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Navy’s Ford Carrier Halts Sea Trials After EMALS System Breaks Down

Navy’s Ford Carrier Halts Sea Trials After EMALS System Breaks Down

The Navy's Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier halted flight operations after its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System broke down during the vessel's largest at-sea trial to date, Military .com reported Thursday

The Navy's research and acquisition undersecretary, James Geurts, a past Potomac Officers Club speaker and a 2020 Wash100 winner, said shipbuilders on the carrier are working to fix the systems. Five of the Ford's 11 weapons elevators are now functional, Geurts added. 

The EMALS' breakdown might have been caused by a failure in the carrier's power handling system during a manual reset, said Navy spokesman Danny Hernandez. 

"This section is independent of the high pulsed power section to launch aircraft and is not a safety of flight risk. The Navy is reviewing procedures and any impacts on the system," Hernandez said.

The vessel was carrying about 1K members of Carrier Air Wing 8 while it was running post-delivery test and trial operations in the Atlantic.

Congress and the White House have been pressuring the Navy over making several new systems operational, including the EMALS. 

President Donald Trump had called the EMALS a "crazy electric catapult" and said that men on the Ford reported the system was unreliable.

The EMALS is a type of aircraft launching system that General Atomics created for the Navy. The Ford is the aircraft carrier that the system was installed on.  

Hernandez said all findings and actions taken during the repair will be key in ensuring that the carrier is ready to support warfighters when it enters the fleet. 

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Tags: Danny Hernandez Donald Trump Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System EMALS Ford General Atomics James Geurts Military.com Speaker News U.S. Navy