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French Naval Aviation (French: Aéronautique navale or colloquially Aéronavale) is the naval air arm of the French Navy. Born as a fusion of carrier squadrons and naval patrol air force, the Aéronautique navale was created in 1912. The headquarters is under command of an admiral (ALAVIA) in Toulon naval base. The French Naval Aviation has a strength of around 13,600 military and civilian personnel. They operate from four airbases in Metropolitan France and several detachments in foreign countries or French overseas territories. Carrier-borne pilots of the French navy do their initial training at Salon-de-Provence Air Base.

Aircraft Inventory[edit]

Fixed Wing Aircraft[edit]

  • Dassault Rafale M x 96 (Multirole Fighter)
  • Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 2000 x 12 (Carrier based AWACS)
  • Lockheed S-3 Viking x 24 (Carrier based ASW)
  • Breguet Atlantique x 24 (Maritime Patrol)
  • Dassault Falcon 10 x 6 (Surveillance)
  • Dassault Falcon 50 x 6 (Surveillance)
  • Dassault Falcon 200 Guardian x 6 (Patrol Aircraft)
  • Embraer EMB 121 Xingu x 12 (Support and Training)
  • Mudry CAP 10 x 8 (Support and Training)
  • MS-88 Rallye x 10 (Support and Training)


  • Aérospatiale Alouette III x 26 (Training and Utility Helicopter)
  • Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin II x 18 (SAR Helicopter)
  • Eurocopter AS565 Panther x 16 (ASW Helicopter)
  • Eurocopter EC225 x 8 (SAR Helicopter)
  • NHIndustries NH90 Caiman x 46 (Multimission Helicopter)
  • Westland Lynx Mk.2/4 x 26 (Maritime Helicopter)
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