Though retired in 2000, the Breguet Alize became an important anti-submarine warfare platform aboard French aircraft carriers during the Cold War.
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The Breguet Br.1050 "Alize" (meaning "tradewind") was a French production aircraft suitable for carrier-based anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics. The system was fielded in limited quantity throughout the Cold War and proved itself a capable performer, appearing on major French aircraft carriers of the time. India became the only other operator of the system, accounting for 12 such examples with the French Navy maintaining no fewer than 70 of their own on sea-based and land-based operations.
The Br.1050 is a most distinct-looking aircraft, particularly in the design of the nose assembly. A crew of three monitors the various systems aboard the craft and the system sits low to the ground when at rest. The wings are designed to be carrier-friendly and expectantly fold up for better storage. Power is supplied by a single piston engine of Rolls-Royce brand delivering some 2,100 horsepower.
Initially a Breguet design known as the Br.960 "Vultur" and designed as a conventional strike aircraft, the Br.960 grew into the Br.965 as French Navy requirements changed. The resulting Br.965 later became the definitive anti-submarine warfare system designated as the Br.1050. The Br.1050 offered up exceptional range at some 1,785 miles while being able to carry combined armaments of depth charges, air-to-surface torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles, making the Alize a potent and lethal ship-borne element to the French fleet.
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