Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more

FOCUS

The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2016-02-26

Video: On board French aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle

It has a crew of nearly 2,000 people, is 262 metres long and has a flight deck bigger than a football pitch: welcome on board the Charles de Gaulle! The French aircraft carrier is now on her way home. Since December, it has been operating in the Persian Gulf as part of the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Life on board an aircraft carrier at war is intense. For five days, our reporters got a close-up look at daily life on board the pride of the French Navy.

As soon as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier arrived in the Persian Gulf on December 19, 2015, France took command of the naval operations of the coalition against the Islamic State group. The French handed command over to the Americans two months later. "This is a first, which is the fruit of long cooperation with the United States”, explains Admiral René-Jean Crignola.

The aircraft carrier is a floating city, with 2,000 people on board. Among them, the fighter jet pilots are trained like athletes, and are pampered and privileged. They must not lose concentration during their operations. Each mission can last up to six hours. Life on the runway is organised around them to ensure a safe take-off and landing. This feels like a feat every time, as the catapult - the device that launches the planes - is just 75 metres in length. Since December, nearly 400 sorties have been carried out, either bombing terrorist targets or on intelligence missions in Syria or Iraq.

>>On France24.com, also watch our report: "On board a French frigate in the Persian Gulf".

On the bridge, the ship’s navigation is geared towards the aircraft, which have to take off against the wind. The ship must constantly seek that position. At the workshop, nearly 500 technicians and mechanics are busy 24 hours a day. They need to repair each fighter jet, each technical glitch.

The crew set sail just after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris. When they leave on a mission, they never know how long it will last. Nor their next destination.

By Armelle CHARRIER , Julien SAUVAGET

Archives

2017-10-20 Asia-pacific

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

As Turkmenistan hosted the Asian Games in the capital Ashgabat, our reporter managed to obtain a visa to cover the event. He brings us a rare look inside one of the world’s most...

Read more

2017-10-13 Europe

Video: Ghosts of 1917 revolution still haunt Russians

What remains of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia? FRANCE 24 brings you a special documentary on how Russians are living with this cumbersome legacy, as the Kremlin keeps a...

Read more

2017-10-06 Middle East

Video: After the war, life slowly returns to Mosul

FRANCE 24's reporters went back to Mosul, almost three months after Iraqi forces liberated the country’s second city from the grip of the Islamic State (IS) group. The scene of...

Read more

2017-09-29 Africa

Video: Beauty queens to the rescue in Sierra Leone

In January 2016, Sierra Leone, a small West African country torn apart by war and ranked among the poorest in the world, created a sensation at the Miss Universe event. For the...

Read more

2017-06-30 Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia: A long road to equality

In Saudi Arabia, women are considered second-class citizens. They cannot drive or travel without the authorisation of a male guardian: a brother, father, cousin or even a son....

Read more