The UK Coastguard has awarded a 10-year-contract to Bristow that will see it continue to deploy its CAMCOPTER drone in search and rescue operations.
Bristow received its first Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 system in 2019, consisting of two aircraft, a ground control station and engineering and logistic support as a proof-of-concept capability.
In securing the CAMCOPTER, Bristow sought to explore the potential of unmanned and manned teaming in the SAR space.
Bristow has since accepted a second UAS into service, supporting the MCA and HM Coastguard operations in the English Channel.
“We are immensely proud that the S-100 is the UAS of choice to support SAR activities in the UK,” Hans Georg Schiebel, chairman of the Schiebel Group, said.
“The unrivalled maritime experience of the S-100 and the countless operations all over the world make the Schiebel UAS ideally suited for the UKSAR2G program.”
The CAMCOPTER S-100 is billed as a small-medium sized vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft made of titanium and carbon fibre materials.
The platform is designed to carry multiple payloads simultaneously for up to six hours at a time.
The CAMCOPTER S-100 can reportedly operate day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a range out to 200 kilometres, both on land and at sea.
The unmanned aircraft can navigate automatically via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or can be operated directly with a pilot control unit.
The platform is operated via a point-and-click graphical user interface, transmitting high-definition payload imagery to the control station in real time.
By leveraging “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by redundant flight computers, the UAS can complete its mission automatically.