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En août 2012, la Russie procèdera aux livraisons d’un lot important de drones avec des ballons captifs Irkut-1A destiné à un des pays de la Communauté des Etats Indépendants (CEI), rapporte l’agence Interfax se référant à une source au sein du complexe militaro-industriel russe.

Ni le nombre exact de drones ni le pays-destinataire n’ont été précisés.

La remise des ballons captifs sera terminée d’ici la fin de 2012.

Les drones avec les ballons captifs sont produits par le groupe aéronautique russe Irkut. Ils sont utilisés lors des activités de renseignements et de monitoring des régions des situations d’urgence et de la circulation sur les routes.

Photo du Ballon captif russe :

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A défaut d'aller surveiller les afghans, le theatre étant en phase de retrait, les prototype de dirigeable de surveillanbce pourrait bien surveiller les américains a la place :lol:

L'engin opere a 20 000 pieds jusqu'a 7 jours. Les capteurs optro électronique et radar porte a 110nm, les systeme d'écoute sensible a 200nm.

La doc est disponible par ici

Upstart Virginia aerospace firm Mav6 is offering to install guided missiles on the massive robotic spy blimp it’s building for the Air Force. The idea would only be slightly terrifying, if the massive airship were headed to Afghanistan, as originally planned. But Mav6 and its CEO, a respected retired Air Force general, are also promoting the giant airship for homeland security missions over U.S. soil. In that way, today’s war blimp could become tomorrow’s all-seeing, lethal Big Brother.

Capable of hovering at 20,000 feet for a week at a time while carrying radars, cameras, radio links and computer processors — the “most powerful” of their type in existence — the Blue Devil 2 airship can also be fitted with “weapons modules,” according to marketing material provided by Mav6. The brochure (.ppt) depicts a rotary launcher fitted with 100-pound Hellfire missiles, capable of hitting pinpoint targets up to five miles away. The launcher would presumably dangle from the tractor-trailer-size gondola that also houses the sensors, radios and computers.

As originally configured, Blue Devil 2 would need help from armed drones or manned jet fighters to attack any targets it finds. With missiles installed, the 100-mile-per-hour airship would theoretically be able to spot and kill bad guys all on its own. What Mav6 calls “semi-automated sensor-to-sensor cueing for enhanced threat detection” should minimize human intervention. Controllers on the ground would provide the basic flight plan, occasionally point the sensors and give permission to fire.

Originally, the company believed those missions would be carried out overseas. But Mav6, whose key executives include former Blackwater employees, is anticipating growing demand from other government organizations. “There are endless examples of non-military, commercial applications for airships,” a company spokesman says. The marketing brochure also lists “law enforcement,” “crowd control,” “pipeline monitoring,” and “border patrol” as possible missions.

A slide from the Blue Devil airship brochure. Courtesy of Mav6.

Adding missiles to a previously unarmed support and surveillance craft is not unheard of. Right before 9/11 the CIA and Pentagon installed Hellfires on its Predator spy drones in hopes of taking out Al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. Today Predators and their larger Reaper cousins routinely carry missiles and bombs. The Air Force and Marines have added small precision missiles to some of their C-130 transport planes. During World War II Navy airships carried depth charges for sinking German submarines.

Granted, it’s unlikely you’ll wake up someday to discover missile-armed Blue Devils hovering over your house — at least not anytime soon. At present, the Air Force is the only customer for the Blue Devil 2. And even they are having second thoughts, despite the fact that former Air Force intelligence chief David Deptula is Mav6′s chief executive. Just a year after dropping $86 million for the design and construction of the 370-foot-long Blue Devil 2 prototype, the Air Force lost confidence in Mav6′s ability to handle the project. The flying branch said it would “de-scope” the program, omitting the sensors entirely and canceling a planned test deployment to Afghanistan.

But Mav6 is confident the giant airship will hover back into the military’s good graces. “Airships will prove to be an invaluable and effective tool for all branches of military,” a company spokesperson tells Danger Room. Mav6 has its share of boosters. In February U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Daniel Ionuye wrote to the Pentagon urging the continued development of Blue Devil 2.

But even if the Air Force gives up entirely on the airship, its days may not be over. The migration of military drones into homeland security has happened before. Border Patrol flies the same Reaper drones as the Air Force, though the Border Patrol ‘bots are currently unarmed. Even so, the use of military-style drones for U.S. law enforcement has raised fear among civil libertarians. Imagine the reaction to a potentially armed Blue Devil 2 looming over an American community.

