French Navy Mistral-class amphibious helicopter carriers are getting additional Camcopter S-100 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from Austrian UAS manufacturer Schiebel.
The two systems, comprising a total of four unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have been accepted for operational use by shipbuilder Naval Group, on behalf of the French Navy.
The acquisition comes after the integration of the Campcopter S-100 on the French Navy Mistral-class vessel Dixmude, which was finalized in 2019. This was the first time in Europe that a rotary wing UAS had been connected to the combat system of an amphibious helicopter carrier.
Additional UAS for FS Tonnerre and FS Mistral are arriving after acceptance tests in October this year. They will be integrated with the vessels over the next few months, enhancing the ships’ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
The S-100 VTOL UAS operates day and night and can carry multiple payloads up to a combined weight of 50 kg.
“After the successful integration on the Dixmude, we are very proud of the confidence the French Navy has in the proven and reliable Camcopter S-100 and we are looking forward to the integration on the Tonnerre and Mistral and their operational deployment,” Hans Georg Schiebel, chairman of the Schiebel Group, said.
“The S-100 on Mistral-class will be the first operational tactical UAS for the French Navy and this is a major step towards the Mercator plan,” LCDR Serge D., UAS program officer, French Navy, added.