“This is not just a boat”: the French Ministry of Defense refused to build a second aircraft carrier
France has a single aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, which serves the fleet since 2001. However, many local experts and politicians insist on the need to build a second ship, pointing out that otherwise the country may lose the ability to defend its interests at sea and, as a result, lose its military and diplomatic rating.
According to estimates made in 2017, the construction of a new generation aircraft carrier PA-NG will take 10 years and cost 4,5 billion euros, that is, 450 million euros or 0,2% of GDP will have to be allocated annually.
On August 28, the head of the General Directorate of Armaments Emmanuel Chiva on BFMTV aired the position of the Ministry of Defense on this issue, in fact declaring the abandonment of plans to build a new ship:
Earlier in 2019, Admiral Pierre Vandier, chief of staff of the French Navy, said that the main concern was the possibility of manning, since the fleet has lost half of its personnel since 1990:
The admiral offered to make a choice - either abandon one of the nuclear submarines, or recruit new sailors and train them for 10 years. But the main problem is the financing of the aircraft carrier. In 2019, Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland presented an estimate of the cost of maintaining the already operating Charles de Gaulle at about 200 million euros per year: 120 million for maintenance, 60 million for personnel, 20 million for the maintenance of related infrastructure.
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