Prototype Naval Launch and Retrieval System Tests Completed in Great Lakes
Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced engineering services and products company, today announced that it recently successfully completed at-sea conceptual testing of an inflatable launch and retrieval system for surface ships . The technology development, being funded by the U.S. Navy, will enable high-speed launch and landing of surface watercraft from a ship’s existing stern ramp in heavy waves with significantly reduced risk to crew and equipment. A scale prototype of the system, which utilizes inflatable barriers and guide panels to funnel incoming vehicles into a safe capture pocket, was successfully tested on Lake Michigan in early November where it was subjected to scale mission conditions. The system, called the Adaptable Launch and Retrieval System, was well-received by the sponsor observers and further development is in planning. Michigan Aerospace Corporation’s partners in this venture are the University of Michigan Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory and ILC Dover, LLC of Frederica, DE.