Friday, February 28, 2014

(En - 28 Feb 2014 - News) Israel could double V-22 order size, Bell says

Israel could double the size of a potential order and buy 12 V-22 Ospreys, and form part of a plan to preserve production of the tiltrotor aircraft for several more years, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison says.

The US Department of Defense notified Congress on 14 January that Israel had requested a potential sale of six MV-22Bs. But the Israeli government has requested information from the manufacturer for an order of twice that amount, says Garrison, speaking on the eve of the Heli-Expo 2014 convention.

“Israel has notified for six to 12 aircraft,” Garrison says.

The possibility of extending the Israeli deal could prove critical for Bell’s ongoing efforts to preserve V-22 sales well beyond 2015.
The initial six aircraft expected to be ordered by Israel are not additional orders. They will instead be taken from six orders currently assigned to the US Marine Corps. But there is hope that the Marines will be able to order six additional aircraft to cover the loss.
A second multi-year contract signed last year includes orders for 99 more V-22s and 23 options. One option has already been exercised to replace an aircraft that crashed, Garrison says.
“The Marines' intent is to replace those [six Israeli orders] with the option purchase,” Garrison says, adding, “but budget dynamics will ultimately determine that.”

That means Israel and the USMC could order 12 additional V-22s combined, in addition to the six already being negotiated with Israel. Moreover, Japan has budgeted to buy 17 V-22s in a long-term spending plan released last month, Garrison says. Bell also remains hopeful that the Marines will exercise all of the 23 options within the current multi-year deal.

Longer-term, the US Navy also is still looking for a replacement for its Grumman C-2 Greyhounds. The service originally committed to buy 48 HV-22s, but never followed through with a contract.

Last week, Bell demonstrated a key capability that could improve the V-22’s appeal to naval and amphibious customers. One of the deficiencies of the Osprey has been an inability to carry the container that transports the Pratt & Whitney F135-600 engine for Lockheed Martin's short take-off and vertical landing F-35B.

Bell and P&W developed a new “frame” that replaces the container, allowing the V-22 to carry the power section of the F135 engine to an amphibious carrier, Garrison says. The new equipment was demonstrated last week in Fort Worth, Texas, he adds.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

(En - 26 Feb 2014 - News) Israeli missile-defense system for passenger planes passes live-fire test

Eitan Eshel, head of research and development at the ministry, said Wednesday that testing of the “Sky Shield” system was “100 percent successful.”
Wednesday’s tests involved firing live missiles, which were all successfully deflected.

The system integrates laser technology with a thermal camera to protect aircraft against missiles fired from the ground. It deflects missiles fired at aircraft by changing their direction.

Eshel did not say when the system, under development for about a decade, would become operational.
Israel’s Channel 2 news said the threat to civilian airliners worldwide was on the rise, and reported that European authorities had thwarted eight efforts to launch shoulder-fired missiles at airplanes in the past year alone.

Islamic terrorists fired two surface-to-air missiles at an Israeli charter plane shortly after takeoff in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002. The missiles missed their target but spurred an Israeli effort to improve countermeasures.
Reports of tests in the past two years have noted that the “Sky Shield” system proved capable of deflecting single and multiple missiles away from the target plane.

The need for the system was deemed particularly acute because of ongoing tension between Israel and Iran, which funds and arms Islamists to Israel’s south in Gaza, and Hezbollah to the country’s north, in Lebanon.
A Channel 2 TV report in 2012 said the defense systems cost $1 million per plane and would first be installed on airlines, including the national carrier El Al, flying what are defined as “sensitive routes.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

(En - 25 Feb 2014 - News) Israeli Air Force reportedly hit targets in Bekaa Valley near Lebanon-Syria border

Several media outlets in both Lebanon and Israel are reporting about a series of air strikes conducted by Israeli warplanes in the evening of Feb. 24 on the Lebanese-Syrian border area.
Al-Arabiya TV quoted witnesses according to those “more than two Israeli airstrikes have targeted Hizbullah posts in the outskirts of the towns of Janta, Brital and al-Nabi Sheet,” even if it is still unclear whether the airstrikes hit targets located inside Syria or Lebanon.
According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency two Israeli airstrikes were conducted on “the outskirts of al-Nabi Sheet near the Lebanese-Syrian border,” whereas LBCI TV said the Israeli planes struck targets “in the countryside facing the towns of Janta and Yahfoufa,” inside Syria.
Similar attacks were launched against Syrian targets in May 2013, one of those hit a convoy with weapons destined to Hezbollah near Damascus with PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and plenty of EW (Electronic Warfare) support.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

(Fr - 19 Fev 2014 - Actu) Un drone israélien s’écrase sur la frontière avec le Liban

Un drone israélien s’est écrasé mardi sur la frontière entre l’Etat Juif et le Liban. Des soldats israéliens sont venus le récupérer et, outre l’appareil, aucun dommage n’est a déplorer.

