WASHINGTON (PRNewswire)—The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $47 million contract to develop, demonstrate, and deliver autonomous technologies for unmanned air systems in support of in-theater unmanned cargo resupply missions.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin and Kaman will demonstrate intelligent autonomous technologies for unmanned aerial systems using the K-MAX helicopter platform.
The Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate is investing in mature technologies that will enhance unmanned cargo resupply capabilities by improving autonomous operations, increasing delivery accuracy and reducing ground control station operator workload. Prior to being deployed for cargo resupply missions, the technology will be demonstrated in an operationally realistic environment on the unmanned K-MAX.
"Lockheed Martin's experience, resources and proven K-MAX platform will allow us to meet the Army's objectives," said Dan Spoor, vice president of Aviation Systems at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors. "We are eager to develop and demonstrate the latest autonomous technologies using the mature and low-risk K-MAX platform."
The 6,000 lb power lifter can fly at a higher altitude with a heavier payload than any other rotary wing unmanned system. With its four-hook carousel, the unmanned K-MAX can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight.
Since partnering in 2007, Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have made significant investments to provide a rapid response to an urgent military service need. The team has met all milestones to date and recently began electromagnetic environmental effects testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., as part of the Navy and Marine Corps Cargo Unmanned Air Systems program.