Electromagnetic Launch Systems from General Atomics Prove Their Mettle

US Navy photo 

Electromagnetic systems developed by General Atomics for launching jets from aircraft carriers demonstrated their durability in recent shock trials for the US Navy that mimic marine combat scenarios. It was the first time in 30 years that such robust trials were done. 

The company announced in September that the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) aboard USS Gerald R. Ford successfully performed as designed as the ship underwent Full Ship Shock Trials off the Eastern seaboard during the months of June, July and August 2021. Ford is the first aircraft carrier in more than three decades to undergo the rigorous testing, which provides crucial data for analysis to validate the shock hardness of the ship and all systems aboard to withstand battle conditions. 

“The completion of this milestone is a validation of the critical steps we took early in the development process to work closely with the Navy to conduct preliminary shock qualification testing prior to delivering EMALS and AAG equipment to the shipyard for installation,” said Scott Forney, president of GA Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS). “We actually mount equipment on floating barges and detonate ordnance at various distances and underwater to simulate operation and combat situations. This process allows us to address any issues prior to delivery and installation on the carrier. More importantly, this additional step helps ensure we deliver extremely robust systems to all Ford-class carriers that will provide decades of reliable operational performance under the most challenging conditions.” 

US Navy photo 

Prior to the recent shock test trials, EMALS and AAG successfully completed various additional testing milestones, among them achieving and exceeding the Navy’s target of 8,000 launches and recoveries aboard the Ford. Installation of the systems is now moving forward on additional vessels. 

Based in San Diego, California, GA-EMS is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. Its technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for defense, industrial and commercial customers worldwide. See www.ga.com/ems