The pathways are clear for giant missile blimps to float off the drawing board into the war-zone and subsequently into U.S. airspace. That doesn’t mean it will happen soon, or at all. But it certainly could. And probably shouldn’t.

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The past decade has seen an unlikely revival of a long-grounded technology. Military airships, last operational with the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, took back to the skies, propelled by soaring demand for long-endurance, low-cost aerial surveillance in Iraq and Afghanistan. Per flight hour, an airship costs a fraction of what a helicopter or a fixed-wing plane costs.

But three of the most prominent new-breed airship programs came crashing back to earth in early 2012. A massive, in-development Air Force spy blimp, a Navy test blimp and an Army tethered airship that's part of an evolving missile-defense network -- all were canceled or curtailed. It might have seemed that the promise of a new generation of military blimps was, well, so much hot air.

But the recent cutbacks mask an opposite trend. For every airship program that was canceled or curtailed, another sprang into existence or expanded. Arguably more importantly, the private sector is primed to begin using airships on a commercial scale, potentially laying the foundation for expanded military use in the near future.

They might have had a few holes poked in them, but military airships are far from deflated. Here's a program-by-program review.

Blue Devil 2

Mav6, based in Alexandria, Virginia, was one of America's newest defense contractors when, last spring, it scored an $86-million Air Force contract to develop its Blue Devil 2 unmanned airship. (Full disclosure: Mav6 CEO David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, is a member of AOL Defense's board of contributors.) Fitted with sensors and data-links, the modified TCOM M1400 airship -- 370 feet long, with a top speed of 100 miles per hour and a volume of 1.4 million cubic feet -- was meant to be an all-seeing eye for low-intensity battlefields. "The lighter-than-air M1400 airship is the perfect platform for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan," the company tells AOL Defense.

Hovering at 20,000 feet for up to a week, the helium-filled Blue Devil Two would combine the capabilities of several of today's drone aircraft in one inexpensive, ultra-long-endurance vehicle. The baseline sensor suite would include: full-motion video, a moving-target indicator radar and passive signals-intelligence receivers. Among the data-links planned for integration were the Tactical Targeting Network Technology waveform for connecting to aircraft and the Receive-Only Video Enhanced Receiver, or ROVER, waveform for transmitting video to ground forces. The airship was to be controlled via UHF satellite radio by two operators on the ground.

The goal at the time of the contract was for Mav6 to complete the airship's integration in time for a 2012 combat demonstration in Afghanistan. But last month the Air Force scaled down the program. "The Blue Devil 2 program has experienced development and funding challenges," Air Force spokesperson Jennifer Cassidy tells AOL Defense. "The Air Force de-scoped the Blue Devil 2 program to deliver only the airship, without sensors," she adds. "The airship will not be deployed to Afghanistan."

Mav6 admits it faces "challenges regarding integration and schedule." "However, you have to keep in mind that Blue Devil 2 is an R&D program," the company tells AOL Defense. "Airships similar to the M1400 have not been in use for over 50 years, and the challenges we've encountered are typical of those one would expect for a project of this size and scope."

While the company will deliver the airship to the Air Force without the sensors and data-links that are integral to its surveillance role, Mav6 is optimistic that it will get the chance to add these systems later on. The company says it is "working very closely with the USAF and DoD to keep the program moving forward." At the time of writing, the Blue Devil 2 was still under construction at a facility in North Carolina.


American Blimp Corporation, founded in 1987, builds most of the airships in commercial service in the U.S. today, including many of the "lightships" that can be seen bearing advertising over sporting events. In 2005 the Navy acquired an American Blimp Model A-170, 178 feet long with a volume of 170,000 cubic feet and a top speed of just over 40 miles per hour. Like many airships, the helium-filled A-170 performs best at low altitude -- just a few thousand feet, at most.

Re-designated MZ-3A, the Navy's blimp spent time with test squadrons in New Jersey and Maryland testing out various sensors. "Due to the size and/or aerodynamic limitations imposed by some of these systems, an airship provides a faster and more consistent development path than ordinarily possible in fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft," Doug Abbotts, spokesman for Naval Air Systems Command, tells AOL Defense. "The airship also expands the possibilities for developing large multi-dimensional apertures/arrays that aren't physically achievable with any other airborne technology."

In 2010 the airship also deployed to Alabama to assist in the cleanup following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. MZ-3 acquisition and operations between 2006 and 2012 cost the Navy $3.6 million, according to the Asbury Park Press newspaper in New Jersey.

