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05:31 AM, January 24, 2019
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General Atomics to Deliver EMALS for US Navy CVN-78 Aircraft Carrier
Drawing of linear induction motor used in EMALS (Image: Wikipedia)

General Atomics has won $19 million contract to manufacture, test and deliver Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems (EMALS) spare parts to support United States navy's CVN-78 aircraft carrier.

The contract includes, assembly, inspection, integration of EMALS spares prior to the  Advanced Arresting Gear and EMALS material support dates, US Department of Defense said in a statement Wednesday.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a type of aircraft launching system currently under development by General Atomics for the United States Navy. The system launches carrier-based aircraft by means of a catapult employing a linear induction motor rather than the conventional steam piston. EMALS was developed for the Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers (CVN-78).

Its main advantage is that it accelerates aircraft more smoothly, putting less stress on their airframes. Compared to steam catapults, the EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch both heavier and lighter aircraft than a steam piston-driven system. It also reduces the carrier's requirement of fresh water, thus reducing the demand for energy-intensive desalination.

Work is expected to be completed by January 2023.

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