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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
 photo US Air Force

photo US Air Force

 

NEW YORK, March 3 By Richard Tomkins   (UPI)

 

An advanced network intrusion detection system is being provided to NORAD-U.S. North American Command by Imprimis Inc and root9B Technologies.

 

The advanced network intrusion detection system focuses on automated analysis, detection and response to national-level threats and is being modified to achieve advanced baselining and packet inspection and will integrate Imprimis' Cyber Threat Activity Matrix database for tailored threat intelligence information.

 

"The IDS will provide network intrusion detection utilizing advanced packet analysis to baseline ICS network traffic and immediately identify anomalies," Imprimis said.

 

"The system will provide real-time response to anomalies on ICS that represent cyber threats. The objective of this project is to develop a tool that applies an innovative methodology to map ICS-specific threats and their tactics, techniques and procedures to observable network behavior and design."

 

The contract award under the Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund Program is worth $1.7 million and was sponsored by NORAD-NORTHCOM, or U.S. North American Command.

 

"The goal of this project is to provide immediate identification of both anticipated and unique threats," said root9B Chief Executive Officer Eric Hipkins. "root9B will develop a network analysis platform unique in its ability to monitor traffic and identify threats based on advanced algorithms and smart packet inspection."

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
La coalition antidjihadistes devra relever le défi au sol, insiste l’Arabie saoudite

Le Secrétaire d'État américain, John Kerry, se rend avec le ministre des Affaires étrangères d'Arabie saoudite Saoud al-Fayçal, à laréunion du Conseil de coopération du Golfe le 5 mars à Riyad (U.S. Department of State)

 

5 mars 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Le ministre saoudien des Affaires étrangères a estimé jeudi que la coalition internationale contre les djihadistes du groupe État islamique (EI) devrait relever le défi au sol, lors d’une conférence de presse conjointe avec le secrétaire d’État américain John Kerry.

 

Évoquant les actions de cette coalition, conduite par les États-Unis, en Syrie et en Irak, le prince Saoud Al-Fayçal a déclaré: « Le royaume saoudien souligne l’importance de favoriser les moyens militaires nécessaires pour relever ce défi au sol ».

Le ministre saoudien, dont le pays participe aux opérations de la coalition en Syrie, a déploré l’implication en Irak de l’Iran, son rival régional aux ambitions hégémoniques selon Ryad.

Il a cité notamment le rôle de l’Iran et des milices chiites dans l’offensive menée depuis lundi par les forces irakiennes pour reprendre à l’EI Tikrit, une ville clé au nord de Bagdad.

« Tikrit est un excellent exemple de ce dont nous nous inquiétons. L’Iran est en train de prendre le contrôle du pays », a commenté le prince Saoud Al-Fayçal.

« L’offensive de Tikrit marque l’implication iranienne la plus manifeste en Irak depuis 2004, avec de l’artillerie et d’autres moyens », a déclaré mardi le général américain Martin Dempsey, chef d’état-major inter-armées, devant la commission des forces armées du Sénat.

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
AN-PRC-155 Manpack - source GD

AN-PRC-155 Manpack - source GD

 

March 5, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In January the U.S. launched the third (of four) MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) communications satellites. As a result about 70 percent of earth’s surface is now covered by the new MUOS military communications system. MUOS gives military users cell-phone-like capabilities anywhere in the world. Eventually four MUOS communications satellites operating in 36,000 kilometer stationary (geosynchronous) orbits will provide superior satellite phone service worldwide. This will also include encrypted communications that will work despite being in forests or most buildings. In effect, MUOS can replace cell phone towers in any area on the planet once the signals from one of the four satellites are aimed at the area of operations. The complete system is supposed to be active by 2016. The first satellite went up in early 2014. The four ground stations (one for each satellite) are in Sicily, North America, Hawaii, and Australia.

 

Yet sometimes newer isn’t better. Such was the case with trying to get the infantry to give up their existing PRC-117/150 manpack (carried) radio for the new MUOS compatible PRC-155 radio. “PRC” means “portable radio,” and while the PRC radios have been getting lighter since World War II (when they weighed more than twice as much as the PRC-155), range and interference remained a problem. Thus although the PRC-155 had lots of neat new features field tests brought forth lots of complaints from potential users (infantry who have to carry and use the PRC-155). For starters the PRC-155 weighs 50-100 percent more than the older models. It has less than half the range (three kilometers versus seven) and the batteries last only six hours (versus over 30), The PRC is subject to overheating and the user interface is considered inferior.

