Denmark wants to deploy a frigate with France’s carrier strike group in 2019

Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes sails with US Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in 2017. Photo: Royal Danish Navy

Denmark’s defense ministry announced on Friday it’s intention to deploy one of its frigates to France where it would join the French Navy aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle for exercises in early 2019.

Early 2019 is when the Marine Nationale’s sole aircraft carrier is expected to make a return to the fleet after an 18-month, mid-life refit.

Denmark’s defense ministry noted that Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen would express his country’s interest in deploying a frigate with French units to French president Emmanuel Macron next week.

Should France invite a Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate for exercises, the deployment would last between three and four months and see the joint task group operate in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The ministry said the main goal of the deployment for Denmark would be to allow Royal Danish Navy sailors to train with French and other partner units including those from the US and the UK. At the same time, the Danish frigate will be tasked with providing air defense commander capabilities for the carrier strike group.

This would not be the first deployment of a Royal Danish Navy frigate with a carrier strike group as HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362) joined US aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) for six months of operations in the Middle East in early 2017.

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