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What are the means of Operation Sophia (EUNAVFOR Med) in its phase 2?

(BRUSSELS2) In its second phase, which starts today, Operation Sophia (formerly EUNAVFOR Med) will have 6 ships and 7 air resources (planes and helicopters), slightly more than during the first phase, limited to intelligence and the collection of information (read: Operation EUNAVFOR Med is launched. The means mobilized (exclusive)). 3 other ships should come in the coming weeks to reinforce those already present (as we announced on B2 Pro a few weeks ago, read: Small success for the generation of forces of Eunavfor Med, phase 2. Who will participate?). However, it will not be necessary to add up the means, some only remaining for a few weeks.

6 vessels currently in the area

le Italian helicopter carrier Cavour which remains the flagship where the Force Command (FHQ) is located.

la German frigate Schleswig-Holstein (F-216) and support ship Werra (A-514), a Type 404 Elbe-class vessel, is expected to be relieved shortly. Read also: Two German ships engaged in the Mediterranean in Operation EUNAVFOR Med

the british frigate HMS Enterprise (H-88), specialized in listening to the maritime environment, equipped with sonar, radar and other echo meters.

la French frigate Courbet (F-712), joined the EUNAVFOR force on Friday (October 2). This La Fayette (FLF) type stealth light frigate has a Panther helicopter from the 36F maritime aviation flotilla, based in Hyères (near Toulon). It is present for a limited time (about 6 weeks). FrigateCourbet2@Def1510

la Spanish frigate Canarias (F-86) which joined the force on Monday (October 5). The frigate arrived early in the morning, joining the Cavour in the military port of Augusta in Sicily. The Spanish sailors spent an entire day on board, time to complete procedures and operational deployment. A key moment in particular to install the communication devices (in particular a 'safe cat' of the Mercury type which allows the ships to communicate with each other. The Canarias frigate is a 'Santa María' class frigate, with a crew of 202 people. has an on-board helicopter, an SH-60B Seahawk, named 'Tweety', "equipped for night flights and intelligence patrols", according to Eunavfor HQ.FrigateCanarias@Eunavfor1510

To these resources will be added three other ships which will arrive in the area in the coming days or weeks.

The frigate Leopold I will soon join the Mediterranean. She sailed on Monday (October 5) from her base in Zeebrugge. With a crew of 175 soldiers, she should stay six weeks in the region, according to the Belga agency in an operation called on the Belgian side "Cooperative Venture". The frigate will then join the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, for a mission in the Persian Gulf. Mission not yet confirmed on the French side.

La Slovenian corvette Triglav 11, should be engaged in the operation for 4 months. She will set sail on October 16. The Slovenian commitment has taken a little delay, as confirmed by the spokesman of the army, Simon Korez. " Originally the ship was to leave for October 10, but due to the preparation and preparation of the armament, it took a little delay ». The Slovenes have, however, made a reservation to their commitment (caveat) at the process of boarding and inspecting ships if they were facing active resistance. In addition to the ship's crew (a former Russian Svetlyak-class patrol vessel), 12 officers and sailors also participate in the Force Headquarters and Role 2 (field hospital). 

The British frigate, HMS Richmond (F-239), a type 23 frigate, will take over from its counterpart.

On the air side, there are three maritime patrol aircraft

A Spanish P3 Orion, based in Sigonella (read: A Spanish P3 Orion for EUNAVFOR Med

A Luxembourgish Swearingen SW3 Merlin III aircraft, based in Malta


A French Falcon 50 aircraft, intermittently

At least 4 helicopters

Un italian helicopter EH 101 based in Sicily;

Lesson 3 shipboard helicopters committed ships (German, Spanish and French ships have them)

L'British EH 101 helicopter or AW101 Merlin MK2, which operated, with a crew of 4 people (two pilots, 1 observer, a crew technician), from Malta ended its commitment at the end of September. THE Tiger 01 (From 814 Naval Air Squadron) has a total of 92 flight hours, including 86 in operation, 31 missions completed, including 25 operational. Based in Malta, it generally operated from the Cavour Bridge. He had been present in the operation since July 7th.


Other means

Italian maritime drones

An Italian submarine (even of other nationalities... but which remain under national command hush!)

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).