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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 17:30
Marine Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at the Guardian Center training facility on March 11, 2015 - photo USMC

Marine Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at the Guardian Center training facility on March 11, 2015 - photo USMC

 

03.11.2015 Israël Valley (Source I24News)

 

Une nouvelle escadrille d’avions de chasse F-15, des ravitailleurs en vol ultra-sophistiqués, des hélicoptères, des appareils de transport hybrides avion/hélicoptères V-22, des armes de précision et une aide financière pour le programme de missiles Arrow 3, voilà une partie de la liste des demandes présentées par Israël aux responsables américains dans le cadre du programme d’aide sécuritaire qui devrait dépasser le montant annuel habituel de 3,1 milliards de dollars…

 

Cette liste a été finalisée lors d’une réunion en fin de semaine dernière à Washington entre le ministre israélien de la Défense Moshe (Boguy) Ya’alon et le secrétaire américain à la Défense Ashton Carter. Cette aide exceptionnelle a pour but de maintenir la “suprématie qualitative” d’Israël pour les prochaines années.

 

Elle a été présentée au président Obama avant la prochaine visite de Benyamin Netanyahou, la semaine prochaine, à la Maison Blanche.

 

Ashton Carter a indiqué qu’Israël sera le seul et unique pays du Moyen-Orient qui recevra l’avion du futur F-35, mais les responsables israéliens ont demandé en outre la livraison d’une escadrille de F-15 qui sont généralement considérés comme le “cheval de labeur” de l’armée de l’air de l’Etat hébreu.

 

Les appareils hybrides V-22 Osprey demandés par Israël peuvent voler comme des avions et décoller et atterrir comme des hélicoptères. Israël envisage de les utiliser pour les incursions de forces spéciales et des évacuations d’urgence à partir de terrains d’opération sensibles. L’Iran est dans le rayon de portée du V-22 Osprey.

 

Par contre, la livraison de bombes spéciales anti-bunker semble ne plus être d’actualité, malgré la suggestion conjointe de l’ambassadeur spécial pour le Moyen-Orient Dennis Ross et du général David Petraeus.

 

Ashton Carter a souligné que, durant sa réunion avec Ya’alon, ils ont tous deux “recherché des voies supplémentaires pour resserrer les liens, en particulier dans les domaines de la cybertechnologie et des armes sophistiquées de nouvelle génération”.

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 12:20
MV-22 Osprey at Morón Air Base - photo US DoD

MV-22 Osprey at Morón Air Base - photo US DoD

 

12.10.2015 Par Murielle Delaporte – V.A.

 

High-tech. Mi-avion, mi-hélicoptère, le “convertible” de transport tactique Bell Boeing V-22 a révolutionné les méthodes du combat aéromobile dans les forces américaines. Nous sommes montés à bord de cet aéronef futuriste. Reportage.

 

Aux commandes de son appareil, le colonel Michael Orr, commandant de l’escadron d’essai VMX-22 (Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22), s’exerce inlassablement à l’approche tactique d’une zone censée être en territoire hostile : une bonne vingtaine d’atterrissages et de décollages effectués en boucle sur une petite prairie située au milieu des bois, quelque part en Caroline du Nord. Autant d’approches différentes permettant de tromper l’ennemi et d’échapper à une éventuelle menace sol-air — canons, mitrailleuses et autres missiles —, autant d’options rendues possibles par la technologie unique de ce curieux hybride d’hélicoptère et d’avion qu’est le V-22 Osprey… Pour les personnels habitués au Transall, le vieux cheval de bataille du transport tactique français, le seul point commun de la manoeuvre est le degré de nausée que peuvent parfois ressentir les passagers — dont l’auteur de ces lignes, bien que très confortablement assise sur la banquette latérale arrière… L’expérience s’avère vraiment unique lorsque, à pleine puissance, le V-22 s’arrache littéralement du sol, avec vue plongeante par la rampe de soute demeurée béante !

Suite de l’article

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 19:55
Ouverture du domaine d’interopérabilité du BPC avec le V-22

 

29/09/2015 Sources : Marine nationale

 

Le 28 septembre 2015, le centre d’expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l’aéronautique navale (CEPA/10S) a tenu la conférence de clôture sur l’interopérabilité entre BPC et aéronef convertible V22-Osprey à bord du bâtiment de projection et de commandement Dixmude. Cette conférence concrétise le résultat de deux années d’investigation et de tests communs.

 

En 2014, les premiers essais débutent grâce à la coopération de groupes expéditionnaires américains (ESG – Expeditionary Strike Groups). Un V22-Osprey effectue pour la première fois des tests d’appontage sur le pont d’envol du Dixmude en février.

 

En juillet dernier, lors de la mission Jeanne d’Arc 2015, des appontages suivis d’exercices de ravitaillement - moteurs coupés - ont apporté la confirmation d’une interopérabilité avec les V22.

 

Une fois l’homologation prononcée par le CEPA/10S, le BPC, se verra doté d’une nouvelle fonction : l’accueil et le soutien de missions opérationnelles de ces aéronefs spécialisés dans le transport de troupes et le ravitaillement.

 

Cette capacité ouvre  la voie à de nouvelles interactions avec les marines américaine et japonaise, cette dernière ayant récemment acquis des V22. Le CEPA débutera prochainement des essais similaires sur le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle.

