Lockheed Martin and Kaman's K-MAX is an unmanned rotary wing demonstration aircraft based on Kaman's heavy-lift K-1200 airframe. K-MAX can fly both autonomously and remote control flight over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link. The aircraft can lift as much as 4,500 pounds per mission and resupply multiple locations in a single sortie.
The vehicle has been operated for logistics missions to forward operating bases in Afghanistan by Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons 1, 2, and 3 since November of 2011. A manned version of K-MAX was previously flown by contractors for U.S. Navy fleet logistics.
A K-MAX helicopter crashed 5 June 2013 at a landing zone near Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan while delivering cargo in autonomous mode.
K-MAX has been designated the CQ-24A by NAVAIR.
Two K-Max helicopters will be sent to the Marine Corps VMX-22 test squadron in September 2015 in order to develop the cargo UAS (CRUAS) concept of operations. Other candidates for the Marine Corps CRUAS acquisition (projected to take place in 2022) include the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) and the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS).
1 December 2012 - A Cargo Resupply Unmanned Aircraft System (CRUAS) with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) lands and takes off on Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan.
2010 Lockheed Martin promotional video.