Title: Towards a generic launch and recovery system – JIP Laura Phase 3
Author(s): S.A. Hendriks, E. Takken, F. Kremer
Abstract: There is an observable trend towards fewer but multifunctional navy platforms capable of (international) cooperation operated by smaller crews. Missions are nowadays increasingly dominated by operations with small crafts from those multifunctional platforms, such as boarding operations done with fast manned RHIB’s or mine hunting with unmanned subsurface crafts. Those trends pose new challenges to the design and operation of naval platforms. The multifunctional concept of the new platforms requires the ability to operate with a wide range of diverse small craft. Continuing the current practice of using dedicated L&R systems, limits interoperability severely and requires the platform to be refitted with a different systems each time a new craft is to be used. Alternatively, an expensive, space consuming, and training intensive option is to install a wide range of L&R systems. Joint Industry Project Laura is a project in which navies, system manufacturers, shipyards and knowledge institutes cooperate in the development of a generic launch and recovery system and the simulation of the important hydromechanics for the L&R process to arrive at a L&R standard. To achieve this ultimate aim, a phased approach is applied. During Phase 1, a comprehensive and coherent set of requirements covering the needs of navies for launch and recovery systems was developed. A wide range of concepts for launch and recovery was analyzed in a rational and objective manner down selected. In Phase 2, more detailed design, analysis, model and full scale testing were conducted as well as a generic hook design. The aim of Phase 3 is to deliver input to a NATO STANAG on Launch and Recovery, to improve and validate simulation tools, and verify the concepts in model and full scale testing. This paper describes the progress of JIP Laura. An overview on promising launch and recovery concepts is given and the increased maturity of these concepts is illustrated with the results from calculations, model and full scale testing from Phase 1 and 2. Furthermore, the project approach in Phase 3 is discussed. This includes further detailing of the concepts, detailing of the interface items needed for standardization as well as testing and validation of those items. Finally, the development of hydrodynamic simulation tools will be discussed, which is an important tool for evaluating the operability of and defining operational criteria for a particular system.