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GSA Business: Prysmian lands $2M contract to provide fiber optic cables for aircraft carrier

Staff Report
Published May 6, 2016

Prysmian Group has been awarded more than $2 million in contracts for the procurement phase of the new aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy.

Prysmian, which has its North America headquarters in Lexington, will supply hundreds of kilometers of fiber optic cables that prevent water from migrating through the vessel and will improve onboard data networks and automation systems. The cables use radiation-hardened optical fiber and have cross-linked polyolefin jackets for increased durability.

The ship’s additional electrical capability, powered by medium voltage 15 kilovolt cable, supports the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS). EMALS uses linear induction motors for finer control of the catapults, previously powered by steam, that help fixed-wing aircraft get up speed for takeoff from the carrier deck.

“EMALS (Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launching System) is a vital component of the ship’s offensive and defensive power projection,” said Kevin P. Sullivan, manager for the defense market at Prysmian. “We have had a long standing and mutually beneficial relationship with our defense customers and are committed to supporting the military industrial complex.”

The USS John F. Kennedy is the second carrier in the Ford class, designed to reduce required maintenance by 30 percent and save approximately $4 billion in operational costs compared to the previous carrier class during its 50-year life span. Its keel was laid in August 2015, with a scheduled launch in 2018 and commission set for 2020.

The Ford class is also expected to generate 25% more flight missions per day while servicing and maintaining 80 aircraft.

The JFK will weigh approximately 100,000 tons and stretch more than 1,100 feet, accommodating 4,700 sailors and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots.

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