Military Review

PANG program: France will build a new aircraft carrier


Possible appearance of the future aircraft carrier PANG. Graphics

Since 2018, the French military and shipbuilders have been considering the design and construction of a promising aircraft carrier. In the distant future, he will have to replace the only available ship of this class, Charles de Gaulle. Until now, work in this direction was at its earliest stages, but in the near future the French leadership can start the design process.

From idea to order

The topic of building an aircraft carrier to supplement, and then to replace the Charles de Gaulle with varying activity was discussed for several years, but the matter did not go further. The situation changed in 2018. At the Euronaval 2018 exhibition, the Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parley announced the launch of research work on the topic of “next-generation aircraft carrier” (Porte-Avions de Nouvelle Génération or PANG).

Over the past two years, the specialized organizations of France have carried out a number of major studies and have formulated general recommendations for a promising aircraft carrier. The French media report the existence of several options for the appearance of such a ship with one or another feature. The customer in the person of the military and political leadership will have to choose the most successful and start its detailed study.

Not so long ago, in May, F. Parley said that work on the current part of the PANG program was completed, and the country's leadership was preparing to make the necessary decisions on time. However, a specific date for the announcement of the current results of research was not called. At the same time, some technical details became known, as well as the specifics of the disputes surrounding key project components, such as a power plant.

The layout of the promising SCAF fighter. Its decked version can find application on PANG. Wikimedia Commons Photos

Apparently, several preliminary projects have already been submitted to the country's leadership, right up to President Emmanuel Macron. It is expected that in the near future the French leadership will choose the best project and approve its development. Some foreign media believe that the corresponding decree and contract for further work will appear on a holiday on July 14.

Appearance of the future

In May, the Minister of Armed Forces mentioned that some of the features of the future PANG look were already determined, but there was no consensus on the power plant and some other issues. However, technical details were not given again.

On July 8, a group of French senators published an interesting report on the progress and prospects of the PANG program. This document describes current challenges and problems, how to solve them - as well as optimal options for characteristics, architectures, etc. Not only the aircraft carrier itself is considered, but also its aviation group, incl. in terms of perspectives in the distant future.

According to the report, an aircraft carrier with a displacement of approx. 70 thousand tons and a length of 280-300 m. For comparison, the current Charles de Gaulle has a length of approx. 260 m and displacement “total” 43 thousand tons Such dimensions are related to the characteristics of the proposed aviation group. The Charles de Gaulle was built for the Dassault Rafale-M fighters, and the new PANG proposes the use of next-generation aircraft, which are supposed to be larger and heavier.

Consider the optimal scheme CATOBAR with a flat flight deck, incl. with corner, catapults in take-off positions and a cable aerofinisher. It is proposed to consider the possibility of purchasing the American electromagnetic catapult EMALS. This will ensure the compatibility of carrier-based aircraft within NATO, and will also allow France not to waste time and effort on its own system of this kind. In addition, due to the high flexibility of application, EMALS will allow launching aircraft with different masses.

Charles de Gaulle is the only French Navy aircraft carrier. Wikimedia Commons Photos

Disputes over the main power plant are ongoing. A very profitable option is a nuclear reactor capable of meeting all the needs of the ship and giving a certain margin of performance. It is also important that the development of nuclear power plants will support the French nuclear industry. However, such a power plant is more complicated and more expensive than other options. In addition, a ship with a nuclear power plant once every 10 years will have to be withdrawn from combat duty for 18 months for secondary repairs and reloading of the reactor.

There is no consensus on the power plant yet. The military is interested in getting a nuclear carrier with all its advantages, but lawmakers and the country's leadership may not agree with them. What will be the new ship - it will become clear later.

Due to the automation of a number of processes, the possibility of reducing the crew by 10% in comparison with Charles de Gaulle was found. This means that no more than 1080 sailors and officers will serve at PANG. Requirements are made for improving comfort in residential and domestic compartments in comparison with the current ship. To reduce the burden on sailors while maintaining combat effectiveness, the formation of two interchangeable crews is possible.

Fighting qualities

PANG will become the core of the aircraft carrier group, which makes special demands on the electronic complex on board. Approximate requirements for radars and other systems are already known, but have not yet decided on the exact types of products. In general, there will be no fundamental differences from Charles de Gaulle - but only modern and newly developed systems will go into business.

