French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle registered 50 cases of Covid-19 before the vessel returned to its homeport in Toulon.

The French defence ministry announced on Wednesday last week that the carrier would be brought home early from a deployment in the Atlantic after some crew members showed virus symptoms.

“It was decided to bring forward its return to Toulon, initially scheduled for 23 April,” the statement said.

Because of the outbreak onboard, the Charles de Gaulle set sail to its home port in Toulon earlier than planned in an effort to access appropriate medical facilities.

The vessel normally has a crew of 1,760 personnel on board.

This news comes not long after 550 Sailors tested positive on USS Theodore Roosevelt. US media reports that currently 93% of the carrier’s crew have been tested for the coronavirus – 3,673 of which returned negative results.

Just under 3,700 Sailors have disembarked from the carrier and moved into quarantine housing on Naval Base Guam and hotels designated by the local government.

It is understood that the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet is facing the virus on 94 warships, including the USS Theodore Roosevelt and three other aircraft carriers.

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Daniele Mandelli

I count 30 jets?

Impressive when you have Hawkeye too.

Ron5

Just done for the camera

Jas

Bitter much?

Ron5

I’m American so err not hardly dude.

Daniele Mandelli

I guess most times many would be below deck?
Even so, even if it is just a photo op it is impressive.

Photo ops for PR reasons or propaganda can be powerful.

BB85

I take it they all have to be able to fit below deck? It must be a seriously tight squeeze.

Daniele Mandelli

I must admit that is something I know little about, even on QEC, just how many can fit inside the hanger. I know the QEC is cavernous but 30 jets? Surely not.

ChariotRider

Hi Daniele,

I used to fly light aircraft and you would amazed how many planes you can pack into a hanger.

This article about RN armoured carriers in WW2 has a picture about 2/5 down showing aircraft stowed in the hanger – you can’t see down the length of the hanger for aircraft.

https://www.armouredcarriers.com/hms-indefatigable-implacable

When you look at this you’ll understand why some have suggest that the QEC’s could surge 70 aircraft (inc helos) in an emergency.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli

Thank you CR, just studied.

Upper and lower hangers too.

Ron5

Not on CdeG or any other modern carrier.

Daniele Mandelli

I gathered.

ChariotRider

Another thing that I noted was that they achieved about 45s take off intervals and one at least one occasion they land 18 aircraft were landed with an average cycle time of 32s. That’s pretty impressive and says a lot for the wartime crews…

Daniele Mandelli

Yes I read that bit too. Intense is putting it mildly!

David Stephen

CVF hanger can hold 22 F-35B. The f-35B is pretty large and doesn’t have folding wings.

Ron5

No they don’t have to all fit below deck but they do have to clear the landing strip if anyone wants to land.

Robert Blay

Yeah, a pretty impressive number for 40k tonne carrier.

Daniele Mandelli

Indeed Robert. Is that the standard air group?

A single QEC with only 24 F35 compared to that impressive shot? We shall take that.

Pity about ASCS only being rotary.

Robert Blay

I doubt it, I think the French like us will deploy a certain number of aircraft depending on the deployment type and requirement. This was maybe taken at the height of the Syrian conflict. They won’t deploy with 30 Rafaels every time they leave the wall. And I’d take 24 F35’s over any number of Rafael’s any day. With the F35, we have a ‘first night of war capability ‘ due to the all aspect stealth, and overall survivability of the aircraft.

Ron5

What makes you think the QE’s capacity is only 24 F-35’s???

Mark B

We have limited numbers of F35s at the moment. The capacity is far higher than 24 and there are differing opinions on the maximum. Probably not as much capacity as the American carriers but we like to reserve a decent amount of space for alcohol.

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Ron5

I never mentioned capacity.

I believe that is the number the QEC will regularly deploy with once 2 squadrons are worked up.

Indeed, I have read it can carry many more, 48 was it? B

But the UK won’t be doing that too often will it? If ever.

Ron5

Fair enough but don’t forget the plan is for US F-35’s to regularly embark. I think 36 aircraft (which is the designed capacity of the UK carriers along with a dozen Merlins) will be seen fairly frequently. More than that will be for emergency ops.

