Navy and Marine Corps to deploy unmanned K-MAX from Lockheed Martin and Kaman to Afghanistan
OWEGO, N.Y., 6 Oct. 2011. The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, following the culmination of a five-day Quick Reaction Assessment for the U.S. Navy's Cargo unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program, will deploy the unmanned K-MAX aircraft from Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] and Kaman [NASDAQ-GS:KAMN] to Afghanistan in Nov. K-MAX reportedly will be the Navy's first cargo unmanned aircraft system to deploy in an operational environment.
"I am very confident in both the team and the K-MAX UAS to successfully perform their missions while deployed," notes Rear Admiral Bill Shannon, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons. "K-MAX has the capability to quickly deliver cargo, thus getting troops off the roads and allowing them to focus on other missions."
"We are committed to providing the Marine Corps with the life-saving unmanned capability of our proven airframe, reducing the risk to our forces by taking the cargo resupply mission from the ground to the air," says Sal Bordonaro, division president at Kaman Helicopters.
Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace partnered in 2007 to transform Kaman's K-MAX power-lift manned helicopter into a unmanned aerial system (UAS) capable of autonomous or remote-controlled cargo delivery.
Kaman designed the K-MAX platform, and Lockheed Martin designed the helicopter's mission management and control systems to provide the K-MAX with flight autonomy in remote environments and over long distances.