A Successful Test of TALONS and an Air Droppable Rescue Boat

The Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) is a parafoil-based system shown kiting from the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft. TALONS relays data between the MCM USV and the LCS via the government-developed multi-vehicle communication relays system. (Credit: US Navy/Released)

There are two items of interest here.

Naval News brings us more news about TALONS and incidentally, info on an air droppable rescue boat. We have been following DARPA’s development of TALONS (Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems) for about four years.

Putting sensors at 1000 feet gives a horizon distance of 38.7 miles compared with 8.7 miles for a more typical height of 50 feet. This latest test show how truly small the footprint of this system can be. The boat is only 15’8” (4.8M) in length.

I had never heard of the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC). Apparently it is a standard Air Force system. The Coast Guard used to have a capability to drop a lifeboat from a fixed wing aircraft. The Air Force apparently still does and it looks like it could be remote controlled to go to the rescue of those in distress. Check out the description in at the link below.

“The Unmanned GARC is 15’8” (4.8M) in length and a full load displacement of 3,600lbs. It has a top speed in excess of 35 knots, a range of 400+ nautical miles at 30 knots (700+ nm range at 6 knots). It can operate up to sea state 4.”

A U.S. Coast Guard Boeing PB-1G Fortress carrying a lifeboat in 1948. The USCG used the PB-1G from 1945 to 1959. US Coast Guard photo 5261

When we used to do this (even before my time), I am pretty sure the survivors had to make their way to the boat, which could be problematic. Looks like this one could be driven to the survivors and probably has a radio link.

10 thoughts on “A Successful Test of TALONS and an Air Droppable Rescue Boat

  1. This is great being able to drive help right to those in need – add a release of the foil and remote start and R/C control – just drive around and pick people up – and a fixed wing aircraft has a longer reach than a heilo

  2. I’m rather curious as to how Low and Slow the PB-1G had to be flying to drop the lifeboat to prevent it from smashing up upon impact with the water…

      • How reliable were Parachute Systems of that type in 1948? Were the Lifeboats loaded prior to making Rescue Flight or were the already stowage’d on plane. Because I suspect they were using T-10 Parachutes used from WWII which had a failure rate of .22/1,000 drops made…

  3. well I know little of aircraft launched life boats, but if I was a civilian mariner I would not want to ride one of their life boats. I will take a motor whaleboat or a motor surf boat in a davit any day.

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