Italian Navy selects Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 UAV
he Italian Navy is set to become the first European navy to operate the Camcopter S-100 UAV following the signing of a contract with Schiebel. The UAV will be used in support of Italian Navy ships employed in anti-piracy missions. Under the contract, Schiebel will supply one Camcopter S-100 system, training, integration and spare parts.
The Camcopter S-100 was flown from the ITS Bersagliere of the Italian Navy in April 2012, when it demonstrated a number of missions for Italian Navy observers.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman, Schiebel Group, said: “The Camcopter S-100 continues to be a proven and highly sought after asset in maritime operations. Its ability to extend a ship commander’s visible and electronic horizon to beyond what is conventionally possible is a powerful instrument that helps to counter possible threats, secure routes and control recourses at less operational cost. This quality has already garnered the interest of several global navies where the S-100’s robust nature has proven effective, particularly in the unforgiving maritime environment.”
Mounted with a Wescam MX-10 and a shine micro automatic identification system, the S-100 has the capability to collect time-critical data for up to 6 hours, providing decisionmakers with a flexible unique means of collecting and disseminating information. The S-100 will be mounted with a Schiebel-designed harpoon system, which supports take-off and landing in conditions up to Sea State 5. California. The first aircraft completed its initial flight in October 2013 and has flown 66 hours to date.
The MQ-8C air vehicle upgrade will provide longer endurance, range and greater payload capability than the MQ-8B, which is currently deployed aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55) in the Mediterranean.