French Navy Falcon 50M relieved by maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2
Deployed since 15 March to take part in the fight against piracy, a Falcon 50M from the French Navy has left the operation and been relieved by a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2. It will operate from Djibouti as is also the case since 26 March for the detection and air control aircraft Awacs E3F.
The deployment of this Atlantique 2 is part of French forces’ permanent contribution to Task Force 465 : one frigate/destroyer and a maritime patrol aircraft in associated support. These two assets are engaged in support of the EU Naval Force commanded by Rear Admiral Jorge Manso until 7 April when the latter will relinquish command to French Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis.
During its deployment, the Atlantique 2 will carry out regular flights above the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The imagery and data collected by the different sensors and crew members are very important to help fight piracy. They are analysed by intelligence specialists, for example on board Task Force 465 flag ship, and make it possible to better focus the action of the ships and their helicopters.
Other surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft from several countries (Australia, Japan, Luxemburg, Spain, United States…) operate regularly in the area as part of one of the three international anti-piracy forces (TF 465 op Atalanta, NATO TF 508 and TF 151 from Combined Maritime Forces) or under national command. The coordination of flights and exchange of the information collected by these aircraft make it possible to fight efficiently against piracy off the coasts of Somalia.