The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System is the latest generation of launching systems for launching aircraft carriers, replacing existing steam catapults. The unit has recently been successfully tested on the USS Gerald R. Ford and will be officially in service in 2018.
The deck of aircraft carriers is too short for the fighter plane to achieve the speed required to break off the ground. Therefore, navies have been using a steam launch system for many years, which gives them the speed they need to fly quickly. This system works quite well, but the US Navy plans to replace it with a completely new catapult named EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) in 2018, which uses electromagnets instead of compressed steam.
EMALS is a much more advanced technology providing more benefits. Enables a smoother start thanks to the ability to precisely adjust the speed and thereby reduce the stresses on the airplane frames. It is also much easier to adapt it to different types of aircraft and start conditions compared to current catapults.
The Navy has already conducted several tests on board the USS Gerald R. Ford, testing the F-35, and in the summer plans for further testing, during which the catapult will be tested on F / A-18 Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and E2D Advanced Hawkeyes.