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EMALS FOR INDIAN NAVY:

Seen often enough the Wow EMALS reaction. Never could understand this. Kind of like fixating on
the porn starlets boobs ignoring the real role a male has to play and the need for the fat misshapen
mother of the males kids at home.
EMALS is effectively useless kind of tech. You can read about it directly from US sources and verify.
The story seems quite funny and should be read from the POV of how foreigners try to 'influence'
India. Many times you will find foreign sources waxing eloquently about how India is 'very', 'deeply',
'strategically' interested in a piece of tech and how that particular piece is a must have to 'help India
become a super power'.
Look at it like this:
1.
Given - What is the net change in performance that EMALS will give - claims range between 0% to
20% with some even claiming 30% increase in sortie rates.
Question - How does that affect the life of Indian Navy?
2.
Given - What is the failure rate of EMALS - figures range from 10% in 2013 to as low as 1 in 240
failures in very good conditions. These average rates come after approximately 3000 dead load
launches.
Question - Would Indian Navy be ok with this kind of failure rate for a technology it does not
understand? Does the USN lose 1 aircraft every 240 launches.
3.
Given - What is the reliability like for EMALS - well a complex question. Everybody says it is very
much better than the older system. But then in the old system the heat was basically waste heat
from the reactors of which you had something like 2/4/8 reactors in a USN CVN. Basically many
pipes and hydraulics took the spare unusable energy from 2/4/8 places to say 4 catapults. As you
notice this is a very distributed engineering. With a lot of inbuilt redundancy. For EMALS you have to
provide prime electricity to operate them (hence 3 times extra electrical loads) and since electricity
cannot be switched on and off on these reactors, to cater to different operating requirements at the
deck above, so you must provide for an energy storage system. Now since the stored electrical
power also has to be put out to the EMALS-Linear induction motors (LAM), so you need also an

electricity conversion systems for right sort of power output. Beginning to sound like too complex,
wasteful and turf wars. Well I cant blame you.
Question What is the reliability like for the individual systems that are way more complex than just
a bunch of pipes and hydraulics, that ultimately get replaced by this extensive electrical engineering?
Question Would Indian Navy be ok if the small band of sister engineering disciplines Mechanical
engineers and Marine engineers who understood each other by professional discipline, now have to
look at the electrical engineer as their Malik?

4.
Given - that you employ EMALS with their mythical reliability rates and mythical sortie rates. What do
you propose to do to recover the fully laden aircrafts that that will most times be coming back. The
Americans decide to impress themselves further and invented the Advanced Arresting Gear. Which
BTW requires more electricity and electrical motors. Unfortunately the reliability rates for AAG are
even more abysmal. Like 1 in 20 failures.
Question How does the Indian Navy feel like about this reliability rates given all the aircrafts that
are going to get launched in a short space of time will come back from a singular mission at about
the same time? Happy with the difference in reliability rates?

5.
Given that you have such an electrical engineering marvel how would the Nuclear Reactor scale
up to cater to these new LAM requirements well they claim that the 2 new A1B(s) installed on
Gerald R. Ford, will produce 25% more energy (whatever that means) than the 2 legacy A4W(S) on
Nimitz Class.
Question - Where does the extra waste heat go from this so called 25% extra energy? Remember
every bit of earlier waste heat was useful. But now this waste heat is, well, waste.
Question Are the reactors R&D-ed for ATV Arihant, going to be useful for the Aircraft carriers that
Indian Navy needs?

6.
Given - What is the cost of EMALS - I have seen a figure of 750 million USD for 4 EMALS catapult
on Gerald R Ford.

Question - How much is the capital budget of Indian Navy in next 10 years? :D Will surprise you.
7.
Given - Now that we can launch so many more aircrafts how many do actually get launched Let
me put it like this : Only 3 out of the 11 USN CVN ever remain deployed to fight the good global fight
that America must fight to uphold democracy. The rest 8, just remain berthed in harbors. Americas
own waste not unlike The Great Wall of China or the Vacant Cities constructed by CCP.
Question Is this how the Indian Navy sees itself? A waste generator. Is this how the Indian Navy
would like to serve the nation. Manufacturing harbor queens. Supporting for the rest of their lives the
R&D expenditure of Americans?

You see its not just about the EMALS. The whole ship is optimized for a certain task. And the
optimized vessel costs 13 billion USD. So be careful what you ask for. You may actually get it
unoptimized tech level... Buying merely EMALS is a useless proposal. Is it any wonder that
CATOBARS were last seen on conventional propulsion at around 28000 ton and beyond 40000 ton
people looking for CATOBARs ultimately just need a Nuke plant and to get sport an EMALS+AAG
you just need some insane kind of reactor with 100000 ton displacement to merely begin to make
sense. There is some scalability issue involved here.
Something makes me confident that the Indian Navy would rather push finances into new subs and
scaling/refining the 80+ MWT reactor it is supposed to carry. that can both protect & kill aircraft
carriers. And refining and scaling up the reactor of ATV can actually help build up a true AC without
frills. instead of wasting money embracing the folly of the Americans. Unless off course the strategic
level decision in PMO is enabled by a sweetening of the deal by the Americans, which is kind of
difficult to believe, would happen but is possible. Say for example Americans offering the design
collaboration to achieve something like an A4W :P at least.

Annexure:
somebody said:
Waste heat from any steam power genration system is steam at nearly atmospheric pressure..
what sort of energy recovery are you talking about.. steam generated for steam caturpults are high
pressure sustained pressures that allow fo the ram to go the full length.
The reduction in complexity is from the fact that you just needed to route the pipes and add control

valves..
In EMALs it becomes a whole load of magnetizing coils and power routing circuits and this whole list has
to be EMP protection from being affcted or causing trouble in the other electronics . Pls explain if there is
someother factor that affects it

REPLY

'Waste heat at atmospheric pressure' presupposes a normal plant for electricity generation.
A carrier plant has to provide steam and water for multiple uses at different temperatures like - boilerturbines, catapult system, condensors for feed water, I think also the warm water for other uses on
the ship. The turbines I think start working at around 280 degree celisus at 600 psi. The Catapult is a
separate system and cannot be directly slaved to the boilors for operational reasons. For example
you could be on full speed and yet not launching aircrafts so during this time it makes no sense to
prim the catapult. The catapults are run by the slightly lower temperature steam (IIRC 230 degree
celcius) but even this has to be achieved in steps in a Wet Steam Accumulator. Wet implies hot
water is first injected into these Accumulators to avoid the accumulator walls cracking up from hot
steam should it be released straight away into these accumulators. I presume Wet also implies that
these accumulators work like our kitchen pressure cookers, only they have a lot of water in it to keep
up the steam pressure. I doubt if they are ever going to keep the Accumulators on steam only. This
Wet/hot water from the feed system is continually fed into these accumulators.
Final water and steam that is not usable in any useful manner ends up in condensors to be used
again in the heat exchangers.
Slightly different from land based plants.