General Atomics mum on Trump's 'goddamned steam' criticism of new carrier gear

Trump is insisting that the service return to installing steam catapults in place of the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) that were developed for the Gerald R. Ford-class super carriers.

The Navy didn't immediately respond to FP's request for comment or reaction, but is expected to address the commander in chief's remarks in a statement.

Catapult systems are invaluable in helping planes build up enough speed in order to take off from an aircraft carrier.

"It sounded bad to me". Trump may have derived his remarkably insightful observations about the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) from his March 2 visit to the Ford.

But, Trump appeared to confuse the technology used in the launch system. Not good. Doesn't have the power.' You know the steam is just brutal. So I said, "What is this?' 'Sir, this is our digital catapult system.' He said, 'Well, we're going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology].' I said, 'You don't use steam anymore for catapult?' 'No, sir". "[You're] going to goddamned steam, ' the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it's no good". The carrier air wing of the future is likely to be more diverse in terms of aircraft sizes and the EMALS allows for much more precise control of launch weights. "What is digital? And it's very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out", Trump said, according to Time.

"You know the catapult is quite important". I said, 'What system are you going to be?' - 'Sir, we're staying with digital.' I said, 'No, you're not. It contained an unnerving interview between the magazine's White House correspondent and Donald Trump.

The EMALS was adopted as the Navy designed a new Ford class of "super carrier" that are larger than older ones. And I said - and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers - I said, 'What system are you going to be?' 'Sir, we're staying with digital.' I said, 'No, you're not.

You know, the same sort of machine that connects us all to the cyber.

The pricetag for the three Ford-class aircraft carriers ballooned from $27 billion to $36 billion in the past decade, and the project is behind schedule in part because of the EMALS system, as The Atlantic reported. Sen. Traditionally, they've been powered by steam, but newer versions are using electromagnets - something Trump is against. The new system has struggled in testing and could again boost the cost of the ships, but the Navy chose to stay with the new system on not only the Ford, but the Kennedy carrier that is now under construction.

The Navy said Thursday that it was developing a response.

I called up defense expert Peter W. Singer of New America (which is a partner with Slate and Arizona State University on Future Tense) who affirmed the potential benefits of EMALS.

There's no evidence to support the money-saving suggestion, and the switch to the digital EMALS launchers was seen by the Navy as a necessary one.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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