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20 juillet 2015 1 20 /07 /juillet /2015 17:20
photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

photo P.Dagois -Marine nationale

 

09/07/2015 Sources : EMA

 

Dimanche 5 juillet 2015, le centre d’expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l’aéronautique navale (CEPA) a conduit au large de Djibouti une campagne d’homologation de l’aéronef de transport américain Boeing V-22 Osprey  sur le BPC Dixmude.

 

L’objectif recherché au travers de cette homologation est de renforcer l’interopérabilité entre les marines française et américaine. Le BPC Dixmude a pour cela accueilli durant quelques heures un V-22 de l’US Marine Corps du 15ème MEU, provenant de l’USS Essex. Le V-22 est un convertible, c’est-à-dire un croisement entre un avion de transport militaire et un hélicoptère. Sa conception à rotors basculants lui permet de décoller et d’atterrir verticalement. En 2014, pour la première fois, une série d’appontages avait été réalisée sur  les BPC Dixmude puis Mistral. Un spot d’atterrissage spécifique au V-22 avait ainsi été choisi, à proximité du spot hélicoptère n°1, puis expérimenté. A des fins de progressivité, les aéronefs n’avaient alors stationné que quelques minutes sur le pont d’envol. Cette fois, en plus des appontages désormais « classiques » qui ont été réalisés, l’équipe du CEPA a conduit toute une série d’expérimentations afin de démontrer la capacité du BPC à accueillir un V-22 à des fins opérationnelles : embarquer et débarquer du personnel, ravitailler et stationner sur le pont d’envol moteurs coupés.

 

L’enjeu était donc de taille.

 

Les équipes du pont d’envol, de la passerelle et de la sécurité ont été briefés par leurs homologues américains. Lorsque le V-22 s’est approché, les marins ont été impressionnés par l’imposante machine, qui est venue se poser sur l’avant du pont d’envol du BPC Dixmude. C’est un grand pas qui a ainsi été fait, sous le contrôle de l’équipe du CEPA venue de métropole pour l’occasion, et qui a pris place à la fois à bord du BPC et du V-22. Les présentations de l’aéronef se sont succédées,  suivies de mesures de températures sur le pont. Le posé final a été mis à profit pour débarquer du personnel et effectuer un ravitaillement rotors tournants, avant de couper les moteurs – une première sur un BPC français.

 

Cette opération a été un grand succès : toutes les mesures et manœuvres prévues par le CEPA ont pu être réalisées. Les experts pourront se prononcer sur l’homologation et le cadre futur de l’interopérabilité du V-22 sur BPC. Good Job !

photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale
photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale
photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationalephoto P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale

photo P.Dagois & F. de Feydeau -Marine nationale

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15 février 2015 7 15 /02 /février /2015 12:20
Naval Air: V-22s Are The New COD

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 31, 2014) A V-22A Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during routine flight operations. Peleliu is the lead ship in the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)

 

February 5, 2015: Strategy Page

 

 The U.S. Navy has decided, after more than five years of deliberation, to adopt the V-22 tilt rotor aircraft as its new COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) aircraft. The plan is to initially buy four a year from 2018 to 2012, and see how that works out before buying another 20 or so.

 

As the U.S. Navy adopts the V-22 for COD missions it is likely that Britain and France might also adopt the V-22 for these missions. The only serious competitor for the COD contract was a proposal for an upgraded C-2. The C-2 and E-2 radar aircraft (but not the retired S-2 anti-submarine aircraft) were based on the same airframe. The E-2 has undergone several major upgrades and some of that tech was proposed for the new “C-2C”. There was a version of the S-2 used for COD but they are long gone.

 

The navy is currently using 35 elderly C-2As for COD. The C-2 can carry 4.5 tons of cargo (or 26 passengers), per sortie, to or from a carrier. Cruise speed is 460 kilometers an hour, and range is over 800 kilometers. The current C-2s date from the 1980s, and have recently been refurbished so they can keep at it until the early 2020s. Thus the navy was expected to make a decision soon or face a COD crisis.

 

Both V-22 and C-2 weigh the same (about 25 tons). The U.S. Marine Corps MV-22s can carry 24 troops 700 kilometers (vertical take-off on a ship, level flight, landing, and return) at 400 kilometers an hour. As a COD aircraft, the V-22 is similar as the C-2. That means a slightly slower (445 kilometers an hour) cruise speed, and the V-22 is more expensive to maintain, but can land on carrier more easily (as a helicopter) and can carry loads of up to 4.5 tons slung underneath. This enables the COD to deliver outsize objects (replacement components or structures for the ship, or aircraft parts that would not fit inside a C-2 or V-22.)

 

In 2011 the French Navy leased two U.S. Navy C-2A COD aircraft. This was a temporary solution to their need to deliver air cargo to their nuclear carrier (Charles de Gaulle) while the ship was heavily engaged supporting air operations over Libya. France has long used the similar E-2 radar aircraft, from which the C-2 was developed. But now Britain is building two carriers even larger than the de Gaulle and that means they are more likely to require a larger COD aircraft like the C-2 or V-22. In the past the British and French (and other nations with carriers) would improvise for COD, often taking a carrier based bomber aircraft to move freight. If close enough to land the helicopters every carrier embarked would be used.

