The Navy plans to install the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System on the USS Gerald R. Ford, a next-generation aircraft carrier scheduled to go into service in 2015.
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System technology is designed to handle newer, heavier, and faster aircraft than the traditional steam catapults, the Navy says.
The Navy says EMALS will provide "higher launch energy capacity;" improvements in system weight, maintenance, and efficiency; and greater accuracy of end-speed control and smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds".
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System is a multimegawatt electric power system involving generators, energy storage, power conversion, a 100,000 hp electric motor, and an advanced technology closed loop control system with diagnostic health monitoring.
This technology reduces stress on airframes because they can be accelerated more gradually to a takeoff speed than steam-powered catapults.