Military Embedded Systems

Unmanned Cargo helicopter gets second deployment extension from U.S. Marine Corps


August 02, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

WEBSTER FIELD, Md. U.S. Marine Corps officials extended the deployment the of K-MAX Cargo Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for the second time this year in theater. K-MAX -- a joint effort by Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace ? was to stay in theater through September 30, the end of this fiscal year. Now its service in Afghanistan will extended for an additional six months with an option to extend through September 2013.

K-MAX enables the Marine Corps reduced improvised explosive device (IED) threats by using the UAS to supply forward operating bases instead of ground convoy or manned aircraft.

The K-MAX program has flown 485 sorties, 525 hours, and lifted more than 1.6 million pounds of cargo since November 2011. Earlier this year K-MAX performed a "hot hook-up," by enabling personnel to attach cargo to the UAS while in hover mode. Hot hook up is now used on a regular basis when performing retrograde missions – which is when cargo is carried on the return flight as well – increasing K-MAX efficiency.


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