French forces rescue Dutch hostage held in Mali since 2011


French forces have freed a Dutch man held hostage in Mali since 2011 by al Qaeda’s north African arm, the French defence ministry said.

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How France Became an Iran Hawk | Foreign Policy


How France Became an Iran Hawk

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France talks tough on Iran as US looks to strike a deal


As US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for nuclear talks on Sunday, some analysts say that France has adopted a tougher stance on Iran while the US now seems eager to clinch a deal.

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Alliance against Islamic State deepens, but U.S. still shoulders bulk of burden


ABOARD THE CHARLES DE GAULLE — When Gen. Martin Dempsey’s plane touched down Sunday on the deck of this ship, he became the first chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent history — perhaps ever — to set foot on a French aircraft carrier, a sign of the two nations’ increasing operational unity in the campaign against the Islamic State.Read full article >>



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French Rafale omnirole fighter jet operates from U.S. aircraft carrier in the Arabian Gulf


Operation Inherent Resolve

Every now and then, French Navy warplanes operate from U.S. flattops.

The cooperation between the Marine Nationale (French Navy) and the U.S. Navy is not limited to the recent joint exercise during which a French nuclear-powered submarine scored a simulated carrier kill on USS Theodore Roosevelt and part of its escorting Strike Group.

The images in this post show a Rafale Marine aircraft belonging to the 11F embarked aboard the French navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) operate aboard the U.S. Navy nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

USS Carl Vinson is deployed along with its Carrier Strike Group to support air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

This is not the first time French aircraft operate from a U.S. aircraft carrier: in January 2014, two French Navy Rafales, landed and were later launched from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during carrier qualification integration.

Operation Inherent Resolve

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

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U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort “sunk” by French submarine during drills off Florida


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If you thought aircraft carriers were invincible you were wrong.

On Mar. 4, the French Ministry of Defense released some interesting details, about the activity conducted by one of its nuclear-powered attack submarine (SNA) in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

According to French MoD website (that is no longer online, even if you can still find a cached version of the article titled “Le SNA Saphir en entraînement avec l’US Navy au large de la Floride”), the Saphir submarine has recently taken part in a major exercise with the U.S. Navy off Florida.

The aim of the exercise was joint training with U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12 made by the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, several Ticonderoga or Arleigh Burke-class frigates and a type of submarine Los Angeles, ahead of their operational deployment.

The scenario of the drills saw some imaginary states assaulting American economic and territorial interests; threats faced by a naval force led by USS Theodore Roosevelt.

During the first phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated into the friendly force to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) by cooperating with U.S. P-3C Orion P-8A Poseidon MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft): its role was to share all the underwater contacts with the other ASW assets.

In the second phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated with the enemy forces and its mission was to locate the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its accompanying warships and prepare to attack the strike group.

While the fictious political situation deteriorated, the Saphir quietly slipped in the heart of the multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier’s defensive screen, while avoiding detection by ASW assets.

On the morning of the last day, the order to attack was finally given, allowing the Saphir to pretend-sinking the USS Theodore Roosevelt and most of its escort.

Although we don’t really know many more details about the attack and its outcome, the scripted exercise its RoE (Rules of Engagement), the simulated sinking of a U.S. supercarrier proves the flattop’s underwater defenses are not impenetrable.

This is the reason why modern subs often train with aircraft carriers: they pose a significant threat to powerful Carrier Strike Groups.

Obviously, this was not the first time a submarine scored a simulated carrier kill with torpedo attacks.

For instance, in 2007 HMCS Corner Brook, a Canadian diesel-electric submarine “sunk” UK’s Illustrious during an exercise in the Atlantic.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

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French president to make historic trip to Cuba amid improving ties


President Francois Hollande will travel to Cuba in May in the first such trip by a French head of state.

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‘French Pentagon’ is Ready: Defense Ministry Moves Into New Location


The French Defense Ministry starts moving into its new location at Balard.

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Space Intel Gives France Policy Independence


France draws on its own system of military intelligence satellites to deliver geo-spatial intel, a resource seen as key to political independence and used for sharing valuable data with the armed forces and allies, a defense official said.

       
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France deploys aircraft carrier in Iraq for fight against Islamic State extremists


France has deployed an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to strengthen its military operation against Islamic State extremists in Iraq.

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