Tag Archives: French Air Force

[Video] Dramatic air-to-air footage of RAF Typhoon an French Mirage 2000 flying in formation over UK

British Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 and French Mirage 2000N jets have been involved in Exercise Capable Eagle in the skies above northern England as part of Exercise Capable Eagle.

Capable Eagle, the air component of Exercise Joint Warrior, a “twice-yearly, multinational, tri-service military exercise, and one of the biggest of its kind in Europe,” saw the participation of the Libya Air War 2011 veteran RAF Tornado GR4s, and French Air Force Rafale fighter jets, also deployed to RAF Leeming, in North Yorkshire, the main operating base for the drills.

The purpose of the exercise is to practice skills of a British-French Expeditionary Air Wing that must be capable to conduct, among the  others, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-insurgency operations in crisis scenarios.

Image credit: RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2013

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More NATO Tactical Leadership Programme action photos

As already explained on a previous post, on Oct. 1 and 2, the Tactical Leadership Programme and Albacete Airbase hosted a Spotters Day during TLP Flying Course 2013/5.

Here are some photographs shot by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito during the event.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 190

Turkish Air Force F-16D from 151 Filo.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 161

Ala 14’s Eurofighter Typhoon.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 146

Swiss Air Force F-18 from FlSt18.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 121

Eurofighter Typhoon from the Italian Air Force’s 4° Stormo.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 108

Polish Air Force’s F-16C Block 52+ from BLT31.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 096

Mirage 2000D from the French Air Force’s EC 03.033.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 141

Mirage 2000C from EC 02.005.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 059

An Italian Air Force HH-3F from the 15° Stormo. This kind of helicopter is currently being replaced within the Aeronautica Militare by the Agusta Westland HH-139A.

Top photo: Spanish F/A-18 from Ala 46 (all images by Alessandro Fucito).

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French Air Force’s Nuclear Deterrence Drills with the Mirage 2000N

The French Air Force have conveyed a complex drill whose aim was to test the nuclear capability of the service, the French Ministry of Defence said.

The exercise featured a Mirage 2000N jet carrying ASMP-A missiles and took place on Sept. 23, 2013.

The scenario featured a single Mirage 2000N from 2/4 La Fayette Squadron, based in Avord AB in a mission that lasted 3 hours.

The fighter flew to the operative area at high altitude, joined a C-135FR tanker for in-flight refueling then turned towards the target, low level, using terrain to avoid radar detection and infiltrate the enemy territory.

The ASMP-A missile (of course without the warhead) hit the target as planned.

The ASMP-A missiles are the main French nuclear deterrent since 2009. This is a new generation of ASMP missile with an enhanced, longer range of 500-600 km.

Both Mirage 2000N and Rafale can carry the ASMP-A. Besides that, French nuclear assets include the Le Triomphrant submarines carrying ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles).

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

Image Credit: French Air Force

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The (somehow) unusual diversion of a US-bound Airbus 330 amid US Embassies threat

On Aug. 7, 2013, a Delta Airlines A.330-300, flying as DAL099 from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Detroit diverted to Amsterdam after experiencing an inflight problem.

The civil plane, N814NW had problems with flap extension/retraction so it circled over Norwich, UK, at FL250, to burn fuel and wait until Amsterdam was able to accept it for landing.

So far so good.

The aircraft eventually landed at Schipol airport and everyone safely disembarked the Airbus.


However, something weird happened as the Airbus burned off fuel to reduce its weight over southeast England: as airband monitors and aircraft enthusiasts noticed, the emergency sparked an unusual type of reaction by the British Air Traffic Control (ATC) agencies.

Indeed, Delta 099, that was already in positive radio and radar contact with the civil ATC, not only switched to a London Military ATC control frequency, but did also squawk a London Mil transponder code: in other words, it was momentarily handed over to a military ATC agency.

Usually, flights in trouble are usually kept on the same frequencies as long as possible (that is to say that radio frequency changes are reduced to the minimum – something that applies to most serious emergencies) but in this case the Airbus 330 changed both VHF frequency and transponder code to be managed by the military radar.

That said there are several reasons why this may have happened. Among them there is the possibility that the emergency wasn’t so serious and the aircraft was directed to circle in zone where other military traffic was operating; therefore it was switched to London Mil to reduce the coordination effort required by the civilian ATC to manage a plane in proximity with operative air traffic.

In fact a French Air Force E-3 “flying radar station” was reported circling in the same area (most probably a coincidence) and the controllers decided that it was better to have both the Delta and the French AWACS on the same frequency for proper deconfliction.

However, according to some readers there are speculations according to which the Delta 099 carried a U.S. VIP being repatriated following the US Embassies terrorist threat.

We are unable to verify the thruthfulness of such rumors, still we can’t completely rule out that the presence of a U.S. diplomat aboard and/or some kind of terrorist scare influenced the way the emergency was managed.

What do you think?

Image credit: curimedia, Flightradar24.com

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Awesome video: airdrop from the pallet (being airdropped) point of view

That’s a really interesting video.

French Air Drop

It shows a pallet being air dropped from a French Air Force C-160 Transal over Mali.

Have you ever seen an airdrop from the pallet’s point of view?

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