A WIP post that intend to provide an overview of French air and naval, plus ground based nuclear, forces in early 1994, the 13th of February precisely.
It's initially intended to provide Gunner98 some details for his amazing World War III scenario set.
Data are obviously gathered from public sources, barely official ones since details regarding conventional French forces are classified for a 30 years duration, and much longer for everything nuclear.
It's posted here to get some attention so fellow Commanders can fill the gaps.
Caribbean sea (Guyanne : Degrad des Cannes; Martinique : Fort-de-France)
ESMAt : Escadrille des Sous-Marins de l'Atlantique (Lorient).
ESMed : Escadrille des Sous-marins de la Méditerranée (Toulon),
FAI : Force Amphibie d'Intervention (Lorient)
FAN : Force d'Action Navale (Toulon), ASuW and power projection.
FANC : forces armées en Nouvelle-Calédonie
FAPF : forces armées en Polynésie française
FAZSOI : forces armées dans la zone sud de l’océan Indien
FGM : Force de Guerre des Mines, Mine Warfare, especially around Brest.
FOSt : Force Océanique Stratégique (Brest, Île Longue), nuclear deterrence.
GASM : Groupe d’action sous-marine (Brest), ASW to secure the FOSt and any FAN group.
GEAOM : Groupe Ecole d'application des officiers de marine
SMD : Sous-Marins Diésels
SNA : (SSN) : would guard the HVU (CV, SSBN), or operate alone in the Med, exceptionally in the Gulf of Guinea or Indian ocean.
SNLA : (SSBN) : only enough M4 warheads for 3 fully loaded SSBN.
- Marine Nationale's top priority is to ensure a national nuclear deterrence (ie. independently) , with its SSBN (3 on patrol at most).
Second priority is to project power with the CVs and amphibs.
- Mine Warfare and ASW vessels mostly keeping Brest and Toulon clear of any threat. Second is to ensure
- PA 1/2 : 1 is configured for a CV role, while 2 is configured for an helicopter carrier role with a reduced crew. Unless there is an emergency, PA2's priority is R&R.
That SOP was instituted in the mid seventies due to the difficulties to maintain enough aircrafts for two operational CV. "PA" stands for Porte-Avions, or CV.
- Mission Corymbe : a French presence in the Gulf of Guinea since 1990 to safeguard French economic interests and to evacuate French nationals from Gabon if need be. SSN might have used there too.
- Only in 1999 the french SSN started to operate within a CVG, in 1992 S602 Saphir went into Indian Ocean (transit around Africa)
- Chain of command :
For nuclear weapons usage : President - ALFOST - ALSOUMATT; For conventional operations : CEMA - ALFOST/ALSOUMATT.
ALFOST : Vice-Amiral Claude Guilhem-Ducleon / ALSOUMATT : Contre-Amiral Huet
ALINDIEN : Contre-amiral Hubert Foillard
CEMA : Amiral Alain Coatanéa
- Clemenceau /Foch Magazines (in the mid sixties, and later) :
110 Sidewinder(1978 : 56 Magic)
54 Matra R530 (1978 : 28)
30 AS12 (1978 : 30)
32 Mk44 torpedoes
490 250 Kg bombs (1978 : 372 )
138 400 Kg bombs (1978 : 115 )
9800 68mm rockets
(1978 : 6 AN52)
- 70 AM 39 Block 1 were received in the '80 and 36 AM 39 block 2. Not sure how they distributed.
- #2078 - F-8P Crusader [Le Crouze] -- France (Navy), 1993 : about 12 remains in active service (out of 48 bought in 1963) and requires around 50 maintenance for each flight hour.
- #1828 Super Etendard M : 17F received its first Modernised aircraft in June of 1993 and was fully converted in November 1994. 11F in December of 1995.
