General Atomics Wins $9 Million Delivery Order for EMALS, AAG Spares

General Atomics has been awarded a delivery order for the purchase of 39 various line items for initial spares acquisition in support of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) used on U.S. Navy’s newest Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.

The contracting activity for the ceiling-priced delivery order, worth around $9 million, is the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The contract work will be performed in Tupelo, Mississippi, and will be completed by November 2026.

EMALS is a type of aircraft launching system developed by General Atomics for the U.S. Navy’s newest Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. The system launches carrier-based aircraft by means of a catapult employing a linear induction motor rather than the conventional steam piston.

The main advantage of the system is that it accelerates aircraft more smoothly, putting less stress on their airframes. Compared to steam catapults, the EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch both heavier and lighter aircraft than a steam piston-driven system. It also reduces the carrier’s requirement of fresh water, thus reducing the demand for energy-intensive desalination.

EMALS launch
First launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier using the new EMALS system on July 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

AAG is a type of arresting gear currently in development by General Atomics for the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers.

The turbo-electric system is designed for controlled and reliable deceleration of aircraft during recovery operations on carriers and can recover a broader range of aircraft, including UAVs, while reducing manpower and maintenance.

The new system will replace the MK 7 hydraulic arresting gear which is in use on the Navy’s ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG)
First recovery of a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet by an Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

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