GA-EMS' advanced arresting gear completes first F/A-18E fly-in recovery


General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems' (GA-EMS) advanced arresting gear (AAG) system has completed the first fly-in aircraft recovery of an F/A-18E Super Hornet.

The F/A-18E fly-in recovery was conducted on 13 October at the Runway Arrested Landing Site (RALS) at Joint base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

The demonstration follows more than 200 successful roll-in test arrestments at the site since March this year, and more than 1,300 dead-load arrestments, General Atomics said in a statement.

GA-EMS AAG chief engineer Andy Gibbs said: "The fly-in recovery of the F/A-18 Super Hornet illustrates AAG's capabilities to perform as predicted, under conditions similar to today's carrier operations.

"We're collecting data to support the development of an Aircraft Recovery Bulletin, a critical step toward arresting the aircraft on CVN 78.

"We look forward to continuing success as the AAG system undergoes planned testing activities for additional aircraft types and models."

Designed for controlled and reliable deceleration of aircraft recovery operations on carriers, AAG is a turbo-electric system that is installed on-board CVN 78 along with the GA-EMS electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).

The EMALS employs electromagnetic technology to launch aircraft from the deck of naval aircraft carriers and has completed system testing on CVN 78.

"The fly-in recovery of the F/A-18 Super Hornet illustrates AAG's capabilities to perform as predicted, under conditions similar to today's carrier operations."

GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: "We're tracking to a very aggressive testing schedule, and this fly-in recovery marks a major step toward AAG readiness for on-board testing on the Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)."

Built by Boeing, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.

The twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet is fitted with conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod, an enhanced engine and a reduced radar signature.


Image: F/A-18 Super Hornet arrested during testing. Photo: courtesy of General Atomics.