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 12:20
Air Weapons: The V-22 Gunship

 

January 17, 2015: Strategy Page

 

U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is arming its V-22 tilt-rotor transports with more weapons, all of them forward firing and, along with temporary armor panels, meant to temporarily turn a V-22 into a gunship as needed. Tests are being performed to see if the V-22 can carry and launch guided missiles. SOCOM has already obtained a GAU-2B machine-gun fitted to the bottom of a V-22 as part of the Universal Turret System (UTS) for Helicopters. Plans for arming the V-22 have always been an option and since 2007 the marines and SOCOM have been developing weapons for use on their V-22s. The main purpose for this is to give V-22s just enough firepower to clear the landing zone long enough to land, unload and get away.

 

The original proposal was for a UTS equipped with a 12.7mm machine-gun, which has a longer range (about 2,000 meters). However, the 7.62mm GAU-17 can lay down more bullets more quickly and usually does so at low speed (1,500 rounds a minute). Experience in Iraq and Afghanistan indicated this would be a more useful defensive measure. Like the similar turret the Marine Corps developed, the SOCOM one is mounted on CV-22s as needed. The armed SOCOM CV-22 provides an option that the other V-22 users can easily adopt. The machine-gun turret was mainly there for protection from local threats, not for turning the V-22 into an assault aircraft. That attitude has now changed.

 

All this began back in 2011 when the U.S. Marine Corps ordered a dozen DWS (Interim Defensive Weapons System) turret gun kits for its hundred MV-22 tilt-rotor transports. Each kit cost about a million dollars. MV-22 crews were trained to use these new weapons which are quickly installed underneath the V-22. The remote control turret used a three-barrel 7.62mm GAU-17 machine-gun. This system has a rate of fire of up to 1,500-3,000 rounds per minute (25-50 per second) and max range of 1,500 meters. The system weighs under 100 kg (220 pounds) and includes 4,000 rounds of ammo. A member of the crew uses a video game like interface to operate the gun. Before the DWS arrived there was some experimentation mounting a heavy machine-gun on the rear ramp. But this did not prove nearly as effective as the turret.

 

The DSW is only mounted on a V-22 if a mission might be in need of some firepower. The DWS can swivel completely (360 degrees) around (useful when mounted underneath). It was apparently this weapon that was carried by an MV-22 sent to pick up the pilot and weapons operator who had to bail out of a disabled F-15E in Libya in 2011. The DWS was tested in Afghanistan in 2010 and by 2012 production models were being delivered. All MV-22 squadrons were given the opportunity to mount a turret on some of their aircraft and try out the weapon using live ammo.

 

The V-22s often have to fly into hostile territory to land their cargo. The V-22 can carry 24 troops 700 kilometers (vertical take-off on a ship, level flight, landing, and return) at 400 kilometers an hour and sometimes has to land in areas where the locals are firing at them. The marine MV-22 is replacing the CH-46E helicopter, which can carry 12 troops 350 kilometers at a speed of 200 kilometers an hour. The MV-22 can carry a 10,000-pound external sling load 135 kilometers, while the CH-46E can carry 3,000 pounds only 90 kilometers.

 

The U.S. Air Force component of SOCOM uses the CV-22 to replace the current MH-53J special operations helicopters. Unlike the U.S. Marine Corps version, the SOCOM CV-22B has a lot more expensive electronics on board. This will help the CV-22 when traveling into hostile territory, especially at night or in bad weather. The CV-22 carries a terrain avoidance radar, an additional 3,600 liters (900 gallons) of fuel, and more gadgets in general. The 25 ton CV-22 is a major improvement on the MH-53J, with three times the range, and a higher cruising speed (at 410 kilometers an hour, twice that of the helicopter). The CV-22 can travel about a thousand kilometers, in any weather, and land or pick up 18 fully equipped commandoes. The SOCOM CV-22s have been in action since 2008 but SOCOM will never have more than fifty of them.

 

The V-22 is the first application of the tilt-rotor technology in active service. The air force is already working on improvements (to make the V-22 more reliable and easier to maintain). The MV-22 gives the marines and SOCOM a lot more capability but, as it often the case, this is a lot more expensive. The initial production models of the CV-22 cost over $60 million each. SOCOM insists on a high degree of reliability for its aircraft. Commando operations cannot tolerate too many mistakes without getting fatally derailed.

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2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 12:50
Talon II departs from England

 

27 janv. 2015 US Air Force

 

The last MC-130 H Talon II takes off from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, for the last time.

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10 décembre 2014 3 10 /12 /décembre /2014 17:20
V-22 Osprey photo Boeing

V-22 Osprey photo Boeing

 

December 8, 2014 Marcus Weisgerber - Defense One

 

The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey has been deployed globally since 2007 with only one major offensive weapon: a machine gun pointed out the back of the aircraft.

Besides that, the tiltrotor aircraft – which takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but can pivot its engines and rotors forward to fly long distances at a higher speed like a fixed-wing plane – has relied on its speed and agility to protect itself from ground fire. But that could change soon.

Bell-Boeing announced on Monday that it had successfully fired rockets from a V-22 test aircraft.

 

Read more

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21 septembre 2014 7 21 /09 /septembre /2014 16:20
V-22 Flight Tests Validate 'Hot and High' Capability for Rolls-Royce AE 1107C Engines

 

Sep 18, 2014 ASDNews Source : Rolls Royce

 

Flight tests have validated a new engine upgrade for Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines powering V-22 aircraft, maximizing "hot and high" capability up to 6,000 feet of altitude and 95°F.

The enhanced capability is part of a series of upgrades that will boost engine power 17 percent for the aircraft, as Rolls-Royce continues to add innovations to the proven AE 1107C engine. The flight tests were conducted in a Bell Boeing V-22 test aircraft, and completed this summer in the western United States.

