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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 12:55
Défense : le drone tactique Watchkeeper à la repêche

27/09/2013 Michel Cabirol - LaTribune.fr

 

Peut mieux faire. La campagne d'essais du drone anglo-israélien Watchkeeper de Thales s'est moyennement bien passée cet été à Istres. Mais Paris continue à privilégier la coopération franco-britannique. D'autant que le SDTI de Safran, le rival de Thales, avait lui-même rencontré pas mal de difficultés de mise au point.

 

Les drones seraient-ils maudits en France ? La campagne d'essais du drone tactique anglo-israélien Watchkeeper en France ne s'est pas très bien passée cet été à Istres, selon des sources concordantes. L'exemplaire prêté par Londres a rencontré quelques difficultés pour réaliser tous les vols prévus et n'a pu finalement en effectuer que la moitié. Ce qui a entraîné quelques frustrations et mécontentements au sein du ministère de la Défense, et plus précisément à la direction générale de l'armement (DGA). "Les résultats ne sont pas encore ceux que nous espérions", a d'ailleurs prudemment précisé il y a deux semaines le chef d'état-major des armées, l'amiral Edouard Guillaud aux sénateurs de la commission des affaires étrangères et de la défense.

Selon nos informations, la moitié des vols annulés l'ont été en raison de mauvaises conditions météorologiques, notamment au mois de juin, qui il est vrai a été très... britannique. Des raisons exogènes au programme qui exemptent de fait le Watchkeeper. En revanche, l'autre moitié des vols l'ont été pour des raisons techniques... mais qui sont "connues", explique-t-on à La Tribune. Car en Grande-Bretagne, le Watchkeeper est encore dans sa phase de mise au point finale et est dans la dernière ligne de droite pour obtenir le droit d'être mis en service dans les rangs de l'armée de terre britannique.

 

La coopération franco-britannique privilégiée

Pour autant, le Watchkeeper, réalisé en coopération entre Elbit, qui fournit la plateforme Hermes 450, et Thales UK la charge utile, garde toutes ses chances pour remplacer les drones de reconnaissance et de désignation d'objectifs, SDTI (Système de drone tactique intérimaire), livrés par Safran à l'armée de terre française et qui sont aujourd'hui à bout de souffle. Car Paris continue de donner la préférence à cette coopération franco-britannique dans le cadre des accords de Lancaster House pour le segment des drones tactiques.

Et en dépit de la campagne mitigée cet été, les essais se poursuivent. Ce que confirme l'amiral Edouard Guillaud : "actuellement, les essais du Watchkeeper, qui n'est toujours pas déclaré opérationnel, se poursuivent au Royaume-Uni et en France. La version définitive n'est toujours pas acquise". Et de rappeler que la France était montée "dans le train sans ajouter de sur-spécifications, qui auraient rendu la coopération impossible, retardé le système, et rendu le projet financièrement bien plus difficile. Notre volonté dans ce domaine est très nette".

 

Le SDTI opérationnel jusqu'à fin novembre 2014 ?

Le temps presse. Car les SDTI devront être retirés entre 2015, pour les premiers exemplaires, et 2017, assure le ministère de la défense dans la présentation de la loi de programmation militaire (LPM). Et même plus vite si l'on en croit le Comité des prix de revient des fabrications d'armement (CPRA), qui dans son dernier rapport, indique que "huit marchés et trois avenants au total ont été nécessaires pour assurer la disponibilité opérationnelle de l'équipement jusqu'en novembre 2014". Ce qu'a confirmé le PDG de Safran, Jean-Paul Herteman, aux députés de la commission de la défense : "la phase de production, et, à moyen terme, d'opération du SDTI arrive effectivement à son terme".

Selon le patron de Safran, ce système sera remplacé par un drone de capacité supérieure, et son groupe "se positionne avec un produit original et intelligent, baptisé Patroller : nous espérons donc lui trouver des débouchés". Et de rappeler, compte tenu de la préférence française pour le Watchkeeper, que "la France avait été le cinquième ou sixième client pour le SDTI". Le drone Patroller, d'un poids d'environ une tonne, guidé par une liaison radio VHF, dispose d'une endurance de vol allant jusqu'à trente heures et d'une capacité de vol à une altitude de 25.000 pieds. "Sa plateforme est tout simplement un planeur motorisé fabriqué en Allemagne - leader pour ce type d'appareils -, équipé d'un système optronique, de contrôle de mission et d'évitement automatique des obstacles", a expliqué Jean-Paul Herteman. Ce drone peut être utilisé pour des activités civiles telles que la surveillance de frontières ou l'observation d'incendies.

 

La saga du SDTI appelle à la prudence

Les difficultés estivales du Watchkeeper sont toutefois à relativiser tant le SDTI a rencontré de sérieux déboires. Ce programme, qui a été lancé en février 2000, pour succéder au système Crécerelle, a fait l'objet d'un marché passé à Sagem en 2001, dans l'attente d'un système de drone futur. D'où son appellation d'intérimaire : il était prévu que pour sept ans. "Ce marché a dès l'origine rencontré de nombreuses difficultés tant pour la livraison intervenue avec plus d'un an de retard, que dans le maintien en condition opérationnelle, note le CPRA dans son rapport. L'exécution des premières tranches ont été critiques et ont fait l'objet d'un contentieux entre l'industriel et la DGA. Celui-ci s'est finalement soldé par une pénalité de 5 millions d'euros pour l'industriel".

Fin 2011, malgré les pertes et la fragilité du système - plusieurs étaient en réparation -, le SDTI a néanmoins montré un "grand intérêt opérationnel" et son utilisation a été "beaucoup plus importante que prévue, notamment en opérations".

 

SDTI : des dérives financières importantes

L'acquisition du système SDTI s'est élevée à 77 millions d'euros alors que la prévision initiale était de 68 millions. "Si cette augmentation a été modérée (+13 %), il n'en a pas été de même pour celle du maintien en condition opérationnelle et de la logistique, a constaté le CPRA : envisagée à l'origine pour 7 ans et pour une opération extérieure à un montant de près de 48 millions d'euros, elle s'est finalement élevée pour 10 ans et trois opérations à plus 196 millions d'euros (+ 310 %)".

Le coût total de possession du système, constaté sur 10 ans, est de 273 millions d'euros, très loin des prévisions initiales évaluée à environ 116 millions. Selon le CPRA, pour le SDTI, comme pour son prédécesseur le drone Crécerelle, "la part du maintien en condition opérationnelle dans le coût total de possession est particulièrement élevée : elle est de près de 70 % et correspond à plus de 2,5 fois le prix d'acquisition. Elle provient notamment d'une mauvaise anticipation de l'utilisation en opération, qui a occasionné un surcoût de près de 90 millions d'euros et des trois années supplémentaires de service des appareils, pour près de 60 millions. En revanche, le coût unitaire d'un drone est resté égal aux prévisions".

