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
RE: Nice but why does it have a cockpit?
1/2/2012 2:48:09 PM
If I remember correctly, from an earlier article about this UAV, the purpose of the cockpit is to allow a human to pilot the helicopter in case of extreme conditions when remote piloting would be either impractical or prohibitive. Those conditions might perhaps appear with a very tight landing area, exceedingly bad weather, or precious cargo which would be dangerous for the enemy to intercept.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Use of UAVs Shows Glimpse of Future, Raises Concerns
October 2, 2011, 6:26 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 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
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Hits 75 Million Users; Grows Nearly 4x as Fast as Windows 7
August 28, 2015, 10:22 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Microsoft's Flagship Windows10 Lumias Rumored to Pack 25 Minute Charge Times
August 31, 2015, 8:13 PM
"KeyRaider" Hits 225,000+ iPhones, Mobile Malware no Longer Just a Droid Thing
September 1, 2015, 11:50 PM
Microsoft Announces $499 Xbox One "ELITE", w/ High-End Controller, Hybrid HDD
August 31, 2015, 3:29 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