Armement : encore un succès de la France (Thales) en Australie

Par Michel Cabirol  |  24/11/2016, 10:00  |  572  mots

Le contrat de modernisation obtenu par Thales vise à doter les systèmes sonars des sous-marins australiens de la classe Collins des meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection sous-marine (Crédits : ministère de la Défense australien) Thales a signé un contrat de conception et de pré-production avec le ministère de la Défense australien pour moderniser les six sous-marins de la classe Collins de la Marine royale. Un premier contrat de 70 millions d’euros.

Et encore un succès de la France en Australie dans le domaine de l’armement. Thales a signé un contrat de conception et de pré-production avec le ministère de la Défense australien pour moderniser les six sous-marins de la classe Collins de la Marine royale. Le montant de ce contrat s’élève à 100 millions de dollars australiens (soit 70 millions d’euros) mais il pourrait atteindre plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros si l’électronicien obtient les prochaines tranches concernant la production et l’installation des sonars.

Le gouvernement australien devrait donner en 2018 son feu vert définitif au programme de modernisation et les contrats devraient ensuite se succéder sur une dizaine d’années en fonction des besoins de la marine australienne, a précisé le vice-président des systèmes de lutte sous la mer de Thales, Alexis Morel lors d’une conférence téléphonique. Il estime que cette modernisation doit permettre « à la marine australienne de maintenir sa supériorité sous les mers dans la région ».

Meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection

Thales aura pour mission de remplacer les antennes des sous-marins entrées en service au milieu des années 90 par des systèmes de sonars plus performants. Dans un contexte d’évolution permanente des menaces, ce contrat vise à doter leurs systèmes sonars des meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection sous-marine, estime le groupe d’électronique.

Premier fournisseur de technologies sonars à l’Australie, Thales s’appuiera sur une forte expertise locale et internationale pour moderniser les antennes cylindriques, les antennes de flanc et leur traitement à bord. Ainsi, les antennes cylindriques seront remplacées par des antennes cylindriques modulaires (MCA), élaborées par Thales au Royaume-Uni. L’actuelle antenne de flanc sera, elle, remplacée par une antenne de dernière génération développée par les équipes Thales en France.

Dans ce cadre de la modernisation des Collins, Thales Australia engagera des sociétés australiennes comme Sonartech Atlas et L3 Oceania en vue de préparer ce programme, a précisé le ministère australien de la Défense dans un communiqué. « C’est un exemple clair de notre engagement à renforcer le potentiel d’innovation de l’industrie militaire australienne », fait observer le ministre de la Défense, Christopher Pyne. Les travaux d’intégration des systèmes de sonars s’effectueront sur le site de Thales à Rydalmere, à côté de Sydney.

« C’est très bien pour Thales en Australie : cela permet de renouveler des compétences et des emplois et nous maintient dans une position importante dans le pays », estime Alexis Morel.

Une étape importante pour Thales

Avec ce contrat obtenu en Australie, Thales a en ligne de mire un contrat que le groupe pourrait décrocher courant 2017. Un contrat de plus d’un milliard d’euros en vue d’équiper de sonars de nouvelle génération les 12 futurs sous-marins que DCNS et Lockheed Martin (système de combat) doivent construire pour la marine australienne (34 milliards d’euros au total). « Dans le contexte du grand contrat sur les futurs sous-marins, c’est évidemment une étape très importante pour nous », estime Alexis Morel. « On ne vend pas la peau de l’ours mais on aborde les choses avec confiance », affirme-t-il toutefois.

« Aujourd’hui, nous avons l’assurance que la confiance du gouvernement australien dans Thales pour moderniser ses sous-marins actuels est renouvelée », assure-t-il, en précisant que le processus de sélection pour ce contrat n’est pas encore défini.

Source: La Tribune.fr

Team to investigate Collins-class replacements

MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars will be spent to see whether Australia can design its own submarines despite the Defence Department admitting such a move would pose an « extreme risk » because of a lack of local expertise.

A meeting in Canberra today is expected to lead to the creation of a joint Defence and industry team to explore the option of an Australian design for the new fleet of 12 submarines.

