Indian Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade on his visit to the state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) facility in Bengaluru was showcased what appears to be a basic electromagnetic catapult launch system testing model likely to be equipped on a future Indian Aircraft carrier that can perform Catapult-Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) operations from its decks.

India’s electromagnetic catapult launch system program seems to be in its infancy and attempts are to prove the basic concept of the system on a small scale before it can be presented for further development. Indian Navy or Defence Ministry has not sanctioned any full-scale development of electromagnetic catapult launch system program in-country yet.

If BEL can prove proof of concept that most of the technologies and systems required can be developed locally then it will be required to build facilities to test the electromagnetic catapult launch system, before it can be adopted into the proposed IAC-2 a 65000-ton aircraft carrier that Navy wants.

Electromagnetic catapult launch systems are considered more reliable, less complex, and with lower maintenance when compared to the steam catapult but also cost as much as $1 to 1.5 Billion for the whole system. US General Atomics developed Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System or EMALS has been cleared for India and a customized variant might be used on the IAC-2 if the project is approved.

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