« Le drone israélien qui survolait le Liban-sud s’est écrasé sur la ligne bleue », a indiqué une source de sécurité.

La « ligne bleue » est une ligne tracée le 7 juin 2000 par l’ONU, après le retrait israélien du Liban le 25 mai 2000.

« Douze soldats israéliens se sont rendus dans le secteur pour récupérer les pièces de l’appareil », a ajouté cette source, précisant que des habitants et des soldats libanais ont assisté à la scène sans qu’il y ait d’incidents.

L’Agence nationale d’information (ANI) a également mentionné l’incident, notant que les soldats israéliens avait récupéré les pièces du drone qui s’est écrasé « pour des raisons inconnues ».
Ni les soldats de la Force intérimaire des Nations-unies au Liban, qui patrouillent dans le secteur, ni l’armée israélienne ont confirmé l’incident.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

(En - 18 Feb 2014 - News) Israeli Fighter Jets Challenge Cypriot Air Defense in Mock Battle Exercise

Sharing a common interest in securing offshore mineral exploration areas throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel and Cyprus are tightening defense cooperation through a series of air and naval exercises conducted over the Islands’ southern coast.

The relations between Israel, Cyprus and Greece are warming since 2008, as Israel’s close relations with Turkey deteriorated since the rise of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power.

According to Cypriot Defense minister Fotis Fotiou, Cyprus’ relations with Israel are entering a new phase. “I am confident that the strategic dialogue that began several months ago will benefit both countries and will continue on all areas, including energy security.” Fotiou said while visiting a bilateral exercise the Israel Air Force conducted in Cyprus earlier this month, the Cyprus mail reports.

The exercise codenamed ‘Onisilos-Gideon’ was held in Cyprus last week. It took place inside the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR), as Israeli fighter jets roared low over Limassol and Chirokitia for several hours.

According to sources in Cyprus 32 Israeli fighter  jets and six support aircraft took part in the exercise, including F-15 and F-16s. The exercise included simulated firing at targets on land and at sea, along the Island’s southern coast from Limassol to Paphos, the Cypriot side  played the air defense role, employing the islands’ air defense systems.

In recent years Cyprus established an impressive air defense network, based on several types of missile systems, primarily Russian made. In 1997 Cyprus acquired an early model of the Russian S-300 air defense system (PMU1).

The unit employs 12 mobile launchers, and associated radar and communications units. The entry of that S-300 triggered the missile crisis in 1998 between Cyprus and Turkey, which lead to the transfer of the weapons to Greece. Today the Cypriot S-300 are not based in the island but deployed in Crete under Greek control. In December 2014 the Greek Air Defense forces fired the first S-300 missile during an operational live exercise ‘White eagle’.

A previous exercise held in April 2013 involved the navies of the two nations, operating joint search and rescue (SAR) missions at sea, south of the island. The drills were held in line with the bilateral agreement drawn up in February 2012 between the Cyprus and Israel on SAR issues.

Lacking significant military power, Cyprus has relied on foreign powers to secure the island. In the past, British forces based at Akrotiri provided deterrence against foreign aggression. After the British withdrawal, Greece sent F-16s to be based at a special military annex established at the Paphos International Airport, on the western tip of the island.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

(Fr - 15 Fev 2014 - Actu) Israël dévoile "Faisceau de fer" à Singapour

Le groupe de défense national israélien Rafael présente pour la première fois son nouveau système "Faisceau de fer", capable d'intercepter des mortiers et des missiles de très courte portée à l'aide d'un laser, au Singapore Airshow, le plus grand salon asiatique des technologies aérospatiales et de défense, qui a lieu cette année du 11 au 16 février.

