Electromagnetic Catapult System Bound For NextGen Carriers
General Atomics tells ANN the company celebrated a milestone
November 16, 2007 with the successful completion of the final
critical design review (CDR) for the Electromagnetic Aircraft
Launch System (EMALS). Capt. Stephen Rorke, Naval Air Systems
Command (NAVAIR) Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment program
manager, thought the review "was a rousing success" and praised the
team for their "dedicated efforts to complete preparations for this
EMALS prime contractor, General Atomics, began manufacturing
EMALS linear motor components in its Tupelo, MS facility earlier
this year, and will be manufacturing additional subsystems over the
next year. GA has recently completed construction of a 5,000 square
foot high cycle test facility for EMALS launch equipment and is
planning to double the size of its existing fabrication facility to
support this and other projects.
Staff is also expected to double by 2009 from the current 30
"This is good news on two counts," says Senator Roger Wicker
(R-MS). "From a national defense perspective, it affirms that EMALS
will be a key component in helping make our next-generation
aircraft carriers more efficient and effective in projecting U.S.
military power. It is good news for Mississippi because it
strengthens our partnership with General Atomics. This high-tech
production is providing jobs in Tupelo with the potential for even
more growth in the months ahead. I look forward to working with
General Atomics and the Navy in advancing this important work."
EMALS, a new electromagnetic aircraft launch system for the
next-generation aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford class
(CVN-78), will replace the current generation of steam catapults.
This switch to an electromagnetic system will lower operating
costs, require fewer people to operate, improve catapult
performance and expand the range of manned and unmanned aircraft
that the aircraft carrier can launch.
The next step in the process is to begin installing the full
size, ship representative EMALS equipment in the recently completed
EMALS test facilities at Naval Aviation Engineering Station
Lakehurst, NJ. The EMALS equipment installation is scheduled to
begin in mid 2008, with actual testing to begin in early 2009.
Testing will continue throughout 2009.
The first components of the EMALS equipment are scheduled to be
delivered in 2011 for installation in the CVN-78. The Gerald R.
Ford is scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in 2015.