Camcopter UAV crashes at Jervis Bay range

Two Camcopters pictured at Jervis Bay Airfield during trials with the Navy Unmanned Aircraft System Development Unit in June 2015. (Defence)

An investigation has begun after a Schiebel Camcopter S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed yesterday at Beecroft Air Weapons Range, Jervis Bay, New South Wales.

At approximately 10am on March 27, the vertical takeoff and landing UAV crashed while conducting flying conversion training for Royal Australian Navy personnel, a spokesperson for Defence told Australian Defence Business Review.

“The UAV operator declared an emergency in accordance with standard operating procedures,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“As a result of the crash, a small fire ignited, which was quickly contained by Defence and local fire services. An assessment into the cause of the incident is under way.”

In late 2016 the Department of Defence awarded Austria’s Schiebel Group a contract to supply its Camcopter S-100 to meet an RAN interim VTOL UAS requirement.

Signed in late December, the contract fulfils a request for tender for Navy Minor Project (NMP) 1942 which sought to procure a “proven” VTOL Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System – Interim Capability (MTUAS-IC) and associated engineering and logistics support for the Navy.

The contract with Schiebel included two Camcopter air vehicles with mission control systems, as well as engineering, logistics and operational support, with in-country support being provided by BAE Systems and Unmanned Systems Australia.