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France aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle makes port call in Djibouti.

| 2023

According to a tweet published by the French MoD on January 10, 2023, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle makes a port call in Djibouti after crossing the Suez Canal.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French Navy's aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. (Picture source: French MFA)

Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy. The ship, commissioned in 2001, is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, and the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy. She is named after French president and general Charles de Gaulle.

She is a medium-sized aircraft carrier, smaller than those of the U.S. Navy, but significantly larger than the Cavour (Italy), Spanish, and Indian aircraft carriers.

Charles de Gaulle is 261.5 meters long, 64.36 meters wide, and 75 meters high. With a displacement of 42,500 tonnes, it can carry approximately 2,200 sailors, with an additional 800 military personnel in troop transport.

The flight deck area reaches 12,000 m2 and has an aircraft hangar area of 4,600 m2, 138 meters long and 29 meters wide, with a height of just over 6 meters under the upper deck, arranged in two half-hangars that can be separated by deploying a large firewall in case of fire and connected to the flight deck by two lateral elevators on the starboard side behind the 21 × 12 m island with a capacity of 36 t, each of which can accommodate two aircraft in order to speed up movements between the flight deck and the hangar.

The most comparable in size is the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is slightly larger than the Charles de Gaulle, but whose operational capabilities are limited because its propulsion is not nuclear and it is not a true aircraft carrier, but an aircraft carrier: it does not have a catapult, which limits the take-off weight and the operational possibilities of the aircraft, which are essentially intended for interception missions.

The Charles de Gaulle is equipped with a nuclear propulsion system that gives it a maximum speed of 27 knots (50 kilometers per hour), instead of 32 knots for the Foch and Clemenceau.

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