Thailand takes delivery of Camcopter S-100 VTOL UAVs

S-100 Camcopter
The S-100 Camcopter needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment, and is designed to operate in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability. (Schiebel) 

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has taken delivery of at least two Camcopter S-100 vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicles (VTOL UAVs) supplied by Austrian company Schiebel.

Images released by the RTN’s Air Division show two S-100 air vehicles in service livery – numbered 1425 and 1426 – operated by the division’s specialised UAV squadron in southern Thailand.

Air vehicle 1425 is seen with a ventral electro-optical/infrared (EO-IR) sensor payload – L3Harris Wescam’s MX-10 system – although air vehicle 1426 has yet to be furnished with one.

Schiebel announced in November 2019 that it had won a competitive tender to supply the RTN with an undisclosed number of its S-100 UAVs, noting in its statement that the air vehicles will be deployed by the RTN from the Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat province as well on the service’s frigates for land- and sea-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

“With the Royal Thai Navy, we have another major maritime contract to add to our growing list of customers,” said Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, asserting that the S-100 was selected over other competing platforms due to the type’s proven reliability at sea.

Schiebel has partnered with the Bangkok-based MoraThai Defence Company to deliver a full-training package for a smooth transition into service and provide commercial offset.

Other known S-100 UAV customers in the Asia Pacific region include Australia, Malaysia and South Korea. Australia acquired S-100s equipped with S2 heavy fuel engines for trials under the SEA 129 Phase 5 Tactical UAS programme.

The S-100 has a maximum take-off weight of 200 kg and a typical payload of 50 kg including fuel and sensors. It can operate for up to six hours out to a maximum range of around 200 km, although endurance can be extended with an external fuel tank.

by Jr Ng