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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.

  • MDA selected to study alternatives to protect Canadian space assets

    February 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    MDA selected to study alternatives to protect Canadian space assets

    Richmond, BC - MDA, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.), (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), announced today that it has signed a contract with an unnamed international customer. MDA will provide turnkey, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) surveillance services. The contract includes options for additional years. MDA’s UAS service will use a fleet of Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aircraft to provide surveillance information. MDA will be responsible for all aspects of the service including acquisition of all the systems and required infrastructure, training, airworthiness, logistics, supply chain, maintenance and all flight operations. The S-100 aircraft is a vertical takeoff and landing UAS, which does not require a prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night and is a very capable platform for a wide range of different surveillance payloads to meet a broad set of mission requirements. MDA’s UAS service will equip the S-100 fleet with L3 WESCAM MX-10 EO/IR payloads. The MX-10 is a high-performance, multi-sensor multi-spectral imaging system for tactical surveillance missions. It carries multiple sensors including both high-definition day modes and night infrared modes. The MX-10 is currently operational for twelve nations worldwide on the S-100 including Naval Shipborne customers leading to a low risk, proven solution. Mike Greenley, group president of MDA said, “MDA is a global leader and trusted partner in UAS surveillance services in challenging, complex and hostile environments. This program is a key plank in our growth strategy, offering UAS services in many different environments, and for a diverse set of missions.” About MDA MDA is an internationally recognized leader in space robotics, satellite antennas and subsystems, surveillance and intelligence systems, defence and maritime systems, and geospatial radar imagery. MDA’s extensive space expertise and heritage translates into mission-critical defence and commercial applications that include multi-platform command, control and surveillance systems, aeronautical information systems, land administration systems and terrestrial robotics. MDA is also a leading supplier of actionable mission-critical information and insights derived from multiple data sources. Founded in 1969, MDA is recognized as one of Canada’s most successful technology ventures with locations in Richmond, Ottawa, Brampton, Montreal and Halifax. MDA is Maxar Technologies company (TSX: MAXR; NYSE: MAXR). For more information, visit About Maxar Corporate Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) is a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets including satellites, Earth imagery, geospatial data and analytics. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides unmatched end-to-end advanced systems capabilities and integrated solutions expertise to help our customers anticipate and address their most complex mission critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in over 21 locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes: SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe, and Radiant Solutions. Every day millions of people rely on Maxar Technologies to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that empower a better world. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information visit About Schiebel Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). Schiebel has built an international reputation for producing quality defense and humanitarian products, which are backed by exceptional after-sales service and support. Since 2010, Schiebel’s composite division supplies high-tech customers with products of supreme carbon fiber technology – all quality-controlled to meet ISO 9001 standards. With headquarters in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria) and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington DC (USA) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Forward-Looking Statements This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Maxar Technologies Ltd. (the “Company”) with respect to future events and financial performance. The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the award of a contract with an unnamed customer. Any such forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include relevant contracts not being terminated. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. The Company cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include, but are not necessarily limited to: changes in certain priorities, mandates, funding levels, contracts and regulations; satellite failure; failure of third parties and subcontractors; and failure to anticipate changes in technology, technical standards and offerings or compliance with the requisite standards, or failure to maintain technological advances and offer new products to retain customers and market position. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to the Company's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory authorities, which are available online under the Company's SEDAR profile at, under the Company’s EDGAR profile at, or on the Company's website at     For more information, please contact:  Wendy Keyzer  MDA Media Contact  MDA  Telephone: 1-604-231-2743  E-mail:  Marissa Poratto  MDA Investor Relations  Telephone: 1-604-331-2044  E-mail:

  • Arrival of used Aussie fighters pushed back to summer 2019 or later

    February 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Arrival of used Aussie fighters pushed back to summer 2019 or later

