France has announced that its next-generation aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered. The new carrier, expected to enter service in 2038, is known as PANG (Porte-Avions Nouvelle Génération, or new-generation aircraft carrier).
Design and development work is expected to continue until 2025, when construction is scheduled to begin. At 300 metres (984 ft) in length, and fitted with two 220 megawatt nuclear reactors, the ship will have a top speed of about 27 knots.
At full load, the carrier, reportedly named Richelieu, will have a displacement of 75,000 tonnes, compared to the 42,500 of the Marine Nationale’s current carrier Charles de Gaulle.
While the Richelieu will be compatible with the Dassault Rafale M, France’s current carrier-launched fighter jet, the new ship is designed to operate an air wing of about 30 future Franco-German-Spanish Next Generation Fighters (NGF).
Rumors estimate the warship’s final cost at over 5 billion euros.