US Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) and Advanced Ceramics Research (ACR) are developing an advanced net-based landing system to allow their jointly developed Silver Fox unmanned air vehicle to be recovered at sea.

Current production Block 4 Silver Fox aircraft already incorporate some marinisation features enabling the UAV to be recovered into water. That variant is now fielded by the US Navy's Special Clearance Team One and is launched from a catapult fitted into the bow of an 11m (36ft) rigid inflatable boat.

Work on the new net landing system is focused on the US Coast Guard, with integration of a bungee catapult launcher on to a cutter using a 0.50 calibre machine gun mount planned. Anthony Brescia, Navair programme manager for unmanned vehicle sensor payloads and airframes, says Navair and ACR are "doing a net recovery system for this as well".

Net landing system 
© US Navy   
New net-based system will allow Silver Fox recovery at sea

Silver Fox currently uses belly landing for both ground and water recovery. Full marinisation of Silver Fox for water landings is being worked on, Brescia says.

Source: Flight International