Kaman Air Vehicles has been selected to develop a logistics uncrewed aerial system (UAS) prototype for the US Marine Corps (USMC).
This new project is part of the Medium Unmanned Logistics Systems – Air (MULS-A) programme.
It is being managed by the Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Small Tactical UAS programme office (PMA-263).
Under this contract, Kaman will develop a new military prototype version of its KARGO purpose-built medium-lift logistics uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV).
Following the development of initial prototype, the KARGO UAV will undergo a ‘field user capability assessment’.
This test will allow the vehicle to carry out operations in a specific test environment.
Construction of KARGO UAV started in 2021, followed by flight testing a scaled demonstrator in autumn last year to validate different concepts of the vehicle.
The company is currently building a full-scale demonstrator, whose maiden flight test is expected to take place later this year.
Simultaneously, Kaman is testing various autonomy systems that will be equipped with the new prototype UAV, being developed for the USMC.
The required autonomy systems for KARGO UAV are being provided by Near Earth Autonomy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kaman Precision Products segment president Carroll Lane said: “We have been tracking the need for expeditionary logistics for some time.
“And we are thrilled to see our focused research and development (R&D) efforts to provide an affordable, reliable and maintainable logistics vehicle come into alignment with such an important programme as MULS-A.”
Kaman’s compact UAV is being designed and developed in accordance with the USMC’s future operating concepts.
The vehicle is expected to provide rough design suitable for conducting for expeditionary operations in harsh conditions. It can carry up to 800lb of payload.