21 octobre 2023 | International, Aérospatial

Spain's PLD Space expects first orbital launch in Q1 2026 from French Guiana | Reuters

Spanish rocket company PLD Space plans a first orbital launch from French Guiana in the first quarter of 2026, after it carried out the first fully private European rocket launch earlier this month, it said on Friday.


Sur le même sujet

  • Le Japon va acquérir 105 avions de combat américains F-35

    31 mai 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Le Japon va acquérir 105 avions de combat américains F-35

    Le Japon va acheter 105 avions de combat américains F-35 supplémentaires, a annoncé lundi le président américain Donald Trump à l'issue d'un sommet avec le premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe. « Les États-Unis soutiennent les efforts du Japon pour améliorer ses capacités de défense, et ces derniers mois nous leur avons envoyé une grande quantité d'équipements militaires », a déclaré M. Trump lors d'une conférence de presse, annonçant « l'intention du Japon d'acheter 105 F-35 neufs ». Le Japon, qui avait déjà annoncé fin 2011 l'achat de 42 F-35, est avec cette nouvelle commande le premier client international pour cet avion de combat de cinquième génération. En réalité, l'archipel s'était déjà engagé en décembre à cette acquisition, portant à 147 le nombre de ces chasseurs furtifs en sa possession, selon un communiqué du constructeur aéronautique américain Lockheed Martin publié à l'époque. Le gouvernement de Shinzo Abe, qui a annoncé en décembre un budget record pour la défense, a accru ses importations d'équipements militaires américains sous la pression de Donald Trump. Le but est de contrer la menace militaire de la Chine, mais aussi de réduire le déséquilibre commercial avec les États-Unis, régulièrement dénoncé par le président américain. Lancé au début des années 1990, le F-35 est produit par Lockheed Martin, et ses moteurs par un autre américain, Pratt et Whitney. Selon les derniers chiffres, 390 F-35 ont été livrés dans le monde. C'est le plus cher des programmes d'armement de l'histoire militaire américaine, avec un coût estimé au total à près de 400 milliards de dollars pour l'armée américaine, pour un objectif de près de 2500 appareils à produire dans les décennies à venir. https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/201905/27/01-5227679-le-japon-va-acquerir-105-avions-de-combat-americains-f-35.php

  • Russia’s new nuclear policy could be a path to arms control treaties

    9 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Russia’s new nuclear policy could be a path to arms control treaties

