Thales and Austrian company Schiebel tested their Camcopter S-100 drone at the NATO Exercise REPMUS 2022 in Tróia, Portugal.
This year’s exercise required participants to protect a strategic port and utilize innovative technologies to maintain surveillance, detection, and classification of possible adversary submarines.
During the demonstration, the Camcopter gathered and optimized data relayed by acoustic buoys ashore to a command cell. The data was then processed on land by the Thales Bluetracker system.
The surveillance can also be processed on board a frigate cruising off the coast and airborne assets such as helicopters and maritime patrol craft.
The drone deployment allowed participating naval forces to experience evolving challenges with limited human resources, according to Thales.
The company highlighted that using “fast, durable, and flexible” drones is a “useful and efficient complement to an anti-submarine system.”
The Camcopter S-100
The Camcopter S-100 is a vertical takeoff and landing drone that has been proven in both military and civilian applications, according to Schiebel.
It comprises a relay box, a Wescam MX-8 electro-optical/infrared sensor, and a Thales-built BlueScan data relay sensor.
The Camcopter has a range of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) and can fly in all weather. It can navigate autonomously through pre-programmed GPS waypoints or operate with a pilot control unit.