 

Quels enseignements pour l'avenir

Le CPRA estime que l'expression du besoin, qui demandait des capacités ambitieuses, a conduit "à ne pouvoir retenir qu'un seul industriel français alors que d'autres pistes auraient pu être davantage explorées". Et de souligner que des pistes "mériteront de l'être avec plus de détermination pour les programmes futurs". Pas sûr que Paris prenne cette voie, Thales étant pour le moment clairement favori pour remporter le marché d'une quinzaine de systèmes qui seront livrés à l'horizon de 2019. En outre, l'intérêt "d'évaluer au plus juste le montant du MCO lors du lancement d'une opération apparaît très clairement dans cette opération". Et pour cause, le MCO a dérivé de plus de 300 % par rapport aux prévisions initiales.

Le rôle des drones dans les armées actuelles n'est plus à démontrer, après l'emploi intensif et efficace du SDTI en Afghanistan, a rappelé le CPRA. "Mais, a-t-il souligné, les quantités envisagées dans le futur incitent à mener une réflexion pour un regroupement de l'ensemble des partenaires européens, qui permettrait la constitution d'une filière "drones", disposant d'une véritable pertinence économique". Ce qui est en train d'être réalisé entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne.

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 16:55
1914-2014

26 septembre 2013 par Henri Weill - Ainsi va le monde !

Les temps forts marquant le centenaire de la "grande guerre" seront annoncés par le président de la République, début novembre. Après un cycle de manifestations culturelles "Sarajevo, cœur de l'Europe" du 21 au 28 juin 2014 en Bosnie-Herzégovine, les célébrations devraient débuter en France, le14 juillet suivant. Suivront une commémoration de la mobilisation début août, celle de la bataille de la Marne un mois plus tard et un hommage national qui sera rendu le 11 novembre 2014.


La mission du centenaire a crée un label afin d'accompagner des projets locaux qui pourront figurer sur le programme national officiel des commémorations (centenaire.org). Au 1er août 2013, il a été accordé à 1265 projets ; il permet en outre d'être éligible à un financement par la mission. Pour cela un fonds a été doté de 7 millions € ( 2 millions provenant de l'Etat, 5 millions du mécénat).

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Babcock to provide equipment for final 3 Astute class submarines

Sep 25, 2013 ASDNews Source : Babcock International

 

Babcock has been awarded a £4.8 million contract by BAE Systems to supply actuators and positioning sensing arrays for the fifth, sixth and seventh Astute class submarines.  The contract represents optimum value to the MoD by combining the requirements for all three submarines in a single contract, enabling cost reductions to be generated.

 

Babcock will supply three sets of control surface hydraulic actuators (five per submarine); two for the aft hydroplane, one for the forward hydroplane and two for the rudder, plus five positioning sensing arrays per boat set.  Under the two and a half year programme of works, Babcock will procure the components, and assemble and functionally test the units, which will then be delivered to BAE Systems in line with the submarine build programme.  Babcock has also supplied this equipment for Astute submarines one to four, under previous contracts.

 

Read more

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat

AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat

Sept. 25, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: British Forces Broadcasting Corp.; posted Sept. 24, 2013)

 

British Forces Prepare for Wildcat Helicopter



The BFBS has posted two video reports of how British forces are preparing for the service introduction of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat, the successor to the Westland Lynx. More below, with relevant links to the videos -- Ed.

Up Close and Personal With the Wildcat Sept. 24, 2013

In the second part of a special report on the new Wildcat helicopter, which will be flown by both the Army and the Royal Marines, British Forces News has been exploring the model which will be in use onboard Royal Navy ships. It is being prepared for use by 700 Squadron in Yeovilton.

Open video in player


Twenty First Century Wildcat Sept. 23, 2013

The first frontline squadron to get the latest attack helicopter - the Wildcat - says it will bring air operations into the twenty first century.

847 Naval Air Squadron is getting used to operating the replacement for Lynx helicopters, ahead of the new aircraft fully entering service next year.

British Forces News has been to Yeovilton, to see Wildcat up close.

Open video in player

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

The first RAF Typhoon was delivered in 2003, with the total delivered since reaching 112 aircraft.

 

25 Sep 2013 By Ben Martin, and Graham Ruddick

 

BAE Systems has formally submitted a bid to build 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jets for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stepping up its attempt to strike a deal that could support thousands of UK jobs and is vital for the company’s prospects.

 

The Typhoon programme, developed by BAE, Italy’s Finmeccanica and Airbus–maker EADS, suffered a major setback last year when it lost out to French company Dassault for a major contract to supply India with 126 fighter jets.

 

However, the aircraft has emerged as the favourite to win the UAE contract, which could be worth around £6bn and has been described as a “game-changer” by the chief executive of BAE, Ian King.

 

More than 5,000 people work on the Typhoon project in Britain for BAE, which is the country’s biggest defence contractor. Securing the UAE deal would be a major boost to the manufacturing sites in Lancashire where the fighter jet is constructed.

 

In a note, UBS, BAE’s house broker, said: “We estimate that this order could potentially be worth £6bn for the aircraft alone and multiples of that including training, support and weapons packages.”

 

The British company is leading negotiations with the UAE on behalf of the Typhoon consortium. The potential deal is also likely to include a technology-sharing agreement on unmanned aircraft.

 

It is thought that the process to decide which aircraft the UAE selects could take several months. Dassault is also in the running to supply the UAE with its Rafale jets.

 

Charles Armitage at UBS said that if a deal is agreed between BAE and the UAE, it could open the door for talks with India to be restarted. He said: “If UAE is signed, this could put pressure on India, which would be the only export customer for Rafale - nobody likes being the only export customer for a programme as it tends to reduce flexibility and increase the upgrade/maintenance costs – and could bring Typhoon back into the picture.”

 

The group’s chances of securing the order were bolstered by an alliance that was agreed last November, when David Cameron travelled to the Gulf to unveil a formal defence and industrial partnership between Britain and the UAE.

 

BAE shares closed up 2.3pc at 461.3p on hopes the UAE deal will be agreed.

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
$18m US Navy LRLAP Artillery Shell Contract

25/09/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The US Navy's next-generation ship-launched artillery shell is moving into production, according to Lockheed Martin's September 2013 statement.

