French Rafale fighter jets operate from U.S. aircraft carrier

Although it is not the first time this happens, French warplanes seldom operate from U.S. flatops. For this reasons, the images in this posts are particularly rare.

Rafale truman 1

They  show the two French Navy Rafale omnirole combat planes, from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, that on Jan. 13 landed and were later launched from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during carrier qualification integration.


Harry S. Truman, flagship of the Truman Carrier Strike Group, is conducting operations with units assigned to French Task Force 473 in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility in order to enhance levels of cooperation and interoperability, enhance mutual maritime capabilities and promote long-term regional stability in the region.


F/A-18E Super Hornet has also returned the visit to the French aircraft carrier as the following image (via shows:

F-18 on De Gaulle

Even the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour, and its AV-8B+ Harrier II aircraft is operating in the same area.

Image credit: U.S. Navy


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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.


  1. I wish so badly that the French would just pick a side and stop being so wish-washy about their involvement in this war. I understand its not “their war”, but man, either get it or get out. We appreciate our allies, but if you wanna launch air off our flat tops (aircraft carriers) then be ready to go to war and do the necessaries.

    They have great SOF units, they have great spirit, but they are so weak-hearted about doing the hard stuff (making the ugly, grotesquely brutal decisions you NEED to make in war). I wish they would ask their GIGN leadership what they think….I bet they would ask (no….BEG i bet!) to let them use their the very CT training they spent millions on and let them go after these savages who behead their countrymen (journalists, poor interpreters and family men, etc).

    I just hope that the French get their crap together and stop being such pansy ass bleeding hearts and stop hating Americans for being brutal and arrogant (which we are, but who cares…French ain’t exactly the picture of humility either…i would know for a fact about that).

    Sorry to go off topic…Just had to get that off my chest. The GIGN have a lot of respect from our SOF (like Delta and SEALs) and it is an insult when they treat the “kill” missions as if they are somehow “uncool” because we didn’t gather months of evidence (the French are known to make ridiculous requests for evidence they are too ignorant to understand WE CANT PROVIDE IT as our enemy doesn’t leave the breadcrumbs as often as everyone thinks). They know how we work, and they don’t use radios (making SIGINT and other intercepts nearly impossible) etc so we use HUMINT (reg intel gathering techniques w/ locals) and do our very best to avoid innocent lives being lost…but the French need to grow back the balls they had in WW2 when they fought like lions….you know? Maybe the Agency should stage a series of harmless terror attacks on empty government buildings in Paris….that would motivate them to give a rat’s ass about the war on terror.

    • are you serious?!
      the french involvement in your “war on terror” started in the eighties, remember that the french were the first to enjoy muslim terror campaigns, in the west, that is.
      they have been fighting alongside the US ever since day one in a’stan, and i would have thought that the way they behaved in Mali (or lybia) would have earned them a little more respect.
      and what about syria? the french had jets loaded, on the last chance zone of their base, when obama said that, finally, no, attacking assad wasn’t such a good idea…
      FYI, there are some disturbing sayings concerning bin laden having been spotted at least twice by the french SOF, for nothing since they weren’t given the authorization to take a shot (note: in a’stan, the command was…american).
      as for ridiculous proof searching…er…seriously…either your are a legalist, or you’re a warmonger.
      i’ll stick with option one: whatever action you take then being justified, and covered by law.
      you can also see some vids on the net about french troops in a TIC situation, asking for aerial back up, a backup denied by the US pilot because he had not received the certainty that the neighboring madrasa was empty.
      it works both ways, really.

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