- TF 470 (Adriatic, Op. "Deny Fight" of which "Balbuzard" is the French naval part) : Foch, Suffren, Meuse
- TF 470 CAG : 15x #1275 - Super Etendard -- France (Navy), 1989(11F); 4x #67 - Etendard IVP -- France (Navy), 1963 (16F); 6x #1802 - BR.1050 Alize ALM -- France (Navy), 1991 (4F); 2x #934 - SA.321G Super Frelon -- France (Navy), 1984-2010, (33F); 2x #1884 - SA.365F1 Dauphin 2 -- France (Navy), 1990 + 1x #1951 - SA.319B Alouette III -- France (Army), 1991 (23S); 2x #2413 - SA.330B Puma -- France (Army), 1970 (ALAT); 2x 20 Penfentenyo commandos
- TG 623.2 (1987 Persian Gulf) : Duquesne, Suffresne, Meuse. +SSN. 8 Crusader (12F), 14 SueE (11/17F), 2 IVP (16F), 6 Alizé (4F), 2 Super Frelon (32F), 2 Lynx (31F), 2 Alouette III (23S)
- TF 470 : Ouragan, 2 Super Frelon (33F), 2 Puma (5ème RHC), CTM 9, 15 and 23, elements of the Trepel commando.
- TF 470 : Orage, CDIC 9062+ 4 CTM, will host helicopters from the Ouragan.
- Nuclear bomb equipped Jaguar were based at Istres to strike Soviet bases in the Med if need be. (More details on that later on, still working on the Aéronavale and the Armée de l'Air)
- Aconit class type F65 ASW frigate : 5 planned, plagued by propulsion issues, that class was abandoned and evolved into type F67.
- each year the Jeanne d'Arc cruise around the world as a training ship with an escort (Enseigne de Vaisseau Henry in 1994) and 2x Alouette III (35F), 2x Cougar (4e RHCM, Army), 3x Gazelle (3e RHC, Army) aboard.
It's also used as a floating embassy/ballroom.
- Charles de Gaulle CVN was planned to enter in service in 1999 (earlier optimistic prevision was 1996).
- Rafale M was planned in 1996. Trials started, with a prototype, aboard the Foch in 1993.
- La Fayette frigate was designed to be shot at, to interpose herself between an SSM and a ship to escort, then softkill the missiles with her decoys, which were made particularly attractive because the frigate herself have a very low signature in all spectrum. She also is automatized to reduce its manpower requirements (and to be manned with a fully professional crew, in opposition to conscripts, and thus to be more easily deployed in crisis zone)
- Floréal class frigates were designed as non-stealth, low cost version of the La Fayette class to perform OPV duties.
Alternate capabilities in a WW3 1994 context
- #231 - C 611 Colbert -- France (Navy), 1976-1991 : intended to serve until 1997, it was out phased in 1991 as it was viewed expensive to operate both in terms of manpower and fuel, especially in post CW situation.
- Rubis Class SSN : S607 "Turquoise" was cancelled in 1986 and could have been launched around 1988, S608 "Diamant" was cancelled in 1991 and could have been launched around 1993.
- Suffren class FFG : 3 planned, 1 cancelled out to buy 48 F-8 Crusader instead. SSBN program was in full swing.
- Cassard AA type F70AA frigate : 6 planned in the 1972 "Plan bleu" (cancelled in 1974 consequently to the 1973 oil crisis), 4 planned in 1983, two last (D616 "Courbet" and "Jauréguiberry" D617) were cancelled, officially because SM-1 production ended, officiously for budget reasons.
- Tourville class type F67 ASW frigate : 4 planned in 1967, last canceled as they were too big and, thus, too expensive for their actual role.
- Georges Leygues class type F70ASM ASW frigate : 18 planned in the 1972 "Plan bleu", 4 planned in 1970, all built , and 4 more planned in 1975 with only 3 built.
- "#1761 - F 730 Floreal -- France (Navy), 1996" adds Mistral missiles, which were planned from the start but cancelled due a reduced threat level.
- F735 Germinal (Floréal class #313, Capitaine de frégate Patrick Giaume), launched 14/03/93 its commissioning could have been sped up in your context (17/05/1994 IRL)
- M651 Narvik class BAMO type : novel ocean going minehunter catamaran, 5 planned one launched in 1991, Abandoned in 1994.
Several Jane's, Conway's books, other by Jean Moulin, Patrick Maurand (to be detailed later on)