Navy Chooses General Atomics for Electromagnetic Aircraft Launcher Program

Navy Chooses General Atomics for Electromagnetic Aircraft Launcher Program


Apr 05, 2004

San Diego, CA, 5 April 2004. General Atomics (GA) announces the award of a 5-year, $145-million contract with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division for the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

GA recently completed the 4-year, $80 million Program Definition and Risk Reduction (PDRR) phase of the EMALS program, for which there were two competing contractors. After testing GA's full-scale equipment on a half-length launcher at the Naval Air Warfare Center at Lakehurst, NJ, the Navy selected GA to continue alone with the SDD phase.

EMALS will replace the existing steam-driven catapults, providing a revolutionary advance in carrier launch operations. The GA team's design will provide significant reductions in workload. It will be less stressful to the aircrew and aircraft; and will require significantly less maintenance and onboard personnel, with correspondingly greatly reduced life-cycle costs. The EMALS system's first deployment will be on the next-generation carrier, the CVN-21.

The GA team comprises GA affiliates General Atomics Electronic Systems, Inc. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.; along with John J. McMullen Associates, Inc.; Kato Engineering; Foster-Miller, Inc.; Titan Pulse Sciences Division; STV, Inc.; and the University of Texas, Center for Electromechanics.

The EMALS Program is being carried out in GA's Electromagnetic Systems (EMS) Division, which currently has several projects aimed at increasing electrical functionality aboard Navy ships. These projects include Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), Integrated Fight-Through Power (IFTP), Superconducting DC Homopolar Motor, and Electromagnetic Guns. Mike Reed, Vice President, EMS Division, states, "Our team is thrilled with the award of the EMALS SDD phase contract and at having the opportunity to place this major advanced electric EMALS system on the next-generation carrier. We appreciate the significance of changing this vital aircraft launch system from steam to electric and we are fully committed to the total success of the program."

General Atomics, founded in 1955, specializes in diversified research, development, and manufacturing in defense, energy, and other advanced technologies. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which builds the Predator® family of UAVs, and General Atomics Electronic Systems, Inc..

For further information contact:

Tony Kopacz

EMALS Program Manager


Carl Fisher

Director, Business Development

Electromagnetic Systems Division


Doug Fouquet

Public Relations