Kaman Corporation has launched a new medium-lift expeditionary logistics Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) built specifically for the U.S. Marine Corps, with the U.S. Armed Forces future operating concepts in mind.
The KARGO UAV’s rugged, small form-factor fits in a standard shipping container and is designed to be unloaded and operated by as few as two people. Designed to provide cost-effective cargo hauling in its conformal pod or external sling load configuration, the system will self-deploy with no payload up to 523 nautical miles with max lifting capacity of 800lbs.
“The Kaman KARGO UAV is the only system of its class that is purpose-built to provide deployed Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, and Coast Guard autonomous resupply in the lethal, fluid combat environment that future military operations will entail or for regular logistics missions,” said Ian Walsh, CEO of Kaman Corporation.
“Our deployed service men and women have persistent logistics challenges that we are answering with this reliable, maintainable and affordable solution.”
Flight development testing of a scaled KARGO UAV demonstrator has been completed over a six-month period to prove out the air vehicle design, and flight-testing of a full-scale autonomous vehicle is planned for 2022. The KARGO UAV leverages commercial off-the-shelf components as well as thousands of hours of automated and autonomous flight data from Kaman’s K-MAX TITAN program, to reduce schedule and technical risk.
Kaman selected Near Earth Autonomy as a partner on the pilot KARGO UAV program. Leveraging ongoing and concurrent collaboration between the two companies on the U.S. Marines Corps K-MAX TITAN UAS, Near Earth will provide obstacle avoidance and other technologies such as precision landing, sense and avoid, and navigation in a GPS-denied environment.
“We are extremely excited to provide this advanced, game-changing technology to the market and leverage Kaman’s 75 years as a pioneer in aerospace and defense,” said Darlene Smith, President of Kaman Air Vehicles.
“Our vision is to propel our customers forward by imagining and delivering highly engineered products that solve our customer’s toughest problems.”