Navy operations are seeing increasing use of smaller craft being deployed from larger platforms. Interceptions and boarding are conducted with fast manned RHIBs. In the mine countermeasures area, the trend is for minesweeping equipment to be carried by relatively small unmanned surface craft, while unmanned subsurface craft are already a dominant platform for mine hunting systems. Unmanned (sub-)surface vehicles are also seeing increasing use in the areas of Anti Submarine Warfare and for the gathering of intelligence to name a few.
These trends have consequences for the larger naval platforms as they increasingly become craft carrying ships, where flexibility is the key parameter. A good example of such a platform is the US Literal Combat Ship (LCS).
This new role poses challenges and demands on both the design and operation of naval platforms. One such challenge is the launch and recovery (L&R) of the smaller craft in a dynamic seagoing environment.
For RHIB type craft, the solution is often found in some form of stern ramp (or slipway), while other craft are normally launched with a crane or davit system, which are often dedicated to the specific craft.
objectives & scope
The aim of the JIP is the development of a design standard for a common system that can launch and recover a wide variety of small craft and which can be operated in a wide environmental regime.
LAURA 1 and 2 are closed. Phase 3 ran from 2015 to 2020 in which we achieved to
- Mature the promising concepts (use of a cradle, extension of a davit system to unmanned crafts, use of planers and a lobsterpot concept for zero craft speed recovery).
- Develop enhanced simulations methods.
- Perform verification and validation by both model and full scale testing (see First full scale tirals with unmanned RHIB)
- Assure specifications for standardisation are flowing into the NATO Seaway and Mobility Group, drafting an ANEP on this topic.