After Brussels and Athens, Bucharest is showing France the way for European Defense cooperation

In an interview given to local media, Romanian Defense Minister Vasile Dîncu revealed that Romania and France had signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of Scorpene submarines and helicopters designed French for the armies of the country. The French authorities, as is often the case now, remained discreet on the subject, as did the manufacturers concerned, contenting themselves with confirming that advanced discussions were taking place with Bucharest within the framework of an extended military and industrial cooperation. These discussions, which take place in a long-standing political and military cooperation between the two…

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Poland to order 32 AW149 helicopters from Italian Leonardo

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced after a meeting with President Duda and the Polish General Staff that Warsaw would order 32 AW149 medium helicopters from the Italian Leonardo, in 3 versions which will be assembled on site by the PZL Świdnik factory owned by the Italian aircraft manufacturer. Defense is obviously THE political ISSUE of the moment in Poland. Indeed, announcements concerning new programs or new investments have been multiplying at an almost daily rate for a few weeks, while Warsaw intends to make an unprecedented effort to modernize its armed forces, by increasing its defense effort at…

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The European super-speed Racer helicopter demonstrator will be flying by the end of the year!

Among the many lessons that emerged from the Ukraine war, the vulnerability of combat helicopters was particularly highlighted, to the point that despite obvious material superiority in this area, Russian air combat capabilities were largely under-exploited after the disaster of the attack on Hostomel airport. Because of their low speed, the Russian aircraft were easily targeted by Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems, and in particular MANPADS infantry missiles. In addition, the destruction on the ground of nearly 40 aircraft on the Kherson base by artillery strikes also highlighted the obligation to deploy these aircraft to…

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India suspends order for 10 Russian Ka-31 naval helicopters

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, it is common to read that Russia is unanimously against it in the world, with the exception of a few satellite dictatorships, such as Syria or Venezuela. While it is true that during the votes at the United Nations, a majority of countries supported the motions against Moscow, many countries, and not the least, preferred to abstain rather than take a position against Russia. This was particularly the case for China, but also for Brazil, South Africa and India, the 4 other members of the BRICS format. If New Delhi has neither condemned nor…

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Has France lost its audacity in Defense innovation?

At the start of the week, the French Defense Innovation Agency launched two calls for projects to design vagrant ammunition models. These weapons, sometimes improperly called suicide drones, mark the news in the Ukrainian conflict, with the arrival of the Switchblade 300 and 600 models and the mysterious Phoenix Ghost specially designed by the US defense industry at the request of the Ukrainians. However, the effectiveness of vagrant ammunition did not emerge during this conflict, nor even during the Nagorno Karabakh war in 2020 during which the Israeli-made Harops and Orbiters saturated the Armenian defenses. Indeed, this type of ammunition exists…

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Germany chooses the CH-47F Chinook heavy helicopter to replace its CH-53G

After more than a year of hesitation, Berlin has finally made its decision regarding the replacement of its CH-53G heavy transport helicopters. According to the German press, the German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht would indeed have chosen the model proposed by Boeing, the CH-47F Chinook, instead of the CH-53K, to equip the Bundeswehr. The main argument in favor of the Boeing aircraft is obviously its price for purchase but also for maintenance, Berlin planning to acquire 60 aircraft for €5 billion, whereas it would have been possible to acquire only 40 CH-53K for the same amount. In addition, the Chinook is already employed by…

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Pakistan cancels order for Turkish T-129 helicopters to switch to Chinese Z-10

In 2018, the Turkish aeronautical industry had achieved remarkable success by signing with Pakistan the sale of 30 T-129 ATAK combat helicopters, a locally made helicopter derived from the Italian A-129 Mangusta. This $1,5 billion contract was then the largest export contract ever won by this industry, allowing Ankara to nurture the hope of positioning itself as an international player in this market firmly held by the Americans, Europeans and Russians for several decades. With the military intervention in Syria, and the acquisition of batteries of S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Moscow, Turkey has however, from 2019, been the subject…

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SMX31, Racer, Scarabée: These ultra-innovative unfunded French defense industrial programs

In the field of the defense industry, France has often demonstrated its ability to develop high-performance equipment that is sometimes several years ahead of its international competitors. But if certain successes are undeniable, as were the Light Stealth Frigates or the VAB armored vehicles, both ahead of the very perception of the need when they appeared, it has also happened, very often, that very efficient programs and in ahead of their time were ignored by the French authorities, letting slip crucial technological assets which certain competitors did not fail to seize. This is how France passed by...

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More details on the future European Tiger III combat helicopter

While it is still not known whether Berlin will choose to preserve and develop its fleet of Tiger combat helicopters, or to equip itself with American AH-64 Apaches, Airbus Helicopters has detailed the improvements that are planned on the future Tiger III standard, which should allow the aircraft to remain in service until 2035, and the arrival of a possible new European combat helicopter. Thus, this new version will integrate an advanced evolution of the aircraft's mission management, communication and cooperative engagement capabilities, with a redesigned cockpit approaching the Glass Cockpit of new generation aircraft, redundant satellite geolocation systems, etc.

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In addition to the Rafale contract, the UAE orders 12 H225M Caracal from Airbus Helicopters

Obviously, Emmanuel Macron did not travel for nothing during his express tour of the Middle East from December 2 to 4. Indeed, in addition to the historic contract of €16 billion for the delivery of 80 Rafale combat aircraft to the F4 standard and a stock of MICA NG and Scalp missiles, the United Arab Emirates has also ordered 12 H225M maneuver helicopters from France. Caracal, for an estimated amount of between €700m and €800m. This providential order for Airbus Helicopter and in particular for the Marignane site where the aircraft will be assembled, will allow the European helicopter manufacturer to pass without incident the few…

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