Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzanian President dismisses almost 10,000 public servants over forged college certificates

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Election: Abstention, Anger & Apathy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Macron vs. Le Pen: France's bitter presidential run-off race (part 1)

Read more

REPORTERS

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump's First 100 Days, The Pope in Egypt (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's Coptic Christians targeted by Islamic State group

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

France's wartime past takes centre stage in presidential campaign

Read more

#TECH 24

How one NGO is using 3D printers to improve disaster relief

Read more

REVISITED

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

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. And you can watch it online as early as 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

2017-04-28 Spain

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

In Spain, thanks to the success of the "clubs" that have cropped up since 2011, cannabis has become a gold mine. From by-products such as cannabis lollipops and drinks, to...

Read more

2017-04-21 France

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

The village of Bure, in eastern France, has become a battleground for environmentalists. It has been chosen as a site to bury radioactive waste, 500 metres underground. An...

Read more

2017-04-14 France

How sick are French hospitals?

Doctors, nurses, nursing aides, executives and even managers… They chose to work in public hospitals to be able to treat people from all walks of life – from the homeless to...

Read more

2017-04-07 French Presidential Elections 2017

Disillusioned French voters speak out ahead of elections

Back in 2012, we went to meet French voters from all walks of life who told us of their hopes and fears. We met Fabrice, a factory worker; Ahdijah, a social worker; Lionel, a...

Read more

2017-03-31 Holocaust

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her...

Read more