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PA-Ng carrier design matures ahead of definition phase transition

A helicopter operating spot has been introduced on the starboard quarter. In addition, a maintenance area – occupied by an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye on the model – has been added aft of the island. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

The design of the French Navy's next-generation nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) is continuing to evolve, with the latest iteration revealing a series of refinements to the ship's flight deck layout and island superstructure.

The Porte-Avions Nouvelle Génération (PA-Ng) programme, intended to replace the French Navy's current CVN Charles de Gaulle from 2038, was given the official go-ahead by President Emmanuel Macron in December 2020. The Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) and industrial prime contractor MO Porte-Avions (a joint venture of Naval Group and Chantiers de l'Atlantique) are undertaking systems/architecture design activity intended to mature the design baseline ahead of a transition into the definition phase in the first half of 2023.

The PA-Ng preparatory study phase, completed in late 2019, had previously shaped a nuclear-powered vessel of approximately 300 m in length, 80 m in beam, and displacing around 75,000 tonne at full load. Sized around an embarked air group comprising over 30 fast jets, plus other fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, the initial concept design included ship-wide electrification of power systems and equipment, a single integrated island superstructure, two or three electromagnetic aircraft catapults, a three-wire arrestor system, and two deck edge aircraft elevators (each with a 40 tonne lift capacity) offset to starboard.

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