SHOOTING AT SUIPPES

The Armée de l’Air range at Suippes is used by Mirage, Rafale, F-16 and Tornado fast jet customers, as well as hosting Aviation Légére de l’Armée de Terre helicopter live-firing exercises. SebastienBuyck saw therange in action.

FRENCH GUNNERY RANGE

Armée de l’Air units including EC 1/2 ‘Cigognes’ refine their air-to-ground skills at Suippes. This Mirage 2000-5F is firing its 30mm cannon at a high angle of attack. Note the shells ejecting from the belly of the aircraft.
The Suippes control tower houses all the necessary communication systems. It off ers an almost perfect view over most of the range. ALAT SA342M Gazelle 4026/’GBA’ from 1er RHC is about to embark on an early morning mission over the Meuse area.
All photos author

Coca 21, you are cleared hot!” The range control officer talks to the Mirage 2000D leader, telling him he has the green light to drop his inert bomb on a range target. The view over the range from the tower is excellent and as soon as the run is complete, the pilot has his bombing result by radio (later, an email is sent to every customer unit visiting that day, summing up the result of every ‘attack’).

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