West Africa - SahelBlog AnalysisMissions Operations

Barkhane: the Danish Merlin operational

(B2) The transport helicopter detachment AW-101 Merlin of the Danes has been fully operational since December 24, we learn from the French army general staff. The 70 soldiers who made it up carried out a first logistical operation for the benefit of Operation Barkhane two days later

The Merlins in Gao. (©EMA)

The “Danish Air Task Unit” therefore began its mission around twenty days ahead of schedule. The first helicopter began its training flights around Gao in mid-December, the second arriving on the 18th of the same month.

The two aircraft, with their capacity to transport around thirty men or up to five tonnes of cargo, offer logistical support to French troops. The need for rotary wings still remains significant in this theater of operations, where they provide a crucial advantage in maneuvers.

Before committing to Barkhane, Denmark had already supported the French operation Serval in 2013 by providing a transport plane. He also regularly contributes to the United Nations stabilization mission in Mali (Minusma).



Romain Mielcarek

Romain Mielcarek is a defense and international journalist. Correspondent of B2 in Paris, he also collaborates with DSI, RFI and Le Monde Diplomatique. Holder of a doctoral thesis in information and communication sciences, he also conducts academic research on military influence. His latest book: "Arms dealers, a French business" (Tallandier, 2017).

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