Aerial Warfare

Kaman Corporation Celebrates Successful First Flight of Full-scale Kargo UAV

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Kaman Corporation Celebrates Successful First Flight of Full-scale Kargo UAV

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Kaman Corporation Celebrates Successful First Flight of Full-scale Kargo UAV
Kaman Corporation Celebrates Successful First Flight of Full-scale Kargo UAV


Kaman Corporation proudly announces the significant achievement of the first flight of the full-scale KARGO UAV, a purpose-built, autonomous, expeditionary resupply vehicle. This milestone, which took place in December of 2023, signifies a major accomplishment in the ongoing flight test progression. The development of this medium-lift UAS, initiated in 2021 to address logistics needs for U.S. Marine Corps operations, is now well underway. Contributions from partners significantly aided the success of the KARGO UAV flight test. Near Earth Autonomy, Kaman’s partner for the autonomy system based in Pittsburgh, PA, provided autonomy features on the KARGO UAV. The two companies had previously collaborated on the K-MAX unmanned system and had showcased an earlier version of the autonomy technology to the Marines in April 2021. The Alaska Center for UAS Integration, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, was key in facilitating KARGO UAV flight test operations. KARGO UAV is currently competing under the Marines’ Medium Autonomous Resupply Vehicle—Expeditionary Logistics (MARV-EL) program, which is managed by NAVAIR PMA-263 and culminates in a fly-off in July of this year.

“It is difficult to describe the sense of satisfaction one feels when watching an aircraft take flight for the first time, and very few people get the opportunity to participate in something like this,” said Romin Dasmalchi, General Manager of KARGO UAV. “This team worked hard to get here, and the intensity continues as we look to move from prototyping to production,” he added. KARGO UAV is intended to support the U. S. Military, partners, allies, and commercial customers by providing affordable, reliable, and maintainable logistics support in austere and maritime environments. The design leverages existing high-TRL components so that a suitable system could be deployed as soon as 2026.

Kargo UAV is intended to support the U.S. Military, partners, allies, and commercial customers by providing affordable, reliable, and maintainable logistics support in austere and maritime environments.
Kargo UAV is intended to support the U.S. Military, partners, allies, and commercial customers by providing affordable, reliable, and maintainable logistics support in austere and maritime environments. (Photo by Kaman)

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; support of our heavy lift K-MAX® manned helicopter, and development of the KARGO UAV unmanned aerial system, a purpose-built autonomous medium lift logistics vehicle.

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