USS Gerald R. Ford carrier completes PALS landing system tests

Huntington Ingalls Industries, the company in charge of the construction of U.S. Navy’s most expensive ship ever, announced that it has successfully tested the Precision Aircraft Landing System (PALS) on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

PALS is a radar system that provides final approach and landing guidance to aircraft to ensure successful landings on the flight deck.

HII said a special instrumented F-18 Super Hornet flew within about 500 feet of Gerald R. Ford ten times during the testing, which verifies the proper functionality, alignment and operation of the PALS equipment and its subsystems.

While the PALS technology is used on Nimitz-class carriers, Gerald R. Ford’s system is upgraded and modified for the new class’ island location and other design and technology changes. The dual band radar, also new to the Ford class, supported testing of the PALS.

“Aircraft landing precision is at the core of an aircraft carrier’s mission,” said Rolf Bartschi, Newport News’ vice president, CVN 78 carrier construction. “This test program ensures that the systems are working together as they were designed to work before we take the ship to sea.”