Naval Air: September 19, 2000


France is beginning its internal debate on the construction of a second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which could not enter service until 2012. The problem is that with only one carrier (the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle) France would have no deployable carrier about 40% of the time. Anyone wanting to interfere with French interests could simply pick the next maintenance cycle for the ship. While France is pushing a European military capability (without US involvement), France is determined to keep in its own inventory everything it needs to project power without any allies.--Stephen V Cole


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