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.
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.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy
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