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BAE | Britain/U.K. | Contracts - Awards | France | Other Corporation | Project Failures | R&D - Contracted | Surface Ships - Combat | Thales

France’s PA2/CVF Carrier Project: What will it be?


BR naval aviator visiting Saab

October 2/18: Relaunch? The French procurement office and the Navy are currently in the process of building a basic frame of reference for France’s future aircraft carrier. Defense News reports that the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) and the Navy have been working on a “reflection for definition studies,” with those studies required to launch the carrier project. The studies will outline the future carrier’s must have capabilities including the embarkment of Rafale fighter jets, its successors and UAVs. A first study was launched on August, examining lessons learned on aircraft carriers in operation and the second study will focus on technology and overall architecture. The overall dossier comprising the two studies is expected to be completed at the end of 2019 or early 2020, and will allow the authorities to decide the capabilities of the ship. Fance has been interested in building another aircraft carrier for many years, however it cancelled its promising PA2/CVF carrier project due to financial constraints back in 2013.


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PA2 Concept, June 2006 (click to view full) Throughout most of the Cold War period, France maintained two aircraft carriers. That changed when the FNS Foch, the last Clemenceau Class carrier, was retired in November 2000 (it now serves the Brazilian Navy as the Sao Paolo). As Strategis notes, France has lacked the capacity to ensure long-distance air coverage during the FNS Charles de Gaulle’s maintenance cycles or during other periods when the carrier is not available for active duty (approximately 35% of the time). In 2015, the ship will be taken out of service for an extensive maintenance overhaul. Despite a slippage in initial construction dates from 2005 to 2007-2008, the French still hope to take delivery by 2014 so the new ship can be operational by the time their sole operational aircraft carrier goes off line for repairs. That was the original idea, anyway. Recent developments once again cast doubt on the PA2’s future. The time for a decision was postponed to 2011, but in 2013, DCNS was still waiting, and became increasingly clear France couldn’t afford a second carrier. In fact, the firm is taking its case to the export market. Who might be interested within the […]

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