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French Carrier to Deploy to Indian Ocean, Could Join ISIS Fight

Charles de Gaulle (R91)

Charles de Gaulle (R91)

The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) will shortly leave for the Indian Ocean for exercises and to potentially join the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Quoting an unnamed French defense ministry source, news wire Reuters reported the 42,000-ton nuclear carrier would deploy shortly for exercises in the Indian Ocean and when asked if the ship would be joining the anti-ISIS fight the source said, “It’s a military tool. It’s purpose is to be used.”

On Tuesday, a French maritime news site — Mer et Marine — reported a de Gaulle led battle group — composed of a fleet oiler, two guided missile frigates and an attack submarine — was being prepped to deploy.

President François Hollande will formally announce the deployment next week on Jan. 14 during a ceremony at the port of Toulon.

France was an early addition to the U.S. led anti-ISIS collation and has flown sorties with a collection of about 10 fighters and a collection of information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) planes.

The addition of de Gaulle would add up to 30 fighters to the effort.

  • ChiChiChiba

    Wasn’t aware that the Charlie D was nuclear. Interesting and a huge investment for the French. As much as I detest French leftist ideals militarily they are our closest ally. Wish the brits would start taking defense more seriously.

    • HD

      Those ideals would include pointing out to the Americans that maybe it’s not a good idea to invade Iraq.

    • Realfan49

      Don’t be silly, the Brits military totally outclass France. Who helped in Iraq & Afghanistan? Also Brits just launched a 65k carrier with another building. CdeG has a long history of being a poor design and is close to be clapped out now. Plans for a replacement have been binned.

    • publius_maximus_III

      After the events in Paris yesterday, maybe they’ll send even more help against these cartoonist killers.

    • On Dre

      “I detest French leftist ”

      Like what liberty, equality, fraternity?

      • ChiChiChiba

        High taxes and perfume.

      • Sandy

        no, French intellectuals who advocate anti-Semitism and socialism as well as those French liberals who are responsible for “being so kind to their Islamic immigrants” who have now brought terrorism to their soil up close and personal…ya know, TERRORISTS…..

  • NavySubNuke

    Awww their little baby carrier is going to go on its first combat deployment. Always nice to have extra help in the fight.

    • Michael Rich

      Not sure why you speak like it’s bad, It’s the only non-american NATO Carrier that even stands up to the Nimitz/Gerald R Ford class, in terms of what it can deploy. The only thing the Italian/British navy can deploy are Harriers, and those aren’t really good for much now-a-days.

      • Waldez

        Harriers aren’t good for much, I heard the same thing about A-10’s, perhaps you are an F-35 fan.

      • CaptainParker

        The Brits can’t even deploy Harriers. The Brahmins in the bureaucracy have finally succeeded in their mission to geld Britain’s military capability.

        • muzzleloader

          Right you are. Their last CV was cashiered last August, their Harriers in 2010. The Queen Elizabeth class is supposed to come on line in 2017, and hopefully the F-35 will stay on track. Meanwhile the Brits have no power projection means, no long range bomber fleet, and with the retirement of the Nimrod, they have no maritime patrol/ ASW capability either.

          • Secundius

            @ muzzleloader.

            While technically not a bomber, the only bombers the British have. Are their Panavia Aircraft GmbH. GR.4 Tornado’s…

          • muzzleloader

            Correct. I should have inserted long range capability, and nothing that can carry 10 tons like the Vulcan did.

          • ChiChiChiba

            Exactly. The only foreign carrier I ever saw on deployment was French. About time the Brits cough up a battle group or two!

        • ChiChiChiba

          And why should they bother. They have us!

      • Secundius

        @ Michael Rich.

        Your joking right? The R91, Charles de Gaulle has a carrier wing of 40 aircarft. one squadron of Rafale M Fighters and one squadron of Super Etendard Strike Aircraft. And twelve assorted support aircraft. And forget the PA2. carrier of the same name, she was cancelled in 2013…

        • Michael Rich

          I didn’t say it beats or is even to the Nimitz/Gerald R. Ford Class in performance, I simply said it is the only one in NATO from a non-US Navy that CAN compare to it, unlike the ones from Italy and Britain.

    • Nuno V. Fernandes

      Your ignorance is appalling. The little baby carrier had many combat deployments in the last 14 years, mostly in support of OEF but also Libya. You must be on of those still pissed against the French because of Irak, and who conveniently forget about their involvement in Afghanistan since day one.

      • NavySubNuke

        Its not that I’m pissed off – its that I just don’t care. Sure having help is nice but you act like we should be grateful France is chipping in $1 towards a $45 bill. Yeah, sure – great thanks! How exciting!
        Hey everybody – the French are sending ~30 planes – what a real difference maker! If we are lucky they will even be able to sustain three or four days – or even a week – of operations before they come begging for additional fuel and bombs (as they did for both Libya and Mali).

        • Nuno V. Fernandes

          I don’t give a f.. about the French, but when the Brits send 10 planes they are the best allies ever. The duality of criteria is what pisses me off, and all because of a trigger happy db who decided to start a war without thinking of the consequences.

          • NavySubNuke

            You need to take some deep breaths and get over events that happened over a decade ago. The past is the past and while we can learn from it we can’t change it.
            As to my particular beliefs – I’m pissed at just about all of NATO for self neutering themselves and relying on the US to keep them safe. It is long past time for them to sack up and start contributing a fair share. The fact that they can’t even sustain a week or two of combat operations without emergency air lifts from the US is a perfect example.

          • H__K

            “Can’t sustain a week or two of combat operations”

            You have no clue what you’re talking about.

            In Mali the French had to deploy a rapid reaction brigade across continents, and then march it up a theater or operations the size of Europe (the equivalent of Normandy to Moscow actually) all in a matter of days/weeks. This in a country with no highways, sometimes no roads, fuel or water at all.

            No one can ship 20,000 tonnes of war materiel by air in that kind of timeframe without a little help from their friends… except maybe Uncle Sam. The DoD probably would have screwed it up anyway, because they’d have gone in with three times the footprint.

            As for Libya, it wasn’t the French or Brits who ran short of munitions. The French didn’t even bat an eyelid when they fired 400 ATGMs or 3,000 rounds of naval gunfire. In both cases they accounted for 90% of the coalition’s firepower, and their gunships even succeeded in low level air assaults where Apaches had gotten badly mauled in Iraq.

          • ChiChiChiba

            That’s what I’m talking about.

          • Nuno V. Fernandes

            Deep breaths? Events that happened a decade ago but are still unfolding to this day. And talking about learning from the past — do Libya and Syria ring a bell? The same mistakes continue to be made, over and over again.

          • ChiChiChiba

            My point exactly. While their at it maybe do something about their pathetic economy. Oh wait…..

  • 2IDSGT

    Condolences to France.

    Now… get some.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Two frigates and an attack sub? Isn’t that a little light on escort for a carrier?