 

The 6.4 kg (14 pounds, one third of that is batteries) PRC-155 radios are used in vehicles and carried by infantry. This is the latest vehicle/manpack radio design and is replacing the PRC-150, which were widely adopted in the last decade, initially by SOCOM (Special Operations Command). The army wants to buy over 50,000 of them. The big selling point for the PRC-155 is MUOS upgrade kits (some additional hardware and software). Most of PRC-155s will have the MUOS add-on kit. With this kit the PRC-155 is equipped to provide Internet-like capabilities on the battlefield and MUOS gives access to a world-wide net. This is a big deal for ground troops because existing radios often had their range greatly reduced by terrain (hills or many tall buildings) or weather (electric disturbances high up). A satellite link eliminates this problem and ground troops have been asking for this for a long time. Sat links are still expensive and a rationed resource.

 

But when the infantry were asked to try out the PRC-155 many concluded that the negatives were not worth it. Moreover the delays in getting the PRC-155 to the troops forced the military to seek out an off-the-shelf design (the AN/PRC-117G) in the 1990s. This is a 5.45 kg (12 pound) radio that can be carried or installed in vehicles. About a third of its weight is the battery. It has a maximum output of 20 watts and handles FM, UHF, and VHF signals, including satellite based communications. On the ground max range is 20 kilometers (depending on hills and the antenna used). These cost about $40,000 each. There is an improved AN/PRC-117G (the MNVR) that cost $56,000 each. That includes development costs (for the wish list of tweaks and upgrades the military wants). The U.S. has been using the AN/PRC-117 since the late 1990s as an interim radio and found it a solid piece of equipment.

 

The AN/PRC-117 is based on a commercial design (the Falcon series) that several foreign armed forces and many civilian operations use. The AN/PRC-117 has been regularly upgraded in that time (going from version A to the current G). The upgraded Falcon (PRC-150) appealed to SOCOM (Special Operations Command) which proceeded to buy half a billion dollars' worth of AN/PRC-150 radios. These cost about $2,500 each and all of them were delivered on schedule. The 4.6 kg (ten pounds, without batteries) radios are very flexible (are used in vehicles or backpacks) and are able to use several different types of transmission (including bouncing signals off the ionosphere, for longer range or just to get a signal out of a built up area). Digital transmissions allow for data to get through under poor atmospheric conditions or when in a built up area. The radios also have good encryption and the ability to send and receive all forms of digital data. These radios are also now used by the army.

 

A similar situation occurred back in the 1990s, when SOCOM realized it needed a new personal radio for its troops and an army “new radio technology” program (JTRS) was supposed to take care of that but did not. Rather than wait SOCOM got together with a radio manufacturer, told them what they needed, and within two years they had MBITR (which soon got official sanction as AN/PRC-148). When the rest of the army saw MBITR many troops bought them with their own money. After Iraq army units began buying the AN/PRC-148 on their own. Soon, over 100,000 MBITR radios were in use.

 

Some elements of the JTRS (which was cancelled in 2011) survived in the form of radios like the PRC-155. While this radio was acceptable for use in vehicles, it did not make it when troops had to carry it. The military is determined to make the PRC-155 work. By early 2015 about 1,200 PRC-155s have been delivered to the U.S. Army for troop use. Now that three MUOS birds are up there American soldiers in most parts of the world can actually sample the advantages of the PRC-155, along with the disadvantages they already know about.

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Weapons: Marines Get Glocked

 

March 5, 2015: Strategy Page

 

U.S. Marine Corps special operations (MARSOC) operators now have official permission to use the Glock 19 pistol in place of the standard M9. There are many reasons for MARSOC buying all these new pistols. The Glock 19 is lighter (at .595 kg/1.31 pounds empty) and smaller (174mm/6.85 inches) than the M9, which is a 914 g (2.1 pound empty), 217mm (8.5 inch) long weapon that has a 125mm (4.9 inch) barrel. Both are 9mm weapons with a magazine that holds 15 rounds.

 

In the 1980s the M9 replaced the World War I era M1911 .45 (11.4mm) caliber ACP. This is a 1.1 kg (2.44 pounds empty), 210mm (8.25 inch) long weapon with a 127mm (5 inch) barrel and a 7 round magazine. Both 9mm and 11.4mm pistols are only accurate at up to about 50 meters. The M1911 had more hitting power, while the 9mm weapons are a bit more accurate. Loaded, each pistol weighs about 230 g (half a pound) more. The Glock 19 is considered more rugged and easier to “handle” although some marines still yearn to have the 11.4mm pistol again.

 

It’s not just MARSOC as all the services have been trying to replace the Beretta M9 9mm pistol. The air force tried to replace the M9 back in 2007 and was ordered by the Department of Defense to back off. But now the services have a more compelling argument. The army, in particular, is finding the many of its oldest M9s are, literally, breaking. Some components (especially the barrels, frames and locking blocks) tend to break on older, especially heavily used, weapons. Since September 11, 2001 the army has used its M9s a lot. There are also a host of other problems, like the shape (too awkward for some users), trigger pull (too heavy) and lack of a Picatinny rail for easily mounting accessories. The safety switch is in an awkward position and troops in combat often accidentally put the safety on when cocking the pistol. That can be fatal (for the user) in combat. More modern designs have something more efficient (and less of a dirt catcher) than the open-slide and spent cartridge ejection system of the M9. Another sign of the times is that the M9 is not equipped to screw on a silencer, an accessory that is more commonly used these days. Despite all these problems the Department of Defense refuses to replace the M9 although SOCOM has been able to do what it always does and obtain whatever weapons it believes it need.

