8 Haziran 2006 Perşembe

Pakistan'ın Yeni Denizaltı Programında Harpoon Faktörü

Kısa süre önce ABD Savunma Bakanlığı'na bağlı DSCA kurumu tarafından Pakistan'a yapılacak 130 adet GM-84 Harpoon güdümlü füze satışı duyurulmuştu. Bu pakedin içerisinde 30 adet UGM-84L Harpoon denizaltıdan fırlatılan anti-gemi füzesi de bulunmakta. Bugün DefenseNews'a düşen bir haber, söz konusu Harpoon satışı ile direkt ilgili.



Pakistan yeni almayı planladığı 3 adet AIP denizaltıda da UGM-84 Harpoon kullanmayı planlıyor. Bu durum, Fransa'nın adayı Marlin tipi denizaltı için bir engel olabilir. Fransız hükümetinden Armaris firmasına söz konusu denizaltıyı Pakistan ihalesinde teklif etmek için izin çıktı, ancak UGM-84'ün Marlin'e entegrasyonu maliyeti artırıcı, dolayısıyla şans azaltıcı faktör olabilir.

Marlin'in olası en güçlü rakibi ise Alman HDW tasarımı Tip 214 olarak görünüyor.




France OKs Sub Talks With Pakistan
Islamabad Wants U.S. Harpoon Missiles To Arm Subs


By PIERRE TRAN, PARIS




France has cleared Armaris to offer three patrol submarines to Pakistan, lifting a bureaucratic barrier to the naval export company’s efforts to sell the planned Marlin SSK boat, a French defense executive said.


But there is another snag on the horizon: Pakistan wants its new subs to come with the Boeing Harpoon antiship missile, not the Exocet SM39 from European missile maker MBDA, the executive said.


Acquiring the Harpoons won’t be the problem. White House officials notified Congress on May 31 that Boeing intends to sell 130 of the missiles, including 30 submarine-launched versions and related equipment, to Pakistan for $370 million.


But offering the U.S. missile over the European one could draw opposition from the French government and other local firms.


Armaris is vying to supply Pakistan with three single-hulled, diesel-electric submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion, a deal likely to be worth $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Pakistani officials have said they also would consider the Class 214 submarine from Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) or a Chinese sub. Italian and Russian bids also are expected.


“It will be a very, very tough competition,” the French executive said.
India in October purchased six Scorpene boats from Armaris, and construction of the first boat began April 28 with the cutting of the first hull plate in Cherbourg, France, which will be sent to India, where Mazagon Docks will build and outfit the six boats under Armaris’ supervision as prime contractor.


A victory in Pakistan would likely mean a launch customer for the Marlin, which will be an upgrade to state-owned shipbuilder DCN’s 10-year-old Scorpene submarine technology, and a new entry to compete in a crowded market.


Just getting this far has been a protracted process for Armaris, a marketing joint venture between DCN and Thales.


Before a French arms maker can offer weapons to a foreign customer, the company must receive the approval of the high-level Commission Interministérielle d’Etude et d’Exportation de Matériel de Guerre (CIEEMG). If buyer and seller then come to an agreement, the sale also must be authorized by the CIEEMG.


In January, the CIEEMG withheld its approval, reportedly so as not to upset Pakistan’s regional rival India. Nevertheless, Armaris officials made an informal pitch to a Pakistani delegation several weeks later.


In February, Indian officials signed contracts to buy six Exocet-armed Scorpene subs and 43 Airbus airliners worth $2.5 billion at list prices.
On May 10, Armaris received a formal invitation from Pakistan to bid on the three subs, and subsequently received the CIEEMG’s approval to do so, the defense executive said. A Pakistan official confirmed that authorization had been granted for the sale.


“It’s good news,” he said.


Officials from the French Defense Ministry and the Délégation Générale pour l’Armament procurement office were not immediately available for comment


Obstacles


Coming up with a deal that satisfies all concerned will be challenging.
Among the difficult parts is “how to make an offer that does not upset India,” the executive said. Among other considerations, New Delhi, which plans to buy more than 100 jet fighters, is currently deciding between France’s Dassault Rafale and other foreign aircraft, including the F-16 built by Lockheed Martin, the F/A-18E/F by Boeing, the JAS 39 Gripen by Sweden’s Saab and the MiG-29M, offered by Russia’s Irkut.


Another potential stumbling block is Islamabad’s request for technology transfer as part of the sub deal, which raises the spectre of Pakistani defense firms soon competing against French ones.


Yet another sticky wicket is Pakistan’s interest in the Harpoon missile.
Islamabad wants the Harpoon because it offers longer range, more accuracy, and potentially fewer export approval delays than the Exocet, the Pakistani official said.



But French industry has been given to understand its government’s export committee will never authorize the Marlin sale if it means putting a U.S. weapon on a French platform, the executive said.


A pick of the Harpoon would pose the question: Who would pay for the weapon’s integration, said Robbin Laird, an analyst with ICSA, a consulting firm based here and in Washington. It was unlikely Pakistan had the money to pay for the work and France would balk at paying to integrate an American weapon on a French submarine, he said. “We wouldn’t,” he added.


Even if Pakistan were to pay for the integration, France would ask whether it was in DCN’s interest to do it, he said. An alternative would be a buy of a German boat, he said. But the terms would have to be right for German industry, which is unlikely to sell at a loss.


As for whether the Harpoon was a better weapon, much depended on the Pakistan Navy’s mission requirement, Laird said.


Pakistan already operates French subs, thanks to a 1994 deal to buy and build three Agosta 90B Khalid boats. The first was built by DCN at its Cherbourg yard, the second was assembled in Karachi Naval Dockyard, and the third boat is being fitted with the Mesma air-independent propulsion system, also in Pakistan.


These subs were sold with Exocets. They are capable of firing the Harpoon, but this has not been tested, the French executive said.
“They are fitted for, but no tests have been done,” he said.



The schedule for the new sub program is tight. Formal offers are due in July, and Pakistan wants to pick a winner by the end of the year.


But the French executive said that preparing the offer could take six months, thanks to Pakistan’s unusually detailed specifications — for example, the number of propeller blades.


“That’s the first time I have seen that,” the executive said.


“The Indian Ocean is an ocean we’re very interested in and we want to continue engaging with all the countries in the region, including Pakistan,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Walsh, the director of the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Warfare Division. “It’s in our interest that our friends and allies have robust submarine and stronger naval capabilities in general.”


Indian defense ministry officials said they would watch the development carefully and cautiously.


One Indian analyst said France’s decision to allow Armaris to pitch its submarine to Pakistan seemed baffling, because it would intensify the future debates when India considers buying a French weapon.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1840676&C=europe

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