Tag Archives: Schiebel Camcopter S-100

This tiny Camcopter will help OSCE monitoring the shaky ceasefire in Ukraine

Schiebel Camcopter used by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine made its first flight.

On Oct. 23, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) successfully completed the first flight of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 in eastern Ukraine.

The UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), flown by several operators across the world, are provided, flown and maintained by the Austrian vendor Schiebel, under contract to the OSCE, and operated under the authority and direction of the SMM, with the Mission’s monitors in close attendance.

The task of the S-100 is to provide complementary aerial information-gathering that will be used to monitor the general security situation in Ukraine and the shaky ceasefire. Furthermore, the Camcopter will be used for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol of 5 September and the Minsk Memorandum of Sept. 19, 2014.

According to OSCE, the SMM’s UAV will operate over the area south of Donetsk down to the Sea of Azov, eastwards as far as the Ukrainian-Russian state border and westwards towards the line of contact: a “SAM-infested region” where anti-aircraft systems have been quite lethal against all types of aircraft. But a tiny Camcopter is harder to spot and shoot down.

Image credit: Schiebel

 

The Italian Navy is testing a tiny Camcopter drone from its amphibious warfare ship

The Italian Navy is testing the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Aerial System from the San Giusto amphibious warfare ship

In April 2012, the tiny Camcopter S-100 became the first UAS ever to fly from an Italian ship, operating from the ITS Bersagliere frigate.

In February this year, the Italian Navy selected the S-100 as the UAS of choice for use from its fleet: it will be used for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) tasks from ships at sea, and to support military and civil activities such as SAR (Search And Rescue) or assistance in case of natural disasters.

Equipped with a Wescam MX-10 and a Shine Micro AIS (Automatic Identification System), the S-100 has the capability to collect time-critical data during 6-hour missions. By means of its electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors it extends the warship’s ability to see beyond the range of its own sensors and to collect and share critical information, in real-time.

The S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

In these days the Marina Militare is testing the tiny drone from the San Giusto amphibious warfare ship, to evaluate the interoperability of the Camcopter with the ship, its ability to takeoff and recover on the ship’s flight deck, its noise level, as well as other operational parameters.

The San Giusto is the first Italian Navy ship to employ the Camcopter S-100 during the week-long evaluation cruise which involves technical engineers from Schiebel, pilots from the 4° GrupElicot (Heli Group) from Maristaeli Grottaglie as well as personnel from Centro Sperimentazione Aeromarittimo (CSA – Air-Land Test Center) based at Luni.

S-100 ground control station

Image credit: Marina Militare / Italian Navy

 

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Why has Washington acknowledged loss of unknown drone in Somalia but has not admitted Predator crash in Turkey?

As already explained, on May 29 Pentagon acknowledged the loss of a scarcely known Camcopter drone in Somalia whose debris had been collected and shown all around the world by the Al-Shabaab group.

Interestingly, the mysterious drone was identified as a Schiebel Camcopter S-100 a tiny helicopter drone whose maximum take off weight is 200 kg.

It is at least odd, that Washington admitted the loss as the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was not known (at least publicly) to be operated by any U.S. force or agency. Unless the drone carried some unit markings or national roundel, it is quite unlikely that anybody could tie the small drone crashed in Somalia with an American asset.

Unless they are forced to do that (as happened when the stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel drone was captured by Iran in December 2011), the DoD is rarely willing to disclose its involvement in overseas clandestine missions.

Schiebel_CAMCOPTER_S-100

Image credit: Wiki

For instance, neither Pentagon nor U.S. Air Force have ever admitted the downing of a Predator by the Kurdish rebels.

As we reported back then, pictures of the wreckage of a U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator emerged on Sept. 19, 2012. The drone was allegedly shot down by the rebels on Sept. 18, in the Hakkari prefecture, where the drone was flying  an operation against the rebel bastion of Uludere.

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The MQ-1 was part of a force of four U.S. Predator UAVs deployed to Incirlik airbase, in southern Turkey (one of the airports used to launch drone surveillance missions over Syria).

Months later, the Air Force released an accident report about an MQ-1B Predator crashed in a U.S. Central Command area of responsibility shortly after losing its satellite data link  on Sept. 18, 2012.

The report did not say that the drone was shot down (because either it was not downed or the fact it was lost to enemy fire could not be confirmed) nor mentioned that it was lost in Turkey (exact location was withheld and replaced by the generic U.S. CENTCOM area of responsibility).

Isn’t this different approach on the two episodes a bit strange?

The fact that Predators were deployed in Turkey and were (and probably still are) flying surveillance missions over Kurdish rebels was not a secret. Still, they did not officially acknowledge that an MQ-1 crashed in Turkey.

A scarcely know Camcopter drone crashes in Somalia and they immediately tell the world that it was an American one.

Why did they disclose the Somalia crash and not the Turkish one?

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Pentagon confirms drone crash in Somalia. But it doesn’t say it was an Austrian made PSYOPs-capable Camcopter

On May 27 a drone flying a routine surveillance mission along the coast of Somalia crashed in a remote area near the shoreline of Mogadishu.

The Pentagon confirmed the loss in Somalia after the Al-Shabaab group published some photos of the wreckage on Twitter but did not confirm the remotely piloted aircraft was shot down.

The UAV was found near Bulo Marer (a town in the southwestern Lower Shebelle region) the same place of a French Intelligence failed operation to rescue Denis Allex in January 2013.

Based on the images of the parts collected by Al-Shabaab,  the mysterious drone can be identified as a Schiebel Camcopter S-100 small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).

The Aviationist’s contributor Giuliano Ranieri highlighted the pieces of the Camcopter that have survived the crash and that can be clearly identified among the debris.

S-100-1

S-100-2

The little S-100 drone is produced by the Austrian company Schiebel.

It weights only 200 kilograms (440 lb) but with an endurance of 6 hours, a maximum speed of 220 kilometres per hour (140 mph), a ceiling of 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) and various payloads (including electro-optics and infrared sensors) it can carry out a wide array of clandestine missions.

If the UAV itself has not so many secrets, what is extremely interesting is the use of this type of drone by the U.S.

Even if it is impossible to say what the aircraft was doing, it is quite likely it was flying an espionnage mission for the CIA.

In 2009, Boeing and Schiebel made a demo for U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina about the integration of the S-100 and ground unmanned systems for PSYOPs missions in-theatre.

“Equipped with an American Technology Corporation loudspeaker capable of addressing crowds at a distance of up to 2 km, a leaflet drop capability, as well as an IAI POP300 EO/IR camera payload. The John Deere R-Gator unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) was also equipped with a loudspeaker augmented with the Trident, Inc. data link, demonstrating the potential for teaming UGVs with an UAS. […] The S-100 was utilized to survey the area and provide real-time aerial intelligence, as well as to address the public and drop information leaflets.”

 

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