Navy Aircraft Carriers Increase Use of Electromagnetic Launch System 

10,000 “cats and traps” completed onboard USS Gerald R. Ford. Photo courtesy US Navy. 

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems has been awarded a contract by US Naval Air Systems Command to continue development and evaluation of tailored configurations of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arresting Gear as a potential foreign military sale to the French Navy for their next generation aircraft carrier, Porte-Avions Nouvelle Génération

“We are proud to be supporting the ongoing efforts between our nations to realize the potential of integrating EMALS and AAG onboard the future flagship of the French Marine Nationale,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “For decades, France’s Charles de Gaulle and U.S. Nimitz-class carriers have provided interoperable capabilities to conduct joint operations and launch and recover aircraft on each other’s ships. EMALS and AAG onboard next generation French and U.S. aircraft carriers will provide increased interoperability between our navies and greater flexibility to launch a wider range of current and future aircraft for the decades to come.” 

GA-EMS will continue evaluating optimal EMALS and AAG configurations for performance and document ship interfaces and impacts on the French vessel. The contract will culminate in 2023 with a system requirements review and an evaluation of French suppliers for potential component manufacturing in France. Under previous contract awards over the past two years, GA-EMS participated in carrier studies to investigate the feasibility of implementing EMALS and AAG for the future French carrier design.

The first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) recently completed its 10,000th successful catapult launch and arrested landing, dubbed “cats and traps”, using EMALS and AAG. GA-EMS is currently under contract with the Navy to support CVN 78 sustainment requirements and is delivering EMALS and AAG for the next two Ford-class carriers currently under construction, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and Enterprise (CVN 80). GA-EMS is also working with the Navy to determine the EMALS and AAG contract and schedule requirements for the fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier, Doris Miller (CVN 81). 

“Over the past two years, EMALS and AAG have been rigorously exercised utilizing aircraft in the current air wing. The systems continue to perform successfully in operational, carrier qualification, and training environments and under all weather conditions,” said Forney. For more info, see