 

Most of the problems with the M9 result from the fact that it is a design that is over three decades old. Pistol technology has improved a lot since the late 1970s and that can be seen in the pistols that are popular with police forces. Cops can often buy their own pistols and tend to get the most modern, but proven in action, models. Thus many troops in the combat zone leave the M9 they were issued back at the base and go into the field with a 9mm pistol they bought themselves. This has often been a Glock 19, which has long been a police favorite and popular with troops in other countries. Many armies do not replace pistols as frequently as police forces, or special operations troops. But in Afghanistan and Iraq regular combat troops used pistols a lot, and the M9 was showing its age. As you can see, it’s not just the wear and tear, it’s also obsolescence in the face of advances in pistol design.

 

Meanwhile in 2012 the army had to order another 100,000 M9 9mm pistols, each costing $640. This was just to replace the M9s that were falling apart. The U.S. military (mostly the army) already has over 600,000 M9s and that purchase keeps the M9 in service at least until the end of the decade. The U.S. military adopted the 9mm pistol in 1985 largely to standardize ammunition with NATO and to replace the M911 .45 caliber (11.4mm) pistol with something smaller and lighter. All other NATO states used 9mm for pistols. At the time it was noted that most 9mm pistols were carried by officers and support personnel, who rarely used them, in combat or otherwise. Many American combat veterans disagreed with the switch to a 9mm pistol, but that advice was ignored.

 

But times have changed. Since 2001 American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan discovered, through combat experience, what types of weapons worked best at close range to take down the enemy. It was the same with SWAT teams and commandos all over the world. When conducting a raid and finding yourself up close and personal with someone trying to kill you, there is a need for a heavy caliber pistol or a shotgun (firing 00 shot or slugs). The premier pistol for ensuring you take down someone is still the .45 caliber (11.4mm) or .40 caliber (10mm, but only with a heavy bullet) pistols. There is also a .50 caliber (12.7mm) pistol, but only very large people can handle this one. The 11.4 and 10mm pistols are light and handy, compared to assault rifles or shotguns, and have a long history of quickly taking down an armed and determined foe.

 

SOCOM (Special Operations Command) came into being a few years after the M9 was adopted and immediately began planning to bring back .45 pistols for its commandos. Actually, many Special Forces and SEAL operators never gave up using the .45, as it was the ideal pistol for many commando operations. SOCOM had its own budget and was allowed to adopt a number of 11.4mm pistols for its personnel. The U.S. Marine Corps ordered 12,000 11.4mm caliber pistols (for $1,900 each), mainly for use by its SOCOM and recon troops. The MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) troops have, like the army, navy, and air force components of SOCOM, quietly replaced most of their 9mm pistols with 11.4mms. For several years the marines supplied their special operations troops with older M1911 model .45s, refurbished (or built from scrounged up parts) in a marine-run facility.

 

In the 1990s, SOCOM adopted the Heckler and Koch Mk 23 SOCOM model. This is a 1.47 kg (3.2 pound) 11.4mm pistol with a 12-round magazine and the ability to use a silencer. It is expensive, at $2,400 each. Loaded with a silencer and laser aiming device the Mk23 weighs 2.29 kg (5 pounds). The Mk23 is a precision weapon, capable of accurate fire at 50 meters (51mm/two inch shot groups). The Mk 23 is for offensive operations while the lighter and cheaper USP Tactical model was later introduced for personal protection and other duties not requiring the heavier Mk 23.

 

As the U.S. Army Special Forces discovered, if you are well trained and know what you are doing you should carry a pistol, in addition to your rifle. Not the official issue M9 9mm pistol but something with a bit more stopping power. The Special Forces prefer new model 11.4mm pistols, although 10mm weapons are also popular. The reason for this is that you are most likely to be using the pistol indoors, where your target is going to be really close. You want to knock him down quickly, before he can get at you with a knife or even his hands. Many troops are getting their own larger caliber pistols and most commanders have been lenient on this issue.

 

The army and air force do not have the same needs as SOCOM and simply want a 9mm pistol with fewer flaws and more of the latest pistol tech than the existing M9. MARSOC ordered the Glock 19 for marines who did not need a heavier pistol but wanted something better than the M9.

