Cdt Emmanuel Bougot on a mission on the aircraft carrier
"Charles de Gaulle"
The 38,00 ft nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charle De Gaulle was constructed at the DCN Brest naval shipyard in Brittany. The ship was launched in May 1994 and commissioned in September 2000, following sea trials which beganin January 1999. As a result of trials the landing deck has been lengthened by 4.4m to enable the E-2C to land and clear the deck quickly.
The ship can operate a fleet of up to 40 aircraft : Rafale M (range 3,340km), Super Etendard (range 1,682 km) and three E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. The ship will also support the AS565 Panther or NH90 helicopter. The main deck consists of a runway angled at 8.5 degrees to the ships axis and an aircraft launch area forward of the island. These are equipped with a USN Type C13 catapult, capable of launching one aircraft a minute. The runway is 195m long and the whole deck measure 260m x 64m. The carrier is fitted with the Sagem Defense Securite (formerly EADS Defence & Electronics) DALAS laser landing aid.