French and U.S. Carriers Practice Joint Air Ops

A Rafale fighter jet lands on the flight deck of French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle.

From Pierre Tran, Navy Times:  Onboard the USS Harry S. Truman — A brace of French Navy Rafales flying from the Charles de Gaulle carrier roared down to perform touch-and-go landings on the vast deck of this Nimitz class carrier, in a show of interoperability between the two navies.

The cross-deck operations included a Rafale landing on the U.S. carrier June 4, being taken down in one of the maintenance hangars and having one of its engines removed and refitted, U.S. Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll told visitors Tuesday. “This is another brick in interoperability,” he said. …

Meanwhile, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, practiced touch-and-go landings on the Charles de Gaulle, which is sailing nearby as the French carrier undergoes qualification after a 15-month drydock for refit of its nuclear propulsion system. …

The four squadrons of 60 Super Hornets on board the Truman are equivalent in number to the entire fleet of Rafales the French Navy plans to buy for the Fleet Air Arm. The French Navy has 29 of the navalized Rafale F3s, and 10 at the F1 air-to-air version, which the service hopes will be upgraded.

The Rafale F3 with the nuclear-tipped ASMP/A missile is due to be declared operational about July 1, modernizing France’s capability to project its airborne deterrent around the world. Among French officials, the Charles de Gaulle is seen as a potential deterrent to Iran. (photo: Reuters)

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