New Zealand Considers 2030 With $14B Defense Capability Plan

By: Nick Lee-Frampton, November 22, 2016

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Following the delayed defense white paper released last June, New Zealand’s minister of defense, Gerry Brownlee, on Nov. 16 released the Defence Capability Plan (DCP) 2016, detailing the $14.3 billion investment in capability needed out to 2030.

Five areas have been selected for capability investment, according to the DCP, including cyber protection and support, intelligence support, littoral operations, operations in the Antarctic Ocean and southern bodies of water, and air surveillance.

Barely was the ink dry on the entire DCP, however, when a 7.8 earthquake resulted in the closure of the New Zealand Defence Force headquarters in Wellington as well as the evacuation of the government’s national cyber defense center, which is under the purview of the Communications Security Bureau.

Intelligence support has long been encouraged; there was concern expressed by Air Force personnel to Defense News more than eight years ago that intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities — particularly of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s P-3K2 Orion air surveillance capability — were in excess of the capacity to process, analyze and distribute such information.

With Boeing upgrading the Orion’s underwater ISR « to better detect and deter underwater threats, » the potential flow of data merely increases even as consideration is given to replacing the Orions when the six-aircraft fleet retires in the 2020s, having entered service in the 1960s.

Replacement platforms may not be like for like, as ‘investment in remotely piloted aerial systems is also under consideration,’ the DCP noted.

By 2030, there will be either a surface combatant capability in service or under procurement to replace the Navy’s two Anzac-class frigates, the DCP said.

Meanwhile, there are plans to add a third ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to the Navy’s OPV fleet, with upgraded communications and sensors by 2027 to extend the fleet’s life into the 2030s. New torpedoes are due by 2028.

Source: defensenews.com

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DURBAN NAVAL STATION TRANSFORMATION

By: Sylvia Caravotas, November 13, 2016

South Africa’s maritime is receiving much-needed attention to ensure it can manage the escalating security challenges in the region. On the agenda, is the South African Navy’s historic Naval Station on Salisbury Island in Durban, which is undergoing a massive revamp to transform it into a functioning Naval Base.

sanavy_durban-salisbury-island

Spokesperson for the SA Navy, Cdr P.G. van den Berg, stated that the footprint of the SA Navy in Durban will continue to grow. Durban is not only the busiest commercial port in SA, but a strategic location for the SA Navy allowing ease of access to the east coast of South Africa, Africa, and the Indian Ocean enabling the navy to readily assist with maritime operations.
According to SA Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the upgrade will also contribute towards the ocean economy under Operation Phakisa: “This initiative is significant, considering 50% of our trade is through the blue economy. The SANDF and South Africa will be making contributions to the ocean economy in this regard and further increasing capacity as an integral part and leader in Indian Ocean navies.”

The SA Navy was deeply affected by budget cuts in 2002 when the Durban Naval Base on Salisbury Island was downgraded to a Naval Station. However, the Navy began rethinking the station when a surge in piracy made patrolling the Mozambique Channel from Naval Base Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula ineffective. At the groundbreaking ceremony in December 2015, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula stated that: “It is a process to reverse what happened in the past, when there was a decision to downscale and eventually close what was then a budding navy facility and move all the facilities to Simon’s Town. We are now wiser.”

sanavy_durban-salisbury-island-2

Vessels to be acquired under Project Biro. The plan is to increase the base’s workshop and dockyard capacity to perform all required docking and essential defects (DEDs) and planned maintenance for the patrol vessels. Rear Admiral Bubele Mhlana, Flag Officer Fleet, stated that they would like to avoid ships that are home-ported in Durban coming down to Simon’s Town for maintenance. Project Biro is currently on hold, according to Armscor Chief Executive Kevin Wakeford, due to a review of the budget before a decision on the continuation of the contracting process is made. The situation is similar for the replacement of SAS Protea, the SA Navy’s hydrographic vessel (Project Hotel).

