Military Review

Is the new French aircraft carrier a waste of time and money?

25

In the name of de Gaulle



France is armed with one aircraft carrier (not counting the universal amphibious assault ships). The displacement of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is 42 tons, which is significantly more than that of the Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi and Cavour. Up to 000 aircraft can be based on board the ship. The core of its air group is the Dassault Rafale fighter. The aircraft is interesting, significant for Europe, and in general it represents at the moment the pinnacle of the development of fourth generation fighters (similar in spirit to the Eurofighter Typhoon, but unlike it, modern radars with an active phased antenna array are just beginning to receive).


Charles de Gaulle, noted in the Syrian campaign, is far from old. It was commissioned in 2001. For comparison, "Admiral Kuznetsov" was commissioned in 1991. At the same time, according to the latest data from a source in shipbuilding announced by TASS, there is no talk of writing off. Moreover, in 2022, the upgraded ship should go to sea trials ...

Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation Program


At the same time, the French understand that Charles de Gaulle will not last forever. They talked about replacing it before, only this was done as lengthy assumptions.

Now the leadership of the Fifth Republic took seriously for the cause. According to the blog of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, during his recent speech at the headquarters of the French nuclear industrial corporation Framatome in the city of Le Creusot, Emmanuel Macron spoke about the start of the practical implementation of the Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation (PANG) program, which involves the development and construction of a promising aircraft carrier for French Navy. The ship will receive a nuclear power plant.


The French leader states:

As you know, Charles de Gaulle will complete his service in 2038. That is why I decided that the future aircraft carrier, with which our country and our fleet will be armed, will be nuclear, like Charles de Gaulle. Your plant in Le Creusot, which, for its long stories produced the equipment needed for our fleet, will produce, among other things, several major parts of the future aircraft carrier's nuclear reactor, forging and processing them right here. By this choice, we reaffirm France's desire to maintain its strategic independence.

The images shown give a general idea of ​​how the ship is seen. It is immediately clear that France does not want to build "Charles de Gaulle number two". As, however, and the conventional analogue of the new British aircraft carrier of the Queen Elizabeth type: deprived, as you know, of a starting catapult. And it uses F-35B fighters with a short takeoff and vertical landing as the basis of an air wing: with a rather limited (against the background of a full-fledged F-35C) combat radius.


Unlike the "British", the French ship should receive three EMALS-type electromagnetic launch catapults and AAG aerofinishers: everything is like on the newest American aircraft carrier Gerald Ford. True, Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation, or PANG (the name of the program for which the ship is created) will still be smaller than the overseas counterpart. If the displacement (full) of the latter is 100 thousand tons, then the aircraft carrier of the French Navy will have 75 thousand tons, which, however, is much more than that of the current French aircraft carrier.

It is assumed that the length of the ship created under the PANG program will be 300 meters, and the width - 30. The power plant should be based on two nuclear reactors of the K22 type, with a thermal power of 220 MW each. The full speed of the aircraft carrier will be approximately 27 knots. The crew will include two thousand people.

The ship will receive one large superstructure and a Thales SeaFire radar system, which has four fixed AFARs on the superstructure. To protect against air attacks, the ship will be able to use Aster anti-aircraft missiles and several artillery 40-mm Thales / Nexter RapidFire anti-aircraft systems.


As for the air group, its basis, as could be expected, will be a new generation fighter (most often this machine is considered a representative of the sixth generation), created as part of the Future Combat Air System program. If you believe the layout presented at Le Bourget 2019 (which, obviously, represents only the general vision of the aircraft manufacturers of the current situation), this is a rather large optionally manned vehicle that can carry a very wide range of weapons and will receive unmanned wingmen.


In total, about 30 such machines will be able to be based on board the promising ship. In addition to fighters, the aircraft carrier will be able to carry several Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. They will be used with the help of two large lifts. They want to put the ship into operation in 2038.

Sea of ​​illusions


Of course, rearmament of the fleet is an important and necessary matter. Moreover, France sees itself as a possible political leader of the EU. However, one should not forget about the other side of the issue. Presidential elections are to be held in the Fifth Republic in 2022. And faced with serious and often unsolvable challenges, Emmanuel Macron is doing his best to declare himself.

