The US Navy has successfully carried out its first at-sea aircraft launch and recovery tests on-board the newly commissioned Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
The tests have been conducted using General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems’ (GA-EMS) electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and advanced arresting gear (AAG).
Navy personnel carried out the first successful arrestment and launch of an F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet during the trial, followed by three additional arrests and launches.
GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “This is a landmark event, showcasing the engineering skill, hard work, and dedication of our GA-EMS team and the navy to bring EMALS and AAG systems into service.
“We are extremely proud to see these complex, revolutionary systems successfully perform and come to life as part of this extraordinary first-in-class carrier.
“We look forward to working closely with the navy as testing and trials continue to exercise these systems to help bring CVN 78 forward into operational readiness.”
GA-EMS’ EMALS provides software controls and power electronics that help operate the world's largest linear induction motors to ensure precise end-speeds and smoother accelerations.
AAG is a turbo-electric system that has been specially developed to facilitate the controlled deceleration of aircraft during recovery operations on aircraft carriers.
The EMALS and AAG systems are set to continue land-based testing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to support the launch and recovery of all aircraft types and models designed for the Ford-class air wing.
The two GA-EMS solutions are also expected to be deployed on the navy’s other Ford-class vessels, including the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) that is currently under construction, and the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80).
Image: First arrested landing on-board CVN 78 using new AAG system. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.