US and French aircraft carriers conduct cross-deck exercises 

4 March 2020 (Last Updated March 4th, 2020 13:37)

The US and French nuclear-powered aircraft carriers have successfully conducted cross-deck inter-operability exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.

US and French aircraft carriers conduct cross-deck exercises 
An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91). Credit: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb J. Sarten.

The US and French nuclear-powered aircraft carriers have successfully conducted cross-deck inter-operability exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.

Both Nimitz-class USS Dwight D Eisenhower (Ike) (CVN 69) and the FS Charles de Gaulle (R91) saw the F/A-18E Super Hornet, the French Rafale and an E-2C Hawkeye land and launch from their flight decks.

Two US naval aviators and four French pilots participated in the exercises.

The exercises included touch-and-go and one trap, as well as recovery on each of the carriers.

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 lieutenant commander Nick Smith said: “It was an honour to participate in the first-ever F/A-18E Super Hornet recovery aboard the FS Charles de Gaulle.

“The seamless integration of French and US systems and operators shows not only the compatibility of our practices and procedures but also the strength of our alliance.”

This exercise highlights the efforts of both countries to operate side-by-side, demonstrating their power at sea.

Task Force 473 commander rear admiral Marc Aussedat said: “The dual-carrier operation represents a high-end interoperability showcase for our two navies.

“It is a concrete way to enhance our know-how to operate together, amongst which a swift ability to plug, to share tactical information, to catch and catapult aircraft indifferently on either aircraft carrier and to couple our fighting spirits in a complex maritime environment for a wide range of actions alongside.”

The two carriers have earlier worked together in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from the Mediterranean Sea in 2016.