New carrier launch system tested

Oct. 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

LAKEHURST, N.J., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy reports its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System test team launched an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

The launch took place last week at a full-size, shipboard-representative test site in New Jersey.

"These successful E-2D launches continue to reaffirm my confidence in the EMALS program," said Navy Capt. James Donnelly, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office, PMA-251, program manager. "Each launch we do provides more data and validation of the hard work and efforts that have been put into this state-of-the-art technology."

EMALS is the launch system for future Ford-class aircraft carriers, beginning with the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).The mission and function of EMALS remains the same as traditional steam catapult but it employs different technologies.

EMALS uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion, which permits a high degree of computer control, monitoring and automation.

The system will also provide the capability for launching current and future carrier air wing platforms.

In addition to testing the E-2D as part of the ongoing aircraft compatibility test phase, the EMALS program has also launched an F/A-18E Super Hornet, T-45 Goshawk and C-2A Greyhound, with 63-65 launches planned for each aircraft type.

The EMALS system functional demonstration continues through late 2011. The second phase of aircraft compatibility testing is to begin next year.

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