French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle arrives in UAE

According to information published by Arab News on March 26, 2021, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle arrived in Abu Dhabi as part of a deployment to “demonstrate freedom of navigation” in the region’s waters.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle at Abu Dhabi (Picture source: French government)

The flagship of the French Navy docked at Mina Zayed port along with its strike group of three frigates, a submarine and a refueling vessel.

Its arrival in the UAE capital is part of a four-month deployment through the Eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf called “Clemenceau 21.” which includes operations with the coalition against Daesh and after RHEA exercise.

The ship has been accompanied by frigates from Greece and Belgian and the US Navy destroyer USS Porter.

Iran and its proxies have been accused of a series of attacks against shipping in some of the world’s busiest maritime routes around the Arabian Peninsula.

The Charles de Gaulle, which is carrying 20 Rafale Marine fighter jets and two E-2C Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft, will stay in Abu Dhabi until Wednesday.

Since leaving its base in Toulon last month it has taken part in a number of exercises including joint drills with the US, Japan and Greece in the Arabian Sea this week.

Next month, the aircraft carrier will take part in exercises with India and the UAE before returning to the Eastern Mediterranean to continue its work with the anti-Daesh coalition.

LHD Mistral, FREMM Languedoc, 2 H225M Caracal Helos, a KC-130J, a C-130, 2 Rafale, a C-135, an AWACS, a NH90 Caiman were engaged in a huge naval counter-terrorism exercise "Rhéa" off the coast of Crete.

The first of this class, named Charles de Gaulle (also referred to as de Gaulle), was ordered in February 1986; construction was started in November 1987. The keel was laid in April 1989, and the ship was launched in May 1994.

De Gaulle will be approximately 261 meters long and have a displacement of approximately 40,000 tons. It will accommodate 40 aircraft, including the new Rafale SU 0 class, the Super Etendard (to be replaced by the Rafale SU 2 in 2005), and E-2C Hawkeye early-warning aircraft, as well as several helicopters. There are two catapults, each capable of launching an aircraft every minute. Propulsion is provided by two nuclear reactors of the same design as those used for the new-generation SSBNs.

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