The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has extended the contract for the sustainment of Schiebel's CAMCOPTER® S-100 rotary-wing remotely piloted air system for another three years. The extension allows the RAN to continue to experiment and develop knowledge using the S-100.
The S-100 is operated by the Australian Navy's 822X Squadron, whose mission is to conduct experimentation and evaluation activities with contemporary Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and advanced payloads to develop operational knowledge and experience.
Shipborne trials of the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter form part of the Australian Navy's Minor Project (NMP) 1942 programme, which seeks to imbue the Navy with interim shipborne vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS competencies. NMP 1942 is widely seen as a precursor to Project SEA 129 Phase 5, which will equip the RAN’s offshore patrol vessels and major surface combatants with operational UAS capabilities.
The RAN previously relied on a single aviation gasoline-powered S-100 UAS, which was on loan from Schiebel while awaiting the delivery of two contracted heavy fuel variants of the Camcopter, which Schiebel developed specifically for the Australian Navy.
After winning the RAN contract back in 2016, Schiebel has built on its initial acquisition contract resulting in this substantial extension. The contract includes field support services, engineering and logistics elements, as well as the creation of a sovereign Australian CAMCOPTER® S-100 training capability delivered by Schiebel Pacific.
“For Schiebel Pacific the contract extension secures existing Australian jobs and will create further positions for Australian Unmanned Air System (UAS) experts,” said Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group.