Foch (R 99)

Foch (R 99) was the second of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

. She was the second warship named in honour of Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch , GCB, OM, DSO was a French soldier, war hero, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing "the most original and subtle mind in the French army" in the early 20th century. He served as general in the French army during World War I and was made Marshal of France in its...

, after a heavy cruiser
French cruiser Foch
The Foch was a French heavy cruiser of the Suffren class, that saw service in World War II. She was the first French warship named for the French Marshall Ferdinand Foch....

 commissioned in 1932, and scuttled in Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

 on 27 November 1942.
Ironically Ferdinand Foch is famously quoted in 1911 saying "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value" although this was only eight years after the first powered human flight.


The draft statute prepared by the Naval General Staff in 1949 asked four aircraft carriers of 20,000 tons to be available in two phases. At its meeting of 22 August 1949 , the Supreme Council of the Navy was even more ambitious where they asked six aircraft carrier fleet. On 15 July 1952 , the French Navy still wanted two to five with the French Union (not available to the NATO ). According to the RCM 12, the final document of the Lisbon Conference of 1952 , France should make available NATO aircraft carrier in the D-day, two on day 30, three on day 180. But by 1953 , the Navy had to be satisfied with two aircraft carriers. The PA 54 Clemenceau , budgeted in 1953 , was delayed until November 1955 , the PA 55 Foch, budgeted for 1955 , was delayed until February 1957. Between 1980 and 1981, she underwent a study to certify the platform before catapulting aircraft carrying missiles, bombs, AM-39 Exocet and tactical nuclear bombs.

After a 37-year career in the French Navy, on 15 November 2000, she was sold to the Brazilian Navy
Brazilian Navy
The Brazilian Navy is a branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. It is the largest navy in Latin America...

, and renamed . In the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, she was succeeded by the Charles de Gaulle (R 91).

Combat history

In 1977 F-8 Crusader
F-8 Crusader
The Vought F-8 Crusader was a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass...

s from 14.F squadron on Foch participated in the Saphir missions over Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

. On 7 May 1977, two Crusaders went separately on patrol against what were supposedly French Air Force (4/11 Jura squadron) F-100 Super Sabre
F-100 Super Sabre
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of...

s stationed at Djibouti. The leader intercepted two fighters and initiated a dogfight
A dogfight, or dog fight, is a form of aerial combat between fighter aircraft; in particular, combat of maneuver at short range, where each side is aware of the other's presence. Dogfighting first appeared during World War I, shortly after the invention of the airplane...

 as part of the training exercise, but quickly called his wingman for help as he had actually engaged two Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i MiG-21 Fishbeds
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The two French fighters switched their master armament to "on" but, ultimately, everyone returned to their bases. This was the only combat interception by French Crusaders.

In 1983–1984, the ship was sent to Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 for combat operations during the civil war with an air wing consisting of six F-8 Crusaders, fifteen Super-Etendards, three Etendard IVPs, five Br 1050 Alizés and six SA-321G Super-Frelons. She would rotate with Clemenceau providing constant on station air support to French peacekeepers.

In October 1984, France sent Foch for operation Mirmillon off the coast of Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, in response to tension in the Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra is a body of water in the Mediterranean Sea on the northern coast of Libya; it is also known as Gulf of Sirte or the Great Sirte or Greater Syrtis .- Geography :The Gulf of Sidra has been a major centre for tuna fishing in the Mediterranean for centuries...


She was involved in the Yugoslav Wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

 between July and August 1993, in February and March 1994, and in February and from May to July 1994 in support of UN operations.

See also

External links

  • CV Foch Aircraft Carrier Foch on Alabordache
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.