Kaman to develop next-gen K-Max
Kaman Aerospace is developing a next generation K-Max that will allow operators to fly either manned or unmanned missions, the company announced on 5 March.
The company expects to offer unmanned system kits for new production and existing aircraft in 2020.
Kaman is also exploring opportunities to support the US Marine Corps in developing co-use versions of autonomous aerial technologies that will have both commercial and military applications.
K-Max will be capable of missions such as providing support for night-time aerial firefighting, resupplying troops in austere environments and delivering critical supplies in support of humanitarian missions.
The unmanned K-Max provided support for the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan on combat resupply and logistical support missions. Typically operating at night, these unmanned missions replaced the equivalent of 900 convoy vehicles and eliminated 46,000 hours of exposure time to improvised explosive devices, direct fire and other threats to troops on dangerous roads.
K-MAX is a single-engine, single-seat aircraft that features a counter-rotating rotor system and is optimised for external load operations and designed specifically for vertical reference flight. The aircraft can lift up to 6,000lb.
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