The main means of observation and detection should be a radar all-round surveillance with AFAR. Other locators are also required, including to control the fire of specific combat systems. The ship needs communications and control equipment that meet the current requirements of the Navy. It should successfully work within the framework of a single information management field as its key element.

The basis of French carrier-based aviation is the Dassault Rafale-M fighter-bomber. Wikimedia Commons Photos

On "Charles de Gaulle" for self-defense there are anti-aircraft guns and air defense systems. PANG can get the PAAMS medium-range anti-aircraft complex and small-caliber artillery. In the future, it is possible to use the promising PILUM rail gun, which is still at the experimental stage.

Given the prospects for the development of French combat aircraft, the basis of the deck group is considered a promising sixth generation fighter SCAF. The aircraft carrier will be able to carry up to 32 of these fighters with placement on the flight deck or in the below-deck hangar. Also, the need to use 2-3 aircraft AWACS E-2D Advanced Hawkeye or its later modifications is considered.

PANG studies are seriously considering the creation and use of medium or heavy unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes. In particular, the appearance of a carrier-based heavy reconnaissance and strike UAV, capable of taking on some of the tasks of manned aircraft, is possible. Take-off and landing of such equipment will be carried out using a catapult and a finisher. The required number of UAVs has not yet been determined.

Decades plans

The stage of research on the topic of PANG lasted about two years, and in the near future they can start the design. Shipbuilding will receive the final version of the terms of reference and will begin to develop a project for subsequent construction. At the same time, France is not going to rush, since the only aircraft carrier is still coping with the load.

Aircraft AWACS E-2D Advanced Hawkeye - such machines are needed by both current and promising aircraft carriers. Photo

PANG construction will begin in the second half of the twenties. Launching and completion are in the mid-thirties. The finished ship will enter the combat structure of the Navy approximately in 2038. By this time 37 years will have passed since the acceptance of the Charles de Gaulle. A shift of the deadlines to the right is possible, but the French leadership hopes to get a new aircraft carrier no later than the fortieth anniversary of the existing one.

At the level of general ideas, the possibility of accelerating construction was considered so that PANG could begin service in 2030 or a little later. However, this acceleration imposes a lot of limitations of a technical, economic and other nature. As a result, they considered that a gain in time does not justify other losses.

The discussion of serial construction issues continues. The French Navy is determined to get one PANG, but in the absence of difficulties they will not abandon the second. However, such a development of events seems unlikely. The high cost of construction imposes serious restrictions. Actually the fleet you have to choose between one nuclear carrier or two conventional ones.

Ship to be

In general, the situation with the Porte-Avions de Nouvelle Génération program currently looks quite interesting. France decided on the need to build a second aircraft carrier in the long term to replace the only available ship. The remaining issues have not yet been resolved. The exact appearance of the future PANG and its air group, technical and operational features, as well as the final cost of construction remains uncertain.

However, the situation may change in the very near future. In just a few days, E. Macron can order the launch of a new stage of the project. And according to the results of these works, the final appearance, exact terms and cost of construction will be known. However, even after this, the new aircraft carrier will remain a thing of the distant future - its service will begin only after two dozen years.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 9 July 2020 18: 02 New
    I think they can build. Another question is how much do they need it?
    1. Grazdanin
      Grazdanin 9 July 2020 18: 12 New
      I need it. France has overseas lands, interests in Africa, Asia, South America. The same interests in Libya.
      1. Pete mitchell
        Pete mitchell 9 July 2020 23: 07 New
        Quote: Grazdanin
        .. same interests in Libya.

        I still wildly apologize - and what are the interests of the frogmen in Libya: they have already dragged all the allied obligations into this harlot. It is enough to compare the moments of the beginning of the database by the French and the meeting in Libya. Yes, and the Jamahiriya was supervised by the Italians, on which the French spied on in full. The paddlers just clean up their sins ...
    2. lucul
      lucul 9 July 2020 19: 15 New
      I think they can build.

