23 novembre 2022 | International, Aérospatial

French minister says new Franco-German fighter top priority

A senior French minister reaffirmed backing for a new Franco-German-led fighter jet project on Wednesday after conflicting comments over the next stage of the $100 billion venture.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/french-minister-says-new-franco-german-fighter-top-priority-2022-11-23/

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  • Aéronautique et spatial : dans un contexte d’incertitude, le militaire s’en sort mieux

    2 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Aéronautique et spatial : dans un contexte d’incertitude, le militaire s’en sort mieux

    Par Hélène Lerivrain Alors que la filière aéronautique et spatiale est fortement impactée par la crise, l'activité militaire semble avoir été moins touchée par une annulation ou un report des commandes. En témoignent plusieurs acteurs régionaux. Des commandes ont d'ailleurs été honorées en plein confinement. Un Rafale, assemblé à Mérignac (Gironde), a été livré aux Indiens en avril. Ce qui fait très mal au secteur aéronautique et spatial aujourd'hui, c'est l'érosion du carnet de commandes. Safran Helicopter Engines, dont le siège est situé à Bordes dans les Pyrénées-Atlantiques, a ainsi dû faire face à la baisse brutale de l'activité de ses clients et de ses fournisseurs, avec plus de 10 % d'annulations de commandes sur l'année 2020. Il s'agit d'un exemple parmi d'autres. De très nombreuses entreprises de la filière sont touchées, même si certaines s'en sortent mieux que d'autres. "Arianegroup est dans une situation difficile mais moins que ses actionnaires Airbus et Safran. Il faut qu'Ariane 6 soit livrée, donc le travail continue, mais notre chance, c'est surtout que 40 % du chiffre d'affaires du groupe dépend de la stratégie militaire, précisément du missile M51 dont l'activité a été maintenue. La direction générale de l'armement (DGA) continue à nous solliciter pour qu'il n'y ait pas de retard dans les livraisons", explique Philippe Géry, délégué syndical central CFE- CGC d'ArianeGroup. Même discours du côté de chez Potez Aéronautique, spécialiste de la fabrication d'éléments d'aérostructures dans les Landes : "Si l'activité composites a été touchée par la crise, nous n'avons pas vécu d'érosion sur la partie militaire qui représente entre 40 et 45 % de notre chiffre d'affaires", précise Antoine Potez, directeur général de Potez Aéronautique qui livre notamment les empennages de l'E-2D, un avion de surveillance aérienne et de commandement aéroporté. En revanche, pas de commentaire sur l'activité réalisée pour Dassault Aviation. Le groupe lui-même ne communique pas à ce stade : "Concernant le plan de charge, il est encore trop tôt", précisait fin mai le groupe implanté à Mérignac où travaillent 1.700 personnes. En attendant, quoiqu'il arrive, la production a repris sur le site de la métropole bordelaise en particulier pour pouvoir livrer les trois Rafales commandés par les Indiens et ainsi éviter toute pénalité de retard. Quinze appareils doivent, en tout, être livrés cette année. La production s'est également poursuivie sur les Falcon 2000, 7X et 8X pour donner de la charge au site de Little Rock dans l'Arkansas aux Etats-Unis, spécialisé dans la finition, la peinture et l'intérieur. +20 % de temps de production https://objectifaquitaine.latribune.fr/business/2020-06-02/aeronautique-et-spatial-dans-un-contexte-d-incertitude-le-militaire-s-en-sort-mieux-848990.html

  • Army drops request for proposals to build next-gen combat vehicle prototypes

    2 avril 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Army drops request for proposals to build next-gen combat vehicle prototypes

