President Trump Wants Steam, Dammit, Not This Newfangled Digital Stuff

Trump says Navy carriers should ditch Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System

The Navy has said the system would be able to put planes in the air more quickly than steam catapults, cost less to maintain over the carrier's lifetime and cause less physical stress to the vessel.

While Trump may have expressed a preference for steam-powered launch systems over digital systems in light of cost, and performance - as described by the unnamed sailor - perhaps The Atlantic's suggestion that the president "knows nothing about cyber" is a bit shortsighted. And it's not the first time under Trump, who has issued negative comments about

"'Sir, this is our digital catapult system, ' he said". "They have digital. What is digital?" 'Well, we're going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology]'.

"The trials are the last tests CVN-78 has to pass before Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding delivers the ship to the Navy".

You know the catapult is quite important. It contained an unnerving interview between the magazine's White House correspondent and Donald Trump.

The catapult system had development delays, but has successfully launched all of the Navy's major aircraft types during extensive testing.

"I said, 'You don't use steam anymore for catapult?"

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And it's too late for the Navy's newest carrier - the Gerald R. Ford is more or less already built, electromagnetic launcher and all.

Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and defense analyst with the Center for a New American Security, said Thursday that Trump's criticism "has merit", but that numerous issues that initially were raised about the the digital catapult already have been resolved. When asked about the future of America's new Ford-class aircraft carriers, Trump began rambling about the catapults that send fighter jets speeding off the deck. Not good. Doesn't have the power.' You know the steam is just brutal.

Trump then claimed only Albert Einstein could figure out how to use digital technology to replace the steam-powered launch system for the next generation of Ford-class carriers. 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. "And that design change would run throughout the entire ship because of the power required for the new system". "He's right to be frustrated and he's right to step in and tell the Navy to pay greater attention to these overruns", Jerry Hendrix, a navy expert at the Center for a New American Security, said.

General Atomics, the California-based company that got the contract for the EMALS system, didn't respond to requests for comment.

EMALS electrically generates a magnetic field to launch aircraft.

According to both Hendrix and the CRS report, the larger issue on the new carriers at this point is not the catapult, but the new advanced arresting gear system that catches planes as they land.

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