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French Navy needs more Rafales, NFH90s

9th September 2021 - 14:30 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris

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A French Rafale M, pictured during the 2021 Iniochos exercise in Greece. (Photo: Jean-Marc Tanguy)

Attrition and heavy maintenance demands affect French Naval Aviation fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter requirements.

French Naval Aviation needs to reinforce its three Rafale M aircraft squadrons and its two NH90 NFH helicopter squadrons.

All the aircraft ordered for these five squadrons have been delivered but this has proved insufficient for different reasons.

The French fleet air arm ordered 48 Rafale Ms but some were lost before they even reached their units: two collided during test flights carried out by the French procurement agency DGA, while one crashed into the Indian Ocean and another landed in the Mediterranean.

Without providing any further details, the French Navy says its current Rafale M inventory stands at 41

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