By Fred Vergnères
After ALAT (Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre) and the French Air Force, the French Navy (Marine nationale) is now joining the helicopters borne ressources deployed in the Ile-de-France region as part of Operation Résilience. A Caïman from Flotille 33F, initially based at Lanvéoc-Poulmic in Finistère, has been stationed at Villacoublay Air Force Base #107 since Monday, April 7.
The helicopter, which comes as a reinforcement of the Parisian device, could be used for logistical missions to transport equipment and personnel or even the medical evacuation of two Covid-19 patients. However, this mission would seem to be carried out as a last resort due to the absence of a 28V/220V voltage converter in the hold on the Navy’s Caïman . In this mission, the biturbine would then be forced to embark the medical devices, including the precious respirators, equipped with their own autonomous batteries. The aircraft would also have to be fitted with a number of protective devices, in particular to separate the crew from the hold.
In addition to the aircraft operated from Villacoublay, the Marine Nationale has also announced that it is keeping a second NH Industries NH90 in reserve at the Hyères Naval Air Base, as well as a Falcon 50 Marine of the 24F for missions to transport medical personnel from the Lann-Bihoué Navy air force base.