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French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle : In Pictures

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). 

The aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65 ), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, steams alongside the smaller French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaul (R 91), in the Mediterranean Sea.
The ship is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel. Furthermore, with a cost of over $3 Billion, the French spared no expense. However, problems persist. Not, Admiral Kuznetsov problems, but issues.

Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov

Aboard the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91) 16 February 2002 — A U.S. Navy C-2A “Greyhound” from the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) lands on the flight deck of the French aircraft carrier amid French “Super Etendard” carrierborne strike fighters, during joint exercises with the French Navy. The C-2A was attached to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Both carriers were deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Furthermore, the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy. 

She is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle.

A WWII photo portrait of General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French Forces and first president of the Fifth Republic serving from 1959 to 1969. 

Her complement includes Dassault Rafale M and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. In addition, AS365F Dauphin Pedro, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for combat search and rescue, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles. 

Moreover, she is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses two 75 m C13‑3 steam catapults.

These catapults are a shorter version of the catapult system installed in the U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, one catapult at the bow and one across the front of the landing area. 

At sea aboard Charles De Gaulle (R 91) Feb. 28, 2002 – A U.S. Navy E-2C “Hawkeye” from the “Golden Hawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron One One Two (VAW-112) prepares to take off from the flight deck of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The “Hawkeye” embarked with Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) moreover made an arrested landing and catapult launch from the French carrier to demonstrate multinational capabilities between the two navies. Lastly, John C. Stennis and coalition forces are conducting combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Kimara Scott. (RELEASED)
Experienced US catapult operators helped train the French carrier’s catapult crew.
020820-N-4956W-001 Toulon, France (Aug. 20, 2002) Ð U.S. Naval Aviation (NAVAIR) Carrier and Field Service Unit (CAFSU) representative Dale Hafer (left) takes measurements of a catapult power cylinder following resizing of the cylinder aboard the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle (R 91). Kevin Vanderberry, another NAVAIR CAFSU representative, records the measurements. NAVAIR is providing maintenance support to the French Carrier in port. U.S. Navy photo. (RELEASED)

The French used nuclear submarine reactors rather than designing new ones.

In addition, major propeller faults occur at high speeds and as a result, 27 knots is her full speed, the slowest carrier in the world.

Furthermore, her flight deck was too short for her intended plane. 12ft too short to allow for safe take-off and landing by its complement of 40 combat and Awacs spotter planes. According to A French armed forces spokesman. “In bad weather they will be able to land, but they would find themselves at the very end of the deck. That’s not a very healthy situation.”

The carriers Cavour, Truman, and De Gaulle (IT, US, FR) in the Gulf of Oman in 2013 – (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ethan M. Schumacher/Released)

Like their battleships which had benches for the soldiers.

De Gaulle has furnished canteens, wardrooms and gyms might have been designed for a cruise ship.

Currently, Charles de Gaulle is the only non-American carrier-vessel that has a catapult launch system. As a result, has allowed for operation of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and C-2 Greyhounds of the US Navy.


Naval vessels from five nations move in parade formation for a rare photographic opportunity at sea. In addition, four descending columns, from left to right: ITS Maestrale (F 570), De Grasse (D 612); USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Charles de Gaulle (R91), Surcouf (F 711); USS Port Royal (CG-73), HMS Ocean (L12), USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne (D560). Lastly and HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831).

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle