Schiebel's Camcopter S-100 UAS successfully completes trials for Belgian Navy

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From June 21 to July 1, Schiebel “effectively demonstrated” the search and rescue and maritime surveillance capabilities of its Camcopter S-100 UAS to the Belgian Navy.

Schiebel's goals for the trials with the Belgian Navy were to build an enhanced knowledge base, and develop a successful concept of operations, for the use of UAS in support of search and rescue (SAR) operations, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The demonstration flights were designed to show Camcopter's suitability for these capabilities. With this in mind, the Camcopter S-100 was equipped with two payloads, the L3 Wescam MX-10 and the Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, as well as an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver and a rescue drop box.

The flight trials included a number of search and rescue scenarios in a land-based setting in Lombardsijde and in a maritime environment in the naval port of Zeebrugge.

“The trials with the S-100 have been very successful and have taught us a lot about the possibilities of such systems and sensors, the ability to operate in Belgian’s confined airspace, opportunities for the domain of coastal security and prospects for further developments,” says Lt. Commander D. Biermans, who is in charge of the Belgian Navy’s Maritime Tactical UAS (MTUAS) Project Team.

“Given the complexity of introducing a MTUAS within the Navy and its impact on the concepts of operation and tactics, this was a first informative step and will be part of a series of tests and experiments with a variety of vehicles and sensors.”

The flights were the first S-100 customer demonstration with the recently integrated PT-8 Oceanwatch payload. Schiebel notes that this “revolutionary wide-area maritime search capability” offers a “powerful naval patrol capacity,” which ultimately solves the challenge of searching for small objects over large areas.

The employed combination of two payloads proved to be an “ideal solution for the tested scenarios,” Schiebel says.

“With its small footprint, exceptional capability and state-of-the-art payloads, the Camcopter S-100 is the perfect platform for maritime and land-based SAR missions,” comments Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group.

“Our tried and tested helicopter continuously proves to be the most capable and successful vertical takeoff and landing UAS.”