French new generation nuclear powered aircraft carrier (PA-Ng): Naval Group Illustration
The French Directorate General for Armament (DGA) notified the preliminary design work for the new generation nuclear powered aircraft carrier (PA-Ng) to Naval Group, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and TechnicAtome.
Construction work on the carrier is expected to begin in 2025, sea trials in 2036 for admission to active service of the PA-Ng in 2038 so as not to create a discontinuity between the end of life of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and the arrival of its successor.
The preliminary design work, lasting two years, will make it possible to consolidate the assumptions and technical data resulting from the preliminary study phase.
The summary pre-project phase will involve more than 300 people at Naval Group, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, TechnicAtome and their subcontractors. The development and implementation of the PA-Ng will represent on average more than 2,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) in France over the duration of the project.
The preliminary studies of the PA-Ng, started two years ago, made it possible to reflect on the different possible architectures of the ship, to sketch its dimensions and the size of the air group that it will embark on. Concretely, its main characteristics will be as follows: it will have a mass of the 75,000 tonne class, for a length of around 300 meters, and can reach a speed of 27 knots, or nearly 50 km / h.
To launch and recover its planes, it will be equipped with electromagnetic catapults and new generation arresters. It will be able to carry around thirty new-generation combat aircraft on board. Its crew will consist of around 2,000 sailors, including those of the air group. Nuclear propulsion will promote endurance, availability and the sustainability of skills.
The summary pre-project work of PA-Ng, which has just been ordered by the DGA, is starting in line with that of the boiler rooms, ordered by the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) and will last two years.
This work will make it possible to consolidate the architecture defined by the preliminary studies and the detailed industrial organization of the project management required for a project of this scale. They also aim to set the main safety options relating to the nuclear propulsion of the ship.
The next phase of studies called “detailed preliminary design” will last three years, after which the industry will submit a tender with a view to launching the construction of the vessel. At the same time, the preliminary safety report required for the nuclear propulsion system will be examined.