Talking of helo’s, in the headline photo the CdeG only has 2. So zero ASW defense.

Daniele Mandelli

Will be splendid to see Ron

Cheers.

Lordtemplar

NH90 Naval version is both anti ship and anti sub 😉 not to mention carriers are not designed for ASW but for aerial and strike capability. Furthermore, carriers do not travel alone. They are escorted by a few AAW, ASW frigates and a sub.

Trevor

Why would it carry 12 helos and 36 fighters? Would would all those 12 do? It strikes me that a regular full compliment and capacity would be 48 fighters and say 6 helos.
I’m thinking that a QE ‘could’ cope with 60 fighters but this is unlikely.

Daniele Mandelli

What would the 12 Helicopters do.

ASW, 820 NAS is QEC dedicated Merlin unit. No idea how many helicopters each Merlin sqn has these days. 6 or more?

ASCS. 849 NAS will be present, maybe a det of 3 Merlin?

CHF Merlins of either 845 or 846 NAS will also be carried for CSAR, with some RM. Maybe 3?

There’s the 12. Surely 6 is not enough for the varied roles.

Trevor

Yes. fair comment.

Robert Blay

I don’t think it’s capacity is 24 F35’s, it can carry up to 36, 40 at surge conditions. 24 is the number for routine deployments and exercises. And 24 will be carried for QE’s first operational deployment next year.

Ron5

Two points: 12 Merlins allow for a 7×24 ASW/AEW screen around the carrier.

Secondly, the first operational QE deployment is planned to have 16 F-35B and 7 Merlin (4 ASW plus 3 AEW)

julian1

If you look, There’s no way they can safely launch jets with them set out on the flight deck like that. To launch jets, a large number would need to be moved at least and most likely stowed in the hangar. I think its staged for the photo too. Nevertheless, a very impressive photo. This air wing will pack a punch with an aircraft as strong as Rafale

julian1

just noticed it a combination of rafale and super etendard too so obviously a number of years old

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Julian1

Which are the Super E’s? They all look like Rafale to me?

I thought the Etendard had a more swept wing configuration?

Gareth

They’re a mix of Rafales and Mirage 2000s. The Mirages are on the starboard side aft of the tower. Main distinguishing feature between themand is the Rafales quite large canards compare to the Mirages, and a slightly larger overall wing area. Certainly a credible air-wing though!

Daniele Mandelli

Thank you Gareth, thought as such.

Spotted the lack of the canard, but could not ID the aircraft.

Cheers.

Lordtemplar

Sorry but this is wrong. This is all Rafale.
Mirage 2000 does not operate from carriers, never has and never will. Etendard were retired in 2016. PS the SEM and Mirage 2000 do not have any canards.

Trevor

Thanks for confirming that. See a couple of posts I’ve made.

Lordtemplar

Anothr dead giveaway is only the Rafale is twin engine, both Etendard and Mirage 2000 are single engine

Daniele Mandelli

Are the canards retractable? As clearly the jets have the same wing configuration but many lack the canard.

Mr Bell

Cunard is pointing down, used for air braking once the jet hits the arrestor wire

Paul T

The most obvious difference is Wing Shape,the Rafale has a Delta Wing,the Etendard a Swept Wing.

Branaboy

Can’t be Mirages since no carrier variant were procured. Rather the Super-E of the original Entendard IVM jet was developed in thr 1970s. I believe all the aircraft shown are Rafale M. The sunlight is wsshing out the image of the canards for tge planes parked on the starboard side.

Mr Bell

Julian I just zoomed in on the picture, every single one of those aircraft is a Rafale M. They all have cunards, super E has none.

julian1

ok, as usual I didn’t look hard enough (made that mistake before with hms illustrious somehow.) I didn’t see the canards on quite a few aircraft so made the assumption the others were SEMs (what else could they be?) Not very good at making assumption – ask my wife 😉

Lordtemplar

FYI SEM are not delta wings 😉

Trevor

Are you sure? My eyes are useless anyway.
But the picture to me comes from a navalnews.com article quoting (FANAL19) a record 30 Rafales, and this was after the Entendard was out of service.

