On 25 June Schiebel Pacific (SPL) celebrated the opening a its new office and workshop at the Albatross Aviation Technical Park in Yerriyong, NSW, Australia. It also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Air Affairs Australia, an established provider of equipment and services to the Australian government.
The move places Schiebel in close proximity to its customer, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at HMAS Albatross and provides direct access to the runway. It also facilitates close cooperation with its next-door neighbour and new partner, Air Affairs Australia.
“Building on our current contracts, we see enormous potential in Australia for Schiebel and our unrivalled CAMCOPTER S-100 RPAS due to several significant upcoming programmes and working with established Australian companies will be key to success,” commented Schiebel Group Chairman, Hans Georg Schiebel. “A strong physical presence through SPL and a MoU with a strong partner are logical steps in preparing for the tremendous opportunities in Australia, a nation at the forefront of embracing robotic technology and modernising its Defence Force.”
As a mature and proven capability for shipborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), the S-100 is currently under contract for the Navy Minor Project (NMP) 1942, an evaluation programme that aims to develop the RAN’s understanding of the capabilities of an advanced Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Tactical Unmanned Air System (TUAS). SPL is working closely with the RAN on achieving all the goals of the project, while simultaneously preparing for the upcoming tenders for LAND and SEA 129.
In parallel, to help develop doctrine and future requirements, as well as to gain further insight into future TUAS capabilities and payloads, the Royal Australian Army has leased the S-100 to conduct a series of advanced payload evaluations. The Army testing focuses on multiple payloads, including the L3 Wescam MX-10, ELTA Systems’ state-of-the-art ELK-7065 Compact Airborne HF COMINT/DF 3D System, Overwatch’s Multi Spectrum Imaging TK-5 and Leonardo’s PicoSAR radar. The most recent S-100 activities will culminate in the participation in Australia’s largest joint high-end warfighting exercise, Talisman Sabre 2019.