Following a probable agreement between France and Greece for the supply of 18 Rafale planes to Athens, Paris is said to have deployed Charles De Gaulle, its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean, in the middle of heightened tensions in the region.
US urges China to “fire the first shot” on Taiwan – Chinese military experts
According to local media, the warship, which bears the name of the French statesman and General Charles de Gaulle, “will be accompanied by an unknown number of French navy ships and submarines.”
The warship, which is the only other nuclear-powered aircraft carrier completed outside of the US Navy, was deployed amid criticism from the Turkish Foreign Ministry of France’s “red line policy”.
“Those who think they have drawn a red line in the Eastern Mediterranean dispute the resolute position of our country”, declared the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Sources suggest that the Charles de Gaulle is “ready for battle” and has left the port of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast of southern France. The battleship’s combat load would have a few Rafale planes, maximum range missiles, anti-submarine arsenal, and advanced electronic tracking, targeting, and electronic interception systems.
Recently, as reported by the Eurasian Times, local reports suggested that France has reached an agreement with Greece to supply 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets to the Hellenic Air Force which has an existing fleet of Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcons, Dassault Mirage 2000 and McDonnell. -Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
The deal is expected to unfold in two parts, one being the purchase of 10 new Rafale, while the second being that the remaining jets will be parted as a gift to Athens. The eight Rafales were said to have been the jets that bombed Turkish installations at al-Watiya air base in Libya.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, air reconnaissance, ground support, deep strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.
If the deal goes through, the fighters would indeed add tremendous air power to Greece’s hands as they fight Turkish forces to fight for power in the Mediterranean region.
Tensions between Ankara and Athens have soared in recent days after Greece contested Turkey’s energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean as it tried to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast .
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean – has sent drilling ships to explore reserves on its continental shelf, claiming Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region. .
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country is not looking for problems with the Greeks and dialogue may be the only solution. “If we act with common sense and reason, we can find a win-win solution that meets everyone’s interests,” he said.