French Carrier De Gaulle Docks At Port Of Toulon

Thursday, October 05, 2000
France's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle docked for the first time at its permanent base, the Mediterranean port of Toulon, on Wednesday.

Three navy frigates and hundreds of yachts escorted the 42,000-ton vessel into port as it joined the rest of the French fleet.

The Charles de Gaulle, which has 200 women among its 2,000 crew, is to leave in three weeks on its first long cruise.

Carrying up to 40 planes, it replaces France's last surviving aircraft carrier, the 41-year-old Foch, which has been sold to Brazil.

The Charles de Gaulle had left this past Saturday the port of Brest - where it was built over 13 years.

France is expected to decide before the end of the year whether to build a sister ship to the Charles de Gaulle.

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