The Aircraft Carrier Charles De Gaulle Enters Drydock for Mid-Life Update
(Source: French Navy; issued Feb 08, 2017)
(Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
At dusk, the French carrier Charles de Gaulle enters drydock in Toulon for an 18-month refit which will extend her service life by 20 years. Until late 2018, Italy’s Cavour is now the only operational European aircraft carrier. (French navy photo)
After 15 years of operational service during which she was engaged in most of the international conflicts in which France took part (Afghanistan, Libya, Levant), and in particular three times since January 2015, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle today entered drydock for a major refit and upgrade.

This mid-life project is scheduled to take 18 months. Unprecedented in its scope, and the number of modifications to be carried out, the refit will allow the ship to operate for at least another 20 years.

The Navy’s Fleet Support Service, along with the DGA defence procurement agency, will ensure quality control of the work. The overall project management was entrusted to contractor DCNS. Its mission is to lead the work to be carried out during this refit, in coordination with the sailors of the Charles de Gaulle, who will contribute substantially.

Beyond standard maintenance operations (scheduled visit of technical installations, refueling of nuclear reactor, etc.), this mid-life refit has a threefold objective: to modernize the combat system in order to maintain and increase interoperability with allied navies; the transition to the "All Rafale" air wing by optimizing the aviation installations and, finally, modernizing the capabilities of the aircraft carrier by renovating its platform.

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