Air Platforms

Carrier Ford completes aircraft compatibility testing

05 February 2020

Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) completed testing of its new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) to accommodate air wing platforms. Source: Jane’s/Michael Fabey

Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) finished Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT), the US Navy (USN) confirmed on 5 February.

Ford completed ACT on 31 January after launching and recovering 211 aircraft at sea, testing five different airframes of the Ford airwing with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) - two Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) systems unique to Ford-class carriers.

Ford ACT included the following aircraft: T-45 Goshawk; E/A-18G Growler; E-2D Advanced Hawkeye; C-2A Greyhound; and F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Aircraft were launched and recovered in different environmental conditions and sea states, and with varying aircraft weights - from heavy aircraft in light wind conditions to light aircraft in heavy wind conditions.

The ACT is the second and final round of testing on Ford at this stage, which validated the ship's capability to launch and to recover aircraft with ordnance loadout and fuel states similar to those needed for deployment requirements and operating tempos.

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