General Atomics, an aerospace and defence company based in San Diego, California, has been awarded a contract worth $1.2bn.

The contract encompasses the production, assembly, testing, and management of Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) hardware for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier, the USS Doris Miller. The scope also includes support for future procurement possibilities with the government of France.

In addition to the hardware responsibilities, General Atomics will also address obsolescence issues, including firmware obsolescence, associated with the EMALS and AAG hardware. This involves non-recurring engineering efforts to evaluate and implement necessary engineering changes to product hardware, software, technical data, and logistics products.

The configuration management process will be crucial in ensuring a smooth transition for the EMALS and AAG system for the vessel.

General Atomics’ EMALS and AAG systems achieved a key milestone aboard the CVN 78. The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) and Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) have achieved 10,000 aircraft recoveries and launch aboard the US Navy’s Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

The contract also offers an opportunity for a case study and developmental research to support the potential future procurement of EMALS and AAG systems for the government of France.

In 2021, the US approved a $1.32bn sale of EMALS and AAG to France. Under the Foreign Military Sale, France requested one EMALS with two launcher configurations and one AAG with three engine configurations. The US has also released the EMALS technology to India for its own aircraft carriers.

Most work will be done in San Diego, California, accounting for approximately 58.1% of the effort. Additional contributions will come from Tupelo, Mississippi (40.2%). The project is expected to be completed by September 2032, showcasing the long-term nature of this partnership.

The Naval Air Systems Command, headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland, will serve as the contracting activity overseeing this endeavour.