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Thread: French air campaign - Mali

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    French air campaign - Mali

    Well everything is happening so quickly that I don't think the forum has caught up with events yet!

    A dedicated thread for information about this air campaign so we don't clutter up the Rafale thread.

    Firstly this new development:

    Britain to send military transport planes to assist Mali operation

    The UK is going to lone the use of two C17, considering France doesn't have the rapid strategic airlift capability Britain does it is a very useful way of helping out.

    The flexibility of 99 Squadron never fails to amaze me!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...operation.html
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedaykin View Post
    Well everything is happening so quickly that I don't think the forum has caught up with events yet!

    A dedicated thread for information about this air campaign so we don't clutter up the Rafale thread.

    Firstly this new development:

    Britain to send military transport planes to assist Mali operation

    The UK is going to lone the use of two C17, considering France doesn't have the rapid strategic airlift capability Britain does it is a very useful way of helping out.

    The flexibility of 99 Squadron never fails to amaze me!


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...operation.html
    IF it dosn't rain it poor's at 99 Sqn things must be bad if the French are asking for help from the British and weekend phone calls Mirages undertaking air strikes from Chad plus the US may offer logistical support

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    Very confused situation there. I take it that the French are supporting the berber-muslim population that they actually beat down in previous conflicts. I don't know a lot about Mali, but they have berbers there that have sex roles somewhat reversed where the men wear veils and the women do not.
    Go Huskers!

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    Anyone have any information on the helicopter pilot that lost his life? Type of aircraft, did it go down etc?

    RAF definitely positioning itself to beg for another C17 or two with this move to provide logistical support. I could have sworn a couple of months ago we were buying extra transport planes because we didn't have enough to support Afghan as it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim901 View Post
    Anyone have any information on the helicopter pilot that lost his life? Type of aircraft, did it go down etc?

    RAF definitely positioning itself to beg for another C17 or two with this move to provide logistical support. I could have sworn a couple of months ago we were buying extra transport planes because we didn't have enough to support Afghan as it is.
    the 146's come on line early this year to support the 2014 draw down from Afhgan that not to say the C-17's of 99 are not over worked already I bet the French wish they had the A 400 M right now as we had hoped for 2014
    Last edited by Tempest414; 13th January 2013 at 00:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim901 View Post
    Anyone have any information on the helicopter pilot that lost his life? Type of aircraft, did it go down etc?

    .
    According to CNN it was an Attack Helicopter, so presumably a Tiger or Gazelle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim901 View Post
    Anyone have any information on the helicopter pilot that lost his life? Type of aircraft, did it go down etc?
    Gazelle from the 4e RHFS
    the hellicopter was not shot down.
    The pilot, who was a very experienced officer of the french special forces (41 years old veteran, Gazelle instructor, 22 years of service), died after returning to the base. He was hit by a small caliber bullet.

    source : http://lemamouth.blogspot.fr/2013/01...x-4e-rhfs.html
    Last edited by Kovy; 13th January 2013 at 01:35.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadRat View Post
    Very confused situation there. I take it that the French are supporting the berber-muslim population that they actually beat down in previous conflicts.
    It doesn't seem like ethnic conflict is the issue on the front burner right now. There was/is a movement of Touareg separatism, but that was superseded by AQM who have been busy destroying tombs in the Touareg area they control and imposing Taliban rules that aren't to the sentiments of most Touareg in the area. There seems to have been some effort by the West to get the Malian regime to agree to negotiations/more autonomy for the Touareg area in order to reduce friction between two groups which are both antagonistic to AQM. There may well be the issue of whether Malian military goes into these areas to hold them against AQM, or local Touareg forces are left to hold the area (with EU and ECOWAS support).

    The Gazelle pilot supposedly died of his wounds, which I take to mean he (or copilot) was able to fly the helicopter back to land at base (or somewhere safe). He must have been hit by small arms or HMG fire that didn't substantially damage the aircraft. Usage of these unarmored helicopter platforms in roles like this just doesn't seem like a good idea. Perhaps the Gazelle replacement will have at least light armoring on the crew area. Likewise for programs like the US' AAS, a platform with some payload allowance (like EADS) could allow light armoring to be applied to the crew area, if not the passenger area.

    I don't think more C17s is really in the pipeline, there is already the NATO C17 group which could provide more planes if needed, there may be constant demand for them from Afghanistan, but that means they are ferrying cargo between Europe and A-stan, so if a higher priority mission comes up they can be switched. Enough A400M are coming online soon between UK, FR, DE,and others that more expensive C17 isn't needed. Also more refueling to match. Perhaps ideally, but with budget crunch, no.
    Last edited by Snow Monkey; 13th January 2013 at 01:23.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Monkey View Post
    It doesn't seem like ethnic conflict is the issue on the front burner right now. There was/is a movement of Touareg separatism, but that was superseded by AQM who have been busy destroying tombs in the Touareg area they control and imposing Taliban rules that aren't to the sentiments of most Touareg in the area. There seems to have been some effort by the West to get the Malian regime to agree to negotiations/more autonomy for the Touareg area in order to reduce friction between two groups which are both antagonistic to AQM. There may well be the issue of whether Malian military goes into these areas to hold them against AQM, or local Touareg forces are left to hold the area (with EU and ECOWAS support).

