French Navy's VSR 700 Unmanned Aircraft System successfully completes trials aboard FREMM frigate Provence

According to information published by Opex 360 on October 30, 2023, the French Navy's future unmanned reconnaissance helicopter, currently under development in the SDAM (Système de drone aérien pour la Marine) program, has successfully completed its first trials aboard the FREMM frigate Provence. The first ship trials took place in May 2023, but were carried out with a French civilian vessel.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the VSR-700 UAS. (Picture source: Airbus)

A comparable but different product to the VSR-700 is the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. A comparable but different product to the VSR-700 is the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. As it happens, this product is already in service with the French Navy. Let's compare these two unmanned aircraft.

Schiebel Camcopter S-100 vs VSR-700

The Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and VSR 700 are both unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but they exhibit distinct characteristics that cater to different operational needs. The S-100, with its compact size (3.11 m in length) and lighter weight (110 kg empty), is designed for agility and deployment in confined spaces.

Its payload capacity of 50 kg, while modest, is adequate for light surveillance missions. The S-100's maximum speed of 220 km/h and endurance of 6 hours make it well-suited for quick, short-range operations.

The VSR 700 is a larger UAV, almost double the length of the S-100 at 6.2 m, and with a significantly higher max takeoff weight of 700 kg. This increased size allows for a larger payload capacity of 100 kg, doubling that of the S-100.

The VSR 700's endurance is notably higher at 10 hours, offering extended operational capabilities. Its service ceiling of 6,000 m is also higher than the S-100's 5,500 m, potentially providing broader surveillance coverage.