France decided to deploy Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier before the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which claimed 12 victims.
The Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier will deploy to the Persian Gulf to strengthen the French contingent already fighting ISIS in the region, Agence France Press news agency reported on Jan. 6.
The news that the 38,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would be about to join the war on Islamic State widely spread through social media on Jan. 7, after the Paris shooting, but the decision to deploy the battle group was taken well before the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo.
According to the AFP, the aircraft carrier would operate in the Gulf on its way to India, where the French Navy’s flagship is scheduled to take part in drills in mid-April and the deployment is set to be announced by President Francois Hollande on Jan. 14, during the annual New Year’s speech to the armed forces.
French Navy Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard, Dassault Rafale M and E‑2C Hawkeye aircraft operating from the Charles De Gaulle would reinforce the current French contingent made of 9 Rafale, 6 Mirage 2000 jets, 1 C-135FR tanker, 1 E-3F Airborne Early Warning aircraft and an Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft already deployed to airbases in UAE and Jordan.
Image credit: French Navy