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Friday, March 27, 2015

Navy jets with extra fuel can't be launched off new carrier

EMALS generatorThe U.S. Navy's top warplanes can't be launched off its newest aircraft carrier if they're carrying fuel tanks needed to extend their flight range because the ship's high-tech catapults cause too much wear.

Military weapons testers view this as a deficiency that would "preclude the Navy from conducting normal operations" on the USS Gerald R. Ford until it's corrected, said Air Force Maj. Eric Badger, spokesman for the Pentagon's testing office, in an email.

The previously undisclosed troubles with the catapult system from San Diego-based General Atomics add to shortcomings for the first in a new class of aircraft carriers being built by Newport News, Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.

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