Thales and Schiebel successfully tested the reinforcement of conventional underwater capabilities with a CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) during the NATO REPMUS 2022 exercise in Tróia, Portugal.
The underwater environment is becoming increasingly crowded and hostile; hence, navies must acquire more and more resources that are progressively responsive, flexible and interconnected.
Indeed, fighting under the sea requires the deployment of considerable capacities and the coordination of means can sometimes meet limits. To reduce the risk of threat saturation, Thales and Schiebel successfully tested the reinforcement of conventional underwater capabilities with a CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) during the NATO REPMUS 2022 exercise in Tróia, Portugal.
REPMUS22 was a real opportunity for the industry and the armed Forces to collaborate on the test and development of maritime unmanned systems, with 25 navies, and more than 20 research and development companies, two universities and eight NATO entities related to maritime operations and/or maritime unmanned systems.
The scenario chosen by the NATO was that of surveillance of a strategic access to a port, in order to detect and classify possible enemy submarines, using the best of innovative technologies.
To this end, Thales and Schiebel deployed a CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAV equipped with a data relay box, allowing the transmission distance of data from the acoustic buoys deployed in surveillance along the coast to be optimised. The data was successfully processed on land by the Thales Bluetracker system. The data could have also been processed on board a frigate cruising off the coast, in addition to the airborne means usually used (helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft).
The use of UAS allows navies to face new challenges with increasingly limited human resources. Fast, durable, flexible (multi-mission) and are a useful and efficient complement to an anti-submarine system.
This first participation in REPMUS 2022 for the Thales-Schiebel partnership opens perspectives on the force multiplier effect obtained through interoperable and interchangeable systems. Thanks to innovative technologies, whose basic building blocks already exist (buoys and UAVs) and soon thanks to the use of the new SonoFlash buoy developed by Thales, these unmanned systems will be able to demonstrate their usefulness in many theatres of operation.