SOLUS brings flexibility to USV handling

Demand for Unmanned Surface Vehicles is growing fast but, despite the variety of USVs available, launching and recovery options from ships remain limited and inflexible. In response, Vestdavit has worked with hook specialist H. Henriksen AS, to bring the innovative SOLUS system to market, bringing USV handling in line with the most advanced boat launch and recovery operations available.

Used in combination with single and dual point davits, SOLUS includes an integrated/dual lifting hook/painter hook system for safe and easy USV launch and recovery. Patented by H. Henriksen, the solution is marketed through Vestdavit, with both companies offering through-life product support.

Approved in the first instance by DNV-GL, SOLUS makes use of standard hooks from H. Henriksen but deploys a unique spring-loaded rope drum mounted on the USV, tuned for easy connection to the fall rope via a special soft link. The result is a low weight handling system that uses the lifting drum on the USV rather than a separate ‘catcher’ (cage). As well as being far more compact, the solution is easy to operate and handle by the ship’s crew.

Fulfilling all safety requirements

Fulfilling all safety requirements set out in the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), SOLUS has been fully tested and proven in service in conditions up to sea state 4.

All davits developed by Vestdavit can be adapted for USV handling, while those already equipped to do so need no special modifications to work with SOLUS, beyond supplier recommendations that include the use of fibre ropes for lifting and soft links, rather than wire ropes. The system can also be used as part of Vestdavit’s MissionEase handling solution for mission bays and, if the davit is fitted with Vestdavit’s AUV winch, as a solution for AUV launch and recovery.

For more information on this topic please visit or contact:

Atle Kalve, Development Director, Phone +47 908 93 939,