[Photo] French Atlantique maritime patrol aircraft sporting Laser Guided Bomb markings (from Mali Air War)

The following images were taken at RAF Lossiemouth by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito, during the recent Exercise Joint Warrior 2013.

They show one of the two French Atlantique II maritime patrol aircraft sporting two LGB (Laser Guided Bomb) markings.

Five French Navy’s Atlantique II (ATL2) MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) were deployed to Dakar, Senegal, in support of Operation Serval in Mali. Indeed, the aircraft were not only used to perform ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) in West Africa, but were also employed as bombers: according to several sources, numerous GBU-12 250 kg laser guided bombs were dropped in the Sahel.

The ATL2 can accomodate up to four GBU-12s but it can’t self designate targets. At least, not yet.

ATL2 France dettaglio bombe

Image credit: Alessandro Fucito


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.