General Atomics Contracted to Produce Launch and Recovery Systems for Future Gerald Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy

General Atomics was awarded a contract to support the United States Navy’s future CVN 79 aircraft carrier, the John F. Kennedy. The undefinitized contract calls for General Atomics to produce the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) that will be used on the aircraft carrier. The EMALS system is a multi-megawatt electric power system that provides energy storage, power conversion, and a 100,000-horsepower electric motor. AAG allows arrestment of aircraft, lowering manning and maintenance, and provides higher reliability and safety margins. The company was awarded with the prime contract of providing EMALS and AAG systems for a previous aircraft carrier, CVN 78, in June 2009 of which completion is expected by July 2015.

Over 70% of the work for the CVN 79 John F. Kennedy, which includes manufacturing, engineering, design, and program management, will be done by General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems Group. Manufacturing will primarily be done at General Atomics’ manufacturing facility in Tupelo, Mississippi. The remaining manufacturing to be completed will be subcontracted to several domestic vendors. Delivery of the production hardware is expected to arrive at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Newport News, Virginia starting in spring of 2007.

The John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) is the second Ford-class aircraft carrier. The ship is currently in the beginning stages of construction at the Newport News Shipbuilding port, with the first cutting of steel celebrated in 2011. This ship is designed to lower necessary maintenance by 30 percent over the previous class of carriers. Each of the new ships is estimated to save the United States Navy an approximate $4 billion in operational costs over the ship’s 50-year lifetime. In addition, the Ford class is designed to allow 25-percent more flight missions per day as it features a 5-acre flight deck. The John F. Kennedy will weigh approximately 100,000 tons and can reach speeds of over 35 knots.

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