The head of the French Navy told The Australian Financial Review that he hopes Australian warships would escort French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle when she sails in the Indian Ocean.

While in Sydney, Australia for the Pacific Maritime Expo, Admiral Christophe Prazuck told AFR here that he had discussed it with Australian navy chief Mike Noonan.

The Admiral said that French warships and research vessels were the most frequent visitor from a foreign navy to Australian ports, with 12 arrivals a year.

“Since the signing of this contract our links have been tighter and tighter with the Australian navy, not only on submarines but every aspect of maritime warfare,” he said.

“Another area where I think we could go further is the escort of capital ships, like when our aircraft carrier comes to the Indian Ocean,” Admiral Prazuck said, adding he had discussed it with Australian navy chief Mike Noonan.

“Or I would like French frigates escorting Australian amphibious ships. When you are escorting a capital ship, it is very demanding but a very useful exercise. You learn a lot.”

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Levi Goldsteinberg
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Levi Goldsteinberg

With a totally impotent logistics and foreign base network like France has, relying on others is not just important but essential for anything but a green water deployment

DJ
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DJ

Yes, but they have a carrier & RAN don’t. RAN work with USN carriers quite often, but not so much French (& soon UK again as well). The USN can in general get by without help. It’s useful if someone can fill a gap, but the gap is only there because of a breakdown or the like or to make you feel useful. So Australia get a free carrier for a while. If things did go badly in SCS & France did send it’s carrier, RAN would probably need to help out in the same way, so understanding how they… Read more »

Callum
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Callum

That’s assuming France would join any war in the SCS. It’s beyond the remit of NATO, so it would come down to national interest. They don’t have the US’s investment in maintaining global dominance, and they don’t have our close ties with the locals or our interest in redeveloping our global ties. Aside from the isolated island territories around the globe, France’s main goal is to dominate European affairs.

DJ
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DJ

That depends how it starts & if it spills over into the South Pacific. France does have 2 light frigates operating out of New Caledonia in the western South Pacific. Two nations in the Northern Pacific are NATO members & both US & Canada have run warships through SCS, as also have UK & France. If war starts by an attack on a fleet or task force of any of these 4 nations, would not that constitute an attack on a NATO member? If however war starts as between locals & a NATO member (eg USA) decides to come to… Read more »

Callum
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Callum

NATO membership isn’t the only criteria for collective defence. The attack has to have taken place in Europe or North America, so an attack on a US or other NATO member’s ship in the SCS doesn’t count.

As I said, it comes down to national interest. France and the rest of Europe weren’t even willing to aid us protecting shipping from Iran, the likelihood that they’ll aid a war against China seems slim to none.

HF
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HF

the likelihood that there’ll be a war against China seems slim to none.

John Clark
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John Clark

Any war between China and the West would amount to mutually assured economic destruction…..

Our economies are so interwoven, it would be simply devastating for everyone.

Callum
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Callum

As the old saying goes, if you want peace, prepare for war.

An extended classical war is effectively impossible due to the sheer scale required, true. That doesn’t mean a limited conflict in the SCS is impossible. The Falklands War, is probably the best example of what could happen, with a defined area of conflict but neither side willing to engage outside that area for fear of escalation.

OldSchool
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OldSchool

The French are very good at asking for things but not much good at putting up themselves when asked. But Oh the French are doing it for Australia’s own good (ala last sentence in report). Yeah right ! Just like they supported UK post Stena (Not).

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

France has made massive military contributions to operations in Africa as well as Lebanon and the sixth largest financial contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget.

HF
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HF

Thanks to Cameron & Osborne we’ve had to ask them for maritime patrol aircraft which they’ve obliged with.

OldSchool
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OldSchool

I think you forget the Mali incident. They needed help with heavy lift so we obliged. When we had to ship spares down there they wanted to charge us for it and extortionate prices toboot. Luckily we found a cheaper way via a NATO delivery. And where were they when we asked them about Stena – didn’t want to know even tho Gib seized Iranian tanker on suspicion of breaking EU sanctions.

HF
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HF

I had forgotten it but was it really that simple ? After all these things are covered by agreements – wouldn’t be surprised if it was spun in some newspapers in the same way they write rubbish about the EU.

Cam
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Cam

He’s in Australia every other day obviously he’s going to say he needs Oz ships even if he doesn’t, he must have all the ships he needs. But it’s too good an opportunity for great PR so why not say you want Oz ships and how France loves Oz.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The French Navy are no different to the Royal Navy in having too few surface combatant warships to protect their flagship. Wherever a QE goes a foreign warship will be in support, I am fine about that, just as long as if need arise we could put our own carrier battle group to sea. I would like to see HMG getting serious about the perilous state of UK defence forces. Urgently need a follow on batch 2 astute order, more MPAs in addition to the miserly 9 ordered, more fast jets eg an additional 48 F35Bs and a new tranche… Read more »

Meirion X
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Meirion X

The Clyde shipyards do Not have the capacity to build 12 T26s! It is going be about 2036 before the last T26 is built. A larger replacement for the Type 45 destroyers will need tp start build in mid 2030s.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the clyde shipyards are poorly managed, union led drains on a nation that wants its ships now and not eventually.

Adrian
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Adrian

What ships does the RAN have that are ideally able to escort a carrier? ANZAC class is depressingly lacking in the CIWS department. The Hobart class is designed for air-warfare but there are only 2 of them in existence.

