Naval Group starts Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier refit

According to a tweet published by Naval Group on August 31, 2021, the French company starts refit and modernization of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in Toulon.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier (Picture source: Twitter account of Naval Group)

The first of this class, named Charles de Gaulle (also referred to as de Gaulle), was ordered in February 1986; construction was started in November 1987. The keel was laid in April 1989, and the ship was launched in May 1994.

De Gaulle is approximately 261 meters long and has a displacement of approximately 40,000 tons. It will accommodate 40 aircraft, including the new Rafale SU 0 class, the Super Etendard (to be replaced by the Rafale SU 2 in 2005), and E-2C Hawkeye early-warning aircraft, as well as several helicopters. There are two catapults, each capable of launching an aircraft every minute. Propulsion is provided by two nuclear reactors of the same design as those used for the new-generation SSBNs.

The flight deck is 261.5 m long, with a 195-m, 8.3° angled-deck portion. Maximum flight deck width is 64.36 m. There are two 75m U.S. Type C13-3 steam catapults, each capable of launching aircraft weighing up to 25t, with one on the angled deck and the other on the port side of the bow, an arrangement that emphasizes deck parking arrangements over ability to launch and land simultaneously.

The hangar can accommodate 23 fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters at one time. The munitions magazines can accommodate 2,100 tons. The ship has the Matra Defense DALAS (Dispositif díaide à I'Appontage au LASer) deck approach and landing laser system.

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