Does this mean the Marine Nationale now has a long-range bomber and the RAF doesn’t?
From Navy Recognition;
The French Navy (Marine Nationale) announced that on 18 June 2015, two Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol crews were qualified to GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb shooting procedures with self-designation. This flight marked the end of a training course which confronted crews to modern technologies used in air-to-ground support missions thanks to the Wescam MX-20D electro-optical turret fitted on ATL2 Standard V.
What makes this interesting is that this was the first time they have self designated, the ATL has been used previously in the ground attack role over Mali but only with offboard designation.
Next step is the smaller GB-58
This continues to demonstrate the value of teaming up large aircraft and precision weapons.