Monday, November 19, 2012

Remember when we were awesome? pt.4

Canada is, in many ways, a unique country with unique national security concerns. We are in the advantageous position of sharing our only land border with a strong and friendly neighbour, but we have a ridiculous amount of ocean to patrol and a fairly modest population. Furthermore, much of our territory is remote and frozen, so we have few options for land-based military resources to aid in protecting our sovereignty in the far north. Without the option of massive aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and numerous coastal airbases to patrol our seas, the Canadian navy has been forced to use ingenuity to deal with its security challenges. One example of that ingenuity is the Beartrap, a Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device (HHRSD) developed in collaboration with Fairey Aviation of Canada. Designed to allow helicopters to land on small ships in rough seas, the beartrap consists of a heavy winch system that can rapidly pull a cable suspended from the helicopter to haul it down and hold it securely to the landing pad. The helicopter can then be pulled into the hangar and secured. The technology has been refined and is currently used by several other countries, including the United States, Australia, Spain and Japan. As well, all of Canada's larger naval vessels, the three Iroquois-class guided missile destroyers, twelve Halifax-class patrol frigates and two Protecteur-class supply ships are equipped with the technology, giving much needed air support to our modest fleet.


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