Philippines to acquire 10 new attack helicopters

Jul. 18, 2012

MANILA — The Philippines will acquire 10 attack helicopters starting next year in a bid to boost the capabilities of the poorly equipped military, an air force spokesman said July 18.

Italy, Britain, France, Russia and South Africa are all being eyed to supply the helicopters, Lt. Col. Miguel Okol said, although he declined to specify which models were being considered.

The brand new machines will upgrade the fleet of U.S.-made MG-520 light attack helicopters that the air force has been using since the 1990s.

“What we are going to get are armed attack helicopters … that can carry more payload than the MG-520,” Okol told AFP.

He declined to specify the cost of the acquisition but said the government had already allocated the required funds.

The new aircraft will be used for “internal security operations, border security and support operations,” he said.

The Philippines is battling communist insurgents in rural areas throughout the archipelago, as well as Muslim extremists in the troubled southern regions.

In recent months, tensions have also risen with China over conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea, but Okol said the acquisition of the attack helicopters was unrelated.

The tensions with China have highlighted the weakness of the Philippine military, which is one of the most poorly equipped in the region, relying largely on surplus U.S. equipment.

The Philippines has been refurbishing its aging MG-520 helicopters, other military sources said.

The country has recently been stepping up its modernization efforts and plans to acquire new fighter-trainer jets and attack and transport planes by 2014, the defense secretary said earlier.

Source: Agence France Presse

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Algeria orders six Super Lynx helicopters

Written by defenceWeb

Wednesday, 08 August 2012

The Algerian Navy is believed to have ordered six AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 helicopters for its new Meko A200 class frigates.

In its results for the second quarter of 2012, Finmeccanica stated that, “the most important new orders of the period in the military-government line include the contract to supply six AW Super Lynx 300 helicopters to a key customer in the southern Mediterranean area…”.

The six Super Lynx will be built at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil factory. They are expected to operate from the Algerian Navy’s two Meko A200 frigates, which were ordered from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) on March 26 this year. TKMS will supply the two frigates and six Super Lynx helicopters under the contract, which, according to Germany’s Bild, is worth more than €400 million. However, some sources suggest the deal, which includes options on two more frigates, is worth between €2.176 and €2.5 billion.

The Super Lynx order follows on from a November 2007 deal for four Super Lynx Mk 130 and six AW101 Mk 610 Merlin helicopters. The aircraft were purchased for search and rescue – the AW101s feature 360 degree search radars and forward looking infrared/electro optical turrets under their noses.

Algerian crews were trained in Cornwall in the UK, with the first Lynx flying by February 2010 and the first Merlin commencing training flights in May. All the aircraft from this deal are believed to have been delivered and are fully operational. The fourth and final Super Lynx Mk 130 was delivered in January this year, after the first two were delivered in September 2010, followed by the third in February 2011.

Algeria has requested that its helicopter deals with AgustaWestland remain confidential and the Finmeccanica company does not comment on any Algerian acquisitions. However, it is believed that Algeria is acquiring at least 80 helicopters from AgustaWestland. These will be used by its armed forces, paramilitary forces and emergency forces and are being procured through the Algerian Ministry of Defence.

Algeria is procuring 30 AW109 Light Utility Helicopters and 42 AW101s for the paramilitary Gendarmerie Nationale, according to Arabian Aerospace. The magazine believes that 15 AW109s will be supplied to the Gendarmerie, ten to the Unite Aerienne de la Surete Nationale police service and five AW139s to the Protection Civile organisation responsible for emergencies such as fires.

A second batch of helicopters will reportedly consist of 10-15 AW101s for the Gendarmerie while a third phase will see 27-32 AW101s and 15 AW109s being assembled locally. The first two of five AW139s was delivered to the Protection Civile in February this year, according to Air Forces Monthly.

Finmeccanica’s results also made mention of a contract to supply five AW169s to a United Arab Emirates governmental customer; orders to supply two law enforcement-configured AW139 helicopters to the Japanese National Police Agency and the contract to supply one AW109 helicopter to the Chilean military police.

Source: defenceweb.co.za

Drones : vers une collaboration France / Allemagne

Le 24 novembre 2011 par Rémy Maucourt

Le secrétaire d’Etat allemand à la défense affirme jeudi qu’il est favorable à des programmes d’armement communs entre les deux pays. Le projet le plus urgent reste le développement de drones européens.

