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French Gazelle Shot Down In Mali  
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 769 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11658 times:

A french gazelle belonging to the 4th helicopter special forces regiment (based in Pau) was shot down in Mali.
Was apparently returning from a fire support mission when it was hit by small arms fire, the pilot was fatally wounded.

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11633 times:

Apparently both Gazelles used yesterday are now out of service due to enemy fire. Other reports suggest the pilot was struck by a bullet but was able to land safely. He died later in or on the way to medical treatment.

Give 'em hell guys.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11490 times:

Gazelles? RIP to the crewman doing a vital job but maybe Tigers would be more effective and safer for the crews.

The British Army found Gazelles, however useful in other it's other tasks, to be really too vulnerable if employed in an offensive role, two were lost to small arms fire in the early part of the landings in San Carlos Water. Nearly 31 years ago.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6722 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 11297 times:

I'm guessing we don't have Tigers over there, it seems the current operation is pretty hush hush, in fact it wasn't supposed to happen at all, but the "militants" let us no choice.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 11208 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 3):
I'm guessing we don't have Tigers over there, it seems the current operation is pretty hush hush, in fact it wasn't supposed to happen at all, but the "militants" let us no choice.

Not so hush now. The RAF are to make two C-17's available to France to support this operation. They could, maybe they are, get some Tigers out there. Cameron says that no UK combat forces will be deployed, this is a part of the world France knows well so UK combat forces won't likely be needed.
Though if France wants say Chinooks I'm sure the UK would help. Both countries forces have capability caps, it makes sense for one to fill any with the other in possible. I would not be surprised if one day the UK asks for French Navy Atlantique MPA's to assist in something, since Cameron decided that an Island nation with some of the busiest sea traffic around it's coast does not need maritime patrol aircraft!


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2439 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 11145 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
since Cameron decided that an Island nation with some of the busiest sea traffic around it's coast does not need maritime patrol aircraft!

Luckily, not many pirates there.  

But still UK is in a crucial role because it has so much seawater to watch over...

I worry how this war plays out on the public health research work my colleagues are doing there. Time to appreciate the peace here in Europe.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10928 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
Not so hush now. The RAF are to make two C-17's available to France to support this operation. They could, maybe they are, get some Tigers out there.

Supposedly 3 Tiger HAPs are being transported by the C-17s. The first C-17 has already landed in France, and is most likely loaded and on its way south.

French also sent 4 Rafales on a mission originating in France, dropping bombs on Mali, then landing in Chad (their new home for a while). This is in addition to the 8 Mirage 2000D/F-1 already in Chad.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 769 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10915 times:

The Tigre/Gazelle pair worked very well over Libya. But those were night-time ops only...

I guess sending them out during daylight may have been a mistake, reports are coming out that AQMI have some pretty heavy equipment they seized from Libya, and their organisation/shooting is better than anticipated.

Tigre helicopters are definitely the required solution.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10870 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 5):
I worry how this war plays out on the public health research work my colleagues are doing there. Time to appreciate the peace here in Europe.

I can well imagine. However these Islamists are not known to be well disposed towards such people. As we've seen recently, twice, in Pakistan. More than a few times in Afghanistan as well.

All military operations have risks, some unforeseen.
But we let Afghanistan go to hell in the 1990's, whatever one thinks of what has happened there since 2001, the results of that neglect came to life in Africa in 1998, Yemen in 2000, in various brutal terror campaigns across the Muslim world, culminating in the USA in 2001.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14058 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10831 times:

AQIM hijacked (with their money) the Tuareg rebellion in Mali. There the rather secular Tuareg were rebelling against discrimination in the age old conflict between nomadic tribesmen with a warrior culture versus sedentary farmers.
The Tuareg are not completely innocent either. For centuries they have been raiding farm villages and taken captives to be sold as slaves, so the farmers (and the government, which comes from the same people as the farmers) are quite hostile to them.
The Tuareg are Muslims, but due to the harsh living conditions in the open desert, They are quite practical. E.g. their women have much more say than with the settled people. It is simply a matter of survival. In the conditions they live in everybody has to pull his or her weight.
They had a rebellion going against the Mali government since many years, but this rebellion gained momentum after Ghaddafi´s downfall, when many Tuareg, who used to fight for Ghadaffi, returned with weapons.
But they still needed money and this came via the fundamentalist Islamist groups, who used their money to hijack the Tuareg rebellion.
By now the rather secular Tuareg leaders curse the day they made their agreements with AQIM and the other Salafist groups. AFAIK they still want their autonomy and recognition, but don´t want the introduction of Salafism or Wahabism.

Jan


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10280 times:

Update on equipment:

http://lemamouth.blogspot.fr/2013/01/serval-les-renforts-suite.html

Basically 2 more Mirage F-1s arrive fro either recon or bombing with GBU-12s (F-1s don't have a targeting pod, so a Rafale or Mirage 2000 will have to do the designating). French AF A310 and A340 are transporting troops and their equipment in underfloor cargo. A convoy of armored vehicles has arrived by road from Ivory coast.

