K-MAX Unmanned Helicopter Makes First Delivery
Military supplies will soon be delivered by K-MAX unmanned helicopters…
Last month the U.S. military’s unmanned K-MAX helicopter delivered its first load, containing beans, bullets, and Band-Aids, to an unspecified base in Afghanistan.
The flight, which followed several test flight earlier in the month, is part of a run-up to regular operations set to commence soon.
The unmanned K-MAX, developed by Kaman Aerospace, weight just 2.5 tons, but can carry a maximum payload of 3.5 tons over 250 miles, guided by GPS.
Unmanned K-MAX Makes First Delivery
The drop marks a major milestone for military and NATO logisticians, who have long sought a safer way to deliver much needed supplies to troops on the battlefield and citizens suffering from the effects of war.
Supply convoys are easy target for insurgent fighters, and a devastating loss for troops relying on the delivery for food, ammunition and medical supplies. That’s why the recent achievement is such a huge milestone for military logistics.
Not only do unmanned heli’s provide a way for supplies to be dropped without risking human lives, they can also run mission effectively during the night using GPS to ‘navigate’ through the dark.
Controlled drops via helicopters will also allow the military to resupply troops in rough terrains where traveling overland may not be possible.
- Clay Dillow: Marines in Afghanistan Execute the World's First Cargo Resupply with an Unmanned Helicopter. Popular Science, 12/20/2011.