Just launched, the world's largest aircraft carrier, Gerald Ford, saw the premiere of the world's first electromagnetic catapult EMALS, which took off the USS F / A-18 Super Hornet carrier-based fighter. A few minutes later, he successfully landed on the deck, thanks to the new aerofinishing system.
At first glance, everything looked pretty familiar. But this is only at first glance. For more than 60 years, steam catapults have been used on US aircraft carriers. The system has worked reliably all these years, but according to experts, it is very cumbersome and requires a large number of maintenance personnel.
Against the background of an outdated steam catapult, the new electromagnetic one is much simpler, easier to maintain and has higher power characteristics, providing smoother acceleration for an aircraft taking off.
The EMALS catapult and the AAG are designed by General Atomics. It is worth recalling that the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford, built at the shipyard of Huntigton Ingalls Indusries, is the most expensive ship of its class - about $ 13 billion.