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 On 11 August, General Atomics Electronomagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that the US Navy (USN) had made its first successful at-sea aircraft launch and recovery using the GA-EMS Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). The first arrestment and launch of an F/A-18F Super Hornet was carried out from the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), newly commissioned on 28 July, and was followed by three additional successful arrestment and launches.

EMALS drives the world’s largest linear induction motors to ensure accurate end speeds and smoother accelerations thanks to its sophisticated software controls and power electronics. AAG, designed for controlled and reliable deceleration of aircraft during recovery operations on carriers, is a turbo-electric system.

“This is a landmark event, showcasing the engineering skills, hard work, and dedication of our GA-EMS team and the Navy to bring EMALS and AAG systems into service,” stated Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS. “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 CVN78 forward into operational readiness.”

GA-EMS is the sole source provider of AAG and EMALS for the ‘Ford’ class carrier fleet, which includes not only the newly commissioned first-in-class but also the future USS John F Kennedy (CVN79), currently under construction, and the future USS Enterprise (CVN80). Land based testing of both AAG and EMALS continues at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to support the launch and recovery of all aircraft types and models for the ‘Ford’ class air wing.

Dr. Alix Valenti

GA-EMS is the sole source provider of AAG and EMALS for the 'Ford' class carrier fleet (Photo: GA-EMS)

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