|EMALS air launch system. Photo: General Atomics
[Avionics Today 11-14-2014] Sixteen sailors are now officially trained to operate the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), according to a statement released by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). EMALS is a system still under development that aims to launch carrier-based aircraft from an aircraft catapult using a linear motor. This system is designed to replace the existing steam catapult currently in use by NAVAIR and lessen stress on the airframe.
“There will be much less wear-and-tear and there is going to be huge cost-savings in the long-term with EMALS,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Master Chief Eric Young, who will support the system’s flight deck certification aboard the USS Gerald Ford where training for the system is currently taking place. “This system doesn’t require the lube and hydraulic fluids that are necessary to run the legacy system. EMALS is much cleaner and easier as a whole. EMALS is less labor-intensive and more user-friendly. The whole system is plug-and-play. If there’s an error of any kind, we know where it is right away with the maintenance workstation.”
EMALS is currently being installed and undergoing numerous subsystem assessments on the path toward shipboard certification. The system is slated to make its debut in the fleet aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, scheduled for delivery in 2016.