General Atomics’ electromagnetic aircraft landing and takeoff systems have received Flight Deck Certification (FDC) for operations aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) carrier.
“General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that successful USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Flight Deck Certification (FDC) has been completed with the support of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system,” the company said in a statement Thursday.
The number of aircraft to have landed and taken off from CVN 78 now totals more than 2,000. CVN 78 used fleet squadrons from Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), as well as pilots from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120 to obtain hundreds of sorties over a two week period with all arrested landings and catapult launches completed safely.
FDC is a qualification of the ship’s various aviation systems and includes the crews’ qualification to operate the numerous systems. FDC was completed March 20 following day and night launch and recovery exercises with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. FDC is intended to qualify and prove ship and crew capabilities under operational conditions that can occur while on deployment.
On January 31, CVN 78 completed Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT), a significant milestone that exhibited EMALS and AAG’s ability to launch and recover five types of aircraft in varying configurations – four of which for the first time. CVN 78 proved to accommodate the current naval air wing, including F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, C-2A Greyhound, EA-18G Growler, and T-45C Goshawk aircraft.
GA-EMS is delivering EMALS and AAG for the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and USS Enterprise (CVN 80) Ford-class carriers.