(Vienna, August 24, 2010) -- Schiebel Industries` Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100, successfully completed a series of demanding trials for the French DGA (Defence Procurement Agency). Under a leasing contract and operated by DGA personnel, the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 flew more than 50 missions under various conditions, day and night, with a total of 150 flight hours.
The trials took place in France and in a desert environment. Preceding the last series of flights in Ile du Levant, the third phase was dedicated to VTOL missions under hot and dry desert conditions. Impressive performance characteristics of the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 permitted successful completion of this phase, both under the influence of inclement weather and the extreme heat. The aim of the final series of trials on the French Levant island was to demonstrate the suitability and versatility of a VTOL UAV in the maritime domain from a coastal setting. This phase was again conducted by both day and at night and followed the trials in Canjuers and in Sissonne, that principally provided surveillance in support of ground troops in an urban environment .
In the four days on the island, the CAMCOPTER(r) S-100 successfully completed all scenarios; logging over 20 hours of flight time. The Thales Optronique Agile 2 Electro Optical and Infra Red (EO/IR) sensor was again used as the main payload for these trials. Simulated pirate attacks by small boats on larger ships as well as drug smuggling activities were observed by the S-100. Stand off surveillance and distance tracking of ships was also performed.
It is particularly gratifying that we have successfully delivered all of the DGA s requirements in this contract thanks to our capabilities and reliability , says Constantin Zahir, Programme Manager of Schiebel. The objective of this experimentation was to demonstrate and analyze the advantages of a VTOL (Vertical Take off and Landing) UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) in comparison to a fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle, supplemented Hans Georg Schiebel, Director of the Schiebel Industries AG.
Overall the trials with the French DGA were a full success. Schiebel is teamed with Thales Aerospace, Thales Optronique and DCNS for future French UAS programmes and is in the process of responding to a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the French DGA for the procurement of a VTOL UAV onboard the French Navy Lafayette Class Frigates in 2011. Building on what we all have achieved so far, this is a formidable team combining the experience of Schiebel as a UAV manufacturer, Thales Optronique as the sensor manufacturer and Thales Aerospace and DCNS for the knowledge and expertise they have built up in the aerospace, UAV and shipbuilding sectors respectively, in France , says Neil Hunter, Managing Director of Schiebel Aircraft GmbH.