General Atomics to Develop CVN 21 Electromagnetic Catapult


Released on Monday, April 5, 2004
United States of America
CVN 78 Gerald R. Ford
CVN - Attack Aircraft Carrier Nuclear-powered
EMALS - ElectroMagnetic Aircraft Launch System
PDRR - Program Definition and Risk Reduction
SDD - System Development and Demonstration
The US Navy awarded General Atomics a 5-year $145 million contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

The EMALS is being developed to replace the existing steam-driven catapults aboard US Navy aircraft carriers. The electromagnetic-driven catapults would provide higher performance in aircraft launch operations compared to steam-driven catapults. The CVN 21 would be the first US aircraft carrier to be outfitted with the EMALS.

General Atomics was selected for the EMALS after a 4-year Program Definition and Risk Reduction (PDRR) phase worth $80 million.

According to General Atomics, the EMALS will provide significant workload reductions and it will be less stressful to aircraft and aircrew. In addition, it will require less maintenance hours and personnel with lower life-cycle costs.

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