 

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Phantom Badger Certified for V-22 Transport

 

Apr 8, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Versatility offers more deployment options to warfighters

 

After a series of successful tests, the U.S. Navy last month certified that the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Phantom Badger combat support vehicle can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. That is another step toward providing warfighters with more options to deploy the versatile vehicle.

 

The tests included form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations exceeding four G-forces.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
photo USMC

photo USMC

 

7 April 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger – FG

 

Washington DC - The US military continues talks with potential foreign buyers of Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey as the service works to decrease the tiltrotor's costs.

 

US Marine Corps Col Daniel Robinson, manager of the V-22 joint programme office, tells reporters that the service is getting closer to securing a contract to sell V-22s to Israel, and says the military has a team of negotiators in that country working on a deal.

 

He adds that up to one dozen other countries have shown significant interest in the aircraft, but declines to specify those nations or say how close the military and Bell Boeing are to securing an order.

 

"Its definitely growing in demand," he says.

 

Robinson's comments, made during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 7 April, follow an announcement in January that Israel requested permission from the US Defense Department to buy six V-22s.

 

Then, in February, at the Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison said Israel is now interested in acquiring a total of 12 aircraft, six of which would come from existing orders that are assigned to the Marine Corps.

 

Any order from Israel or another country would help Bell Boeing preserve V-22 sales beyond 2015 and could help keep production alive past 2019.

 

Robinson notes, however, that the production line has enough capacity in the next few years to handle some new aircraft orders.

 

Meanwhile, Robinson says the US military continues a rigorous effort to bring down the expense of V-22s, which currently have a flyaway cost of about $72.1 million, according the US Navy's recently-released fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.

 

Robinson notes that the V-22's cost per flight hour has dropped 25% since 2009 while its readiness has increased 20%.

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26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 08:20
Ducommun Awarded Contracts from Bell Helicopter for V-22 Osprey

 

 

Mar 25, 2014 ASDNews Source : Ducommun Incorporated

 

Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE: DCO) (“Ducommun” or the “Company”) today reported that it has received contracts valued at $5.6 million from Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, Inc. (NYSE: TXT), to provide electronic assemblies and wiring harnesses for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft through January 2015. The Company will manufacture the electronic subassemblies at its Huntsville, Ark., plant and the wiring harnesses at its Joplin, Mo., facility. Ducommun has supported the V-22 program since 2005.

 

“We are certainly pleased to see our relationship with Bell continue to strengthen and grow through the V-22 program,” said Anthony J. Reardon, chairman and chief executive officer. “This latest award expands our support of the program with a new electronic subassembly — which we will manufacture with the same commitment to product integrity for our customer and, most importantly, for the V-22 fighter pilots and combat troops.”

 

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19 décembre 2013 4 19 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
Navy releases funds for V-22 procurement

 

 

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Dec. 18 (UPI)

 

Funding for a second-year procurement of Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force has been executed by the U.S. Navy.

 

The funding amount is $1.3 billion and covers three aircraft for the Air Force and 19 aircraft for the Marines.

 

"Since Initial Operating Capability in 2007, V-22s have been answering the nation's call traveling into harm's way," a Navy official said.

 

"From combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the recent disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in the Philippines, the V-22 continues to prove itself as a game-changing aircraft. Ospreys enable our Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations to execute missions not possible with conventional aircraft."

 

The V-22 is a multi-mission, tilt rotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capability. It has a maximum speed of 316 miles per hour at sea level and a range of 879 miles. A total of 233 V-22 Ospreys are in operation.

 

The second-year funding comes under a multiyear funding procurement contract for the purchase of a total of 100 V-22s over the next five years.

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18 décembre 2013 3 18 /12 /décembre /2013 08:20
Rolls-Royce work ongoing on engines used on V-22s

 

LONDON, Dec. 17 (UPI)

 

The Naval Air Systems Command has exercised a final option year of a contract with Rolls-Royce for the company's support of AE 1107C engines for V-22 aircraft.

 

The option, the fifth for the company's MissionCare services, carries a value of $57.1 million and includes repair and support services at Rolls-Royce's facilities in Indianapolis and Oakland, Calif.

 

"Rolls-Royce is committed to providing innovative and affordable support to our U.S. military customers," said Rolls-Royce President Paul Craig. "We are focused on keeping their aircraft flying while continually seeking new solutions that will enhance their mission capability in future."

 

The Bell Boeing V-22 has both vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capabilities. It is flown by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.

 

Rolls-Royce said it has developed modifications to the AE 1107C engine which enable it to deliver 17 percent additional power. The modifications are being implemented under the MissionCare support contract and have increased "hot and high" performance while significantly increasing time on wing.

 

Details of the modifications were not provided.

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26 novembre 2013 2 26 /11 /novembre /2013 17:45
A V-22 Osprey

A V-22 Osprey

 

 

22 November 2013 by Second Line of Defence - defenceWeb

 

With the Ospreys as a key player in the Philippine’s relief, another story highlights the flexibility of this unique aircraft.

 

According to a USMC story by Captain Sharon Hyland:

 

Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response completed a long-range transport of Marines from Moron, Spain, to Dakar, Senegal, on November 13, utilizing MV-22Bs and a KC-130J.

 

The trip totalled more than 1,500 nautical miles and consisted of more than 30 Marines from SPMAGTF-CR and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 13. The Marines with SPMAGTF-Africa 13 were inserted in Senegal to participate in a small-boat operations and marksmanship training and exercises with the Senegalese military.

