Schiebel has been awarded a contract by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to support the body's work monitoring the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine using its Camcopter S-100 unmanned air vehicle (UAV).
Signed on 13 August, the contract will see two of the vertical take-off and landing UAVs, alongside a ground control station, deployed to the eastern European nation in support of the OSCE’s special monitoring mission (SMM) to Ukraine.
The unarmed UAVs will be used for border surveillance and to monitor the ceasefire currently in place between Ukrainian and pro-Russian fighters.
The Camcopters will enable OSCE personnel to monitor large areas and “gather real-time information even in an insecure environment” with a video camera and radar payload.
Pre-deployment preparation is under way, with the UAVs expected to be deployed towards the end of September or early the following month.
“The UAVs will complement the efforts by the monitors from the special monitoring mission to Ukraine on the ground, who are tasked to gather information, report on the security situation and establish and report facts to specific incidents,” the company says. “The data collected by the UAVs will be immediately available in real time to the SMM, which will have monitors working alongside the Schiebel operators in an integrated team.”
Six operators and three maintainers from Schiebel will deploy in support of the mission.
The solicitation for bids for the UAV deployment was issued just days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed on 17 July over Ukrainian territory occupied by pro-Russian rebels.
Although the exact cause – and perpetrator – has not been established, it has been concluded that high-energy metallic fragments penetrated the Boeing 777-200's hull.