Thales and Schiebel recently announced that they have been granted a contract from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence with the goal of delivering a rotary wing Uncrewed Air System (UAS). This aircraft will provide aerial surveillance for Royal Navy Warships alongside a plethora of other benefits.
Thales is a global technology company with operations across five continents. With 81,000 employees, the company strives to develop new technologies involving artificial intelligence, big data, quantum technology, connectivity and cyber security. The company develops $16.2 billion of revenue annually, leaving it with plenty of resources used to create new technological innovations. Its focus is on markets like defense, aerospace, and digital security—making its collaboration with the Ministry of Defence a promising venture.
Schiebel Group produces high-tech military and commercial products. Its team is focused on developing, designing, and producing the CAMCOPTER S-100 Unmanned Air System.
Under the contract, Thales and Schiebel will provide a UAS that can be used in more congested maritime environments. Additionally, it will have quick launch capabilities coupled with a long range and high endurance. Traits like this will allow it to protect Royal Navy ships by giving them time to prepare a response to a multitude of situations that can occur on the seas during conflict.
Specifically, Schiebel will provide the Royal Navy with its CAMCOPTER S-100. With over 100,000 operating hours, this UAS has proven itself as reliable and a good tool for achieving important objectives. It has already been successfully employed in deck-launched operations and can operate in a wide variety of weather conditions with a range of 200 km (about 125 miles). It can also navigate automatically using GPS waypoints while still offering an option to be pilot controlled.
In addition to these operational features, the CAMCOPTER S-100 features a high-definition camera that sends images to its control station in real time. It also utilizes “fly-by-wire” technology, enabling it to complete many of its missions automatically, even in more complex electromagnetic settings.
The features the CAMCOPTER S-100 offers will provide the Royal Navy with modernized benefits. As Alex Cresswell, the CEO of Thales, explained in the announcement, “This is a significant milestone for the Royal Navy as it is an immediate enhancement to its operational capability, but it also supports their strategic transition to uncrewed technology in line with their Future Maritime Aviation Force strategy. I am pleased that our long tradition of supporting the Royal Navy’s ‘eyes and ears’ situational awareness capability continues with this latest contract.”
“The S-100 is the optimal UAS for a growing number of Navies worldwide and has proven its superiority and outstanding capabilities throughout its numerous operational deployments,” remarked Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group.
With this new contract, both Thales and Schiebel, along with the Ministry of Defence, will capitalize on their strengths. Thales and Schiebel’s years of experience—combined with the Ministry of Defence’s expertise in strategy—will help the Royal Navy modernize its technological infrastructure and strategy.