Air Platforms

Schiebel demos new payloads on S-100 VTOL UAV for Australian Army

17 December 2018

Schiebel has integrated Overwatch Imaging’s TK-5 Firewatch wide-area mapping payload to its S-100 Camcopter VTOL UAV for as part of a two-week technology demonstration to the Australian Army. Source: Australian Defence Force

Austrian vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle (VTOL UAV) developer Schiebel has successfully demonstrated two new payloads aboard its S-100 Camcopter platform to the Australian Army as part of a two-week technology survey for the Australian Department of Defence's (DoD's) Project Land 129 Phase 3 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) programme.

Land 129 Phase 3 is aimed at acquiring a replacement for the Textron Systems Shadow 200 tactical UAV currently operated by the 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. The project seeks a new unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform that will not just replace the Shadow 200 - which was initially acquired to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations in Afghanistan - but also add another unmanned vehicle battery to the regiment's current strength of two batteries.

Schiebel announced on 13 December that it had integrated and tested Elta Systems' ELK-7065 high frequency (HF) communications intelligence (COMINT) and direction-finding system and Overwatch Imaging's TK-5 Firewatch smart tactical mapping payload aboard an S-100 Camcopter under lease by the Australian Army.

The ELK-7065 - which was trialled during the first week - is designed to intercept and determine the precise location of hostile HF transmitters using cues such as signal power, geo-location, modulation, and polarisation. According to Elta Systems, the ELK-7065 can also identify and classify these signals, enabling an operator to potentially generate an electronic order of battle (EOB) of a hostile force.

Overwatch Imaging's TK-5 Firewatch system was tested during the second week. Weighing between 1-2 kg depending on the configuration, the payload is equipped with a 5-megapixel colour sensor, a near infrared (NIR) sensor, and a temperature-calibrated thermal longwave infrared (LWIR) sensor that operate simultaneously to generate a wide area map at a rate of up to 20,000 hectares per hour.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(324 of 700 words)