Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier
24 October 2018

Armed Forces: a future aircraft carrier to succeed the "Charles de Gaulle"

On 23 October 2018, the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, officially launched the aircraft-carrier renewal programme at the Euronaval Exhibition in Le Bourget.
 

The Euronaval Exhibition is the global rendezvous for naval defence technologies of the future. The 26th edition takes place from 23 to 26 October 2018 at the Paris-Le Bourget Exhibition Centre. This year, almost 470 exhibitors from 33 nations, 129 French and foreign delegations, 20 Chiefs of Naval Staff and 5 Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Defence are attending this major event.

During the Exhibition’s inauguration, the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, reasserted the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the National Defence has all the resources it requires. “By providing for investment of 295 billion euros in our defence by 2025, the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) gets us closer to our target of devoting 2% of our national wealth to defence”. The LPM provides France with the means required for its naval defence, by continuing and stepping up the pace of programmes already underway and eliminating capability shortfalls.

In order to guarantee the autonomy of forces deployed, and consequently our full sovereignty, the LPM’s provisions include the building of 4 new-generation replenishment tankers. The programme, entitled FLOTLOG (Flotte Logistique / Fleet Logistics), will be carried out in cooperation with Italy. The ships will be based on an Italian design but built under the supervision of a French shipbuilder. “Naval Group and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique will thus be able to renew our replenishment tanker fleet and two of them will be delivered before 2025”.

“We must also make determined preparations for the future of our carrier battle group, which constitutes a strategic arm of our national defence and the National Navy. An effective and very powerful arm. An arm that we must maintain and renew.”– Florence Parly, 23 October 2018.

The Minister also announced the launch of the “Future Aircraft Carriers of France” programme. After refurbishment, France’s only aircraft carrier, the “Charles de Gaulle”, will be ready to go back into operational action in the first quarter of 2019. But it should come to the end of its active life in the 2030s and will therefore need a successor. In order to provide one, the Minister has launched a programme for renewal of our aircraft carrier. "The first step, which is being launched today, is the study phase, in which we get together to determine what we want and how we want it for our future aircraft carriers.”

The initial 18-month study phase will define the architecture of our future aircraft carriers and lay the groundwork for the industrial organisation required to build them in compliance with deadlines and projected costs. The study phase will also enable determination of the number of units that France and Europe will ultimately need. “But let’s not put the cart before the horse – this is the time for designing the carriers, not determining how many of them we need.”

In addition, in 2019, the Navy will be taking delivery of two offshore support and assistance vessels, a multipurpose frigate, a light Antilles-based patrol boat, a B2M multipurpose vessel, two renovated Atlantique 2 aircraft and two NH90 helicopters.
 

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