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Super-Etendard Modernized (SEM)

To allow the Super- Etendard fulfill its tasks in an operational environment increasingly demanding, improvements were made to it over time and were grouped in standard (Standard 2, 3, 4 and 5). From 1992, with the appearance of the standard 2, the plane had significantly increased operational capabilities, and took the name of Super-Etendard modernized (SEM). The 11F received its first three SEMs on February 8, 1994, it is transformed on Super-Extended modernized from November 27, 1995.

Although its ergonomics is characteristic of the 1960s, the armament of the modernized Super-Etendard undeniably testified to its belonging to the years after 2000. Unquestionable improvements have indeed been made to the aircraft. The evolutions of standards 1 and 2 concern the cabin and the radar. From 1992, the date of the appearance of the standard 2, the aircraft with the greatly increased operational capacities took the name of Super-Etendard modernized (SEM). The standard 3 then allows firing by laser guidance. Standard 4 improves the self-protection system against anti-aircraft missiles and the autonomy of the aircraft for laser-guided weapons fire. It also allows the pod CRM 280, which allows the aircraft to carry out reconnaissance missions.

The standard 3 (1997) then allowed firing by laser guidance (carried by the Atlis pod mounted under the fuselage). Standard 4 (2000), for its part, improves the self-protection system against anti-aircraft missiles and the autonomy of the aircraft for laser-guided weapons fire. It also allows the pod CRM 280, which allows the aircraft to carry out air reconnaissance missions (formerly devolved to Etendard IV P removed from service in 2000). Finally, standard 5 (2006) allowed numerous improvements, such as the night attack capability (Damocles designation).

The Super-Etendard 01, 02 and 03 were prototypes. The Super- Etendard 1, 2 and 3 were the first production aircraft. The Super-tendard 01 became a training cell on the Naval Aeronautical Base (BAN) of Landivisiau before being transformed into a stele at the Toulouse Aeronautical Test Center (CEAT). The second prototype (02) had a rather close fate: sent as a training cell on the Rochefort BAN (School of Mechanics), it was transferred to the Museum of Traditions of Naval Aeronautics located on the same base. As for the Super-Etendard 03, it has been transformed into Standard IVM No. 13.

From the very beginning of the crisis in Kosovo and throughout its course, the aircraft carrier Foch was at the heart of the French system in the Adriatic. The average flight time for the Super Etendards per flight was 1.30 hours, while the flight times for ground pilots could exceed 4 hours. Near-target positioning and greater responsiveness to meteorological constraints limited the number of flight canceled missions to only 20% .

The success of the modernized Super Etendards demonstrated the interest in this type of crisis of an aircraft carrier with catapults and stops, whereas the three British aircraft carriers could not be used for missions of 'Assault against the earth, the range of action, With their short-take-off Harrier aircraft not suitable for this type of mission. On the other hand, flotilla 11F, composed of 18 SEMs (14 shooters, 4 tankers), completed one third of the French strikes (4% of the Alliance's assault missions) and more than 450 sorties in 70 days of operations . The firing of 268 laser-guided GBU-12 bombs had the highest hit rate of the entire Alliance (73%).

During the period of Unavailability for Maintenance and Repair (IPER) of the "Charles de Gaulle" in 2007, the organization GAETAN or Aerial Group to Land of the Naval Aeronautics was created to replace the usual organization of the air group. It is composed of a core of 6 modernized Super-Etendard (SEM), 4 Rafale M and 1 E-2C Hawkeye and brings together 150 people from each fleet (pilots and technicians). The operational capacities of the fleets are conserved from the ground and according to the needs, and on the orders of the chief of staff of the armies detachments can be engaged in the theaters of external operations.

From June to October 2008, a modernized Super-Etendard detachment deployed at Kandahar Air Force Base in southern Afghanistan. Although since 2001, naval aeronautical SEMs had been regularly operating in this theater from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, this was the first time they were operating from a land base. The 8 planes that took turns in Kandahar, with the light gray livery "Kandahar", are the SEM: 1, 8, 17, 24, 31, 41, 51 and 61. The first "bordered" is sent to raise three Rafale Of the fighter squadron 1/7 Provence of the Air Force, as part of Operation Serpentaire. They carried out reconnaissance missions to the coalition, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). After approximately 88 sorties representing 387 hours of flying time, the SEMs of the 17.F fleet returned from deployment at the end of July. In order to ensure their succession, the SEMs of the second landing arise on July 27 in Afghanistan. After 244 sorties representing 930 flying hours and 180 missions including 119 close air support, they left the country in October and were relieved by three Mirage 2000 D squadrons 2/3 Champagne and 3/3 Ardennes Army air.