 

Set to equip future US Navy destroyers, the LRLAP (Long-Range Land Attack Projectile) is a 155mm GPS-guided artillery shell with a maximum range of 190 kilometres.

 

The LRLAP programme is being led by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and BAE Systems is the prime contractor.

 

According to Lockheed Martin, once it enters service, the LRLAP will deliver a performance capability beyond those of all preceding US Navy artillery shells. Designed to facilitate long-range precision strikes, the shell falls almost vertically - a feature designed to mitigate the risk of collateral damage. Able to strike a variety of targets, the shell also reportedly possess three times the impact capacity of older 5 inch naval ballistic rounds.

 

Long-Range Land Attack Projectile

 

The Long-Range Land Attack Projectile development programme is now in transition, supported by the US National Warheads and Energetics Consortium's (NWEC's) $18 million contract.

 

In times ahead, the LRLAP will be fired from the US Navy's DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyers. Set to be introduced in 2014, these three stealth-heavy warships will boast state-of-the-art sonar systems and be armed with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow and Tomahawk missiles, besides the LRLAP-launching 155mm Advanced Gun Systems.

 

LRLAP Shell Production

 

"This contract represents a significant step towards fielding LRLAP to support the Navy's requirement for surface fire support", Lockheed Martin's LRLAP programme manager, Richard Benton, explained in the firm's Long-Range Land Attack Projectile production press release. "Fire support to troops deployed ashore is a critical capabilities gap, which LRLAP fills with precision lethality."

 

It is planned that the LRLAP 155mm artillery shell will be in US Navy service by 2016. By this point, the first DDG 1000 destroyer should have attained IOC (Initial Operational Capability) status.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
RAF team keeps rotors turning over Afghanistan

Senior Aircraftwoman Joanna Tomsett refuelling an Army Lynx helicopter (Picture Sergeant Dale Hunt RAF, UK MoD)

 

24 September 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

An RAF team is providing pit-stop-style refuels at Camp Bastion to keep military helicopters in the air over Afghanistan.

 

On front line operations in Afghanistan helicopters are in high demand. The ‘rotary wing assets’, in military language, are the lynchpins of tactical mobility, able to operate at much lower heights and speeds than fixed-wing aircraft. In a theatre environment the quick turnaround of aircraft at the pumps is essential.

The RAF Tactical Supply Wing (TSW) provides 24-hour aviation fuel support to both UK and visiting coalition helicopters from the flight line at Camp Bastion airfield.

Chinook helicopter refuelling
An RAF Chinook helicopter is refuelled [Picture: Sergeant Dale Hunt RAF, Crown copyright]

At a moment’s notice, the TSW personnel are ready at the Helmand base’s aerial gas pumps, or ‘bulk fuel installations’, to carry out the specialised pit-stop-fast ‘rotors turning refuels’ (RTRs). Within a matter of minutes an aircraft can be ready to head off on its next flight.

On average, the TSW refuels more than 300 aircraft a week, pumping over 300,000 litres of fuel in that time.

In addition to providing refuels from Camp Bastion, TSW personnel are also ready to assist in the recovery of unserviceable aircraft anywhere in the area of operations. Within 30 minutes they can be refuelling or defueling a stranded helicopter in order for it to be transported back to a main operating base.

The TSW comprises 19 personnel from supply, engineering or military transport backgrounds. From senior aircraftmen to officers commanding, all are trained primarily in RTRs, ensuring each team member is capable of delivering this fundamental service.

Thumbs up after a successful Chinook helicopter refuel
Thumbs up after a successful Chinook helicopter refuel [Picture: Sergeant Dale Hunt RAF, Crown copyright]

Senior Aircraftwoman Joanna Tomsett is a supply specialist on her second deployment to Afghanistan; her first with the TSW:

I am really enjoying TSW,” she said. “There are lots of different parts to the job, and that keeps things interesting. Working with the rotary wing I feel a lot more involved in it all.

We work as a close-knit team on TSW, train as a team in the UK, and then deploy together. The guys are great.

Corporal Neil Sinclair refuelling an American Black Hawk helicopter
Corporal Neil Sinclair refuelling an American Black Hawk helicopter [Picture: Sergeant Dale Hunt RAF, Crown copyright]

Corporal Neil Sinclair, a military transport driver, is on his second deployment with the TSW. He said:

The main job out here is delivering fuel to the aircraft and that takes priority over everything we do. The best thing about the job is actually putting the fuel into the aircraft.

A lot of people may actually question why they are here in Afghanistan, but you really get a feeling of worth doing this job. We refuel an aircraft and know that it is going back out on operations to support ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) or ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) troops. It really does give you a sense of achievement.

The Officer Commanding TSW, Supplier Warrant Officer Gaz Barlow, said:

TSW is all about teamwork. We train together and work together. It is even more important as we deploy as a formed unit … and it really does work.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Sweden To Purchase 100 Armored Vehicles From BAE

BAE Systems Hägglunds makes BvS10 armored all terrain vehicles. (BAE Systems)

 

Sep. 24, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER  - Defense News

 

LONDON — The Swedish government will buy 100 BvS10 armored all terrain vehicles from BAE Systems Hägglunds, according to Defense Minister Karin Enström.

 

The deal is part of the options for up to 127 vehicles agreed upon when BAE secured a US $100 million contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration in 2012 for 48 of the go-anywhere tracked machines.

 

Enström announced the deal in a local newspaper that covers the town where the BvS10 is built.

 

Deliveries of the first 48 vehicles from BAE’s Örnsköldsvik factory are coming to a close and a contract is expected to be in place by the end of the year to enable the company to tack the new batch of BvS10s on the end of the original order without a break in production.

 

Production of the latest batch of vehicles for Sweden is scheduled to run on until 2016. Like the original order, the upcoming contract will be produced in troop carrier, command vehicle, logistic carrier and ambulance variants.

 

No price for the options has been revealed but it will likely be in excess of $160 million, given the cost of the first 48 machines.

 

British, French and Dutch militaries also operate the vehicle.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Thales welcomes naming of third Astute-class submarine

23 September 2013 Thales UK

 

HMS Artful, the third of the 7,400-tonne Astute-class nuclear powered attack submarines, has been unveiled and officially named at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard.

 

Jeremy Standen, Vice President of Maritime Mission Systems for Thales UK, who attended the naming ceremony, said: “We welcome this latest and significant milestone in the Royal Navy’s Astute-class programme. From across a number of our UK facilities, we have collectively provided the platform with a world-class set of sensor systems that provide the essential ‘eyes and ears’ of the submarine.

