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Charles De Gaulle

Deployment: Sent to the Indian Ocean on December 1, 2001
Type of vessel: Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
Total personnel: 1,950 approx.
Aircraft: 40 combat aircraft and three E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft
Armament: 15 surface-to-air missile launchers and two surface-to-surface missile launchers and eight anti-aircraft guns.
Maximum speed: 27 knots
Nuclear reactors: 2
Flight deck: 195 meters in length
Commissioned: May 1994

The Charles de Gaulle is the largest fighting ship ever built by a European shipyard. It can launch one aircraft every 30 seconds using two catapults that each can handle aircraft weighing up to 22 tons.

Accompanying the de Gaulle in the Arabian Sea are the frigates, Jean Bart, De Grasse and La Motte-Picquet, the tanker Somme and the nuclear-attack submarine Rubis. An electronic surveillance vessel -- the 4,870-ton converted supply ship Bougainville -- also is in the region collecting intelligence.



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