The Navy's Next-Gen Electromagnetic Catapult System Hurls its First Planes Skyward

The official performance results aren’t available yet, but General Atomics confirmed this afternoon that it’s next-gen aircraft carrier launch system successfully launched an F/A-18E Super Hornet on Saturday, not with steam but with its new electromagnetic aircraft launch system, or EMALS. Rather than charging up a steam catapult to hurl aircraft down a flight deck and into the air, EMALS is supposed to enable future carriers to launch a wider variety of aircraft more rapidly from their decks using electromagnetic force.

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