The government has abandoned the acquisition of the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) as part of its response to the DSR.
In May 2022, Defence selected the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) to undergo a single source procurement process for the initial block of a $1.3 billion three-block maritime uncrewed aircraft systems (MUAS) program for the RAN.
The number of S-100s under consideration at the time was not disclosed, although an unconfirmed media report referred to an initial procurement of 40. The sole source decision was made days before the Coalition government entered into a caretaker period.
However, it has now been reported that the Labor government has scrapped the acquisition (which has reportedly been confirmed by Schiebel), though Defence has gone on record to say Sea 129 Phase 5 is 'continuing' and it is 'examining options'.
Originally proposed by Raytheon Australia teaming with Schiebel Pacific, the S-100 was chosen for single source consideration without an open tender from five shortlisted contenders. The move was said to advance the initial operating capability (IOC) by 18 months.
The four other contenders comprised Insitu Pacific offering its Scan Eagle/Integrator family, Northrop Grumman teaming with Leonardo with the AWHero, Textron with the Aerosonde V4/HQ system, and BAE Systems with an undisclosed air vehicle.
Schiebel delivered three S-100s to the RAN in 2018 under Navy Minor Project 1942 to provide an interim shipborne vertical takeoff and landing capability. All three were subsequently upgraded with heavy-fuel S-2 engines.