« De la concurrence sur des programmes du passé, nous devons passer à des projets communs pour le futur. » Stéphane Beemelmans, secrétaire d’Etat à la défense allemand, s’affiche dans un entretien à La Tribune favorable à de nouveaux projets de défense entre les deux pays.

Le responsable allemand a précisément évoqué les projets de drones actuellement à l’étude en France et en Allemagne. « Je ne crois pas à deux projets de cette envergure au niveau européen », a-t-il expliqué, affirmant travailler « pour aboutir à un projet unique ».

Deux projets avancent en parallèle en Europe pour mettre au point une nouvelle génération d’appareils sans pilotes. Le drone Telemos est proposé conjointement par Dassault Aviation et le britannique BAE Systems, auxquels pourrait aussi s’associer le groupe italien Finmeccanica. En face, EADS développe son drone Talarion. Le groupe européen a récemment signé un accord de coopération avec Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Stéphane Beemelmans estime que la poursuite de ces deux projets concurrents ne se justifie pas, pour des raisons d’interopérabilité, de prix, d’entretien, d’emploi, et de budget. Cette situation rapelle un scénario déjà connu : l’Europe a développé parallèlement deux avions de combat, le Rafale (Dassault) et l’Eurofighter (EADS/Alenia/BAe Systems). Ces deux avions sont aujourd’hui en concurrence pour équiper les armées indiennes et émiraties.

Source: L’Usine Nouvelle

Italian Austerity Likely To Hit Aerospace

Aug 9, 2011

By Andy Nativi

GENOA, Italy — Italian defense spending and other public allocations backing aerospace are expected to face a difficult future under Rome’s newly minted fiscal reform package aimed at soothing market fears over its ability to repay its debt.

The effect on the individual ministerial line items has not yet been decided, but the accelerated move to a balanced budget and other reform commitments make cuts to spending on aerospace, defense and security inevitable. The goal of the reform package – which also includes welfare cuts and tax increases that could trigger labor turmoil – is to bring the ratio of public debt to GDP to a more sustainable level.

To raise funding, Rome also may be forced to sell its stake in some industrial “crown jewels.” Even disposal of part of its 30% stake in Finmeccanica is not being ruled out; a potential option is to reduce the involvement to a mere golden share to protect the company from foreign takeover. However, that move is seen as unlikely.

Finmeccanica’s share price has fallen sharply in recent days, owing to a combination of factors including disappointing earnings, slow progress in streamlining the business and broader concerns over the Italian market. Any disposal is unlikely until the share price recovers to make the sale financially attractive.

The increased budget pressure also is expected to hit the ministries of economic development, research and public instruction, and transportation. The first pays for research and development, as well as procurement of many major platforms – including Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, navy Fremm frigates, army wheeled combat vehicles and military satellites. The research and public instruction ministry provides the Italian space agency’s funding resources and the transportation ministry finances the bulk of the coast guard.

The squeeze has been on aerospace for some time. Prior to the latest move, the government cut €5 billion ($7.1 billion) from public spending under the 2012-14 budget plan, with €250 million taken from defense in 2012 and another €413 million in 2013, More cuts in 2014 were planned. The ministry of economic development was to surrender a total of €2 billion, although only a small fraction would have hit aerospace and defense activities. The ministry currently is looking to obligate €400 million to support R&D programs, money which was approved but has not been earmarked.

The defense ministry still has to detail how it will cope with the budget crunch, and a communication on that strategy could be submitted to parliament by the end of September. That deadline may slide if the new spending adjustments have to be built into that plan.

So far, the defense ministry has tried to absorb spending cuts without sacrificing major procurement activities or cutting personnel. However, with operations and maintenance accounts already stretched, curtailing modernization funding may emerge as the ministry’s only tool to decrease spending, especially if there is continuing political pressure not to cut uniformed or civilian personnel.

Operational reductions have been made. In its commitment to the NATO mission against Libya, Italy will replace its aircraft carrier with a smaller amphibious platform (its navy Harriers are no longer in action), while the air force has added the AMX to the F-16s, Typhoons and Tornado it is flying. Those steps will help shrink operational outlays for the full year below the €1.8-2 billion forecast.