Could the PANG program get started without Macron and his thesis on the need for European defense sovereignty? Maybe. However, one must understand that the construction of large ships is objectively not the main concern of modern France. In this regard, the most remarkable story of all is the story of a new nuclear submarine for the country's Navy Suffren - the lead ship of the Barracuda class. She was laid down in 2007 and handed over to the Navy only in November 2020. With the second ship in the series laid down in 2009, the story is roughly similar.


Even against the background of the Russian shipbuilding industry, which is experiencing very great difficulties, such a pace is, as they say, "into any gate." The Fifth Republic is doing better with the construction of surface ships: the Naval Group, we recall, recently launched the last FREMM-class frigate designed for the French Navy. This is the tenth FREMM frigate built by the Naval Group, and the ninth for the French Navy.

However, you need to understand that building frigates is one thing, and a large nuclear aircraft carrier of a completely new type is another. The goals and objectives for which, by the way, have yet to be determined: so far, the potential of the aircraft carrier looks completely redundant. Perhaps the French will eventually decide to go the other way, more rational. Having built more than one aircraft carrier, but with a smaller displacement. So that one of the ships is always in service, while the other will be undergoing repairs and upgrades.


Another interesting idea last year was put forward by the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, proposing to create a pan-European aircraft carrier. Now it looks more like a joke, but over time, the initiative may seem quite reasonable. At least such a program would have a symbolic character, which cannot be said about PANG. A "purely" French aircraft carrier can only become a symbol of excessive (for one country) spending, constant postponements and unfulfilled illusions about the revival of its former greatness.
Author:
25 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Mykhalych
    Mykhalych 15 December 2020 05: 37
    -7
    I start to assemble the layout fighter of the 7th generation. bully And I propose to make the crew of the pan-European aircraft carrier (as a subservient) from dill and the elite of the Baltic "tigers". For the EU, the losses are minimal, and for the US (Russians) moral satisfaction ...
  2. Comrade
    Comrade 15 December 2020 05: 41
    +6
    "Purely" French aircraft carrier can only become a symbol of excessive (for one country) spending
    For some reason, France spends up to twenty billion euros on illegal migrants and "refugees" every year.
    They want to put the ship into operation in 2038.
    Over 18 years, the French will spend hundreds of billions on "uninvited guests", for which they could build two full-fledged aircraft carrier groups with two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
    Charles de Gaulle must have turned over in his grave ...
    1. saygon66
      saygon66 17 February 2021 14: 00
      0
      - Why would you? With de Gaulle, the invasion of migrants to France began ... What he really wanted to do - you won’t ask, but by draining all the French colonies and opening the doors of the country not only for those born outside the metropolis of the French, but also for persons of non-French origin who collaborated with the colonial administration, de Gaulle launched the current nightmare of mass migration ...
  3. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 15 December 2020 05: 51
    -1
    A "pure" French aircraft carrier can only become a symbol of excessive (for one country) spending, constant postponements and unfulfilled illusions about the revival of its former greatness. "Our patriots also dream of this.
    1. yehat2
      yehat2 4 March 2021 16: 48
      +1
      Quote: Pessimist22
      permanent postponements

      but here I disagree.
      the French, in cooperation with the United States, Germany and South Korea, can cheerfully build large ships. If necessary, Turkey, British and Scandinavians can be connected. Plus, they also have a vigorous industry of their own and relatively developed, better than in GBR. So they can build an avik, otherwise if they strain - in 3 years.
      I don't know how long the internal installation and fine-tuning will take, but I see very few problems to build.
      The only question is the budget - will it be enough for the French.
  4. w70
    w70 15 December 2020 07: 24
    -3
    Russian sailors can only drool
  5. novel66
    novel66 15 December 2020 07: 37
    -1
    dream of their former greatness .... Avik won't help here, no, it's good for show-offs, of course, but for everything else ..
    1. Roman1970_1
      Roman1970_1 16 December 2020 21: 51
      +2
      And why is Kuzya being repaired?
      Apparently for show-off easier
      1. novel66
        novel66 16 December 2020 22: 07
        -2
        inertia of thinking, like, it is necessary and that's it!
  6. UAZ 452
    UAZ 452 15 December 2020 10: 15
    +1
    As you know, Charles de Gaulle will complete his service in 2038. That is why I decided that the future aircraft carrier with which our country and our fleet will be armed will be nuclear, like Charles de Gaulle.

