The French defence procurement agency (DGA) and DCNS have demonstrated functional integration of S-100 unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with the combat system of a warship, as part of the Système Embarqué de Reconnaissance-Vecteur Aérien Léger (shipboard reconnaissance system - light air vehicle) (SERVAL) UAS programme.
During physical and functional integration trials, the all functional blocks between DCNS's Polaris combat system and the Schiebel-built Camcopter S-100 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV have been validated aboard the French Navy's L'Adroit Gowind-class offshore patrol vessel.
The DGA has issued a permit to fly for the Camcopter S100 to DCNS, based on the results of the trials.
The tests, which involved collaboration between government technical services, DCNS and Schiebel, aimed to demonstrate the performance of the DCNS-developed DIOD-A module and integrated with the Polaris combat system, for managing UAV payload data (from electro-optical sensors in this case) in real time.
A further aim of the tests was to validate the interface between the UAS and the ship's combat system without any impact on flight safety.
Designed to provide significant operational benefits to French Navy staff responsible for operating the combat management system and the VTOL UAV, the DIOD-A module met all DGA requirements during testing.
The UAV data integration into the combat management system as well as operational integration of the UAV operator into the Combat Information Centre (CIC) extends operational capabilities by providing real-time data from the theatre of operations beyond the range of its onboard sensors.
Image: officials during functional integration testing. Photo: courtesy of DCNS.