The recently commissioned supercarrier Gerald R. Ford has been widely criticized for having a myriad of mechanical issues, but the U.S. Navy can scratch the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System off that list, according to a Naval Air Systems Command release.
The Navy says it performed 71 successful test launches this summer to confirm that the launch system is finally working correctly.
While EMALS has always been able to safely launch aircraft at the desired speed, engineers discovered in 2014 that the system was putting an inordinate amount of stress on the planes, according to the release.
“We were confident since the day that the issue was uncovered that it was solvable,” George Sulich, EMALS integrated program team lead, said in the release. “The beauty of the system is that issues such as these can be accomplished with software updates instead of major hardware changes to machinery.”
It turns out all the EMALS team needed to do was fine-tune the launch system’s algorithm. The Navy identified the fix in 2015, but wasn’t finished testing it until this summer, according to the release.