France conducts naval exercises in the Mediterranean to test the “war of tomorrow” – .

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France begins Thursday two weeks of naval exercises in the Mediterranean described as a “war laboratory” to prepare for future conflicts.

Approximately 6,000 troops will participate in Polaris exercises, working from 20 warships, one submarine, three naval headquarters and a fleet of aircraft.

With help from the UK, US, Italy, Greece and Spain, they will simulate a battle at sea involving the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

The aircraft carrier, which was involved in a collision with a sailboat off the coast of France last week, will be the subject of an imaginary attack by the amphibious helicopter carrier Thunder.

Both ships were recently deployed to the Mediterranean, with Thunder the holding of joint exercises with Greece during maritime tensions with Turkey.

The Greek frigate Adrias participates after sailing to the French port of Toulon for the exercises, which take place in the western part of the sea.

France was keen to defend the security of Greece, having signed a defense agreement with Athens in October.

The pact was greeted by the Greek government as a guarantee of security against Turkey, which angered Paris with its demands on land, maritime and mining rights in the Mediterranean.

Another frigate, the Auvergne, visited Cyprus on a tour of the Eastern Mediterranean last week which its captain said was a sign of France’s commitment to security in the region.

The Charles de Gaulle demonstrated force with the British flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth in the sea in June.

The UK’s involvement comes as it attempts to retrieve the remains of an F-35 fighter jet out of the Mediterranean after its crash on Wednesday.

The French Navy said the Polaris exercises would inspire sailors to think on their feet and “invent and test the techniques of tomorrow’s warfare.”

“Polaris is a giant laboratory for the war of tomorrow,” said Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff of the French Navy.

Adm Vandier, former commander of the Charles de Gaulle, said the aim was to prepare French troops for a “high intensity war” marked by uncertainty and surprise.

“Waging a war at sea means combining the different capabilities at our disposal, particularly land and air, but also being able to fight simultaneously in the fields of submarines, naval aircraft, space and cyberspace” , did he declare.

The exercises will allow France to “win the war before the war”, he said.

The exercises, which will extend in part to the French Atlantic coast, will pave the way for the deployment of a carrier strike group that will begin in February.

They also aim to strengthen France’s ability to act as part of a military coalition with its allies.

Spain supplies the frigate Mendez Nunez and the supply ship Cantabria the exercises, which run until December 3.

Cooperation with the United States comes after Paris and Washington sought to ease tensions over a controversial submarine deal with Australia.

The pact infuriated France because it torpedoed an existing deal Australia had made with Paris to buy submarines.

US President Joe Biden admitted last month that the deal was awkwardly handled and “not done with much grace.”

Updated: November 18, 2021, 12:08 PM



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