The numbers 10, 33, 37, 43, 44, 65 are the serial numbers of Super-Etendard that operated from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off Libya. They associate their serial number with a department and its prefecture. Traditions have always played a large role in the fleets. This one reappeared in 2009, on the initiative of the commander of the 17F. During the Operation Harmattan, SEM 10, 33, 37, 43, 65 and 44 were proudly displaying the coats of arms of the Aube, the Gironde, the Indre et Loire, the Haute-Loire, the Hautes Pyrnes and The Loire-Atlantique, associated with the names of Troyes, Bordeaux, Tours, Le Puy-en-Velay, Tarbes and Nantes.

Super-Etendard had many liveries (exterior paintings), for operational reasons, but also for reasons of commemoration. Thus, the main operative liveries were a white / blue until the 1990s, then a livery gray 2 tones that they still possess. The "Mouse Gray" war livery marked the Kandahar detachment in 2008, while the "Tiger Meet" battle livery followed in 1986, 1997, 2003, 2007 and 2008. In addition, commemorations were carried out on certain occasions, notably for the 80 years of Flotilla 11F (2002), for the Centenary of Naval Aeronautics (2010) and for the 40th anniversary of Super- Etendard (2014). Finally, a livery presentation "sand" was exhibited in 1987 at the Paris Air Show, in order to attract foreign buyers.

At the annual NATO air show "Tiger Meet", the 11F SEM regularly exchange their traditional camouflaged dress gray and khaki for a much more daring adornment. The 11F participated in its first Tiger Meet in the summer of 1979 in Cambrai, France. As the only fleet of the naval fleet that is part of the NATO Tigers, the 11F organized the Tiger Meet for the first time in 2008 in Landivisiau. At the same time, the 17F SEMs, all claws outside, were fighting in Kandahar.

During the "Brilliant Mariner" mission in 2010, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle crossed the North Sea. The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajkull requires the carrier to go far north to find diversion of land not affected by the ash cloud. This diversion will have the effect of shifting the Arctic circle to the aircraft carrier and, consequently, of stealing modernized Super- Etendards (and Rafale) over the Arctic Circle. A specific logo is affixed to the SEMs that have carried out these Nordic flights.

In the summer of 2012, the Landivisiau Naval Aeronautics Base participated in the Navy's outreach by relocating a modernized Super-Etendard for static display in the Brest arsenal. Thus, it is by road, disassembled on a truck, that the SEM 30 (aircraft reformed) was routed in the arsenal to participate in the festivals of the sail of BREST 2012. It was brought back to Landivisiau by the same way.

Regularly, naval fighter aircraft made presentations on landing on US aircraft carriers during PASSEX and joint exercises. The modernized Super-Etendard therefore had the opportunity on numerous occasions to carry TAG ( Touch and Go ) on US aircraft carriers, but without ever touching on one of them. Indeed, if the landing is possible for the SEM, catapulting is not. In question, aviation installations were not adapted to this aircraft. The Rafale, for its part, can easily be picked up and catapulted by the American catapults, which are identical to those of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

The strength of naval aeronautics - and especially the airborne group - has always been fond of traditional articles. Its actors have often wanted to commemorate missions or events by the edition of embroidered patches, in order to be able to proudly exhibit them on the combinations of flight. The Super-Etendard was therefore repeated many times in embroidery in order to decorate the outfits, while marking the history of the hunting fleets. Obviously, the 40th anniversary of Super-Etendard is no exception and will also be engraved in the great series of patches of tradition. With a touch of humor using the Super- tendard (SUE) and Super- Etendard modernized (SEM) trigrams : "40 years of SUE, 40 years of SEM".

In "Mystery in Antarctica", comic book of the series Buck Danny by Francis Bergese, (Dupuis 2005), Super-Etendard makes an appearance. He is also the star of two other comics: in the first twelve albums of the series "Mission Kimono" (Jean-Yves Brouard and Francis Nicole, JYB Aventures, 2001/2011) and "L'Enigme W" Brochard and Daniel Chauvin at Fleurus in 1986).

The transformation of the 11F fleet on Rafale took place on September 19th, 2011 and the SEM page was definitely turned in 2016 with the "Rafale rock" of the 17F, which still had 8 to 10 SEM.

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Page last modified: 09-04-2017 16:01:35 ZULU