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Carrier Kennedy to start EMALS testing later this year

Newport News Shipbuilding expects to start testing the electromagnetic aircraft launching system later this year on carrier John F Kennedy . (Michael Fabey)

Ford-class aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79) is scheduled to start testing for its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) later this year, according to Chris Kastner, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), whose Newport News Shipbuilding yard is building the ship.

“CVN 79 Kennedy is approximately 83% complete and the team is focused on compartment completion and key propulsion plant milestones,” Kastner told investment analysts during a 10 February quarterly earnings call.

Kastner also noted progress in other carrier and nuclear-powered submarine programmes.

“CVN 80 Enterprise and CVN 81 Doris Miller continue material procurement and early unit construction and CVN 80 plans to lay keel this year,” Kastner said. “Regarding CVN 78 USS Gerald R Ford , the planned incremental availability is on track to complete this year.”

“He cited the refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) work being done at the yard -- CVN 73 USS George Washington reached 94% complete and is focused on propulsion plant testing and is planned for redelivery later this year,” Kastner added.

Noting the shipyard failed to achieve its “projected end-of-year milestones” for the Virginia-class attack submarine (SSN) programme, Kastner said the programme “continues to improve its progress towards a consistent two-per-year cadence”.

He said, “SSN 794 Montana completed work as planned in [the fourth quarter of] 2021 and will complete sea trials and delivery in [the first quarter of] 2022. SSN 796 New Jersey

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