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After being chosen for test trials by the Border and Coast Guard Division of the Finnish Border Guard, Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned air system (UAS) performed a five-day maritime surveillance demonstration aboard offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Turva.
The intense flight trials took place at the end of August in the Gulf of Finland. Day and night, the S-100 completed given scenarios including searching, locating and recognizing objects as well as surveillance for maximum situational awareness. In addition to top Finnish Border Guard officials, representatives of the Finnish Defence Forces, Finnish Customs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as Finnish Meteorological Institute, among others, attended the event. The test was part of the ongoing Valvonta2 project (Surveillance2) that is led by the Finnish Border Guard and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The Camcopter S-100 was selected for the shipboard trials because of its outstanding reputation as a proven and reliable UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The S-100, a compact unmanned helicopter, offers a high degree of versatility and is well known to accommodate a wide variety of innovative and market-leading payloads, tailored to meet customers’ specific requirements.
To comply with its assigned tasks, the S-100 was equipped with the state-of-the-art L3Harris Wescam MX-10 electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) camera, the Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch wide-area maritime surveillance payload, and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.
“As we have seen during the trials, maritime ISR and search operations can derive significant benefits from the use of UAS,” said Hans Georg Schiebel, chairman of the Schiebel Group. “As a robust VTOL platform, the Camcopter does not require any additional takeoff or recovery equipment, which makes it perfect for OPVs with small deck sizes. We are very pleased with the outcome of the trials and hope to be back in Finland soon.”