The French Navy has received the upgraded and modified nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after completion of its €1.3bn mid-life refit.

The aircraft carrier was delivered by Naval Group, the prime contractor for the entire refit programme, following the recertification of its systems.

Carried over 18 months, the refurbishment of the Charles de Gaulle carrier was to ensure increased operational performance levels of the vessel for the next 25 years.

This success is the fruit of a collective effort

Naval Group senior vice-president services Nathalie Smirnov said: “This success is the fruit of a collective effort made possible by the commitment of the aircraft carrier’s crew, Naval Group’s teams, those of the defence sector’s major original equipment manufacturers such as TechnicAtome, Thales or Safran, the generalist companies and the SMEs originating mainly from the local and regional industrial fabric.”

“This success is the fruit of a collective effort.”

The upgraded included the modification of the vessel’s combat system, the integration of new digital networks, replacement of air search and navigation radars, renovation of telecommunications systems, and a complete replacement of the control room.

In addition, Naval Group carried out through-life support work on the carrier which included the maintenance of major installations, inspection of the two nuclear reactors and the replacement of their fuel elements.

The company also conducted maintenance work of the electrical power plant and the propulsion system; inspection of the catapults, shaft lines and stabilising fins; and the painting of the underwater hull and topsides.