The French Ministry of Defence is to carry out a feasibility study into the construction of a second aircraft carrier, to follow the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle, which began sea trials on 25 January. "Two carriers are needed to ensure a permanently available capability," says defence minister Alain Richard, adding that the requirement was confirmed in the 1998 defence review. He adds, however, that the carrier would only be ordered "if financial circumstances permitted". The Charles de Gaulle cost Fr19 billion ($3.2 billion).

Source: Flight International