Navy takes delivery of first components for electromagnetic aircraft launch system for new aircraft carrier

SAN DIEGO, 19 May 2011. Designers of the U.S. Navy's future aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) are taking another step toward deploying the nation's first electromagnetically powered carrier-based aircraft catapult systems with the 9 May delivery of the first set of Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) production components for installation in the Ford, which is under construction at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Newport News, Va.

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SAN DIEGO, 19 May 2011. Designers of the U.S. Navy's future aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) are taking another step toward deploying the nation's first electromagnetically powered carrier-based aircraft catapult systems with the 9 May delivery of the first set of Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) production components for installation in the Ford, which is under construction at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Newport News, Va.The Ford is the first aircraft carrier of the CVN 78 class and will become the Navy's newest class of aircraft carrier, succeeding today's newest Nimitz-class carriers.While the Nimitz-class carriers and all other active U.S. aircraft carriers have steam-powered aircraft catapults, the Ford-class carriers will have EMALS electric aircraft launch capability, which uses a linear motor drive instead of the steam pistons used today's carriers. EMALS will reduce reduces stress on aircraft because it accelerates them more gradually to takeoff speed than steam-powered catapults.

EMALS is more efficient, smaller, lighter in weight, more powerful, and easier to control than are steam-powered catapults. The General Atomics EMALS shipset has thousands of pieces of hardware.

Construction on the USS Ford started in 2005, and the completed ship should join the Navy fleet in 2015, replacing the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which has been in the fleet for half a century. For more information contact General Atomics online at www.ga.com.

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