report by : Pierre-Yves LECOEUR
Globalairpower had the great honor to visit Flotille 11F during its winter training session at NAS NIMES-GARONS during a cold journey of january 2008.Throughout the fifteen days of this intensive preparation, every pilot have to play various rules and in each flight must contain some ASSP (“Appontage Simulé sur Piste”) also known as Field Carrier Landing Practice….
The Super Etendard is used as conventionnal or nuclear stike fighter. Standard 4 led the Super-Etendard to the recognition mission; previously operated by the specialised Etendard IVP. Taking place of the exchangeable gun kit, a new kit equiped with a panoramic photo camera plus an electro-optical camera for longe range images can fully play the rule. A new fire control system for guided laser bombs is set to Sterngthen the efficiency of the Aircraft and his weapon system. To improve the auto-protection system, a new electro-magnetic threat detector is set up.
Flotille 11F equiped with Super-Etendard ( modernised ), abreviation : SEM; since 1995 is regularly based in NAS LANDIVISIAU around 25 kilometer north east of Brest. The Flotille is a full time strike squadron with the new task of reconnaisance. In comparaison with it young sister squadron : 17F wich is also using Super Etendard mostly employed as an operational school.Naval air station NIMES-GARONS is hosting 2 other squadrons operated by the French Navy were also noted during our visit
A N262 squadron used as light transport and navigation training, – and the ATLANTIQUE2 flotille 21F with the main role of Maritime Patrol .We were also lucky to have a Ministerial flight operated by a Falcon from Armée de l’ Air .The other consequent visitor was a KDC10 from 334 squadron NETHERLANDS Air Force ( KLU ). Our informations said that it is current to meet them here because maintenance facility is hosted in the civilian part of the field.
My thanks go to the Naval Air Station Nimes-Garons personnel and all the Flotille 11F staff , for their Professionalism and Hospitality.
Technical information source : Marine Nationale