During your Memorial Day visit to the USS Wasp (LHD-1) at anchor in Yokosuka, Japan, President Donald Trump made comments indicating that he was ordering changes to the flight plan of the USS Gerald R. Ford and the remaining vehicles of its class.
Trump has criticized the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), an all-electric aircraft catapult designed for Ford, as too complicated and too expensive. After a unanimous vote of the assembled Marines and sailors, he said he was ordering the Navy to switch to steam.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, let me ask you a question. Catapult – right? Catapult system. Do you want electricity or steam?
Audience members: Nya!
Audience members: Electric!
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Steam. Who said “electricity”? There is a man there. (Laughter.) Well, I really need this information because, you know, we build cars. We are building one. They use an electric catapult and an electric elevator. Number one, I can’t imagine, in the case of war — it must be very delicate, OK? And, you know, steam has only worked for 65 years, exactly. And I’m not going to tell you this because it’s my turn by a little bit, but they have a $900 million dollar winnings on this crazy electric car. I said, “What’s wrong with steam?” I would like to know-all of the people who know exactly what I’m talking about, catapults-steam or fire? Ready? Steam up. (Praise.) Electric.
Audience members: Yes! (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You work for the enemy.
Then Trump announced, “No, we want to go with steam.” He complained that “They are always coming up with new ideas … they are making airplanes that are so complicated that you can’t fly them. They want to show the next, the next, the next … and we all want innovation, but it is. too much. But there has never been anything like the steam catapults.”
Trump said he had visited Fordwhich is still uniform—and has had problems during the first EMALS trial.
“I was talking to the catapult people, and they said ‘steam,'” Trump said. So I thought I would give an order. When we build a new car, we will also use steam. We don’t need that extra speed.”
Ars called a U.S. Navy spokesman for comment, who directed all questions to the White House press office. The White House did not respond to questions about Trump’s statements.