Jane’s reports that a French Gazelle external link helicopter crashed while flying near the border of Mali and Niger under the auspices of Operation ‘Barkhane’.
The incident occurred in mid-June. All three personnel onboard were reportedly immediately rescued. After a controlled crash landing, the two pilots were extracted by being strapped to the landing gear of an Airbus Tiger attack helicopter. The third person, a special forces soldier, destroyed the damaged Gazelle before being exfiltrated in another helicopter.
Operation Barkhane is a counter-insurgency operation in Africa’s Sahel region that started in August 2014. It consists of a 3,000-strong French Force.