 

The mission marked the first time MV-22B Ospreys arrived in West Africa and offered the Senegalese and American Embassy personnel an up-close look at the tiltrotor aircraft during a static display and orientation flight.

 

This flight to Senegal can be added to other activities of the Osprey worldwide including: a first landing on a Japanese warship in the APR; the TRAP mission from North Carolina to Colorado; the Philippine’s relief mission; and the training with the Foreign Legion.

 

Clearly, the Osprey and its capabilities are becoming central to US Marine Corps global operations.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Potential V-22 customers advised to take advantage of slot availability

 

Nov. 19, 2013 by FG

 

Dubai - Potential customers for the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor are being urged to take advantage of spare delivery slots, which will be available during the US government’s next five-year contract for the type.

 

The Department of Defense’s recently signed second multiyear procurement deal (MYP II) covers the planned manufacture of 100 V-22s for the US Marine Corps and US Air Force through the 2014 to 2019 fiscal years.

 

“The production profile is declining [from MYP I], and there is spare capacity for FMS [Foreign Military Sales] customers,” says USMC Col Dan Robinson, V-22 joint programme manager.

 

US defense secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced that Washington is to “expedite” the delivery of six V-22s to the Israeli air force, but Robinson declines to comment on the programme’s current status. Potential additional buyers are not being named, but he confirms: “I think we’ve got 18 or 19 [slots] left on the contract, and the capacity to add for whichever customer comes forward.”

 

Interest in the Middle East region is being shown in both the Osprey’s core military transport role, and also through its potential to receive a VIP cabin fit, Robinson says. He also hailed the USMC’s performance in deploying 12 MV-22s from Iwakuni in Japan to participate in humanitarian relief efforts mounted in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Philippines.

 

Meanwhile, the four MV-22s visiting the show this week completed a roughly 1,500nm (2,770km) self-deployment from a Marine Expeditionary Unit vessel off the coast of east Africa, each being refuelled three times in-flight. “That really demonstrates the versatility of this aircraft,” says Robinson, adding: “Since 2007, it has seen the full spectrum of operations.”

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Rolls-Royce Boosts Power for V-22 Engines

Rolls-Royce says it has increased the power of the engine it supplies for US V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft by 17 percent. (photo USMC)

 

Sep. 16, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has increased the power output of its V-22 Osprey engine by 17 percent, a significant jump that should boost the reliability of the tilt-rotor aircraft in high-altitude, high-heat conditions, according to a company official.

 

“We’ve been upgrading the [AE family] of engines to provide more thrust as more challenging requirements came up in the commercial market, so we knew there was more power available” said Tom Hartmann, the company’s senior vice president of defense. “Now that we’re through the hurdles of wrestling and working the time-on-wing improvements, we recognize there is additional capability we haven’t taken advantage of that could provide high power to the Pentagon for their particular missions.”

 

The engine improvements came from three relatively small changes. First, the company added a new turbine to the engine, known as the Block 3 turbine. That design is based on a commercial product Rolls-Royce has used.

 

Some of those turbines are already in the field; the company has been installing them into all new-production models since July 2012, and began upgrading older turbines during regular maintenance two months later.

 

The other modifications included an increase in the flow capacity of the fuel valve and a software update, which allow the engines to deliver the higher power when needed.

 

Each V-22 Osprey is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines. The US Air Force’s fleet of CV-22s are used for special operations missions. The US Marine Corps’ MV-22 has two variants, the B and C models, which are used in the transportation of troops and equipment.

 

Most of the time, the V-22 won’t need the extra power. It’s really designed for use at higher altitudes — the 6,000-8,000-foot range — where the V-22 has struggled.

 

“Without flight tests, it’s hard to say the real-world impact” of the improvements, Hartmann said. But Rolls aims to give US military operators full engine capability at 6,000 feet with an air temperature of 95 degrees, a challenge that he said Air Force officials asked the company to look at.

 

“Right now, they are limited on what load they can carry at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees.” Hartmann said. “The plan is to provide that full capability in the near term, and then, in a future upgrade, give enhanced capability at 8,000 feet and 95 degrees.”

 

The company will begin tests of its upgraded engine in the fall, beginning the Federal Aviation Administration review process. Hartmann expects kits for the improved engines to arrive late 2014.

 

Rolls also is keeping an eye on a more comprehensive Block 4 upgrade, which should increase power by 26 percent over the current baseline, allowing the engines to hit close to 10,000 horsepower. It also could improve fuel consumption, which the company expects to be key as the Pentagon focuses more on the Asia-Pacific region.

 

“You have the ‘tyranny of distance’ in the Pacific, so better fuel consumption is obviously a benefit in that region,” Hartmann said.

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27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:55
Après un développement difficile, le V-22 a fait la preuve de ses capacités au combat. - photo USMC

Après un développement difficile, le V-22 a fait la preuve de ses capacités au combat. - photo USMC

26 juin 2013 par Frédéric Lert – Aerobuzz.fr

 

Une carte présentée au salon du Bourget sème le trouble : la France serait-elle intéressée par le V-22 ?

 

Après ses troubles de jeunesse et une scolarité difficile, l’appareil à rotors basculants a finalement trouvé un bon boulot au Pentagone et semble donner toute satisfaction à son employeur. 214 V-22 sont déjà en service au sein de l’US Marines Corps (USMC) et de l’Air Force et les premiers déploiements opérationnels ont semble-t-il pleinement comblé les « nuques de cuir ».

