KAI, Northrop Grumman partner to develop VTOL UAVs

by Oishee Majumdar

Janes assesses that the design of the new VTOL UAV by KAI and Northrop Grumman could be influenced by the US company's MQ-8C UAV (pictured). (US Navy)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman to develop vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be operated from warships and coastguard vessels.

Janes understands that the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy plans to acquire around 20 of these VTOL UAVs.

The UAVs will be used for “territorial defence missions” such as persistent surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition in the maritime environment, KAI said in a media release on 19 January.

KAI expects to reduce the time period and “risks” involved in the research and development (R&D) of VTOL UAVs by partnering with Northrop Grumman.

Janes assesses that the design of the new VTOL UAVs can be influenced by Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C UAV. KAI will also be able to leverage its experience of developing the Night Intruder 600 VT UAV during the joint R&D efforts for the new UAVs.

According to Janes All the World's Aircraft: Unmanned

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Saab's Skapa initiative aims to speed technology into customers' hands

by Jeremiah Cushman

Saab has developed an autonomy package for its CB 90 fast boat and demonstrated its ability to navigate the Swedish coast. Pictured above is a CB 90 that was delivered to Malaysia. (Dockstavarvet)

Saab has established a new business function to revamp how it develops and delivers products to meet changing customer requirements. Skapa, a Swedish word that means “to create, to make, or to shape”, will focus on solving customer and stakeholder problems at speed, Erik Smith, president and CEO of Saab in the United States, told reporters on 23 April. “Skapa will accelerate the development and deployment of cutting-edge solutions to our warfighters” at pace, he said.

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XR Training-led consortium wins USMC ACV simulator contract

by Giles Ebbutt

The XR Training consortium's USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle driver simulator in its seat configuration with two DoF motion platform. The Vive HTC Elite headset is on the seat. The Instructor station laptop is on the table behind. (XR Training)

A consortium led by XR Training has been awarded a contract by the US Marine Corps (USMC) under an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to produce a driver training simulator for the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). The value of the contract was not disclosed but Neil Levin, XR Training CEO, told Janes that it was “in the high seven-figure area”.

The consortium, which also includes Talon Simulations (hardware), 302 Interactive (software development), and Theory Studios (modelling and visuals), will deliver 81 simulators by the end of 2024, followed by a two-year training and sustainment period. Most simulators will be deployed to Camps Pendleton and Lejeune, with some for use for “schoolhouse” training and some for deploying units.

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Canada unveils CAD33.8 billion defence budget for 2024–25

by Jeremiah Cushman

Actual and planned Canadian defence spending by category from 2021–22 to 2026–27. (Janes)

The Canadian government released its fiscal year (FY) 2024 defence budget on 16 April. The document projects spending of CAD33.8 billion (USD24.6 billion) in 2024–25, including adjustments from the Budget 2023 Refocusing Government Spending Exercise and incremental funding in the 2024 budget, although it warns that forecast amounts may change as programmes move through implementation. This is an increase from the forecast CAD29.9 billion spending in 2023–24, according to the document.

The 2024–25 main estimates produced by the Treasury Board projected defence spending of CAD30.6 billion, a small increase from the latest spending estimate for 2023–24, which totalled CAD30.3 billion. This is a 14% increase over the initial 2023–24 main estimate of CAD26.5 billion, according to Treasury Board figures. Expenditures in 2022–23 totalled CAD26.9 billion.

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