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Charles de Gaulle (R91)
Aircraft carrier in the French Navy


Photo from U.S. federal government
Charles de Gaulle
Aircraft Carrier
Name: Charles de Gaulle
Class: Charles de Gaulle
Ordered: 3 February 1986
Builder: DCNS
Laid down: 14 April 1989
Launched: 7 May 1994
Commissioned: 18 May 2001
Complement: Ship's company: 1,350
Air wing: 600
38,000 tons empty
42,000 tons full load
Length: 261.5 metres (858 ft) overall
Beam: 64.36 metres (211.2 ft) overall
Draft: 9.43 metres (30.9 ft)
2 × K15 pressurised water reactors (PWR), 150 MW each
4 × diesel-electric
2 × shafts
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
4 × 8 cell SYLVER launchers carrying the MBDA Aster 15 surface to air missile.
2 × 6 cell Sadral launchers carrying
Mistral short range missiles
8 × Giat 20F2 20 mm cannons.
Sources for this site:
Navy site:
Web site's with more information:
Charles de Gaulle (R91) is the only serving French aircraft carrier and is the flagship of the French Navy, and the first and only nuclear-powered carrier built outside of the United States Navy.
The hull was laid down in April 1989 at the DCNS Brest naval shipyard, but the construction quickly fell behind schedule as the project was starved of funding, which was worsened by the economic recession in the early 1990s.
Work on the ship was suspended altogether on four occasions: 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995. The ship was commissioned on 18 May 2001, five years behind the projected deadline.
The ship suffered difficulties during its sea trials including a propulsion failure and abnormal vibration in the main engines. In 1998, engineering spaces were retrofitting to reduce excessive radiation doses during normal operation.

Aircraft carried:

Rafale M
40 aircraft, including
Rafale M
Super Étendard
E-2C Hawkeye
SA365 Dauphin helicopters
On the site of the French Navy there is following information about aircrafts:

 The carrier-borne aircraft programme Rafale is being furthered. In its first version (standard F1), the Rafale has been operational since June 2004.
For the moment, the aircraft only possesses interception capabilities but will receive day and night all-weather precision strike weapons in its next versions (F2 and F3) as well as a tactical data link (L16).
In the F2 version air-to-ground capabilities are included and the F3 version will receive, among other things, air-to-surface warfare equipment, a new day and night high resolution reconnaissance sensor and provide nuclear deterrent through the ASMPA missile.
Sensors and processing systems:

DRBJ 11 B tridimensional air search radar
DRBV 26D air search radar
DRBV 15C low altitude air search radar
Arabel target acquisition radar

Electronic warfare and decoys:

ARBR 21 Detector
ARBB 33 Countermeasures suite
ARBG2 MAIGRET Interceptor
4 × Sagaie decoys launcher
SLAT (Système de lutte anti-torpille) torpedo countermeasures

Exercise in the Mediterranean Sea on the French
with aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
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