French Air Force celebrates 50th Anniversary of Strategic Air Forces with three stunning special colors

Armée de l’air celebrated the 50th anniversary of the FAS (forces aériennes stratégiques) with three special colored planes.

On Oct. 3, with a ceremony held at Istres airbase, the French Air Force celebrated 50 years of French deterrence by the Forces Aériennes Strategiques which are responsible for Paris’s nuclear weapons.

The first nuclear alert took place on Oct. 8, 1964 with a Dassault Mirage IV, armed with AN-11 nuclear bombs, supported by a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker of the so-called Force de Frappe (French for Strike Force).

C135 Rafale

French assets of the FAS have been on continouos alert since then, an achievement marked with three special colors: a Rafale, a Mirage 2000N and a C-135FR.

Rafale Mir2000

Two are the nuclear squadrons of the French Air Force, each consisting of 20 aircraft: EC (Escadron de chasse) 1/91 Gascogne at Saint-Dizier equipped with the Rafale B, and EC 2/4 Lafayette at Istres equipped with the Mirage 2000N.

Image credit: French Air Force

 

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David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.