USN to Buy EMALS Catapults for Future Aircraft Carriers

USN to Buy EMALS Catapults for Future Aircraft Carriers

The notification regarding the acquisition was released on It also includes Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) to complement the EMALS catapults. The included ships are CVN-82 and CVN-83 carriers to be built for the USN and future PANG carriers of the French Navy.

In December 2023, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of EMALS, AAG, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.321 billion.

EMALS catapults offer significant advantages compared to traditional steam catapults of older-generation aircraft carriers. These can be listed as smaller, higher degree of force adjustability, eliminating excessive force on aircraft, and higher energy efficiency.

The steam catapult systems apply a sudden force on the landing gear, which may cause fatigue. The nature of EMALS prevents such malpractice. Compared to steam ones, the EMALS brings operational advantages to the carrier as it launches more aircraft in a shorter period.

After Gerald R. Ford-class, the Chinese Type 003 (Fujian) is the second aircraft carrier class to have an onboard EMALS. China also plans to use EMALS for fixed-wing platforms like UCAVs of up to 20 tonnes weight on its future Type 076 LHD.