The upgrade has not been without its challenges and the Navy is struggling to regain access to buildings it lost fifteen years ago. Vice Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane, Chief of the SA Navy, stated that around R200 million is needed to upgrade the facilities and redeploy personnel back to Durban. Although a large undertaking, the newly upgraded Durban Naval Base together with Naval Base Simon’s Town will better position the SA Navy to cover both the west and east coast of South Africa, the region, and will contribute to Operation Phakisa by protecting SA’s territorial waters and maritime resources.

Source : OIDA Strategic Intelligence

Germany’s Budget Committee Approves Five New Corvettes

By: Lars Hoffmann, November 12, 2016

The Budget Committee of the German Parliament rubber-stamped on Friday the procurement of five new corvettes for the German Navy, worth about €1.5 billion, sources familiar with the deal confirmed.

The decision is a sure sign that German MoD prefers a direct procurement of a second batch of K130 corvettes instead of a long lasting tender process and a new design.

The plan to acquire the additional corvettes was announced only a few weeks ago to a surprised public after it became clear that the selection of the winner for the new €4 billion frigate tender MKS 180 was delayed for six months till the end of 2017, after next general elections.

The Ministry justifies the procurement of the corvettes with new requirements of NATO, which were enacted in July. According to a Navy spokesman, NATO expects Germany to provide two additional corvettes at the highest readiness level for use in littoral operations from 2018 on. Due to shipyard time and training tasks, only two ships of the existing squadron of five are assigned to NATO missions.  Two extra corvettes for NATO therefore translate into a new squadron.

While the Navy hopes that the first corvettes will enter service by the end of this decade, well informed sources rule out a commissioning before 2021. The Navy wants a second batch of K130 with the least modifications possible to the existing ones to achieve synergies in training, logistics and maintenance.

If the Navy prevails, the two German shipyards Lürssen and TKMS that built the first batch of K130 and own the property rights for the design will likely profit from the new order.

With last night`s approval, funds were earmarked. However, before the final release of the money the formal procurement process has to be passed and an agreement with the contractor negotiated. As Rainer Arnold, defense policy spokesman of the Socialdemocrats in Parliament, said on Wednesday in Berlin, he does not expect a final approval within the current election period.

Source : DefenseNews

French, Russian firms to jointly produce advanced helo

ZHUKOVSKY, Russia, Aug. 29 (UPI) — Sagem, the French defense electronics company, and Kamov of Russia are jointly developing an enhanced attack helicopter.

The helicopter will be an advanced version of the Kamov-52 Alligator attack helicopter, which « will address a requirement expressed by several countries, » the two firms said.

Sagem and Kamov, a Russian Helicopters company, had first started cooperating in 2011 for the integration of Sagem optronic equipment and LINS 100 inertial navigation systems into Kamov aircraft.

Sagem’s Strix optronic sight system, in production for French-German Tiger combat helicopter, provides full day/night capability.

Its LINS-100 laser gyro inertial navigation system is produced in Russia under a joint venture arrangement.

« The companies’ joint offering for helicopters will support Sagem’s strategic objective of establishing long-term industrial partnerships with leading Russian companies. » Sagem said.

Sagem, however, gave no additional details on the advanced helicopter that it and Kamov plan to produce or other features of the cooperative agreement.

Source : UPI

EADS va se réorganiser et pourrait prendre le nom d’Airbus

19/07/2013

Le groupe d’aéronautique et de défense EADS s’apprête à réorganiser une partie de ses activités dans le cadre d’un réexamen stratégique et pourrait à cette occasion changer de nom pour prendre celui de sa filiale Airbus, apprend-on jeudi de source proche du dossier.

Cette nouvelle organisation sera à l’ordre du jour d’un conseil d’administration fin juillet. EADS est à la recherche d’un meilleur équilibre entre les activités commerciales d’Airbus et les activités du groupe en matière de défense, maintenant qu’il a renoncé à son objectif à long terme d’équilibrer ces deux pôles après l’échec l’an dernier des discussions de fusion avec le groupe de défense britannique BAE Systems.

