The newest Aircraft Carrier in the US arsenal, USS Gerald Ford CVN 78, is under construction now and the cats are definitely going future tech. The new system launches aircraft with a rail gun (Linear Induction Motor, or LIM) and looks like it will be a great improvement over current Steam Catapults. Just think of all that plumbing sailors won’t have to maintain for one thing. The EMALS (Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System) is highly configurable and adjustable to the ride needed for the aircraft being launched — whether that’s a light frame future UAV, or a Hawkeye.
For more detail please visit Defense Tech. (Oh, and when you’re there tell Ward that the video at page bottom uses a Trebuchet, not a Catapult, but it’s well worth watching anyway.)