The design lineage of the Clemenceaus was derived from the Excelsior-class heavy cruisers. Like the Curnows, the Clemenceaus the port and starboard warp nacelles — of type LN-72 or similar — on downward curving pylons connected to an extended impulse deck aft of the primary hull. Standard crew complement was 987 officers and crew plus 65 surface action specialists.
The secondary hull consisted of six interconnected hangar decks. Clemenceaus were capable of carrying as many as 129 auxiliary craft — including six complete fighter wings. There up to 18 assault shuttles embarked.