France Sends Warships to South China Sea

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France is sending an amphibious assault warship and frigate on a long-term deployment that will see them pass through the South China Sea twice. The mission left its home port of Toulon on Feb. 18 and is due to return on July 14, Bastille Day.

Captain Arnaud Tranchant, commanding officer of the Tonnerre amphibious assault helicopter carrier, told Naval News the ships will “work to strengthen” France’s partnership with the four Quad nations — the , Japan, India and Australia.

Nikkei Asia reports the amphibious ready group will hold France’s first joint military drills with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Navy in May. The exercise will be focused on defending remote islands.

SOURCES: Ministry of Armed Forces (France), French Military, Naval Times, Nikkei Asia, Reuters
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