Indian Navy Buying Three EMALS Catapults for Future Supercarriers, Including INS Vishal
EMALS test on the USS Gerald R. Ford involving the launch into the ocean of large sleds on wheels to simulate the weight of an aircraft.
The Indian Navy confirms plans to integrate the U.S.-made Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) catapults into its future supercarriers by revealing the dispatch of Letters of Request (LoR) to the U.S. Department of Defense to buy this advanced aircraft launch system.
It said the LoRs cover the purchase of three EMALS under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program. Sources in the Indian Navy told media the LoRs were issued last February and are now under consideration by the Pentagon.
The navy expects the Pentagon to approve the LoRs and to issue its Letters of Acceptance (LoA) approving the deal within the next few months.
EMALS is being developed by U.S. defense contractor General Atomics for the U.S. Navy’s newest class of nuclear supercarrier, the Gerald R. Ford. The lead ship of this class, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), will be the first U.S. Navy carrier equipped with EMALS. The Ford is scheduled for deployment in 2019.
EMALS launches carrier-based aircraft from an aircraft catapult using a linear motor drive instead of the conventional steam piston drive.
Its main advantage is it allows for a more graded acceleration, inducing less stress on the aircraft’s airframe. It’s also lighter than a steam catapult system and cheaper to operate. In addition, EMALS can launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter than those handled by steam catapults.
“As far as General Atomics is concerned, we will be opening an office in the Indian capital to assist both the governments as required,” said Vivek Lall, Chief Executive (Global Commercial Strategic Development) for General Atomics.
INS Vishal will deploy an EMALS catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) aircraft launch system.
Her EMALS CATOBAR system will allow her to launch heavier aircraft like larger fighters; unmanned air combat vehicles (UCAVs); turbo-prop airborne early-warning aircraft and aerial refueling tankers. INS Vishal remains under development, however, and it is unclear when her construction will begin.
With a planned displacement of 65,000 metric tons, INS Vishal is the second ship of the Vikrant-class and the first supercarrier to be built in India.
Source:- News Dog