Launch! A Rafale M leaves the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (Image © Marine Nationale)

French aircraft carrier starts ops over Iraq

The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has started operations against Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Iraq alongside the US Navy’s USS Carl Vinson. Flying from the French carrier are twelve Dassault Rafale M multi role fighters, nine Dassault Super Étendards and one Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.

After leaving France, the carrier and its aircraft were involved in training exercises with the Italians and the Greeks. The ship crossed the Suez Canal on 26 January. Most of the aircraft onboard are shore based at Landiviseau airbase in Bretagne.

In total, French air assets in the strikes against ISIS – known by the French under code name Operation Chammal – now include six Armée de l’ Air Dassault Rafales, six Dassault Mirage 2000Ds, one Boeing C-135FR air-to-air, one Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft, and the aircraft sailing along on the Charles de Gaulle.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Rafale is launched from the Charles de Gaulle (Image © Marine Nationale)

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