USS Gerald R. Ford’s EMALS is Operational for All Aircraft

USS Gerald R. Ford’s EMALS is Operational for All Aircraft 16 February, 2020

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) have been cleared for shipboard launch and recovery of all currently deployed naval aircraft types aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). 

This means that CVN 78 completed Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT) following 16 days at sea.

The aircraft carrier passed sea compatibility tests with EMALS and AAG. It can launch and recovery the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, Northrop Grumman C-2A Greyhound, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk. During the test the crew launched and recovered 211 aircraft.

EMALS is a launching catapult that uses a linear induction motor, rather than a steam piston, to accelerate aircraft to take-off speeds. Linear induction motors use electromagnetism to rapidly move a carriage pulling an aircraft off the edge of the carrier and into flight.

The AAG uses a wire connected to an electromagnetic system to slow and stop landing aircraft. Older carriers used a hydraulic system to catch landing aircraft.

The USS Gerald R Ford is first of the USN’s Ford-class of aircraft carriers and the first to use EMALS and AAG, among several other new technologies. The ship is the largest aircraft carrier in the world, displacing about 100,000t.

EMALS and AAG systems are also to be installed on two other future Ford-class aircraft carriers, the USS John F Kennedy and USS Enterprise.


Issue 86