But the Navy, having previously abandoned patrol blimps in the 1960s, was never comfortable with the MZ-3, which owing to its large size and slow speed cannot safely operate from the same airfields as airplanes and helicopters. The Navy gave the airship "mixed reviews," says Jim Dexter, a civilian pilot contracted to fly the MZ-3 in 2007.

As part of its 2013 budget proposal, the Navy said it would ground the MZ-3. "It is being deflated," Abbotts told the Asbury Park Press. "It's not that we have a lack of funding. We have a lack of mission."

The Navy may not need it, but the Army came to the MZ-3's rescue. The service has several airship programs in advanced stages of development. It wanted the MZ-3 "as a flying lab for evaluation and optimization of prototype sensors and communications equipment," Abbotts tells AOL Defense. The Army paid for a year of flying and assumed control of the MZ-3. The airship is en route to the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for its test program.


In 1998 the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command contracted with Raytheon to develop a tethered, airship-based elevated sensor system to provide early warning for missile-defense systems. The multi-billion-dollar Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor system, or JLENS, was based on a 233-foot unmanned, helium-filled airship built by TCOM and capable of carrying a 7,000-pound radar to 10,000 feet.

In 2004 the Army adapted the JLENS concept for visual surveillance, swapping the 233-foot aerostat for a 50-foot model and trading the radar for day and night cameras and a laser rangefinder. Known as Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment, or RAID, the static blimps soon became a signature of U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2009 the Army had deployed no fewer than 60 RAID blimps at a cost of around a million dollars apiece.

"RAID is all about what's happening in your area, in real time," said Peter Schoate, Raytheon's RAID program manager in 2009. A Raytheon employee assigned to install the blimp system at Army outposts in eastern Afghanistan was more specific. "Using these towers, I can see a guy eight kilometers away and tell you what he is carrying," the contractor said on condition of anonymity.

With the Iraq war over for the U.S. and the troops Afghanistan scheduled to come home by the end of 2014, RAID acquisitions have surely peaked. JLENS, too, has been curtailed. In its 2013 budget, the Pentagon proposed to end JLENS production at the four aerostats already purchased at a cost of just over $500 million apiece. Twenty-eight JLENS aerostats would be cut "due to concerns about program cost and operational mobility," the Defense Department explained. The cuts will save an estimated $6 billion.

There has been a glimmer of good news for Army aerostats. Last year the Army began adding software-defined radios to some of its RAID aerostats, using them to "extend the network," according to Army spokesman Paul Mehney. At a biannual Network Integration Exercise in New Mexico in July, the Army installed Ground Mobile Radios and Manpack radios in at least two aerostats. The airships helped expand radio coverage into the mountains and valleys where thousands of soldiers were testing out new communications gear.

In a November iteration of the exercise, the Army employed three radio-carrying aerostats. If the Army chooses to use radio-equipped aerostats operationally, it could help ensure a place for static airships in the force structure even after the end of the Afghanistan war.


The Army began talking about an optionally-manned surveillance airship in late 2009. Space and Missile Defense Command issued a solicitation the following February for a Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, capable of carrying 2,500 pounds to 20,000 feet at a top speed of around 80 miles per hour, with an endurance of three weeks.

Lockheed Martin proposed its 125-foot P-791 airship, which had its first flight four years earlier; Northrop Grumman offered up an un-flown 300-foot model. Both were hybrid blimps combining helium and aerodynamic lift, lending them greater stability over a range of payloads.

Northrop snagged the $517-million contract in June 2010, in part because it offered a superior ground station. The contract called for up to three airships to deploy for a combat demonstration within 18 months. Last year the Army pushed back the deployment to "early 2012."

As of this writing, the first LEMV is still being assembled in New Jersey. Army spokesperson John Cummings declines to specify a date for the initial flight. "LEMV is a one-of-a-kind prototype technology demonstration and as such the first flight will occur when the vehicle is ready," Cummings tells AOL Defense.

Despite losing the LEMV contract, Lockheed continued developing the P-791 and, in March last year, Canadian firm Aviation Capital Enterprises inked a deal for a scaled-up version capable of hauling 20 tons of cargo, with delivery sometime this year. Two subsequent variants would carry 70 tons and 500 tons, respectively.

"We envision helicopter-like operations in remote areas where you have no access," Bob Boyd, the Lockheed program manager, tells AOL Defense. "Imagine trying to carry things out to mines or such locations. It's also good for search and rescue." The larger models are economical for "global commerce," Boyd adds.

