Modernized French nuclear-powered carrier Charles de Gaulle: Base for 40 fighter jets

The flagship of the French military fleet with 1,900 crew members, the base is 40 "Rafale Marine" fighter planes, three "Hawkeye" scouts and several helicopters after 8 months of modernization

by Sededin Dedovic
Modernized French nuclear-powered carrier Charles de Gaulle: Base for 40 fighter jets
© Defense TV / Youtube channel

France's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, known as "Charles-de-Gaulle", which entered service in 2001, set sail today from Toulon after another extensive modernization process that lasted eight months. This impressive aircraft carrier, the flagship of the French military fleet, is home to 1,900 crew members and serves as a platform for operations involving a wide range of fighter jets, reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters.

During the eight-month modernization, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle underwent a series of upgrades to ensure it remains in peak operational condition. These processes included improvements in technological capabilities, system efficiency and safety standards, ensuring that the aircraft carrier remains a key element of France's defense capabilities.

With its impressive capacities, the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" represents the heart and soul of the French Navy. With a base of 40 Rafale Marine fighter jets, three Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft and a number of helicopters, this aircraft carrier is an indispensable force in military operations.

Its versatile capability allows the French military to respond quickly and effectively to various threats and challenges around the world.

Charles de Gaulle: The only Nuclear Carrier Outside America© Defense TV / Youtube channel

Today's departure of the aircraft carrier from a port in southeastern France marks the beginning of a six-week mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

During this period, the aircraft carrier will be under the operational control of the NATO alliance, playing a key role in maintaining regional stability and security. This mission represents another step towards strengthening cooperation and coordination among the allies, as they jointly face security challenges in the region.

The aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" will not be alone in its mission. Accompanying it will be supply ships, frigates and even a submarine with nuclear missiles, providing support and additional capabilities to achieve mission objectives.

This coordinated operation illustrates the strength and flexibility of the French Navy, which is capable of operating in different environments and conditions. One of the most significant events expected on the aircraft carrier during this mission is the holding of a conference of 32 ambassadors of NATO member countries.

This conference, scheduled for April 25, is an opportunity for diplomatic representatives to meet and discuss key issues of security and cooperation. The meeting will be held ahead of a planned NATO mission that will include ships from the United States of America, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, further emphasizing the importance of coordination and cooperation between the allies.

During the conference, ambassadors will have the opportunity to exchange opinions and information on current security challenges and priorities of the NATO alliance. It is expected to discuss strategies to strengthen allies' defense capabilities, as well as ways to improve cooperation in the fight against transnational threats, including terrorism and illegal activities at sea.

In addition to diplomatic activities, numerous military exercises and activities are planned during the mission of the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle". These exercises provide an opportunity for the crew to maintain a high level of preparedness and efficiency, simulating different scenarios and challenges that they might face in real operational situations.

Through these exercises, the crew gains invaluable experience and ensures that they are ready to react quickly and efficiently in case of crisis situations. In addition to military activities, the aircraft carrier will also play a role in humanitarian missions and support of international peacekeeping efforts.

Its ability to be quickly mobilized and available makes it an invaluable resource in the event of natural disasters or humanitarian crises, enabling rapid response and support to vulnerable communities. Macron calls for the strengthening of the French military industry A few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron called on the French defense industry to permanently increase weapons production.

As the biggest reason, he cited the threatened European stability, the biggest in the last few decades.

A Polish Leopard 2PL main battle tank arrives on a French military ferry while crossing the Vistula River during the NATO Dragon© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

"We must permanently prepare for a geopolitical and geostrategic change in which the defense industry will play an ever-increasing role," Macron said as he laid the foundation stone for a new explosive powder factory for the Eurenco company in the southwestern city of Bergerac, reports Hina.

He pointed out that a war economy is needed so that Ukraine can be supplied with weapons to repel the Russian invasion, as well as for the defense of France. "That economy benefits us," Macron said, adding that, for example, the production of howitzers delivered to Ukraine has tripled, which encourages arms exports.

He said that Europe cannot give up on Ukraine, because it is also about its security. He emphasized that Europe needs greater independence from American military aid. "We Europeans must do more and faster if the US is not there. We must mobilize and find new financial solutions, on which we are closely cooperating with the Germans," said Macron.