The US Navy is using electromagnets to launch trucks from an aircraft carrier

General Atomics has developed and tested the latest aircraft carrier technology to launch and land aircraft.

General Atomics launch technology uses AAG

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced at the beginning of April 2016 that it had successfully completed an aircraft arrestment using its new Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system.

The landing and arrestment of an F/A-18E Super Hornet was conducted by GA-EMS and the US Navy at the runway arrested landing site at the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst joint base in New Jersey.

AAG is a turbo-electric system for controlled deceleration of aircraft during landing and recovery operations on naval aircraft carriers. It is installed on-board the carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), and is scheduled to be installed on the future USS John F Kennedy (CVN 79).

Dean Key, director, launch and recovery production programs and AAG design and development, also said that “more than 1,200 successful dead load arrestments have been completed at the jet car test site in Lakehurst, New Jersey”.

General Atomics launch technology uses EMALS

The General Atomic Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which uses electromagnetic technology to launch aircraft from the deck of naval aircraft carriers, is also installed and undergoing dead load testing on CVN 78. It is also scheduled for installation on CVN 79.

The main advantage is that this system allows for a more graded acceleration, inducing less stress on the aircraft’s airframe.

Other advantages include lower system weight, with a projected lower cost and decreased maintenance requirements. The design includes the ability to launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter than the conventional system can accommodate. In addition, the system requires far less fresh water, reducing the need for energy-intensive desalination.

The below video shows testing of the EMALS system being tested on a Gerald R. Ford-class carrier.