Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton will once again receive support from the French Navy at this year’s International Air Day on Saturday 8 July. Making its only UK flying display appearance of this year, the French naval power’s thunderous fast jet role demonstration will return to Air Day. The pair of Rafale M carrier fighters, which won the Best Fixed Wing Display award last year, will join Air Day’s fast jet line up alongside the RAF Typhoon, Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and Czech Air Force Gripen and ALCA L-159 pair.
The French Navy’s static contribution comprises an Atlantique Mk2 maritime patrol aircraft and a Westland Lynx HAS4 helicopter; both are relatively rare visitors to these shores. Able to perform missions lasting up to 18 hours, the long-serving Atlantique has a wealth of capabilities, being tasked with submarine escort, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare.
While all Royal Navy Lynx models are now retired, the French Navy still has in service 21 HAS2 and HAS4 variants. Fitted with radar, sonar, acoustic data transmission and FLIR (forward-looking infrared) systems – plus Mk46 or MU90 Impact torpedoes – France’s Lynx fleet is mainly tasked with anti-submarine warfare.
Further information and online booking available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday
Images via Ralph Patel