    The Gazelle pilot supposedly died of his wounds, which I take to mean he (or copilot) was able to fly the helicopter back to land at base (or somewhere safe). He must have been hit by small arms or HMG fire that didn't substantially damage the aircraft. Usage of these unarmored helicopter platforms in roles like this just doesn't seem like a good idea. Perhaps the Gazelle replacement will have at least light armoring on the crew area. Likewise for programs like the US' AAS, a platform with some payload allowance (like EADS) could allow light armoring to be applied to the crew area, if not the passenger area.

    I don't think more C17s is really in the pipeline, there is already the NATO C17 group which could provide more planes if needed, there may be constant demand for them from Afghanistan, but that means they are ferrying cargo between Europe and A-stan, so if a higher priority mission comes up they can be switched. Enough A400M are coming online soon between UK, FR, DE,and others that more expensive C17 isn't needed. Also more refueling to match. Perhaps ideally, but with budget crunch, no.

    Tigers are expeted to be deployed very soon,

    I could be wrong, but I bet that the C-17 of the RAF will be used for to bring the tigers in Mali
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    having armored helicopters in theatre seems even better an idea when everybody just learned that shooting at Gazelles works.

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    On another slant, if you allow me..

    Don't the French now wished they had bought some Super Tucanos from Embraer? For the cost of the Mirage's fuel bill alone here they could get at least some 12 used A-29s from Brazil on the quick and dirty pending the eventual delivery of their own brand new Super Tucanos.

    Coments?

    Hammer
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    ....salesman of the year...

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    Another possible option to the C-17 an A400M would be the Embraer KC-390.. The French have guaranteed earlier that if Brazil gets the Rafale they will buy the 390...

    Coments?




    Hammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Monkey View Post
    ....salesman of the year...
    Thanks for the compliment! But this is certainly not just an open sales pitch from my side. On the contrary it has everything to do with the exact type of menace the Super Tucanos has been designed to counter, one can definitely not say the same about the Mirage 2000 and the Rafale in the particular Mali theater, do you agree?


    Also remember that Mauritania and Burkina Faso both direct neighbors of Mali (to the West and East respectively!) Have already bought their Super Tucanos, I wonder why?

    Regards,

    Hammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Monkey View Post
    having armored helicopters in theatre seems even better an idea when everybody just learned that shooting at Gazelles works.
    That's why they usualy operate at night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    Thanks for the compliment! But this is certainly not just an open sales pitch from my side. On the contrary it has everything to do with the exact type of menace the Super Tucanos has been designed to counter, one can definitely not say the same about the Mirage 2000 and the Rafale in the particular Mali theater, do you agree?


    Also remember that Mauritania and Burkina Faso both direct neighbors of Mali (to the West and East respectively!) Have already bought their Super Tucanos, I wonder why?

    Regards,

    Hammer
    I don't know, Hello + tactical drones will probably do better for france.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kovy View Post
    I don't know, Hello + tactical drones will probably do better for france.
    They'll certainly be "better" for French INDUSTRY! But the Super Tucano is still much cheaper to buy and to maintain than both helos or drones, specially in Africa...

    Regards,

    Hammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    They'll certainly be "better" for French INDUSTRY! But the Super Tucano is still much cheaper to buy and to maintain than both helos or drones, specially in Africa...

    Regards,

    Hammer
    Well, we used to operate a lot of tucanos as trainers and they were not particularly cheap to maintain (and that was in France in ideal operational conditions)... In fact that was the main reason of their early retirement IIRC.

    Also, French forces try to limitate the number of different combat vectors as much as possible and our budget is limited.

    Now, when Brazil will have bought a particular omnirole fighter jet, maybe we will be able to discuss about some super tucanos. :diablo:
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    That's a wrong translation of what the Admiral said. AFAIK all hellicopters returned to their base, although 2 of them were damage during the raid.
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    Well, thanks, that's what I originally understood and then saw that story...

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    I don't think more C17s is really in the pipeline, there is already the NATO C17 group which could provide more planes if needed, there may be constant demand for them from Afghanistan, but that means they are ferrying cargo between Europe and A-stan, so if a higher priority mission comes up they can be switched. Enough A400M are coming online soon between UK, FR, DE,and others that more expensive C17 isn't needed. Also more refueling to match. Perhaps ideally, but with budget crunch, no.
    The RAF has made some very clear noises about acquiring another two C17 in the last few weeks Snow Monkey. The reason is not about increasing capacity (albeit that is a nice side bonus), it is to balance the life of the fleet and extend the out of service date. The first C17 in RAF service have used a serious amount of their fatigue life, by buying more C17 those older examples can remain in service longer. You also have to remember the RAF is losing the Hercules once the A400M comes into service, the more C17 the less A400M are tied up doing strategic airlift.
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    On another slant, if you allow me..

