16 février 2022 | International, Aérospatial

See images from the first day of the Singapore Airshow

'€œThe show might be smaller, and the pandemic may have mitigated the number of exhibitors, but it doesn't mean that defense procurement has been slowing down.'€


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  • The Week In Defense, Feb. 11-18, 2021

    11 février 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    The Week In Defense, Feb. 11-18, 2021

    New York Senator Investigates Fatal UH-60 Crashes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is asking the Pentagon to launch a formal investigation into four fatal Sikorsky UH-60 crashes to determine whether there is a systemic problem with the helicopter... https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/budget-policy-operations/week-defense-feb-11-18-2021

  • Défense spatiale : les grandes lignes du rapport

    17 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Défense spatiale : les grandes lignes du rapport

    Par Yann Cochennec Les députés Olivier Becht et Stéphane Trompille viennent de remettre leur rapport sur la stratégie de défense spatiale dont la France doit se doter pour annihiler les menaces actuelles et futures. La France a décidé de se doter d'une stratégie de défense spatiale et la première étape est ce rapport que les députés Olivier Becht et Stéphane Trompille viennent de rendre devant la Commission de la Défense et des forces armées. L'incident du satellite espion russe en a été l'élément le plus médiatiquement visible et a servi d'accélérateur à une volonté qui était d'ores et déjà en gestation. Après la militarisation de l'espace, Olivier Becht et Stéphane Trompille soulignent dans leur rapport "l'arsenalisation de l'espace avec envoi et présence d'armes qui auront vocation à être utilisées dans le cadre d'un conflit". Le tout dans un contexte qui a changé : apparition de nouvelles puissances spatiales, l'arrivée de firmes privées sur le marché du spatial et la révolution "nano", soit la capacité de produire des satellites de plus en plus petits "pratiquement indétectables, qui peuvent être équipés d'une capacité de brouillage, d'écoute, de prise de contrôle cyber ou de charges explosives". Par conséquent : "défendre nos satellites civils comme militaires dans l'espace, être capable de voir, d'éviter, d'agir et de neutraliser un menace devient dès lors un enjeu de souveraineté nationale et européenne", soulignent Olivier Becht et Stéphane Trompille. Pour les auteurs du rapport, cette stratégie de défense spatiale devrait s'orienter autour de plusieurs axes. D'abord en renforçant les moyens de surveillance. Les systèmes de radars GRAVES et SATAM doivent "être complétés par de nouveaux développements" capables de suivre des engins "non-kepleriens" ou "très manoeuvrants et suivant des orbites non habituelles". Solution préconisée : deux nouveaux systèmes de radars de veille en orbite basse installés, l'un en métropole, l'autre en Guyane. Les rapporteurs préconisent aussi la mise en place "d'un système de surveillance des orbites géostationnaires" avec l'achat de trois télescopes supplémentaires (Polynésie, Nouvelle Calédonie) en plus du système TAROT du Cnes. "La surveillance de l'espace devra aussi pouvoir s'effectuer depuis l'espace : emport de capteurs d'approche sur nos satellites, mise en orbite de satellites patrouilleurs, surveillance de nos satellites par un petit satellite de type "chien de garde". Deuxième axe : la capacité de neutraliser une menace dans l'espace. Les deux parlementaires préconisent, plutôt que l'usage de missiles anti-satellites, de développer de nouvelles technologies : laser ionique "affectant les capteurs qui équipent les voies haute résolution visibles du satellite en le rendant momentanément inopérant, laser classique permettant de détruire chirurgicalement un équipement donné d'un satellite; moyens cyber pour brouiller ou détourner un satellite, bras articulés montés sur un satellite ou une mini-navette permettant d'arrimer un satellite hostile, de le dévier de son orbite et de l'envoyer vers les confins du système solaire. Enfin, pour être en capacité de poursuivre les missions "en cas de neutralisation de nos propres satellites", les auteurs proposent les dispositions suivantes : développement de constellations de satellites, "développement de moyens de lancement très rapides de fusées emportant un satellite à partir de drones spéciaux de type ALTAIR développé par l'Onera ou de type Pegasus de Dassault", développement "de pseudo-satellites de haute altitude capables de rendre des services équivalents à un satellite de basse altitude", de type Stratobus de Thales Alenia Space ou Zephyr d'Airbus Defense & Space. Pour mettre en place cette stratégie, le rapport propose la création d'une "Force spatiale" sous l'autorité directe du Chef d'état-major des Armées ainsi que d'une "Haute Autorité de Défense Spatiale" placée directement sous l'autorité du Premier Ministre en lien direct avec le ministre des Armées. http://www.air-cosmos.com/defense-spatiale-les-grandes-lignes-du-rapport-119321

  • UK facilities for American F-35 jets are delayed and over budget

    7 août 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    UK facilities for American F-35 jets are delayed and over budget

