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  1. #1
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    Co-operation with Marine Nationale

    With the cliffhanger of Brexit finally looming over the horizon is it not time to expand and deepen our co-operation with the Marine Nationale? Although our EEZs are separated by a thin UK slice the proximity of the French and Irish will mean that close co-operation not just on fishery protect but on anti-drug and counter terrorism will remain essential.

    While joint exercises are good as is co-operation can we go further? Can we take a current issue of the NS and turn it into an opportunity? The recruitment/retention crisis! It is likely that the NS will soon be down to 5 operations vessels and if and when it ever gets the EPV/MPV this would only add to the crewing problems. Could we go further than joint exercises and do sharing of assets?

    The French currently use the A-69 (D’Estienne d’Orves-class) as OPVs having removed much of the equipment for ASW and ASuW. These vessels are old as the hills with the first of the class entering service in 1976, the youngest of the current vessels entering service in 1981! They are planning to replace these and the much smaller OPV54 Flament class with new vessels starting in 2025. Going on what the budget is expected to be something of the capability of the P60 is likely, therefore rather than having vessels tied up due to lack of crew could we not offer sharing of the P60s?

    It could be that command is retained by a Irish captain but he has French officers under his command along with some more French crew? And that the P60s and A69s operate as a joint force patrolling the Atlantic EEZs of our two nations. Asset sharing is nothing new in military field especially the air domain where NATO has had shared E3 and C17 assets and the EU will now begin with its A330 MRTT fleet. Could we bring this to the marine environment?

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    Interesting concept. The history of military cooperation with France goes back to the Wild Geese and 1798, so that'll appeal to the "Anybody but The Brits ans USA" crowd, and there is something to be gained by both sides. Ireland could also offer useful bases for French air assets.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Interesting concept. The history of military cooperation with France goes back to the Wild Geese and 1798, so that'll appeal to the "Anybody but The Brits ans USA" crowd, and there is something to be gained by both sides. Ireland could also offer useful bases for French air assets.
    Not really cooperation rather an opportunity for France to wield power and weaken Britian's ability to wage war against France. None of it ended up winning medals. I.m all for cooperation, each contributor operating their own platforms. Some countries are very reluctant to converse outside of their own languages and traditions. There is a common language in Airborne operations both Civil and Military, not sure about waterborne operations and a common language. We are capable of better but are kept hungry, poorly shod in a military sense, and housed in past times by frugal stop/go budgeting. The French will do it so close up the purse lads.
    Last edited by ancientmariner; 13th August 2020 at 10:48.

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    The difficulty of course being that French Naval OPVs also guard the approaches to the French naval bases at Lorient, where its submarine fleet is based, including the Nuclear ones. Imagine the outrage if it was known that Irish Naval vessels were supporting the French Nuclear first strike capability?
    Keep in mind that an Irish MEP was crew aboard the Rainbow warrior when it was sunk by French special forces in Auckland Harbour in 1985, as Greenpeace attempted to prevent Nuclear testing in the Pacific. A Greenpeace Photographer died as a result of this explosion, which the NZ PM at the time called "an act of State Sponsored Terrorism", of which there are still many unanswered questions as to the level of French Government involvement and support.
    It was this event that made NZ decide it needed ANZAC Frigates to protect its waters, and not OPVs.
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    I wasn’t aware of any Irish connection to the Rainbow Warrior. That could make a difference (although certain political parties keep saying 1985 was too long ago to worry about!)
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    I wasn’t aware of any Irish connection to the Rainbow Warrior. That could make a difference (although certain political parties keep saying 1985 was too long ago to worry about!)
    She was from the extreme fringe of educated sports person , an activist, anti nuclear, and was some years on Rainbow warrior, including trying to board a russian warship on a hauling anchor chain. She was there at the attack in NZ. Was an MEP and a Green Senator. The pedigree is disruptive with goals focused but not national wanting to save the Planet by unilateral actions in her home country.

