Friday, April 19, 2024

Kaman to build cargo UAS prototype for U.S. Marines

Kaman Air Vehicles, a Connecticut-based company, has been selected to build a logistics UAS prototype for the United States Marine Corps. The company will build a funded military version of its KARGO UAV, a purpose-built autonomous medium-lift logistics vehicle.

Built with the Marines’ future operating concept in mind, KARGO UAV is rugged enough to handle serious cargo and challenging environments while also being easily deployed. Each KARGO UAV fits in a standard cargo container, and with only two personnel, it can transition from full-stow to flight-ready in just minutes.

KARGO UAV self-deploys beyond 500 nautical miles (926 km), carries up to 800 pounds (363 kg) of payload, and is designed to operate in austere environments. The cargo drone will be unconstrained by no-go terrain, will sense and avoid obstacles en route, and will deliver payloads with pinpoint accuracy.

The company began the development of its KARGO UAV last year and flew a scaled demonstrator in the Fall of 2021 to prove the concept. A full-scale demonstrator is under construction, and the first flight is scheduled for later this year.

“We have been tracking the need for expeditionary logistics for some time,” said Carroll Lane, President of Kaman’s Precision Products segment. “And we are thrilled to see our focused R&D efforts to provide an affordable, reliable, and maintainable logistics vehicle come into alignment with such an important program as MULS-A,” Lane stressed that KARGO UAV development for the U.S. Marines would remain a priority for the foreseeable future.

The United States Marine Corps. (USMC) project is being managed by NAVAIR PMA-263 under the Medium Unmanned Logistics Systems – Air (MULS-A) program. Once the prototype is constructed, KARGO UAV will complete a Field User Capability Assessment conducted in an operationally relevant test environment.