Home » Aviation » VIDEO: President Trump Quizzes Reagan Carrier CO on EMALS Program


VIDEO: President Trump Quizzes Reagan Carrier CO on EMALS Program

During a Thanksgiving-greetings call with the crew of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), President Donald Trump posed the question which is better, steam or electromagnetic flight-deck catapults.

Reagan, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), and Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis D. Wilbur (DDG-54) entered Hong Kong Harbor on Wednesday. The call to Reagan was one of several such calls Trump made to different service branch commanders around the world on Thanksgiving Day.

During the exchange with Capt. Pat Hannifin, Reagan’s commanding officer, Trump asked about the condition of the ship and wanted to know how the Nimitz-class Reagan compared with the nation’s newest carrier, the first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).

“Sir, the condition of the ship is Alpha 1, A-1,” Hannifin said.

The ceremonial boatswain’s mate and sideboys render honors for Capt. Patrick Hannifin, commanding officer of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) during a September 2018 change of command ceremony aboard the ship. Navy photo.

The size and scope of the two carriers are about the same, he continued. Ford has some technological improvements to the plants, the radars, the catapults.

“Tell me about the catapult,” Trump asked before Hannifin finished his answer. “On Gerald Ford, they don’t use steam which is the first one that I’ve ever heard of that doesn’t use steam. I know they have some difficulties which I’m not happy about, they spent a lot of money. I was just curious, the steam system is tried and true for many, many years, as long as we’ve had aircraft carriers, how do you find steam versus what they’re doing on the Gerald Ford which is electronic and digital if you can believe it.”

Among the technological advances designed for the $13 billion Ford is an advanced arresting gear system and the new electromagnetic aircraft launchers (EMALS) which does not use steam to power the catapults launching aircraft off the flight deck. Without the need to produce steam, the Ford-class reactor design is smaller and more efficient than reactors earlier nuclear aircraft carriers. The Ford-class propulsion system generates three-times as much electricity as what is generated by the Nimitz-class carriers, according to the Navy.

“Yes sir, all of our Nimitz supercarriers have been using steam for decades, and we find pretty reliable. However the electromagnetic catapults they’re running there offer some great benefits,” Hannifin said. “Obviously any new piece you gotta’ work through the bugs, but they offer some benefits, not only to stress and strain on the aircraft to extend service life. I have no doubt we’ll work through that just as we worked through all of our other advancements and continue to bring it to the enemy when we’re called to do so.”

Between Ford’s July 2017 commissioning and July 2018, when the ship entered a year-long post-shakedown availability, Ford completed nearly 750 shipboard aircraft launches and recoveries, nearly double the approximately 400 launches and recoveries initially planned according to the Navy.

During the post-shakedown availability, Ford is receiving EMALS software updates. The EMALS updates will improve the way the system handles launching the heaviest aircraft – Super Hornets and Growlers with fully-loaded external fuel tanks.

“So when you do the new carriers as you do and we’re thinking of doing, would you go steam or would you go with the electromagnetic?” Trump asked. “Steam is very reliable, and the electromagnetic, I mean, unfortunately, you have to be Albert Einstein to work it properly.”

“Yes sir, sir you have to be Albert Einstein to run the nuclear power plants we have here as well, but we’re doing that very well,” Hannifin answered. “Sir, Mr. President I would go electro-magnetic cats, I think that’s the way to go, we do pay a heavy cost to transit the steam around the ship.”

Capt. Patrick Hannifin, shortly before becoming commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), prepares to launch in a F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 from the flight deck. Navy photo.

Before becoming Reagan’s commanding officer, Hannifin spent most of his carrier flying fighters. He’s logged more than 2,800 hours flight hours, mostly in F/A-18 Super Hornets. He was also a Navy test pilot, and in 2000 was named the Naval Strike Test Squadron’s Test Pilot of the Year.

“Good, OK, I like to hear that,” Trump responded. “I’m actually happy about that answer because at least they’re doing what they’re doing, but that’s actually a very good answer.”

  • Mooseflstc

    Early catapults were either gun powder or hydraulic. The military always adapts to new technology and has some setbacks in doing so. Ships were sail powered, then coal, then oil, then nuclear…

    • PolicyWonk

      It is true that new technologies take time to break in, and there are virtually always problems with a first in class.

      With the USS Ford, however, they added an inordinate number of new (and unproven) technologies to the point to where the USN irresponsibly risked many billions of taxpayer dollars on a carrier that cannot be certified battle-ready, and won’t be for years to come.

      The EMALS and AAG problems are such that the USN openly discussed recommissioning a carrier out of the mothball fleet to fill in the gap, while announcing the fixes for EMALS (etc.) would be neither cheap or easy. Until these problems are resolved (a God knows what cost), we’ve got the largest LHA on the planet.

      • Ed L

        Wonder were the Navy would find enough Boiler Techs and Machinists Mates that know how to run steam system on a conventional power Carrier There is an internet article. “Making Steam: The Life And Times Of A U.S. Navy Chief Engineer ”. A good actual story. The last part of the article the LCDR actually talks about bringing the Kitty Hawk back to life during her SELP and later on the obstacles to just get the Kitty Hawk plant up and running again in 2018

      • vetww2

        So far, all of the problems were manufacturing or training faults.

      • Duane

        The Navy is not openly considering any such thing .. you are making that up out of thin air.

        Sheesh! You’ll literally write anything to support your anti-naval-tech ideology. You literally oppose every single thing the Navy has been doing for the last 15 years to develop superior military technology. I am forgiven for thinking your heart is set on hamstringing our Navy, rather than supporting it. You are too consistent in your anti-naval technology diatribes to be motivated by anything else.

    • NEC338x

      Which would be interesting if EMALS fell into that category. The Navy’s experience with linear electrical motors actually predates their foray into nuclear power. Specifically, I’m referring to the two Westinghouse electrical catapults installed at Mustin Field and NATC Patuxent back in 1946. These used 12 MW generators and flywheel energy storage. What seems to be kicking the Navy’s butt is “unanticipated” problems in energy management associated with this particular design. One has to wonder whether the dazzle of the General Atomics approach allowed them to win over the Northrop Grumman Marine competition.

      • Duane

        No butts being kicked at all. EMALS and AAG work great.

  • PolicyWonk

    While the SW update to improve EMALS aircraft handling is a good thing, there is zero mention about if a reliability fix for EMALS has yet been identified for the USS Ford, let alone removing the single-point-of-failure feature that undermines the carriers ability to remain in battle if one of the EMALS catapults is lost.