      Where the hell, the French often managed to make breakthrough projects, and not only in shipbuilding.
    3. Finches
      Finches 9 July 2020 20: 08 New
      -10 qualifying.
      Two Mistral soldered to each other - here you have the aircraft carrier ... laughing
      1. Kostya Lavinyukov
        Kostya Lavinyukov 9 July 2020 22: 49 New
        It remains to decide: along or across?
    4. Elderly Raccoon
      Elderly Raccoon 2 October 2020 04: 06 New
      what a pity that France does not have such an expert as you. otherwise they are fools do not even assume that it turns out that they do not need a new aircraft carrier. But thanks for writing, maybe they will notice and their eyes will open
    5. yehat2
      yehat2 8 October 2020 17: 13 New
      build and it will be much better avik than the Briton-insolent.
      The French are not the most pleasant nation, but their engineers have been very competent for the last 150 years,
      Moreover, they had enough experience on Charles de Gaulle to know what to build.
      The only question is whether there will be normal funding for the project.
      In fact, I'm only interested in 4 points
      1.what kind of autonomy it will lay
      2. Will the aviks count in advance for the launch of aircraft heavier than fighters.
      3. Which air group will be planned
      4. Will it be a squadron ship or just a floating base.
  2. fn34440
    fn34440 9 July 2020 18: 09 New
    -10 qualifying.
    By the end of construction, the crew will be entirely of Moroccan-African descent. And this will affect the build quality, seaworthiness, quality of operation and the life of the ship.
    1. Elderly Raccoon
      Elderly Raccoon 2 October 2020 04: 07 New
      dude. you have there in Moscow Azerbaijanis with Armenians are fighting for Karabakh .. in the center of Russia !! and you're all worried about France. figure it out in your country okay
  3. Kerensky
    Kerensky 9 July 2020 18: 21 New
    -10 qualifying.
    his service will begin only after two decades.

    And the French Caliphate will have a brand new nuclear aircraft carrier ... But will anyone control it? I look "come in large numbers" does not hurt to learn in a hurry ...
  4. Sergei 777
    Sergei 777 9 July 2020 18: 38 New
    The main thing is not to show our navy. And then burst with envy ...
  5. Victor67
    Victor67 9 July 2020 18: 53 New
    -12 qualifying.
    I, perhaps, don’t understand everything, but it seems to me that by 2038 hypersonic missiles will achieve such indicators in accuracy, speed and range that the surface fleet will generally lose its relevance in conflicts with a serious enemy such as Russia or China. Well, if you scare any Papuans, then yes, a ride.
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 9 July 2020 18: 59 New
      Or missile defense will reach such indicators that hypersonic missiles will remain only to drive the Papuans. Progress is unpredictable.
      1. Grazdanin
        Grazdanin 9 July 2020 19: 03 New
        Laser weapons are already being put on ships. The shield and the sword always go together and you can’t do without both.
    2. Victor67
      Victor67 9 July 2020 22: 15 New
      They’ve thrown it in the minuses, I just wanted to ask ... I’ll go around the whole branch and all who were here zaminyusuyu, I will especially go around all the comments and mark it there too, pour coffee, work until morning)))
      1. Victor67
        Victor67 9 July 2020 22: 33 New
        He omitted everyone on the branch, tomorrow I’ll put the whole department at work, everyone will regret and all minusers in the amount of 21 units. get around and appreciate all the comments, hello everyone!
        1. Engineer
          Engineer 10 July 2020 08: 01 New
          You are a terrible person)
      2. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 10 July 2020 13: 17 New
        Quote: Victor67
        They threw in the minuses, I just wanted to ask ...

        The answer is very simple. The USSR was already in a similar position - since the 80s it had supersonic anti-ship missiles attacking at low altitude. The Americans did not have a weapon capable of shooting down Granite or Basalt at low altitude until about 2000. And it was almost impossible to intercept anti-ship missiles in the high-altitude section of the trajectory, especially if they fired in a volley - there the flight time was about 15 minutes at the maximum range, only the patrolmen could shoot fighters in the air, and they simply did not have enough ammunition to shoot down a salvo of RCC. That is, for 20 years approximately we had at our disposal exactly what Zircon was supposed to provide.
        The Americans relied on the destruction of missile carriers before they reach the line of attack, on the destruction of our reconnaissance and target designation systems, and on passive anti-ship missile defense systems (EW, etc.). It will be the same now
        1. Victor67
          Victor67 10 July 2020 18: 19 New
          Thanks for the information, at least someone answered without cons for nothing!
  6. TermNachTer
    TermNachTer 9 July 2020 19: 32 New
    Cool))) few French problems with "de Gaulle". Do they want to build themselves another floating crap?)))
    1. Holgerton
      Holgerton 9 July 2020 22: 02 New
      But the Russian Navy would not refuse such a "haemorrhoid", although it is already there, only on a larger scale, albeit in a single copy.
      1. TermNachTer
        TermNachTer 10 July 2020 12: 00 New
        If the French build it, then it will be larger than the Kuzi. The Russian Navy may not have refused, but by the time the Gauls build this crap, Russia may have something better.
  7. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 9 July 2020 19: 33 New
    However, even after this, the new aircraft carrier will remain a thing of the distant future - its service will begin only after two dozen years.

