A Royal Navy Lynx helicopter has arrived on board a French frigate as part of an Anglo-French anti-piracy operation.
The aircraft from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton is being deployed on the FS Surcouf for Operation Atalanta during which the warship will patrol off the Horn of Africa until March next year.
The Lynx helicopter and its 12 RN personnel, which joined the warship at Toulon, will spend four weeks training with the French crew ahead of setting sail at the end of the month. Flight Commander Lieutenant Mike Curd said: "To be given the opportunity to learn the language and then spend an entire deployment operating with the French navy is fantastic and my team is very excited, not only to be contributing to counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, but to be doing it in such unusual circumstances."
The deployment falls under the terms of the Lancaster House Treaty in which the UK and France agreed military co-operation to meet their international commitments and strengthen their capability.
Operation Atalanta is part of the European Union's ongoing naval effort to disrupt and deter piracy in a bid to reduce its impact on international trade and the security of countries in the region.