The U.S. Navy awarded General Atomics a half-billion dollar contract to put its electromagnetic aircraft launch system on the third of the Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers, to be called USS Enterprise.
The Navy announced the $532.6 million contract on Jan. 27. By exercising an option on an existing contract, the Navy arranged for the manufacture, assembly, inspection, test and checkout of the system, to be delivered on the new carrier. The deal includes installation and checkout spares, repairs, technical data and drawing changes.
The electromagnetic catapult — also called EMALS — replaces the steam catapults the Navy now uses. Some roller coasters use similar electromagnetic technology.
Work will run through 2027. One quarter of the work will be done in San Diego and large portions will be done in Mankato, Minn., and Tupelo, Miss. Some $3.7 million worth of work will be performed in Vista.
The Navy obligated $11 million out of fiscal 2016 shipbuilding conversion funds at the time of the award.
General Atomics is privately held and based in San Diego on Torrey Pines Mesa.
The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md. awarded the contract.
The Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was named Enterprise; it was retired in 2012. Several other U.S. Navy ships have used the name, which dates from the Revolutionary War.