General Atomics has developed a new electronically powered catapult, that is made to make new aircraft carriers more efficient when launching fighter jets. The San Diego-based company has been working with the Navy to develop new technology.
However, President Trump has criticized the new technology for multiple reasons and has halted the implementation of this technology for other aircraft carriers. His reasoning has brought a new wave of speculation related to how much money should be spent on military upgrades.
The new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, also known as EMALS, has been criticized by the president for being too expensive, unneeded, and too complex, along with the uncertainty of how the new technology would hold up in combat. He even talked to sailors aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, which claimed that the new system was “not good” after their ship had been able to test the new technology. All of these reasons have caused President Trump to demand all aircraft carriers switch back to the original steam catapults.
He made this announcement aboard the USS Wasp on route to Japan. “I think I’m going to put an order,” he explained. “When we build a new aircraft carrier, we’re going to use steam…We don’t need that extra speed.”
The divisiveness of this issue stems from multiple sides, which want similar change, but in different ways. The president wants to strengthen and expand the military but also wants to spend wisely. The path moving forward is unclear, but for the time being, the new technology will not be implemented.
Photo by The White House