Charles De Gaulle Class Aircraft Carrier

Charles de Gaulle (R91) is the only serving 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 carrier built outside of the United States Navy.


She is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle.

The ship uses a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E-2C Hawkeye, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles. She is the second largest European carrier, after the Admiral Kuznetsov, and arguably the most powerful European aircraft carrier, at least until the introduction of the Franco-British future carriers.

The carrier replaced Foch, a conventionally powered aircraft carrier, in 2001.

Country of Manufacture France
Number in Service 1
Crew 1,150 crew, 550 aircrew and 50 air support staff
Armament Up to 40 aircraft including; Rafale M, Super Étendard, E-2C Hawkeye and AS 565 and NH 90 helicopters, ASTER SAM system, Mistral missiles and eight Giat 20mm guns
Length 261.5m
Beam 31.5m
Draught 8.45m
Displacement 38,000 tonnes
Powerplant Two pressurised water reactors producing 56,000kW
Performance Speed 27 knots, can cruise for 5 years at 25 knots without refuelling
First of Class 1999