Creating an Australian design for the new submarines is considered the most risky and least likely option for Defence, which is examining proven overseas designs as part of the $36 billion project.

In February, Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt told a Senate estimates hearing that it made no sense for Australia to design submarines.

« If we were to design a submarine in Australia using the skills and resources we have in Australia today, the risk would be extreme, » he said. « No one is saying we should do that.

« We do not have the resources and no one has suggested that we do this entirely within our existing national resources. It is not something that makes a lot of sense to do in terms of design. »

However, a submarine concept design workshop being held by Defence in Canberra today for Australian industry representatives takes a different view, according to a workshop document obtained by The Australian.

« SEA 1000 (the new submarine program team) believes initial exploration of (a new design) is within the capability of Australian industry, and is considering the establishment of a Defence and industry integrated project team to examine this option by completing a submarine concept design study, » it says.

The concept design would be a 12-month project beginning in January.

The document warns that if further inspection reveals a shortfall of appropriate skills, the Australian design work may be scrapped. « If the skills are not available, then the design activity may not proceed, » it says.

An Australian design for the new submarines is one of four options being examined by the government.

The others are: to buy off-the-shelf submarines from overseas; to buy from overseas but modify the boats for Australian components such as weapon systems; and the evolution of an existing design including a possible « son of Collins » based on the Collins-class boats.

Whichever option is chosen, the boats will be built in Adelaide. The government plans to make a decision by early 2014 on which option is best.

The 2009 white paper locked the government into building the world’s largest and most advanced conventional submarine.

Since then, the ongoing problems of the Collins-class fleet, coupled with Defence budget cuts, have led to careful consideration of existing submarines from Europe, which would be cheaper and would pose less technical risk.

Defence maintains, however, that European submarines do not have the range or the payload required for long-range missions in Asian waters.

Thales va coopérer avec DCNS pour un appel d’offres australien

Par Rémy Maucourt – le 07 mars 2012

Thales, actionnaire de DCNS, compte s’allier avec ce dernier pour faire une offre à l’Australie. L’enjeu : le renouvellement des sous-marins du pays.

DCNS « s’intéresse au futur marché de renouvellement de sous-marins (conventionnels) australiens », annonce mercredi le PDG de Thales Luc Vigneron. Or Thales « est le deuxième industriel de défense en Australie », avec 3 000 employés sur place. Une alliance sur ce marché semble donc cohérente.

« Pour DCNS avoir un allié très fort localement c’est positif et puis nous, étant sur place, nous pouvons récupérer une part du travail », explique Luc vigneron. Il a utilisé cet exemple pour illustrer les bénéfices qu’il attend de la montée au capital de DCNS, dont Thales détient depuis décembre dernier 35%.

Outre les coopérations sur des marchés à l’export, Luc Vigneron prévoit des échanges en amont, entre les ingénieurs qui travaillent sur les concepts des armements qui verront le jour « dans cinq ou dix ans ».

Ces deux types de coopération sont « des thèmes sur lesquels il faut échanger des informations sensibles, chose qu’on ne fait qu’entre sociétés qui ont des liens. Le fait d’avoir un lien capitalistique, même minoritaire, facilite les échanges d’informations », affirme-t-il.

Source: L’Usine Nouvelle

Le blindé léger de Thales choisi par l’Australie

12/12/2011

Bruno Trevidic

La filiale australienne du groupe français a été choisie pour fournir jusqu’à 1.300 véhicules blindés légers de transport de troupes.

Ce n’est pas encore tout à fait gagné, mais c’est déjà une première victoire pour Thales. Sa filiale australienne Hawkei, qui fabrique des véhicules blindés de transport de troupes, a remporté un appel d’offre de l’armée australienne pour fournir à terme jusqu’à 1.300 blindés légers.

Le contrat pourrait atteindre environ 1,5 milliard de dollars australiens, soit 1,1 milliard d’euros. Rheinmetall MAN et Mercedes Benz ont également été sélectionnés pour la fourniture de 2.700 à 3.700 véhicules lourds, dans le cadre d’un programme de renouvellement de l’ensemble du parc de transports de troupes australiens.