Source: Aviationweek.com

Alenia Aermacchi: Finalised Contracts with ST Aerospace Worth About EUR 170 Million for the Logistic Support of the Fleet of 12 M-346s for the Republic of Singapore Air Force

Alenia Aermacchi,  a company of Finmeccanica’s Aeronautics Sector led by Alenia Aeronautica – has finalised with ST Aerospace the logistics support contracts for the 12 M-346 trainers sold at the end of September 2010 in the context of the Fighter Wings Course programme of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

The two contracts are expected to generate total sales in the range of EUR 170 million.

The first contract (Supply Chain Management) envisages the joint management of the M-346 suppliers by Alenia Aermacchi and ST Aerospace (after-sales support, including spare parts provisioning, repair and overhaul services) with sharing of risks, sales and profits between the two Companies.

The other contract (Operations & Support) concerns instead the supply by Alenia Aermacchi of engineering support, programme/contract management and field support services.

Alenia Aeronautica’s CEO and Responsible for Finmeccanica’s Aeronautics Sector has commented: « The two contracts on the logistics support of the 12 M-346 for Singapore confirm the success of the high-technology Italian industry and the primacy at international level of this aircraft and of its integrated training system. Once again we are particularly proud for the positive relationship with both the Republic of Singapore Air Force, known to be one of the most sophisticated Air Forces in the world, and our industrial counterpart, ST Aerospace. »

The M-346 is the most Advanced/Lead-In Fighter Trainer currently produced and the only new generation trainer optimised for the role. Its excellent performance and flying qualities, close to modern frontline fighters, brings the M-346 to a superior teaching effectiveness level. The advanced design solutions provide also high safety standards and reduced acquisition and operational costs. The aircraft is tailored to train pilots to fly new-generation combat aircraft and is well suited for every phase of advanced and pre-operational training, to reduce the flight hours on the more expensive frontline aircraft.

The aircraft embodies the latest « design-to-cost » and « design-to-maintain » concepts, with avionics modelled upon those of new-generation military aircraft such as Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future JSF. Its flexible platform is configured also for the operational roles as a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

The M-346 is the ideal platform for the next-generation Integrated Training Systems.

The M-346 programme is attracting increasing interest from potential international customers and partners. Besides the contracts with Italian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore, and the selection by the United Arab Emirates, additional opportunities exist on leading markets and other European and Worldwide Countries.

Source: Alenia Aeronautica

Selex Galileo acquires UTRI and reinforces its UAS capability

Rome – SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company and leader in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), is pleased to announce the acquisition of Italian technology firm UTRI (Unmanned Technologies Research Institute). UTRI provides innovative mini-micro UAS for defence and homeland security purposes. UTRI has been recognised at a European level for its excellence in unmanned technology.

SELEX Galileo is a notable provider of Unmanned Aerial Systems, with the tactical Falco representing Europe’s only UAS system exported to date. SELEX Galileo’s portfolio of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) now ranges from mini-micro up to tactical UAS. The acquisition of UTRI will allow SELEX Galileo to further reinforce its UAS capability by leveraging on the growing mini-micro market.

Highlights from the range of new products SELEX Galileo will be able to offer include the operational 6.5 kg mini Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) UAS ‘ASIO’ characterised by a unique « perch and stare » capability, the micro fixed-wing ‘Crex-B’ UAS that weighs 2kg and the ducted-fan VTOL technology Spyball micro UAS.

SELEX Galileo’s advanced sensor technology, ground control station and state-of-the-art simulation capabilities will further enhance the Company’s mini/micro UAS offer, providing modern solutions for developing battlefield and civil requirements.

Source : Selex Galileo

India Likely To Award Trainer Contract In Q3

Apr 25, 2011

By Jay Menon

NEW DELHI — India is poised to shortlist a manufacturer to provide much-needed basic trainer aircraft.

The contenders — Grob’s G-120 TP, Embraer’s EMB-312 Super Tucano, Korea Aerospace Industries’ KT-1, Finmeccanica’s M-311 and Pilatus’ PC-7 — emerged following a request for proposals issued in early 2010. The deal is estimated to cost $1 billion.

