Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Corporation, has been selected to build a logistics Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) prototype for the US Marine Corps.
The company will build a funded military version of its KARGO UAV, a purpose-built autonomous medium-lift logistics vehicle that can carry up to 800 pounds of payload and is designed to operate in austere environments.
The US Marine Corps project is being managed by NAVAIR PMA-263 under the Medium Unmanned Logistics Systems – Air (MULS-A) program. Once the prototype is constructed, KARGO UAV will complete a Field User Capability Assessment conducted in an operationally relevant test environment.
Kaman began development of its KARGO UAV in 2021 and flew a scaled demonstrator in Fall of 2021 to prove out the concept. A full-scale demonstrator is under construction, and first flight is scheduled for late 2022.
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. “And 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.”
Built with the Marines’ future operating concept in mind, KARGO UAV offers rugged design optimized for expeditionary employment. 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.
Lane stressed that KARGO UAV development for the US Marines would remain a priority for Kaman for the foreseeable future.