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
The Era Of Air Power

 

source Strategy Page

A P-38 Lightning, two F-86 Sabres and an F-22 Raptor fly in formation together during the 2015 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2015. During the course, aircrews practiced ground and flight training to enable civilian pilots of historic military aircraft and U.S. Air Force pilots of current fighter aircraft to fly safely in formations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney Richardson)

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Lockheed Martin demos new high-power laser weapon

A 30-kilowatt laser weapon from Lockheed Martin burned through a truck from a distance of more than one mile. Photo: Lockheed Martin

 

BETHESDA, Md., March 4 By Richard Tomkins   (UPI)

 

Lockheed Martin reports it has successfully demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system.

 

A 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system from Lockheed Martin successfully disabled a vehicle engine from a distance of more than one mile.

In the test -- said to represent the highest power ever documented by a laser weapon of its type -- the beam from the Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, quickly burned through the engine manifold of a truck mounted and running on a test platform, Lockheed Martin said.

"Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems," said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer. "We are investing in every component of the system -- from the optics and beam control to the laser itself -- to drive size, weight and power efficiencies.

"This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks."

The single-mode fiber laser weapon system prototype uses a technique called spectral beam combining -- multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam.

Lockheed Martin said ATHENA is based on its Area Defense Anti-Munitions laser weapon system , which was developed by Lockheed Martin and successfully demonstrated against small airborne and sea-based targets.

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6 mars 2015 5 06 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Le CENTCOM veut déployer davantage de civils de la Défense en opex

Bob Perry (Civilian Expeditionary Workforce) and Capt. Christian Thompson assess the damage done to a high voltage electrical line while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in July 2007.

 

05.03.2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense

Le Centcom (Central Command) recherche des volontaires parmi les civils du DoD pour aller en Afghanistan, en Irak, au Koweït et au Qatar et pourvoir des postes "critiques" dans des bases des forces américaines ou otaniennes.

La liste des domaines est variée (santé, sécurité, administration, maintenance, logistique, comptabilité...) et longue, comme le précise un récent communiqué de presse: "Safety and occupational health management; fire protection and prevention; recreation specialist; equal employment opportunity; miscellaneous administration and program; miscellaneous clerk and assistant; program management; logistics management; accounting; auditing; general engineering; engineering technical; construction control technical; civil engineering; survey technical; environmental engineering; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; general attorney; procurement clerical and technician; production control; housing management; operations research; facility operations services; general inspection; investigation, enforcement and compliance; general supply; transportation operations; carpentry; maintenance mechanic; and engineering equipment operating."

 

Des avantages? Une prime de 35% (après 42 jours de déploiement cependant), des primes de risques (35% aussi), des heures supplémentaires (10% de nuit, 25% le dimanche)... Exemple: pour un salaire CONUS (Continental US) de 4 704,80$, le salaire OCONUS (Outside continental US) serait de 11 197,08$, ainsi que le montrent les données publiées sur le site Civilian Deployment Experience (à consulter ici). Globalement, le taux horaire passe de 40,58$ à 78,76$.

Serait-ce une façon de moins compter sur les contractors du privé? En opex (contingency operation), les salaires des civils américains se valent; ce qui est plus cher, c'est ce que facture l'entreprise à son client fédéral.

Ou bien serait-ce un moyen de réduire les coupes dans les effectifs civils du DoD?

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 17:40
Des navires OTAN déployés en mer Noire pour des activités d’entraînement

 

05 Mar. 2015 OTAN

 

Des navires du 2e Groupe maritime permanent OTAN (SNMG2) sont arrivés en mer Noire mercredi 4 mars 2015 pour s’entraîner avec des bâtiments des marines bulgare, roumaine et turque. Sont prévus au programme des exercices de défense aérienne et de guerre anti-sous-marine ainsi que des exercices mettant en jeu des attaques par de petites embarcations et des manœuvres maritimes simples.

 

Les activités d’entraînement et les exercices auxquels nous allons nous livrer en mer Noire avec nos Alliés sont destinés à nous préparer à toute mission que l’OTAN serait amenée à lancer pour s’acquitter de ses obligations en matière de défense collective, a indiqué le vice-amiral américain Brad Williamson, actuellement aux commandes du SNMG2. La flotte se compose du USS Vicksburg (États-Unis), qui en est le navire amiral, du NCSM Fredericton (Canada), du TCG Turgutreis (Turquie), du FGS Spessart (Allemagne) et l’ITS Aliseo (Italie) et du ROS Regina Maria (Roumanie). Cette puissante force navale OTAN se distingue par ses capacités de contrôle de l’espace maritime, de lutte anti-sous-marine et de défense aérienne.

 

Le déploiement du SNMG2 en mer Noire s’effectue dans le plein respect des conventions internationales et s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une visite programmée pour l’entraînement et en tant que mesure d’assurance à l’intention des pays de l’Alliance riverains de la mer Noire. Le Groupe remettra le cap sur la Méditerranée dans le courant du mois et reprendra ses missions de patrouille pour contribuer à la connaissance de la situation maritime dans la région.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 17:20
Soldier's Network Update: Stryker Brigades Receive GD-Built WIN-T Increment 2

 

Mar 3, 2015 ASDNews Source : General Dynamics

 

WIN-T Increment 2 helps commanders break away from fixed command posts, allowing them to stay close to their soldiers even in remote and isolated environments.

