Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)

General Atomics‘ electromagnetic catapult has been successfully installed on the USS Gerald R. Ford, replacing the steam catapults that were used to launch generations of Navy aircraft.

The Navy released a video Monday showing tests of the catapult on the 1,106-foot-long, 110,000-ton warship.

The San Diego-based company’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, will be used on all aircraft carriers of the new Ford class.

EMALS uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion to launch all current and future carrier air wing platforms, from lightweight unmanned drones to heavy strike fighters.

Compared to steam, EMALS is lighter, more reliable, request less maintenance and gives more control of an aircraft launch, according to the Navy.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.