Qinetiq Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire in December.


Watchkeeper vehicles and equipment will be deployed to Afghanistan from late this year, to deliver one daily "task line" from the first quarter of 2012. A full service using six task lines should be in place within 12 months, Moore said.


In addition to continuing flight testing, other Watchkeeper activities currently include preparing modifications - such as the addition of covert lighting - for deployment in Afghanistan, Moore said.


Development testing with the WK450 has now passed 230 flights and 320h in the UK and Israel.


Thales UK/Elbit Systems joint venture Utacs is responsible for delivering the Watchkeeper system, which will replace an interim service in Afghanistan currently using leased Elbit Hermes 450s.


The service has delivered 50,000h of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance services for the British Army since April 2007.

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1 septembre 2011 4 01 /09 /septembre /2011 17:55



CANBERRA, Australia, Sept. 1 (UPI)


Australia's Defense Department hit back at criticism over its MU90 lightweight torpedo purchase from the weapon's French and Italian manufacturers.


A written statement by the Defense Ministry said all essential documentation from the manufacturers is in English and not, as reported by Australian media, in French or Italian only.


An article in some Fairfax Media newspapers and "more widely reported in the electronic media" contains "information that is wrong and misleading," the ministry said.


The Age newspaper in Melbourne, under the headline "Navy at sea over French manual," savaged the government for going out to tender for a translation of the manufacturers' documents despite having spent several hundred million dollars on the much-delayed project.


The Age said the deal has dragged on 13 years, will cost $655 million and has been condemned by the government auditor.


The article said the Defense Department will pay $110,100 for the translation service and cover the cost of flights and accommodation the tender winner.


"Buy flat-pack furniture from a well-known Scandinavian chain store and you can be sure the instructions will be in English," the article said. "But spend hundreds of millions on European-built torpedoes for your navy and apparently that is not the case."



However, the Defense Department said "as a condition of contract, all key project documentation including technical instructions from the supplier has been delivered in English."


What is in need of translation is "additional test data from these countries as a way to reduce costs and minimize the number of formal ship trials for the Australian MU90 program" before the weapon is commissioned, the department said.


The statement noted that Australia is getting test-firing data ordinarily not included in such contracts but will save Australian taxpayers a lot of money.


"To date the French and Italian navy testing programs have involved the firing of over 200 MU90 torpedoes. It is the reports and data from these tests that is in French and Italian and needs to be translated into English," the Defense Department said in its statement.


Apart from Australia, the MU90 anti-submarine torpedo is used by the navies of Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Poland. It is designed to outperform the U.S.-built Mark 46, torpedo designed by Alliant Techsytems.


The MU90 manufacturer, EuroTorp, is a consortium formed in 1993 by French and Italian defense companies specifically to design and build a new generation lightweight torpedoes.


EuroTorp companies are Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei, which has a 50 percent stake, DCN International with a 26 percent stake and Thales Underwater Systems, owning 24 percent.


The Defense Department statement also noted that the MU90 contract is an Acquisition Project of Concern. Being on the Project of Concern list -- set up in 2008 -- means the government is aware of escalating costs and lengthening delivery dates and is working with contractors to get the contract back on track.


In May, a report by the Auditor General blasted Defense for badly managing the torpedo purchase which, even though signed in 1998, has no firm delivery date.


'Planning and management was inadequate,'' the Auditor General said.


There had been ''an underestimation of … risk'' even though almost $400 million has been spent.


The project ''will not deliver the capability originally sought by the Australian Defense Force (military), with uncertainty surrounding what will be delivered."


The audit report said the government knew so little about the torpedo when they bought it, they ''believed the MU90 to be an off-the-shelf acquisition … already in service with the other navies. This was not the case.''

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17 juin 2011 5 17 /06 /juin /2011 12:55
Le programme PAAMS (principal anti-air missile system)

17/06/2011 DGA


Le système PAAMS constitue l’armement principal des frégates anti-aériennes Horizon (réalisées en coopération franco-italienne), et des Destroyers T45 britanniques en assurant des missions simultanées d’autoprotection du bâtiment porteur, de défense locale d’un groupe de bâtiments et de défense de zone à moyenne portée (30 à 100 km).

D’un point de vue technique, le système PAAMS partage de nombreux éléments avec les systèmes de la famille FSAF (famille de missiles sol-air futurs) et en particulier le missile Aster.

Ce système se compose :

- des radars multifonctions intégrés dans une conduite de tir : Empar pour la France et l’Italie, Sampson pour l’Angleterre ;

- du radar de surveillance à longue portée S1850M (ou LRR pour Long Range Radar) ;

- des missiles Aster 15 et Aster 30, capables d’intercepter des attaques saturantes d’avions et de missiles supersoniques manœuvrant ;

-      d’un système de lancement vertical (SLV) ;

-      d’un système de commandement et de contrôle (C2) permettant de suivre la situation tactique, d’évaluer la menace et de gérer la conduite des tirs de missile, intégré au système de combat des bâtiments, ou (en secours) en autonome.


