Europe sends air power to Indo-Pacific after flexing naval muscle – Nikkei Asia
KEN MORIYASU, Nikkei Asia diplomatic correspondent September 12, 2022 19:22 JST
TOKYO — In a recent military exercise near New Caledonia, the fictitious island of “Badland” showed signs of invading its neighbor “Goodland.” France, seeing that its territory was at risk, decided to deploy air assets to the region. The mission was to reach the theater in 72 hours.
On Aug. 13, three Dassault Rafale fighters, two Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transports (MRTTs) and two A400M Atlas transport aircraft arrived in the South Pacific from France within the allotted time. The convoy made short fuel stops in Sulur, India, and Darwin, Australia.
Once in the region, Paris observed the situation from a live feed sent from the MRTT aircraft and gave direct orders to the Rafale pilots to destroy the enemy’s logistics base.
The drill was part of the five-week Mission Pegase 2022 exercise that the French Air and Space Force is currently conducting. It overlaps with a similar drill conducted by the German Air Force named Rapid Pacific 2022, which saw Berlin send six Eurofighter jets and seven support planes from Germany to Singapore in 24 hours.
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