India demonstrates autonomous take-off, landing capabilities of Rustom II UAV

by Ridzwan Rahmat

India's DRDO successfully flight-tested its indigenously designed Rustom-2 MALE UAV in user configuration on 25 February. (DRDO)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has demonstrated the Rustom II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle's (UAV's) ability to take off and land autonomously.

The milestone was announced by the DRDO on 13 November. During the trial, the Rustom II also demonstrated its ability to utilise India's GAGAN satellite-based navigation system, the agency added.

The Rustom II is a twin turboprop-powered UAV that has been designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It has an overall length of 9.5 m and a wingspan of 20.6 m. It can carry payloads such as gimballed electro-optical sensors of up to 350 kg.

The vehicle has been developed by Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment in conjunction with the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited. It comes from the Rustom family of UAVs, the first of which was revealed in 2009.

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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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India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has demonstrated the Rustom II medium-a...

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