The 38,000t, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle was constructed at the DCN Brest naval shipyard in Brittany. The ship was launched in May 1994 and commissioned in September 2000, following sea trials which began in January 1999. As a result of trials the landing deck has been lengthened by 4.4m to enable the E-2C to land and clear the deck quickly. The carrier was due to enter service in December 2000, but, following the breakage of a propeller blade during long-distance trials, this was delayed to April 2001. The ship can operate a fleet of up to 40 aircraft: Rafale M (range 3,340km), Super Etendard (range 1,682km) and three E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. The ship will also support the AS 565 Panther or NH 90 helicopter.