UV - Unmanned Vehicles

LARS successfully recovers USV in sea state 4/5

2nd December 2019 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Naval Group has successfully tested its USV Launch and Recovery system (LARS) at up to and including sea state 5/6, confirming that the system can recover USVs safely in harsh maritime environments.

Carried out at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands test facilities, the testing saw LARS successfully recover ECA Group’s Inspector 125 USV in rough maritime conditions, including 4m waves coming in from all directions.

The testing helps pave the way for navies needing the ability to operate USVs at sea in difficult conditions.

The Naval Group mothership has one port and one starboard LARS located slightly aft of midship, close to the ship’s centre of gravity. Each LARS consists of a pivoting A-frame davit with the USV, weighing up to 18t, housed in a floating cradle. It allows the simultaneous launch of two USVs with maximum safety.

LARS will be used to operate two Inspector 125 USVs for the Belgian-Dutch mine countermeasure programme being carried out by Belgium Naval Robotics – a Naval Group and ECA Group consortium.

Claude Bultot, Belgian programme director, said: ‘This success is an important milestone in the programme and towards the implementation of a new way to conduct our minehunting activities that will be more efficient and safe for our crews. We are looking forward to the next steps together with the Dutch navy and with our industrial partners from Naval Group and ECA Group.’

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