CLEMENCEAU – A short history

Page - February 2, 2005
The Clemenceau class carriers are the first French aircraft carriers ever built in French shipyards after the World War II. The construction of the Clemenceau began in 1955, she was launched on December 21st 1957 at the DCN Brest naval shipyard and commissioned on November 22nd 1961.

Clean Ship-breaking Now!

The Clemenceau was based with her sister ship, the "Foch" at NS Toulon from 1960 to 1965 then, they were home ported at NS Brest. Finally, they came back to NS Toulon. In 1974, it was sent to Djibouti and in 1983 to Lebanon. On August 13th 1990, the ship escorted by the CG Colbert and the AOR Var was sent with 40 helicopters (SA-341F/ -342 Gazelles, SA-330 Pumas), three Br-1050 Alizés and some trucks parked on the flight deck to Iraq during 'Desert storm & Desert shield'. The ship & her CAW also cruised to Yugoslavia in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 during operation 'Balbuzard' to support the UN's troops, bombing and watching the Serbian Army.


· November 1977 to November 1978 : installation of the SENIT, holds for AN-52 nuclear bombs and INS for Super-Etendards.

· September 1985 to September 1986 : Crotale EDIR system installed.

· 1988 : installation of the DALLAS (Deck Approach and Landing Laser System).io1989 : DRBV-15 and DRBRV-23B radars moved.

· 1993 : installation of ASMP's holds.


The Clemenceau was decommissioned on October 1st 1997 after 41 years of service. The CVN Charles de Gaulle has replaced it. She is now moored in Toulon harbor (naval cemetery) and will be sending for recycling to Alang shipbreaking yard in the 1st quarter of 2005.

The Clemenceau is a perfect example of EU felony. The ships contain large amounts of various hazardous substances like asbestos, PCB and tributyltin. It contains 210 tons of asbestos and huge quantity of PCBs and TBT. Even after partial decontamination, she has 22 tons of asbestos. These toxic chemicals would be release to the environment during breaking. They ruin ecosystems and threaten the health of people working or living close to the yards.

This ship was sold to Spanish company for decontamination and recycling. But later the French authority cancelled the contract in very controversial manner with the Spanish firm and awarded it to Eckhard Marine, second low bidder. Eckhard will have the ship decontaminated in Greece. But Even Eckhard transported the ship to Turkey without decontamination. The Clemenceau was denied entry to Turkey, Greece and Spain on the ground of violation to several laws including EU waste shipment law and Basel conventions.