Spécialement développé pour ce marché, le Hawkei de Thales (qui tire son nom d’un serpent venimeux australien) doit remplacer les Land Rover de l’armée australienne. Toutefois, la décision finale du gouvernement australien d’investir ou non dans ce programme n’est pas encore acquise. En tout état de cause, la production ne débutera pas avant 2015, sur le site de Bendigo, près de Melbourne, pour des premières livraisons en 2016.

« Le contrat de développement annoncé aujourd’hui nous permettra de transformer le prototype en véhicule prêt à être produit, qui réponde totalement aux spécifications de l’armée australienne », a commenté le PDG de Thales Australia, Chris Jenkins.

La filiale australienne de Thales produit déjà depuis dix ans un véhicule blindé lourd, le Bushmaster, sur son site de Bendigo. Vendu à 800 exemplaires, il équipe les armées australiennes, néerlandaises et britanniques et a connu le baptême du feu en Irak et en Afghanistan. Conçu pour résister aux mines et aux engins explosifs artisanaux, le Bushmaster est actuellement en lice sur plusieurs appels d’offres, dont celui de l’armée américaine pour 1.500 véhicules. Il est également en piste sous le nom de « Broussard » pour le futur programme de remplacement du VAB (véhicule de l’avant blindé) de l’Armée française, où il devrait être opposé à l’offre du français Nexter.

Source: Les Echos

Australia moves to ratify defense treaty

CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 4 (UPI)

The introduction of a bill in Parliament moves Australia a step closer to cutting red tape surrounding procurement from U.S. defense businesses.

If enacted, the Defense Trade Controls Bill 2011 will ratify the United States Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty signed by the U.S. and Australian governments four years ago in Sydney.

The consultations were begun when John Howard was Australia’s prime minister and George W. Bush was U.S. president.

The U.S. Congress passed implementing legislation Sept. 28, 2010, and the treaty received ratification consent by the U.S. Senate the following day.

Australian Minister of Defense Materiel Jason Clare and Minister of Defense Stephen Smith jointly announced the introduction of bill into Parliament.

Once implemented, the treaty will create a framework for trade between Australia and the United States for certain defense equipment, technologies and services without the need for U.S. or Australian export licenses.

« Cooperation in defense capability and technology is one of the most important elements of Australia’s alliance with the United States, » Smith said.

Clare told Parliament that around half of Australia’s war-fighting assets are sourced from the United States.

« We will replace or upgrade up to 85 percent of our military equipment over the next 10 to 15 years, » he said. « Strengthening this area of our alliance cooperation is, therefore, clearly in our national interest. »

Australian companies purchasing defense equipment and assets from U.S. companies need an export license from the U.S. Department of State in accordance with the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Clare said the treaty will remove the requirement for individual licenses for each export. There will be license-free movement of eligible defense articles on an approved list.

« This will save the Australian government and Australian industry time and money, » Clare said.

« For the Australian (military) the treaty also will improve interoperability with U.S. forces by making it easier for both militaries to share common equipment and spares during exercises and operations. »

The next step is the release of the draft regulations before the end of the year. This will involve further significant consultation with the Australian defense industry, including a review by the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty Industry Advisory Panel.

Final implementation of the treat will bring Australia’s procurement practices in line with two of the United State’s other major defense buyers, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In practice, there will be an « approved community of companies » that are exempt from export licensing requirements. However, U.S. companies will have to advise the U.S. State Department that they have engaged in defense export activity with Australia.

The agreement will cover cooperative security and defense research work including development, production and support programs, as well as combined military and counter-terrorism operations.

There will be a compliance and audit regime to monitor the agreement. This will cover issues like facility clearance, business history, export licensing and compliance record and relationships to countries of concern.

Source: UPI

General Dynamics Land Systems Australia Awarded Contract to Deliver Through Life Support for ASLAV, M1A1 and M88A2 Fleets

ADELAIDE, SA, Australia — General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia (GDLS-A), a business unit of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada in London, Ontario, received a five year, AU$44.8m Through Life Support contract today. The contract also includes a one year phase-in period.

