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France Unveils Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier


French shipbuilding firm Naval Group introduced its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier concept during the 2022 Euronaval trade conference in Paris.

Dubbed the Porte Avion Nouvelle Génération (PANG), the next-generation warship will be designed to carry up to 32 fighter jets and a large number of helicopters.

The aircraft carrier will also be able to carry several unmanned aerial systems and tactical battle management – command and control aircraft.

“It’s going to be designed in such a way that it can be modernized incrementally and the combat system can evolve,” program director Olivier de Saint Julien said, as quoted by Breaking Defense.

“We don’t know today what kind of technology will be available in 15 years’ time so we need to allow for new technology to be able to be easily fitted.”

The PANG is set to replace France’s nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier by 2038, with the first sea trials expected to take place in 2036.

Additional Features

Naval Group’s PANG aircraft carrier is 310 meters (1,017 feet) long and 85 meters (279 feet) wide.

It will utilize two nuclear reactors from TechnicAtome to power three shaft drives.

The reactors will only reportedly need to be refueled once every ten years, enabling the carrier to stay at sea for much longer periods.

PANG will carry a crew of 2,000, including aircraft engineers, to provide on-board maintenance support and repairs.

Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
French defense officials take a look at a scale model of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Photo: French Ministry of Defence





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