    Neither of the above counts the reliability problems with the AAG, on the other end of the ship.

    Until then, the USS Ford is either the largest/most expensive training ship, or LHA on the planet.

    • Duane

      The USS Ford is doing great. It’s only significant failure during its shakedown cruise was a failed thrust bearing on one of its shafts .. which is common to every ship with a screw and shaft propulsion train, and is the simplest of all systems – a single bearing. it was machined incorrectly.

      Otherwise, through nearly 800 cats and traps, the EMALS and AAG worked great. The tiny little bugs and tweaks issues here and there are common to all new ships on shakedown cruises, which is why shakedown cruises are performed on all new ships .. to identify the little bugs and tweaks, and fix them in the PSA.

      • Bubblehead

        Duane doesn’t seem to comprehend the single point of failure concept. A single failure anywhere in the EMALS makes the carrier defenseless – comprende? Its also worth noting not just a failure to EMALS turns the ship completely defenseless but undergoing any type of required regular maintenance takes down the entire EMALS.

        Trump will spend his entire 1st 4 year term cleaning up Obamas mess in the military. Marines raiding parts from museums to keep their aircraft flying. Not even 1/5 of Marine fighters were combat ready. Only 40% Navy fighters combat ready. Ships skipping required maintenance cycles. The entire US Army equipment is obsolete.

        But “Trump is an idiot” is about what we expect from somebody that can’t articulate an argument or think for themselves.

        • vetww2

          I Stand in disagreement. Read and heed, Duane.

        • PolicyWonk

          Obama’s mess was preordained: he inherited a military at its lowest state of readiness since Vietnam, not to mention the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, after 8 years of GOP “leadership”.

          Add to that, a GOP determined to prolong the suffering of American citizens in their attempts to prevent Obama from taking actions that would expedite the nations economic recovery. You might recall, Mitch McConnell going on Fox before Obama was even sworn into office, declaring his (and the GOP’s) mission to render Obama a one-term POTUS.

          The GOP caused the demise of our military via grossly mismanaging the aftermath of 9/11/2001, incompetently starting (and failing) to complete the two wars they started, and failing to take any actions whatsoever to prevent the economic calamity they started getting warnings about by the end of September 2001.

          That the GOP lacked the courage to own up to their many failings is evidenced by their attempts to forget the administration of George W Bush never existed, as if somehow we went from Clinton to Obama without anything in between. Their cowardice in blaming Obama for inadequately fixing the problems they directly caused marked the beginning of the GOP’s demise, which is now being accelerated by the current incumbent, as it is clear the party has taken to buying their own BRAVO SIERRA.

          Obama wasn’t perfect: but the amount of damage to this nation he was able to correct despite opposition from the GOP is impressive by any reasonable measure. And rest assured, that if a GOP president had accomplished the same things after inheriting the same horrors Obama did, they’d be screaming it from the rooftops.

          • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

            Ya don’t say?

          • Arthur Vallejo

            Thank you for such candor. I am a Democrat. Most Democrats are not oblivious to the threats posed by China, North Korea, Iran, etc. Most Democrats are pro-military. Sequestration was as much Obama’s fault as it was Republican Congressional intransigence regarding any tax increases for the wealthy. Democrats are too generous with other people’s money, but Republicans must ask themselves: What do we love more? Our nation or our portfolios?

            President Trump, despite his many shortcomings, seems to be doing his due diligence in appropriately developing American military strength and taking actions to halt Chinese aggression.

          • vetww2

            You need not like a President, but it should be independant of the job he is doing. In the case of Prez Trump, me, whose first vote was for one of the greatest, Harry Truman, is apalled at the divisive, unfair reporting on the good job the Prez. is doing.

        • IssacBabel

          Maintenance has been shoved aside since 2003, the US has been at war without war taxes to pay for the wear & tear on equipment. The Navy makes it worse by buying new toys instead of taking care of what it already has. (Running Hornets into scrap while fiddling with F-35s)

        • Duane

          You assert that as truth, but you don’t know that. You have never seen the design drawings or the maintenance procedures for the system. You are just parroting stuff you read on the internet by dedicated anti-EMALS trolls and critics. The design drawings and maintenance procedures are of course classified documents, and will never be released to the public, or to our enemies.

      • Also worth noting is that EMALS and steam catapults are not interchangeable without tearing up 1/4 of the ship and sacrificing key spaces under the flight deck. CrItics think it’s as easy as removing a computer chip and plugging in a hose. EMALS is a space saver, allowing room for other capabilities to improve over the Nimitz class.

        Thousands of square feet of floor space would be lost with a reversion to steam (and another 2 years lost as well). Even if the USS Ford and the mostly built USS Kennedy were kept as is (with EMALS), changing the designs of future CVNs back to steam would disrupt key improvements, sacrifice space, delay their construction and run up the cost.

        • DaSaint

          Including the nuclear reactor. We’d have to go back to the old version.

    • vetww2

      Let me just state that the EMALS in concept, is no different than an electric motor layed flat. I have seen the results of over 50 tests without a scintilla of difficulty. I have not reviewed the problems on the ship, but I am certain they should be easily solved. The EMALS is much simpler than a steam system.

      • PolicyWonk

        A good analogy – perhaps a bit more in common with a rail gun – but they’re essentially the same thing.

        This should’ve made avoiding the tragic design error (the loss of one catapult due to accident, battle damage, or maintenance, rendering all others unusable) easily avoidable.

        Alas…

        • vetww2

          I agree. The loss of one should not be the loss of all. In the design I saw each catapult had 2 sets of rails so that they could still operate, if one was damaged and the 2 cats were completely independant.
          , A missile or UAV launcher is a valid item using the “Linear Accelerator”principle, but not the silly “rail gun”. for many reasons. Remember, we were trying to develop suitable applications (as I always required) and rail guns were ruled out. No bias, just facts.

          • Duane

            The reported issue has to do with electrically isolating one system from another. Of course, all it takes is a breaker or disconnect to electrically isolate one system from the other. If there is an issue at all it is in isolated to the four flywheels that store energy between cat shots so as to levelize the energy flow through the system. It makes perfect engineering sense for the four flywheels to store energy across all four cat systems to make the system work at peak efficiency. If one system goes down out of the four, then the system will not work at peak efficiency .. but that does not mean the entire system ceases to function as the trolls ridiculously assert.