The hardest part of developing airships is convincing potential operators that they're a good choice, Boyd says. "The biggest challenge without a doubt is getting the culture to change." That can apply equally to commercial and government operators. Despite advantages in endurance and cost, airships have met with wavering enthusiasm.

Ironically, the airship that the military rejected could help build the case for wider user of lighter-than-air vehicles. "We're creating an industry here," Aviation Capital Enterprises founder Kirk Purdy told Flight. Boyd says the P-791 derivatives could ultimately find customers for surveillance missions, bringing the airship full circle.

David Axe, a member of the AOL Defense Board of Contributors, is a freelance war correspondent and author. His most recent book is a graphic novel, War is Boring.

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Premier vol du LEMV, un dirigeable destiné à l’armée américaine

Depuis quelques années, le Pentagone tente de remettre au goût du jour les dirigeables, ces derniers, utilisés à des fins militaires lors de la Première Guerre Mondiale, ayant perdu leur vocation militaire en raison de leur trop grande vulnérabilité face à l’aviation de chasse.

Mais quand la supériorité aérienne est acquise, comme elle peut l’être dans des conflits asymétriques comme en Afghanistan, par exemple, le dirigeable retrouve de l’intérêt en raison de son autonomie. En effet, doté de caméras et de capteurs, ce type d’engin peut mener des missions de surveillance et de renseignement en restant sur une position pendant suffisamment de temps et servir de relai pour les communications.

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Il ya déjà des dizaines de dirigeables légers en Afghanistan. Ils n'ont aucun problème.

Le LEMV est juste plus gros et à une altitude plus élevé (encore plus sécurisé).

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Un rapport du DoD donne un tableau des flottes de drones futures ; ce faisant, il donne aussi l'inventaire actuel :




RQ-4BGlobal Hawk23

US Army




MQ-1CGrey Eagle19

US Navy

RQ-4AGlobal Hawk5


[/td]Scan Eagle122


US Marine Corps




(dont 922 hors Raven)

Ca en fait... et il manque les RQ-170, et peut-être des drones de la CIA.

Source : p. 5

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Le Customs and Border Patrol l'annonce : des ballons de l'armée américaine sont actuellement testés au-dessus de la frontière américano-mexicaine.

Un "blimp" de type Aerostar (fabriqué par Raven) est déployé dans la vallée du Rio Grande pour conduire des missions de surveillance, un type de mission déjà confié à une flotte de 9 drones Predator. Le Pentagone déploie déjà, pour sa part, un "blimp" au-dessus de Cudjoe Key, dans les Florida Keys, comme le rappelle Fox News.

Ce "blimp" fait partie de l'équipement que le Pentagone va rapatrier d'Afghanistan et qui va être redéployé. Le DHS envisage aussi de positionner des "blimps" au-dessus du golfe du Mexique et des Caraïbes, histoire de traquer les narcos-trafiquants.

C'est le grand retour du ballon d'observation....  =)

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La CIA voudrait augmenter son arsenal de drones d'une dizaines d'appareils, en plus de 30 à 35 qu'elle posséderait déjà selon le Washington Post.

La comparaison avec celles données un peu plus haut donne une idée des proportions entre les drones militaires et CIA. Ce qui n'est qu'un début puisqu'il reste à voir :

- qui les pilote (probablement des militaires affectés à la CIA, du moins c'était le fonctionnement aux débuts) ?

- s'il y a des drones "militaires" placés sous les ordres de la CIA pour renforcer sa propre flotte ?

- le détail de la composition de la flotte, notamment la présence signalée de drones furtifs (RQ-170 voir d'autres drones secrets ?) dans la flotte de la CIA, en plus de ceux de l'USAF

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Un guide de référence du renseignement militaire américain : (attention, il pèse son poids... 97 Mo ça peut être lourd à charger/ouvrir).

Je le poste ici parce qu'il comprend une liste des moyens ISR aériens à partir de la page 222, dont certains sont plutôt discrets : RC-7, Desert Owl, Constant Hawk, MARSS/ARMS, Redridge II, Highlighter, Night Eagle, E-MARSS.

Le MARS a des appareils photos qui semblent de la plus haute résolution dispo vu le langage employé et les contraintes (images fixes)... 21 mégapixels.