Caractéristiques techniques des composantes du système

Munitions Aster

Le missile Aster est conçu pour l’interception aérienne d’avion ou de missile. C’est un missile à deux étages lancé verticalement et disposant d’un système original pif-paf qui associe le pilotage aérodynamique classique au pilotage en force par action de jet de gaz au centre de gravité du missile. Le missile Aster 15 et le missile Aster 30 utilise le même missile terminal mais ont un étage d’accélération (booster) différent


  Aster 15 Aster 30
Longueur 4,2 m 4,8 m
Diamètre 180 mm
Masse 300 kg 445 kg
Propulsion Combustible solide / deux étages
Vitesse Fortement supersonique
Portée d’interception > 45* km > 80* km
Mode de guidage

-      pendant toute la durée du vol utilise un guidage inertiel avec recalage intermédiaire de la cible par liaison avec le radar au sol ;

-      en trajectoire finale : autodirecteur électromagnétique actif.

Mode de pilotage pif-paf : pilotage d’interception en force - pilotage aérodynamique fort
Protection sur 360°

-      tiré à partir d’un tube conteneur qui sert aussi au transport et au stockage ;

-      durci aux contre-mesures électromagnétiques.

* : portée maximale dépendant du type de cible


Module de lancement vertical (MLV) Sylver A50 du système de lancement vertical (SLV)

Configuration 6 modules (capacité de 8 modules/frégate)
Capacité par module 8 Aster (15 et/ou 30)
Masse 8 tonnes
Hauteur 6 mètres
Surface au sol 2,6 x 2,3 m

Le MLV est dérivé du modèle A43 installé à bord du Porte-avions Charles de Gaulle. L’électronique de contrôle du MLV est réalisée à partir de baies navales de gestion des munitions : NGGM.Le système SLV est composé de 6 modules pouvant chacun mettre en œuvre 8 missiles (Aster 15 et/ou Aster 30).

Conduite de tir

La conduite de tir est assurée par des radars 3D longue portée multi-fonctions de type Empar (bande C) ou Sampson (bi-bande E/F). Ces radars ont une rotation d’antenne de 60 tours/minute et offrent des fonctions de : surveillance, météo, discrimination des cibles, acquisition multi-cibles, poursuites combinées multi-cibles...

Radars Multifonctions Empar et Sampson :

Le radar Empar (European Multifunction Phased Array Radar) est un radar bande C, équipant les frégates Horizon. Le radar Sampson est un radar bi-bandes (E/F), équipant les destroyers Type 45. Leur rôle est d’assurer le guidage des missiles Aster et permet entre autre de suivre et d’engager simultanément de nombreuses cibles.

Radar de surveillance S1850M - LRR

Le radar S1850M, plus connu sous le nom « LRR » (Long Range Radar), est un radar de veille longue distance bande D, dérivé du Smart-L de Thales NL, destiné à la détection aérienne et de surface.


Organisation étatique et industrielle

Le programme PAAMS est développé par les acteurs majeurs de l’industrie missilière européenne (MBDA, TAD, Selex, BAé) regroupés au sein du GIE Europaams.

Les principaux industriels sont :

- Selex : radar Empar ;

- MBDA Italia : calculateurs Mara VME et console opérateur Magics II ;

- BAé : radar S1850 M ;

- InsyTe : radar Sampson ;

- DCNS : module de lancement vertical Sylver ;

- MBDA-F : munitions Aster ;

- Thales : système de conduite et de contrôle des conduites de tir (partie commune aux versions franco-italienne (PAAMS(E) et britannique (PAAMS(S) : C2 core).

L’organisation étatique du programme se compose d’un bureau trinational (PPO : PAAMS Programme Office) et d’un comité directeur (PSC : PAAMS Steering Committee).


Avancement du programme

Le programme a été lancé en juin 1999, la qualification du système devrait être prononcée fin 2011.

La production est pratiquement terminée, les deux frégates françaises et les deux frégates italiennes ainsi que cinq des six  Destroyers T45 britanniques sont actuellement équipés du PAAMS (les 2 premiers Destroyers T45 ont été validés et des tests sont en cours pour les 3 autres).

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10 mai 2011 2 10 /05 /mai /2011 20:30



10.05.2011 Vincent Lamigeon, journaliste à Challenges – Blog SUPERSONIQUE


La rumeur courait depuis deux semaines. Le délégué général pour l'armement Laurent Collet-Billon a finalement lâché l'info ce matin dans les Echos, obligeant les deux groupes à noyer le poisson dans des communiqués qui fleurent bon l'embarras : Thales et Safran discutent bel et bien à nouveau d'échanges d'actifs. Pas de quoi danser le Bagad de Lann-Bihoué, dira le lecteur intransigeant. Il n'aura pas tort : dans le genre serpent de mer de l'industrie de défense, ce projet n'est pas loin de la palme. La solution avait déjà été évoquée du temps de Jean-Paul Béchat patron de Safran et Denis Ranque PDG de Thales. Les discussions avaient repris après l'entrée de Dassault Aviation au capital de Thales, avant de butter sur l'intransigeance des deux parties.