 

« Nous avons réalisé en Afghanistan des missions hors de portée pour tout autre appareils » expliquent les Marines, qui citent volontiers la récupération de 32 soldats au terme d’une mission de 800 miles (1300 km) aller-retour en quatre heures de vol non-stop. Les Marines ont exprimé un besoin total pour 360 de ces appareils et signe de la confiance qu’ils leurs accordent, deux MV-22 sont déjà en service au sein de l’escadron chargé de la logistique des déplacements présidentiels. Si le MV-22 n’est pas encore « Marine One », le rôle reste dévolu aux hélicoptères « traditionnels », on lui confie tout de même la mission de trimbaler les médias, ce qui peut être encore plus risqué…

 

L’an dernier à Farnborough, une douzaine de chefs d’état-major de différentes armées de l’air ont volé à bord de l’appareil en présentation. A ce jour, on sait qu’Israël est en négociation directe avec Washington pour l’achat du V-22.

Un C-2 Greyhound à l’appontage sur le PA Charles de Gaulle. La mise en œuvre d’un tel avion par la marine française se heurte à un obstacle financier.

Un C-2 Greyhound à l’appontage sur le PA Charles de Gaulle. La mise en œuvre d’un tel avion par la marine française se heurte à un obstacle financier.

« Une centaine de V-22 pourraient être vendus à l’international » expliquait pendant le salon du Bourget le colonel Gregory Masiello, co-directeur du programme pour l’USMC. Et c’est là que ça devient intéressant : Pour appuyer son discours, le colonel présentait pendant son briefing aux médias une carte du monde intitulée « International engagement ». Une quinzaine de pays y étaient nommés, parmi lesquels des prospects commerciaux bien connus, mais aussi la France. Paris pourrait donc être intéressé par l’appareil à rotors basculants ? C’est peu probable, mais si ce n’est pas illogique…

 

On sait que l’US Navy considère l’achat de V-22 pour remplacer ses actuels C-2 Greyhound : des avions cargo aptes au catapultage et à l’appontage, et qui servent au ravitaillement à longue distance des porte-avions. Appelés « COD » dans la nomenclature US (pour Carrier Onboard Delivery), les C-2 disposent d’une soute assez vaste pour emporter un réacteur, du fret en vrac ou encore une vingtaine de passagers. Ces C-2 (39 fabriqués au cours des années 80, en remplacement d’appareils de première génération) vieillissent et demanderont bientôt d’être remplacés. Bell Boeing verrait bien le V-22 tenir le rôle de COD. Il y a deux semaines dernière, deux convertibles ont opéré comme COD à partir de l’USS Trumman.

MV-22 Ospreys à l'appontage sur l' USS Bonhomme Richard. Le V-22 est en lice pour remplacer les Greyhound dans la mission "COD" (Carrier Onboard Delivery)

MV-22 Ospreys à l'appontage sur l' USS Bonhomme Richard. Le V-22 est en lice pour remplacer les Greyhound dans la mission "COD" (Carrier Onboard Delivery)

La France aurait elle aussi bien besoin d’un « COD » au service du Charles de Gaulle. Pendant l’opération Harmattan en 2011, la marine avait d’ailleurs « emprunté » deux Greyhound à l’US Navy pendant 16 jours, pour le ravitaillement de son porte-avions. Alors pourquoi ne pas imaginer des V-22 porteurs de la cocarde à hameçons ? Pour les mêmes raisons qui ont fait renoncer à l’achat de C-2 : l’oseille. A 70M$ pièce, le V-22 est un beau jouet un peu cher. Donc interrogé sur la place de la France sur la carte des « engagements internationaux », le colonel Masiello expliquait qu’elle se justifiait par les essais à venir du V-22 sur les BPC (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement) de la classe Mistral. Des essais qui se feront quand navire et aéronef seront disponibles simultanément. Rien que de très classique avec ces essais, le V-22 réalisant, comme tout nouvel appareil, la tournée des popotes sur les navires du monde entier pour valider sa compatibilité. Début juin, des appareils basés dans le Pacifique avaient pu pour la première fois se poser sur les porte-hélicoptères japonais Shimokita et Hyuga.

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14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of USS George H.W. Bush photo US Navy

MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of USS George H.W. Bush photo US Navy

13/06/2013 Par François Julian - air-cosmos.com

 

A la veille du Salon du Bourget, c'est un beau cadeau que vient de faire le Pentagone à Boeing en lui commandant pas moins de 99 exemplaires de l'hélicoptère convertible V-22 « Osprey ».

 

Ce contrat porte sur la livraison de 92 MV-22 pour l'US Navy et de 7 CV-22 pour l'US Air Force, sur les années fiscales 2013 à 2019. La valeur globale de cette commande est évaluée à 6,5 Md$. Une option pour 23 machines supplémentaires a également été négociée.

 

La précédente commande de grande ampleur de V-22 avait été passée en mars 2008. Elle portait alors sur la fabrication de 141 MV-22 pour les Marines et de 26 CV-22 pour l'armée de l'air américaine, le tout pour une valeur de 10,3 Md$.

 

Etant donné qu'il reste encore des machines à livrer de cette commande, la chaine d'assemblage de Fort Worth au Texas va donc pouvoir encore « tourner » jusqu'à la fin de la décennie. Sans compter que le Pentagone a conclu une vente FMS avec Israël.

