The CV Foch moored at NS Toulon. (D.Allard)
The construction of the carrier began on February 15th 1957, it was launched at Nantes St Nazaire naval shipyard on July 28th 1960 and was commissioned on July 15th 1963. In 1983, the ship was sent to Lebanon with a CAW composed by six F-8E (FN) Crusaders, fifteen Super-Etendards, three Etendard IVPs, five Br 1050 Alizés and six SA-321G Super-Frelons. Then, the CAW took part in operations over Lebanon. She was involved in Yugoslavian War between July and August 1993, mid-February, mid-March 1994, February, between May and mid-July 1994 to support UN's troops. In 1990-1991, she didn't take part in Operation Salamandre (Gulf War). Despite this, the ship anchored at Toulon was on state of alert.
The ship was modified :
The first Rafale M landing was made on the flagship in April 1993 and the first catapulting the following day. In January 1994, from the Foch, the first Rafale M with a full load of external tanks and munitions stores was catapulted and made few landings. The carrier made its last war mission during the Kosovo War between February and June 1999.
The Foch was retired from French service in October 2000. It will be upgraded in French shipyards and operated by the Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brazil)