    Don't the French now wished they had bought some Super Tucanos from Embraer? For the cost of the Mirage's fuel bill alone here they could get at least some 12 used A-29s from Brazil on the quick and dirty pending the eventual delivery of their own brand new Super Tucanos.

    Coments?

    Hammer
    Well... I don't like single-engine manned COIN aircrafts. But that reminds me that in the early 60's, our Air Force was very interested in purchasing the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk, to the point that a license production agreement was signed with Breguet Aviation.

    Since Breguet later merged with Dassault, maybe that Dassault still owns the right of manufacture and could try to revive the deal...

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    Rafale in action :

    Mali: France continues its raids against Islamists with 4 Rafale:

    Four Rafale took off from Saint-Dizier this morning , revealed RTL, based on several sources. Aircraft took off with weapons , came into action in the frontline in Sahel. They then had to land in Chad. This is the third campaign of the Rafale , after Afghanistan and Libya.
    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...e-News/page269

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Monkey View Post
    having armored helicopters in theatre seems even better an idea when everybody just learned that shooting at Gazelles works.
    The Gazelle has been used very effectively over the years by the French as an attack helicopter. Surprising in a way as there seems to be little protection for the crew and an awful lot of plexiglass.

    I seem to remember that The British Army's experience of Gazelle operations in the Falklands, where two were lost to small arms fire, led to changes in operational doctrine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    On another slant, if you allow me..

    Don't the French now wished they had bought some Super Tucanos from Embraer? For the cost of the Mirage's fuel bill alone here they could get at least some 12 used A-29s from Brazil on the quick and dirty pending the eventual delivery of their own brand new Super Tucanos.

    Coments?

    Hammer
    Whilst the A-29 Super Tucano is an excellent type it wouldn't be very useful in this scenario. The Mirage-2000 and Rafale involved self deployed from France using Tankers, the A-29 can't do that. For the Super Tucano to deploy it would of taken a long complicated journey with many stops. The Mirage and Rafale at short notice were able to get into theatre with tanker support and commence operations. This is also why the French are borrowing British C17, the French have a very poor strategic airlift capability. That won't change until they get their new A400M and a330 MRTT. The UK C17 are flying into Paris today and will carry the troops and equipment directly to Mali. To do the same with their limited C-130 and KC-135 transport fleet would take far longer. Not forgetting their KC-135 are needed to fuel the fighters going out so are not best placed to carry cargo.
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

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    Well going on this report it was a direct request for use of the C17:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21004040

    The first will do one trip taking armoured vehicles and equipment whilst the second will shuttle between France and Mali.

    Presumably French planners decided to ask the President to request the C17 specifically as part of our defence treaty to help in this short notice deployment.

    I wonder after having a chance to play with our C17 the French military will start getting eager for their own examples? The line is open and meeting orders or will A400M win out as the sole transport type in French service?
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM4v...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedaykin View Post
    Well going on this report it was a direct request for use of the C17:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21004040

    The first will do one trip taking armoured vehicles and equipment whilst the second will shuttle between France and Mali.

    Presumably French planners decided to ask the President to request the C17 specifically as part of our defence treaty to help in this short notice deployment.

    I wonder after having a chance to play with our C17 the French military will start getting eager for their own examples? The line is open and meeting orders or will A400M win out as the sole transport type in French service?
    With the French government owning a huge chunk of EADS it would be surprising if the C17 ever found it's way into the ALA inventory. Shame.

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    Entente cordiale?

    I wonder if David Cameron will get another cold shoulder anytime soon form a French leader after this helping hand?

    I did not know the UK Govt. was considering increasing its C-17 fleet - an eminently sensible proposal.

    The need to use RAF C-17s doesn't say much for the FAF strategic lift capability.

    Oh well, a friend in need is a friend indeed.
    As Theodore Roosevelt said:
    "Talk softly, but carry a big stick"

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    detail of first rafale strikes :

    Rafale destroyed targets in northern Mali
    R-euters, Jan 13



    PARIS, Jan. 13 (*******) - Four Rafale fighter planes coming from France targeted and destroyed several targets Sunday, including logistics depots of Islamist rebels in northern Mali, near Gao, announced the French Ministry of defense.

    "The French fighters targeted and destroyed this Sunday, January 13th, multiple targets in northern Mali near Gao, including training camps, infrastructure and logistics depots constituting the rear bases of the terrorist groups," one can read in a statement.

    "This mission was carried out by four Rafale which flew from France and will reinforce the French presence," says the text, confirming the information provided by witnesses in the area.

    "The aim of France is to lead a relentless struggle against terrorist groups, preventing any new offensive of these groups to the south of Mali, threatening the stability of this friendly country, and reducing their capacity wherever it will necessary, "the statement said. (Yves Clarisse)

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