 

“The Artful’s official naming ceremony underlines Thales UK’s strong relationship with the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, and we look forward to further co-operation as the remaining submarine builds continue to progress.”

 

The first submarine, HMS Astute, was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy in August 2010. The Astute-class boats are the UK’s biggest hunter-killer submarines, and one of the most capable military assets in the service.

 

The Astute-class platform is fitted with a significant number of Thales sensors and systems, including Sonar 2076, the world’s most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack submarine sonar suite. The class is also fitted with two Thales non-hull penetrating CM010 optronic masts that, together with Sonar 2076, effectively provide the submarine with its mission-critical ‘eyes and ears’.

 

Thales also supplies the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which has two multi-function antenna arrays mounted on the masts. Other Thales equipment includes the ECB680 communications and SEEPIRB emergency beacon buoys and an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications antenna.

 

As prime contractor, BAE Systems is building a total of seven Astute-class submarines. BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines Combat Systems Director, Ian Hawkes, said: “BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines acknowledges the importance of establishing excellent working relationships with key suppliers. The relationship established with Thales UK during the programme for the first two Astute class submarines has continued to strengthen throughout the build and commissioning of Artful.”

 

“The Thales UK team has made a significant contribution to activities leading to the naming ceremony of Artful, which is the first UK submarine to be fitted with the Common Combat System, using COTS equipment, which will result in significant through-life cost reductions. Most notably the Thales UK team has played a major role in successful integration of the submarine’s primary sonar and key above water systems.”

 

– Ends –

 

About Thales and Thales UK

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2bn (equivalent of £11.5bn) with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

 

Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2012 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3bn.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
UK MoD Responds to River Joint Paint Furore

September 24, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 23, 2013)

 

Rivet Joint Aircraft

 

The Sunday Times reported that the RAF's new Rivet Joint 'spy planes' will be painted in US Air Force colours as part of a money-saving scheme MOD has agreed with the US. The paper also flags up concerns about the UK's 'reliance' on the US for such 'a sensitive capability'.

 

Rivet Joint provides the UK with a greatly advanced capability and it is nonsense to suggest that in joining with the US on this capability and adhering to a common standard the UK will be at a disadvantage. In fact, this close co-operation enhances our shared intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability.

 

MOD decided to configure our Rivet Joint aircraft to as close a common standard with the US Air Force as is possible; this has significant support cost benefits through the life of the aircraft.

 

Major servicing will be conducted in the US at a facility that has the appropriate protection to handle the security classification of the aircraft. Day-to-day maintenance will be done by RAF personnel in the UK supported by contractors provided as part of the US/UK cooperative agreement.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
The Hawk in Flight

September 24, 2013 by Think Defence

 

BAE are making their pitch for the USAF trainer programme

 

 

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Steering Committee : rencontre entre les MGA français et britannique

24/09/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Le 19 septembre 2013, le général d’armée Pierre de Villiers, major général des armées (MGA), et son homologue britannique, l’Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, occupant le poste de Vice Chief of Defense Staff, ont présidé conjointement l’une des principales rencontres semestrielles organisées dans le cadre du dialogue franco-britannique.

 

Le Steering Committee – ou « Comité de Pilotage » – a vocation à assurer le suivi des engagements pris depuis la signature du traité de Lancaster House en 2010, dans le domaine de la coopération de défense franco-britannique. Cette réunion a permis de réaliser un point d’étape sur la coopération militaire bilatérale, notamment celle mise en œuvre dans les domaines de la doctrine, des équipements, des systèmes d’information et de communication,   de l’enseignement militaire ou encore des programmes d’échanges d’officiers.

 

A cette occasion, les deux MGA ont abordé l’avenir de la coopération militaire franco-britannique à l’horizon 2016, année charnière au cours de laquelle la France et le Royaume-Uni ont pour objectif de mettre sur pied une force expéditionnaire conjointe de niveau opératif non permanente (Combined Joint Expeditionnary Force – CJEF), déployable dans le cadre d’engagements bilatéraux ou multinationaux. Ils ont notamment évoqué l’exercice Joint Warrior 2013 qui aura lieu en octobre prochain au nord de l’Angleterre. Organisé chaque année depuis 2010, ce type d’exercice a vocation à tester l’aptitude des forces françaises et britanniques à se déployer dans le cadre de la CJEF et à renforcer leur interopérabilité. Après l’exercice Corsican Lion en 2012, engageant la composante navale, Joint Warrior 2013 sera cette année centré sur la composante aérienne de la CJEF.

 

Ce Steering Committee visait également d’autres objectifs de coopération comme le partage de l’information, l’évaluation du drone Watchkeeper par la France, le programme futur commun de missile anti navire-léger ou encore l’échange de pilotes sur avions de combat Rafale et Typhoon.

 

Dans le contexte budgétaire actuel et conformément aux orientations du Livre blanc sur la défense et la sécurité nationale, le MGA et son homologue britannique ont également réaffirmé la nécessité de poursuivre la dynamique engagée il y a trois ans avec un objectif commun : renforcer notre interopérabilité opérationnelle en réduisant les coûts grâce, notamment, aux mutualisations capacitaires.

 

Enfin, les deux MGA ont salué la coopération opérationnelle mise en œuvre dans le cadre de l’opération Harmattan en Libye et, plus récemment, lors du déclenchement de l’opération Serval, durant lequel forces armées britanniques ont apporté un soutien immédiat dans le domaine de la projection aérienne.

Steering Committee : rencontre entre les MGA français et britanniqueSteering Committee : rencontre entre les MGA français et britannique
Steering Committee : rencontre entre les MGA français et britanniqueSteering Committee : rencontre entre les MGA français et britannique
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24 septembre 2013 2 24 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

Bordes, le 24 septembre 2013 Turbomeca (Safran)

 

Turbomeca (Safran) assurera l’entretien des moteurs RTM 322 motorisant les hélicoptères Merlin et Apache du ministère britannique de la Défense (UK MoD). Ce contrat de services innovant représente un montant de 367 millions de livres Sterling (environ 425 millions d’euros).

 

D’une durée de six ans, ce contrat, qui regroupe de multiples accords d’entretien, actuels au sein d’une seule et même offre globale, permettra au ministère britannique de la Défense de bénéficier d’un niveau de disponibilité garanti pour ses moteurs RTM 322. Ce contrat permettra également de réduire les coûts de réparation, et donc d’améliorer le niveau de service pour les opérations de première ligne.

