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RAN orders 40 Schiebel S-100 Camcopters

The S-100 Camcopter was also trialled by the Army for Project Land 129 Ph.4. Photo: Schiebel

The Royal Australian Navy will receive a fleet of 40 Schiebel S-100 Camcopter ISR UASs, reports Defence Connect.

According to reports originally published in The Australian, Minister for Defence Peter Dutton has approved the purchase of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for the RAN as part of the $1.3 billion Project Land 129 Ph.5.

The platforms will conduct Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, from the RAN’s ANZAC-Class frigates and ARAFURA-Class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

The UAS has been on trial with the RAN since 2016 after it was selected following 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.

Last year, Schiebel Group secured a three-year contract extension to sustain the interim test platforms, which includes field support services, engineering and logistics elements, and the establishment of a sovereign Australian Camcopter S-100 training capability, delivered by Schiebel Pacific.

The Camcopter S-100 is billed as a small-medium sized vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft made of titanium and carbon fibre materials and with a range of 200km. It is designed to carry multiple payloads simultaneously for up to six hours at a time. The UAS can navigate automatically via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or can be operated directly with a pilot control unit.

It is operated via a point-and-click graphical user interface, transmitting high-definition payload imagery to the control station in real time.

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