The French Navy’s Naval Aviation Trials and Acceptance Center has conducted its final session on the interoperability of the Mistral-class LHDs.
The final session also covered the V-22 Osprey convertible aircraft aboard the Dixmude, which is the latest of three French LHD naval ships.
The conference saw the consolidation of results from two years of joint tests, trials, and evaluations.
During the first tests conducted in February, in collaboration with US Expeditionary Strike Groups, a V-22 Osprey performed landing tests on Dixmude for the first time.
In July this year, additional deck landings and refuelling exercises during the Joan of Arc 2015 training exercise, confirmed the ship’s interoperability with the V-22.
The 199m-long, 22,000t Mistral-class ships are designed for humanitarian missions, as well as a range of other operations.
After receiving approval from the CEPA / 10S, the vessels will be responsible for the reception and support of V-22 operational missions.
The Mistral-class vessels are equipped with MRR-3D NG surveillance radar and a high-performance communications suite.
These vessels also feature two Breda Mauser 30mm naval guns, four 12.7mm machine guns and two MBDA France Simbad launchers for the Mistral air defence missile.
Designed to perform multiple missions with a long-range, high-speed cruise performance, the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is powered by twin Rolls-Royce AE 1107C-Liberty engines and has maximum and cruise speeds of 565km/h and 510km/h respectively.
Armed with an M240G 7.62mm machine gun and ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning system, the aircraft features both vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities.
Image: The V-22 Osprey lands on the FNS Dixmude. Photo: courtesy of French Navy photo.