The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M fighters, Dassault Hirondelle AEW/ASW/COD aircraft, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for ASW and combat search and rescue. She also has modern electronics and Aster missiles. She is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses three 90 meter steam catapults, one catapult at the bow and one across the front of the landing area.
History[edit | edit source]
Construction and Commissioning[edit | edit source]
The Charles de Gaulle was laid down on April 14th, 1989 at the DCNS Brest naval shipyard. It was launched on May 7th, 1992 and commissioned on May 18th, 1997 as the first of two Charles de Gaulle-class aircraft carriers.
She was originally going to be named Richelieu in 1986 by the French president at the time, François Mitterrand, after the famous French statesman Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal or the Duc de Richelieu. On February 7th, 1987. However, the name of the ship was changed to Charles de Gaulle by the Gaullist Prime Minister at the time, Jacques Chirac with the name Richelieu being used for the second ship of the class.
1990s[edit | edit source]