14 avril 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

L’annonce d’un réarmement massif en Europe est-elle un tournant pour l’industrie française ?

L'Express détaille dans un dossier les perspectives stratégiques pour l'industrie française face aux réarmements en Europe et à la suite d'un rapport parlementaire sur l'état de nos forces armées face à une guerre de haute intensité à horizon 2030. L'idée est d'envisager un budget à la hauteur, le nombre des avions de combat (dans l'Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace et la Marine) étant passé par exemple, de 686 en 1991 à 254 unités en 2021. Si la loi de programmation militaire engage 295 Md€ sur sept ans, la marche reste haute face au conflit en Ukraine. Comme le rappelle le Président-directeur général de Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, « La guerre en Europe est un choc. La menace est à nos portes. Il faut réagir vite. C'est la fin des dividendes de la paix ». Suivant l'exemple français, l'Allemagne et la Suède amorcent un réarmement, comme en témoigne le nouvel investissement de 100 Md€ allemand dans sa défense. Le défi pour le secteur industriel est grand, Eric Trappier appelle « l'actionnariat privé à rentrer dans les activités de défense puisque l'Etat ne peut pas tout », comme il l'a martelé fin mars face aux parlementaires. Le danger reste la vulnérabilité de la chaîne de sous-traitance et le risque de perte en compétence, alors que les cycles de fabrication sont longs. « Pour être prêt dans un an, il faut démarrer maintenant", presse Marc Darmon, Directeur général adjoint de Thales.

L'Express du 14 avril

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  • L’Europe débloque 1,2 milliard d’euros pour favoriser les coopérations en matière de défense

    22 juillet 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    L’Europe débloque 1,2 milliard d’euros pour favoriser les coopérations en matière de défense

    La commission européenne va consacrer 1,2 milliard d'euros pour accélérer une soixantaine de projets européens de défense menés en coopération....-aero-spatial

  • General Atomics' Sparrowhawk Drone-Launched Drone Breaks Cover

    28 septembre 2020 | International, C4ISR

    General Atomics' Sparrowhawk Drone-Launched Drone Breaks Cover

    This low-cost unmanned demonstrator could give larger drones, such as the MQ-9 Reaper, game-changing new capabilities. BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK General Atomics says that it has conducted captive carry tests of its Sparrowhawk, a new small drone that will be able to be launched and recovered in flight. The company says that Sparrowhawk is a demonstrator and was developed specifically to work with other larger unmanned aircraft that it builds, such as the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle, offering an important stepping stone to all-new capabilities on those existing designs, as well as future ones. The California-based drone's maker said the captive carry tests, in which the drone was carried aloft by an MQ-9, but was not launched, took place between Sept. 16 and 17, 2020. This kind of testing is done to gather data on how a system, as well as the launch platform in many cases, handles the stress of flight. A picture of Sparrowhawk that General Atomics released to The War Zone shows that the drone features a large main wing that is stowed parallel with the main fuselage before launch, after which is swings 90 degrees into a deployed position. The drone also has a v-tail and there appears to be at least one air intake for the propulsion system on the right side. It's unclear what type of powerplant powers the air-launched drone. Sparrowhawk concept art that General Atomics posted on Twitter earlier in September showed a similar configuration, but with two fans at the rear of the fuselage. The company has said that the small drone will offer a reduced acoustic signature, as well as a visual one, compared to its larger designs, such as the MQ-9. It's not clear yet how General Atomics is planning to recover Sparrowhawk in flight and whether unmanned platforms, such as the MQ-9, will be able to carry out this task. "Sparrowhawk iterates on the DARPA Gremlins Program," according to the company. Dynetics, now a subsidiary of Leidos, beat out General Atomics, among others, to build the experimental Gremlins drone, now also designed the X-61A, as well as the airborne recovery system, which is presently mounted on a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. You can read more about Gremlins and the recovery concept, which includes the drone catching the end of a cable in flight and then being reeled in, in these past War Zone pieces. It's hard overstate how significant Sparrowhawk, and any further developments it spurs, could be for both General Atomics existing product lines and future unmanned designs. The ability of a large drone to launch smaller ones, all potentially working together semi-autonomously or even as part of a fully-autonomous swarm, could open the door to all kinds of new capabilities, while reducing the risk to the launch platform. “Sparrowhawk extends and multiplies MQ-9-based sensors, reduces manpower and increases ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] coverage,” David Alexander, President of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), said in a statement. Beyond providing far more flexible ISR over a larger geographical area, Sparrowhawks may also provide valuable stand-in electronic warfare jamming or even act as decoys to blind and confuse enemy integrated air defenses, which could drastically increase the survivability of the launch platform and even help clear a path for other manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as stand-off missile strikes. Sparrowhawks could potentially carry out their own kinetic strikes if they can be equipped with traditional explosive warheads, although there is no official information yet if arming these unmanned aircraft is a possibility. If it is indeed the case, these drones might able to act as loitering munitions, which would be able to conduct persistent surveillance of designated areas before then carrying out strikes on targets of opportunity or return for recovery and re-launch. General Atomics says that Sparrowhawk is intended to be an attritable platform, as well, despite being designed to be recovered and reused. Attritable designs are those that are low cost enough that commanders can employ them in higher-risk environments that would be off-limits to more expensive exquisite types. “With attritableONE technology that is survivable and precise, Sparrowhawk is a true game changer,” GS-ASI's President Alexander said. This program is part of the U.S. Air Force's expansive Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) program, which is seeking to develop a host of new highly-networked technologies that will expand the service's ability to gather information and then rapidly analyze and disseminate it, including targeting data that can then be passed to other U.S. military units in the air, on the ground, and at sea. As the name implies, attritableONE is focused on developing new attritable unmanned aircraft. In a recent major demonstration of various ABMS capabilities and associated technologies, an MQ-1C Gray Eagle launched an Area-I Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated, Unmanned System 600 (ALTIUS 600) small drone, acting as an attritableONE testbed. The ALTIUS 600 then positively identified a target that the MQ-1C's onboard sensors had first identified. The U.S. Army has also been experimenting with the ALTIUS 600 as part of its Air Launch Effects (ALE) effort, which also envisions fleets of small drones performing various ISR, deception, and other tasks, which you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone piece. During the recent ABMS demonstration, a General Atomics MQ-9 also carried a Rosetta Echo Advanced Payload (REAP) communications and datalink pod, which includes technology developed under gatewayONE and meshONE, which are also part of the broader ABMS effort. "The REAP pod has been developed under contract from the Air National Guard and demonstrated a communications relay capability for both Link-16 and the Silvus meshONE network providing seamless connectivity between air and ground participants in the demonstration area," according to General Atomics. All told, the Sparrowhawk looks to be an extremely exciting development. It also comes at a time when the U.S. Air Force, the largest operator of MQ-9s, is looking to stop buying those drones due to concerns that they are simply too vulnerable to be useful during a high-end conflict. The ability of Reapers to launch and recover smaller, attritable drones and, by extension, perform a wider array of tasks over a larger geographical area, even in contested environments, could breathe new life into that design. We at The War Zone are very eager to learn more about Sparrowhawk and what it can do. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/36747/general-atomics-sparrowhawk-drone-launched-drone-breaks-cover

