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MAST Asia 2017: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ship Landing Assist System SLAS

MAST Asia 2017 Online Show Daily - MHI SLAS
MAST Asia 2017: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ship Landing Assist System SLAS
At MAST Asia 2017 (Maritime Air Systems & Technologies), the naval defense exhibition held last week in Tokyo, Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) was promoting its Ship Landing Assist System (SLAS).
MAST Asia 2017: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ship Landing Assist System SLASScale model representative of SLAS on MHI stand at MAST Asia 2017 (here an SH-60K and Akizuki-class destroyer)
SLAS role is to assist naval helicopters in their approach towards an underway ship that is out of visible range and lands the helicopter on the deck automatically. MHI has developped the SLAS with differential GPS (DGPS) and laser guidance technologies.

SLAS is effective in night-time or low visibility weather such as rain, snow or fog (in visibility as low as 100 meters). SLAS contributes to reduce pilot workload thanks to its automatic approach, automatic hovering above flight deck and automatic landing features.
MHI video on SLAS

According to MHI, SLAS can be retrofitted into most helicopters already fitted with automatic flight control system (AFCS).

During an approach to the ship, SLAS navigates the helicopter by the calculated relative position from the data of DGPS installed in both the helicopter and ship. The approach path is adjusted automatically based on real-time position of the ship.

During the final approach and landing, SLAS detects the accurate relative position by the laser guidance provided from the ship side. SLAS controls the helicopter safely even in case of sudden gust or rolling / pitching of the flight deck. If an emergency maneuver is required to avoid a collision against the ship, SLAS gives an aural warning to recommend urgent recovery from the approaching position.

MHI offers a compact and optimized SLAS integration package for the helicopter and ship. This package can be developed as an add-on solution without major modification to the helicopter or ship.

SLAS has been operated by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on several ships for more than a decade with no accident history.