December 09, 2021 16:38 (IST)
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France plans to build bigger, costlier aircraft carrier France Aircraft

France plans to build bigger, costlier aircraft carrier

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Dec 2020, 09:09 am

Paris/Sputnik: France’s plans for a next-generation aircraft carrier, PANG, to replace the obsolete Charles de Gaulle are beginning to take shape, media reported Monday.

The new flattop will be 65 feet longer than the 856-feet Charles de Gaulle and displace 70,000 tons when fully loaded, according to a navy news website, Mer et Marine.

The new flagship will be powered by two nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 450 megawatt, against the predecessor’s 300 megawatts. They will be built by French nuclear tech firm Framatome at a plant in Le Creusot.

The ship will be compatible with the European Union's Future Combat Air System and carry a billion-euro ($1.2 billion) Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System manufactured by the US’ General Atomics.

PANG may enter military service before 2040. France will need at least two aircraft carriers of the new class to keep one operational and ready for air combat.

French President Emmanuel Macron has twice delayed the announcement of construction plans this fall — over a gruesome beheading of a school teacher near Paris and the tightening coronavirus restrictions.