Timmymagic wrote:Not sure why we'd bother with electromagnetic launch for UAV's.
Who mentioned electromagnetic launch or EMALS? I didn't - I was thinking of the smaller mechanical rigs that seem to feature quite frequently alongside a lot of current drones! But your comment reminds me - wasn't there a lightweight electromagnetic system developed some years ago that might fit this niche? I seem to remember reading about it on one of these pages (or possibly TD)
Timmymagic wrote:systems like the Scan Eagle/Integrator that could be launched from a catapult and recovered by skyhook arrangement.
That's more the type of system (or future developments with somewhat larger payload and greater endurance) that I had in mind. It looks as if there is sufficient room in the area beside the ramp to operate drones with a similar wingspan to the F35. Recovering them might be a challenge if they get too large, however. We might need to add a simple arrestor system at the stern
Timmymagic wrote:Plenty of VTOL UAV's on the way,
Yes - which is why I put in the caveat "if ever such a thing was needed", since that's also a likely scenario. Vigilant and TERN look very interesting, though the price may be a significant factor. Smaller semi-disposable fixed-wing drones may prove more achievable for the RN