            Replacing a flywheel system is of course something that is not quickly performed … it takes finite time for the flywheel to slow down (I don’t know if there is a mechanical brake on the flywheels to speed that up).

            But a breakdown in the steam supply system (such as a major steam leak or failed steam stop valve) to old style steam cats would also shut down all four steam cats. No cat system is totally free of potential failure points, even single point failures under worst case conditions. Whether steam or EMALS.

            If an internet troll says this design – which is not a public record – is a fatal flaw, well, consider the source. Obviously the Navy does not sanction unnecessary or avoidable fatal flaws in engineering systems, no matter how much the internet trolling community stamps its tiny little feet and shouts to the contrary.

            Internet comment pages are not a useful place to debate detailed system designs. Facts are substituted with hyperbole, misleading statements, and outright propaganda in internet comment pages. USNI is a prime example of that.

            The bottom line is the bottom line – EMALS and AAG worked great on the Ford during its recent shakedown cruise, with no major or significant failures reported. Only minor bugs and tweaks were reported.

          • vetww2

            Duane, you slay me. Your take is perfect.

      • Bubblehead

        Nobody is questioning the benefits of EMALS over steam. Just the poor design that does not allow for maintenance w/o taking entire system down and single point failure. Redundancy is a must in military applications.

        • vetww2

          The “take the whole system down” is not applicable. Plus, when a bit more mature, EMALS wil have 2 sets of rails for each catapult.

          • NavySubNuke

            It actually is — if you want to do any maintenance that is. I can’t post links but if you Google “ford DOT&E report” there is an FY17 report pdf, second result down. Look at pages 178-191 of the report (note: the pages themselves are labeled as 167-171 due to the preface pages).
            “The Navy previously identified an inability to readily electrically isolate Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) components to perform maintenance. This limitation will preclude some types of EMALS and AAG maintenance during flight operations, decreasing their operational availability”
            “The reliability concerns are exacerbated by the fact that the crew cannot readily electrically isolate EMALS components during flight operations due to the shared nature of the Energy Storage Groups and Power Conversion Subsystem inverters onboard CVN 78. The process for electrically isolating equipment is time-consuming; spinning down the EMALS motor/generators takes 1.5 hours by itself. The inability to readily electrically isolate equipment precludes EMALS maintenance during flight operations, reducing the system operational availability. “

          • vetww2

            I have checked with sources that know the circuitry, and they say the statement is nonsense. A faulty unit can be off line within 3 minutes. and a panic breaker in the system will cut power, on demand.

          • NavySubNuke

            I don’t know what to tell you since the Navy itself has identified it as a potential issue. Presumably the Navy knows and understands the details of the design and the implications of those details.
            How recent is your source’s experience with the actual design and are they talking about an emergency trip that you would only use to save the ship/someones life with likely damage to equipment or the kind of trip you could use routinely as part of an approved procedure?

          • vetww2

            My source works at Lakehurst and gives me ONLY unclassifed information

          • NavySubNuke

            Good to know but does your source know for sure that their system as assembled there actually matches the system as built and deployed on FORD? I was told the issue is actually a deliberate design decision that was added late in the FORD design process to reduce costs due to the cost overruns the ship was already experiencing. It is possible the prototype at Lakehurst doesn’t have the discount version we actually built and installed on FORD.
            Again, the Navy itself has identified this as an issue so I’m going to go ahead and believe the Navy on this.

          • vetww2

            Agreed. I predict that the system will operate, trouble free, within 2019.

    • Arthur Vallejo

      Excellent points all. Nevertheless, the USA is in a new cold war started by the PROC. Force-multiplying technologies like EMALS, directed energy weapons, rail guns, F-35B/C, F-18E/F block III, “low yield” and cleaner versions of the W76 thermonuclear warhead, LRSO, LRASM, etc., etc. are all essential as deterrents and as insurance that America and her allies will prevail should deterrence fail. Xi Jinping has made it very clear that China will spare no effort in the pursuit of game-changing military technologies. Let us not forget the lessons learned during the first Cold War.

    • NavySubNuke

      The issues are actually with the electronic storage and conversion subsytems of EMALs. If you lose an EMALs CAT you likely won’t lose the entire system. You just won’t be able to fix the broken CAT until you spin down the entire system (1.5 hours according to DOT&E).

      • Duane

        I rarely agree with you, but I do agree with you here.

        Perhaps the spin down time can be reduced to a few minutes by applying a mechanical brake, which I rather expect that is at least one option. Or perhaps an additional breaker or disconnect can be installed. DOT&E was talking about the older pre-Ford developmental systems, not about the Ford system per se, which quite likely already has been modified to address developmental design issues.

        After all, EMALS as installed on the Ford is a first generation system. Like any first generation system (such as the nuclear power plant of the USS Enterprise), it will continue to evolve on subsequent generations. The nuclear power plant on the second CVN, the Nimitz, was a radically different plant than the plant on the Enteprise – going from 8 separate reactors to only 2. And the Ford powerplant is radically different from the Nimitz reactors, but hardly any of the dedicated Ford trolls ever talk about that.

        • NavySubNuke

          Yes, the new reactor plants on the FORD are awesome. The FORD design also helped NR fill in a critical gap between when they had completed the VIRGINIA reactor design but had not yet begun work on the (at the time) SSBN(X) reactor plant design.
          People forget how easy it is to lose those kind of design skills, as the British found out to their horror when they nearly lost the Astute program and needed both NR and EB to step in and save them from themselves. You can’t actually just recreate a design capability from nothing after 10+ years of inactivity.
          There is a lot to love about the FORD program and I expect in the long term we will reap some serious cost savings from the manpower/efficiency gains in the design (as we likely will with DDG-1000 as well) – the trouble is getting people to realize the short term costs are worth paying to reap the long term benefits.
          I do wish that Rumsfeld had allowed the Navy to introduce the new technologies in stages, one new technology per hull, as they had originally planned to do rather then forcing the Navy to cram together all the new developments into a single hull but it looks like it is all going to work out long term.
          The EMALs single point power issues were done to save costs and can certainly be addressed in design changes for subsequent hulls.

  • Foggy Fiftyfive

    As if CAPT Hannifin could say anything negative about EMALS and retain any chance of attaining flag rank. Hey let’s just piss on Navy policy to the President of the United States. Duane, PYHOOYA ASAP PLEZ.

    • Duane

      Anybody who would bad mouth a great system, just in order to earn brownie points from a brainless twit who is temporarily POTUS would of course not deserve to get anywhere near flag rank.