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    The difficulty of course being that French Naval OPVs also guard the approaches to the French naval bases at Lorient, where its submarine fleet is based, including the Nuclear ones. Imagine the outrage if it was known that Irish Naval vessels were supporting the French Nuclear first strike capability?
    Keep in mind that an Irish MEP was crew aboard the Rainbow warrior when it was sunk by French special forces in Auckland Harbour in 1985, as Greenpeace attempted to prevent Nuclear testing in the Pacific. A Greenpeace Photographer died as a result of this explosion, which the NZ PM at the time called "an act of State Sponsored Terrorism", of which there are still many unanswered questions as to the level of French Government involvement and support.
    It was this event that made NZ decide it needed ANZAC Frigates to protect its waters, and not OPVs.
    The French SSBN fleet is located at L'Île Longue which is just across the bay from Brest. It is their holy of holys, there is more change of the entire crew of an Irish OPV sleeping with the French presidents wife than their is of an Irish OPV getting anywhere near one of their nuclear missile boats! In any case they are more interested about what might be underwater trying to catch Le Triomphant or her sisters and that is left to the ASW frigates based in Brest. It may be that when it enters service the EPF might take over some of this but it is nt usually expected from the OPV's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    I wasn’t aware of any Irish connection to the Rainbow Warrior. That could make a difference (although certain political parties keep saying 1985 was too long ago to worry about!)
    I think the French owe us on that one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Not really cooperation rather an opportunity for France to wield power and weaken Britian's ability to wage war against France. None of it ended up winning medals. I.m all for cooperation, each contributor operating their own platforms. Some countries are very reluctant to converse outside of their own languages and traditions. There is a common language in Airborne operations both Civil and Military, not sure about waterborne operations and a common language. We are capable of better but are kept hungry, poorly shod in a military sense, and housed in past times by frugal stop/go budgeting. The French will do it so close up the purse lads.
    As for language, English is the working language for all NATO military's so at least at NCO & officer level communications are not much of a problem. True the French do prefer if one at least tries to speak their language so it is a good excuse to dust off the French learnt for Leaving Cert.......even if you weren't great and most has been forgotten.

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    Leaving Cert French won't get you very far in France , and what will the French say when served Le Petit Dejeuner Irlandais .
    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laners View Post
    Leaving Cert French won't get you very far in France , and what will the French say when served Le Petit Dejeuner Irlandais .
    While L/C French won't get you far, the mere fact you tried will.

  19. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    While L/C French won't get you far, the mere fact you tried will.
    And a French giggle .
    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

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  21. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laners View Post
    And a French giggle .
    Always remembering that historically the French Navy were uncertain of their prowess , leadership and viability. They still have brassbound patriotic admonitions at action positions aboard their ships. In 1798 they executed many of their lineage commanders setting themselves up for a drubbing in 1805.

  22. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    While L/C French won't get you far, the mere fact you tried will.
    You might get more than a giggle if you were to pronounce "mere" with a slight d sound towards the end of it .
    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

  23. #15
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    Why not? given the frequency of French formal visits here, the DF might as well, especially if they put more boots on the ground in Mali, in an offensive mode.

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  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    The French SSBN fleet is located at L'Île Longue which is just across the bay from Brest. It is their holy of holys, there is more change of the entire crew of an Irish OPV sleeping with the French presidents wife than their is of an Irish OPV getting anywhere near one of their nuclear missile boats! In any case they are more interested about what might be underwater trying to catch Le Triomphant or her sisters and that is left to the ASW frigates based in Brest. It may be that when it enters service the EPF might take over some of this but it is nt usually expected from the OPV's.
    But if it can free up the French ships to protect there, they might be interested.

    I can remember reading simewhere about talk in the 1930's about Franco-Irish military cooperation or alliance (presumably with an eye on the developing situation) but the UK scuppering it. Anybody know anything about it, or is it my imagination?
    Last edited by Flamingo; 14th August 2020 at 10:42.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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    The French have recently signed a military co-operation treaty with Cyprus and have already started to piss the Turks off. They seem to have had enough of Turkey claiming to be a good NATO member but yet doing everything it can to show it is not. The earlier confrontation between the French and Turks over enforcement of the arms embargo of Libya is a good example.

    As part of Macron's push for closer co-operation within the EU we can be assured that the French would be open for closer co-operation. The French would like to have a powerful counter weight against Anglo/Saxon domination of EU defence that comes from the current domination within NATO of the USA/UK pairing. Co-operation on the protection of of EU EEZ zones would be something we should be able to get behind.

    On the equipment front it could also be interesting, they have recently started a project to replace their CPV and OPV vessels, 4 new CPVs & 10 new OPVs coming into service starting in 2025. Seeing how of resources are and that by then the Peacocks will be nearly 40 maybe the new French CPV could be something we might want.

