Launch, Recovery Systems Achieve Another Milestone Aboard Gerald R. Ford

An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford on May 30 using the new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. Gerald R. Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting integrated air wing operations. U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist RJ Stratchko

SAN DIEGO — More than 3,000 catapult launches and landings using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) have been completed aboard USS Gerald R. Ford, said the systems’ manufacturer, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). 

The milestone is significant for the carrier and its crew, as the Navy moves toward a goal of 8,000 launches and landings at sea scheduled through the end of 2020. 

“EMALS and AAG continue to perform as expected as the ship ramps up evolutions towards achieving combat operational readiness,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Both systems’ capabilities are being rigorously exercised to meet the daily objectives for cats and traps in support of the various squadrons undergoing carrier qualification and training aboard CVN 78. In addition to marking the 3,000 milestone, on May 19, the ship performed 167 successful launches and recoveries in a single day, breaking the previous record of 135.”  

“Since January, CVN 78 has multiplied the total expected number of launch and landing evolutions by a factor of four,” Rolf Ziesing, vice president of programs at GA-EMS, added. “We’ve seen EMALS and AAG put through the paces day and night on CVN 78, utilizing a range of aircraft, including F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, C-2A Greyhounds, EA-18G Growlers and T-45C Goshawks.”  

GA-EMS is building the launch and landing systems for two future carriers, USS John F. Kennedy and USS Enterprise. Cost savings are realized through multiple ship production contracts, which minimize production gaps while maximizing planning, scheduling and delivery to support all three Ford-class carriers.