Tag Archives: French Air Force

A dozen French Air Force jets conducted massive air strikes against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria

France strikes back with Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets.

According to the French MoD (Ministry of Defense), a dozen French aircraft conducted air strikes against ISIS targets located in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 15.

The aircraft, Mirage 2000N and Mirage 2000Ds and Rafales, were launched at 19.50 and 20.25 CET, struck an Islamic State command center and a training camp: about 20 targets even though there are reports of more buildings hit by the French bombs.

The raids come about 48 hours seven coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 132 people and injuring 352.

Raqqa is an ISIS stronghold. It was reported earlier on Sunday Nov. 15 that the U.S. intelligence has intercepted communications between Raqqa and the terrorists in Paris ahead of the deadly attack on Friday Nov. 13.

The aircraft that took part in the “massive” airstrike in Raqqa are part of Operation Chammal, the French air campaign in Iraq and Syria launched on Sept. 19, 2014 and consisting of 12 tactical jets (six Rafale, three Mirage 2000D and three Mirage 2000N aircraft) and one Atlantique 2 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft). On Sept. 27, five Rafale jets, an Atlantique 2 and a C-135 tanker aircraft “launched by airbases located in Jordan and the Persian Gulf,” were involved in the first French mission against an ISIS training camp in Syria as part of Operation Chammal.

Five Rafales, one Atlantique 2 and one C-135 involved in France’s air strike in Syria

The French contingent has struck IS positions in Syria earlier today.

On Sept. 27, five Rafale jets, an Atlantique 2 and a C-135 tanker aircraft “launched by airbases located in Jordan and the Persian Gulf,” were involved in the first mission against an ISIS training camp in Syria as part of Operation Chammal.

Launched on Sept. 19, 2014, Chammal has seen a contingent counting now 12 tactical jets (six Rafale, three Mirage 2000D and three Mirage 2000N aircraft) and one Atlantique 2 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) take part in the air strikes (bombing targets and flying reconnaissance missions) against Islamic State positions in Iraq.

The first air strike in Syria was preceded by 12 ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) missions conducted from Sept. 8 to 24, that helped to identify targets of interest located in the regions controlled by the terrorist organization: a “self-assessment” capacity, as the French MoD dubbed it in an official statement released after the mission.

The air strike targeted a training camp located in the Euphrates valley, south of Deir Ez Zor: a “deliberate strike” on a target previously recognized and cross-checked with the help of the US-led coalition.

The mission lasted five hours (with a take off time at 06:30AM French time) and the target was successfully destroyed.

Image credit: French MoD

 

Swiss Air Force helicopters crossed the border with France to collect water for thirsty cows

Swiss Air Force Cougar helicopters have crossed the border to collect water for cattles.

A really weird and unexpected incursion into the French airspace took place at the end of July.

According to what “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (“NZZ”), two Swiss Air Force Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma helicopters equipped with bambi buckets collected more than 50,000 liters of water from Lac des Rousses border lake, in France.

Although the Swiss Air Force requested permission to enter the French airspace to the French Air Force, the local authorities and police were caught by surprise by the cross-border incursion that almost led to a diplomatic upset.

Swimmers and fishermen enjoying the waters of the lake, located in the Jura mountains, in eastern France were particularly startled by the unexepcted arrival of the choppers.

Newsworthy, the Swiss military helicopters were involved in a larger operation that saw the military pumping water for livestock from Swiss lakes for over a week. In fact, thirsty cows produce less milk, of particular concern in the mountainous Jura region of France and Switzerland where milk is used by producers to make prized cheeses are produce.

H/T to Jan Hildebrandt for the heads-up

Image credit: Wiki

 

 

Fantastic video brings you aboard a Rafale jet on a simulated nuclear strike

This a nuclear air strike, French style.

The following footage was released by the French Air Force.

It shows a Force de Frappe‘s nuclear strike mission flown by a Rafale B multirole jet carrying an ASMP-A nuclear missile (weirdly blurred in the video) belonging to the EC (Escadron de chasse) 1/91 Gascogne at Saint-Dizier.

The video is extremely interesting as it shows the entire mission profile, from the take-off to the return to base, including the aerial refueling from a C-135FR aerial refueler and the simulated attack on the ground target. It lets you hear some radio comms as well.

The attack run is performed at high-speed and ultra low-level: 1,000 km/h at 100 meters.

Last October, the French Air Force celebrated 50 years of French deterrence by the Forces Aériennes Strategiques which are responsible for Paris’s nuclear weapons.

Whilst most countries are a bit “shy” and they usually don’t make their nuclear attack training public, the French are quite proud to showcase their special strike capabilities.



H/T to @DefensAero and Charlie Pinedo for the heads-up

 

Video of E-3F AWACS refueled mid-air by French tanker over Iraq

French C-135FR refueling Belgian Air Force F-16 and E-3F AWACS over Iraq during air strikes on ISIS.

You don’t see an AWACS refuel mid-air too often. Although AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) of E-3s take place quite often, the size of the aircraft and the rotating radar dome may make the operation a bit more difficult than usual.

In this case, the video shows a French Air Force E-3F taking gas from a French C-135FR over Iraq, during air strikes on ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.

During the same sortie, the French tanker refueled also an F-16AM of the Belgian Air Force, carrying a GBU-12 LGB (Laser Guided Bomb), a GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), two AIM-120 AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles) and two AIM-9 Sidewinder IR-guided air-to-air missiles.

The aging fleet of C-135FRs, the French variant of the C-135 used as dual-role tanker/cargo and troop carrier aircraft, will be replaced with A400M and A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) aircraft.