Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Students blockade Paris schools to protest suspected police rape

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Displaced people in South Sudan suffer from untreated mental disorders

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Somalian President asks Al Shabaab to lay down their weapons

Read more

THE DEBATE

Borderline Politics: US-Mexico relations hit a wall (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Borderline Politics: US-Mexico relations hit a wall (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Arms race: Delegations eye lucrative deals at Abu Dhabi military fair

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

France's Salon de l'Agriculture: Celebrating a struggling sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: Carnival in a time of crisis

Read more

ENCORE!

A long way from home: 'Lion' stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel hit the red carpet

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

2017-02-16 Asia-pacific

Thailand still mourning its beloved King Bhumibol

He was the world’s richest monarch – wealthier than Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II - and the longest-serving, spending 70 years on the throne. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej,...

Read more

2017-02-09 Africa

Rose Nathike: S. Sudan athlete’s race for a better life

For Rose Nathike, running is a way of life. First the South Sudanese athlete ran to flee the war in Sudan. Then she trained at her refugee camp in northern Kenya. Finally she...

Read more

2017-02-02 jihad

Video: Jihad Sisters, French women bound for ISIS

France 24 brings you an exceptional documentary in partnership with French TV news magazine "Envoyé spécial", on the hidden women of the jihadist web, the "sisters" of the...

Read more

2017-01-26 Asia-pacific

Flight MH370: Families of missing passengers search for the truth

It’s a unique case in the history of modern aviation. Nearly three years after its disappearance, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, has still...

Read more

2017-01-19 Burundi

Burundi: Fear and Exile

When Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was running for a controversial third mandate in April 2015, he sparked a major crisis and many demonstrations. Since...

Read more