:: CLEMENCEAU (1957) ::

Clemenceau aircraft carrier (1957) High resolution picture

After the Second World War, France began a renovation of its Navy that led to the possession of one of the most powerful war fleets in the world. The French Navy reached a second level, immediately behind those of United States and the Soviet Union and on par with that of United Kingdom. The Clemenceau, French aircraft carrier launched in 1957, and her twin Foch were the most visible fruit of that effort. The previous design for a 16000-tonne aircraft carrier, developed in 1947, was never built; instead, the French Navy had used foreign aircraft carriers supplied by the Allies to fill the gap left by the obsolescence of the Béarn.

The new Clemenceau class was much larger, similar in size - and also in other aspects - to the American Essex class. The 3780 tonnes of fuel carried could provide a reasonable autonomy at average speeds. Powerful cannons were intended as antiaircraft armament; initially, twelve twin 57-millimeter cannons, replaced in 1956 by twelve single 100-millimeter cannons, which in turn were reduced to eight in 1958. These ships were completed with an angled flight deck of 8 degrees, a mirror system - of French patent - for approximation, two elevators and two steam catapults. The funnel was integrated into the isle, as in the American aircraft carriers. The electronic equipment included a DRB1 10 three-dimensional radar, a SENIT automatized command and control system - based in the American equipment - and an SQS-505 sonar. The units of the Clemenceau class were once the most powerful aircraft carriers, with the exception of the large American counterparts.

Class: Clemenceau (2 units - Clemenceau (R-98), Foch (R-99))

Type: Aircraft carrier

Length: 265 meters

Beam: 51.2 meters

Draught: 7.7 meters

Displacement (standard): 22350 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 6 x boiler Indret, 126000 horsepower

Speed: 32 knots (59 kilometers/hour)

Range: 6300 nautical miles (11667 kilometers) at 18 knots

Fuel: 3780 tonnes of petrol

Complement: 2150

Armament: 8 x 100-millimeter cannon, 5 x 12.7-millimeter machine gun

Aircraft: 40 (Vought F-8E fighters, Dassault-Bréguet Super Étendard strike aircraft, Bréguet 1050 Alizé antisubmarine aircraft and Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon antisubmarine helicopters)

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