 

A ce jour, si l'on inclut les machines de présérie, il y a un peu plus de 200 V-22 actuellement en service. La centième machine a été livré en mars 2008.

 

Opérationnel depuis juin 2007, les MV-22 sont utilisés par l'US Marine Corps, tandis que les CV-22 sont utilisés par les forces spéciales de l'US Air Force (AFSOC). La flotte en service a accumulé environ 175 000 heures de fonctionnement. Une machine a également été livrée récemment à HMX-1, l'escadron des hélicoptères de la Maison Blanche.

 

Les Marines ont par ailleurs déployé un escadron de V-22 à Okinawa au Japon l'an dernier. L'US Air Force devrait faire de même cet été en Grande-Bretagne, sur la base de Mildenhall de la RAF.

 

Boeing estime qu'il y a des possibilités de ventes à l'export du V-22 au Moyen-Orient, en Amérique du Sud, en Inde, au Japon, au Canada voire même en Europe, tout particulièrement en Grande-Bretagne et en Italie.

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
Marine V-22 – Photo US Navy

Marine V-22 – Photo US Navy

13 juin 2013 Usinenouvelle.com (Reuters)

 

L'avionneur américain Boeing et Bell Helicopter, filiale de Textron ont remporté jeudi un contrat d'une valeur de 4,9 milliards de dollars venant s'ajouter à un contrat de 1,4 milliard déjà accordé en décembre, pour travailler sur 99 avions de transport hybride V-22.

 

Boeing et Bell Helicopter, filiale de Textron ont remporté jeudi un contrat d'une valeur de 4,9 milliards de dollars venant s'ajouter à un contrat de 1,4 milliard déjà accordé en décembre, pour travailler sur 99 avions de transport hybride V-22.

 

Dans le détail, l'accord porte sur la construction de 92 MV-22 pour le corps des Marines et 7 CV-22 pour l'armée de l'air, indique le Pentagone.

 

Gregory Masiello, un officier du corps des Marines, a précisé que le contrat pluriannuel comprenait des options pour 22 appareils supplémentaires.

 

Il estime que la décision du gouvernement de signer ce contrat illustre la confiance accordée dans ce programme, un temps menacé d'annulation, et ce alors que Washington essaye de réduire ses dépenses militaires.

 

Boeing et Bell construisent ensemble le V-22, ou Osprey (balbuzard), un aéronef qui peut voler aussi vite qu'un avion mais qui se pose à la manière d'un hélicoptère.

 

Ce programme commence à trouver ses marques après des débuts difficiles. Une vingtaine de Marines avaient trouvé la mort en 2000 lors d'un vol d'essai. Deux autres sont décédés l'année dernière lors d'un vol d'entraînement au Maroc.

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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 07:00

http://images.defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/reapernose.jpg

 

09.09.2011 DEFENSETECH

 

Being part of Military​.com, it wouldn’t be right if we here at DT didn’t do something to recognize the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. We figured we’d list off some of the most significant advances in weaponry that have occurred over the last decade — some driven by the wars spawned by that day, some independent of them. We gradually saw a shift away from extremely high-end weaponry designed to defeat major armies in favor of tech that could be fielded quickly and rapidly adapt to the needs of “low intensity” warfare. Case in point; the F-22 Raptor buys being cut while buys of relatively low-tech drones and propeller-driven ISR planes were dramatically increased . However, now that those wars are winding down, we may see a return to high-end tech at the cost of low-end tech.

 

You’ll find our list below, set up in no particular order. We’ve kept it to major weapons systems that have become operational in the last decade. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

 

 

 

The rise of unmanned vehicles: Yes, UAVs existed before 9/11 but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw them pressed into mass production as full-on spy planes and attack aircraft that are in the process of replacing manned aircraft. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in November, 2001, the Pentagon had less than 100 of the early model MQ-1 Predators and it had yet to master the art of using them in combat. By early February 2002, Predators armed with Hellfire missiles were killing al Qaeda operatives, the beginning of the controversial drone bombing campaign that garners so much attention today. Soon after, the Pentagon would unleash the Predator’s bigger brother, the MQ-9 Reaper and field the RQ-4 Global Hawk — though, the Global Hawk still hasn’t replaced the U-2 Dragon Lady as Air Force planners had hoped would have happened by now. Don’t forget the dozens of micro-UAVs operated by small units of troops on the ground giving them unprecedented situational awareness. Hundreds of UAVs of all sizes have now joined the fights in the Middle East and are seen as one of the most important weapons in the U.S. arsenal. A few years ago, the demand for UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan became so high that the Air Force began pulling pilots from fighter planes to fly UAVs. As the second decade of the 21st Century begins, we’re seeing the development and fielding of stealthy, jet-powered drones like the Navy’s X-47B  and UCLASS planes that are designed to perform high-end strike and reconnaissance missions that were always the domain of the manned-aircraft. Keep in mind that the robot planes have been joined by thousands of ground robots that are doing everything from explosive ordnance disposal to scouting for bad guys. Just recently, the Army announced that it is sending robotic jeeps to Afghanistan to haul soldiers gear on patrols.

