The UK Ministry of Defence is funding a $4.8 million project to develop an electromagnetic launch system for manned and unmanned aircraft.
The electromagnetic launch system project will design, build and test a high-speed, high-acceleration launch system demonstrator.
This is part of the MoD's Above Water Effects (AWE) programme, which is researching command and control, network enabled capabilities and combat systems.
The launch system's test programme will see dynamic acceleration and stopping tests on a range of test masses at various speeds, within a short launch length. This is to demonstrate the flexibility and scalability of the technology.
"The project will be the first electromagnetic launcher of its type in the UK and will demonstrate the capability of this technology to launch a range of UAVs and manned aircraft from both land and sea," says Prosanto Das-Gupta, senior vice-president of the Massy Cedex, France-based power conversion company Converteam, which has won a contract for the project.

 EMKIT UAV test site

Source: Flight International