French Navy Rafale M Fighters May Conduct Combat Missions From a US Navy CVN in 2017

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Naval Forces News - France, USA
 
 
 
French Navy Rafale M Fighters May Conduct Combat Missions From a US Navy CVN in 2017
 
French Navy (Marine Nationale) Rafale M carrier-based multirole fighters may conduct combat missions against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier as soon as January 2017. The information comes from French TV channel TF1 (video in French). According to TF1 this subject was discussed between US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and French Navy Rear Adm. Rene-Jean Crignola, Commander Task Force (CTF) 50.

The US Defense Secretary was visiting the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle on Saturday.
     
French Navy (Marine Nationale) Rafale M carrier-based multirole fighters may conduct combat missions against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier as soon as January 2017. The information comes from French TV channel TF1. According to TF1 this subject was discussed between US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and French Navy Rear Adm. Rene-Jean Crignola, Commander Task Force (CTF) 50. ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 13, 2014) A Rafale aircraft, assigned to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during carrier qualification integration. Harry S. Truman, part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is conducting operations with units assigned to French Task Force 473 to enhance levels of cooperation and interoperability, enhance mutual maritime capabilities and promote long-term regional stability in the U.S. Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Karl Anderson/Released)
     
The reason why the French Navy would deploy its Rafale M aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier for combat operations is because of the planned major refit (Major Technical Shutdown or IPER in French) for France's sole aircraft carrier. The Charles De Gaulle next refit is scheduled for the start of 2017 and is expected to last a year and a half.
     
French Navy (Marine Nationale) Rafale M carrier-based multirole fighters may conduct combat missions against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier as soon as January 2017. The information comes from French TV channel TF1. According to TF1 this subject was discussed between US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and French Navy Rear Adm. Rene-Jean Crignola, Commander Task Force (CTF) 50. MEDITERRANEAN SEA (June 4, 2010) A French navy maintenance team, assigned to Rafale squadron 12F, conducts an engine swap-out aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as part of interoperability operations with the French navy. Harry S. Truman is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Montgomery/Released)
     
If this was to happen, it would be the first time that French Navy aircraft would fly actual combat missions from an American aircraft carrier. The US Navy and French Navy are used to demonstrate their interoperabilty and Rafale M fighters have landed and launched several times already, almost on a yearly basis. The most recent examples are March 2015 when the two allied navies teste, implemented and improved their interoperability while on theatre and while actively engaged in combat missions in the Gulf. In January 2014, the same type of training happened as well, while on theatre.

According to TF1, as many as 18 Rafale M could be deployed on the US Navy aircraft carrier. Some room would have to be made for the French Navy support crew as US Navy sailors are not familiar with maintaining the Rafale M aircraft. Likewise, room would have to be made for spare parts and ammunitions for the French aircraft.

Contacted by Navy Recognition, the French Navy public affairs didn't want to comment the information.
 

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