Naval Air: December 16, 2000


The new French carrier Charles de Gaulle has been taken back out of service for extensive repairs. French labor unions have claimed that their members had accepted bribes to install faulty parts in the ship. The result is that tens of thousands of parts must be inspected, and many of them replaced. This could keep the carrier in port for months. The unions claim (among other grievances) that the government had ignored their warnings that the propeller was defective. (It cracked during the much advertised crossing of the Atlantic.) Hours after the government announced an inquiry into the propeller design, the design office (Atlantic Industries) was broken into and set on fire. Hundreds of documents are missing. --Stephen V Cole


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