16 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

Achat de Rafale par la Grèce, crise du secteur aérien : entretien avec Eric Trappier, président du GIFAS et PDG de Dassault Aviation

Eric Trappier, président du GIFAS et PDG de Dassault Aviation, s’exprimait ce matin sur RTL. Le dirigeant a notamment évoqué la commande de 18 Rafale par la Grèce, annoncée samedi 12 septembre. Les Rafale commandés par la Grèce seront livrés «dans l’année à venir, soit en 2021», indique M. Trappier. La commande comprendra 12 avions d’ «occasion», actuellement opérationnels au sein de l’armée de l’Air française, une mesure décidée afin de répondre à l’urgence du besoin exprimé par la Grèce. Ces prélèvements d’appareils au sein de l’armée de l’Air française seront « compensés par la fabrication d’avions neufs », insiste M. Trappier. La fabrication de 18 Rafale garantit « un an de travail pour les chaînes de production de Dassault Aviation et de ses sous-traitants », souligne-t-il. M. Trappier rappelle également qu’une discussion avec le gouvernement français est en cours concernant l’achat d’une «cinquième tranche de 30 avions». Le Rafale est «un avion qui n’arrête pas d’évoluer, par standards successifs», souligne le dirigeant : «on est en train de développer le quatrième standard». Interrogé sur la crise que traverse actuellement le secteur de l’aéronautique, M. Trappier souligne que l’Etat est «très mobilisé» ; mais il met en garde contre le «changement d’hypothèse» qui surviendrait si «les frontières restent fermées et si le trafic aérien ne reprend pas». Il rappelle que le secteur de l’aéronautique travaille, depuis plusieurs années, à la mise au point d’un «avion décarboné», dont le développement s’est récemment accéléré avec le soutien du gouvernement. RTL Matin du 16 septembre

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  • Companies seek end to haggling over FCAS rights with fresh offer this week

    3 février 2021 | International, Aérospatial

    Companies seek end to haggling over FCAS rights with fresh offer this week

    By: Sebastian Sprenger  COLOGNE, Germany – Airbus and Dassault executives hope to finalize their offer for the next phase of the Future Combat Air System by the end of the week, putting to rest a dispute over the handling of intellectual property rights that has been simmering between partner nations Germany, France and Spain. At issue is whether countries participating in the development of mainland Europe’s futuristic weapon system are free to use the technology to make adjustments of their own later on, said German Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz. “It should be clear that if we’re developing a European system, there can be no black boxes,” he said at an virtual press conference organized by German aerospace industry association BDLI. The term “black box” refers to technology purchased as-is, with no means by customers to understand, replicate or modify it. “It must be possible to hand intellectual property rights from branch of industry to another so that it’s possible for all partners to make their own developments in the future,” Gerhartz added. The tri-national FCAS program aims to replace the German Eurofighter and French Rafale fleets by 2040. As envisioned, it will consist of a next-generation manned jet and a series of drones, dubbed remote carriers, that can be tasked to work in concert on anything from reconnaissance to strike missions. Germany’s Airbus and France’s Dassault are the primary contractors for the program. As Europe’s most ambitious weapons project ever, it is estimated to have a price tag in the hundreds of billions of euros. Spain is meant to be a full participant, with Indra as national lead, getting access to a third of the overall work share. Next up for the program is additional development work culminating in the presentation of a demonstrator aircraft and remote carriers by 2026 or 2027. Those could be simple, throw-away drones or more elaborate unmanned planes in the style of a “loyal wingman” to the human pilot, said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, at the same event. An agreement on intellectual property usage is needed both on the government and industry level before submitting an offer for the upcoming program stage. The idea is to find a compromise by Feb. 5, have the Berlin government submit the documentation to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, for approval over the next few months, and get the green light to spend additional money before the summer break, Hoke said. While Airbus is used to sharing its intellectual property rights when selling to the German government, partner nations, France and Spain handle those occasions differently. “I’m confident that we can find a common solution,” Hoke said. Reinhard Brandl, a lawmaker of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union who sits on the Bundestag’s appropriations committee, said he shared the optimism but singled out IP rights as a continuing sticking point. “We will look at the agreement very carefully,” he said. “We don’t want to see unfavorable concessions just for the sake of an agreement.” Brandl belongs to a faction of German lawmakers who fear that domestic companies could lose out in a cooperative program with France. That is especially the case, following that logic, because Airbus, as the German lead contractor, is partly French to begin with. The French, meanwhile, have at times become frustrated with Germany’s piecemeal approval process for FCAS funding, a dynamic that could become even more pronounced if money gets tight as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Thomas Jarzombek, the point person for aerospace policy at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, said the program remains crucial for German industry, describing it as a recovery activity for companies post-COVID. “It’s become even more important than before,” he said. Brandl said he still worries about spending cuts in the future, especially during development, as the defense ministry may seek opportunities for more near-term fixes to lagging readiness rates across the force. He proposed anchoring FCAS funding elsewhere in the federal government other than under the auspices of the Bundeswehr, at least until the program gets close to showing actual military utility. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/02/01/companies-seek-end-to-haggling-over-fcas-rights-with-fresh-offer-this-week

