(Madrid, April 18, 2008) -- Only weeks after the successful trials on Frigates, the
CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 continued to prove its naval capabilities on 14th April south of
Gran Canaria from a vessel of the Spanish Guardia Civil.
The CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 demonstrated its outstanding capabilities as well as its naval versatility for the first time from a small vessel. The Rio Mino of the Spanish Guardia Civil is only 51 meters long, has a gross weight of 605 tons and is based in the harbour of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. Having been converted from a tuna trawler into one of the largest patrol vessels of the Guardia Civil, its mission is to patrol the coasts of the Canary Islands and nearby Africa.
The Rio Mino's small helicopter deck at the stern is intended for emergency use by manned helicopters only. It is 10,5 by 8,5 meters in size and has no NATO landing grid that would allow the use of the S-100's harpoon decking aid. This very limited size of the helicopter deck in combination with the ship's sharp movements presented a new challenge in the operation of the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100. With the control station installed on the ship's bridge, the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 took off for a one-hour flight over the Atlantic and continuously provided reconnaissance data to the crew and spectators.
The CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 was equipped with a day/night-capable EOIR gimbal. While in infrared mode, it allowed detection of other vessels such as a Frigate of the Spanish Navy at distances of up to a few ten nautical miles away from the aircraft and subsequent approach and inspection in daylight mode.
Landings generally are conducted autonomously to a relative waypoint above the landing deck at the stern of the vessel. There the S-100 showed its unique capability to hover close above the heli deck and automatically follow the ship's movements, with a subsequent smooth touch down.
The demonstration has been conducted in close cooperation and with the support of the Spanish Guardia Civil and Schiebel's local partner in Spain, the Paukner Group.