The Navy and Marine Corps plans to field a cargo unmanned aircraft system are moving forward as the first of two potential UAS helicopters landed at Pax River, July 1.
The Navy and Marine Corps Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Air Systems program office (PMA-266) coordinated the arrival of Lockheed Martin’s KMAX helicopter, one of the systems that will potentially deploy to Afghanistan later this year.
“Our team has worked very hard to respond to an urgent needs requirement for a Cargo UAS capability in support of Marine Corps forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, program manager for PMA-266.
In December 2010, PMA-266 awarded contracts to two suppliers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing/Frontier Aviation, for potential deployment support in Afghanistan. In order to meet the urgent operational needs of the Marine Corps, both suppliers were selected to reduce potential deployment delays and possible inability to meet performance requirements.
The Navy plans to deploy one of the systems that has demonstrated ability to meet technical requirements following a favorable Quick Reaction Assessment (QRA). The second system may be used for future operational missions and/or science and technology development.