    Senior defence official says Canada will take used Aussie FA-18s as they become available It will be 2022 before the Royal Canadian Air Force receives all of the used Australian fighter jets the Liberal government intends to purchase, says senior defence official. The plan was rolled out with much fanfare at the end of last year because the air force has faced — in the words of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan — an "urgent capability gap" and is not able to meet its NATO and Norad commitments at the same time. Pat Finn, who is in charge of the materiale branch of National Defence, told CBC News in a recent interview a final agreement is still months away. He is confident, however, everything will come together. Delivery is "staggered over three years," Finn said. The Trudeau government announced in December it would buy 18 used Australian "classic" FA-18s as an interim measure to bolster the air force until the entire Canadian fleet of CF-18s is replaced, beginning in the mid-2020s. It had wanted to buy brand new Boeing Super Hornets, the newer, bigger, more advanced version of the FA-18 and CF-18. The plan was scuttled when the manufacturer, Chicago-based Boeing, filed a trade complaint against Canadian aerospace giant Bombardier. No price tag for the Australian deal was released at the time of the formal announcement, which was made by Sajjan and Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough. Ongoing discussions Finn said those details are still being worked out. The Liberal government said in December the first used fighters, which were purchased by Australia around the same Canada bought its CF-18s, would arrive by January 2019. Finn said the delivery schedule is being finalized, but he anticipates receiving the first two warplanes by the summer of that year. Another one would follow by the end of the year, but much depends on the Royal Australian Air Force and how quickly it retires the fighters and the age of what's being offered. "They, of course, release aircraft as they get aircraft," Finn said. "We do not necessarily want the oldest aircraft, so we would like to have an ongoing discussion." He said there is some flexibility and if "summer '19 turns into" something a few months later because they can get a better jet, then it's something that can be negotiated. The Australian government is in the process of seeking permission to sell the planes because they were originally manufactured in the U.S.  Once the Australian warplanes arrive in Canada, they will need to be given life-extension modifications that will bring them up to the standard of the CF-18s, which have been modified to continuing flying until 2025. It stands in stark contrast to the urgency with which the Liberals initially painted the shortage of fighter aircraft. "In 2025, the CF-18s will not be able to fly, and it is important that we move very quickly in filling this capability gap." said Sajjan in June 2016. Finn said the air force is managing the capability gap by making more CF-18s available for operations on a daily basis. "We're basically working right now to increase the availability of our current airplanes," he said. Experts say that would mean pouring more than expected into the maintenance budget in order to keep fighters on the flight line. Urgent purchase? One defence analyst said the government has a strange definition of urgent. "Nothing about the handling of this file lines up with the identification of it as an urgent need, either the interim or the permanent purchase," said Dave Perry, an expert in procurement at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He said he believes it will present a political headache for the Liberals come the next election. "The fact that this government may, at best, have a couple of second-hand aircraft before the next election after having identified an urgent need to acquire new fighter aircraft is just incredible," he said. When the Australian deal was announced, the government also laid out a timeline for the full replacement of the CF-18s, which were purchased in the 1980s, but extensively modified and upgraded in the early 2000s. Public Works recently held a consultation day with defence contractors, but Perry says no one seems to understand why it will take until the early 2020s to launch the competition. When the former Conservative government was struggling over whether to buy the F-35 stealth fighter, it conducted extensive research on the alternatives and possible types of warplanes Canada would need. That research, which conceivable could move things along faster, was largely discarded by the Liberals and is gathering dust on a shelf, Perry says.

