Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Naval Warfare

French Carrier (2038)

Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier [ 2038 ]

The French Navy hopes to field its new aircraft carrier by the end of the 2030s, replacing the aging Charles de Gaulle design.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/16/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

France has recently announced the design phase for a new, all-modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to succeed the aging Charles de Gaulle as the French fleet's flagship. The vessel's design is being headed by Naval Group and was announced on December 8th, 2020 by the French President. The warship will considerably enhance French Naval capabilities by providing a go-anywhere ability for its naval air arm.

The Navy expects the vessel to feature a running length of 984 feet and displace near 75,000 tons with drive power coming from two nuclear reactors offering the needed performance and, due to their inherent design nature, essentially unlimited range. The warship will showcase launching, retrieval, and support facilities for up to thirty of the in-development "Next Generation Fighters" (NGFs). Launching of these aircraft will involve electromagentic catapults like those now being featured on American "supercarriers". Beyond this, the warship will also carry a small fleet of medium-lift navy helicopters to cover the requisite Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), at-sea replenishment, and Search & Rescue (SAR) roles.

Comparatively, the in-service Charles de Gaulle currently fields a modest collection of Dassault "Rafale" multi-role fighters as well as special-mission (E-2C "Hawkeye") fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopter) types. Supported helicopters include the AS565 "Panther" and AS365 "Dauphin" lines.

Released concept art of the vessel showcases a carrier form similar to de Gaulle, particularly in its use of an angled retrieval deck running from stern to port. Catapult launchers are positioned at the angled deck and over the forecastle's section of straight deck. A compact island superstructure sits to starboard and closer to the stern in the arrangement and hangars are noted ahead of its placement. Along the edges of the flight deck are positioned various defensive-minded weapon systems and sensors to protect the ship from ranged attack.

The French Navy has not made a formal decision on whether one or two aircraft carriers will be procured before the end. In a two-carrier arrangement, one unit could be undergoing required maintenance / repair while the other actively serves - thus providing the French Navy with a ready carrier force when needed.

As it stands, the project will see design work continue into the middle part of the current decade with trials hoped for in 2036 and operational service beginning sometime on or around 2038.

This article will be updated as new information warrants.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

December 2020 - Announced in December, the French Defence Ministry has begun the design phase for its new aircraft carrier to succeed the aging Charles de Gaulle. Detailed studies will continue into 2025 with trials underway by 2036. Service entry is expected in 2038.


France (planned)
Operators National flag of France
National Origin
In Development
Project Status
French Carrier
Hull Class
Unnamed Vessel #1

Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.

984.0 feet
(299.92 meters)

2 x Nuclear reactors driving propeller shafts under stern.
Essentially Unlimited

1 knot = 1.15 mph; 1 nm = 1.15 mile; 1 nm = 1.85 km

Not Available.

Support facilities for up to 30 Next Generation Fighters (NGFs) and unknown number of medium-lift helicopters / UAVs.

Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War period
Military lapel ribbon for early warship designs
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


1 / 1
Image of the French Carrier (2038)
Image from Naval Group press release.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)