“The flight trials [of the competitors] have been completed and we are assessing the evaluation made by the Indian air force,” an Indian defense ministry official says. “We expect to award a contract in the third quarter of 2011 and the [deliveries] are expected to commence some time [in] 2012.”

India is seeking to procure 75 aircraft off the shelf, with 106 to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) under a joint venture agreement.

The selected manufacturer will be required to deliver an initial batch of 12 aircraft within two years of signing the contract. The project is aimed at replacing HAL’s HPT-32 Deepak aircraft, which were grounded following several crashes due to technical glitches.

“We are in urgent need of trainer jets for our pilots,” the official says. The air force has been without a basic trainer jet since July 2009.

India’s arms build-up has been hampered by a series of delayed or canceled deals. Analysts say that a delay in awarding the contract for basic trainers could deflate profits for both the bidders as well as the prime domestic recipients of offset work.

Under defense ministry procurement procedures, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that win Indian contracts must support the Indian industrial base by purchasing defense goods and services locally, as well as other direct and indirect investments in defense manufacturing and R&D infrastructure. Offset levels begin at 30% of the contract value and may be higher in certain cases.

The addition of Hawk 132 Advanced Jet Trainers and Intermediate Jet Trainers also is part of the air force’s flight training modernization. Last July, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce signed an agreement valued at ₤700 million ($1.1 billion) to supply Hawk trainers to India.

The deal for 57 aircraft was signed with HAL at the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron. The order is valued at more than ₤500 million for BAE and as much as ₤200 million for Rolls-Royce.

An earlier order for 66 BAE trainers took two decades to negotiate and was hampered by a lack of parts. The deal was finally signed in 2004, and 24 of these airplanes were completed in December 2009. Of the remaining 42 to be built by HAL, 10 have been delivered, and the entire batch is expected to be completed by 2012.

Source : AviationWeek.com

Alenia Aeronautica Delivers the Third C-27J to the Bulgarian Air Force and Unveils a Logistics Centre at the “Vrazhdebna” Military Base of Sofia

Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, has delivered today, at “Vrazhdebna” military base of Sofia (in Bulgaria), the final C-27J ordered by the Bulgarian Air Force in 2006, and unveiled a logistics support centre for the aircraft.

The delivery ceremony was attended by Mr. Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr. Anu Anguelov, Bulgarian Defence Minister, Mr. Giuseppe Cossiga, Italian Defence Undersecretary, Mr. Stefano Benazzo, Italian Ambassador in Bulgaria, Gen. S.A. Maurizio Ludovisi, Deputy-Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force and Mr. Giuseppe Giordo, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aeronautica and Responsible of the Aeronautics sector of Finmeccanica Group.

“The unveiling of this logistics centre is evidence of Alenia Aeronautica’s ability and willingness to offer its customers cutting-edge products and services while developing strategic and lasting relationships,” said Mr. Giuseppe Giordo.

The Bulgarian Air Force’s fleet now includes three C-27J tactical transport aircraft, compliant with the NATO standards and interoperable with heavier airlifters in service with other Atlantic Alliance countries and capable of operating also in the most complex operational scenarios, thanks to its active and passive self-defence systems.

The Bulgarian C-27Js are in fact equipped with self-defence systems that significantly improve the aircraft’s capability of operating also in the most difficult operational conditions.

In addition to Bulgaria, the C-27J has been ordered by the air forces of Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco (first non-NATO Country) and by the US.

The C-27J Spartan, made by Alenia Aeronautica, is a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with state-of-the-art technology in avionics, propulsion and systems. It provides high performances, high cost effectiveness, extreme operating flexibility, best performances for an aircraft of its category in all weather conditions and is the only aircraft of its class offering interoperability with heavier airlifters.

Purposefully designed for all tactical transport operations in support of front line troops and thanks to its capability of operating in full autonomy and of taking-off and landing in any weather condition from/on semi-prepared runways (long less than 500 metres), the C-27J proves to be also an ideal aircraft for civil defence and support to humanitarian missions.

Finmeccanica Announces the Merger of Elsag Datamat and SELEX Communications

March 28, 2011

Finmeccanica’s Board of Directors, meeting in Rome today, has decided to initiate the merger of Elsag Datamat and SELEX Communications.

