Leading missile systems company MBDA has taken delivery of five canister rotation units from Stanley Handling for use in loading Seawolf missiles into silos on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates.
The addition of the Seawolf system created new logistical challenges, not least the rotation into loading position of the 32 sealed, self contained, ‘ready to fire’ missile launch canisters. MBDA needed a faster, simpler and safer solution to what had hitherto been a long and manually intensive procedure.
The canister rotation units were based upon a significantly modified ROBUR pedestrian-operated lift truck integrated with a rotator unit and a cradle. Featuring galvanised steel, aluminium and epoxy paints, the units use special gel batteries and an inert hydraulic fluid. Precision machining of components and myriad safety and control measures ensured that Stanley met not only the client’s demanding specification but also the demands of CAT C and BS12895/ 2000 certification.
MBDA expect to significantly reduce ammunition re-supply times for the Type 23 and make the procedure safer and easier. Stanley Handling’s expertise in the design of highly specialised handling solutions and its readiness to work with clients on complex and demanding projects make this a realistic prospect