Navy Fixes Carrier Catapult to Launch Jets with External Fuel Tanks

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The Navy plans to fix the software on its new carrier-based electromagnetic catapult system so that it can launching F/A-18s and Growlers carrying additional external fuel tanks under the wings, service officials said.

The changes will be finished on the Navy’s Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, in time for operational testing aboard the Navy’s first Ford-class carrier — the USS Gerald R. Ford — in 2017, said Navy Cmdr. Thurraya Kent.

In April 2014, the Navy discovered an issue during testing at its facility in Lakehurst, N.J., that prevents the system from launching F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18 Growlers that are configured with external wing tanks, service officials said.

“The Navy understands the issue and will address it with a software modification well before any planned operational launch and recovery of aircraft. The fix will only involve a software change and will be completed well before any planned operational launch and recovery of aircraft,” she said.


Source: Navy Fixes Carrier Catapult to Launch Jets with External Fuel Tanks | Defense Tech
 
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Cool. I'm glad they spotted the problem before it became a real problem and caused casualties. Sometimes I can be a little wary of our navy's safety procedures.
 
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