report by: Jacques Vincent
The origins of Evreux Air Base go back to the 1920s, when a civil aerodrome was built to accommodate sport flying. In the 1930s concrete runways were constructed along with several hangars. With the fall of France, the Luftwaffe took up residence at Évreux.With the liberation of France, the RAF used Évreux Air Base until May 1945. Development of Évreux Air Base was managed by the USAF 7305th Air Base Squadron.
On 7 March 1966, French President De GAULLE announced that France would withdraw from NATO’s integrated military structure. The United States was informed that it must remove its military forces from France by 1 April 1967. Today among the French Air Force units stationed at the base are GAM 00.056 Vaucluse, with DHC 6-300 & EC725L2 and C-130H/H-30, ET 01.064 Béarn. In January 2020, Évreux-Fauville Air Base was announced as the site of the ground based training system for the Archange Dassault Falcon Epicure ( 8X variant ) aircraft by 2025, replacing two C-160G Gabriel aircraft currently operated by EEA 00.054 Dunkerque.
In April 2005, the Air Force received its first three F2 standard Rafale B. In 2006, it was expected that Fighter Squadron 1/7at Saint-Dizier to receive 8/10 Rafale F2s. In August 2020, the government of Greece announced the acquisition of 18 Rafales. Initial reports stated that ten would be the new Rafale C variant in F3-R standard with eight older Rafale in F1 and F2 standard in use with the French Air and Space Force. In January 2021 The Greek government ratified the agreement with Dassault for the purchase of six new built and 12 used F3-R aircraft formerly used by the Armée de l’Air.
The Mirage 2000-5 is a major advancement over previous variants and embodies a comprehensive electronic, sensor, and cockpit upgrade to expand its combat ability, while reducing pilot workload. The centrepiece of the Mirage 2000-5 overhaul is the Thomson-CSF RDY (radar Doppler multitarget) with look down/shoot down capability. The multifunction radar is capable of air-to-ground, air-to-air, and air-to-sea operations. In the air-to-ground mode, the RDY has navigation and attack functions that give it deep-strike and close-support capabilities. Capable of automatically locking onto multiple targets at first contact, the radar could detect flying targets travelling as low as 200 ft. The introduction of the radar allows the aircraft to use the MICA missile, up to six of which could be fired simultaneously at targets due to the advances within the radar.
Delays in the Dassault Rafale fourth-generation fighter program led to a development program for an updated Mirage 2000N dedicated to conventional attack, originally designated Mirage 2000N cousin. It was to complement SEPECAT Jaguar daylight strike fighters by providing a night/bad weather attack capability. The designation was changed to Mirage 2000D in 1990, with the “D” standing for “Diversifie/Multirole”. Initial flight of the Mirage 2000D prototype, a modified Mirage 2000N prototype, was on 19 February 1991. That led to first flight of a production aircraft 31 March 1993 and introduction to service in April 1995. 86 Mirage 2000Ds were built in all to last delivery in 2001. 55 aircraft are undergoing a mid-life upgrade known as Mirage 2000D RMV (Rénovation Mi-Vie) until 2024 with the objective of keeping them in service until well after 2030. Many thanks to Mr Gilles SCHEFFER and the BA-105 Communication Office for the perfect management of this event