The port call of aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in Limassol illustrates the close relationship between France and Cyprus as part of the European Union, a press release issued by the French Embassy in Cyprus said.
At the same time, it notes that from the 21st until the 26th of February part of the French aircraft carrier group composed notably of aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, supply ship Var and Greek navy frigate Psara will make a port call in Limassol, while the multi-mission Frigate Auvergne will dock in Larnaca.
Cyprus Defence Minister, Savvas Angelides, was scheduled to fly on Thursday afternoon to the air carrier, that is sailing close to Cyprus, accompanied by French Ambassador in Nicosia, Isabelle Dumont, to observe the military operations taking place there and to be informed about them by the carrier’s high ranking officers, in the framework of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
The on-board air group comprises 20 Rafale Marine, 2 E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, 1 Marine Cayman helicopter (NH90) and 2 Dauphin Pedro helicopters.
According to the press release, after leaving Toulon on the 21st of January 2020 the aircraft carrier group forming Task Force 473 around aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has been conducting operations in the Middle East for the last four weeks as part of the international coalition against ISIS (Inherent resolve) before it sailed to the Cypriot port of Limassol for a five days port call.
“The port call of aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in Limassol illustrates the close relationship between France and Cyprus as part of the European Union.”
“The port call of aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in Limassol illustrates the close relationship between France and Cyprus as part of the European Union. During its presence in the vicinity of Cyprus, the French aircraft carrier group has been conducting several exercises with the Cypriot National Guard,” the press release added.
On departure from Toulon, the air and naval group was composed of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the on-board air group, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne, the air defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul, the command and supply ship (BCR) Var, the Greek frigate HS Spetsai and a nuclear attack submarine.
Throughout the deployment, various French – the BCR Somme, the BCR Marne, the FREMM Bretagne, the FREMM Normandie, the light stealth frigate (FLF) Surcouf, the anti-submarine frigate (FASM) La Motte-Picquet – and foreign ships (German, American, Belgian, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese) as well as a maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2 will accompany or interact with the naval air group.