Verdun class aircraft carrier

French aircraft carrier Verdun (R58).

Class overview
Builders: DCN
Shipyard: Scheduled Saint-Nazaire
Operators: Marine Nationale
Precided by: Joffre class aircraft carrier
Succeeded by: Clemenceau class aircraft carrier
In commission: 1965-Present
Planned: 4
Completed: 4
Active: 4
Cancelled: 0
Retired: 0
Scrapped: 0
General characteristics
Type: Supercarrier

60,000 tonnes (59,000 long tons) standard

75,000 tonnes (74,000 long tons) full load

Length: 290 m (951 ft)
Beam: 31.7 m (104 ft)
Draught: 8.6 m (28 ft)

4 x steam turbines

4 x shafts

200,000 shp

Speed: 33 knots
Range: 7,500 miles
Armament: 2 x Masurca SAM
4 x 100 mm DP guns
Aircraft carried: 70

Mirage IVM

Jaguar M

Aviation facilities: Angled flight deck for CATOBAR operations

The Verdun class aircraft carrier supercarriers are a class of supercarriers being built for the French Navy in the 1950s and is the first supercarrier class to be built outside of the Unites States and the Soviet Union. With 75,000 tons at full load, this class of supercarriers can carry up to 70 fixed-wing aircraft, such Mirage IVM and Jaguar M and was the largest warships in the French Fleet until the arrive of the new Future French aircraft carrier class in the mid-2010s.

Verdun class was a part of a new naval programme to upgrade the French Navy and to build more and larger aircraft carriers after the World War II, and the first aircraft carrier class to be completed alone-side the Verdun class carriers, was Clemenceau class aircraft carrier with four carriers.

Four carriers of the Verdun class aircraft carrier was ordered and completed during the 1960s.


With the Clemenceau class aircraft carriers soon to enter service, the French Navy launched an effort to build a larger carrier specifically with the nuclear strike role in mind. Construction of the first carrier was considered in 1958, launched in 1961 and completed and commissioned in 1965.

For more than 30 years, France would rely on the Clemenceau class to provide fixed wing aviation. These four ships were modified in the 1980s to accommodate AN52 nuclear bombs. France built a new carrier finally in the form of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) at the end of the 1990s.

Ships in classEdit