France will make a decision on the replacement of its flagship aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle at the start of 2020, its armed forces minister said on Tuesday (Oct.23)
The carrier has been in service since 2001 but Paris is looking to build a vessel that would take into consideration expected technological advances post-2030 and be capable of carrying a planned new Franco-German fighter jet. “The Charles de Gaulle will need a successor,” Florence Parly said in a speech at a defense exhibition in Paris. “The first step, which starts today, is the study phase to determine what and how we want our future aircraft carrier to be. We have given ourselves 18 months,” she said.
Parly said the study will assess the size requirements, propulsion options – both conventional and nuclear – and aircraft-launching capabilities.
A number of French defense firms, ranging from Rafale warplane maker Dassault to systems’ contractor Thales, are among companies involved in the study phase.