  • Loi de programmation militaire 2019-2025: les failles du Budget des armées

    February 12, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Loi de programmation militaire 2019-2025: les failles du Budget des armées

    Par Vincent Lamigeon La loi de programmation militaire 2019-2025 marque une remontée en puissance inédite depuis 25 ans, avec une priorité à la régénération des hommes et au renouvellement des matériels. Mais une bonne partie de l’effort financier est reportée au-delà du quinquennat. Et des manques persistent. Près de 300 milliards d'euros en sept ans pour les armées. La loi de programmation militaire 2019-2025 présentée le 8 février marque une remontée en puissance financière inédite depuis la fin de la Guerre froide. Le budget militaire doit ainsi passer de 34,2 milliards d'euros en 2018 à 50 milliards d'euros en 2025, pour atteindre les fameux 2% du PIB promis par Emmanuel Macron lors de sa campagne. L'augmentation se fera en deux temps : 1,7 milliard d'euros de plus par an jusqu'à 2022, puis 3 milliards par an de 2023 à 2025, avec un ajustement possible des deux dernières annuités en fonction de la situation économique. Que penser de cette "LPM de renouveau", selon les termes du ministère des armées ? A l'évidence, il s'agit d'un effort majeur. Sur la période 2019-2023, le budget moyen du ministère atteindra 39,6 milliards d'euros, soit 23% de plus que la moyenne 2014-2019. Les effectifs des armées vont repartir à la hausse, avec 6.000 postes en plus, dont 3.000 d'ici à 2023. L'hémorragie qui avait vu la défense perdre 60.000 postes de 2005 à 2015 est donc stoppée, avec une priorité marquée pour le renseignement (+ 1.500 postes et 4,6 milliards d'euros investis d'ici à 2025) et la cyberdéfense (+ 1.000 postes, 1,6 milliard d'euros). Même le général Pierre de Villiers, qui avait démissionné en juillet à la suite d'un désaccord budgétaire avec l'Elysée, a salué sur France 3 "une dynamique réelle", tout en se disant vigilant sur le respect des engagements. Renouvellement des équipements La force de cette LPM est d'avoir su trancher sur un point majeur : plutôt que de lancer des grands programmes, type second porte-avions, à forte résonance médiatique mais répondant moins aux besoins opérationnels immédiats, la loi se concentre sur la régénération des hommes et des matériels. Ceux-ci ont été durement éprouvés par des opérations extérieures et intérieures qui dépassent de 30% le niveau prévu par le Livre blanc de 2013. Priorité est donc donnée à la condition de vie des militaires et de leurs familles : 530 millions dans le cadre du "plan familles", et 11 milliards d'euros prévus pour les infrastructures de défense. L'effort est aussi sensible sur les petits équipements, peu médiatisés mais essentiels à la mission des soldats : treillis ignifugés, gilets pare-balles, casques, protection NRBC (nucléaire, radiologique, bactériologique et chimique). La maintenance, talon d'Achille des armées fraises est également soignée, avec 22 milliards d'euros consacrés à l'entretien des matériels d'ici à 2023. L'autre grande priorité de la LPM est le renouvellement d'équipements hors d'âge. Le programme Scorpion de renouvellement des blindés de l'armée de terre voit ainsi ses livraisons accélérées : 50% des véhicules multi-rôles Griffon et des engins de combats Jaguar seront livrés d'ici à 2025. Ceux-ci remplaceront les antiques VAB et autres AMX 10RC, même si plusieurs centaines de ces machines seront toujours en service en 2025. La Marine ? Elle se verra livrer quatre pétroliers ravitailleurs au lieu de trois, et aura droit à trois avions de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 rénovés en plus (18 au lieu de 15). Côté armée de l'air, la commande d'avions ravitailleurs A330 MRTT passe de 12 à 15 exemplaires, dont