  27. #18
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    We discussed this in other threads, the French OPV will be better suited to their Med work, with much smaller vessels already in use patrolling the sheltered Naval inlets on the north Atlantic coast. The fact that they teamed up with Italy Spain and Greece in the EPC for this plan reinforces this.
    They will replace vessels currently based in Cherbourg and Brest, including the P400s, the A69s and the newer Flamants. While expected to be similar in length (80m) they will have a much smaller displacement, closer to the P20s.
    That said the French like to pack large crews into tiny ships. They are welcome to it. Might be fine hugging the Normandy coastline in the summer months, but rather unpleasant in the Bay of Biscay in Early November.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
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  29. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    We discussed this in other threads, the French OPV will be better suited to their Med work, with much smaller vessels already in use patrolling the sheltered Naval inlets on the north Atlantic coast. The fact that they teamed up with Italy Spain and Greece in the EPC for this plan reinforces this.
    They will replace vessels currently based in Cherbourg and Brest, including the P400s, the A69s and the newer Flamants. While expected to be similar in length (80m) they will have a much smaller displacement, closer to the P20s.
    That said the French like to pack large crews into tiny ships. They are welcome to it. Might be fine hugging the Normandy coastline in the summer months, but rather unpleasant in the Bay of Biscay in Early November.
    The vessel depicted looks very like their intermediate Frigate proposal for 2025 commissioning, with a crew of around 150 and air detachment when helo on board and or operate a large drone A/C. It looks designed as a weapons platform only, with an assigned role such as ASW, AA etc. It's 4500 tonne and 17.5 metre beam. We need to consider multi-role within all our ships, with all round Defence up to Corvette capability.

  30. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    That said the French like to pack large crews into tiny ships. They are welcome to it. Might be fine hugging the Normandy coastline in the summer months, but rather unpleasant in the Bay of Biscay in Early November.
    The reality is actually quite a bit different:
    La Fayette class (3800t) crew of 141
    ANZAC (3810t) crew of 189
    Adelaide class (4100t) crew of 221

    The crew accommodation aboard modern French navy vessels is not something to be laughed at, the standard is some of the best going.

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  32. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    The vessel depicted looks very like their intermediate Frigate proposal for 2025 commissioning, with a crew of around 150 and air detachment when helo on board and or operate a large drone A/C. It looks designed as a weapons platform only, with an assigned role such as ASW, AA etc. It's 4500 tonne and 17.5 metre beam. We need to consider multi-role within all our ships, with all round Defence up to Corvette capability.
    It is the Italian proposal for the EPC, which is around 1000t smaller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    The reality is actually quite a bit different:
    La Fayette class (3800t) crew of 141
    ANZAC (3810t) crew of 189
    Adelaide class (4100t) crew of 221

    The crew accommodation aboard modern French navy vessels is not something to be laughed at, the standard is some of the best going.
    Last French Patrol vessel I was on was Epee. You had to walk sideways down passageways, it was 40m long, had a crew of 17, was capable of 26kn and it made it's way as far as Limerick.
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  35. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    ... Imagine the outrage if it was known that Irish Naval vessels were supporting the French Nuclear first strike capability?
    *le sigh* The French nuclear deterrent is a second strike capability. That's the whole reason for its existence. Their first strike "stop right there" warning is the ASMP/T.

  36. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Last French Patrol vessel I was on was Epee. You had to walk sideways down passageways, it was 40m long, had a crew of 17, was capable of 26kn and it made it's way as far as Limerick.
    Must have been after Feb '86 when she had been transferred to the Gendarmerie Maritime, she was broken-up in 2011. Thankfully the accommodation is much better on the modern large vessels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    *le sigh* The French nuclear deterrent is a second strike capability. That's the whole reason for its existence. Their first strike "stop right there" warning is the ASMP/T.
    You know that facts have no bearing on the nuclear disarmament debate. Just shout Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukishima repeatedly (even though none were military accidents). Like a Kraftwerk chorus.
    The fact is Nuclear Disarmament comes with a small N. These people want total disarmament. The notion that if there was no guns there would be no war. Which as the makers of spears, arrows and pointy rocks know is not accurate.

    But they shout louder.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

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