K-MAX Kaman UAV drone unmanned helicopter technical data sheet specifications intelligence description information identification pictures photos images video United States American US USAF Air Force defence industry military technology

K-MAX Lockheed Martin Unmanned helicopter

Lockheed Martin Corporation and Kaman Aerospace Corporation have successfully transformed Kaman’s proven K-MAX® power lift helicopter into an unmanned aerial system (UAS). Its mission: battlefield cargo resupply for the U.S. military. Team K-MAX has flown the UAS nearly 400 hours in autonomous mode since joining forces in 2007. The system can lift and deliver a full 6,000 lbs of cargo at sea level, and more than 4,000 pounds at 15,000 ft density altitude. Team K-MAX demonstrated the unmanned cargo resupply mission capability to the U.S. Marine Corp during three days in late January, 2010 at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The system showcased autonomous and remote control flight via both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link. The original helicopter K-MAX is manufactured by Kaman Aerospace Company at the company's production facilities at Bloomfield, Connecticut. The first flight of the single-engine, single-seat helicopter was completed in March 1992. FAR parts 27 and 133 certification and Canadian certification were awarded in 1994. In March 2007, Kaman and Lockheed Martin announced a partnership to develop a manned / unmanned version of K-MAX for military applications. Lockheed Martin will be prime contractor. KMAX has demonstrated more than 12 hours unmanned flight during trials with the USMC in the Burro Technology Demonstration. In october 2011, Lockheed Martin announced the deployment of the Unmanned helicopter K-Max in Afghanistan. The decision follows the successful completion of a five-day Quick Reaction Assessment for the U.S. Navy’s Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program

- Drone UAV Unmanned aerial vehicle
- Fire fighting
- Cargo
Technical Data
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The cockpit houses a single crash- and impact-resistant seat supplied by Simula and fitted with a five point harness. The pilot has an excellent forward, side and downward view from the narrow fuselage. The curved windscreen is fitted with a demister. The panels in the domed side windows can be opened to provide a clearer direct view and in hot weather the helicopter can be flown with the side doors removed. The cargo compartment behind the pilot, capacity 0.74m³, is fitted with cargo tie-down rings. One or two passenger seats can be attached externally to the sides of the helicopter forward of the main wheel legs. The Kaman designed-and-built K-MAX helicopter features a unique intermeshing rotor system that eliminates the need for a tail rotor, directing all of the power from the Honeywell T5317A-1 gas turbine engine to the main rotors. The design gives the aircraft a one-to-one lift ratio, enabling the K-MAX aircraft to lift up to 6,000 pounds - more than the aircraft's own weight - and providing superior high altitude and hot environment performance and low noise signature. Currently flown as a manned power lifter by the logging and construction industries, the aircraft has low operating costs per flight hour, and has maintained a high reliability rate over more than 225,000 flight hours in demanding environments.
The K-MAX unmanned helicopter is powered by a single Honeywell turboshaft engine, type T53-17A-1, with a take-off power of 1,007kW. The engine is derated to provide a high standard of reliability and long operating life. The fuel tank of 865l capacity is installed at the helicopter's centre of gravity for stability. The fuel system is equipped with two electric fuel pumps.
Combat use
The 6,000-pound K-MAX 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. Afghanistan's treacherous terrain makes supplying remote operating bases either over land or through the air costly and dangerous. Unmanned systems will enable the Army to supplement rotary wing assets, reduce exposure to improvised explosive devices and decrease transportation costs. The Army wants mature technologies that improve autonomous operations, increase delivery accuracy and reduce ground control station operator workload.
The K-MAX UAS is a transformational technology for a fast-moving battlefield that will enable Marines to deliver supplies either day or night to precise locations without risk of losing life in the process. The aircraft can fly at higher altitudes with a larger payload than any other rotary wing UAS. With its four hook carousel, the K-MAX UAS can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight.
The K-MAX unmanned aerial system was controlled by Lockheed Martin's KineForce™ mission management system, which is designed to translate the ground controller's objectives into mission executable plans, provide autonomous flight control capability, understand the dynamic battlefield environment, and react to threats. To command and control the K-MAX, a ground controller used a hand-held tablet computer - compatible with a common interface system used by the U.S. Army for control of unmanned aerial vehicles - to define the mission plan and monitor the aircraft during flight.
Country User
United States
Designer country
United States
Day and night capacity, cargo tie-down rings.
1/2 or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Firefighting - Cargo - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle UAV Drone
2,334 kg empty
185 km/h
556 km
Dimension / Weight
Length: 18.85 m; Wingspan: 15.67 m; Height: 4.14 m
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