Lots of logistics help in the form of:

Commercial: 2x AN-124
UK: 2x C-17
Canada: 1x C-17
Denmark: ? (most likely C-130)
Spain: "logistics"
US: KC-135s, possibly C-5s (rumor). Drones.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 9834 times:

New information in on airlift support: Belgium is supplying 2x C-130H


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1855 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 9681 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 6):
Supposedly 3 Tiger HAPs are being transported by the C-17s
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 10):
UK: 2x C-17
Canada: 1x C-17

Not to kick an ant hill, but does the Tiger fit into a A400m? Bet they are hating the delays on the A400 about now, needing other aircraft to support this.

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 227 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 9595 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 12):
does the Tiger fit into a A400m

It's supposed to carry two without major disassembly. Shouldn't be a tight fit: the A400M is designed to be able to carry a Chinook, or a NH90.

I never heard of an actual loading test, though.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2439 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 9480 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 12):
Not to kick an ant hill, but does the Tiger fit into a A400m? Bet they are hating the delays on the A400 about now, needing other aircraft to support this.

Eurocopter has in the past rented a Beluga to carry a NH90 and a Tiger to an airshow. Just an idea.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9360 times:

Ze Germans have commited 2x C-160s to transport ECOWAS troops, but will not be directly assisting the French.

USAF is still quiet about airlift.

Observations of flightline photos
French C-130, C-160 and at least 4 KC-135s seen.

AN-12 EK-12148 is also seen on the ramp, looking very flightworthy, as well as a turboprop C-47 and a DO-228. The Dauphin, skymaster, SU-25s, MiG-21s and a Boeing 707 in (likely) Ndjema all look non-flyable.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 769 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9301 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 13):

I never heard of an actual loading test, though.

The A400M loading tests were done a while back. Test loaded an NH90 and a Caracal, I believe.
Worked ok...


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9205 times:

Large, open, flat areas sound like a good place for tanks. US should offer a Marine Expeditionary Unit, and there probably would be one there already alongside the French if Barry didn't get re-elected.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9106 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 17):
Large, open, flat areas sound like a good place for tanks. US should offer a Marine Expeditionary Unit, and there probably would be one there already alongside the French if Barry didn't get re-elected.

The French seem to favour large armoured cars with a heavy cannon - like a 105mm - and wheeled APC's for this sort of terrain.
Not that I see who the US President is has anything to do with this, the US has offered surveillance and logistical support after all and considering how flack Obama got for Libya, with no US boots on the ground, including from many who backed Bush to the hilt on Iraq and Afghanistan, politically it's a non starter and the French have not asked for major US intervention.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 769 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 9015 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 18):
The French seem to favour large armoured cars with a heavy cannon - like a 105mm - and wheeled APC's for this sort of terrain.

some observers have mentioned that if France had the means to deploy the Leclerc out there, then it would definitely be considered. Lack of suitable transport and the lack of infrastructure crossing the Niger river are the 2 reasons that ruled heavy tanks out of the equation...

... plus France does not wish to have too many boots on the ground, only until the AU troops arrive.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8929 times:

France would need a C17 fleet like UK has, perfect for fast MBT insertions, but expensive.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8903 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 20):
France would need a C17 fleet like UK has, perfect for fast MBT insertions, but expensive.

And a very inefficient use of heavy transports too. Not so bad if you want to deploy MBT's slowly over a period of time but not for a somewhat time critical operation like Mali.
Plus the logistics train for MBT's is likely to be more extensive than for those heavy armoured cars. Which France used effectively in Operation Desert Storm.
The best way of deploying MBT's and the one generally used in out of area operations, is by ship, not really an option for Mali.

The numbers of French troops, at least until a seriously viable AU presence is firmly established, is going to be a few thousand rather than a few hundred.


User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days ago) and read 8474 times:

Since we're already off the original post of the Gazelle shot down, there has been one subject that is puzzling me. As far as I understand it, French troops abroad are made up of the French Foreign Legion and not French regular army, except for officers, as was pointed out by a talking head on CNN. As I remember, the French disaster at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, was made up mostly of Legionnaires. Can anyone throw further light on this?

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8457 times:

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 22):
Since we're already off the original post of the Gazelle shot down, there has been one subject that is puzzling me. As far as I understand it, French troops abroad are made up of the French Foreign Legion and not French regular army, except for officers, as was pointed out by a talking head on CNN. As I remember, the French disaster at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, was made up mostly of Legionnaires. Can anyone throw further light on this?

Only that it's not the case, while FFL is a major element of the French rapid reaction and have units already based in Africa, the following French Army units are deployed or are deploying to Mali;

-RICM Armoured Recce Rgt (one squadron, 50 vehicles including AMX-10RCRs armed with 105 mm guns)
-511e RT (Log Rgt)
-126e RI (Inf Bn equipped with VAB APCs)
-3e RG (Engineer Rgt)
-92e RI (Inf Rgt equipped with VBCI wheeled IFVs)
-CPA 20 and CPA30 (Air Force unit specialized in CSAR and FAC)
-5e RHC (Cbt helicopter Rgt)
-EH 1.67 Pyrénées (AF helicopter Sqdn)

It's also the case that the Legion had a very successful part in Desert Storm in 1991, have carried out many successful operations throughout the world since 1954.
Along with other elements of the French Army. Including Afghanistan, that also including fast jets being deployed.
This is not well understood elsewhere, particularly it has to be said in the US.
Maybe it's because the large French film industry does not do films based on these French military operations?