The Through Life Support services will deliver enhanced fleet availability of the Army’s ASLAV wheeled armoured fighting vehicles, M1A1 Abrams tanks, and M88A2 Heavy Recovery vehicles. Ongoing spare parts, repairs, maintenance and engineering tasks will be ordered as required through this integrated support contract. It also provides the opportunity for stronger relationships with the Commonwealth and local industry.

The contract will change the mechanisms and business processes between the Commonwealth and General Dynamics in Australia to improve efficiency, reduce costs and promote value. The contract also includes the implementation of a performance management framework for the services, which contributes toward the Commonwealth Strategic Reform Program (SRP). This provides the basis for awarding up to 15, one-year contract extensions based on performance. The low risk Through Life Support solution is founded on local and experienced capability; leveraging the full range of original equipment manufacturer engineering, technical support network and product service centres.

Gary Stewart, Managing Director of General Dynamics Land Systems – Australia, said the performance-based contract provides an adaptable framework to ensure sustainable, dependable and high quality service delivery.

“We have leveraged our extensive experience in implementing and executing performance-based support contracts for other customers, which has enabled us to incorporate attributes such as cost transparency, continuous improvement and application of lean initiatives,” Stewart said. “Our service delivery model is flexible, enabling effective change and ongoing service delivery in response to the Commonwealth’s constantly changing operational and support environments.”

Stewart added that the contract enables the repair, maintenance and upgrade of combat vehicle fleets to remain a strategic industry capability within Australia.

“The long range focus of this program also presents the opportunity for Australian industry to participate in General Dynamics’ global supply chain,” Stewart said. “We look forward to engaging with Australian companies as part of our design, manufacturing and sustainment transfer initiatives for this contract and other programs.”

L’Australie s’apprête à recevoir son premier A330 MRTT

publié le 30/05/2011 à 16:15, Adrien Prévost

La Royal Australian Air Force a reçu son premier A330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) appelé localement KC-30A. Parti de Madrid en Espagne vendredi 27 mai, il a rejoint la base aérienne d’Amberley dans le Queensland ce lundi 30 mai. L’appareil a transité par les Etats-Unis via l’aéroport McCarran au Nevada et la base d’Hickam située à Hawaii.

C’est le second appareil converti dans les locaux de Qantas Defence Services de Brisbane, il était revenu à Madrid pour être peint et finalisé.

Le cinquième Airbus est arrivé à Brisbane il y a quelques jours afin d’y être converti et sera livré l’année prochaine. L’appareil dispose de deux nacelles de ravitaillement sous les ailes.

L’A330 MRTT peut aussi se faire ravitailler. Le second appareil de la RAAF sera livré en juin tandis que deux autres suivront d’ici la fin de l’année. Six A330 MRTT sont déjà en vol. Parmi eux, trois sont donc destinés à la Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) et sont déjà terminés. Les trois autres appareils appartiennent à la RAF (2) et à l’Arabie Saoudite (1).

Un total de 28 A330 Multi-Role Tanker and Transport a été commandé dans le monde. L’A330 MRTT est basé sur l’Airbus A330-200, la version australienne est propulsée par des CF6-80E de General Electric et peut accueillir 270 passagers.

Source: aérocontact.com

BAE Systems Wins Usage Monitoring Contract to Support Australia’s F/A-18 Hornet Fleet

NEWCASTLE, Australia

BAE Systems has secured a new contract to provide vital usage monitoring services for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) F/A-18 Hornet fighters.

The three-year contract, with extension options, is valued at approximately $3 million and will support 10 jobs at Williamtown in New South Wales and Richmond in Victoria.

Under the contract, BAE Systems will gather, track and report fatigue-related information about the Hornet’s airframe and engines using an unique, Australian-developed Maintenance Diagnostic and Service Life Monitoring System.

BAE Systems Australia has also developed a suite of diagnostic software tools that provide the RAAF with the capability to conduct detailed investigations into generic aircraft operational characteristics, and into the causes of specific aircraft incidents.