« Il y aura quelques grosses annonces, mais pas nécessairement beaucoup de stratégie dans ce passage en revue. C’est plutôt en rapport avec les structures et la rentabilité », explique une personne qui suit le processus de près.

Face aux commandes d’Airbus plus importantes que prévu, les marchés font pression sur EADS pour que le groupe mette davantage en avant ses activités commerciales, qui ont permis à l’action de gagner 41% en Bourse depuis le début de l’année après une hausse de 22% en 2012.

« EADS a réalisé qu’il est mieux perçu par les investisseurs s’il est moins présent dans la défense », résume un banquier.

Airbus, qui réalise deux tiers du chiffre d’affaires d’EADS, affiche une croissance rapide.

« La route vers BAE est bloquée et la route purement commerciale est trop risquée », souligne une personne au fait des discussions.

SYNERGIES

Parmi les options étudiées figure une synergie plus grande entre les activités du groupe dans la défense et le secteur spatial, expliquent plusieurs personnes.

EADS a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 56,48 milliards en 2012. Les activités de défense d’EADS représentent au total de douze milliards d’euros, dont 2,13 milliards pour Airbus Military, qui produit l’avion de transport de troupes A400M et 5,74 milliards pour Cassidian (avion de combat Eurofighter).

Eurocopter, premier fabricant mondial d’hélicoptères civils, réalise néanmoins près de la moitié de ses ventes dans la défense et Astrium, dans le secteur spatial, un tiers, soit un total d’environ cinq milliards à deux.

« Il y a des synergies importantes entre les activités d’électronique et de défense de Cassidian et les satellites militaires d’Astrium. Une intégration plus forte entre les deux aurait du sens », commente Christophe Ménard, analyste chez Kepler Cheuvreux.

« On ne peut réfléchir au sujet des applications dans l’électronique de défense sans le soutien des satellites, ce qui est l’une des raisons pour lesquelles Thales et Finmeccanica font les deux », ajoute-t-il.

Le président exécutif d’EADS, Tom Enders, est partisan d’un changement de nom 13 ans après la création d’EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co) né de la fusion entre le français Aérospatiale Matra, l’allemand Dasa et l’espagnol Casa.

Il semble qu’il ait le soutien du président d’Airbus Fabrice Bregier. Le nom d’Eurocopter pourrait également être supprimé.

 Source : Les Echos

Russie: exploiter la crise en Occident pour acheter des savoir-faire (Rogozine)

27/08/2012
MOSCOU, 27 août – RIA Novosti

En temps de crise, l’Occident est prêt à vendre les technologies et les armements les plus modernes, et la Russie doit en profiter pour créer des armes de pointe, a estimé lundi le vice-premier ministre russe Dmitri Rogozine.

« Pragmatistes absolus, les étrangers sont prêts à vendre à certains pays les technologies les plus sensibles. Ils traversent une crise, nul n’achetant des armes. Les forces armées réduisent les achats du matériel », a déclaré M.Rogozine dans une interview à la chaîne de télévision Rossia-24.

Et d’ajouter que les étrangers étaient prêts à exporter n’importe quoi en Russie.

« Mais avons-nous besoin d’acheter tout cela. A l’heure actuelle, il faut utiliser leur « nouvelle ouverture » en temps de crise économique afin d’implanter sur notre territoire des technologie modernes d’Occident », a conclu le chef adjoint du gouvernement russe.

France, Germany Agree On Next-Gen Rocket Estimates

August 27, 2012

Amy Svitak Paris

After six months of back-and-forth, and with a key budget meeting fast approaching, France and Germany staked out a modest but crucial piece of common ground last month: In the debate over whether to start work on Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle, the tab for building a successor to the Ariane 5 will run €3.8-5 billion ($5-6.5 billion) over a decade.

The agreement between the French and German space agencies, however, is just the beginning. Detailed in a report delivered to their respective governments in recent weeks, the cost estimate is only a point of departure from which the often polarized partners will move forward this fall, when European Space Agency (ESA) ministers meet in Caserta, Italy, to settle the organization’s multi-year spending program.