 

The U.S. Army is fielding the General Dynamics-built Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 to the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division (2/2 SBCT) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. The WIN-T Increment 2 secure communications network backbone is also fielded to 12 infantry Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and four division headquarters.

"Fielding WIN-T Increment 2 to Army Stryker Brigades closes the communications gap between fast moving SBCTs and 'boots on the ground' soldiers," said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems. "The highly mobile and operationally simplified Increment 2 allows soldiers to quickly and simultaneously address multiple missions in any environment, across the mission field or between continents."

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 17:20
Sounding the Guns: Lockheed Martin on evolving artillery capabilities

 

03/05/2015  Richard de Silva - DefenceIQ

 

 

For a company that has one of the most seasoned histories in the U.S. defence market, dating back more than 40 years, it is no surprise that its role in supporting the field artillery needs of both its American and international customers is held in high regard. From the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), we take a look at where the company's artillery focus lies today in this exclusive feature.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
L’armée américaine pourrait jouer un rôle sur le terrain en Syrie

Des soldat américains de la compagnie Charlie, 2nd Battalion 504th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, en janvier 2010 avant que les États-Unis ne retirent leurs troupes d'Irak, à Baharia, dans la province d'Al Anbar, aujourd'hui en très grande partie aux mains des jihadistes de l'EIIL (Archives/Spc. David M. Sharp/USArmy)

 

5 mars 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Les forces spéciales américaines pourraient éventuellement être envoyées en Syrie pour y épauler les rebelles modérés formés par le Pentagone, a déclaré le plus haut gradé américain mercredi.

 

«Si le commandement sur le terrain me demande à moi ou au secrétaire à la Défense d’envoyer des forces spéciales pour accompagner les Irakiens ou les nouvelles forces syriennes (…), si nous estimons que c’est nécessaire pour remplir nos objectifs, alors c’est ce que nous recommanderons» au président américain, a déclaré le général Martin Dempsey lors d’une audition au Congrès à Washington.

Mais un responsable du Pentagone a minimisé ces propos et assuré que le haut gradé n’avait en rien changé de position sur le sujet car, d’après lui, «il n’est pas question d’envoyer des troupes américaines en Syrie», sauf dans l’éventualité où un pilote américain devrait être secouru après la chute de son avion.

De plus, selon cette même source, le cas de figure envisagé par le général Dempsey est d’autant plus «hypothétique» que les forces rebelles syriennes modérées n’ont pas encore commencé leur formation.

 

Suite de l’article

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Harriers Go Digital: New technology allows Marine aircraft to expand mission

 

Mar 3, 2015 ASDNews Source : Naval Air Systems Command

 

A  U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier flew its first mission with the new BRU-70/A Digital Improved Triple Ejector Rack (DITER) in support of the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in January.

A single aircraft delivered 50 percent of the Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) used during the insurgent airstrike due to the new rack.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER Team Begins Final Assembly of Second Aircraft

 

Mar 4, 2015 ASDNews Source : Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

 

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today announced the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDER™ helicopter at the company's Development Flight Center.

 

Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDER™ prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The RAIDER is a rigid coaxial rotor prototype aircraft ideally suited for armed reconnaissance and a spectrum of special operations missions.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Taliban Troubled By Timing

 

February 19, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The U.S. Army received its first AH-64Es in 2011. Then in 2014 this most recent version of the Apache completed a seven month tour in Afghanistan. There the 24 AH-64Es with an aviation battalion performed better than expected. Each of these AH-64Es flew an average 66 hours a month while there. The readiness rate of the AH-64Es was 87 percent, compared to the army standard of 80 percent. One of the surprising new capabilities of the AH-64E was its ability to fly about 29 percent (at 288 kilometers an hour) faster that the D model. That translated into moving about one kilometer per minute faster and this cost the experienced Taliban commanders a lot of casualties. That was because these guys knew from experience how long it took a D model to arrive after the Taliban ambushed NATO forces. Suddenly the E model was showing up earlier and catching the Taliban exposed to attack rather than safely away or under cover. The AH-64E also had new electronics that enabled it to work more closely with UAVs, as in getting the video feeds directly and basically using the UAVs more effectively as scouts to spot targets. The Taliban weren’t expecting that either. NATO troops supported by the AH-64Es also noted the new capabilities and quickly began exploiting them when they knew they were getting air support from Es instead of Ds. These speed and commo capabilities were built into the AH-64E based on past experience and testing and training exercises gave pilots and ground commanders hints that these changes could be very useful. Battlefield experience confirmed that and led to new tactics for the E crews and the troops supported that no one had foreseen.

