NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) achieved 10,000 aircraft launches and recoveries aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on June 25.
The landmark launch and arrestments were made on Ford’s Friends and Family Day, where guests were present to watch flight deck demonstrations and experience a day out at sea.
Capt. Kenneth Sterbenz, program manager for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) (PMA-251), said ALRE teams are accomplishing some of their life’s best work as they continue to ensure the Ford-class systems are ready to deploy, but everyone took a moment to enjoy and appreciate the major milestone.
“10,000 cats and traps onboard Ford marks a significant milestone for the EMALS and AAG programs as well as the future of naval aviation,” said Sterbenz. “A tremendous amount of teamwork and collaboration across multiple organizations has prepared Ford for this accomplishment.
For every launch and recovery on the books, we’ve had an equal number of opportunities to learn, train Ford’s crew, improve the systems, and ensure we’re delivering the very best tools and capabilities to the warfighter.”
CVN 78 completed its planned incremental availability in March and is now working through its final training requirements and stores onload in preparation for deployment later this year.
The Navy’s newest aircraft launch and recovery technology, EMALS and AAG, are managed by the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office (PMA-251). The systems were designed for use aboard Ford-class aircraft carriers, beginning with USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Land-based test sites, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., enable test, troubleshooting and Sailor training.
EMALS and AAG provide significant advancements to the Navy’s Ford-class aircraft carriers. EMALS and AAG require a smaller footprint in the ship, less maintenance, and less manpower than comparable steam catapults and arresting gear aboard Nimitz-class carriers.