      • vetww2

        That’s the Famous, “My Career, My Service, My Country”…er…in that order.

  • JohnByron

    An honest officer speaking truth to an idiot. BZ.

    • GCD

      There are plenty of smart experienced people who have questioned EMALS. Doing so does not make one an idiot. Please keep politics off the board.

      • JohnByron

        Oh my! Clutch my pearls! So naughty to say that our Liar-In-Chief is an idiot! Heaven forfend and I shall mend my ways. So grateful…

        • vetww2

          SCHMUCK!!!

      • vetww2

        The EMALS is an excellant system capable of a feature no other system can supply, namely programmable G variability (Rate of change of G. Second derivative, called Jerk) significantly reducing aircraft launch damage, a big money saver. it also requires no break links.
        Your “politics” remark is correct.

      • Duane

        Idiocy is not political. Trump is an idiot regardless of his party affiliation. That only Republicans refuse to acknowledge that fact is the politics of the matter.

        • GCD

          We finally have a President who seems to take a genuine interest in military matters. One can argue about his positions, but they are not off the wall as many share his views.
          He has also greatly increased defense spending.
          President Obama never seemed to care about the military one way or the other and presided over serious cuts to military spending.
          No one is/was calling Obama an “idiot”, he just did not seem to care.
          Rightly or wrongly Trump cares.
          Trump is a multi billionaire and won the highest office in the land, I doubt he is an “idiot”.

          • Secundius

            Really! Is that why Donald Trump plans to Reallocate ~$77-Million USD from the USCG to pay for Immigration Enforcement (i.e. the Mexican Border) instead…

            ( https : // www . washingtonpost . com / news / checkpoint / wp /2018 / 06 / 22 / trump – administration – plans – to – use – coast – guard – money – to – pay – for – border – enforcement / ? utm _ term = . d995d8d1de2a )

          • gcd

            I do not have the time to research the numbers but I believe that Trump increased defense spending in “18 and “19 by tens of billions. So yes he did reallocate 77 million….overall still a substantial increase.

          • Secundius

            Donald Trump’s budget was only ~$607-Billion, the US Hse. of Rep. increased the Defense Budget to just under ~$7-Billion and the US Senate increased further still to over ~1.07-Trillion. And did it with a Super Majority Vote too. That BOTH the Democrats and Republicans voted on…

          • gcd

            Defense budgets under Trump have increased substantially beyond the 77 million he took from the USCG.
            The fact that the votes were bipartisan means what?
            The guy who ran saying he would increase military spending does not get any credit for doing so because some democrats voted for increases too?

          • Secundius

            Super Majority Votes of 290+ by the US Hse.of Rep. and US Senate of 66+ are Veto Proof by the President. It’s away of keeping Donald Trump from vetoing the Budget…

          • gcd

            Are you implying that Trump was going to veto the defense increase?
            Trump promised during the campaign to increase defense spending.
            He always brags about how he is increasing defense expenditures yet according to you he was going to surprise everyone and veto the increase?
            This is your argument?
            The guy said he was going to increase defense spending and he did increase defense spending.
            What has a veto proof majority got to do with it.
            He was not going to veto the defense increase he asked for.

          • Secundius

            Donald Trump’s Defense Budget was SET at ~$607-Billion and the Defense Budget voted on by the US Congress exceed ~1-Trillion USD. And it was by Super Majority Vote. What do you think. Considering the Budget that the US Congress gave Donald Trump for the Mexican Border Wall was less then ~$250-Million USD. It doesn’t take a Genius to figure out at how P|SSED OFF Donald Trump would have been at that…

          • gcd

            You have not addressed my question.
            Trump promised more money for the military, congress gave him more than he asked for–all good.
            He was not going to veto.

          • Secundius

            But the US Congress gave Donald Trump LESS money for funding the Mexican Border Wall, in doing so. That’s why the Super Majority Vote, to override Donald Trump’s Veto Power…

          • gcd

            This is getting tedious.
            I stated that regardless of your feelings about Trump, he did increase defense spending.
            Yes, he then moved 77 million from the USCG for the border, but his increase in overall defense spending was much greater.
            You respond by implying that Trump was in no way responsible for the increase in defense spending and would have in fact vetoed it if not for the veto proof majority.
            This makes no sense.
            This is like implying that Obama would veto his own Obama Care program.
            Yes, I know that in the latter case Obama did not face a veto proof majority, but you get my point.
            If you wish to continue this thread, please respond directly to my question, what proof do you have that Trump would have/wanted to veto the defense spending increase?
            If you do not answer the question, then I am done.
            Good day.

          • Secundius

            The USCG requested ~$11.65-Billion for their Budget, but “ONLY” received ~$10.5-Billion on paper. Of which ~$750-Million is and/or was earmarked for an Icebreaker Replacement FOR 2023. Hurricanes “Harvey”, “Irma” and “Maria” caused ~$835-Million in USCG Property Damage. And have “YET” to be reimbursed by the US Congress (i.e. NO Icebreaker Replacement)…

          • Duane

            Trump didn’t increase defense spending .. Congress did that, with overwhelming veto proof majorities, with funding levels that signficantly succeeded what the Trump administration proposed, with large additions to both the ship building budget and for the acquisition of new attack aircraft, both F/A 18 Super Hornets and F-35s.

            Presidents only suggest. Congress decides.

          • muzzleloader

            You are obtuse beyond belief out of pure spite.
            Yes it is Congress that approves the defense budget however the president requests a particular defense budget. Do you really think that HRC would had a defense budget this size?

          • Duane

            Trump’s “interest in military matters” extends to his belief, stated openly and often, that he knows far more about military matters than do all the admirals and generals.

            In reality, Trump shows no interest at all in military except to try and pretend he is the smartest military genius who ever walked the surface of the earth.

    • muzzleloader

      Hillary lost pal. Two years ago. Get over it.

  • vetww2

    Let me, PLEASE, give a bit and take a bit of pride of development. In this case, EMALS. As I have posted before, my guys in NAVSEA 003/03R developed the original Linear Accelerator System, in conjunction with the DOE. We developed it and recomended it for A/C and missile launch and sent it to Lakehurst, who did a remarkable job of reducing it to practice, over a lot of resistance. BZ.
    We also did NOT find it feasible as a gun (now railgun) for a long list of reasons.

    But, If you allow me, I just have to let out a loud Tarzan yell, with (grand)fatherly pride.