 

L’entretien sera effectué sur quatre bases principales au Royaume-Uni : RAF Benson, RNAS Culdrose, AAC Wattisham et AAC Middle Wallop.

 

Le RTM 322 étant aujourd’hui 100 % Turbomeca*, l’entretien des moteurs exploités par le ministère britannique de la Défense relèvera de la responsabilité de Turbomeca UK, basée à Fareham dans le Hampshire. Olivier Andriès, PDG de Turbomeca, a déclaré : « Grâce à ce contrat, les forces armées britanniques bénéficieront d’un niveau de disponibilité et de capacité plus élevé de leur flotte d’hélicoptères, avec un gain en efficacité et en rentabilité. »

 

Air Commodore Mark Sibley, responsable de la maintenance des hélicoptères Apache et Chinook du ministère britannique de la Défense, a ajouté : « La flotte Merlin et Apache a été largement exploitée en Afghanistan et constitue un élément clé de nos forces armées. Ce contrat apporte de multiples avantages pour nos équipages : une disponibilité et fiabilité accrues à coûts réduits. »

 

* Le 2 septembre 2013, Safran (NYSE Euronext Paris : SAF) a finalisé l’acquisition à Rolls-Royce de la participation de 50 % de cette dernière dans leur programme commun de turbines d’hélicoptère RTM 322.

 

Notes

 

    Les moteurs RTM 322 équipent les hélicoptères Merlin de la Royal Air Force (force aérienne britannique) et de la Royal Navy (marine royale britannique), de même que l’hélicoptère de combat Apache de l’Army Air Corps (l’aviation de l’armée de terre britannique).

    Le moteur RTM 322 Mk100 est entré en service en 1999 sur la flotte d’hélicoptères Merlin HM Mk1 de la Royal Navy à l’issue d’un appel d’offres.

 

****

 

Turbomeca (Safran) est le motoriste leader pour hélicoptères, avec la plus large gamme de moteurs au monde et 70 000 turbines de sa conception produites depuis l’origine de la société. Pour 2 500 clients répartis dans 155 pays, Turbomeca assure un service de proximité grâce à 16 établissements, 30 centres de maintenance certifiés et 18 centres de réparation & révision, et 90 représentants commerciaux et techniques. Le siège social est basé à Bordes (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). Microturbo, la filiale de Turbomeca, est leader européen des turboréacteurs pour missiles, engins-cibles et groupes auxiliaires de puissance.

Plus d’informations sur www.turbomeca.fr et www.safran-group.com

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24 septembre 2013 2 24 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Group Disputes UK Defence Industry Claim

Sept. 23, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: UK National Defence Association; issued Sept. 22, 2013)

 

Where Is Britain Now In the Global Defence League?



Defence campaigners challenge David Cameron over his claim that the UK is the world’s fourth largest military power


The Prime Minister’s claim that Britain is a major global power with the world’s fourth largest defence budget is no more than “a shallow sound-bite”, according to the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA).

In a UKNDA Commentary entitled “The Defence Budget League Tables: False Comfort from Statistics”, co-authors Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon and Vice-Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham argue that “What matters is not what you spend but what you get for the money.”

They point out that, far from being the world’s fourth largest military power as Mr Cameron suggests, the United Kingdom is actually 31st in terms of armed forces manpower (including Reserves) and 64th in terms of “serious militarisation” when other factors such as proportion of GDP are taken into account.

Countries ranging from Israel to Singapore emerge as more serious military powers than the UK, while European nations, including France, Spain and Argentina, and even Sweden, are all ahead of Britain in the defence league table.

“Experienced, skilful and battle-hardened we may be, but we are just too few”, write ACM Graydon and Vice-Admiral Blackham, “too few in personnel, ships, aircraft and weapons.” Meanwhile, Russia and China are increasing their defence budgets and expanding their military forces, as are India, Japan, Brazil, and the Gulf States. “Why are they re-arming while we are disarming?” ask the authors of the UKNDA Commentary.

Britain’s “rudderless slide down the tables” puts our standing in the world at risk. “A nation whose armed forces are perceived as weak … cannot carry real conviction in the world.” Strategic thought has been abandoned for “short-term political expediency”. The Commentary poses the question: “How does all this affect our much-vaunted permanent place on the UN Security Council?”

The UKNDA Commentary warns that we should never again be “taken in by the politicians’ chant that all is well with the defence of the United Kingdom”.


Formed in 2007, the UKNDA is an independent group that seeks to stimulate public debate about the role of Britain’s armed forces and to provide accurate up-to-date information on the state of British military capabilities.


Click here for the full commentary (html format) on the UKNDA website.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 18:30
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

23/09/2013 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Selon des sources concordantes, la direction du groupe britannique est très récemment venue à Abu Dhabi pour présenter son offre financière pour le remplacement des 60 Mirage 2000-9 émiratis.

 

BAE Systems ne lâche pas l'affaire et tente d'imposer le Typhoon Eurofighter dans le ciel des Emirats Arabes Unis face au Rafale de Dassault Aviation. Selon des sources concordantes, la direction du groupe britannique est très récemment venue à Abu Dhabi pour présenter son offre financière pour le remplacement des 60 Mirage 2000-9 émiratis. La direction financière du groupe britannique, avec l'aide d'un pool bancaire tentait de répondre à des demandes émiraties portant sur des cofinancements d'équipements, dont ne dispose pas encore l'Eurofighter Typhoon (radar à antenne active, systèmes de guerre électronique, armements...) 

Pour autant, Londres devra aussi convaincre Paris de lui accorder une licence de réexportation des Mirages 2000-9, dont les Emirats veulent se débarrasser. Car c'est au vendeur de racheter ces avions de combat, dont certains sont encore très performants, et de les revendre sur le marché de l'occasion.

 

Trois pays du Golfe ont choisi le Typhoon

Au-delà des seuls Emirats Arabes Unis, le groupe britannique a pour objectif de tuer le Rafale dans l'ensemble des pays du Golfe (CCG). BAE Systems rêve d'imposer l'Eurofighter Typhoon comme le seul avion de combat complémentaire des flottes américaines (Boeing et Lockheed Martin), qui équipent les six pays membres du CCG. C'est déjà le cas en Arabie Saoudite, où BAE Systems se partage le marché du Royaume avec Boeing (F-15SA) depuis les années 80  d'abord avec les Tornado puis les Typhoon. L'Arabie saoudite avait signé en 2007 avec le Royaume-Uni un contrat pour l'achat de 72 Eurofighter Typhoon. Mais les deux parties négocient actuellement une augmentation du prix des appareils restant à livrer dans le cadre de ce programme nommé "Salam".

