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07:58 AM, March 12, 2019
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General Atomics to Provide Engineering, Diagnostics Support for EMALS
EMALS fitted onboard head of class USS Gerald R. Ford (image: General Atomics)

General Atomics has won a $19 million from the United States (US) Navy to provide engineering and diagnostics support for Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

The contract includes integrated test and evaluation effort for EMALS test site operations, Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Actions System, prototype and testing, environmental qualification testing and remediation, electromagnetic interference testing, and training efforts, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Monday.

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 in January 2021.

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