 

Testing of these new capabilities began in 2011 when the army began receiving the first of 51 "low rate initial production” AH-64s. This came three years after the first flight. These aircraft were then called the AH-64D Block III Apache helicopter gunship. It was decided in 2012 that the Block III improvements were so numerous and dramatic that it made more sense to go to a simpler and more descriptive AH-64E designation. The D model also had a name; Longbow (as it was optimized to kill tanks). The E model was called Guardian (because it was optimized for supporting infantry).

 

This goes back to the AH-64A, which was the initial model and entered service in 1986. The last AH-64A was taken out of service in 2012 for upgrade to the AH-64D standard. The AH-64B was an upgrade proposed for the early 1990s, but was cancelled, as was a similar “C” model upgrade. Some of these cancelled improvements were in great demand. Thus the “B” and “C” model upgrades were incorporated in the AH-64D Block I (1997). The AH-64D Longbow (because of the radar mast, making it possible to see ground targets and flying obstacles in all weather) models began appearing in 2002.

 

By the end of the decade 634 army AH-64Ds will be upgraded to the new AH-64E standard. The first AH-64Es entered service in 2012 and were heavily used to reveal any design or manufacturing flaws. These were fixed before mass production and conversion began in late 2013.

 

AH-64Es have more powerful and fuel efficient engines, as well as much improved electronics. AH-64Es also have Internet- like capabilities enabling these gunships to quickly exchange images, video, and so on with other aircraft and ground troops. Each AH-64E can also control several UAVs and launch missiles at targets spotted by these UAVs. The AH-64E radar has longer range and onboard computers are much more powerful than earlier ones. The electronics are easier to upgrade and maintain. The combination of improved fire control and Internet capabilities greatly increases the combat effectiveness of the AH-64.

 

The 10 ton AH-64E carries a pilot and a weapons officer, as well as up to 16 Hellfire missiles (plus the 30mm automatic cannon). Sorties average three hours. The AH-64 can operate at night and has a top speed of about 300 kilometers an hour.

 

In addition to the U.S. Army, the AH-64E the UAE (United Arab Emirates) bought 60. Neighboring Saudi Arabia ordered 70, as well as upgrades for its existing twelve AH-64s to the “E” standard. Many more of the existing 1,100 AH-64s (American and foreign) may be upgraded as well.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
China Air Force Lijian Sharp Sword UCAV

China Air Force Lijian Sharp Sword UCAV

 

March 4, 2015: Strategy Page

 

After years of pressure from manufacturers, and allies, the United States has finally reduced most of the prohibitions for exporting large (a ton or more) UAVs (like the Predator and Reaper). The restrictions were largely based on media misinterpretation of what the UAVs actually do. Over the last two decades the media myth was created that depicted UAVs, especially armed UAVs, as a horrific new weapon. The reality was that the only advantage UAVs had was in surveillance and stealth. As a surveillance aircraft (what the military first, and still, used aircraft for) UAVs were a major step forward because they created an unprecedented level of “persistence” (spending lots of time watching some area below) or literally following (“tailing” in detective lingo) an individual or group. Adding guided missiles to the UAV enabled the attack to be made as soon as the identity of the target was confirmed (often after dozens or more hours of observation) and before the target could get away (into a forested or urban area where tracking was much more difficult).

 

This sort of thing could have been done before UAVs using manned aircraft but it would have cost more than ten times as much and not have been as effective. What is also missed in the enormous reduction in civilian casualties when using UAVs. Until precision bombs and missiles came along military targets anywhere near residential areas led to high civilian casualties when attacked. The use of precision weapons and UAVs has reduced civilian casualties over 90 percent. For some reason all this never became news. But the myth did force American politicians to bar exports of UAVs.

 

What really changed minds about UAV exports was the fact that China was now offering similar (in some cases what appear to be copies) of American UAVs to anyone who can pay. These UAVs come with a Chinese version of the American Hellfire missile, and no restrictions on how the buyer will use the UAVs.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
«Washington a donné les clefs de l’Irak à l’Iran»
 

4 mars 2015 Marc SEMO - liberation.fr

 

La chercheuse Myriam Benraad analyse l'enjeu de la présence iranienne aux côtés de l'armée irakienne et des milices dans la reconquête de Tikrit, contrôlé par l'Etat islamique.

 

Depuis trois jours, les forces gouvernementales irakiennes ont lancé une vaste offensive dans les environs de Tikrit, une ville à mi-chemin entre Bagdad et Mossoul tombée en juin aux mains de l’Etat islamique. Appuyées par des miliciens chiites et des tribus sunnites, les forces armées, composées d'environ 30 000 hommes, étaient à plus d’une vingtaine de kilomètres de la ville mercredi.

