Washington DC (SPX) Dec 13, 2010
The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Kaman Aerospace a $45.8 million contract for K-MAX unmanned aircraft systems for a U.S. Marine Corps evaluation of unmanned cargo resupply in an operational forward deployed environment.
"The K-MAX UAS was specifically designed for the battlefield cargo resupply mission," said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin Aviation Systems vice president.
"K-MAX's capabilities directly answer the Marine Corps' requirement to augment ground and air logistics operations, supplement rotary-wing assets and keep warfighters supplied and out of harm's way."
The contract includes the delivery of two K-MAX air vehicles and three remote control ground stations to the U.S. Marine Corps for a Quick Reaction Assessment, scheduled for summer 2011.
The unmanned K-MAX has demonstrated its ability to carry and deliver 6,000 pounds of cargo at sea level and more than 4,000 pounds at 10,000 feet altitude.
The aircraft can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight than any other unmanned rotary wing aircraft. Its intermeshing rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor and allow for significantly improved lift performance and lower maintenance costs.
"K-MAX is the optimal choice for an affordable unmanned cargo delivery capability," said Terry Fogarty, Kaman Aerospace Unmanned Aircraft Systems general manager.
"With reduced operational and logistics costs, increased fuel savings and less manpower required compared to a ground vehicle convoy or manned helicopter, the K-MAX is the lowest-risk solution for the mission."
Since partnering in 2007, Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have made significant investments to provide a rapid response to an urgent military service need. The team has met all milestones to date and exceeded Marine Corps requirements during a demonstration at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah in January.
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