01:17 GMT +313 December 2019
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    The estimated cost to the US Navy's second Ford-class aircraft carrier is already $370 million above a Congressionally mandated cap set for its construction after the USS Ford - pictured here - ran $2 billion over budget.

    US Navy’s New Recovery System Completes 22 Aircraft Recoveries in 26 Minutes

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    This week, the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command announced a success in the development of the General Atomics Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), the turbo-electric aircraft recovery system for its new Ford-class aircraft carriers.

    During a test at the Runway Arrested Landing Site in Lakehurst, New Jersey, last month, the Navy was able to complete 22 aircraft recoveries in around 26 minutes.

    According to RESQTEC, when an aircraft “overruns the runway during landing or takeoff,” that is referred to as a runway excursion. After a runway excursion occurs, an aircraft “cannot operate independently” and must be removed from the runway so as not to lead to runway closure. The process of removing the aircraft from the runway in a safely and timely aircraft is known as an “aircraft recovery.” According to Navy requirements, the AAG must be able to make around 28 aircraft recoveries in 21 minutes.

    According to a report by the Business Insider, the recovery system has faced “its share of problems during the development process.”

    During the AAG tests, the Navy also tested the system’s thermal-management system, which is supposed to manage heat that is released through flight operations.

    "This never-before accomplished test event was effectively executed with herculean efforts by a collaborative program office-fleet team," Capt. Ken Sterbenz, aircraft launch and recovery equipment program manager, said in a statement, the Business Insider reported.

    "This achievement represents a significant datapoint for AAG performance as experienced at our single engine, land-based site. I'm highly confident with AAG going into CVN 78 Aircraft Compatibility Testing early next year where the full, three-engine recovery system configuration will be utilized,” Sterbenz added.

    The most recent round of testing involved “five F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, 25 maintainers from Carrier Air Wing 8, six pilots from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23, and two sailors from the USS Gerald R. Ford,” according to the Business Insider.


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