    • DaSaint

      Justifiably proud! Kudos to you and to your teams. Everything new has bugs, but if they’re worthwhile and with vision, they get worked out. There are definitely some bugs and reliability issues, but we’re all keeping our fingers crossed, as the technology has significant promise.

  • Mk-Ultra

    “many years, as long as we’ve had aircraft carriers, how do you find steam versus what they’re doing on the Gerald Ford which is electronic and digital if you can believe it.”

    1) doesnt know aircraft carriers existed during world war 2 that did not have catapults.

    2) ..”and digital”

    “Steam is very reliable, and the electromagnetic, I mean, unfortunately, you have to be Albert Einstein to work it properly.”

    Speaks for itself

    This is the guy the genius conservatives thought is perfect to be there commander in chief of the military. I guarantee that orange buffoon has zero idea how anything in the military works.

    “Yes sir, sir you have to be Albert Einstein to run the nuclear power plants we have here as well, but we’re doing that very well,”

    And what makes it all even more hilarious is how they respond to him at his mental capacity level, like they’re talking to a child, with simple verbiage so he’s able to follow along and understand

    The epitome of the average rural conservative that voted Donald Trump. That’s why they’re so emotionally attached to him, it’s insane. They take any kind of ridiculing of trump directly and extremely personally. It’s why they lash out with such anger and emotion. It’s hilarious.

    I literally laugh at the fact trump manipulated them into believing his personal success is also them being successful. And he did this literally by simply being just as stupid as they are. Read a single transcript of any of his interviews and I ghaguaran you will see all he does is speak with the vernacular of a mentally challenged 10 year old. Perfect for the average trump supporter to understand lmao

    • muzzleloader

      This rural conservatives voted for Trump. And you are the epitome of liberals who cannot hide the contempt you have for fellow American citizens who don’t think like you. Your sheer arrogance sees to that, that and your total lack of class.

      • Mk-Ultra

        So you’re just as dumb? K got it.

        “Hurdur your total lack of class”, what? Do you even know what you’re crying about now? Or are you just lashing out in any way you can?

        Your comment just proves how much of a victim conservatards are. Crying about anything they can, and how they’re poor victims and how everyone has ”contempt” (no one has shown this) for you poor lowly conservatards. Pathetic

        • muzzleloader

          Crying about anything they can? Lmao, that is all your side has done for the last 2 years! Lashing out is all you do. You lash out with insults at people you don’t even know, because that is all you know how to do. You don’t debate because you can’t do that either. All you can do is hurl insults with your keyboard.
          Conservatards? Is that all you got, bubba?

          • Mk-Ultra

            And what exactly are you doing right now genius? This is why i mock conservatards. You dorks have the mental capacity of a potato, spend half of your paragraph crying and lashing out, then cry “hurdur it’s all ur side does, not us hurdur”

            I can see the tears flowing from your eyes as you ferociously smash your keyboard to lash out at the stranger mocking “your side”

            And that perfectly summarizes how simple you dorks are. All you see is “sides”, “my side vs your side”, it’s all your simple conservatard brains can understand. Your “side” has been to “win” no matter what. Someone eays something mean about “your side” that hurts your feelings, you rract like a 10 year old. “Nu uh! It’s all your side does!” Aka “No, u!”

            Lmao @ you crying “You lash out with insults at people you don’t even know”when countless times you conservatards would lash out on here at people you don’t know, weren’t talking to you, just because you read something you didn’t like. It’s hilarious how often you conservatards insult yourselves and each other without knowing when you’re so caught up in the moment to lash out, and because that is all you know how to do.

            You don’t dEbAtE because you can’t do that either. Cant really do much of anything, the only thing you can do is hurl insults with your keyboard which it’s all you dorks have been doing for over a decade.

            Bubba? Is that all you got, bubba?

          • muzzleloader

            Lol, all you did was repeat back what I said to you.
            Really original eh?
            I really enjoy this site because of some great articles, as well as intelligent posts by people who like me, have a great interest in current naval/military matters.
            The vast majority of the people here have years of experience and are able to articulate and contribute to the conversation at hand.
            Then there are trolls like you who have issues in their lives, and have nothing better to do than be people like you.
            What do I got? I have 35 years of combined naval and DoD service. I still work in the naval community, doing a job that I still love to do every day, working multi million $ assets that are part of the tip of the spear. I work with the men and women in uniform who have taken the oath to defend this nation, and thier lives depend on what I and my colleagues do. I have a fantastic wife and two great sons, one who will soon be joining the sea service.
            So pardon me if I have little time for angry hateful little pi$$ants like you, sitting in your moms basement, keying statements you would never have the guts to say to their faces.
            You are a pathetic loser who probably never served, and wouldn’t know a radome from a rifle.
            So go scream at the sky.
            Cheer up Alice, I hear that Hillary might run again.

          • vetww2

            You have just stated what aimost all of us feel when this political idiocy, crawls into our otherwise informative, and, sometimes, legitimate disagreement on REAL Naval equipment, designs, systems, situations and operatios.
            So, Hacks, Please keep your squbbling, LOLs, IMAOs, LMFAOs and all of your other junk for the likes of Twitter, Facebook, or any other SSS (Silly, Social, Sxxx.)

          • muzzleloader

            Thanks for the support. There are times when I am about ready to quit coming here because some people want to bring thier politics up in every discussion ( I could name a few but won’t).
            But there are some great folks here and these are crucial times we live in.
            Regards.

          • old guy

            Sometimes, for the bettermnt of the DOD, we just have to bite our lip and make believe the idiots go away.

      • Duane

        As if Trump is or ever was a conservative. LOL! You guys got punked by a guy who is not ideological at all. Trump’s only ideology is that whatever is personally good for Trump, he is all for it and will flog it to death. And whatever is personally bad for Trump he is against.

        Ronald Reagan was a real conservative. He would have detested Trump, who is everything Ronald Reagan was not, and never would be. Even people who knew Reagan well and did not share his ideology knew that he was serious about his beliefs and did not run for President in order to pad his bank accounts or to satisfy his own ego.

        • muzzleloader

          You are a walking contradiction. You proffess a reverence of Ronald Reagan, and yet you constantly refer to conservatives as right wing nut jobs, idiots and traitors, so please spare us about Reagan. You say that Trump is no conservative. In two years he has appointed two conservatives to the US Supreme Court
          He has seen to one of largest defense fundings ever.
          He has eliminated hundreds of Obama era regulations that was strangling business and economic growth.
          He is trying, trying, to defend our southern border and our national sovereignty from invaders.
          But I know that none of this matters to you duanne, such is your hatred for POTUS. Plus like all lefties, you think that all millionaires are evil and corrupt. But take heart buddy, I hear that Hillary might run again.

          • Mk-Ultra

            Remember how you dorks spent 8 years shouting at protests that Obama was the anti Christ, setting images of him on fire, shouting he should be lynched and murdered?

            But as you know, you dorks arenta smart enough to remember anything past a week, or realise your own hypocrisy and contradictions.

            You’re all so emotionally attached to trump by the simplest rifht wing propaganda.

            Left wing = bad
            Right wing = good

            And Bam. That’s how you manipulated you righties

        • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

          again:
          He’s a nationalist/populist mo rron.
          how many “lol”, “lmao” should I put in my post to sound
          intelligent?

          • Mk-Ultra

            Only righties would get triggered over lmao and think by getting mad over a word it would make strangers online think they’re the smarter ones

          • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

            projection, love it…

          • Mk-Ultra

            Right? That’s literally the reason why you said;

            “again:
            He’s a nationalist/populist mo rron.
            how many “lol”, “lmao” should I put in my post to sound
            intelligent?”

            Im glad you realised it, as realising the problem is the first step to recovery. I love it

          • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

            Yes, maybe we are getting somewhere duane JR.
            continue….

          • Mk-Ultra

            This level of obsession isn’t healthy. You need to see some kind of psychiatrist

    • Kypros

      Oh, now he’s supposed to be a Naval Aviation expert historian? Thank God he’s gotten 2 years of rebuilding the military under his belt before your loony tune folks try to tear it down again.

      • Mk-Ultra

        LOL! The excuses you conservatives come up with to protect your daddy is hilarious.

        Yes, knowing about basic military hardware is to be a Naval Aviation expert historian. Lmfao. Shows how dumb you are.

        Can you explain how did the military need “rebuilding”? Answer this simple question, I’m sure you can do it buddy! You loony tune conservatards aren’t all dumb, I think.

        • Kypros

          LOL! Looks like he became your daddy, now. And you sound like a troll.

          • Mk-Ultra

            And that’s what I thought. It’s hilarious how embarrassingly easy it is to make you dorks eat your own words.

            Lmao @ you people thinking you have to be a Naval avaition expert just to know about catapults on carriers, and know the simple fact carriers in WW2 did not have them. Lmfao. You people are sad

    • vetww2

      You reveal a remarkable stupidity. Remember, A closed mouth gathers no feet.

      • Mk-Ultra

        Yes we all know you conservatards reveal a remarkable stupidily. That’s why you stupid people think you have to be a Naval avaition expert just to know aircraft carriers in WW2 did not have catapults.

        Remember, A closed mouth gathers no feet

  • omegatalon

    While Democrats and Liberals around the country are rolling their eyes.. Trump’s question is a serious one given that EMALS is a planned upgrade for all aircraft carriers and in arguing for the money, it might be a necessity for Trump to tell Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi how he needs the money to replace the steam catapult of Nimitz class carriers to the EMALS and he can use this conversation as evidence before asking whether the brave men and women of US Armed Forces deserve the best.

    • vetww2

      First rate response. I was surprised that he was aware of the difficulty.

      • Curtis Conway

        Early on in his tour as president, someone exposed him to the concept of a Steamcat and its functional reliability compared to the new EMALS, and its lack of reliability, with its commensurate increased cost. Of course the analysis is much more complex than that. The Nimitz that cost about $6 Billion compared to the $11-13 Billion Ford Class (so far) cost more up front (though each iteration will cost less), is way too simplified. Crew size, managing electrical/electronic/digital occupies less space, requires significantly less manpower, needs less physical maintenance that can be automated in many cases, and the Ford can make the power required to power the Directed Energy Weapon defense system that one day will be installed. Sortie rate is greatly increased primarily due to the faster turnaround time at the larger refuel/rearm area. No . . . we can’t just go back to Nimitz, and we will need the Fords. It’s just their cost are coming down so slowly.

        What bothers me is the FACT that these cost escalations happened when we went overseas for our steel at (what we were told) was a much better cost break. Salaries to the average American did not grow like the cost of a $2.5 Billion Nimitz a decade ago, to $6 Billion today. Maybe American Steel was a better idea in addition to being necessary for National Security. Someone made a lot of money overseas (and here in the US), and the American Public were taken to the cleaners! DoD Procurement Reform has not even been discussed yet. All the Defense Industry can do in the US is throw rocks at one of our most dedicated manufacturers with a huge Patriotic Heart (Boeing). They are doing it RIGHT!

        • vetww2

          Thanks for your post. Very enlightening. you cost me 5 hours checking with some good sources. Here is wfat I found out.
          !. ALL steel and other metals in the Ford class ships are entirely American, and
          2. The tariffs are, mostly against low strengh (building construction) steels. The Canadian steel is produced by a Chinese owned company, the main reason for them.

          On the subject of EMALS, the troubles reported to the President have, as of today, been solved. The initial plus operating costs of the system will move into the profit co;umn, not even considering the lower stress put on the aircraft due to the profiled acceleration, of the system.
          Please pardon the parental pride, but this system will make available, the added power needed for a directed energy system, when available, and an Electro-Thermal-Chemical gun, if Navy ever comes to its senses, about weaponry.

          • Bubblehead

            So you are telling me the single fault failure issue is resolved and maintenance can be done on a single cat without taking down the entire system now?

            It would be highly stupid to send 5-6k men into war on a ship in which a single failure would not only make the entire ship defenseless but the entire battle group. If a single cat fails, and this takes down the entire cat system the entire battle group is suddenly extremely vulnerable. There goes your AWACS. CAP patrols. 90% of your offense.

          • NavySubNuke

            No — you can’t resolve a deliberate design decision like that.
            The issues he is referencing is, I believe, the reliability issues that broke the system and made it so you had to take down all 4 cats to fix just one. Those have supposedly gotten better and they now break less frequently.

          • Curtis Conway

            The spaces for the control equipment exist, and installation and test should not be that hard. I bet they are using ‘software controls’ to handle isolation to some extent, but you are right about that limitation.

          • Curtis Conway

            The ‘Devil’ is in the details, and most analysis you read today do not even understand the ‘in your face’ and obvious reasons for taking specific courses of action. With our greatest intelligence network and analysis tools, it is (was during BHO days) embarrassing to watch the federal government take certain stances, and move in some directions that communicated the wrong messages. This administration has thought this out with a philosophy of advancing and strengthening US economic power, strengthening alliances, and promoting our economy (specifically the US Dollar). Sure wish we could get the Fed on board. They are the fly in the ointment right now (Stock Market drop).