Now that I type it out – it’s a pretty depressing state of affairs for the RAN actually, better get those Type26s quickly.

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

Actually, the RAN is already quite skilled at working in defence of carrier strike groups probably exercising at least as frequently with USN carriers as the Royal Navy. For the record the RAN has three Hobart class AWDs all of which are currently at sea. Hobart is heading for Japan for an international fleet review with Anzac class frigates Parramatta and Stuart where they will be joined by a Collins class submarine. They are part of a current nine ship RAN deployment across North and South East Asia. HMAS Brisbane is currently in San Diego for missile trials of its… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

Meant to say T23 has ‘yet to demonstrate’ but seems unlikely the T31 would have this capability anyway given their intended role.

Adrian
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Adrian

Huh if this is all true then I’ll stand somewhat corrected. Wikipedia asserts only 2/3 constructed and active Hobart class but I’ve found other Aus-govt sites which detail all 3 currently active.
Still the prospect of only 3 AEGIS ships in the whole navy for an escort role isn’t a great one. What you say about the effectiveness of the NULKA decoy systems is interesting, but I’m not sure I would trust it in comparison to something like a Phalanx.

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

The Hunter Class (T26) will all actually use the US Aegis combat system coupled with the CEAFAR Australian radars, all with the capabilities that Aegis brings such as cooperative engagement facility (using the radar from one ship to provide target tracks for the missiles from another ship). It is my understanding that Royal Navy ships are not yet networked in this way. Hobart has already performed CEC engagements with USN Aegis equipped ships. So in practice the RAN will have 12 Aegis equipped ships – 3 Hobart and 9 Hunter class. The problem with Phalanx is that it can only… Read more »

wjb
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wjb

you also forgot to mention our Hobart AWD’s are integrated into our F-35a’s well i am pretty sure our P-8A’s are to along with our E-7A’s,, everything in our defence forces is suppose to be moving into a integrated system with all assets land sea air and space with shared data and targeting..

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the more i hear about the Australian navy, the more worked up i get about the R.N they always seem better organised with a consistent approach to expansion

wjb
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wjb

well looks like you know your stuff there Oscar Zulu spot on the money with our fleets.. although our ANZAC frigates have room for 2 8 cell VLS launchers for 64 ESSM’s it’s just our gove likes to under gunned our ships so they don’t look to aggressive as they put it.. have you sen the new Navantia Joint Support Ship (JSS) which looks like it’ll be the new Pacific support vessel an replacement for Choules… i like it an wanted them to turn our AOR’s into a 400 to 600 carrier mixed with a AOR vessel.. these new JSS… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

HMAS Hobart in company with HMAS Paramatta and HMAS Stuart underway heading to Japan this month.

A capable RAN escort trio for any carrier group.

http://images.defence.gov.au/20191008ran8604878_023.jpg

James Fennell
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James Fennell

Correct me if I’m wrong but when France sends a carrier to the Indian Ocean its primary role is to relieve or augment a US carrier group providing combat air for operations against ISIS or the Taleban. They are on our side. Why all the sour grapes?

BIG D
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BIG D

Their only on our side when it suits them , they can’t be relied upon. Unfortunately none of our so called friends & partner’s can be if it came to the crunch. That’s why we need a massive increase in all of our defense assets, particularly more ships & planes. Thinking about it there isn’t anything that we are not short of.

James Fennell
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James Fennell

When couldn’t they be relied upon, Iraq 2003? Well I guess they made a better decision than we did.

HF
Guest
HF

I agree with the latter part – as ever tories slash defence and make us less capable. Have you ever noticed that nations that border each other tend to have tensions. all over the world. The Chinese, who helped Viet Nam in the ludicrously stupid US intervention in the 60’s were fighting a border war (and getting thumped) against Viet Nam just 4 years later, in ’79. Does no one learn from history. ?

James Fennell
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James Fennell

I don’t think there are tensions between the UK and France. We voted to the leave the EU, France is not arguing. There were different visions of the EU when we were members, and the UK along with Poland, Hungary, Estonia and a few others championed a free market over a political union. As such we were fairly successful in countering Franco-German ideas. But these differences were not warlike and have been resolved though diplomacy and the ballot box! On the other hand France has been at the forefront of the war on terror, and suffered as a result from… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

I suspect that it’s going to be difficult for our American Navy to find reliable partners for some time to come. Right now we have a commander in chief that doesn’t know enough to defer military decisions to military leaders. If we can’t be depended on we can’t really expect reliability from “allies”

Liam
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Liam

I think that 5 eyes, will take more form than NATO and the EU possibly, in the future. 5 eyes nearly covers the globe and they all speak the same language, in more ways than one. The EU mantra needs to expedite what they really want to be and disrobe the half charades over the last years. Perhaps it’s in the pipeline and further down the road. They just have to adapt public opinion first, and they will….5 eyes offers a global reach and I hope a true close working relationship. The world needs to steady itself and watch as… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

i trust the australian navy has less ships in refit and can cooperate, the royal navy type 23 are mainly in refit or major maintenance

DJ
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DJ

According to RAN website, of the Anzac class (8), 1 is in maintenance & 2 in major refit & upgrade (including upgrading radar from CEAFAR to CEAFAR2), leaving 5. Of the Hobart class destroyers, 1 is active, 1 is undergoing missile/radar/CMS testing in USA (but is available if needed) & 1 in sea trials (so not yet formally commissioned).