France wants more ships in the Mediterranean as a signal to Turkish authorities
PARIS, (BM) – France does not intend to forget about its strategic interests in the Mediterranean Sea and is creating a special group of ships to operate in the most conflicting eastern part of this basin, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. This is an obvious signal to Paris’ allies, but above all to the Turkish authorities.
The Eastern Mediterranean continues to attract the eyes of strategists from various countries, and this is followed by concrete shifts in terms of force and means of armed forces. France has announced, for example, that from November 6 this year, a special task force SAG [Surface action group] will be created, which will include three surface ships. These will be the FNS La Fayette frigate, as well as the FNS Latouche-Treville frigate, and the FNS Forbin anti-aircraft frigate. The latter unit is to be the flagship of the entire group.
Moreover, the French grouping in the Eastern Mediterranean is to benefit from air support from the E3-F AWACS early warning aircraft and the ATL2 MPA reconnaissance machine, already deployed to the Greek Souda base in Crete. Moreover, two helicopters prepared for maritime operations will be directly available on the ships – the NH90 [based on Forbin] and the Panther 36F [based on La Fayette].
The French ships included in the SAG are to guarantee a full spectrum of possibilities of operation, as for example the Forbin frigate (Horizon type) is a ship that allows to strengthen protection against hostile actions carried out from the air. And the Latouche-Treville frigate [Georges Leygues type] can effectively carry out activities in the field of detecting and fighting enemy submarines. As for the La Fayette frigate, it is one of the flagships of the French naval forces, designed using the possibilities offered by stealth technology to warships.
The French Navy emphasized in the official statement that in the case of La Fayette and Latouche-Tréville, these ships will be included in the SAG, smoothly transitioning from other activities carried out under the French operation Chammal and the EU operation NAVFORMED IRINI.
The French officially emphasize that the creation of the SAG is to strengthen their ability to react in this strategic area. France is also to guard the freedom of navigation in the above-mentioned reservoir. Under the diplomatic wording, it is safe to read that Paris does not intend to withdraw from its tough policy towards Turkish claims in the Mediterranean. It is about both Turkey’s dispute with Greece over the exploration and exploration of gas deposits, but also about the direct tensions between France and Turkey over Libya.
It must be remembered that after the incident with the frigates of both countries, France withdrew its units from NATO’s Sea Guardian operation. Moreover, the tension between Paris and Ankara is also generated by typically political and ideological threads relating to the understanding of freedom of speech and the fight against the ideology of radical Islam.
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