is Preparing The Next Refit of the Charles de Gaulle Nuclear-Powered
DCNS is the sole prime contractor for Major Technical Shutdown No. 2
of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, scheduled for the start of
2017. The Group has been actively preparing for this over the last few
years, through the progressive ramping up of this exceptional project.
This operation is being implemented in close cooperation with the DGA
(French armament procurement agency), the French Navy’s Fleet
Support Department and the aircraft carrier’s crew. This cooperation
with the crew is particularly important because they will actively participate
in the vessel’s maintenance and renovation work. This operation
represents three major industrial challenges for one of the French navy’s
flagships, detailed below.
“Between 400 and 2000 persons will be working to prepare the maintenance
and renovation of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.” Picture:
the platform’s potential
DCNS will perform the ten-year through-life support work of the vessel
to reinstate the potential of all its installations. In particular,
the reactors will be inspected and the fuel replaced, the shaft lines
will be inspected, maintenance work performed on the catapults, the
machinery will be inspected and the air conditioning systems and a galley
will be renovated.
Modernizing the combat system
During the technical shutdown, the DCNS teams will also renovate the
combat system. This involves several operations related to changes in
the IT networks and the deployment of measures to secure the IT systems.
Various changes to the sensors, early-warning radars, navigation radars,
infrared sensors and optronic camera, as well as the renovation of the
communications system, are scheduled. Carrying the SENIT will also require
refurbishing the control room.
Ensuring the transition to “all-Rafale” operations by optimizing
Finally, work will be undertaken to adapt the vessel to the new carrier
air wing, with a transition to “all-Rafale” operations further
to the withdrawal from active service of the modernised Super Etendard.
Several systems and installations will be replaced and upgraded: deck-landing
aid installations and target-motion systems. Furthermore, the centralized
installation supervision system, the fault management support systems
and the platform’s control PLCs will also be modernized to bring
the aircraft carrier up to the highest technological standard.
An operation of this scale at the vessel’s midlife point must
be prepared several years ahead. As of today, over 400 persons at DCNS
are working on the development of the future systems and are preparing
the operations, with the number of persons peaking at 2000 during the
technical shutdown itself.