The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded a contract to Lockheed and Kaman Aerospace for K-MAX unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for deployment.

The $45.8m contract includes delivery of two K-MAX air vehicles and three remote control ground stations to the US Marine Corps for a quick reaction assessment, scheduled for mid 2011.

Lockheed Aviation Systems vice-president Dan Spoor said the K-MAX UAS had been specifically designed for battlefield cargo resupply missions.

“K-MAX’s capabilities directly answer the Marine Corps’ requirement to augment ground and air logistics operations, supplement rotary-wing assets and keep warfighters supplied and out of harm’s way,” he said.

The unmanned K-MAX can carry and deliver 6,000lb of cargo at sea level and more than 4,000lb at 10,000ft altitude.

The aircraft in one flight can deliver more cargo to more locations when compared to any other unmanned rotary wing aircraft.

Lockheed and Kaman have met all milestones for US Marine Corps urgent military requirement.