Aircraft Carriers

France cleared to buy EMALS and AAG for its next aircraft carrier

The EMALS comes in 2 launcher configuration while the AAG will have 3 engine.

As noted by Alert 5, France has secured the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) for its next aircraft carrier as the US State Department approve the Foreign Military Sale on Dec. 21, 2021.

According to Transmittal No 21-65, the EMALS comes in 2 launcher configuration while the AAG will have 3 engine. The package is worth up to $1.321 billion.

EMALS is the US Navy’s newest complete carrier-based launch system designed for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and future Ford-class carriers. The launching system is designed to expand the operational capability of Ford-class carriers, providing the Navy with capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters. The mission and function of EMALS remains the same as the traditional steam catapult; however, it employs entirely different technologies. EMALS uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion. This technology permits a high degree of computer control, monitoring and automation.


  • Increased reliability and efficiency
  • More accurate end-speed control and smoother acceleration
  • 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
  • Provides necessary higher launch energy capacity
  • Substantial improvements in system weight, volume and maintenance
  • EMALS over steam catapults means quieter and cooler work and living spaces for Sailors
  • More intuitive maintenance software will reduce troubleshooting times

AAG is a modular, integrated system consisting of energy absorbers, power conditioning equipment and digital controls, designed as the follow-on to the Mark-7 (Mk-7) arresting gear. The Navy is currently utilizing the Mk-7 Mod 3 and Mk-7 Mod 4 designs on all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

The AAG architecture, Health Monitoring Assessment and Prognostics technology, and digital control system provides built-in test and diagnosis, resulting in the system requiring less maintenance and manpower to operate than the Mk-7. This change in architecture is designed to provide higher reliability and safety margins, while allowing Sailors to focus on other areas of need. The system is also designed to allow potential arrestment of a broader range of aircraft, from the lightest unmanned aerial vehicles to the heaviest manned fighters.


  • Employs advanced technologies to provide higher reliability and safety margins
  • Requires less maintenance and manpower to operate than the legacy arresting system
  • Recovers all current and projected future carrier-based aircraft, from the lightest unmanned aerial vehicles to the heaviest manned fighters
  • Allows for increased sortie rates, lower energy consumption and a decreased gross ship weight

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

Meet the F-35 “Franken-bird,” the Lightning II made from two mishap damaged F-35As

The making of the F-35 ‘Franken-bird’ F-35 maintenance experts at Hill Air Force Base (AFB)… Read More

22 hours ago

The story of the BEA C-47 Dakota that crashed onto the roof of a house near Northolt Airport. Amazingly, nobody was hurt.

The C-47 Dakota The Douglas DC-3, which made air travel popular and airline profits possible,… Read More

2 days ago

Photos show a “flying saucer” (aka Avro Canada VZ-9AV Avrocar) arriving at the National Museum of the USAF via C-5 Galaxy

The Avro Canada VZ-9AV Avrocar Taken in November 2007 the interesting photos in this post… Read More

3 days ago