USMC Testing Unmanned Helicopter in Afghanistan
January 2, 2012 8:30 AM
comment(s) - last by
Kaman K-MAX UAV helicopter
US military continues testing a broader range of unmanned aircraft for use in the battlefield
The United States Marine Corps recently started a six-month test of an unmanned helicopter designed to resupply manned missions in Afghanistan. If testing is successful, the USMC hopes to introduce the new helicopters on a limited scale as soon but only after significant testing.
The Lockheed Martin/Kaman-manufactured K-MAX helicopter also has the ability to sling-load cargo from U.S. and NATO bases in Afghanistan, so cargo can be moved quickly off ground.
"We delivered cargo today that was supposed to be delivered by convoy," said Maj. Kyle O'Connor, UAV helicopter squadron commander, in a press release. "Now that convoy has three pallets that it does not have to carry."
The K-MAX is able to carry up to 3.5 tons of supplies and munitions up to 250 miles, and has the ability to auto drop cargo in varying environments. During a "brown out" simulated dust storm -- aimed at replicating Afghanistan's harsh work environment -- cargo was still able to be delivered, according to test personnel.
The Marine Corps and Navy wanted the K-MAX to surpass 6,000 pounds of cargo drops per day for five days, with one mission successfully dropping 3,500 pounds.
The helicopter is designed for transportation, instead of direct confrontations with enemies.
The unmanned helicopter would be a great asset to avoid ground troops resupplying operations, with improvised explosive devices still causing fatalities to ground troops. Military officials plan to primarily focus at higher elevation and for nighttime unmanned helicopter missions, in an effort to reduce direct small-arms fire.
UAV demand is
expected to continue its rise
this year, as the need for unmanned aircraft will continue among superior military nations. Throughout the past 24 months, the Pentagon showed increased interest in UAVs, urging each branch to begin training more UAV-specific personnel.
Specifically for UAV helicopters, they could also one day be used in civilian life, but many improvements and modifications would be needed.
Marine Corps Times
Naval Air Systems Command
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Civilian UAV heli use
1/2/2012 11:44:12 AM
Unmanned helicopters (UAVs) are already used in civilian sphere - think of high voltage cable inspections and the like.
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
Use of UAVs Shows Glimpse of Future, Raises Concerns
October 2, 2011, 6:26 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information