Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Corporation announced that they have been selected to build a logistics Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) prototype for the United States Marine Corps. Kaman will build a funded military version of its KARGO UAV, a purpose-built autonomous medium-lift logistics vehicle. KARGO UAV carries up to 800 pounds of payload and is designed to operate in austere environments. The USMC project is being managed by NAVAIR PMA-263 under the Medium Unmanned Logistics Systems – Air (MULS-A) program. Kaman began development of its KARGO UAV last year and flew a scaled demonstrator in Fall of 2021 to prove out the concept. Once the prototype is constructed, KARGO UAV will complete a Field User Capability Assessment conducted in an operationally relevant test environment.
A full-scale demonstrator is under construction, and first flight is scheduled for later this year. Near Earth Autonomy, from Pittsburgh, PA was selected as the autonomy provider on KARGO UAV, and parallel testing is ongoing for the autonomy systems that will be employed on the Marine Corps prototype. Built with the Marines’ future operating concept in mind, KARGO UAV offers rugged design optimized for expeditionary employment. Compact form-factor of the system fits in a standard CONEX shipping container and is designed to be unloaded and operated by as few as two people.
“We have been tracking the need for expeditionary logistics for some time. 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. KARGO UAV development for the U.S. Marines would remain a priority for the foreseeable future,” said Carroll Lane, President of Kaman’s Precision Products segment.
Kaman Corporation, founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, conducts business in the aerospace & defense, industrial and medical markets. Kaman produces and markets proprietary aircraft bearings and components; super precision, miniature ball bearings; proprietary spring energized seals, springs and contacts; wheels, brakes and related hydraulic components for helicopters, fixed-wing and UAV aircraft; complex metallic and composite aerostructures for commercial, military and general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft; safe and arming solutions for missile and bomb systems for the U.S. and allied militaries; subcontract helicopter work; restoration, modification and support of our SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopters; and manufacture and support of our heavy lift K-MAX® manned helicopter, the K-MAX TITAN unmanned helicopter and the KARGO UAV unmanned aerial system, a purpose built autonomous medium lift logistics vehicle.