On Thursday July 23, under the shining sun in the Sea of Iroise, the WG-13 Lynx helicopter of the Flotilla 34F took off for the last time from the anti-submarine frigate Latouche-Tréville.
In service since 1979 on the ships of the Naval Action Force (in particular the F67- and F70-class frigates, with a primary anti-submarine role, this helicopter, the first to be designed specifically to be embarked on surface units, was successfully engaged in the missions of the French Navy during his 40 years of active service, in particular for the protection of the Strategic Oceanic Force and of the carrier strike group.
Primarily used in the French Navy for anti-submarine warfare missions, the Lynx was the principal naval helicopter from 1979 to the present. Versatile, it was also engaged in missions ranging from the fight against drug trafficking and piracy to State action at sea, including anti-ship combat.
The last squadron to operate Lynx is the Flotilla 34F, based in Lanvéoc-Poulmic. Created on September 9, 1974 in Saint Raphaël, it was then equipped with Alouette helicopters in anti-submarine version. On January 14, 1975, the flotilla moved to the Lanvéoc-Poulmic naval air base. In 1979, the first Lynx helicopter reached the 34F. The flotilla then became an anti-submarine warfare unit and trained to operate in all weathers, and by day and night.
As part of the Mercator Plan, the entire Navy is modernizing to face new threats. The retirement of the Lynx is part of this process of modernizing naval aviation and in particular its helicopter component. The missions carried out by the Lynx are taken over by the multi-role Caïman Marine (NH90) helicopters, whose highly advanced equipment is perfectly suited to modern anti-submarine warfare.
The FASM-F70 / Lynx couple is now replaced by the FREMM / Caïman Marine couple.