Naval Air: December 3, 1999


The new French carrier Charles de Gaulle entered the DCN shipyard on 1 Oct for a six-month overhaul to fix problems discovered during its shakedown cruise. The French "fully expect" that the ship will be ready for duty by the second half of 2000. The French apparently paid more for the Charles de Gaulle than the US paid for the last carrier of the Nimitz class. (Building many similar ships produces economies of scale that were not available to France, which built only one ship. If a second nuclear-powered French carrier is built, it may cost less than Charles de Gaulle. The French paid a high price for a less capable ship, apparently more for national pride than any military need. --Stephen V Cole


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