Navy Secretary Visits General Atomics Facility

Aug 05, 2008

San Diego, California, 5 August 2008. The Secretary of the U.S. Navy, the Honorable Dr. Donald C. Winter, visited the General Atomics (GA) Production Facility in Tupelo, Miss. The Secretary’s visit was to review the production and test of the Navy’s new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The first‐of‐its‐kind EMALS is a key component in the new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), now in the early stages of construction.
The Secretary observed the production of the high power linear induction launcher motor components and power conversion equipment, which directs multi‐megawatts of power to the launch system. The Secretary also witnessed several high energy pulse discharges of the system’s energy storage generator.

Tests of the motor generator component of the EMALS energy storage system began June 2 at the Tupelo facility. The tests, the first for a major element of the EMALS system, will initially simulate a total of 10,000 launch cycles. “As of July 30, we have completed 6,169 of 10,000 cycles,” said Peter Rinaldi, general manager of the Tupelo facility.

“The critical nature of the production and test activities was demonstrated by the Secretary’s desire to visit the Tupelo facility and witness production and testing in action," Rinaldi said. “The Tupelo workforce demonstrated that they are ready to meet the challenge of delivering EMALS hardware on schedule.”

L‐R, Secretary Winter, Peter Rinaldi, Scott Forney, and technicians Kenneth Shumpert and Roger Stanford.

“In order to support the program transition to the construction and testing phase, GA is doubling its production facility in Tupelo, Miss.,” said Scott Forney, vice president of the company’s Electromagnetic Systems division in San Diego, Calif. “The 10‐month effort will allow the company to build four catapults for the carrier starting next year.”

GA is a San Diego‐based company with a 50‐year history of successful solutions for defense, energy, and environmental challenges. GA specializes in performing innovative research and development and transforming conceptual results into practical systems. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of unmanned aerial systems.

For further information contact:

Carl Fisher
Director, Business Development
Advanced Technologies Group
(202) 496‐8217

Doug Fouquet
Public Relations
(858) 455‐2173

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Nancy Hitchcox
Marketing Communications Manager
(858) 676‐7161

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