Revoilà donc le projet sur la table de négociations. De quoi s'agit-il exactement ? En gros, un deal poussé par la DGA, lassée de financer des doublons au sein des deux groupes : Thales récupèrerait les activités d'optronique (équipements à la fois optiques et électroniques, type jumelles de vision infrarouge) de Safran, comme le viseur Strix de l'hélicoptère de combat Tigre (photo Sagem). Lequel recevrait en échange celles de navigation inertielle (équipements permettant à un engin de s'orienter de façon autonome) et de génération électrique de Thales. D'où une consolidation autour de deux champions français qui pourraient tenir la dragée haute aux américains Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell ou Northrop Grumman. Splendide sur le papier.


Le problème, c'est que les intérêts ne sont pas forcément convergents. Côté Thales, récupérer l'optronique permettrait grosso modo de doubler de taille sur un marché en forte croissance, à un milliard d'euros de ventes à peu près. L'intérêt de Safran est plus contestable : certes il récupérerait les activités de navigation inertielle et de génération électrique de Thales. Mais les spécialistes s'accordent à estimer qu'il y perdrait quand même au change, car l'ensemble resterait loin des leaders américains. D'où l'idée d'une soulte que paierait Thales, histoire de se quitter bons amis. Mais là encore, Safran n'est pas forcément intéressé : gavé de cash par le carton du moteur CFM-56 et de sa maintenance, il a plus besoin d'activités en croissance que d'un chèque qui serait de toute façon limité.


Le patron de Safran l'a bien compris : l'année dernière, il avait tenté d'intégrer aux négociations les activités d'avionique civile de Thales, une des pépites du groupe, ce qui avait passablement courroucé Charles Edelstenne, PDG de Dassault Aviation, l'actionnaire industriel de Thales. Cette activité étant exclue des négociations actuelles, pas sûr qu'un accord soit possible. A moins de tordre la main à un des deux industriels...

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5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 13:00



04 May 2011 by defenceWeb


The South African Army is purchasing night vision tubes worth R3 million from vendor ECM Technologies. The order was placed last month. It adds to the some R238 million spent on night vision equipment since 2007. In addition to the R241 223 912.08 spent on new equipment, some R17 241 102.51 has been spent on maintenance and repair. The equipment replaces dated technology based on first and second generation image intensifiers. The acquisitions appear separate from Project Cytoon that is seeing the SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps gaining 14 Thales Squire ground surveillance radars and 65 Thales Sophie thermal imagers.


Thermal imagers detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Since most objects emit such radiation, thermal imagers allow their users to "see" their surroundings with or without visible light. The warmer the object, the brighter the object appears in the imager. Humans, with an internal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius tend to stand out against their surroundings, which are mostly cooler. This also allows thermal imagers to spot camouflaged targets. Many modern thermal imagers include an eye-safe laser rangefinder and pointer, a compass, GPS and digital camera. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4km, tanks at 10km, helicopters at 12km and jet fighters at 16km, Thales says.

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4 mai 2011 3 04 /05 /mai /2011 08:00



Le Holland a réalisé sa première sortie avant que l'I-Mast ne soit installé



04/05/2011 MER et MARINE


Le Holland, premier des quatre Ocean Going Patrol Vessels (OGPV) commandés aux chantiers Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, a réalisé en avril ses premiers essais au large des côtes néerlandaises. Cette sortie en mer du Nord a porté sur la manoeuvrabilité et la propulsion, avec notamment une navigation de 4 heures à pleine puissance pour tester les équipements et la consommation en carburant. Pour ces premiers essais, le Holland n'était pas encore doté de son I-Mast IM-400, un mât intégré conçu par Thales et rassemblant la quasi-totalité des senseurs embarqués (radars, systèmes de détection, conduite de tir, télécommunications...) Cette structure, réalisée indépendamment du navire, sera montée une fois achevée sur le patrouilleur. Une fois en place, le bâtiment pourra débuter les essais de son système de combat et de son système d'armes, en vue d'une livraison à la marine néerlandaise en fin d'année. En tout, quatre navires de ce type ont été commandés (Holland, Friesland, Zeeland et Groningen) mais, en raison des restrictions budgétaires, les Pays-Bas ne devraient en conserver que deux, les autres étant proposés à l'export. Longs de 108.4 mètres pour une largeur de 16 mètres, les OGPV afficheront un déplacement en charge de 3745 tonnes. Répondant aux nouveaux enjeux en matière de menaces asymétriques et conçus pour lutter efficacement contre la piraterie ou le narcotrafic, les Holland auront un système de mise à l'eau pour deux embarcations rapides. Ils disposeront, en outre, d'un hangar et d'une plateforme pour un hélicoptère de type NH90. L'armement comprendra une tourelle de 76mm, un canon de 27mm télé-opéré, ainsi que de l'artillerie légère. L'équipage sera limité à 50 marins mais les bâtiments auront une capacité d'hébergement de 90 personnes. En cas de besoin, une centaine de naufragés pourra même être accueillie sur une courte durée. La propulsion, assurée par deux moteurs diesels de 5400 kW, permettra aux patrouilleurs néerlandais d'atteindre la vitesse de 21.5 noeuds et de franchir 5000 nautiques à 15 noeuds.

