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Unmanned cargo-carrying helo returns to U.S. from Afghanistan

The K-MAX unmanned helicopter has completed a nearly three-year deployment to Afghanistan, where it transported more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo for the U.S. Marine Corps.
By Richard Tomkins   |   July 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM
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OWEGO, N.Y., July 25 (UPI) -- K-MAX, the unmanned cargo aircraft of Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace, has returned to the United States following extended deployment to Afghanistan.

The unmanned helicopter lifted more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo for the U.S. Marine Corps during nearly three years in Afghanistan in thousands of missions, reducing the number of truck resupply convoys, which would have been vulnerable to improvised explosive devices.

"We are proud to welcome home the unmanned K-MAX Team from their successful deployment in theater," said Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation and Unmanned Systems at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "K-MAX exceeded expectations as an unmanned platform in keeping our troops out of harm's way, and we continue to develop onboard technology and autonomy for future military and civil missions."

K-MAX is made by Kaman Aerospace Corporation and outfitted with a mission package of systems and sensors. It can lift 6,000 pounds of cargo at sea level, and flies at night as well as during daylight hours.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 100 knots and a range of 260 nautical miles.

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