 

 

 

Advances in electronic warfare: As U.S. troops began to fall victim to Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, the Pentagon scrambled to find ways to defeat the insurgents weapon of choice. While up-armored Humvees and eventually MRAPS were fielded in the fight against IEDs military officials began applying electronic warfare in ways they had never planned. Hundreds of millions were spent developing a range of vehicle-mounted and handheld IED jammers (some worked others were notoriously bad) that were carried on the deadly Middle Eastern roads. Navy EW personnel were put in land billets to share their expertise with troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the Air Force’s big spy planes were brought into the effort. The RC-135 Rivet Joints helped intercept insurgent communications. The E-8 Joint STARS used their powerful ground-scanning radars, originally designed to spot Soviet tank columns, to find disturbances in the earth where insurgents had buried bombs. Even the EC-130 Compass Call was pressed into service using its electronic attack gear to prematurely detonate IEDs. All sorts of new EW technology has been developed with the aim of identifying enemy signals,  hacking insurgent communications and disrupting electronic IED detonation tech. This surge of EW gear and a steep learning curve led to the Pentagon eventually dominating the electronic landscape of Iraq — eventually, special operators, the CIA and the NSA were able to listen to all communications in the country as they systematically dismantled bomb making networks and insurgent groups. Not surprisingly, the success of EW in targeting insurgents and defeating IEDs in Iraq has led to Afghan insurgents moving toward more low tech bombmaking techniques.  Still, you can bet the advances made in EW over the last decade (many of which are classified) will no doubt continue to influence the ways wars are fought. Don’t forget that work on high-end jammers, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Next Generation Jammer built for the 21st century also continues.

 

 

The MRAP: As we mentioned earlier, the fight against IEDs led to the fielding of an entirely new class of ground vehicle for the U.S. military when the thin-skinned yet highly-mobile Humvees proved far too vulnerable to explolsives to use on patrol. A vehicle was desperately needed that could carry infantry troops yet provide them levels of protection normally afforded by heavy armored vehicles like tanks. Enter the MRAP. As you know, they’re big trucksvcentered around blast deflecting hulls and lots of armor. Now, we’re  seeing the design scaled down to accommodate the terrain in Afghanistan that limits the use of big trucks.  We’ll see how many of them the military hangs on to after the Iraq and Afghan conflicts end — though, many of the lessons learned from fielding MRAPs are being incorporated into the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, one of the trucks that will replace the Humvee.

 

 

Cyber warfare: We write about it all the time here at DT. It’s gone from something no one talked about to becoming a universally fretted about topic. We see new reports of cyber espionage, hacking and full on attacks every week. The Stuxnet virus unleashed against the Iranian nuclear program is a great example of a full on cyber attack that had physical results. With technology so widely available, many worry that almost any rouge group or a nation state will be able to cripple a nation’s critical infrastructure. Before 9/11, heck before 2006–7 it was hard to get senior leaders at the Pentagon to take the cyber threat seriously. However, in the last few years, we’ve seen all four services establish cyber fighting arms and watched as the Pentagon stood up U.S. Cyber Command.

 

 

Fifth generation fighters: On 9/11 the USAF’s most potent fighter was arguably the F-15 Eagle. In 2005, the F-22 Raptor became operational ushering in a new era in manned aerial combat. Many believe it’s hands-down the best fighter ever built. However, with the last decade’s focus on irregular warfare, the Raptor came under fire as a jet that was built to meet threats that never materialized and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates cut the Raptor buy to 187 jets. Adding insult to injury, the plane has yet to see combat and has been grounded for months now due to problems with toxins seeping into its oxygen system. Still, opened the door for the development of not only the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter but fifth gen planes around the world like Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK FA and China’s J-20. It remains to be seen how all of these planes with their stealth designs, high-speeds and maneuverability and most importantly their advanced sensors and EW gear will change air warfare around the globe.

 

 

Tiltrotor tech: Like the Raptor, the V-22 Osprey wasn’t out of testing on 9/11.  However, by the end of the decade, the Osprey has become an integral part of the U.S.’ vertical lift fleet after decades of development troubles that garnered it a ton of critics. The revolutionary birds can fly at near-C-130-speeds to targets far beyond the range of most helicopters and then swoop in for a vertical landing. This has opened up a range of options to mission planners that were never before available. Since their first combat deployments in 2008, Marine Corps MV-22s and Air Force CV-22s have been used to do everything from CSAR missions in Libya to special operations raids in Afghanistan, carrying bin Laden’s body to the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and even ferrying the Secretary of Defense around the ‘States. And yes, they’ve seen real combat. Still, the Ospreys have experienced teething problems, particularly with dust and sand seeping into their massive engines, leading to higher than normal maintenance rates.

 

 

The Littoral Combat Ship: Yup, these little ships have finally come on line and the Navy is going to buy both classes of LCS for a minimum of 22 ships. We’ll see how the prove themselves since they have yet to  recieve their full weapons suites or work out all the problems with their plug-in mission modules. Oh, and they’ve had some issues with corrosion. Still, Navy officials have high hopes for the controversial vessels which they see as extremely flexible platforms for fighting close to shore.

 

 

Soldier tech: From more advanced body armor and flame resistant uniforms and sweet mountain boots (for troops in Afghanistan) to better radios and the XM-25 counter-defilade grenade launcher, ground troops have received numerous and often life-saving advances in their individual gear over the last decade. For more on how the grunt’s gear has evolved since 9/11 check out this piece at sister site, Kit Up!

 

We could go on about everything from the Small Diameter Bomb and the M982 Excalibur guided artillery round to new blue force tracking tools and data sharing devices (we should also mention the Army’s Stryker armored vehicle that came online very soon after 9/11), and we’re sure you can too, so please do in the comments.

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