The MQ-Next, future replacement for the MALE MQ-9 Reaper drone, takes shape for General Atomics

In service with 10 air forces, 9 of which are members of NATO, the Medium Altitude Long Endurance MQ-9 Reaper drone from the American General Atomics, is today the Western reference in the field of combat drones. this range. Able to stay in the air for 15 hours at an altitude of more than 7 km and at more than 300 km/h while carrying 4 Hellfire or Brimstone air-to-ground missiles, the Reaper is today a central component of the operations carried out by Western armies, especially over the vast expanses in Africa and the Middle East, both to monitor the movements of potential adversaries and to conduct…

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Major maneuvers are launched in the West to design new generation combat drones

There are, to date, no less than 7 programs aimed at designing or integrating drones in order to extend the capabilities of combat aircraft, and this for the Western camp alone. In the United States, these programs revolve around the US Air Force's Next Generation Air Dominance and the US Navy's F/A-XX; in Europe around the SCAF and Tempest programs; and in Asia around Japanese FX programs, South Korean KF-21 Boramae, as well as the Australian MQ-28 Ghost Bat. All aim to design high-performance stealth combat drones, capable of evolving around and for the benefit of manned combat aircraft, so as to…

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The US armies are preparing their evolution towards drone warfare before 2030

The use of military drones is not a recent subject. Already, during the Second World War, attempts were made to transform certain fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as to use remote-controlled systems to conduct short-range reconnaissance. During the Vietnam War, American forces frequently employed drones to carry out certain risky reconnaissance missions, or to bring the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft defenses to light. But the first army that made intensive and coordinated use of drones in combat was the Israeli Air Force which, in 1982 during Operation Peace in Galilee, intensively employed drones to…

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Arrow 3, KF-51 Panther, F-35..: Germany turns its back on France without saying so

For several months, the Franco-German defense industrial cooperation programs have suffered from a deep industrial divergence, as is the case of the opposition between Dassault Aviation and Airbus DS in the field of the new combat aircraft program SCAF generation, or between Nexter and Rheinmetall in that of the combat tank program of the future MGCS. In addition, Berlin has distanced itself or even withdrawn from certain cooperation, such as the MAWS maritime patrol aircraft program scuttled by the acquisition of American P-8A Poseidons, the program for the evolution of the combat helicopter Tiger 3 which will only be produced by Paris and Madrid (but to which the…

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LPM 2023: 5 technological Quickwins to strengthen the French Armies in the face of High Intensity

We come to the conclusion of this series of articles devoted to the issues, risks and opportunities that frame the design of the next Military Programming Law. In recent days, through the voice of the Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, certain tracks have been revealed as to the priority objectives of this LPM, such as the doubling of the operational reserve (Hypothesis 1 of the article "The" Army at the crossroads paths”), and like the reorganization of the industrial effort in order to reinforce the strategic autonomy of the country. It is obvious that the greatest unknown, to date, remains the organization, the financing and the scale of this effort, subjects which…

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LPM 2023: a trajectory already mapped out for the Air and Space Force?

During the 2000s and until 2015, the French Air Force, which has since become the Air and Space Force, was largely privileged, and sometimes envied, vis-à-vis the other armies. In fact, it captured, on its own, almost half of the credits for equipment devoted to Programs with major effects, forcing both the Army and the Navy to review some of their programs by reducing their volumes and spreading out the calendars. This situation was not so much due to government preference or a form of lobbying, as to strong industrial constraints. Indeed, it was then necessary in order to maintain in activity…

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Will the future Turkish on-board stealth drone humiliate the European defense aeronautics industry?

Following the military intervention in northern Syria, the military support of one of the factions in the Libyan conflict, and above all the acquisition of an S-400 anti-aircraft battery from Russia, the Turkish defense industry, in full swing until 2019, experienced a severe setback following the sanctions imposed by the Europeans and especially the Americans concerning the export of defense technologies. But if certain programs, such as the Altay heavy tank or the TFX combat aircraft were very handicapped by these measures, it is an area in which the Turkish defense industry continued to develop, and to achieve significant commercial successes,...

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LPM 2023: Stealth Drone or Electronic Warfare Burst, it will take one of the two

To engage above a highly contested theater of operations, the French air forces have a very powerful aircraft, the Dassault Aviation Rafale. By its ability to fly at high speed at very low altitude, the French aircraft can indeed take advantage of the masking of the terrain to avoid radar detection, at least as far as terrestrial radars are concerned. In addition, the plane has a reduced radar signature, without being qualified as stealthy, even if this characteristic tends to wither when the Rafale carries several cans of fuel and missiles or bombs on pylons. The device also has a very powerful self-protection system…

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South Korea launches development of family of stealth combat drones

Long largely dependent on Western military equipment, in particular American and German, South Korea undertook, some twenty years ago, to develop rapidly and with great ambitions its own defense industry. In recent years, Seoul has reaped the laurels of its investments, not only by having increased its strategic autonomy in a spectacular way with the development of new high-performance equipment such as the Seijong le Grand class destroyers, the Dosan Anh Changho submarines or the systems K9 artillery, but also by multiplying the successes on the international scene, which is nevertheless very competitive, of which the recent super-contract signed with Warsaw represents…

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12 aircraft carriers, 150 destroyers and frigates, 66 SNA ..: the new plan of the US Navy finally meets the Chinese challenge

As we have already discussed several times, the US Navy's capability planning has been chaotic to say the least over the past 20 years, between reckless spending on certain poorly calibrated programs such as the Zumwalt destroyers and the LCS corvettes, and trade-offs contradictions on the part of the White House and Congress. The challenge was therefore considerable for Admiral Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, to restore order to this planning, while putting the American executive and legislative branches in the same direction, in order to take up what seems good represent the greatest challenge to U.S. naval power in…

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