May 26, 2021 (Google Translation) – Aircraft from the Embedded Air Group (GAé), deployed aboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier as part of the CLEMENCEAU 21 mission, fired an unprecedented firing during an exercise conducted on Tuesday, May 18. On this occasion, they fired for the first time two GBU-16 laser guided bombs of 500kg each, on targets previously dropped at sea.
This ammunition had been loaded on board the Charles de Gaulle for the first time during a replenishment at sea carried out by the Command and Supply Building (BCR) Var. The bombs were first assembled and mounted on the Rafale by the aeronautical weapons technicians who learned how to use them during the mission. Then, these GBU-16s were directed by the pilots against two targets
For Commander Richard, commander of Flotilla 17F , “these shots carried out by a joint patrol of Flotillas 11F and 17F are the consecration of several months of work. They follow the recent operational entry into service of the Rafale marine standard F3-R allowing operational use of the GBU-16 bomb. It is now an acquired ability. This training is part of a context of intensification of operational preparation. Driven by the “Mercator, acceleration 2021” plan, it pushes us to maintain, or even increase our targets for complex ammunition firing to prepare us to lead and win future naval battles.”
Since February 21, 2021 and until the summer, the Carrier Strike Group (GAN) formed around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, has been deployed as part of the CLEMENCEAU 21 mission. I It participates in the fight against terrorism by integrating Operation CHAMMAL and is deployed in areas of strategic interest in the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Arab-Persian Gulf. Task Force 473 also contributes to guaranteeing freedom of navigation and to securing and defending these strategic areas. Accompanied from time to time by foreign frigates, the GAN testifies to the interoperability and level of trust existing between the French Navy and its allies.