What will the new French aircraft carrier look like?

France has decided to build a new generation aircraft carrier to replace the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

During a visit to the Framatome complex in Le Creusot, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his decision to equip a nuclear reactor for a promising aircraft carrier.

The cost of building a new aircraft carrier is several billion euros. The design, research and development of the new aircraft carrier will be carried out until 2025. About 900 million euros will be allocated for this, equivalent to about 117 million euros per year and starting in 2021. Research and development experts will research combat systems, nuclear reactors, communication systems, air defense systems … to equip new aircraft carriers.According to representatives of the French armed forces, research and development of the new generation of aircraft carriers are currently being prepared. Previously, the replacement of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was mentioned in October 2018.

Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier
Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier

By 2025 the development phase will be completed, and then the French army will place an order on the manufacturer.

Construction of the aircraft carrier will begin in 2025 and be completed in 2036, after which testing will begin. The carrier is expected to be fully operational by 2038 after it completes two years of sea trials.

It is expected that the new-generation carrier PANG (Porte-Avions de Nouvelle Generation) will be larger than the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier currently in service with the French navy. The ship’s tonnage is about 75,000 tons; the length is about 300 m, the maximum width is about 80 m, the carrier can reach a speed of 27 knots, and is equipped with an electromagnetic catapult and a series of anti-aircraft equipment. New generation…

Onboard will be equipped with about 30 new generation fighters SCAF (Systeme de combat aerien du futur). In addition, the carrier will be equipped with UAVs, Hawkeye AWACS and helicopters. The crew will consist of approximately 2,000 people.

The carrier will be equipped with two K22 nuclear reactors, built on top of the K15 nuclear reactor, installed on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The capacity of each is about 220 MW. Equipping the carrier with nuclear reactors is intended to increase the carrier’s autonomy, as well as increase its economic efficiency, as maintenance will be done every 10 years compared to 7 to 8 years like now.

During the aircraft carrier development and construction, approximately 2,100 jobs are needed, 400 of whom will be responsible for hull production at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique factory in Saint-Nazaire, 1,400 people will work at The Naval Group’s factories and its partners (TechnicAtome and Dassault Aviation), 300 people will be used in the construction of nuclear reactors.

After being staffed for the French navy, the carrier PANG is expected to be anchored and maintained at the Toulon base.

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