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3 mai 2011 2 03 /05 /mai /2011 17:30
Eurotorp's MU90 LWT Takes a Further Step Towards Breakthrough for Air Platforms

photo Eurotorp


03 May 2011 naval-technology.com


The MU90 continues its operational progression with the French Navy, following the delivery of the 200th MU90 light weight torpedo in July 2010 by the French Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA).


Since then, the French Navy has started to deploy its first MU90 LWT for operational exercises in parallel with batch acceptance tests. During an advanced anti-submarine exercise in April 2011, the operational crew of one ATLANTIQUE2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) successfully performed tracking, classification and long range engagement of a CALAS autonomous target simulating a submarine. Thanks to using the MU90, the French Navy has made a significant step change in ASW capability. Following early operational capability validation in 2008 in partnership with Eurotorp, the French Navy has started to conduct exercises on its own with the MU90, helping the torpedo on its next step towards full operation.


Today, almost all the ATL2 have been modified to ensure the launching capability of the MU90. The MU90 airborne solution adopted for this aircraft is a semi-integrated one so as not to interfere with the aircraft data management system while being connected to the platform attitude data, thus granting maximum freedom of manoeuvre to the crew prior to the launch. This intermediate solution has minimised modifications on board the aircraft without degrading any of the MU90’s performance. The MU90 is preset through the very user-friendly 'PCA' semi-integrated airborne presetter, providing the TACCO the full range of MU90 presets through pre-defined scenarios in which every preset can be modified if needed. The success of MU90 air launches demonstrates the full efficiency of MU90 when embarked on board any air platform.


Of 324mm diameter, the MU90 can be embarked on board any type of ASW air fixed or rotary wing aircraft. In addition to ATL2, the MU90 is qualified on board NH90, Lynx, EH101 Merlin, SH-2G Sea Sprite with different solutions ranging from stand-alone to fully integrated ones, through specific equipments or aircraft store management system. MU90, offering an unmatchable flight domain up to 900m in altitude and 400kts in speed, is today a candidate to be embarked on board all anti-submarine warfare air platforms, including the helicopters Panther, AW159, S70B, MH-60R and MH92 as well as the maritime patrol aircraft C295, ATR72, Dash8, P3C and P8. Eurotorp is already in advanced talks with the majority of air platform suppliers to achieve this goal.


The MU90 is a fire-and-forget weapon designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors. The torpedo features unique system characteristics which allow real operational capability in coastal waters. The MU90 is powered through a closed-loop aluminium–silver oxide sea water battery delivering twice the energy of all the other LWTs as well as total safety. It is equipped with a fully-insensitive directed energy shaped charge warhead, proven to penetrate double-hulled large submarines, advanced acoustic head and last generation mission software. Of extremely long endurance, the engagement distance is beyond 12,000m, whatever the submarine depth. The MU90 operates without any speed degradation and without any limitation of salinity and temperature at depths >1000m or as shallow as 25m, whilst retaining navigation capability up to 3m.


The MU90 LWT is in service with the French, Italian, German, Danish, and Polish Navies, and has also been delivered and accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA). In France, the MU90 is embarked on board F70 and Horizon frigates, ATL2 MPA and Lynx helicopters. It will be also embarked soon, in France and in Italy as well, on board FREMM frigates and NH90 helicopters.

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26 mars 2011 6 26 /03 /mars /2011 12:30
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1 mars 2011 2 01 /03 /mars /2011 07:00
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18 janvier 2011 2 18 /01 /janvier /2011 08:55
SYRACUSE Programme: new order for Renault Trucks Defense


18.01.2014 army-guide.com


Renault Trucks Defense has signed with Thales a contract for supplying 21 units of vehicles type Premium, Midlum and Sherpa Light carrier dedicated to the tactical stations of the Syracuse III military satellite communications program. In 2009 Renault Trucks Defense has already sold 33 units of Sherpa light carriers. These new vehicles will be delivered in 2011.



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