Navy innovates, revolutionizes the way it launches aircraft
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a complete carrier-based launch system designed for CVN 78 and all future Gerald R. Ford-class carriers. The launching system is designed to expand the operational capability of the Navy’s future carriers. The mission and function of EMALS remains the same as traditional steam catapult; however, it employs entirely different technologies. EMALS uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion. This technology permits a high degree of computer control, monitoring and automation. The system will also provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters.
• Necessary higher launch energy capacity
• Substantial improvements in system weight, volume and maintenance
• Increased reliability and efficiency
• More accurate end-speed control
EMALS is funded by the CVN 21 program and will be forward fit only for U.S. Ford-class carriers, beginning with Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) engineers, logisticians and program analysts at NAWCAD Lakehurst have provided integral EMALS support since EMALS’ inception in 1982. The team at Lakehurst provides EMALS life-cycle acquisition management in support of the ALRE Program Office (PMA 251) to include program management, systems engineering, financial analysis, logistics and test and evaluation.
Furthermore, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is home to a land-based, ship-representative EMALS, allowing for the testing of hardware and software aspects of the system.
(U.S. Navy video by Austin Rooney/Released)