British Navy orders ‘game-changing’ drone helicopter

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The Ministry of Defense of Great Britain has signed a contract with the Austrian firm Schiebel to supply a rotary-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) for the Royal Navy. The agreement is part of Peregrine’s national program to deploy a “game-changing” drone that provides a protective “eye in the sky” function to warships in the British Navy, The Defense Post reports today, February 13.

The company says it will supply its S-100 Camcopter drone equipped with an advanced array of maritime surveillance sensors to improve situational awareness.

French tech firm Thales is part of the contract and will focus on systems integration to provide “high-level” reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities for the unmanned helicopter.

“We are very proud that the Camcopter S-100 has been selected by the UK Department of Defense for its prestigious Peregrine programme,” said Schiebel CEO Hans Georg Schibel. The S-100 is the optimal drone for the growing number of navies around the world. He proved his superiority and outstanding capabilities during numerous operations.

Camcopter S-100 can perform vertical takeoff and landing, work day and night in adverse weather conditions. The drone has a fast launch capability, enhanced endurance and high-performance sensors for searching, tracking and identifying targets. It is equipped with a Thales I-Master radar, an electro-optical/infrared camera and an automatic identification system, which increase its ability to detect unknown targets. The camera can create high-definition images transmitted in real time.

Schibel stressed the importance of modern UAS as Western navies find themselves “increasingly threatened by a wide range of hostile platforms.”

Rapid launch and range are critical in congested sea conditions, he said.

“This is a significant milestone for the Royal Navy as it is an immediate boost to its operational capabilities, but it also supports their strategic transition to unmanned technology.” – said in turn the chief executive officer of Thales Alex Cresswell.

As reported EADailyThe Royal Navy has begun upgrading its Type 23 frigate with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), an anti-ship missile developed by Norwegian firm Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace. A total of 11 Type 23 and Type 45 destroyers will be equipped with NSM as an interim replacement for the Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which are scheduled to be phased out over the next few years.

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