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Breaking Barriers: General Atomics Launch and Recovery Systems Successfully Navigate USS Gerald R. Ford’s Full Ship Shock Trials

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced Friday that the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully performed as designed as the ship underwent Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) off the Eastern seaboard during the months of June, July and August 2021.

Ford is the first aircraft carrier in more than three decades to undergo FSST, which provides crucial data for analysis to validate the shock hardness of the ship and all systems aboard to withstand battle conditions.

“The completion of this milestone is a validation of the critical steps we took early in the development process to work closely with the Navy to conduct preliminary shock qualification testing prior to delivering EMALS and AAG equipment to the shipyard for installation,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We actually mount equipment on floating barges, and detonate ordnance at various distances and underwater to simulate operation and combat situations.

This process allows us to address any issues prior to delivery and installation on the carrier.  More importantly, this additional step helps ensure we deliver extremely robust systems to all Ford-class carriers that will provide decades of reliable operational performance under the most challenging conditions.”

After completing FSST, CVN 78 enters a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) period of modernization, maintenance and repairs. Prior to the recent shock test trials, EMALS and AAG successfully completed various additional milestones during the Post Delivery Trials and Test (PDT&T) period, including the completion of critical Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT) and Flight Deck Certification (FDC) involving F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2C/D Hawkeyes and Advanced Hawkeyes, C-2A Greyhounds, EA-18G Growlers, and T-45C Goshawks. At the end of the 18-month PDT&T period, EMALS and AAG successfully achieved and exceeded the Navy’s target of 8,000 launches and recoveries aboard CVN 78.

“We will continue to work closely with the Navy to implement system upgrades during the PIA period to meet the ship’s readiness requirements and upcoming deployment schedule,” continued Forney. “We are extremely proud of our team, the crew, and of EMALS and AAG’s successful progress in meeting the ship’s performance milestones.

We continue to work with the Navy as installation of these critical technologies moves forward aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and USS Enterprise (CVN 80), and as the Navy determines the production schedule requirements for the USS Doris Miller (CVN 81).”