At stake is France’s continued support for key ESA programs, including the International Space Station (ISS), Europe’s next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellite and an ambitious proposal to send robotic probes to Mars before the decade’s end—all of which could be compromised if ESA presses ahead with development of the next-generation launch vehicle the French have tentatively dubbed Ariane 6. As the primary financial load-bearer for Europe’s Ariane family of rockets, France is considering a proposal to scrap current Ariane 5 modernization efforts and go straight to development of the next-generation launcher. But as ESA’s largest financial contributor, along with Germany, it is unclear whether France can pay the lion’s share of Ariane 6 development without jeopardizing its contributions to other ESA programs.

“It should not be that we come out of the ministerial with only one program that is called the new launcher,” says Johann-Dietrich Woerner, chairman of the German Aerospace Center DLR. “We have to pay for Earth observation, the barter element for the ISS, and ExoMars, so my opinion is the ESA governments are not ready to pay the majority of their money just for a new launcher.”

Germany, which favors continued work on an upgrade to the current Ariane 5, known as the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (Ariane 5ME), argues that tandem development of both vehicles would only cost a bit more than continuing with Ariane 5ME alone. Woerner says synergies between the two rockets’ industrial teams could cover as much as 25% of the cost to develop and produce the Ariane 6.

Woerner says going straight to Ariane 6 raises questions about industrial work share, and that it remains to be seen whether the new launcher will end roughly €120 million in annual ESA support payments to Arianespace, the commercial launch consortium that operates Ariane 5. Despite going almost a decade without a failure—Ariane 5 boasts 50 straight successes and claims approximately 50% of the commercial launch market—Arianespace is unable to break even without continued financial backing from the space agency’s member states.

Even if it does, another decade could pass before the Ariane 6 is operational, leaving ESA to foot the bill for continued price supports to the tune of €1.2 billion during development.

Those support payments, plus the €3.8-5 billion cost estimate for development, means Ariane 6 will cost a minimum of €5 billion over 10 years. Continuing development of Ariane 5ME, in which Europe has already invested around €300 million, would cost €1.4 billion over five years, when an operational vehicle comes on line in 2018, putting the total cost at €2 billion.

Woerner says a recent letter to ESA from Ariane 5 prime contractor Astrium, the space division of EADS, suggests that once Ariane 5ME is operational, Arianespace will no longer need European price supports. Ariane 5ME is designed to offer a 20% boost in carrying capacity over Ariane 5. It is also more palatable in terms of environmental impacts, as its restartable upper stage is designed to be destroyed post-launch as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere. Multiple conditions in the letter suggest industry participation is necessary for this to occur, but so long as the market remains nominal during the anticipated five-year development period, Astrium says it is doable.

But for Ariane 6, it is impossible to guarantee that ESA subsidies can be eliminated, Woerner argues.

Officials at the French space agency CNES declined to comment on the Franco-German launch vehicle report, but Michel Eymard, director of launchers at CNES, says France’s interest in moving quickly ahead with Ariane 6 is driven by the need to end annual support payments to Arianespace while reducing the company’s reliance on commercial business.

“In France, our objective is to keep a reliable system, an available system, but also a system which does not require any support from the public sector during the exploitation phase,” Eymard said at a May conference on space propulsion in Bordeaux. “The requirement for Ariane 6 is to have a balanced exploitation,” even if competition in the launch market escalates.

Woerner, however, says Germany’s position is that Europe should be less concerned with building vehicles that will survive despite an uncertain commercial market and more with sustaining a consistent industrial policy that supports a highly skilled engineering workforce that can keep Europe on the leading edge of space.

“We are not producing launchers for the market, we are producing launchers for European access to space,” Woerner says. “The market is an interesting point but not the overall one governing the debate.”

With France’s new government expected to unveil a new space policy by late summer, French Minister of Research and Higher Education Genevieve Fioraso says maintaining Europe’s independent access to space is a key element of the forthcoming strategy.

