Goose and Maverick didn't have this tech back in the day, but they still got the job done. How far with this thing launch a football anyway?
A Navy F-35C test jet launched from the sea service’s next-generation electromagnetic catapult known as EMALS on Nov. 18, a move that combines two of the technologies that will be the hallmark of 21st Century naval aviation.
The breakthrough is pretty big news for the Navy, considering this was the first time the service has launched an aircraft using anything other than a steam catapult in more than 50 years.
EMALS should be able to launch a wider range of aircraft (including UAVs), take up far less room below deck and be less maintenance intensive than steam catapults.
If tests go well, General Atomics will begin shipping EMALS parts to the Navy for installation aboard the U.S.S. Gerald Ford. In fact, as a statement of confidence in the system, General Atomics signed a $676.2 million fixed-price contract to build the system.