French Naval Aviation

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Aéronavale
French Naval Aviation
Sigle Aéronavale.jpg
Founded 1910
Country  France
Branch  French Navy
Size 206 aircraft
Insignia
Roundels Roundel of the French Fleet Air Arm.svg
Marine Nationale
Naval Ensign of France
Motto: Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline
(“Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline”)
Command
Naval Ministers
Maritime Prefect
Components
Force d'action navale
Forces sous-marines (FOST, ESNA)
Aviation navale
FORFUSCO (Commandos Marine, Fusiliers Marins)
Gendarmerie Maritime
Equipment
Current fleet
Current deployments
Personnel
Ranks in the French Navy
History
History of the French Navy
Future of the French Navy
Ensigns and pennants
Historic ships

   battleships
   cruisers
   ships of the line
   Sail frigates

Historic fleets
Awards
Croix de guerre
Médaille militaire
Légion d'honneur
Ribbons

French Naval Aviation (French: Aéronavale) is the naval air arm of the French Navy. Born as a fusion of carrier squadrons and naval patrol air force, the Aéronautique navale was created in 1912. The headquarters is under command of an admiral (ALAVIA) in Toulon naval base. The French Naval Aviation has a strength of around 6,800 civilian and military personnel. They operate from four airbases in Metropolitan France and several detachments in foreign countries or French overseas territories. Carrier-borne pilots of the French navy do their initial training at Salon-de-Provence Air Base.

Aircraft[edit]

Complete and correct as of 17 december 2014.

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Quantity[1][2] Note
Fixed-wing aircraft
Grumman E-2 Hawkeye FS CdG Super Hawkeye.jpg  United States AEW&C C 3
Dassault Rafale Rafale 070412-N-8157C-542.JPEG  France Multirole combat aircraft F1
F3
9
31
8 on order.[3]
Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard CdG-photo173.jpg  France Strike aircraft 21 To be retired in 2016.
Atlantique II Breguet.atlantic.6112.fronton.arp.jpg  France Maritime patrol [note 1]
C
10
12
5 other Atlantique II are held in reserve.
Dassault Falcon 50 Dassault.falcon.50m.fairford.arp.jpg  France Surveillance, reconnaissance Mi
Ms
4
1
3 more to be delivered.
Dassault Falcon 20 Gardian Gardian.JPG  France Surveillance, reconnaissance 5
Dassault Falcon 10 Falcon 10 MER.JPG  France Communications & Transport aircraft MER 6
Embraer EMB 121 Xingu EMB-121 marine.JPG  Brazil Transport aircraft & Trainer aircraft A
A1
9
2
Mudry CAP 10 CAP-10 Marine-Tours-2008.jpg  France Trainer aircraft B 7
Cirrus SR20 Cirrus.sr20.g-cdly.arp.jpg  United States Trainer aircraft 3
Helicopters
NH90 Caiman Decollage NH90.JPG  France Maritime helicopter
Search and rescue
6
7
14 more on order.
Eurocopter EC225 20100717 EC225 3.jpg  France Search and rescue SECMAR 2
Westland Lynx Lynx helo 2.jpg  United Kingdom Maritime helicopter Mk.2 (FN) 20
Eurocopter AS565 Panther Panther-051306-N-9546C-001.jpg  France Maritime helicopter SA 16 Panther is the military version of the Dauphin
Eurocopter SA 365 Dauphin FS CdG Dauphin.jpg  France Search and rescue F-1
N
N3
3
6
2
Aérospatiale Alouette III Alouette 3 2.jpg  France Utility aircraft SA316B
SA316 B VSV
SA319B
22
UAVs
Schiebel S-100 Serval Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100.jpg  Austria Surveillance 1 Small helicopter UAV.

Structure[edit]

Active bases of the French naval air arm (status 2013).

Components[edit]

The French Naval Aviation has four components:

Units[edit]

Operational squadrons are known as Flottilles and normal consist of 12 aircraft :

  • 1F to 10F are carrier based anti-submarine squadrons
  • 11F to 20F are fighter and attack squadrons
  • 21F to 30F are maritime patrol squadrons
  • 31F to 39F are helicopter squadrons

Shore-based training and transport squadrons are known as Escadrilles de Servitude :

  • 1S to 19S are communications squadrons
  • 20S to 29S are helicopters squadrons
  • 50S to 59S are training squadrons
Squadron Insignia Type Aircraft Base Role Notes
4F Fixed wing E-2C Hawkeye BAN Lann Bihoue Carrier Airborne Early Warning
11F Fixed wing Rafale M BAN Landivisiau Strike Fighter
12F Fixed wing Rafale M BAN Landivisiau Strike Fighter
17F
Insigne 17F.jpg
Fixed wing Super Étendard BAN Landivisiau Strike Fighter To convert to Rafale M
21F
Blason 21F.jpg
Fixed wing Atlantique II BAN Lann Bihoue Maritime patrol detachments at Dakar and Djibouti
23F Fixed wing Atlantique II BAN Lann Bihoue Maritime patrol
24F Fixed wing Falcon 50 M BAN Lann Bihoue Maritime patrol
25F Fixed wing Falcon 200 Gardian GAM Faa’a Maritime patrol detachment at Nouméa
28F
Blason 28F.jpg
Fixed wing Embraer Xingu BAN Lann Bihoue Utility
31F Rotary NH90 Caiman BAN Hyeres Search and Rescue
32F Rotary EC225 SECMAR BAN Lanveoc Search and Rescue detachment at Cherbourg
33F Rotary NH90 Caiman BAN Hyeres Anti-Submarine Warfare
34F Rotary Westland Lynx BAN Lanveoc Anti-Submarine Warfare To convert to NH90 Caiman
35F Rotary Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, Alouette III BAN Hyeres Search and Rescue detachments at La Rochelle, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage and Faa’a
36F Rotary Eurocopter AS565 Panther BAN Hyeres Small ship flights
10S Rotary/ Fixed wing/UAV Alouette III, Westland Lynx, Schiebel S-100 Serval BAN Hyeres Experimental
22S Rotary Alouette III BAN Lanveoc Utility
50S Fixed wing SR20 and CAP-10 BAN Lanveoc Elementary flying training
57S Fixed wing Falcon 10 M BAN Landivisiau Training (Jets)

Gallery[edit]

Former Aéronavale aircraft[edit]

Seaplanes[edit]

The Gourdou Leseurre GL.832 HY was a 1930s light shipboard reconnaissance floatplane.
The Latécoère 290 was a torpedo bomber floatplane produced during the 1930s.
The Martin P5M-2 Marlin served in the French navy between 1959 and 1964.
The Canard Voisin is the first seaplane used by the French Navy.

Aircraft[edit]

Between 1951 and 1956, 164 Grumman Avenger were delivered to the French Naval Aviation.They remained in service until 1965.
The Corsair F4U7 was the first brand-new aircraft to be delivred to the French Navy since 1945. It saw action during the Algerian war and operation Musketeer.
During the Algerian War of independence, the French Navy flew Lockheed Neptune on surveillance patrol to fight firearms smuggling and trafficking by sea.
The Crusader was the air superiority jet aircraft of the French navy during 35 years.

Helicopters[edit]

Autogyro[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 12 Atlantique have been modernized between 2008 and 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chiffres clés de la Défense 2014" 28 August 2014 (in French)
  2. ^ World Air Forces 2014 10 December 2013
  3. ^ "Dassault Rafale 2014" 25 July 2014

External links[edit]