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French Navy support International Air Day at RNAS Yeovilton

Pic by Paul Johnson Flightline UK

The French Navy have confirmed their support for the Royal Naval Air Station International Air Day on Saturday 7 July.  Headlining their contribution is the return of the Rafale pair role demonstration.

The French Navy is also contributing an exceptionally rare Atlantique 2 to the flying display.

This maritime patrol aircraft has not performed in British skies for over 15 years, so will be a major highlight of Air Day’s five-plus hour display.

The Atlantique 2’s capabilities include submarine escort, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare on missions lasting up to 18 hours.  

In addition to the flying display aircraft the French Navy will have three aircraft on static display.

The NH90 NFH Caiman is a state-of-the-art frigate-launched anti-submarine helicopter and the French Navy example will make its Air Day debut.

The French Navy Lynx represents an older generation of anti-submarine capability and the fleet remains operational for now although, after 40 years’ service, retirement looms. 

Finally, seldom seen on British shores, one of the naval air arm’s Falcon 50Ms will be making a rare appearance at Air Day.

This widely-tasked maritime surveillance aircraft is equipped with specialised mission systems and its capabilities include search and rescue, fishing patrol operations and counter-narcotics missions.

Early Bird tickets, with no booking fees, are available until Wednesday 31 January from www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

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