Extreme Naval Operating Conditions
Naval flight operations are considered to be some of the highest-stakes flying in the industry. A military aircraft has to take off and land on an extremely short ship deck. On top of this, the ship is constantly pitching in the ocean — it doesn't exactly make for ideal flight conditions. At any one time, a naval ship could be dealing with one or more of the following conditions.
- Damaging saltwater
- Gale-force winds
- Little to no engineering support
- Extreme cold, ice and frozen sea salt spray
- High heat and humidity, resulting in costly damage and corrosion
Operational conditions are constantly changing based on where the fleet is stationed. Due to highly demanding and rigorous 24/7 operations, military ground support equipment has to be able to keep up. Thus, Naval GSE needs to be tough and built to withstand an unrelenting regimen.
Navy Flight Support Requirements
When choosing Navy ground support equipment, there are endless features and customizations to consider. But at the end of the day, it's crucial that Navy flight support equipment has the following five elements:
- Powerful Traction
- Lightweight Construction
While going over painted markings and boundary lines landside doesn't come with many consequences, doing so on a ship can have devastating results. If a piece of Navy ground support equipment crosses boundary lines, it, along with the aircraft and tug operator, can wind up in the ocean. Agile military GSE can be a true lifesaver on a ship. All-wheel-drive (AWD) military tugs can make exceptionally tight turns without losing any traction.
When out at sea, technicians are scarce and military missions can be life or death situations; therefore, there's no time for equipment failures. Look for GSE that has been proven in military applications and comes with a good warranty. You'll want equipment that can run reliably, no matter the conditions. Military aircraft ground support equipment should have standardized parts and quick access to support if repairs are needed.
What makes Navy flight operations so challenging, in addition to the extreme weather conditions, is the pure breadth of aircraft and equipment that is in the Navy's arsenal. And when used on a carrier with 50 to 75 aircraft onboard, it can be difficult to park, let alone operate so many different types of Navy ground support equipment. Because of this, when a piece of GSE can serve multiple purposes, it's a benefit to the entire company. A military tow truck that can tow multiple types of aircraft equates to maximum efficiency, allowing the Navy to diversify ground support equipment to their advantage.
4. Powerful Traction
As previously mentioned, traction is extremely important for Navy ground support equipment. The Navy works all over the globe, going from one extreme environment to the next. Because of this, military tugs need to be able to operate on a wide range of terrains and in various conditions. Look for tugs with drive trains that feature limited-slip differentials for maximum traction.
5. Lightweight Construction
Military ground support equipment is often airlifted on and off ships and military bases. So, lightweight construction is key. AWD military aircraft tugs can provide as much drawbar pull as RWD tugs, while weighing only a third as much.
The Ideal Navy Ground Support Equipment
Eagle Tug military tow trucks are proven to persevere in some of the harshest environments in the world. Our selection of Navy ground support equipment offers the only GSE in their class with AWD, standardized parts, limited-slip differentials and a 3-year/3,000-hour warranty. Eagle Tugs has even specially designed GSE for the US government and can custom build tugs tailored to your needs.
Our AWD USATS military tug includes a front operation seat for optimum control and visibility. Plus, it has been specially engineered to meet the stringent requirements of today's military flight operations. And, our towbarless tug can adapt to all types of nose landing gear and is extremely easy to use. This allows a Naval company to condense the amount of equipment they need on a ship — an invaluable benefit when space is at a premium.