une douzaine livrée d'ici à 2023. Ces appareils remplaceront les antiques C135FR, livrés en 1965. La dissuasion choyée Conformément au souhait d'Emmanuel Macron, le renouvellement de la dissuasion, dans ses deux composantes océanique et aéroportée, est aussi acté, un investissement de 25 milliards d'euros en cinq ans à la clé. Cette accélération permettra de financer le renouvellement du missile ASMP/A embarqué sur Rafale, le lancement du développement des nouveaux sous-marins lanceurs d'engins (SNLE 3G) et du futur missile balistique M51-3. Le coût annuel de la dissuasion va ainsi passer de 3,9 milliards à environ 6 milliards en 2025. La LPM marque enfin un effort important sur le segment spatial : 3 satellites d'observation CSO et un satellite d'écoute électromagnétique CERES seront mis sur orbite d'ici à 2025. L'effort financier énorme de la LPM a convaincu les industriels. "Ce projet de LPM marque un effort important de la nation pour ses armées", se félicite Eric Trappier, PDG de Dassault Aviation et président du Cidef (Conseil des industries de défense françaises), rappelant que cet investissement est le garant de l'"autonomie stratégique française", et de la santé d'une filière "compétitive, innovante, exportatrice et créatrice d'emplois stables à forte valeur ajoutée technologique (200.000 emplois environ)". Essentiel de l'effort après 2022 A bien y regarder, la LPM laisse quand même quelques questions ouvertes. D'abord, une bonne part de l'effort financier est reportée 2023 et 2025, soit hors quinquennat. La hausse annuelle du budget de défense devra alors quasiment doubler, passant de +1,7 milliard par an à +3 milliards. "Cela crée un certain flou : où en sera la situation économique en 2023 ?, s'interroge le député LR François Cornut-Gentille, rapporteur spécial sur le budget défense au sein de la commission des finances de l'Assemblée nationale. Il aurait fallu une montée en puissance plus progressive, avec une plus grande part focalisée sur le quinquennat actuel." De fait, la LPM ne précise pas le niveau exact des budgets militaires 2024 et 2025, qui devront prendre en compte "la situation macroéconomique à cette date". Cette précision ressemble fort à une porte ouverte à Bercy, qui n'en demandait pas tant. Autre faiblesse de la LPM : de nombreuses commandes et livraisons d'équipements sont prévues après 2022, voire après 2025, ce qui jette un doute sur leur confirmation. C'est le cas du programme dit HIL (hélicoptères interarmées légers) : ce nouvel appareil, basé sur le H160 d'Airbus Helicopters, devait remplacer trois flottes d'hélicoptères hors d'âge (Fennec, Alouette III…). Les armées devront attendre : le lancement du programme n'est annoncé qu'en 2022, pour de premières livraisons en 2028. Peu de livraisons de Rafale La LPM semble avoir aussi fermé la porte à une demande de l'armée de l'air de passer de 185 avions de chasse à 215 appareils. Le projet de loi prévoit un format qui restera à 185 appareils à l'horizon 2030. Cette prudence se retrouve dans les faibles livraisons de Rafale prévues : seulement 28 appareils destinés à l'armée de l'air et à la marine seront livrés en 7 ans, soit seulement 4 par an en moyenne. L'armée de l'air pourra un peu se consoler avec la rénovation de 55 Mirage 2000D. Une autre grosse déception concerne le financement des études amont. Le montant annuel doit passer de 730 millions à 1 milliard d'euros, mais cette augmentation sera étalée sur cinq ans. Cet effort apparaît trop modeste au vu des enjeux des armées à l'horizon 2030, notamment sur l'intelligence artificielle et la robotisation. Une DARPA à la française (ou à l'européenne), du nom de la cellule d'innovation avancée du Pentagone, ne serait pas de trop pour faire face aux ambitions américaines, russes ou chinoises.

