Bristow has been awarded a 10-year contract by the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) to deliver the Second-Generation Search and Rescue (UKSAR2G) programme. The contract includes the operational deployment of Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The new contract expands and builds upon the existing capabilities Bristow has delivered to the MCA since 2015, most notably the Search & Rescue (SAR) helicopter service for HM Coastguard.
In January 2019, Bristow received its first Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 system, consisting of two aircraft, a ground control station and engineering and logistical support. This was intended as a proof-of-concept capability, to demonstrate the utility of combining unmanned with manned aviation in the SAR role. In 2022, Bristow took delivery of a second system, stationed on the south coast of England to support MCA and HM Coastguard operations in the English Channel. Recently, Bristow trained additional pilots andengineers to maintain its fleet of CAMCOPTER S-100 in the UK. The CAMCOPTER S-100 Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS can operate from unprepared launch zones and does not require supporting launch or recovery equipment. It is capable of day and night operation under adverse weather conditions with a range of payloads, with a maximum range of 200 km over land or sea.