French Rafale fighters deploy to Romania for joint training

French Air Force

Three Rafale fighter jets were deployed to Romania from Mont-de-Marsan Air Base 118 between March 4 and 9, 2024, in a collaboration between the French, Belgian, Romanian, and Turkish air forces. 

33 airmen accompanied the French Rafale fighters, deployed using an Airbus A400M multirole transport aircraft. The deployment saw intensive operational activity, with the fighters completing 12 sorties totaling 30 hours of flight time. 

The missions conducted included close air support exercises involving Belgian, Romanian, and French Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs). Joint flight missions were conducted with Turkish and Romanian F-16s, demonstrating interoperability and coordination between different aircraft types. Additionally, the Rafales engaged in air-to-air combat training, combining within visual range (WVR) and beyond visual range (BVR) combat scenarios alongside Romanian F-16 fighter jets.  

“Beyond strengthening interoperability with the Forțele Aeriene Române [Romanian Air Force], the presence of French Rafale in the region contributes to strengthening the defensive and dissuasive posture of [NATO] on the eastern flank in support to the Air Shielding mission,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces explained during a previous deployment. These operations, which are known as MORANE, have been happening regularly since the implementation of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. 

As a reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, France initiated the Aigle [Eagle] mission in May 2022 by sending 500 soldiers to Constanta, Romania, located on the coast of the Black Sea. This battalion, supported by 300 Belgian and Dutch soldiers on rotation, is part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups.  

Furthermore, the French Air Force deployed a SAMP/T [also known as MAMBA – ed. note] ground-to-air defense system in Romania to protect NATO forces conducting operations in the area. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!