The announcement was made during the President Macron visit to French company Framatome, an international leader in nuclear energy which designs and supplies nuclear steam systems and services.
The Charles de Gaulle, as you know, will come to the end of its life in 2038. This is why I have decided that the future aircraft carrier that will equip our country and our navy will be nuclear-powered like the Charles de Gaulle. Your plant in Le Creusot, which has been producing parts essential to our navy for a long time, will produce, among others, several major parts of the nuclear boiler of the future aircraft carrier by forging and machining them right here […] By these choices we confirm France’s desire to preserve its strategic autonomy.
Back in October this year, Framatome announced the launch of Framatome Defense to promote the company’s defense activities and affirms its commitment and strengthens its contribution to this strategic sector. Framatome has supported the French defense sector for decades with a focus on components of the French Navy, notably for submarine programs and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The company also contributes innovation for major, ongoing programs such as Barracuda SSN and SNLE3G SSBN.
About France’s future aircraft carrier PANG
As we reported previously, the PANG (Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation or new generation aircraft carrier) will be much longer and much heavier than the existing Charles de Gaulle:
It will have a length of 300 meters, a width of 80 meters with a displacement of 75,000 tons.
First steel cut is set for 2025, while sea trials are set to begin in 2036 and commissioning with the French Navy in 2038, which matches with the expected decommissioning of the Charles de Gaulle.
The initial artist impressions released by Naval Group confirm some of the technical details which we have been reporting since July:
- Nuclear powered (CVN) with two K22 reactors (2 x 220 MW thermal)
- Length between 285 and 295 meters
- Full load displacement around 70,000 – 75,000 tonnes
- Maximum speed: 26 to 27 knots (similar to Charles de Gaulle)
- Propulsive power would be around 80 MW delivered to three or four shaft lines
- Total power around 110 MW, including the electrical plant
- Future air wing: 32 Next Generation Fighters with 2 to 3 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes and a yet to be determined number of remote carriers/UCAVs
- Two side elevators with 40 tonnes lifting capacity
- Three 90-meter electromagnetic catapults (EMALS) by General Atomics
- Flight deck: 16,000 m²
- Aircraft hangar: 5,000 m²
- Crew: 900 and 1080 sailors (not including the air element of 550 to 620 sailors) with higher comfort compared to Charles de Gaulle.
- Thales SeaFire radar
- PAAMS with MBDA ASTER surface to air missiles for self defense
The artist impression seems to show the presence of the new RapidFire CIWS as well.