Three Rafale fighter jets are expected Friday in New Caledonia from Metropolitan France as part of a projection of the means of the Air Force and Space in the Asia-Pacific zone.
Called Pégase 22, this air mission also includes two Airbus A330 MRTT tankers and two military Airbus A400M.
The fleet will land on Friday at the end of the day in New Caledonia after two stopovers, in India and Australia and 18,000 kilometers covered.
This mission intends to show that France is capable of protecting its interests and its nationals on all points of the globe
", declared to AFP Colonel Frédéric Puchois, chief of the joint staff of the FANC (Armed Forces of the New -Caledonia).
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Affirm the presence of France in this area
Its objective is also "
to affirm the presence of France in this area of strategic interest and to strengthen (the) links with many partners in the region
", further indicates the Chief of Staff of the army. of Air and Space, Stéphane Mille, in a document presenting Pégase 22.
In the French archipelago in the South Pacific, exercises with the “
maritime, air and land means
” of the FANC will take place until August 16 in Koumac (north) and Lifou (Loyalty archipelago).
The air detachment, which will mobilize around 160 personnel, will also fly over different regions of New Caledonia, allowing the population to see the aircraft.
First fighter pilot of Kanak origin, Johan Pidjot will be at the controls of one of the three Rafales.
Relaunch of cooperation with Australia
The planes will then leave for Australia for three weeks where they will take part in the "
" exercise, alongside "
one hundred planes from the Allied air forces of Australia, the United States, Canada , New Zealand or even Germany
,” explained Colonel Puchois.
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” marks “
the relaunch of Air cooperation with Australia after the
disappointment of the incident linked to the canceled sale of French submarines”, indicated the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
Canberra had canceled in September 2021 a mega contract to purchase French submarines, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
The military planes will return to French territory on September 18 after stops in Indonesia, Singapore and the French air base in the United Arab Emirates.