French Navy

Marine Nationale

Marine nationale

"Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline"

"Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline"

Active:        1624-Present

Country:        France

Size:         275 Ships, 517 Aircraft

Garrison/HQ:    Toulon, Brest

Nickname:        La Royale

Colours:        Blue, White, Red

It is one of the world's oldest naval forces and historically played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire. Since 2008, its roles have been defined as maintaining intelligence, protecting populations, prevent crises, intervene wherever necessary to reestablish peace, and dissuade any threats against vital French interests.


The French Navy operates three amphibious assault ships, one amphibious transport dock, two air defence frigates, 7 anti-submarine frigates and six fleet submarines (SSNs). This constitutes the French Navy’s main ocean going war-fighting forces.

In addition the French Navy operates five light frigates, six light surveillance frigates and nine Avisos (or sloops). They undertake the navy’s offshore patrol combat duties, the protection of French Naval bases and territorial waters, and can also provide low-end escort capabilities to any ocean going task force. 

The four ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) of the navy's Strategic Oceanic Force provide the backbone of the French nuclear deterrent.

The Charles de Gaulle (R91) Aircraft CarrierEdit

The Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the largest Western European warship. She is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel. It is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle.

Naval Aviation

Aéronautique Navale

Chasse embarquee

"Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline"

"Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline"

Active:        1988-Present

Country:         France

Size:           517 Aircraft

Garrison/HQ:    Toulon, Brest

Nickname:         Aéronavale

Colours:        Blue, White, Red


The French Naval Aviation is officially known as the Aéronavale and was created on the 19 June 1998 with the merging of Naval patrol aircraft and aircraft carrier squadrons. It has a strength of around 6,800 civilian and military personnel operating from four airbases in Metropolitan France. The Aéronavale is currently in the process of modernization with a total order of 58 Rafale multi-role fighters on order. 55 have so far been delivered and operate from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

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