The reduced manning requirement and expected increase in aviation operational tempo for the National Security Cutter (NSC) has served as a catalyst to develop NSC program requirements for an automated Securing and Traversing System (STS). Currently, Coast Guard H-65 helicopters and legacy cutters use a deck-lock system called TALON that secures an aircraft to the flight deck and then relies on a combination of aviation detachment and cutter-based personnel to conduct manual launch, recovery and traversing methods needed to support ship-helicopter operations. The April 2011 alternatives analysis for the H-65/NSC STS suggested that a TALON Remote Aircraft Mover (RAM) system might be an optimal alternative for the NSC to support automatic launch and recovery in ship-helicopter operations.
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) was requested to assist in validating the findings of the alternatives analysis and support final STS selection through a series of land- and cutter-based feasibility assessments of the Multi-Aircraft Nose/Tail Interface System-Shipboard Helicopter Handler (MANTIS-SHH) Remote Aircraft Mover (RAM) system with a Coast Guard H-65.
This project will:
- Modify the MANTIS-SHH RAM system to enable compatibility with the H-65 nose wheel tire assembly;
- Demonstrate MANTIS-SHH abilities to traverse the H-65 on an airfield ramp (land-based demonstration); and
- Conduct preliminary pier-side and underway shipboard demonstrations aboard the NSC Bertholf.
- Generate a report that:
- Identifies potential system deficiencies;
- Investigates system compliance with current policies for ship-helicopter operations;
- Determines the viability of alternatives analysis acquisition cost estimates based on project findings (i.e., actual technical readiness level appraisal, potential non-recurring engineering costs, etc.); and
- Proposes a potential shipboard concept of operations for the RAM system.