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is on track to begin permanently basing its F-35 jets abroad next year, with RAF Lakenheath in England set to become the service's first international F-35 base. But construction on new hangars and facilities necessary for supporting the high-tech stealth jet have gone over budget and over schedule, and many buildings won't be ready when the first planes arrive in November 2021. On average, construction projects associated with the F-35 beddown at Lakenheath are about 25 percent over the initial $480 million budget estimated in 2015, said Lt. Col. Clinton Warner, who leads the 48th Fighter Wing's F-35 program integration office. “The overall trend has been projects are late and also over budget,” he told Defense News during a July interview. “A lot of the assumptions that were made back in 2015 weren't necessarily valid. There's been cost growth that was outside of the planning assumptions that were made back in 2015.” The cost increase is not the only problem. As RAF Lakenheath's first F-35 squadron stands up, neither the hangars planned to house the jets nor the headquarters building used for planning operations and maintenance will be ready, Warner said. A training simulator building will also be late. Despite the delays, the Air Force still plans to move forward with the beddown of the jet. Warner said the service is exploring options to keep operations on track, such having the new F-35 squadron share space with existing units — which include three American F-15 squadrons — or potentially leasing additional facilities on base from the United Kingdom. “In terms of getting here and flying the aircraft, we will still do that. [There is] really no difference in terms of the capability is going to be delivered, but it'll just look different in how we do it,” Warner said. “It will be some strain on the units here at the base, as there's more crowding and with waiting for those facilities to come online.” The arrival of U.S. Air Force F-35s in Europe has been a long-awaited milestone for the service, which announced in 2015 that RAF Lakenheath would become the first international location to get the jets. Since then, F-35s temporarily deployed to the base in 2017. “Having a fighter with the capability of the F-35s one hop closer to a part of the world that's seemingly less stable certainly will have a deterrent effect,” said Frank Gorenc, a retired four-star general who commanded U.S. Air Forces in Europe from 2013 to 2016. “Being able to daily train with the partners that have F-35s will have a deterrent effect,” Gorenc told Defense News. “It will cause interoperability to soar both on the maintenance side and on the operations side. I think the benefits of having that equipment — the demonstration of having a fifth-generation [fighter jet] in theater combined with F-15Es and F-16s — I think is the right signal.” Under the current plans, F-35 pilots and maintainers will begin to arrive at RAF Lakenheath in June 2021, with the first aircraft to follow in November. The base will eventually be home to two F-35 squadrons, each with a total of 24 jets. That beddown will follow more than five years of planning and development on the part of the Air Force, which stood up a team in 2015 to get the base ready for the incoming jets. In 2018, the U.S. Air Force chose Kier-Volker Fitzpatrick, a joint venture of U.K.-based design and construction firms Kier Group and VolkerFitzpatrick, to build and renovate all installations associated with the F-35 presence at RAF Lakenheath. Construction began in July 2019, with seven of 14 new facilities — which will include new hangars, a building for flight simulation, a maintenance unit and storage facilities — currently either being built or already complete. As unforeseen costs have mounted, the base's program integration office has had to request $90 million in additional funding from Congress, as well as permission from the Pentagon to revise the scope of the projects, Warner said. But there's no overarching answer for why costs have ballooned. “Each individual project had a different set of assumptions, a different set of risk profiles, and some were correct and some are not correct,” Warner said. With only a few years between the decision to base F-35s at Lakenheath in 2015 and the original planned start of operations in 2020, the U.S. government wanted to put a construction firm under contract sooner rather than later, said Stephen King of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, a U.K. government agency charged with overseeing the building and maintenance of military facilities. But workforce costs grew as the project was discovered to be more complex than originally anticipated. “When the workers are tendered, the prices that are coming back in are found to be different from those originally estimated, and it seems to be the price of doing business on a military establishment. There seems to be an ‘add-on' to the outside market,” King said. Because the F-35 is a stealth jet that processes large amounts of classified information, many of the installations linked with its operations must meet certain security specifications. Building those structures to both U.S. and U.K. standards while using a foreign workforce of U.K. citizens posed challenges that the U.S. Air Force did not foresee during the design process, Warner said. “Luckily most of these problems are behind us, but they did cause delays in terms of when we were programming out in the schedule and looking at what we thought it would look like,” he said. “Some of the challenges associated with building those secure facilities were not fully understood.” Air Force officials have said keeping the projects on track was always going to be a challenge. In 2016, Col. Robert Novotny, who was then the commander of the base's 48th Fighter Wing, predicted construction projects could face troubles getting funding or finding a skilled workforce to build the new facilities, and that F-35s likely wouldn't begin to arrive on base until at least 2021 or 2022. “For me, the concern I have when I look at Lakenheath is not the F-35,” he told Defense News in July 2016. “For me, the concern I have is: Are we going to be able to build enough stuff fast enough?” https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-air-power/2020/08/06/uk-facilities-for-american-f-35-jets-are-delayed-and-over-budget/

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