Spécialiste de l’Irak et du monde arabe, la politologue Myriam Benraad, chercheuse associée au CERI-Science-Po de Paris vient de publier Irak, la revanche de l’histoire (éd. Vendémiaire). Elle analyse les enjeux de cette offensive et de la présence de l'Iran aux côtés des Irakiens.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Commando, Shadow And Talon Fly Together


source Strategy Page

From left, an MC-130J Commando II and an MC-130P Combat Shadow both from the 17th Special Operations Squadron along with an MC-130H Combat Talon II from the 1st Special Operations Squadron conduct a heritage formation of three MC-130 variants off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Jan 26, 2015. The 353rd Special Operations Group performed the unique formation to commemorate the arrival of the MC-130J Commando II, the retirement of the MC-130P Combat Shadow and the continuing mission of the MC-130H Combat Talon II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson Elleman)

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Flight Crew: First Navy Reservist F-35 Flight Instructor


4 mars 2015 US Navy

 

Selected as the first Navy Reservist to be qualified as an F-35 instructor, Elliott "Hemo" Clemence shares his experience as a developmental test pilot with Lockheed Martin and how his civilian career launched him to the forefront of the future fleet.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Pararescue HALO Jump


4 mars 2015 US Air Force

 

Maj. Joseph Barnard, Maj. David Depiazza and Senior Master Sgt. Brendan Deligio from the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., jump from an HH-60 Pave Hawk at 12,500 ft.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
photo Rolls-Royce

photo Rolls-Royce

 

3 Mar 2015 By: Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Washington DC - Rolls-Royce has opened the first repair and overhaul facility for the Lockheed Martin F-35B's LiftFan system in Indiana, as it consolidates assembly of major components away from the UK.

The $10 million LiftWorks repair facility in Plainfield will serve as an interim logistics hub for F-35Bs operated by the US Marine Corps and the UK. The site could eventually be augmented or replaced by the US government depot system or separate repair and overhaul facilities in the UK or Italy, should either of those governments decide to invest in that capability, says Tom Hartmann, senior vice-president of R-R.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 07:40
Des milliers de soldats russes dans l’est de l’Ukraine, selon Washington

 

4 mars 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

La secrétaire d’Etat adjointe accuse les Russes de « financer, alimenter commander et contrôler la guerre »

 

Les Etats-Unis ont affirmé mercredi que des milliers et des milliers de soldats russes et leurs équipements militaires étaient présents dans l’est de l’Ukraine en appui aux séparatistes pro-Moscou qui se battent contre les forces de Kiev.

 

Je dirais que ce sont des milliers et des milliers, a répondu la secrétaire d’Etat adjointe pour l’Europe, Victoria Nuland, interrogée par une commission du Congrès américain sur le nombre de troupes russes qui seraient actuellement dans l’Est ukrainien rebelle.

 

Depuis décembre, la Russie a transféré des centaines de matériels militaires, y compris des chars, des véhicules blindés (…) de l’artillerie lourde. L’armée russe a sa propre structure de commandement dans l’est de l’Ukraine, qui va des officiers-généraux à des officiers moins gradés, a encore détaillé Mme Nuland.

 

Elle a toutefois refusé d’en dire plus sur le nombre de troupes russes qui seraient dans l’est de l’Ukraine, invoquant le fait que son audition devant la commission des Affaires étrangères de la Chambre des représentants n’était pas à huis clos, mais classée non confidentielle.

 

Comme le président (américain Barack Obama) l’a dit il y a peu de temps, ils (les Russes) financent la guerre, l’alimentent, la commandent et la contrôlent, a encore accusé la plus haute responsable de la diplomatie américaine pour l’Europe, une diplomate très en pointe sur le conflit ukrainien et les accusations d’implication militaire de Moscou.

 

Mardi, Barack Obama, François Hollande et Angela Merkel avaient promis une réaction forte de l’Occident en cas de rupture majeure du cessez-le-feu dans l’est rebelle pro-russe de l’Ukraine et appelé à renforcer le rôle de l’OSCE pour surveiller cette trêve.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 07:20
Tomahawk Synthetic Guidance Flight Test


4 mars 2015 NAVAIRSYSCOM

 

A synthetically guided Tomahawk cruise missile successfully hits a moving maritime target Jan. 27 after being launched from USS Kidd (DDG 100) near San Nicolas Island in California. The missile altered its course toward the target after receiving position updates from surveillance aircraft. (U.S. Navy video)

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 07:20
AGM-86 ALCM - photo USAF

AGM-86 ALCM - photo USAF

 

3 Mar 2015 By: Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Washington DC - The US Air Force will consider a supersonic engine among three propulsion options now under review for the long range standoff (LRSO) missile, according to an acquisition notice released on 26 February.

The LRSO is expected to replace the Boeing AGM-86 air launched cruise missile, a subsonic weapon powered by a Williams F107 turbofan engine.

The USAF is considering two subsonic engine options – a derivative of an existing engine with 5% greater fuel efficiency and an advanced engine offering up to 20% better fuel efficiency, according to the request for information released by the LRSO branch of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

A third option under review is a supersonic engine that would be sized comparably to “existing small core expendable engines”, the acquisition document says.

