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The Cable

Watch the Navy’s New Launch System Sling an 8,000 Pound Sled Like a Pebble

Watch the Navy sling a four ton sled off the deck of an aircraft carrier.


If you’ve never seen a four-ton sled flung off the deck of an aircraft carrier so hard that it skips off the ocean like a rock on a lake, consider Wednesday your lucky day.

The video below is from the first day of testing of the Navy’s new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, a fully electric system that will one day shoot U.S. aircraft and drones into the skies from the sea. Once operational — the current go-live date is 2017 — the slingshot will be able to propel planes weighing up to 80,000 pounds.

The first 20 days of testing took place Tuesday aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, docked in Newport News, Virginia. According to the Navy Times, the initial test of the launch system didn’t work. After the media left, it launched a sled weighing 15,000 pounds, traveling at 161 miles per hour. The 8,000 sled in the video below left the deck at 207 miles per hour.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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