QinetiQ North America (QNA) announced that it has completed negotiations on a contract to deliver control hardware and software for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) to be installed on the U.S. Navy’s third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80).
The contract was originally received from General Atomics (GA) in Sept 2017. The contract reflects a multi-year production task to update, procure, assemble and test launch control and arresting control hardware.
For over a decade, QinetiQ North America has supported GA and the U.S. Navy by designing, manufacturing and testing aircraft launch and arresting control hardware and software for the Ford-class aircraft carriers. QNA has delivered product to the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ test site and to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
QinetiQ North America is currently in production on the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future John F. Kennedy (CVN 79).
“We are excited to once again work with, General Atomics to deliver a third ship-set of control systems for the future Enterprise. Our team is proud that equipment designed and built at QNA is currently being used by US Sailors to launch and recover aircraft at sea. We look forward to providing the same high quality product and service for the future Enterprise,” stated Andrew Courier, Vice President of Maritime at QinetiQ North America.
Hardware production and testing is slated at QNA’s new Franklin, MA facility.
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
USS Enterprise (CVN-80) will be the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier to be built for the United States Navy.
She will be the ninth United States naval vessel to bear the name, and is scheduled to begin active construction around 2018 and in operation by 2027.
CVN-80 will be built by Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. The steel from the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the now-decommissioned USS Enterprise (CVN-65) will be recycled and used to construct CVN-80.
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a type of aircraft launching system currently under development by General Atomics for the United States Navy. The system launches carrier-based aircraft by means of a catapult employing a linear induction motor rather than the conventional steam piston. EMALS was developed for the Navy’s Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.
Its main advantage 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.
Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG)
The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) is a type of arresting gear currently in development by General Atomics for the U.S. Navy’s newest Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.
It will replace the MK 7 hydraulic arresting gear which is in use on the ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. The AAG is designed for a broader range of aircraft, including UAVs, while reducing manpower and maintenance. Rotary engines which use simple energy-absorbing water turbines (or twisters) coupled to a large induction motor provide finer control of the arresting forces.