Source: Defence WebFrance is deploying a sizeable number of aircraft, including transport and combat helicopters, to the Central African Republic (CAR) as part of its intervention force there, which aims to improve the fragile humanitarian situation in the country. Other nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, are also contributing aircraft to support CAR operations.
Seven French military helicopters have been deployed to the Central African Republic after French President Francois Hollande authorised Operation Sangaris to maintain order in the beleaguered country.
On Thursday the French military secured the airport in the capital Bangui in anticipation of incoming flights. Two French Army Aviation Corps SA 342 Gazelles were on Friday joined by three Army SA 330Ba Pumas that were originally stationed in Gabon, reports Air Forces Daily. These elements were bolstered by the arrival of two French Air Force AS555AN Fennecs, which arrived in Bangui aboard an An-124 on Sunday.
In addition, the French Air Force is using six Rafale fighter jets deployed to N’Djamena, Chad, for reconnaissance missions over the CAR using Reco NG pods. The jets have been spotted flying over Bangui and Bossangoa, reports Air Forces Daily. Some reports suggest two newly acquired General Atomics MQ-9A Reapers could be used over the CAR. They will most likely be based in Niger’s capital Niamey.