Le système, qui emprunte une partie de son nom au système anti-missiles "Dôme de fer", pourra intercepter des projectiles dont la trajectoire est trop courte pour être efficacement interceptés par le Dome de fer. Les deux systèmes sont produits par la compagnie d'État Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

Le Dôme de fer est parvenu à intercepter dans 80% des cas les roquettes tirées par des terroristes, à l'aide de fusées d'interception à guidage radar.

Au lieu d'utiliser des missiles intercepteurs coûteux, le nouveau système intègre un laser qui chauffe les ogives et les fait exploser avant qu'elles n'atteignent leur cible. Le système ne nécessite pas de lancement de missile intercepteur, ce qui lui permet de détruire des roquettes et des mortiers de plus courte portée, les neutralisant dans une distance allant jusqu'à sept kilomètres.

Faisceau de fer​ se joindra au système antimissile à la fine pointe de la technologie israélien, qui comprend actuellement le Dôme de fer et Arrow II, un intercepteur de longue portée visant à détruire des missiles balistiques dans l'atmosphère.

Israël a déjà développé un autre système d'interception par laser avec les États-Unis, connu sous le nom de "Laser Nautilus". Le système a connu des revers au cours de son développement après avoir été adapté comme système mobile. Malgré les appels de plusieurs experts de la défense pour continuer son développement, il a été abandonné en 2005 en raison des coûts élevés et de ses modestes résultats sur le terrain.

Les États-Unis ont largement financé et participé au développement de ces systèmes, les considérant comme un moyen d'assurer la sécurité d'Israël.
Israël a récemment connu un regain de tirs de roquettes depuis la bande de Gaza. En janvier, 28 roquettes ont été tirées de la bande de Gaza sur Israël, soit autant que sur les quatre mois précédents, selon l'armée israélienne.

(Fr - 15 Fev 2014 - Actu) le général Denis Mercier,chef de l'armée de l'air Francaise en visite en Israël cette semaine

Le Commandant de l'armée de l'air Française , le général Denis Mercier, s'est rendu dernièrement en Israël. . Lors de sa visite initié par le Commandant de l'armée de l'air israélienne, le général Amir Eshel. Il lui a été présenté 

  1. les défis de la région.
  2. Les axes du renforcements concernant la coopération entre les deux forces aériennes

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

(Fr - 12 Fev 2014) IAI dévoile le drone Super Heron HF

C'est un nouveau-venu dans la famille Heron : Israel Aerospace Industries a officiellement dévoilé aujourd'hui au salon de Singapour le Super Heron HF (Heavy Fuel), version améliorée de l'actuel Heron équipée d'un moteur diesel, d'ailettes marginales et d'une avionique rénovée. Trois clients potentiels seraient actuellement en discussions avec IAI pour l'achat de cet appareil.

"L'installation d'un moteur diesel vise à améliorer la sécurité de l'aéronef tout en facilitant sa mise en oeuvre dans des zones difficiles d'accès", explique Joseph Weiss, président-directeur général d'IAI. Selon l'avionneur, l'acheminement du carburant est en effet moins problématique pour le diesel que pour les carburants aéronautiques traditionnels, bien plus inflammables.

Même si IAI n'a pas souhaité confirmer l'information, certaines sources semblent indiquer que le Super Heron HF a été spécifiquement développé pour répondre à un besoin exprimé par la Suisse, actuellement engagée dans un processus compétitif pour l'achat d'un nouveau drone Male. Le Heron y est opposé au Hermes 900 d'Elbit Systems.

Les modifications apportées à l'engin lui confèrent une endurance accrue (environ 45 heures) et une masse maximale au décollage plus importante (1.450 kg contre 1.250 kg pour le Heron actuel). IAI a testé quatre modèles différents de moteurs diesel avant de retenir une solution de la société italienne DieselJets. Le moteur développe 200 chevaux, contre 115 pour l'actuel moteur du Heron 1.

Un premier Super Heron HF a fait son vol inaugural en Israël en octobre 2013, selon IAI. "Nous sommes en mesure de livrer un premier drone moins de deux ans après la signature d'un contrat", précise le pdg d'IAI.

(En - 12 Feb 2014 - News) How much will an Israeli 'Air Force One' cost?

