The French President announced on December 8th that the next French aircraft-carrier will be nuclear-powered and should be operational by 2038 in time to replace the Charles de Gaulle, which started operating in 2001.
France’s new aircraft carrier is expected to be the biggest warship the country has ever built. Florence Parly, the armed forces minister, said in October that the ship, whatever its propulsion, would be designed to deploy the future combat aircraft system, and now her ministry confirmed that the vessel would deploy about 30 of these aircraft “which will be bigger than the Rafales.”
The French armed forces ministry said that the ship would be in the 75,000-tonne class, around 300 meters long and able to sail at 27 knots, which is bigger than the second aircraft carrier that Naval Group was working on in the early 2000s until that program was shelved by the government in lack of money. The new ship will have a crew of about 2,000, including the air group.
Speaking at Framatome, France’s principal nuclear-power company, Emmanuel Macron announced that he “decided that the future aircraft-carrier which will serve our country and our navy will, like the Charles de Gaulle, be nuclear-propelled.”
It is going to have two K22 power generators each generating 220 megawatts derived from the K15 that currently power the Charles de Gaulle.