Archive for category Français

Nouveau Drone Au-dessous De La Manche

Dassault et BAE a lancé un nouveau projet pour la conception et la production d’un drone dans la même classe de la “Predator” drone que les États-Unis utilise en Afghanistan.

Cette joint-venture par suite de la décision des deux gouvernements, la France et l’Angleterre, pour acheter de l’armement même de faire des économies.

Cette décision tue le programme Watchkeeper. Le drone Watchkeeper a été créé afin que l’Angleterre peut avoir un système national de drones, un système pour l’exportation.

Cependant, la France a été le marché le plus souhaité pour Watchkeeper. Maintenant, il semble y avoir peu de marchés pour l’entreprise Watchkeeper UAV.

Programme Watchkeeper est un projet superflu. Les dépenses pour le programme Watchkeeper était un gaspillage colossal.

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Taxpayer Gets Poor Value from Watchkeeper Programme

The Watchkeeper Programme will cost the UK taxpayer almost £ 1 billion. £1,000,000,000. If we still had one pound notes that would be enough to circle the globe four times, laid end to end.

For that we get 54 drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, based on the Israeli Hermes 450.

The UK MOD has not provided any public justification for why it needs 54 drones, far in excess of what it uses in the most active war zone, Afghanistan.

The original justification for the costly Watchkeeper Programme was that it would give the UK a domestic drone production programme, and provide opportunities for export. But the UK proponents profoundly misunderstood the nature of the drones industry.

Drones are primarily put together from off the shelf components sold by a variety of high tech companies around the world. There appears to be no exciting new proprietary technology being developed for Watchkeeper which can be the basis for an export programme. Rather, Watchkeeper has paid for the development of new intellectual property benefitting the offshore Israeli partner in the Watchkeeper programme.

Rather than giving the UK access to a useful range of new technology from offshore, Watchkeeper has given the Israeli and French partners deep participation in UK defence infrastructure. It would appear that the only part of Watchkeeper which is unique to the UK is the software and operating systems that integrate the Watchkeeper drones with UK military systems.

It would appear that the Israeli and French partners have gained a lot more from the project than has the UK.

Drones as good as comparable to the Hermes 450/Watchkeeper are available at a fraction of the cost from other sources (eg the Predator/Reaper from US vendors).

And there appears to be very little avenue for the UK to develop exports based on the Watchkeeper Programme, unless the French government decides to throw some business towards Thales, the French partner.

The business strategy of Israeli companies which produce drones is to form joint ventures with local companies in countries wishing to acquire drone technology. Thus, these companies minimise the thorny political issue of dealing with an Israeli arms company. Since it is relatively easy to set up a drone production company, (essentially assembly plants for imported components) these national joint ventures can be established anywhere. They are being created in places as diverse as Russia, Brazil, and Azerbaijan. The valuable component of drone manufacturing is not the airframe, or even the engine, it is the optical and electronic systems, the software, and the operating protocols.

Furthermore, unless there is domestic, non military demand for MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) drones, there doesn’t appear to be any demand to sustain the manufacturing facilities which participated in the Watchkeeper Programme. There appears to have been no indication of domestic demand for this kind of drone from the Watchkeeper System. (Indeed, why would there be a comparative advantage for a British drone, when the same type of drone can be proliferated at any time to any country with modest manufacturing infrastructure). Every country can have a domestic drone programme based on an Israeli prototype, but the national drone will be little more than Israeli technology in a fibreglass body, with a catchy local name.

Therefore, the Watchkeeper would appear to be a ‘one-off’ project, a very expensive lesson, and a huge subsidy to the Israeli arms industry.

(Sommaire en français. Je m’excuse auprès de ceux qui parlent français bien.)

La programme Watchkeeper, pour la creation d’un drone anglais, est pour la plupart une dépense inutile. Le plus grand bénéficiaire est le secteur de l’aviation d’Israël. Le militaire du Royaume-Uni n’a pas besoin de cette quantité de ces drones, et l’armée a payé trop cher.

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Le Commerce des Armes Au Quebec et Alberta

Oxfam-Québec maintient une campagne contre le commerce mondial des armes.

Il ya beaucoup d’entreprises au Québec qui ont un rôle dans le commerce des armes. Toujours en Alberta.
Par exemple, Pratt and Whitney Canada maintient usines dans les deux provinces. Pratt and Whitney  fabrique des moteurs pour les drones israéliens, entre autres.

(D’autres, plus tard)

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This blog focusses on the arms trade in Canada, the UK, and Israel. Occasionally it may cover other regions or issues.

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