HMS Illustrious goes into training with French navy

Share this article
HMS Mersey, in the foreground, escorts the Vishnya class (520) Feodor Golovkin and its Russian task group through the English Channel. Credit: Louise George

Portsmouth patrol ship dispatched to track trio of Russian spy vessels

Have your say

HMS Illustrious has been training with the French Navy as part of the new defence pact between Britain and France.

The Royal Navy helicopter carrier spent 18 hours practising a range of anti-surface operations against the Exocet-armed corvette FS Lavallee and demonstrating anti-air warfare capabilities against French Rafale and Super Etendard fighter aircraft.

The exercise also saw a new French navy NH90 Caiman helicopter make its first ever landing on a British warship.

The war games in the Bay of Biscay come after Britain and France signed an historic defence co-operation treaty in December 2010.

‘This short but very productive exercise proved once again that we can work together safely and effectively with our French counterparts at the highest level,’ said Captain Martin Connell, commanding officer of HMS Illustrious.