Austrian firm Schiebel is showing the S-100 Camcopter unmanned air vehicle for the first time at Asian Aerospace, with the Singapore navy among potential customers for the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) system.

Schiebel has brought one of 10 engineering prototypes to Changi and says that the S-100 is now in full production. The first system is due to be delivered later this year to launch customer the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE air force’s unmanned air vehicle research and technology centre has been working with Schiebel to develop an integrated vertical take-off and landing tactical UAV system based on the S-100. The UAE is believed to have ordered 40 of the Al Sber derivatives.

The Camcopter is a compact rotary-wing UAV that can be fitted with a wide variety of payloads and is being developed for both civil and military mission profiles. With fully autonomous take off, waypoint navigation and landing, the vehicle has a cruise speed of 55kt (100km/h), 6h of endurance with a 25kg (55lb) payload and a maximum take-off weight of 200kg.

Schiebel’s South-East Asia area manager Keith Carroll says the S-100 will also be demonstrated to the Royal Australian Navy later this year. The RAN is investigating options for a patrol boat-launched and recovered short-range UAV to support maritime and fisheries patrol duties. The service is considering equipping a new class of 51m (170ft) patrol boats.

Carroll says: “There is great flexibility with the system. For example, it can carry up to four payloads, each of which can be controlled individually from the ground. It can operate out to a range of 180km.

“There is a huge range of applications. The Camcopter could have played an important role in the recovery effort following the Asian tsunami. It took almost three weeks to collate accurate maps showing the scale of damage. That information could have been provided in 12 hours using a platform such as the S-100.”

Source: Flight Daily News