Counter-piracy mission off Somalia to be extended until 2014, France sends two more warships
The decision to extend the mission will enable Operation Atalanta Forces to work directly with the Transitional Federal Government and other Somali entities to support their fight against piracy in the coastal areas. In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Somali government has notified the UN Secretary General of its acceptance of the EU’s offer for this new collaboration.
The EUNAVFOR fleet which normally includes between 4 and 7 warships will be joined by two French Navy vessels. the frigate FS Gerges Leygues and amphibious assualt ship FS Dixmude
FS Gerges Leygues, named after the 19 Century French Navy minister and commissioned in 1979, is a multi role frigate. In addition to its high top speed, the ships two Lynx helicopters will significantly increase the EU forces capability to patrol the Indian Ocean and disrupt potential pirates.
The helicopter carrier FS Dixmude, the French Navy’s newest warship also joins the counter-piracy operation. At over 20,000 tons this ship is capable of acting as a sea borne, mobile operating base for up to 16 helicopters, adding to the speed of response and reach of EU NAVFOR.