Quoting an unnamed French defense ministry source, news wire Reuters reported the 42,000-ton nuclear carrier would deploy shortly for exercises in the Indian Ocean and when asked if the ship would be joining the anti-ISIS fight the source said, “It’s a military tool. It’s purpose is to be used.”
On Tuesday, a French maritime news site — Mer et Marine — reported a de Gaulle led battle group — composed of a fleet oiler, two guided missile frigates and an attack submarine — was being prepped to deploy.
President François Hollande will formally announce the deployment next week on Jan. 14 during a ceremony at the port of Toulon.
France was an early addition to the U.S. led anti-ISIS collation and has flown sorties with a collection of about 10 fighters and a collection of information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) planes.
The addition of de Gaulle would add up to 30 fighters to the effort.
French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91).