General Atomics received a major contract this month for its electromagnetic aircraft carrier catapult as well as for a similarly powered arresting gear to catch the small jets landing on the carrier deck.
The U.S. Navy announced the award of the $737 million contract on June 12. The equipment will go aboard the future USS John F. Kennedy, the second aircraft carrier built to the USS Gerald R. Ford design. The previous aircraft carrier named for President Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007.
Work on the electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear will last through September 2022. The deal includes support during testing as well as non-recurring engineering, spares and repairs.
Forty-five percent of the work on the launch and recovery systems will be done in San Diego; another 26 percent will be done in Tupelo, Miss., where GA produces the equipment.
The launch system, called EMALS for short, uses technology similar to that used on modern roller coasters to accelerate an aircraft during takeoff.
The contract was awarded by Navair, the Naval Air Systems Command, of Patuxent River, Md.
Huntington Ingalls Industries of Newport News, Va. cut the first steel for the USS John F. Kennedy in 2010 and has finished some major ship components. The shipyard plans to lay the keel for the new aircraft carrier in ceremonies on Aug. 22.