|SPECIFICATIONS||PHOTOGRAPHS (Click on the pictures for an enlarged photo)|
Length: 860 ft
Width: 203 ft
Beam: 113 ft
Displacement: 40,600 tons
Propulsion: 2 PWR Type K15 nuclear reactors,
Speed: 27 knots
Airwing: 40 fixed, rotary
- 2 X 16 Aster SAM
- 2 X 6 Sadral SAM
- 8 X 20mm GIat CIWS
Ships in class: 1
The first of that class, the Charles De Gaulle, was launched in 1994, but not commissioned until 2000, suffering from numerous delays and problems with the nuclear reactors and overall design. After completion, the flight deck had to be lengthened to accomodate the E-2 Hawkeyes the French had purchased from the United States for AEW duties
When finally commissioned, on her first major voyage, the vessel developed cracks in the propeller and had to go back into the yards. Finally, in 2001 she was pronounced fully healthy and then helped take part in Operation Enduring Freedom against the Taliban in Afghanistan. She has been sailing and conducting operations ever since with the normal maintenance and repair layovers. Thjis has included significant and very successful crossdecking exerices with US nculear aircraft carriers, like the five week long "“Bois Belleau" exercises conducted with the US Navy Harry S. Truman nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea in December 2013.
With the successful launch, commissioning, and operations (albeit delayed) of the Charles de Gaulle, the French joined an elite club with nuclear aircraft carrier operations that contains only two countries, themselves and the United States.
The French have since decommissioned both of their other carriers, the Clemenceau has been scrapped and the Foche was sold to Brazil where it has been refitted and recommissioned in the Brazilain navy as the Sao Paulo, the flagship of their fleet.
The French had plan to build another nuclear carrier of the Charles de Gaulle class, but first opted to make it conventionally powered instead, and now have decided to forego a second carrier altogether for the forseeable future.
|View Guestbook||LINKS OF INTEREST||Sign Guestbook|
Copyright © 2005-2012 by Jeff Head
World-wide Aircraft Carrier Hit Counter
Free Hit Counter