    By: Sarah Bidgood Russia recently published a new document, titled “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence.” Its release marks the first time that Russia's official policy on deterrence has been made publicly available. As others have observed, this document is an example of declaratory policy aimed primarily at a foreign audience — and should be read with this orientation in mind. Still, it contains information that helps readers better understand how Russia thinks about nuclear weapons, and this certainly makes it worth a close examination. Some of the more useful insights this document offers pertain to Russia's threat assessments and what it sees as likely pathways to nuclear use. A number of these threats line up with American declaratory policy as reflected in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. These overlaps are noteworthy, since the U.S. and Russia have traditionally been able to work together to mitigate mutual threats even when their bilateral relationship is in crisis. As such, they can point toward ways to get arms control back on track at a time when it is in deep trouble. One such area of overlap appears in section 19C, which covers the conditions that could allow for nuclear use. This list includes an “attack by [an] adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions." The similarities between this language and that which appears in the 2018 NPR are considerable. That document identifies “attacks on U.S., allied, or partner civilian populations and infrastructure and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities” as a significant non-nuclear strategic attacks that could warrant the use of nuclear weapons. These parallels suggest that an agreement prohibiting attacks on nuclear command, control and communications systems could be of interest to both Washington and Moscow. A treaty along these lines would help to shore up crisis stability while rebuilding trust and confidence between the U.S. and Russia. It could also become a multilateral approach involving the five nuclear weapon states, which have been meeting regularly to discuss risk reduction and other topics. This would represent one of the few concrete outcomes of these discussions, which have been met with cautious enthusiasm but have so far failed to bear much fruit. Another example of mutual U.S.-Russia threats appears in section 12E of the Russian document. Here, the “uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, their delivery means, technology and equipment for their manufacture” are described as risks that nuclear deterrence is meant to neutralize. Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons seems to remain a focus of U.S. nuclear policy, too, and the 2018 NPR commits to strengthening institutions that support “verifiable, durable progress on non-proliferation.” This ongoing shared interest is an argument for renewed U.S.-Russian cooperation in this area, especially as it relates to strengthening the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. There is a long history of engagement between the two largest nuclear weapon states on nonproliferation, even at times of major discord in their relationship. Successful outcomes of this cooperation include the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty itself, which the United States and the Soviet Union concluded 50 years ago to stop additional countries from acquiring nuclear weapons. Despite decades of joint work toward this shared goal, the rift between Washington and Moscow has now brought most bilateral efforts in this area to a halt. As some in Iran, Turkey and Germany contemplate the pursuit of nuclear weapons, it's time for the U.S. and Russia to shore up the credibility of the regime they built. Other sections of Russia's document offer additional glimpses into Moscow's perceived threats, although not all find ready analogs in U.S. declaratory policy. Many relate instead to the possibility that an adversary will carry out a conventional attack on Russia. Sections 12 and 14, for instance, reference the risks posed by adversary deployments of medium- and shorter-range cruise and ballistic missiles, non-nuclear high-precision and hypersonic weapons, strike unmanned aerial vehicles, and directed-energy weapons. They also mention the deployment of missile defense systems in space; military buildups by would-be adversaries of general-purpose force groupings that possess nuclear weapons delivery means in territories neighboring Russia; and the placement of nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear weapons states, among others. There is little here that would surprise most Russia-watchers, but if the U.S. is serious about pursuing “next generation” arms control, it is useful to have a list of potential topics for discussion that go beyond ballistic missile defense. This list might also prove helpful in negotiating asymmetric treaties or in identifying confidence-building measures that cross domains. Overall, this short document does provide greater clarity with respect to Russia's deterrence strategy, but it is ambiguous on many points as well. Olga Oliker, the International Crisis Group's program director for Europe and Central Asia, noted, for instance, it does not settle the debate over whether Russia has an “escalate-to-deescalate” policy, and it is (unsurprisingly) vague about the precise circumstances under which Russia would consider using nuclear weapons. Still, despite leaving some questions unanswered, the document offers a valuable window into Russia's strengths and vulnerabilities as they appear from Moscow. While likely not the intended signal this document was meant to send, it nevertheless points to possible opportunities for engagement when other good alternatives are hard to see. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/06/08/russias-new-nuclear-policy-could-be-a-path-to-arms-control-treaties/

  • Defense Industry Wants To Maintain Momentum For European FCAS

    20 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Defense Industry Wants To Maintain Momentum For European FCAS

