General Atomics announced today that it has been awarded a contract for the Advanced Arresting Gear – the device that helps stop aircraft when they land on an aircraft carrier – for the future Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, the USS Enterprise.
According to a UPI report last month, the contract is valued at more than $195 million.
That’s on top of a General Atomics announcement in January, when it said it also had won a $533 million sole-source contract to install its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, on the Enterprise.
The latest contract award, GA said, establishes the company as the sole-source provider of both the AAG and the EMALS for all three Ford-class carriers – Gerald R. Ford, John F. Kennedy and Enterprise.
The majority of the work will be completed in San Diego, but portions will be conducted in Tupelo, Boston, and other locations across the country.
General Atomics’ Tupelo facility, which opened in 2004, encompasses more than 460,000 square feet and employs more than 220 people.
The new aircraft carriers, with a price tag of about $13 billion per ship, are more than 1,100 feet long and displace more than 100,000 ton each. Each carrier is powered by two nuclear reactors and can carry 75 aircraft.
The Gerald R. Ford is the first new aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy since 1975, when the U.S.S. Nimitz jointed the fleet.
The new carriers’ Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, replace the steam-powered aircraft catapults that have been used for decades.
The Gerald R. Ford is expected to enter service this year, while the Enterprise is expected to be completed and operational by 2027.
“This is a significant step toward ensuring all the materials and support associated with EMALS and AAG are readily available to launch and recover aircraft from Ford-class carriers for decades to come,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA Electromagnetic Systems “CVN 78 (Gerald R. Ford) was delivered in May. Construction on CVN 79 (John F. Kennedy) is well underway. And work is scheduled to begin on CVN 80 (Enterprise) within the year. This contract strengthens our ability to provide the Navy with optimized production schedules to successfully deploy and maintain AAG and EMALS on the carriers as they serve our nation over the next 50-plus years.”