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6722 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8352 times:

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 22):
As I remember, the French disaster at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, was made up mostly of Legionnaires. Can anyone throw further light on this?

The legionnaires were only a fourth or fifth of the French and allies forces. The disaster was mainly caused by conventional military thinking of the time that Dien Bien Phu was impossible to take even with twice as many assailants (which indeed the Viet Minh had). In fact the enemy managed to bring far more artillery, tanks, flak guns, munitions and supplies than what was believed possible, and that was how they won, the French forces abilities in battle were never in question.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
25 jollo : I meant loading two Tigers at once... was this payload configuration also actually tested? Not especially heavy but maybe bulky, without disassembly.
26 LMP737 : Sounds like the Kiowa, great for rcon but better send in it's bigger brothers once the shotiting starts. Not everything that gos on in he world requi
27 Aesma : The US can't legally intervene because Congress doesn't recognize Mali's government, as far as I know "Barry" doesn't control Congress.
28 MD11Engineer : That was the same conventional thinking, which thought that the Ardennes would be impassable to tanks, that any large attack should be preceeded by a
29 RIXrat : Thank you all for educating me on the French Foreign Legion. Much appreciated. There has been the misconception that the Legion does the fighting whil
30 bikerthai : Even the US has preferred the Strikers to Abrams for Afghanistan. If the terrain is so vast and not heavily forested, seems like air cavalry is the w
31 Spacepope : Reports in today that 4 Leclercs will be sent. No idea if by air or sea. I've now seen 4 different Gazelles in service, and one Puma is equipped with
32 chuchoteur : A transport left by sea from Toulon yesterday/today.... long drive at the other end...
33 GDB : It's easy to do, quite apart from the language and different culture, not as entwined with the Anglo Saxon world, the French seem to be just more low
34 ThePointblank : The Canadians and the Dutch sent Leopard 2 tanks to Afghanistan (Canada first set some Leopard 1's, then got loaner German Leopard 2A6M's later on).
35 Aesma : So I was watching a political debate and a former defense minister was saying that the Tiger sucked the money that was destined to armoring the gazell
36 chuchoteur : ...politicians... There is no practical way of armouring the Gazelles. Doing so would critically reduce useful payload and range, which is extremely
37 Post contains images bikerthai : Heavy armour is great for guarding major facilities and installation as they are almost impervious to RPGs and and resist a car bomb much better. For
38 MD11Engineer : I have read that the Canadians liked the heavy tracked vehicles due to two reasons: Often non-existent roads and terrain that was impossible to cross
39 Post contains links GDB : There's been footage of French Paratroopers doing an operational drop, from C-160's and possibly a C-130. Don't see that very often these days, didn't
40 chuchoteur : 3x C160 Transall & 2x C130 Hercules aircraft. 250 paratroopers from the foreign legion - 2e REP. As per tradition, the unit commander (a colonel)
41 chuchoteur : ...the 17e Régiment du Génie Parachutiste (engineering regiment) jumped today as well, they will clear the airport to enable support aircraft to bri
42 GDB : Thanks and Kudos to them. Their British counterparts will be jealous, last drop in anger they did was at Suez in 1956. 1978 for the French seems a lo
43 Post contains images chuchoteur : 1978, Kolwezi (Zaire). The french foreign legion jumped to rescue 2,200 european civilians caught up in the civil war. The operation was a success, e
44 chuchoteur : Last french operational (but non-combat) jumps: 2007 - Birao (Republic of Central Africa): 3rd RPIMa / GCP 2004 - Kosovo: 8th RPIMa (show of force)
45 bikerthai : So, after an operational jump like this, do they bury chute for the locals to salvage or re-stow for recycle? bt
46 chuchoteur : These days, you can bet they put them somewhere for safe-keeping, and as soon as the airport re-opens they will be sent back out to be checked, re-pa
47 Pihero : That denotes a nrather good understanding of the Frrench psyché . T5hanks A slight correction, though : the 2nd WW was won (at least that's what the
48 chuchoteur : To be fair, the feedback from Libya was quite good. Aside from the short autonomy the Gazelles there performed well and from the crews I have spoken
49 Pihero : Fair enough.
50 EagleBoy : Apparently this is due to the fact that they gave rates when first approached, the French then went elsewhere. I would think this has more to do with
51 chuchoteur : The USAF tankers have been involved over Libya and now Mali. Definitely a capability shortage in europe in that area at the moment...
52 GDB : The 'Snatch' Land Rovers were vehicles with a body of composite armour, produced for Northern Ireland. Where in urban areas the threat was small arms
53 chuchoteur : The VAB you refer to had some shortcomings... they really suffered in the desert environment in Afghanistan, and had to have an urgent retrofit calle
54 Post contains images L-188 : Hollywood already tried it. I have heard it was extremely nose-heavy but they got a movie and a TV series out of the aircraft.
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