BAE Systems a également gagné son pari au sultanat d'Oman, qui va s'équiper de 12 Typhoon qui voleront aux côtés des F-16C/D de Lockheed Martin. C'est aussi en très bonne voie à Bahreïn, qui envisage de s'offrir des Typhoon en complément des F-16C/D.

 

Trois pays incertains

La bataille fait rage dans deux pays. Aux Emirats Arabes Unis, où le Rafale, équipé de son nouveau radar à antenne active ou radar AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array), est revenu en tout début d'année dans la course après une période après une période glaciale entre Paris et Abu Dhabi, qui entretient une flotte de F-16E/F (Lockheed Martin) et de Mirage 2000-9. BAE Systems rêve d'éliminer Dassault Aviation dans ce pays. "Nous faisons de bons progrès et nous avons le plein soutien du gouvernement britannique" dans ce dossier, avait assuré le directeur général de BAE Systems, Ian King, lors de la présentation des résultats semestriels du groupe début août. C'est aussi le cas au Qatar, qui a douze Mirage 2000-5. Cet émirat souhaiterait acheter 72 avions de combats en deux tranches. Il a envoyé à trois constructeurs des demandes d'information (BAE Systems, Dassault Aviation et Lockheed Martin).

Enfin, le Koweït, qui a déjà des F/A-18C/D (Boeing), pourrait commander de nouveaux avions de combat (18 à 22). Ce pays aurait aimé avoir des Rafale mais la pression américaine l'a jusqu'ici interdit. Ce qui pourrait relancer le Typhoon, dont la campagne de promotion est assurée non par BAE Systems mais par la société italienne Alenia Aermacchi.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:50
Third Astute submarine named Artful

Artful, the latest Royal Navy Astute Class submarine, is unveiled in Barrow-in-Furness (Picture Andrew Linnett, UK MoD)

 

20 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support

 

The Royal Navy's third Astute Class attack submarine has been formally named.


 

The new submarine was named Artful in a traditional ceremony at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness.

Marking this milestone in the vessel’s construction, Lady Amanda Zambellas, the wife of First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, named the submarine in the classic tradition of breaking a bottle on her bow; in this instance a bottle of beer from a local Cumbrian brewery.

Artful and her crew
Artful and her crew at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

The naming ceremony comes just 2 months after MOD announced that the first 2 of the 7 Astute Class submarines, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, were nearing completion of their extensive sea trials and have been handed over to the Royal Navy to begin to prepare for operations.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

HMS Artful is the third in our fleet of Astute Class submarines, the largest and most advanced attack submarines ordered by the Ministry of Defence; providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability for the Royal Navy.

Artful's crest shows an unspecified species of primate
Artful's crest shows an unspecified species of primate, chosen in 1945 by the Admiralty Advisor on Heraldry for the first vessel to hold the name [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

Mr Dunne added that the Astute submarine building programme represents a significant investment by the government and is set to sustain more than 5,000 jobs in the UK.

Admiral Zambellas said:

Today’s naming ceremony in Barrow for Artful adds another capable nuclear submarine to the gathering momentum in the Astute Class. Ahead of her, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already being pressed hard towards operational use, contributing to the wider renaissance in the UK’s naval equipment programme and adding to the Royal Navy’s operational authority.

Artful, the latest Royal Navy Astute Class submarine
Artful, the latest Royal Navy Astute Class submarine [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

The Astute class submarines will replace the older Trafalgar Class boats, and possess greater firepower, the latest communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quieter than their predecessors and harder to detect.

Artful is expected to be rolled out of the shipyard construction hall early next year and is due to start sea trials in early 2015. She is the second Royal Navy submarine to hold the name. The first HMS Artful was constructed by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering in Greenock in 1947.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
Indian Navy receives first Hawk Trainer Jet

Dr R.K. Tyagi – Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited hands over Indian Navy's first Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to Deputy Chief of Naval Staff - Vice Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee (AVSM NM)

 

23 September 2013 baesystems.com

 

The Indian Navy has received the first of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, becoming the third naval operator of the Hawk along with the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

 

The 17 Hawk aircraft ordered by the Indian Navy form part of a contract for 57 aircraft signed in 2010 of which 40 are for the Indian Air Force.  Among its 18 customers worldwide, India is the largest operator of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 70 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force. Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian Air Force are performing well.

 

Adding to the Indian Navy’s fleet of aircraft, the Hawk provides the ideal platform for pilots to transition smoothly to the Navy’s frontline aircraft.  Hawk effectively integrates air and ground based elements offering the most efficient and cost-effective method of training pilots.

 

We have worked closely with the Indian MOD and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to establish a production line in India where the Hawk aircraft are assembled.  Guy Griffiths, Our Group Managing Director—International said, “The introduction of the Hawk to a new user is a momentous occasion, and further testimony to the aircraft’s global success. This marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with HAL which has established a track record operating a world-class Hawk production capability. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with HAL and exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally.”

 

Looking forward, Griffiths added:  “We have also submitted our response to HAL’s Request for Proposal for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 additional Hawk aircraft to the IAF, and are now looking forward to partnering with HAL in providing the Indian Air Force’s display team this fantastic aircraft.”

 

Our Sea Harrier aircraft, which pioneered the short take off and vertical landing for jet aircraft, was bought by the Indian Navy in 1980 and the company continues to support them.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Royal Navy’s third Astute-class submarine officially christened

HMS Artful during naming ceremony. Photo BAE Systems.

 

23 September 2013 naval-technology.com

 

The UK Royal Navy's third Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine has been christened as HMS Artful (S121), during a ceremony held at BAE Systems' shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, UK.

 

Built by BAE Systems, the 97m-long and 11.3m-wide submarine can accommodate a crew of 98 and will eventually replace existing Swiftsure and Trafalgar-class vessels for the Royal Navy.

 

UK Defence Equipment, Support and Technology minister Philip Dunne said that the HMS Artful is the one of most advanced attack submarine ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to offer unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability for the Royal Navy.

 

"The Astute submarine building programme represents a significant investment by the government and is set to sustain over 5,000 UK jobs within BAE systems and the 400 separate suppliers across the supply chain," Dunne said.

 

Capable of carrying a crew of 98, the 97m-long Astute-class submarines feature Thales Sensors Outfit UAP(4) electronic support measures, and are armed with Tomahawk Block IV (tactical tomahawk) cruise missiles as well as Spearfish torpedoes and mines.