“The space policy that we are backing must affirm independence as one of its major strategic objectives,” Fioraso said in June during the Toulouse Space Show, adding that “it is an absolute necessity for Europe to maintain its independent access to space.”

//

Eurocopter in MoU for Tianjin AS350 completion centre

2012-08-31

Eurocopter has inked a memorandum of understanding with China’s Tianjin Free Trade Zone to explore the creation of a completion and customization centre for the firm’s AS350 Ecureuil light helicopter.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to China’s Airbus A320 factory in Tianjin, where the proposed completion centre will be located, Eurocopter said in a statement.

Airbus and Eurocopter are sister companies within the EADS Group.

The centre would complete and customise Ecureuil helicopters for the Chinese market, but the helicopters would be designed to allow future addition of other types.

« The new Chinese industrial centre will mark an important step for Eurocopter’s global strategy of being in close proximity to customers within key markets, while also offering tailored, flexible solutions adapted to local market requirements, » Eurocopter’s chief executive Lutz Bertling said in a statement.

Source: Flight International

Maintenance : Air France veut construire deux usines en Chine

31.08.12

Air France-KLM lancera au premier trimestre 2013 la construction de deux usines de maintenance en Chine pour des compagnies tiers, dont l’une à Shanghai, afin de conquérir un marché asiatique en pleine expansion, a-t-on appris vendredi de source syndicale, confirmant une information du Parisien.

La compagnie aérienne franco-néerlandaise ouvrira en 2014 les deux usines, l’une spécialisée dans l’entretien mécanique à Xi’an dont elle va acquérir 100%, et l’autre consacrée à l’avionique à Shanghai dont elle détiendra la moitié du capital en coentreprise avec un partenaire chinois, a précisé la source.

L’avionique regroupe les équipements électroniques à bord d’un avion.

Lors d’un comité central d’entreprise (CCE) jeudi, la direction a précisé que le prix d’achat total proposé pour les deux usines étaient de six millions d’euros, mais n’a pas chiffré les investissements nécessaires pour les développer, a ajouté cette source.

Les activités de maintenance, qui concernent notamment l’électronique embarquée des monocouloirs A320 d’Airbus, seront exclusivement destinées à des clients extérieurs à Air France, a-t-elle précisé.

« Il y a eu une inquiétude sur un transfert de charge en Chine, mais Air France a fourni des garanties à ce sujet », a-t-elle dit, précisant que la majorité des syndicats avaient voté en faveur de ce projet lors du CCE.

Air France-KLM n’a pas souhaité faire de commentaire.

Au premier semestre, l’activité maintenance d’Air France-KLM a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires total de 1,57 milliard d’euros, dont 523 millions d’euros avec des clients tiers contre 495 millions au premier semestre 2011.

La division, la troisième du groupe en termes de chiffre d’affaires, a été la seule à avoir été bénéficiaire sur le semestre, avec un résultat d’exploitation de 56 millions d’euros, en hausse de 14%.

En 2011, Air France-KLM avait déjà pris une participation de 26% dans la société indienne MAX MRO Services, dédiée au support équipements sur le marché indien.

Le groupe a également une coentreprise à parité entre Air France et Royal Air Maroc, Aerotechnic Industries (ATI), basée à l’aéroport de Casablanca, destinée à l’entretien des avions moyen-courriers A320.

ATI a réalisé en 2011 des chantiers pour Air Arabia, le loueur d’avion MCAP, Sénégal Airline et Air Méditerranée.

En septembre 2011, elle a reçu un premier avion d’Air France pour une visite d’entretien, suscitant l’inquiétude des syndicats sur une délocalisation d’emplois.

L’annonce d’usines de maintenance en Chine intervient au moment où Air France a annoncé prévoir 5.122 suppressions d’emplois au sein de la compagnie française dans le cadre d’un plan de restructuration destiné à faire économiser à Air France-KLM deux milliards d’euros d’ici fin 2014 pour réduire sa dette d’autant.

