Northrop Grumman to develop new aircraft carrier launch system
21 December 1999
Northrop Grumman's Marine Systems business unit has been awarded a $61.8 million contract by the US Navy to develop an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) to replace existing aircraft carrier steam catapults.
EMALS stores energy from the ship service distribution system and then releases that energy to launch aircraft using a nominal 330-foot linear motor or catapult. Compared with existing Navy steam catapults, EMALS is expected to improve performance and capability significantly, and will include the ability to launch unmanned aerial vehicles.
The contract is for the programme definition and risk reduction (PDRR) phase of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) EMALS programme. A full-scale, reduced-length, fully integrated prototype system will be developed during the 48-month PDRR phase.
The PDRR phase will culminate in a land-based demonstration of EMALS hardware in the third quarter of 2003. Engineering and manufacturing development will follow, when a tactical, militarised system will be developed and tested.
The final production phase calls for the manufacture and installation aboard the CVNX-1, the Navy's next-generation carrier. CVNX-1 is currently under development and is slated for authorisation in the Navy's 2006 budget.
Northrop Grumman leads a team composed of Westinghouse Government Services Group's Electro-Mechanical Division, M. Rosenblatt & Son and NDI Engineering Co.
"Our team's 30-plus years' of aircraft, machinery, electromagnetics, power conversion, catapult operations and Naval architecture experience provides significant benefits to the Navy,'' said Jim Hupton, vice president, Northrop Grumman Marine Systems.
Defence Systems daily
In knowledge we trust!