Navy To Install Electromagnetic Launchers On All Future
The next US aircraft carrier and all that follow will have a
completely new catapult design for launching aircraft. Monday, the
Navy awarded a $145.6 million contract for that new system to
General Atomics of San Diego (CA).
Like a rail-gun or mag-lev train, the new catapult system will
use powerful electromagnets to propel aircraft along the flight
deck for take-off.
"Basically we have to provide enough energy to provide the end
speed needed to launch any given aircraft," said Tony Kopacz,
program manager for General Atomics' electromagnetic launch system.
He was interviewed by a reporter from the San Diego
"The claim to fame is that it's easier on the airplane," Kopacz
said. "We also can handle a bigger spread of different types of
airplanes well into the 21st century."
The system will be installed in the Navy's next-generation
carrier, CVN-21, beginning in 2007.