    German parliamentary approvals to fund the demonstrators for the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) have been hailed as a major milestone, yet there appear to be plenty more dramas to come. Industry had been increasingly impatient over Berlin's political fumbling of support for the initial Phase 1A demonstration work, worth €155 million ($170 million), which is funded equally by Paris and Berlin. Contracts had been expected at last year's Paris Air Show but did not materialize; even a January deadline agreed to by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel came and went. That deadline followed warnings from industry. And at the end of January, the air chiefs of the French, Germany and Spanish air forces wrote jointly in the French newspaper Le Figaro, stressing the importance of the project and warning that it must progress or risk losing momentum. The partner countries want to bring the FCAS into front-line use in 2040. “This cooperation is essential for the development of competitive European air capabilities to guarantee the security and sovereignty of the countries of Europe,” the air chiefs wrote. “All this while we must intensify our multinational collaboration efforts, in order to encourage the development of a common strategic vision, contributing directly to the defense of Europe.” In the end, the nod from the Bundestag emerged just hours prior to the release of Airbus' 2019 results on Feb. 13. The funding pays for the first 18 months of work—Phase 1A—to develop the demonstrators and mature new technologies, and it will support work by prime contractors Dassault and Airbus as well as their partners MTU Aero Engines, MBDA, Safran and Thales. There will be four strands to the demonstration program, the most significant being the flight-testing of the fighter aircraft technology demonstrator representative of the Next-Generation Fighter (NGF) design, with Dassault acting as prime and Airbus as a main partner. The program will also deliver remote carriers, the reusable unmanned aircraft systems that will operate alongside the fighter as a loyal wingman or to provide electronic warfare or surveillance capability. Airbus will lead on the development of the remote carriers, with MBDA as a main partner. Airbus in conjunction with Thales will work on development of the combat cloud network that will connect the NGF with other platforms including the remote carriers as well as other fighters, tankers and intelligence-gathering assets, likely using advanced within- and beyond-line-of-sight communication methods. Meanwhile, the fighter demonstrator will use an engine featuring technologies planned for the future NGF powerplant. Work on this demonstrator engine-—likely based on the Safran M88 from the Dassault Rafale—will be led by Safran, with MTU as main partner. Airbus says a simulation environment will be jointly developed by the company as well to “ensure consistency between demonstrators.” The next step—Phase 1B-—is where the challenges could begin to mount, as it requires considerably more investment than 1A, likely well in excess of €1 billion ($1.1 billion), begging the question: If German politics can hobble progress over investments worth less than €100 million, what would the delays be if the investments required are 3-4 times as much? The next step—Phase 1B-—is where the challenges could begin to mount, as it requires considerably more investment than 1A, likely well in excess of €1 billion ($1.1 billion), begging the question: If German politics can hobble progress over investments worth less than €100 million, what would the delays be if the investments required are 3-4 times as much? Phase 1B also will involve the induction of Spanish companies into the program, including Madrid's chosen industry lead Indra, whose role has been protested by Airbus since the decision was announced last September. “We think it's a mistake to select Indra as the Spanish coordinator for the FCAS,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury told journalists, adding that the company lobbied for the decision to be reviewed. He contends that Indra lacks experience in the development of combat aircraft and the systems that will ultimately support the FCAS. Airbus had been widely expected to lead the program in Spain, given its past experience building the A400M in Seville and performing local assembly of the Eurofighter for the Spanish Air Force. “This is something we have shared with the Spanish government, and we have offered our hands to reverse the situation and make sure the best support is given from Spain to the FCAS and that Spain is getting the best from the FCAS,” Faury added. Spain does not seem to be listening, however. On Feb. 18, Madrid announced Spanish industry partners who will begin working on the program in support of joint concept studies with France and Germany before the summer, perhaps as early as May. According to the Spanish defense ministry, Airbus' Spanish business will support development of the fighter and low-observable technologies. ITP Aero, owned by Rolls-Royce, will support the engine development, with work on sensors and systems to be performed by Indra. A partnership of three companies—GMV, Sener Aeroespacial and Tecnobit-Grupo Oesia—will work on the remote carriers. “This industrial alliance has already been notified to Germany and France . . . so that negotiations can begin to meet the planned objectives and achieve the full integration of Spain into the NGWS [Next-Generation Weapons System] project before the summer of this year,” Spanish defense officials say. In the meantime, industry is looking for a smooth transition from Phase 1A to 1B in order to meet a target of flying a fighter demonstrator as early as 2026. “We shouldn't underestimate the huge progress which has been made for a program of that magnitude and complexity,” Faury told Aviation Week. “I am positive and optimistic [based] on the work which has been done over the last two years. We will play the role we think we have to play at each and every milestone of the program.” Phase 1B is expected to get underway in 2022. Prior to that, the three air chiefs have agreed to try to bring greater convergence between their operational needs and are hoping to sign a document “specifying this common vision” at the ILA Air Show in Berlin in May. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/defense-industry-wants-maintain-momentum-european-fcas

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