Trump Disapproves of Ford Class EMALS

Navies, Sea Power, Battles at Sea, Maritime Topics, Marines, Amphibious Warfare
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

11 May 2017, 23:31 #1


President Donald Trump wants the new Gerald Ford-class aircraft
carriers to use older steam catapults to launch aircraft rather than the
new electromagnetic launch system that the Navy has been developing for
more than a decade.

The unexpected comments from Trump came during a wide-ranging interview with Time
magazine that were published on Thursday. Trump referred negatively to
the “digital catapult system” – a reference to the General Atomics
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) – and said it would take
“Albert Einstein to figure it out.” Trump stated his preference for the
Ford-class carriers to use the older Mk 13 steam catapult system that is
used on the Nimitz-class carriers and the French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91).

“It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital?
And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it
out,” Trump said, according to the published interview.
“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’re] going to goddamned steam, the digital
costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”

When contacted, the Navy said it was preparing a statement on the president’s comments.
Link: ... -launchers
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant

Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

12 May 2017, 13:30 #2

Mag systems are a technology that is well understood, thoroughly tested, and far superior to steam catapult systems. It is really a simple concept where a motor winding is layed out in a linear fashion. The closed loop control that becomes available with such systems is precise, accurate, and far superior to steam systems. The biggest advantage to such a system is the precise control of speed and torque which will save wear and tear on the super structure of the aircraft as well as giving precise control that can be tuned to individual aircraft types depending on weight and force necessary to launch them. 

Of course this is typical of Trump. Make a decision based upon little or no real information and then attempt to cram it down everyone else's throat. No.... it doesn't take Einstein to understand it, just someone with a basic grasp of electrical theory and motors. Variable Frequency Drive systems are prevalent throughout industry all over the world. They are ALL digital in nature as is every other type of control system currently in use throughout the known world. 

Trump is an unmitigated arrogant moron who can't resist proving his own ignorance at every opportunity. 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 16:39

12 May 2017, 14:59 #3

Over reliance on electronics is a mistake. Just look at what has become of the auto and heavy machinery as well. Farmers are in revolt over not being able to mechanic on their machinery . I feel the same way on autos. I won't buy something that I don't understand, and the reliability is questionable.  I probably know as about as much about aircraft carriers as Trump, but it seems to me the military puts too much faith in fancy electronics and it just may jump up and bite them one of these days.Electronics is here to stay, I know that, but I question some of the thinking.

Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

13 May 2017, 02:45 #4

That shipped sailed a long time ago. Our military is completely dependent on electronics, satellites, GPS, and all manner of high tech electronics. 

The mag track technology is not new either, although I understand the one the Navy is using was a long time in developing. However, we have been experimenting with it for quite a while now.  NASA has looked at using it as a first stage boost system as it is extremely powerful and capable of moving massive amounts of weight very quickly. Combine it with variable frequency drives which are well understood and quite robust now and you have a very finely tuned control system. 

The problem with the old steam systems were plentiful. It was underpowered, it was not variable and it relied on massive amounts of steam energy that only nuclear ships could produce. Add to that the inherent corrosive qualities of steam systems and the continous damage of high torque uncontrolled launches on the aircrafts superstructures and you have a high maintenance inefficient system that needed to be replaced. 

No one really expects Trump or any other president to understand the ins and outs of such systems. Like most management types he is dependent on those who do understand such things to give him advice and point him in the right direction. Unfortunately, as usual, Trump simply starts shooting his mouth off about something he knows absolutely nothing about and makes a fool out of himself again. 

I think it was Mark Twain who said it is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Trump just can't seem to help continously proving he is an idiot. 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's