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PCAT at Reims

Présentation Commune Air-Terre (PCAT)

Each year, the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air) organizes a demonstration of it's concepts in an exibition. The aim of this exhibition is to demonstrate the capabilities of the French Air Force. For CFAP (Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Projection or Transport Command) and for CFAC (Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Combat or Fighter Command). The exhibition was known as the "Enseignements Militaire Superieure" (EMS) when it began 17 years ago. In these early days, EMS was a 2 day event starting with a show of the transport aircraft at Base Aerienne Orleans. The second day demonstrated some live bombing by fighter aircraft at Base Aerienne Cazaux. Due to budget cuts, the 2 day event was decreased to a 1 day event for the last 6 years. The aim of EMS was to demonstrate the concepts of the Armee de l'Air to the audience students from all military academies in France and invited military attaché's from foreign embassies in Paris. This year the Air Force exercise was combined with a similar Army exercise. During the morning the Base Aerienne Reims (BA 112) was the location of a large static show. Both Air Force and Army units showed their weapons and concepts on the ground. Each section (fighter, transport, Air-to-Ground etc ) had a theme location, and the visitors were guided through the themes


This year there were only a few new items to demonstrate. The most remarkable event this year was the appearance of the new unmanned drone named 'MALE' (Moyenne Alitude Longue Endurance), that is derived from the Israeli drone 'HERON'. New was also the removable refueling-boom attached to the new Search-And-Rescue helicopter EC-725 'Caracal'. This boom can extend between 4 and 7 meters to obtain fuel from a tanker aircraft. Another novelty was the enhanced version of the Transall Gabriel Renove (TGR) used for electronic reconnaissance.

Mourmelon dynmic show

During the afternoon all visitors went to the dynamic show at the nearby 'Camp de Mourmelon' Army range. Mourmelon is used for Army exercises, dating back to the days of Napoleon III. At the Mourmelon range the visitors were shown a variety on integrated Air Force and Army demonstrations. Like air attacks by fighter aircraft, parachutists and cargo dropping by transport aircraft, and SAR mission by 2 Caracal helicopters. The French Army demonstrated the deployment of various tanks and assault vehicles, while the Tigre helicopter would fly overhead for tank suppression. A recent addition to the demonstrations were the anti-terrorism demos and the demos regarding the natural disasters. Main goal of the dynamic show was to demonstrate the improving cooperation and interoperability between the French Air Force and Army, as both services work together in foreign countries for the United Nations and the NATO. The fighter aircraft that participated during the dynamic show, flew their missions from the Reims airbase. Besides all regulair aircraft and helicopters from the French air force (Mirage 2000; Mirage F-1, Rafale, Fennc, Caracal), there were also a number of foreign aircraft, to demonstrate the European cooperation. German Tornados participated together with Belgium F-16s and Swiss F/A-18s above the Mourmelon range, in various roles like SAM suppression and fighter patrol. After the dynamic show, most aircraft and helicopters returned to the Reims airbase for refueling; later they all went back to their homebases. All other participating aircraft, like the C-135F and the E-3 flew the demo missions from their homebases.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to SIRPA.AIR (Paris) for their support and Maurice Danos (Aviation Francaise) for the photos at the Mourmelon range.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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