> our title:

Unmanned Helicopter Completes Trials for South African Navy

> original title:

Camcopter S-100 Completes Successful Trials for the South African Navy

(Source: Schiebel; issued October 27, 2015)


AUSTRIA / SOUTH AFRICA --- Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) continues its successful shipboard trials when demonstrating its outstanding capabilities to the South African Navy from 20 to 23 October 2015 at False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

The maritime environment holds unique demands for situational awareness and timely communications. The Camcopter S-100 is a much needed asset for such requirements, specifically with its ability to persistently extend the “electronic eyes and ears” of maritime commanders to operational ranges well beyond those of the sensors on board. The South African Navy as well as a number of delegates from other South African governmental authorities could convince themselves of these capabilities near the Naval Base Simon’s Town.

The S-100 conducted all flights from the deck of the SAS Protea, a Hecla class deep ocean hydrographic survey vessel of the South African Navy. Turbulent head and crosswinds beyond 25 knots, limited deck size as well as lack of NATO landing grid represented exceptional challenges during the trials.

The unmanned helicopter effortlessly conducted automatic takeoffs and landings and all other required maneuvers, thanks to its integrated GPS-independent positioning system, enabling pinpoint precision at a high dynamic range.

During the trials the payload of choice was the Selex ES SAGE Electronic Support Measure (ESM) system, rendering the Camcopter S-100 capable of detecting, identifying and geo-locating radio frequency sources while it routinely operates out to ranges of 200 km or remains on-station for periods of more than 6 hours. This system provides the perfect support for maritime surveillance missions or anti-piracy operations in which the South African Navy was interested.

Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates by day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea.

The S-100 navigates via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are 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. Using "fly-by-wire" technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the UAV can complete its mission automatically.

Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload / endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18000 ft. In its standard configuration, the Camcopter S-100 carries a 75 lbs / 34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel.


Founded in 1951, the Vienna, Austria-based Schiebel Group focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). With headquarters in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria) and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington DC (USA) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

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