Indian Navy Successfully Completes Maiden Pilot and Maintainer Training of the Unmanned Shipborne Aerial System CAMCOPTER® S-100

Defence Industry, Top Stories

Kochi: With increasing focus on maritime power at high seas with a special focus on the Indian and Pacific Ocean, the induction of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 into the Indian Navy got a massive boost.

The Indian Navy has successfully completed its maiden pilot and maintainer training of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 at INS Garuda, Kochi. Commodore K Sri Vatsa, CO Garuda recently presented the graduation certificates to qualified operators. The induction of the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100s will enhance surveillance and tactical capability of Indian Navy in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a rotorcraft design. Developed in between 2003-2005, S-100 has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 200 kg with 6 hours endurance (extendable to over 10 hours with optional external AVCAT fuel tanks fitted). It has a maximum speed of 220 km/hr and a ceiling of 5,500 m. It is powered by a heavy fuel engine and has the capability to carry a host of / multiple payloads which are surveillance as well as tactical in nature. Indian Navy joins a host of nations operating this unmanned system in the maritime domain. The primary radio link between ground station and the air vehicle is in C-band and the secondary link operates in the UHF region.

Manufactured by Schiebel in partnership with VEM Technologies, Hyderabad – the world’s leading Rotary Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) CAMCOPTER® S-100 featuring the script of the Indian Navy and the roundel of India on the airframe was showcased at the Aero India 2023 show in Bengaluru.

Schiebel Systems India – a subsidiary of the Schiebel Group, the original equipment manufacturer of the S-100 UAS – and local firm VEM Technologies have joined hands for the production of CAMCOPTER® S-100 in India. The Indian Navy intends to deploy the NSUAS on naval vessels over 100 m in length.

On June 28, 2022, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued to facilitate Indian Navy’s acquisition of forty (40) Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial Systems (NSUAS). In the RFI, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Indian Navy said the NSUAS will be used for surveillance missions, signals intelligence (SIGINT), target acquisition, reconnaissance, and maritime domain awareness around a naval task group. Secondary roles include anti-piracy measures, anti-terrorist activities, and search-and-rescue support. The programme is still progressing as indicated by Indian Navy and will ensure availability of tactical and surveillance capability on board all major naval warships.

The UAS CAMCOPTER® S-100 is being placed in active service by the Indian Navy, marking a noteworthy advancement in the modernisation of its naval capabilities. Once fully inducted, the system represents a significant advancement in naval innovation and supports the country’s aspiration to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies. The first crew batch’s local training has been successfully finished, demonstrating the Indian Navy’s readiness to use and optimise the capabilities of this cutting-edge unmanned aerial vehicle.

The cooperation of Hyderabad-based VEM Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Schiebel led to the introduction of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 into the Indian Navy. They have collaborated to offer the CAMCOPTER® S-100 in response to the Indian Navy’s requirements. In response to the new Indian Navy requirement, Schiebel Systems India and VEM Technologies plan to produce the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)-capable CAMCOPTER® S-100 and gradually maximise the local content along with the assembly and integration of payloads. This partnership showcases the fine blend of local knowledge and foreign technology and giving India’s maritime troop access to cutting-edge unmanned aerial systems.

The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is an adaptable unmanned aerial system that provides naval operations with a variety of capabilities. With its cutting-edge sensors and communication systems, it improves situational awareness, surveillance, and reconnaissance at sea. Its small size and capability to operate from ship decks make it a crucial instrument for maritime operations, enabling the Indian Navy to increase its reach and efficacy. The arrival of the Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 is in line with this strategic objective, displaying a proactive approach to solving modern maritime challenges.