$45.8Million Awarded to Lockheed Martin by US Navy for Unmanned K-MAX Helicopter

You love war, right? Everyone does. You know who does the most? Robots. Robots love to go to war because even if their body is destroyed, their mind can be transferred back to the mainframe. It's a fact. Building on that idea (or not) is Lockheed Martin, now creating a helicopter that'll run entirely unmanned. The contract they're working on is called K-MAX and this helicopter's been given a $45.8 million dollar go-ahead by the US Navy.

Lockheed Martin Aviation Systems vice president Dan Spoor says of this helicopter project: "The K-MAX UAS was specifically designed for the battlefield cargo resupply mission. 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." Of course, I and we, our first question should be – what's the point of war if noone's lives are put at risk?

The contract given to Lockheed Martin is set to have them create TWO K-MAX vehicles and three remote control ground stations for the Marine Corps to do a "Quick Reaction Assessment." Think Tony Stark showing the troops that scatter bomb and giving them drinks. Similar thing.

This aircraft is capable of carrying more than 4000 pounds of cargo at 10,000 feet and 6000 pounds at sea level. An intermeshed rotor system is employed to get rid of the need for a traditional tail rotor. No more rockets to the rear end for these flyers! This system also improves lift and reduces maintenance costs. A four-hook carousel is used to allow multiple supply drops as well. Features and features.

Terry Fogarty, Kaman Aerospace Unmanned Aircraft Systems general manager notes: "K-MAX is the optimal choice for an affordable unmanned cargo delivery capability. With reduced operational and logistics costs, increased fuel savings and less manpower required compared to a ground vehicle convoy or manned helicopter, the K-MAX is the lowest-risk solution for the mission."

[Via i4U]