For the “Foch” deployment, the French Navy Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed Toulon on January 21 and will support Chammal operations from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. This three-month long deployment will mainly consists in cooperation exercises with United State and European forces. Charles de Gaulle‘s airwing includes 18x Rafale M, 2x E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, 1x NH90 NFH helicopter and 2x Dauphin helicopters.The Charles de Gaulle CSG consisted of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its airwing, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne, the air defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul, the command and refueling vessel (BCR) Var, the Hellenic Navy frigate HS Spetsai and a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN).
This deployment meets four major objectives:
- The operational deployment in areas of strategic interest for the benefit of European security and the stability of its approaches;
- To maintain the operational commitment of France and the French Navy in the fight against terrorism by contributing to the International Coalition against Daesh;
- To maintain the very high level of interoperability with France’s European and NATO partners;
- To maintain the quality of the relations which bind France and its international partners.
Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). The ship is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, and the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy. She is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle. The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E‑2C Hawkeye aircraft, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for combat search and rescue, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles. Charles de Gaulle is the only non-American carrier-vessel that has a catapult launch system, which has allowed for operation of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and C-2 Greyhounds of the US Navy.