In collaboration with Korean defence companies, Vienna-based Schiebel Group clinched a deal with the South Korean Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) to supply the CAMCOPTER S-300 Unmanned Air System (UAS) for the South Korean Navy.

The agreement, signed with Hanwha Systems, is geared towards fortifying intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions for the South Korean Navy and Marine Corps.

Constant threats emanating from North Korea recently and the missile build-up across South Korean borders have caused the South Korean and US authorities to prepare effective surveillance plans, per GlobalData’s thematic research on drones for maritime operations.

Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, expressed enthusiasm over the South Korean Navy’s decision to augment its existing drone fleet, citing the S-300 as a milestone in the company’s trajectory.

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With an endurance of up to 24 hours and the ability to operate at altitudes reaching 21,000 feet, the S-300 promises persistent loiter capabilities essential for ISTAR operations. Its heavy-lift capacity, capable of carrying payloads of up to 250 kg, is ideal for cargo delivery across challenging terrains.

The versatility of the S-300 extends beyond surveillance tasks, as it facilitates anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations by deploying sonar buoys. Moreover, its compatibility with Schiebel’s existing Ground Control Station ensures integration with the company’s broader unmanned fleet, enhancing mission flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Schiebel’s recent expansion of its Abu Dhabi facility shows its commitment to meeting global demand for the CAMCOPTER S-300. The platform’s open architecture caters to operational requirements and aligns with nations’ sovereignty and offset mandates.

In 2023, BAE Systems secured a £79.4m ($100m) contract to upgrade South Korean Navy’s Archerfish mine neutralisation drones, deployed via helicopters. In partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries, the initiative aimed to enhance the Republic of Korea Navy’s anti-mine capabilities by outfitting its helicopter fleet with a lightweight launcher and advanced data connection links.