    It turns out as always, in the future

    Eternal peace is unlikely to please the heart.
    Eternal Peace for the Gray Pyramids
    And for a star that fell and falls
    There is only a moment - a blinding moment.
  8. Vlad Malkin
    Vlad Malkin 9 July 2020 19: 36 New
    Do not rush the French!
  9. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 9 July 2020 20: 00 New
    -10 qualifying.
    France is an American satellite and carries out orders of the United States for heavy work in the world with the goal of genocide, permanent wars, the overthrow of the legitimate governments of the development of terrorism, .... for this is used an aircraft carrier
  10. Junior Warrant Officer
    Junior Warrant Officer 9 July 2020 20: 15 New
    Not much is he different from our Kuznetsov.
    Once every 10 years, an 18-month average repair of a promising Frenchman is planned, we have in fact - 18 months of military service and the subsequent 10-year repair.
    1. mvg
      mvg 9 July 2020 23: 02 New
      Not very much he differs from our Kuznetsov

      Listen less to the author; he writes without reading, without understanding. In Virginia, a nuclear power plant is designed for 40 years without recharging. Frogs in nuclear power do not lag behind the Americans.
  11. Alien From
    Alien From 9 July 2020 20: 44 New
    The French seriously took up the Navy, boats, aircraft carriers, plus excellent electronic components. You should carefully watch them .... and learn!
  12. FIR FIR
    FIR FIR 9 July 2020 21: 07 New
    but there is no consensus on the power plant

    If they build without nuclear, then this will be a gigantic mistake.
    In addition, a ship with a nuclear power plant once every 10 years will have to be withdrawn from combat duty for 18 months for secondary repairs and reloading of the reactor.

    The pros clearly overlap the cons.
    This means that no more than 1080 sailors and officers will serve at PANG.

    Is it with the air group?
    If so, then very little. Now there is an interesting fashion for a comprehensive reduction in ship crews. The only question is, how are 150 people going to fight for the survivability of a 14 thousand ton ship? (Zumwalt). Or after the first holes will be evacuated?
    To reduce the burden on sailors while maintaining combat effectiveness, the formation of two interchangeable crews is possible.

    But this is necessary for our fleet to take note, and for a long time, taking into account the shrinkage of the pennant amount.
    the basis of the deck group is considered a promising sixth generation fighter SCAF.

    And France already has a fifth generation, it was ... Just like baking cakes, take a new generation of fighters into service ...
    At the same time, France is not going to rush ...

    Clearly, we will wait ....
    Launching and completion are in the mid-thirties. The finished ship will enter the combat structure of the Navy tentatively in 2038.

    Yes, without haste ... After 20 years, lasers and UAVs will finally replace manned aircraft.
  13. Avior
    Avior 9 July 2020 21: 54 New
    At the turn of the 2000s, England and France agreed on the basis of the Saint-Malo Declaration on European Security that these countries would provide aircraft carriers to Europe, and the rest would be escorted.
    It was supposed to be 2 English and 1 French.
    The English aircraft carrier idea, having initially put forward a very good idea of ​​a fairly large full-fledged aircraft carrier, in some ways even revolutionary, then zigzagged and turned a large strike aircraft carrier with catapults into a large light (no matter how absurdly sounds) aircraft carrier with VTOL aircraft.
    But the French liked the project of the English aircraft carrier.
    In January 2003, the UK Department of Defense announced that BAE Systems, the British company, would be the main contractor for the construction of aircraft carriers, and Thales UK, the French supplier, would enter into a partnership agreement known as the Future Carrier Alliance [7].

