"The autonomous flying K-MAX is designed to resupply Marines on the battlefield and in remote locations," said Roger Il Grande, director of Airborne Systems at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors. "Through various scenarios during QRA, the unmanned K-MAX UAS performed extremely well, exceeding the cargo delivery objectives of the assessment."
The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $45.8 million contract in December 2010 for unmanned K-MAX helicopters to perform in a U.S. Marine Corps evaluation of unmanned cargo resupply. The Navy intends to field a Cargo UAS this fall for a six-month deployment to augment Marine Corps ground and air logistics operations in Afghanistan.
A formal report will be released by Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force 30 days post completion of QRA. Results will be reviewed by Navy and Marine Corps leadership to determine the system's suitability for deployment.
The K-MAX in July successfully completed Electromagnetic Environmental Effects. The purpose of the E3 testing was to measure and provide results regarding the aircraft's electromagnetic susceptibility to certain frequencies, which can affect flight-critical and other systems on the aircraft.
Kaman Aerospace designed the K-MAX platform, and Lockheed Martin has designed the helicopter's mission management and control systems to provide the K-MAX with exceptional flight autonomy in remote environments and over long distances.