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Les habitants de la région de Toulon ont pu découvrir, le 19 juillet, un grand Zeppelin survolant le secteur. Un engin imposant, long de 75 mètres pour un diamètre de 16 mètres, appartenant à la société Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT). Basée à Friedrichshafen,  le lieu historique de construction de célèbres dirigeables allemands, ZLT s’est lancée en 1993 dans le développement de Zeppelin moderne, dont elle exploite aujourd’hui deux exemplaires. L’appareil a rejoint le 17 juillet la base de Cuers-Pierrefeu, où il s’est positionné afin de participer à la première campagne I2C, un projet européen de sécurité maritime piloté par DCNS.

A cet effet, la cabine située sous l’énorme ballon, contenant 8425 m3 d’hélium, a été équipée de différents moyens. On trouve notamment une boule électro-optique Wescam MX15 et un radar FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave, radar émettant et recevant en continu), permettant de détecter et d’identifier de jour comme de nuit de petits mobiles de surface dans un rayon de 20 kilomètres environ.  Le Zeppelin peut ensuite communiquer vers un centre à terre les informations reçues, qui enrichissent un système compilant les données collectées par différents vecteurs (radar côtier, avion de surveillance maritime, drone de surface) et les mettant en relation avec d’autres informations, comme celles provenant des systèmes d’identification automatiques AIS des navires civils. Le Zeppelin est, d’ailleurs, équipé d’un récepteur AIS.

Suite :

Un autre article avec vidéo :

Site de I2C :

Image IPB

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USA : Vers l'annulation de tous les projets de dirigeables ?


Malgré des milliards de dollars d'investissements, l'armée américaine annule un à un les programmes destinés à développer de tels types d'aérostats, en raison des difficultés techniques et surtout de changements de priorités dus au contexte budgétaire.


L'AFP rappelle ce matin qu'entre 2007 et 2012, le Pentagone a investi 7 milliards de dollars sur 15 différents projets de dirigeables. Mais depuis, les financements se sont asséchés et les programmes ont été annulés ou revus à la baisse.


Suite :


Si ça c'est pas du gaspillage....

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On connaît les ombiliques qui permettent d'envoyer de l'énergie vers un aéronef, et de servir a la communication filaire, permettant de maintenir en l'air un aéronef tres longtemps. C'est valable pour les aérostats a "gaz léger", ou pour les "mat drone-coptere".

Le petit souci c'est que l'ombilique est un peut contraignant par le coté tres statique de l'aéronef. Pour le moment on ne peut pas brancher et débrancher l'aéronef a l'envie.

La parade ... alimenter électriquement l'aéronef ... mais sans fil. On connait la solution a base de micro-onde, mais les USA cherche du coté du laser pour alimenter-recharger un drone-copter lui permettant de rester en l'air de manière persistante. L'avantage de cette alimentation sans fil c'est qu'elle est facile a brancher ou débrancher à l'envie, et que c'est a priori utilisable y compris pour des petit drones assez bon marché.


Army looks into laser-powered drones

Even as drone technology advances, power constraints limit the amount of equipment unmanned systems can carry as well as the time they can stay in the air.

Some drone systems, like the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications drone from CyPhy Works, deliver power through a tether to keep a small drone aloft for an entire week. The Army, however, is developing a system to supply power through a laser, according to reporting from the New Scientist.

The drone would be outfitted with a photovoltaic cell that could take the light beam from the laser and turn it into electricity. The Army has still to determine how to get the benefits of photovoltaics without the extreme heat damaging the drone, according to Futurism.

The system is being developed by the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center based in Maryland. The Army wants to be able to use a laser to power a drone on the ground by 2019 and then in flight by 2020.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is also experimenting with beaming power to drones. It is working with Silent Falcon UAS Technologies' long-range unmanned aircraft system to prove the feasibility of recharging an electric powered UAS while in flight using a laser light source.


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Airbus et un ballon pour assurer les communication 4G et 5G.


Communiqué d’Airbus, 25/09/18

Airbus : Un système de communication militaire 4G/5G sur un ballon stratosphérique

Airbus a testé avec succès son système aérien de communication mobile 4G/5G, embarqué sous un ballon dirigeable évoluant dans la stratosphère. La technologie expérimentée, un AirNode LTE d’Airbus, est un élément clé de son programme de réseau militaire de communication aérienne, Network for the Sky (NFTS). Cette nouvelle solution de communication aérienne longue portée permettra aux plateformes stratosphériques, tel que le drone d’Airbus Zephyr, d’établir des cellules de communication sécurisée et permanente afin de relayer les informations transmises par tous types d’aéronefs, dont les hélicoptères, les drones tactiques et les drones MALE (moyenne altitude, longue endurance).

