French Carrier To Return In April

Tuesday, January 30, 2001
The troubled French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which lost part of a propeller during its first long cruise last year, will be back in service in April, France's Defense Minister said. The 40,000-ton nuclear-powered warship, built as the flagship of the French navy, limped home after the mid-Atlantic mishap last November amid sarcastic comments from the press and muted anger among naval officers. Paris had counted on the ship to help project French military power as the only European carrier equivalent to those of the U.S. Navy's mammoth vessels. The government said it would be temporarily fitted with spare propellers until new ones are delivered in 2002. The spare propellers, which are 40 years old, will limit the ship's top speed to 23 knots rather than the 27 knots it was meant to hit, officials said. - (Reuters)

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