    From the construction of the phrase, it turns out that if Charles de Gaulle completed his service in 2037, or 2039, then Macron would have decided that some kind of gas turbine power plant would be more suitable for him. It will be necessary to ask astrologers - what kind of features await humanity in 2038?
  7. Selevc
    Selevc 15 December 2020 12: 46
    -3
    Today France is a country that sits tightly on the hook of the Muslim world. And God forbid their aircraft carrier to do something that people in Ankara, Riyadh, Tehran and other centers of Islam will not like.

    Tomorrow, the French will get a night of long knives in their streets - be it in Marseille, Paris or other cities in France !!! Even with an aircraft carrier without, even with an atomic one, even with a non-nuclear one - the French are losers in their confrontation with the countries of the East !!! It is necessary to have at the head of the country wise politicians and not dullards like Macron. And the construction of a new aircraft carrier is a loud bunch in a puddle against the background of the total defeat of France !!!
  8. Undecim
    Undecim 15 December 2020 13: 43
    +16
    Yesterday Skomorokhov sobbed with pity for poor France, which by no means has enough money and intelligence to build an aircraft carrier, which it does not need at all. Today the Legate started the same organ.
    Let me remind you once again the saying, which is more than five hundred years old.
    I don’t mind giving advice
    Not knowing how to help myself.
    ...
    Deals earn the right
    Others teach yourself for glory.
  9. volodimer
    volodimer 15 December 2020 14: 22
    +4
    I just didn't understand why they put this chapel with crosses on the deck of the aircraft carrier? By 2038, the minaret is more urgent to be funneled.
    And in the case: we envy in silence. Otherwise, the reaction to this French aircraft carrier resembles a recent post: "Press of Ukraine: Russia, weakened by sanctions, may not be able to master the construction of 4 landing ships."
    We need to deal with our Navy, and not screw up other people's projects.
    Now, if we ever build 23560, then it will be possible to laugh at the paddling pools, but for now we are silent in a rag.
    Deals earn the right
    Others teach yourself for glory.

    Undecim absolutely right.
    1. LastPS
      LastPS 15 December 2020 20: 43
      0
      23560 is a destroyer. There will be nothing to laugh at - the scale is incomparable. In general, it is no longer funny - they have a normal De Gaulle, and therefore something like AUG.
      1. volodimer
        volodimer 15 December 2020 21: 09
        -1
        Well, such a "destroyer" to replace the ARC. Ours is 18 thousand tons and 200 m long and 20 wide, against their 75 thousand tons 300 m long and 30 wide .... Less, of course, but in terms of the composition of weapons it should become the next "killer of those same AUG" ... So that all laugh but it will be possible a little, just a little. Another thing is that it is unlikely that we will arrange sea battles with the French.
        And as for the shipbuilders, of course, we are still far from "theirs". Therefore, if we master these 18 thousand tons, then it will already be possible to swing at "William our Shakespeare".
  10. pyagomail.ru
    pyagomail.ru 15 December 2020 15: 14
    +1
    Do I understand the purpose of the aircraft carriers correctly?
    BDK and UDC are approaching the coast of a distant enemy country, landing troops. Nearby there is an aircraft carrier, from which bombers and attack aircraft take off to support the landing, fighters take off to cover the landing from the air, a reconnaissance aircraft takes off, tracking the movements of enemy troops ... In what places on the planet does Russia plan to conduct such operations? Considering the cost of building an aircraft carrier and its operation, as well as defensive doctrine, maybe Russia should not rush to the aircraft carriers?
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 15 December 2020 16: 00
      +5
      Quote: pyagomail.ru
      Do I understand the purpose of the aircraft carriers correctly?
      BDK and UDC are approaching the coast of a distant enemy country, landing troops. Nearby is an aircraft carrier, from which bombers and attack aircraft take off to support the landing, fighters take off to cover the landing from the air, a reconnaissance aircraft takes off, tracking the movements of enemy troops ...

      No, wrong.
      For the Navy of the USSR and the Russian Federation, the aircraft carrier was primarily an air defense device capable of covering ship groups from the air when they went beyond the effective radius of coastal aviation (300-350 km from the airfield).

      For the air defense of a compound or a ship based on an air defense missile system is limited by the radio horizon, which at PMV (favorite altitudes of the anti-ship missile system) is only 30-35 km. And the reserve from the coastal airfield - with a distance of more than 350 km to it - simply will not have time to come to the rescue before the detected group of enemy aircraft knocks down the duty unit and fires anti-ship missiles at the ships.