  • US Navy to buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers

    3 janvier 2019 | International, Naval

    US Navy to buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers

    The US Navy has announced its intention to block-buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers, US Senate Armed Services Committee member Tim Kaine has confirmed. The Ford-class warships are equipped with electromagnetic-powered aircraft launch system (EMALS) and are expected to replace Nimitz-class carriers, which have served the US Navy for more than 40 years. Welcoming the announcement, Kaine said: “I’m thrilled the navy has decided to pursue a block-buy for aircraft carriers, something I’ve been advocating to save billions in taxpayer dollars and offer more certainty to the Hampton Roads defence community. “This smart move will save taxpayer dollars and help ensure the shipyards can maintain a skilled workforce to get the job done. Newport News builds the finest carriers in the world, and I know they are ready to handle this increase in work as we make progress toward the navy’s goal of a 355-ship fleet.” In June 2017, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division delivered the first Ford-class aircraft carrier, Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), to the US Navy following completion of acceptance trials in May. The USS Gerald R Ford was built at a cost of $13bn and commissioned in July 2017. According to HII, the Ford-class carriers have a nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, and improved weapons movement, as well as an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates. The navy expects to spend around $43bn to build the first three ships in the class. Deployment of the ship is estimated to result in $4bn in total ownership cost savings for the navy. Last year, the navy asked HII for detailed pricing on the cost of two aircraft carriers. https://www.naval-technology.com/news/us-navy-ford-class-aircraft-carriers/

  • Two companies to square off for Australia’s $10 billion infantry fighting vehicle program

    18 septembre 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Two companies to square off for Australia’s $10 billion infantry fighting vehicle program

    By: Nigel Pittaway  MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian government has selected Hanwha and Rheinmetall to participate in the next phase of its A$15 billion (U.S. $10.3 billion) infantry fighting vehicle program, being delivered under Project Land 400 Phase 3. Hanwha’s AS21 Redback IFV, a variant of the South Korean Army’s K21 vehicle, and Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 will now progress to a 12-month risk mitigation activity program later this year, which will test the vehicles under operational conditions. Land 400 Phase 3 (Mounted Close Combat Capability) will acquire up to 450 tracked IFVs to replace the Australian Army’s ageing M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers. A decision on which tenderer will progress to the acquisition phase of the program will be presented to government for consideration in 2022. “The two companies have been assessed as offering vehicles that are best able to meet the requirements of the Army while offering value for money for defense,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said at the Sept. 16 announcement. The announcement reduces the field from four to two, with BAE Systems (CV90) and General Dynamics Land Systems (Ajax) now eliminated from the competition. Phase 3 of the overarching Land 400 program follows on from the A$5.2 billion (U.S. $3.6 billion) Phase 2, under which Rheinmetall is delivering 211 Boxer wheeled 8x8 combat reconnaissance vehicles to replace the Australian Army’s light armored vehicles. Rheinmetall is assembling all but the first 25 Boxers at its recently established Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Ipswich, west of Brisbane. Local industry participation will be a key requirement for Land 400 Phase 3. “Australian industry involvement and Australian workers are vital to this project,” Price said. “Phase 3 is another important opportunity for Australian industry to deliver leading edge technology for the ADF.” Rheinmetall has indicated it will assemble the Lynx in its Ipswich facility and Hanwha announced on May 23 that it had teamed with EOS Group and Elbit Systems to develop the AS21 and build it in Geelong, south of Melbourne. Hanwha and Rheinmetall are also the prime contenders for the Australian Army’s recently revitalized Land 8116 program, which will acquire 30 self-propelled howitzers, together with support vehicles and systems. Hanwha is proposing a local version of its K9 Thunder 155mm SPH, dubbed Aussie Thunder, which the company said in May would be assembled in Geelong irrespective of the Land 400 Phase 3 outcome. Rheinmetall is expected to offer a solution based on its PzH 2000 vehicle. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/09/17/two-companies-to-square-off-for-australias-10-billion-fighting-vehicle-program/

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