USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier has launched a F/A-18 Super Hornet for the first time on Friday, following years of setbacks and cost overruns on the next generation aircraft carrier.
The $12.9 billion Ford is using a new electromagnetic system (EMALS) instead of steam to launch aircraft that aims to get more jets into the air in less time, among other things, various media reported Friday.
The EMALS is designed to expand the operational capability of the Navy’s future carriers to include all current and future planned carrier aircraft.
While the mission and function of EMALS remains the same as those of the traditional steam catapult, this system improves upon execution by improving system maintenance, increasing reliability and efficiency, and ensuring more accurate end-speed control and smooth acceleration.
The aircraft carrier also has installed advanced arresting gear (AAG) that is supposed to allow landings by a broader range of aircraft, from heavily-loaded warplanes to light-weight drones.
The AAG is designed to provide higher reliability and safety margins. It also allows for the arrestment of a greater range of aircraft and reduce the fatigue impact load to the aircraft.
The Aircraft carriers are believed to be American sea power because they can launch warplanes into foreign territory around the globe without the need to secure basing rights.
While the carrier was being built in Newport News, both technologies has issues that now appear to be fixed. Both systems were repeatedly tested on land before the Super Hornet landed on the Ford as it operated in the Atlantic Ocean.