The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded General Atomics a $1,19 billion contract for the production, assembly, and test work on Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) hardware for French and US Navy aircraft carriers.
More specifically, the contract modification will see the company perform the work for the fourth Ford-class carrier, future USS Doris Miller (CVN 81) currently under construction, and the French Navy’s future PANG (Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation – next-generation aircraft carrier in English).
The contract also includes work on the energy storage subsystem and advanced arresting gear (AAG) system shipsets for the CVN 81, the Pentagon contract award noted.
Additionally, this modification provides for resolution of EMALS and AAG hardware obsolescence issues, to include firmware obsolescence, as well as non-recurring engineering in support of evaluation and implementation of engineering changes to product hardware, software, technical data, and logistics products through the configuration management process associated with the EMALS and AAG system for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier.
The work performed in support of the French PANG will include case study and developmental research “in support of the potential future procurement of EMALS and AAG for the government of France,” the Pentagon said.
General Atomics received the contract for work on the French carrier after the US State Department approved the sale of aircraft launch and recovery technology to France in late 2021.
France is currently working on its next-generation aircraft carrier, which is expected to be designed and built by 2038, when the FS Charles de Gaulle, the country’s current sole aircraft carrier, is expected to decommission.
CVN 81 is the second ship named in honor of Doris Miller, and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American. This also is the first aircraft carrier named in honor of a sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks.
The ship’s keel-laying is expected in 2026, with delivery to the Navy in 2032.