Alrighty, this is going to be the most recent/current military invention I’ve ever done. France gets the spotlight this time!
In the 1970s France had the desire to replace two of his old faithful aircraft carriers, Foch and Clemenceau, with another one larger and more magnificent. Titles for the carrier were passed around until the name of the WW2 General and former president was settled; Charles de Gaulle. The carrier was to be 858 feet long, weigh 40,000 tons, contain new and improved technology and be nuclear powered.
Truly this was going to be the next best thing!
This marvelous addition to the French Navy commenced in 1986 and many hopes were high. Then everything started to go downhill when 1990 hit with the economic recession. It was one nightmare after another.
- France ran out of money for the project, postponing it about 4x within the next 5 years.
- The company producing the propellers made them incorrectly and then went out of business before refitting could be done… and the documents of the design were lost in a fire.
- The new and improved engine became fried after exposure to radiation because it wasn’t installed properly.
- After the deck was made it was then discovered that it couldn’t be used to defend the ship.
It sounds like this project had too much money poured into it to scrap. The ship does function, just not at an impressive speed (27 knots). Currently it is in use and is the only aircraft carrier that France has and it’s not even a “full” one at that.
This creates another problem as France is suppose to have two carriers in his navy. So guess which neighbor he’s asking to share?
With all this in account I do feel sorry for France. It appears that fate does not have any favors towards him.
I also feel sorry for the ship’s namesake who had no say in the matter because he died before it was conceived.