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Old 02-16-2009, 09:28 PM   #21
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The editor of Jane's Fighting Ships was on NPR.
He said that the French are not part of NATO, so they did not have the info about the underwater positioning of the British sub.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Bummer. The NATO countries generally share info about who's where & when.....
France are in and out NATO, and are currently out. The BBC report today on TV said they are due to re-join NATO in 2 months. The report also said that the USA and Britain share information on the locations of their Nuclear Subs but not with others.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dex View Post
The editor of Jane's Fighting Ships was on NPR.
He said that the French are not part of NATO, so they did not have the info about the underwater positioning of the British sub.
He's obviously misinformed. France is part of NATO (the alliance) and has been since day one (France is currently sending more troops to Afghanistan under NATO's command). But France is not currently a member of NATO's integrated military command infrastructure. France has announced plans to re-integrate NATO's military command in the next couple of months.

A bit more info:
Did France's Secrecy Cause a Nuclear Submarine Collision? - TIME

Quote:
NATO sources told TIME that France is not alone in withholding information about nuclear-armed submarines — the Brits and Americans keep the location of their strategic deterrent secret too. In a prepared statement, a NATO spokesman said: "France uses the same procedures with regard to its submarine fleet as all other allies."
So it looks like, even within NATO, it is difficult to know where the allies' strategic assets are located at any one time.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #24
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France to rejoin NATO Command

France to rejoin NATO command - CNN.com

France was a founding member of the alliance in 1949 but it left the military structure in 1966 amid frictions with the United States. France has continued, however, to contribute troops to NATO missions and to participate in NATO's political bodies.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
The editor of Jane's Fighting Ships was on NPR.
He said that the French are not part of NATO, so they did not have the info about the underwater positioning of the British sub.
It's always been messy. They've been participating in NATO exercises for years, but they have a reputation of attending all the planning conferences and then canceling at the last minute. That's bad enough, but then they show up at the post-exercise debrief.

Spouse had the same problem at one of her ASW commands where patrols were shared jointly among the U.S., Britain, & France. The U.S. P-3 would be on station waiting for the French to show up to relieve them... waiting... waiting... to be told that they'd just had a material failure and wouldn't be able to make it. Scramble another P-3 or a NIMROD. This could happen a few times a year with no hard feelings, but it seemed to happen more than 60% of their assigned missions.

The U.S. and Britain share info about SSBN patrols, although the OHIO class and the TRIDENT missile have made this less relevant than it was when the U.S. was patrolling in the North Atlantic and the Irish Sea in the 1980s. (OHIO class SSBNs don't even need to be out of homeport to be within range of most of their targets.) And any NATO nation will share info about their submarine movements so that other nation's boomers can quietly slink out of the way.

France is set to re-join NATO's command & control system in a few months, but it's still unclear whether they're going to share their SSBN area info.

There's some snarky speculation on military boards whether the French knew they'd hit a British sub, or if the Brits had to tell the French to check their sonar dome for British paint chips...
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