Air Platforms

DSEI 2015: French Navy details lessons learned from Gulf carrier deployment

15 September 2015

Key Points

  • Carrier deployment demonstrates ability to shape events at sea and ashore while supporting wider strategic interests
  • Gulf maritime environment is becoming more complex, with more navies present

The recent deployment of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its battlegroup to the Gulf enabled the French Navy to demonstrate the carrier's ability to dominate the air-sea space while also contributing to air-land operations, as well as supporting key national strategic policy requirements, a senior French Navy officer told a conference in London on 14 September.

Captain Olivier Lebas, head of foreign relations in the French naval staff, told the Royal Navy/Royal United Services Institute international seapower conference, which took place in advance of the DSEI defence and security exhibition, that the carrier's two-month stay in the Gulf (as part of a wider four-month deployment under Operation 'Arromanches') had shown that operating a carrier in the Gulf's shallow, confined waters and under its busy air space is "a real challenge".

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