 

First Sea Lord Admiral, sir George Zambellas, said: "Ahead of her, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already being pressed hard towards operational use, contributing to the wider renaissance in the UK's naval equipment programme and adding to the Royal Navy's operational authority."

 

Astute-class vessels feature ECB680 communications and SEEPIRB emergency beacon buoys as well as an ultra-high frequency satellite communications antenna.

 

BAE Systems maritime submarines managing director, John Hudson, said the christening ceremony has marked a step ahead for 7,400t HMS Artful to joining its sister vessels HMS Astute and HMS Ambush in the Royal Navy fleet.

 

"The design and build of a nuclear-powered submarine is as challenging as it is complex, so today represents a significant milestone in Artful's programme," Hudson said.

 

Scheduled to be launched early next year, HMS Artful is expected to start sea trials in early 2015.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Army proposes keeping 200 troops in Helmand after 2014

22 Sep 2013 By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent

 

Military leaders are pushing a plan to keep up to 200 British troops in Helmand after the pullout of Nato combat forces from Afghanistan next year, The Telegraph has learnt.

 

The proposal is the first official acknowledgment that Britain could keep forces in the province where nearly 450 troops have died in seven years of fighting.

 

Senior commanders are concerned the fledgling Afghan army will not be ready to face the Taliban on its own by the end of next year and a total pullout from Helmand risks squandering years of hard work.

 

They also worry a reluctance to draw up plans for Helmand after 2014 is undermining Afghan forces’ morale and weakening British influence in Kabul.

 

The proposal would see up to 200 British troops stay at Camp Bastion to work as advisers at the headquarters of the province’s Afghan army corps, senior military sources said.

 

Read more

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Javelin missiles fired at Norfolk training range

A Javelin anti-tank missile is fired at Stanford Training Area in Norfolk (Picture Corporal Obi Igbo, UK MoD)

 

19 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Infrastructure Organisation

 

Javelin anti-tank missiles have been launched at Stanford Training Area (STANTA) for the first time.

 

 

Paratroopers from Colchester-based 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) fired 4 of the highly accurate and potent missiles, marking the culmination of a training course for the unit’s anti-tank platoon.

3 PARA was the first unit to fire Javelin on operations, in 2006 in Afghanistan, and is now a key part of the Army’s high readiness force for contingency operations.

STANTA provides a key location for troops preparing for Afghanistan. The end of combat operations in 2014 has seen that demand on STANTA fall, freeing up capacity for different training, such as Javelin firing.

Paratroopers prepare to fire a Javelin anti-tank missile
Paratroopers prepare to fire a Javelin anti-tank missile [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

The missile is intended primarily to destroy tanks and light armoured vehicles, but also provides a potent, all-weather, day or night capability against fixed defences such as bunkers and buildings. It is designed to be both operated and carried by a 2-man crew.

Platoon commander Captain Ruari Hahndiek said:

For its range and purpose, Javelin is the most precise and powerful weapon available to the infantry soldier. It gives the commander on the battlefield a lot of confidence to know that this weapon is within their armoury and able to deal with armoured vehicles and bunkers with little risk of collateral damage.

Private Ashley Bowers said:

I’ve learnt a lot about Javelin in training but this is the first time I’ve seen it fired for real, let alone fired one myself. Firing it really helps you understand its capabilities and I’m massively impressed. With the rest of the platoon watching there’s a lot of pressure to hit the target and the missile didn’t let me down.

Stanford Training Area (STANTA)
Paratroopers launch a Javelin missile during training
Paratroopers launch a Javelin missile during training [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

STANTA is maintained by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which is responsible for managing and maintaining MOD’s land and properties. At 35 square miles the ranges cover 2% of Norfolk and are used 350 days every year by an average of 80,000 troops.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Powell, Deputy Commander DIO Ops Training East, said:

DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations. The size and nature of STANTA mean that it offers excellent training facilities, ideal conditions and the perfect setting for specialised exercises such as these.

3 PARA’s core role is to alternate with 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment as the lead unit in the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world to conduct the full range of military operations. 3 PARA is training to take on the AATF role from May 2014, with the unit’s airborne infantry bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics and logisticians from 16 Air Assault Brigade.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
La Royal Air Force retire le VC10

23 septembre 2013 par Valerie Cheron  - Info-Aviation

 

La Royal Air Force britannique (RAF) a mis à la retraite son avion de transport et de ravitaillement VC10 après 47 ans de service.

 

Exploité par la RAF depuis 1996, le Vickers VC-10 était à l’origine un avion de ligne quadri-réacteur britannique. Son premier vol eut lieu le 29 juin 1962.

 

Les deux derniers Vickers VC10 K3 exploités par le Squadron 101 ont quitté la base de la RAF Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) le 20 septembre pour effectuer un défilé aérien d’adieu à travers le pays. L’avion sera officiellement retiré du service à la fin du mois.

 

Avec la retraite des VC10, le ravitaillement aérien et le transport de troupes/fret de la RAF seront assurés par le L-1011 TriStar de Lockheed (lui-même à la retraite en 2014) puis par le nouvel A330-200 Voyager d’Airbus Military. Le Royaume-Uni a reçu à ce jour six exemplaires sur les 14 avions Voyager commandés, qui seront exploité par le consortium AirTanker pour le compte du ministère de la Défense.

 

Fondé le 12 juillet 1917, le Squadron 101 était le dernier à opérer le VC10 après la dissolution du Squadron 10 en 2005. Ce dernier fut toutefois reformé en juillet 2011 pour devenir le premier opérateur du nouvel Airbus Voyager à la base RAF Brize Norton.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 06:50
Royal Navy names latest nuclear submarine HMS Artful

HMS Artful, built by BAE Systems, is the the third of the Royal Navy's seven Astute-class submarines

 

20 September 2013 theguardian.com

 

Britain's latest nuclear-powered submarine has been unveiled.

 

HMS Artful, a 7,400-tonne, 97-metre-long attack submarine, was officially named in front of thousands of guests in an event to mark its completion at the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

 

Artful, the third of seven Astute-class submarines, has now moved a step closer to joining her sister vessels HMS Astute and HMS Ambush.

 

The other submarines in the class in various stages of design or build are Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and Ajax.

 

The Astute class of vessels, while nuclear powered but not nuclear armed, have greater conventional missile firepower, state-of-the-art communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quiet and harder to detect, according to the Ministry of Defence.

 

Royal Navy submarines patrol the seas for months at a time, providing a key part of the UK's armed defence.

 

Built by BAE Systems, the Barrow yard has been working on the Astute programme since 2001.