Supportive Bloke

Or recover them to deck!!

David

… and Aster 15’s too! Still can’t believe we are the only carrier nation to not have point defence missiles on our carriers. Simply boggles the mind! Having only 3 Phalanx mounts is pathetic. I hope this is reversed sometime in the near future.

Robert Blay

The RN trusts the billion £ T45 destroyer to do its job, which is far better equipped to defend the fleet then any carrier’s close in defence weapons. And if any carrier is having to fire any defensive weapons, then it’s been a very bad day in the office.

David

Hey Robert, I’d rather have a very bad day at the office than a last day at the office. Every single carrier operating nation in the world has some degree of point defence missile system onboard their carriers – what makes us so special? Sure, the Type 45 is world-beating in it’s designed role and I am a huge fan but putting all your eggs in one basket so-to-speak is very risky. We all know the real reason the point defence missiles were omitted was down to cutting costs but on a 3Bn carrier, is it really going to increase… Read more »

Robert Blay

There is a lot more to fleet defence then just missiles on a carrier, the Invincible class survived for over 20 years without any sea darts very nicely. We are not going to send a QE into halms way without the very best fleet defence, and we will have that with the T45 and T26, and other NATO assets. And if the shit really hits the fan, all sorts of fancy toys come out of storage to be fitted at very short notice, let alone the fact that we would have to have had monumental political fall out with another… Read more »

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

…then what about the other nations that David refers to? Don’t ignore that comment. If the RN is the gold standard, then those that put too many weapons on their carriers must be held to account for their sloppiness (and no, “different nations have different needs” does not work as an excuse. There is the best, then there’s the rest, pleading that they are different is just sophistry. If they are inferior, like Russia’s 1980s carrier policy, or France’s single nuclear carrier, then they are inferior full stop). It would be nice if those that say how good the RN… Read more »

Robert Blay

But other countries and Navies do have different requirements, and different amounts of money to spend. Not all have the resources to fund the very latest hypersonic defence system, or whatever is the latest toy to have. It’s a balancing act, between fulfilling the national defence requirements of the day, and the evaluation of the preceeded threat. The RN has made a very large investment in CAAM and ASTER missiles for our escorts, and the very capable air defence capability of the F35 with it’s AMRAAM, Meteor and ASRAAM missiles (i forget there in service name) as well as some… Read more »

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Can that level of total rationality be applied to civilian branches of government?

Robert Blay

I would hope so Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Then there is no point in democracy and my entire career was for nothing. You win.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Apologies for sounding bitter, but I have alot of unpleasant facts to face. My capacity to provide anything is now nil.

Robert Blay

You ok mate? Hope you are fit and healthy.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Apologies for what happened. The past few days have been a bit more intense than I was expecting (finances mostly, though that is now alright), and I kinda read your post and had the old fear of whether being an amateur maritime historian is of any use. For some reason its the one issue I can’t “get over”. I got het-up and snapped. I’m useless in shop work, and the idea of going back to the library and having that as a sole source of income spooked me. I think I have some deeply ingrained snobbish issues I have to… Read more »

Robert Blay

Good morning, you don’t have to apologise mate, these are very strange times, and are putting slot of pressure on people. I hope work and finances are sorted, I know loads of people who are now out of work, or had to give up good jobs, and are now working Morrisons, there is no shame in it, and we all have to do what we must. If you love being a historian, then stick at it, do what you love, I’m rubbish at history, of any kind 🙈 I served in the RN for 14 years, 1999-2013 I served on… Read more »

Geoffrey Simon Hicking

Thankyou sir, that helps alot.

Just keep in mind that as an experienced seaman, you would be a first class source of information for a historian. “Rubbish at history”? You’ve MADE history, by being there. That matters.

Daniele Mandelli

I’m not aware of any in service name either? Just thought they were ASRAAM?

Robert Blay

Hi Daniele, I couldn’t remember the names of the RN missiles, sea captor etc, yeah ASRAAM is just ASRAAM 😆

Ron5

I’m with you David. There’s the old rule of thumb that missiles on a target ship are twice as likely to intercept because their tracking systems have an easier job. A few CAMM on the QE’s would be very effective and wouldn’t break the bank.