      That is, the fleet needed AV already in the defense of the "bastion" - on the same Northern Fleet, coastal aviation could not cover 250-300 kilometers of the defense line.
      1. pyagomail.ru
        pyagomail.ru 15 December 2020 16: 35
        +2
        You are right, but, as I understand it, an aircraft carrier does not go alone - we need an AUG with escort ships, supply ships, etc. Will this AUG not turn out to be larger than the ship's group, which is called upon to protect? Further, it turns out that the duty fighters must constantly patrol over the ship's group, looking out for and destroying anti-ship missiles launched from a distance of 500 - 1000 km? And yet - in this case, the aircraft carrier can be small, for 10 ... 30 fighters?
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 15 December 2020 17: 38
          +2
          Quote: pyagomail.ru
          You are right, but, as I understand it, an aircraft carrier does not go alone - we need an AUG with escort ships, supply ships, etc. Will this AUG not turn out to be larger than the ship's group, which is called upon to protect?

          Part of the functions of the classic AUG escort in the "game of defense" will be taken over by the ship groups covered by the aircraft carrier. So the number of direct AB escorts in this case can be reduced.
          Quote: pyagomail.ru
          Further, it turns out that the duty fighters must constantly patrol over the ship's group, looking out for and destroying anti-ship missiles launched from a distance of 500 - 1000 km?

          Aircraft AWACS + several pairs on duty. The main advantage of the aircraft carrier is that the reserve from it will approach the threatened direction faster than the enemy reaches the launch line.
          Quote: pyagomail.ru
          And yet - in this case, the aircraft carrier can be small, for 10 ... 30 fighters?

          Will not work.
          First, we need a full-fledged group of carrier-based AWACS aircraft capable of operating 24/7. And, of course, the technical ability to lift them from the deck into the air. And then we smoothly approach the catapult.
          Secondly, it is necessary to ensure the size of the deck reserve of our AV at least at the level of the number of strikers + the enemy's air clearing group. And at the same time, keep the pairs on duty and the CAP of the aircraft carrier itself in the air.
          Thirdly, it is necessary to ensure a high rate of ascent of this reserve into the air, otherwise it will either be introduced into battle in parts, or it will ripen already for a nodding analysis. And here we smoothly approach several catapults. smile
          1. pyagomail.ru
            pyagomail.ru 15 December 2020 20: 05
            0
            Thanks, exhaustively.
    2. Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 15 December 2020 21: 20
      +2
      Quote: pyagomail.ru
      BDK and UDC are approaching the coast of a distant enemy country, landing troops. Nearby there is an aircraft carrier, from which bombers and attack aircraft take off to support the landing, fighters take off to cover the landing from the air, a reconnaissance aircraft takes off, tracking the movements of enemy troops ... In what places on the planet does Russia plan to conduct such operations? Considering the cost of building an aircraft carrier and its operation, as well as defensive doctrine, maybe Russia should not rush to the aircraft carriers?

      You are a wise man and you understand everything correctly! Moreover, for the aircraft carrier there are no planes (only the SU link), there is no escort (Russia can tear off the coast to help the aircraft carrier no more than one .. at best, a couple of old cruisers) there is not enough large landing craft (four per fleet), and most importantly, no extra infantry and armored vehicles to throw out a couple of battalions to certain death somewhere in Africa, under the cover of the Su link without supplying ammunition and food ... and our peace-loving country still has no goals to attack the peaceful distant countries of Africa and Asia ... Kuzi's only purpose was cut dough and show-off.
  11. Sckepsis
    Sckepsis 16 December 2020 18: 04
    +1

    currently the pinnacle of fourth generation fighters

    A very dubious statement.
  12. Egor53
    Egor53 17 December 2020 00: 14
    -1
    France needs an aircraft carrier like a gonorrhea.
    This wretched country can only fight with the Papuans. After Napoleon, they looked after all the military operations. Fought on the side of Hitler ... so what. The Reichstag was defended by the French division, that was the case. Only defend badly.
    Wine makes great, and grub. Let them do this.
    1. Redsun
      Redsun 24 December 2020 17: 02
      0
      Throw in hats!
  13. The comment was deleted.
  14. bugagich
    bugagich 13 February 2021 04: 10
    0
    the construction of large ships is objectively not the main concern of modern France. In this regard, the most remarkable story of all is the story of the new nuclear submarine for the country's Navy Suffren

    It reminds me of something ... slightly so.