  • Military to spend $170,000 so leaders can see what it's like to be stoned on marijuana

    February 12, 2018 | Local, Security

    Military to spend $170,000 so leaders can see what it's like to be stoned on marijuana

    The Canadian Forces is buying kits that will let its leaders experience what it’s like to be stoned on marijuana. The “marijuana simulation kits” will include “marijuana impairment goggles,” among other items. The Canadian Forces wants to acquire 26 of the kits by April 30 or sooner if possible. “The purpose of the Marijuana Simulation Kits is to raise awareness of marijuana impairment, reduce risk of marijuana impairment, and promote healthy lifestyles within the Canadian Armed Forces,” companies who want to bid on the contract were told. “The marijuana impairment goggles, which is one of the several items included in the Marijuana Simulation Kit, allows users to experience first-hand, the deficits marijuana creates on the body.” Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said Friday that the kits will be used in the Military Personnel Command’s supervisor training course. “This will help ensure that CAF members in leadership positions will be able to identify signs of, assist in detecting and provide guidance regarding, prohibited drug use,” he said. The value of the contract will only be known once bids are received, evaluated and a contract is awarded, but it is estimated at up to $170,000 over five years. The Liberal government intends to make the use of recreational marijuana legal by the summer. CBC reported this week that a Statistics Canada survey found Canadians pay an average of less than $7 a gram for pot. The kits may also be used at National Defence health fairs, community events, kiosks or other events to educate other military members, families and the public about the impact of marijuana on cognitive functioning, Le Bouthillier said. A number of firms make such devices. In 2015, Innocorp Ltd. in the U.S. unveiled green-tinted goggles that simulate “the distorted processing of visual information, loss of motor co-ordination, and slowed decision-making and reaction time resulting from recreational marijuana use.”  Some police departments in the U.S. already use marijuana impairment kits for training. Participants wearing the goggles will experience the simulated effects resulting from recreational marijuana use, such as distorted processing of visual information, slower decision-making and loss of motor coordination, Le Bouthillier said. The training could include exercises such as ball tossing, simulated driving and other means of demonstrating the effect on reaction time. Le Bouthiller said the military currently uses alcohol impairment goggles in similar courses for military leaders.

  • La quadrature du cercle de Trudeau

    February 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    La quadrature du cercle de Trudeau

    ÉDITORIAL / Gouverner, c’est choisir. Ça ne fait pas que des heureux. Ça commence à donner des soucis à Justin Trudeau. Il n’y a pas d’issue facile à certains des litiges auxquels son gouvernement est confronté. L’exercice du pouvoir nourrit les rangs des mécontents ; à un moment donné, ils deviennent assez nombreux pour vous battre aux élections. Les libéraux n’en sont pas encore là, mais le premier ministre doit faire attention à l’accumulation d’accusations contre son gouvernement. Hier, le Canada a vu un contrat de 233 millions $ lui filer entre les doigts ; les Philippines ont annulé l’achat de 16 hélicoptères de l’usine québécoise Bell Helicopter. Ottawa hésitait à les vendre au régime de Manille qui s’en servirait pour mater des mouvements terroristes. Quand le président Rodrigo Duterte, un adepte de la ligne dure, a senti les craintes du Canada, il a demandé à ses dirigeants militaires de rompre l’entente et de trouver un autre fournisseur. Ces questions de principe sont difficiles à arbitrer. D’un côté, cette vente aurait assuré du travail à 900 personnes à Mirabel.  Les Canadiens ignorent l’importance du commerce des armes au pays. Il fournit de l’emploi à plus de 100 000 travailleurs au pays et discrètement, le Canada s’est faufilé parmi les 10 premiers exportateurs au monde. C’est que les statistiques officielles ne disent pas tout. Une part des ventes consiste en des équipements d’appoint ou technologique. Ainsi, le Canada a déjà vendu des hélicos à la Colombie pour sa lutte contre des groupes révolutionnaires, mais seulement après avoir été modifiés. Ainsi, la vente n’apparaissait pas publiquement comme une de type militaire, même si c’était un secret de Polichinelle. Une autre transaction du genre, avec l’Arabie saoudite, continue de faire couler l’encre. Sous les conservateurs de Stephen Harper, Ottawa a permis en 2014 la vente de tanks légers pour 15 milliards $ et assurent de l’emploi à 3000 personnes de General Dynamics à Newmarket. En campagne électorale, M. Trudeau a diminué la portée de l’affaire, arguant que le Canada vendait « des Jeeps ». Mais personne ne reconnaîtrait un Jeep devant une photo de ces tanks légers, mais lourdement armés. Des organisations comme Amnesty International font pression contre ce contrat parce que selon leurs prétentions, le régime de Riyad se servirait de ces véhicules pour réprimer sa minorité chiite. La ministre des Affaires globales, Chrystia Freeland, a soutenu hier que des preuves vidéo de 2016 n’étaient pas concluantes, sans rendre public le rapport à cet effet. Les « Jeeps » de Justin Trudeau, puis cette vente avortée d’hélicoptères aux Philippines : le Canada est-il trop vertueux ? Se met-il la tête dans le sable ?  Différents sondages indiquent que la population est partagée.  Ajoutons au dossier l’approbation du pipeline Kinder Morgan entre l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique. Difficile de réconcilier les prétentions vertes du gouvernement Trudeau et le feu vert qu’il offre aux oléoducs... Comment rétablir la quadrature du cercle ? En fait, c’est impossible. Ottawa doit arbitrer entre les intérêts des uns et des autres, d’une province contre l’autre, d’une question de principe contre des emplois et une économie florissante. Les conservateurs penchaient systématiquement pour l’économie. Ils pratiquaient une forme d’aveuglement volontaire. Quant aux libéraux..., au moins disent-ils avoir soupesé le tout ; croyons-les sur parole, jusqu’à preuve du contraire. Parfois, les circonstances peuvent faire pencher d’un côté ou de l’autre. C’est l’arbitrage difficile du pouvoir.