Lordtemplar

On deck – 30 Rafale M – 2 Hawkeye E2C (three E2D were ordered a year ago, but not yet delivered) – 1 AS565 Panther heli for SAR – 1 NH90 NFH Caiman heli for ASW, ASuW, SAR, VERTREP, and troop transport This picture was taken after the mid life refit of the CDG in 2018. Obviously this is for display purpose, no way that Hawkeye is taking off without clipping the tail of the Rafale on the bow. Normally planes are stored below deck undergoing maintenance etc.. French Navy currently has 42 Rafale M (58 planned orders in total,… Read more »

Ron5

Thank you for the information. Do you know what kind of sortie rate the carrier can support?

Lordtemplar

It can launch an aircraft every 30 seconds with its 2 catapults.
It is designed to be able to operate 100 sorties a day for 7 days with 20 to 24 planes. (according to a report from the French Senate http://www.senat.fr/rap/r99-358/r99-358.html )

Ron5

Thank you

Trevor

Photo was taken in early 2019 as part of an exercise. (FANAL19. ??) 35 aircraft in total. It was a record, so presumably a stunt. It normally carries 24. (navalnews.com)

As such this shows how small the CDG is. It is after all only 2 thirds as big as the QE. With a regular size of 24 Rafales then this is only half what a plausibly regular compliment (48) that the QE could carry.

dave12

Is there any benefits for the Royal navy using early warning radars on helicopters rather than prop planes?

Paul T

Reduced capability versus reduced costs.

John Clark

Undeniably, the capability offered by the E3 is impressive and beats our Merlin AEW by the simple expediency of flying higher and therefore seeing further over the horizon. That’s said, our crowsnest system is proven in its Searchwater 2000 form and as an updated system, highly capable against ground targets too. It’s well able to do the job and has the advantage of being swapped between helos and deployed to other platforms if needed. So a reduced range, but probably good enough and much greater versatility by virtue of its ability to be used across the active Merlin fleet and… Read more »

dave12

Ok ,cheers.

DaveyB

It’s not quite as simple as that. Yes, its capable, but the Crowsnest system is not in the same league as the the APY-9 radar used on the E2D Hawkeye. But it does have its advantages. There are two major factors governing the performance of an aircraft radar system. One, is the size of the antenna array, i.e. its surface area. Two, is the amount of on-board processing that can be done with the returned signal. Simply put, because the Hawkeye is a bigger aircraft, it can carry a much larger antenna for the radar. This has two immediate benefits… Read more »

BB85

Cheaper and you don’t need a catapult. Cross nest is better than nothing but I doubt it even comes close to a Hawkeye in terms of range and loiter time.

Ron5

But for AEW it’s radar performance that is the key measure not range or loiter time.

Harold

Just shows how vulnerable these ships are. A massive waste of money and resources and the sooner the two built in Scotland are dispensed with, the better. No matter how many terrible weapons they carry, they can be brought down by something undetectable by the human eye! Time are set to change as more and more wake up to the stupidity of weapons of war.

Steve Salt

You’ll need better bait to fish here 😊

James

Why even bother visiting this type of website if you hate the military so much? Muppet

Meirion X

@Troll H
So, Once a day MAD rant, is it now then?
So you are definitely ready for a hospital bed!
Sure there will be a spare bad for you!

Mr Bell

No he is definetly not for resus, not for escalation of care, not for ICU. Sorry. No point wasting precious resources on someone whose brain is in total failure.

Meirion X

Of cause, You the medic knows whats best remedy for this type of patient!

julian1

times are unpredictable and a day could come where we are grateful of our military. Your views are irresponsible. No country can afford to be defenceless, no matter how unlikely you believe the threat to be. If you had told most people economies will be taken down by a virus, they never would have believed you, so why be so blasé about a military threat? We spend a tiny, tiny amount of GDP on defence, there is no benefit to anything to cut it further.

Airborne

He’s just a sad troll dick! Does it to try to wind people up who have an interest and a knowledge about the military. A typical 5th columnist coward waiting in the wings!

