Aircraft landing via the Advanced Arresting Gear

Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG)

AAG is a modular, integrated system consisting of energy absorbers, power conditioning equipment and digital controls, which was designed to replace the existing MK-7 arresting gear. AAG will be installed during construction of the future Ford-class aircraft carriers, starting with Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

The AAG architecture, Health Monitoring Assessment and Prognostics technology and digital control system provides built-in test and diagnosis, resulting in the system requiring less maintenance and manpower to operate than the Mk-7. This change in architecture is designed to provide higher reliability and safety margins, while allowing Sailors to focus on other areas of need. The system is also designed to allow potential arrestment of a broader range of aircraft, from the lightest unmanned aerial vehicles to the heaviest manned fighters.

AAG benefits:

  • Employs advanced technologies to provide higher reliability and safety margins
  • Requires less maintenance and manpower to operate than the legacy arresting system
  • Recovers all current and projected future carrier-based aircraft, from the lightest unmanned aerial vehicles to the heaviest manned fighters
  • Allows for increased sortie rates, lower energy consumption and a decreased gross ship weight

NAWCAD Lakehurst provides the unique facilities and subject matter expertise required to support testing of the next generation arresting gear. Lakehurst is home to the Jet Car Track Site (JCTS) and the Runway Arrested Landing Site (RALS), both of which enable in-depth system testing to ensure AAG meets fleet requirements.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is home to two single-wire, ship-representative AAG systems. One of these systems is located at the Lakehurst JCTS test facility and is utilized for arrestment testing with dead-loads that simulate fleet aircraft; while the other AAG single-wire system is located at the Lakehurst RALS test facility, where integration testing with manned aircraft is conducted. 

As of April 2019, the AAG system installed at JCTS has conducted more than 2,400 successful dead-load arrestments, with engagement speeds above 150 knots, or more than 175 mph, and weights greater than 70,000 pounds. At RALS, the AAG system has successfully completed more than 1,400 manned aircraft traps. AAG system testing, at both test facilities, has included barricade arrestments, nominal traps, off-center and skew engagements and degraded mode-type traps, in which faults are intentionally inserted. During USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Independent Steaming Events in 2017, the installed AAG arresting system completed a total of 747 manned aircraft arrestments.