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army on Friday issued a request for proposals to competitively build next-generation combat vehicle prototypes. The RFP opens up competition for industry to provide optionally manned fighting vehicle prototype designs. From that pool, the Army will choose — in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 — up to two teams to build 14 prototypes. The OMFV is intended to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle starting in 2026 and is designed to better operate in future environments that would allow soldiers to maneuver to a position of advantage and “to engage in close combat and deliver decisive lethality during the execution of combined arms maneuver,” an Army statement reads. Some of the threshold requirements for OMFV are a 30mm cannon and a second-generation forward-looking infrared system, or FLIR. Objective requirements are a 50mm cannon and a third-generation FLIR. “The OMFV must exceed current capabilities while overmatching similar threat class systems,” Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, the director for the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, said in the statement. “It must be optimized for dense urban areas while also defeating pacing threats on rural terrain.” The NGCV CFT is part of a new four-star command, Army Futures Command, that is designed to modernize the force. NGCV is the second-highest modernization priority for the Army just behind long-range precision fires. After working with industry through a multitude of engagements and testing several draft RFPs with ambitious requirements, Coffman believes the Army has both the threshold requirements for the vehicle as well as the right objective requirements as the service heads toward the release of the final RFP. “We put out a very aggressive draft RFP,” Coffman told reporters March 27 at the Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium, because the CFT knew it was not obtainable in its entirety. The draft RFP was meant to stretch goals and objectives and to inspire feedback to ultimately write requirements that are attainable, Coffman explained. The Army's current approach to enter into a rapid prototyping effort truncates what could be a two- or three-year technology-maturation and risk-reduction phase, Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, noted in the statement. “It is about being able to prototype and field required capabilities on an accelerated schedule to get capability into soldiers' hands quickly,” he said. The Army's acquisition chief, Bruce Jette, approved a rapid prototyping approach for the OMFV in September 2018, which requires a prototype demonstration in an operational environment within five years, according to the statement. The prototypes will go through “rigorous” operational testing and soldier assessments. The Army plans to downselect to one vehicle for low-rate initial production following the assessments and testing. Several companies have come forward either with clear plans of what they would like to offer or declaring they will participate in the competition. German company Rheinmetall announced last fall that it would team up with Raytheon to provide its new Lynx combat vehicle. It's also possible its Puma vehicle, which is co-manufactured with German defense firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, could be submitted. BAE Systems showed what it could do with a CV90 vehicle at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual show in the fall, and General Dynamics European Land Systems turned heads at AUSA with a Griffin III technology demonstrator equipped with a 50mm cannon. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/03/29/armys-request-for-proposals-to-build-next-gen-combat-vehicle-prototypes-drops

  • Three European air forces approve performance benchmarks for next-gen fighter jet

    28 mai 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Three European air forces approve performance benchmarks for next-gen fighter jet

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — The air forces of Germany, France and Spain have agreed on a set of performance benchmarks to help their governments guide the development of a next-generation fighter jet set to fly in 2040, the German military announced Tuesday in a statement. The document, approved earlier this month, is meant to help officials identify what features from a collection of 10 possible system architectures are worth keeping when the time comes to settle on a path forward for the Next-Generation Weapon System, or NGWS. That system, with the manned next-gen fighter at its heart, is slated to become the central element of the Future Combat Air System, or FCAS, the most ambitious and expensive weapons program in mainland Europe. As envisioned, a small fleet of attack and surveillance drones, or “remote carriers,” would accompany each jet, and all elements would be interlinked by an artificial intelligence-powered “combat cloud,” according to a project description. The 10 different system architectures for NGWS currently in the mix lean in different directions — for example, when it comes to armaments, maneuverability and range of the main jet and its companion drones, the German Bundeswehr statement explained. The three air force top officials — Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz of Germany, Gen. Philippe Lavigne of France and Javier Fernandez of Spain — also agreed on a “Common Understanding Connectivity,” a guide for connecting national systems into the future FCAS scenario. The document will enable the program's partner nations to “synchronize” their respective development programs, according to the German statement. The industry leads for the Future Combat Air System program, Airbus of Germany and Dassault of France, unveiled a mock-up of the future fighter jet at the Paris Air Show last year. The plan is to begin testing a prototype in 2026. Earlier this year, France and Germany formally kicked off the next phase of the overall program, with each government contributing $85 million toward the development of technology demonstrators. German lawmakers, who fear an overtly strong French industry influence in the FCAS program, have linked the project to progress on the Main Ground Combat System, another highly visible bilateral program aimed at building a common battle tank. France has the lead on the next-generation fighter, while Germany leads the tank project. The German parliament's strategy of keeping a close watch on the aerial program by approving only relatively small tranches of money has Dassault CEO Eric Trappier worried about the ability to hit deadlines, French newspaper La Tribune reported last week. Speaking before a French Senate committee in mid-May, Trappier proposed a Franco-German programming law to ensure a more rapid development pace, according to the newspaper. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/05/26/three-european-air-forces-approve-performance-benchmarks-for-next-gen-fighter-jet/

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