French Gazelle & Tigre helicopters on the assault ship Tonnerre / © French Army
On the night of 3rd June 2011, French Army Aviation (ALAT) Gazelle & Tigre attack helicopters operating from the assault ship Tonnerre carried out their first combat mission in Libya.
As part of Operation Unified Protector and in a coordinated action with UK Apache helicopters operating from HMS Ocean, some twenty military objectives on the ground were attacked.
The commitment by ALAT of combat helicopters to operations over Libya is complementary to the air and naval resources already committed by coalition forces.
They ramped up the pressure on Gaddafi's forces that threaten the civilian population.
The attack helicopters, which embarked at Toulon on May 17th, are now committed to Operation Unified Protector.
This commitment is part of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorizes the commitment of military resources to protect Libyan civilian from attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces.