(San Diego, California, September 4, 2008) -- General Atomics (GA) announced the beginning of construction on a 37,000 square foot addition to its Electromagnetic Systems (EMS) Division production and test facility in Tupelo, Miss. to support future production of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) programs for the next-generation aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). This construction effort is expected to be completed in early 2009. This expansion will also support the increased production of advanced technologies for the wind power generation market.
The EMALS system is a major upgrade to aircraft carrier technologies. It replaces the steam catapults with an electromagnetic system that improves performance and reduces maintenance and manpower requirements for the new CVN-78 class carriers. Capt. Brian Antonio, CVN 21 Future Aircraft Carriers Program Manager, stated "We're committed to install EMALS on 78 and every follow-on ship of the class." These technologies will support future fleet operations for decades to come.
"I am proud of the good work that is being accomplished at the GA facility in Tupelo," Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) said. "The expansion of the Tupelo location is evidence of the faith General Atomics has in Mississippians' ability to produce high quality results. The investment of General Atomics in our state will provide further job security for Mississippi workers."
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who was instrumental in supporting the establishment of this facility in Tupelo while serving as the Congressman from the First District of Mississippi, stated, "This expansion affirms the original investment made by General Atomics in North Mississippi years ago. As many are realizing, Mississippi provides a strong workforce ready to meet the high-tech needs of the Navy and the country. The EMALS system and the Advanced Arresting Gear program are critical components of our next generation aircraft carrier."
In addition to this expansion effort, GA recently completed the construction of a 5,000 square foot High Cycle Test (HCT) facility at the Tupelo site and recently began testing of critical EMALS subsystems.
"GA EMS is committed to providing the necessary resources, both in facilities and craftsmen, to support Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment (ALRE) and emerging renewable energy products. The GA EMS Tupelo Manufacturing and Test Facility is the cornerstone in providing the best value to both our Navy and commercial customers. We are very excited to expand our Tupelo facilities by mid-2009 to start manufacture at the Tupelo facility of approximately 1,000 megawatts of motors and in excess of 1,000 megawatts of inverters for our customers," said Scott Forney, EMS Division Vice President.