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France

French air force general used fighter jet for weekend trips

media A French Alphajet flying over Greenland Olivier Ravenel/Sirpa Air/AFP

The second-in-command of France's air force used a fighter jet regularly to fly to his country house in Provence for weekends, a weekly paper claimed Wednesday.

General Richard Reboul used an Alphajet trainer aircraft around 10 times in the past year to travel from a training academy in Bordeaux, where he is based, to his country house in Salon-de-Provence about 600 kilometres away, the Canard Enchaîné reports.

The general, who is in charge of a training school for air force pilots, had been making the round-trip in the training jet since August last year, according to the weekly paper.

800 litres of fuel

The one-hour flight to Salon-de-Provence -- which also has a training base where he landed -- guzzles 800 litres of fuel, according to the Canard, adding that on one occasion the former fighter pilot used a small military transporter for the trip.

The Defence Ministry has ordered an investigation into the report.

Ongoing investigation

"Information on the improper use of air force resources by a senior military officer has come to the attention of the defence minister [Florence Parly]," the ministry said late Tuesday, adding there would be "consequences" if the claims were confirmed.

The air force is also investigating the matter.

The Alphajet, which is jointly manufactured by France's Dassault Aviation and Germany's Dornier Flugzeugwerke, is designed for use both in training and light attack missions.

The French use it to train fighter pilots.

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