What’s Best of What’s New? K-MAX
Popular Science recognizes unmanned cargo helicopter deployed in Afghanistan as one of the top new products of 2012
Over the years, Popular Science magazine’s annual Best of What’s New issues have frequently recognized Lockheed Martin products such as the Mars Lander, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) missile.
You can now add the K-MAX unmanned cargo re-supply helicopter developed by Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace. Popular Science featured K-MAX in its just released Best of What’s New 2012 issue, writing:
“Since 2008, roadside bombs and other IEDS have accounted for the deaths of more than half the U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Moving cargo in large convoys put many of those soldiers at risk… (the) K-Max autonomous helicopter removes the people from those supply lines.”
The aircraft also recently received several other honors. The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center presented Lockheed Martin and Kaman with its annual Achievement Award on Nov. 3 for their work on K-MAX. The award recognizes a person or organization that makes a significant impact to furthering rotary-wing aviation.
K-MAX also won Aviation Week’s Program Excellence Award for System Level Research & Development/System Development & Design as well as being recognized for a best practice in Government/Industry Cooperation at the magazine’s annual Aerospace & Defense Programs conference in Phoenix on Nov. 8.
K-MAX became the first ever unmanned helicopter to deliver cargo in theater when it was deployed to Afghanistan in December, 2011. Since then, the two K-MAX helicopters have flown more than 600 missions over 700 hours and delivered more than two million pounds of cargo.
K-MAX protects soldiers by reducing the number of truck re-supply convoys and their troop escorts, which are frequent targets of improvised explosive devises and insurgent attacks. Slated to remain in theater through March 2013, K-MAX’s deployment has been extended twice so far and has an option to stay until next September.
Featuring Kaman’s proven high-altitude, heavy-lift K-1200 airframe and Lockheed Martin’s mission management and control systems, K-MAX can fly day or night over large distances and at higher altitudes with a larger payload than any other rotary wing unmanned aerial system.
Posted on November 14, 2012
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