IDEX 2023: Robotican unveils improved Rooster hybrid unmanned vehicle

by Akshara Parakala

Robotican Rooster unmanned system with control station. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Robotican displayed an improved version of its Rooster unmanned system at the IDEX 2023 show, which was held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

The semi-autonomous hybrid system can operate either as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), and is designed to undertake indoor and outdoor intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, including in contested and Global Positioning System (GPS)-denied environments.

The improved version of the Rooster is fitted with larger rotors for enhanced lift, a lighter fuselage to maximise the payload capacity, and a modular structure that enables a wider range of payloads to be integrated.

A typical Rooster is enclosed in a gimbal stabilised mesh, which enables it to roll in a two-dimensional plane on the ground and fly via downward-facing X-configured quad rotors.

A Robotican official told Janes that “the Rooster was primarily designed to operate on naval vessels, and in confined spaces [such as] in buildings, caves, tunnels, and disaster sites, etc for special forces and police forces”.


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Indonesia receives final C-130J-30

by Akhil Kadidal

Indonesia was supposed to receive its fourth and fifth (and final) C-130J-30s in January 2024. In this January 2024 picture is the first C-130J-30 received by Indonesia (serial no A-1339), which arrived in Indonesia on 6 March 2023. (Eko Siswono Toyudho/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has announced that it has received its fifth and final Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules.

“The fifth C-130J-30 (with tail number A-1342) has arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in Jakarta,” the Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 16 May. Janes has previously reported that the acquisition of the five aircraft was part of a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) contract with Lockheed Martin.

According to the original delivery schedule, four C-130J-30s were to be delivered by October 2023, with the final aircraft to be delivered in January 2024. According to the MoD, three C-130J-30s were delivered in 2023: the first in March 2023 (serial no A-1339), the second aircraft in June 2023 (A-1340), and the third in August 2023 (A-1343). A fourth aircraft (A-1344) was delivered in January 2024.


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UK continues search to sell surplus Hercules airlifters

by Gareth Jennings

One of the last C-130Js in RAF service made its farewell flypast in June 2023. The MoD is continuing its search to find buyers for this and 14 other surplus airframes. (Crown Copyright)

The UK is continuing its search to find buyers for its fleet of retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters, with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) telling Janes that it has identified several potential buyers.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) retired one ‘short' C-130J (C5 in UK service) and 13 ‘stretched' C-130J-30 (C4) airframes on 31 March 2023 (with the type's final farewell flypast following in June 2023), all of which, along with an additional C5 aircraft carried over from the previous round of retirements in 2015, are now available to overseas buyers.

“The Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) is managing the sales programme on behalf of the MoD and continues to actively pursue sales with a number of potential buyers,” the ministry said on 10 May.


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BAE touts long-term relevance of Eurofighter to UK

by Gareth Jennings

Currently scheduled to be retired in 2040, the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 could serve the UK as a force multiplier to its higher-end F-35 and Tempest aircraft well beyond that date, BAE Systems says. (Crown Copyright)

BAE Systems has touted the continued relevance of the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 to the UK, saying the ‘fourth-generation' combat aircraft can provide much-needed mass and resilience beyond its projected out-of-service date (OSD).

Speaking at the site of the BAE Systems' Warton production facility in northern England on 14 May, Mike Baulkwill, Combat Air Strategy director at the company, said that, with the international Eurofighter operator base set to fly improved and upgraded variants of the type out into the 2060s, the Royal Air Force (RAF) could retain its own aircraft beyond its current 2040 OSD.

“The Typhoon will be relatively enduring, as sometimes you will not want to use your higher-end aircraft [such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning and/or Tempest] – the Typhoon and the Typhoon Evolution [along with Eurofighter Evolution, the name being given to the Long-Term Evolution [LTE] mid-life refresh standard aircraft now being developed] is in a good place for that,” Baulkwill said.


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Robotican displayed an improved version of its Rooster unmanned system at the IDEX 2023 show, which ...

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