  • Les militaires du monde s’intéressent aux recherches sur le givre de l’UQAC

    February 12, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    Les militaires du monde s’intéressent aux recherches sur le givre de l’UQAC

    Vingt-deux conseillers militaires de dix-neuf pays sont dans la région ces jours-ci pour visiter le Laboratoire international des matériaux antigivre (LIMA) de l'UQAC, le seul laboratoire au monde qui se spécialise sur la question. Car le givre est un ennemi contre lequel bombes, obus, balles et autres projectiles sont généralement inefficaces, alors que sa présence peut constituer une sérieuse menace. « On a beaucoup de conseillers militaires étrangers qui sont des pilotes, ou qui sont rattachés d’une façon comme d’une autre à l’aviation », précise le capitaine Christian Courtemanche, officier de liaison diplomatique au sein des Forces canadiennes. « Le dégivrage d’avion, et le dégivrage d’ailleurs de vaisseaux maritimes et tout, c’est quelque chose qui intéresse tous les pays, surtout avec les changements climatiques des dernières décennies. » Et contrairement à ce qu’on pourrait croire, le givre n’est pas un problème limité aux pays froids. « Le problème de givrage en aviation ce n’est pas seulement pour les pays nordiques parce que ça se passe à haute altitude », ajoute le lieutenant-colonel Marc Ferron, directeur de liaison avec l’étranger. « Donc ça affecte pas mal toutes les forces armées représentées ici. » L’intérêt que portent les militaires aux travaux du LIMA réjouit le directeur du laboratoire. "Ils voient ce qu’on est en mesure de faire ou de proposer. Donc je pense que ça peut dans le futur, amener à certaines collaborations." Christophe Volat, directeur du LIMA C’est ce que croit aussi le lieutenant-colonel Ferron. « Les attachés militaires sont très impressionnés par ce qu’ils ont vu », assure-t-il, soulignant que son rôle est justement de favoriser ce genre d’échanges.

  • US Air Force requests $156.3 billion in FY19, plans to retire B-1, B-2 fleets

    February 12, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    US Air Force requests $156.3 billion in FY19, plans to retire B-1, B-2 fleets