 

Friday's ceremony was performed by Amanda Lady Zambellas, wife of the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, inside BAE Systems' giant submarine construction facility.

 

John Hudson, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines, said: "The design and build of a nuclear-powered submarine is as challenging as it is complex, so today represents a significant milestone in Artful's programme.

 

"It requires real skill and innovation to deliver submarines as sophisticated as Artful and this would not have been possible without the valued contribution of our employees and the collaborative efforts of the whole submarine enterprise.

 

Sir George Zambellas said: "Today's naming ceremony in Barrow for Artful adds another capable nuclear submarine to the gathering momentum in the Astute class.

 

"Ahead of her, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already being pressed hard towards operational use, contributing to the wider renaissance in the UK's naval equipment programme and adding to the Royal Navy's operational authority."

 

Artful will remain in the Barrow yard to complete a series of commissioning activities, before being launched in early 2014 for further tests and commissioning.

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20 septembre 2013 5 20 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Hermes 450 reaches 70,000 hours in Afghanistan

A British Army Hermes 450 in flight (Picture Sergeant Steve Blake, UK MoD)

 

19 September 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

The British Army's Hermes 450 (H-450) unmanned air systems have completed over 70,000 hours of surveillance support in Afghanistan.


 

This is the equivalent of 8 years of non-stop flying.

Operated by the Theatre Integrated Unmanned Air Systems (ThIUAS) Battery at Camp Bastion, UK forces have clocked up more flying hours than any other nation with H-450 in Afghanistan.

The system provides headquarters staff with persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance via electro-optical and infrared sensors out to a range of 150 kilometres.

A British Army Hermes 450 at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan (library image)
A British Army Hermes 450 at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Steve Blake, Crown copyright]

H-450 can be used for a wide range of tasks such as reconnaissance of an area prior to operations, and maintaining watch over troops on the ground.

Major Jonathan Buxton, ThIUAS Battery Commander, said:

It is a great achievement to have reached over 70,000 hours of flying with Hermes 450 which shows not only the importance of the benefits it provides but also the dedication of all those involved in operating them out here in difficult conditions.

H-450 has been a vital tool for operations in Helmand over the years and continues to provide persistent surveillance protecting UK and Afghan troops today.

A British Army Hermes 450 in flight (library image)
A British Army Hermes 450 in flight (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Steve Blake, Crown copyright]

The ThIUAS Battery operates 5 surveillance windows of H-450 in support of UK and Afghan troops in Helmand province – an increase from 2 when H-450 was introduced in 2007. Since that time, integration with ground forces has been developed significantly as has the training for H-450 operators.

Major Buxton added:

The UAS trade offers something different for the more technically minded recruits joining the Army today.

The H-450 operators’ course is extremely challenging, with junior soldiers taking on a lot of responsibility at an early stage, especially when looking after the equipment and being responsible for captaincy of the aircraft.

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20 septembre 2013 5 20 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Etats-Unis : le gouvernement commande 60 000 doses de traitement contre l'anthrax

19.09.2013 LeMonde.fr(AFP)

 

Le groupe pharmaceutique britannique GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a annoncé jeudi 19 septembre avoir remporté un contrat de près de 196 millions de dollars pour fournir des traitements contre l'anthrax au gouvernement américain, face à d'éventuelles attaques bioterroristes. GSK produira ainsi 60 000 doses sur quatre ans de son traitement par inhalation nommé Raxibacumab.

 

Lire l'analyse : "La science doit-elle se censurer face à la menace bioterroriste ?"

 

"L'anthrax est l'un des agents les plus susceptibles d'être utilisés dans une attaque bioterroriste puisque ses spores se trouvent facilement dans la nature et peuvent être produites en laboratoire. Il peut être diffusé discrètement dans l'environnement et y rester longtemps", souligne GSK dans un communiqué.

 

Des lettres empoisonnées à l'anthrax avaient fait cinq morts en 2001 aux Etats-Unis. En outre, 17 personnes avaient été contaminées par la poudre blanche contenant le bacille du charbon, une bactérie qui engendre une maladie rapidement mortelle, se manifestant par de sévères infections cutanées et une détresse respiratoire.

 

Lire aussi : "Bioterrorisme : un rapport pointe les failles des laboratoires aux Etats-Unis"

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19 septembre 2013 4 19 /09 /septembre /2013 11:30
Royal Navy on exercise in the Persian Gulf

HMS Boraida of the Royal Saudi Navy alongside HMS Illustrious [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Ray Jones, Crown copyright]

 

18 September 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

British warships have taken part in their first major exercise in the Persian Gulf since passing through the Suez Canal last week.

 

Three Royal Navy ships – fleet flagship HMS Bulwark, helicopter and commando carrier HMS Illustrious and Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster – joined with 3 warships from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Fort Austin for Exercise Red Alligator.

Over 3 days the UK’s maritime rapid reaction force took part in a number of serials to practise navigation skills and communication drills with their international partners.

Personnel from both navies were also given the chance to cross decks and stay on the different ships to experience life on board.

Royal Navy and Royal Saudi Navy ships taking part in Exercise Red Alligator
Royal Navy and Royal Saudi Navy ships taking part in Exercise Red Alligator [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Nicky Wilson, Crown copyright]

Royal Marine Captain Andy Atkins, based on HMS Bulwark as part of her assault squadron, said:

As the Saudi Arabian frigate is a French design it was very similar internally to what we are used to in the Royal Navy. I was made to feel very welcome and am very pleased that I was offered the chance to see how another navy operates at sea.

Lieutenant Commander Sharokh Esfahani was on hand to help explain the traditions and conventions of Saudi Arabia. As the cultural advisor to Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander United Kingdom Task Group, Lieutenant Commander Esfahani visited all the Royal Navy ships prior to the personnel exchanges. He briefed the sailors on the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and gave some background to the differences, but also the similarities, of the 2 cultures.

Royal Saudi Navy personnel from HMS Makkah being given a tour of HMS Bulwark
Royal Saudi Navy personnel from HMS Makkah being given a tour of HMS Bulwark [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Arron Hoare, Crown copyright]

And the Commander of the Western Fleet of the Royal Saudi Navy, Commodore Al Haarbi, also visited HMS Bulwark at the start of the exercise so that he and Commodore McAlpine could discuss plans and tactics.

The 3 Royal Navy ships are part of the Response Force Task Group – the UK’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking.

As part of their annual Cougar 13 deployment, they have spent just over a month in the Mediterranean before moving on to the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa. The deployment involves exercising with partner nations such as Saudi Arabia.

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