The USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, was the first to successfully test launch an aircraft using an electromagnetic launch system (EMALS). The mission and function of EMALS will be similar to the traditional steam catapult, however, it will employ power electronic technologies. After its test phase is completed and EMALS is operational it will expand the capability of the Navy’s future carriers to handle all current and future planned carrier aircraft—from lightweight unmanned aircraft to heavy strike fighters.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the Navy’s newest nuclear aircraft carrier.
EMALS benefits include:
Increased reliability and efficiency.
More accurate end-speed control and smoother acceleration that puts less stress on airframes.
Expanded operational capability with increased sortie rates.
Cost reduction over time due to decreased manning and maintenance requirements.
Ability to launch a broader range of naval aircraft—from lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters—with less stress on the ship and aircraft.