New launch system in Phase 2 testing

July 3, 2013 at 1:33 PM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., July 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, which is replacing steam catapults aboard future aircraft carriers, is entering Phase 2 testing.

The advancement occurred late last month when the system was used to launch an EA-18G Growler from a land-based site at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., the Navy said.

"As we move into the second phase of aircraft testing, I'm confident we'll continue to see the breadth of EMALS' robust design and operational capability," said Capt. James Donnelly, program manager for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office, which oversees the EMALS project.

EMALS delivers higher launch energy capacity than a steam catapult and more accurate end-speed control. It allows for smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the ability to launch aircraft with less stress on the ship and its systems.

It is scheduled for deployment on the first Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.

George Sulich, EMALS integrated test team lead, said this new phase of testing will simulate various carrier situations, including off-center launches.

The team expects to conduct more than 300 launches this year, Sulich said.

"During ACT 2, we will launch every aircraft currently utilizing today's carrier catapults, with the exception of the E-2C Hawkeye," he said.

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