US marines chooses Kaman to build cargo UAS prototype
Post construction, KARGO UAV will complete a Field User Capability Assessment held in operationally-relevant test environment
Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Corporation announced that they have been selected to build a logistics 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) programme. Once the prototype is constructed, KARGO UAV will complete a Field User Capability Assessment conducted in an operationally relevant test environment.
Kaman began the development of its KARGO UAV last year and flew a scaled demonstrator in the Fall of 2021 to prove the concept. A full-scale demonstrator is under construction, and the 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.
"We have been tracking the need for expeditionary logistics for some time," said Carroll Lane, President of Kaman's Precision Products segment. "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." Lane stressed that KARGO UAV development for the U.S. Marines would remain a priority for the foreseeable future.
Built with the Marines' future operating concept in mind, KARGO UAV offers a rugged design optimized for expeditionary employment. The 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.
Kaman Corporation, founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, conducts business in the aerospace and defense, industrial and medical markets. Kaman produces and markets proprietary aircraft bearings and components; super precision, miniature ball bearings; proprietary spring energised 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.