  • Navy Needs Bigger Budget Than Other Services: Rep. Wittman

    10 mars 2020 | International, Naval

    Navy Needs Bigger Budget Than Other Services: Rep. Wittman

    “You can have the greatest brigade combat team in the world," Rep. Wittman said, "but if they can't get to the fight because we don't have a robust ready reserve fleet, that's pretty shortsighted.” By PAUL MCLEARY ]WASHINGTON: A prominent lawmaker waded into the inter-service money wars today by calling for the Navy receiving a larger share of the budget than the other branches of the armed forces. The Army, Rep. Rob Wittman emphasized, can't even deploy abroad without the Navy's help. “We need to look at the one-third, one-third, one-third allocation of defense dollars to all the different service branches,” said Wittman, the top Republican on the Democratic-controlled House Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee. (The actual allocation is a bit trickier than that, but it's close). “No offense in any way, shape, or form to the other service branches, but we're going to need capability in certain areas and we're going to need those at a faster pace than in other areas.” Wittman represents the shipbuilding powerhouse of Virginia — home to massive naval bases and Newport News Shipbuilding, which makes all the nation's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and half its nuclear submarines. He appeared at the Hudson Institute today alongside Rep. Joe Courtney, who chairs the subcommittee and who represents Connecticut, where the other half of the nation's nuclear subs are built at Electric Boat. But it wasn't any of these high-tech, high-cost warships that Wittman singled out today. Instead, the congressman was referring to the major shortfalls in allocating money to modernize the nation's sealift fleet, humble but essential transports. A recent exercise showed the sealift fleet would be unable to haul military equipment overseas quickly in the event of a national security emergency. The snap drill found that of the 33 ships activated, only 22 were ready enough to leave port, according to a December paper from US Transportation Command. Shifting more money to the Navy would be a tough sell in Congress, with its hundreds of parochial interests, but Courtney added that his committee might take up the sealift shortage in its markup of the 2021 budget request in a few weeks, a move that could have wide-ranging implications for the Navy's budget. Wittman didn't lay out plans for shifting money to the Navy, but said “a great example” of why sealift needs to be a priority is “you can have the greatest brigade combat team in the world, you can have the greatest Stryker brigade in the world, but if they can't get to the fight because we don't have a robust ready reserve fleet, that's pretty shortsighted.” Splitting the budget roughly in thirds between the services “is not letting the strategy drive the budget, it's letting the budget drive the strategy,” added, which “creates a strategic vulnerability.” Wittman's comments come in the wake of a earlier dust-up between the services over their share of the budget, after Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday told a navy conference in January “we need more money,” in order to modernize. Budgeting as usual, he said, which means “a one-third, one-third, one-third cut, does not reflect the strategy,” laid in in 2019's National Defense Strategy, Gilday said. “It isn't necessarily aligned with where we need to go against the pacing threat that we face.” The Navy is in many ways faced with the trickiest path to modernizing among all the branches of the military. Even as the service continues to struggle to get ships out of repair availabilities on time, it has also committed to building a new class of aircraft carriers, and has to overhaul its Virginia-class submarines. On top of all that comes the biggest-ticket item — a new class of nuclear-powered submarines about to begin construction, which will eat up over 30 percent of Gilday's budget in a few years. The first of the 12 Columbia subs is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and enter service in 2031. Once completed they'll carry a staggering 70 percent of the country's nuclear arsenal. To clear space, and the chart a path toward a planned 355-ship fleet, the Navy is scrambling. Last week, plans leaked of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's intent to stand up a Future Carrier 2030 Task Force, which will take six months to study how carriers stack up against new generations of stealthy submarines and long-range precision weapons being fielded by China and Russia. The study likely won't be ready until after Defense Secretary Mark Esper wraps up his assessment of the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan and its new force structure assessment, however. Esper took control over both studies last month. The Navy is also looking to speed up the acquisition of a new class of 20 frigates, which would be a relative bargain of about $900 each if the service can stick to its plans and things work out the way they envision. In an attempt to clear some budgetary space for all of this, Modly has kicked off a new ‘Stem to Stern' review of back office functions to try and wrong more money out of existing accounts, which he's hoping to find about $8 billion a year in savings. https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/navy-needs-bigger-budget-than-other-services-rep-wittman/

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