    In December 2005, France invited Britain to participate in the development of the promising French aircraft carrier PA2 based on the Queen Elizabeth project. By agreement with the UK, France paid a third of the costs of the design phase.

    So now we see a French attempt to bring the English project to mind, and return the situation to the framework of common sense.
    Prior to this, the absurd full-fledged strike Charles de Gaulle turned out to be in the dimension of a rather light aircraft carrier or UDC-40000 tons, but the English Queen Elizabeth, being essentially a light aircraft carrier, turned out to be 70000 tons.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 10 July 2020 15: 14 New
      Quote: Avior
      The English aircraft carrier idea, having initially put forward a very good idea of ​​a fairly large full-fledged aircraft carrier, in some ways even revolutionary, then zigzagged and turned a large strike aircraft carrier with catapults into a large light (no matter how absurdly sounds) aircraft carrier with VTOL aircraft.

      Just the aircraft carrier thought RN wanted, wants and will want a full-fledged catapul AB with an AEU - already since the time of the first "Queen Elizabeth".
      Zigzags are the work of the Treasury and politicians who are capable of anything for the sake of momentary political gain. The first "Queen Elizabeth" was destroyed by a strike by the Laborites right on the slipway. From the second pair of "Korolev" politicians bit off a piece - catapults, power plant, air group. The result is known - the RN received an AV of almost the size of Forrestal, but with an air group smaller than that of Charles de Gaulle, and even without AWACS. And everything that was saved on the abandonment of catapults will be spent due to the increase in prices for "penguins". For, after the abandonment of catapults, there are no other options, except for the purchase of aircraft from the world's only SCVVP manufacturer.
      Moreover, politicians, in the spirit of economy, even beat their own people. The prime minister's attempt to abandon the completion of the second British AV had to be thwarted by his party associates, who personally explained to the economy that his decision would lead to mass layoffs - exactly before the elections and exactly in the "wavering" regions.

      And now the French now want to show the British what AB they could have if not for the cheap savings. smile
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 10 July 2020 23: 28 New
        It’s technically possible to install a catapult on the British - a place
        under the deck (parallel to the springboard) saved. But it will be
        cost a lot of money. The British wanted to take an American electric
        catapult (as on Ford), but it was not yet ready during the project period
        for operation (there were problems). Therefore, the Parliament ruined it:
        "Why include in the project something that is not yet in production?"
        And, on the contrary, the F-35B turned out suddenly with a bang quickly. And they chose them.
  14. Avior
    Avior 9 July 2020 22: 02 New
    As for me, the British and French, to ensure the carrier component of the fleet, you need to have one strike aircraft carrier, similar to the one being developed, and a couple of cheaper half-sized UDCs with VTOL, perhaps one of them in the version of a light aircraft carrier.
    Such a large ship, such as an aircraft carrier, has been undergoing some kind of repair for a considerable period of time, there is nothing to be done about it, and UDCs or light aircraft carriers would provide insurance relatively inexpensively in case of a sudden need, if the strike is repaired, or complement and would enhance the capabilities of the percussion if it is not under repair.
  15. TatarinSSSR
    TatarinSSSR 9 July 2020 22: 39 New
    What is the article about? A bunch of useless information about what the French might be. Perhaps this, most likely this, and apparently this ... What is useful for this article to the reader? Those who are interested in this, then dug everything for a long time. Useless article.
  16. fa2998
    fa2998 10 July 2020 09: 41 New
    Quote: Leader of the Redskins
    I think they can build. Another question is how much do they need it?

    They’ll build it, they built 2 Mistrals in an instant, and inexpensively. And as far as you need. France, from the west of the Atlantic, from the east to the Mediterranean, has overseas possessions. Well, if ours are planning to build an aircraft carrier, then France is even more so. hi
  17. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 10 July 2020 12: 14 New
    With the money stolen from us for the Mistral?
  18. Smirnoff
    Smirnoff 10 July 2020 17: 00 New
    The colonies are going to restore order
    1. Maki maki
      Maki maki 10 July 2020 19: 24 New
      Yeah, otherwise the rest will run away laughing
  19. Crabong
    Crabong 13 August 2020 15: 24 New
    And what will the AUG be formed from? And they don't really need him. There is nowhere to project this kind of power. Where necessary - you can operate from the bases. Project, in short ...