donald_of_tokyo wrote:Very nice photo of French carrier CDG. It carries 30 Raffle M, 2 E2C, 1 NH90 and 1 Dauphin.
And I think it is very much crowded. Even if half of them can be stored in the hangar, deck handling will be complicated.
HMS QNLZ will carry 24 F35B and 12-15 Merlin, with a few Wildcat, I guess. Thanks to her large flight deck, the deck will not look this much crowded.
I don't think we can fault the French for putting 30 Rafale onboard...but... the airgroup as a whole lets the cat out of the bag on the CdG's capabilities. Great for sitting off a third world nations coast and pounding them, but not much else.
2 E-2C - Rapidly getting out of date, first flight was 1973...France currently has 3 in total, unlikely all are actually serviceable. A USN carrier always has 4 onboard for a reason. If they can get 12 hours coverage per 24 hours I'd be surprised.
1 NH-90 - You need around 8 helos to do an effective ASW screen....the French just don't have the numbers of NH-90 in service (22 to date). Given the numbers of escorts they've had around CdG they'd be lucky to get 4-5 helos up on ASW duties, and even then they just don't have the capability or endurance that Merlin can provide.
1 Dauphin - This makes sense for HDS and Planeguard, cheap to operate compared to NH-90. RN should follow their lead and have a couple of cheap helos per QE class for HDS and Plane Guard, anything to reduce cost/usage of Merlin (not even Wildcat, something cheaper like AW109 with a hoist and FLIR turret).