The transaction is in line with the company’s plan, launched in 2010, to upgrade its industrial assets in the Defense and Security Electronics sector, and is aimed at creating a centre of expertise at Group level in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Security, Automation and Telecommunications sectors, enabling Finmeccanica to fulfill the increasing demand for complete and integrated ICT solutions and secure network management services, and bringing under one roof all the Finmeccanica companies working in this sector.

“The new structure of the Defense and Security Electronics segment organizes Finmeccanica’s offer into three centres of expertise,” said Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica.

“The resulting organization, with outstanding capabilities in the fields of Information Technology, Telecommunication, Security and Automation, will work with the SELEX Sistemi Integrati systems centre, handling large defense and homeland security and Surface Radar systems, and with SELEX Galileo, a centre of expertise in avionics and electro-optical imaging.

“This new entity will enable the operating companies to better focus on their missions and successfully meet the demands of our clients for “turnkey” solutions, while ensuring cost optimization”.

Une année de frustration pour MBDA

Le 15 mars 2011 par Guillaume Lecompte-Boinet

Le missilier européen, filiale d’EADS, BAE Systems (37,5 % chacun) et de Finmeccanica (25 %), a enregistré une légère croissance de ses ventes consolidées, avec 2,8 milliards d’euros en 2010 contre 2,6 milliards en 2009. Le résultat opérationnel du fabricant de l’Exocet reste à un niveau supérieur à 10 %.

Mais la mauvaise nouvelle provient des prises de commandes, qui ont chuté de 15 % à 2,2 milliards d’euros. « C’est une déception, reconnait Antoine Bouvier, le PDG. Nous escomptions un grand contrat à l’export qui ne s’est pas concrétisé ». En clair, en tant qu’équipementier du Rafale, MBDA espérait que la France vende son avion de combat soit au Brésil, soit aux Emirats arabes unis.

Or compte tenu de la situation géopolitique aux Emirats, et politico-budgétaire au Brésil, ces deux contrats ne seront pas signés avant 2012. Au mieux. MBDA peut toutefois se consoler : son carnet de commandes représente près de quatre années de chiffre d’affaires.

Espoir de contrats en Inde et en Turquie

Pour 2011, Antoine Bouvier reste serein : « la perspective la plus encourageante en matière de contrat export est l’Inde ». Il s’agit du marché de la rénovation des 57 Mirage 2000H, un dossier qui avance doucement dans les méandres de la bureaucratie indienne. De même, MBDA participe à un appel d’offre pour équiper la Turquie d’un système de défense aérienne avec son missile Aster, qui pourrait déboucher cette année.

Le PDG de MBDA table sur une légère augmentation des ventes consolidées, une rentabilité équivalente à 2010, et un rattrapage en matière de prises de commandes. En ligne de mire : atteindre 4 milliards de chiffre d’affaires d’ici 2020, et surtout une part à l’export de 50 % contre un tiers actuellement (c’est-à-dire hors des quatre pays MBDA que sont la France, le Royaume-Uni, l’Italie et l’Allemagne).

MBDA roi des missiles en Europe

La grande priorité de 2011 et des années suivantes sera la mise en œuvre du plan « One MBDA », issu de l’accord gouvernemental entre la France et le Royaume-Uni fin 2010. L’objectif est d’aller au-delà du modèle d’intégration réalisée jusqu’à présent, qui est avant tout basé sur la coopération au travers de programmes de missiles. « Il faut maintenant que MBDA, qui fête ses dix ans cette année, réalise une véritable intégration industrielle », souligne Antoine Bouvier. Cela passera par un partage de souveraineté beaucoup plus poussé entre les deux pays, et chez MBDA, d’une plus grande spécialisation des sites industriels et des bureaux d’études.

Français et Anglais partageront des technologies, des process, définis en fonction des besoins des deux pays en matière de missiles. Et MBDA jouera le rôle de maître d’œuvre unique en matière de missiles. Ce qui va relancer les spéculations sur d’éventuelles discussions entre MBDA et les autres sociétés européennes des missiles, comme Sagem (Safran), Thales ou Diehl. « Il n’y a –à ce jour- aucune discussion entamée », a toutefois tenu à préciser Antoine Bouvier. Jusqu’à présent…

Source : L’Usine Nouvelle