The French carrier strike group and its flagship, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, trained with the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) for four days last week.

NATO say that their combined exercises ran between the 19th-22nd of March bringing together warships from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom on the east coast of Denmark.

“Naval exercises involving a large number of ships from various countries are complex and challenging. Regular training and exercises among NATO-forces and Allied nations are therefore important to enhance Alliance’s ability of naval war fighting and to maintain high readiness.”

The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its strike group left France in January for operations in the Mediterranean Sea.  The group has now deployed to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.

“The interaction with the French carrier strike group provides valuable opportunities for both the carrier strike group and us. The ability to train and develop our procedures, communication and interaction is ultimately what tie us together as allied forces. It enhances our readiness and our ability to fight war. Obviously it also enhances the cohesion within the Alliance. Together NATO allies constitute a powerful naval force,” said Commodore Yngve Skoglund, Commander of SNMG1.

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Nigel Collins

I wonder where things might end up further down the line now that the Ford Class has made its 1000th aircraft arrest! “QinetiQ and the US Navy carried out a study on an electromagnetic catapult launcher. Early studies indicated that a 300ft-long, 90MW linear motor would be needed for the CVF aircraft carriers, but both MOD and UK industry would wish to see the results of demonstrations and trials of electromagnetic launcher technology before considering the selection of a launch system. An electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) is to be developed by General Atomics in the USA for the USN… Read more »


We british already created a new launch system, it seemed to work great in testing, I can’t remember the name but we got pretty far with it further than the Americans at that time it was a few years back I can remember watching a program with it in.

Nigel Collins

No doubt, and more than likely sold the technology on!

Nigel Collins

I wonder how different thins might have been if we stuck with it?

First F-35C launch from EMALS


You forget how big the wing is on the F35C compared to the piddly one fitted to the F35. It was interesting to read the GAO report on the EMALS system as fitted to the USS Ford. Basically it’s a maintenance nightmare. The Ford has four EMALS catapults, but they are all powered from the same electrical bus and can’t be individually isolated. Therefore, if you need to do maintenance on one, all four must be isolated, top design there lads. There was a video on Youtube a couple of months ago of an F18 being launched by EMALS from… Read more »


The one you’re thinking of was called the EMCAT (electro-magnetic catapult) system. It was designed by Converteam who were then bought out by GE. The following link goes to a Think Defence page that has more detail on the system: I far as I’m aware the system is currently in use by Qinetiq at their range in Hebrides used to launch target drones. This version is the EMKIT (Electro Magnetic Kinetic Induction Technology) launch system. Which uses the same linear motor principles but on a smaller scale. I think the problem was that Converteam was small fry compared to… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Things appear to be moving in the right direction at least! F35B wingspan Wingspan: 35ft (10.70m) F35C wingspan 43 ft / 13.1 m F-35C’s larger wing is more fuel-efficient. Can f35C fit the QE’s elevators? “New aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) completed its Flight Deck Certification (FDC) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) Certification on March 20, following two days of intense flight deck operations to prove the ship and crew’s capabilities. Over a two-day period, F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets from four squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 conducted 123 day and 42 night… Read more »


Yes, a F35C can fit on the carriers lifts. The lifts were designed so that two F35Bs could be raised/lowered on the lift. If a Chinook with blades still fitted can use the lift and fit in the hangar, it gives you an impression on the size of the lifts.


It should also be noted that the F-35C’s wings are designed to fold and when they do the span is 29.8ft. more than sufficient to have two on a lift at the same time

Nigel Collins



Emals first came about to use with the new carriers in the UK in the late 1990s. Similar to trimarams and inverted bows (the last two both being VT innovations with the last being Sea Wraith and Sea Wraith two).

Nigel Collins

DaveyB might just have solved the problem with his post above!

“EMKIT (Electro Magnetic Kinetic Induction Technology)”


CDG is a striking looking ship.

Daniele Mandelli

What is the standard escort of the CDG when she deploys? Because if France can manage with 3 Escorts and whatever allied nations contribute as and when then the RN will too.

Just for comparisons sake as so many say the carriers will not have enough escorts.

We should not compare to a USCSG, but another medium power – France.

Christopher Allen

I agree Daniele, when comparing what the French have across their entire armed forces when compared to the UK, it has always seemed to me that the French get more for their money then we do.


Exactly! I keep saying this, particularly to Americans who feel that if you’re not bringing a full-nuke supercarrier and attached CSG to the party then you’re wasting everyone’s time. To be fair to them, they hear the rhetoric from HMG about us being a top tier power and all the claims they make, and then wonder at the disparity. HM Armed Forces are not well served by the government in this respect…

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Joe. The thing for the naysayers to note though, is that there is only 1 Superpower, maybe soon 2 with China. There are then several nations below them with forces of varied size, from India’s huge military to our much smaller military, itself bigger than many others. One cannot compare like for like with the superpowers. But one can have the professionalism, training, logistics, reach, oversees bases, intelligence networks, and modern kit to operate with them if necessary. Depends how a “top tier power” is defined, and numbers and indeed military power are just a part of that. The… Read more »


I couldn’t agree more. I don’t like to knock the UK armed forces at all, as a global power we are one of the most broadly capable around. I can’t think of another country (US aside) that can move an all-arms force as large and effective as we can, as far as we can (anywhere in the world, in our case). Russia and China could certainly do that along their borders, but they’d have trouble across an ocean (that may soon change with China); France and Australia come close, but their logistics tail doesn’t match ours. Not sure who else… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Royal Navy shadows Russian warships after ‘unusually high levels of activity’ in Channel and North Sea