An Israeli company has disclosed the first details of a system that will enable operators to recover large, fixed-wing unmanned air vehicles aboard ships.
Designed by Myoffe Aero Engineering, the system is based on the use of a structure extended offboard with an in-flight cable connection. After a UAV has been hooked on the end of the cable it performs a recovery manoeuvre, before being pulled back and into contact with a collection plate.
Meir Yoffe, the system's inventor and company owner, said the "point take-off and landing" design is aimed specifically at the use of long-endurance air vehicles that need extra clearance due to their large wingspans.
© Myoffe Aero Engineering
The system will enable operators to fly types like the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1 Predator, Elbit Systems Hermes 900 and Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1 from naval vessels, instead of helicopters, Yoffe said. The system's light weight will also provide a stabilisation feature during high sea states, he added.
Embarked UAVs could be launched using a pneumatic rail, possibly to be integrated with the recovery system, or by using rocket boosters - further reducing the requirement for deck space.