Arromanches III

In late 2016 the French nuclear carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed off the Syrian coast for combat operations against so-called Islamic State as part of the global fight against terrorism. For the first time, her carrier air group was mainly composed of Rafale Ms. Henri-Pierre Grolleau tells the story.

French Navy combat

A pair of Rafale M fighters overflies the French flagship. The ‘Charles de Gaulle’ has proved particularly reliable after teething problems were solved, spending more time at sea than any other ‘flat top’ in the world.
Dassault Aviation/Katsuhiko Tokunaga
The ‘shooter’ touches the deck with his green flag, giving the signal for a cat shot for the awaiting Rafale M31.
Marine Nationale

THE ARROMANCHES III mission was the last for the Charles de Gaulle before her entry into dry dock for a major refit and a nuclear refuelling, which will keep her out of action until mid-2018.

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