French Navy jets rejoined the allied campaign against so-called Islamic States forces on Monday 23 Novemnber, aiming for targets near Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq and effectively doubling France’s military presence in the area. The jets were launched from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which left France shortly after the Paris attacks on 13 November.
The carrier is home to an air wing featuring Dassault Rafales, Dassault Super Etendard, E-2C Hawkeye AWACS aicraft and supporting helicopters. Various allied tanker aircraft supported the French fighter jets during the operation that lasted seven hours.
— État-Major Armées (@EtatMajorFR) 23 november 2015
The mission mark the second time the French Navy and aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle join the fight. Earlier in 2015, the carrier also launched strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq. The deployment of the carrier and its aircraft means France has effectively doubled its firepower in the area.
It also marks probably the last time Super Etendards see action for real. The Rafale is set to fully replace the type in the near future.
Two days after the Paris attacks, French Air Force jets engaged targets in Syria as a response. Those flights were carried out from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.