            With the sure to be tighter budgets for DoD coming we are going to have to modify (tweak the) strategy and modify tactics to meet the need a bit.

            This is where the emphasis on [existing] Light Carriers that require NO development come in handy.
            We should start squeezing those F-35s (all flavors) out of the plant like toothpaste for US forces and Allies, and get the concurrency birds up to speed. Lockheed Martin must do this.
            Upgrade some of the F-16s to the latest Viper standard.
            We simply must have a capable Mach II Interceptor force in numbers and that is the F-15 (not enough F-22s), so we have to rebuild or build new F-15SEs (at least four to six squadrons).
            THE vacillating USAF on the OA-X Light CAS…has got to PICK, and move out with production. Hopefully the A-X (A-10 replacement) is moving along too.
            Complete the B-52 re-engine program, and use that engine for a re-introduction of the S-3 in the US Navy Carrier Air Wing as a comms relay, ISR platform, ASW, Electronic Attack, other missions.
            Push the V-280 Valor into production.
            Build the Light Attack Helo using whichever they choose and it ain’t the V-280, and use that Light Attack Helo as the USCG H-65 Dolphin replacement starting in a decade. it will be perfect with a winch.
            Award the ITEP winner their prize, and the winner move forward with the lions share of T-700 replacement program across the board (all services including USCG). Gotta do it this way because neither contractor can manufacture enough to meet the need for new and retrofit requirements.
            If development will take too long, then just build the AIP SSn using the same engine plug methodology (w/ two KRUSTY nuc plants) used for the current engine package, and build the LBTS (land based test site) for mods over the life of the program.
            Get the SIG Sauer M17 and M18 sidearm out in all services more quickly. Provide conversion kits where appropriate.
            Build the M-8 Buford for our Airborne Brigades and perhaps some other units.
            Continue to recondition our older M1A tanks to M1A2v3 SEP, with some going TUSK as well where appropriate (probably some Guard/Reserve units).
            Accelerate the Bradley, M109 (Commonality & APS/network), and Stryker/LAV upgrades (30mm), JLTV introduction.
            Let’s get the longer range Artillery out, and maybe build a truck based (w/longer barrel) longer range version that is air mobile.
            Hold HII Ingalls feet to the fire on CVN cost with the new construction using MYP to keep cost down.
            Fund the Twelfth National Security Cutter and consider more, and get the Offshore Patrol Cutter in the water for testing & acceptance, and expand that force, so the National Security Strategy can include greater engagement by the US Coast Guard overseas where appropriate (Bilateral Agreements exist, and we conduct training while growing their forces like Nigeria/Ukraine/Papua New Guinea/Brunei).
            Get the Polar Security Cutter going.
            Get a long-term Military Sealift Program growing lift requirement on track, that meets the need, which may be more Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transports, but must include something of greater tonnage.
            Increase the pace of HA/DR exercises globally.
            DoD should divest itself of all unproductive properties world wide, so we don’t need another BRAC.

            Just to mention a few.

          • vetww2

            Your post is good enough to constitute its own article status. I have put it in a seperate file so that I don’t lose it. I am much more knowledgeable thanks to your post. I have some items of my own which I will post when I am more certain of any recommendation I suggest. My pet peeve is that Navy won’t complete development of the ETC gun upgrade that can be appled to all guns now in the fleet. Another adresses the deficiencies in the M-1 tank, which have not been corrected

        • Secundius

          And “Nothing’s is better in producing Steam, the Clean Burning Coal”. Only problem being that US Navy hasn’t used Coal as a Fuel Source since 1910. But try Telling Donald Trump that…

          • Curtis Conway

            Can coal ash be recycled real-time into ocean water with no systemic, negative, lasting effects, or is there a product stream/waste-train for it?

          • vetww2

            Ash from de-sulphured coal is inert.
            Here’s a rabble rouser. When we made a study of plastic waste back about 1980, we found that ALL common, plastic waste was completely passive if GROUND to small pieces (1/2 inch, or so). Dumped into a small inlet, Screened so none could escape, the plastic litter was no different than thes and and pebbles of the natural bottom, except some of the pieces (unidentified material) attracted barnacles and oyster spat. That was as far as we went.

          • Secundius

            “PAWDS”! PAWDS (Plasma Arc Waste Destruction System) by PyroGenesis of Montreal, Canada. Is being employed on Both the CVN-78, USS “Gerald R. Ford” and the CVN-79, USS “John F. Kennedy” as a Plasma Waste Disposal System. It burns at ~10,000C (~18,032F), Destroys General Waste, Hazardous Waste, Incinerator Ash Waste, Medical Waste, Toxic Waste, and Scrape Metal. End produce is Gas Vapor…

            ( http : // www . pyrogenesis . com / wp – content / uploads / 2014 / 01 / 19 . – 2006 – 05 – IT3 – A – Fully – Automatic – and – % E2 % 80 % 9CSailor – Friendly % E2 % 80 % 9D – Plasma – Arc – Waste – Destruction – System – Paper . pdf )

          • Centaurus

            Pualeeeze….everything goes somewhere and the largest polluter is the US Military.
            Forgive my pencil-headed libitard perspective.

          • Centaurus

            Coal ash is considered to be a toxic waste, having become a concentrate of all the Mercury, Cadmium, Selenium and other Heavy Metals. I’d say that we’ve done enough to the oceans generally and the use of Low-Frequency Sonars is already wasting the hearing of all the cute and fuzzy dolphins and useless whales.

    • muzzleloader

      Well said . Trump is a layman in this technology and as Commander in Chief is working to have an understanding of the matter.

    • Horn

      You can’t put EMALS on a Nimitz. I don’t know where you think you’d put it, but it’s not fiscally feasible or responsible to do so. The Nimitz has a limited amount of electrical power generation that could be used for EMALS. You’d have to replace the reactors with ones that could generate the power necessary. Then there’s CoG that has now been changed. EMALS will never be put on a Nimitz.

