The Italian Navy has begun technical assessments of Schiebel's Camcopter S-100 unmanned-aerial vehicle (UAV) on the San Giusto (L89894) landing helicopter dock.
The week-long evaluation trials are being carried out together with pilots from the navy's fourth Helicopter Group and Schiebel representatives.
Testing will involve verifying the UAV's ability to integrate with the ship's systems, take-off and landing capability from the vessel's deck and validating its sensor capabilities.
Furthermore, trials will measure noise, radar and optical visibility to observe detection parameters.
With plans to operate the UAV as an annexe of the host vessel's sensor suite, the Italian Navy aims to extend the effective prospects of its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, while boosting its standoff range when dealing with threats.
Delivered as part of a contract in February, the Camcompter S-100 UAV boosts operational ability, while offering unique degrees of flexibility, versatility and persistence onboard Italian Navy ships for anti-piracy missions.
The Wescam MX-10 and a Shine micro-automatic identification system (AIS) on the unmanned system will facilitate the gathering of time-critical data for continuous periods of up to six hours.
The vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS, which can be mounted using a harpoon system to support take-off and landing in conditions up to Sea State 5, also offers a flexible, unique means of gathering and broadcasting information for decision makers.
Eliminating the requirement for launch or recovery equipment, while operating in day and night, the UAV's 'fly-by-wire' technology enables it to automatically complete its missions.
Schiebel's Camcopter S-100 UAV, equipped with EADS Astrium's Pseudolite-based DeckFinder local positioning system, has completed a series of flight tests.