HII Launches Topside EMALS Testing On Next-Gen Aircraft Carrier

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has commenced the topside testing of the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) on the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) at the Newport News Shipbuilding division of HII. This is an essential milestone in the carrier’s development, the second Ford-class ship in the U.S. Navy’s fleet.

EMALS is a system that was first installed on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to replace the conventional steam catapults formerly on Nimitz class aircraft carriers. The “no-load” and “dead-load” testing phases ensure the catapults are prepared to launch fixed-wing aircraft.

EMALS
Image Credits: HII/Twitter

The “dead-load” testing phase involves launching massive wheeled structures into the James River off the carrier’s bow, weighing up to 80,000 pounds, equivalent to an actual aircraft’s weight. These mock launches, which may reach over 150 mph, evaluate the catapults’ functionality in practical scenarios.

A note of congratulations and appreciation from the families of shipbuilders is placed on the test weights to highlight the importance of this testing phase and to symbolize the teamwork and commitment that went into building the carrier.
Vice president of the John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) new build aircraft carrier program Lucas Hicks highlighted the accomplishments and the dedication and collaboration that kept the project rolling forward.


Video Credits: HII/YouTube

Completing the catapult tests is one of the most critical steps toward the USS John F. Kennedy’s construction and deployment. The testing and integration procedures for later Ford-class carriers have been influenced by the insights gained from the difficulties encountered during the USS Gerald R. Ford construction.

The Kennedy, which holds the famous former president’s name, is one of a series of next-generation supercarriers designed to improve the operational capabilities of the U.S. Navy. Two more Ford-class carriers, Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81), are presently being built at Newport News Shipbuilding alongside the Kennedy, solidifying HII’s position as the country’s leading nuclear-powered aircraft carrier designer, builder, and refueler.

EMALS
Image Credits: HII/Twitter

The use of EMALS represents technological breakthroughs and the Navy’s commitment to improving efficiency and readiness in carrier operations. The Navy anticipates additional improvements in launch capabilities as the testing progresses, establishing the Ford-class carriers as essential resources for defending freedom and peace across the globe.

Reference: HII

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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