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The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has selected the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter rotary-winged unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to fulfil its interim vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) requirement.
The RAN has awarded Schiebel a contract to provide an undisclosed number of Camcopter systems plus three-years support, the company announced on 6 February, adding that the deal had actually been signed in December 2016.
Selection of the Camcopter comes a year after the RAN issued a request for tender (RfT) for its Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System - Interim Capability (MTUASD - IC) requirement. Under this directive, the navy said it was looking for a platform to perform shipborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), taking in 400 nautical square miles per hour for four hours at a range of 60 n miles from the parent ship. The platform should be able to do this while concurrently carrying two payload types; such as electronic support measures and radar, or an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and radar.
Besides Schiebel and its Camcopter, the RAN requirement is understood to have drawn interest from Saab with its Skeldar, and from Northrop Grumman with the MQ-8C Fire Scout.
With a maximum take-off weight of 200 kg and a typical payload of 50 kg, the Camcopter has an endurance of up to six hours and a range of 180 km.
2013 was a busy year for Skeldar. It was put to the test in the humid and salty winds of the Indian Ocean, the sand and heat of American deserts and the unforgiving cold of a Nordic winter. This year, its tactical capabilities just got stronger thanks to MSIC (Multi-Sensor Intelligence Cell). http://bit.ly/1pqTCjz #Skeldar#Intelligence