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April 9, 2021 | International, Aerospace

Armasuisse a signé le contrat d’acquisition du système SkyView de Thales 


Air & Cosmos rappelle que la Suisse a choisi le système français SkyView de Thales dans le cadre de son programme « C2Air » qui vise à remplacer les sous-systèmes Ralus (système radar de situation aérienne) et Lunas (système de message de situation aérienne) dans le cadre de son système existant de surveillance aérienne et de contrôle des opérations des forces aériennes. Après une phase d'évaluation lors de laquelle trois systèmes différents ont été testés, armasuisse (Office fédéral de l'armement) avait opté, le 19 septembre 2019 pour le système SkyView. Le Parlement avait approuvé l'acquisition de ce système dans le cadre du message sur l'armée 2020. Le contrat d'acquisition avec le constructeur français a été signé début avril 2021. La réalisation interviendra dans les centres de calcul du DDPS (Département fédéral de la défense, de la protection de la population et des sports). Son introduction commencera aux alentours de 2025.

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  • Swiss seek package deal of ground-based weapons, combat aircraft

    August 29, 2019 | International, Land

    Swiss seek package deal of ground-based weapons, combat aircraft

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — The Swiss government plans to make the integration of combat aircraft and ground-based air defense assets a key benchmark in its planned $8 billion Air 2030 program, according to officials. Program leaders disclosed the desire for a high degree of interplay between the two competing missile-defense offers and four possible aircraft types during a news conference in the capital Bern earlier this month. The comments reveal a new front in the selection criteria for one of Europe's most prized defense acquisitions, where the air and ground portions had always existed as separate tracks. Fear of fratricide in Switzerland's small and crowded airspace is one of two key factors driving the need for close integration between ground and aerial assets, said Swiss Air Force Col. Marco Forrer. Given the country's alpine terrain and the requirement to hit targets more than 50 kilometers away and over 12 kilometers high, official are concerned about erroneously downing civilian planes, he said. “That's why BodLuv has to be integrated into the Air Force operational picture and command-and-control network,” Forrer said, referring to the German-language acronym for the ground-based program Bodengestützte Luftverteidigung. Forrer added that a high level of integration also is crucial to keeping costs down, enabling air defenders to engage targets with greater precision and — hopefully — fewer misses. Of the total Air 2030 program, $6 billion is slated for a new fleet of aircraft, while $2 billion is budgeted for ground-based defenses. In the aerial segment, the planes in play are the Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon, the Lockheed Martin F-35, Dassault's Rafale and Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet. In the ground segment, Swiss officials are left with choosing between Raytheon's Patriot and the SAMP-T system, which is made by an MBDA-Thales consortium called Eurosam. Israel's Rafael, which was also invited to bid with its David's Sling system, never responded to the invitation, presumably following pressure by the Israeli or American governments to stay out of the race. Swiss officials have complained that they never got a straight answer explaining Rafael's abstention, and the company's non-response has left them worried about the losing an element of competition in the race that could make for lower costs. “It can have a negative impact on the competitive situation,” said Christian Catrina, who oversees Air 2030 at Switzerland's defense ministry. “We will never know if so and how strongly. We would have appreciated having three contenders.” Following a similar wave of aircraft tests in Switzerland over the spring and early summer, evaluations of the two ground-based systems, namely regarding their radar sensors, began this month. First up is the Patriot system with a two-week test, which will end Aug. 30; SAMP-T is next, beginning Sept. 16. The tests will take place at an army range near Menzingen, central Switzerland, where the Swiss operated the Bloodhound weapon system until its retirement in the late 1990s.

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  • US warns EU against defense market protectionism

    February 13, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    US warns EU against defense market protectionism

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States is warning the European Union not to use its deepened military cooperation as an excuse to protect Europe's defense industry, saying such practices could undermine NATO. The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said Tuesday that "we do not want this (cooperation) to be a protectionist vehicle for EU." She said Washington is "going to watch carefully because if that becomes the case then it could splinter the strong security alliance that we have." EU leaders — 22 of whose nations are also members of the U.S.-led NATO alliance — agreed last year to jointly develop or purchase military equipment like drones. Washington is concerned the bidding process might exclude U.S. firms.

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