Schiebel to bid for Indian Navy’s Ship-borne UAS Project

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Austrian company Schiebel Group announced Thursday it will bid for the Indian Navy Naval Ship-borne Unmanned Aerial System (NSUAS) Fast Track Programme.

Under the project, the service wants to buy approximately 15 shipborne drones Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Sea lines of Communication (SLOC) monitoring and Coastal/ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, anti-piracy and anti-terrorism, assistance in Search and Rescue and assistance in Maritime Domain Awareness.

The Indian Ministry of Defence issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the same in late February. It wants the first drone to be delivered to the Navy within one year of signing the contract.

The RFI lists out technical parameters of the proposed NSUAS, which include: ability of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and its payloads to undertake defined tasks; modular design and easy to assemble and repair in field; should have low radar and acoustics signature; RPA and all subsystems fully inter-operable with Indian Navy users; minimum number operators to operate and maintain NSUAS; specify optimum number of operators required to maintain and operate the system including qualifications/ prior training/ experience; basic composition of NSUAS to at least include modular RPA, two control stations (main and standby), Launch System, Point Recovery System, two Ship Data Terminal; Engineering Support Package (ESP), Specialised Role Equipment, two Remote Video Terminals (RVT).

NSUAS should be capable of operating from ships and shore by day and night and in low visibility conditions. The drone must be capable of operations from all navy ships greater than 100m in length. It should have a fully autonomous flight mode, with pre-programmed or operator initiated mission guidance. The minimum endurance with basic payload (EO/IR and AIS) is to be more than 10 hours.

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS is a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS and requires no prepared area or supporting equipment to enable launch and recovery. It has beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km / 108 nm, over land and sea. It has a service ceiling of 5,500 m / 18,000 ft. In a typical configuration, the CAMCOPTER S-100 carries a 34-kg / 75-lbs payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or JP-5 heavy fuel. High-definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. In addition to its standard GPS waypoint or manual navigation, the S-100 can successfully operate in environments where GPS is not available, with missions planned and controlled via a simple point-and click graphical user interface.