Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse System (RAST)

Navies around the world rely on Curtiss-Wright's Indal RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse) system to support ship borne helicopter operations. RAST conducts the securing, maneuvering and traversing tasks with a single Rapid Securing Device (RSD) that is never disconnected from the helicopter while it is on deck. RAST is able to accommodate a wide range of helicopters, even in the most demanding marine environments up to sea state six.

The typical operation of the Indal RAST system begins with the pilot making a normal approach to the flight deck and establishing a hover. The messenger cable is lowered to the deck and is manually connected to the main recovery assist tethering cable, which is then hauled up to the helicopter and automatically locked into the main RAST probe. During a period of quiescence in the ship's motion, the pilot requests the LSO to apply tension to the recovery assist cable. This tension produces a strong centering effect to stabilize the hover and directs the helicopter toward the designated landing area, as the pilot slowly flies the craft down. Immediately upon touchdown, the LSO closes the RSD's arresting beams securing the helicopter probe. The aircraft is ready to be aligned and traversed into the hangar.

The Indal RAST system has been continuously improved. The latest versions employ advanced, solid-state electronic subsystems and ultra lightweight components and tracks. Systems can be provided in a "palletized" form to simplify shipboard installations.

More than two hundred ship sets have been delivered to navies in Australia, Canada, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and the United States.

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Function Description
General Provides positive, uninterrupted securing at all times 
Recovery Assist Landing dispersion controlled via mechanical Recovery Assist cable connection from ship to helicopter 
Capture Area 1 m2 
Maneuvering Achieved via external auxiliary wheel winch cables 
Traversing Achieved through controlled movement of Rapid Securing Device along deck track.
Constant helicopter securing and lateral positioning maintained. 

 

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