General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced that the US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) has achieved a key milestone during the vessel’s 18-month Post Delivery Test & Trials (PDT&T) period.

Aboard CVN 78, Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) and Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), the aircraft launch and recovery technology, achieved the US Navy’s target of 8,000 aircraft recoveries and launches during the PDT&T period.

The PDT&T period started in January last year and ran until this April. During this period, CVN 78 conducted 18 Independent Steaming Events (ISE) in a all weather conditions, as well as under various sea state operations.

Within the first three months, EMALS and AAG completed critical Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT), Flight Deck Certification (FDC), and over 2,000 successful aircraft launch and recovery cycles.

The testing involved F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2C/D Hawkeyes and Advanced Hawkeyes, C-2A Greyhounds, EA-18G Growlers, and T-45C Goshawks.

GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “The last 18 months have been very exciting and challenging.

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“We are proud of the record number of critical ‘firsts’ EMALS and AAG achieved during this period to bring the systems into real-time operational readiness.

“Navy leadership set a clear goal of completing 8,000 catapult launches and arrestments during PDT&T. EMALS and AAG met and exceeded that goal with a 100% safety record.”

In March this year, EMALS and AAG successfully completed 7,879 cats and traps aboard USS Gerald R Ford.

At the 18th and final ISE in April, EMALS and AAG broke the 8,000 mark by more than 150 launches and recoveries.

GA-EMS said it is also delivering EMALS and AAG for the future Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy (CVN 79) and USS Enterprise (CVN 80).

In March last year, a F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to Blue Blasters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 landed aboard USS Gerald R Ford’s flight deck, marking the 1,000th recovery milestone of a fixed-wing aircraft using Ford’s AAG.