French Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91)

Charles de Gaulle (R91) is the only active French aircraft carrier and is the flagship of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). She is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier built outside of the United States. 

The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles. She is the second largest European carrier, after the Admiral Kuznetsov, and the most powerful European aircraft carrier, until the introduction of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. It is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses the same catapult system as that installed on the US Nimitz class carriers, the 75 m C13-3 steam catapult. 

Country Name Origin Year
France 1994
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
France 2001 2008 View

Ordered: 3 February 1986
Laid down: 14 April 1989

Displacement: 38,000 tons empty

42,000 tons full load

Length: 261.5 m overall

Beam: 64.36 m overall

Draft: 9.43 m

Propulsion: 2 x K15 Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) 150 MW each

4 x Diesel-electric

2 x shafts

Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)

Range: Unlimited

Endurance: 45 days of food

Capacity: 800 commandos, 500 tonnes of ammunitions

Complement: Ship: 1,350

Air Wing: 600

Radar: 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 x Sagaie decoys launcher

SLAT (Systeme de lutte anti-torpille) torpedo countermeasures

Armament: 4 x 8 cell SYLVER launchers carrying the MBDA Aster 15 surface to air missile.

2 x 6 cell Sadral launchers carrying Mistral short range missiles

8 x Giat 20F2 20 mm cannons.

Aircraft carried: 40 aircraft, including


Super Etendard

E-2C Hawkeye

SA365 Dauphin helicopters.

End notes