Day by Day

Friday, December 05, 2003

Or - Pardon me whilst I chortle and pound my chest.

Our (non-)friends, the French, seem to be having a spot of trouble getting their brand new (eleven-year old) aircraft carrier up and running.

France is considering quietly retiring their new nuclear powered aircraft carrier and joining with Britain to buy a new carrier of British design. Actually, the French had planned to built a second nuclear powered carrier, but they are having so many problems with the first one that they are quite reluctant about building a second of the same design

Ya don't say! And just what problems may the french be having now? (Oh yeah, I'm listing them! Heh!)

The 40,000 ton ship has cost over four billion dollars so far and is slower than the diesel powered carrier it replaced. Flaws in the "de Gaulle" have led to the use of propellers from it predecessor, the "Foch," because the ones built for "de Gaulle" never worked right. Worse, the nuclear reactor installation was done poorly, exposing the engine crew to five times the allowable annual dose of radiation. There were also problems with the design of the deck, making it impossible to operate the E-2 radar aircraft that are essential to defending the ship and controlling offensive operations. Many other key components of the ship did not work correctly, and the carrier has been under constant repair and modification. The "de Gaulle" took eleven years to build (1988-99) and was not ready for service until late 2000. It's been downhill ever since

This is the country that wants to be the counter-balance to the United States of America, and they can't even build a working aircraft carrier. What's worse, the desiel carrier that the "de Gaulle" was supposed to replace is still sailing proudly... as the Sao Paulo, flag ship of the Brazillian Navy.

A leaky ship that can't sail, that can't launch aircraft, and that cooks it's engineering crew like a microwave oven... a total and utterly complete failure in every aspect.... and yet the french think they can be the worlds opposition to us? They can't even build a damn ship that we've been building for 40 years!

Don't miss what the Rott had to say on this subject. He's one of the few people who's disgust with the french match my own. And Jim, who's blog I just discovered today, had this to say on the subject:

But, should you ever see this ship bearing down upon you, glowing eerily, sheer off shaprly, indeed.

Two or three leauges ought to suffice. Upwind. But really, I don't know what's the greatest hazard.

Radiation, or the smell of microwaved Frenchmen

Yes, pardon me whilst I chortle!

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