The Super Étendard has retired from French service. Their last operational deployment was in support of Opération Chammal against Islamic State.
On the 16th of March 2016, the aircraft undertook its final launch from Charles de Gaulle ahead of its final withdrawal from service on the 12th of July.
The Super Étendard was also operated by Iraq and Argentina, who both deployed the aircraft during wartime. The Super Étendard was used by Iraq to attack oil tankers and merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq-Iran War.
Argentina’s use of the Super Étendard and the Exocet missile during the 1982 Falklands War led to the aircraft gaining considerable popular recognition.
In French service, the Super Étendard was replaced by the Dassault Rafale in 2016.
The Super Étendard is a development of the earlier Étendard IVM which had been developed in the 1950s. The Étendard IVM was originally to have been replaced by a navalised version of the SEPECAT Jaguar, designated as the Jaguar M; however the Jaguar M project was stalled by a combination of political problems and issues experienced during trial deployments onboard carriers. Specifically, the Jaguar M had suffered handling problems when being flown on a single engine and a poor throttle response time that made landing back on a carrier after an engine failure difficult.
In March 2011, Étendards were deployed as a part of Task Force 473, during France’s Opération Harmattan in support of UN resolution 1973 during the Libyan conflict.
They were paired again with Dassault Rafales on interdiction missions.