Acquiring a private plane for use by the prime minister and president would cost between $40 million and $50 million, according to data the Finance Ministry's Budget Department gave to the Movement for Freedom of Information.

The Finance Ministry found it would take between 15 and 20 years to recoup the cost of the purchase, which would be equally divided by the Prime Minister's Office and the President's Residence.

A close look at the data shows that buying an Israeli "Air Force One" would cost $30 million to $40 million, and converting it to meet the needs of Israeli leaders would cost $10 million dollars. Insurance and security costs would total another $10 million and maintenance costs would total between $4.4 million and $5.7 million annually. There would likely also be other unplanned costs, such as for the leasing of alternative planes when the plane must undergo repairs.

Against the backdrop of criticism of the high cost of the overseas flights of the prime minister and president (which climbed to $7 million last year), the government established a public committee to examine the costs of buying a private plane.

Other alternatives examined included using a private company's plane; a long-term agreement with an airline; or maintaining the status quo. The first option was scrapped over security concerns, the second was possible only with El Al, which, the Finance Ministry said, demanded too high of a price. And so it seems the only option left on the table is purchasing a private jet.

Monday, February 10, 2014

(Fr - 10 Fev 2014 - Actu) Rafael rafle les pods indiens

Les avions de combat indiens risquent de voler pendant longtemps encore avec des pods de désignation israéliens accrochés sous leur fuselage : à l'occasion du salon Defexpo, un représentant de Rafael a confirmé à Air&Cosmos que la société a remporté l'an dernier avec son Litening G4 un énorme appel d'offres pour la vente de 164 pods à la force aérienne indienne (IAF), qui souhaite en équiper tous ses chasseurs-bombardiers. Une commande record ("la plus grosse jamais enregistrée en dehors du marché américian", assure-t-on chez Rafael) dont les livraisons pourraient commencer fin 2014 et qui devrait porter à environ 220 le nombre total de pods Litening en service dans l'IAF.

Celle-ci devrait équiper avec les nouveaux Litening G4 ses Jaguar, MiG-27, Su-30MKI et Mirage 2000, selon notre interlocuteur. Ces derniers bénéficiaient déjà depuis plusieurs années de la nacelle Litening, dans sa précédente configuration. Ce qui laisse en théorie peu d'espoir à Thales de placer son Damocles sur ce marché… Rafael ajoute par ailleurs "avoir eu plusieurs discussions préliminaires avec Dassault" au sujet d'une possible intégration de sa nacelle sur Rafale.

L'industriel présentait également au salon sa nacelle de reconnaissance Reccelite, qui reprend l'enveloppe externe du Litening mais substitue à certains composants (dont le laser de désignation) un capteur et une optique plus performants. Celui-ci serait en service depuis quelques années sur les Jaguar de l'IAF.

Le missilier israélien précise également que les travaux d'intégration des missiles Derby et Python 5 sur le monoréacteur de combat indien LCA Tejas devraient s'achever à la fin de cette année.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

(En - 05 Feb 2014 - News) 14 IAF pilots tried for carrying secret data on phones

Two air force fighter pilots have been handed short prison sentences and 12 others have been tried for breaching military security protocols, after top secret information was found on their smartphones, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
The affair, which involves pilots from one of the IAF’s most elite units, unearthed a culture of carelessness and lack of discipline, highlighting some of the security challenges faced by the military in an age of increasingly advanced portable technology.

Military officials did not suspect any malicious intent on the pilots’ part, saying that the information found on the smartphones – which included photographs of documents, maps, waypoints and additional materials – was placed there as a matter of convenience, a way for pilots to carry their work around with them.

Still, the army viewed the breach of protocol very severely, with IAF chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel convening senior commanders on Tuesday to discuss the incident. He told them the air force must root out such practices and instructed them to ensure that such behavior was not occurring in other units.
The military investigation was first launched after one pilot lost his phone and reported to his superiors that it contained secret data, in violation of protocol, the report said. The phone was eventually located and handed over to information security officials, who found it to contain a wealth of information that military officials said could have been very damaging in the wrong hands.
The find led officials to conduct a wider investigation, during which they discovered that the practice was widespread among pilots in the squadron. Information stored on phones pertained to training and operational procedures, and possibly military intelligence.
Eventually 14 pilots were indicted. Two of them were sentenced to five days imprisonment, 11 others were given suspended sentences and one was fined.