Air France a en outre annoncé jeudi soir la suppression de 64 postes de navigants et de sept avions pour son pôle régional. (Edité par Dominique Rodriguez)

Source: Reuters

Embraer concepts reveal work continues on all-new narrowbody airliner

By:   Stephen Trimble São Paulo

23 Aug 2012

Embraer is carefully preparing for a narrowbody airliner that could succeed a re-engined and possibly re-winged E-Jet family sometime after 2025.

Early concepts showing a new airliner with high-aspect ratio wings and ultra-high-bypass ratio engines mounted over the aft fuselage between a noise-shielding split-tail were revealed by Embraer in a presentation at LABACE in mid-August.

However, the new configurations are likely only initial designs. Antonini Puppin Macedo, a conceptual aircraft designer for Embraer, calls them « very preliminary ».

But they offer a window into Embraer’s ongoing effort to prepare to defend its hard-won turf in the commercial aircraft sector against new competitors from China, India, Japan and Russia.

Embraer had been close to launching a new narrowbody airliner until last November, but then took a step back to avoid challenging the re-engined and upgraded Boeing 737-7 Max and Airbus A319neo in the 130-seat class.

Embraer instead decided to re-engine its current E-Jet family that occupies the market segment just below the 120-seat threshold, with entry-into-service scheduled no later than 2018.

But it is clear that decision only postponed Embraer’s goal to eventually field an all-new narrowbody aimed at the 130-seat market provided that Airbus and Boeing vacate the segment, with their all-new narrowbodies in the future ranging between 150-220 seats.

Macedo’s presentation revealed that Embraer is steadily and deliberately working on the technologies that will be necessary to compete for orders in a market segment that has been dominated by the Airbus-Boeing duopoly for 25 years.

The presentation showed pictures of new laboratories managed jointly by Embraer and Brazilian universities. One slide showed an image of a laboratory focused on developing manufacturing techniques for low-weight composite materials. Another slide revealed a facility aimed at developing automated drilling systems for a complete fuselage barrel.

Macedo also described Embraer’s methodical development of fly-by-wire technology, which is typical of the airframer’s strategy to make incremental advances with every new product.

Embraer first developed a rudimentary fly-by-wire system with Aeritalia (now AleniaAermacchi) for the AMX fighter-trainer. The next system that appeared on the 170 airliner was a partial, open-loop fly-by-wire governing pitch and yaw but not roll, as the ailerons are controlled by a hydro-mechanical system.

With the Legacy 500, Embraer is integrating – with acknowledged difficulties – a closed-loop, three-axis fly-by-wire system for the first time. However, the system on the Legacy 500 and its sister 450 aircraft, developed by Parker Aerospace, could be the last time Embraer outsources the system. The KC-390 airlifter offers Embraer an opportunity to develop its own software for the flight control computer, which translates the sidestick inputs to the control surfaces and monitors the feedback.

By the time Embraer unveils an all-new commercial aircraft, it will have steadily matured an almost entirely in-house capacity to design and integrate a fly-by-wire control system.

Meanwhile, Embraer has steadily increased its usage of composites to now include all primary control surfaces and the fuel-carrying sponson of the KC-390. Embraer also is building a composite manufacturing facility in Evora, Portugal. « When it comes to the point of using these technologies, it’s all linked, » says Mauro Kern, executive vice-president for engineering and technology. « There’s consistency to what’s being developed in [the research and technology portfolio] to what’s being used in the next programmes, » Kern says.

Embraer’s strategy is shaped by developing performance improvements and new technologies that reduce the cost of operating the next generation of commercial aircraft, especially in terms of fuel cost. Each year, a technology roadmap with a 10- to 15-year horizon is reviewed and updated, Kern says.

« We have today 40 – a little over 40 – different [research and technology] projects going on here in several different areas – cabin comfort and biofuels, for example, » he explains. « We understand that in some areas we are maybe at the forefront of the technology already. In others, we are lagging behind, so we need to catch up. »

Source: Flight International