Some time ago in our post titled "Why Catapults Are Cheaper",we said the following:
"The cost of a British electromagnetic catapult system from Converteam is not public knowledge so we can but mention it but prices for the American system are known."
We may now know how much Converteam's catapult costs.
According to this week's Sunday Times newspaper,Converteam have offered to build a land based full scale prototype electro magnetic catapult and a ship set (2 catapults) for a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier at a cost of £140 Million.
This compares very well with the published cost of the American electro magnetic catapult system which we also covered in our earlier post:
"The cost of the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (E.M.A.L.S.) ship set for the same vessel is up to $573 Million (£370 Million*).
That is for a set of four catapults,enough for both new British aircraft carriers."
The American system comes in at an average of £92 Million per catapult (a more recent document suggests £105 Million per catapult) versus an average of £47 Million per catapult for the British system if the Sunday Times report is correct.
It would be interesting to know how the price of British arresting gear (made by MacTaggart Scott,inventors of the steam catapult) compares to that of the American Advanced Arresting Gear which costs £66 Million per set.
*Based on exchange rates on the 17th of September 2010 when the earlier post was written.