The US Navy has launched the first F / A-18E Super Hornet aircraft using the new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

EMALS is a complete carrier-based launch system designed for Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) and future Ford-class carriers.

The EMALS technology will replace the current steam catapults on future aircraft carriers, which the navy has been using for more than 50 years.

The system’s technology allows for a smooth acceleration at high and low speeds, increasing the carrier’s ability to launch lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters in support of the warfighter.

The Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) programme team has plans to expand aircraft launches with the addition of T-45 and C-2 aircraft in 2011.