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Bristow to Expand UK Maritime Search & Rescue Operations

Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Again Proves Capable SAR Platform

Bristow Helicopters Limited—the British civil helicopter operator and subsidiary of the U.S.-based Bristow Group—has been awarded a ten-year contract by the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) to support the Second-Generation Search and Rescue (UKSAR2G) program. Subject program tasks Her Majesty’s Coast Guard, and civilian contractors with the establishment and maintenance of a 24-hour maritime and coastal search and rescue (SAR) emergency response service throughout the UK.

The new contract expands upon Bristow’s extant search and rescue partnership with Her Majesty’s Coast Guard, and includes the operational deployment of Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS)—a relatively large, all-weather, day-and-night, unmanned rotorcraft in broad use with worldwide civilian and military operators.

The Camcopter (stylized CAMCOPTER) S-100 is powered by a 55-horsepower, Austro AE50R Wankel (rotary) engine that turns a single, 3.4-meter (11-foot 2-inch) main-rotor with sufficient vigor to motivate the vehicle’s titanium and carbon-fiber fuselage to speeds and altitudes as high as 120-knots and 18,000-feet respectively. Notwithstanding its maximum gross takeoff weight (MGTOW) of two-hundred-kilograms (441-pounds), the S-100 typically carries a 75-pound payload for up to ten-hours on a 57-liter tank of either 100-LL Avgas or JP-5.

CAMCOPTER operators guide the beastie via high-definition imagery transmitted to a ground-based control station in real-time. In addition to standard GPS waypoint or manual navigation, the S-100 is capable of operating in non-GPS environments by means of a simple, point-and-click graphical user interface.

The S-100 is built by Austria’s Schiebel Corporation—a one-time maker of small electronic components turned successful and respected manufacturer of mine-detector’s, helicopters, and Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). Civilian and military customers have effectively utilized Schiebel’s contraptions in support of operations the likes of geographic survey, infrastructure inspection, resupply, radio-frequency detection, border monitoring, and—as instantiated by Bristow’s UK MCA contract—maritime search and rescue.

Schiebel Group chairman Hans Georg Schiebel remarked: “We are immensely proud that the S-100 is the UAS of choice to support SAR activities in the UK. The unrivaled maritime experience of the S-100 and the countless operations all over the world make the Schiebel UAS ideally suited for the UKSAR2G program.”



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