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.

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Posted by Courtney E. HowardOWEGO, 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. Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force officials in Norfolk, Va., released a formal report confirming that the unmanned K-MAX exceeded Navy and Marines requirements to deliver 6,000 pounds of cargo per day. The deploying team--including active-duty mission commanders, air vehicle operators, and Lockheed Martin employees--have completed training and flight tests at its base in Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., and is preparing the aircraft for shipment into theater."We are fully prepared to deploy our system and augment Marine Corps ground and air logistics in Afghanistan," says Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation Systems in Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors.

"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.

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