The Department of Defence has awarded Austria’s Schiebel Group a contract to supply its Camcopter S-100 to meet the Royal Australian Navy’s interim vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial system (UAS) requirement.
Signed in late December, the contract fulfils a request for tender (RFT) for Navy Minor Project (NMP) 1942, which sought to procure a “proven” VTOL Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System – Interim Capability (MTUAS-IC) and associated engineering and logistics support for the Navy.
The RFT brief said the MTUAS-IC looks “to extend and enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of a parent unit or ship to increase situational awareness using a variety of sensors”.
“We feel most honoured by the Royal Australian Navy’s decision to purchase our Camcopter S-100 UAS,” said Schiebel Group owner Hans Georg Schiebel in a February 6 statement.
“We are sure that the S-100 will prove to be an effective asset that will set a new benchmark for UAS capability.”
Featuring a carbon fibre and titanium fuselage, the S-100 has a maximum takeoff weight of 200kg and can carry a 34kg payload of electro-optics and infrared sensors for up to 10 hours. It has a maximum speed of around 120kt and is powered by a 55hp (41kW) Diamond piston engine.
The S-100 VTOL UAS has a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200km. Able to fly fully autonomously, it can be operated from a pilot control unit with missions planned and controlled via a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High-definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time.
In August, the S-100 will embark on the Navy’s Adelaide class FFG to conduct vertical takeoff and landing trials.