'Charles de Gaulle' aircraft carrier arrives in Crete

The aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle", flagship of the French Navy, sailed into the NATO pier of Marathi, in the port of Souda Bay on Crete on Monday morning.
The nuclear-powered vessel, which set off from its home port of Toulon on March 20, is taking part in the operations in Libya and will remain in Souda until Saturday.

The 38,000-ton Charles de Gaulle" has has two nuclear pressure water reactors that enable it to sail with a speed of 27 knots (50 km/h) with full autonomy, a length of 261.5 meters and a 261mX64m flight deck.

It also has a crew of 1,150 people but due to its operational capacity also has 550 aircrew and 50 air support staff. It has an accommodation capacity of 1,950 plus short-term accommodation for 800 marines.

It carries a fleet of 40 Rafale and Super Etendard aircraft and three E-2C Hawkeye early warning craft. It is the second largest European carrier, after the "Admiral Kuznetsov", and the flight deck has a catapult that can launch one aircraft per minute.

The ship is capable of monitoring up to 2,000 targets, and is equipped with Aster 15 ground-to-air missiles and Sylver missile launchers, as well as two Mistral missile systems.

The vessel was commissioned in September 2000 and formally launched in May 2004 and is considered the most advanced warship to be built in Europe, with the highest performance.

Considered one of the most developed battle systems, it is able to carry out 100 air missions per day.

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