New Launcher Completes Final Design Review
(Source: US Naval Air Systems Command; issued Nov. 28, 2007)
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND --– Patuxent River, Md. - The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System recently held its final critical design review (CDR) at the prime contractor’s facility located in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
The review team, led by Mr. Dave Cohen of NAVAIR’s Systems Engineering competency was presented a wealth of data by the EMALS prime contractor, General Atomics.
The team spent a week thoroughly reviewing the entire EMALS program and determined that the design is technically compliant with requirements and is properly documented.
Although a few open action items remain, Capt. Stephen Rorke, Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment program manager thought the review “was a rousing success” and praised the team for their “dedicated efforts to complete preparations for this review” even as the San Diego fires closed the General Atomics facility for a few days in the weeks just prior to the CDR.
Capt Rorke also thanked the team for open and honest dialog during the months leading up to the CDR as evidenced by the fact “the team knew about all open issues prior to the review and that no issues of major significance surfaced during the CDR.”
EMALS, a new electromagnetic aircraft launch system for the next-generation aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford class (CVN-78), will replace the current generation of steam catapults used on the Nimitz class aircraft carriers.
This switch to an electrical based system versus steam, will lower operating costs, require fewer people to operate, improve catapult performance and expand the range of manned and unmanned aircraft that the aircraft carrier can launch.
The next step in the process is to begin installing the full size, ship representative EMALS equipment in the recently completed EMALS test facilities at Naval Engineering Station Lakehurst, NJ.
The EMALS equipment installation is scheduled to begin in mid 2008, with actual testing to begin in early 2009. Testing will continue throughout 2009.
The first components of the EMALS equipment is scheduled to be delivered to Northrop-Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding, Norfolk, Va. to be installed in the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) in 2011.
The Gerald R. Ford is scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in 2015.