In 2008, BAE Systems was selected to develop a similar capability for the RAAF’s new fleet of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Aerospace Business Unit Director John Monaghan said the Hornet Usage Monitoring contract was a crucial element of ensuring that the F/A-18 Hornet fleet remains the backbone of Australia’s tactical fighter capability.

“Leveraging our unique system will give the RAAF and Defence Science Technology Organisation (DSTO) the data required to make informed decisions on the F/A-18 fleet to ensure it remains viable until the introduction of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft into service.”

BAE Systems Australia has delivered comprehensive airframe and engine fatigue monitoring services for the RAAF’s Hornet fleet since 1983.

Since 2009, BAE Systems Australia and L-3 MAS Canada have also been providing long term maintenance and modification support for the RAAF’s Hornets.

Ballistic plates for combat body armour – made in Australia

Friday, 25 March 2011

Ballistic plates for combat body armour to protect Australian troops can now be made in Australia thanks to the development of new manufacturing technology.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the new technology during a visit to the CSIRO in Melbourne today.

“Body armour is one of the most important elements of a soldier’s personal protection. It offers protection from ballistic threats like small-arms fire and fragments from improvised explosive devices,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The ballistic plate inserted into body armour is made from an advanced ceramic material that is incredibly strong for its weight. The stronger and lighter the ballistic plate, the better protection it provides to our soldiers.”

New technology to manufacture the ballistic plates has been developed through a partnership between:

  • The Defence Materials Technology Centre;
  • Australian Defence Apparel (ADA);
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
    (CSIRO); and
  • The Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).

Australian Defence Apparel will soon be able to manufacture the ballistic plates at their factory in Bendigo.

Mr Clare said that most ballistic plates used by the ADF are currently imported from the United States.

“Manufacturing these plates in Australia has big advantages. It will allow for new technology to be prototyped quickly and for product development to occur in Australia,” Mr Clare said.

“Thanks to the hard work of the scientists, engineers and Australian Defence Industry here we now have a world-leading product that can be produced here in Australia.”

The Defence Materials Technology Centre is a not-for-profit company jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Defence Future Capability Technology Centre’ program, the Victorian Government, and industry and research body participants.

The Centre brings together defence industry, universities and government research agencies to develop new materials and manufacturing technologies that will enhance Australia’s defence capability.

Source : Australian MoD

Boeing Receives AUS$15.5M MHFCS Support Services Contract

BRISBANE, Queensland, March 25, 2011 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] on March 11 received a $15.5 million Support Services Contract (SSC) from the Commonwealth of Australia for the Modernised High Frequency Communications System (MHFCS).

Under the SSC, Boeing will sustain and upgrade the operational capability of MHFCS, which the company also developed. The system is used to securely exchange information within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for the command and control of deployed forces.

“SSC will provide the Australian Department of Defence with the specialized engineering support it needs to maintain this strategically important communications asset,” said Michael Aylward, head of the Electronic Systems Division for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Defence Material Organisation.

“SSC is a huge vote of confidence from the Commonwealth in Boeing’s ability to ensure MHFCS remains at the cutting edge of high frequency (HF) communications technology,” said Mike Scott, general manager of Network & Space Systems for Boeing Defence Australia. “We’ve worked very closely with the Commonwealth to ensure SSC will deliver maximum value and the most effective support to the ADF.”

Boeing received “project complete” status from the Commonwealth for MHFCS on June 16, 2010. The company delivered the system in two phases, identified as the core system and the final system.

The core system, delivered in 2004, replaced three aging HF communications systems used by the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with a single integrated system consisting of four HF radio stations and two purpose-built control centers.

The final system, which was introduced into ADF service on Sept. 24, 2009, provided greater levels of automation, performance and capability for ADF users, a back-up network management facility at Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, and Generic Mobile Upgrade Systems for land-and-sea and air platforms.

Boeing Defence Australia’s Network & Space Systems division provides a range of command and control, managed network communications, engineering services and cyber and information solutions, including MHFCS and Vigilare, the RAAF’s ground-based air defense system.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of about 1,500 employees at 15 locations throughout Australia and four international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 66,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.