Chirac Selects Conventional Propulsion for the Second French Aircraft Carrier


Released on Friday, February 13, 2004
France
United Kingdom
Charles de Gaulle
PA 2
Queen Elizabeth
Rafale M
The President of France, Jacques Chirac, announced on 13 February 2004 that the future second French aircraft carrier will be conventionally-powered rejecting nuclear propulsion mode already selected for Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

This decision is envisaged to achieve industrial cooperation and military interoperability with the United Kingdom for the decades to come. Thales would take additional benefits from that thanks to its involvement in both, the second French aircraft carrier program and British CVF aircraft carrier program.

The second French aircraft carrier, known as the PA 2, will ensure long term France's overseas air power deployment capability. Currently, Charles de Gaulle offers a 65% availability with the PA 2 this figure would increase to 100% availability. In addition, the PA 2 could provide enhanced interoperability with future British CVF aircraft carriers.

The French Navy is considering both an indigenous design and a CVF-based design meaning an outstanding interoperability with British military forces. The PA 2 carrier air group will consists of Rafale M multirole fighters in the 2015 horizon while UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles) are being considered in the 2050 horizon.

According to French schedule, the new PA 2 aircraft carrier will be ready for active service before 2015, when Charles de Gaulle should receive a major overhaul.

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