Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle back at sea for Naval Aviation pilots
February 5 2012, an air group consisting of Rafales and Hawkeye landed
on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off Toulon to train and qualify
French Naval Aviation pilots switching from Super Etandard Modernisé
(SEM) to the new Rafale M.
The French carrier took to the sea on February 2nd. Following three
days of sea trials, air operations that will be held on board throughout
the week will allow for the transformation of SEM pilots on Rafale M
as well as Hawkeye crews qualifications.
Rafale M and Hawkeye pilots conduct carrier qualification and transformation
off Toulon Naval Base on 05/02/2012
(All pictures: French Navy/Marine Nationale)
After nine months
of intense operations in Indian Ocean and off Libya between October
2010 and August 2011, the r Charles de Gaulle CVN had entered a phase
of technical and human regeneration to allow the vessel and its crew
to find regain potential for 2012.
The French carrier went back to sea last December to ensure the good
performance of maintenance operations that were performed on board following
the long period of operational deployement.
Pictures of YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile, fitted on a Chinese
Navy (PLAN) Xian H-6G bomber have recently emerged on the Chinese internet
meaning this new generation missile may have entered operational service.