    By: Aaron Mehta ROME — The fiscal 2019 budget for the U.S. Air Force plans to grow the service from 55 to 58 combat squadrons over the next five years, while buying dozens of high-end aircraft and preparing to retire the B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets as the military retools for the high-end competition forseen by the Pentagon. The National Defense Strategy, released in January, focused on the potential for great power competition between the U.S. and Russia or China. And in any such battle, the U.S. Air Force would play a critical role; hence, the service’s request for $156.3 billion for FY19, a 6.6 percent overall increase from the FY18 request. Click here for full coverage of President Trump’s FY19 budget request! In FY19, the Air Force is requesting 48 F-35A fighter jets, 15 KC-46A tankers and one more MC-130J aircraft. Ther service is also investing $2.3 billion in research and development in the B-21 Raider bomber, up from the $2 billion request in the yet-to-be-enacted FY18 budget. The latter is notable, as the Air Force has formally announced it will be retiring the B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets once the B-21 — which will be dual-capable for both conventional and nuclear missions — starts to come online in the mid-2020s. The budget request also calls for investing in new engines for the B-52 fleet to keep that aircraft going through 2050 — making it an almost 100-year-old design. “If the force structure we have proposed is supported by the Congress, bases that have bombers now will have bombers in the future,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a service release. “They will be B-52s and B-21s.” The budget request also seeks to move forward with a new light-attack aircraft, likely either the Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corp. A-29 Super Tucano or the Textron AT-6, to provide a low-end capability. Although that program seems at odds with the high-end challenge foreseen by the Defense Department, Susanna Blume of the Center for a New American Security believes it fits in nicely, as such an aircraft would remove the need to fly expensive, high-end aircraft for that mission. Overall, the budget request calls for buying 258 F-35A fighters through the next five years. And in terms of space, the service is requesting $2 billion to fund five launches of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. The service also seeks to increase funding for F-16 modernizations to speed upgrades with the active electronically scanned array antennas, radar warning systems and Link 16 systems. Naval warfare reporter David B. Larter contributed to this report from Washington.

  • Safran plays major role in OCEAN2020 project, chosen by European Commission for the PADR defense research program

    February 9, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Safran plays major role in OCEAN2020 project, chosen by European Commission for the PADR defense research program

    Boulogne-Billancourt, February 7, 2018 Safran is one of the main participants in the OCEAN2020 consortium, which won a major contract as part of the European Commission's 2017 Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) initiative. This European Commission's OCEAN2020 project, with 35 million euros in funding, aims to develop a technology demonstrator that will validate the concept of deploying a complete array of drone systems (air, surface and submarine) for surveillance in a maritime environment. The Leonardo-led OCEAN2020 consortium won this contract by uniting companies of all sizes, along with academic institutions and government representatives from 15 European Union countries. The winning team will conduct two demonstrations involving the operation of new surveillance systems and integrated information processing systems, deployed in several European naval exercises, first in the Mediterranean in 2019 then in the Baltic Sea in 2020. During these naval operations, Safran will deploy a maritime surveillance version of its Patroller drone. The only fixed-wing, long-endurance drone taking part in these demonstrations, the Patroller will also be outfitted with a new mission system, including a maritime surveillance radar, an automatic identification system (AIS) for ships and Safran's EuroflirTM410 optronic (electro-optical) pod, already used on the army version of the Patroller. The data collected by this multi-sensor suite will be transmitted to the combat systems on several warships, as well as to operations centers. Safran will contribute to the innovative nature of the OCEAN2020 project by developing an autonomous mission function for naval drones. An onboard data processing function will enable the Patroller drone to detect and automatically track suspect ships in its search zone, while also consolidating key data (speed, trajectory, size, registration numbers, other visual proofs, etc.) to facilitate the job of operators. These new functionalities will offer a decisive advantage in ensuring the success of drone surveillance operations by navies and government agencies. Thierry Dupoux, chief innovation officer at Safran Electronics & Defense, said, "We are very proud to be advancing our road map for drone mission systems in maritime surveillance applications. We're very fortunate to be able to apply our skills to help develop this large-scale European defense R&D program." PADR is a three-year program organized by the European Commission to test the EU's defense Research & Technology (R&T) funding mechanisms, via several targeted projects. It heralds the launch of a framework program to support defense research starting in 2021.

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