Daniele Mandelli

“typical 5th columnist”

Apt.

Airborne

I think Harold’s diet of crayons and cat litter is effecting his thought process, and his breath, pheeeeew!

Meirion X

Remember some ‘mothers do ve’ them’?
I’m sure his mum dropped him, as a baby, on his head, just like in the series?
No wonder Troll H does Not learn anything new!

julian1

does that reference come from a book I had as a small child in the ’70s “Harold and the Purple Crayon”?

Airborne

You are the first! Well done that man! Harold is a small boy who’s life is created by a small crayon, as his life is not real, and anything he wants can be created by his crayon! I have adapted this for Harold to be a small child like moron who’s world is make believe, and children are well known for shoving any shite in their mouths lol. Well done that man.

barry white

Ok i’ll bite
Then snowflake explain to me why the UK US China Turkey Italy India Russia Japan and others who i have forgotten have some form of aircraft carrier
So Harold i would go and see a doctor asap as i think you are still suffering from some form mental problems with that arrow still stuck in your eye

DaveyB

Who’s to say that war has not already started, but not in the conventional sense? The Corvid-19 virus has strains similar to HIV DNA and has been said to be man-made. As a bio-weapon the virus has a lot going for it. It has a long gestation period, so can be dispersed widely. So unlike Ebola cannot be easily contained or controlled. The virus has a very strong debilitating effect on people, so much so they cannot work or do every day things without help. Hmm, so let me think, it can knock out a country’s ability to produce goods… Read more »

David Barry

And it can impact on the operations of FOUR US carriers. And we won’t know if it is on the nuc boats!

Crabfat

Has the French captain still got his job? No dodgy emails sent, I hope!

DaveyB

It’s a shame that the letter leaked, but he did bypass command – unforgivable sin. It has been reported today that one of the crew from the Teddy passed away due to the virus, sad day indeed and my feelings are with their family and shipmates.

Crabfat

My tongue in cheek, of course, but well said, Davey. It’s a worrying time for all of us, especially those of our comrades necessarily having to live in close confines with each other. At least, on a carrier, they have some room for spacing out patients – perhaps in a hangar space. On a smaller ship – a DD or Frigate – there are few options for distancing between patients.

Ron5

He meant it to leak, it was no accident.

700 Glengarried Men

Harold is indeed a troll,but I think he has raised a point that needs to be looked at, In times like this how do we quarantine crew’s prior to deployment, to ensure any disease is not embarked and spreads causing a mission to be cut short. There are some missions that can be aborted with no long lasting effect and others that would present real difficulties.

John Clark

How indeed …. It is quite impossible to quarantine an entire carrier crew for 14 days prior to departure.

Possibly the only crew would be the next Vanguard class patrol?

Meirion X

The USN is quarantining the entire crew of the USS Nimitz before next deployment, due very soon.

Mr Bell

UK military are probably going to do the same, makes perfect sense and is a good idea. The 2 weeks quarantine can be used to exercise, prepare pre deployment, test kit, train etc etc

Ron5

Surely, just test them all before embarking would be sufficient.

700 Glengarried Men

Ron you would need to factor in any incubation period prob looking at 2 week quarantine period before deploying, would need to have a sterile area with no physical contact with persons not deploying

Mr Bell

But Ron, it’s currently taking 5+ days to get swab results back. Plus loads and loads of false negatives with stabbing. The current testing really is not sensitive or good enough.

Ron5

Didn’t know that. Thanks.

Mr Bell

Now would be a really bad time for china to attack Taiwan

Ron5

Yes, the results would be devastating for China.

Mr Bell

Fair enough, I think your right in that US navy and air force still have enough left operational to flatten Chinese military in fairly quick order.

Robert Blay

The aircraft on the flight deck in the picture are parked in what the RN would call ‘ procedure alpha ‘ basically put all the aircraft on the flight deck very neatly, so the ship looks great for entering a foreign port, and for the flight deck teams, it can be a very long watch, parking the aircraft with chalk lines drawn on the deck, so they are all lined up perfectly, hard work, but looks great when it’s done.