 

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 07:20
Le renseignement américain évalue les différents types de cybermenaces

 

4 mars 2015 par Daniel Ventre – 45eNord.ca

 

Le 26 février 2015, la communauté du renseignement américain (US Intelligence Community) a proposé son évaluation de la menace, par le biais d’un rapport signé James R. Clapper (Director of National Intelligence): «Worldwidethreat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community».

 

Ce document relativement court (29 pages) identifie et analyse les principales menaces à la sécurité nationale américaine. Il classe ces dernières en deux grandes catégories: les menaces globales et les menaces régionales.

 

La cybermenace vient en premier rang des menaces globales (devant le renseignement, le terrorisme, les armes de destruction massive, l’espace, le crime organisé transnational, les ressources économiques et naturelles, la sécurité humaine). De ces cybermenaces il est dit:

  • Qu’elles pèsent sur la sécurité nationale et la sécurité économique
  • Qu’elles ne cessent de croître (en fréquence, échelle, sophistication, sévérité d’impact, nombre d’acteurs impliqués, variété de méthodes d’attaques, de systèmes ciblés, en nombre de victimes)
  • Les réseaux qui traitent l’information non classifiée du gouvernement, de l’armée, mais aussi de l’industrie et plus largement de la société, demeurent fragiles, vulnérables, notamment à l’espionnage et aux perturbations
  • De plus en plus d’Etat attaquent le secteur industriel américain pour soutenir leurs propres objectifs économiques
  • Qu’elles ne peuvent pas être éliminées, car trop nombreuses. Il faut donc apprendre à gérer le risque. Les méthodes de calcul et gestion des risques utilisés par certaines entreprises doivent être redéfinies pour prendre en compte des variables telles que la cybermenace étrangère (entendre ici provenant directement de gouvernements étrangers) ou les interdépendances systémiques entre secteurs d’infrastructures critiques.
  • Les cyberattaques à des fins politiques sont un phénomène croissant.
  • Parmi les Etats acteurs de la cybermenace, sont aux premiers rangs la Russie (qui crée son cyber commandement), la Chine (espionnage économique), l’Iran (pour exercer des représailles contre ses ennemis politiques), la Corée du Nord (à des fins politiques) et le terrorisme (avec des attaques menées par des sympathisants des groupes terroristes, pour attirer l’attention des médias).

 

Plus intéressants toutefois sont les arguments suivants:

  • La probabilité d’une attaque majeure (« catastrophic attack ») est faible. Cette vision est assez différente des discours officiels sur la menace (gouvernement, NSA, industriels, etc.) Il réfute l’hypothèse d’un très prochain Cyber Armageddon et propose d’autres scénarios plus probables selon lui. Il envisage plutôt des séries d’attaques de niveau faible à modéré, provenant de multiples sources, qui vont finir par coûter cher (« will impose cumulative costs ») à l’économie américaine, sa compétitivité, et sa sécurité nationale. Car c’est cette multiplication des sources, des moyens, des cibles, qui va contraindre l’Amérique à sécuriser, défendre tous ses systèmes, et non pas quelques-uns en particulier.
  • La non attribution sera de moins en moins la règle. Gouvernement et entreprises font des progrès importants en matière de détection et attribution, et il semblerait que ce point technique, qui accordait à l’attaquant un avantage considérable, soit en passe d’être remis en cause. Les hackers ne peuvent plus s’estimer intouchables, indétectables, non identifiables (p.2 du rapport).
  • Le cyberespace restera encore assez longtemps un espace permissif. Jusqu’alors les victimes de cyberattaques ont répondu timidement, confortant les agresseurs dans la possibilité d’utiliser le cyberespace à des fins coercitives.
  • Le cyberespionnage porte atteinte à la confidentialité ; les attaques DDoS portant atteinte à la disponibilité des données ; mais à l’avenir nous pourrions voir davantage d’actions qui modifieront, manipuleront l’information, compromettant cette fois l’intégrité de l’information.
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4 mars 2015 3 04 /03 /mars /2015 17:30
Iraqi Campaign to Drive Daesh From Tikrit Reveals Tensions With U.S.

 

4 Mars 2015 par ileridefense

 

BAGHDAD — Tensions between Iraq and the United States over how to battle the Islamic State broke into the open on Tuesday, as Iraqi officials declared that they would fight on their own timetable with or without American help, and as United States warplanes conspicuously sat out the biggest Iraqi counteroffensive yet amid concerns over Iran’s prominent role.

On Monday, Iraq launched a politically sensitive operation to oust Islamic State militants from Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, without seeking American approval, officials said. Even as Iraq was taking a first step into a bigger battle to oust the Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, it was also signaling that its alliance with the United States might be more fraught than officials had let on.

 

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