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DCNS integrates UAV with naval combat systems

10th January 2014 - 12:16 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The French DGA and DCNS have successfully demonstrated that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be integrated with the combat system of a naval warship without negatively affecting flight safety. The work is being carried out as part of the Serval (shipboard reconnaissance system – light air vehicle) programme.

Recent trials saw Schiebel’s Camcopter S100 VTOL UAV physically and functionally integrated with DCNS's Polaris combat system, in order to evaluate the system’s DIOD-A module’s ability to manage UAV payload data in real time. The demonstration, which used data collected by the UAV’s electro-optical sensors, saw all functional blocks between Polaris and Camcopter validated. 

The trial also demonstrated that the interface between the UAV and the ship's combat system has no impact on flight safety.

The DIOD-A module met all DGA requirements and now has the potential to deliver significant operational benefits to French Navy staff in charge of operating the combat management system and the VTOL UAV.

Based on the results of the trials, the DGA has issued DCNS with a permit to fly the Camcopter S100.

Full integration of UAV data and the combat management system turn the UAV into a 'telescopic arm' of the ship, extending its operational capabilities by providing real-time data from the theatre of operations beyond the range of its onboard sensors. A UAV with an optronic payload constitutes an offboard sensor platform that can relay data back to the host ship to identify poential threats in the area – a capability that many European navies are expressing interest in.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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