The Charles de Gaulle nuclear aircraft carrier was one of the most important instruments of the French Armed Forces in the country’s operations abroad.
Since the beginning of repair of the Charles de Gaulle nuclear aircraft carrier of the French Navy, which will last 18 months, France will lose one of its most important instruments for the force’s projection and an important ‘trump card’ in the country’s operations abroad, which are conducted by the French Armed Forces, the La Tribune newspaper reported. The newspaper noted that aircraft of the Charles de Gaulle’s carrier aviation took part in a large number of military campaigns in Iraq and Syria in the framework of the Chammal operation, which was started by the French army on September 19, 2014.
During their actions in the skies of Iraq and Syria, aircraft of the aircraft carrier performed a number of tasks, including reconnaissance, carrying out airstrikes on previously explored facilities, control of the airspace, and refueling in the air. Twenty four Dassault Rafale M fighter jets and two Grumman E-2C Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft based themselves on the aircraft carrier.
From September 1 to November 30, 2016, aircraft of the carrier battle group performed 414 sorties in the framework of the Chammal operation. At the same time, crews of the French Air Force, deployed on military bases in Jordan and the UAE, performed 346 and 56 sorties, respectively. In total, 846 sorties were performed by the French Air Force.
Prior to the arrival of the aircraft carrier to the battlefield, French Air Force’s aircraft took off 411 times from the base in Jordan and 101 times from the air base in the UAE during the period from June 1 to August 31, 2016. So, in total, there were 512 flights (37 percent less). However, at the same time, the smaller number of aircraft was involved in these sorties: eight Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jets and one Dassault Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft (from June 1 to August 26), then six Rafale and one Atlantique 2 (from August 27 to September 19), operating from the base in Jordan, as well as six Rafale (from June 1 to September 19), one Boeing КС-135 fuel tanker (from July 30 to August 26) and one Boeing E-3 airborne early warning and control aircraft (from 13 to 19 September).
All these figures show those ‘additional cost’, which was brought by the Charles de Gaulle.