France’s DGA defense procurement agency, the French navy and systems integrator DCNS proved the “functional integration” of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with a naval ship’s combat system for the first time in Europe, according to DCNS. Following sea trials in mid-December, the DGA issued a permit to DCNS to fly the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 aircraft used in the testing, the company said.
The Camcopter S-100 unmanned air system (UAS) by Austria’s Schiebel (Hall 4 A40) has proved its efficient maritime capability repeatedly since the Gowind class L’Adroit offshore patrol vessel was made available to the French Navy in 2011. Schiebel, learning from the experience, says it is now working with sensor manufacturers to integrate maritime radar, electronic support measures (ESM) and EO/IR sensors into the S-100 system. This will for the first time provide maritime commanders with an organic, persistent, ISR capability for a UAS in this class.
Speaking at Dassault’s annual press conference yesterday, CEO Charles Edelstenne clarified that BAE Systems would be the prime contractor for a joint medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft program under the recently announced memorandum of understanding between the two companies. The MoU follows last November’s Anglo-French inter-governmental agreement.