The crane system is used to transfer the launch beams and parallel modules from
their flatracks to the launcher during bridging operations. The system comprises a
Atlas 390.1 LM Plus crane, a launch beam lifter for the launch beams and a bridge
module lifting beam for use with the bridge modules.
Figure 2. 17 Launch Vehicle Crane
The crane is hydraulically powered and is of the knuckle boom type. This enables the
boom of the crane to be folded hydraulically.
The crane is attached to a sub-frame, which is located on top of the launch vehicle
chassis. The connection of the crane to the sub-frame is achieved via four pins which
when extracted allow the crane to be removed.
Incorporated into each side of the crane base is a stabilizer leg, deployed and
operated by stabilizer hydraulic cylinders. The crane cannot be operated unless both
its stabilizer legs are deployed and down.
The crane can rotate on its column a full 360 degrees.