President Trump blasted the new electric catapults developed by General Atomics for the Navy’s aircraft carriers, saying he told the service to return to “goddamned steam.”
In a new interview with Time magazine, Trump said he told the Navy, “You’re going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”
The President has repeatedly criticized the Pentagon’s latest technology, from the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the new Boeing 747-based Air Force One.
San Diego-based General Atomics is building the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System for the new USS Gerald R. Ford and future supercarriers. The technology is designed to reduce the stress on aircraft as they are accelerated to flight speed, while weighing less than a steam system and promising easier maintenance.
The catapult system had development delays, but has successfully launched all of the Navy’s major aircraft types during extensive testing.
General Atomics declined to comment on the President’s statements, referring all inquiries to the Navy.