Airbus a testé sa solution AirNode LTE au Canada, avec le soutien des agences spatiales française et canadienne, à toutes les altitudes jusqu’à 21 km au-dessus de la Terre. La nacelle du ballon stratosphérique a emporté un AirNode LTE qui a pu établir une cellule radio depuis la haute altitude et fournir une couverture de 30 km pour des communications privées et sécurisées. A l’aide de deux véhicules 4x4 et de deux drones transmettant des vidéos 4K, l’équipe Airbus a suivi le ballon sur 200 km afin de simuler une mission ISR (Identification, Surveillance et Reconnaissance) avec transmission en temps réel. Les données étaient envoyées via un réseau privé à une vitesse comprise entre 0,5 et 4 Mb/s, un débit comparable à celui des communications mobiles 4G/5G.

L’AirNode LTE permettra d’améliorer la flexibilité opérationnelle des missions aériennes, en établissant des communications haut-débit et permanentes entre des aéronefs évoluant à portée les uns des autres. Alliant la présence permanente d’un satellite et la flexibilité d’emploi d’un drone, il permettra de déployer un réseau de communication hautement sécurisée sur plusieurs semaines ou plusieurs mois d’affilée au profit d’opérations aériennes, terrestres ou maritimes. Ce type de réseau ad hoc peut être adapté à tous les types d’utilisateurs, des forces spéciales aux équipes d’interventions et de secouristes en cas de crise.

Airbus a dévoilé son programme NFTS à l’occasion du salon aéronautique international de Farnborough en 2018. Il vise à associer différentes technologies de communication pour former un réseau global, maillé et résilient, qui permettra aux aéronefs de faire partie intégrante des réseaux militaires haut débit.


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Mali/Barkhane : Un ballon captif pour surveiller les environs de la base opérationnelle avancée française de Gossi

par Laurent Lagneau · 25 avril 2019

Depuis janvier, la force française Barkhane établit une nouvelle base opérationnelle avancée tactique [BOAT] à Gossi, dans la région du Gourma, à une centaine de kilomètres au sud de Gao. L’objectif est de pouvoir surveiller non seulement cette zone mais aussi celle, voisine, du Liptako, tout en se donnant la possibilité, le cas échéant, d’intervenir plus rapidement au Burkina Faso.

La réhabilitation de cette base, utilisée autrefois par les Casques bleus de la MINUSMA, est désormais quasiment achevée. D’ailleurs, elle a déjà servi de point de départ à des opérations de la force Barkhane.

Étant donné que des camps de la MINUSMA et des Forces armées maliennes [FAMa] sont régulièrement visés par les groupes jihadistes, comme cela encore été le cas le 21 avril dernier avec l’attaque de la base malienne de Guiré [revendiquée par le GSIM, en représailles au massacre de Peuls à Oussagou, ndlr], la surveillance des abords de la BOAT de Gossi est primordiale.

Pour cela, indique l’État-major des armées [EMA], le 11e Régiment d’Artillerie de Marine [RAMa] met en oeuvre un ballon captif « Mortagne » afin de surveiller les environs.

D’un diamètre de 4 mètres, ce ballon captif doit être gonflé toutes les semaines avec 37 mètres cibes d’hélium, ce qui lui permet d’atteindre une altitude de 100 mètres. Il est doté d’une boule optronique et d’u boîtier « Viper » pour « l’alimentation et des traitements vidéos, de la géolocalisation et de la rotation de la tourelle », explique l’EMA. Les données sont transmises à un ordinateur.

La caméra haute définition porte à « plusieurs kilomètres de distance, à 360 degrés ». Elle est en outre munie d’un système infrarouge, ce qui permet d’assurer une surveillance de jour comme de nuit. Enfin, elle est équipée d’un « pointeur laser et d’un télémètre qui multiplie son emploi et les effets pouvant être obtenus. »

« Sur le site de Gossi, l’emploi du ballon captif est un atout majeur car il s’affranchit totalement du relief et des mouvements de terrain qui entourent la base. On dispose en permanence d’une surveillance optimale », résume un sous-officier du 11e RAMa.

Par ailleurs, suite à l’article concernant l’intérêt de l’Aviation légère de l’armée de Terre [ALAT] pour les dirigeables et les ballons, le blog Mars Attaque a rappelé, via sa page Facebook, que la 4eme compagnie de commandement et de transmissions [CCT] avait testé un ballon captif de l’industriel ANS-E pour établir des liaisons avec les hélicoptères alors engagés dans l’exercice BACCARAT 2018.

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