Gen­eral Atomics be­gins train­ing for new air­craft launch sys­tem


Gen­eral Atomics Elec­tro­mag­netic Sys­tems Group (GA-EMS) be­gan the first round of fleet train­ing on the new Elec­tro­mag­netic Air­craft Launch Sys­tems (EMALS) cur­rently be­ing in­stalled on CVN 78 (Ger­ald R. Ford), the first car­rier to have EMALS. GA-EMS hired a se­nior train­ing de­vel­oper to work with ex­pe­ri­enced GA-EMS EMALS per­son­nel to de­sign and ad­min­is­ter the train­ing. The train­ing team con­sists of for­mer cat­a­pult op­er­a­tors and main­tain­ers with more than 80 years of com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cat­a­pult and main­te­nance of­fi­cers and se­nior en­listed per­son­nel as­signed to CVN 78 be­gan a 10-day train­ing pe­riod start­ing Oc­to­ber 20, 2014, in GA-EMS’s San Diego train­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a Shipset Con­trol Lab (SCL). Stu­dents re­ceived sys­tem fa­mil­iari­sa­tion and per­formed sim­u­lated launches. Train­ing will con­tinue early next year at the Navair Lake­hurst, N.J. EMALS test site.

The SCL sim­u­lates Ford class four cat­a­pult con­trol sys­tems. It con­tains bow and waist In­te­grated Cat­a­pult Con­trol Sta­tions (ICCS), four deck edge sta­tions, and two cen­tre deck sta­tions. The SCL has been and con­tin­ues to be used for soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and eval­u­a­tion, and cre­ation of op­er­a­tions man­u­als.

GA was awarded the prime con­tract to pro­vide EMALS and AAG sys­tems for CVN 78 in June 2009 and is man­u­fac­tur­ing the CVN 78 hard­ware con­cur­rently with the Sys­tem De­sign and Demon­stra­tion (SDD) pro­grammes. Hard­ware de­liv­ery to CVN 78 is sched­uled to be com­pleted in 2015, with dead-load launches be­gin­ning in 2015. CVN 78 is sched­uled to join the fleet in 2016, with at-sea EMALS air­craft launches be­gin­ning shortly there­after.

EMALS 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.

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