The U.S. Navy will be performing first ship-board tests of a new system that will replace steam catapults that propel fighter jets and other aircraft off an aircraft carrier. The new system, EMALS, uses an electromagnetic field instead of steam.
In a few months, the Navy will begin incremental testing of the EMALS system into a river. Previous testing has been done on the land, but the integration onto a ship and testing there, is a major milestone in the project. The first EMALS system has been under construction on the USS Gerald R. Ford, one of the new carriers expected to be delivered in 2016.