  • Ed L

    President Trump has loss millions of dollars in business asking the wrong questions. But he has made many many millions of dollars asking the right questions. The questions he asked about EMALs means he as President had already been given a briefing about EMALs or read briefing papers related on the subject. I wager that President Trump got those questions by talking to other Navy Officers in the aviation community. In talking with the Commanding Officer of the USS Ronald Reagan was a perfect opportunity to get an answer from a Fighting Naval Officer who is on the Frontlines in our Cold War with the people’s republic of China

    • Bubblehead

      Trump is smart enough to know to ask the people on the front lines, flying the fighters and not simply trust what the bureaucrats in Wash DC tell him.

      • Duane

        Really, you think Trump actually asks the people “on the front lines” as you say? Wow, he must use his telepathic powers to do that, given that Trump has never yet visited any of our soldiers on any actual front lines anywhere in the world to date .. the only President to fail to do that in his first two years in office.

        • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

          So mo ron, you can ONLY meet front line troops, on the
          front line?
          “lol”, “lmfao”, crying.. etc…

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    Unfortunately this poor guy just signed his own transfer become Commanding Officer, Naval Recruiting Station McMurdo.

    • Ed L

      I say this Captain is now on the short list for Admiral

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        I hear you but does POTUS not get to either nominate or sign off on all General/Admiral Officer ranks? , I’m not being a wiseguy here, I’m being serious- if POTUS tells CNO to transfer him, he’s instantly transfered. If POTUS says to not promote him, he’s not promoted. I THINK it’s like that, I’m not saying I’m 1001% right, I’m just saying I THINK. And POTUS is pretty fickle, I can see him being upset. And yes I voted for him- doesn’t mean I can’t call him out on his faults and weaknesses. I was a Political Science major, I studied it professionally.

        • vetww2

          I assume that you are a great fan of G&S’s MIKADO, since your post sounds like a paraphrase of his thinking.

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            I don’t know what that means.

          • vetww2

            Listen to the part when KoKo is explianing to the Mikado,
            how the prince was exacuted, and the Mikado’s response.

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            Ok then

  • Bubblehead

    Food for thought….

    We all know next years defense budget is going to shrink to around $700 Billion. Thats a decrease of about $18 Bill. In addition they now have to fund a Space Force, SSBN(X) & Ford. The Army’s entire mechanized force is obsolete (well Abrams is still a world class tank). Average age of US fighter a few years ago was somewhere in the 20-30 year mark. We need new ICBM’s and nuclear cruise missiles.

    Where is the money going to come from?

    Trump being the business man… what are the chances he cuts production of Ford’s and orders Navy to build more Nimitz? You immediately save a whopping $6 Billion. It really is the easiest place to cut significant funds without a large decrease in capability.

    People that think this is ridiculous, the numbers don’t add up. Somewhere large cuts have to be made. What are you going to cut? FFGX? Columbia SSBN? B21? R&D? AB III’s? I really get the sickening feeling FFGX is going to get the short straw again.

    • Duane

      No – the defense budget will not be cut. That is just the posturing of Trump. Trump does not control military budgets or spending, or any other budgets or spending. Only Congress controls that, and Congress is not going to cut defense spending in FY-2020. Congress will likely keep defense spending level or allow it to grow slightly to keep up with inflation. There is no serious budget cutting constituency in Congress, neither Republican nor Democrat.

  • RobM1981

    I find the Captain’s answer to be deeply flawed.

    Yes, you have “Albert Einstein’s” running the reactors. Why? Because you have to. These are the most technically trained people in any service, arguably, and for good reason.

    They are also, by extension, the most expensive. They are very volatile, because their skills are marketable.

    What do we gain in capabilities that would force us to increase the skill set of the catapult teams, and the engineers that maintain the system? The fact that we already have “Einstein’s” running the plant is in no way a suitable answer as to why we should require that level of training and skill for catapult operations…

    …unless we gain, commensurately, in capabilities.

    So, Captain Hannafin, beyond lowering the “heavy cost” of running live steam around the ship, what do we gain? That’s what the President of the United States, and your Commander In Chief asked you.

    And educated man, in command of one of the greatest ships to ever sail, should be able to provide a better answer.

    That was weak.

    • Duane

      It doesn’t take more skill to operate electrical systems as compared to mechanical systems. Just a different mix of skills.

      The capabilities achieved by EMALs include:

      1) A 25% greater sortie rate for a Ford class CVN over a Nimitz class CVN

      2) Ability to exactly match acceleration to the aircraft, which results in significantly longer (estimated 25%) longer airframe life. Given that the air wing costs about 1/3 to 1/2 that of the carrier itself, that lifetime extension is worth many billions of dollars per ship

      3) Ability to handle heavier aircraft, (like F-35) as well as much lighter aircraft (like drones), increasing the operational flexibility of the carrier to mix and match highly varied aircraft types in normal ops.

      4) Cheaper to maintain

      • Graniteman31

        A right on comment, Duane!

      • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

        Thx private obvious.

      • RobM1981

        Duane, great answer. My question is: why couldn’t the Captain recite this, chapter and verse?

        Your answer is clear, and President Trump would easily understand it.

        As for the captain… he’s the *captain.* He is supposed to know this stuff. Even if he had only given two of these answers, it would have been enough.

        My issue isn’t with EMALS; it’s with a 4 striper who gave an answer that would be unacceptable for a plebe. There must be four or five departments under his command who are shaking their heads and asking “who is this newb? He can’t answer a basic, critical question?”

  • Graniteman31

    The discussion about steam v. EMALS begs the question: have there ever been any deck launches off either of the 2 CVNs? -76 or -78?

    • Are you really asking if CVN-76, a currently deployed carrier, has ever launched a plane?

      And yes, CVN-78 has launched nearly 800 aircraft using EMALS.

      • Graniteman31

        No. The discussion is all about catapults, so – in the case where all of the cats are ‘down’ is it possible for any of a CVN’s (any CVN) complement of aircraft to be deck launched. That is like using the entire – or most of – its deck length, while the carrier ‘steams’ as fast as it is able into the wind, for an airplane to take off as though the deck were a land runway. We did that many times – WAY- y-y-y back in the ’50s during the Korean dust-up.

        • Secundius

          Problematical at best and without Ordnance! With Ordnance, not without a 9* Ski-Jump Ramp on the bow. Heaviest aircraft to Take-Off a “Modern” Aircraft Carrier was a Lockheed KC-130F at ~121,000-pounds in 1962 off the CVA-59, USS Forrestal…

          • Graniteman31

            Thank you. I have a vivid recollection of that event. SCARY! I think the 130’s starboard wingtip missed the island by just inches.

          • Secundius

            That’s why the US Navy actively pursued the concept of using the C-130 as a COD alternative…