Thales and Schiebel to deliver innovative eyes in the sky protection for Royal Navy using uncrewed rotary aircraft solution
- Thales and Schiebel are pleased to announce they have been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver a game changing rotary wing Uncrewed Air System (UAS) to provide a protective ‘eye in the sky’ capability for Royal Navy warships.
- The contract for the Peregrine system will see a rotary-powered UAS, fitted with powerful naval surveillance sensors suite, deployed to help protect a Type 23 frigate on operational tasking.
- This partnership will bring together a combined 30 years of experience in UAS design, integration, test and operations with the S-100’s proven track record.
International navies now find themselves increasingly threatened by a range of hostile platforms, often in congested maritime environments. The ability for an uncrewed rotary aircraft that can launch quickly and then provide long-range mission endurance and the ability to find, fix, track and identify targets will bring additional protection for the ship and its crew, gaining them invaluable time to prepare and respond.
Thales will act as the lead systems integrator for the programme that brings together an unrivalled combination of proven UAS capability from Schiebel and a range high precision intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors and systems from Thales.
Schiebel will provide its operationally proven CAMCOPTER® S-100, a highly-effective uncrewed air system which already has more than 100,000 operating hours, including demanding deck-launched operations in challenging winds and sea states.
The S-100's sensors, supported by an Automatic Identification System and fused together with the CarteNav AIMS Mission System provides the operator the ability to detect and identify unknown targets quickly.
The Thales I-Master radar can be operated in both Synthetic Aperture Radar and Maritime Moving Target Indication modes and once it detects and finds a contact, the on board electro-optical/infra-red sensor is cross-cued to perform the identification.
High-definition imagery and radar data is downloaded to the human operator and disseminated in real time through the host ship’s Combat Management System and made available to multiple users.
This partnership will bring together a combined 30 years of experience in UAS design, integration, test and operations with the S-100’s proven track record. This combined capability is built on trusted solutions that deliver real value with immediate effect.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, said: “We are immensely proud that the CAMCOPTER® S-100 is the UK Ministry of Defence’s choice for its prestigious Peregrine programme. 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.”
Alex Cresswell, CEO of Thales in the UK, said: “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.”
Notes to editors
The S-100 has been delivering mission success for multiple customers around the world at sea and on land, by day and night and in adverse weather conditions. Over the last 15 years the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 rotary wing UAS has seen operation with over 25 customers and in the maritime domain has completed over 2,000 deck landings onto a wide variety of single-spot sea-going vessels.
I-Master is in use with a number of customers around the world, including the British Army’s Watchkeeper TUAS. It gained its sea leg capabilities back in 2014 with the inclusion of enhanced Maritime Modes, comprehensively proving them during the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise in 2016
CarteNav will provide the flexible AIMS-ISR mission system software to provide multi-sensor integration, planning, collection and dissemination.
Schiebel and Thales in groundbreaking anti-submarine warfare exercise
Schiebel, and Thales also recently supported the Royal Navy with an uncrewed anti-submarine warfare capability in the exercises REPMUS (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping using Maritime Uncrewed Systems) in Portugal. Together, we successfully demonstrated the CAMCOPTER® S-100 and its Anti-Submarine Warfare, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and cargo delivery capabilities. The demonstrated scenario was the surveillance of the approaches to a strategic port. The S-100, equipped with a Wescam MX-8 EO/IR sensor in the nose and a Thales data relay payload, was deployed to monitor the transmission of data from the sonobuoys and relayed it to the command centre ashore, permitting the detection and classification of possible enemy submarines.